The Newest Celebrity Craze: Egyptian Magic®

You may have caught the buzz about a skin cream called Egyptian Magic. The ingredients, according to the label, are olive oil, bees wax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, bee propolis, and divine love. (Who knew you could bottle that? That’s one secret I need to look into!)

I like Egyptian Magic, but I make a homemade version that is less expensive, gives great results and smells wonderful. Science happens to be on its side, too. Using the same recipe I divulge, medical studies have examined the cream’s effectiveness for skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, and even diaper rash. (There’s more about these studies in my book.)

It’s easy to make my homemade version for about 75 % below the retail price of Egyptian Magic. Look for the free recipe on my downloads page, “Honey, Olive Oil & Beeswax Skin Cream.”

The real magic in the recipe is:

  • Honey: loaded with enzymes, minerals and amino acids, honey has been studied for use in wound healing and is a favorite among celebrities for its ability to plump up fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Olive oil: packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants, olive oil makes a fabulous moisturizer that won’t clog pores. Studies continue to be done that highlight how good olive oil is for us, inside and out.
  • Beeswax: a natural barrier that helps keep the nourishing ingredients close to the skin.

The ingredients are made from living sources, not “dead” chemicals cranked out in some factory. Try it on your dry skin, heels, and as a rich under eye night cream.

It’s always fun to see science catching up to what the ancients knew. And now you’re in on the secret, too!

Still curious about olive oil?

I’m getting emails from you early readers who are trying olive oil for the first time on your skin! Besides the benefits I list in the book, Beauty Secrets of the Bible, there continue to be good reasons to switch to this natural, nourishing moisturizer. Here’s an article from the BBC:

Researchers believe olive oil may offer some protection from sun damage. (It’s not a substitute for sunscreen, mind you.) So if you need a little extra incentive to make the switch from a storebrand moisturizer to olive oil, consider this report and do something good for your skin!

Still curious about honey?

So many women are trying honey on their skin for the first time after reading the sneak peeks from Beauty Secrets of the Bible. But of course, honey has been used on the skin since antiquity: a tablet dating back to 2000BC offers a recipe for honey as a skin treatment.

Science is only now discovering what the ancients knew: honey heals.

The Washington Post is featuring an article on honey’s new frontier: wound treatment. If the constant warnings about drug-resistent bacteria has you unsettled, you won’t want to miss the article.

Serpent Moon Trilogy Cancelled

I am receiving a lot of questions about the Serpent Moon Trilogy, and when the next two novels will be released.

I posted a message on my blog a few months ago about this issue, but my older postings didn’t make it onto this new website. So, here’s the scoop:

I am sad to say the next two books will not be released anytime soon. The publisher changed management, and made some decisions that ultimately led me to cancel the trilogy with them. But all the copies of Dark Hour say the next installment is due out this fall. I wish that were true, but it’s no longer the case. Publishing is a crazy business, both for writers and management. I wish everyone well who worked with me on the trilogy, and hope our paths cross again sometime soon.

So here’s what I’m working on now:

This September I am releasing Beauty Secrets of the Bible with Thomas Nelson, a book about rediscovering the ancient arts of beauty and perfume. And next year, my new novel will be released from David. C. Cook Publishers, entitled The Scribe. It features angels, so you’ll find me frequently posting here on angels.

Sign up for my newsletter online and you’ll get sneak peeks of both books!

On A Quiet Beach…

           The sea’s shattered dreams washed ashore and my children picked each one up, crying out at the beauty in each piece, carrying them to me for inspection. We carefully dropped each one into our bucket to wash later with great care and display in their bedrooms.

          Each shell, though broken, was a miracle beyond our ability. We cradled each one delicately, whispering how beautiful it must have been whole. Our hearts praised this world beyond our reach, a world so magnificent that even to find a shard washed up at our feet, discarded, was to find a coveted treasure.

         I wonder if our dreams are like these broken shells: infinite, delicate, patterns and colors and textures, churned by rough sand and sweeping tides. I imagine them washing ashore in heaven, where angels gasp in wonder and bring each shattered treasure, in joy, to God the Father. Yes, when it was whole, it was magnificent, but just to dream, to imagine new worlds and breathe them into being, is a thing of awe and wonder to the angels, because angels can’t dream. To dream, to call into creation a new world of thought, deed, or love, is the gift of God that we alone of all His creatures are blessed with.

        Someday, perhaps, when I walk through the gates of heaven, an angel will rush forward to meet me, carrying a big jar of the broken remnants of my life, displayed with love and awe in heaven. So dream today: a tiny one, or an extravagant one, it doesn’t matter. Angels are watching for them on the shores of heaven. 

Nature’s Miracle Cure for Splitting Nails?

Neem seed oil is purported to cure splitting, peeling nails, giving you gorgeous nails in record time.

But does it work?

Well, Dr. Hauschka®, the luxe brand of alternative beauty remedies, seems to think so. It’s a key ingredient in his Neem Nail Oil. But the price tag for this runs about $38 for one ounce, and contains a long list of other ingredients, including peanut oil and apricot oil.Comparably, a one-ounce bottle of 100% neem seed oil cost us about $8.We sampled both products. Dr. Hauschka’s has a mild, neutral scent. 100% neem seed oil, however, has a remarkable bouquet, reminiscent of burning rubber, with a lingering burnt hair finish. But the stuff works. In fact, I’d dare say, this is as close to a miracle cure as it gets in the natural beauty arena. Within days, my nails stopped splitting and peeling. I quit using it, and my nails remained strong for weeks. Now I use neem seed oil only as needed. If you don’t mind a brief, unpleasant olfactory encounter, and want to save significant money, use the 100% neem seed oil. But if you’re in for a splurge, Dr. Hauschka Neem Nail Oil is a great choice. 

Neem Seed Oil for Weak Nails
Use 1-2 drops per hand.
Rub it into the nails and cuticles. Wipe clean any excess oil. If you like, layer a scented lotion on top of this. 

You’ll find neem seed oil—and Dr. Hauschka Neem Nail Oil, at Whole Foods Market®. 

Last minute summer beauty tips…

Make the most of these last few weeks. Here are a few of my favorite tricks and tips… 

1.      Before sunning at the pool or beach, run conditioner through your hair. (For a natural, nourishing option, use 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil.) Pull hair up into a ponytail, or slick back under a hat. It’s a spa-rific hot oil treatment, without the spa-shock price tag.

2.    Need an emergency under-eye concealer? My favorite concealer is diaper rash ointment! I use the Burt’s Bees brand, and the high zinc oxide content gives me a nice concealer plus a little extra protection from the sun. Be sure to wear your regular sunscreen over this.

3.    Research has shown that consuming antioxidants can protect our skin from premature aging, as well as fight a host of ailments. Farmer’s markets are in full swing right now, so make plans to stop by one this week.

4.    If you spy some lovely tomatoes, my summer favorite, don’t be afraid to buy more than you’ll eat this week. They freeze! Just rinse, dry well, and pop the whole thing in the freezer. Add the whole, frozen tomato next time you’re making soup or sauce. The skin will float to the surface after it heats, and the tomato will be easy to mash into the soup. Nothing is easier, and nothing beats the taste! 

Catch me on Sirius 161!

On August 8th, you can catch me, together with hosts Randy Singer and Lorri Allen, on Sirius Satellite Channel 161 at 6am–6:27am CDT. The program is Mornings with Lorri  & Friends. We’ll be talking about the timely subject of women and political power, plus a few examples from biblical history that are still making tongues wag.  Randy, as you might know, is king of the courtroom drama, and author of the new novel False Witness. He was our guest on the TV show DeeperLiving recently–you have to catch the interview of you want to hear a terrifically funny author faux-pas. (Check it out on

GAYA Nomination

I’ve been nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award from the Georgia Writers Assocation. You can see the full list of nominees at:

I’ve benefited from the Georgia Writers Associations in many ways: they helped me land a gig writing for tea boxes (true! Look for me on Celestial Seasonings “Persian Mint Spice Decaf”) and introduced me to freelance editor Anne Fisher, who broke me of my love of commas. (Almost.) Everyone in the organization is passionate about writing and it was a great place for me to get started.

April marks the beginning of Awards Season for writers. No one is offering to let me wear their dresses, or stroll around in their jewels, or even do my hair, which is quite disappointing. Realisitically, writing nominees should get fresh pajamas, a complimentary bottle of eyeglass cleaner, and a package of Extra Strength Tylenol. (Actually, that’s for our spouses.) I have no expectation of winning, but I’ll let you in on a secret: taking a shower, dressing up, and attending a dinner where the food is hot and you use a knife AND fork, all while spying on your favorite authors in the room: that’s the real prize.
Continue reading GAYA Nomination

The History of the Refrigerator

I was a tennis widow once again. With the kids sleeping and the hour indecent to call my girlfriends, I watched a fascinating show on the history of the refrigerator. (I made some herb tea and caught the double feature: The History of the Vacuum.)

When the modern refrigerator was invented, every woman wanted one. That was good for business. Nearly every woman bought one. That was bad for business.

Once a household had a refrigerator, they did not need another one. Refrigerators last a long time; the market quickly reached saturation and the manufacturers were faced with bankruptcy. Until one man had an epiphany: change the colors.

Make the having the right color of refrigerator as important as owning one. Manufacturers began creating seasonal colors. If you had an avocado-colored refrigerator when burnt umber was the style, you no longer had a useful appliance. You had a social disaster. Once refrigerators became a fashion item, the buying market surged. Manufacturers have had steady business since. Marketing breeds discontent, discontent leads to purchases to recapture contentment, which marketing will upturn again to return you to the store.

It’s important that I share this. My refrigerator is white. Let the reader understand.