Friday, March 20, 2009

Blog Tour: Michal by Jill Eileen Smith

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Revell (March 1, 2009)


Jill Eileen Smith


Jill Eileen Smith is the author of several articles, poems, and stories, and her unpublished novels have placed in five writing contests in the past five years. A children’s story, which she wrote for her church led her youngest son to faith in Christ several years ago; much like a gospel tract led her to the Lord at a similar age.

That story, “Seeking Treasureland,” is now available. Jill is a member of several online writing groups and helps promote fellow authors’ works through monthly interviews on the "Spotlight" page of her website. She, along with her husband and children, are active members in their local church. A stay-at-home mom, she homeschooled the couple’s three sons for twelve years through high school, seeing them go on to higher education.

In her spare time, Jill teaches piano, reads, does picture scrap-booking, and enjoys trying out new recipes, especially those that include dark chocolate. Jill and her family make their home in Southeastern Lower Michigan.


Can their epic search for true love survive a father's fury?
The daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege--but one that is haunted by her father's unpredictable moods and competition from her beautiful older sister.

As a girl, Michal quickly falls for the handsome young harpist David. But soon after their romance begins, David must flee for his life, leaving Michal at her father's mercy in the prison that is King Saul's palace.

Will Michal ever be reunited with David? Or is she doomed to remain separated from him forever?

Against the backdrop of opulent palace life, raging war, and daring desert escapes, Jill Eileen Smith takes you on an emotional journey as Michal deals with love, loss, and personal transformation as the first wife of King David. Jill Eileen Smith has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has gathered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of David's wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

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

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Go Vote for J4!!!

Silly me. I don't know how I could have forgotten to blog about something as exciting as some homeschool kids competing on national television for a CBS recording contract! What's even more exciting is that these homeschooled kids are local and we attend co-op with them! Bad me! Bad me!

J4 is a local group out of Bluff City, TN. They are made up of four brothers and sisters, ages 7 to 14, and they have lots of talent. They are great kids. They also have great parents. Their mother heads up the co-op where Logan takes classes each Monday. Their father is a pastor. Wonderful family.

They competed today on the Early Show, in the semi-final round of competition. There are three families left. Voting is open through 6pm (ET) tomorrow. The two families who have the highest number of votes will go on to compete in the final round next week. This has been a dream come true already for this family. They are so thankful to have the opportunity to represent the homeschool community and they have made us proud! Please go check them out and remember to vote!

CBS Early Show

Read more about J4

Monday, March 16, 2009

Back to Work

I was all geared up to buy some sports gifts for my FIL this week.....then MSU had to go and spoil it for me! They beat my Vols yesterday in the championship game. I'm sure I'll get over it in a week or two :-) In the meantime, everything else is going well. I was on spring break from school last week but I'm back in the swing of things this morning. I'm trying to catch up all the homework I didn't do last week. Seriously, who does homework on spring break?

March 12th marked the one year anniversary of my BIL's death. We spent the day recalling many memories of good times we'd had with him. It seems that everywhere we turn, there's a reminder of Mike's life. I am very thankful for that. For the last few years of his life, Mike worked as a carpenter. He had done this on and off all his life. He was very good at it and enjoyed doing this kind of work. The last project he completed before his death was building our deck and screened in porch. He, my hubby, and my FIL spent an entire summer getting it all done and we were all thrilled when they finished. Mike was very proud of the work and we were able to enjoy the deck for a few months before Mike got really sick. Every time I walk out there, I think of him. He was a very unique person and I wish everyone had gotten to know him.

While we miss him greatly, we know that he is with God and suffers no more. The last year of his life, Mike had grown very weak. To know that he is no longer in that state is very comforting. His children are still struggling but I guess that's normal when one looses a parent.

As for everything else, it's going well. Jeff's new job is working out great. He is keeping long hours but we hope that'll calm down once he's been there for a few months. Financially speaking, the job is going to be such a blessing to us. We are hoping to work toward paying our house off over the next few years. My goal is to have us debt free by the time hubby is 43. That's a little more than three years away. If we are able to accomplish that, it'll be a huge relief to us.

Everything else is excellent. We are settling into the new church. We feel very welcomed and loved already. I'm hoping to share more about that in the coming months. This was a change for us but we are learning so much. We have already developed a couple of really strong friendships and can't wait to see what the future holds.

It's finally nice to get back to blogging also. Facebook has been really distracting. There's something about being able to chat with friends that trumps having a blog :-) How about you guys? What's up with you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blog Tour: Journey To The Well by Diana Wallis Taylor

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Journey To The Well

Revell (March 1, 2009)


Diana Wallis Taylor


Diana Wallis Taylor, San Diego resident, is an award-winning Christian author and speaker who shares her personal testimony to women’s groups. The Lord gave Diana a desire to write a book about the woman of Samaria who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s Well. It was at the edge of the well where the woman of Samaria found the living water of Jesus.

A native Californian, Diana Wallis Taylor graduated from San Diego State University. She has had many occupations; elementary and junior high school teacher, bookshop owner, and conference director for a Christian college. A poet since the age of 12, she published a book of poems, Wings Of The Wind, in 1994, now republished with watercolor illustrations in 2006. She has received awards in songwriting and poetry and her writing contributions appear in various books and magazines. The author speaks on the woman at the well in conjunction with her own testimony. She also speaks on A Walk in the Darkness, on her family involvement in the occult and how it affected her life.

Diana lives with her husband Frank in San Diego, California and between them they have six grown children and ten grandchildren. In addition to her speaking and writing, she serves on the board of the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild and is active in Christian Women’s Fellowship.


She went to the well for water. What she found there would change her life forever.

Marah is a young girl in love with her childhood friend, Jesse. When she is forced to marry an older man, she must abandon her dreams of happiness. At the mercy of men who are often only interested in using her, Marah must fight for survival. Will she ever meet a man who can save her?

The story of the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well is one of hope, redemption, and a life changed in an instant through a remarkable encounter. Jesus told her "everything she'd ever done," but we are left to wonder at the circumstances that led her life on such a tragic path to begin with. Now from the creative mind of Diana Wallis Taylor comes the full story of the woman at the well.

This well-researched portrayal of a woman's life in the time of Jesus opens a window into a fascinating world. Taylor's rich descriptions of the landscapes, lifestyles, and rituals mesh easily with the emotional and very personal story of one woman who desperately seeks to rise above the difficult circumstances of her life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Journey To The Well, click HERE

Monday, March 9, 2009

Man of Many Hats

My hubby is a funny man. There isn't a day that passes without me doubled over, laughing at something he has said or done. He's also a good sport and goes along with most silly things I come up with. Oh the things he allows me to talk him in to doing!

We happened by a huge bin of foam hats for kids at Michael's. Of course, he let me talk him in to modeling several of them while I took pictures. Other customers got a kick out of it too because I heard many of them snickering as they passed.

The pink cowgirl hat was my favorite because, well, it's pink!

Jeff the Tiger

Elephant Man

Oh Bunny

By this time, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't get a clear picture. I'm blessed to live with a man who loves me more than I can imagine and that has a great sense of humor!



Sunday, March 8, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Since the discovery of Facebook several months ago, blogging has sort of taken a backseat. I found myself missing my bloggy friends this week though so I'm hoping to settle down and get back on track. It's funny how you go through "phases" even as an adult. We've also had lots of changes in the past few months so I have plenty to write about.

Two weeks ago, hubby started a new job. This job is 100% home-based. The transition has been an easy one since he already worked at home three days a week with his previous job. The hardest part for me has been to discipline myself to make lunch for him every day. His work hours are a little cooky right now but we are confident that it will straighten out once he gets the hang of things. He is already starting to get into a groove so normalcy is sure to find us soon!

School is going well for me. I'm only taking one class right now so it's very manageable and has not affected our homeschooling schedule at all really. It's very motivating to be working toward something that I will be able to use once the kids are older. Medicine has always fascinated me and I love people so I am looking forward to using these skills. As far as the class is concerned, so far, I have an A. It's a math class and math is my weakest area so I really have to stay focused in order to do well. The section we are in now is pretty tough for me but I'm hanging in there.

The girls are great. They are progressing nicely with their school work and I'm actually looking into volunteer opportunities for us. I hope to find something that the three of us can do on a weekly basis. I know there are plenty of great ministries out there so hopefully I'll find us something soon.

The biggest change for our family happened several months ago. We left the church we had been part of for six years. Through lots of study, hubby decided we were going in the wrong direction so we took a step back and changed direction. This was a very, very hard thing for me at first. There was plenty of heartache and fighting that happened here but God is good and healed us. I think the hardest thing for me at first was that our former church chose to "cut fellowship" with us. There were other families that left and they were also "cut off." There are a few families that made the decision to continue to fellowship with us and we are happy to count them as friends. We love all of our former church family and pray that God will bring reconciliation in the future. For now, we are focusing on the really important controlling our passions and bringing God glory in any way we possibly can. We have grown even closer as a family and are in a very good place right now.

So, what have you been up to?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ten Ways To Make Your Life Better

My list is pretty simple. Since I have been working more on this lately, these are the things that come to mind right off:

  1. Get rid of negative influences. Right now for me, this means getting rid of negative people in my life :-)
  2. Pray more.
  3. Read more.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Eat properly.
  6. Show more compassion.
  7. Love more.
  8. Die to self more.
  9. Get priorities straight.
  10. Enjoy life!

For more Ten On Tuesdays, visit the official site.