Friday, December 31, 2010


Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges
Stephen Bly

TRUE GRIT.... whoa!  What a great film.  Classic story.  Terrific acting.  Breathtaking cinematography.  And the theme song is the old hymn "Leaning On the Everlasting Arms."  A tip of the Resistol cowboy hat to the Coen brothers. They nailed it. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Stephen Bly

I ordered a triple-tall iced espresso. That’s cold coffee with about ten times the caffeine content as regular coffee. No flavoring. No milk. No nothing added. A modern hyper drink. Kind of like the dregs at the bottom of the pot of cowboy coffee, after it’s been over the campfire at least four hours.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Janet Chester Bly


Each year we think this might be the time to downsize in our Christmas decorating. And we did. A tiny bit. But what we really mean is No Big Tree. Just a small one. To sit on a table or in a corner. Well, maybe next year. . . .

Sunday, December 19, 2010


On the Trail with Stephen Bly

A friend sent me a raffle ticket for a drawing on behalf of his favorite charity. Seemed like a worthy cause. And to tell the truth, I didn't mind winning. First prize: a handcrafted, silver mounted, full stamped trophy saddle.

I’ve watched the guys who build these kinds of saddles. I know the work it takes. My own saddles have been slick and plain, because that’s all I could afford. But handcrafting and stamping on saddles means more than just fancy fofarraw. Like everything else connected with cowboy gear, the tooling on the saddle has a practical purpose as well. The rough indentations of the fancy saddle cause friction on the rider’s Wranglers. They help a cowboy sit tight in the saddle without the tiresome leg cramps that sometimes accompany riding a snuffy horse.

Most everything an old-time cowboy did and wore had a logical reason, a purpose behind the action.

Just like St. Paul who said, “I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26). Every action of his involved a single-minded goal, a well considered reason, a spiritual purpose.
Bible principles center around spiritual instruction, practical discipline, respect for the sacred. The eternal perspective.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t add some polish and shine to what we do. For instance, we can have an uproar of a fun time trying to be good.
We’ve got a choice. We can do the minimum—with a grudging attitude, just to get by so we don’t seem quite so ornery. Or we can obey with flair, with cheer, with delight. Either way will get you there, if you’ve got Jesus. But one way sure does resonate a whole heap better. And puts the shine of chrome on your life.
Sort of like the difference between a plain saddle and one that’s full stamped.


How are you adding some spit, polish & shine to your duties of this day?

Monday, December 13, 2010

HER HEALING WAYS, a historical novel by Lyn Cote

Her Healing Ways
Her Healing Ways
Final book in "The Gabriel Sisters" series
a Love Inspired® Historical
By Lyn Cote


Unconventional. Unafraid. Unwelcome.  A female physician with an adopted black daughter?

The townsfolk of Idaho Bend will never accept Dr. Mercy Gabriel — even when faced with a deadly cholera epidemic. But all Mercy needs is one man willing to listen … and to trust.

Four years of war command turned Lon Mackey into a footloose gambler who can't abide attachments. Yet he can't help getting riled by the threats Mercy keeps receiving. Her trailblazing courage could re-ignite his faith and humanity.

And his loyalty could make her dream—for the
first time—of a family of her own….


"Her Healing Ways (Four Stars) is a wonderful love story between two people with different outlooks on life, who together bring out the best in each other. Cote knows what will keep readers interested in the story and uses this knowledge throughout her story.  Don't miss this wonderful book."


Idaho Territory, Late September 1868

High on the board seat, Mercy Gabriel sat beside the wagon master on the lead Conestoga. The line of the supply train slowed, pulling into the mining town, Idaho Bend. Panicky-looking people raced toward it, with bags and valises in hand. What was happening here? Like a cold wet finger, alarm slid up Mercy's spine.
She reached down and urged her adopted daughter Indigo up onto the seat beside her away from the onrushing people. Though sixteen now, Indigo shrank against Mercy, her darker face tight with concern. “Don’t worry,” Mercy whispered as confidently as she could.
She looked down at a forceful man who had pushed his way to the front. He was without a coat, his shirt sleeves rolled up and his colorfully embroidered vest buttoned askew. From the flamboyant vest, she guessed he must be a gambler. What would he want with her?


When Lyn Cote became a mother, she gave up teaching, and while raising a son and a daughter, she began working on her first novel. Long years of rejection followed. Finally in 1997, Lyn got "the call." Her first book, Never Alone, was chosen by Steeple Hill for the new Love Inspired romance line. Since then, Lyn has had over thirty novels published. In 2006 Lyn's book, Chloe, was a finalist for the RITA, one of the highest awards in the romance genre. Lyn’s brand “Strong Women, Brave Stories,” always includes three elements: a strong heroine who is a passionate participant in her times, authentic historical detail, and a multicultural cast of characters.

Lyn also features stories of strong women both from real life and true to life fiction on her blog:

Lyn also can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Drop by and "friend or follow" her. 

Now living her dream of writing books at her lake cottage in northern Wisconsin, Lyn hopes her books show the power of divine as well as human love.

To purchase a copy of Her Healing Ways, drop by


For the latest Christian Fiction Market Update, check out:

Sunday, December 05, 2010


Janet Chester Bly 

God uses many means to let us know what we’re created to be and do, how He will accomplish His purpose through you and me. Here’s some samples from the Bible. . . . 

Sarah heard through an angel talking to her husband: she would bear a son in her old age. And she laughed. (Genesis 18:9-14)

Ruth was filled with a compelling love for her embittered mother-in-law. This commitment drove her to her place and to her true people. (Book of Ruth)

Hannah railed against her barren womb. She prayed long and hard for a baby.  God answered her cries with a special child who became a great leader of Israel. (1 Samuel 1 & 2)

God challenged Esther through her cousin, Mordecai. She was in the right place. At the right time. Now, she needed the courage to do the right thing. (Book of Esther)

God spoke to Mary through a startling announcement from the Angel Gabriel. With a very awkward complication attached. Mary said “yes!” anyway. (Luke 1:26-56)

But dramatic, historic episodes like these are not requisites for hearing God’s voice or knowing what He wants you to do. Begin with who you are. Where you are. Whatever you’re doing.

1) Commit your day to God.
2) Seek His advice on every decision.
3) Do the simplest duties in His Name, in a manner to please Him.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17 NIV).

In God’s eyes, that’s as important as producing famous offspring. . .or saving a race from extermination. Although ordinary obedience can lead to extraordinary feats.

“There is no such thing as Christian work,” says Elisabeth Elliot. “That is, there is no work in the world which is, in and of itself, Christian. Christian work is any kind of work, from cleaning a sewer to preaching a sermon, that is done by a Christian and offered to God.”
(from “Discipline of Work,” Discipline, the Glad Surrender)

In what ways has God spoken to you?

Managing Your Restless Search
Adapted from Managing Your Restless Search


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Thursday, December 02, 2010


Stephen Bly
On The Trail with Stephen Bly

An insurance salesman and I chatted at a nearby coffee shop when Prairie Bob entered, covered from hat to boot in oil and grease. We’ve got several fellas named Bob around our parts. . .so one gets called Prairie Bob, another is Forest Bob, and a third is Town Bob, more affectionately known as T-Bob.
“I aint’ got time to eat dinner,” Prairie Bob reported. “I bought a truck on Saturday and it didn’t even make it home. I ain’t keepin' that truck. No sir, I’m goin’ to town right now and get my hog back.”
Prairie Bob banged his way out the door and the insurance man stared at me with a frown. “That guy traded a pig for a truck?”

I explained that ‘getting your hog back’ is a cowboy expression for recovering something that belongs to you that has been taken by devious means. Usually it connotes stolen property. I figure Prairie Bob thought his hard-earned money was purloined by some slick talkin’ truck salesman.
Most folks have had a valuable stolen from us at one time or another. Maybe your wallet. Your keys. Your purse. Your favorite cow dog. Your pickup. Or perhaps a treasure even more critical.

The Bible reveals there’s a deceiver and liar who roams this planet. His main purpose is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). He’s mighty good at it too. He’ll try to ruin your reputation. Swipe your sanity. Pilfer your friends. Rob you of family. At the least, bankrupt your peace. But, most of all, he targets your spiritual life. He attempts to make God look bad in every circumstance. Instead, St. Paul exhorts: “Become friends with God” (2 Corinthians 5:20 MSG).

That is, let him prove to you he’s worthy of your trust. He'll show you the way, every time. Don’t be swindled. Don't allow the most crucial relationship you’ll ever know be stolen from you by lies and deceit.

It so happens that Forest Bob recently stood at a close friend’s grave and felt like a precious gift had been ripped from him. “I had such an empty feelin’ in my gut. Like somethin’s missin’. Part of it was my friend. But that’s not all. I once had a relationship with God and somehow I lost it.”

It’s time for Forest Bob to go get his whole hog back.

What's the most precious thing that ever got stolen from you? Did you ever get it back?

Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon (Center Point Premier Western (Large Print))

NEW NOVELS NOW AVAILABLE: Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon and Creede of Old Montana . . . order through or get an autographed copy via  

Creede of Old Montana (Center Point Premier Western (Large Print))

COMING MARCH 2011: Throw The Devil Off The Train
Catherine Goodwin’s got to escape. She wants a fresh start with her fiancé in Paradise Springs, California. Race Hillyard’s into revenge. He seeks to settle a score. But it’s a long, crowded, volatile train ride from Omaha to Sacramento.