A Book Giveaway!

All_In_Good_Time_Screen_ShotI’m taking a mid-week opportunity to share the news that I’m doing a giveaway on GoodReads! I’ll be giving away 5 copies of my most recent novel, All In Good Time, the story of Dessa Caldwell and Henry Hawkins—two people with pasts they’re not ready to share.

Here’s the description from the back cover:

DESSA CALDWELL HAS A DREAM:
to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

HENRY HAWKINS HAS A SECRET:
he owns the most successful bank in town, but his initial capital came from three successful stage coach robberies. Though he’s Denver’s most eligible bachelor, to protect his past, he’s built a fortress around his heart that no one can penetrate . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell strolls into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

Click here to go to the GoodReads giveaway, or see the link below. This giveaway requires no purchase, and chances of winning depend upon the number of those who enter. The contest will end on October 10, 2013.

Happy Reading!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

All in Good Time by Maureen Lang

All in Good Time

by Maureen Lang

Giveaway ends October 10, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Faith Filled Summer #1

Simple Faith: Where’s the Love?

Faith is one of those things that can be mysterious or simple, profound or child-like. It can be explored with depth and breadth and still leave room for questions. But in my daily experience, I’ve found it helpful to have certain foundational truths to fall back on, especially when something comes along that tries challenging what I believe.

thOne of the most basic tenets of my faith runs through my mind nearly every day, simply by thinking of the beautiful world we live in. I wish I could see these mountains and flowers out my window, but with a little imagination and help from Bing Free Images, I’m reminded of some extraordinary views like the one pictured here. Everywhere I turn, I see evidence of a Creator’s love. Green plants, wildflower colors, unimaginable fragrances, endless blue skies that often turn into a blaze of sunset colors. Need I search out the variety of playful puppies, the extraordinary variety of birds and fishes and other animals? Or tune in to Pandora to be reminded of the incredible musical gifts we enjoy, or turn to my book shelf to see story after story written by my friends, each one exhibiting creativity and an ability for knowledge that must be more than merely accidental?beautiful-birds-9

When I look at creation, or when I see evidence for a creative streak in mankind, I see proof of love in our Creator. If the universe is an accident, isn’t it extraordinary that something so accidental has resulted in so many varieties of things that appear to be here simply for us to enjoy? That, to me, is proof of a generous creator who enjoys not only what He’s created, but wants those He created to feel enjoyment, too. A generous creator has lavished gift after gift upon us not only for our survival, but for our pleasure. (I’ll talk more about fine tuning evidence for a creator in a future post.)

Love itself is evidence of a creator who bestowed such a gift on this world. We, as the created, can’t possess something our creator didn’t already have—how can we be greater than the one who made us? So love in itself is evidence of God and His love.

Seeing evidence for love by the bounty surrounding me and the wonder of feeling love myself, I look for evidence of where all these gifts came from. What world view offers a Creator who is loving? Buddhism instructs its followers to love others, but does it offer a source of love outside ourselves? At its core I see Buddhism as a works-based world view, with its followers striving toward denying oneself, seeing desire as the source of what’s wrong in this world. But it doesn’t claim a loving, personal God. Does Islam, another works-based program, reveal a God whose desire is to spend eternity with each and every one of us? Ultimately even the most faithful Muslim cannot know, when they cross that bridge connecting this life to the next, if they will fall into the side of Heaven or Hell, because that moment will play out according to the whim of Allah (unless you give your life while taking the lives of infidels—is that love?). I admit I have not studied the over 2,000 gods found in the Hindu religion, but like Buddhism this is a system of working toward liberation from a cycle of birth/death/rebirth, paying forward positive karmic energy which will ultimately lead to something like nirvana, a state of liberation. But if liberation means an end—both of suffering and of identity, is there any sense of love found in that? An end in what basically equates to annihilation?

There are other worldviews, of course, but in my search so far I find love only in the Bible, where a creative God explains that He wants to spend eternity with us. So much that He was willing to take on human flesh in the form of a Savior named Jesus to clean up my imperfections, as a gift, so I can share the presence and fellowship of a perfect God.

That’s love, and the Bible is riddled with it. Next week I’ll talk about the Bible itself, and why I believe in it. So stay tuned!

In the mean time, if you’d like to be in the running to help me make some space on my bookshelves, enter the contest below for a chance to win the following four Christian fiction titles:

2013-06-23 03.58.27Lilies in the Moonlight by Allison Pittman
Surrender the Dawn by MaryLu Tyndall
House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson
From a Distance by Tammy Alexander

Wonderful writers, all! I’ve either purchased these books or received them as gifts from various conferences I’ve attended. These are all favorite authors for me, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy these entertaining stories. No purchase is required to enter for a chance to win all four of these books in one shipment, and the odds of winning depend upon the number of those who enter. (Continental US only, please.)

 

 

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #8

Scavenger_Hunt

THE CHRISTIAN FICTION SCAVENGER HUNT STOP #8

Welcome to the 2013 Summer Scavenger Hunt! This hunt has 32 stops and runs from noon on 5/17 through 5/19/13. You can make the loop, reading unique content from 31 different authors, and if you complete the loop, and fill out the Rafflecopter form at Stop #32, you’ll be in the running for an iPad Mini (loaded with all our books), or one of two runner-up prizes—all 31 of our new releases in paperback. In addition, some authors (like me, here at Stop #8!) are offering additional prizes, so be sure to read each post to the end to be in the running for all that are available. The contest is open internationally.

2013-scavenger-hunt

If you’ve JUST discovered the hunt, I recommend you begin at the beginning, Stop #1, found at LisaBergren.com. But you can also begin here, and keep on rolling. Just be aware that you must have the COMPLETED phrase in order, which you construct gathering the clue at each stop, within 24 hours of email notification from Lisa Bergren that you won. If Lisa doesn’t hear back from you with the correct phrase within the time limit, she will move on to the next winner Rafflecopter draws. Ready? Here we go…

For my stop, I’m hosting my friend and colleague:
MARGARET DALEY
Many of you have seen Margaret highlighted on my site before. After all, she’s written 84 books! So I’m especially excited to be hosting her for our contest. I loved hearing about her Texas Ranger series, first because the whole Texas Ranger image conjures up all kinds of history and drama. I also know Margaret loves to do research! I hope you enjoy reading about some of the Ranger’s history.
But first, in case you missed previous visits from Margaret and would like to know a little about her, here’s an official bio:

1-Margaret Daley photo-jpg

Margaret Daley, an award-winning author of eighty-four books, has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at http://www.margaretdaley.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

The History of the Texas Rangers

By Margaret Daley

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the baseball team in Dallas called the Texas Rangers. I’m talking about the oldest state organization of law enforcement officers. Sam Austin formed the first version of the Texas Rangers in 1823. The word “rangers” was coined because these men ranged over the land they protected and guarded.

Through the early years the Texas Rangers, one of the main duties of the group was to protect the people against Indians. Then after the Civil War in 1874 the organization was divided into six companies with 75 men and usually a captain. Their duties were partly a soldier and partly a police officer. By the 1900s the organization totally focused on enforcing the law. A Texas Ranger was called in when the case was too risky for the local agency.

Texas Ranger in office.

Texas Ranger in office.

Today there are 150 Texas Rangers who served the state in many investigative capacities. They are part of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Texas Rangers’ headquarters is in Austin. There are six companies: Company “A” headquartered in Houston, Company “B” in Garland, Company “C” in Lubbock, Company “D” in McAllen, Company “E” in El Paso, and Company “F” in San Antonio. The companies were adjusted recently.

Texas Ranger rifle

Texas Ranger rifle

The Texas Rangers handle the usual kind of cases like murder, assault, robbery and kidnapping, but they are also tasked with investigating threats against the governor and other state and federal officials. I used some of these crimes for the stories in my series: The Men of the Texas Rangers (Saving Hope, Shattered Silence and Scorned Justice).

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 3.14.55 PM
Margaret Daley’s newest release is Scorned Justice, #3 in her Men of Texas Rangers series. It is available at bookstores or online at Amazon  Barnes & Noble Christian Book Distributors and wherever fine books are sold.

AND NOW, YOUR NEXT STEPS IN THE SCAVENGER HUNT:

Write down this clue:  sometimes,

Have it written down? Great! After checking out my contest here, head on over to Margaret Daley’s Stop #9 for the next clue!

BONUS PRIZE!

To join in the fun of the giveaway, I’m having my own little giveaway right here. So if you don’t win the BIG prize of an iPad Mini and the 31 books from all of the authors participating in this Scavenger Hunt, you’ll still have a chance to be a winner right here. What am I offering?

All_In_Good_Time_Screen_ShotBees in the Butterfly Garden

My Gilded Age series, Bees In The Butterfly Garden and All In Good Time. Domestic (US winners) can choose between e-versions or print books, and International winners are eligible for e-versions only.

Plus one of my favorite gifts to give: A Tear Bottle
2013-05-09 05.56.09

What’s a tear bottle? It’s my favorite gift to give, accompanied by the following note:

This little bottle was manufactured as a perfume bottle, and can be used as such . . . but that wasn’t my intention in purchasing this for you. Not long ago I was reminded of the verse in Psalms about God keeping track of our tears by putting them in a bottle. Envisioning that, I realized our tears must be precious to Him, precious enough to be stored like expensive perfumes or spices. So I bought myself a pretty perfume bottle that sits on my desk to remind me that God must have a purpose in our tears.

I hope this “tear bottle” for you will be a reminder of God’s love, while I pray that a rarity of your tears (except from laughter) is part of why they’re so precious.

Maureen Lang

 

To enter my contest, in addition to the Scavenger Hunt, simply follow the instructions below. If you haven’t already, you can earn an extra chance if you “Like” my Facebook Author Page.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Enjoy the Hunt! Now off you go, clue in hand (sometimes,) and on to Stop #9!

And the winner is . . .

AllInGoodTime_GiveawayI’m happy to report the winner of my giveaway basket is Tammy H.! I’ve been in touch with Tammy, and the giveaway box will soon be on its way.

Congratulations, Tammy!

It’s been a fun week checking in on the progress of the contest—so much that I’m sure I’ll be doing another soon. I’ve always enjoyed shopping for gifts, and collecting items for this basket was a bit like doing that. So I’ll keep that up!

I was glad to read in the comments that many people enjoy slice of life posts. The ones I’ve written usually come from discussions with my husband, during what we call our “debriefing” sessions. We’ve been doing this every day for more than a decade, mainly because we’re blessed to be similar in many ways. Oh, he’s a science guy and I’m a writer, which means what we do have in common is displayed in different ways. But we’re both creative, and both generally curious people. When we come across something interesting, we keep it in mind to talk about with each other. It’s amazing how much we enjoy discussing something that, on our own, we probably wouldn’t have thought about without the other one of us bringing it up.

Just yesterday I was recounting how I’d seen a portion of a debate on the television and that the format tallied the opinion of the audience coming in and then, once the debate ended, if any minds were changed on that particular topic. It’s difficult to change your thinking on things, particularly if you’ve held certain views for some time. Even when presented compelling arguments, there are some beliefs that are hard or even impossible to let go.

When I mentioned this to my science-teacher husband, he just laughed and said every school year in his class shares that format. He teaches Physics, and tells the students that the way they understand something may not be the way things really are.

Huh?

Physics must convince the students how things really work, not necessarily what they see. Case in point: if you slide a hockey puck across the floor, eventually it stops. Why? Because it runs out of energy from the push? Nope. The kids are surprised to learn that without other forces on this hockey puck, such as friction and air resistance, once that hockey puck was set in motion it would have continued going . . . forever.

So you wonder what would happen if you slapshotted that puck off a table? It would hit the ground and once again come to a stop due to those previously mentioned forces. This is where Einstein and his thought experiment ideas prove useful, something Isaac Newton understood. Newton said if you hit that hockey puck fast enough and could do it off the ground and outside our atmosphere, it would still try to fall to earth—but if the hockey puck were given just the right speed, the path of the puck would trace out a circle and match the earth’s shape. That’s how satellites work, by the way. If you shoot that puck this way, you would have humanity’s first hockey puck in orbit (along with thousands and thousands of other orbiting debris).

All I did was mention a bit of a debate I watched, and was reminded that sometimes it’s hard to change your mind, even if what you learned was incorrect. Relearning something might be harder than learning something for the first time!

Thanks again to everyone who participated in my contest this time around, and I hope you’ll check back when I do this again!

Contest!

I’m celebrating the release of my new book, All In Good Time, with a new contest!

Whenever I come across a little item that reminds me of the book I’m writing, I add it to a collection for a giveaway. The result may be fun to win, but it’s every bit as much fun to give the collection away! Here is a fuller picture of what my new giveaway items looks like:

AllInGoodTime_Giveaway

And here’s a list of what’s inside, since it was hard to get it all in the photo:

My two Gilded Age Books:

All In Good Time
Bees In The Butterfly Garden

Garden tote bag

Butterfly Meadow Mug, by Lenox
with packet of Adagio loose tea designed by Maureen Lang

Replica vintage items:
Drawstring pouch (perfect for my Gilded Age heroine!)
(2) Necklace watches: butterfly and banker’s watch (one that would have looked just right on my heroine, Dessa Caldwell, and the other reminded me of something my hero might have)

Ring case
Make-up Pouch

Decorative tear bottle*

Butterfly necklace
Earrings (pierced)

Assorted paper goods:
Sticky Notes
Flower Garden Notecards
Magnetic List Pad
80-sheet journal
Personal pack of decorative tissues

All packed in a Decorative Box

Retail Value: over $100.00

Here’s a picture of the decorative box everything’s tucked inside:

Decorative_Box

 

*What’s a tear bottle, you ask? This is my favorite gift to give, and I include with it this note:

This little bottle was manufactured as a perfume bottle, and can be used as such . . . but that isn’t my intention for you. Not long ago I was reminded of the verse in Psalms about God keeping track of our tears by putting them in a bottle. Envisioning that, I realized our tears must be precious to Him, precious enough to be stored like expensive perfumes or spices. So I bought myself a pretty perfume bottle that sits on my desk to remind me that God must have a purpose in our tears. I hope this “tear bottle” for you will be a reminder of God’s love, while I pray that a rarity of your tears (except from laughter) is why they’re so precious.

Winners limited to continental USA. Thank you. If you’d like to enter via Facebook and would rather go directly to my Author Page, just click on the Red Ribbon in the center where it says “Rewards and Giveaways.” This way, you will not have to allow a Facebook app to run through your profile. If you do not mind using apps, click the connect button below on the left. Your choice!

 

ARC of All In Good Time

All_In_Good_Time_Screen_ShotI was telling a friend just the other day that my soon-to-be-released book, All In Good Time, wrote itself. Exaggeration? Yes—sort of. In comparison to some of the other books I’ve written, it really seemed true. This was one of those books where the research material generated so much drama that I had more than enough choices to slip the pieces easily into place. I’ve often said writing a book is like putting a puzzle together. It’s so much easier when you have all the pieces.

So this week I’m happy to announce that Maggie Rowe, my wonderful PR manager from Tyndale, sent to me some extra Advance Reader Copies—which means I have a few to give away! I’d love to give a copy to five different readers who won’t mind offering a review on such places as GoodReads, Amazon, B&N, or Christian Book Distributors. You can let me know if you agree that all of those puzzle pieces fit together. :-)

Since the book isn’t officially releasing until April 1st, most online distributors won’t accept reviews until after the release. But GoodReads accepts reviews any time, so that might be a great place to start if you win a free copy!

 

Here’s the back cover from All In Good Time, to let you know what the story is all about:

Dessa Caldwell has a dream:

to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

 

Henry Hawkins has a secret:

he owns the most successful bank in town, but his initial capital came from three successful stage coach robberies. Though he’s Denver’s most eligible bachelor, to protect his past, he’s built a fortress around his heart that no one can penetrate . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell strolls into his bank requesting a loan.

 

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

 

So how do you enter? I’m using my favorite helper, Punchtab!

 

 

An Escape From The News

It seems every time I turn on the television, they’re talking about the dire fiscal cliff we face as a nation. That’s why I’m offering an escape from all this bad news. I know it’s not a fix, and my escape is only temporary, but I’m offering five Advance Reader Copies of my upcoming book to help anyone suffering the same dour feelings that seem so prevalent lately.

I think it’s true that each book an author writes becomes their favorite while they’re writing it, at least that’s mostly been the case for me. My next novel, All In Good Time, was not only fun, but even as I’m nearly one hundred pages into a new project, I’m still thinking back on this one as a favorite. Always a good sign!

Another good sign was the fact that one of my beta readers—my sister who is an avid reader of Christian fiction—gave me a big thumbs up with the most welcome compliment ever: This is one of your best!

That sounds like a winning combination, having my oh-so-honest sister tell me she enjoyed it, and my own lingering memories of how much fun this book was to put together. Henry Hawkins, my Scrooge-like banker, was my favorite hero to watch evolve from a hard-hearted businessman to a someone willing to do whatever it takes to win the heroine’s love.

Here’s the wonderful back cover copy, which my editor put together for me:

Dessa Caldwell has a dream: to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan, and nearly every bank in town has turned her down. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he’s the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he’s built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell ventures into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

So here’s all you have to do to be in the running: just enter though the Punchtab graphic below. That’s it! No purchase required, and the odds of winning one of the three Advance Reader Copies depends upon the number of people who enter.

 

Or if you’d like to enter through my Facebook author page, click HERE.


 

 

 

 

Happy Reading!

And about that fiscal cliff we’re facing . . . Part of me wants to do the ostrich move and bury my head in the sand, but the grownup part insists I mention this here on my blog as another week promises to bring in more news on this same subject.

A friend of mine sent me a link that clearly explains just how disturbing is our national budget situation. I always appreciate things that are easy for an average brain like mine to comprehend, so this fits the bill. Unfortunately it only explains the bad news, it doesn’t give an answer because there apparently is no answer, at least in the short term. It’s five minutes long and worse than that it’s narrated by a retired accountant, which is perhaps second only to a retired scientist as far as entertainment value. But the message is too important to let those details stop anyone from viewing:

Click HERE to view the video about the fiscal cliff.

And The Winner Is!

Elizabeth A!

 

PunchTab, the wonderful service I used to help me with this contest (recommended by Tyndale House) has randomly chosen Elizabeth’s name as the winner of the Bees In The Butterfly Garden goodie box. I can’t wait to send Elizabeth the prize!

 

I just wanted to add a quick note to anyone out there wanting to do a giveaway. Punchtab didn’t ask me to do this, but my goodness I can’t let this opportunity go by without raving about how user-friendly and easy this contest was to set up. I did have a little surprise in the time zone for the contest ending (two hours later than I expected) but I must admit that was user-error. So check out PunchTab if you ever have the opportunity to put together a contest or promotional program of your own. They’re great!

 

So, without further ado, I’m off to check my email. Punchtab has already sent Elizabeth an email with the good news, so I’m hoping to work out the details as soon as possible.

 

Thanks again to all who entered! This was so much fun, I’m sure to do it again. :-)

Today’s The Day!

PunchTab will be choosing a winner for my contest today, Monday, at noon (Central Time). So if you haven’t already entered, click here and scroll down to the game card to enter. Somebody has to win, and it might be you!

 

And while we’re talking about winning . . . with the announcements of various contest wins and finalists and only a few days left before the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics, it’s hard not to take a moment to think about the whole idea of winning something. Of course my little contest is no comparison to working toward a goal, submitting yourself to competition, being at the mercy of judges who are supposed to be impartial. I’m not sure why any of us do it, except that competition really is the best inspiration for working hard and improving our performance. Unfortunately that comes with the possibility of disappointment. There’s a reason that old saying became so popular from Wide World of Sports: The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.

 

Truthfully I think more of us can relate to the agony of defeat, because even winners at one time or another have most likely felt that. So if there’s any comfort in vast and varied company, at least we can claim we’re not alone! I’ve also found that the older I get, contests are one more facet of life that takes on new meaning. They’re a useful marketing tool, but as with most of life they become less of a factor in defining how I feel about myself or my writing. God has placed enough people in my life to help me feel His love and better define what’s more important. Those Olympic athletes who don’t bring home the gold might not feel that way yet, but when they look back on life they’ll know they did their best and that’s all anyone can ask or expect.

 

So here’s to everyone who takes up a challenge, knowing sometimes the challenge itself is its own reward.

 

Check back later today when I’ll edit this post with the winner’s name!

Curiosity (and Week #2 – final days – of my Butterfly Contest)

The Mars rover has been on its way toward a historic landing since November of 2011, and is scheduled to land this August. That’s right, every day for a total of nine months, this man-made machine will have been traveling toward its destination. Every day, a bit closer. A “bit” as measured by the journey’s distance, but 1.8 million miles each day in in our terms. With a total of 352 million miles to travel, even the almost-2-million miles in a day doesn’t make the journey as fast as we’d think.

They named this rover, appropriately enough, Curiosity.

If you’re anything like me, in firm possession of a run-of-the-mill non-science mind, you’re probably picturing this satellite-type invention rocketing straight toward our nearest planet. According to my husband, that’s not the case. Curiosity has been put into an independent orbit circling the sun that will eventually intersect with its target’s orbit for a gentle parachute landing. Evidently that’s the only way to get there—a circuitous route that will likely take longer than it would if a cartoon-like straight shot were possible.

I can’t think of a more perfect example of so many things in life. We start out with a goal and make what feels like slow progress toward our destination. The rate of that progress is all in perspective, of course, and not easily visible from the space and time of our own orbit. And it’s rarely a straight shot—we have unforeseen diversions and obstacles (some good, some not so good). Eventually, if we’re persistent and up to the challenge, we make it to our destination. We realize the journey itself has brought us far more knowledge than we started out with, but the destination is yet another new beginning. One to collect and learn all kinds of new things—some we might have hoped or suspected, and others that will be a complete surprise.

So here’s to Curiosity! Both up there in space, and the kind we all carry around with us.

Don’t forget to join my contest here on my blog! Just scroll down to last week’s posting to enter on the Punchtab spot. The winner will be announced one week from today, noon Central Standard Time.