Scavenger Hunt for Miram

I have the privilege of being a part of the launch team for Mesu Andrews’ newest book, Miriam, the second installment in her Treasures of the Nile series. Several of us on the team decided to get together and have a scavenger hunt and giveaway to celebrate the book’s release. We want to invite you to be a part of the fun next week!

Miriam Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop

From 1am Eastern (US) time on March 15th, the book’s release date, until 11:59pm on March 20th, there will be a scavenger hunt with stops on 14 different blogs!

You’ll start at Mesu’s blog and finish your journey at Mommynificent.com. At the end of each post, you’ll find links to all of the stops in the hunt. Between March 15th and 20th, click on the next link, head over to the page, meet a new book-lover, and read their thoughts about this fantastic book. Somewhere in each post there will be a single word that is in BOLD AND ALL CAPITALS. Write it down. (The words “Home” and “Good Luck” are not secret words for anyone.)

Then, go to the next stop. That post will also have a word that’s bolded and capitalized. You will need to visit all 14 blogs as each one will have a word that you need.

Once you reach the end and have found all the words, you will have found an inspirational quote from the book Miriam. There are 14 words in this quote. Enter the quote into the Rafflecopter on the last stop and you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire from Mesu Andrews!

In addition, each blogger will be running their own giveaway of a set of paperbacks of Mesu’s two Treasures of the Nile books – The Pharaoh’s Daughter and Miriam!

If you have any questions, get lost, or experience any technical difficulties, you may email Tina at tina{at}mommynificent{dot}com for help.

Good luck and have lots of fun!

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Coming to Your House!

coming to your houseThis Sunday is Easter, the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. It is a time of reflection, joy and renewal. It is also a time when many of us gather for a special meal either with family, friends or both. Jesus shared a meal with his friends before he offered up his life. He shared a meal later as well before he was taken up to heaven on the clouds.

In fact, Jesus shared meals with his friends and followers many times through his ministry. His first miracle was performed at a wedding. Twice he fed thousands of people with food that would have been sufficient for one. He ate with religious leaders and social outcasts.

We often thinking of him teaching on the hillsides or in the temple, we think of his miracles and debates with the Pharisees. Jesus like to eat. He liked to hang out with friends and relax. It is a part of him that we often forget.

I have written my own imagined account of the day he met Zacchaeus, the short tax collector. I am offering it free for this Easter weekend. In it, you can meet Jesus just days before his final triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VB0PBR0

 

Angel’s Song

Better late than never! Unlike most of my Christmas series, which have been rewritten and revised several times, this story was nothing more than a vague idea in my mind a week ago. We love to sing about the angels, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, and The First Noel, among other Christmas favorites. But what is their story, what is going on in that mysterious realm of angels and demons on the most famous day in history?

This story is what I think may have happened.

You will notice that this book cover doesn’t have a figure from an old nativity set. Want to know why? Because I decided that the sappy, serene and aloof look of most nativity angels I have seen simply don’t fit the power of their story. Scriptures say that the angels celebrate in Heaven when one who was lost is redeemed. I think that pales beside their celebration on the day when the redemption becomes possible. The angels  echo the Joy of the Father when Jesus is born. And that is not a sweet and sappy smile, but a powerful burst of jubilation that rocked Heaven to its foundations.

So rather than put a substandard angel on my cover, you will have to just imagine the joy that filled them on that very special day.

 

The Angel’s Song  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R1FBPEM  is available on Amazon for Free through Dec. 21.

Don’t forget to check out:

The Shepherd’s Tale  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PUZ9AD8

The Innkeeper’s Guest  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QOA67OS

 

Christmas Tales

The shepherds watching over their flocks at night.

The Innkeeper with no room.

Angels who watch and celebrate.

Wise men who follow a star to find a king.

A new mother and father with their first child.

A servant of God who sees the promise fulfilled.

These are actors in the greatest production the world has ever seen. Who were they and what did they see and hear on that first Christmas? Each week through the month of December I will be publishing a Christmas Story through Amazon Create Space. Come and See.

shepherd copyThe Shepherd’s Tale http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PUZ9AD8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The InnkeeperThe Innkeeper’s Guest (Free thru Dec 10) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QOA67OS

 

 

 

 

 

Watch for the Angels’ story later this week.

 

Fall Behind, Hurry to Catch Up

I am a few thousand words short of where I should be if I want to stay on track. But the John and Sary’s story is slowly coming together. They have just met for the first time on Christmas Eve day . . .  Want to read it?

095The warm light drew him. It became a window. John fell against the rough siding an peered in. Through the wavy panes of glass, a fire crackled beneath a spit where a giant bird slowly rotated.
A sleepy-eyed child crouched next to the hearth yawning as she turned the spit. A woman worked a mound of dough at a table. John stood transfixed as the dough became loaves of bread. His stomach rumbled but he was afraid to move for fear the delicious scene would disappear.
“What are you doing?”
John whirled around at the snap of the voice but ended up on his hands and knees once more.
“Mother, Mary, come help.”
Slender arms wrapped around his chest and helped him to his feet. A nearby door swung open spilling light and heavenly scents into the cold morning air. John allowed the women to lead him inside.
They ushered him to a chair next to the fire. The heat seemed to scald his skin. Phantom pain flashed through his numb hands.
The women worked at the knots holding the blankets around him around him. Then did the same to his woolen coat. As the soaked layers were pulled off, the heat flooded over him bringing on a violent fit of shivering. When they tried to remove the linen gloves from his hands, John curled his fingers and held them on.
“Now sir, we must get these wet things off of you. Let me have the gloves.”
With his teeth chattering, John was unable to speak but he shook his head and pulled his hands closer to his body. He was too cold to think, but still refused to show his hands.
“Well then, hold this tea, it will help warm them.”
John took the cup, but his hands trembled so violently the tea sloshed over the side. The young woman cupped his hands in hers and steadied them. The first sip scalded his tongue, then slid down his throat with blissful heat. He closed his eyes allowing the warmth to spread through his belly.
“Have another.”
He opened his eyes and met those of the young woman crouched before him. They were wide with concern and the fire reflected off the hazel so that they seemed to glow with tones of green-gold and bronze. Her cheeks grew red under his gaze, a perfect complement to the eyes. He stared until thick lashed fluttered down as a shield.
“What were you doing out there, young man?” The mother came back to the room with a thick towel and began rubbing it over his head and shoulders. The vigorous rubbing awoke thousands of red-hot needles in his skin. More woke in his feet as the youngest removed his sodden boots and rubbed with another towel. The agony brought a moan to his lips, tears threatened to escape regardless of how he tried to hold them in.
“I know it hurts, but we have to get the blood moving before frostbite can set in.” The woman continued to rub across his chest. The girl with the eyes had taken his cup and he spotted her hanging a woolen blanket near the fire. He followed her movements. She still wore the cloak and scarf showing that she had been the one to find him.
“Th-th-thank you.” It took several tries before his lips would obey his command. “Moth-th-er. F-f-father.”
“I’m sure you are welcome, but I am not your mother young man.”
“By th-the river.”
All three females stopped their ministrations and stared at him.
“There are more of you out there? Why, it is below freezing, what can you have been thinking of.” The mother offered another sip of tea then another.
He tried again. “Set ash-sh-shore by ship’s long boat. Mother sick. Had to find help.”
“Sary, you’re dressed, go out and find your father. Mary, put more tea on and get the quilts from the attic.”

What do you think? Is it an interesting meeting?Cutting-gingered-bread

Remembering Freedom, Conclusion

battle%20-of-monmouthSmoke seethed through the trees like a living thing, thick and choking, until people became nothing more than vague shadows. The heavy pounding of mortar shells punctuated the ragged roar of musket fire.  Shrill screams of men and horses sliced through it all.

Rivers of sweat carved runnels of mud through the caked dirt on Ichabod’s face. His shirt clung damply to his back. His aching feet felt every pebble under the thin soles of his boots, burst blisters burning like fire. The commander’s horse flicked his tail at a buzzing fly.

Colonel Hale observed the combat from his saddle. Somehow, Hale was able to see what was happening and occasionally gave Ichabod a command to beat out on his drum. Other drummers relayed the command through the lines.

A gust of wind shredded the curtain of smoke. Men in homespun lined the slopes of the ravine seeking cover behind trees and logs firing round after round into the British ranks. Many of the colonials no longer loaded their weapons, instead clutching shredded clothing, red stains spreading from beneath their fingers. Others lay still, broken and bloody. The redcoats fired back, but their dead and wounded already littered the ground.

As Ichabod watched, the big artillery lobbed mortars down into the already pockmarked road. A British officer tried to pull his mount away from the blast, but the pair went down. The horse screamed as its shattered legs twitched uselessly. The heartbreaking cry echoed through the woods until the officer raised himself up on one elbow and ended the beast’s pain with his pistol. Then he lay back and did not move again.

The breeze died once more and the smoke drew its veil across the ghastly scene. But the images were emblazoned forever on Ichabod’s memory.

Is it worth it? The question drifted through his mind. Is Freedom worth the price we paid in this bloody battle?

b9cd2605b8033340344e17e2b10afb60The thought of his mother weeping over the grave of his father and the memory of an innocent kiss beneath the apple blossoms answered him back.

Yes, Freedom is worth it all.

 

Remembering Freedom, Part 3

swat_refugees-2 campIchabod approached the camp just behind Lieutenant Clark. Row after row of white tents filled the trampled field. Cook fires were evenly spaced between the rows, each one circle by men clutching tin plates. The eyes of the men silently followed the ragged line of recruits as they passed through the tents.

The recruits stood out from the established troops like a fresh young colt beside an ancient plow horse. One man, whose tangled hair nearly hid his eyes, drew Ichabod’s gaze. But those eyes were hard and relentless in their study. The man’s face was heavily lined and a fresh scar drew a red line from brow to chin. As Ichabod watched, the man’s right eye closed in a wink. Ichabod flinched and hurried to catch up with the Lieutenant.

The new arrivals were dispersed to their new squads until only Ichabod was left. His toe nudged the sack of belongings at his feet. Maybe he would be sent home after all.

“What about me, sir?” Ichabod asked the man beside him. After coming so far, he was afraid there was no place for him. After walking through the solemn camp, a small doubt had crept in.

“I have not forgotten you, Ichabod. I have something for you.” Lieutenant Clark ducked into a nearby tent. Almost immediately, he returned holding a drum. It showed signs of having been brightly painted at one time, but now the paint was scratched and peeling, the skin discolored. “Do you know what this is?”

“Yes, sir, it is a drum.”

“Do you know what it is used for.” The Lieutenant stared at Ichabod with unreadable eyes.

“To keep time, sir.”

“Yes, but in the army it becomes more. It is a tool for communication. With it, I can pass along orders and encouragement to men out of range of my voice.”

“Yes, sir.”

“My drummer has become incapacitated and I need someone to take his place. Are you willing to do so?”

“Yes, sir. But I do not know how to play.”

“Percy will show you.” Lieutenant Clark ducked into the tent once more. Ichabod followed him.

A boy, not much older than he, sat on the narrow cot with a crude crutch beside him. The boy’s right leg ended just below the knee.

“Percy, this is Ichabod, he will need you to show him the rhythms. Now I will leave you two boys to get started.” Lieutenant Clark left leaving stark silence behind him.

“Why are you here?” the boy, Percy, stared at Ichabod.th ichabod drummer

“To learn to play the drum, I guess.”

“No, I mean why are you here in camp instead of at home with your family?”

“I came to fight the British.” Ichabod paused, Percy’s expression seemed to require more. “The redcoats have killed my father and have taxed my family into poverty. We are little more than slaves on our own land working ourselves to death to make some foreign king rich.”

“What if you end up like me, or like your pa, will you feel the same?”

Ichabod looked at the other boy. Even though he was only a year or two older, his eyes seemed ancient and full of pain. Was freedom worth this?

“Yes, even if I die, if it makes life better for those I love, freedom is worth it.”