Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Anne McCaffrey: You Will Be Missed

Anne McCaffrey (April 1, 1926 – November 21, 2011)

I fell in love with dragons when I was twelve. I’d been chewing through Thomas B. Costain and lost in the romance of early Britain when I saw it: the frontpiece of an early edition of The Black Rose with the perfect dragon. I copied it in art class the next year as a huge print which has hung on a wall of each place I’ve lived since.

I read a review for The White Dragon and went to buy it, but the bookstore was out, so I purchased a different book in the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey and I’ve been hooked ever since.

I knew I’d met a kindred spirit when I read her little bio in each of the books, which in part reads, “My eyes are green, my hair is silver, and the rest is subject to change without notice.”

I tried to read other books in other series, but I’ve always adored the Dragon Riders the best.

Her writing isn’t literary, it’s not always perfect in form, but as far as world-building, she was certainly one of the best. As far as sharing memorable characters and readable books, she will always be one of my favorites. I collected the books and even a book at Pern. I read the books over again, which is my way of judging of my enjoyment of the read. And yes, she’s influenced my writing, maybe for the best; maybe not. I thank her younger son Todd for continuing the series…it will never be the same, but that’s okay. I read the latest one over the weekend: it won’t be my favorite, as the “ew” factor got a little bolder (those of you not squeamish can ask me if you’re curious), but I’m still glad Pern will live on.

Because of these books, I have a substantial collection of dragons around my house, including gifts from around the world.

I've been curious about a movie version, but can't imagine it will match the stories.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" has always been a favorite of mine, even when we made the original torture decoration when I was a kid. (Those lovely pears are not styrofoam but plastic. I have permanent indentation in my fingers from pushing in those pins to anchor the sequins. Mom gave this back to me this year, and I proudly hang it.)

The real meaning behind the “12 Days of Christmas”

From 1558 until 1829 Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During that era, this carol was written as a catechism. Each element in the carol has a religious point which the children could remember.

PARTRIDGE in a pear tree was JESUS


THREE FRENCH HENS were FAITH, HOPE and LOVE from I Corinthians 13


            (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)

FIVE GOLD RINGS represented the LAW - first 5 books

            (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)

SIX GEESE A-LAYING stood for the days of CREATION from Genesis 1        

            (day & night, sky, land & seas & vegetation, stars, sea creatures & birds, land creatures & humans)


            (Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, Boots of the gospel, Shield of Faith,             Helmet of Salvation, Sword of the Spirit and Prayer in the Spirit)


            (Poor in Spirit, kingdom of heaven; Mourn, comforted; Meek, inherit the earth; Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness, filled; Merciful, shown mercy; Pure in heart, see God; Peacemakers, called  sons of God; Persecuted, kingdom of heaven)

NINE LADIES DANCING stood for the fruit of the SPIRIT in Galatians 5

            (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control)

TEN LORDS A-LEAPING were the TEN COMMANDMENTS from Deuteronomy 5

            (Have no other gods, make no idols, do not misuse Lord’s name, keep the Sabbath, honor parents, no murder, no adultery, no theft, no lies, no coveting)


            (Matthew, John, Bartholomew, Thaddeus-Nathaniel, Peter, Andrew, James, Thomas, Philip,
Simon, Philip)


            (1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; 2. and in Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son, our Lord; 3. who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; 4. He descended into Hell, the third day He rose again from the dead; 5. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; 6. from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.  7. I believe in the Holy Spirit; 8. the Holy Christian Church; 9. the communion of saints; 10. the forgiveness of sins; 11. the resurrection of the body; 12. and the life everlasting.)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Beating off the Christmas Blues with Poppy Smith

Eight Ways to Beat the Blues at Christmas
By Poppy Smith
Instead of a houseful of kids and their little ones running around laughing, crying, playing with toys and sneaking treats, this year my husband, Jim, and I will be home alone for Christmas. My automatic reaction is to feel sad—but I am glad that all of them will be celebrating the coming of Jesus with their in-laws. After all, we are usually the ones who get that privilege!
But—it’s easy to be sucked down into a “poor me” mindset and play the blues, unless we decide to change our perspective. So here are eight simple ways to help you enjoy the holidays whether you’re physically or emotionally alone. Why not join me and let’s beat those blues which aren’t where God wants us at this special time of the year—or at any time!
  • Sing. Play music. Listen to the words and join in praising God. Singing is a guaranteed mood lifter and perspective changer. “Sing for joy to God our strength” Ps.81:1.
  • Smile. Smile at little children. Their harried moms. The older shoppers who are trying to find just the right present. Make smiling your chosen expression (not through gritted teeth, however!). It will make you feel so much better and maybe lift up another lonely soul.
  • Invite. Is there someone you haven’t had time for this past year? Could you suggest meeting for coffee, lunch, or even over to your home? Perfection isn’t needed—only a loving heart that looks beyond it’s own world.
  • Rest. Remember all those too early mornings when you longed to just stay in bed? Now’s your chance. Take time to read a book of the Bible or several psalms. Choose a special book, magazine, or television program. Make or buy some once in a year yummy treats and ENJOY this gift of time!
  • Give gifts to others. Go online and look for simple Christmas recipes. Make peppermint candy or a cranberry loaf and go drop it off at a homeless shelter or place that serves those without a home. Change your perspective from looking inward to looking outward—as God our Savior did when He gave us the most amazing gift of love any one can receive.
  • Write a list of your blessings. Think back over this past year. Even if it has been one of the most difficult you’ve experienced, ask God’s Spirit to show you where He was present, loving and supporting and guiding you through. He will show you something and lift your heart.
  • Go to a Christmas Eve Service. Even if you’re by yourself, don’t miss the presence of God amidst the beauty of this celebration. Let your senses feast on the beauty, your ears delight in the music, your heart be moved to new heights of gratitude and love.
  • Pray about your dreams for 2012. What do you want to see happen in the coming year? Have you thought about changes you want to make? New paths to walk? Write out what comes to mind when you think of taking better care of yourself physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. (See my video: Take Care of Yourself, …….. or check my website on the media clips page).
    May your “Home Alone” Christmas fill you with joy and a fresh awareness that Christ is with you, whether you’re surrounded by people or peacefully alone.

    Author Bio
    Poppy Smith
    With her fun personality and passion for communicating life-changing truths, Poppy Smith inspires believers to thrive spiritually and personally. Poppy’s practical how-to messages (in print or in person) uses colorful examples from her own struggles to be more like Jesus. She encourages women (and men, at times) to grow in every kind of situation—whether joyful or painful! Poppy is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She brings an international flair seasoned with humorous honesty as she illustrates Bible truths. A former Bible Study Fellowship Lecturer, Poppy’s teaching challenges women to look at their choices, attitudes and self-talk. As a result, God’s speaks, changing hearts, changing minds, and changing lives.
    Sign up for Poppy's THRIVE newsletter at:

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    He Sees You...

    He Sees You When You’re Sleepin’...
    By Dr. Charles W. Page

    Do you recall trying to sleep on Christmas Eve while waiting for Santa to come to town? The anticipation of Saint Nicolas and all his goodies was just too much—who could sleep? The lyrics of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" taunted me. “He sees you when you’re sleeping—he knows when you’re awake…” I tossed and turned trying to fall asleep, fearful I’d miss out on Santa’s visit if he caught me awake. I never doubted Santa’s ability to be aware of my wakefulness.

    Unfortunately, as adults, the issues that keep us awake during the Christmas season are more complicated than those we experienced as kids. Financial burdens, strained relationships, difficult decisions, brooding regrets and fretful thoughts race through our minds and hinder our rest.

    There is someone who “sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake.” It’s not Santa Claus. The Bible reminds us, God’s eyes never close. Perhaps this truth can tuck us in for the night.

    “He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
    Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:3-4)

    We erroneously think that as we “turn in” that God somehow “turns off” or moves on to do more important things. But God doesn’t wait for us to wake up before He returns to work. God is just as active during our sleep—or sleeplessness. Believers can rest assured knowing God is awake guarding our lives.

    What does God do as we slumber? Psalm 127:1-2 reminds us that God gives to those that He loves as they sleep. What does God give? Understanding God’s generous nature, one rendering would be that God gives to the believer whatever is needed at the time. God can give you wisdom and direction with decisions as you “sleep on it” overnight (Psalm 16:7, James 1:5). Maybe there is a financial need. The scriptures are filled with examples of how God provided for the physical needs of those He loved as they rested (I Kings 19:1-8; Exodus 16:1-8).

    God’s gifts are good, perfect (James 1:17), eternal (Ephesians 1:3) and purposeful (Galatians 5:22-25). They do not require batteries, warranties and cannot be purchased in stores. But they are available 24/7/365—not limited to one night each year. God’s greatest gift did not arrive under a tree but on a tree (John 3:16). “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

    It’s plain to see, God has our back as we sleep. Try this Christmas recipe for rest.
    1. Repent—in areas where we are aware of our transgressions. “A clean conscience
      makes a soft pillow.”
    2. Release—control of problems you’re facing and give them over to God.
    3. Relate—connect with God through prayer and meditation while in bed.
    4. Rest—allow God to do what you cannot do for yourself as you sleep.
    5. Receive—God’s unmerited forgiveness, grace and blessings while you sleep.
    An English proverb reminds us, “As you make your bed so you must lie in it.” The truth of God’s Word helps us face our situations. Although we cannot change the failures of our past, we can rest with a clean conscience based on God’s gift of forgiveness. Our current circumstances may appear overwhelming, but God gives His presence and His guidance in our hour of need. Our future is secure and hopeful when God’s greatest gift—His Son—is kept in view. A life supported by a vibrant, healthy relationship with the Shepherd of Sleep makes the most comfortable mattress. In childlike faith learn to trust Him as you lie down to sleep and remember: “He sees you when you’re sleeping.”

    Author Bio
    Charles W. Page, M.D.

    Dr. Charles W. Page is a sleep-deprived surgeon who completed medical school and residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Page is currently a rural surgeon and has taken numerous medical mission trips to South America and the Middle East. He and his wife Joanna live in Texas with their five children. He is the author of Surrendered Sleep: A Biblical Perspective. You can find more information at

    Surrendered Sleep
    A Biblical Perspective
    by Dr. Charles W. Page
    PUBLISHER: Camino Real Publishers
    ISBN-10: 0983138109
    ISBN-13: 978-0983138105
    PRICE: Paperback: $14.95; Ebook: $10.95
    Available at:

    If you enjoyed this article, you might like this post at Reflections in Hindsight. ~Lisa

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Nike Chilemmi's Goodbye, Noel

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    • ASIN: B006LTHI1I
    by Nike Chillemi

    Will a young pediatric nurse be able to care for an infant whose mother was murdered and escape the killer who has struck again?

    The first body is found under a trimmed Christmas tree, the second as they ring in the New Year (1947), the third goes head long out a window. Will a young pediatric nurse determined to make it on her own be able to care for an infant whose mother was murdered and escape the killer who has struck again? Can she trust the stalwart village detective with her life and her heart as he works to catch this killer before somebody else dies?
    Pediatric nurse, Katrina Lenart, grew up strong willed and independent minded, while sharing her mother's flair for high fashion. When the police chief gives her an orphaned baby to care for, her maternal instincts take over and she's willing to fight anyone who might not have the infant's best interests at heart, even the man she's growing to love. After an attempt is made to kidnap the baby, she and the resolute village detective team up and do some sleuthing, undercover at a cult as well as at a fancy ball.
    Detective Ian Daltry is a widower with a child and is not interested in a new love. Hunting a killer who stops at nothing has placed him in the position where he must protect a beautiful young woman he's drawn to. Is there's something he's overlooked in analyzing the case? Will he find out what that is before this ruthless murderer kills someone he loves?

    What Others Are Saying!
     "Wow! Nike Chillemi knows how to set the hook into readers right from the first page and refuses to let go. GOODBYE NOEL is a taut thriller, peopled with intriguing characters and crafted by an author at the top of her game. Don't miss this one!" ~~ Robert Liparulo, award winning author of THE 13th TRIBE, COMES A HORSEMAN, GERM, and THE DREAMHOUSE KINGS
    "All I can say is WOW. I can see how Ms. Chillemi got her nickname of the Crime Fictionista. She sure does know how to build a story - and a crime plot... It's heartwarming, gut wrenching, edge of your seat intriguing, and just plain sweet all rolled into one. Check it out for yourself, it's a wonderful read!" ~~ Donna B. Snow, acclaimed author of DAFFODILS

    Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and its Chairman, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. BURNING HEARTS is the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, published by Desert Breeze. GOODBYE NOEL, the second book in the series will be released in December, 2011. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning).


    Monday, December 19, 2011, is the official launch day for
    Goodbye Noel
    by Nike Chillemi

    Visit Amazon to get your copy today!

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    Warring Sprits, by April Gardner great historical read

    There’s a party going on!!

    Historical fiction author April W Gardner is celebrating the release of Warring Spirits, the second book in her Creek Country Saga! Everyone who purchases Warring Spirits on Amazon on Thursday, December 15, 2011, will be entered into SIX different drawings for some cool and unique prizes. That’s right—ONE purchase. SIX chances to win.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.

    She’s also giving away personalized, signed book plates (labels for the inside cover). One for every book you purchase. That’s a lot of bang for your buck. Order today and cross a few names off your Christmas list! Head over there now to see what the hoopla is all about. So what’s this book about? Warring Spirits is the sequel to Wounded Spirits, April’s Grace Award winning debut novel.

    Here’s a bit about today’s featured novel: 
    Where blood is spilt, unexpected love may bloom. In 1816 Georgia, escaped slaves control the land just beyond the American border in Las Floridas. Lost somewhere between white and black worlds, Milly follows hope to the only place that can offer her refuge—the place Georgians are calling Negro Fort. The first, sweet taste of freedom convinces Milly that surrender is not an option. Death would be more welcome. Major Phillip Bailey has orders to subdue the uprising and return the runaways to their masters. Forced to fight alongside Creek warriors—the same who etched the scars into his mind and flesh—Phillip primes himself for battle.  But inside, a war already rages—return for the woman he thought lost to him or concede her to the enemy she loves; follow orders or follow his heart.

    Sound intriguing?

    Head over to APRIL'S PLACE to learn more! Or go straight to AMAZON to get your copy.

    --April W Gardner is a multi-published author and the founder and senior editor of the fun literary site, Clash of the Titles.

    She's visiting with us today. April, welcome!

    Hi! Thanks for having me and for being such a vital part of this special day.

    What made you choose to write about the Creek Indians?

    My genealogy and the belief that Chief Red Eagle Weatherford is one of my greats prompted my research. It hasn’t been proven that he's family, but I don’t need proof to know that his life and that of his people are fascinating, inspiring, and sadly tragic.

    Wow, I didn't know that. My dad thinks some of our ancestors might have been Sauk, but we haven't been able to prove it.
    What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?  

    Does plotting in the shower count? I really do my best plotting in the morning under a steaming hot shower. Our water bill doesn’t appreciate it, but my heroes do! 

    Well, I plotted Meander Scar in Yosemite, and do a lot of thinking while mowing lawn or bouncing on the treadmill.
    Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.

    I backed into my husband’s car, crunching the bumpers of both vehicles. Twice. In three months. I can solve a Rubik Cube. Takes me ten minutes, but I can do it. It’s my only claim to braininess. I collect antiquarian books.

    Oh, my. The year we turned forty was a toughie in our house. Hubby backed into me, Andy into church, and I front-ended a trailer hitche and sideswiped a highway marker. If you could open your own retail store, what type of merchandise would you sell?

    Is it cheating to say books? LOL I’d love to open a coffee shop/used book store. As an author, I’m supposed to loath used books, but I can’t help myself. Used books are the best! Used books plus coffee…utopia.

    So, here's my cue to tell everyone who lives in Colorado that Written World Communications will be open for business with your dream store--coming soon. What themes do you like to write about?

    I get a thrill at finding an intriguing bit of history buried by time and lost to most. Any setting will do, although I prefer it be American. It’s important to know where we’ve come from and who carved our country into what it is.

    What other books do you have in the works?

    Next up is the release of the first book my children’s historical adventure series, Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang. It takes kids 9+ back to 1940 and the Nazi invasion of Guernsey Island, UK. The book is based on the events in the life of Ruth Davies, my friend and sister in Christ. It’s a history lesson and story of faith wrapped up in an enticing adventure, and I can’t wait to share it! Head over to April's site to see what all the hoopla's about!

    About April: April W Gardner resides in Georgia with her USAF husband and two sweet kiddos. She is the author of the historical romance series, the Creek Country Saga, as well as the children’s adventure series, the Channel Islands Resistance. She is the founder and senior editor of the fun literary website, Clash of the Titles. In her free time, April enjoys reading, organizing, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Kia ora! New From Splashdown...

    From Grace Bridges:
    Kia ora everyone! Boy, have we got a lot going on at Splashdown this month! Want one of our paperbacks for less than $3.00? Read on...

    But first, our latest release, this time from the strange realms of science fiction:

    Caffeine, by Ryan Grabow

    "Supernatural: above, beyond, in excess of nature. If the meaning of life cannot be found in nature, then I must determine if the answer lies beyond it."
    In an authoritarian and overstimulated 22nd-century America, all Brandon can do to relieve his pain is indulge in the computer-simulated fantasies of a network called Dynamic Reality...until a virus takes control of the simulation. A philosophical thrill ride like no other - don't miss this one.

    Ebook Sale: As of right now through Sunday night, all our ebooks are priced at $2.99 - including our November new releases. That's a saving of at least 50% - Come on in and grab your choice! Kindle books are discounted direct at Amazon and all are collected HERE in our Amazon store; if you'd like a different format, just say the word and we'll send you a voucher.

    Fred Warren's Feast
    Not only did we release Fred's second novel, The Seer, just a few weeks ago. Now, Amazon is discounting his short story collection in paperback, Odd Little Miracles! At the time of writing the price had fallen to $2.78, and it's even eligible for their 4-for-3 special - which means you can get four real paper copies for under $9.00. The perfect odd little gift for, well, just about anyone! But don't dally - Amazon is notorious for changing prices around at their whim. This discount is not under our control, so get it while the gettin's good!

    By the way, the same 4-for-3 promotion also applies to Aquasynthesis, our collection of stories from all Splashdown authors to date. Something for all reading tastes, with companion stories to many of our novels.

    ~Grace and the team at Splashdown

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Nickels, by Karen Baney

    Nickels by Karen Baney

    Niki Turner has finally arrived.  Her career as a Software Engineer is soaring—she has just been offered the company’s most sought after account, Helitronics.  Life would be perfect, if she could stop her roommate from playing matchmaker.

    Then Kyle Jacobs mysteriously re-enters her life.  As painful memories resurface, his presence turns her life upside down and threatens to waylay her career.  She must find a way to work with him—after all, he’s the helicopter flight consultant for the new flight control system she’s coding.

    Can she forget the past and see him as the new man he has become?  Or will her resentment keep her from finding what she has always been searching for?

    Who is Niki Turner?  Character Marcy Jacobs, Niki’s best friend and roommate, stops by to give us the inside scoop.

    Marcy, How long have you known Niki Turner?

    About twelve years now.  My family was living on Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany when she came to live with her brother who was stationed there.  I was in high school, a sophomore, I think.  I could tell instantly that she didn’t fit in.  She seemed out of place with all of us military brats.  So I made it my mission to befriend her.

    Wow.  That’s a long time, especially for someone in their mid-twenties.  How did you end up in Arizona as roommates?

    Niki had a house here—that’s a long and sad story.  Anyway, we decided to go to Arizona State University together.  We lived in her house throughout college.  Still do even though we graduated four years ago.  She majored in Computer Science.  My degree is in Marketing.

    So is she a geek then?

    Laughs.  Don’t let her hear you say that.  Although, she might be flattered.  She’s certainly not the stereotype for a computer programmer.  She can actually carry on a conversation for more than a minute without feeling uncomfortable.  Niki is very bright.  Her career is really starting to take off.

    Rumor has it that you’ve decided she should meet a man.

    Yes.  She’s been lonely for too long.  We’re both 26—well, she will be soon—and we’re not getting any younger.  I’m one of those gals that has life mapped out on a schedule.  I just want to make sure my best friend isn’t left behind.  I would love to see her meet a guy and fall madly in love.  That’s why I’ve been hounding all my girl friends for any eligible single guys they’d recommend.  She’s bound to fall in love with one of them.

    Do you know what Niki’s plans are for Christmas?

    Probably head out to the other side of town at my parents house.  We both usually go.  Oooo.  If Kyle is coming, that might be a surprise for her…

    --Sounds absolutely fascinating, Karen! Thank you and Marcy and Niki for stoping by!

    About the author, Karen Baney
    Karen Baney, in addition to writing Christian historical fiction and contemporary novels, works as a Software Engineer.

    When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys traveling the state of Arizona with her husband, exploring museums and the picturesque landscapes the state has to offer.

    Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing. Karen and her husband make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their two dogs.  She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University.
    Visit her web site.
    Visit her on Facebook.

    Join Karen and 9 other Christian authors as they celebrate the release of her new novel, Nickels,  on December 13.

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    This is the Christmas Gift You've Been Waiting For

    I wasn't biased before I was asked to help work on it. I loved it from the moment the concept was born. I loved it when I started reading a proof copy with typos. I adored the gorgeous, perfectly designed interior.

    You will too.
    Have someone hard to gift this season of giving? Need a lift yourself? A half-hour getaway every once in a while? Stories from the poignant to bust a gut laughing, everyone will enjoy this book

    Try this: Christmas Campfire Companion.


    Iowan small press, Port Yonder Press, is pleased to announce the release of the

    Join 14 of today’s top western authors in this definitive collection. Stories by L. J. Washburn, Troy D. Smith, Frank Roderus, Tim Champlin, Larry D. Sweazy, Robert Vaughan, Douglas Hirt, Dusty Richards, Kerry Newcomb, Matthew P. Mayo, Robert Randisi, Rod Miller, James Reasoner, and Terry Burns in this heartwarming collection of Christmas stories in a western setting. Beautifully illustrated. Rated PG for some language.

    Edited by Chila Woychik, managing editor at Port Yonder Press, Shellsburg, Iowa. 319-436-3015.

    The Christmas Campfire Companion

    ISBN: 9781935600084 (Softcover, $12.95)

    ISBN: 9781935600107 (Trade Cloth $15.95)

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Doctor Saundra - Seven Lies Women Tell Themselves

    I am deeply honored to welcome Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith to Living Our Faith Out Loud Today.

    Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been actively practicing medicine since 1999. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville Tennessee. She completed her internal medicine residency at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah Georgia. Dr. Dalton-Smith has been a adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan. She teaches courses on health, nutrition, and disease progression. Dr. Dalton-Smith has offered health care from 2002-2007 through the National Health Service Corp.
    Dr. Dalton-Smith is married and has two sons. She is a committed Christian and passionate about helping others experience freedom in Christ. Dr. Dalton-Smith has been published in national medical journals discussing the physicians' role in spirituality and patient care. She is also a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection. Dr.Dalton-Smith has a new book being released May 2011 by Revell/Baker Publishing Group titled Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the Seven Lies Women Tell Themselves that will be available wherever books are sold. You can pre-order you copy today at Dr. Dalton-Smith is available to speak at women's conferences, lunch and learn meeting, and various church functions upon request.

    1. Saundra, what motivated you to become a writer?

    I've always loved reading and for me writing is a natural extension of that love. My writings began with my own personal journals. I never thought I would ever pursue publication, but a few precious women helped change my mind. One was a patient who presented to my office during a particularly busy day. I just did not have the time to spend with her that I desired. That night I thought, "I wish I had something I could have given her that shared my heart on her issues." From that I started putting together ideas for handouts to use at the office and it just escalated from there into a book.

    2.  In Set Free to Live Free, you address not only patient’s physical issues but also their emotional and spiritual ones. To be able to give this type of guidance it seems like you would need longer than normal appointments with your patients. How much time do you set aside for appointments?

    My office operates like most medical offices in that appointments are set at 15-30 minute intervals depending on the type of appointment. Every patient visit does not have the dynamics of those discussed in the book. There are quick visits for acute issues as well as longer visits where I manage chronic medical issues for my patients. During all visits I pay attention to the non-verbal language of my patients. I ask pointed questions based on my observations and see if a patient is ready to discuss further those areas. Some will be receptive leading to an extended visit and some will still have their personal walls up cutting our time short. So for every visit that goes over 10 minutes there is usually a corresponding visit that will be under the allotted time. It all just seems to work out in the end.

     3. Was there a section or chapter of Set Free to Live Free that was more difficult for you to write? If so, why? 

    The section on balance (chapters 9 and 10) was definitely the most difficult for me to write. Balance is an area I am still working through myself, so it was as if I had to take a dose of my own medicine with each word. A much needed dose I must add. I think learning how to balance family and career is one of the hardest things a working mom faces. When I finally got to the point of writing Chapter 10 I had a hard time wording what I was feeling. So instead of just talking about what I was feeling I began that chapter actually describing the feelings as an analogy.  Sharing your raw emotions has a healing quality of its own. It began as the hardest chapter to write and ended as the one that gave me the most joy and peace.

    4. There are many practical responses recommended in Set Free to Live Free. Do you recommend women go through the book on their own, join a study group, or go to a counselor for help in implementing the principles on a deeper level?

    It really depends on the woman. I've had women come to me that have such a difficult time with self-disclosure that they would do best beginning the process alone (or one on one with a counselor) and then branch out to a group setting. I love small groups and I wrote the book with small groups in mind. It's beneficial to be with other women who are going through similar issues. You can build each other up and support each other. I would love to see little Diamond Societies popping up all over with women bound together in God's love and a shared journey to living free.

    5. What’s next for your writing pursuits?

    That's a great question but I don't have an answer for it! I do not currently have any other books penned. Of course I have some ideas and other areas I feel strongly about, but Set Free to Live Free is the book which discusses the issue I'm most passionate about: women living a flourishing and fulfilled life in Christ. For now I'm just thankful for the opportunity to share it with others and elaborate on applying it’s principles through online webinar bible studies and e-newsletter devotionals. 

    ~You can download the entire first chapter of Set Free to Live Free at ~

    Dr. Dalton-Smith greatly honored me when she chose me to help edit this wonderful devotional.
    I encourage you to check it out and sign up!

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Night of the Cossack

    A Review of this great novel will be featured at Reflections in Hindsight Sunday Book Review on December  11.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Thursday, December 8, 2011, Free eGifts Today Only

    When you purchase

    Night of the Cossack

    by Tom Blubaugh

    • ISBN-10: 0982902921
    • ISBN-13: 978-0982902929

    Night of the Cossack is a compelling adventure about a teenager who is forced to grow up quickly. The main character, Nathan Hertzfield, faces many life or death situations during his saga. Join Nathan on his suspenseful journey through parts of Russia and Europe during the early 1900's. Don't miss this entertaining and intriguing story, Night of the Cossack.

    What Others Are Saying!
    5.0 out of 5 stars night of the cossack, November 28, 2011
    jeaniet - See all my reviews
    This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
    Loved this book I want another one from this author it has a little of everything, romance, mystery, wondering what is going to happen next. Enjoyed it very much!

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Gripping Story!, November 22, 2011
    Lisa Tortorello "Author" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
    Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
    This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
    Follow Nathan Hertzfield as he journeys physically, emotionally, and spiritually along the road of life. While historical fiction is not my first choice when reading a book, I found myself captivated by Nathan's struggles and the decisions he was forced to make. From the moment he was kidnapped, Nathan's life changed forever. You will find yourself cheering for him until the very last page. In Night of the Cossack Tom Blubaugh does a fine job weaving history and fiction into a gripping story. I was so intrigued I even looked on a map to follow Nathan on his journey!

    5.0 out of 5 stars a must read!!, November 17, 2011
    mustlovetoread - See all my reviews
    This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. Night of the Cossack by Tom Blubaugh is a must read. This is a story about a Jewish boy whose father dies, then he is kidnapped by the Cossacks, and subsequently drafted into the Russian Army. You get drawn into the story from the start.

    Do you regret not knowing an ancestor who is gone now, and there is no one left to answer questions? Do you wish you knew their story? This is a historical fictional account of what might have happened to Blubaugh's grandfather. He knew his grandfather had been a Russian Cossack soldier and had immigrated to America in 1910. Blubaugh puts those pieces together--with the historical facts of the Cossacks--and weaves a believable fictional account of his grandfather's life.

    Night of the Cossack starts with Nathan waking up to the Cossacks attacking his village. He is kidnapped by Nikolai, a Cossack soldier. He takes him in as his son and teaches him the way of the Cossack. I enjoyed learning about the Cossack way of life. The story follows the adventures, betrayals, and challenges of Nathan and how he adapts to his surroundings to survive and make it to America. You will be amazed at Nathan's story--from changing his name a few times to escape capture to traveling the secret route set up to convey Jews to Bucharest. Nathan eventually gets a job on a ship and sails for America.

    If you love adventure, historical fiction, and suspense, I highly recommend this book, Night of the Cossack.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Grabs your attention, November 10, 2011
    New Tribes Mission - See all my reviews
    This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
    I had a hard time putting down this book by Tom Blubaugh. This is a book about a young Jewish boy (Nathan) whose village was raided by Russian Cossacks. After being kiddnapped by this Cossak group, Nathan goes through much adventure, trial, sacrifice, and even love for his "Father-figure", a Cossak that taught and cared for him.
    This story caused me to do research on the Cossaks, as this is a part of history that I didn't know much about.
    This book was very enjoyable to read and I would recommend it to anyone pre-teen to adult. It would also be a good book to read together as a family.
    5.0 out of 5 stars A good fall evening read., November 4, 2011
    prleg8s - See all my reviews
    This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback)
    Night of the Cossack. What a joy to see someone put into words the family history that so many of us have, but really never completely understand.

    Using imagination, history and personal information an interesting and vivid description of what life was like for Tom's grandfather, he entertains and educates us on what that life must have been like as a Cossack.

    Night of the Cossack is an easy read, with clear concise descriptions and an interesting story line. I was captivated by the feelings of a young man suddenly forced into a different life than he ever imagined. His strength and determination to hold true to his roots made this story believeable and loveable.

    The ending of this book was particularly appealing and surprising. A wonderful story of the seed of a new life in America with the prospects of a new faith. Many of our ancestors began a new life in a new country in varied ways. This is a unique perspective of one of those stories.
    Tom Blubaugh is a freelance writer living in Southwest Missouri with Barbara, his wife. They have six children and fourteen grandchildren. Tom has written non-fiction most of his adult life, but has recently written a historical fiction titled Night of the Cossack, published by Bound by Faith Publishers. This is Tom's first novel. He co-wrote a devotional journal in 2009 for Barbour Publishing titled The Great Adventure. His other writings include articles for a denominational magazine and an insurance publication. He also self-published a book, Behind the Scenes of the Bus Ministry in 1974.
    Tom started writing poetry at the age of fourteen. His vision of turning them into lyrics for rock and roll songs for popular artists didn't develop. He considers writing to be a God-given talent and feels led to develop it. His first novel was published at his age of 69. Tom says it's never too late. He is now writing a sequel.
    Tom spent twelve years as an insurance agent and eleven years as a financial planner. He is the past president of Jericho Commission, Inc., and still serves on the board of directors.
    The Night of the Cossack


    Thursday, December 8, is the official launch day for The Night of the Cossack by By Tom Blubaugh.

    If you buy The Night of the Cossack on the launch day, you will be eligible to receive free e-gfits.

    Visit Tom Blubaugh's author page on Facebook to learn more.