Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mackinac Island

I'm visiting the blog over at today. You can catch me there and hear about our trip to the island.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Who is your Daddy?

I expect you've heard this story before. But a friend shared it with me recently and it bears repeating.

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. And one morning, they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to Enjoy a quiet, family meal. 

While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn't come over here." 

But sure enough, the man did come over to their table. "Where are you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice.

"Oklahoma," they answered.

"It's great to have you here in Tennessee," the stranger said. "What do you do
 for a living?"

"I teach at a seminary," the professor replied.

"Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a really great story for you." And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple.

The professor groaned and thought to himself, Great.. Just what I need ... another preacher story!

The man began the story. "See that mountain over there?" He pointed out the restaurant window. "Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he Was always asked the same  question, 'Hey boy,  who's your daddy?' Whether he Was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same Question, 'Who's your daddy?'

"He would hide at recess and lunch time from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad. 'When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, 'Who's your daddy?'

"But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast that he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd.

"Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about the boy, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, 'Son, who's Your daddy?'

"The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church was looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, 'Who's your daddy?'

"This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using Discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that Scared little boy. 'Wait a minute! I know who you are! I see the family Resemblance now, You are a child of God.'

"With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, 'Boy, you've got a Great inheritance.. Go and claim it.'

"The boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody Asked him, 'Who's your Daddy?' he'd just tell them, 'I'm a Child of God.''

The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, "Isn't that a great story?"

The professor responded that it really was a great story!

As the man turned to leave, he said, "You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one of God's children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!" And he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, "Do you know who that man was -- the one who just left that was sitting at our table?"

The waitress grinned and said, "Of course. Everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's governor of Tennessee!"

Someone in your life today needs a reminder that they're one of God's Children!

'The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God stands Forever.' ~~Isaiah



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Spiritual Encouragement for Women

Many scriptures given to us for encouragement are literally spoken by men to other men. Can we women really use these for our own encouragement? Does God care about women? This question has troubled me for years. The verse "Let your women keep silence in the churches" rings in my ears.

What does the Bible say about women?

This week, in my study of the Word, I was amazed by the mention of women prophetess, Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Nordiah (a false prophet), Anna, and Phillip's four unmarried daughters.

While many women of the bible were silly and spiteful and frivolous, many were worthy. We know God used women to fulfill his purpose many times throughout history. Naomi, Ruth, Esther come to mind. Abigail, Rahab, and Jesus's own friends, Mary and Martha.

God does not honor evil men or women but these new testament scriptures affirm to me that God does honor women who choose to follow Him. He has not called me to speak in the churches, but He has called me to write for Him.

Matthew 26:7-11
There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. <– God honors the woman who honors Him

Luke 4:26
But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. <– This messenger of God was only sent to a woman this time.

Luke 7:37- 50
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. <– A woman's faith can save her.

Luke 10:38
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. <– Jesus visited a woman in her home.

John 4:27
And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? <– Jesus treated the woman like a real person.

John 4:39
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. <– The woman convinced the men that Jesus was God.

What a wonderful testimony that women can lead men to Christ. Obviously that is not what is meant that women are not to usurp authority over men. I believe that women are to speak the truth in love . . . but stop short of nagging. Praise God. This verse makes me feel complete in Him.

Acts 1:14
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. <– Men and women worshiping together.

Acts 9:36
Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. <– A good woman is praised.

Acts 16:13-14
And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. <– Teaching women directly. Not just a byproduct of teaching men.

Acts 17:4
And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. <– Chief Women ~ A compliment.

Acts 17:34
Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. <– Women mentioned as part of the new converts.

1 Corinthians 11:10
For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. <– Power for women.

Philippians 4:3
And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. <– Women can labor in God's vineyard.

Titus 2:3-4
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, <– Older women can be teachers of God's ways.

1 Peter 3:5
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: <– We need the blessing of our husbands.

How has God spoken to you this week?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Where You'll Find Me

Hey there, 

I’m hanging out at another blog today.

Catch my post about visiting an Old Tractor show in Portland, Indiana at:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shoes In Chruch

A good friend shared this message with me:

I showered and shaved............. I adjusted my tie. 

I got there and sat.............. In a pew just in time. 

Bowing my head in prayer......... As I closed my eyes. 

I saw the shoe of the man next to me..... Touching my own. I sighed. 

With plenty of room on either side...... I thought, 'Why must our soles touch?' 

It bothered me, his shoe touching mine... But it didn't bother him much. 

A prayer began: 'Our Father'............. I thought, 'This man with the shoes, has no pride. 

They're dusty, worn, and scratched. Even worse, there are holes on the side!' 

'Thank You for blessings,' the prayer went on. 

The shoe man said............... A quiet 'Amen.' 

I tried to focus on the prayer....... But my thoughts were on his shoes again. 

Aren't we supposed to look our best. When walking through that door? 

'Well, this certainly isn't it,' I thought, Glancing toward the floor. 

Then the prayer was ended........... And the songs of praise began. 

The shoe man was certainly loud..... Sounding proud as he sang.. 

His voice lifted the rafters........ His hands were raised high. 

The Lord could surely hear. The shoe man's voice from the sky. 

It was time for the offering...... And what I threw in was steep. 

I watched as the shoe man reached.... Into his pockets so deep. 

I saw what was pulled out............ What the shoe man put in. 

Then I heard a soft 'clink' . As when silver hits tin. 

The sermon really bored me......... To tears, and that's no lie. 

It was the same for the shoe man... For tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service...... As is the custom here. 

We must greet new visitors, And show them all good cheer. 

But I felt moved somehow............... And wanted to meet the shoe man. 

So after the closing prayer......... I reached over and shook his hand. 

He was old and his skin was dark..... And his hair was truly a mess. 

But I thanked him for coming......... For being our guest. 

He said, 'My names' Charlie............ I'm glad to meet you, my friend.' 

There were tears in his eyes........ But he had a large, wide grin.

'Let me explain,' he said.......... Wiping tears from his eyes. 

'I've been coming here for months.... And you're the first to say 'Hi.'' 

'I know that my appearance.........'Is not like all the rest. 

'But I really do try...............'To always look my best.' 

'I always clean and polish my shoes..'Before my very long walk.

'But by the time I get here.........'They're dirty and dusty, like chalk.' 

My heart filled with pain.......... And I swallowed to hide my tears. 

As he continued to apologize........ For daring to sit so near 

He said, 'When I get here...........'I know I must look a sight. 

'But I thought if I could touch you..'Then maybe our souls might unite.' 

I was silent for a moment........... Knowing whatever was said 

Would pale in comparison... I spoke from my heart, not my head. 

'Oh, you've touched me,' I said......'And taught me, in part; 

'That the best of any man............'Is what is found in his heart.' 

The rest, I thought,.................. This shoe man will never know. 

Like just how thankful I really am... That his dirty old shoe touched my soul 

Friday, August 24, 2012

EIGHT STEPS to getting an Agent Contract

As part of the WordServe Blog tour, I've been asked to share my journey to get a contract with a literary agency. And I am giving away a set of  "A friend in the storm" from Cheryl Ricker. my friend and fellow WordServe client.

First, I took a Novel writing class through a correspondence course offered by Writers Digest Magazine. Next I finished the novel.

I kept reading novel writing instruction books and each time I finished one,  I edited  Birdie's story (The title has changed many, many times.)

Meanwhile I began  writing Evalena's story. (This title keeps changing too, so we will just refer to them by the name of the main character.) Then while I edited Evalena's tale I worked on Rebekahs.

Rebekah is a cousin-in-law to Evalena, and interacts with her in this third story. So even though these are stand-alone books, when something major changed in Evalena's life it sometimes had an effect on Rebekah's also.

STEP ONE: Write and finish a manuscript.

Rather than have husband take pictures of me in some of these poses, I'll fill in the gaps using photos from

Add caption

STEP TWO: Join a Critique Group online or in person.

STEP THREE: Be willing to take advice so that you can write the very best book possible.

This advice comes from critique partners, and paid critiques of course. But advice also comes from agent/editor meeting at conferences. The trick is to take the advice and still keep your own voice.

STEP FOUR:Prepare your elevator speech, your one sheet and proposal. And attend a writers conference.

STEP FIVE: Expect to Network at writing conferences
When I met Colleen Coble at my first American Christian Fiction Writers conference I did not even know she was important. I only knew that she was friendly, that she was a published author who approached me and said she knew an editor who would like to meet me.

The editor advised me to get an agent.

Another part of networking is keeping in touch with the writers who befriend you.  If you like their books, recommend them to your friends.
How does that help you get an agent? Well, years after the first ACFW meeting Colleen introduced me to her agent.

STEP SIX: When rejections come. Do not give up.

Oh, that's right. Colleen also told me it took 15 years of writing novels before she got her first book contract. A writer needs to be in this for the long haul.

Keep writing and keep submitting your work.

STEP SEVEN: Remember that it is not all about you.

Rejoice with friends who win awards, and get agent contracts, and publishing contracts before you do.

STEP EIGHT: Wait on God's timing.

Fourteen years after attending my first local writing conference, and taking the first Writer's Digest class, I received my agent contract with WordServe Literary.

Leave a comment anytime through August 31, 2012 for a chance to win Cheryl Ricker's mug and book set   "A friend in the storm". 

Click this link to blog tour to find other give-away offers.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Journey With God. Part 1

Even as a very young child, she wanted to know God. And she wanted Him to know her. Many nights she recited the child's poem Star Light, Star Bright, and wished upon the stars that He would let her grow up to rear a Christian family.

The child grew. She had high ideals and didn't want to waste her time on the wrong "good works" only to come to the end of her life and have Him reject her. Luke 13:27 "Depart from Me, I never knew you."

At at age 13, she told her parents she wanted to be baptized. And she was full of that first love . . . for the church.  She wanted to be true to its teaching and precepts. That should keep her safe and in the love of God, shouldn't it?

Then at age 15, she sinned. And she just might be pregnant. How could she?
1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

She felt condemned, and knew her only hope of salvation was to suffer through the coming tribulation. She expected it would be soon. 

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
21 It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

Every night she cried out to God. If He could not grant a sinner such as her a home in Heaven, that He would keep her out of Hell. "Just let me cease to exist," she prayed.

Blogging At The Barn Door Today

Hey there, 

I’m hanging out at another blog today.

Catch my post about visiting an Amish Auction at:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Frightening or Comforting?

One day I will face God. Will he welcome me? Or say depart from me you wicked, wicked person? Do you find it hard to fathom that any professing Christian would have doubts? Can you believe that many Christians in the past have wondered about their salvation?

In 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 King James Version (KJV)  The apostle Paul said: I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Because of this verse and others, many old elders taught their followers that it is presumptuous to say you are saved. You hope you are saved. You walk as closely to God as possible, and hope in the end, that it was enough, knowing that the only way is for God's forgiveness.

Matthew 7:21 warns: 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 

So it's not enough to call him Lord. But does this mean I can be sure of salvation if I follow the rules? And what are the rules anyway?

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

But, but I was baptized. I vowed to live faithful until death. Do you think I might have simply gone into the water a dry sinner and came out a wet one? Say it isn't so! How then can we be saved?

Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

A glimmer of hope . . . is it attitude that makes the difference? Does it matter why I do the things that I do? I glance back at Matthew 7:23 I never knew you. 

Acts 8:9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

So Simon wanted to do great things to bring glory to himself. Is that the kind of wrong attitude that Matthew 7:22-23 is referring too?

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believeand tremble.

Believing in Jesus is not enough. Good works are not enough. Unless we have a relationship with God we just won't be there. So how do we know God. Really know Him? 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Top 5 Back-to-School Deals for This Week (August 5-11, 2012)


Kid's Jeans for $9 From Old Navy: Old Navy has all their Kid's Famous Jeans on sale for $10 through August 15, 2012. This sale is both in-store and online. If you are planning on purchasing multiple pairs, you can sign up for Old Navy emails to get a $10 off $50 coupon. Plus, shipping is free on orders over $50. So you could potentially get five pairs of jeans for just $9 shipped each. If you're shopping in-store, you can print a $10 off $50 coupon from the Old Navy Facebook Page. 

Kid's Jeans for as Low as $8.50 from The Children's Place: The Children's Place has a number of different jeans priced at $10 right now. Use coupon code RETAILMENOT82 to get an additional 15% off your order, making the jeans just $8.50 per pair after this coupon code. Shipping is free on $75+ orders or a flat-rate of $5 on orders less than $75. 

Free 6-month Subscription to Shop Runner: If you do a lot of online shopping, you'll want to check this offer out! Sign up for a free Cozi account and they'll give you a coupon for a free 6-month subscription to Shop Runner. Shop Runner gives you unlimited free shipping to many different online sites -- just in time for purchasing back-to-school clothes, shoes, and electronics! 

Buy One, Get One 50% Off Plus Additional 15% Off at Famous Footwear:Famous Footwear is running a Buy One, Get One Half Off Sale right now. This is a great opportunity to stock up on quality shoes for your kids at low prices. Plus, use this coupon to get an additional 15% off your order total. 

Free First Day of School Printable Signs: Like to take a photo of your children on their first day of school to commemorate the occasion? Download two different free designs of First Day of School Signs. In addition, you can find some other fun free Back-to-School printables here

LitfuseCrystal Paine is a wife, mom of three, author of The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget. Visit her blog,, for the best back-to-school deals and for practical ideas and inspiration to get you

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Reading Through The Bible

In my younger years, I twice took up the challenge to read through the entire Bible. But I will have to admit with the hard to read chapters . . . and all you brothers and sisters out there know there are some really hard to read chapters . . . any way I would read through them and with a sigh put my marker in the next chapter to read the next day. And I did make it through the entire Old Testament and the New Testament. Twice.

Now that I am older I realize while I may have benefited some . . . there is a better way. Too bad I had to figure this out at 60 + years old though.

Every now and then I would get a nudge that I needed to share what I was learning about the scriptures. But you know, I don't know how to write devotions.

So I searched for how to articles, took classes from the Upper Room. And still felt unable.

A few years ago, when I began to read through some of the books of the New Testament chapter by chapter, the thought came to me. Don't read this as a history lesson, not even the hard chapters. What is Jesus telling me? What is the message for today?

If I could not see a message for myself. I read the chapter again  the next morning. And if necessary, the next.

It has been a thrilling journey. And I have committed to God that I will do my best to begin sharing. Look for the continuing post next Sunday.

Until Next time . . . Sharon A Lavy

Monday, July 9, 2012

Where you’ll find me today.

I’m hanging out at ACFWOhio today.
Catch my post: ACFW Ohio Goes To Loveland Castle  


Until next time. . . 
Sharon A. Lavy

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wildflowers from Winter

by Katie Ganshert

About the author:
Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from the Congo. You can find her online at her blog and on Facebook.

The Blurb:
A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

Book Trailer: 


What Others Say:
 By Sheri Salatin "Farmchick"
This review is from: Wildflowers from Winter: A Novel (Paperback)
If I could only use one word to describe this book it would be:


Okay, so maybe that's two words, but you get my drift.

Oh, my. Bethany Quinn goes through some rough stuff. Her best friend, Robin, from childhood loses her husband. I can't even begin to tell you the tears that I shed for Robin. The grief was so real that I had to put the book down at times, just so I could breathe and grab some more tissues.

Then her grandfather dies and tragedy keeps on rearing its ugly head. Bethany struggles with her non-existent faith, and her mother is victim to a legalistic jerk of a pastor.

Evan Price, the farmhand, is an amazing guy. Strong and real. Gotta love those farm boys!

The characters, oh, the characters in this book. Was this a novel or a biography? Katie Ganshert, how in the world did you write them so real?

Bravo! Well done! But can I admit that I probably won't ever read the story again? It was just too painful of a journey for me. The ended was very well done, so don't worry about it leaving you holding onto a snarled tissue with all hope gone. Quite the contrary.

Many thanks to Water Brook Books for my review copy of this book. All opinion expressed here are mine. :) ~Sheri Salatin

My Take: A book with take home value.
I have a lot of books on my to be read pile. But I have read Katie’s posts as she went through the agony of writing and re-writing this book to get the story structure just right and know that the words I read were the story she was trying to tell. So I put the book on my wish list on Amazon. And when I had some books I just had to buy on the craft of writing, I stuck this lovely novel onto the order.

I was not disappointed. For one thing she brings out my special theme in life. In this story the character Bethany Quinn reinforces my belief in the importance and the need of close friendship with other women.

Purchase The Book At:

Barnes and Noble:

Or Ask Your Local Library To Order The Book In For You!

Book Contest: See our book contest rules on the sidebar.

I am offering to pass my copy of Wildflowers from Winter on to one blessed reader this week.

Book Contest weeks are from Saturday, when the review is posted through Friday. A new book review is posted each week which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.

Q4U: Did you know reading fiction is good for your brain? For learning how to interact with other real people socially? How many novels have you read so far this year?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blog Hopping Today

Hi, I’m hanging out at the WordServe Water Cooler today.

Catch my post : Will Reading Fiction Turn Men Into . . . Sissies? 


Until next time. . . Sharon A. Lavy

Monday, July 2, 2012

17 Rules Of Etiquette

Alyice Edrich 

Article Body 
Back in 2006, a young woman named Karolyn wrote to me and said, "I am new to writing and am thinking about joining a writers group, forum, or message board. I don’t want to step on toes, what’s the etiquette for such groups?" 

It's been nearly six years since she asked that question, but the answer I gave her back then still applies today. 

Each writing group has its own set of rules so be sure to check the membership guidelines. Most memberships guidelines are posted somewhere in the forum itself. If you can’t locate a set of guidelines, don’t be afraid to ask the moderator. 

A few rules of thumb: 

1. Always post private replies or simple praises and thank yous off list. 

2. Always sign your name at the end of an email or post. 

3. Keep your taglines short. Your tagline is the two to three sentence blurb under your name. It tells others about your product, service, or website. 

4. Always change the heading of each post to match the topic of your discussion. 

5. Don’t spam list members. Don’t think that because you conversed with one of the list members once that he or she will be interested in your home business, your eBay auction, or other money making scheme. Whether you email him or her privately as a solo email or as a group email, it’s still spamming. 

6. Don’t spam the list. Don’t send irrelevant messages through the lists. In other words, if it’s a writing group, members do not want to read about the latest happenings in your household, forwarded messages from other groups or people you know, or any of those other emails that seem to find their way around the Internet for years and years. 

7. Always cut out the part of the email you are replying to and use that as the beginning of your post. Don’t leave the whole email in tact as it makes it difficult for others to read when on digest or when trying to understand your point. 

8. If a post upsets you or you find you really disagree with what is being said. Stop, take a deep breath, and pray. Wait at least a half hour before posting, then reply. If you reply too soon, your anger or hurt feelings with take over. If you wait, you’ll be able to send a more objective post and your post will come across in a more acceptable way. 

9. Develop a bit of thick skin. People don’t always come across nice in emails and if you don’t have thick skin, it can sting. 

10. Don’t act one way on list and another way off list. In other words, don’t be phony. Don’t be kind to someone on list then privately email mean things to the person or act superior off list. 

11. Stay teachable. Remember that everyone is a student. Even those with hundreds of published articles and/or books and those making a living as a writer full time can still learn something new. And just because someone has a master’s degree and you just have a high school diploma, don’t let him or her bully you off list. That doesn’t make that person better than you. 

12. Be willing to grow. Your writing can become stronger when you take critiques with a grain of salt. In the sense that you listen with an open mind, then you take what you can use and apply it to your work and what you can’t use you ignore. Sometimes critiques of your work are based on fact such as rules of grammar and style and other times they are based on personal opinion. It’s important to learn the difference between the two. 

13. Accept differing opinions. Some people tend to think “It’s my way or the highway.” You have to just let that way of thinking slide right off your shoulders. There are always different ways of doing things and saying things. It’s okay to be different, to want different things, and to do things differently. It’s okay to change with the times. 

14. Some writers are stuck in a certain mindset. They don’t like change and don’t take change very well. Some even consider certain changes beneath them. Don’t let that rub you the wrong way. Understand that is the personality of that writer. Learn what you can from him or her, but you don’t have to stay in the same mindset. It’s okay to learn and grow and change with the times. 

15. Handle people differently—according to his/her personality. My friend recently reminded me that just as Jesus used different methods of delivery when teaching people of his time, from rabbis to children to his apostles to those he healed, we must do the same. We must take into account the person asking the question and adjust our answers accordingly. And we must do the same with those who’ve given answers in which we have a reply or additional comment to make. 

16. Don’t just take, give back. So many people stay in lurk mode. They glean and glean and glean, but they rarely respond or take part in conversations. If you’ve been blessed with valuable information, as soon as you have wisdom to share, share it. 

17. Remember that you joined the group to learn to become a professional writer and to make friends with your colleagues. If you feel, at any time, that the group is dragging you down or distracting you from your goal, it may be time to say goodbye and look for another group. 

Alyice Edrich is the author of Tid-Bits For Making Money With E-books. Learn how you can earn a part-time income (or more) selling information on the Internet. All you need is a computer, an Internet connection, a simple website, a merchant account, and of course, a few research and writing skills. Visit to order a copy today!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Soul Saver

by Dineen Miller

About the author:
Dineen Miller readily admits that one of the greatest lessons she’s learning about life is that there’s purpose in our trials. It’s all about trusting God and putting our hope in Him. Her favorite stories are of the miracles God has wrought in the lives of her family.

Through this lens she also believes her years as a youth counselor, a Stephen Minister, a women’s ministry leader, and a small group leader fuel her desire to ignite the souls of others through words of truth.

In addition to writing for Spiritually Unequal Marriage,
Dineen has won several prestigious awards for her fiction, and her devotional writing has been featured in Our Journey and Christian Women Online Magazine. She’s also a C.L.A.S.S. Communicator and has been featured on the Moody Radio Network, Family Life, and several other Christian radio stations.

Married for 24 years to a guy who keeps her young, she lives in the Bay Area with her husband, two precious daughters, and their dogs Shasta and River, who no doubt are angels in disguise.

Book Trailer:

 The Blurb:

Lexie Baltimore is in the supernatural battle of her life.

In obedience to God’s calling, Lexie uses her art and dreams to help others. But will she have enough courage to help herself when she becomes torn between her atheist husband and a godly man?

A widower and a father, Pastor Nate Winslow is drowning in darkness. Will he resist his treacherous assignment to win Lexie’s heart or give in to the attraction between them? As events unfold, Lexie becomes entangled in a twisted plot. Will she overcome the evil assailing her or yield to the dark side?

What Others Say:
 The Ultimate Spiritual Battle is unleashed! By Pirate2240 "Kat" (Victorville, CA)
This review is from: The Soul Saver

“Temptation exists all around us. Waiting in the shadows and in the dark to lead us astray if we are willing to open ourselves up to it. That is just what The Soul Saver by Dineen Miller is all about.

Hugh Baltimore has been striving for the very best life has to offer for the last seven years at the Stanford University where he is working on his tenure. After the loss of his daughter, Mandy, he has found solace and peace in the answers science can offer him. Whereas, his wife Lexie has clung to her faith in God to help her move forward in her life with Hugh and their remaining child, eight-year-old Jeremy. This has created a huge divide in their marriage and as long as Lexie keeps her faith to herself and stops trying to win Hugh over to God, maybe they can agree to disagree with where their futures are headed.

By it's Hugh's soul that is the ultimate prize and one that Tobias wants. He has made a pact with the former pastor of Freedom Church, Nate Winslow that he will save his daughter Sam, a recent heart recipient if he will help him in his evil plans. Knowing that God didn't help him save his wife in the accident that almost claimed Sam, he was willing to do whatever it took to ensure that he didn't lose Sam as well.

Lexie Baltimore has an extraordinaire gift from God. It's a vision he has given her to sculpt a bust of whomever he wants Lexie on a mission. Whenever she sculpts their face, Lexie knows that God will place that person in her path and she will listen to whatever promptings God places on her heart to intervene and right now that person is Nate Winslow.

I received The Soul Saver by Dineen Miller compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and LOVED it. This is a very different look at how temptation can affect the believer and the unbeliever alike in the most astonishing ways imaginable. Let us never forget how truly real this can be in our daily battles with the enemy. Spiritual warfare is an ongoing battle and the souls that God wants to save may be the very ones we are the closest to! I highly recommend this book and rate it a 5 out of 5 stars. This truly shows us just how powerful our God is, and how effective our spiritual armor and prayer can be in winning wars.”

My Take: Excellent Debut Novel
Dineen Miller has crafted a page turner. Once I started reading the book I could not put it down. The Soul Saver has all the elements that I love about secular writer Iris Johansen. The sculpture of faces, the paranormal action. However I appreciate Miller’s Christian worldview.

I always respect an author who makes me stop and think. Satan knows each of our weaknesses. And that is what he uses to tempt us. If I were in Hugh Baltimore’s shoes, how would I react? Or if God kept sending me on these missions and my husband refused to see God in them. Would I give up on him like Lexie was tempted to do?

Reading excellent Christian fiction strengthens my faith. And for this I say, Thank you, thank you Dineen Miller. I eagerly await your next book.

Purchase The Book At:
Barnes and Noble:

Or Ask Your Local Library To Order The Book In For You!

Book Contest: See our book contest rules on the sidebar.

I received a copy of The Soul Saver and I'll offer to pass it on to one blessed reader this week.

Book Contest weeks are from Saturday, when the review is posted through Friday. A new book review is posted each week which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.

Q4U. Do you like to read books with paranormal elements? What favorite books have you read so far this year?

Friday, June 29, 2012

WordServe Water Cooler

Hey there, 

I’m hanging out at the WordServe Water Cooler again today.

Catch my post: Is Reading Fiction . . . Safe?


Until next time. . . Sharon A. Lavy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Where you’ll find me today.

I’m hanging out at the Barn Door Book Loft today.

Catch my post: Jordyn Redwood’s Proof


Until next time. . . Sharon A. Lavy

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blogging Elsewhere today

I’m hanging out at the Barn Door Book Loft today.

Catch my post Please Welcome Jordyn Redwood


Until next time. . . Sharon A. Lavy

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Death of the Couch Potato’s Wife

by Christy Barritt

About the author:
Christy Barritt has penned articles for Campus Life, Marriage Partnership, Blueridge Country, The Plain Truth, Guideposts for Teens, Brio, and The Lookout.

She's the author of the Squeaky Clean Mystery Series (Kregel Publications). Hazardous Duty, the first book in the series, took third place in the ACFW Book of the Year contest. The series is about a crime-scene cleaner who also solves crimes. The second book in the series, Suspicious Minds, hit shelves in May 2008.

She also co-authored a non-fiction book, Changed: True Stories of Finding God in Christian Music. The book is currently available in Christian bookstores across the country.

Born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia (suburbia, America), she journeyed off to college in Cincinnati where she majored in communications and psychology. She worked at a Christian publishing house for two and a half years after college. During this time, she also had a short jaunt in the independent Christian music field.

When family obligations called her home, she saw it as the push she needed to start writing again. The journey has been scary, she says, but it's definitely where she should be.

She's married to her Prince Charming, a man who thinks she's hilarious--but only when she's not trying to be. Christy's a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who's known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. She's only won one contest in her life--and her prize was kissing a pig (okay, okay... actually she did win the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery for her book Suspicious Minds also). Her current claim to fame is showing off her mother, who looks just like former First Lady Barbara Bush.

When she's not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and exploring small, unsuspecting towns where people have no idea how accident prone she is.

Christy's married to Scott, a high school teacher and funny man extraordinaire. In June 2006, they added a little boy named Eli to their happy mix. They also have two dogs and a houseplant named Martha. When Christy's not writing, she's also on staff part-time at Celebration Christian Church, where she leads worship each week.

For more information, visit her website at:

The Blurb:
Welcome to Boring, Indiana, home to patio cookouts, homeowner dues, carpeted lawns, and neighbors so welcoming they’re dying to meet you—literally.

City slicker turned suburbanite housewife Laura Berry isn’t taking well to life in her new neighborhood. She moved to follow her husband’s dream, and now she can[‘t tell if she’s clinically depressed or just bored half to death. But Boring becomes anything but when Laura discovers her neighbor Candace Flynn face up on a sofa with her hand buried in a snack bag. With a healthy dose of neighborly suspicion and street smarts, Laura tries to find Flynn’s killer, but her curiosity becomes desperation when the killer targets Laura.

Someone is determined to stop her from digging deeper into the murder, but Laura is just as determined to figure out who’s behind the death-by-poisoned-pork-rinds.

   “This is called breaking and entering.” 
    Babe, my neighbor, waved her hand in the air in a laid-back way that made me wonder if she’d been a cat burglar in her pre-senior citizen days discount days. “We’re not breaking anything.” 
    My neck muscles clenched tighter. “How about the law?”
   “Nonsense, Laura. We’re just being neighborly.” Babe used that word a lot, including when gossiping and borrowing lawn equipment from other people’s sheds—without their permission. My husband and I had been the recipients of her neighborly deed on many occasions. 
   Babe and I stood on the porch of Candace Flynn’s house, staring at her front door. Though it was only 3 p.m., the crisp winter sun was already beginning its descent, and a glare of light caught on the glass atop the door, nearly blinding us. All the other neighbors on the cul-de-sac seemed to be occupied at the moment because no one else stirred. Most of them were working or at afternoon tot time at the local gym.
  Sure, Candace’s husband had been out of town all week on a golf outing. But was that really an excuse for the mostly dry, yellowing grass in her front yard to be uncut with wisps of some kind of winter weed waving to everyone who passed? Or for the garbage cans to remain curbside for two days? For various flyers, once stuffed behind her door handle, not to litter the stoop? 
   Even more disturbing than the aesthetic no-no’s of her yard was the fact that the storm door, which had been closed just yesterday, not flapped open.
   And there was the small fact that on one had seen the woman in two days—and Candace always made herself known. She wasn’t even answering her cell phone, which usually appeared to be glued to her ear. 
   All of these things left me with three thoughts. First, I considered that maybe Candace had spontaneously taken off on a trip herself. I couldn’t fault her for doing so, because I knew her husband never cut her any slack.

What Others Say:
 A SOLID MYSTERY WITH A QUIRKY MIDWESTERN WIT, By Harold Wolf "Doc" This review is from: Death of the Couch Potato's Wife (Paperback)

Boring, IN, caught my attention. Not your average murder village. Sound a bit funny. It is. It's also well done as the main plot (1 of many) is an apparent murder by pork rinds. Throughout the story, a multitude of locals become suspect, and discovering the quirky characteristics of the cast is quite fun. Having Boring, Indiana folk murdered sure adds spice to Midwest dull-drums.

A fired Chicago PR turns into a Boring sleuth, and as Indiana natives know, a blind hog can find an acorn once in a while. Laura's imagination is a big as an Indiana bushel of corn. For a sidekick, she has Babe, 70 yr old. Both ladies have their secrets and love entanglement problems, but that's a tangent compared to finding the Boring killer before another Dullington Estates resident kicks the bucket involuntarily. Will the sleuth duo be of help to Chief Romeo?

I'm hoping, as a Hoosier book lover, that this is a series. It sure ends with an opportunity for another caper in this wee Boring burg. Even a hint of Christian characterization, not preachy, but it adds to the mix of the shenanigans moseying around this NOT-SO Boring place.

Fun and recommended, but don't eat the pork rinds.~ Harold Wolf 

My Take: 
Christy has done it again!

Who would name a town Boring? That must have made the town itself huff up and cause something to happen.

At any rate nothing seems to be boring in this story.  Not with 70 yr old Babe and her nosy ways. But Laura didn’t have to follow her, did she? So wouldn’t you agree that it’s her own fault if she’s called an accessory to the crime of breaking and entering?

If you love mysteries as I do, you will be hooked from the first sentence.

Purchase The Book At:
Barnes and Noble:
Or Ask Your Local Library To Order The Book In For You!

Book Contest:
See our book contest rules on the sidebar.

Christy has offered to send a copy of Death of The Couch Potato’s Wife on to one blessed reader this week.

Book Contest weeks are from Saturday, when the review is posted through Friday. A new book review is posted each week which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.

We’d love to send one special person a copy of Death of The Couch Potato’s Wife.

Q4U: Do you enjoy mysteries? What favorite genre have you read so far this year?