Faith Readers Group Review: A Broken Kind of Beautiful

Yes, we’re in the conference room, settled into plush chairs, a kitchenette off to the side where we can make fresh coffee and this night, we had warm Krispy Kreme donuts as we talked all things A Broken Kind of Beautiful, Katie Ganshert’s newest release.

Rarely do we all agree that we loved the same book. But Tuesday night, we did. See all those smiling faces? We looked like that all night. And Katie can attest to it, because we Skyped with her! This makes our 3rd time to Skype and our 3rd book of Katie’s to read. 

Everyone feels as if you’re just hanging out with a BFF while talking with Katie. She’s so much fun. 

Before we chatted with her, we went to her Book Club page fun and read the discussion questions, watched her inspiration YouTubes and took a peek behind the scenes. 

So, here’s a peek at the book!

Buy the Book! 
Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white. 
If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?
Out of 5 Stars: 4.5

I loved how Katie describes. It’s so visual, setting you right there but it’s not overly described. I skip overly described stuff.
I thought she had a lot of powerful phrases that were profound. 
I didn’t like Ivy at first, but I’m glad I stuck with it because it as it turned out, I loved the book.
I would have given it five stars instead of 4.5 because there were a lot of names to keep up with at the beginning and their relationships and I was a bit confused but then once I had it, I loved the book.
I identified most with Marilyn. She was a strong woman. I knew someone like her once.
I  wanted Davis to save the day! I didn’t see that coming! (I won’t give spoilers, so read the book)
Didn’t you just want to slap those men! The only good one was dead! LOL
Katie’s writing is poetic and I love that! (We agreed!)
Thanks, Katie, for another wonderful read. Us Faith Readers strongly recommend this book! 
How would you describe beauty? There’s no wrong answer here! 

Would You Rather with Katie and the Cast!

Hey everyone! Last night our book club had the chance to chat with Katie
via Skype, making it our 3rd time since the ladies love her books so
much that we’ve read each and every one! It was a lot of fun, as always. Our
group review will be up on Friday, so come back for that!
Today, I’ve asked Katie, her hero, Davis and her heroine, Ivy to answer a
few Would You Rather questions. Here are their fun answers!
Would You Rather…
…have $100,000 cash or $100,000 Amazon gift cards?
Me: $100,000! I would move my family to the Congo so we could live with
our daughter until the Congo government lifts their suspension.
Ivy: $100,000. Amazon is trying to take over the world.
Davis: $100,000 so I could open the art program for my sister without
having to pick up my camera again.
…go left where nothing is right or go right where nothing is
Me: Go right where nothing is left, because I’ve discovered that in those
places, God meets me most profoundly.
Ivy: Go left where nothing is right. I guess I’d rather be wrong than
empty. I’m tired of being empty.
Davis: I feel like I’ve done the first and since the repercussions of
those choices still haunt me, I guess I’d opt for the second option.
…be half your height or double your weight?
Me: Oh my goodness, those are both horrible! I guess I’d go with half my
height. I’d slap on some pointy ears and figure out how to grow some hair on my
feet and move to the Shire.
Ivy: Either one would put my career in the grave once and for all. Do I
really have to pick one?
Davis: Double my weight.
Great answers, although, Ivy, I think not answering is
unfair! And Katie, the shire? Bahahahaha!!! Thanks for joining us today.
one or more of the questions in the comments.
Here are my answers:

I’d go with $100,000. Amazon can’t sell everything…can it? I
agree with Katie. I’d go right where nothing is left. When nothing’s left it
make room for God to sweep in and make everything right! And that really is a terrible question. I’m going with weight b/c I can always lose it right? And I’m already only 5 feet tall so…
Buy the book! 
Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

For Freedom with Katie Ganshert

So glad to have Katie Ganshert with us today! Katie’s newest novel, A Broken Kind of Beautiful, recently released. It’s one of the most touching and yes, beautiful, books I’ve read. Today, she’s sharing a devotion that relates to a spiritual theme in her novel. Thank you, Katie, for being here today.
Also, Katie will be with us on Wednesday for a fun game of Would You Rather? Not only will she answer questions but her hero and heroine will also answer! Friday is our Faith Readers book club review of her novel. Take it, Katie!

It is
for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let
yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1
If you’ve been in
church world for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard the story of the
prodigal son.
He rebelled against
his father and squandered his inheritance and hit rock bottom before realizing
that his father’s servants were living better lives than he. And so he returned,
hoping to work as one of those servants, knowing he was no longer worthy to be
called a son. Imagine his surprise, the overwhelming gratitude he must have
felt, when his father ran to him and gave him the best clothes and ordered the
servants to prepare a feast. Because this son of his that was once lost, was
now found.
It’s a story the
exemplifies God’s lavish, amazing grace.
But what happens if
we change the ending?
Let’s imagine for a
moment, this same story with a twist.
The father runs out to
greet his son. He offers him his best clothes and a celebration feast. He
offers him sonship. But the son refuses the gift. He declares himself unworthy
and works in the pigsties alongside his father’s servants instead.
It’s ludicrous,
And yet, how often is
this us?
How often do we wear the
shackles of shame and regret, even though those shackles are no longer locked
in place? God offers us forgiveness. He wipes away our sin, as far as the east
is from the west. Are we embracing this gift? Or do we add a yoke to our necks
that He’s no longer asking us to carry?
Jesus came so we
could walk in freedom.
Are you?

Lord Jesus, thank you for the stories
you told when you walked this earth. Thank you for the truth they speak into
our lives. Help us to be children who embrace your grace and forgiveness. Help
us to walk in your freedom, so that we can help others walk in your freedom,

Buy the book!
Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

Meant to Be Mine


You ever read a book that makes you want to gush and ramble on about how great it was? Yeah, that’s my predicament. I’ve been reading for a long time. And I’m a super-fan of romance. Becky Wade is at the top of my inspirational romance author list. Here’s a peek at her newest contemporary romance, Meant to Be Mine.

Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school–irresistible. When their paths cross again after college–still irresistible. This time, though, Ty seems to feel exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel. 

The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia’s ready to be Ty’s wife, but Ty’s not ready to be her husband. He’s a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he’s long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he’s known since childhood. 
Five and a half years pass. Celia’s buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty’s achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn’t forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.
How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia’s trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?

Why is Becky Wade at the top of my list? Because as a reader there are few things I love and Becky packs it all into one story for me.

A setting that feels real.
Small-town Texas. Quirky characters filling it up and great descriptions that plunk me down in the hubbub of it all. Yep. I felt the heat, the smells of the bakery, the hay and sweat. 

Heroes that know how to be a man.
Protective, generous heart, rough around the edges. Not afraid to whip somebody for messing with his girl, or his family. I love it. I love heroes who can provide for the one he loves and is willing to sacrifice anything to do so. I like tough exteriors and gooey insides. I like flawed. I like charm and flirty behavior. And Becky Wade gives me everything I want. 

Heroines who know how to be a woman.
I like strong and yes, stubborn heroines who can take care of themselves but also would like to be pampered and spoiled by the hero even if they won’t admit it at first. I like to see tenderness and some fire. Again, I get a well-crafted and real heroine in this story!

Loads of Romantic Tension
This comes in the form of looks, touches, even knock-down drag outs when they don’t get along (and by knock-down drag out, I mean bickering–never actually hitting one another lol). I love witty, sharp banter that’s laced with serious flirting. Yep, you give me that and I’ll sink down and love you like a loyal puppy. I like lots of “almost” moments. It drives me nuts in a good way. And yep, Becky Wade gives me page after page of this! 

Spiritual truths that naturally develop
When it comes to inspirational fiction, I want to see faith but I want to see it happen naturally as situations come up. Characters won’t always make the right choices or say the right thing at every given moment. And they don’t always spout scripture or even open a Bible. But sometimes, they do. Depending on how the story develops. Becky Wade knows how to do that. It never feels like she’s inserting Christian faith elements simply because it’s her job and she has to find a good place to do it. Nor does it feel like the story is a big platform for her to toot her faith. It’s simply real fictional characters struggling and making every day choices. Sometimes letting their faith guide them and sometimes not. I can relate. 

If I could star it over 5, I would. I’m looking forward to the next story in her Porter family series. And I thank Bethany House for the copy in exchange for an honest review. All of my opinions are well, mine.


What kind of heroes/heroines do you like in a romance?

Open Up and Say…


…not Aaaah!

I’ve been doing a Bible study, which I hope you all are in some kind of personal Bible study. As I was working on my study, the subject of things we grip tightly and won’t let go of came up. Some things could be sin, or maybe just weights and hinderances that keep us from moving forward in our relationship with God.

Yes, I know this to be true but this time something smacked me in the face. A one-two punch.

Bitterness. And offenses. (Those are the negative things we cling to.) Keep them fisted right in our hands until our knuckles turn white and the circulation stops, sending pins and needles racing up our arms and yet still we hang on.

And I thought about a prior situation/s that happened in my life. I thought of the bitterness that had settled from that offense/s. I gave that bitterness to God a long time ago. I’m not bitter anymore. 

But what I realized was I still kept the offense in my grasp. Was it a legitimate offense? Yes. Was I reading more into what happened than was there? No. It happened. To me and to my husband. Over time, my heart grew cold and callused. Then rock-solid toward those who played a direct hand in the hurt. Did they intentionally mean to hurt us? I don’t think so. Not every person involved. But still…

As I thought about those offenses that wracked up over a course of two years over–one right after another, I realized while I wasn’t necessarily bitter anymore, I still kept the offenses in my fist.

And the Lord spoke to my heart. “When You give it to them, they gather it up, when You open Your hand they are filled with good things.” Psalm 104:28

I flipped to the Psalm and read the verses prior to that. 

O Lord my God, You are very great:
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment,
Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.
3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters,
Who makes the clouds His chariot,
Who walks on the wings of the wind,
4 Who makes His angels spirits,
His ministers a flame of fire.
You who laid the foundations of the earth,
So that it should not be moved forever,
6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
The waters stood above the mountains.
7 At Your rebuke they fled;
At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away.
8 They went up over the mountains;
They went down into the valleys,
To the place which You founded for them.
9 You have set a boundary that they may not pass over,
That they may not return to cover the earth.

The context prior to this is about how grand and majestic our God is! Look at how powerful He is! Yes, the creatures rely on God to feed them, but we do too! At least we should.

I read verse 28 again and saw my hand. Tightly fisted around rocks. Tough, dirty. Rocks that

wouldn’t mold into the palm of my hand but instead cut into the flesh leaving bloody wounds and possibly scars if they dug in too deep. Rocks that did not benefit me, and yet I carried them–those rocks–those offenses–as if they were treasure, as if dropping them to the ground would leave me empty, desolate.

And then I saw, in my mind’s eyes, a gentle, yet powerful hand slowly pry open that fist.

Finger by finger. 

One rock after another began to plummet to the ground. Until not one was left. 

When my hand was empty, the dirt from the rocks washed clean. The wounds healed. Something happened.

The hand that released those offenses, those rocks, began to pour a rainbow of color into my hands. 


M&Ms! Not just M&Ms but my favorite kind! Peanut M&Ms! I giggled as they filled my palm and thought, “God, this isn’t exactly nutritious!” But the point was, M&Ms are sweet to the taste, something to delight in and they come in all varieties and colors. 

Exactly like God’s blessings. Like all the wonderful things He wants to fill our hands with.

But you can’t fill already full fists.

The question is: Are you willing to drop what doesn’t benefit you so God can fill you with what does? 

I answered yes. How about you?


Chatting with the cast of Here to Stay and Melissa Tagg!

Today, I’m beyond excited to once again have my amazing friend and author Melissa Tagg hanging out. Anytime she’s here is going to be loads of fun. So prepare to laugh, ya’ll. Melissa’s second contemporary romantic comedy just released and I can tell you, it’s one for your bookshelf! You can read my REVIEW on Goodreads.
JP: You said the idea for your first
novel, Made to Last, came from watching Christmas in Connecticut. What inspired
you or helped inspire the masterpiece, Here to Stay?
MT: Well, mainly the inspiration for
this story was Blake. He first appeared in Made
to Last
, playing more of a secondary role and a total goofball. But a lot
of people said he was their favorite character and the longer I worked on Made to Last, the more I realized this
guy had a story of his own to tell. And though the story itself doesn’t exactly
mirror a movie like Made to Last,
Autumn, the main female in the story is loosely inspired by George Bailey from
It’s a Wonderful Life—one of the greatest movies ever.
JP: I was a huge fan of Blake in book 1
and fell further in love with him in Here
to Stay!
And you’re right, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the greatest
movies ever. Since Blake was a minor character and a reader fave in Made to Last, who would you consider to
be your favorite minor character in Here
to Stay
MT: Ah, good question. Blake and Autumn
felt so huge and real to me writing Here
to Stay
, so thinking of a favorite minor character is harder. You know, I
really like Ike the flight instructor. He’s only in a few scenes, but he’s this
calming force in Blake’s life…but he also sees Blake’s deeper desires, his
hopes, and he says just the right things. Like when he tells Blake he doesn’t
have to see every open door on the way to his future…just the next one in front
of him. I resonated with that quite a bit.
JP: I did too! It was great insight. I
loved Harry. He made me laugh and I’d like to see Autumn’s sister have a story.
She lost so much, it’d be nice to see her find love and purpose, hint hint.
Well, we’re talking peeps, do you have pictures of who you would cast as Blake
and Autumn?
MT: Actually…I saw the cover for Here to Stay before the characters had
fully formed in my brain. So I picture Autumn and Blake from the cover as THE
Autumn and Blake. I can’t even picture anyone else in place of those models!
JP: I can totally see Autumn as the
cover model, but in my mind, I see Blake bigger with flippier hair. J Okay, it’s time
for a round of Would You Rather with you, Autumn and Blake!
is your favorite TV show? The one you can. not. miss.
Me: I can’t decide
between 24 or Sherlock. Sherlock is smart…24 has the nostalgia factor for me.
So, instead I’ll say Gilmore Girls. LOL!
(Jess—Yes! Gilmore Girls!)
Blake: I am seriously
not the TV watcher type at all. But if I had to pick something, I think I’d watch
From the Ground Up starring Randi
Woodruff just so I could say to people, “Hey I pretended to be married to her
for a month once.” (Am I allowed to pick a fake show for Blake?)
(Jess—I guess. It was pretty clever
Autumn: That one show
on PBS with the guy who travels different places and tells you about it.
(There’s a show like that, right?)
(Jess—Dr. Who???? Lol I don’t know. I
don’t think so rofl!)
you’ve had a bad day, what is your go-to food?
Melissa: It’s a toss up
between pizza and Chinese.
Blake: Lasagna made by
yours truly.
Autumn: Pop-tarts. Or
really basically anything as long as my friend Betsy makes it.
is your guilty-pleasure movie?
Melissa: What’s Up Doc.
NOT because I feel guilty about the movie itself. It’s one of the greatest
movies ever. The guilt comes in when I realize just how many times I’ve watched
it. I mean…it’s ridiculous.
Blake: Wild Hearts
Can’t Be Broken. Don’t tell anyone.
Autumn: Nacho Libre.
(Jess—These are hilarious!)
you had one last day on this earth and you had to spend it doing one super-fun
thing, what activity would you choose?
Melissa: This question
makes me sad! But if I did have just one last day, I’d definitely want to hang
out with family…and maybe just go on one long road trip all together. Maybe
through the Appalachians. Because that’s my favorite place and car rides with
the family are always hilarious and fun.
Blake: I would take
Autumn flying. J
Autumn: I would tell
Blake to take me flying. J
(Jess—Aaaww! I love that! Great
Thanks for hanging out today, Melissa.
It’s been so much fun. Everyone, you really should buy Here to Stay. I know you’ll
love it as much as I did. Lots of grinning, swooning, out-loud-laughing, and
thinking…yes…thinking. Weaved into this story are some amazing truths to
Buy the book! 
After playing nomad for five years, Blake Hunziker has finally had enough of adventure. Not sure what reception he’ll get from everyone back in Whisper Shore, he’s stunned at not only a warm welcome from his hometown but also a job offer. The job is his if he can successfully pull off the annual Christmas Festival. If only he knew the first thing about coordinating events…

If there’s one thing Autumn Kingsley knows, it’s Whisper Shore. For years, she’s been stuck running her family’s inn when all she wants is to see the world. Now she has a visit scheduled from a potential investor who could take over the inn, as well as a dream job offer in Paris. But with just two weeks to whip the inn into shape, her chance at escape is a long shot.

The Hunzikers and the Kingsleys may not get along, but Blake knows Autumn’s the only one who can help him. She agrees to a trade–she’ll help with the Festival and he’ll help with inn repairs. But what was meant to be a simple deal quickly becomes much more than that when the guy who’s done running away joins forces with the girl who can’t wait to leave.

your turn! Answer one or all of the Would You Rather? questions in the comments.
 Have a great weekend!

Blame it On…

Come on, you know you were thinking “rain” and you’d be wrong. I am not talking about Milli Vanilli, although I am talking about choices today and they made the choice to lip sync through their career. It was bound to get out. Some of you may be asking, “Who is Milli Vanilli and what kind of name is that?”  I don’t know, but here’s who they are: Blame it On the Rain.  I know, right?

I’ve been thinking about choices lately. Especially since week one of my F.O.R.W.A.R.D. class I touch on choices when I speak on Adam and Eve.

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered,
“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said,
“Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded
you not to eat from?”
12 The man
said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and
I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have

The woman said, “The serpent
deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 1
God knew exactly where Adam and Eve were. But He was doing what any good parent would. Giving an opportunity for the kiddos to come clean. To be honest with Him.
When I know my child has done something, I don’t go in all accusing. I ask, “Did you eat that cookie I told you not to?” Why? Because I want to know if they’ll come clean and accept responsibility for their actions or will they lie to my face. The rule at my house is: You tell me the truth, expect consequences. Appropriate for the “crime” of course. Without consequences, what are we teaching our children? Nothing! We’re going to have an epidemic of spoiled adults who think they can do anything they want without reprecussions. Now, if you lie to me, the consequences are going to be more severe. Why? Because I want the truth. Be truthful, I’ll show you mercy. 
But Adam did not come clean. He played the blame game. He blamed Eve, yes, but ultimately he blamed God. “That woman YOU put here with me.” (emphasis mine) In other words, he was saying, “Had you not given me this woman, I’d have never messed up. I blame you. It’s your fault.”
There are many things in our lives that happen outside of  our control. We can blame God and get bitter or we can trust Him to heal us and turn it around for good. That’s our choice. And the choices we make based on the things that happen to us, they’re ours to own.
God didn’t force that fruit down Adam’s throat. Adam chose that. Eve gave it to him, but she didn’t force it down his throat either. Adam did that. And even the cunning serpent didn’t spoon feed him. Adam chose it. And Eve made her own choice as well.
We have to own up to our mistakes/bad choices and put the blame where the blame is due. On us. Be honest with God and let His mercy shower you. Can’t say He’ll remove the consequences. He disciplines those He loves. 
But mercy will lighten it and grace will get us through it.
I’ve been dealing with a situation with a loved one who has been blamed for another’s actions. The unleashed fury on this loved one is overwhelming and lately, I’ve been living out pray without ceasing. But that angry person made a bad choice. And then took that bad choice and aired it online for everyone to see. And as a result of those choices, consequences came. 
Pride gets in the way of owning up to moments of missing the mark. Fear gets in the way. Really it’s only one of the two. Pride goes before falling and fear holds us back from moving forward. And me? I always want to be in a state of propelling forward. I never want to fall on my face because I was too proud to admit I messed up. I’ve been there though–prideful and fearful. 
I’d rather have mercy and grace.

Perilous Waters and Fun Facts with Sandra Orchard!

Suspense on the open waters! What could be cooler than that? Don’t say glaciers on open waters. I’m chatting with author, Sandra Orchard about her new Love Inspired Suspense, Perilous Waters. I asked Sandra to share with us what inspired the story (don’t say love) and to tell us 3 fun facts about herself! Thank you, Sandra, for hanging out with us today…so, what inspired Perilous Waters?

The inspiration for Perilous Waters began with a
newspaper article about Alain Lacoursière, a Montreal police detective who
founded one of the top art-theft units in the world. The FBI estimates that the
international black market in art is worth about $6-billion a year. It sounded
like great fodder for a story! I began gleaning articles on the Internet and
even read a biography of the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, long before I
had any notion of where I would se the story. Then…
My husband and I took an Alaskan Cruise to
celebrate our 25th anniversary.
When I saw the art gallery and on-board auctions, not to mention a slew of
potential deathtraps, I knew I’d found the perfect setting for the story. Find
more behind-the-scenes tidbits, including location pics at:
The above pic is an auction I attended aboard ship. I also
had a behind the scenes tour of the ship, which provided more ideas for mayhem
than I could possibly use in the story. J
      Book Blurb for Perilous Waters:

For FBI agent Sam Steele, there’s no room for error or emotions on his
latest undercover assignment. Getting close to gallery owner Jennifer Robbins
while on an Alaskan cruise is the only way to catch her dealing stolen art. Out
on the icy seas, Jen suddenly goes from suspect to victim when she’s targeted
by a deadly enemy. And Sam’s mission goes from investigating an art crime to
protecting the woman who’s begun to melt his heart. As danger looms closer,
he’ll do anything to save her life—even if it costs him his own.

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  • I’m a “nana”! It is soooo much fun. And the best part is
    that my three-year-old granddaughter and not-yet-one grandson live only a five
    minute drive away, so whenever I’m in need of a hug or a smile or a good belly
    laugh, I can hop in my car and escape my uncooperative characters to play with
    real ones. J

  • I love to play games, and I got to tell you that I was never one of those moms that let her kids win. Uh, uh, I’m pretty
    competitive. Around here, we enjoy a good game of Settlers of Catan, usually
    one of the extended versions to make it more challenging. And just like week a
    played hooky from writing to attend the afternoon “adult fellowship” (which is
    the code word for seniors group, which despite being a nana, I’m still at least
    a decade or two too young to qualify), because…they were playing games. We had
    a rousing game of Rook, which I didn’t lose. Almost, but I did manage to win
    the last hand which saved me from finishing dead last. J Oh, and I totally justify
    going out as “character research.” I came home totally inspired as to how to
    write my heroine’s frustration at losing!

  • Last fun fact, I’m a Jill-of-all-trades. I’ve renovated two
    houses doing everything from installing windows, doors, trim, flooring, siding,
    insulating, shingling, hanging cabinets, plumbing—even put in the kitchen sink J. I also designed and
    built a small horse run in. I’ve tried my hand at just about everything except
    the electrical stuff—that’s hubby’s department. And here’s the rest of the story. Renovating is a GREAT excuse for having a messy house. I
    much preferred building something than cleaning, because…you still had
    something to show for it three hours later! Sadly, I can’t say the same thing
    about writing. The house is a disaster, but eight hours later, I might have
    less words than when I started the day and no one sees them anyway!!!
Thank you so much for hanging out, Sandra! 

       Sandra Orchard is
the award-winning author of several inspirational romantic suspense/mysteries,
including Deadly Devotion and Blind Trust from Revell Publishing. Her Love Inspired Suspense titles have
garnered two Canadian Christian Writing Awards and a Romantic Times
Reviewers’ Choice Award. Sandra has also received a Daphne du Maurier Award for
Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to her busy writing schedule,
Sandra enjoys speaking at events and teaching writing workshops. She lives
in Ontario, Canada. Learn more about Sandra’s books and check out the special bonus features, such as deleted scenes and location
pics, at
What is one fun fact about yourself? 

Name That…

You thought tune didn’t you? You know you did.

Name that… person. 

In Biblical times, names were important. They had symbolism and meaning behind them. Children, places, etc were named based on meaning. In today’s culture, we don’t typically do that. I didn’t name my children based on meanings but names I liked. Thus my daughter is named after a Party of Five character I liked and my son is named based on what didn’t cause me and my husband into a knock-down-drag-out. 

Ah names! 

In the Bible, God changes many names. Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many nations).  Jacob (deceiver) to Israel (because he struggled with God and overcame), Sarai (princess which may denote spoiled/quarrelsome) to Sarah (noblewoman) Solomon (peace) David was seriously needing peace with God after what transpired to bring Solomon into the world and after having the first child taken right after birth. God said to call him Jedidiah (beloved of Jehovah)

And there are times where God specifically told a parent what to name their child. He had specific names with specific meanings for these children:
Jezreel, Lo-Ruhamah, Lo-Ammi (Hosea and Gomer’s kids)
John (as in the Baptist)
The list goes on.

I started a Bible study last week and one of the questions was to write out what my names meant (first/middle). My parents didn’t name me based on a meaning. I was named after my great-grandfather, Jesse. And I’m not even sure where my middle name came from–probably a soap opera star’s name! 

But God knows our name. And maybe it has significance and maybe he wants to rename you spiritually! 

Jessica: Rich (gotta be in spirit) and also, God Beholds
Renee: Reborn

My daughter’s name means Baliff. And I had to wrinkle my brow but as I really ponder it…yeah…she’s a lover of justice and mercy. She’s always rooting for the underdog so to speak. And her middle name is the same as mine.

My son’s names mean: Warrior and his middle name means Arrows. I had no idea when we named him. I like to believe he’s going to be a spiritual warrior with many weapons to fight against our enemy. 

Regardless if we feel like our name is special, God knows us and he sees us much differently than we see ourselves.

Jesus called Simon, Peter–rock. “Oh, you may just have a trendy name, Simon, that comes from Simeon (one of the 12 tribes) but I say you’re a rock.” And this was before he denied Christ three times! 

No matter what, you mean something to God! He knows your name. And He hears you when you call!

What does your names mean? 
Care to share? 

Taken Down!


Okay, we should all do this to at least one person today! Isn’t that great?! Some of my heroes are pretty bad to the bone and can pull this stuff off. However, I’ve never tried. But my daughter gets out of school at 2:30-ish so…

Also, if it were a bad guy I was doing this to, I wouldn’t stick around to ask him, “How did that feel? Did you see a white light?” I mean I’m not the six-fingered man, right?


Do you love heroes who have these certain skill sets? Think Liam Neeson. And will you try this on someone? Please say yes!