Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday night Hubby and I went to dinner at a gourmet mexican restaurant we love, using a gift card we'd somehow managed to save since Christmas. Then he took me to one of my favorite stores and said "You have this much $ to spend. Get whatever you want!"
I got a fabulous dusty pink purse and several pairs of earrings, and still have money for shoes to spend later ;) After months and months of penny pincing from his lay-off, it was nice to be able to buy for myself guilt-free. Kudos to Hubby for secretly saving me some birthday money to blow. What a treat!
Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I had to work, but I wasn't deprived, don't worry. My mom, grandma and my Little Miss met me and my sister, who I work with, for lunch and I was given more gifts and sweet cards. Then last night a friend came over with steaks and homemade ice cream and we had a fun evening eating. Did I mention I'm starting a diet tomorrow???? My bestie told me calories don't count on your birthday, I'm so hoping she's right... ;)
I'll post some pics of all the birthday madness later! Meanwhile, to all my local friends, don't forget I have a book signing coming up Friday, April 2nd, at 6:00 at Barnes & Noble on Youree Drive. Come get your autographed copy of RODEO SWEETHEART, hot off the press! =)
And check out my post at SCRIBBLE CHICKS today!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Lori Perkins finds herself unemployed and nursing a sore heart over her broken engagement. Her fiancé left her for someone else. Now, her best friend, whom she has had a secret crush on for ages, is acting distant too. Due to the impropriety of another youth pastor in another church, the church board is pressuring youth pastor Andy Stewart to find himself a wife. Andy knows the only woman for him is his best friend, Lori, so he begins an elaborate secret admirer campaign to win her heart.
A Valentine's Wish is a delightful romantic comedy just perfect for Valentine’s Day. Andy helps Lori find a temporary job managing his aunt’s candy store (and isn’t that every chocoholics fantasy come true?). Then his aunt insists that he call her with secret reports of how Lori is doing, which means that Andy has to keep hanging around the store without raising his best friend’s suspicions that he doesn’t have faith in her abilities to succeed. Both Andy and Lori are wonderful characters that anyone would love to have as their own friends. The best-friends-to-lovers theme is masterfully executed in A Valentine's Wish and I loved each delicious scene of their mixed-up, bumbling relationship. Pick up a copy of this feel-good read to warm your heart during the cold of winter.
Reviewed by Crystal
Friday, March 26, 2010
All I can say to global warming is "Pppsssssffffftttttttt." (me, blowing a raspberry with my tongue). Sorry, Al G., but its not happening. Snow in north Louisiana in LATE MARCH? That's history making, and the exact opposite of global warming.
But enough of that soapbox! Are you still snowed in? Has spring finally sprung? Or can it not make up its mind, like around here? I hope the flowers and trees survive the confusion. Sometimes in Louisiana we skip Spring and go straight from winter to pollen-filled summer temps. I am grateful we've had many beautiful spring days so far, even if they have been in and among more snow and slush.
Here's hoping everyone can beat the pollen and stay well! I know we're struggling. But its worth it to enjoy the beauty of God's creation. When I was a kid I used to say I thought God's favorite color must be either blue or green, since there was so much of it on the earth. =)
What part of Spring is your favorite? The flowers? Easter? The baby birds? Candy in your basket? ;)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
You Are a Doer
You are primarily concerned with what is actual. You tend to be a practical person. You love to stay busy, and you are always immersed in projects.You are in touch with your senses, and you enjoy indulging them. You're likely a crafter of some sort. You crave different sensations in life, whether it's working with your hands, playing sports, or eating your favorite meal.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Then please visit me at SCRIBBLE CHICKS today and read about how to get past your fear of falling and learn to let that manuscript - and youreslf - fly!!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Some people are panicking, some people are trying to take action steps toward the government by writing their senators and leaders to intervene. Others are praying, others are griping and complaining publicly and predicting doomsday, and others just seem tired of hearing about the whole thing in general.
What do you feel? What are your thoughts and why? I'd love to hear some opinions here! If you are upset, are you taking action steps to make things better? Are you praying? Or are you just griping and hoping someone else steps up to make changes? No judgment here, just curious the way different people handle different challenges or opposition or concerns. It's all a learning process!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Also, check out this really cool trailer of her book.
Can you believe Liz took FOUR YEARS off since her last novel? She's been studying Scottish history and the Scriptures in that meantime, and applying what she learned in this new story of hte Lowlands. You really don't want to miss this fictional account of Ruth and Naomi set in 18th Century Scotland!!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Who can relate? This week has been hectic. Started out fine and productive, then my 20 month old got sick on St. Patrick's Day and has been running high and low sporadic fever ever since.
Now she's got a viral rash and is on Motrin and Tylenol every four hours. Most of the time she's okay - playing, eating a little but not a lot, snuggling, interacting with her cartoons, etc. Other times she's a little listless and tired, and is sleeping hard at night and for naps. If she stays on her medicine the fever stays gone, but if we miss a dose it pops up again.
Please pray she recovers fully AND soon so we can all feel better! I'm tired from getting up to check her fever and give her meds during the night, but thats nothing compared to the emotional exhaustion of worrying about her, of not being able to take her to the doctor easily because of our lack of insurance, etc. I've had a family member who is a PA look at her and determine her ears are fine, so no infection there, and tell us she's positive its just a virus. But you know how mommies worry! I hate feeling helpless and while she's doing fine, its not serious, I just hate not knowing if I'm doing all the right things. I think knowing that I can't just run up to the doctor's office as usual right now is making me paranoid.
She actually was able to get on a Medicaid program for children, and her card came in the mail just yesterday. But most of the clinics around here, including her own pediatrician's office, don't accept that kind of insurance. Very frustrating! But I decided last night that God is still the Great Physician, and His services are free, and He was just going to have to take care of her. =)
Please pray we all get some rest and she feels better soon. I have high hopes, because as I type this, she's standing on the floor, bent over all the way and peering at me upside down through her legs. lol
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
Here Burns My Candle
WaterBrook Press (March 16, 2010)
Liz Curtis Higgs
Liz Curtis Higgs is one of those authors whose books stay with you. Its the difference between books, and STORIES. Liz writes STORIES.
Don't sit down to read this novel, or any of hers for that matter, unless you have a lot of time to devote...because you won't want to get up. Chances are you'll let your kids fend for themselves and the spaghetti burn and the dog pee on the carpet before you'll get back to reality. Reader beware ;)
ABOUT THE BOOK
A mother who cannot face her future. A daughter who cannot escape her past.Lady Elisabeth
Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips. His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her. One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.
A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Here Burns My Candle, go HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In her best-selling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books, workbooks, and videos, Liz Curtis Higgs breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous—and intriguing—women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, these popular titles have helped more than one million women around the world experience God's grace anew. Her best-selling historical novels, which transport the stories of Rebecca, Leah, Rachel, and Dinah to eighteenth-century Scotland, have also helped her readers view these familiar characters in a new light. And her nonfiction book, Embrace Grace, winner of a 2007 Retailers Choice Award, presents her message of hope in an engaging and personal way, speaking directly to the hearts of her readers. A veteran speaker, Liz has presented more than 1,600 encouraging programs for audiences in all 50 states and 10 foreign countries: South Africa, Indonesia, Germany, France, England, Canada, Ecuador, Scotland, Portugal, and New Zealand. In 1995, she received the Council of Peers Award for Excellence from the National Speakers Association, becoming one of only 32 women in the world named to their CPAE-Speaker Hall of Fame. Feature articles about Liz have appeared in more than 250 major newspapers and magazines across the country, as well as online with Salon.com, Beliefnet.com and Spirituality.com. She has also been interviewed on more than 600 radio and television stations, including guest appearances on PBS, A&E, MSNBC, NPR, TBN with Kirk Cameron, CBC Canada, BBC Radio Scotland, Rhema Broadcasting New Zealand, Radio Pulpit South Africa, LifeToday with James Robison, Focus on the Family, Janet Parshall's America, 100 Huntley Street and Midday Connection.Liz is the author of twenty-six books, with more than three million copies in print. Her fiction includes two contemporary novels, one novella, and four historical novels. And she has written five books for young children.
Buy your copy of this novel HERE!
* I received this book free for review through the CFBA *
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
It's been said that writers need to have a thick skin. That we need to learn that our books are a product, that its business and not personal, etc. etc. etc.
How in the world can we do that?
Even if we know in our heads this fact, our hearts take a LONG time - if ever - to catch up. Because while our books ARE a business, a product, and rejections aren't technically personal, they still sort of are. Writers spent months, sometimes even years, pouring heart, soul, time, energy and effort into their words. We lose time with familiies and friends, we lose sleep, we lose money by doing this instead of something more guaranteed. Our words are an investment, and more often than not, these stories that we tell reflect a deeper part of ourselves. Maybe our characters work through an issue we've struggled with in our own past or are currently struggling with. Maybe we're hoping to inspire readers (and editors/agents!) to join a cause in which we are passionate about. Maybe we're telling a love story we've always dreamed about living. Or maybe it's none of the above and we're simply writing to entertain, to inspire, to encourage.
But I can guarantee you that regardless of the above list, and how many factors are involved in our novels or not at any given time, there is one thing that is always true of a Christian fiction author - we're hoping to direct others to the Lord. Sometimes this might be done in a subtle way, other times more aggressively, but it's there. A theme of faith, hope and love is carefully woven between each paragraph, hovering over every page and scene break. It's our hearts on paper.
So a rejection from an editor or agent, a bad review from a reader, a low sales record, or two out of five stars really does sting. And that's on a good day. On a day we're already feeling down and insecure or doubtful of our calling, it's more like a fatal wound to the spirit.
Thankfully, we have that very faith to help rebound us. Jesus is there to pick us up and dust us off and whisper that we're really doing this for Him, ultimately, so who cares what Reader X from Somewhereville, USA thinks? Who cares if a fellow author sold ten times as many of her copies the same month? We're writing for an Audience of One, and if our hearts are in the right place, we'll never get a rejection letter from Him.
In the meantime, project that thin skin with prayer. Maybe time will build up callouses, but if not, if your heart is sensitive and that's just how it is, (sort of like mine!) then don't worry. There are lessons to be learned through it, and maybe that's how God wants it. Maybe its a reminder to stay humble and keep your priorities straight with Him squarely in front.
How do you develop a thick skin? Or are you one of these who has accepted the fact that its always going to hurt and that's just that? How did you reach these conclusions? And how do you handle varios rejections/bad news in writing or in life in general? (usually with me, chocolate and Diet Coke is involved) =)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
But I mean it!!
I really don't think Susie is capable of writing a less than stellar novel. I'd like to learn her secret. But for now, I'll simply congratulate her and share the word about her fabulous ability. ;)
Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep's Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota.
Learn more about Susan here: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/ or visit her website created specially for this series HERE! There you can also sign up for her amazing and unique contest by telling a story about your family in a war. Here's the prize package...
One grand prize winner will win a Memory Prize package containing a gift certificate to create your own hard cover photo book, a 6 month membership to Netflix (to satisfy that flick fix!) and a signed copy of Sons of Thunder! 5 runners up will also win signed copies of Sons of Thunder!
And buy your copy of this novel here!!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Find out more about Ronie at her website: www.roniekendig.com
(I received this book free to review from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance)
Friday, March 12, 2010
This year, though, I fear is truly my last. I don't miss Paula as a judge. I think Kara's done a great job being the solid female input, and is a good mixture of encouragement, praise, and honest criticism to balance Simon's negativity and Randy's unpredictable responses. Ellen, however, well...it just seems pointless to have her there. She knows nothing about the music industry. Sure, she's lived on stage as a talk show host, actress and comedian, but that's not the same thing. I just can't put any stock into her words. She's offered a few laughs along the way of the competition, but...I'm not getting into it. And this is Simon's last year, so I'm afraid the show will tank when he leaves anyway.
But about this year's competition, who are your favorites? There are a few I'm rooting for more than others, mostly Didi, because I think she has a really unique voice and a heartwarming story about her journey to AI. Siobhan is talented, but scares me. I'm glad Katie made it through last night, even though she is young and very inexperienced. I think Janelle got voted off too early a few weeks ago - she is still in my opinion better than Paige. How is Paige on the top 12? I must be missing something. But good for her! Its fun to watch people live their dream, and just like the writing industry, the music industry is so subjective. What is pretty to one person's ears isn't to another, and what makes one editor like one story isn't a guarantee for them liking another.
Good thing God's in control, huh? =)
So, dish! What are your thoughts on AI? Do you watch, or boycott? Do you care, or not have time to watch? Any contestant that is your favorite? Why? Let's hear the scoop!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
My "it never fails" lately has been that if I cook a good, homemade dinner for my husband, something will come up last minute that will make him late. No matter how hard I try to get his estimated time of arrival and cook accordingly, it never, ever fails. He runs into an old friend who keeps him out talking. Or he blows a fuse on his motorcycle and is sitting on the side of the highway for an hour waiting for a ride. Or he simply doesn't give himself enough time to complete a task and underestimates the time needed. Or I'm trying a new recipe, and assume it will take me longer to cook than it does (yes, those things have all happened in the last month) So, despite my effort to bless him with a good meal after he's been working his booty off on all these part time jobs, trying to keep us afloat until a real job opens up, he's then stuck trying to warm up what was a good, homemade dinner, and has become a congealed, sticky, discolored dinner.
But if it's a "fend for yourself" hot dog night or Hamburger Helper, he's there, on time, ready to eat. Figures.
Sigh. I get points for trying, huh?
What about you? Do you have any "it never fails" that you'd like to vent about today? =)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Visit us on Scribble Chicks today and chime in on the discussion. We'd love to hear from you!
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
I like the Bangles. I do. I'm actually a closet 80's music fan, it's just very selective. Bangles. Heart. Cyndi Lauper.
It's not uncommon for "Manic Monday" to be stuck in my head, on any given day, especially lately. It seems my time is more and more taken up by various things, and while I sometimes feel rushed and stressed, guess what?? I've discovered that I'm actually more productive when under pressure. Maybe what urges me on is knowing that I only have set times to do things in, and if I don't do them then, they won't happen.
I guess that's how I've so far been managing my new part time job abstracting for an oil and gas company, writing articles for my new freelance job, keeping up my blog, arranging a book tour for my April 1st release of RODEO SWEETHEART, keeping the house clean, dishes done, and laundry washed, spending quality time with my daughter and hubby, keeping up with my devotionals, staying in touch with friends, attending writer's conferences, going to church...
Some days it seems the list never ends. That the "To-Do's" will always be a longer list than my "Have Done's" but....it's okay. It really is. Because that means I'm living life. If everything was done, and I had nothing coming up, nothing to look forward to, nothing to work toward, nothing to accomplish or dream or reach for...well, how boring is that?
How do you handle your time as a busy mom/writer/wife/friend/sister/daughter/employee?
Monday, March 08, 2010
Hilarious romance author Colleen Thompson being silly. =)
(and no, hers aren't the erotica books. lol)
2. Networking with various agents and editors, including an editor that works for my current publisher and an agent who is under the same agency as my current agent!
3. Attending Sara Reyes (of Fresh Fiction) workshop on Marketing. She inspired me to start Tweeting on Twitter, so come find me, fellow birdy friends!
4. The yummy conference reception snacks.
5. The booksigning, where I sold several books, got to chat with friend and Barnes & Noble CRM Elizabeth Hadwin for a while, and laugh with the two author ladies next to me. We had fun.
6. Encouraging others before their appointments with editors and agents - so nervewracking, and I think I was able to help soothe a few nerves and offer support. Others did that for me starting out, and I'm happy to return the favor!
7. Learning about various publishing houses that I don't get the chance to hear about often, being so immersed in the CBA (Christian book industry)
8. Giving my hubby and Little Miss a chance to have a full, much needed Daddy-Daughter day. It included playing with the neighbor's dog, lots of outside porch time in the wagon, and running around Bass Pro with a large Sonic Sprite. =)
There were more, but I'm still a little tired and have a busy week ahead, so I must stop for now.
Happy Monday everyone!
Friday, March 05, 2010
For my local friends and family, there is a local writer's retreat I'm attending this weekend and, bonus...there is a booksigning open to the public from 5:30 - 6:30 Saturday evening!
I hope you'll come by the Holiday Inn on Financial Plaza in Shreveport and support your local authors and find a few fun reads! Both of my novels, RETURN TO LOVE and A VALENTINE'S WISH will be for sale if you've missed picking up your copy, as long as a multitude of other novels you might enjoy.
Hope to see you there! =)
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Monday, March 01, 2010
It's a great, well-paid opportunity that will really make a difference in my family's finances. Right now, searching the couch for coins would probably make a big difference - so I can't pass this up.
Hubby is still without a full time job, but there is a light at the end of that dark tunnel as he is getting closer to finishing up the process for the sheriff dept here in town. Looks like the fire dept. doors are closing for him to transfer, which is disappointing but we want to go where God leads. And with the doors slamming shut right and left, it looks as if this sheriff dept. path is wide open. So, onward we walk!
In the meantime, I will be working three days a week and my mother taking care of Little Miss during those few days. I'm so grateful I can avoid the emotional and literal cost of daycare this way, and Little Miss will get some fun, regular playtime at Nana's house. And I still have time with her myself, more often in the week than not, which is my consolation, and I will still have plenty of time to write - evenings, weekends, nap times two days a week, etc. It will all work out!
I'm excited about the job too because my sister works there, and helped get me the position, and she will get to train me. So that will be fun getting to spend time with her before her maternity leave in May. All good things! But I'm sure it will be a little bit of an adjustment on behalf of me and Little Miss. So prayers are appreciated!
In the meantime, Hubby is working his booty off at two part time jobs while he goes through the process for the sheriff dept. and is working as well on a paint job for a family friend. We barely see him these days, but I'm trusting this hard time is just a season and soon - hopefully as in a few months or less "soon" - we will all be together more and money won't be quite the ordeal it is now.
Thanks for your prayers and encouragement during this time in our life! I can't believe it's "only" been two months since he was laid off the fire dept. the end of December. Most days it feels as if it's been at least six months already. It's been an amazing journey, full of tears, but also full of gratitude as our needs have been met by our Saviour in very creative ways. =)
Let's hope this tunnel comes to an end quickly, but that the lessons last a lifetime!
What lessons are you learning in your current season of life? This is a safe place to vent or share, anytime!
PS - more good news. I met with the editor of a local newspaper/magazine last Friday, and am officially a new freelance writer for them. I will hopefully be bringing in a little more money this way, as well as venturing into journalism - which will be super fun. Praise God! =)