Weekly Drawing

Friday, July 25, 2014

It's Fun Friday at The Borrowed Book! This week's prize is available to residents inside the continental US only.

To enter:

Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzles in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying you if you've won. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall and...you guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. Enter all weekend long! Winners will be announced Sunday night at midnight.

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Yvonne Anderson and her newest release, Ransom in the Rock.

Click to Mix and Solve

A Visit With our Own Sandra Moore

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Today we have a treat: one of our own Borrowed Book bloggers, Sandra (who writes as S. Dionne Moore) comes out from behind the curtain to chat with us.

Come on out, Sandra. Oh, look, there she is! We won't applaud, though, in case we embarrass her and she hides again. Instead, let's talk about her latest release, A Heartbeat Away, part of the Quilts of Love series by Abingdon Press.

How did you get connected with the Quilts of Love series?
A private tour through Antietam Battlefield led me to ponder another setting for a historical romance. My agent suggested that I write a proposal for the relatively new Quilts of Love series. I wasn’t so sure about the quilting part, since I don’t sew that well. But one thing I can do is admire the time and effort put into the beautiful pieces of what really amounts to art. Then it came to me. . .maybe my character can’t sew either! I then had to delve into the characterization of the heroine who became Elizabeth in order to make her frustration with sewing become an intricate part of her personality.

What made you take the direction you did with your books setting?
After visiting Antietam Battlefield (and eating local Burkholder Bakery’s delicious donuts!), my  mind began churning with ideas that would highlight not the actual battle but the struggles that the people of the town faced as war was brought to their doorstep.

Do you have a favorite character from your book?
Definitely Gerta. If you’re familiar with my books at all, I almost always have one who adds a spark of humor to the story. I love someone with a sense of humor. Couple that with a heavy does of sassiness and it makes, for me, a prime character.

What lesson do you hope readers walk away with after reading your Quilts of Love book?
You’re tougher than you think. War is more than soldiers aiming their guns and blowing up others. It affect the townspeople, the citizens. Young and old, able-bodied or not. No one is unscathed, and yet it sometimes happens that we are called upon to endure such an atrocity. Let us prepare now for what we might one day be forced to embrace as a new reality.

What was your favorite scene to write?
All the scenes at the cabin in the woods that Jim, Joe, and Elizabeth escape to were especially poignant to write. Elizabeth’s confrontation with Gerta is a primary scene for me and one that I had to consider for a long time before actually doing the writing.

Do you have any writing rituals? What are they?
Other than the routine of waking up, eating, working out, then putting in my daily word count of 2500 words, there isn’t anything out of the ordinary that I do when I write.

Whats your favorite quote from the book?
I have a few! One is: “It shows a greater depth of character when someone can look beyond a body’s weakness and see the beauty within.”
The other favorite is a question: When did your faith stop and the worry take over?
I love this question. It stops me in my worry-wart tracks and redirects my thoughts toward Him.

  
Anything else your readers should know about your Quilts of Love book?
I have several Pinterest boards. One in particular is devoted to pictures from Antietam Battlefield: http://www.pinterest.com/sdionnemoore/antietam-battlefield/ These are places I visited during my initial tour, the rest were taken in my research trip when I stayed at the lovely Mary Hill House. This old house stood during the battle and still has a blood stain on the wood floor of the living room!

Thanks for sharing with us, Sandra. You should come out of hiding more often!

Moore enjoys life in the historically rich Cumberland Valley where traffic jams are a thing of the past and there are only two stoplights in the whole town.
She is author of the LaTisha Barnhart Mystery series, complete with a new LaTisha short mystery found in A Cup of Cozy, as well as new historical romance release “A Heartbeat Away” set in Sharpsburg, MarylandCan a quilt and a hidden message bring enemies together?
For more information, visit her Website at www.sdionnemoore.com.

Follow her on Twitter: @sdionnemoore
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sdionnemoore
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/sdionnemoore

Did You Know? ~ The Humble Elderberry

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Elderberries have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years through Europe, North America, Western Asia, and North Africa. The Elderberry shrub became a part of many American homestead plantings and was often grown alongside lilacs, forsythia, and apple trees. Ancient elder bushes can still be found on abandoned farmsteads, along roadsides, and in other unexpected places.

The European elder is a large shrub or small tree that grows up to 30 feet tall in wet or dry soil in a sunny locations. Its deciduous leaves grow in opposite pairs and have five to seven leaflets. The flowers are white and flat-topped, and the berries are green and turn red, then black when ripe.

Evidence of elderberry cultivation has been found in Stone Age village sites in Italy and Switzerland. Medicinal use of elderberries is mentioned in ancient medicinal texts, including Hippocrates' Materia Medica. Pliny the Elder recorded its use among the ancient Romans. In the Middle Ages, it was considered a holy tree due to its ability to improve health and longevity. Gypsies in historical Europe reportedly called elderberry “the healingst tree on earth.”

Elderberry has traditionally been used for its antioxidant activity, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to lower cholesterol, and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections.

The medicinal use of elderberry isn’t just a folk remedy. There’s science backing up the claims of hundreds of years. A placebo-controlled, double blind study was carried out on a group of individuals living in an agricultural community (kibbutz) during an outbreak of influenza B/Panama in 1993. Fever, feeling of improvement, and complete cure were recorded during 6 days. (Find abstract here.)

In Israel, Hasassah's Oncology Lab has determined that elderberry stimulates the body's immune system and they are treating cancer and AIDS patients with it.

Some of our readers may have read that elderberries can be poisonous. The berries aren't, but they should be cooked before eaten. Uncooked berries can cause digestive problems. It’s the rest of the parts of the plant that can be toxic.

Here is a recipe for elderberry syrup, which can be used at the onset of a cold or even as a pancake syrup.

1 cup fresh elderberries or ½ cup dried berries
3 cups water
1 cup honey

Place the berries in a saucepan and cover them with the 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a half hour.

After the berries are cooked, smash them, then strain the mixture through a mesh strainer.

Add the honey.

Bottle and store in the fridge, where it will last a few months.

Allegorically Speaking by Author Yvonne Anderson

Monday, July 21, 2014

“How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?” The folk song asks this rhetorical question not because the songwriter’s looking for an answer, but to prod the hearer to think.

Another rhetorical device that’s familiar to everyone, though not always identified as rhetorical, is allegory. When used in literature, a character, object, setting, plot, or other component is used to represent something in the real world. And, like a rhetorical question, its purpose is to encourage the reader to use his noodle. 

What comes to mind when you think of allegory? Pilgrim’s Progress? Animal Farm? The Chronicles of Narnia? They all fit the bill. But I’m not sure Gateway to Gannah does.

What’s Gateway to Gannah, you may ask? It’s a sci-fi series written by yours truly. I released the third book a couple months ago and plan to publish the last title in October. Never heard of it? I’m not surprised. Few people have.

When Sandra mentioned my doing a post about allegory, my first thought was, Huh? Because, you see, I never thought of Gannah as an allegory. Its themes are all pretty straightforward, not veiled in symbolism. 

In Pilgrim’s Progress, the protagonist’s journey is a metaphor for the Christian walk. In Animal Farm, the Russian Revolution is portrayed by a coalition of animals taking over the farm and establishing pigs as the new ruling class. In the Narnia stories, a wise, powerful lion represents Jesus Christ. 

In Gannah, however, people are people, the Creator and Redeemer are exactly as named, and the Bible is the Bible. No room for misinterpretation. 

This set to me to thinking about allegory in its various forms, and now I’m finding it everywhere I look – particularly in the Bible. One example among a multitude: the nation of Israel is represented by a vine in Psalm 80:8-16 as well in the 15th and 17th chapters of Ezekiel. 

Sometimes, biblical history is used as an allegorical illustration. Check out Galatians 4:22-31. The Apostle Paul comes right out and says, in v. 24, that he’s pointing out an allegory in the Old Testament. Although the events he refers to in Genesis 16 and 21 are historical, they also illustrate a spiritual reality. 

In another case, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that Israel’s exodus from Egypt serves as an example to those who follow Christ. Old Testament history is both fact and illustration.

It’s not just God’s word that’s full of that sort of thing; so is God’s world. How about the metamorphosis of a grotesque, crawling caterpillar into a delicate, airborne butterfly? The process pictures the death of our sinful flesh and the emergence of a perfect spiritual body in the resurrection. Or how about the falling of a seed to the ground to die, later to emerge as a fruitful plant? Great allegorical performance art enacted continually on the stage of the world.

One of my favorites is the sunrise, which portrays the return of Christ (Malachi 4:2). Did you ever stop to think that at every moment of every day, the sun is rising somewhere on this earth in declaration of the coming of the King?

Obviously, then, allegory doesn’t have to be fiction—something real can portray something else that’s equally real but on a different plane.

What does all this have to do with the Gateway to Gannah series? Gannah is pure fiction: the planet, its people, and all the events described exist only in the imagination. These fictitious things do, however, illustrate actual traits and motives of human nature as well as scriptural realities: the universal power and authority of God (portrayed in the first book, The Story in the Stars), the reliability of the scriptures above human tradition or personal experience (Words in the Wind), and the fact that our Savior’s self-sacrifice demands a response on our part (Ransom in the Rock).

So is the Gateway to Gannah an allegory? I’m not sure. Maybe you should read it and decide for yourself.

Yvonne Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world.

And The Borrowed Book will give you a chance to win a free copy of Book 1 in the series this Friday. See ya then!

The Story in the Stars was a Carol Award finalist in 2012. The adventure continues with Words in the Wind and Ransom in the Rock and will conclude with The Last Toqeph, scheduled for release in the fall of 2014.

Yvonne lives in Western Maryland with her husband of almost forty years and shares the occasional wise word on her personal site, YsWords. She’s been with The Borrowed Book blog for a year or two now and has coordinated Novel Rocket’s Launch Pad Contest for unpublished novelists since the beginning of time. (Or at least, since the contest’s inception.) You may connect with her on Twitter or FacebookOh, yeah: she also does freelance editing. 

Winners!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Good morning, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner is: 
 
Pat (patucker54 at aol dot com) - Sincerely Yours by Amanda Cabot.
 
Congratulations, Pat! Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 44

Discouragement. We’ve all felt it.

Deep, enervating, paralyzing. Sliding, sometimes, into despair.

As I’ve worked my way through the Psalms, a handful of themes surface time after time. Fear, depression, anger, and yes, discouragement and despair. Resignation, then surrender to the Lord, and a renewed surge of hope. Elation when we’ve seen Him come through for us.

Kind of like life, yes?

I see so many, lately, suffering under an onslaught of discouragement. We fragile humans are so prone to it. Always have been …

Psalm 44 (NKJV) … To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.

We have heard with our ears, O God,
Our fathers have told us,
The deeds You did in their days,
In days of old:
You drove out the nations with Your hand,
But them You planted;
You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out.
For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword,
Nor did their own arm save them;
But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance,
Because You favored them.

We forget: even during the founding of Israel as a nation, the battles weren’t won because of the people’s own strength. So in our own lives. God doesn’t let His children stay long in a position of thinking anything we’ve gained is of ourselves.

You are my King, O God;
Command victories for Jacob.
Through You we will push down our enemies;
Through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us.
For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor shall my sword save me.
But You have saved us from our enemies,
And have put to shame those who hated us.
In God we boast all day long,
And praise Your name forever. Selah

He truly is our God! Though we may be armed with bow and sword—with influence and intellect and talent—we dare not trust in those to win us anything.

But You have cast us off and put us to shame,
And You do not go out with our armies.
10 You make us turn back from the enemy,
And those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves.
11 You have given us up like sheep intended for food,
And have scattered us among the nations.
12 You sell Your people for next to nothing,
And are not enriched by selling them.

Isn’t it so, no matter what the joys and victories we’ve had in the past, that the present distress can make us feel that God really has cast us off, given us up for dead. And then … the discouragement creeps in and lays waste to our souls.

13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors,
A scorn and a derision to those all around us.
14 You make us a byword among the nations,
A shaking of the head among the peoples.
15 My dishonor is continually before me,
And the shame of my face has covered me,
16 Because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles,
Because of the enemy and the avenger.

We’ve seen this in past Psalms, the lament over turns of fortune, the nosedive into trouble and the subsequent temptation to despair. Do we hold fast to our conviction of the goodness of God, and the hope that things can change again for the better? Or will we let go?

17 All this has come upon us;
But we have not forgotten You,
Nor have we dealt falsely with Your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
Nor have our steps departed from Your way;
19 But You have severely broken us in the place of jackals,
And covered us with the shadow of death.

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God,
Or stretched out our hands to a foreign god,
21 Would not God search this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

23 Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord?
Arise! Do not cast us off forever.
24 Why do You hide Your face,
And forget our affliction and our oppression?
25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
Our body clings to the ground.
26 Arise for our help,
And redeem us for Your mercies’ sake.

As Paul says many hundreds of years later, what shall we say to these things? Does God forget us? Will He make us wait forever to see the fruit of our faith and our labor for Him?

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you ... For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

... knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance ... (Hebrews 6:9-12, 10:34b-36a, NKJV)

We have need of endurance. This life is hard. We have the glory of the Lord’s strength to win our battles, but we’ll have all the fury of the enemy leveled at us, in the meantime.

Yet, He does not forget us.

He is our strength.

Hold fast your confidence ... and know that when you can’t hang on any longer, He holds you.

Weekly Drawing ~ Amanda Cabot

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's Fun Friday at The Borrowed Book! This week's prize is available to residents inside the continental US only.

To enter:

Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzles in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying you if you've won. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall and...you guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. Enter all weekend long! Winners will be announced Sunday night at midnight.

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Amanda Cabot and her newest release, Sincerely Yours.

Click to Mix and Solve