The MacGregor Legacy - For Love or Loyalty

1760 Scotland - To atone for her father's evil, Lauren Campbell agrees to help Malcolm MacGregor. By the time she realizes she's the bargaining price to free Malcolm's mother from indentured servitude, it's too late.

Path of Freedom, Quilts of Love series

1858 North Carolina - When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple..

Highland Sanctuary, (Highland series - Book 2)

1477 Scotland - A chieftain heir is hired to restore Briagh Castle and discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world.

Highland Blessings, (Book 1 - Highland series)

1473 Scotland - The story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise to his dying father.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Word of Inspiration: "Forgiveness is Balm to Our Souls"

“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”  (Psalm 86:5)

We all know our mistakes and we're well aware of all the obvious ways we mess up and keep messing up. It's also one of the many reasons, we avoid God. Too many people think of God as the Judge of the Universe and feel unworthy to pray, step foot in a church, and hate the feeling of condemnation they feel when comparing themselves to what they ought to be doing.

Here's the Good News! God is the Judge of the Universe, but He's also a merciful Judge. When we ask, He forgives. How many times have we had to tell our parents, our kids, brothers and sisters, friends, and spouse that we're sorry. Why is it any different with God? He forgives us unconditionally. That means, unlike your friends and family, He remembers it no more. His mercies are new each morning. God is good. It says He is abundant in mercy. That means there's no limit to how many times He'll forgive you. It feels great to be forgiven, it's a balm to our souls and gives us the ability to forgive ourselves. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dream: Even Celebrities Need Prayer

Dream Description
Back in April 2004, I dreamed that Mel Gibson came to visit. He seemed to be in some kind of trouble and wanted something to eat. We gave him what we had, but apologized that it wasn't anything compared to what he was used to eating. He talked about his wife and kids and said he missed them. The next thing I knew, Mel Gibson was in this deep, dark pit where he paced back and forth. He was very anxious, talking to himself, and driving himself crazy. 


Fulfillment
I never received an interpretation for this dream, and at the time I wasn't sure why I had it since I rarely dreamed of celebrities. As it began to unfold years later, I realized I should have been praying for Mel Gibson. The Passion of the Christ was released Feb 2004, two months before my dream. At this time, the movie was doing great and Mel Gibson was credited for producing a divine inspired movie, especially since he funded, produced and directed it. People were shocked at how well the movie did in spite of its criticisms. 

After the success of The Passion of Christ, Mel Gibson suffered many spiritual attacks and temptations for which he wasn't strong enough in his faith and knowledge of the Word to overcome. His life fell apart through drunk driving, an affair, and a divorce after 26 years of marriage. This is when he fell into the pit of despair and missed his family. 

The dream came true and I pray that Mel Gibson will repent and return to his faith in Jesus. In fact, I pray that he will come to realize he doesn't need to go through a priest to pray to God and that he will develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ--the one who IS strong enough to help him overcome the temptations and attacks from Satan. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Word of Inspiration: The Promise of Long Life and Peace

"My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1-2)

So many people wander through life seeking a magic potion to keep them looking and feeling younger. They invest in herbs, vitamins, cosmetics, lotions and moisturizers. Others pay for exercise programs they don't use, such as memberships to the YMCA or YWCA or some other gym. Still, others become vegetarians, eat organic foods, and try very hard to keep their internal body healthy. I believe these are great ways to help our mortal bodies last longer, but we often forget our spiritual wellness, which is what really completes the BIG picture of our life. The verse above is another PROMISE that if we allow our HEARTS to keep God's commandments, long life and peace will be added to our lives. We can't know God's commandments if we don't read, study, and covet them. To covet something means you don't view it as a list of rules you must abide by, but a treasure of promises that will keep you safe and well. 




 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CFBA Blog Tour: "His Steadfast Love" by Golden Keyes Parsons

The
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
His Steadfast Love
Thomas Nelson (November 1, 2011)
by
Golden Keyes Parsons
#ChristianFiction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Golden Keyes Parsons writes historical fiction for Thomas Nelson Publishing, and is also a popular retreat/conference speaker. Her highly acclaimed Darkness to Light Series chronicled the journey of her French Huguenot ancestors in 17th century France. Her newest novel, His Steadfast Love, a Civil War novel set in Texas, just released November 2011. Golden lives in Waco, TX, with her husband, Blaine, where they enjoy their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and are avid sports fan of their alma mater, Baylor University.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

It isn't until the Civil War comes to her doorstep that Amanda Bell must choose between love and family.

It's the spring of 1861 on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Amanda never thought she would marry because of a promise she made to her dying mother, but her attraction to Captain Kent Littlefield is undeniable.

When Texas secedes from the Union, her brother Daniel aligns with the Confederate States, while Kent remains with the Union troops.

Her heart is torn between the two men she is closest to and the two sides of the conflict. Amanda prays to God for direction and support, but hears only silence. Where is God in the atrocities of war-and whose side is He on?

Amanda senses her life is at a turning point. She must trust God to deliver her family through the chaos of war with her heart and her faith intact.

If you would like to read the first chapter of His Steadfast Love, go HERE.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Word of Inspiration: Restore Friends in a Spirit of Gentleness

"Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1

Many of us have friends and family members going through lots of difficult situations. Some were self-inflicted by poor choices, while others are just a circumstance of life and no fault of anyone. Either way, pain is still pain regardless of how we got there in the midst of it. Continual pain wears us down, even the spiritually strong. This is why your support and your friendship will mean so much to them in their time of weakness. Keep encouraging your friend. Don't give up on them when they reject your counsel or question God. Intercede in prayer. 

The last part of this verse cautions those of us trying to help our loved one to consider ourselves so we aren't tempted to be weak. This means you might need to take a break from your loved one to refresh and renew your mind with the Word of God. Otherwise, their complaints might start making too much sense and tempt you to think negative, especially if you see and sympathize with their plight. Even if what is happening to them isn't fair, negative thoughts won't help anyone. You can't help your friend if you fall in the pit with them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dream: How the Holy Spirit Imparts Comfort

Dream Description
I'm floating over the ocean facing a sandy beach. There are five small islands in a semi-circle facing the shore. In the middle of these islands is a long boulder where the waves are crashing upon it and spraying sea water all over this rock. It was almost large enough to be an island by itself. In a deep, authoritative voice I heard, "Your home is in the lagoon between the last island and the land."

My Interpretation
At the time I had this dream, we were between churches. I kept worrying and stressing over finding a new home church. The only thing between the last island and the shore was the huge boulder in the lagoon. My home was on the rock, and this gave me comfort because I knew that Jesus was the rock, the chief cornerstone. I didn't need to worry about getting "plugged in" because I was already "plugged in" to the Most High. I was unnecessarily worrying and stressing.

While it's true that as Christians we need to find a home church where we can fellowship with other Christians and receive the true word of God, it isn't meant for us to "settle" on something out of guilt, impatience, loneliness, or pressure from others. We need to wait on Him. He will show us the way and it isn't His desire for us to stress on the way there. I believe He gave me this dream to comfort me while I waited. 



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Word of Inspiration: The Path of Justice Will Perserve Us

"He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice. Equity and every good path." (Proverbs 2:8)

Satan plants an evil deceptive path in front of us all, tempting us to error out of fear and the unknown. This is why God's people must walk in faith. Sometimes the wrong path looks easier with less controversy than the right path. But if we will walk in faith, cling to what is right and just, even if it doesn't look easy, God will preserve us on that righteous path. When the time is right or after we've made the journey, we will understand. We'll see the good that came out of the bad. This verse is a PROMISE to us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CFBA - "The Captive Heart" by Dale Cramer

The
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 
is introducing
The Captive Heart
Bethany House
 
by
Dale Cramer
#ChristianFiction



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Dale Cramer spent his formative years traveling the world as an Army brat, then settled in Georgia at the age of fifteen when his father retired.

After high school he became an electrician, a job that took him to places as diverse as power plants, stadia, airports, high-rise office buildings, and a hard-rock mining operation.

Twenty-five years of experiences in the trades provided him with the wealth of characters, stories and insights that populate his novels.

When he married his childhood friend, Pam, in 1975 he had no way of knowing they would not have children until fifteen years later.

In his early forties, when Dale left his job to become a stay-at-home dad, he suddenly found himself with time on his hands, so he pursued a lifelong dream and taught himself to write.

Using an online writer’s forum as a training ground, he wrote his first short stories in 1996. As his writing skills improved he turned to novels, publishing his first book, Sutter’s Cross, in 2003.

Since then, Dale has published four more novels and garnered a measure of critical acclaim with two Christy Awards, a listing among Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2004 and numerous other Best lists. Dale and his wife Pam live in Georgia with their two sons.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Bandit troubles intensify as Caleb Bender's family tries to settle into their new life in 1920s Paradise Valley. When El Pantera kidnaps Rachel and leaves her brother, Aaron, for dead, Jake Weaver and the Mexican native Domingo pursue the bandit leader to his mountain stronghold in a hopeless rescue attempt. Jake and Domingo manage to escape with Rachel, with the bandits hot on their trail. In a desperate attempt to avoid recapture, Domingo puts himself squarely in harm's way, giving Jake and Rachel time to get away. This is not the quiet life Caleb Bender envisioned when he led his family out of Ohio. What is a father to make of his daughter's obvious affection for a man outside the fold? And how will a pacifist Amishman like Caleb respond to the events that threaten his family and their way of life?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Captive Heart, go HERE.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Word of Inspiration: Shine as Lights in the World

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (Philippians 2:14-16)

Complaining causes us to look at we don't have rather than the things we do have. It tempts us to think about how we'd like things to be rather than being grateful for how they are. Likewise, disputes causes us to say things we might later regret and hurtful things to others. We are not completely blameless and harmless when we complain and dispute with others. 

It says we live in a crooked and perverse generation, so that means we might have good reason to complain at times. Things aren't always fair. We're not going to agree with perverse people, but neither will arguing cause them to change their minds. Many are too stubborn and arrogant to admit their wrong doing. You can try to reason with them, but when it becomes clear that all they want is to argue, step aside and let them be.


Be a positive light to those who are willing to listen. Share the Word with those who hunger for it. Be an example of love when no one else will. Show people that Jesus still works through His people today as much as yesterday. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sharing Dream Experiences

On Mondays I'm going to start sharing my dream experiences with you as a testimony of how God has used them in my life. I can't teach you how to interpret dreams, as I believe that will need to come from the Holy Spirit Himself. However, my dream experiences can be a witness to you.

For centuries God has used dreams to communicate. He appeared to Old Testament people such as Jacob, Jacob's son Joseph, Joseph who was Jesus' father, Daniel, David, Pontius Pilate's wife, and so many more. Also, there is a biblical scripture that is used twice, both in the Old and New Testaments, so it must be very important. It talks about about how God will pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh--that's everyone--and He will use dreams and visions in the last days.

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy. Your young men shall see visions. Your old men shall dream dreams." (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17)

Some dreams I receive interpretations before the dream comes to pass, but others I have to wait until I understand  them. There are times when I only received a partial interpretation and the rest later becomes clear. Not every dream is prophetic or has a spiritual meaning. I call these regular dreams, but those dreams that stay with me even after I wake up are significant dreams. These are the ones I meditate and pray over. 

To protect the privacy and identity of friends and family, I'll use fictional names of individuals who appear in my dreams. If it's too personal, I won't share it. 

You may be wondering how can I remember all the significant dreams I've had over the years. The answer is, I can't. Years ago, I felt led by the Holy Spirit to start writing down my dreams and praying over them. I now have a whole collection that may help others begin to understand how God wants to use dreams to communicate in their lives. I keep a prayer/dream journal. It also allows me to see how God is answering my prayers. It builds my faith as I look at all that He's done in my life.

I hope you will find this dream testimony encouraging and that you will share some of your own dream experiences. I'll post the first one next Monday.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Word of Inspiration: How to Obtain Godly Discretion

"When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you. Understanding will keep you." (Proverbs 2:10-11)

Seek wisdom in God's word and as you read it, you'll gain wisdom and knowledge without even realizing it. When we're filled with sin and the ways of the world, sometimes knowledge isn't pleasant. We're afraid we'll have to sacrifice things we like and make changes in our lives that we don't want. Yet, when God's knowledge is pleasant to our soul, that's when discretion is clear, because our wants and desires aren't getting in the way of making us objective. The path that God would have you take in life and through difficult storms will be clear with the Godly discretion He imparts to you through His word. Pray for this discretion before you read, especially when you have decisions to make.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CFBA Blog Tour - "The Rose of Winslow Street" by Elizabeth Camden

The
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Rose of Winslow Street
Bethany House (January 1, 2012)
by
Elizabeth Camden
#christianfiction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.




ABOUT THE BOOK:


The last thing Libby Sawyer and her father expected upon their return from their summer home was to find strangers inhabiting a house that had been in their family for decades. Widower Michael Dobrescu brought his family from Romania to the town of Colden, Massachusetts with a singular purpose: to claim the house willed to him long ago. Since neither party has any intention of giving up their claim, a fierce legal battle ensues between the two families.

When important documents go missing from the house, Libby suspects Michael is the culprit. Determined to discover the truth behind the stolen papers, Libby investigates, only to find more layers of mystery surrounding Michael and his family. Despite their rivalry, Libby finds herself developing feelings for this man with his mysterious past.

As a decision about the house looms in the courts, Libby must weigh the risks of choosing to remain loyal to her family or give her heart to a man whose intentions and affections are less than certain.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Rose of Winslow Street, go HERE.

Visit Elizabeth Camden

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Word of Inspiration: God's Word is Our Safety Net

"But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure without fear of evil." (Proverbs 1:33)

Fear is one of the main reasons we don't achieve our goals or reach God's greatest potential in our lives. Too many people are controlled by fear. They can't sleep, live in a state of anxiety, worry about everything, spend thousands on counseling, take medications that cause other side effects, fall into depressions, etc.  

Most of these other symptoms can be traced back to some kind of fear. Every time an angel appeared to someone in the Bible, he would say, " Do not fear," and then would proceed to give the message. The Bible is available to us as a guide. The Word is a comfort to us when we need hope and faith to believe beyond our current circumstances. This is how we "listen" to the Bible. We act on it by "obeying" the Word. This is how we dwell "safely" in God's protection. Obeying His Word keeps us from falling into the traps the enemy has set for us.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Recycling Articles

How do you feel about recycled articles? Have you ever dusted off a 3-year old article, edited, and slapped a new title on it? Most of us authors have done that for various reasons--either we were strained with a lack of time or the advice seemed timeless and there was no significant need to re-invent the wheel.

It isn't something I would recommend getting into the habit of doing for obvious reasons. People will start to notice, your content will lose relevance, and eventually, you'll run out of material to recycle. It doesn't challenge the creative juices itching to be tested inside us. We always need to grow and develop to the next level.

However, there are times when it is perfectly appropriate. I think it's okay if the information is relevant to what you want to say and it isn't something you've recently used. There is nothing wrong with enhancing an article. Sometimes you can take an old published draft and literally use it as a first draft. This means you're writing and your ideas have grown. The new version of that article will be the next level of quality. In this case, you can be sure you aren't cheating your readers. 

What are your thoughts on recycling articles?

Friday, January 06, 2012

Highland Crossings Video Book Trailer

Highland Crossings,

Novella, February 2012
Head to historic North Carolina where a brooch unites the lives and loves of four women. Dangerous accusations force Seona to leave Scotland with the brooch in tow, but will she find peace before her past is revealed? Years later, Fiona hopes to recover the brooch only to wind up on the whipping block. Can she trust the man who comes to her rescue? Seren sells the brooch to open a confectionery, but will the precious heirloom be lost to a hopeless dream? When the brooch is stolen, can Brynna reclaim it before she loses something even more valuable?




Thursday, January 05, 2012

Word of Inspiration - How to Wash Ourselves Clean God's Way

"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow." (Isaiah 1:16-17)

We wash ourselves clean by repenting of our sins. We put away our evil deeds by avoiding temptation, staying away from people, places and things that tempt us. We seek justice by doing what is right. We rebuke the oppressor by rejecting Satan's lies and deceptive ideas. We speak the Word of God back to him just as Jesus did in the desert. We defend the fatherless and plead for the widow by not turning our heads and pretending they don't exist--that taking care of our own families is doing our part--our only responsibility. We do more for others who need God's help since we are God's hands.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

CFBA Blog Tour - "The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" by Julie Klassen

#christianfiction
 
The
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
Bethany House (January 1, 2012)
by
Julie Klassen


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now writes full time. Two of her books, The Girl in the Gatehouse and The Silent Governess won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA awards.

She graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoys travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. Julie and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt--and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?

Observing both brothers as an "invisible" servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?

On her journey from wellborn lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of "serve one another in love."

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, go HERE. 

Visit the author, here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Word of Inspiration - Knowledge of Good & Evil Is Knowing Right from Wrong

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age." (Titus 2:11-12)

So often we worry that people haven't been taught right from wrong because they had bad parents or no parents. Think of it this way. Does a person know that killing another person is wrong without be told it is wrong? Did Cain know what he was doing when he murdered his brother, Abel, especially since it was the first murder? When mankind ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, mankind was given the knowledge of both right and wrong. 

According to these verses, the same grace that brings salvation, also teaches us right from wrong--to deny ungodliness and to live righteously. Salvation is a free gift through God's grace, so it would seem, that knowing right from wrong is also a free gift through grace. 
 
It has appeared to all men. This doesn't exclude women. Men is a general reference to mankind. The fact that it has appeared means that it is already done--past tense. We are born with this knowledge of knowing right from wrong--of good and evil. It has appeared to all men. It isn't only reserved for saved people. I do believe that saved people are more mindful of this knowledge, because we are more mindful of the things of God in our desire to love, serve and please Him.

This is how so many people can live good and decent lives, but still not have a conscious relationship with God. There are good people who deny the existence of Christ. When we try to teach an unsaved soul the truth of Christ, we are being God's resource in His desire that none should perish, but have everlasting life.

Monday, January 02, 2012

2012: A New Beginning of Goals not Resolutions

I don't set New Year's Resolutions. Instead, I celebrate my blessings and accomplishments of the previous year. Then I evaluate my progress toward my long term goals, check off completed goals, and set new ones. 

The idea of a "resolution" is to transform oneself, lifestyle, or habits into a brand new creation by sheer will power and determination. It gives the impression that one will be able to achieve this transformation overnight. This is why so many people fail at New Year's Resolutions. It's unrealistic.

Goals are much better as it provides the concept that one will work over a period of time to achieve the transformation, and it's understood that it won't happen overnight. Long term goals work better when one sets milestones like a progress meter to reaching the overall goal. 

Writers understand this well. When we sit down to write a full-length novel of 100,000 words, we know it won't happen in a day. We have a schedule we keep, a process we go through, and milestones to reach: 10,000 words, then 20, then 30.... 

The key to this progress is consistency. The key to consistency is never giving up. I tell people all the time that even a snail's pace is still progress. Little things add up over a period of time. Pennies add up to dollars. Inches add up to miles. Seconds add up to minutes and minutes to hours. Don't discount the small things. God creates miracles out of them. We become the tool He can work through us to accomplish what we think is impossible.

If we could apply this method to all our goals in every area of life, we would be productive and feel better about ourselves. We'll have a sense of accomplishment. It makes us have a more positive outlook at life and this positive energy will project out to others around us. I believe in applying this concept to our spiritual life in prayer, Bible reading, and fellowship, as well as our health with eating habits and exercise, parenting, and work.

Have you set new goals for 2012?