Greetings from Marti Pieper amid the lovely fall weather of Seneca, South Carolina! I haven’t met all of our CAN authors in person, but the one I have the privilege of interviewing today is a special friend.Karen Whiting and I have many things in common, including, the fact that we both have five adult children. Karen is a prolific writer who has much to share, so let’s get started with our interview.
Welcome, Karen! Please tell us about your book,52 Weekly Devotions for Family Prayer.
Author: Diane Stortz Title: Say & Pray Bible Wipe Clean: First Words, Stories, and Prayers Publisher: Tommy Nelson Release: February 16, 2021 ISBN-13: 978-1400229826 Genre: Children Bible stories activity book Link to Book: https://www.dianestortz.com/books/say-pray-bible
Author: Karen Whiting Title: Growing a Mother’s Heart: Devotions of Faith, Hope, and Love from Mothers Past, Present, and Future Publisher: AMG Publishers Release: February 23, 2021 ISBN 978-1617155604 Genre: NF/Parenting Link to Book: https://karenwhiting.com/viewproduct/27
Author: Caryl McAdoo Title: Texas Trails Publisher: Peaceable Publishing Release: March 6, 2021 ISBN-13: 979-8587396340 Genre: Historical Fiction Link to Book: Amazon Only
Author: Carol Grace Stratton Title: Deep End of the Lake Publisher: Iron Stream Media/LPC Release: March 9, 2021 ISBN-13: 978-1645262770 Genre: Women’s Contemporary Inspirational Link to Book: https://www.carolgstratton.com
Author: Nancy Mehl Title: Night Fall Book 1 in The Quantico Files series Publisher: Bethany House Release: March 30, 2021 ISBN-13: tbd Genre: Suspense Link to Book: http://nancymehl.com
Author: Dr. Craig von Buseck Title: Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant’s final battlefor his family and for freedom Publisher: Iron Stream Release: April 4, 2021 ISBN-13: 978-1645263159 Genre: NF Biography/History Link to Book: https://www.vonbuseck.com/victor-ulysses-s-grant
Author: Denise Weimer Title: Bent Tree Bride Publisher: Iron Stream Media/Smitten Historical Romance Release: April 13, 2021 ISBN-13: 978-1645262954 Genre: Historical Romance Link to Book: https://shoplpc.com/bent-tree-bride
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the honor of interviewing CAN Treasurer and the award-winning author of over twenty-five books, Karen Whiting! Karen is well known for her creativity, her hard work for CAN, her generosity to other writers, and her adventurous spirit—I shared a kayak with her once!
Karen, please tell us about your book, 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve.
A weekly theme with hands-on activities, a contemporary story of a family with someone who serves (first responder, military, volunteer, missionary, etc.), a Bible story, chat prompts, scrapbook prompts, and more make it easy for families to choose what will work for them each week. The book helps develop servant hearts.
Help your children develop a servant’s heart as you discover more about the lifestyles of people who serve— first responders such as firefighters, police, and EMTs; military, missionaries, and families who volunteer? Understand the call to serve, the sacrifices, living with a member in a dangerous career, and dedication that impacts the entire family, plus the rewards and joys of really helping people. That’s what you’ll discover in 52 Weekly Devotions for Families who Serve as you choose to do it family time your way.Each week includes a family beatuitude, scripture, relevant hands-on activities, contemporary story, Bible story, chat prompts, family scrapbook prompts, frontline tips to help with issues in the story, wrap-up, and closing prayer.
About the author:
Karen Whiting has a heart to grow tomorrow’s wholesome families today. She lets creativity flow into her writing to encourage women, families, and children. She’s a writing and Marketing Coach (www.karenwhiting.com), international speaker, former television host, and award-winning author of twenty-six books for women, children, military, and families. She’s also a mom of five (including two rocket scientists) and a grandmother. She writes to help families thrive. She has written more than seven hundred articles for more than sixty publications. Her awards include the Christian Retailing 2014 Best Award, children’s nonfiction (The One Year My Princess Devotions) and the Military Writer’s Society of America Gold Medal (Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front).
Author Heather L.L. FitzGerald is excited to announce that her book, The Genesis Tree, is a Speculative Fiction finalist in the Selah Award competition, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference.
The second annual SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference is coming up June 21-23 at Biola University in La Mirada, CA. Writers of every genre and stage will find community and a place to grow. Learn about the publishing industry from veteran authors, editors, and agents. Hone your craft and develop a deeper understanding of what makes a best-selling novel or nonfiction book. And find a haven of spiritual refreshment that will reignite the passion in your soul that tells you this is the story our Storyteller has put on your heart. Be reminded that with Him, your words can touch lives.
Grace Fox, author of eight books including Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation, is making a significant life transition—she and her husband are downsizing and moving onto a sailboat. Read the story of how God has led them in making this decision. http://www.gracefox.com/2018/01/12/my-significant-life-transition/
Dr. Sandra Glahn will be speaking at Stonebriar Community Church in Fresco, Texas,
on February 21 at 10:30 AM and 7:15 PM about women of the Bible featured in her recent work, Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible.
Karen Whiting will be speaking at the Children’s Ministry Expo in St Louis, on February 2, on using puppetry in children’s ministry.
Also, Karen would like to share this excellent review from Interviews and Reviews about her inspirational cookbook, The Gift of Bread.
“A feast for the senses that combines inviting recipes, thoughtful reflections, encouragement, and instruction for how to live fully on God’s provision.
Thirty-one chapters, each featuring detailed and easy-to-follow recipes for breads of every kind, celebrate the many ways we come together around the table. Whether you are a baker who enjoys thoughtful, inspirational writing or a reader who loves a good cookbook, you will find heartfelt stories and inspirations throughout this book. Expert tips, how-tos, and pointers will turn even a novice into a successful baker, and the writing will encourage readers to reach out and share their bounty with others, while thanking God for their daily bread.”
Looking for unique book ideas for that special reader this Christmas? We’ve got three book reviews from three very different genres to present today! A medical thriller, a devotional cookbook, and a Christian fantasy offer some less-than-mainstream choices for the bookworms on our list. See what others have said and then check them out at your favorite outlet!
by Richard Mabry, M.D.
Medical Judgement, a medical suspense novel by Richard Mabry, M.D., kept me in a
state of suspicion to the end. I suspected everyone of harassing Dr. Sarah Gordon, a
woman who had recently lost her husband and young daughter in a car accident. I
even suspected her pastor!
Following the deaths of her family members, Sarah began to experience threats in a
variety of ways. First there were phone calls, then a prowler, and a fire in her garage.
Who was harassing her and why? As she experienced escalating threats a friend
of her late husband’s, Kyle Andrews (I suspected him too), comes to Sarah’s aid as
well as police detective, Bill Larson. The very believable challenges of each of these
characters are relayed, including their struggles with God.
Faith, medicine, love and suspense come together in a surprising manner in this
story. At first, I thought I might not be able to read this story, because I do not like
to be scared. But it is much more suspenseful than scary, and I had to finish it once I
started. Mabry does a great job of drawing you in, keeping you a little nervous – yet
intrigued with the cast of characters in what he calls one of his “medical suspense
novels with heart.”
Becky Fisher, Adventist University of Health Sciences, The Christian Librarian Review
The Gift of Bread – Recipes for the Heart and Table
by Karen Whiting
Have you ever had a cookbook that restored your soul as it enabled you to provide food for your own body? Over the course of a lifetime, author and baker Karen Whiting has experienced God’s love and presence through times of plenty and times of drought, and she has baked bread all along throughout those times. In The Gift of Bread, she has compiled those experiences and recipes into a 60-chapter cookbook (with over 55 recipes) that is also full of devotional readings, Scriptures, and bountiful lessons from the author’s own life. The Gift of Bread is a hardback book with a book cover that is priced at $15.99.
I have personally baked bread for my family for the past 11 years, and I have seen how fresh bread (with all its nutrients and fiber) has contributed to good health. I’ve also enjoyed making muffins, rolls, and biscotti for fun and for gifts. But as I have progressed through The Gift of Bread, I’ve discovered that I have scarcely scratched the surface of the bread-baking world! Karen Whiting grew up under the tutelage of grandmothers who baked, and she began to learn even as a child the ins and outs of wheat, yeast, oil, salt, and other flavorings, both sweet and savory. As a mother and wife (and even as an empty nester and a widow) she continued to bake bread for her family and community in all occasions. And she noticed bread, grains, and baking being mentioned in the Bible, over and over, in both the Old Testament and the New. God used bread and bread-making to picture everything from hospitality (think of Abraham and Sarah and their heavenly visitors), to courtship (Ruth and Boaz and the gleaning), to provision (Jesus feeding the 5000), to sin (the yeast of the Pharisees), to Jesus’ character (“I am the bread of life”), and so much more. Mrs. Whiting shares about all of these and many other Biblical teachings, in each chapter which contains Bible verses, illustrative stories, recipes, and questions which enable the reader to think about what God might be doing. There is so much spiritual richness in The Gift of Bread to go along with the bounty of bread and recipes!
I mentioned that this book contains over 55 recipes. These range from a few craft ideas (a bread plate or layered muffin gifts in jars) to myriad bread recipes. Are you someone who likes making yeast breads? You’ll find the author’s own wheat bread recipe (Honey-of-an-Egg Whole Wheat Bread), which can be used not only for bread but for cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and to create more than just bread for meals or sandwiches. This recipe requires hand- (or machine-) kneading and time (4 hours) but produced gorgeous and delicious bread the first time I made it. There are also recipes for a great-grandmother’s daily bread dough (which can also be used for rolls), Amish white bread, cinnamon raisin bread, and several kinds of sourdough bread (even with a starter recipe!). Each of these requires fresh yeast, a warm kitchen area for the bread to rise, and time; but the results are both delicious and healthy. Bread-makers with little experience or much will be able to follow the recipes and create great bread.
However, there are many other categories of bread that Mrs. Whiting dips into here, and among those are quick bread recipes (which don’t have to be set aside to rise). These are treats that families can enjoy and children can even help to make. The Gift of Bread includes recipes for fruit breads, muffins, matzo (or unleavened) bread, and cornbread. Specialty breads for holidays (Christmas pastry canes, 3 Kings Bread, holiday macadamia nut cranberry bread, toasted angel bread dessert, Trinity rolls and challah), various biscuit recipes, and bread pudding in a mug introduce us to fun additions to family celebrations. There are even recipes which create a meal out of bread by the additions of meats or fish, as in filled sandwich crescents, treasures in a blanket, or Italian bread salad. And everything isn’t completely from scratch! The baker can make fruit turnovers from packaged crescent rolls or sourdough bread from potato flakes. The creativity is just endless, and bakers of every level of experience will find fun and delicious ways to turn grain into meals, desserts, or bread.
In The Gift of Bread, the recipes are clearly written and easy to understand and follow for both the novice and experienced baker. Tutorials are given on ingredients (flour, oil, salt, yeast) and on the various steps of bread-making. Mrs. Whiting also realizes that we live in an era in which not everyone can eat wheat, and she does suggest various flour substitutes to aid those who are avoiding gluten.
Yet The Gift of Bread is not only a cookbook. Over and over, the reader is drawn into stories and accounts of God’s provision via bread or grain in both Scripture and real life. We’re reminded that man does not just live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; by that living Word that is Jesus. We’re encouraged to use bread to not only care for our own families, but to share God’s love and community with those in need or simply others whom we love. Each chapter is so rich that (even though I wanted to read the book quickly and dive into new bread recipes as quickly as I could), I found myself taking time over each one; mulling over Mrs. Whiting’s words, seeing God and His love and provision in the grains He’s given us to eat, and the spiritual life He invites all of us to embrace.
The Gift of Bread would be a lovely gift for a newlywed or a new believer. It would also be a fantastic cooking/devotional curriculum for homeschoolers, as families could enjoy the chapters during family worship then step into the kitchen to try out the recipes together. I’d personally select this book as a gift for friends and loved ones as well. So much richness for both body and soul is available in The Gift of Bread!
Review by Melanie Reynolds
The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
The Genesis Tree
by Heather L.L. FitzGerald
Mountain Brook Ink
The Genesis Tree is the third and final book in the Tethered World Chronicles series. I looked forward to reading this book with great expectation. Once I started, I didn’t want to put it down and stayed up later than I should have to read. There are plot summaries from the first two books given throughout this book, but it would be best to read the
books in order to get the full effect of the stories. Plus, then you get to read two other amazing books. I found myself reading the beginning of the book wondering what was going to draw the Larcen family back down below to the Tethered World. Things topside are spiraling out of control and things looked bleak. The characters grew even more by the end of this book and tremendously since the beginning of book one of the series. I liked how God and our need for Him was woven through the story. The Genesis Tree had me laughing, crying, angry, sad, and confused at times. I was shocked and amazed at things that happened (both positively and negatively – ie the things that happened were sometimes good and sometimes bad, but I didn’t see them coming). Like the second book in the series, this book is written in first person when we are following Sadie and third person when we follow Brady. This book also includes the viewpoint of one of Nekronok’s sons (it never really says which one, although by the end you know who it is). There was one major plot element that made me unhappy, but I did like how it was used and redeemed to show that God’s ways are not always our ways and that He uses them for our ultimate good (even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time). I liked how the story wrapped up the “hanging” story lines from the overall story that covered all three books. I will miss visiting the Tethered World. I totally recommend this book (and the whole series).
Review by Becky Dempsey
Heather also has a Christmas giveaway to share! Win a Kindle Fire HD, $25 Amazon gift card, and an autographed copy of her first book, The Tethered World. Click this link to enter!
Exciting things are happening with our CAN authors during this advent season! Here’s the latest news from authors you love.
Diane Stortz speaks Saturday, December 2, at Celebrate the Light, a Christmas dinner with the women of First Christian Church in Washington, Missouri. On December 9, she’ll be reading and signing I AM and the I AM Devotional at a children’s story hour at Belong Christian Store in Mason, Ohio.
The Bunco Biddies are back in Book #3- Threes, Sixes & Thieves by Julie B. Crosgrove. In Bunco, when someone rolls three sixes, the game is over.
When burglars target homes in Sunset Acres with three and six in the house number, one finds the game is over for him when he is caught, thanks to Janie and her Bunco playing buddies. But when he is found hanged in his cell, the game is afoot once again.
Launches December 8th, but you can preorder it for your Kindle now. Doesn’t it deserve a present this season?
And here’s an enthusiastic review of the book from The Garden Window.
Christmas Is Coming! But Waiting Is Hard! Family Activities and Devotions for Advent
By Karen Whiting from Abingdon Press, 2016
Unfortunately I was too late to review this last year, but liked it so much that I was determined I would review it for this coming Advent!
From the highly appealing cover to the very last page, this book is crammed full of wonderful activities, ideas, hymns, songs, prayers, points to ponder, bible verses to study, Christmas facts and ideas on how to implement the Christmas message into everyday life in Advent.
The very first activity is to make your own Advent wreath from scratch. This does involve some finicky work on the part of a helpful adult/parent/godparent, but very complete instructions are given, and this wreath then sets the scene for the rest of Advent.
This is an ideal book for families with young children, but there is no reason at all why the ideas and activities could not be slightly adapted for older children too, and if I am absolutely honest, this is the sort of book I would be perfectly happy to buy and use just for myself.
There are lots of craft activities to make and do, with reproducible templates to be photocopied and then cut up, coloured in etc. Make garlands, snowflakes, Christmas gift tags, Jesse tree ornaments, cards, quick Christmas breads and so much more, all with Christian symbolism and messages to enjoy.
This is a most welcome addition to my Christmas collection.
Friday, December 1, 2017, Yvonne Ortega’s new, updated website went live! You can view her early Christmas present at www.YvonneOrtega.com
Craig von Buseck has been named Senior Editor for digital content at Inspiration Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina — the parent company of Inspiration TV, a Worldwide Christian Network, and the INSP Cable Network. Craig will oversee the content for Inspiration.org, the official website of Inspiration Ministries. He will also work with team to merge Inspiration’s video and print content into a newly designed website to launch in 2018. More exciting developments will be announced in the coming months. Please watch for opportunities to submit family-friendly content from a biblical worldview.
Craig has also launched a recently redesigned personal website where he posts his latest news, articles, interviews, podcasts, and other material. Check it out at www.vonbuseck.com
From celebrating authors abroad to books available in languages abroad…check out what’s happening with some of our CAN authors, including new releases, speaking engagements, and book signings.
Author Grace Fox is currently in Romania. She’s leading a women’s team to minister among HIV-infected youth, abused mothers and children, and abandoned grannies. Learn more at www.gracefox.com
Davalynn Spencer will be signing her latest release, The Canon City Chronicles, from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 at Tailored West fashion boutique, 502 Main St. Canon City, CO. She will also be in-store Saturday Dec. 2 from 10 to 5 and Sunday Dec. 3 from noon to 4 p.m.
Award winning author Lena Dooley is releasing Brides of Minnesota on December 1. Available now for preorder on Amazon and Christianbook.com at a reduced price, just in time for Christmas!
Susan G Mathis, author of The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, was a guest on Angela Breidenbach’s radio show “Historically Speaking”. Listen at this link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/alongcameawriter/2017/11/10/historically-speaking
Susan was also on Scott McCausey’s radio show “Speak Up!” Check it out here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/christian-devotions/2017/11/14/marriage-preparation-with-susan-mathis-on-christian-devotions-speak-up.
Cindi McMenamin will be the keynote speaker for the Mission Hills Christmas Women’s Brunch on Dec. 2, 2018 at Mission Hills Church in San Marcos, CA. Her message is titled “Celebrate the Savior.” Come visit if you’re in the area!
Cindi’s recent release, 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom (Harvest House Publishers, 2016) is now available in two other languages: Portuguese and Korean. And Cindi’s bestselling book from Harvest House Publishers, When Women Walk Alone (more than 125,000 copies sold), is now available in four languages, including German, Spanish and most recently, Portuguese!