Saturday, September 29, 2007

Go Buckeyes, Go Auburn

The Buckeyes won!

And so did the Auburn Tigers. Beat the Gators.

Ah, sweet football Saturday!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Chat with Tamera Alexander

My friend Tammy, oh, all right, Tamera Alexander, has been busy. This month Bethany House releases her Fountain Creek Chronicles box set. Box set! I'm impressed.

About Fountain Creek Chronicles
This bestselling three-book series (Rekindled, Revealed, and Remembered) features a different historical romance in each novel. In the late 1860s, Colorado Territory is a wild and untamed land. Nestled within its mountains and sustained by one of its major creeks, three couples find adventure and love on the frontier. Each person will be called upon to stand on nothing more than faith, risk what is most dear, and turn away from the past in order to follow God's plan for the future.
A quick chat with Tamera

What makes you feel alive?
A fall day when the air is clean and the leaves so crisp and splashed with color that you just have to stop and try to take it all in, which you can't, of course. And you realize there's no "reason" why those leaves had to change those colors in order for the plant or tree to go dormant. God did it to show his glory, his artistry. How magnificent.

How does something worm its way into your heart? Through tears, truth, humor or other?
Tears and humor. Used together, they're a powerful tool!

Where would you most like to travel ----- moon, north pole, deep seas, deserted island, the holy land or back to a place from your childhood, somewhere else? – and why.

I would time travel, does that still fit? Back to the era in which I write and specifically to some points in European history. Especially those in France. And to Biblical times, of course. ;)

What is your favorite word?


What word annoys you more than any other?


Super power you'd love to borrow for awhile?

Ability to read minds - as long as no one else could have that super power around me. ;)

Favorite chore
Vacuuming. It's a sickness, I know. But I love things neat.

Grammatical pet peeve…sound off.

People who don't like semi-colons. Semi-colons are wonderful; they serve a real purpose in our language and shouldn't be ostracized from fiction. ;)

Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

This one:
Your book (Rekindled) helped me to begin loving my husband again. Maybe to start loving him to begin with. I'm trying to get rid of the high expectations I've held for the past fifteen years because they’ve only led me to disappointment. We're seeking counseling and are trying to rebuild our marriage. Your writings gave me the courage to take that step, and helped me to know that God could make that happen. Thank you. If I never write another word or get another reader note about my books, I'll die a happy woman. ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake - Yummmmm

Hi everyone,

Give a big welcome to my friend and fab writer, Sandra Bryd and her new release, Let Them Eat Cake. I was honored to endorse this work, so please, take time to check it out!

Here's the summary:

Lexi Stuart is at a critical crossroads. She's done with college but still living at home, ready to launch a career but unable to find a job, and solidly stalled between boyfriends.

When a lighthearted conversation in French with the manager of her favorite bakery turns into a job offer, Lexi accepts. But the actual glamour is minimal: the pay is less than generous, her co-workers are skeptical, her bank account remains vertically-challenged, and her parents are perpetually disappointed. Her only comfort comes from the flirtatious baker she has her eye - but even may not be who he seems to be!

So when a handsome young executive dashes into the bakery to pick up his high profile company’s special order for an important meeting - an order Lexi has flubbed - she loses her compulsion to please. "What am I going to do?" he shouts.

"Let them eat cake!" she fires back with equal passion and a nod to Marie Antoinette. And then, something inside Lexi clicks. Laissez la revolution commencer! Let the revolution begin! Instead of trying to fulfill everyone else's expectations for her life, Lexi embarks on an adventure in trusting God with her future - tres bon!

Lexi – and Let Them Eat Cake – will entertain readers with wit and great fun, but also explore the universal coming-of-age themes of separating from one's family of origin, establishing self-esteem, and making healthy choices.

Sandra Byrd is a prolific writer of fiction, including the popular Friends for a Season series for teens, and the bestselling Girls Like You and Secret Sisters series for young girls.

She is a regular contributor to national Christian publications. Before she began writing full time, Sandra worked in marketing, sales, and acquisitions for an educational publisher. She and her husband have two children, and make their home in Seattle, Washington.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Did you miss me?

Well, I've been in Dallas for the ACFW conference since last Tuesday. Sorry, I was too busy to blog. Waaaaa.

But, I had a great time. I taught a 4 hour continuing session on The Lits - Chick Lit, Mom Lit, Lady Lit, etc. It went well and I had a good time.

Dave White came with me to help me lead worship. He's such a great chief musician. And, as a bonus, we were able to hang out some with our old friend, Andrew.

I roomed with the wonderful and talented, and most fun Susan May Warren. We laughed a lot. Christine Lynxwiler, another wonderful and talented writer and dear, dear friend, roomed with her niece Annalisa. We all hung out and laughed.

It was great to see all my ACFW friends - Colleen, Diann, Denise, Robin, Heather, Gail, Allison, Sydney, Stacy, Susan, Mindy and so many more. I'm afraid I'll leave someone off. :)

When I came home, these were waiting for me... my OSU Crocs! Woo hoo.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Interview on Deeper Living

Check out the interview I did on Deeper Living!

Tomorrow I leave for Dallas until next Monday. I'll be leading worship and teaching at the ACFW conference, and reuniting with friends old and new. Can't wait. It's always such a great week.

I'll blog if I can. Otherwise, be cool, love Jesus, love each other and watch college football!

Go Buckeyes!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lisa Tawn Bergren

Years ago when I started reading Christian fiction, Lisa Tawn Bergren was one of the authors I read. What an honor it was to meet her in July at a retreat. She's beautiful, charming and humble.

I posted on the wrong day about Lisa's books - oops. So, I'm posting again on the right day. (No charge, Lisa.)

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the author of 28 books, with over 1.3 million sold. She is a publishing consultant, writer, Bible study leader, mother and wife. Her hobbies include travel (mostly from an armchair), reading, watching movies, cooking and exploring with her family. Lisa's most recent books include The Begotten, The Betrayed, God Gave Us Heaven, What Women Want and The Busy Mom's Devotional. She resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado. To sign up for her monthly email (which includes a new, unpublished devotional) go to and join her newsletter list.

Make sure to check out her website, there is a longer bio and more about her other books.

Oh...and the latest buzz on The Begotten and The Betrayed--they will both be featured at Target stores across the country in the "Breakout Books" section ! Make sure to let your readers know!

BONUS: I have a copy of each book to give away! Leave a comment and I'll draw names at the end of the month. Seriously, you don't want to miss the opportunity for a free Lisa book!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just another manic Wednesday

Got up and decided this was my morning to dash through the mall and pick up a few things for the ACFW conference. Black shoes and one of those new blousy tops everyone is wearing.

Yesterday was new-cell-phones-day, always a winner. Spent an hour manually transferring my phone numbers. Ah, a day in the life of...

Dillards was having a sale of sales! Ralph Lauren pants, oh so very, very nice, down from $89.50 to $22.50. Amazing deal. I'm talking, these pants were buttery soft. Side leg pockets, v. hip.

And, it's in the dressing room I'm both proud of my recent workout efforts, and mad at my recent eat-what-I-want 'tude.

Size 12 was too big. Size 8 was just a tad snug. I mean, I looked like I'd gain ten pounds but was in denial. Come on, you've worn those jeans or pants before. "No one will notice how stretched the material is around the crotch area."

Size 10 would be perfect. But, nooo, they didn't have any. I debated, and debated. They were so comfortable. But, if I get the 12s, I'll grow to fit into them. If I buy the 8s, no guarantee I'll ever get to wear them. Let's face it, these are the times we live in.

I dial up my sister. "What do I do?"

"Lose five pounds."

"No, duh, Sherlock. But can't do that in the next five minutes. Do I go with 12s or hope to fit the 8s."

"How are you doing losing weight."

"Holding steady."

"Definitely don't get the 12s."

"Right." I knew that.

"And you may never wear the 8s."

"I know, I know, but for $22.50, it's almost worth it."

"No, forget it. Lose five pounds first. It's a two week commitment."

"Two weeks? I'm not sure I have it in me."

"Don't buy the pants."

Fine, but I did find Tommy Hilfiger jeans for $14.50. In my size, thank you. Nevertheless, I can see it's time to lose those pesky final fifteen lbs. Talking about it isn't doing much good.

This portion of my shopping experience came after taking Sarah on a long drive today. We had fun. The Lord had me sing over her. She melted. As we're coming home, I happen to check the gas gauge and noticed, "Hmm, a bit low."

I turn the corner and the car dies. Right in front of a gas station. As it turns out, the gauge isn't accurate. We ran out of gas.

How amazing. I know God was with us. If we'd ran out of gas on the drive, or going over the causeway... yikes. I would not have been a happy camper.

Coming home, stopped at the Jiffy for a Diet Coke. Was in line behind a woman buying two, 2-litres of Coke, milk, white bread, a Butterfinger, and a packet of chocolate donuts.

Now, I don't know if it was all for her, but I thought how easily we get trapped into food habits. Diet Coke is for me. I admit. While the woman might be uncomfortable with her weight from time to time, I'm sure she doesn't feel she's eating all the much.

I know that's my issue. So it's only a few fifteen or twenty pounds. To lose it, I have to change, a lot. I'm boosting the working out and weight lifting, but, um, can I keep my chips and french fries?

See, we all have our thing. We cannot judge. Just pray for one another.

Oh, got a really cute top! I'm too cute today! ;)

Check out my blog on MyBookTherapy!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hey, look, it's Camy Tang!

Hi! I'm thrilled to be here today!

Rachel asked me to talk a bit about why I wrote my novel, Sushi for One.

I have to admit, God had to wrench it out of me.
I'd blithely written four other novels before Sushi for One, and they’d poured out of my brain onto the computer screen almost like magic.

I expected manuscript number five to be like that, too. I knew the cast of characters, the Sakai family cousins. I knew the plot-diabolical Grandma, junior high girls' volleyball team, mandatory date to the next family wedding.

I knew the spiritual conflict of my heroine, Lex, who had used her Ephesians Bible study to come up with a crazy list of qualifications for The Perfect Man.

But God had other plans.

He didn't ask me to change what the book was supposed to be about. But He did ask me to dig deeper-to dig further into my own personal struggles-in order to infuse some of that into Lex's spiritual arc.

I don't know about you, but digging into my personal struggles isn't exactly my idea of a day at Disneyland. I don't like digging.

It's not like picking at your pimples or scratching at a scab-it's like grabbing a scalpel and slashing away. (Oops, was that too graphic? Sorry)
But you know God ... He just keeps nudging us until we finally say, "All right, fine!"

And then He laughs because we're so annoyed, but we also know He's right.
I put some of my own personal struggles into Lex's character-the determination to charge forward full steam instead of waiting to see what God would want, the determination to get my own way, the determination ... well, just determination.

Yes, I'm a pretty bull-headed person sometimes.
I gave Lex some of my own personal fears, which made it a slightly darker book, but I hope it also adds more complexity to her character.

When I finally typed The End, I felt like I'd run a marathon. In high heels. But I also knew it was a better book because God had wanted me to dig deeper.

I hope you enjoy it, too!

Rachel here: Camy is a wonderful friend and writer and I'm thrilled to be a stop on her blog tour!

Camy, when did we meet for the first time? Oh, on email. We were brainstorming a project with Mary Griffith.

Then we met in person at the ACFW conference... seems like I've always known her. She's also been an ecouragement to me and I appreciate her heart!

Great blessings on Sushi for One, Camy!

Sunday, September 09, 2007


This morning while leading worship, I was supposed to sing the line "heavenly storehouses ladened with snow."

But I got tongue tied or something, fumbled the lyric and sang "heavenly whorehouses ladened with snow."

Yes, I did. Right into the mike. Nice and loud.

I was so stunned for a moment I wondered, "Did I just sing whorehouse?" Then I hoped no one else heard... yeah, right.

I cracked a small smile a few times, fighting laughter, knowing to not, not, not look at Tony or over at Dave, my guitar player.

I'm sure this morning will be on heaven's blooper reel. God has a great sense of humor and visted us with His presence inspite of my "oops."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Ah, Saturday

I love Saturdays, especially in the fall. Football! So, I cleaned today and am now panicked over my notes for the continuing session for the ACFW conference.

I thought I was good to go. I've been working on this off and on for months, but now wonder if I did it right!

Had a thought while cleaning. I was mopping the bathroom and didn't feel like moving the little rug and ended up mopping around it.

How much do we do that to God? We don't want to move issues in our life for Him to clean. Now, in my house it's not that big of a deal. But in my life, it could be.

We have to allow God to clean thoroughly. Move the furniture, dispose of the junk, paint the walls, deep clean in some places. Scrub.

Yet, we can get lazy or even angry when He wants to touch areas of our heart and mind. We don't want to give up that wound, or mind set. We fight giving up sin and offenses we've clung to. Maybe we've been abused or cheated in life, and feel justified in holding on to the injustice done against us.

But, we can't. We have to let God clean us up. I love, love, love my house after it's been cleaned. Don't you? It's sweaty work, but when I'm done, I can relax and enjoy.

It's the same with God opening up our hearts and minds to His goodness and healing. It feels so good when we let Him clean house.

Well, better work on my notes.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Doesn't She Look Natural?

Welcome again to my friend and author extraordinaire, Angela Hunt! Her new book, Doesn't She Look Natural? is out now!

How do you live when God asks you to bury a dream?

Jennifer Graham, the no-nonsense chief of staff for a
Virginia senator, quits her job after her divorce—and finds herself an unemployed single mom. Forced to live with her mother until she can find work on Capitol Hill that does not involve her gregarious ex-husband, her efforts are stymied until she learns that she has inherited a funeral home in picturesque Mt. Dora. Jennifer journeys to the small Florida town with her two sons and her mother, never dreaming that within a mortuary she will uncover mysteries of love and life.

Reader Review

"Doesn't She Look Natural?
proves the point that Angela Hunt is one of the most versatile authors writing today. Hunt can bring her readers up close and personal to any emotion common to the human heart, and she does just that in her latest release. With her trademark lovable, multifaceted characters and flawless, unpredictable storytelling, she allows us to view life through a lens that ranges from humor to pathos, from dreams to grit, from anger and frustration to courage and hope. I loved these people. I loved this book.
---BJ Hoff, author of the Mountain Song Legacy series, the American Anthem series, and An Emerald Ballad.

When an unexpected twist in life turns Jen upside down and shakes her, she gathers the spilled change from her pockets and begins anew. Hurt by the unwelcome death of her marriage, she nevertheless allows God to begin to heal her and breathe new life into her circumstances. A heroine to cheer for and identify with and an endearing ensemble of well-meaning but meddling mothers, sweetly persistent new friends and a few men who remember how to be honorable round out a light-hearted read that is simply to die for. --Sandra Byrd, author of Let Them Eat Cake and other novels.

Doesn't She Look Natural
is a wonderful change of pace for Angela Hunt. While still dealing with timely and serious subject matter, Angie does it with a refreshing breath of humor. Realizing that God is still in control of every situation of life (and death), the reader is shown a lighter side of circumstances that lifts the soul from the pit of despair and gives it hope in what lies ahead. The little snippets of so-true-to-life Red Hatter escapades are a special added treat, especially for the other-side-of-fifty genre who will be enjoying this book. And I should know, being the real and original Queen Snippy! This is a truly delightful book that you will not be able to easily put down! Can't wait for the next two books in this heart-warming series!
--Tanzel Rousey, aka Queen Snippy, Red Hat Society of Heavenl
y Daze

A Conversation with

How did you come up with the concept for
Does She Look Natural?

I read HEAVEN by Randy Alcorn and naturally began to think about the life to come. I’ve also lost several friends over the last couple of years, and I’ve come to realize that death, for the believer, is not to be feared. I thought a series about a funeral home might be a good way to address issues affecting the living and those who are facing death.

Is any part of Does She Look Natural factual?

Jennifer Graham and her family are completely fictitious, but Mt. Dora is a real place.
How closely is this Does She Look Natural based on your life and your practice?
There are bits of every author’s life in every story he or she produces, but I am happily married with two older children. I’ve never been a mortician, but I’ve always been interested in all things medical.

How long did
Does She Look Natural take you to complete?

About the average length of time for me—four or five months.

What is the symbolism for the title
Does She Look Natural?

When my editor and I were talking about titles, we were trying to think of things people always say at funerals. We’ve come up with three:
Doesn’t She Look Natural?, She Always Wore Red, and She’s in a Better Place.

Do you have a favorite character? Why?

I’m a little partial to Bugs, Jennifer’s five-year-old son. He says the cutest things . . .

How much research did Does She Look Natural take?

Quite a bit, and this is just the beginning of the series. In the second book, Jen goes to mortuary school, and by the third book she is actively operating the funeral home. So I’ve had to learn quite a bit about funeral homes, caskets, supplies, embalming, burial versus cremation, etc.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

I think all authors face the same challenges—the need to place ourselves in a chair and stay there until the work is done, the challenge of staying fresh in the face of many revisions, and the challenge of wearing entertaining stories and spiritual truths. People looking for the former aren’t always looking for the latter.

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Of course! I still have to write the third Fairlawn book,
She’s in a Better Place, and I’m working on another thriller called The Face.

Who has influenced you the most with your writing?

It’s be impossible to name one single person—I had a sixth grade teacher who complimented my writing before I had any inkling that I might be any good at it, and Pastor Derric Johnson suggested that I switch from music to writing as a career. And at
Tyndale House, it was Ken Peterson who suggested that I move from children’s books into adult fiction. You might say that God has frequently spoken to me through the voices of my friends.

What advice would you give to a person trying to become a novelist?

Read, read, read. And then get to a good writer’s conference where you can learn from people who are actually doing the work.

What message would you like your readers to take away from
Does She Look Natural?

I would like readers to see that God is always leading us . . . even when we don’t like the direction in which we’re moving. And when God moves us, He supplies our needs . . . sometimes in the most unexpected ways.

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

My goal in life is simply to love and obey God. Right now I’m doing that by writing the stories He places on my heart.

Thanks Angie! Sounds like a wonderful book. Readers, go out a buy a copy!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Renaissance of Prayer

I'm in a renaissance of prayer. Coming home to the truth of it's power, necessity and purpose. I've gotten over the idea of perfect prayer, or tired prayer.

I've shoved aside the notion prayer is an ethereal experience that transcends heart, mind, will, emotions.

Prayer is work. It's warfare. Matthew 11:12 says this:

"And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize--a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion."]

Jesus is talking here. He's saying it is a precious prize to share in the kingdom of my Father. It should be sought with ardent zeal and hard work!

Prayer, fasting, giving, loving, holiness are the weapons of our zeal and exertion. They are the tools we used to assult and lay hold of the kingdom.

We think talking, preaching, lobbying, judging, living my some set of religious rules obtains the kingdom. But we are missing the mark. We wind up with greater measure of this world and it's vain philosphies.

Haven't we all known people who seem to be so spiritual yet their lives are so hard, ungraced, frustrated, or depressed?

We have to pull off life's road and wage war in the heavenlies with prayer and fasting, by loving others more than ourselves. We must set our hearts before His flames.

So, be violent about the things of God. Go for it. Desire a deeper life in God. Don't let the cares of this life snuff out your time with Him. Be ardent. Exert intensity toward Him. Fight the good fight. Don't surrender to your emotions, your circumstances, what others say about you, even how you physcially feel.

Believe what He says about you. Start with prayer and the Word. He will meet you. He will.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the author of 28 books, with over 1.3 million sold. She is a publishing consultant, writer, Bible study leader, mother and wife. Her hobbies include travel (mostly from an armchair), reading, watching movies, cooking and exploring with her family. Lisa's most recent books include The Begotten, The Betrayed, God Gave Us Heaven, What Women Want and The Busy Mom's Devotional. She resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado. To sign up for her monthly email (which includes a new, unpublished devotional) go to and join her newsletter list.

Make sure to check out her website, there is a longer bio and more about her other books.

Oh...and the latest buzz on The Begotten and The Betrayed--they will both be featured at Target stores across the country in the "Breakout Books" section ! Make sure to let your readers know!