In no particular order, Angela Hunt is a novelist, a nana, teacher, mother, wife, mastiff owner, reader, musician, student, aspiring theologian, apprentice baker, and bubble gum connoisseur. The things that enter her life sooner or later find their way into her books, hence "a life in pages."
The other day I made a point of watching Tim Gunn on Bravo--and was astounded to hear him say that every woman really only needs ten things in her closet.Ha!
Since my hubby has been complaining about our huge--and overcrowded--closet, I ordered Tim Gunn's book. I haven't finished it yet, but I have begun the great closet cleanout.
Now--in order to understand the full ramifications of this feat, you need to understand that four years ago I lost sixty pounds. At my lowest weight, I got rid of all my larger clothes and went on a shopping spree--so many of the things in my closet are Barbie-sized. Lots of things, many with tags still on.
And as time went by, so did my Barbie proportions. I haven't gained sixty pounds back yet, but I've regained enough to make me cry uncle and go back to counting points, calories, bites, whatever works. And in the mean time, I've had to buy other things in larger sizes--enough clothes that my closet now looks like T.J. Maxx at closing time.
So--I'm going to follow Tim's advice and pare down the closet. I'm not sure I'll get down to ten things, but as I get older I do feel myself needing to simplify. I really would rather have twenty nice things than five dozen things I'm not so wild about. And lots of jeans, of course.
I even bought a mannequin, because I'm going to be selling stuff on eBay. (No, I'm not telling you what my eBay name is. My closet life and my blog life shall remain two separate things.)
Here's to simplicity. And to seeing the walls of my closet again.
I have to admit--I have greeted all reports of global warming with a rolling of the eye, especially since reading STATE OF FEAR by Michael Crichton. Yes, I know it's a novel, but the man did his research, and he did a great job of making his case.
Bottom line: I believe the study of climate change is so big and vast and covers so many ages that only a handful of people on this planet are capable of understanding the subject. I'm not one of them . . . but neither are a lot of other people who are spouting off warnings about global warming.
Furthermore, and even more to the point, I don't believe man controls this planet. Scripture tells me he doesn't. We are to be good stewards of the earth--I'm all for personal responsibility--but I really don't believe we have the power to effect climate change.
I found this in the October 25th Wall Street Journal.
John Christy is a member of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (and co-recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize), and in this interview he responds to questions put forth by CNN anchor Miles O'Brien:
O'Brien: I assume you're not happy about sharing this award with Al Gore. You going to renounce it in some way?
Christy: Well, as a scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, I always thought that--I may sound like the Grinch who stole Christmas here--that prizes were given for performance, and not for promotional activities.
And when I look at the world, I see that the carbon dioxide rate is increasing, and energy demand, of course, is increasing. And that's because, without energy, life is brutal and short. So I don't see very much effect in trying to scare people into not using energy, when it is the very basis of how we can live in our society.
O'Brien: so, what about the movie["An Inconvenient Truth"]" do you take issue with, then, Dr. Christy?
Christy: Well, there's any number of things. I suppose, fundamentally, it's the fact that someone is speaking about a science that I have been heavily involved with and have labored so hard in, and been humiliated by, in the sense that the climate is so difficult to understand, Mother Nature is so complex, and so the uncertainties are great, and then to hear someone speak with such certainty and such confidence about what the climate is going to do is--well, I suppose I could be kind and say it's annoying to me.
O'Brien: But you just got through saying that the carbon dioxide levels are up. Temperatures are going up. There is a certain degree of certainty that goes along with that, right?
Christy: Well, the carbon dioxide is going up. And remember that carbon dioxide is plant food in the fundamental sense. All of life depends on the fact carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere. So we're fortunate it's not a toxic gas. But, on the other hand, what is the climate doing. and when we build--and I'm one of the few people in the world that actually builds these climate data sets--we don't see the catastrophic changes that are being promoted all over the place.
For example, I suppose CNN did not announce two weeks ago when the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its all-time maximum, even though, in the Arctic in the North Pole, it reached its all-time minimum.
Angie here: I saw those video clips on all the major news report and the disappearing North Pole. Those poor polar bears without any ice to climb around on. Why didn't anyone tell me that the ANTARCTIC ice was at an all-time high? Sigh.
Consider these tidbits: "As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night." Genesis 8:22.
"You, O God, are my king from ages past, bringing salvation to the earth. . . . .You caused the springs and streams to gush forth, and you dried up rivers that never run dry. Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight and the sun. You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter. " Psalm 74:12-17.
"Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light . . ." Daniel 2;20-21.
In other words, God controls everything on this planet, even the temperature. :-) We are to be responsible stewards, we are to live righteous lives in our spheres of influence, but we're not to fret about climate change. Especially when the One who melts ice in the north turns up the freezer in the south. :-)
A Texas Legacy Christmas by DiAnn Mills - www.diannmills.com
Amazon Link - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1597898228
Just In Time For The Holidays: An Enchanting New Addition To The Texas Legacy Series
Zack Kahler is ready to head out of New York City and back to Texas to take over his hometown paper. Just before leaving town, the newsman finds himself the intended victim of a pair of lively six-year-old pickpockets by the name of Curly and Charlie. After learning the two are homeless, Zack decides to bring them back to Kahlerville. But will Zack be able to run the newspaper, recover from a lost love, and still manage to keep his unruly charges out of trouble?
Chloe Weaver has been an outcast all of her life. When she and the twins are thrown together, they form a unique bond. Through their relationship, Zack begins to learn some lessons about life and feels his heart stirring with love for this delightful woman. But when a misunderstanding threatens to drive them apart, Zack is in jeopardy of failing the biggest test of his life.
Zack, Chloe, and the twins each have past reputations to overcome. Will they succeed in finding the acceptance for which they’ve longed? Could it take a Christmas miracle for their dreams to come true?
Snuggle down between the covers of A Texas Legacy Christmas, where the miracle of love and life awaits you on every page.
What reviewers are saying about A Texas Legacy Christmas:
“A Texas Legacy Christmas,” by DiAnn Mills, is Christian Romance at its finest. Ms. Mills is an exceptional writer. The plot of this story flows smoothly. I could not put it down and read it in one sitting. The characters were so well-developed that they jumped off the page and came alive in front of me. Zack and Chloe’s romance is endearing.... Ms. Mills uses Christian values and tells a story of true romance. I highly recommend “A Texas Legacy Christmas” to fans of Christian romance. - Debra Gaynor for Reader Views
"A wonderful book to curl up with during holiday down time, the fourth book in the Texas Legacy series - and the sequel to Lightning and Lace - delivers an awesome Christmas romance set in the early 20th century" (4 stars) - Patsy Glans for Romantic Times
"A Texas Legacy Christmas, by DiAnn Mills, is a charming conclusion to her popular Texas Legacy series. Set during the fall and Christmas season, it has a powerful message about opening your heart to the misfortunate and also about forgiveness. Readers will be charmed with A Texas Legacy Christmas and find themselves wanting to open their hearts to others this Christmas season". - Vickie McDonough
"DiAnn Mills does a magnificent job in telling this heart-warming Christmas story. With a mixture of Christian values, she captivates readers on the first page. This is the first book I’ve read from author, DiAnn Mills, and it is wonderful! It is the kind of story I would love to receive as a Christmas present or give as a gift. The end holds an enticing surprise that you can make and give along with a copy of A Texas Legacy Christmas. Blue Ribbon Rating 4.5 - Amelia for Romance Junkies
Q & A with the author - DiAnn Mills
1. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Do we ever really know what God has planned? :) I’ve been contracted to write more contemporary romantic suspense, and I’m very excited. I’m also excited about writing historical fiction for Avon inspire.
2. Tell us a little about your family.
I have four sons – stair steps. Three are adopted. They are grown, and we have one precious granddaughter. Dean and I have been married thirteen and a half years. He is a tremendous help and support to my writing ministry. I often say that he is my best cheerleader and my worst critic.
3. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I read critically while enjoying a good story. One change is if I’m not hooked from the first sentence, I’ll continue the page and maybe a few more pages, then I’m done.
4. What are you working on right now?
Contemporary romantic suspense. My head is spinning with the characterization and plot elements.
5. What outside interests do you have?
I mentor writing students for Jerry Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild. I also teach writing. I’m actively involved in ministering and raising awareness about the critical situation in Sudan, and I volunteer at a Biblical counseling center. Oops! I’m finishing up a degree at Moody Bible Institute.
6. How do you choose your settings for each book?
It is all about “what-if.” Many times the setting is a character too. For example: if a character is afraid of water, then the setting will be near a body of river. If a character cannot tolerate heat or cold, then the setting will be there.
7. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Louisa May Alcott. Her book Little Women and those that followed were my childhood treasures. They inspired me to adopt boys, write, and give back to others.
8. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
:) To read Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel and Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook along with taking his workshops. But I don’t think he was in the forefront then.
9. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To understand forgiveness. To continually challenge myself in writing. To grasp how wide and deep His love.
10. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Pray about your writing ministry. Read and write everyday. Take what you learn and help other writers.
11. Tell us about the featured book. A Texas Legacy Christmas is the fourth and final book in the Texas Legacy Series. This Christmas love story is about Zack Kahler. He’s ready to head out of New York City and back to Texas to take over his hometown, newspaper. Just before leaving town, he finds himself the intended victim of a pair of six-year-old pickpockets. After learning the two are orphans, Zack decides to take them back with him to Kahlerville, Texas. Oh, but he is not ready to meet the antics of two streetwise children who are loveable and full of mischief. The heroine is Chloe Weaver, a young woman who has been an outcast all of her life. The four are thrown together into a mixture of love, tears, and lots of Christmas joy.
12. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I invite you to sign-up for my monthly newsletter!
Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold more than a million copies.
DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” Her desire is to show characters solving real problems of today from a Christian perspective through a compelling story.
She lives in sunny Houston, Texas, the home of heat, humidity, and Harleys. In fact she’d own a Harley, but her legs are too short. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.
There's an urban myth floating around that says the following:
In Japan , they have replaced the impersonal Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku Poetry has strict construction rules: Each poem has only 17 Syllables - 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. They often achieve a wistful, yearning, and powerful insight through extreme brevity.
Aren't these better than "your computer has performed an illegal operation?"
Now--according to Snopes.com, these aren't Japanese at all, but the collected winning entries from a contest sponsored by SALON in 1998. That sounds more like it. :-)
------------------------------------------------------ The Web site you seek
And please visit http://whatatholwrote.blogspot.com/ to read what our friend Terri Blackstock wrote about the upcoming election. Terri doesn't (yet) have a regular blog, so we'll have to enjoy her on Athol's blog!
Congratulations to Jean with her slogan of "Your serenity guaranteed" for the Fairlawn Funeral Home. I'm boxing up a ten-pound box of books for her.
I am enjoying this lull between novels. I'm officially working on the third book in the Fairlawn series, titled SHE'S IN A BETTER PLACE. And I AM working, I'm just not writing yet. I'm . . . percolating. A lovely part of the process, especially when major appliances in your house break down and your day is interrupted with daughters-with-wisdom-teeth-extractions, etc.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to percolating . . .
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you've heard me mention that THE NOTE will be airing on the Hallmark Channel during the month of December--and premiering on Dec. 8th. Hallmark has done something I think is really special for this movie--they've established http://www.whatwouldyouwrite.com . . . a web site where you can leave a note for someone special in your life. Then you can send your friends, family, and loved ones to the site to look for their note!
Please take a moment to check it out.
And . . . if you have a neighborhood (or blogosphere) book club, here's an idea. I've been thinking, and though I am usually reluctant to suggest my own books for my neighborhood book club, I'm thinking we could read THE NOTE for the month of November or December, then get together on December 8th and have a premier party! I'd suggest that we even do it in pajamas, but that's probably asking too much. :-) Maybe if we lived in a college dorm . . .
In any case, I owe thanks to the good folks at Hallmark for allowing me to use the art and the video clip you'll find on my web site. They're doing such a great job . . . I'm thrilled.
Googleganger. I ran across the word last week when I was skimming through a stack of NEWSWEEKs. You probably know what a doppelganger is--your shadowy twin. Your "googleganger" is the person who has your name and comes up when you do a "vanity search"--a search for your own name in Google.
According to the article, your Googleganger is your "rival in a race to the top of the Google hit list." But for others, a Googleganger is a "lifelong irritant." I mean, can you imagine sharing your name with a porn star? A Nobel prize winner?
I've discovered a couple of my personal Googlegangers--not really through Google, but because we're all vying for "angelahunt.com." Due to the vagaries of the registration system, I didn't get it--Angela Hunt the Democratic council woman in Dallas did. And there's "AngelaHuntmusic.com," which belongs to a musician, and there's an Angela Hunt publishing company, which also isn't me, and there's an Angela Hunt who takes art photographs. There's an Angela Hunt who writes for a British TV show . . . and an Angie Hunt who reports for a TV station in the midwest, I think.
Actually, now that you think of it, I think it's interesting that all these Angela Hunts are active in artistic fields. I'm sure there are other Angela Hunts who aren't, but we artsy types have all convened on the web.
I'm happy to share my name (seeing that I don't have much choice in the matter!), and I hope all the other Angela Hunts will do well in their work and remember that we are all--literally--bearing each other's names. So let's keep our noses clean, girls, and mind our reputations. In this age, when we are all connected, a name has never been more important.
My friend Deb has a new release out this month. She's on her way out of town to visit a new grandson (!), but she said I could share some information about Within This Circle with you!
Deborah Raney is at work on her seventeenth novel. Her books have won the RITA Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award and the Silver Angel from Excellence in Media, and Playing by Heart was a Christy Award finalist. Deborah's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her new Clayburn Novels series from Howard/Simon & Schuster kicked off with Remember to Forget. Leaving November will be out in March 2008 and Yesterday's Embers early in 2009. Deb serves on the advisory board of American Christian Fiction Writers and loves teaching at writers conferences. She and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They have four children and two little grandsons who live much too far away. Visit Deb's website at http://www.deborahraney.com
The brand new sequel to A Vow to Cherish, will release this week from Steeple Hill in mass market format. Within This Circle continues the story of John Brighton and Julia Sinclair. After a tumultuous courtship, John and Julia Brighton have a second chance at happiness, a fresh marriage and, now that their children are grown, a new era in their lives to revel in the promise of the future. Only such a promise is never guaranteed. And life can change in a heartbeat. The Brightons' life is turned upside down when John's daughter, Jana, abandons her husband Mark and three-year-old daughter. As Jana struggles through delayed grief over her mother's death, her actions put her marriage and her own daughter in danger. John and Julia reach out to little Ellie, to give the young couple time to heal, but the little girl is confused and longing for her mother. How much sorrow and stress can both fledgling marriages endure? Two very different couples––each with only their love and faith to guide them––can only pray it will be enough.
A Vow to Cherish released in mass market format last month. This beautiful book duo would make a wonderful Christmas gift for your favorite reader.
Before I delve into the daily topic, please visit Athol Dickson's blog (http://whatatholwrite.blogspot.com) and do as he suggests regarding Mike Huckabee. If you're like me, you've been wondering if you'll have a voice in this coming election at all. Well--we won't have any voice if we sit this one out, so let's get off our seats and DO something. Please send everyone you know to Athol's blog. Thanks.
I participated in a promotional venture called "Author Buzz" this mont and asked readers to come up with a slogan for the Fairlawn Funeral Home. The winner receives a ten-pound box of books.
I don't need any more entries, but will you help me select a winner? Just mention your favorite in the comments box, and I'll total them up in a couple of days. :-) Thank
From Lisa: "Better than they Ever Looked" From Maureen: "Life Comes At You Fast . . . and then it Doesn't." From Julie: "Where the Grand Come to Rest" From Joey: "We Prepare the Finest!" From Rosemary: "They're Just Dying to Get In!" From Stephanie: "Fairlawn Funeral Home . . . Where the Fun is Finished!" From Carol: "The Place People are Dying to Get Into!" From Karen: "Fairlawn Funeral Home: Always Fair and Always There" From Bob: "People are just dying to get in." From Laurie: "We take care of you forever." From Jane: "Come visit the Fairlawn Funeral Home at Mount Dora and make plans to stay forever" From K: "Don't I look like myself?" From Mari: "We're here for you!" From Heidi: We help you look better than in real life. From Jean: Your serenity guaranteed. From Cynthia: We satisfy all customers, dead or alive. From Kathy L: "We take care of the whole being: skin to soul." From Rebekah: Fairlawn Funeral Home, Where Death Is Beautiful. From Terri: "Dying to Get In." From Sharon F: The Fairlawn Funeral Home - Where You Can Finally Relax! From Stacy: Once they're gone, bring them to Fairlawn! From Susan M: Let us make your death an easy transition. From Nicole K: Come for the lodging, stay for the view. From Rhonda C: You Pop 'Em We Plant 'Em. From Kathy C: "On the way to where the grass is always greener." From Kay C: "Remains to be seen."
Whew! PLEASE help me select a winner. Tell me your ONE favorite in the comments box. Thanks so much!
On the 25th of this month, we will have been in our present house five years. (Yes, the picture really is my house, but the lawn looks nothing like those trees . . . and is no where near that size. My office is the big set of windows all the way to the left). I don't know about you, but for me, five years is a long time. It's not the longest we've ever stayed in one house (eight years is the record), but it's long enough for me to start itching.
But moving is out of the question, and so are major home improvements (the only way I made it through eight years at the record-holding house). You see, I'm an INTJ, and our mantra is "improvement, improvement!", and I have to be improving something in order to be happy. In the past, in other houses, this has taken the form of adding on--rooms, garages, porches, walkways, you name it. But in this house, there's no room to expand. And there's a homeowners association that frowns on undue creativity, if you get my drift.
Which leaves me between books and itching to improve . . . so I've begun to move furniture. The old office carpet is gone because 1) it had holes in it, worn by Charley's nesting and 2) it was very doggy. I bought a new rug for the office and the dogs love it so much they just smile and loll around on it, ensuring that it will soon be every bit as doggy as the one sitting out by the curb. That's why I buy inexpensive acrylic rugs for my office. You can throw them out every five years and not feel wasteful.
Today I also took a long look at my library, adjacent to my office, which has not had a good traffic flow since we moved in. One entire wall is bookshelves, which you might expect, and the opposite wall is windows. I need a comfy chair in there, a chair in which one can curl up with a good book, but the present chair is a bit too small for such purposes.
Fortunately, I had the perfect chair in the living room, a match with my two sofas. I learned long ago, though, that one should not be afraid to break up sets of anything. So the large comfy chair has gone into the library, and the too-small chair is on its way Out. I think it'll end up in the middle school department, tucked into a little room somewhere.
Whenever one piece of furniture is moved, however, others must be moved, too, so the French bookcase went into the hallway, the easel with painting had to move from the hallway to the dining room, and the library table had to go where the French bookcase used to be. And, of course, I had to go out and buy a new chair--a lovely French country piece with cushions and a rush seat--from my local Home Goods store. All in all, I feel good about my nesting, even though I've only adjusted one room. Many rooms were touched, but only one rug and one (inexpensive) chair was purchased. The "Trading Spaces" people would be proud of me. :-)
Something about fall weather awakens my nesting urge. But moving furniture is much cheaper and easier than moving. At least, that's what I keep telling my husband when I tell him what has to be hauled in or out.
How about you? Do you re-feather the nest in spring? Fall? Or do you just hop up and look for a new nest?
It’s at me again—eating at me in every spare minute, every time I watch a movie, every time I pick up a book.
I don’t know what to call it except “yearning,” but there’s probably a fancy French name for it . . . Sort of like ennui, but not.
It’s a yearning to create something . . . Bigger, deeper, better than anything I’ve ever even attempted before. Something truly outlandish and REALLY unexpected. Something that people won’t even believe came from me. Something that glorifies God and uses stretches the uses of Story to the boundaries of its capabilities.
I feel this yearning every time I watch a really good movie, hear a really good story, or am in the lull between books (like now). It gnaws at me constantly, and I don’t know how to explain it to hubby or friends or people in the grocery store . . . Though I’d love to yank some of them by the collar and say, “Don’t you feel it sometimes?”
Since beginning this post, thanks to my friend Wendy, I've learned the fancy name for this feeling: it's German, and it's sehnsucht. (I feel compelled to say, "God bless you." ) You can look it up on Wikipedia for a lovely discussion of the term.
C.S. Lewis said there's no direct interpretation but it's like "an inconsolable longing." He characterized it this way in his book, the Weight of Glory: “In speaking of this desire for our own far-off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you-- the secret which hurts so much that you take revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence.”
Ah, that's coming very close. All I know is I am eaten up with this feeling every time I sit down to contemplate a new book . . . and I never feel that I've arrived.
Okay, this little thing is driving me crazy. It's supposed to tell if you're left or right brained. Look at the twirling dancer in the link above and tell me--is she twirling counter clockwise or clockwise?
Yesterday she twirled counter-clockwise for me nearly all day. But after I took a break to do some reading, I came back and saw her as twirling clockwise. Yet I ran her past some of my friends who swear that she's consistently turning clockwise (I suppose they're much more creative than I am.) But the pragmatist in me says that she ought to be twirling in one way for all! No switching back and forth!
And no, she doesn't really change--some of my pals watched with their spouses, and each of them saw her twirling in a different direction--some even saw her "change" while the other one didn't!
Sigh. Okay--so look at her and tell me--which way does she twirl for YOU? OOps! Now's she's twirling clockwise!
Maybe you've seen this . . . but even if you have, it's worth a repeat.
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8year-olds, 'What does love mean?'
The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.
'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' Rebecca- age 8
'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' Billy - age 4
'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' Karl - age 5
'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.' Chrissy - age 6
'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' Terri - age 4
'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.' Danny - age 7
'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss' Emily - age 8
'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' Bobby - age 7
If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,' Nikka - age 6
'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.' Noelle - age 7
'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well. Tommy - age 6
'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' Cindy - age 8
'My mommy loves me more than anybody . You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.' Clare - age 6
'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' Elaine-age 5
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt.' Chris - age 7
'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.' Mary Ann - age 4
'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.' Lauren - age 4
'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' Karen - age 7
'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' Jessica - age 8
And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry.'
Here's praying for a little more love in your day,
My pal Lyn Cote has a new book out--and I'm really intrigued by the "department store" concept that provides the basis of the books. If I had a genuine department store in my area, I probably wouldn't get any work done!
• Publisher: Avon Inspire $9.95 • ISBN-10: 0061349941 • ISBN-13: 978-0061349942 • Link to purchase http://booksbylyncote.com/LC1/?page_id=4
Review By Harriet Klausner –
"Whispers of Love". Several years have past since the Civil War made Jessie Wagstaff a single mother. She runs a Chicago boarding house as she raises her young son Linc. A new guest Lee Smith makes her feel uneasy as he seems too interested in her late husband's family and besides she feels attracted to him. However, when the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 threatens mother and daughter, Lee risks his life to keep them safe.
"Lost in His Love". In 1906 San Francisco social activist Linc Wagstaff demands the city outlaw child labor. To make his case stronger he investigates the Dickensian exploitation. During his inquiries he meets heiress Cecilia Jackson. As they fall in love, he holds her accountable for practices her trustees are doing to increase her wealth. Before they can confront one another, an earthquake devastates the city leaving everyone struggling to survive.
"Echoes of Mercy". Meg Wagstaff has returned to the States after spending time as a volunteer in France during the war. Her parents, Linc and Cecilia are elated she came back safe, but Meg learns her childhood friend Delman Dubois has been accused of murdering Mitch Kennedy by the New Orleans police. Meg refuses to believe Del would kill anyone so she travels to the city to prove her Negro friend is innocent. As Del faces racism that will gladly lynch him, Meg feels like a traitor as she is attracted to her opponent New Orleans Parish Attorney Gabriel St. Clair.
The omnibus collection of the three superb Wagstaff BLESSED ASSURANCE inspirational historical tales will elate fans of the genre as each era comes alive due to the strong lead couple and a deep support cast. "
Also drop by www.shoutlife.com/LynCote and read Lyn's blog about Chicago 1871. The latest Blog discusses a Chicago institution, the Marshall Field's Department Store, which after over a century of doing business in Chicago was bought out by Macy's in the past few years. • Chicago Blog #10
• "Give the Lady What She Wants"-- Marshall Field • If you grew up near Chicago as I did, the name of the famous Chicago Department Store, "Marshall Field's," possessed an allure of fine shopping, elegance and class. But I never realized until I was doing my research for BLESSED ASSURANCE that the department store concept was a 19th century social movement. No! I'm not kidding! In the emerging more urban culture, men had saloons to gather in daily but what social institution did "the ladies" have to go to? • Well, Marshall Field decided it should be his store! And he designed a place where every woman—by just walking through the door— became a "lady." With a tea room to meet her friends for lunch or just a cup of tea and conversation. A place where a liveried boy opened the door for her and a store which boasted marble floors and Greek columns and sparkling display counters. • Needless to say, Marshall Field's was a success. His guiding principles were: "best quality, attractively presented, customers received with courteous and considerate treatment. Nothing petty or little." • Next Tuesday, drop by for more about what the department store experience was like for the lady of 1871. www.shoutlife.com/LynCote • Link to purchase http://booksbylyncote.com/LC1/?page_id=4
Because curiosity killed the cat--and me: here's the recipe for a chocolate babka. Happy baking, everyone!
Chocolate Babka From All Recipes.com
2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup unsalted butter 1 1/4 cups white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 eggs 1 cup sour cream 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 10 inch tube pan. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the butter and 1 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Change the mixer speed to medium, and beat in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, alternately beat the flour mixture and sour cream into the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until just blended.
For the topping: In a small bowl combine the chocolate, pecans, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to make a crumb mixture. Spread half of the batter in the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the crumb mixture. Pour in the remaining batter, and sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture; press the crumbs in lightly so they adhere to the batter. Quickly, but gently cut through the batter and crumbs in an up and down motion with a knife. Lightly rap the pan once against a hard surface, to settle the batter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil. Continue baking until a skewer inserted halfway between the side of the pan and the tube comes out clean, about 20 minutes longer. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Invert cake onto rack, and cool completely.
If you make this, let me know how it turns out! My hubby has a birthday this weekend--I wonder if he'd like a chocolate babka birthday cake?
I am sitting here in the Edmonton airport, thinking about cakes. This is because I began to think about cakes after reading Susan Plett's blog on Friday (see "Accidental Poet" in my blogroll), but I had to stop thinking about cakes and suddenly switch to thinking about Getting to Edmonton.
I ought to be thinking about THE FACE, which I have to hand in tomorrow, but the airport is not the place to descend to the Deeper Level I need to think about THE FACE. So I'm back to thinking about cakes.
10 Good things about cakes
1. I had one for breakfast at a Tim Horton's. You can't go to Canada without eating at Tim's, but you don't have to eat cake. I ate it because I saw a yummy looking carrot cake in the display case. It would have been better if it had been warmed. 2. Cakes are delicious. 3. Cakes are hospitable. No matter how many people come for dinner, you can always stretch a cake so there's enough for everyone. 4. Cakes are creative. You can bake them in almost any shape, and decorate them with almost anything--it doesn't even have to be edible. You can also make cupcakes, which are extremely portable--even tossable. 5. People only care what a cake looks like until you begin to eat it. Once the cake is sliced, you can take off the plastic football guys, totally ruin the design, or crumble it all over someone's plate. No one cares. 6. Cakes are festive. What's a party without a cake? 7. Cakes are extraverted. You see a cake, you want to invite people in to share it. 8. Cakes are kid-friendly. They can help with the mixing, the icing, or even the picking-out at Sam's. 9. Cakes have calories as well as sugar, flour, milk and eggs. And if you add vegetables, as in a carrot cake, you can eat the entire food pyramid in one dessert. 10. Cakes keep for days. If you have a cake on hand, you're always ready for company.
Not so Good Things About Cakes 1. They're big. If you're on a diet, cakes stick around forever and whisper your name. 2. They're calorie-dense. There just aren't enough vegetables in a cake to negate this fact. 3. Cakes are king of the holidays. I, for one, would love to celebrate my birthday with a pie. 4. Cakes are crumbly and require cleanup, especially if kids are involved. 5. Cakes are extraverted. This is a sometimes problem for introverts. 6. Cakes are party-centered. Therefore there is nothing sadder than someone sitting alone in a kitchen and eating cake.
7. There's a funny Seinfeld episode about a chocolate bobka. (sp?) The episode is good, the bad thing is that I've never had a chocolate bobka. Or a plain bobka. In fact, I don't know that I've ever bobkaed at all.
8. My mind contains a memory of some man talking about cake--except he pronounces it "keck." The line is something like, "You want keck?" The bad thing is that I can't remember who says it or in what context. It's just a loose, floating memory that won't be anchored until I hear it again. 9. Some people can create beautiful cakes like the one in the photograph. I can't.
And there you have it. My feelings about cake. Would you like to add your feelings to either list?
I wanted you all to know about my friend Linda's new book:
Shadows in the Mirror An October release from Steeple Hill/Love Inspired Suspense ISBN-10: 0373442610 ISBN-13: 978-0373442614
About the book: SHADOWS IN THE MIRROR
''Never go back to Burlington!" Those were the dying words of the secretive aunt who'd raised orphaned Marylee Simson. Yet to discover who she was, Marylee had to go back, sure the Lord would look out for her. But learning anything about her past was proving impossible. Why were there no records of the accident that claimed her parents' lives? No records of her parents, period? And who was trying to stop her from finding out? Someone whose threats were escalating. Someone close to her, such as Evan Baxter, the handsome photographer she'd entrusted with the one clue she had.
Shadows in the Mirror is the first in a three-book romantics suspense trilogy where these shadows of the past must be accepted, acknowledged and forgiven before one can move onto life and love in the present.
What people are saying about Shadows in the Mirror:
Linda Hall has done an outstanding job. The tension and suspense will engage you from the first page. The fast pace and even flow of the story will keep you turning the pages. I recommend you read this novel to find out the dramatic ending. Romance Reviews Today
In Shadows in the Mirror, Hall has done an excellent job or marrying her skills in character development and suspenseful plots with a strong romance element…. if you love Romantic Suspense, with the October release of Shadows in the Mirror you have cause to celebrate, as another strong Romantic Suspense author has been added to the must read list. The Suspense Zone
About the author:
Linda Hall is the award winning author of fifteen novels and a number of short stories. She is the author of the bestselling Margaret’s Peace and the critically acclaimed Sadie’s Song. She has received The Word Guild award five times for best Christian mystery in Canada, has been short listed twice for a Christy (Sadie’s Song and Steal Away) and once for a Daphne (Steal Away). When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends and listening to good music. She and her husband also enjoy sailing the New Brunswick and Maine coasts. She invites readers to her website: http://writerhall.com
Network Launches Internet Campaign to Bring Inspirational Words to Millions and Possibly Aid in Renewed Connections
“The Note,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie, Premieres Saturday, December 8 (9/8c) on the Network
If you were asked to write a few heartfelt words to someone but only had a minute to do so, what would you say? Who would you reach out to? Would you express love, appreciation, regret? This is one of the central themes of the Hallmark Channel Original Movie “The Note.” To exhibit the power a few words can have on the lives of others, Hallmark Channel is launching www.WhatWouldYouWrite.comon Monday, October 22 as an outlet for viewers to submit their own notes. The site’s first featured notes will be from the film’s stars, including Genie Francis (“General Hospital”) and Ted McGinley (“Hope & Faith”), and producer Joel Rice.
In addition to serving as a forum for these inspirational words, Hallmark Channel is aiming to use the site as a catalyst for real-life reconciliations. If a parent wishes to speak to an estranged child, a pro athlete wants to thank his high school coach or if someone needs to express their feeling to ‘the one that got away,’ Hallmark Channel will do its best to put their words in front of millions, hopeful that it will result in heartfelt reunions.
“As an actor, you ask yourself what you hope an audience will take away from your role and your film,” Francis says. “Of course, ‘The Note’ is meant to entertain. But during the production of the movie, Ted (McGinley) and I have hoped that the WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE campaign might also have the power to reconcile people and differences, regardless of the rifts that may exist, or how long any bitterness has persisted. It would be amazing to see an hour of “Oprah” dedicated to the goal of “The Note,” a true example of the healing power of love and forgiveness on display during the holiday season.”
In “The Note,” Francis stars as Peyton MacGruder, a struggling newspaper columnist who suddenly finds herself in possession of a scrap of paper containing a hastily written but heartfelt message written by one of the passengers of an airliner that was about to crash to his child. Inspired by the power of the words, Peyton pledges to discover the note’s intended recipient and deliver it by Christmas. Taking her readers along for the journey while trying to stay one step ahead of a TV tabloid reporter, Peyton sets out across the country in her search, and unexpectedly confronts her own personal demons in the process.
The film is of particular importance to Rice, who turned to film production after several years as a licensed social worker. Although he appreciated the chance his work gave him to help people heal and grow, he regretted only being able to assist a limited number of people. He has since made it his life’s work to bring uplifting and inspiring films to as many people as possible, and has produced more than 20 made-for-television films. “The Note” proudly carries on that tradition.
“The Note,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie premiering Saturday, December 8 (9/8c), stars “General Hospital” legend Genie Francis and Ted McGinley, best known for his work on “MarriedWith Children” and “Hope & Faith.” The film is a co-production of Hallmark Channel and Lightworks Pictures in association with WildRice Productions. Joel S. Rice (“Shredderman Rules”) and William Spencer Riley are executive producers. Maura Dunbar is the executive in charge of production for Lightworks Pictures. Doug Barr (“To Be Fat Like Me”) is the director. Paul W. Cooper wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Angela Hunt.
After two broken engagements, so-called runaway bride Kristianna Harrington is content to run her shop, Forever Christmas, in her little hometown of Jingle Bells, Arkansas, and forget about romance. She reluctantly agrees to be the maid of honor at her best friend's wedding, but making it down the aisle becomes the least of her worries when a handsome newcomer threatens her precious town. Kristianna vows to stop the striking lawyer hired to change the town name and turns to her childhood friends for help. But Ami is busy with wedding plans, and Garrett seems more interested in bowling than politics. Will Kristianna get the help she needs before both her town and her Christmas spirit are extinguished?
* * * * * The perfect gift for the reader on your Christmas list or something to slip into your own stocking, Forever Christmas is sure to please readers who are looking for a holiday treat!
What people are saying about Forever Christmas:
“. . .a delightful romance with a few twists I didn't see coming. A romantic tale, it's perfect for Christmas gift-giving. It's well written and the plot makes it a fun read. It held my interest from beginning to end. . .A great read with a warm and satisfying end.” ~ Reviewed by Ane Mulligan for Novel Reviews
“. . .a wonderful book for those who enjoy holiday sentiments, a touch of mystery and a delightful romantic story. Once you visit Jingle Bells, Arkansas through the pages of this book you will see Christmas in a different light. Kristianna’s desire for God's will for her life reigns true and love comes in the most unexpected places. Come dashing through the snow and be warmed with the love of Forever Christmas.” ~ Reviewed by Lori Plach for Reader Views
About the Author: Award-winning novelist Christine Lynxwiler lives with her husband and daughters in a small town nestled in the north Arkansas Ozarks. Her other books include Promise Me Always and Arkansas.
When writing Forever Christmas, Christine used her own love for both the hometown of her childhood and her current hometown as a pattern for Kristianna’s passion for Jingle Bells. However, regardless of local rumors, the quirky townspeople are strictly figments of her imagination.
When she’s not working on her next deadline, you might find Christine kayaking on the nearby river with her family, poking around auctions and estate sales with friends, or curled up alone in a quiet corner with a great book. Please visit her at www.christinelynxwiler.com and sign the guestbook to let her know you stopped by!