Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


Interview: Lena Nelson Dooley’s Catherine

Catherine's headshot (1)
Lena Nelson Dooley
is truly a treasure and her series “McKenna’s Daughters” is nothing short of epic! Her final book, Catherine’s Pursuitthough a stand-alone story, brings the entire trilogy to a satisfying ending. What a remarkable heroine! Continue reading


Thinking about Heroes

I didn’t plan it this way, but this topic ended up being perfect for me this semester. I direct the children’s music program at our church and this April they are performing The First Action Heroes. Yes, I’ll share pictures! Continue reading


Four More Heroic Traits

Last week I broached the subject of some attributes of a hero. My mind got drawn to this topic when I watched a Youtube video of a blogger announcing her top 10 list of heroes. I started thinking about what makes a hero a hero. So today, I’ve got a few more traits to share. Continue reading


Heroic Greatness

After my frolic with all things romance last week, I decided to investigate the details and depth of heroes. Have you ever wondered what it is that makes great heroes great? Me too. I’ve had so much fun researching different opinions about them. If you enjoy fiction, whether books or movies, I’m thinking you’ll have opinions about what makes a good hero. The characteristics might not be what you think. Continue reading


PINK PARTY: Top 5 Greatest Couples

Welcome back to the PINK PARTY! Don’t look now,  but Heart Bouquets, where you can find my short story, “Life is Sweet,” is FREE at Amazon! Yes, right now! Go over there and get it, then come back and enjoy the party topic for today!

Happy season when we think of the things we love most about the people we love most. Are you contemplating someone special? In honor of tomorrow’s celebration of hearts and roses, I decided to analyze the top 5 greatest couples of all time. This list has been scientifically compiled by some of the most outstanding romantics of the 21st century.

Continue reading


Heroes in 4 Categories

I looked up the word archetype the other day. I thought the word just referred to broad types of characters in literature. Boy did I have a few surprises. Seriously, some of what I read bored the tar out of me. I didn’t care about the ways that some of the heroes were developed, and I didn’t need to delve too deeply into the life and times of the philosophers who created the categories. But I loved the psychology behind the project. Continue reading


Must-Read for Writers

After spending the week absorbing this amazing book, I had to stop and review The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFeer, and Sue Viders.

I can’t say that I actually read this book from cover to cover, but I jumped all over it,

Continue reading


Honor to Whom Honor is Due

My new church family had an overwhelming weekend. The Senior Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist in Carrollton, Dr. Wayne Allen, passed away last Monday. Though I never met the man, I’ve learned quite a lot about Dr. Allen. Enough to be profoundly in his debt for raising a leadership at FBCC that has hearts and minds focused on Christ and on His kingdom. I’m so very grateful to him for building a loving and welcoming church family where we can begin anew.

And I couldn’t help but think of other men of God who have made such a difference in my life. Like the man I consider my own Sr. Minister Emeritus, Dennis Slaughter, who led a growing church with a big heart for almost 30 years. But I see him as the man who wrote notes to each of my children in their first Bibles. With a hula-hoop around his middle or with ant antennae sticking out of his head. I can hear him deliver his lines in various musicals and sing the annual church picnic song. I don’t get to see him and his precious wife very often anymore, but I love every opportunity I have to give them both a big hug and let them know the depth of my appreciation.

He reminds me of another Sr. Minister, Rev. (Brother) John Schuler of Casa Linda United Methodist Church. I don’t remember much about his sermons, or even the activities of that little church in Dallas, but I remember his heart. And his smile. And the way he’d let us kids call him BJ.

I remember Stan Allcorn who performed our wedding, and Dr. David Hankins who baptized me, both at First Baptist Church in Commerce, Texas.

And then some other special ministers. Ron Key stands out, blessed with an amazing ability to lead worship and write church musicals. Keith Ferguson, anointed music minister of my new church who moves me with his talent and his heart for the Lord. Rodney Hull who made such a difference in my kids’ lives. Wes Wilkinson who has begun to challenge them with new inspiration. Robin Smith, who is as much dear friend as minister, yet his heart becomes completely exposed when he worships the Father. Weldon Gilmore who could pull off a singing dragonfly, yet speak in such depth as to draw tears, even his own.

My current Sr. Minister, Dr. Brent Taylor, reminds me a lot of Weldon and Denny. He talks to us, sharing from his heart. He has a passion for the Word and offers truth without apology. But he can also crack a joke with a totally straight face. He is such a delight to hear and I feel so blessed that God led us to our new church home.

I know I’ve focused mainly on men in the ministry who have made a difference in my life. This week leading up to Father’s Day is a perfect opportunity to herald other fellows who have meant so much to me!

I can start with my brother, Randy Starks. What a wonderful time when “Bubba” went from tormentor to best friend. And that he still remains. He and his family are some of my favorite people! His son Daniel and my son Richie inspire me, too, and not just with their laugh-a-minute personalities. Men of depth and strength, I can’t wait to see what God does with them.

I learned the true meaning of father watching my sweet hubby with his dad, Gerald. That man is the epitome of respect and humility, yet absolutely brilliant. And then there is sweet hubby. An amazing provider, an excellent father, a supportive encourager.

All of these men deserve honor for what they have done or are doing for the kingdom, and my sincerest gratitude for how they’ve touched my life.

Your turn. What men or women have blessed your heart? Leave a note of who they are and what they mean to you. Then drop them a line and let them know how much you appreciate them, too.