Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When the Earthquakes Come

Hi Friends,

Quick reminders: If you buy Shades of Morning before July 3, I'll send you my e-booklet "Crazy Kid Moments: 10 Things Kids Taught Me About Life, God, and Living the Adventure" for free! Just email me and let me know you bought the book. I'll start sending out the free e-books later this week. Also, don't forget that you can win a $100 Starbucks gift basket by entering the Books & Brew Cuppa Contest at (http://www.marloschalesky.com/books/fiction/contests/).

Now, in honor of the first chapter of Shades of Morning, when Marnie's Books & Brew is shaken by a real California quake, here's a story and some thoughts that my daughter taught me about facing the earthquakes in life. It happened like this:

The ground shook like newly poured pudding. A picture fell from the wall. Glass splintered. The floor creaked.

I raced into Bethany’s room and leaned over her crib. My hands gripped the wooden sides. Seconds tumbled by. A doll tipped on a shelf beside me. I glanced down at my daughter, wondering how she would handle her first major earthquake. Would she wake up and shriek? Would she cry for Mommy? I held my breath. Two more seconds passed.

Bethany sighed and rolled over. She didn’t wake. She didn’t even whimper. Instead, she slept peacefully on.

Finally, the floor stopped moving, and the walls stopped shaking. Silence descended. I waited, and breathed, and eventually released my white-knuckled grip on the sides of the crib. Then, I bent over and brushed Bethany’s hair back with my fingertips. She cooed in her sleep and stuck her two middle fingers in her mouth.

After a few moments, I picked up Bethany’s doll, gathered up the glass shards on the floor, and made my way back downstairs to where my husband had already turned the television to the news. Soon the reports were rolling in – a 5.2 quake centered just three miles from our house. A few phone lines were down, some homes had lost power, but no major damage was reported.

Bryan glanced at me. “How’s Peanut?

“Didn’t even notice it.” I shrugged my shoulders. “She just kept on sleeping.”

“Through all that?”


That night as I lay in bed waiting for aftershocks, I thought about Bethany’s surprising reaction, or non-reaction, to the earthquake. How could she just keep on sleeping with all that rattling and rolling going on around her? I pondered for several minutes then voiced the question to my husband.

His answer came after a couple seconds. “I dunno. Maybe it was just because it was night-night time. Time to sleep.”

“And she didn’t want to let a little thing like a 5.2 earthquake deter her, huh?”

“Guess not.” Bryan rolled over and ended the conversation.

I lay there and watched the ceiling fan make lazy circles in the dark. Was Bryan right? Was the answer as simple as it was nighttime, and so Bethany slept? If so, I wanted to be like Bethany. I, too, wanted to sleep peacefully when my world shook around me. I wanted to rest in the knowledge that God, my Father, was standing over my crib, protecting me.

I closed my eyes and recalled the serenity on Bethany’s sleeping face. As I did, a verse from the Book of John whispered through my mind. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27, KJV). That was the kind of peace Bethany had exemplified. A peace that defied the logic of the world, a peace that allowed her to rest without fear even as everything shook around her. And that was the kind of peace I wanted, the kind of peace Christ offered me, too.

I know that earthquakes will come (after all, we live in California!). And I also know that there will be day-quakes, times when my day is shaken from the path I’d planned, and life-quakes, times when my life feels like it might fall apart. But when my world shakes around me, I want to continue doing what I should be doing, just like Bethany. Rather than crying, “The sky is falling!” I want to just continue on with God’s will in my life. Jesus tells me, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33, KJV).

So, these days when the ground trembles beneath me, I remember Bethany, and I remember to trust the God who is leaning over my crib. Then, I am not afraid, and I can keep on doing whatever it is that God has asked me to do, even when the quake rates a 5.2.

A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher

Hi Friends,

Here's the book I have to tell you about this week:

by Robin Lee Hatcher
Historical Romance
June 2010

Who says a woman can’t keep a secret?
It's 1918, and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs. But Daphne has a secret.

A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories … except Daphne.

When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honor her gifts, and reconsidering what she wants out of life.

View the book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84yGMuj21Uo

About the Author:

The author of over 60 books, best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She makes her home in Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her family and her high-maintenance Papillon, Poppet. She invites you to drop by her web site and her Facebook Page to learn more about her and her books.

Web site: http://www.robinleehatcher.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-Lee-Hatcher-Novelist/48662178098?ref=mf

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Hi Friends!

YAY YAY YAY! Shades of Morning officially hits the shelves today! I hope you'll all go out and buy a copy and enjoy some fun summer reading. :-)

In fact, I wanted to do something special for those of you who are willing to support me and Shades of Morning by buying a copy of the book in these first couple weeks.

Soooo, I've created a fun e-booklet entitled CRAZY KID MOMENTS: 10 Things Kids Taught Me about Life, God, and Living the Adventure. I think you'll enjoy these ten stories about kids and the lessons we can learn from them. And I hope you find that they enrich your life.

Here's how to get your free e-booklet:

1) Purchase Shades of Morning by July 3rd.
2) Send me a note via email or Facebook that says "I bought Shades of Morning at ..." and include the name of where you purchased the book.
3) Make sure to include your email address in your note.
4) I will email you your free pdf e-booklet with 10 fun Crazy Kid Moments stories. (You will just need Adobe Acrobat to read it.) I'll start emailing out the e-booklet next week.

It's that simple! You can order Shades of Morning through the pop up box on my fiction page (click "Buy this book" to see a variety of purchase options) at http://www.marloschalesky.com/books/fiction/, or you can purchase the book at your local bookstore.

And, don't forget about the fun BOOKS & BREW CUPPA Contest (described in yesterday's post) and available here: http://www.marloschalesky.com/books/fiction/contests/

And finally, here's a little bit from a recent interview about Shades of Morning, just to whet your appetite:

Q: Your books always feature a surprising twist at the end. Without giving the ending away, what can readers expect when they turn the last page?

A: My hope is that readers will catch their breath in wonder and say, “Ooo, that’s cool. That changes everything!” Personally, I love stories with surprise twists that tie into the overall theme of the book. So, for my books, my goal is to have a twist that reveals a deeper meaning in the story. I want to surprise and delight readers not just with something they didn’t see coming, but with something that allows them to see and experience the characters’ journeys in deep ways.

In the end, my real prayer is that when readers catch their breath at the ending, they’ll also catch their breath in wonder at the mystery and beauty of our vivid God. I hope the vision of Him will take their breath away. At its heart, that’s what the surprise twist is all about. That’s what Shades of Morning is all about.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Hi Friends,

SHADES OF MORNING releases tomorrow and we've got an awesome new contest to celebrate the release.

In honor of MARNIE'S BOOKS & BREW, the coffee shop owned by main character, fun and quirky Marnie Wittier, we have the BOOKS & BREW CUPPA CONTEST where you can enter for a chance to win a $100 Starbucks Gift Basket! You know how I love Starbucks!

So, here's the scoop:

THE CONTEST: At the Books & Brew Cafe in Shades of Morning, Book 3 of Marlo Schalesky’s Love Stories with a Twist! series, Marnie serves up perfect cuppas to friends and strangers alike.
Now, to celebrate the release of Shades of Morning, we’re offering one Grand Prize winner the chance to have the perfect cuppa delivered right to their door!

THE PRIZE: The Winner of our Books & Brew Cuppa Contest will receive a huge Starbucks prize package, including: Starbucks Breakfast, BlendStarbucks Caffe Verona, Starbucks House Blend, Starbucks Sumatra Blend, Brown & Haley Cashew Roca, Brown & Haley Almond Roca, Brown & Haley Almond Roca Buttercrunch, White Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies, Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, Marshmallow Hot Chocolate, Tazo Tea Deluxe Assortment, and four awesome Starbucks Mugs!

HOW TO ENTER: To enter, simply fill out the entry form, then tell five (5) or more friends about the contest! The more people you tell, the higher your chances to win, so be sure to share the fun.

We’ll select the winner on Monday, July 5th, and we’ll announce the name on Wednesday, July 7th on the MarloSchalesky.com web site.

Prize Eligibility
Only persons who are at least 18 years of age can enter.
Sweepstakes Starts
June 14, 2010 @ 03:00 am (PDT)
Sweepstakes Ends
July 03, 2010 @ 09:59 pm (PDT)

OR on my Facebook Author Page (see the PROMOTIONS tab):

Her Abundant Joy by Lyn Cote

Hi Friends,

Here's the new book I have to tell you about today (more on my new book later!). Meanwhile, here's the scoop on Lyn Cote's HER ABUNDANT JOY:

Final book in the Texas Star of Destiny series
Her Abundant Joy
Avon Inspire
ISBN # 978-0061373428
Tagline: Can a beautiful young widow find peace in the arms of a Texas Ranger?

In 1846, young widow Mariel Wolfe survived the grueling voyage from Germany to start a new life in the "promised" land of Texas. Forced by circumstances to become a servant, Mariel is now determined to quit a harsh master. But how can a single woman face the frontier on her own?

Texas Ranger Carson Quinn is responsible for leading her party of
German immigrants safely through dangerous Comanche-held territory. As
he watches Mariel hold her head high in spite of everything, he will
stop at nothing to protect her.

But war is brewing: Mexico will not accept the U.S. annexation of the
young Texas Republic without a fight. Honor bound to fight for Texas,
Carson's deepest longing is to lay down his rifle. As Mariel and
Carson fall deeply in love, could her painful past or this new war
destroy all their hopes? Will the tide of history sweep them far from
peace, far from a life together?

Lyn Cote
Her Abundant Joy 6-1-10

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Embracing Interruption - What I Learned from Andy

Hi Friends,

In honor of my newest book, SHADES OF MORNING, releasing next Tuesday (whoo hoo!), I wanted to share with you the story that birthed the book and how Andy taught me the joy of EMBRACING INETERRUPTION. Emmit in Shades of Morning is based on Andy.

It happened like this:

It was an ordinary Sunday morning. I didn’t expect to see anything different, or special, or extraordinary. I figured I’d come to church, sing the songs, shake some hands, listen to the sermon. And that would be that. Nothing unusual.

Or so I thought.

But God had other plans. And so did Andy.

It started off as expected. I walked into church and sat down in my usual seat, halfway back from the front and on the right side of the church platform. Soon, as usual, the singing began. Then some announcements. As usual. Then another song. Just like always. Soon, we came to the third song in the worship set. Something about our God of wonders. I sang quietly, as I do every Sunday, because my husband tells me I can’t carry a tune. I didn’t want to disturb the other worshippers. Everything was going so smoothly. So . . . normally.

The second verse flipped onto the screen in front. Everyone sang just like they were supposed to. Everyone clapped at the right moment, in time with the music. And a few people even swayed at bit in their seats. Just as planned.

Until Andy.

At the third verse, a noise came from the far side of the church. A loud noise. Strange and unexpected - an unplanned interruption in the sweet melody of music. And then, it grew louder. I furrowed my brow. Was that someone singing . . . badly?

I stood on tiptoes and peeked toward the sound.

And there was Andy. His arms were raised. His eyes were closed. And he was singing to his God for all he was worth. Andy, in his middle teens, with blond hair, thick glasses, and small ears. Andy, with Down syndrome, and a grin on his face big enough for the angels to see. Andy, shout-singing with all his might through that radiant smile.

As I watched and listened, I had to smile too. A small smile at first. Then, like Andy’s singing, my smile grew. And grew. And grew. Until the angels could see my smile too. Because at that moment, I knew I was seeing something precious, beautiful, incredible. I was getting a glimpse of something far beyond the ordinary. Something fit for heaven itself.

For a brief instant, the music faltered, the other voices hushed just a bit. And then the guitar strummed again, the congregation’s voices surged, and I knew that some, at least, had seen what I had. They’d witnessed the wonder, beheld the beauty, of a soul in love with his God. An extraordinary moment that interrupted the expected plan.

That image of Andy’s interruption has stayed with me over the months and years since. It reminds me that life’s disruptions and potentially awkward moments are not things to be feared, but are opportunities to glorify God in unexpected ways. They are chances to declare my love for Him, even if I am a bit off-key.

Since witnessing Andy that Sunday, I’ve decided I want to be more like Jesus on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter in Mathew 9. Jesus wasn’t too busy doing the expected to recognize the beauty of an interruption – a woman who had been bleeding for twelve long years. She came up behind him, touched his cloak, and was healed. He need not have stopped and turned. She was already healed. But he did stop. He saw. He spoke. And God was glorified through a love and mercy that went beyond physical healing. All because Jesus knew how to embrace interruption.

Like him, I, too, need to be open to the opportunities in the disruptions of life. I need to see that sometimes the unexpected is a gift of wonder. Sometimes, what seems like a loud, awkward noise is really a beautiful melody in the ears of our God.

Sometimes, I need to be like Andy.

End Game by Roxanne Rustand

Hi Friends,

Here's the new book I have to tell you about this week:

Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense
Roxanne Rustand
Release: June, 2010

Here it starts:

"I'll be seeing you again…."

The attacker's words still ring in Deputy Megan Peters's ears. Her attempt to trap the serial rapist terrorizing Lost Falls failed, but she has succeeded in becoming the target of his attention. Undaunted, Megan moves forward in her investigation, and Scott Anders, the only newcomer in town, draws her suspicion. Is his gentleness just an act? Yet as Megan and Scott grow closer, she finds herself questioning her instincts. What will she believe—her heart or the evidence that seems to be mounting against Scott?

First Page:
"I won't stop until I find this guy, Anna." Seeing the raw pain in her friend's eyes, Megan Peters took a deep breath and forced back the memories threatening to swamp her. "I promise."

"How?" Anna lashed out, pulling her hands away from Megan's. "I didn't see his face. I don't know who it was, and neither did the other woman who got away. And the two dead girls won't be talking."

The bitterness in Anna's voice stung Megan as if she'd been slapped. "No. But the DNA—"

"Hasn't matched anyone in the system so far, and probably never will, right? This guy will never be caught."

"But it does connect the crimes, so when we get him, we'll be able to send him away for good. There'll be a time when someone picks up on a clue. Someone else who escapes."

They both fell silent, Megan's words a chilling re minder of the two women who had been raped and murdered within the past six months. If a group of noisy hikers hadn't come by and scared off her attacker, Anna might have been number three."

Drop by Roxanne's blog (see blog roll on lower right) or her website http://www.roxannerustand.com/

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When God Calls You to Deeper Waters

Hi Friends,

God is up to something. I'm not sure what yet, but I sense Him moving. Most likely, He's calling me to deeper waters because that's what we both love best - diving deeper, deeper, deeper with Him.

But sometimes, that can be a little scary. So, I thought I'd share the following swimming story, for you and for me.

Here it is:

Small arms squeezed Bryan's neck so hard he thought he would choke. A small body shivered and shook against him. Her grip grew tighter. He sighed and waded into shallower water.

Waves lapped the sides of pool as other kids swam and leapt and turned somersaults in the water. Shouts of laughter rippled over the pool’s surface.

Bryan pulled gently at Bethany's arm. “Loosen up, sweetheart. I won’t let go of you.”

“Nooooo.” Bethany’s whimper grew louder as she dug her fingers deeper into his skin.

“Swimming is fun. But you’ve got to let go of Daddy.”

“I’m s-s-scared.” Her teeth chattered even though the water was a balmy eighty degrees.

Bryan swallowed and attempted to loosen her grip enough for to breathe.

But Bethany only grabbed harder, not because she loved her Daddy or wanted to be close to him, but only because she was afraid.

This was their third swimming lesson and she still wasn’t brave enough to let go.

Bryan reached for her goggles and put them on her, adjusting them so they fit just right. “Okay, are you ready to try?”

“I d-d-don’t know.”

He looked into her goggle-clad eyes. “You have to trust me. I’m right here. Trust me.”

She took a deep breath.

“Trust me,” he repeated.

This time, Bethany nodded. “Okay, Daddy.” Her grip loosened a little bit. Then a little bit more. And a little more.

Bryan sidled toward the edge of the pool, then took her hands and placed them on the edge.

Next, he stepped back until he stood three feet away. “Push off and swim to me. You can do it.”

Bethany studied the distance.

He reached out with both hands.

With a push and a splash, she was in the water on her own, then in his arms again.

Bryan laughed. “You did it!”

She laughed back. “That was fun!”

“You want to go under the water?”

Her brows bunched in a frown.

Bryan smiled. “Trust me.”

Bethany straightened her shoulders. “I’m ready.”

And down they went. Once. Twice. Three times. By the end of the lesson, Bethany had discovered a whole new world of fun and adventure. She could go underwater and look around. She could “sit” on the bottom of the pool for a whole three seconds. And she could kick her way from the edge all the way to her daddy without being afraid. Swimming had ceased to be scary and instead was a joy. For an hour they swam and played and enjoyed every minute. Finally, it was time to leave.

“That was great, Daddy!” Bethany clamored out of the pool. “Can we come back tomorrow? And the day after that? And the day after that?”

Bryan chuckled. “We’ll come back soon. I promise.”


Bryan grinned as he watched her scamper into the locker room. What a difference between the shivering, shaking girl who had climbed into the pool and the happy, exuberant girl who had climbed out. And it was all because she'd decided put aside fear and instead trust her Daddy.

In some ways, my life with God is not much different from Bethany’s swim lessons with her daddy. Romans 8:15 (NIV) says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” When God calls me to try new things, to stretch past my comfort zone, to step out into the unknown, it’s easy for me, too, to cling to Him out of fear. But God doesn’t want me to grab onto Him because I’m afraid. Rather, He wants me to trust Him enough to let go of fear and embrace all the adventures He has for me. He wants me to learn to live in joy and freedom, to learn how to swim with Him.

And just like Bethany, I need to loosen my grip and trust God to be there if the waters get too deep.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Steadfast Soldier by Cheryl Wyatt

Hi Friends,

Here's the new book I have to tell you about this week. It's STEADFAST SOLDIER by Cheryl Wyatt. Here's a bit about it:


Rescuing people is his job…But the one person pararescue jumper Chance Garrison can't seem to help is his own ailing father, who refuses his much-needed physical rehabilitation. That is, until Chance hires unconventional occupational therapist Chloe Callet. To his surprise, Chloe and her sweet black Lab, Midnight, work wonders. And not only on the elder Garrison. Chance just may have met the woman who can get through his own toughened exterior. Can he persuade the lovely Chloe to take a chance—on him?
Excerpt available here: http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?itemid=21723&cid=416


Barnes and Noble http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Steadfast-Soldier/Cheryl-Wyatt/e/9780373876051/?itm=1?tabname=custreview

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Steadfast-Soldier-Inspired-Cheryl-Wyatt/dp/037387605X

Christianbook: http://www.christianbook.com/steadfast-soldier-cheryl-wyatt/9780373876051/pd/876051?item_code=WW&netp_id=768707&event=ESRCN&view=details

Author BIO
Born Valentines Day on a naval base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin's Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers. Her books have won a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for the Best Series Love Inspired in 2009 and garnered a Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence final. Find out more: www.CherylWyatt.com