My Blog Guest

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Blog Tour Banner   Visiting another century…not the summer vacation Abby had planned. Those who have read Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy, the first two books in the young adult time-travel trilogy, know that Abby Thomas, is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And you know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house. And the Old Dears’ old house, and…well, any old house.  

sticker pictureAnd now their computer program is starting to attract attention. Since the program worked so well for the Old Dears’ family tree project, Abby’s college roommate Kate hopes it will help her find out more about her ancestor Ned Greenfield. And Kate’s fiancĂ© Ryan thinks the program has lucrative commercial potential. Abby and John reluctantly agree to help Kate, but only on the condition that she and Ryan promise to keep the program a secret, because if it fell into the wrong hands…well, no one wants Big Brother invading their privacy. The two couples take a trip to the tiny town of Equality, set in the hills of southern Illinois and the breath-taking Shawnee National Forest. According to Kate’s research, Ned Greenfield was born there at a place called Hickory Hill. The mayor, police chief, and townspeople are hospitable and helpful—until the topic of Hickory Hill comes up. They seem determined to keep them away, telling them, “There’s nothing there for you to see.” Eventually they find Hickory Hill on their own—both the mansion and the lonely hill it sits upon. Built in 1834, Hickory Hill stands sentinel over Half Moon Salt Mine where the original owner John Granger accumulated his blood-tainted fortune. Abby and her friends meet Miss Granger, Hickory Hill’s current eccentric owner, and they eventually get the chance to time-surf there. Their shocking discovery on the third floor concerning Kate’s ancestor Ned Greenfield is almost too much to bear. What they learn sends them racing to the opposite end of the state to find the missing link in Kate’s family tree. And there they are reminded that God is in the business of redemption—that one day he’ll make all things new.  

Deborah Heal, the author of the Time and Again time travel mystery series, was born not far from the setting of her book Every Hill and Mountain and grew up “just down the road” from the setting of Time and Again. Today she lives with her husband in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, three grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her website and her Facebook author page Her books may be purchased on
Enter the Rafflecopter contest below for a chance to win a set of signed books--the whole trilogy! Open to U.S. addresses only. Winner will be announced. May 16, 2013.
trilogy covers         a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Review, Heartstone by Tim Young

Tim Young's book Heartstone takes us through his journey of personal failure, devastation and recovery on a road back to God after having nearly lost everything because of the lifestyle and choices he made.

In the foreward of this book Rick and Debra Evans use the term transparent when referring to Tim's style and I cannot think of a better word myself. Tim shares from  the deepest places in his heart scripture, journal entries, quotes, and stories that teach the value of embracing our own brokenness and deepest hurts in the darkest times
in order to draw close to God. Here's one of my favorite quotes from the book. Tim is talking about forgiveness. "Even if we feel the other person is 98% wrong and we are only 2% wrong, we are 100% responsible to walk in forgiveness and repentance for our 2%"

I give this book a 4 out of 5 star rating. Whether you have suffered great loss and devastation or just want to go deeper, I think this book will touch you and challenge you to draw closer to God.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Women's Distorted View of Their Worth and Beauty

I think most women distort their value and worth because so much emphasis is placed on outward appearance today.  For a recent ad campaign, Dove brought in an FBI-trained forensic artist to sketch selected women based on what they felt they looked like. Then he compared the drawings with sketches he had done of them based on observations of others who had observed them and given a description of them to the artist. Often the women disparaged themselves when describing themselves. It was as if they were describing themselves as moths while others around them saw them as lovely butterflies.

The Huffington Post wrote an article about the ad and the insight is interesting. It says volumes about how women perceive themselves.You can check it out along with the video here at the Huffington Post.

After watching this video, I couldn't help but see a parallel between my book, The Treasure Seeker, which is written for women who are spiritually seeking and for women who wish to grow spiritually, and what the Dove video addresses. We are much more beautiful and valuable than we think we are. There is another who sees us very differently and in a much more beautiful light. Where Dove's emphasis is on the outward, The Treasure Seeker addresses the fact that it is God who recognizes and values our inner beauty and will bring it to the next level, if we allow him to.

I invite you to leave a comment regarding how you see yourself and how you feel God sees you.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013




Contest Ends April 19

Welcome to the Authors in Bloom blog hop. Many different authors have banded together to participate in this blog hop so be sure to check out their blogs to get great gardening tips, recipes, and enter for giveaway prizes. GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY!  a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a $25 gift card for the same.


To be entered for prizes just leave a comment on this blog and the other blogs you visit. See the link at the bottom of this post for all participating authors.

Gardening Tip 

 Use black garden liner or black trash bags to keep down weeds. Poke a hole for each plant or bulb, then cover with mulch

Giveaway Item from Author Teena Stewart

One copy of Teena Stewart's book, Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship. Giveaway for this prize is for U. S. citizens only.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Review- The Widow of Larkspur Inn by Lawana Blackwell

This is an enjoyable historic romance. The main character, Julia Hollis, must leave her comfortable life in London, along with her three children, after her doctor husband dies and leaves them without a penny. Their only hope is to restore an old inn in a small town which is the only thing of value left to Julia. Turning this into a boarding house of sorts is the plan but they have their work cut out for them and Julia has never managed a business before.

I was afraid that this would be yet another story of a hard-on-her luck young woman who must marry for money, but the authors did a good job creating an original story line and some loveable characters in the townsfolk and the renters. I especially love the characters of the pastor, Mr. Clay, the actor, who suffers from severe depression and Fiona, the housekeeper.  I thought Blackwell did an exceptional job addressing the subject of depression and avoiding the pitfall of making the problem magically disappear once Mr. Clay comes to faith...which was also handled very well.

A good read and there are more in the series. I give it four out of five stars.

Interview with Kimberly Payne, Author of Trees of the Book

I'm happy to have Kimberley Payne as a guest today. Kimberley is a motivational speaker and author. Kimberley has volunteered as a teacher in many children's programs at her church, as a teacher's aide for students' reading in the classroom, and within the library at her children's school. She works as an Elementary School Secretary for the Catholic School Board. She combines her teaching experience and her love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science and faith.
Tell us a little about your book. My children’s activity book is called Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation. It looks at 7 different trees and the stories that surround them as presented in the Bible. Each tree tells the story of where it is found in scripture. This is followed by three discussion questions to dig a little deeper. Students learn how to identify the trees by the leaf, bark, branches etc. Each section ends with a fun activity such as a maze or word search.

What was the inspiration behind the book? Why did you write the book?

As an avid walker, I have a love and appreciate nature, especially hiking through the woods. I also like to read the Bible and found myself curious about the trees mentioned in scripture. At the time I started my research, I was actively involved in children’s ministry in my church so wanted to share what I learned in an entertaining format for the children. I produced one-sheets to fit into the weekly bulletins and featured one tree a week for seven weeks. I collected these together and added facts about each tree with fun activities. And voila, I had the beginnings of this book! 

What do you hope this book accomplishes?
I hope this book gives children in grades 2/3 an easy and fun way to learn about trees and about the Bible.

What is Your Favorite Kind of Tree and Why?
I personally love the palm tree. Although I live in Canada and we don’t have any here, I’ve vacationed at beautifully exotic locations where these trees lined the streets.
In the book, Trees of the Book, I absolutely love the artwork that Esther created for the palm tree. She did an exceptional job.

What is One of Your Weirdest or Most Interesting Habits?
I have a weird habit of counting – I count how many stairs I walk up or how many floor tiles in a bathroom. I count anything that has a pattern to it. 

How Can Readers Connect with You?
My website
My Facebook author page