Here Today Gone Tomorrow

By Carlene Havel

About the Book

Disappointed, dumped, divorced. Everything Casey Slaughter counted on is gone. While contemporaries start their families, Casey works two jobs to haul herself out of debt. Friends and family recommend a new husband to solve all her problems, but Casey resists their well-intentioned advice. Although she longs for a soul mate, the last thing her flattened self-esteem needs is more rejection—and comparisons to her beautiful, talented older sister do nothing to enhance Casey’s confidence. Unable to have children, she feels she has nothing to offer in marriage. Will bitterness and insecurity destroy her, or can renewed faith in God provide some measure of comfort for this wounded heart? Can Casey ever find love again, or will a string of disasters keep her forever on the run?

Carleen pic

Carlene Havel has lived in numerous US states, the Philippines, and Turkey. Like most writers, Carlene has always loved to read, and her taste is eclectic. Her other hobbies include sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery. She especially enjoys Bible study, normally devoting one day each week delving into the scriptures with a small focus group. The Havels make their home in San Antonio, Texas, in the midst of a big, extended family.

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I love travel, and so far in my life I’ve been to eighteen different countries.  Yes, this number is tiny compared to what most of my family members can boast of, but I’m not done yet!  I finally decided to post a picture from each country I’ve been to.  Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures from some, but here’s what I’ve got, in order of when I visited/lived there (more or less).

Country #1: the United States of America

I was born in the States and lived there for the first three and a half years of my life.  I went back for college and spent the first five years of my married life there as well.  Now Floyd and I sometimes return there to spend time with our families over Christmas vacations or summers.

Click here to read my blog post Impressions upon Returning to America from Taiwan.

Country #2: Kenya

This was home to me for my entire childhood.  I lived in Kenya for fourteen years, and it will always be a part of who I am.  Growing up, I felt more Kenyan than American.  My family traveled to the States for 5-month furloughs every three years or so, but when we were there I always longed to return to Kenya.

Country #3: the Netherlands

I was only there for a brief layover on the way to one of our furloughs.  I remember it, but barely.

Country #4: Spain

Ditto.  Overnight layover, and my clearest memory is the complimentary wine at the restaurant that Daddy let Jimmy and me taste.  Yuck!  (I believe I was all of six years old.)

Country #5: Switzerland

We’ve had a number of separate layovers there, along with one actual vacation that my parents worked into our travel schedule.  For some reason I don’t have any pictures with me in them, but I have lots of memories of mountains and trains, chocolate and cable cars, picnics and high prices.

Country #6: Israel

This was a wonderful vacation.  We visited several different cities, including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth, and toured many sites where important Biblical events took place.  I have lots of pictures and special memories from the week or so my family spent in Israel.

Country #7: Great Britain

Unfortunately, my stay in Great Britain was limited to a few hours each in the Heathrow and Gatwick airports and an all-too-short predawn bus ride between them, with the same experience repeated in reverse on the way back from my real destination.

Country #8: Mexico

I’ve been to Mexico three times, all short day trips while I was in college.  The first couple of times were mini-mission trips with a group from my church and with Biola University’s puppet ministry team.  The third time was a fun little excursion with my family.

Country #9: Indonesia

I dreamed of traveling to Indonesia for six years before I finally had the chance to go.  Right after finishing my senior year of high school, I spent a summer serving on Java with Teen Missions International.  It was an unforgettable and life-changing experience and made me long to go back.  I returned for a month-long visit a few years later, and eventually (after college) had the opportunity to spend a year there teaching in a one-room schoolhouse on the island of Papua.  Also a life-changing experience, but that’s another story!

Country #10: the Philippines

After my summer mission trip to Indonesia, my team traveled to the Philippines for a week-long debrief, along with teams from various other nearby countries.  There wasn’t much time for sightseeing, but I enjoyed what I saw of this beautiful country (mostly Manila).

Country #11: Singapore

I’ve had several layovers in Singapore, though I’ve never had the chance to leave the airport.  (Yes, that DOES still count as being in the country!)  It’s my favorite airport in the world; I’m always impressed at the wide variety of interesting things to do and see there.  I’ve never been bored, even when spending eight hours alone there late at night.

Country #12: Canada

Since I don’t remember my visit to Canada with my parents when I was three months old, I’m counting my first visit as the cruise Floyd surprised me with on our honeymoon.  Our time there was short – we only had one day to explore Ketchikan – but we were able to make some fun memories.  Five years later we had the chance to visit Niagara Falls from New York, and we crossed over to spend a few hours on the Canadian side.

Click here to read my blog post A Day at Niagara Falls.

Country #13: Taiwan

Floyd and I have lived in Taiwan for the last ten years (not counting summers), and we love it here!  It has truly become home for both of us.

I don’t think I could ever spend “too long” in Taiwan, but click here to read my blog post You Know You’ve Lived in Taiwan Too Long When…

Country #14: South Korea

I spent about three days in Seoul several years ago while attending a teaching conference.  There wasn’t much time for sightseeing, but I used every spare moment in the evenings to walk around with friends and see as much of the city as possible.

Click here to read my blog post It’s All About Seoul.

Country #15: China

Another teaching conference brought me to Hong Kong, which immediately became one of my favorite cities.  I especially loved the efficient subway system and the waterfront at night, and I hope I have the chance to go back sometime.  More recently Floyd and I had layovers in the Shanghai and Beijing airports, though unfortunately we couldn’t leave the airports since we didn’t have visas.

Click here to read my blog post Four Days in Hong Kong!

Country #16: Malaysia

I’ve actually been to Malaysia twice, once to Kuala Lumpur (peninsular Malaysia) and once to Kota Kinabalu (on the island of Borneo).  Both times were for conferences, and both times I was able to squeeze in some brief but memorable sightseeing experiences.  Kuala Lumpur is another of my favorite cities – I love the blending of cultures I saw there, as evidenced by the food, clothing styles, etc.

Click here to read my blog posts My Trip to Malaysia and The Wilds of Borneo.

Country #17: Japan

Floyd and I have had a couple of brief layovers in Narita on our travels between California and Taiwan.  On one occasion we were there just long enough to leave the airport and take a walk down some quiet streets to a large temple complex with beautiful gardens out back.  The last time we were in Narita, our connecting flight was delayed due to a typhoon, and we were forced to make last-minute arrangements to stay overnight in a very expensive hotel at some distance from the airport (since all the close and reasonably-priced ones were already booked solid by other stranded travelers).  Not the best memory – but still, I like Japan!

Click here to read my blog post Lost in Narita.

Country #18: Thailand

One November I had the opportunity to teach a workshop (about indie publishing) at a teachers’ conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  It was an awesome experience: the conference was great, my workshop was well received, and I loved what I saw of Thailand.  Besides making the most of all my evening time, I had half a day free at the end, so I paid for a little tour package.  It included visits to an orchid farm, an elephant camp, and Tiger Kingdom.  The highlight of the trip for me was petting and lying down with three large female tigers!

Click here to read my blog post A Trip to Thailand.

Country #19: Vietnam

A friend and I spent several days in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam, on a brief vacation.  (Later I visited a different part of the country with Floyd.) It was wonderful!  One of the most interesting things for me was experiencing the blend of Asian and European cultures (Vietnam is a former French colony).  That blend manifested itself in the food, clothing styles, art, and architecture.  One of the highlights of the trip was watching a “water puppet” show.  Another was taking a boat ride down the Mekong Delta, with lots of stops along the way to watch various traditional snacks being made in little local shops.

Click here to read my blog post Seeing the Sights in Saigon.

Country #20: Myanmar

This one of the most fascinating countries I’ve ever been to. Floyd and I enjoyed an amazing vacation there over Christmas one year. Highlights included delicious traditional foods and drinks (including inexpensive smoothies and lassis at every restaurant), a traditional marionette show, gorgeous temples and pagodas everywhere (and some very old ones), and a town whose buildings all stood on stilts in the middle of a lake.

Click here to read my blog post A Day on the Lake.

What’s Next?
Who knows?  I can’t wait for my next opportunity to travel internationally!  What’s your favorite city, country, or memory from an international trip?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

I wrote this poem a few years back, but it describes my current state of health pretty closely.  For the full effect, read with a hoarse voice and stuffed-up nose.

i’ve decided I hate the flu – i really do!
the soreness and aching,
the temp’rature taking
which tries to make me a believer that i’ve only got a fever
of 99.2
but i’m pretty sure that thermometer’s a liar
’cause it feels way higher
and i think i may slowly be going insane
’cause my cough’s such a pain
with its racking 
and its hacking
while all of the drugs that i take are in vain
and my head and my chest
are both tight and congest-
ed, and i’m faced with issues
like running out of tissues
(’cause my drippy nose never stops)
and having to bring cough drops
everywhere i go
and my eyes getting runny
– and NO!  it’s not funny!
’cause i don’t like being in pain and congested and woozy
and inconvenienced and fevered and fluzy

Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month?  There’s a website ( that organizes a huge event every year for hundreds of thousands of professional and amateur writers across the world.  Basically, writers compete against themselves to see if they can write a complete novel of at least 50,000 words entirely in the month of November.  There are forums where you can link up with other participants for support and encouragement, writing resources to help you along with your story, and prizes for the winners.  I also found out that they have a program for kids:  Some of my students are eager to try it!  (There are some useful teacher resources on the site, too.)

I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, and I’m really excited!  Stay tuned; I plan to post brief weekly updates here on my blog about how my writing’s going.  My goal is to write for at least two hours a day each weekday or until I come up with 1400 words, and four hours on each weekend day, or until I get to 2800 words.  That will give me a bit of a buffer in case I fall behind.

Of course, nobody expects anyone to complete a GOOD novel in just one month.  The idea isn’t that it will be complete and publishable by December 1st.  Most people will probably only finish the rough draft in November, but the next eleven months (or however long it takes!) are for the revising, editing, and polishing.  I certainly don’t plan to show anybody my November’s work until I’ve had a few more months to turn it into something I can be proud of. 

What will my novel be about?  Well, that’s a good question!  I’m currently tossing around three main possibilities.  My first choice would be to write another book in my Annals of Alasia series, but while I have lots of ideas for my characters’ futures, I don’t actually have a complete plot in mind yet.  And I can’t start writing a book without a plot!  (Yes, I know, some writers do it that way.  It may work for them, but it doesn’t work for me!)

Another possibility would be to take a light-hearted short story I once wrote about the misadventures of a group of commandos and turn it into a book of related short stories.  That might be the most fun option, as the writing style I use there is both silly and a little weird.  It’s not my usual genre, but it’s fun to do something different once in a while, right?

But the choice I’m leaning toward most right now would be a piece of speculative fiction in a completely new series.  It’s hard to classify its genre, since it would take place in a setting very similar to our own in almost every way.  The characters are all human, and they have cars, phones, fast food, and workouts at the gym.  The main difference would be that it’s set in a city that’s part of a large empire, and in this empire, slavery is not only legal but widely practiced.  (It’s not based on race; people can be sold as slaves for breaking the law, being unable to pay off debt, getting involved in rebellion against the government, etc.)  One of the two main characters would be a slave and the other his owner.

At this point I have the most ideas for the third option, so I have a feeling that’s what I’ll probably go with.  I’ve already outlined the story, and I’m starting to plan out the characters’ personalities.  Here are two very useful resources that I bought awhile ago and plan to bring out again to use now.  Click here to go to my post that tells more about these books and why I think they’re so great.  If you’re a writer, I strongly recommend them!


Are you thinking of participating in NaNoWriMo this year?  I’d love to hear about your plans!  In the comments, feel free to tell us what you’re thinking of writing about, and please share any helpful resources you’ve found to make the process go more smoothly!

Update: Click here to read my second blog post about NaNoWriMo, which includes a link to read an excerpt from my novel in process!

Visiting my blog today is author Precarious Yates, here to talk about the difficult topic of loving the unembraceable.  For another look at the subject, make sure you click on the link further down to check out her book.

“Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7
Sometimes God puts people in our lives that test us right down to the core of who we are. They are people we have to forgive over and over and over and over again. This one gets right under your skin. That one pushes every button you knew you had and even some you didn’t think you had. She makes you feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time.

When the Lord puts someone like that in your life, rejoice. First of all, He trusts you with this person. Second of all, there is some change in this person’s life that might not happen if he or she doesn’t have that encounter with you. What a privilege to partner with the Lord in that way! And third of all, there might be something the Lord wants to change in your life, and that change wouldn’t have happened without said person to sharpen you like iron sharpens iron.

Healthy relationships need boundaries. But don’t use the excuse of boundaries to shoo away someone that the Lord wants you to have in your life. Ask Him to show you His purpose for this person’s presence in your life.

More than that, you can ask Him how He views this person. While he or she may get under our skin, the Lord knit this person together in his or her mother’s womb and He has plans for their life. Somehow or other, you fit into that plan!

Pray for the person daily. Ask the Lord to show you new and unique ways to love this person. You may even find that this person doesn’t get under your skin as much anymore, or that you don’t have as many buttons that can be pushed as you used to have.

And when we come to the very edge of our abilities, we can cry out to the Lord. Then He begins to love THROUGH us, and that’s a beautiful and lasting thing indeed.

In the book UnEmbraceable, we learn the story of Tamar and all the reasons why she walked around like a stem of thorns with hardly a rose. Steadfast love causes a turnaround, but not without a great deal of hurt, and quite a few of her Christian friends asking “WHY, ME, GOD? WHY ME?!!” In the end, Tamar, the one who is unembraceable, isn’t the only one who changes.

BIO: Precarious Yates studied the plight of and worked toward the abolition of modern slavery for over a decade before sitting down to write Revelation Special Ops. Yates spent several years overseas as a missionary in Ireland, and also did missions work in India and the Philippines. Her passion for literature has become her means of further educating young adults of the realities of modern slavery, while producing hope through the power of Christ Jesus in us.

Take the 21 Day Challenge!
Get 5 FREE eBooks – 2 Days Only
10/17/13 and 10/18/13
PLUS enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!


Why 21 Days?
It’s a commonly known fact that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. You may spend 21 days trying to form a good exercise routine or kick a bad habit, but what about taking 21 days to form a new spiritual habit? .

That’s the reason for the 21 days series – to provide you with 21 days worth of biblical devotions to help you form new habits that draw you closer to Christ. And for two days only (October 17th-18th, 2013) we’re giving all 5 books away for free. After that, they will be available for only 99 cents each. So what do you say? Will you join us in strengthening your walk with God? If so, download one or all of the books below at no cost to you during our free promotion – and scroll down to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card as our gift to you!  

Be Inspired…Join the 21 Day Challenge!
Download 5 Free eBooks for 2 Days Only


Book #1: 21 Days of Generosity
generosity challenge

Living a Life of Generosity: 21 Days of Generosity Challenge

If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Generosity through this short but powerful eBook.

Download on Kindle Here


Book #2: 21 Days of Faith
faith challenge
Living a Life of Faith: 21 Days of Faith Challenge
If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Faith Challenge through this short but powerful eBook.
Download on Kindle Here


Book #3: 21 Days of Gratitude
gratitude challenge

During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. And I sensed Him leading me to do this 21 days of gratitude challenge.

Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I have been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day.

And now I want to share what I learned with you in the short, but powerful book.

Download on Kindle Here


Book #4: 21 Teen Devotionals… for Girls!
teen devotionals for girls
Our lives are ruled by habits. We are defined by them. How our days play out, how we act and react, and even how we eat, sleep and talk are all affected by our habits – for better or for worse. It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or break an old one, so why not spend the next 21 days forming a habit of spending time with God? If you’ve got 21 days, we’ve got 21 devotions specifically written for today’s teen girls.

Are you up for forming a habit of spending time with your Creator? If so, download this book and get started on these devotionals!

Download on Kindle Here


Book #5:21 Teen Devotionals… for Guys!
teen devotionals for guys

Teen Devotionals… for Guys!, brought to you by, are written for teen guys who want to find their true strength in Christ, these devotions designed to be read, pondered on and applied to daily life. We want you to know that the Bible isn’t just a book that’s over 2000 years old. It’s completely applicable to our lives today – even as teenagers. We know that girls and guys don’t face the same issues in high school – not even close. So these devotions were written with today’s teen guys in mind. Go ahead. Dig in. Find your true strength in Christ.

Download on Kindle Here


Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to win a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by Body and Soul Publishing
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  This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

I read The Beloved Daughter on my Kindle not long ago and was deeply moved by it.  The story is gritty and heartbreaking in places, but at the same time touching and inspiring.  It burdened me to pray more for the people of North Korea, especially Christ’s followers who have been imprisoned and are enduring unspeakable suffering for their faith.  

Today Alana Terry, author of The Beloved Daughter, is visiting my blog.  She was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about her book, and below she talks about the newly-released audio version, as well as a giveaway!

Annie: I’m curious how you were able to describe in so much detail what goes on behind closed doors in such a closed country.  What kind of research went into the writing of this novel?

Alana: Most of the research I gleaned was from reading and listening to interviews with defectors from North Korea. I also found resources from certain ministries like Voice of the Martyrs incredibly useful.

Annie: I like the way you preface each chapter with a verse from scripture.  They’re not the common verses that we see quoted all the time, either!  What inspired you to do this, and how did you choose what verses to use?

Alana: I can’t specifically remember why I chose to include Scripture passages with each chapter. I guess it probably went back to wanting to point my readers to the Lord. It’s such a heavy story that maybe God knew we would all need some Scripture thrown in there. As far as the verses go, I don’t really like just quoting the verses that have been hashed and rehashed until we’re numb to them. The Bible is so full of poetic imagery, so it wasn’t too hard to find verses to go with the tone of each section.

Annie: What can we expect in the rest of the series?

Alana: My next novel, “Not Alone,” is a follow-up to “The Beloved Daughter,” although it’s not exactly a sequel. It takes one of the minor characters from “The Beloved Daughter” and carries her story on. I hope to publish “Not Alone” as the first in a suspense trilogy, however my wrists have been giving me trouble and my writing is not proceeding as fast as I hoped. You can see the trailer for “Not Alone” at

More about the Novel and Audiobook:

The Beloved Daughter, an inspirational suspense novel by award-winning author Alana Terry, is a story of persecution and triumph set in the oppressive North Korean regime. The audiobook version of Alana’s bestselling debut novel is narrated by Kathy Garver, a four-time Audie award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Motion Picture Council. (You might also recognize Kathy as Cissy from the TV show Family Affair.)

(Listen to a sample of Kathy reading from The Beloved Daughter.)

Two Audiobooks for the Price of One!

If you order The Beloved Daughter audiobook and are one of the first 25 customers to email the receipt to [email protected], you will receive a code to also download a free version of What, No Sushi, book one in Alana’s new historical fiction/time travel series for kids!

The Beloved Daughter

Synopsis: In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being. The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian.

     *Winner, Women of Faith Writing Contest
     *1st Place, Book Club Network Book of the Month

     *Amazon Bestseller (#5 Christian Suspense)


“…an engaging plot that reads like a story out of today’s headlines…” ~ Women of Faith Writing Contest

“The Beloved Daughter is a beautifully written story that is…both personal and representative of the challenges that many North Koreans still face today.” ~ Sarah Palmer, Rescue Team Coordinator at Liberty in North Korea

“The author does a phenomenal job… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – but have tissues handy.” ~ Pauline Creeden, Editor AltWit Press

“…the most compelling Christian novel I have read.” ~ Temujin Hu, Author of The Rage

(Click here to order your own copy of The Beloved Daughter.)

Enter The Giveaway

The author’s friend Nicole makes beautiful hand-made earrings out of bark, coral, and even teeth and bones. Six winners! To see what kind of work Nicole does, check out her etsy shop.

A sample of Nicole’s nature-inspired earrings

And don’t forget to email your receipt of The Beloved Daughter auidobook to receive a free audio download of What, No Sushi, Alana’s children’s chapter book about the Japanese-American internment camps!


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Floyd and I just got back from an overnight getaway in Ali Shan, one of Taiwan’s beautiful mountain areas.  It’s famous for its spectacular sunrise, which is the main reason most people visit.  (However, I must confess that in the picture below, we’re standing in front of a mural!)

We stayed in a nice little bed and breakfast called Tea Garden (their “Mountain Hometown” location).  It was small but cute and easy to get to.  Click here to read Floyd’s review of it on AAA.  Below is the room we stayed in.   
We arrived Monday late afternoon, and they let us check in early.  Then we got back in the car and drove up to Ali Shan National Scenic Area to make sure we knew how to get there for the sunrise the next morning.  It was about an hour’s drive from Mountain Hometown along steep, winding mountain roads.  The park entrance fee was pretty reasonable (450 NT – about US$14 – for the two of us and our car, with Floyd’s student discount).  We found ourselves in a little shopping area with a visitors’ center, restaurants, gift shops, and even a 7-Eleven, all surrounded by scenic forest criss-crossed with hiking trails.  There was a train station there too, where we bought tickets for the next day’s 5:10 a.m. departure to Chushan, the famous sunrise spot.

Ali Shan’s Forest Railway is quite famous in Taiwan.  We saw lots of tourists taking pictures of each other in and in front of the little red train, on the tracks, and by the various railway signs.

Back at Mountain Hometown, we enjoyed a tasty dinner (ordered in advance on their website when we made our reservation) and hit the sack early.  The alarm rang at 3:30 a.m., which I think is probably the earliest I’ve ever purposely woken up to start my day!  We packed up, loaded our car, and drove back up the mountain in some of the thickest fog I’ve ever seen.  It was a little scary, but we made it safely back up to Ali Shan Scenic Area with time to spare.  We boarded the train (standing room only) and enjoyed a 40-minute ride up to Chushan.
There was an observation area at the top with a viewing platform, souvenir shops, restrooms, and stands selling savory-smelling hot foods and drinks.  Yep, that’s how people enjoy the beauty of natural wilderness here in Taiwan!

When we first got there (a little before 6 a.m.) it was still pitch black, but as the sky gradually lightened, we saw that the mountainscape below us was covered in clouds.  Gradually the clouds began to clear, and everyone waited breathlessly, hoping hard that there would indeed be a spectacular sunrise worthy of the tales we’d all heard.  

The sun was supposed to rise at 6:15, and as the moment approached, more and more of the mountains became visible.  But at exactly 6:14, a massive bank of fog came surging in from the south and settled heavily over everything, reducing visibility to a few yards.  And that was our Ali Shan sunrise.

We took the train back down through the fog to where we’d started and then enjoyed a long hike along one of the trails through the forest.
Of course, bear in mind that a “hiking trail” in Taiwan is usually a wide, smoothly paved route with handrails when it gets steep and frequent warning signs in the “dangerous” sections.  Ali Shan’s trails were no exception!

You can also expect lots of strict signs about what is not allowed in that particular corner of nature.

I guess they didn’t want us to leave the path?

The warning sign above was on a suspended bridge over a stream.

I like the parts that prohibit “frolicking” and instruct visitors not to “make annoying sounds” or “engrave text and graphics” on “panels”!

The trees in Ali Shan’s forest are mostly Taiwan red cypress.  They were all covered with moss and were quite beautiful.  Through a combination of the growth process and the effects of rot, many of the trees and stumps had twisted themselves into all sorts of unusual shapes. 

Various animals supposedly live in the forest, but besides the occasional bird, the warty little guy below was the only wildlife we spotted in Ali Shan.

Below: trees have the right of way on Ali Shan trails!

Partway through our hike we came to a little museum with displays about Ali Shan’s historic railroad, lumber industry, and aboriginal people.  It would have been more meaningful if we could read Chinese, but the exhibits were still interesting.  I wouldn’t recommend a trip to the area just to see the museum (it only took us about ten minutes to see everything), but if you’re there anyway, it’s worth taking a look.

At one point we came to an open area by a temple where people were selling trinkets and snacks.  We bought pork sausages on sticks from this lady; they came with a saucer of seasoned powder for dipping.  (The powder was tangy and complemented the salty sausage flavor nicely – but be careful not to inhale as you’re about to take a bite!)  We asked what other kinds of sausages she had, and turns out there were several different meats represented.  The black ones are cuttlefish!

After several hours of hiking, we returned to the visitors’ center area for lunch.  It felt as though we had stayed all day, but of course that was because our day had started so early.  We drove back to Taichung tired but satisfied that we had done (as far as we could tell) nearly all there was to do in Ali Shan.  Too late, we discovered that the sunset is apparently pretty impressive there too, but for now we’ll have to content ourselves with the pictures we took by a mural.

Welcome To CrossReads’ Fall Into Reading Book Sale!

Where We Invite You to Fall into Good, Wholesome Books – and Save Money!

During the week of October 7th, readers can get books by several of their favorite CrossReads Christian authors who have joined together to offer their books at bargain prices.
Monday through Friday (the 7th-11th), readers can get over 30 books during our book sale and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card to get even more books to read!
Then, we invite you to hop over to CrossReads on Saturday, October 12th, to get 9 books absolutely free and find out who won the giveaway!
The books included in the book sale are listed below – fiction first, followed by nonfiction, and then the giveaway – enjoy!


Mystery, Suspense and Thrillers

Serenity Springs, Ohio by Lillian Duncan Mystery/Suspense

An abandoned bird; an ailing aunt; and an unhappy fiancé. What else could happen? Oh, yeah—a murder! Chief of Police, Matthew Travis moved home to avoid the violence of being a big city police officer, but murder shatters the peace and tranquility of his hometown.
It appears to be an open and shut case. A troubled teenager at the scene covered in blood with the murder weapon in his hand is arrested. Unfortunately, as Matthew ties up loose ends, his once open and shut case unravels.
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Times of Turmoil by Cliff Ball

In this prequel to Times of Trouble and Times of Trial, we follow how the Evans family gained their riches and eventually their power to influence events in the United States. We see important events that the Evans family gets themselves involved in: such as the return of the Israelites to Israel, the assassination of President Kennedy, the terrorism of 9/11, and eventually events that lead to government tyranny in the United States with the sole purpose of destroying Christianity and its influence in the United States.
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Times of Trouble by Cliff Ball

The Atwood family watch the US descend into chaos as the End Times approach.
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Times of Trial by Cliff Ball Thriller Christians are persecuted when the President declares a dictatorship as the End Times approach.

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John Ryan by Cliff Ball

Jon Ryan has to deal with government healthcare as a doctor before the End Times.
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The Mystery of the Indian Carvings by Gloria Repp
Middle Grade/Mystery
A young teen is sent to visit her Canadian relatives who have a wonderful dog, but disappearing artifacts and a spiteful cousin threaten to ruin her hopes for the future. She can’t help wondering: does God care?
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The Difference Between Night and Day by Melissa Turner Romance Nathaniel Taylor was a Christian who thought believers were exempted from “dark times.” That was until he entered his own long time in the dark. When he meets Lilly, a young woman in danger, it sends him on a journey to discover the difference between night and day and that during dark times, the Light is hidden, not gone.

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Rock and A Hard Place by Bonnie Blythe Christian Romance Faith Conrad is used to striving. After more or less raising her twin sisters because of an absent father and ailing mother, she knows the meaning of responsibility. She had to drop out of high school to pay the bills, hamstringing her future. When handsome Bureau of Land Management ranger Shane Zadopec rescues her from a rock climb gone wrong and reveals that he’s a photographer too, she feels threatened and rebuffs his attempts to get close. Will she ever picture them together?

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Forewarned by Debra Ullrick Christian Romantic Suspense After a near fatal accident in the Colorado wilderness, Jasmine Moore suffers during the harsh Steamboat Springs winters. Unable to socialize because of pain, she goes online in hopes of finding some new friends to fill the void the long, lonely winters bring. A budding online friendship develops, and soon, Jasmine finds herself in danger.

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Déjà vu Bride by Debra Ullrick Christian Romance Furious with God, Olivia Roseman vows to never trust Him again. Why should she? Once again her prayers have gone unanswered, and once again another loved one has been ripped from her. With no job and only a few dollars, Olivia makes a choice to start over again. Without God and without love. However, her handsome new boss isn’t going to make forgetting God or keeping her vow to never love again very easy.

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Winter’s Past by Mary E. Hanks Romance When Winter speaks at a conference in Coeur dAlene, Idaho, and her ex-husband shows up, she is shocked by the change in him. Radically different from the self-absorbed guy she remembers, he stands before her crying—crying!—and humbly asks her forgiveness. This man who broke her heart, betrayed her, is now gut-wrenchingly sincere in his apology, prays for her like a long-lost friend, and he has a request. One unbelievable request that could change everything.

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Three Hearts, One Town by Sarah Jae Foster Historical Romance More than courage, she needs faith.

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Rocky Mountain Oasis by Lynnette Bonner Christian Historical Romance He’s different from any man she’s ever known. However, she’s sworn never to risk her heart again. Brooke Baker, sold as a mail-order bride, looks to her future with dread but firm resolve. If she survived Uncle Jackson, she can survive anyone. When Sky Jordan hears that his nefarious cousin has sent for a mail-order bride, he knows he has to prevent the marriage. No woman deserves to be left to that fate. Still, he’s as surprised as anyone to find himself standing next to her before the minister.

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A Heart’s Home by Laura J. Marshall Christian Historical Romance Novella set in 1746, India Born in England and raised in India by her father after her mother’s untimely death, Asyra has been ostracized from her small village most of her life. News of her impending marriage arranged by her grandmother back in England only serves to confuse her further about who she is and where she fits in. When Madras is attacked by the French before Asyra’s ship sails, she must pretend to be the wife of her grandmother’s agent, who happens to be the elder brother of her intended. Can she move beyond prejudice to find her place in the world?

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To Protect and Serve by Staci Stallings Contemporary Romance What happens when a control freak falls for a fireman with a death wish? Lisa Matheson runs a semi-successful ad agency that’s on the brink of falling apart. Her employees are incompetent and her schedule has become exhausting. When she takes on a client with a brilliant idea for a big conference, she thinks that maybe, finally this is her lucky break. However, the fire station wasn’t what she had in mind for finding conference speakers. When she falls for a handsome but shy firefighter, it’s possible that life might just be going her way for a change.

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Armored Hearts by Pauline Creeden and Melissa Turner Lee Fantasy Steampunk When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother’s side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales. Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park and left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

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Time and Again by Deborah Heal

The olden days aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. . .
Abby thinks tutoring an “an economically disadvantaged adolescent” as her college service project for the summer will be a snap. Merrideth, her sullen 11-year-old student, thinks “No thanks, I don’t need a babysitter.”It’s difficult for Abby to break through Merrideth’s emotional wall. The girl has been closed down ever since her parents’ divorce, especially since she was forced to move to the dilapidated old house that her mom inherited. But when her dad sends her a top-of-the-line computer to make up for it, Abby and Merrideth discover a crazy program that invites them to “Take a Virtual Tour” of houses around the world– including Merrideth’s.
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Unclaimed Legacy by Deborah Heal

Those who have read Time and Again know that Abby Thomas is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And they know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house.
And now Beautiful House comes in handy when Abby, John, and Merri agree to help the “Old Dears” next door with their family tree. Except Abby and John learn more about one of the ladies’ ancestors than they ever wanted to know. Convicted in 1871 of murder and arson, Reuben Buchanan is a blight on the family’s reputation. But was he really guilty? Abby and John must get inside the mind of a murderer to find out.
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Return to Kingsley by Cynthia P. Willow Fantasy Thirteen-year-old Callie dreams of having her own adventure in the magical world of Kingsley like her grandmother and her great-great grandmother before her. But she doesn’t have very high hopes since the portal to Kingsley was shut fifty-two years ago. Little does she know that the inhabitants of Kingsley are in desperate need. A plague is killing Kingsley’s creatures. But Callie doesn’t live on the lake, nor does she have the magical bracelet to allow her to breathe underwater. How will she get to Kingsley? And will she figure it out in time to save the land?

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The Captives by Precarious Yates YA Fantasy When the mermen and peaceful aquavians turn violent, who will restore the seas?

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Other Fiction

Sanctuary by Pauline Creeden Apocalyptic Science In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be. Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it… When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?

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Rain Dance by Joy DeKok
Contemporary Christian Fiction
What happens when a Christian woman facing a childless future and a woman seeking an abortion are waiting to see the same doctor? What if after that “chance” encounter they are unable to forget each other? What if they find themselves drawn together in spite of their drastic differences by their surprising similarities? What if they somehow find the courage to become friends?
Rain Dance takes the reader into the hearts of these two women as they journey closer to the heart of the One who offers hope and healing.
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Diving in Deep by Nora Ballew
Young Adult
How thin is thin enough? Just as her family’s troubles start to mount in their new home town, Kelly Eberly dives head first into a strict diet and rigorous swimming routine. Nearly drowning in an ocean of doubts and insecurities, and feeling lost and alone in a new place, Kelly wants nothing more than the “nice normal family” her mother talks about.

Before long, even within the chaos that is the Eberly family, everyone is noticing her dramatic weight loss. Her aunt is praying. Her brother is lecturing. Even her new friends are studying her under a microscope. How thin is thin enough? If she gets too thin, will she be able to stop; or is she in too deep? With so much going on in her family, will anyone be able to help her resurface?

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Deep Blue Sea by Valerie Howard
Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Jamie Walker’s life is a mess. She lives like a widow while her husband leaves for weeks at a time on business. She is childless, lonely, and depressed, and now her job as an editor at a magazine is in jeopardy. Not to mention the fact that her past mistakes are threatening to overwhelm her at any moment. Jamie has two options: swallow the bottle of sleeping pills in her husband’s nightstand or reach out to the God she’s been running from since she was eighteen.
Which will she choose and how long can she live like this?
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Sunshine Leaking, edited by Annie Douglass Lima
Created by fifth-grade students, Sunshine Leaking features poetry in a variety of styles, from free verse to diamond poetry, tanka, and haiku. Proceeds from the sale of this anthology will benefit Josie’s Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides food, education, and a secure living environment for impoverished, abused, and at-risk girls in the Philippines.
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Autumn Changes by Beverly Nault
Women’s Fiction
Along with shorter days and cooler nights, big changes are stirring up Cherryvale! While the trees along the CherryPath exchange summer-green garments to autumn’s crimson and gold, Grace and Maggie scurry to prepare for the town’s annual Harvest Festival, but spar over how to help pop star Tiffany Lane adapt to her new lifestyle and adoptive hometown. A surprise visitor—or two—spice up the town like cinnamon in Grace’s pumpkin walnut muffins just in time for “The Scrapbook’s” preview opening. The second book in The Seasons of Cherryvale, Autumn Changes continues the stories of the friendly folks and charming small town introduced in the much loved Fresh Start Summer. Will peaceful Cherryvale be the same after all the changes blown in on the autumn wind?
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The Billionaire’s Gift by Edward Iwata
A greed-driven CEO seeks a higher purpose with the help of his devout secretary.
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Daughter of the King by Carlene Havel and Sharon Faucheux
Biblical Fiction
Princess Michal was the youngest daughter of Saul, the first king of Israel. In an age when fathers arranged marriages, Michal dared to fall in love with a handsome young musician named David, from the little town of Bethlehem.
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Experience Life in Poetry by Shannon Sonneveldt

This is volume two in the Experience Life in Poetry series, a series focusing on observations about life. The second volume focuses on relationships including those between family, friends and romance. The poems are a mixture of fun, sweet, sad and touching moments and experiences, but then life is all these things as well.

Enjoy your journey through life in poetry.
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What If… Super Hero’s Were Real? by Shannon Sonneveldt
Children’s Book
JJ loves to imagine new worlds where anything is possible. In this book, we see the world he creates using his imagination as he plays the ‘What If‘ game with his mom. A world where superheroes are real.
Not only are superheroes real, but everyone has the potential within themselves to become a superhero if they believe in themselves and their unique gifts. A group of young superheroes band together to form the Warriors of Truth and are in a race to help others see their potential before the Band of Bullies can get to them first and convince them that they are unworthy.
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My Journey With Jesus Christ by Corine Hyman Children’s eBook My Journey with Jesus Christ is a personalized devotional, designed to help a child grow in their relationship with Christ while teaching them the key principles of the Christian faith.

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21 Prayers for Teen Girls by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart
Prayer Book
Depression, Purity, Acceptance, Peer Pressure – these are all issues that teen girls face today. But how do we deal with it?
Prayer is the avenue that is recommended the most. We hear all the time that if we are struggling with something, we should pray. But how do we do that?
In “21 Prayers For Teen Girls” Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart model prayers for dealing with many of the issues teen girls may be confronted with on a daily basis. They encourage teens to pray along and make a habit out of praying for God to mold them into the woman He created them to be – a woman whose true beauty is found in Christ.
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Teen Devotionals… For Girls! by Shelley Hitz, Heather Hart and Contributing Authors

90 devotions that will take teen girls on a journey through God’s Word, learning about different areas in the Bible thet can relate to. Followed by ideas for ways they can be applied to real life, and a prayer. Written with teen girls who want to find their true beauty in Christ, the authors encourage you to read one each day, think on it and apply what you have learned to your life.
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Purposeful Planning by Phyllis Sather Christian Living “Late for an appointment, a man hurried out and hailed a cab. Jumping in, he said to the driver, “Get going and drive as quickly as you can.” After a few blocks, he impatiently asked, “Are we almost there?” “Almost where?” replied the driver. In his hurry the passenger had failed to give the driver the address of his destination. That may seem like an unlikely story, yet today many people are so busy trying to keep up with the rapid pace of living, they haven’t stopped to consider what their goal in life is.” Millie Stamm Our book Purposeful Planning will help you figure out what goals the Lord would like you to have as a person and as a family.

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Complete by Arabah Joy Christian Living Research shows it takes only 21 days to change the way we think. In Complete, Arabah Joy takes readers on a 21 day journey to think about themselves truthfully: that in Christ, we are complete. Believe it. Live it. 21 Days.

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21 Days of Generosity Challenge by CJ Hitz
Christian Living
Do you want to live a life of generosity? Do you want your life to be a blessing to others? Do you want to have a giving spirit that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God as provider? If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Generosity through this short but powerful eBook.
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Thoughts on Being Left Behind by Phyllis Sather Christian Living At one time or another we all feel left behind – whether because of illness, loss of a loved one, or the busyness of parenting and/or homeschooling. These timeless pieces, written by someone who went from the life of an active and involved woman to a near invalid within just a few weeks, speak to the heart of anyone who feels like they’ve been put on the shelf and possibly forgotten.

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The Godly Man’s Picture & A Godly Wife by Puritan Thomas Watson Spiritual Growth The soul being so precious, and salvation so glorious-it is the highest point of prudence to make preparations for the eternal world. It is beyond all dispute, that there is an inheritance in light; and it is most strenuously asserted in Holy Scripture that there must be a fitness and suitability for it (Col. 1:12). If anyone asks, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?” the answer is, “He who has clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:4). To describe such a person is the work of this ensuing treatise. Here you have the godly man’s portrait, and see him portrayed in his full lineaments.

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Forgiveness Of Injuries by John Angell James Spiritual Growth “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times;” thus inculcating a breadth of forgiveness widely removed from the narrow law of the Rabbis on the one hand, or the supposed liberality of Peter on the other. Let us examine, then, the basis on which this doctrine rests, and the arguments by which it is sustained.

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Reflections on Life by Staci Stallings Spiritual Growth In this thought-provoking Christian book, Reflections on Life, Staci opens her heart and shares with the reader the Anointed words God has given her to write. Find the power of prayer, faith, hope, and joy found in everyday life as you walk the Christian journey with Jesus at your side.

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And Now For A Giveaway!

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Don’t forget to hop on over to CrossReads on Saturday to find out who won and get some free books!