Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Texas Christmas

The young couple knew the long trip would be difficult, but it was the Depression, and although there was no work in the small Texas town where they had started their married life, the husband had heard of work in California. So they packed up their car, praying that it would hold up for the trip. The wife’s father slipped a couple of crumpled bills into her hand and said, “In case of emergency, Honey.” Her mother stood nearby, twisting her apron, obviously worrying about her daughter but just as obviously trying not to show it.

The couple used up the last of the daylight driving. They had reached deep West Texas when they realized they needed to stop for the night. “We can’t spare the money for a hotel,” the husband said. “I’m going to see if the folks at one of these farms will put us up for the night.”

They pushed on between pastures marked by sagging barbed wire, the road a winding black ribbon in the flickering yellow headlights. At last the driver spied a cluster of lights in the distance. “I’ll try there.”

The man who came to the door wore overalls and a gray, long-sleeved undershirt. He didn’t seem to take kindly to the idea of this couple spending the night, but his wife came up behind him and said, “Oh, can’t you see she’s pregnant. The hands are out in the north pasture with the herd, and the bunkhouse is empty. Let them stay there.”

In the middle of the night, the young husband was awakened by his wife’s cries. “I’m in labor.”

“But, you’re not due until—“

“Just get help. Please.”

He did. In a few minutes, the rancher’s wife bustled in, laden with towels and blankets. “Just put that down,” she said to her husband, who trailed her carrying a bucket of hot water in one hand. “Then you two men get out.”

Soon, the men grew tired of waiting outside, so the rancher grudgingly invited the stranger into the kitchen. They’d almost exhausted a pot of extra strong coffee when they heard a faint cry. Then the rancher's wife called, “You men can come back now.”

The two men were halfway to the bunkhouse, following the faint light of a kerosene lantern, when three weary cowboys rode up and climbed off their mounts. “We saw lights on here. What’s going on?”
           
“Come and see,” the young husband said. And they did.

When he saw the mother holding a wrinkled, fussing newborn close to her, the gruff old rancher turned to his wife and said, “Well, Mother, I’m glad you talked me into letting these folks stay.”

“We had to,” she said. “It was a wonderful gift for me, seeing that little baby born. Who knows? Maybe he’ll grow up to be someone special.”

Now imagine that the scene wasn’t West Texas. It was Bethlehem. It didn’t take place in a bunkhouse. It occurred in a stable. And it wasn’t just a baby—this was God’s own Son. Does that make it more real to you? I hope so.

During this season, as you think about Jesus’ birth, don’t put him in spotless white swaddling clothes in the middle of a Christmas card. Picture him in the most humble surroundings your imagination can conjure up, the Son of God Himself in a diaper, born to give each of us the best gift we could ever imagine. 


Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 2, 2016

ANNOUNCING THE SUSPENSE SISTERS' CHRISTMAS CONTEST!


Would you like to win a Kindle Fire, $75.00 in Amazon gift cards, an iTunes gift card, candy and…lots of books? Here’s your chance!

It’s easy to enter, just use the Rafflecopter box below. We’ll pick one grand prize winner the morning of December 24th. (U.S. only, please)

Watch for other posts in December as some of the Suspense Sisters share stories, Christmas memories, or even special Christmas recipes.

This contest is our way of thanking you for being a part of the Suspense Sisters, and wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hot new inspy suspense for November!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Interview With Marji Laine

With a number of authors of suspense, mystery, and thrillers on the list of "suspense sisters," we can usually find one of them with a book about to release. In this case, I'm pleased to host author Marji Laine

Q. Marji, it looks to me as though you constantly perform a juggling act—family, writing, teaching, your involvement in the publishing industry, and goodness knows what else. Want to let us in on the secret of how you do it?

A. I make a lot of lists. SERIOUSLY! I have a weekly schedule (meals included) posted on the fridge that is a duplicate of the more extensive one on my internet calendar. I also have a task pad dry erase board next to the calendar to list details that would otherwise fall between the cracks. The highpoints of both the calendar and the to-dos are also on a sticky note on my computer desk top. I highlight the “must get dones” for every day. I know … I’m a little over-the-top about planning. I’m even giddy over the aspect of getting a new desk calendar. All those empty boxes just waiting to be filled. I think I’ll get a set of colored pens to use on it!

Q. I honestly didn’t realize there was a business in scrapbooking, but apparently you were quite successful at it. What made you go from that to your involvement in writing?

A. Scrapbooking became the “new quilting bee” in the 90’s and through most of the first decade. I love working with my hands, and with 4 kids all needing graduation books for their receptions, it was an easy choice of jobs. I did enjoy it, especially all of the folks I got to meet. But when my mom asked me what I would do if time and money were no issue, I said, “Write.” I surprised myself, but I didn’t surprise Mom. She knew I’d always loved to create stories. A month later, I actually pushed through and completed my first novel. From then on, I knew the path I needed to pursue and jumped into writing with all of my energy.

Q. You’ve been the Suspense Sister who deals with reviews and “what’s new” in the genre for some time now. Doesn’t that take a lot of your time? Why do you do it? And how?

A. I have learned so much from reviewing and critiquing other books. What better way to see what works in romantic suspense than to analyze and go deep into what I loved about the last book I read? It does take a lot of time, but I tend to listen to books when I’m driving. (And with teenagers, I’m driving a LOT!)

Q. Your latest novel, Counter Point, released October 30. Can you tell us a bit about it?

A. It’s my latest and also my first full novel, almost five years in the making. I had a weird dream one night with a pretty gruesome scene in it. I realized that my dream-self had come upon the crime scene where a hit man had been murdered. Well, the plot just ballooned after that, though the scene itself didn’t actually make it into the book.
My main character, Cat, is in the midst of life-changing lost. The final straw is the news that her former boyfriend, now a missionary, has gone missing. Not only is the man, Ray, on the run from revengeful drug lord, he learns that the cartel leader intends to kill the people he cares about the most, the first being Cat.

Q. And what message would you like to give the readers of this blog?

A. The folks that frequent the Suspense Sisters’ site have always been so gracious and supportive to all of the authors who visit. I would give a big thank you, first. I’d also encourage readers to give the authors they love a special gift. A positive review. It’s the nicest five minutes you can give an author if you’ve enjoyed his or her book.
And thanks to you, Doc Mabry, for hosting me and supporting my journey! Blessings on yours!


Marji will provide a copy of Counter Point to a person whose comment is randomly selected from those left here. Please don't forget to include your email address with your comment so we can contact the winner. And remember, books are a great Christmas gift.

Tweet with a single click. "Author Marji Laine talks about writing, scrapbooking, and how she does it, plus a giveaway." Click here to tweet.     

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hot new inspy suspense for fall!

Monday, November 21, 2016

THIS WEEK ON THE SUSPENSE SISTERS!




It’s another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Watch for a special announcement next week. The Suspense Sisters will be sharing something exciting – just in time for Christmas!

This week reviewer Lillian Kohler reviews EVERYBODY’S BROKEN by Fay Lamb. Lillian says: “As family and friends work to solve the mysteries surrounding deaths and attacks their stories and hidden truths also emerge. Together and united, they figure out all the mysteries that need solving. It was a pleasure to see each character grow and each story come to a satisfactory conclusion. I highly recommend Fay Lamb’s book to anyone who has a passion for romantic-suspense.”

To see her complete review, go HERE


On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Dana Mentink will share What’s
Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery!








On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Roxanne Rustand!








Friday, we’re interviewing Suspense Sister Marji Laine! She’s giving away a copy of her book, COUNTER POINT! 
















That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters! Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!


The Suspense Sisters! We love books!