Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year

Hi Friends,

Just wanted to wish you all a Happy, Happy New Year! May this coming year be one in which you discover God's love for you in new and amazing ways. May His presence guide you and comfort you. May you grow in wisdom, increase in gratefulness, and know Jesus in deeper ways.

And along those lines, I offer you a prayer poem for the New Year:

The Moth
by Marlo Schalesky

As a moth is drawn to light,
So am I drawn to You, my God.
Though the darkness presses in around me,
And my wings have wearied in the night,
Though I beat against unrelenting glass,
Still my heart longs for Your light.
I will keep flying, fluttering, straining
To be closer, closer, closer yet
To You, my desire, my life, my love,
Closer to Jesus, my Light.

Blessings and Wonder to you, my friends!
Marlo

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Memories of Christmastime

Hi Friends!

Wishing you a wonder-filled and beautiful Christmas this year . . . one that you will remember for years to come.

Memory, I've found, is a powerful thing. We hear a song from our high school days and we’re transported to sweaty school dances and blasting the radio in our first car. The smell of brownies baking takes us back to pigtails and ponies. We drive by the house we lived in as a kid and remember the swingset in the backyard and how that rotten kid from next door blew spitwads through the hole in the fence.

Ever gotten sick on a type of food? You’ll never want to have that again. And don’t even think about naming your child after that whiny little brat that sat behind you in the fourth grade, even if your spouse loves that name.

Memory. It’s why we treasure photos, display mementos, keep in touch with people from our past. It’s why God set up festivals for the ancient Israelites and told them to erect memorials at significant places in their history.

Memory. It’s why the sight of a stuffed stocking takes me back to those early mornings in my childhood when my brother and I would wake up before dawn, run to the fireplace, get our stockings, and race back to my parents’ bed. Mom was always ready. Dad pretended to complain. And together, with lots of giggling and the thrill of anticipation, we’d pull out the gifts from our stockings one by one. Simple things, boring really. Candy. A toothbrush. Some silly plastic toy. Things that would be used up or forgotten in just a few short weeks. And yet, opening stockings is my favorite Christmas memory from childhood.

Why? I think it’s because good memories are not necessarily made from the “big stuff.” Rather, they’re fashioned out of warmth and happiness and times together. They’re woven with laughter, colored with simple, plain joy. They come from times when you experience love.

So, this year, I’m thinking about the memories I’m making now, for my kids, and for myself. I don’t want those memories to be ones of a Mom who’s running around with too much to do and too little time to do it. I don’t want them to be of hustle, bustle, shopping, wrapping, cooking, cards, and gifts thrown under the tree. I don’t even want them to be of the cool big-play-horse sets that my twins will unwrap on Christmas morning. Or the cheap baby "piano" for my youngest (who just turned one), or the horse "paint-by-number" sets for the older girls.

Because the toys will break, get old, get lost, or they’ll outgrow them. But they won’t outgrow the happy memories of family times together. The memories of decorating Christmas cookies with laughter and joking – those won’t get old. The times we make a gingerbread house together, or sit down and watch the Grinch – those won’t break. The simple things make the best memories. Times when we’re together as a family, having fun, enjoying the traditions we’re building together.

So, that’s my goal this Christmas, to weave memories of peace, love, togetherness, because that’s the best gift I can think of to celebrate Jesus’ birth -- Memories that bring a smile to the face of children . . . and to the face of the King.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Christmas - From My Home to Yours

Hi Friends,

Merry Christmas! Below is a holiday home tour Christmas greeting I recorded just for you. Please click and enjoy a glimpse of my all-decorated-for-Christmas log home, and a greeting from my kids. Then see the note beneath for more holiday home greetings from other authors!

video

If you want to see holiday home greetings from more Christian authors, just click on the link below. I'm linking to author Amy Wallace at:

http://peek-a-booicu.blogspot.com/2009/12/noel-with-novelists_15.html

So, keep on clickin' to see Amy's greeting and get the link for the next author in the circle. Enjoy, and a very Merry Christmas to you!

:-) Marlo

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Her Patchwork Family by Lyn Cote


Hi Friends,

Here's the new novel I have to tell you about today. It's Her Patchwork Family, a historical romance by Lyn Cote. It's the 2nd in Gabriel Sisters series, which is described as: "In the wake of the Civil War, three women combat injustice and find true love."
Here's a bit more about it:

Christmas is for Families…

And Felicity Gabriel intends to build a family right away! When she inherits a mansion, she decides to turn it into a home for orphans.

But her first charges test her resolve. One child is a thief, suspicious of her kindness. The other is the local judge's traumatized daughter. Broken by war, Judge Tyrone Hawkins is devastated when his little girl runs from him to Felicity. But Felicity's courage despite the town's scorn for her orphanage and her caring way with his daughter restore his lost faith. Now he wonders if they all can find the family they seek…just in time for Christmas.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Bulb Blues

Hi Friends,

Decorating for Christmas with a one-year-old is quite an adventure. I was reminded of that again as we're planning to decorate this weekend, right after Jayden turns one on Thursday. That should be an experience!

But, since I'm a writer, no experience is wasted. I know because Bethany was a year old at Christmastime too. Below is what I gleaned from that experience, and what I'm reminding myself of this year as we unpack the Christmas bulbs.

Here's how it happened all those years ago:

My one-year-old daughter stood on her tiptoes and reached for a glass bulb halfway up the Christmas tree. Her fingers wiggled as she struggled to grab the bright red orb.

I leaned back on the couch and shook my head. The tree looked silly this year, with the lights and bulbs reaching only partially down the branches. Everything glass I had carefully hung out of the reach of tiny hands. Other decorations were placed differently this year as well. The ceramic old-fashioned Santa was now on top of the bookcase. The green candles sat high on a shelf. And the coffee table, usually decorated with my Precious Moments nativity, was completely bare. Instead the Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, and the wise men crowded on top of the television on some cotton “snow.”

But none of those things interested Bethany now. All that mattered was to get her hands on that beautiful, shiny ball that hung just beyond her fingertips. With a grunt she reached higher, then toppled backward.

“Waaaaa!” came her frustrated cry. She pointed to the bulb, looked at me, then let out another indignant shriek.

“No, Bethany, you can’t have that,” I explained.

Her lower lip trembled. Great tears welled in her eyes and tumbled down her cheeks.

She pointed at the bulb again. “Ma-ma-ma-ma-maaaa…” she yelled.

“No,” I repeated. “It’s not for you.”

She pushed herself to a standing position, stomped her feet, and cried all the louder.

I handed her a stuffed reindeer.

She promptly threw it on the floor.

I sighed, picked her up, and took her to her crib. A few minutes there and she’d remember how to be a good girl and take “no” for an answer.

I returned to the family room and glanced at the offending bulb. It really was beautiful, with swirls of deep red and a two silver stripes made of glitter. I removed it from the branch and held it in my hand. In a few years, Bethany would not only be able to touch this bulb, but she’d probably be helping me to place it on the tree. But for now she wasn’t ready. I’d heard stories of babies breaking ornaments and putting the shards in their mouths. Just the thought made me shiver. Bethany, however, didn’t understand that she wasn’t old enough to be trusted with a glass bulb. To her, it was something good, something desirable. So, why would I not allow her to have it?

I turned the bulb over and place it on the back of the tree, even further out of Bethany’s reach. Then, I went to get her from her crib. As I did, I realized my daughter’s actions weren’t so different from my own. I, too, sometimes stomped my feet and cried when God didn’t give me the good things that I was hoping for.

As I put Bethany on the floor to play with the stuffed reindeer, I wondered if God was also saying to me, “You’re not ready yet. Wait.” What if He was simply letting me “grow up” a bit before he gave me the good things that I wanted? If so, I needed to focus on growing in him, and trusting him to know what’s best for me in this particular place in my life.

For me, like Bethany, that’s been a difficult thing to do. It’s hard to trust. But God says to me, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) And so, when those good things I want are just out of reach, I have to remind myself, sometimes it’s right to wait. Sometimes, I may just need to grow up.

Treasured/God Gave Us Love/ God Gave Us Christmas


Hi Friends,
I have three more books to tell you about today. The first two are Children's picture books by Lisa Tawn Bergren: God Gave Us Christmas and God Gave Us Love.

These are sweet, easy to read stories that make great read-before-bed stories. I'm looking forward to giving my copies to the twins for Christmas. They'll love them. I highly recommend these two books great read-aloud stories that underscore God's love. (P.S. God Gave Us Love would be a great gift for a grandchild!)

Here's a bit more about them:

In God Gave Us Christmas, as Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear has something on her mind: “Who invented Christmas?” she asks. “Is God more important than Santa?” Her questions reflect the confusion of so many children during the holiday season. And this heartwarming story takes them on a wonderful journey of discovery—right to the heart of Christmas. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns that God loves her and everyone— polar bear, moose, or human—so much that he gave us Jesus, the very best gift of all.

In God Gave Us Love,
Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, and the young polar bear begins to ask questions like why must we love others . . . even the seemingly unlovable? Why is it easier to love those we like? Where does love come from? And why does God love her so much? Grampa Bear patiently addresses each one of Little Cub’s curiosities by explaining the different kinds of love we can share: the love between friends, the love between families, the love between moms and dads, and the love for God. He also assured Little Cub that because of the love God has given her through his Son, there’s nothing she can do to make God love her any more or any less. Through Grampa Bear’s encouraging Little Cub to love others with a “God-sized love,” children will be inspired to love others and to be patient, gentle and kind, so that in every way, they too can demonstrate God’s love.


The third book is Treasured by Leigh McLeroy. This one would also be a great grift, especially for anyone you know who's a collector. Here's more about it:

In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy considers tangible reminders of God’s active presence and guides readers in discovering evidence in their own lives of his attentive love.

“The idea for the book came from a cigar box filled with odds and ends of my grandfather’s life that arrived a few months after his death. Sifting through the objects in the box, I experienced him in a fresh new way. This made me wonder what treasures might be tucked away in Scripture that could frame God for me in an equally intimate, tangible way. This process also helped me uncover my own “treasures” of my walk with the Lord: objects that remind me of my history with him and his faithfulness to me,” says McLeroy.

Drawn from the pages of Scripture, the author considers twelve such treasures and personalizes their meaning for readers, such as a green olive branch that offers proof of God’s “new every morning” mercy and a scarlet cord that demonstrates his willingness to adopt “strays” of every sort.

Weaving these treasures together with scenes from her personal history, Leigh McLeroy invites readers to discover God’s heart for them and embrace their unique role in his redemptive story. Treasured offers readers a guided experience of God’s love and character and invites them to consider their own treasures that point to their part in God’s ongoing story.

Author Bios:
Leigh McLeroy
is the author of The Beautiful Ache and The Sacred Ordinary. An avid collector and recorder of everyday moments, words, and wonders, Leigh’s keen eye for God’s presence in ordinary life infuses her writing and living with a deep, insistent joy. A frequent conference and event speaker, the author makes her home in Houston, Texas, and posts often on http://www.leighmcleroy.com/ and http://www.wednesdaywords.com/.

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us Love follows in Lisa’s classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She lives in Colorado, with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

Purchase these books at RandomHouse.com: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074815http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074471http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400071753

These books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Monterey Memories by Gail Gaymer Martin


Hi Friends,
Here's the new book I have to tell you about today. It's MONTEREY MEMORIES - Three novels by Gail Gaymer Martin set in the beautiful Monterey area in the central coast of California. The Barbour anthology includes the novels And Baby Makes Five, Garlic and Roses and Butterfly Trees.

Book Description:
Walk the streets and countryside of Monterey, California, with three couples who are surprised by love in the midst of their busy lives. Chad helps Felisa when she goes into labor in his lettuce field. Juli meets Alan while volunteering at a soup kitchen. Ross takes an overdue vacation at Alissa’s bed-and-breakfast. Can busy people slow down enough to realize the love God has brought into their lives?

Gail's Bio:
Multi-award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin is the author of forty-three novels with three million books in print. Her novels have received seven national awards and was presented the Favorite Heartsong Presents Author Award for 2008. She writes for Steeple Hill, Barbour Publishing, and is the author of Writing the Christian Romance from Writers Digest. Gail is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers and a popular keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences across the U.S. www.gailmartin.com.

Purchase the novel is bookstores everywhere or click this link to purchase on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1602605823?ie=UTF8&tag=novgaigaymar-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1602605823

ISBN-13: 978-1602605824
from Steeple Hill Love Inspired