Monday, December 30, 2019

Save the date for Erica Vetsch's The Lost Lieutenant blog tour!




I am launching Erica Vetsch's new Regency series, and I hope you will join me! Sign-ups are now open for the blog tour on The Lost Lieutenant. It's the first in the Serendipity & Secrets series available from Kregel.

The dates will be April 21 - May 12. I'll be sending out emails about who made the tour on February 28.

When I send out all the details ahead of the tour, I'll have a Q&A you can use, we'll be doing a giveaway (more details to come) and will provide you with all the tour materials you will need. I'll also have a form for you to submit your tour links.
 

About the Book

He's doing what he can to save the Prince Regent's life . . . but can he save his new marriage as well?
Evan Eldridge never meant to be a war hero--he just wanted to fight Napoleon for the future of his country. And he certainly didn't think that saving the life of a peer would mean being made the Earl of Whitelock. But when the life you save is dear to the Prince Regent, things can change in a hurry.
Now Evan has a new title, a manor house in shambles, and a stranger for a bride, all thrust upon him by a grateful ruler. What he doesn't have are all his memories. Traumatized as a result of his wounds and bravery on the battlefield, Evan knows there's something he can't quite remember. It's important, dangerous--and if he doesn't recall it in time, will jeopardize not only his marriage but someone's very life.
Readers who enjoy Julie Klassen, Carolyn Miller, and Kristi Ann Hunter will love diving into this brand-new Regency series filled with suspense, aristocratic struggles, and a firm foundation of faith.

About the Author



Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling author and ACFW Carol Award winner, and has been a Romantic Times top pick for her previous books. She loves Jesus, history, romance, and watching sports. This transplanted Kansan now makes her home in Rochester, Minnesota.

Learn more about Erica at
www.ericavetsch.com or find her on Facebook.
 




Sunday, December 29, 2019

Humble Yourselves in the Sight of the Lord

By the way, I sound weird and out of breath because I don't want to sound like I'm screaming because I'm holding the phone and come out really loud. 


Humble Yourselves
James 4:10) & Bob Hudson

(Girls echo)
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord
And He will lift you up
And He will lift you up

Come unto Me all ye that labor
Come unto Me all ye that labor
And I will give you rest
And I will give you rest

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I’m found
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see
Was blind, but now I see

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
Bright shining as the sun

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun
Than when we’ve first begun

(repeat first verse)



Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas to all! ... AKA random ramblings


Today my family had our annual relatively low-key Christmas celebration over lunch.Sometimes life seems like the movie Groundhog Day when it comes to predictability. It's almost depressing going through Facebook memories on how I post on the same things every year about the same time whether it's holiday season or not. What-a-rut. 

Or maybe not a rut. One person's routine is another's tradition. Tradition isn't all bad. There will be a day when that will be missed, routine or not. With age, we all realize that, don't we? It's best not to take things for granted. 

Christmas has become the only day of the year where the seven of us (my parents, brother, sister-in-law and nieces) are in the same room at the same time. I should be more appreciative of that, even if for some it seems more of an obligation than choice to spend time together. If you were to compare the photos from this year to last year and the past several years on this blog or Facebook, you would find everyone sitting in the same spot. Now, Amanda did snag Brian's seat at the end of the couch, so we mixed it up just a little bit. We made a point of talking about this as we settled into the room. 

I guess lunch itself isn't all that routine. We don't always have the same thing. This year we had brisket and potato salad and such instead of turkey and dressing. Yet, as usual, there were snacks and desserts untouched in the kitchen because we didn't get around to those at the time. 

That's why we convinced Dad we didn't actually need another pie. 

There were the awkward questions that came over the meal that are awkward because it's hard to make conversation sometimes. Some really awkward which probably doesn't help with making communication better in the future. How's that for vague blogging? 

The unique moment of humor was that Mom and Dad didn't compare notes when it came to stocking stuffers. They both bought Pioneer Woman wooden spoons at different times. Dad came in and put them in the stockings for me, Amanda and Mom. Mom had already put spoons in, so we pulled out duplicates. 

Brian may be one of the few people on the planet that looks forward to getting socks for Christmas. More than once he talked about how he needed socks. Not just a pair or two like Nanny would have given, but legit socks. Mom had him covered though. That's a legit, reliable Christmas expectation that is good. Mom threw in Hershey bars. The big ones. That's a throwback to what her dad did every year. Both sides of the family tradition covered. 

Now, for a few pictures to prove everyone's normal spot and the requisite picture of everyone opening a package.






It's hard to believe that Peyton is now a sophomore in high school and Paige is a freshman at the University of Texas. It's also hard to believe we only carry on a conversation once a year. Part just teenagers, part really long story. 

It's bittersweet. I'm more on the bitter side, to be honest. It's hard to talk about happy memories. We brought up a couple of things this afternoon that weren't remembered or just didn't get much of a reaction.

After all the presents were opened, we did take a family field trip to my house. Brian, Amanda and Peyton hadn't seen it in the six months since I bought it. Paige hadn't seen it since I had moved more than a few boxes in. My dream is for one day one of the girls to make use of my never used guest room. Once upon a time, that would have happened any given weekend. For all the things that stay the same, some things really do change. 

This year, for reasons unknown, I was the recipient of a special gift bag from my grandmother. She's always been big into themes. This year the theme was, "Random Purple Stuff From Around My House That I Can Give to Audra." This photo does not properly reflect the garishness of that scarf. I don't know who once upon a time gave it to her or where one might buy such a bright purple scarf made of such material That necklace also never should have been purchased in a store (or elsewhere). My neck is too fat to wear it. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. It really is choker on me that literally chokes. It's the only gift I haven't gotten put away because....


So, if you have reached this point of reading along with me, I truly hope that you had a very Merry Christmas! I hope you spent in a way that created good memories with those you love. I hope you found joy in the ruts and the new experiences. I hope you had a moments to be thankful and not take for granted the time you had.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Jesus Loves Me


Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!

Jesus love me he who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!

Jesus loves me he will stay
Close beside me all the way,
He’s prepared a home for me,
And some day His face I’ll see.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!

Jesus take this heart of mine,
Make it pure and wholly thine;
On the cross you died for me,
I will try to live for Thee.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Jesus Loves the Little Children


Jesus Loves the Little Children
Words by C. Herbert Woolston

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.

Jesus died for all the children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus died for all the children
Of the world.

Jesus rose for all the children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus rose for all the children
Of the world.





Friday, December 13, 2019

Andrew Huff's new series combines suspense with an exploration of moral quandaries


Putting Away the Old Life Is Rarely Ever Easy
New series by debut author combines suspense
with an exploration of moral quandaries

How much do you really know about the people around you? Is there someone in your life holding on to a deep, dark secret? Maybe there is someone sitting a few pews away in church that lived a life you never would have expected. Maybe your pastor is doing a little side work for the CIA. The members of Rural Grove Baptist Church would have never expected that from their new pastor, John Cross . . . if that is his real name.

In Andrew Huff’s A Cross to Kill (Kregel Publications/October 15, 2019/ISBN: 9780825422744/ $15.99), John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God’s calling. He’s not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past. But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf—an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to pay penance for all the lives he took. However, putting away his old life isn’t as easy as he would have liked.


Although their circumstances are most assuredly different, Huff believes readers can identify with John’s spiritual battles to some extent. “I know there are faith struggles John faces that readers can identify with because they are ones I struggle with. For one, John can’t seem to shake loose from past habits and hang-ups. Sometimes those habits can be used for good, but more often than not John finds himself fighting to walk in faith and love and not let his flesh take control when things go awry. Much of the Christian life is about this same battle,” the author explains. “John also has difficulty accepting God’s forgiveness for not only the sins we’ve committed in the past but the sins we will commit in the future. That affects his ability to pass forgiveness on to others. I myself have also found difficult. It’s not hard to believe God might forgive a single mistake here and there, but after failing again and again and again, it’s easy to expect a limit to God’s forgiveness.”

After John has vowed to step away from his old life for good—no more occasional special assignments between sermons—someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. When a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John’s secrets are laid bare for all to see. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change. Can he keep his vow to never kill again, even when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he’s learning to care for be caught in the cross fire?

A Cross to Kill is not only a riveting story of suspense, it’s also a deep exploration of the moral quandaries that face those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace in a violent world. One of the biggest questions John must face is whether there is ever any legitimate justification for the taking of another person’s life. Is killing ever justified? “The Scripture could not be clearer that we are not to murder, and Jesus goes further by condemning any hateful thought toward a fellow human. There is much more Scripture to consider on the issue, but the answer to the question is not cut-and-dried,” Huff admits.

Huff may have never been a secret operative, but he was able to draw some inspiration from his own life. At the time he was writing the book, Huff was on staff at a Southern Baptist church in Central Virginia. Much of what John experiences with the church and its members is based on Huff’s real experiences in ministry as well as from growing up as a preacher’s kid in rural Tennessee churches. Some of the characters are amalgamations of the wonderful people he’s met along the way. His time in local ministry opened his eyes to the reality of how unique that calling is in the life of a person. Huff loved the idea of capturing the fish-out-of-water experience of someone who did a very different job now finding himself learning what it means to spiritually care for a group of people.

As for the storyline, Huff drew inspiration, especially for the opening scene, from events featured in the headlines. As for the action sequences, those are thanks to his love of action franchises such as Mission: Impossible, Jason Bourne, and James Bond. He wants his series to take the Bible and the church seriously while offering the same kind of jaw-dropping action those novels and films excel at.

A Cross to Kill is the first in the Shepherd Suspense trilogy. The second installment of John Cross’s story, Cross Shadow, releases in May 2020, to be followed by Right Cross.

Advance Praise

“An action-packed nail-biter from beginning to end, filled with enough twists and turns to put 24 and Jack Bauer to shame! I couldn’t put it down. Many thanks to Andrew for hours of entertainment and frantic page turning.”

~ Lynette Eason, best-selling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice series

“A fast-paced novel that drew me into the adventure from the opening pages. The characters wrestle with faith, forgiveness, and redemption in a gripping plotline packed with suspense, action, and danger.”

~ Glenn Kreider, author of God with Us


About the Author

Andrew Huff spent ten years in local church ministry as a youth pastor and creative arts pastor before pursuing God’s calling into creative storytelling and media production as the product director at Igniter Media, a church media company (ignitermedia.com).

He is a two-time finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest for unpublished authors (2014, 2017) and also won the best screenplay award at the 2015 48 Hour Film Festival in Richmond, VA.

Huff holds a bachelor of science in religion degree from Liberty University and a master of arts in Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary. He resides in Plano, TX, with his beautiful wife, Jae, and their two boys.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

New series launch from award-winning author Terry Brennan - JOIN THE TOUR!


I am launching a new series, and I hope you will join me! Sign-ups are now open for the blog tour on Ishmael Covenant. It's the first in the Empires of Armageddon series by award-winning author, Terry Brennan, available from Kregel.

The dates will be February 18 - March 3.

When I send out all the details ahead of the tour, I'll have a Q&A you can use, we'll do a book giveaway and will provide you with all the tour materials you will need. I'll also have a form for you to submit your tour links.
 

About the Book

His marriage in tatters and his career ruined by lies, Diplomatic Security Service agent Brian Mullaney is at the end of his rope. Banished to Israel as punishment by his agency, he's assigned to guard a US ambassador and an insignificant box. Little does he know that this new job will propel him straight into a crisis of global proportions.

Inside the box is a messianic prophecy about the fate of the world. And a dark enemy known as The Turk and the forces of evil at his command are determined to destroy the box, the prophecy, and the Middle East as we know it. When Ambassador Cleveland gets in the way, his life and his daughter's life are threatened--and Mullaney must act fast.

Now agents of three ancient empires have launched covert operations to secure nuclear weapons, in direct defiance of the startling peace treaty Israel and its Arab neighbors have signed. And a traitor in the US State Department is leaking critical information to a foreign power. It's up to Mullaney--still struggling with his own broken future--to protect the embassy staff, thwart the clandestine conspiracies, and unmask a traitor--before the desert is turned into a radioactive wasteland.

Fans of Joel C. Rosenberg, Steven James, and Ted Dekker will relish the deadly whirlpool of international intrigue and end-times prophecy in Ishmael Covenant--and will eagerly await the rest of this new trilogy.

About the Author

Terry Brennan is the award-winning author of The Sacred Cipher, The Brotherhood Conspiracy, and The Alepp Code, the three books in The Jerusalem Prophecies series. His new book, Ishmael Covenant is the first in his new series, Empires of Armageddon.

A Pulitzer Prize is one of the many awards Terry Brennan accumulated during his 22-year newspaper career. The Pottstown (PA) Mercury won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for a two-year series of editorials published while Brennan was the newspaper’s Editor.

Starting out as a sportswriter in Philadelphia, Brennan became an Editor and Publisher for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York and in 1988 moved to the corporate staff of Ingersoll Publications (400 newspapers in the U.S., Ireland and England) as Executive Editor of all U.S. newspaper titles.

In 1996, Brennan transitioned into the nonprofit sector, spending 12 years as VP Operations for The Bowery Mission and six years as Chief Administrative Officer for Care for the Homeless, NYC nonprofits that serve homeless people.

Terry and his wife, Andrea, live in Danbury, CT.

More on Brennan can be found at www.terrybrennanauthor.com.

Facebook (Terry Brennan)
Twitter (@terrbrennan1)

What others are saying

“Terry Brennan’s new release is an engrossing ride into the dark world of political corruption that feels too close to home. In the epic unfolding of biblical prophecy, Ishmael Covenant catapults you across a landscape you’ve only imagined—on both a global and personal scale.”

—Cher Gatto, award-winning author of Something I Am Not

“A master storyteller, Terry Brennan has created an exceptionally well-researched backdrop for this end-times novel along with believable characters and an action-packed plot that kept me turning the pages. Ishmael Covenant is for anyone who wants substance rather than fluff and novels with a greater purpose than to simply entertain.”

—Marlene Bagnull, director of Write His Answer Ministries

“James Rollins meets Joel Rosenberg in Terry Brennan’s Ishmael Covenant, first of his new trilogy, the Empires of Armageddon. An only-too-plausible, high-octane plotline, superb research, and a powerful spiritual message make this a must-read for any fan of end-times thrillers—or student of current-day global politics. My only complaint is that it ended too soon. When do we get the sequel?”

—Jeanette Windle, award-winning author of CrossFire, Veiled Freedom, and Freedom’s Stand

“Terry Brennen has done it again with Ishmael Covenant. Terry combines faith, suspense, and adventure in such fun and entertaining reads, you just can’t put it down once you start!”

—Grant Berry, author of Romans 911