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Showing posts from June, 2007

Cute or not?

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.29.2007 Tricia Goyer insists her puppy Jake is ugly. I disagree—I think he’s darling. What do you think? Cute or ugly?

Excerpt of SUSHI FOR ONE?

Captain's Log, Supplemental I was going to post about Tricia Goyer’s cute/ugly puppy, but I just got the BEST news! (Sorry, Jake, we’ll post your pic tomorrow!) I can now release the first chapter (.pdf) of Sushi for One? !!!!! Read it and let me know what you think!

Knitting skirts

Captain's Log, Supplemental Warning: TMI I’m on a diet. Actually, I’m trying to change my eating habits and my lifestyle, but that entails changing my diet. Until I can melt away the fat from my rear end to become the slender figure I’d like to be, I naturally look for ways to hide it. My fat, that is. (Can’t really hide my rear end, now, can I?) I read in InStyle magazine once that skirts are actually great ways to hide the size of your thighs. While that doesn’t hide the wideness of my behind, I’ll take what I can get. I’m short, so long skirts make me look like I’m sprouting out of the ground. But I have a lovely short skirt—just above my knees—in this very forgiving knit fabric, and I love it. (No, I am not going to post a picture, because seeing my wide behind posted on the web would just be too mortifying.) It actually looks better than I expected. Plus it’s comfortable—key factor. And it’s a little dressier than my khaki pants. And cooler than my dark slacks. Inspired, I ha

CFBA - The Divine Appointment by Jerome Teel

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing THE DIVINE APPOINTMENT (Howard Books June 5, 2007) by Jerome Teel ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jerome Teel is a graduate of Union University, where he received his JD, cum laude, from the Ole Miss School of Law. He is actively involved in his church, local charities, and youth sports. He has always loved legal-suspense novels and is a political junkie. He is also the author of The Election , another political thriller that we reviewed November of '06. Jerome and his wife, Jennifer, have three children...Brittney, Trey, and Matthew...and they reside in Tennessee where he practices law and is at work on a new novel. ABOUT THE BOOK: "They aren't hiding just one something, but a bunch of somethings..." Small town southern lawyer, Elijah Faulkner is a dying breed...an attorney that actually takes pleasure in fighting injustice by working hard for the little guy. But when he takes on a case to defend a philandering doctor

New member of the family

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.26.2007 Haha, did I make you wonder if I was preggo? Nope, it’s a new member of my parents’ household. This is Kuro (coo-row), which is Japanese for the color black (I know, I know, highly original). He’s 8 weeks old, and he was the runt of his litter. As soon as my parents brought him home, they wondered if they had really done a good thing. He has had lots of accidents in the house already. My folks also made the mistake of letting him sleep on the bed, because he had been crying all night in his crate and they gave in to him. Mom said she’s so tired, she feels like she had to get up for 2 a.m. feedings. Isn't he cute? Makes me want another dog ... almost.

Do dogs feel embarrassed?

Captain's Log, Supplemental Snickers has been licking a wound on her leg, so we put the dreaded cone on her neck. It’s a big honkin’ plastic thing that isolates her head. It looks absolutely ridiculous on her. It made me wonder if dogs feel embarrassed at how silly they look. What do you think? She looks a bit sorrowful, doesn’t she? It kind of puts a damper on her attempts to guard her backyard.

I’m on the Advanced Fiction Writing blog!

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.24.2007 Randy Ingermanson interviewed me for his Advanced Fiction Writing blog. Randy has done a wonderful service to all writers with his blog. His Advanced Fiction Writing ezine was already a terrific resource, but his blog is even better because he welcomes and answers questions from writers. He is a true writing mentor, in every sense of the word. His questions had mostly to do with branding, so if you’re a writer wondering about branding yourself, check it out!

Finished my Bible in 90 Days!

Captain's Log, Supplemental Yup, finished it today! Cool, huh? This is the second time I’ve read through the Bible. I really liked using the NLT Bible for this, but next time I think I’ll use the TNIV. The different translations helped me notice different things about the Word as I read. Or maybe the Spirit was just prompting me to notice different things. I also understand now why it’s so important to read through the entire Bible. So many things in the New Testament are so much richer after reading the Old Testament—I understand some of the deeper meanings. Or, again, it might be the Spirit revealing deeper meanings to me. Either way, it’s pretty cool. The great part about the Bible in 90 Days is that it makes it so much easier to read through the Bible. Granted, it took me more like 150 days, but still ... reading through it this way enabled me to get through the entire Bible twice in two years, whereas the Bible in a Year program always had me dropping it after a few month

The Bridge website and current culture

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.20.2007 My friend Ruth ( ChristianFictionQueen ) sent me this announcement about a new website she's involved in: WorldofCM.com Announces Re-Launch and Name Change Site Enters New Phase with New Writers and Coverage as The Bridge NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Chris D. Unthank, editor and owner of WorldofCM.com , is proud to announce the re-launching and name change for the popular site. Effective immediately, WorldofCM.com will now be called The Bridge ( http://www.thebridgelive.net ) in order to effectively reflect the site's new content and focus. In addition to focusing on contemporary Christian music, The Bridge will now feature an all encompassing look at Christianity and the arts – showcasing even more topics such as movies, television, books & literature, pop culture, Christians in mainstream culture, and much more. "I've been at this for a very long time," mentioned Chris Unthank. "I started this site over 10 years

Edith Wharton’s THE BUCCANEERS

Captain's Log, Supplemental I just watched the BBC period drama miniseries, The Buccaneers , based on Edith Wharton’s last unfinished novel. The miniseries was very well done, I thought. Costumes were sumptuous and acting was good. However, this is the second Wharton novel made into a film that I’ve seen, and both stories have a lack of morality that disturbs me. Adultery is seen as “true love.” Sure, the women had sucky marriages, but did the author/scriptwriter have to glorify adultery? I’m not a prude, but I’m a pragmatist. If a young girl agrees to marry a duke, she has to understand there are certain obligations that come with being a duke, just as if she had married a President of the United States. She can’t whine about her duties or her social position—she should have thought of that before she married him. The way the stories were presented made it seem that Nan, with her free spirited innocence, was in the right to run off with her lover, when in reality, all her pro

ONLY UNI cover!

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.20.2007 Here's the cover to book 2 in the Sushi Series , Only Uni ! Only Uni comes out in February 2008. Ruth was the one who discovered that it's up on Zondervan's website , although it's not up yet on Amazon. Funny, huh? It's up before book one is even out yet. The first book in the series, Sushi for One? , will be released in September this year. Update: Donna pointed out, I forgot to mention that I LOVE THE COVER!!!!

Lace edging

Captain’s Log, Stardate 06.19.2007 I came across this neato webpage the other night: Knitting Patterns for Lace Edgings Etc So, curious about making lace, I knitted a few swatches from the Normandy Lace Edging pattern . Isn’t this totally neat???? My swatch, unfortunately, does not look as nice as the pattern picture, possibly because I don’t block very well, possibly because I’m still a beginning knitter. Maybe I’m reading too many historical romances lately, but it makes me want to go back to the fashions of gowns and shirts dripping in lace. I suppose I could knit some lace and edge the sleeves of a long-sleeved shirt with it. That would be a cool way to refresh an old shirt.

Trader Joe’s yogurt

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I have discovered ambrosia! My husband bought some yogurt at Trader Joe’s for me, and it’s this French Village cream line yogurt, full fat. The cream actually rises to the top, so you have to mix it before scooping some out. The full fat is not good for me, but OH MY GOSH IT TASTES SOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!! One cup is 170 calories, and I added half a cup of blueberries and a tablespoon or two of honey. It was FABULOUS! Move over, Dannon!!!! I think I will try mixing it with chocolate. This stuff is so creamy and yummy, it would make wonderful frozen yogurt. Is full fat yogurt healthier for me than full fat ice cream? I think so, right? I’m sure it’s better for me than a few chocolate chip cookies.

Sunday Prayer

Captain’s Log, Stardate 06.17.2007 Leave any prayer requests in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request or e-mail me. If I forgot your prayer request, e-mail me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't e-mail me or comment to update your prayer request, I'm only going to pray ONE Sunday. I’m trying something new with my Sunday Prayer. I’m really bad about doing it on Sunday , so I’ll be updating it during the week. Dear Lord, Please heal Janet in time for ICRS. Help her to be symptom-free as she has her appointments, and give her a good trip. Help Pammer get to the lake without problems and have a good vacation with her family. I pray for a successful surgery for Luke and quick, complete recovery. Amen

The Sword of Shannara movies

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I just read this in Publisher’s Lunch , and it got me so excited! Film deal: Terry Brooks' SHANNARA fantasy series to Warner Bros., with the second book The Elfstones of Shannara viewed "as the most likely jumping-off point for the film stories." Can you believe it???? Movies of the Sword of Shannara series! Wootwoot! I totally loved the Shannara books when I was in high school. If Warner Bros. does an even halfway decent job of it, they could be the next fantasy phenomenon like Lord of the Rings! Of course, I know that news of the deal doesn’t mean the movies will actually go to production. Many a slip ’twix cup and lip, as they say. But how cool if this does happen! Is my geeky Sci-fi/fantasy side showing?

CFBA - As I Have Loved You by Nikki Arana

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.15.2007 This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing As I Have Loved You (Revell June 1, 2007) by Nikki Arana ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nikki Arana is an award-winning author of highly-acclaimed inspirational women's fiction who weaves today's social, political, and spiritual issues into her novels. She has received numerous awards, including the Excellence in Media 2007 Silver Angel Award for The Winds of Sonoma . The book was based on the true love story of how Nikki met her future husband Antonio as he was cleaning the stalls of her parents' Arabian horses. Nikki and Antonio have been married for over thirty years, have two grown sons, and live in Idaho. ABOUT THE BOOK: Contemporary Struggles... ...A Single Mom and College-Ages Son. Leigh Scott is a widowed, single mother who wants the best for her son Jeff. She would like him to graduate from college, land a secure job, and start a family. However, Jeff, who was diagnosed with A

Organic co-op

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I’m pretty excited about this organic co-op I’ve joined. I first read about it in Radiant Magazine . An organic co-op is a group of local farms that join together. Consumers pay for a crate of fresh vegetables every week during the growing season. You commit for a month at a time, and pre-pay for each month. Each week costs only about $25. Considering how expensive everything is here in California, that’s about how much I spend on vegetables and fruit every week at Safeway or Trader Joe’s. You don’t get to choose which fruits and vegetables in each week’s crate, but you do get whatever’s fresh and ripe for that week, and the variety is pretty impressive. Since it’s a local organic co-op, it ensures the produce is fresh and not picked early before being shipped across country. All the produce is also organic and not genetically modified. There are various pick up points in the Bay Area, and the closest one to me is only a few minutes’ drive away. They a

TMI

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Bible in 90 Days: day 83. Yup, still doing it. It’s been so interesting doing this a second time. I’m catching more stuff this time around that I didn’t catch last year. I read 1st and 2nd Timothy and was convicted about being a soldier of Christ, and being more self-disciplined about the work God has called me to do. Knitting: I’m doing a sweet little tank top for the summer with this faboo soft cotton blend yarn from Knitpicks.com. It’s also this wild grapeade shade. I’ve already decided my next sock. I’m going to try to make a toe-sock. I’m taking Michelle Cho’s toe-sock pattern and altering it to see if I can do a toe-sock from the top down rather than toe-up. I’m also going to use Knitpicks Memories yarn in Hawaii color blend (on the left)! I think this will be fun. Speed reading: Inspired by a post on my friend Georgiana D’s blog , I have bought a speed reading book and will hopefully learn how to speed read. I read the introduction today. LOL Wri

He said, she said

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I just got wind of this new book by Gary Chapman in the B&H Publishing newsletter. Now You're Speaking My Language: Honest Communication and Deeper Intimacy for a Stronger Marriage is the paperback edition of Gary Chapman's Gold Medallion award winner, Covenant Marriage . This especially popular book from the multimillion selling author of The Five Love Languages encourages husbands and wives to offer steadfast loyalty, forgiveness, empathy, and commitment to resolving conflict, thus encouraging each other in spiritual growth. Topics include how your relationship with God enhances your marriage, communication as the main way that two become one, and how biblical oneness involves sex but also intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and social oneness. Read a chapter here. This book sounds like something I’d like to read—something that applies to my marriage, which is good already. Many marriage books deal with difficult issues, but my marriage is, w

CFBA - Diva NashVegas by Rachel Hauck

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.13.2007 This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing DIVA NASHVEGAS (Thomas Nelson May 8, 2007) by Rachel Hauck ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachel is the author of many books. Her current release, Diva NashVegas is the second in a series which began with Lost in NashVegas . She is also a Blogger and a CFBA member! She lives in Florida with her husband. Visit her great profile and learn more. ABOUT THE BOOK: Even if you are not a lover of country music, you can enjoy this fun look at the Nashville entertainment industry. What do you do when the past you’ve been skirting shows up at your door with cameras rolling? Aubrey James ruled the charts as the queen of country for over a decade. She’d rocketed to fame in the shadow of her parents’ death-both of them pioneers in Gospel music. But while her public life, high profile romances, and fights with Music Row execs made for juicy tabloid headlines, the real and private Aubrey has remained a media myste

Book savoring

Captain’s Log, Stardate 06.12.2007 You all know what I mean. There are certain authors, certain books, which you read slowly to make it last longer. I’m reading one book like that right now. One of my favorite Regency romance authors is Carla Kelly, and when the Signet Regency line closed, I wasn’t sure if she’d continue writing. I was SO happy when I found out she put out a title with Harlequin Historicals called Beau Crusoe . Carla Kelly always has very interesting aspects of Regency life that she explores. This particular book is no exception—rather than typical lords and ladies, she has a gentleman, a simple “mister,” who was shipwrecked for five years and then rescued less than a year before the story opens. He has been lauded because of a scientific treatise on crabs that he wrote while marooned. The heroine is a young woman, disgraced when she had eloped with her husband to India, where he died of the cholera. She returned to her uncaring and bitter family with her son. The stor

Publisher’s Weekly today

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I’m rather excited because supposedly Publisher’s Weekly is running a review of my book today. Not sure what to expect, just hope it’s a good review. I’m completely honored they’d even review my book in the first place, because they don’t review debut authors very often. I’ll post as soon as I hear what the review was. Update: Here it is! Sushi for One? Camy Tang. Zondervan, $12.99 paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-310-27398-1 This perky debut chick lit novel by Tang gently pokes fun at Asian culture and the life of Christian singles. Lex Sakai is a 30-year-old single Asian-American volleyball coach whose control-freak grandmother is determined to fix her up with a man. Lex is more passionate about making a prestigious volleyball team than dating one of her grandmother's candidates. Although a secret in Lex's past makes romance difficult, she has a six-point list from the biblical book of Ephesians detailing the “godly man” she wants. Disaster, of course

One Life and aromatherapy

Captain's Log, Supplemental One of the girls in my youth group spearheaded a One Life Revolution fundraiser at our church to raise money for families of AIDS in Africa. It’s a very cool program and we raised enough money for 294 children in Africa. To end the fundraiser, she arranged a symbolic candle lighting ceremony. The youth group kids each got a candle, which they lit from a single “Timothy” candle, and they in turn lighted 294 tea lights, one for each of the children they’d raised money for. (And yes, we made sure we had the fire extinguisher handy. These are teenagers, after all.) Of course, at the end, she was stuck with 294 tea lights and the candles the youth group used to light them. I volunteered to take the candles. I will actually use these tea lights. I have an aromatherapy candle diffuser that I use when I write. I fill it with some homemade lavender and eucalyptus infusion water, and as the water evaporates, the lavender and eucalyptus smell fills my small office

CFBA - These Boots Weren't Made For Walking by Melody Carlson

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.08.2007 This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing These Boots Weren't Made for Walking (WATERBROOK Press June 19, 2007) by Melody Carlson ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melody Carlson has published over 100 books for adults, children, and teens, including On This Day, Finding Alice, the Notes from a Spinning Planet series, and Homeward, which won the Rita Award from Romance Writers of America. She and her husband, the parents of two grown sons, make their home near the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon. Melody is a full-time writer as well as an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker. ABOUT THE BOOK: Willing to make the necessary sacrifices–even skipping the occasional latte–to ensure career success, 31-year-old Cassidy Cantrell "invests" in a chic pair of boots, certain they’ll make a spectacular impression and help seal the deal on a long-anticipated promotion from her Seattle employer. But reality tromps all over her expectation

BTV

Captain's Log, Supplemental This is completely random, but hey, what else do you expect from me? Our dog loves watching the backyard. We have affectionately named it “BTV,” as in Backyard TV (a la MTV). Here is how stupid she is. She can’t see a blessed thing. Here is a picture of her viewpoint through the sliding glass door. Notice the (a) mountain of boxes in her way, (b) the rug draped over an old weight machine set we have yet to put together, and (c) the smudge marks from her nose putting everything out of focus. The bush in the back is my French lavender plants desperately in need of a trimming. The only thing she can see is the top of fence, where an occasional squirrel will run. I guess she enjoys barking at them, as if one will suddenly have a seizure and fall down from the fence right into her yard, and she’ll magically transport out of the house into the yard so she can play with it. She will lie in front of the door for hours just for the chance to bark at a squirrel.

Captain Caffeine roasting coffee

Captain’s Log, Stardate 06.06.2007 Many of you know that my husband, Captain Caffeine, roasts his own coffee. I thought I’d show you a few pictures. Here is his coffee roaster. Yes, it was an air popcorn popper in a previous life. It’s actually a special design of popcorn popper in that it has vents on the side of the column instead of at the bottom, where most air poppers have their hot air vents. He stuck a can (top and bottom removed) to extend the column so beans don’t come flying out of the popper. Here are the green coffee beans. They’re a rather sickly yellow-brown color. However, the advantage of keeping green coffee beans and roasting them as you need them is two-fold: 1) You get fresh-roasted coffee that’s no more than a week or two old (and Captain Caffeine says he really can tell when coffee has been roasted more than a week ago) 2) Green coffee beans can be bought in bulk because they’ll last up to a year in storage without getting stale. Roasted coffee is only good for a

Jane Orcutt’s Regency romance

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Jane Orcutt was a beloved writer who passed away a few months ago. Her last novel, All the Tea in China , is a Christian Regency-era romance that looks to be a fabulous read (I haven’t gotten my copy yet, it’s in transit in the mail). All proceeds for her book go to her family. Every good young Englishwoman knows that her destiny depends upon a good marriage match. But Isabella Goodrich is not your typical good young Englishwoman. After an encounter with those less fortunate than she, witty and fun-loving Isabella makes a shocking decision. Against everyone’s advice and wishes, she is going to become a missionary in the Far East. Fighting against cultural expectations, common sense, and a mentor who is not as he seems, Isabella leaves her predictable Oxford life behind and sets sail to a new world fraught with danger. Can she trust the mysterious missionary Phineas Snowe? Or will her adventure end before it even begins? A delightful story for readers who li

Knitting two socks with two circular needles

Captain’s Log, Okay, so I just tried knitting two socks at the same time on two circular needles. This was supposed to make things easier and faster because you’re knitting them simultaneously instead of one at a time on double pointed needles. I had no problems getting the concept of it, which is actually quite clever. There were lots of resources on the web for how to knit two socks on two circs. Update: Because of requests for them, here are the websites I used: How to knit small circumferences using one long circular needle (I used this article to get the concept of knitting a sock using a circular versus double-pointed needles) Cast on for two circular needles How to knit small circumferences with two circulars Cybersocks: 2 Socks on 2 Circulars online class (some of the pictures were very confusing to me because I think she flipped the needles a few times, but this was very helpful to teach me the technique.) But I hated it. I admit, it’s my anal side showing (yet again). I

Interview with Shelley Bates

Captain’s Log, Stardate 06.04.2007 Today I’m interviewing Shelley Bates about her latest novel, Over Her Head ! What kind of mother suspects her own daughter of murder? Laurie Hale has the perfect life--and the perfect family to go with it. She imagines fun, love, and academic success for her daughter, Anna. But when one of Anna's classmates is found murdered and the police start asking questions, fear and suspicion threaten everything Laurie values. Anna isn't the only suspect-a whole group of teenagers seems to be involved, but none of them is talking, and the community is in an uproar. Laurie is asked to leave her prayer group just when she needs it the most, and her marriage bears the strain of the crisis. Laurie's only ally is Janice, the mayor's wife, whose own son could implicate Anna-or exonerate her. Ultimately, Laurie must face her fears: What if Anna really was involved in Randi Peizer's murder? And what kind of person is Laurie if she can doubt h

Sunday Prayer

Captain’s Log, Stardate 06.03.2007 Leave any prayer requests in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request or e-mail me. If I forgot your prayer request, e-mail me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't e-mail me or comment to update your prayer request, I'm only going to pray ONE Sunday. I’m trying something new with my Sunday Prayer. I’m really bad about doing it on Sunday , so I’ll be updating it during the week. Lord God, I lift up Tina to you. Please comfort and encourage her as she looks for a new job, and thank you for this step to help her be happier. I pray you’ll provide a wonderful new job for her in July so she doesn’t have to worry. I pray for complete healing for Bruce, Doug, Tony H. Please be with D and her daughter. Give D strength for this new change in her life, and I pray for more emotional stabi