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Monday, October 29, 2007

Awesome way to welcome the holidays

By: Rene Gutteridge

Readers have come to love the eccentric characters from Skary, Indiana, in Rene Gutteridge’s popular Boo! series. Now, in Boo, Humbug! they’re back – and they’re stirring up a large amount of holiday havoc.

It’s Christmastime in Skary, and the town is planning an original production of A Christmas Carol with a horror spin. As showtime approaches, things go very awry for director Lois Stepaphanopolis. She panics when she discovers that her marketing director loathes Christmas and that the audience has been promised not Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but the real Christmas story. Can the actors pull off the improv of all improvs and convince their community to embrace the true meaning of the Christmas season?

Boo, Humbug! offers readers a delightful glimpse into small town, community life with heartwarming humor and winsome characters. And in the end, the true meaning of Christmas shines out bright and clear, in a decidedly un-Skary way.

Author Bio

Rene Gutteridge is the author of 10 novels, including the Boo series, the Storm series, The Occupational Hazards series and My Life as a Doormat, a Women of Faith selection for 2006. She has been published over 30 times as a playwright, and holds a degree in screenwriting, graduating magna cum laude from Oklahoma State University. Rene is married to Sean, a musician, and they have two young children. They make their home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Amy here: Rene is one of my favorite authors and I was SO excited to hear that another Boo book was in the works. Having read this fun book, I'm thrilled to share Rene's awesome town of Skary, Indiana and her amazing writing with you all!

This book was a real holiday treat with a twist! I laughed and nodded in agreement with the cast of quirky characters as they sorted through new parenting struggles and community life.

Leave me a note and I'll pick TWO blessed winners of this great new book!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Get the scoop!

Here's a very cool scoop to get in on...

Today's blog tour introduces a friend of mine~ the amazing Tricia Goyer~ and one of her unique and incredible books~ My Life, Unscripted.

Below you'll find...

an interview with Tricia

a contest you won't want to miss

links to read more

and a chance to win a copy of this awesome book!

my life, unscripted

Drawing on Biblical principles, My Life, Unscripted guides girls through the tumultuous teen years by teaching them to have a plan of attack before temptation or hardship come.

Tricia's Script:

Looking back at my drama-filled teen years I now wonder ... What was I thinking?

The truth? I wasn't. I lived from day to day on every wave of emotion. Some days excitement and passion partnered up, pattering wildly within my heart.

Other days, depression and anxiety were my silent friends. I lived each day as it came, with no plan for my future, for my relationships, or for my heart.

I lived my life completely unscripted ... and, well, it didn't go well for me. Teen pregnancy and a broken heart were only two consequences. Yet my prayer is that when teen girls are asked Who's Writing Your Life? their answer will be ME ... with the guidance of God, My Director.

First Chapter of My Life, Unscripted

An interview with Tricia Goyer!

Q: Tell me about My Life, Unscripted

Sure! With real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, My Life, Unscripted helps teen girls explore their own inner struggles and outward relationships. It's my hope they'll learn the importance of "scripting" their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise.

By contrasting real-life with TV/movies, it's my hope that teen girls will understand they don't have to get caught up in the drama. They don't have to face situations as they arise, but rather they can think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before they hit the big screen of their lives.

Q: Is it true that much of YOUR story shows up in these pages?

Gulp. Yes, I'm afraid so. In fact, I shared parts of my story that I SWORE I'd never tell a soul.

My teenage script (portrayed in the book as Trish Valley) wasn't one I'd suggest my daughter, nor my readers to copy.

Q: Tell me about these scripts.

The introductory script of Trish Valley shows a scene where Trish urges her mom to follow Trish's boyfriend into the McDonald's parking lot so she can "spill her news." The other girl in the car and her boyfriend's response to Trish's pregnancy are unfortunately not fiction. I wrote out the scenes as they would appear in an actual script. I even use all the correct terms and layout.

Q: In addition to teen pregnancy, what are some of the other "scripts"?

Do I have to tell? Well, I guess it's in print now! Let me see: fists fights with a rival, sneaking out of my parents' house, getting caught by my boyfriend kissing his best friend--does that give you an idea? Do I have to go on?

Q: No, you can stop there. But WHY? Why did you decide to share these stories?

First, because I want girls to understand the heartache of unwise decisions. I want to them to be able to relate to me, rather than feeling preached at. Also, I wanted to share my stories because many young women have faced the same type of situations, or they know friends who have. And finally because they are great object lessons for the importance of following biblical truth. That is something I did learn!

Q: What does your teenage daughter think about this book?

Leslie thinks it's great I'm able to connect with other teens. She's heard these stories for a while! She was 11-years-old when we first started volunteering together at a support group for teenage mothers together. As I taught the young moms things like nutrition and potty training, Leslie assisted adults in babysitting the toddlers. And while we loved giving and serving, it was the ride home that soon became the most meaningful part. As Leslie sat in the passenger's seat, I could see her mind considering my life as a teen mom, and she started asking questions.

Although it was hard to talk about my past mistakes, I knew this was an ideal opportunity to share real-life truths with my daughter. Each person walking this earth has regrets. Our talks showed me that instead of hiding my past troubles (and hoping my kids didn't find out) sharing my mistakes could actually give my daughter a better understanding to why values and wise decision-making skills are important.

Q: So now you're "having a heart-to-heart" with other teens through this book?

I sure hope that's how they see it! Those first talks with my daughter brought us closer, but I knew not every girl has had someone to offer advice such as: "build a supporting cast of people you can trust" or "consider the character qualities you'd like for a leading man."

Q: Okay, so your book is for teens, but what about the moms out there who feel they have past mistakes they don't want to share?

Well, they could each write a book about their teen years! Ha- just kidding!

But for those moms out there, maybe your teen years were not as drama-filled as mine. Or, if they were, maybe you are fearful of sharing them with your teen. The truth is, teens learn best not with information and knowledge, but rather by hearing life examples and understanding how decisions can affect all parts of our lives. So, time to get brave, Mom. Open your heart and share what worked and what didn't. It just might help your daughter write a better script for herself.

Oh, yes, and consider buying your daughter My Life, Unscripted! Hopefully every teen girl can get some take-away to scripting a bright future!

Tricia's Bio

Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing: From Dust and Ashes (2003); Night Song (2004), Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005); Arms of Deliverance (2006); A Valley of Betrayal (2007); A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007); and A Whisper of Freedom (Spring 2008). Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category. Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).

Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia's grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children's church. Although Tricia doesn't live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.

Tricia has two books that will be out soon ...A Shadow of Treason (Moody Publishing), Fall 2007 and Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah), January 2008

Here's the contest scoop:

The Facts of Life was teen girl drama at its finest. Yet today's teens know life is NOT like the movies. Real life means real drama ... something teens face on a daily basis. Yet, do teens have to let their lives be molded by every wave of emotion?

My Life, Unscripted empowers teen girls to write their own script and direct their own life by using God's Script as a guide.

Tricia would LOVE to have you write a sample script from your teen years and post it on your blog along with information about this book! It could be where you make a good choice ... or a not so good one. Then share briefly how God's Word helps you as you script YOUR life!

The person with most creative blog post during the tour will win a $100 gift certificate to Amazon or a gift basket which includes starbucks coffee, amazon gift card, an itunes gift card and more.

There will also be 5 runner up small gift baskets.

Amy here: This is an AWESOME book for those of us heading into the teen years or those of us who teach teens. Leave me a note in the guestbook and I'll draw a winner for this great book at the end of the week.

Plus, let us know if you write a sample script! I'd love to check it out!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby

All day yesterday, we celebrated the wonderful occasion of my baby's birthday. We spent the day at Zoo Atlanta, laughing, taking pictures, and relishing a wonderful time with family.

Being a nostalgic kinda gal, I wanted to enjoy looking at my Sweet Sunshine's baby book, but it was difficult. Why? Well, four years ago yesterday my baby and I almost didn't make it home. Lots of complications in the delivery left my blood pressure bottoming out and then later kept me from holding my little one for waaaayyy too long.

But we made it. And I have a precious daughter who completes our family and truly lights up a room whenever she enters.

So instead of recounting the hard stuff, I'd like to share some funny things our littlest princess has said over the years...

In answer to the question, "Who are you?" my then two-year-old kiddo proudly answered, "I a pwincess!"

This same two year old loved Christmas lights and on one sight-seeing outing exclaimed, "Ho Ho Ho lites! Yea lites! Meh-wee Kiss-mas!"

At three, her favorite musician was Steve Green. She could often be found dancing around the playroom singing, "Me a cheerful giver ha ha ha ha ha!" and "I good meah-cine me." (Two scripture songs about being a cheerful giver and laughter being good medicine.)

Other three-year-old songs: "tee, oo, vee, double x, y, an z. Now you ABC's next time is you sing wiss me." and "Victee in Jezuss, my saves-your for-evr. He sot me an got me wiss His wedeemin bud!" (That's Victory in Jesus)

She's often heard saying, "I be sank-you-full!" (thankful) and if she's accused of doing something wrong, we hear: "No I amen't!"

And one of the best sayings, "Mommy, I lob you!"

But my favorite by far has been: "Jesus, come into my heart. Put your good heart into mine. Please forgive me for my sin an cleanse my heart."

Happy Birthday, my Sweet Sunshine! You light up my world and remind me that no matter what, God is good all the time. You also help me treasure these awesome moments of childhood. Thanks for not growing up too fast and for always being my baby.

Thanks for taking a happy walk down memory lane with me. I love birthdays. Remembering the good times, praising God for the years, and looking forward to what's in store. Even more, I adore and cherish the precious blessings the Lord has delivered into my home.

What about you? Any cute kid stories from your childhood or those of little ones you love? Let's extend yesterday's fun and have you all join in!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Tour for Never Look Back


Book summary:

The day Ivy Griffith walks out of jail after serving her sentence for withholding evidence in the Joe Hadley murder case, she is ready to put her years of pain and drug abuse behind her. A new job at her parents’ Christian camp in Colorado promises stability in this new season, but she is unprepared for her brother’s indifference toward her and her son, Montana. When camp worker Rue Kessler takes an interest in Montana, Ivy hopes the attention will make up for the rejection her son is feeling—and she doesn’t mind the attention Rue directs her way either.

Then a rash of crimes turns deadly, and Ivy suspects that Rue isn’t all he appears to be. But how can she condemn another when she knows the pain of accusation? The mysteries increase as Ivy struggles to move beyond the secrets of her past. Along the way, she discovers that the hardest person to forgive might be herself.

This fast-paced suspense novel continues the Phantom Hollow series with a rich exploration of the risks and possibilities of starting over.

Meet Kathy:

Award-winning author Kathy Herman has been on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) and at Better Books Christian Center in Texas. She has conducted educational seminars at CBA conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served as a judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards, and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market. She is the author of twelve novels, including the bestsellers Tested by Fire and All Things Hidden. Kathy and her husband, Paul, live in Tyler, Texas.

Amy here:
This was my first Kathy Herman novel and while I don't usually like jumping into a series out of order, I didn't feel lost with Never Look Back. Kathy told me just enough so that I could follow along with the characters and understand what happened before.

One of the things I most enjoyed about Never Look Back was the loving relationships between characters~ Ivy and her son, Montana and his grandparents, and the folks at the camp. From the start of the story I cared about Ivy and could relate to her desire to start over while at the same time having baggage to deal with which made not looking back difficult.

From the tense opening scene to the satisfying ending, Never Look Back is a story to devour, enjoy and listen to see what the Lord is saying to your heart.
In case you don't already have Never Look Back and book one~ Ever Present Danger~ you've come to the right place! ;-) I have both Phantom Hollow series books just for you!
Leave me a note in the guestbook and I'll draw a winner the end of the week.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'm baaacckkk! ;-)

Well, sort of! I told a friend earlier that I'm doing great after surgery as long as I don't think about the elephant sitting on my shoulder roasting marshmallows in my bones.


But praise God, the surgery went well, they worked on the correct arm, and edits were turned in!!! There's a party going on for all that.

And I read an email note from a dear friend to find out she awarded this to me...

Amy at the Peek-A-Boo ICU. What can I say? This girlfriend is real about her faith...and I never fail to walk away without being forced to be real about mine.

Talk about a heart chocolate compliment!!! Thanks so much, Heather! You made my week!

Here's the definition of the award:

It is called Mathetes Award. Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple. The role of the disciple is to make more disciples (as written in the Great Commission).We are challenged to find five more people who share the message in their own ways. Winners of this award must pick five other "disciples" to pass it on to. The originator of the award is Dan King of management by God.

I hope you'll forgive me if I don't do all the links and such, because I'm starting to wear out. But this is such a beautiful award, I wanted to pass it on as well...

My five would be some extra special folks I know in real life and in the blogsphere who are true disciple makers with their heart chocolate lives...

My hubby~ he's growing and learning and even when we don't get along, I have to admit he loves God and longs to be the man God made him to be. He makes disciples at home, at work, and even at the grocery!

Sharon Hinck~ never have I met a writer who so clearly and cleverly shares the gospel and our God with such passion through her novels, her blog, her wonderful emails, and her life. I'm so glad you're my friend!

Heather Nations~ what a gift from God you are! You challenge me, encourage me, and make me want to be a better person. I know I'm not alone in being shown how to be more like Christ through you.

Jen Keithley~ God knew I needed both loving rebukes and laughter in abundance, so He chocolate covered my life through you. It helps that you send me mint chocolate chip brownies in the mail too. ;-)

I'm gonna do a three in one here and say my daughters~ you make disciples where ever you go because you show the world His love and joy. It's an honor to be your mommy and to watch God work in amazing ways through you.

Okay, well, I'm about spent, but it's good to pop back in and say hello! Thanks so much for your continued prayers!!!

Abundant grace!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In case you miss me...

I'm heading to the hospital in the morning for my long awaited shoulder surgery. Please pray!

I had to wait until edits were turned in and PRAISE GOD they are. ;-)

Since I'll be slinging around for a while and unable to type, I figured I'd leave you all with a great joke from my oldest daughter~ she was on 104.7 THE FISH!

And here's a way to hear from me while I'm recovering~ a very fun interview I did with a radio station in Canada~ UCB Canada

Never fear, I won't be gone too long. ;-) I have some cool blog tours coming up and more awesome books to give away. Plus, my baby's birthday and a picture to share.

And since God is God, I'm sure He'll have some things to teach me through this whole surgery thing. ;-) So stay tuned....

Abundant grace!!!

is introducing


Creston Mapes is a talented storyteller whose first two novels, Dark Star and Full Tilt, made him a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year awards and the Inspirational Readers Choice awards. Creston has written for major corporations, colleges, and ministries, including Coca-Cola, TNT Sports, Oracle, Focus on the Family, and In Touch Ministries.

Committed to his craft and his family, Creston makes his home in Georgia with his wife, Patty, and their four children. He's been married for twenty-one years to the girl he first loved way back in fourth grade. They have three lovely girls and a boy in a very close-knit family, spending a lot of time together - watching old classic movies, going on outings, and taking in various school and community events and activities. Creston loves to go for morning walks with his dog, read, paint watercolors, meet friends for coffee and Bible study, watch hockey, take his wife on dates, and spend time in God's Word.


Not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas!

They said, “He’s a nobody.”

They were dead wrong.

When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop.

His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation–and perhaps a chunk of the money–into his own hands?

With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious dead man, but about the lost soul lurking within himself.

Uncovering bizarre links between a plane crash, a Las Vegas pit boss, a dirty cop, and a widowed Atlanta business mogul, Hudson is forced to find out: who was Chester Holte, what was he doing on the streets, and why are his homeless friends convinced he was an angel in disguise?

“Nobody was absolutely riveting from the opening scene to the final page. With compelling characters, a plot that surprised me at every turn, and a subtle, yet profound message that moved me to tears, this book goes straight to the top of my highly recommended list.”- Deborah Raney, author of Remember to Forget and Within This Circle

“A taut, entertaining novel of mystery, intrigue, and spiritual truth. Creston Mapes delivers a winner in Nobody.”- James Scott Bell, bestselling author of No Legal Grounds and Try Dying

“Nobody had me fascinated from the first paragraph and kept the surprises coming to the very end. Somehow, as the pages flew by, it also managed to convey a beautiful picture of faith the size of a mustard seed. From now on I’ll read anything by Creston Mapes the instant it hits the shelves.”- Athol Dickson, Christy Award—winning author of River Rising and The Cure

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A party in heaven

Today there is much rejoicing in heaven and in the Wallace home! Why, you ask? Well, I have to tell you a little story first...

Once upon a time there was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was very, very good.
But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Longfellow didn't know my youngest princess when he penned that poem, but he captured her perfectly!

And that little princess has challenged me and made my life a joy for four wonderful years now. But today, she did something we've been praying about, talking about, and trying to be patient about too.

You see, she's been asking tons of questions about God, the cross, and prayer. All we've heard before now was that she wanted to be like her sisters and that she loved God.

Then today, in the middle of breakfast and sounding like she was talking about the weather, she said this: ""I was prayin' in my room 'bout my sin and Jesus putting His heart in me."

The room went silent.

I got teary and both my older girls got wide-eyed and uncharacteristically awestruck without words.

I made the most of the silence and talked to my youngest about Jesus dying for our sin and what it means to become a Christian. Mostly questions.

Ones she answered simply and better than I could have done when I became a Christian at 15.

Not being a child who likes to wait when she sets her mind to doing something, she didn't want to put off praying until her daddy got home from work.

So we made use of technology and put Daddy on speaker phone.

With a tear-choked voice, he proceeded to ask our kiddo lots of other questions. And the more she answered, the more evident it became that today was indeed a party day.

We knelt to pray, well, more like huddled on the floor in front of the cell phone. ;-) And my little princess said this, "Jesus, come into my heart. Put your good heart into mine. Please forgive me for my sin an cleanse my heart."

Later, she explained what happens when people became a Christian this way: "He got our sin out of us and put His good things into us."

Wow. I'm one celebrating, teary-eyed, totally in awe (but not struck wordless) mommy.

One more quote from today....

Dancing around and hugging everyone over and over, my littlest one said, "I'm the spiritual birthday one! I'm a Cwisstan (Christian)!"

Come join the party going on in heaven and at the Wallace home. My little girl now has Jesus' heart inside!

Come talk to me tonight at FabChat!

Tonight from 9- 11 PM EST, I'll be talking with FabChat host Karina Fabian and hopefully you too!

We'll chat about Ransomed Dreams, writing inspirational FBI suspense, or anything else the Lord lays on your heart. We'll also be giving away a copy of Ransomed Dreams! Even if you have a copy, come stop by because you can win a book for a friend. Books make great gifts. ;-)

So come join me for a fun two hour real time chat on FabChat! See you tonight!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

is introducing

Kristin is one of my favorite people and a pioneer chick lit author who writes books that go waaaayyy beyond "beach read" novels. Despite being a seriously busy lady, she's an honest, real, and fun person to know who gives of her time to encourage and teach writers at all levels of their craft.

I'm saving up to buy her a Beamer (after I fund my first new car) because that's the only way she'll write more Ashley Stockingdale novels. And I NEED more Ashley! ;-)

But beyond Ashley, Kristin has written numerous novels and the book we're talking about today~ The Trophy Wives Club.

I'm not a Hollywood fan, but Kristin has a way of making me care about people I'd never meet who lead lives I can't fathom. The Trophy Wives Club is a story about real emotions and heart-warming triumph. This story goes beyond bottled blondes with Louis Vuitton bags to the realistic pain of divorce and the hope of second chances.

Now for more about Kristin and her newest book, The Trophy Wives Club. Read on and then leave a note in the guestbook for your chance to win a copy of this great chick lit novel!


Kristin Billerbeck was born in Redwood City, California. She went to San Jose State University and majored in Advertising, then worked at the Fairmont Hotel in PR, a small ad agency as an account exec, and then, she was thrust into the exciting world of shopping mall marketing.

She got married, had four kids, and started writing romance novels until she found her passion: Chick Lit. She is a CBA bestselling author and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year. Featured in the New York Times and USA Today, Kristin has appeared on the Today Show for her pioneering role in Christian chick lit.

Other recent books by Kristin:


Haley Cutler is the consummate trophy wife. Perhaps "was" is the more accurate term. Haley married Prince Charming when she was only twenty years old – back in the day when highlights came from an afternoon at the beach, not three hours in the salon.

When Jay first turned his eye to Haley, she was putty in his slender, graceful hands. No one ever treated her like she was important, and on the arm of Jay Cutler, she became someone people listened to and admired. Unfortunately, after seven years of marriage, her Prince Charming seems to belong to the Henry the XIII line of royalty. When Haley loses Jay, she not only loses her husband, she loses her identity.

With her first independent decision, Haley leaves LA and moves home to Northern California. Feeling freedom just within her grasp, Haley learns that her settlement payments must go through one of Jay's financial advisors, Hamilton Lowe. Haley believes he's nothing more than a spy. And the feelings of distrust are mutual. Yet somehow, Hamilton finds himself handing over the monthly checks in person, and Haley can't deny that there's a kind of tenderness and protectiveness in Hamilton that she's never experienced in a man before.

But before Haley can even consider another relationship, she must learn to accept her inherent worth, and what it is to be loved for who she is, not what's on the outside.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Quick hello!

I'm back from keynoting an AWESOME book club retreat with some incredible ladies and our amazing God. I'll get some pictures posted soon... after the edits are done. I'm close, but please keep praying! ;-)

Here's the reason I'm popping in for a quick update...

Do you see the last entry on the cover???? That's MY name! I'm so excited to share this because it's a beautiful kiss from God and a tangible reminder that He sees and is at work even when we don't realize it.

Here's the link to the CWO Book Buzz interview and review. Stop by and let Laurel know she rocks! ;-)
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