Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cluck, cluck

Visit us at Scribble Chicks today and see what we're cluckin' about =)

PS - Scribble Chicks take requested topics! Any areas of writing/publishing you are struggling with, would like to learn more about, etc. just leave a comment to any of the recent blog posts and we'll be happy to post a blog based on your request.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

We're still waiting on a full time job for my husband. I'm waiting for my mother in law to be healed and have any sort of function of life again. I'm waiting for the chance to be able to be a stay at home mommy and full time writer again. A good friend of mine is waiting on God to bring him the right woman into his life to settle down with. Another friend of mine is waiting on a longtime writing dream to be fulfilled. Another friend of mine is waiting to get pregnant.

What are you waiting for?
Sometimes, God's timing doesn't make sense. In our human-ness, we think, why would God NOT want my mother in law to be healed? Why would He NOT want my husband to have a full time job and insurance that provides for our family? Why would He NOT want a good guy to meet a good girl? Why would He NOT want to give us the fulfillment of dreams He bred in our hearts?
I've reached a conclusion after months of searching, hoping, praying, crying, and trying to figure out logically the reasons why.
Ready? Here it big reveal...
God is God.
And I am not.
That's the bottom line. He knows best. He sees all. He knows the whole story. I'm still stuck on one page. He's already written The End. He knows exactly how many chapters I have, and what those chapters contain. He knows why I don't need what I want right now. No matter how pure or noble the motivation behind a lot of my dreams/goals/desires might be to me, He still is in charge and knows ultimately what is for my best. To me, best is for my mother in law to be healed. Best is for my family to not stress over how to pay our bills each month. And I do believe, really, truly believe deep in my heart that this all temporary. The tide will change, it will get better, and probably soon. I just have to keep trusting and waiting and hoping and praying and crying because that's where the lessons are. That's where I see God's power best - when I'm weak. I do have days where it overwhelms me, and I ask God if He even cares anymore - but even then I know better as I say it. This has been a chapter of extreme growth. And I'm hoping that its to prepare me for a task that lies ahead. There is absolutely no way to know what God has planned for our future and how He can/will use the struggles in our lives for our good and His glory.
Just know that when it feels like He's not here, not listening, and doesn't care anymore... that's when He's the closest.
So pour your heart out to him and don't give up. "The effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16
What are you waiting for?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thanks for the prayers! =)

Saturday's speaking event went great. Thanks to all who prayed!!

It was at a local church for their monthly women's minstry event. They had a "fashion show" which turned out to be a faux fashion show, and was HILARIOUS. Ten brave women dressed in the most creative costumes while another pair of ladies "emcee'd" the event. They took old fashioned terms of clothing to the literal extreme - a "pillbox hat" was indeed a cardboard hat with a buch of Tylenol boxes taped to the outside. A "lucky charm bracelet" was an actual bracelet covered in lucky charms cereal. A "checked print dress" was a dress with someone's actual checkbook checks taped all over the outside. Very, very cute stuff. They got a lot of good laughs.

After the fashion show, we had a delicious lunch of the pot luck variety, and then I spoke for about half an hour on body image and the differences between what God deems beautiful and what the world deems beautiful. I wrapped it up with examples of "The Shoes Women Wear" and had a shoe represent each aspect of a woman's life. It was very well received, and the women were so gracious when I teared up at the end while talking about my mother-in-law's accident last year.

I sold more books than I had expected afterward, which made my day. Everyone was so complimentary and sweet. I was very welcomed and encouraged by everyone there. Sometimes, its hard being new at a church, even if you were asked to come. These ladies blessed me so much and it was an honor to be there. They bring new meaning to the concept of the body of Christ - they are such an example of unity and acceptance and teamwork. =)

Its amazing to me to watch the path God has put me on these last few years. I never would have guessed that the timid high schooler who trembled at the thought of a pending college speech class would be willing and able to share God's word to a group of women from a stage or teach writing workshops. I love how God develops us for His purpose. That fact gives me hope for the future - when circumstances look grim, I can look backward and see God's fingerprints and know that this temporary time in the dark will be light once again.

All for His glory!

Friday, June 25, 2010


Sorry for the lack of blog yesterday! I didn't schedule it in advance as I usually do during the three days a week I work my part time job, and it slipped my mind! Whoops.

Tomorrow, Saturday, is the speaking event at the church that I had asked for quotes, regarding the topic of beauty and body image. Pray for me and for God to give me the right words tomorrow and that the women will hear something they can take home with them and apply to their lives. Thanks for all who contributed their quotes on the topics. It really helped give me a new perspective for the material, and hopefully some of the ladies/girls at the event tomorrow will be able to relate.

I'll spend this afternoon probably preparing for tomorrow - printing my speech, gathering my props and books to bring, etc. I'm excited! Should be a great day.

What are your weekend plans??? :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just a peep...

Join me at SCRIBBLE CHICKS today and "peep" in :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another great read...

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Maid to Match
Bethany House (June 1, 2010)
Deeanne Gist

Deanne Gist is quickly becoming a name in romance. And this inspirational story carries just the right balance of history and chemistry! Don't miss your chance to enjoy this great read. Like with most of Deanne's novels, it truly delivers. Read further down to get the details of not only the novel but the really awesome chance to take a trip with Deanne to explore history!


After a short career in elementary education, Deeanne Gist retired to raise her four children. Over the course of the next fifteen years, she ran a home accessory and antique business, became a member of the press, wrote freelance journalism for national publications such as People, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun, Houston Chronicle and Orlando Sentinel, and acted as CFO for her husband’s small engineering firm--all from the comforts of home.Squeezed betwixt-and-between all this, she read romance novels by the truckload and even wrote a couple of her own. While those unpublished manuscripts rested on the shelf, she founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products that would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities. After a few short months of running her publishing company, Gist quickly discovered being a "corporate executive" was not where her gifts and talents lie. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing. Eight months later, she sold A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers. Since that debut, her very original, very fun romances have rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere. Add to this two consecutive Christy Awards, two RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.Her 2010 books, Beguiled and Maid To Match are now available for order.Gist lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-seven years and their two border collies. They have four grown children. Visit her blog to find out the most up-to-the-minute news about Dee.


Falling in love could cost her everything.

From the day she arrived at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled, by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in proper servant etiquette, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid, After all, the one rule of the house is no romance below stairs.But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangles in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs, their aspirations...their hearts.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maid to Match, go HERE.


Buy your copy HERE!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!!

Yesterday we celebrated Father's Day. For some who don't have good relationships with their dad or who have already lost their father on this earth, it can be a rough holiday. But I'm so blessed to say that I was able to celebrate with my Daddy and my hubby, who is the best dad to Little Miss that I could ever ask for =)

We did lunch after church with my parents and sister. It was fun - gotta love pizza for any holiday :)

One of the best parts was that Saturday night when I took Little Miss to sign her daddy's father's day card, she got so excited that she wanted to take it to him immediately. It's so fun watching kids "get it" for the first time and understand that giving Daddy a card is something special. She "signed" her name and handed it to him so proud. Then carefully took him the memory box we'd gotten him with her picture on the top. She was so sweet!!

Here's a pic of me and my dad from Easter....

And a pic of my hubby and Little Miss from yesterday.

How did you celebrate?

Don't forget - Father's Day can also serve as a reminder that we have a heavenly Father who loves us, provides for us, cares for us, and created a home in Eternity for us. Do you know that Father?? :)

Friday, June 18, 2010


I'm under deadline today for a cover story for the Forum, a local newspaper where I freelance, and this is my first day at home with my babygirl in three days because of my part time job, and I'm trying to researchfulltime jobs online and help my husband send in his resumes while he's working his part time job today, and there are two loads of laundry needing to be put away and bills begging to be paid (thank you God that this month we can do that!)

So in other words, this is all the blog you are getting today :)

Have a blessed Friday! Enjoy your job, your family, your friends, your children...and whatever you are doing today, remember to do it all for the glory of God!

Have a great weekend!!

PS - say a pray for a young woman named Candace today who will be attending the funeral of her husband and two children whom she lost in a flood in Arkansas at Albert's Pike last week. Thank you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What Drives You?

What Drives You?
Take the quiz HERE
Here's my results....

You Are Driven by Stability

There's nothing more frightening to you than a life of chaos. You try to find security whenever possible. You take a lot of joy in being responsible, and you always have a backup plan.You are good at completing boring and tedious tasks if you know they will pay off in the future. You tend to have little to worry about in your life. You are good at planning ahead.
This is so true of me. I really have a hard time with change. Once I adjust, though I'm adjusted - until a new change comes along. Apparently God is trying to change this in me, based on our entire last year :) I'm determined to learn the lesson and learn to loosen up so maybe I can honor God with my flexibility. I know He made me the way I am but sometimes good traits, taken to an extreme, can be a fault. It's all about balance!
What are your results? Let's have some group therapy here :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Visit me today at SCRIBBLECHICKS and see what the Chicks are up to this week...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Conference or No Conference?

Who is going to the ACFW conference this year in September in Indianapolis?

I wanted to go, very badly - especially after seeing the improvements they've made this year and the extra-special-amazing workshops being offered. It's crazy to me how each year the conference is taken to a new level of professionalism and opportunity, but it happens every year! I guess I will comfort myself in realizing that next year when I can hopefully go to St. Louis, it will be even better than this year that I am missing.

I will miss the workshops and learning, of course, but also the fellowship. There's something so therapeutic about seeing old and new friends who share this love of writing and can relate. There's no eye rolling or shaking of the head when you spend an hour debating which actor best represents the character in your mind for your new story. There's no open-mouth shock when you overhear two authors discussing the best way to murder a character in the mountains. Its just nice to be fully understood for a few days!! :)

I'll also really miss the corporate worship time. Its my "youth camp" fix each year. You know how when you were a teenager at church and went to youth camp, the worship was just amazing and the fellowship so bonding? It was a special time you didn't get but once a year and it helped really rejuvenate and inspire you. I love the ACFW worship time - so those who are going, get ready to be blessed!!

Finances this year (lack of!) are keeping me home. Last year I was blessed to attend the conference in Colorado. I had to miss the Minnneapolis trip because my daughter was only a few months ago. The three years before that I went to Dallas twice and Nashville. Such great memories!

For those attending this year, have a wonderful time and I pray God blesses your socks off! And for those staying home, come visit my blog with me and we can commisserate :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Just another manic Monday...or is it?

I think the world can be summed up into two different groups of people. Race, culture, ethnic backgrounds, morals, and religious preferences aside, it comes down to this...

Those who like Mondays.

And those who don't.

Which group do you fall into?

I tend to fall more into the first group. I think it's because of my Type Aish personality. I like details and organization and plans and lists and charts and productivity. Mondays to me are a fresh start, a new week, another chance to organize and plan and list. Mondays signal a new beginning and a new opportunity to meet a deadline, finish a chapter, turn in a manuscript, etc. It's also a new workday which is when things happen. Weekends are great and relaxing and fun but when you are waiting for a potential employer to call your husband about a much needed job interview or waiting to hear if you editor approves your manuscript or hoping to get a call from your agent or whatever else, then Mondays are golden. The mail runs on Mondays again. Offices are open. You can get things ACCOMPLISHED!

When I worked full time, I still liked Mondays even though I didn't love Sunday nights. Sunday nights were sad because Monday was coming. But once Monday morning arrived, it was nice to get back into the swing of things and my routine. Now that I work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday outside the home, Tuesday is sort of like a Monday to me, but its still good. All of the above still applies, though it is hard to get up earlier.

I just hated going to work every day when I did work full time and every single person that I ran into - in the eleveator, coworkers, delivery men, security guards, etc. - made a negative comment about Mondays. "Well, its Monday again" followed by a heavy sigh. "yadda yadda yadda - well what do you expect for a Monday?" etc.

I think Mondays have been unfairly cursed.

What are your thoughts on the Manic-ness of Mondays? :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

A lovely read...

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Hopeful Heart
Bethany House (June 1, 2010)
Kim Vogel Sawyer


Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.


Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. The school's one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher--or the wife of one. Shy and small for her twenty-two years, Tressa is convinced she'll never have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt's hands-on instruction in skills such as milking a cow, branding a calf, riding a horse, and cooking up a mess of grub for hungry ranch hands. But what other options does she have? Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the group of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once--and he got his heart broken. But there's something about quiet Tressa and her bumbling ways that makes him take notice. When Tressa's life is endangered, will Abel risk his own life--and his heart--to help this eastern girl?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Hopeful Heart, go HERE

Buy your own copy HERE!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

C is for contest!

I had a friend ask me the other day about any writing contests coming up and sadly, I couldn't give much of an answer. The few contests I keep up with are already in progress or over.

Do you enter writing contests? If so, is it for published or unpublished works? Are you published or unpublished? (pre-published, I mean! Let's up keep the positive thinking!)

I entered a pre-published novel, MIDNIGHT ANGEL in the Touched by Love contest hosted by the Faith Hope and Love chapter and finaled. That manuscript was soon after published by The Wild Rose Press. I've also entered the Genesis contest by the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) for pre-published authors, but wasn't allowed to enter again after Midnight Angel was published in 2007. This year, I entered my first Steeple Hill novel RETURN TO LOVE in the published contest hosted by the ACFW, called BOOK OF THE YEAR. I wanted to enter the same novel in the RWA contest of the same but couldn't afford the entry fees. You can't do it all, right?

What contests have you entered before, and what did you think? What contests have you heard of recently? What would you recommend to friends asking about upcoming events or contests for next year in the writing industry?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Monday, June 07, 2010

When anniversaries aren't so great...

I'd really appreciate prayers for my family today. Today marks the one year anniversary of my mother-in-law's tragic horse back riding accident.

A quick recap for those who didn't hear the story - we went to visit her in south Louisiana for a quick day trip. We had a lot of fun hanging out, swimming, eating lunch, and riding horses. My daughter had fun visiting with her Mimi. At the time, Little Miss was only 11 months. We had a great time.

Until mid afternoon, when coming back from a ride with my husband, my MIL's horse ran her into two trees, badly beating her head. My husband saw the entire thing and used his EMT training to help keep her alive until she was airlifted to a local hospital. She was in a coma for a long time with more injuries than I can list. Her body healed but her brain did not. She was technically out of the coma after several weeks but almost zero function. But she was never on life support. That was out of our hands.

She was in the hospital, at home with home health, and at a rehab center in New Orleans with very little progress for months off and on. Finally, we had to foreclose on her home and bankrupt her accounts and put her in a nursing home here in my hometown. She's on Medicaid, and her current status is still a very vegetative state. She can move, a little, sometimes, but no real control or function. She can't talk, can't walk, can't even sit up. The nurses move her from the bed to a wheelchair from time to time. When you visit her, you can tell her she is in there by her eyes - sometimes. But that's it.

She just had her 47th birthday.

We have a lot of questions still, obviously. Why. And especially why, still? It doesn't make sense to my human mind why God would allow one of His children to remain in this state. We've begged for mercy, for God to take her home if she wasn't even going to get better. Yet she remains, and we keep praying. God has a purpose in this and we might not know this side of Heaven.

In my just sucks.

But one day I will understand.

Today is hard - especially for my husband and his sister. We just had to deal with Mother's Day, her birthday, and the anniversary all within three weeks of each other. So thank you for the prayers and forgive me if I don't post for a day or two.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Friday Fun

Here's a little quiz to jumpstart our weekend...

Here's my results:

You Should Learn Chinese
Surprised? You shouldn't be - Chinese is perfect for an ambitious person like you.You're a natural entrepreneur, and a billion people are waiting to do business with you!
HAHA! Somehow I don't agree....

I think this was interesting to me because I've been talking with a lot of people about languages lately. My sister, who might be moving to west Texas next year with her military hubby, is concerned about getting a job if she doesn't known Spanish. Another friend of mine is trying to get into the military and knows fluent Spanish, but kicks herself for not having learned Arabic during the years she lived overseas.

Do you speak another language? I took highschool French and passed with a middle C. And that was working my booty off. Foreign languages do not come easy to me. Guess I'll stick with English ;)

Take the quiz here!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

"Keep on swimming..."

Who saw "Finding Nemo?"

Who still can't get Dory's little song out your head? "Keep on swimming, keep on swimming, keep on swimming swimmin' swimming..."

For a ditzy fish, Dory had the right idea. Sometimes, in our writing, friendships, jobs, and life in general, we just gotta keep on swimming. Dory knew success could be right over the next wave. And so could ours. When stress becomes too much and daily chores grow overwhelming and manuscript rejections leave open wounds, all we can do is keep swimming. Swimming toward our goal. Swimming toward the joy of accomplishment. Swimming toward cooler waters and brighter days.

I'm just super thankful Jesus is the Lifeguard always on duty :)

Who among us is swimming today? Who is floating, trying to get up the courage and strength to swim a little further? Who gave up a long time ago and needs to start again? Today, whatever you are struggling with, whatever disappointment is weighing you down, whatever dream seems unreachable and goal seems unobtainable, keep swimming. Just one more day. Give God the chance to tow you along and show you how to swim with Him.

You won't drown.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Tick tock...

This is a busy time of year for most people.

Graduations, weddings, baby showers, vacations, and holiday weekends abound. All these family events, time with friends, and various celebrations are definitely important.

But do you let your writing fall by the wayside until the chaos dies down? Or do you try to juggle it all and just cut back instead of cutting out entirely?

Any time saving tips or tricks to share with the masses? Do tell!

(Ps - I'm doing a speaking event on time management for busy authors next weekend for a local writer's group, and would love to hear if anyone out there has any different ideas than me. I will be posting my speech after its given the week of June 14th!)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Because sometimes... just need a date night!

Sunday, Hubby and I got a much-needed night out. Dates are so rare these days between our finances, busy work schedules, and of course, Little Miss. So we did it up right!

We went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, where there was of course cheesecake...

Then we did some shopping, strolled the Boardwalk, saw Letters to Juliet (CUTE movie!!!) and then walked by the river.

Don't worry, as you can see, Little Miss was not deprived at Nana & Papa's house. That's a Hershey's kiss in each hand!

Where do you like to go on nights out?

I think after you have kids, it doesn't really matter as long as you're together! :)