Monday, November 30, 2009

A Double Giveaway!

I thought it might be nice to make the final 2009 Book Giveaway a bit more interesting by giving away two books. To enter, all you need to do is to leave a comment to this post. Please include your name and email address in the following format: karenelange(at)gmail(dot)com.

The Giveaway ends this Friday, December 4, 2009 at noon. My lovely daughter will do the honors and draw two names. The first name drawn will get their choice of titles.

The first book is Dawn's Prelude by Tracie Peterson. To check out my review, click on the title.

The second book is Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist. Click the title if you'd like to hear what I thought about the book.

Happy Reading and Writing to all:)

Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. only. Books are my very gently used review copies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Gifts

I am thankful for so many things, and this special holiday causes me to pause and reflect on the treasured gifts that God has given me.

I am grateful to live in the United States, to be free to worship and to live and travel freely. I appreciate the sacrifice that veterans have made and that active service men and women make each day for our freedom.

My many friends - whether online or near or far - are another special blessing. Thank you for being supportive and kind, and for just being there.

The church family who welcomed the Langes into their fold over five years ago are yet another treasure. We are truly blessed to be a part of Shelbyville Christian Assembly.

Special family - sisters Wendy, Robin, and Julie, brothers in law Michael and Jaman, my parents Wayne and Linda, and my grandparents, in laws Carolyn and Ralph, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and beyond have been a rich part of my heritage. For each one of you, I am grateful.

My children, son Tim, his wife Jessica, and their son Evan, and son David and daughter Becky, I have no words to express how thankful I am for you. Partly because I will cry if I think too hard on it, and partly because my love and gratitude for what you've brought to my life knows no bounds. Thank you Lord!

I am thankful for my sweet husband of 29 years. (I was a child bride:) Jeff has been patient and kind, supportive and loving; he is my true soul mate and lifelong companion. Words fail me here as well, as the depth of God's love for me is shown by giving me this gift.

Finally, my deepest gratitude goes to our Heavenly Father, who created us, loves us, and supplies the grace and mercy we need for each day. Jesus paid a debt we could not pay; what a precious and awesome gift!

What gifts are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 

Happy Thanksgiving! Blessings to you all:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Looking for Names?

Do you need a name for a character? Why not try this site for some ideas? Behind the Name is a site where you can learn the etymology and history of names.

One nice feature is the Random Name Generator page. This is fun! You may choose male/female, first name/last name/both, nationality, time period, and more. Once you make your choices, click on "Generate a Name" and it gives you a name, randomly chosen of course. This could come in handy if you want something creative and different, or are just plain stuck for a good name. The nice thing is, if you don't like the random name it gives you, you can go back and do it again.

Behind the Name's main page allows you to browse names by nationality, if you are in the mood for that instead. They also have a "Fun Stuff" page, where you can view name ideas for twins, look at anagram names from around the world, and find names with themes, such as 'strong' names, or 'fiery' ones.

When I visited, I wasn't looking for a character's name, but it was interesting to play around with the name generator, and to find out what names are 'red', and which ones are 'purple'. Anyone looking for names? Let us know what interesting ones you find.

Blessings, and of course, Happy Writing!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Loyal Friend Award

I was recently blessed with the Loyal Friend and Visitor Award! How exciting is that?

Maria Morgan of Life Lessons sent this blessing my way. I am humbled, greatly appreciative, and blessed to receive this honor. I now get to pass this award along to fellow bloggers, and I have chosen these three faithful blogging friends.

Carol Alexander of Everything Home...with Carol has a wonderful blog. A sweet and regular visitor to my blog, Carol writes about farm life, homeschooling her children, and lots of other insightful and spiritual goodies.

Some of you are already acquainted with Susan J. Reinhardt of Christian Writer/Reader Connection. Susan is my go-to gal for blogging questions; much of what I've learned about blogging I've gleaned from her. Susan is an all around faithful peach of a friend. Her blog never fails to bless, inform, and challenge me.

Following My King's Cecelia Lester, also known as Quiet Spirit, is another gem of a friend. Her blog encourages and provides much food for thought. Cecelia was one of my first followers, for which I will be ever grateful. She has also been one of the talented and brave ones who has allowed me to publish her version of one of the writing prompts on my blog.

My heartfelt thanks goes to each of these wonderful ladies mentioned, and also to all my other readers. You are all treasured friends, and I count you among my richest blessings!

Happy writing:)

Monday, November 16, 2009

That Bunch of Carrots

I was delighted when Raymonde Fauchard Newman of Everyday I Walk With You sent me her story that used my November Writing Prompt. I was even more pleased when she granted me permission to print it. Here is her wonderful story.


"How much is this bunch of carrots? Lydia asked.

"Seventy-eight cents," answered the farmer smiling at her, with a quizzical look on his face.

"I also need 12 figs and 3 pomegranates, how much are they?"

What he was looking at was totally out of his ordinary. This beautiful woman was radiating joy, but whilst she was counting her coins, he spotted her hands, they were out of place so totally different to the rest of her face in colour, they were purple. He was intrigued and puzzled.

Lydia was unaware of the attention of the stall holder. She just had a single thought in her head: I must be ready. She had had this thought for a while now. Actually ever since her meeting by the river with the little short wiry man named Paul and his companion Silas...

She stopped for a second, reviewing in her head her shopping list. She had everything else she needed. She just wanted to hurry now, get home and prepare her meal. Today was the day.

Her thoughts drifted whilst she put the various items in her basket. One quite ordinary day by the river, had turned her world upside down. She was there that day to wash her cloth, her purple cloth and also praying with other women from her village and suddenly after hearing this man speak, she later learnt his name was Paul, her heart had opened and what happened she can only describe as if scales fell from her eyes, her ears heard words of life: God had made a way for her, she was saved. That same river which minutes before had been a convenient place to wash her cloth had become the place of her baptism; she had been plunged in a dye of purple, colour of royalty, to rise up the daughter of the King. The same could be said of her daughters, her maids and her younger sons. They all had heard the same good news and had become followers of Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God.

So after the initial excitement of the baptism, she had invited Paul and Silas back to her home. And nothing had happened yet, she had heard rumours of troubles and arrests, but each time she was trying to find out more, no actual news were coming forth, it had been weeks now, it certainly felt even longer.

Till today, she had woken up with a new certainty: today was the day, so she had jumped out of bed, cleaned the house, made sure everybody knew what they were doing, but she wanted to go and get the best produce from the market and bring them back to prepare.

On the way she was going to pick up the warm bread, bread she had kneaded herself very, very early this morning and dropped off at the common bakery in the centre of the village. She knew she had enough wine and oil in her cellar, this is the day... Was she ready enough? The excitement she had felt since the day of her salvation was contagious. She had always worshipped the God of her Fathers, so knew the Old Book well and in her mind kept going over her favourite passages, now making even more sense to her, especially about the Messiah. She felt so blessed.

She rushed back to start on preparing her meal and lay the table and suddenly they were there Paul and Silas leaving prison and entering Lydia’s house... just in time for a delicious meal and to see the brethren, they encourage everybody and left. Lydia felt even more thankful to God.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Thank you Raymonde!

Blessings and Happy Writing:)

Carrots!! Copyright Raymonde Newman, 2009.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Are You a Poet?

Do you like to write poetry? If so, this contest may be just for you. Writer's Digest is sponsoring their 5th Annual Poetry Contest.

Deadline is December 15, 2009 and prizes range from $25-$500 for 10th through 1st place. Eleventh through 25th place winners get a $50 gift certificate for Writer's Digest Books, which is not too shabby a prize either.

If you'd like to enter, visit the Contest site for details. You have to promise that you'll let me know if you win so I can post some congratulations here too:)

Happy Writing!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Love to Write Day

Did you know that November 15 is
I Love to Write Day? Author John Riddle is the creator of this little known celebration, which is now recognized by the governors of nine states. That’s right, if you are a resident of Delaware, New Jersey, Kentucky, Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, or Florida you will be pleased to know that this day has been officially noted in your state.

Mr. Riddle came up with the idea in 2002, thinking that it would be a good way to celebrate the art of writing, and to hold the “world’s largest party for writers.”
He goes on further to say, "My goal for I Love to Write Day is simple; people of all ages are encouraged to write something. A poem, a letter, an essay, start a novel, finish a novel...the possibilities are endless!" Visit the I Love to Write Day website at

I love Mr. Riddle's idea! Even though I am a writer, it sparks an extra measure of enthusiasm and thankfulness for what I am called to do. How will you celebrate this special day? Writing for NaNoWriMo, blog posts, an article, a journal, or flash fiction? I invite you to share your writing adventures, big or small, with us.

Happy Writing, and Happy I Love to Write Day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How About...?

How about a writing prompt? It's been a little while since we've had one, so thought I'd post one today:) It's always fun to see what my writer friends come up with. Everyone's perspective is unique and it generates a nice assortment of stories. So here goes:

Write a flash fiction story using this line as the opening:

"How much is this bunch of carrots? Lydia asked.

After you write it, please share the story! My email is karenelange(at)gmail(dot)com. Perhaps you won't even mind giving me permission to share it in a future post...but only if you want to, of course.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dawn's Prelude Book Review

Dawn's Prelude by Tracie Peterson
Bethany House Publishers

Recently widowed Lydia Gray is not sad; she is actually relieved that her late husband Floyd cannot torment her any longer. Lydia's marriage was a business arrangement between her father and Floyd, a practice not uncommon in 1870 in Kansas City. She is surprised to learn that she inherited Floyd's entire estate. Determined to break free from any ties to Floyd's greedy and insensitive adult children, she secretly makes plans to move to Sitka, Alaska, where Aunt Zerelda, her only remaining relative, lives.

A bit of intrigue ensues as Lydia makes her way to Sitka where she finds herself in the arms of Kjell Lindquist. Literally! Kjell catches Lydia right off the boat, sick and worn from her travels. The plot thickens as Lydia fights her way out of a web of bitterness and distrust from the treatment she received at Floyd's hands. Will Zerelda's gentle faith speak to Lydia? Will Lydia accept this new land as her own? Will Kjell have any part in Lydia's future? And what of Floyd's family, will their greed drive them to drastic measures?

The beauty of the Alaskan territory comes alive in Ms. Peterson's latest book. I have yet to find a book of hers that I disliked. She is a wonderful story teller; her stories have depth and an eternal message. Check this one out; adventure and surprises await!

Happy Reading:)

Bethany House provided this book free of charge for review purposes.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Email Adventures

I recently got locked out of my hotmail account. Apparently it was a widespread glitch, as others encountered the same problem. One minute I had access to my account, the next, I did not.

My hotmail account is a primary email address that I have used for over 10 years. Let's just say I did not weather this storm without a measure of frustration, and yes, a bit of anxiety. I tried all the help options, spent hours on the net trying to find solutions, and changed my password, cleared my cache, cookies, and checked for viruses. Still locked out. The automated responses from the help desk sent me in circles. I scrambled to remember addresses and touch base with contacts through my other email addresses. Finally, after four days, they said that they'd verified my account and gave me access again. They apologized for the delay, as they normally respond in 24 hours, but with a high volume of other users experiencing the same issues, they were backed up. I was back on, hooray!

Thankfully, I did not miss anything monumental while I was locked out. I had to wade through over 300 emails, but got back on track in a short time. I have to admit that I learned some valuable lessons - like keeping a list of my email contacts elsewhere. I also learned that it's a good idea to change passwords every so often, using these tips for a more secure password. I was also reminded that you shouldn't use the same password for every account you have, whether email, for online shopping or banking, or other kind of account.

Finally, I was reminded that this was just a little thing in my life's big picture; I managed to get through the week without using that account. Funny how the Lord uses little things to teach us things and smack some perspective back into our lives. I'm thankful that He was patient with me while I scaled this little trial. He is good!

Had any little perspective aligning adventures lately? :)