Monday, June 27, 2011

Kylie's Kiss Blog Tour

We're excited to welcome Delia Latham to Writer's Rest to share with us her latest book, Kylie's Kiss. Today's blog blitz is to celebrate Delia's birthday. Leave a comment for Delia & you might end up being the one getting a gift. Delia will give away FOUR pdf copies of Solomon's Gate books to FOUR readers who leave comments at any or all of the various blogs involved in her birthday blitz June 27 through June 30. Winners may choose either Destiny's Dream (Book One) or Kylie's Kiss (Book Two). The first-prize winner of the oil bottle necklace will be chosen from comments left on June 27th ONLY.

Blurb for Kylie's Kiss

On a dare, Kylie Matthews lands smack in the middle of Solomon’s Gate—Castle Creek’s new Christian dating agency—and she finds herself revealing exactly what she’s waiting for in a relationship: “The kiss that steals my breath away.”

What she doesn’t reveal is her lack of self-esteem or her irrational reaction to facial disfigurement. Neither is applicable to her quest to find the perfect match. But that seemingly superficial malady becomes all-important when her first agency-arranged date is Rick Dale—a man who is everything Kylie is searching for. He’s handsome, smart, fun. Rick has it all…including an angelic six-year-old daughter with severe scarring on one side of her face.

Hard at work founding a therapy camp for young female victims of deformity or disfigurement, Rick wants Kylie to be a part of those plans. She’d love to say yes…but how can she, when every contact with the facility’s guests—and Rick’s own daughter—will make her violently ill?

Kylie is ready to admit their relationship doesn’t stand a chance, but she’s forgotten that God makes a way where there seems no way.

Rick settled into a seat across from Kylie and Clay and sat in silence for a moment, a slight frown drawing his dark brows together. Finally he looked up, first at Clay, then in her direction. “Kylie, I haven’t had a chance to share with you about Lea, though I believe Clay knows a little.”

Her heart sank and her gaze flew to her boss, who nodded. Yes, he knew about Lea, whoever she was. This didn’t sound good. “Who’s Lea?”

“She’s my little girl.” Kylie drew in a slow, deliberate breath, forcing herself to stay calm. So he had a daughter. As long as a wife wasn’t the next announcement, she could handle that.

“You have a child. How old is she?”

“She just turned six.” Rick’s expression softened as he spoke, and Kylie knew without a doubt that Lea was his life. His green eyes, startling against the olive of his skin, met hers without flinching. “She’s a special child, Kylie. Smart, beautiful, charming….” Kylie found herself fascinated by the adorable little self-derisive grin that played about his lips. “And sweet as cotton candy.”

Kylie couldn’t help smiling. “You don’t like her much, huh?”

“She is my heart and soul.” A little sheepish, but unrepentant.

“When do we get to meet this perfect child?” Clay’s grin lit up his craggy face. “Destiny’s already looking forward to it, but be warned—she’s going to try to keep her. My wife has a thing with kids, man. She loves ’em, and they always love her right back.”

Rick laughed a little, but his tone was serious. “I hope she still feels that way after she meets Lea.” He pulled a wallet from his pocket, then sat for a moment, saying nothing.

Puzzled, Kylie watched him run slender fingers through his thick black hair. Again and again he invaded the thick waves, managing to somehow leave them only slightly mussed. Finally he opened the billfold and pulled out a photo.

When he raised his head, revealing the torment in his eyes, her heart nearly stopped. What was wrong with Lea? Whatever it was, did Rick think it would make a difference in how she or Clay might feel about the child? If so, he certainly didn’t give them much credit.

“This is Lea.” He handed the photo to Clay, who smiled and passed it on to Kylie.

“She’s a cutie all right, my friend. You weren’t exaggerating. So what’s the problem?”

Kylie wondered the same thing. The photo showed a partial silhouette of an extraordinarily beautiful child. Unlike her olive-skinned father, Lea was a vision of light. Golden hair, porcelain skin, eyes the color of a robin’s egg. Kylie met Rick’s gaze, mystified by his obvious unease. “She’s lovely.”

“Thank you. I think so.” He pulled out another photo and handed it to Clay. “In spite of this.”

Kylie’s stomach clenched and threatened to revolt. Her boss’s flinch was slight, but unmistakable. Oh, dear God, please help me handle whatever this is with grace. How ironic that her first real prayer in years would be one of such a pitifully begging nature. Somehow she knew her reaction to this photo could mean life or death for her relationship with Rick. How strange that she’d be thinking in terms of a relationship now, when only moments before she’d been ready to concede defeat.

Clay nodded slowly, then met Kylie’s eyes. He held briefly to the picture even after her fingers closed on it. His words were directed to his friend, but his gaze held hers. “You’re right, my friend. Nothing could make this child anything less than perfect.”

He released the photo into Kylie’s grip. By now she did not want to look at it. Something in Rick’s eyes and Clay’s voice told her she could be in trouble. But what choice did she have?

Her eyes moved in slow, jerking movements from Clay’s face to the photo in her hands. She gasped, overwhelmed with sympathy—and total panic.

Another silhouette, shot from the opposite side of Lea’s face. Long, lumpy red welts stained her exquisite skin, puckering her cheek into an inhuman mask. Kylie had no idea she was crying until the tears tickled her face, even as her throat closed and her stomach lurched.

The photo fluttered to the floor as she leaped to her feet. Sending the two men a desperately apologetic look, she flew out of the room with a hand over her mouth.

Born and raised in a place called Weedpatch, Delia Latham moved from California to Oklahoma in 2008, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her simple country home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. The author enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. She loves to hear from her readers. You may contact her through her website or send an e-mail to delia AT delialatham DOT net.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clothing Filled With God's Spirit

Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos

Do you think the early Christians had deeper faith than the present-day Christians?

On my other blog, I've been talking about the early Christians. The church was so much different back then - at least different from the churches of which I've been a member. The miracles that happened within the early church were truly amazing. I'd like to take this moment and share some scriptures that show clothing filled with God's spirit. I blogged about this first scripture years ago, but, thought it'd be good to talk about again since this scripture pertains to the early Christians, mainly, the Apostle Paul:

Acts 19:11-12
11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

That's so cool, awesome and totally amazing! Can you imagine, an apron or handkerchief that had touched Paul could be taken to a sick person and the item could cure his/her illness and drive out evil spirits!, wow!!!

Paul's miraculous miracles, stored in clothing items that he touched....


I was talking to my husband about this last night and he reminded me of the following scripture - when the bleeding woman touched Jesus clothing and was healed:
Luke 8:43-48
43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”
When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

I would like to witness something like this happening myself. Yes, I do realize that it's still possible for this to happen today, people can get healed, but, I wish I could travel in a time machine and go back to the days of Jesus and the Apostle Paul and witness these healings as descibed in the above-mentioned scriptures.

So, do you think the early Christians had deeper faith than the present-day Christians?

Leave a comment.

I'd also like to mention that my novel collection, Chesapeake Weddings, is still available for a low price of $2.79 on
Also, my novel, First Mates, is available on Kindle as well as other e-readers for the low price of $3.99.

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What I Learned in the Trenches

Tips on surviving the ACFW writers' conference
Posted by Teresa Slack
I finally did it. After much inner debate and rechecking the balance in my checkbook I registered for the ACFW conference to be held this September 22-25 in St. Louis. I attended last year, a little overwhelmed and out of sorts. This year I vow to get more out of the experience.

The thought of meeting with editors shouldn't cause any undo stress. Your idea will either resonate with them or it won’t. Every story idea doesn’t appeal to every editor. Nor will it fit every current need. It’s not a statement on your worth as a writer. It’s just a matter of fact. If you’re going to the conference and freaking out over how to approach editors or your dream agent, remember they are people doing a job who really, really, really want to see you succeed. If you succeed, so do they.

Last year, besides equipping myself with beautiful one-sheets and fortifying doses of chocolate, I made note cards on each of the editors present at the conference (Didn’t do this with agents since I am already agented by the fantastic Terry Burns.). If they were interested in romance, I wrote that down. If the editor was a dog person, I made sure to tell her about my heroine’s animal rescue endeavors. If he liked military heroes, I made sure to mention that my hero was just home from Iraq. When I met an editor over lunch or during a face-to-face meeting, I knew at a glance what they liked and if I could supply it or not. No use belaboring an editor who deals only in romance with an extensive outline on my gothic thriller.

I added to my note cards throughout the conference during late night chats and at every opportunity. No telling when this little nugget may come in handy.

Be well read in what you write. Several times an editor asked me who or what my work could be compared to. The example I used was from a popular secular fiction series. Both editors recognized it (hard not to notice books that sell in the millions) and appreciated my comparison.

The most important bit of advice I can give myself and you too—relax and have fun. Last year I was too worried I wouldn’t get enough out of the conference. Consequently I don’t believe I did. This year I’m going to look harder for those God appointments and not freak out about over-scheduling every minute of the day.

Hope to see you there. I’d love to hear your advice for conference goers or questions if you haven’t been yet. Definitely take time to meet other writers. That’s the best part. My hit pick for Miss Congeniality—Lena Nelson Dooley. She rocks. If you see her, give her a hug and thank her for everything she does for nervous, first-time attendees. You’ll be glad you did.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


by Molly Noble Bull 

                                  Cowboy in South Texas herding cattle. 

The dictionary defines a cattleman as someone who raises cows, bulls and steers, but at one time, the word cattle applied to all domesticated animals, including sheep and goats. By the old definition, Abraham, David and others mentioned in the Bible were cattlemen. So what is it about cattle raising that would cause so many of the old patriarchs to choose it as their livelihood? Nobody knows. But I would like to make a guess. 
Remember the song, Home on the Range?
Give me a home where the buffalo roam and the deer and antelope play. Can you think of a more peaceful setting? 
Gone are computers, the blaring sounds of a radio or a television set, the maddening scramble to get to school or work on time. Traffic. Horns honking. Brakes squeaking. Schedules. Pickups and drop offs. Meetings and sports events.
No wonder we don’t have time for God.
But if a cattleman is riding his horse across the open prairie with the sky above and the earth beneath or watching a herd of sheep by night, he has time not only to pray but also to listen to God—and expect an answer. In fact the Bible says that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and his saints will return to earth riding white horses, and as a cowgirl of sorts, I like that promise.
In our busy world of today, let us all spend time with God as the cattlemen do. Another song says that there is a place of quite rest and that the place is the heart of God.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Writers' Conference Tips By Cecelia Dowdy

Writers' Conference Tips by ~Cecelia Dowdy~
Have you ever attended a writers' conference? If so, do you have any useful tips to share?

I realize a lot of writers have never attended a writers' conference. Currently, I notice a lot of buzz going on various authors' and writers' loops about the upcoming annual Romance Writers of America conference. I used to attend this conference every year, but, since I've joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) I don't attend the RWA conference often. I doubt I'll be attending the ACFW conference this year, either. Another conference that I've attended is the Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. Since all three conferences are coming up, I thought I'd post a few conference tips that I've learned over the years.

When attending a conference, be sure to meet as many people as possible! Exchange business cards, and if your manuscript is complete, be sure to make appointments with editors and agents to pitch your work. Making these kinds of contacts is very important within this industry. You can also network outside of conference hours. Meet other conferees for lunch, dinner, or late-night get togethers! Just chatting with other authors and writers makes your career feel less lonely.

When you meet with an editor or agent, be prepared. Perhaps have a business card handy to give to the editor or agent. You may want to write the name of your book on your card. Just be sure to relax and not be nervous while pitching your book. You may even want to practice your pitch several times before your meeting. Some people usually start practicing weeks before they meet with the editor or agent.

Attend workshops and learn as much as you can from the speakers! Most conferences have the workshops recorded on CD. I've found that the conference CDs are helpful, especially since it's nearly impossible to attend all of the courses that are provided during the conference.

So, have any of you ever attended a writers' conference? If so, do you have any useful tips to share?

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Gospel--A Movie Review

A review by Teresa Slack
Netflix Overview:
David Taylor is a dynamic young R&B star whose chart-topping albums have earned him fame and wealth, but his decadent lifestyle has estranged him from his father, the Bishop of his hometown church. When David learns his father is ill and near death, he returns home to try and reconcile and discovers his former best friend, Charles, is poised to become his father's successor at the church--and threatens to ruin everything David's father worked so hard to achieve. Torn between his successful new life and the one he used to know, David has to decide whether he can give up his own desires to protect his father's legacy and make peace with his family, his beliefs, and, ultimately, himself.

Yesterday I borrowed The Gospel from my local library. This movie caught my eye. It was the type of story I usually like. Redemption, prodigal son returns, romance—all the ingredients for a good movie. But I think I might’ve missed the point. I found myself in the Villian’s camp more often than the Hero’s. Of course the villian’s motives were motivated by jealousy and greed, while mine were based on Biblical principal.

Here’s the deal: David (hero) and Charles (antagonist) grew up together with the same goals and values. Frank went into the ministry while David became a secular singer. His song, Baby, Undress Your Man, is moving up the charts when he returns home to help out Dad. The whole neighborhood is thrilled to see him and entranced by his charm and celebrity. They put him in charge of the choir to raise money for the building fund despite his unrepentant and unapologetic approach to his wild, womanizing ways.

David becomes unequally yoked with the Heroine, something she doesn’t seem to have a problem with even though her faith is important to her. I won’t say much more to keep from spoiling the story for potential viewers. Not a bad picture, all in all. Guess it depends on your own beliefs and standards. Call me “Old School”. I’d never put an open sinner in a position of authority just because he’s talented, amazing, and the son of a bishop.

The music alone makes this movie worth watching. The sound track features artists like Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin and is beyond awesome.

Have you seen The Gospel? Am I too judgmental? Please chime in and give me your thoughts. I’d love to know what you thought of the movie.

Posted by Teresa Slack

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ACFW CONFERENCE 2011 -- Encouragement -- My Testimony

by Molly Noble Bull

There are writing conferences, and then there are writing conferences. In my opinion, there are none better than an ACFW conference, if you’re looking for fun and Christian friendship as well as the knowledge of writing one obtains from attending ACFW conferences, and I would love to attend this year. However, unless I sell another novel real quick, I cannot justify the cost – especially in this economy. And I haven’t sold a novel in a long time. 
My novel below is titled Sanctuary, and it did fairly well when it came out in 2007.

Sanctuary won the 2008 Gayle Wilson Award for Excellence in the Inspirational category, and it also tied for first place in the 2008 Winter Rose Contest. Both for published authors.
Not only that, my publisher promised that Sanctuary would be Book One in a series of three long historical novels, and my publisher presented me with even more good news. They gave me three more book contracts for a total of six contracts in all. The bad news was that my publisher went out of business, and only Sanctuary came out in book form.
But things got even worse.
At that point, I might have stopped writing fiction all together. After all, I had a monthly column in a local newspaper and wrote for several blogs. Wasn’t that enough to keep my writing juices flowing? 
Did I truly think I would suddenly start selling again after all this time?
I was ancient history. Right? 
If I’d never attended an ACFW conference, I might have believed that. I might have concentrated on becoming a better journalist. I might even have turned my computer into a vehicle for playing solitaire and other games and given up writing completely. 
But ACFW rocks.
They encouraged me to keep writing fiction, convincing me that I am a part of the future of ACFW and the publishing industry. Not the past. 
And even if I am unable to attend the ACFW Conference this year, I’ll be there in spirit, a cheerleader and a prayer warrior for all those who attend.

Please leave a comment. I would like to know what encourages you.
And if you've been wanting to rent movies from Netflix but don’t know how to get started, read on.