Grace Awards

Expanding the Tent Pegs of Christian Fiction

Reader Nominations Begin!!! ~ Grace Awards 2015

Grace AwardsThe sixth annual Grace Awards is thrilled to announce that reader voting for Finalists commenced on December 31, 2015 and will end at midnight and ends February 28, 2016.

Wow! Get in on it!!!

The Grace Awards is reader driven. That means in the first round readers vote for their favorite novels and chose “Finalists” in five literary categories.

WHO CAN VOTE FOR NOVELS:

Individuals (not organizations). Readers who maintain a networking page (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, Linkedin, Ning sites, a blog, etc.) created before November 1, 2015. We check each link to verify there’s a real person there.

Books, Reading

Readers can only vote for ONE novel in each category.

Authors are also readers and can vote, but not for their own novel(s). DON’T vote against yourself, simply vote in the other genre categories for novels you deem worthy.

Editors, publishers, agents can vote, but not for a book they authored or co-authored. 

Board members and judges can vote, but not for their own novel(s).

TYPES OF NOVELS READERS MAY CONSIDER: Traditional Christian, Inspirational, realistic and/or gritty Christian and edgy Christian, stories from a Christian worldview, redemptive themed, biblical, Messianic, catholic, faith-based, Christian and/or Messianic mystical themes, values imbued, grace and forgiveness oriented, marriage and family friendly, depicting Christian lifestyle (can be struggling with it), spiritually and emotionally healing fiction…of 55 thousand words or more. At this time we do not have a category for anthologies.

Books, a stack

CRITERIA FOR NOVELS:

Original novels presenting a Christian worldview written in English, published in hard cover, trade paperback, or in Ebook format.

Traditional publishers, Small press, Indie publishers, self-published works. To us, Pbooks and Ebooks all compete on the same level playing field.

The novel must have been released between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

Most of all, the novel must reach the highest of literary standards and add something of value to Christian, inspirational, faith and values based fiction, and to the world at large.

BOOK CATEGORIES:

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction  –  women’s issues and/or men’s issues, can have humor and suspense elements

Contemporary Romance/Historic Romance — the primary element is love/marriage, then or now

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historic Suspense — crime fiction, there’s probably a body

Speculative — sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc

Action/Adventure, Western, Historic Epic Fiction — exploits, quest, daring, expansive

Young Adult (YA) — appeals to ages 12 – 22-ish

**Note: submit Urban Fiction into the category where it best fits (ie, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult, etc.)

Books, Reading 5

READER VOTING SUGGESTIONS:

1. Was the novel well written? Did the author use language correctly? Did it make sense?

2. Was the plotline logical? Did any plot turns surprise you? In a good way, as in what a surprise but this really works — or in a bad way, as in “Yikes” this doesn’t work at all?

3. Did the characters feel like living people? Could you identify with the characters and their situations in the novel? Were the scenes plausible?

4. How about pacing? Did you ever get bored?

5. Was the novel true to its setting: time, place?

6. Was the novel entertaining? Did it uplift, send you on an emotional roller coaster, have you on the edge of your seat, tickle your funny bone (depending on the category)?

8. Did the novel engage your Christian walk in a meaningful way? Did it depict Christian life in a plausible manner (in some genres, this would be symbolic)?  Do you think the work adds something of literary value?

HOW TO NOMINATE FINALIST(S):

  • Give title and author, category, and tell us 40+ words why you like the book so much.
  • Nominate in one category or all, only one novel per category, only one nomination per novel.
  • Give a link to your social networking site, web site, or blog. Must have been created before November 1, 2015.
  • Email the above to:  graceawards@yahoo.com

Women’s Fiction/General Fiction: Name of novel and author. In 40+ words, why did you like the book.

Contemporary Romance/Historical Romance: Name of novel and author. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense: Name of novel and author. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

Speculative Fiction — sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc: Name of the novel and author. In 40+words, why you like the book.

Action-Adventure/Western/Historic Epic Fiction: Name of the novel and author. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

Young Audlt (YA): Name of the novel. In 40+ words, why you like the book.

 

After you chose in which category/ies you want to nominate a novel, copy and answer the simple questions and email to graceawards@yahoo.com

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR WITH LOTS OF GREAT READING!!!

New Year

Grace Awards Christmas Book Bash ~ day three

GA Xmas Book Bash 4

RevengeREVENGE by Paula Rose

Do have shopping fatigue and/or a to-do list that just doesn’t end before your white Christmas arrives? Didn’t you wrap and tape gifts until your fingers hurt but start the shortage of bows this year? Stop. Breathe. Take some time for you, and treat yourself to a romantic suspense tale titled REVENGE! As a job coach, it’s up to Olivia Foster to ensure her clients work in a safe environment, understand their positions, and serve their employer’s mission. The death of her brother drives her career choice, and it remains her only focus until one of her autistic clients goes missing. Olivia’s employer ends her position. Added to the suspect list, she makes plans to bring the missing young man home. Meanwhile, Detective Lt. Phillip Landon second-guesses his career choice, but his well-honed instincts see major flaws in this missing person’s case. Surprising contacts, mysterious happenings, and threats turn deadly. Can he keep Olivia safe, protect his heart, and remove the job coach from someone’s target list? Amazon Barnes and Noble.
GA Xmas Book Bash 2Waters of Separation

WATERS OF SEPARATION by Carol McClain

Another child will haunt you this Christmas. In Waters of Separation, Africa’s secrets resurrect the despair physician assistant Anna Haas though she buried in America. She uncovers child slavery, and her own pregnancy threatens her mission and her life in the Ivory Coast. Waters of Separation is an evocative tale that will haunt you and then lift you up with God’s beautiful gift of redemption. It transpires between New York and Africa—a tale of faith and courage and salvation, both physical and spiritual. Its themes are redolent of Christ’s Christmas gift, and will make a treasured gift to those you care about.  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Desert Breeze

DWFDWF: DIVORCED WHITE FEMALE by Carol McClain

DWF will have you ho-ho-hoing this Christmas season with its humor and eternal themes displaying those elements of life that most matter to humans. If you think you’ve experienced a mid-life crisis, Cheryl Chandler will prove you wrong. Ditched by a philandering husband, rearing three weird teens (and a toddler—her failed attempt to save her marriage), she knows only one thing will redeem her life: a man—any man so long as he’s hot. But how does a forty-something divorcé do that? The kids have the answer. Go online. When she knows online dating is doomed, she meets the man of her dreams. Smart, witty and enchanting, Carleton Seymour sweeps her off her feet, but he’s got to meet the kids. Cheryl refuses to hide them—although the thought is tempting. First there’s New Age Andi who changes college majors more frequently than a yogi changes poses. Bobbie’s OCD could drive Mother Teresa nuts. Taylor, once an adolescent drug mule and now a born again teen, fears all will forget they’re sinners. And of course, Marina, the toddler, will make her presence known. In DW, an inspiration woman’s fiction, you will laugh and love with the characters and come away transformed and transported by Cheryl’s antics. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Desert Breeze

GA Xmas Book Bash 2

DESERT DUET Desert Duetby Debra E. Marvin, a Christmas novella

Merry Christmas from Humbug. AZ. Wish You Were Here! It’s 1933 in the good old US of A. In the midst of drought, the Depression, and gangsters on the lam, America finds solace in Hollywood’s Golden Age. Ex-pilot Eugene Tanner, determined to pen the lyrics for the movie industry’s first “Best Song” award, books a rushed December stay at the remote Humbug Creek Guest Ranch. (A Gold Mine of a Getaway!) Where better to find inspiration for an epic Western, than amid all that trail dust and burnt coffee? Thea Knight gives up her short holiday break from the studio’s costume department to play cowgirl hostess at her family’s struggling guest ranch. But instead of helping their witty and handsome guest, she becomes his biggest distraction. Old flames and past regrets take a backseat when the pair become embroiled in a ghost town mystery marring Humbug, Arizona’s rustic Christmas. Thankfully, the cowgirl is as fast with her Winchester as she is with her comebacks. Now 99 cents.  Amazon, website

 

Grace Awards Christmas Book Bash ~ day two

GA Xmas Book Bash 6

The Love CowardTHE LOVE COWARD by Naomi Musch

A Vintage Read for the Holidays! Settle into that old time feeling with THE LOVE COWARD, a post WWII romance that will warm your heart this cold winter season.  Burke Delgard has returned from war safe and whole, but Tulla Johanson’s dreams of them finally marrying and working her family’s farm together crumble the day he walks out of the church and over her heart to chase a baseball career. Thank heaven for friends like Joan, Walter, and now Van.
Burke’s war buddy Van came to town for the wedding, never anticipating he’d rescue Burke’s humiliated fiancée or begin an awkward friendship with her. Having carried his own secrets home from the war, he’s determined to keep them barred inside. Even if Tulla might hold the key to unlocking them, Burke clearly wants Tulla back, and even her old pal Walter is getting in the way. Van is wounded, Burke’s regretful, Walt’s hopeful, and Tulla’s vulnerable; and she might be the biggest love coward of all.     Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Desert Breeze, Naomi’s website

TrevelynTREVELYAN ~ A Tale of Beauty & The Beast by Naomi Musch

In a winter like no other, an evil waits to break its chains…In the timeless fairy tale that crosses the boundary of age, you might think you know Belle’s story, but prepare to be surprised this holiday season by TREVELYAN ~ A Tale of Beauty & The Beast.
You’ve probably not heard about the downfall of the kingdom, the warring faeries, or the elves who fled the land. You’ve not met the pair of swashbucklers and Belle’s three brothers who set out on a quest to rescue her from the Monster Lord who has her bound. And most certainly, you’ve not heard about the evil lurking in the tower, chained until this present time.
Hideous creatures and madness wait to prey upon the careless in a land where faerie magic has taken an evil turn; but a girl like Belle — and true love — can conquer all, even a wicked faerie queen and the most beastly of princes.
A fantastical winter read for young adults, new adults, or anyone who loves a great fairy tale!                Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Desert Breeze, Naomi’s Website

GA Book Bash 6She's Mine candy cane border

SHE’S MINE by Tammy Doherty

Caitlin Harrington’s Christmas wish would be a quiet life, alone and with no men who just can’t be trusted. Sean’s dream Christmas gift would be the perfect wife – one who won’t try to make him into someone else, who trusts him and believes in Christ. The Lord grants their hearts’ desires…but neither is so sure He’s gotten it right! Caitlin isn’t ready to trust any man, let alone the guy who tried to steal Grandpa’s tractor. Okay, so he wasn’t stealing it but that’s not the point. Sean Taggart is just like her father – not a good comparison! Still, he was there to save her when she burned her hand. Maybe… Sean can’t get Caitlin out of his head but he’d sure like to. The woman is quite possibly insane. She’s unreasonable, unfriendly, and just plain unpleasant. Beautiful, vulnerable, with an undeniable love for teaching children. He’s got a nice quiet life and along comes the perfect disruption. Wait, did he just say perfect? Could he possibly be falling for her? Meanwhile, someone is making it clear that Caitlin is not wanted back in Naultag, MA. Ominous notes are being left on her door at night. Ex-boyfriend Adam appears then disappears, frightening the daylights out of Caitlin. If she trusts Sean to help, will his life be in danger? Amazon, Barnes & NobleApple, Kobo, Scribd, Tammy’s website

GA Book Bash 6

Blow Me A KissBLOW ME A KISS, a Christmas Novella by Felicia Gene Mires

Rand Calloway is shocked when a strange woman blows him a kiss on his first day as sheriff in a new town. Jane is shocked when she discovers she’s been blowing kisses at the new sheriff, not her childhood friend. Drat those shaded windows! Rand is more than intrigued by the idea of actually kissing Jane, but as the only vet for mileS and miles, the woman can’t seem to stay in one place long enough. With the whole town watching, he’s got to be on his best behavior. Stolen kisses in the parking lot are considered a definite no-no. Jane can hardly believe Rand is intent on pursuing her. Now if her ex-boyfriend doesn’t get in the way and get her killed, she might get that happily ever after she’s been dreaming of. BLOW ME A KISS, a Christmas Novella is a Christian romance. Amazon, Felicia’s website

DIAMONDS ARE FOR EDEN by Felicia Gene Mires
Diamonds Are For Eden
A thrilling read for over the Christmas holidays. What begins as a routine courier mission turns into a fight for her life as Natasha Kelly teams up with Israel’s Mossad to fight a deadly terrorist. When Abram Perez asks Natasha to put her exceptional courier skills to work for the nation of Israel, he mentions that several men have disappeared or died already in the attempt to carry uncut diamonds from Africa to the Diamond Institute in Israel. Natasha thinks her wide-eyed dumb blond routine, along with several disguises, will be just what she needs to thwart the enemy’s plans. Apparently, these terrorists don’t take too kindly to dumb blonds. Her hotel room is ransacked, her belongings destroyed, and shots are fired. If that’s not enough, she’s being tailed by the smoothest operator she’s ever met, Dirk Sloan, the movie heartthrob of women the world over. Only, this isn’t one of his suspense flicks, this is her life. And if Natasha doesn’t figure out who’s fair or foul, she could be the next one dead. Enter Israel’s Mossad. They’ve sent David Benjamin to keep an eye on her, but his attentions seem a little too intense. Now, her heart beats fast at the sight of two men, not to mention the hordes of terrorists out to kill her.          Amazon, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, Felicia’s website

Wishing Everyone a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year

From the Grace Awards

GA Book Bash 6

 

Grace Awards Christmas Book Bash ~ day one

GA Xmas Book Bash 5

The Best Blue XmasTHE BEST BLUE CHRISTAMS by Tracy Krauss

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or is it? For some people, Christmas brings with it a lot of painful memories. In this short Christmas story, a disgruntled insurance worker struggles to avoid the holidays until she finds an unlikely sympathizer in her good looking neighbour. Will she be able to let go of the past? Set in the wilderness of the Yukon, Cassidy finds out that Christmas isn’t all bad…   Amazon, Tracy’s Website

GA Xmas Book Bash 3HI Xmas Meme 1HARMFUL INTENT by Nike N. Chillemi

The suspense reader doesn’t need an excuse to stay up all night reading a riveting, heart pounding novel. Still the idea of a neet Christmas read makes the first book in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingles/Dawson Hughes detective series just such an excuse. There’s betrayal, murder, mayhem, a viscious drug lord…pockets of zany humor…a sassy female PI…oh, yes, and a budding romance. What more could any crime fiction reader want?A reduction in price, you say? Well you’ve got that too. The price is now $1.99/Kindle. Free on Kindle Unlimited. Amazon, Nike’s Blog

DD Xmas Meme 2DEADLY DESIGNS by Nike N. Chillemi

A story for a late Christmas eve and for reading into the New Year. Private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels teams up again with Deputy Dawson Hughes to find a geeky radio broadcaster’s missing wife and young daughter. They fear the woman and child were taken by Islamic terrorists as revenge against the husband’s pro-Israel, conspiracy theory broadcasts. The investigation takes Ronnie and Hughes from a manicured Connecticut estate, to interviews with an elitist A-List society crowd, and run-ins with cranky local police detectives. Then they plunge deep into the seamy, drug-riddled underbelly of the fashion world, with the specter of international terrorism hovering. Amazon, Nike’s Blog

GA Xmas Book Bash 3Sabataged ChristmasSABOTAGED CHRISTMAS by Carole Brown

A contemporary romantic mystery to warm your heart at Christmas. Gossip, a Spanish proposal, an inheritance, and a sabotaged construction business all converge to play a part in ruining Christmas for Toni. Will the mysterious person behind it all succeed in pulling off the biggest scam Appleton, West Virginia has ever seen and destroy Toni’s last chance at happiness with the man of her dreams? Amazon, Carole’s blog

With Music in their HeartsWITH MUSIC IN THEIR HEARTS by Carole Brown

A historical WWII romantic suspense  that will give you a nostalgic and fascinating read this Christmas. Emma Jaine’s talent with the piano, evening gatherings with some of the nicest songs of the time, and Tyrell’s spectacular voice all add a touch of nostalgia to the novel. A civilian spy and a foreign spy tangle for separate causes. Though espionage is the main trigger, music, love and God keeps things from exploding out of control.  Amazon, Carole’s Blog

Wishing Everyone a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year

From the Grace Awards

GA Xmas Book Bash 3

Lynn Dean is a Thankful Indie Writer! ~ November 2015 SPOTLIGHT

In 2011 my first historical fiction, MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD, was a finalist in the Grace Awards. I was thrilled by the confirmation that people enjoyed my story and considered the writing good…but four years later the sequel remains half finished. Why, then, was I selected to write about writing and thankfulness?

 Life Happens

Life Happens

A funny thing happened on the way to publication. After I wrote my first project–a homeschool history curriculum–my brain was bursting with human interest stories I’d discovered during my research. I had a vision for any number of historical novels, but a job change for my husband meant a move and remodeling projects for me. Somehow I finished my first fiction project and started on the sequel but writing paused as our daughter married her sweetheart. Their happy day was the culmination of months of planning. As the year drew to a close, I had just time to develop a sort of “one off” project before the holidays.

HOME SWEET HOLE was an enjoyable experiment that linked my passions for writing, fantasy, and sustainable architecture. I expected to get back to my historical series after New Year’s, but 2014 turned out to be the year of parental care. We lost both our fathers that year after lingering illnesses, relocated both mothers, and helped them through four surgeries. Again toward the end of the year, I wrote Nabbing Saint Nickolas–a short piece we sent in lieu of Christmas cards. I told myself I was just staying in the game. Next year would be more productive…but the next year it was our son’s turn to launch. With our nest truly empty, I turned to writing once more, but over the years my direction had changed. Stories still fill my heart, but my non-fiction homeschool resources do a better job of filling my bank account.

Moral: Life happens! Instead of feeling disgruntled about “career interruptions”, I am grateful for the privilege of being an independent writer. Here is a partial list of the blessings for which I’m grateful:

  • My writing career is portable. My husband’s relocation meant the sacrifice of my “day job” but challenged me to make a switch and gave me the opportunity to commit to my writing craft.
  • As an indie writer, I control my schedule and my deadlines. Because writers write from their own observations about life, it is good to take time for the milestones that make memories.
  • I am free to experiment. Did I plan to write such diverse genres? No more than I planned anything else that has happened…but I have learned and grown from each experience. Writing Discover Texas developed outlining, research, and organizational skills. Writing historical fiction taught me to listen for my characters’ voices as I wrote dialogue and deep points of view. Home Sweet Hole taught me that not all projects are meant for a wide audience. I learned to enjoy the rave reviews and shrug off the complainers. Nabbing Saint Nickolas challenged me to tell a story and paint a vivid picture using few words. And the Homeschool Parents’ How-To Series is teaching me to press toward a challenging deadline and develop marketing strategies. Writing is, after all, a business as well as a passion.
  • Each experience allows me to explore. New genres! I’ve developed more flexibility in my writing. What readers like is not always what I like, and what I thought I’d like is not always what I end up liking best. New talents! Who knew I could enjoy illustrating so much? New technologies! I am constantly forced to learn faster, cleaner, and more efficient ways of doing things, and that knowledge carries into the next project!

Even though my career has taken unplanned detours, I’m thankful for each challenge along the winding road and for the freedom to explore that path and find contentment.

What about you? Has your career trajectory been a straight line climbing a chart to success, or have you discovered that some “setbacks” are opportunities in disguise?

Lynn Dean

 

 

 

OCTOBER 2015 SPOTLIGHT ~ Tina Pinson

Betrayed

 

We’re thrilled to have Tina Pinson showcasing this month. Tina’s wonderful novel, IN THE MANOR OF THE GHOST finaled in the Grace Awards 2010 Action-Adventure/Western/Epic Fiction category. She’s been prolific sinnce then and has a new novel out: BETRAYED.

 

Welcome to Fall by Tina Pinson

Hard to believe it’s already October.

In Colorado (a place I love), the Aspen trees are blanketing the mountains with reds, yellows, oranges, and browns — amazing how dying leaves trumpet such beauty.

In Arizona (where I live) we’re dipping below 100 at night. (SMILE)

Because October is Clergy Appreciation Month, I would like to introduce you to my father. Vernon Grover.

My father was born in October 1935. He grew up on a farm/ranch. He joined the Marines out of school, and traveled to the Orient and Pacific islands. After a short stint, he got out and went home to Colorado. There he met and married my mother. Then dad joined the Air Force and we all traveled.

In Alaska he accepted Christ as his Savior. He began to teach and over time went into preaching. He pastored in Opheim, Montana. Our family was half the congregation.

Dad’s last church was in Norwood, Colorado. He built the parsonage for the Baptist Church there. The picture window looks out over a large pasture and takes in Lone Cone Peak. He also taught shop there.

Dad was determined, but problems arose because of wrong property lines, and a shortage of workers. My husband, sons, and I would travel up to help.

Dad suffered a heart attack and shouldn’t have been building the house, but he felt called by the Lord. “He only had a couple years to be about God’s business.”

After two years, dad left Norwood. His heart couldn’t take it. Save for finishing touched, the house was built.

Dad died in July of 1994. He didn’t regret building the parsonage. He gave his all for what he believed and in the process taught me oh so much.

He didn’t get to see me published, but he encouraged me to keep writing. And I have. I have 11 published books and am working book three in my Trail of the Sandpiper series. Book 1, BETRAYED just released in August.

In the Manor of the Ghost was my first published novel and a finalist in the Grace Award’s. It’s the story of Kaitlin Dupree and Devlin Clayborne, who marry for convenience and find love. It’s the story of a Ghost that walks the halls of Clayborne Manor, and the ghost of regrets and secrets that haunt the manor and Devlin. Kaitlin prays love and grace will help her uncover the secrets of those living in The Manor of the Ghost.

In The Manor of the Ghost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A word about…BETRAYED – Trail of the Sandpiper Book #1

It’s the summer of ’42. The world is at War and Japan’s Imperial Army is moving across the island of New Guinea.

After their mission is attacked Justine is left with seven children to lead to safety through enemy lines. She leads them to a cave and goes back for her husband when she is taken captive. Upon her escape with the help of a friend, Virginia, she starts back for the children and runs into Lt. Tyler Merrick. She hopes he will help her. But he’s drunk and doesn’t believe there are children. He thinks Justine is the rogue spy he been sent to find.

Justine goes for the children and returns to an even angrier Lt. Merrick. He wants to tie her up. She hopes to win his trust. Because… if they can’t stop fighting one another, they will never get off the island alive.

SEPTEMBER 2015 SPOTLIGHT ~ Lorilyn Roberts

The Door, King Castle

It has been a tradition on this bog to spotlight past winners and finalists from time-to-time. As the leaves turn and autumn approaches it’s a great pleasure to be have Lorilyn Roberts here so she can shine her light. Loryilyn’s SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE DOOR finaled in the Grace Awards 2012 in the Young Adult (YA) category

 

The Fall Festival that Marks the Return of Yeshua By Lorilyn Roberts

Do you know that the return of Yeshua (Jesus) most likely will occur in autumn at God’s appointed time? In Genesis through Leviticus, God lays out His timetable in minute detail. Unfortunately, after centuries of pagan influence, inaccurate Bible translation, and lack of knowledge, most Christians are unaware of God’s appointed times and their significance. God said in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”

In Genesis 1:14, God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.” In this passage, “seasons” refers to “appointed times or festivals,” not the more familiar meaning of spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Seven festivals or appointed times are celebrated by the Jews—but they are not Jewish appointed times; they are God’s appointed times. Unfortunately, when Constantine changed the official calendar from a lunar calendar to a solar calendar, our “Christian” holidays merged with pagan holidays. In the process, Christianity absorbed many pagan traditions.

For example, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Yeshua at Easter. Historically, this day coincides with a pagan holiday going all the way back to the days following the flood and the Tower of Babel. Easter, because it is set according to the spring equinox, is often days apart from Passover and the crucifixion of Yeshua.

Christmas is another Christian celebration mired in pagan practices. It originated in Egypt long after Yeshua’s birth and resurrection. The first recorded date of Christians celebrating Christmas did not occur until 336 A.D. A few years later, Pope Julius 1 made December 25 the birthdate of Yeshua . Now a second date on the Christian calendar was associated with a pagan festival. Yeshua said in Matt 15:9, “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

Only recently did I learn about God’s appointed times. It is, in fact, through God’s appointed times we know when Yeshua will return. As Yeshua fulfilled the first four festivals at the time of His first coming, so will He fulfill the remaining three feasts at His second coming.

In Leviticus 23:4, God said, “These are the set times of the Lord, the sacred occasions, which you shall celebrate each at its appointed time.”

While we are not obligated to keep the festivals in the church age, knowing what they mean has enriched my Christian walk. When I think of the blowing of the shofar, for example, the sound reminds me of the rapture during the Feast of Trumpets. In fact, all around the world, in recent years, people have heard mysterious trumpet-like noises coming from the heavens. You can hear these sounds on YouTube by clicking here.

Could these sounds be announcing the Lord’s return? Knowing that three of the seven festivals remain unfulfilled gives me heightened awareness that God could return at any moment. If you long for Yeshua’s return as I do, thinking on these things brings a quickening of the spirit. As saints have cried out through the centuries, “How much longer, oh, Lord, until your return?”God's Appointed Times Meme

I have listed below the seven Levitical Feasts and their meaning in reference to the Messiah. Remember, feasts (moadim) in Hebrew literally mean “appointed times.”

  1. Feast of Passover – Fulfilled at Yeshua’s first coming. Yeshua is the Passover lamb. His sacrifice occurred at the very hour the high priest slaughtered the lambs within the Temple.
  2. Feast of Unleavened Bread – Leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible. Yeshua was in the grave three days and three nights following His crucifixion as the unleavened, spotless Son of God. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
  3. Feast of First Fruits – Yeshua was the first to be resurrected. In I Corinthians 15:20, Paul refers to Yeshua as the “first fruits from the dead.”
  4. Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) – Occurred fifty days after Passover. On Pentecost, Peter preached from Jerusalem and 3,000 people responded to the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit, sparking the beginning of the Church Age in which we now live.
  5. Feast of Trumpets – While the fulfillment of the first four feasts occurred at Yeshua’s first coming, most Bible scholars believe the last three will be fulfilled at His second coming. The Feast of Trumpets is the first of the fall feasts. Many believe this is the feast when Yeshua will rapture the church from the earth. In I Thessalonians 4:15, Paul wrote, “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a mighty shout and with the soul-stirring cry of the archangel and the great trumpet-call of God. And the believers who are dead will be the first to rise to meet the Lord. Then we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with Him forever.” Let us remember that the Jewish New Year, also known as Rosh Hashanah, begins on the first day of Tishrei. In 2015, that occurs on September 13 at sundown. The first day of the Jewish New Year is the Feast of Trumpets.  While we do not know the exact date of Yeshua’s return, that day is fixed as an appointed time. If you look at the signs Yeshua gave in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, He tells us what signs to look for that would mark His return. He wanted us to prepare for His coming. In Matthew 25:1-13, in the parable of the ten virgins, He warns us what would happen if we didn’t.
  6. Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) – Many associate this day with Yeshua’s physical return to earth following the Great Tribulation. On the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur occurs on the tenth day of Tishrei. In 2015, this day occurs on September 22 in the Hebrew Year 5776. Zechariah 12:10 says: “…then they (the Jews) will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”
  7. Feast of Tabernacles or Booths – Looks ahead to when Yeshua will reign from Jerusalem over all the earth for one thousand years. (Micah 4:1-7).

Lorilyn Roberts

As the return of Yeshua draws near, I find comfort in knowing that the Feast of Trumpets on September 13, 2015 may be God’s “appointed time” for the rapture. Knowledge of God’s fixed days brings peace. Even though the Gentiles have altered the calendar and forgotten God’s appointed times, God never changes. His return is set—if not this year, maybe next year—in 2016 or 2017 or 2018. Regardless of the year, when autumn draws near, I remember—and hope, this is the year.

Scripture Meme

God’s appointed times are highlighted in Lorilyn Roberts’ award-winning historical fantasy series, Seventh Dimension. To learn more, visit http://LorilynRoberts.com. The first book, SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE DOOR, A Young Adult Fantasy, is free on Amazon.

 

 

Grace Awards Summer Book Bash ~ day four

 

GA Book Bash, Dock

We’re winding up our summer book bash, but it’s been such fun. The authors and novels have been spectacular.

RevengeREVENGE by Paula Rose

A summer vacation, staycation, or a beach read? Enjoy this romantic suspense. As a job coach, it’s up to Olivia Foster to ensure her clients work in a safe environment, understand their positions, and serve their employer’s mission. The death of her brother drives her career choice, and she loves her job. It remains her only focus until one of her autistic clients goes missing. Then Olivia’s employer ends her position and adds her to the suspect list, but she makes plans to bring the missing young man home. Meanwhile, Detective Lt. Phillip Landon is deep into second-guessing his career choice, but his well-honed instincts see major flaws inside this missing person’s case. Surprising contacts, mysterious happenings, and threats can turn deadly. Can he keep Olivia safe, protect his heart, remove the job coach from someone’s target list, and adjust to the new lives of his old family?

Crooked LinesCROOKED LINES by Holly Michael

Thoughtful reading for a balmy summer day! On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers. Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed. CROOKED LINES, a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth.

First and GoalFIRST AND GOAL, What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up by Jake Byrne and H. Michael

A terrific summer read, especially for the guys.  Jake Byrne dreamed of playing professional football. He had the size, the talent, the drive…but at age 14, he found out he also had type 1 diabetes. Still, Jake was determined to reach his goal. And God was determined to guide and empower him all along the way. Jake’s journey to the NFL is the backdrop for this collection of inspiring devotions based on nearly a hundred football terms. Jake takes you to the weight room, practice field, and even across the goal line. You’ll feel as if you’re lined up next to him, facing a very large defender you’re about to take down. He also includes Scripture and then ties up each story in a way that feels real and encouraging. You’ll discover…what to do when God calls an audible in your life, how to respond when God puts you on special teams, why prayer is never an incomplete pass.

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman

THE REDEMPTION OF CARALYNNE HAYMAN by Carole Brown

Summer is the time to get caught up in a realistic, emotional book that opens your eyes to the real world. Caralynne Hayman is angry and bitter over the abuse and death of her eleven-year- old daughter from the hands of her religious group. Dayne faces men unwilling to turn their backs on the cult training he despises. Cara faces men who follow their leader in abuse toward their wives and the young girls of the group. Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings. Can Cara overcome the feelings that have governed her most of her life? Can she learn to trust Dayne, and most of all a God whom she sees as uncaring—if he’s really there at all? Only Dayne’s prayers and love can reach Cara and show her the way to redemption, and Cara must recognize and accept God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far.

With Music in their HeartsWITH MUSIC IN THEIR HEARTS by Carole Brown

Summertime is a good time to dream, but it’s only when we follow God’s plan for our lives that we have peace–just as Tyrell and Emma Jaine find out in WITH MUSIC IN THEIR HEARTS. Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage? Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?

Grace Awards Summer Book Bash ~ day three

GA Book Bash, Beach

Wow! Summer reading has never been this exciting. What fabulous novels and suuper talented authors.

DWFDWF, Divorced White Female by Carol McClain

On hot days on sunny beach, what better way to cool off than with a laugh-out-loud read set primarily in winter in Malone, NY (the setting of the notorious escape from Clinton Correctional Facility this summer)? Cheryl Chandler had her own brush with the law when her son befriended a drug dealer. Now, he’s finally settled—saved and dedicated to Christ, and no longer a problem. Hopefully. Her philandering ex-husband is married to his sexy secretary, so she’s in the market for a man—any man so long as he’s hot. The problem is—rural Malone has no viable men. Should she find one, he’s probably heard about her whacked-out teenagers. Furthermore, she’s got a toddler, the consequence of trying to save her marriage. Her family has the answer to her problems: online dating. They sign her up. Her hopes rise. But nothing is what she thought it should be, and the reader will be turning pages to catch up with her crazy life.

Annabelle's RuthANNABELLE’S RUTH, , Book One, Kinsman Redeemer Series, by Betty Thomason Owens

Ready to soak up some sunshine and lose yourself in a touching romance? In the summer of 1954, Connie Cross and her mother-in-law, Annabelle leave sunny California behind, and travel across country on a Greyhound bus to West Tennessee. When the two newly-widowed ladies land in the small town of Trenton, Tennessee, they find it difficult to support themselves. Desperate, Connie goes to work in the fields, picking cotton, where she catches the eye of one of Annabelle’s closest cousins, Alton Wade. Compared to Southern California, 1950’s West Tennessee gives Connie culture shock—like stepping back in time. Will Connie adapt to her new life amid the cotton farms, and racial tension? One reviewer says, “This beautiful story is told gently and thoughtfully…Readers of women’s fiction will enjoy this one.” Inspired by the Book of Ruth. ANNABELLE’S RUTH, is book 1 in the Kinsman Redeemer series from Write Integrity Press.

Amelia's Legacy AMELIA’S LEGACY, Book One, Legacy Series, by Betty Thomason Owens

Romance, suspense, a mysterious murder…sounds like a good way to spend an afternoon at the beach. Nancy Sanderson is determined NOT to live the life Grandmother Amelia planned for her. After all, it’s the “roaring twenties” and anything goes, right? She sets her cap for the rowdy Nate Conners, who is more than willing to play his part. But when her plans collide with reality, she finds herself headed down a very different path, straight into the arms of her Grandmother’s choice. Robert Emerson means to protect Nancy at all cost, but he has underestimated the wily Nate. As hidden truths become known, can Nancy find the strength to forgive herself and gain true and lasting freedom? One Amazon reviewer says: This is much more than a girl-meets-boy story. It is a story of family love, faith, and forgiveness with an ample dose of suspense mixed in. Perfect summer read!

Dead RingerDEAD RINGER by V. B. Tenery

Tuck this one into your beach bag! From an Amazon review: “DEAD RINGER grabbed me from the start and wouldn’t let go! What a great story! Every free moment I had, my nose was in this book. I couldn’t put it down unless I had to. From Mercy’s abduction to her exoneration, this is a story with so many unexpected twists and turns it will keep you hanging on right to the end! And come meet the characters…from Thomas, the misguided, but loving father, to Fergus, the inflexible, stubborn Scotsman, to Daniel, the sweetest, bravest little boy you’ll ever meet. Don’t miss this one! It’s a treasure!”

DownfallDOWNFALL by V. B. Tenery

Try this one for some sizzle in your summer reading. Chief of Police Matt Foley has a new bride and the most complex case of his career. A prominent couple prepares to retire, when an assassin’s bullets retires them permanently. And he doesn’t stop there. As the investigation pushes forward, layers of deceit, greed, and bitterness are peeled away, and two families, connected by marriage and murder, face the exposure of their darkest secrets. It’s just another difficult case until Matt finds his wife caught in the killer’s cross-hairs.

Hard CountryHARD COUNTRY by Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

Whoa! A cool summer mystery! CJ McNamara is jerked out of her Maine comfort zone and flying to the Reumann Ranch to rescue big brother from a murder charge. Brother Johnny’s gone underground, leaving her to find the real killer. As the body count rises, she knows she’s rubbing elbows with the murderer, but once it gets out she’s Johnny’s sister, it’s hard to tell if any cowboys wear white hats anymore. Her brother’s scheme to find that one piece of evidence that’ll put away the real killer gets him killed, putting CJ in the crosshairs. She’s compromised her faith and failed to save her brother — the only thing left to lose is her life. But she’ll go down fighting and before her back is against the wall, CJ might just find one cowboy out there who’s got her back. Maybe the good guys aren’t all dead yet … at least not in Texas.

A Woman Like MeA WOMAN LIKE ME by Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try, it’s never enough? Your heart seams are coming unglued by the relentless demands of a busy life. You resort to “if onlys” – if only I lost some weight – if only I could ditch this job and move on to a real career – if only my husband, kids, friends would really SEE me…A WOMAN LIKE ME is a story about every woman – our tears, our battles, our failures and our faith. Whether you’re a daughter having mother-daughter issues, a wife having husband-wife strain, a mother having mother-child conflict, a woman having sisterhood-friend clashes, or a woman staring loss, depression, guilt, and loneliness in the mirror — it’s in there. A WOMAN LIKE ME is 365 days woven in strands of ordinary moments, life-changing opportunities, and gut-wrenching self-revelations – life we all share as sisters.

Grace Awards Summer Book Bash ~ day two

GA Book Bash, Dock

 

The Grace Awards 2104 Summer Book Bash in now in full swing offering exciting reads by accomplished authors.

What God Brings TogetherWHAT GOD BRINGS TOGETHER by Melissa Wardell

Thoughtful summer reading. When life makes a tragic turn, Emma must push the hurt and pain aside to make a life for her three children. Eight years of doing what must be done gets in the way of healing the brokenness. Can she trust God and forgive the pain from the past to have a future of love? After years of aimless wandering, David returns home in hopes of finding redemption from his past. A chance meeting and a budding friendship with Emma triggers a longing to have a second chance at the one thing he walked away from – family. Can he move past the self—doubt and embrace the second chance God ha given him? What God Brings Together is a story of forgiveness, second chances, and being bold enough to love after the pain.

The Love CowardTHE LOVE COWARD by Naomi Musch

Settle into a vintage summer romance on the post WWII home front. Burke Delgard has returned from war safe and whole, but Tulla Johanson’s dreams of them finally marrying and working her family’s farm together crumble the day he walks out of the church and over her heart to chase a baseball career. Thank heaven for friends like Joan, Walter, and now Van. Burke’s war buddy Van came to town for the wedding, never anticipating he’d rescue Burke’s humiliated fiancée or begin an awkward friendship with her. Having carried his own secrets home from the war, he’s determined to keep them barred inside. Even if Tulla might hold the key to unlocking them, Burke clearly wants Tulla back, and even her old pal Walter is getting in the way. Van is wounded, Burke’s regretful, Walt’s hopeful, and Tulla’s vulnerable; and she might be the biggest love coward of all.

TREVELYAN by Naomi Musch

TrevelynSummer Vacation Fantasy Getaway! “It’s my new favorite book!” ~ If, like this reader, you enjoy epic retellings of classic tales, then this is the summer vacation fantasy for you. You might believe you know the tale of Belle. She’s not a typical girl of Gilmer like her sisters who live only to find a suitable, wealthy match. But you’ve probably not heard about the downfall of the kingdom, the warring faeries, or the elves who fled the land. You’ve not met the pair of swashbucklers and Belle’s three brothers who set out on a quest to rescue her from the Monster Lord who has her bound. Hideous creatures and madness wait to prey upon the careless in a land where faerie magic has taken an evil turn; but a girl like Belle — and true love — can conquer all, even a wicked faerie queen and the most beastly of princes.

Summer StormsSUMMER STORMS by Rebekah Lyn

Summer Storms is a story of love, loss and renovation. Thanks to the love and support of friends and a renewed commitment to her faith Elizabeth Reynolds has moved past the hurt and anger of her parents death. Her job as concierge at Hotel Lago, a boutique hotel in downtown Orlando is challenging and fills her need to be successful but one thing is missing. When a once in a lifetime opportunity to renovate a broken down home comes along she snaps it up. Sparks and clashes with her handsome, but deeply troubled contractor, Jeffrey Robbins threaten to slow the renovation but when Orlando becomes the target of three summer storms, hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Jeanne, her team bonds together. In the aftermath of the storms what will be the fate of Lizzie’s home and heart?What a great summer read.

Out For BllodOUT FOR BLOOD by Marcy Dyer

Another book to stick in your beach bag, Out for Blood will keep you turning page after page as you join Dani in her quest to stay alive in the wake of her sister’s brutal murder. Dialysis nurse, Danielle Battershawn’s, life is turned upside down when her identical twin is murdered. As she strives to deal with yet another death, the killer sets his sights on eliminating her. Can handsome security consultant, Tyler Covington, keep her alive?

Blood And LiesBLOOD AND LIES by Marcy Dyer

Blood & Lies is a great beach read. As a buried secrets are uncovered and lives hang in the balance, you’ll be thankful for the bright summer sun. In the midst of a hot Ukrainian summer, JD Miller chaperones a group of teens a mission trip to Kherson, Ukraine. One of the boys vanishes from the group without a trace. Leandra Davis hasn’t seen her father in over twenty years when he shows up and asks her to fly to Ukraine to join the search for a brother she’s never met. When she and her best friend fly to Ukraine to search for the kidnapped teen, she meets the passionate paramedic, JD Miller. Together, they search for the missing young man and begin to uncover deadly secrets Leandra’s father wants to keep hidden.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: