Friday, March 29, 2013

The Master's Weave--By Linda Kozar

Today is a day to set aside our regular tasks, a day to remember and meditate upon what the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished for all of mankind on a simple wooden cross. . .

The Master's Weave

"The tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece"--John 19:23

As Jesus hung on the cross, Roman soldiers gambled for His clothing. Nothing that belonged to Him was of any particular value, but they recognized the superior crafting of His tunic, woven in one piece from the top down. Perhaps His loving mother, Mary wove it for Him, thread by thread at her own loom.

But while the soldiers gambled for His tunic, they missed the real treasure--Jesus!

God weaves all believers together with Him in heaven and on earth. His church is one seamless body. When we become believers, we are woven into that seamless body of Christ. And just as a continuous thread wove through Christ's tunic, the blood of Christ is woven throughout history from beginning to end, without break or separation. This is the atonement, which covers all sin, removes all barriers, and returns what was lost. We are God's children, His precious ones. We are His family.

If you are a believer, you've come home. If not, then listen. God is calling out to you, His lost child. He longs for you. He loves you so!

Beatitude Check

There was no real treasure for those soldiers gambling on the ground at the foot of the cross. They were looking in the wrong direction. If only they had looked up, they would have seen the Son of God! 

An excerpt from 

Babes With A Beatitude--Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith 
(January 27th Devotion)

Available in bookstores and online

"And it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, 'Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.' He breathed His last.
Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying 'Certainly this was a righteous Man!' And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching these things."Luke 23: 44-49 (NKJ)

Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/Ebook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/Ebook, Creative Woman Mysteries) and her nonfiction title, Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, released in 2013 (Indie-Published). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.

Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency

Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.

Linda Kozar is the author of six books. Her latest, titled “Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation,” is a collection of stories from people who experienced the good, the bad and the ugly when they moved.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chasing Lady Midnight - Chapter 10

Chapter 10 – The Pizza Party Of DOOM! (Not Really)

So I arrived at my parents’ house at the designated time bearing large quantities of pizza and soda pop. So much so, that I entered through the side door which leads into the kitchen so my Dad could help me carry everything inside.
Hey, when super young adults are down in the mouth they can eat a lot of junk food.
I kissed my mother and asked, “So how are they?”
She gave a shake of her head and answered, “That is one bunch of very unhappy kids right now.”
As my Dad brought in the last of the sodas he observed, “That’s what happens when you get your…backside handed to you. It happens to the best of us.”
“But it’s hard to take when you get the blame when it wasn’t your fault,” Mom said hotly.
Tracker should be very glad he is not here right now. I did mention how my Mom gets when anyone goes after her kids right?
“Now sweetie…”
“Don’t sweetie me. I haven’t been so mad since…”
My Dad gave her a wide eyed look of warning. I knew what it was about and wished I could just tell them I already knew about the controversy of a super powered couple raising a normal child thing. But it’s kind of an awkward subject to bring up with your parents.
So I pretended nothing was going on and announced, “I’ll tell them the food’s here that should cheer Aaron up at least.”
“Now he’s a growing boy,” my mother admonished.
“I hope not,” Dad laughed, “He has to duck to get through the doorways as it is.”
Leaving behind my laughing parents I entered the family room where I saw the members of The Protection Platoon in their civilian clothes of jeans and sweatshirts watching yet another replay of the battle on the news. I’d stopped watching it myself, mostly because I was sick of hearing The Squad putting the blame on what they termed as their overeager young members and the UNA who wouldn’t identify herself.
Oh well, blame loves company.
I leaned against the doorway and asked, “Are you guys going to rehash this thing all night? What’s done is done. Move on.”
The three looked back at me with varying expressions. Isabel gave a half-hearted smile. Ballistic Attack looked like a sorrowful overgrown Teddy Bear. Max, on the other hand, just gave me a sour look as he is of the opinion that a “normal” wasn’t entitled to an opinion of superhero matters. I know this because he’s told me so, often.
Isabel gave a sigh and said, “We’re just trying to figure out what we did wrong.”
“I don’t know that you did anything wrong,” I said cautiously trying not to give anything away, “You didn’t know what she could do and she took advantage of it.”
“But how did she know what we could do?” Max muttered staring at the television screen again.
“You’re kidding right?” I asked unable to hide the sarcasm if I even attempted to do so, “The Squad has had the three of you on TV specials showing everything you can do since you started in their special school for gifted superheroes. It would be surprising if she didn’t know what you could do.”
Ballistic Attack, aka Aaron Stevens, gave me a look then nodded saying, “That’s a good thought.” “I have them every now and then.”
“It is a good thought, how did you think of that?” Maximillian Flores asked as if were an unusual thing because, of course, normals do not have a brain in their heads.
I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes. I don’t know how Max and I used to be friends. Of course, that was before he started going to The Squad School and was taught that normal people were inferior. They deny that do that, but Max has never been shy about letting me know about the advanced learning he receives.
Usually I ignore his stupid remarks, but this time I decide to take him on.
“I live in the real world Max, not the rarified Ivory Tower you all do. “
“Meaning?” he prompted.
“Meaning we normal people may know some things that you don’t because we don’t believe everything we are told.”
“Careful Annie,” Aaron said with a smile, “You’re beginning to sound like blogger lady our UNA rescued today. Even Max was scared of her.”
“I was not scared of her,” his leader objected.
“Which is why she struck you into silence?”
“I think she has a point,” Isabel said unexpectedly.
We all looked at her in astonishment because Isabel is definitely not the rock the boat type.She's more the point me in the direction you want me to go and I'll do it type.
Hoping desperately that Kari is wrong about my parents’ house possibly being bugged, I ask, “What do you mean Isabel?”
Isabel, perhaps still stinging from the injustices that had been thrown her way today answered, “I just thought being a superhero meant I was going to be helping people.”
Again everyone was silent. Even I had never suspected that Isabel was discontented with her lot in life, at least not yet.
“We help people,” Max objected.
“I don’t mean babysitting politicians or photo ops with celebrities,” my sister protested, “I mean…like the police, Protect and Serve. How come they do it and we don’t?”
“That’s their job, baby girl,” Aaron offered, but he was sounding a little uncertain himself.
“Well it should be our job too. This isn’t what I thought superheroes did,” Isabel sighed.
“What did you think we would do?” Max asked, but not condescending like he usually did, he just sounded…interested like the thought had never occurred to him before.
“Well…like her,” she said pointing to the TV Screen which was showing a close up picture of me working the shadows, “I mean I know we don’t know who she is, and that’s a bad thing, but she saved a total stranger from guys with guns without even thinking about it. That’s what superheroes should do.”
Of course she was right. I was never so proud, my baby sister the revolutionary. So since they were thinking at the moment, and if The Squad was listening we were all in trouble anyway, or at least they were, I decided to throw some fuel on the fire.
“Why is it a bad thing not to know who she is?” I asked.
The three junior superheroes looked at me like I had said we should march on The Squad’s Headquarters, The Mighty Superhero Dome of Justice. I’m not kidding that’s what they call it.
I told you these guys need to hire a writer.
Max, now recovering his superior attitude, answered, “Ann you just can’t have undocumented super beings running around all over the country.”
“Why not? This is a free country, at least the last time I checked.”
I knew the answer to all of these why questions of course. Because The Squad said so, what I was trying to get them to at least consider was that that was a pretty lousy answer.
Deciding to take my small victory I stood up straight and said, “Anyway enough with the post mortem I’m sure you’ll all hear enough about this in the upcoming days. Turn that thing off and come into the kitchen where’s there’s soda and pizza.”
Even Max perked up at that announcement.
A few minutes later we were all sitting around the kitchen table eating pizza and drinking sodas. Mom and Dad had taken theirs out into the family room. I knew it was a precautionary move just so Mom didn’t go for someone’s throat if they dared to criticize Isabel. Of course, she hadn’t been there when the guys had stood up to Tracker when he had done just that. I would have to make sure she saw that footage.
Of course we ended up back on the subject of the UNA. That’s the problem with superheroes they don’t have anything else to talk about except superhero stuff because they are so sheltered and their life experience is so narrow.
“I have to admit,” Max was saying, “Whoever she is, her powers are impressive. You should have seen your face Isabel when she pulled you down that manhole Isabel.”
“Oh don’t remind me, you have no idea how bad that smelled. Then I hit myself with my own Starblast and it hurt.”
“I bet it did,” I said meaningfully.
“You never forget anything do you?” she retorted.
“Isabel your blasts are kind of hard to forget. Did you notice Tracker’s expression when she picked him up?”
Everyone laughed, except Max but he did smile.
After a few seconds I finally decided to ask a question that had been bothering me.
“Isabel what I don’t understand is why you attacked her in the first place, especially from behind. Not sporting and it invites criticism, especially after she just saved somebody. Why not just ask who are you and what are your intentions?”
“It wasn’t my idea,” Isabel said not at all defensive because, well I’m her sister I’m supposed to second guess her, “Tracker said to do that, and if it didn’t work just get her to where we all could take her into custody. Also I didn’t see her save that woman. She was bending towards her, but I didn’t know what had happened until I saw it on the news. It may sound lame, but I just thought Tracker knew what he was doing.”
“Yeah,” Aaron said in between bites of pizza, “He is supposed to be the tactical genius. All he accomplished was to make us look incompetent and the UNA to look like a victim.”
Was it my imagination or did easy going Aaron actually sound disgruntled?
“Well whoever she is,” Max said wiping his mouth, “She is not going to be popular for long. I mean the media always spins everything The Squad’s way, and I doubt that the UNA will come forward to give an interview to any of them to tell her side. They’d just make her look bad.”
I thought about that. The Squad did always come out on top with the mainstream media. But not all of the media.
No, that was a crazy idea. Wasn’t it?
Maybe I would talk it over with Ted and Kari and see what they thought about my crazy idea.
I mean after all, she does owe me.


Mystery and adventure writer C.L. Ragsdale is the author of The Reboot Files a Christian Cozy Mystery Series, and a superhero story called Chasing Lady Midnight. A California native, she loves to "surf" the web to research plot details for her fun, quirky stories. She has a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced her writing style. Working in various fields as a secretary has allowed her to both master her writing skills and acquire valuable technical knowledge which she uses liberally in her plots. A big secret from her past, which is not so secret anymore, is that she used to a major comic book geek. Nowadays she loves to crochet, but she is still a big fan of the old Scooby Doo cartoons.
Cindy posts on her own blog called Short Mysteries and Tall Tales at as well as The Cozy Mystery Magazine on
Her Facebook Authors Page is located at  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream/Mousse

I assure you there are no tomatoes or Kiwi in this recipe, it just happened to be what was on my counter last night when I whipped up this decadent treat.

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 ou. unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
1 can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight so that the solid separates from the liquid.

Melt chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate. Add sugar and stir until sugar begins to dissolve. 

Remove coconut cream from refrigerator, turn upside down in a fluid motion, and open can. Pour off liquid. Remove solid to mixing bowl and stir in chocolate. Whip until combined. Eat! OR, freeze it to the consistency of ice cream and use as a special, indulgent treat!

To learn more about S. Dionne Moore, her cozy mysteries or historical romances, visit her at:
Twitter @sdionnemoore

Friday, March 22, 2013

Time for the Drawing! Drum Roll Please...

Last Friday I bared my soul asking for penance by giving away two books. 
Thank you for helping me feel better, dear readers! 

And the winners are...Cindy A.! Congratulations, Cindy! You win a copy of Book 3 in the Jillian Bradley Mysteries - "FROM THE CLUTCHES OF EVIL."

And Michelle Fidler! Congratulations, Michelle! You win a copy of Book 5 in the Jillian Bradley Mysteries - "PACIFIC BEACH."

Your books are on their way! Have a great weekend, everyone. I'll be spending mine on a getaway with my hubby to the River Walk in San Antonio.

See you in my books! 
 ~Nancy Jill 
Mystery novelist Nancy Jill Thames began publishing Christian fiction in 2010. The author of six books in the Jillian Bradley series, she is an award winning blogger and is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller’s List, this in addition to winning first place for her Chocolate Cream Pie.

When she isn’t plotting her next book, she spends time with her six grandchildren in two states, tags along with her husband on business trips, and plays classical piano for her own personal enjoyment. She is an active member of the Leander Writers Guild and supports the Central Texas SPCA with a portion of her book sales.

Nancy Jill is busy working on book 7 "The Ruby of Siam" a mystery taking place in London, England. To learn more about the author and check out her books, please visit her blog at  

To view and purchase her books on this site, please visit the Cozy Book Store.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chapter 9 - Chasing Lady Midnight

Chapter 9 – I Discover I Have A Disturbing Shadow

Because Kari wanted to catch me up on her observations, we decided to go over the footage at my house since I needed to get home in case someone decided to drop by. You see no one had seen me leave my house and my neighborhood, including my super family and I’m sure The Squad, notices EVERYTHING!
So I used the shadows to reenter my house, quickly changed out of my costume and into some comfortable sweats. Also I made sure my hair and eyes were the right color. As I entered my living room, which doubles as my studio as that is where the light is the best, I stopped and looked at my latest canvas. I make my living as an illustrator, but I still go to art school as well, and right now I'm experimenting with oils and portraits.
My latest project was a picture of my family in their superhero identities. Dad on his motorcycle and Mom and Isabel flying in pursuit some evildoer as a team, as it should be but which The Squad does not allow. I almost wished I could put myself in the canvas as well so we could be in the family business together if only in my imagination.
Yeah, why don’t I just take out an ad on the internet? It just stinks that even with superpowers I still end up being an outsider, and still end up being better off than my family.
Just then my doorbell rang and I answered it to see Kari on my doorstep. She's holding a salad bowl which was all very usual as she comes over all the time so we can share lunch. We outsiders got to stick together.
“Hey kiddo,” she said, obviously for the benefit of anyone who may be watching, and you could bet they were watching even if they couldn’t see inside, “You got the chicken ready?”
“Sure Kari,” I played along, “Your favorite, lemon chicken.”
“Yum," she said walking inside, "I can’t make it at home because Teddy can’t stand lemons…”
As the door closed behind her she asked, “Do you really have lemon chicken?”
“Sure, I picked it up from the deli last night. Just have to heat it up.”
“Kiddo you are favorite mentee.”
“I am you’re only mentee.”
“Beside the point. You ready for your debriefing?”
No, I thought to myself, and asked, “Can we eat first? Battling family and friends always gives me an appetite.”
We started towards the kitchen, but Kari came over to the canvas and noted, “This is good. Are you going to give it to your parents?”
“No I don’t think Mom and Dad would like it. The Squad has kind of taken all of the fun out of being a superhero for them. I’ll hang it on the wall when I’m done.”
“Ted loved the one you did of me and him as our younger alter egos. Dang we would have made cute couple back in the day. ”
“You are a cute couple now, and weren’t you two on opposite sides and hating each at the time?”
“Well there was that,” she admitted cheerfully.
“The Squad would hate both of those pictures. I'm sure they would feel it would justify their position of me being a security risk somehow.”
“They think everyone is a security risk," she said as we began to walk towards the kitchen, "Paranoia is the lot tyrants. You making steady money now from that publishing company?”
“Actually yes, they’re small so they desperately need illustrators. I’m not getting rich, but it does pay the bills, and makes my time more flexible which will come in handy.”
“You’re lucky. In my day it was almost impossible to hold down a job and be a superhero. I mean how can you have a day job and save the world? One of the reasons The Squad started sharing resources. That was a mistake," she said with a shake of her head as she placed the salad bowl on the kitchen table.
I took out the chicken and began to heat it up in the microwave and pointed out, “Only because the new management took everything over.”
“Yeah, but we made it easy for them.”
We quickly put our lunch together and sat down to healthy meal making small talk. Still, something made me suspect that I was going to need an extra-large hot fudge sundae once my debriefing was over.
After we cleaned up I realized that I could not put it off any longer so I asked, “What did I do that was new and disturbing?”
“Several things,” Kari answered taking out her laptop computer from her courier bag, “First off, you have shields.”
“I kind of figured that Kari when The Platoon couldn’t blast or hit me.”
“But it’s what your shield is that’s interesting. Take a look.”
She brought up a site on the internet and brought up a video which showed me ducking into the alcove or whatever. Then the camera moved to where it could see me full on. How do these guys get these pictures anyway?
Just as Protostar blasted me my shadow grew up behind me and came over me like a huge dome.
It took me a minute to digest this bit of news before I said, “That is creepy.”
Kari objected, “No it isn’t it's cool, but there’s more to it. Did you notice your shadow when you were running just before this?”
“No, I was kind of trying not to get blasted again.”
Kari then went back in the footage which showed me running and Protostar aiming her shots.
“What?” I asked, “She aimed wide to keep me going forward into an ambush, I knew that.”
Kari played it back and ran it slower saying, “It took me a minute to see it too. Watch your shadow.”
I did as she advised, but again it took a few seconds before I saw my shadow change its position independently to slowly climb up the wall and turn its head, my head I guess, to look up at Protostar.
Okay, I was freaked out before. Now I am REALLY freaked out!
“What the…”
“Calm down.”
“What do you mean calm down?" I demanded, "My shadow is possessed!”
“No it isn’t,” she assured me.
“Kari, it moved all by itself! That's possessed!”
“No, we do need to test it, but I’m pretty sure you were in control of it on a subconscious level.”
“You’re pretty sure?’
“That's what you get for coming late to party kiddo. It’s like everything else you’ve done. Right now it seems like you’re not in control, but that's because your powers are coming out on a subconscious level as needed."
I sighed and put my head in my hands asking, "Am I ever going to be in control on a conscious level?"
"Sure," she answered, "Eventually, you just need practice. Like when you move in the shadows. You control that pretty well now."
"Pretty well," I said in disgust.
"Quit being so impatient, it takes time to master this stuff, and you got a late start. By the way, did you feel anything unusual when your sister was chasing you?”
I looked up at her and asked, “What? Besides getting over just being blasted you mean?”
“You keep saying that. When did she blast you?” she asked.
“You need to look at the bank recordings just after I rescued the hostage. That’s when she hit me from behind and I started running. I was too rattled to try and escape through the shadows. I still have to concentrate on that.”
“Remember Annie, patience. Okay so Protostar blasted you, and you started running. Did you feel anything unusual?”
I could have told her it all felt unusual, but I decided to answer her question instead.
“Well kind of. I had this weird…I don’t know, but it was like I could see what she was doing. Oh my gosh, do you mean I have eyes in the back of my head?”
I almost reached behind to feel back there, but Kari took my hands in hers and assured me, “No eyes, just a shadow that apparently works like eyes in the back of your head.”
“Kari, this is creeping me out.”
“Hey you think you got it bad? Try hearing voices in your head all of the time.”
That did sound worse.
“Well mostly I tune them out, but when I was younger it was a real pain. You wouldn’t believe how much noise goes on in people’s noggins.”
Just then my cell phone rang and I checked the display. To my surprise it was my mother. A surprise because I had just been at her house the day before.
"Hi Mom," I answered.
“Hi sweetie how are you doing?” she asked cheerfully.Good old Mom, not even slavery gets her down.
“I’m fine Mom, but are you okay?” I asked.
“Why wouldn’t I be okay?” she countered.
“Well I was just over there yesterday, and you usually don’t call the next day to see how I am.”
Fortunately, my mother is honest to a fault.
“Well, that is a point,” she admitted, “Okay, Annie I was wondering if you are available tonight?”
“Tonight? Well yes I guess. Why?"
Mom explained, “Isabel and her friends are coming over and I thought it might be nice if you came by and kept them company. They had a hard day and sort of need cheering up.”
I just bet they do, I thought.
“Sure Mom, what time do you want me?”
“Well they should be here around six. Oh and if you could bring over pizza and some sodas. You just place the order and I’ll reimburse you.”
You thought I was kidding about that pizza and soda thing didn’t you?
“Mom I can buy the pizza.”
“Dear you need your money for other things. I’ll handle it,” she insisted in her best MOM voice.
I hear that voice and I still get get intimidated. What is it about Moms that can make you feel like you're five again? Anyway we end the call and I find Kari looking at me with interest.
“What’s up?” Kari asked.
“Mom wants me to come over and cheer up Isabel and her boys.”
“Poor kids probably got raked over the coals,” Kari theorized, “Must hurt when it's not your fault and you don't know what you've gotten yourself into yet. I suggest you keep your ears open, you might be able to pick up some information on The Squad's plans.”
“Kari I can’t spy on my sister and her friends,” I object.
“Who’s asking you to spy? Just make conversation. But watch yourself, you never know who’s listening.”
I am immediately appalled at the thought. I know The Squad keeps my parents under super surveillance but they wouldn't...Would they?
“Oh you don’t really think so do you?”
She gave a shrug and answered, “I hope not, but I wouldn't put anything past them, even bugging your parents' bedroom. Go, eat pizza, and snoop. In other words be a big sister.”


Mystery and adventure writer C.L. Ragsdale is the author of The Reboot Files a Christian Cozy Mystery Series, and a superhero story called Chasing Lady Midnight. A California native, she loves to "surf" the web to research plot details for her fun, quirky stories. She has a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced her writing style. Working in various fields as a secretary has allowed her to both master her writing skills and acquire valuable technical knowledge which she uses liberally in her plots. A big secret from her past, which is not so secret anymore, is that she used to a major comic book geek. Nowadays she loves to crochet, but she is still a big fan of the old Scooby Doo cartoons.
Cindy posts on her own blog called Short Mysteries and Tall Tales at as well as The Cozy Mystery Magazine on
Her Facebook Authors Page is located at

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recipe: Home Made Tater Tots

Tater Tots3 cups cold mashed potatoes (skin on is fine)

1/2 cup flour

2 eggs

1 T chives

2 T bacon bits

1/3 cup cheddar cheese

Salt and Pepper or Season Salt

oil, for frying

3 cups Panko

1 1/2 cups Cracker Crumbs or flour

Mash cold potatoes until crumbly, add in chives, bacon and cheddar cheese and seasonings. Taste to see if seasonings are at the right level. Stir in flour and eggs. Mix well. Combine Panko and cracker crumbs. I used a cookie dough scoop to spoon out the mashed potato mixture into the panko crumbs. Roll in crumb mixture, patting lightly to get the crumbs to better adhere.

Heat oil. Fry in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

To learn more about S. Dionne Moore, her cozy mysteries or historical romances, visit her at:
Twitter @sdionnemoore