Friday, May 31, 2013

It's Friday Again.... May 31

Today, Friday, May 31, I am a guest blogger on Author Meg Moseley, who has published two books, When Sparrows Fall, 2011, and Gone South, 2013, graciously welcomes me to her blog.  Meg will be interviewed on my blog in early September to tell about her books and her life as a Christian writer. I have read both her books and found them delightful. Click on to read the post and get in on the give-away of one of my books, A Heritage of Faith.

I hope you are still working on writing some of your memories to leave as a legacy for your family. If you have, and would like to tell me about them, I'd love to tell people about you on Fridays-- maybe include a segment about what you are writing as you prepare to record your life story. Leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

The winner of Janice Thompson's book, Picture Perfect, will be announced on Monday morning on this blog, after the winner has received a personal e-mail Sunday afternoon.

A new interview with Karen Witemeyer will be posted on Monday, and readers can sign up to win a copy of her newest book, Stealing the Preacher. I've read this one, too, and I recomment it highly.

Have a great weekend. Hope you take time to attend worship at the church of your choice on Sunday.

Commenters on the Friday blogs can sign up to receive a copy of my book A Heritage of Faith. One winner will be chosen each month. Leave a comment along with your email address and a selection will be made on the last day of each month.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Authors New to Me

Dale Cramer
 When I started this blog, my intention was to talk about books that I enjoyed as well as authors whose work impressed me greatly. I have found several authors who were new to me-- Dan Walsh, Denise Jones, Ann Tatlock, Karen Witemeyer, to name just a few.

But my greatest surprise has been finding Dale Cramer, an author of Amish fiction. I've devoured three of his books and am waiting for the next one in his series as soon as it's available at my library.

I downloaded Paradise Valley on my Kindle, the first in the series The Daughters of Caleb Bender, and when I finally got around to reading it, I was blown away. Cramer took experiences from his family history in the 1920s and wove them into an unforgettable saga. Next, I went to the library and checked out Levi's Will. As was my custom, I read the author's musings in the back and in the prologue. I like to know about the book before I start it. I learned that the main character was the author's grandfather and this was a true story which took place during the time of World War II. The lead character left his Amish home and became an "Englischer", living in the world, working a job, and fighting in a World War in spite of his Pacifist roots.

Then I read the second book in The Daughters of Caleb Bender series, The Captive Heart. I devoured that book in two days. My, what adventures this family and several others had while establishing an Amish settlement in Mexico. They suffered an outbreak of diphtheria and were stalked by Mexican bandits, yet they would not defend themselves with weapons.

The third book Though Mountains Fall, is on my list next, as soon as it becomes available at the library. I can hardly wait to get it in my hands and I know nothing will get done around my house when I bring that book home, until it is finished. Amazon's page about Dale Cramer states that he writes like T. Davis Bunn and Gilbert Morris. I have read many of Gilbert Morris's books, and I can agree with that. Cramer wove wonderful stories of romance and adventure throughout each of the books I read.

Most Amish writers are women and I have read books written by many of them-- Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, Beth Wiseman, Cindy Woodsmall-- and new authors of Amish fiction are coming on the scene every day. Dale Cramer has a unique style. If you have not read any of his books, you should treat yourself and try one. His book, Paradise Valley, may still be available for Kindle for a free download. I hope you will check it out.

Monday, May 27, 2013

New Stuff, by David Nobles

I enjoy trying new stuff. New events or activities, bring ‘em on. Back when our single adult ministry went snow skiing every year, I was always up for going to a new ski area. Some people like being at the same place every year, and that approach does have its advantages—you get to know your way around the mountain and can find your favorite runs easily, but my thinking was let’s try a new place and have a new experience. When I found out one of our single adults was a triathlete, I was amazed, impressed, and jealous. At various points in my life I had been a runner and a cyclist, but I hadn’t done either of those disciplines in a long time. At the time I swam three days a week so I decided to take a shot at it, signed up for a local sprint triathlon, borrowed a bike, and began running in my basketball shoes. Several months later I finished my first triathlon and next I want to do a longer one. And I now have good running shoes, as well as a nice bike and those fancy cycling shoes that clip into the pedals.
There’s a lot to enjoy in riding and running, but it’s always a highlight to experience a new place. Putting the bike on a plane is not feasible, but being able to run wherever I travel is a huge plus. This year I ran at the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee, along a Mediterranean beach, and on the hilly streets of Jerusalem. I dodged traffic and pedestrians and vendors and trash and smog in Saigon, Vietnam. I ran in the quiet of Glorieta, New Mexico and up and down the pretty streets of my parents’ hometown in Missouri. In a few weeks I’ll get to run in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. A friend says the places you visit “become yours” when you run there, and I think what he means is runners experience the land in a way the typical tourist never will.
I’ve wanted to go on a multiple night backpacking trip for 25 years, and recently finally got to do one. It was incredibly hard and amazingly fun. I want to do it again…in a different place!
I love playing golf, and one of the big reasons is every course is different. Yes, you use the same swing, ball and equipment every time, but each shot is unique, even when you’ve played a course many times. The last three years my son Daniel and I have taken a “golf mancation.” We choose a destination, decide on several courses to play in the area, and off we go. We’ve played about a dozen nice courses on these trips and it’s been an absolute blast. I have a collection of golf balls in my office from the courses I’ve played and it’s fun to glance over there and remember the challenges of each 18. That’s something I just don’t understand about tennis players: every court is exactly the same. Where’s the fun in that?
One of the things I enjoyed about being an attorney was the variety—different types of cases, different attorneys to face off against, each judge had his or her own style, and it was nearly impossible to predict how witnesses and juries would respond.
However, my love for new experiences doesn’t extend to food. I’ll try something new in a new place, like falafel in Israel or pho in Vietnam, but at home I just order the same thing at the same restaurants. I have a facebook friend who posts her weekly menus, and she tries to prepare new dishes all the time—me, I’m happy with the same stuff over and over. I like what I like and that’s what I want. My beautiful bride Margaret tries to get me to branch out, but she doesn’t push real hard and it’s usually easy to beat back her attempts to get me to broaden my palate. Until that day in Santa Fe.
We were in Glorieta, New Mexico for a conference to learn more about leading small group Bible studies. After morning meetings, we took off and played a spectacular mountain golf course. It was a totally new experience and it was amazing. This course was like the ones you see on television, where the pros tee off on a tiny island of green, shoot over 150+ yards of desert, and hopefully land the ball on a long spit of green surrounded by brown. Between the fairway and the green there’s more desert, and the green itself is an island surrounded by scrubby brown stuff on which God never intended man to play golf. It was very hard and I actually had a decent score (for me). It was a great afternoon, and we decided to top it off with a nice meal in Santa Fe. We went to one of our favorite restaurants (see, no new food experiences) and I ordered what I always order. Unfortunately, it came with guacamole, but it was in one of those little corn tortilla ‘stars’ so I offered it to Margaret. That’s when it happened.
I don’t eat guacamole. It’s the wrong shade of green. It’s mushy. It usually has tomatoes in it and I don’t like tomatoes (but I can’t get enough hot sauce or red sauce, and ketchup is great—explain that one, Dave).
Margaret asked why I didn’t like guacamole. Not only did I not like guacamole but I didn’t like this conversation. We’d had it several times. I just don’t like it. Then the conversation took a terrible turn. Margaret asked the question I have always dreaded: “Have you ever even tried guacamole?”
Usually I don’t like to lie to my wife. Don’t ask me why I know that’s a bad idea. Just trust me, OK? So I had to answer: “No.”
Margaret is not an overly expressive person. She’s more on the quiet side. She’s a sweet and kind person, caring deeply for how others feel. In fact, I think she spends too much time thinking about how other people may react to whatever she’s doing or thinking. Unfortunately, she didn’t show that gentle side of her personality just then. “I can’t believe you! That’s ridiculous. You’re trying guacamole right now, mister.” She put some on a chip and handed it to me. What could I do? I was trapped. I knew I would want to spit it out but would be unable to do so since we are at a nice restaurant—so I decided I just had to endure it. Prepared for the worst, I put it in my mouth.
“So?” she asked. “What do you think?”
Again, I had to be honest. “That…doesn’t totally stink.” I tried more. “I think I like guacamole. Can I have mine back?” Only then, of course, did she realize her mistake. She’d always gotten double guacamole and those days were over. Since then, I’ve tried to make up for lost time and I’ve scarfed up all the guacamole I could find. Margaret has even discovered a great recipe and I love it when she makes it.
Who knew? It turns out I like guacamole after all. 
Many times we are challenged to discover and use our spiritual gifts while emphasizing that the best way to discover those gifts is very simple: try stuff. Take a chance. Volunteer. Say yes. If it doesn’t work, try something else. Don’t say no just because it’s new.

David and Margaret
You can still sign up for the drawing for a copy of Janice Thompson's book Picture Perfect by going to her interview posted last Monday, May 20.

Sign up to get extra entries in the contest:
1 entry-- leave a comment with your email
2 entries--leave a comment and become a follower of my blog
You can also leave a comment for me on facebook or on my email and I'll add your name to the list of eligible entries.

Winner will be announced on Monday, June 3, when I interview Karen Witemeyer, an author from Abilene, Texas, with a chance to win her her book, Stealing the Preacher. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Friday to everyone. Just a few things to say to you today

First, I hope you have read the Monday interview by Janice Thompson and have signed up to be in the drawing for one of her books. If not, please go to the sidebar and find the post for Monday, May 20 and get that done right away. Less than ten people have signed up for the drawing so far. I hope that gets corrected by the end of next week. Janice is offering a signd copy of her new book Picture Perfect to the winner. I went to our public library and checked out a copy of Fools Rush In and have been enjoying Janice's humoristic prose this week. Janice has not commented, but she did tell me that they were expecting a new baby any day in her family, so I imagine she's pretty busy down in Texas, where she lives.

I made a mistake in scheduling this week, so our son David has an extra post on Tuesday (should have been for next Monday). Hope you enjoy his thoughts on Holy Water and Fake Money, and his analogy to our lives as Christians......What is Really Real in our Lives?

I'm sure we have all been praying for the people in Moore, Oklahoma, this week as we followed the news. Also, I'm very concerned about the other news--The IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandel, and other newsworthy articles that we are following.

Everybody have a blessed weekend and a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Hope there are lots of American flags and picnics going on all around in our wonderful country. Every day I thank God that I live in America and pray that He will allow our nation to continue to always be free. I hope you do, too.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Strong, Unforgiving Will

LEVI’S WILL by Dale Cramer

Dale Cramer has written a deeply moving story about a man trying to come to terms with his past, and failing because of his father’s strong, unforgiving will.

As a teen-ager, William Mullet ran away from his Pacifist roots, changed his name, and became an “Englischer” to escape the ban from his Amish family. He leaves behind a pregnant girl and his many brothers and sisters.

As Cramer’s story switches from the time of Will’s breakaway to various times and places in his future, the reader is compelled to keep up with it, hoping for a time when William (now called McGruder) can find peace in his heart and forgiveness from his father.

Will fights in World War II, finds a wife, and makes a life for himself and his family. His strong work ethic keeps him going as he deals with his sons and his wife, but his forgotten family is always in his mind. After nine years, he confesses his background to his wife and begins to try to build a bridge back to his birth family. However, the unforgiving Amish ways of his Old Order father will not allow him to welcome his son back into the family.

This book is compelling and hard to put down, as I kept hoping Will would regain a relationship with his father. His brothers and some of his sisters accept him, but his father will not even look at him, and considers him dead. When he goes home to see them, he is made to eat at a small table alone in the kitchen, rather than with his extended family, because of the ban when he was nineteen years old. His wife and sons sit at the table, but Will is excluded.

I have read many Amish books, but never one like this. I did not truly understand the “ban” that the Amish use until I became acquainted with Will McGruder in this book. I will look for more books by this author.
Dale Cramer

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Holy Water and Fake Money--What is Real?

During my trip to Israel a few years ago, I was privileged to baptize two of the members of our group in the Jordan River. We didn’t do this at the site where Jesus was baptized by John, since (1) no one knows the exact location and (2) the likely area where that took place is the border with Jordan, and you just might have to duck underwater to avoid gunfire. A commercial baptismal site just south of the Sea of Galilee is totally within Israel and is a beautiful and well-run spot. After the baptisms took place, I bought one of their little plastic bottles and filled it with Jordan River water. That bottle now sits on my shelves.
A few days later I went for a run in Jerusalem. I left the hotel and ran down the street that used to be the “no man’s land” between the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the city. I went to the Old City and ran from one side to the other, then turned around and started back to the hotel. It was then that I saw what appeared to be 500 shekels on the ground. I picked up the four bills and kept going, praying a “thank you!” to God for my good fortune. Five hundred shekels is worth over $150. Later that morning I met our group and our Israeli guide, and I excitedly showed him my money. He put his hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, and said “Brother, I have bad news for you.” The money was fake, commonly used by con artists in a money-changing scam. These bills also now have a place of honor on my shelves.
Holy Water…that’s really not holy. The label says “This water is for religious purposes (not for drinking).” Yes, it is from the Jordan River, and so it helps me remember a special time in a very special place. But it’s just water; there is nothing holy or religious about it. Money that appears to be real…but is fake. Monopoly money. Both make great conversation starters. Both give the appearance of being worth something, when the truth is the opposite.
Both make me wonder about myself. What parts of my faith are just fake? It may look real or significant on the outside, but in reality my actions are at best common and ordinary and at worst they are a scam.
My prayer is what David wrote in Psalm 51:10-12: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."
Guest blogger today is our son, David Nobles, from Midland, Texas.
Thanks, David, for another great essay to make us think about what is real in our lives. (from mom)

David and his dad, Marvin Nobles

Monday, May 20, 2013

Meet Author Janice Thompson

Congratulations to Carol from Alabama who won a book of her choice from Julie Lessman in the last author interview! There were 146 comments with 42 names in the drawing. Thanks to Julie for all her interaction with the readers and for telling others about my blog through her website.

Now I want you to meet Janice Thompson, who will talk with us about her writing and some of the many books she has written.

Hello, Janice, I’m excited to get to talk with you today about your books and writing. I have perused your information on and looked at many of your titles (and I have read several of them). How many years have you been writing and how many books have you written?

Janice: I’ve been writing about twenty years and have published 90 books.

Juanita: Wow, that’s a lot of books. You are quite a creative lady. Tell us about your faith and why you write Christian books.

Janice: I’ve been a Christian since age eleven and have a passionate faith. I feel very strongly about spreading the gospel and I’m thrilled to see the Lord using my stories to touch people’s lives. As I write, I ask the Holy Spirit to flow through the pages of the story in much the same way the Spirit of God flowed over the waters during creation. I’m always touched to hear from readers who’ve grown closer to the Lord as the result of one of my books.

Juanita: I notice a wide variety of subjects in your book titles, from romance and mystery to devotionals and dieting. What is your favorite type of book to write?

Janice: By far, my favorite type of book to write is romantic comedy. I enjoy the serious stuff, too, but comedy comes naturally to me. I started out as a playwright and all of my plays are funny. It just makes sense to let that same sense of humor spill over onto the page. These books are definitely easier to write (and most are written in first-person, which is my POV of choice).

Juanita: I suspected that, as I perused your earlier book titles, and thought maybe you had started in that venue. The e-book Fill These Empty Arms was one I downloaded on my Kindle, and could not put down. I appreciated your skill with characterization. I felt that I knew each of the characters, from a pregnant teen-ager to a middle-aged woman who still could not come to terms with her abortion experience many years prior to an older woman working in a Crisis Pregnancy Center because she needed something to make her life feel worthwhile. You wove the story together with great continuity and I felt no gaps in going from one character to another. I reviewed this book on Amazon and on my blog. As I read the book, I felt that these were people you had known. Do you use life experiences and memories when you write?

Janice: Definitely. At the front of Fill These Empty Arms I gave a nod to the many, many women whose stories had touched me and/or motivated me to write that book—people like my step-mom, who worked at a Crisis Pregnancy Center for years. People like a friend of mine named Shirley who runs a home for unwed mothers. People like ladies I’ve known who’ve received forgiveness after having an abortion. One of the most compelling life experiences happened about ten years ago when I was asked to go into a women’s prison with a post-abortion recovery ministry. On that day I watched women—dozens and dozens of women—place cloth dolls (to represent the babies they had aborted) on the altar. Lots of tears were shed that day, as you might imagine. God used it to touch my heart and open my eyes to the great need among women who have suffered in silence. Out of that, Fill These Empty Arms was born.

Juanita: I watched my younger daughter experience infertility and numerous miscarriages, then she was able to adopt and then to have a baby by natural means. So I’ve had some experience there, too. I was sorry to learn that this book is only available in e-book format and that I could not order a print copy. If I could, I'd give away several copies of this.

I hope many readers today will check it out, order it for a very small sum, and read it on their Kindles, Nooks, or even on their computers. Now, back to another of your books that I read--Hurricane.

I suppose you have to do a lot of study to write historical novels like Hurricane, based on an actual event. How do you go about researching for a historical novel and how much time does it take?

Janice: It really depends on the story. In the case of Hurricane, my research went all the way back to childhood. I vividly remember an incident in seventh grade where my history teacher shared the story of the Galveston hurricane of 1900. The story captivated me! As we approached the 100-year anniversary of the story, I felt a stirring to share (in particular) the story of several nuns at a Galveston-based orphanage who sacrificed their lives to try to save their young charges. Months and months of research took place on the web and at libraries, but the greatest information came from driving down to Galveston and visiting their historical museum and seeing “The Great Storm” (a film about the storm) at the Pier 21 theater.

Juanita: My husband and I visited that very same museum and were impressed by that film, too. Tell us about Picture Perfect, your new book that was just released in February of this year.

Janice: Here’s the official blurb:
She's trying to focus on her future. How can one man make everything feel so . . . fuzzy?

Hannah McDermott has a successful photography studio. She'll soon be featured in Texas Bride magazine. And she has a celebrity client whose Galveston ceremony will be her ticket to the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley's list of recommended photographers. But it could all come crashing down around her because of one man: archrival and photographer extraordinaire Drew Kincaid.

As the competition between Hannah and Drew heats up, Hannah is surprised to find that it's not the only thing getting more intense. She can't get the handsome man out of her thoughts--or even out of her line of sight--and the job of her dreams is turning into a nightmare. Will everything she's worked for slip out of her hands? And can she see past her pride to find a picture-perfect love?

With contagious humor and a cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives you crazy bridal-business drama, sweet romance, and a satisfying dose of laughter.

Juanita: Is this a new series or a continuation of one you have already begun?

Janice: Picture Perfect is the start of a new series titled “Weddings by Design” but the whole series is a spin-off of my original “Weddings by Bella” series. I’ve also (loosely) linked the stories to my “Backstage Pass” series, which is set in Hollywood. Basically, I created a fun/quirky cast of character back in 2008 and am doing the best I can to keep them alive! My readers seem to love Bella and the gang, so I’ll stick with them as long as I’m able.

Juanita: What are three things you would tell a beginning writer, to help him or her start off on the right track?

Janice: 1). Stay on a learning curve at all times. Never think you know it all.
2). Write the story of your heart.
3). Don’t let the critique of others wound you.

Juanita: Please tell our readers how they can find you and your books on line.

Janice: I love to visit with my readers! They can find me on facebook at Janice Hanna Thompson or my website at My twitter handle is booksbyjanice.

Juanita: Thanks, Janice. I know you are a busy lady and really do appreciate the time you have given for the readers of my blog. I hope to read many more of the books you have created.

Janice: Thanks for having me!

It’s your turn, now. If you’d like to win a copy of Picture Perfect, leave a comment along with your email address, so I can notify you if you win. Extra points are given for those who choose to follow me or subscribe to my blog. Just tell me that you’re following or have subscribed and I’ll add your name again for each of these things. Other ways to get on the list are to send me an email or post to me on facebook that you'd like to have a copy of this book.

If you wish to download Fill These Empty Arms, go to Amazon, then to e-books, then to the title. By far, this is my favorite, and it is only available in e-format. You can download an app on your computer to read it there, if you don't have a Kindle or Nook.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman (2013)
Book One in The Heart of San Francisco series

Julie Lessman has another winner with her new offering of a story about Cassie McClare, a spunky Texas cowgirl, set in the early twentieth century.

Cassie, an oil heiress, arrives at the home of her aunt and cousins in California with her lasso, jeans, and boots (not the proper attire for a young lady in 1902), when Jamie McKenna, a young man who happens to be at the train station, accidentally knocks her off her feet. When he shows up at the McClare house for dinner, Cassie wants nothing to do with this “pretty boy.” He is too much like the young man in her hometown of Humble, Texas, who just jilted her. But Jamie is smitten and sets out to win the heart of this petite blonde from Texas.

Jamie, the son of a poor woman living on San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, has pulled himself up by his boot strings, educating himself and finding a good job as a lawyer. He feels responsible for his mother and invalid sister, Jess, and is trying to save money to obtain an operation for her to enable her to walk. He wants to marry a rich woman so he can live on Nob Hill and enjoy the pleasures that his friends, the McClares, have all the time, as well being able to help his mother and sister.

Meanwhile, Cassie’s aunt, Caitlyn, is being wooed by her late husband’s brother, Logan McClare. Both women realize they cannot marry men who are not lovers of God, but their hearts tell them otherwise, as the handsome men try to win their affections.

The family takes part in many activities of the time—games, elegant balls, picnics, time at the beach—as the reader learns about and comes to love each character. In every instance, the author brings us to the historical period with her adequate descriptions of the activities and the people of that day.

As situations arise and the familiar Lessman twists and turns occur, the reader is surprised again and again. If you enjoy historical Christian romance, you will love this book.


Readers, you have three more days to sign up to receive a free copy of one of Julie Lessman's books. The drawing will be Sunday, May 20 and the winner will be notified by personal email on that afternoon. (So, be sure to leave your email address if you want to win a book.)

Don't miss this opportunity! Go to her interview or comment here to get on the list. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ambition, Greed, and Humility in the Corner Office by David Nobles

The winner of Bette Lee Crosby's book What Matters Most, is Karen from Pennsylvania. Congratulations, Karen.

Readers can still read the interview with Julie Lessman and comment to be in the drawing for the book of your choice from all the books she has written. Go to the side bar, click on "Interview with Author Julie Lessman," and get your name in the drawing. Winner will be announced Monday, May 20.

Now here's today post, written by my son, David O. Nobles of Midland, TX.
I am a lawyer, and I just got a corner office. In case you don’t know much about lawyers, this is the Holy Grail. It is the raison d’etre. It is the icing on the cake, the gravy on top, the little something extra. It’s a big deal. It’s not the only big deal, but it’s a really, really big deal. A corner office is one that has windows on two walls and is at the intersection of two hallways. It’s not a corner if it’s just at the end of the hall. It’s like the cornerstone, and the occupant is one of the big dogs in the pack.
Ambition was part of the reason for becoming a lawyer. In high school, I was ambitious. I wanted to be somebody and I was willing to work to get there. I had never debated before my senior year, but I took a speech class and the teacher suggested it so I dove in, did the research, and won some tournaments. I enjoyed the school plays, being on stage and being the center of attention. I wasn’t a talented swimmer, but I was smart—so when I realized no one else wanted to put in the work to get strong enough to swim the long races, I grabbed the opportunity, trained hard, and had some success at the distance events. No colleges ever came calling, but I could hold my head up knowing I was making a solid contribution to the team
Being a lawyer just looked and sounded cool. There was the public perception (actually a myth) that lawyers always make big money, and I would get to debate and be the center of attention. I thought if I worked hard enough I just might find my niche where I could excel. Hello, ambition and greed.
There is nothing wrong with ambition. Ambition often has a bad connotation, but it’s not a bad thing. Ambition simply means wanting more. It’s good to want to be better at whatever you do. But when you combine ambition with greed…that’s where problems start. Greed is a bad thing. Greed means wanting more at the expense of someone else. Greed means wanting more just for me, selfishly. Unfortunately, all too often greed is the other side of the ambition coin and when I picked up ambition, I got greed as well. Greed tarnishes ambition, and that’s exactly what happened to me.
I did well academically in college so I got into the law school I wanted, then I managed to graduate and pass the bar exam on my first try. I got a job right out of school—not a high paying job, but I was a trying lawsuits and there was some real potential for growth. I was working hard, but I was also keeping an eye out for the next opportunity. Instead of just being where I was, I kept looking for the next rung on the ladder. Ambition and greed, baby. One day I found it, or so I thought. I ended up changing firms and it was a disaster. A year later I was back at my old firm, hat in hand, and they were nice about it but basically they said “Not interested.” I did find a landing spot, though, and I was determined to not make that mistake again. The good news was the entire experience helped me to finally become a good lawyer. I worked hard and got better. There was still one big hiccup to go and I moved firms one more time, but overall there was a pretty good upward trend from there.
As a first year lawyer, I began to learn the ropes. I quickly found out that the corner office was one of the real marks of prestige, of power, and of position. The big guys had ‘em and I didn’t. My first office had a single window, and it looked out onto a brick wall. I got some light but no view. At the next firm I had a choice of a small office with a window or a large interior office. A bigger office is better than a small one, I figured, since there was nothing ‘powerful’ about the available window office, so I took the big one. At the next stop I was just happy to be there, so I took what they gave me. For the first six weeks or so I was in the conference room. When the build-out was done I had a mid-sized office with big floor-to-ceiling windows and a nice view, with a large tree just outside. Others had better views but I was content. The firm moved, and my new spot was again a decent size with windows but they just looked at a parking lot then the back of another building.
This was when the ambition bug began to bite again. I was spending too much time with some other guys my age, and we all wanted the same things: prestige, power, position, and pay. We were convinced we all deserved more money, more responsibility, and well, just more. When someone else in my group got the next available corner office, I became discouraged and things started to fall apart. My attitude went south, cases shortly followed suit, and when clients started to notice, the writing was on the wall. Once again I landed on my feet and made a lateral move to a new firm and got an interior office, a pretty decent size, with windows facing inside to the atrium. It was a good office, technically a corner, but not really, since it was just at the end of the hall and only had one wall of windows.
I found my groove and did well. I brought in a new insurance company client with over 100 cases, and just when I initiated partnership talks…God changed the game. All this time, despite my ambition and greed, I was active in my local church. My wife and I had every ‘job’ you can have in adult Sunday School (small group Bible study) and we enjoyed all of them. The day of my partnership talk, I left town with some guys from church to go to Dallas for a ‘Promise Keepers’ event, a big stadium-based rally to encourage men to be faithful to God and their families. At this event, God spoke to me and said he wanted me to quit my job and become a minister.

Long story short, that’s exactly what I did. I became a single adult minister, and it was an amazing ride. I loved the people, the work, the challenge, and the opportunity to see God change lives. It wasn’t perfect, nothing ever is—it was still me working, so there were “hiccups”—but it was great.
On my first day at the church I was shown to my…corner office. It wasn’t a real corner with two walls of windows, but it enough of a corner that I had to just laugh, and I could hear God laughing too. “You happy now Dave?” he asked. I was, for a while, but the ambition bug wasn’t dead yet and I ended up at another church with a “better” job and once again found myself in a “corner” office. It was same story second verse though, as it was actually an interior office with windows on a hallway and only on one side. Still, once again I heard God laughing at me. “Do you get it yet Dave? It’s not about the office,” He said.
I had one more stop at another church, and never had a corner office but never cared. I had several offices there, and I think the ambition-greed one-two punch was finally gone. The pastor at that church talked a lot about the importance of humility, and I finally began to understand. It doesn’t matter what office you’re in. No, in fact, it is NOT about power, prestige, pay, or position. It is about serving, not getting. One of the stories Jesus told was about going to a banquet. He said when you are invited, don’t just assume you’re going to be at the head table. Instead, take a place in the back. If you take your place at the front, how embarrassing will it be when the host asks you to move? Instead, he said, take the place of humility and then when the host asks you to move UP you will be honored. All my life I had been looking for my place at the head table, and I finally realized the person I wanted to be was the waiter, not the big shot at the front of the room.
But, life is an interesting thing. Single adult ministry was changing dramatically across the country, and the changes came to my church too.  After being there ten years I was facing some dramatic differences in job responsibilities. I was doing things I wasn’t passionate about. I explored different types of ministry in my church and in others, but nothing was working out. Finally, I asked God if it was time to go back to practicing law, and He said yes. I worried that I wouldn’t remember how, and that there was too much law to catch up on—but I made some calls and in nine days I was hired as corporate counsel at an oil and gas exploration company.
On the first day they showed me to my office, and it was, yes, a corner office, but not what you’re thinking. It was a tiny interior with no windows but two doors. It was a weird little space .They assured me they would find something better soon, and I told them I didn’t care. And I meant it. I hung up my diplomas and pictures and smiled at my new place.
I dove into the job head first and things have gone very well. My docket quickly dwindled from 15+ suits and 10+ claims to 5 suits and 3 claims. For a corporate lawyer, that’s a good thing. I got everything buttoned up and in order. After just six months I got a raise. The corporate aspect of the equation was harder, and I’m still trying to get my feet under me on that side of the job, but I am enjoying the challenge and I look forward to going to work every day. I feel like I am finally able to answer God’s question about the office, and ambition, and greed: “God, I’m fine right here. I don’t need a big office or a corner office. I don’t want to look for the next job and I am happy. In fact, you’ve blessed me so much, what I want to look for is how I can help somebody else.” So we found a new church and I signed up for a mission trip to El Salvador.
Then the other shoe dropped. The CEO called a big meeting and he said a build-out was about to start. They were going to take several larger offices, make them all a bit smaller and end up with more window offices. I looked at the plans and saw my extra door was to be removed. I had a flash of greed—Jones, in a corner office, was retiring, and I wondered what would happen to his office. I wondered if I would get a window. I had to tell myself “STOP! Go do your thing, Dave, and don’t worry about it. It’s not about the office, right?” A week or so later one of my colleagues came by and said “How ‘bout that new office you’re getting?” He showed me the plans, and I saw that I was penciled in for a corner office. A big one. With windows on two walls. With a great view of downtown. The real deal. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much—plans change quickly here, and I was determined to not let the bug get me again.
After another few weeks the CEO came by and made it official. “Nobles, when the construction is done, you’re moving to the corner office where Jones is now.” Then he walked away. I was too stunned to even say thank you. I did later, and part of the reason I didn’t say it at that moment was because the guy moves too fast. He said his piece and walked away, not waiting for a reply. That night it hit me: I am going to have a corner office. I’ve been angling for this since I was 25 and now I’m 53. Finally…
Over the years as a single adult minister I talked to lots of guys in their 30s and 40s who wanted to be married but things just never worked out for them. Some of them were trying so hard to get married they were chasing girls away—it was painful to watch. I tried to tell them, but they rarely listened, that they should stop looking for a wife and start looking for God. When they got there, they would find what is right for them. It wasn’t about marriage, I tried to tell them, it was about a relationship. The first relationship they needed to get right was the one with God. When that is working right, as the Bible says, he will give us the desires of our heart.
When I think about the corner office I’m about to move into I hear my voice echoing back to me: “Quit looking for (a corner office) and look for (humility). When you get there, God will give you what is right for you.”
Once again, I hear God laughing. “You happy now Dave?”
“I sure am. Thank you. You know this is all You, right?”
“Yeah, I do. Now just stay humble—we both know that’s a challenge for you—and things are going to be OK.”
 Written by guest blogger, David O'Dell Nobles, whom I am proud to call my son.
--Juanita Nobles

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Mothers' Day 2013

Sunday is Mothers' Day. I've been a mother for more than 50 years. In fact, my youngest child was 50 this year and I have three chidren older than she is, so that makes me an OLD mother.

Having been a mother and a pastor's wife for all these years, I tried to think of my happiest Mothers' Day memory. We lived far away from our parents in Texas, pastoring Missouri churches when our children were small, so we didn't get to see our mothers on their special day. We took our visiting with our mothers when we could get it, which might have been once a year, or maybe a little oftener. Because we married before we finished school, we had to work hard to get our degrees, do our jobs, and raise our kids. There wasn't much money for extras in those days, but my husband usually bought me a card or something special to show his love. And there were times when I received flowers for Mothers' Day which I appreciated very much.

I remember an incident when our children were small, in the days when they could walk around and play outside without worry about abduction or people who would harm them. We lived in Sedalia, Missouri, and our two oldest walked about three blocks to the Safeway grocery store on Mothers' Day afternoon with all the coins they could find in the house. They bought me a cup and saucer which they proudly brought to me with their love. They were both under 10 years of age. I can imagine them counting their pennies, walking through the store while they looked for something they could afford with the small amount of money they had, and choosing a gift for me. I treasure that memory.

Now, in addition to my own four children, I am blessed to be the grandmother of eight grandchildren and 5 step-grandchildren, plus I'm great-grandmother to a sweet baby girl, and a great-grandson is due in August. I don't get to hold these babies often since they live in Texas and we are still in Missouri, but I love them long-distance. I love getting pictures of Maclaine and I know I'll get pictures of little Austin after he gets here.

Maclaine Monroe DeGroot --almost 6 months

Austin O'Dell Nobles-- due in August

I hope your Mothers' day is happy-- and that you get to see your children and grandchildren. Have a wonderful day filled with memories.

When you write down your memories, be sure to include a story about Mothers' Day--something that meant a lot to you, whether it is about your mother or about you as a mother. Personal memories mean so much to those who come after you, and your children and grandchildren will treasure your stories about things that blessed your life.

If you'd like to share a memory or a comment about Mothers' Day here, I'd love to hear about it.

I hope this is what my children remember about their childhood days.
We couldn't buy them expensive gifts, but I often heard my husband say,
"We didn't have a lot of money, but we sure had love."
They had both a mom and a dad who loved them more than anything.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Amish author, Dale Cramer, New to me

Paradise Valley, is #1 in a series of Amish books by Dale Cramer, The Daughters of Caleb Bender. These books are about an Amish group who established a new colony in Mexico. It's very different from any other Amish books I've read, and I've read quite a few from the more well-known Amish authors (all female).

I'm a fan of Kindle books and was glad to find this one. It's by Dale Cramer an author who was new to me. I looked up his books on Amazon and discovered that he has been writing for several years. Here's a review of the book. I hope to read book 2 and 3 in this series as soon as I can get them ordered or find them at my local library.

Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer

This was an Amish story with a much different twist, written by a man rather than a woman. The story was based on a true incident in the life of the author’s great-grandfather.

An Amish group living in Holmes County, Ohio, in 1922 found five of the fathers in their settlement arrested and jailed because they refused to send their children to the public school. After their release, Caleb Bender, the leader of the group, sought for a way to keep his children at home and educate them in the ways of God and their own beliefs. He saw an advertisement for land in Mexico for $10 an acre, and thought the group could go there to live and raise their families in their own way, not bowing to the laws of the state government. He talked with the leaders of the other families and decided to take his family there. He would send letters to tell the others about the land, and if they liked what they heard, they would all move to Mexico near the town of Saltillo to re-establish their Amish colony.

Caleb and Martha, along with two sons, five unmarried daughters and two married daughters and their husbands and children, loaded all their possessions, including animals, buggies, and farming equipment on several railroad cars for long and harrowing journey to their new home. Rachel, the central character, was pining for her love, Jake, who stayed behind with his family in Ohio.

They had to learn to get along in a new culture, one that was beset by thieves and bandits. They had to learn a new language, although they continued to speak the old German as well. They wrote letters to their friends in Ohio and waited for them to decide whether they would come to the new place. They worked, brought in a harvest, and lived by their belief in God and his providence, without using violence, as many of the Mexicans around them did.

The day-to-day life of this family was exciting and filled with many adventures. The author described the tiring work of building everything new, the stress of birthing new babies without the help of a doctor, and the never-ending work on a farm where they had to grow everything in order to sustain themselves. Cramer did a wonderful job of describing women’s thoughts as all these sisters uncomplainingly worked to make their new home a good one.

One of the Mexican natives joined himself to the group, to work for them, and he taught them much about surviving in their new culture. Along the way, he was attracted to one of the daughters, and I'm hoping to hear more from them in the next book. 

I had never read a book by Dale Cramer, and am happy to have found a new author, whom I respect and will continue to follow. I was sorry for this one to end.

Dale Cramer, author of Amish fiction

Book 2, The Captive Heart, was publihed in 2012

Book 3, Though Mountains Fall, published in 2013
All three books are now available.

Readers, you still have time to win not one, but TWO books. Comment on the interview with Julie Lessman to win LOVE AT ANY COST. Winner announced May 19.

Comment on the interview with Bette Lee Crosby to win WHAT MATTERS MOST. Winner announced May 12.
Be sure to leave your email address when you comment so I will know where to find you if you are the winner! Use the side bar to find the interview, or scroll down to find it. Good luck! These are some great books by fantastic authors.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Author Julie Lessman, a writer from Missouri

Today's interview is with Missouri writer Julie Lessman.

Juanita: Hello, Julie, it’s so nice to be able to talk with you today about your books, writing, and publishing. I'm excited to be able to talk with you, since you live about 20 miles from me in Jefferson County!

First, please tell us about your salvation experience and why you write Christian books.

Julie: Mmm … my salvation story was pretty rough, I’m afraid. I was a 23-year-old hardnosed agnostic from a devout but dysfunctional family of 13 kids. I was so angry at God I actually wanted to burn Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms. As a wild child of the 60s and 70s, I tried everything to be happy—from astrology and tarot cards, to transcendental meditation and witchcraft—you name it. My vocabulary would have made a sailor blush. Suffice it to say I was pretty angry at God. According to the world’s standards, I had everything going for me—a hunky boyfriend with a Corvette and a boat, a great job, my own apartment (at a time when other friends still lived at home), and I was acing an advanced writing course at Washington U., a prestigious college in St. Louis. But I wasn’t happy. I felt a lot like Peggy Lee singing, “Is that all there is?”

Then one day, this annoying gal at work approached me. She had a lesser job than me, was divorced with a kid and no boyfriend in sight. I hated her because she came in humming every day while I was utterly miserable. And then it happened—one life-altering moment when she and I were alone—I looked up from my typewriter and said, “Just what in the heck (except my language was a bit saltier back then) makes you so happy all the time?” She said, “I’ve been praying you would ask.”

Oh, no, a Jesus freak, I thought to myself, but I found myself going to lunch with her, badgering her with questions and accusations. I don’t remember now if it was weeks or months, but either way, I met Jesus Christ through the remarkable patience of a God-sent angel by the name of Joy—pretty appropriate name, eh?

why Christian romance? Well, because I’ve been enamored with romance since I read Gone With the Wind at the age of twelve, and I’m sorry, but for me romance is just not romantic unless God is in the middle. To me, there’s nothing “sexy” about sin in a romance novel or movie. I’ve had people tell me The Bridges of Madison County was one of the most romantic films they have ever seen. Are you kidding? Since when is adultery romantic, no matter the situation! Maybe that’s just me, but I personally can’t enjoy romance (in a movie or book) unless it is according to God’s precepts OR unless it uses sin to point the reader TO His precepts.

But over and above the romance between a man and a woman, the MOST important thing I hope to convey in my books is the “romance” God craves with each of us. I long to show how natural and fulfilling an intimate relationship with God can and SHOULD be. Like breathing. My books may be fiction, but this is NOT a fairy tale here. It is possible to have a living, breathing relationship with the God of the Universe. He’s crazy about us, and if most people really understood that, their lives would turn on a dime and blessings would overtake them.

Juanita: WOW! Thanks so much for that beautiful testimony to God's grace. I know you write wonderful novels, but how did you get your start in writing? How did you begin your career?

Julie: Four life-altering words: Gone With the Wind. When I read that novel at the age of 12, I was swept away into the world of romance for the very first time. It captured me like no other book had done, and I immediately set out to write (along with thousands of other love-struck young girls, I’m sure), what I hoped would be “the great American novel.” Obviously my dreams of grandeur didn’t go anywhere (grin), but I did write 150 pages of a story that became the basis (some forty years later) for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure.

Although I started writing at the age of twelve, I never really got serious about writing until I was in my 50s. I was sitting in a beauty shop reading a July 2001 Newsweek magazine cover article about Christian entertainment that said Christian books, movies and music were on the threshold of exploding. My heart jumped, and something in my spirit said, “Now is the time to finish your book.” I started A Passion Most Pure the next month, finally selling it to Revell 4-1/2 years and 45 rejections later.

Juanita: I have read the Daughters of Boston Series and did not want them to end. Then you continued the saga of the O’Connor family in the Winds of Change Series. It is hard for me to imagine a person with so many characters in her head—characters that come alive for the reader. How do you define your characters and how do you keep on writing such wonderful books?
Julie: Thank you, Juanita, for your kind words, and other than the grace of God, I honestly don’t know how these complicated and crazy stories keep rolling out of me! :) With the O’Connor saga, it all just started with me writing one, solitary book—A Passion Most Pure—and throughout the course of creating this passionate Irish family, I grew to love and know them like my own. I’ll be honest—I never intended to write a series, but these characters became so real to me, it was just a natural progression to continue on with a love story for each of the siblings.

As far as defining my characters, I basically modeled the first three sisters after aspects of my own personality. For instance, Faith, the sister heroine of A Passion Most Pure is my spiritual self. Both of us have an intimate relationship with God where we talk and pray with Him as naturally as if He were physically in the room. He’s our best friend as well as our Savior and the true love of our lives. In fact, Faith and I are so much alike in the spiritual aspect, that a good friend of mine told me that reading A Passion Most Pure was “like going to lunch with me.”

Charity, the sister heroine of Book 2, A Passion Redeemed, is my rebellious and “passionate” self, before I came to the Lord. As mentioned in my testimony above, I was a wild child of the seventies before Jesus got a hold of me (as he does Charity in Book 2).

Lizzie (or Beth), the sister heroine of Book 3 A Passion Denied is my dreamer self. Lizzie is a bookworm bent on fairytale romance, just like I used to be as a little girl, sneaking downstairs to watch romantic movies after my parents went to bed. In her story, Lizzie has to learn (just like I did) that true romance—the kind that really satisfies—comes from following God’s precepts, not the world’s.

Juanita: Tell us about your new book Love at Any Cost that just released in April 2013. How can readers find this book to order it? Will this also be a series? Tell us a little about the title character and how she happens to end up in California.

Julie: Yes, Love at Any Cost is book 1 in my brand-new “Heart of San Francisco” series, which launched April 15, 2013 and is available everywhere, from actual bookstores to most online bookseller like Amazon, CBD and Barnes & Noble. It’s kind of a poor-man, rich-man scenario among three cousins during the Irish-political landscape of 1902 San Francisco. Think Little Women meets Dynasty. :) And for those too young to remember the TV show Dynasty, think family wealth and poverty in a political setting.

This series is a bit of a departure for me because it’s a lot lighter and I hope a lot more fun than the angst and high drama of my two prior series.  It will be shorter and less complicated than the O’Connor saga, which means the books will be about 400 pages rather than my usual 500+, and the plots will be two-tier instead of three- and four-tier.

The romance between the hero and heroine is front and center, of course, but there’s also a second-tier love story between the older couple in the series, just like there was with Patrick and Marcy O’Connor. Only instead of a happily married mother and father such as we had in the O’Connor saga, Caitlyn McClare is a godly widowed matriarch who butts heads (and hearts) with her rogue brother-in-law Logan McClare, with whom she was once in love. Engaged to Logan at a very young age, Cait broke the engagement when she discovered Logan’s infidelity, resulting in her marrying Logan’s older brother instead. Now, twenty-seven years down the road, Cait is a widow and Logan is determined to win her back, so the romantic tension between these two undergirds the romantic tension between our heroine, Cait’s niece Cassie McClare, and the hero, Jamie MacKenna.

The one-line premise for Book 1, Love at Any Cost is: “A spunky Texas heiress without a fortune falls in love with a handsome pauper looking to marry well.” Cassidy McClare is a sassy Texas spitfire who travels to San Francisco to spend the summer with her cousins after being left at the altar by her pretty-boy fiancĂ©. Here’s the jacket blurb:

Fooled by a pretty boy once, shame on him.
Fooled by a pretty boy twice, shame on me.
Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who just as soon hogtie a man as look at him … until Jamie MacKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, lassoes her heart. But when Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than him, Cassie finds herself bucked by love a second time, sending her back to Texas to lick her wounds and heal her heart. In her absence, Jamie discovers money can’t buy love, but love built on faith can set a heart free, a truth he discovers a little too late … or is it?

Juanita: What is next for you, Julie? Will you finish this series and go on to another exciting family to write about? Or will you take a cruise and rest awhile? If I know persons like you, they keep on going—anxious to start another exciting venture.

Julie: LOL … a cruise sounds pretty good right about now! My plans are to e-publish a short book on writing romantic tension soon and then finish writing book 3 in the Heart of San Francisco series, Dare to Hope (working title), which releases October 2014. But then I’m ready to slow down and enjoy my hubby a little more, so I’m taking some time off to relax and pray about where God wants my career to go.

As far as other projects, current and otherwise, I just released my own e-book last November called A Light in the Window, which is the prequel love story of Marcy and Patrick O’Connor, the parents in my Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series. I am thrilled to say that A Light in the Window has a full-fledged five-star rating on Amazon with 71 five-star ratings and 8 four-star. And the good news it is on sale for half price ($3.99) right now, so I hope your readers will check it out on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Regarding future projects, since I’ve fallen in love with Jamie’s sister Jess in Love at Any Cost, I am toying with the idea of writing a stand-alone book for her since she is a brilliant young woman who aspires to be a doctor following a surgery in Love at Any Cost where she was surgically healed of crippleness. I’ve also given some thought to a possible trilogy set in Charleston, South Carolina involving a plantation widow and her daughters, but nothing is set in stone yet.

And without question, I fully intend to continue the O’Connor saga with those precocious cousins and, of course, Gabe, the O’Connor’s tomboy foster child. I hope to begin with a trilogy for Faith’s girls, then a trilogy for Charity’s twins Henry and Hope AND Gabe and on down the line, each series taking place during the WWII period. Of course, each trilogy will include a 2nd-tier love story for the parents because I simply cannot let Faith and Collin, Charity and Mitch and the rest of the former hero/heroine couples go!

Juanita: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Julie. I can identify with your busyness. Even though I’m retired now, I remember those busy days with children at home. Where can my readers contact you?

Julie: Thank you SO much, Juanita, for this wonderful opportunity! I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so if they like, they can contact me through my website at, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at

Also, I have a cool blog feature on my website called “Journal Jots” at, which is a very laid-back Friday journal to my reader friends that will give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Or readers can check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website at Finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog at, a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.

And just as an FYI for your readers:

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS/SALES/CONTESTS GOING ON RIGHT NOW: For those interested in reading my books, I have a number of fun things going on, so I hope you’ll take advantage of these opportunities:

·     SALE!! As mentioned above, my Irish love story, A Light in the Window is almost half price at $3.99 at Amazon and B&N. (from Juanita--I just downloaded this on my Kindle and read it in two days! It's wonderful.)

·     FREE DOWNLOAD!! A Hope Undaunted, book 1 in my "Winds of Change" series is currently available for FREE DOWNLOAD on Amazon, B&N or CBD. (from Juanita again-- I also downloaded and read this one. It's reviewed on my blog on May 1-- If you want to read the review, go to the sidebar and click on the name of the book.)


VIDEO LINK: (be sure to check this out.)

(Click on this link for a trailer about Julie's newest book: Love at Any Cost)

 Now, Readers, it's your turn again! Leave a comment or just say, "I want a book!" and you will be entered in this week's give-away. Julie has offered "winner's choice" of any of her books to the one whose name is drawn. Contest goes for two weeks this time and winner will be notified by email and will be announced on next Monday, May 20, 2013 (so be sure to leave your email address). Names without email addresses will not be entered in the drawing.  Only US addresses, please. You can enter by commenting directly on the blog, by facebook, or by sending me an email. mjnobles at charter dot net.

If you have not yet read one of Julie's books, I hope you will. I read the first of Daughters of Boston and had to read all three of them-- now I'm working on the Winds of Change Series, and have ordered Love At Any Cost. You'll discover a new Favorite Author.
You can still go to the sidebar and click on Meet Author Bette Lee Crosby) to enter the contest to win her book What Matters Most. Winner for that contest will be announced May 13.