Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Past Blast

I went with my son to the middle school orientation today that just happens to be in my old high school stomping grounds. What memories were flowing through my mind while I was walking the halls? My kids probably thought I was crazy. I kept saying to them, "I used to sit right there on that bench during lunch." and "I used to check out of school all the time in that office. Look, there are the same secretaries!" 18 years ago I graduated from those halls and the school began to be used as a middle school that next year when the new high school was complete. Isn't it neat that my son will be enjoying the last year that the school will be used at all? They are building a new middle school now that will be complete Fall 2008. The even neater thing is that my fourth grade teacher is working at the middle school and she recognized me without me giving her my name. Okay, that is a LONG time ago! She was one of my favorite teachers in elementary and I was so excited to see her again. Memories are fun, but they also make you a little sad, too. Here is to school starting on Thursday. A time of making memories that you will never forget!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Quote for Today


I am covered up with work today but I wanted to share a quote that I read in my devotional this morning. It really made me think about my own life in a different way.

"A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and every once in a while the saint says, "I can't take anymore." Yet God pays no attention; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly." Oswald Chambers

Lord, may I not give up when you are stretching and working on me. Remind me that it is all in Your purposes, so that I can fly.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Shred of Truth

Okay, I just love this book. It is full of action and thrills that kept my attention through the entire book. If you are looking for an action-packed thriller that will keep you guessing until the end, then you will want to read this one. The good news is that it is the second in a series, so I am going to get to read the first one next. The other good news is that I have an extra copy of this one to give away, so if you want to read it, leave a comment to be put into the drawing.


More about A Shred of Truth:


Eric Wilson returns with another sharp-edged thriller that will appeal to the rising generation of men and women on the fringes of faith.


In The Best of Evil, Aramis Black uncovered family secrets and historical conspiracies, hoping that his own dark past had come to certain resolution. But now, in A Shred of Truth, he finds his brother unconscious and tied to a statue in downtown Nashville with the initials AX carved into his back.


A shadow from his former life has reappeared, casting threats of violence and retribution. And soon the attacker is swinging his blade of self-righteous judgment directly at Aramis, challenging him to “face his sins.” Can Aramis finally break free from the guilt of his old ways, or will he succumb to the vengeance of an arrogant sociopath?


Aramis Black’s latest breathtaking adventure will lead readers to discover the resolve of true friends, the depths of family love, and the breadth of God’s forgiveness.


About Eric Wilson:

Eric Wilson is the author of Dark to Mortal Eyes, Expiration Date, and the first book in the Aramis Black series, The Best of Evil. He lives with his wife, Carolyn Rose, and their two daughters in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit him at wilsonwriter.com


Don't forget to leave a comment if you want to be put into the drawing! Blessings to you!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Dance In the Desert

This book made me think about God in a more intimate way. It is a wonderful expression and description of how God wants us to be with Him. He is right there-just waiting on us to dance with Him. I so want to be more like Jane in this book. She dances through her life with Him and encourages others to love God in the same intimate way.

About the Book

“Not a safe world.” How many times had she heard it over and over again? Well, it is not a safe world and Dara Murphy Brogan knew it better than most, which is exactly why she had tucked herself away on a desert mountaintop. Now it was just her, the voice inside her head and the boxes of hastily packed odds and ends—all that was left of her pathetic excuse of a life. Hadn’t she chosen the desert because it was barren and brown and dead looking and far, far away from anyone who may have seen the news?

So what was this, this trespasser, this interloper, this wacked out earth mother doing dancing outside her window? Celebrating life and the Spirit in a way Dara never could have dreamed. Until she opened her door and met Jane Cameron.

About the Author, Kathleen Popa

Raised in the American Southwest, Kathleen began her love affair with the desert as a child. Before becoming a writer she, among other jobs, worked in both the juvenile facility fro incarcerated girls and a home for emotionally disturved children. Mother of two, sh lives in Northern California with her husband and youngest son. Visit her blog, Reading, Writing, and What Else is There?

This book will definitely change the way you think about your relationship with God. What could be better?

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Friday, July 27, 2007

Book Giveaway

Don't forget to sign up for my book giveaway for A Shred of Truth by Eric Wilson! You can go here to read the review and sign up!

Have a good day!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

P.S. I lost another .5 a pound today! That makes 10.5 pounds and 1% body fat over the last four weeks! YEEHAW!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Vacationing At Home

My husband is on vacation this week and our finances are not quite up to supporting another trip to the beach. BOOHOO! Many people claim to love taking a vacation at home, but I find that it is just like any other day. Laundry to do, dishes to wash, meals to cook, and work to do. Yes, I could just let everything pile up, but then I would have all of that to do next week on top of next weeks chores, so I am just doing it with a smile on my face. My husband is having more fun than me-goofing off, playing golf, and playing on the computer, but being at home just reminds me of how much needs to be done. Oh, well. At least I have a writer's conference and family trip to look forward to in October!

What are you up to this week? I hope that your week is going smoothly. Check out my book blog at www.thenearsightedbookworm.blogspot.com for new book reviews and a book giveaway. I should have those posts up in a bit.

Blessings to you! Smiles and Loves! Janis

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Birthdays, Weight Loss, and Life


My birthdays are not my favorite day of the year. I turned 36 on Sunday and it really hit me that I am on the downward slope of my 30's. I should be smarter and wiser than I am now. I still feel like that unsure teenager, instead of a woman that is 36 with three kids. I asked my grandma if she felt 83 and she said that she felt it physically but not mentally. I guess that is just normal.


My journey to a healthier me is going okay. I maintained for last week, but after the huge loss the week before, I was just glad to stay the same. I have been kicking booty this week with my eating and exercise though, so hopefully there will be a loss on Friday.


God is sooo working on me lately. I have been reading "Living a Purposeful Life" by Jan Johnson and it is really blessing me. I have also been reading in Esther and am finding new little tidbits in there that I have missed before. Isn't that awesome how that works? Even though you may have read a passage of the Bible 100 times, God can still make it new to you. I just LOVE that!


I am getting my paperwork together to start college again in the fall. Scary, but exciting all at the same time. I will be taking online classes until my youngest starts school next fall and then I will probably take some classes on campus. I love going to school. I know, I am weird.


God is so richly blessing our lives. I am so overwhelmed at the opportunities that He has put in front of me. Isn't God good?


What is God doing for you right now?


Smiles and Loves! Janis

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Happenings, Thankfulness, and Fun

Where has the time gone? I have been sooo covered up with work and kids that I feel like I haven't posted in forever! What is happening in my life this week?

1-Reading. I have posted another book review on www.thenearsightedbookworm.blogspot.com. It is so much fun to get free books to read and review!
2-Painting. Our church is moving to a new location and I have been over there two nights this week painting sky on murals and coat racks. It is starting to all fall into place where you can see how awesome it is going to be. I am the Nursery Director at church and I will have FOUR rooms that I am responsible for in our new location. We have room for 60 kids ages 0-23 months (that is scary in itself!). They are going to look so beautiful and so is the rest of the church!
3-Writing. I have so many irons in the fire this week. That is why I have been MIA.
4-Mothering. The kids are out of school for three more weeks. I am glad that they have had the break, but I am sooo ready to get back to my schedule.
5-Dieting. I lost seven pounds last week. This week will be the kicker, however, because I have not been very diligent with everything else going on. I will let you know tomorrow if the scale is kind to me.

See, I have not been lazing around eating bonbons! They would cost me too many points (Weight Watchers) and I just don't have time! I am thankful for all of these things, however. I just have to remind myself to stop and enjoy where I am at. I am a different person than I was even one year ago. God has so blessed and changed me!

WINNER NEWS! The giveaway for The Divine Appointment has not been forgotten! The winner is Brenda of Everyday Is a Blessing. Visit her and tell her congratulations! I hope that you are having a beautiful and less crazy day than me!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Friday, July 6, 2007

Island Inferno-Book Review

Today's book is Island Inferno by Chuck Holton. This book was full of action, intrigue, and romance. Just my kind of book. I loved the fact that it was set in a jungle in a third world. That is something new and different and I really liked the entire story. If you are looking for something a bit different in Christian fiction, then buy Island Inferno. You will not be disappointed.


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Here is a brief synopsis of this exciting book.

TASK FORCE VALOR


EXPLOSIVE ORDINANCE DISPOSAL--THE BOMB SQUAD


As the global war on terror heats up, the U.S. deploys a team of highly trained special operators overseas to locate and neutralize threats, bringing EOD expertise to dangerous missions that have no room for error.

A DEADLY EXPLOSION
A new specialty explosive is on the black market: ITEB looks like water, but when it's exposed to air, the effects are lethal! The United States government is frantic to keep it from our shores. Staff Sergeant Euripides "Rip" Rubio knows how destructive ITEB can be. He has already risked his life to thwart a horrific terrorist plot involving the chemical. Now Task Force Valor heads to Panama, on the trail of an arms dealer who plans to use ITEB to make a killing...literally.

AN ADVENTURE ABROAD
Fernanda Lerida is a University of Florida grad student who jumps at the chance to join a biological expedition to a mysterious former prison island. But the snakes, bugs, and crocodiles are soon the least of her worries as the group stumbles upon something they were not meant to see. To Make matters worse, Fernanda soon finds herself alone and being pursued by an unseen foe.

A RISKY RESCUE
When Rip's path collides with Fernanda's, they find themselves caught in the midst of a brutal turf war. Can they use the chaos to their advantage, or will one false step set the entire island ablaze?

Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of this book to giveaway, but if you click here, you can purchase the book for your own library. Don't forget to comment on yesterdays book review so that you can win a copy of The Divine Appointment! Thanks for reading!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Divine Appointment

If you are looking for Thankful Thursday, then scroll down. Otherwise, enjoy my book review and put your name in for my giveaway!

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Today's book is The Divine Appointment by Jerome Teel. I have a giveaway copy of this one, so leave your comments to be put into a giveaway for it. I will be drawing on Monday, June 9th. Make sure that I can get to your blog or leave your email address, as in the previous drawing I had one commenter that I had no way of getting in touch with. Now, on with the book review!



Okay, I have to admit that Christian political fiction is not normally something that I would choose to read, but I really enjoyed this book and am going to look for the author's first book, too. This book is full of twists and turns that are full of action and intrigue that kept me guessing right up to the end about what was going to happen. I love the way that the author, Jerome Teel, interspersed God into this book about politics and the Supreme Court. It really made me think about the political situation in our country and it spurred me on the pray more for our President and the decisions that he makes everyday. I am looking forward to checking out The Election, which is Jerome's first book.

Here is a synopsis of The Divine Appointment.

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES?
New Legal Thriller Mirrors High Court Drama

In The Divine Appointment, Supreme Court Justice Martha Robinson has died, presenting an unprecedented opportunity for conservative president, Richard Wallace, to impact the direction of the highest court in the land for years to come. The Supreme Court has the power to interpret the Constitution, and in the process, to shape the nation. Not everyone is thrilled with the president's nominee, however. And some will stop at nothing, including murder, to prevent his confirmation by the Senate.

Jerome Teel is father to three children and lives in Tennessee. Here is my interview with him.

Interview with the Author:

1. Who is the target audience for The Divine Appointment?

The audience is wide and I believe The Divine Appointment can reach different segments of the Christian community. Specifically, though, I think the target audience is politically active Christians such as members of Christian Alliance organizations, Right to Life Organizations, American Family Association, etc.

2. How do you describe your genre for this book?

Christian fiction political thriller.

3. Where/How did you birth the idea for this book? How did it come about?

The idea for this book was two-fold. First I think that Roe v. Wade was a very bad decision and it should be reversed. Secondly, the appointment and confirmation processes for Justice Roberts and Justice Alito were very intriguing and I wondered what it would be like if there was a true conservative, Christian jurist going through that process who would openly say that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. I found that concept very intriguing and turned it into a storyline.

4. What sort of research was involved to make The Divine Appointment sound authentic/realistic?

I researched the Washington D.C. geography to make sure I had names of buildings and streets accurate. Google Earth is an amazing tool. The legal aspects of the book and the courtroom scenes come from my many years of experience as an attorney.

5. What takeaway points do you hope the reader pulls from this book?

I hope that readers will realize that it is important for Christians to be part of the political process.

6. Is The Divine Appointment part of a series?

It is not designed as a series yet. However, like The Election there could be follow-up books that would track some of the characters.

7. How do you deal with your other obligations (job, family, church, etc.) when it's crunch time near deadlines?

This is one of my most difficult tasks. I'm a partner in a law firm and that is a full-time job. Part of my practice is that I represent the local county government, which at times is very consuming. Currently I am helping coach three separate baseball teams. I am the incoming board president for a local charity. I teach a high school boys' Sunday School. And our family life is extremely busy. As you can see, there are very few unoccupied minutes in my life. When I'm working on a writing project my writing time is very late at night--typically from 10:00 p.m. to about 1:00 a.m. When a deadline is rapidly approaching I have to take time away from the office and stay at home until I'm able to get the project completed.

8. Do you plan character development and then let them run with the story, or do you plot the story in advance?

I don't know how unique my writing style is but I cannot write from an outline. The first thing that happens is that I see the beginning of a story and the end of the story, and then I begin to write. I outline as I go along and I keep a timeline. The characters begin to take on lives of their own and lead me through the story. When I get to about 30,000 words I begin to fully see the story unfold. It is at that point that I make a few notes about the direction of the book and it is all I can do to write fast enough to complete the manuscript.

9. Do you have an organized office and set times to write, or do you find yourself writing at unusual times or places?

I write at unusual times--typically very late at night. But the place is always the same. I have a study in my house and I do all of my writing there.


You can read more about Jerome's books and life at www.jerometeel.com. Thanks for reading!

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You will enjoy this book! Enter the giveaway if you would like a chance to read The Divine Appointment! Smiles and Loves! Janis

Thankful Thursday


I have not participated in Thankful Thursday in a few weeks and I have certainly missed it. My heart is full of praise today for many different reasons and I want to share them with you and with God. Many times, I take for granted the blessings that God sends my way and that is wrong. I want Him to know how much I appreciate each thing - no matter how small - that He gives me and my family.


I am thankful for:


1. Vacation - The time at the beach was awesome with my husband and the kids.

2. Independence - Both of our country and of ourselves through Him.

3. Opportunities - God has placed some awesome opportunities into my lap lately. From reviewing Christian fiction to taking a writing class to going back to college. I am amazed at how well He knows me and my desires.

4. Friends - My friends that I have are just awesome! Both those that I have "met" online and the real life ones. The real life ones have seen me struggling the last few weeks or so, but have been there for me with their shoulders and advice.

5. Family - My family would not fit anyone else, but I fit in their craziness. From a 30-year old brother who collects Star Wars figures to a 29-year old sister who carries a gun, somehow I fit. They are unusual, but they are my family. My mom and dad have always been there for me - no matter what.

6. Husband - He is great! I am so much more in love with Him than I was almost 11 years ago when we got married. I love to see him holding my youngest reading her a book. It makes my heart melt.

7. Children - They are each so different, even though they all came from me. They amaze me each and everyday with their intelligence and senses of humor.

8. Kick in the Butt - Everyone needs a good kick every now and then and God has really given me one lately. I am on a journey to lose over 100 pounds in the next year and with God's help, I will succeed! My health is suffering from this extra weight and I cannot live with it anymore. Pray that I will stay on track.


God puts blessings in our path each and every day. What are you thankful for today? Visit Iris and see what other bloggers are thankful for.


Book review coming soon with another giveaway! Check back later today!


Smiles and Loves! Janis

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy 4th of July!


Have fun with your family and friends!
Smiles and Loves! Janis


Monday, July 2, 2007

Where Is Your Hope?


Where do you place your hope? Is it in your finances, your husband, your friends, or even yourself? Do you place all of your hopes and dreams in something that can and will disappoint you? Have you been hurt or disappointed because you put your hope in the wrong thing? If so, then I have good news for you. You can put your hope in the One that will never let you down. He will not change. Even though we all change from year to year, Jesus has not changed. When Jesus ascended into Heaven and the disciples were gazing up into the heavens, two angels told the disciples, "This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven." He will not change.


Are you fearful? Do you remember when the disciples were in their boat during a storm and saw Jesus walking on the water? They thought that He was a ghost and they became afraid (John 6:15-21). Jesus told them, "It is I. Don't be afraid." Are you fearful of what is happening in your life? This same Jesus that told the disciples to not be afraid because He was with them is saying to you today, "I am with you. Don't be afraid." Has Jesus asked you to step out of your comfort zone, like He did Peter? All you need to do is keep your eyes on Jesus, just as He told Peter to keep His eyes upon Him.


Do you need healing? This same Jesus that told the man at the Bethesda pool, "Take up your bed and walk" is telling you that you only have to ask for healing, just like that man at the pool. This same Jesus can give you the healing that you need, whether it is emotional, spiritual, or physical. (John 5:1-8)


Are you going through a storm in your life? This same Jesus that told the winds and seas to obey can calm your storms, too. Hand the situation over to Him in complete faith and give Him the control. He will work the situation out to His will. (Matthew 8:23-27)


Do you feel that Jesus can't possibly love you because of your sin? This same Jesus loved a Samaritan woman who was living in sin enough to tell her about the living water. He loved a sinful woman enough to allow her to bathe his feet with her costly perfume and tears. He let her touch Him, much to the consternation of the disciples. He loved an adulteress enough to stop her stoning and give her a chance to live a life without sin. He loves you just as much! This same Jesus, loves you _____________(insert name here), just as much as He loved each of these women. He loves you warts and all.


This same Jesus is the one that you want to put your hope in. He is unchanging even after 2000 years. Put your hope in Him. If you anchor yourself in Him, then the winds of life will only move you slightly, for you will have the foundation that you need for your life. What could be better than that?


Lord, help me remember that my hope is in you. Not in my husband, not in my home, not in our finances-nothing but you. Everything else will pass away, but you will never leave me or forsake me. You will never change. Everything that you did and said in the Bible is for me, too. You will never change. I praise You for that unwavering character that I can depend upon.


Smiles and Loves! Janis


 

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