Friday, September 27, 2013

CFBA: Made to Last by Melissa Tagg

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Made to Last
Bethany House Publishers (September 15, 2013)
Melissa Tagg

I love a good home make over show. Miranda's show From the Ground Up sounded like a pretty fantastic program, I'd watch it. The behind the scenes reading, though, is much more fun! How does the saying go? Oh what a web we weave, when first we practice to deceive? Miranda never intended to make such a sticky massive web. Who really does? But make a mess she does and finding her way out of it could lead to heartache and loss. The great thing is seeing how with each step she takes to correct a lie or untangle a strand, you can see God's hand working to turn it to good. He wants her back and even though Miranda might not see it right away, God is healing her, and by turn a few others around her. It's a love story with multiple angles and it's nicely wrapped in some very funny moments to keep it at just the right level of fun.


Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Made to Last, go HERE.


A Word From The Author:

I’m a former reporter turned author who loves all things funny and romancey. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to my nonprofit day job, I’m also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists.

It all started when my dad, at the ripe old age of sixteen, picked up my mom up for their first date. She was thirteen. Thirteen!* Dad drove a cherry red car up the lane to my grandparents big ol’ green house and honked his horn…whereupon Mom jumped out of the apple tree she’d been waiting in and off they went…fishing. True story. (I’d give more details, but I’m saving it for a novella I plan to entitle Two Leaves. Mom, I really hope you read this.)

Four years of college, a few trips abroad and a stint as a reporter later, that dream is soon to be a reality. My debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, is now out from Bethany House. Book two, Here to Stay, comes out on May 1, 2014.

In between writing and staring out the window brainstorming, I also work as a grant-writer at one of Iowa’s largest private nonprofits and serve as the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists founded by Susan May Warren.

And I love, love, love talking about finding our purpose and identity in Christ. (And well, okay, food, old movies, boots and scarves, my awesome nephew Ollie, and, fine, Tim Tebow, too.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to Prepare for Your Future by Russell Nelson

In a continuation of yesterday's post, I'd like to share another article from the 2000 StrongVoice Newsletter.
How to Prepare for Your Future
By: Russell Nelson
 Let me offer my vision of you and your future. You enter a world caught in a steep slippery slide of diminishing moral values. Against that backdrop, your character and integrity will let you stand out and shine like a lighthouse. You, your families, and your homes will become beacons of hope in a darkened world. Your faith and optimism will make you leaders in your communities, in your countries, and in the kingdom of God on earth.
It will be your privilege to proclaim the gospel to the world.
You will place a high priority on those two great commandments: to love God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself (see Matthew 22:37–39). You will continue to learn and build in yourselves an ever-increasing capacity to serve others. As you do so, you will find that your own lives have been enlarged and enriched.
When you serve your fellow men and women, you serve God and help to establish His Church in those lands where you live.
You will be examples to all with whom you associate—examples of forbearance, of integrity, of controlling your tempers, appetites, and emotions, as you honor your commitment to Christ.
As you adhere to the standards of the Church, you will be in great demand. And you will find true joy in total obedience to God’s laws. While some others choose which commandments they will keep, you know the fallacy and danger of this approach. It will only lead to misery. You will gain protection and spiritual strength in complete obedience. After all, he or she who does not stand for something will likely fall for anything.
What will keep you joyful and safe . . . physically and spiritually? Obedience! Obedience to all of God’s commandments will allow the Holy Ghost to be your constant companion. Such obedience will prepare you to be great leaders, great wives and husbands, great mothers and fathers. Such obedience will allow you to become more like the Lord (remember, your goal is immortality and eternal life - that goal is God’s glory.)
The Lord’s vision for you as His elect children requires that you be clean, virtuous, and qualified for eternal life.
For more great messages from the 2000 StrongVoice Newsletter, click HERE. Visit for more information on their ministry.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Great Faith by Fred Greene

I received the 2000 StrongVoice Newsletter yesterday, and was moved and inspired by it's message. I wanted to share part of it with you today.

 A Great Faith
By: Fred Greene
"The tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom He hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." [1 Nephi 1:23]
Paul told us that "God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."[Romans 12:3]
The first object of our faith... is belief in God and Jesus Christ: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me." [John 14:1], which is followed by belief in their words and works.
However.... our Heavenly Father expects us to take that measure of faith He has given to each of us... and nurture it through study, prayer and service... in order for it to become a powerful moving force in our lives... and a witness to the world. Remembering the Parable of the Talents, we know that God expects His gifts to be multiplied. The main purpose of priesthood in the Restoration Movement.... is to feed His Sheep with faith nurturing substance... in order to increase that faith.
Thus His Sheep will understand that they cannot rely or follow the arm of flesh... but only the one Shepherd; Jesus Christ. Done properly and completely... by faith, all blessings will occur... and by faith, all things can be accomplished. It has been impressed upon me that the Lord is calling His people to begin building a Great Faith. I believe that the times we live in now - and in the near future - will demand of us a higher level of faith than we possess. An elevated level of faith will enable us to experience blessings in the midst of great tempests, purpose in lieu of fear, and opportunities for service in the midst of human commotion. It will call for us to trust God's will beyond what we have ever experienced before. The Scriptures give this kind of faith a name - it is called a Great Faith... and this is what will be required of us in the foreseeable future.
Joseph Smith described this kind of increased faith as having "power,
dominion, and authority over all things." [Lectures on Faith 1:24]... such is a Great Faith. What is a Great Faith? One having "power, dominion, and authority over all things." A Great Faith consists of at least four types of specific faith:
Obedient Faith
Courageous Faith
Trusting Faith
Experienced Faith
We need some of each of these types of faith in order to possess a Great Faith... one needed now, and for the future. 
For more great messages from the 2000 StrongVoice Newsletter, click HERE. Visit for more information on their ministry.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Take Chances by KC Sprayberry has Taken OVER...

Good Morning! My name is KC Sprayberry. April Erwin of Projecting A has let me hijack her blog today. The purpose is to tease all of her very dedicated readers with information about my soon-to-be-released YA coming of age novel, Take Chances.

Today is an interview of the irrepressible Tom Maxton. Watch out, folks, he might just prank you!

1. Introduce yourself to our readers. What should we know about you?


Hey, everybody, I'm Tom Maxton. (flexes arm muscle) The best darned running back at Landry High. Tell you what, you come on out, take me on, name the sport – I'll run you into the ground. (kicks feet onto table, shoes just this side of disreputable. Grins) So, you want to know about me.


Let's see. (grin gets wickeder) There is what I did last Halloween, with the plastic pumpkins and some condoms. Man, that was a blast. Charles and Lacey tried to arrest me for disrespecting them, but you know … they couldn't make any of the charges stick. Who would have thunk that disrespect wasn't a crime? (snickers.)


They were the real criminals, you know. (jumps to feet, paces back and forth) What they did to us. I don't hate people usually, but I make an exception for them. (shakes head, turns to stare at a wall) I didn't even do a graduation prank. I wanted to, but it wouldn't have seemed right. And now (glances at olive green flightsuit) well, let's just say the Air Force doesn't go much for pranks.


2. What do you think about the author? Tell us everything. We want to know.


Great author you have here. You have to know that. She works hard, even kept some of my (coughs, grins) nastier pranks out of the limelight. Of course, that whole classroom scene – I would have done it differently. Who wanted to be in there? The real action was out in the huddle we had in the hallway – where Michael, Sam, Billy, and I worked our butts off to stop that. But overall, nice job. Very nice.


3. What are your feelings about this story?


That it didn't have to happen, not the way it did. Everyone knew what a loser Aaron Smalley was, how he always beat on his wife. Us kids, we tried to take care of him, tried to make everyone see what a loser he was, but the adults (eye roll) didn't listen. We lost some good people that day, some great friends, and it didn't have to happen.


4. How do you feel about being a character in this book?


Couldn't leave me out, could she – the writer. I'm the comic. (Laughs) The water balloon fight, the whole thing about those bigots trying to run Lukas' parents out of town, my great stories. Of course, no one knew about those classes I took at Tech for two years, just so I could get into the flight engineer program. Well, sort of. I still have to finish my bachelor's degree, but I do that at night, while I'm in training. Boy, will everyone in Landry be surprised when I have that degree and am flying in those cool jets soon. (finger over lips) Don't tell anyone that. I want to surprise them.


5. What do you see in your future? (No spoilers please!)


Be a jet jockey – a fighter pilot. Coolest job on earth. It's just you and the aircraft. No one will stop me. And I'll be the best there is. Count on it.


6. Is there another Take Chances in the future? Will you be part of it?


Be cool to see, but I don't think that's happening. What happened then, it was all of us together. We're apart now, even my girl. I sure do miss Lydie, but she's coming to visit soon. Again. This time, we'll all be able to get off the base for some decent food.


7. Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actor/actress would you want to play you and why?



Oh, heck yeah! This will totally make a great movie. Who do I want to tell my little green men story? Easy! Taylor Lautner. Man, he was totally amazing in the Twilight movies. Great movies there. The girls get all weepy. Gives a guy a chance to get them up close. (winks)


Julie Bond grew up in Europe as a military brat. She found her very first permanent home in Landry, GA as a teen going into high school. Almost four years later, she's having pre-graduation jitters and flashing back to an incident of school violence she experienced in Europe. She attempts to convince herself that it can never happen again, but continually finds herself flashing back to that day no matter how hard she tries.

The people around her present any number of problems for Julie, and she's hard put to keep from drowning under all the issues. Then Michael--a cool guy she's had a crush on for the last three years—returns from traveling the US as a photographer, and Julie now has one more thing to distract her as she prepares to leave high school. One thing she firmly believes in: no one will ever invade her classroom with violence again.

Once again, the impossible happens. Once again, she's in a classroom with a madman holding a gun. Once again, she must survive.

Teaser Excerpt:
His dad died when his jeep rolled over a buried mine in Afghanistan. Anna, his mom, married Aaron Smalley a month before I arrived. He is a drunk and the biggest loser in the universe.

"What's the problem?" I ask.

"AWP," Hugh says in such a low voice that I have a hard time hearing him. "Mr. Thompson stopped me before I went into Spanish. He knew, Julie. Mr. Thompson knew I didn't write the last paper. I have to redo it tonight or I'll fail." He raises his head, the devastated look on his face making me feel his pain. "How can I do it now? I know what I want to write, but Aaron will … will … you know what he'll do."

"Aaron won't get home until almost five," I say. "Tom will drop you off before three-thirty. You have plenty of time to write a paper about your dreams before the jerk shows up."

"You're right." Hugh smiles. "Thanks, Julie. You're the best friend I have, besides Lukas, Heather, and Tom." His expression turns serious. "And Michael. I sure wish he was still around."

Boy, can he say that again. Oh, how I wish Michael Taylor still lived in Landry.


KC Sprayberry started writing young, with a diary followed by an interest in English. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in a Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now a in his senior year of high school.

Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories, and her young adult novel Softly Say Goodbye, released in 2012. During 2013, more young adult stories have been released: The Ghost Catcher, Who Am I?, Family Curse … Times Two, and Amazon Best Seller, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates.

You can find her on the web here:


Stick around for the full tour. Why? On September 26 through September 29, 2013, you can pick up my other YA coming of age books, Softly Say Goodbye and Who Am I? free on Amazon:


Thank you April Erwin of Projecting A for hosting me today. Tomorrow you find the next Teaser Tour on Renee Entress Renee Entress's  Blog.

 You're welcome, KC! Thanks for stopping by and sharing so much fun stuff with us today. Good luck on your tour. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from you soon! - April 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

CFBA: Fired up by Mary Connealy

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Fired Up
Bethany House March 1,2013
Mary Connealy


Mary Connealy is back again for another wild and crazy ride through Texas, YIPEE! Remember, I'm addicted to her books, so whenever a new release comes along I snatch it up first chance I get. I've yet to be disappointed. Last release was Swept Away, the first in the Trouble in Texas series, and it introduced the four friends who were once Regulators in a Confederate war Prison camp. Now we're back to follow Dare Riker as the whole town gets Fired Up. Over what? Well, just about everything. There's never a dull moment and always a guaranteed laugh out loud moment ( or 3...). Loved this one, of course. Just counting down the days now until the next release and wondering will it be The Lawyer or The Preacher next?


Rollicking Wild West Adventure and Romance from Bestselling Author Mary Connealy

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she's determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she's terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner--never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits.

Glynna can't help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There's the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna's diner into Dare's back. Are Flint's cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna's son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fired Up, go HERE.


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

CFBA: Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Born of Persuasion
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2013)
Jessica Dotta


When my sister asked me to describe Born of Persuasion as I was reading, my first response was "It's Jane Eyre meets Jane Austen." I hadn't even read the author's bio yet, but obviously I wasn't the only one with that impression! :) Which then makes me ask, how could you NOT love this book? If  you're even the slightest fan of the era or genre, you're sure to fall in love.

Julia isn't your typical Christian genre heroine. In fact, being of the age of enlightenment, she's quite outspoken against Him. Her family and true love believe differently and that creates quite a dilemma for Julia; in many ways because she chooses to let it. Her journey, spiritually and toward safety and love, are very addictive. I had a hard time leaving her world to work in mine.

I was concerned, momentarily, that after being invested heart and soul in these characters, that the ending would be tragic or not end the way I hoped it would. I love Jane Eyre, but over all the Bronte sisters were Gothic Romance writers. Dark and tragic. I prefer not to end that way. Not to give any endings away, but Born of Persuasion wrapped up in just the right way - setting the stage for the launch of the next book in the series. I can't wait to get my hands on it either.


The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Born of Persuasion, go HERE.


Born in the wrong century–except for the fact that she really likes epidurals and washing machines–Jessica Dotta writes British Historicals with the humor like an Austen, yet the drama of a Bronte.

She resides lives in the greater Nashville area—where she imagines her small Southern town into the foggy streets of 19th century London. She oversees her daughter to school, which they pretend is an English boarding school, and then she goes home to write and work on PR. Jessica has tried to cast her dachshund as their butler–but the dog insists it’s a Time Lord and their home a Tardis. Miss Marple, her cat, says its no mystery to her as to why the dog won’t cooperate. When asked about it, Jessica sighs and says that you can’t win them all, and at least her dog has picked something British to emulate.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Free original Children's Song

My sister Angel and I wrote a children's song together over the weekend and we want to share it with all of you.

Do you, or a friend, teach Sunday School, Bible School or just like to sing with kids? Here's a new song for you to learn together. Teach them what it means to repent in a simple and easy to remember way. The song is free so pass it on to anyone you would like.