Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Online book store!

Exciting news - the Christian Review of Books in conjuction with CrossPurposes Bookstore, has temparily created a way to allow readers to purchase books from their site that are SIGNED by the author! Cool huh? And makes great Christmas gifts for fans. So far almost 100 authors in the Christian book industry are participating!

Here's the link:


You can browse books or view authors or type in an author's name or book title in the search bar.

Here's how it works: You order a book and it is mailed to the author for signing before being sent to you. What a great idea! And I'm pleased to announce two of my most recent novels, RODEO SWEETHEART and MISTLETOE PRAYERS (christmas novella compilation) are available through this wonderful business.

Start shopping today! =)

Monday, November 29, 2010

A new venture...

So I am beyond pleased to announce that I just signed a contract with Barbour Books for a Young Adult novel, tenatively set to release January 2012!!! Yay!!!

I'm super excited. Can you tell? :)

I've always loved reading YA and have prayed about getting to write one for awhile now. The way this all happened was certainly a "God-thing". So many twists and turns in the journey but I'm here and I'm so blessed to have this opportunity.

Get ready to read about the trials of Addison Blakely, PK (preacher's kid!) in 2012 :)

(now I gotta go write 100,000 words...)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Guest of honor!

Guess what?

I'm this week's featured author on www.acfw.com (American Christian Fiction Writers)

What an honor =)

Check it out!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Lighthouse Keeper's Bride

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Lightkeeper's Bride
Thomas Nelson (October 19, 2010)
Colleen Coble
These books shipped late from the publisher, so I haven't finished reading this one yet, but I'm on Chapter 13 and already very hooked. Colleen has always been a favorite author of mine, her plot-driven novels are always full of suspense, romance and intrigue. So far this one is a winner and I have no reason to doubt the last half won't measure up ;)
Here's a little info about my friend Colleen...

Author Colleen Coble’s thirty-five novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers Best, and the 2009 Best Books of Indiana-Fiction award. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.A word from Colleen: God has been faithful, though the path has not been easy. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. God wouldn’t let me give up, and I like to think the struggle made me stronger. God has given me so much in my life, most importantly my great family, a loving church family at New Life Baptist Church, and my wonderful publishing family at Nelson Books.

And here's some info about the novel. With the weather changing, this really is a great time to curl up in a chair with hot chocolate and a blankie (or if you're like my Little Miss "beehee") and enjoy a good read. Suspenseful, but not scary.


A thrilling romantic mystery set in the lush Victorian age.Central Operator Katie Russell's inquisitive ways have just uncovered her parents' plan for her marriage to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster. Her heart is unmoved, but she knows the match will bring her family status and respectability.Then Katie overhears a phone conversation that makes her uneasy and asks authorities to investigate. But the caller is nowhere to be found. Mysterious connections arise between the caller and a ship lost at sea.Against propriety, Katie questions the new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson. Then a smallpox epidemic forces their quarantine in his lighthouse. Though of low social status, Will's bravery and kindness remove Katie's suspicion and win her love. Katie and Will together work to solve the mystery of the missing girl and the lost ship as God gives the couple the desire of their hearts.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Lightkeeper's Bride, go HERE!
Buy your copy of this great read HERE!

Chicks that Scribble

Visit me today at Scribblechicks!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One grateful froggy...

Why is it that random things always happen at the most inconvenient times? I rarely lose my voice but of course the night before I'm supposed to speak at a church's women ministry event (which was planned well over a month in advance), I start croaking.

Like a frog. Who drank a lot of whiskey and maybe was a cheerleader in a former life.

It was bad, to say the least.

Thursday, the day of my event, I spent the entire day sucking cough drops and asking for prayer on Facebook. I texted the coordinator for the event and warned her and said I'd probably need a microphone. She said no prob, and she'd just introduce me as "Mrs. Kermit the Frog." haha. At least I knew I'd have the sympathy votes :)

Despite my thready voice, we made it through and the event was a success. God gave me enough voice to get through my message. Afterward it was worse, but everyone was so sweet and didn't make fun of my leap-frog voice. :) I was even laughing at myself.

It's so nice to be able to go to other churches in my state and visit with women. We're all different, but all united in Christ. It was a joy to spend an evenign with these ladies. In a church that averages only 75-80, 30 women showed up that night for catfish and fellowship and to hear my thoughts on Thanksgiving and of course...shoes ;)

I sold 35 books and was given a gift basket that is still making me smile almost a week later! Lots of goodies that Little Miss has helped me enjoy. hehe. (they even put a stuffed reindeer in there for her!) God is good, and there's no time like Thanksgiving to remember His extra special blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ahoy, mateys!!

So my sister is turning 30 next week! My parents decided to throw her a big birthday party to celebrate. She's into the skull/crossbone trend and of course, the color pink, so my parents took that theme and ran with it, so to speak! They made a gangplank for the front door, decorated the entire house with streamers, hung lights on the patio, handmade a banner and decorations for the food, and had pirate themed games. They even made all the guests wear blank and/or pink to match the theme. haha! :) So creative.

Here's some pics from the fun event...
Birthday girl in a pirate hat...

It was a blast - we almost had to miss it because of my Little Miss running fever, but we got clearance from the doctor and Little miss had a great time. I think all her illness needed was a few cupcakes and cookies ;)
(of course the antibiotic probably helped too....)

Little Miss got to wear her pirate Halloween costume again, which was fun.

It was very sweet - earlier that day before the party, we were waiting inside Walgreens for her prescription to be ready, and she saw a Woodstock (from Snoopy/Peanuts) stuffed dog toy with a squeaker in its belly. She immediately wanted us to buy it for "Aunt Sissy's birthday" (that's what she calls my sister) She refused to be swayed, and thankfully the toy was only $5.00. She was determined Aunt Sissy needed that for her gift from her, and went home and wrapped it in the bag and toted the bag all over the house, so excited to give it to her that night! She refused to let me carry it, she wanted to herself, it was from her after all ;)
Ahh, the joys of toddlerhood. I had some fast explaining to do when my sister opened her gifts later and saw a dog toy in her bag! hahahaha. But of course she thought it was precious. Little Miss has that affect =P
Arrgggghhh mateys....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

B is for Bliss

Blissful reading is exactly what BLISS, by Jenness Walker and Tracy Bowen, will bring you =)

Product Description:

Following the stars, Indie Moore sets off to find ultimate happiness in South Florida. But in her quest for comfort and fortune, she encounters mishap and mayhem. She finds a home in a trailer park, a job scrubbing toilets, and a moody roommate-not quite the glamorous world she'd envisioned for herself when she left Rabbit Hole, Kansas. But maybe bliss looks a little different than she'd thought. Laugh and cry with Indie, the Miss Adventure of misadventure, as she blunders on land, by sea, and in church, seeking love and a sense of belonging...seeking true Bliss.
My review:
This was a really fun read. I had actually started critiquing the very beginning of this novel for Jenness back a million years ago in the very early stages of its writing. As Jenness began pursuing other projects, this one fell by the wayside temporarily, until it won an ACFW award and then was picked up by this publisher. It was really fun getting to read the whole story, in full, and noticing all the changes and enjoying the chapters I'd never even glimpsed.

It's even better than I remembered it! Indie Moore is a great character, relatable, quirky, sympathetic. Everyone can find a little piece of themselves in Indie - who hasn't searched for their life meaning? Who hasn't eaten their weight in muffins in one morning? Who hasn't had the hots for a hunky guy and embarassed themselves in front of said hunk? Who hasn't wished for the stars and then tried to settle for being content with a danish wrapper? ::grin::

In this story of a young woman's journey for freedom, for truth, for BLISS, the reader will certainly find all of the above as well. The cast of characters surrounding Indie are witty, fun, and the perfect backdrop for all of Indie's misadventures. You don't want to miss this one! It's the perfect read for both snuggling by a fireplace or enjoying the warmth of the beach from the sand. In fact, why not buy two copies and try both settings? ::wink::

Great job, Jenness and Tracy! I hope to see more joint ventures from you both =)

Purchase your copy of this fun and inspiring novel HERE!

Find Jenness and Tracey together on Facebook and say hello, and be sure to visit Jenness' individual author website at http://jennesswalker.com/ and check out her Love Inspired Suspense novel DOUBLE TAKE.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top 5 Reasons Why...

A fun friend GEORGIANA DANIELS had a "Top 5 Reasons" blog the other day that inspired me to write one of my own.

So tell me. What are your Top 5 Reasons for getting distracted from your writing? What are the 5 main nemesis (nemesis'? nemesises?) of your time/energy/creative juices?

Here's mine:

1. Work - because I work part time outside of my home and part time FROM home, it can get hectic trying to get it all done.

2. Children - I hate to even list this because I love my toddler interruptions more than any other, but it is a valid reason. A 2 year old is definitely a distraction/energy drainer from writing - even if she's the world cutest/sweetest reason. =)

3. Exhaustion - working the hours I do, and having a family, and still being responsible for the house and most of the cooking, cleaning, etc. it can be hard to find the creative juices late at night after toddler bedtime. I typically do most of my writing during her nap in the middle of the afternoon, and have had to discipline myself to stay awake and not nap myself.

4. Lack of inspiration - this ties into my other reasons. Being busy and tired can be hard on the imagination but I think I was given a double or maybe triple dose of that in the womb, so I typically don't run out of ideas. (just might be guilty of picking a fight or making myself sad on purpose to write an emotional scene...oh come on, you've done it too ::wink::)

5. Diet - yep, sitting on your booty all day at work or at home writing or whereever else can be hard on the backside (as in, keeping your backside too soft instead of firm!) and sometimes when I get free time to write, I want to exercise instead, or NOT sit and write because I'll find myself snacking to stay awake and inspired. Anyone else struggle with this?

The beauty of this Top 5 Reasons list is that despite the time restraints, the distractions, the interruptions, the stubborn pounds and the bags under my eyes, I still write. God still makes a way for me emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically to meet my deadlines and even ENJOY doing it :)

And that's what keeps me going! It's all for His glory and by His grace.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Blessings from India....

A few months ago, a sweet lady named Ruthy won a giveaway of Rodeo Sweetheart from a fellow reader's blog. She contacted us after she was notified of winning and admitted she lived in India, and understood if that cost too much in shipping to send her the book.

I felt so strongly that she needed my novel, that I gladly paid the higher postage to get it to her. Sending my novel to INDIA? What an amazing opportunity and blessing. I'm not about to stand in the way of God's open door.

She read it, really enjoyed it, and because of her excellent review and appreciation, I sent her a copy of my new Christmas novella, The Gingerbread Season (compilation Mistletoe Prayers). She read it, reviewed it on her blog, and is doing a giveaway of my signed copy! Then, if that wasn't enough, she went on Amazon and bought herself a keeper copy of the novella as well.
What a precious lady!

I'd love for you to check out her blog and sign up to win the Christmas novella, and say hi to Ruthy.

Visit Underneath His Wrapping HERE and sign up to win!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Amy Inspired - a book review

Once again, Bethany House was kind enough to provide this book free of charge for my review.

Here's the back cover:

Amy Gallagher is an aspiring writer who, after countless rejections, has settled for a career as an English professor in small-town Ohio just to pay the bills. All her dreams suddenly start to unravel as rejections pile up--both from publishers and her boyfriend. But just as Amy fears her life is stuck in a holding pattern, she meets the mysterious, attractive, and unavailable Eli. She struggles to walk the fine line between friendship and something more with Eli, even as staying true to her faith becomes unexpectedly complicated. When secrets, tragedy, and poor decisions cause rifts in Amy's relationships, she must come to terms with who she's become, her unrealized aspirations for her life, and the state of her faith. Can she dare to hope that she will find love and fulfillment despite it all?

I enjoyed this book more than my previous Bethany House read (see post from yesterday) but only by a margin. I did finish it this time.

Let me say first of all that Bethany House is one of my favorite publishers in the Christian book industry and I don't feel let down by them at all, rather I realize that some of their more recent publications just simply aren't my personal style. I'm still a fan ;)

Amy Inspired was good in that it held my interest, and the characters were so real and relatable that you truly forget they don't actually exist. But the overall tone of the novel was heavy, angsty...not in a fabricated way, don't get me wrong - all of the issues and turmoil of the characters was accurate and well done, but it just left a heavy feeling in your bones when you read. If you like angst-driven novels, this is one you'd probably love. But I tend to enjoy reads that leave me feeling more hopeful than this one. I like when characters deal with real life issues but I also like the comic relief angle that helps lighten the load. For me personally this one wasn't quite as balanced as I tend to prefer.

The ending was satisfactory but not as much as I'd have hoped after investing my time in the book. Bethany Pierce, however, is a very talented writer and I would definitely try another one of her stories. =)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hattera's Girl

There are two things twenty-nine-year-old Jackie Donovan asks God for: an honest, wonderful man to marry, and to own a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks region. In the meantime, Jackie works for Lighthouse Views magazine, writing articles about other local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives. There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: the Bailey Place, a fabulous old home where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons, a place that has now fallen into disrepair because of its outrageous price tag. When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey Place, Jackie is sure God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to question her own motivation. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

About the Author:

Alice J. Wisler is a public speaker, advocate, fundraiser, and the author of two contemporary novels, How Sweet It Is and Rain Song, a Christy Award finalist. She has been a guest on several radio and TV programs to promote her self-published cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle. She has a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Mennonite University and has traveled the world in jobs that minister to people. Alice and her family live in Durham, North Carolina.

Bethany House was kind enough to provide this novel for me for review, free of charge - and I hate to say...I just couldn't finish it. I read almost halfway through the story but it failed to grab my attention. It wasn't bad writing, just not my style and very slow. I reached Chapter 9 and still felt that nothing had happened yet. Because of my busy personal life, I can't waste time on a book that doesn't grab me and make me eager to see what happens next.
But I'm sure it'd be enjoyable for someone wanting a relaxed, slow-paced, light beachy-type read. The premise was nice, but again, I just couldn't get into it. Personal preference!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Autumn Test

It's officially Autumn, folks, so let's take a fun quiz...


Take the test here!

My results:

You Are Low Key and Relaxed

You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.When you are happiest, you are calm. You appreciate tradition and family. You enjoy feeling cozy.You tend to be afraid of change. You are never ready for things to be different.You find love to be the most comforting thing in the world. You feel at peace when you're with your loved ones.Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.You tend to live in the moment. You enjoy whatever is going on, and you don't obsess over the past or future.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Fight night...

So last Friday night, my husband participated for the second time in Battle of the Badges - cops vs. firemen in an annual fundraiser. Last year he lost his round although many people said it should have gone to him. But this past year, he spent a lot of time training and working out...and it paid off. He won his round by a LANDSLIDE. You could really tell he spent time training, and it was a unanamious decision by the judges. Besides a very mild bloody nose, my husband wasn't hurt at all. I don't think many of the cop's blows ever really landed.

I'm proud of my man for winning, and for contributing to a good cause. The proceeds from the fundraiser went to the family of a policeman who was recently murdered here in our city, and to a local child in need of a special needs dog. There's not many men who are willing to get punched in the face for a good cause, so all the men are winners to me!!

Funny story - at church yesterday my pastor, who is a champion ex-boxer, asked how my husband did at the fight. I almost blurted out "he totally kicked butt!!!!!" then realized that probably wasn't appropriate. I quickly edited to "He did very well." haha. =)

(but he totally kicked butt!)

Here's some pics of the fight (he's in red) and me and him afterward...and a very proud Little Miss. She kept wearing his medal saying "Dada fight! Dada win prize!" =)

Friday, November 05, 2010

My Pirate Princess

We're still nibbling on candy corn around here, and Little Miss' treat bucket from the church carnival last weekend is only half empty. How are you doing regarding candy overload? hehe.

Here's some pics of my Pirate Princess...Agggh! So cute, even if I am probably somewhat biased ;)
Showing her muscles...

Even Gigi got in on the pirate action!

Visiting Daddy at work afterward...he was doing a part time shift at the station near our house.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Ceeeeeelebrate good times, come on!

I need to celebrate!

I have officially finished writing my August 2011 release, FIREMAN DAD. My agent is viewing it now before we submit to my editor - a few weeks ahead of deadline if I might add!!
If that's not cause to be grateful, I'm not sure what is! :)
I"m sure they'll be revisions at some stage soon, there always are, but for now....it is done!!! (and I kinda like it! haha)
So I need to celebrate...any suggestions? So far I've heard chocolate, Starbucks, dancing, dancing WITH Starbucks, and a nice dinner out followed by a movie....

What do you think? =)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I really can't believe this is already November. I know time flies faster ever year as you get older and as your kids grow, but seriously. This is crazy. I feel like it should still be August or September - though I am quitet grateful to be out of the 100 degree temps that pelted us this past summer. Whew!

November. Wow. Thanksgiving will be here before we know it!

And then Christmas. I have to admit, I'm looking forward to the day after Thanksgiving, not because of the sales but because that's when our local light rock radio station switchs to playing NOTHING BUT CHRISTMAS CAROLS 24/7 UNTIL NEW YEARS!! Yeah I know. Right now you're either jealous, or groaning in agony and so glad its not you. =) I'm a carol lover what can I say? PS - my husband falls under the groaning category.

So is time sneaking up on you this year and blowing right by? Or is just me? Please tell me its not just me....!!!

Monday, November 01, 2010

What if...

I have a lot of what if's sometimes. But the one plaguing me today is..."what if the pages of the Pottery Barn for Kids magazine was real life?"

You're laughing, but seriously. Have you ever seen those catalogues? Pristine children in pristine clothing in pristine houses full of organized boxes, spotless toys, clean rooms, siblings snuggled up together in a house full of themed decorations reading books by a roaring fire, playing together like angels, laughing and taking turns on a rocking horse that costs as much as my mortgage...

For a detailed, Type A, organized neat freak like myself, it looks like heaven!

Until I look at my Little Miss - and my messy living room with cracker crumbs on the floor. I see and hear cartoons blaring, books and toy strewn over the fireplace hearth, crayon scribbles on her white wooden play table, juice stains on the couch, juice stains on Gigi (her belove giraffe) mismatched PJs and bo-bo's and overflowing trick or treat bags and chocolate stains on the corners of her mouth and messy hair and scratched end tables and worn toys and half-eaten bowls of snacks and I think...No. THIS is heaven. This is real life. This is laughter and tears and memories.

This is perfect. =)