Sins that God hates more Than Homosexuality

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. 

Do you see any sexual immorality listed up there? No. This past week, four out of the seven items above were all done to a close friend of mine. She doesn't know who her accuser's are because no one will tell her. She has been shunned from the Christian community as a result of this malicious gossip and not even given the opportunity to answer her accusers. People whom she thought were her "friends" will not answer her phone calls or emails. Her reputation has been ruined through no fault of her own. 

She knows what the accusations are because someone who is in the know called and told her but they don't know who started this all. She has been accused of embezzlement, taking money and not performing services, reading and posting about a book called Fifty Shades of Gray (not true, it was my blog post talking about how Christians shouldn't be reading this book). No one will give her the time of day or the benefit of the doubt; they are just all taking it on face value from whoever started this.

First - the embezzlement charge: I was at the event of which she is accused of embezzling. She never took a cent from any of the people who came to this event. The event was a catastrophic flop resulting in her and her husband losing EVERYTHING. They went bankrupt. They lost their home while everyone else got a tax write off. They have been living in near poverty ever since. He gave up a good job to promote this event and spent his life savings to cover the costs. I know, I have been to her tiny mobile home twice that they live in.  It was purchased for her by a friend out of the goodness of their heart so they would not be homeless.

Second - in the 3 years since she began to represent me in the publishing world, she has never asked for or received a dime for her services of submitting manuscripts and doing book proposals. I know all the other authors she represents and none of them have paid her anything either and I challenge anyone to present a canceled check for services not rendered!

Third - the blog post about 50 Shades of Gray was mine; you can still see it here on my blog. It's the first post in May. She never read the book and never wanted to. She thinks it's disgusting.

A prominent Christian organization has spread these malicious allegations throughout the community without first contacting her or giving her the benefit of the doubt. She has been blacklisted, shunned and people who should know better have turned their backs on her. She can't confront her accusers, she is being denied any opportunity to defend herself. To say that I am disgusted with the Christian book community would be a vast understatement.

I am willing to sign an affidavit as to her honesty and integrity but her accusers remain in the shadows spreading malicious gossip. They have taken away the only thing she had left in this life that gave her any joy; the love of Christian books. She has despaired...all because someone, somewhere decided to spread malicious gossip and everyone else ran with it. SHAME ON THEM

No wonder God lists these sins as those He hates; they ruin lives.

She Could Have Danced All Night...

My daughter just went to her senior prom. She looked absolutely beautiful. It almost could have been a disaster because her boyfriend of 2.5 months broke up with her one month before the prom. Thank God he didn't do it the week of prom! In the space of 1 month she was able to get over her first heartbreak and find a suitable gentlemen by the name of Charlie to fill in. It was almost another disaster when Charlie came down with the flu the week before but fortunately his mom has her priorities right! She made him miss school for 2 whole days just so he could recover in time to escort our daughter.

As fate would have it, when my husband went to Charlie's home to pick up the prom paperwork (since he came from another school district), both he and my daughter were surprised to learn that Charlie's mom, Dawn, had actually been friends with my husband, Michael, back in their high school days! Seven Degrees of Separation of What?  She still attends the same church my husband used to when they were teens and heads up the women's ministry there.

So the night of the prom, we double-dated with Charlie's parents and ate at the same restaurant as our kids before driving them to the prom venue. The restaurant was filled with other prom goers who filed past our table in an endless display of bling, glitter and glam but the funniest sight was watching all the girls literally hobble in obvious excruciating agony down the corridor. It just amazed me that they would wear 4-5" inch heels that were killing their feet! At least my daughter was sensible and wore sparkly gold flats with socks and a modest dress with clear straps that didn't have to be pulled up all night or that she couldn't bend over in. What were those other girl's moms thinking? I sure don't have the money to waste on a pair of pumps that will only be worn for 10 minutes and then flung off. What's the point?

I never got to go to my own prom even though I slaved for months on a dress I had designed and sewn myself. Neither had my husband attended his (too bad we didn't know each other in high school) so we got to live vicariously through our daughter this night. Since I got a job, I was able to buy her a fairy-tale beautiful dress and splurge on a hair and make-up treatment. No limo though; I do have my limits!

We took photos at a historical site near our home and they are below for your viewing pleasure.

So tell me, what was your prom experience like? Any funny stories? Any sad stories? Any magical stories? PLEASE SHARE!

I just couldn't resist!

This is now my phone wall paper

This is my daughter's favorite 

Andrea, Karina and Charlie

A foretaste of things to at least 8 MORE YEARS!

What's the Deal with Amish Fiction?

It's the hottest selling genre in inspirational fiction. In the publishing industry it's fans are known as the "Buggy & Bonnet" crowd. They race to snatch up every new book that has an Amish girl, boy farmhouse and/or buggy on the cover.

Now I have to admit, I used to read those trashy romance novels in my early 30s so when I picked up my first Amish fiction novel to read, I was genuinely curious to discover what all the hoopla was about. I had no idea what to expect but I was genuinely surprised to discover some rather "steamy" scenes but they were done in a very "G-rated" Disney-ish way. Amish women secretly visiting a "Victoria's Secret" type store to please their Amish husbands (and in turn Amish husbands buying their wives nighties from the same place - no kidding.) Who knew? In between the romance plot lines were details about baking, cooking, quilting, and Singings, etc., with Pennsylvania Dutch liberally sprinkled throughout.

I've read several books and the story lines basically all seem to be the same.  You could take any one of these books, do a global search and replace on character names, towns, etc., and repackage it with a new book cover and it would sell out irregardless of the similar plot line.

Perhaps people long for a simple life and want to live it vicariously through the characters in these novels without having to actually put in the real hard work? I dare say, I think most of us romanticize the Amish life into something that it is not. Just look at the book covers! If you have seen real Amish people you know they look nothing like the models used for the book covers. I mean, would you buy an Amish fiction if it had the picture of a REAL Amish girl on it? Most of them are....well....PLAIN and not attractive.  I have visited Lancaster County in PA a few times and while I find the Amish to be delightful and wonderful people; they look nothing like the Amish book covers. When it came time to do the book cover for my Amish Paranormal fiction "In Plain Sight", it literally took me WEEKS of nonstop searching to find an image of an honest to goodness real young Amish man that was decent looking.

How many of us would actually give up all our every day luxuries to live the way the Amish do? That means no air conditioning in hot and humid weather, no modern means of communication, no music, no television, working very hard nonstop from 5:00 am until 8:00 p.m. six days a week. Having to follow a very strict set of rules that govern every aspect of your life. On the other hand there is the wonderful sense of community, family bonds and friendships that a lot of us have lost (and miss) in the "English" world.

Perhaps the fans want to read romance novels and Amish fiction is a great way to go because it's done with class and involves Christian love and romance; not just passion.  It's a guilt-free "guilty pleasure". You can read a romance novel and not feel guilty or convicted by the Holy Spirit for reading "trash".

But honestly, how many times can you read the same plot line over and over and not get burned out over it and long for something different? Will she leave her Amish faith? Will she be shunned? Which Amish girl or boy will they fall in love with and marry? Which life will they choose?

Which brings me to why I decided to try my own hand at Amish fiction. I'm from Southern California. I own an Amish quilt; have visited Lancaster County 3 times and that's about it as far as my experience of the Amish. I was being told I needed to write one because of what a hot genre it is but what's a girl from the land of "fruits and nuts" going to write about the Amish that would be original? In pondering this question, the words to the back cover teaser came to me and that is how I began to write "In Plain Sight".  If I was going to do an Amish fiction then I wanted to write something completely new, different and fresh.  I asked myself, what would happen if people from another world appeared in an Amish community? What if the Amish began discovering crop circles in their fields and weird lights in the sky?

I was inspired by "Out of the Silent Planet" by C.S. Lewis, a little Romeo and Juliet, the movie "Signs", the book cover of "The Host" by Stephanie Meyer and the rest I made up as I went along.  I wrote it in four months and I think it came out rather well. It has the elements of romance, suspense, tension, jeopardy and even humor but with the added twist of the love interest coming from another world.  There is also the added bonus of recipes in the back.

If you are curious, watch the book trailer below.  There is a "Jewish" surprise on the last page but you will just have to get a copy to read because my lips are sealed. If you peeking ahead and reading the last page!


If you want to get a personally autographed copy they are available through this blog on the MY BOOKS tab. If you have an e-reader, In Plain Sight is available for all e-reader formats.

So tell me...why do YOU read Amish fiction? What about it is attractive to you? Have you ever visited an Amish community or met an Amish person one on one?

Christians Reading Fifty Shades of Gray?


I heard about a fellow blogger who posted on the reasons why she would not personally read the bestselling book: "Fifty Shades of Gray". She offered no opinion about others who read it (supposedly a lot of people who identify themselves as Christian are buying and reading this book). The firestorm that erupted over her post from her followers is a sad commentary on how morally and spiritually bankrupt  our society (including those of us who claim to be God-fearing people) has become. She lost dozens of followers who shut down her server with diatribes on how she wasn't supposed to be "so judgemental" of others. 

I have to personally admit that in my early 30s I read of lot of those trashy romance novels but I wouldn't have the "chutzpah" to justify doing so. My opinion is that if you claim to be a believer in God and a follower of Jesus Christ, then you shouldn't be doing anything in private you would feel ashamed of if Jesus physically appeared before you. Nowadays I guess anything goes (even amongst Christians) and God help the person who ever points it out and (God forbid!) actually makes someone else feel a little bit guilty! No wonder Jesus pondered in the Gospels if there would be any faith left on the earth when He returned! If a prophet from the Old Testament were to appear today and point his finger at the church (remember, judgement starts at the house of God first) the Christians would be the first ones in line to throw the stones!

I don't expect nonbelievers to adhere to a higher moral standard but I think we as Christians should strive (both in our public AND private lives) to live as God instructs us.  Do we not believe that the Lord sees everything we do? I don't pretend to be "perfect"; I fall short all the time, the same areas but what surprises me is how many Christian women are standing in line to read this book and then turning around and justifying it. This book is hard core porn without pictures from what I've heard so when a friend and I were discussing the blog post of a woman who stated five reasons (and gave supporting scriptures) as to why SHE would never personally read this book, I was shocked to hear about the vitriolic response. She didn't accuse anyone, she didn't point fingers but I guess even the mere hint of anyone standing up for what is right anymore sends a lot of people into apoplectic fits of outrage.

I posted the first part of this commentary on Facebook only to be surprised by Christian women telling me that they were about to read this book and commenting that: "If it's too S&M erotica for me, I'll stop reading it."  WHAT? 

What has happened to the church? It no longer is salt and light. When that happens Jesus says that we are no longer good for anything except to be thrown onto the ground and trampled underfoot. God help us.