Friday, October 30, 2009

And the waters rose...

Yesterday was CRAZY.
All day long, we had awful rain on the weather radar, threats of "its' coming" but all day long, nothing. No rain. Just moderate clouds and mild wind. Hubby and I decided we'd had enough laying around the house waiting for a storm that wasn't coming, so he decided to go hunting, figuring the deer would be moving before the rain, and I took Little Miss to go to the store.
Little Miss and I got into town and for some reason, as I was passing the street my grandma lives on (about 6 blocks from my parents house) I had the sudden urge to stop in and say hi. I can't explain it other than God's prompting, so I made the split decision and whipped the car down her street. We went inside and said hey, and turned on the local weather channel...and all chaos broke loose. The radar was a giant neon red and orange torrent of rain, there were tornado WARNINGS - not watches, but real warnings - north of town, with "favorable conditions for more".

Little Miss and I, naturally, stayed right there and watched the weather, which they tracked more tornados out by house in the country where we'd just left, and flash flooding. I believe one part of town got almost 2 inches of rain in 10 minutes. At my grandma's house, it was barely raining, but we decided to stay put and do the store another day. Of course I couldn't reach my husband in the woods, so I texted him frantically for hours with updates, hoping he'd have enough reception to get them. I wasn't TOO worried about him, because seriously, my husband could live in the woods alone for a week with no readily available food and water and thrive. He's just that kind of man. But I still wanted to know he was safe and not up in a tree stand in all this lightning.
It finally seemed like the worst was over, so Little Miss and I left there and went to my parents house nearby to check in since my mom was worried about us, before heading home. Well we checked the weather again there and BAM - all over again, here it came. You know things are bad when the weatherman, who is supposed to stay calm in the midst of disaster, is saying things like "wow...another tornado has been can't believe this..." in a grave voice.

I finally reached Hubby, who was outside of most of the storms and wasn't really affected. My dad and sister amde it home safely from work with crazy stories. Apparently one of the tornados hit downtown, where I used to work, and where my dad and sister still work. My sister, on the 19th floor of a skyscraper downtown, felt the building actually sway. They walked down 19 floors of stairs to avoid the elevator in case of power failure. Smart. Well one of my mom's friends who works in the same tower did ride the elevator, and got stuck. Yikes. Meanwhile, after they all got home, my sister heard that the parking garage where she usually parks (two stories tall, the top deck open, no roof) was hit so that EVERY SINGLE CAR on the top floor had its windows blown out. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Also, parts of the roof of the civic center came off, and worse off all, a gorgeous, big Methodist church that sits at the top of the main thoroughfare of downtown, about three blocks from my sister's building and the building where I used to work, was hit by the tornado as well and the STEEPLE on top of the church FELL OFF and HIT A CAR at a redlight below. The man was trapped inside his car, which was a 4 door sedan but resembled a convertible, for an hour while rescue crews worked to get him out. Last I heard, he was alive and okay but only by pure miracle.
Here are pics of the wreckage in my city.

Wow. I still shudder. That's how big the steeple was.

Above is a pic of the drainage ditch a few blocks from my parents house where we were. That car obviously washed into the ditch and flooded. This was taken this morning.
Above is a townhouse fire in Bossier City, where my husband works. Hmmm. And they're wanting to lay off policemen and firemen? I'm just saying...
Last night, Hubby met me at my parents around 8 and we had to drive home. That was the scariest drive of my life. Hubby led the way in his giant 4x4, lifted Dodge Ram. I followed in my four door Sebring, Little Miss asleep in the backseat. We talked on the phone the whole time, him warning me in the rain and dark when there was water coming up, when I needed to move to the center of the road, etc. It worked pretty well until we lost reception close to home and I had to drive without his help.
The scariest part, though, was about halfway down a main street leading out to the boonies where we live, there was a policeman road block. They said that we could make it through but we had to drive super slow and stay in the oncoming lane. The gas station parking lot to the right had flooded so bad, the water was rushing sideways across the street and into the ditch by the woods. I held my breath the entire time we crossed, thinking the cop was crazy for even letting us through. I could hear the water pounding my DOOR and there were literal whitecaps in the rushing water. It was absolutely terrifying.
We made it through and home, and thankfully Little Miss slept through the entire adventure.

Above is a pic of the flooding in Bossier City. This is similar to what I had to drive through on my way home!! Ugh!!

Looking back now, I see so many metaphors to last night. I think about how God leads us through the rainy, windy places in our lives and talks us through the high water when we're scared. He alone is our lifeline. We can cling to that even if the floods rise, fires blaze, and well, steeples fall. Because He will never let us down.

PS - because I'm exhausted and because I posted this today instead, I'm announcing the winner to the Sandra Byrd book on Monday instead of today. So spread the word and sign up if you haven't!! You get one more weekend of chances!! =)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Have yourself a homemade little Christmas...

So I had just posted my Facebook status of how unmotivated I feel today after a day of intense writring yesterday, when I read my dear friend and fellow writer LORI CHALLY's facebook post, and it says she's making homemade Christmas gifts.
At 8 in the morning.

After a rude Martha Stewart comment to her, I decided to take her lead =)

I've been playing around with more homemade, personalized gift ideas this year because A. money is tighter than usual as I won't be getting my Christmas bonus from work (yay, no more work! trust me, this is fine. lol) and B. my husband is still facing a likely layoff December 31st.

Anyone want to toss around some ideas for homemade decorations or gifts? I like doing homemade gift tags, those are fun and easy to get creative with - its the actual gifts I struggle with as my artistry lies solely in writing, and not in scissors and fabric or sewing or glue.
What are you doing for the holidays this year? Storebought, homemade, or a mix of both?

PS - Speaking of holidays, check out my cover for my February release from Steeple Hill, A VALENTINE'S WISH, now posted on Amazon. Don't you love it?? =)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Visit me!

Come read my blog at SCRIBBLE CHICKS today on the power of words. I'd love your input! And you might even discover a great song you didn't know existed... =)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A great new series...

I just read a really great book.

Surprise, surprise, right? But seriously guys, this is a fun series you don't want to miss. FRENCH TWIST is the name of the series, and the books are Let Them Eat Cake, Bon Appetit, and lastly, this fun, satisfying wrap-up called Piece de Resistance.

Here's the summary:

Having earned her chef’s hat, Lexi Stuart bids au revoir to her glamorous and deliciously satisfying pastry mentorship outside of Paris and returns to her hometown of Seattle, Washington. There, she finds life unexpectedly complicated.She’s put in charge of a high-end catering bakery called Bijoux, which should be her dream job, but there’s a catch: She has to make this lavish bakery into a successful business in just a few, short months, which will require more than her ability to make an amazing wedding cake. Stir in a complicated relationship with her French beau Philippe and his daughter, Celine, then add a dash of romance with down-to-earth lawyer Dan, and life suddenly contains more ooh la la than Lexi can handle.

Sounds good right?? =)

I think Sandra Byrd is a witty, talented, inspiring author whose sweet spirit leaks through her stories like chocolate syrup on an ice cream sundae. Her honest words in these books leave me with the warm fuzzies of real-life romance and the desire to dig a little deeper into my relationship - and romance - with God, the lover of our souls. I have no doubt you'll feel the same way.

Here's a little about Sandra:

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd went on to publish more than three dozen books including her widely-acclaimed adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake and it’s sequels, and her forthcoming young adult fiction series, London Confidential.A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra is also an accomplished non-fiction writer and author. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications such as Radiant, Focus on the Family's Clubhouse Magazine, Christian Parenting Today, Today’s Christian Woman, Pockets, Decision, and Guideposts. During the past eight years, Sandra has mentored hundreds of students through the Christian Writer's Guild. Sandra resides in Seattle, Washington with her husband Michael, a chaplain, their two teenagers, and a circus dog named Brie.

Visit Sandra at her website or at her facebook fan site, and learn more about her wonderful novels!

And guess what???? I'm giving away a copy of this third book in her series Friday! It also comes with a great recipe card for a yummy dessert. Can't beat that!! Sign up in the comment section to be entered!

If you win and haven't read the first two books yet, do yourself a favor and find them in your local library, or better yet, on Amazon or CBD first!! If not, you would still enjoy this third novel by itself, but that'd be like eating cake without the frosting - a little something missing! =)

Sign up now!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miraculous Monday

Today is blessed.

My mother in law is, as we speak, in transit to Touro Rehab in New Orleans to begin her therapy. This was a day we really thought we'd never see. God's timing is so great, because as of a week ago, we couldn't even get her in for an evaluation because she had to be admitted into a hospital for the rehab nurse to come check her out. We tried to get her admitted but there really was no cause and the doctor wouldn't do it, even though she had a mild UTI that wasn't going away.

Then, literally the next day, she began running what I now consider a holy fever. The fever is what got her admitted, and we called Touro. They were able to send an evalator the next day, who checked her and is really upbeat about her potential. They will keep her for two weeks at first, and set goals and see how she progresses. If she reaches goals, they'll keep her longer until she doesn't progress anymore. One of the first goals is getting rid of the traech permanently so she can attempt to talk.

FINALLY! Thank you Jesus. Even if she gets sent home earlier than we hoped, at least then we can know that we as her family did everything in our power to get her the best care and options out there. No guilt, no regrets. What a blessing.

Please keep up the prayers for her progression, that she'll be able to stay as long as possible and progress into a decent function of living. We hope to hear her voice again one day...

My personal goal for her is for her to be able to hold and read by herself my April 2010 Love Inspired release, called Rodeo Sweetheart. I dedicated it to her and I'm praying she will be ready by then. God is still in the miracle business!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Drawing for Mystery Book!

Today is the big drawing for the Mystery Book!!!
Thanks so much for your fun recipes!! I can't wait to try them out. =)

Here are the pics of my Rice Krispie adventure I blogged about earlier in the week.

Little Miss enjoyed the green frosting, as you can see by her upper lip.

Here is the Mystery Book revealed...







A hardcover copy of Francine River's REDEEMING LOVE!!!!

And here's the winner!










Congrats, girl! Email me privately at with your mailing address and I'll get this book out next week.

Happy holidays everyone! I'll be doing more giveaways and drawings soon so check back frequently. =)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nobody Likes a Know-It-All

I found myself in a position yesterday that really, really made me wish it was okay to kick and scream and react in the same mindless, ignorant way this person had done.

Thankfully, I didn't.

Though part of me still kinda wants to.

Most of you know the situation my husband and I are facing with impending layoffs in the city. A "sudden" deficit has come up of 6 million dollars for next year's city budget, so they're making up the difference by, that's right, cutting fireman and policeman's jobs. 38 fireman, 26 cops.

It's still hard to type that without rolling my eyes.

Anyway, my husband is facing a layoff, after nearly two years of service, by December 31st. The layoffs have to be approved by city council and its becoming a big ordeal, as it should be. It shouldn't be easy to lay off that many men and women who have given their lives to service and sacrificed money and family time to do something worthwhile.

Well this issue has also created quite a stir in the community and even surrounding communities. There is a new facebook group dedicated for the sole purpose of ranting and voicing your opinions on the situation. It seems, based on the ones who have spoken up, that most everyone in the city is outraged and would rather raises taxes or do something along those lines then lose their protection services. But so far they haven't been given that option to vote on. I'm guessing it might be coming but I can't be sure.

This city has been KNOWN for being great. For being safe. For low crime rates and Class 1 Rating response time and coverage for fire. To lose that, crime will grow, and people will die from not being reached in time. It's inevitable. Not to mention homeowners insurance going up because of losing that Class 1 ranking. People are outraged, as they should be.

So after hearing so much encouragement and sympathy and support from everyone I know and even strangers online, it was quite the shock to log onto a news website and read a comment from (and I'm being nice) the peanut gallery.

Everyone else on the website had posted responses that were intelligent, not emotional, even though they expressed their personal feelings as well. It was nice to read. It wasn't a big lynch mob for the mayor, though I've seen those posts too. It was educated and refreshing.

Til one post. Anonymous Poster wrote in (in horrible grammar and run-on sentences I might add) that cops and firemen were overpaid and it was high time someone realized that and did something about it, and that the state pay they earn monthly is unnecessary and doesn't do anything but feed their donut fetish.

I almost dropped my laptop.

I can't tell you how many horrible responsese I wrote and deleted before sending. I was livid. Overpaid? Are you KIDDING me? City service salaries are public knowledge, you can easily look them up and see for yourself, and it's ridiculous to even use that word. Overpaid???? I know secretaries who start out at more. Why do you think all firemen have second jobs?

I know that post was written by someone who had done zero research, probably heard glimpses of the story, and ran off at the mouth just to do it. Some people unfortunately are like that.

And I kinda hope Anonymous Poster is a resident of this particular city and wonders why help is taking so long next time they're in a car wreck or other emergency.

Sorry, Anonymous Poster. They're too busy eating donuts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Do or Dye

Come visit me at SCRIBBLECHICKS today and read my post titled "Do or Dye"!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New article on Crosswalk

Hey guys, check out my newly released article on and read something that Little Miss taught me about fear. =)

The link is HERE.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Holiday Pick Me Ups

I need ideas! Let's dish. Literally. lol
What are some of your favorite holiday treats? Not just Christmas, but Thanksgiving and maybe even Halloween too. I know a lot of Christians choose to ignore Halloween altogether, but for those who prefer to give it an alternative spin like attend church carnivals, etc. what do you do in your home? Or with snacks? I saw the cutest recipe in a cookbook for rice krispie treat ghosts. They had candy eyes and were anything but scary.

Tonight I'm making rice krispie treat leafs at my parent's house, with iciing veins and maybe red hots. (will post pics later if they turn out decent! lol)

Want to share any cooking or decorating tips? Especially for holidays-on-a-budget? Let's make it interesting. Leave a comment with an idea or tip to share, and in doing so, you'll be signed up to win a Mystery Book. That's right, a book yet to be revealed. Trust me, it'll be a good one. =) I'll draw the winner Friday.

Sign up today in the comments section! And give me some recipes and decorating advice!!!! lol Let's brighten up Autumn.

Friday, October 16, 2009

When it rains...

You know the saying, when it rains it pours?

Enter Hurricane, stage left.

This week, my entire family has been sick in some form. Then we hear rumors of layoffs in the city where my husband is employed as a fireman. Yesterday, the rumors were confirmed and my husband was given unofficial notice that he wouldn't have a job by the holidays, possibly sooner. And oh yeah, about thirty minutes before we got that news, my pregnant sister's car was stolen from downtown.

Not kidding!

I'll be honest, this is scary. Times are bad if a fireman who has been on the line for almost two years is being laid off for a city budget crisis. Not just him, by the way - 38 fireman total, 26 policemen, and a few other city-related positions. Not to mention the firemen who aren't being laid off will likely be demoted, which means decrease in pay. It's absolutely unreal, especially coming from a city that was thought to be well-off and doing great financially. Hundreds of families will be affected, maybe more. Completely unfair.

It's easy to be mad. And really easy for my writer's brain to think of creative ways for revenge. And even easier to yell and scream and cry and panic and ask God what are we gonna do.

But I'm surprisingly at peace, and I think that's because God is holding me in the eye of the storm.

Logically, it makes no sense to be calm. I quit my job back in July to stay home with my daughter, and my husband's second job income is not nearly enough to make a dent in our bills and monthly expenses. We have truck repairs we've already committed to paying. We have a nearly maxed out credit card we were hoping to pay off by the holidays through overtime shifts. That's out the window. We have minimal savings, and no way to pay for daycare for me to go back to work even if we wanted me to. (which we don't, as of now)

But thankfully, my God isn't ruled by logic. So though the wind howls, the trees bend, and the rain pours, I'm going to stay calm. Because I want my faith to be stronger than my fear. I would rather jump out in the waves with Peter and let God walk me across the top of them, safe and dry, than cower in the boat with the others.

I'm not going to fear. I've got a GREAT umbrella. =)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The fine print

This past week in Sunday School, we watched a video by Ken Ham on Genesis. He has a ministry that emphasizes the importance of the book and how the entire Christian faith is grounded in belief in a "literal Genesis". It was a very interesting video and he's going to cover all sorts of controversial topics, like the flood, whether or not the earth has been here millions of years as some scientists believe, and of course, the great mystery of the dinosaurs.

(I personally could care less about finding out where the dinosaurs went, I'm just grateful they are no longer here!!) =)

So our "homework" was to read Genesis chapters 1 - 11 this week and really evaluate and study. I have a Macarthur study Bible which I love, because it gives the best, most detailed footnotes of almost every verse and passage in the Bible. Very helpful for those times when you read and go "huh?"

Well, I want to pass on the challenge to read Genesis again if you haven't in awhile, because I'm finding things I never saw before. Crazy, since I've read the book probably a dozen times in my life. For example, in Gensis 6, verses 1-4, it's pretty wild. Check this out.

"Now it came to pass, when man began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughers were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose."

Not so interesting, until you read your footnote and discover it is widely believed that the "sons of God" were ANGELS.

Now its interesting!

At first I was like WHAT!!! No way. But Job 1:6 and 2:1 and 38:7 refers to angels in this form. This union was obviously unnatural and against God's law.

Some scholars argue that instead of angels, the "sons of God" were the sons of Seth who cohabited with the daughters of Cain. But my Macarther notes insists that this passage puts emphasis on the angelic vs. human contrast.

Wow! Definitely gets you thinking - especially as a writer.

Another interesting concept was how long everyone lived (Ch 5). Crazy! I don't think I'd want to have children in my 60's and live to be 800+. No thanks. =)

So if you thought Genesis was a boring book about the start of the world and the flood, go back and re-read it. You might be surprised at the "one-liners" through out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Visit me

Please visit me today at SCRIBBLE CHICKS and read what's going on in my rainy world. I'd love for you to chip in on the comments section with your own prayer requests and rainy-day advice.

Check it out HERE!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just another Manic Monday

Ever had one of those days where you randomly decide to clean the toilets because it just seems fitting? That was me earlier today, I kid you not. My house smells like bleach and my toilets are clean, but now I'm just tired and have the bleach smell stuck in my nose. Bleh.

Nothing a little diet coke can't fix right? =)

Last night was exhausting. Just a long restless night full of cries from Little Miss, who is still fighting the sniffles, wrong numbers at 1:30 am (talk about panic attacks!) a severe thunderstorm, and a neckache because quite frankly my pillow sucks!

Then this morning my hubby leaves for work and calls 15 minutes later for me to bring him his insurance card, which he'd forgotten to put the updated one in his wallet. He'd accidentally veered off the road and hit a mailbox and dented his truck up. He feels awful, so I feel awful, not to mention the new money stress of getting it fixed, and buying the innocent bystander a new mailbox, etc.

Sigh. We've already talked to the insurance company and thankfully we can just pay our deductible which is a 1/4 of the repair damages but still. We also need to fix his front bumper that was injured months ago while he was out of town visiting his mom. That's not as expensive or imperative, but still, needs to be done eventually.

Stressful day. The good news is, Bible study is tonight and I can't wait for that. It'll cheer me up. And I get a writing day tomorrow which will be nice as well, to relax and focus on my writing. Its day like this I feel really guilty for not having an outside job to help bring money in (outside of my writing income, which is sporadic). It'll pass, after all, we are where God wants us and led us and we know that. Its just a dreary day! I really need some sunshine!

Maybe I'll go back and look over those pumpkin patch pictures again. =)

Here's hoping for good news to post tomorrow!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mundane Monday

It's Monday, and I'm tired!

Usually I love Mondays - its a fresh start to a new week. A time to reorganize, jump back into projects and goals, and for us Tpye A's - relish in the structure of the week vs the chaos (even if its fun chaos) of the weekend. I'm usually revving to go and get a ton accomplished on Mondays, including housework and writing and errands.

Today, I'm just tired. Maybe its the weather. It has been rainy, storming, or at best, cloudy here for weeks. I miss the sun! I need my vitamin beams! Who can relate? I know there is an actual disease that enables mood swings when the sun doesn't shine for awhile. I don't have that, but I am starting to emphathize.
So for anyone who needs some sunshine this week, real or figurative, here's a few sweet beams from me to you - pics of Little Miss at her first pumpkin patch. =)

So many pumpkins, so little time. I think she tried to touch every single one.

Above, she was actually straining to try to pick it up. LOL. My supergirl.

She and I were both muddy wrecks afterward. It took lots of dishwashing detergent and bleach to clean her once white shoes and new purple pants. Everything came out though, and she had a blast. Got the sniffles the next day from running around in the cool and mist, but it was worth it. =)

Here she is Sunday morning modeling her new dress for church with Gigi. (and daddy's truck keys)

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Seen any good movies lately?

Hubby and I have a date tonight, woohoo!

But of course it figures that the one night we get, there aren't really any movies playing that I'm eager to see. Any recommendations? I've heard Love Happens is decent - what do ya'll think? Would my hubby even remotely enjoy it? lol He's okay with romantic comedies but not overly mushy sad-romantic movies.

Also, it figures the one movie we do really wanna see is at an inconvenient time at a theater that is pretty rundown, that no one goes to anymore and the city remains shocked its even still open. =(

I'm thinking we might just do dinner and then rent a movie, and therefore not be tied to a timeline or waste money on overpriced tickets for a flick we're not desperate to see. But what have you seen recently? What did you see that you wished you hadn't? lol Share it here!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Online communities

Several years ago, everyone had a Myspace account. Facebook was basically void of anyone outside of high school. Then Shoutlife popped up and many migrated there, choosing Shoutlife's cleaner, Christian-based community over Myspace's increasingly trashy one. Then Facebook realized it would be smart to open up their community for everyone and anyone, not just students tryingto find each other through an online "yearbook". So everyone headed there and left Shoutlife in their dust. Now Twitter has taken over, although Facebook still holds its own.

It's exhausting!

I fear for quality, Christian based communities like Shoutlife who are losing members or at best, losing activity. Personally, I couldn't care less about Myspace, really, it seems all my Myspace buds are on Facebook now and I just kep my account open on Myspace for the heck of it. I have a Twitter account but that was before the big Tweet rush and haven't been on it since. I don't see the point in doing both FB and Twitter, though I've heard now the two can be linked.

Which brings up some questions today!

Which online communities do you participate in? Why? Which are your favorites to nagivate? Easiest? Hardest? How much time a week do you average spending on these sites? Do you think it's a waste of time or quality networking for authors? Do you network for your career or basically just chat with friends?

I'm a fan of Facebook. I really enjoy the interaction, and I still have my Shoutlife account I check but it seems most of my friends have left there or stopped participating. I'll probably end up deleting Myspace, forgetting Twitter, hanging on to Shoutlife for dear hope, and actually participating in Facebook. =)

So find me there!

(Here's a scary thought - if online communities have taken over the world these last five years, what will come in the NEXT five years? Yikes!)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Come visit me!

Today at Scribble Chicks, I posted a blog about - well, you guesed it - writing. =P (imagine!)

Seriously, though, I'd love to hear your opinion on the topic: Writing - A Call or a Choice? I think its an issue a lot of authors struggle with. Has God called us to this vocation? Is it a choice we make in obedience to Him? Both? Neither?

Please stop by and leave a comment today and join the conversation!

See you there!!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

V is for Vice

Today is a writing day!

I write every day, even if only a few paragraphs. But today I get an uninterrupted (hopefully!) several hours times to make a dent in my current projects. (which are many.) Praise God for Nanas who love to babysit!! =)

My mom tries to give me one day a week to do this. Everyone wins - I get to write for longer than a naptime, she gets to spend time with her first grandbaby, and Little Miss gets to play somewhere new and enjoy all the fun things at Nana and Papa's house.

And of course, no writing day is complete without a vice - in this case, a Starbucks tall, nonfat, white chocolate mocha, no whip! (gotta remember that diet!) It's Autumn, so the trees are changing, the weather is cooling, and the coffee is brewing!

What is your favorite writing treat? Caffeine? Chocolate? Holiday candy? Do you use treats as motivation to write, or a reward for accomplishing a certain word count?
Spill it here in the comment section! =)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Another amazing novel by Lynn Austin...

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Though Waters Roar
· Bethany House (October 1, 2009)
Lynn Austin

I am a huge fan of Lynn's. Her novels are always so intriguing, so inspiring and moving. This one doesn't disappoint. Read more about it below!!


Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel.

"Thank goodness you're such a plain child. You'll have to rely on your wits."So went the words of Grandma Bebe. And for all of my growing-up years, I scoffed at the beauty of my sister and what I saw as her meaningless existence. But my wits hadn't served me well in this instance, for here I was, in jail. And while I could have seen it as carrying on the family tradition (for Grandma Bebe landed in jail for her support of Prohibition), the truth is, my reasons for being here would probably break her heart. So how did I end up becoming a criminal? I've been pondering that question all night. Perhaps the best way to search for an answer is to start at the very beginning.

Harriet Sherwood has always adored her grandmother. But when Harriet decides to follow in her footsteps to fight for social justice, she certainly never expected her efforts to land her in jail. Nor did she expect her childhood enemy and notorious school bully, Tommy O'Reilly, to be the arresting officer. Languishing in a jail cell, Harriet has plenty of time to sift through the memories of the three generations of women who have preceded her.

As each story emerges, the strength of her family--and their deep faith in the God of justice and righteousness--brings Harriet to the discovery of her own goals and motives for pursuing them.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Though Waters Roar, go HERE

To order this novel for your collection, go HERE!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Tomorrow is my mother's 50th birthday. She still looks about 35! I hope I'm that way later. Right now people still think I'm 18 when I'm 25, so...there is hope. =)

In order to properly celebrate this milestone, my parents fled town and escaped to Memphis, TN, where they will tour Graceland (my mom's always been an Elvis fan!) and do other fun and crazy touristy things. I know they'll have a blast, and she deserves it! The best mom ever!

I wanted to do something special for her birthday, but money is tight right now and we're trying to save for Christmas. I wanted to do something that she would remember. I wanted to do something where if someone asked her "what did you get for your 50th birthday", she could immediately answer and not have to say "hmm...a candle....I think...?"

So two weeks before her birthday (I really should have started sooner!) I began contacting her friends on Facebook. Family members. My friends. Asking all of them to write a short letter about what my mom has meant in their life and either mail or email it to me. Before I knew it, I had about 30 letters. I scrapbooked them all into a cute album from Hobby Lobby and decorated with birthday stickers and cut-out cupcakes.

I think God was involved in this project, because the entries I received were so sweet, so moving, so encouraging. I ended up with the most eclectic bunch of people from the past, but it was perfect - exactly what I'd hoped it'd be.

I gave the gift to her at her party at my grandma's house Wednesday night, before they left for their trip. She immediately grew teary when she realized what it was, and I told her she couldn't read them until she was on the road and had Kleenex handy.

Her party - a small family-only get-together- was a big hit. Little Miss "wrote" a card titled "50 Reasons To Go to Nana's House!" and my sister gave her the most beautiful shiny blue purse (my mom's favorite color) and gorgeous James Avery necklace charm. I think my mom got it all this year, and I'm so grateful!

How did I sign her letter from me? "Thanks for always being the Lorelai to my Rory". =)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Another winner by Susie Warren!!

Susan May Warren, affectionately known as Susie, is a dear friend, a talented author, an inspiring teacher, and a fun-loving daredevil. (yes, she's sky-dived!)

I spoke with Susie recently at the 2009 ACFW Conference and she told me THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL is the story of her heart. It takes "a few of her favorite things" like family, football, Christmas, and her kids, and compiles it all into a fun loving, sweet, moving, story that you can NOT miss this holiday season!!

Here's a pic of me with Susie, showing off our new dressy shoes for the awards banquet:

And here's the info you need to know!!!

About The Great Christmas Bowl:

Marianne Wallace is focused on two things this holiday season: planning the greatest family Christmas ever and cheering on her youngest son’s team in their bid for the state championship.Disaster strikes when the team loses their mascot-the Trout. Is it going too far to ask her to don the costume? So what if her husband has also volunteered her to organize the church Christmas tea.When football playoffs start ramping up, the Christmas tea starts falling apart. Then, one by one her children tell her they can’t come home for Christmas.As life starts to unravel, will Marianne remember the true meaning of the holidays?

About Susan:

Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year. Her larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:

The Great Christmas Bowl website:

The website features a note from the author, fun updates from Big Lake Gazette, info on how to host your own Great Christmas Bowl Tea to benefit a local ministry or charity and a fun Recipe Exchange contest!

CONTEST: Be a part of the Great Christmas Bowl recipe exchange! Susan loves getting recipes from friends, and sharing the delicious cookies, soups, breads and other fun fixings that go with celebrating the Christmas season. More than that, she loves the crazy stories about favorite Christmases – serious, touching, funny…whatever. Find the recipe contest here:

Will you share your story and recipe with Susan and the readers of the Great Christmas Bowl? She will post your story and recipe on the FRONT PAGE of the Great Christmas Bowl website, and send you a link when it goes up so you can tell all your friends.
Then, at the Great Christmas Bowl party (December 5th, 10am, online! Details TBA) she’ll make the entire cookbook available for download!For every recipe/story you submit (up to 3), you will be entered in a drawing to receive one of SMW’s collections (Noble Legacy, Team Hope, Heirs of Anton, Deep Haven Series, Josey series, or THE ADVANCED COPY of Sons of Thunder – Susie’s brand new epic World War 2 novel, due out in January 2010!)

Go – run, get your recipe, then come back here and click on the link below to share your Christmas memories!

To read others reviews of this sweet story, check out the Blog Tour Schedule!