Friends of THE COVERED BET – The Music Makers


I love music. All kinds, (well, you know—melody—rhythm—beat—not just noise!) I play the piano, but not well; I play the violin, but not well; I sing — you get the idea.

Other people’s music is always around me, erupting everywhere, at odd times. (Like Diana.) Everything I write highlights music in one form or another. Recent case—THE COVERED BET.

Diana, Kaleb and Manu have music in their souls. In order to pull together emotions and melody I needed the help of two friends who are tops and well-known in their respective music arenas—friends God placed on my path. They gave me suggestions, counsel and one wrote a song for me. Prepare to be blown away—I am blessed, thrilled and proud to present to you

(appearing here with her famous husband, Frank)

betsyhernandezBetsy Hernandez and Frank are known by parents and children everywhere for their music and video productions.

Their co-created recordings include the Grammy-nominated Music Machine AND the series everyone with kids remembers— “Bullfrogs and Butterflies!
Betsy was featured singer on Oliver’s Song, Animals and Other Things, The Story of Little Tree, Nathaniel the Grublet, Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes and the Character Builders series.

A few years ago I saw Betsy and Frank on stage! Betsy was lead singer and Frank played bass as they traveled internationally with the popular Christian band, Silverwind. I was a big fan of this great group—still play their “tapes,” but they are now available on iTunes!

Betsy worked with her husband as a book, song, scriptwriter and singer on The Bible: The Amazing Book and other series. Little Clowns of Happytown, was an animated cartoon series for the ABC network!

In the country-music Mecca, NASHVILLE! they wrote songs for Sparrow Records and saw the off-stage goings-on at The Grand Ol’ Opry! . Betsy joined Michael Card to sing nine of the songs on his platinum CD, Sleep Sound In Jesus! She co-authored a children’s Christmas book, Silent Night: A Mouse Tale.

The Hernandez team created children’s videos and CDs in Guideposts Junction, with Jodi Benson, the voice of Disney’s Little Mermaid, plus for two popular series featuring artist, Steve Green: “Hide ‘em in Your Heart,” songs for Bible memorization. They are available on iTunes. The Adventures of Prayer Bear is another video. .

The two wrote Sunday School curriculum, and Betsy penned articles for Spirit Led Woman, a Strang Communications magazine. For the animated series, Kingdom Under The Sea, Betsy wrote scripts and did the voice-over.

We were in the same critique group while Betsy worked on a heart-felt novel about life in the music business. I’m confident one day you will get to read her books. Now, she and her husband live in Boise, Idaho where they headquarter their production company: His&Hernandez Music.

If you want a fun website with tons of ideas for schools, Sunday-schools and gifts, as well as more about Betsy Hernandez (who wrote a song for my next book,) go to her website, You’ll love it, like I love this lady. She is an upcoming guest.


martynystromIn the dead of night Marty Nystrom quietly climbed to the fifteenth floor of a Hong Kong building to lead worship to Bible smugglers.

Wait!  I don’t know how this story ended–this is a story for Marty, my fellow critique group colleague to tell us!

What I do know is that Marty Nystrom has written over 120 songs recorded on Integrity Music and Maranatha! Music recordings. You’ve sung and heard many of them.

powerofliving“As the Deer panteth for the water…” is in hymnbooks across the world. Like Diana, those words invite heart praise in all who sing it. Another one, “I Will Come and Bow Down” is definitely a call to worship. He led worship on five of Integrity Music’s Hosanna! live worship albums.

Marty holds a degree in Music Education from Oral Roberts University. After teaching public school. he became the director of the music department for the New York branch of Christ for the Nations. Needless to say, he has taught at praise and worship events across the globe.

Blending with his God-given gift of melody/lyrics is his ability to write poetic stories which combines with his love for kids. His children’s books “Don’t Mess With Moses!” and “Zack, You’re Acting Zany!” are, at this second, out of print by Standard Publishing.  However, I am sure you can search out one or two of these fantastic books for kids and grown-ups. (The term “fantastic” is used deservedly so.)  Many poems from his books have been included in issues of Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. magazine, where Marty is featured on a regular basis. (A subscription makes a great gift!)

His two grown sons and beloved grandson come and go from his Seattle area house where he lives with his lovely wife, Jeanne.

Befitting an obedient servant of God, everyone who knows Marty cheered when in February, of this year he was awarded Alumnus of the Year for Distinguished Service to God by his alma mater, Oral Roberts University.

His help is invaluable in so many ways to Northwest writers and musicians. I’m grateful to call him my friend. He will be an upcoming guest-blogger. Then you will have an opportunity to comment on his works and ask questions. :)

There’s no doubt why these two sharp, Godly people were placed on my writing path. Two friends who pray for me; two friends who let me pray for them. That’sone thing about God—He does more than just the obvious.

Leave a comment to be in the drawing for a signed copy of The Covered Bet. Blessings to each of you. Hey–Congratulations, SUSIE BAMER, You won the copy of The Covered Bet in last two weeks’ drawing ! :)   


Friends of The Covered Bet

Covered-BetWhen you meet someone you admire and like—you say, “I can’t wait to introduce you to my other friend!” That’s what this series of blogs will be—introducing my friends to each other!

At the end of The Covered Bet is the section giving me perhaps more joy to write than even the book itself—the Acknowledgements. You may have skipped that part! or wondered how these people were a part of my life.

Today, my friends, I’m delighted to first introduce you to author, JUDY BODMER.

JudyBodmerJudy is a pastor’s wife, a mother, grandmother, and top-flight free-lance editor besides being a mentor for Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild. For many years she coordinated writing conferences for Northwest Christian Writers Association and The Pacific Northwest Writers.

Judy is a prolific speaker about her favorite topics—marriage, kids and writing. Sometimes she brings along her husband, a pastoral counselor.
In her spare time Judy writes best-selling books like this wonderful, personally transparent story widely used by God to heal hearts, minds and marriages.

WhenLoveDiesCheck out When Love Dies: How to Save a Hopeless Marriage at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

WhatInBibleForMothersTHEN, she authored a resource book of hope for moms, What’s in the Bible for Mothers: Life’s Questions, God’s Answers.  Go to these links to learn more about the book for mothers.  At Amazon AND  at Barnes & Noble.

JUDY also has funny as well as thoughtful stories in The Chicken Soup series.

Two writing critique groups value her expertise and suggestions—even her corrections. (I’m one of those on the receiving end of redlined commas!) Soon we’ll read at least two of her intriguing novels. She also is a master –or is that mistress?—in needlework and cooking.

Go to her website at Read what she writes. Order her books to help someone—maybe yourself.

I’ve learned much from Judy Bodmer. I stand amazed at her love for her Lord; her insights and positive outlook and speech..I’m honored and grateful to call her a friend and pleased to announce she will be an upcoming guest blogger. You’ll get to know her better.


NEXT, please meet a beautiful lady I’m also privileged to call my friend,–BETTE WHITNEY!


Bette is Pastor of Care at Evergreen Community Church. That means she keeps her finger on the pulse of the church and is on the front line of prayer requests and benevolence.

She is an encourager—in person or by phone or email. Like our God, Bette knows your name. And probably your story and reaches out to help. She leads a weekly women’s Bible study. To facilitate the plan for reading the Bible through in a year, sends out daily verses. Needless to say I hardly ever see her without a bevy of people surrounding her, asking for help, updating their status, –and thanking her for assistance.

A few years ago she was on the first line of responding to community needs—accidents and other emergencies. She put her heart and mind to each case, sometimes working with the wounded in matters of finance or self-discipline. What a training ground for taking on the cares of an entire congregation.

Now, besides her church duties, Bette also teaches weekly Bible studies at both a large retirement home and a nursing facility of which she comments, “Many of them don’t remember I was there the week before but that’s okay. God’s word never comes back empty.”

My personal disappointment is that I am not a faithful member of Bette’s monthly book club! The works those women peruse leave me in shock over the number of pages they aren’t afraid to read;, and in awe they understand the premises and sometimes the big words! Even Bette’s beautiful cats seem at ease in the discussions. :)

Through all this, Bette Whitney lives with constant pain. Of course she doesn’t want it, but until healing comes, she shoves aside the acute hurting and takes her place on the battlefield, ready to do what is needed. Her generous heart is always working overtime.

Do you understand why I wish I had a planeload of chocolates to fall at her feet? Instead, I have admiration and love.

Actually, I have admiration and love for both these ladies—no doubt in my mind they were Heaven-directed to walk part of the journey with me.

Can you name people you know were purposefully sent to your pathway? Thank them and thank God for demonstrating how much He loves you. :)  Don’t forget to leave a comment. Thanks!