Friday, October 29, 2010

Legacy of Lies by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

ABOUT THE BOOK: Secrets Buried Deep! Evidence from a decades-old murder is the last thing Nicole Keller-Mattson expected to find in her grandmother’s back yard, but the finger-pointing and accusations leveled at her family came as no surprise. Everyone in Ellington is eager to blame the Kellers—but after an attack leaves Nicole’s grandmother in a coma, only Nicole can clear the family name. With the assistance of police chief Rich Hendricks, she stands a chance of solving the mystery . . . if she’s willing to accept Rich’s help. Nicole lost her policeman husband in the line of duty—getting close to another cop is too painful. But keeping her distance could be deadly.



I’ve always been fascinated by social dynamics in a small town. Having lived in rural communities all my life, I’m intimately familiar with the unique politics involved. Crafting a story about the shadow cast over a town by its founding family came readily to me. I was particularly interested to explore the affect past sins and secrets can have on a tight-knit community and how the illusion of power is always trumped by the immutable laws of God. We do reap what we sow, no matter how grand and invincible we imagine ourselves to be.

A little while and the wicked will be no more; Though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. I comfort myself with these words quite often when I see the injustices in the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Elizabeth Nelson writes what she likes to read—tales of adventure seasoned with romance, humor, and faith, earning her the tagline: Endless Adventure, Timeless Truth. She was delightfully astonished this year to receive the prestigious Carol Award in the Short Contemporary Suspense category for her 2009 release, Evidence of Murder.

Jill speaks regularly at conferences, writer’s groups, library associations, and civic and church groups. When teaching classes for writers, she thrills to bring the Ahah! moment to her students as they make a new skill their own. Jill and her husband live in rural Minnesota where they raised four children and are currently enjoying their first grandchild. Visit Jill on the web
for book giveaways, excerpts, and information.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book signing at Barnes and Noble November 5th

I'll be signing Dining with Joy at the Melbourne, FL
Barnes and Noble
November 5, 2010
5-7 p.m.

I'll be along side Roxanne St. Claire, C.L. Wilson and Linnea Sinclair

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome Kim Cash Tate, author of Faithful

Hey, Kim, welcome to my little ole web site! Your new book is out, Faithful, from Thomas Nelson. I’m excited for you. Tell us a little bit about the book and why you wrote this story.

KCT: Hey Rachel! Thanks for having me in your little ole corner of the web world! Faithful is about three female friends, each of whom finds herself in the midst of a struggle.

Cyd is turning 40 and wondering why God hasn’t sent her a husband, why her much younger sister is getting married on her 40th birthday--in which she’s the maid of honor!--and why her life is suddenly complicated by the playboy best man who’s showing interest in her.

Her friend, Dana, discovers that her husband is having an affair--and they’re co-leaders of the church’s marriage ministry. And Phyllis is a fairly new believer whose husband is hostile to her newfound faith. When she attends a college reunion, she’s drawn to another man--because he’s a strong Christian.

I wrote this story because I wanted to explore real life trials and real life responses to those trials--the questioning, the doubt, the fear, the weariness--as we try to hang on and trust God.

The back of the book asks, will they trust God’s faithfulness...and find the strength to be faithful to Him? That’s really what it’s about--that two-sided dynamic. God is always faithful, but we will we trust that, and will we be faithful to Him?

RH: What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

KCT: I hope readers will walk away with an abiding sense of God’s faithfulness. It doesn’t mean that everything in life will go the way we want it, or that we won’t encounter struggles, but if we look for His faithfulness, we’ll find it—it’s always there. I also hope readers will be inspired to grow in faithfulness toward God. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback already from readers who’ve been touched in these ways, and I’ve been thanking God.

RH: Before writing and kids, you were a lawyer. Now you know I’m a closet lawyer like most lawyers are closet writers. Tell us about your legal work. Do you miss it? How do you stay in touch with your legal side?

KCT: Ah, yes, we writers do seem to have former lives, don’t we? After law school, I clerked for a federal judge in Wisconsin, then practiced civil litigation at a large law firm, ultimately making partner. I left when my kids were 1 and 3...and uh, no, can’t say I miss it. (smile) I came to know the Lord while at the firm, and I discovered that He had an entirely different plan for my life. Don’t you just love that He had a plan for us before time began? (RH: Yes! You and I've talked about this. We share this passion for people's destiny.)

But maybe one day, I’ll reconnect with my legal side...hmm, a contemporary romance that delves deep into issues of the heart, against the backdrop of a suspenseful courtroom drama… Wait, gotta jot down a story idea... (RH: Love that... jot fast!)

RH: How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

KCT: Ha. Guess I’m one of the strange ones. I did not dream of being a published author. While on maternity leave with my firstborn, I was asking God what kind of home-based business I could start.

He was putting it in my heart to leave the firm, and I figured, “Okay, I’ll start a business from home.” But one day at church, I heard clearly in my heart that He wanted me to write about my spiritual journey.

I even had the title before I left the service, “More Christian than African-American.” But I had no idea how to go about it. I got a book on how to write a nonfiction book proposal, and a few months later, had an agent and a contract.

But fiction didn’t enter my world until years after that. A story began to weave itself in my mind, and I thought, “God, really? You want me to write fiction? But I can’t do a proposal; I have to write the whole book before I know whether it’ll go anywhere!” That story became “Heavenly Places,” which was published in 2008.

RH: What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication?

KCT: Prayer. When I started writing fiction, I was a homeschooling mom with little extra time on my hands. I didn’t know any authors personally, didn’t belong to any writing groups, and had never been to a writers’ conference. In other words, I didn’t have a clue! But I think God wanted it that way, for me to totally depend on Him. I had no idea that the journey would draw me so much closer to Him.

RH: Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?

KCT: This is bad, but I don’t even know what I thought it would be. I just know my own writer’s life has always been crazy! (RH: I think they all are!) I continue to homeschool, so I don't get hours upon hours at the laptop like most writers. I get up early in the morning to write, and I kind of keep the laptop near during the day and keep index cards handy to catch ideas.

But I guess there’s one aspect of "writer's life" that has surprised me--I’m always doing something related to writing. I know, duh! But let me explain. (smile) I don’t think I realized I'd be working on three books at one time--drafting a new manuscript, editing a just-finished manuscript, and promoting a just-released novel. I’m learning to juggle, juggle, juggle! (RH: For me, it's that I'm always thinking of my book. Or being hit with a new idea and turning it over in my mind to see if it has any merit.)

RH: This year you joined the Women of Faith team. Tell us about that and how it's impacted your life.

KCT: Oh, yeah, I’m juggling that too. (RH: What a fun juggle!) It was a total God thing. Women of Faith was just about the farthest thing from my mind. But for the first time in 2010, they split the conference into an east coast and a west coast tour, thus needing more speakers.

The fiction team sort of threw my name into the mix, and I thought it was nice but that it wouldn’t go anywhere. But God used the process to truly grow my faith. When they gave me an opportunity to speak at four events this year, I knew it was all Him.

It’s impacted me greatly. I’ve never done anything like this in my life, so I’m depending on God all the more. The conferences themselves have impacted me as well, seeing the enthusiasm for God among the women who attend and the hearts for ministry among the Women of Faith team. I’ll be on the 2011 east coast tour, so if you think of me, I’d love your prayers! (RH: Always praying for you!)

RH: You’re married to Bill, a professor. Tell us about him and how you two met?

KCT: Bill and I started dating while I was in law school and he was in graduate school. He’s a professor at Washington University in St. Louis. His specialty is mathematics education, and he’s head of the Department of Education. We’re so blessed to have been married 17 years, with a boy and girl, 14 and 12. Both of us are children of divorced parents, so we’re very thankful that we love and enjoy one another. He still makes me laugh! (RH: My hubby makes me laugh too after knowing each other 22 years!)

RH: I know he supports your writing and speaking life, but with two children, how does this great thing God’s done effect the family?

KCT: That’s a good question because we have absolutely no family nearby for support. Thankfully, the academic life is very flexible. Bill often works from home, and when he needs to go into the office, we’re only five minutes away. My mother is always a huge blessing. She makes herself available to come and take care of the kids if need be...and they love their grandma!

RH: You’re a home school mom, and we’ve chatted some about your flexible writing schedule. How do you manage to make your deadline?

KCT: Ha. It wasn’t easy! (smile) This year was the first year I’ve had to write under a deadline. Faithful was already written when I got a contract with Thomas Nelson, so I only had to edit it.

But writing Cherished, my 2011 release, was an exercise in tons and tons of prayer (read, crying out to God). (RH: Been there, moved in, made it my permanent address.)

I told God that if the day finally comes when I have hours of uninterrupted time to write, it’ll seem too weird and I won’t know how to function. But I’ll tell you, God is faithful. The manuscript got done, and my editor loves it. Now ask me the same question this time next year. I’m starting from scratch again and hoping I’ll make that deadline! (RH: I'm sure it's fabulous!)

RH: Is there any one person who’s had a profound effect on your life?

KCT: Jesus. Seems a pat answer, but He’s the one who has had an amazingly profound, everlasting impact on my life. He’s the only one who could have changed my heart in the ways it’s been changed, renew my mind to see the world in an entirely different way, flip my goals and plans, and set my mind on things eternal. He has given me a desire to live, move, and have my being in Him. He is my life. That’s about as profound as it gets. (RH: I've had the same experience of just wanting do desperately for Him to by my all in all! I'd not live any other way now.)

RH: What is the Lord speaking to you today? Is there one thing He keeps highlighting to you?

KCT: At any given time, I seem to have several things the Lord is speaking to me, but for many months, one of them has been Colossians 3:12-14. I had been praying to have a right heart in the midst of all that’s happening in life, and these verses speak directly to that. They say to “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving each other...and beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”

It’s become my specific prayer, to have that kind of heart. It’s not easy, especially when it’s not returned, but God’s been speaking that to me too--to maintain a right heart even if I don’t receive the same from others. (RH: I love praying the Word, especially those verses that stand out. I've had the issue with people not responding to me in a way I thought they should or was fair. God has worked on my heart, and I've come to realize, it's not usually intentional. And even if it was... so what? I'm really only a legend in my own mind. snort-snicker.)

RH: You wrote “More Christian Than African American.” I think the theme of finding our identity in Jesus is universal to all races, don’t you? What’s a take away for us?

KCT: It’s absolutely universal. It’s so easy to find our identity in earthly things, whether race or ethnicity, a career or calling, even hobbies, but all these things will pass away. God never intended for them to define us. From the foundation of the world, He had an identity reserved for us in Christ. This is the identity that makes us whole, that undergirds and empowers us. This is the only true identity, one that will last forever. (RH: Love, love, love this. This is the word of the day, the hour, the century!)

RH: What advice would you give to people trying to find their identity in culture, race, career title, looks, even family and marriage?

KCT: I would say first of all, that it’s natural. Even when we know that our identity should be fully in Christ, it’s easy to lose sight of that and begin to wrap ourselves in something else. In fact, the enemy wants us to clothe ourselves in these things because he knows they lack power.

We will never be fulfilled in any identity apart from Jesus. It will never fully satisfy. As Jesus told the woman at the well, “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” (John 4:14). He’s the only One who can complete us. (RH: Well said!)

RH: Any advice for a new writer?

KCT: My advice for new writers is to seek the Lord first and foremost. It can be overwhelming to read books and blogs and to attend seminars and conferences, and end up with umpteen different and often divergent strands of advice on writing and publishing.

Certainly, books, blogs, and conferences are needed, and serve an immensely useful purpose. But if you’re called to write, God already has a plan for you. Seeking Him is the first step. He will then lead you to the exact resources that you need on your journey. (RH: Okay, you keep reading my mind. I say the same thing to new writers!)

RH: What’s next on the golden horizon for you?

KCT: I like that -- “golden horizon”! I’m editing Cherished right now and really looking forward to its release next year. I’m praying it will minister greatly to women who may still be hurting from past sins and needing to walk in God’s forgiveness. I’m also excited about being part of the Women of Faith 2011 tour.

RH: Any final words of encouragement?

KCT: I want to encourage anyone who may be reading this to not give up on the desires God has put in your heart. Sometimes you’re thinking there’s no way it will happen because you just don’t see it. That was me.

After my nonfiction book was published in 1999, I just knew God was calling me to write, and I was raring to go! I thought I would do more nonfiction. But suddenly, nothing was happening. God planted me in a season for years when I was simply home with the kids, frustrated because I didn’t have time to write, and ultimately doubting that He had truly called me to write.

Nine years passed between the release of my nonfiction book and the release of my novel in 2008. But God had done so much in my heart during that interval, drawing me closer to Him. If you’re in a season of waiting, use the time to draw near to God and seek Him further. And don’t give up! Trust that what He’s put in your heart, He will establish in His time, for His glory. Blessings to you on your journey!

RH: Kim, such great words of advice about life, let alone writing. I'm encouraged by all you've said. It reminds me to look to the Lord, not people, for my destiny, approval and identity. He will bring the right words, people and things across my path when I need them. It's so vital to KNOW He loves us and has a purpose!

Thanks for stopping by, Kim! You are a joy in my life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yeah, it's funny, but how does it really feel?

For the last view months, I've been watching the Dick Van Dyke Show on Netflix. I'm captured by this show... this... television light.

Filmed in black and white, it's entertaining and surprisingly relevant though the situation comedy is nearly fifty years old.

Young and good looking Dick Van Dyke has the perfect chemistry with young, beautiful Mary Tyler Moore. He has great hair and she has fabulous clothes. I love how they get dressed up with pearls and furs for a dinner party... at home.

We could learn a thing or two here.

The writing is fabulous although each show is exclusively "situational" where the characters change to fit the plot rather than the plot always fitting the characters.

Some of the best humor of this show is Rob Petrie's co-writer on the fictional Alan Brady Show, Buddy Sorrell, played by Morey Amsterdam. He delivers laugh out loud lines. Amsterdam's bio on Wikipedia claims he was once called "the human joke machine." There are times when I think he delivers his own lines instead of scripted ones. Very funny. With one kicker.

It's usually at the expense of Mel Cooley, the show's producer. A tall, humorless balding man. Here's an example:

Melvin (Mel) Cooley: I need a place to hide.
Maurice (Buddy) Sorrell: Quick, grow some hair.

The lines are fast and funny. Always at Mel's expense. Humor and wit, often cutting, sarcastic wit is a staple in the sitcom. But why do we love to laugh at people making fun of other people?

Because they aren't making fun of us? Because it's what we'd like to say if we could, if we were smart enough and quick enough?

What if every day you went to work, someone poked fun of your balding head, crooked teeth, large nose, awkward physical shape, being short, or tall, or some physical trait you cannot help or change.

The quips and barbs would not be funny. They would hurt. Tearing at you as the words sank deep into your soul. A co-worker like Buddy Sorrell would be the office pain-in-the-butt. Because you know his quips would not be aimed at just one but the whole.

Words mean things. God spoke and the world was created. God. SPOKE. And the world was created. John 1 tells us "Jesus is the Word made flesh."

The apostle James warns us that "life and death are in the power of the tongue."

We cannot be both sarcastic and edifying. Our sarcasm, quips and cuts toward others damage our own hearts. Words don't bounce off and hit others while putting some kind of shield around us.

Words linger forever. They are spoken and because we no longer hear them we think they are gone. But they linger. In our hearts and minds, in the air, in space, before the throne of God.

As a sitcom lover, I have to be aware that the humor spoken on the show is not the humor that plays in real life.

Imagine if I insulted one of my friends or neighbors every day? They wouldn't want to be around me. It would damage if not destroy my light and witness for the name of Jesus.

Funny, in our feeling-oriented society, we accept sarcasm and insults, but we shun speaking the truth. We shun our views and values being challenged. "If I'm wrong, don't tell me."

Seems backwards to me.

Let's do this. Consider our words. Be the first to edify and encourage instead of tearing down. Speak truth in love. Keep open hearts to others. To God.

Who can you encourage today? Is there someone you're struggling with that you can speak a good word to? Do it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

London Confidential Series by Sandra Byrd

Please welcome my friend and Christy nominated author, Sandra Byrd and her London Confidential Series!

"Byrd's ability to provide a fun story that incorporates biblical truth will help teens relate to this new series. Readers will identify with the struggle to fit in while staying true to one's convictions."
-- Romantic Times, 4 star review

Book Three, Don't Kiss Him Goodbye, finds Savvy, now established in her quirky British village, working hard to get an article with her own byline published.

When an attractive and mysterious boy asks her for help with his school work, Savvy is slowly pulled into his circle and soon finds out that the wrong set of friends - boys and girls - can influence her own behavior. Following her own advice to cut ties with a charming bad boy would mean abandoning her dearest wishes, and it just doesn't seem as wrong as it feels. Is it? Read on for surprise twists throughout the book!

In a shocking turn of events, all writers for the Wexburg Academy Times will cast their votes for next year's editor -and it looks like Savvy's vote will be the tie breaker!

In Book Four, Flirting With Disaster, Savvy must choose between a nasty-girl-turned-nice, with a sudden interest in letting Savvy get what she wants, and the prickly Hazelle, who promises nothing at all. Savvy then finds herself wrapped up in a new, seemingly innocent but potentially dangerous activity.

It's all at risk in this book: her position on the paper, the boy she likes, the ministry she wants to go well. At a critical moment, Savvy must figure out how to rely on God rather than luck and to overcome temptation before it is too late.

London Confidential is a new series for tweens and teens where British fashion, friendships, and guys collide as an all-American teen girl learns to love life and live out her faith.

Please visit Sandra's web site to learn more. Her books can be purchased at through her website or at other fine online or local bookstores near you. If they're not stocked, just ask!

London Confidential Books 1 and 2 were featured in Focus on the Family's Thriving Family Magazine ... click here to read more!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Perfect Blend by Trish Perry

Please welcome my friend and fab author Trish Perry as she tells us about her new book.

The Perfect Blend
Steph Vandergrift left everything to elope with Middleburg attorney Rick Manfred, who then stood her up at the altar. Too embarrassed to return home, Steph hopes to earn enough to get by until she can decide what to do next. Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel hires her and appreciates the extra help at the tea shop.

Also appreciative of Steph is Kendall James, one of the kindest, most eligible bachelors in the area. But by the time Steph feels able to consider dating again, her run-away fiancé returns and tries to win her back. Steph is wary, but she and Rick always blended so well.

Christie Burnham, the frank-talking equestrian from whom Steph rents a room, and her frillier sister Liz become fast friends and confidantes to Steph. Between the two sisters there isn't much any man is going to pull over on Middleburg's newest bachelorette and tea shop employee.

A little about Trish

Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written The Perfect Blend, Sunset Beach, Beach Dreams, Too Good to Be True, The Guy I’m Not Dating, all for Harvest House Publishers.
Her monthly column, “Real Life is Stranger,” appeared in Christian Fiction Online Magazine during its inaugural year.

She was editor of Ink and the Spirit, the newsletter of Washington D.C. ’s Capital Christian Writers organization (CCW), for seven years. Before her novels, Perry published numerous short stories, essays, devotionals, and poetry in Christian and general market media. She will release several new books in 2011.

Perry holds a B.A. in Psychology, was a 1980s stockbroker, and held positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission and in several Washington law firms. She serves on the Board of Directors of CCW and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She invites you to visit her
web site.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Within My Heart by Tamara Alexander

This week, the

is introducing

Within My Heart
Bethany House; Original edition (September 1, 2010)


Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of Rekindled, Revealed and Remembered, the critically acclaimed Fountain Creek Chronicles historical series with Bethany House Publishers. Her second historical series, Timber Ridge Reflections (From a Distance, Beyond This Moment, and Within My Heart), penned in her style with deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose have earned her devoted readers—and multiple industry awards.

These awards include the 2009 and 2008 Christy Award, the 2007 RITA for Best Inspirational Romance, the 2009 and 2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, 2007 Bookseller’s Best Award, and Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction for 2006, among others.

After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Nashville with Tamera's father, Doug. They enjoy life there with Joe and Tamera's two adult children, and Jack, a precious—and precocious—silky terrier.


Determined to fulfill her late husband’s dream, Rachel Boyd struggles to keep her ranch afloat with the help of her two young sons. But some days it feels as though her every effort is sabotaged. When faced with a loss she cannot afford, she’s forced to trust Rand Brookston, the one man in Timber Ridge she wishes to avoid. And with good reason. He’s a physician, just like her father, which tells her everything she needs to know about him. Or so she thinks . . .

Dr. Rand Brookston ventured west with the dream of bringing modern medicine to the wilds of the Colorado Rockies, but the townspeople have been slow to trust him. Just as slow in coming is Rand’s dream to build the town a proper clinic. When a patient’s life is threatened, Rand makes a choice—one that sends ripples through the town of Timber Ridge. And through Rachel Boyd’s stubborn heart.

From the beloved, bestselling author of From a Distance and Beyond This Moment comes an unforgettable story about faith in the face of fear, about tarnished hopes and second chances, and ultimately about the resilient courage and tenacity of hearts broken––and mended––by love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Within My Heart, go HERE.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Dining with Joy signing November 5th

Barnes and Noble
Melbourne, FL
5 - 7 p.m.
with Roxanne St. Claire and Linnea Sinclair
(think I need to "clair" my name!)

Come see us!