A VALLEY VIEW STEP CHILD


A widowed schoolteacher opens her home to a young rape victim who's determined to keep her child. 

Isn't that  a BEAUTIFUL COVER?

Several weeks ago I announced that I was working on a novella that would be a forever free download for all ebook applications. I wanted to update you on my progress with this project. 

The story is written and is currently with one of my critique partners. Once I have it back, it'll get a bit of polish and go off to a free lance editor for an indepth spit and shine.  

I anticipate a release sometime before the end of January, I'll keep you all informed.

In the meantime, how about a short excerpt?

1
The subconscious mind is often a malicious practical joker.
I love you. Diana Kensington smiled at the tender words, heard as clearly as if Chuck lay next to her in their queen-sized bed. Her eyelids fluttered in that elusive moment between awake and asleep. She stretched, turned, and reached out for…
Cruel realities slammed Diana back into the mattress, wrenching her out of her dream world and back into the four hundred and thirty ninth day of her own personal nightmare. She jerked upright with a sob, grabbed the pillow covered in Chuck’s favorite t-shirt, and buried her face in the soft fabric. She breathed deep, searching for her husband’s comforting scent.
Not there…not…A second sob pierced the pre-dawn gloom…here.  
Kicking free of the tangled covers, she rolled from the bed, and lunged for the chest of drawers in the corner of the room. Her hands fumbled in the semi-darkness, knocking things to the floor in a desperate hunt for Chuck’s bottle of cologne. There. She grabbed it up and triggered the spray, releasing the spicy fragrance into the air before returning to the bed to give the pillow a liberal coating. Sitting, Diana clasped the pillow to her chest and rocked. How many times have I done this in the last…she struggled for a measure of months or weeks and couldn’t do the math. Days she could do, a staggering number of days since Chuck’s lips brushed her cheek for the last time in an early morning kiss good bye.
 


A CHRISTMAS LIGHT




The Christmas Light
A light has dawned in the sight of men
And in the heavens a star
Wise men seek and shepherds keep
The Savior from afar.
 
He came as a humble little child
Born to set men free
And from the cradle to the cross
He calls for you and me.
 
So come and seek the Savior Child
Who came down from above
And receive His grace and mercy new
Born of the Father’s love.
©2013
Rev. Michael Duncan



Christian author and pastor, Michael Duncan has served the Lord and the church for nearly 25 years preaching and teaching God's Word. He has shared God’s message across the U.S. and beyond and is currently the pastor of his church, co-host and Bible commentator on the Alive in Christ radio network and has authored or co-authored five books, both fiction and non-fiction. He serves on the executive board of the Northwest Baptist Convention and is a former board member of the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association. Given the opportunity, he may be found on the golf course!

You can learn more about Michael, his ministry and his books on his web site:  http://www.michael-duncan.net

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL


Today was my final day at work for the year. With Christmas just four days away, and  ice and frigid temperatures on our immediate horizon, I took a couple of hours tonight to lay in the supplies I need for my marathon Christmas baking. And when I say marathon, I do mean marathon. The picture above is from last year's baking spree. and there are several things missing from the shot.

Christmas for us is fifty (or more) friends and family members gathered in the church fellowship hall. We out grew everyone's house about four years ago.

Dinner is chili, soup, and deli sandwiches. I'm in charge of the before dinner snacks and desserts. This year my baking list includes:
Two dozen cinnamon rolls
A pumpkin pie
A pecan pie
A chocolate pie
A coconut pie
Brownies
chocolate chip cookies
oatmeal-pecan cookies
Cherry chocolate cookies
A chocolate pudding cake desert thing
An Oreo Cake
4 kinds of fudge /candy

I'll need to go back to my day job to recover!

I want to take this time to wish you and yours a blessed Christmas and a wonderful new year. Take care if you're traveling. Stay warm, and don't eat too much!

What are you doing in these final days before Christmas?


KEEPING CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS


Do you know what you get if you take Christ out of CHRISTmas? A MESS. That isn't an original thought, I saw it on Facebook earlier in the week.

That statement and a story my husband told me this week are the basis of this this week's post.

To appreciate this, you have to know my husband. He's a sixty-three year old flooring contractor. He's a redneck. If you've read any of Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck if..." That's my husband. The other thing you need to know is that he's only been a Christian for about five years. When he decided to get saved, he didn't just stick his toe in the fountain of life, he jumped in head first without a life preserver. He's the kind of person who believes that if something is worth doing, it's worth doing with your whole heart.

Enough background info.

One day last week my husband went into a popular chicken fast food restaurant. The young lady behind the counter wished him a happy holiday.

His response? "Young Lady, I'm a Christian. and the proper phrasing is Merry Christmas."

She was quick to tell him that she was not allowed to wish her customers a Merry Christmas.

He told her that was a shame cause he was sure in the mood for a chicken lunch and turned to leave.

The man behind the counter, who happened to be the manager, asked my husband where he was going.

Larry shrugged and said he guessed he go across the street for a pizza since he couldn't in good conscience eat in an establishment that openly denied the birth of his savior.

He comes home with stuff like this all the time. Most days I just take a step back and wonder what God is doing with the man I married. But this story sort of made me proud.  

Every year at this time we hear the arguments. But how many of us really take a stand? I'll have to admit, I probably would have had my chicken and wished the guys behind the counter a Merry Christmas as I left. Not because I agree with the whole happy holidays, over Merry Christmas debate, but because I'm not big on confrontation.

But part of the reason I would have had chicken is the difference between a person whose been saved her whole life, versus a newly minted Christian. Sometimes we just take things we've had forever for granted. I wear the mantle of my Christianity every day. It's as much a part of me as breathing. Maybe it's a little tarnished from all the wear. My husband's story made me want to polish that mantle up to it's original shine. To be vocal about what I believe. To keep Christ in Christmas.

What are you doing to keep Christ in your Christmas?

CHRISTMAS STORIES TO CURL UP WITH


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Oklahoma. We got four inches of snow overnight and I'm taking a snow day home from work. Days like today are perfect for curling up in  the fuzzy robe and slippers with hot cocoa and a great book. I have a few reading suggestions for you.

When Hurricane Sandy nearly destroys Sadie’s home, she’s determined to restore it. She promised her dying grandmother she’d stay in the house until her schizophrenic father, who disappeared twenty years earlier, returns. The house is her only link to him.
Max has loved Sadie since sixth grade, but after their mutual friend died when they were teens, Sadie pushed him away. He’s finally found her a decade after graduation, and this time, he can’t bear to lose her again, certainly not to a flooded house hundreds of miles from home and her misguided hope of finding her father.
After discovering her house is underinsured, Sadie is caught between her love for Max and her need for her father. Can she trust God enough to let go of her only connection to her dad? Can she trust Max enough to let go of her heart?
 
If time and money were no object, Robin would travel all the time. Her goal is to visit every place in the world--twice. Because, as you know, the first time, you don't know exactly what you want to see. So you flit from one tourist attraction to another and enjoy every minute of it. But it's always on the last day that you find the best thing, and you don't have enough time to explore it properly, and you wished you'd discovered it first (but even if you had, you wouldn't know it was the best thing, because you hadn't seen everything else yet). So you have to go back a second time. It's just logical.

Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and Robin's family doesn't want to follow her all around the world, so she does the next best thing: she writes. In the worlds Robin creates, she can go back to the best places time and again. And when they're not perfect, that's all right--she just edits until they are.

In the real world, Robin is married to the man of her dreams, Edward, and together they have three children, Nicholas, Lexi, and Jacob. Her family is a close second on her list of priorities after her relationship with God.

So that's her life: God, husband, kids, and made-up worlds where she has complete control. Who could ask for more?
 
Misty Winslow is determined to find her prince charming. She meets the man of her dreams through an internet dating service. Or is he? Because the new dentist in town sets her heart a flutter. It's love at first sight for Tyler Davenport, but before he can finish his first root canal Misty is involved in an exclusive online romance with Wes99. Tyler begins to get jealous of Wes99, his online persona! Soon he's pulling out all the stops to woo Misty. As Christmas approaches Wes99 and Tyler both ask her to meet them under the mistletoe. Which man will she choose?
  
 .99 at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-Magic-Christmas-Holiday-Extravaganza-ebook/dp/B00GM5WVFY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386349463&sr=8-1&keywords=terri+weldon

Terri Denise Weldon claims her regular life is really pretty mundane. She refrains from saying dull! Terri shares a home with her sister, Cynthia, in Oklahoma. They’re the best of friends and enjoy many of the same things. She has three dogs – a lovable mutt and two adorable Westies.  Terri enjoys gardening, shopping for shoes (a habit she needs to break), and working in her church library.
Mistletoe Magic is her debut novella and she is currently writing a suspense series.


During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day. When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas. Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.


TAMERA LYNN KRAFT has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio.
Tamera is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She has curriculum published and is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

Sunday School, Maggie Turner thought she was on the phone with her cheating boyfriend when she said, "I saw you this afternoon. Don't think I'm going to let you get away with it." But when the voice on the other end replied, "I'd like to see you try," she realized she'd called the wrong number.
Christmas is a busy time in the church calendar, without Pastor Carson Armitage still trying to find his feet in his first job as an ordained minister. He wants to organize a nativity for Christmas Eve, using the help of Sunday School teacher, Maggie, but finds his past comes back to haunt him in a big way.
Can the past be laid to rest? Or is happily ever after only a fairytale?
 


Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, sewing, she's keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make.
She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.

She can be found at:

A lady Coastguardsman searches for a killer. An oil rig troubleshooter accused of murder races to clear his name. The murderer strives to silence them both.
As Amber seeks to arrest Derrick, sparks fly.
Amber Meredith needs to solve her first case. But the handsome Cajun suspect makes her heart race and her toes tingle.
Derrick Darbonne worked all his life for his high-paying, adventurous job. When his past threatens his future, will he endanger the woman he loves?  



ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement releases in December, 2013.  A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s travel pictures and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com. Or at http://www.Amazon.com.
Learn about writing fiction at http://www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com


Texas-born World Cup champion goalie, Dante Moretti, only expected tiny Starlight, Iowa to be a blip on the radar of his life. Stopping at Barney’s Diner for a quick meal two weeks before Christmas, Dante meets two women who capture his heart in very different ways. Then his rental car won’t start, stranding him overnight. Could the Lord have a plan for bringing him to Starlight?  
Amanda Marston is excited to be home in Starlight for her big brother Jake’s wedding. When she drops in for a cup of Caroline Picasso’s coffee at Barney’s, who is that handsome, Italian-spouting cowboy? Before she knows it, Dante’s staying with Ben and Caroline and helping out with projects all over Starlight. Does God have a plan for Dante in Starlight, one that might include Amanda? 
 
Starlight, Star Bright is the sequel to the popular Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, part of Pelican Book Group's 2012 Holiday Extravaganza. The author of seven books, JoAnn is an estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm and lives in southern Indiana. Visit her at www.joanndurgin.com or via her Author JoAnn Durgin page on Facebook.
 
 
 
 
 
Layne Mabrey is on the run. Determined to hide their Down Syndrome daughter from the world, her ex-husband wants to have six-year-old Chloe institutionalized, but Layne will go to any lengths to keep her child. Dex Beckett falls immediately in love with both Layne and Chloe, but Layne can't afford to get close to anyone--not even the shy, gentle cowboy next door. She and Chloe have to be ready to run at any moment.Concerned that Chloe's sudden creation of an imaginary friend could be used to substantiate her father's claims, Layne is shocked when Dex offers an unbelievable opinion about the child's invisible visitor. But there's more to Heart's Haven than meets the eye. Is it possible a Christmas miracle awaits Layne and Chloe on the Heart's Haven Angel Tree?
 
 
Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…gifts of the spirit and miracles, mysteries and exotic travel, even an angel or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a journey to the Old West or to contemporary adventures in foreign lands…be prepared for the extraordinary.
At twenty-one, Lea Dale is well-adjusted and happy, despite the facial scars she's carried since infancy. She has friends in high places (with a connection to angels); possesses colorful vision (since for some reason she can see auras around folks); and her family and friends adore her. Corrective surgery is a possibility, but not one Lea has felt the need to consider…until wealthy investor Laren Meadows walks into her life and turns it upside down. Suddenly, Lea is painfully conscious of her lack of perfection, given Laren's flawless looks and ultra-charming personality. What a blessing that he's attracted to her despite her scars—and even her special angel seems to approve of the match.
Then a secret from Laren's past threatens to destroy any hope of a future for the two of them. Now there's only one way for Lea to know if Laren's love is true, but taking that action could mark the end of their relationship.
Can love survive such a tangled mess of physical and emotional scars?


Born and raised in a place called Weedpatch, Delia Latham enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. She loves to hear from her readers. Contact her through her website (www.delialatham.net), or send an e-mail to delia AT delialatham DOT net, or "Like" her Facebook reader page (www.facebook.com/delialatham).