Monday, September 29, 2008

Blood Secrets

Jacki McGuyer is one of my ACFW crit partners. Her critiques are very helpful and I decided to buy and read her book Blood Secrets.

The blurb:

A story woven in the past and the present, Blood Secrets is set in the beautiful ski country of Colorado. When Sara Connelly inherits the beautiful Escondido Ranch adjacent to a world-class ski resort, she and her fiancé, Paul Sabine find a naked body hanging in the barn.
The phrase, Born Again takes on a completely new meaning when, at forty years old, Sara unexpectedly discovers the Blood Secrets hidden on her ranch--she and her sister Amy are not who they thought they were!

Others say:

"Jacqueline McGuyer's Blood Secrets is a Must-Read. Set in the snow-laden mountains of Colorado, this bone-chilling Inspiration/Paranormal is a page-turner from beginning to end. A naked man hanging in the barn, ghostly apparitions and whispers in the night warns of things to come. The story grabs you from the opening and doesn't turn loose. As the mystery unravels and the truth revealed, they solve more than a murder. Hearts are changed. Blood Secrets is also a journey of salvation where the once reluctant to believe finds peace and love by rendering to His will."-- Sylvia Rochester, The Sweet Smell of Death, Wings Press-Feb.,'07

"Blood Secrets is Jacqueline McGuyer’s first novel and for me it was a voyage of discovery with plots that twist and turn, making it impossible to guess what would happen next and full of surprises that kept the pages turning. The characters are believable and succeeded in drawing me into their world. Paul, Sara’s fiancĂ© whose faith in God is constantly tested. Lotty, whose psychic powers are a gift we all would find useful sometimes. Amy and Sara, two sister whose lives are torn apart by evil and made whole again by their ultimate belief in the power of good over evil, of God versus Satan. The novel is well structured and draws the reader in immediately. The element of surprise makes it a compelling read which I found impossible to put down until a final solution was reached. Jacqueline McGuyer has successfully mastered the complexities of mixing religion with business, maintaining a balance between good and greed with an overriding message. Place your trust in God and He will take care of you. A thoroughly good read."-- Reviewer: Gloria Burland,

"Dark secrets, murder, grief, and drama fold into this wonderful story that transports the reader on an adventure. Woven with the magic of the snow covered mountains and God’s beautiful country, Blood Secrets unfolds. The storyline flows at a steady pace as the mystery plot pulls the reader into the story. Ms. McGuyer combines past and present focal points that allow the reader to feel the ambience of the landscape. For a moment, I could almost feel the frosty chill. Paul and Sara have moments they are trying to work out, and one can almost feel their anxieties. Paul wishes more than anything to marry Sara and be her complete security blanket, but her doubts trouble her emotionally. The depiction of the characters and surroundings, along with a warm feeling the author leaves with the reader, makes this an enjoyable read."

My Take:

I always look for the family relationship angle. Twin sisters tangle with good and evil, because they don't know who they really are. Jacki takes us on a wild ride in this well written book, as Sara and Amy travel the road to healing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Have You Heard This About McCain?

This is from a friend of mine. . .

Bet you would have never guessed this one!  No matter your politics.  The media will never tell of this, so pass it on.                                                           GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!

Cindy McCain

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal on Cindy McCain, John's wife.  All I ever saw was this attractive woman standing beside John.  I was surprised how talented and involved with world problems she is.  This is a summary of the article.  

She graduated from Southern Cal and was a special-needs teacher.

After her Dad died she became involved with his beer distributing firm and Is now the chairwoman.  Sales have doubled since she has taken over from her father.

They have a marriage prenuptial agreement, her assets remain separate. She is involved around the world clearing land mines - travels to these countries on a detonation team and service on their board.
They have a 19 year old serving in Iraq , another son in the Naval Academy, a daughter recently graduated from Columbia Univ. , an adopted daughter in high school, and a son who is the finance guy at the beer firm.
Raised kids in Phoenix , Az rather than Washington DC. (better atmosphere)  He commuted.
In 1991, Mrs. McCain came across a girl in an orphanage in Bangladesh. Mother Teresa implored Mrs. McCain to take the baby with severe cleft palate.  She did so without first telling her husband. The couple adopted the girl who has had a dozen operations to repair her cleft palate and other medical problems.

They have a Family Foundation for children's causes.

She's active with 'Halo Trust' - to clear land mines, provide water and food in war ravaged and developing countries.

She will join an overseas mission of 'Operation Smile', a charity for corrective surgery on children's faces.

She has had two back surgeries and became addicted to pain killers. She talks openly about it which she says is part of the recovery process.

I'm surprised the media is so quiet about her attributes. She sounds more capable than Hillary or Obama.  We would really get two for the price of one.  A person with business and international experience. John did work for the firm for awhile when he left the Navy.  She, however, has the real business experience.  Very interesting.  

John McCain's Sons

Apparently this was not "newsworthy"enough for the media to comment about. Can the other presidential candidate truthfully come close to this? ...
Just a question for each of us to seek an answer to.

You see...character is what's shown when the public is not looking. There were no cameras or press invited to what you are about to read about, and the story comes from one person in New Hampshire .

One evening last July, Senator John McCain of Arizona arrived at the New Hampshire home of Erin Flanagan for sandwiches, chocolate-chip cookies and a heartfelt talk about Iraq. They had met at a presidential debate, when she asked the candidates what they would do to bring home American soldiers - - soldiers like her brother, who had been killed in action a few months earlier.

Mr. McCain did not bring cameras or press. Instead, he brought his youngest son, James McCain, 19, then a private first class in the Marine Corps about to leave for Iraq. Father and son sat down to hear more about Ms. Flanagan's brother Michael Cleary, a 24-year-old Army First Lieutenant killed by an ambush .. a roadside bomb.

No one mentioned the obvious: In just days, Jimmy McCain could face similar perils. 'I can't imagine what it must have been like for them as they were coming to meet with a family that .....' Ms. Flanagan recalled, choking up. 'We lost a dear one,' she finished.

Mr McCain, now the Republican nominee, has staked his candidacy on the promise that American troops can bring stability to Iraq. What he almost never says is that one of them is his own son, who spent seven months patrolling Anbar Province and learned of his father's N ew Hampshire victory in January while he was digging a stuck military vehicle out of the mud.

Two of Jimmy's three older brothers went into the military. Doug McCain, 48, was a Navy pilot. Jack McCain, 21, is to graduate from the Naval Academy next year, raising the chances that his father, if elected, could become the first president since Dwight D. Eisenhower with a son at war.

I chose to share this with those who I believe will pass it on, to others who will pass it on. We hear so much trash out there. How about a simple act of kindness ... and dedication to others placed above oneself?

Has anybody heard if Barack Hussein Obama ever served in The American Armed Services?

This is for all the Barack voters.

From Barack's book, Audacity of Hope:
"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Incredible sand sculptures!

author and photographer unknown, but the message is to be shared.

Chuck Ritchey, Sr. works on the beach at Ocean City, Maryland. Isn't the artwork awesome? The man creates new ones each day, as the ocean washes away his work every day.

Each time I watch him I marvel at his talent and fortitude because it is true that his works get washed away with the tide and he does them again. is certainly a witness for Jesus Christ as thousands of people, in the course of a day, view his work an watch as he crafts his treasures.

Jesus says, "I am the light, he who follows me will never be in darkness.


Monday, September 22, 2008


I met Colleen Coble September 2007 at the ACFW Conference in Texas. The first book I bought at the conference was Abomination, and I had her autograph it for me.

The Blurb:

A serial killer mutilates his victims, leaving the bodies at various geocaching sites with obscure religious references. When the killer targets Eve Andreakos, a woman he holds responsible for his wife's death, she barely escapes with her life. Eve flees to Rock Harbor with 2 year old Keri. Eve has just begun to relax when she and her friend Bree stumble on a mutilated body at a geocaching site. Eve knows the killer has found her again. Events spiral out of control when her ex-husband shows up and her long lost sister appears. Before it's all over, Eve will need to reach inside and find the strength to fight back before the killer destroys everything she loves.

My take:

The story made an impression on me. She uses a lake in Michigan and the sport of geocatching to weave a sinister tale. She kept me guessing until the end. Every time I see a trinket, or jewelry with angels wings, I think of Colleen and her book Abomination.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ronald Reagan Quotes

Some of the stuff he said...

and stood for.


'The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' - Ronald Reagan

'Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.'
- Ronald Reagan

'I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.' - Ronald Reagan

'The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.' 
- Ronald Reagan

'Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.' 
- Ronald Reagan


'The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.' - Ronald Reagan

'It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.' - Ronald Reagan

'Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.' - Ronald Reagan

'Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.' - Ronald Reagan

'No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.'- Ronald Reagan 

'If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.'

- Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"You Gave Me A Mountain"

A friend shared this story with me. I found it encouraging and wanted to share it with you.

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens.

"Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry." She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.

She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."

She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will."

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him....I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

Monday, September 15, 2008


The blurb:
Finding the body of pharmacist Jim Bob Jenkins in the milk case of the grocery store is not on Trish Cunningham’s grocery list. Neither is becoming a suspect in his murder. But Trish had good motive to kill Jim Bob. Besides the fact that he wasn't a nice man to begin with, he threatened her with a secret that could blow up her marriage. Things couldn't possibly get worse. Or could they?

Sure they could! (This is, after all, a mystery.)

A second man is murdered, someone with whom Trish had a public altercation. For the second time in as many weeks, she’s on the suspect list. Now she has a sheriff’s office detective breathing down her neck, the possibility of life in jail hanging over her, and a murderer running amuck. So, what's a girl to do? What else? Become a sleuth and proceed with her own investigation. Collect clues from the people around her like her mother and a cast of small town characters. Trish doesn’t want to believe the killer is someone she knows, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, but the trail is definitely leading to her backyard—a hometown murderer who has nothing to lose by killing anyone in the way—including Trish.

My Take:

The book is well written, the protagonist had several issues, good motivation to try to solve the mystery, and the villain was a total shock to me. I will definitely read another book by this author.
Candice Spear lives in Maryland with her African grey parrot Winston. She would love to hear from her readers.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Tribute To My Mother

Everyone loved my mother's friendly smile.

This beautiful woman married my dad August 2nd 1940

After I was born my father was drafted.
He worked in Selective Service as a firefighter. 

Mother was a hard worker

When Dad got out of the service he said. "We've been living on nothing. If we can live on nothing for a few more years, I would like to go to medical school." He could not have done it without Mother.

Another child was born before Dad finished medical school, 

then two more were born after. Mother had two sets of children, three who remember the lean years, and the three younger ones who remember Dad as an etablished M.D,

We six children grew
 we married

we had children, some of us had grandchildren

and our parents aged and became frail.

Mom got pneumonia at the same time as Dad had back surgery.
Dad lost his right leg and Mother cared for him.

When she became ill and needed care Dad faithfully took care of her.

After Mom died in May of 2006, Dad kept this picture beside his bed until the day he died. August 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pesky Virus

I thought you would want to know about this e-mail virus. Even the most advanced programs from Norton or McAfee cannot take care of this one.

It appears to affect those who were born prior to 1965.


1. Causes you to send the same e-mail twice. Done that!

2. Causes you to send a blank e-mail! That too!

3. Causes you to send e-mail to the wrong person. Yep!

4. Causes you to send it back to the person who sent it to you. Who me?

5. Causes you to forget to attach the attachment. Well fooey!

6. Causes you to hit 'SEND' before you've finished. Oh no - not again!

7. Causes you to hit 'DELETE' instead of 'SEND.' I just hate that!

8. Causes you to hit 'SEND' when you should DELETE.' Oh No!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

They Are Just Clay Balls

author unknown:

A man was exploring caves by the Seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him.

As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock .. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you. Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel.

Do not ask the Lord to Guide your Footsteps if you are not willing to MOVE your Feet

The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing...
Zephaniah 3:17

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Immortal

Angela Hunt will be our keynote speaker at the ACFW conference in September. I was delighted to learn my friend Rosanna owned several of Angela's books.

Last night I started reading The Immortal and I could not put it down. Well, I did when I couldn't keep my eyes open. But this afternoon I picked it back up and finished it.

WOW. Angela Hunt's story telling skill held me spellbound. No wonder her books hit the best seller list. The blurb about the book says it best:

Who is Asher Genzano? A fanatic? A religious zealot? A raving lunatic? Or is he what he says he is– a 2000-year-old man cursed with immortality and on a holy mission to prevent a global cataclysm?

Claudia Fischer’s search for answers leads her into the past where myth, history, and prophecy intertwine in ancient legends of the Wandering Jew, biblical warnings about the Antichrist, and eyewitness accounts of the Crucifixion, the Inquisition, the Holocaust. What Claudia learns challenges everything she believes . . . about life, love, and God.

I gotta go. I have more Angela Hunt books to read.

Friday, September 5, 2008

An Old German Baptist Funeral

"No one," said my nephew Rod Landis, "takes more pictures at a funeral than German Baptists."

My two older siblings stand with me on the left. Sharon, Sherman, and Pat (my parents named her Patricia.) The younger siblings are on the right, Danielle, Gordon, and Marilyn. We aren't standing according to age as my brothers are the oldest and the youngest children of our parents.
My father doesn't need these anymore. What a cause for celebration. In my minds eye I see my father running toward my mother. I see her face light up with joy and I see their happy embrace. I see them young and healthy. I see them turning and holding out their arms toward us, their six children.

My Dad and I together for the
last time, this side of Heaven

Sons and Grandsons are pall-bearers and carry
my father to be burried beside my mother.

And then God blessed us with a rainbow

Sons and grandsons lay my father to rest.

We begin to sing as Sons, grandsons, and
great grandsons begin to fill Dad's grave.
The grandaughters want to help.

We sing of Heaven
Dad and Mother are together now.

Dr. Johnson (in the white shirt and tie)
and Dr. Haney help bury my father.

Then the final service at the graveside.
The final prayer, the final song.

My father was 88 years old. He had lived a good life. I watched him get weaker the last twelve days of his life. I know he is in a better place. But you know, I still miss him.