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Monday, February 27, 2006

CHECK IT OUT!

I just took a peek at Gina Holmes blogspot and saw that her interview with me is up. Take a look at www.noveljourney.blogspot.com.

Blessings,

Lisa

Sunday, February 26, 2006


WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT REBECCA’S HEART. . .

I’m excited that I’m already receiving feedback from my readers for Rebecca’s Heart. I loved writing Rebecca and Luke’s story and am thrilled to know that many of you are enjoying reading it.

Thanks a million for keeping me up till 2 in the morning--with Rebecca's Heart. LOL. I absolutely love it! It's my favorite over all else you've written.” --Saundra

“I read your book this weekend and couldn't put it down. It was wonderful. I cannot believe the huge progress you have made in your writing. Michaela's Choice was good, but this was terrific. Wow! Great character development especially.” -- Lynne

“Lisa’s new book is AWESOME! I could not put it down & read it all in one setting. She made the characters come so alive I could swear I was in Boston at that time. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!” -- Charlene

If you’ve read Rebecca’s Heart I’d LOVE to hear from you as well. Let me know what you think. Also consider filling in the tear page in the back where you can write your comments about the story and send it to my editor. They take seriously the feedback they receive from the readers, so mailing in the reader survey really does help! Also consider posting a review on Amazon.com or Christianbooks.com. This will help other readers know what you think. Remember, my Heartsong novels won’t be for sale in the bookstores or Amazon until three months after they’ve hit the book club.

For those of you who have enjoyed my Massachusetts series so far with Michaela’s Choice and Rebecca’s Heart, look for book three, Adam’s Bride, due to be released this November!

Blessings!

Lisa

Saturday, February 25, 2006

ICU AND EARTHQUAKES. . .

Sounds weird, I know, but that's been my week. Wednesday afternoon my four year old slid down the ladder of our jungle gym and hit his head. At first we didn't think much about it. There was just a small scratch on his head and it seemed like another typical boy bump. After an hour, though, I realized that something wasn't right. He was lethargic and making no sense when he tried to talk. Jayden's best little friend's father is a doctor, so I called him up to see if he though we should take him into the hospital. While his vitals seemed fine, Jayden was in a daze and making no sense, so the doctor drove Jayden and I to the hospital in Tzaneen. Scott was already in Tzaneen for one of our leadership training classes and met us at the hospital. A cat scan showed a definite concussion, but thankfully no bleeding. They admitted him into ICU so they could monitor him closely. Even though their was no bleeding, the doctor said if his condition began to deteriorate, we lived too far from the hospital and it was better to keep a close eye on him.

The first night was rough. He threw up about five times, pulled his IV out as well as the oxygen mask. I got little sleep that night as I lay next to his restless little body. At one in the morning, the bed started shaking. Half asleep and not knowing what was going on, I wondered if there was an earthquake, but thought that they didn’t have them here. Maybe a truck was rumbling by out side the window, but I didn’t hear a truck. The bed kept shaking and shaking. Finally I went back to sleep. The next morning we all found out that there had been a 7.8 earthquake in Mozambique and we had all felt the aftershocks.

Thursday, Jayden still wasn’t his normal self, so they kept him in ICU. He slept most of the day and was restless, not wanting to eat or play. The doctor insisted on keeping him another night.

Friday morning he woke up about four and wanted to eat and play. For the first time I breathed a sigh of relief. We were making progress. The doctor had him on a liquid diet, so he had Jell-O and juice for breakfast a couple hours later, but Jayden was not happy about this. When we asked him what he wanted, he said anything except Jell-O. He was smiling finally and played with a sticker book that had just come in the mail from his Grammy. At ten, the doctor moved him to the regular ward to see how he would do without the medication. He ate a chicken burger for lunch and that brought big smiles to his face. Finally, at eight Friday night I was able to bring him home. He’s still tired and getting his strength back, but once again I have my baby smiling again.

The whole experience has made me so grateful for God’s blessings. From the doctor who drove Jayden and I to the hospital to his wife who went to check on our other kids. To those who prayed for us and send encouraging messages by email to those who stopped by the hospital to pray. To those who made me eat, brought me food, and kept my kids, to teachers who didn’t gripe at Gabriel for not getting his homework done. To the wonderful doctors and nurses who God used to give Jayden the medical attention he needed.

Our hearts full of thanks!

Lisa

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'M ALWAYS AMAZED. . .

I'm always amazed at the contrast of life here. We left for Johannesburg on Saturday, through the beautiful Limpopo mountains and tropical vegetation. Banana plantations, tea plantations, mango trees, macadamia nuts, and pine forests fill this area. Once we're out of the mountains, we drive through a flatter, more arid place as we go toward Petersburg. The land here is scattered with cactus and miles of small homes.



The city, with its traffic and congestion, does have a few things that kids enjoy like McDonalds and movie theaters. Petersburg is an hour away and the closest place with a real mall, movies, and pizza places. The picture below is a gas station outside of the city. I love the thatched roofs here. Even a lot of the houses have them here, but you have to be careful if you have allergies.






























Another contrast from the big city is the squatter camps we pass along the side of the road. A year ago, this camp had a few dozen shacks. Today, this picture shows only a small part of the hundreds of shacks that line the highway. These high density areas are filled with people who've moved to the city trying to find work but with nowhere else to live then what they can put together themselves.

Cathy asked me in her comments yesterday about the safety of renting a car while she's here. You shouldn't have any problems renting a car, though you will find the prices much higher than in the states. Crime in the big cities is high, but common sense will help you stay out of trouble. When we lived in Joburg, we took extra precautions. I tried to avoid driving alone at night, kept my eyes on my purse at the grocery store, and other things that you'd do in any big city anywhere in the world. I know that all I can do is to be smart and trust God to the rest.

Tomorrow I'll let you in on the latest buzz on my new book, Rebecca's Heart.

Blessings,

Lisa

Tuesday, February 21, 2006





HOME AGAIN. . .


We’re home again after a quick, but good trip to Johannesburg. We left Saturday after Gabriel’s track meet where he ran the relay for his new school. They came in second, losing only to his
old school. He did a great job for his team!

We enjoyed spending time with several friends this weekend over lunch and dinner. Scott preached on Sunday, a very powerful sermon on being a radical Christian. Meaning that being a Christian means that our faith needs to impact every aspect of our lives. It was even a challenge to me.

We returned Monday, but Jayden came down with the flu. Not fun to travel almost five hours with a sick kid, but since I had a doctor’s appointment before we left, we took him in as well and he received a shot for nausea that helped. He seems to have bounced back quickly and is fine tonight.

This week was also the start of monthly Bible classes that will be taught in Tzaneen. Scott was excited to have 18 show up last night for the first class. They will meet the third week of every month for five nights. The classes they teach are to deepen Bible knowledge, so we’re excited for this opportunity.

I took some pictures of our drive this weekend and will post them later this week. Today, I’m adding some interesting photos of some of the plants around our house. I always find them interesting as well as beautiful because what we have here are so different than anything in the states.

Blessings!

Lisa

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A GAME DRIVE. . .

One of my favorite experiences in Africa is going on a game drive. I could literally spend hours studying a heard of elephants, a family of monkeys, or watching the hippos sunbath. I find it an incredible experience. I've already told Scott that one of these days I'm going to spend a week at Kruger National Game park in one of their programs where you can actually work alongside the park's employees in one of their research programs.

In Botswana, we watched a herd of elephant cross the river at sunset in front of us. It was a breathtaking experience. We've been charged by an elephant (not fun) , driven through a herd of hundreds of buffelo (now that's scary), watched a hippo chase a wild dog, and the list could go on and on. Here's a couple pictures I thought you would enjoy.



Blessings,

Lisa

Monday, February 13, 2006


REBECCA’S HEART. . .

Went to the post office today and there was a package for me. My latest book, Rebecca’s Heart! It’s always so exciting to pick up your book for the first time. Many of you read Michaela’s Choice. This is the long awaited book two of my Massachusetts series. I love the cover that depicts so well the setting of the story. The third book, Adam’s Bride will be released in November.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Rebecca's heart is open to love...But she discovers she's about to make the biggest mistake of her life. To avoid such a mistake, she cancels her plans and moves to Boston. There she takes a position as a seamstress in a furniture shop where she hopes to mend her broken heart.

Luke Hutton longs to build ships for a living, but is set to sail one last time, before he can make his dreams come true. He stops by the furniture shop on an errand for his mother and falls at once for the dark-haired beauty who works there.

Can Rebecca and Luke find a way to share the secrets that keep them from true happiness? Will Rebecca trust her heart to God, as well as Luke?

If you would like to buy a copy directly from me, let me know!

Also, can you do me a favor? If you enjoyed Michaela’s Choice or any of my other books, take a few minutes to post your review on Amazon.com and Christianbooks.com. I’ll even throw in a free book (YES FREE!!) to the first two people who post a positive review of one of my books they’ve read and let me know about it. Hey! You can’t beat that!

Blessings,

Lisa

Saturday, February 11, 2006


GOD AND THE LITTLE THINGS. . .

It’s been a bit of a rough week. As you can see, I haven’t posted much at all and when I did I couldn’t get pictures to go through. We made the difficult decision this week to move Gabriel to another school. While we have been extremely impressed with the staff at his current school, there were other issues involved that finally convinced us that moving him to another school would help. So while we hate to have to move him, he will start his new school on Monday. He’s really excited about this new opportunity and is literally counting down the hours until school starts, so we believe that’s a good sign. He already has a number of friends there and they have a great educational program and are strong in sports, something he excels in.

So last night, Scott was teaching about an hour away and while I should have been writing, I was tired and decided to watch TV, something I rarely do these days. The only show I’ve followed the past ten years has been JAG and while I was sad to hear that the show was being cancelled, I really wanted to see the last episode. Things run a bit behind in South Africa, (ok, way behind) and they started showing the last season sometime last fall. Most of it I missed because we were back in the states. I still hoped to see the last episode, but we’ve had a number of things going on Friday nights, so I told myself it wasn’t important and assumed that somewhere along the line I must have missed the ending.

Now, admittedly, a TV show isn’t important in the scope of life, but when you’ve had a rough week and are missing family and On the Border’s fajitas, it’s nice to catch a bit of something from home. Well, last night, as I thumbed through the guide, guess what was showing. The last episode of JAG. It was amazing how a bit of something from home could make me smile after a long and tiring week. God does care about the little things!

The pictures I’ve posted are of Gabe’s first place relay team! Well done Gabe. Mariah’s birthday party. (She and her friends had a blast decorating the cake), and Jayden and Mariah with a couple of friends.

Blessings,

Lisa

Friday, February 10, 2006

RAIN, RAIN, AND MORE RAIN. . .

Well the rain keeps coming. . .and coming. The good thing is the rain keeps the weather cool which is nice in the middle of summer when our days can be excruciatingly hot. Even our pool, a blessing year round here, is about to overflow. For an area that has been hit with heavy drought the past few years, this is wonderful! Everything is green and beautiful from the amount of rains, something we enjoy so much.

Last night Scott went to a local missions meeting with a church who is wanting to start evangelizing to the local farm workers. There is a huge population of unreached people on these farms. Scott will be working with them to strategize as well as training up teams to not only do the initial evangelistic push, but intense follow up as well. This morning, he leaves for Gyani to teach for two days as he continues his discipleship training.

I’ll keep it short today, as my schedule is full (as always it seems) with kids and writing.

Blessings!

Lisa

Monday, February 06, 2006


The heaven's declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

I love this verse! If there’s anything that proves to me God’s existence to me, it’s his handiwork. In our travels, I’ve been blessed to see so much of the incredible world God created and it never falls to convince me of His existence and goodness. This is one of the reasons I feel so blessed to live in northern South Africa. While I could definitely do without the heat, God’s placed us in such a beautiful part of this world. This sub-tropical area is full of palm trees, banana plantations, pine forests, fruit trees--passion fruit, mango, leeches, guava--and mountains that are often covered in a white mist. The night sky is also incredible as we are far from the lights of any cities.



“Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Verses 2-4

How incredible that God, who has sent us to proclaim His good news, has already gone before us!

Have a blessed day!

Lisa

Sunday, February 05, 2006


THEY SAY A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. . .

I'm going to try and add pictures to most of my blog entries hoping that everyone will enjoy this. We are fortunate to live about an hour from Kruger National game park and one of our favorite past times is going on a game drive. There's nothing like driving through a herd of elephant or buffelo, or watching a lion lie in the sun. One of the most exciting things we experienced was a flat tire in the middle of the game park. As we stood beside the truck while the tire was changed, I told the kids that whoever found an animal first would get a prize. Thankfully we didn't see any at that point, but an hour later as we were driving back through the same spot to leave the park we saw a lion going into the bush!

More later!

Lisa

Friday, February 03, 2006


HALF A WORM. . .


Have you ever bit into an apple and found half a worm? That’s kind of like finding a snake in your garden and realizing it’s only the skin. . .and you’re not sure where the snake is.

Shuddering yet? I’m looking across the yard at a two foot long snake skin and wondering if the snake is hiding under my chair. Oh, life is never dull here.

We’ve had a busy few days. The kids started swimming lessons yesterday. Because of the heat, everyone has pools, so it was time for our kids to get water safe. Gabriel is even hoping to join a swim club later this year and start competing. Then last night we had a birthday party for our gardener and introduced him and his family to Sloppy Joes. They were a hit and we had a lot of fun eating cake and celebrating. David and his wife became Christians a few months ago and have become like part of the family.

GOOD NEWS: If you didn’t already know, my latest book comes out this month! While I’m still waiting for my copies of Rebecca’s Heart to arrive, I can’t wait to revisit rural Massachusetts again and read Rebecca and Luke’s story. This is the second in my historical Massachusetts’ series. The books is going to be featured in a Novel Journey Interview this month, so stay tuned for when the interview goes live. There will also be another chance for a free copy, so you won’t want to miss it.

Have a blessed day!

Lisa

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

HOW DO YOU SEE LIFE?

We all see things though different eyes depending on where we live, who we know, or our life experiences. I thought about this today when I ran by the grocery story and found a large bin filled with plastic sacks. Wondering what they were, I pulled out one of the bags and discovered I was holding a sac of dried moponi worms. Yes, these are sun dried caterpillars ready to eat! They are even testing the market with Barbecue- and chutney-flavored mopani worm snacks.

Ok, as much I could never eat one of these, it did strike me that here was something that many southern Africans sees as a traditional part of their diet, yet I would try to avoid them at all cost. (That and a few other things I’m sure.) What amazes me is that despite our difference, God loves us all! What a wonderful thought.

On a different subject, Ronie has won a copy of Rebecca’s Heart from my end of January contest. Congratulations, Ronie! Be sure and stop by often for more chances to win a free book.

Blessings,

Lisa