Thursday, February 28, 2008

New review of my short story!

I received an excellent review for my inspirational romantic short story
The S.S. Grace
published by The Wild Rose Press.
Click the above banner to read the review! =)

Joan Sanderson's life is stuck. Her older sister, Allie, is starting a family and her younger sister, Tori, has a budding career. Meanwhile, Joan is living at home with Mom and looking after her aging grandmother. Not exactly a recipe for excitement-or romance.That is, until a hunky young doctor moves in next door. Suddenly Joan has a goal--to catch his eye and get a date. But it won't be easy. Pretty Tori flirts relentlessly with him and Joan is sure that she can't compete. But with a little help from God, Allie, and an enormous mutt with bad manners, maybe Joan can find her way out of this rut and into the life she's been hiding from. Book 1 of the Sister-to-Sister series, Stuck in the Middle combines budding romance, spiritual searching, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry that is sure to make you smile.

"A gentle story of one young woman's season of growth, deftly blending the tangle of family relationships with gifts of whimsey and revelation. A joy to read."~SHARON HINCK, author of Renovating Becky Miller and Symphony of Secrets~

"Virginia Smith has created a charming and humerous novel that celebrates small-town life, generations of women caring for each other, and the value of finding a deeper, more active faith."~SHARON DUNN, author of the Bargain Hunters mysteries~

Get your copy here!!!

Virginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker with the release of her first novel Just As I Am. Since then she has contracted eight novels and published numerous articles and short stories. She writes contemporary humorous novels for the Christian market, including Murder by Mushroom (Steeple Hill, August 2007) and her newest release, Stuck in the Middle(Revell, February 2008), book 1 in the Sister-to-Sister Series.

Her short fiction has been anthologized, and her articles have been published in a variety of Christian magazines. An energetic speaker, she loves to exemplify God’s truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, “Biblical Truths in Star Trek.”

Virginia is a speaker, and an avid Scuba diver. She and her husband Ted, divide their times between Kentucky and Utah, and escape as often as they can for diving trips to the Caribbean!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pregnancy 411

So I'm now into my fifth month of pregnancy, and already, I have a list. Two lists, actually - a list of the good, new, fun things I'm enjoying about my pregnancy, and a list of the things that I'll really look forward to doing again when this is over.

(note I did not say "list of bad things!" Because this is a blessing and I'm only complaining in small doses) =)

Here we go!

Fun Things about being a Preggo:

1. Everyone dotes on you. Suddenly, pulling a chair out from a table is taboo. Forget about picking up a box or lifting anything stronger than your lunchbox or the remote control. (which I actually get to hold once and awhile now. I always wondered what they were made of...)

2. Squealing inside Carter's and other baby clothing/accessories stores. I never realized the octaves of which my voice can reach. Its uncontrollable. I walk into Carters, and its like "Ohhh a beanie, how cute" and then I see a dress with ducks and I coo "awwww" and then I see a pink mini bathing suit with ruffles and squeal a little and then I see a terry cloth robe with a big whale and my voice keeps climbing and climbing until finally, near the baby sandals and tiny socks with lace, I'm certain only dogs can hear it.

3. Getting to eat bad and not feeling guilty. I admit this hasn't been as easy as I thought or hoped, but I am getting better about treating myself and not beating myself up. Its hard to go from a strict diet/exercise routine to always being hungry and the cravings - oh the cravings. Does anyone have a taco? Sorry, got distracted. Anyways, while you're pregnant, you can stop by McDonalds on the way home from work for a medium french fry and a small orange fanta and no one says a word. (yes, I did that today)

4. The gifts. You suddenly realize how much people really do love you and in turn, love your unborn baby. Its amazing and humbling and I've already cried multiple times at the generousity of our friends and family. I'm just now to the halfway mark and already, baby Audrey has more clothes than me! lol (Also, my mother in law is buying our crib, my good friend Katie is buying the baby bedding, and my dad is building a changing table. Can you believe it?) It's such an honor to be a part of their lives and I'm so grateful.

5. The instincts. Its pretty neat listening to your body and really knowing what you need. When I haven't had enough vegetables or protein or dairy in a day, I know it, immediately, and can recognize it and fix it. You get so much more tuned into your body than before - I guess because you HAVE to be. Its pretty cool and a neat revelation of God's handiwork.

6. The permission. I have to admit, its nice to be able to vent or get mad or randomly burst into tears and or fits of laughter and not have someone get mad or emotional back at me. =) Its like a free pass for drama!! And me being a drama queen, well - let's shine my crown, shall we?

7. The naps. I tell you, I've always loved sleep but never more so than now. I'm so grateful for naps and long nights of sleep and am stocking up because I know that will change for quite awhile after Audrey makes her debut. I've always heard "sleep when baby sleeps" and that will be my plan. But for now, I'm soaking it in and enjoying my extra hours, guilt-free!

8. The compliments. Strangers tell you you're glowing, clerks in the Party supply store tell you you look nice, bank tellers squeal and coo. Churchmembers clap their hands over their heart when you pass in the halls, and Hubby makes an extra effort to combat my "fat" moments. Its pretty nice!

9. The excuses. I can be running late, say something stupid, mess up at work, miscalculate on our bills, stumble into someone, etc. and all I have to say is "Whooops, I'm pregnant. Sorry." Immediate forgiveness!!

10. Being a part of something so special, so unique...even though billions of women have given birth over the years, its still so personal to each one. Every baby is different and to think that there is a little person growing inside me that is the only one her exact kind is, well, breathtaking. It also makes me appreciate the details God puts into human creation and development, and makes me realize what a true miracle and gift this really is. I'm honored to carry a little soul that will hopefully one day make a difference in His kingdom. This person has been entrusted to us to raise, and its a faith journey of unimaginable proportions. What a blessing - a scary blessing at times, an overwhelming blessing at times, but a blessing just the same. Who knows what little Audrey Elise will do or accomplish in her life, or who she will influence or what mark she'll make on the world, hopefully for our Lord? The possibilities are endless and I'm already praying for her daily. Amen!

So that's my good list. Check back SOON for the second list! =)
(again, notice I did not say bad. Just second...)

Friday, February 22, 2008

He died once to stop the he's dying again to save his wife.

FBI behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark has become famous for his well-articulated arguments that religion is one of society’s greatest antagonists. What Daniel doesn’t know is that his obsessive pursuit of a serial killer known only as “Eve” is about to end abruptly with an unexpected death-his own.

Twenty minutes later Daniel is resuscitated, only to be haunted by the loss of memory of the events immediately preceding his death. Daniel becomes convinced that the only way to stop Eve is to recover those missing minutes during which he alone saw the killer’s face.

And the only way to access them is to trigger his brain’s memory dump that occurs at the time of death by simulating his death again…and again. So begins a carefully researched psychological thriller which delves deep into the haunting realities of near-death experiences, demon possession, and the human psche."

As always with a Ted Dekker thriller, the details of ADAM are stunning, pointing to meticulous research in a raft of areas: police and FBI methods, forensic medicine, psychological profiling-in short, all that accompanies a Federal hunt for a serial killer. But Dekker fully reveals his magic in the latter part of the book, when he subtly introduces his darker and more frightening theme. It's all too creepily convincing. We have to keep telling ourselves that this is fiction. At the same time, we can't help thinking that not only could it happen, but that it will happen if we're not careful."

New York Times best-selling author Ted Dekker unleashes his most riveting novel elusive serial killer whose victims die of unknown causes and the psychologist obsessed with catching him.

Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.

After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California.

Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid.

Dekker's body of work encompassing seven mysteries, three thrillers and ten fantasies includes Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven, Blessed Child, A Man Called Blessed, Blink, Thr3e, The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, White), and Obsessed, with two more...Renegade, and Chaos to be released later this year.

Get your copy of "Adam" here!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A fun quiz for writers (or readers!)

What Punctuation Mark Are You?


You are very orderly and fact driven.
You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.
You are brilliant and incredibly learned.
Anything you know is well researched.
You like to make lists and sort through things step by step.
You aren't subject to whim or emotions.
Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.
(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)
You excel in: Leadership positionsYou get along best with: The Semi-Colon

I found this quiz online and thought it'd be fun to share! Take it HERE and see what punctuation YOU are! (tell me afterward in the comment box!)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Let's play a game....


Georgiana tagged me with this blog game!

Here's the rules:

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!

Find page 123.
Find the first 5 sentences.
Post the next 3 sentences.
Tag 5 people.

The book closest to me at the moment is Only Uni, by Camy Tang. So far, I LOVE it and I'm only a few chapters along. I just adore her realistic, vibrant characters. I'll be doing an interview and blog tour for this novel in March, so stay tuned for more details on this great read!!

Here's p. 123! (which I haven't gotten to yet! oh the suspense!)

Trish twisted around to snatch at her purse straps and shoved her phone inside. Spenser walked up to lend a hand. She jumped away as if he carried the Ebola virus.

I will tag...


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Forget the alcohol, I need a shot of Jesus! (and maybe a virgin Margarita just for fun)

Today was one of Those Days. Full of chaos, tension headaches, stress at work, self doubts, preggy hormones and of course, a nice rejection letter reg. my current novel being shopped by my agent.

I really do mean NICE. It was the best one I've ever gotten, full of compliments and explaining how the rejection was based on the market and what they were currently looking for, not based on my writing. The impact of the compliments will probably hit tomorrow, and I'll be a little more glad, but today, on top of the rest of things, it was a rejection. And my head still hurt. And work was still piling up. And I kept thinking of all the packing and things waiting for me to accomplish at home when I got off, when all I really wanted to do was crawl under the covers and wait it out.

After I consumed a dozen Smartie packs and nothing had gotten better, I realized this was serious. The coined phrase "I need a beer" came to mind, ironically since I don't drink, and I realized that I didn't need a shot of alcohol, I needed a shot of Jesus! I needed a hug, a touch from Heaven, something to reassure my raging emotions and pounding head and remind me that I am a loved daughter of the King, that I hadn't been forgotten in the midst of my bad day, that I was a good writer and that everything at home would somehow get accomplished in due time...

I closed my eyes and imagined Jesus giving me a hug. I teared up and felt better, and then I prayed, God, I need a World Vision letter. A letter from one of my sponsored girls would be just the pick me up I needed. Multiple times in the past I'd have a bad day, and go home to one of my sweet letters written in broken English, that break my heart in a good way and remind me of my real priorities in life. My World Vision girls bless me in ways I could only hope to bless them!

Guess what was waiting on the end table when I came home from work? A letter from my girl in Lebanon. I almost hit the floor, consumed with giggles and tears. I couldn't believe it, although I could. It was my Jesus shot, poured straight from Heaven in the form of a letter filled with chicken-scratch writing and heartfelt words. I savored every moment of it, not sure what made me feel the best - the sweet words inside or the fact that the God of the universe knew exactly when to get that letter to me, knew exactly when to impress the heart of the little girl writing it on the other side of the world...postmarked Feb. 1st! 13 days ago, God fulfilled a need that at the time, I didn't even know I had.

Forget beer and margaritas. (unless of course its the virgin slushy one with the fun umbrella, just for This isn't a debate on the merits of drinking vs. non drinking, but rather a reminder that regardless of your personal stance on alcohol, a quick shot of Jesus is free, a heck of a lot more productive, and the effect lasts twice as long.

Thank you, Jesus, for being exactly what I need, exactly when I need it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Sisters, Ink!

Sisters, Ink marks the first in a series of novels written by, for, and about scrapbookers. At the center of the creativity and humor are four unlikely young adult sisters, each separately adopted during early childhood into the loving home of Marilyn and Jack Sinclair.

Ten years after their mother Marilyn has died, the multi-racial Sinclair sisters (Meg, Kendra, Tandy, and Joy) still return to her converted attic scrapping studio in the small town of Stars Hill, Tennessee, to encourage each other through life’s highs and lows.

Book one spotlights headstrong Tandy, a successful yet haunted attorney now living back in Orlando where she spent the first eight years of her life on the streets as a junkie’s kid. When a suddenly enforced leave of absence at work leads her to an extended visit with her sisters in Stars Hill, a business oppor­tunity, rekindled romance, and fresh understanding of God’s will soon follow.

"What more can any woman want? Sisters, Ink weaves the love of sisters, the fun of scrapbooking, and a romance as sugary and tingling as Sweet Home Alabama. A must read for those who love southern fiction."--DiAnn Mills, author of Leather and Lace and When the Nile Runs Red

"Fun . . . funny . . . fantastic! Rebeca Seitz has brought together scrapbooking and sisterhood in a lively romp, with a love for going home again."--Eva Marie Everson, coauthor of The Potluck Club series.

Rebeca Seitz is Founder and President of Glass Road Public Relations. An author for several years, PRINTS CHARMING was her first novel.Rebeca cut her publicity teeth as the first dedicated publicist for the fiction division of Thomas Nelson Publishers. In 2005, Rebeca resigned from WestBow and opened the doors of GRPR, the only publicity firm of its kind in the country dedicated solely to representing novelists writing from a Christian worldview.Rebeca makes her home in Kentucky with her husband, Charles, and their son, Anderson.

Don't miss this witty, romantic, heart-warming story! Buy your copy here! (I've already let a friend borrow mine! This is DEFINITELY worth passing on and spreading the word!!!) =)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It's a........


I think my friend Georgiana summed it up the best - "polka dots forever!" Haha! I'm definitely excited thinking about the nursery and diaper bag possibilities (I'm thinking pink, green and brown polka dots!) and, of course, the future shoe shopping trips! Dollhouses, Barbies, and a ton of library visits. Baking cookies. Ballet or horse back riding lessons. Chick flicks! Little bathing suits with ruffles. Pink camouflage...

Hey, maybe I can do this after all!! =)

Thanks for playing along in the contest! Because of the large response, I'm doing one drawing here from these entries, and another on my Shoutlife blog.

This blog's winner is......

Email me ASAP at and let me know which short story of mine you'd prefer to receive.
Thanks everyone for playing! I appreciate your love and support so much! =)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A pink or blue giveaway....

So it's a good thing I'm in between writing projects right now, because I would not be able to concentrate today! Today is my doctor's appointment to discover the gender of my baby! I can't wait!

This afternoon, if all goes well and the baby is turned where we can see, I will know if I'm having a boy or girl! Anyone want to place their bets? =)

Right now, my family, friends and coworkers are basically torn down the middle. Half say boy, half say girl. So let's make this fun...if you leave a comment to this blog with your guess and you turn out to be correct, I will enter your name in a drawing for a copy of YOUR CHOICE of one of my short stories, published by The Wild Rose Press! (The S.S. Grace or If Wishes Were Dog Biscuits)

Let the guessing game begin! =)

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Passion Most Pure - by Julie Lessman

She's found the love of her life. Unfortunately, he loves her sister ...

As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O’Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there’s the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin’s affections suddenly shift her way, it threatens to tear Faith's proper Boston family apart.Refusing to settle for anything less than a romantic relationship that pleases God, Faith O'Connor steels her heart against her desire for the roguish Collin McGuire. Collin is trying to win her sister Charity's hand, and Faith isn't sure she can handle the jealousy she feels. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure is Book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series.

Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God’s precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure is her first novel.

My Take: This was one of my top three favorite historical novels ever - no, scratch that, one of my top three favorite love stories ever! This novel was such a potent mixture of emotion, heartache, laughter, tears, joy, sorrow, and elation and that you'll probably rip yourself bald by the end of the story. Don't worry, it's more than worth the cost of buying a wig! =) I can't wait for the next in the series - like, willing-to-camp-out-at-the-bookstore-overnight-can't-wait. (though really, to any serious bookworm, I guess that's not realy much of a sacrifice huh?) Regardless, don't miss this intriguing, heartwarming tale.

Buy this fantastic novel here!