Monday, September 29, 2008

C is for Chocolate!

I found this quiz and thought it'd be fun to take, since I am currently working on a WIP where the heroine runs a chocolate boutique. I've been writing and working on my proposal and plotting and basically, trying awfully hard NOT to eat chocolate! Talk about putting ideas in one's head! Ever tried to describe the scents and sounds and sights of an upscale, trendy little chocolate shop without devouring the bag of M&Ms you KNOW is right behind you in the desk drawer?
I'm so weak. =)
But seriously, I'm having a great time with this proposal! Anyone out there ever write a chocolate story?
Here are my quiz results...

You are White Chocolate

You are sweet, caring, and truly very innocent.
Whether your naive ways are a bit of act or not, people like to take care of you.
You are a quiet flirt, and your power is often underestimated!
Hmmm. I don't know about the whole power thing, but hopefully I am sweet! hehe.
I'll let you guys decide. =)
What chocolate are you?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

FAKING GRACE - by Tamara Leigh

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Faking Grace
Multnomah Books (August 19, 2008)
Tamara Leigh

Tamara is one of my favorite authors, but unfortunately this book has not yet made it to me through the CFBA. Bummer!! I hope to get my copy soon and devour it in a day! I know it'll be a winner like her others. =)


After Tamara Leigh earned a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology, she and her husband decided to start a family, with plans for Tamara to continue in her career once she became a mother.When the blessing of children proved elusive, Tamara became convicted to find a way to work out of her home in order to raise the children she and her husband longed to have. She turned to writing, at which she had only ever dreamed of being successful, and began attending church. Shortly thereafter, her agent called with news of Bantam Books’ offer of a four-book contract.

That same day, Tamara’s pregnancy was confirmed. Within the next year, she gave up her speech pathology career, committed her life to Christ, her first child was born, and her first historical romance novel was released.As Tamara continued to write for the secular market, publishing three more novels with HarperCollins and Dorchester, she infused her growing Christian beliefs into her writing. But it was not enough, and though her novels earned awards and were national bestsellers, she knew her stories were lacking. After struggling with the certainty that her writing was not honoring God as it should, she made the decision to write books that not only reveal Christianity to non-believers, but serve as an inspiration for those who have accepted Christ as their Savior.

Her inspirational romances are peopled with characters in varying stages of Christian faith, from mature believers to new believers to non-believers on the threshold of awakening.Tamara Leigh enjoys time with her family, volunteer work, faux painting, and reading. She lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, David, and two sons, Skyler and Maxen.Two of her latest books are Splitting Harriet and Perfecting Kate.


All she wants is a job. All she needs is religion. How hard can it be? Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist, but her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy headline. A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break.A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, but Steeple Side only hires committed Christians. Maizy is sure she can fake it with her Five-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith–a plan of action that includes changing her first name to Grace, buying Jesus-themed accessories, and learning “Christian Speak.” If only Jack Prentiss, Steeple Side’s managing editor and two-day-stubbled, blue-jean-wearing British hottie wasn’t determined to prove her a fraud.When Maizy’s boss at the newspaper decides that she should investigate–and expose–any skeletons in Steeple Side’s closet, she must decide whether to deliver the dirt and secure her career or lean on her newfound faith, change the direction of her life, and pray that her Steeple Side colleagues–and Jack–will show her grace.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Faking Grace, go HERE

Tamara Leigh takes her experienced romance hand and delights readers with Chick-Lit that sparkles and characters who come alive.” - Kristin Billerbeck, author of The Trophy Wives Club

“A delightful, charming book! Faking Grace has romance, truth, and a dollop of insanity, making Tamara Leigh a permanent addition to my list of favorite authors. Enjoy!”- Ginger Garrett, author of In the Shadow of Lions and Beauty Secrets of the Bible

Tamara Leigh does a fabulous job looking at the faults, the love, the hypocrisy, and the grace of Christians in a way that’s entertaining and fun. Maizy Grace is a crazy character I couldn’t help but like. I loved this book and highly recommend it!”- Camy Tang, author of Sushi for One? and Only Uni

Friday, September 19, 2008

My pen will not run dry!

This is a first for me. Yesterday, the 2008 ACFW conference started in Minneapolis, and I was not in attendance. I've gone to the last three conferences in a row - Nashville and two in Dallas. However, sad as I am to miss it, my reason for not attending is a good one - my nine week old daughter. =)
I wasn't about to leave her at home and fly cross country with her this young! Nor could I justify bringing her - the conference has a no-kids-in-class-policy, and besides, how could I focus on the lectures with those adorable big blue eyes staring up at me??? So this year I had to sit out. My work schedule wouldn't allow for it anyway, since my first day back at work was ironically the first day of the conference. (which happened because I started my maternity leave two and 1/2 weeks sooner than planned due to bed rest)

Nope, it just wasn't meant to be this year. I'll be just fine going home from work and spending snuggle time with my Little Miss. We took her to the park Wednesday and had a blast! (see pics below!)

But that doesn't mean I won't miss the classes on craft, the lectures on marketing, the swanky hotel rooms and foood, the super-classy and fun awards banquet, the chitchatting in the halls, the elbow-rubbing with my favorite authors, and the late-night chats at the bar with french fries and diet coke! I'll especially miss the worship sessions. There is something so powerful about a crowd of people singing together who share not only a common love for writing, but a common heart for Christ.

I already had a sweet phone call from a group of fellow writers and friends who called to say hi and check on me. They were all gathered at the dinner table together and passed the cell phone around. So fun! I felt special =) Until they bragged on the chocolate dessert heading their way....haha!

I guess missing this year will just make the 2009 conference in Colorado that much better. However, my pen will not run dry! I am hard at work on a new proposal, and am determined to have it ready for submission in the next few weeks. I will keep forging ahead, enjoying these new changes in my life and to my schedule, and have my own worship times with my family.

To all my friends at the conference now, learn lots! Laugh often! Pray hard! Speak boldly! Sing loud!
And miss me just a little! =)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A fun new read....

Sometimes your best four-legged friend is also your best teacher...

When you bring a new dog into your home, a wash of great joy can become a trial of perseverance as your furry pal chews, digs, yaps, and yes, piddles her way through every room in the house. Allison Pittman learned this all too well when she adopted a “tiny, shiny puppy of indefinable breed(s).” Stella wasted no time in turning her home upside-down as only a pup can.

As could be expected, six weeks of obedience school covered the much needed basics–sit, stay, come, and down. What Allison didn’t expect was the spiritual benefit she would receive as each Saturday lesson revealed a fascinating metaphor. In this heart-warming, thoughtful, and often hilarious tribute to her beloved Stella, Allison Pittman shares how she came to understand what it means to follow the ultimate Master, including how to:

Sit!–at the feet of Jesus and listen for His voice
Drop It!–and let go of personal agendas
Come!–when it’s time to run in the right direction
Stay!–in God’s presence

In Saturdays with Stella, a slightly neurotic yet curiously adorable canine will not only capture your heart–she’ll show you how captivating you are to God.

Author Bio:

Allison Pittman is the author of the three books in the popular Crossroads of Grace series. Before her life as a novelist, Allison spent sixteen years teaching high school English. A founding member and copresident of the Christian Writer’s Group of the Greater San Antonio area, she devotes her time inspiring other writers to work toward their goals and sharpen their skills. Allison lives in Universal City , Texas with her husband Mike, their three sons, and Stella.

Here is the link to buy this fun, slightly furry book =)