Wednesday, November 30, 2011

in search of elegance

These gowns at left are straight out of the 18th-century. One of my author friends, Carla Gade, saw this amazing exhibit on a research trip not long ago and shared the photo. It's so inspiring I thought I'd do a related post.

Today I'm playing dress-up over at Colonial Quills where I'm posting about my own search for elegance. I've decided we're never too grown-up to fuss about fashion and admire lovely things! I'll close comments here in hopes you'll join me over there.

Happy last day of November!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Come Thou Fount

This is what I'm writing to this week. I've been singing this hymn all my life but love the instrumental version. The words were penned by an 18th-century Londoner who was notorious for drinking and gambling. One evening he and his friends heard George Whitefield preach. He was so haunted by his powerful words that he wrote this beautiful hymn. And we're still singing it today.

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

happy thanksgiving

I'm so thankful for...heaven, books, fresh apple cider, violins, new snow, babies, quilts, leftovers, a warm bed, antiques, walks in the woods, starlight, happy endings, you...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

more on giving thanks

Several of us are giving thanks over at Rachel's great blog this week and it's a wonderful reminder of our blessings, author or no. If you haven't visited this site before please do! It has fresh content nearly every day and gives you a peek at all the wonderful book out there. Heartfelt thanks to Rachel and Lifeway! And to you dear readers! Here's the link...Lifeway blog.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

giving thanks

Is it just me or do you think planning the holiday menu is half the fun? Well, aside from eating it, that is:) I'm always a bit amazed that it takes so long to cook a big dinner which is then demolished in mere minutes! Good thing I love to cook!

A couple of weeks ago my mom and I sat down together, got out my granny's old recipes as well as our favorites, and made a wish list:) We live pretty simply here in the woods but this year we're cooking for a crowd and I'm a bit staggered by our menu. But we'll have plenty of leftovers for everyone which is always a treat.

I'll admit I struggle with the excess of the holidays oftentimes. Having a brother who's worked among the very poor is a reminder of the many who do without. I remember, too, that the holidays are often difficult for those who are missing loved ones or wish they could rewrite the past. It's a bittersweet time.

The photograph at left is unique, I think, because of the old photographs on the Thanksgiving table. If I could I'd love to sit down with my ancestors this week and share a meal. They'd probably be right at home with some of the dishes that are a family tradition but might turn up their noses at the strawberry pretzel salad;)

I'm thankful Mom and I are both cooking this year. Fortunately, she's bringing the ham, sweet potato casserole, lima bean casserole, crunchy green pea salad, bacon and cauliflower salad, and praline pumpkin pie.

I'm in charge of the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, apple bacon cornbread stuffing, strawberry pretzel salad, green beans, deviled eggs, rolls, cranberry sauce, and chocolate cream and cherry pies. It's also Wyatt's 15th birthday so we're
celebrating that, too!

I'd love to hear how you'll be celebrating this year. Have a special dish? A tradition? If you could invite one of your ancestors for dinner, who would it be?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild the house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you know that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to?

The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards you thought were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Monday, November 14, 2011

new title for you!

I'm so excited to share my newest title with you this chilly Monday! The first book in
The Ballantyne Legacy series, which will release September of 2012, is...

Love's Reckoning

I'd love to know your first impressions. Aye? Nay? Dramatic? A bit dark? Romantic? Intriguing. Or not?!

Believe it or not, these were the working titles I'd chosen. I was a bit surprised that Revell kept both. That doesn't often happen. Below are the working titles and the actual published titles for my previous books:

Dogwood Winter...The Frontiersman's Daughter
Red River Daughter...Courting Morrow Little
The Colonel's Lady...The Colonel's Lady

Cover coming! If you have any cover ideas I'd love to hear those, too...

Friday, November 11, 2011

happy friday!

Today's winner of a signed copy of To Die For by Sandra Byrd is...


Congratulations and happy reading! If you could email me at and provide your snail mail address I'll mail the signed book to you - with bookmarks:) Next giveaway will be Tamera Alexander's A Lasting Impression.

Hope everyone has a blessed weekend, curled up by the fire with a good book, planning that Thanksgiving menu, or something autumnal. I'll be back Monday to share my next book title. Yep, it's official! I just received word from Revell. Can't wait to tell you here...

See you then:)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


We often want to be called of God, then ushered painlessly into a position of service and honor, miraculously possessing the character our callings require. God doesn't work that way. Our appointments are not about glamour. They're about glory. God's glory.

The tricky thing about God's preparation is how He prepares us - even through trials. We find ourselves saying, "I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I never would have expected this."

Painless of painful, enjoyable or distasteful, God always works to prepare us to serve Him, but He rarely prepares us in ways we expect. Why must we experience such preparation? Because any work we've grown accustomed to is usually a work completed. As soon as we've learned one lesson, He brings another. He will continue to work in us until we see His face. because that, beloved, is the ultimate moment for which we're being prepared.

Make no mistake. Jesus will be worth it.
~Beth Moore
David, Seeking a Heart Like His

Monday, November 7, 2011

to die for

I'm such a fan of British history and when a new book popped up about Ann Boleyn - with a beautiful cover - I was an instant fan before I'd even read a word. And then the author and I bumped into each other online and she invited me to lunch:) We happen to live within a few hours of each other so off I zipped in my old red Jeep around Puget Sound to Port Orchard.We met at author Debbie Macomber's tea room for "high tea." And talked nonstop for three hours about books!

The tea room and gift shop were already decorated for Christmas and across the way is Debbie's knitting shop - a beautiful building that made me want to start clacking my needles.
Now back to Sandra's book...

The cover is stunning. I felt an instant kinship since I have a headless heroine myself;) And the prose... Oh my! Here's one lush line...

She loved him to the point of anguish.

Now that's to die for in my opinion! I won't tell you who's anguishing for whom. You'll just have to read the book! And you have a chance of doing so right here. I have a signed copy for one of you. Just leave a comment if you'd like to enter the drawing.

I love what Liz Curtis Higgs said about this book:

"Sandra Byrd's first venture into historical fiction is nothing short of brilliant. All the Tudor details are perfectly placed, like gemstones in a royal readers a wider glimpse of history, a greater measure of hope, and an ending that satisfies at the deepest level. Simply put, To Die For is the best historical novel I've read in many a season, a masterpiece of history and heart."

You can visit Sandra at her beautifully done blog and see other books she's written and check out her mentoring and editing. Thanks, Sandra, for a wonderful tea! And a to-die-for book:) Winner announced this Friday, November 11th.

What are you reading right now?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hallmark Channel - Love's Christmas Journey - Premiere Promo

Thanks to a dear reader, Angi, for letting me know this next Love Comes Softly movie is here! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


If something I'm asked to do for another feels burdensome;
If, yielding to an inward unwillingness, I avoid doing it,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me;
If I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself;
If I love to be loved more than to love,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If the burden my Lord asks me to bear be not the burden of my heart's choice,
And I fret inwardly and do not welcome His will,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I covet anyplace on earth but the dust at the foot of the cross,
Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

~Amy Carmichael
Missionary to India