Friday, March 30, 2007

FIRST: Wishing On Dandelions by Mary E. DeMuth

Song Stuck on the Brain: The rap song from Sister Act II... "Get down with G-O-D... Get down with G-O-D..."

Don't forget to enter to win The Assignment by Mark Andrew Olsen!
Click the cover on the right and email me your entry. Contest is open to US and Canadian residents only and ends Sunday, April 1, 2007 at midnight. Good luck!

I know this is a little bit early, but I won't have a chance to post on the ACTUAL first, so you get it early!

It is April 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature is:

Mary E. DeMuth

and her book:

Wishing on Dandelions

(NavPress Publishing, 2006)


This month's feature is very special. The author is one of the FIRST Day Blog Alliance Members!!! Click here for her Blogspot! MARY E. DeMUTH has spent the last fifteen years as a writer. Winner of the 2003 Mount Herman Christian Writers Conference's Pacesetter's Award, she now splits her time between writing and planting a new church with her husband, Patrick, and two other families. Wishing on Dandelions is the second book in the Maranatha Series. The first was the critically praised book, Watching the Tree Limbs. She has also written two parenting books. Building the Christian Family You Never Had and a new one called Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture which will release this summer with Harvest House. Mary, Patrick, and their three children make their home in Texas.


I n t r o d u c t i o n

I still can’t tell my story up close, like it was me in it,breathing the tangled wisteria on the fence posts of Burl, Texas. There are times I still can’t bear to say it was me. The book of mylife continues to open, painful word by painful word, page after page. I get real close to typing the whole story with the word I in it, but I hit delete every time, replacing me with she.

Zady tells me I’m ready to write my story honest, but I’m not so sure. She says she’s there to help me remember my healing,even as she puts an arm around my shoulder when a tear slips through. “It hurts,” she says. “Real bad. Lord, I wish it didn’t rip at you so.”

She tells me I survived that story — that I should be proud — yet her presence brings back its horrid validity written on the backdrop of her tender love. Reminds me in a kind, wild way that this is my story even if I can’t seem to admit it on the page.


Summer 1983
Burl, Texas

Uncle Zane appeared disheveled when Maranatha pestered
him. His silvery hair, normally combed and parted in the exact
same place, was instead bunched and unkempt, his part like a
winding Burl road.

“Camilla and me, well, we want to go to the fair. Can you drive us? Please?” Maranatha practically danced, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

“No,” he shouted, an odd outburst for such a quiet man.

Gangly and with a sinewy will of her own, she pled, “C’mon,Uncle Zane. Everyone will be there. Besides, Camilla promised we’d shoot the fair — ride every single ride from the merry-goround to the Zipper. This year I promised her I’d do it without getting sick.”

“I said no.”

Three plain words. Maranatha almost turned away in a thirteen-year-old huff, but she lingered long enough to see him sit down in a parlor chair, then bend forward, pressing palms to temple.

“We’ll ride our bikes,” she told him. The room echoed her words. “I’ll be back later.” Her words stung even as she said
them, particularly because Uncle Zane, usually a man without
reaction, looked up at her with a strange sort of look in his blue
eyes. A look that pleaded, Please stay.

She left him there. And didn’t look back.


Camilla and Maranatha raced down the road toward the embrace of the fair, miles away. “You’re going to barf on me, I know it,” Camilla teased.

“I will not. My stomach’s better.”

“Oh, right. Now that you’re a teenager, you’re not nauseous? If I were you, I’d be cautious. I don’t trust your stomach. Neither should you.”

They raced, tire to tire, until Camilla saw a wrought-iron gate and, behind it, a burnt skeleton of a house. “I smell mystery,” she said. She stopped her bike. Maranatha nearly crashed into her.

In lieu of a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl, and despite Uncle Zane’s pained blue eyes, Maranatha and Camilla climbed over the gate. They searched the scorched scene, pretending to be arson investigators.

They concluded a cat had set fire to the house, taking feline revenge on an evil master. “All scary houses have names. This one’s Black, sure as night,” Camilla said.

As the day’s shadows lengthened, after they’d explored the woods behind the house whose once-grand pillars stood charred against the Texas sky, Camilla said, “I want to come back here another day.” She put her hands on her hips and tilted her head back. “Let’s go back to Black.” She wailed and screamed the words like AC/DC. Maranatha laughed so hard, she nearly wet her pants.


Maranatha and Camilla never made it to the fair.

Tired from their investigating, they pedaled lazily back to town. “I’ll see you soon, baboon.” Camilla waved a good-bye to

Something niggled at Maranatha as she walked the stairs of the big white house. Everything looked the same, but nothing felt that way.

“I’m home, Uncle Zane.” Her voice echoed, bouncing off tall ceilings. She called Zady’s name, though she knew it was unlikely the housekeeper would be there on a weekend. She shivered. Loneliness pierced her.

She walked past the parlor to look out the kitchen window at Uncle Zane’s parking spot, figuring he’d probably left to look for her — again. He had swung on a wild pendulum from disinterest to overprotection the day her name changed from Mara to Maranatha three years ago, but his protection kicked into high gear when she turned thirteen. On her birthday, he gave her a bike that sported a crudely shaped bow. He handed her a hockey helmet. “Be careful,” he said. And he meant it.

She stopped in front of the window. Uncle Zane’s white Cadillac sat silent in the driveway, the same place it’d been when she’d ridden away earlier.

Panic ripped through her.

Maranatha ran to the parlor. On the floor, Uncle Zane lay prostrate, face kissing the oriental rug, arms and legs outstretched like he was making a prone snow angel.

“Wake up,” she wailed.

But he didn’t. An ambulance came and whisked him away, while the word stroke hung in the hot Burl evening.


Zady’d tried to soothe Maranatha during his long rehabilitation. “It’s not your fault, Natha,” she said. “I should’ve checked on him. He seemed altered, and I should’ve known.”

Though Zady wore guilt in the lengthening lines around her eyes, she pestered Maranatha with all sorts of don’t-blameyourself words, meaningless blather that never made it past Maranatha’s terrible heart. The best way Maranatha could explain it to Camilla was that she and Zady stood before a giant chalkboard, with the words should have and could have scrawled over and over again like naughty kids’ sentences. While Zady tried to erase Maranatha’s coulds and shoulds, Maranatha rewrote them line by line.

O n e

Summer 1987
Burl, Texas

Every year on the anniversary of his stroke, and many times in between, Maranatha retraced the route she and Camilla had ridden that day. In front of her bike tire beckoned a serpentine of gray pavement radiating heat. The more her shirt clung to her body in a sticky embrace, the better she liked it.


She’d learned the word from Bishop Renny. He said something about trying to make things right by abusing yourself. Said Jesus took the need for all that away. But she knew Jesus would say something different to her, considering how she’d nearly killed Uncle Zane because of her selfishness.

The hot Burl breeze tangled Maranatha’s hair so that it whipped and wrangled about her face. She didn’t mind, didn’t even brush a casual hand to her face to clear the hair from her eyes. At seventeen, she welcomed the wildness, wearing her tangles like a needed mask. A gust of sideways wind whipped the mask from her face.

Maranatha passed the costume shop where, behind a cracked front window, one headless mannequin sported a faded Santa suit and another, a sequined Twenties dress. She pedaled past the farm implement shop whose yard was dotted with ancient rusty plows. This strip of road held most of Burl’s broken dreams — a turn-of-the-century white farmhouse, now converted into a bed and breakfast that no one visited, a handpainted For Sale sign declaring the dream dead. A mobile home stood way back on a fine piece of property, the structure tilted oddly to the left where the cement blocks had deteriorated. A goat preened on its roof, claiming it for himself. Four years ago, children had played out front. She and Camilla had even waved to them. So carefree for such a day.

Wiping the sweat off her forehead with the back of her hand, she glanced down at the too-small bike, despising it, as if it had once held her hostage, carrying her away from Uncle Zane’s need four years ago when she and Camilla had been drawn toward the lure of cotton candy and caramel apples.

Maranatha veered onto the familiar gravel driveway flanked by crepe myrtles. She stopped, straddling her bike, catching her breath. She listened for cars but heard only the labored noise of a tractor, far away, until the engine sputtered and died.

The silence roared at her.

It should have blessed her with peace; instead, she remembered Uncle Zane’s hair askew and wondered why God let a selfish girl like her take up space in this world.

She looked behind her. Her thoughts shifted as a deeper worry played at her, taunting her. Though she never voiced it, she lived with a constant fear that someone would burst from the silence and grab her. She hated that she always looked behind, like she was expecting some crouching phantom to nab her. She’d been running from monsters bent on destroying her ever since General first drawled, “Hey, Beautiful” in her ear. Even though she was sheltered in Uncle Zane’s white house and safety was no longer elusive, she always felt the presence of evil five steps behind her. Ready to suffocate her.

She glanced at her wrist to soothe her fears. Circling it was her name, maranatha, each sterling letter separated by a bead. Zady’d given it to her a year after she found out that her real name wasn’t Mara but Maranatha. Part of her quest in discovering her identity was a need for a name that meant more than “bitter.” When she learned that her real name meant “Come, Lord Jesus,” a part of her heart enlivened, as if it knew she was named that all along. She touched each letter, thanking God that He added Natha to the end of her name, that He changed her from bitter to a heart where Jesus could live. If He wanted to, that is.

She got off her bike. The same wrought-iron gate stood erect before her, chalkboard black and foreboding, with an out-of-place silhouette of a squirrel at its arched top. It always reminded her of Willy Wonka’s gate, the gate that prohibited children from seeing the mysteries within the glorious Chocolate Factory. She laid her bike in its familiar dusty place behind the crepe myrtles
and approached the gate. Locked.

As usual.

Heart thumping, she tried the handle, a ritual she performed every time she ventured to this place, the scene of her selfishness. Why she thought it would magically open today, she didn’t know. When she tugged at it, the gate creaked a warning, but it didn’t budge. Looking back toward the road, she listened again. Nothing. Only the sound of a dove calling to its lover and the crackle of too-dry grass rubbing against itself like a fiddle against its bow. She breathed in the hot air and touched the angry wrought iron. She returned to the bike, unzipped the pouch behind her seat, and stretched on her bike gloves. Attacking the gate again, she pulled herself up, up, up until she could swing her leg over the gate’s pointed top. She scampered down, preferring to jump the last three feet.

Maranatha smiled. Before her was an open field whose hair was littered with dandelions past their prime. Bits of dandelion white floated in front of her like an idle snowfall, only these flurries drifted toward the sun, away from the ground, in lazy worship. Beyond the field stood the remains of the charred mansion.

Now shaded by the house’s pillars, she remembered Uncle Zane’s eyes the day of his stroke. The smile left her face.

She ran to the middle of the field, trying to shake the memory — her laughing, laughing, laughing while Uncle Zane pled for her. She stopped. Maranatha picked one dandelion, held it to her mouth, and blew a warm breeze over its head, scattering wishes toward the has-been mansion. Jesus, You know my name. I want to live up to it. I want my heart to be a place where You want to come. But I’m afraid it’s too dark there. What I’ve done. What’s been done to me. . . . I’m sorry I’m so needy, but I have to know, have to know it in my gut. Please show me You love me anyway. Whatever it takes.

It had been her wish since she met Jesus under the pecan tree at her home, back in the days when Uncle Zane had a quiet will and Zady, his housekeeper and her friend, kept house without the intrusions of Georgeanne, who had invaded their peaceful home with her schemes. Zady dished out helpings and helpings of His love every day at Uncle Zane’s table, but Maranatha never seemed to be able to digest even a scrap. She experienced Jesus at church, surrounded by Mama Frankie and faces darker than her own. When dark-skinned Denim spoke or his pale-faced stepdaughter Camilla rhymed truth, Maranatha thanked God for making unique folks, for giving her friends. Still, Jesus’ love seemed far away, and she, undeserving.

A portion of her little girl’s heart had been abducted by General, the boy-turned-man who violated her so many years ago. His pocked face visited her in nightmares where she had no voice, no safety, no escape. He seemed to lurk behind every stray noise. He didn’t haunt Burl anymore, but he lived firmly in her mind, igniting dread. She feared he’d stolen the only part of her that could have understood God’s love. She feared he held the middle piece to the puzzle of her life.

Am I wishing for something I’ll never have?

Maranatha shielded her eyes from the pursuing sun and walked toward the burnt house. Four once-white pillars stood tall, blackened by angry flames. She remembered when she’d first seen Uncle Zane’s home nearly a decade ago, how it loomed large on its street, how she’d longed to be the owner there someday. But reality was more complicated than that. Sure, she lived there now. Little by little, she was renovating it to splendor, but lately the joy of transforming it had waned thin, like a pilled swimsuit at summer’s end. Fixing things was hard. She’d painted and painted until her fingernails were permanently speckled. Then the pier and beam foundation settled further, cracking her handiwork.

As she gazed upward at the four pillars that reached for the sky, where the abandoned house’s roof once lived, she wondered if she’d ever have a home of her own, children about her legs, a husband to love her. The thought of marriage both repulsed her and pulsed through her. Hatred and longing — all in one girl.

She walked through the rubbish, darkening her red-dirted shoes, looking for a sign from heaven. She played this game sometimes, asking God for signs, for sacred objects that showed her that He saw her, that He knew she existed. That He cared.

Something glinted off and on as the sun played hide-and-seek through the trees. She bent low to the ashes, her body blocking the sun. The glinting stopped, so she stood and let the sun have its way again. There, spotlighted beneath the gaze of the pillars, was a simple, thick-banded gold ring. She retrieved it, dusted the ashes from the gold, and examined it, turning it over and over in her hand.

Inside the ring was a faint engraving. Forever my love.

“Thank You,” she whispered, but her words melted in a hot wind. Dark clouds obscured the sun. The sky purpled. She’d seen a sky like that before. She slipped the ring into her shirt pocket and ran toward her bike, climbed the hot gate like a criminal pursued, and dropped on the other side.

She mounted her bike. From behind she heard a bustled scurrying, like the furious bending of too-dry alfalfa.

Then darkness.

Someone’s hands suffocated her eyes, obscuring the day, stealing her screaming breath. She kicked her leg over the tenspeed, struggling to free herself from the firm grip, and tried to holler. Like in her nightmares, she was mute from terror. Though she knew General’s presence was illogical — he’d been shipped off to some sort of juvenile-offender boot camp — she could almost smell his breath as she gasped for her own. She heard a laugh but couldn’t place it. It sounded familiar, like family.

She kicked and elbowed like a kindergarten boy proving his manhood against a playground bully, but the hands stayed enlaced around her eyes.

More laughter. Even more familiar.

She took a deep breath and screamed. Real loud.

Thunder answered back.


Sample from Wishing on Dandelions / ISBN 1576839532 Copyright © 2006 NavPress Publishing. All rights reserved. To order copies of this resource, come back to

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bye Bye, Sligh... Hello, Nick

Song Stuck on the Brain: “Dealer, Dealer, Give me some news, I’ve got a bad case of Credit Blues…” It’s a STUPID car ad that I heard on the radio this morning. I don’t even know what dealership it’s for, but I’ve been singing it over and over ALL day long. Driving me NUTS.

Idol Chatter:
So it’s Bye-Bye Sligh. I’m so sad! It irks me that Chris got kicked off when Haylie and Sanjaya are still in. Cute or not, Sanjaya just doesn’t have musical chops. So he needs to go. He made it into the top 10, he’s going to get to tour, enough is enough. *sigh* I hope Chris Sligh gets to use this time to move forward in his career even without Idol. A lot of former contestants have made a name for themselves despite losing, I hope he’s one of them. I’d buy his CD.

CFBA: This is day two of the tour for RECLAIMING NICK by Susan May Warren.

Nick Noble, the main character has his own blog. I clicked on over today to check it out, and it’s a lot of fun. Here’s Mr. Noble’s bio. Go check it out, it’s got the first chapter as well as some interesting tid-bits.

Nick Noble: Bio

Age: 28

Height: 6'1

Occupation: Former Detective, MP, current...waiter? The fact is, I'm in between places, but I know one thing -- Even if my father left Cole St. John half our ranch, it'll be over my cold dead carcass before he gets even one blade of Silver Buckle grass.

Looking for: Why on earth would I want to get close to a woman again after my gal up and married my former best friend? Sure, I guess I wouldn't mind having someone who believed in me, made me think that maybe I might be more than the man I see in the mirror. But I'm not a dreamer, and I don't believe in Happily Ever After....Or maybe I just don't deserve it.
I'm still reading this one, but so far it's good.
Don't forget to enter the contest to win a free copy of The Assignment by Mark Andrew Olsen. Click the book cover at the top right to email your entry. Contest ends Sunday, April 1, 2007 at midnight.

Just one more workday until freedom…

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

CFBA: Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren

Song Stuck on the Brain: Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing RECLAIMING NICK (Tyndale Fiction, 2007) by Susan May Warren.


RECLAIMING NICK is the first of The Noble Legacy series. Book Two, Taming Rafe, will be available January 2008.

A Modern Day Prodigal Comes Home...


But when his father dies and leaves half of Silver Buckle--the Noble family ranch--to Nick’s former best friend, he must return home to face his mistakes, and guarantee that the Silver Buckle stays in the Noble family.

Award-winning journalist Piper Sullivan believes Nick framed her brother for murder, and she’s determined to find justice. But following Nick to the Silver Buckle and posing as a ranch cook proves more challenging than she thinks. So does resisting his charming smile.

As Nick seeks to overturn his father’s will--and Piper digs for answers--family secrets surface that send Nick’s life into a tailspin. But there’s someone who’s out to take the Silver Buckle from the Noble family, and he’ll stop at nothing--even murder--to make it happen.


“Susan May Warren once again delivers that perfect combination of heart-pumping suspense and heart-warming romance.”--Tracey Bateman, author of the Claire Everett series

If you would like to hear more about Nick, he has his own blog. Also, the first chapter is there...


Award winning author SUSAN MAY WARREN recently returned home to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota's north woods. Visit her Web site at


I've only just begun... So far the read has been good. I've been kind of burned out on the 'western' theme recently, so I wasn't overly excited to see a western them novel come up for review. However, I've changed my mind. I like this one, the characters are strong and so far the plot has been good. I look forward to finishing it. I'll post more later when I've completed the book.


*Don't forget to enter to win a copy of The Assignment by Mark Andrew Olsen. Just click on the book cover on the right side of the page and email me your entry.

*This contest is open to US and Canadian residents only and ends Sunday, April 1, 2007 at midnight.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What's fun?

Song Stuck on the Brain: I’m Not Who I Was by Brandon Heath. I love this song. You can visit his MySpace page to hear the complete song. Watch the video if you have the chance, it’s pretty cool too.

I about fell out of my chair laughing when I saw this Garfield cartoon, Garfield is channeling Angel and unfortunately, I’m Jon.

Saturday night Angel was at my place and we were taking quizzes online. Stupid ones, like What’s Your Celebrity Baby Name and What Puppy Breed are You from Anyway, it was around 1:30 am, and we were getting pretty silly, when I suddenly had the urge to sneeze.

“Man, I have to sneeze.”

Angel, leaning over my shoulder, turns and says, “ACHOOOOO!” right into my ear.

I said, “OOHHH, SHHHHHHH--!!!!” as my heart bungeed right out of my chest. I did manage to stop myself before finishing the phrase.

Angel is now laughing hysterically. Knee slapping, hysterically. “Well, now you don’t have to sneeze.” Chuckle, chuckle.

“No, but thanks to you, I now have to repent!”

That just made her laugh harder. I think she even snorted a few times. In the end we were both laughing so hard we were crying.

But it’s just that kind of thing that Angel thinks is funny. She LOVES to scare me.

“Man –hic – I’ve – hic – got – hic – the – hiccups!” I say between holding my breath and drinking water.

“Really?” Angel replies calmly (That should really be my warning) as she turns to me and says, “AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!” in her best Lioness voice.

“HOLY CRAP! You scared me to death.” I say, peeling myself from the ceiling.

“Yeah, but your hiccups are gone.” She grins and laughs. Mwa ha ha!

Yawn. “I’m sleepy. I want a nap.”

Angel calmly turns and says, “WAKE UP!!!!” six inches from my ear.

“Holy Cannoli!” I grab my heart and force myself to breathe. “You scared me to death!”

“Well, at least you’re not sleepy anymore.” MWA HA HA!

I can just see us fifty years from now, old ladies living in our two bedroom cottage with our dogs Jamal and Heffe. (Okay, you have to be in on the joke for that to make sense.)

“Sister, hic- I- hic- can’t – hic – stop – these durned – hic – hiccups!” I complain between pinching my oxygen tubing and chasing my straw.

“Really?” Angel replies calmly from her wheel chair. “AAAAARRRRRRR-th” (false teeth give you a lisp.)

“OH, Good Gravy! You scared me to death! Now I’ve fallen and can’t get up.”

“At least you’re not hiccupping anymore.” Angel cackles and calls 911.

I can see now that I’m going to have to invest in a pace maker at an early age.

*Don't forget to enter to win a copy of The Assignment. Click on the book cover at right and email me your entry.
*This contest is open to US and Canadian residents only and will end Sunday, April 1, 2007 at midnight.

Monday, March 26, 2007

New Contest - Win a copy of The Assignment by Mark Andrew Olsen

Enter to win a copy of :

The Assignment by Mark Andrew Olsen

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Jump Aboard This Spiritual-Conspiracy Thrill-ride

For two thousand years he has wandered the shadows of humanity's blood-stained history, secretly carrying out an ancient mission. Haunted by grief, longing for heaven yet denied it by the mystery and powerof the unforgettable mandate given him, he once again appears...

Near the ruins of Auschwitz, members of a covert monastic order unearth one of the world's most astonishing discoveries. Their find sets off a fierce international manhunt that soon embroils the CIA, the Israeli Mossad, Hamas terrorists, and renegade factions of the Vatican. The secret at the core of the global intrigue is the identity of this one extraordinary man who now walks twenty-first century Earth on a momentous assignment. An identity no one can believe, yet whose existence no one can deny.

Follow a disillusioned young priest, a terrified graduate student, and a spiritually fascinating man--from the shores of Normandy to the hills of Ireland, from the alleyways of Paris, Rome, and Jerusalem, to the halls of time itself--in a suspenseful thriller that combines the supernatural with unrelenting action, aching loss, and one life story that will sweep you to the very foot of Golgotha.

"A writer who can take your breath away with a single sentence. A welcome, freshvoice that must be read!" --Ted Dekker

Click on the book cover at the top of the sidebar to email your entry. This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents and will end Sunday, April 1, 2007 at Midnight.

Good Luck!

And the Winner is...

Congratulations, Rachel M. !

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Rachel is the winner of the autographed copy of Double Vision by Randall Ingermanson

Thanks to everyone that entered the contest this week. Be sure to check back daily, a new contest is coming soon.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Around the World in Eighty Spins

I'm amazed by this. I'm lucky to get one to go up and down more than three times in a row.

Japan National Yoyo Contest 2005(1st as 1A) - Takayasu Tanaka

Friday, March 23, 2007

Nsync with the world

Song Stuck on the Brain: Take your pick of any Nsync song.

I've listened to Nsync ALL day long. Which is nice because I rarely get to listen to them at work. My office mate can't stand boy bands, but he was out sick today. You might think that would get too repetitive, but I've got around 200 minutes worth of Nsync music. That's not including their Christmas cd, cuz I can't listen to Christmas music in March. So really, I'm only hearing each song about twice. I've got the albums, the bonus tracks, plus the obscure tracks, like their Chilli's commercial and the Superbowl halftime song with Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige, Nelly and Britney Spears.

Does this seem like a strange obsession? I don't remember ever being this big of a fan before Nsync. I mean I did like the New Kids on the Block and Osmand Second Generation in grade school and junior high, but not anything like Nsync. And probably none as much since Nsync.

Little Known Facts About My Nsync Mania:

1. I've seen them in concert five times. Once each in Kansas City, MO, Little Rock, AR, Indianapolis, IN, Ames, IA and Memphis, TN. Ames was by far the best concert. We were front row and just to the back of the side of the stage in the stadium, which put us really close when they came up on the catwalk behind the band. Plus the pyros were so close that every time they blew the heat would blast us, blowing our hair back. Afterward, we found ash on our clothes. It was awesome. We wanted to see more, but we'd reached the limit of our budgets.

2. I've seen the Bigger Than Live Imax concert at least four times. I lost official count, but it was a lot. I even have the Imax poster. Yes, I actually went down to the theater and asked for it. They gave it to me.

3. I have all the Nsync bobble heads, still in their box.

4. My favorite was Lance. Yes I know he's 'out' now, but that doesn't change the fact that he was a CUTIE!

5. I have all the Nsync performances, interviews and music videos on tape and DVD.

6. I know dance moves to Bye Bye Bye, Makes Me Ill and Digital Get Down. Probably could remember some of the other too if I tried.

7. I have all of the Nsync Ty Beanie Bears.

8. I subscribed to J-14, a teen mag, just so I could get the pics and scoop on the 'guys'.

9. I wrote an 'Ode to Nsync'. Of course it was actually a joke that I emailed to my sister and friend just before we went to the Indianapolis concert, but I still have it. Just know, that if you aren't familiar with the Nsync songs or nick names or 'quotes', this will not make a lot of sense to you.
Ode to NSYNC
By April Erwin

Ha ha, Hoo hoo.
Justin and Lance too.
Here come the boys
With a bunch of new toys!
Guess what? Guess who?
NSYNC this song is about you!
Get ready Indy, here we come
We love NSYNC... Some.
Okay, you're right
We think they're really tight!
They're so hot, they're so fine
You bet they gonna blow my mind!
Ha ha, Hoo hoo
My little Poo Foo
Here we come to watch the show
Ya know NSYNC has got the flow!
I'm all excited about the show
And all the pyro's they're gonna blow.
Ha ha, hoo hoo, hee hee
Don't you know it's gonna be me!
So rock the show real hard, JC
We're tired of seeing just TV
It's gotta be fun, it's gotta be loud
It's gotta be a rowdy crowd
And when it's all said and done
We'll cry and say, "I can't believe they're GONE!"

10. Wow, do you really need any more proof that I'm an idiot?

Just to make up for going on so long, here are a few fun quizzes you can take too.

Have a great weekend,

You Are Fossil Fuel Ice Cream

What does liking "fudge dinosaurs" say about someone?

Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.

You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.

Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.

You Should Rule Saturn

Saturn is a mysterious planet that can rarely be seen with the naked eye.

You are perfect to rule Saturn because like its rings, you don't always follow the rules of nature.
And like Saturn, to really be able to understand you, someone delve beyond your appearance.

You are not an easy person to befriend. However, once you enter a friendship, you'll be a friend for life.

You think slowly but deeply. You only gain great understanding after a situation has past.

Your Quirk Factor: 46%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.

Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.

You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.

People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.

But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

Even if the voices aren't real - they've got some great ideas

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The cry heard round the world


It can't be true. I couldn't bear for it to be true.

Dr. Beckett is leaving.

Okay, sorry, I tend to forget that there are a few people still out there that don't know about Stargate SG-1 or it's spin off Stargate Atlantis. (It's not for lack of my trying people, have you seen the Stargate music videos that play on this site? Anyway, I digress.)

I was surfing along when I stumbled upon this little tidbit of news.

"Dr. Beckett (Paul McGillion) will be going bye-bye during the second half of season 3 (coming in March to Amazon Unbox Video Downloads and the Sci-Fi Channel). Bright side: They're not killing him off. Sci-fi fans being who they are, they started a campaign to save Beckett's character. Here's more from McGillion."

They've got to be kidding, right? Dr. Beckett leave? No way. He is the heart and soul of the team. He's also got the sexiest voice of the lot of 'em. He CAN'T leave. So, I surfed a little farther and visited the McGillion link above to read his interview.

"McGillion finds it hard to pinpoint one particular standout moment over the three years, but eventually settles on the thrill of working on the pilot episode.

"During the filming of the pilot, Martin Wood who directed it - he's fantastic - came up to me half-way through shooting and said 'Damien Kindler's writing a really Beckett-centric episode, called 'Poisoning the Well' and he wants you to go up and talk to him in the office'. I thought to myself, 'Well, this is exciting!' I had started to feel like I'm really part of something here."

The irony of McGillion's final comment won't be lost on the legions of fans of Dr Carson Beckett, especially as it has subsequently emerged - and been confirmed by producer N John Smith - that the character will "go missing" during the second half of Season 3 and will not return as part of the main cast in Season 4. Still, no-one ever really dies in science fiction, do they?"

Let's hope that last line is true. I can't imagine Atlantis without Beckett. It's like Scotland without heather or Jack O'Neil without sarcasm.

Well now that that little tirade is past, I'll get on with the rest of the good stuff.

Song Stuck on the Brain: Where Did Our Love Go by the Supremes

Last night we saw a special screening of Shooter starring Mark Wahlberg and Danny Glover. I was very excited to get these passes, because, well, let's just say it. Mark Wahlberg is HOT. He's one of my favorites to watch. He also happens to be a very good actor. I can't say I endorse everything he's made, but Shooter is definitely one of his better films.

About the Movie:

Yesterday was about honor. Today is about justice.

A marksman (Wahlberg) living in exile is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the president. Ultimately double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he goes on the run to track the real killer and find out who exactly set him up, and why.

You can see the trailer on .

My Take:

I enjoyed it a lot, and not just because Mark looked great in camo face paint. (What doesn't he look good in?) There is a strong element of conspiracy woven into the plot, which I find to be very interesting. The action was pretty fast paced and there was plenty of exploding building/vehicles. I was impressed with the sniper shooting that was portrayed. You know there are people out there capable of doing it, but 'seeing' it in action was impressive. I was surprised that, despite it's R rating, there was very little sexual innuendo and no nudity. In fact, the language was better than a lot of action/war type films I've seen recently. That doesn't mean they don't throw a few F-bombs, but they were surprisingly few, IMO. I think anyone that enjoy action films would find this one very watchable.


There's still time to enter to win an autographed copy of Double Vision by Randall Ingermanson. Click the book cover at the top right and email me your entry.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Don't Miss Out...

There's still time to win!
Just click on the book cover at the top of the sidebar to email me your entry. Contest ends Sunday, March 25th at midnight and is only open to US and Canadian residents.
Good Luck.

CFBA: It Happens Every Spring by Dr. Gary Chapman and Catherine Palmer

Song Stuck on the Brain: It's the Time of the Season by Blake Lewis. He did a fantastic job on Idol last night and now this song is stuck in my head. Jordin was fantabulous as well.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING(Tyndale Fiction, 2007) by Gary Chapman and Catherine Palmer.


IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING is the first of The Four Seasons fiction series, based on the ever-changing cycles of relationships detailed in Gary Chapman's nonfiction book The Four Seasons of Marriage. The novels will focus on four couples, each moving in and out of a different season.

Word travels fast at the Just As I Am beauty shop.

So when a simple homeless man appears on Steve and Brenda Hansen's doorstep, the entire shop is set abuzz, especially when Brenda lets him sleep on their porch.

That's not all the neighbors are talking about. Spring may be blooming outdoors, but an icy chill has settled over the Hansens' marriage. Steve is keeping late hours with clients, and the usually upbeat Brenda is feeling the absence of her husband and her college-age kids.

Add to that the unsavory business moving in next to the beauty shop and the entire community gets turned upside down. Now Brenda's friends must unite to pull her out of her rut and keep the unwanted sort out of town. But can Steve and Brenda learn to thaw their chilly marriage and enjoy the hope spring offers?


GARY CHAPMAN is the author of the New York Times best seller The Five Love Languages and numerous other books. He's the director of Marriage & Family Life Consultants, Inc., and host of A Growing Marriage, a syndicated radio program heard on over 100 stations across North America. He and his wife, Karolyn, live in North Carolina.

CATHERINE PALMER is the Christy Award-winning, CBA best-selling author of more than forty novels--including The Bachelor's Bargain--which have more than 2 million copies in print. She lives in Missouri with her husband, Tim, and two sons.


Yes! A book that puts Dr. Chapman's wisdom into a highly reachable format! I read the Five Love Languages probably 8 years ago and it changed my life. I've lost count of how many copies I've given away. When I saw this book come up on the review schedule, it really piqued my interest, but I wondered if it was possible to make the story really compelling in and of itself without feeling like the concept was overpowering the plot. Well, it's not. It's not overpowering at all. In fact it's more EM-powering. Having read about the love languages, I didn't have any trouble identifying each characters primary love language, nor did I have trouble identifying the seasons for each couples relationship. The really cool part though, was how it didn't take away from the story in the least. On the contrary, I felt like I knew each one of the people in Tranquility, MO personally. Cody, the town vagrant, was an especially inspired character. It was also fun to read about a locale I was familiar with. With so much family living in southern Missouri, trips to the Ozarks and the lakes were common for us. So in a way, I felt very 'at home' with the book.

Overall, it was a feel good read with warmth and humor along with a really good dose of wisdom. When I turned the final page I realized that it had encouraged me to think in ways I hadn't really considered before. And any book that can do that is very well written.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Entertain yourself

Song Stuck on the Brain: Holy Water by Big and Rich. Anyone see their Cross Country special on CMT with John Anderson? Great performance.

Book Review:

I finished The Watchers by Mark Andrew Olsen last night. It was featured on the CFBA blogtour recently. I was so behind on my reading schedule, that I couldn't give a complete review at the time. I promise that the slowness in my reading had everything to do with my schedule and nothing to do with the quality of the book.

The Watchers is what I'd call speculative fiction with a hefty dose of spiritual warfare. It's kind of a 'what if' kind of book. Abby Sherman is a typical California surfer girl that loves God and likes to blog. When she posts a strange and lifelike dream about the prophetess Anna on her MyCorner webpage, she starts a dangerous and fast paced journey that she would never have expected. Suddenly, a spiritual gift is awakened within her. She can see the spirit world as clearly as the one she lives in. Both demons and angels surround her, battling for the domain that is earth. Abby, her life in danger, begins a mission set before her by Jesus himself. To seek out the answer to the strange gift and heal the breach between herself and the sisters she's discovering that carry the gift also. Known as the Watchers, they are a line of defense in the spiritual battle that surrounds us everyday. But Abby also has to stay alive, and the Brotherhood of the Scythe, long sworn enemies of the watchers, have sworn to kill her and all her sisters too.

Like Frank Peretti, Mark uses the spirit world of Demons and Angels to round out his cast. They may not be main characters, but they're real, not just vague impressions and that lends credit to Abby's visions, keeping her from just sounding like a loony. His story is action packed, emotional, and well researched. Although the Watchers and the Brotherhood are fictional, the globe trotting locales and detailed information behind the military maneuvering is quite real. The spiritual side of the story is relevant and exciting, but not overtly preachy or heavy handed. The action part is evenly balanced with the growing relationships between the characters. Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy and Salvation is evident in the action of the relationships.

I really enjoyed this novel. It was so very different than the Hadassah books he wrote with Tommy Tenney, but not a disappointment. It was a great read, very entertaining and yet thought provoking at the same time. And that is a very good thing for a book to be.

Movie Reviews:

Have you seen either the Illusionist or the Prestige yet? If not - go rent them now. I was really surprised when they both released to see what appeared to be two very similar movies released at the same time. However, other than the similar historical era and the fact magicians are involved, the movies are very different. And both are fantastic.

The Illusionist is a romance. The photography is ethereal at times and there are moments you feel that you've slipped into a sepia tinted world when in reality the images are perfectly clear and in full color. It's just this feeling that somehow the cameras have managed to go back a hundred years plus, just to capture this story.

Ed Norton and Jessica Biel are fantastic and Rufus Sewell is the perfect villain. You're drawn into the story and their lives so completely that the twist at the end proves a complete surprise. The ultimate illusion is ending you didn't see coming.

The Prestige is a drama with a good dose of mystery woven flawlessly throughout the plot. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are perfect as rival magicians vying to be the best in their field. What started as friendship quickly turns sour as their lifelong feud brings sorrow to both their lives. When the ultimate trick is created by Bale's character, Jackman's discovers just how far he's willing to go to out perform his nemesis. The twists in the plot are tightly wound and on par with some of the best in plot twists in cinematic history. Despite it's lack of a horror movie theme, I'd even go as far as to say the plot could stand sided by side with the Sixth Sense.

The movies are so very different in plot and story, but not so different in greatness. I highly recommend both films.

Now, go entertain yourself!

*Don't forget to enter to win an autographed copy of Double Vision by Randall Ingermanson. Click the book cover at the top of the side bar to email your entry.

*This contest is only open to US or Canadian residents. Thanks!

Monday, March 19, 2007

CSFF: Double Vision by Randall Ingermanson

Song Stuck on the Brain: Tonight I Wanna Cry by Keith Urban. No, I don't feel like crying. It's just stuck on the brain. I love the song though. It's so emotional and raw.

Today the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour is featuring Double Vision by Randall Ingermanson.

About the Book:

Dillon Richard is a brilliant and meticulous engineer, respected by his co-workers at CypherQuanta, but he has never had a woman interested in him before. Now he's got two, and they're giving him double vision . . .

Rachel Meyers is a quirky, erratic biophysicist who has just developed a quantum computer that will change the world. If Rachel and Dillon can bring it to market, CypherQuanta will be worth billions. But someone is determined to steal the secret . . . and create a rift between Rachel and Dillon.

Keryn Wills is a mystery novelist and part-time chief financial officer at CypherQuanta. She desperately needs to keep Rachel and Dillon working together to finish the project, but she desperately doesn't want them to be friends. Now Keryn finds herself on the run, like a character in one of her own novels, as somebody begins tightening a noose around her and Rachel and Dillon. Somehow, she needs to unravel this mystery -- before it unravels her.

Three secrets. Two women. One man. No time.


"This two-time Christy Award-winning author of Oxygen and The Fifth Man returns with a fascinating techno-thriller about the battle to keep a next-generation computer out of the wrong hands." - T. Davis Bunn

"I can't rave enough about Double Vision, Randall Ingermanson's new novel. I don't know when I've read a novel so impossible to put down. Suspenseful action played out with larger-than-life characters makes Double Vision truly unforgettable. I predict it will be a book everyone talks about and no one wants to miss experiencing." - Colleen Coble

About the Author:

Randall Ingermanson has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California and has written both fiction and nonfiction books. He lives with his family in San Diego, California. This two-time Christy Award-winning author of Oxygen and The Fifth Man returns with a fascinating techno-thriller about the battle to keep a next-generation computer out of the wrong hands.

Mr. Ingermanson is also known as 'The Snowflake Guy'. Learn more about his classes and writing tips through his website Be sure to sign up for his FREE monthly newsletter while you're there. It's priceless.

My Take:

I've got a new favorite author. I LOVED this book. It's kind of soft on SciFi, I might classify it more as a techno thriller with a little romance and humor thrown in for good measure, but however you classify it, do read it. Randy has an incredible talent. The techno parts were interesting and compelling and not the least bit dry. The characters are well rounded and fun.

Plus, Randy pulled a little M. Night Shamylan and had a cameo in the book. It's in no way intrusive, but if you read the dedication in the front of the book, it's hard to miss it when he shows up. Loved that little addition, it was like finding an easter egg in a DVD when you didn't expect one. I was so excited by this book, that I went and bought the rest of his books and plan to read them all soon.


Don't forget to enter the drawing to win an autographed copy of Double Vision.

Somehow I became the most fortunate person in the state of Missouri, I received 2 personally autographed copies of this book. And since I know that Randy wouldn't want me to horde his fabulous book, I'm offering one of these copies in a drawing.

So if your name is April, or you know someone named April, or you just wish your name was April - be sure to click the book cover at the top of the side bar and email your entry.

The contest is open to US and Canadian residents only and ends Midnight, Sunday March 25th.

Good Luck!


Visit the other blog tour members on their blogs:

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Grace Bridges
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Tessa Edwards
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Leathel Grody
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver

New Contest - Win a copy of Double Vision by Randall Ingermanson

Congratulations, Sandra L.!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sandra is the winner of A Valley of Betrayal by Tricia Goyer.

Thanks to everyone that entered the contest, you set a record for the ProjectingA blog! Let's hope this next contest rocks even more.

This week I've got a very special book going up in the contest box. Double Vision by Randy Ingermanson is a fantastic suspense/techno thriller with just a touch of humor and romance thrown in for good measure and balance. Then, the cherry on top is the message of Grace woven throughout the whole story. You're going to love this book, I know I did.

But what makes this book even more special is that it's autographed... to me. I know, you're wondering, "Why are you giving away a book that was personally autographed to you?"

Well, it's because I have TWO of these books, both signed to me. Don't ask me how I got so fortunate, because I really can't explain it. The stars were just all lined up perfectly I guess. But would Randy want me to horde his fabulous book? NO WAY!

So if your name is April, or if you know someone named April, or if you just wish your name was April - then I want you to enter to win this AUTOGRAPHED copy of Double Vision.

The contest will run until midnight on Sunday, March 25th. You must live in the US or Canada to enter and win.

Good Luck!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

More oddities from my subconscious

Song Stuck on the Brain: God Will Take Care Of You. I was putting together a Sunday school lesson and had to choose a hymn for the kids to learn. Once I picked this one, I couldn't stop singing it. Thankfully, it's one I really like and you can't get reminders like that often enough, right?

WOW! I think I've hit a new record with contest entries. Keep 'em coming, the contest closes Sunday night at midnight. If you don't win this one though, don't worry, there are a lot more free books coming. Possibly even more autographed by the author. So thanks for playing and pass the word on to your friends.

Okay, I thought my dream the other night was odd, but last night's was strange and funny at the same time.

I was sitting at home, when my dad called and said, "I have some bad news."

"What's wrong?"

"Granny Boo died last night."

Granny is Dad's mom and my last surviving grandparent. "Oh no! How did she die?"

"In child labor."

He said this like it was completely normal. "What!? Child labor, what are you talking about?"

"She died in child labor." He said it slowly so that it would sink into my poor befuddled brain.

"How could she die in child labor?" Obviously my brain was still refusing to accept this answer.

"She died having her baby." Dad is getting that overly patient tone you use with five-year-old's that keep asking the same question.

"She's 85, how could she be having a baby? Why didn't I even know she was pregnant? How could this happen? Why didn't I know?" The questions tumble out in stunned confusion.

"She got pregnant. I thought you knew. I was sure we mentioned it."

"No, you didn't."

"Well, she had a girl. She stated in her will that if anything happened to her, she wanted you to raise the baby. They named her May after Granny. She's in Springfield with your Aunt Donna and Uncle Jim. You need to make arrangements to go down and collect her and sign the papers."

I'm still amazed at how calm Dad sounds. "May?" I repeat. May is Granny's middle name and one that she had always hated. "They named her May?"

"Yeah, she's really cute. Black curly hair, chubby cheeks." Dad sounds happy.

"You've seen her?" I'm even more at a loss now.

"Jim and Donna sent pictures through the email."

"Oh." I was speechless. I'd just inherited a baby.

That was pretty much the end of the dream. I was thinking about it this morning and got to laughing because the mental image of my 85 year old granny 9 months pregnant is just really strange. (Yes, I could actually picture it.) Plus, it occurred to me that I'd be raising my aunt as my own daughter and Dad's granddaughter would also be his sister. That old song about "I'm my own Grandpa" ran through my head and it was just too funny.

I think I know what triggered this one. I was reading in the old testament just before bed late last night and I read a portion of the story about Abraham and Sarah and how she conceived at such an old age. It must have stuck in my subconscious.

Angel thinks I have a preoccupation with babies and giving birth. I'm beginning to think she's right. I've had so many dreams over the last 10 years about those two topics I'm beginning to feel as if I could commiserate with my pregnant friends. How weird is that? I guess I'm fine for now. But the first time I say, "Oh I know, the baby thinks my bladder is a trampoline." or "I know how you feel, they just kick so hard!" I'm checking in to the first mental hospital I see.

Oh well, enough of my crazy dreams for now. It's nearly 1 am, time to go dream something new.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Don't forget...

This weekend is your last chance to enter to win a copy of A Valley of Betrayal by Tricia Goyer.

Click the book cover on the right to email me your entry.

*This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. Thanks!

And have a Happy St. Paddy's Day! Here's a little fun for your Green Weekend.

Your Irish Name Is...

Aishling Fitzgerald

You Are Emerald Green

Deep and mysterious, it often seems like no one truly gets you.

Inside, you are very emotional and moody - though you don't let it show.

People usually have a strong reaction to you... profound love or deep hate.

But you can even get those who hate you to come around. There's something naturally harmonious about you.

You Are An Ash Tree

You are vivacious and impulsive, which makes you extremely attractive to many.

Intelligent and demanding, you don't care much for criticism.

You have a ton of ambition and talent, and sometimes money rules your heart.

You like to play with fate, and you can be very egotistical and restless.

Demanding of attention, you need love and a lot of emotional support.

Have Fun!


I'm on top of the world

Song Stuck on the Brain: "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi

This ain't a song for the broken-hearted
No silent prayer for the faith-departed
I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd
You're gonna hear my voice When I shout it out loud

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said I did it my way
I just wanna live while I'm alive
It's my life

This is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down
Tomorrow's getting harder make no mistake
Luck ain't even lucky
Gotta make your own breaks

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said I did it my way
I just wanna live while I'm alive
It's my life

Better stand tall when they're calling you out
Don't bend, don't break, baby, don't back down

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said I did it my way
I just wanna live while I'm alive
It's my life

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said I did it my way
I just wanna live while I'm alive
'Cause it's my life!

Surprisingly enough, I kind of feel like this today. I don't really know why, but I heard it on the radio this morning while driving in and I just felt all pumped. Like the Rocky moment when he's reached the top. I kind of feel like I could take on the world today so just watch out! I hope I can carry that over into my weekend, it sure would help me get more accomplished.
Now on to Idol, I promised my predictions on Tuesday and here it is Friday and you're all still waiting on pins and needles, right? Sorry. I had a tough time deciding. It really came down to who I wanted in the top 3 and who I thought would actually be in the top 3. For example, Hayley and Sanjaya seem to have more lives than a cat. I like both of them and they have fine voices, they're just not in the same league as the rest.

So who do I want in the top 3? Glad you asked. Here's my initial dream team:

Melinda Doolittle, Blake Lewis , and Chris Sligh. The judges really slammed Chris and Blake for rearranging and refreshing their Diana Ross song choices. I think they were great. I loved both of their arrangements. Not only were they current and fresh, but it showed great skill and talent for both of them. The judges claim they want a singer that can take a song and make it their own, and their right, it's a sign of a true artist. It just chaps my hide when they get people that have that ability and they call them out for it. They did that to Chris Daughtry last year. Chris might not have one, but he's certainly not been hurt by his 4th place standing. His album is incredible.

However, as much as I love Chris Sligh's voice and personality, he doesn't quite have the same star power on the stage. So I can't include him in my official predictions. Instead I think he'll make it to the top six at least, maybe even top 4.

WHO are my official picks for top 3? Okay, okay, enough stalling. Here are my picks.

Melinda Doolittle, Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks.
Jordin has the star quality and, I believe, the ability to be fresh, current and versatile.

Who do I think will win? I think Melinda is a shoo in to take it all. Then again, I thought Chris was last year (and he should have been.) I could be so off track that I'm going backwards, but there are my choices none the less.
Now it's up to the rest of you to vote, vote, vote!!!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm a Blogging Chick

I just joined a new group called the Blogging Chicks. It's a great group of blogs all authored by women. It's a new and quickly growing resource to find blogs with the kind of content you want. You can visit us at .

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CFBA: The Reliance by Mary Lu Tyndall

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing THE RELIANCE (Barbour, January 1, 2007) by Mary Lu Tyndall .


A YOUNG BRIDE separated from her husband just as a child has been conceived...

A GRIEVING HUSBAND tempted to take his anger out through the vices of his past...

A MARRIAGE AND A SHIP threatenend to be split apart by villainous Caribbean pirates...

In THE RELIANCE, Edmund Merrick tormented by the apparent demise of his pregnant wife Charlisse, sails away to drown his sorrows. He turns his back on God and reverts to a life of villainy, joining forces with the demented French pirate Collier. When his mind clears from its rum-induced haze, will Edmund find the will to escape?
Seemingly abandoned by her new husband, Charlisse battles her own insecurities as she is thrown into the clutches of the vengeful pirate Kent, who holds her and Lady Isabel captive.
Will she be swept away by the undertow of treachery and despair? Can Edmund and Charlisse battle the tempests that threaten to tear them apart and steer their way to the faith-filled haven they so desperately seek? Or will they ultimately lose their love and lives to the whirlpool of treachery and deceit?


M. L. (MARYLU) TYNDALL grew up on the beaches of South Florida loving the sea and the warm tropics. But despite the beauty around her, she always felt an ache in her soul--a longing for something more. After college, she married and moved to California where she had two children and settled into a job at a local computer company. Although she had done everything the world expected, she was still miserable. She hated her job and her marriage was falling apart. Still searching for purpose, adventure and true love, she spent her late twenties and early thirties doing all the things the world told her would make her happy, and after years, her children suffered, her second marriage suffered, and she was still miserable. One day, she picked up her old Bible, dusted it off, and began to read. Somewhere in the middle, God opened her hardened heart to see that He was real, that He still loved her, and that He had a purpose for her life, if she's only give her heart to Him completely.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday is hassenpfeffer

Song Stuck on the Brain: Today is Tuesday, Today is Tuesday, Tuesday hassenpfeffer, Everybody happy, well I should say!

I learned this song in first grade and for some reason it has completely stuck with me. Each day was a different food, like string beans, soup, fresh fish, roast beef, etc. I couldn't tell you which day was which, except Tuesday. I've never had rabbit in my life, but hassenpfefferstuck with me. I think I just liked the word. I tried to Google the lyrics to see the whole list, but none of the versions on-line list hassenpfeffer. Which means that my music teacher really was as old as the hills. It's kinda sad too, all kids should learn to sing hassenpfeffer.

So, last night I suffered a few more labor pains and birthed a little more of my novel. It felt good to find some momentum on it again. I want to enter it in a contest so the first 25 pages have to be really clean by April. I'm cautiously optimistic about it's reception. I don't expect to win or place (although who wouldn't love to win the 'most beautiful baby' prize?) but the feedback from pro's will be a great learning experience. I'm hoping to work on it more tonight, but I've got so much other stuff going, we'll see if I can squeeze in the time. Last night I was up until 3 am and I'd rather avoid doing that again.

Did you have beautiful weather in your hometown today? I believe we hit 77 today and it was GORGEOUS at lunchtime. I nearly cried when I had to come back into the bat cave for work. I'm so in the mood to road trip. I don't even care where I go as long as I've got a full tank of gas, the wind in my hair and the radio cranked.

Tonight is Idol's Top 12 and I'm excited to see how they all fare. I should have some predictions for you tomorrow. In the mean time, don't forget to enter the new contest. Click the book cover at right and email your entry.

Cheerio! (I'm already channeling Simon!)