Book Announcement – Painted Dresses

New book I’m in the process of reading. Will come back in a few to review. Enjoy.


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Painted Dresses

(WaterBrook Press – July 15, 2008)

by

Patricia Hickman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Patricia Hickman is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, whose work has been praised by critics and readers alike.

Patricia Hickman began writing many years ago after an invitation to join a writer’s critique group. It was headed up by best-selling author Dr. Gilbert Morris, a pioneer in Christian fiction who has written many best selling titles. The group eventually came to be called the “Nubbing Chits”. All four members of the original “Chits” have gone on to become award-winning and best selling novelists (good fruit, Gil!).

Patty signed her first multi-book contract with Bethany House Publishers. After she wrote several novels “for the market”, she assessed her writer’s life and decided she would follow the leanings of her heart. She says, “It had to be God leading me into the next work which wound up being my first break-out book, Katrina’s Wings. I had never read a southern mainstream novel, yet I knew that one lived in my head, begging to be brought out and developed.” She wanted to create deeper stories that broke away from convention and formula. From her own journey in life, she created a world based upon her hometown in the 70’s, including Earthly Vows and Whisper Town from the Millwood Hollow Series.

Patty and her husband, Randy, have planted two churches in North Carolina. Her husband pastors Family Christian Center, located in Huntersville. The Hickmans have three children, two on earth and one in heaven. Their daughter, Jessi, was involved in a fatal automobile accident in 2001. Through her writing and speaking, Patty seeks to offer help, hope and encouragement to those who walk the daily road of loss and grief.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In this story of sisterhood and unexpected paths, Gaylen Syler-Boatwright flees her unraveling marriage to take refuge in a mountain cottage owned by her deceased aunt. Burdened with looking after her adult sister, Delia, she is shocked to find a trail of family secrets hidden within her aunt’s odd collection of framed, painted dresses. With Delia, who attracts trouble as a daily occupation, Gaylen embarks on a road trip that throws the unlikely pair together on a journey to painful understanding and delightful revelations.

Steeped in Hickman’s trademark humor, her spare writing voice, and the bittersweet pathos of the South, Painted Dresses powerfully captures a woman’s desperate longing to uncover a hidden, broken life and discover the liberty of living authentically, even when the things exposed are shrouded in shame.

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

Be Still Sunday

BeStillSunday

One Thousand Gifts – Part 88

  • 716. J4 – super loving and supportive through it all.
  • 717. A kind hospital staff that made a sad experience not quite so bad.
  • 718. My parents for making the trip to take care of J5.
  • 719. Close friends who know what I’ve been through (by experience) and have been generous and caring.
  • 720. Focused time in God’s word as I waited. Finding that the wait was not wasted time.

Book Announcement – Love as a Way of Life

Love as a Way of Life CoverLove as a Way of Life, by Gary D. Chapman

A full review of this book will be posted within the next few weeks. Until then, please enjoy the following information about this new book.


Book Summary:

For decades Dr. Gary Chapman’s best-selling books have shown readers how to speak the “love language” of those they care about. Now he digs even deeper to uncover the foundations of what it means to cultivate a lifestyle of love and how doing so leads to satisfaction and success in every area of life.

Drawing fresh insights from timeless biblical principles, Chapman presents poignant stories of real people who have discovered the joys of living out the seven characteristics of authentic love: kindness, patience, forgiveness, humility, courtesy, generosity, and honesty. Enhanced with eye-opening self tests, practical ideas for building daily habits of love, and inspiring examples of love’s power to change lives, this book guides readers in putting love to work in all of their interpersonal relationships.

Convinced that in a world of constant conflict people desperately need authentic love, Chapman paints a compelling vision of how life can be richer and relationships more satisfying for anyone who practices Love As a Way of Life.

Author Bio:

Gary Chapman is the author of twenty-five books, including the New York Times bestseller The Five Love Languages, with more than 4 million copies in print. His daily radio program, A Love Language Minute, is broadcast on more than 100 stations nationwide. Chapman, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College, Wake-Forest University, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, serves on the pastoral staff at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Interview with The Author:

  1. Describe some of the everyday situations that can be changed if a person has a foundation of love.

    When love becomes the focus of ones life it will change every encounter we have with people. In the family, the husband is thinking, “what can I do before I leave for work that would be helpful for my wife?” Such thinking may lead him to take the trash out, put his breakfast plates in the dishwasher or feed the baby while his wife takes a shower.

    In the workplace, employees are asking, “on my break, what might I do that would help someone else?” They will also make time to listen to a co-worker who seems to be having a hard time with a personal issue.

    At the bank, post office, or cafeteria, the lover will look people in the eye and smile, perhaps opening the door to a conversation. They will express interest in what is going on in the lives of those they encounter.

    The focus is not on “it’s all about me.” But, rather on “It is all about others.”

  2. What is the take-away message of Love as a Way of Life?

    Love as a Way of Life is designed to help the person who sincerely wants to make a positive impact in the world. I believe that is ‘most of us.’ Our biggest problem is that we don’t know how and we keep getting tripped up by our own selfish ambitions. The purpose of the book is to help us break free from the prison of selfishness and come to experience the satisfaction of truly loving others as a way of life. It is little acts of love that build up to a lifestyle of service.

  3. Why do you need a foundation of love before you start figuring out our love languages?

    The five love languages give information on the most effective way to express love in a meaningful way to a particular person. But, if you are not a loving person – don’t have the heart or will to focus on others – the information is of little value. Most of us must make a conscious change of focus from self to others if we are going to genuinely, and consistently enrich the lives of others. Love as a Way of Life is designed to help people make that change.

  4. When did you realize the need for this book?

    I first recognized the need for Love as a Way of Life when in a counseling session a husband said to me, “I’ll tell you right now, if it is going to take my washing dishes, and doing the laundry for my wife to feel loved, you can forget that.” I had just explained to him the concept of the five love languages and that his wife’s primary love language was ‘acts of service’ and that these acts would deeply communicate his love to her. I realized that he lacked the will to meet his wife’s need for love. He was locked into his own perception of what his role was to be and it did not include washing dishes and doing laundry. I knew at that moment that there was something more foundational than simply knowing a person’s love language.

  5. What are the seven characteristics of lasting love?

    I view love not as a single entity, but as a cluster of traits, which if developed will enhance all of life. These traits are:

    Kindness: discovering the joy of helping others
    Patience: accepting the imperfections of others
    Forgiveness: finding freedom from the grip of anger
    Courtesy: treating others as friends
    Humility: stepping down so someone else can step up
    Generosity: giving your time, money, and abilities to others
    Honesty: caring enough to tell the truth

  6. Why do you think it’s so hard for people to embrace these characteristics?

    All of us have some of these characteristics to some degree. Most people see love as being better than hate. But most of us are comfortable to live somewhere between love and hate in a lifestyle that is fundamentally focused on self. We feel good when we are making money, accumulating things, gaining status, but in time these things do not ultimately satisfy what I call the ‘true self’. The true self longs to make the world a better place to live. To do something to help those less fortunate than we.

    However, we all suffer from the malady of being ego-centric. I call this the ‘false self’. It is that part of man that pulls him to focus on self-preservation and a self-centered lifestyle. This is not all bad. Indeed we must meet our own physical and emotional needs in order to continue life. It is when we never get beyond this self focus, that life becomes a ‘dog eat dog’ world where everyone is out for self even at the expense of others. Such a life never brings long-term satisfaction. However it is often later in life that people discover the emptiness of selfish living. I’m hoping that Love as a Way of Life will help people discover the satisfaction of developing the ‘true self’ earlier in life.

Waiting

Though it’s still difficult to talk about, I wanted to share here that we found out on Wednesday that I have miscarried. While we wait for the physical eventualities, I am going to remain somewhat offline for a while.

Thanks for understanding.

Book Review – Edge of Recall – Rating: 9 out of 10

Edge of Recall CoverEdge of Recall, by Kristen Heitzmann

How I came to read this book:

CFBA

I apologize for the brevity of this report. I am in the middle of many things, and am actually lucky to be posting this at all!

Score Summary

  • Content: 10
  • Writing Style: 10
  • Re-readability: 8
  • Busy Mommy Scale: 8

Content

Kristen Heitzmann is one of my very favorite authors. This book was up to her usual standards. I HIGHLY recommend it!

Writing Style

Like I said, I love her style of writing. She sucks me in. Due to time constraints I had to put aside a bunch of things to read this in time to post today. I read it in the span of an evening and a morning. Fortunately, it had enough suspense in it to really have me churning through it!

Re-readability

I’ll keep it. I will eventually re-read. The nature of the suspense makes it a little less of a “reread” once you know the ending, but is good enough to do so anyway.

Busy Mommy Scale

Not in the perfect “little pieces” style that would make a perfect Busy Mommy book, but so good it’s worth the time to set aside.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Of her three main interests, art, music and writing, she chose to study English at the University of Colorado and thrived on Creative Writing and Literature classes. She married her husband Jim, and turned her energy to building a family. They have four children whom they have home schooled for all or most of their education. Kristen is a music minister with the ecumenical covenant community People of Praise.

Once she realized the stories in her head were truly a calling from the Lord, she made writing not just a passion, but a ministry. She has written seven historical fiction novels as part of the The Rocky Mountain Legacy series, the Diamond of the Rockies series, and the Christy Award winner Secrets. Most recently, she has written several contemporary fiction novels, including Echoes, Freefall and Unforgotten.

Kristen and her husband, Jim, and their family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she serves as worship leader in their church.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tessa Young, an up-and-coming landscape architect who specializes in the design and creation of labyrinths, has immersed herself in the mythological, spiritual, and healing aspects of the elaborate structures. She also is searching for God and hoping to make sense of the nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.

When Smith Chandler, an estranged colleague–with whom she’d half fallen in love a dozen times before catching herself every time–calls to propose a project he claims is the opportunity of a lifetime, she reluctantly agrees to check it out. Smith is reconstructing a pre-Revolutionary War abbey for wealthy clients. Among its remarkable features is an overgrown labyrinth.

Unable to resist, Tessa accepts his offer to work with him. Soon she is immersed in the project of a lifetime. But one evening, after weeks of work in the labyrinth, Tessa and Smith are attacked. While protecting Tessa, Smith is stabbed, and the nightmare begins…again.

If You would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

Book Review – Love Starts With Elle – Rating: 9 out of 10

Love Starts With Elle CoverLove Starts With Elle, by Rachel Hauck

How I came to read this book:

Another wonderful CFBA book. This one barely made it. I didn’t receive it until a couple days ago and read it in just two days! (No, it’s not a particularly short book, I just hate posting announcements rather than reviews on books!)

Score Summary

  • Content: 9
  • Writing Style: 10
  • Re-readability: 8
  • Busy Mommy Scale: 9

Content

Even though I wasn’t able to linger over the story line as much as I would have preferred, I really did enjoy this book a lot. I would like to read more by this author and plan to scope out what else she has written. It’s a nice basic Christian romance. Not too much craziness to confuse, but enough energy and plot to keep me reading.

Writing Style

Very enjoyable. Good use of language to paint pictures without making me struggle to understand.

Re-readability

It’s a keeper – and good to loan out. It’s a good summer reading kind of book.

Busy Mommy Scale

Well, I actually managed to read this book in about two days so it rates pretty well with me!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachel Hauck is a forty-something, a child of the ’60’s, ’70’s, ’80’s, ’90’s and ’00’s, who roller skated through the ’70’s into the ’80’s with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero. She graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism.

After graduation, she hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, destermined to see the world. But, she’s traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine.

Rachel met Tony, her husband, in ’87, at church, of all places. They married in ’92.
They don’t have any children of their own, just lots of kids-in-the-Lord and they love them all. However, they do have two very spoiled dogs, and a very demanding cat.

With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ‘ 04, Lambert’s Pride, a romance novel. My current release is Sweet Caroline from Thomas Nelson. Romantic Times Book Club gave both books their highest rank of 4.5 stars, with Love Starts With Elle being honored as Top Pick!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Elle’s living the dream-but is it her dream or his?

Elle loves life in Beaufort, South Carolina-lazy summer days on the sand bar, coastal bonfires, and dinners with friends sharing a lifetime of memories. And she’s found her niche as the owner of a successful art gallery too. Life is good.

Then the dynamic pastor of her small town church sweeps her off her feet. She’s never known a man like Jeremiah-one who breathes in confidence and exhales all doubt. When he proposes in the setting sunlight, Elle hands him her heart on a silver platter.

But Jeremiah’s just accepted a large pastorate in a different state. If she’s serious about their relationship, Elle will take “the call,” too, leaving behind the people and place she loves so dearly. Elle’s friendship with her new tenant, widower Heath McCord, and his young daughter make things even more complicated.

Is love transferrable across the miles? And can you take it with you when you go?

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