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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Shepherd's Fall

My husband kidnapped my book for this week's CFBA tour~ that should tell you how good this book is from a male bibliophile's perspective. ;-)

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Shepherd's Fall

WaterBrook Press (April 14, 2009)


Wanda Dyson


Wanda Dyson lives with her severely autistic teenager on a busy farm with horses, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, and the occasional fox, deer, groundhog, and snake. She could seriously live without the snakes, but that's life in the country.

After writing three critically acclaimed suspense novels, she was asked to write the true story of Tina Zahn (Why I Jumped), which was featured on Oprah. Readers characterize her books as "riveting" and "Packed with twists and turns."

Wanda serves on the board of several writers conferences across the country including the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.

Wanda has finished the second in this series called Shepherd's Run, that will come out in 2010. And she's hard at work on the third and final installment of the Prodigal Recovery Series - Marti's story -- tentatively called Shepherd's Quest.


Bounty hunter Nick Shepherd is fearless when it comes to chasing down criminals. It's his difficult ex-wife, rebellious teenage daughter, and dysfunctional siblings that keep him awake at night. In charge of the family business, the Prodigal Recovery Agency, he thinks of himself as a shepherd of sorts. When his "flock" is out of his control, Nick's well-ordered universe falls into chaos.

Prodigal Recovery's search for Zeena, a prostitute on the run, leads to a faulty arrest, complicating Nick's business. He is thrown together with Zeena's twin, the beautiful Annie, and the two find themselves on a desperate search. The stakes significantly increase when Nick's daughter is kidnapped. Now, to save someone he loves, Nick must risk everything. But will it be enough?

If you would like to read a Prologue excerpt from Shepherd's Fall, go HERE

Friday, June 19, 2009

Something to think about

I'm not much for political debates because debates rarely change what I believe. But I think it's wise as Christians to pay attention to what's happening in our nation.

First to pray.

Then to act as God instructs.

Here's a video worth watching.

A new way of life

Decades~ yes decades~ ago, I took Judo in college. I really enjoyed it too, especially when I sent a football player twice my size to the mat with one flip.

This month, my family and I started Martial Arts classes. We're learning Tao Hsieh Wu Shu - The way of unified martial arts. It's hard work (really hard work~ much harder than it was in college) in a Christian environment and we're loving it!

Earlier tonight we learned some kicks and pounded the daylights out of the mats and the instructors holding them too.

We also celebrated birthdays with games and treats after class. We played the concentration game where everyone~ from age 5 and up~ stood in ready position (feet together, hands in praying position) and could blink, breathe, and swallow. Nothing else.

The instructors tried many ways to get us to do anything else but those three things.

I'm glad to say four out of five of us went the distance and stayed in the game till the end.

Then we played a foot game where the goal was to step on other people's feet without them stepping on yours. If you got stepped on, you were out.

My goal was to get my hubby out. And I did it! Winning the whole game was icing on the cake after that.

But we came home and practiced some and I could feel every old muscle in my legs screaming for mercy. My kids were tired too, but they wanted to keep working on what we'd learned.

That's one reason I'm so very thankful for this family class. My girls are learning discipline and loving it, as well as a whole new experience in respect with bowing and showing respect to higher belts and instructors.

Plus, we're exercising and have a great time doing it.

In many ways it's a whole new way of life for us. Class twice a week. Practice. Conditioning.

But it's amazing. And I'm sure someday my experiences will end up in a book.

After all, life is great fodder for writing!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Father's Day blog tour

I wanted to share two new books that are part of Multnomah's Father's Day blog tour and a bonus review by my oldest princess with her thoughts on Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart, one of the Knights of Arrethtrae series.

First, my princess on an author she adores and a series that is among her favorites.

Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart
by Chuck Black


Sir Dalton, a knight in training, seems to have everything going for him. Young, well-liked, and a natural leader, he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow knights, and especially the beautiful Lady Brynn.

But something is amiss at the training camp. Their new trainer is popular but lacks the passion to inspire them to true service to the King and the Prince. Besides this, the knights are too busy enjoying a season of good times to be concerned with a disturbing report that many of their fellow Knights have mysteriously vanished.

When Sir Dalton is sent on a mission, he encounters strange attacks, especially when he is alone. As his commitment wanes, the attacks grow in intensity until he is captured by Lord Drox, a massive Shadow Warrior. Bruised and beaten, Dalton refuses to submit to evil and initiates a daring escape with only one of two outcomes–life or death. But what will become of the hundreds of knights he’ll leave behind? In a kingdom of peril, Dalton thinks he is on his own, but two faithful friends have not abandoned him, and neither has a strange old hermit who seems to know much about the Prince. But can Dalton face the evil Shadow Warrior again and survive?


I really enjoyed reading Chuck Black's new book, Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart. My favorite part of the story was when Master Sejus is healing and training Dalton. And I liked the way Chuck Black went from the present time in the story to Dalton's memories and then back.

I admired the passion for the King and His Son that Dalton's true friends had. I also liked the way the vices and virtues were portrayed and especially how the vices were overcome.

However, the death ravens and hounds of despair were a little frightening. The scenes in the box canyon with the death ravens, especially the first time, when Dalton is helpless, are rather scary. It was frightful and probably meant to be that way, with the prisoners staked to the ground in two scenes.

But every good story has its bad parts~ and its scary parts~ and this was definitely a good story.

I consider Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart a wonderful book, and I can't wait to read it once again!

And now for the theologians among you, a book by Dr. R. Albert Mohler: The Disappearance of God


More faulty information about God swirls around us today than ever before. No wonder so many followers of Christ are unsure of what they really believe in the face of the new spiritual openness attempting to alter unchanging truth.

For centuries the church has taught and guarded the core Christian beliefs that make up the essential foundations of the faith. But in our postmodern age, sloppy teaching and outright lies create rampant confusion, and many Christians are free-falling for “feel-good” theology.

We need to know the truth to save ourselves from errors that will derail our faith.

As biblical scholar, author, and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler, writes, “The entire structure of Christian truth is now under attack.” With wit and wisdom he tackles the most important aspects of these modern issues:

Is God changing His mind about sin?
Why is hell off limits for many pastors?
What’s good or bad about the “dangerous” emergent movement?
Have Christians stopped seeing God as God?
Is the social justice movement misguided?
Could the role of beauty be critical to our theology?
Is liberal faith any less destructive than atheism?
Are churches pandering to their members to survive?

In the age-old battle to preserve the foundations of faith, it's up to a new generation to confront and disarm the contemporary shams and fight for the truth. Dr. Mohler provides the scriptural answers to show you how.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How do you connect with God?

How do you connect with God?

I’ve found three ways that reach into my soul and draw me closer.

The first is spending time at the beach. It’s where I hear Him loudest in the roar of the water and where I’m still enough to just sit and listen.

But before I share the beach pictures and commentary, I wanted to share about another powerful way I connected with God~ through a book.

And there’s a book we just finished reading as a family that's skyrocketed to the top of my all-time favorites list. That list still has The Restorer by Sharon Hinck at the very tip top. But this new book is a hair's breath away.

It's a children's book.

A Newbery Winner.

About family and love and...

Space travel.

It starts with one of my favorite lines in all literature, "It was a dark and stormy night." And no, it's not from Snoopy like my children guessed. ;-)

It's Madeleine L'Engle's book A Wrinkle in Time.

I've never fallen for a book quite like I did this one. Partly it's a pure love of the author's beautiful language, something that's never been big on my reading list. Madeleine L'Engle used words and the concept of communication in so many varied and fascinating ways that I often stopped reading or stopped my oldest reading and just marveled at the ideas.

I also experienced the quirky characters and the deep realities each grappled with. Some of those pictures of God, our world, and relationships are ideas I'm still dancing with and pondering.

All this in a children's book.

And now we're embarking on a summer adventure with Madeleine L'Engle as our tour guide through four other books in the Time Quintet series. I'm sooooo looking forward to the trip!

Now for some looking back at one of my favorite places in the world...

I love Destin, Florida. I love the waves, the sounds, the time with my girls, the ocean, the seashells, the food, the water.... ;-)

I could do without the sand and bathing suits. But I'll take those if it comes with all the other things I love. ;-)

This year, one of my closest friends and her family joined us in Destin. We went crabbing at night, played in the water, and had a blast playing spoons in the evening too.

Here's a photo tour of our trip...

These are our beach toes... special painted toes just for vacation and a painting party to boot!

Next picture is my hubby with a captured crab.... all I have to say is Wallaces rule. ;-)

I absolutely love this picture of my girls in their beach dresses.

We take a number of these photos each year and it's fun to capture who they are in a shot like this.

Look closely... one is a princess, one a warrior, and the other a tall and graceful scholar.

The next photo is my oldest and I hanging out in the surf. We had such a lovely time just talking and bobbing in the waves.

I have never before been to the beach when it was cold. On Monday, the water was soooo COLD it was hardly bearable.

The first picture is me before drinking my Starbucks. Notice the shivers?

The next is me happily in beach dreamland after warming up with a nice hot cuppa Starbucks!

Last is a photo my hubby snapped while I was otherwise occupied with watching dolphins and being blown away by the creativity and goodness of God.

The beach and books are two of the most powerful ways I connect with God. Music is a close third.

What about you all? How or where do you experience Him the most?

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