Friday, December 28, 2007

Debut Author Cheryl Wyatt - Book Review & Blog Tour

I just finished reading A Soldier's Promise (Wings of Refuge, Book 1) (Love Inspired #430) by Cheryl Wyatt. This is Cheryl’s debut novel, and it’s a great one!

Here’s the back cover blurb:

"My name's Bradley. I'm eight and have cancer. I want to meet a Special Forces soldier more than anything. Well, almost anything. Having a family would be nice."

U.S. Air Force pararescue jumper Joel Montgomery promised to make a sick child's wish come true. Well, not the family part—not with Joel's past. And so despite vowing never to set foot back in Refuge, Illinois, Joel parachuted onto the boy's school lawn to a huge smile. But another smile unexpectedly stole Joel's heart: that of Bradley's beautiful teacher, Amber Stanton, who was trying to adopt the boy. And trying to show Joel it was time for new vows.

Cheryl’s got a real gift for dialogue. The characters are believable and will grip you from the first word. Her writing is a deft weaving of humor and emotion. Fans of contemporary romance won’t be disappointed.

Check out Cheryl at these stops on her blog tour:

December 31 - Interview, Lena Dooley’s blog
January 2 - Interview, Lacy Williams’ blog
January 3 - Guestblog, Danica Favorite-MacDonald’s blog
January 4 - Interview, Nike Chillemi’s blog
January 5 - Guestblog, Angie Breidenbach’s blog
January 6 and 7 - Interview and review, Brittanie’s blog
January 6, 7 and 8 - Interview, Lynette Eason’s blog
January 8 - Short quote, Jill Elizabeth Nelson’s blog
January 9 - Guestblog, Patricia Woodside’s blog
January 10 - Interview, Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s blog
January 11 - Guestblog, Janet Dean’s blog
January 12 - Interview, Leanna Ellis’ blog
January 13 - Interview, Ronie Kendig’s blog
January 14 - Interview, Camy Tang’s blog
January 15 - Interview, Crystal Miller’s blog
January 16 - Guestblog, Pammer James’ blog
January 16 - Christa Allan’s blog
January 17 - Review, Heather Diane Tipton’s blog
January 17 - Review, Interview, & Guestblog, Hope Chastain’s blog,
January 18 - Review, Cara Putman’s blog
January 18 - Mindy Obenhaus’ blog
January 19 - Guestblog, Linda Rondeau’s blog
January 20 - Review, Mary Connealy’s blog
January 21 - Interview, Jennifer AlLee’s blog
January 21 - Review and Interview, Cynthia Hawkins’ blog
January 21 - Interview, Missy Tippens’ blog
January 22 - Review and guestblog, Deborah’s blog
January 22 - Peg Phifer’s blog
January 23
- Interview, Amber Miller’s blog
January 23 - Review, Sally Bradley’s blog
January -24 - Review, Pattie Reitz’s blog
January 25 - Interview and Review, Deena Peterson’s blog
January 26 - Review and Interview, Shauna Sturge’s blog
January 27 - Review, Dineen Miller’s blog
January 28 - Interview and Review, Marjorie Vawter’s blog
January 29 - Review, Donna Fleisher’s blog
January 30 - Interview and Review, Michelle Rodgers’ blog
February 29 - Interview, Margaret Daley’s blog

Monday, December 17, 2007

I'm Missing the Christmas Craft Gene

I've been absent from the blogosphere for a bit, but I've got a really good reason. You know those elves you hear about this time of year... the ones that are hard at work, laboring to make Christmas merry for all? Well, I'm one of them!

I'm about ready to share part of my secret life with you: Every year, from October to December, I put on my candy hat and go to work at See's Candies. Usually, I'm one of the phone elves, taking orders and checking them twice. But last week, I took part in one of the more labor-intensive parts of the job... making gift bags.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketCheck out these happy Santas. I bagged and bowed about 75 of these fellows, including the ones you see here. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not naturally gifted in the art of bow tying. You should have seen me struggle just to get them to look decent. No, I take that back, no one should have to witness such a thing!

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Some people have a knack for it, though. Perhaps there's a crafty, basket assembling, bow tying gene that is absent in part of the population. Take my friend Beth. See how happy she is, standing in our stock room, making beautiful baskets! Beth truly has the crafty gene.

I'm curious... how many people out there consider themselves truly crafty? If you're one of them, I'd love to know what you're making to deck the halls.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ode to an Artificial Christmas Tree

Well, the halls are all decked at my house… actually, the only thing that’s decked is the living room, but that’s okay. My family has a fake tree that we bought in 1998. I’d like to say we’re doing our part to save the environment, but really, it’s due to my husband’s strong, fiscally responsible streak, and his dislike of cleaning up dead pine needles. If it were up to me, we’d have a live tree every year.

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Here’s the tree before the branches are fully spread. Pitiful, isn’t it? And that strapping young man next to it is Billy, my excited 14-year-old. Doesn’t he look excited in the photo?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAnd here it is all decorated. Say it with me now… OOOOOH… AWWWWW. And check out the leaning Angel at the top... looks like she's had a wee bit too much egg nog!

And now I’d like to share a little ditty that I wrote the first year we owned the tree. If you feel like singing, it’s to the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree.”

Ode to an Artificial Tree

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
You’re fake and I can tell.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
Because you have no smell.
But you were purchased by my spouse,
Because you don’t mess up the house.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
You are the best they sell.

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
Your boughs are always green.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
They have a plastic sheen.
No needles dropping on the floor,
No struggling with you through the door.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
You’re even flame retardant.

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
They don’t come any finer.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
‘Cause you were made in China.
And when the season is all through,
Back in the box goes you-know-who.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
You can be unassembled.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful Christmas, whether your tree is real, plastic, or aluminum!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What's New In Christian Fiction - December 2007

Here is the December 2007 line-up of new Christian fiction releases in time to add to your Christmas gift list. Also this month, Jill Eileen Smith has a new Spotlight interview with best-selling author Stephanie Grace Whitson author of the recently released Jacob's List from Baker Publishing Group. Be sure to stop by and read Stephanie's interview and visit the websites of the following authors. Enjoy!

1. Bluegrass Peril by Virginia Smith from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. When Becky Dennison's boss at a retirement farm for thoroughbred stallions is murdered, she becomes entrenched in a high-stakes game of danger, money, and that famous southern pride.

2. Buried Sins by Marta Perry, from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Caroline Hampton flees to her family's inn in peaceful Pennsylvania Amish country after her husband's death, but even there, someone with deadly intent wants her to believe he's still alive.

3. Gavin Goodfellow: The Lure of Burnt Swamp Book One of the Burnt Swamp Trilogy by Candy Abbott from Fruitbearer Publishing. Dyslexic tween encounters Christ while battling witchcraft in Burnt Swamp where fires have been burning for ten years.

4. Heart of the Family 2nd in the Fostered by Love series by Margaret Daley from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A past secret threatens Jacob and Hannah's newfound love.

5. Kansas Weddings a Heartsong 3-book compilation by Kim Vogel Sawyer from Barbour Publishing. Three Kansas women have difficult decisions to make and burdens to bear.

6. Missouri Memories by Deborah Raney, DiAnn Mills, Joyce Livingston, and Kelly Eileen Hake from Barbour Books. The beautiful House on Cranberry Hill in Hannibal, Missouri, holds love for four generations of couples.

7. Seasons of Love Book 3 Massachusetts Weddings by Elizabeth Goddard from Heartsong Presents. Riley O’Hare must revive her grandfather’s cranberry farm, but her brother’s untimely death thrusts her into his partner’s path and into the midst of a perilous cyber crime.

8. The Love Song by Anita Higman and Janice A. Thompson from Barbour Publishing (Heartsong Presents). With God's help, Clair O'Neal lets go of her painful past and accepts all the laughter and music and love her heart can hold.

Happy reading~