Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's quiz!

I can't believe Christmas is over and pretty soon, 2011 will be too. I'm ready for 2012, how about you? Here's a fun quiz about the New Year...


WHAT SHOULD YOU CELEBRATE?

I think as children of the King we have a lot to be thankful for and for to celebrate but just for kicks, let's see what the quiz suggests ;)


Take the quiz HERE


My results:


It may have been a good year or a bad year, but no matter what, your friends helped get you through it. And you can't imagine celebrating New Year's Eve without your closest friends around.You are always happy to catch up with old friends on this night, and you're hoping to make some new ones too. So this year, raise a toast to old and new friends. They make every day of the year a little brighter.


I do love my friends! Seems fitting!
What'd you get? :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

OCD'ness, coming out...

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Today is organization day. If I don't get some structure to Little Miss's pile (room!!??) of toys, I'm going to gnaw off my right foot. See ya after Target ;)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Have a blessed holiday!




MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY! I hope your holiday is blessed and that you remember to take time to tell Jesus happy birthday :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve-Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve-Eve! Are you cooking and cleaning today, or taking it easy? I'm enjoying the day with my Little Miss and I think Christmas cookies are in order...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Are you an Elf or a Reindeer?


Good question, huh? :)


Take the quiz and find out HERE!


My results : (half right, half wrong. lol You guess which!)

You are a solid, dependable person. You are more likely to act than talk.You have a lot of endurance and grit. You can work well into the night if you need to.You are cooperative and competent. You like being part of a team, especially if everyone is pulling their weight.You are energetic and hyper. You don't like to stay still for to long, and you're always ready to go somewhere new!

What'd you get? :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ribbons and bows...

Yesterday's post was a little deep, so I'm giving you a break today ;)

What's the most random gift you bought this year? That would just sound funny if you told someone without telling the story behind it? Can you share? I'd love a giggle!

If you don't have a story like that, what's the most exciting thing you purchased this year? The gift you just can't WAIT for so-and-so to open, because you're just so giddy about it? I would tell you but my person might read my blog so I better not risk it. I'll tell ya Dec 26th ;)

Merry almost Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The real meaning of it all...

I don't know about you, but for me, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas and get a bit forgetful of the real Reason for the Season.

I think about Jesus, of course. I pray. I read my Bible. I hear the sermons on the virgin birth in church. I listen to the holiday songs on the radio and teach them to my toddler. I help her wrap gifts and teach her that giving is as much fun as receiving (she doesn't believe me yet ::wink::) We go to friend's parties and eat yummy Christmas food and bake cookies and spend time together as family and look at Christmas lights and eat our weight in candy canes but...

where is Jesus in all that, REALLY?

Here's the thing. He can be in all of it. Even in the candy canes. If we just invite Him.

Have you invited Him to join you this year? Not just the baby in the manger but the God of the universe, into your home, into your hearth this season?

My pastor said it best in church this past Sunday - that sometimes in this season, we get caught up on the baby element, and the "awww" factor, and the cozy nativity scene in the stable (which BOY couldn't have been that cozy!! I seriously hope Mary wasn't allergic to goats or sheep) and forget the whole story. The birth is the beginning, but the real message is The End (which is really just another beginning) - the death and resurrection. We wouldn't be doing the world any favors by talking about a baby and not finishing the story of how He became a man, and what that Baby was born to do...

Die.

That's really the joy of Christmas. The whole package, which isn't wrapped neatly and doesn't fit under a tree.

But is better.

This season, I challenge you to take a moment to ponder the depths of it all. The birth AND life of Jesus. And most importantly, His death. Don't wait for Easter to think on that and celebrate the resurrection. This Christmas, celebrate that whole package, and better yet - give it away.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gone shopping!




This was me today! Finishing up my Christmas shopping!

(though I wasn't nearly that skinny or sparkly...)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ScribbleChicks

Visit me today at Scribblechicks! We're talking about marketing :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Well how could I resist...

...a Starbucks quiz? I just won a $15 gift card from a gift exchange game we did during our Sunday School class party last weekend, so it seemed only fitting ;)


Take the quiz HERE!


My results:


You Are a Peppermint Mocha (love this drink!)


You are a very popular person. People genuinely like you, and you keep friends for a long time.You are naturally outgoing. You get a thrill from being around others - whether they're old friends or perfect strangers.You love that life is bittersweet. You saver every emotion that you have.You like to be cozy and relaxed during the holidays. You save the stress for other people!



What'd you get? :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, December 09, 2011

S is for Stress

Writers live stressful lives. Not only do we juggle real life and its struggles, we also have to stress over an entire fictional world of imaginary characters that become dear to us, characters with problems to work out that aren't necessarily at first any easier to solve on paper than our real life issues are.

Stress and writing go hand in hand. So does a lot of other jobs, or even being a student! Man, I thought being a teen was rough when I was in high school. That was 10 years ago. I know it's ONLY gotten harder in so many ways.

So how do you handle stress and life? Life and writing? School and stress? Do you have a healthy method of coping? I usually pray, then eat chocolate, or vice versa. Or throw a cupcake in for good measure ;)

Seriously though, I do turn to comfort food when I get stressed, which isn't great. But I also like to indulge in relaxing methods like vegging out with a mindless movie or the show Cupcake Wars (love it!), or taking a hot bath, reading a new book, or doing something good for someone else to get my mind off my own drama. (like sending a handwritten card) I try not to go overboad on the comfort eating because man, wouldn't a professional counselor have a hayday with that one! Or the shopping, which is my other natural real-life-distraction technique. New shoes can really cure a LOT. So can white chocolate mochas....hehehe.

What do you do? And more importantly what SHOULD you do? (a.k.a, pray more, eat less?) I think we gloss over stress too much, and chalk it up as normal and common and a "get through it" thing but stress can really be bad for our bodies. My husband has been stressing over a paramedic test that really is a big deal, and its given him headaches and stomach pains. Sounds ridiculous, but when you're in that mode, it's hard to come out. That's why I think its important to fight the stress off from the beginning, then when it's gotten out of hand (like, with an ulcer, or in that moment where you realize you just ate 17 powdered donuts)

What do you think? How can we handle stress better? What does God say about it? I think essentially, stress is worry, and worry is ultimately a sin. Worry says we aren't trusting God for our good and for the outcome. Worry is fear over not being able to be in control. Yet GOD is in control. So much better than me being in control!

I'm totally preaching to the choir here, guys, but would love your feedback and thoughts and accountability.

Are you stressing today? Trusting? Eating? Shopping? =P Let's hear it...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

You really need to read this...



So one of the books I took on my trip with me to Disney World for the 49040594859045 hour car ride was Jim Rubart's "Rooms".

One word - WOW.

I loved this novel! Seriously amazing. I bought this one during the ACFW conference last September in the bookstore there, and just now got to it in my teetering To Be Read pile. I wish I had read it sooner! It took me off guard and really made me think. Sometimes books that are spiritually deep and inspiring aren't as great entertainment-wise or vice versa. Jim nailed both elements so perfectly. Highly recommend!

Here's some info on it! (and I really want this to be a movie one day!

Micah is a young software executive who seems to have everything. Except his faith, which he set aside as he pursued his career. All that changes when he discovers a house has been constructed for him in Cannon Beach, a place full of bitter memories and far removed from his fast-paced lifestyle. Micah intends to enlist the services of a real estate agent at once, but the mansion on Cannon Beach is no ordinary mansion. It feels like home, like it was designed just for him. And then new rooms appear. Some rooms are too frightening to enter. Some too pleasurable to leave. What follows is the journey into a heart of man. And the extraordinary measures God takes to draw us back to Him...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Yay for home!



Whew! I'm wiped out! Home from Disney as of last night, and wow, what a trip! I'm so glad to not be walking around a park right now or sitting in a car! :)


But we had a GREAT time and Little Miss was seriously amazing. SO patient in lines, very few mood swings. Her only "issue" during the week was wanting more and more toys from all the gift shops, which is understandable! I did too! lol Of course she made it out with several. My girl is not deprived!! ::eye roll:: But seriously, I was so proud of her and impressed with her sweet nature. She took naps in the stroller in the late afternoon as we strolled around, slept in her own room at the condo with no problem, never minded walking so much or waiting in lines for rides. And she was soooo brave with all the characters. She got to meet and get autographs/pictures with 13 or 14 characters throughout the week. I think we rode everything in Magic Kindom 4 times each. One of her favorites was the big Earth ball in Epcot! She also really enjoyed meeting Little Mermaid and Rapunzel from Tangled. She was in awe :)

Hubby and I had a little bit of a date one night in the countries at Epcot. We ate Moroccan food in Morroco (I had couscous!) and watched a belly dancer (not a good idea while stuffing your face with carbs FYI! ha!) and strolled through Germany and Italy and Norway and got chocolate apples and Hubby tried a German beer. It was a great evening while Little Miss hung out with my parents in "America". Hopefully one day me and him will get to the real Europe together ;)

We had a great time but it is GOOD to be home! I missed my bed! And my high heels! :)

I'm catching up now on work and emails and blog posts and interviews for my upcoming novel release. Get ready world, Addison is coming January 1st! Eeek!!

Pictures of the trip to come....

Friday, December 02, 2011

Happy Holidays - no really!



So I think the phrase "Happy Holidays" get a bad wrap. (pardon the pun. hahahaha)

Yes, we're Christians, and yes we should keep Christ as the center of Christmas, He is exactly the reason for the season. But because of the whole "Merry Christmas" controversy in the world, it's starting to seem like if you even say "Happy Holidays", you are automatically labeled as being anti "Merry Christmas".

Really, just even writing the above paragraph is exhausting.

I'm a Christian. I love Christmas. I love Jesus. I know Jesus is the reason for Christmas and without the virgin birth and glorious gift of our Lord and Saviour, there wouldn't be a Christmas at all. Hello, CHRIST-mas :) I get that.

But Happy Holidays is so nice to say too!

Try it.

See? :)

It encompasses all the holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Year. It's saying "Hey, I might not see you at Christmas or at New Years or even on Boxing Day, so Happy Holidays."

Meaning, "enjoy them all."

Not "I'm an athiest."

Sigh.

Okay, getting off my tinsel-trimmed soapbox now to say...

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!! :)

What do you say?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Wrapping paper or bags?

This quiz was super fun because I LOVE wrapping presents. Its the best! Especially now that I know how, and can do a good job. Trust me, I didn't know how to wrap corners daintily or even decently until about 5 years ago.


Blush.


Okay, enough embarassing moments from the past. Take the quiz HERE!


Here are my results.... pretty accurate except for the end. I LOVE wrapping!!!!! :)


You approach the holidays with joy and playfulness.You refuse to let the holidays be stressful. They should only be about fun.The holidays truly make you feel like a kid again.And you believe it's your job to make everyone else feel like a kid too!Of all the types, you're the most likely to give someone a gift early... because you can't wait.You're also the most likely to wrap your presents quickly - or not at all.


What'd you get? :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To decorate or not to decorate...

...well, that's not really the question, because oh there WILL be decorating. lol

But when do you decorate for Christmas? Before Thanksgiving? The day of or the day after? December 1st? Ever?

I usually decorate the house the day after Thanksgiving, especially since I usually avoid Black Friday, but because of our scheduled vacation, I decided to do it this year the day before Thanksgiving. It's sort of hard to eat pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes with Christmas decorations everywhere, and I felt bad for my scarecrows and leafy wreaths to have to be put up 48 hours early, but - I made do ;) Trust me, the pie was eaten.

What is your tradition?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mystery post...

Happy Monday! So Thanksgiving is over - are you full? Did you hold back at all or embrace the holiday calories with abandon??

So besides hitting the treadmill, what is everyone doing this week? What writing projects do you have going on? Or books in your to be read pile?

I'm actually traveling this week and scheduling this post early. That's right, I'm on vacay with my little fam, and guess where we are???

A few clues.

It's quite magical.

I just saw a giant mouse in shorts.

Little Miss is wearing a tiara.

And I can't get "it's a small world after all" out of my head...

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That's right! Disneyworld!! WOOHOO!!!

See y'all soon, with lots of pics of course.

PS - anyone have a message for the Little Mermaid or Cinderella? I'm sure Hubby would be happy to deliver it. Meanwhile, I'm taking all messages for Aladdin and Prince Charming ;)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Closed for Black Friday

Closed for Black Friday...


no, I'm not shopping.


I'm sleeping ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!




May your turkey be juicy, your cranberry sauce chunky, and your waistband expandable ;)


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful today for...

Visit me today at Scribblechicks!

PS - Today I'm thankful for leaves. Yes, they're a headache to rake, but they're so beautiful falling from the trees and cycloning around your car as you drive down country roads. Makes me feel like I'm in an Autumn-themed snowglobe :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ADDISON BLAKELY - coming to a bookstore near you January 1st!

http://www.youtube.com/user/BarbourPublishing1?feature=mhee#p/u/6/qJa7O8je-xM

Check it out! How awesome a job did they do??? :)

Thankful today for...

Today, I am thankful for...

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the fact that my To-Be-Read pile is literally so large in my home office that it's in 3 stacks, all of which are teetering atop my file cabinet. How great is that??!

What about you? :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for...

Happy Thanksgiving Week!






This week I'm going to post every day something I'm thankful for, and I'd love for you to join me in the comments!

I'm going to go outside the box though. Yes, I'm thankful for my salvation, for my family, for my daughter, for the freedom I have in Christ, for my church home, for a roof over my head and food in my pantry and clothes on my back, but I want this week to be a little more creative than the typical answers ;)

I don't take any of the above for granted, especially lately, but for a blog post, I want us to have fun.

So, still with all sincerity, I am thankful today for...

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the chocolate covered cherry in my desk drawer here at work. :)

What about you? It's the little things in life after all, right!??

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hi and bye!

Shorty post today, because...I'm at Barnes & Noble, enjoying a white chocolate mocha and cranberry orange scone and about to try to knock out some chapters in my current proposal. :)

Gotta write while I can, (though blogging, facebooking, emailing, and web surfing about Demi divorcing Ashton is a little tempting!) so I better get to it. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

PS - it's COLD in here. Like, I can almost see my breath. Is that enough reason to get two coffees?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving fun...

In honor of the upcoming beloved TURKEY DAY, I thought we'd take a little quiz, just for fun. I figure you all need a break from working ;)


"What Does Your Thanksgiving Meal Say About You"


Take the quiz HERE!


My results: (pretty accurate!)


When it comes to the holidays, you follow and love the big traditions. You look forward to them every year.You see the holidays as a time to be close to loved ones. It's a good time to reconnect and make memories.You like the more adult aspects of the holidays - parties, cocktails, and having time off from work.During the holidays, you are likely to feel generous. At your worst, you feel exhausted.You consider yourself a big kid, and you're proud of it.You tend to spend your holidays relaxing. Holidays are your down time.


What'd you get? :)


PS - what are you thankful for this year (Besides dressing and gravy. hehe)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Whatcha writing/reading?

So, fellow authors - what are you writing right now? Are you working on a holiday story, while you're in the seasonal mood? Are you working on a new proposal? Are you starting a new idea, finishing a current project, or revising an old story?

I'm working on a new proposal right now, while waiting to hear back on some others. It's good to keep that cycle spinning! :)

And readers - if you don't write, but enjoy reading (hopefully my stories ::wink::) what are you reading right now? What genre do you prefer most at the moment and why? And what would you like to see coming out soon?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Afraid of the transparent...

So lately I've had some convo's with friends, who agree that we would live in QUITE a different world if people were just a little more transparent.

For example...What would happen if, when the Sonic carhop said "How are you today ma'am" as she handed over your large Diet Coke with cherry, you answered honestly? What if instead of rattling off the typical "Fine, thanks" you really told her how you were doing?

"Well to be honest, I'm struggling with fear today in this area of my life and could use some prayer." Or "My husband and I just had a huge fight and I'm really sad." Or "My friend's marriage is in trouble and I'm hurting for her." Or "My kid has a really bad cold and I'm so exhausted and ready to cry at the drop of a hat."

Besides the risk of said carhop possibly dropping your drink in surprise, what do you have to lose? What if that honesty helped HER with the struggles SHE had that day? What if she really did pray for you and God used that openness to bless you AND her? What if asking for prayer caught her so off guard, she thought about God for the first time in a long time - maybe ever?

But we don't do that. Because it's scary. Because someone at some point has to go first. Someone has to risk it all and be honest and vulnerable without the guarantee that someone will do so in response and leave you hanging. And that's where it gets tricky.

So guess what? I'm going first!

Today, I'm struggling. Struggling with God's timing, struggling with hearing God's voice/direction in several areas of my life. Struggling with exhaustion over the spiritual issues, struggling with how to proceed from here. Struggling with faith that Romans 8:28 will be used in my current circumstances - both personal and writing ministry wise. Struggling with spiritual warfare and lies repeating in my head. Struggling with the strength to keep fighting. Struggling with selfishness.

I would love for you to share your doubts/fears/thoughts/concerns/prayer requests in the comments section today. Let's pray and lift each other up. No problem is too big, too small, too messy, or too insignificant for us to pray about. So let's hear it.

Will you be transparent today?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

So good, I'm reviewing twice! :)



So I've already reviewed this novel once on my blog, but its so good I'm going to review it again ;)

Seriously - it really is that great, but I somehow got signed up for two different tours on accident, and need to fulfill my duty. Thankfully Tamera is so awesome I don't mind in the least! :)

Here's so more info on the book you might have missed the first time I posted earlier in November.

About the book:


A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?


Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.
The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.

About Tamera:




Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.
For more information please visit www.tameraalexander.com

Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!

While Tamera and her book, A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually (with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle
Fire Giveaway
(11/4 - 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food
Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don't miss a minute of the fun. Swoon!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.







One grand prize winner will receive:


  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)



  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)

    Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 15th. Winner will be announced at A Lasting Impression Facebook Party on the 15th. Tamera will be wrapping up the A Lasting Impression celebration with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and copies of Christy Jordan's Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and Amazon.com, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera on the evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How much do you know about the 1860's?) and lots of Southern-inspired giveaways (complete listing here).

    Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter


Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!

Here's the rest of the tour!

Buy your copy HERE!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Help - before I gain 10 lbs...

Sorry I vanished!

Yesterday we made an impromptu trip to Dallas to pick up my husband's motorcycle. Yes, I am now a motorcycle mama. At least in the sense that I'm married to someone who has one. That's about as far as it goes for me right now, as I'm still trying to get the incessant mantra of "motorcycles aren't safe motorcyclesaren'tsafemotorcyclesaren'tsafe" out of my head :)

Sigh. I'm happy for him, he's happy, woohoo! But...shut up, mantra.

Any suggestions? lol So far I've mastered the distraction technique, which involved redoing my daughter's bathroom, buying leopard print heels and popping Godiva chocolate like medicine.

PS - never driving on 635 in Dallas alone, again, or really at all, ever. For any reason. I'm still one big stress ball. There's a reason I've made it 27 years without doing so. I shouldn't do it. At all. Ever.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I couldn't resist...

Shoe Personality Test


(I mean really. Why not? Besides, I have a pair of dress sandals and a pair brown boots shipping my way as we speak, so...seemed timely ::wink::)


TAKE THE QUIZ HERE


My results:


Big Black Boots


hehehehe. Fitting, though the description wasn't totally accurate. I do love my knee high black boots though and actually wore them today :)


What'd you get?

Monday, November 07, 2011

I'll be the one in the weighters...

Everyone has That Closet.

You know the one, in the guest room or the back office in your house that is the stash-all, catch-all place. The closet that you're afraid to open for fear of avalanche. The closet that makes you wonder why you even have the stuff thats in it, because obviously you're not using it, i.e. not missing it.

Tuesday is closet day.

My husband and I have literally been putting this off a year, but if I want to decorate my house for Christmas, well, we're going to have to dive in so I can salvage the decorations and get some order put back in that guest room as a whole. We have a storage problem, because while we have a large house, it's manufactured so we no attic, and no basement. Hence...The Closet.

I refuse to do the chore alone for multiple reasons, the least important being I don't think I physically can because of the heavy boxes inside, and the most important reason being I'm afraid of what might come crawling OUT of the closet. Shudder.

So if you stop by Tuesday and I answer the door carrying a flyswatter and wearing my husband's fishing weighters,well. Don't be surprised.

Someone, please, please tell me you have such a closet too? :)

Friday, November 04, 2011

It's a mocha scented day

Yesterday was NUTS.

Like, everything in my entire world due at one time, endless deadlines, toddler feeling ignored, nothing going right, dirty house driving me crazy, can't control my temper, too busy to even get the mail NUTS kind of day.

Today, I have coffee.

How's your Friday? :)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Fantastic, engrossing read by Tamera Alexander





This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Lasting Impression
Bethany House (November 1, 2011)
by
Tamera Alexander






I'm still reading this story but I'm almost halfway through and LOVING it! And how beautiful is the cover? Almost as beautiful as Tamera's sweet spirit and heart for God! Don't miss this intriguing historical read about art forgery, suspense, romance, and wealth.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR





Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of Rekindled, Revealed and Remembered, the critically acclaimed Fountain Creek Chronicles historical series with Bethany House Publishers. Her second historical series, Timber Ridge Reflections (From a Distance, Beyond This Moment, and Within My Heart) continue her signature style of deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose which has earned her devoted readers—and multiple industry awards.These awards include the 2009 and 2008 Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the 2010 and 2007 RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, the 2010 and 2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2010 HOLT Medallion, the 2007 Bookseller’s Best Award, the 2007 National Reader's Choice Award, and Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction for 2006, among others. Tamera's newest novel A Lasting Impression is the first of a brand new three-book Southern historical series, and the first two chapters are available for review. She's at work on her ninth novel which will release in fall 2012.After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Nashville, Tennessee, along with Tamera's father, Doug, and with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.


ABOUT THE BOOK


To create something that will last is Claire Laurent's most fervent desire as an artist. It's also her greatest weakness. When her fraud of a father deals her an unexpected hand, Claire is forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville, only a year after the War Between the States has ended. Claire's path collides with that of Sutton Monroe, and she considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But when they meet again and he refuses to come to her aid, she realizes she's sorely misjudged the man. Trading an unwanted destiny for an unknown future, Claire finds herself in the middle of Nashville's elite society and believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art may finally be within reach.All that Sutton Monroe holds dear lies in ruin. He's determined to reclaim his heritage and to make the men who murdered his father pay. But what he discovers on his quest for vengeance reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined.Set at Nashville's historical Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America in the 1860s, A Lasting Impression showcases the deep, poignant, unforgettable characters that set Tamera's stories apart and provides an inspiring love story that will capture readers' hearts and leave them eager for more.


If you would like to read the first chapter of A Lasting Impression, go HERE.


Buy your copy HERE!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Scribble Chicks

Visit me today at SCRIBBLECHICKS and read about God's fingerprints in our lives...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

We survived Halloween!



So last night was one hectic evening of candy, cupcakes, hotdogs, popcorn, inflatable slides, carnival games, suckers, cotton candy, nachos, and irreversibly tangled strands of hair from one adorable little chocolate-smeared Rapunzel. Whew.


I'm worn out, and I probably shouldn't have worn my super-cute yet super-unforgiving silver ankle boots for 13 hours straight. Oops.


We never made it to the ventriloquist act, but I heard it was fantastic and I hope that many attendees heard the Gospel through his unqiue talent, and responded!


How was your night?

Here's some pics from our chaotic and sugar-filled fun ;)







Monday, October 31, 2011

Have a safe Halloween!



For those taking their little costumed-princesses or princes out for the evening, have fun and be safe! And save me all your Twix bars...and if you DO see the Great Pumpkin, please be so kind as to let Linus know ;)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A fresh-brewed idea for writers!



So I have this friend who is not only a fellow Christian, fellow mommy, and fellow writer, but a fellow coffee lover! And she's hardcore because not only does she live on the stuff, she MAKES HER OWN! How cool is that?


Please allow me the pleasure of introducing you to SARAH VARLAND and...her amazing coffee business! (isn't she adorable?!)





(I know my blog is random at times and interviewing someone about their coffee is perhaps the most random of all, but hey, what writer doesn't need coffee? There's not many of them, and what makes Sarah's coffee extra special is the story behind it.)


Hi Sarah! Welcome to my blog ;)



First things first...I have to know, what first prompted you, as a busy wife and mom and writer and part time teacher, to look up and say "hey, I think I'll start a coffee business today!"



First of all, I love coffee. Like, to a degree that I can't explain. That's what started it. I had thought several months before that someone should start a coffee company that specialized in decaf. Well, one day I was thinking about part-time jobs and whether I could find one where I could be home with my son and I realized that it would be silly to find a 'work at home' idea that I could do, make money at and dread every day when I could follow my passion for coffee and maybe make a business of that instead.

Great way of thinking! That's what I did too by taking on freelance writing for my local newspaper and editing. So, what is your personal favorite blend of coffee?


From my coffee? It's actually a roast--it's the Peru. That one is so unbelivably dark with notes of dark chocolate and a hint of smokiness and makes me think I could keep drinking decaf forever just to enjoy that flavor. In the world in general...probably Sumatra.

Awesome. So, on the rare occasion you don't drink your own amazing coffee nector, what do you order at Starbucks?







I'm kind of bipolar at Starbucks. Either I order a mocha (with whip, because, really, why pretend a mocha is healthy at all?) which my husband calls 'Frou-Frou coffee', or I order an Americano (espresso and hot water) and drink it black. It just depends on the mood I'm in and the kind of day I've had.

Please allow me to hang onto my misguided notion that mochas really are negative in calories ;) Okay so what kind of coffee do you personally NOT enjoy?


Wait--it's possible to not enjoy a coffee? Haha. I've never tried Turkish coffee, you know, where it's espresso-like but has the grounds in it. I'm not so sure about that. Also Starbuck's Christmas blend tastes like drinking a Christmas tree to me. Not that I've ever tasted 'tree'. Just saying.

Sure, sure. Whatever you say. hehe. Okay here's the part we all wanna know - why decaf?






When I found out I was pregnant with my son several years ago, I was super excited (about him) and not excited (about drinking DECAF, which in my mind was code for flavorless black liquid trying unsuccessfully to masquerade as coffee). Since I love coffee, though, decaf was better than nothing. After a while of drinking decaf I started to get bored with the two different decaf options that I had available. My husband kept getting regular coffee and every time he ran out of one bag, he had another different roast or blend to try. For me it was just the same. Over and over and over. I wondered why no one had thought to specialize in making decaf coffee with a wide variety of roasts or flavors. I thought about how much I would have liked to have the freedom to try new coffees when I was 'banished' to drinking decaf. That's really what made us focus on decaf. There are lots of roasters out there making good coffee, but not a lot of roasters making good decaf coffee (which actually tastes like regular. Honest).

Genius!! That's so awesome you found a niche and are trying to fill it. I bet mothers worldwide will soon be thanking you! So, do you ever plan to offer regular coffee too and not just decaf?


We are keeping that possibility in mind. Our goal right now is to offer a variety of specifically decaf coffees so that people who are drinking decaf will have more options. However, we have some popular blends and roasts that I think we'll eventually do with caffeinated beans.

How often do you drink coffee? Be honest now ;)


It depends on the day. It's safe to say at least once a day. Sometimes twice. Sometimes three times. But whenever I do have coffee, it lasts a long time. I'm the slowest coffee drinker I know so if I brew some in the morning I sip from it all morning long while I do things around the house or read or chase my toddler around (that last one's tricky because it means I have to keep the coffee away from him and he's a fan of it already...)

I hear ya, Mommy. What dessert goes best with coffee for you personally?



It depends on the coffee roast or blend, actually. In roasting my own coffee I've kind of a developed a system for tasting it and writing down important characteristics about the coffee, you know, with those fancy coffee terms like "acidity" and "body" and all that. Well, my favorite category on this list I have is where I write down the dessert the coffee would go best with. There are some coffees (and desserts for that matter) that go well with anything, but there are some that really have their flavors highlighted by certain desserts. So it depends. In general though, I love rich things like key lime pie or cheesecake with my coffee. I drink my coffee black, so really sweet desserts bring the flavor out in a nice, sweet way.

If you ever needed a taste tester to match coffees with desserts, give me a ring. I'd be happy to sacrifice for you, you know, as a friend. So who likes coffee more - you or your husband?



Haha, we both love it, so it's hard to say. But I'm the one who got him started drinking it, so I guess we'll go with me.

Girls should always win anyway ;) Okay, back to business. Sarah, how can fellow moms and writers get the most of your coffee offerings?


I would say getting the most out of them would involve choosing the right roast or blend, first. If you look at our website, there's a page (titled 'Coffee Menu') that gives details about our coffees. If you look over that and you still aren't sure which you would like best, feel free to email us! Everyone's tastes are different, but if you tell us a little about what kinds of coffee you like and don't like we should be able to help you find a roast you absolutely love. Also, make sure you make your coffee correctly. In my opinion, you shouldn't be able to see through a freshly brewed pot of coffee. Of course, I also think the spoon should stand up in it, so use your own judgement as well. =)


HAHAHA! My dad would love your way of coffee thinking. So, what do you do in your spare time when you're not entertaining your baby or teaching or doing laundry or cooking dinner or making awesome coffee blends for customers?


Well, sometimes I drink some of those awesome coffee blends and read a good novel. I also love to write, hike, shop, and kayak when I get the chance.



What a well rounded chick! Awesome. Thanks so much for telling us about your new business venture, Sarah! We wish you well!


Guys, if you want to order some of this stuff, check out Sarah's website here at http://www.sweetwatercreekroastingcompany.com/

Remember, it'd make great Christmas gifts for fellow writers in your life ;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm soooo going there....

Okay so maybe the crisp fall air is making me fiesty, but I'm bringing up a lttle bit of a controversial topic today! Ready?

Let's discuss...if you are a Christian, do you celebrate Halloween in any form? Why or why not?

(And by celebrate, I simply mean participate in any form such as house decorations, church carnivals, costumes for you or your kids, candy from the stores, trick or treating, etc. - not hunching around a Ouiji board or lighting candles for a seance. ::wink:: )

Here's my stand on it. I respect those who boycott Halloween completely. That's a valid option and a valid point. I grew up in a pretty strict Baptist home, with a lot of traditional rules, but we always got to wear costumes and go trick or treating in my grandma's neighborhood and at the church carnivals. Looking back on my childhood, I never felt afraid of Halloween or intimidated. I just loved getting to wear a Minnie Mouse costume and get lots of candy. That's all it meant to me. My mom decorated our house for Fall, not for Halloween, so the connotation there was very much just "Halloween is a fun night in October that comes whenever mom starts putting out candy pumpkins and gold leaf centerpieces" ;)

I pretty much continue that tradition in my home now that I'm a mom. My daughter is three and I dress her up every year and take her to the church carnival. She's been a Tootsie Roll, an LSU cheerleader, and a pirate. This year she'll be Rapunzel from Tangled :) There's not a lot of safe places to trick or treat in my city anymore, and now most people gravitate now to the carnivals anyway because they are safe, really fun with lots of games and cheap food for dinner, and contained. And like my mom, I decorate for Autumn. I'm not into hanging ghosts or cobwebs all around. I don't LIKE to be scared and I don't like to put images in my home that give that vibe. And I won't let my daughter ever wear a costume that is hoochy, gross, or scary. To me, costumes should be fun and clean and just a means to play "dress up".

I guess the reason for me spiritually that I don't boycott Halloween is because I feel like personally, that's letting the devil win. He's got a handle on this holiday in many lives, to be sure, but I don't want to cower in my house and pretend like it's not happening and wait for it to go away. I want to get out there in my spiritual armour and witness at a church carnival that is bringing in people from the street who might not have ever set foot in a church before, and show them the love of Christ.

Not to be disrespectful or judgmental of those Christians who do believe that. It's a personal conviction and we all have to follow what God puts on OUR hearts.

What do you do / not do and why?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Come see me!

Visit me today at GIRLS, GOD, AND THE GOOD LIFE! And chime in on the topic of listening to those inner promptings...

Another good read by Diann Mills



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Attracted to Fire
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (October 1, 2011)

by
DiAnn Mills


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010. DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops. DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website at: www.diannmills.com or find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/diannmills

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Special Agent Meghan Connors’ dream of one day protecting the president of the United States is about to come true. Only one assignment stands in her way. After the vice president’s rebellious daughter is threatened, Meghan is assigned to her protective detail on a secluded ranch in West Texas. Unfortunately, working with Special Agent in Charge Ash Zinders may be as tough as controlling her charge. Ash has a reputation for being critical and exacting, and he’s also after the same promotion as Meghan. But when the threats escalate and security on the ranch is breached, it becomes clear this isn’t the work of a single suspect—it’s part of a sophisticated plan that reaches deeper and higher than anyone imagined. And only Ash and Meghan can put the pieces together before it’s too late.

Watch the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-CUj05sVg4g

If you would like to read the first chapter of Attracted to Fire, go HERE.


Buy your copy here!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Have a great weekend!

We had a busy day today - Little Miss was off school today for teacher conferences so we had a playdate with her friend, baked cookies, got Happy Meals, watched cartoons, played toys, and all kinds of other good Mommy-Daughter stuff.

Hope your weekend is off to an equally fun start :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

YOU HAVE TO READ THIS NOVEL!


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wonderland Creek
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
by
Lynn Austin


Ohhhhhhhh my goodness. I LOVED this story. I was hooked from page one. This is truly a fabulous, unique, mystifying and intriguing novel, about a period in history I knew NOTHING about - packhorse librarians in rural parts of the country (i.e. Kentucky).


I truly never knew what was going to happen next. The characters were so real and relatable and 3-dimensional. I honestly lived in this story myself, and I love that Lynn wrote a story about a bookworm. You don't see a lot of books that feature heroines like that, so it was like getting to share an instant inside joke with the characters. :) Amazing!


This is definitely going on my keeper shelf, and I'm actually even hesistant to let my grandma borrow it because I just want to hold it. LOL. Seriously, great read. Don't miss this awesome story. I'm a big fan of Lynn's work, but this one was so different from what she's ever done, but in a positive way. She just keeps surprising me :)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother (age 98), and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. And two of her inspirational fiction books were chosen by Library Journal for their top picks in 2003, and 2005. One of Lynn's novels has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

ABOUT THE BOOK:




Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend, Gordon, breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real world. Then to top it off, Alice loses her beloved job at the library because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.

Fleeing small-town gossip, Alice heads to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the library in the tiny coal-mining village of Acorn. Dropped off by her relatives, Alice volunteers to stay for two weeks to help the librarian, Leslie McDougal.

But the librarian turns out to be far different than she anticipated--not to mention the four lady librarians who travel to the remote homes to deliver the much-desired books. While Alice is trapped in Acorn against her will, she soon finds that real-life adventure and myster--and especially romance--are far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Wonderland Creek, go HERE.


Buy your copy of this fabulous read HERE!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A solid read...




The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
House of Secrets
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
by
Tracie Peterson




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.
She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When her father orchestrates a surprise trip to the summer house of her childhood, Bailee Cooper is unprepared for what follows. What is intended to be a happy reunion for Bailee and her sisters, Geena and Piper, quickly becomes shrouded by memories from the past.

Together again, the three sisters sift through their recollections of fifteen years ago...of an ill mother, and of their father making a desperate choice. They vowed, as children, to be silent--but one sister believes the truth must now be revealed. Yet can they trust their memories?

Mark Delahunt arrives in the wake of this emotional turmoil. Determined to win Bailee's affection, Mark becomes the strong fortress for her in this time of confusion, and what was once a tentative promise begins to take root and grow. Caught between the past and an uncertain future, can Bailee let God guide her to heal the past and ultimately to embrace love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of House of Secrets, go HERE.

Buy your copy HERE!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another great read...


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love on the Line
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
by
Deeanne Gist


ABOUT THE AUTHOR




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, three RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.Her latest releases, Beguiled, Maid To Match, and Love on the Line are now available.Gist lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-eight years and their border collie. They have four grown children. Click here to find out the most up-to-the-minute news about Dee.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world ... which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line. If you would like to read the first chapter of Love on the Line, go HERE.


Buy your copy HERE!


Just seemed fitting...

WHAT HALLOWEEN TREAT ARE YOU? Click HERE to find out!

What'd you get?

My results: (shocking, I know. HAHA)

YOU ARE CANDY CORN:

Your Halloween personality is whimsical, colorful, and creative.You see Halloween as a time to get your creative juices flowing.Each year, Halloween can't start soon enough for you.You tend to go all out for Halloween. You decorate like crazy and always dress up.

The above results aren't totally true, I do eat my weight in candy corn each Autumn but I don't look forward to Halloween that much or even dress up every year. Mostly I just look forward to the candy and taking my little miss to the carnival at church for fun and games and attempting to witness to neighborhood kids who might not step inside a church otherwise. But I do like the whimsy and creative accusations in the results ;)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Of scones and revisions...

So I'm sitting at Barnes & Noble, writing while my daughter is at pre-school, and I've reached an official conclusion.

Rewriting is harder than writing.

There's a reason I only ever write one draft of a story. ha! I don't like revising! I'd rather write it once and have it be done and ready as is, even if that takes longer. However, with this particular project, it's old and revised and revised and REVISED and needs to be updated AGAIN and I'm working hard to fix it up the way it deserves.

But man, it's exhausting mentally and even emotionally. I've put my heart into this story multiple times over the past FOUR years (yes, four years!!!) and I'm so ready to see it fly. But I have to keep doing my part to make it shine and make it the best it can be and give it those wings. There's an obvious reason why it hasn't been published yet and maybe this time will be key. Or maybe not. Still, it's what I have to do regardless. I owe it to my characters.

The good news is, the white chocolate mocha and blueberry scone are definitely, definitely helping ;)

Do you have a story you can't let go of, that you keep hacking at in hopes of one day seeing it released? Do you have a WIP that lingers in your heart despite revision after revision, rejection after rejection? My advice - don't give up. If it's lingering, it's lingering for a reason.

How's your Friday?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Shenanigans

Headed for more Fall Fun today at a nearby pumpkin patch! Little Miss can explore and see the funny shaped ones, and pick one out to take home, etc. Should be a great photo op :)

What have you done so far to celebrate the new season? (though we're all still wearing short sleeves around here. Boo! Hopefully that changes soon...)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Waiting on the Lord...

It seems there's never really a time when we're not waiting on the Lord in some area of our life, is there? In our writing ministry, or in our marriages and friendships, in our finances, in our careers or spouses careers, with our health, etc.

I'm in a situation right now - to the minute, actually - where I'm waiting on the Lord's answer in many things, but one so specifically at this moment as I type that it's tangible. I'm waiting on a phone call to give me the answer and I'm praying for God's mercy! In the grand scheme of thiings, it's not life or death, its not health, it's not the end of the world. But its important to my family and especially to my husband. So I'm begging for God's will but that if His will is permissive in this area, that He'll show mercy and use this for His glory. And if His answer is no, that we'll have the grace and strength we need to deal with the consequences.

Ever been there? It's nervewracking. I can practically hear the "tick tock. tick tock."

As Christians we know to trust and that it'll be okay regardless. We know we are safe in God's hands. But we still get nervous. Still get panicky. And we feel guilty for feeling that way.

But you know what? As I write, keeping one eye on the clock and one eye on my phone, I hear Little Miss in the background, quoting Bible verses she learned in her Wednesday night AWANA's class. Then she switches to singing "The B-I-B-L-E, yes that's he book for me!!" And it's a wake up call for my real priorities. Yes, this issue at hand is important. But it's not eternal.

God uses anything and everything to bless us, to comfort and encourage us, if we keep our eyes and ears and most importantly, our hearts, open. So in your own personal waiting room today, whatever your situation...may God bless and comfort and encourage you in unusual ways :) May a toddler sing over your shoulder!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friday, October 07, 2011

Time to get lost!

I'm so excited - first, I can breathe, and mostly through my nose. WOOHOO! That is cause right there for celebration. And secondly, because we're all feeling better, Hubby and I are taking Little Miss to a giant corn maze tonight for some family fun. Time to get lost! I can't wait!!!

Little Miss has never been to a maze like this before, but plays maze games on the computer, so she's pumped and knows what to expect. There are also bouncy houses, pumpkin patches, hayrides, etc. at this farm so it should be a great time. Note to all - we will avoid the corn dig. Nothing like corn dust to stir up the allergies again! No thanks! Shudder. There is also a haunted maze on the property, but this Big Chicken will be safely inside the non haunted maze, and there better not be any stray chainsaws that direction. My shoes are multifunctional - cute, and weapons...

Well Little Miss is all geared up with her hoodie and flashlight, and well, I've got the candy corn. Seemed fitting. And I love how they advertise as "corn maize" hahaha. I love puns. Blame my father.

Hope you're having some Fall Fun yourself, and thanks for helping pray me out of the nasty cold/virus/whateverthatwas! Yikes. And um, one more teeny request...If I don't blog next Monday, well...please come pull me out of the corn maze!!

I would leave a candy corn trail to find my way out, but my mama taught me not to be wasteful ;)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

MIA...

Sorry I was MIA yesterday on Scribble Chicks! I never wrote my post because I spent the entire day literally sick in bed, I woke up long enough to watch Price is Right and make soup then crashed for another 3 hours. There's apparently a virus going around, I thought it was Fall allergies but not sure.

I'm finally on the mend, I think - but now in the coughing stage, which is just painful. Hope you all are surviving the changing of Seasons a little easier than us around here! Now Little Miss is coughing and I'm waiting for the clock to hit 8:31 to call her pediatrician and get them to give us a cough syrup.

Sigh.

I think we need more candy corn.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Sin stinks...literally

I don't often go super-spiritual on my blog, because I don't believe in shoving my faith down anyone's throat, and I respect that my readers represent a wide variety of religious denominations. But I think you all know who I am and what I stand for by now, so I'm going to pose an interesting question and would LOVE your feedback! :)

Do you think sin stinks? As in, literally? As in, it has an aroma?

I'm starting to wonder.

Years ago, I realized that when I walked past certain stores in the mall that sold mostly crude or "bad" stuff, they all smelled the same. Spencer's Gifts. Hot Topic, etc. I've been in them before, mostly because while they carried nasty stuff they also carried cute stuff like Hello Kitty notebooks, etc. But I've since learned to stay away and you can only avert your eyes in there for so long.

Well, the other day in Barnes & Noble, when I walked past the secular YA racks, where nearly every cover promoted teen sex or vampires or magic or cult-like themes...there it was. Same aroma. Completely different store.

I know this is sort of odd, but I don't think its a coincidence. After all, the Bible is clear there are unseen battles raging around us every day, everywhere - the battle between angels and demons, good and evil. I believe the Bible. I believe that battle is real and daily. What if it has an aroma?

I'm not one to speculate wild myths or theories, or promote sensationalism. I don't believe Christians should investigate the depths of spiritual warfare, or research too heavily into demonic or cult-ridden religions in an effort to understand them or fight them. I have strong feelings about that, and they're backed up by my trusted church pastor. So please don't think I'm going there. Just curious if I'm the only one whose ever smelled this?

What do you think?

Monday, October 03, 2011

HEIRESS by Susan May Warren


Heiress

They can buy anything they want—fame, power, beauty, even loyalty.
But they can’t buy love.



The beautiful and wealthy heiress daughters of August Price can buy everything their hearts desire. But what if their desire is to be loved, without an enormous price tag attached? When one sister betrays another for the sake of love, will she find happiness? And what happens when the other sets out across the still untamed frontier to find it—will she discover she’s left it behind in the glamorous world of the New York gilded society? What price will each woman pay for being an heiress?

Set in the opulent world of the Gilded Age, two women discover that being an heiress just might cost them everything they love.

Read an excerpt HERE!

*** Betsy here *** I LOVE this story. I haven't finished reading it yet but I'm a big fan of Susie's, and while I love everything she writes, I'm especially drawn to this story and the character's hearts and relatablity. Who'd have thought you'd end up feeling sorry for such princesses?? I'm about halfway through and mourned the end of my lunch break at work. Hmmm. Maybe it's worth getting fired over... ? ;) Regardless, don't miss this fantastic first in her new series. Susie rocks!!!






About Susan: Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia , Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota ’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's 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 ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, 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:www.susanmaywarren.com.

Link to buy the book: HERE!


Find out what the reviewers are saying here!

Heiress, a richly complex historical romance, is the first in Susan's three book Daughters of Fortune series. In honor of Heiress’ debut, Susan is hosting a FABULOUS Gilded Age Giveaway and giving away an opulent prize pack fit for an heiress!

One grand prize winner will receive:
•A $100 gift certificate to ModCloth.com
•A sleek silver iPod™ Shuffle
•A beautiful strand of Pearls
•Titanic DVD
•Speakeasy Compilation Music CD from Starbucks™
•Heiress by Susan May Warren

Click one of the icons below to enter. But do so soon - this giveaway ends 10/5/11. The winner will be announced Thursday, October 6 on Susan’s blog.


Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter



Here's the rest of the tour! http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13429072


(I received this book free from the publisher for review)


Never for lack of material...



One thing is certain - between my husband and Little Miss, I am never without lack of blog material. Ha.

This theory was proven again last night.

I've been feeling kinda blah lately from allergies, so I've been dealing with a sore throat, stuffy head, ear pressure, swollen glands, all that fun stuff. I've also been super busy with Little Miss's activities and church and deadlines and parties/showers, so I've had no down time to catch up and rest. Hubby has also been working a lot and spend the entire day in the woods Saturday for opening season of bow hunting, so last night, I was ready for some much needed "mommy is sick, everyone leave me alone" time.

I should have known better!

Hubby got off work mid-afternoon while I was trying unsuccessfully to nap (Little Miss for some reason kept interrupting me for various reasons, the little staller) and said he wanted to go work out (aka, ride his mountain bike on a nearby 12 mile trail in a chimp refuge park in our local area. Yes, he does this on purpose AND finds it fun. Me? I don't particularly enjoy monkeys, and while they're not on the trails, you can hear them, and well. That's a suspense/horror novel waiting to be written)

He said he'd be back around 6:15 to cook dinner for me. I was so ready to just be DONE. I was looking forward to being taken care of for the first time in a WHILE, and be allowed to veg while he helped do Little Miss's nighttime routine, etc.

Well I couldn't nap, so I ended up making dinner because I just knew he would be later than he predicted. (he always is) and I didn't want to be eating at 8:00 p.m.

Sure enough, at 6:15 when he was supposed be home and starting to cook, he called and said he'd done 6 miles of the trail and headed back to his truck when he realized his bike pouch was open. The pouch that held his keys.

Yeah, I know. DUM DUMMM DUMMMMMM right? I heard it too.

I'm already bitter because I HATE this trail. I don't believe in curses, but seriously, something dramatic happens every time he goes out there. A flat bike tire. A wreck in a ditch. Lost keys. Another flat tire. SOMETHING.

Sigh.

So he says no worries, he will go back in and start looking and worst case, he'd send his cousin out to the house to grab his extra truck key and come help him. Frustrating, but fine. See, I KNEW I cooked for a reason. Little Miss and I ate alone and about an hour and a half later, he calls again. With a strained voice. Says he forgot his cousin is at work and can't come. And asks for me to find his holster, 9 mm, and pack a baggie full of ice.

Um, yeah. I freak out. Turns out it wasn't as sinister as it sounded. He wanted the gun for protection since it was getting dark, and a baggie of ice water to drink since he'd been out there awhile. Also an apple, hoodie, flashlight, and head lamp.

Sure. I'm not, you know, sick or anything.

I not-so-jokingly asked if he needed a first aid kit too. He said "Why? I'm not hurt." And I said "Not yet. But with your luck, you'll step on a snake or be attacked by a cougar. And I bet that will require atleast a band-aid."

I'm not pleasant when I'm sick.

He just said "That's why I have you bringing the gun."

Right.

So I load Little Miss up, find all the supplies he requested, and grudgingly, get in the car. I know losing his keys was an accident, but I'm sick, swollen, exhausted, and just flat out grumpy. Not a shining moment. Little Miss, however, though the entire thing was a grand adventure. So, in the pitch black, I try to follow his directions to find him, and as I'm driving these back country roads, I realize the chimp refuge is actually near a correction facility. So I'm passing all these city signs that read DO NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS.

Great. So now I'm worried about wild chimps AND crazy people escaping from jail. Not sure at the moment which I'd rather come across first.

I find my husband in the parking area, and give him the extra truck key. It wouldn't unlock his door. We try the clicker I'd also thought to bring. It doesn't work. HA! Yes, Murphy's Law is alive and well in north Louisiana. So I beg him to just come home, and try again in the morning, but he already had all this stuff I brought, and said he'd give it a try for a little while longer. And if he couldn't find them, he'd ride his bike back.

Um, no way. That many miles, in the pitch black, in dark clothes? Not genius. He relented and said he'd call his coworkers at the fire station to come get him if it came to that.

I agreed to that, and drove away. I knew we should pray for him to find the keys, but I figured with all my immature, I'm-sick-and-grumpy emotions roiling around, I probably had a sin block at the moment. So I got Little Miss to pray. hehe. She did, quite eloquently, and at the end, she added a prayer for Mommy to feel better and not be grumpy. Oops. Okay God, I hear ya... ;)

We go home and finish our bedtime routine and at about 9:15, get the much awaited text. "JUST FOUND THEM". Thank you, Jesus. Little Miss was ecstatic her prayer was answered, so maybe that was worth the entire drama right there. He found them about 2 1/2 miles in, which is why it took so long, but thankfully a fireman had come out and helped him look toward the end and gave him company.

So, the moral of the story? I figure its pretty much two-fold. Don't let your attitude get to the point where your 3 year old calls you out in prayer, and never ride your bicycle around criminals and wild monkeys.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bliss




Greetings from Barnes & Noble, where I'm downing a white chocolate mocha and a cinnamon scone and writing away! It's a good Friday.

How's yours? :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fabulous new read by Kathy Herman!



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dangerous Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2011)
by
Kathy Herman


I LOVE Kathy's books. I especially am fond of this series, as I'm a Louisiana Gal myself and love all things Cajun ;) Hey, my last name is example enough. Don't miss this suspenseful, romantic, totally awesome series. Be sure to get the first if you missed it!!!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.

ABOUT THE BOOK




Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. —Matthew 5:7

When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards—and her namesake, their daughter—she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince’s halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet.

A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele’s handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she knows them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends’ concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele’s defenses, sits down at her kitchen table...and they begin to talk...

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dangerous Mercy, go HERE.


Buy your copy HERE!