Tuggie The Patriot Pup Book Series Review and Giveaway

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Back in April, I attended a wonderful event hosted by the Association of Rhode Island Authors, at the Warwick Public Library here in Rhode Island. I, along with my friend (the fearless leader of my Writer’s Group) Linda, headed out to the Author’s Expo which featured over 35 local Ocean State authors. I conversed with many of the authors there, asked questions, gathered information and just enjoyed the day. To say I am completely in my element chatting with people of every persuasion is like saying dolphins are at home in the ocean. But in a room full of published authors? Oh, call me Flipper and film me! I thoroughly enjoyed my time at this event, and had hoped to write something about it sooner. But, here it is September, and I am just getting to sharing the goodness; such is my life lately.

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Pardon My Tangent: Hunger Games

Spoiler Warning: 
Oh, please dear one, if you are easily offended, would you mind just skipping this post? 
There will not be profanity, sex or violence, however I will be speaking of things which will reflect my personal opinion. If you find that listening to others who have a “different” opinion than you causes you undo stress, I plead for you to pass on by and  come back tomorrow. By the way, if you’re interested in where I stand with regard to communication guidelines, I highly recommend these two posts:
These should explain quite clearly where I stand which will allow you to make a most prudent decision. 
Ready?

OK, here is the scoop. I read The Hunger Games, and thought the books told a decent story on their own. As a Believer when I read, I hear God and sense His Spirit- I listen and consider what is impressed upon me and am able to communicate with others (who may or may not have the same opinion as me) and in this way exercise my ability to apply what I know with what I read.
When one reads the books, you can see that they would make for captivating cinema by worldly standards.
I saw the movie. Now I do my best to steer clear of much Christian viewpoint for the fact that:

 1. I am a Christian
 2. I have the mind of Christ
 3. It’s hard enough to hear God’s voice clearly when people feel the need to jam their own opinion down your throat whether you asked or not, thank you.
4. I choose to try to keep an open mind and form my own opinions based on God’s leading and my own God given pee brain ie. think for myself as opposed to regurgitate a spin-off of what people (who I may or may not with by the way) are saying.

*PS – of course I check in with Focus on The Family occasionally- I am not a heathen, after all!

 Honestly…like a muscle one needs to exercise discernment to grow in it. Instead of avoid every single “godless” thing. Last time I checked God is sovereign. Really. Although the Hunger Game series is considered “godless”, when a believer reads these books God insights and discussion become possible. It really wearies me that some do want to make their point so much that they are unwilling to see, listen, or consider anything but their preconceived thoughts. Yet these same people will demand to be heard and understood, respected. Seems to me if you want to be listened to and understood, you need to be willing to think and make your own conclusions after reading (or seeing) what you are sharing an opinion on. God really is able to use all to bring glory to himself, in His way, and in His time. The story itself has less to do with killing than it does with political oppression…but to get that you would have to READ it.
Now if this kind of story is  just not your cup of tea, that’s fine. But I find that some will espouse on something they have no idea about based on what they heard or overheard. Which is usually coming from ignorance.
We are told to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Wise and harmless. I thought the series had compelling lessons for Christians specifically, and Americans. We have seen the future and it shall be…history repeating itself? Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Stretch yourself. 
God allows for opportunities to share truth, 
and He can use godless fiction literature to lead others 
to His wisdom. 
He used an ass, didn’t he? 
I know, you are hating me, now. Sorry. 
Don’t forget to read 1 John tonight before bed. 
I forgive you.
OK, enough about that. 
I promise to be good tomorrow- it’s Sunday after all. 


When You Least Expect It: Watch Out!

Photo Credit

There I stood. Working my shift at the bank. I had just returned from checking on Sheila who was sitting at the Drive Through window.They burst through the door like two cannonballs fired abruptly. I froze solid.
My breath was somewhere between my chest and the back of my throat. I gasped and they immediatly commanded me to “Freeze” with my hands in sight. If I wasn’t in shock I might have said, with a touch of sarcasm, “Can’t you see me here “freezing”, idiot? Believe me my sarcasm was nowhere in sight. Fear clutched  my heart, as my mind tried to make sense of it all. It was all so fast. Yet slow motion. I heard “No-one will get hurt, as long as you do as your told.” My heart raced. The room was spinning. I felt dead, but the adrenalin coursed through my veins. Stillness and speed, every fiber of my being about to erupt. “Breathe.” I hear my own voice repeat within my head. “Just Breathe.” Oops, that was out loud. My words are met with immediate response: “Just shut-up or die”. Suddenly, I realize…it’s all a joke. April Fool’s Day! Ha! Did I have you going? Did you like the way I sucked you in? Are you breathing? Are you OK? You know I have never worked in a bank, right? I was just practicing a little bit of my Fiction Writing. What do you think? Not speaking to me because I gave you a heart attack? Sorry about that. I think the reasonable thing to do here is forgive me. Right? Right? I couldn’t resist. It’s the Rabid Writer in me! Happy April Fools Day! Enjoy and Happy Pranking!

My Recent Reading Life

What's On Your Nightstand
Welcome to my reading life for this month! 
I am still working on last months pile but I did finish some excellent reads over the past month and I appreciate the opportunity to share my teeny list anyway, despite my slow reading I really enjoy my words and chew them well! Besides, reading about all of the reading everyone else is doing, surely puts a fire to my bottom to finish what I start. Which is also why  reviewing books saves the life of my books from landing in the pile of obscurity and also helps me to stay with it until the end! 
So this past month I did complete The Hunger Games Trilogy! Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed escaping into the world of Katniss Everdeen and the amazing world Suzanne Collins created for this intriguing character. I read Catching Fire and Mocking Jay without skipping a beat. Before I finished the first book it was easy to see that this would be an epic film. I am looking forward to the movie but so glad I read the books first! A rare victory for me (due to the slowness of my reading and the quickness of filmmakers!) 
Completing Patrick Conroy’s “My Reading Life” changed my life in some way. I loved the way he shared the story of the great, influential stories he has read and more so the wonderful, colorful portrayals of people he has journeyed with along the road of his writer’s life. I got it out from the library, but might need to own my own because it became my favorite bed partner for a few months. I’m a little lonely at bedtime without Mr. Conroy’s rich descriptive, amusing writing. 
I am right in the middle of Jeannie Palette’s Beckoned By The King” An Intimate View of Psalm 119 and hope to share an author interview and review very soon! 
I read for review From Blah to Awe by Jenna Lucado Bishop and found a few inspiring insights to hang onto from her Young Adult offering. I had to push myself through the beginning but found that I enjoyed her candor about her struggles to come to terms with her own “blah” attitudes towards God. 
A few of last months reads are in the stack waiting to be read. I blame that primarily on Suzanne Collins and Patrick Conroy! But that’s just the way I slowly roll. 
I am reading Praying For Purpose for Women by Katie Brazelton. It is a 60 day journey with various Christian women and scripture reading with the focus of mentoring through prayerfully seeking spiritual direction toward our unique mission in life. Course it will most likely take me 120 days to get through, but I will say I am enjoying the richness of it with my morning coffee and journal time. 
Awaiting the book Called to Controversy: The Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews For Jesus by Ruth Rosen to read for review from the wonderful people at Booksneeze
I know you will get a giggle when I tell you this but I have the urge to read The Decline And Fall of The Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. For Review. OK, that last part was a joke! I have read parts of it in college but not right through. Most likely that will be on my nightstand for the rest of the year, but at least it moved from my bookshelf to that most coveted and dusty place by the bedside! 
Although I generally do not read a lot of fiction I feel the need to read more now that Mr. Conroy has helped me accept the fact that I will never be able to read it all , I certainly can read and develop my own reading life better. However humble that may be. I am open to your best suggestions! I miss my wonderful escape of the past couple of months! I have discovered anew the power of story and am grateful! Add to this, I have started to write (officially) my first book. I am terrified, excited and moving along in this new endeavor! 
Don’t forget if you comment to offer me your best Fiction suggestion. 
Not too many pages, OK? 
For instance Stephen King’s new one looks good but 
WOW- that’s a lot of pages for this girl!
Happy Reading, friends-
See you next month!

Pausing for Possibility

Photo Credit Link

Well I have finally begun the the journey of a lifetime. I have no idea what the future holds but life as I know it has changed. My lifelong dream has been to write and publish a book. “The Book” has varied and changed in my mind over the years and I was not certain for a long time what direction or form it would take, but at long last, it has begun. Although I am only at the beginning, I am being pulled along by the characters and story,  which are being nourished and developed within even as I pour forth like a rushing waterfall. I have been impregnated with this seed and there is no turning back.

What this may mean for my Blog is that I may be publishing and linking up less. I will have some reviews, and hope to continue with the Inspiring Women Series. I have so many wonderful people who have offered to take part but I must ask you all to be patient with me as I try to re-prioritize and establish my writing goals, continue to seek employment, balance life and all with this new specific and exciting direction. I know I may not be able to keep up as well as I’d like with all of your blogs. I want to thank you all for sharing your words of encouragement and support while I have exercised my writing muscles here on the Beneath The Surface: Breath of Faith.

I am also excited about my recent connection with local Book Writing Coach Lisa Tener and look forward to taking part in this upcoming event for aspiring writers on March 7, 2012! If you would like to check out this opportunity you can click via the link below or on the sidebar and join us!

Click Here!


I hope and pray you will continue to uphold me in prayer as God leads you, and celebrate the birth of this baby with me in due season! Oh, for those of you who might be interested in the Genre of the baby,
it is yet to be determined. Won’t it be fun to be surprised? I will say this: it might be fictional, dahlings.

In the meantime, I hope you will stay tuned for those upcoming interviews with authors, artists, homemakers, entrepreneurs and businesswomen as well as Book Reviews and an occasional ramble or rant from me, my Bloggy friends. For those who are waiting for me to send you those interview questions, just know that I appreciate your patience and am excited to share each one of you in due time! I have 10 wonderful guests lined up, each unique and inspiring. But the Baby must come first!
I wish you all blessing and Godspeed toward all of your own creative endeavors in the Blogosphere and beyond.

As always I can be reached via my Contact e-mail above. 

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