Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter

I always loved Easter. That was the time of year I could always look forward to getting a new dress. There would be lots of treats in the baskets that my mom hid around the house after we went to bed on Easter Eve. There would be so much candy that my mom would freeze some to make it last longer. I enjoyed coloring eggs with my siblings.

One year I thought it was cool to crack my eggs on my knees. I picked one out of my basket and gave it a whack only to find out that it was a taw egg. My suspicions were that my brother did that on purpose, although I’m not sure he would admit it even now.

There were the pictures as if this was the only time of year us kids were all dressed up and looking decent.

We always went to my Grandma’s for dinner where she prepared too much food. My favorite was her Cole slaw. Yum! My least favorite was her picked eggs. Yuck!

The weather could be anything from beautiful and springy to freezing cold and wintery. Some years my mom let us girls skip the dresses and wear pants as the sunrise service was a couple of feet deep in snow.

One of my favorite Easters, one that still sticks out in my mind today, was when I was five years old. It was actually Monday, the day after Easter and my mind must have been full of questions. My brother and dad had gone to church for Awana for the evening. My 5-month old baby sister was asleep in her cradle and my mom made us cups of hot cocoa (must have been one of those cold Easters). We sat together on the couch, in the peace and quiet, while I asked her one question after another. That was the night I gave my life to Jesus. My life has never been the same.

For me Easter is definitely a time for celebrating!
 
My Very First Easter (and my big brother)
   
 
 
Easter bloopers for your veiwing pleasure.





 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not Guilty

Not Guilty by Teresa Pollard and Candi Pullen

Not Guilty is the story of a young girl, Carrie Shepherd, who is raped and becomes pregnant. This story is set in the 1970’s, but its message is not obsolete. The theme running through the book deals with perception and judgment by others, mainly Christians. Many Christians are quick to jump to gossip and draw conclusions without knowing the entire story. That theme applies to much more than just an unknown rape. It could apply to many situations in everyone’s life.
Because of the plot of this book, it is recommended for late teens to adults.  The book does include discussion questions for each of the chapters. These would be great to use in a book club or Bible study group.
I did enjoy the story, but there were a lot of characters to keep up with. Fortunately, the epilogue is a list of characters and a brief description of what happened to them after the book ended. Scripture is used throughout the book and gives the reader a godly view of how to behave or react in some situations.
While the reactions of some of the characters to the rape may have seemed a little passive and some of the dialogue a little unbelievable, this is a good story. It could have used a more thorough editing to correct some mistakes and make the story flow from one author to the other.
Clik on the cover to purchase the book through Amazon.


ISBN: 978-193870806-0

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Support an Author

 
As part of National Reading Month I wanted to write a post on how you can help authors (not to mention, make their day!).  It doesn’t matter how good of a story one writes, writers need readers. Authors rely on their readers to make their living. It doesn’t matter if you know writers personally or not; you can still be a great help to them. How? You may ask. There are many ways that readers can help writers become successful.

#1 – Purchase a book. This is the most obvious way you can help a writer. Buy their book, but be careful not to buy pirated copies – yes, there are A LOT out there. I can’t tell you the number of horror stories I have read from authors whose work is in print or in ebook form and they are receiving nothing from it. I read one such story just this morning. If you are given a copy, buy a copy to give away. If you don't see it at your local bookstore, ask about it. Sometimes it may need to be ordered. If stores get repeated requests for a certain book they will consider putting it on the shelves.

 #3 – Spread the word. Tell other people you know about the book if you enjoy it. Of course no one wants you to promote a book that you don’t like. But when you do enjoy a book tell your friends. Tell everyone you know that likes to read.

 #4 – Write a review. This is where you become the writer, but don’t get obsessed about everything sounding just right (that’s our job!). When you write a review to post on sites such as Amazon or Goodreads just tell what’s on your heart. Your words don’t need to be fancy or long winded. Many of these sites allow you to give your opinion based on a number of stars. Reviews help boost ratings and also help other readers decide if that is a book they want to purchase. Many people may not have heard about the book before until the review popped up on their screen.

#5 – Follow. If your favorite author has a blog, website, Goodreads profile, or a Facebook page that can be followed do so. Numbers at least help an author feel good about himself. Numbers say that people have visited and liked what they saw.

#6 – Respond. When authors have contests, participate. Many authors host contests on their blogs when new books come out. These contests are usually fun and require very little from you. Leave a comment on a post you enjoyed. Let the author know you are a part of her life.

#7 – Share. Blogs make it so simple to share. Many times all you have to do is click a button at the end of the post and you can share in any number of places such as Facebook or Twitter, just to name a couple. Click on those buttons to share with others who might need to read that post. Facebook also makes it easy to share posts; simply click “share” and you have broadened the scope of the author’s reach.

So, this National Reading Month do some of these things to spread the word about one of your favorite authors. It takes very little of your time, but I guarantee the author will be smiling all day long!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Favorite Authors

Going along with the theme for the month today is all about the authors. There are some authors I just read over and over again because I enjoy most everything they write. They don’t write the same plot for every book. Instead they use their imaginations to come up with something new. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite authors.

Karen Kingsbury – I kind of jumped on the Karen Kingsbury wagon a little late. It wasn’t until we chose one of her books to read in our church book club that I actually picked up one of her books. I really, really liked it! After I read it I was reading through a blurb in the back of the book where she said that she takes events from real life and turns them into her stories. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I enjoy her so much as I do the same in my own writing. Then one of my editors that I do reviews for sent me a different one. Okay. I was hooked. I still have a long way to go to read all of her books, but I may get there some day. 

Colleen Coble – One of the many things I enjoy about Colleen Coble is that she writes many different styles of books. She writes in different time periods and completely different settings making the books unique.  

Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye  - The Left Behind series is one of the best series of books I have read as an adult. 

Frank Peretti – Frank Peretti first became popular when I was in high school. A friend suggested I read This Present Darkness. I did and loved it. I was seeing things for weeks afterward. It really made me understand the realness of spiritual warfare. My mother liked to read and I handed her the book when I was finished. I also happened to mention that the second book had come out, Piercing the Darkness. She was neither in a hurry to read the first one or to buy the second one. Finally, after reading the first book she went right out and bought the second. The only problem was that she wouldn’t let me have it until she read it first! There was something not quite fair about that! 

J.R.R. Tolkien – Who wouldn’t love a writer that engages your kids in reading! The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series are some of my kids’ favorite books. Yes, they watched the movies, but they read the books as well. Not only did they read them, they enjoyed them. These are great books with a great spiritual message. 

C.S. Lewis – Here is another author that can engage the entire family. During school I would read through the Narnia series with my kids. I may have been reading to my youngest, but the older ones would often come in and sit just to listen.

And last, but certainly not least, is my own mother. She was my inspiration for wanting to become a writer. She encouraged me all along the way. Even though she passed away, she still has an impact on my life. Her novel is about one of her passions, the Civil War.  This is a great read for history buffs, those who enjoy fiction, and everbody else.

http://ruthoneil.weebly.com/books


Who are some of your favorite authors? Give me some of yours and I may have to look them up. 

During this National Reading Month make a trip to the bookstore. Buy at least one book. Or ifyou prefer shopping online, click on the images above for convenient ordering. One can never have too many books.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reviews of "Come Eat at My Table"

Last month I launched my new book “Come Eat at My Table.” I have received many reviews and thought I’d share some of them with you. In case you have been on the fence about purchasing a copy, maybe these will help you decide.

 

“This book captivated my heart and soul with the family dynamics and how they worked as a unit. Karin was a submissive wife, a loving mother and a devoted friend to all that needed her to listen to them. The girls were outgoing and sensitive at the same time to their family issues. And the dad was a supportive, loving, provider for the whole family. This book gave great insight for those who do not put their trust in Lord to really look at themselves and where their faith lies. It's also good for those who have a hard time forgiving others to look at themselves and see where they can improve in this area. It's a suspenseful book hard to put down waiting to see what happens next. A great book for all to read.”

 
“A breath of fresh air is how I would describe this book. As I read, I identified with the problems of the family. I loved how the vulnerability of each character is exposed. Their growth through heartache and pain was so evident and the reality of life so refreshing. What better way to show God’s unending Mercy than in the midst of the dynamics of a typical family; a family unit that could symbolize any family who struggles with day to day secrets and tragedies. It is a must read!”

 
“All of us have a "back story" that either makes us stronger or we succumb to it. This book made me realize the need to face it, forgive and become stronger in Christ! This is a must read, you will not regret it!”

 
“I've read so many good books lately and this one can be added to the list. A family with a lot of problems and the heartache they go through. I could feel the pain of the tragedies experienced. Karin is a good wife and mother but has no self-esteem that stems from her childhood and all the bad things that happened. When her husband convinces her to tell their children her story she does and healing comes about. “

 
“An interesting and insightful book, well written, suspenseful. A must read!”

 
“Ruth O'Neil's new release, Come Eat at My Table, is a delightful novel. The story tickles the heart with the sweet fragrance of humor and real life tales of sibling relationship, marriage, and a daughter's perspective of her mother. Ruth writes with a simple voice that slowly and gently warms you up to each character through daily life nuances. The lesson of forgiveness weaves in and out and culminates in a most surprising way; the last few chapters take an unexpected turn that makes your mouth drop! However, the overriding theme is hospitality at its best. Come Eat at My Table paints the picture of hospitality as love, as duty, as desire, and as healing. The main character, Karin, exudes the love of the Lord in all her interactions and reactions throughout the story. Her humble character is one to emulate. Anyone hoping for a clean story, easy to read, and full of hope and promise...then this is the next book to put in your hands!”

 
“This book sounded like a good read when I scanned the description. After exchanging some pleasant emails with the author, Ruth O'Neil, I was even more so looking forward to reading it. It arrived last Saturday while I was in the midst of a bunch of stuff. It was a great inducement to stop work and curl up on the couch for a long overdue break.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  For one thing, Karin reminds me much of what I try to teach my children.  There is always some way you can reach out to others if we will but try.   I love to take a meal to a family with a new baby.  But I like even more to take it to make a casserole for a grieving family.  Because there are times when you don't know what to say or what to do to ease the suffering of someone else.  But everyone needs to eat.  And, being Italian, I have the need to feed everyone.

I also liked the illustration of what a Godly marriage should be in the way Karin and her husband ministered to each other, encouraged each other and challenged each other to rise to the occasion, whatever it may be.

The way this family supported each other and took on the burdens and causes of each other was an example of what a Christian family should be in the good times and in the trials.

There is a beautiful message of the importance of forgiveness not for the sake of those who offend others but for the sake of those who are offended.  I have seen many a person, Christian and otherwise, who gave their lives over to misery because they chose to succumb to bitterness rather than to forgive someone who had hurt them.”


Thanks to all who have purchased, read and reviewed it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Favorite Books

March is National Reading Month. I have always loved to read and think it’s appropriate there’s actually a “holiday” for it. I read a lot. I thought one of the things I would focus on is some of my favorite books throughout the years. I can’t tell you I have one favorite because I don’t. Even if I did, that favorite would probably change and I changed and read more. So here is a list of books that I consider worth the read.  

The Giving Tree – This was one of my favorites as a child. I don’t know why. Perhaps it was the simple drawings. Perhaps it was that the tree gave and gave of itself until it had nothing left to give. It’s a sweet story about life-long friends.
 

 

Little House on the Prairie series – This was also one of my favorites growing up. I have to admit that Laura was my hero. I wanted to be like her. I often wore my hair in braids as she did. I even dressed up like her for Halloween on more than one occasion. I watched the show religiously. If my parents ever wanted to punish me it was send me to bed early on Monday nights. I thought the world would end if I couldn’t see what Laura was up to. There is simplicity of life that keeps drawing me back to these stories. Life may have been harder for people back then, but it was simpler and more enjoyed I think sometimes.

Trixie Belden series – This was another series that I so much enjoyed reading. I would ride my bike to the library during the summer months, choose a new Trixie adventure and head off to the pool to read about it. One of my friends, who also enjoyed reading the series, would pretend we were Trixie and Honey trying to solve non-existent mysteries. These books kept my imagination going.

 
Harbinger – Non-fiction does not usually top my list of books that I really enjoyed reading. This one may not even necessarily fill the category of “really enjoyed” so much as kept me saying, “No way!” throughout the entire book. If you want to see the progression of the United States and where we are headed as a country, this might be a book for you.

 
Three Weeks with My Brother – This book is not the typical Nicholas Sparks. It is also non-fiction about a journey he took with his brother. There were times I laughed out loud when reading this one. My family would look at me as if I were nuts! Sparks mother and mine had one phrase in common, “Put a band aid on it!”

 

Invisible Man – This one might seem a little strange to you, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. As my kids were getting older and needed to read more difficult books for school I went back to some of the classics. I found the classics had longer sentences and a much greater vocabulary than some of the more modern books.

 

These are just a few of my favorites. Click on the book covers to go to Amazon if you want to purchase one of these and get yourself lost in a new book in this National Reading Month.  

What are yours? Leave a comment with some of your favorite books. It might give me something else to read!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Free Books!

The month long promotion is over, but you can still win a copy of the book. Check out Goodreads and enter to win a copy.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Come Eat at My Table by Ruth O'Neil

Come Eat at My Table

by Ruth O'Neil

Giveaway ends March 09, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win