Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review - There You'll Find Me

If weakness is just a wound that no one wants to speak of, then cool is just how far we have to fall.”
                                                                          “I’m Not Alright”, Sanctus Real

There is so much I could say about Jenny B Jones’ latest book, there you’ll find me  but I need to start with this.  It is completely not what I expected and completely and magnificently what I needed.

Finley, a young girl starting her senior year accepts a foreign exchange program placement to Abbyglen, Ireland.  The exact same country and town as her late brother, Will had visitied during his senior year.  So Finley sets out, armed with bravado, wit and a journal marking every location that Will ever set foot near during his time there.  Only the journal he wrote speaks not just of landmarks, cuisine and culture of this Irish treasure; it is riddled with his personal and poignant journey with his Saviour.  How he met God in a very real sense during his time in Ireland.  How Will saw, heard and felt the hand of God as he walked through the beauty of a nation dressed in green.  Aching inside, Finley hopes to recapture the same love her brother Will felt from Jesus, and let it seep into her doubts, fears and gaping holes of loneliness.   

I wasn’t prepared for many things about this new novel.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It came . . . I cried.

I was not planning on posting today, but I could not miss the opportunity to tell you of my stupendously strange reaction and amazingly awesome feeling.

Yesterday I picked up the mail on my way home.  There was a parcel in the mailbox for me.  I assumed it was a book I had won on a blog that I follow called Girls With Pens.  (I love that blog and was so excited when I found out I won a contest.)  I tossed the parcel and the mail on the passenger seat and drove home.

After parking my van in the garage, I reached over and scooped the mail up in my arms.  My eyes caught the sight of the return address.  I stopped breathing.

Thomas Nelson Publishers
1151 Martin Grove Rd
Etobicoke, ON
M9W 4W7

I squealed from my front seat, "I-it`s here.  M-m-my book came!"  I tore through the yard, into the house and dropped everything but the prized parcel on the linoleum floor.  I hugged the parcel as I walked to the desk that held my scissors.  With a shaking hand I cut open the plastic protector and gently, with the grace of an antique`s dealer, I slid my book out of the envelope.

I held the book up, sniffed the pristine cover and gently flipped back the first pages.  It was beautiful.  I couldn`t believe my eyes. I was holding my book.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I can't decide which one...

My husband has graciously agreed to take me to the theatres to see Courageous.  Woohoo!  However I have discovered another great film that I want to see as well.  This one is family oriented. Maybe some of you have seen it already.  It is called Dolphin Tale.

It has great actors and a great story line.  But best of all Plugged In gave it a big thumbs up.  Here is a brief comment from them.
 It praises family love and support while encouraging young viewers to nurture a never-give-up determination in the face of all the rusty barbs and tangling refuse that life can splash at them. And it's one of those rare movies families can have fun wading through without fear of stepping on some sharp junk hidden just beneath the surface. 
If you want to check out the full review it is here.

Any movie that supports family values, encourages kids (and adults) to keep fighting the fight and includes cute animals wins in my books.  Add in the chance to tear up and I am all in!

Here is the trailer for the film in case you are interested.

 See you at the movies!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We were made to be Courageous!

Are you counting down the days?  I am.

I won't bore you with the true hour and minute statistics and simply state that there is less than two weeks left.  Roughly nine days until Courageous hits the theatres.  I am so excited.

If you haven't heard of this movie, let me introduce you to an amazing ministry.  The Kendrick brothers have been using their training as pastors to touch the world through film.

The first film they created is called Flywheel.  It was a very low budget/big dream attempt to put faith on the big screen.  Don't let 'low budget' colour your interpretation.  The story is powerful and the faith message is crystal clear.  God will not be mocked by our attempts to appear pious or religious.  Instead when He gets a hold of you He will change you beyond your wildest dreams. Check it out.

Their second run at this new adventure brings us Facing the Giants.  It is a movie about a football coach and his wife who are allowed the privilege of watching their biggest fears and concerns come face-to-face with the Great I Am.  The Kendrick boys had definitely learned a few more things about film production by this time and the picture makes it to the big screen.

But God is not done with these two brothers.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Puzzling, isn't it?

This last week I completed my seventh novel of Tamera Alexander.  I believe, she has officially moved into the number one spot.  My new favourite author.  This last book is titled Beyond This Moment.

I blogged about a different book of Tamera's here that I read many months ago.    She has an incredible way of touching my heart from her stories.  I wonder if I ever get a chance to meet her in person if we would be kindred spirits.

The story takes place in the same mountain town of Timber Ridge in 1876. This love story is between the local Sheriff and the new teacher arriving from Georgia.  Only the young teacher is harbouring a deep secret.  One that she can't keep hidden for long. Even though she knows the truth will be revealed in due time, she never expected to meet a Sheriff who will challenge the choices she's made.

The main characters in Alexander's book are caught in a dichotomous mix of emotion and rational thought.  (Italics represents an inside joke - you will need to read the story to figure it out).  Sometimes when we make poor choices in our lives

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What voice do you hear?

I heard a song coming home in my car yesterday.  It was on the radio and I was amazed at the lyrics.  The song is called "Voice of a Saviour" by Mandisa.  It summed up my last book perfectly.  'You and I are not that different', we are all on a path searching for something.

I wanted to share the song and a portion from my novel to inspire you to look at yourself and at your "neighbours" in light of the Saviour.

My story, Unexpected Things, is about a 24-yr old woman who has been scrapping through life.  None of her relationships have even come close to meeting the ache deep inside her.  In her desperate attempt to end the overwhelming pain and the despair she feels she is introduced to a young fellow who is nearly 30 years old.  He is kind, understanding and compassionate - emotions she hardly has words for in her vocabulary.  

I wrote a scene for the book

Thursday, September 8, 2011

You know me.

That is sometimes a scary thought ... that someone knows you inside and out, good and bad, not just superficial acquaintances.

I spent the weekend with my sister writing for the 3 Day Novel contest at a cabin in the woods.  As the last tick-tock of Monday night flew by, we had very sore backs and butts, the giggles and two finished stories.

The time away was wonderful but not what you might call a relaxing getaway.  We wrote non-stop - between the two of us we accomplished just shy of 80 thousand printed words in three days.  That does not count all the back spacing and deleting required to get to the finished product.

The funny thing about the weekend was my sister had an unusual case of laryngitis.  She can only whisper.  She is not ill, but her voice hasn't come back yet after many, many weeks.  So, aside from needed to focus on writing instead of visiting - we couldn't visit much.  So after spending Friday evening until Tuesday afternoon together we probably typed double the amount of words we spoke - easily.

Why do I tell you this little morsel of random information? Because

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What have you done for me lately?

Do you remember that Janet Jackson song of the 80's?  I do because I had to choreograph a gymnastics routine to it.  It stuck in my head I guess.  If you don't know it - I am NOT recommending you should look it up.

Instead that question popped into my head in regards to my relationship to God.  What have I done for HIM lately?  When I was at Southridge Bible Camp this summer I was reminded that in my normal routines I do not do much for God.  I mean, I know the verse Colossians 3:23,
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 
And I have always been a big fan of encouraging moms that they can honor the Lord when they clean their house, change dirty diapers or EVEN scrub the toilet.  It is all in the attitude.  I have got that part.

But I am talking about something deeper than that.  When you are doing

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My, how times have changed.

Or have they?

Doesn't the Bible say there is nothing new under the sun?  I have been pondering this lately.

What spurred my philosophical side is a few novels I've recently read. Novels that I felt a little disappointed in.  I am not a prolific reader as some of you may be.  In fact if you read my beginning few pages of this blog you will see that I hated reading for most of my life.  It was torture - so I didn't do it unless my passing grade in a class demanded it.

As an adult I acquired a more acceptable view of reading - "I will if I can learn something great from it."  Unfortunately that limited my reading scope to non-fiction that would knock your socks off. I can name them all because there only were three of them.

My mother-in-law tried to entice me with fiction when I was newly married.  She gave me a Christian fiction novel.  I think it was called The Wedding Dress.  I actually finished it!!  I was so proud of myself - in spite of the fact it took me over a year to do it.  To my recollection she was proud of me too and promptly handed