Monday, May 31, 2010

Serials and Scenarios ~ Limited Time Contest

This Little Prayer of Mine Contest

Teach your kids about prayer, have fun and be entered to win 30+ kids books!

Teaching your kids about prayer is important, but it can also be enlightening to get a child's perspective on something that we as adults take for granted.

Here's your mission (should you choose to accept it):

  • Video your child(ren) talking about prayer, praying, explaining what prayer is, etc. It can be creative, informational, enlightening, funny, or all of the above but it needs to be no more than one minute and thirty seconds long.

  • The video doesn't need to be professional quality. You can shoot it using your phone's video recorder or use that "video" feature on your digital camera for the first time!

  • Post your video on YouTube, Tangle or Vimeo.
  • Go to our website and enter your information and include the link of your video (the full list of instruction on how to enter can be found here).
  • This Little Prayer of MineThe winning video will win a full library of WaterBrook Multnomah children's books, including the new release This Little Prayer of Mine by Anthony DeStefano. That's over 30 books!

Teaching your kids about prayer has never been so fun! See here for contest rules and more information.

HURRY! This contest ends on 6/7/2010 so time is limited.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Serials and Scenarios~ Travis Thrasher's Broken

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


FaithWords (May 25, 2010)


Travis Thrasher


It was during third grade after a teacher encouraged him in his writing and as he read through The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis that Travis decided he wanted to be a writer. The dream never left him, and allowed him to fulfill that dream of writing fulltime in 2007.

Travis Thrasher is the author of numerous works of fiction, including his most personal and perhaps his deepest work, Sky Blue, that was published in summer of 2007. This year he has to novels published, Out of the Devil’s Mouth, and a supernatural thriller, Isolation.

Travis is married to Sharon and they are the proud parents of Kylie, born in November, 2006, and Hailey, a Shih-Tzu that looks like an Ewok. They live in suburban Chicago.

Stop by and visit Travis at his Blog where you can sign up to follow him on Facebook and Twitter!


Laila had it all--love, family, wealth, and faith. But when her faith crumbles, her world falls apart and Laila finds herself living an empty, dangerous life as a call girl in Chicago.

When she is threatened, Laila shoots and kills a client in self-defense, sending herself into a spiral of guilt and emptiness. Six months later, she is trying to move on, but she's haunted by the past. She hasn't told anyone about the man she killed, and she's still estranged from her family.

When she is approached by a stranger who says he knows what she did, Laila has no choice but to run. But the stranger stays close behind, and Laila begins having visions of the man she killed. Little does she know she's being hounded by something not of this world, something that knows her deepest, darkest secret.

Scared and wandering, will Laila regain her trust in God to protect her from these demons? Or will her plea for salvation come too late?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Broken, go HERE.

Read my thoughts on Ghostwriter here.

My Thoughts:

Broken is one of the few novels I've read in a horror genre so read my comments in that light whether you are a horror fan or not.

Travis Thrasher writes complicated characters with page-turning tension. Broken is written in the 3rd-person-present-tense point-of-view that is at times difficult to read but one that amps up the tension. As with the other horror books I've read, there are several moments within Broken that had me looking over my shoulder or responding to hair-raising shudders.

I was intrigued with Thrasher's creative twists and turns and feel the need to check out more of his novels. The themes of ghosts, redemption, demons and hope in Christ are a blend that works, especially for folks who don't mind feeling creeped-out a few times. There is low key language and there are some difficult adult themes so I don't recommend it for children or young teens.

I did struggle with some confusion as the story played out. Each chapter opens with a page or two of the main character's journal. These were my favorite sections of the book because I felt they fully fleshed Laila out and made me feel involved in her story. In between the journal pages were scenes that either played off the journal section, added more details or twisted/contradicted it.

Some of the secondary characters crossed over into stereotypical or cheesy a few times and I don't know that they really added the element of fear because of it.

I can't say I loved this novel. It was an interesting read, definitely, and a page-turner most of the time. But.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Pre-Thursday Deep Thoughts

If you don't want to get fleas, you shouldn't roll with dogs who are infested.

If you want your dreams to come true... stop participating in nightmare inducing activities.

Life is generally not a series of random Murphy's Laws targeting a few unfortunate, innocent souls. Bad stuff happens, but, more often and more likely, bad stuff is something you dragged in on your shoe after sneaking through a path of chosen naivety.

If you want happily ever after, you gotta stop seeking out the villain.

If you hope to be respected, you really need to behave as if you deserve respect.

Need someone to love you? Quit pushing away the ones who care and clutching at selfish ones who never will.

Cause and effect, it's not just a quippy phrase, it's what happens in response to what you chose to do.

If you want to be grown up, then you have to suck it up and act like one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Serials and Scenarios ~ Frenzy~ Robert Liparulo

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Thomas Nelson (May 18, 2010)


Robert Liparulo


Robert Liparulo is a former journalist, with over a thousand articles and multiple writing awards to his name. His first novel, Comes a Horseman, released to critical acclaim. Each of his subsequent thrillers—Germ, Deadfall, and Deadlock—secured his place as one of today’s most popular and daring thriller writers.

He is known for investing deep research and chillingly accurate predictions of near-future scenarios into his stories. In fact, his thorough, journalistic approach to research has resulted in his becoming an expert on the various topics he explores in his fiction, and he has appeared on such media outlets as CNN and ABC Radio.

Liparulo’s visual style of writing has caught the eye of Hollywood producers. Currently, three of his novels for adults are in various stages of development for the big screen: the film rights to Comes A Horseman. were purchased by the producer of Tom Clancy’s movies; and Liparulo is penning the screenplays for GERM and Deadfall for two top producers. He is also working with the director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Holes) on a political thriller. Novelist Michael Palmer calls Deadfall “a brilliantly crafted thriller.” March 31st marked the publication of Deadfall’s follow-up, Deadlock, which novelist Gayle Lynds calls, “best of high-octane suspense.”

Liparulo’s bestselling young adult series, Dreamhouse Kings, debuted in 2008 with House of Dark Shadows and Watcher in the Woods. Book three, Gatekeepers, released in January 2009, and number four, Timescape, in July 2009, and number five, Whirlwind in December 2009. The series has garnered praise from readers, both young and old, as well as attracting famous fans who themselves know the genre inside and out. Of the series, Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine says, “I loved wandering around in these books. With a house of so many great, haunting stories, why would you ever want to go outside?”

With the next two Dreamhouse books “in the can,” he is currently working on his next thriller, which for the first time injects supernatural elements into his brand of gun-blazing storytelling. The story is so compelling, two Hollywood studios are already in talks to acquire it—despite its publication date being more than a year away. After that comes a trilogy of novels, based on his acclaimed short story, which appeared in James Patterson’s Thriller anthology. New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry calls Liparulo’s writing “Inventive, suspenseful, and highly entertaining . . . Robert Liparulo is a storyteller, pure and simple.” He lives with his family in Colorado.

Visit Robert Liparulo's Facebook Fan page:


Their destiny is to fix history. Their dream is to get home.

When you live in a house that's really a gateway between past and present, you have to be ready for anything. It's a painful fact the Kings have faced since moving to Pinedale eight days ago. Desperately trying to rescue their mother from an unknown time and place, brothers Xander and David have lunged headlong into the chaos of history's greatest--and most volatile--events. But their goal has continually escaped their grasp.

And worse: Finding Mom is only a small part of what they must do, thanks to the barbaric Taksidian. His ruthless quest to seize their house and its power from them has put not only the family, but all of mankind, in grave danger.

Somehow, the key to it all hinges on Uncle Jesse's words to the boys: "Fixing time is what our family was made to do." But how can they fix a world that has been turned upside down--much less ever find their way home?

At long last, the secrets of the house and the King family are revealed in the stunning conclusion to this epic series.

If you would like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of Frenzy, go HERE.
Sign up for the Frenzy Newsletter HERE.

To read reviews of Bob's other books and his Dregs interviews. Here.

My Thoughts:

With more twists and turns than the crazy Dreamhouse, Robert Liparulo whips, yanks and stretches the complex storyline to a close...well...not exactly. How about a rest? Kind of.

The six book series span a week in real time and centuries in time travel. The King family is stretched to breaking during their adventures that made me weak in the knees more than once.

Frenzy pulls loose ends tight and reveals more pieces of the Dreamhouse puzzle. Liparulo played out the tiny Christian element beautifully and the book series ended on a satisfying note. There are elements that would be a lot scary for easily disturbed kids so keep that in mind. Otherwise this series is a terrific, page-turning read.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Hands

Today, while my father-in-law dozed, I noticed his hands.

Remarkably, I recognized them because my husband's are copies of the original. At first I choked up because Dad is in the hospital and he's feeling cruddy and he's in the process of... is there a pretty or gentle way to say this... dying.

But then I began to think about what his hands have accomplished in his eighty years on this planet and I wanted to weep for another reason. Like a potter working with soft, wet clay, his hands have shaped my life and the lives of so many others. We all bear unique marks from this man. Almost as if he pressed a thumbprint into us that is covered by the different glazes we wear.

Dad's hands are the hands of a hard-working man of great character. I imagine there are still a few callouses on his hands because he has never really retired from working for his family and their futures. He has been unafraid to get his hands dirty while being a picture of a faithful and loving husband, a tireless listener, and a problem solver. He is respectful but he cuts through the nonsense and gets to the point. He laughs and though rare, I've now seen him cry. Above all he points, unashamedly, to God as the ultimate need in our lives.

Though he is weakening, and I saw a slight tremor, those hands remain as a testimony of who he has been and what he has accomplished. And they are doing a new work. They are teaching us about dying with faith, with dignity and with character.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles - Fruitfulness by Any Other Name


Somehow I missed a big, big moment at Scrambled Dregs.

This is my 1,002nd post.

Hmmm. Didn't know I had reached this level of....loss for words here....verbal diarrhea is not appropriate because these words are primarily typed and I'm pretty sure that particular ailment doesn't apply to fingers.

Expressive...that's good...let me go google something, I'll be right back.....definitely not fertility or fruitfulness, don't like either of those word about


[fee-kuhnd, -kuhnd, fek-uhnd, -uhnd]
producing or capable of producing offspring, fruit, vegetation, etc., in abundance; prolific; fruitful: fecund parents; fecund farmland.
very productive or creative intellectually: the fecund years of the Italian Renaissance. But that's not exactly there yet. fecundity. Yes.

I had not realized that I had reached expressive fecundity in my blogging.

My sincere apologies to all who have had to slog through posts such as this where the fecundity leaves a slight odor.

Happy Friday. I am off to do mother of graduate things today and must get coffee in me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ What a Horrible Thing to do to Dessert

If desserts spelled backwards is stressed that may explain it.
I just downed a chocolate coconut granola bar....just because it contained chocolate. Coconut would NEVER tempt me. But chocolate coated anything just might if presented at a time of stress.

I'm at one of those points. When it's slightly too early to do anything else right now, and the what-needs-to-be-done is looming on the horizon. And the window of the "right time" is narrow. But. Why is this different than any of the other regularly occurring situations that roll around? I'm not sure.

Maybe because a graduation means the start and clear finish of something, wherein visits and Christmas and Thanksgiving are more just being together. Or maybe it's because the graduation is happening during a time of tremendous change within our family. This is the last graduation of this particular generation. And it is one that is bittersweet for lots of different reasons.

If you are still with me...and you understand what I'm saying. Then bear with me as I power through this week and weeks end and do my best to embrace the sweet and shake off the bitter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Scrambled Thoughts...Think of Eggs Which Takes Them to Recipes.....

Thoughts. Not eggs.

Recipe websites I'm wanting to check out.

Eat Better America. I get a newsletter but have yet to try any recipes.

The diabetic pastry chef doesn't have a lot of recipes but her "formula" is interesting and she's got a cookbook which I plan to check out. Tweaking is good, no funky aftertaste or texture funkiness is even better.

I have tried several of Sneaky Chef's recipes....and they are good stuff.

All Recipes: I have two friends who are great cooks and they get tons of recipes here. Haven't made anything but have tried a thing or two. Pretty sure none of them were even close to healthy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Scribble and Scrambles ~ An Ode to Bloodsucking Freeloaders ` The Next in the Series of Really Bad Poems

Tick tock

You SO don't rock
You creep about
And stalk

The innocent
The unsuspecting
Those out to enjoy sunshine
Nature, a nice breeze

What makes you think
I want to share
Some plasma or white cells?

No hesitation to strike a match
Or crush your tiny head
Beneath my grocery cart wheels?

Inspired by a walk and a freeloading nest of nasty bloodsucking ticks.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Super Cinema Saturday A Little Early and a Bonus ~ Documentary Day

A few favorite foodie/green living documentary reviews...

No Impact Man

A couple of years ago I ran across a magazine blurb and photograph of a family in big city America attempting to live a carbon footprintless year. I was fascinated bu
t never bothered to check into the book that had just been released.

But when I saw the documentary I had to watch it. I love reality-TV-type journeys of self-discovery.

Colin Beavan ignited a bit of controversy during his journey and some of it came with his interaction with his wife and her agreement to join him in his experiment. I'd say the process ended up costing her a little more as she was a Starbuck's junkie and addicted to shopping. They ended up spending several months eating from various homemade coolers, feeding their garbage to a box full of worms, living by candlelight and without toilet paper.

The obst
acles faced and the information gathered by this family was fascinating. Of course there was a bent as in all documentaries. But, overall, the entertainment, educational and voyeuristic appeal was high and it was well worth the time investment. There is a bit of language so parents may want to preview it.

Super Size Me

Super Size Me inspired my family's love of quirky documentaries. (Super Size Me is also joined by the classic Best In Show Mockumentary on our list of favorites.) Thou
gh we first saw Super Size Me a few years ago it is in our DVD library and we have watched it several times. And our youngest daughter used Spurlock's findings in a recent term paper.

Though this documentary was just the beginning of our awareness of what you eat can kill you, Super Size Me made a lasting difference in our lives. Now bad choices in food are still guilt-ridden but Spurlock's experiment and the knowledge that came from it helps us to avoid mindless eating. This documentary was fascinating from a medical and psychological standpoint and entertaining, too. The extras are worth watching.

King Corn

My family loved Super Size Me. We've watched it several times and always with
horrified fascination at the downward spiral of Morgan Spurlock during his 30-day fast-food experiment.

A friend recommended King Corn and once she told me the premise I had to see it.

King Corn does with ingredients what Super Size Me did with McDonald's.

Two recent college
grads set out to discover the whats, whys and hows of high fructose corn syrup. They rent an acre of land in the heart of Iowa and grow their own corn crop.

Entertaining, shocking and horrifying details follow and the viewer gets an education that may inspire some serious rethinking of what is allowed on said viewer's table. Well worth the time investment.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Drone

If I received a buck for every time I acted as a secondary alarm clock for my loved ones I'd not need to take an exciting continuing medical education class on radiographic techniques for patient safety. If you ever need me to take your chest x-ray you may be thrilled that the state requires frequent information droned into my brain. But, continuing education doesn't do much beyond annoy me and make a little bit of money for the colleges who offer the classes.

Since I am in need of funds in order to live my life and pennies aren't falling out of the sky every time I tap a loved one and mention "Your alarm has been going off for 20 minutes, Dearest, you probably need to get up soon." I'm glad I've got my job. However, it feels less glad-inspired on days when medical information is redundant and monotone and......zzzzzzz.

Can you tell what's on my mind today? And what got me up a little earlier than I wanted? And what my day might consist of?

Okay. Then. Happy Thursday. Go and rock your world. You might want to get out of bed first, though. Is that your alarm I hear?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Used!

It would appear that the dogs LOVE me. But in the cruel, crisp light of dawning realization I discover that alas, it is not me they love, just whatever I might be eating, drinking, preparing and, HOPEFULLY, dropping.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Think It Through

I got an email from a publicist who has recently changed companies and is promoting a new book. She and I have had conversations in the past and so I clicked on the link to her new firm and read up on it. Turns out she's an award winning blogger in her neck of the woods and so, of course, I checked out her blog.

And I feel sad. Really sad.

Turns out she used to be a Christian until disillusioned by other Christians.

Now she's found Buddhist teachings and feels enlightened and back on a good path.

She said she's finally ready to accept that some people choose Jesus and that's okay in her book. After all, the teachings of Buddha are to let things go, and she thinks she can let go of the hate of the narrow-minded Christian philosophy that has ruined so much of our culture. (my interpretation, not her words.)

Why...why...why do we let other people crush our beliefs? Life is full of rude, arrogant, pushy, destructive, wounded people. People who say they are followers of some sort of belief or teaching don't necessarily "get it" nor do two followers follow identically.

It comes down to this.

Please. Please. Please. Don't let someone else's behavior or many someones' behaviors make a decision for you on something as serious as your spirituality.

Do all roads lead to Nirvana/Heaven/Happiness? Isn't that question important enough to really, truly look into? Your spiritual path is much more important than to let it be determined by default. Or others interpretations.

If Christianity has been "ruined" for you by a person or group of people consider this. Would a rotten fan or groups of fans change your loyalty to your favorite team? Would a book review or movie review keep you from picking up the DVD or book and reading the back cover? Would anti-buffalo sauce zealots keep you from trying the stuff? Or if your best friend had a peanut allergy would you avoid all peanuts all the time in complete and total support?

I don't want anyone to believe in Jesus because I do. Nor does He, actually.
And never would I want to put a media spin on Him, or by my words or actions change who He is to make Him fit someone's life. The Jesus that is presented by narrow-minded bigots or half-invested "feel good Christians" is not necessarily the real Jesus. He makes some outrageous statements and some mind-blowing claims. But you should check them out for yourself not via someone else's interpretation or behaviors.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Serials and Scenarios~ Ooooh, Very Clever Marketing Idea

I received this "honor" today.

I interviewed this particular author after he created an awesome self-parody of his hideously criticized novel. It was a clever and creative "making of lemonade" moment that intrigued me.

Now he's hit upon yet another awesome marketing tool.

Ha. When the internet is good it is very, very good.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Serials and Scenarios ~ Fabulous Giveaway.

In case you missed my review of Gina's new book it's posted at The New Book Review. Drop by and check it out.

AND Gina is offering a fabulous giveaway of not only a signed copy of her book, but a string of freshwater pearls. Hurry and check out the contest rules (simple) and get your name in for a chance to win.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Turkey in the Grass

Though the picture requires much imagination I'm thinking you will forgive me when I tell you that to take a better one might have resulted in a hideous injury to either me, an innocent bystander (Have you ever wondered about that term. Really? How do we KNOW that the bystander is innocent?) or an amorous turkey. The picture is just a teeny bit of proof of the following facts.

It is turkey season in Iowa. Apparently (and I can back this statement up) they are everywhere doing their turkey come-hither disco moves in an attempt to make a love connection. I have seen them strutting their stuff...usually with a male in all his Thanksgiving Turkey finery. (Okay, without the stuffing or the bag of giblets.) At the side of the interstate. Traffic whizzing by at problem. He's bad, baby, he's Mr. Turkey Danger. Several females, usually in pairs, (probably headed to the ladies room to talk about their double dates) have crossed roads in front of my car. Apparently within the season of love there are no such things as traffic rules, or cars, for that matter.

The picture is the latest of a "lady" who crossed in front of me. Fortunately, the road was deserted and the turkey made it to make eyes another day.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Tuesday Totally Trippy Tunes

So, talent by any other name is still talent, right? Enjoy the tunes, the creativity and the stylins.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Serials and Scenarios ~ MAY BOOK GIVEAWAY....

I have the opportunity to offer my readers (3 of them anyway) a chance to get a free book.

The rules. Simple.

Leave a comment with the title of the book you'd like on this post. Leave a comment every day if you'd like. The more you leave the better the chance you have a winning a copy. May 31st is the final day to leave a comment and I will randomly pick three winners from the comments June 1st. Make sure I can get in touch with you if you are one of the winners.

1) Released from the Prison my Father Built, by James Ryle- James Ryle, co founder of the Promise Keepers..The story of James Ryle’s life reads like a Hollywood screenplay: father sent to prison…abandoned by his mother at the age of six…sent to live at a Texas orphanage…teen runaway…rebellious life of drugs and alcohol…arrested and charged with negligent homicide…incarcerated at the age of 19…However, the miracle of James’ life story doesn't’ end in a Texas State penitentiary. Reconnecting with his father after 26 years changes and reorders James’ life in a remarkable and profound way. “Dear God Son……….I built that prison.”

2) Tithing, by Douglas Leblanc-In a world where international tragedy and a tough U.S. economic crisis both inspires and tests our giving spirit, tithing has become a hot topic in churches and homes nationwide. In Tithing (Thomas Nelson), journalist Douglas LeBlanc travels the nation to talk with believers whose lives have been greatly enriched by this ancient spiritual discipline of giving.

3) The Vertical Self, by Mark Sayers- In The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession (Thomas Nelson) Mark Sayers explains the problem of the pop-culture cult of “identity” through the eyes of a Bible-believing Christian, exposes the myths of the public image, and offers the ancient solution of radical Holiness to our modern insecurities.