Coulter's Trailer

Yesterday, I posted my review of Brenda Coulter’s new inspirational romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. AT HIS COMMAND shows Maddie and Jake’s story as they find love in Texas.

My favorite scene is the tubing scene. It took me back to my tubing days. Yes, please wear the sunscreen. Anyone who’s been tubing will be nodding in approval.

And thanks, Brenda, for the BBQ restaurant scene. I can still smell it.

By the way, both of those scenes feature Jake’s law partner Travis Wylie, a man with boots on his feet, dimples in his cheeks, and a cowboy hat over his dark wavy hair.

So for those who haven’t made up their mind to buy the book, here’s Brenda’s book trailer. Enjoy!

At His Command by Brenda Coulter

Madeline Bright always seems as sunny as her name, but her positive outlook isn’t helping her attract the attention of ex-pilot Jake Hopkins. In fact, Jake avoids her as if he’s as allergic to her as he is to peanuts.

He’s the hero who can’t get past the fact that he came home from a helicopter crash without his best friend Noah Bright, Maddie’s brother. He’s the hero who believes Noah’s death was his fault. He’s the hero Maddie has looked up to since she was a child.

Jake can't let Maddie know what really happened after the crash. He can't let her know how he really feels about her either. He wants to protect her at all cost – since he couldn’t protect her brother.

Brenda Coulter’s books are an interesting peek at the lives of heroes who have flaws, an unquenchable desire for the heroine, and enough sense to make things come together at the end. This book, Coulter’s fourth, takes a look at an Army pilot turned civilian attorney and the constant problems he tries to ignore, but can’t. Her characters feel real. And since the story’s set in Texas, she gets extra applause from me.

AT HIS COMMAND is in stores now. (Hint, hint.)

For more information, visit her website and her blog.

God, Show Me A Sign!

How many times have people asked God for a sign and God responded that He'd already given them a sign? People see signs from God all the time and either ignore them or don't understand them. While Jesus was on the earth healing many and performing other miracles, people came to him to test him and asked for a sign.

Can you imagine someone going into a clock store and asking the manager to tell him what time it is? The manager, after he restrains himself from calling the potential customer a knucklehead, might spread him arms wide and say, "Look around you. What do you see?"

I think we start getting into trouble when we find ourselves so busy doing things we think we have to do that we get distracted from any messages God may send. We'll see, hear, and feel God's signs (which He's already set into motion) when we calm down, look around, and listen.

On Seek God With Me, I discuss one of the signs God gives everyone of us. Check it out and learn how to respond to God's signs.

Double-Finalist Gayle Roper

Gayle Roper is a dear, sweet, encouraging person. But she can deftly handle the trauma and trouble in her romantic suspense novels. Gayle’s short contemporary romantic suspense novel See No Evil has finaled in the ACFW 2008 Book of the Year contest. Picking one winner will be extra hard for the judges because Gayle has another book, Caught Redhanded, which also finaled in the same category.

While reading Gayle Roper’s See No Evil, I found Amhearst in trouble and Anna Volente afraid for her life.

Anna, an art teacher with over 150 intermediate school students, sews curtains, slipcovers, and pillows to generate extra income. Grayson Edwards is a construction contractor at Freedom’s Chase where Anna’s drapes and pillows decorate the model homes. Little does she know all that sewing will get her wrapped up in a murder that takes place right across from where she works.

Not afraid of heights, Anna climbs ladders all the time to install expensive drapes. However when Gray sees her fall from her ladder, his rescue attempt starts things in motion that changes both their lives.

She is shot at, witnesses a killer leaving the scene of a murder, and bloodies Gray’s nose – all in the first part of the book. After that, of course, things really get bad.

Rita award-winning author Gayle Roper made her poor hero, Gray Edwards, go through agony before he was allowed to participate in a happy ending. But isn’t it the pain that makes the joy more intense?


Correction. Discipline. These are things we need, but run from sometimes.

Offering a loving correction is a good way to help someone. However, children don't often see discipline as help.

In view of God's love for me, I try to offer "help" to my kids when it's needed. The funny thing is that God corrects me just as often.

I'm not sure my kids know this. Maybe I should tell them. Maybe that would let them know that those who pray to our Almighty God will continue to make mistakes as long as they're on the Earth. Hopefully the amount diminishes over time.

That would be nice.

Join me at Seek God With Me as I discuss this kind of "help".

Summer Tip #3

This tip involves foot care because vacationers spend an awful lot of time on their feet.

Summer tip #3.
Choose shoes that fit the activity.

I once took a trip to Chicago with my husband – with no kids along. I went sightseeing in a dress and feminine sandals.

Big mistake.

I think I may have run out of bandages for my blistered feet that year. Before the trip was over, I had to buy a new pair of walking shoes.

When we visited The Big City, my daughter wore her inexpensive rubber clogs all over the city. I wore my comfortable sneakers and got tired a lot more quickly than she did.

Walking the city sidewalks requires a different shoe than climbing a mountain trail. I should’ve learned the shoe lesson in Chicago.

This year when my family and I go hiking, I will not be packing a dress and sandals. I’ll wear my hiking shoes on the trails and get some inexpensive rubber clogs for the museum part of the trip.

If we make smart decisions while planning and packing, we won’t require bandages for our feet.


Check out my other tips:
Summer Tip #1
Summer Tip #2

Vickie McDonough

Vickie McDonough has been writing long enough to have a few books out.

She is a double-finalist in the ACFW 2008 Book of the Year contest with her Short Historical A Wealth Beyond Riches and with her Historical Novella "The Spinster & The Tycoon" from The Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner anthology.

Her Historical Romance called The Bounty Hunter and the Bride won third place in its category in Heartsong Presents’ 2007 readers’ contest. Two of her stories finaled in the ACFW Book of the Year contest in 2007. Spinning out of Control won a place in the Top Ten Favorite Historical Romances in Heartsong Presents’ annual contest.

In 2006, Sooner or Later won second place in the Short Historical Category of ACFW’s Book of the Year contest, first place in the Texas Gold contest’s Inspirational category, and third place in the Inspirational Readers Choice contest in the Short Historical category.

That does not cover all her awards, only the recent ones. On her web site, she has a list of awards so long you have to keep scrolling down to get to the 2002 entry.

This novelist has fans!

If you haven’t read any of her works of art, pick up a copy of Virginia Brides now and put A Bride By Christmas and Oklahoma Brides on your Christmas list.


Generosity is giving. But it is also a gift.

Some people are good at cutting hair, and some aren't. Some people are naturally talented athletes, and some aren't. If a talent comes easily to someone, we say that they have a gift.

However, just because some people are gifted mathematicians, that doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't try to be good at math. Some of us just have to work harder at developing that skill.

There are people who are naturally generous people. But those who aren't can still develop some generosity, even though it may not be easy. Just like learning to play the piano, it might be difficult at first, but with practice, it can be learned.

Join me at my Seek God With Me blog where I discuss seeking God in our giving.

Summer Tip #2

I love taking trips with my family. We travel well together and enjoy a variety of activities. So my next summer tip will be helpful for those who travel.

Summer tip #2:
Plan your vacation, but live for the fun, not for the plan.

Earlier this year, my family took a trip to The Big City. We communicated in the planning stages so we could have a list of all the things we wanted to see. I researched, wrote and sorted addresses of places to see according to proximity, and printed a daily itinerary.

However, some of the most memorable times we had were the surprises along the way.

We had come out of the park and stopped in to visit a toy store, but when we were ready to leave the store, rain poured out of the sky in heavy sheets. We hadn’t brought an umbrella so when we saw a break in the rain, we ran out of the store to get to our hotel as quickly as we could.

On the way back, it started raining again. We stopped trying to find the subway entrance and stepped into a store to stay dry. The store we found was one we didn’t know existed. In that surprising turn of events, we found a memory-making moment. The kids saw some fascinating items in the store. I was glad we stumbled upon it.

You never know what’s around the corner.

The Greatest Show on Earth, 1952

The circus is in town!

Well, it was here two or three weeks ago. It's in another town now. I’ve seen the circus a few times, but not this year. Watching this movie makes me feel like I’m there watching the really fascinating people doing their death-defying feats.

This drama under the big top is the story of a clown, an elephant trainer, trapeze artists, and the man who runs The Greatest Show on Earth. The circus may have to cut its season short unless they can find a new act to draw the crowd. When the new act, Cornel Wilde as The Great Sebastian, shows up with a flourish, the women gasp and smile, but others are wary.

Charlton Heston, in his third movie, plays Brad Braden, the circus manager. Heston did a great job in his role, but as usual, James Stewart stole the show. He plays Buttons, the clown who never takes off his makeup. His skill as an actor comes through no matter what he’s wearing.

Betty Hutton plays Holly, a feisty trapeze artist with a heart for the circus – and Brad, but getting no attention from him. When The Great Sebastian takes away her hard-won center ring, she fights even harder to get it back.

Elephant trainer Angel, played by Gloria Grahame, would gladly take Holly’s place in Brad’s arms, if only Brad wanted her. But she sees a different hero in her future.

This film, directed and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille, received Oscars for Best Picture and Best Writing. Golden Globes were delivered for Best Motion Picture-Drama, Best Director, and Best Cinematography-Color.

Edith Head was nominated for an Oscar for her costume designs. Other Oscar nominations were for Best Director and Best Film Editing.

The amazing thing about this movie is that the stars had to learn to do the circus acts for real. Betty Hutton and Gloria Grahame didn’t use stunt doubles. Cornel Wilde was afraid of heights, but learned the trapeze and high wire acts anyway.

Emmett Kelly and Lou Jacobs, professional clowns in real life, took on a role playing themselves. Many other circus performers are listed in the credits as playing themselves, including The Flying Concellos, The Flying Comets, and even Peterson’s Dogs.

I loved the cameos by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

Lena Nelson Dooley

Lena Nelson Dooley, a multi-published award-winning author, has mentored many now-published novelists and encourages others who are aimed at publishing their first novel.

"The Spinster & The Cowboy", her Historical Novella in the Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner anthology, has finaled in the ACFW 2008 Book of the Year contest. She is currently working on a Christmas novella called "Charlsey’s Accountant" for a collection called Cowgirl Christmas Brides.

Lena's blog, A Christian Writer’s World, is filled with fabulous interviews with intriguing authors who freely give advice about the writing journey. Her recent interviews with Linda Windsor, Leah Starr Baker, and Sharon Hinck were fascinating. It’s always good to hear from those who have succeeded.

Lena gives away free novels on her blog, so check it out to see if you can win one!

Quiet Expectation

How do you honor God?

Some honor Him with worship songs, some with big donations to the needy, and some honor Him with quiet expectation.

God sees those who trust Him, those who don't try to second-guess Him nor throw an impatient fit. He enjoys our show of confidence in Him when we wait quietly for Him to rescue us out of trouble.

Join me at my devotional blog, Seek God With Me and see what Jeremiah said about those who wait quietly for God.

Summer Tip #1

Welcome to the dog days of summer!

I've decided to remind everyone to learn from their past mistakes. Many already have adequate knowledge, but like me, have distractions during key packing moments. So to help out, I've put together a brief summer series of lessons I've learned.

Summer tip #1.
Make sure you bring ALL your sunscreen with you to the beach or pool.

At my house, I have a few bottles of sunscreen. One has been in the laundry room since last summer. One is in my bathroom cabinet. And I think one is in my daughter’s bathroom.

I bought a new one this spring when the big sunscreen display popped up in the grocery store. However, I hadn’t tried to use that bottle yet this year. Recently, the kids were going to spend quite a bit more time in the sun so I pulled out the fabulous new bottle. I was excited to see the new technology that the label boasted about. All my other bottles are squeeze bottles of lotion. This one is a spray can.

Oooh! A spray can! I won’t have to get my fingers all greasy, right?

Well, I didn’t get my fingers greasy. And I didn’t get to see the new technology. I pushed the spray nozzle, but nothing happened. So I pushed it again. And again. My young nephew wanted to give it a try, so he pushed it. Nothing.

I banged it on the bricks out on the back porch in my desperate attempt to produce some kind of reaction from the can. Nothing.

It’s been a couple of months since I bought it so I can’t take it back to the store to exchange it for a can that works. No receipt.

I feel like calling the customer service line to see what that manufacturer has to say about it. I may just ask my husband to work on it for a while.

It’s a good thing I had last year’s lotion for my Plan B.

A Thanks Funnel

How can conversation affect gratitude?

Your conversations with your friends and family can have a lasting effect on the people you speak with and the people they speak with afterward. If you were to encourage someone and turn their day from impossibly glum to suddenly bright, don’t be surprised to hear that they passed on more encouragement to someone else. You can start a chain effect of people thanking God for the good things in their lives.

With the few people you affect added to the few that each of those people affect, a large amount of gratitude going up to Almighty God can look like a funnel of thanks.

This is something we can do all year long. Don’t wait for a holiday to encourage others in a meaningful conversation and start the chain-reaction of thanks.

The habit of meaningful conversation will help your efforts to improve your relationships with your family or anyone you love. 

How Do You Communicate?

I took another quiz! Yay!

You can go to and check out their quizzes.

You Communicate Like a Woman

You empathize, talk things out, and express your emotions freely.

You're a good listener, and you're non-judgmental with your advice.

Communication is how you connect with people.

You're always up for a long talk, no matter how difficult the subject matter is.