Monday, June 30, 2014

Hosting God by Christina Rich~ The Warrior's Vow ends July 7th

Please give a warm welcome to my friend, Christina Rich. Christina has an awesome and inspiring post for you today. Answer her question to be entered to when her book, The Warrior's Vow. Be sure to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.
Hosting God
I hope you’ll excuse me while I take off my writer’s hat for a moment. There has been something pressing heavy in my spirit lately and since this blog is called The Sword and Spirit, I figured this was just as good a place as any.

Before I’m a writer, before I’m a sister, a daughter, a mother, a wife… I am first and foremost a Christ-bearer, and if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you are a Christ-bearer, too. Galatians 2:20 says Christ lives in me. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

Did you read that? Did your spirit jump with excitement? The Spirit of God dwells in you. Your body, your physical body, hosts the presence of God.

Now that I’ve given you a moment to process that bit of information let me ask you this, how hospitable are you toward the presence of God in you?

In Genesis 18, Abraham is visited by three strangers. I have no doubt Abraham knew he hosted the Lord, because it had not been the first time God had appeared to him and Abraham had a calf prepared. If you glance at Leviticus 4 and 9:2 you’ll see that calves were used as sin offerings. We also see Abraham standing near, beneath a tree, while the strangers ate curds, milk and a prepared calf. He waited to see to their needs. He hosted them with hospitality.

Sarah, not so much. She hid behind the flap of the tent, which was customary as women did not typically dine with the men, but she was eavesdropping, which I imagine was not customary for the woman of the household as she would have been ensuring all was in order to keep the hospitality flowing, especially knowing the Lord dined at their table.

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with her wanting to hear what God had to say. In fact, it is clear the words were directly for her, not Abraham. However, in verse 12 ‘Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’

Her response wasn’t so much in disbelief that she could become pregnant in her old age, but in that now, after all these years of longing and waiting, when she was worn and tired, would have the pleasure.

Abraham was quick and eager to share his hospitality. Sarah, on the other hand, was quick to mock the Lord. It’s funny, perhaps Abraham had the calf prepared as an offering to the Lord because he knew of Sarah’s bitterness. Perhaps, that is why the Lord did nothing more than call her out for her lying tongue after she denied her laughter.

I suppose you are wondering at the purpose of this post. Abraham and Sarah both knew who they were hosting. Abraham sought to honor the Lord, to glorify Him. Sarah did not. Instead, she harbored bitterness for her bareness and mocked the Lord. Shocking, yes?

Is it any more shocking than what many of us do day to day? I know I long to glorify the Lord in every aspect of my life, it’s my heart’s cry. In everything I do, in every conversation I have, in every word I write, in every word I read, in every encounter I have with another human, I want to glorify the Lord. However, I know I fall short. There are moments when thoughts come to my mind that should not. There are times when I want to scream ‘idiot’ to person driving the blue SUV, the one who cut me off and nearly made me ram their bumper. Yet, I know that word, neither builds nor edifies anything in the kingdom of heaven.

I don’t want to offend or point fingers, Lord knows I’m not perfect, but I see Christ-bearers posting all sorts of stuff on face book that shouldn’t be. Things that call out and tempt the sinful nature of others, and well, obviously if Christ-bearers are posting then they are being caught in the temptation as well. And let’s be honest, if I’m fully aware that Jesus is standing next to me, I wouldn’t speak anything less than what I believed He was worthy of hearing. I wouldn’t read fiction that drew out my lustful nature. I wouldn’t gossip, I wouldn’t belittle another, right?

Do you get what I’m saying? Christ isn’t standing beside you. He’s inside you. He’s in you!!! You host HIM!

So, my question to you is, are you a Sarah-type of a host or an Abraham host? 

He Was Hers to Command

Swept away from her home and into the desert, Abigail is as much a prisoner as she is a princess. A ruthlessly ambitious captain of the palace guard intends to force her into marriage and rule Judah through her. Yet the badly beaten soldier Abigail rescues offers another choice—if she dares trust him.

She is royalty, yet Jesse is surprised by the gentle compassion Abigail shows him as he heals. In return, he will help her escape to Jerusalem, protecting her life with his own. But Abigail’s rank and Jesse’s deadly past makes any future impossible, unless forgiveness forged by love can triumph over all.

More about Christina:
Born and raised in Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and children, Christina loves to read stories with happily ever afters, research, take photos, knit scarves, dig into her ancestry, fish, visit the ocean, write stories with happily ever afters and talk about her family and Jesus. Her debut novel, The Guardian’s Promise, released from Love Inspired March 2014. Her second novel, The Warrior's Vow releases July 1, 1015.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson ends June 30th

Please welcome Cindy Thomson to my blog this week! It's great to have you here Cindy. Cindy is giving away a copy of her book, Annie's Stories. Be sure to leave a comment about the interview or ask Cindy a question to be entered. Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a follower for an extra entry.

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I’m in the dining room on my laptop. Just took a shower so I’m dressed in a shirt, sleeveless top and flip flops. (Wet hair!)

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?

That’s not an easy question to answer so I’ll just have to pick one. I wasn’t there specifically for research, but novelists are always soaking in things. My husband and I were in Ireland and I planned to visit someone I’d met online who has some really interesting approaches to gardening. I thought my husband would like to see her property. The woman was very gracious (even made us pancakes because she thought we may have missed that American meal while on our trip.) She was happy to give us a tour of her gardens and tell us what she had planted. But she turned out to be very eccentric. She built her house and decorated it in a very artsy Irish style. Much of what she had had been recycled or re-purposed in some way, which is great but that gives you an idea of her personality. She had never been to America, but had plenty of opinions about us, our government, and our industries. (She obviously spent a lot of time on the internet.) She even asked me if I thought the states would be better off being their own countries! Then as we were leaving she shouted out to us, “Now don’t be putting me into any of your books!” Uh, no promises!

What is something that very few people know about you?

I’m not that mysterious so this is a difficult question. Maybe that I’m not shy when it comes to speaking about something I’m passionate about. I’m a quiet person who prefers to observe before jumping in. That’s why people are continually surprised to learn that I speak in front of groups. I love talking about my writing, genealogy, Irish history…

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)

Hard to pick one. I do treasure the old Smith-Corona typewriter my grandfather used to type letters to my father when he was in WWII.

If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future, when and where would that be and why?

It’s easy to romanticize this, but the truth is the people of the past often had hard lives and short lifespans. I suppose the future might be good, but who knows? If I had to pick I’d probably pick the era I’ve been writing about, the turn of the twentieth century, because there was so much change going on and so many inventions. It was an exciting time to live. But…the time of the American Revolution would also be interesting. Who wouldn’t like to talk to the Founding Fathers? However, I would not like to be caught in that war, and I’m partial to indoor plumbing. If I could just visit the past and ask questions and then come right back that would suit me best.

If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?

My son has an answer to this question. He says his would be Now What Have You Learned? J Mine might be Unlocking the Past.

What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story?

Again, I can’t just pick ONE. There have been many but I’ll just mention one. The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Stedman. It takes place in Australia, much of it on a lonely island where the lighthouse keeper lives. I can’t imagine the vast, incredible natural beauty of that place, and how isolated it is. I would also liked to have intervened when the characters made that fateful decision, but you’ll have to read it to know what I mean.

What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)?

I’m not big into keeping secrets. I do write about them, though. ;-)

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

That might be the night I spent in a monastery run by French monks in Ireland that practiced silence. They were gracious, but the practice, especially when it came to mealtime and you had to make hand gestures to be understood, was odd for me. I don’t know why I thought that was going to be a good idea.

The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Beaches and Brides Romance Collection with Susan Page Davis ends June 16th


Please welcome Susan Page Davis to my blog this week. Susan is giving away a copy of her book Beaches and Brides so be sure to leave a comment to have a chance to win and don't forget to leave your email addy along with letting me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I’m in my office, and I’m wearing green shorts and a striped T-shirt and sneakers.

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research? Maybe that in 1915 a German sympathizer tried to bomb a bridge between Maine and New Brunswick, and I’d never heard about in all the 50+ years I lived in Maine. (This was when I was researching a historical book, The Crimson Cipher).

What is something that very few people know about you? I had a stroke when I was 42 years old. I am thankful to say that I have no residual effects.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair) I absolutely adore our cat, but I can’t really say I own her.

If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future, when and where would that be and why? There are lots of times I’d love to visit, but I don’t think I’d want to live there. I’ll keep this one, thanks.

What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)?
Wow, after thinking about that, I have realized I am still keeping a couple of largish secrets I’ve known for years, and I can’t tell you. Sorry. I’m not sure they even matter anymore, but there it is. Oh, there was that Christmas gift for my brother-in-law that I accidentally blabbed about. Sorry, Steve.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Driving through Manhattan. I was young and foolish. What more can I say? 

The book featured for a giveaway is The Beaches and Brides Romance

Collection, new from Barbour Publishing.

This volume contains five complete historical novels in seaside settings, including my 1820 Maine novel, The Castaway’s Bride. Venture along historic American shorelines, enjoying stories full of adventure, challenge, and romance. In Key West a couple collides over a child’s welfare. In Washington, a captain’s wife guards a secret. In Maine, a castaway returns from the dead. In Georgia, a woman dares to man a lighthouse alone. In Virginia, a wounded soldier recoups at a seaside cottage. Watch as God works through their challenges to bring them safely to a harbor of love.

Other authors in the collection are: Cathy Marie Hake, Lynn A. Coleman, Mary Davis, and Paige Winship Dooly.

I’m giving away a copy of this beautiful book to someone who comments on this post.

Readers, come visit me at my website: I also blog once a month on the Christian Fiction Historical Society. My day is the 23rd of each month. Here’s the link to my latest post there, about legendary lawman Bat Masterson:

Here are links for the book:



Monday, June 2, 2014

Survey Results and a Giveaway ends June 9th

The Reading Survey Results

I put a survey up a couple weeks ago on The Sword and the Spirit. I wanted to share those results with you. Thank you to everyone who participated.

So without further ado here are our favorites:

Favorite Genre we have Historical  Romance winning with 13 votes. Historical coming in second with 8 votes and Romance Suspense 3rd place pulling 7 votes.

Favorite Time Period our numbers run a little closer here. 6 Western, 5 Regency, and 4 Civil War

Story Preference the 3 top winners are so close. 8 voted for Cowboys, 8 voted for Southern Romance, and 7 voted for Sweet Romance

Below are all the numbers if you'd like to see where your favorites landed.

Favorite Genre

13 Historical Romance                    
8 Historical
7 Historical Romantic Suspense
1 Fantasy 
1 Romantic Suspense                                                         
0 Spooky                                                                          

Favorite Time Period

6 Western 
5 Regency
4 Civil War
3 Colonial
2 1850's - 1920's   
2 1940'a-1950's

2 18th century in general
2 19th century in general   

Revolutionary War                                      
2  Medieval
0 None                                            
0 Age of Romance       
0 Gilded                                                               
0 Georgian                  
0 Age of Discovery    
0 Renaissance             
0  Futuristic                                              
0 1920's                       

Story Preference

8 Southern Romances
8 Cowboys             
7 Sweet Romances   
5 Amish
5 Mystery  
4 Pirates                               
3 Early 1900's  
2 Medieval
2 Military
2 Biblical Fiction 
2 Historic England               
1 Indians
1 Age of Sail    
1 Fantasy              
0 Mermaids              
0 Vikings                      
0 Police                                                        
0 Spiritual Warfare 
0 Modern      

So are you surprised? Disappointed? I'd love to hear. 
Leave a comment to be entered to win When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey.  Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry. ALSO, if you are not receiving THE SWORD AND SPIRIT in your inbox anymore and would like to please leave a comment and let me know so we can get that fixed! Thanks!