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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fascinating Look at Sexuality in America!

This is a must read for anyone breathing!


ABOUT THE BOOK: Lifetime monogamy is passé. Pornography infiltrates nearly every home. Homosexuality is accepted. Lust has been redefined. The family as an institution is questioned.

We are reminded every day that assumptions about what is right and wrong, sexually, are different today than they were fifty–or even ten–years ago. Christian principles that formed the pattern for generations of American families are conspicuously absent. What happened and why? How do we respond to the dramatic shift in our culture’s perspective on sex?

As one of today’s most influential thinkers, Dr. Albert Mohler addresses these critical topics in a thoughtful, cut-to-the-chase style in Desire and Deceit. As you follow Mohler’s guidance in applying biblical solutions to today’s most highly charged issues, you will be not only equipped but also inspired to speak the truth in a society hungry for answers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., has been recognized by such influential publications as Time and Christianity Today as a leader among American evangelicals. In fact, Time.com called him the “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S.”

A theologian and an ordained minister, Dr. Mohler serves as the ninth president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary—the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

In addition to his presidential duties, Dr. Mohler hosts a daily live nationwide radio program on the Salem Radio Network. He also writes a popular blog and a regular commentary on moral, cultural, and theological issues. Called “an articulate voice for conservative Christianity at large” by the Chicago Tribune, Dr. Mohler’s mission is to address contemporary issues from a consistent and explicit Christian worldview.

Dr. Mohler served as pastor and staff minister of several Southern Baptist churches. He came to the presidency of Southern Seminary from service as editor of The Christian Index, the oldest of the state papers serving the Southern Baptist Convention.

A leader within the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Mohler has served in several offices including a term as chairman of the SBC Committee on Resolutions. He currently serves as chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Council of Seminary Presidents. Dr. Mohler is also a frequent lecturer at universities and seminaries and currently serves on the boards of several organizations including Focus on the Family. He also serves on the Board of Reference for The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

He is married to the former Mary Kahler. They have two children: Katie and Christopher.

Visit the author's website.


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


P R E F A C E

Sexuality is now a major fact of public life in America and around much of the world. In one sense, this is hardly new. After all, sexuality is a major part of human existence—an unavoidably complex and potentially explosive dynamic of human life. But sexuality is now a public issue—front and center in some of the biggest and most contentious debates of our times.

Sex and sexuality now drive much of our advertising, entertainment, and the cultural scripts that citizens use in common conversation. The sexual revolution of the 1960s was, in retrospect, only a signal of what was to come. By the early years of the twenty-first century, issues of sexuality were seemingly unavoidable. Elementary school students are being introduced to “family diversity” curricula, and major newspapers report on the phenomena of sexual promiscuity in homes for the aged. There seems to be virtually no part of the culture that is not dealing with sexuality in one way or another—and often with significant controversy.

Christians have a special stake and stewardship in the midst of this confusion. In the first place, Christians know that sex is both more and less important than the culture of laissez-faire sexuality can understand. Unlike the naturalistic evolutionists, Christians believe that the realities of gender and sexuality are intentional gifts of the Creator, who gave these gifts to His human creatures as both a blessing and a responsibility. Unlike the postmodern relativists, Christians cannot accept the claim that all sexual standards are mere social constructs. We believe that the Creator alone has the right to reveal His intention and commands concerning our stewardship of these gifts. Unlike the marketing geniuses and advertising gurus, we do not believe that sexuality is intended as a ploy to get attention and to create consumer demand. Unlike the pandering producers of sexualized entertainment, we do not believe that sex is primarily about laugh lines and titillation. Unlike the sexual revolutionaries of recent decades, we do not believe that sexuality is the means of liberating the self from cultural oppression.

In other words, we believe that sex is less important than many would have us believe. Human existence is not, first and foremost, about sexual pleasure and the display of sexuality. There is much more to human life, fulfillment, and joy. Sex simply cannot deliver the promises made by our hypersexualized society.

On the other hand, sex is far more important than a secular society can envision. After all, the Christian worldview reveals that sex, gender, and sexuality are ultimately all about the creature’s purpose to glorify the Creator. This frame of reference transforms the entire question and leaves the creature asking this: how do I celebrate and live out my stewardship of my sexuality and my exercise of this gift so that the Creator is most glorified? Needless to say, this is not the question driving the confusion in our sex-saturated culture.

This book is an attempt to look at many of today’s most controversial and troubling issues concerning sexuality from the perspective of biblical Christianity. Every one of us has a stake in this, and Christians are responsible for a special witness to the meaning of sex and sexuality.

And all this, we know, is not only about how we are to think about these issues, but how we are to live.

1
FROM FATHER TO SON

J. R. R. Tolkien on Sex

The astounding popularity of J. R. R. Tolkien and his writings, magnified many times over by the success of The Lord of the Rings films, has ensured that Tolkien’s fantasy world of moral meaning stands as one of the great literary achievements of our times.

In some sense, Tolkien was a man born out of time. A philologist at heart, he was most at home in the world of ancient ages, even as he witnessed the barbarism and horrors of the twentieth century. Celebrated as a popular author, he was an eloquent witness to permanent truths. His popularity on university campuses, extending from his own day right up to the present, is a powerful indication of the fact that Tolkien’s writings reach the hearts of the young and those looking for answers.

Even as Tolkien is celebrated as an author and literary figure, some of his most important messages were communicated by means of letters, and some of his most important letters were written to his sons.

Tolkien married his wife Edith in 1916, and the marriage was blessed with four children. Of the four, three were boys. John was born in 1917, Michael in 1920, and Christopher in 1924. Priscilla, the Tolkiens’ only daughter, was born in 1929. Tolkien dearly loved his children, and he left a literary legacy in the form of letters. [J. R. R. Tolkien, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, ed. Christopher Tolkien (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000)]. Many of these letters were written to his sons, and these letters represent not only a prime example of literary quality but a treasure of Christian teaching on matters of manhood, marriage, and sex. Taken together, these letters constitute a priceless legacy, not only to the Tolkien boys, but to all those with whom the letters have been shared.

In 1941, Tolkien wrote a masterful letter to his son Michael, dealing with marriage and the realities of human sexuality. The letter reflects Tolkien’s Christian worldview and his deep love for his sons and, at the same time, also acknowledges the powerful dangers inherent in unbridled sexuality.

“This is a fallen world,” Tolkien chided. “The dislocation of sex-instinct is one of the chief symptoms of the Fall. The world has been ‘going to the bad’ all down the ages. The various social forms shift, and each new mode has its special dangers: but the ‘hard spirit of concupiscence’ has walked down every street, and sat leering in every house, since Adam fell.” This acknowledgment of human sin and the inevitable results of the Fall stands in stark contrast to the humanistic optimism that was shared by so many throughout the twentieth century. Even when the horrors of two world wars, the Holocaust, and various other evils chastened the century’s dawning optimism regarding human progress, the twentieth century gave evidence of an unshakable faith in sex and its liberating power. Tolkien would have none of this.

“The devil is endlessly ingenious, and sex is his favorite subject,” Tolkien insisted. “He is as good every bit at catching you through generous romantic or tender motives, as through baser or more animal ones.” Thus, Tolkien advised his young son, then twenty-one, that the sexual fantasies of the twentieth century were demonic lies, intended to ensnare human beings. Sex was a trap, Tolkien warned, because human beings are capable of almost infinite rationalization in terms of sexual motives. Romantic love is not sufficient as a justification for sex, Tolkien understood.

Taking the point further, Tolkien warned his son that “friendship” between a young man and a young woman, supposedly free from sexual desire, would not long remain untroubled by sexual attraction. At least one of the partners is almost certain to be inflamed with sexual passion, Tolkien advised. This is especially true among the young, though Tolkien believed that such friendships might be possible later in life, “when sex cools down.”

As any reader of Tolkien’s works understands, Tolkien was a romantic at heart. He celebrated the fact that “in our Western culture the romantic chivalric tradition [is] still strong,” though he recognized that “the times are inimical to it.” Even so, as a concerned father, Tolkien warned Michael to avoid allowing his romantic instinct to lead him astray, fooled by “the flattery of sympathy nicely seasoned with a titillation of sex.”

Beyond this, Tolkien demonstrated a profound understanding of male sexuality and the need for boundaries and restraint. Even as he was often criticized for having an overly negative understanding of male sexuality, Tolkien presented an honest assessment of the sex drive in a fallen world. He argued that men are not naturally monogamous. “Monogamy (although it has long been fundamental to our inherited ideas) is for us men a piece of ‘revealed’ ethic, according to faith and not to the flesh.” In his own times, Tolkien had seen the binding power of cultural custom and moral tradition recede into the historical memory. With the sexual revolution already visible on the horizon, Tolkien believed that Christianity’s revealed sex ethic would be the only force adequate to restrain the unbridled sexuality of fallen man. “Each of us could healthfully beget, in our 30 odd years of full manhood, a few hundred children, and enjoy the process,” Tolkien admonished his son. Nevertheless, the joys and satisfactions of monogamous marriage provide the only true context for sexuality without shame. Furthermore, Tolkien was confident that Christianity’s understanding of sex and marriage pointed to eternal as well as temporal pleasures.

Even as he celebrated the integrity of Christian marriage, Tolkien advised Michael that true faithfulness in marriage would require a continual exercise of the will. Even in marriage, there remains a demand for denial, he insisted. “Faithfulness in Christian marriage entails that: great mortification. For a Christian man there is no escape. Marriage may help to sanctify and direct to its proper object his sexual desires; its grace may help him in the struggle; but the struggle remains. It will not satisfy him—as hunger may be kept off by regular meals. It will offer as many difficulties to the purity proper to that state, as it provides easements. No man, however truly he loved his betrothed and bride as a young man, has lived faithful to her as a wife in mind and body without deliberate conscious exercise of the will, without self-denial.”

Tolkien traced unhappiness in marriage, especially on the part of the husband, to the church’s failure to teach these truths and to speak of marriage honestly. Those who see marriage as nothing more than the arena of ecstatic and romantic love will be disappointed, Tolkien understood. “When the glamour wears off, or merely works a bit thin, they think they have made a mistake, and that the real soul-mate is still to find. The real soul-mate too often proves to be the next sexually attractive person that comes along.”

With these words, Tolkien advised his middle son that marriage is an objective reality that is honorable in the eyes of God. Thus, marriage defines its own satisfactions. The integrity of Christian marriage requires a man to exercise his will even in the arena of love and to commit all of his sexual energy and passion to the honorable estate of marriage, refusing himself even the imagination of violating his marital vows.

In a letter to his friend C. S. Lewis, Tolkien advised, “Christian marriage is not a prohibition of sexual intercourse, but the correct way of sexual temperance—in fact probably the best way of getting the most satisfying sexual pleasure.” In the face of a world increasingly committed to sexual anarchy, Tolkien understood that sex must be respected as a volatile and complex gift, bearing potential for great pleasure and even greater pain.

With deep moral insight, Tolkien understood that those who give themselves most unreservedly to sexual pleasure will derive the least pleasure and fulfillment in the end. As author Joseph Pearce, one of Tolkien’s most insightful interpreters explains, sexual temperance is necessary “because man does not live on sex alone.” Temperance and restraint represent “the moderate path between prudishness and prurience, the two extremes of sexual obsession,” Pearce expands.

Explicit references to sexuality are virtually missing from Tolkien’s published works, allegories, fables, and stories. Nevertheless, sex is always in the background as part of the moral landscape. Joseph Pearce understands this clearly, arguing that Tolkien’s literary characters “are certainly not sexless in the sense of being asexual but, on the contrary, are archetypically and stereotypically sexual.” Pearce makes this claim notwithstanding the fact that there is no sexual activity or overt sexual enticement found in Tolkien’s tales.

How is this possible? In a profound employment of the moral spirit, Tolkien presented his characters in terms of honor and virtue, with heroic men demonstrating classical masculine virtues and the heroines appearing as women of honor, valor, and purity.

Nevertheless, we would be hard pressed to appreciate Tolkien’s understanding of sex, marriage, and family if we did not have considerable access into the realities of Tolkien’s family and his role as both husband and father. Tolkien’s letters, especially those written to his three sons, show the loving concern of a devoted father, as well as the rare literary gift Tolkien both possessed and employed with such power. The letter Tolkien wrote Michael in the year 1941—with the world exploding in war and civilization coming apart at its seams—is a model of fatherly concern, counsel, and instruction.

From the vantage point of the twenty-first century, Tolkien will appear to many to be both out of step and out of tune with the sexual mores of our times. Tolkien would no doubt take this as a sincere, if unintended, compliment. He knew he was out of step, and he steadfastly refused to update his morality in order to pass the muster of the moderns. Writing to Christopher, his youngest son, Tolkien explained this well: “We were born in a dark age out of due time (for us).

But there is this comfort: otherwise we should not know, or so much love, what we do love. I imagine the fish out of water is the only fish to have an inkling of water.” Thanks to these letters, we have more than an inkling of what Tolkien meant.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Need a personal shopper?

Need a personal shopper this Christmas? Too busy to pick out that just perfect gift?

Hire ME! I've been busy this week playing Santa's helper for a few of my clients. I've found some fabulous (and at SUPER GREAT prices) gifts from some of my favorite companies. Williams & Sonoma, Hands of Hope, Amazon.com, Sephora, Crate & Barrel, Starbucks, Harry & David, and more!

Email me at amy@litfusegroup.com if you need some help spreading the cheer this Christmas!

Or pick up a few Amazon gift cards! Who wouldn't be happy with one of those?

Engaging Father Christmas

Oh, what a sweet story! A great book to include in all those Christmas baskets your putting together as gifts for your friends and family! Go Robin. A wonderful little book.




This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Engaging Father Christmas


FaithWords (October 30, 2008)


by
Robin Jones Gunn


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin grew up in Orange County, California and has lived in all kinds of interesting places, including Reno and Hawai’i.

She and her husband currently live near Portland, Oregon and have been married for 30 years. They spent their first 22 years of marriage working together in youth ministry, and enjoying life with their son and daughter who are now both grown.

As a frequent speaker at local and international events, one of Robin’s favorite topics is how God is the Relentless Lover and we are His first love. She delights in telling stories of how God uses fiction to change lives.

Robin is the recipient of the Christy Award, the Mt. Hermon Pacesetter Award, the Sherwood E. Wirt Award and is a Gold Medallion Finalist. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and the Board of Directors for Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers’ Guild.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation.

But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost.

And yet...maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Engaging Father Christmas, go HERE

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My baby cousin got married!

Isn't she beautiful. Chris and Jodie got married in Hawaii on the 3rd of December! LOVE my family!






Monday, December 08, 2008

Christians Stole Late December Holiday from Atheists

I came across this today...since I live in Washington, I'm quite familiar with the hub-bub surrounding the Winter Solstice Vs. Christmas debate going on in Olympia, my state's capital. I love Gary's take and suggestions on this situation!

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by Gary McCullough, director of Christian Newswire:

Is Christmas under attack when signs that mock Christianity are posted next to nativity displays? It seems that a few hundred in Olympia, Washington feel that way to the extent that they protested at the state capitol rotunda on Sunday.

One American atheist has taken his argument to the airwaves claiming he is offended by Christians' intrusion into his Winter Solstice holiday; a holiday he claims was celebrated for thousands of years before Christians infringed on "his" holiday.

Well, he is right. Christians stole his holiday. In fact, in America Christians have stolen all of the holidays once revered by pagan cultures. Let's look at a few atheist holidays.

Halloween was once a revered druid celebration to honor the spirits of the dead. Yet for generations American children dress up as goblins and ghosts and mock such mumbo-jumbo with the phrase "trick or treat" and display no fear or reverence for this holiday's past. Christians successfully usurped this holiday so completely that many think the original holiday was "All Saints Day."

Easter; a time to worship the goddess of fertility. Who thinks Christianity has not thoroughly redefined this holiday? After America goes to church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, children search for hidden eggs and devour chocolate bunnies with absolutely no regard for the "great and powerful gods of fertility."

Harvest Festival vs. Thanksgiving; the end of the harvest season in the northern hemisphere brought pagan rites of reverence and such for thousands of years before a few pilgrims thanked God. Which holiday has the best football games? The most well attended department store sales? The Christians win again.

To our atheist neighbors, I say, Yes -- we stole your pagan holidays. We have trashed most of your culture; and for good reason. Pagan culture celebrated rape, slavery, and murder.

Christianity has kicked its competitors (behind) for so long -- yet when a couple of atheists put up a little sign -- a few start crying out that we are under attack. I am sorry, but such a response by American Christians is entirely unnecessary. American Christians are not a meek David facing the anti- Christmas Goliath. America's Christianity is an aircraft carrier being rammed by some pagans in a leaking rowboat. Our response should be to throw these "attackers" a lifeline while trying not to laugh.

In the midst of this holiday hubbub you may agree with what one radio talk show host said this morning, "Why don't these atheists leave Christmas alone; go get your own holiday."

If such is your sentiment, I wish to remind you that we already have a day to honor our nation's atheists -- April 1st.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Books for Christmas...something for everyone!

For those of you who are buying books as gifts this Christmas, I've got three FAB recomendations! Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins, One Perfect Day by Louraine Snelling, and Beloved Captive by Kathleen Y'Barbo. See below for a brief reveiw and info on each release.

For the suspense or mystery reader in your life,

Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins

Still trying to catch my breath from this one! Excellent. This tightly written novel had me on THE edge of my seat. The story was twisty and unexpected! I love being surprised by a book's turn of events...and Brandilyn delivers! The characters had depth and were believable...a great read all around.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Brandilyn Collins is known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. She is currently working on her 20th book. For chances to win free copies of her work, join her Fan Club on Facebook. Here’s what Brandilyn has to say about why she wrote Dark Pursuit:

In John Milton’s Paradise Lost Satan’s followers, kicked out of heaven, boast about storming the gates and reclaiming their territory. Beelzebub scoffs at their boasting as merely “hatching vain empires” and suggests a different revengeful scheme: seduce mankind away from God. So Satan visits the Garden of Eden to teach humans the very thing he and his cohorts have learned to be futile—the dark pursuit of hatching their own vain empires instead of following God. He presented man with this “gift” of death, disguised as life. And man fell for it.

Upon this theme of man’s fall and spiritual blindness, I created the characters and events in Dark Pursuit. The story clips along at a fast pace, with much symbolism running underneath.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Dark Pursuit—A twisting story of murder, betrayal, and eternal choices

Novelist Darell Brooke lived for his title as King of Suspense—until an auto accident left him unable to concentrate. Two years later, reclusive and bitter, he wants one thing: to plot a new novel and regain his reputation.

Kaitlan Sering, his twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, once lived for drugs. After she stole from Darell, he cut her off. Now she’s rebuilding her life. But in Kaitlan’s town two women have been murdered, and she’s about to discover a third. She’s even more shocked to realize the culprit—her boyfriend, Craig, the police chief’s son.

Desperate, Kaitlan flees to her estranged grandfather. For over forty years, Darell Brooke has lived suspense. Surely he’ll devise a plan to trap the cunning Craig.

But can Darell’s muddled mind do it? And—if he tries—with what motivation? For Kaitlan’s plight may be the stunning answer to the elusive plot he seeks...

Read the first chapter of Dark Pursuit, HERE.

For the hopeless romantic in your life,

Beloved Captive by Kathleen Y’Barbo
This is the a sequel to Y'Barbo's, Beloved Castaway (so you might want to pick that one up too). I was completely swept away and wrapped up in this well-crafted tale of love and adventure. Swashbuckling and love...what could be better?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

There’s never a dull moment in the Y’Barbo household! From hockey and cheer mom to publicist to bestselling author, Kathleen Y’Barbo somehow manages to do it all - and well. While wearing her publicist’s hat, Kathleen has secured interviews with radio, television, and print media for clients at NavPress, Hatchette, Integrity, Barbour Publishing, and Broadman & Holman, to name a few. She also brings her own unique blend of Southern charm and witty prose to the more than 350,000 award-winning novels and novellas currently in print. Her novels have been nominated for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006; and 2007 will see the release of her 25th book.

Kathleen is a tenth-generation Texan and a mother of three grown sons and a teenage daughter. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University. Kathleen is a former treasurer for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, Inspirational Writers Alive, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and the Fellowship of Christian Authors. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker, and her kids think she’s a pretty cool mom, too…most of the time, anyway.

The first book in this series is Beloved Castaway.


ABOUT THE BOOK

In this sequel to Beloved Castaway, Emilie Gayarre is learning to accept her mixed race heritage while finding fulfillment in teaching children of the key. There is no denying the attraction between Emilie and the handsome young naval commander, Caleb Spencer, who is shadowed by his own flock of secrets. But if her heritage is found out, even greater things than his career are at risk. Enjoy this historical romance full of risk and redemption.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Beloved Captive, go HERE.

For the contemporary women's lit lovers,

One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling

What a gem! Lauraine's ability to get inside her characters is excellent. A wonderful story of friendship, overcoming difficulty, and REAL life. Both the story and the characters tugged at my heart. A beautifully written story of hope and renewal. LOVED it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Today, Lauraine Snelling is a member of the more than Two Million Books In Print club, but when she first began, she was a mother of three teenagers with a simple dream to write “horse books for kids.”

All told, she has over 50 books published. She thinks. She’s not sure. She’d rather write them than count them. Lauraine’s work has been translated into Norwegian, Danish and German as well as produced as books on tape.

Awards have followed her dedication to “telling a good story”: the Silver Angel Award for An Untamed Land and a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart for Song of Laughter.

Helping others reach their writing dream is the reason Lauraine teaches at writer’s conferences across the country. She mentors others through book doctoring and with her humorous and playful Writing Great Fiction tape set. Lauraine also produces material on query letters and other aspects of the writing process.

Her readers clamor for more books more often and Lauraine would like to comply, if only her ever-growing flower gardens didn’t call quite so loudly over the soothing rush of the water fountains in her back yard and if the hummingbirds weren’t quite so entertaining. Lauraine and husband Wayne have two grown sons and a cockatiel named Bidley, who loves to tease their Basset Hound named Chewy.


ABOUT THE BOOK


Two mothers end up more closely connected that they could dream...and yet they are strangers to one another.

The first has two children--twins, a boy and girl, who are seniors in high school. She wants their last Christmas as a family living in the same home to be perfect, but her husband is delayed returning from a business trip abroad. And then there's an accident--a fatal one involving a drunk driver.

Meanwhile, the other mother has a daughter who needs a new heart, and so the loss of one woman becomes the miracle the other has desperately prayed for. While one mother grieves, and pulls away from her family, the other finds that even miracles aren't always easy to receive.

If you would like to read the first chapter of One Perfect Day, go HERE

Friday, December 05, 2008

With deepest gratitude!

Yesterday I received a small package in the mail. I get packages daily, so I wasn't too excited. Then I noticed it was from my Dan and Loring...scroll down for Loring's super rad 80's doo.

Loring had already sent me a Birthday card and it was too early for Christmas presents.

What was in the package? They know me so well! Their gifts to me covered the two biggest chunks of my life...Jesus and my belly!

From Dan, the new ESV Study Bible (TOTALLY WANTED ONE OF THOSE!!!) and from Loring a new and BEAUTIFUL apron. The apron will do a fine job of covering my big belly! (did i just say my big belly? it's not so big...really.)

Oh you two! What a wonderful warm surprise! I thank my God for the two of you! I am completely blessed by the way you both encourage and love me. You inspire me to be a better person and "little Christ".
Smooches. Squishy hugs. Loves.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

sib

transitions

I'm excited to announce that this blog will no longer be the blog of Litfuse Publicity Group, but will now be my personal blog! Yeah!




Check out the website for Litfuse here, http://www.litfusegroup.com/! Subscribe to the feed to keep current on all your favorite author's goings-on: new books, events, promotions, contests, and more!

So sprightly will be subject to my whims and writings, my rants and raves.

So here goes...

I turned 35 a few days ago.

For the first time EVER, I felt old.

You know...OMG, I'm 35...what am I doing with my life! So I've been thinking a lot about the last fifteen years. What do I need to change about myself, my life, before it's too late? (Too late for what? I don't know, but too late for something I'm sure.)

The first thing I did was write out my goals for the coming year. Next I'll be working on a few steps I can take to achieve those goals.

35 is eye-opening!

What about you...have you reached that OHMYGOSH age? And if so...did you do anything about it?

Here are a few shots from our Thanksgiving on the Washington Coast...in a YURT.










Sunday, November 23, 2008

The First Escape by G.P. Taylor!

Super cool! What a unique book. If you have a-hard-to-please tween boy (or girl), this is a perfect book. Both my kids read it. My son (11) read it first and then my daughter (1o) picked it up after hearing him talk about the story. This is the FIRST book that they have both read.
The format is half novel, half graphic novel and wholly great!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
G.P. Taylor and the book: The First Escape SaltRiver (August 20, 2008)

The Dopple Ganger Chronicles
BOOK ONE: The First Escape
At Isambard Dunstan’s School for Wayward Children, life is trouble for 14-year-old identical twins Sadie and Saskia Dopple and their friend, former thief Erik Morrisey Ganger. But what starts out as a perfectly normal day of food fights, rioting classmates, fires, and (yawn) threats of expulsion goes suddenly and horribly wrong when a mysterious, wealthy woman appears at the school and adopts Saskia . . . without her sister.

On her own in a mansion full of dark secrets, Saskia stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens her very life. Meanwhile, in a desperate attempt to find her, Sadie and Erik escape from the orphanage with a gang of enemies in hot pursuit. Faced with madmen, wild dogs, treasure seekers, and an otherworldly visitor with a secret message, the trio must decide who to trust—and what to believe—if they are to survive long enough to find each other again.
Visit the official website
Download Chapter One


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


A motorcyclist and former rock band roadie turned Anglican minister, Graham Peter (G. P.) Taylor has been hailed as "hotter than Potter" and "the new C. S. Lewis" in the United Kingdom. His first novel, Shadowmancer, reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in 2004 and has been translated into 48 languages. His other novels include Wormwood (another New York Times bestseller which was nominated for a Quill book award), The Shadowmancer Returns: The Curse of Salamander Street, Tersias the Oracle, and Mariah Mundi. Taylor currently resides in North Yorkshire with his wife and three children.

Visit the author's
website.





Product Details:

List Price: $ 19.99

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: SaltRiver (August 20, 2008)

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

































Monday, November 17, 2008

White Christmas Pie

Love that title. So old school...1880's. Sleighbells ring...can't you hear them? Doesn't that title just put you in the Christmas mood?


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

White Christmas Pie

Barbour Publishing, Inc (September 1, 2008)

by

Wanda E. Brunstetter



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Fascinated by the Amish people during the years of visiting her husband's family in Pennsylvania, WANDA E. BRUNSTETTER combined her interest with her writing and now has eleven novels about the Amish in print, along with numerous other stories and ministry booklets. She lives in Washington State, where her husband is a pastor, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish settlements throughout the states.

This year Wanda also publishedA Sister's Hope


ABOUT THE BOOK

Step into Amish country for this bittersweet holiday romance. Here you'll meet Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, and Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers. Add a desperate father searching for his son, and you have all the ingredients for a first-class romance that will inspire and enthrall.

Abandoned by his father, Will Henderson was raised by an Amish couple. Now he's about to marry Karen Yoder but is having second thoughts. Can Will overcome the bitterness of his past in order to secure his future? Karen cannot break through the barrier her fiance has suddenly constructed around his heart. When she seeks the advice of an old boyfriend, Will begins to see green. Has he already lost his chance for happiness?

When an accident threatens Will's life, the strength of blood ties is tested. Will a recipe for White Christmas pie contain the ingredients for a happily-ever-after?

If you would like to read the first chapter of White Christmas Pie, go HERE

Watch the book trailer:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I LOVE Blissfully Domestic!

I'm waiting for them to bring Blissdom to the rainy city (that's Seattle girls)! But for now, I'll have to admire from afar!

Over at Blissfully Domestic they are giving away, yep giving away, an Espon Printer...a very cool Espon Printer!


Yes, it is sleek and beautiful, but just look at more of the cool features-
Smart, 7.8″ touch panel — large display lights up the buttons you need; includes a 3.5″ LCD to preview and print images. You can edit your photos on the printer, no laptop needed!

Fax, even in color — send and receive faxes right at home WiFi— um, yeah, wifi! We love wifi!

Bring old, faded photos back to life — easily restore the color to faded photos

Make sweet CDs/DVDs— print right onto CDs/DVDs

Cool projects — easily create note paper, cards and coloring books using your own photos

Many of the Domestic Divas have told you how they used it and of course, how they love it. You know it is the best printer ever. Now, what you really want to know is how to win this most excellent machine, right?

Oh, I would so love to win this...for starters I'd be making my own Christmas cards this year and fun calenders for the family. Then I'd be volunteering to make everyone else's Christmas cards and fun calendars!

So cool girls! THANKS.

So head on over to check it out and enter for yourself!

I love this Mag

Title Trakk has the BEST indepth interviews and reviews. They are always my first go-to when I want the skinny on a book, movie or tunes. I HIGHLY recommend them! And now they have great prizes...what could be better!

Welcome to the 1st ever
TitleTrakk.com Blog Tour!


This week we're chatting about:



The Fantastic Fall Giveaway Contest!


Just in time for the holidays, you could win over
$335 worth of books, cds and dvds!

Sponsored by our friends at:


The Grand Prize Winner will receive:

BOOKS:

Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark
Rachel's Secret by BJ Hoff
Beach Dreams by Trish Perry
Playing God by Michelle McKinney Hammond
White Soul by Brandt Dodson
The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka
Finding Marie by Susan Paige Davis
The Power of Praying Through the Bible by Stormie Omartian
A Man After God's Own Heart by Jim George
Evidence for Faith 101 by Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz

CDS:

Wake Up! Wake Up! by Everyday Sunday
Rock What You Got by Superchick
Sunday by Tree63
Houston We Are Go by Newsboys (Live CD/DVD)
Nothing Left To Lose by Mat Kearney
I Am Free Worship Collection
Salvation Station by Newworldson
Not Without Love by Jimmy Needham
Pages by Shane & Shane
Colors and Sounds by Article One

MOVIES:

Love's Unfolding Dream
The Ten Commandments Animated
Between the Walls

But that's not all!
We're giving away even more!


During this blog tour (November 10th - 16th) we'll be drawing 2 winners daily from the contest entries to win an additional free book or cd!

Visit the TitleTrakk.com Contest page today to enter the contest and place yourself in the running to receive the Grand Prize, plus all the daily prizes! Deadline to enter is November 17th.

About TitleTrakk.com:
Founded in 2006 by Tracy & C.J. Darlington, TitleTrakk.com is an interactive website spotlighting Christian books, music & movies. Updated weekly, we feature author and musician interviews, album and book reviews, music videos, movie reviews and interviews, book excerpts, surveys, polls, and fun contests. Learn more: http://www.titletrakk.com/