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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review: God, Me, Sweet Iced Tea by Rose Chandler Johnson

Not too many devotionals I have read lately actually speak to me, I’ve reviewed so many book, but this book does. I really clicked with the author’s style. Great title and great insight with just the right scripture passage to meditate on and a strong dose of authenticity and application from the author. She also includes additional related scripture passages, journaling options, a prayer and thought for the day.

I give it five out of five stars

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Book Review: Daily Scripture Reading and Meditation: 31 Bible Verses on Love - To Remind You - You Are God's Beloved! By Gloria Coleman

 The power of this set of 31 meditations is in its simplicity and strait-forward approach. It includes one scripture verse each day  in several different translations, a thought for the day based on the verse you read,  a meditation technique (the same for each day) to help you “believe and receive” what you have read, and a closing prayer.  If your main desire is to commit scripture verses to memory to remind you that you are truly love by God, this would be a good choice. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review, Stolen Woman by Kimberly Rae

Asha, an American who was adopted from India has returned to India to serve on a short term mission at an orphanage. She hopes to discover more about her past while making a difference. What she finds is romance in a multi-layered country of diverse culture, great beauty, poverty and injustice. The author   uncovers our eyes to see the horror of human trafficking. The reality with stay with you long after you close the book. I give this four out of five stars.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Interview with Teena Stewart About Tangled Web, Her Romantic Suspense In Progress

I'm participating in a blog hop and those who are were asked to answer some questions about our current work in progress. I have several so I chose my most recently completed manuscript.

What is the working title of your next book?

Tangled Web

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I started working on it when we lived in Colorado and my overactive imagination asked, “What if a seemingly strong Christian businessman was suddenly hi-jacked and found dead on a mountain road?”  Then I took it from there

In what genre does your book fall?

Romantic suspense

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmmm. Good question. Gwyneth Paltrow for the lead character, Jennifer.  Maybe Johnny Depp for the male romantic lead of David Speer. He’s a suspense writer and Depp has played a writer before in Secret Window (although disturbed one). Depp has the quiet presence I envision.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

When her brother’s body is discovered on a mountain road, Jennifer Matthews is left to care for his five-year-old daughter, Amy, but shadows follow her as she struggles to forgive herself for her broken relationship with Chris, pardon God for painful wounds, and find the path of truth—even if it leads to danger and. . .romance.

Who is publishing your book?

It’s still being shopped around by my agent at Hartline, so no contract yet on this one.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Wow. There have been sooo many drafts. I really can’t recall. Maybe six months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Maybe Susan May Warren’s books such as Expect the Sunrise .

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

It started with the idea of a trustworthy person who goes missing and suddenly doubt creeps in about whether he is what he says he is. I think it was just the mountain terrain that made me come up with the idea.

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

The book throws two unlikely people together who immediately dislike each other and then adds in a dash of mystery and suspense. Jennifer is thrust into the role of mother to her deceased brother’s daughter but the more she tries to keep her safe, the more trouble finds them.

Also, the stories spans Colorado and California and has an action packed climax.


 Be sure and stop by some of my writer friends blogs and leave a comment. Paula Mowery and Lisa Lickel are co-authors with me in our soon-to-be-released romantic historical compilation, Brave New Century (title might change.)

Paula Mowery

Lisa Lickel

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Guest Author, Barbara Ann Derksen Talks About Her Latest Book The Shadow Stalker

I'm pleased to have Barbara Ann Derksen as my guest today on Nearly Brilliant.

Watching the expressions on the faces of her readers, as well as answering questions about her characters, is what drives author and speaker, Barbara  to write yet another book and another. Her favorite genre is murder mystery but each book brings forth characters who rely on God as they solve the puzzle in their life.

Barbara’s devotionals are sought after each year when she publishes a new one that reflects what God has placed on her heart. From Straight Pipes, her first, to More Than Bells, Preparation for Prayer, the latest, Barbara’s devotions take people to the place where God can touch their heart and leave a lasting impression.When people stop by her table for the latest, they talk to her about using the devotions in their chapter meetings, or their personal devotions. Some men return at their pastor’s request because the books are used as launch pads for men’s bible study. Many copies have been passed on to new believers as discipling tools.

Born in Canada, Barbara lived in the U.S. for 12 years. There her writing surfaced as she worked under contract as a journalist for six years with over 2,500 articles published in newspapers and magazines during that time. Meeting and interviewing people, digging for the hidden gems in their lives, made those years informative as well as instructive. She began attending Colorado Christian Writer’s Conferences and each year, under the tutelage of great Christian writer’s like James Scott Bell, Angela Hunt, and others, she honed her skills.

Barbara has developed a speaking platform and has spoken across the U.S. and in Manitoba, Canada for women’s groups and in church services on topics such as The Writing Experience, working in the ministry of Christian Motorcyclists Association, Love, Parenting, Time Management, and a host of others.

With 17 books to her credit, one currently inactive and awaiting revision, each one surpasses the last, according to her readers.They look forward to discovering the new characters in a new series Finders Keepers.Book One – Shadow Stalker – will be released mid-May, 2013

Writing, however is simply a tool to be used in the ministry she shares with her husband. With his gift of music (he sings country gospel), Barbara and her husband operate CatchFire Ministries, a ministry to bikers through Christian Motorcyclists Association. They travel for four to five months every summer in the US and the rest of the time in Canada where they seek to inspire, encourage and invite people into a deeper ministry with Jesus Christ. They also minister at Veterans Homes and churches along the way and are about to begin a ministry to Juvenile offenders incarcerated at Manitoba Youth Center. The mysteries include a gospel message that opens her readers to the possibility of reading books written from a Christian World view and supply funds for CatchFire.

Barbara, can you tell us what your newest book is about?

Shadow Stalker, is the first book in the Finders Keepers Mystery series. At the age of five, Christine Finder, alias Melissa Rompart, watched her parent’s brutal murder from a hiding place of her father’s choosing. She was spirited to a distant cousin’s ranch in Texas to keep her safe but the killer was never caught and she is the only person who can identify him. He stalked her to the ranch but only after she returned to Winnipeg, Canada 20 years later, her country of citizenship, and the city where her parents once lived. The killer’s shadow stalks her as she opens an agency to find missing people with the help of her service dog, Chief. She also plans to find him and see her parents vindicated.

What inspired you to write this book?

Aside from the fact that I love a good mystery, I woke one morning after my last series was complete, with the entire story rolling around in my head.  Believe the Lord is my inspiration and my boss so His plan becomes mine.

Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?

My main character is a non-believer who begins to work out of the office of Jeremy Goodman, a strong believer who listens to the still small voice of God. My readers will encounter in him an on-going active faith that walks with him daily. They will discover that God speak to all of us who call ourselves God’s children.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

If God is calling you to write, then you need to do so and to write what He asks of you. I write devotions because He asked if I was going to obey Him or what after I fought the still small voice for three months. He gives me inspiration for mystery, I believe, because I obeyed Him with devotions. God uses our words to reach people where they are and to get them to notice Him. As a writer, you need to do your best and produce your best because it reflects Him and we want, always, to put our best foot forward for the cause of Christ.

Here are Barbara's links. -
Amazon author page -
Shadow Stalker page on website (read excerpt and order) -