Saturday, July 31, 2010

Life with Lord Byron by Peggy Nelson (part 2)

Mr. Romance
By Peggy Nelson

There were moments in our nearly twenty years together when I would fall far short of Byronʼs or even my own standards of patience, perseverance, and several other virtues. When I would wonder aloud to him about how he managed to put up with me, or what he saw in me in the first place, he would sometimes say, “I saw what you could be.” Isnʼt that amazing? He had such a gift for not only seeing the best in people but helping them, often in some unspoken way, to bring it out, and to become better people just because they had been around him, even for a little while. Youʼre beginning to see, I think, why I have always felt that Iʼm an extraordinarily blessed woman.

One of the most wonderful signs of Byronʼs love was something he did for our second anniversary. Unbeknownst to me he had gone out to Preston Trail where there was a display of some of his medals and other small mementos and asked if he could replace the 1937 Masters Gold Medal with another one he had. They cooperated, fortunately, and he then took that precious piece of history to our jeweler and had it made into a beautiful pendant and gave it to me. It truly brought tears to my eyes, because I knew that was the most important tournament in his career to him, so I understood how much it signified of not only his love for me but also his trust that I could prove worthy of such a gift.

You may wonder what our days and weeks and months and years together were like. We quickly developed a comfortable pattern of normalcy. When we were at home, we had breakfast together, and then Byron would do the dishes and go out to his shop for some woodworking. He would come in later for lunch, then go back to the shop or maybe to play golf with friends in Dallas or Fort Worth. We typically had a fairly early dinner and relaxed in the evenings together. At first I remember Byron had been so used to going to bed early while Louise was ill that he thought 9:30 was about the right time to go to sleep. But he had also been used to getting up at 5:30 or 6 to take care of Louise. Fortunately, we were soon able to change that schedule by a couple of hours.

Soon after we celebrated our first one-month anniversary, Byron announced his next goal was to make it to one hundred months, which we gleefully celebrated with an elegant dinner at the Four Seasons. The monthly anniversaries continued until we got to ten years, then he wanted to get to two hundred months, which we did. Each month was sweeter than the one before, until finally, just eleven days before he went to heaven, we celebrated number 238 at the Olive Garden, another of our favorite restaurants. How we delighted in each other!

When we were driving to Dallas, Fort Worth, Kerrville or wherever, we held hands. Byronʼs were always so warm, and of course, if you ever got to shake hands with him, you knew his hands were really big. In fact, when we were first married, his grip on mine as we drove along would slowly, gradually, get tighter and tighter until I would need to shake mine a little bit to restore the circulation. One time when I did that, he apologized and said, “I guess Iʼm trying to make sure youʼre not going to go back to Ohio.” Fat chance.

As everyone who knew Byron well would agree, he was a born encourager. He found ways to express his appreciation and enjoyment of others and did so at every opportunity. Above the other compliments from him, my very favorite was when he would say, “When you look at me, your eyes sparkle and dance!” It said so much about the feeling that flowed between the two of us. He really did light up my life so beautifully that it was the most natural thing in the world to reflect that light right back to him. I always had the same reaction when we had been separated even for as little as an hour at church, if I was helping with a childrenʼs class while he was in the adult Bible study. When I would catch sight of him again, my heart would beat faster, and Iʼd say to myself,There he is!

We had so many pet names for each other that some folks might find it a bit silly, but we enjoyed and used every single one: Honeypot, Queen of All Queens, Sleeping Tiger, Adorable Darling, Angeldoll, Cuddlebear, and the like. And of course, on a more formal note, we occasionally addressed each other as Mr. Nelson and Mrs. Nelson just for the sheer joyful fun of it.

I felt so secure, so completely cherished and appreciated in every way with Byron. His praise of my every little accomplishment, or sometimes just the way I walked, was unceasing. It occurred to me that, if we could only hear what God is saying to us, it would be like that, too—constant praise and gentle guidance when we needed it. Or occasionally it might be a stronger no when a temptation gets a little too strong for us to handle by ourselves.

Excerpt taken with permission from Life with Lord Byron: Laughter, Romance and Lessons Learned From Golfʼs Greatest Gentleman by Peggy Nelson (2010) available at: http://www.byronnelson-golfpro.com/

Now Booking Interviews and Book Reviews. Contact: Kathy Carlton Willis Communications 956-642-6319 WillisWay@aol.com

Friday, July 30, 2010

Life with Lord Byron by Peggy Nelson (part 1)

How To Play Golf With Your Spouse
By Peggy Nelson

Byron showed his sensitivity to my feelings and moods in many ways, and of course one of the most critical was golf. Having been a teacher for more than fifty years by then, he realized women need to be treated differently, and he was always gentle in his suggestions as we played together during the first year of our marriage. However I was something of a special case. I just knew I could figure out this simple game all by myself, thank you. While I certainly respected his experience, when we were on the course, I was forever thinking about my score and would brook very little distraction while I was endeavoring to make a seven instead of an eight or nine. Silly, wasnʼt it?

So, even though he made very few suggestions, within the first six months Byron saw there was a little problem. I would skull a chip across the green or chili-dip a pitch shot, and he would say, “Sweetheart, try that again with an eight iron this time.”

I would reply (minus the sweetheart), “No!” Or I would try what he had recommended, and if it didnʼt work instantly, I would fling the offending club back into my bag and march on to the next hole without a word. I thought things were going swimmingly, but Lord Byron knew better.

One day in May 1987 I had just come home from Dallas where I had been working on a writing assignment for Scottish Rite Hospital. Byron met me at the door with the latest issue of Golf Digest magazine in his hand.

“Sweetheart, I just read this article called ʻHow To Play Golf With Your Spouse,ʼ and I want you to read it. I underlined everything Iʼve been doing wrong, and Iʼm going to change, because if I donʼt change, youʼre not going to want to play golf with me any more, and you may not even want to stay married to me!”

I melted, of course, as well as feeling like the worldʼs biggest idiot. There I was, balking at advice from the greatest golfer/teacher ever, and heʼs taking all the blame for my frustration on the course. I took the magazine from his hands and sat down next to him. After a number of hugs and kisses and a few tears on my part, I read the article as he had instructed. Naturally the piece was not written for professional golfer husbands who had won five majors, fifty-four tournaments, eleven in a row, eighteen in a year, and taught other pros like Watson, Venturi, and Ward. No, it was designed more for the eighteen handicappers, who wouldnʼt know “you looked up” from U.S. Open rough.

We talked about it a little bit and finally figured out that, as silly as it was, I preferred to play on my own when I was on the course, instead of thinking all the time that he was going to want me to try another club or re-do a shot. So from that moment on, he would only offer advice when I asked him during a round.

Oddly enough, that made it easier for me to ask, which I did a lot more often over the years. The result was that, even playing only once or twice a week, I went from a thirty to a sixteen. And letʼs not think about how much better I could have been if I had sat at the feet of this master of golf and tried to learn all I could about the game. As he told me years later, he really wouldnʼt have wanted me to get so gung-ho that I would be in single digits. He knew how much work that would take and felt it wouldnʼt have made me happy anyway. Byron always felt the happiest golfers he knew were the 80-85 shooters, who made enough pars to keep them happy, an occasional birdie for an extra lift, and the occasional double bogey to keep them humble.

Tagging the Master
Oh, it was so much fun playing with him! Not only could Byron still play very well during the first several years of our marriage, but he seemed to get more kick out of my occasional ripping good shot than he did his own. One time we were playing at Riverhill in Kerrville. I was about a twenty-five, and he was about a ten. So we were on the ninth tee, a great, really tough par four, and the forward tees were only a few yards ahead of the whites. He hit an excellent drive, and for once I tagged one that rolled a few yards past his ball.

After rejoicing about my drive, Byron hit a pure little three-iron that ended up on the green about a foot away from the pin for a kick-in birdie. I, my brilliant drive notwithstanding, hit my three-wood amazingly fat and rolled it about thirty yards. Madder than a wet hen, I took out my four-iron, and thinking fairly murderous thoughts, swung blindly at that wretched white ball. Blinking in amazement I watched it sail up and straight onto the green, where it disappeared into the hole for a three. I got a stroke on the hole from Mr. Nelson that particular day!

You would think heʼd be a little crestfallen after hitting two wonderful shots and getting an easy birdie but then getting beat by his floundering wife, thanks to that mysterious fiend known as “the rub of the green.” No, my champion absolutely whooped with joy over it and proudly told the story dozens of times afterwards to anyone who would listen. What a hero! “How to play golf with your spouse” indeed!

Excerpt taken with permission from Life with Lord Byron: Laughter, Romance and Lessons Learned From Golfʼs Greatest Gentleman by Peggy Nelson (2010) available at: http://www.byronnelson-golfpro.com/

Now Booking Interviews and Book Reviews. Contact: Kathy Carlton Willis Communications 956-642-6319 WillisWay@aol.com

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dark in the City of Light by Paul Robertson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dark In The City Of Light
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

by
Paul Robertson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and the author of The Heir. He is also a former Christian bookstore owner (for 15 years), who lives with his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.

ABOUT THE BOOK

What Evil Haunts the Shadows of 1870s Paris?

Baron Ferdinand Harsanyi — After his wife's mysterious death, this Austrian attaché holds control over mines whose coveted ore could turn the tide of war.

Therese Harsanyi — Swept up in new romance and the spectacle of Paris, the Baron's daughter is blind to the dangers stalking her family and the city she loves.

Rudolph Harsanyi — Unsure whom to trust, the Baron's son's grief over his mother's death twists into growing anger and a desire to break free.

As France and Prussia plunge toward war, one family is caught in a web of deceit, political intrigue, and murder that threatens to tear them apart.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dark In The City Of Light, go HERE.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nightshade by Ronie Kendig

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Nightshade
Barbour Books (July 1, 2010)
by

Ronie Kendig

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ronie has been married since 1990 to a man who can easily be defined in classic terms as a hero. She has four beautiful children. Her eldest daughter is 16 this year, her second daughter will be 13, and her twin boys are 10. After having four children, she finally finished her degree in December 2006. She now has a B.S. in Psychology through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Getting her degree is a huge triumph for both her and her family--they survived!!

This degree has also given her a fabulous perspective on her characters and how to not only make them deeper, stronger, but to make them realistic and know how they'll respond to each situation. Her debut novel, Dead Reckoning released March 2010 from Abingdon Press. And her Discarded Heroes series begins in July from Barbour with the first book entitled Nightshade.

ABOUT THE BOOK
After a tour of duty in a war-torn country, embattled former Navy SEAL Max Jacobs finds himself discarded and alienated from those he loves as he struggles with war-related PTSD. His wife, Sydney, files a restraining order against him and a petition for divorce. Max is devastated.

Then a mysterious a man appears. He says he's organizing a group that recycles veterans like Max. It's a deep-six group known as Nightshade. With the chance to find purpose in life once again, Max is unable to resist the call of duty and signs on.

The team handles everything with precision and lethal skill...until they're called upon to rescue a missionary family from a rebel-infested jungle and avoid a reporter hunting their identities.

Will Max yield his anger and pride to a force greater than him...love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Nightshade, go HERE.

Watch the trailer:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stars in the Night by Cara Putman

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Stars In The Night
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)

by
Cara Putman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A Word From Cara:

I graduated from high school at sixteen, college at 20, and completed my law degree when I was 27.

My writing journey started in 2005 when I decided to write my first novel. Now I have eleven books published with more on the way.

People say I've accomplished a lot and that I must have life by the proverbial tail. Hardly! I grew up as a home schooled kid when home schoolers were misunderstood and oddities.

I struggle with balancing my writing and law career, plus being a good mom and wife.

I often fear people won't like my books.

I've walked through the deep pain of miscarriage.

Really, I'm just like you – I don't have it all together and have gone through tough times. But in His strength, I've discovered a strength I never knew I had. A strength I want you to discover, too.

In the end I'm just an ordinary mom who has seen God do some wonderful things as I've been obedient to step into the calling He's led me into.

Stars in the Night Background

Stars in the Night was an idea that had begun to percolate in my mind. I’d written two World War II series and was actively looking for my next setting. My husband, a huge World War II history buff, and I were kicking ideas around, and I’d decided Hollywood was probably the next place for me. I’d gone to the library and gotten a stack of research books when I got the call. An editor I knew but had never worked with wanted to know if I might be interested in a new line they were starting. As we talked, I got so excited. And then she emailed me their guidelines, which listed that Hollywood was a location they were interested in setting books.

Only God could have known ahead of time. But because I followed His prompting I was ready to run with an idea. Stars in the Night is the result.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Hollywood 1942. When attorney Audra Schaeffer's sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her.

Any day Audra might have been flattered by the friendly overtures of Robert Garfield, a real-life movie star. But on the flight from Indianapolis to Hollywood, Audra can think of little else than finding her missing sister. When Audra arrives in the city of glitz and glamour, and stars, and learns her rising starlet sister has been murdered, all thoughts of romance fly away.

Determined to bring the killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan.

Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the deaths are tied to that of her sister.

Could the killer be the man with whom she's falling in love?

If you'd like to read an excerpt of Chapter 1 of Stars In The Night, go HERE.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Heartless
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

by

Anne Elisabeth Stengl

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she enjoys her profession as an art teacher, giving private lessons from her personal studio, and teaching group classes at the Apex Learning Center. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. Heartless is her debut novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon be married. She dreams of a handsome and charming prince, but when the first suitor arrives, she finds him stodgy and boring. Prince Aethelbald from the mysterious land of Farthestshore has traveled far to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be approaching Parumvir.

Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his warnings. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir, and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in grave danger. When Una makes the wrong choice, catastrophe ensues for the princess and her family, and love, courage, and trust are needed when darkness engulfs the kingdom.

Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.

There are some delightful things and scenes: the Twelve-Year Market that appears in its own good time and sells fairy goods; a clever blind cat who is invariably underfoot and has, of course, a secret!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Heartless, go HERE.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Sister Wife by Diane Noble

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Sister Wife
Avon Inspire (June 22, 2010)

by
Diane Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Diane Noble is a former double finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for Best Inspirational Fiction, a finalist for the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Reviewers' Choice Award, and a three-time recipient of the Silver Angel Award for Media Excellence.

With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane feels incredibly blessed to be doing what she loves best—writing the stories of her heart.

For the last three years Diane has been honored to be lead author for the popular Guideposts series, Mystery and the Minister’s Wife (Through the Fire, Angels Undercover), and has recently returned to writing historical fiction. She is currently writing book two of her new historical series, The Brides of Gabriel. Book one is The Sister Wife.

Diane’s hometown is Big Creek, California, a tiny village nestled in the rugged Sierra Nevada back country. As a child, Diane’s older brother Dennis fueled her creative streak by entertaining her with his own gift of storytelling. Growing up without TV and iffy radio reception, Diane became an avid reader, inhaling more than one hundred novels—both YA and adult—in a single year by the time she reached seventh grade. Her passion for reading continues to this day.

Now empty nesters, Diane and her husband live in the Southern California low desert, near a place known for the lush and beautiful gated communities of the rich and famous.

ABOUT THE BOOK
What if the man you loved told you God wanted him to take another wife? What if that woman was your best friend?

Set in the heart of the earliest days of a new nineteenth-century sect known as the Saints, The Sister Wife is a riveting account of two women forced into a practice they don't understand, bound by their devotion to Prophet Joseph Smith.

When Mary Rose marries Gabriel, neither of them could foresee how quickly the community would turn to the practice of plural marriage. Devastated when Gabe is faced with an order from the Prophet to marry her best friend, Bronwyn, Mary Rose tries to have the faith to carry through with the marriage.

But can she really be married to the same man as her very best friend? Can Mary Rose and Bronwyn face betraying both their husband and their God to do what they feel is right?

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of The Sister Wife, go HERE.

Watch the book video!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back on Murder by J. Mark Betrand

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Back On Murder
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

by
J. Mark Betrand

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

J. Mark Bertrand has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. After one hurricane too many, he left Houston and relocated with his wife Laurie to the plains of South Dakota.

Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of a hung jury in Houston, and after relocating served on the jury that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead. Besides his personal website, visit his Crime Genre website at http://www.crimegenre.com/.

The next book in this series, Pattern Of Wounds will come out in the summer of 2011.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Det. Roland March is a homicide cop on his way out.

A missing girl. A corrupt investigation. They thought they could get away with it, but they forgot one thing:

Roland March is BACK ON MURDER...

Houston homicide detective Roland March was once one of the best. Now he's disillusioned, cynical, and on his way out. His superiors farm him out on a variety of punishment details. But when he's the only one at a crime scene to find evidence of a missing female victim, he's given one last chance to prove himself. Before he can crack the case, he's transferred to a new one that has grabbed the spotlight--the disappearance of a famous Houston evangelist's teen daughter.

All he has to do? Find the missing teenage daughter of a Houston evangelist that every cop in town is already looking for. But March has an inside track, a multiple murder nobody else thinks is connected. With the help of a youth pastor with a guilty conscience who navigates the world of church and faith, March is determined to find the missing girls while proving he's still one of Houston's best detectives.

Battling a new partner, an old nemesis, and the demons of his past, getting to the truth could cost March everything. Even his life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Back On Murder, go HERE.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tomorrow We Die by Shawn Grady

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Tomorrow We Die
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

by
Shawn Grady

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. He is the author of the novels Through the Fire & Tomorrow We Die.

Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.

Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University as a Theology undergrad before shifting direction to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College.

Shawn currently lives in Reno, Nevada, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Chase the Angel of Death and You Might Catch Him

Jonathan Trestle is a paramedic who's spent the week a few steps behind the angel of death. When he responds to a call about a man sprawled on a downtown sidewalk, Trestle isn't about to lose another victim. CPR revives the man long enough for him to hand Trestle a crumpled piece of paper and say, "Give this to Martin," before being taken to the hospital.

The note is a series of dashes and haphazard scribbles. Trestle tries to follow up with the patient later, but at the ICU he learns the man awoke, pulled out his IVs, and vanished, leaving only a single key behind. With the simple decision to honor a dying man's last wish, Jonathan tracks the key to a nearby motel where he finds the man again--this time not just dead but murdered. Unwilling to just let it drop, Jonathan is plunged into a mystery that soon threatens not only his dreams for the future but maybe even his life. He must race for the truth before the Angel of Death comes calling for him.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Tomorrow We Die, go to HERE.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nightmare by Robin Parrish

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Nightmare
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)

by
Robin Parrish

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin Parrish is a journalist who's written about the intersection of faith and pop culture for more than a decade. Currently he serves as Senior Editor at XZOOSIA.com, a community portal that fuses social networking with magazine-style features about entertainment and culture.

He had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist. In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract with Bethany House Publishers. They contracted him for the rights to The Dominion Trilogy: Relentless (2006), Fearless (2007), and Merciless (2008). His science fiction thriller, Offworld came out in 2009. This summer debuts Nightmare, and he's working on another for 2011. Robin and his wife and children live in North Carolina.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Nightmare is Coming...

Ghost Town is the hottest amusement park in the country, offering state-of-the-art chills and thrills involving the paranormal. The park's main ride is a haunted house that promises an encounter with a real ghost.

When Maia Peters visits during her senior year of college, she's not expecting to be impressed. Maia grew up as the only child of a pair of world-renowned "ghost hunters," so the paranormal is nothing new and to her most of the park is just Hollywood special effects. In fact, the ride feels pretty boring until the very end. There, a face appears from the mist. The face of Jordin Cole, a girl Maia knows who disappeared from campus a few months ago.

Convinced what she saw wasn't a hoax and desperate to find answers to Jordin's disappearance, Maia launches into a quest for answers. Joined by Jordin's boyfriend--a pastor's kid with very different ideas about paranormal and the spirit realm--Maia finds herself in a struggle against dangerous forces she never expected to confront on the edge of the spirit realm that try to keep the truth from emerging.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Nightmare, go HERE.