Mary's Website

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: Serenity to Accept by Elizabeth Maddrey

cover photo
Serenity to Accept By Elizabeth Maddrey

About the Book

Karin Reid has never had much use for God. There's been too much pain in her life for her to accept that God is anything other than, at best, disinterested or, at worst, sadistic. Until she meets Jason Garcia. After his own mistakes of the past, Jason is committed to dating only Christians. He decides to bend his rule for Karin, as long as she comes to church with him. As their friendship grows, both will have to decide if they'll accept the path God has for them, even if it means losing each other.

Elizabeth Maddrey Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace. Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website or on Facebook:

Follow Elizabeth Maddrey Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Announcing . . . Stage Wars!!

In many ways, writing a book is like having a baby. The idea is conceived in a splash of creative imagery. It's nourished in a bazillion what-ifs. Feelings of love for the story haunt the author, waking her up in the middle of the night with possible solutions, plot twists, and ideas for names. The words are critiqued and edited over and over, perused from every angle, much like a mother doting over and loving her child through nine months of care. Then, when the author thinks it's finally time, the delivery imminent, labor begins. Cover creating, formatting, marketing strategies, and a world of new learning experiences bring about pain and struggle. The fight is on to birth this baby. Seeing it for the first time, holding it gently in her hands, keeps the writer going. Excitedly, she presses on, knowing very soon, family and friends will get to witness this miracle she's birthed in her heart.

With that said, here' my new baby! STAGE WARS is finished! Considering I've written nineteen stage productions and directed twenty-four, I decided to write about something I knew . . . the love of Youth Theater. But I also wanted to add a zing of adventure, so I tossed in a whirling make-you-sick-til-you-puke time travel contraption. I absolutely delighted in this journey. The labor was intensive, but worth every hour of tears and struggle.

Stage Wars is written for 5th-8th graders who love adventure, theater, and Christian fiction stories. And some adults have told me they enjoyed the story too!

Check out the first review for Stage Wars:

Author and playwright, Mary E. Hanks, has written a fun, entertaining story filled with pulse-pounding suspense and harrowing experiences that will captivate any child's imagination. As a mother of two boys who delight in sword fighting, medieval times and role playing, I know kids will enjoy reading Stage Wars as the main characters embark on a time travel adventure unlike anything they've ever experienced. In the course of rehearsing for a school play, Shem, TJ and Claire find themselves aboard the Time Spinner, Professor Plunkmeyer’s brain child. Deposited in England in 1068 during the reign of King William the Conqueror when sword-wielding warriors and dungeons were the norm, can foes become friends and work together to find their way home again?

Stage right. Stage left. Offstage. Onstage. Houselights and intermission. For any youngster who enjoys theater and play acting, and feels a call to Broadway, this book is a great choice. Theatrical and captivating, Stage Wars is sure to make a bookworm out of even the most reluctant reader. If your child has an adventurous spirit and loves history and play-acting, then this is the book to read. Run to the bookstore and pick up a copy – and don’t be late! And don’t let Mrs. Dragoon catch you without your costume on!
Paula McGrew
Author of My Heart Beats for You coming in 2014

Thank you, Paula, for those beautiful words!

You can check out Stage Wars on Amazon HERE.

To visit the characters' website, click HERE.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast with Becca Fisher's Amish Christmas Boxed Set

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Amish Christmas Boxed Set By Becca Fisher

About the Book

Four different Amish Christmas stories, plus one bonus novella by Best Selling Amish author, Becca Fisher:
The Christmas Surprise
Joshua Zook and Sadie Miller have been dancing around their feelings for months. But just as Joshua works up the nerve to admit how much he cares for Sadie, he realizes that he may be too late to win Sadie's heart.
The Christmas Miracle
William Bieler just wants a simple Amish Christmas. But with a newborn child at home, nothing is simple. When William's wife falls ill however, it will take a miracle to save Christmas at the Bieler house.
The Christmas Performance
Emma Bieler is chosen to do a solo at the school holiday pageant. But a case of crippling stage fright strikes her just before she's about to go onstage. What happens next will change Emma's life forever.
The Christmas Gift
When Amish widow Hannah King remarries, her daughters do not take well to their new step father. But as the holidays approach, it's make or break time to bring peace back into Hannah's house. Bonus novella: Clara Bieler's Amish Christmas
becca fisher
Becca Fisher I'm Becca Fisher and I write sweet Amish romances featuring simple people with complex love lives. I'm devout in my faith, relish time with my family, and seek to bring joy to as many lives as possible. I would love to have you as a reader. God bless. If you would like to be the first to know about my new books, join my mailing list here Everyone that signs up for my mailing list will receive a Free copy of my "Complete Amish Romance Boxed Set."
Follow Becca Fisher

Enter to Win one of two prizes: A $50 Amazon Gift Card or a Nook 7" tablet!

Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Becca Fisher! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Beautiful Review

I was so blessed by this review of Winter's Past by Paula McGrew...

A beautiful and tender account of God's grace, Winter's Past, written by Mary E. Hanks, is Winter Cowan and Ty Williams's reunion story of love, redemption, and second chances. Entering into this heartwarming, uplifting story and engaging with the characters took no effort whatsoever. Well-written, the story flows smoothly and kept me interested in wanting to know what happened next. Writing every scene in enough detail so they seemed authentic, Mary drew me into the book in a way that made me want to stay within the pages and follow the characters on their journey of restoration and learning to trust again.

Clearly, Mary cares about her characters because they are so three dimensional and realistic that I didn't feel forced to believe they could really exist. Character development was smooth and natural, and as I read, I watched their true traits emerge. Mary showed how God's children - even those actively involved in Christian ministry roles - are not without faults or sin. I enjoyed them because they were far from flawless.

A decade has passed, and Ty doesn't want to hurt Winter any more than he already has. He still loves her and wants to be reunited, even though he knows he doesn't deserve that. Still, he can't ignore the feeling that God wants them to be together. Selfishness and pride controlled him before he found God and allowed Him to work in his heart, and now Ty wants to be the man God wants him to be and the man Winter needs him to be. He wonders if she can ever forgive him.

As thoughts and fragmented pictures of her broken marriage assault her, Winter tries hard to keep from falling apart. When their church ministry plans abruptly change, she and her team members travel to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, a home of many unhappy memories for her. She wonders what God's purpose could possibly be in sending her there. That's when she hears Him speak two words: "Forgive him." She knows what those words mean - forgive her former husband Ty, unconditionally and without second thoughts - and the effort forgiving him will require.

Instead of letting her old feelings control her, Winter knows God insists on forgiveness. Throughout her ministry efforts, doesn't she tell others how God's power can wipe the slate clean? Will she let Him do the same for her and Ty? Her desire to run from the pain of the past is strong, but God's urging her to do what's right is even stronger and cannot be dismissed.

Winter hears God's words and knows He's right, yet she wants to leave the hurt of her divorce behind and move on. Because she's been hurt by Ty, forgiving him sounds next to impossible. She's certain she's forgiven him already, but what if she hasn't? Determined not to give him another chance to inflict pain upon her heart, Winter dreads seeing Ty again. However, she soon discovers she is still in love with him, and what's even more amazing is that Ty still loves with her.

Tender moments offset the gripping and tense scenes, and each time I thought I'd figured out what was going to happen next, Mary threw in a plot twist I wasn't expecting and surprised me. Authentically written, the dialogue helps move the story along in the right direction; and despite a broken marriage and trust issues, the romantic connection between Winter and Ty is unmistakable.

I love stories that include God as one of the main characters, and my favorite part is how Mary did a wonderful job of making sure He was front and center - exactly where He should be. Winter and Ty's constant dialogue with God is refreshing, and their first instinct is to take their problems to Him, no matter what their situation is, or how difficult getting an answer to their prayers may seem.

This book is exceptional and I enjoyed watching this sweet love story unfold. The Christian themes are refreshing and touching, and Mary developed characters I cared about. A book I want to read again, this is a great reminder that God is always by our side, guiding us, gently prodding us to do His will so we can experience His perfect plan.

Paula McGrew
Author of My Heart Beats for You coming in 2014

For a limited time, Winter's Past is on sale for 99 cents!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How's Your Kindling?

It's the season for fires—in my woodstove, of course. But on some days, I can't get the fire to blaze for anything. It smokes, bursts to life for a few seconds, then wimps out to nothing.

I add newspaper and kindling. I strike the match again. Wait. I blow and blow until my throat is raspy from inhaling smoke. Repeat the steps. Sometimes, I work at this for a half hour before giving up.

Frustrated, I know one thing . . . my kindling is wet or green. Dry kindling would change everything.

We've all seen news reports where a single match ignited an entire field or forest. How could that be when I can't even get a small fire to start in my woodstove? How could one match create a blaze big enough to consume everything in its path?

It all comes down to dry conditions. Hungry conditions. Sticks and tiny strands of grass are crisp and dry, ready for the tiniest flame to consume them. Wet wood equals smoldering and smoke. Dry kindling, empty of water, seasoned, hungry, is ripe for bursting into flame.

Oh, may my soul be in such a condition!

Do I really want to be dry and empty? Yes! A thousand times yes! Empty of sin. Empty of self. Dried out from desires hindering my walk with the Lord. Seasoned with the Word of God. Seasoned with prayer. Dry in that I'm hungry and waiting and longing for a simple blaze to burst me into a flame of the very presence of God. A fire so strong it consumes sin and disease and the influences of satan. A fire of love so astounding it could change the world. My world.

I say, bring on the dry kindling and let's see what happens.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast with Laura J. Marshall

FREE Nov. 25 - 28th!

Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken (Serial Novel)
By Laura J. Marshall


About the Book

Excitement. That’s what Jaycee has been saving for since high school. With plans to leave rural Twain, Georgia, the “to where” and the “to what” have been the only questions stopping her. Will her intentions change when Dash Matheson pulls her wandering heart in his direction? Feel the summer heat of the Fourth of July in this southern series as Jaycee finds love. (Volume I, Summer of a four part short story series under the Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken title.)

Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken: Volume II, Fall (Serial Novel)   99-Cents!
Volume II, It's autumn in Twain, Georgia. Jaycee has herself a new job and with it, a new problem. Is it something bug spray can fix? Dash is struggling with more than just the reality of the pain from his injury. Could Jaycee be hiding something from him? The pumpkins are ripe on the vine and the pecans are ready to be shelled. Come spend Thanksgiving week in this southern series as Jaycee finds love. A four part serial novel under the Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken title. Volume III, Winter coming December 2013. Volume IV, Spring coming March 2014.

About Laura J. Marshall
Laura J. Marshall
Laura J. Marshall is a full-time mother of five boys and part-time writer and blogger. She operates a popular blog called The Old Stone Wall which hosts and promotes Christian Authors and encourages interaction between readers and authors. Laura writes Christian Romantic fiction and the best-selling Battle Cry Devotional Series. You can find out more about Laura and her other books online at
Follow Laura J. Marshall


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Story Behind The Beloved Daughter

I couldn’t tell you exactly why, but I’ve been intrigued by stories of religious persecution since I was a teenager. I won’t argue with you if you come back and tell me that it’s morbid, but I’m encouraged by accounts of people who remain faithful in the face of intense opposition.

I think for a while in my teen and young adult years, I had some kind of martyr complex. I imagined moving to another country and helping victims of religious violence find hope and courage. I pictured myself risking health, comfort, imprisonment, maybe even my own life, to help bring comfort and hope to others.

Then I became a mother. As soon as I felt that little child swimming around in my womb, I began to have second thoughts about my grand life “goals.” Maternal instinct battled compassionate zeal. Sure I wanted to help save the world. But only if I could keep my child safe!

For a while I felt guilty about my shift in mindset. And a little scared too. For years, I had assumed that I could withstand just about whatever opposition came my way. I’d be like those heroes in the persecution stories I liked to read. Nothing would make me waver in my faith.

Unless my child was threatened…

What would I do if someone held my child hostage? Wouldn’t I do whatever I could to protect them, no matter what “sacrifices” of faith that entailed? I read stories of parents who had to choose between their religion and their children’s safety. I had nightmares. What could a mother do faced with that kind of a dilemma?

The nightmares kept coming, until one day I decided my subconscious was telling me something. I needed to explore these issues more. I needed to figure out what happens in a parent’s soul when their child is put in danger by their own religious beliefs. I was familiar with instances of religious persecution in North Korea already, probably because the stories there are especially brutal, and so I decided to write a novel set in North Korea that explores the relationship between parental protection and religious fidelity and describes what happens when those two forces can no longer co-exist.

The Beloved Daughter has won awards from the Women of Faith writing contest and the Book Club Network. It also reached #5 in Christian suspense in the kindle store. You can enjoy The Beloved Daughter in a variety of formats, including paperback, ebook, or audiobook  (narrated by four-Audie-award-winning narrator Kathy Garver).

Also, please check out Alana’s Facebook page for a month-long launch party, filled with games and prizes. You can also enter the $100 giveaway below in addition to the Facebook games.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: Lisa Belcastro's "Shenandoah Crossings"

Shenandoah Crossings By Lisa Belcastro

About the Book

Tess Roberts may live on Martha’s Vineyard, vacation spot for movie stars and presidents, but the Island feels anything but idyllic. Tess has had it with lousy dates, lying, cheating men, and the rules that forbid her from working on her family’s centuries-old schooner, Shenandoah. Lucky for Tess, she knows a secret—the Shenandoah has magical powers. Her best friend, Rebecca O’Neill, once stayed in Cabin 8 and discovered a time portal that transported her to 1775. A month after Rebecca’s “disappearance,” Tess’s father, brother, and Shenandoah’s annoying first mate, Hawk, plan to shut down the time travel for good by dismantling the cabin. But what if Rebecca might someday need to come home? What if Tess isn’t ready to say goodbye forever? Sneaking onto the ship late at night, Tess slips into Cabin 8 and drifts off to sleep. She wakes anchored off the New England coast amidst the American Revolution in 1776. The British frigate HMS Greyhound has seized Shenandoah and taken the crew, cargo, and all onboard hostage. To make matters worse, Hawk is relentlessly tracking her, determined to bring her back to the twenty-first century against her will. Sparks begin to fly, from more than cannonballs and gunpowder….

Lisa picture
Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard. She was inspired to write the Winds of Change trilogy while chaperoning two Tisbury School summer sails aboard the schooner Shenandoah with her daughter, Kayla. The weeklong adventure, sans electricity, Game Boys, iPods and modern conveniences, kindled her imagination to dream of an altogether different voyage. Lisa currently writes the cuisine column for Vineyard Style magazine. She has worked as a staff and freelance reporter and photographer for The Chronicle of the Horse and as assistant editor at The Blue Ridge Leader. She has written articles for USA Today, Dressage (London), USA WEEKEND Magazine, The Blue Ridge Leader and Sidelines. Lisa co-authored and edited two non-fiction books, American Horses in Sport 1987 and American Horses in Sport 1988. When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, trying to run a marathon a month or walking the beach with her husband looking for sea glass.
Follow Lisa Belcastro Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Decisions Decisions

Every single day we choose to believe or not. By our actions, our words, and even our thoughts, picking up a cross and following Jesus is a daily choice.
Even though I made the decision to follow Jesus as my personal savior some forty years ago, every day I decide again. Sure, it's become a way of life. We can go through the motions of Christianity in robotic fashion. I do this because I'm a Christian. I believe this because it's the way I was brought up. This is how my church believes. It's a family tradition.
Are these reasons wrong? Not necessarily. But doing them—just because—is the wrong purpose. Take praying. Why do we pray every day? For me, I like to pray when I first wake up in the morning. But, do I do this simply because I like routine? Am I afraid of forgetting or becoming so busy in my day I have to do it first? Or, is it because I'm in love with Jesus and can't wait to spend time with him?
Each day we get to choose.
Sometimes we don't feel like praying or reading our Bible or doing good things for our neighbor. But it all comes down to choosing. Every day.
Yes, I believe, and because I believe I will...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: Carlene Havel's "Here Today Gone Tomorrow"

By Carlene Havel

About the Book

Disappointed, dumped, divorced. Everything Casey Slaughter counted on is gone. While contemporaries start their families, Casey works two jobs to haul herself out of debt. Friends and family recommend a new husband to solve all her problems, but Casey resists their well-intentioned advice. Although she longs for a soul mate, the last thing her flattened self-esteem needs is more rejection—and comparisons to her beautiful, talented older sister do nothing to enhance Casey’s confidence. Unable to have children, she feels she has nothing to offer in marriage. Will bitterness and insecurity destroy her, or can renewed faith in God provide some measure of comfort for this wounded heart? Can Casey ever find love again, or will a string of disasters keep her forever on the run?
  Carleen pic
Carlene Havel has lived in numerous US states, the Philippines, and Turkey. Like most writers, Carlene has always loved to read, and her taste is eclectic. Her other hobbies include sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery. She especially enjoys Bible study, normally devoting one day each week delving into the scriptures with a small focus group. The Havels make their home in San Antonio, Texas, in the midst of a big, extended family.

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Monday, October 28, 2013


Blessed is...
A deep-seated knowing all is well,
Peace when a storm brews all around,
Joy that passes human understanding,
A moving of the Spirit, fresh and new,
Dancing and worshiping in freedom,
Receiving and giving in abundance,
Spending time with family and friends,
Grace like a warm blanket on a cold night,
Beauty everywhere,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Love Youth Theater!

For the last month, I've had my eyes on the goal. And the computer screen. From mid-morning until late afternoon, from late night until early morning, I've been formatting my plays into "real" playbooks, and some, even into e-books.

Whew! My eyes are tired. (haha)

Today, I'm thrilled to announce the re-release of six of my plays.

If you know me, you know I love Youth Theater! There's nothing like watching young people step onstage for Opening Night. They've memorized, practiced, learned every quirk, flaw, and inspirational point of their characters. Now, they're ready to step into the characters' shoes and "live" in the story.

It has been my privilege to direct 24 full-stage shows for high school, junior high, and Young Adult Theater. There's nothing like it.

In the play A Christmas Calamity, Cliff Foster finds out he's about to lose his house two weeks before Christmas. He doesn't want to tell his wife and five daughters they're going to have to move to Hooverville. When the girls discover the truth, they take matters into their own hands to convince the banker to let them have one last Christmas in their home. Calamity and comedy collide in this 1930's production about a family coming to terms with hard times and learning to count their blessings through it all.

Even as I've read and formatted the play this month, I've laughed and been blessed. When everything seems to be going wrong, how different our lives will be if we only remember to "Count your them one by one."

To read more about Christmas Calamity, visit

Monday, August 26, 2013


Writing Christian fiction is not for the faint of heart. As my friend Tom Jones (the pastor not the pop star) recently told me, if you’re going to be a writer you have to grow a thick skin because people will criticize.
A few weeks ago, I received a criticism of my young adult trilogy from a friend of mine who is a deacon in the Episcopal Church. She said that teenagers are going to roll their eyes at my characters Abby and John for their commitment to sexual abstinence. She assured me that mainline denominations believe that concept is misogynous and outdated, and that as long as the couple is mature enough and respect each other enough, sexual activity is suitable and even assumed—especially if they are engaged.* See more below.
A recent (3-star) review of Every Hill and Mountain by SKJAM! REVIEWS closely mirrors her view.
“This book is aimed at the Christian young adult market, so there is quite a bit of God-talk …The sexual prudishness of the protagonists will probably have older teens, particularly ones not raised in more conservative Christian communities, rolling their eyes. Conservative Christian parents, on the other hand, are likely to approve of Abby and John’s chaste relationship.…”
This same reviewer jumps to the conclusion that the reason my characters are so “prudish” is because they’ve been the victims of an abstinence-only sex ed program. He continues:
“And [Ryan’s] reasoning for having sex with Kate shows the perils of abstinence-only sex ed and purity culture–a more streetwise woman than Kate would have noticed how bogus the logic was.”
Speaking of bogus logic. Modern sex-ed programs do everything but assist teens into bed with so-called “safe sex” instructions. It is the abstinence-only programs that teach girls (and boys) to be “street smart,” to warn them of the perils of listening to their hormones talking.
Of course, I was quite conscious as I wrote the trilogy that our culture has taken the position that abstinence is passé, uncool, unnecessary, and an impossibility. (And possibly even dangerous to the health of its practitioners.) No one could watch contemporary TV or movies or read secular novels without realizing that “dating” (if the word is used at all) equates with a sexual relationship. Actually, “relationship” itself equates with sexual activity.
And I knew that many contemporary mainline denominations are silent about what the Bible says about sexual purity. My deacon friend actually asserts the Bible doesn’t even teach this.
But I have to admit I’m more than a little shocked that this reviewer and especially my deacon friend would find Abby and John’s commitment to abstinence a negative. After all, even if you believe that it is impossible to live a sexually pure life wouldn’t you still want novels to present this ideal to teenagers? I would say that although it is impossible to fully live up to any of the Bible’s commands we still need to hear what they are. (And turn to Christ as the law’s fulfillment.)
I once read an article in which young people had been interviewed about teen novels that adults write for them. More than one complained that adults seemed only to write about teens having sex and using alcohol and drugs. “We think about more than that,” one girl said. “We think about lots of other things, important things.”
I respect that and try to offer teens substance in my books. I believe they are looking for heroes and role models such as my fictional characters, Abby and John. I disagree that my characters are sexually repressed prudes. Here is the passage from Every Hill and Mountain that apparently offended my critics. Abby and Kate’s boyfriends are stuck at Abby’s house and spend the night downstairs in the living room. During the night, an emergency comes up and Abby must find her boyfriend John quickly.
The tricky part would be finding John. Pat had brought a sleeping bag from the hall closet for him, but Abby had no idea where he put it. Other than the soft snores coming from the vicinity of the couch, the room was completely quiet.
She discovered the answer to her question when a hand came out of the darkness and grabbed her ankle. She stumbled and landed on a warm chest. A bare warm chest, from which came a soft whoosh of air. Right after the whoosh, a large hand covered her mouth. The precaution was unnecessary. She had recognized John’s cologne and knew in an instant that it was no nightmare monster attacking her.
He put his mouth to her ear and whispered, “What are you doing here? I thought [Ryan] Turner was the one planning on nighttime shenanigans.”
Abby pulled his hand away from her mouth and tried for indignant, which was difficult when whispering. “Don’t be ridiculous, Mr. Roberts. If I was inclined to get into your bed, and I’m not, it wouldn’t be with Ryan in the room.”
“Well, you are in fact in my bed, and you’d better get out of it quick. I know the Bible says God will never give us any temptation stronger than what we can handle, but…”
“Just to be clear, you are the one who dragged me into your bed, and—”
“Abby. Please. Have pity. What is it you want?”
If felt wonderful being in John’s arms, but she had promised him and God that she wouldn’t intentionally tempt him to break his commitment—their commitment—to abstinence.
“Come up to the computer room,” she whispered. “There’s something you have to see.” And then she rose less than gracefully and stood looking down at him. “And don’t wake Ryan.”
I think they’re being heroic, not prudish. After all, they certainly think sex together would be pretty wonderful. Consider another passage that exemplifies the thinking more typical of our culture today. Here, Abby’s friend Kate tries to convince her that premarital sex is okay.
“Ryan said virginity is like a tamper-proof seal on a bottle of aspirin. It’s meant for the man you’re going to marry. And now that we know we’re getting married, what’s the point of waiting. You’ll see when you’re engaged, Abby.” Kate turned on her side away from her. “Let’s get some sleep.”
Abby lay staring up at the blinking red smoke detector light on the dark ceiling, wondering if she even really knew her roommate any more.
How sad that Kate has fallen for that line. It’s not that she lacks “street smarts.” She just forgot to run away from temptation, something that John becomes quite adept at in Unclaimed Legacy.
It would be wonderful if everyone who read my books loved them (and posted glowing reviews for them.) But as they say, you can’t please all the people all the time. However, I really listen to every comment I receive about my books, whether positive or negative. Sometimes I learn some pretty good stuff that will help me to be a better writer.
But not this time. I pray that I will remain firm in my commitment to please God rather than reviewers.
*But back to mainline denominations. Is my deaconess friend even right about their teachings on sex? Do you have experience with such churches? I sincerely would like to know their various positions on sex. Wait! that came out wrong. I mean, I would like to understand what churches are teaching about sex today. You may leave your answer in the comment section of my blog. Click here to go to the article.
By the way, I am a prudish and happy member of a “radical, extremist, and conservative” denomination that still believes premarital sex is sin. I live with my husband in Waterloo, Illinois, where I enjoy reading (of course), gardening, and learning about regional history. We have three children, four grandchildren, and two canine buddies Scout and Digger.
I love to interact with my readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at my website and my Facebook author page. My books may be purchased in paper and ebook formats at

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Blog Series - 12 Week Kids Bible Study {Giveaway!}


Join us over the next 12 weeks (starting August 29th) as we share Bible study topics, discussion questions, suggested reading, and activities that you can do with your kiddos! The writers at CSAHM are so excited to share with you the wonderful "Deep Blue Kids Bible" and Bible Studies that will encourage you to include regular Bible Study time with your children that isn't overwhelming and is a A LOT of FUN!


Today we are celebrating by hosting a giveaway launch!

Be sure to enter the giveaway below and share the news with your friends in order to gain extra entries for the prize - which is a $200 USD Amazon Gift Card!


Before you enter the giveaway...

Be sure to subscribe below to our update list where you will receive weekly updates about our 12 Week Kids Bible Study and you will also receive a FREE PDF version of each week's Bible Study!


Giveaway {$200 Amazon Gift Card!}

Be sure to enter below for your chance to win a $200 amazon gift card sponsored by the "Deep Blue Kids Bible!" a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: Some affiliate links have been used in this post.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: Found Adrift by Pauline Creeden

Found Adrift
By Pauline Creeden


About the Book

Welcome fellow drifter. I don’t know about you, but I’m easily distracted. If God set me in a rowboat on the water and told me to pay attention and not let myself drift too far from the shoreline, I’m sure I’d be in the middle of the lake before I realized I’d drifted from the shore. Then sitting in the middle of that lake, I’d realize I didn’t have a paddle. And sometimes I feel so far away that no one on the shore could possibly hear me. Have you ever been there? If you have ever been distracted by your daily life and suddenly looked up and found yourself far behind where you should be in your walk with God, then you are a drifter like me. This devotional is your paddle.
Pauline Creeden pic
About Pauline Creeden
In simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.
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Thursday, August 1, 2013

I Need Adventure!

Sometimes life gets mundane. We do the same things over and over. “Same time. Same Bat channel.”
Do you ever feel like you’ve got to get away or you might explode?
That was me a month ago. I needed adventure and a dash of spontaneous fun.  
So, Jason and I did something we’ve never done before. We made quick plans and took off to a place of delightful eye-candy—The Grand Canyon.

Rich hues of mountainous splendor. Drop-offs near our feet. The excitement of seeing something for the very first time. Sure, we’d seen pictures and clips in movies. But experiencing it ourselves was another story entirely.The first day we did the tourist thing as we hiked the South Rim on the 4th of July. The views were fabulous as we looked down. Thousands of people joined us on our trek.

But it wasn’t until the second day when we hiked into the canyon that we truly experienced the depth and detail of the massive mountains all around us.

And it was hot. 107 degrees at Cedar Ridge.

On that day, we truly found our adventure. We hiked down a mile and a half to Cedar Ridge. We weren’t as daring as some. We only walked until half of our water supply was gone. There are signs all around urging people not to walk down to the river and back in one day—a twelve mile hike roundtrip. But even at a mile and a half we felt like adventurers winding down into the rocks and heat. We could imagine early settlers viewing these sights. Native Americans living on the green patch far below, so contrasting to the rugged stones all around.


We were right there. Experiencing it. Breathing in the air of The Grand Canyon. And eating lunch, of course!

The hike back up was much more difficult than I’d imagined. In the past when we’d climbed mountains, we climbed while we were fresh and came downhill when we were tired. At The Grand Canyon, it’s the opposite. You hike down while you’re fresh and hike UP when you’re tired.  

But putting one foot in front of the other, and admiring the glorious scenery around us, we made it back to the top. Tired, but happy.

I had my adventure. Now, I can't wait for the next one! :)