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!!

A Respectable Actress

by Dorothy Love

I have been looking forward to reading this book because so many people told me it was amazing. Not only that, but it’s one of Amazon’s “best of the month”. Screen shot 2015-11-02 at 7.37.27 AM So, I was ready!!

India Hartley is an actress who is accused of murder. Because of the reputation of actresses, the residents of Savannah, Georgia have prematurely made up their minds about her guilt. Proving her innocence is up to famed lawyer, Phillip Sinclair.

This book was pretty well done. It is a historic novel and she definitely knows her history. I did think that the relationship between India and Phillip was a bit forced. I didn’t really “feel” them falling in love and the kisses seemed to come out of nowhere!! I also felt like the supporting characters were not well written. Other than that, it was a good read. It kept my attention and I felt drawn to the main character. I would definitely recommend as a light and fun read.

Thank you, Litfuse, for giving me this book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

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.

11190928_ori MV5BMTM4MjExMDk3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTU3OTMwMw@@._V1_SX640_SY720_

— 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!!

Face-Off with Anne Mateer!!

71-GzOg5HhL._UX250_Welcome, Anne!!! I am super excited to get to know this lovely and sweet lady!! Her love for God is absolutely amazing. It just “oozes” out of her. haha. Yes, that is a compliment in my weird and strange way 🙂

Anne has completed eight novels, had several pieces published in local periodicals, attended six writing conferences and finaled in ACFW’s Genesis contest in 2006, 2008, and 2009. She currently has four historical novels published: Wings of a Dream, At Every Turn (a 2013 Carol Award finalist), A Home for My Heart and Playing by Heart. She also has a contemporary short story included in 2014’s A Cup of Christmas Cheer, Vol. 4.

<— Wings of a Dream is only .99¢ for ebook!

Check out some of her awesome reads!! Links are in the pics.

Let’s play!!


The rules are simple. I ask Anne 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. What era would have been the hardest to live in?

Anne – Hm. That’s hard, because I love so many historical eras even while I realize I couldn’t live in any of them! But I guess I would have to say the hardest would have been those B.C. years, living in Old Testament times.

Charity – Oi…you aren’t a-kidding!! All that raw sewage in the streets. ack. I think the medieval times would have been horrible. So dirty and women were no better than animals. *shudder*

— Tie!!

Charity 1 / Anne 1

2. What hymn is your favorite? Why?

Anne – I do love Be Thou my Vision, but I also have a huge love of On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand (whatever the actual title is!). In fact, I used that one in my most recent book, Playing by Heart. 

Charity – I have always really loved It is Well ❤ So many of them are amazing though. I can’t even decide!!!

— Another tie!

Charity 2 / Anne 2

3. Do you like your birthstone?

Anne – Love it! My birthday is February, so my stone is an amethyst. I have some lovely amethyst jewelry, some inherited from my grandmother who also had a February birthday. (And since I have 2 nieces with February birthdays, I guess they’ll get the pieces after me.) The only other stone I prefer is a sapphire. So yes, I’m quite happy. 🙂

amethyst2 Sapphire_ring

Charity – Ohhh!! I do love that. It’s so beautiful! Mine is Opal and I really adore it. I’m an October girl!! My second favorite is August’s stone, Peridot.

Opal3.89ct peridot-raw

— I suppose we tie again!! Both happy with our birthstones!!

Charity 3 / Anne 3

4. How do you feel about decorating with wall decals? For teenagers, or for the whole family?


Anne – They are kind of cool. I’d definitely be okay with them for kid or teen rooms. It would have to be just the right thing for other areas.

Charity – Oh!! I LOVE them!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

— Hmm. We aren’t getting anywhere!!

Charity 4 / Anne 4

5. Do you like riding roller coasters? Favorite one?

Anne – No! I’m a huge scaredy cat anyway, and I on top of that don’t like heights or going really fast. However, I have ridden more than my fair share of roller coasters in my life and still sometimes do when it’s a family thing–such as our trip to Disney World when our 3 kids were teenagers and they decided the family motto for that week would be “everyone rides everything.” I just gutted up and did it, but I don’t really consider roller coasters “fun.”

Charity – Oh no!! I love them, but I am way too old. I know I don’t look it, but I truly have an old body. When I go on those, I am stiff for a week and can hardly move. so awful!! I do love them though!! My favorite is the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster in Disney’s MGM. It goes from 0-60mph in 2 seconds. Whew!!!!

— Guess we were meant to tie?!?!?!

Charity 5 / Anne 5

6. Coolest DIY project you’ve done. Pics?

Anne – I’m so not a DIY girl! I’ve tried, but things just turn out wonky. Kind of like my attempts at cooking. I’m much better at thinking and talking than doing.

Charity – 🙂 haha. My proudest DIY was a room that we added onto our house. It’s so pretty!!!


— I get that one!!!!!!

Charity 6 / Anne 5

7. Have you ever seen a shark in the ocean?

Anne – Thank heavens, no! Sharks are just one reason I don’t really like going in the ocean (See answer number 5!), though I do love sitting on a beach (on a chair, under an umbrella, preferably with someone to brink me a cold drink.) I have been snorkeling a few times and enjoyed that, but I never stray too far from the boat so that I can make a getaway should I see a shark!

Charity – Yikes!! I haven’t seen one in the water either. I have seen them on the beach. *shudder and shudder* I am terrified of the ocean!!!!

— Another tie!

Charity 7 / Anne 6

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

Anne – Obeying Him, plain and simple. I know He is glorified in that, even if no one else notices.

Charity – I absolutely love that. It is so simple and soooo true!!! ❤

— God wins!!

Charity 7 / Anne 6

9. Favorite recipe?

Anne – Not a super great cook, either! (See answer number 6!) I can make a few simple dinners, but one thing I have learned to get right every single time is pumpkin pie. I use my grandmother’s recipe:
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cups (16 oz can) solid pack pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine ingredients in order given. Mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake 15 min. Lower oven temp to 350 for 45 minutes. Done with knife to center comes out clean.

Charity – NOTHING beats a Grandmother’s recipe!! I am not even going to attempt it!

–Grandma’s recipe!

Charity 7 / Anne 7

10. Who is your favorite actor?

Anne – Another hard one! I tend to like the long-ago actors, of which Cary Grant has always been my favorite. Several others run a close second. A handsome man that makes me laugh melts my heart every time.

circa 1940: British born actor Cary Grant (1904 - 1986), born Archibald Leach in Bristol, wielding a cigarette holder. (Photo by John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

Charity – Oh, boy! I hear ya!!! I love so many of the old actors. The fact that they wore suits everywhere added to their amazing image. So many greats like Rex Harrison, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen…

I think one of the best modern actors has to be Tom Hanks. That man can make you believe he is anyone.

ARCHIV: US-Schauspieler Tom Hanks posiert in Beverly Hills (Foto vom 18.06.11). Fuer Hanks waren die Dreharbeiten zu "Cloud Atlas" ein ganz besonderes Erlebnis. "Als Filmliebhaber in Babelsberg zu arbeiten ist wie ein Traum", sagte der 56-Jaehrige im dapd-Gespraech. Dort seien all die grossen deutschen Filme des Expressionismus entstanden, etwa Fritz Langs "M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Moerder" oder "Der blaue Engel" mit Marlene Dietrich. "Fuer mich sind Filmstudios wie Kirchen: Sie stecken voller Geschichte", sagte Hanks. (zu dapd-Text) Foto: Matt Sayles/AP/dapd

— Another tie!!


Charity 8 / Anne 8


This was wonderful!!! Thank you so much, Anne! il_570xN.321850012

Ok, people!! Guess what?? Anne is offering a giveaway of her first book!! All you have to do is 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 Erin Healy!!

bio_picHello, Erin! I am super excited to have this fun lady here today. The cool thing is that her book, Hiding Places, was highlighted this month by Thomas Nelson and Zondervan’s The Fiction Guild. 

Erin is the bestselling co-author of Burn and Kiss (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning fiction editor for numerous bestselling authors. She is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development, and she is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Academy of Christian Editors.

Let’s play!!!


The rules are simple. I ask Erin 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. Scariest “ghost” story or encounter? (Notice that “ghost” is in quotation marks so that people can interpret that as they will).

Erin – When I was a newlywed and my husband was out of town, I was working in our bedroom one night and our dog sat up and started growling at the corner of the room. There was nothing visible there–no spider, no bug, no shadow, nothing to explain it. Not even any disturbances outside. This went on for quite a long time. Long enough to make me stop my work and start praying and turn on every light in our little town home.

Charity – Oh my stars!!!! I would have had a heart attack!! When my sister and I were little, we both saw a skeleton in our closet with a red hat. hahaha. Totally freaky, but we both remember it to this day!

— Creepy tie!

Charity 1 / Erin 1

2. Have you ever had a strange pet (not like a dog or cat….)

Erin – I have a pink dragon named Sookie. Some people think she is just a plush toy, but when we are not looking she raids the house for keys, pens, and school paperwork. Her favorite trinkets include half pairs of earrings and half pairs of socks. I got her in high school. When I went to college my parents told me to take her away and never bring her home again. Though she’s lived with me for 25 years, she still hasn’t divulged her treasure lair to me.

No, she does not breathe fire.

Charity – Wow. I have no words.

— Erin!

Charity 1 / Erin 2

3. Favorite scary movie?

Erin – Believe it or not, I hate scary movies. But if your question were “most hated scary movie?” I would have to say Cape Fear. The one Robert De Niro was in. I actually never finished watching it and had nightmares for a long time.

Charity – Ohhh! I love scary movies. I know they can be cheesy, but my favorites are anything by M. Night Shamalama-ding-dong. So fun!!!!!!

— Me!!!!!!!

Charity 2 / Erin 2

4. Have you ever been under a waterfall? Pics?

Erin – Yes, the time I was being chased by diamond thieves in Africa. It was a narrow escape. Sadly, no time for pics.

Charity – 😮 How can I compete with that?

— A narrow and daring escape.

Charity 2 / Erin 3

5. Coolest place you have traveled to?

Erin – Since I must confess I have never been to Africa or stood behind a waterfall, I will say . . . Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. It wasn’t that the castle itself was so spectacular, but that I was there for their annual Royal Military Tattoo, an event for which military bands from all over the world come to perform. Listening to your nations’ treasured songs being played by servicemen and women in a foreign country is a uniquely patriotic experience that I will probably never forget.

I have also been to Auschwitz, a visit I made while the Iron Curtain was still hanging. That was “cool” in the sense of having a bucket of ice water thrown in your face on a frigid day. But this too falls into the category of unforgettable, emotional experiences.

Charity – Wow!!! Both of those are intense!!!!

— No chance!

Charity 2 / Erin 4

6. First place you saw your books selling at?

Erin – Facebook. A reader rearranged some store’s shelf so my book was face-out and posted a picture.

Charity – No way! So cool.

— Didn’t have a chance on that one either…

Charity 2 / Erin 5

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

Erin – The past few years I have tried to bring God glory by giving up the “striving” component. This has been a unique kind of journey away from Western ideals of accomplishment and toward a different sense of identifying and nurturing God’s image in me–and in others. Thomas Merton says it best: “A tree gives glory to God first of all by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be, it is imitating an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree. The more it is like itself, the more it is like Him. If it tried to be something else which it was never intended to be, it would be less like God and therefore it would give Him less glory. No two trees are alike. And their individuality is no imperfection.”

Charity – Nice.

— God wins!

Charity 2 / Erin 5

8. Do you have any strange, totally useless skills?

Erin – I can read and write upside down? (Upside down being either me or the page.) Actually, that’s not totally useless. I have a child who’s still learning to read and write.

Charity – Pretty impressive!! But…check this out:

— That was GINORMOUS!!!!

Charity 3 / Erin 5

9. Have you ever had goat milk?

Erin – Once. And I have forgotten all the other details of that moment. I’m an almond milk kind of girl.

Charity –

— Can’t even stand the smell!!!

Charity 4 / Erin 5

10. Strangest fan encounter?

Erin – My book covers generally originate from stock photos. One of them was taken by a Portuguese photographer, who wrote to me a Google translated letter because he so happy to see a picture he had taken on a book . . . and so sad, because the photo was of his ex-girlfriend, whom he had desperately loved. Somehow I ended up feeling as if my book had intruded on his personal life.

Charity – OMGosh! That is wild!!!!


Charity 4 / Erin 6


Thank you, Erin! Lots of fun 🙂 il_570xN.321850012

Guess what??? YEP! Want a fun and intense read? Erin has offered up a giveaway of her new release, Hiding Places!!

Just head on over to the rafflecopter link and start entering! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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


by Dina Sleiman

Dina has knocked it out of the park again! Following Allen’s heartbreak, in book one of the Valiant Hearts series, he decides to strike out on his own. Recently being knighted and wanting to make a good impression, he signs up to joust in the upcoming festival of Edendale.

Gwendolyn is all rough and tumble and nothing of the prissy lady that she is supposed to be. Her parents try to put her in a box of feminism to which she vehemently rebels. She wants nothing of marriage and being held back.

Of course, we have the beautiful making of a true love story with lots of awesome girl power! Dina is the queen of girl power and I love it! Depth, adventure and lots of fun. I highly recommend it. It’s written as a YA novel, but I think it’s fun for all ages.

Thank you, Dina and Bethany House, for this great read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

If you would like to see my fun face-off with Dina, just click HERE!!

Face-Off with Deborah Raney!!

I am so excited to have Deborah here today! She is so much fun!!!!

Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her books have since won the RITA Award, ACFW Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers’ Choice Award, and have—three times—been Christy Award finalists.

Impressed yet? Whew!! I am!!

You can check out some of her great reads here:

Let’s play!!


The rules are simple. I ask Deborah 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. What new breed of dog would be the cutest? What two would you mix? And…What would you call it?

Deborah – Well, every breed I thought I’d come up with, when I googled it, turned out to be a real breed! But I like my names better! What is now called a Cockapoo (cocker spaniel poodle mix) I would call a Cockadoodle. And what is called a Chi-Spaniel, a cocker spaniel chihuahua mix, I would call a Cockahuahua (pronounced COCK-a-wah-wah). That’s all I got! LOL!

Charity – Oh man!! haha. I love it!!! Cockahuahua is awesome!!!!

Ok…I got it:

+ =

Pug + Chinese Crested = is the Pugese

— I thing that I found the worst breed…

Charity 1 / Deborah 0

2. Have you ever been in the middle of a tornado? If so, what happened??

Deborah – Yes! I live in Kansas—tornado alley! Our town of Hesston was hit by a tornado in 1990, the year our youngest daughter was born. The town was devastated, and two lives were lost in the state in that tornado that traveled for 48 miles and was a quarter mile wide at its strongest. And yet, through that, we saw how a town could pull together and come back even better and stronger after the storm.


Charity – Oh my word! No way. That’s insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— I didn’t have a chance…

Charity 1 / Deborah 1

3. What’s the worst type of soup?

Deborah – I’ll have to go with chilled borscht. Cold soup just should not be, nor should beets be made into soup!

Charity – I think I just threw up in my mouth.

I know that I am not going to “beet” you (wow, that was REALLY bad), but I have to go with the idea of eating peas…in any way, shape or form, is of the devil!!!

— Deborah got that one for sure…

Charity 1 / Deborah 2

4. What was your favorite song when you were in high school?

Deborah – Oh, dear…I’m really going to date myself here, but I have to say “We’ve Only Just Begun” sung by the late, great Karen Carpenter, who I believe had the most beautiful, crystal clear voice I’ve ever heard. “We’ve Only Just Begun” is a wedding song and I definitely had stars in my eyes all through high school.

Charity – Oh no!!!!! I was tortured by the Carpenters in my youth. We would go “youth group roller skating” and they played 4-5 Carpenter songs on a loops for the entire 3 hours every month. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My favorite…Ok, this is really embarrassing.

— Hiding in shame

Charity 2 / Deborah 3

5. Fun memory from childhood?

Deborah – My dad was a farmer and used to grow a crop called sudan, a sorghum crop that he used to feed cattle in the winter. It grew a lot like a cornfield with high rows of stalks, and my three sisters and my brother and I used to have a blast playing in the field. We would mash down “rooms” and trails throughout the rows of sudan and create mazes and secret passageways that covered a quarter of a mile! Think Field of Dreams or Signs (without the sheer terror). Even though I’m sure we destroyed significant portions of the harvest, my dad never complained…well, until we mashed down an auditorium once. Then he did put his foot down. 😉

thumb_PICT0034_1024Cute pic of Deborah!!

Charity – Oh my gosh! SO fun!!!!!!!!!!!

I remember doing a lot of fun things. We had a home church that was pretty big and always had people over. Every Sunday afternoon we would have a bunch of people for lunch after church and we would sit around the giant dining room table with piano benches and whatever we could find to squeeze in. My Dad always told really fun stories and we just laughed and feasted. ❤ Food and Fun ❤

<— Frightening pic of me with the pink skirt.

— Tie

Charity 3 / Deborah 4

6. Naughtiest thing you did as a child and got in trouble for?

Deborah – Oh, my! I remember coming home from a trip to town with brand new shiny patent leather Sunday shoes and wearing them directly out to the muddy, muddy pig pen! My sister and I instantly sunk into that stinky muck up to our ankles and we were in SO much trouble when my mom discovered what we’d done! Spankings for both of us. To this day, I don’t know WHAT we were thinking!

Charity – HAHAHAHA! Oh man! That is awful!!!! I bet she did give you a whoopin’!!!!

I was a nightmare child. I mean, seriously. Well, I was actually really good until I turned tween. haha. It was always about the boys at that point.

One time our youth group went to a lock-in at the local YMCA with another youth group (the same one we roller skated with). They were a really strict yg. Well, my mom told me, before I even went, that I better not play music, cards, or anything that could offend them. She was nervous…rightfully so! Well, I got a rousing game of cars going with a bunch of kids and my mom found out. Needless to say, I always caused drama wherever I went. My punishment was not fun because she made me wait a few weeks while she decided on the appropriate one. hahaha.

— Sunday Shoes in the Pig Pen? Might take the cake.

Charity 3 / Deborah 5

7. What’s your favorite movie that you wouldn’t want anyone to know you watch? (Because it would be really embarrassing)

Deborah – LOL! I don’t know if you could embarrass me about this because I always had the excuse, “Well, my kids want to watch it, so I’d better check it out to see if it’s decent.” I think I’d have to name Napoleon Dynamite as the one I wouldn’t want anyone to know I watched because I sat through the whole thing and it was SOOOOO stupid!

Charity – WHA???? No way that should be embarrassing!!! It is the most quotable movie of all time. Period. It even beats The Princess Bride…which is a sheer miracle.

“Make yourself a dang quesadilla, Napoleon!!”
“How would you like a round-house kick to the face in these bad boys?”
“My lips hurt real bad!”
“Are you drinking 1% milk because you think you’re fat? Because, you could be drinking whole if you wanted!”
“Your mom goes to college!”
“Your just jealous because I’ve been home chatting online with babes all day.”

I could go on and on!

I think the one I am most reluctant to admit would be the Twilight series… *nervous giggle* I love those ❤


Charity 3 / Deborah 6

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

Deborah – I think I use my God-given gifts most gloriously as a wife, mom, and “Mimi.” (NOT that I’m so great in those roles, but that I cherish the roles so much.) I also think one of my traits that brings God glory is my cheerful spirit. I suppose my cheeriness drives a few people nuts, but I hope most people see it as a direct reflection of how grateful I am for God’s blessings in my life, and how much I want to reflect His joy and peace.

Charity –

— God wins!

Charity 3 / Deborah 6

9. Favorite pair of shoes that you own?

Deborah – I am really, really not a shoe person. If I could go barefoot every day of my life, I would! I probably only wear shoes for 10 hours out of each week. Socks in the winter, yes, but shoes only if absolutely required by law—or freezing Kansas weather. Right now, my yoga sandals are what I wear if I just must wear shoes. They may not look comfy with leather between all my toes, but they are! Next best thing to being barefoot.


Charity – Nice! I am not sure about my favorite. I have a lot that I love.

I am a shoe person. Love them!!! These are a couple that I <3!

and saving the best for last:

— I’m taking it!!!!

Charity 4 / Deborah 6

10. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Deborah – Can I say neither? I’m so not a sci-fi/fantasy person, even though my husband REQUIRED me to read Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan and John Carter of Mars before he would marry me. And I DID enjoy those books, but that’s just not what I would choose to read (or watch on film). If I have to choose something along those lines, I’d go with Lost in Space, a favorite show from childhood.

Charity – I am not really a sci-fi gal either, BUT, I do enjoy the Star Wars movies. The newer Star Trek movies are OK too. I would definitely go with SW though.

— TAKING IT! Two words: Han Solo


Charity 5 / Deborah 6

b3667-i_lost_the_game_button-p145927742900468090t5sj_400but almost made a comeback!!!!!!

Deborah – And now, a question for you!

11. If you had to only eat ONE food the rest of your life, what would it be? (Nutrition and money are no objects…we’re going taste only here.)

Deborah – Ice cream, of course!! But honestly, potato chips might be a close second! And if I could dip my potato chips in ice cream? Pure heaven!)

Charity – Ohhhh…tough one! I am a girl that delights in change. If I was stuck with one thing I might die!!!!!!! I would absolutely have to go with fruit. It’s my favorite thing to eat…follow VERY closely by chips.

Thank you, Deborah! I had so much fun with this face-off!!!il_570xN.321850012 You are the best and welcome back any time!!!!!

Ok, peeps!! This lady is giving away one of her books!!!! woot woot!!!

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

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Face-Off with Shelley Shepard Gray!!

Yes, you read that correctly!!! Shelley Shepard GRAY is here toDAY!

Shelley has sold over forty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Abingdon Press. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Head on over to Amazon and pick up one of these awesome reads:

Let’s get to it!


The rules are simple. I ask Shelley 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. What’s your go-to hairstyle when you are in a rush?

Shelley – I pin my hair up. I have fairly long hair, it’s past my shoulders. I rarely wear it down because it’s so much trouble!

Charity – I usually throw it into a braid and then pin it up into a fancy looking bun that takes 12 seconds…

— Low maintenance!! (Everyone that knows me just snorted out loud when I said “low maintenance”. Guess I shouldn’t try to get that point.)

Charity 0 / Shelley 1

2. Could you live Amish for a month?

Shelley – Nope. I love writing about the Amish, but I also love my electricity, computer, cell phone, and Kindle.

Charity – Oh man. Me either!!!

— Tie

Charity 1 / Shelley 2

3. Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish?

Shelley – No, which is surprising, since I grew up going to Galveston a lot.

Charity – Wha??? I haven’t ever met someone that hasn’t been stung…that I know of! Outrageous!!

— I have!!!

Charity 2 / Shelley 2

4. Worst camping story?

Shelley – The only camping I’ve ever done was when I taught 5th and 6th grade. We were in cabins. I was with other teachers, not students, and we also had electricity, so we had fans, hair dryers, coffee pots, and curling irons. Hmm. I’m starting to think this means I haven’t actually ever been camping.

Charity – Oh man. We went camping over Memorial Day Weekend one year. There were ticks just falling out of the trees like rain. It was AWFUL!!!!!!!

I have the shivers just thinking about it!!!

— You didn’t have a bad one! haha 🙂

Charity 3/ Shelley 2

5. A fun story about you and your spouse?

Shelley – We met in our dorm’s cafeteria when we both got sent to summer school before our freshmen year in college. I fell in love at first sight. Tom? Not so much. We’ve been together since, and that was over 30 years ago.

Charity – Ha!! My hubby took some time too. What’s wrong with these men!?????

— Tie

Charity 4 / Shelley 3

6. Who was your favorite Looney Tunes character? Who was your least favorite?

Shelley – Tweety Bird was my favorite. I don’t know if I have a least favorite! Maybe Road Runner? I’ve always kind of been stickler for following the rules. Ha!

Charity – Nice 🙂 I don’t know who I liked the most! I know that I hated Bugs Bunny!! Oh, he’s so mean!!!!!

— Shelley had hers ready!!

Charity 4 / Shelley 4

7. Best cereal you ate as a child?

Shelley – Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. I also was (and still am) a hug fan of Poptarts. Obviously, I never really embraced that whole healthy breakfast thing.

Charity – Soooo awesome! That was my favorite too!!! Now, it is so nasty. It leaves this gross film in my mouth. *shudder*

— Tie

Charity 5 / Shelley 5

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

Shelley – I write about people in different stages of their faith journey. I like to imagine that I show that anyone, at anytime in his or her life, can have a true relationship with God.

Charity – Thank God!! I came to Him later in life…whew!! What a trainwreck I was!!!

— God wins!!

Charity 5 / Shelley 5

9. Ever been on a cruise? How was it? Seasick?

Shelley – I think I’ve been on 15 cruises. I love cruising, love to travel. And nope, I never get sea sick.

Charity – 15 CRUISES!!! 😮

I can’t imagine. I would love to go on ONE!!

— Shelley definitely gets that one!

Charity 5 / Shelley 6

10. Who is your favorite rat pack member?


Shelley – Dean Martin! Love him! sigh.

Charity – Oh man…He is something…but, FRANK?? What about Frank???



Charity 6 / Shelley 6

Thanks, girl! It was a blast 🙂

(Mini) Face-Off with Dana Mentik

Guess who is here today? Woot Woot!!

Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and a two time ACFW Carol Award winner. Carol_Award_Gold_-_no_base_transparent_backgroundHer suspense novel,  Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She is honored to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired, Harlequin Heartwarming, and Harvest House Publishers.

Check out a few of her books here:

Let’s do this!!


The rules are simple. I ask Dana 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. Do you have a re-occuring nightmare?

Dana – I used to have a recurring nightmare that I fell down a flight of stairs. This is probably fitting as I am a huge klutz. I can trip over nothing at all, let alone fall down stairs. Fortunately, I live in a one story house now! Whew!

Charity – Oh, girl…I hear ya! I fall going UP the stairs.

My nightmare is always that I can’t do something. Like, I am trying to make a call and I just can’t do it!!! Or, I’m trying to put something away, and I just can’t get the cabinet open. Things like that. It’s horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!

— Tie

Charity 1 / Dana 1

2. Have you ever had anyone that you met on the internet fly to visit you?

Dana – Well, I guess you could say my agent and I “met” online when he turned me down for representation a few times. Eventually we met at a conference and we’ve seen each other in person many times after that. Hubs and I drove up to Oregon last summer for a strategy session with him. (He finally signed me, the lucky ducky! Ha!)

Charity – Oh man!! Nice 🙂 When I was in my early twenties, the internet was new and all the rage. I met a few guys from other countries and…three of them flew here to hang out!! Canada, Ireland and Israel!! I stayed great friends with two of them. One actually moved here and is a great friend of the family. Totally bizarre, I know…

— I am taking it!!!

Charity 2/ Dana 1

3. Favorite Vacation Spot?

Dana – My fave vacation spot is probably Yosemite. It truly is a jewel of our state. Incredible scenery and wildlife. You can watch the sturdier people climbing Half Dome and such. It is a strong visual reminder of just how mighty is our God, to make such a breathtaking place.

Charity – Oh!! I have always wanted to go there!!!!!!!!!!!! I live on the East Coast, so…it’s a little trickier.

— Dana definitely gets that one!


Charity 2 / Dana 2

20130805_its_a_tie_taDana – Okay! Now it’s your turn, Charity! What’s your favorite hobby and why do you enjoy it?

Charity – Oh, that’s a no brainer…It’s not called “Retail Therapy” for nothing!!!!!!!!

Thanks, Dana!! il_570xN.321850012It’s always fun to get to know you guys a little better. (Even if we just did an abbreviated face-off!!)

This wonderful lady has offered to give away a copy of her NOT YET RELEASED book!!!

Just head on over to the Rafflecopter link and start entering!!!

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Face-Off with Christine Johnson!!

Christine Johnson is HERE TODAY!!!! I am really excited to get to know her a bit more.

When I went on vacation this year, I read Love’s Rescue in the first couple of days. (I usually nap… so, that’s saying something!!) Loved it. You can check out my review HERE!

Screen shot 2015-10-13 at 5.54.41 PMChristine was featured in Southern Writers Magazine and she was also a finalist for the Romance Writer’s of America’s Golden Heart® award.

Check out some of her books here:

Let’s Play!


1. Coldest winter in Michigan?

Christine –All of them! Seriously. I hate winter. All 6-8 months of it. The longies come out when it hits 50 degrees. But thanks to hubby, I’m blessed, blessed, blessed to spend half of each winter in the Florida Keys. Yeah, I know. I’m ducking the tomatoes as we speak.

Charity – Oh my word!! That is amazing! I want a summer house in another state. So fun!

— Dumb question. I don’t live in Michigan and have never spent a summer there!! Couldn’t possibly win that one…

Charity 0 / Christine 1

2. Favorite holiday tradition?

Christine –My favorite holiday has to be Thanksgiving because the whole family gets together and there’s no extra pressure of running around here and there. The stuffing is my favorite part. Without that, it’s not Thanksgiving. This holiday is a symbol of undying hope for area football fans. Maybe this year the Detroit Lions will win.

Charity – 😮 Hmm. I don’t know…They aren’t looking too good!! Of course, I am not too torn up about it…

Let’s see…So many holiday traditions. I think Black Friday is one of my favorites. Hubby and I make a whole night of shopping. We have so much fun. We decide to enjoy it and not get stressed. So, when the crazies come upon us, we just laugh.

— Tie

Charity 1 / Christine 2

3. Can you sail?

Christine –Bwahahaha. If you asked hubby, who has a master mariner’s license, the answer is a huge NO. I can operate a tiller, and most of the time go in the right direction. There was that time hubby went belowdecks, and a sudden gust heeled the boat over hard. I held onto that tiller for dear life and ended up spinning 360’s across the bay, screaming the whole way. He was laughing so hard that he couldn’t talk me down from my total panic. But hey, the boat stayed upright. That’s a plus, right?

Charity – Ahhhh!!! hahahaha. I am just picturing that in my mind and laughing!! There’s no way I can win this point after that story (plus…I don’t sail). I don’t blame your hubby. I would have been laughing so hard too!!

— Christine!!

Charity 1 / Christine 3

4. Have you ever done historical re-enacting?

Christine –If you count donning medieval garb for a Renaissance Festival, yes. But that was just for fun, if you call cold and rainy fun. I gained a whole new perspective on what it was like trudging around in those long gowns and sandals. When I peeled off the mud-caked clothes later, I had mud all the way to my knees. On the plus side, those gowns are totally warm.

Charity – That sounds fun!! I have always wanted to do that. I have done Revolutionary War, Civil War and Regency re-enacting. Love the dresses. I wish we stilled wore beautiful dresses and women were feminine. ❤

— I am taking it! woot woot 🙂

Charity 2 / Christine 3

5. Favorite movie?

Christine –Okay, I can’t pick. Aside from the fact that my favorite changes constantly, I can’t limit it to one. Which movies on tv will make me stop and watch even though I’ve seen them a dozen times? Apollo 13, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Cast Away. Yeah, I’m sensing a Tom Hanks theme here.

Charity – You and me both, girl. You and me both. And, yes, I do love a good Tom Hanks movie. He’s a BRILLIANT actor!!

My favorite(s)? Sense and Sensibility, Austenland, Pride and Prejudice. Hmm…I’m sensing a pattern of my own.

— Tie

Charity 3 / Christine 4

6. Favorite major city? Why?

Christine –I’m so not a city girl. Usually one visit is enough, and then I want to go home. If favorite equates to most-visited, then it’s Chicago. Love the museums. On the other hand my favorite visit was definitely Rome. I loved how the least significant street would suddenly open onto an amazing sculpture and every church contained masterpieces. Art and history permeate every bit of the old city. It’s a historical writer’s dream.

Charity – Oh man! You had me at Chicago!! And then, you got all fancy and went to ROME!

— blah

Charity 3 / Christine 5

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

Christine –God is the Author of EVERYTHING. Wow, I can’t say that enough. I seek to focus on Him, so He can shine through me, whether in ministry, writing or just talking with people. I’m a big work-in-progress, but He is faithful and will complete the work.

Charity –

— God wins!

Charity 3 / Christine 5

8. Ever been caught wearing unmatching socks?

Christine –Oh yeah. Blue and black are close enough, right? When I was a kid, I got this bright idea that I could learn to dress in the dark by the feel of the clothing. This probably began because my eyesight is so bad, not to mention sharing a room with my sis back in the day. Anyway, this “skill” has an unfortunate tendency toward errors. I usually caught them when I got into a lighted room, but socks are pretty easy to miss.

Charity – Oh man!! I don’t think I have ever had a big sock faux-pas. I would never attempt to dress in the dark. I’m blonde. To the core.

— Christine!


Charity 3 / Christine 6


Thank you, Christine! So much fun!! Your stories had me CRACKING UP!!il_570xN.321850012

I have some good news…You remember that book I loved? CHRISTINE IS GIVING ONE AWAY!!

You definitely want to get your hands on this one! 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!!