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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Looking for Christmas gift ideas?

Well...check out these 2 books!

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is touring AURALIA'S COLORS, (WaterBrook Press September 4, 2007) by Jeffrey Overstreet and THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT (Thomas Nelson October 2, 2007) by Neta Jackson

This first book is written by a Jeffrey Overstreet...he lives about 2 miles from my house! Wow-- what a small world! I've just begun reading the book, but it sucked me in right from the start!

About the Book: As a baby, she was found in a footprint.

As a girl, she was raised by thieves in a wilderness where savages lurk.

As a young woman, she will risk her life to save the world with the only secret she knows.

When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.

Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets. Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.

Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.

Visit the Website especially created for the book, Auralia's Colors. On the site, you can read the first chapter and listen to Jeffrey's introduction of the book, plus a lot more!

About Jeffery: Jeffrey Overstreet lives in two worlds. By day, he writes about movies at LookingCloser.org and in notable publications like Christianity Today, Paste, and Image. His adventures in cinema are chronicled in his book Through a Screen Darkly.

By night, he composes new stories found in fictional worlds of his own. Living in Shoreline, Washington, with his wife, Anne, a poet, he is a senior staff writer for Response Magazine at Seattle Pacific University.

Auralia’s Colors is his first novel. He is now hard at work on many new stories, including three more strands of The Auralia Thread.

Praise or Jeffrey's work: "Film critic and author Overstreet (Through a Screen Darkly) offers a powerful myth for his first foray into fiction. Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told. Readers will be hungry for the next installment."--Publishers Weekly

Buy the book here!

And the second CFBA book is a fun read!

Neta Jackson's next in the Yada, Yada Prayer Group series!

About the book: Turkey dinners, tree trimming, and decking the halls--it's that time of year again! And I Jodi Baxter, can't wait to celebrate. My kids are coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then all of us Yadas are getting decked out for a big New Year's party.

But God's idea of "decked out" might just change the nature of our party plans. A perplexing encounter with a former student, a crime that literally knocks me off my feet, a hurry-up wedding, and a child who will forever change our family...it's times like these that I really need my prayer sisters.

This holiday season, we Yada Yadas are learning that no one can out celebrate God. So let's get this party started!

THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT is a festive novella featuring America's favorite prayer group, the Yada Yadas! Sometimes dubbed "chick-lit" for their bright covers and catchy titles, this series provides far more depth than witty banter and wacky situations. Inspired by a prayer group of real women, each book will have you laughing, crying, and perhaps praying anew.

In this highly anticipated installment, the Yada Yada sisters-a group of multi-cultural friends-and their families prepare for the event of the season. But yes, eager readers, this novella—which picks up a year and a half after the end of book #6 The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling concludes the series with some twists and turns that will amaze and encourage you. Plus, it sets the stage for Neta’s new series with new characters and new situations but also occasional roles for the beloved Yada Yada sisters in familiar Chicago neighborhoods with all their cultural richness.

About Neta: Neta Jackson's award-winning Yada books have sold more than 350,000 copies and are spawning prayer groups across the country. She and her husband, Dave, are also an award-winning husband/wife writing team, best known for the Trailblazer Books--a 40-volume series of historical fiction about great Christian heroes with 1.8 million in sales--and Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes (vols 1-4).

Dave and Neta live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years they were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. They are now members of the Chicago Tabernacle, a multi-racial congregation that is a daughter church of the well-known Brooklyn Tabernacle.

Buy the book here!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I love Thanksgiving...

Are you tired of reading every one's Thanksgiving posts yet? Too bad...because I found this great information on the first Thanksgiving at A Readable Feast! I know that you all are dying to know what they really ate that first year. Right?

Here is what historians at History.com think might have been on the menu:
~~Seafood: cod, eel, clams, lobster

~~Wild Fowl: wild turkey, goose, duck, crane, swan, partridge, eagles

~~Meat: venison, seal

~~Grain: wheat flour, Indian corn

~~Vegetables: pumpkin, peas, beans, onions, lettuce, radishes, carrots

~~Fruit: plums, grapes

And here are some foods that were NOT on the menu (pretty much everything that will grace my table!):

~~Ham: There is no evidence that the colonists had butchered their pigs though they had brought such animals with them from England.

~~Sweet Potatoes/Potatoes: These were not common.

~~Corn on the Cob: Corn was kept dried out at this time of year.

~~Cranberry Sauce: The colonists had cranberries but no sugar.

~~Pumpkin Pie: Hard to make without sugar, plus the recipe didn't exist at this time. However, the pilgrims had recipes for stewed pumpkin.

~~Chicken/Eggs: We know that the colonists brought hens with them from England, but it's unknown how many they had left at this point or whether the hens were still laying.

~~Milk: No cows had been aboard the Mayflower, though it's possible that the colonists used goat milk to make cheese.

(Hmmm...I didn't see green bean casserole or frozen fruit salad on that list anywhere...weird.)

Well...I have to say that Thanksgiving is by far my favorite meal of the year! I am a comfort food junkie...this meal is the quintessential comfort-y meal!

So in honor of Thanksgiving and thankfulness (so much to be thankful for, Praise-Be-to-God!) I'm going to share my bestest best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world, Loring's, recipe for Mabel's Ginger Cookies! I'm not sure who Mabel is, but here is Loring! Isn't she beautiful...(I wish I could find the photo of her that I've been saving to mortify her with, but lucky her...I can't find it!)

These yummy cookies make a great and unexpected gift for the holidays (I'm taking some to my mom on Thursday)...they are addictive and delish!

Mabel's Filled Ginger Cookies

3/4 cup butter room temp

1 cup sugar

cream together and add

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

and mix.

Sift together 2 cups flour

1 tsp of baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon

1/2 tsp of salt

3/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 fresh shredded/grated ginger (or 1/2 tsp dried)

Stir dry ingredients into wet until well mixed.

Roll into balls and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. They will bake into perfectly round circles.

Or you can also add 1/4 -1/2 cup more flour and roll out and cut into shapes.

Let them cool until next day. Store in ziploc overnight. They will be firm, but chewy.

Cream Cheese Filling

50z. cream cheese

1/2 stick butter

cream together and add

1/2 tsp vanilla

and then add

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix well.

Spread filling between two similarly shaped cookies.

Yum. Then you can eat them...or package them up all pretty in a box with ribbon. Or roll in parchment or wax paper and tie each end with some cool ribbon.

May your Thanksgiving be warm and filling!

Extend mercy and have patience! :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Can't you hear them?

What you ask?

The Christmas carols. Aaahhh...

Yes, I realize the date is only November 19th...but, well, who cares! (And, yes! I am driving my family crazy!) I just don't know what it is about those songs that make everything seem okay and perfect. Maybe the sleigh bells in the background or the soothing words of warmth sung by the old crooners. I dunno.

When everyone leaves, I run to the TV and turn on sounds of the season and crank it.

And if there is a kindred spirit out there (or two)...here's my gift to you -- Christmas Music on the web!

No. No thanks necessary!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Try Dying by James Scott Bell

This week Christian Book Blog Alliance is touring Bell's latest release. The premise of Try Dying is very intriguing. On a wet Tuesday morning in December, Ernesto Bonilla, twenty-eight, shot his twenty-three-year-old wife, Alejandra, in the backyard of their West 45th Street home in South Los Angeles. As Alejandra lay bleeding to death, Ernesto drove their Ford Explorer to the westbound Century Freeway connector where it crossed over the Harbor Freeway and pulled to a stop on the shoulder.

Bonilla stepped around the back of the SUV, ignoring the rain and the afternoon drivers on their way to LAX and the west side, placed the barrel of his .38 caliber pistol into his mouth, and fired.

His body fell over the shoulder and plunged one hundred feet, hitting the roof of a Toyota Camry heading northbound on the harbor Freeway. The impact crushed the roof of the Camry. The driver, Jacqueline Dwyer, twenty-seven, an elementary schoolteacher from Reseda, died at the scene.This would have been simply another dark and strange coincidence, the sort of thing that shows up for a two-minute report on the local news--with live remote from the scene--and maybe gets a follow-up the next day. Eventually the story would go away, fading from the city's collective memory.

But this story did not go away. Not for me. Because Jacqueline Dwyer was the woman I was going to marry.

In Try Dying, this fast-paced thriller, lawyer Ty Buchanan must enter a world of evil to uncover the cause of his fiancee's death--even if hie has to kill for the truth.

James Scott Bell is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He is also the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.
His book on writing, Plot and Structure is one of the most popular writing books available today. The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next Buchanan thriller.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Deadfall by Robert Liparulo

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is touring Robert Liparulo's latest book, Deadfall! This is a great book...I'm got a copy for my dad for Christmas! Make sure to check out the contest! I just love a good contest! :)

About the author: Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly.

Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.

Robert's first novel painted a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel, Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.

Bob has sold the film rights to his second book, GERM. And he is writing the screenplay for a yet-to-be-written political thriller, which sold to Phoenix Pictures, for Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) to direct!He is currently working on his fourth novel.

About the book: Deep in the isolated Northwest Territories, four friends are on the trip of a lifetime. Dropped by helicopter into the Canadian wilderness, Hutch, Terry, Phil, and David are looking to escape the events of a tumultuous year for two weeks of hunting, fishing, and camping.

Armed with only a bow and arrow and the basics for survival, they've chosen a place far from civilization, a retreat from their turbulent lives. But they quickly discover that another group has targeted the remote region and the secluded hamlet of Fiddler Falls for a more menacing purpose: to field test the ultimate weapon.With more than a week before the helicopter rendezvous and no satellite phone, Hutch, a skilled bow-hunter and outdoor-survivalist must help his friend elude their seemingly inescapable foes, as well as decide whether to run for their lives...or risk everything to help the townspeople who are being held hostage and terrorized.
An intense novel of character forged in the midst of struggle, survival, and sacrifice. Deadfall is highly-aclaimed author Robert Liparulo's latest rivetingly smart thriller.

Get Downloads and EXCERPTS at http://www.liparulo.com/

"DEADFALL is drop-dead great!"-In The Library Reviews

"What if Mad Max, Rambo, and the Wild Bunch showed up-all packing Star Wars type weapons? You'd have Robert Liparulo's thrilling new adventure Deadfall."-Katherine Neville, best selling author of The Eight

"A brilliantly crafted thriller with flawless execution. I loved it!"-Michael Palmer, best selling author of The Fifth Vial"

In Deadfall, Robert Liparulo gives us a fresh fast paced novel that instills a well founded fear of the villians and an admiration for the people who refuse to be victims. It truly deserves the name thriller.-Thomas Perry, best selling author of The Butcher's Boy and Silence

"Another brilliantly conceived premise from Robert Liparulo. Deadfall will leave you looking over your shoulder and begging for more." -DAve Dun, best selling author of The Black Silent

A NOTE from Bob: I’d like to give away five signed copies of Deadfall to readers of CFBA blogs during my tour. All they have to do is sign up for my e-mailing list (they won’t be inundated!) by going to my website (www.robertliparulo.com) and going to the “Mailing List” page. Or email me with “CFBA giveaway” in the subject line.

And a second NOTE from Bob: I wanted to let you know that I’m holding a contest on my site:
*one winner a week till the end of the year for a signed Deadfall
**one winner a week till the end of the year for an unabridged audio MP3-CD of Deadfall
***and on Dec. 31, I’m giving away an iPod Nano, pre-loaded with an unabridged audio recording of Deadfall
Winners are selected from my e-mailing list—sign up at my site. If a winner has already purchased what he/she wins, I will reimburse them for the purchase price (or give them another—whichever they choose), so they don’t need to wait to see if they win before buying Deadfall.
Okay...I'm on my way to enter the contest! Won't you join me?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Like...take me back! RAD...

You know you're a child of the 80's if...

1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.

2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton

3. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom

4. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock"

5. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.

6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.

7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.

8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.

9. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)

10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.

11. You know the profound meaning of " WAX ON , WAX OFF"

12. You wanted to be a Goonie.

13. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us...head-to-toe)

14. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.

15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.

16. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.

17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.

18. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence.

19. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.

20. You remember Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, and My Little Ponies the firsts time around.

21. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.

22. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?"

23. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"

24. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.

25. You have ever played with a Skip-It.

26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that (and a bag of chips!).

27. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.

28. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.

29. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.

30. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB"

31. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class.

32. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.

33. You just sang those words to yourself.

34. You still sing "We are the World"

35. You tight rolled your jeans.

36. You owned a banana clip.

37. You remember "Where's the Beef?"

38. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"

39. You're still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren't you!