Stepping On Cheerios

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Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic!

Being a mother isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to experience a personal connection with God and community when you are caught up in the chaos of just “doing family”.

Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.

Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.

Learn more and purchase a copy. 

My Review 

when I first started reading Stepping on Cheerios, I didn’t like the book at all.

When I read further I realized that what i didn’t like was the preachiness.

If you are able to get past that, you are left with a great little devotional, a lot of comedy and some new parenting skills.

Add into that some different viewpoints on The Bible that maybe you hadn’t seen

Overall, I give this book 3 Stars. Preachiness sometimes is a good thing because the words are all God talking, if you take the time to listen

I received an ARC copy of this book as part of the Blogging Group at Litfuse Group!


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Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey #FCBloggers

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I had the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey with Family Christian Stores.  Written by Katherine Blackmore, B&h Kids Editorial and Dandi Mackall.  This book is published by B&H Publishing, and let me just say, they know what will catch a kid’s attention and keep them reading. Or at least it did for this old kid!!!

Upon opening the book, you cannot help but notice all the super bright colors and the just complete “neatness” of the book. It isn’t busy, nor is it slow.

unnamedAs you get into the book there are 52 devotions that give you life situations, and I am going to use this one as an example: Making Camp: Learning to Love Along The Way.

Devotions Off The Map is available for Preorder at this link.  It should be in the stores by August 1, 2015 . The book has special graphics that explain each part of the devotional, like

ThTreee Overlook – it explains what your child will learn in the devotional – our example is “You can learn to show love to everyone”

 

CompassThis Is The Way – provides one key Bible verse and some scripture references to memorize, study, word by word, and/or life applications. All pointing you back to the devotional. Our example is O John 4:20 – If anyone says. “I love God” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. And a few more verses that go with the devotional.

treehouse formatedLessons From The Tangled Treehouse – this section is where the devotions come in. Easy to read, challenging for your child and something that your child might find that He or she already knows – Our example is about a person that goes somewhere for a few weeks, and upon their roommate walking in the room, immediately judges them. In their own mind, they are sure they don’t like the roommate, and are not going to be open to getting to know them. However, upon getting to know them, they realize that they and the roommate really do have a lot in common and the further they go into the time together, they really do like each other a lot and become very close friends. Something kids go through at school, camps etc. all the time. God tells us we are liars if we say we love Him, but do not like our brothers. That’s harsh! However, the devotional puts it in words that are so easy for any child to understand.

Bushes FormatedShady Grove Prayers – this is the part of the devotional where simple prayers, already written out for you that you can either pray with your child, or have your child read and then say their own based on the examples given.    for non-readers can pray out loud and read to them, the words are easy enough and always again they make these so easy to adjust for non-readers and to be able to put into words they can understand.  Our example uses this prayer.

“Dear God, Thank you for your love, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Your love is amazing. Help me to show that love to others whether I know them well or not.
want to be more like you. Amen”  

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I don’t know a child of God (of any age) that would not benefit from God’s help in this devotional. That’s the beauty of this book. So much applies to adults, kids, and even non-readers, (now this is my opinion, so don’t go trying to say, oh I know one, I know one!!!) I am sure there is someone somewhere, who wouldn’t like this book!

questions FormatedField Study – is a question and answer section that begin with why, how when or where. These questions, will push a child to think, use their Bible to look up answers or open a dialogue between a parent/teacher/guardian to open the child’s mind to different opinions based on sound Biblical principles – One of our examples is the following “How can you love someone who doesn’t seem to love you?” That’s just one of 4 in this particular devotional.

Boots formatedWalking to Boulder Bridge– this section is where you child puts what they have learned into everyday life. With activities, community projects, crafts or even family discussion time. I love this part of it. Being a very hands on thinker, learner. This appeals to my inner child so much! I know for me, “doing” teaches me so much more and not just reading from a book. So our example, Show love to one another, gives examples, like cut out a heart, put the initials of people you love. On the other side, write people’s initials that may need some love shown to them, and then keep the heart in your pillowcase so that you can remember it, pull it out and pray for each person that you wrote down, also it helps you remember that God loves everyone equally! – This section, again, also opens up ideas from parents/teachers/guardians, and there are so many other ways to use this, like if you know someone hurting, you could write them a short note, or just “God loves you” with the verse reference and even mail it to them or many other applications that are age proper, and based on your child’s skills, and learning abilities. Whatever works best for your family?

I think my last statement “whatever works best for your family” is one of the reasons I love this book so much. Nothing is just as it is. There are so many variations to how each section can be used and applied to your family and your lifestyle.
The Lessons Part – if the child is a non-reader, the book is written in such a way that most younger kids could understand the life application because of wordings that the writers have used in my opinion, younger children, may not understand, because of concepts of time and distance, however, they can easily be used in their words and their understanding and changed up to have a jumping off point and then the book is not just useful for readers alone.

Prayer

This devotional is  as a follow-up to a VBS, however, there is no way that you need to go to the VBS to understand the book.  I pray that anyone that purchases this little book will love it as much as I have!  I go on vacation soon with my grandchildren, and this will be our daily devotional book.  I am sure around day three of “all the cousins” they will need a great reminder of showing their love to someone and this is just the book for it!   We range from 1-year-old to 18 years old, so they all will be able to put it to use in some way and fashion!  I really cannot say enough good about Devotions Off The Map a 52 Week Devotional Journey;

 

 So much simplicity rolled up into 52 devotions, which will touch your child’s heart for a lifetime!

You can buy this book at a Family Christian Store near you, or online at http://www.familychristian.com/catalog/product/view/id/311787/

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog  I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done.  Al thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and OI only recommend products or services I use personally ad believe will be good for my readers  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:  "Guides Concerning The Use Of Endorsements and 
Testimonials in Advertising"

Thrilling New Read from Richard Mabry | ‘Fatal Trauma’ and the Perfect Prescription Giveaway

  

Can Mark find out who the shooter is before he becomes the next victim? You won’t want to miss the suspense in Richard Mabry’s new book, Fatal Trauma. Facing an adversary whose desires are dark and efforts are ruthless, Mark finds himself under suspicion as a killer, yet still a potential victim. When he turns to his high school sweetheart, attorney Gwen Woodruff, for help, Kelly helplessly looks on, as she hides her own feelings for the good doctor.

Richard is celebrating the release of Fatal Trauma by giving away The Perfect Prescription Prize Pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 20th. The winner will be announced June 22nd on Richard’s blog.

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My Review

Dr. Mark Baker and Kelly Atkinson are found in the ER during the opening scene, trying to save the life of a Zeta drug cartel member, however they fail. Also losing the life of police officer Ed Purvis as he put his life on the line also trying to protect so many, is Fatal Trauma by Richard L. Mabry, MD

This book never slows down from here

At the risk of sounding like a clichés’. This book has it all, espionage, murder, accusatory policemen, love, and everything else that keeps you on the edge of your seat, Did Mark and Key murder someone? Or is someone trying to set them up for murder?

This book will stay in a “clean read” catagory for me based on no sexual content, the language was very appropriate. While the violence is not described other than in medical terms usually, there is a lot of violence implied. So that alone might tturn some away from this book. However, the implications of violence are so brief in each aspect of it, it is easy to get by it.

The one constant in this book is that several people rely on their relationship with Christ however the author never takes the time to build any single character’s relationship with Christ, in a grand way.

It’s usually always an after thought. That is disappointing to me because I was expecting more. While this one thing was disappointing I can honestly recommend this book!

I mean, how can you get through a day without calling on Christ when you are accused of murder, people are trying to murder you and you are losing so much also. The only Bible reference is Roman’s 8:28

Romans 8:28. ‘And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them

Richard L. Mabry, MD has put together a very good mystery/thriller and he is an author I will be reading more of his work.  I can see his books become favorites quickly! This was a basically clean read, except for the things I have commented on so far. I loved the medical facts being used, in every aspect. I mean from the correct dosages of medications to the exact terminology of a procedure or medical instrument. I also loved that he explained the things that may have been difficult to understand.

When The Game Stands Tall – Review

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Unwrapping the box, I discovered to my surprise, the copy of the movie contained a DVD and Blu-Ray copy of this movie, with a free code from Sony Entertainments to download a copy of the movie for your personal library.

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Family Christian has been a fantastic place for me to buy things and when I received this copy to review I was really thoroughly surprised that it had both in it!

The Synopsis

Inspired by a true story, in 2003, high-school football coach Bob Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel) and his De La Salle Spartans have just completed an incredible 151 consecutive victories and 12-straight state championships. While the team’s seniors receive offers from colleges all over the country, the advancing juniors look forward to making their mark.

However, beloved “Coach Lad” has a brush with calamity, while the Spartans face their most-challenging, most-unpredictable season yet.

 After this Coach Lad must teach his players –   and the entire town – that it’s not about how you fall, but how you get back up

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His approach to the game, one that he has given most of his life to, is perhaps best summed up in this quotation from Matthew 23:13 that is recited onscreen: “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled. And whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” In other words, it is not about you, it is about others.

My review:

I loved this movie for the plain and simple fact, I love high school football!  When I first unwrapped it and just looked at the cover, I thought to myself another movie about Texas Football!!!  Boy was I surprised!!  Which was a great surprise.  When the game stands tall, was a really great movie about a fantastic coach named Bob Ladouceur.  “Coach Lad” was not only a magnificent coach, but an amazing man.  His philosophy on how to talk to teens was amazing,   I would have loved to have had a “Coach Lad” as a coach in anything I took.

The main thing about this movie is that the kids respected him.  I mean really respected him,  Not only did they listen, they trusted.

There was a lot of football in this movie and that in and of itself had me thoroughly enjoying it.  Also the back story of “Coach Lad” and his health as well as the interactions between each player and their friends, was really great.  I do not want to say too much, but let me just say that the back story was fantastic, sad, happy and very inspiring!

There are some things to be concerned with as a parent.  An abusive father, a couple of curse words, and some other things  I’ve added the review from Plugged in Movie Review and they go through each situation that could be considered scary or derogatory.

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I would allow any preteen from 8 and up to watch the movie, although your younger kids, this would give you the perfect opportunity for some very good conversations about some of the things in the movie.

and here is a great free resource that is downloadable to help you with this discussion from Plugged in Movie Review

 

 here is the official trailer of the movie

 

Here is the Plugged In Movie Review of When the Game Stands Tall  http://www.pluggedin.com/videos/2014/q4/when-the-game-stands-tall.aspx

 

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I pray that you enjoy this movie as much as I did and that your family takes the opportunity to watch it together and use it as a jumping off point for a lot of great conversations between you and your kids.  Enjoy a great family night with the movie, some great popcorn and a warm fire!

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Blessings

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Christmas Series – Tricia Goyer – Author Highlight

I am going to be doing a series over the month of December from Tricia Goyer.  I will be having giveaways, printable resources like recipe cards, bookmarks etc, book reviews and lots of stuff about her Christmas books and even some of her non Christmas books.  Get ready to spend the month getting to know Tricia, and enjoying her books! I know I sure do! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading her books, getting to know her as a person, not just as an author and reading some of her latest books.  I pray that you will be just as excited as I am to read and enjoy this truly gifted author!
Tricia writes about Amish Life, WW!! and Parenting as well as other subjects.  She wrote the novelization for Mom’s Night Out, Writes for Guideposts and has many other irons in the fire. Here is the Media Release for Where the Treetops Glisten.  Tricia’s newest Christmas Book. This is one of the books I will be giving away starting The day after Thanksgiving!  Be ready!!!
 
 

Meet Tricia

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Tricia the Author
Tricia Goyer has written more than thirty-five books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and non- fiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31, and HomeLife Magazine.
Goyer’s fiction and non-fiction books have won awards from the American Christian Fiction Writers and Mt. Hermon Writers’ Conference. She is also a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee.
Tricia has authored several books on family and parenting, as well as co-written with Max Lucado and Robin Jones Gunn. She collaborated with Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges for Lead Your Family Like Jesus, published by Focus on the Family/Tyndale.
Tricia’s contemporary and historical novels feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She recreates historic wartime eras with precise detail through perseverant and comprehensive research. Tricia speaks to groups interested in these eras, with the intention of preserving and honoring the memory of the men and women who served.
She is a beloved author of Amish fiction, as well, writing the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series. Tricia is currently working on The One Year Book of Amish Peace: Hearing God’s Voice in the Simple Things and a true Amish story co-written with Ora Jay and Irene Eash (contracted to release in 2013 and 2014 respectively).
Tricia is also the visionary force behind the new website, Not Quite Amish. Inspired by the writing process of her Amish releases, she wanted to create a community where Amish and simple living experts can become contributors. Launched in the fall of 2012, the Not Quite Amish lifestyle blog features daily posts about recipes, repurposing, simple style, beautifying your home, sewing Amish proverbs, and more. In addition to having more than fifteen regular contributors, readers are also encouraged to submit ideas, questions, and posts for topics they’d like to see written about.
In addition to Not Quite Amish, Tricia also posts regularly at her personal blog and is a contributor to other family and homeschooling blogs, such as The Home Educating Family, The Better Mom, Allume and MomLife Today. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com.Throughout the past ten years, Tricia has been interviewed by numerous national TV and radio programs and magazines.

More about Tricia’s Ministry
In addition to writing and family time, Tricia enjoys sharing Jesus’ love through volunteering and ministering to others. Her vision is to be a voice of hope and possibility for teenage girls, pregnant teen girls, mothers, and wives. Her intention is to serve ordinary women by encouraging them to do extraordinary things with God’s help.
Motivated by her own experience of being a teen mom and the women who were supported her, Tricia has a heart for mentoring teen moms and their families. Before moving to Arkansas, Tricia co-founded Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana. She currently leads a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Group in inner-city Little Rock.
Tricia has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS International Convention, Hearts at Home, and Allume conferences. She speaks to groups around the country about families, writing, research, and the world of publishing.

Tricia also cherishes being able to minister in the Czech Republic on regular missions trips. The Goyer family also leads children’s church every week.
As a part of her vision to reach real women about real life and real hope, Tricia hosts a weekly internet radio show, Living Inspired, where she interviews Christian authors and artists.

Tricia at Home
Her love of writing and the awards and accolades she has received cannot compare with her greatest joy: her family.
Tricia and the love of her life, husband John, are the parents of six and grandparents of two. There is always fun and adventure at Goyer home, and Tricia’s grandma is right in the middle of it, having lived with Tricia and John for the past several years. Friends and fans can keep up with Tricia’s regular updates via her Facebook fan page.
Tricia homeschooled their oldest three children through high school and will be starting the school process all over again with the youngest three! The Goyers make their home in Arkansas.

Short Bio
Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published thirty-three books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.com, TheBetterMom.com  and other homeschooling and Christian sites.In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Tricia, along with a group of friends, recently launched www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about simplifying life. She also hosts the weekly radio podcast, Living Inspired. Learn more about Tricia at http://www.triciagoyer.com.

An interview with Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin Authors of Where Treetops Glisten

Authors
Three of the most beloved Christian authors of World War II-era fiction have come together to gift their readers with the new Christmas release, Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook Press/September 16, 2014/ISBN: 978-1601426482/$14.99).
Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin invite readers to turn back the clock to days gone by as they listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow and get to know the Turner family. Each of the three siblings is forging his or her own path in his or her own love story filled with the wonder of Christmas. Hailing from the heart of America in Lafayette, Indiana, these characters will never be the same as the reality of America’s involvement in World War II hits incredibly close to home.

Q: How did the three of you decide to collaborate on a collection of novellas together? 

Cara: I’d written in a couple of novella collections and loved the collaborative aspects. Writing is often solitary, but when you’re working on a collection with other writers, you have fun opportunities to work together. I asked Sarah and Tricia if they’d like to work together because I love their World War II stories, and I love their hearts. I also thought this was a sneaky way to get to know them better. It’s so fun now to have a book we’ve written together!

Tricia: The coolest thing about Cara approaching me is that I highly respect both Cara and Sarah for their writing abilities and their love of World War II. There aren’t many people I know who enjoy both of these passions, just as I do, and it was easy to say YES!

Sarah: When Cara invited me to participate, I was thrilled. We all liked the idea of using one family’s experience over the course of the war to tie the stories together.

Q: What themes run through each of the stories in Where Treetops Glisten to tie the book together? 

Sarah: In all three of the stories, someone is overcoming grief or loss, and someone is dealing with regrets of the past. Strong themes of healing and reconciliation and hope run through each story. Giving is also a crucial element, which is appropriate for Christmas stories!

Tricia: I also love the use of Christmas songs from that era. The title, Where Treetops Glisten, may be very familiar to readers. Also each novella is named after a popular Christmas tune from those years!

Q: How did the three of you work together to make sure there was continuity between the three novellas?

Sarah: We started in the brainstorming phase, throwing out character and family ideas and making them mesh. Since I’m the nerdy chart-maker of the trio, I made a timeline and a character chart we could use for reference to keep details straight. Also, we bounced ideas off each other throughout the writing process: “Who would Abigail have in her wedding party?” “Does this sound like something Pete would do?” “What would Merry be feeling at this time?” We shared our rough drafts to make sure the details and personalities rang true. The collaboration was challenging since our stories are more tightly connected than in most novella collections, but it was a lot of fun.

Cara: Sarah is the spreadsheet queen. Seriously! After our conference call, Sarah had character and timeline spreadsheets ready for us. We stayed in contact and used those spreadsheets to keep the details straight.

Tricia: There were also many emails that flew back and forth with questions like, “What year was Pete born again?” and “What was so-and-so doing in 1943?” It was fun figuring out this family and these characters together. And then once we figured out the information, Sarah put it in her spreadsheet!

Q:Each one of the three siblings in the books has to chart his or her own path. How is the love of their family a support system for them, even as they make their own life decisions?

Sarah: Pete’s always seen himself as the black sheep of the Turner family — but as a much-loved black sheep. His family was there for him during his wild youth, and they’re there for him when he returns from his combat tour drained of hope and joy. They offer wisdom and humor and encouragement.

Cara: Abigail has keenly felt the shortness and unpredictability of life. Because of it, she’s afraid to chase her dreams or really dare to dream. Her family provides the support and stability to try even when life is something she can’t safely manage.

Tricia: Meredith (Merry) is the wanderer. She is the one who moved to Florida to attend nursing school as soon as she graduated from high school. She’s the baby of the family, and she’s always tried to prove herself. Yet as the years go by, and as Merry finds herself serving as a nurse in Netherlands, she realizes the place she wants to be the most is home — back with the family she loves.

Q: The three novellas are all titled after a Christmas song that became popular during World War II. Can you share a little of the history behind the songs and how they became a part of the book?

Sarah: Since so many great Christmas songs debuted during World War II (“White Christmas” in 1942, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in 1943, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in 1944), I’ve often thought those songs would be a fun way to connect a novella collection, so I suggested it to Cara and Tricia, and they liked it too.

Cara: I loved the idea of using the Christmas carols to connect the stories. So many of those songs are a big part of Christmas even today! But we still had to figure out the rest. Christmas carols alone wouldn’t be enough for three stories to come to life. Once we were all on board, we had a conference call to figure out the rest.

Tricia: I used my song title, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as an inspiration for my character too. I have a friend named Merry who was born on Christmas . . . so I used that for my novella! Meredith is nicknamed Merry, and her name plays into the story; that song makes its way into the novella too!

Q: World War II was a tumultuous, uncertain time. Why pick that era as the backdrop for a Christmas story?

Tricia: I love World War II, and I always loved chatting with Sarah and Cara about World War II. Our purpose is to remind readers of the importance of family, of home and of togetherness. Even in a time of war we can remain strong because of the love of God and the love of those we serve.

Sarah: Because World War II was so tumultuous, I think Christmas became more important. In the Christmas songs of the era, you hear a wistful nostalgia for white Christmases, for home, for mistletoe kisses, for merriness, for a time when your troubles would be out of sight. The holiday reminded people of home and hearth — exactly what they were fighting for.

Q: What sparked your interest in this particular historical time period?

Cara: I love the way this particular generation came together in a big way to fight a world-size problem. Everybody made sacrifices — sacrifices of even the most basic ‘needs’ like coffee and sugar. And everyone did it. If you talk to members of this generation today, they still insist they didn’t do anything special — yet I think it was heroic.

Tricia: I first became interested in World War II while traveling in Europe with two friends. We went to Mauthausen concentration camp, and I was overwhelmed with the stories. I ended up interviewing more than 100 World War II veterans, and then I started writing World War II novels. It’s been a passion of mine ever since I
stepped in that concentration camp. I’ve written other genres, but deep in my heart I’m thankful to be back writing about World War II!

Q: What kind of research did you do before writing your story?

Cara: Because I live in Lafayette, I didn’t have to travel anywhere for research. I already had a friend’s house in mind I thought was the perfect home for this family. Still I had to research details like where the heroine worked, how McCord’s/Glatz makes candy canes, etcSarah: For me, this was a refreshing change. I usually have to do great gobs of rather technical research, but not for this story. I already had a good base of Home Front research, so I just had to research Lafayette — and that was fascinating.

Tricia: Since my novella takes place in Belgium I studied a lot about the field hospitals at the time and the nurses. I also have a friend who lives in Netherlands who shared her uncle’s story with me. He died as part of the resistance. I’m thankful for the foundation I had of my other World War II novels. I enjoyed building upon that.

Q: Did any of you have a special tie to the book’s setting, Lafayette, Indiana?

Cara: Well, I actually live in Lafayette. One of my very good friends owns a historic home near downtown Lafayette, and I’ve known for years it would be the perfect home for a heroine. So when we set the book in Lafayette, I asked Ann if we could use her home. Since I wasn’t sure if anyone else would get to come to town to visit, I sketched out the floor plan and uploaded it to Pinterest so Sarah and Tricia could refer to it — reinforcing why I went to law school and not art school!

Sarah: Oh, my favorite part! I had the privilege of spending a couple of days in Lafayette, staying with the delightful Putman family. Cara — and her four children! — took me all around town. One of Cara’s friends graciously loaned us her home to serve as the Turner home, and she let us traipse through, sketching floor plans and taking pictures. We visited the Alcoa plant, the bridge over the Wabash and the charming downtown area. Driving around the area where I knew Grace would live, we saw the cutest Victorian — for sale! Since I figured they wanted people to look inside, I walked all around, peeked in the windows and took dozens of photos. I also spent a few hours at the local library going through 1943 phone books and newspapers — a treasure trove. And of course, we had to sample the wares at McCord’s!

Tricia: I was honored to travel to Lafayette to speak at a banquet, and Cara was a wonderful hostess while I was in town. We toured downtown and visited McCord Candies (and grabbed a soda there!), and we also visited some antique shops, which really gave me a feel for the area. Cara drove me around to see the home of the characters in the book. It was a delight to see the town come to life!

Q: Each of the characters in this book has to overcome not only personal obstacles, but also cultural conditions he or she has no control over. What lessons can we learn for our own times from their stories?

Tricia: The issue of “cultures” comes up strongly in my novel. Before the war, Meredith had fallen in love with a man from Germany. After Pearl Harbor, he abandoned her and returned to Germany, breaking her heart. Old and new feelings crash within her as their unit prepares to enter Germany. Meredith also cares for German soldiers who are brought into their field unit.
The lessons I hope the reader walks away with is that our nationality is only a part of who we are. Our family situations, and our faith, also make us who we are.

Q: Even just looking at the cover makes the reader want to curl up in front of a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. What did you do to get in the Christmas spirit as you penned your story?

Cara: I visited McCord’s and watched the staff make candy canes. I also listened to a lot of Christmas carols.

Sarah: That was challenging since I wrote the novella in the summer. In California. But I had brainstormed and outlined the complete story at Christmastime the year before when I was in the Christmas mood. While writing the rough draft, I just had to think cold. And I did hum “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” while I wrote.

Tricia: I listened to wonderful Christmas music on Spotify, and I turned up the air conditioning!

Q: One thread that ties all of the stories together is the siblings’ grandmother. What do they learn from her lessons of wisdom and faith that help develop their own choices?

Cara: Grandma was such fun to write! She was feisty but with a deep love for her family. She provides the perspective of time and experience to each of the siblings — yet in a different way to reflect their unique journeys.

Tricia: I loved including a “grandma” in the story since my Grandma lives with me. I love the unconditional love and snippets of wisdom that come from the older generation.

Q: What is it about the Christmas season that engenders such a strong feeling of warmth and love?
Cara: There’s a freshness and sense of wonder to Christmas. The idea that God would send His son to earth as a newborn is an incredibly humbling thought. There’s also the cleanness of fresh-fallen snow that always makes me think of what Christ did on Calvary. Combine that with great music, tradition and the love of family, and it becomes a magical time where almost anything seems possible.

Learn more about the authors!

 

Tricia Goyer
 
 
Cara Putman
 
 
Sarah Sundin
www.triciagoyer.com
 
www.caraputman.com
 
http://www.sarahsundin.com
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Tricia has released 7 books as well as numerous blog posts, articles and radio shows.

2014 Releases

** Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom, How can a work-at-home mom raise kids, juggle a career and take care of family responsibilities with only 24-hour days? Working at home while raising kids and juggling a career and family responsibilities is no easy feat. Author and homeschooling mom Tricia Goyer shares her tips for finding balance among all your many hats as a mom. (January 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** An Amish Garden, co-written with Beth Wiseman, Vannetta Chapman and Kathleen Fuller (Thomas Nelson, March 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** The Kissing Bridge, Book Three in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series (Zondervan, April 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** Moms’ Night Out, the novelization of the movie (B&H, April 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** Plain Faith: A True Story of Tragedy, Loss, and Leaving the Amish, the true story of Ora-Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters. (Zondervan, May 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** An Amish Second Christmas, (Zondervan, September 2014)
** When Treetops Glisten, a WWII novella, (Thomas Nelson, October 2014)

Be sure to check out Tricia’s Historical, Amish, Contemporary and Non-Fiction books pages,
or download a bibliography of all her books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Max Lucado – Before Amen

Before Amen: The Power of a Simple PrayerBefore Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

http://www.amazon.com/Before-Amen-Power-Simple-Prayer/dp/0849948487
I am thoroughly enjoying this book by Max Lucado (I think I have enjoyed every one of his books)
I received an advance copy for the promise of my review.

Lucado describes himself as a prayer wimp…(do you doze off when you pray, think about what bills you are going to pay, that status on Facebook, the neighbors dog digging in your yard etc.)
anything that would distract you from being able to stay focused on God and the conversation you are having

You speak, He listens, He speaks, you listen. This is prayer in its purest form.
God changes His people through such moments.

What a way to break you down to make you understand what prayer is about.
You speak, He listens, He speaks, You listen.

I cannot wait to get further into the book to finish it to be able to finish my review!

I am enjoying this book so far and it is one of Lucado’s better books!

As always, I was completely refreshed by Lucado’s Book, Before Amen.  This little book, packs a powerful punch for you and in so few words, lets you know, that so many people have problems praying at times and even Jesus had to go out on His own to pray.  So remember as you say your prayers, that you aren’t alone in your prayer wimpiness, and all you have to do is believe in God that HE WILL answer your prayers.  Have faith, genuine faith, that you believe  exactly what you are saying.

One of the many statements that just draws you into this book is “Jesus Never Refused An Intercessory Request.  Ever!!”

How awesome is that?  Seriously, I mean, just HOW AWESOME!!!!

 

View all my reviews

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Disclosure 
of Material Connection: 
I received this book free from the author through 
Body and Soul Publishing 
as her personal gift. 
I was not required to write a positive review. 
The opinions I have expressed are my own. 
I am disclosing this in accordance with the 
Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  :

God’s Answered Prayer Manifested Right Before Your Eyes

I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who was praying for us this week, and let me tell you about how God worked in our lives this week and how HE manifested his miracles in our lives!!!!

I had a screw in my foot that I had NO clue about and then also stepped on a hair clip that I was trying to get out of the package, dropped it, tripped and stepped on it. very fluke, it went through my shoe, as did the screw, and the screw I didn’t know about, so I had no clue about how long it had been there, I found it when I went to wash my tennis shoes. We went in wound care app. Dr’s appt on Wednesday and they explained to me and then told me to expect possible surgery because the screw had hit the bone, and I was placed in the hospital on major IV antibiotics..

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Okay, back to the prayer warriors, on Thursday, they told me that there was a no surgery expected, but 6 weeks of Long Term Care on IV Antibiotics,to the tune of 700$ for supplies and medications…
We prayed, others prayed, we knew we couldn’t afford the 700$, I KNEW I couldn’t go 6 weeks Long Term Care, because of my dog, and because of my claustrophobia, etc, and I just cried and prayed all day, because it just could not happen God knew my fears, He KNOWS my fears
The next morning, they came in and said, just 2 weeks of IV antibiotics at LT Residential Care (I said Thank you God) God was answering Prayers, left and right,,,I know he was answering prayers!!! So I sent out another prayer message and messaged my friends on FB, and after many prayers between my husband and I on Friday, we wake up on Saturday to Dr K coming in on saying you can go home, with NO IV antibiotics, this has all been Staff Responsive and as far as I’m concerned you can do this with just Bactrim,, Nothing IV! It’s all good!!!

No IV’s, NO Long Term Residential Care, , it’s just me, my pills, and home health care.

Did I say nothing.  Oh how much I was blessing God and saying thank you and the cost of this 5.15$   Yes that’s right (out of pocket)    I am sure there is more, but that’s the other of pocket costs.    I am just so in awe of all of those of you who prayed, and who were praying 

two people I must mention because they don’t know me.. they don’t know me from Adam.  But they prayed for me faithfully, every single day  Tricia Goyer and Kendra GIllilan…….  I just cannot thank you ladies enough

To Main Street Baptist Church as alway, you are my rock and my home.  I thank you so much for all the prayers, the love and all the tests, emails, calls and love you all send!

To all my friends!  Amber, Celeste, Heather, Theresa, Mitzi,   God bless you all.  you all are the bomb and I love you so much

To my family!!, oh my goodness, I can’t even do this without you!!!  thank you so much

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