Monday, November 29, 2010

Second Chance Brides, Lydia's Charm, Love Is Grand

I don't usually lump three books together, but these are very good reading.

Second Chance Brides, by Vickie McDonough, is the second in  her TexasBoardinghouse Brides Series. If you remember from the first book, Garret and Luke Corbett, cousins of Sheriff Luke Davis, had advertised for a bride for Luke. Luke still loved his old sweetheart, who was now widowed and with a daughter.

This book begins with the wedding of Luke and Rachel and a tornado. There are two brides left in Lookout with no desire or means to return to their home. The Corbett brothers pay their rent at the hotel until they marry or gain employment to be able to pay it themselves.

They devise a way to help the girls get to know other available men. Well, let's say both of the brides marry, but it is fun reading to get to that point. Very good book.

Lydia's Charm, by Wanda E. Brunstetter is another wonderful Amish book. I have read Wanda's books since I began reading Christian Fiction, from School House Brides, to Lydia's Charm. 

Lydia is widowed with a small son and returns to live with her mother and grandfather to Charm, Ohio. (I love the way Wanda puts her books in different settings.) Lydia has no desire to remarry. Tragedy strikes Lydia and her mother after her grandfather dies.Two men are interested in her. One is a widower with four boys and the other never wants to get married, but he is drawn to Lydia.

One thing that interested me in this book was the little people. I had never thought of them being Amish, but now that I think about it, it is a good wrinkle in an Amish book. I enjoyed reading this book.

Love Is Grand, by Annalisa Daughety is about the Grand Canyon. This drew me in because I love the Grand Canyon. This is also the first book by Annalisa I had read, but I am sure there will be more.

Ainsley Davis was widowed the day she and her husband found out she was pregnant. She and her daughter hide in her parent's basement. She is so depressed that she does not want to go out or see anyone. She does however, decide to return to the Grand Canyon and her old job as a Ranger. He niece goes with her to care for the baby and hopefully forget a very bad boyfriend.

It is hard for Ainsley to get back in the grove of her old job. She has friends in the Canyon and also meets a new handsome man. Her life path takes many changes. Will she become interested in Jake McGuire, a new face with none of the memories? Or, will she draw closer to Dustin Cooper, a fellow ranger that she has know for years? This is a very good book and I didn't want it to end.

Update on Sandi Rog. She enters the hospital today for more chemo. The doctor tells her it will not be as bad as last time. She has also shaved her head since her hair was already falling out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

There is so much on the television, computer and radio about being thankful. Shouldn't we be thankful each day, not just Thanksgiving?

Last night I couldn't sleep and I began to think of all the things I'm thankful for. Here goes.

I am thankful for

1, Jesus dying on the cross for MY sins. Where would I be without Him?
2, My friends, not only in the US, but in foreign countries. I am blessed daily by your love.
3. My family. I can't spend enough time with them.
4. The church that Christ established. We are so blessed to have such a loving, caring church family.
5. This beautiful earth we live in. I love every season of the year and I have no favorites. Each one is beautiful in it's own way. 
6. The life I live. Each day is a blessing for me. I wake each morning and I am thankful for it.
7. My husband. He didn't know what he was getting into when he married me. I am so blessed to have him and I am so thankful for his love.
8. My children. They bless me in ways they will never know. They are both Christians and that is a blessing in itself.
9. My grandchildren. They keep me young. I love watching them and getting hugs and kisses from them. Each one is so different.
10. One little girl. God gave me a precious soul to keep for six years. She had wisdom, love and a sunny disposition. I am so thankful that God let us have her for a little while. She taught us so much.

These are only a few of the things I'm thankful. Our family will be together tomorrow with my son-in-law's family. To have all of us together is a wonderful blessing.

I wish everyone the best Thanksgiving ever.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thank You from Sandi Rog and The Master's Wall

I thought you would like to read this from Sandi. I talked to her last night and she sounded so good. We had a wonderful visit. Sandi, I love you.

Before my debut novel released, I asked God to be my publicist. 

You see, I was already suffering from MS and would get tired 

very easily. I knew I wouldn't be able to do as much as other 

authors in marketing my book. I said to God I'd do all I could, 

but would He please do the rest. 

Well, on November 1st, the very day my book released, I was 

diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer (T-cell Lymphoma). It was so 

aggressive, they immediately admitted me into the hospital and 

started me on their heaviest dose of chemo treatments. I can't 

even begin to describe how I felt. Sheer joy of having my first 

book published, and sheer terror of a life-threatening disease. 

When my ACFW friends heard the news, they rallied around me 

with prayers, prayer chains, cards, CDs to listen to while in the 

hospital, flowers, and promotion of my book (including filling in 

for me for the book signings I will miss!). My husband was so 

touched, he told me I was surrounded by legions of angels. And 

you know what? He was right. :-)

God heard my prayer. He knew what was going to happen the day 

my book released. And He put it on the hearts of all of you to come 

to my aid. I have chills as I'm writing this. If you just Google my 

book, THE MASTER'S WALL, you will see what God has done 

through all of you. My book goes on for pages and pages on the Google 

search engine. PAGES! Not just the first page! It's even ranked at 

number 21 of highest ratings on Amazon for historical romance. My 

book was published through a small press, so what God has done is 

close to a miracle. I have tears in my eyes as I share this with all of 

you. And all I can say is thank you. Honestly, "thank you" isn't 

enough for the gratitude I feel, for the love I feel. The first months of 

a book's release are critical, and I not only had to cancel my book 

signings, but everything else I had planned for promotion. Had I been 

well, I never would have accomplished what God through YOU has 

accomplished for me. 

Thank you for allowing yourselves to be used by our heavenly Father, 

and for giving me great pleasure during this frightening time in my life. 

This has helped to give me confidence that I am truly in God's hands.

I thank God for all of you.

Lots and lots of hugs in Him, 

Sandi Rog

P.S. If you'd like to share this "thank you note" with others, please feel 

free to do so. I can't keep up to personally thank all those who have helped.

Sandi Rog


Available for pre-order:

2009 Genesis Finalist 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

This Week

We have been gone most of the week. My husband's brother-in-law passed away suddenly Monday afternoon and we have been away for the funeral. We all view greatness differently. Bob Simerly was a great man. A devoted Christian, husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. He will be greatly missed on this earth. Our family get-to-gathers will not be the same. He had a wonderful sense of humor and kept us all laughing.

We arrived back home last night, tired and still shocked that Bob is gone. This morning, my knees are swollen and tight. I've had the ice bag on once and will do again as soon as it refreezes. This will be a lazy day for me, but I will be fine.

I would like to encourage Carol Bazzel to notify me of her address so I can send her a copy of The Master's Wall. If I do not hear by Monday, a new name will be drawn.

Today will be a day for me to rest. Laundry will wait until Monday. I'll have a review on Monday if everything goes well. Have a good week-end.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Winner Is...

The winner of  The Master's Wall is...Drum roll please...Carol Brazle. Congratulations, Carol. If you will send your address to, I will see that you get a free book.

If you did not win, I encourage you to go to Amazon and order this wonderful book. It's an encouragement to read and you won't regret it.

This blog is short today. Wednesday will be a longer one. I was so honored to put these interviews on with Sandi Rog. She is such a wonderful Christian, wife and mother. My desire was to introduce her to all of you. Thank you Sandi for letting us know a little more about you.

Have a nice day, it is finally looking like fall here in Kentucky.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Last Interview with Sandi Rog

Today is the last interview with Sandi in this series. Please leave a comment and I will draw for a copy of The Master's Wall Monday morning. Leave more than one comment if you want to, each will be entered in the drawing. I'm praying my computer will cooperate today.

What inspired you to write “The Master’s Wall"?

I wanted to know what it might have been like to grow up in an era when the church was under persecution. What if you were a kid and your parents were killed because of their faith and you were forced to be a slave? That just intrigued me.

What would you like the reader to take away from this novel?

I want them to ask questions. To be so struck by some of the conversations between Alethea and David that they're enticed to search the scriptures on their own for answers. I want my story to lead them to God's word.

An emotional connection with the reader is essential in writing. What are your tips on how to do that successfully?

Boy, that's a hard one. I could go through and explain all the emotional mechanics a writer should use, but there's a fine line between being melodramatic and sincerely capturing an emotion. All I can think to say is what I wrote above. Don't tell your characters what to do, let them tell you (not that plotting is a bad thing; even plotters listen to their characters). Delve into their hearts, their minds. Find out what makes them tick. What would set them off, move them, hurt them? The answers will be different for each character. Be true to their personality. Be honest, be real. Real in the sense that the reader can relate. One thing I can't stand are pious characters who act perfectly under every circumstance. I can't relate to that at all, and I don't think most the readers can, either. In my next book, the second book to this series, my main character, David, comes in contact with the man who took his parents away. This man practically raped David's mother right in front of him, and as an adult David is expected to accept this same man as his brother in Christ. The man has repented, and he admits to his past faults, but David can't forgive him, and even tries to kill him. To me, that's real. That's honest. I love delving into that kind of controversy because I believe it's something we face every day, maybe in most cases on a smaller level, but ultimately still the same. When someone harms us, then asks for forgiveness, how easy is it to forgive?

I hope this has helped you to learn more about Sandi. I'm anxious for her next book.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sandi Rog and The Master's Wall, 5

We have one more interview after today. Sandi is doing as well as could be expected. She is very tired with the chemo and steroids. The lymphoma is T-Cell. Sandi told me that last night. If you heard A-Cell, it's wrong. It is T-Cell. I have been impressed with her acceptance of this and how she is encouraging me as I try to deal with it. This shows how strong her faith is.

I hope you have enjoyed these little tidbits of the interview. I want you to realize what a wonderful person Sandi is.

I'm having trouble pasting the interview into my blog. My computer has a mind of it's own sometimes.

Let me try to tell you a little from the interview. I hate to do this, but when the computer does not cooperate, you have to try something new.

Things I know about Sandi.
1. She is not a plotter. She lets her characters speak for themselves.She likes them to tell her what they want to do.
2. Her writing time gets interrupted a lot with a three year old. She has to be mommy and put her writing aside sometimes.
3. She is quirky and fun to be with. She has a marvelous sense of humor and has never seen a stranger. On the other side, she can be very serious.
4. She loves hearing from people. Her web sites are : and She may not be able to answer you right now, but she is amazed how much people care about her.
5. She has a deep faith in God. This shows in her attitude toward this horrible disease.
6. She is an encourager. For me especially, she has encouraged me in my writing and in my private life more than anyone will ever know.
7. She looks forward. Not only does she look forward to her earthly home, but to her heavenly one also.
8. She likes Indian food. That's from the country India.
9. Her biggest weakness is self-doubt.
10. She is a praying person. She prays about everything, her writing, her friends, her family. We are to pray without ceasing and she does.
11. I meant to write ten, but I have to put this in. She is the best friend anyone could have.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sandi Rog and The Master's Wall, 4

Over the week-end Sandi and I exchanged emails. I didn't have to rely on Facebook to get my information. She has A-Cell Lymphoma and it was caused from the drug she took for MS. This is horrible. You expect a drug to help you, not try to kill you. Sandi is a strong Christian and she is fighting like crazy.

She has asked if anyone wants to do anything to help her, please buy her book. DeWard Publishing, sent out emails yesterday stating they would give an additional $1 to Sandy and her family for each book sold. You can contact DeWard or go to Amazon to purchase a book without leaving your chair. They make wonderful Christmas presents.

Remember to leave a comment to be have your name placed in the drawing on November 15.

Now more of her interview. Sandi, we love you!

 What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I wrote a historical romance about a half-breed Cheyenne warrior and a Dutch pioneer woman. I became intrigued with the Sand Creek Massacre and the fact that I grew up in Colorado and never knew about this horrific "holocaust." The idea of a Native American Christian coming face-to-face with white men who claimed to be Christians as they killed innocent people from his tribe, including children (all true according to history, by the way), really challenged me, so I had to write about it.

Not many houses want Native American stories, so that one isn't published.

 How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Good question. Yes, life in American is ten times faster than it was in Holland. It leaves me breathless. So, we say "no" to a lot of things. We have a family dinner with the kids and simply hide out at home. 

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Writing related: That I finished THE MASTER'S WALL. This story has been in me for years. Now on to the next in the series, YAHSHUA'S BRIDGE.

  If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A cat. So I can curl up and sleep all day.

What is your favorite food?

Indian food (India Indian, not Native American Indian). 

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Not knowing the craft. So, I learned it. My Native American story mentioned above was my "practice novel." It won first place in the 2005 West Virginia Novel Competition, so I don't think it turned out too bad.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Learn the craft! Get your hands on Dave King and Renni Browne's book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Or stop by my blog where Dave and other fabulous editors hang out, and learn about the craft:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sandi Rog and The Master's Wall 3

We are going to continue our interview with Sandi Rog. She is still in the hospital and so far that is all I know. I pray we will hear something soon and that it will be good news. Well, here goes again.

  Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

There's a piece of myself in all my characters. Even the bad guys. My bad guy in this story (the grandfather) is a bit insane and arrogant. E-hem. I'm ashamed to say I see a little of myself in him as well! Aaack! Better work on that. I also see myself in David. He's hot tempered, but has a passion to please God. Yep, that's me. Then there's Alethea. She's carefree and foolish, but at the same time shrewd, especially when it comes to protecting her own hide. Yes, that's me, too. :-)

  What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

One morning I climbed out of bed to take my two-year-old to preschool. This took place when we lived in Holland, by the way. So, I fed her, got her dressed and loaded her on the bike (we rode bikes, not cars out there). I dropped her off, and right across the street was the grocery store. There were some items I needed, so I decided to head on over there. Because it was so close, I decided to walk.

I crossed the street, pushing my bike, and then I went into the store. As I walked along, a man looked at me, looked away, then looked at me again. Surely, my hair and clothes weren't in that bad of shape. Yes, I'd just crawled out of bed, or felt like I had, but there was no call for anyone to take extra notice—or so I thought. Another couple walked by and gave me a strange look. Well, maybe I did look pretty bad. Finally, one woman's eyes darted downward and rested on me, or whatever it was she saw, so I also looked down. To my surprise, I was still pushing my bike! I'd walked my bike into the grocery store.

I chuckled and managed to get the words out in Dutch, "I'm not awake yet." I think it was my first official joke in Dutch. The woman laughed, so it must have worked. Well, I managed to get the bike turned around and parked it outside where it belonged. After that, I was wide awake.

As you can see by these questions that Sandi is a lot of fun and laughs at her own mistakes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Update on Sandi Rog

Yesterday Sandi had the biopsy. I haven't heard anything more. I always say no news is good news. I know she was concerned from the last time I talked to her and that was a week ago. I pray they can find what is wrong and correct it so we will have our Sandi back.

Just a little update on me. The surgery on my left knee is scheduled for January. At least I will get through the holidays before I have it done. I wanted to have it earlier, but the doctor didn't want to, so I have to go by what he thinks best.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. There are twists and turns in the book that I did not expect. I want to tell you, but it would ruin it for you. The shock of things I didn't expect has made it such a good book. I love to be surprised.

Remember Sandi in your prayers. I'll have more of her interview tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Continued Interview With Sandi Rog

We're going to learn a little more about Sandi Rog today. She will be having a biopsy soon to see what is in her head. Continue to keep her in your prayers.

First, I’m sure our readers would like to know, who is Sandi Rog and why does she like to write Inspirational Fiction?

Hi, there! It's great to be here, Katt. Thank you for having me. I'm originally from Colorado but spent thirteen years in my husband's homeland of Holland where three of my children were born. We have a fourth child who was born here (we're back in the States now). We got her a little t-shirt that says BORN IN AMERICA. It was special because she was the only one of all my kids born here.

I didn't grow up in the church, and after I became a Christian at 16, I decided it was time to clean up my reading. So, I started reading Christian Fiction. Well, I never thoroughly enjoyed reading Inspirational Fiction; it was boring and preachy. But I kept trying. Finally, after a "traumatic experience" with a fiction novel, I vowed to never read it again. While in Holland, I purchased a 500+ page Inspirational novel during a short visit to the States (this was before we could buy books on Internet; wow, makes me feel old, lol). Anyway, I brought it back with me to Holland and devoured it, desperate for something in English that was trustworthy. Well, after wading through sermon after sermon and boring description after boring description, the story finally got moving in the LAST CHAPTER! It was then that I found out it was a SEQUEL (I had no way to get back to the States to buy the next books; not that I really wanted to)! I literally threw the book across the room and vowed to never read Inspirational Fiction again. That's when I decided to write what I wanted to read. So . . . that's why I like to write Inspirational Fiction. Sounds negative, I know. But it's true.

Since then, I've come across MANY wonderful authors and stories. The Inspirational market has improved tremendously! It appears I wasn't the only one who wanted "more."

When did you first discover you wanted to be a writer?

See the story above. :-) But I'll also add . . .

I didn't always want to be a writer. I had other plans. Like becoming an actress or a singer. Once I hit college, I decided acting and singing weren’t for me. But there was always one constant: writing. When I was in fifth grade, I wrote a poem that an adult didn’t believe I wrote. I was shocked by his accusation because I had indeed written the poem all by myself. At the time, I didn’t realize his accusation was a compliment. I also wrote some short stories for a project in Junior High. The teacher thought one of my stories was true and shared with the class how important it is that we “write what we know.” I destroyed her point when I announced that the story was actually fiction. I don’t think she was too happy with me after that. However, by this time I was old enough to see the compliment. In high school, after convincing my mom that the 17 absences I had in English were a computer glitch (I still had an "A"), you'd think I would have realized I had a knack for words and for "telling stories."

Thanks Sandi, and we'll learn more about you Friday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sandi Rog and The Master's Wall, 2

Today, I had a late start doing everything. So far I have not posted anything about the interview with Sandi.

Sandi is in the hospital with a mass/tumor on her brain or skull. Although she has MS, this is in no way connected with MS. In fact, her MS in doing very well. At this time, she needs prayers.

Tomorrow, I will do another part of the interview and I will be adding to it on Friday. Next week, I will put more on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can leave a message anytime and the drawing will be held Friday.

Tell your friends to come by and leave a comment.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Interview with Sandi Rog

First, this is a two week interview with Sandi. There will be snippets of her each day until November 15. Her book goes on sale today, November 1, and I am so pleased that I was included in her decision to publish with DeWard Publishers.

On November 15, we will draw for a free autographed copy of The Master's Wall. You may leave a comment as often as you wish. Each comment will go into a drawing for her book. I am pleased to interview her during this special time in her life.

Sandi has been my friend since August, 2009. We roomed together at ACFW in Denver. It was an experience, a wonderful experience. I grew to love her and respect her.

Sandi is first of all a Christian. Her faith has impressed me and her writing shows her love of God. She is a wife and mother of four precious children. Her husband's precious also. I couldn't leave him out because of all he does for her.

Today, we will look at the back cover of The Master's Wall. Tomorrow, I will start asking questions to Sandi. Then you will get to know more about her and her writing.


He fights for his freedom. She fights for her life. Together, they fight for each other.

After watching Roman soldiers drag his parents away to their death, David, a young Hebrew, is sold and enslaved to serve at a villa outside of Rome. As David trains to become a skilled fighter, he works hard to please his master and hopes to earn his freedom. However, an opportunity to escape tempts him with its whispering call. Freedom beckons, but invisible chains hold him captive to the master's granddaughter, an innocent girl with a fiery spirit. David vows to protect Alethea from his master, the murderous patriarch, and contrives a daring plan—sacrifice his own life to save hers.

Please don't forget to leave a comment. I'll see you tomorrow.