Favorite Author?

Recently I was asked to name my favorite author.  I paused.  There are so many possible responses.  How do I know which one to give?

L.M. Montgomery, who wrote Anne of Green Gables, the book that made me want to be a writer?

Karen Kingsbury, whose work made me realize that it is possible to make a living writing fiction that honors God?

Linore Rose Burkhard, who writes the most amazing Regency Romance stories I’ve ever read?

Christa Allan, whose work never ceases to amaze me and always makes me stop to think?

Or maybe my favorite is one of the many other authors whose books pepper the shelves scattered throughout my home.  In truth, I can’t pick just one favorite.  There are so many books that I enjoy, so many authors whose words transport me to a different place (and often a different time), so many stories that have impacted my life.  Choosing just one is nearly as impossible as choosing which of my three sons is my favorite.

I think that is what I enjoy the most about reviewing books.  I get to read genres I might normally pass over in the store or at the library.  Sometimes, I find that a book I would not normally consider to be “my thing” (Twilight comes to mind here) is one that was well worth the reading.  Sometimes I find one that I would normally be tempted to buy is one that I am better off without (nope, don’t ask….not gonna give a name!)  And sometimes I find a new author I’d never read before who really speaks to me.

That is what happened with Kathi Macias.  Kathi’s books are very inspirational to me.  All of them that I have read so far involve young women in difficult situations, situations that are impossible for humans to get through alone.  They are good reminders that no matter how bad things seem, God can make something beautiful from the ashes. Her most recent book, Special Delivery, is what I am reading right now.  It is a well-written, very powerful look at the ugly world of human trafficking.  I haven’t finished the book yet, so I can’t write a review of it at the moment.  But I will have the book done before the weekend is over, and a review will posted on Monday.  Be sure to stop by then to check it out!

In the meantime, you can check out the review I have posted about her book, People of the Book.

And, just in case you are interested, People of the Book has landed near the top of my favorite book list!

How about you?  What are your favorite books and favorite authors?

Anne of Green GablesKathi MacaisPeople of the BookSpecial Delivery

Tamara Leigh’s DREAMSPELL

I have vivid dreams.  Sometimes when I wake up, I can’t tell for a few moments if the dream really happened or not.  More times than I can count, I’ve wondered what it would be like to not wake up from the dream, to just make a life for myself in that dream world.  I have to wonder if author Tamara Leigh ever had those same thoughts.  She must have, because that is what happens in her new novel Dreamspell.

Kennedy Plain is a doctor, studying the effects of sleep deprivation on dreams.  She is also battling terminal cancer.  The end is nearing, and she knows it.  She just wants to finish this one last project before it’s too late.  One of her study subjects, MacArthur Crosley, brings to her an interesting concept….  He claims his dreams of life in a medieval land are more than just dream—Mac believes he was really there, really witnessed the events written in the book “The Sins of the Earl of Sinwell.”  He has read the book and dreamed about, and every time he re-reads the book, events are changed due to what he has done in his dreams.  To say that Kennedy is skeptical is an understatement…until she falls asleep and wakes up in the same book.  She meets Fulke Wynland, and though she doesn’t trust him at first (after all, he is the antagonist in the book Mac has given her to read), Kennedy soon finds herself falling for the dashing earl.

This book was not what I expected from Tamara Leigh.  The first of her novels that I read, Faking Grace, was a fun, inspirational “chick lit” book.  That is what I expected to read here, as well.  To be honest, when I started reading it I was disappointed.  Time travel through dreams?  That sounded a little too sci-fi for my tastes.  But I kept reading, and soon I was caught up in the romance and adventure.  Though they don’t trust one another—for many valid reasons—Fulke and Kennedy can’t fight the attraction they feel.  Despite what they believe about one another, the love is there.  And it is a fierce love that transcends time and space.  And the ending….  I don’t want to give it away, but I must say that I loved the tender way Leigh ended this story.  Oh how I wish I could crawl into the pages of the book and listen the conversation that is just beginning between Laurel and Hunt!

Dreamspell was definitely worth the time it took to read it!  It is on my Kindle and will stay there for a long time.  I know that I will go back and reread it again.  It’s one of those stories that doesn’t just go away.

Amazon KindleChick LitDreamDream world (plot device)DreamspellFaking GraceTamara Leigh

F is for Family

I love my family.  Good thing, I suppose, since God has blessed me with a rather large one.  I have three sons and one husband at home (and as much as I love him, I am so glad it is not one son and three husbands!)  My husband has 4 younger siblings, and through them I have six nieces and nephews.  He also has three older siblings, and I honestly do not know how many nieces and nephews are there.  I have three older sisters and two younger sisters–combined, they have given me 15 nieces and nephews.  My Dad has one brother, so there are two cousins on that side, plus their children.  Mom is the youngest of six (I think it is more like 10, but only six survived until adulthood) and I can’t even count the cousins on that side of the family.  Sixteen first cousins, I believe, and then all of their children.

God has blessed me with a huge family!

Today, I get to see a lot of my extended family.  I only wish it was for a happy occasion.  Instead, we are gathering to say good-bye to Tina, my 52-year-old cousin who lost her battle with cancer this week.

That’s the problem with a large family….  We are all so busy with our own daily lives that we only get together for weddings and funerals.  Now that most of the cousins are already married, that leaves funerals.  NOT a happy time to get together.


E is for Empty

Empty.  That pretty well describes my mind right now.  Exhausted is another apt description.  I am tired and have no clue what to say right now.  Yet I made a commitment to this ABC blog and I intended to honor it.  This might not be the most interesting thing I have ever written but at least it is something.

Now I can sleep.  Maybe I will dream of something worth writing.


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a to z challenge

D is for Dreams

It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain then.  
Proverbs 13:19, New Living Translation

I was 12 when I discovered my love of books.  Anne of Green Gables.  That is the book that first got me hooked.  There was nothing I loved more than getting lost in reading a good story.  Nothing, other than writing my own stories.  At the time, I had a teacher who was very supportive and very demanding, all at once.  She nurtured my dream to write by pushing me to put my thoughts on paper.

There was a time, though, when the dream nearly died.  I knew that I wanted to write, but I was scared.  Scared that I would have to write what the world wanted.  Scared that making a living with words would mean turning my back on everything that my parents had taught me.  That fear, even during the moments when I was not really living for Christ, held me back from writing anything.

I did spend some time writing stories that I am ashamed of now.  I loved the feedback that I was getting, all the kudos about my stories.  But it felt hollow.  The stories were not honoring God in any way.  Even though I wasn’t living for Him, somehow I knew that He didn’t approve of how I was using the talent He had given me.  And though people seemed to like what I was writing, I was unable to really enjoy it.

Ever since I started trusting that my dreams are in His hands and not trying to hold them in my own, things have been different.  I have a new joy in my writing, something I hope that my readers pick up on.  I still get compliments on it.  I still have people tell me how wonderful my stories are.  The difference?  Now I can smile and say, “I just let God write it through me.”

C is for Children

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

This has always been an intriguing verse to me.  It used to make me think of my mother’s family.  Mom and her five siblings were raised bu Christian parents.  Yet not all of them led Christian lives.  I often saw how that bothered Mom and heard her pray for them.  She would cling to this verse, believing that her brother and sister would embrace the love of God again someday.

Lately, I have found myself clinging to this more and more for my own children.  I am scared for them.  Scared to see them make the same mistakes and questionable choices that I made in my tern years.  I wasted years of my life, trying to tin from God and live life on my own terms.  There are so many temptations that my boys face that I never did.  It would be al easy for them to get lost….

Giving them over to God is what I need to do.  I need to trust that we have given the boys the best spiritual foundation that we can and believe that they will always remember what their parents and grandparents have taught them.

Giving them tto God ia the easy part.  Trusting in myself as an example….  Now that is a bit harder.

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B is for Believe

You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that–and shudder.  James 2:19, NIV

I believe there is one God.  I believe that He sent His one and only Son to earth, to be born in a manger, to be raised by a poor carpenter and his wife, and to be brutally murdered in my place.

But belief is not enough.

Even the demons believe the things that I do.  The trick–if you want to call it a trick–is to act on what I believe.  What good do beliefs of any kind do if those beliefs are not put into practice?

Ask–April A to Z

Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking and you will find.  Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8, New Living Translation

If you ask, you will get it.

If you look for it, you will find it.

If you knock on it, it will be opened for you.

That’s what the Bible says.  What the Bible doesn’t say, specifically, is just what “it ” is.

I don’t believe –and feel free to tell me if you think I am wrong –that this means you will be given every little thing that you ask for.  I read it as if you ask, God will give you SOMETHING.  He may not give you exactly what you are asking for.  I can tell you many times in my life where I have asked for something and God didn’t give me what I asked for.  But in each case, He has given me exactly what I need.

And really, that is better than what I could really ask for.

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