A Merry Little Christmas - Book Review


That’s the first response I have after reading A Merry Little Christmas.

A sigh for the end of a perfect love story…
a sigh for mended relationships, for justice and for living your dreams…
and finally, a sigh that I blew through this book too fast and now I have to wait until Anita Higman dreams up another fantastic book for me to read!

The back cover of this book says that it’s “a cozy holiday read” and that’s just how I feel, cozy and content. If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift for your reading friends, you can’t go wrong with A Merry Little Christmas.

The characters are lovable and laughable and I would love to have folks like them for my neighbors and friends. The author even makes shoveling hog manure sound like a most honorable activity!

Join Franny Martin, an adorable and feisty farm girl and Charlie Landau, a handsome and wealthy city boy as they fall in love and overcome all obstacles to be together.

And Ms. Higman…please, please get busy on that next best-seller!

You can pick up your copy of A Merry Little Christmas here  and don’t forget to pick up a few for your friends!

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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

NaNoWriMo 2012

Yep, it's almost that time again. November NaNoWrimo is almost upon us.

What's it all about?

300,000 writers, each writing a
50,000 word novel during the
30 days of November.

My first attempt at writing a novel through NaNoWrimo was in 2009 and I completed the 50,000 words. The title was Vintage Roses, an inspirational romance. That poor book is still laying in its first draft stage collecting dust.

Since then, I've given NaNo a few half-hearted attempts, but always hit a wall and drop out somewhere between chapter 3 and chapter 5.

The other day I was reading an article  on Seekerville by Missy Tippens, author of about a half a dozen Love Inspired romance novels and was shocked to read these words...

"I always, and I mean ALWAYS, hit a wall around chapter five. (Do I hear heads nodding? I always get nods of agreement when I say this!) But I can't sit and wait for inspiriation to strike. I have to keep writing, even if it's terible and even if I end up throwing it out later."
Those words gave me the boost I needed to give this another try. So, come November 1st, you will find me pounding out another novel...And when I hit chapter 5, I'm going to blow right past it!  This time, I'll finish it. Then I'll edit it. Then I'll hire a professional editor give it a good going over and edit some more. Then when I think it's perfect, I'll start sending out proposals to publishers and connecting with agents and keep on keeping on until I see it in print!

Guest Blogger - Author Kelly Martin

I'm so excited about hosting my friend Kelly Martin today as a guest blogger. Kelly's first novel, Crossing the Deep released this week. Yay!

Author, Kelly Martin
And now, here's Kelly...


I’m excited to be here today! I have a topic that’s near and dear to my heart that I wanted to talk about. In this crazy, fast-paced world, how do you find the time to do something you (not as a mother, as a woman) want to do? There has to be a balance between what you are (a wife and mother) and what you *also* are (a woman with dreams).
Personally, my dream was to be a writer, more specifically to be a published author. I didn’t know how to do it, I just knew I wanted to do it eventually. Finally, God said, “It’s time, Woman!” (well, not in so many words, but you get the gist). I had no idea how I was going to find the time to do it—an entire novel! But I knew God wouldn’t want me to do something if He didn’t give me the time--- somehow--- to do it.

It’s not easy. I have very lovely purple and black bags under my eyes. It’s awesome ;) But, to me, it’s worth it. My carpel tunnel has acted up and my eyes cross from looking at a computer screen so much (lovely picture, eh ;) ). It is a sacrifice—I don’t have much free time, but that’s okay. It is filled with something I feel good about… spreading the word about God.

What has God laid on your heart to do? Can you picture yourself doing it? With your current schedule, can you find the time? Remember, if God wants you to do it, He’ll give you the time. Pray about it, and see where God takes you J

Sixteen year old Rachel Harker expects the church sponsored hiking trip in the Smoky Mountains to be short and painless. Four days later, injured and scared, Rachel prays to just make it home alive.
Asher Jenkins, fellow hiker and handsome skeptic who is only on the hike so he doesn’t have to go home and face his abusive ‘uncle’, finds Rachel in the woods and tries to get her back to Deep Creek Trail. A small hole hidden under the fall leaves causes her ankle to twist and forces Asher to leave her to get help. As night falls, he comes back, unable to find the right trail.
As hours stretch into days, an unexpected rainstorm bears down the mountain, flooding Deep Creek and cutting off their way home. Rachel puts all of her faith in God to save them. Asher thinks believing in God is a waste of time and does what he can to prove to Rachel that He doesn’t exist.
With their food gone and the temperature dropping, time is running out. Will Rachel be able to do what needs to be done to get home? And can Asher find faith when he needs it the most?
You can pick up Kelly's book at the following links...
~Kelly Martin is a writer, blogger, mommy, teacher, wife, sleep deprived lady (not necessarily in that order). She writes young adult/Christian fiction. Her second book, SAINT SLOAN, is coming late winter 2013. For more information on her, please visit her blog at http://www.kellymartinstories.com/

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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

Where God Finds You - Book Review

I first heard of Anita Higman when I stumbled across a web site called Spyglass Lane Mysteries. After downloading the first book in her Volstead Manor series and devouring it, I quickly nabbed the second in the series and then had to wait an agonizing couple of months until the third book came out. They were fun and entertaining and I couldn't wait to read more from this author.

Imagine my surprise when Anita's next book was listed as a non-fiction devotional. But knowing this author's talent for bringing a story to life, I couldn't wait to read it.

Where God Finds You - 40 Devotions Bringing Bible Characters to Life is another Anita Higman hit with me. It's a unique devotional that brings the Bible to life by retelling the stories of popular Bible characters from a first-person point of view.

You feel the agony and joy of the woman who was healed by touching Jesus' garment. You experience the awe and holy moment when Mary receives the message from an angel that she will carry the Christ child and you'll walk on the water with Peter as he steps out of the boat in faith, only to be swallowed up by the angry waves when his faith wavers.

Each story is told with exquisite detail, pulling you back in time, right into the story. Each is then followed up with a section called The Story From God's Word (the Biblical account of the the story) and The Story From Then to Now (practical application for today). The special added feature of discussion questions makes this devotional perfect for small groups or personal contemplation.

You can pick up a copy of Where God Finds You at AmazonBarnes & Noble or your local Christian bookseller.

Discover the Bible all over again with Where God Finds You.

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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

Burnin' Up the Laptop

Found myself sending email, tweeting, adding people to the Fellowship of Christian Bloggers and doing a makeover on my Sock Monkey Ranch Blog at 12:45 AM this morning and realized I'd been at it for hours. Where does the time go when my fingers are flying across the keys?

I counted up my blogs (7) and my web sites (5) last night. I also guest blog for 2 different sites...and I love it all. Some of my blogs are crazy fun (Chicken Doodle Soup & Sock Monkey Ranch) and some are inspiring (Refreshed by the Word and A Song for Him) and they all scratch an itch that can't be reached any other way. I love to write!

I can sit for hours and blog. Seriously, if I were getting paid for all the hours I blog, I would be rich, but I'm not.

That's okay...I'll keep blogging anyway!

Come visit some of my online fun...

Refreshed by the Word Blog
Sock Monkey Ranch Blog
Sock Monkey Ranch Web Site
A Song for Him Blog
Chicken Doodle Soup (still under construction)
Chicken Doodle Soup Blog (up and running)
Fellowship of Christian Bloggers Web Site (We're over 60 members, now!)
Fellowship of Christian Bloggers Blog
Wake Up Your Muse Web Site
Wake Up Your Muse Blog

...and if you visit one of the blogs, I'd love it if you leave a comment so I'll know you dropped by.

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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)