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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Resolve to Love by Kerry and Chris Shook

Bloggin' for Books (one of my all time favorite sites!) has compiled five excerpts and graphics to encourage and enable people during this season, and for us bloggers to share with our readers.  I will be posting them once a week for 5 weeks (Every Wednesday.) :)  I hope we all have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!  And I pray our Lord Jesus Christ will shine forth in all of out lives.  Hugs, ASC



loveword
Resolve to Love by Kerry and Chris Shook
Right now, there are three relationships in your life that trouble you. Perhaps a good friend said something to you yesterday. It felt critical, but you’re not sure what she meant. The two of you used to be so close, but lately you’ve been drifting apart. Something’s not right. Oh, and your mother called. There’s that. You know you should return her call, but you haven’t. Why? You know there are things you should have said before, you avoided them, and now you feel it’s too late. It’s always so hard with her. Always messy. And then…your son has been missing. Not missing physically, but he’s been distant, quiet, silent. Missing emotionally. What’s that about? What’s going on in his life? You want to reach out, but he pushes you away. It worries you.
Maybe the relationships in your life aren’t exactly like these, but I’m guessing these remind you of someone close to you, a problem relationship in your life right now. Maybe it’s not your mother but your father, perhaps not your son but a daughter-in-law. It could be your best friend. Whoever it is, he or she is someone who matters to you—or else the relationship wouldn’t trouble you, gnaw at you on the inside, make you question and grumble, or even bring you to tears.
So take a moment and think, who are these three key people in your life? Which meaningful relationships are troubling you? Relationships you wish were closer. Relationships you’d like to be deeper and richer. Relationships that trouble you, bother you, even make you a little crazy right now.
Seriously, think about it. Who are they? And now take a moment to name these three key relationships out loud.
Trust me, this is important for you. In fact, this may be the most significant thing you do in your life right now. Why?
Because life is way too short. At the end of the day—at the end of The Day—in this all-too-short life we share, all that really matters is relationships. Our relationships with the God who created us and with the people we love. Compared to these relationships, the job or career goals we set now aren’t really so important, the ladders we try to climb don’t matter so much, and the objects we long to own and possess seem utterly trivial.
What really counts in the end is that special knowing look you share with your spouse, the arms of your child reaching up to you, or the quiet comfort of a friend who stands by your side in a difficult time.
The award-winning animated movie Up contains some profound truths about relationships. In a breathtaking sequence early in the film, we see the entire arc of the life of Carl, a balloon salesman, as he meets Ellie, falls in love, and gets married. They share a dream to travel to South America and save every penny for their big trip. But there’s something familiar about the way their savings are constantly being used for the urgencies and emergencies of daily life. Before Carl and Ellie know it, they’re in their seventies, and although they have a beautiful marriage, they never realized their dream adventure.
Ellie dies, and Carl is overwhelmed with regret about the trip they never took. In a desperate attempt to escape loneliness and recapture memories of Ellie, Carl attaches a bunch of balloons to his house and sets out for South America!
You begin to realize as the movie progresses that this dream trip they were saving for, this object of their future plan together, wasn’t really that important after all. The real adventure was the life they shared along the way.
The same is true for us: the adventure of a lifetime is right in front of us. It’s just cleverly disguised as a familiar face.
Think about the possible loss of the relationship with one of those three people you named. You can’t do anything about death and the physical departure of one of them from this earth. That’s in God’s hands.
But you can do something about your relationship with them in life.
Much of what you’ve been told about relationships is upside down and wrong.
Researchers tell us that a baby sees everything upside down for the first few days of life until the brain can adjust the visual picture to right side up. Most relationships today are stuck in this same infant stage; we tend to see relationships upside down, and our culture only reinforces this view. The concept of love at first sight permeates our music, movies, television, and books. What we learn as children and continue to believe as adults is that a fairy-tale relationship somehow just happens. Now, I’m not bashing romance, but meaningful relationships depend on seeing other people as they are and looking at them right side up. Real love—whether romantic love, a close friendship, or a family relationship—happens long after first sight. It shows up as people get to know each other more deeply and often after they work through tough things together. Real love in relationships isn’t a magic act; it’s a journey.
When people say, “It was love at first sight,” what they really mean is “I was attracted to that person the first time I saw them.” There is nothing wrong with being infatuated with someone at the start of a relationship. The real question, however, is, do you have a love that is growing stronger and deeper every day?
I don’t believe in love at first sight; I believe in love at last sight. Each of my relationships has the potential to be better the next time we’re together than it was the previous time so that the last time we see each other on this earth we’re closer than ever before.
I’d like you to join me in the Lasting Love Relationship Challenge. The book One Month to Love is the challenge, and you can do it on your own. Just read a chapter each day. There are thirty chapters, they’re short, and you can probably read one a day pretty easily. At the end of each chapter you’ll find the Lasting Love Relationship Challenge, which is designed to help you take the insights from that day and apply them to your key relationships. Also you can log on to onemonthtolove.com each day to access our personal coaching and get extra encouragement and advice or share your story. Our goal is to come alongside you to help you create the very best relationships possible. Let’s resolve to love this year!
Adapted from One Month to Love by Kerry and Chris Shook with permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Wreath of Snow Review!!!

*A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs

http://www.amazon.com/Wreath-Snow-Victorian-Christmas-Novella/dp/1400072174/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1356233455&sr=1-1


Book Description:

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas NovellaWrapped in a cloud of steam, the engine rolled to a stop, the screech of metal against metal filling the frosty air. Snow blew across the railway platform and around Meg’s calfskin walking boots. The weather definitely was not improving.

She ordered tea with milk and sugar, eying the currant buns and sweet mincemeat tarts displayed beneath a bell jar.
Later, perhaps, when her appetite returned. At the moment her stomach was twisted into a knot.

“Anything else for you?” the cashier asked as she handed over the tea, steaming and fragrant.

Meg was surprised to find her fingers trembling when she lifted the cup. “All I want is a safe journey home.”

“On a day like this?” the round-faced woman exclaimed. “None but the Almighty can promise you that, lass.”
“A Wreath of Snow glows with warmth, charm, and grace. A wonderful read.”
—BJ HOFF, author of The Riverhaven Years series
Christmas Eve 1894

All Margaret Campbell wants for Christmas is a safe journey home. When her plans for a festive holiday with her family in Stirling crumble beneath the weight of her brother’s bitterness, the young schoolteacher wants nothing more than to return to the students she loves and the town house she calls home.

Then an unexpected detour places her in the path of Gordon Shaw, a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow, who struggles under a burden of remorse and shame.

When the secret of their shared history is revealed, will it leave them tangled in a knot of regret? Or might their past hold the threads that will bind their future together?

As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.



My Opinion:
This book is a wonderful example of why I LOVE Novellas!!! Liz Curtis Higgs is AMAZING!!! A Wreath of Snow is a must read! Liz's way of writing is SO wonderful I couldn't stop! I devoured this Novella in a day and a half because I did not want to stop reading for any length of time! Liz has a way of describing scenes and characters with just enough detail. Some authors drown you in too much detail, but Liz is NOT one of them!!! In the end of the book there is a picture of one of the main landmarks in the book. Without even looking at it you will be able to picture it perfectly in you imagination just by Liz's descriptions (or at least I did). This is the perfect book to read this CHRISTmas!!! A Wreath of Snow has made it to "My Favorite Books" list, and it is one I can read over and over again. Filled with twists and turns, Liz knows how to end a chapter to keep you reading! You must also read her "Author Note" to her readers. It is also fabulous, and don't miss out on the recipe in the back. Simply amazing, I am in awe of you Ms. Higgs and I fully intend to read more of your books in the future! And hey if you need that last minute CHRISTmas present for your favorite book lover; I fully recommend you get A Wreath of Snow Kindle addition.

Merry CHRISTmas, may you have a safe and wonderful day celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

My songs for this book are: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" by Martina McBride and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" by Munros

Isaiah 9:6

~ASC

Liz's Website: http://www.lizcurtishiggs.com/

A Wreath of Snow's Video Trailer: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2012/08/20/video-a-wreath-of-snow-by-liz-curtis-higgs/

More Info about A Wreath of Snowhttp://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=79782

Read Chapter 1 of A Wreath of Snow: http://www.scribd.com/doc/102261002/A-Wreath-of-Snow-by-Liz-Curtis-Higgs-Chapter-1-Excerpt

Liz Curtis Higg's Bio: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=12930

*"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review." This in no way affected my review, and the opinions expressed above are my truthful take on the book.

P.S. As always thank you to my followers, and if you are not a follower yet please become one! :)

Merry CHRISTmas!!!  ~ASC

Friday, December 21, 2012

White Christmas Pie Review!!!

White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter

White Christmas Pie
Book Description:
Step into Amish country for this bittersweet holiday romance. Here you'll meet Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, and Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers. Add a desperate father searching for his son, and you have all the ingredients for a first-class romance that will inspire and enthrall.

http://www.amazon.com/White-Christmas-Pie-Wanda-Brunstetter/dp/B0035G063M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1356127518&sr=8-2&keywords=White+Christmas+Pie

My Opinion:
When I first saw white Christmas pie I thought it was going to be a lovely Christmas book. Boy was I wrong! As a matter of fact Christmas is not mentioned until the final chapter. It is center more around Thanksgiving than Christmas. However I was greatly surprised by the story line and I ended up getting SO much more than just a Amish Christmas story. Wanda's plot is fabulous, her characters are real, and the way she writes is absolutely wonderful. She tucks little tid-bits of surprise and mystery into these pages right up til the end. I highly recommend reading this book, and not just because of the delicious recipe with-in, but also because you will find great messages through out!!!

My songs for this book are: "Fix me Jesus" by Queen Latifah and while this song has really nothing to do with this story line I was reminded of "Giddy Up Go" by Red Sovine

~ASC

Acts 16:31


P.S. Thank you to all my followers for following!!!  And if you are not a follower yet please become one!!!  Either with GFC or NetworkBlogs!!!  Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Giveaway and Interview w/ Jo Huddleston

Today I am Happy to introduce 
Jo Huddleston to you!



Please tell us a little about yourself (your Bio):

Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novel, That Summer, Book One in the Caney Creek Series has just released. Book 2 in the series is scheduled to release April 2013, and book 3 in the series is scheduled to release September 2013.


What is your favorite Bible verse?
Phillipians 2:5: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)


What fun thing can you tell us about yourself that we don't know?
In high school I played varsity basketball.


What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?
Being with my children and grandchildren, spending time at the beach, and of course reading.


How did you become involved in writing?
I minored in English in college and reading the literature in classes whetted my appetite for the written word. After that I became a voracious reader. When I retired from working, I sent a few short stories out. When the swift rejections arrived, I decided maybe I needed to know more about writing than just reading it. After reading writing craft books and magazines, my first article was accepted. I was hooked. Three years later my first two books released.


Where do you write? Do you have a dedicated office or a corner or nook in a room?
I have a desk, which I’ve used since high school, in the corner of a bedroom for my laptop, printer, day planner, etc., etc.


Can you use 3 words that describe you?
Positive, hopeful, enthusiastic.


Do you always know the title of your books before you write them?
In my mind I do. I plot my book in my mind. I choose a title that describes or summarizes that story. None of my titles have been changed by a publisher—yet.


Please tell us about *That Summer:
That Summer is the first book in The Caney Creek Series. The book is an inspirational Southern historical novel set in the Appalacian Mountains of East Tennessee. The Great Depression brings devastation to all, but love’s triangle survives.
To escape his poppa’s physical abuse and their dirt-poor farm life, Jim flees to an imagined prosperous city life where he can make his own choices, ignoring God patiently knocking on his heart’s door. Settled in town, Jim strays from God and the way of faith his momma taught him. He meets a girl and loses his heart … and meets another girl and loses his willpower. Jim wrestles with social and moral dilemmas as he makes a choice beside Caney Creek that will alter the lives of five people.


What do you hope readers takeaway after reading this book?
That Summer is the story of God’s forgiveness so readers will understand that no matter how far they may stray from Him, His forgiveness is available. The book’s message is that God does not abandon His children, but rather they let go of God. The reader will discover that God is always close, waiting on the other side of their heart’s door; waiting for the straying one to love Him and depend on Him.


Where did you get the idea for That Summer?
All of my ancestors and I were raised in the East Tennessee Appalachian Mountains area. I listened to their entertaining stories, especially at family reunions, about their times past. As my ancestors began to pass away, I felt that their stories should not be forgotten. That Summer is NOT a true story. It is a story of many stories with a good bit of embellishment from me.


Did you have to do research?
Yes. Thank goodness for the internet where I found factual details to include in my book.


How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I began writing in 1990, sold my first article in 1991, and sold my first book at a writers’ conference in 1993.


What are you working on now?
That Summer has just released. I’m writing on book two in the Caney Creek Series, planned to release in April 2013.


What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Read all you can about the craft of writing. Find a writers’ conference near enough to be affordable for you to attend. Soak in all you can in the workshops and from the speakers, editors, and publishers even at meal times. Be prepared for rejection. They won’t be rejecting you but what you wrote. Margaret Mitchell received over twenty-five rejections for Gone With the Wind! They told her nobody wanted to read about the Civil War.


What encouragement could you give to writers who are playing the 
waiting game to get published?
In you’re writing for publication please remember that one of the fruit of the Spirit is patience. You already have patience. But when writing for publication, you’ll have many spaces of waiting time. Expect them. Prepare for them: build up your patience muscle by praying every day for God to help you. I’m positive that without His help I wouldn’t be a writer, much less a published one.


How was writing Fiction different than your usual Non-Fiction?
It is more fun. Writing fiction allowed me to stretch my imagination down any rabbit path you choose. While writing nonfiction, I’m confined to facts. While writing fiction, I can construct dreams for my characters and put those dreams down on paper. Writing fiction is no easier to get published than nonfiction is but the writing part is more fun for me.


What made you write a Fiction book?
This story has simmered in my mind for many years. I didn’t start the story when it first came to mind because I was unsure of my fiction writing talents. I finally told myself to just go ahead and put it on paper and see what it looks like and go from there.


Please tell our readers where they can get your book.
It should be available in paper book and in Ebook at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, CBD, and on the publisher’s website.


Where can our readers find you?
My website/blog: http://www.johuddleston.com

Amada, thank you for having me on your blog. It was fun talking with you and your readers.

Thank you Jo for talking with us today!  I pray you do well in all your en devours and especially with That Summer!


Note to all readers:Jo's publisher will sell her novel, That Summer, at a discounted price through this month of December only. You can buy the book for $9.99 if you click on this link  http://donaldjamesparker.com/sosproducts.aspx?p=473&c=5
No limit to number of books purchased, but only discounted through December, 2012. The Kindle and Nook books should be online this week. Paperback will be on Amazon, B&N, and CBD whenever they put them on their websites.



*Jo has graciously supplied a copy of her new book That Summer to be given away!  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  Make sure you leave your email address so you can be notified if you are the winner.  (Any comments with no email address will be disqualified from winning the book)   If you are worried about Spammers replace the @ and . with {AT} and {DOT}.  :) Happy Commenting! :)


P.S. I would LOVE it if you would follow my blog!  Just hit the "Join this site" button and GFC will tell ya what to de! :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blog Updates!!! Giveaway and Interview to come!!!

This Friday Dec. 14th my very first interview and giveaway will be posted and held!!!  



I hope you all will stop by and read about Jo Huddleston 
and her book "That Summer"!!!

I am SO excited about this, and I hope you all are to!

Please spread the word!

And so you don't miss it or forget I would love it if you would follow my blog with GFC or NetworkedBlogs!!!  You'll find all the ways to follow on the left of my blog!

Also there's STILL TIME!!!  Enter for a $25 Amazon.com giftcard and 2 copies of Cherish this Christmas by Paula A. Davis today!  Contest ends Dec. 15th.  Look to the right of my blog and click on the Cherish this Christmas button in the top corner.  Then find the rafflecopter.com link to enter!

God be with you all!

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Isaiah 9:6

~ASC

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Bells Review

Christmas Bells a Cherryvale Holiday Novella
by Beverly Nault

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Cherryvale-Holiday-Novella-ebook/dp/B00A63NQRU/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354988868&sr=1-2&keywords=Christmas+Bells
Christmas Bells A Cherryvale Holiday Novella (The Seasons of Cherryvale)



Book Description:
A Christmas Eve blizzard strands dozens of tourists like a bad episode of Survivor:Cherryvale on Grace's wedding anniversary no less. Instead of directing the Christmas pageant, and hibernating to spend an evening alone with her husband, Grace must scramble to feed and house the multitudes. When she challenges a troubled young soldier fleeing mistakes she's made with her own family, Grace is reminded of the real meaning of Christmas.

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Cherryvale-Holiday-Novella-ebook/dp/B00A63NQRU/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354988868&sr=1-2&keywords=Christmas+Bells



My Opinion:
Beverly has brought us back to Cherryvale in a story of Christmas Miracles. This is a great book that you must read this Christmas. Capturing the true meanings of Christmas this book will give you the right mind set as you enter into this wonderful time of year. If you've read this series you must read this book, but if you are new to Cherryvale you still MUST read this book! The way Beverly writes is refreshing, real, and fabulous. The character's are the people we all want as neighbors. friends, and family. Cassie has once again stolen my heart, and Grace and Maggie continue to be the perfect pair. God has blessed Beverly and us SO greatly with her ability to write and our ability to worship, serve, and hold Him in our hearts as we read her work! I can not tell you enough that you MUST read this story! It is just the thing to bring you up if your down, to warm your heart in a cold world, and to brighten your Christmas! Get two copied cause you'll need to keep one and give another to a friend or family member. I can't wait to read this book again and again, and I usually don't read a book twice! Amazing Christmas book!

My song choices for Christmas Bells are: "The Bell Medley" by Classic Christmas Singers and "Go Tell It On The Mountain" by Dolly Parton

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Isaiah 9:6

~ASC

P.S. Please follow my blog with GFC or Networkblogs!  Look to the left to find all the way to follow!  Please it would just make my day!  Thanks for reading! ~ASC

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Twice a Bride Review!!!

*Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson

http://www.amazon.com/Twice-Bride-Sinclair-Sisters-Cripple/dp/0307730328/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354751352&sr=8-1&keywords=Twice+a+Bride


Book Description:
Twice a Bride: A Novel (The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek)Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever. 
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?

Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.  

With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West.  Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?     

Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns.


http://www.amazon.com/Twice-Bride-Sinclair-Sisters-Cripple/dp/0307730328/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354751352&sr=8-1&keywords=Twice+a+Bride


My Opinion: 
This is the first book I had read in the Sinclair Sister's series, and it made me want to read all the others! Mona wrapped everything up in a nice ending (which is what I love in a series!). The only thing that would have made this a 5 star for me is if it had wrapped up a little quicker. In my opinion the pace was wonderful until the end, then it seemed to drag a little. I love the characters (Especially Hattie and Willow), and I can't wait to go back and see how each of them end up becoming the people they are in Twice a Bride. I love love love the way Mona writes, her style and composition are fabulous! The way she writes about Faith and Salvation is so real and so wonderful!!!

A good book from an excellent writer!

My songs for this book are: "Blessed Assurance" Alan Jackson "You Set Me Free (Album Version)" by Michelle Branch (because Jesus sets us all FREE!) :)

Exodus 14:14

~ASC


P.S. PLEASE follow my ASC Photos and Designs!!!  I LOVE followers and would love if you would be one! See the left side of the screen to find all the ways you can follow! :)


Mona Hodgson's website: http://www.monahodgson.com/

More information about Twice a Bride: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=212055

Read Chapter 1 of Twice a Bride here: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2012/03/02/sneak-peek-twice-a-bride-by-mona-hodgson/

Mona's Bio: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=108368

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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