January 27, 2009
by Miralee Ferrell
Alexia Travers’ world takes a decided downward spiral when her beloved father dies unexpectedly. In the aftermath of his death, the devastated young woman is dealt a number of shocking revelations: The horse ranch she and her father ran together is heavily mortgaged; gold has been found on their property, but only her father knew where; he was keeping something from her just prior to his death; and hidden among her friends, acquaintances and hired hands is someone who does not have her best interests at heart.
It’s 1877, and the world isn’t ready for take-charge women, but that doesn’t deter Alex. Dressed in the men’s pants which have long made her an object of derision among Last Chance’s female population, she takes her father’s place riding the range – fiercely independent, stubbornly proud, and set on paying off the unwelcome debt by making the ranch a success on her own. Her father taught her everything she needed to know to manage the spread, and she’ll move heaven and earth, if necessary, to make it work.
Enter Justin Phillips, a widower with a three-year-old son in tow. He’s a talented wrangler looking for a job – and he’s willing to work for a woman. Having already lost a few ranch hands for no better reason than her gender, Alex needs someone like Justin. But can she trust him? He’s mannerly, not afraid to work, and knows how to handle a horse – but the man obviously has more than one secret. He also has a pair of brown eyes that play havoc with her emotions, and an adorable little boy who captures her heart right from the get-go. Dare Alex allow this handsome stranger into her world?
Dare she not?
More importantly, in her struggle to maintain independence…in the effort to show herself strong and capable in her father’s stead…will Alex ever learn to lean on the only One who can solve all her problems and insure a happy outcome?
Love Finds You in Last Chance, California has something for everyone. It’s a story of faith forgotten, renewed, and under fire; a poignant portrait of sweet romance blooming against all odds; a captivating story of hope, inspiration, and unquenchable love. It’s an overall good book with moments of heart-pounding suspense, enough mystery to keep the pages turning, and a carefully doled dosage of tender romance.
I thoroughly enjoyed this peek into the historical town of Last Chance. Miralee Ferrell “brings it on” in this one – a well-written, entertaining and inspiring tale.
January 26, 2009
I love books that feed me spiritually while still serving as good entertainment: i.e., well-written, with a timely and true message, but also full of humor and humanity.
That said, I absolutely must recommend Crooked Halos &Clay Feet. I’m not even finished with it yet, but I’m having such a glorious time reading that I had to pop in here and share with all of you.
According to her bio, “LaJoyce Martin has written wholesome Christian literature for over thirty-five years.” (Said literature includes close to 50 novels, in addition to many short stories for United Pentecostal Sunday School literature, devotions and “slice-of-life” vignettes such as you will find in Crooked Halos & Clay Feet.) “Numerous speaking engagements, activities in the church her husband pastors, and spoiling her four grandchildren keep LaJoyce’s schedule filled. However, she always makes time to write one more chapter…and to find one more friend.”
Having met this amazing woman, I can vouch for her integrity and spiritual commitment. LaJoyce Martin talks the talk, but she also well and truly walks the walk. She’s an incredible example of Christianity, and living proof that one can live righteously without being self-righteous.
Below is the back cover text:
Crooked Halos and Clay Feet is a mix of modern anecdotes, Bible vignettes uniquely presented, and human interest items. We can see ourselves in mirror wearing Mother Eve’s hand-me-down genes, visit Jonah in the whale’s oval office to learn a whale of a lesson, see how seven ducks helped Captain Naaman, and much, much more.
Readers will find their human counterparts in the refreshingly different presentation of Bible characters and be inspired by the sometimes funny, sometimes poignant chapter concluders. Even those with tarnished reputations and bent halos have a chapter to give them relevancy and hope. This book has something or someone, surprisingly contemporaneous, to minister to everyone.
You will not find this book in your local bookstore. It’s self-published, and only available directly from the author. Cost: $10.00 + shipping, which will be refunded over and again in enjoyment and spiritual enrichment. (You’ll have to ask Ms. Martin about shipping costs.) Trust me – if you like to laugh while you learn; if you enjoy God’s Word served up in delectable bite-sized bits you can savor at your own pace and then come back for more; if you love candid, godly advice and simple truth with an icing of pure, outright fun…you want this book. Order through snail mail:
7010 Fox Run Road
Henryetta OK 74437
Or call the author to place your order:
After you’ve read the book , be sure to come back here and let us all know what you think.
I wrote the following article sometime last year. (I think. I really don’t even remember what forum or media it was written for.) When I needed a kick in the pants to get me back in writing mode for 2009, I sifted through past articles, blogs, etc., and came across this. It reminded me what that sign above my desk is about, and provided a little gooser – you know, a tickle in your brain that says, “You’re supposed to be DOING SOMETHING! Get up and get at it!”
Just in case one of you needs a similar kick in the pants, here’s my article. It’s slanted toward writing, but actually can be applied to any occupation, interest, hobby, etc. Hope you enjoy it!
Writers Write … Right?
I’ve always loved quotes. You know, those wonderful little words of wisdom from various sources that just make you stop for a moment and think.
My grandmother must have passed that down to me. Her tattered, well-read Bible was filled with quotes. They were scribbled inside both covers and on the blank pages at front and back. Even the margin of a printed page wasn’t exempt if a particular scripture brought to mind some witty little saying she’d heard or read – or even dreamed up herself. (Hey, maybe Granny gave me the writer’s itch, too!)
Whatever the reason, catchy little phrases, words of wisdom,proverbs… to me, the really good ones are like gold nuggets – hard to find, but their value far outweighs all the time and effort invested. When one of them really strikes a chord in my mind, it resonates, and I never forget it.
One such little gem is straightforward and succinct: Writers write.
The first time I saw it, I thought, “Well…duh!” (I know, that’s really profound.) But come on – does there even exist a more useless waste of two words? Of course writers write – they’re writers!
Then I got really serious about my own contributions to the writing community, and I finally saw the light. Because no matter how pristine my intentions, every day is a brand new commitment to my chosen field. Back when I was writing in a notebook or pecking out words on a cantankerous old typewriter with four little ones playing at my feet, it didn’t seem so hard to just sit down and do what I needed to do: Write.
But then there was the advent of the personal computer – oh, sweet bliss! No more messy eraser ribbons. No more black smudges all over the page. No more retyping an entire page to correct an error I missed in the initial edit. Could life be any sweeter?
Oh, yes, it certainly could.
I was ecstatic when I discovered the World Wide Web. Those pesky trips to the library for research? A thing of the past! Everything I needed was right there at my fingertips – I just had to go online and get it. A multitude of information readily available…along with games. And online shopping. And e-mails. And on… and on…and on. That little CPU box holds a veritable plethora of things that have nothing to do with writing. And for a natural procrastinator like me,they spell d-e-a-t-h to a writing career.
Shopping is a real killer. You tell yourself you’re doing a great thing – after all, you won’t spend as much time away from writing if you just go online and order that blouse you’re looking for in a particularly hard-to-find shade of cantaloupe crush. Uh-huh.
Do you know how easy it is to while away an hour or two playing Boggle online? I have done exactly that in what felt like only ten or twenty minutes. And it’s so easily justified! Any number of writer’s workshops will tell you that in order to write effectively, you must sharpen your mind with a variety of stimuli. The occasional break from stringing words together is good for you. It stimulates! It inspires! It refreshes the thought process for when you return to your manuscript.
And that’s the kicker. Returning to your manuscript. I have become the world’s best at finding just one more thing to do before writing. And then just one more.
So, along with a couple of other favorites, I always keep those two words in gargantuan, vividly colored letters somewhere on or near my desk:
It’s not a definition any longer. It’s a reminder. I cannot call myself a writer if I don’t write. I’ll never see my name on the cover of another book – if I’m too busy surfing the web to write one. And though I may eventually find that perfect blouse in exactly my size, color and price range, my chances of wearing it in an author photo are nil – if I haven’t done the one thing that qualifies me as an author.
Write. Because that’s what writers do.