Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SAYING "GOODBYE" TO THE PAST, AND "HELLO" TO THE FUTURE

BIG CHANGES are underway.

I haven't spent much time writing on this blog. After beating cancer, I really didn't want to sit down on the couch (where I spent two whole years) and stare into my computer screen when I could be staring into my children's beautiful faces.

Since "re-learning" how to live, in January, I started homeschooling my two youngest children. I never thought I was "smart enough" to take on such a task, but a close friend (who has a teaching degree), told me I CAN do this! And . . . I CAN! YAY! Anyway, I'm homeschooling for a number of reasons. I wanted to make up for lost time, plus, they weren't doing all that well in school. So, ever since starting with homeschooling, everything is going GREAT!! They are happy to have one-on-one with Mom, and I'm happy to see them grow, make progress, and hug and snuggle with them while we read together. I will say, those first few months of homeschooling were stressful with no set curriculum and just trying to get them "caught up." There was no time for friends or writing on blogs or books. Anyway, I've learned a lot since then, and things have calmed down significantly. But one thing is certain, my God will always come FIRST, then my husband, and then my kids. Books and writing are LAST on my list.

I used to think offering one of my books to God was a big thing. After all, I wrote it to glorify Him! But I've come to realize there are greater things to bring to His throne, and it's an offering that I know without-a-doubt is pleasing to Him (not to mention, something I can take with me to heaven): My children. Now, instead of visualizing myself entering into that throne room with my book in hand, I envision myself carrying my children in my arms and laying them at the feet of my heavenly Father who gave me these precious beings to mold and shape into people who will glorify and honor Him. Only with God's strength can I be successful at doing that! Honestly, homeschooling is an amazing way to make that happen. My six-year-old no longer comes home (she did this in kindergarten) saying "Oh, my G_ _!" And I remember registering my son for preschool years ago, and one of those preschoolers was using the "F" word! Nice to know they no longer will have those "lovely" influences. They were doing very well despite those things, but it required a lot more work, keeping on them and staying ahead of the game. Not to mention hours upon hours of homework for my oldest, and hours of homework for my first-grader because she didn't complete her assignments in class, and no time to play at home after school because of that! Whew! Now, I have no one to combat but our own little selves, and the kids can PLAY like kids are meant to do! We meet up with other homeschool kids in the neighborhood, and the children go at it, having a blast!

Now, back to books . . . many of you have asked when that "third book" will be coming out. I'm afraid I've only reached Chapter Two (that was last year or so), and I haven't moved forward since. I can't write it because it's kind of "dark" like the first two books, and after spending so much time on death's doorstep, I just don't want to "go there." I also thought, if I could self-publish my book, maybe I could write it because I'd make more money. So . . . I BEGGED my publisher to terminate my contract with them for the third book so I could earn full profits on it. After twenty emails back and forth, they've put down their foot and have refused to release me of my contract. That means . . . my third book will never be written. Yes, you heard me right. My third book will NEVER be written. And what's crazy is . . . I'm RELIEVED. I begged and begged to have my book back, and finally when I realized it wasn't going to happen and had to let the story go, I surprisingly felt relief. I think ultimately, I simply didn't want to write another intense, "dark" story. Plus, chemo has taken it's toll on my brain, and focusing on a blank page, knowing I have to complete an entire novel . . . hmm. It's been a challenge.

It's really time to move on. So, I'm saying "goodbye" to the past and "hello" to the future.

And . . . I'M STARTING MY OWN PUBLISHING COMPANY! I've done a lot of work for others and their publishing companies, and I feel like if they can do it, surely I can too! So, please pray for me as I take on this new venture. Doing this actually inspires me to WRITE! I may not be able to write that third book, but I can write LOTS of other books! And I have LOTS of ideas! In the meantime, I've been editing and making some much needed money, so why not publish other authors who can't get their books into the bigger houses? There are so many amazing, talented authors with great stories out there who can't get their foot in the door with those bigger publishing companies. Well, I want to be the one to discover them and make their work shine! AND this is where I can publish my own work. The word-count can be what I want it to be, and I can write ANYTHING I want! YAY!

Life is GOOD. Thank you God for giving me a second chance!

***Click on the link to see my new (unfinished) website for TULPEN PUBLISHING.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Showcasing author Christine Lindsay


Please welcome my wonderful friend and fellow author, Christine Lindsay!

Christine Lindsay is an Irish-born writer, proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship.

It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her historical series Twilight of the British Raj of which Book 1 Shadowed in Silk has won several awards, and Book 2 Captured by Moonlight. Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.

Also coming out February 2014 is Londonderry Dreaming, a romance novella set in Londonderry Northern Ireland, not far from Christine’s birthplace.

Her newest release is a short Christmas story, Heavenly Haven, and has just been released as an Ebook Oct. 15, 2013.

Christine makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.

Please drop by Christine’s website www.christinelindsay.com
Follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest and Facebook



Heavenly Haven by Christine Lindsay
Avalanches happen to other people, not us. Marital problems happen to other people, not us, especially nine days before Christmas. At least that’s what Jack and Shaina Burke thought. Married for ten years, avalanche control expert Jack, and Shaina, only wanted to celebrate their December anniversary in a romantic way, until the shifting snows on the mountain bring havoc tumbling down upon them. Can they find renewed love in a heavenly haven of snow?



One of the 5-star Reviews for Heavenly Haven:
Reader, Kathryn Svendsen—Now that's what I call a romance! This was a wonderful novelette about a married couple and what a few angry words between them can do. What I loved about it was that the romance was between a married couple.

Most romance stories we read are between people who are not married and part of the reason why they are attracted to the other is how drop-dead gorgeous or how sexy handsome he is. This romance is between two people who have been married for ten years and have gotten to know one another's flaws and rough edges. We don't know if they are perfect looking or not. But we do know that whatever they look like, and whatever quirky habits or funky flaws they might have, Jack and Shaina do love each other. That is love, and that is what Ms. Lindsay shows us how God loves us.

Set in the beautiful Steven's Pass area of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State nine days before Christmas, Ms. Lindsay uses her considerable gift of descriptive language to present a story that you can easily see, taste, touch smell and feel. She is a master at creating the image in the reader's mind. I felt like I was right in the vehicle with Shaina and the children after the avalanche.

This story is a masterpiece! I gave it 5 stars. It should definitely be on your Christmas reading list!



Why I wrote Heavenly Haven by Christine Lindsay

The above review from reader, Kathryn Svendsen, is part of the reason I wrote this novelette. Like most women, I work, work, work. There is always something to do, and this past year I realized that my dear husband was suffering from loneliness due to my extremely busy schedule. Something had to change.

On our summer holidays we drove through the majestic Canadian Rockies, and at the summit of Roger’s Pass I noticed a large artillery gun. I asked my husband why on earth that was there, and he explained that avalanche control experts shot artillery shells into the snow caps to trigger avalanches. They did this to carefully control the snows from building too high and thick and thereby causing a fatal avalanche.

I mulled this over as we drove, and compared that to the changes I had to make in my life. My marriage had to come first, even at the expense of my writing career. So, I chose to cut back on my writing so I could spend more quality time with my husband. This little novelette is similar, but fictional, and I hope that my characters, Jack and Shaina, will inspire you to keep your priorities in line as well. Blessings on you and your loved ones.

Heavenly Haven is available as an Ebook on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo.
Christine Lindsay would love to connect with you on her website www.ChristineLindsay.com, or drop by her blog for inspiration www.ChristineLindsay.org or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

Thursday, October 24, 2013

AND THE WINNER IS . . . .

JOYCE JUDD! 

CONGRATULATIONS on winning a signed copy of Sarah Fallis's book, THE DRAMA OF REDEMPTION! 

WHOOOO, HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

I will contact you via email. :-)

Sarah, thank you for being on my blog and telling us about your book!

For those of you who wish to purchase a copy of her book, click on the following link: THE DRAMA OF REDEMPTION. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book GIVEAWAY

Please welcome Sarah Fallis.

If you'd like to receive a FREE SIGNED COPY of Sarah's book THE DRAMA OF REDEMPTION, please leave a comment below with your email address written like so: sandirog at gmail dot com.

Who is Sarah?

            Sarah Fallis recently retired as assistant professor of mathematics at the Northwest Campus of Tarrant County College; she teaches 2 courses part time now since she retired.   She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and English from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M, Commerce), a master’s degree in mathematics and education from Texas Woman’s University, and has done graduate work in Bible and counseling at Abilene Christian University.  
  
            Sarah is married to Gary Fallis who served 15 years as instructor in the Brown Trail School of Preaching in Bedford, Texas and is now the coordinator of the Graduate Program for the Bear Valley Biblical Institute of Denver.  In addition to her work as a mathematics professor, Sarah was Director of the Women’s Program at the school of preaching and taught regularly in that program.  She has taught Bible classes for children, teenage girls and women and is currently teaching the Ladies’ Bible class at the Bridgewood congregation in Ft. Worth.  Her work has included workshops and lectureships such as World Vision for Christ in San Antonio, Texas, Oklahoma Christian University Lectureship, Ft. Worth Lectures, North Texas Bible Teachers’ Workshop in Dallas, Texas and numerous ladies’ days and retreats, including The Mid-Atlantic Retreat and Cold Harbor Road Lectures in Virginia, the Connecticut Ladies' Retreat, and the European Christian Women’s Retreat in Spyer, Germany in 2007. Sarah travels with Gary each summer to Tanzania, East Africa and other mission areas, teaching and maturing the women.  Gary and Sarah have two children—a daughter, Tonya, who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and a son, Paden, who lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Bethany.


What is THE DRAMA OF REDEMPTION about?

The review below was written by Sandi Smith.

Many years ago I was asked to be an assistant to the teacher of the Wednesday night 4th grade Bible class. That was when I met Sarah Fallis. I was blown away by the depth of the material she was teaching those kids: material she had created with the assistance of an artist to illustrate the big ideas. She was teaching fourth graders how to see Jesus in the Old Testament. That first evening we looked at some of the prophecies of Christ in Isaiah and how they were fulfilled in the New Testament. It was not just the students who learned important lessons in that class. I came away with new knowledge and with new ideas on how to teach young students the deeper concepts of God’s plan through time. I have just finished reading Sarah’s new book, The Drama of Redemption: Walking with Jesus from Creation to Canaan, published by WestBow Press in Bloomington, IN, and it has proven no less valuable than the time I spentlearning from her in person. It is a teacher’s resource book, a teacher’s guidebook, and an invaluable look at the scheme of redemption as seen through the Old Testament events and people.

The Drama of Redemption is twenty chapters covering Creation to Joshua. Each chapter includes goals for each lesson, related Scriptures, and illustrated charts to help teach these otherwise difficult lessons. Sarah gives us word pictures and real pictures to help our students “know God, not just know about God.” She gives teachers effective tools, ideas, and even specific words to say, so that even young children can learn to trace the purpose of God all the way from “before the beginning” to the end of Revelation. Her goal in choosing these charts and words and lessons is to strengthen young students against the bombardment of erroneous teaching and thinking they meet and will continue to meet in the world.

I call this a teacher’s guide book because Sarah has done so much more than give us tools to use. Sarah has taught us how to teach these difficult concepts to our students. Working off of the knowledge that we “cannot teach what we do not know,” she uses the greater portion of this book to teach us the deeper meaning in the stories we’re accustomed to telling, to make clear for us the connecting thread between all these people and the Savior who died for us all, so that we can, in turn, relay this soul-saving information to our classes. One need not be intimidated when faced with relating Jacob’s ladder, blood sacrifices, holy days, or even priestly garments to the Son of God; Sarah tells us how to do that concisely and without any confusion. She even includes within the different lessons ideas on how to narrow down the information for first-graders or expand the concept for older students. Though she lets us know that we must study and consider age-groups and maturity, Sarah leaves us confident and prepared enough to tackle subjects we wouldn’t have considered before. For that alone this book is a treasure.



Even if one is not teaching, The Drama of Redemption can be read for the sheer goal of personal growth.  In every one of the 20 chapters I learned valuable information I had not considered before. The reader will see her own understanding greatly expand by reading this book.  Sarah’s passion and joy for learning, knowing, living and teaching God through His word will also inspire the reader and cause one to crave more and more of this spiritual meat.  If you’ve ever desired a deeper understanding of God’s word, this is your means of developing that. Your love for God will grow. Your love for Christ will grow. Your love for the Spirit Who breathed into man the words of the Bible to write will grow.  And, if you’re a teacher, your abilities and your students will grow.  You will understand the “unity and integrity” of the Bible in ways you have never done before.



I highly recommend The Drama of Redemption: Walking with Jesus from Creation to Canaan to anyone.  If you teach the Old Testament, you need this book.  If you teach from the New Testament you need this book.  Sarah Fallis instructs us how to teach these concepts forward from the shadow of Christ to its New Testament manifestation and how to teach them backward from the reality of Christ to the Old Testament shadow.  She teaches us how to teach these concepts to all age groups from as young as First grade up through adult. Roy Johnson’s illustrations are perfectly tailored to each lesson, and she has graciously shared them for use in your classroom. I have assigned this to my teenage daughters to read and incorporate into their Bible class of 5-6 year-olds. I have been blessed from the reading of this book, and I plan on blessing my students with Sarah’s lessons as well. I most eagerly await Sarah’s next book on the prophets. Read this book. The soul you strengthen just might be your own.

By Sandi Smith

Sandi Smith was raised a preacher’s kid in Illinois. She now homeschools her four children in Fort Worth, TX with her husband of 18 years, Joe. Sandi loves teaching ladies’ Bible classes, and is a regular instructor for the Preacher Wives Program at the Brown Trail School of Preaching.



***

Now it's me, Sandi Rog. If you'd like to win a free signed copy, please leave a comment below and your email address. I'll announce the winner in a week! Thanks for stopping by!


Where can I get THE DRAMA OF REDEMPTION? Click HERE to find it on Amazon.


Friday, August 23, 2013

FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP


Now that I’m back on my feet after a two-year battle with cancer, I’m starting a new business venture. I’m offering a workshop for beginning fiction writers, or writers who wish to improve their craft.

If you’d like to learn more about this, you can go to the link below and check it out. (Oh, and say "hello" to my new website!)


Blessings,
Sandi

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

WALKS ALONE

My book WALKS ALONE just WON the 2012 GRACE AWARDS! So exciting!!!

WALKS ALONE is a well written epic novel beginning in Holland and ending in the old west. Loved the way it opened with the tenderness of Anna's father aboard ship. It was hard not to I got involved in the father's dream of traveling to Denver City. The scenes in New York City with Anna's uncle were brutal and fully engaging. After Anna escapes her uncle, travels westward by train, and finally joins a wagon train where she's not well treated, there is a captivating bathing scene in the river where she allows herself to relax. When half-breed Jean-Marc comes upon her with a small band of angry-braves, the reader is caught between instant knowledge of the hero's strong attraction to her and the extreme danger she's in and is hooked. Ms. Rog understands Native American life in that era quite well. She did an excellent job of showing the anger and murderous rage of the braves as well as the prejudice of the settlers and their inability to see Native Americans as people, which led to Indian massacres. Both Anna/Walks Alone and Jean Marc/White Eagle are flawed and well written. White Eagle's poetic declaration of how his love is so large and encompassing that he sees and hears Walks Alone everywhere, even in the wind, was superb. He tells her of his pain at having caught her engaging in conversation with his sworn enemy, the man who led the deadly raid against his tribe. Through this, the author conveys how painful it is for Father God to witness His children engaging with idols. Beautifully done. Touches the reader at a deep spiritual level. ~~  Judges: Nike Chillemi (Team Leader), Krisi Keley, Kenneth Winters

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

THANK YOU FROM BEHIND BARS!


Here are a few of the personal responses I’ve received from the men who are in prison. 

However, before you read those, I want to share that I’m also trying to encourage some of their families, mainly their children. You see, I was a child while my dad was in prison the first time, and I remember receiving gifts from strangers on behalf of my dad. This included stamps so I could send my dad letters (something the prisoners really appreciate).

These are photos of a package I recently sent to a five-year-old girl by request of one of the prisoners for his daughter. He only asked if I could send her a little girl's Bible. I decided to send her a little more than that (one is a "big girl's" Bible for her mom to save for her until she's old enough; it's not shown here because her full name is on it and I don't want that to be seen). You can see the "little girl's" Bible I sent by viewing the pictures. According to my dad, this girl's dad is in for twenty years for selling drugs. That will take up his little daughter’s entire childhood, and it breaks my heart that she won’t ever grow up knowing the protection of her dad. The photo below is a picture of her little bible cover for her "Sweetest Story Bible." It was originally plain pink. That was boring, so I decorated it a bit. Her name is on the back, but I won't show that here. You see, the little girl Bible above will teach her the popular Bible stories, assuming she's never heard them. I also sent her a "Bible Promise Book" so she can "get to know" God a bit better by learning about his promises and how to trust in Him.

I also sent two "kids" Bibles to two other children: one boy age 8 and a girl age 10. This was not requested by this prisoner, but he did ask that I send them some "Bible studies." I'm sending them the materials I'm using in my Wednesday evening 4-5 grade classes as a "correspondence course" for these kids. I'm curious if they'll actually do them. I promised them a certificate if they complete the thirteen week "study." 


Below begin the “thank you’s” from the men, WRITTEN BY MY DAD who has access to a computer (I left out their last names). Under Kemph listed in number 2, I had to send this man a giant print Bible:

1. Dennis is standing right here and says, "Thank you very much for the books. Thanks to the lady who wrote me the letter. It was very much appreciated.

Sandi, Dennis is really coming alive in Christ. He's one of those four we burried with Christ. He loves the Lord. Pray for us all. Love you! Dad 

2.  Kemph is here and wants to tell you this. Firstly, both of us are blown away over his beautiful bible. He can read it!!! And he's sending in his bible study and says he wants to be baptized! I am so happy for him. Now here is what he wants to say:

"My handwriting isn't very good which you will see on my bible study. I can't tell you in words how much it means to have a nice bible like this. I'm willing to pay you for it, because I know they cost you all money. So, just tell your father and I'll be glad to send it. Because I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. And I will read it every day! And I won't forget where it came from. If there's anything I can do, please let me know or let your father know.

I'm looking forward to being baptized, more or less as soon as possible. I don't know how it is in here. [I'm going to study with him in the morning!] It's one of the nicest things that's ever been done, and I really appreciate it! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I know the Lord will look out for you. Yours truly, Kemph."

Sandi, this is wonderful. I am so utterly happy for him and for all the people that have given to this. I have tears, because he is one I'd never have expected to respond!!! PRAISE GOD!!! He's about my age, has a long white beard and is tough as nails. He's a chiropractor has had a gazillion experiences in life and is an old rodeo bull rider. Not much on book learning, but very wise in the world. He’s in here on methamphetamines. PRAISE GOD!!!

Whoops he just came back and said, "And tell her how grateful I am for this bible!"

Whooooie! Please share this with all the folks who have given. Praise God. We'll surely baptize him soon. Praise God! I am ecstatic! Love, Dad

And lastly, a letter from Brian, which was sent to me via snail mail:

3. Thank you so much for your help in getting my Bible. As you can tell from your dad’s reaction, it is a great Bible. I just can’t thank you enough. And do not worry about the cover not being what I wanted, The Bible is what I wanted and more. I plan to use this Bible for years, and hopefully, I’ll be able to use it in school. It’s seeming impossible to find a Christian College that’s accredited and offers Christian Counseling or Psychology through correspondence. But even if not, your Dad and I are already putting our new Bibles to great use in one-on-one studies. Thank you again, Sandi, God has truly made you into a blessing.

In Christ’s name, Brian

P.S. If you ever need anything please let me know. Not sure what I can do from here, but I owe you a lot. Thanks!

Sandi here: Just so you all know, I don't want Kemph to "pay me back" for his Bible. I want him to have the experience of being GIVEN a GIFT. He owes me/us nothing. And so you can know what most of the prisoners are receiving, here's a photo of the Bibles I've been sending with their names engraved in gold on the lower right side. Here's where you can find it on Amazon.

Praising God for His blessings! Thank you ALL for making this possible!
WHEN THE WORLD SAYS YOU CAN'T, FAITH SAYS YOU CAN!