Raspberry Kisses – Author Interview!

December 16, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Come and join me for an author interview at Inspy Romance blog! Please leave a comment!

RaspberryKisses_FINAL-1

Sunday Brunch! Human Sacrifice to God?

December 14, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Did the Lord command infant sacrifice in the Old Testament?

In the book of Exodus, sometime after reciting the Ten Commandments,  the Lord shared his laws with the Israelites. One of these laws were as follows (emphasis mine):

Exodus 22:29-30New International Version (NIV)

29 “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.

“You must give me the firstborn of your sons. 30 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

In the old testament, did the Lord command the Israelites to sacrifice their first child to Him?

The thought boggles my mind, leaving me feeling puzzled and uneasy. Since I’m a mom, and I only have one son, reading this scripture totally depresses me. Yes, I do realize this is before Christ came, and the laws were different, and they no longer apply to today, but, I still wonder about it.

Has anybody ever discussed this scripture in church, or some sort of Bible study class? If so, what did you discuss about this?

Please leave a comment!

 

 

Her Gifts by Linda Beed

December 10, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Her Gifts by Linda F. Beed

Do you pray for your husband/wife/significant other daily?

Treva Scott is ready to be a business owner. She’s a unique woman who loves to create dolls, plus, she’s an ex-military expert markswoman. However, while trying to fulfill her dream, she comes across some obstacles. Some of her familial relationships are shaky – dealing with her sister’s attitude proves trying on Treva’s nerves.

Treva is in a relationship with an amazing man, Brian Chin. But, she’s unsure about their future together. Brian prays for Treva everyday, which I thought was so sweet! They’ve been dating for awhile, but Treva wants more from their relationship.

This was a nice, sweet Christian story that I highly recommend. The characters were so real and vivid, and I believe most people can relate to the family issues that the characters faced.

Do you pray for your spouse/significant other every day?

The French For Christmas

December 9, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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The French For Christmas

Have you ever suffered a deep, emotional pain, and then went away on a trip to try to help you cope with your pain?

This book was an enjoyable tale that’s set on the French countryside. Evie, living in London, is still not over the death of her infant daughter. Her husband has abandoned her, and he failed to be there for her when she needed him. Now, it appears her husband has moved on with his life while, a year later, next year’s Christmas, Evie still struggles with her grief.

Her life takes an interesting turn when her best friend loans her the use of their family cottage on the French countryside. During the Christmas season, Evie stays in the cottage and meets an interesting group of people, her neighbors, who live nearby. During her grieving year, Evie has lost her joy for life and cooking. Her joy of cooking is re-ignited while she stays in the cottage.

I really loved the way I was able to emotionally connect with the characters in this novel. You could really feel for them, feel their griefs, but, they’re strong people, and they learn to survive past pains.

I also loved reading about the food! I took French for four years in high school and during those four years, not only did we learn about the language, but, we learned a lot about French history and culture. A lot of my French Christmas cultural learning came back to me while reading this book! I might even make a yule log/buche de noel this Christmas!

So have you ever suffered a deep emotional pain and went away on a trip to help you cope? If so, where did you go?

 

Raspberry Kisses – Available Now!

December 6, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

RaspberryKisses_FINAL-1

Raspberry Kisses is now available for order!

Kindle

Nook

Ibooks

Scribd

Kobo

Facing eviction, Rhea Morrison, a young grieving widow, must save her failing bakery. Her recently-injured twin sister, Raven, loans her money – stipulating Rhea attend a singles retreat to spy on Martin Lane, Raven’s new love interest. Disgruntled, Rhea attends the retreat and is attracted to Martin. She discovers that Martin can help save her bakery.

Pastor Martin laments over his secret, traumatic past mistakes. He’s destined to lead his father’s church, despite blatant rejection. He can’t love Rhea – he’s yet to forgive himself for his past, and if Rhea knew how he used to be, she would have no interest in pursuing a relationship with him. In spite of their shared attraction, he helps Rhea form a plan to save her business. Martin, a former successful bakery owner, can expertly create delicious pastry recipes.

Rhea feels torn about her attraction to Martin – he’s a pastor, and after her husband’s death, she vowed to never get involved with another pastor. Plus, her twin sister, Raven, has strong feelings for Martin. Can Rhea let herself have romantic feelings for Martin – knowing it would hurt her sister?

Can Martin and Rhea overcome their past so that they’re free to love again?

Happy Thanksgiving! What’s For Dinner?

November 27, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9vqtzb-M2q8/Tsza2HcDuxI/AAAAAAAAE5E/DdEa7hO2kYE/s1600/thanksgiving.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving to all! What are you cooking for dinner?

 

Sunday Brunch! Quails And Manna!

November 23, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Have you ever been starving, with no food to eat, and the Lord miraculously provided food for you?

Can you imagine God providing Manna today, just like he did for the Israelites in the Old Testament?

Exodus 16:4New International Version (NIV)

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.

Exodus 16:11-15, 23,31

11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’
13 So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp,and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. 14 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.

23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”
….
31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

Numbers 11:7-9
7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium. 8 The people went about and gathered it, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil. 9 And when the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it.

Can you imagine what that must’ve been like – finding food on the ground that was left directly by God’s hand? I just think it’s cool and so utterly amazing that it just blows my mind! I wish I could taste manna…I’ve often found myself curious about this bread-like food that came from heaven, initially sheltered beneath a layer of dew. I’ve seen frost on the ground a number of times, but, I can only imagine what it must’ve been like to go out and actually gather the frost-like substance which was actually bread that tasted like wafers made with honey…I enjoy the sweet, sticky taste of honey! They also made them into cakes…I wonder what how those manna honey cakes tasted? The Israelites ate this food for forty years until they came to a settled land.

Have you ever been curious about Manna? Can you imagine the Lord performing such a miracle today? Have you ever been hungry, and the Lord suddenly, and unexpectedly provided food for you? Please share your thoughts with a comment!

Raspberry Kisses – Chapter One!

November 17, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

RaspberryKisses_FINAL-1Raspberry Kisses is now available for order on Amazon!

Chapter 1:

Chapter One

Rhea and her assistant, Candy, piped white icing over the cupcakes. The enticing scent of chocolate filled the air as Rhea glanced at the clock. While swirling frosting over the last treat, her hand shook, and the sugared topping spread into a wavy line. “I can’t believe I messed up another cupcake.”

“You need to calm down, Rhea.”

Using a spatula, she wiped the frosting off and re-iced the last one. The customer would arrive soon to pick up her order. Wiping sweat from her brow, she stared at the cakes. This three-hundred cupcake order would bring in much-needed revenue for her dwindling business.  She really needed this money to pay her growing mountain of unpaid bills. She’d dealt with this customer before and she’d always been nit-picky about her desserts, making changes at the last minute. This order was not a done deal until the customer showed up and paid.

She dropped the pastry bag into the sink. “We finished in time.”

Candy dropped her pastry bag into the sink, too, her nose stud twinkling under the bakery lights. “I’ll box them up before—”

The phone rang and Rhea lifted the receiver. “Maple Grove Bakery.”

“Hi, I’m calling about my cupcake order.”

Rhea gripped the receiver, heart thudding. The client’s high-pitched, emotional voice resonated in her ear. Hopefully, she’d be arriving soon to pick up her order. “Oh, we just finished icing them. We’re about to—”

“I’m canceling.”

Rhea’s mouth dropped open, and she paced the bakery. “You can’t do that!” In order for her bakery to survive, maybe she needed to change her policy, requiring the client to pay a deposit when the order was placed.

“Yes, I can. I got them for half the price you’re charging over at the Grove Mart.” The customer hung up, and Rhea slammed down the phone.

She pressed her hands together, gritting her teeth, forcing herself to stay calm. She’d lost two hundred dollars on the cupcake order. What could she do now? She shut her eyes, pressed her suddenly aching head into her palm.

Candy touched her shoulder. “What’s wrong?”

Rhea struggled to control her voice. “The customer canceled. She got them for half price from the grocery store.”

Candy rolled her eyes. Her light brown skin reddened with anger. “This is the fifth cancellation we received this month.” She shook her head, her dreadlocks swaying. “We can’t go on like this.”

Struggling to control her anger, Rhea kicked a cabinet before slumping onto a stool, silently agreeing with her assistant. She could not go on like this. She’d already lost over one thousand dollars in sales that month because of the recent opening of the new Grove Mart. How could she get her customers back?

She eyed the trays of recently-decorated cupcakes. Unable to resist, she selected one, shoving most of it into her mouth. The wonderful taste of moist chocolate cake and creamy vanilla frosting comforted her. She gobbled two more cupcakes, stopping when she eyed her size-twelve hips.

Candy grabbed two cupcakes. “This has been an awful day. I need to take a walk.” Candy shoved the door open, the bell above the door jingled as she went outside.

Pacing on the sidewalk in front of the bakery, Candy gobbled two cupcakes before walking up and down the street, talking on her cell phone, while Rhea struggled to come up with a plan. She needed to figure out how to compete with the grocery store bakery. If she didn’t, she’d be forced to close her business.

*

Rhea pulled into the empty space in front of her apartment complex, removing the paper sack of baked treats from her passenger seat. She’d be eating baked goods for dinner, not wanting to waste money on food. Her stomach rumbled with hunger as she unlocked the foyer door and stopped at the mailboxes, hesitating.

She unlocked her postal receptacle and envelopes tumbled out onto the floor. The bright pink and blue notices from the creditors reminded her about the delinquent bills. Bending over, she lifted the unwanted bills, stuffing them into her bag.

She trudged up the steps toward her unit on the third floor.

Leonard, her obese landlord, stood at the top of the steps, stooped down, sliding something underneath her door.

“Oh, no, now what?” she mumbled to herself. Her shoulders tensed. Did she have enough time to run outside and hide before he spotted her?

Almost as if he sensed she stood behind him, he turned toward her, his signature cigar hanging from his thick lips. His gray hair looked like crinkly cellophane under the bright lights, and his eyes widened when he spotted her. His too-small T-shirt lifted slightly, giving her a peek of his fat, hairy stomach. He pulled his shirt down, shoving the hem into his dirty blue jeans. “Rhea! I need to talk to you!”

Lord, help me.

She swallowed, walking up the steps, grasping her keys so hard that they dug into her skin. Hopefully, he wouldn’t try to ask her out again. He always leered at her as if she were a thick slab of meat that he wanted to gobble up. “Leonard, what do you want?”

“Your lease expires in four months.”

“So?”

“I’m not letting you renew it.”

She gripped the stair rail, groaning. “What do you mean?” Leonard charged the cheapest rent in Maple Grove. There was no way she could afford to live elsewhere.

“My nephew just graduated from college. He’ll be needing a place to stay later this summer. So, I’m letting him have your unit.”

“You can’t do that!” Balling her hands into fists, she glared at him.

“Yes, I can.”

She scowled, getting into his face. “You have an entire apartment building. Why’d you choose my unit to give to your nephew?”

Smoke curled from his cigar, the stench making her stomach clench. He pulled it from his mouth, licking his lips. He continued standing in front of the entrance, unmoving, like a statue. Why didn’t he answer her question?

She pointed toward her door. “I need to go inside.”

He shook his head. “Not until we talk.” His hot, musty breath fluttered around her face, almost making her gag. “You think I’m too old for you, but, if you go out with me, I might decide to choose another tenant’s apartment for my nephew.”

He took another puff of his cigar. She gritted her teeth. Could she really stand here, continuing to talk to this man any longer?

“Move!”

He refused to budge. “Make me move.” His taunting voice broke her patience. She reached forward, pushing, her fingers sinking into his fleshy arms. “I love seeing you angry,” he purred, leaning toward her, pulling her to his chest, his foul lips descending toward her cheek. The stench of his body wafted over her. When was the last time he had a bath? Her heart pounded, and using all her strength, she kicked his shin with her hard-toed shoes.

He hollered, his lit cigar, dropping from his mouth, landed on the dirty carpeted floor. Cursing, he turned away from her, lifting his cigar from the floor, placing it back into his mouth. “That’s the last time I try and be nice to you! You better find a new place to live! I don’t want you in my building anymore.” He narrowed his eyes, glaring at her. “You think you’re such a high and mighty broad, but, I got news for you, you’re gonna wish you’d taken me up on my offer when you’re homeless!”

Raspberry Kisses is available for order!

Sunday Brunch – The Exodus Magicians!

November 16, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Picture: “Sahara Desert” by James Barker on Freedigitalphotos.net

Why did the Exodus magicians have such great power? What compiled the secret arts which they used to perform their tricks?

In Exodus, Moses, with Aaron’s help, pleaded with Pharoah to let his people (Israel) go into the desert so that they could worship the Lord. The Lord hardened Pharoah’s heart, and He also struck Egypt with many plagues

Exodus 7:10-13New International Version (NIV)

10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.

What, exactly, were the secret arts? Were the magicians’ snakes merely illusions? After all, Aaron’s staff swallowed up the magicians’ staffs.

Exodus 7:20-23New International Version (NIV)

20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.

22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart.

Exodus 8:6-7New International Version (NIV)

So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

Again, I wonder about the magicians’ secret arts. How in the world could they turn water into blood, and make frogs appear in Egypt unless it was merely an illusion? This dreaded power almost seems to be a battle between Satan and God as they struggle with the tug of war between the Egyptians and the Israelites.

Exodus 8:17-19New International Version (NIV)

17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats. 18 But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.

Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, 19 the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.

The magicians say that the gnat infestation was from the finger of God – so they are obviously aware of the Lord’s power. This scripture is proof that their secret arts had no power over God. Would they not fear Him, no longer wanting to perform these secret arts which seem to go against God?

Exodus 9:10-12New International Version (NIV)

10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on people and animals. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians.

Again, the magicians’ power is minimized because they are now covered with boils, no match for God’s power.

I wonder if these magicians realized how small and insignificant their power was when compared to God? I wonder if they still relied on these secret arts, and if they made a habit of deceiving others using their false power? How did they manage to conjure up this secret power? What did they say and do to make these things happen?

Share your thoughts!

Raspberry Kisses – Now Available For Pre-Order!

November 13, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

RaspberryKisses_FINAL-1

Raspberry Kisses is now available for pre-order!

Facing eviction, Rhea Morrison, a young grieving widow, must save her failing bakery. Her recently-injured twin sister, Raven, loans her money – stipulating Rhea attend a singles retreat to spy on Martin Lane, Raven’s new love interest. Disgruntled, Rhea attends the retreat and is attracted to Martin. She discovers that Martin can help save her bakery.

 Pastor Martin laments over his secret, traumatic past mistakes. He’s destined to lead his father’s church, despite blatant rejection. He can’t love Rhea – he’s yet to forgive himself for his past, and if Rhea knew how he used to be, she would have no interest in pursuing a relationship with him. In spite of their shared attraction, he helps Rhea form a plan to save her business. Martin, a former successful bakery owner, can expertly create delicious pastry recipes.

 Rhea feels torn about her attraction to Martin – he’s a pastor, and after her husband’s death, she vowed to never get involved with another pastor. Plus, her twin sister, Raven, has strong feelings for Martin. Can Rhea let herself have romantic feelings for Martin – knowing it would hurt her sister?

 Can Martin and Rhea overcome their past so that they’re free to love again?

– See more at: http://ceceliadowdy.com/bakery-romance-series/#sthash.HMPsIAti.dpuf