Face-Off with Zachary Bartels: Take 2!!

17264506_1662741187074521_4203841052978384135_nToday is a BIG DAY!  It’s the perfect storm for you readers. Why? Let me tell you:

  1. It’s COVER REVEAL DAY for Zachary’s newest book, All Souls’ Day.
  2. We have GIVEAWAYS (yes, plural!)
  3. Face-Off round DUEX!

So, keep on reading because there’s lots here! SQUEEZE!!!!!


Zachary Bartels is my Author Highlight of the month, so you can check out more info on the homepage. For now, let’s get to all the fun! Woot!

Well, well…It’s time for round 2! As you know, we tied in the first face-off, so now it’s time to see who is the winner once and for all!


The rules are simple. I ask Zachary some random questions. He replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Worst hotel/motel experience? 

Zachary – I don’t know if I have anything funny. The first experience that comes to mind is, we were in Orlando just last month and had to call the cops because of a domestic dispute in the room next to ours, but there was a crying kid and everything, and my own kid was sort of low-level traumatized by it, so . . .

Let me say this: up until I was about fifteen, I loved staying in hotels more than anything. It was exciting and special and the TV had cable and there were vending machines right outside the door and sometimes an indoor pool.  Then, I had my germaphobe-awakening and saw some footage of people bringing black lights into their hotel rooms. All of a sudden I was horrified by the idea of sleeping in those beds and showering where who-knows-what had  gone down. I started packing flip-flops to wear in the shower and sometimes my own pillow cases to put over the hotel’s. One bad-but-funny experience was the time I forgot the flip flops and tried showering with two of those hotel-issued plastic-elastic shower caps on my feet. I slipped and slid all over the place and very nearly went down . . . wound up making all sorts of skin contact with the inside of the shower curtain, which is sort of the germaphobe equivalent of spending the night inside a rotting buffalo carcass.

Charity – Oh. My. Gosh. I literally laughed out loud. I can actually say, “LOL”! That was quite the visual.


Ok, I thought I had this one in the bag, but you with those plastic shower hats on your feet – slip-sliding all around….YIKES!

My turn. I must preface this story by saying that, first of all, I HATE West Virginia. I was headed towards Chicago area to visit my mother-in-law (shout out! holla, mom!) with the fam. We were in WV heading over one of those horrible cliff roads with nothing on either side of us but guard rails (like that’s going to do a dang thing) to keep us from plummeting to our deaths. Anyway, at that very moment, a tornado comes towards our car while I am driving straight towards it with nowhere else to go. Yep, I drove through a tornado on the road with nothing but my family’s impending death on the sides of us. Here’s the news link of that devastating storm, FYI.

After that fright, we decided, against our better judgement, to stop at a hotel in that deplorable State. We were in the capital city. How bad can it be?

Check in went great. They even had little, chewy cookies there. Nice and warm. “Oh yeah, BTW, the elevator is broken”, they say AFTER we check in. Let’s just say we were’t anywhere near the first floor. So, up the stairs we go (which is against every thing I stand for). We open the door and, SURPRISE, the room has been slept in and used. Totally not cleaned. As I am a princess and my husband and boys were carrying all my luggage, I said that I would quickly run down and get keys to a new room (which was very generous of me, considering I would be repeating the offense of the stairs). Oh yeah, BTW… the door to the stairwell locks and only opens from INSIDE the main part of the hotel. So once I made it downstairs, I was forced to go OUTSIDE into a dark alley to get back around to the doors inside. ugh.

Not very princess-y.

Needless to say, it was a nightmare. We are quite particular about hotels due to the germ-age factor. That hotel did NOT gift us with a comforting night of sleep.

— Sorry about the novel.

Charity 1 / Zachary 1

2. Stupidest (PG rated) thing you have ever done? (I know…hard to pick one…) 

Zachary – Obviously, I’m not going to tell the world my stupidest mistakes. But here are a couple bonehead moves:

In college, me and two buddies got wrapped up in some weird brand of fundamentalism that we may have accidentally invented (its sacrament was Jolt Cola–twice the sugar! twice the caffeine!)  And we drove around Grand Rapids at night, smoking cigars and duct taping Luther’s 95 theses to the doors of Catholic churches. To what end, I do not know. (When your Christian school has rules against everything from dancing to having a TV in your dorm room, you go to some great length to amuse yourself, I guess). The really pathetic thing is that this was ’96, before the “real” Internet was overly accessible on campus (remember VAX??), so we wound up getting a book about Luther from the library and taking turns typing up the theses. It took like forty-five minutes. You would have thought the process of reading/typing them would have brought us to our senses re: the stupidity of our night raids, but no . . . our stupidity was too brazen.

More recently, I started a Facebook group for people of my particular theological persuasion who live in my hometown, just for fun. Wanting to get some people in there right off the bat, I clicked the thing to promote it for $5. Only I accidentally left the campaign open-ended and, by the time I realized my mistake, I had blown $225. The net result? Twenty-one members. I have yet to do anything with or post anything on that group.

Charity – wow. You were pretty cool.face-with-tears-of-joy I am assuming you didn’t tell your wife about this until she was your wife?  And as far as your $225 “mishap”, just call it mission work and call it a day.

I was a total mess. I don’t even know how many stupid things I did. Let’s see…a couple that stand out?

I’ll start with one from the same year. ’95-’96 college year. My best friend and I going to a Christian college and hating life … and rules… (Shout out to Sue! Holla, girl!). So, what do you do in a religious school with bonkers rules? I’ll tell you. We would look at what all the weird, conservative girls were wearing (Only mentioning my sentiments at the time. This does not necessarily reflect my current feelings on how conservative people dress) and then we would show back up at class wearing an exaggerated, matching outfit (as to mock them….yeah, I was cool too).

Once I got out of school, I was really cool. Like, for real.


Once I was older and wiser, I would enjoy pulling up at a light, next to a guy on a motorcycle and asking if I could ride with him. I would then pull into the nearest 7-11 (write down his plate # and leave it in my car because I was obviously smart enough to make sure I was safe if nobody could find me) and jump on the back of the bike. wheeee.

How am I still alive?

— I think it’s a tie again.

Charity 2 / Zachary 2

3. Funniest thing you hid from your parents growing up? 

Zachary – Starting at about 12 years old, my bedroom was in the basement, which really lent itself to hiding things from my parents. Luckily, I was a pretty upstanding young man, comparatively speaking. When I was 16 or 17, though, I did draw on (pun!!) my artistic skills to paint a replica of the little basement window in my bedroom on some corrugated cardboard. With the little curtains semi-obscuring it, you couldn’t tell the counterfeit from from the real thing. The idea, of course, was to remove the window, pull myself out of the house (thus bypassing the insanely loud wood floors and front door), and replace the window with the fake. It’s funny in retrospect, because it took days of work to get it right, but I had no real plans to sneak out, or even a desire to do so. It was just a self-challenge I guess. I did use it a couple of times to slip out into the night, but one was to attend a Christian rock concert. Yeah, I know–when I give my testimony I leave that part out because it’s just too dark.

Charity – ha! I guess so. Women would be fanning themselves and feeling faint.

I had a couple posters of Christian Slater up on my walls…Um, well, technically, in my closet. Ok, you got me. They were hanging up behind the clothes in my closet.


I sure showed my parents what was up! woot!

— We really weren’t too cool. At all.

Charity 3 / Zachary 3

4. Do you believe we, as parents, should be allowed to arrange marriages for our kids in this day and age?

Zachary – Obviously.

Charity – Oh. My. Gosh.

My kids disagree. Whatevs.

— This is ridiculous. You need a dumb answer so I can get a point.

Charity 4 / Zachary 4

5. Would you enjoy playing rugby? 

Zachary – I don’t know; probably not. I get really overly competitive with everything. Even, like, Scrabble and Pictionary can become uncomfortably intense when I’m involved. And when I play racquetball, it becomes full-contact spazoid-ball really fast. All that to say, if I were to play an actual full-contact game, involving minimal protective equipment, I would probably get myself killed in short order.

Charity – Dude. You don’t even want to get me started in a game of SPOONS. I will take off your fingers. Without blinking.

HOWEVER, I am like 90 year old princess. I am not even joking. In my mind I would be amazing at it. In reality, I couldn’t get past the smell of the other players, let alone be on the field.

— lame

Charity 5 / Zachary 5

6. Favorite current song/band/singer? 

Zachary – It’s gotta be either The Decemberists, The Accidentals, or Trip Lee. Yeah, that’s a weird mix, I know. Also, I acknowledge that it is pathetically dorky for a just-about-middle-aged white Baptist minister to listen to hip hop. Maybe that’s why it’s so perfect… but probably not.

Charity – Uh…Have you ever heard of NF? Andy Mineo? Totally cool to be pasty white and listening to Christian rap. woot. At least I hope.

I really love 21 Pilots (which…FYI, are a couple of homeschooled, Christian boys. Yep. True story). I also love Tenth Avenue North.

Here’s a fun Andy Mineo video.

— This is more like a never ending ping-pong match! Who’s going to flinch first…BRING IT!

Charity 6 / Zachary 6

7. Recommended vacation spot?

Zachary – Mackinac Island, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It’s so beautiful and idyllic. No cars are allowed, so the streets are filled with horses and carriages. There’s an old 19th Century fort, beautiful houses, B&Bs, and the Grand Hotel (where they filmed Somewhere in Time). Also, they make the world’s best fudge there. On any given morning, I usually think at least once that I’d rather be riding my bike around Mackinac Island than doing what I’m actually doing.


Charity – Ok, I spoke WAY TOO SOON. I just looked it up and I am dying here! What in the world?!?!?! That has to be the coolest place EVER!

— Nicely done, my friend. Nicely done.

Charity 6 / Zachary 7

8. If you had to write a historical novel, what era would you choose?

-Zachary – Well, The Last Con had a series of flashbacks to 18th Century Europe, which I loved writing. That would be fun to flesh out. Having degrees in biblical studies, a biblical era novel would seem natural. In fact, I have some great ideas for biblical fiction, but the notion of getting every little detail right (i.e. doing all that research into everyday life) is just overwhelming to me. I’m going to Israel with Cliff Graham and Connilyn Cossette and some other authors in May; maybe I’ll try and steal their research secrets/methods.

Charity – Oh, yes! Do that! I went to Israel when I was in college and it was pretty dang incredible! Of course, I spent the whole time getting pictures with all the soldiers…

ANYWAY, I seriously need to read that! I can’t believe I haven’t read that yet. What up??

— Ok, you are pulling ahead now. Watch your fingers.

Charity 6 / Zachary 8

9. Worst natural disaster you’ve been a part of? 

Zachary – Oops. I just wrote something political and then deleted it. (I don’t need that kind of heat.)

[[just a side note…I couldn’t remember if I, Charity, wrote that last sentence or if you, Zachary, did. I now remember that you did…but it sounds like something I would say! haha]]

Living far away from the hotbeds of hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc. there aren’t many disasters to speak of around here. I’ve avoided tornadoes thus far. I guess my answer would have to be either the big flood of 1990 (people were rowing boats down my street) or the Great Blizzard of 1978, which apparently dumped many, many feet of snow on the High Five. Except that I was literally zero when the blizzard happened and the worst part about the flood was that my basement bedroom filled with an inch of water, ruining my box full of Breakaway Magazine back issues. Seriously, if I want to re-read that cover article about the radical skateboarding couple who were also super-radical  youth ministers, I’ll have to buy another copy online! I’m sorry, I can’t talk about this any more; it’s still too raw.

Charity – I should be a journalist. I know how to ask the deep questions.

I am going to refer back to my answer in question #1. Yes, I live on the East Coast amid hurricane after devastating hurricane. Still, my drive through WV was pure evil. (Did you ever notice that you can switch WV to VW and it becomes something wonderful??)


Did I mention I am pretty ADHD?

— I am taking it! boom.

Charity 7 / Zachary 8

10. Funniest thing your son has said?

Zachary – How to even narrow this down? The main redeeming function of Facebook these days is that it pops up with “memories” each morning–usually hilarious stuff my little guy said and did years ago. Here’s a good one: when he was about four, he was running around the house one day, shouting, “Ovary!!!” We couldn’t get him to stop. When I asked him what he thought it meant, he just sort of shrugged. It was like a week later that we were watching one of his favorite episodes of Phineas and Ferb, and I realized he was emulating Phineas shouting, “Wolverines!” (i.e. a reference to the craptastic ’80s flick Red Dawn).  Also, he used to call his nipples, his “knuckles.” So that was great . . .

Charity – Oh my word. That’s amazing! hahaha.

Ok, so before I was following God in any way, I was a single mom in my early 20’s. My son was 2 years old and had never asked about his father (because the guy was not in the picture). We were at the beach just chillin’ and my pasty, white son sees this big, african-american man walk right by our towels and he yells, “HEY, MOM! IS THAT MY DAD?????” holy crap. That guy’s eyes were HUGE and he couldn’t have walked his big self any faster out of there. I was just horrified and laughing so hard at the same time.

–Yeah, I am taking that one.


Charity 8 / Zachary 8


NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are a worthy competitor, Mr. Bartels! Very worthy, indeed!! We will definitely need to have an instant death round soon!

Who’s ready to see the big COVER REVEAL???


First of all, let me share the synopsis with you:


It’s been a year since pastor Parker Saint found himself in the middle of an ancient conspiracy involving demon possession, ritual killings, holy relics, and Vatican operatives, and things are just starting to get back to normal. Well, as normal as they can be now that he’s married to Detective Corinne Kirkpatrick.

Corinne is having trouble adjusting to life as a pastor’s wife. And while she’d love to retreat to the familiarity of her precinct, she’s beginning to feel out of place there too–surrounded by younger, unfamiliar faces and beginning to feel like a relic herself.

When a new series of grisly murders rocks the quiet city of Grand Rapids, everyone is on edge, and no one more so than Parker–at every murder scene, there is some connection to him. Soon he and Corinne are thrown into a deadly game with a timer that is swiftly running out. As the stress takes its toll on their fledgling marriage, they’ll have to lean on God and each other–and even those Vatican operatives–in order to stop the killer before it’s too late.

And here it is!



Want to pre-order your own copy? Head on over to:

Amazon or Barnes and Noble (hint: It’s cheaper at B&N)

OR……You can head on over to:

a Rafflecopter giveaway to win your own SIGNED copy when it’s released!

Zachary has graciously offered to do 2 GIVEAWAYS! You can win SIGNED copies of Playing Saint and it’s sequel, All Souls’ Day (paperback, once released). Wait, that’s just one giveaway! The second includes a hard cover copy instead of paperback! Now we’re talking!

Thanks so much for this fun post!! I hope you guys all the best! Remember:

  1. U.S. Rez only for giveaway
  2. Entries will be checked


The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

by Julie Klassen

The much awaited, new series by Julie Klassen is finally here! Well, it was here before Christmas, but I have been a bit behind…

If you have read much Klassen, you will want to know that this book is significantly different than her others. All of her books have basically stood alone while this one is absolutely part of a series. The book didn’t really end at the end of the book. That being said, it was a great read. Her writing style has really deepened and grown since her debut novel, The Lady of Milkweed Manor.

Overall, I felt it was very well written. There were a lot of people to keep up with instead of the average handful you have in a novel. The point of view would switch from character to character rapidly and I would find myself confused at times trying to remember which person it was. I believe that it was just preparing the reader for the following volumes to come. So, if you don’t have severe brain trauma as I seem to have, you should be just fine! I definitely recommend this book (and anything by Julie!). She is a truly gifted writer!!!

Thanks so much for this read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

— Check out my fun face-offs with the awesome Julie Klassen!

PicCollage(4)      julie klassen

Who thinks we should do a giveaway???????


Head on over and enter to win. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*US only (unless you would like to pay the shipping)

**Entries will be checked

The Heir of Brownlie Manor

by Anita Stansfield

Ahhh…Regency novels. You know I love it! (Well, ALMOST Regency. 1808 is close enough)

Anita is a new author to me and I was pleasantly surprised. This book is from the point of view of both Thomas and Ruth. They are heavy thinkers and a considerable amount of their thoughts are written. That was a little difficult to me as I like to get to the point of things, but, overall, it was really well written.

Thomas has been raised by aristocratic parents that have trained him to treat others well and not to follow the snobbery of their peers. When he comes along a girl that is in desperate need, he can not help himself but reach out to her and become her savior. What he doesn’t fully expect is that she became his.

This is a really sweet book with characters that are probably nicer than anyone you will ever meet in real life! haha. It’s a beautiful love story with some surprising twists and intrigues. I definitely recommend!!!

Thank you for this great book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Make sure you head over here to win a copy!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Earl’s Betrothal

by Karen Tuft

When Anthony, the heir to the earldom, returns home from war, nothing is as it was. He was thought to be dead, leaving the estate without an heir. Now that he is home, and ALIVE, he must step up, take responsibility and find a wife so that there will never again be the chance of no heir to inherit. The ladies are quick to oblige and will not stop swooning over him. He takes refuge in the peace that surrounds his mother’s companion. Amelia lets him be himself and does not look down on him for the PTSD he is suffering from the horrors of war.

This is such a wonderful read! I love Regency novels, first and foremost. This is well written and the author has a decent knowledge of the time period. Of course, a lot of the language is more modern, but the heart of the story is there. It’s well written, holds my attention and makes me love the characters. I highly recommend!

Head on over to rafflecopter (the pic below) and see if you can win a copy! If not, just click on the pic above and it will take you straight to Amazon where you can choose a kindle version, or the paperback.

The Earl's Betrothal Banner

Thank you, Covenant Communications, for this WONDERFUL read in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Face-Off with Regina Jennings!!

authors20-427x640 I am SO happy to have Regina Jennings here today! What a lovely, lovely lady!!!!! She’s a homeschool mamma, avid traveler and a self-proclaimed “Redneck Bluestocking”. Love it!!

You may have seen one of my latest posts
about her new release, At Love’s Bidding. Be sure to check it out and grab a copy of this fun read!!! You won’t regret it.

Check out this cute pic of Regina in the outfit from her book, Caught in the Middle. I absolutely love this!! ❤ ❤

  You can check out a bunch of her awesome books here:

<– Only $1.99!!

Let’s do this!!!

The rules are simple. I ask Regina some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Most bizarre thing that happened on a mission trip?

Regina – We were going to a village in Mexico to have services at the farmhouse of some believers. Before we got there the missionary warned us about their dogs. They had aggressive dogs that might bite, so we were advised to stay away from them.

Of course the dogs were there at the truck just licking their chops and waiting for us to step out, but they behaved themselves. Still, I kept an eye on them as I trekked across the rough ground to the side of the house where we were having the service. Our host led us to a log bench next to a chain-link cage.

The cage was about five feet high and the size of a generous bedroom closet. It housed a rough shelter that could give you splinters just from looking at it.

“Great,” I thought. “I’m sitting next to the dog pen!” Then I see a guy sitting in the cage. He’s glaring at me, like he’s contemplating how it’d feel to chop me up with a rusty machete.

What was he doing inside the cage? Cleaning it? Then I see a shackle on his leg. What in the world? I waved the missionary over to me, too afraid to get up and leave. Turns out the man in the manacles was the son of the family we were visiting. He’d tried to kill them once, burned their house while they were sleeping, so now they have to keep him chained up for the safety of themselves and their neighbors. Likely he’s suffering from some sort of mental illness or possession, but this village family didn’t have any resources at their disposal, so they dealt with it the best they could. They cared for him, fed him, gave him clothing and tried to include him in their family life, all while keeping him chained up in a cage because he is too dangerous to let out.

After that, I wasn’t so concerned about the dogs.

Charity – 😯 Oh. My. Word. That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever heard!!! hahahahaha I have absolutely nothing to compare to that! I was thinking of how scary is was being driven around the Dominican Republic…Those people have no road rules and much road rage.


— No comparison.

Charity 0 / Regina 1

2. As a “redneck bluestocking” and a homeschool mom, what is your favorite subject to teach (and your least!)?

Regina – I love teaching history and literature, and I chose our curriculum (Sonlight) because it is so rich in both. It seems every story connects to another story. Every reference brings up another interesting fact we can look up. Frequent referrals to the globe and our world history timeline book are required.

Ironically, what I hate to teach is reading. The mechanics of reading, the phonics and grammar, are so arbitrary, that it’s hard to get a feel for any consistent rule. Once I get a kid past that point, we celebrate.

Charity – I am a homeschool mamma too and, BOY, do we love our Sonlight curriculum! I have 3 boys and the teenage years are the best!!!!! I love all those subjects. I honestly can’t stand teaching kindergarten and the lower grades. Favorite subject is history. I’m such a history nerd and it’s so awesome that we live in the historic triangle. ❤ Least favorite is english mechanics. blah.

— Tie

Charity 1 / Regina 2

3. Have you ever been on a bucking bronco or a crazy bull?

Regina – I was on a horse with my husband and it gave a little buck. He landed on the saddle horn and got hurt. I was fine until he pushed me out of the saddle so he could regain his seat. That’s the truth, although he disputes my account. Either way I wasn’t as hurt as he was.

My only injury was on a donkey. I was helping my dad train a donkey and it got mad. It smashed my leg up against a pole fence leaving nice bruised-stripes on my leg. I didn’t go to the doctor because I was four months pregnant and thought I could do without the lecture.

Charity – Girl! You are crazy!!! haha. What in the world! I have not done either…but that could be because I am NOT an animal lover, thus I avoid them at all costs.

— Again, no comparison.

Charity 1 / Regina 3

4. Favorite BBQ on the grill recipe?

Regina – I eat a lot of Bar-B-Q, but I don’t grill. That’s my husband’s domain. Unless you are as big of a loser as I am in the kitchen, that question is an automatic win for you.

Charity – Hmm. Just look at the delightfulness of this picture and click on it for the recipe.


— I’ll take it!!

Charity 2 / Regina 3

5. Would you have enjoyed living in the 1800’s? What would you have liked and hated?

Regina – When? Where? Am I rich or am I a servant or slave? C’mon, be more specific!!

I know I would like to live in a society that was more God-honoring and respectful. I would like to raise my kids in an environment that wasn’t as fraught with temptations and hostile to families, but as far as conveniences, I really enjoy having the time to write and pursue some of my own interests. If I was an average woman in the 1800s, spare time and access to books wouldn’t be readily available.

Charity – I have to agree with everything you said. I also wish women still wore pretty dresses!!!! I don’t care how many layers! So beautiful and ladylike.

— tie

Charity 3 / Regina 4

6. Awesome, obscure and totally useless talent that you have?

Regina – I can lick my nose. Yep. I guess it’s not totally useless, but it’s disgusting enough to render it close.

Charity – Ha! Nice. I can wave my pinky toe back and forth. Pretty cool… You’ll want to be sure to turn up the volume so you can hear me say, “Ew” at the end of this video.

— Tie

Charity 4 / Regina 5

7. What kind of food is your greatest weakness?

Regina – Dessert! I love ice cream, chocolate, cheesecake, cookies, brownies… I don’t eat a lot for supper, but I rarely skip dessert. Feel free to send me candy.

Charity – I always tell my kids to eat dessert first because you don’t want to get filled up on dinner and not have room for it!

I’m a candy love and CHIPS!!! Chips have to be my biggest weakness. I could live my life without chocolate and that would be just fine.

— Tie

Charity 5 / Regina 6

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Regina – We humans are a frail and fallible bunch. But instead of allowing us wallow in self-pity, God tells us the reason for His design. It’s because He wants no confusion over who gets the credit for our deeds (1 Cor. 1:26-29, 2 Cor. 4:7). So God is glorified through our weaknesses, but that’s kind of hard to strive for, isn’t it? Fortunately, I don’t have to work hard cultivating weaknesses. They appear way too frequently. But it’s so reassuring to remember that whenever I feel inadequate, whenever I know I’m at the end of my strength, my knowledge, my efforts, that is when I’m least likely to try to take credit for what God has done. When I’m trusting Him, submitting to Him, having faith that He is in control, that’s when I’ve seen His glory most clearly.

Charity – Love that. It’s beautiful. My sister and I were just talking about that today!!

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Regina 6

9. Do you garden?

Regina – Ha! I love gardens, beautiful landscapes, and welcoming lawns. In the spring I do my best. I plant flowers and I try to keep them alive, but the Oklahoma heat and droughts are determined to ruin my efforts. I don’t have much to show for my work.

As far as a real, producing garden, I hate vegetables, so what’s the point?

Charity – HA! Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. I actually love veggies…BUT, I have a total black thumb. I kill every plant I’ve ever had. Every. One.

— Another tie!

Charity 6 / Regina 7

10. Last item you returned to the store?

Regina – My daughter’s college textbook! It was such a rip-off. For $40 we rented the textbook and the access key for the online extras. When we tried to log into the online portion it said that the access key had already been used, but we could buy another access key for $94(!!!!) I called Amazon and they pointed out the fine print that says the access key might not work, never mind that the item is listed as “book and access key”. But they did let me return it for a refund- minus a hefty restocking fee that was almost half the purchase price.

Let me just say… textbook people, enough is enough. Now you’re putting in $100 access keys that can only be used once per student? Way to fleece our future!

Charity – Rant heard. I had no idea. That’s ridiculous, but good to know. My oldest starts college next year 😯 I will be watching them and their sneaky ways…

Last item I returned was a 49’ers shirt from Target. I ordered a Redskins shirt for my son and they sent me a 49’ers. Lame.

— Textbook drama


Charity 6 / Regina 8


Regina–Question for you:

What is the weirdest thing you hoard?

Mine? Dryer lint and empty toilet paper rolls. I save those all year round, and then when winter comes, I stuff the dryer lint into the cardboard rolls and use them for fire starter for the fireplaces. Recycling Redneck style!

Charity – Wow! That is redneck style recycling!! haha. Love it! I am not sure what I hoard. I am a total organizer. Like, “Christmas is coming! What toys are you getting rid of to make room for the new?” Maybe skinny people clothes that I imagine I will actually wear again someday. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That’s a good one…By the time I fit in them, perhaps they’ll even be back in style.

Thank you, Regina! Such a blast. You are THE BEST! Custom-Balloon-design-tool

Who wants to win a book by this lovely lady? It’s easy! Just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering to win At Love’s Bidding. (Remember how I gave it a GLOWING review just a few days back? Yep, it’s a good one!)

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Face-Off with Melissa McShane!!

I am super happy to have Melissa McShane here today!! What a fun lady! She is the author of fantasy fiction and you are going to just love her!!

Here’s a little blurb she wrote up about her writing:

“I never thought to write fiction until a few years ago; I studied young adult literature in college and went on to write literary essays and reviews for many years. I had the idea for my first book, EMISSARY, and just for fun decided to see if I could turn it into a novel. It was hard, and exciting, and more fun than anyone ought to be allowed to have, so I kept at it. I’m in the process of publishing the next Tremontane novel, RIDER OF THE CROWN, and am always looking forward to the joy of beginning the next book.”

You can check out her fabulous reads here:

Also, if you sign up for Melissa’s newsletter, she is offering a FREE BOOK!!! Talk about a DEAL!!

Let’s play!!

PicCollage(1)The rules are simple. I ask Melissa some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have your kids ever eaten something gross they found in a public place? Like gum?

Melissa – The funny answer would be “nothing more gross than a McDonald’s cheeseburger,” but fortunately for me they confined all their gross eating habits to things they found on the floor at home.

Charity – Ha! That’s funny. Although…I am a sucker for a fast-food burger. Yum. My oldest and youngest kids are polar opposites. The older one will eat anything off the floor…or anywhere for that matter. The youngest is a total germaphobe.

— Tie

Charity 1 / Melissa 1

2. Favorite hair dye color?

Melissa – Copper red. I always wanted to be a redhead when I was a kid and was afraid to do it because I thought it would look goofy. Then three years ago I decided, why not? And it looked AMAZING. I am never going back.

Charity – I love red too!! I change my hair pretty frequently. Right now it’s blonde. Here’s a shot of me as a redhead.


— Another tie!

Charity 2 / Melissa 2

3. Who is your favorite Dr? As in “WHO” is your favorite dr?

Melissa – Most recently I like Matt Smith, but the truth is I am a die-hard Peter Davison fan. That’s right, I am that old. I own a cricket ball autographed by him and it’s one of my treasured bits of fandom. It was actually a gift from a guy who had a crush on me in high school and went to a con with a bunch of Doctor Who actors. I probably shouldn’t have accepted it, since I didn’t return his feelings, but it was just such a cool thing I couldn’t resist. Besides, it would have hurt his feelings if I’d turned it down. Yeah, I’m going with that.

MattSmith Fifth_Doctor

Charity – Ha! Nice!!! Well, I must admit that I have no idea who either of those fella’s are! I have only seen one episode of Dr. Who (the first) and it was … odd? I do have a good friend that has a huge Dr. Who bash every year. Their costumes crack me up!!

— Melissa definitely gets that!!

Charity 2 / Melissa 3

4. Did you ever go Christmas Caroling?

Melissa – Yes, and for some reason it was always on the coldest night of the year in the coldest places on earth. You wouldn’t think upstate New York could freeze your eyelids shut, but it’s true. I really question the wisdom of exercising your vocal cords under those conditions.

Charity – I haven’t been since I was a wee child..so, I don’t think that counts. On a side note, I am totally from Upstate New York. My parents live up there. Cool!!

— Melissa again!

Charity 2 / Melissa 4

5. Favorite scary movie?

Melissa – I am a total weenie when it comes to scary movies. The closest I come to liking horror films is The Mummy with Brendan Fraser. And that only counts because the library where I used to work shelved the movie in the Horror section.

Charity – Now, that is funny!! Horror..the Mummy? haha. I love suspenseful movies. M. Night movies are so awesome. He’s probably my favorite director!!

— I get it!

Charity 3 / Melissa 4

6. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Melissa – I believe in magnifying the gifts God gives us, whatever those gifts are. While I try to make my fiction reflect things I believe in, I also think teaching my children is one of the most important things I can do with my life. They’re not perfect, but I love it when they choose to spend time together, and I hope I played a part in bringing that about.

Charity – Sweet!

— God wins!

Charity 3 / Melissa 4

7. Last movie you saw in the theaters?

Melissa – Guardians of the Galaxy. (I can’t believe how long ago that was!) I’m a sucker for comic book movies, but I’d never heard of this one and had no idea what to expect. I totally loved it, probably because of the soundtrack. Did I mention I’m that old?

Charity – I can’t believe how long ago that was either!! I’m a movie junkie…well, theater junkie!! We saw Goosebumps last Saturday. It was really cute.

— I totally get it!

Charity 4 / Melissa 4

8. Do you sneak food into the theater? The one by us lets you order pizza and have it delivered there! They totally don’t care!

Melissa – I wish we had that kind of theater where I live! I have an enormous purse and have been able to sneak two 20-oz. bottles of Coke and several boxes of candy in without anyone noticing. Then I realized that if you buy their popcorn (which I never did manage to sneak in), they don’t care if you smuggle in your own soda dispenser or a cotton candy machine. I guess that says something about the price of the popcorn.

Charity – haha! Yep!! It’s ridiculous…OMGosh. A few months back, we went to see Insurgent. Well, before that, we went to Chick-fil-A. I had the bright idea to put all of our Chick-fil-A cups in my purse. Guess what spilled EVERYWHERE in my purse? Yep. All the cups FULL of soda and tea. hahahahaha. I was dripping as I walked down the hallway. The best part? I had to go to my doctor and request a new prescription. I had to fess up to what happened. He was laughing at my like I was from another planet. ha!


— Tie again! We are Mom’s sneaking in food for our hungry little peoples.


Charity 5 / Melissa 5


Thank you, Melissa!! Such fun!! 6ddd0-530b9ea8e4b035db7175a1af

Guess what?? This fabulous lady is giving away TWO BOOKS!!!! Just head on over to the Rafflecopter link and start entering to win both books in her newest series, THE CROWN OF TREMONTANE.

I’m tempted to enter this one too…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*US Rez only (Sorry! We love the rest of you too!)
**Entries will be checked!

Face-Off with Stephanie Landsem!!

Stephanie-Landsem-106-199x300Stephanie Landsem is here today! So exiting!!! I know that I usually write up something about them and their awesome abilities, BUT…Her write up is so darned cute that I thought I would share it:

“I write historical fiction because I love adventure in far-off times and places. I’ve traveled since I was a teenager—backpacking through Germany and Eastern Europe, studying German in Salzburg, eating gelato in Italy, and riding camels in Morocco were some of the highlights. Travel kindles my imagination, fuels my love of history, and introduces me to one-of-a-kind characters. It’s the best kind of research.

When I can’t travel, I read. I love fiction, of course, but I’m often found behind a stack of history books or searching the web for historical tidbits. How people lived together, worked, and what they ate (I love food!) is usually what catches my imagination. No matter where or when we live, people are more alike than they are different. I love to find the similarities between our lives and those of the men and women of the ancient world.

I make my home in Minnesota with my husband of 22 years, four children, three fat cats, and a tortoise named Moe. When I’m not writing Biblical fiction, I’m feeding the ravenous horde of kids and their friends, volunteering at church and school, battling dandelions, and dreaming about my next adventure – whether it be in person or on the page.

I love to hear from readers. Feel free to start a conversation with me about Biblical fiction, history, travel, or dandelions.”

Check out her great reads here:

Let’s play!!


The rules are simple. I ask Stephanie some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Best travel story?

Stephanie – My best travel story is a cautionary tale. Kids, do not attempt this.

When I was in college, I was traveling in Spain with my friend, Wendy, and we thought it would be cool to go to Morocco, since it was so close. Needless to say, we were young and rather stupid. We did know that two women alone in Tangiers had to have a male guide, so we called “a guy somebody knew” and booked his services. Looking back, that was a big mistake.

Needless to say, we made several more errors in judgment: we spent almost all our money on Moroccan carpets (I still have mine), ate roasted goat from street vendors, accepted cocktails from strangers, and learned to bellydance. In the wee hours of the next morning, we found ourselves locked out of our hotel. Our guide apologized and offered to take me to his ‘parents’ home to sleep. His friend said that ‘his parents’ would welcome Wendy into their home for the night.

Um . . . no.

With our common sense finally making an appearance, we demanded that our guide find us an open hotel AND pay for it, which he begrudgingly did. The next day—tired, poorer, but a bit wiser—we boarded the boat back to Spain, promising each other to never again speak of our adventure.

Sorry, Wendy, but it’s too good a story not to share!

Charity – Ha! That’s insane!! You are super lucky to be alive!!!! What a story. I couldn’t possibly beat that. Although…when I was in Israel, I think I got my picture taken with pretty much every single male soldier. It was fabulous.

— Stephanie took that one HANDS DOWN!

Charity 0 / Stephanie 1

2. Who was your celebrity crush when you were a teenager? Did you have posters?

Stephanie – I was quite a nerd as a teenager . . . in the 80s when being a nerd was not as cool as it is now. My crushes tended to be on fictional characters: Whoever I was reading at the time — Mr. Darcy, Gilbert Blythe, and Mr. Rochester come to mind.

Charity – Oh my. Yes, you were! haha. 🙂 I remember hiding my posters in the closet behind my clothes because my parents would never have let me have them. I had 2 Christian Slater posters and a Will Wheaton Toy Soldiers poster. Woot. I was cool.

5f986546175066a319f856fb8e46f33e wheaton-wil

— I am totally taking it! Hiding your hunks in your closet was too cool.

Charity 1 / Stephanie 1

3. Favorite summer song (this year)?

Stephanie – My favorite band is a blues/rock group called Vintage Trouble. Their new album, 1 Hopeful Rd., is awesome, especially ‘Doin’ What You Were Doin’”. Do yourself a favor and find them on YouTube.

Charity – Strange video, but I absolutely love Avicii.

— Tie

Charity 2 / Stephanie 2

4. Where you really good at folding notes like kids did in the 80’s (before texting was around). There were so many fancy ways to fold them!!!



Stephanie – I still have my notes from high school! Yes. We folded them so that we could slide them through the little grates in our friend’s lockers. It was way more fun than texting.

Charity – I loved them, but was never great at them!!

— Stephanie was the folding master…or so it would seem!

Charity 2 / Stephanie 3

5. Who, from the Bible (besides Jesus), are you most excited to meet when you get to Heaven.

Stephanie – Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Charity – It’s a toss up between David and Joseph.

— Tie

Charity 3 / Stephanie 4

6. Have you ever tried fried oreos? Pickles? anything like that? Strangest fair food you’ve eaten.

Stephanie – I’m from Minnesota and our fair is notorious for food on a stick. Anything you can eat, you can eat on a stick. I’ve had deep fried pickles on a stick, cheesecake on a stick, alligator on a stick, even macaroni and cheese on a stick! I love fair food but my favorite is always the roasted corn. It just tastes better at the fair.

Charity – Ok. Ew.

giphyI have had Fried Snickers, but…EW!

— No way I am winning that one!

Charity 3 / Stephanie 5

7. Favorite Reality Show?

Stephanie – We don’t watch TV much at our house. In fact, my kids say they are probably the only people in the U.S. who haven’t seen American Idol. I tell them “Congratulations, now you have something to complain about to your children.”

Charity – Oh. My. Word. hahaha!!! That’s so awesome.

Ok, I watch tv. Like…a lot. I love it. And, Survivor still steals my ❤


— Taking it!!

Charity 4 / Stephanie 5

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Stephanie – Through my writing is my first answer, but on further thought, I think we’re given plenty of small opportunities every day to do God’s will. If we “do small things with great love” we are glorifying God at all times.

Charity – truth

— God wins!

Charity 4 / Stephanie 5

9. Have you ever tried the “chubby bunnies” challenge with marshmallows? Pics?????

Stephanie – No. But my niece did it once at an assembly in front of her entire high school. She choked on a marshmallow and they had to give her the Heimlich and call the ambulance. How’s that for an embarrassing story?

Charity – What??? No way! These questions are so not planned!!! hahahaha.

— I cannot EVER compete with that chubby bunnies story!

Charity 4 / Stephanie 6

10. Favorite place you have visited? Why?

Stephanie – Scotland! Beautiful place, lovely people. The accent – I could listen to them read the dictionary and be happy. Most people don’t know that the food in Scotland is incredible. They are obsessed with fresh fish, game, locally grown produce, plus the scones are to die for! Every meal we had there was amazing.

Charity – Ok, fancy-pants world-traveler! That is cool and I wouldn’t have ever thought about Scotland for their food!!!!

— Fancy Lady


Charity 4 / Stephanie 7


Thank you, Stephanie!! That was insanely fun!6ddd0-530b9ea8e4b035db7175a1af

So, guess what?????? Stephanie told me, “We can let the winner choose which of my three books they’d like me to send.” Woo Hoo!!! Now that’s amazing!

Head on over to the Rafflecopter link and start entering!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*U.S. Rez only (We do love the rest of you too!)
**Entries will be checked

Good Luck!!

Face-Off with Jenny Moore

DSC_0061Hello, Jenny!! I am super excited to have this amazing lady on the blog today! Woot Woot!!

Jenny Moore is an award winning author with 7 books in print. She’s the winner of both the Golden Quill2015-08-29+20.17.08 and the Whitney Award in 2015. Winner+parchmentCheck out some of her books here:

Let’s get to it!


The rules are simple. I ask Jenny some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Favorite Regency Adaptation?

Jenny – As far as a period movie, my favorite is the BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. I especially appreciate how it remains true to the book—and ya know, Colin Firth. I also love Clueless, a modern adaption of Emma.

Charity – Ok, I love you. So many people have said the new Pride and Prejudice and I want to shudder. Rest assured, I never grant them a point for such a blunder.

— Jenny gets a point for answering correctly! ha 🙂

Charity 0 / Jenny 1

2. Favorite place to travel?

Jenny – Anywhere around the Mediterranean. I love Southern Spain, Greece, Italy. The people are beautiful and friendly and of course the weather’s warm. Turquoise blue water, rich history and delicious food. I could live on feta cheese, tapas, and black olives. Mmm…

Charity – ❤ Oh my word. You are well traveled, missy!! I really love the Mediterranean too. I spent some time in Israel and fell absolutely in love.

— Tie

Charity 1 / Jenny 2

3. Perfect Picnic?

Jenny – When I was a kid, my parents would go out of town and leave me and my siblings overnight with my grandparents. We had a fun tradition of driving through Wendy’s and going to Sugar House Park in SLC.SugarHousePark There was a place we found between a cluster of pine trees that we were sure nobody else knew about. My grandma brought blankeys to spread out, and in my memory we stayed for hours. It was like our own little world, shady, quiet, and just thinking about those times makes my heart warm.

Charity – Ok. I have no chance. That’s beautiful!!

— No contest.

Charity 1 / Jenny 3

4. What is your favorite cereal (yes, the one that you shouldn’t eat or ever admit to liking…)?

Jenny – Count Chocula!chocula People assume it’s the same as Cocoa Puffs, but that could not be farther from the truth. The marshmallows make it more chocolately, and the cereal is less crunchy, since it doesn’t have the same coating. I don’t like it too crunchy. My favorite way to eat it is with chocolate milk. Let the milk soak in and make the marshmallows soft and the cereal a little squishy, but not too soggy. And when the cereal’s all gone, you have extra chocolatey chocolate milk. Good think it’s not available all year or I’d probably have diabetes or weigh a thousand pounds.

Charity – Girl, you don’t have to sell me! I grew up eating that! yum yum! I really like Golden Grahams ❤

— Tie

Charity 2 / Jenny 4

5. Have you ever been scuba diving?

Jenny – Nope—too clausterphobic. Plus, I don’t want a fish to touch me. Have you? And if you have, I hope you took lots of pictures. It sounds awesome—but scary.

Charity – Absolutely not. The ocean terrifies me. Although, I might do better if it was clear water. We live on the east coast (Virginia) and the water here is basically black. yuck. Can’t see what’s swimming around your legs!!

— Tie

Charity 3 / Jenny 5

7. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Jenny – First and foremost, I’m a mom to four boys. Teaching them good principals that will make them into God-fearing, righteous men is my highest priority. I also feel a huge responsibility to write books that uplift. Books that I wouldn’t feel embarrassed to have my grandma or a young kid read.

Charity – Nice. I hear ya. I am a mom to three boys and my goal is to win their hearts to God.

— God wins!!

Charity 3 / Jenny 5

8. What is your favorite clothing store?

Jenny – My favorite is, of course, Nordstrom. And if I could afford it, I’d have an entire wardrobe from there. But since I can’t, the one I shop at most often is probably Down East Clothing. I love their cute skirts and cardigans, and their jeans fit like a dream.

Charity – Ohhh…I love Charming Charlies because their stores are color coded ❤ ❤ And, to make it ever better, SUPER CHEAP!!

Charming-Charlie-Interior NYC-store-orange-1

— So pretty, huh? I have to give myself that point. haha

Charity 4 / Jenny 5

9. Funniest movie?

Jenny – I don’t watch many movies. I’m more of a reader. But the first one that came to mind was The Mummy with Brendan Frasier. I love that show. Super cheesy and romantic and adorable. Plus, isn’t he so handsome?


Charity – I do love Brendan Frasier. He’s such a goober and adorable. One of my favorite movies is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.


— Mummy isn’t very funny…So, taking it!


Charity 5 / Jenny 5


Jenny – Ok, my turn.

What’s your worst fear?—and not a real, legitimate fear like a loved one being in a car accident. One of those that makes no sense, and you have no reason to actually worry about it, like a zombie apocalypse or Big Foot, or something.

 Mine is bears. When I was about 12,  I heard a man speak about being attacked by a grizzly bear and ever since, I’ve had nightmares about bears. When my family went to Yellowstone, I turned into a psycho. I was so scared that a bear would jump out of the woods while we were hiking. I drove everyone crazy, freaking out at every single noise. And it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. My kids go to scout camp and before they leave, they say, “Yeah, mom, we know…Watch for bears.” And so far none of them have ever seen one. EVER. And neither have I. Except at the zoo.

Charity – haha! Oh, man! That’s a great question. Hmm. I guess mine is pretty funny too. When I was little, it was during the cold war and my mom was always talking about Russian Spies. I thought that they were everywhere. She told us that they had the names of all Christians and wouldn’t hesitate to take us out. hahahaha. Oh man. I am still scared of Russia to this day!!!!!! 😮

So fun, Jenny! Thank you!!!! il_570xN.321850012

Time for a giveaway!! WOO HOO! This awesome lady is giving away one of her awesome books, Simply Anna. Just head on over to the Rafflecopter entry and start entering!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*U.S. Rez only! (We love the rest of you too! Sorry)

**Entries will be checked.

Good Luck!!

Face-Off with Stacy Henrie!!

stacy-henrie-selfStacy is IN THE HOUSE TODAY!!! Woot Woot!!

Wife of an entrepreneur husband and a stay-at-home mom to three, Stacy loves the chance to live out history through her fictional characters, while enjoying the modern conveniences of life in the 21st century. Her books include Hope at Dawn, a 2015 Romance Writers of America RITA finalist for excellence in romance.

and make sure you pick up for $1.99!

Let’s play, shall we??


The rules are simple. I ask Stacy some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Best DIY decoration you have made?

Stacy – My best DIY decorating project, to date, is the wall gallery in my bedroom. I feel pretty -1confident looking at something in a magazine or on Pinterest and mimicking the design, but this time, I came up with the configuration on my own. And I did it the right way – cutting out paper to represent the different picture frames and hanging them with painter’s tape – instead of my usual, “that looks about right, so now I’ll hammer the nail in.”

Charity – Wow!! Pretty fancy!! 10013645_10153946260915018_6185701436697944936_nOne of my favorites would be the wreaths I make. They are super easy and you can use any color. ❤ Love it!

— I think that Stacy’s wall is pretty amazing…

Charity 0 / Stacy 1

2. Have you ever milked a cow?

Stacy – Nope, I’ve never milked a cow. But I have a character in a short story of mine who milks a cow. Does that count?

Charity – Survey Says: survey-says-2013-09-25-at-9-46-55-pm-300x194I have totally milked a cow at my sister’s farm. Frightening  to pull on a teet…but it had to be done.

— I get it!!

Charity 1 / Stacy 1

3. Can you blow big bubbles with gum?

Stacy – Not super big ones, but I do like blowing bubbles with gum, even as a grownup.

Charity – I can! I can! I can get them as big as my face!!!!

— Woot Woot!

Charity 2 / Stacy 1

4. Who’s your favorite actor from another generation?

Stacy – Audrey Hepburn. I love how she could play a variety of characters and be believable in all of them.


Charity – Ohh!! Good one! I absolutely adore her. I’m going to have to go with Julie Andrews.


— Tie

Charity 3 / Stacy 2

5. What’s the best story you have about a mouse being in your house?

Stacy – No mice stories. But right before we moved out of our first house, we found a snake in the basement. My fearless sister came to catch it, but the snake she caught looked a little different than the one I’d seen. So my guess is we had TWO snakes down there. Thank goodness we were moving!

Charity – Oh. My. Gosh. I would die.

Last year, a mouse found its way into our home. He put out a million mouse traps with all kinds of delightful treats, but he was not to be tempted. After a couple of days of seeing him racing past, I heard him under my bed in the middle of the night. He was making a nest under there!!!!!!!!!! I almost had a heart attack. I put that sticky stuff down and he got stuck. HA! HAHAHAHA! I win.

— Taking it!

Charity 4 / Stacy 2

6. Have you ever been ding-dong-ditched? Or, done the ding-dong-ditching?

Stacy – We’ve been ding-dong-ditched once or twice. As far as doing the ding-dong-ditching, there’s been a few times we dropped off a treat on someone’s porch and wanted to keep our identity a surprise so we rang the doorbell and ran.

Charity – Nice!!! I have never been ding-dong-ditched, nor ding-dong-ditched someone else. As long as there wasn’t a bag of poop on fire, I guess you were probably ok.

— Stacy takes it!

Charity 4 / Stacy 3

7. Favorite movie from another time period?

Stacy – Gone with the Wind. Need I say more?

Charity – Hmm. That is a good one. There are just too many to pick!!!

-My Fair Lady (Which I totally got to see in the theater last month for it’s 50th anniversary)
-Singing in the Rain
-Sound of Music
-Meet Me In St. Louis

Too many!!!

— Tie

Charity 5 / Stacy 4

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Stacy – By remembering Him in faith, trust, and prayer and striving, however imperfectly, to live as He’s asked.

Charity – Love it

— God wins!

Charity 5 / Stacy 4

9. If you had to survive on one type of food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

Stacy – Bread! I don’t think I could ever get sick of eating bread.

Charity – Oh, yes please!!! I do love bread!! I would probably choose fruit…but you got me thinking.

— Stacy gets it because: pimg_203675_brot-german-bread_a

Charity 5 / Stacy 5

10. Would you be able to take care of yourself if you were the only person left on the earth?

Stacy – Yes, if there was still electricity and running water. If those things were gone, I’d be sunk!

Charity – Absolutely not. I am a total princess. 100% princess.

— Stacy pulled through!!!


Charity 5 / Stacy 6


Thank you, Stacy! So much fun!!!!! il_570xN.321850012

This lovely author is giving away a copy of her newest release!!! Just head on over to the Rafflecopter link and start entering!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*U.S. Rez only (We do love the rest of you too!)

**Entries will be checked

Good Luck!!

Face-Off with Gina Holmes!!

IMG_12931-199x300Hello, Gina!! So excited to have you here today!!!!

This lady has authored four inspiring books. Her first, Crossing Oceans, released with Tyndale in 2010 and was a Christy, Gold Medallion, Christian Book of the Year finalist and won an INSPY and Reader’s Choice Award. It has hit bestsellers lists on and off for years.

Check out her books here. Links are in the pics!

Crossing Oceans is only $1.99 for ebook!!

Screen shot 2015-11-02 at 7.37.27 AM

Let’s play!!


The rules are simple. I ask Gina some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever gone skiing? Is the ski lift really scary? NO seatbelts, right??


Gina – Yes, I love skiing, but I haven’t been for a very long time. I don’t remember any seat belts, but if that’s changed in recent years, I don’t know about it. I think skiing is the funnest thing to do in all the world. Ski lift scary? No, but you’re talking to someone who didn’t think skydiving was all that scary. The ski lift is serene. I guess it’s a little scary as the lift gets ready to touch down and you’re preparing to jump off as a bunch of other skiers look on, hoping you don’t trip and embarrass yourself. Oh yeah, and you do worry a little as you look down into the glare of the snow and see a bunch of hats, sunglasses and the occasional set of keys. If you drop something, you can kiss it goodbye. The finality of that…shiver!

Charity – Wait! HOLD THE PHONE! You went sky diving? WITHOUT ME?? I have always wanted to do that. (Watch video above to see her skydiving!!)

As far as a ski lift…I would be needing a change of pants once I got off. Whew. Seems so scary to be dangling so high above ground without any proper seatbelts or parachutes!

— Gina gets that one!

Charity 0 / Gina 1

2. Would you be able to live in a submarine? My Dad was a sub guy and said when they leave to go out for 6 months, they stack all the cans of food on the floors so everyone has to bend down to walk. As the time goes on, the “floors” get a lot of holes in them, so you have to watch your step…


Gina – Oh man, that sounds like pure torture to me. Your dad’s tougher than me. I like being cozy, but crowded freaks me out. I guess you would get used to it, but I certainly wouldn’t sign up for that assignment–unless I’d be trapped with a bunch of writers and we could store books in the holes in the floor . . . nah, still wouldn’t.

Charity – Sounds like a nightmare to me too. Being stuck under water in a tube. ack.

— Tie

Charity 1 / Gina 2

3. What’s your favorite song to work out to?

Gina – My husband is a musician and his song, Red Zone, is awesome! It’s all about speed baby! (Not the drug, to clarify. We just say no to blow for the record.

Charity – haha! That’s awesome!! (And, for the record…I did try to get a download of that song to share with you guys but they are in the process of getting it recorded and sold! woot!!)

Ok, my favorite song to work out to….

Who am I kidding. I don’t workout!!!!

— Gina gets it!

Charity 1 / Gina 3

4. Worst celebrity: Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber (The Beebs)?


Gina – I find them both very lost. I guess if I could make one go away from the public eye, and only one, it would be Kardashian. Her nudity everywhere is gross and a shame. In all honesty, they’ve both crossed my prayers at some point.

Charity – I completely agree with you. They are so lost and sad inside. Breaks my heart. I also agree that I would want the Kardashians (and their significant others) to go out of the public eye. Horrid.

— Tie

Charity 2 / Gina 4

5. Would you ever go to a bodybuilder competition? What kind of people are in the audience, I wonder…

Gina – I’d go to one if I had a good reason–like my son was competing and wanted me to support him or they were giving out free books or something. I think it’s a fine pursuit. Probably the people who are into those competitions wonder what kind of people would attend a book festival. Different strokes for different folks.

Charity – Hmm. I would be terrified to see my sons up on stage competing! haha. It scares me a bit…Not gonna lie.

— Gina is much more gracious and kind!

Charity 2 / Gina 5

6. Most romantic movie?

Gina – The Notebook! Who doesn’t want a guy who will hang off a ferris wheel for her?


Charity – That was sweet…but I am more of a sucker for the “stand by your side no matter what” guy….and historical genres.

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— Tie

Charity 3 / Gina 6

7. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Gina – There are a couple of verses I try (and often fail) to live by: Whatever you do for the least of these, you do also for Me and Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Those verses run through my head constantly. Whether I’m nursing, (which is my day job), writing a novel that will point to God’s truths or raising up my children to follow Christ.

Charity – Love it!

— God wins!

Charity 3 / Gina 6

8. Have you ever gone hunting?

Gina – No, but I would. It’s my personal belief that if you’re going to take something’s life though, be a good steward. Just killing something for fun and not putting it to good use, or being disrespectful isn’t cool. You can bet if I or my family was starving, I’d be stalking a deer. If I were an animal, I’d rather live my life free, and die by a hunter’s hand then in crowded captivity in a slaughter house. Boy, this conversation just took a turn.

Charity – ha! Yes, it did. It’s all good though. I completely agree with you. It’s not my sort of hobby, but I wouldn’t hesitate to do it if I needed to for our family to have food.

— Tie

Charity 4 / Gina 7

9. Favorite woman in the Bible?

Gina – Esther. I love her story. She was plucked out of obscurity for a reason. She was afraid, for good reason, but rose to the occasion to help save her people. God seems to like using cowards to be His hero. I love that!

Charity – Absolutely! This is a really difficult question for me. I think there were so many amazing women. I think of Hagar and all she had to deal with. Deborah fascinates me. What kind of solid teenager was Mary to be chosen as the mother of Jesus? I really don’t even know how to answer this!!

— Too many!


Charity 5 / Gina 8


Thanks, Gina!! So fun getting to know you better 🙂 il_570xN.321850012

I am super happy to tell you that Gina is giving away one of her books!!!! Woot Woot!! Just head on over to the rafflecopter link and start entering!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*U.S. Rez only (Sorry! We do love the rest of you too!)
*Entries will be checked

Good Luck!!

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