Oh, The Weather Outside Is Frightful!

March 23, 2017 Posted by novelistcd

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful (Montana Fire Christmas novella)

Oh, The Weather Outside Is Frightful by Susan May Warren

Have you ever suffered from a tragic or traumatic experience, and the backlash of that incident made you fearful – too fearful to move on with your life?

Hannah and CJ have been through a traumatic experience. Smoke jumpers, they’ve almost lost their lives and since CJ is still recovering, he doesn’t feel ready for a relationship. He takes prescription drugs to deaden the physical pain that still haunts him from the incident. He speaks to his buddy Hannah online via the game that they play. How can he find the courage to tell Hannah his true feelings?

Hannah is determined to set things right. Scared, she’s haunted by a past experience. She doesn’t trust herself NOT to make a mistake as a nurse. Can she learn to overcome her fears?

An invitation to a mutual friend’s wedding put Hannah and CJ into direct contact with one another. A big snowstorm and a stranded stranger are just two of many elements that make this book a satisfying Christmas read. If you like short, snowbound, holiday stories then you should give this one a try. It’s a slightly suspenseful and quick read.

Have you ever been too scared to move forward with your life after a tragic experience? How did you overcome your fear?

 

 

Are You A Bread Baker?

March 22, 2017 Posted by novelistcd

Do you like to bake bread?

I’ve been researching how bread was baked in ancient and historical times. From what I gathered, all bread baked back then was sourdough, using a sourdough starter. Apparently, it took the bread a long time to rise, too. I decided to bake a loaf of bread just using my sourdough starter (without using any commercial yeast to help it along).

Well, the bread had a great texture, and it was sour, highly sour, but edible! Not sure when I’m doing that again without commercial yeast. Reason being, it took a LONG TIME to rise. I have a new oven and it has a bread proof setting. So, I left it in my warm environment for about 24 hours! I kneaded it and added more flour to it a few times too.

To make my bread I used:

King Arthur Bread Flour

King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour

Water

An entire cup of sourdough starter!

Olive Oil

Salt

Sugar

When I make it again, I might add a couple of eggs. It wasn’t hard, just time-consuming!

So, are you a bread baker? What kind(s) of bread to you like to bake?

 

Sweet Dreams Book Giveaway – Go to the Link to enter!

March 17, 2017 Posted by novelistcd

I was featured on Jo Huddleston’s blog, and she’s sponsoring a giveaway for Sweet Dreams! You must read the interview and then leave a comment in order to be entered! Happy reading! 🙂

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A Second Chance by Alexis Goring

March 16, 2017 Posted by novelistcd

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A Second Chance by Alexis Goring

Have you ever kept a secret from your significant other?

Traci Hightower is still paying the bills for her wedding – a wedding that never happened. When she meets Marc Roberts, she’s deeply attracted to him. When Marc spots Traci in a restaurant, he’s smitten with her good looks. He hesitates about asking her out – after all, he leads a busy life, helping to take care of his widowed sister’s children takes a lot of his time and energy. He’s not sure if he’s ready and able to give love another chance.

But Traci has a secret and she’s afraid to tell Marc. How will he react?

Marc has been burned by women in the past. How can he move past his negative experiences and learn to give Traci a chance?

A Second Chance is a light, sweet entertaining novella. If you like clean and wholesome stories, then you should give this one a try.

So, have you ever had a secret that you kept from your significant other? Did he/she ever find out? If so, how did they react?

The Nephilim In Christian Fiction

March 13, 2017 Posted by novelistcd

Why Christian Fiction Writers Love the Nephilim

I’ve been curiously fascinated with the Nephilim for years. I’ve written some blog posts about these creatures, and I have more research I’d like to share in the future.

I’m not a huge reader of speculative fiction. No, there’s nothing wrong with it, but, I find myself reading it sparingly because I’m more of a romance, women’s fiction, and suspense reader. I came across this article that stated that there was in over-abundance of speculative fiction submissions (in the Christian market) that featured the Nephilim. This article is old (2012), but, I’m assuming this fact may still exist today?

Have you read any of these titles? If so, what did you think of them? I’m thinking of reading a few of them, just to see that I think! On one of the covers (Dark Sentences), the creature looks like a gorilla. I’m assuming this creature is supposed to be a Nephilim? Not sure since I have not read the book. I just assumed the Nephilim looked more like humans than animals. Double rows of teeth, six digits on each hand and foot…humanistic face. These creatures have crossed my mind for awhile now. Not sure when I’ll stop thinking about them, wondering about them. I guess they are soul-less, right?

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Last of the Nephilim, Oracles of Fire Series #3   -     By: Bryan Davis
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Sunday Brunch – Joshua and the city of Ai

March 12, 2017 Posted by novelistcd

In the book of Joshua, the Lord delivered the city of Ai, as well as their king (also named Ai) into to Joshua. I was reading through this the other day, and wondered if the rocks covering the dead king are still there, today, literally? What do you think?

Joshua 8:28-29New International Version (NIV)

28 So Joshua burned Ai[a] and made it a permanent heap of ruins, a desolate place to this day. 29 He impaled the body of the king of Ai on a pole and left it there until evening. At sunset, Joshua ordered them to take the body from the pole and throw it down at the entrance of the city gate. And they raised a large pile of rocks over it, which remains to this day.

Is Ai’s grave still there, to this day? Is that pile of rocks still there? Or do you believe they were removed sometime over the last couple thousand years?

~Cecelia Dowdy~

The Bakery Romance Series

 

 

The Manning Grooms by Debbie Macomber

March 3, 2017 Posted by novelistcd

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The Manning Grooms by Debbie Macomber

This was a nice, refreshing book. I really enjoyed these sweet wonderful stories. There were two romances included in The Manning Grooms collection:

  1. Bride On The Loose

Have you ever had trouble dating after a bitter divorce?

Jason Manning is content with his life as a bachelor veterinarian. He is also the owner/superintendent of an apartment complex. Charlotte Weston lives in one of the apartments with her nosy daughter, Carrie. Carrie is determined to set her mom up with Jason – her mom has been single for a long time and it’s time for her to date again. Jason is reluctant to pursue Charlotte. However, as he gets to know shy, pretty Charlotte, he finds himself intrigued.

Charlotte is attracted to Jason, but, knows that there can be no romance between them. She harbors a deep secret – a secret which she believes may have contributed to her bitter divorce years ago.

I liked the characters in this book. Jason was a great guy and he really stuck by Charlotte and he was a perfect gentleman. Charlotte was a sweet lady who’d had her heart broken – and her soul had been broken too, that’s why she never dated after her divorce.

So, have you ever found it hard to date after a bitter divorce? What happened? Were you able to start dating and find true love again?

2. Same Time, Next Year

When James Wilkens literally runs into Summer Lawton in Vegas on New Year’s Eve, she’s in tears. Eager to help her, they share dinner. She tells of her fiancĂ©’s recent betrayal and James predicts that she will be over her pain in one year. They make a deal to meet in one year at the same place – just so that James can prove his point about getting over a lost love.

James and Summer keep in touch during their year apart. When they meet again, their attraction kindles, but, would they make a good couple?

Summer is much younger than James, and James is trying to get a political position. Would his potential voters accept his marriage to a much younger, attractive woman who is an actress at Disneyland?

I loved this sweet, endearing story. It’s not too deep, just simple and fun.

So, have you ever fallen in love with someone via letters or via the internet? What happened when you met in person?

If Not For You by Debbie Macomber

February 25, 2017 Posted by novelistcd

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If Not For You by Debbie Macomber

Have you ever dated someone to which your parent(s) disapproved?

When Beth Prudhomme and Sam Carney initially meet, there is NO chemistry between them. Beth is a gently bred, upper-class woman. No way does she have the time or desire to date an uneducated mechanic. Sam is not interested in Beth. After all, they have nothing in common and they have to struggle to have a decent conversation. But, due to a traumatic event, Beth’s life drastically changes. Sam was there for her when she initially gets hurt – and her opinion of him changes a lot.

Sam is used to dating beer-drinking gals he meets at The Dog House, the local pub. But, Beth is refreshingly different that his past girlfriends. But how can a relationship between them work? Beth has never dated seriously and all of her former beaus were chosen for her by her uppity, over-protective mom.

I loved how both Sam and Beth are musicians, and they found a common bond in their music. Both Sam and Beth are dealing with past pains, which make them hesitant to love again. This story shows that opposites really do attract. It’s a simple, sweet romance that’s highly enjoyable.

So, have you ever dated anybody to which your parent(s) disapproved? What did you do about it? Did your significant other ever gain your parent(s) approval?

 

Saturday Matinee – Christmas Movies!

December 28, 2016 Posted by novelistcd

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This Christmas season, I did something a little bit different. I watched a bunch of Christmas movies – movies that I’d never seen before. Below are the movies that I watched. Have you seen any of these films? If so, what did you think about them? Do you have any good Christmas movies to recommend?

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In A Christmas Tree Miracle, a selfish, well-to-do family discovers the true meaning of Christmas when they lose most of their worldly possessions. The most optimistic character in this movie is the little girl. She plays the cello and she has a strong faith. I enjoyed this movie very much. I thought the acting was very good and that the story really captured the true meaning of Christmas. It’s difficult for me to tell more about the movie without giving spoilers. If you’ve seen this movie, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.

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A Merry Friggin Christmas

In this movie, a young man (Boyd) is determined to show his young son the true meaning of Christmas. He and his wife have the ultimate Christmas planned for their son. But, due to a family event, their plans are unexpectedly changed. Boyd must return home to his alcoholic father’s house, a place that he wants to avoid at all costs. All Boyd wants to do is forget his dysfunctional dad’s attitude about Christmas – his father’s attitude has made Christmas difficult for Boyd while he was growing up. Boyd ends up going on an unexpected road trip – forcing him to take a good, hard look at his life.

I enjoyed this movie – not a lot – but, felt it was decent. It kept me entertained.

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Christmas Angel

Ashley is all alone this Christmas. She needs to find a job to support herself and her dog, Dash. Her neighbor, Nick, offers her a unique job opportunity – secretly helping others at Christmas. She also encounters a young man during her job search and there is attraction between the couple. However, Ashley is a loner, she pushes people away and is afraid to trust.

I thought this movie was okay. It didn’t really keep me very intrigued. There was a good, strong message in the film, which was nice to see.

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Christmas Grace

When Gary, a toy-store owner, finds himself in competition with Jim, his life changes drastically. Jim has purposely opened a toy store across the street from Gary. Jim is a bitter man, determined to see Gary fail as he runs his toy store. He really wants to put Gary out of business and that appears to be his main focus in this movie.

Out of all the movies I watched this Christmas season, this one was at the bottom of the list.

I didn’t like this movie at all. I thought the acting was terrible. I also thought the story had a lot of holes – I didn’t really understand Jim’s motivation for opening a toy store directly across the street from Gary’s. He wants Gary to fail, but his hatred for Gary is not personal at all – in most creative works, there is more reason as to why one character dislikes another person so strongly. They do depict why Jim is bitter in general – but I still thought his vendetta against Gary was not fully explained. From what I can gather, he just randomly decided to target Gary, buy a toy store across the street, and make it his goal to put Gary out of business. Made no sense to me.

I do applaud the makers of the movie for the inspirational message in the story. It is hard to rely on God when bad things happen to us. We need to learn to accept God’s grace and move forward with our lives.

 

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The Christmas Candle

Out of all of the Christmas movies I watched this year, this one was my favorite. This is the story about a legend of a Christmas candle in a small town. Whomever receives this Christmas candle will get a Christmas miracle. A new preacher who comes to town tries to debunk the Christmas candle “myth”. He wants the townsfolk to place their faith in Jesus, not in a candle!

I really loved the acting and the scenery in this film. So good. This is an enjoyable movie for your holiday season.

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A Christmas Kiss

I really loved this romantic movie. Wendy is the personal assistant for her vindictive boss. When Wendy kisses a stranger in the elevator, her life drastically changes. When she encounters this stranger, she’s in heavy makeup. When she sees him again, he doesn’t recognize her – but she’s distraught when she discovers the stranger’s true identity. This movie had some interesting twists and turns. It was a nice, unpredictable holiday romance.

christmas-miracle

Christmas Miracle

In this movie, due to a heavy snowstorm and an auto accident, eight strangers are forced to spend Christmas Eve in an abandoned church. Each of these folks are dealing with serious issues. They somewhat talk about their problems while they are snowbound.

I thought this film was okay – a bit boring. I suppose there were so many people involved in the main story line that it was hard for me to connect with all the characters.

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Christmas Tail

In this movie, one dog brings two people together. Due to a misunderstanding a single dog ends up with two owners. The two owners find a way to raise the pooch together, in spite of living in different houses. Both of the owners are single parents – the female is dealing with major problems at work.

I thought this movie was kinda cute, but not fabulous. I liked how the dog was used to bring the two single people together.

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A Beverly Hills Christmas

In this movie a spoiled Beverly Hills teenager loses her cold-hearted mother in an accident. Her mom returns as an angel – she wants to show her child how wrong her actions have been. To vindicate herself, the teen works in a soup kitchen.

This movie shows how people can be changed if they really make the effort. I enjoyed watching this and I also enjoyed the romance, too.

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The Wizard’s Christmas

This movie was….strange. I enjoyed it….some. I’m not a big fan of magic and wizardry in movies and I thought those elements were a bit “over the top” for me. I did sympathize with the characters – this movie showed how two folks divided can cause disharmony among many people.

Oh, this has nothing to do with the content of the movie, but, I didn’t care for the way the character’s bodies were drawn. They looked long, thin, and just plain weird.

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Paper Angels

An abused woman and her two kids escape from her alcoholic husband, making a fresh start in a new town. The fresh start proves rocky for her son – they’re poor, and he doesn’t fit in with the kids at school. He loves basketball and playing at the community center opens new doors for him.

This movie was realistic and it dealt with the subject of cyber-bullying. Overall, I thought this was a good Christmas movie.

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The Christmas Switch

A swindler is visited by an angel. The angel offers redemption if the swindler agrees to switch bodies with a sickly old man. The sickly old man needs a young body so that he can play Santa Clause one more time. The swindler doesn’t want redemption – he wants a million dollars instead. The angel grants his wish.

This movie kept my interest. I enjoyed it. Great inspirational story.

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Falling For Christmas

This wholesome movie is about a professional figure skater who pushes herself too hard. Injured, she has to go away to a recovery center – her coach is anxious for her to get better. Being at the recovery center makes the skater take a good, hard look at her life.

This was a nice, sweet, sappy romance movie. It reminded me of the Hallmark Channel movies.

Oh, I recognized the woman who played the mom, Lisa Whelchel. I recall seeing her on The Facts of Life when I was a kid. I realize she now does Christian-themed roles. I recall her also having an advice column for the now-extinct Today’s Christian Woman magazine.

everybodys-fine

Everybody’s Fine

An elderly man is excitedly expecting all four of his kids for a visit. When all of the kids cancel, he takes it upon himself to visit each out-of-town kid on his own via bus/train. The journey proves interesting as he unexpectedly shows up on each child’s doorstep. He discovers that things do not always appear as they seem – why won’t his kids tell him the truth about their lives?

I really enjoyed this film. It shows how kids can forget how important it is to make time for elderly parents. Parents will always worry about their kids – and I don’t think some kids realize that until they are parents themselves. I really liked how the old man saw his kids – when the kids walked into the room, he had a flashback of the way that kid looked when he/she was a child. I thought that was cute. Overall, this was a good, emotional movie.

So, have you seen any of these movies? If so, what are your thoughts about them? Do you have any good Christmas movies to recommend?

Hope Under Mistletoe

December 27, 2016 Posted by novelistcd

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Hope Under Mistletoe by Jessica R. Patch

Has your church ever held services in an alternate location?

I loved this book! One reason why I loved it so much is because the hero, Knox, owns a bar. You don’t find that in Christian fiction very often. I felt this book was so realistic – the characters sparkle and come to life in this wonderful book!

Eden is a widowed pastor’s wife. She’s raising her young son alone and their church has just been burned to the ground. While waiting for their church to be rebuilt, they need to find a place to hold services. The local bar is the only place big enough to house all of the church’s members.

The bar is owned by Knox, Eden’s deceased husband’s best friend. Knox has never been Eden’s favorite person – he’s worldly, plus, she’s always been attracted to him. When she asks if the church can temporarily use his bar as a meeting place, he’s hesitant. Knox has always been attracted to Eden, but, she was off-limits since she was married to his best friend. Plus, Eden doesn’t approve of his worldly ways.

Knox, a former hockey player, doesn’t know what he should do. If Eden knew his secret, she’d run for the hills and never speak to him again. Can he be truthful to her, and, can he learn to forgive himself for his sins?

You should read this endearing book for the holidays! This novella is a great Christmas treat!

So, has your church ever met in an alternate location? Where else has your church held services?

Christmas background with snowy fir trees