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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fantastic Gift Basket Drawing--Celebrating a New Release

Elaine Marie Cooper, Author of "The Promise of Deer Run"
Elaine is giving away a fantastic gift basket to celebrate the release of her new book, The Promise of Deer Run (available in paperback, hardcover or ebook). 

Here are the rules: Leave a comment about the giveaway and let me know what your favorite item in the basket is to receive one entry. Subscribe to my blog or let me know you're already a subscriber, and you'll get TWO additional entries. You must tell me you're a subscriber to get the extra entries.

I'll draw my winner on Nov 18th, and give it to the blog hostess heading up the blog tour. A grand prize winner will then be drawn from the winners from each blog taking part and will be posted/notified on Nov 21. Be SURE you leave a way for us to contact you. Write your email out like this: miralee at yahoo dot com, etc.

Grand Prize (Retail Value: $297.38) Contains:
  • Basket
  • $25 Starbucks gift card  
  • Spode Christmas teapot  
  • Spode Christmas mugs   
  • Yankee candle
  • Hardbound copy The Road to Deer Run
  • Hardbound copy The Promise of Deer Run
  • Bath and Body Paris Amour scent                                                                                                                                                          
  • An Absolutely Charming Tale!
    Once again, Elaine Marie Cooper pens an absolutely charming tale of eighteenth century Americana. War, no matter the era, takes its toll on both soldiers and families. The Promise of Deer Run is a precious next story following Mary and Daniel’s story in The Road to Deer Run, picking up with Mary’s sister, Sarah a few years down the line. Be sure to read the first book too! As a historian and author, I am grateful to Elaine for her dedication to authenticity.  —Lisa Lickel,  author of A Summer in Oakville

    About The Promise of Deer Run:
    America’s war for freedom from England has been over for seven years, but the wounds of that conflict still haunt the minds and hearts of the residents of Deer Run. Young American veteran Nathaniel Stearns has withdrawn to a life of isolation as he awaits his father who never returned from the war.

    A near-tragedy in the woods brings Nathaniel face-to-face with nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen, someone he had long admired but he assumed had eyes for another. This chance encounter opens a crack into the door of his heart as mutual affection quickly blooms.

    But slander and lies soon mar the budding romance, rendering both Sarah and Nathaniel wounded and untrusting as their faith in both their God and each other is shattered. Set in 1790, this book continues the story of the Thomsen and Lowe families as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of the war that birthed the United States.
  • The Road to Deer Run won the following honors:
    • Finalist: 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
    • Honorable Mention: 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival
    1. Best Romantic Moment:, February 2011
I was given a complimentary copy of the book to read for a future review, but the publisher or author did not pay me to take part in this tour.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Are You Ready for Winter?

Can you believe Thanksgiving is approaching and daylight savings time ends tomorrow night? Where has the summer gone? And did we really even have a fall? Our summer hers in the Pacific NW didn't kick in until July 15th...two months later than normal, and it ended toward the latter part of Sept. I'm hearing rumblings of heavy snows and even hints that we could see some white stuff drifting down over the next few nights. 

I'll admit...I'm NOT a winter lover. Give me 12 months of spring, summer and fall...let's just avoid winter all together, shall we? 

At least I was able to find time this year to bed all my rose bushes with bark chips, something I didn't do last year, and I lost four plants as a result. We still need to dig up the rest of our potatoes, drain a pump in our pond, and a couple of other little things before icy cold hits.

How about you? Are you looking forward to winter? Running away to warmer weather instead? Staying home, snuggling down in front of a fire and don't care if it snows? Or are you a snow bunny heading for the ski slopes? What do you to to get you through the long, dreary days of winter?

I'd love to hear from you, and if you have any great ideas to cheer up a person who does NOT enjoy winter, send them my way!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home

By Edie Melson and other contributing authors

I wrote one short (true) story in this fantastic resource for military families who have a loved one deployed. Be sure you check this book out on Amazon--buy one for every person you know who has someone in the military. Our son served in Iraq, and I know first hand what it's like to send someone into harm's way. I get nothing for the sale of this book, so I'm not talking it up to make money--I truly believe it's a great book. 

Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home

Saying goodbye to a loved one leaving for war is a gut-wrenching proposition. But for those left behind, their deployment marks the beginning of our battle. And yet, it is possible to find God’s peace in the midst of fear and conquer the terror that lurks in the darkness of doubt.  In Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home, parents, spouses and siblings recount their personal journey as God goes before His people during times of spiritual, physical and military warfare.  Learn the secret to living a peace-filled life when a loved one leaves for battle. Fight fear; win the war at home.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Living in the Moment

A author friend of mine, Ethel Herr, said something a few days ago that was profound, and she agreed to let me share with you...

I've learned the importance of living in the moment. If we live in the past, which cannot be changed, we destroy the present and leave no possibilities for the future. Living in the future, where we have no control, only weird imaginations and wildness, also robs us of the present. God introduced Himself to Moses as the I AM. Not the I WAS, or the I WILL BE, but I AM. He did appeal to Moses to remember what He had done and promised that He would go with him in the future. But He is the great I AM. I amness builds a past for examples and assurance for the future. But we can never live any place but the present.

Isn't that awesome?

I don't know about you, but when she shared that I SO needed to hear it. My husband and I have been going through a lot of 'stuff' this past year--much of it financial stress that's worn us down. So many times I've been tempted to look back into 'better days' wishing we could go back, or find myself longing for the future when I hope life will be brighter. And in doing so, I've realized I'm robbing myself of where I am now.

God isn't caught by surprise by anything that happens to us--so I have to ask myself--if I'm in this situation that's hard right now, what does He want me to learn? What is He trying to say? Is there are a reason I'm here now, and if so, I need to discover what it is and be obedient, if He's asking something of me.

How about you? Are you living in today, yearning for the remembered tranquility of yesterday, or wishing away your life hoping for something better in tomorrow? Let's make a decision to live in the present, learn the lessons God wants us to learn NOW, and let yesterday and tomorrow take care of themselves. After all, we're only promised the time we have in this moment. I've decided I want to make it count!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Letting Go


By Carla McDougal

Do you remember the last time you opened the door to your junk closet? You know, the place where you put things you don’t want left out in the open. Maybe an item is old and worn out, so you throw it in this closet. Or, possibly it’s broken, and you don’t know what to do with it.

In my Bible Study, Reflecting Him, I invite readers to take a guided tour through various rooms in our homes, and compare these areas to our spiritual lives. The first day of the tour focuses on the closet—that hidden, dark place no one enters but you. “Out of sight, out of mind” might describe those items tucked away in that small space; but couldn’t the phrase also depict the things we hide in the backs of our minds and hearts? Broken, worn out, or sinful thoughts weigh heavily on our souls, and we need to let go, so they can be replaced by God’s light of love, grace and mercy.

June 23rd is National “Let It Go” Day. I encourage you to find something in your spiritual “junk closet” and let it go.

Do you harbor bitterness for past hurts against you? Does sin linger in the crevices of your heart and mind? Are you in need of God’s forgiveness? We are all sinners, but we can be free from the closet of sin if we confess and ask for His forgiveness. Let go, and let God shine His light on you.
Just like cleaning out the junk closet, once you let go of those spiritual messes in your life, you’ll be left with room for the new.

God’s all about making things new. A new heart. A new life. A new you. It all starts with letting go of those things that fall short of His plan.

When you organize a junk closet, you might choose to use special organizers or aids to make it all work together better. Or perhaps you even hire a professional organizer. In your spiritual closet, don’t forget that you can find all the assistance you’ll ever need through the help of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.

Are you ready to let God take the tour through the various rooms of your spiritual “house”? When you open the closet, what mess falls out? Give it to Him and see what happens!

CARLA MCDOUGAL is founder of Reflective Life Ministries headquartered in the Houston,
Texas area. Her true passion for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, shines brightly, whether
she is speaking or writing. She shares experiences from her own life to encourage women to
live every day for Him. God is sending Carla around the world to speak to women from all
walks of life—those living in the best of circumstances to those who have hit rock bottom.
Carla’s book, Reflecting Him: Living for Jesus and Loving It, pulls back the veil so you can
see yourself and your Lord more clearly and reflect Him with transparency when interacting
with others. This 10-week study exposes the dark corners of your life, opening your eyes and
heart to what Jesus wants you to see. Carla’s refreshing authenticity and humorous style will
lift you up from a heaviness you didn’t even know weighed you down.
For more information on a growing number of products from Reflective Life Ministries go to:

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at All other standard copyrights apply.
PO Box 677, Brenham, TX 77834

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When a Simple Prayer Wasn't Answered--Or Was it?

Trusting God--Even in the Little Things!

This week I had a super busy day. First, a doctor appointment which ran late and put me behind schedule. I'd hoped I wouldn't be pushed making the next leg of my journey--lunch on the go as I drove to Portland, OR. I had an appt. at the Apple Store as my phone had quit working. By the time I hit the freeway I only had an hour and ten minutes to make my appt., and it was a full hour drive to where I'd park and catch the Max rail system going into downtown.

Once I finished at the Apple Store, I still had to make my way back to my car and rush to the airport to pick up my mother from an incoming flight. Have you ever prayed for a parking space in an area you KNOW can be difficult to find one? Well, I did. For the five minutes or so before arriving at the large parking lot near the Max stop I prayed. The trams run about every 6-8 minutes and catching one right after I arrived would make the difference in my making my appt or being late--and Apple doesn't hold your appointment more than 5 minutes. You're late, you miss your slot. Too bad.

I pulled into the lot, continuing to pray God would open a spot close to the crosswalk and not far from where I needed to board. I didn't understand WHY I found one at the farthest edge of the lot. I ran, literally, as I saw the train pulled up and loading. I got there about 30 seconds too late.

That meant at least a 6 minute wait. I'd be late. I waited, wondering if I should catch the red train coming next, instead of waiting for the green one 6 minutes later. Both were heading west, surely the red would be fine? A young man--college age--was waiting a few feet away, so I asked him if he knew if I should take the red line, explaining where I needed to go. Nope. I'd end up zipping right past my stop, as that car went non-stop to a destination farther west.

I got on the correct car and we headed out, but I still wasn't certain about my stop. The store told me 5th and Morrison. Several stops later I saw the sign flash saying 5th was coming up. I checked with the young man again who sat nearby--did he think I should take that stop, even though it didn't say Morrison. Nope. I'd be walking at least a mile if I did. 5th ran east and west, and we were following it west. We chatted all the way to my stop--his name is Omar, I learned--and a student at a nearby college getting his teaching degree. He showed me where to get off, right across the street from the Apple Store.

Yep, I missed my appt., but it didn't matter. They had an open slot 6 minutes after I arrived. If the Lord had answered my prayer and given me that parking place, I'd have either gotten on the wrong train and ended up miles past my destination, or gotten on the right train, and exited a mile or so early, and been walking. God knows what I need even when I don't think he's listening. I'm so glad He's God and I can trust Him with every detail of my life!!
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