Friday, February 26, 2010

Fun new fiction

I'm honored to review (and yes, I did receive these books free from the publisher) the following titles by Waterbrook!

SECRETS - by Robin Jones Gunn

I am ridiculously excited about this novel!!

This is a reprint of the first in Robin's Glenbrooke series, the very series that inspired me to start writing Christian fiction. I read the second in the series, Whispers, and that was when I first felt the call of the Lord to write for Him. I read Secrets next, and wow. I was hooked.

It was my joy and privilege to interview Robin Jones Gunn years later, and boy was I nervous! Now Robin and I have met, enjoyed lunch together at a writer's conference, and email periodically. She's a dear woman of faith and an amazing writer, with a sweet sensitive heart for the Lord and for ministry that shines through her characters. You can never, ever go wrong with one of Robin's books, and if you haven't snatched up the Glenbrooke series yet, you should start ASAP with these fabulous new covers. =)

Next on my list:

DEEP HARBOR by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Isn't this cover beautiful? Lisa is another author I grew up reading, and she is so inspiring. This poignant story of grace, trust, and adventure is an amazing read. I wish I had the first in the series, and must remedy that ASAP =)

Don't miss this series or other books by this fantastic author!

You can purchase these novels and many other great reads at !

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Trends in Fiction

So has anyone else noticed the sudden trend in Amish fiction? It's everywhere! More than half of the Top 20 Bestsellers in Christian Fiction on the CBD website right now are Amish fiction. Who would have thought? I'm so happy for those authors.

I remember a few years ago at an ACFW conference (American Christian Fiction Writers) that the editors and agents on the panel said the were most definitely NOT looking for historicals or Amish fiction or prairie romances. ..

A lot can change in a few years!

Not long ago, romantic suspense and thrillers were all the rage and now that's slightly on the decline. Same with chick-lit - it was a huge hit several years ago, and now, POOF. Gone. (or not gone-gone, but more like revamped into less snarky, general women's fiction)

It's a pretty unpredictable market. One never knows what readers will gravitate toward. All it takes is one big hit to make the market swing another direction (take Twilight, for example, and the following flux of paranormal novels that followed, even in the Christian Fiction industry)

Do you enjoy Amish fiction? Who are your favorite authors in that genre? What about paranormal? Are you still following the vampire trends?

As much as I enjoy a good historical read (or sparkly vampire read! ha!), I do hope the trend swings another direction soon so other authors can have a chance at getting their "outside the box" works out there. Trends come and go, fads change, and while the Amish novels might withstand the test of time, and even the vampires at that, I hope the market can squeeze in some room for some real jewels they are currently missing. (and no I'm not talking about my own books! lol)

Let's take a poll! Please vote. If you had the choice to ONLY read one genre of Christian fiction for the rest of your life (not just one book but one genre of book) what would it be, from the following list? (if I forgot one, list it for me!)

1. Historicals (including Amish or prairie romances)
2. Contemporary romance
3. Suspense/Thriller
4. Romantic suspense
5. Biblical fiction
6. Paranomal/Fantasy (vampires, werewolves, etc.)
7. Women's fiction
8. Chick Lit

Vote now in the comment section!! =)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One of those days...

Yesterday was One of Those Days, and my head wasn't screwed on right. For anyone who tried to read my interview on the teen website, it was actually scheduled to be posted today, and I thought yesterday was Wednesday. Whoops! So try again today and show the love for one frazzle-brained author! =)

Also, today (yes, I promise, TODAY) I posted on SCRIBBLE CHICKS about how I outline/plot a story. If you need outlining/plotting tips or are just curious as to how other authors do it, stop on by and tell us your methods of book planning! =)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A fun interview...

I was given the honor of being interviewed on Real Teen Faith, an online blog edited by BJ Hamrick, Halee Matthews, and Ethan Hamrick. This site is a ministry to teenagers and one I'm happy to support!

Check out the interview and post a comment HERE! And tell any teenagers you know to take a looksie as well. They could truly benefit from the content, encouragement, advice and write-in questions teens submit.

Thanks! Happy Tuesday! =)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Life Lessons from a Horse Whisperer

This is a different type of book for me, but I was immediately intrigued. I've always loved horses growing up, and saw the movie The Horse Whisperer with Robert Redford when it came out in theaters many years ago. I highly recommend it, and believe this is one even my husband would enjoy. =)

Even if you're not horse crazy at heart, you could still greatly benefit from this collection. Pass it on!


A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses. In this book, Lew tells the stories of his work with these horses and the lessons each one has taught him. Sometimes heartbreaking and often uplifting, Lew has condensed his lifetime of learning into messages for the Christian life. Today, Lew shares these messages with more than 50,000 people each year through horse training presentations at Miracle Mountain Ranch and nationally through his Sermon on the Mount Ministry.The author's engaging style and adroit mixture of well-tested anecdotes and thoughtful instruction make this a winning read-and not just for horse lovers.


A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses. Dr. Lew Sterrett (Ph. D) had little idea that his boyhood interest in horses would open doors internationally for speaking and training. During his years in 4-H, he savored many opportunities to train and show horses and earn national recognition. As a student leader at Penn State University he benefited from many mentoring relationships from which he received valuable training, experience and honors. This foundation provided a basis for an extensive horse career with a unique emphasis on training youth and community leaders. Lew has served as the Executive Director of Miracle Mountain Ranch Missions, Inc. (MMRM) since 1977. MMRM, located in northwestern Pennsylvania, is home for a summer youth camp, and a leadership training center for youth, adult, and family groups. He has also promoted safety in public riding programs, serving as President of the Certified Horse Association for 7 years. A licensed pastor, certified Youth, Marriage and Family Counselor, he earned his PhD from North Tennessee Seminary in 2007.

Find out more about Dr. Lew Sterrett on his website:


A few interview questions...

Having no established model for such a thing, I was first caught off guard when riding a horse named Ribbon at Miracle Mountain Ranch. Having learned to play the expected Christian role, and having come to MMR to serve the Lord with a sincere heart, I was shocked and dumbfounded when, upon seeing her negative but subtle attitudes express themselves, I was convicted that I was very much like her. It was not a pleasant experience; though she was pretty to look at, I was very bothered by her sour response. I thought, 'Surely I couldn't be that difficult of a person.' It was not a perspective I wanted to tell others about. Little by little as I was faithful to His Word, to regular investments in people, and to the training, I began to see more and more relational principles that could be illustrated by the horse/trainer relationship. As it was a convenient tool in my hands, I began to get my nerve up and share it with others. It wasn't long until others began to request it.

Our audience is a broad spectrum. It includes all ages and ranges from very secular to very Christian, and total horse enthusiasts to non-horse observers. But we do share things in common: we are all people and we all share the same relational situations. The very principles that profit a horse/trainer relationship help humans to see their needs more objectively. Illustrating these with horses helps people appreciate God’s greater purpose for their lives from a relational and not necessarily “religious” perspective. The context is fundamentally sound, pithy, yet entertaining and non-threatening.


'Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams' (Isaiah 15:23). Man often pursues unhealthy habits and poor decisions with impulse sacrifices. Perhaps people can be bought off for a time, but God values faithfulness over impulsiveness because faithfulness results in confidence. Little steps that are taken consistently bear far better fruit over the long haul than great talent; character prevails over skill. When applied to the home this produces harmony and growth.


Growing up in church no more makes one a Christian than standing in the barn makes one a horse. Without a personal intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit, Christianity is nothing more than a religious shell. I grew up in that void and until I came to Christ as a college student, none of it made a lot of sense. After my new awakening in Christ, I found a new hunger and thirst for the Word, for fellowship and sound teaching.


In all reality, I had a girlfriend while I was a student at Penn State Univ. and she kept telling me about MMR. As she witnessed my growth in the Lord and my consideration of serving Him, she saw the correlation between my interests and skill sets and the uniqueness of the ranch she had attended for years. After a bit of time I applied to be a summer counselor and went with my friend to visit MMR in 1974. Believe it or not my 'girlfriend' would introduce me to the woman who would become my wife a year later. After our wedding, my wife and I went to California where I taught at a vocational college. Two years later, we were asked to return and assume the directorship of MMR (1977).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Heart contest

I thought today we could all use a fun quiz, and in honor of the month of February and Valentine's Day, this one seemed like a winner.


CLICK HERE TO PLAY! Be sure to post your results in the comment section.

Here's my results!

You Have a Content Heart

Your heart doesn't crave much. It doesn't take much to make your heart happy. You may or may not have found love, but either way, your heart is at peace. If your heart has been broken, you are over it. Your heart has no scars. Your heart is open to anything. You have a lot of love to give to the world.

I think the above is pretty accurate most of the time! I am usually content, and it doesn't take much to make me happy at all. My husband even teases me about how "wow, babe, it just doesn't take much at all does it?" over something silly that made me laugh or cry with appreciation.

I joke about being high maintenance because of my taste in expensive shoes and purses, etc. but truly, I'm pretty low maintenance. =)

What was your score??

Thursday, February 18, 2010

On hold

So yesterday I was trying to call my mortgage company to ask a question, and it took four different calls, one disconnection on their part, one disconnection on my part, two service reps, one lingering headache, three prayers for patience - and yes, I believe, a partridge in a pear tree - to talk to the right person about the right thing at the right time.

In the meantime, I got to enjoy hold music throughout every aspect of the above process.

This soundtrack wasn't typical elevator music that played and faded into a new song. No, this was an operator's voice, informing me to hold and that my call was "important" (yes, I screamed "liar" at her more than once.) Then she'd click away and I'd get a musical version of Boston's "More Than A Feeling", which used to be a very enjoyable song, that I can now never hear again without awful flashbacks. The twangy, single-note ditty would play forever, which truly was an insult to the song in the first place. It sounded as if someone sat down with a triangle and dinged away one of history's greatest ballads. Then, with another click, the operator would again inform me of my vast importance to their overall well-being.

The worst part was that every time the line would click to give me the operator or the music, I would jump, thinking "finally, a person!" only to be accosted with one or the other yet again. Finally, I was connected and handled my business and decided, after many diet cokes later, that the ordeal had been worth it.

Sometimes it seems like our life is set on an infinite hold, doesn't it? We go through daily routines, feeling dull and unmotivated. Every day feels like the same with nothing to look forward to.

But just as bad news can come suddenly out of the woodworks, so can good news. And as Christians we have the hope and joy of Jesus to get us through the wait. His grace, mercy, patience, and gentle guidance is so much more beautiful to our ears than cheap hold music.

If you're discouraged today, if you're on hold and losing patience fast (much like I am at times) and ready to throw the phone through the dining room window, take a deep breath. Block out the repetitious noise of the world's hold music and strain to hear the subtle whisper of Jesus. He loves you, and He has great plans for you (and me!) that will be worth the wait. Trust Him.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Susan May Warren's delightfully funny heroine is at it again! And this time, there's more stakes involved...

P.J. Sugar finds herself in Double Trouble this time! Yikes!

With one solved case under her belt, PJ Sugar is ready to dive into her career as a private investigator. Or at least a PI’s assistant until she can prove herself to Jeremy Kane, her new boss. Suddenly PJ’s seeing crime everywhere. But is it just in her head, or can she trust her instincts? When she takes on her first official case—house-sitting for a witness in protective custody—Jeremy assures her there’s no danger involved. But it soon becomes clear that there is someone after the witness . . . and now they’re after PJ, too.

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 blog tour will run the entire month of February and features a super fun social sharing contest (contest ends February 20th - so hurry and enter soon)! Just click here - you won't want to miss your chance to win an IPOD gift pack - The Super Sleuth prize package – everything a ‘sleuthing’ gal needs! Check it out!

One Grand Prize winner will receive a $150 SUPER SLEUTH prize package that includes:

* A brand new iPod Shuffle (perfect for those all-night stakeouts)
* A $10 iTunes gift card (we recommend the ALIAS soundtrack)
* A $10 Amazon gift card (why yes, they do sell spy pens)
* A $10 Starbucks gift card (for fuel, obviously)
* A pair of designer sunglasses (be stealthy AND super chic)
* A gorgeous scarf from World Market (can also be used as a blindfold, and/or for tying up bad guys)
* AND signed copies of both Nothing But Trouble & Double Trouble. (romance! danger! intrigue! sooo much better than Surveillance for Dummies!)

We’ll announce our super sleuth winner on March 1st!

My personal thoughts:

Susie is one of my favorite authors, and while FTC regulations require me to let you know this book was given to me free to review, I'd still eagerly buy it and give it 5 stars. Susie is the equivalent of an author rockstar, and her characters are the same. This is another must-read by Susie (but aren't all of her books that way??!) =) Don't miss it - or the chance to participate in these super sleuthy cool prize packages!!!

The editor/author relationship..

Come visit me today at SCRIBBLE CHICKS and read about the elusive editor/author relationship and my advice on working with an editor. Questions are being taken!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lessons from a Car Wash

I caved today, and drove through our local $5 car wash. Right now $5 is $5 and that's sort of a waste, but we can't wash my car at our house right now because our driveway/yard is still trying to dry out from all this wet weather...I was going to wait until it was dryer out, but I was actually growing concerned about my paint job. Not kidding, my car has been THAT dirty for THAT long. We're talking all over, full-out mud streaks, not just country dust. It was past time.
So on the way home from doing some errands today (including a humbling trip to my credit union, who is working with us on allowing a skipped payment next month so we can try to get ahead financially during this lay-off) Little Miss and I drove through the car wash. I talked it up real big, not sure how she'd react. I figured it'd be either fun for her, or terrifying. She's been through it before but not since she was an infant and was too little to have an opinion on such things.
Soon it was our turn. We lined up on the rolling track and I put the car in neutral and hands/feet off the steering wheel/brake. "Here we go!" I squealed happily, as she looked around warily at the rapidly approaching chaos.
Soap and water began to spray, and those giant blue strips that remind me of Octopus legs started slapping the car. "Yay!" I cheered, hoping my enthusiasm would catch on. She wasn't crying, and I thought, so far, so good as I turned around to check on her....
She was hiding. From her car seat, she had both hands thoroughly covering her eyes and wasn't moving a muscle. It was like she thought "if I don't move a muscle, maybe the Octopus won't get me." It was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. She stayed just that way, not crying, not moving, just hiding, as we finished the wash and dry and rolled out into the parking lot. As soon as the sunshine shone through the windows, down came her hands, and off we went down the road toward the house.
I think there's a lesson there.
Lately, through the chaos of these last few months since Hubby's lay-off, I've been tempted to hide. Crawl under the covers and ignore reality, hoping that if I couldn't see my circumstances, maybe they couldn't see me. Lately my Octopus has been constructed of bills, bank statements, grocery receipts, dead-ends and dwindling hope.
But even while I cower in the backseat, craving the sunshine and wishing the monsters would just go away, Jesus is still in the driver's seat, guiding me through what I view as danger and what He views as opportunity. Opportunity to grow, opportunity to give and receive blessings as never before, opportunity to increase my faith in my Provider. The car wash was a necessary evil. And I'm hoping so is this season in life. I'm hoping when I get out into the sunshine again, I'll be a little cleaner, a little brighter, a little shinier for Christ.
And hey, maybe even with a fresh Pine scent. =)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Walking on Broken Glass

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Walking on Broken Glass
Abingdon Press (February 2010)
Christa Allan


Christa Allan, a true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, weaves stories of unscripted grace with threads of hope, humor, and heart. The mother of five and grandmother of three, Christa teaches high school English. She and her husband, Ken live in Abita Springs, Louisiana where they play golf, dodge hurricanes, and anticipate retirement.


Leah Thornton's life, like her Southern Living home, has great curb appeal. But already sloshed from one-too-many drinks at a faculty party, Leah cruises the supermarket aisles in search of something tasty to enhance her Starbucks—Kahlua and a paralyzing encounter with a can of frozen apple juice shatters the facade, forcing her to admit that all is not as it appears.When her best friend Molly gets in Leah's face about her refusal to deal with her life, Leah is forced to make a decision. Can this brand-conscious socialite walk away from the country club into 28 days of rehab? Leah is sitting in the office of the local rehab center facing an admissions counselor who fails to understand the most basic things, like the fact that apple juice is not a suitable cocktail mixer. Rehab is no picnic, and being forced to experience and deal with the reality of her life isn’t Leah’s idea of fun. Can she leave what she has now to gain back what she needs? Joy, sadness, pain and a new srength converge, testing her marriage, her friendships and her faith.But through the battle she finds a reservoir of courage she never knew she had, and the loving arms of a God she never quite believed existed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Walking on Broken Glass, go HERE

To buy this novel, click HERE!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Weekend!

Happy Valentine's Weekend!
Hubby and I have a date constructed entirely of gift cards planned for tomorrow night to celebrate. Restaurant, ice cream, and movie theater all covered, thanks to careful hording of Christmas gift cards. =)
What are you doing with your loved one or friend?

PS - Read Liz Johnson's review of A Valentine's Wish and an interview with me HERE!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Enter to win...

Guess what? There's two more contests going on!!

Georgiana Daniels is hosting a drawing for a free book giveaway of A VALENTINE'S WISH! Click HERE to read her fun interview with me and enter. =)

Also, be sure to enter Debra Collin's contest to win an entire Valentine's day basket, with my novel being just one of the fun goodies inside. Check that out HERE!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An award

Guess what I received from Romance Book Scene?

Cool, huh? (warning - this blog also reviews erotica books, so if you read the review on the blog and want to avoid other bookcovers, don't scroll around! lol)

Today I posted about time management on SCRIBBLE CHICKS. Would love to get your feedback!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

When hope is lost...

So God's been doing a work in us around here lately, especially me. You're all familiar with our current situation - Hubby having been laid off the fire department December 28th, and we still have no full time job or insurance, now, for that matter. He's working as many hours as he can get at what was his second job, doing ambulance transports. But his time is limited between their scheduling allowance and between all the tests/interviews he's doing while going through the process to get on another local fire dept., and a new career choice he's investigating.

Sunday, to make matters worse, his transmission on his truck broke and left him stranded down the road. My parents had to tow him home, and a friend helped him get to the mechanic yesterday. Not to mention his mom, in the nursing home, is needing more $ for things that we don't have to give.

Money is not running thin, it's running OUT. Yet we haven't missed a bill yet. God is providing in miraculous, creative ways...yet I still struggle. Yesterday was rough. Hubby was sick, Little Miss has had diarrhea diapers for the last 3 days off and on, and I was coming down with a scratchy throat. I was tired. I was running out of hope. I was avoiding paying the bills because I didn't want to see our meager checking account drain. While I know that His timing is perfect, and I have nothing to fear, I felt insecure. Yesterday was a down day. I posted on Facebook that I needed a miracle. We were in bad shape, financially, emotionally, physically - I cried almost all day. I was just DONE. Ever been there?

I couldn't pray without crying. I couldn't talk to my parents without crying. I just dragged around, taking care of my daughter and forcing my husband to go to the doctor to get a shot and medicine even though we can't afford to pay the doctor bill when it comes in...and cried some more. Everything was piling up in my head, and in my heart, and while I knew that God had come through time and time again, a little tiny part of me was scared He would stop. I felt that we'd already received so many blessings, why should He give us ANOTHER miracle? He's already used so many amazing people and circumstances in our lives to make ends meet lately, why should He do it AGAIN when other people continue to suffer? It didn't seem fair. I don't deserve special treatment. So while part of me trusted He'd provide again, the other part of me, the part listening to the devil instead of to my Lord, said He might not.

I've been reading through the New Testament this year, and I read in Mark the other day about the man who needed Jesus to heal his daughter. When Jesus questioned his faith, the man's words were "I believe, help my unbelief." He had faith. But he knew he needed more. So that was my prayer all day long yesterday. "I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief."

Then the phone rang. It was my dad, telling me my grandma was right there and wanted to talk to me. I put on my happy voice. "Hey Mammaw".

"How you doing honey?"

"We're hanging in there." My voice is cracking by now.

"I understand there's a black cloud of doom over your house lately."

Tight throat. "Yes ma'am."

"Well, honey, your grandfather and I are sending you a check."

I bawled like a baby. God came through. Again. Despite my doubts, despite my fear. I still don't deserve it. But I accept it. I accept His timing. His provision. What I love is that this check we're getting is big. It's going to help us get by another month or so...but it's not enough for everything. Not enough for bills AND the truck repair AND the pending doctor bill. And I know that's on purpose. Because God isn't through shaping my faith yet.

But today I know that Jesus is enough. And He'll provide next time.

I won't question again.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Black and Gold Monday

Black and gold, baby!!

You know I couldn't pass up posting on the win, especially since I was almost alone in my Saints-fan-ism like time I checked here!! hehe.
There is something so romantic about the underdog coming through at the end! I love stories like that, and even more so of course when it's my home team =) I hopw Saints fans and non fans alike will agree that they deserved it. They came a long way, played hard, and made history in more ways than one!!
It was nice to hear that all of the official predications before the game had the Colts winning, but not by that much. At least people believed in us to some degree all along...
Now, their tune has somewhat changed! ::grin:: And they don't have a choice. Gotta love proof.

Who all watched the game? It was SO GOOD! And not just because we won, but because it was just simply interesting. Blow out games are nice sometimes but I like the more intense action, the back and forth, the "agggghhhhh" moments! There were plenty of those!!
I have to admit, one of my favorite moments of the game was text messaging some smack talk to my good friend and Colts-fan. Her response? "Wait! What I'd miss? I was eating a cream puff."

This pic just gets me every time!

What was your favorite commercial? The baby ones had me cracking up!! And the Clydesdale/steer was sweet. All the Dorito ones were hilarious. What was your fav?

PS - sign up at Lena Nelson Dooley's blog HERE to win a signed, autographed copy of A VALENTINE'S WISH!! =) Also, see what Kara with White Roses in Bloom are saying about A Valentine's Wish HERE, and read Deb Ullricks sweet review HERE!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sign up to win!!

Lena Nelson Dooley interviewed me on her blog today! You can check out the interview and sign up to win a free autographed copy of A VALENTINE'S WISH, HERE! The drawing is being held in a week. Tell your friends!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Love is in the air...

So this weekend, Hubby and I are off to a local marriage conference hosted by a big church in town, that is actually being taught by the creators of FIREPROOF. Pretty cool, huh? I'm excited. I haven't done the Love Dare challenge but I have seen the movie and read about all the various books and products out there, and think this is a really good thing. Hey, it will be nice just to get out of the house for awhile and away from our current issues and focus soley on each other for a few hours!!

My dad pointed out to me not long ago that he's proud of us, because we're dealing so well with some of the hardest issues a marriage could ever face. Not only are we dealing with them all at once, but also early on in our marriage. We celebrated five years last August, and literally in the past 6 months have experienced severe, tragic illness in the family (hubby's mom), career changes (my quitting work and later, hubby's lay-off), extreme financial burdens (again, the lay off and his mother's expenses), and putting a loved one in a nursing home. (his mother)

I'm glad that, despite arguments and sometimes taking our anger out on each other, we've stuck together through these trials instead of turning on one another. I know it seems during these times in life, it could go either extreme, and we are so blessed that God has kept us cemented. It's all him! We are far from perfect. I'm glad for this conference to further "fireproof" us for whatever else comes our way.

And just in time for Valentine's Day! =)

What are you thankful for today regarding your spouse or significant other? Let's show some love!! =)

PS - check out where I visited Erica's blog today at ON THE WRITE PATH and discover my top five most romantic date ideas!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

NEVER SAY NEVER by Lisa Wingate

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Never Say Never
Bethany House (February 1, 2010)
Lisa Wingate


Lisa lives in central Texas were she is a popular inspriational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books. Her novel, Tending Roses, received dozens of five-star reviews, sold out thirteen printings for New York publisher, Penguin Putnam, and went on to become a national bestselling book. Tending Roses was a selection of the Readers Club of America, and is currently in its fourteenth printing. The Tending Roses series continued with Good Hope Road, the Language of Sycamores, Drenched in Light, and A Thousand Voices. In 2003, Lisa's Texas Hill Country series began with Texas Cooking, and continued with Lone Star Cafe', which was awarded a gold metal by RT Bookclub magazine and was hailed by Publisher's Weekly as "A charmingly nostalgic treat." The series concluded with Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner. Lisa is now working on a new set of small-town Texas novels for Bethany House Publishers. The series debuted with Talk of the Town and continued with Word Gets Around and Never Say Never. A new series is also underway for Peguin Group NAL, beginning with A Month of Summer (July 2008), and continuing with The Summer Kitchen (July 2009) and Beyond Summer (July 2010). Lisa's works have been featured by the National Reader's Club of America, AOL Book Pics, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, American Profiles and have been chosen for the LORIES best Published Fiction Award. In 2009, A Month of Summer was nomiated for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award.


Kai Miller floats through life like driftwood tossed by waves. She's never put down roots in any one place--and she doesn't plan to. But when a chaotic hurricane evacuation lands her in Daily, Texas, she begins to think twice about her wayfaring existence. And when she meets hometown-boy Kemp Eldridge, she can almost picture settling down in Daily--until she discovers he may be promised to someone else. Daily has always been a place of refuge for those the winds blows in, but for Kai, it looks like it will be just another place to leave behind. Then again, Daily always has a few surprises in store--especially when Aunt Donetta has cooked up a scheme.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Never Say Never, go HERE

Buy the book HERE!!

I haven't had the chance to read this one yet, but it's coming up in my TO BE READ pile and I can't wait! I love Lisa's books, her first two in this series were just so hilarious and inspiring and warm and witty. She's one of my favorite authors, and I can be assured this read will be as wonderful as the last. You can trust that same guarantee!! So if you're not yet a fan of Lisa's, you are missing out, my friend...Remedy that today!! =)

Greatest Fears...

So it seems like lately, without going into great detail, that God has seen fit to usher me through some of my biggest fears, rather than letting me edge around them.

At first this seemed pretty unfair. Then I realized the growth and depth and understanding I received by living through my fears was truly worth the anxiety along the way. God holds my hand just as tightly through the dark alleys as he does over the sun-streaked hills. So really, what do I have to fear?

I started thinking about how this relates to the characters in our novels. Not to compare the author to God, or the characters to us, because obviously its different. But sometimes I think it gives writers a slightly different perspective, on a much smaller scale of course. We know the outcome of the plot, we know how the story ends, and we know what the character has to go through for the greater good.

God knows all that about us and more, much more. He has our best interests at heart, even when we in real life hit what writers refer to as their characters' "black moment" - the moment when all is lost, and things that couldn't possibly get worse, somehow just did.

If you're in a black moment today, hang in there. Know that, as a child of the King, your The End will be glorious, and worth the journey. You're going to make it, whether it takes a few "pages" of darkness or longer. God is still there, writing the story of your life. And He, the Author and Finisher of our faith, won't quit until it's perfect.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Here a blog, there a blog....everywhere a blog blog...

Come visit me today at SCRIBBLE CHICKS, and read about my husband's adventure yesterday. Trust me, it's the type of adventure that most fiction authors wouldn't even dare to write because the editorial team would tell you it was, indeed, not realistic.

Also, check out what people are saying about A VALENTINE'S WISH....HERE and HERE.



Deeanne Gist, the bestselling author of A Bride Most Begrudging and The Measure of a Lady, has a background in education and journalism. Her credits include People magazine, Parents, and Parenting. With a line of parenting products called "I Did It!® Productions" and a degree from Texas A&M, she continues her writing and speaking. She and her family live in Houston, Texas.

J. Mark Bertrand has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. After one hurricane too many, he left Houston and relocated with his wife Laurie to the plains of South Dakota.


In the shadows of Charleston, someone is watching her... Rylee Monroe, a dogwalker in Charleston's wealthiest neighborhood, never feared the streets at night. But now a thief is terrorizing the area and worse, someone seems to be targeting her. Reporter Logan Woods is covering the break-ins with the hope of publishing them as a true-crime book. The more he digs, the more he realizes this beguiling dogwalker seems to be at the center of everything. As danger draws ever closer, Logan must choose: Chase the girl, the story, or plunge into the shadows after the villain who threatens everything?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Beguiled, go HERE! To purchase this novel, go HERE!
I haven't quite finished this one yet, but the opening is catchy, there's great hooks that do NOT provide good stopping points (every author's goal!) and an incredibly vivid setting. Not to mention a beautiful cover, a slightly sarcastic and lovable, hard working heroine, and more than one drool-worthy male. =)
This is a wonderful read for Valentine's Day - a bit of humor, a bit of suspense, and a bit of romance. I can't wait to finish it!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Book Signing Success

Here are some pics of last night's fun book signing - which was a big hit!

A few of my favorite moments...
1. My good friend Marissa presenting me with a box of chocolate - in the shape of high heels!!

2. A sweet, four year old boy whose mom, after she purchased my novels, allowed him to buy two children's books from the back of the store...which he promptly took to me to sign as well. I can now say I've autographed an ABC book and a book on StarWars. Who'd have thought? ;)

3. Getting to see old friends from grade school and beyond that I hadn't seen in years.

4. Selling more books than expected - woohoo!

5. Meeting new people and making sales to strangers who happened by the table. Potential new fans! And sisters in Christ.
6. The free white chocolate mocha from Elizabeth, who rocks and always sets me up like a queen.
7. Hubby actually getting to attend this book signing, as before he was always either babysitting or working.

8. Wearing my new shoes. Sigh. Swoon.

9. Hosting the drawing for the giveaway basket - yay Britny! She loved the cookies and the candle especially...

Thanks to all who were there, either physically or in spirit, and who prayed for its success! =)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Big night!

So, lots of good news! Today I went to my local Wal-Mart to buy candy for my booksigning tonight, and my new release (that released officially today!!) was already almost sold out! A VALENTINE'S WISH had only two copies left on the shelf, and I believe Wal-Mart orders 10 or 12 at a time. How exciting!

The other good news is this review was just posted on A VALENTINE'S WISH....

By Virginia Garrett: (here's a snippet...)

The book came and I opened it and thought I'd just read the first page. Twelve chapters later, I put the book down. The book is A Valentine's Wish by Betsy St. Amant. The book is available on, just click the above link and order it!! I just checked, the book is only $5.50 and qualifies for free shipping. Betsy weaves a wonderful story about chocolate, Lori and Andy. Andy is a youth pastor and Lori is his long time best friend, but not girlfriend. When Andy is told by his senior pastor to find a wife and find one quickly, he turns to Lori. He is convinced though, that she doesn't like him that way but instead of just asking her, he becomes a secret admirer.

What a great review! Read the whole thing HERE. I'm ecstatic.

The other good news is...I have a new pair of shoes. LOL. Not earth shattering news to some, but to me right now in our semi-financial crisis, it's a huge ordeal. Hubby is my hero, now and forever, for getting these for me. I'm wearing them to my signing tonight. He says they're well-deserved, I just say he's sweet. =)

So, as I mentioned, big booksigning tonight to celebrate the new release. If you're local, please come by Barnes & Noble on Youree Drive at 6:30 p.m. and celebrate with me! There will be both novels for sale, free bookmarks and candy, and the chance to win a big Valentine's giveaway basket! It'll be a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!!

(pics to come!)