Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bits & Pieces - What's Left of My Brain After Driving All Day!

Son and I drove to Southern California yesterday and drove back today. My shoulders were screaming by the time we got home! So now that I've had time to rest my aching muscles and check all my electronic forms of communications, here are some bits and pieces from my day.

Oddest Train of Thought During the Long Drive Home - Bela Lugosi
Let me explain. We had breakfast with my mom this morning and ended up talking about Bela. He was a friend of the family - my grandfather knew him in Hungary, where they both came from. I've known about that forever, and how my mom sat on his lap and called him Uncle Bela. What I DIDN'T know until today is that he asked my great-grandmother to marry him. So that got me thinking about him, and what might have happened if great-grandma had said yes. Next thing I know, I'm trying to figure out how to work him into my current book... or give him a book of his own. I'll have to give that some more thought...

Celebrity Tweet of the Day
BrentSpiner - I'm thinking of going into rehab. I'm not addicted to anything, but I think it's good way to jumpstart an acting career.
(In case you don't know, Brent Spiner is probably best known for playing Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation.)

DVD of the Night - A Dog's Breakfast
If you're a fan of Stargate Atlantis, you have to watch this movie. The small cast contains David Hewlett, Kate Hewlett (his sister), Paul McGillon (who plays not one, but three roles), Rachel Luttrell, and Christopher Judge. They call it a dark comedy, but it has a very satisfying, fun ending. You can watch it on Hulu here:

So that's it for me today. I'm going to do a little writing, so some reading, then gently fall into bed. I'm kinda pooped!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Motown Night on American Idol

It was Motown Night on American Idol and surprises did abound. From Paula's prom dress to the very sad face job of a famous singer in the audience, you never knew what to expect. I was looking forward to tonight because, really, Motown offers something for everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone nabbed a song that was right for them. But others were awesome. Here are my weekly Idol thoughts:

ADAM'S THE MAN! People used to seeing over the top, theatrical Adam were surprised tonight by the clean-cut, suit wearing, non-eyelinered, natural finger nailed Adam. He delivered a rendition of Tracks of My Tears that even had Smokey Robinson giving him a standing O. Tonight we got to see just how much range this talented singer has. And is it just me, or did he look an awful lot like Dean Cain back in his Lois & Clark days?

IT'S STARTING ALREADY... Allison has a great voice. But one thing I've worried about is her starting to sound the same on every song. It happened tonight. The judges loved it, but to me it sounded like every other song she's sung. I hope she mixes it up a little next week.

WHAT'S HAPPENING TO LIL? She should have been great tonight. I mean come on... the woman's been compared to Mary J. Blige, so she should have rocked Motown night. Not so. Her Heatwave ended up being luke warm. She struggled to keep up with the the fast tempo which made her sound shouty and at times off-key. She'll make it through to next week, but this is two disappointing weeks in a row. Lil needs to up her game.

MATT WON ME OVER - With his soulful rendition of Let's Get it On, Matt brought me all the way over into his corner. Which leads me to...

I'M CHANGING MY MIND - Early on, I predicted that the top three would be Adam, Danny, and Scott. I still think the top three will be men, but I'm replacing Scott with Matt. Matt consistently gets better and better, while Scott has been a bit of a disappointment. I love the guy, think he's got a great sense of humor, but I don't think his vocals are good enough to get him to the end.

So, who's going home tomorrow? Based on tonight, I would say Scott and Megan will be in the bottom two, and Megan will go home. It pains me to say it, because I think she's great, but tonight's performance was not good.

And here is my new, official prediction for the finale: Adam and Danny, with Adam coming out the winner. That's what I think, and I'm sticking to it.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Sneak Peak at My New Book - THE PASTOR'S WIFE

If I had a drum, I'd roll it right now. So pretend with me... announcing... TA DA!

My new book cover!

Isn't this just the prettiest thing? It makes me happy every time I see it. God has blessed my socks off with a great publisher (Abingdon Press), a fabulous editor (Barbara Scott) and a genius design team (if I knew all your names, I'd mention them).

The Pastor's Wife releases in March 2010. But for now, here's a little taste:

He loves me . . . he loves me not . . .

Maura Sullivan thought she knew what she was getting into when she married soon-to-be pastor Nick Shepherd. But when “the other woman” in her marriage turned out to be her husband's congregation, she ran. Three years later, she’s back in the small community of Granger, Ohio, for the reading of a will that names both her and Nick as beneficiaries. Now Maura must face the husband – and the congregation – she left behind.

If you're looking for great fiction and can't wait until my book's available - LOL - check out the new fiction line from Abingdon Press. Contemporary, historical, suspense... there's something for everyone!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cool New Interactive Fiction Blog From Lisa Richardson

My friend Lisa Richardson has created a very cool and innovative new blog. In her own words, here's how it works:

Any child of the late '80s remembers the Choose Your Own Adventure stories that were around. This is kind of like that. Each week I post a portion of a story and then a poll. Audience participation drives what happens next. If you have a brilliant idea for a twist, or you are just dying to see something happen that is "out of the box," just put it in the comments. If I like it I will try to incorporate it. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have fun!

Neat, huh? The current story, Girl Sleuth, features a plucky young writer named Anne. Set in the 1920s, Anne hopes to get her big break writing for the Lacey Carew mystery series (think Nancy Drew). But it isn't long before Anne's in the middle of a real life mystery of her own.

Not only is Lisa a great writer, but it's so much fun to see where the story will go. Hop on over to her blog, Inspired Adventures, and check it out!

To read an interview with Lisa, check out Tiffany Colter's blog, Writing Career Coach.

Monday, March 23, 2009

From Dream to Reality with Tina Ann Forkner

It's my great pleasure to introduce today's guest blogger, novelist Tina Ann Forkner!

“Is this a computer from the olden days?”

My daughter was pecking away at an old-fashioned manual typewriter that my daddy bought about forty-five years ago. Her words made me chuckle.

When I was a kid, I’d asked my parents why their typewriter didn’t have a plug. I’m sure they chuckled at that too, but one thing they never laughed about was my dream. They figured all I needed was a typewriter, so they gave me that old manual one to start out on. It still had some ink left on the old ribbon and it was my plan to use it to write my first book. Needless to say, it was slow going.

When I was sixteen, my parents gave me a typewriter that I could plug in and finally I made some headway. What I wrote is now safely hidden away in a trunk somewhere, but it was at least a good start. Having an electric typewriter seemed to make a difference, at least as far as quantity, if not quality.

These days I write on a laptop; a pink laptop to be exact. My daughter thinks it is pretty cool, but not as cool as the old-fashioned typewriter. Times have certainly changed, but I finally did finish a book and got it published. Thanks to technology the actual typing didn’t take all that long and a laptop has a few things that a manual typewriter just can’t give an author during the editorial process: Track Changes and Email.

That antique typewriter my parents gave me all those years ago is still around. It holds a place of honor on my writing desk in close proximity to my pink laptop. Every time I see it, or tell its story to my kids, I remember how it inspired me to dream. It still inspires me to dream.


Tina Ann Forkner writes contemporary fiction that challenges and inspires. She lives with her husband, their three bright children and their dog and serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board of Directors in Wyoming. She is the author of Ruby Among Us, her debut novel, and Rose House, which releases in May from Waterbrook Press. You can visit her at her home page at

ABOUT THE BOOK - Ruby Among Us

Set in the lush vineyards of present and past Sonoma Valley, Ruby Among Us weaves a story of three generations of women and the memory that binds their hearts together. Journey with Lucy as she searches for a heritage long buried with her mother, Ruby, in this stirring tale of remembrance and redemption.

“Memorable…Characters well written and interesting. Readers will not want this story to end”
-4 1/2 Stars Romantic Times Book Reviews

“A multi-generational saga of hope, regret, and the grace that brings us home, Ruby Among Us evokes an invitational sense of place, a cache of characters you enjoy knowing, and a story that rips and mends your heart all at once.”
Mary E. DeMuth, author of Watching the Tree Limbs and Daisy Chain


Coming in May of 2009 from Waterbrook Press. A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting and one woman’s search for hope.

“Tina Ann Forkner pens a compelling tale of betrayal and grief, of hope and forgiveness in Rose House. The unique setting and her lyrical descriptions enticed me into the scene, where I was captivated by the appealing characters and the story’s underlying mystery. I couldn’t put it down.”
–Ane Mulligan, Editor and Co-Owner of Novel Journey


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Ruby Among Us, just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on March 30th. (NOTE: Sorry, no international winners on this one.) Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Friday, March 20, 2009

CFBA presents MICHAL by Jill Eileen Smith

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Revell - March 1, 2009)
Jill Eileen Smith


Jill Eileen Smith is the author of several articles, poems, and stories, and her unpublished novels have placed in five writing contests in the past five years. A children’s story, which she wrote for her church led her youngest son to faith in Christ several years ago; much like a gospel tract led her to the Lord at a similar age.

That story, “Seeking Treasureland,” is now available. Jill is a member of several online writing groups and helps promote fellow authors’ works through monthly interviews on the "Spotlight" page of her website. She, along with her husband and children, are active members in their local church. A stay-at-home mom, she homeschooled the couple’s three sons for twelve years through high school, seeing them go on to higher education.

In her spare time, Jill teaches piano, reads, does picture scrap-booking, and enjoys trying out new recipes, especially those that include dark chocolate. Jill and her family make their home in Southeastern Lower Michigan.


Can their epic search for true love survive a father's fury?
The daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege--but one that is haunted by her father's unpredictable moods and competition from her beautiful older sister.

As a girl, Michal quickly falls for the handsome young harpist David. But soon after their romance begins, David must flee for his life, leaving Michal at her father's mercy in the prison that is King Saul's palace.

Will Michal ever be reunited with David? Or is she doomed to remain separated from him forever?

Against the backdrop of opulent palace life, raging war, and daring desert escapes, Jill Eileen Smith takes you on an emotional journey as Michal deals with love, loss, and personal transformation as the first wife of King David. Jill Eileen Smith has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has gathered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of David's wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Michal, go HERE


Have you ever wondered why David, a man after God's own heart, had so many wives? Have you ever wondered how those wives felt? In her impressive debut novel, Jill Eileen Smith tackles these questions, and gives us a glimpse into the life of a little-known woman.

Michal is a princess, the daughter of King Saul. But her heart's desire is to marry the charismatic young musician, the only one who can calm her father's manic fits - David. But when Michal gets what she wants - after a bit of manipulation on her part - she finds that reality is a far cry from her girlish fantasies. We follow Michal and David for many years, as they are separated, reunited, torn apart by anger and grief, until the final resolution is made. And while their story doesn't have a happily-ever-after ending, it does end with hope.

With great skill, Smith constructs a fictional account of what could have happened between these two biblical people. Even though this is the first in a series focusing on the wives of King David, there's a great emphasis on David himself. It's a fascinating look at how he came to be king, and the politics and customs of the time.

With Michal, Smith has crafted a compelling beginning to what's sure to be a popular series. If you'd like to know more about this book's long journey to publication, visit Jill's blog:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Elizabeth Ludwig on Dreaming Dangerously - WIN A BOOK!

A big welcome to today’s guest blogger, author Elizabeth Ludwig!

The Year of Dreaming Dangerously

It is possible to dream big, to have aspirations so high they take your breath away. Like most people, I feared setting my sights on such scaly heights. What if my dreams were never realized? What if one by one, they were trodden beneath the weight of rejection? And so I set my goals lower, at more attainable levels: Placing in a writing contest, having an editor request a full manuscript, sparking the interest of an agent. These were reasonable requests to lay before my Lord and Savior. I felt confident in asking that He help me see these dreams realized. Except. . .

Attainable goals have never interested God.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

God proved this scripture to me in 2008. I asked that an editor would request a full manuscript. Instead, in April, I held my first novel in my hands. I asked that an agent would show an interest in my work. Instead, I signed with Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary. I asked that I might place in a contest. Instead, I was named IWA Writer of the Year. True to His promise, God gave me ABUNDANTLY above what I dared to ask or think.

Even now, my heart is overwhelmed at all God has done in my life. I am brought to tears as I think on how little faith I put in the ability, and power, and awesomeness of God. Yet He desired to prove to me how great and able He is. I don’t suppose I will ever understand why the God of the universe takes such an avid interest in one humble servant. I only know that God is who He says, and He does what He promises.

I encourage you to dream dangerously in the coming year. Establish your goals and then lay them before the throne God. He does not want your attainable dreams. He wants your lofty ones, the dreams of your heart. Most of all, He wants to show you, as He did me, how exceedingly able He is to do beyond what you ask or think.

Visit Elizabeth at her website -
or her blog -


Elizabeth Ludwig graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hart High School in 1985. She received a scholarship to Michigan State University in 1986 and went on to study English and Journalism. She spent several years learning both music and theater arts, and has performed in numerous community projects. She is an accomplished speaker and dramatist, having performed before audiences of 1500 and more, at local community groups, and before judges for Forensics Meets across the state of Michigan. She works full time, and currently lives with her husband and two children in Texas.

ABOUT THE BOOK – Where the Truth Lies

Casey Alexander refuses to believe her aunt committed suicide. Her personal investigation makes some people uncomfortable enough to want her dead.

As the main suspect in Casey's quest, Luke Kerrigan does some searching of his own. What he finds has him doing a little more digging that leads him to doors he may not want opened.

The secrets unearthed will turn lives upside down and threaten the peace in their small community.


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Where the Truth Lies, just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on March 26th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dreaming with Amy Deardon - WIN HER BOOK!

It's my pleasure to welcome debut novelist - and first time Musings guest - Amy Deardon.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

My first published book, A Lever Long Enough, is my dream. My hope for this book is that God may use it to open the heart and mind of a skeptic.

A Lever Long Enough is about a small military team that travels back in time to film the theft of Jesus' body from the tomb. While the emphasis is on the story, Lever fairly presents the arguments for and against the resurrection, and demonstrates (without the use of fictional miracles) that the case for the resurrection is remarkable. I tried to write the kind of book I love to read: full of action, a love story, and exotic background and ideas.
It's been a long journey to hold this book in my hands. My first efforts were terrible, but slowly, the characters and story took shape. I didn't want to stop until it had been born. My husband was encouraging but clueless. "Good job," he'd say, and then fall silent. Writing was the secret dream I nurtured in my heart; God alone walked with me to do this.

When it was finished I gave this book to the Lord. It's OK, I told Him, if it's not published. I wrote this book for you, and it's my best.

Lever came out in January, and I am humbled and awed to see the enthusiastic responses. Reviews on Amazon have been amazing. I have some wonderful endorsements, including from Wayne Batson, Thomas Phillips, and Randy Ingermanson. I am so grateful to people like you, Jen, who are kind enough to allow me to visit with your readers on your blog. I have spoken at book clubs, and am looking forward to an online discussion this week on the ACFW book club.

Lever has opened opportunities for me to speak about writing and my faith. I don't care if it sells two or two million; I simply want this to be a tool that a believer can place into the hands of a non-Christian to open discussion of Who is Jesus? I have discovered a new career -- I love writing, and am eager to produce more books soon. I believe with all my heart that before my dream for me to write, this was the Lord’s. How awesome!


I’m married and fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with our two children, now 15 and 12. In my life B.C. (before children) I did bench science research and taught anatomy and physiology at an undergraduate level.

I undertook a personal quest to investigate the claims of Jesus’ resurrection with the goal of destroying them. To do this I studied biblical and extra-biblical accounts of Jesus and numerous commentaries by believers and skeptics alike, listed the facts agreed upon, and began to explore scenarios that could explain what was known. To my surprise and considerable dismay, the evidence kept pointing away from naturalistic explanations and eventually formed a virtually certain case for the resurrection of Jesus. Finally I admitted defeat and became a Christian.

Visit Amy's web site at:

ABOUT THE BOOK – A Lever Long Enough

A small military team travels back in time to film the theft of Jesus' body from the tomb . . .

The Israeli team, led by Benjamin Finan, has exactly seventy-two hours to collect the data. Failure threatens the existence of Israel and may cause the world to slip into all-out war.

Drawn into a web of first century deception and death, the only way to escape is for Benjamin to change the past.

In the present, a traitor determines to sabotage the mission and seize control of the complex housing the time machine. Only Benjamin can reveal him, but he is trapped two thousand years away. Even with a time machine, time is running out.


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of A Lever Long Enough, just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on March 25th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Country Night on American Idol

Country night is always a little scary. It's hard to know what someone like Adam will do to a country song. Then again, sometimes the singers you expect the most out of don't deliver. Here are my thoughts:

ADAM DELIVERED - Johnny Cash may be rolling over in his grave, but Adam's spin on Ring of Fire gave me a good way. Randy and Kara were confused by it, but I thought it was great. If he'd tried to sing it with a straight country flavor, we would have heard comments like "you lost your edge." I thought it was fab.

MEGAN BATTLES ILLNESS - If not for the coughing at the end, you'd never know Megan was sick with the flu (sick enough to go to the hospital). Her rendition of Walking After Midnight was so very cool. And she looked gorgeous. I love that girl.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE NIGHT - Lil. Sorry, but today, she was the weakest singer, IMO. Rather than give it a soulful spin, she tried to "honor the music." But her rendition of Independence Day fizzled like a defective firecracker. She wasn't bad, she hit all the notes, but the song didn't feel right. Which is sad, because I truly do enjoy the super talented Lil.

So who do I think will go home? Based solely on tonight's performance, I would say the bottom two will be Michael and Lil. And I think Lil will go home, unless the judges save her.

That prediction is going to make me unpopular, I know. But all these kids can really sing. Now it's a matter of proving yourself each week. And tonight, I wasn't feeling any Lil love.

What do YOU think?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

CFBA presents JOURNEY TO THE WELL by Diana Wallis Taylor

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Journey To The Well
Revell (March 1, 2009)
Diana Wallis Taylor


Diana Wallis Taylor is an award-winning Christian author and speaker who shares her personal testimony to women’s groups. The Lord gave Diana a desire to write a book about the woman of Samaria who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s Well. It was at the edge of the well where the woman of Samaria found the living water of Jesus.

A native Californian, Diana Wallis Taylor graduated from San Diego State University. She has had many occupations; elementary and junior high school teacher, bookshop owner, and conference director for a Christian college. A poet since the age of 12, she published a book of poems, Wings Of The Wind, in 1994, now republished with watercolor illustrations in 2006. She has received awards in songwriting and poetry and her writing contributions appear in various books and magazines. The author speaks on the woman at the well in conjunction with her own testimony. She also speaks on A Walk in the Darkness, on her family involvement in the occult and how it affected her life.

Diana lives with her husband Frank in San Diego, California and between them they have six grown children and ten grandchildren. In addition to her speaking and writing, she serves on the board of the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild and is active in Christian Women’s Fellowship.


She went to the well for water. What she found there would change her life forever.

Marah is a young girl in love with her childhood friend, Jesse. When she is forced to marry an older man, she must abandon her dreams of happiness. At the mercy of men who are often only interested in using her, Marah must fight for survival. Will she ever meet a man who can save her?

The story of the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well is one of hope, redemption, and a life changed in an instant through a remarkable encounter. Jesus told her "everything she'd ever done," but we are left to wonder at the circumstances that led her life on such a tragic path to begin with. Now from the creative mind of Diana Wallis Taylor comes the full story of the woman at the well.

This well-researched portrayal of a woman's life in the time of Jesus opens a window into a fascinating world. Taylor's rich descriptions of the landscapes, lifestyles, and rituals mesh easily with the emotional and very personal story of one woman who desperately seeks to rise above the difficult circumstances of her life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Journey To The Well, click HERE


I'm not a big reader of Biblical fiction, but I'm glad I decided to read Journey to the Well. Diana Wallis Taylor has written a provocative and often heartbreaking look at what it was like to be a woman during the time of Jesus.

Marah did not have many choices. Who she would marry, where she would live, what she could do to provide for her family... tradition and law dictated much of who she was. As we follow Marah through the years, her brief moments of happiness are pierced with tragedy. It's not until she meets a certain teacher at the well of Jacob that her life takes a dramatic turn.

One of my favorite parts of this book is how Taylor weaves together biblical accounts during the uplifting conclusion of the story. The emotional depth of her writing is wonderful, and she has you pulling for Marah until the very end. I highly recommend this moving novel.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

American Idol: Who Are the Two to Go?

We finally got to see the top 13 tonight on the big stage. And it was quite an interesting show.

A MATTER OF TASTE - All these folks can sing. What it's going to come down to is personal preference. For example, I know lots of people who love Jasmine and Kris, but they don't do anything for me. And that's okay.

QUIRKY WINS ME OVER - The judges weren't crazy about Megan's rendition of Rockin' Robin, but I loved it. From her unusual vocal tone to her contradictory full arm tattoo and girl-next-door look, she's different. In a good way. I don't expect her to win, but I hope she stays around for a while.

AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE? Don't get me wrong... I love Adam. In fact, he's in my personal top three. But I have to wonder if his experience in musical theater gives him an advantage over the other contestants. When it comes to mere stage presence, he's got everyone else beat.

AND SPEAKING OF MY PERSONAL TOP THREE... Now that we've gotten to hear all the contestants in one night, I'm ready to pick my top three: Danny, Adam, and Scott. That's right, I don't see one of the girls in the top three.

WHY NOT LIL? I think Lil is great. But Fantasia not withstanding, American Idol has historically not been good to powerhouse, African American women. Think about it... Tamyra Gray (season 1 - 4th place), Jennifer Hudson (season 3 - 7th place), LaToya London (season 3 - 4th place)... I don't know why this is, but it concerns me about how long Lil will last.

So, based purely on my personal preferences, I think Jasmine and Kris will go home tomorrow. What do you think?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

DiAnn Mills - Dreams that Support Others - WIN A BOOK!

It's my great pleasure to welcome today's guest blogger, author DiAnn Mills!

Dreams that Support Others

One of the definitions of the word “dream” is a fantasy or a wild hope. That sounds exciting to me, like an adventure of the soul. When I began my writing career, I wanted to be published. I wanted to see my name on a book on a retailer’s shelf, a book that glorified God and told a powerful story. But my dreams didn’t end there. A yearning birthed within me to help other writers fulfill their dreams too.

Within the publishing world are committed Christian writers who understand writing is a ministry, and within the ministry is a deeper understanding that every part of a Christian’s life is to glorify God. To me, those ideals propelled me to take whatever I learned on the journey of creating an excellent novel and pass it on to other writers. Those ideals sounded so noble, especially when I didn’t have any words of wisdom to pass on to writers who were equally as hungry to excel in the craft. Odd, my hunger for learning has yet to be satisfied, and I hope that longing doesn’t change.

After a few of my books were published, an idea for a writer’s critique group took form. WORDsmith began with four members—four writers who read each other’s work aloud and offered suggestions and encouragement. Over the years, the group has grown with many of its participants finding publication.

Through the years, I began to nourish the dream of teaching writing workshops at conferences. Resumes and proposals flew over the Internet, and the invitations trickled in. Oh, the high of teaching and helping students fulfill their dreams. The Christian Writer’s Guild offered me the challenge of mentoring their students. This too was a wonderful opportunity to help writers achieve their dreams and goals through a powerful organization under the leadership of Jerry B. Jenkins.

My most recent dream has come true as I have developed a fiction mentoring clinic for a small group of writers who want to concentrate on the craft of fiction writing. Once again, the satisfaction in helping others to achieve their dreams spurs me on to perfect my spiritual life, my personal life, my writing life, and my teaching life.

Visit DiAnn’s website at


DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is an award-winning writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Currently she has over forty books in print with over a million and a half in print. DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and a mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops. DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas.

ABOUT THE BOOK – Breach of Trust

Paige Rogers is a former CIA agent who lost all she treasured seven years ago when her entire team was killed in a covert mission. She blames their leader—Daniel Keary—whom Paige believes betrayed them. Disillusioned and afraid for her life, she disappeared and started a new life as a small-town librarian. But when Keary announces his candidacy for governor of her state, he comes after Paige to ensure that she won't ruin his bid for office. He threatens everything she holds dear, and Paige must choose between the life of hiding that has become her refuge . . . or risking everything in one last, desperate attempt to right old wrongs.


In Breach of Trust, DiAnn Mills poses a tricky question: How does a Christian CIA operative balance the necessities of deceit and subterfuge with her faith? It’s a question that plagues Paige Rogers – AKA Mikaela Olsson. And when Paige finds herself falling for Miles Laird, the small town’s upstanding high school football coach, her life becomes even more tangled.

Mills has written a novel that combines small town charm with spy-thriller intrigue. In a town where not everything is the way it seems, Paige’s journey through regret and remorse to redemption is riveting.


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Breach of Trust, just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on March 16th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Last Night on American Idol

Is it just me, or were the contestants lip syncing the opening number? And really, I know they were being considerate of Scott (who is legally blind) but couldn't they have come up with something a little more original than having the guys sit through the whole thing?

Last night's winners were Lil, Scott and Jorge. I had guessed Lil and Scott, with Jorge as my Wild Card pick, so I was close. Of the eight contestants that are coming back for the WC show, I think Megan, Anoop and Matt will make it through to the top twelve. If they choose Tatiana, I can almost guarantee I will throw a pillow at the TV (because no matter how passionate I am on the subject, I will not throw something heavy and break my TV over her!)

I'm just glad these "semi-finals" are almost over. Next week, we get to the real show. Oughta be good!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Dreams of Tosca Lee - And HAVAH Giveaway!

It's my pleasure to introduce today's talented - and quirky - guest, author Tosca Lee.

Two years ago, I had a vivid dream that my sister was pregnant. I talked to her on the phone the next day. “Nope, not pregnant as far as I know,” she said. I had no idea they were actually trying at that time.

And she had no idea that she was, indeed, pregnant.

Near the same time, I had a dream that a girlfriend in Hungary was pregnant with a girl. She got pregnant with a girl. I had a dream last year that an old boyfriend and his wife were having a baby. I got a note just last month that they had a baby a few months ago.

I don’t have children of my own—something that surprised a recent reader of Havah—but I seem to have a penchant for knowing when others will!


Tosca Lee is the author of Demon: A Memoir--a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Silver Award winner, ACFW Book of the Year second-place winner, and Christy award finalist. Her second novel, Havah: The Story of Eve (October 2008) was just named one of’s top picks of 2008.

ABOUT THE BOOK - Havah: The Story of Eve

Myth and legend shroud her in mystery. Now hear her story.

From paradise to exile, from immortality to the death of Adam. Visit the dawn of mankind through the eyes of Eve—the woman first known as…


"A passionate and riveting story of the Bible’s first woman and her remarkable journey after being cast from paradise. Lee’s superior storytelling will have readers weeping for all that Havah forfeited by a single damning choice."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Once every few years, I come across a book of such scope, such beauty, that it defies description. Havah bridges mankind’s beginnings with the restless state of our present age. . . . Havah is a novel with boundless imagination.”
— ERIC WILSON, author of Field of Blood and Fireproof


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Havah: The Story of Eve, just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on March 11th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

American Idol or American Snooze Fest?

I'm just not feeling the American Idol love right now. Having a top 36 sounded like a good idea, but the reality is that most of the contestants trying to get a spot in the top 12 are pretty boring. Don't get me wrong, there are some good voices in the group, but also a lot of forgettable stuff. So here are my very short thoughts about tonight's show:

WATCH OUT FOR MEATLOAF - When I heard that Nathaniel Marshall was singing "I Would Do Anything For Love" I wanted him to do well. I really did. But it was all wrong. Meatloaf (of whom I am a fan, BTW) is a very theatrical singer. Someone like Adam Lambert could pull off Meatloaf. Poor Nathaniel just came across as corny.

SOMEBODY MUZZLE THE JUDGES - I have to say, four judges seems to be one too many. There's so much talking, it's turning into the "American Judges" show. And all their bickering is downright annoying. Please make it stop!

IT'S NOT ABOUT FUN - If I hear one more contestant say, "I had fun up here" after they turn in a less than stellar performance... Singing in the car is fun. Singing in front of an audience should be fun, but it should also be ON KEY.

Okay, enough ranting from me. Here are my picks for who'll go through tomorrow night:

Top Male - Jorge Nunez - The guy from Puerto Rico has a great voice and he can't help but speak in Spanish when he's excited. How cute is that?
Top Female - Lil Rounds - Two words: No Contest.
Top Third Overall - Felicia Barton - A last minute addition, Felicia has a great voice and cool personality to boot.
Wild Card Choice - Scott MacIntyre - While not the best singer, he's definitely one of the most sincere. And his joking high five with Ryan was priceless.

Your turn! What do you think?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What's New in Christian Fiction - March 2009

Here are 16 new Christian novels coming out this month. Happy reading!

1. A Hundred Years of Happiness 2nd in the Summer Meadows Mysteries by Nicole Seitz from Thomas Nelson. A generous story of family, war, loss and longing . . . of the ways we hide from those we love, and the ways that love finds us anyway.

2. A Silent Terror (High Stakes, Book 1) by Lynette Eason from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Someone wants Marianna Santino dead. Ethan O'Hara is willing to risk everything, including his heart, to keep her alive.

3. Mystery and the Minister's Wife series: A Test of Faith by Carol Cox from Guideposts. When everything falls apart, can faith hold them together?

4. Breach of Trust (Call of Duty Series, Book 1) by DiAnn Mills from Tyndale. Paige Rogers, former CIA agent, must choose between protecting the lives of loved ones or bringing a ruthless killer to justice.

5. Candy-Coated Secrets
2nd in the Summer Meadows Mysteries by Cynthia Hickey from Barbour. Who would have thought escorting an elephant down Highway 64 could lead to murder?

6. Daisy Chain: A Novel (Defiance Texas Trilogy) by Mary DeMuth from Zondervan. The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance haunts the small town of Defiance, Texas. Fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper searches for answers in this gritty and compelling story of love and sorrow, revealing God’s hand of redemption in impossible situations.

7. Daniel's Den by Brandt Dodson from Harvest House Publishers. Daniel and Laura become the objects in a game of cat and mouse where they learn just how big the cat can be - and that it's no game.

8. Fatal Illusions: A Novel by Adam Blumer from Kregel Publications. An obsessive woman, a serial killer, and a sudden winter storm turn a sabbatical in the North Woods into a nightmare that the Thayer family may not escape alive.

9. If Tomorrow Never Comes by Marlo Schalesky from Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishers/Random House. Kinna and Jimmy Henley never planned on infertility stealing their dreams, crushing their love. But it did. Now, their last hope lies with a mysterious woman rescued from the sea.

10. Love Finds You in Humble, Texas by Anita Higman from Summerside Press. Two sisters fall in love with the same man.

11. Michal: A Novel (The Wives of King David) by Jill Eileen Smith from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A princess falls in love with her father's worst enemy - will it cost her everything?

12. Poisoned Secrets
by Margaret Daley from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Maggie spent years searching for her birth mother, but when the past is revealed, the shocking disclosures could tear her life apart.

13.The Hand-Me-Down Family (Love Inspired Historical #28) by Winnie Griggs from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historicals. For the sake of three orphaned children, two scarred individuals - one physically, one emotionally - try to work together to forge a new family.

14. The List by Sherri Lewis from Urban Christian. Four women on a quest to find Godly men based on a list.

15. Wind of the Spirit
The American Patriot Series, Book 3 by J. M. Hochstetler from Sheaf House Publishers. As the patriot cause falters, can her love bridge the miles that separate them--and the savage bonds that threaten to tear him forever from her arms?

16. Yesterday's Embers (Clayburn Novels Series #3), The Clayburn Novels by Deborah Raney from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster. Newlyweds Doug and Mickey must find a way to untangle their knot of hasty choices without breaking the hearts of five precious children or their own in the process.

Happy reading ~