Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Guest author Kimberley Payne!

Welcome to Kimberley Payne! Kimberley's newest book is out and she's here to talk about it. I love the cover.

Adam’s Animals – Fun Facts About God’s Creation just released this spring!

Is your church running a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program this summer based on the Weird Animals curriculum?

Consider using Adam’s Animals along with the accompanying craft book, Super Simple Animal Crafts in your Sunday School program leading up VBS. It’s a great resource for your church to generate interest in your summer programs.

Adam’s Animals is an entertaining and educational book that offers children loads of fun while they learn about the Bible.

Inside you’ll find:
• Bible stories about the animal
• Fascinating facts about each animal
• Whimsical illustrations for creative colouring fun
• Word search puzzles to learn new words and improve spelling

Watch a video of author Kimberley Payne reading from Adam’s Animals

View sample pages from Adam’s Animals

What others are saying about Adam's Animals
"Kimberley looks at the creatures found in the Bible and gives children some incredible scientific facts about them. She then follows those facts up with Scripture references from the Bible on what God has to say about the many animals she has listed in this book. If your child is one who likes "Did you know...?" books, they'll love this one. Included in the book are word search activities and pictures to colour." – Laura Davis

"Author Kimberly Payne has done a thorough job of researching the animal kingdom and combining it with scripture and biblical stories. This book has many fascinating facts about animals and is laid our in a very organized manner with pictures to color and word puzzles." – Carol Stratton

"From ants to worms, children will not only find the facts interesting, some will even make them giggle. At the same time, they are learning how creative God is that he would make so many animals with distinct characteristics."
– Carol Round

"I plan to use this book in our home school program as it integrates faith, science, language and art. My kids love it - there is much information in it, our 12 year old couldn't get through it in one sitting." – Michelle Evans

"This is a delightful book filled with (as promised) fun facts about God's creatures. I appreciated the focus on scripture and how Kimberley aligns God's word with God's creatures. The word challenges are a wonderful way to hone other skills such as spelling and reading, too, so this is a great activity to go along with the information."
– Glynis Belec

"This children's activity book cleverly ties in scripture, so not only does it teach the inquisitive child about God's creations, but also about God's word." — Melanie Fischer

Buy the Book
On Amazon

About the Author
Kimberley Payne is an award-winning author who combines her teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science and faith. You can visit her website at

Monday, July 7, 2014

Love After Death

I love you to the moon and back.

I love you beyond tomorrow.

Love. Love for kids. Love for our kids.

Who knows how deep it is?

Who knows better than a bereaved mother?

With the births of my first three children, I loved them in all their red-faced fuzziness. By the time my fourth child was born, I knew I loved her more than ever.

Did I love her more?

No, but I knew of the depth of my capacity to love.

What had changed?

My second child, Daniel, had died just three months earlier.

And with his death, I realized how great and vast and powerful and consuming a mother's love is for her child. And that once a child is gone, there is a fierceness to love, to love that continues, but has no living-on-earth object of love.

It's been nearly eighteen years since Daniel died from cancer treatments in 1997.

Every single day my love has grown for him and for his siblings.

I know the ache of loss and absence and that both of these bring you to a new understanding. Love goes on after death. On and on. And it is a kind of love that can take your breath away.

I knew I loved my children before Daniel left us, but I wasn't aware of how pulsating and immense this love was.

If you have lost a child to death, you know just what I mean.

If you have not lost a child, you think your love is already great. It is, I will not deny that. It is growing as all living things grow. But you can not know how your love can make you yearn so much for one who is no longer there by your side. You cannot know the extent of longing for one you will no longer see----even if only at Christmas because he lives overseas. This love can only be experienced in this way after you have had to say good-bye.

There is something about the permanency of death that makes us realize how much we can love because once that child is gone from us, we feel the sorrow of life without a living person to give that love to. But it's more than that, we recognize how devastated we are without this person in our lives and now entwined that child is to us. Even in death.

What irony that it takes death to discover this love.

Is it true then? She/He who has lost much, loveth more? Or does she just understand the ocean-like quality of love more completely?

Hug your children.

Cherish the memories.


World Blog Tour with Pamela Thorson

Today I have Pamela Thorson as a guest on my blog for the World Blog Tour. I'll post a bit about her and her recent book and then answer four questions about me.

Pamela's new devotional is Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver. It's a carefully-written insightful book. Pam is a nurse and a veteran caregiver for her son. In this time-consuming role, Pam faces many challenges as well as gifts and blessings. Those who are also caregivers will find hope in her authentic words as they view fresh perspectives about their roles in caring for those with Jesus' love.

Every chapter of Pam's devotional ends with a prayer and some questions for reflection. Here is a prayer from the chapter called "Jimmy's Hunger".

Father God,
I understand my perception of You
has been shaped by my earthly father.
I ask You to reveal to me the ways
in which I have misunderstood who You are.
Help me break free from wrong pathways
and understand the depth of Your unconditional love.

Be sure to read more about Pam at her website.

Out from the Shadows is avaiable at many vendors, including Amazon. Read the book in paperback or on your e-reader.

Now it's time for me to answer these four questions which each Blog Tour host is asked to do.

1) What am I working on?

I am breaking from novel writing and cultivating bits and pieces of what keeps me up at nights----the desire to write a memoir. My agent is currently pitching this memoir titled I Came To Life Late. Yep, that title says it all, doesn't it? Everyone else seems to have things figured out and I am still out in the cold wondering where the front door to get into the party is. That's been me as a child and even as an adult! The memoir reflects on my childhood in Japan as a missionary kid and also how my past illusions about life have kept me from living life as it really is----tough, filled with disappointments and multiple heartache, and in need of God's grace, mercy and patience. As I write, I want most of all to be authentic in my story, not taking the easy way out by sugar-coating anything and that includes my marriage, my financial woes, my children, and the death of my four-year-old son Daniel. I know that there are many----especially women and mothers----who expected their lives and families to turn out differently than they have. This memoir is for them, a way of holding their hands and encouraging them to keep on looking up. As long as there is breath, there is hope.

2) How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Since I have five novels published (with the sixth due out this fall), I'll focus on them when answering this question. I think that my published novels are a bit more literary and quirky than many who write inspirational fiction. I like to write in first person, it makes it easier for me than third. My novels are also less subtle in their Christian message because I want to entertain first and master that. People pick up my novels to be entertained and so I want to deliver a well-crafted story in the best way I know how.

3) Why do I write what I write?

I love to have that unique voice and am working hard to improve it with each novel and story I create. My characters are flawed and in need of mercy. I want readers to know that they are not alone in their struggles and heartache. There is a God who listens, is full of compassion and love.

4) How does my writing process work?

I get an idea that usually comes to me on one of my walks, jot down the story briefly, make a chapter by chapter outline and go from there. Ideally, I like to write about three hours every morning. But I have to admit that I don't live in an ideal environment.

Next stop on the World Blog Book Tour?

Lindsey Bell! She will be posting on the Blog Tour next Monday.

Her book, Searching for Sanity, just came out in January.

Here's a blub about it:

Have you ever looked at your beloved children and wondered: What in the world am I doing? Why did God trust me of all people to raise them? Motherhood is the most difficult job many of us will ever take. Moms today are busy, overwhelmed and stressed. Many feel underqualified.

Searching for Sanity offers moms an opportunity to take a breath, dig into the Word, and learn from parents of the past. In short devotions designed for busy moms, this book explores the parents of the Bible both the good and the bad. Some of the parents within the pages of God's Word set great examples for us to follow; others made huge mistakes. In Searching for Sanity, you'll learn from both.The wisdom of God's Word, paired with the experiences of another mother-in-training, will help moms find sanity in the midst of chaos.

Read more about it on Amazon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cooking With Author Dianna Benson!

Today I welcome Raleigh, NC, author Dianna T. Benson to my blog.

Dianna's newest suspense novel, Final Trimester has just been released by Ellechor Publishing House. Read a blurb about this book, click on the link to order yourself a copy, and enjoy Dianna's recipe for Cream Cheese Brownies.

Final Trimester

Paramedic Jodi Duncan recognizes the work of a serial killer before the Myrtle Beach PD even suspects a connection between the deaths of two pregnant women. Despite the vast differences in the two cases, Jodi urges Detective Nate Quigley to think outside the box. After digging deep into the separate investigations, Nate finds no evidence to support a serial killer theory, and he warns Jodi to back off police business, which only fuels her passion for the cases.

When a third pregnant woman is murdered, Nate is named lead detective on the case and works to link the deaths in order to unmask and stop the serial murderer, a disturbed man who believes God and the devil battle inside his head to bend him according to their wills. As he fights both voices, his interest fixates on Jodi when he discovers her obsession with ending his rampage.

About Dianna

Dianna Torscher Benson is a 2014 Selah Award Winner, a 2011 Genesis Winner, a 2011 Genesis double Semi-Finalist, a 2010 Daphne de Maurier Finalist, and a 2007 Golden Palm Finalist. In 2012, she signed a nine-book contract with Ellechor Publishing House. She’s the author of The Hidden Son, her debut novel. Final Trimester is her second release.

After majoring in communications and a ten-year career as a travel agent, Dianna left the travel industry to earn her EMS degree. An EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative since 2005, she loves the adrenaline rush of responding to medical emergencies and helping people in need.

She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and their three children.

Visit Dianna's website.

Read more about Final Trimester at Amazon.

And be sure to try these delicious brownies.

Cream Cheese Brownies

1 cup butter or margarine
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
Vanilla extract
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1) Grease a 13X9 baking pan. In 2-quart heavy sauce pan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate. Remove pan from heat. With wire whisk or spoon, beat in 2 cups sugar and 3 eggs until well blended. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour, salt, nuts and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Spread evenly in pan.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl with mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until just mixed; at medium speed, beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
3) With large spoon, drop mixture in dollops on top of batter. Using tip of knife, lightly score top surface in a crisscross pattern.
4) Bake 40-45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack. Cut into bars. Refrigerate.