Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Best Is Yet to Be!

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him”

(1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV)

I still can’t believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is nearly here—again! I used to scratch my head and look askance at my parents (and other “old people”) when I heard them say things like “time sure flies” and “the days are zipping by way too fast.” But the older I get and the more days zip by, the more I understand.

One thing I’ve always enjoyed doing during this season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is to make a personal list of things I’m thankful for, adding at least one thing each day when I have my prayer and Bible study time. But always before, I’ve focused on being grateful for things in the past or even the present. This year I’m trying something new. I already know the many wonderful blessings God has given me over the years/decades, but what about those I anticipate in the future?

Without Jesus, cynical people say things, “Life stinks…and then you die.” What a sad viewpoint! Of course, without Christ the statement is true. I once heard someone say, “For unbelievers, whatever happens to them on earth is the best they’ll ever have. For those of us who know Jesus as Lord and Savior, whatever happens here is the worst we’ll ever have.” Translation? We have more to look forward to, more blessings to be thankful for in the future, than we could ever begin to list from the past or present. In fact, the Bible says the blessings that God has for us are so great and immeasurable that we can’t even begin to comprehend or imagine them.

But even if we don’t make a dent in that infinite list of blessings, why not join me in making one anyway? We can start today, jotting down as many of the promised blessings we can think of as we look forward to that day when we will finally see our beloved Savior face-to-face. Being in His presence will no doubt be at the top of our anticipated blessings list, but there are many other things too—no more sickness or death; no more tears or sorrow; no more sin or evil; hanging out with our “forever family,” not to mention legions of angels…the list is endless. So rejoice, beloved, for truly the best is yet to be!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Best-selling Christmas book giveaway and interview!

I am so pleased to have my longtime friend (and first-ever fiction mentor) here on my Easy Writer blog today. A Log Cabin Christmas is already a NY Times bestseller, so here's your chance to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy. Take it away, Margaret!

“When God said let there be peas on earth I don’t think he meant us to eat them.”

George, age 6 in Snow Angel/A Log Cabin Christmas

My husband and I spent our honeymoon in a rustic log cabin in Yosemite. It would have been the perfect honeymoon getaway had it not been for that mouse.

Standing on a chest of drawers screaming wasn't exactly how I pictured my wedding night. It was even worse the next morning when we had breakfast at the lodge with everyone staring at us.

That was the first and last time I’d stepped foot in a log cabin, so before I could write my story for A Log Cabin Christmas I had to do some research. That’s the fun part of writing but so is sharing fun facts with readers.


· Abe Lincoln was born in one. Okay, so maybe you already knew that, but did you also know that the first president born in a log cabin was Andrew Jackson?

· Pound for pound wood is stronger than steel which makes Log Cabins virtually indestructible (except by woodpeckers and carpenter bees). They can stand up to earthquakes and are pretty much fire-resistant. A log home was the only beachfront home in the Carolinas to remain standing during Hurricane Hugo.

· Log cabins were not an American invention. The Swedish bought the idea to American in the 1600s.

· Providing there were trees, a log cabin could be built in days, needed no nails and was rainproof, sturdy and cheap to build. The only tool needed to build one was an ax.

· Log cabin designs were influenced by the Homestead Act of 1862 which required homes to be at least ten by twelve and have one glass window.

· Foundations were built eighteen inches high because it was believed that termites couldn’t climb that high. (I know for a fact that eighteen inches will not keep out mice!)

· A log cabin helped win a presidential election. William Harrison made a big deal over his “humble beginnings” and used the log cabin logo (along with hard cider) to show he was a “people’s man.” Ironically, the man was born in a wood frame house.

· Log Cabin syrup was introduced in 1887 by Patrick J. Towle, a Minnesota grocer. The name was chosen to honor Towle’s hero Abraham Lincoln.

Now that you know a little bit more about log cabins, here’s a short preview of my story:


The moment schoolteacher Maddie Parker walked into the tumble-down log cabin schoolhouse, she knew coming to Maverick, Texas was a mistake. Now she’s stuck at school with three of her rowdiest pupils during a blizzard and in terrible danger of becoming unglued.

Sheriff Brad Donovan is fit to be tied. What kind of teacher would keep her pupils after school in such weather? Now it’s up to him to rescue them—no easy task. For now he’s stuck at the schoolhouse with no means of escape. But while the storm rages outside, hearts are thawing inside.

Brad and Maddie have personal reasons for fighting their attraction to each other, but as the days drag on it becomes increasingly hard to do. Was it fate or bad luck that brought that together? Or could this have been God’s plan all along?

P.S. If have an adversity to mice don’t worry. The only furry creature in my story is a bear!

Now that I shared my log cabin story, how about sharing yours? You might even win a copy of the book!


Margaret is the bestselling author of more than twenty-five books. Her next book Dawn Comes Early will be released March 2012. It’s the first book in her exciting new Brides of Last Chance Ranch series.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Great Christmas Book for Children

Looking for a great Christmas gift for children? Here's a book I highly recommend:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The "Setting Boundaries" Lady has done it again!

Yep, my dear friend (and uber-talented author/speaker) Allison Bottke has released yet another "setting boundaries" book. And if you're anything like me, you NEED it! Seriously, I am so bad at setting and maintaining boundaries, particularly with difficult people who KNOW how to push my buttons--and something tells me I'm not the only one. So if you relate to what I just said, take heart! The book you've been waiting for has finally arrived. Here's a brief description:

Do you have family members, friends, or co-workers who drive you crazy? Bottke offers six steps to help you restore your SANITY. Discover how to Stop your negative behavior, Assemble a support group, Nip excuses in the bud, Implement rules and boundaries, Trust your instincts, and Yield everything to God.

For more info on Allison and her many excellent books and appearances, hop on over to

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giving in His Name

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you:

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6).

I spent the last few days going through the last of my mom’s clothes and personal belongings, sorting and searching and bagging up the vast majority of it to donate to the Salvation Army. (To be honest, there wasn’t much left, as she’d already given away most of it while she was still here with us.) I set everything out on the front porch, called for a pick-up, and as of yesterday morning, it was gone.

Strange feeling, isn’t it? We know we’re only here for a short time and that eternal life lies beyond, far better than anything we can experience in this temporal setting. But the old saying, “You can’t take it with you,” takes on a new depth of reality when we look upon the material goods a loved one has left behind after “graduating to heaven.”

Knowing that nothing we amass here on earth—whether billions of dollars or just enough to eke out a meager existence—will accompany us on that final journey through the valley of the shadow of death should give us pause, as we consider those things that have eternal value. Peter nailed it when he said to the crippled man, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

It is those things we do in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that will follow us to heaven. The time we told others about the Father’s great love, so great that He would send His only Son to die for us; the times we cried and prayed for lost loved ones and even nations lost in darkness; the gifts we gave out of our own needs rather than our abundance. The One whose name we do it in—Jesus Christ of Nazareth—sees it all, though at times it may seem that no one sees or cares.

Silver and gold will be left behind when we breathe our last, but our legacy of all we did in the name of Jesus will continue throughout eternity. And it is the one thing that will remain when our deeds are judged and we receive the crown of heaven—which we will promptly and joyously lay at the Savior’s feet.

May we daily give whatever we can in the matchless name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

Exciting New Book!

I don't know if it's because I too was born in 1948 or just because I'm a passionate supporter of Israel, but I LOVE books written about the history of God's chosen people. Dave Longaeuy has just released a novel on the re-establishment of the Jewish nation, which he spent countless months researching and writing. Check out the video and consider ordering a copy--or two or three! Fascinating stuff.

Monday, November 14, 2011

If You're Settling for Less than Great...You Shouldn't Be!

Here at last! A dynamic book that will help you overcome negative feelings about yourself and put you on the road to success in every area of your life. Using sound biblical principles, nationally known author, life coach, and businesswoman Dr. MaryAnn Diorio deals with such life-changing topics as overcoming worry and fear, taking charge of your life, learning to accept yourself, and finding your purpose in life. YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! offers practical advice which, if applied, guarantees success and will help you become all that God created you to be.

To order a copy for yourself (and one for someone else who would benefit from knowing his/her potential) go to

Friday, November 11, 2011

Exciting New Book from Tricia Goyer!

Yesterday was Veterans Day, and no one honors veterans more with her writing than my dear friend and accomplished author Tricia Goyer. Please read her story below...and then buy the book. You won't be sorry!

My Procrastination Heart Break Story

By Tricia Goyer

If you could see my desk you would chuckle. Okay, maybe not. Perhaps you would have pity on me, volunteer your time and set to work on my massive to-do list. (Any takers, huh, huh?)

Seriously, I have stacks of bills to pay, letters to answer, books to mail out, a checkbook to balance, and a toddler to chase after. That's not including the research books for my work-in-progress, making time for the teen girls I mentor, and reading through my next manuscript galley for final edits.

Usually, I can keep the balls up in the air. The bills are rarely late. The checkbook evidentially gets balanced. The toddler gets fed and bathed (most days).

And somehow, with God's grace, my writing assignments are turned in on time. But it's the things like mailing books out that end up taking longer than they should.

This is NOT a good thing. Not only do I want my readers to like me, but sometimes they might not live long enough to seen the autographed front cover. Let me explain . . .

When I received the first copies of Night Song ( in the mail a few years ago, the first thing I did was set aside a few copies. One thing I do is send free books to everyone who helped on the project—especially to the veterans I interview.

Well, one of the men I interviewed was a medic. He gave me some great information for my character, Nick. (Would you believe I had to go look his name up! I have too many hunky heroes in my head!)

Anyway, I emailed Earl to let him know the book would be in the mail. He said he was down with a broken hip, but he was looking forward to getting the book. A few days passed (I was under deadline for another project). Then a week. Then two. Finally, I got the book in the mail. THAT VERY SAME DAY I got a note from Earl's son telling me he'd passed away. I felt HORRIBLE! I mean, I was literally sick to my stomach. Earl had helped me so much. He had been SO excited to have an autographed copy from me. And I couldn't get my act together enough to mail a silly book.

I sent a sympathy card to Earl's family and a letter. I apologized to them for not sending the book sooner. A week later I received an email from his daughter.

"Oh honey," she said. "Don't worry about not sending the book. My dad got tired of waiting and had me buy a copy for him. He read it right before he passed away and loved it. He was so excited. He showed everyone."

Thank you, GOD!

I was SO thankful. Even though I didn't have my act together, Someone did!

As an added bonus, through the communication with Earl's kids I discovered he never shared much about his experiences during WWII. (This is common with many veterans.)

After his death, I was able to forward the emails and stories he'd sent me, and because of that they were able to discover part of their father's past they'd never known.

Isn't God good? In spite of my procrastination.

Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mom of four and an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia's written numerous novels inspired by World War II veterans, including her new release Remembering You. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. You can find out more information about Tricia at

Video with Tricia talking about her newest novel about WWII veterans:

Tricia's Story in Guideposts about interviewing veterans from the 11th Armored Division:

More information about Tricia's novel, Remembering You:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guest Post from Cynthia Alcantara

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 KJV).

As followers of Christ and believers of His promises we often fail to focus on JESUS and focus instead on our present circumstances. We want to walk in faith but this can become a long and narrow path that makes us feel blind, vulnerable and lost. However, all that is required of us to have FAITH!

I recently lost my home when the Bank took it over and sold it at an auction. I had three days to move out and dear friends of mine in Ramona offered me their home for a temporary stay. God gave me PEACE (which is the spirit of JESUS) and I have been living one day at a time. I have learned not to focus on my present circumstances and focus instead on JESUS. This has been a period of greater intimacy with Him! I don’t know all the details but after the Bank sold my home it took it back from the buyer, reduced the amount of my mortgage, modified my loan and is now telling me to move back. I remembered giving my appliances and most furniture away, instead of selling them, because even in the midst of my poverty I wanted to bless others but I never imagined how great was going to be my blessing. I earned $100.00 last month but I blessed a missionary from South Africa and another one from Australia with it and the LORD abundantly multiplied that seed.

We don’t need to know how the LORD is going to move in our lives, we simply need to follow Him, keep the FAITH and die to self! Life is never about us, it is always about Him. The important thing is not to find a purpose for our life; it is to find His purpose for our life as we serve in His Kingdom. May He be increased as we are decreased!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3 KJV).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another Page-Turner from Michelle Sutton!

Outwardly Diane Simmons appears to have everything a woman could want. A successful attorney, she's beautiful and talented, yet she always seems to be attracted to the wrong men. Dave Passel loves his foster son deeply. When the State tries to reunite Joey with the birth mother he has never known, Dave hires Diane to fight for him in court. But as the attraction between them strengthens, they discover that the hardest lesson is learning to let go.

To order click on the link below:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fate Worse Than Death

One of my own personal heroes". What a wonderful book! And one that SOOO needed to be published. Thanks, Dave, for stepping out in faith and doing this. May it bless many with its story of faith and courage.

If any of you are looking for a book to encourage you, regardless of your situation or circumstances (or for someone else facing an uphill climb in life), this is the book for you! Here's the link to purchase it:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Absolute Awesomeness of God!

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deep in storehouses (Psalm 33:6-7, NKJV).

I’ve been meditating a lot lately on the absolute awesomeness of God, and the verses above capture that so clearly, don’t they? We serve a God who spoke the heavens into existence, breathed the stars into the skies, gathers the waters into their assigned boundaries, and locks the depths of the oceans into reservoirs. No matter how you look at it, that’s impressive!

Knowing this, what is our response to be? According to verse 8 of Psalm 33, all the inhabitants of the earth are to “fear the Lord” and “stand in awe of Him.” But is that what usually happens? Sometimes. More often than not, however, the “inhabitants of the earth” pay little if any attention to this awesome God and, instead, worship His creation.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the oceans and the mountains, the trees and flowers, the birds and fish and animals. But they are all creations, masterfully crafted by the One who also breathed life into the dust of the earth and formed man. Is it any wonder He holds our lives in His hands? Shouldn’t the very thought make us tremble, even as we rejoice that He is merciful and loving?

As we move into a season of Thanksgiving and then celebration of Christ’s coming to earth as a Babe in a manger, may we appreciate all of God’s creations—but may we worship only Him. May we, as the psalmist declared, “fear the Lord” and “stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8, NKJV). There is nothing that can put our own lives in perspective quicker or clearer than recognizing the awesomeness of God.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Abundant Quench Your Creative Thirst

Blurb for Abundant Rain

Writers are a peculiar breed. We are insecure and often struggle with discouragement. Abundant Rain is meant to be a buoy in that tossing sea. These short pieces will lift you up and keep you afloat and, most important, keep you connected to the source of all our inspiration, The One who has set us on this journey as writers of faith.

What readers are saying -

Marcia Laycock is one of the best devotion writers I've read. Each devotion is fresh, on target, and leaves me changed. As a writer, I've been encouraged and inspired by her writing. I have indeed been blessed richly by Abundant Rain. Thank you, Marcia, for writing a devotion book for us. :) Review by Ane Mulligan, editor, Novel

Abundant Rain, a devotional directed toward writers, is a well-written encouragement to all, including writers. The principles traverse occupational boundaries but certainly do speak to the writer in us. I found myself re-reading a few to more fully understand the profound principle imbedded within. A great read for writers and for anyone looking for the reason they should be doing what they do. Review by Barbara Derksen - author of Vanished and nine other books

Abundant Rain by Marcia Laycock zinged straight into my heart. And it’s a keeper. Normally I don’t read devotional books, but I was delightfully surprised when I began to read Abundant Rain. This devotional book is now on my desktop to be opened each day. While Abundant Rain is geared to writers, it would also be an inspiration to any type of artist, but especially those who use words as their medium. There were moments where the author’s devotional thoughts were exactly what I needed to hear that very day. Her anecdotes were at times hilarious or tenderly poignant. In each case my soul was deeply touched. I highly recommend Abundant Rain to all aspiring writers, artists, or even to those who have already experienced success. This devotional will help keep the journey of your artistic soul as straight as an arrow. Review by Christine Lindsay, Author of Shadowed in Silk

Whether your creative bent leans toward writing or some other artistic pursuit, you'll be blessed by this e-book. You can order it here: