Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Saying goodbye to May...

I can't believe today is the last day of May! Where has the year gone? Didn't we just have Christmas???

Is it flying by for anyone else out there?

I am looking forward to June, despite the rolling heat waves coming our way (it's already been in the 90's!) because...we're going to the beach! WOOHOO!! I need a vacay in the worst way. We'll see how much of a vacay it is since Little Miss is coming with us (parents, can I get a what-what? hehe) but regardless, we'll have fun!

June has always seemed to be the official start of summer in my mind, even though on the calendar I know there's a certain date for the beginning and end of the season.

What are your summer plans? (at the rate this year is zooming past me, I feel like I need to start Christmas shopping! yikes!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you enjoy your day with your loved ones as we remember those who fought the good fight and those who continue to do so for us...

Friday, May 27, 2011

It finally happened!

The impossible happened.

That's right. I baked, two days in a row, and each attempt turned out...YUMMY! (with good presentation too!)

This has never happened. I'm a little afraid of what it means for the universe. (talk about signs of the end times...hahaha)

Yesterday I made peanut butter cookies, from scratch, and today, I made cupcakes, from a box. Hey, whatever works! And they did! The cookies were delicious, even after I had to guess when to take them out of the oven (PB is hard to tell when done, since it's already brown) and Little Miss and I took them to the fire station to give to Daddy and his crew.

The cupcakes are for a friend's birthday today - strawberry, with white funfetti icing (and maybe a few extra sprinkles...)

This from the girl who once had sugar cookies spread so thin on the cookie sheet (yet never burn), it made every one of my friends say "uh, how???" and the girl who once tried to bake lemonbars 6 times in a row before giving up and banning the word from my house. I'm also the girl who, as a newlywed, dumped RAW HAMBURGER MEAT IN A CROCKPOT WITH CANNED VEGGIES AND WATER and expected it to turn into vegetable beef stew...


Let's just say these past two days I'm proud of myself!!

What about you? Can you bake? :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New author pics...

So some of you read last week my adventures in photography with the fabulous HANNAH HOUGH. Here are just a few of the shots she got that I will be using for promotion, marketing, websites, etc. (I ended up with a disk of around 70 edited photos!)

I'm in the process of choosing my favorites and updating my sites, so don't expect any changes for a bit. I did order new business cards via Vistaprint, which I'm excited about! Can't wait to see them. (they better be good, I ordered 250! ha)

Vote for your favorites in the comment section please! I'd love some feedback. Keep in mind I'm writing/promoting both contemporary romances for Love Inspired AND young adult novels for Barbour. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sorry for MIA

Sorry for the MIA today! I was at my grandma's, writing furiously away on Chapter 7 while she helped entertain my Little Miss. They had a ton of fun blowing bubbles, digging for buried treasure and making chalk sidewalk designs outside, and playing ball, misc. toys and eating snacks while watching cartoons inside. Meanwhile, I took up residence at the dining room table with my laptop, interfering occasionally to offer some discipline, open a lid, or help a certain almost-3-year-old go potty, and got almost a chapter written. Not bad for a morning's work :)

We had happy meals before coming home and playing a bit here. I got some laundry and dishes done, straightened up, and snuggled Little Miss before her nap. Then my mom came over for some girl time and we watched Letters to Juliet, one of my new favorite movies EVER. Have you seen it? What did you think? For me it's one of those movies that inspire me to write something just as awesome and heartwarming! :)

Now it's time to figure out dinner...back to the races...

Hope your Monday was just as productive!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I swore I would never, ever, never, ever, never EVER...


Yep, that's right. I said it. I wouldn't do it. Who had the time? The energy? The drive? Wasn't it worth spending a little more money at the store to be able to go to ONE store, and not spend hours of time clipping, cutting, arranging, and organizing? Not to mention, WHERE would I stock all this stuff? I don't have any extra room like those crazies on TV. I don't have an attic, or a basement, or an oversized pantry.

Yet today...despite all that...I coupon'd. (ducking)


It didn't happen overnight. Much like with other sins, it snuck in unaware. One glimpse of a TV show (Extreme Couponing). One short testimonial from a friend on their coupon success. One handful of freebie coupons from a co-worker...all led to today. Me, Wal-Mart, and a wallet of coupons.

Oh, I didn't indulge. Again, like with most sins, I started small. Inching a toe into the water, then an ankle. I had about 9 coupons, and used 5.

I sort of figure soon I'll be neck-deep.

I felt guilty at the cash register, being such a newbie to it all. I told the clerk "I have coupons" like it was some sort of deep, dark confession. Then "Do I need to give them to you now, or after?" I didn't know the protocol. I felt like I was bothering her. I even added "Don't worry, I'm not like those people on TV" then realized, what if SHE was like one of those people on TV? It went from there. But I ended up saving about $7.

Hey, that's two mochas from Starbucks!

What about you? Have you succombed? Any tips? (I mean, uh...err...)

(and I'm being dramatic, of course I don't view couponing as an actual sin. ::wink::)

In all seriousness, I did find it sort of fun and it only took me a little while to hunt down some online printable coupons that I used (on stuff like Cheerios, Special K cereal, Jergens body lotion, Almay make up, Oscar Mayer ham... - stuff I use ANYWAY) I really don't see myself spending a lot of time and effort during the week or month to prepare to really work the system like you see on TV or like people even do in real life, but if I can save a few bucks here and there with minimal effort, why not?? :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wahhh wahhhh, wahhh waahhh WAAHHHH wahhh

So my title line is supposed to be the voice of Charlie Brown's teacher. Hear it now? That's how I feel today, that whatever I have to say would just be "wahhh WAHHHHHH". :)

Instead of lingering over this post trying to be genius, I'm going to accept the fact that I have nothing creative to say today, and go back to working on the Forum article due tomorrow and my novel, due July 18th, of which I am not as far along as I need to be!

On a good note - my jeans literally fell off yesterday which is happy news, as the scale also says I'm down to 2 lbs away from my goal! Woohoo! I had a donut yesterday to celebrate the loose jeans ;) But now I'm sort of sad, because they were my favorite, and now I need another pair. Hmmm.

Anything to share? Need to "waahhh WAHHHH" in the comments, feel free!!! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yes, I'm going there...

So with much fear and trembling...let's talk American Idol.

Yes, I'm going there! haha!! I brazenly invite all feedback on your favorite contestant and even on the ones you don't like :)

And I'll start the discussion with these personal 3 points...

1. I love Lauren.
2. I can't stand Haley.
3. If Scotty doesn't hold his microphone straight, just ONCE, I will personally dive through my television screen, rip it from his hands and clobber him with it, repeatedly. Probably with great joy.


Your turn. GO!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Capturing the unexpected...

Humor is definied in so many categories, such as the use of irony, slapstick, exaggeration, etc.

And of course, the unexpected.

So in light of the above...one of my fav YA authors, Jenny B. Jones, posted a Facebook status last week that said she found a T-shirt that read: "I like big books and I cannot lie."

I'm still laughing!

That just cracks me up! And for anyone who doesn't get it, think Sir Mix-A-Lot, circa 1992. ;)

(Is it totally awful I'm considering ordering one of the shirts?)

What makes you laugh? What techniques of humor make your funny bone tickle? And how do you use that in your writing? (or do you even try?)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger Weirdness

Well I had a post up Thursday afternoon, telling of my author-picture taking adventures Thursday morning, but all the drama Blogger had the past 24 hours ended up erasing it. Boo. I'll just start over next week with blogging. (I need to be working on my deadlines anyway!) =)

That said...Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Picture Day!

So today I had my new author pictures taken by Hannah Hough Photography. We went to a place called Pioneer Heritage Center a local college campus, and got a ton of great, fun shots on the porches, stairs and railings of various cabins, old homes and other rustic outbuildings. I can't wait to see the final products! :)

I decided recently it was time to update, since I'm blonder now than I was in my former pics (still on http://www.betsystamant.com/) and besides, those were taken about 4-5 years ago, before I even thought about getting pregnant. Since Little Miss is almost 3, well, it was time!

Hannah and I had a lot of fun, she's a great photographer and has a natural talent! We got creative, with different poses and props (umbrella, books, journal, pens, chairs)...though at one point, as I wobbled on a chair trying to climb into a tree, I decided we probably got a little TOO creative. (and no, there will not be any tree shots. hahaha)

Another highlight of the day was trying to change clothes in the back of Hannah's van, all while hoping her tinted windows were truly tinted ;) Ever tried to put on jeans in a van without being able to stand up? Tricky! It didn't help that she has a great new van with the automatic sliding door on the side, which I couldn't figure out how to open from the inside. Got a little stuck. Lots of laughs today.

I'm grateful the nonstop rain the weathermen predicted held off long enough for us to do the shoot - not only did it hold off, it actually cleared up, became cool and sunny and breezy! Now that I'm back home and inside, its clouding up and the humidity is rising. Thanks Lord!

Are you due for new author shots? Ever done some before? Do you enjoy "modeling"? Or do you prefer to stay behind the camera and just take pics of your books? ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Another winner by Moser

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
An Unlikely Suitor
Bethany House (May 1, 2011)
Nancy Moser

I was so excited to get this book, as I'm a big fan of Nancy Moser, and I wasn't disappointed. She has a way of weaving historical time periods to make you feel you are right there the cobblestones beside the characters, dancing in and out of their lives with them, crying over their conflict, rejoicing in their triumphs... Don't miss this winner by Nancy Moser! :)

And don't you LOVE the cover?? (below)


Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery a Christy Award winner, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane (Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novels are Masquerade and An Unlikely Suitor. Nancy and her husband Mark live in theMidwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at http://www.nancymoser.com/ and http://www.sistercircles.com/ and her historical blog: http://footnotesfromhistory.blogspot.com/


New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's designing her 1895 summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship. One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family? Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn't love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class--but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?As the lives of three young woman--and their unlikely suitors--become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?

If you would like to read the first chapter of An Unlikely Suitor, go HERE.

Purchase your copy HERE!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Ready to go!


I just officially registered for the 2011 ACFW Conference in St. Louis, Missouri this September. I can't wait! I'm already ready to go. Well besides the fact I need to prepare a few things like laundry. And a babysitter. And my pitch. And how many shoes I can fit in my suitcase....

Maybe it's good I have a few months.

I'm especially excited about this year because I missed last year's conference. Since joining the ACFW many moons ago, I went to Nashville's conference, then two in a row in Dallas, missed Minneapolis because I had a brand-newborn, made it to Colorado, missed Indianapolis because we were flat broke, and now...I'm back, baby! :)

Check out the details HERE!

Have you registered yet? :)

Friday, May 06, 2011

RIP, Icee Man

So I found out today the man who lives in my town that invented and sold the first Icee passed away.

Here's the news clip. http://www.ktbs.com/news/27800818/detail.html

Have you guys ever had one? So yummy! They have Coke Icees, Strawberry, Peach, Blue Raspberry, White Cherry, etc. Its always hard to choose!

I didn't know him personally, but as Icees were a staple part of my childhood and now one of Little Miss's favorite frozen treats, I feel sad!

RIP, Icee Man. You will be missed by not only your loved ones, of course, but by all who tasted your concoctions! Your legacy will live on! :)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Well I guess now its official...

Saw this quiz and couldn't resist:


Take the quiz HERE

My results: (Whew)

You Should Be a Romance Novelist

You see the world as it should be, and this goes double for all matters of the heart. You can find the romance in any situation, and you would make a talented romance story writer...And while you may be a traditional romantic, you're just as likely to be drawn to quirky or dark love stories. As long as it deals with infatuation, heartbreak, and soulmates - you could write it.


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Another enchanting story told by Colleen Coble!

From Publishers Weekly:

In 1910, New York socialite Olivia Stewart resists an arranged, socially advantageous marriage, and the mysterious death of her sister Eleanor in Northern California is an unhappy but convenient excuse to go West to investigate. On the way, she is thrown off a Bay area ship and nearly drowned, so she has a number of reasons to hide her identity when she arrives in Mercy Falls, Calif. Her shipboard rescuer turns out to be her dead sister's fiancé Harrison Bennett, about whom she has suspicions. Harrison in turn has his reasons to distrust the Stewart family. In this atmosphere of deceit and suspicion, attraction between Olivia and Harrison grows. Coble spins a tangled web in this third book in the Mercy Falls series (after The Lightkeeper's Bride), with red herrings and oodles of duplicity. Some complications (letters conveniently found) simply strain credibility, as does the revelation of the villain. Coble's fans won't mind that the plotting is a little loosely woven. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Other reviews:

This Mercy Falls novel has romance, mystery, secrets and a bad guy. Coble wows the reader with a fresh storyline. Readers will enjoy peeling back the layers and discovering this is more than your average romance book. The characters are strong not only in themselves but also in their faith. 4 stars. --Romantic Times

* My Review:

I loved the premise of this story! And still can't get over how gorgeous the cover is. I want to borrow her dress! :)

I have to admit, I agree with PW on the issues of the "convenience" items that strain credibility, but like they said, fans of Coble (as I am!) won't mind too much. The story spins a complicated tale of love, trust and misadventure, and ends with satisfaction and more than a little surprise. My biggest issue with suspense lately is my uncanny ability to "know who dun it" too early on. I had some suspicions with this one but truly couldn't figure it out until the end along with the heroine. Yay! I love when I'm caught off guard.

This isn't my favorite of Coble's novels (I actually prefer her contemporary to her historicals!) but still an enjoyable read by far. The story really shone and the characters were relatable and legit. Coble's ability to create an intense storyworld regardless of time period continues to shine in this, her latest novel.

(and hey, there's even a few special appearances by a dog, which has become Coble's well-loved calling card!)

To order your copy, click HERE!

Monday, May 02, 2011

A historic moment...

So today is complicated, and I'm going to get super-spiritual here on my blog today which I rarely do. I think my loyal blog readers know who I am and where I stand spiritually so there's no need to shove my theology in people's face or preach sermons...

But today, it hurts my heart a little to see so many people celebrating that Bin Laden is in hell.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad he's gone! I'm ECSTATIC that he is unable now to destroy any more lives. I don't wish him well, and yes I believe he's in hell, but I think as a Christian, it's wrong for us to ever celebrate a soul going there.

We can celebrate that he's gone, and celebrate that his particular, personal, unique threat is over (though I'm sure the war is not over and I'm equally sure there will be more terrorist attempts than ever in retaliation) but we aren't supposed to be happy he's burning in hell or bragging about the fact he is.

That's a hard pill to swallow, especially for people who were very personally, directly affected by 9/11.

Does that make sense? He was still a soul (an extremely scary, misguided soul) but Jesus directed us to pray for our enemies. I strongly disagree with Huckabee's public statement "Welcome to hell, Bin Laden". I understand the need to celebrate justice but as a Christian, there's a fine line. And maybe others aren't convicted in this area, and if you're not, I don't mean to offend. But I believe this to be truth.

Yeah its kinda funny to read all the clever FB posts about Bin Laden finding out his 72 virgins don't exist, and it eases this new level of tension over the coming unknown to laugh, but politicians and public figures publicly saying things like "welcome to hell" in a serious statement...I don't get it.

However, I couldn't help but post a snarky FB post earlier about "Wonder where Rob Bell would say Bin Laden is today..." =P which is more of a snark on Bell than anything else. Snarky, yet I mean it at the same time - what would he say? I've been following Bell's new book "Love Wins" and all the controversy there about its content and theology, (exhausting!) and here's the thing. Regardless of whether or not Bell believes there is an everlasting hell...there IS. Because the Bible says so. And somehow I just don't think Bell was given special revelations that contradict the Bible. ::eye roll::

Okay, climbing off soapbox now.

Bottom line - I'm just glad that God is our ultimate Judge and all vengeance goes through Him. I'm glad that's not my decision. And maybe if I had someone personally related to me die in 9/11, this would be harder for me to write. I'm not trying to diminish anyone's pain and I completely, totally understand that burning need for revenge and justice when innocent people are hurt or killed.

Just be careful not to sin in your celebration.

That said... GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! :)