That was a fun post last Friday! It really got me in the spirit for Christmas! Thanks to Carla and
Carrie for joining me on my blog, and thanks to all who dropped by and left a comment! I hope you felt at home and had fun. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner of the wonderful Two volume set of A Cup of Christmas Cheer... that winner was chosen by Random.org for all fairness.. and her name is :
Mary Lou Kwiatkowski!!! Congratulations, Mary Lou!!
For those of you who follow my blog, I'm going to be cutting back a bit on posts. Things have become busier in my home lately and I want to spend the few precious hours I have concentrating on writing books, not blog posts. HOWEVER, I still plan on posting now and then and I will try and keep up with the favorite, Wordless Wednesday! Also if I have any book news of note or information on new releases, I'll post that here too. So, if you'd like to keep in touch with me, you can subscribe to my blog posts. That way you'll get the posts in your email and you won't miss any. Or if you'd rather not be bugged that often, please sign up for my email newsletter. Both signups are on the right of this page.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! For the first time in 32 years, I didn't cook anything. In fact, all our kids were either busy or out of town. It was a bit sad, but I also enjoyed the break. I did make a Pecan Pie that was to die for, and we went out with friends to a restaurant nearby. It occurred to me in our transient and face-paced society that so many families live far apart. For instance, my Mom, Sister, Brother, nieces and nephews all live on the East Coast while I'm on the West. All my husband's family lives up north in Washington State. It's sort of sad, especially around the holidays to be apart from family. I don't think that's what God intended. If you have most of your immediate family nearby (even if they drive you nuts!) please be thankful for that. It truly is a blessing in today's world.
Ultimately, one day, we shall all be reunited with our families in heaven, but even better than that, we will all be a part of God's huge family. So, those of you who don't have family or are orphans or have lost your loved ones, if you know Jesus, you are already a part of God's family, adopted as His special child, and someday you will join that huge family and never be alone again.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 5:12
First things first, the Winner of Patty Smith Hall's The Doctor's Bride is Debbie Wilder!!! (Debbie, please contact me with your address since you didn't leave an email where I can reach you)
Thank you to all who entered!!
Christmas is right around the corner!! I'm always amazed at how quickly it gets here. Faster each year, it seems! Some of you may dread the holidays because of all the expense and hustle, but I pray that this year you force yourself to take some time and enjoy the reason for the season. One thing that may help you do that is to curl up with some great Christmas stories!!!
Two of the sweetest ladies and my good friends have written stories included in these collections. Carrie Fancett Pagels who wrote SNOWED IN and Carla Gade Olson who wrote UPON A CHRISTMAS TREE SCHOONER
I'm giving away this two volume set to one lucky winner. To enter, please leave a comment for the ladies telling us why you love Christmas. (Don't forget to include your email address) I'll choose a winner next Friday.(US Addresses only. Sorry)
Pagels and Carla Olson Gade share about their short stories in A Cup of
Christmas Cheer, a two-volume Christmas treasury from Guideposts Books.
Thank you for having us, MaryLu! Since you love the ships and the roaring sea,
we thought we tell you about our stories set in the region of Great Lake
A New England gal, I have been to the
ocean (Atlantic - on the opposite coast as you, MaryLu!) countless times. I
have never been to Lake Michigan, except in my internet research, but I was at
Lake Erie on a trip a few years ago and truly amazed at what I experienced. The
lake was rough and the winds were harsh, the waves high! For the first time, I
realized how dangerous those seas were. My story, Upon a Christmas Tree Schooner,
is inspired by the real Christmas tree schooners of the late 19th and early
20th centuries. When I heard about the Christmas tree ship Rousse Simmons that
sank in Lake Michigan in 1912, I became intrigued how lumber schooner captains
would risk so much to go out on the icy waters late in the season to bring back
Christmas trees for the communities around the Great Lakes. They had been doing
this since the last part of the 19th century. I didn’t want to retell the
tragedy of the Rousse Simmons, but of one of the other schooners and make it a
tale of Christmas hope.
Upon a Christmas Tree Schooner
- A ship’s captain takes his schooner for his last haul of the season http://www.pinterest.com/carlaolsongade/cup-of-christmas-cheer/
Lake Michigan to return with Christmas trees for the German immigrants in his town
of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His journey leads to an unexpected surprise of hope
and healing for him and his grieving wife—a Christmas gift to treasure for
years to come. Visit my Pinterest Story Board to learn more:
writes adventures of the heart with historical roots. A multi-published author
of inspirational historical romance, her books include Pattern for Romance, The
Shadow Catcher’s Daughter, Colonial Courtships, Mistletoe Memories, and A Cup
of Christmas Cheer. Carla writes from her home in rural Maine where she resides
with her family.
Thank you, MaryLu, for hosting me and Carla on your blog! I’d like to chat a
little about the
backstory on my hero, Henry, from Snowed In, and about his
ocean-going exploits. Since this character was inspired by my father, a WWII
wounded veteran, it’s not too hard for me to know details of Henry’s feelings
about ocean crossings. Raised in Michigan’s upper peninsula, my father had
never been to the ocean until he had training in California. A National
Guardsman, my father was activated into duty when Pearl Harbor happened. He was
at a camp in Arkansas and was on leave that day driving around with a buddy.
But he knew he’d eventually be shipped overseas. And he wasn’t
too happy about
getting on a ship and crossing the ocean. I am not sure if my
great-grandparents shared their story of difficulty crossing from England, or
not with him. In any event, he was sent over to England and also crossed the
channel from England into Normandy. I always thought he came in on D Day but my
husband says Dad told him it was a few days later. I know D Day and its
aftermath profoundly affected him, especially because he knew two of his three
brothers were there, too. The concern over what the soldiers faced, after
crossing the channel, greatly outweighed any other thoughts. He was also
returned later, after being shot, to a hospital, then sent over again before
the Battle of the Bulge. When he spoke about coming home on that ship, although
he was glad to be returning, frankly I believe he was terrified of getting on
the ship again because of what a lousy uncomfortable crossing it would be. When
offered boat rides, to my recollection he refused them. However, one happy
memory I have was of my father riding with me on a ferry across to Mackinac
Island. And of course, living on the Great Lakes, we had to take ferry car
boats across in some places. All this to say that my character Henry, in the
story, didn’t like horses but if you were to ask him—he’d tell you he’d be
happy to never cross the ocean on a ship ever again! And as far as a schooner
on the Great Lakes—he’d be happy for Carla’s captain to manage that by himself!
In - Set in the upper peninsula
of Michigan, 19-year-old Eliza’s (name changed to Elsie by the publisher) three
younger sisters show up at her second job, seemingly abandoned by their father,
after their mother’s death. Her wounded WWII veteran sweetheart takes the girls
to his ailing grandmother’s log cabin near the lumber camp where they’d grown
up. Although Henry promises to return for Christmas eve, the roads are quickly
closed off by a blizzard. Can he make it back for Christmas when his car won’t
start and his snowshoe straps break? And will a tender love bloom to a promise?
Carrie Fancett Pagels
(www.carriefancettpagels.com) is author of an Amazon top-rated Civil War
to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance. Carrie also contributed to
God’s Provision in Tough Times, Lighthouse of the Carolinas (July, 2013). Her
short story, Snowed In: A Northwoods Christmas, appears in Guidepost Books “A
Cup of Christmas Cheer” (October, 2013). With a Ph.D. in School Psychology,
Carrie served as a psychologist for twenty-five years. Carrie is the former
ACFW Zone Mid-Atlantic Zone Director and Virginia/West Virginia Area
Coordinator and continues to serve as co-hostess of the Tidewater Area
Christian Writers group. Married for over 25 years to the love of her life, she
resides in Virginia’s historic triangle. She has an 11-year-old son and a
Carrie has two popular group blogs: Overcoming with God (www.overcomingwithGod.com) and
Colonial Quills (www.ColonialQuills.org).
To learn more about A CUP OF CHRISTMAS CHEER, please join us for our BLOG HOP!
Thank you, Ladies, so much for being here!!!
Don't these stories sound great?? Leave a comment for Carla and Carrie with your email address to be entered to win (US addresses only) I'll draw a winner next Friday, the 29th!
And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure of thought and studyyou give to the truth you hear will be the measure of virtue and knowledge that comes back to you—and more besides will be given to you who hear.
For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away by force. Mark 4:24-25
I love the Amplified version of this verse. It really puts it into perspective. Basically I believe what God is saying here is this: You can have as much as Me as you want... as much of my power, my glory, my faith, my love, my righteousness, my knowledge, my goodness..etc.. You can know me as much as you want to know me. You can hear from me as much as you want to hear from me. You can live that live of victory in me! But it will cost you. What is the cost? You have to really really want it, you have to want it so badly that knowing God, knowing His truth and love and power become more important to you than even your daily food and water. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt 6:33 NKJV
God is not messing around. He gave 100% of Himself. He gave His very Son for us. He expects 100% in return. And the measure of time and energy and desire you put into knowing God and pursuing God is the amount of virtue, knowledge, and power you will receive in return. God is not stingy. But He is a gentleman. If you only want 10% of God... just enough to last through Sunday's sermons and a couple of prayers during the week, but other things take precedence the rest of the time, then you will receive 10% of Him.
And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matt 10:37
I hear from so many people who say they don't feel God's presence, they don't hear from God, they don't have the peace and joy they expect from their salvation. They don't see miracles. They feel their faith is weak. I always ask them, how much time do you spend with God, talking to Him, listening, reading His Word. What is the number one thing you think about during the day?
I know we are all super busy. And I'm not talking about hours out of your day. I'm taking about taking time here and there and cultivating a relationship with God. I'm talking about giving Him as much time as you would a spouse or a best friend. I'm talking about spending time studying the Scriptures believing they contain the words of Life! But it's even more than that, it's a heart attitude of desperation.. of love and desire for more of God, not because of what He can give you, but because of who He is. I guarantee that the more you know Him, the more desperate you will be for more of Him because you'll start to feel that peace, that joy. Your faith will grow. You'll witness miracles. You will have more influence on family and friends. You'll find your purpose and fulfillment. Life will no longer be the simple drudgery of making ends meet and longing for the weekends!
But of course, perhaps that's not what you want. Perhaps you're content with 10% of God. You'll still make it into heaven. But you would have missed so much here on earth!
First things first: The winner of last week's drawing (done by Random.org) for Laurie Alice Eakes' book, A Reluctant Courtship is R. Merr!!! Congratulations! Thank you all for your comments and for entering. I highly recommend this book so if you didn't win, I encourage you to buy it HERE
Today, I have another special author guest. Please Welcome Patty Smith Hall!!
Smith Hall has made up stories since being forced on boring drives into the
Georgia countryside when she was too young to stay home by herself. Now she's
happy to share her wild imagination and love of history with others, including
her husband, Danny, two smart and gorgeous daughters, and a Yorkie she spoils
like a baby. She resides in North Georgia.
Isn't she pretty? I met Patty years ago when I was on a book signing tour in Michigan. She was so helpful to me and three other authors who were touring places quite unknown to us. She helped spread the word to local libraries and churches, and I believe she even got thrown out of one church! Well, she'll have to tell you that story. It's pretty funny.
Not only is Patty kind and pretty, but she's also a great author. She has a new release out that I know you're going to LOVE
Joshua McClain is headed west
stop: Hillsdale, Michigan, to break the marriage contract his late mother
arranged between him and Katie Clark. Years ago, Katie left him behind in
Charleston. But after a train crash, he comes face-to-face with Dr. Kathleen
Clark, his childhood friend all grown up.
Josh shows up in town, claiming they're betrothed, Katie refuses to consider an
arranged marriage. She'll marry for love or not at all. Besides, he's headed
for Kansas Territory; her practice is here in Hillsdale. So why are they both
finding it hard to break their betrothal and say goodbye?
Patty, please tell us how the story of The Doctor's Bride came about?
What do you do when it’s winter in
Michigan; you’re stuck inside for the fifteenth day in a row because the clouds
have (once again) opened up and dropped another foot of the white stuff on your
driveway, and it’s so cold, your sinuses freeze into two large ice cubes in the
center of your face?
If you’re me, you write about a train
wreck in Hillsdale Michigan during a blizzard in February, 1856!
Being a southern girl, the daily onslaught
of spitting snow kept me close to home during my seven years living just
outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan, fueling an interest in the surrounding
communities that for the most part, lay beneath a blanket of white. So when I
came across an old newspaper article about the head-on collision on the
Southern Michigan Rail Line just outside of Hillsdale, I found myself
intrigued. Two trains--one heading east, the other, carrying passengers
west--collided in the mist of a raging blizzard just after midnight on February
8th, 1856. Both trains were behind schedule so the engineers were ‘running
wild’ in an effort to make up lost time, one engineer going so far as to
operate his engine without a head light to warn any oncoming trains. Three men
died in the initial crash while three others were so badly injured, their chances
of survival was reported as extremely slim in one local newspaper.
It being winter, I wondered how the
people of Hillsdale managed such a devastating accident and learned that
because no other means of transportation was available in town during the
winter months, the residents took in the victims, hosting them for weeks,
sometimes months according to their injuries. With a college that offered
educational opportunities for both men and women, I felt I’d found the perfect
recipe for romance!
What a GREAT story. Thank you, Patty.
GIVEAWAY!! I'm giving away a copy of this marvelous book to one lucky winner (announced next Friday). So leave a comment for Patty about what intrigues you about the storyline!
(US only for paperback. Anywhere for E-copy)
And if you absolutely can't wait... go ahead and order your copy now! (links above)