Inspirational Rita Award Winner!

July 28, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

The winner in the inspirational category for the RITA award is:


Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano
David C. Cook
John Blase and Tonya Osterhouse, editors

Congrats to Carla!
Food, romance, and cooking…what an awesome combination! I look forward to reading Carla’s book!
Hospitality consultant Andrea Sullivan has one last chance to snag a high-profile client or she’ll have to kiss her dreams of promotion good-bye. When she’s sent to meet Scottish celebrity chef James MacDonald on the Isle of Skye, she just wants to finish her work as efficiently as possible. Yet her client is not the opportunistic womanizer he portrays himself to be, and her attraction to him soon dredges up memories she’d rather leave buried. For James, renovating the family hotel is a fulfillment of his late father’s dreams. When his hired consultant turns out to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely unimpressed by his public persona, he makes it his mission to win her over. He just never expects to fall under her spell.

Soon, both Andrea and James must face the reality that God may have a far different purpose for their lives—and that five days in Skye will forever change their outlook on life and love.

Sunday Brunch – A Pillar Of Salt?

July 27, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Why did Lot’s wife become a pillar of salt?

Genesis 19:26

26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

I realize she’d been disobedient – the Lord had said not to look back, but, Lot’s wife looked back. But, why would she turn into a pillar of salt? I’d think that the Lord would’ve struck Lot’s wife dead, suddenly, for disobeying. I’d wondered if the salt had some deep meaning – is a pillar of salt symbolic?

I was talking to someone in my Bible study group and she said that when’s Lot’s wife looked back, she’d been so abhorred about the death and destruction that she’d witnessed that she froze, could not move, and perhaps the sulfur which the Lord had raining down from the sky, had fallen upon Lot’s wife, therefore turning her into a pillar of salt.

Another thought is, perhaps his wife just did not want to leave, and had to look back, to see what she was leaving behind. Lot and his family lingered so much that the angels had to take their hands and force them to leave!

Genesis 19:15-17

15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.

Lot and his family didn’t realize the gravity of their situation. Perhaps Lot’s wife really didn’t want to leave – and when the angels forced her to go, she went against her wishes. Perhaps, when she looked back, she was thinking about returning to her home, and to her friends who’d been left behind?

We can only speculate about this since the scriptures give us limited information about Lot’s wife. Far as I can tell, we don’t even know her name.

Why do you think Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt? Do you recall anything your pastor or Bible study teacher shared with you about this subject?


Deadly Communications by Lillian Duncan – Author Interview

July 19, 2014 Posted by novelistcd


I’d like to welcome author Lillian Duncan to my blog! I found the premise to her story interesting because her heroine is a speech pathologist! My son stutters and he had to go to speech and language pathologist for over a year to help him with his stutter. Her story sounds intriguing and I encourage you to purchase a copy to read!

Deadly Communications



Improving communication skills is never easy. In this case, it could be murder!

Maven Morris is a speech-language pathologist on medical leave–or as she likes to put it: out to pasture.

When she’s offered a lucrative position by one of the community’s most powerful men to help his traumatic-brain-injured daughter improve her communication skills, Maven discovers deadly secrets behind the iron gates of the mansion.

Now, she must find the courage to seek justice no matter who gets hurt–even if it’s her.




Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband, two parrots, one Jack Russell, and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel she’s thinking of renaming Clifford since he keeps growing and growing and….

As a speech pathologist in the public schools for over thirty years, she worked with students of all ages with a wide variety of conditions, but especially with deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives. especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced mystery and suspense with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian and her books, you may visit her at or She also has a devotional blog at







Deadly Communications features Maven Morris, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who gets a little too involved with her clients. Okay, a lot too involved. When a client she’s working with leaves abruptly, Maven is suspicious and she won’t rest until she finds her.


What’s the setting for DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS?

It takes place in the city of Wooster, Ohio. Coincidently, it’s a city I’ve lived near most of my life. But, of course, the story is fictional and not based on reality!


How did you come up with the title for DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS?

How could that not be the title? When a speech-language pathologist (SLP) gets involved in a murder mystery, what else could you name it?


Is DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS the first book you published?

No, I’ve been blessed to have several books published in the past few years. My last release was BETRAYED in January of this year. It was the second in my Sisters By Choice series. The third, REDEMPTION, will be released in September.




Three things happened within a few days of each other to inspire DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS.

First, my brother asked why I didn’t write a story featuring a speech-language pathologist. To which my answer was that it would be difficult to come up with a suspense story and an SLP.

Secondly, a few days later I was talking with someone whose daughter had been involved in an accident and was now experiencing communication difficulties.

Thirdly, as writers are prone to do, I was sitting daydreaming and had a vision of a young woman running through the woods and into ongoing traffic.

That’s all it took! My writer mind took over from there and DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS was born.


So, then it sounds as if you were a speech-language pathologist. Tell us a little about that job.

I retired as an SLP from a large city school district in Ohio, then spent several more years working part-time in smaller, rural districts near where I live. Between the two jobs, I don’t think there is any type of child I haven’t worked with at least once.

I loved my job and still miss it. Mostly I miss the children, not the paper work involved. If it weren’t for serious health issues, I would still be working.


What do you want readers to take away from DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS?

Before the story starts Maven has experienced a series of life-changing events that have led to depression. Maven chooses to get out of bed and keep moving. It’s not easy when life throws us a curve ball or two. It may not seem fair, but how we react to those things will determine the quality of our future.

As the story moves forward we see Maven struggle with her spirituality as she faces some difficult circumstances in her life. I want readers to know they can do the same.


Was it difficult to write a character with communication problems?

Not at all. In fact, that was part of the fun of writing DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS. In the scenes where Maven is working with her client, all I had to do was close my eyes, imagine the interaction, then open my eyes, and write it.


What is your writing process?

I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.


Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?

Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I’m surprised right along with my readers. DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS was no exception. I wasn’t sure who the culprit was until the very end. Maven and I suspected one person, but we were wrong!


Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?

I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s okay, I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.


Then what makes your stories Christian Fiction?

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories in any way. My characters experience the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions.

My stories always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.

One more word about Christian Fiction, it has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian Fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian Fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.


What are you working on now?

I have a devotional blog POWER UP WITH GOD’S WORD: Secrets For a Better Life at: I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors two years ago and so many of the devotions focus help others who are facing a crisis—physical or spiritual.

The third book in The Sisters By Choice series (REDEMPTION) will be released in September. Along with that that I’m working on the second in the Deadly Communications series. As of now, its title is Nowhere to Belong.



My website is and I have a devotional blog at My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at  I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at

Thanks for being on my blog, Lillian! I’ve enjoyed this!


Tempest’s Course

July 18, 2014 Posted by novelistcd


Tempest’s Course

When Kelly Frost, a textile conservator, is hired to restore an old quilt, she’s surprised when she’s gets the bid for the project. Having to temporarily relocate to a new town, she meets Tom Pereira, the groundskeeper for her new home. Tom has been discharged from the military, and he’s dealing with a lot of problems. He makes a living tending the gardens and doing odd jobs, but his father thinks he’d do better by getting a college education. He is attracted to Kelly and Kelly is attracted to Tom. A foster kid, she can barely recall having a real family. Kelly’s on her own as she attempts to restore the quilt, however, spooky things are happening in her temporary house. She’s not sure why someone is lurking around, causing trouble.

I enjoyed this romance. I also liked reading about the heroine’s occupation as a textile conservator. It’s not a profession that I read about often. I’d recommend this book as a nice, heartwarming read.


Sunday Brunch – The Tower Of Babel!

July 13, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Can you imagine, building a tower that stretches all the way to heaven?

I’m doing my Sunday Brunch post a little differently today. I’m posting a Bible verse, with my random thoughts and questions. My random thoughts/questions are in parenthesis.

Genesis 11:1-9 NIV:

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

(I find it hard to imagine grown people actually thinking they can build a tower that reaches to the heavens! I’m wondering if, back then, people weren’t conscious of boundaries since they didn’t have the luxury of science and technology? Did they look in the sky, see the clouds and not fathom how far away those clouds were? Did they think building to the clouds was the same as building to the heavens? Were the clouds much closer back then? Was heaven closer? If somebody, today, were to say they were building a tower to reach the moon – we’d be like, NO WAY! Just wondering what was going through people’s minds back then when they decided to build this tower.)

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

(I’m assuming the Lord confused their language first, before they scattered? Did they wake up one morning and nobody understood one another? I’m wondering if families were broken, separated, because of a sudden language barrier? I guess the Lord did not want them to build this tower because the entire task was impossible, and besides, that would take massive attention from the Lord, people would be more focused on building this impossible tower, instead of focusing on God. )

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. (I’m wondering how the Lord managed to scatter everybody. I’m assuming the people who spoke the same language, gathered together and migrated to a different part of the world?) That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

So, can you imagine, waking up one morning, and a whole city of people not understanding one another?

Sunday Brunch – Noah’s Ark!

July 6, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Did Noah take two of each kind of bird, or did he take seven of each kind of bird into the ark?

In Genesis 6:20, the Lord told Noah that two of every kind of animal would come to him to be kept alive:

Genesis 6:20

New King James Version (NKJV)

20 Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.

Later, in chapter seven, the Lord states that Noah should take seven of every kind of clean animal and two of every unclean animal. The clean animals included the birds:

Genesis 7:2-3

New King James Version (NKJV)

You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; 3 also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.

Why did the Lord specify two, and then seven later, for some of the animals. I’m thinking that initially, two of every kind of animal, regardless of clean or unclean, came to Noah to get onto the ark. Later, somehow, he obtained five more of each clean animal to take onto the ark as the Lord commanded. I’m not sure if Noah had to catch these other five unclean animals, or, if they came to him freely.

Why do you think the Lord initially specified two of each kind of creature? Why is Noah later told to bring seven of each of the clean animals?

My Author Interview!

July 4, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Check out my interview and book giveaway on Elaine Stock’s blog!


Sunday Brunch – Cain And Abel

June 29, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Why did God accept Abel’s offering? Why did the Lord reject Cain’s offering?

That’s a question that’s always puzzled me. The scriptures do not really give us a reason as to why this happened. Someone in my Bible study group pointed out that Cain’s offering was not the right kind of offering. However, there are other agricultural offerings in the Bible. I know they mention agricultural offerings in Deuteronomy.

Cain became enraged that the Lord rejected his offering, he became so mad that he killed his brother Abel. I was thinking that it was Cain’s bad attitude that cause the Lord to reject his offering.

So, why do you think God rejected Cain’s offering?

Genesis 4:2-5

New King James Version (NKJV)

Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

Congrats To The Christy Award Winners! :-)

June 27, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Join me in granting a hearty congratulations to the 2014 Christy Award winners!



Stones for Bread
by Christa Parrish (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)



Dangerous Passage
by Lisa Harris (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)



Take a Chance on Me
by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)



Burning Sky
by Lori Benton (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)



Burning Sky
by Lori Benton(WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Burning Sky also won Novel of the Year.



Harvest of Gold
by Tessa Afshar (River North, from Moody Publishing)



by Ted Dekker (FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group)



by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Congrats To The Carol Award Finalists!

June 25, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Congrats to the 2014 Carol Award Finalists! The Carol Award is given by ACFW. The winners will be announced at the ACFW conference in September.

Debut Novel


The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Natalie Hanemann)


Jasmine by April McGowan (WhiteFire Publishing, editor Roseanna White)


Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Becky Monds, Natalie Hanneman, L.B. Norton)



The Language of Sparrows by Rachel Phifer (David C. Cook, editor Tonya Osterhouse)


Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Becky Monds, Natalie Hanneman, L.B. Norton)

The Dance by Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh (Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Andrea Doering)



When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell (David C. Cook, editors Ingrid Beck, John Blase)


Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Becky Philpott, Julee Schwarzburg, Jodi Hughes)

Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate by Diana Wallis Taylor (Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Lonnie Hull Dupont)

Historical Romance


Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House [Baker] Publishing, editor Raela Schoenherr)


A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House [Baker] Publishing, editor Dave Long)


The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky (Waterbrook Multnomah [Random House], editors Shannon Marchese, Karen Ball)



Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Dave Lambert, Sue Brower, Ellen Tarver)


Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins (B&H Publishing, editors Karen Ball, Julie Gwinn)

Fear Has a Name by Creston Mapes (David C. Cook, editors L.B. Norton, Jack Campbell)



An Ever After Summer from A Bride for all Seasons by Debra Clopton (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editor Ami McConnell)


Love by the Letter by Melissa Jagears (Bethany House [Baker] Publishing, editor Raela Schoenherr)

A Christmas Prayer by Linda Wood Rondeau (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, editor Amberlynn Noelle)



Silver Bells by Deborah Raney (Summerside Press [Guideposts], editor Rachel Meisel)


Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt (Howard [Simon & Schuster], editor Jessica Wong)


Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade, Bethany House [Baker] Publishing, editors Sarah Long, Charlene Patterson)

Romantic Suspense


Trapped by Irene Hannon (Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Jennifer Leep)


Vanished by Irene Hannon (Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group, editor Jennifer Leep)


Jungle Fire by Dana Mentink (River North [Moody Publishers], editor Deb Keiser)

Short Novel


Seaside Blessings by Irene Hannon (Love Inspired [Harlequin], editor Melissa Endlich)


The Doctor’s Family Reunion by Mindy Obenhaus (Love Inspired [Harlequin], editor Melissa Endlich)


Mending the Doctor’s Heart by Tina Radcliffe (Love Inspired [Harlequin], editor Rachel Burkot)



A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr (Bethany House [Baker] Publishing, editors Dave Long, Karen Schurrer)


The Hero’s Lot by Patrick W. Carr (Bethany House [Baker] Publishing, editors Dave Long, Karen Schurrer)


The Sinners’ Garden by William Sirls (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Natalie Hanemann, Lisa Bergren)

Young Adult


A Simple Song by Melody Carlson (Revell – A Divison of Baker Publishing Group, editors Lonnie Hull Dupont, Wendy Wetzel)


Captives by Jill Williamson (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, editors Jacque Alberta, Jeff Gerke)


Project Gemini by Jill Williamson (Marcher Lord Press, editor Jeff Gerke)

- See more at: