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Showing posts from January, 2008

Interview with Julie Lessman

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.31.2008 Today, I’m thrilled to interview historical romance author Julie Lessman  talking about her debut novel, A Passion Most Pure . She's found the love of her life. Unfortunately, he loves her sister. As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O'Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there's the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin's affections shift, it threatens to tear her proper Boston family apart. Book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure will carry your heart from the sophisticated streets of Boston to the green hills of Ireland as men go off to war and women long for their return. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, it will captivate

Wasabi Wednesday - AWAKEN MY HEART

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.30.2008 Get free short stories and info on exclusive book giveaways when you subscribe to my newsletter! Blog book giveaway: To enter to win today’s book (below), leave a comment on this blog post, giving your name, saying you want to enter, and answering the Wasabi Wednesday question . International readers are welcome to enter! Please leave a WORKING email address or website where I can contact you (please use this format--you [at] yourmail.com--or something like that to prevent spammers from trolling for your email address). Please make sure your email address works. It is the winner’s responsibility to check to see if you won and to email me if you haven’t yet heard from me. You have a week to comment--I'll pick a name out of a hat on Wednesday, February 6th. (BTW, you can post a comment and NOT enter, too.) Awaken My Heart by DiAnn Mills 1803, the colony of Texas. Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, has never agreed with her fa

Psychological breakthrough

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.29.2008 I got this from my friend Missy Tippens : Psychological breakthrough... A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features. However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his forehead while he is on fire. No further studies are expected.

Northanger Abbey on Masterpiece

Captain's Log, Supplemental Okay, I finally got a chance to watch Northanger Abbey on Masterpiece. I was very entertained! I have to admit, however, that I’m not as fond of Northanger Abbey as I am of Persuasion , so I wasn’t well-versed enough to know where the script deviated from the novel. Ignorance is bliss. I thought it was very well cast. I LOVED the actor who played Henry Tilney—I thought he was perfect. I also liked the actress who plays Catherine Moorland. And I thought Mrs. Allen looked familiar—the actress is the same one who played Fanny Price in that old BBC version of Mansfield Park ! Anyway, it’s gotten me to read Northanger Abbey again. So far, there are a few differences but nothing major—mostly just to compress the storyline for a 2 hour movie. And I found out that the script was written by Andrew Davies, who did the BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth, so I’m rather pleased.

Sunday Prayer

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.27.2008 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, email me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't email 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, thank you for the rain and the cold and another day of life. I pray for complete healing for Bruce, Malia, Helen, Kelli, Kristy. I lift up Case and his family to you. Help Pammer with everything she needs at this time, and please provide for her family. I pray for complete healing for Sharon. Give wisdom to her doctor. Please help me with the work I have to do, and please continue to give m

Review - A PASSION MOST PURE by Julie Lessman

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.25.2007 A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman She's found the love of her life. Unfortunately, he loves her sister. As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O'Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there's the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin's affections shift, it threatens to tear her proper Boston family apart. Book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure will carry your heart from the sophisticated streets of Boston to the green hills of Ireland as men go off to war and women long for their return. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, it will captivate you from the first page. Camy here: This was a wonderfully rich historical romance that kept me guessin

CFBA - FALLEN by Matthew Raley

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Fallen (Kregel Publications February 29, 2008) by Matthew Raley ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matthew Raley is senior pastor of the Orland Evangelical Free Church in northern California, where he lives with his wife and two young children. For fun, he enjoys playing chamber music with friends, giving occasional solo recitals, and playing first violin in the North State Symphony. This is his first book. ABOUT THE BOOK Jim was at work when his eyes drifted to the coffee shop visible from his office window. An attractive woman driving a Mercedes pulled up to the curb . . . and Jim’s married pastor emerged from the car. When Jim delves deeper into his pastor’s world, will he be able to handle what he discovers? Is he right to suspect that Dave is having an affair? In the behind-the-scenes church battle that ensues, Jim is torn between duty to his church and a desire to show grace. A ripped-from-the-headlines drama of suspense that keeps you

Another book meme

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.23.2008 Michelle tagged me! One book that changed your life. I actually have two: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey They both opened new worlds to me and made me dream about writing my own. One book that you have read more than once. Persuasion by Jane Austen One book you would want on a desert island. The Bible Two books that made you laugh. Theodora’s Diary by Penny Culliford SAHM I Am by Meredith Efken One book that made you cry. One book that made me both laugh and cry was Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker One book you wish you'd written. Any Harry Potter book. I mean, it’s so creative, with lots of conflict (but not too much) and terrific plotting. One book you wish had never been written. Shoot me if you want, but I can’t stand Wuthering Heights . I’ve tried several times to read this book—I even tried it on audio book once—and I simply can’t finish it. I don’t like any o

Secret confession

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.22.2008 I am a teeny bopper at heart. I confess it. I’m coming clean. I love N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys. They were cute. And they sang well. And their songs just melt my heart. I have to admit I partially liked the Chinese Back Dormitory Boys because they were singing one of my favorite songs, “As Long As You Love Me” and “I Want It That Way.” (Well, and plus they were darn funny.) I love the movies, too! Captain Caffeine is annoyed because I TiVo’d The Princess Diaries one AND two. I just saw The Lizzie McGuire Movie and loved the whole “fall in love with a rock star and perform on stage” fantasy. And now that I’m doing research for a young adult novel series I’m working on, I get to indulge all my secret vices. What about you? Any favorite bands/songs/movies you secretly love? The songs you’ve hidden in a special folder on your iPod so your kids/friends/spouse can’t find them? The movies you watch late at night after everyone’s gone to bed

Sunday Prayer

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.20.2008 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, email me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't email 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, thank you for the rain and the cold and another day of life. I pray for complete healing for Bruce, Malia, Helen, Kelli, Kristy. Please comfort Doug’s family right now. I lift up Case and his family to you. Wrap your arms around Sarah and give her peace. Remind her that you have all things in your hands. Please help me with the work I have to do, and please continue to give me discipline in

Mexican pulled pork recipe

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.18.2008 I am SO proud of Captain Caffeine! He bought a pork shoulder that was on sale and decided to make Mexican-style pulled pork in the crockpot. Holy smokes, that stuff was good!!!! So, not to be outdone, I made homemade flour tortillas (they're actually pretty easy) and we had a DELISH dinner the other night. Captain Caffeine has graciously agreed to share his magic recipe (although I don't know if it's really magic since he only made it once ). 4 pounds pork shoulder blade roast (pork butt) 12 ounces green salsa 1 packet taco seasoning 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 1 onion (optional) 2 jalapeno peppers (didn't have these, but next time I'll try) 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup water Dice onion and place in bottom of crock pot. Place pork on top of onions, sprinkle taco seasoning and cayenne pepper on top of pork. Add green salsa and beef bouillon mixture. Turn crock pot on "high" setting for 6 hours, or

A Hero in Three Pages

Captain's Log, Supplemental I'm blogging about writing heroes over at the Seekerville blog today: A Hero in Three Pages If you're not a writer, how about this: How is your hubby heroic? Captain Caffeine is heroic because he lets me blog about all the random stuff he does (like nasal saline sprays ) without being embarrassed or revoking my computer privileges. He also makes a mean latte, feeding my caffeine addiction. Lastly, he's heroic because he continues to watch movies with me, despite the fact I tend to talk and scream during the movie, which would drive a weaker man to homicide.

CFBA - Christian Writers' Market Guide 2008 by Sally Stuart

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Christian Writers' Market Guide 2008 WaterBrook Press (January 15, 2008) by Sally Stuart ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sally Stuart has been writing for the last 40+ years, and has been putting out the annual "Christian Writers' Market Guide" for the last 23 years. Her other writing includes several Christian education resources books, a children's picture book, a basic writing text, writing resources, and a western novel--plus hundreds of articles and marketing columns. She writes marketing columns for the "Christian Communicator," "Advanced Christian Writer," and the Oregon Christian Writers' Newsletter. She speaks and teaches at Christian Writers' Conferences nationwide. Sally is the mother of 3 and grandmother of 8. She and her husband, Norm, spend their free time vacationing on the Oregon coast. Check out her blog ! ABOUT THE BOOK: The essential reference tool for the Christian wri

Persuasion on Masterpiece

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.16.2008 (The winner of the rat mug is Carol (mittens)! Congratulations!) I Tivo'd Jane Austen's Persuasion presented on Masterpiece and finally got a chance to see it last night. Maybe because I've read the book so many times and love it so much, maybe because I'm a bit of a Jane Austen purist, I was disappointed. While I liked the actors in general--and I liked the actors who played Anne and Frederick very much--I disliked the writing quite a bit (the parts not taken directly from Jane Austen). I didn't like the inconsistencies with the novel. There were a few inconsistencies in the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility , but I loved them because they seemed to add to the story without deviating much from the novel. For this version of Persuasion , I didn't like the changes and thought they deviated too much--the inconsistencies changed the characters themselves. Charles Musgrove is suddenly as unpleasant as his wife. Walter Elli

Phone calls

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.15.2008 I have to admit, I completely suck when it comes to calling friends. It's not that I don't love them or want to talk to them, I just don't think to call them. I'm not trying to be rude or send a message or anything like that. I'm just clueless. Luckily, I have wonderful friends who call me. And when they call, we talk for hours. And I have a great time talking to them and catching up. But a part of me is feeling like a Bad Friend because I didn't think to call them first. What do you think? Am I breaking a vital rule of Friend Etiquette by not calling my friends occasionally, by letting them call me first? Am I just pathetically thoughtless and ought to be whipped? And let me say right now, I have awesome friends. They totally put up with me, non-calling as I am.

Interview with Cheryl Wyatt

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.14.2008 Today, I'm thrilled to post an interview with my friend and fellow author, Cheryl Wyatt! Her debut novel, A Soldier's Promise , just released this month! "My name's Bradley. I'm eight and have cancer. I want to meet a Special Forces soldier more than anything. Well, almost anything. Having a family would be nice." U.S. Air Force pararescue jumper Joel Montgomery promised to make a sick child's wish come true. Well, not the family part—not with Joel's past. And so despite vowing never to set foot back in Refuge, Illinois, Joel parachuted onto the boy's school lawn to a huge smile. But another smile unexpectedly stole Joel's heart: that of Bradley's beautiful teacher, Amber Stanton, who was trying to adopt the boy. And trying to show Joel it was time for new vows. And now, here's me and Cheryl! ’Fess up. Who is your favorite PJ? This is so hard! Making me choose just one? LOL! That'

Sunday Prayer

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.13.2008 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, email me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't email 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, thank you for another day. I pray for complete healing for Bruce, Doug, Malia, Helen, Kelli, Kristy. I lift up Case and his family to you. I lift up Christa to you, and her unspoken prayer request concerning her writing. Please be with her, give her the wisdom she needs, and continue to lift her up. I lift up Elysa and her kids and their Swaziland trip. Please heal her kids and help Elysa t

Toe socks

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.11.2008 Update: I also wrote out the pattern for a pair of tabi socks, or split-toe socks . I can't help bragging a little. I just finished my first pair of toe socks (I have an unfinished pair of toe socks somewhere, but this is my first completed pair). These are a belated (VERY belated) graduation present for one of my high school girls in the church youth group. She wanted toe socks in Slytherin colors. I had a time finding superwash sock yarn in green and silver, and you can tell these are very different types of yarn (one is merino superwash, the other is a wool/elastic blend). But they knit up at the same gauge (almost) and look quite nice, if I say so myself. They look a little creepy (almost like freaky alien hands). You can see the bump from the heel on the right sock. I used Michelle Cho's toe sock pattern Update: The previous link was taken down, but here's another that's actually a bit better: Unicornbooks.com toe s

Saline sprays?

Captain's Log, Supplemental Okay, so this might be TMI, but Captain Caffeine snores loud enough to wake the dog. He finally went to the doctor, who prescribed both an allergy spray and a saline spray for his nose. Now, I use a homemade saline spray to help me with my sinus allergies. It's just 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 4 ounces of boiling water, cooled and poured into an old contact lens solution bottle so I can squirt it up my nose (maybe that really is TMI). However, the saline spray prescribed for Captain Caffeine is this tiny packet he dissolves in 8 ounces of water, and he's supposed to discard the excess after using it just once! Talk about a rip off! He looked online and lots of recipes recommend sea salt or pickling salt, plus baking power or baking soda (I don't remember which). Do you guys have any recommendations? Why sea salt or pickling salt? Can't he use kosher salt? And why the baking powder/soda? Have you heard any other recipes for this stuff?

Wasabi Wednesday – Year of the Rat mug

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.09.2008 Get free short stories and info on exclusive book giveaways when you subscribe to my newsletter! The winner of Abandoned Identity by Tamara Tilley is Amanda Congratulations! Blog book giveaway: To enter to win today’s book, leave a comment on this blog post, giving your name and saying you want to enter. International readers are welcome to enter! Please leave a WORKING email address or website where I can contact you (please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail.com--or something like that to prevent spammers from trolling for your email address). Please make sure your email address works—I’ve had several winners where my email to them bounced and I couldn’t get hold of them. It is the winner’s responsibility to check to see if you won and to email me if you haven’t yet heard from me. You have a week to comment--I'll pick a name out of a hat on Wednesday, January 16th. (BTW, you can post a comment and NOT enter, too.) Doing s

Politeness or comfortableness?

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.08.2008 I'm in an emotional quandary. I offered to do something for a friend. She said, "Great!" and gave me the info I'd need. No "thanks," "thank you," etc. Am I just too old-fashioned, that I expect a "thank you" if someone offers to do something for you? It also occurred to me that maybe this friend feels so comfortable with me, she assumes she doesn't need to say thanks, that I already know she's thankful. But something in me just wars against that kind of thinking. I don't care how comfortable you are with me, or how long we've been friends--I want a polite "thank you" if I'm doing you a favor. What do you guys think? How do you teach your kids about stuff like this?

Seekerville blog

Captain's Log, Supplemental I owe a lot to writing contests. Before I was contracted, I won first place in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category of the ACFW Noble Theme contest, which garnered me some fabulous attention from editors and agents. Partly because of that, I’ve coordinated the ACFW Genesis contest (the Noble Theme was renamed the Genesis the year after I won) for the past two years. 2008 will be my third time coordinating! I love writing contests—I can’t experience the thrill and anguish of entering, so I coordinate and judge (other contests—not the Genesis, for obvious reasons). I love hearing from entrants, emailing judges, tallying the scoresheets and seeing who finals. A lot of my friends have finaled and won writing contests, also. Some have gone on to be contracted with publishing houses. In honor of our love of/obsession with/irrational addiction to writing contests, fourteen of my writer friends and I have started a blog dedicated to contests. We cover e

Sunday Prayer

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.06.2008 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, email me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't email 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, thank you for today. I pray for complete healing for Bruce, Doug, Malia, Helen, Kelli, Kristy. Thank you that Tony is in remission. Please keep him in good health. I lift up Case and his family to you. Be with Linda as she writes her next book and children non-fiction series. Please be with Elysa and her kids. I pray the girls will be healthy to go on the missions trip. Help Elysa to trust

Book excerpt - DOUBLE BLIND by Hannah Alexander

DOUBLE BLIND A Hideaway Novel by Hannah Alexander A deadly outbreak opens old wounds… A virus is sweeping the Navajo reservation, and two of Sheila Metcalf's childhood friends are dead. For Sheila, that's a call to leave Hideaway, Missouri, and return to Arizona. Neither her father's objections nor the arguments of Preston Black, the man who loves her, can stop Sheila from returning to the land of her youth. Her nursing skills are needed, and it's past time she found out the truth about her mother's long-ago death. There's a medical mystery to unravel, secrets about the past to uncover and questions about the future to explore. Along the way, Sheila will need courage and strength—and faith that God will protect her and lead her to where she belongs. To read a chapter of this exciting new title go to Chapter-a-Week ! If you don't belong to Chapter a Week, it's free and easy to join. Just click here .

8 More Random Things

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.04.2008 (Hannah won The Restorer by Sharon Hinck! Congratulations!) Myra tagged me. I could point to my old 8 Random Things , but thought I’d come up with something new. 1. Don’t laugh, but I’ve just started the Ultimate Tea Diet (I got it on ebook from Fictionwise.com for less than $10 club price). I’m pretty stoked because I love tea and this diet encourages you to drink as much as you like. You’re also supposed to resteep the loose tea leaves so there’s no caffeine in successive cups of tea, which is great. So far, it’s been neat because I haven’t been as hungry at night. 2. I finished knitting all my (late) Christmas gifts, and now I’m working on a couple graduation presents (for two teen girls in my youth group) that are about half a year overdue. 3. I like looking at complicated lace knitting patterns, but so far I’ve only done two lace shawls, both in the same pattern. One was for my agent, the other was for my husband’s Christmas gift exchange

Fuzzy melon

Captain's Log, Supplemental This is, I believe, a “bitter melon” (it’s an Asian vegetable, and it’s actually called that). If it’s not a bitter melon, it’s a winter melon. I can never remember which is which. It’s squash-like. Someone gave it to my sister-in-law, but it wasn’t used in whatever Chinese soup they made for Christmas dinner. I know it’s a commonly used vegetable, but I’ve certainly never cooked with it. The problem is that once she got it, my sister-in-law noticed this funny fuzzy sprout growing out of the top. So she stuck it in a glass and watched to see if it would continue to grow. And it did! She didn’t water it. She didn’t do anything except stick it in a glass. And it’s looking like some space pod from an alien planet, getting ready to jump out and body-snatch everyone in the house. We watched the fuzzy sprout grow another couple inches in the two days we were at my sister-in-law’s house. Who knows? Maybe I’ve contracted some extraterrestrial disease it was carr

A New Year’s Writing Challenge

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.01.2008 Happy New Year! I was racking my brain to figure out something pithy and witty to say for my post, but my friend Tina Russo solved the problem with THREE writing contests: The 2008 Challenge Even if you’re only thinking about writing a novel, here’s your incentive to start!