Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Teaching True Love to a Sex-At-13 Generation" by Eric and Leslie Ludy

On my Top 7 Most Life Changing Books of 2007 I included a wonderful book, "Teaching True Love to a Sex-At-13 Generation" by Eric and Leslie Ludy. I posted a review and notes about the book, but hadn't gotten the interview back from Leslie Ludy yet. Well, she has gotten the interview back to me and agreed to give away a copy of Teaching True Love as well! So here it is - let's meet Leslie Ludy...

Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"
L: Eric always goes for a chocolate shake. He is in such a rut! Sometimes he will branch out and try cheesecake or something, but a chocolate shake is what really makes him smile! I am actually not a desert person at all, and I don't really like sweets, if you can believe it! However, I do like red Panda licorice and my mom always gives it to me in my stocking for Christmas (she still does stockings for all her adult children - old habits die hard!)

My mom still does stockings for us too, and we're all married with children - but we still look forward to the stockings! Leslie, you and Eric have written many amazing books and have a real ministry to youth, showing them that instead of getting caught up in the brutal and sometimes heart wrenching game of dating, how they can love God first and foremost and then God will help them find the person He has planned for them. "Teaching True Love To A Sex-At-13 Generation" is the book I picked to be on my Top 7 Most Life Changing Books of 2007 list. This book doesn't necessarily speak to youth as it is designed to speak to parents and grandparents, to help them see what youth today are dealing with and how we can help them. What led you to write this particular book with the focus on parents and grandparents?
L: When Eric and I first started sharing our message for young adults, we expected there to be a lot of resistance to our message. But we found the opposite was true among youth. The young people of today are so hungry for a higher standard, so eager to hear that they can have something better than what the world offers, that they are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get it. We found almost everywhere we traveled that young people were just waiting for someone to raise the standard and give them hope, and they were eager to give the "pen" of their life to the Author of romance - God Himself. However, when we spoke to parents, we often got the sense that they were in complete oblivion as to the true sexual crisis hitting young people today. Often they would say things like "well I'm sure that's not going on at MY child's school" or "well, I know my daughter would NEVER do anything like that". And all too often, parents resisted the need for such a "radical" message of surrender to Christ. They also resisted the idea that they, as parents, were the primary ones responsible for guiding their children in the area of love, sex, dating and romance. Most of them preferred to let the youth pastors deal with it and hope for the best. In my love story with Eric, having our parents as key players was a huge reason why it was so pure and successful. We wrote Teaching True Love as both a wake-up call for parents, and a "practical guide" to help parents fulfill their God-given role in helping their kids discover His best in this area of their lives.

Your love story of how God brought you together after you had each made a commitment to honor and love God first in your lives is really beautiful. Did you have any idea that out of your own story God would spring forth such a ministry to youth?
L: It's amazing, but even before we were engaged, my dad felt that our story would impact a generation. He shared this with us, and at the time it seemed outlandish. Yet, here we are, twelve years later! After we were married, a pastor from our hometown said that he thought we should go into ministry sharing God's perspective on relationships. Both of us were very resistant to the idea. The only people we knew of who spoke on relationships were old, stodgy and strange. We didn't want to be one of those "odd" relationship speakers! But once we saw how God was using our story and our message, our hearts changed and we began to love it! These days, we aren't speaking and writing only on relationships, but also on the deeper Christian life, and it's been exciting to see how God has expanded our ministry over the years.

If you had one suggestion for parents and grandparents for something they could do to help the youth in their lives in a tangible way to avoid some of the obstacles that are placed in their paths on a daily basis - what would it be?
L: The first and most important thing is prayer. My parents prayed for my future spouse from the time they first became Christians, when I was about two years old. They recognized that Eric was "the one" even before I did, and such insight into what God was doing in that area of our lives. Parents often get discouraged when they find out about how bad things are among youth, but don't underestimate the power of persistent prayer! Secondly, when parents take an active role in awakening their kids to God's ways, they make a huge impact. Even if a parent doesn't feel like an expert in this area, if they simply point their kids toward Jesus Christ daily, He will take care of the rest! He is amazingly faithful - remember that He cares more about this area of your kids lives than even you do!!
Additional Info:
For additional resources to help your kids discover God's best in this area, please visit our websites: http://www.setapartlife.com/ and http://www.authenticgirl.com/.

Post a comment if you would like to win a copy of this fantastic book! It is one of the single most important books I would recommend to parents and grandparents - even if you aren't one, you probably know one - so don't miss out... I'll draw the winner next week.

"Awaken My Heart" by Diann Mills

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

Awaken My Heart

Avon Inspire (February 5, 2008)
DiAnn Mills


Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. She is the author of numerous titles including novels, novellas, and a nonfiction. In addition, she's written several short stories, articles, devotions, and has contributed to several nonfiction compilations.

DiAnn believes her readers should "Expect an Adventure." Her desire is to show characters solving real problems of today from a Christian perspective through a compelling story.

Several of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents, and she remains a favorite author by Heartsong Present's readers. Two of her books have won short historical of the year by American Christian Fiction Writers both in 2003 and 2004. She was named Writer of the Year for 2004 at the 35th Annual Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference and is the recipient of Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards for 2005 in the long contemporary and novella categories.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, ChiLibris, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops. DiAnn also belongs to Cy Fair Women's Networking, an exclusive professional women's networking organization.

She lives in sunny Houston, Texas, the home of heat, humidity, and Harleys. In fact she'd own one, but her legs are too short. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.


1803, the colony of Texas

Awaken My Heart is set in 19th century Texas and tells the story of 18 year old Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, Weston Phillips. Weston is involved in a hostile struggle with Armando Garcia, the infamous rebel leader of the 'mestizos' who claim to own the land that Phillips has settled.

Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, has never agreed with her father's harsh treatment of the poor mestizos who first inhabited the colony of Texas. When rebels kidnap Marianne, in hopes her father will trade back their land for her freedom, she realizes her loyalty lies with her abductors, not her father, who plans to marry her off to the don of a nearby estate.

Armando Garcia is the locals' reluctant leader, but his people revere and depend on him. Knowing that without his leadership they'd be forced from their land, Armando accepts his role, but does not approve of the latest attempt to manipulate their enemy. When he learns that Marianne actually speaks his language, of her loyalty to his people, and of the faith that keeps her strong, Armando is faced with a difficult decision. Will his newfound love keep him from letting her go? Or will he set her free and risk losing their land forever?
My Review:
This was a beautiful story of love, loyalty and doing what is right. The setting was a nice change of pace - a time long ago and a place not often visited. And the characters were wonderful in their uniqueness. Good, bad and ugly all have a place in "Awaken My Heart" and they all earn the right to be there. I loved the way Diann wove a sad and wonderful tale using the setting and characters in such integral ways. They wouldn't have been complete without each other. I would definitely suggest getting this book and settling in with a nice cup of hot tea and a blanket and getting transported to a wonderful place.
The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0061376019

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Fallen" by Matthew Raley

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Kregel Publications February 29, 2008)


Matthew Raley


Matthew Raley is senior pastor of the Orland Evangelical Free Church in northern California, where he lives with his wife and two young children. For fun, he enjoys playing chamber music with friends, giving occasional solo recitals, and playing first violin in the North State Symphony. This is his first book.


Jim was at work when his eyes drifted to the coffee shop visible from his office window. An attractive woman driving a Mercedes pulled up to the curb . . . and Jim’s married pastor emerged from the car. When Jim delves deeper into his pastor’s world, will he be able to handle what he discovers? Is he right to suspect that Dave is having an affair? In the behind-the-scenes church battle that ensues, Jim is torn between duty to his church and a desire to show grace. A ripped-from-the-headlines drama of suspense that keeps you engaged to the last page.

Fallen is the story about Jim’s relationship with Dave—how Jim tries to do the right thing to keep Dave accountable, but finds the situation getting worse and worse. It’s also about Jim’s other relationships. Just as he discovers hypocrisy in Dave, Jim discovers his own sins against his wife and daughter.

My Review:
I read this book intrigued by the plot - rather daring really, most people wouldn't touch the topic of pastor marital infidelity with a 10-foot pole. So right off the bat I thought Matthew had a lot of guts. The book was well written though the long bouts of just thoughts got a little tedious, overall the setup and writing was good. My issue came with content and mainly the ending. I did not have a problem with the actual subject matter (pastor cheating on wife and 2 kids and lying to deacon who confronts him about it) but I believe there should be a chance for redemption. Sadly, by the end of the book the pastor was the most evil man in town with no chance for redemption and anyone who had been a part of the church and believed a word he said in a sermon was a total schmutz. The deacon found some redemption, but the ending was really unsatisfying and maybe that is what the author was going for - that we shouldn't be satisfied with all the garbage going on around us. But I'm glad I don't have a copy to give away and I actually told my family not to buy it - but feel free to get a copy and check it out for yourself, just don't say I didn't warn you...

As a side note - I would read more from this author if the topic was different - I think he has amazing potential given the right outlet!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do you know your child's learning style?

I just saw a really neat website for discovering your child's learning style it looks really neat and I am a strong advocate of knowing how your children learn best and catering to that. So you might want to check this out... and then post the results of your learning style here :-)

And here's a link to determine your teaching style as well...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Simple Advice For Homeschoolers

I met with a lady and her daughter on Sunday who are going to start homeschooling and just needed some advice and help filling out the paperwork. This is a situation where one of the sweetest, brightest girls you've ever met has been getting lost in the shuffle of public school and even though she is in 8th grade she reads on a 2nd/3rd grade level and does math on a 3rd/4th grade level. Can we all say - no one on one attention. The sad thing is that the teachers have told the parents that if she stays in public school that they will send her on into 9th grade. So Mom and Dad are going to bring her home as soon as the paperwork goes through and then Mom will work on getting her caught up to speed. After spending some time with them I have no doubt that this will be a good fit for them. It was exciting to see their enthusiasm and excitement for this new adventure and I wish them all the best. I gave the Mom a couple of tips and thought I'd share them with all of you...

1) If at all possible - don't miss out on the support of your local Mother's Meeting - networking for homeschoolers... you never know what Mom out there has already walked in your shoes and will have just the right encouragement or advice for you when you need it :-)

2) Write down your mission statement (reason for deciding to homeschool) and post it so that on those frustrating days when nothing is going right - you don't forget what made you decide to homeschool in the first place!

3) Don't lose sight of the big picture - many homeschoolers get so bogged down in details that they forget about the big picture (to raise Godly, smart, functional, fun adults)

4) Remember that Bible, Reading, Writing and Math are the basic building blocks and everything else is icing on the cake!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The first book winners were drawn tonight and I am happy to say that the first winners are:

"Sushi For One" by Camy Tang goes to ... Carla (Pioneerheart)
"The Minor Protection Act" by Jodi Cowles goes to ... Shannon (Sweetnessandsass)
Both of these books have been claimed by the winners!

The 2nd book winners were drawn Friday and they are:

"Canteen Dreams" by Cara Putman goes to ... Donna Moore
"As I Have Loved You" by Nikki Arana goes to ... Sarah (Hunnylump)
Both of these books have been claimed by the winners!

The 3rd book winners were drawn Saturday and they are:

"Hollywood Nobody" by Lisa Samson goes to ... hippmom
"One Shenandoah Winter" by T. Davis Bunn goes to ... Altered by Jenn
"My Soul To Keep" by T. Davis Bunn goes to ... Lora Lease
All of these books have been claimed by the winners!

The 4th book winners were drawn on Sunday and they are:

"Lambert's Code" by Rachel Hauck goes to ... Jolene Catlett
"Lambert's Code" by Rachel Hauck goes to ... Christina
"Lambert's Pride by Rachel Hauck goes to ... Stacey Dale
"The Restorer" by Sharon Hinck goes to ... BonnieConnerSilver
All of these books have been claimed by the winners!

The 5th book winner was drawn on Monday and she is:

"Loving Liza Jane" by Shar Maclaren goes to ... Angie Hipp
This book has been claimed by the winner!

The 6th book winner was drawn on Tuesday and she is:
"The Redemption" by MaryLu Tyndall goes to ... Vader's Mom
This book has been claimed by the winner!

The 7th book winners were drawn on Wednesday and they are:
"When Dreams Come True" by Eric and Leslie Ludy goes to ... swimtchr
"Petticoat Ranch" by Mary Connealy goes to ... Pamela J
Both of these books have been claimed by the winners!

And there you have it folks - the winners of the books from the Top 7 of 2007 giveaways! Congrats to everyone that won and check back just in case a book goes unclaimed and you get drawn for it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

CFBA Tour of Happily Ever After

Happily Even After (#3 - Sassy Sistahood Series) by Marilynn Griffith

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Happily Even After (#3 - Sassy Sistahood Series)

(Steeple Hill January 1, 2008)


Marilynn Griffith


Marilynn Griffith is mom to a tribe, wife to a deacon and proof that God gives second chances. While best known for her colorful novels about friendship, family and faith, Marilynn is also a speaker and nonfiction writer.

Her nonfiction has been included in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN'S SOUL and several other devotionals and magazines. Currently, Marilynn is editor of the SISTAHFAITH:BELIEVING BEYOND SHAME anthology. She is also the founder of Faithchick.com, a blog for faith fiction readers.

Marilynn is the author of six novels dealing with issues such as teen pregnancy, AIDS, abstinence, stress relief, single parenting and marriage. Her recent fiction titles include TANGERINE and IF THE SHOE FITS.

Marilynn has served as Vice President and Publicity Officer of American Christian Fiction Writers. She speaks to youth, women and writers about believing beyond boundaries and daring to reach dreams.

Marilynn lives in Florida with her husband and seven children whom she taught at home for seven years. When not chasing toddlers, helping with homework or trying to find her husband a clean shirt, she can be found scribbling furiously on her next novel.

To book Marilynn for media interviews, speaking engagements, Serious Fun fiction parties or book club call-ins, please contact her thru her WEBSITE.

Superwoman doesn't live here!

I marry a gorgeous executive, have a baby, lose all the weight (most of it), and move to a fine house in the suburbs with a welcoming new church. Wait...did I say welcoming?

One teeny waaah! and new mothers and their crying babies are exiled to a separate room. At least there's some enlightening conversation. Like about my husband and issues I didn't even know about!

And then there's my aptly named mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, who can't stand me.

I'm about to lose my mind! So it's high time for a visit to the Sassy Sistahood for some much-needed advice about men, marriage and motherhood!

The Sassy Sistahood: They get by with a little help from their friends.

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0373785984

This is Janna now :
I read this book and just really enjoyed it ... I could identify with her in so many ways, yet laugh at things that happened (and be grateful that my MIL is NOT like hers!) and cry with her disappointment. I was glad to know that even though this is book #3, it was not necessary to read the first 2 in order to enjoy this one (because I haven't and I did) in fact I enjoyed this one so much that I am now ordering the other 2 :-) I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an insightful but entertaining book!


Okay moms - it's that time of year - some say the hardest time of year! The holidays are over and we have to get our kids (and ourselves) geared up and raring to learn again... have you started yet? I got us going last Thursday, then us course Friday was a total bust - isn't that how it always goes?!? So we did some school on Saturday instead to make up for it. But this week is going pretty well so far. I've discovered that my kids are actually pretty ready to go when I say "Get to the table!" It's up to me to get everything rolling each day though and I have to admit that it is tougher for me right now than usual. I've noticed that with this 6th pregnancy I am getting tired way more easily than I ever was in the other 5 pregnancies. So by early afternoon I am ready for a nap!

This isn't usually a problem except for Mon, Tues and Thurs when I have to teach dance classes from 4-9. If I don't get a nap before classes start then by 6:00 I am almost wiped out! If anyone has tips on things to do to get you through when you don't get that nap you so desperately need - please let me know what they are!

I just want to encourage all you moms in not letting January get you down but rather to use the beginning of 2008 to help you ramp up for a great year of school!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Heartsong Mysteries - 4 free books!

Mary Connealy (author of Petticoat Ranch see my interview with her here) sent me this e-mail today and I thought I would pass the info on to the rest of you in case you might be interested -
Cozy Mysteries are so fun!

It's finally time for the launch of Heartsong Mysteries!
You can try four books free at this link.
I've got two books coming from HM this year and I had so much fun writing in
the cozy mystery style, humor and quirks and murder.
Writer's are strange aren't they? :)
Of Mice...and Murder
Pride and Pestilence
then a third book in 2008 called
The Miceman Cometh.

Mary talks about Of Mice...and Murder in her interview and it sounds great. I went ahead and signed up for the 4 free books and just so you know - it never asked for payment information, it just asked for name, address and e-mail. Then it told me my new books were on their way to me :-)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"Sarah's Long Ride" by Susan Page Davis

This book may be listed as a 9-12 year old read, but that doesn't begin to do this book proper justice! I read it by myself with the intent of going back and reading it with my 11 year old daughter. I enjoyed it so much that it will be a family read instead as all 5 of my children ages 3-11 will love getting to know Sarah, Uncle Joe, Junior, Miss Rose, Aunt Becky and Eric. Susan Page Davis takes us inside Sarah's world - a 14 year old girl who is suddenly left all alone after a tragic accident takes her mom away from her and her dad died 8 years previously. Uncle Joe, a quiet, solitary bachelor takes her in on his horse farm which allows her to keep her horse and her mom's horse. As they settle into a routine, Uncle Joe finally agrees to ride with Sarah in the Bandicoot 100, which her mom had previously registered to do with Sarah. This leads us inside the world of distance horse racing which turned out to be fascinating! This is Sarah's first time to do a 100 (100 miles in under 24 hours) though she and her mother had completed a 50 mile race shortly before her mom passed away.

God's provision is the phrase that kept coming to mind as I read this book, God's provision for Sarah (and Uncle Joe) even when they didn't know what they needed.

This was just a really great book and I can't wait to see what Susan brings us in the next installment of The Piper Ranch Series!

Homeschool families - let me point out that Sarah is actually homeschooled by her mom and at the end of the book Uncle Joe has to make a decision about whether to put her in public school or allow her to continue homeschooling - this is a great aspect of the book as Sarah is an intelligent, lovely, polite, Christian young lady who gives homeschoolers a good name (her best friend Eric has been homeschooled his whole life as well). If you are studying horses in your homeschool, you could actually work this book in because it is packed with interesting information - especially about the distance riding!

"Abandoned Identity" by Tamara Tilley


Happy New Year! It is January 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:

and her book:

Abandoned Identity

Evergreen Press (AL) (August 1, 2007)


Hooray! Tamara is one of our very own FIRST members!

She resides with her husband, Walter, and their children, John, Christopher, and Jennifer, at Hume Lake Christian Camps in the Sequoia National Forest. They have served on full-time staff and ministered at Hume for 13 years.

Tamara manages one of the retail stores at Hume Lake, which serves thousands of kids visiting the conference center on a daily basis.

Not only does she write, she is also an avid reader and enjoys other hobbies such as scrapbooking, designing greeting cards and invitations, and enjoying God's creation from her from porch.


The young, blond woman stepped off the elevator, rushed past the receptionist, and quickly headed down the hallway.

"Jennifer, Mr. Lynch is looking for you," Doris called after her.

Jennifer didn't stop to acknowledge the message. She didn't have time. She could hear the warning in Doris' tone. Mr. Lynch was looking for her, knowing she was late returning from lunch. This could very well be her last day at Weissler and Schuler.

She glanced at her watch as she threaded her way through the multitude of workstations. She moved as quickly as she could, even though she knew her efforts were probably for nothing-after all, late was late. He would assume she had done it on purpose and would make good on his threat from the previous week. Lynch had given her two weeks to change her attitude or she would be fired.

She hurried past his office door, hoping against hope that she would be able to slip by without being noticed. A sideways glance told her otherwise. She continued towards her own office, knowing he would be quick on her heels. She had struggled all morning, trying to do her work, trying to keep it together, but with the way she was feeling, her resolve was beginning to crumble. She'd only had enough time to slip off her jacket before she heard his booming voice in the hallway.

"Ms. Patterson, you of all people should not be abusing time restrictions. A one-hour lunch is a one-hour lunch, not an hour and 25 minutes," he scolded her loud enough so everyone could hear him as he made his way down the hall toward her office.

Jennifer hung up her coat and purse on the rack behind her door and slumped in the overstuffed sofa that filled her office. She braced herself for the inevitable.

"You knew we needed to get started on the Yomahama account first thing after lunch,"he said as he entered her office and firmly shut the door. "Obviously you don't care about this account as much as you say you do." He was poised for her counterattack but was surprised instead to hear her soft apology.

"I'm sorry. I thought I could make it home and back again. But with the snow, and the traffic, and the way I'm . . ."

What's the use explaining, she thought to herself. He doesn't care. She had just given him the excuse he was looking for. She figured she would be packing up her personal items in less than an hour. She took a deep breath, her eyes focused downward. "I'm sorry. It wasn't intentional."

Harrison was taken aback. In the short time he'd known Jennifer, she had never apologized for her actions. Everything she did was intentionally antagonistic toward him. But somehow he sensed a difference in her mood.

"What's wrong?" he bristled, not really wanting to hear her excuse.

She glanced up at his imposing figure but lowered her eyes to the floor as she spoke. "I tried to kick something all weekend. I guess I'm just not feeling up to par."

He said nothing, waiting for her to make eye contact with him. She stiffened her back, sighed and said, "It won't happen again."

Had she brushed a tear from her cheek? Not possible, he thought to himself. Jennifer Patterson was tough as nails. She would never lower herself to tears in the workplace . . . that was unless she really was ill.

He waited again for her to look up at him, and when she did, he was met with vacant eyes, pallid skin, and beads of sweat that were starting to form on her brow. Just then, the intercom system went off. "Mr. Lynch, Mr. Yomahama is on the line. Shall I put him through to Miss Patterson's office or your own?"

Obviously Doris knew where to find him because of the scene he had just made. He walked around to the front of Jennifer's desk and cleared his voice before pushing the intercom button. "I'll take it in my office, Doris. Give me a minute to get there."

Lynch gave Jennifer one last stern look and then marched from her office, shutting her door with a little more force than necessary.

She collapsed against the cushions, her strong exterior completely dissolving. She had done everything she could to hold back her tears in his presence, but his quick exit allowed her to unleash the torrent she had been suppressing.

She had never felt this horrible before in her life. She would've called in sick if it weren't for the fact that she knew her job was in jeopardy. It isn't fair, she thought to herself. I should have Lynch's job. For the hundredth time Jennifer went over in her mind the scenario that had taken her completely by surprise.

She had been groomed for the director's position by Meg, long before Meg left to start a family. Jennifer had put in countless hours on different accounts to make sure her and Meg's statistics had been well researched and presented in a polished manner. She had done the bulk of Meg's work, along with her own, as Meg progressed into her third trimester. It simply wasn't fair!

The day corporate brought in Harrison Lynch and announced he would be the new director, instead of her, she was livid. She felt demeaned and unappreciated. Everyone in the office knew she had worked hard for the job and had deserved it. But corporate behaved in their typical chauvinistic manner and took the opportunity to replace Meg with a man instead of another woman. Testosterone was the only asset that Harrison Lynch had that she did not.

While the other women in the office were quick to overlook the injustice of the situation because of Harrison's availability, good looks, and charismatic personality, she only saw him as a thorn in her side.

She would only be fooling herself if she said she didnĂ­t see his appeal. He was older than she was, the classic tall, dark, and handsome type. His sparkling brown eyes and wavy brown hair gave him a boyish charm, but his stature and muscular body proved him to be anything but boyish. His enigmatic character made him the kind of man that breezed through life with ease, putting the Midas touch on everything he encountered. But the way he clashed with her, rubbing her the wrong way and always trying to put her in her place, made his good looks less appealing.

Jennifer had butt heads with Harrison ever since he had shown up. She was not afraid to speak out against his proposals or the way in which he supplied information to a client. She had caused him more than one embarrassing moment in important meetings with prospective accounts. She upstaged him with what she called "a more efficient way to gather and record information." She didn't think it beneath her to use her feminine mystique with a client in order to work on a case that Lynch would've preferred to handle by himself. Lynch had put her on the spot on more than one occasion, but somehow she always came out looking professional in front of the clients.

When she had worked with Meg, Jennifer's desk was out front with everyone else's. She liked it that way. She enjoyed working in an environment that buzzed with activity. But Lynch changed all that. He made it very clear that Jennifer was his assistant, and he needed her at his personal disposal. And so he had her move her things into the smaller of the two conference rooms.

Giving Jennifer her own office was not a reward but a sentence. She felt he had isolated her on purpose to break her spirit. It had taken the wind out of her sails for a short period, but she decided two could play at that game. She promptly ordered custom office furniture and personalized the space. What he had intended on being a lonely, sterile environment, she had turned into a showplace of warmth and femininity.

She had one-upped him again and gloated in the fact that he could do nothing about it. After all, he was the one that gave her her own office and the freedom to decorate it the way she wanted. The fact that she did it with pastels in a style she knew he disliked (even though she disliked it too) was icing on the cake. Harrison had declared that an office should reflect professionalism not personality and initially insisted she get rid of everything. His request was denied when Mrs. Weissler came in and admired what she had done with the old conference room. With Mrs. Weissler on her side, Jennifer had once again thwarted Lynch's authority.

Lynch had finally had enough. He called her into his office a week earlier and lowered the boom. "I'm giving you two weeks notice."

"You're firing me?" Jennifer was floored. Though she knew that he disliked her as much as she disliked him, he would have to explain to corporate why he was letting such a valuable employee go.

"No, I'm not firing you . . . yet." He was cool and calm as he sat behind his solid oak desk. "I'm giving you two weeks to change your attitude. I'm tired of the mind games, the flirting with clients, and the way you insist on making proposals before discussing them with me. Weissler and Schuler should present a united front to all our clients, not a sense of division and indecisiveness. You have two weeks to get on board, assume your position as my assistant, and change your "I can top that" attitude. If you choose not to, you will give me no alternative than to let you go."

Now, it was just a week later, and Jennifer had given Lynch the perfect opportunity to show corporate that she was not the team player that they had assumed her to be. Corporate was breathing down everyone's neck about the Yomahama account. It meant millions to them if they could seal the deal. If they felt she hadn't given it her all, they would allow Lynch to have his way, no questions asked.

Jennifer sobbed into the arm of the floral couch that she despised. She thought about all the ways she had tried to make work uncomfortable for Harrison Lynch but knew she had failed. On occasion, he had tried joking with her and having innocuous conversations, but she would have none of it. She wouldn't accept the olive branch that he tried to extend to her. Now he would have the last laugh, and it would be her own fault.

The door swung open once again. Harrison was poised and ready to battle with her, only to find her hunched over, her head in her hands and tears falling onto her charcoal colored slacks.

He felt uncomfortable finding her in such a vulnerable position. The all-business exterior he had resolved to use with her now took a back seat to the compassionate Harrison that others had seen. He stood for a moment before taking a seat on the couch alongside her and waited for her to gather her composure. It took several minutes before she could speak.

"I know what you're going to say, so I'll save you the energy." She rubbed at her aching brows and sniffled. "You'll have the files for the Yomahama account on your desk by the end of the day, and I'll clean out my things. You can do what you want with the furniture. I don't want it." She held her head like she was afraid it was going to snap off her neck.

Harrison just sat there, not saying a thing. Jennifer wished he would just leave. She felt defeated and humiliated. He'd gotten his way; he'd won. With the experience she'd gained at Weissler and Schuler, she'd have no problem getting a job elsewhere, so she resolved to give up without a fight. Her only desire right then was to get home before her head exploded.

It seemed like an eternity before he spoke again. "What have you taken for it?"

"What?" She was confused. There was no smugness to his tone. In fact, if she wasn't mistaken, he actually sounded concerned. She didn't dare look at him. Just lifting her head would hurt too much.

"Is it a cold or the flu?"

"A cold," she answered, wondering why he was being so nice. It was a trait she didn't think he was capable of, at least not with her. He got up and left the room without saying another word.

She glanced at his receding steps, totally confused. She grabbed a tissue from her purse and tried to wipe away the salty tears and runny nose that was moistening her lips. She gently rolled her head back against the couch and sighed heavily, thankful for the solitude. It didn't last long; within minutes, Harrison was back.

He sat down alongside her, causing her head to sway and a small moan to escape her lips. He handed her a glass that was fizzing, along with several pills. "Here's something for your headache, a decongestant, and a bi-carbonate. They should do the trick."

"No thanks," she said through closed eyes. "I can't take pills. They knock me out and make my head swim. Besides, I still have too much work to do. I don't have time to pass out."

"The way I see it, you're already wasted. You're no good to me like this. Take these, and in an hour you'll feel a lot better. I guarantee it. We'll work on the Yomahama account then."

"I should have known you wouldn't let me die quietly," Jennifer retorted, looking at the pills he was still holding. "And if I don't take your concoction?"

"Then I'll have to assume the Yomahama account isn't as important to you as I gave you credit for, and I'll get Jerry to work on it with me instead."

"Jerry!" She sat up, her head throbbing with disapproval. She slowly lowered herself back to the comfort of the couch, covering her eyes with the palms of her hands. "There's no way I'm going to let Jerry take all my research and screw it up."

"Okay, then. I guess you'll have to do it my way," he said. "Take these, dim the lights, and allow yourself some sleep. Don't worry about watching the clock. I'll come and get you in about an hour."

Jennifer realized it was no longer a suggestion. Harrison put the pills in her hand and waited for her to drink them down with the bi-carbonate.

She tossed them to the back of her throat and held her breath as she drank the fizzy water. She knew she had to do it in one swig, or it would never stay down. Her shoulders shuddered in protest, and she thought she saw the hint of a smile form on Harrison's lips. He pressed the button for the automatic shades to cover her office windows and dimmed the lights. "I'll check on you in an hour." With that, he closed the door and left her with her thoughts.

What just happened? she thought to herself. He had the perfect opportunity to fire me, and instead he helped me. Jennifer couldn't concentrate on figuring out the answer to that one. Her head was throbbing so hard, it was making it impossible for her to reason.

She pulled her feet up under her and allowed her head to rest on the padded arm of the couch. An hour's sleep, then Ill be able to push through the rest of the day. She drifted off quickly. She was a lightweight when it came to tolerating medicine, and with the mixture she had just taken, she knew that she would finally get some rest.

Harrison walked back to his office and closed the door. He stood before the expansive window and watched the falling snow blanket the Chicago streets. Jumbled emotions crowded his mind. He was afraid that he'd allowed Jennifer's weakened state to play on his sympathy, but it wasn't unlike him. He really was a nice guy. It's just that since he'd arrived at Weissler and Schuler, he and Jennifer had clashed . . . no, more like collided.

He found out soon enough that she had thought she was a lock for his job because of the work she had done with the previous director. He tried to talk to her about it and let her know he understood her disappointment. When he told her he was excited to be working with such a talented analyst, she only stiffened at his attempt at civility. Her spitefulness and malice made her look so unattractive, nothing like the vulnerable woman he had just left in the darkened office. He finally saw in her what some of the men in the office already had seen. She was a lot more appealing when she wasn't being conniving or manipulative. With her defenses down, he actually found himself drawn to her, but he was wary that would change as soon as she had her strength back.

HARRISON HAD BEEN WORKING TIRELESSLY at his computer when he glanced at his watch. He realized it had been more than an hour since he had left Jennifer in her office. He quietly opened her door and leaned in to see how she was doing. She was curled up on the couch, her face flushed and moist. He moved to her side, leaned down, and carefully placed the back of his hand to her forehead. She was feverish. She stirred under his touch, but her eyes had a difficult time focusing. She looked at Harrison and tried to figure out why she was lying down and why he was hovering over her. She closed her eyes and vaguely remembered being late to work and taking a handful of medicine.

"What time is it?" Her voice was barely above a whisper.

"Almost 3:00 p.m."

"Oh, my gosh." She tried sitting up as her head spun out of control. "I've got to get working. We have the Yomahama meeting tomorrow. We can't waste any more time."

Harrison pressed his hands against her shoulders and gently pushed her back against the couch cushions. "You need to rest. Your body is obviously trying to fight something. You have a fever."

"We don't have time for this, Mr. Lynch."

She again moved to a sitting position. She wiped at the perspiration on her forehead and scooped her long blonde hair up into a handful on top of her head. She started pulling at the pink cashmere sweater she was wearing, bellowing it to get some cool air up against her skin. "I feel like I'm suffocating."

"That's the fever."

Before Harrison realized what she was doing, Jennifer reached for the hem of her sweater and began to pull it over her head.

He turned away and sputtered, "What are you doing?"

"If you have a fever, you're supposed to keep at least one foot and one shoulder exposed to cool air."

"Where did you hear that?"

"I'm not sure, but it's worked before."

She continued to remove her sweater. Harrison was relieved to see that she was wearing a silky, pink shell underneath the soft sweater. She pulled her black, high heeled boots from her feet and curled up into a fetal position once again.

"You look miserable; you need to go home. This is ridiculous. There's no way you're going to be able to get any work done under these conditions," Harrison added as she tried to get comfortable.

"I'd be fine if my head would just stop pounding, and I wasn't so hot."

"Let me call you a cab. You need to go home."

"No! I can beat this. Let me just rest a little bit longer. If I could just get rid of this headache, I know I could finish our proposal. Please give me another hour." She was determined to finish what she had started, especially since it could quite possibly be her last account. Harrison was being uncharacteristically nice to her at the moment, but if the Yomahama meeting didn't go well, she knew she would be the proverbial scapegoat.

Harrison stood with his arms firmly crossed against his chest and doubt in his eyes. He knew from past experience there was no sense arguing with her. Of course, there was nothing that said he was obligated to wake her up either.

"Fine, I'll see you in about an hour." He left her office with no intention of disturbing her again. If she had the strength to wake up, she would have to do it on her own.

Although Harrison knew he needed to spend every minute on the Yomahama proposal, he found himself thinking about Jennifer. Why hadn't he noticed her crystal blue eyes or the delicate curve of her jaw before? Maybe because whenever he talked to her, her eyes were glaring and her jaw was set.

He wandered back into Jennifer's office around 4:30 p.m. He watched her as she slept. Her breathing was even and her complexion no longer looked flush. His eyes followed the tip of her chin to where it rested near her exposed shoulder. He felt his thoughts wandering in a direction that was far from work related. He had always been cautious to keep his professional life separate from his personal life, but somehow seeing Jennifer in such a vulnerable state also exposed a side of her that was quite beautiful.

He left her office and drifted down the hall. People were beginning to shut down their computers and straighten up their workstations. The talk was all about the snow that had continued to fall throughout the day. The weather report was predicting another foot before morning. Harrison waved goodnight to them as they left and headed back to his office.

Doris followed him down the hall, worry etched on her kind face.

"Mr. Lynch, I'm concerned about Miss Patterson. I know she was awfully sick this morning when she came in, and she didn't look any better when she returned from lunch. I haven't seen her since you . . . well, since you spoke with her this afternoon."

Harrison knew what Doris was alluding to. The way he had barked at Jennifer when she returned from lunch had obviously been heard throughout the office.

"I gave her some medicine earlier today, and it made her pretty sleepy. That's why you haven't seen her."

"Will she be okay to drive herself home? The road conditions have gotten pretty bad."

"Don't worry, Doris, I'll make sure she's okay before she leaves."

"Okay, I was just concerned. She really is a sweet girl; she just comes off a bit harsh sometimes."

"Harsh? That's an understatement!"

Doris just smiled. "Well, good night, Mr. Lynch."

"Good night, Doris, and thank you for your concern."

I have to say that I really loved this book! It was full of suspense and mystery, but had a great romance thread running through it as well. Tamara does an excellent job of pulling us into her storyline (but not too fast, she doles out tidbits of info to us just right - keeps us guessing, but not totally in the dark). It's very well done and thoroughly enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this book as a really great read!

You can order "Abandoned Identity" at


Okay - it is finally that time! After reading books, books and more books this year - I have picked out 2 Top 7 Lists for 2007. The books I picked did not have to be released in 2007, I just had to read them in 2007, in fact I think about 1/2 are from 2007 and 1/2 aren't. My hope is that these lists will give you some new titles and authors you maybe haven't read yet that you can go out and get or give you a reason to pick up that book on your shelf and reread it. It was a great year for reading though - that's for sure and I hope these lists and the books on them will be a blessing to you! (The books are being posted in no particular order - I love them all and would never be able to put them in a like most to least order - it is just random :-)

The two lists are as follows:

The Top 7 Most Entertaining Books of 2007 (according to Janna)

The Top 7 Most Life Changing Books of 2007 (according to Janna)

My criteria for each list was basically as follows:

For Most Entertaining - it needed to be a book that made me laugh, made me cry, made me feel good and was unique in some way or form. For instance you will find that many of the books on this list have unique settings or characters or time periods and in every case these books have to be books that I will keep on my shelf because I will want to read them again and again (also needs to be a book that I want to recommend/loan/buy for family and friends - definitely the sign of a good book!)

For Most Life Changing - it needed to be a book that made me smile, made me cry, made me think, made me want to change who I am as a person when I was done reading it and maybe most importantly - made me want to change the world around me to be a better place. This also needs to be a book that I feel everyone should read. I think all the books I have on this list fit this criteria well.

Many of these authors have done interviews with me that I will be posting and many of them are doing book giveaways as well! For any giveaways that you want to be a part of, please make sure that you leave a comment on that particular interview or review. If you aren't entering that particular drawing but have read the book, please leave a comment telling us your thoughts on that book. For books that I don't have interviews on, I will be posting my review and thoughts on it. I will be posting one book from each list everyday for the next 7 days - I hope you all enjoy finding out who made my lists!

THESE ARE ALL IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER! Make sure to leave a way for me to get in touch with you if you post a comment.

1st MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...
2nd MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...
3rd MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...
4th MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...
5th MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...
6th MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...
7th MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...

1st MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...
2nd MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...
3rd MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...
4th MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...
5th MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...
6th MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...
7th MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

7th MOST ENTERTAINING BOOK of 2007 is...


Ah, yes... the final most entertaining book of 2007 according to me! Let me remind everyone once again that these were listed in no particular order - if a book made it in my Top 7 then it is equally loved with the other 6 books. Each book is special in its own way. Now on to why "Petticoat Ranch" is special!

Sophie Edwards is doing just fine, until a strange-yet oddly familiar-man rides into her life, insisting on rescuing her and her four daughters. Can she find a way to love a headstrong mountain man? When Clay McClellan discovers his brother has been murdered, he's bent on finding the killers and seeing them properly hung. But first his Christian duty demands that he marry his sister-in-law. After all, Sophie needs someone to protect her - right? Faith and love help unruly wed newlyweds find common ground and a chance at love on the Texas frontier.

Now I have to say this description doesn't hardly do this book any justice at all! Mary has developed some wonderfully delightful characters that are frought with the most unlikely and incredibly fun (for the reader!) scenarios you could imagine. You will step back into the old West and will not be able to believe that Mary didn't grow up back then (but you'll have to trust me that she's much too young to have experienced any of this first hand)! Now let's meet Mary Connealy...

1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"
Resist? Why would God have invented sugar and made it taste so good if he wanted us to resist it? You know I didn’t get into the shape I’m in by being all that picky. Dessert? What’s the best? Hmmmmmmmm…I make this hot fudge pudding cake that is beyond amazing. I have a carrot cake recipe that, if used correctly, could take me all the way to the governor’s mansion---I’d give them a taste then say, vote for me and I’ll give you MORE CAKE. I’d win. My mother-in-law makes an apple pie that just makes me tear up it’s so perfect and beautiful. Okay, enough about dessert before I have to leave work and go eat.

2) Mary, did this series arise from your Nebraska background (cause you know everybody in Nebraska is a cowboy :-) or did the origins of this series have different roots? Everybody in Nebraska is a cowboy? Okay, let’s go ahead and assume that’s true. The roots of this story are…well, I really wrote it very much seat-of-the-pants, not much planning. I started with two thoughts in my head. Vigilantes and A Man Who’s Never Been Around Women.
The book started out pretty serious, with the vigilantes. I wanted to deal with a gang of vigilantes who start out doing the right thing, or rather, taking the law into their own hands for semi-honorable reasons, but in the end just turn into thugs who start hurting anyone they want. But by the time I’d finished all the revisions, the vigilantes ‘motivations’ had pretty much faded to backstory and they had become evil. And the main story was The Man Who’s Never Been Around Women…that is my husband’s story. My husband, Ivan, is from a family of seven sons. Now we have four daughters. Sometimes, watching Ivan react to the girls, doing the very normal things the girls do, is hilarious. I think, if you’ve got sisters, boys learn to entertain themselves by making their sisters scream and cry. After that it doesn’t bother them all that much. But that’s something you have to learn when you’re young or you never learn it. Ivan is terrified of tears and he can’t understand why everything makes them giggle or they have to talk through every detail of every event of their lives. They just shock him. One time, during an extensive discussion of control top panty hose, Ivan shook his head and said, “This is a conversation we never had at home.”

I used Ivan’s efforts to figure out women as background material for Clay, the hero in Petticoat Ranch. At least Ivan had a mother, girl cousins and classmates. Then we dated and married, then added the daughters one at a time.

Clay came from an all male world, first in the Rocky Mountains, then in the war. He was dropped into his all-girl family with absolutely no preparation. Believing it is his Christian duty to protect and care for these women, he marries Sophie about four hours after he regains consciousness in her care.

And then the shocks start coming. The giggling, the hair pulling, the tears. He handles it as badly as possible all while being charmed and drawn to his wife and daughters. The man is wildly conflicted and the comedy of his confusion just floods the entire book.

Throw in a gang of outlaws who want to steal Sophie’s ranch and far flung characters who think they need to check on Sophie and Clay, and you’ve got a suspenseful, inspirational, historical-western, romantic comedy.

3) A women and her daughters surviving in that time and place would have been difficult - do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong time period - like you should have been on Petticoat Ranch?
Oh, absolutely not. People ask me if I’m Sophie. The truth is Sophie is who I’d like to be. I am a complete wimp. The whining if my air conditioner goes out in my car is pathetic.

I firmly believe that if I had come west in a covered wagon, I’d have fallen off at the first river ford and drowned, even in like…a two foot deep creek. I’m a farm wife. I actually know how to kill and gut a chicken, Janna. Trust me, you want to live in an age where they come on Styrofoam platters in the grocery store. I definitely love living in this modern time.

4) Oh, oh - I know how to "dress" chickens too (my grandparents have a farm in Seward, NE) This book was funny and enjoyable with twists and turns all the way through - do you have any books written prior to this one that were stepping stones for the wonderful writing style you have now?
I’m writing eleven books for Barbour in the next few years, all in this long, romantic-comedy historical-western style. When I got my first book published I had about twenty books on my computer. And that’s twenty full length novels. I had plays and children’s books and two YA series started. I seem to just be a write-a-holic. So I was learning all that time I guess, because I finally got it right. Since my first book was contracted, Golden Days, from Heartsong Presents, including the long historicals, I’ve sold eighteen books to Barbour, God bless them. They’ll be releasing through 2011.

In my ten unpublished years I wrote sweet romances-both historical and contemporary, police dramas, thrillers, prairie romances, and a gothic romance. I just wrote to entertain myself—whatever appealed to me. I figured that, as long as no one was going to publish them anyway, I might as well be having fun.

5) When does the next in the series, Calico Canyon, come out?
Calico Canyon is coming in August of this year. It’s the flip side of Petticoat Ranch.
Prissy Miss Calhoun, the school marm from Petticoat Ranch and Daniel Reeves with his five unruly boys star in Calico Canyon. She kicks his boys out of school. He gets her fired. A completely innocent compromising situation sees them married the next day. Five little boys are horrified. Daniel is a trapped rat. Grace is stuck in her worst nightmare. And then things get really bad.

6) How many more books will we see in this series?
Petticoat Ranch in now a three book series. Petticoat Ranch is in bookstores now. Calico Canyon is releasing in August and Gingham Mountain is coming in February 2008.

7) What other projects are you working on that we can look forward to?
Besides the Petticoat Ranch series and eight more long historicals from Barbour, I’ve got a three book Heartsong Presents series set in and around a buffalo ranch in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Book #1, Buffalo Gal comes out next October. A vegetarian and a cattle rancher go to war and fall in love.

I’ve got a three book Heartsong Mystery series. Heartsong Mysteries is a new line of cozy mysteries from Barbour. The first of those books comes out September. It’s a Christmas story called Of Mice…and Murder. Writing these books was a riot. Barbour wants my long books to be all historical romantic comedies. But they’re giving me a lot of freedom in these shorter books. Writing the cozies—they’re supposed to be whacky and full of quirky characters. I had so much fun with Of Mice…and Murder. It’s set in small town Melnick, Nebraska, the home of the world’s largest field mouse. I got the idea from Algona, Iowa, the home of the World’s Largest Cheeto.

I’m not kidding, Google it.

Small towns are always looking for a claim to fame and sometimes they don’t have much. If some young man raised his pet mouse to an unusually huge size and the Guinness Book of World Records got hold of it, well, is that’s all you’ve got you go for it. Ask Algona.

In Of Mice…and Murder: Carrie hates mice and loves the big city. So why is she living in a huge mouse infested house in her dinky hometown? The dead guy in her pantry closet is the most interesting thing that's happened since she came home. Of course the carpenter who’s helping her trap her mice and solve the crime is pretty interesting, too.

Thank you so much for joining me today, Mary! I can't wait to read some of your upcoming books - who knew you could be so prolific! How can readers find you on the web?

I’ve got a ridiculous number of websites and blogs, Janna. I didn’t plan it, it just kinda happened.

Mary Connealy http://www.maryconnealy.com/

Real Life Petticoat Ranch http://www.mconnealy.blogspot.com/

Petticoats and Pistols http://www.petticoatsandpistols.com/

The Seekers http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/

There, that’ll get you started.

Thanks for letting me be part of your blog, Janna and thank you so much for you kind words about Petticoat Ranch. And God bless ANYONE who managed to stick with this interview all the way to the end. Like many writers…I love to write(Hello, master of the Obvious) so I tend to go on and on.

Readers, for a real treat leave a comment here and have a chance to win a copy of "Petticoat Ranch" - for a good, fun read - this book will NOT disappoint!

7th MOST LIFE CHANGING BOOK of 2007 is...

"TEACHING TRUE LOVE TO A SEX-AT-13 GENERATION" (The Ultimate Guide For Parents)

If you are a parent or grandparent (or you know anyone who is) then you need to run out and buy this book right now! If there are children in your life that you have ANY influence over at all then you need the information that is in this book. Eric and Leslie are a married couple that God has blessed with an amazing ministry to youth. They are filling a gap that is badly needed in todays society - "If you will love God first and foremost with all your heart, then He will bring the person He has chosen for you to you and give you a blessed love." They have written many books and while I have read almost all of them, I've never been disappointed. Leslie wrote "Authentic Beauty (the shaping of a set-apart young woman)" for young women and Eric wrote "God's Gift To Women (Discovering the Lost Art of Masculinity)" for young men. And when I say young I mean age 13 until they are married. They have also written "When God Writes Your Love Story" and "When Dreams Come True" both based on their own personal story of how when they each individually loved and honored God first - He brought them together. It's a beautiful and inspiring story. Based on what I've read from them I have changed the way I am raising my children in respect to dating and courting and marriage. My 9 year old son was watching a tv show with the other kids and I a couple of months ago and when dating came up on the tv show he sat up and said, "I don't have to worry about liking someone because God already knows who I'm going to marry, so I don't have to worry about it." Then he laid back down to watch tv. That simple statement made my mother's heart so happy! He already knows its in God's hands - what more can I ask for. This book is impacting my families lives and I wanted to share it with all of you. Here's the blip from the back of the book:

Parents, get ready for a shocking look inside the secret sex lives of today's Christian teens... Despite promise rings, abstinence commitments, and youth group purity pep talks, many of today's Christian kids are living double lives of secual experimentation and compromise while moms and dads blithely assume all is well. It's not. From their unique "insider perspective," Eric and Leslie Ludy, best-selling authors of "When God Writes Your Love Story," prove that it's not enough to merely tell kids to "wait". We must give them a vision of something worth waiting for. The Ludy's teach parents how to impart to their teens and preteens a whole new pattern for relational success... a pattern designed by the Author of romance Himself. This poignant and practical book equips parents to:
  • Motivate their kids to pursue something better than the culture's version of love
  • Prepare their kids even now for a romance that will last a lifetime
  • Provide their kids with a training ground for future marriage success
Wake up to what's really going on in the lives of kids today, and learn how to let God write the love story of your children's lives. Your family will never be the same.

And just in case that isn't enough to pique your interest - here's the beginning of the first chapter from Leslie's point of view...

  • I was ten years old when I became the target of graphic sexual jokes on the playground.
  • I was eleven years old when I started being touched and grabbed sexually in the halls at school.
  • I was twelve when some of my peers began experimenting with oral sex and invited me to join.
  • I was thirteen when I had my first opportunity to lose my virginity - to a fifteen-year-old boy I had known for two days.
  • I was fourteen when my friends began swapping sex stories at slumber parties - jovially comparing the size and stamina of their boyfriends' sexual organs.
  • And I was fifteen when I gave myself emotionally and physically to the first of several boys who used me for their own selfish pleasure and then mercilessly broke my heart.
No, I did not come from a broken home or rough neighborhood. I lived in a quiet suburb and was raised in a strong Christian household. I met most of my friends in Christian environments. My parents were loving, attentive, and supportive. They modeled a healthy marriage and taught me about purity from a young age.

So what went wrong? Why wasn't I sheltered from such intense sexual perversion in my early years? And with my solid Christian upbringing, why didn't I make better choices?
Was I just an oddity, an exception to the idea that kids with Christian backgrounds can usually avoid the kind of sexual pitfalls I succumbed to? Or is my story more common than many Christian parents realize?

The answer may startle you.

I was not able to interview Leslie, but I will still be doing a giveaway for their book "When Dreams Come True". This book will give both parents and young people a vision for how God wants your romance and love story to be when done His way. Its very inspiring and beautiful. To get any of the Ludy's books check out their websites -

You can order their books there or at www.cbd.com or www.amazon.com

Leave a comment for a chance to win "When Dreams Come True" and go buy "Teaching True Love" soon - you will never regret it!