And the winners are…

Ooooohhhh! I love to announce winners! And this week I have two to announce…

First of all, thank you to everyone who stopped by to leave a comment. I appreciate you all sooooo much and I know my author friends do too. All right, and now for the winners…

The winner of Lisa Buffaloe’s touching book Nadia’s Hope is Mary Ann Frerichs!

And the winner of Darlene Franklin’s historical romance novel A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas is Maxie Lloyd Hamilton Anderson!

Both of these books are definitely worth the read, so if you didn’t win, check them out on Amazon or anywhere books are sold.

Also, if you haven’t signed up to win Deb Raney’s fantastic three-book collection, there’s still time! Just go here.

Join me every other Thursday for interviews and giveaways with some of my favorite author friends.

Interview and Giveaway with Author Deb Raney – 3 book giveaway!

I’m super excited to welcome Author Deb Raney to my blog and she is giving away, not one, not two, but THREE books. Yes, you read correctly! Deb is giving away a copy of each of the three books in her Hanover Falls Series.

Here is a bit about this awesome series:
An unlikely group of people are drawn together to cope with the tragic aftermath of a fatal fire at a downtown homeless shelter in Hanover Falls, Missouri. Four widows, one widower, a battalion chief, and a son of one of the heroic firefighters—a rookie fireman himself—struggle to make sense of their broken lives in the midst of discovering the mystery surrounding the fire that destroyed their dreams and their futures.
Doesn’t this sound like a series to be added to your TBR list? And now, let’s take a minute and meet the author behind the books…
Thank you for being with us today, Deb. It is such an honor to have you here discussing with my readers your latest series. Speaking of which, what was your inspiration behind your Hanover Falls Series? A few years ago, my husband placed a newspaper clipping beside my plate at breakfast one morning, the story of nine firefighters who died in a tragic blaze in South Carolina. “I think there’s something worth exploring here,” he said. I began thinking how the tragedy would change the lives of those firefighters’ families, yet how they would pull together, because the firefighting world is a “family” unto itself, and before long, the Hanover Falls series was putting itself together in my mind. My niece is married to a firefighter whose family has a proud history of serving as firefighters and my nephew-in-law was an invaluable resource to me, sharing stories and details about the world of firefighting, and loaning me his training manuals for most of the three years I was writing these books.

I love hearing the inspiration behind books, Deb! Do you have a favorite book in the series? A favorite character? I am learning that I’m a little fickle when it comes to books. At one time, I would have said that Almost Forever, the first book in the series, was my favorite, but with After All (book 3) just released with a nice review from Publishers Weekly and readers responding so favorably, now I’m leaning toward After All as my favorite. I really love my “middle child” Forever After, too! Fickle, I tell you!

I completely understand! I can never answer that question when I’m asked to choose which book I like most in my Montana Skies Series. Speaking of books, what is your favorite verse in the Bible and why? For several years now, I’ve thought I really should change my “favorite verse” because it seems like my verse is everyone’s favorite verse: Romans 8:28. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. And yet, that verse has been so foundational in my life that I want to shout it from the rooftops. It’s wonderful to know that even when I can’t see anything good in a certain circumstance, God’s intention for me is good. And everything that happens to me serves HIS purpose for my life. That’s a truth you can live by!

That is such a great verse!  And now, for my favorite question… if you were suddenly given one million dollars, what charity would you like to found and why? I don’t suppose I could talk you into letting me found the Deborah Raney Travel Through Europe Fund, could I? Well, in that case, I would want to fund a charity that provides workers to rebuild Haiti. My parents served on the board of an organization that supported a girls’ home in Haiti, and for more than a quarter of a century, they spent a week or two every winter working at that orphanage. Twice my family and I were scheduled to go with my Dad to spend time at the girls’ home near Port au Prince (I was researching my novel, Over the Waters, set in Haiti) but both times the trip was cancelled at the last minute due to unrest in Haiti. But because of my parents, I have a heart for the country and people of Haiti. What amazes me is how much an American dollar can accomplish in that poverty-stricken nation. We have so much and are so often discontent. They have so little, and seem always to be smiling. There’s a lesson there!

What a wonderful idea for a ministry – and I loved learning about your parents and their ministry to Haiti. Lastly, where can readers connect with you?

Thank you again for being here, Deb. You are truly an inspiration!

Deborah’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Deb’s 23rd novel will release from Howard/Simon & Schuster Spring 2013. She and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy the wildflowers and native grasses in the Kansas prairie garden in their large backyard. They also love traveling together to teach at conferences, and to visit four children and four small grandchildren who all live much too far away.

And now, readers, here’s your chance to win all THREE books in Deb’s Hanover Fall’s Series! All you have to do is leave an encouraging comment for Deborah. A winner will be chosen at random. Sorry this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. If you are a subscriber to this blog, you will receive two entries.  The contest ends on October 25, 2012.

Also, stay tuned as I will be announcing the winners of Lisa Buffaloe’s book Nadia’s Hope and Darlene Franklin’s book A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas tomorrow.

Without Expectation (Guest Post and Giveaway)

I am excited to be back to blogging again! After a month off, it’s great to be return to writing movie reviews, humor and inspirational posts, and hosting some of my favorite author friends. Speaking of favorite author friends…today I have a special guest. Lisa Buffaloe has written a wonderful post about following the Lord. Lisa is the host of Living Joyfully Radio and is also an author. She is giving away a copy of her latest book Nadia’s Hope to one lucky commenter. But more about that at the end of the post. For now, let’s enjoy Lisa’s article…

Without Expectation By Lisa Buffaloe


I’ve been a blogger and writer for years. I’ve attended writer conferences and mentoring clinics, been blessed with a wonderful literary agent, and worked on honing my craft. I thought I knew where God was leading. Then last year, He opened a door to become a radio host. Me? Whimper.

After much prayer, and God’s assurance, I jumped into a new adventure. Equipment, software, and domain names were purchased for Living Joyfully Free Radio. A website was established, and I contacted people to be interviewed. No compensation is received. However the joy and blessings of sharing these wonderful testimonies about our amazing God are worth every moment of time, money, and effort.

Then God called me to step away from my sweet agent and go out into the publishing world on my own. More whimpering. God’s Spirit kept whispering into my soul that my journey would not be like the rest, but to keep my eyes on Him.

However, I want to follow others and the typical pathways. I’m a Buffaloe. Shouldn’t I be traveling in the herd?

So now I’m hiring editors to make sure my work is the best possible, and I’m publishing the stories God has blessed me to write. I’m still scared. I still don’t understand. But I know I am to be obedient. And not only obedient but to live without expectations of what God will do on each of these adventures.

I’m still whimpering, but I want to please God above pleasing man. I want to live my life however God sees fit, to be used in whatever way He chooses. I’m clinging to God, His word, and His promises. And I’m living without expectations in the freedom and excitement of being and becoming who God wants me to be.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, Philippians 2:13 NLT)

What expectations have you placed on yourself and on God?

Lisa Buffaloe is an avid blogger, writer, speaker, and host for Living Joyfully Free Radio. Her past experiences—molestation by a baby-sitter, assault, rape by a doctor, divorce, being stalked, cancer, death of loved ones, seven surgeries, and eleven years of chronic illness from Lyme Disease—bless her with a backdrop to share about God’s unending love and that through Him we find healing, restoration, and renewal. She is the author of Nadia’s Hope, Prodigal Nights, Grace for the Char-Baked and a contributing author of The One Year Book of Joy and Laughter.

Lisa is giving away a copy of her latest book, Nadia’s Hope. Here is the blurb…

The Nightmares continue. Memories won’t heal. Nadia must make a choice. Nadia Minsky fled Israel to escape her past, but she can’t outrun her nightmares. The throbbing scars along her hip and stomach are cruel reminders of shattered dreams. Even though surgeons mended her body, her spirit still bleeds. Friends claim only God can heal her. For Nadia, trusting a God who allowed her to suffer is inconceivable. Can close friends, a wild roommate, and a handsome medical student help Nadia learn to trust? Or will her past forever cripple her future?

For a chance to win Nadia’s Hope, leave an encouraging comment for Lisa and/or answer her question above about what expectations you have placed on yourself and on God. A winner will be chosen at random and the contest is open to everyone. However, if you are a subscriber to this blog, you will receive two entries.  If a winner from outside the U.S. is chosen, they will receive the ebook version. The contest ends on September 27, 2012.

Join me on Mondays for Movie Monday and on alternating Thursdays for two-week giveaways. On the other Thursdays, join me for humor and inspirational posts. Until then, have a great week!

The Ultimate Competition

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

I am incredibly honored to have a very special guest on my blog today. Radio talk show host, author, and blogger Lisa Buffaloe is here today sharing a devotional about keeping our eyes on Jesus. I hope you will be as inspired by Lisa’s words as I am…

The Ultimate Competition

By Lisa Buffaloe

Being the only female in the house brings many opportunities to watch “manly” movies and television shows. Okay I’ll admit, I do enjoy several of them. One is a Japanese television show where competitors attempt to complete a punishing obstacle course set up to use ever muscle group in the body.

To be contestants, people literally set up their own mini-courses at home and train for years. Each level becomes more difficult, and anyone who makes it through the first stage has my admiration. Whew, I’m out of breath just thinking about the competition.

I wouldn’t make it past the starting gate.

Life is hard and often downright tough. Every day we face obstacles — illness, death, job issues, parenting issues, children issues, people issues, life issues, issues with issues…. Argh!

However, what if we faced the day like athletes? The harder the difficulty, the more the honor, and the more prizes received at the finish line.

When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we flex our faith muscles, learn more of who we are, discover more of God, and win our race. And if your race is extremely difficult, your ultimate prize will be all the greater. So let’s lace up those spiritual tennis shoes, enjoy the wild journey, and compete to win! Remember, you’re always guaranteed to win when you’re on Jesus’ team.

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. … When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!… It’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!”  (Hebrews 12:1-13 MSG).

About Lisa Buffaloe…

Lisa is contributing author for The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter. Her articles have appeared in Angels on Earth magazine, as well as Guideposts, Rest Ministries, (in), and others. Her manuscripts have placed in the finals the last two years in the Women of Faith writing contest, the 2010 ACFW Genesis writing contests, and won awards with other distinguished writing contests. Lisa also hosts a radio show Living Joyfully Free. Lisa is an avid blogger, writer, speaker, and radio host for Living Joyfully Free. Her past experiences—molestation by a baby-sitter, assault, rape by a doctor, divorce, being stalked, cancer, death of loved ones, seven surgeries, and eleven years of chronic illness from Lyme Disease—bless her with a backdrop to share God’s amazing promises. She loves to share with others how God’s love is unending, and through Him we find healing, restoration, and renewal.