Saturday, January 31, 2009

Unused Childhood and curiouser and curiouser

Well, today, I'm feeling somewhat healthy. So am gonna use the time wisely. I've decided to gather up all younger son's unused stuff. That means all the cartoon VHS tapes he was supposed to use to learn, all the chapter books he was supposed to have read, all the plastic legos and games he was supposed to have learned to play with.

The way I see it is this: Let's say we get a miracle and younger son is miraculously healed, then I want him totally healed to the point where he can actually read the New York Times. Hey, if God is able to do a miracle to help heal a child diagnosed with non-verbal autism and allergies, he might as well go the whole yard and heal the kid. He's 18 now, will be 19 on the 17th. Why keep these toys and stuff around? Might as well empty the house of those old dreams and old wishes and prepare for new ones.

Now, on to odd stuff.
Yesterday morning I woke up with the Bible verse "Tell them I Am sent you, because I have seen their trials and heard their cries." I remember that as being from Moses conversation with God in the desert. I
haven't read that section in the Bible in at least six months. So it was weird that Holy Spirit chose to speak to me through that verse. I feel He brought this verse to my spirit to encourage me, but it might have to do with my purpose in life. Maybe I am to tell people that. That is the most important thing people need to know: "You God see me" and "You have heard my sorrows and you are helping me in my distress."

Then upping the oddness factor, yet another person has yet another dream about me. This one is from an internet Christian friend named Erica:

She writes:
In dream, you had things in my home, like tv sets, couches and they were full of colors, like from Africa! Full of reds, greens, and yellows. You came in a dress flowing with colors and we sat and talked. Couldn't really hear all the words, but the place was huge and it looked nice and I was glad to see you!

Okay, yet another lovely dream. Yeah, but what does it mean? Maybe it connects to the horse dream...and my family life will be betting better. Or maybe I'll be dying and going to heaven soon and he's comforting my friends? Whatever it is, it's kinda weird. This is like the sixth or seventh dream in the past year and a half where folks see me in bright colors or in a white robe or dancing with butterflies or sitting on a porch on a sunset. Some of these folks are folks I do not even talk to on a regular basis. I mean, a couple of weeks ago just as I was opening an email from a friend in Africa, no less. THE VERY MINUTE! I get a phone call from my gyno who is retired and who lives way in another county. And what does she say in that hard to comprehend Spanish accent of hers? "Carole, I had a dream about you this morning at 4 am. Is everything okay with you? I felt I should call."

I definitely feel I'm being told something. But what? To hope. Perhaps it's enough to heal the heart, to make me know that God is making others aware of me. Okay, I'm no stranger to flaky supernatural happenings so I'm just going to assume that God must be doing something...but does He realize He's creeping me out.


-C

Worms and Hubris

What really gets me about this article is that once again it shows that we humans judge things by a particular limited human knowledge, not knowing that nature has ways of doing things. I'm glad for science but sometimes I think we believe that science has improved upon nature and God. That's hubris.

It also helps us not to jump too quickly on any scientific (so-called) bandwagon. Now everyone is saying margarine is bad...mercifully I never jumped on that wagon. OR when they say stevia is bad... Or now that they say soy is bad.

I read a science article some time back in which they talked about how dangerous beta carotene was by itself. Seems beta carotene has to work with some other ingredient in cruciferous veggies to help protect from cancer. And if taken by itself it can be dangerous. Luckily, I had never jumped on the taking supplements outside of their natural environment band wagon.

The basic thing is this: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and oftentimes we don't know how little knowledge we have about a thing. A scientific discovery gives us an inch and then we take a mile and it all becomes a fad. And then we end up hurting ourselves.

Upshot, I'm so glad I'm a slob...and never got onto that antibacterial kick. And never got rid of our kitty when the allergists recommended it. I'm a great believer that scientists should always go two steps forward, one step back. Because they always think they know what's what and they really don't. Anyway, don't read this article with some syrup of ipecac nearby... (Not that I'll start allowing doggie to kiss son on the lips but now I won't freak out when it happens.) -C


So, check out this New York Times Health Article
Babies Know: A Little Dirt Is Good for You

Friday, January 30, 2009

Jet Li on Davos

I knew I liked him for a reason.

KQED Writers' Block

San Francisco NPR affiliate KQED has an arts website, where it keeps an online weekly podcast called "Writer's Block" in which they feature a short (10-15 min), self-contained reading by a writer. They are really looking for writers of color that fit their guidelines (target audience 25-40 y/o so younger, edgier stuff) but are cash strapped and don't have enough staff to do adequate outreach.

They have open submissions for Writer's Block. It's my impression that you'll have a better chance if you: are hip and young-sounding, write in a "literary" fashion, have a book published

I don't think you have to be in the Bay Area, but since they record here, I think they're looking for folks who are swinging through the Bay on a book tour or something.

Please forward to Writers of color everywhere, particularly literary writers who have a book out! Here's the guidelines page: http://www.kqed.org/arts/programs/writersblock/about.jsp

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Embracing the Wide Sky by Daniel Tammet




Here's a bit of the blurb:

Daniel Tammet captivated readers and won worldwide critical acclaim with the 2007 New York Times bestselling memoir, Born On A Blue Day, and its vivid depiction of a life with autistic savant syndrome. ...
Tammet explains that the differences between savant and non-savant minds have been exaggerated; his astonishing capacities in memory, math and language are neither due to a cerebral supercomputer nor any genetic quirk, but are rather the results of a highly rich and complex associative form of thinking and imagination. Autistic thought, he argues, is an extreme variation of a kind that we all do, from daydreaming to the use of puns and metaphors.
Embracing the Wide Sky combines meticulous scientific research with Tammet's detailed descriptions of how his mind works to demonstrate the immense potential within us all. He explains how our natural intuitions can help us to learn a foreign language, why his memories are like symphonies, and what numbers and giraffes have in common. ...
Embracing the Wide Sky is a unique and brilliantly imaginative portrait of how we think, learn, remember and create, brimming with personal insights and anecdotes, and explanations of the most up-to-date, mind-bending discoveries from fields ranging from neuroscience to psychology and linguistics. This is a profound and provocative book that will transform our understanding and respect for every kind of mind.


This is his website
This is his blog.
Here's an interview in New Scientist in their January edition. You can read it in full online here:

CFBA: Gatekeepers (Dreamhouse Kings #3)


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Gatekeepers
(Dreamhouse Kings #3)

Thomas Nelson (January 6, 2009)

by

Robert Liparulo



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly.

Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.

Robert's first novel painted a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel, Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.

Bob has sold the film rights to his second book, GERM. And he is writing the screenplay for a yet-to-be-written political thriller, which sold to Phoenix Pictures, for Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) to direct!

And his third book Deadfall. debuted to rave reviews!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Bob Liparulo wants to give away a signed 3 book set of the DreamHouse Kings books! Send an email to Bob [at] Liparulo [dot] com and put "CFBA" in the subject line. He will pick a winner next week!!!!

In the third novel of this young adult series, the mystery deepens in a house that is more than meets the eye.

The Kings have been in the creepy old place, their new home, for only a few days, but they've experienced enough terror to last a lifetime. And the mystery is growing even more baffling. Shadowy and shifting, the big house conceals doors into other worlds that blur the line between memories and dreams-and the slightest misstep can change history forever.

At least, that's if they believe the trembling old man who shows up claiming to know them. "There's a reason you're in the house," he tells them. "As gatekeepers, we must make sure only those events that are supposed to happen get through to the future."

The problem is that horrors beyond description wait on the other side of those gates. As if that weren't enough, the Kings are also menaced by sinister forces on this side-like the dark, ancient stranger Taksidian, who wants them out now.

It's hard to believe that things could have gotten worse for the King family-but they have. Dad's in handcuffs, the school bully has just found the secret portal that leads from the high school to the house, and Xander is sure he's found Mom, but they can't get back to her. Then Jesse arrives, and he seems to be a virtual Obi Wan of knowledge about the place. But is he the key they need to unlock the secrets, or just a crazy old man?

Dangers are increasing from within and without when Xander makes a startling discovery that explains why they haven't found any rooms that lead to the future. Alongside the threats, though, they're also starting to find some surprising allies.
All they have to do is get organized, get psyched, and get Mom. But that isn't nearly as easy as it sounds.

Xander, David, and Toria must venture beyond the gates to save their missing mother-and discover how truly high the stakes have become.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Gatekeepers
(Dreamhouse Kings #3)
, go HERE

What they're saying:

Review
"If you like creepy and mysterious, this is the house for you! Every room opens a door to magic, true horror, and amazing surprises. I loved wandering around in these books. With a house of so many great, haunting stories, why would you ever want to go outside?" --R.L. Stine (Goosebumps)

Review
"A powerhouse storyteller delivers his most fantastic ride yet!"
-Ted Dekker, bestselling author of Kiss, Chosen and Infidel

Monday, January 26, 2009

CFBA: The Red Siren


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Red Siren

Barbour Publishing, Inc (January 2009)

by

M.L. Tyndall



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

M. L. (MARYLU) TYNDALL grew up on the beaches of South Florida loving the sea and the warm tropics. But despite the beauty around her, she always felt an ache in her soul--a longing for something more.

After college, she married and moved to California where she had two children and settled into a job at a local computer company. Although she had done everything the world expected, she was still miserable. She hated her job and her marriage was falling apart.

Still searching for purpose, adventure and true love, she spent her late twenties and early thirties doing all the things the world told her would make her happy, and after years, her children suffered, her second marriage suffered, and she was still miserable.

One day, she picked up her old Bible, dusted it off, and began to read. Somewhere in the middle, God opened her hardened heart to see that He was real, that He still loved her, and that He had a purpose for her life, if she'd only give her heart to Him completely.

Her current releases in the Legacy of The Kings Pirates series include:The Restitution, The Reliance, and The Redemption and The Falcon And The Sparrow

ABOUT THE BOOK

Lady Faith Westcott has turned her back on God and on man. Having witnessed the hypocrisy in the Church of England, her older sister's abuse at the hand of her husband, and her own mother's untimely
death in childbirth, Faith has determined never to marry and to gain enough wealth so she and her two sisters will never have to depend on man or God again.

To that end, though a lady by day, she becomes a pirate by night and begins her sordid career off Portsmouth when she attacks and plunders a merchant ship commanded by the young Dajon Waite. Humiliated at being defeated by a pirate and a woman no less, Dajon returns home without cargo and ship, and his father expels him from the family merchant business.

After a brief sojourn into debased society, Dajon rejoins the Royal Navy, where he finds comfort in the strict rules and redemption through his service to others. Three years later, he is sent to the frontier outpost of Charles Town, South Carolina to deal with the pirate problem. There, he connects with his mentor and old friend, Admiral Westcott, who has just arrived with his three daughters.

Much to Dajon's utter dismay, Admiral Westcott, who is being called away to Spain, asks Dajon to be temporary guardian of his three lovely daughters. One of the ladies seems familiar to him, a striking redhead who immediately sends his heart thumping.

Faith recognizes Captain Waite as the buffoon whose ship she plundered off Portsmouth. Yet, he appears no longer the fool, but instead a tall, handsome and commanding naval officer. Despite her immediate attraction to him, she labels him the enemy, but sparks are guaranteed to fly during the next few months when independent, headstrong and rebellious Faith falls in love with God-fearing honorable, rule-following Dajon-especially when Faith continues her pirating off the Carolina coast while her father is away.

Will Dajon catch her? And what will this man of honor and duty do when he does?


If you would like to read the first chapter of The Red Siren, go HERE

BLACK SCIENCE FICTION STORE OFFICIAL DEADLINE TODAY

A message to all members of BlackScienceFictionSociety (And remember, it's easy to join. Just go to www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com

For all members with merchandise such as books, movies, comics etc. Please send your 35 dollar payment so we can get you and your products listed on BlackScienceFictionStore.com

If you are serious about making money selling your products please join us to sell your work in our BlackScienceFictionStore.com site that will be launched February 1, 2009. What better time to sell Black Science Fiction than on Black History Month?

We really want to jump start the consumption of black science fiction and we need the support of each of you. To sweeten the deal we plan to E-blast 40 thousand individuals and media outlets about the store. That will benefit all those who are onboard and listed. We want at least 20 vendors in the store to make a strong showing.

We have great things in store for Black Science Fiction and we want us all to be a part of it. If you have already sent in your payment please disregard this message.

Also, you can send payments via PayPal to: info AT) thedigitalbrothers.com

Visit BlackScienceFictionSociety at: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com

God's Word Is a Living Dagger

I dreamed a bad spirit had been awakened somehow from some old clothes I received as a gift from a friend. IT had previously haunted those who wore it and since I inherited the clothes I ended up with the spirit. I tried to escape it and was thinking of the word of God but when I managed to say it, the power of God really showed. But I was so tired from fighting. When I woke up I heard the Bible phrase, "Not as though beating against the air."

1 Corinthians 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

This reminded me of two verses that have really been helping me.
One is "Are not my words like a hammer that beat the stone to pieces?" And the other is "The word of God is sharp, living, a two-edged sword." I heard a sermon where someone said when Paul describes the sword of the spirit which is the word of God he uses the word which means a dagger, a kind of small knife which one jabs one's opponents with. So lately, I've been thinking that everytime I use the word of god or any of God's promises, I imagine myself stabbing stabbing stabbing at the autism and the fibromyalgia. I imagine the word of God like a hammer, knocking out the congestion in my son's head and chipping away at the foundations of sickness and the place Satan had found to attack us.

I think this dream came to encourage me. I don't really know what the clothes means...although I did get some inherited clothes from someone. But it reminds me that Faith isn't faith if it isn't spoken. The word of God must be spoken in order to be an effective weapon. And when I speak I mustn't think, "Ah, it's not working!" I must think, "I am not beating against the air."

Sometimes we think nothing is happening because we're carnal and we walk by sight, but God has told us to walk by faith in his character, in his word, in the fact that something is happeninn in the spiritual realm.

Weekend Movie Viewing

Well, some of my weekends seem to be dedicated to romance -- like those days when all those holiday christmas romances flooded the tube with ne'er a Jesus movie in site. Or when Scifi Channel has some good flicks. But they seem to be stuck in reptile mood because I'm pretty sure it was not more than five weeks ago that they had another reptile week. And here were were again!

So I kinda ended up watching some crime flicks. Through whatever fate I ended up watching crime flicks. Saw Heat again with DeNiro, Kilmer, and Pacino. Had totally forgotten the plot. Found myself, yet again -- as i do in all crime flicks-- on the side of the bad guys and hoping they would all get away. Was delightfully surprised when Kilmer's character did. Nowadays if the bad theives don't kill anyone, then they tend to get away. Stealing isn't so bad. IT was okay and it had "gravitas." I heard a casting director talking about gravitas once and about how for certain shows actors needed said gravitas. I kinda got an idea of what this gravitas thing was when I saw Tokyo Drift a second time..last week sometime. The story felt like it needed to be heavier; the pain of the main characters needed to be heavier. They talked about their pain, the film was kinda darkly lit at sometimes. There was all this angsty stuff..and yet it just was not Rebel without a cause. No gravitas.

Then there was Family. Found this on Lifetime or Lifetime Movie Channel. A cop with serious psycho problems and his son pick up a woman hitch-hiker-criminal. She wants to protect the boy from his father. You could see from the beginning that this was once a small movie. It had that feel to it. None of the formulas. I liked it. Definitely try to see it. Nicely written, nicely directed, nicely acted. But there was that shoot-out moment when cop had his near meltdown and spoke his heart. Why, oh why, do they go on like that? As if we don't already know their "i need a perfect family and why don't you trust me and why did my wife leave me when i was good and why did she take my child?" issues. But a good flick.

Then saw Miami Heat. Liked this one too. First time I saw it. Not particularly about Miami. There was the ubiquitous cold hearted inscrutable Asian girl whom everyone loves and who is finally saved by the love of a good white man so I kinda had to deal with that. A couple of moments, however, did make me want to scream. For instance, when the big shoot down goes down, she gets upset when she realizes bad guy is possibly a cop. So what does she do in the MIDDLE of the shoot-out? (This is a woman, mind you, who has been calm and collected all along. But I guess they wanted to say taht when she gets mad she loses it because he was the only one she had allowed yadda yadda) anyway, she gets up in the middle of the shootout -- the MIDDLE!!!!-- and starts bitch-alapping him for betraying her. Okay, AK47's are shooting at them! Cop Snipers and bad guy snipers and guys with semi-automatics are all around shooting at each other and at Colin Farrell's character...and yeah, she's having a hissy fit! She also has another one in the car when they're escaping and starts hitting him while he's driving at a mega-pace. Then after that, when they're at peace and waiting for the florida cops to take her away to her home in havana (yeah, i know...they did a whole lot to give the role to a chinese actress.) she gets all sad and wistful, having presumably got all that hidden temptress rage all expelled. Yes, she got away too because she didn't kill anyone. She was just a female too... We know how that goes.

Then I saw Crank. Kinda like DOA on crack...and reminded me of Torque. Wonder if the same screenwriter/director did both flicks. Jonathan Statham --who truly is not my type but has a kind of violent sexuality cause he's so dang competent. (Is competence a new kind of sexuality?) -- plays a guy who wakes to find he's been injecfed with an evil Beijing cocktail that will kill him in an hour. Well, you know the plot already: how to get revenge etc? Just like Torque it is a total ride. And very witty and silly at parts as he has to crank himself up to live longer...and ah the stuff he does to crank himself up. There's something odd with me ...someone dies and I immediately wonder if they go to God or to hell. So if I found out I had an hour to live, I'd be kneeling and praying to God to forgive me for my sins, especially if I was a hitman. But again this guy is kinda safe. I always look at what they do at the end of a bad guy's life to make his salvation sure. In A prayer for the dying, Mickey Rourke's character lippened (clung for dear life) to the cross of Jesus. In Angel with dirty faces, Cagney's character turned rat and died to self to save the souls of future might-have-been juvies. A bad guy needs repentance. So this guy was on the road to repentance -- as usual, love had saved his soul-- and hadn't killed the guy he was supposed to kill. In the end he dies though. After a big shoot-out and from falling from the sky. And we're shown his body, like a car that can no longer be cranked. So am not sure if his soul was saved. Please, Lord, let there be no crank2.

Ooh, reminds me...saw the end of another flick... Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan in a shoot-out...cowboys in the desert. Forgot the name. Just saw the end. Must've been my weekend to catch shoot-outs.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mindfulness

Okay, I've got to be aware when God is leading me to think about something. Sometimes I sense that I'm being told something and kinda dismiss the thought, sometimes I sense that I'm being told something and actually (YAY!!!) do what I'm supposed to do, and sometimes I don't sense that God is speaking to me at all.

Sometimes I'm good. Let's say, I suddenly start thinking of someone out of the blue. I say to myself, "Uhm...maybe you should be praying for this person, or maybe this person will call you, or maybe you should call this person." Or sometimes I suddenly get this idea of doing something....And I actually do the thing. For instance, two weeks ago I dreamed of an old friend. I said to my husband, "uhm....<-- all the above!" Upshot? Old friend contacted me yesterday...after not seeing each other 8 years!

But sometimes I am totally clueless although the clue is given to me. I have this measuring cup, quart sized. I've had it for about four years. I use it to drink tons of water. I mean tons!!! It's very important in my life because it's pyrex and that means I can drink cold or hot water...and water is very important to my well-being and health. So if anything happens to this cup well, I'm in deep-sh*t because I just can't bring myself to actually drink 8 little cups of water at 8 times rather than ..well, you get the picture. So I'm on my bed about a week ago when out of the blue I start thinking about buying another one of these...maybe even buying a pint measuring cup. It seemed like such an odd thought and such a lavish luxury to actually buy "another" of these cups. But there I lay pondering and pondering where I could buy it.

Now, did it occur to me to say to myself, "uhm, Carole, you're thinking about buying a new measuring cup again after all these years! Could it be Holy Spirit is telling you something?" Oh, no!!! yours truly just thought it was all very odd of her to be suddenly thinking of buying two measuring cups of different sizes when she already had one. So what happens, younger son picked up my measuring cup a coupla days ago and threw it to the ground where it smashed. Yeah, I had been warned. Holy Spirit had seen the thing coming. And now that I am two days without this cup I realize it wasn't a small thing at all. Water is such a part of battling this illness that it wasn't that Holy Spirit was merely being sillily prophetic and playing little games. He knew I needed the cup. I have been totally unable to drink water the past two days. And I haven't drunk enough. It has to be warm water, or hot tea in the middle of the winter. So, gotta get this measuring cup.

Anyway, I'm trying to be as obedient to these nudges as I am to be obedient to other weird odd spiritual nudges. I remember my friend Joan. A sweet woman, a good Christian woman, living with a man for about seven years who had left his wife to live with her. (Man had never loved his wife btw, but ..whatever.) So I kept getting this nudge, "Call Joan and tell her to read her Bible." I thought, "Well, this is weird." I finally gave in and called her, wondering how the heck I would start a conversation with a woman about reading her Bible. When she picked up the phone she said, "I'm so glad you called. I've been in a lot of pain lately. But the doctors operated and didn't find anything. Know what? It's good you called. Remember that book 'Lost Books of the Bible' you let me read once?" (okay, this was back in the day when I was into all that extra-biblical stuff and was easily deceived.) So I said, "I was wrong about those books. Right now you have to read the Bible and only the Bible." Now, I didn't know if God wanted her to read the Bible because the living words of the living God would heal her, or if he wanted her to read her the Bible to spare her from hell so she could repent. Upshot? She died very soon after this phone call. Of cancer. Yeah, doctors weren't honest with her.

Satan had been trying to get her to focus on spiritual things that weren't of the Bible but God had wanted her to read the Bible. In my life I've found that whenever someone is dying God gets very insistent on it being the Bible and only the Bible. More and more I see that the Bible is very very very oddly important to him and very special in that way. I could tell you tons of examples but it's weird how he honors the Bible like that.

I leave you with my poem that I wrote for my friend Jestine. As they say, "true story." Follow those nudges, my friends! On the day Jestine died, all her friends and family simultaneously, out of the blue, with no one calling to them traveled to see her at her hospital room. All except me.


For Jestine
by Carole Stewart McDonnell

I did not visit you on the day you died
although my mind was on you
all that day

because

when I mentioned visiting you
my driver said
the hospital parking fee was high
and I said
I might call him anyway at 3:00
but then at 3:00
another friend called
and invited me over
and although you'd been on my mind all day
I immediately forgot you

because

the afternoon sun was so bright
oh so very bright
and the afternoon air was so sultry
and a certain sweet someone I loved
would be there
and for five months
I=d been forgetting you anyway
so it was easy enough
to forget this time
although the thought of you
on that particular day was so pressing

and never once
all that day
and all that night
as I worked that party
did it occur to me

that this hospitalization was your last
And that you were dying
And that God was telling me
to visit you to say goodbye.

God's sheep DO hear His voice. We just kinda don't think he's talking to us, or that what He is saying is that important.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The false foundations of the American Dream

Okay, if there is one thing that is totally apparent to me, it's this: The American Way of Life -- the vacations, the "stuff" we have in our house, the two or more cars per family, the eating out once a week, little mandatory luxuries and great expenses-- are built on credit...which is a lie. We have all been trained to live beyond our means by doing so on credit.

What would American life be like if we didn't have credit on so many things? What would our life be like if we only bought what we could pay for...and all we had was really ours and not really on lease to us through a credit card company?

Can you imagine kids working their way through college without taking out college loans? Can you imagine most folks saving up for their houses or folks living in houses inherited through their families? Can you imagine most folks living in apartments? Can you imagine having most families having only one car? Can you imagine young folks age 20-30 still living with their family and folks not thinking a guy is "immature cause he still lives at home with his folks"?

We have been so trained to believe in financial independence. But has it really been independence? Not really? It's been dependence on credit. I don't think we will be able to return to the days when family was wealth and where family was where one got one's wealth and where living close as a family was a way of gaining and keeping wealth. Our trust has been put in credit card systems who trained us to believe in the American Dream.

Will it be hard to return? Yes! Because the media owns our minds for the most part. We believe what they tell us to believe. And the American Dream has become such a "tradition" that few folks will be able to free their minds from it...and from the brainwashing of the "need" for credit.

Precious Testimonies website

ooh, i love this testimony website

Career Planning

Well, Juno Books became an imprint of Pocket Books. Juno published Wind Follower. Now, this may be good news but it might not be. Juno's been going toward urban fantasy. I like folkloric fantasy. Exploring tribal culture and what makes tribes. Current novel is Constant Tower which needs an agent cause it's neither urban fantasy nor does it have a female protag which is what Juno wants. But it's such a great book! What to do!

I have another novel, Daughters of Men, which many folks loved and which was a near miss with an agent at Maass and with Dorchester and the editor at Juno said it needed a lotta work. Now, it would fit into the urban fantasy genre perfectly. So I could try working on it. Aaargh, to revisit a book I haven't worked on in about four years! But I suppose those characters are part of me because I love them very much.

But I'm also working on my serial killer-succubus novel. Can I juggle all three? Will see. Might have to send a note to the Juno editor telling her my issues and wondering.

Now, the weird thing about the Pocket alliance is that many of us Juno authors don't fit into the new Juno. What will Pocket do with us if we don't write urban fantasy? I'd like to think that being black and a Christian, Pocket might have a place for me because they have a Christian line and they might have a black line or a fantasy line. Not sure what's going on. Who knows? I'll only give that to God. This is one of those moments when the talk must become the walk and the rubber hits the road. I say that I trust God, right? I say that the word of God is powerful to change every situation, right? So will I walk around the house thanking God for this opportunity and for what he is going to do with me now that I'm ostensibly at Pocket Juno? Or will I look at the pathological truth and go about repeating that, especially since Juno might be putting some books out of print or remaindering them? Lord knows, how much money Wind Follower made for them!

Promotion comes neither from the east nor from the west. Let me trust in God.

Disabled by Wilfred Owen



My favorite war poet!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hopeless Romantic

The Lord has really been dealing with me about my hopeless romanticism. "Hopeless" being the operative word.

Growing up a wussy little black kid I read a lot of sad poetry that promoted the futility of life. Okay, some of this poetry might have been affected. . . but many of these poets truly had crappy lives. And some of the Christian poets, such as Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, and Gerard Manley Hopkins seemed never to have won in their battle against despair, melancholy, bi-polarism, illness, idolatrous worship of the creature more than the Creator, etc. In short, they died unhealed, leaving me with a kind of idea of Jesus as the "pale Galilean" who was romantic simply because he lost.

This kind of thing is dangerous because it not only teaches one not to hope, it primes the soul to believe that in the long run the prayer will not be answered, all is impossible, and God will not win. The Lord has been telling me to work on this spiritual stronghold. The stronghold of romantic despair that I indoctrinated myself with when I was a kid.

Another indoctrination I have to work against is the "romantic" part of the "hopeless romantic" phrase. That's one of the reasons I dislike Christian fiction. There is that kind of sentimental attachment to romance. Oftentimes one reads a story and one feels as if the story is really a woman's masturbatory dream of what a perfect hero in her life would've been. It's a kind of noble Christian fantasy of the land, the perfect man, the sense of destiny.

I feel God is very understanding of all this but he doesn't want us to indulge in vain imaginations. One must remember the truest book, the truest mirror, the truest romance, the truest imagination is of spiritual things.

I'll be posting some of my favorite poets in the upcoming days. You'll see what I have to battle against.

This Day in History: Roe v Wade

The beginning of black self-genocide. 31 million black babies killed since this judgment. We used to be the second largest minority group in the US. Now we're dwindling away. If this continues, we will be such a small portion of the population that it'll be awfully silly of us to demand representation on TV or in the government. Who are we -- a small portion of the population to ask?

-C

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CFBA: The Centurion's Wife


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Centurion's Wife

Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2009)

by

Davis Bunn and Janette Oke



ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Davis Bunn is an internationally acclaimed author who has sold more than six million books in fifteen languages. His audiences span reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include My Soul To Keep, and Full Circle. A sought-after lecturer in the art of writing, Bunn was named Novelist in Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University.

He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write.


Her first novel, a prairie love story titled Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979. This book was followed by more than 75 others.

After Love Comes Softly was published, Oke found her readers asking for more. That book led to a series of eight others in her Love Comes Softly series. She has written multiple fiction series, including The Canadian West, Seasons of the Heart and Women of the West. Her most recent releases include a beautiful children's picture book, I Wonder...Did Jesus Have a Pet Lamb and The Song of Acadia series, co-written with T. Davis Bunn.

Janette Oke's warm writing style has won the hearts of millions of readers. She has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medallion Award, The Christy Award of Excellence, the 1992 President's Award for her significant contribution to the category of Christian fiction from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and in 1999 the Life Impact Award from the Christian Booksellers Association International. Beloved worldwide, her books have been translated into fourteen languages.

She and her husband live nearby in Alberta, Canada.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma.

Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions.

Head of the garrison near Galilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death--and missing body--is causing such furor.

This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, the story unfolds the testing of loyalties--between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Centurion's Wife, go HERE

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Praying for our new President

Certain things make me smile, other stuff make me sad. Some things manage to do both. I watch a lotta Christian television. When George Bush was president, he couldn't so much as sneeze without them stopping all regularly-scheduled programming to air "God's man." Amazingly, on inauguration day, none of the white-owned Christian station -- and these guys always talk about how God wants us to pray for those in authority-- even honored Barack. Interesting, uh? Ah, my Christian people! When will race stop separating us? Yeah, yeah, I know...race isn't in the equation. Well if it isn't, why not simply state, "God isn't finished with Barack Obama yet. Don't we Christians believe in the power of prayer?" If there is one thing the books of Daniel, Esther, and Nehemiah shows us it's this: God changes the hearts of leaders.

This is from the latest Smoke Signals, the newsletter of Wiconi International, the Native American Christian group

Smoke`Signals - Praying for our new President
Richard Twiss
Jan 20, 2009

Hau kola,

By the time you read this we will have a new president of the United States. It is the global news story of our generation. I attended an “Obama party” with a group of Jesus loving, bible embracing and spirit-filled followers of Jesus the other night to enjoy some good fellowship and good food. My friends, many of them African-American, enjoyed a celebratory feeling throughout the evening.

If God is truly God, the outcome of this election came as no surprise to Jesus. Regardless of ones political ideology in relationship to biblical revelation, the swearing in of Barak Obama remains unquestionably “God’s choice” if we believe that God can work even in a democratic political system.

I have received reproof from readers for inviting us to consider the notion that God is bigger than our understanding of him. Often, these folks believe God was behind George Bush’s election – after correcting the populace’s misinformed election of Bill Clinton – twice, but believe that Barak Obama’s election is the result of a group of liberal democrats who demonstrated their power to “overturn” God’s choice.

For those who call themselves Christians, I’d much rather hear them say, “I think you’re an idiot for your political beliefs,” rather than invoking God’s name in support of their particular political opinion. That kind of language assumes they are right (from God’s point of view) and those who disagree are at the least misinformed, at best mistaken and at worst spiritually deceived. My concern is not to say one political party is more flawed than the other. They are both equally flawed for different reasons!

Regardless of who you voted for, our president, Barak Obama, is the man God has put his hand on to serve us as President of the United States. His presidency represents an opportunity for ALL Americans and people globally to seek a future filled with hope for a better tomorrow. It is truly a remarkable moment in the history of America, a country known as much for its “American Revolution” as for the genocide of our Native American people and the enslavement of African people.

An African-American serving as president of the most powerful country in the world, in light of our history, is an inspiration to people all over the world that “with God, ALL things are possible!!!”

In the parable of the two lost sons or “the prodigal son” the older son refuses to come in and celebrate the return of his brother because he disagrees with his fathers handling of the situation. If he was his dad, he would have judged and rejected his son for squandering his inheritance.

Let’s pray, walk in faith and trust in Jesus with all we got as we seek to walk in the light even as He is in the light!

Walking in the light ….


Richard Twiss
Wiconi International

Monday, January 19, 2009

CFBA: Stand-In Groom


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Stand-In Groom

Barbour Publishing, Inc (January 2009)

by

Kaye Dacus



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kaye Dacus is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there.

She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. But her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through her website and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.




ABOUT THE BOOK

When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman?

George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancee when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Stand-In Groom, go HERE

What they're saying about it:

“Dacus pulls off a delightful story that places readers in the heart of the South with the debut of the Brides of Bonneterre series. Readers will enjoy this look at how lives are transformed through devastating events and how forgiveness is the key to a promising future. Nothing is as it seems in this heartwarming story.”
Romantic Times, 4-Star Review

“Absolutely delightful! I enjoyed Stand-In Groom from cover to cover! Ms. Dacus’s clever story and wonderful prose will draw you away to a place deep in the heart of Louisiana, surrounding you with the scents, sounds, and sights of the deep south. A story filled with romance and intrigue, betrayal and forgiveness, I found myself laughing, crying and rejoicing right along with the characters.”
M.L. Tyndall, author of The Falcon and the Sparrow and the award-winning Legacy of the King’s Pirates series

“Stand-In Groom is as sweet, beautiful, and chaotic as a perfectly planned wedding. Anne is a bright and wounded heroine you’re going to care about for a long time. George is a hero to capture your heart. Kaye Dacus will take you along for a fun, poignent ride in Stand-In Groom.”
Mary Connealy, author of the Lassoed in Texas series and Of Mice...and Murder

Life after exoneration program

Life after Exoneration Program

http://www.exonerated.org/j/index.php

The Life After Exoneration Program's mission is to address the injustice of wrongful conviction and incarceration by assisting exonerees and their family members in re-building their lives on the outside, by working to secure their physical, spiritual, psychological, social and economic well being. The Life After Exoneration Program does this by:

Coordinating Direct Services to Exonerees

Building a Network of the Exonerated

Supporting Legislative and Policy Change

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_EPV7twQ5tZE/SVPImLaNliI/AAAAAAAAAtg/Jz5VjgkMvqc/s200/innocence.jpg

Sunday, January 18, 2009

reality heaven

joy abounds in my life!
Tool Academy!
Confessions of a Teen Idol!
Rock of Love Bus!
Momma's Boys!

VH1 Celebreality, what would I do without you?

Compassion International video by Joe Castillo

I love his sandstories

Friday, January 16, 2009

Alienated

Okay, I totally worry about myself. I have a total inability to go along with the herd. Why, oh why?

Two cases in point: When all the Christians were emailing each other about the evil Barack Obama, did I care? Nope. When they were all for the war -- I mean ALL the Christians I know were for this war-- I kept saying "No, God has shown me this war will only lead to people hating Christians, the Muslims being used as sufferers, and besides Christians are not supposed to be so connected to the world. Our real home is in heaven. The only reason God told us to pray for authorities was not because we have a city on a hill but because they were persecuting us."

When all the Black folks are emailing each other and weeping with joy that Barack Obama is president, what is yours truly doing? Standing back and watching. I just can't get into the entire hoopla. I pray for him, of course. One day I hope to like him, but I honestly doubt I will. God let me give this guy a chance.

So why can't I be swept along by the herd-mind? I think this has a lot to do with having been sick for so long. It takes one's mind away from earthly things. One realizes there is only one savior: not Bush, not America, not Obama. One realizes the lies in the world, that the American dream is merely greed. So that's the good part. The bad part, of course -- and why oh why am I going to admit this on my blog when I know I'm only going to get a judgmental person agreeing with me as if to enlighten me? They gloss over the fact that I've been sick and go on to blaming me for not being as they would be if they were in my position--

oh where was I? Yes, the bad part of this is that A) it's a lonely feeling. I'd like to be like the herd and B) while much of this alienation is good because a christian should be separated from certain matters....it's probably not all good. I'm sure I've been cold to things that have made folks jump for joy. (When it's a lotta folks all sharing the joy, it's perhaps not so bad. But if/when I've been cold to the joys of a particular person...well, it just shows how cruel sickness and hurt can be. It just kills your sense of joy in everything. It's hard to endure 20 years of sickness and seeing one's kid sick every day and be peppy.)

7Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:

8Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

9Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Last night hubby and I were awake. As usual. I fall asleep around 10 ish and wake up around 12 ish then am up all night. Either I pray or listen to sermons or wake hubby and ask for sex so I can sleep. So last night I woke hubby. We talked about thanksgiving. We really found so much to be thankful for. For instance, I am genuinely happy that I sleep for two hours. IT could be worse. It has been worse. 14 days straight with no sleep. (And yes, I am very kind when someone tells me she slept only 7 hours in a single night. I don't get into comparative mode. I'm not really like that. I don't say "I suffer much more than that." I'm actually quite nice. We thanked God that we endured so much and are still madly in love (okay, I'm also in love with some pixellated guys but I'm working on it.) But honestly, when we hear of folks who have divorced because of money issues, or sick child issues, or evil mother-in-law issues, we are amazed cause we went through all that and survived. God's grace was not missing in those folks' lives but somehow, they didn't survive. We thank God that we endured some hard financial times and learned to eat beans and rice. Hey, if the US economy goes under, we won't be complaining because we got used to that. And learned to eat healthily. We praised God that we have grown closer to him. Hey, I was always religious but heck. . . would I have gone to heaven if I died? I think many good religious people are probably surprised on their deathbed to know they didn't love God or his word enough, or that they trusted in their own righteousness to get to heaven. Hubby and I have gone through a lot...and we really have been stripped bare. So, heck, who knows if I would be this close to God if life hadn't been particularly shitty?

So yeah, I'm alienated from the world...am just hoping I'm not tainted by it (by being bitter) and am not so full of physical pain that I can't rejoice with those who rejoice. As always, God is still working on me.

another pixellated crush

I so love the idea of princes and heroes and hero-princes. The nobility, the tragicness, the kick-butt power! Yeah, I'm one of those fan girls who is in love with Noct and is all set to get swallowed up in Final Fantasy Xiii Versus. Dang! I can't think of a good Christian prince in fantasy literature. Prince Caspian doesn't cut it for me. Perhaps because tragedy is sexy and Caspian doesn't really drip that sexiness. Oh well, Playstation 3! My son's got one in the house somewhere. Don't know if he'll knock Cloud Strife off the pedestal but hey, he's won my heart!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CFBA: Sweetwater Gap


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sweetwater Gap

Thomas Nelson (December 16, 2008)

by

Denise Hunter



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!



ABOUT THE BOOK

A story of new beginnings from best-selling Romance for Good™ author Denise Hunter.
When Josephine's family insists she come home to help with the harvest, the timing works. But her return isn't simple benevolence-she plans to persuade the family to sell the failing orchard.

The new manager's presence is making it difficult. Grady MacKenzie takes an immediate disliking to Josephine and becomes outright cantankerous when she tries talking her family into selling. As she and Grady work side by side in the orchard, she begins to appreciate his devotion and quiet faith. She senses a vulnerability in him that makes her want to delve deeper, but there's no point letting her heart have its way-he's tied to the orchard, and she could never stay there.

A brush with death tears down Josephine's defenses and for the first time in her life, she feels freedom-freedom from the heavy burden of guilt, freedom to live her life the way it was intended, with a heart full of love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sweetwater Gap, go HERE

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Answering Atheism: Author Interview

IF GOD Disappears by David Sanford


If God Disappears : 9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do about Them by David Sanford

Here's his blog


Here's the Blurb:

There is a difference between God disappearing and God leaving us. God has said, "I will never leave you."
God often seems absent when we need him most. How can we walk through troubling, even devastating times without shipwrecking our trust in God?


Here's a vid over at tyndale

and another



and another


Here it is on Christian Book

And Amazon

Fear Faith Love

Trying to let God move into the places in my spirit where fear has taken a place. Fear and Faith work against each other. We find ourselves having faith for something at the same time we are having fear about it. That just leads to doublemindedness and our prayers not moving ahead.

We are told that perfect love casts out fear. And perfect love is not that we love God but that he first loved us.

So am trying to focus on God's love for me. I remember so much of the sweet little godwinks he's sent my way and I know he loves me. Over the weekend I was telling a friend about something sweet God did to me a year or so ago. When I was younger I wrote an essay called oreoblues which was a sex history. It got published in lifenotes: personal writings by black women published by w w norton. That was about 18 years ago. The collection of essays was in my bookcase untouched. Then after 18 years I hear the holy spirit say "get up and rip out your essay from the book. So older son doesn't see it." I find the book. Rip out the section with my essay. Then return it to the bookcase. And hid it deep in the bookshelf. The VERY NEXT DAY I see the book on my table. Older son says, "my english class professor wanted us to find a book on essays by black folks. Then I remembered you had this book." (Okay, wow, he hadn't looked at the book all that time????) So the kid goes in and looks around and finds my favorite essay. (By Jamaica Kincaid, not by me. Thank God.) Now isn't God lovely? He spared me son's judgmentalism. That kid is so tough on me sometimes and so cruel ...well, I would have been reduced to tears. But our lovely God spared me! How kind He is! Hallelujah, what a savior! Oh, Lord Jesus! Take my life in your hands! I will live for you!!!!!

I can't tell you how many times he's gone before me to protect me from harm and in this case embarrassment. How ever present, how sweet our Lord is! I must trust his love and move fear from me.

Back in the day when I was younger I used to accidentally find myself astral-projecting. I saw a lot of stuff. Met a demon. Went under the earth. I became afraid of the supernatural. Even before that I was wary of the supernatural because my sister and I had to deal with ghosts and evil spirits because my mother would go to witch doctors, mediums, and obeah men. So I find that there is a fear of the supernatural in my life. I think this often gets in the way of God's gifts working in me.

But I have other fears too. Fears of old age -- after seeing my mother with all those tubes on her death bed in the hospital. Fears of paperwork and government officials. Fears of nosy governmental officials.

We Christians often don't want to admit we're afraid. Sometimes we behave as if we're never afraid. But God cannot heal any area in our life unless we ask him to enter into it. Yeah, i know...sounds heretical. But I believe it. God CANNOT touch any area of our lives unless we invite him to. If we don't know it, we can ask God to touch that area. But often we know it. Think of all the racist Christians we know who don't allow God to touch their racist souls.

I don't want Satan building a garden of fear in my spirit -- using the television health pundits, negative neighbors, drastic prognosticators. I invite Jesus into my soul to build a garden of love. Then the fruits of the spirit, the gifts of the spirit will grow inside me. Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. And God has also shown me countless times. I love my savior so much. My Lord Jesus, Sweet, sweet, Lord! They words I have hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee!

Monday, January 12, 2009

CFBA: KISS by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

KISS

Thomas Nelson (January 6, 2009)

by

Ted Dekker
and
Erin Healy


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.

After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.

Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. Dekker's body of work encompassing seven mysteries, three thrillers and ten fantasies includes Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven, Blessed Child, A Man Called Blessed, Blink, Thr3e, The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, White), Obsessed, Renegade, and Chaos.

*******************

Erin Healy is an award-winning fiction editor who has worked with talented novelists such as James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, L. B. Graham, Rene Gutteridge, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Robin Lee Hatcher, Denise Hildreth, Denise Hunter, Randy Ingermanson, Jane Kirkpatrick, Gilbert Morris, Frank Peretti, Lisa Samson, Randy Singer, Robert Whitlow, and many others.

She began working with Ted Dekker in 2002 and edited twelve of his heart-pounding storiesbefore their collaboration on Kiss, the first novel to seat her on "the other side of the desk."

Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a Colorado-based consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She and her husband, Tim, are the proud parents of two children

ABOUT THE BOOK

Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name. Shauna.
I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. In the room was my loving boyfriend-how could I have forgotten him?-my uncle and my abusive stepmother. Everyone blames me for the tragic car accident that left me near death and my dear brother brain damaged. But what they say can't be true-can it?

I believe the medicine is doing strange things to my memory. I'm unsure who I can trust and who I should run from. And I'm starting to remember things I've never known. Things not about me. I think I'm going crazy.

And even worse, I think they want to kill me.

But who? And for what? Is dying for the truth really better than living with a lie?


Sometimes dying with the truth is better than living with a lie.

After a car accident puts Shauna McAllister in a coma and wipes out six months of her memory, she returns to her childhood home to recover, but her arrival is fraught with confusion.

Her estranged father, a senator bidding on the White House, and her abusive stepmother blame Shauna for the tragedy, which has left her beloved brother severely brain damaged. Leaning on Wayne Spade, a forgotten but hopeful lover who stays by her side, Shauna tries to sort out what happened that night by jarring her memory to life. Instead, she acquires a mysterious mental ability that will either lead her to truth or get her killed by the people trying to hide it.

In this blind game of cat and mouse that stares even the darkest memories in the face, Shauna is sure of only one thing: if she remembers, she dies.

If you would like to read the first chapter of KISS, go HERE

Watch the Video Trailer





What people are saying about KISS:
“The human brain could actually be the real final frontier—we know so little about it and yet it drives the world as we know it. So when authors like Erin and Ted bravely explore these mysterious regions, going into complex places like memory and soul and relationships, I become hooked. The creativity of this suspenseful story is sure to hook other readers as well. Very memorable!”
~Melody Carlson, author of Finding Alice and The Other Side of Darkness

“Dekker and Healy prove a winning team in this intriguing, imaginative thriller.”
~James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Try Darkness

“Kiss by Erin Healy and Ted Dekker is a superb thriller that hooked me from the first sentence. The original plot kept me guessing, and I may never look at a kiss the same way again. I’ll be watching for the next book!”
~Colleen Coble, author of Cry in the Night

“The writing team of Erin Healy and Ted Dekker has taken me through a page-turner with Kiss. It’s one of those books that you think about when you’re not reading it. I highly recommend it, especially if you don’t mind staying up late because you can’t put the book down!”
~Rene Gutteridge, author of Skid and My Life As a Doormat

Weekend Movie Viewing

A couple of weeks ago, hubby came to me and said there is this car thingey called "drifting" kinda like drag-racing but different. Okay, who knew? Hubby's graphic art studio was working on something or other that had to do with said "drifting" and the Movie Tokyo Drift. Well, who knew? I'm not up on trendy hipster car racing stuff. Am I getting old?

But then what do I see on TV? The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Okay, I am not one to watch sequels and I've never seen the F&theF. But the setting of the film was Tokyo and seeing I have heavy crush issues on Asian guys (God isn't finished with me yet) I figured I'd watch it. (And by the way I was not disappointed. The Chinese (good) bad guy was way hot!) I honestly think this movie was a good enough B flick and probably would've done better with me if it didn't have that F&F sequel thing attached to it.

Bad boy southern boy keeps drag-racing and is sent to live with the dad he hasn't seen since he was 3 who is in the army in Japan. As is to be expected, he's so hot and prone to trouble that soon he's involved with a gang of Japanese thugs and the (bad) bad guy is out to get him. Isn't that strange how that always happens? In these drag races, a girl is always cause of trouble. And of course... It was fairly predictable. The girl was multiculti which was pretty nice. You couldn't quite figure what race she was except you knew she probably had black in her. Somewhere. Very healing to see guys wanting a black woman. Perhaps movies are getting more enlightened.

(Interruption from the real world: hubby just found a big bottle of olive oil in a corner near my desk. Don't know how it got there but in this house stuff gets thrown all over the place by younger son. He's now looking around for other stuff...ooh, he just found a bottle of taco sauce, a couple of Bibles, and is still looking. Don't ask...we spend our mornings picking up books younger son tosses all over house and cleaning up the plaster from the walls he's kicked.)

Spent much of the day writing so couldn't really look at a lot of movies. The underside of being fairly healthy...so I wasn't in bed. Plus scifi channel was fairly gruesome...splatter horror. Hey, I know you like that (smile) but not moi. Couldn't deal. Borderlands looked kinda good but I missed most of it and only looked at it when the bleeding dying young kid was being stripped of his skin (I think) by the baddie and repeating Psalm 23. Weirdly, I must be in sync with the Bible because I can turn on the TV to any channel at any time and it's uncanny that the moment I choose to look at the TV or a specific channel is the time someone is saying something about God. It's odd but it makes me feel in sync -- a kind of God wink where God shows me he's with me even if my mind is on TV.

Then I watched one of my favorite movies again "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle." I love that movie. I like slacker movies, I like ethnic movies. So yeah... And I like how minority films tend to include other minorities. For instance, Ping Pong Playa --a Chinese slacker film-- had black folks in it.

Actually come to think of it, it was a pretty multicultural weekend. And I definitely like it that films contain tons of different minorities.

History Channel is having its Armageddon Week so they had some neat stuff on. And I watched of course, cause I get all doomsdayish sometimes. They had a documentary called Seven signs of the Apocalypse in which they talked about correlations between the Book of Revelations and what's happening in the world or what could happen. So they had all sorts of experts talking about climate change, famine, global pandemics, earthquakes, meteors, etc. They're great at postulating. Kinda fear-inducing but interesting.

So that's that.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Numbness and Rest

Okay, this morning I was listening to Evanescence "Bring Me To Life." I love that song. I love it in the way I love all really painful songs and it got me to thinking. One of the reasons I'm attracted to the dark side of things -- angry heavy metal, sad blues songs, heart-wrenching (good) country music-- is because Christian artists don't really deal with darkness well. God knows I have tried to sit in front of Gospel Music Channel and listen to their kind of dark music. Utter, utter, failure. Why? Inability to go to the core of things? Inability to touch the smelly Lazarus of painful emotion to help it resurrect? (<-- Wow, nice phrase that!)

Paul said the blood of Christ removes bloodguiltiness. Not just guilt but guiltiness is what stands between us and God. How can we receive -- even after we are forgiven if we still feel guilt? Isaiah wrote that the Servant of God would be wounded for our transgressions, the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. We are healed and redeemed from sin, emotional wounds caused by the sin of the world, and physical disease. Ministers have majored in the redemption from sin. But they have not used the gospel or the Bible stories to touch the other parts of the destroyed human soul. They have not really talked about emotional healing or physical healing with the fervor that they should have.

I'm thinking of the Prodigal because Joe Castillo sent me a DVD.



I hadn't thought of that parable in a while. But it is a perfect parable about numbness and rest, isn't it? Sure the kid sinned but he returned home because the world had made him numb and he needed rest. Jesus invites us to rest. To enter into his rest. Not the peace or rest humans can give, but the peace and rest that can cast all its care on God because we know God is loving.

A lot of Christian artist either give us a sentimental idea of that kind of rest or they don't show the journey to that rest or the terrible pain of that restlessness. Okay, maybe it's me. Maybe I'm so hard and numb a story really has to be incredibly painful and true to connect to me. But i dunno...it just seems to me that sentimentality doesn't heal many people.
Personal opinion.

Review: Never Say Diet

Never Say Diet



My review is up at blogcritics

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Wiconi upcoming events


Good changes for Wiconi in 2009. Here are a few upcoming gigs.

Here are some excerpts from Smoke Signals, the wiconi newsletter.

TBN PROGRAM – THURSDAY, JAN. 8

I am going to be a guest on TBN television network for their PTL program tomorrow (Thursday, 1-8-09). It’s a “live” program and will be aired at 7:00 pm PST. I’m very excited that Clifton Davis will be the program host and I get to meet Smoky Robinson, also a guest. I’d appreciate your prayers as I feel I have some thoughts I’d like to challenge viewers with about notions of justice and missions.

MISSION CONNEXION CONFERENCE

For our Northwest friends, please make plans to attend the Mission ConneXion Northwest Conference on January 17, 18 in Portland, Oregon. It is hosted at Sunset Presbyterian Church. Mission ConneXion Northwest is a two day event hosted by area churches that seeks to challenge the Church to fulfill the Great Commission. Its three-fold purpose is to inform, celebrate, and challenge people of all ages to get involved in missions by sending, praying, giving and going. I will be teaching two workshops and Randy Woodley, David Gomez and Gary Eastty will also be teaching in our track “Radical Shifts in Missions.”

NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST

Katherine and I will again attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, February 3, 4. We will meet with several Native leaders to keep the vision alive of established small groups of Native leaders in Native communities across the land for prayer, encouragement and friendship.

IMMANUEL’S CHURCH – SILVERSPRING MARYLAND

Pastor Twiss will be speaking at Immanuel’s Church on Sunday, Feb 8th.

Peace and blessings,

Richard Twiss
Wiconi International

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

CFBA: The Perfect Match


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Perfect Match

(Tyndale House January 1, 2009)

by

Susan May Warren



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susan grew up in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis, and became an avid camper from an early age. Her favorite fir-lined spot is the north shore of Minnesota is where she met her husband, honeymooned and dreamed of living.

The north woods easily became the foundation for her first series, The Deep Haven series, based on a little tourist town along the shores of Lake Superior. Her first full-length book, Happily Ever After, became a Christy Award Finalist published in 2004 with Tyndale/Heartquest.

As an award winning author, Susan returned home in 2004, to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota's north woods and the beautiful town that she always dreamed of living in.

You can sample a chapter of each and every one of Susan's novels, on her website, HERE.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Ellie Karlson is new to Deep Haven. As the town’s interim fire chief, she is determined to lead the local macho fire crew in spite of their misconceptions about her. But when someone begins setting deadly fires, Ellie faces the biggest challenge of her life. Especially when sparks fly with one of the volunteers on her crew: Pastor Dan Matthews. As Ellie battles to do her job and win the respect of her crew, she finds that there is one fire she can’t fight—the one Dan has set in her heart.
(This book is the repackaged edition published in 2004)

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Perfect Match, go HERE.

Awards:

2004 American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year

A Romantic Times Magazine TOP PICK – 4½ stars

Review:

Romantic Times Magazine:
Vibrant characters and vivid language zoom this action-packed romance to the top of the charts. This is a one-sitting read –once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down.

African-American Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators 1st Conference


African-American Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators 1st Conference Apr. 25, 2009, Charlotte NC

The conference will take place at Charlotte University Place Hotel, Charlotte, North Carolina and early registration is due by Feb 1.

Email them at AACBWI@aol.com if you're interested in serving on the committee or would like for us to send you information on Registration. For more details go to aakulturezone website to learn more

And here is the website for the AACBWI

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