G.R.I.T.S.

Elizabeth Musser's Next Book to be published is, Words Unspoken....


Which voice will you listen to?
A mysterious bestselling novelist, a depressed teen, an eccentric driving instructor, a rogue stock broker, a socialite in trouble, a weary missionary, a desperate book editor. . .
Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Lookout Mountain, TN during the frenzy of the stock market crash of 1987, Words Unspoken introduces a cast of unforgettable characters who must choose whether to listen to voices that entice them towards greed, depression, and anger or to a still small voice that offers hope.

Click Here to read the Prologue and first couple chapters of Words Unspoken! Which will be in Bookstores May 1st!

G.R.I.T.S.

The Dwelling Place by: Elizabeth Musser
#2 in The Swan House Series
(1st book is, The Swan House)
Back Cover:

In a family of successes, she's the embarrassment, still defiantly refusing to color inside the lines. Perhaps being a server at a trendy Atlanta restaurant isn't a dream career, but it's her work. She has friends, she has neighbors, she has causes.

But Ellie has never fit in.

When her artist mother's fight with cancer takes a bad turn, Ellie is forced to reenter her family's perfect world to help care for her. As the two women struggle to reconnect, Ellie begins to understand that her family might not be as unblemished as it seems.

As her mother's condition worsens, Ellie embarks on a journey toward forgiveness, hope, and healing. Is there a place of peace for her? And like her mother, must she travel halfway around the world to find it?

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:

Well The Swan House, was a great book all about a rich white girl who realizes that no matter what your skin color is, everyone deserves a chance. Now Mary Swan is back in The Dwelling Place, as a 50-some year old with Breast Cancer, and a daughter who has been scared for life. Learn how Mary grew up, and had a family with Robbie Bartholomew. You learn of the trials she had to go through, and the ones she's still going through. Ellie is her youngest daughter, When she was about 6 yrs. old Ellie was involved in a fire, and the left side of her face was burned, and her mouth was never the same, even with all the surgeries. She never felt beautiful, especially around her 2 older sisters, who seemed to be perfect. But when she is alone with her mother for a few weeks in Hilton Head, she realizes that she and her mother aren't that different, and that what she remembers from the fire, isn't what really happened.

Join Mary Swan and Ellie Mae on a journey to finding renewal, healing, and Salvation! Not to mention some Love.
Buy The Dwelling Place
G.R.I.T.S.

10 Things about Elizabeth, that you didn't know...
1)I love to take long walks
2)I enjoy most being one-on-one with people and having deep discussions
3)We have the sweetest, smartest and most neurotic dog in the world.
4)I love being the only girl in my family (I have a wonderful husband, two amazing sons and that neurotic (male) dog.)
5)Since I’m surrounding by ‘my men’ at home, I delight in my ministry to young teen girls. I do lots of informal discipleship—through meeting together, sharing, praying, memorizing Scripture. 6)I don’t like to watch the news on TV—too depressing.
7)I actually don’t like to watch TV at all.
8)I do really enjoy watching movies—we have a TV but it is just for cassettes and DVDs.
9)I love to cuddle up in bed at the end of a long day with a good book.
10)France has great food, so the only food I miss in America is Cheetos!

I hope y'all found out something interesting from this, and check in tomorrow for the review of, The Dwelling Place!!!

G.R.I.T.S.

*The Swan House* by Elizabeth Musser
Back Cover:
Mary Swan Middleton has always taken for granted the advantages of her family's wealth. But a tragedy that touches all of Atlanta sends her reeling in grief.
When the family maid challenges her to reach out to the less fortunate as a way to ease her own pain, Mary Swan Meets Carl- and everything changes. For although Carl is her opposite in nearly every way, he has something her privileged life could not give her. And when she seeks his help to uncover a mystery, she learns far more than she ever could have imagined.
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS?

( < The Actual Swan House, In Atlanta, Georgia...)Mary Swan is going through a troubling stage in life...not only with the Tragedy that sends all of Atlanta into Mourning, but with not knowing who she really is, and liking who she finds. Elizabeth writes a wonderful, heart warming story that will grip you, and make you want to know more. And she mixes Fiction, with actual history, so that you actually feel like you are there. You can taste the hot dog from Varsity, you can feel the heat from a hot Georgian Summer day. And when they visit the Swan House, you feel like you are actually there, experiencing it with them.
I personally like this Series because I Live in/around Atlanta, Georgia, and it has a lot of it's history. (Kind of like Gone with the Wind)
When Mary Swan heads with her family's maid to an old church in the 'not so good' part of Atlanta, she meets, and sees people she would have never met otherwise. She makes friends, that last a lifetime, and she make decisions that last that long as well.

It is a great story, and I love to read it again, and again!


And come back in a couple of days, and get the review for the Sequel to Swan House...*The Dwelling Place*!
G.R.I.T.S.

Ok so it really is, What's on my Head Board...hehe...This week i've been busy, so there is no photo to go with this....But these are the books on my Head Board...


Save My Children by:Emily Wierenga

A Stitch in Time by: Tracey V. Bateman, Carol Cox, Cathy Marie Hake, Vickie McDonough

The Rocky Mountain Memory Series by: Lori Wick


That should tide me over till I make a trip to the library! Happy Reading Everybody!!!
G.R.I.T.S.
Ok, Here it is, March's Author of the Week is, Elizabeth Musser!!!! So Sit back and enjoy the Interview that I had with her!!!

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~Today I would like to introduce y'all to Elizabeth Musser, the Author of Swan House and Dwelling Place. Welcome to Caffeine & Romance Elizabeth, Thanks for Joining me here today!

Thanks so much, Rae, for inviting me to share on your blog. And I love it that you use one of the best words in the English language: y’all!

1.What inspires you to write your stories?
All kinds of things inspire me. For my first three novels, a trilogy (Two Crosses, Two Testaments and Two Destinies), I started imagining a story when I worked in the library while my husband was in seminary. As I reshelved books, I began to create an idea about a young American exchange student living somewhere in Africa. But when I moved to France and learned about the Algerian War for Independence from France (1957-62) and started doing research, my story really came to life. I watched documentaries, interviewed people involved in the war and visited historical places in France where scenes in the novels would take place.
I love to work my stories around little-known parts of history. In my novel Searching for Eternity, (2007, Bethany House) I found great inspiration in the city where I live here in France: Lyon. It was not only the capitol of the French Resistance during WWII, but also the headquarters of the Gestapo from 1942-1944.) I spent long hours researching at a wonderful museum in Lyon. Also my father had lent me a Time-Life book on the Resistance and the pictures of different household goods that the Resistants used to hide radios, bombs, guns, knives, etc set my creative mind to thinking. And Lyon is filled with the most wonderful hidden passageways called traboules. A writer’s paradise!
For The Swan House, my grandmother saved all the magazine and newspaper clippings from the Orly plane crash, a real tragedy that took the lives of over a hundred prominent Atlantans in 1962. I brought them back to France when I started my research, but even as a young girl, I remember visiting the Memorial Museum in Atlanta and being moved by the long list of people who had perished in a plane crash.
For Words Unspoken, (coming out in May, 2009), I was inspired by my son learning to drive (he was in the US, me back here in France). He told me of taking driving lessons in a little school in Fort Oglethorpe, GA near a military park, and voila! I also want my novels to deal with real issues we face, and a big thing I’ve had to learn in my life is which ‘voices’ in my head to listen to and which ones to tune out. So the characters in this new novel are each dealing with this.
Sometimes, it’s a phrase I hear or read or something in a movie I watch or something in nature. Recently, I felt so inspired by the title of a song which goes along with an idea I’ve had.

2. Who is your favorite character(s) and why?

I’m assuming you are talking about in my novels. Wow, that’s hard to say. I love Gabriella, the beautiful redhead in my trilogy. She was my first heroine. It was such a dream-come-true to have a contract to write a novel, that I just fell in love with her. There’s a bit of me in Gabriella. Mary Swan Middleton, the main character in The Swan House, is probably the most like me. The story is set in Buckhead, an affluent neighborhood in Atlanta where I grew up. Many of the questions Mary Swan asks in the novel are ones I have wrestled with also. When people ask me if Mary Swan Middleton is me, I respond that I’m a blend of dear Mary Swan and her neurotic, artistic and often depressed mother, Sheila. People don’t always know how to take that! Fortunately, through the amazing grace of Jesus, I am no longer that depressed woman.
Although the story is set in the early 60s when I was just a toddler, much of the background and the characters are taken from my growing up days. I was terrified to see the book in print. I thought my milieu would hate me for writing some of the things I pointed out. But it was the truth as I felt it. And that book has done very well and especially been well received in my hometown of Atlanta.

3. How have your personal faith and beliefs influenced your stories?
I have always longed to write fiction that has the Gospel subtly woven in. I admired Catherine Marshall for doing this back in the 50s with her novels, Christy and Julie—which she wrote long before there was category called Christian fiction. I see my stories as tools. Hopefully Christians will read the story and be encouraged, challenged and even bothered at times by the themes. I call my writing ‘Entertainment with a Soul’. But I also pray that after a reader reads the book, she will pass it on (or better yet, buy another copy=) to a friend who would never darken the doors of a church, and she will read the novel for its captivating story, but also be introduced to the idea of the Gospel and Jesus.
In John chapter 3 verse 30, John the Baptist, speaking of the Lord Jesus, says, “He must increase and I must decrease.” It applies to all of my life, of course, but I find it very important for my writing. I can get stressed out with deadlines and reviews and marketing plans and how many books are selling, and I easily feel overwhelmed. But when I go back and focus on Christ, reminding myself that I have given Him my words and my writing, peace follows. My job is to write the best literature I can and help—as I have time and opportunity—in the marketing of my books. But ultimately, I must leave the results up to the Lord.

4. What is the hardest part of writing a book for you?
It’s writing the book proposal and especially the synopsis. I do plot my stories some, but the characters change and grow as I write and I have such a hard time summing it all up in 2-3 pages for my editor. Right now, I am struggling through this process. I’m itching to just start telling the story, but I have to do the hard part of making my proposal professional and convincing and well-thought-out.

5. What is easiest?

My favorite part is once the story is started and the ideas are flowing. Each day in front of the computer feels like a hug from the Lord. I get to do what I love doing! I enjoy so much watching my characters develop and getting inspiration as the story goes along. Sometimes an image will just float into my mind that will end up being a very important metaphor or symbol in the story. That is such fun. My high school English teacher used to say that ‘the best metaphors come unbidden’ and I think this is true.

6. What's next for you?
My novel, Words Unspoken comes out in the US in May. I am working on publicity for that. I’ve put out a video on YouTube to give my wonderful readers a chance to get to know me better and have a peek into some of the places where the story takes place. Here’s the YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVAKxLogoDQ
And I’m working on a proposal (and that blasted synopsis!) for a three-book series which will start in 1930s Atlanta and deal with a different decade for each book. I’ll get to bring my characters back to Europe too. I am hoping to examine the role of suffering, scars and abundance in our lives. How do we react? How should we react?

7. When did you learn that You wanted to Be an author?
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: a writer. Some of my favorite childhood memories involved writing poems for my family and friends for their birthdays. I started doing this when I was about 6 years old and my parents have drawers filled with my poems and handmade cards. I basically used any excuse I could find to be creative and to write. Here is an example of one of my first poems, written when I was 6=). I love animals and often made up stories and poems about them: I have a little pony I ride him all around But when I take him over jumps He throws me on the ground.
My journals, which I started keeping as a teen, are filled with this prayer: “Lord, if you’ve given me this gift of writing, please show me how to use it and please let me write a book and dedicate it to my grandmother while she’s still alive.” (You’ll have to read the dedication in my first novel, Two Crosses, to see how the Lord answered this prayer.)
And do you have any advice for amateur authors?
Write, write, write and pray, pray, pray! (That’s the short answer!) I’d encourage them to attend a writers’ conference and learn how to be professional about a proposal, about talking to a publisher. Do your homework. Read widely, make time to write regularly, become informed about the craft of writing and persevere. (I have more information available on my website: http://www.elizabethmusser.com/) But I really think that the best advice is to keep writing. And reading – I would say read great fiction, all kinds – and then just write.

8. What is your Favorite Time Period/Place to write your stories? Why?
Hmmm. Well, anyone who has read my first six novels would probably conclude that my favorite time period is the early 1960s—when most of these stories take place. I write what I call ‘recent historical inspirational fiction’ (Yes, I know it’s a mouthful!) But Words Unspoken takes place in 1987 during the stock market crash of Black Monday—I didn’t know as I was writing the story how timely it would be—and I am deep into research now about the 1930s, so how about if we say ‘I like to write about the 20th century.’ And I like to place my stories in the south. The south of the US and the south of France. I’m a Southern girl through and through. So you could also say I write ‘Southern fiction with a French twist.’ We can learn so many things from history. I am not a great historian, but I’ve learned to love research. It is fascinating. And truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
Since I write ‘recent historical fiction’, I can often interview people who lived through the certain period of history or specific event that I am describing. This is so very helpful. Right now, I’m reading through my 95-year-old grandmother’s diaries from when she was a teen. Wonderful!

9. You live in France, How does that affect your books?
As I’ve said, I like to challenge my readers in my stories. I have been challenged in so many ways by living overseas and I think Americans need to have their eyes opened to different cultures. So some of the issues I raise will hopefully cause my readers to think about their belief systems and whether or not what they think is actually truth. An example is in my novel Searching for Eternity. The main character, Emile, is a young teen whose father is French and mother American. He’s lived his whole life in France. Suddenly his father disappears and he has to move to America. There, at church, he hears that drinking wine is a sin. Well, in France he grew up with a wine bottle on the table. At one point he essentially asks the question, “In America is it a sin to drink wine but not a sin to make denigrating remarks about someone of a different race?” (The story is set in Atlanta too, during the early 60s). I don’t give an answer—I’m just asking questions.
Living in France has definitely broadened me, made me want to communicate the importance of getting outside our comfort zone and getting to know other cultures. In my writing, there are always issues about race and culture.
I think it is precisely because my stories and characters are not solely in the US—that I deal with themes that are universal—but also that the stories take place in Europe and France and North Africa, that my novels have a big appeal in Europe (they’ve been translated into Norwegian, Dutch and German and the first novel is in French). Europeans (and European Christians) seem more eager to read of these things. Unfortunately, the American Christian market tends to focus mostly on stories that take place in the US. I’ve heard this over and over again. I know that my readers are not only reading stories taking place in the US, but publishers tend to look at stats. So here’s my dilemma: do I change my stories to make them more American? Is this compromise? Fortunately, I have an amazing publisher who works with me and lets me tell my stories—albeit with an American flavor.

10. What's your favorite Type of Books to read? Why?
I don’t have a favorite type—it really depends on my mood. If I want to forget everything and read something fast and entertaining, I read Mary Higgins Clark in French! As a child and teen, I loved Walter Farley, Catherine Marshall, Charles Dickens, Mary Stewart, Bodie Thoene—I wanted to blend action, mystery and faith together. I also loved Nancy Drew when I was a young girl.
I try to read all different types of books—modern literature, some non-fiction, Christian novels… If someone recommends a book, I try to read it. I believe that one of the best things an author can do is to read widely. Some of the books I’ve read recently are: The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver; On Writing, by Stephen King; Lightening by Dean Koontz; Get out of that Pit, by Beth Moore; Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, Winter Birds by Jamie Langston Turner, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin, a study on the Book of Hebrews called Hoping for Something More by Nancy Guthrie…

11. Anything Else you would like to tell our Readers?
I am often asked ‘what is the most fulfilling thing about your work as missionary and author?’ For me, in ministry, it is when someone catches on to Jesus! When they begin to understand. And with my books, it’s when someone comes up to me and says, “your book made me think, or brought me back to the Lord, or caused me to look at things differently or encouraged me in my faith…’.
For more information about my life and books, please visit my website at: http://www.elizabethmusser.com/
There you can read the first two chapters of Words Unspoken and the first chapter of all my other novels.
And I want to tell y’all that it really is a great blessing for an author to interact with her readers and hear from them. On many days when discouragement sets in, the Lord uses an email from a reader to give me a gentle hug and get me back on track! Thanks for reading!

Well Thanks for joining me today Elizabeth, It was fun!

Merci, Rae, I enjoyed it very much too!

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~Well I hope y'all enjoyed that! I know I did, and check back later this week for different things about Elizabeth Musser, and her writings!
G.R.I.T.S.
To continue with the tradition, of coming up with different 'Myths & Legends' (or real history) about a holiday, We are going to learn A legend about Leprechauns....



A Wee Bit about Leprechauns
Fairies fill Irish folklore. These make-believe creatures can assume various human or animal forms. They love music and may even lead humans astray with their pipe playing and singing. Irish fairies fall into two main groups: sociable and solitary. Perhaps the best known of the solitary fairies are the leprechauns.
Leprechauns have the distinction of being the most solitary of the solitaries, avoiding contact with humans, other fairies, and even other leprechauns! These two-foot tall, unfriendly, gruff men (there are no female leprechauns) prefer to pass their time making shoes for other fairies. They usually wear a green coat, a green hat, and a shoemaker's apron.

Due to their thrifty nature, they are trusted to guard fairy treasures and hide their pots of gold very carefully. But rainbows and the sound of a shoemaker's hammer provide humans with clues as to the whereabouts of a leprechaun and his hidden treasure.
According to legend, if you catch a leprechaun, you can force him to tell you where he hides his treasure. But there's a "catch": if you look away from him for even a second — and he will try to trick you into doing so — he'll disappear, taking his treasure with him!
So You may want to Watch Out!
I always think it's interesting to realize what 'goes' into a holiday...and Leprechaun's are one of the major things about St. Patrick's day! So I hope you enjoyed getting to learn this legend! And please come and visit us again soon!!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
G.R.I.T.S. (Rae)
G.R.I.T.S.

Love Finds you in, Humble, Texas By: Anita Higman



Back Cover:

Trudie Abernathy is a little inelegant, and she's never had much luck in love. To make matters worse, her thirtieth birthday is fast approaching and her sister, Lane, has decided to "treat" her to a makeover and a blind date. Trudie is about to protest, but then she meets the kind and devastatingly handsome Mason Wimberley. In spite of Trudie's humble manner, Mason finds her attractive, funny, and smart. But there's one obstacle in the way of the budding romance: Lane suddenly decides that she's in love with Mason! Trudie has never been one to compete with her glamorous sister, even when it means giving up the things she wants. Will she be able to stay true to her humble self and find her heart's desire in the process?



A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS!

Great Book! I have recently noticed all the "Love Finds you.." Books coming out on different blogs I follow, and in the different book catalogues that I get mailed to my home. And I can't wait to read more! Love in Humble, Texas is a wonderful book, full of 'Sister Banter' and Love.

Lane had dumped Mason before, so she thought he was the perfect person to set up with her sister for a Birthday Lunch...The only thing is, she realizes that she really Loves Mason...Or Does she?

Trudie, wonderful Trudie, she agrees to the lunch date, and literally 'Falls for Mason' (to get this joke...read the book :) You'll understand what I mean...(it's it like the first chapter or so))But when she realizes that her sister loves him, she backs off, but Mason won't let her.

Mason, See's this as a challenge, letting the Lane know he doesn't like her in 'that way' and courting Trudie into saying 'yes' for another date.

In the process of all of this, Trudie realizes somethings from her past, and things with her present, that are the true Trudie...

I Highly recommend this book!!!


G.R.I.T.S.

Veterans Way by: Robin Lee Hatcher


Back Cover:
Jimmy Scott just moved bact to his hometown of Hart's Crossing. And it's just as he remembered. Then he bumps into an old friend-Stephanie Watson, a childhood sweetheart he had once planned on marrying. As forgotten memories flood back, James wonders what might have happened if he hadn't left for the war in Korea. Was it possible that he could still have feelings for this woman?

Stephanie Watson loves this sleepy little town on the plains of Southern Idaho. Between the Thimbleberry Quilting Club, trips to the hair parlor, and her grandchildren, she's kept pretty busy. While surprised by Jimmy's reture, she enjoys reminiscing about the good times they had. BUt could this friendship be turning into something more? And could Stephanie possibly be so lucky as to fallin love with the same man twice?


A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS?

This is a really good story. It took me a day to read...so its a fast one. But very good. I have to admit, that I don't usually like, the 'older' love stories...but I liked this one! James, has been a widower for 3 years now, and wanted a change of scenery, so he heads back to his hometown. And Stephanie has been a widow for 1 year. And she's still not used to living alone, so when these 2 childhood sweethearts get back together,They realize that even though they didn't get married when they were younger doesn't mean that they have lost their chance completely!!!

It's a cute story, and I wouldn't mind reading it again sometime!
G.R.I.T.S.

Four Stories of hearts United with a little help from Grandma...

Blind Dates by: Kristen Billerbeck~Colleen Coble~ Denise Hunter~Bev Huston

Back Cover:

"Mix Four single women and one doting grandmother, and what do you get? Blind Dates!

Mattie Stevens has forgotten about Jeff Weatherly. After all, it's been years since the two were an item...but Grandma certainly remembers. What can Mattie do when Jeff returns to town and Grandma pushes her back toward "the one who got away"?

As a successful interior designer, Callie's tired of men who pursue her for her money...so she's said good-bye to love. But Grandma insists she go on just one date with a particular architect-after all, he doesn't like "hard-headed" businesswomen! Will love unexpectedly enter their plans?

When Grandma's latest "eligible young man" skips the blind date Chelsea agreed to, Chelsea sends a poisonous e-mail before learning what actually happened. Later, when his company renovates he apartment, she meets the man and finds attraction building. How can she win his heart...without divulging her secret of the ugly e-mail?

Melissa puts on a wild woman act to drive off the latest blind date Grandma's arranged. But wait-who's that guy waiting for her in the living room? Will in-line skates help her get on track with the right man?

Don't miss these charming stories of reluctant romance, spurred by a grandma who knows God has a perfect love for each of her four granddaughters.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS?

Way To go Grandma! She's really good at this whole matchmaking thing!

After Chelsea's date works out, and she falls for Kyle, The other granddaughters, just think it was a fluke...so they "Band' together against Grandma and her blind dates. But when grandma says, yes, to one for Callie, She can't help but go. No matter how she tries, not to like this guy, he keeps growing on her...and helps her get out of her "businesswomen Cape" and into some comfy jeans and boots! But when Grandma sets Melissa up with this one guy, She thinks Grandma's gone nuts...But when she answers the door, Her world Changes...and so does Greg's! Mattie's Highschool sweetheart returns to town...for 2 reasons...his nephew...and her. But can she get over the hurt that happened 10 years ago?

I love these 4-in-1 stories! especially when they build on each other. It was an easy read, but fun.

Check Out a friend's Review of this book!!! One Rainy Afternoon
G.R.I.T.S.




This month, CFRB is proud to present "Eretzel" by William McGrath

Synopsis:

The story continues where Asulon, the first book in The Sword of Fireseries, left off. The travelers: Prince Daniel of Asulon, the grimswordmaster Moor, the traveling priest and wise man Simon and princess Rachel of Eretzel have escaped from the evil Antiochus, Emperor of Unicornia and slayer of Anak, last of the Earthbound angels.They sail for Eretzel, the land where East meets West and where the nations of the earth will gather for war. Also aboard the ship are the Anakim, the giant sons of Anak. They have sworn vengeance upon the murderer of their father. But can a being who has slain an angel bekilled by mere giants?

Eretzel sits at the crossroads of the earth, between the merchants of the West, the warriors of the North, the vast and hungry populations of the East and the gold-rich lands of the South. Antiochus desires torule the world and his path to conquest runs through Eretzel.




Visit William's website, The Sword of Fire.

Buy Eretzel at:

Amazon.com



For more information, check out the following this week:


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