Wednesday, December 22, 2010

End-of-the-Year Celebration DAY 1!

*Sorry I'm late posting this! I had some last minute stuff to do. :/

Hello my awesome readers! I am so excited about this party! It is going to be epic. ;) If you don't know the details of how this party is going to work, then visit HERE. That should tell you all you want to know! Let the fun begin!!!

Today, I'm featuring authors Lisa Harris, Debby Mayne, and Mary Conneally! Great group, huh?? :D Let's get started!

What is one thing or area where God has been changing you in 2010? Do you have any scriptures to go along with/support that?

Lisa: This has been good but extremely busy year. I tend to be the kind of person who wants to do everything on my own, but this year, in particular, God has stretched me far from my comfort zone. But He has also continued to remind me that even in doing things “for Him” and my family, I need to rely on His strength and never my own.

Paul speaks of this often in his letters (I guess I’m not the only one who needs to be reminded) about how God’s Spirit helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26), and it is when we are week, that through Him we are made strong. (II Corinthians 12:9) In fact, it is through our weaknesses, that Christ’s power is made greater!

Debby: The Lord is always working on me and reminding me to keep my heart and mind focused on Him. My favorite scripture verse is Psalm 51:10 because it reminds me that I’m constantly bombarded with things that aren’t pleasing to Him and that I need to pray for perpetual cleansing.

Mary: One big change is, when I read scripture now, my focus is on souls. That sounds sort of funny, I guess, but I was reading the verse where Mary is told by the angel that she’s going to have a baby and she says some version of, “No way. I can’t. I’m a virgin.” The angel comforts her and ministers to her.
Then almost within the same page, Zachariah is told his wife is going to have a baby (John the Baptist) and Zachariah responds almost word for word as Mary did. “No way. We can’t. She’s too old.”
God strikes him dumb and he can’t speak until after the baby is born.
Now why did God act so differently to the two of them? Mary and Zachariah are people of faith, clearly large enough faith that God found them worthy for a huge but difficult and miraculous blessing. Why did Mary get ministered to and Zachariah get stricken?
It comes down to what was in their hearts…their souls. Reading that, as so often happens with the Bible, I felt like it spoke to me in a new way and since then I’ve tried to read the Bible with it in the forefront of my thoughts, that God’s focus, his priority, is our souls. His ministry to us is for the purpose of our souls. God doesn’t look at a terribly sick believer and think, “Poor guy is sick, I need to heal him.” God thinks, “His soul is well, he is my blessed, healthy and whole child.”

Tell one thing that God did for you this year just to show He loved you.

Lisa: This question made me smile. This morning I was working out in the gym and was reminded of how God has shown us His love while we are home on furlough. (We are back from Africa on home leave for four months right now.) Among many of the blessings, we are in a furnished house that has a room for each of our three children. Each child has a desk where they can do school. The house is big enough for us to invite people over, and it even has a gym in the neighborhood where I can fight off the unwanted pounds of all the yummy food. And while that last one might sound funny, I’ve been worried about gaining weight while I’m back. So that’s why I was struck this morning (again) how God cares for the small things that might not be important over all, but they are things that are important to me.

Debby: He has been with me through good and bad. I’ve had incredible blessings and deep sadness, but He’s always been there for me.

Mary: He made my car start one cold day when I needed it to desperately. I really felt like it was a miracle. The car key wouldn’t turn and it had been acting up for a long time, locking in the off position and we needed a new starter and just hadn’t gotten it done yet. And that day it wouldn’t turn. I tried multiple times and it was just stopped. And I was upset because I wasn’t sure how I was going to get home. I stopped and prayed and that key just turned. It was so perfect. So much in that very instant of prayer.

What is your favorite memory from 2010?

Lisa: On our way back to the States this past September--thanks to the airline who didn’t charge us for an extended layover--we were able to spend two weeks in Europe with our kids visiting several close friends we hadn’t seen in several years. We were able to spend time in Paris, Holland, Lyon, and London. Definitely memories I will keep with me for a long time.

Debby: My favorite memories are all centered on family. My husband and I are empty-nesters, so every time we have both of my adult daughters, son-in-law, and granddaughter with us, we’re very happy.

Mary: I’ve got a one year old granddaughter so my thoughts went to her first, but I’m not sure which moment to pick. She’s such a doll baby. So I think I’ll pick the moment I won the Carol Award. I won it for Cowboy Christmas at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference. Janette Oke gave a speech before hand and Carol Johnson, the lady who fought hard to publish Janette’s first book, Love Comes Softly, handed me my award. It was a sweet, sweet moment.

Do you have any New Year resolutions in mind?

Lisa: Spiritually, I want to read through the Bible. Personally, I spent this year losing weight, (part of my fit at forty goal J) so next year, I want to up my strength and endurance.

Debby: I plan to worry less and enjoy all God’s blessings more. For the first time in many years, I’m not compelled to go on a diet or work harder at anything. I don’t want to stop eating healthy food or slow down my production, but I want to enjoy life more.

Mary: I quit making New Years resolutions a long time ago. I never keep them and I figure if I can’t change myself I can at least KNOW myself. So why bother making promises to myself that I’m not going to keep, huh?

What is one goal you have set (or God has put on your heart) for 2011 apart from New Year resolutions?

Lisa: A friend and I recently began a non-profit to help meet the physical needs of those we work with in Africa. Along with some of the other projects we are already involved in, including micro-loans and orphan care, God has put on my heart to help empower women living in the village with some kind of handwork that they can sell and help provide better for their families. I’ll be spending the next few months researching what will work best where we live and hope to have something going by the end of 2011. You can visit to find out more about this project.

Debby: I would like to mentor other writers who have a strong desire to be published but aren’t sure what to do next.

Mary: Well, this is a little odd, but I’m going to maybe create a false identity for myself and start a second career writing romantic suspense. I’ve sold one book under a pseudonym that will be out next October and if things go as I hope it’ll be a whole parallel career path for me. I’m really interested to see if that works out. If readers want to read something by me alter ego.

Giveaway! These great authors have generously offered these 3 books for one lucky winner!

Blood Ransom, autographed, by Lisa Harris
Portrait of Love, autographed, by Debby Mayne
Sharpshooter in Petticoats, autographed, by Mary Conneally

For this party, only people with USA mailing addresses can enter. You must leave your email address in order to be entered so that I can contact you if you win.

Mandatory first entry: You must be a Google Friend Connect follower (in sidebar) of this blog, OR be an email subscriber (in sidebar) to this blog to enter this giveaway. Let me know in your comment to enter (with your email address) which you are.

Extra Entries:

+1 Post the link for this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. (If you do both, that is +2)

+1 GFC follow or email subscribe to my other blog, Christian Book Giveaways.

+1 Put the buttons for one or both of my blogs on your blog. (You can get the HTML in my sidebar.) If you put both buttons up, that is +2.

+1 For every friend you get to come, enter this giveaway, and say that you sent them. (Make sure they use a name that I can connect with you. I want to make sure the extra points go to the right person!

+2 Post about this giveaway on your blog, telling which books will be given away.

+3 Leave a comment for at least one of the authors in this giveaway encouraging them with something you like about them personally, their writing, or one of their books.

I have one special way to gain extra entries, so pay close attention… For every day that the banner for this End-of-the-Year Celebration at the TOP of your blog (starting the 22nd) it will count as +1 entry towards the final blowout giveaway on the 30th and 31st. That means you can earn up to 10 more entries in the final giveaway!!! You can grab the banner’s HTML HERE.

This giveaway ends tomorrow (Thursday, December 23) at 6 p.m. CST. I will try to promptly contact the winner after that time. Winners will be announced in the next morning's post.


Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Wow what a way to celebrate Christmas by interviewing such interesting people! I'll admit I didn't know much about Lisa Harris or Debby Mayne so it was fun to get to "meet" them! It's funny, no matter how different people may seem family, friends and faith are at the top of most everyone's list when we think of the holidays! I just love Christmas!

Oh yeah Hi Mary, I just wanted to let you know that my friend Lori received the copy of Sharpshooter in Petticoats that I ordered her for her birthday yesterday so it's officially in readers hands!!! YAY! There's no better way to treat people than to make them smile and your books do that, keep it up!!! Can't wait for the next one. :-)

I'd love to be entered to win!

+1 GFC follower of CBG
+2 both buttons on my sidebar
+1 button for this at the top of my blog
+3 comment for Mary!

XOXO~ Renee C.

Renee Ann said...

Great interview, Carman! What could be better than reading about folks who love the Lord and love to write. It was interesting to hear about Lisa's mission work. And Debby and Mary look way too young to have grandkids! I loved what Mary said about God attending to the health of our souls--and not so much the other stuff that we focus on.

Please enter me in your super giveaway. I'm both a GFC follower and an email subscriber. reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

+1 I'm a GFC follower of your other blog.
+1 I have CBG button on my sidebar.

Casey said...

This is such a fun way to celebrate the new year!

Mary, you ALWAYS make me laugh. But you know that already. But you also have a way of putting words on paper that always gives me a thrill to read- and laugh. :) You are amazing!! :)

Carman, oh my, hope I get them all here. :)

I'm a follower

+1 will post on FB right after this
+1 follow your other blog

And...that is all for right now. Thanks for starting some great fun! :D

Amber S. said...

What a fabulous interview! :D It was so fun hearing from all of these authors!

Mary, wasn't one of your favorite memories when we invaded Seekerville and scored you the most comments on your post? ;) I personally found it quite fun and enjoyable... ;)

Anyway, I'd love to be entered in the giveaway!

+1 I'm a follower of your other blog, Carman. :)

Merry Christmas!



Emily said...

I really enjoyed this! :D Please enter me! :) I'm following

Katy said...

What an awesome giveaway, Carman! I am already a follower of this blog, so please count me in!

I posted about this giveaway on FB

I am a follower of your other blog

I now have both your buttons on my sidebar!

And I just wanted to say thank you to all the authors for taking the time to write! I have read two of Lisa Harris' books, and know she has a lot of talent! Keep up the awesome work! :-)

~ Katy

Lisa Harris said...

This was such a fun idea, Carman! Thanks for letting us be a part. And thanks to all of you for taking the time to stop by.

Merry Christmas!


Maureen said...

Carman I don't know how you do it. Great Giveaway!
I do subscribe by GFC +1
I posted this Giveway on my Facebook profile +1
I Tweet this giveaway +1
Congratulations Mary on receiving the Carol Award for Cowboy Christmas at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference. I envy you meeting Janette Oke!! +3

amber said...

I subscribe via email. These all look good!!

amber (afren07[at]gmail[dot]com)

apple blossom said...

email subscriber

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

gfc follower

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com