CAFE: A gathering place. A place of refreshment.

Thirsty for the latest releases in Christian fiction? Ready for a peek into the world of publishing and writing conferences? Hungry for spiritual and real-life nourishment? Pull up a seat; you're in the right place, and I'm so glad you've stopped by.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Today is a special day all around. First of all, thank you to all who serve in our military to keep our world a safer place--Huge wave to my son, Brett, who serves in the US Coast Guard! We are very proud of you! To those who gave their lives for our freedom as well as loved ones who've gone on before us, there is nothing we can do to pay our debt of gratitude, but we do remember all of you today--Memorial Day.
Thirty-six years ago today, the most significant event of my adult life took place. Max and I were married in a small-town Lutheran church (which had no air conditioner, and we have never forgotten that bit of trivia!). We thought we knew everything then--all about love and life. Boy, were we naive. God blessed our vows, though, and it has been a wonderful ride, loop-de-loops and all. Max was then, and still is, my best friend. For you honey, thanks. I love you and want to grow old (very old, not just middle-aged old) with you.

We've celebrated our anniversary in a variety of ways over the years. Hot dogs and wine for the first one. That was the best we could do since we had moved on that day and didn't have the energy to go anywhere and couldn't have found clean clothes anyway. We fared better in other years. Once Max took me to New Orleans, and we enjoyed hanging out on Bourbon Street and going on a moonlight Riverboat ride. I'm so glad we had a couple of great visits to that mesmerizing city before Katrina came along.
Most years, though, we've had a dinner in a nice restaurant followed by watching the movie, Fiddler on the Roof, which we saw on our honeymoon. This year, we're going to splurge and go to the new Indiana Jones movie--after a nice dinner, of course.

The other reason today is special is that it is my youngest sister, Marsha's birthday. She's forgiven us (I think) for scheduling our wedding on her special day, but it's a handy way to remember her birthday. Hope it's a good one, Sis!

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Graduation

We’ve had a lot of family events this year—bridal showers, college graduations, class reunions, birthdays—it seems we’ve been on the road non-stop. We still have the BIG event coming in August—our youngest son’s wedding in California. And maybe a nephew getting married in the fall.

This past Monday, though, I loaded up the PT Cruiser for a family first—our grandson’s graduation from kindergarten. What an event it was! Recitation of Bible verses and songs, demonstrations of reading skills, and the acting out of favorite Bible stories. Our Nash was the little boy who gave his lunch to Jesus. He took his place in front of the microphone and told how Jesus had fed five thousand with the lunch. Then, Nash rolled his blue eyes and looked into the audience before saying his last line—“It was a miracle.” I thought my heart would melt.

All the children disappeared from the stage and marched back in wearing their pint-sized caps and gowns, grinning wildly as they received their diplomas. We like to call it getting their Master’s of Kinder Arts.
Cake and punch. A simply wonderful morning that made the six hour trip each way worth every minute. After lunch, I attended an in-school track meet and saw Drake, Nash’s big brother, come in third in the fifty-meter dash.

Sometimes when I think time is flying past at the speed of light, I stop and remember how quickly these kids are sprouting before my eyes. I want to savor each proud moment, each snapshot in time, and carry it inside me. That’s what a Mimi does, and I consider it my great privilege to do so.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Graduate of Distinction

This past weekend our youngest son James graduated from the University of Oklahoma, a graduate of distinction in the College of Engineering.

Of course, even if the University hadn't named him as a person of distinction, we would have. He's worked hard and made his parents proud, following in his dad's footsteps with an Electrical Engineering degree. The Friday night ceremony honoring all of OU's graduates took place in Memorial Stadium on a picture-perfect Oklahoma evening. Truly a beautiful night of commemoration.
The Engineering Convocation was held on Saturday. For this occassion we filled two and a half rows of our section with family and friends. Followed by a celebration at one of the great little Campus Corner cafes--La Luna. We had a great group and were especially pleased that both of James's grandparents were able to come--Max's mom and my dad. Plus brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends.

James with fiancee Allison and Grandpa Mike (my dad)

James with Max and Grandma (Max's mom)

Proud parents!

It's going to be a huge year for James all around. Graduation, a new job as a software developer for a company in Tulsa (yeah! no more monthly deposits from the old folks at home), and his upcoming wedding to Allison in August. Huge for him. Fun for us. We are blessed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

An Apology and a Rabbit Rant

My apologies for not drawing for D.C. Stewart's book Where Would Cows Hide? on Friday, as promised. Poor planning on my part as I knew I would be traveling this weekend to my youngest son's college graduation (Go Sooners!). I abandoned my computer and cyberspace for some real people interaction and celebration (more about that tomorrow). So without further ado, here are the winners of the two BONUS books for Denice's blog tour:

windycindy--who writes that she has visited the blog tour every day--Wahoo!
carolyn w--who wants to read the book to her little sister--Enjoy!

Your books will be sent out as soon as I get back you mailing information. Wasn't that fun?
Now, on to the not so fun part. I returned home today to find that the wretched baby bunny (cute, furry innocence in serious question here) had eaten all the choice leaves from my newly sprouted Hyacinth beans and has also developed an appetite for fresh coneflower leaves and violets. When we lived on the farm this was a shooting offense, but here in the middle of the city, folks get worried about gunfire, and honestly, I wouldn't know how to load, aim, and fire a gun let alone have the heart to do it. But, the furry critter and I have some serious differences of possessions here.

Hark! The internet. I looked up some safe, non-violent remedies for ridding the garden of furry pests and came up with a recipe. I whirred the cocktail in the blender--garlic and hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco). Mixed it in a squrt bottle with a few teaspoons of dish detergent, filled it with water, and sprayed the garden. We'll see what happens.

There are plenty of weeds for the bunny lad to munch on, and I am anxious to see the hyacinth bean vine grow taller than two inches. Why can't we all just get along??

Hope you all had a pleasant weekend.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto

A few days ago my friend . . . I use that word loosely . . . tagged me to do a Seven Random Things about me meme. Thank you, Myra. Since she took the liberty of changing hers to an animal meme, I thought I’d change it up, too.

Of course, there are rules and people to tag and all that, but let’s just say if you are reading this and want to do your own meme, you’ve got my permission. Have fun with it.

So here’s to my meme about spring.
1. Golf ball sized hailstones make BIG dents in cars. Even SUVs. The insurance adjuster will come Monday to give an estimate of the damage.
2. The tornado sirens are loud enough to wake the dead . . . or just a foggy-headed sleeper like me.
3. There is nothing softer than an infant rose petal.
4. Or more lovely than the purple irises blooming against my neighbor’s salmon-colored azaleas.
5. Home grown Romaine lettuce is better than anything you’ve ever bought at the grocery store (again, compliments of my green-thumb neighbor).
6. If you have to have a birthday, spring is a lovely time to have one.
7. Hyacinth beans take eight days to sprout when planted in the warm ground. I’ve never planted this Asian vine before and am anxious to see what happens. I caught the toddler cottontail residing under our shed eyeing them, so who knows?

Ah! Springtime in Oklahoma. I love the burst of new leaves, the overnight vegetation that softens the landscape. I even love the rain, the black clouds that dump their fury and skitter away, leaving a tingle in the air. Actually, the only thing I don’t like about spring is knowing that summer is just around the corner, and it gets mighty hot in our neck of the woods.

Got a meme you want to start? Go for it. Leave me a comment and I’ll hop over to your blog and read it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

CFBA Introduces THE WARRIORS by Mark Andrew Olson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Warriors

(Bethany House April 1, 2008)


Mark Andrew Olsen


MARK ANDREW OLSEN whose novel The Assignment was a Christy Award finalist, also collaborated on bestsellers Hadassah (now the major motion picture: One Night With the King), The Hadassah Covenant, and Rescued. His last novel was the supernatural thriller The Watchers.

The son of missionaries to France, Mark is a Professional Writing graduate of Baylor University. He and his wife, Connie, live in Colorado Springs with their three children.


A failed recon mission deep in the tunnels of Afghanistan has provoked a demonic onslaught that had been brewing for centuries. The mission's sole survivor is reformed black ops assassin Dylan Hatfield, and he once again teams up with Abby Sherman, now at the helm of the Watchers, an ancient spiritual force. Uncovering and preventing a secret wave of death whispered across cyberspace and threatening to be unleash against civilization will require another level of spiritual power and expertise--the Warriors.

Journeying across the Alps of Europe through the multilayered history of warfare in the unseen world, Dylan and Abby uncover an age-old stone engraving that rouses the church's Warriors to action, placing them dead center in one of the fiercest spiritual battles of their time!

And once again they are reminded: This is all part of a vast and perpetual war, a war beyond all human conflicts, one that has engulfed heaven and earth since before the dawn of history....

Abby Sherman is headed back to Israel, where a Watcher, the Sentinel of Jerusalem, lies dying. In her last breaths the old woman tells Abby of an ancient document prophesying humanity's full-scale entry into the ongoing conflict between armies of heaven and fallen angels.

Dylan Hatfield has decided to answer a summons from his old boss and join a secret operation, its mission to reconnoiter the Afghani tunnel complex from which Osama bin Laden escaped in 2001. What he discovers sears his very soul and likely will end his life.

Abby learns of the peril facing Dylan, and she sends out a call for intercession on his behalf. Her frantic email message sets in motion a series of harrowing events, propelling the two on a new mission and quest--one where the stakes are the lives of millions!

The Warriors is packed with high-octane action, featuring exotic international locales, with characters in a clash against spiritual "principalities and powers" with eternal consequences, The Warriors is a story that will enthrall, enlighten, and engage its readers.

If that piques your interest, you can read the first chapter HERE

"Olsen, one of the better writers in this subgenre, delivers powerful, action-packed plots that delve into mystical paranormal worlds."
~Library Journal, Feb. 2008

"Olsen delivers an entertaining thriller likely to be enjoyed especially by fans of the spiritual warfare genre."

Sunday, May 4, 2008


In case you've missed my earlier "brag" about this book and want to know more, I'm participating in my daughter-in-law, Denice Stewart's blog tour for her Tweener Adventure, Where Would Cows Hide?

In addition to the blog tour giveaways there is a BONUS book giveaway available only for those who comment on today's post. I'm giving away TWO copies of Denice's book from my own stash, so you double your chances. Have a tweener niece or nephew, son or daughter, grandkid, or someone you know who is young at heart that would enjoy this book? Here you go. Leave a comment and I'll draw a name this Friday, May 9. On with the show!

For Brad and Charlie Parker, even their best intentions lead to trouble in the new book-

Where Would Cows Hide?
by D.C. Stewart

While their parents are on vacation in Hawaii, eleven year old twins Brad and Charlie Parker, and their little sister Zoey, arrive at their grandparents’ cattle ranch in Oklahoma to discover nothing is as it should be.
Grandpa and Grandma’s cattle are disappearing; mysterious strangers are lurking around the ranch; the strange lady at church seems to know their every move; not to mention a psychic lazy dog; and a weird little sister always getting in the way.
How will these twin troublemakers unravel this strange mystery?
Find out in the new book Where Would Cows Hide?

D.C. Stewart grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, and spent most of her childhood getting into trouble with her younger brother on their ranch. She began writing short stories in high school, and won a writing competition at a nearby college at age 17. After graduating, she attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University and earned a degree in History, and also met her husband, Scott. She worked for a church in Maumelle, Arkansas as the Communications Coordinator for five years. After moving back to Oklahoma, she chose to stay home with their four year old twin boys, and six month old baby girl, and to pursue her dream of being a full-time writer. The Stewart’s live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Where Would Cows Hide? is her first novel.
Author D.C. Stewart is giving you a chance to win a copy of WHERE WOULD COWS HIDE?, and more! Here’s how to enter for a copy of WWCH and to enter the grand prize drawing:

1) leave a comment on this blog post (or on any of the blogs participating in the blog tour);

2) email the contest coordinator at with subject line “WWCH ENTRY”;

3) join D.C. Stewart’s ezine list by either sending a blank email to: or visiting and subscribing through the yahoogroups page.

Book winners and the GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be drawn on or before May 31st, 2008 and will be notified by email. Please make sure you leave a valid email address on applicable blog posts.
You may also purchase the book here.>

Reminder: I'm conducting a drawing for two winners of this book available only to those who comment on this blog. Leave valid email address to be included in the drawing. Deadline: Friday, May 9.
THANKS for stopping by!