Friends! Mark your calendar now to dash over to Middletown United Methodist Church next Monday night, October 24th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Men and women are welcome!
The ladies of Branches Book Club will be hosting Retro Night. They’re playing some of the oldies from the 60’s from WPER in Liz’ novel, Mixed Signals, as well as from Bill’s book, Eden Hill, which is set in the 60’s, all the while whippin’ up root beer floats and coke floats! The floats will be made in mugs you get to take home. Hey, motivation is everywhere. (Not to mention, there’ll be fabulous door prizes as well!)
Icing on the cake is we’ll be blessed to have TWO visiting authors! Liz Curtis Higgs and her husband Bill, will be talking about their books, entertaining questions, and signing their books. We’ll be discussing two novels: Mixed Signals by Liz and Eden Hill by Bill.
You can catch my thumbs’ up review of Bill’s book Eden Hill, here:
We’ll get to hear from Bill about his writing process, his characters, etc. This is his debut novel which is a HUGE accomplishment. Obviously, Liz is very proud of her hubbie! She’ll be talking about Mixed Signals and hopefully a little about her newest release, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart. They will share their writing experiences together, interview style, much to our delight.
Liz’ novel, Mixed Signals, was published in 1999. This was her very first contemporary fiction she wrote, followed by Bookends (2000), followed by Fine Print in Three Weddings and a Giggle (2001), and finally Mercy Like Sunlight in Unveiling Magdalene (2001).
Liz then turned to Scottish historical fiction with Thorn in my Heart (2003). She’ll be the first to tell you, she’s never looked back!
I read Mixed Signals when it released, but needed to revisit it to jog my memory. (I can’t remember milk at the grocery store, much less what I read seventeen years ago!) I found it just as captivating as before. Liz keeps you on your toes.
You’ll instantly fall in love with her characters. How Liz weaves God’s grace and forgiveness into the story line is breathtaking. The banter between potential lovebirds will make you laugh out loud.
The setting is positively charming. From Liz’ descriptive writing, you feel as if you’re right there in Abingdon with Belle, David, Patrick, and Norah. Liz includes not one, but two love stories, plus a side of sweet friendship. The friendship blooms between Belle and Norah.
Liz writes, “Morning after morning, in the cozy confines of the shop, their friendship had begun quilting itself together with tiny, intricate stitches…Their friendship fell somewhere between sisters and friends, with a dash of mother-daughter dynamics thrown in for good measure.”
Right about the time you think all problems are solved, and all relationships are tied up in a pretty little package, Liz throws you a curve ball. One cup of coffee consumed too many, coupled with this curve ball, caused my heart to nearly beat out of my chest.
I kept thinking, “Surely she’s not going to harm these characters??? Surely she won’t end this in disaster???” If you’re not glued to the book from the beginning, you’ll be tethered to it in the end. Mercy.
Even if you haven’t had time to read these two novels by the Higgs’, come meet them and spend some time with them. You’ll be beyond blessed. You can always read their books afterwards. When you do, you’ll be able to hear Liz and Bill’s voices reading to you, a huge perk from coming to Book Club.
As if the timing couldn’t be more perfect, this week, on October 18th, a lovely, new, devotional-style book by Liz releases called 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart. This book will be available not only in bookstores, but the Higgs’ will also be bringing it to Book Club. (Start your Christmas shopping!)
I was blessed to read an early copy. As I finished each chapter, I’d text Liz and say, “Ok, now this chapter is my favorite.” Friends, they’re all wonderful.
Some verses you’ll immediately recognize while some may be less known. As only Liz can do, she unpacks them, word by word, or phrase-by-phrase, making them come alive, applying them to our daily lives.
An added challenge comes with this beautiful book: We, the readers, are invited to memorize these Scriptures. Each of the thirty-one chapters offers a different tip for how to do exactly that.
Scripture memory continues to haunt me on a regular basis whether from an author, or a book, or a Bible study. Here we go again…
When I was in Nashville in August, I showed 31 Verses to my friend, Meredith. She, too, said she always wants to attempt memorizing the Word, but never determines to do it. With that, she blind-sided me: “Let’s do this together!” Well, what does one do with that?
I said, “Okay!” Hey, and with Liz as your coach? We all should say, “Yes! We’re in!”
Friends, here’s your challenge! Please comment and let me know if you’re in! You’ll be entered in a drawing to win your own copy of 31 Verses!!!
Karen Ehman calls this, “Your new spiritual strategy for deepening your daily walk with God.”
Patsy Clairmont says, “Writing God’s Word on our hearts is insurance. It’s truth we can call on 24/7 in times of fear, insecurity, or intimidation.”
Are you in? Pray about this! While this book is great for your own individual use, consider using it with your Bible study group or Small Group. Our Tuesday group, better known as Blessings on Burlington, generally breaks during the holidays, thus giving us several weeks off. We’re hoping to use this book to keep our faces in the Word. It’s the perfect tool.
One of many favorite examples comes from Chapter 14: Comfort Food. It focuses on Isaiah 41:10.
Liz says this verse is, “Simple, straightforward nutrition that fills our hearts with everything we hunger for…” No panic, no worry, no anxiety: “there is nothing to fear” (AMPC).
She encourages us by reminding us, “He is with you, beloved. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, He’s on your side and by your side. What a balm to our anxious hearts to know we are never alone.”
Each chapter blesses the reader with new insights and this one (chapter 14) is no exception: “Every time we see some variation of ‘I am your God’ in Scripture, that’s our cue to embrace the truth and respond in kind, ‘I am Your child.’”
“Even if your earthly parents dropped the ball, you can be very sure God did not, cannot, and will not. He is the father you can trust completely.”
See what a blessing this is? Thank you, Lizzie!
We all hope to see you next Monday night, October 24th, at Book Club at Middletown United Methodist Church from 6:30-8:00 p.m.!
Bring your friends and don’t forget, men and women are welcome.
‘Til next time!