Friday, October 31, 2014

North Korea: The Opportunity of a Generation

People in North Korea bowing down and paying homage before the Grand Monument' statues of Kim H-Sung and his son, Kim ]ong-ll. How long wiU it be before the 25 million people North Korea once again worship jesus Christ?
People in North Korea bowing down and paying homage before the Grand
Monument statues of Kim II-Sung and his son, Kim Jong-ll

Do you know much about North Korea? Most people around the world know very little about this isolated country sandwiched between China and South Korea. You may have heard that North Korea has been led by a dynasty of oppressive leaders all with the family name of Kim, that they have secretly developed nuclear weapons, or that President George W Bush included North Korea in his “axis of evil.” There is so much more to North Korea than meets the eye. 

Here are some surprising facts you may not know:

1. North Korea experienced a massive revival in the first half of the 20th century, with millions of people coming to faith in Jesus Christ. So many churches sprung up throughout the land that by the early 1940s, approximately 30% of the population in the city of Pyongyang (now the capital of North Korea) were church-going Christians, earning the city the nickname, ”Jerusalem of the East”. Billy Graham’s late wife, Ruth, attended a Christian boarding school in Pyongyang as a teen in the 1920s.
2. In the 1950s the brutal Korean War resulted in the Korean Peninsula being divided into the Communist North and the democratic South, a division that remains to this day. Virtually all Christians in North Korea were either killed or fled south, forming the basis for the sizable percentage of South Korea’s population who are Christians today.

3. North Korea’s Communist founder, Kim II-Sung, came from a devout Christian family. His father was a Presbyterian minister. Once Kim gained power in 1948 he established a bizarre personality cult, set himself up as a god, and launched a horrific persecution against Christians, inventing new and demonic ways of torturing and killing people.

A Golden Opportunity

Christian history is littered with wonderful opportunities which were sadly squandered. In the year 1266, the great Emperor of the Mongol world empire, Kublai Khan, requested that 100 missionaries be sent to his palace in Beijing. He laid down this challenge to Marco Polo: “Send me a hundred men learned in your religion, who in the face of these sorcerers will show their mastery by making the sorcerers powerless to perform these marvels in their presence. Then I will be baptized, and all my magnates and barons will do likewise, and their subjects in turn. Then there will be more Christians here than there are in your part of the world.”

By the time the first team of missionaries arrived in China 28 years later, Kublai Khan was already dead and the Mongol people had embraced Buddhism, which remains their religion to the present time. A golden opportunity was missed.

Centuries later, in 1945 a devastated Japan lay in ruins in the aftermath of World War II. The U.S. General Douglas MacArthur stated, “Japan is in a spiritual vacuum. Send 5,000 missionaries and 10 million Bibles and Japan will be filled with Christianity.” Few Bibles or missionaries were sent, and Japan remains Buddhist to the present time. Only about 1% of Japan’s 125 million people are Christians today. Another great opportunity was lost.
North Korean naval personnel during a massive military parade
Many Christian and human rights organizations inform the world about the gruesome abuses that take place in North Korea. There are thousands of Christians currently languishing in North Korean prison labor camps, facing dastardly tortures that are comparable to anything depraved men have inflicted on one another in the history of humanity. In this newsletter we have decided not to focus on the rampant persecution in North Korea, but rather we would like to share a wonderful opportunity that exists for Christians around the world to help our brothers and sisters in this needy country.

A Famine of God’s Word 

Due largely to corruption and wicked practices, North Korea has been experiencing a food shortage for years. Hundreds of thousands of people have died of starvation, while the leaders indulge themselves in opulent palaces equipped with all the latest luxuries, including a theme park and wave pool! 

In the six decades since the advent of Communist rule in North Korea, a famine of God’s Word has also been prevalent.Anyone caught reading a Bible is considered a threat to national security. They may be executed, or sent to a prison labor camp for years, which is often considered a worse fate than death.
Only heaven will reveal the multitudes of North Korean Christians who have been martyred for their faith. Their names are unkown to us now. but the Lord Jesus knows them, and He will honor them with a martyrs’ crown (Revelation 2:8-10).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Kurds: The People Without a Friend

The Miracle of the Kurds: A Remarkable Story of Hope Reborn in Northern Iraq by Stephen Mansfield is a dream unfolding before the very eyes of the world. Long neglected, despised and systematically annihilated by Saddam Hussein's regime while the world looked the other way, the Kurds numbering approximately thirty million and inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan which spans adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey are the largest people group in the world without a homeland of their own.

With Masoud Barzani as the President of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, his son Masrour Barzani as the Kurdish intelligence chief and Najat Ali Saleh as commander of the Kurdish army, things are certainly looking bright for the Kurdish people. However, the biggest stumbling block to the attainment of independence is the policy of One Iraq pursued by the United States government. Yet, the Kurdish people are America's staunchest ally in the region. It may be pertinent to point out that no American soldier was killed in the Kurdish region between 2003, when it invaded Iraq, and 2011, when it pulled out of the country. Very recently in August when the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) captured swathes of land and made huge incursion into the Kurdish region, 5 top Kurdish commanders were relieved of their posts and detained for interrogation. The captured town and villages were retaken and the ISIS fighters were driven back. Kurdish soldiers are known as peshmerga or "those who face death."

New York Times bestselling author Stephen Mansfield's newest book focuses on the Kurdish people and their resilience which has taken them to a crossroad in their long struggle for independence and survival. Written along the line of his earlier insightful and perceptive books like The Faith Of George W. Bush, The Faith of Barack Obama and Killing Jesus: The Hidden Drama Behind the World's Most Famous Execution, The Miracle of the Kurds is a compelling book which sheds much light on this group of people who called themselves "the people without a friend." Mansfield has also painted a fascinating portrait of Mullah Mustafa Barzani, Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani.

The nine-chapter book ends with an interesting appendix- The Wisdom of the Kurds: 100 Proverbs. Here are several of them which will make you think:
- In a flat country, a hillock thinks itself a mountain.
- Those away from the battlefield boasts about their swords.
- A thief not caught becomes a king.
- Those who do not go to war roar like a lion.
- One gives twice who gives quickly.
- No matter where you go, your destiny follows you.
- A good companion shortens the longest road.
- Loneliness is a nest for the thoughts.
- God finds a low branch for the bird that cannot fly.
- A visitor comes with ten blessings, eats one and leaves nine.
- Part with your head but not with your secret.
- If skill could be gained by watching, every dog would become a butcher.
- The devil tempts all, but the idle man tempts the devil.
- Ability has no school.
Stephen Mansfield is a writer and speaker best known for his groundbreaking books on the role of religion in history, leadership, and modern culture. He first came to international attention with The Faith of George W. Bush, the New York Times bestseller that influenced Oliver Stone’s film, W. His book The Faith of Barack Obama was another international bestseller. He has written celebrated biographies of Booker T. Washington, George Whitefield, Winston Churchill, and Abraham Lincoln, among others. Stephen speaks around the world on topics of faith, leadership, and culture. He is also the founder of two firms: The Mansfield Group ( and Chartwell Literary Group ( He lives in Nashville and in Washington, DC, with his wife, Beverly, who is an award-winning songwriter and producer.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

A Letter from God to Me

Dear Noelene,

Now, this is what I am saying to you. Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you. I have called you by name, and you are Mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you. When you cross rivers, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flames consume you. this is because I, the Lord, am you God. You are precious to Me, because I give you honor and love you.
We live in this world; therefore, we are going to have difficult times. God has given each one of us freedom of choice; some of the decisions we make will be wrong and we must face the consequences of those decisions. Sometimes circumstances will be beyond our control – people we love will hurt us. However, God has given us His assurance He will be with us through everything. God’s letter to me went on to say:
Don’t be afraid because I am with you. I formed you and made you for My glory. I chose you so you would know and believe Me; so you would understand I am the true God. I, Myself, am the Lord, I am the only Saviour. I, Myself, have spoken, saved, and told you these things. I will send armies to Babylon for you, and I will knock down all its locked gates.
Babylon was a nation during Old Testament times – one of the nations that held the people of God (the Jews) in captivity. In Scripture (particularly prophecy), Babylon is often used to represent opposition to God that leads to bondage. The things in our lives that hold us in bondage – alcoholism, pride, unforgiveness, eating disorders, fear of the future, guilt over the past, etc. – are considered our “Babylon”. Our Babylon usually blocks God’s good and perfect will in our lives.

God promises He will release us and set us free with His armies knocking down the bondages in our lives. He will open gates we have locked against Him because of sin, worries, and insecurities. He will make a way of escape from the bondages that try to hold us hostage. We must grasp this truth: We are not on our own. God will actually send in His armies to destroy the chains sin has on our lives, so we can live every day to the full. His letter to me concludes:
Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert of your life, rivers in the dry land of your life, and you will sing songs of praise to Me. Noelene, I am the One who forgives all your sins, for My name sake: for My name sake I will not remember your sins. Love God, your Heavenly Father!
(Isaiah 43:1-18, paraphrased)

by Noelene Curry
Author of "God's Promise for Families"
Extract from the book “God’s Promise for Families”

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Living in Empty Spaces by Cecil Murphey

After the death of my wife, I lived in empty spaces. I had been disconnected from my old life and from the person I loved most. I called it grief, which it was.
But it was something more.
All of us have those times when we can't go back to the old and we can't get a secure hold on the new. The tendency is to fill the time with activities and busy-ness. Anything to divert us from living with nothingness.
In the past that was my pattern, and it worked. Eventually I pushed away the artificial changes so I could flow into the new direction of my life.
After Shirley died, I walked through vacant spots and experienced lonely hours. I tried different forms of writing and widened my social connections. But I was aware of the emptiness and this time I determined not to run from it.
Beyond the tears (and there were many in private), I focused on seeing life differently. I stood at a place I hadn't been before, and each day I decided not to focus on beautiful memories of our relationship. Instead, I chose the path of intentional loneliness.
When I felt alone and like an alien to myself, I took long, solitary walks. The emptiness passed, and I now see those months as a special time. I learned things about myself—insights I wouldn't have grasped any other way. My life is richer and fuller for having done that.

I need the emptiness in life 
to accept the fullness of life.
Cecil Muphey is a writer, speaker, teacher and survivor.  
This article is taken from Cec's October newsletter. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Must-Read Book for Every Woman

Megan Clinton, author of the bestselling books Totally God’s and Smart Girls, Smart Choices: Avoiding the 10 Biggest Mistakes Young Women Make and several devotionals in the Totally God’s line is a rebel with a cause. Her latest book, Be Rebellious: Fight Back Against A Culture That Doesn't Care about You is deeply stirring, incredibly powerful and pointedly thought-provoking. The book is a trumpet call to remind readers to stop conforming and stand out as God’s chosen.

Some of the insightful chapters include A Cruel Joke, Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid, No Longer a Victim, Dare to Believe, I Am Woman, Sexy and Sexy, From Facebook to Face to Face, Something to Live For and Rebel and Be Set Free. The book will make you think things through and reevaluate your priorities in life, and give a new meaning to your faith.

The book shows what it means to be a Christian woman in today's world. While there is the tendency to go with the flow, this book gives a clarion call to journey on in faith – out of this world and into God’s heart. Be Rebellious: Fight Back Against A Culture That Doesn't Care about You by Megan Clinton is a must-read book for every Christian woman.

Megan Clinton (now Megan Clinton Allison) graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Pre-Med/Biology and is currently attending Physician Assistant (PA) School at Jefferson College of Health Sciences. As part of the Extraordinary Women travel team with her mom, Julie Clinton, Megan has a passion to see young women find their identity in Christ, be set free, and live God’s dream for their lives. In addition, she is excited to be equipped as a PA to provide medical care to those in need through international mission work. Megan is the author of Totally God’s (with her dad, Dr. Tim Clinton), Totally God’s 4 Life Devotional, and Smart Girls, Smart Choices: Avoiding the 10 Biggest Mistakes Young Women Make (with Laura Captari). Megan was recently married to the love of her life and high-school sweetheart, Ben. They have a teacup Yorkie named Bella.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Beginning Today

Beginning today, I will no longer worry about yesterday.
It is in the past and the past will never change.
Only I can change by choosing to do so.

Beginning today, I will no longer worry about tomorrow.
Tomorrow will always be there, waiting for me to make the most of it.
But I cannot make the most of tomorrow without first making the most of today.

Beginning today, I will look in the mirror and I will see a person worthy of my respect and admiration.
This capable person looking back at me is someone I enjoy spending time with and someone I would like to get to know better.

Beginning today, I will cherish each moment of my life.
I value this gift bestowed upon me in this world and I will unselfishly share this gift with others.
I will use this gift to enhance the lives of others.

Beginning today, I will take a moment to step off the beaten path and to revel in the mysteries I encounter.
I will face challenges with courage and determination.
I will overcome what barriers there may be which hinder my quest for growth and self-improvement.

Beginning today, I will take life one day at a time, one step at a time.
Discouragement will not be allowed to taint my positive self-image, my desire to succeed or my capacity to love.

Beginning today, I walk with renewed faith in human kindness.
Regardless of what has gone before, I believe there is hope for a brighter and better future.

Beginning today, I will open my mind and my heart.
I will welcome new experiences. I will meet new people.
I will not expect perfection from myself nor anyone else: perfection does not exist in an imperfect world.
But I will applaud the attempt to overcome human foibles.

Beginning today, I am responsible for my own happiness and I will do things that make me happy....
admire the beautiful wonders of nature, listen to my favorite music, pet a kitten or a puppy, soak in a bubble bath . . .
Pleasure can be found in the most simple of gestures.

Beginning today, I will learn something new; I will try something different; I will savor all the various flavors life has to offer.
I will change what I can and the rest I will let go.
I will strive to become the best me I can possibly be.

Beginning today! And every day!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Portrait for Toni

A Portrait for Toni book coverA Portrait for Toni by Annette Lyon
Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? When Toni’s father lands in the hospital, Carter, as always, is there for her. That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, the hot new guy at the studio, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away—then instantly regrets it. One night after a performance, Toni tries to mend the hurt between them. Instead of finding Carter, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible. Isn’t it?

Praise for the Book
"I finished this book several days ago and have since read another book, but I cannot get this one off of my mind. It was so genuine, thought provoking and the love story was such a good one. There were times when I cried, felt anxiety for the main characters, laughed and felt my heart breaking. . . . I want to go back and read it again because having finished it, I feel a loss, like I lost my best friend. It really was so excellent, and one of the best books I have read in a long time." -Brookeyloo on Amazon "I loved the characters in this book they were so real. I found myself relating in some instances to the characters. I laughed, cried, and got mad with them. I loved reading Toni's journey, and seeing the strength she had to push through it. It was heartbreaking to picture what she was going through. I loved how Annette made that part so real. . . . Annette did a wonderful job with the hard subject in the story. She brought humor at times when it was needed. She also did an amazing job bringing it all together at the end! I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, it will touch your heart. I stayed up late just to finish it! It was definitely worth it!!" - Amie loves to Read on Amazon "Annette Lyon at her best. A Portrait of Toni has everything I love about a book. Real issues that will make you cry, smile and the love of a true friend. A book you can't out down because you feel you need to read on as to help Toni get through this. You will find yourself quickly in her life and dreams as you want so much to be there to help her.... A must read book." -Linda Young on Amazon

   add to goodreads

“Now you tell me about your ultimate dream. Do you still see yourself as a famous artist living out of a penthouse in Paris? Or is it Rome now?” Carter couldn’t take his eyes from Toni’s. He wished she could hear his thoughts, know his feelings. “My dreams aren’t too different from yours. I’d love to settle down with a wife, be a dad, have kids.” He gazed into her eyes. Figure it out! “Hey, here’s an idea,” Toni said with a laugh. “In another ten years if we’re both single, let’s get married. What do you say?” She put out her hand as if to seal the deal, but Carter just laughed sardonically. Great. She was making a mockery of the one thing he hoped for. She lowered her hand. “What, am I that repulsive?” “Of course not.” Carter’s mind was spinning. What could he say that was both true and hid the truth at the same time? “I can’t see either of us marrying without—‌” He cut off, but Toni smiled, seeming to know what he meant. “Without what, romance? Falling madly in love? All that stuff is highly overrated. Trust me, I’ve been there.” She shook her head derisively. All that stuff was hard to deal with when the object of your feelings didn’t return them. He’d been there. “Do the math, Toni. In ten years, you’ll be thirty-seven. You may not be able to get in two or three kids.” “Then I’ll settle for one.” She punched his shoulder. “We could even adopt kids to avoid the whole ‘we’re not in love’ issue.” “Oh, right,” he said, rolling his eyes. She raised her eyebrows provocatively. “Fine. We can be married... with benefits.” She laughed. His face went hot; he had to turn around so she wouldn’t see his reaction. No way did he want her guessing how much he wanted to hold her, wake up beside her — ‌make children together. He leaned against the car and laughed along. With any luck, it sounded natural. Instead of shaking on the deal or giving her a direct answer, he opened her car door so she could get in. And so he could escape. She sat down and put her purse on the passenger seat. “Thanks for inviting me.” “You bet. Talk to you later.” Carter watched her drive off. When she waved, he lifted one hand and did the same. You’re killing me, Toni.
Author Annette Lyon
annette lyonAnnette Lyon is a Whitney Award winner (Band of Sisters, Best General Fiction 2010). She has also been a Whitney finalist two other times, for Spires of Stone (2007) and Paige (2012). She has received Utah’s Best of State medal for literary arts in fiction twice (2007 and 2013) in addition to five publication awards from the League of Utah Writers, most recently the Silver Quill Award in 2013. She’s published well over a hundred articles and more than a dozen books, including novels, novellas, a cookbook, and a grammar guide. She’s one of the coauthors of The Newport Ladies Book Club series and one of the standing contributors to the Timeless Romance Anthology collections. When she’s not mothering, writing, knitting, or eating chocolate, she can be found ignoring the spots on the kitchen floor.  

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crossreads Book Blast with Robin Merrill


The Jesus Diet: How the Holy Spirit Coached Me to a 50-Pound Weight Loss
By Robin Merrill

About the Book:

In The Jesus Diet: How the Holy Spirit Coached Me to a 50-Pound Weight Loss, Author/Poet Robin Merrill shares her weight loss experiences through 30 Bible devotions designed to inspire others to join her on her journey toward improved spiritual, and physical, health.

robin 12 web (2)Robin Merrill is the author of several books, including The Jesus Diet: How the Holy Spirit Coached Me to a 50-Pound Weight Loss (30 Devotions), two collections of poetry from Moon Pie Press, and five Scholastic Book Fair books. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications, including The Cafe Review, Ledge Magazine, Margie, Pearl, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Stolen Island Review. Three of her poems have been featured on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. She is a 2013 recipient of an Emerging Artist Award from St. Botolph Club Foundation of Boston. Robin is also a performance/slam poet who has competed at the national level. She has her MFA from Stonecoast and frequently leads creative writing workshops for writers of all levels.

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Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Robin Merrill! a Rafflecopter giveaway 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!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Son of War, Daughter of Chaos

Son of War
Son of War, Daughter of Chaos
Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life. When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.

Son of War Daughter of Chaos Blog Tour

Janette RallisonAuthor Janette Rallison Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that. Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off. Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)

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Blast Giveaway
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Ends 8/17/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Husband Maker

The Husband Maker by Karey WhiteThe Husband Maker by Karey White Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next. Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed? When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

Get your copy of The Husband Maker for just $3.99!

I’d always heard the view from Top of the Mark was exceptional. When San Francisco Life listed the top ten places to view the skyline at night, Top of the Mark was ranked number three, so when the invitation to Harrison’s wedding arrived, I finally had an excuse to take in the view for myself.
Stupid, stupid me. I should have taken a cab up the steep hills to 999 California Street, hopped on the elevator to the nineteenth floor, and looked out the windows. I could have come with or without makeup, and I could have worn jeans and a t-shirt. If I’d brought Mia or Aleena with me, we could have had a nice dinner or dessert. If I’d brought Angus, we could have had both. Since Top of the Mark was built at the crest of Nob Hill, I could have snapped a jaw-dropping photo or two with my iPhone and made the sparkling skyline my screen saver.
But no. I had to come see it on the night my old boyfriend was marrying a 49ers cheerleader named Nicki, who’d had more remodeling than an episode of Property Brothers. She looked like a Who’s Who of Hollywood parts—Scarlett’s nose, Angelina’s lips, and Kim’s cheekbones. Her bias-cut dress clung to her other (ahem) purchased body parts and made me feel very un-girly in comparison.
“Nicki, this is Charlotte.” Harrison looked me level in the eye, and for the first time all evening, I felt an inch of relief that things hadn’t worked out between us. Five-eleven is pretty average for a guy, and Harrison towered over Nicki, even in her stilettos. But the only way he’d ever have been able to look down at me the way he’d looked down at Nicki when they’d exchanged their vows was if he’d stood on a stool. I know it’s not important, and it makes me sound completely shallow, but I read a romance once where the leading man “gazed down at his true love with tender eyes.” Someday, I’d like a guy to gaze down at me with tender eyes. And I’d rather not have to be standing in a hole for that to happen.
“It’s fabulous to finally meet you.” Nicki’s voice was chirpy, and her lips didn’t move quite right. “I want to thank you for breaking his heart”—she puckered up and baby-talked—“so I could put it back together.” She pulled him down by his tuxedo lapel to kiss his cheek, then wiped the red smear away with her acrylic-nailed thumb.
Well, this was awkward. And I wasn’t the only one feeling it. Harrison’s eyes begged me not to set the record straight.
You see, Harrison had broken up with me. “I’m not ready for the whole settling down with one woman thing,” he’d said four short months ago. “You’re ready to get married, and I won’t be ready for that scene for years.”
Maybe he’d meant dog years.
“Congratulations, you two. You make a much better couple than we ever did,” I said, although it stung to admit it.
“Did Will come? I saw Angus a little while ago,” Harrison said. Will is my twin brother. No, his name is not Wilbur, although we’ve been asked if our parents had a thing for Charlotte’s Web more times than I can count. His name is William, and he’s the reason I ended up dating Harrison in the first place.
Our families lived on the same street in Fairfield, but I barely remembered Harrison, who was two years older than us. Nearly a year ago, Will and Harrison had been at the same concert, and Harrison had asked Will if his little sister was still available. Will wasn’t sure if he meant me or McKayla, but since McKayla was already married, he gave Harrison my number. On our first date, Harrison admitted he hadn’t been asking about me, but he was decent enough to say he was glad for the mix-up. And the rest is history.
A short and tragic history, but history nonetheless.
“Will and his wife are in D.C. right now interviewing.” I stepped on my tiptoes and scanned the room over the groom’s head. “I didn’t know Angus was here.”
“I talked to him earlier, but he might have left already,” Harrison said.
I nearly knocked over a waiter as I jumped away from Nicki’s scream. “Look, Kitten. It’s Baxter Kensington. I didn’t think he’d actually come.”
Kitten? Did she really call him that? Harrison’s red face confirmed that yes, she had. “He plays for the 49ers,” he explained, and I nodded.
“I’d better go and make room for the celebrities,” I said, and Harrison grinned. He’d always appreciated my sarcasm, and his cute grin jabbed at my not-quite-healed heart.
“Thanks for coming.” He pulled me into a hug while his bride arranged her dress to best flatter her cleavage and patted the sides of her platinum fauxhawk. “Are things good with us?” he said quietly in my ear.
I pulled away. “Oh sure.”
“I was worried—”
“Nothing to worry about. Go. Be happy.”
“Thanks, Charlotte.”
I turned away, my eyes stinging, and nearly barreled into one of the most stunning specimens of athleticism I’d ever seen. His pale yellow shirt and silvery gray suit contrasted beautifully with his dark skin. No wonder the bride was swooning about someone other than the groom. Poor Harrison looked like a little boy in comparison.
Ah, one of the hazards of marrying a cheerleader.
Through slightly blurred vision, I saw Harrison put his arm around Nicki. Not too long ago, I’d thought that would be me, though the venue and guest list would have been drastically different.

Husband Maker Tour

Karey WhiteAuthor Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

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