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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Monday, November 23, 2015

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

Katie Vale hadn't anticipated her boyfriend proposing as soon as they reached his grandparents' home and definitely not with his whole extended family watching in anticipation. What a way to start the holiday week together by telling him 'no'.

Micah Binder is determined to not let their Christmas celebrations be tainted despite Katie's refusal to marry him. He desires for her to experience the delight of a huge family crammed together, enjoying the holiday as if it were their last one together.

Katie hadn't planned on being changed by the attitude and joy the family shares but that might happen with An Endless Christmas.

This was my first time to read a book by Cynthia Ruchti, and I found it to be delightful. You won't want to miss this book as you prepare for the season. I give it a 4.5 for happily-ever-after endings.

For more information be sure to check this out:

This book was provided free for review by Worthy Publishing Group - 2015.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Welcome. Thank you for stopping by today for a visit, especially if you found me because of my post on Christian Devotions. :)

With Thanksgiving being only a few days away I thought it would be appropriate to share some things we are thankful for. I'm challenging you to come up with at least five things.

Here are mine:

  • My family - I have an incredible husband, wonderful sons and daughters-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters.
  • I'm blessed by some fantastic friends.
  • My church family.
  • The ability to walk each day.
 I'm praying you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Love of Story Welcomes Debbie Lynne Costello

I can hardly believe it's barely a week until Thanksgiving. Where has the month gone? But I digress. :) Today I'd like to welcome Debbie Lynne Costello. So tell us, Debbie, how did you develop a love of story?

It's hard for me to say how I developed my love of story because my earliest memories of writing anything were writing stories. Stories that I thought were long gone and lost until my mother handed me a manila envelope full of stories I'd written and illustrated as a young child and into my teens. We had all the Dr. Seuss books growing up and we received the Highlights books monthly. I loved to look at the books well before I could read them. So I guess I was pretty much born with the love of a good book. I didn't read as much in high school but I took every writing class offered. When I married and we had kids I was back to reading children's books. LOL But when my children got older and I was homeschooling, they didn't need my help as much but needed me there to keep them focused, so I read. That revived my love for a good story and sparked the desire to write again...with a little prompting from my hubby. :o)
It sounds like your love of stories came very early in your life. :) I know my love of story continued as I was homeschooling my boys. How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing? 

I hope naturally! I don’t ever want to come across preachy, but at the same time I look at my writing as a ministry so I don’t want to water down the truth. I have to pray for God to only allow the words He wants me to write and not my own.  

I understand what you mean. What is your favorite Bible verse and why? 

Isaiah 40:31 Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up like wings of eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  A very familiar verse to everyone. I love this verse because in the busy life that I (like everyone else) live, it’s a great comfort to know that I don’t have to make things happen! I just need to wait on God, rest in His promise that He will take care of things. And when I do this, He gives me the energy to do the things I need to! We serve an awesome God!!!

Thank you for that. Your words really touched my heart at a time I needed to hear it.Where did you get the inspiration for your latest book? 

I love the medieval time period, so it was natural to gravitate to that period. I don’t know as I had inspiration from something as much as God put the story in my heart to write. I didn’t know where I was going with it when I penned the first line, but God gave me the words and day after day when I sat down to write the words were there before my mind’s eye.

Ohh! I love the cover! What is one thing you hope readers will take away from your story? 

I hope that above all they see how God is working in all of our lives. I hope that if they aren’t saved that my story will either plant a seed or water one that has already been planted. I love to write but if my stories don’t point people to God, I feel like I should be doing something else to further the kingdom.

I understand about writing being a ministry. What do you plan to work on next? 

My next release will be a 19th century Charleston, SC story set during the Charleston Earthquake. It comes out in late January or early February. And as that is getting ready to release, I am working on my sequel to Sword of Forgiveness

I'll have to be sure to check those both out. :) What does your writing space look like? 

I have a 3 piece bookcase that almost goes to the ceiling and covers one wall. I have a dark brown couch that I like to curl up on with my lap top, and and antique secretary for when I want to move to a desk. My room is decorated in medieval d├ęcor. I have a wall hanging, real swords, and a shield, hanging on my walls. But my favorite arrangement in my room is 3 paintings painted by my wonderful crit partner, Kathleen Maher. The arrangement consists of  Royce, my hero in full armor and on his trusty horse in front of the castle. Brithwin is in the second painting. She’s in a field of yellow flowers and with her horse. The third is the antagonist on his horse with sword raised. I also have a beautiful castle given to me by Kathy that adorns my writing room.

I can picture it. It sounds like a very creative space. If you are traveling to a deserted island for a month, what two items would you take along? 

I’m assuming items can’t be my hubby. So with him not a possibility, I’d have to say my horse and my computer. I know, and odd combination. But I need an animal around and not only I love my horses and riding, but he’d be more useful than one of my dogs. ;o)  

LOL, you're right, you aren't allowed to take your husband but you can take your horse. :) I've enjoyed our time together. Thanks again for stopping by today. Here's Debbie's bio if you wanted to learn a little bit more about her.

Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children's Director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland Sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, she and her husband take pleasure in camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.

Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win her book.


Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win this month's giveaway. Next week we'll be doing things a little bit different and taking a special look at Thanksgiving. You won't want to miss it. :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Let Go

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

Have you ever been overwhelmed by life? Perhaps you're facing a disappointment square in the face and aren't sure where to go next. Or maybe you've pinned your hopes on something happening only to find things didn't go the way you had planned... or would have liked.

I can relate. I received news yesterday that brought a surge of feeling letdown. It made for a difficult day.

Today's a bit better. I'm reminded in the verses from the book of Matthew, to let go and allow God to teach me through these hard times. I pray I can learn to be like this infant in his father's arms - able to totally relax and fall asleep.

My Heavenly Father loves me more than I can think or imagine. I choose to let go and rest in Him. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Welcome Nike Chillemi

This week's interview is with author Nike Chillemi. Welcome Nike.

 What qualities do you look for in a hero and heroine?

Primarily, I write detective stories, so my heroes and heroines have to be one of the good guys. They have to be on the side of human dignity and justice. At the present time, I have four law enforcement couples in mind. It's ambitious, but at this time, I'm planning a trilogy for each couple. I also anticipate that main characters in one trilogy will show up as secondary or minor characters in another trilogy. My main characters do not have to be Christians, nor do they have to get saved by the end of the first book in their trilogy. They must be intelligent, so they will naturally wonder: what is the meaning of it all? That may lead them to God, or they might fight it. They will all be honorable and respectful of Christianity and the Christians in their lives, and there will be committed Christians in their lives. 

It sounds like you have lots of writing ahead of you. :) Where do you get ideas?

I get my ideas from everywhere. I observe people on the street and make up scenarios that could bring drama to their lives…sometimes extreme drama. If I hear a particularly interesting turn of phrase, I jot it down. I've got a computer file with over fifty potential stories. I keep adding to that number. Some are quite good and could be developed into novels, others, not so much. Those I finally have to admit are horrid, I delete.

That sounds like quite an impressive file. Do you have a favorite scene in your newest release?

 In DEADLY DESIGNS I like the poignancy of the scene where Brooklyn NY born and bred Veronica "Ronnie" Ingels, gal PI and west Texas Deputy Lt. Dawson Hughes realize they're falling in love but have to face the fact it might not go anywhere. They are in very different places spiritually. The scene below in in Dawson's point-of-view.

"I find you very attractive, but what I'm beginnin' to feel for you goes beyond mere physicality."

Her brow furrowed. "I'd assume that's a good thing. So why do I feel that won't be the outcome of your narrative?"

"Just let me finish. I've had a life alterin' experience. Somethin' amazin' has happened to me that's changed me at the very core of my bein'. I've had a personal encounter with God, with Jesus."

"I see." She moved slightly away from me, shrinking into the corner of the sofa.

I resisted the urge to follow, to make up the distance. "I got married in the church, but by that time the strong faith I'd had as a child had waned. Then when Ellie lost our baby, I felt distant from God, angry at Him."

She peered at me as if she were trying to comprehend the incomprehensible. "But now you believe again."

"Yes, I know I'm a beloved child of God. And with that comes a certain way of life, a certain way of relatin' to a gorgeous young woman who I value so highly."

"Don't tell me you've taken a vow of celibacy." Her giggle ended in a high pitch.

"No, hardly, but intimacy is now somethin' I see as part of a lifelong commitment that starts with a church weddin'."

"Wow, that's intense." She stood and took a step away from the couch.

"I want to take my time gettin' to know you. Your deepest thoughts, what you hold dear, your quirks and idiosyncrasies. You're special to me." I rose to my feet. I wanted to reach out, turn her around and then kiss her, but stifled that impulse.

She pivoted toward me. "Slow is good. I've got some issues in the intimacy department."

I cleared my throat, but the frog stuck there remained. "God is central to who I am. I'd want to share my faith with my future spouse and raise our children as Christians."

She smiled, but sadness rested at the corner of her eyes. "I can't turn on faith like a switch. Not even for you."

"I… I know." I could barely get the words out.

Sounds intriguing. :) When do you fit writing into your day? What does your writing space look like?

I tend to have more energy in the morning than in the afternoon. I like to write after everyone's gone to school or to work for the day. I'm retired so that works for me. Everything is quiet then and I can totally concentrate on writing. I find I also become a night owl and get a second wind in the late evening. Usually, things have calmed down by then as well and are quiet. The dishes are done and the house has settled down. That's also a good time to write. I need quiet to focus As far as a special place to write…I have my computer desk. We live in a two-floor, three bedroom, brick, attached-house in Brooklyn. A three bedroom in the city isn't as large as one in the suburbs or in a rural area, and our lot is tiny. My writing space is my desk…that's it. A lot has come out of this little writing space.

It looks like a fun place to write. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

I have several fav Bible verses. My fav it usually the one that is speaking to me in the present moment. Right now I'm very much connecting with John 16:13-15 King (KJV) 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. It comforts me that the Holy Spirit is always showing me Jesus.

That's a great set of verses. Thank you for being with us today, Nike. To learn more about her, check out her website:

Next week you won't want to miss the interview with Debbie Lynne Costello. Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win the following:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Guest Blogger Vickie McDonough

Today I'd like to welcome guest blogger, Vickie McDonough. You are in for a treat as she shares
about her new series.

I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and I’ve always been interested in the land runs, one aspect of our state’s unique history. In case you’re not familiar with Oklahoma, much of the state was designated as Indian Territory in the later half of the nineteenth century. Over forty Indian tribes were eventually moved there because white settlers in other states and territories wanted their valuable land.

Once much of the West had been settled, people started looking at Oklahoma as one of their last chances to get free land. They pressured the government to open the Unassigned Lands--land that had been promised to certain tribes, but no Indians had settled on it. The government finally agreed, and President Benjamin Harrison signed the paperwork for what was later called Harrison’s Hoss Race.

On April 22, 1889, over two million acres of land was opened for settlement in a land run. The homesteads were 160 acres and much smaller town lots were also available. Anybody twenty-one and older could ride—women, foreigners, and blacks included. The race began with the blast of cannon and gunfire and a cheer so loud your ears ached. An instant stampeded ensued. In less than a few hours, all of the homesteads had been claimed, leaving many people disillusioned and unhappy because they didn’t get one. In the first book in my series, Gabriel’s Atonement, my hero and heroine ride in the 1889 land run, which led to the settlement of Guthrie, Oklahoma City, and several other towns.

Joline’s Redemption is the second book in my Land Rush Dreams series, and it features the Cherokee
Strip land run of 1893. The land rushes were a chance for many folks to start over, and that’s what my heroine hopes to do.

Sarah’s Surrender, the final book in the series, release next year, and it features the Oklahoma land lottery, which proved to be a less chaotic and dangerous way to claim the land.

Thanks for being here today.

Vickie McDonough

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