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Friday, December 28, 2007

Were You Colder Than This?

Another Christmas is over and life is slowly returning to normal. Snow is falling and once again my husband had to plow out our long driveway with our Cat. I'll be blogging more again, now that the stream of family get togethers has slowed. Our son and his wife will be making one more visit before returning to their home in Northern California....but right now they're both sick with stomach flu at her parents house in Portland.

I want to share a short story with you, written by Ruth Seamands. It's touching and very appropriate for the Christmas season.

Were You Colder Than This?

(Written by Ruth Seamands)

It was Christmas Eve in Korea. An expectant mother walked through the snow to the home of a missionary friend where she knew she could find help. A short way down the road from the mission house was a deep gully spanned by a bridge. As the young woman stumbled forward, birth pains overcame her. She realized she could go no farther. She crawled under the bridge.

There alone between the trestles she gave birth to a baby boy. She had nothing with her except the heavy padded clothes she was wearing. One by one she removed the pieces of her clothing and wrapped them around her tiny son - around and around, like a cumbersome cocoon. Then, finding a discarded piece of burlap, she pulled it over herself, and lay exhausted beside her baby.

The next morning, a missionary drove across the bridge in her Jeep to take a Christmas basket to a Korean family. On the way back, as she neared the bridge, the Jeep sputtered and died, out of gas. Getting out of the Jeep she started to walk across the bridge, and heard a faint cry beneath her. She crawled under the bridge to investigate. There she found the tiny baby, warm but hungry, and the young mother frozen to death.

The missionary took the baby home and cared for him. As the boy grew, he often asked his adopted mother to tell him the story of how she had found him. On Christmas Day, his 12th birthday, he asked the missionary to take him to his mother's grave.

Once there he asked her to wait a distance away while he went to pray. The boy stood beside the grave with bowed head, weeping. Then he began to disrobe. As the astonished missionary watched, the boy took off his warm clothing, piece by piece, and laid it on his mother's grave.

Surely he won't take off all his clothing, the missionary thought. He'll freeze! But the boy stripped himself of everything, putting all his warm clothing on the grave. He knelt naked and shivering in the snow. As the missionary went to him to help him dress again, she heard him cry out to the mother he never knew: "Were you colder than this for me, my mother?" And he wept bitterly.

When Christ came, He stripped himself of every royal garment and entered into our world of hatred and cold indifference. Why did He do it? Because He saw centuries of broken lives needing a Savior. And then He died of a broken heart. What broke it? The sin of human hearts. The long history of men making slaves of other men. Centuries of cruelty. Starvation and suffering. The worship of false gods in temples made with hands. War, bloodshed, crime, and greed: those things broke the heart of Christ.

But so did we.

Our coldness broke His heart, and now it freezes Him out. We complacent Americans (and people of all nations) who are saved, satisfied, and sitting. We who pray, "Give us compassion for a lost world," and then "sacrifice" a dollar for missions - we with our elegant homes and brimming garbage cans - we who have the money, knowledge, and manpower to take the gospel to every creature, and yet we don't. We who say we love the lost, and neglect to tell a lost neighbor about a loving Savior.

Jesus' love lies frozen between trestled lips that ought to be warm to speak for Him. Lord, we take off our garments of pride and self-righteousness, glittering but transparently filthy rags that they are, and lay them at Your feet.

In our naked need we cry, "Were You colder than this because of us, Lord?"
And we weep, because we know You were.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Site Up and Running!!!

I'm having so much fun! I just discovered a site where I can design my own products and offer them for sale with my logo, my book cover and lots of other great items....mugs, posters, T-shirts and more.

I'm posting a link here on my blog that you can come back to any time, both in this post and over to the right. I'll be adding new items over the next few days, so check back and see what's available.

I hope each of you are finding time to rest and reflect on the birth of Jesus during this most precious time of the year. Don't let yourselves get too overwhelmed with being busy...take time for yourself and your relationships with the Lord, family and friends. For that's truly what Christmas is about.

buy unique gifts at Zazzle

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Whose Birthday Is It???

Christmas is almost upon us, the most joyous time of the year.... Or is it?

For many, it's just a season filled with stress, financial trouble, or loneliness. For others it's a time to visit with friends and family, bake, buy gifts or hope for some new blessing in their life.

What does it mean to you?

In this age of commercialism, are you making the time to celebrate the birthday of our Lord? It's so easy to allow the days to fly by and be swamped with all the chores required by Christmas. Baking, mailing cards, buying gifts, decorating the tree, helping children with programs...all these are good in themselves, but what will really bring the peace and joy to your heart and your family?

Let me make a small suggestion. When you wake up each morning between now and Christmas, don't jump out of bed and hit the floor matter how many chores are begging to be done. Lay in bed another five minutes, and give time to the Lord. Let the awe of Christmas fill your heart and the joy of our Saviour minister to your spirit. Don't beat yourself up for not taking an hour with your Bible & prayer. Do what you're able to do, but make sure your priorities put Him first in your day.... After all....

Whose Birthday Is it, Anyway?

Merry Christmas to all, and Happy Birthday to you, Jesus!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Radio Interview Thursday December 6th

I have a 12 minute radio interview airing on a Christian station out of Missouri tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Central, 11:00 a.m. west coast time.
You can hear it live at 11:00 (Pacific) at Just click on the "listen live" link in the center of the home page. If you miss it, you can go later in the day or the following one, and click on "Programming", then choose "Author's Corner" and click on the speaker icon. It may take awhile to show up under the archives, but I've been assured it WILL be placed there if you're persistent.
If you have any problems, let me know....and if you do listen to it, I'd love your feedback!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Blended Family....Managing Your Step Family Part 2

Here's part two of the article about blended families. I hope it will be a blessing to you. Please see the credits at the bottom of the article.

Acknowledge the absent parent

When one of the original parents is absent, the children need a special kind of understanding. An absent parent (who has died or who lives elsewhere and doesn’t visit) is part of a child’s past. The child must be allowed to have memories of this parent.

The children who have access to both of their parents are those who adjust the best to divorce. They should be allowed to regularly speak with, visit, and write to their non-custodial parent.

Help the kids fit in

Children of stepfamilies belong to two households. It is understandable that they have questions about where they fit in. They are usually able to adjust to having two sets of rules as long as they are not asked to choose which is better.

Be clear about the rules

Ideally, both sets of parents should discuss the family rules and what will happen if rules are broken. When the adults agree on the rules, they should explain them to the children.

Most successful stepfamilies have learned that the rules should be decided together in the beginning, and that the biological parent should do the explaining and disciplining. The stepparent may have more involvement after the relationships with the stepchildren have been established.

All of this works best when the parents can agree to be flexible and cooperative with one another. This may be difficult immediately following a divorce or remarriage, but it is important to work toward this objective.

Educate yourselves and seek emotional support

Read books about managing stepfamilies, attend classes, and participate in stepfamily support groups. Seek the help of an experienced mental health professional to help you through the rough spots. Marriage and Family Therapists have specific skills and training for working with families and stepfamilies.

Give the kids their own space

Make physical space available for the children who don’t live with you. Children need a sense of belonging. Creating a room or section of a room for visiting children will help them feel like part of your family.

Expect them to think it’s temporary

Accept the fact that your children may expect you and their other parent to reconcile. They may fantasize that your new relationship with your partner is only temporary. This is especially true in the beginning.

Find a time to sit down with the children and explain that when two people are unable to live together anymore, it doesn’t mean they love their children any less. This is especially important for the parent who has moved away, since the children will inevitably feel a sense of rejection.

Expect resentment

No matter how good a parent you are, you will never be the biological parent of your stepchildren. It is natural for a stepchild to feel some resentment for you, especially when you are setting limits for their behavior.

Show the children love

Sometimes children need love the most at a time when it is the most difficult to give it to them. While bad behavior should never be rewarded, always praise children when they are behaving well.

Garrett Coan is a professional therapist, coach and psychotherapist. His two Northern New Jersey office locations are accessible to individuals who reside in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, Rockland County, and Manhattan. He offers online and telephone coaching and counseling services for those who live at a distance. He can be accessed through or 201-303-4303.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Managing Your Step Family

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned sharing articles on combined families. This is the first half of an excellent article I just discovered. I'll post the second half in a couple of days, so please check back.

Managing Your Step Family

By Garrett Coan, Psychotherapist

If you are a member of a stepfamily, you know how difficult it can be to integrate all of the new members and adjust to the new boundaries and rules. The following ideas may help you make a successful transition during this challenging process.

Have patience

Establishing new families takes time. Just because you love your new partner, it is unrealistic to think that you will automatically love his or her children.

It is equally unrealistic to expect that your new partner’s children will instantly love you. It can be difficult to accept that even though you wish to have a relationship with your stepchildren, they may not be ready for a relationship with you.

Expect to adjust

With proper help and guidance, children can recover from family disruption. All children experience a difficult adjustment period following a divorce or remarriage.

It takes time

It takes time, patience, and perhaps some professional assistance, but most children are able to regain their emotional bearings. It is critical that the adults manage their own emotional recovery in order to help the children adjust without trauma.

If you are part of a part-time stepfamily, you may need a longer adjustment period. All relationships take time to grow and develop. When stepchildren see you less often, you have less time to get to know each other. This is why it may take a part-time stepfamily longer to move through the adjustment process.

Don’t expect your new family to be like your first family

If you expect that your stepfamily will be just like the family of your first marriage, you are setting yourself up for frustration. Your new family will have its own unique identity and will evolve in its own special way.

Expect confusion

Forming a stepfamily is a confusing time for everyone. Think about how confusing it is for a child to become part of two new families. All of the family members—parents and children—must learn to understand the new structure and learn to navigate the boundaries.

Allow time for grieving

Stepfamilies begin with an experience of loss, and everyone needs to grieve. The adults’ losses are not the same as those of the children, and both must be respected. Adults grieve the following losses:

  • The loss of a partner
  • The loss of a marriage relationship
  • Lost dreams of the way they thought it would be
  • They must adjust to changes that result from the divorce or death (moving to a new house, starting a new job, adjusting to changes in lifestyle, etc.)
  • Children grieve, too. Their losses are usually different from those of their parents:
  • They may now be living with one parent instead of two.
  • They may have less time with one or both parents during times of dating and remarriage.
  • There may be less stability in their homes.
  • They must adjust to changes that result from the divorce or death. (They may have a new place to live and go to a new school; they may have lost friends in this process.)
  • They have lost the fantasy of how they wanted their family to be.

Children have an especially difficult time resolving their grief when their parents are hostile with one another, when one or both of their parents remarry, and if they have trouble accepting their new stepparents.

Garrett Coan is a professional therapist, coach and psychotherapist. His two Northern New Jersey office locations are accessible to individuals who reside in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, Rockland County, and Manhattan. He offers online and telephone coaching and counseling services for those who live at a distance. He can be accessed through or 201-303-4303.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Contest! Win A Copy of My Book!

Hey everybody! Would you like one more chance to win a copy of my new book? A friend of mine is doing a give away of her own copy. It's been gently read one time, she did a review for me, loved the book, but likes to share with others.

Just pop over to Pam's blog site and leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Radio Interviews and Thanksgiving Time!

God has been so good to my family this year, and we have much to be thankful for. New Friend Cindy Woodsmall and I at the ACFW Conference

In July, we moved into the new home we'd spent over a year building, and began the ongoing process of unpacking, landscaping and finishing little bits and pieces not quite completed when we moved. We're loving our new home and it's everything I've dreamed of and more.

Our son married for the first time at the age of 29, and added a wonderful Christian girl to our family.

My husband graciously encouraged me to attend my first ever ACFW writer's conference in Dallas, TX in September.

Then in October, my debut novel The Other Daughter, released with Kregel Publications. It's getting excellent reviews and doing well. My second book (the sequel) is being reviewed now for a possible contract. I'm hoping to hear something in the next couple of months from my publisher.

Recently, I've done two radio broadcasts to help market my new book. The first aired on in early November. The next will air December 6th at 11:00 a.m. on KNEO...if you can't get it on the radio (it's in Missouri) you can find it at

I truly enjoyed that particular interview. The announcer asked insightful questions and gave me adequate time to reply. I'm hoping my publicist might be able to put together a couple more radio spots for me between now and Christmas, if schedules aren't completely booked.

What a truly blest year this has been! I've much to be thankful for, and I know the blessings have only begun.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Interview With Tricia

Here's the interview I promised with Historical Author Tricia Goyer

Q and A with Tricia!tric


A Shadow of Treason follows A Valley of Betrayal. This is the first time you've written books as a series instead of stand alone. Which way do you like better?

A: I love writing in series. It was great to continue with the same characters. In my stand-alone books I fell in love with these people and then I had to say good-bye after one book. It was wonderful to be able to continue on.

Q: In A Shadow of Treason Sophie must return to the person who betrayed her in an effort to help the Spanish people. It makes the book hard to put down because the reader has to know how Sophie's heart will deal with it. Why did you decide to make this an element of the book?

A: There are very few of us who go through life without giving away a part of our hearts to someone who didn't deserve it. Even though Sophie had the best intentions, she gave away her heart and she was hurt-not only that she must revisit those emotions.

I wanted to include this element-to delve into the topic that emotions are sometimes as big of a trap as any physical cage. Emotions are real and they guide us -- even when we don't want to admit it. Poor Sophie, not only does she have to deal with a war around her -- she also has to deal with a war within herself. It's something I've battled, and mostly likely others have too.

Q: There is an interesting element that arises in this book and that is Spanish gold. I know you can't tell us what happens in this book, but can you give us a brief history of this gold?

A: Sure. When I was researching I came upon something interesting. The Spaniards, as we know, had taken much Aztec and Inca gold during the time of the conquistadors. Well, at the start of The Spanish Civil War much of this gold was still held in Madrid. In fact Spain had the fourth largest gold reserves in the world at that time. The Republican government was afraid Franco would take the city and the gold. They had to get it out of Madrid and this included transporting priceless artifacts. The element of gold does make its way into my story. It was great to include this little-known (and true!) element into my story.

Q: Another historical fact I learned about was the Nazi involvement during this time. Not only were the Germans active in Spain, but they had spy networks busy around the world. How did you find out about this?

A: I love reading tons of research books. Usually I find one little element that I dig out and turn into a plot line. This is what happened with my plot-line for the Nazi pilot, Ritter. I dug up this bit of research of Nazi involvement in Spain -- and the United States -- because a lot of people aren't aware of the Nazi involvement prior to WWII. The truth is they were busy at work getting the land, information, and resources they needed far before they threatened the nations around them. The Germans knew what they wanted and how to get it. And most of the time they succeeded!

Q: A Shadow of Treason is Book Two. When will Book Three be out? Can you give us a hint of how the story continues?

A: Book Three is A Whisper of Freedom. It will be out February 2008. The characters that we love are all still in the midst of danger at the end of Book Two. Book Three continues their stories as we follow their journeys in -- and (for a few) out -- of Spain. It's an exciting conclusion to the series!

Q: Wow, so we have a least one more fiction book to look forward to in the near future. Are you working on any non-fiction?

A: Yes, I have two non-fiction books that will be out the early part of 2008. Generation NeXt Marriage is a marriage book for today's couples. It talks about our marriage role models, our struggles, and what we're doing right as a generation. It also gives advice for holding it together.

I've also been privileged to work on the teen edition of Max Lucado's book 3:16. It was a great project to work on. What an honor!

Tricia is available for further interview. Contact Amy with your ideas and questions!
Tricia's Bio:

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

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

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tricia Goyer---Author of Historical Fiction

My friend Tricia Goyer has a new book that she's taking on tour right now. She's an amazing author of historical fiction and has done a number of fascinating interviews with retired service men and women to gain a deeper insight into the lives and hearts of her characters. I'll be posting more about Tricia in the next day or two, so please check back. But until then, read this little blurb about her book.

Book 2 in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series

A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007)
Sophie discovers that nothing is as she first imagined. When Walt, the reporter who helped her over the border, shows up again after Guernica is bombed, Sophie is given an impossible mission. She must leave behind the man she's fallen in love with and return to the person who betrayed her. Another layer of the war in Spain is revealed as Sophie is drawn into the international espionage schemes that could turn the tide of the war and help protect the soldiers from the International Brigade ... she must find a way to get a critical piece of information to Walt in time.

Tricia's Bio:

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

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing:
  • From Dust and Ashes (2003)
  • Night Song (2004)
  • Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005);
  • Arms of Deliverance (2006)
  • A Valley of Betrayal (2007)
  • A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007)
  • A Whisper of Freedom (February 2008)
Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.
Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category.
Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).
Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia's grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children's church. Although Tricia doesn't live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.
Important Links!
First Chapter:
Amazon Link:

The Hunt is On!

Welcome to the Scavenger Hunt!

Playing is easy. Get the list of clues—questions you need to answer. Visit the authors’ below, and read the Q&A with Miralee Ferrell. You’ll find the answers you need! Once you have them all, just email the answer to the Christian Review of Books!

Everyone with the right answers will be entered to win a signed copy of Miralee Ferrell’s The Other Daughter.

Need the list of clues for the Scavenger Hunt?

Go to

Well, you all should have all but three answers now, if you’ve read everyone else’s blogs. The last three answers can be found in the following excerpt from The Other Daughter’s opening scene.

Dark clouds mushroomed and thunder rumbled over the house on Mountain Brook Road, disrupting the peace of the late May afternoon. Above the diminishing rumble, a motor roared and the sharp ping of flying gravel sprayed the side of the house. Susanne ran from the laundry room and peered out the front window in time to see a battered old pick-up tear down the lane away from her home, sounding like a steam boiler ready to explode. What in the world? Some teenagers out playing a prank?
They must have turned down the wrong lane, an easy thing to do this far out of town. She headed across the living room and stopped in the kitchen doorway, stifling a groan. The kids had tracked in mud before they left for school and dirty dishes still littered the kitchen counters. She’d been busy changing beds and catching up on laundry all morning and forgot about the kitchen.
She leaned against the wall, feeling about as energetic as the loser of a ten-mile race, her enthusiasm drained by the recent phone call from her husband setting back their plans for her birthday.

The door bell rang. The truck had disappeared down the road and she hadn’t heard anyone else arrive. Great. The last thing she needed was company. The house certainly wasn’t in its usual neat state. She sighed and smoothed back her rumpled curls. She should have stayed in bed this morning.
The door bell rang again, it’s insistence pulling her away from the wall where she leaned.
“I’m coming, I’m coming!”

A glass of wine and a hour to relax would help put her back in the mood for tonight, if David kept his word and made it in time for their reservations. She'd get rid of whoever was at the door and try to pull herself together. This needed to be a special evening. They'd had so few of those lately.
She swung open the door. “May I help yo..”
A bedraggled girl who appeared to be about twelve stood before her, clutching a battered, well-worn suitcase. Small boned and petite, she could’ve been pretty but for the greasy dark hair and dirt streaked face.
Staring up at her were a pair of strangely familiar eyes that gazed at her shyly before darting away in apparant fear.
A prickle of apprehension ran through her as she’d looked in those eyes, but she’d brushed it away. Her imagination must be working overtime today.

“Is Mr. David Carson here, ma’am?” The waif shifted her weight from one foot to the other, glancing over her hunched shoulders to the base of the driveway.
What was someone thinking, dumping a child off and driving away. If she was selling something, or needed directions, the driver could have stayed nearby, not headed down the road.

“I’m afraid he’s at work right now. Is there something I can help you with?” Susanne pushed open the screen, curiosity and sympathy drawing her forward. "Are you selling something? Do you need help?"
The youngster’s gaze returned to Susanne’s face, a worried pucker showing around the corners of her mouth. “I’ve come to live with him.” Her voice was barely audible but hit Susanne like a clap of thunder. Confusion raced through her mind. Was this someone's idea of a joke?
“Live with him? What do you mean?” She pushed the door open a bit wider. Had David offered to take this poor girl in without discussing it with her? Of all the times for David to drop a strange child in her lap.
The girl took a deep breath, pulling her suitcase a little closer to her trembling legs. “My mama’s dead. He's my daddy.”

Visit these other authors’ sites for the rest of the clues!

Have all the answers? Then email the list to with a subject line of “Hunt Answers.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A New Game is Coming!!! Win a Book Too!

Been missing the sponsored games where you can win an autographed book? Well, wish no more! Another's on its way and will be arriving on Friday, ending just before Thanksgiving next week. This time you'll have a chance to win the fantastic women's fiction THE OTHER DAUGHTER by Miralee Ferrell.

It's going to be a Scavenger Hunt, and playing will be simple and fun.

1. You'll start out at the Christian Review of Books' page, where you'll be given a list of questions you have to find answers to.

2. You'll follow the links to seven different author pages. Each other will have in her blog a question she asked of Miralee Ferrell about her new novel, THE OTHER DAUGHTER. Read through her answers, and you'll find the answers to the questions on the list!

3. Go to ShoutLife and Send the Christian Review a ShoutMail with the list of answers, and have a chance to WIN, WIN, WIN! The link below that says "Roseanna White"

This is going to be lots of fun, and we've gathered together some new authors for you to get to know, so be sure and check out their pages! Come back on Friday to get started!


Miralee Ferrell
Roseanna White
Molly Noble Bull
Tricia Goyer
Deborah Piccurelli
Christy Barritt
Susan Meissner

Roseanna M. White

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Tribute To Veterans---From Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer is a well known author of WWII books. I'll be hosting her here in a few days and highlighting her newest book. She's given me permission to share this article she wrote recently honoring Veteran's. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Veteran's Day is a time to remember:

In 2000, I got my idea for what came to be my first historical novel, From Dust and Ashes. Wanting to know more about the 23 men who liberated Mauthausen concentration camp, I contacted the 11th Armored Division who put me in touch with six of the veterans. These men then invited me to attend the 59th reunion of their division. I wasn't expecting that at all. I thought they'd point me to a good research book or allow me to interview them over the phone.

I felt SO unworthy to meet with these men. I knew very little about WWII, and I didn't want my inexperience to show. Not to mention the $1000+ for airfare, hotels, rental car for a book I didn't have a contract to write.

I urged a friend to go with me, and I've been so thankful we went. The men were caring and opened their hearts to me. They shared stories with me that they hadn't shared with anyone before. They laughed. They cried. They took my hands and thanked me for caring about their story. They hugged me and kissed my cheeks.

When it came to writing my novel, I wasn't writing about fictional characters. I was writing pieces of Charlie's story, bits of Arthur's experiences. The memories that made LeRoy cry made it into my book. The snapshots that Tarmo carried around in his mind for 60 years transformed into scenes in my novel (and the novels to follow!).

I get many letters from readers who say that my novels come to life on the pages--that's because the men's experiences came to life to me as I looked into their eyes and saw glimpses of young heroes. Also, the following year I went to Europe and walked the streets of the SS housing with a man who'd been nine-years-old when the camp opened near his home. Again, I "saw" the story in his eyes as he shared--this time from someone on the outside.

There was an added benefit to this diligent research that I didn't expect. After my second novel Night Song came out I received a letter from a veteran. He made a list of twenty minor research points that I'd gotten right, and then he asked, "One thing I didn't understand was the faith element of this story. Can you tell me more about your faith in God?"


Because I had done the research, I'd was able to share about my Jesus with a veteran who has since passed away.

One more fun thing I didn't expect. One of the men I met at the reunion was Pete. Pete was a medic--the one medic I met. Years later I received a letter from a reader who had read From Dust and Ashes. She was a survivor of Mauthausen--actually, she was born there. When she was 3-weeks-old she was close to death. When the gates were open a medic spent a full day lancing and cleaning infected boils on her skin, saving her life. She asked me if I knew any medics. I knew one, and I passed on his phone number. It turns out Pete was the one who saved her life! They have since met on numerous occasions.

If I hadn't gone to that reunion I wouldn't have met Pete, and I wouldn't have been able to connect him with Hana--what a God thing!

Of course, I do have regrets concerning research, too. In my most recent series on the Spanish Civil War I received a letter from a SCW veteran who said he was willing to help me with research. The letter got put into my "very important" pile on my desk and weeks and months passed. I pulled it out again, and I planned on calling him when I heard from someone else that this man had passed away. That has happened more than once with men who offered to be interviewed, and I'm always regretful of the "one more story" I missed. After all, once gone they are gone for good.

If you have a veteran in your life ... today is the perfect day to reach out--to listen to his or her story. Don't let the stories die, when you have a chance to make a difference.

Below are photos of a few of the men I've interviewed.

To read some of their stories, go to:

To see more photos (including real photos from the liberation of Mauthausen) go to:

To watch my NEW video about my WWII Liberators Series, go click here.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Help For Blended Families

I'm going to be writing and sharing articles about blended families....whether it be foster, step children, mixed marriages, adoptions, etc. Even within the Christian community families and marriages are in need of help.

My debut novel, The Other Daughter, deals with the issue of an unexpected blended family and all the varied emotions that can take place. We see a family and marriage almost derailed by the strong emotions and struggles that ensue when an unexpected addition to their family arrives in their midst.

How do marriages survive when a child appears...whether it be a teen or an adult, years after the event in question....especially when one of the spouses haven't been told of the child's existence?

I've already had three different readers mention that either they or a close friend have experienced the same type of situation. Our family did, also. The premise for the book was taken from our life...only we had an 18 yr. old girl write a letter to my husband, explaining that she believed him to be her father. Were we shocked? Yes. Were we angry at one another or did the shock turn to distrust and destroy our marriage? Thankfully, no.

We decided that the hurts and needs of this young woman were more important than what we might be feeling. She'd been told most of her life that her father didn't want her and she had some deep hurts that needed to be addressed. Trisha is now a part of our family, and her father was able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, and we're now grandparents to her three children.

God is able to take that which the enemy wants to destroy, and bring beauty from the ashes. He's the restorer of broken hearts and the one who keeps relationships in tact. Lean on Him for your family's needs and look to Him to bring peace into turmoil. He's faithful, so very faithful!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

We Have A Winner!!!

The Fall Bloggy Tour/Give Away has ended and We have a winner!!!

I'd love to have you still leave comments....if you do and I get at least 20 next week, I'll do another drawing, so check back again if you didn't have a chance to enter, or want to enter again. sure to check out my book on Amazon. Go to this link, and you can find my book and read the first 7 pages to see if it's something you'd like to buy.

If you don't want to wait on shipping, pop in your local bookstore and ask them to get it for you, if they don't already have it on their shelf.

Read the first chapter here

Thanks to everyone for entering....The Winner is...

Karen Chen, from Hillsboro, Oregon!! Congratulations, Karen!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fall Y'All Bloggy Giveaway

Alert!! I've gotten one comment so far with NO tie to a Google or blog account and no email. I MUST be able to contact you if you win. If you're worried about leaving your email addy and you don't have a blogger account, email me privately at --- Or if I draw your name, you won't be able to claim your book!

Click here to visit the Fall Bloggy Giveaway list!

Here's another Give Away! I'm linking my blog to a huge Carnival of Blogs give away.
Just leave a comment here and you'll be entered to win my brand new book, The Other Daughter. Here's a brief summary of the book, and the places you can purchase it, should you not be the winner. sure to leave a way of contacting you in case you win. If you only leave your first name and don't have a blogger account of your own, it will be hard for me to contact you, unless you leave your email addy.

You can find my book at or


Stop by your local book store and have them order it, if it isn't already on their shelf.

Now, here's the summary and please be sure to leave a comment!

The girl standing at the door took a deep breath, pulling her suitcase a little closer to her trembling legs. "My mama's dead. He's my daddy."

Susanne Carson knew that she could trust the love of her life—her husband, David—until she discovered a strange, unkempt young girl on their doorstep, claiming to be David's daughter.

Not that their marriage had ever been perfect—David's decision to embrace the Christian faith had strained their relationship. Susanne may not have agreed with his beliefs, but at least she trusted him. Had David been hiding this not-so-little secret from his past? He wanted Susanne to believe in his God, but believing hadn't done much to keep David out of another woman's arms.As David confronts the truth of his past, Susanne must face her own moment of truth as her marriage is taken to the breaking point and the life of one young girl is left in her hands.

Here's a clickable link to take you directly to my book on amazon....AND, as a bonus... when you get there, click on my book title to go to the book.... you can read the first 7 or 8 pages & see if it's something you'd really like to buy!

Find Miralee's Book on Amazon Here--Click these words

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Winners Are In!!!

The names have been drawn!!

I've been gathering names for a drawing for over a year now on my web site and tonight closed it out. I'd planned on drawing one name, but after getting over 250 entries, decided to draw five instead.

Here are the lucky winners ....

Tammy Angel

Marty VanDiest

Lori Marques

Tracy Wickett

Dorothy Ballard

I've sent an email to each of the winners....if they don't respond within 5 days, I'll be drawing replacements, so watch this site just in case! Thanks to everyone who entered, you've been a blessing to me with your wonderful support and help on marketing and spreading the word on my book.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Being a Generous Wife

I've posted little snippets from the Generous Wife site before and have another couple of excellent thoughts to share from there. But first...a quick update:

Things are going well on my book, but I'd LOVE to get the word out to retail stores a bit more. If you'd like to help promote my book, it would be wonderful if you'd stop by your local Christian bookstore and see if they're carrying it. If not, ask if they'd consider it? They might try to get you to order one, but tell them you're not wanting to order it, you'd like to see it first or that you have friends or family that are interested in a copy, but you already have one....or whatever is true for you if you don't care to order one for any reason. Most stores simply need to have a book title brought to their attention and see interest expressed, and they'll carry it. Thanks for your help everyone!

Now for the Generous wife tips of the day----

Because men generally do not have as much contact with their children as moms usually do, they can feel on the outside of family life. They would really appreciate any help in staying in touch with the kids (like telling them about what is going

Guys understand that women are better at that "relationship stuff" :) and they do lean on us to help them build their relationships with their children. (A funny story: when my sister-in-law was a little girl and rather "creative" in her art work, her mother would always whisper to her dad, as he walked in the door, what her art work was about. That way Dad could say, "Oh, honey, what a lovely giraffe!" She always felt so special that her dad understood her art work. In later years, I'm sure she appreciated her mom and dad for understanding a

There is also a need for respect from the family. Men have an innate need for respect and a need to be respected as a father and head of

Another stressor for them is they often feel ignored. Kids tend to get the lion share of the attention (which is understandable given the level of care they need), but our guys need a little attention too. Making time for him personally and encouraging family time can fill that need.

Generous tip: Consider having a date night and a family night. You might not be able to do this weekly, but try to set up time for you as a couple and for your family. Use that time to build him up.


Several of the guys shared about the pull between work and home. They voiced the need for understanding over the conflict between work and family needs. They want to make time for family, but their job is what supports their family and it needs to have appropriate attention. It's not always easy to take time off for family things or call from work (when they do call, please realize that they may have to keep it short or that they may be interrupted). Basically it was a plea for understanding that their day is complicated too and they need to invest in their work.

A spin off of that was a need for a warm welcome and not having to face responsibilities or troubles the moment they get home. Some even wanted/needed a bit of quiet time when they first got home from work to make the jump from work to family.

Jeanette's generous tip: I have found that my man feels loved, wanted, needed and accepted when I walk out and meet him in the driveway when he gets home from work. I don't really ask how his day was or tell him about mine. I just say, "Hi, honey. I'm glad you're home." And give him a kiss and hug. I let him lead in any conversation or if I perceive he had a wearisome day, I might tell him an anecdote about the kids or the pets or something like that. It is amazing how welcomed and loved it seems to make him feel.

I don't do it every day so that it doesn't become just a routine. If I am really busy when I hear him pull up, I just shout that dad is home and one or more of the 4 boys goes out to greet him. It could be the 20 year old or the 6 year old or any and all of them in between. We have done this for years and it lets dad know that we feel incomplete without him among us.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Other Daughter Has Released EARLY!!!

Wahoo!!! Five Boxes of Books Showed Up Today!
Yes, I ordered 100 besides my author copies, so I'd have plenty for my book signing in two weeks and my book release party the following week end.
My books arrived at least three days early and I understand Amazon and CBD have their copies ready to ship. Anyone who's placed a pre-order will get their book soon and if you haven't ordered yet, now's the time!
Or...if you have a local Christian book store, why not go in and ask for the book? If they aren't carrying it yet, maybe it will encourage them to order one or two.
I have a blog tour kicking off this's the first few days of blogs that are posting. Be sure to check them all out...they've each picked their own questions and are doing their own interviews. Leave a comment on their blog and get your name in a drawing for a free book.
Oct. 20th, Karen Phillips---Sky-High View

LaShaunda Hoffman—See Ya On The Net

21st Angie Arndt---The Road I'm Traveling

22nd Deena Peterson---Deena's Books

22nd Teresa Morgan---Teresa Morgan's Blog

23rd Rose McCauley---Stories of Faith, Hope and Love

23rd Pattie Reitz----Fresh Brewed Writer

24th Cecelia Dowdy---New Christian Fiction Reviews

Tiffany Amber Stockton--A Fiction-Filled Life

25th Bonnie Way---The Koala Bear Writer

Stormi Johnson---Write Thoughts

26th Robin Grant---Queen Of Perseverance

27th Delia Latham---The Melody Within

28th Jennie McGhan---Jen's Life Journey

29th Susan Lohrer ---Inspirational Editor

30th Carla Stewart---Carla’s Writing CafĂ©

31st Christina Berry--- Posting with Purpose

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Life Unscripted---Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer---Author of
My Life Unscripted

Man, am I enjoying this book! Tricia wrote it for teens, but there are lessons to be learned in its pages for us all. Here's an excerpt from chapter two, titled Dialogue---The Way You Talk To Yourself---

What do you say when you talk to yourself? No, I'm serious, What do you say?

Whether we know it or not, there is a continual dialogue going through our minds. The dialogue occurs in two ways:

1. Unscripted: Out-of-control, spontaneous, unanachored. It's when your social calendar, the people around you, and whatever emotion of the day or hour takes over and rules your life.

2. Scripted: A solid plan. It's something YOU create after thinking through situation, considering your plans and what you want, talking to God about your worries, cares, and hopes. Then you actively determine how to handle life (with God's help and strength). So even when everythng feels whacked out, you have something solid to hold on to.

That's just a tiny sample of the nuggets of truth you'll find in My Life Unscripted, by Tricia Goyer. Consider purchasing it for yourself, your teen or your youth group leader at church!

Tricia's running a contest right now, and you can find the details on my ShoutLife blog...go to my most recent post at and enter to win some great prizes. I don't want to take the time or space to repeat it here, as I think the book stands on its own merit and is a MUST buy for every parent of teens.

Please take a look at the first chapter, by visiting Tricia's web site at:

Here's a few words from Tricia:

An interview with Tricia Goyer!

Q: Tell me about My Life, Unscripted

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Tell me about these scripts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can find My Life Unscripted at on the following link...Buy the book



It's in Barnes and Noble as part of their back-to-school endcap promotion!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tricia Goyer---Teen Book Blog Tour Coming Soon!!

My Life Unscripted Blog Tour:
Life Plotting 101
I hope you'll join me here on October 16th when we talk about Tricia's new book for teens. But first, here's a contest she'd like to share with her readers.

Their are two contests:
1. A teen contest
2. A Blogger contest

1. The Teen contest: is open to teen girls. Three winners will win a $25 iPod gift certificate. The contest will end November 30, 2007.

Here are the details:
To enter the contest, read My Life, Unscripted by Tricia Goyer, write a review on the book, and post it on your blog, myspace, shoutlife, or (or other review site).

My Life, Unscripted is available at your local Christian Book store,, Barnes and Noble or
My Life, Unscripted explores relationships in every teenage girl's life--with herself, her friends and enemies, her parents, guys, and with God.
Real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, make this an interesting read for teen girls as they delve into their own inner struggles and outward relationships.

They'll also learn the importance of "scripting" their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise and are able to think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before the scene begins. By contrasting real-life with TV or movies, teens will understand they don't have to get caught up in the drama.
In addition to the review, you may also include how you, too, have overcome temptation.

Sounds easy right? It really is.(Please forward this contest to any teens you think might be interested!)

2. The blogger contest: runs from September 16 through October 26! It is open to all bloggers and their readers. Here's the SCOOP:
Did you live your teen years unscripted? Or did you think it through and make wise choices?
Write a sample script from your teen years (I know--scary!) and post it along with information about my book on your blog! Your script could be where you make a good choice ... or a not so good one. Also share how God's Word helps you as you script your life today!

The person with most creative blog post during the tour will win a gift basket which includes starbucks coffee, amazon gift card, an itunes gift card, and more. There will also be 5 runner up small gift baskets._______________________________
All entries for both conests need to be sent to my assistant
Amy (!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Update On CBD Ranking! Wahooooooo!!!

Wow!!! God is SO Amazing! I wanted to give you all a report on how my book is doing on the CBD ranks, as so many of you have helped get it where it is today.

I hope you'll allow me a bit of excitement and not think I'm bragging...I know God is doing this and I'm so thrilled and blessed to be a part of the journey. The numbers I'm going to list wouldn't be that great for someone who's a several times repeat author, as hopefully they've developed a readership following and their books should be strong, regardless.

I'm a first time author, with a book that hasn't released yet, so for ME, this is amazing. I've been watching the numbers daily, and only today decided to get brave and check on my standing in overall fiction. When you go to CBD's page on the 'net, you can click on the link called "Bestseller", then click on Fiction.

That opens up about 10 different categories, including things like poetry, children, teens, allegory....things that really don't pertain to my genre at all. Then there's historical, mystery, westerns, category is in that list...contemporary.

Under Contemporary, there are two selections...general and women's. My book is listed under womens. And of course, it's also under the broader "Contemporary" and the even broader "Fiction" three places to track it, as I'll show below.

Women's contemporary is the smallest category, as we've narrowed it down to 363 books total (as of this morning anyway, those numbers can change by just a few either way). My book shows up at #15!! Yesterday it was at #23, so a substantial jump over night!

Moving up to the broader category of just overall Contemporary:
There are 1600 books in this book is now at #26!
Yesterday it was at #44, so again, a big jump. ('s now at #23)

And for the first time today, I decided to check on the numbers for ALL Fiction. I honestly didn't expect to register any higher than #235, which would be in the top 2.5%....#475 would be the top 5%, which is still very good.

Drum roll please....(can you tell I'm a little happy, LOL?)
Today The Other Daughter is placed #124 out of, get this....9,584 books!
That's in the top 1.3%!!! (Update...It climbed to #99, then back to #103 where it's holding steady)

Thank you all SO much for helping move my book up the rating chart.

I'm starting a blog tour on October 20th, and you can take the tour through a huge variety of different people's blogs and read a nice selection of author interviews, all tailored for each person's blog. Watch for the list of blogs...I'll be posting it a couple of days before the first entry.

Blessings on you all as you serve the Lord in the way He's called you to serve!

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