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Sunday, December 30, 2012


This has been a year of new beginnings for me personally.

Biggest of all is, of course, is the change to living in a nursing home.  I didn't expect the decline in my health, nor the two hospitalizations. But God has brought me, and it has become a shelter and a time of great blessing, to me and through me to others.

2012 has also seen a new beginning for me in nonfiction, with the first contract for a complete nonfiction book written by me: It Is Well with my Soul, a series of devotions, prayers, Bible verses and quotes on different phrases from the beloved hymn. I believe God wishes to continue and increases that calling, and am working on a nonfiction proposal.

2012 saw a new beginning of Heartsong under Harlequin's management--and my renewed association with the book club. My three books in the Maple Notch Dreams series, a continuation of Maple Notch Brides, will all be released in 2013.

In fact, next year I expect to have six books in print--the most in a single year for me.  Given the challenges 2012 has brought, I consider that an enormous blessing.

Life in the nursing home has brought a certain maturity and wallowing in spiritual gifts--a recognition and ease that spills over into my writing and thinking.

2012 is the first time one of my books has shown up on the top 20 in any category on Amazon: since River North Publishing put all six of the Texas Trails books on sale for one week at a time, both of my books have stayed below in the top 30 for two months.  For one heady day or two, I was even in the #1 spot.

This is not a new beginning, but my first-ever book, Romanian Rhapsody (2005), now for sale in a Kindle edition, continues to sell well.  It is a little gem of a book which continues to minister to people (and yes, perhaps I am suggesting that you buy it.  Join the trend.)

My son has a new job, my granddaughter Jordan started preschool for the first time, and Isaiah is growing up strong and healthy. My daughter-in-law says he sees color when he listens to music--like his Grandma (or, as he called me, "mamam.")

All in all, God has fulfilled His promise that He has more books for me to write. Now I also feel His promise that He has nonfiction books for me to write (as well as my beloved fiction). This year could have been the worst--and instead it has been the best.

Praise the Lord with me. I can't way to see what 2013 will bring.

**Last week's winner is Patti Shene.  Double (or triple) your chances for a win this week by answering one of both of these questions: What is your single most memorable moment from 2012? What is your great  hope for 2013?**

Sunday, December 23, 2012


How can I stand up before God
    and show proper respect to the high God?. . .
Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child,
    my precious baby, to cancel my sin?
Micah 6:6-7, MSG

Following my read-through-the-Bible schedule, already past Isaiah's prophecies about Emmanuel, even past Micah's prophecy about His birth in Bethlehem, I wasn't prepared for this zing from the prophet's vision.

Would God be moved if I sacrificed my first born child to cancel my sin?

In the chapter, God is building a case against Israel, calling the earth the jury. "How have I wronged you? Remember all the things I have done for you!"

Although God is addressing the nation, Micah takes the question personally and seeks an answer. How do I show proper respect for the most high God? He proposes the sacrifice of his firstborn child to cancel his sin.

God gives him his answer--Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously. (Micah 6:8, MSG)  One of my favorite stop-and-think verses of the minor prophets.

The sacrifice of Micah's innocent, precious child would not cancel his sin.

The sacrifice of God's innocent, holy, precious child would.

Did Micah's question stab God's heart? Did He look down the road, about seven centuries later, when He did sacrifice his firstborn? Did His heart wrench when He told Micah about Bethlehem--the place that would both welcome His Son to the world, and then drown in sorrow at Herod's cruel slaughter?

God knew Christmas was coming before He put Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

He made that sacrifice--for us.

Join me in praising Him this Christmas.

**Reminder: I will give away one of my books for every five comments left on my blog. Earn an extra entry by answering the question: What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?**

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Psalm 130:5-6

Some of the people in the nursing home remind me of these verses from Psalms. Directionless, they wander around, asking, "Where do I go for dinner? Where should I sit? Will they bring my food to me? What should I do?" 

There are times we need to wait, as eagerly, as helplessly, for the many good things God has for us. Asking, seeking, knocking (literally opening doors to other people's rooms) until we receive an answer.

Then there are other times . . . There are those of us who are aware that lunch time is half an hour away and if we want something that's not on the menu, we only need to ask. The repetitive, unnecessary questions aggravate us, because they don't like the answers. Where should I go? Wherever you want. What should I do? Whatever you want. What color should I use for the turkey's wings? (in arts and crafts)  Whatever color pleases you. 

Does God ever say that to us?  Where should I go? "Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you." (Genesis 13:17)

What should I do? "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." (Psalm 34:8)

What color should I use? "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)

All three of these commands from God invite the reader to explore a wide variety of experiences (within set boundaries). There is no single way to taste and see God; no specific place to go; no specific topic to think about. 

At times, God will lead us by the hand.

At other times, He invites us to choose. 

***All book winners (except one copy of Beacon of Love) were mailed this week. Please let me know if you don't receive your expected book within a week.***

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 Cozy Mysteries of Christmas Ebook Giveaway!

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me--a Spyglass cozy mystery!

Hello, from Susan Page Davis.
Spyglass Lane is giving away 12 cozy mysteries in their Christian mystery e-book line, including one of the Mainely Mysteries series I wrote with my daughter Megan.
I’ve loved cozy mysteries since I was a child, and one of my favorite series then was Trixie Belden. Trixie’s adventures wowed me then, and I read them all. Later, I rediscovered them in reprints—and several new titles that had been added by the publisher—and read them to my children. There are 39 books total. Of course, some stand out in my memory. I love horses, so ones where Trixie and her friend Honey do a lot of riding were among my favorites.
The first Trixie book that was set at Christmas time was Mystery in Arizona, the sixth in the series. Trixie and her friend Honey, along with their brothers and their friend Diana, got to spend the holidays at Diana’s uncle’s ranch in Arizona. Wow! Growing up in Maine, it was hard for me to imagine either taking a trip like that or having an uncle rich enough and generous enough to finance it!
Poor Trixie, that sandy-haired kid from Sleepyside, N.Y., had to study hard during vacation, as her grades had slipped. But she still managed to help out with chores on the ranch, learn about a new-to-her culture, and solve a mystery.
I loved learning with the kids in the book about the Mexican Christmas customs. I had never been outside Maine the first time I read this book, and to me, Arizona might as well have been on another planet. As an adult, I’ve visited that gorgeous state a couple of times, and finally was able to see the beauty that Trixie saw.
If you’d like to enter the contest to win a free e-book cozy mystery, follow the instructions below. You can also enter my drawing for traditional printed books and e-books on my website at: At the end of each month, I draw several winners who can choose their prize from among all my book titles. Use the painless contest form on the left side of my home page for that drawing.

For the 12-day Spyglass Lane contest:

’Tis the season for a great whodunnit!

If you love cozies as much as we do, then you’re in for a holiday treat! From December 12 – 23, we’re giving away one cozy mystery EVERY DAY!
So light the fireplace and grab a cup of hot cocoa, because you just may have a free cozy mystery coming your way!
There are two ways to enter:
  1. Create a Pinboard entitled My 12 Cozies of Christmas. Fill it with 12 Spyglass Lane titles that either you want to read, or have already read and love! Be sure to use the #12CoziesofChristmas hashtag in the description of each pinned book cover. Leave a comment and link to your board at: One pinboard will automatically enter you in each daily drawing!
2.       Tweet about Spyglass Lane mysteries. Simply Tweet about the giveaway or one of your favorite Spyglass Lane Mysteries or authors and include the #12CoziesofChristmas hashtag along with link. You may Tweet as many times as you want each day! Only Tweets sent out the day of the giveaway will be considered for that day’s drawing.
Follow us on the Spyglass Lane blog, Twitter @SpyglassMystery or Facebook for the latest info on the 12 Cozies of Christmas giveaway! Each day, we’ll reveal which Spyglass Lane cozy mystery we’ll be giving away.
1.       Each day, we will reveal which Spyglass Lane mystery will be given away that day
2.       A “giveaway day” runs from 12AM EST to 11:59PM EST.
3.       There will be one winner per day
4.       Winners will be announced the following morning
5.       A Pinboard (see rules above) counts as one entry each day of the giveaway. Tweets (see rules above) only apply to the day in which they were originally Tweeted. For example, if you send 10 Tweets on Thursday the 13th, you will be entered 10 times in that day’s drawing. But those Tweets will not apply to the next day’s drawing.
6.       Winners will be chosen via, with Tweets and Pinboards each assigned a unique number
7.       Winners will be announced via our blog, Twitter @SpyglassMystery or Facebook. Winners will be contacted via email or social media. If a winner does not hear from Spyglass Lane, they may contact us at SpyglassLaneMysteries (at) gmail (dot) com.
8.       Winners will receive their prize in the form of a Smashwords coupon that they can redeem at Smashwords accommodates all ereader devices, though it may require the device to be directly connected to a computer for proper download.
9.       The same person may win more than once!
10.    There is no entry limit
11.    Participants are expected to play nice! Inappropriate behavior (including but not limited to foul language, bullying, trolling, arguing) will not be tolerated and Spyglass Lane reserves the right to exclude such people from these and future giveaways

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Last night at supper my computer friend said, "Today refused to stay bad." He went on to explain why--how he had expected a bad day upon awakening, but the day went well in spite of his forebodings.

Today was like that for me.

A cold front is pushing through Oklahoma today. For "cold front," as anyone with arthritis knows, read, "PAIN."  I woke up at 5 a.m. with my legs cramping. They didn't stop until noon. On a day like this, I keep my mouth closed (except for an occasional whimper from the pain) and pray that it gets better. 

The pain did get better. I added a blanket over my legs, walked a few steps, and took my noon time pain pill. Much better. The day was on its way to being "not bad."

Then one of the residents made the round of the lobby, asking each and every woman if she wanted to have her nails painted. As she painted my nails a shiny pink, I told her how I admired her generous spirit--whatever she has, she shares with those around her. 

Next, a church arrived. They stayed for a solid hour, singing hymn after hymn and then passing out Christmas cards. At the end the pianist (clearly uncomfortable behind the piano) said she was the third or fourth string pianist and she wished she didn't have to play. Of course, I offered--and so I have a new "job."

They left . . . I returned to work. One of the residents, who had missed the hymn sing, came in, and begged me to play. So I did, until my leg hurt and my throat grew sore. 

Oh, and an aide went out for me to buy the hot chocolate the kitchen was missing as well as a box of chocolates.

Supper time. For supper on this cold, cold day, we hat piping hot chili with cheese. Just my kind of meal. 

And although I haven't spoken with her, today is precious Jordan's fourth birthday. 

For a day I didn't expect to be good, God turned it into an extra special day. 

An early Christmas present from a loving Father. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


My heroine in Golden Dreams, my current WIP, Winnie Tuttle, is loaded with guilt from her family because she focuses on preparation for the 1932 Olympics instead of helping the family more. Even though she tells her coach (the hero), that like Eric Liddell in the 1924 Olympics, she feels God's pleasure when she skates.

Just this morning I realized that my current struggle mirrors what I am writing about Winnie. As I look at writing nonfiction, preparing a proposal and daring to dream that God has worthwhile for me to say, not in a fiction format.

I haven't questioned my calling like this since . . . perhaps since the early part of the millennium, when I was writing a book about the Montgomery bus boycott and wondering if it was time for me to give up this foolish writing dream. 

Eight years and twenty-six books later, I have that answer. But nonficton is a different animal, and once again I doubt.

Yesterday I reached out to friends, asking them, "Do you think I have the gifts needed to write this kind of book?" 

I didn't ask it that directly. And I got different answers. Some of them, yes! Some of them, I'm not sure. 

Then I realized . . . as much as I would like a clear, neon-sign answer, God more often asks me to act on faith. He won't give me the assurance I crave. Any more than Winnie knew if her dreams of Olympic gold were well-founded or foolishness.

But like Winnie--like Eric Liddell--I feel God's pleasure when I work on this book. Published or not, bestseller or not, I am blessed as I write it. 

***Normal giveaway schedule  this week: 1 book given away for every five comments. Please answer the following question in your comment for an additional chance to win: Do you struggle with the question, what does God want me to do?  Describe the journey a little bit. If you leave a comment and answer the question for both of today's posts, you will have four chances to win a book next week. I also must have your email address to send you notification.***

A Ranger's Trail : 99 cents Book #4 in Texas Trails series

Christmas at Barncastle Inn $1.99 A contemporary B&B in Vermont offers "Christmas Any Time"

A Woodland Christmas $1.99  An itinerant woodcarver in the Piney Woods of East Texas brings love to the people he serves.

***Normal giveaway schedule  this week: 1 book given away for every five comments. Please answer the following question in your comment for an additional chance to win: What is your favorite Christmas song?  I also must have your email address to send you notification.***