Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sometimes Having It All isn’t What You Thought it Would Be


Susan May Warren’s Daughters of Fortune series
draws to a close with the release of Duchess

Best-selling Susan May Warren brings what she considers to be her most ambitious series yet to a dramatic close in her latest release, Duchess (Summerside Press / March 1, 2013 / ISBN 978-1-609367718/ $14.99). The Daughters of Fortune series is an epic generational series following the family of New York newspaper magnate August Price from the Gilded Age to end of World War II. Each generation of Price women must navigate love and ambition in a world of wealth, power and social expectation.

However, there’s more to the series than captivating tales of wealth and privilege in New York, Paris and Hollywood. “The series is named ‘Daughters of Fortune’ not only because of their circumstances, but because I hoped readers might see what a true fortune looks like. What a true inheritance is when a person puts their faith in the Lord,” says Warren.

In this final installment, Duchess, readers pick up the story of Rosie Worth, who has achieved her dream of becoming a starlet and is now known as Roxy Price. The golden age of Hollywood is in the business of creating stars, and Roxy has found everything she’s wanted in the glamour of the silver screen. With adoring fans and a studio-mogul husband, she’s finally silenced the voices—and grief—of the past. Her future shines bright, that is until the fated Black Friday when it all comes crashing down.

When Roxy loses everything, she finds herself disgraced and penniless. Her only hope is to join forces with Belgian duke Rolfe Van Horne, a longtime film investor. But Rolfe is not who he seems, and he has other plans for Roxy and her movies—plans to support a growing unrest in Europe, plans that could break her heart and endanger her life. When her country needs her, will she have the courage to surrender her glittering world and her one true love?

The first release in The Daughters of Fortune series, Heiress, introduced readers to the beautiful and wealthy heiress daughters of August Price. Even though the Price sisters could have anything money could buy, it didn’t stop them from desiring something deeper.  And it certainly couldn’t buy them love! Set in New York City during the Gilded Age, and inspired by the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau, Warren writes the story of the Esme and Jinx’s journey to discovering what it means to be truly blessed. 

In book two, Baroness, the story picks up with Esme and Jinx’s daughters, Lilly and Rosie, who are coming of age in the roaring twenties. Both girls are expected to marry well and take the reins of the family empire in a world recovering from “the war to end all wars.” However, each desires more freedom than the life her parents have planned out for her will allow. Lilly longs to return to Montana, the childhood home she holds dear. On the other hand, Rosie dreams of the bright lights of the newly emerging silver screen. Will the pursuit of lives of their own cost them their happily ever afters?

“There is nothing better than diving into a story like this one, surrounding yourself with research and ideas, the culmination of a storyline you’ve been working on for two years,” Warren explains. “I loved penning this novel because I knew that after the hard beginning of Heiress, with so much pain and so many mistakes made by Jinx, and the bittersweet middle story, Baroness, where Rosie walks so far away from her inheritance, Rosie’s redemption would be rich and profound. I loved watching her discover she didn’t need the world’s applause she longed for—that she had it all inside, with the love of God.”

Leading up to the release of Duchess, now through March 4, readers will be able to download Heiress for free from all major e-tailers. During that same period of time the digital version of Baroness will be $1.99.


Praise for the Daughters of Fortune series:

“In-depth characterization and fascinating historical detail... an honest reflection of sin and the need for God’s redemption.”
~ TitleTrakk

“Strong entertaining, character-driven historical that will remind readers all that glitters on Wall St. is not gold... Riveting read of high society drama...highly recommended.”
~ Midwest Book Review

For Duchess:

 “The golden era of Hollywood comes to life for readers in Warren’s third Daughters of Fortune novel. Warren writes from her heart, adding some intrigue, sins of the past and some twists and turns readers won’t see coming.”
~ Romantic Times Book Reviews


About the Author

Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of more than forty novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. A five-time Christy award finalist and three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award and the ACFW Carol award. A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: Discover, create and publish the novel in you! 

Warren is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a writing craft and coaching community for novelists to help them get published—and stay published. Susan and her husband of more than twenty years have four children. Former missionaries to Russia, they now live in a small Minnesota town on the shore of beautiful Lake Superior, where they are active in their local church.

A full listing of Warren’s titles, reviews and awards can be found at www.susanmaywarren.com. Readers can also keep up with her on Facebook (Susan May Warren Fiction) and Twitter (@SusanMayWarren). 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Join Dani Pettrey's Shattered Nook HD Giveaway

Dani Pettrey is celebrating the release of Shattered with a Nook HD giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat Party {3/14}. 


Shattered Pettrey

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook HD
  • Submerged and Shattered by Dani Pettrey {Be caught up in this riveting series.}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 13th. Winner will be announced at the "Shattered" Author Chat Party on 3/14. Connect with Dani for an evening of book chat, trivia, and a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of Shattered and join Dani on the evening of the March 14th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 14th!



About the book:

With All the Evidence Against Him, Only a Sister’s Trust Can Save Him Now

When her prodigal brother Reef’s return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he’s also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon’s career in jeopardy.

When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself–and whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada’s rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.


About the author:

Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. 

Visit her website at www.danipettrey.com.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Enter the Firefly Island iPad Mini Giveaway

Lisa Wingate is celebrating the release of Firefly Island with an iPad Mini giveaway and a fun Facebook Author Chat Party (March 19th).  


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  One fortunate winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • The Moses Lake series (Firefly Island, Blue Moon Bay and Larkspur Cove)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Firefly Island Author Chat Party on March 19th. Connect with Lisa, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Firefly Island and join Lisa on the evening of the March 19th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!



About the book:

Sometimes love takes you on an adventure completely off the map.

Mallory Hale’s life quickly veers off course when she falls hopelessly in love. After a whirlwind romance, Mallory finds herself leaving the bustle and action of Capitol Hill for the remote town of Moses Lake, Texas–with husband, stepson, and a U-Haul in tow.

A sweet, mishap-filled journey into marriage, motherhood, and ranch living ensues, and Mallory is filled with both the wonderment of love and the insecurities of change. But what she can’t shake is the unease she feels around her husband’s new boss, Jack West. Jack’s presence–and his mysterious past–set her on edge, and when hints of a scandal emerge, Mallory finds herself seeking answers . . . and comes to realize that the middle-of-nowhere home she wasn’t sure she wanted is the very place she’ll risk everything to save.

Now available from Bethany House! Purchase a copy here.


About the author:

Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Talk of the Town, Blue Moon Bay, and Larkspur Cove, which won the 2011 Carol Award for Women's Fiction. Lisa and her family live in central Texas. 


Monday, February 25, 2013

Empty

Busy, busy week, but everything is completely out of the old place. My dad was over cleaning today and I won't repeat the mean thing he said about the dog. (My family has definite opinions...)

I'm free of all those neighbors and will have new stories soon!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's the little things that make it feel homier

Last week when Paige got to see inside my new house, she looked around and said it had potential but needed some Audra touches. Yesterday, we got all the furniture over except for a drawing table (forgot it was in the closet), and today, I did start putting some Audra touches into the place.

And, I did forget before and after pictures, by the way. I'm stupid that way. It's actually that I was more concerned with the work than with the social media updates. At one point, I went over to the new place and forgot my phone at my parents and sure did want it to take pictures to show my mom what I had accomplished. Thankfully, Dad said, "your regular camera is here somewhere, isn't it?"

YES! In a box within a box upstairs in one of 14 that look alike! Actually, I could narrow it down a little better than that.

One thing that makes it more like home is switching out lots and lots of old and ugly light switch and plug plates. I've bought 40 of different varies (doubles, singles, etc.) and still won't have them all switched out at that. (Thank goodness a box of 10 is $2.00 for the basic ones.) But it makes loads and loads and loads of difference.
 

After a trip to Home Depot, I actually went to Walmart to buy a 10 foot long curtain rod so that I could take down the think pink curtains that were hung on a rod with drawstrings. While my two curtain panels won't cover the whole window, I don't think they need to. I only had one hanging at my old place, but had bought a second one last summer when I was house hunting so that I would have it. My dad and I decided the pink must come down even though I'll have to put the right brackets up later, just so the room would look finished. He really did decide that with me. He stopped working on the washing machine to do that.


It will really be Audra-ized when I get to paint. I bought paint today (not purple), so I'll have it when I can get to it. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Watching people move makes me ache

We hired a couple of guys to move the furniture today which was so worth it, especially since there is an upstairs. I did move some boxes that were really heavy and shift some furniture, but I am way more sore than I should be.

And I forgot pictures.

We caught each of the girls last basketball games today and the bleachers did not help my back. At all.

Paige was having the same problem taking a picture on a phone of game play that I do. She hates this picture.

Friday, February 22, 2013

he final packing countdown

Taking a quick moment to breathe, then it's on to the dresser drawers and I'll have the packing done.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate Kindle Fire Giveaway

Celebrate the release of Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate with Debora Coty by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 7th Author Chat Party on Facebook!


Fear-Faith-Giveaway-300

One "sweet" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A Debora Coty Library (Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate, More Beauty, Less Beast, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, and Everyday Hope)
  • Chocolate (Every good thing begins with chocolate!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/6/13. Winner will be announced at Debora's "Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate" Facebook Party on 3/7. Debora will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Debora via Skype.)

So grab your copy of Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate and join Debora and friends on the evening of March 7th for an evening of fun. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)



Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!



About the book:

Are you ready to strip fear’s power over you and become the confident woman you were meant to be? Have you found that tolerating your personal fear monsters only makes them growl louder?

Okay, sister – take my hand and let’s boldly step up and yank the masks off those shadow-lurking, anxiety-churning, worry-generating beasts.

With her own brand of off-beat wit and wisdom, inspirational humorist Debora Coty addresses heart needs of women worn down by everyday fears – financial, health, relationships, loss, pain, the unknown, the what ifs …

With fresh spiritual insight, Debora shares hope, true life stories, scriptural lifelines, and a few LOL’s along with simple, practical tips for sidestepping fear with faith. And a fistful of chocolate!

Click here to buy the book.

About the author


Debora Coty is an occupational therapist, a piano teacher, and a freelance writer. She’s also involved in the children’s ministry at her church and is an avid tennis player. She began writing to fill the void when her last child left for college, and it has since become a passion. 

Debora has a real knack for getting across sound biblical concepts with a refreshing lightheartedness as attested in her monthly newspaper column entitled “Grace Notes: God’s Grace for Everyday Living.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It is not laziness or procrastination

At least I am telling myself I am legitimately tired rather than lazy or procrastinating.

This is what I need to be doing and what I am doing. I took both pictures from my favorite spot on the couch.

Here's a story from my day. I was trying to figure out how to record a phone conversation in order to try to tell an author how to do it. I was using my cell phone to call my home phone. I somehow call my Grandmother, but don't catch it before the call goes through. After I hang up, she calls back. Plus with the cold front sitting over us all day, I have had a headache all day long. Aye carumba.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Join the Shine Your Light webcast next Tuesday night!

Walsh Shine Your Light WebcastBestselling Author Sheila Walsh is hosting a special live webcast event to highlight the release of her newest book in the God's Little Angel line, Shine Your Light Devotional for young girls.

Join Sheila the evening of February 26th at 5PM Pacific / 8PM Eastern for an interactive webcast. The audience can submit questions for Sheila to answer, join a live chat with other parents, and be eligible to win a variety of prizes, including copies of Shine Your Light, other Sheila Walsh children's books, gift certificates and more.  Participants can join the webcast via Sheila's Facebook Author Page or, for those who do not have a Facebook account, the Litfuse Publicity Group website.

Invite your friends! Share the button on your blog by pasting in this code:
 <center><b>Join Sheila Walsh 2/26!</b><b> </b><a href="https://www.facebook.com/sheilawalshconnects/app_511060062272505"> <img alt="Shine Your Light Sheila Walsh Webcast Event" src="http://litfusegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SYL-webcast-button200.png" height="150" width="170" /> </a></center>

Sheila says, “I wish I had understood when I was a young girl struggling with shame and self-doubt that God loved me just the way I was - that’s what I want for the girls in our life,” explains Walsh. “Let them grow up strong in the knowledge that they are Daughters of the King.” Sheila will be talking about that topic and many more, including advice for introducing children to a regular devotional routine and ways to help kids recognize God in their everyday lives. She'll also be sharing tips from Shine Your Light on teaching thankfulness, learning His Word, telling others about Him, and showing His love to everyone they meet.

SYL webcast

Monday, February 18, 2013

As Alanis Morissette would say

I love my parents. You know I do. But sometimes they drive me past the city limits of Insanity.

A couple of weeks ago, my mother says, "I'm off that Monday in a couple of weeks. I can come back your mugs and curio cabinet."

I pause. I then answer, "People being at my house while I'm working doesn't really work for me."

"We could trade houses." And plug up to the internet while dad really wants to play solitaire on his computer?

Dad interjects,"she can do most of that at night and get it done."

I did. Mugs were the first thing I packed, and the curio cabinet has been empty except for the bottom shelf I forgot to dust for over a week.

However, today, on that Monday referenced above, Dad decides he wants to move some little stuff to get it out of the way. He made three trips over. And wandered around opening closets and looking to see what isn't packed.

He told me to just work which was easier said than done. Isn't it ironic?

I appreciate what he was trying to do, but... why couldn't we have done it at 5:00 or so when I got off one day? So now, I've worked until 7:00 to make sure I covered the time of my attention being dispersed while he was in and out and my conversation with AT&T on why my internet bill was outrageous after talking to them for an hour and a half last week.

They had the whole thing screwed up again. And, I got disconnected while waiting on hold.

I think that I still have enough dishes over here to cook something and watch The Bachelor. But, man am I "Monday Tired!"

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I wish I observed Presidents Day

After spending the day out at basketball games, we moved some stuff around and showed the girls my new place. Paige says it has potential, but needs some Audraizing and is concerned about where I will put my shampoo.

We realized how tired we all were when Peyton feel asleep in the truck on the way to eat. Peyton decided she wanted to come over here, and as soon as we got home, it was take a shower and go to bed early time. In bed by 9... Asleep by 10. And that's the earliest I have slept in who knows how long.

Oh, but before sleep time, I had to figure out which smoke alarm battery was going out and chirping. That noise drives me insane which I guess is the point.

I didn't sleep well with a terrible sleeper on the other side of the bed, and at one point, a train came through laying on its horn for longer than normal. At 6 AM, the dog next door started barking non-stop. I finally got up, and went to the bathroom. When I came out, Peyton says, "that stupid dog won't stop barking. I know why you are moving."

My back was hurting (probably a kick to the kidneys or something) so I told her I was going to the living room to sit on the couch, so she wanted to come along. On our way, I turned on the back porch light, opened the door, told the dog, "hush, that's enough, you've already woken up all the neighbors."

After three whimpers, I heard nothing else from the dog. So, then we watched the live action 101 Dalmatians. Peyton didn't realize there was an animated version. We will be watching it on VHS when I unpack.

Needless to say, it was naptime after church and lunch. I wish I observed Presidents Day like my mom and was off tomorrow.

I need to be doing something, but am watching Worst Cooks in America.

As bad as my potato soup and over seasoned crock pot pasta was... And even though I put that cobbler in too small a dish... I am much better cook than anyone on here. I can guarantee.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Slappy Slappy Slappy

It was another basketball Saturday. And now that I finally got home after the games, showing the girls around the new house and eating, I am ready for bed. I was up too late packing last night.

Paige is especially aggressive on the court. I have named her Slappy. I am glad she isn't staying over here tonight in case she drama of basketball and slaps in her sleep. Peyton is staying instead.

Friday, February 15, 2013

I just don't have time!

I'm crazy busy at work right now - you can get a hint of that from my posts over the past few days. Like insane busy. Like at the moment my email is higher than it has been in a while. And I have lots and lots of follow-up that needs to be done. There's just not enough hours in the day, I tell you!

Then, on the other hand, I really could use a day off work to finish getting my packing done and the rest of what I need to pack sorted. Then, once I get moved, I'll want to put everything up. But I really want to paint a couple of rooms before I get stuff in place. And then, I try to be a good aunt and have spent the past two Saturdays, and will spend the majority of the day tomorrow at basketball games. 



The result is a tired, grumpy, grouchy, cranky Audra. And now I'm hungry. And this brings me to my quandary of the moment... I don't have much here to eat, and I really don't want food here right now since I'll be moving my fridge next weekend and then living in limbo a few days before I will be staying at new place. I do have something I could cook tonight, but it would be "eat on this for several days" and I have been "eating on this for several days" for the past couple of weeks and I'm tired of the whole leftovers thing. I'm not in the "eat at a restaurant by myself" mood, especially on a Friday night when most of the restaurants are full. 

So, I'm trying to decide if it's Taco Shop time, and can you get down 7th today? You couldn't have gone by there last night due to road paving. When I went out for my Valentine's okra last night, they were detouring traffic. Our main road (a highway) where most of the restaurants are is being redone and it's a mess to get into many places right now.

I could have eaten at my parents, but I was trying to finish something, and my mom had to eat immediately since she didn't eat lunch for getting her hair cut. My dad was annoyed by this too because he me yesterday we would move some stuff after work today, then go out to eat. At that point, I just wanted the press kit that I was working on to be finished. 

See, I shouldn't blog when I'm hungry and tired and cranky because my blogging becomes pointless. Just like this picture of fried okra.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

God Turns Even the Ugliest Battles into Something Beautiful


Author Bo Stern gives perspective on facing our giants
and stepping off the battlefield in victory

No one enjoys going through the struggles of this life, and no one enjoys suffering. However, as author Bo Stern writes in Beautiful Battlefields (NavPress / February 15, 2013 / ISBN: 978-1612913193 / $ 14.99), God uses our darkest moments to shape us into the people He wants us to be. “Though we would rather avoid battles and suffering, God does some of His most beautiful work through the hardest seasons in life. In fact, there are some things that can only be accomplished in us through battle.”

While we struggle with certain things every day, Stern is convinced that everyone, at some point on the journey between here and eternity, will be called upon to face what she calls a “Really Big Battle,” whether it be emotional, physical, spiritual or relational.  Like any of us, Stern has faced numerous challenges in her life. However, in 2011, her family came face to face with their Goliath when her husband was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The terminal diagnosis of a loved one can be enough to shake anyone’s faith, but Stern trusts God is using this experience for something bigger.

Stern believes God will always bring beauty from each and every battle, but sometimes it takes looking at the situation from a different perspective. It becomes necessary to look at what is happening through God’s eternal lens in order to see that He is doing something very specific and wonderful. It could be He is trying to develop a deeper dependence on Him or possibly create in us a compassionate heart toward others who are hurting. Whatever His purpose may be, Stern firmly asserts that beauty comes from the battle.

During this difficult season of life, the Sterns have adopted what they call the G50:20 Principle as their mantra: “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives’” (Genesis 50:19-20, NIV). Stern invites readers to cling to these verses, as well, reminding readers God is control and knows what is going to happen. When things are spiraling out of control and it becomes tempting to pick up the pen to write our own stories, we need to instead trust in God.

The first half of Beautiful Battlefields is devoted to looking for treasure, sifting through the battleground to discover the gold beneath the surface, while the second half is devoted to strategies for growing stronger through every battle. Readers are walked through discovering the security of God’s love, praying for guidance, being obedient of God’s plans and practicing generosity. Often overlooked but vitally important is assembling an army of friends and family to face the front lines right alongside you. When you think you have to face the fight alone, that is the time you need to share your burdens and lighten your load, realizing God put people in your life for just that reason.

Bo Stern will be hosting a webcast on March 12 at 8 PM EST to discuss Beautiful Battlefields and interact with readers.  More details are available on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/beautifulbattlefields

For more about Beautiful Battlefields and Bo Stern, visit www.bostern.com or connect with the author via Facebook and Twitter

Click here to RSVP!

Advance Praise

“Bo Stern has written a book that will encourage, challenge, and inspire anyone facing battlefields of everyday life. Thoughtful and provoking, these pages just might be filled with the hope you need right now.”  
~ Margaret Feinberg, author of Wonderstruck and Scouting the Divine

“In twenty-one years of women’s ministry, I have never met a woman as extraordinary as Bo Stern. She is the real deal and her words are anointed by God Himself. You will forever be changed by this book.” 
~ Sheri Rose Shepherd, best-selling author, Bible life coach

About the Author 


Bo Stern knows the most beautiful things can come out of the hardest times. Her Goliath came in the form of her husband, Steve’s, terminal illness, a battle they are still fighting with the help of their four children, a veritable army of friends, and our extraordinary God. 

The Sterns make their home in Bend, OR, where Bo is a teaching pastor at Westside Church with a passion for making theology accessible, compelling and transformative. Both her position in the church and her personal battle have allowed Bo to minister to others as they are facing their own giants. She considers it to be a privilege to be able to provide a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on—being a part of another’s Army so that they don’t have to fight their battle alone. 

Bo and Steve also serve on the international board of Kings Kids Village, a home for AIDS-affected orphans in Nairobi, Kenya. They are also active in ALS advocacy—a disease Steve has been fighting since 2011. 

Bo also writes of their unexpected journey at www.bostern.com. She can also be found on Facebook (www.facebook.com/beautifulbattlefields) and Twitter (@bostern).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Woman God Created You to Be


The Gospel-Centered Woman Points Readers
to Their Ultimate Example—Christ

The topic of women and the church puts many people on high alert, ready to defend their views. But what is the Bible’s view on women? What does God want a woman to be? Is the Proverbs 31 woman God’s ideal? In The Gospel-Centered Woman: Understanding Biblical Womanhood through the Lens of the Gospel (January 2013/ISBN: 978-1451574821/$8.99), author Wendy Horger Alsup sets out to help readers understand what the Bible truly says to and about women.  

Biblical womanhood has been a hot topic in Christian discussion, especially with popular books on the subject being the center of attention in recent months. Many of the books focus on the value of being a good wife and mother with an emphasis on love, submission and respect in marriage. While Alsup’s book deals with these topics, The Gospel-Centered Woman addresses a hole in how she felt the topic was being presented. While striving to be like Ruth, Esther or the virtuous Proverbs 31 woman is certainly not wrong, most discussions on the topic seem to overlook the instruction given in Romans 8 for men and women alike: that we were designed to be conformed to the image of Christ. Jesus should be our first and foremost example of how to live.

Regardless of our background or life experiences, we all struggle, and we all need the life-saving grace of the gospel. Although scripture certainly gives comfort and healing that transcends gender, Alsup shares how the gospel is a particular balm to women their vulnerabilities. She not only outlines what God declares good for His daughters, but also how the gospel equips them to deal with the vast gulf between what God declares to be His good plan for them and the reality of their daily lives. When the light of the gospel shines on scripture’s teaching on the role of women in the church, the home and life in general, it should resonate as well with the single woman as it does with the wife, mother, or widow next door.

Alsup writes that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important piece of scripture's instructions to women, and understanding His good news is key to unlocking anything else the Bible says to women. Many lift up the Proverbs 31 woman as the prototype for good, Christian women. However, if you look at the whole of Scripture, there are a lot of different women in very different circumstances that shed positive light on Biblical womanhood.  “Abigail, Ruth, and Esther; Priscilla, Phoebe, and Lydia. Some had husbands, some did not. Some had kids, some did not. Each had very different stories and responsibilities in life,” explains Alsup. “But perfection (or maturity ) in Scripture for both men and women is Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our faith. We were created, male and female, as image bearers of God, and we all, male and female, are being conformed back to the image of Christ.”

“The good news of Christ is that we have hope that equips us to endure.  That hope is not that our circumstances will change. But it is the confidence that when we finally sit with Jesus in heaven, we will NOT be disappointed in how He directed our life. The story is written, and the end is certain.  And the final scene is each of us in Him with a satisfied smile on our face in perfect relationship with our eternal Husband, Jesus Christ.”

For more information about Wendy Alsup and The Gospel-Centered Woman visit her blog at www.theologyforwomen.org.

Advance Praise

“I love this book and can’t wait to share it! The Apostle Paul says that the gospel is a power for salvation. In this book, Wendy Alsup shows how this power goes to work to save us from discontent due to unfulfilled desires, defensiveness when confronted with offense, defining ourselves by anything other than our connectedness to Christ, and disillusionment with our less-than-perfect lives.”

~ Nancy Guthrie, author of Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow and the Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament series

About the Author

Wendy Alsup is a wife, mom and college math teacher who loves ministering to women. “I feel I've almost always been in ministry, from the earliest years of my life helping my dad with his bus ministry at a small Baptist church in South Carolina,” explains Alsup. As an adult, her ministry work has included working in Christian camps and Christian schools in the U.S. and Korea and leading the women’s ministry at a large church in her current home city, Seattle. Her heart is most centered in the informal counseling and discipleship of women. 

Alsup has published three books: Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in our Daily Lives, By His Wounds You are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman's Identity, and the new release, The Gospel-Centered Woman: Understanding Biblical Womanhood through the Lens of the Gospel.


“I don't have it all together. But then again, if I did, I wouldn't need the gospel. The Gospel-Centered Woman is written by and for women who don't have it all together. Who struggle. Whose burdens in life sometimes feel overwhelming. This is not a guilt-inducing book. God forbid! It would be the height of hypocrisy if I wrote a book that made other women feel guilt because of some imagined pinnacle of Biblical womanhood I had achieved.”

Find out more about Wendy Alsup and The Gospel-Centered Woman at www.theologyforwomen.org. Readers can keep up with Alsup via the Practical Theology for Women Facebook page and follow her on Twitter (@WendyAlsup).

Wendy Alsup is available for interviews. To request review copies of The Gospel-Centered Woman, schedule an interview or for more information, please contact Audra Jennings, audra@litfusegroup.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Book Offers Prayers, Scripture Reflections and Hope for Infertility



It is estimated that one in six American couples (7.3 million women) are affected by infertility. Christian women are no more immune to these astounding statistics than anyone else. When experiencing infertility, a woman’s feelings about herself, her relationships with others and her belief in God become confused and complicated. Having experienced these emotions herself, Lesli A. Westfall has written Dancing Upon Barren Land: Prayer, Scripture Reflections, and Hope for Infertility (January 18, 2013 / ISBN: 9780615746128 / $12.99) not only as a prayer guide for women facing infertility, but as a resource for churches and support groups.

Much like many couples today, Westfall and her husband put a family on hold for their careers and to build a savings. In fact, this approach has become so prevalent in today’s society that within the fertility world it has been given the official terminology as “delayed parenting.” By the time Westfall felt God nudging her to start a family, it was too late—a number of factors, including age, kept her from carrying a child of her own. “I went through the range of emotions one goes through in trying to get pregnant. I felt angry at God, jealous of others who were expecting, disappointed every month and essentially left with a broken heart,” she confesses.

As Westfall went through this difficult season, she would journal, writing out her feelings and frustrations as she prayed to God for His help. When Westfall reflected upon what she had written, she clearly saw God and His faithfulness every step of the way. She realized God was turning her disappointments into appointments with Him, leading to the creation of the Dancing Upon Barren Land ministry and eventually the new book by the same name.

“Dancing upon barren land means to enjoy life now, to live life while you wait for life in your womb or to hold your adopted baby in your arms,” explains Westfall. “You can learn to ‘dance’ by discovering who you are in Christ, enjoying the relationships around you, and exploring your passions and pursuing them along the journey to parenthood.”

Having led infertility support groups, Westfall felt the need for a resource to help women and couples who were facing some of the same trials she had, encouraging them never to give up on praying for their desires, as well as for peace of mind, understanding their emotions, maintaining relationships and facing their fertility options. Dancing Upon Barren Land, the fruit of her labors, is a helpful companion and resource for those dark, lonely days. Readers will discover:
  • Specific prayer topics and supporting scripture
  • Helpful truths to living life while you wait
  • Support ideas for family members or friends
  • Resource aids for ministry leaders
  • Discussion topics for support groups
In addition to the book and ministry website, Westfall has produced a video to create a greater awareness of the grief and pain associated with infertility and infant loss. She enlisted eight people to share their stories about the journey through infertility, including one man who shares his heart for wanting to be a father. The video can be viewed online via YouTube as well as the Dancing Upon Barren Land website. Westfall hopes the video will reach churches and encourage them to form support groups for their members.

“Given the statistics, there is a high probability someone is hurting within their congregation, whether from infertility or infant loss (miscarriages/stillbirth). For women, there is a loss that is silent and secret. The loss can be from a desire yet to be fulfilled or loss experienced through miscarriage or failed adoption attempts. The social interactions often decline due to the feeling of not fitting in,” she explains. “Very few churches offer support groups to help women/couples through the complicated grief via Biblical principles, provide a safe haven to connect with others and acknowledge there is help and hope for the hurting. The Dancing Upon Barren Land book is a resource support groups can use and ministry website is available to help churches find out how to start a group of their own.” 



About the Author


Lesli Westfall is no stranger to infertility. She has experienced the range of emotions, the prodding of doctors and the stinging disappointments. She’s been left wandering on the barren road and wondering what God has planned for her. Yet looking back on her journey, Westfall realizes God turns disappointments into appointments, the most significant being the call to offer hope and inspiration to other women facing infertility.

While leading a Christian infertility support group in one of the largest churches in America, a deep compassion formed within Westfall’s heart. Based upon her own experience as well as others in the group, the online ministry Dancing Upon Barren Land was created, offering spiritual nourishment for the infertility road. She now ministers to women around the world through the website and leads support groups at other local congregations.

Westfall loves spending time with her family, friends and especially her husband, Larry, whom she refers to as her man of faith and live-in comedian. She also enjoys teaching cooking and etiquette to children and traveling, especially road trips.  Most of all, her passion is sharing God’s love and teaching His Word to women, inspiring belief there’s healing for the grief of infertility and sorrow from loss—and there is joy in the journey while we wait.

Prior to writing Dancing Upon Barren Land, Westfall contributed to the book Moments of Grace, a book about finding God’s grace while searching for answers. 

Visit Westfall’s ministry website at www.DancingUponBarrenLand.com. Dancing Upon Barren Land can also be found on Facebook and Twitter (@DUBLhope).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Unbreakable Kindle Fire Giveaway

Celebrate the release of Unbreakable with Nancy Mehl by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 5th Author Chat Party on Facebook!


Unbreakable Kindle Fire Giveaway

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Books one and two in Nancy's Road to Kingdom series (Inescapable and Unbreakable)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the "Unbreakable" Author Chat Party on March 5th. Connect with Nancy, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books, and fun Mennonite-themed giveaways.

Grab your copy of Unbreakable and join Nancy on the evening of the March 5th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)



Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!


About the book:

Gentle and unassuming, Hope Kauffman has never been one to question the traditions of her Mennonite upbringing. She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed to the betrothal he arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller. Despite the attempts of Hope and other Kingdom residents to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to stir in the small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is the leader of the move to reform, while Ebbie insists Kingdom must remain true to its foundation. When Hope’s safety is threatened by a mysterious outsider, she can’t help but question what she’s always been taught about the Mennonite tradition of nonviolence.

As it swiftly becomes apparent the threat Hope faced is only the beginning, the town that’s always stood so strong finds itself divided. With tensions high and their lives endangered by an unknown enemy, will Hope and the people of Kingdom allow fear and division to break them or will they draw on the strength of the God they serve?

Purchase a copy here. 

Read an excerpt here.

About the author:

Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Norman and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored fourteen books and is currently at work on a new series for Bethany House Publishing. All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: www.nancymehl.com or her blog. She is also active on Facebook.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I didn't make a mess this time!

You know the cobbler I goofed up on a couple of weeks ago? It turned out the way it was supposed to this time!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Can I just take the day off?

Because I do not plan to try to get one huge piece of furniture up into my new office, I have been looking for a desk. My parents found me one at an estate sale, so I thankfully I have that handled now.

Other than that, I spent the day watching basketball.

Now, I really have no desire whatsoever to pack anything else. At all. Can I take the night off?

I need to box some stuff up for no other reason than my dad found boxes and I can't get through the kitchen at the moment.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I just thought I was a hoarder before

I just thought I was a hoarder with all my mugs. Last night during commercials while watching Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, and during the hour following, I filled the 11 copy paper boxes that I had picked up earlier in the day.

Eight of them are full of books. The others have some other things that were on my shelves, my collection of Disney clam shell videos, and other DVDs and CDs. (I don't buy CDs anymore, but I'm glad I had these left when my computer died about a year ago and my iPod didn't want to sync to the new one and bring the music back to me.)

The saddest part about the 11 boxes, that wasn't even everything that was along one wall of my office. However, it was the highest concentration of "stuff" in all of my house.

I wonder what I can accomplish tonight before my parents ask what all I have gotten done.