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Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Staci's Internet "Home":

Staci's Ebook Romance Stories:

Facebook Author Page at:


Aaron Foster thought he had the perfect life until his fiancee walked out of their apartment and then back in again with his new roommate. In desperation Aaron and his best friend, Harmony Jordan, devise The Plan, but when The Plan succeeds beyond their wildest expectation, it could spell heartache for them all.


Behind the Story
"Eternity" might be more accurately called "The one I'm going to get killed for," and believe me, I fully know this going in.  Why?  Because I already know some of my Christian readers (especially the newer ones) will question the portrayal of Christians in this story.  They will say things like, "I would hardly call them Christian.  They went to church, but it didn't seem to make any difference at all."

That's probably one reason I've called "Eternity" an inspirational (rather than Christian) romance in the past because I recognized this void almost from the start.  However, to be completely honest, that's not totally accurate either.  I think "Eternity" is really about Christians who don't know and live the meaning of the word.  They go to church, but church and God really don't affect their lives in a practical way.

In fact, they are a lot like I was when I was younger--back when I thought the 10 Commandments were about God taking your fun away, making life harder with all of His rules, and waiting to bop you on the head if you broke one.  Since realizing God is about relationship more than religion, I now see my Father's intense and immediate love in giving me these rules because in them, He is saying, "To be able to really LIVE, here are the ways to avoid life's messiest, rottenest decisions that will really land you in a pit of yuck."

So, I think ultimately "Eternity" is not just about the decisions and situations, it is also about how lost, confused, and deluded by the world even Christians can get when they see God as the rule-maker and punisher rather than as the all-wise, loving Father He is.

Therefore, if there's not enough Christianity in this one for you, know that I knew that upfront and that I am simply giving you the story the way God gave it to me--with lost and hurting Christians who don't realize they've had the Answer the whole time.  Call it a practical lesson in what happens when Christian is your label, not your life.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


One of the recent popular reality shows is The Voice, where professional musicians choose teams based solely on listening to someone sing, without seeing the performer.

I thought about that show when this morning I read that Moses heard "the Voice" when he entered the Tent of Meeting.

With God, we hear His voice while He remains sight unseen. But, oh, what a Voice.

He spoke the worlds into existence.

His Voice can shake the mountains and roar like a waterfall.

At other times it is so quiet that we have to strain to hear it.

But the point of a voice at all is to be heard. 

God speaks, expecting us to listen and obey.

He also speaks, wanting to communicate. Communication is a two-way street; He wants to chat with us.

Jesus said that His sheep know His voice. He expects us to recognize His voice out of the cacophony of sounds competing for our attention.

As an author, I pray that my words are an echo of that Voice.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Christine Lindsay writes historical novels with strong love stories. She’s proud of her Irish roots. Her great grandfather and grandfather worked as riveters in the Belfast shipyard, and one of the ships they helped build was the Titanic. Another ancestor served in the British Cavalry in India, seeding Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj and became the stimulus for her series Twilight of the British Raj, and her debut novel, SHADOWED IN SILK. Her current release CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT is Book 2 of that series.
The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home. She and her husband enjoy the empty nest, but look forward to all the noise when the kids and grandkids come home. And like a lot of writers, her cat is her chief editor.Prisoners to their own broken dreams…
After a daring rescue goes awry, Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana flee to the tropical south of India…and headlong into their respective pasts.
 Laine takes a nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancĂ© is the owner…but fun-loving Laine refuses to let Adam crush her heart like he had years ago.  
 Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts freedom will ever be hers again, much less the forbidden love for Dr. Jai Kaur that had begun to flower.
 Amid cyclones, epidemics, and clashing faiths, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?
·         And the link for the Book Trailer for Captured by Moonlight
·         Purchase link Amazon for Captured by Moonlight Digital Version
And now . . . the story behind the story
Sitting in the hospital bed, I held my firstborn, Sarah, my tears splashing onto her tiny face.

My counselor softly said, “Christine, she’s your baby. You can keep her if you want to.”

But I wanted a daddy for my baby. And I felt this promise from God—if I stuck to the adoption plan, He would reunite Sarah and me one day, in a unique birth-mother and birth-daughter relationship.

Three days later, the gray, steel, elevator doors on the hospital ward closed between Sarah and me.  

The years passed, and I met my wonderful husband. Three times over my empty arms were filled with our children. I couldn’t have been happier. But I couldn’t forget Sarah. As time inched closer to Sarah’s 18th birthday I prayed harder for our reunion.

I could see it all—a big family dinner, Sarah’s family and ours, all sitting around the table.  

People ask me why I searched for Sarah instead of waiting for her to search for me. I felt at the time that God doesn’t wait for us to come to Him, but He goes looking for us.

Two years later, the day I’d been praying for 20 years arrived. I was so afraid Sarah wouldn’t be able to love me. So afraid of rejection.

My husband and I got to the counselor’s office before Sarah and her fiancĂ© arrived, and were given the bad news—Sarah’s mom and dad didn’t want to meet me. They were at home sobbing . . . broken-hearted. 

I was stunned—they don’t want to meet me

With these thoughts spiraling through my mind I opened the door to where Sarah waited. A beautiful, young blond woman stood up to meet me. For years I’d imagined us falling into each other’s arms, crying like people did on TV. But all I felt was intense sadness that this beautiful daughter and I were strangers.  

God had given Sarah exactly what I’d prayed for. She was confident, happy, studying to be a nurse, planning her wedding. Why was I not overflowing with joy?

Because I wanted to be a part of her life, and her in mine. But Sarah’s life was full, busy, there wasn’t much time for us to get to know each other.

I had never felt so rejected. Though I hated my self-pity, I couldn’t stop thinking how God had disappointed me.

He’d had 20 years to put this reunion together, and this was the best He could do?

Months later my husband found me crying on couch, and he put a brand new journal and pen into my hands, and said, “Write it”.

Healing gradually came. As I studied the Bible, this verse became my life motto.

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands...

My love for my kids, including Sarah, pales in comparison to God’s love for us. It wasn’t Sarah that I needed to make me whole on the inside, nor any of my children, or my husband.

I needed God to fill that gaping hole in my heart.

I began to realize I also had no right to feel rejected by Sarah’s parents.   

Twelve years have passed, and a relationship between Sarah and me flowered. Today we’re more like a favorite aunt and favorite niece. But God wasn’t finished yet.

In 2011, my debut novel was released. Shadowed in Silk is set in India. One day my publisher sent me photographs of models for the front cover. On a whim, I sent Sarah’s picture to my publisher. They thought she was perfect.

I can’t explain how wonderful it was to see birthdaughter’s face on my novel when it was the pain of losing her that inspired me to write.

The book came out, and Sarah and her husband came to tell us they had decided to be missionaries. One of the missions they would be working with most would be the Ramabai Mukti Mission in India.

I nearly fell off my chair.

I’d never told Sarah, but the true-life Ramabai was the Indian Christian woman who was the inspiration behind one of my main characters in Shadowed in Silk.

Only a tender-hearted Heavenly Father could do this.  He had given me that unique relationship with my birthdaughter that I’d asked for all those years ago.  

Sunday, February 17, 2013


This is a hard weekend. I've been reprimanded, sharply, twice. I won't go into why--the corrections were accurate and timely--and they hurt. (general subjects: self-centeredness, financial management, health)

And I'm a people person who wants people to like me, so it hurts doubly well.

Perhaps God was preparing me all along when I looked up the meaning of "treat" (in my other blog, and found "deal with medically or surgically."  I said that part of treating someone as holy includes intervention in the case of sin.

I didn't expect to experience the sharp edge of intervention myself. Wasn't that message meant for somebody else?

Apparently not.

This has also been a good week. I have edited the first chapter to The Blessing Factor and feel good about it. I am pleased with the job I did in writing Calico Brides (I've proofed the galleys of three of the four novellas so far).  And. . . drum roll please . . . I have a green light to submit a six-book proposal!

Oh, and Ray and I were on the ballot for Valentine's Day king and queen--a first for me! A lovely couple who have been married for sixty-seven years won.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hidden Dreams: My Newest Baby

My next book,, Hidden Dreams, will be released to the general public on May 7 under Harlequin's management of Heartsong.  So here is my cover, with the pretty picture and the back cover.

Hidden Dreams is book #1 in Maple Notch Dreams, the sequal series to Maple Notch Brides.

About the book: 

Her father's been murdered, and now the mob's after her, too. Leaving New York City behind is the only way to stay alive. Yet Mary Anne Lamont finds herself stuck in Maple Notch, Vermont, when her car crashes straight into Wallace Tuttle's truck. Wallace and his family offer her warmth and welcome, no questions asked. But she doesn't dare give them her real name-not without risking their safety too. 

At first, Wallace chides himself for being distracted by the glamorous flapper. Mary Anne certainly doesn't fit his image of a future wife. But underneath the bleached bob and big-city ways is a courageous, caring woman. When the danger she's been running from draws close, Wallace must risk everything to prove his faith in Mary Anne, in God's plan, and the dreams they've come to share.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Please join me in welcoming Ada Brownell, author of Joe the Dreamer.

A.B. Brownell has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a daily newspaper reporter. She has a BS degree in Mass Communications and worked most of her career at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo., where she spent the last seven years as a medical writer. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to free lance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books. 


“You can’t stop there!” the junior high student erupted during my summers and after-school session of The Dunamis Academy. “I can’t wait to see what happens!”

It was only a chapter break. It was nearly time to go home.

I established the after-school and summers program after writing too many news stories about latch-key kids, juvenile delinquency and young people who turn away from God.

 “Lord, why don’t you give the idea for this ministry to someone else?”

But I observed children with little productive to do in their spare time, such as becoming established in the faith. So I contacted the director of our church day care to see what she thought.

“We need something for the upper elementary students and a few older ones,” she said.

My vision was to build up our church kids spiritually, but I was surprised to discover a large number of Social Services children in that age group enrolled.

The first summer, the director taught a class on how to make friends, and our children’s pastor answered my call to teach puppet ministry one day a week. I led devotions, coached intense Bible memorization, and taught faith-building classes.

I wrote the curriculum:  “Dynamite Decisions for Youth,” “God in American History” and “Love is Dynamite.”

But they needed something relaxing in the afternoons and Joe the Dreamer was born.

I hoped to impart in them a love for God’s Word and a desire to read it on their own. The story begins with a mystery. Joe’s parents disappear. Joe prays God will bring them back, but his faith is weak. So while he and his little sister, Penny, live with their uncle, Joe reads the Bible every night. When he falls asleep, he often slips into the skin of a Bible character.

Lions breathe down his neck. He stands in a furnace of fire, but is not burned. He lands in a cistern and ends up in slavery. Then he walks on water with Jesus. Several times Joe sees angels.

Yet, Joe’s days become a living nightmare. Somebody is after him. The police are hunting for Joe’s dad—not because he’s missing but because he’s accused of stealing valuable software for a brain chip to control seizures. Because Joe screams and shouts in the night, his uncle believes he has a mental illness and Joe is committed to the state mental hospital.

In the subplot, the reader sees Joe’s parents imprisoned at a nearby castle by radicals who want to erase Christianity from America.

Then there is the teen gang Joe joins—the Gallant Guardians—dedicated to solving and preventing crime by using ordinary harmless things like marbles, water, noise, rope and a pet skunk.

I learned my experience as a newspaper reporter could be used. The brain chip came out of interviews I had with neurologists about seizure control. Except the radicals want a chip to cause seizures in influential Christians.

The scenes in the mental hospital grew out of my reporting on the juvenile ward in the mental institute.

That wonderful student who was so excited about Joe’s story didn’t discover how the story ended because I didn’t complete the manuscript then. If you set a book aside, it could be years before it is published, if at all.

Yet, if we believe in something and get to work, we’ll see our dreams become reality.

About the book, Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult

Enter an area where people are missing and radicals want to obliterate Christianity from the earth. After Joe Baker’s parents mysteriously disappear, he finds himself with a vicious man after him. Joe and an unusual gang team up to find his mom and dad. The gang is dedicated to preventing and solving crimes with ordinary harmless things such as noise, water, and a pet skunk instead of blades and bullets. Joe reads the Bible hoping to discover whether God will answer prayer and bring his parents home. In his dreams, Joe slips into the skin of Bible characters and what happened to them, happens to him—the peril and the victories. Yet, crying out in his sleep causes him to end up in a mental hospital’s juvenile unit. Will he escape or will he be harmed? Will he find his parents? Does God answer prayer?

Teens. No fantasy. No wizard. Suspense. Christian payload. Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult or
The book is also available at, and is listed at

You can find Ada on the web at:
Swallowed by LIFE:
Confessions of a Pentecostal:
     Twitter: @adellerella

Sunday, February 10, 2013


This is taken from a my WIP, The Blessing Factor, and is also adapted from a much earlier blog post.

A Mother’s Story

My daughter Jolene died at the age of twenty- three.
            She didn’t die of disease, or accident, or even murder. I guess you could call it murder. She murdered herself: she committed suicide.
            I know grief on a first name, call-in-the-middle-of-the-night basis.  
            The first time I read the beatitudes after her death, the words slapped me in the face. “Blessed are they that mourn.”
            Oh, I understood the comfort part. God comforted me, in spades, giving me strength to carry on and using me as a testimony to the people around me.
            But losing a daughter in the prime of her life did not feel like a blessing. Today, almost five years later, it still feels wrong, unnatural, unnecessary, heart-rending, life-changing. All of that, and more.
            I wrestled with the idea of grief as a blessing. Mourning and grief are feelings; I didn’t “feel” happy, no matter what word Jesus used in preaching the Sermon on the Mount.
            Jesus didn’t deny my feelings, discredit them, or tell me to be happy when my heart had been ripped from my chest. Instead, He blessed me with His actions, with facts that took on a whole new reality. Ten months after the tragedy, I took stock of the rock-bottom truths which had gained a new depth.
·         Jesus died to give me eternal life.
·         Jolene has eternal life because she placed her trust in Jesus.
I had witness her decision to follow Christ, I have heard her testimony from her own lips and read her words. She is alive.
·         Jolene is in heaven, where tears and pain are a thing of the past.
Even if Jolene could return, I would never ask her to. She is healed of the Borderline Personality Disorder that made her so uncertain and unhappy.
·         Jolene is watching me as I continue to run the race before me.
Jolene wants my happiness. She is cheering me on. I am the missing generation—she is there with her great-grandmother and her grandmother.
·         I will see Jolene again.
The more of my loved ones go ahead, the more I want to join them. What a reunion!
·         Because God became man, He understands my pain and mourns with me.
I knew Jesus had experienced grief—look at Lazarus. He might have also known the pain of losing someone to suicide. He cried right along with me.
·         Jesus welcomed Jolene home.
Jolene wrote about Jesus hugging her in His arms. As life ebbed from her body, He cradled her in His lap.
            I have always accepted these facts as part of my believe system. With the blessing of grief, facts traveled from my head to my heart and etched themselves on the raw nerve endings, seeking to scab over as I healed.
As if all of those biblical truths weren’t enough of a blessing, God added another to enrich the life-from-death truth of the gospel: my first grandchild was born nine months’ after Jolene’s death. Jordan Elizabeth Franklin will never meet her aunt this side of heaven, but her smile, her bouncing brown curls and bright brown eyes, her giggles—she is God’s gift here and now.
Holidays have come and gone. Each Resurrection Day reminds me of my loss; we learned of Jolene’s death on the Monday of Passion Week. With Christmas came a different kind of celebration. What I enjoyed wasn’t the trappings of Christmas—presents and lights and trees seemed hollow without Jolene... I went through most of advent praying, Lord, just let me survive.
Even the things that gave me joy faded. How could I sing my favorite Christmas carols without remembering the caroling Jolene and I did each year, waiting at the bus stops after a night of Christmas shopping?
How could we decorate the tree without crying over each and every memory? Baby’s first Christmas 1984. A hand-crafted tree-top angel made out of a lace doily. A blue delft disc reminded me of the visit we made to the Dutch Festival, and the golden boot with the Olympic rings brought back vivid memories of going to the Salt Lake City Olympics.           
And yet, as I struggled, Christmas became more real than ever. God became man.
The incarnation—God becoming man—that is the blessing of grief for me. 


My mother would have celebrated her 81st birthday this week. I'm a month short of the anniversary of Jolene's death.

And the news is: I wrote a post for for Tuesday, the 12th, and mentioned that my mother and Abraham Lincoln shared the day as their birthday.

And I didn't cry. I didn't even feel sad. I simply wrote the words, as if it was any other day.

As I look back on Jolene's death, I realize how very blessed I have been. I am falling in love with a man who lost his son to murder two years ago.

I'm three years further into the process of healing than he is. But even at this stage, I can see how isolated he has been in his grief, and how it has stunted him on every level. Meeting me, the love God has given us to share, is opening him up, allowing him to feel joy and peace and hope again.

I am there. Jolene is firmly fixed as part of my past. She is also part of my future, the day when I shall reunited with Mom, Grandma, and Jolene.

But for now--she is a beloved memory, a force in shaping who I am today, a person who is still reaching and touching others through her words--but she is not a daily source of tears.

Although I come close to crying as I write this.

Please pray with me, as I write about Jolene, and my walk through grief, as I write about the blessing for "those who mourn." 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I am pleased to introduce Lena Nelson Dooley as the first Wednesday guest to "Behind the Book." Lena kindly shepherded a nearly-new author through her first novella, Snowbound Colorado Christian, and has remained a staunch supporter in the years since.

Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 700,000 books in print.
Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with over 20 signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins, and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books.

Her 2010 release Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western Fiction. Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011 list. It also won the 2012 Selah award for Historical Novel. Mary’s Blessing released in May 2012. It recently appeared on a review site’s Top Five Reads in 2012 list. Catherine’s Pursuit is coming in February 2013.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Gate Beautiful blog radio show.

Lena has an active web presence on Shoutlife, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books. 

Let's go BEHIND THE BOOK, Catherine's Pursuit. (By the way, I've read it, and it's a great story which will capture your mind and your heart!)

Did You Know This About the Old West?
©2013 Lena Nelson Dooley
I know authors who really don’t like the research involved in making historical novels authentic to the time period. I am not one of those authors.

While writing my McKenna’s Daughters series, I found out a lot of things I didn’t know. And I love the minute details of life that I discover. I try to work them into the story. Here are a few of the things I found and used. Of course, there were a large number of other things, and this blog post couldn’t possibly hold them all.

In the prologues in both book one and book two, I had to research the Oregon Trail wagon trains, then choose the route that would work best for my story.

With Maggie’s Journey, book one, I researched the transcontinental railroad system, especially the part that was in the western United States. I had to figure out how long it would take to travel in 1885 from Seattle, Washington Territory, to Little Rock, Arkansas. The characters stayed in actual hotels of the time period in Denver, Colorado, and St. Louis, Missouri. They had to go east to St. Louis, then travel south-southwest from there to Little Rock.

I also had a hard time picturing Seattle in that time period. The adult reference librarian in the Seattle Public Library helped me find websites that were gold mines of information that I needed. So almost all the streets, stores, hotels, schools, hospital, etc., were all part of the city in 1885.

For Mary’s Blessing, book two, I spent quite awhile researching Oregon City and Portland. There were a number of interesting things in the books I read. In that time period, some people trained goats to pull sleds. I found a picture of one such goat team. They were planning on using them to pull sleds to the gold fields in Alaska. I didn’t find any information about how successful they were with that endeavor.

I also had to research medical practices of the time period, farming practices around Oregon City, and transportation between Oregon City and Portland. I had the hero and heroine go from Oregon City and Portland by trolley. My editor questioned that, because the information she had said that the electric trolley wasn’t built until 1890. I found pictures of the trolley station and actual trolleys in 1885. The trolleys were pulled by horses or mules along the right-of-way where the tracks were later laid for the electric trolley cars.

With Catherine’s Pursuit, the book that released earlier this month, I found equally interesting details in San Francisco, which I used in the book. I also researched steamship lines of the day. There’s one on the cover, and the hero is a steamship captain. San Francisco had electricity and telephones in 1885, but Portland and Oregon City didn’t.

If you want to see what life was like in 1885 in Seattle, Portland, Oregon City, and San Francisco, travel with my characters through these places and see how they lived.

 The search for her sisters will become a spiritual journey for the entire family.

Raised by her father, Catherine McKenna has never lacked for anything, surrounded by people to take care of her every need. On her eighteenth birthday she discovers that not only did her mother die when she was born, but she has two identical sisters. Although her father vowed not to look for his daughters, Catherine made no such promise. Setting   on her own with one clue and her maid in tow, she's determined to find her sisters.

Collin Elliott has seen better days. After losing his ship to a violent and unexpected storm, he is trying to recover--physically and emotionally. When Angus McKenna sends him to find, follow, and protect his daughter, he wants nothing more than to finish his task and return home. Can he help her find her sisters?

And will the discoveries they make along the way teach them both what's most important in life?

Buy links:

Sunday, February 3, 2013


For those of my followers who love historical fiction - check out

We are 30 bloggers strong, including two of my critique partners, Susan Page Davis and Cynthia Hickey.  I will be posting on the 12th of each month.  We will be sharing some of the fascinating historical tidbits that we uncover in the course of our writing.


This past week I have been walking (well, wheeling) through life with blinders on.

That's what deadlines do to me. Golden Dreams was due to my editor on February 1st, and I was going to get that done. No monthly concerts or resident council meetings where I was the topic of conversation were going to stand in my way. Certainly not the needs of my fellow residents.

I did turn in the  manuscript on time. I even finished my second goal for January, which was to finish the rough draft of the material I need for the nonfiction book proposal for The Blessing Factor.

But every now and then I have to remind myself to take the blinders off and look at the people around me.

I feel so helpless when our oldest resident, at 94, shouts at me from across the room. "You'll do that, wont'cha?"  I don't know what "it" is. She doesn't understand I'm no more mobile than she is. I do seek to get an aide to help her, but she doesn't communicate her needs to them any better than she does to me. And I sit here and wish she didn't call out so constantly, so helplessly, to me. And feel guilty when I shut out her pleas to work.

This week our gravely ill resident who has been a source of cheer and compassion for everyone around us left--to go to live with his recently discovered father. Hallelujah for him. But . . . I missed his final goodbye. He came to me, personally, to tell me he was leaving at 11 a.m. The next thing I knew, it was lunch time . . . and he was gone.

Or how about our calling bird, who day after day sings our favorite songs and looks to me to join her in song? I tell her I refuse to sing during meals (she doesn't eat enough) but that means I need to listen and join her at other times--like when I'm working.

Or even when the man who is quickly becoming the love of my life said, "I wouldn't tell anyone about us without your permission."  And it took me until he came back to realize perhaps I should tell him, Go ahead! Tell anyone you want to! 

(P.S. I didn't think it was a secret. Not when he announced "I love you more and more each day!" in the lobby, where anyone could hear him.)

The book is done. It's time to take the blinders off and see and listen with all my heart.


Saturday, February 2, 2013


Starting this Wednesday, every Wednesday we will hear from my fellow writers. They may have a new release, or discuss an old friend, or they may still be hunting that first sale. For all of them, we will learn about the person
My good friend and great mentor, Lena Nelson Dooley, will be my first guest this coming Wednesday.