Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hurricane Dayz...

Last night, on the verge of Hurricane Isaac here in Northwest LA, the city shut down schools for the rest of the week. Little Miss's dance class sent out an email about closures. Grocery stores were raided. Everyone grabbed their generator and got ready for...

Clouds. Lots and lots of clouds.

Today so far has consisted of sleeping in, laundry, computer games, Disney princess necklaces, cleaning, cinnamon rolls, snuggles and cartoons. No rain at all!

It's a little funny how our city overreacted as we tend to do, BUT you know what? I'm not complaining. Because the hurricane spun east, we're safe, we get a super long weekend at home with nothing to do but play and rest and spend time together. Besides, I'd much rather this than having to go get my frightened kid from school in the middle of a bad storm. I appreciate the efforts made for my child's safety :)

More cinnamon roll icing, anyone?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Every house has a story...

So last weekend I stayed here...

Memory Lane Craft and Scrapbook Retreat in Tyler, Texas. :)

I went with a group of ladies including my mom and sister, who all scrapbooked and crafted whilel I wrote! Then I finished my writing projects and finished up an online digital scrapbook I've been working on sporadically of a beach trip last summer. Gotta love productivity!

But most note worthy - I LOVED the house. It must be the writer in me - this house totally has a story. Old fashioned, two story, high ceilings, squeaky wood floors. Vintage decorations and trap doors and stuffy attics and closets in the bathroom and brass pipe showers and everything gold and gilded and plastered and beveled and fabulous. Murals on the ceilings in one of the bedroom, statues, gorgeous wallpaper...I wanted to kick everyone out and buy it and live there myself. Or at least as a summer home ;)

It's noted on the retreat's website that the house was the former residence of a U.S. Senator and a crowned Miss America, and previous guest celebrities include President Ronald Reagan and Donnie and Marie Osmond. Sweet!!

I highly recommend if you're in the Tyler, TX area. It's set up for groups, and isn't a typical B&B for couples or singles though that's still doable I'm sure. We all brought our own food and snacked while we worked and hit a few restaurants here and there, to get away from our workstations for a bit (which are set up downstairs on the first floor near a big flat-screen TV and huge movie library. Everyone had their own work station table with comfy leather chair and shelves and yes - a cup holder!

Was a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

OVER THE EDGE by Mary Connealy

Well - Mary Connealy has totally done it again!

Her final story in the Kindcaid Brides series is absolutely fabulous. Once again we're plunged into the depths of caves, romance and mystery, all with a serious side of comedy! You'll giggle, gasp, grin and swoon. I was so happy to see how Seth's story finally played out. I love me some Kindcaid brothers ;)  And you will too!
I highly recommend getting the entire series!!

Link to buy the book:

About the Book:

Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.


Meet Mary:

Mary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series, and her novel Calico Canyon was nominated for a Christy Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Visit her on her Web site

Win a Nook Color from Robert Whitlow in The Choice Giveaway. RSVP for 8/28 Facebook Party.

Celebrate with Mary by entering to win a Nook Color with GlowLight!

See what folks are saying about Over the Edge!

One winner will receive:

  • A Nook Color with GlowLight

  • The entire set of Mary Connealy's The Kincaid Brides series

  • Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 28th. Winner will be announced at the "Over the Edge" Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/29. Meet Mary, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!

    So grab your copy of Over the Edge and join Mary on the evening of the August 29th for a chance to connect with her and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

    Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

    Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

    Blog Tour Schedule - See what everyone else is saying about Mary's new novel!

    (I was given this book free for honest review)

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Heroes of the faith...

    So in Sunday School this past week we were talking about heroes of the faith, and how God can and really does use ANYONE for His plans. No baggage is too heavy for His will, no reputation too tarnished or sin too big.

    What a relief :)

    Look at David. He was the one who it was said in the Bible "was a man after God's own heart". Wow, how's that for an endorsement?? Yet he sinned big time - adultry and murder. Look at Elijah. He had the power from God to call down fire from Heaven and burn up a water drenched offering and make the false god Baal look like a straight up goober - yet after that faithfilled event, he turned and fled in fear from Jezebel (somehow, I just KNOW she wore too much makeup). Look at Paul, who used to be Saul, who was the #1 killer of Christians. Goodness. For that matter, look at ALL of the disciples - they immaturely squabbled over who was the best Christian and Jesus's favorite, yet they had the power of the Lord to cast out demons and perform miracles in Christ's name.

    I'm pretty sure we aren't any worse. Not better, either - definitely not. We're all sinners, saved by grace. But we have God's power in us like they did. Maybe not in the same specific ways, because times were different then. They didn't have the Bible and the Holy Spirit's prompting at that time. God generously provided those signs and wonders and miracles to show His power. Now, we have that power in a different sense, but just as real. We have prayer. We have faith. We have the ability to witness and lead someone to Christ.

    But how often do we plug into that power and USE it?

    Yikes. Not often enough.

    That's your thought for today, and mine too. Are we plugging into God's power? Are we accessing the Holy Spirit in a way that makes a difference in our lives AND in the lives of others? And if not, how can we start doing so?

    The answers are simple but true.

    1. Read your Bible. STUDY it. Not just skim pages.
    2. Pray. Not just "Thanks for today, God, bless my family andeveryoneintheworldamen" but real heartfelt prayer. Prayer that includes praise as well as requests.
    3. Hush. We like to do all the talking with God, but sometimes, we just gotta shut it up and let Him speak to us. Otherwise, how do we know how to proceed?
    4. Go to church, fellowship with other believers, etc. We can't do this journey alone. We need support from other believers.
    5. Talk about out faith - not hide it and try to blend in with the world. Christ called us to be different from the world. We still have to live in it but we aren't to be OF it. Are you set apart? Act like it!

    Now, don't get me wrong. I need significant practice in all of the above myself. I'm preaching to the choir today :)  Just want to share what I'm learning in Sunday School since its so powerful and so applicable to daily lives. Hope it's encouraging someone!

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Visit me Wednesday at...


    We're talking the craft of writing :)

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    Big girls don't cry?

    The verdict is still out!

    Tomorrow I'm dropping my baby girl off at preschool, and because it's an advanced gateway program, (so proud of her!) the hours are all day, like kindergarten. She had to get a school supply list and backpack and nap mat and lunchbox just like kindergarten too. I joined the PTA. Bought T-shirts and spirit pizza days for the year. Volunteered for commitees and field trips. This is LEGIT school.


    She got too smart, that's what happened. lol

    While I'm so proud and excited for her and know this is what is best, I'm still a little freaking out on the inside. This is a huge opportunity for her and this advanced program will stay with her entire school career and open doors for us that wouldn't have otherwise regarding school districts and such. We are SO blessed. But...she's still my baby! Sniff.

    We'll see if I cry in the morning. I'm a big girl, but so is she now, which makes this big girl wanna boo hoo!!! (and puff with motherly pride at all God is doing through my babygirl!) It's going to be great. :)

    Pics to come! :)

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    What's in it for you?

    I've been doing some thinking lately about priorities, and perspective. The two dreaded P's that almost always come with a built in guilt trip! ;) 

    And I came upon a question. I had to ask myself and I'm going to ask you. (haha, probably should have skipped my blog today!)

    For all you authors out there...would you rather be guaranteed significant royalty checks for your entire writing career, or know that your words helped lead 10 people to Christ?


    Why do you write? Why do you want to get published, if you're not so far? REALLY, why?

    Honesty can be ugly.

    And if you're not an author, don't think you get away from it. :) The same question applies to you too - just fill in the blank.

    Would you rather get the next big boost up the career ladder at work, or know that by staying in the underpaid position you're in, someone will come to know Christ because of your influence?

    Would you rather finally be able to afford that sweet new loaded SUV, or take that down payment and give it to the struggling single mom at your church God placed on your heart?

    Heavy Thursday, isn't it? :)

    I had to do some evaluating, not because I received such an offer about royalties, but after getting some not-so-thrilling news. This was followed by some much more positive news, but in that downtime, I had to decide. Why am I writing? Or is it for money and accomplishment and success and X or X...or is it for the kingdom? The right answer was easy to say out loud, but was it in my heart?

    Is it in yours?

    I can tell you honestly right now - the letters, emails and feedback I see via reviews, blog posts and cards in the mail from readers of my novels mean more to my heart and bless me more than any royalty check has ever . Oh sure, there's been timedones in my marriage where God used that royalty check to provide for us and take care of us, and that meant a WHOLE lot, but that was still Holy intervention. Holy intervention is why I write. And I hope to never forget that. 

    Why do you write? Why do you write? Why do you have the hobby you have or the at home business you have or the things you have?

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Keepin' it fresh...

    Visit me today at SCRIBBLECHICKS and read about the use of cliches and expressions in our writing.   :)

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    As promised...

    Fight Night pics!! :)

    My hubby was amazing in the 2012 Battle of the Badges. Never took a hit. He was dodging and weaving like slow motion from the Matrix. haha. It was a really fun night. I went partially deaf and completely hoarse for a bit but it was worth it ;)  And they raised a lot of money for a great cause! :)  Boxing for children, who'd have thought. But hey, it works.

     My brave friend Krystle who went with me! :)

     Love this one!! :)

    My sissy and bro in law!

    Here we go!

    Annnnnnd he missed ;)

    Water break between rounds. They went 3 rounds that were each 1 min, 15 seconds long

    Yeah, blue guy almost fell ;)

    Interviewing after fight during judge's scoring. The MC there asked the cop in the other corner if he was ok, and should they file for assault. HAHAHA :)

    Winner winner chicken dinner :)

    And yeah..... his walk out song, when he entered the arena? Cotton Eye Joe. HAHAHAHA. Crowd pleaser. Hey, this is the south, remember!! ;)

    While we're talking about school...

    Okay, so while I'm still stuck in the new school supplies mode, here's a fun quiz to usher out summer...Come on Autumn and your refreshing temps!

    Take the quiz here:
    My results:

    You Are Crisp Autumn Morning Air

    You love to feel alive and awake. For you, fall is somewhat of a rebirth. Even though autumn brings some death, it always makes you feel vibrant and excited. Something about cooler days, longer nights, and changing leaves deeply touches you.You feel motivated and driven in the fall. You feel like you can start over and be whoever you want to be.   What'd you get? :)

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    The little things...

    I get to buy school supplies today for my Little Miss. I'm super excited ;)

    Mmmm. I can almost smell the pencil lead and crayon wax now. hehe.

    PS - Hubby won his fight! BY A MILE. He totally kicked boot-tay. Pics to come! He didn't even get hit!! (and yes I lost my voice and went temporarily deaf in my left ear from my friend screaming beside me, but it was nothing a next-morning-mocha from Starbucks couldn't fix....ha.

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    Fight night

    So for the third time, I'm going to be in the stands tomorrow night cheering on my fireman husband as he participate in an amateur boxing fundraiser called BATTLE OF THE BADGES - firemen vs. cops.

    He enjoys it because it's the only time he can hit a cop and not get in a trouble ;)

    So prayers appreciated for him, AND for me tomorrow - him to fight well and me not to shout obscenities from the stands. Let's just say I get a little concerned and uh...INVOLVED...haha. It's quite something to see. You wouldn't recognize me. I have friends going just to watch me act like a crazy-wifey-fool. I think God takes all the possible nerves/anxiety my hubby could possibly have going into the match, and gives them to me instead. ha! Oh well, whatever helps him fight better. ;)

    He's done this 4 or 5 times already, but I've only gotten to see a few of them. He just was sponsored to do one in St. Louis, where he lost by the tiniest of points. I really hope he brings this one home! TEAM FIREMEN! Woot woot!! ;)

    Do you have anything like this in your area? Its really neat, gives the guys something to train for and have fun with, and provides lots of cash for a good cause like an injured fireman or cop's family, etc.

    Wednesday, August 08, 2012

    Scribble Chicks

    Visit me today at  - where I didn't talk abt writing at all. LOL. Oops.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2012

    Tidewater Inn, by Colleen Coble

    Just finished reading Colleen Coble's latest novel, TIDEWATER INN, and I deem it a solid summer read! 

    Colleen returns to her contemporary style (her previous Lighthouse series were historical) with TIDEWATER INN, a novel of romance, suspense, and second chances with family. If you like hunky Coast Guard heroes, beautiful heroines with a love for history, and a cast of secondary characters that make small towns come alive, you'll love this story! :)

    Link to buy the book:

    About the Book: 

    Welcome to Hope Beach. A place of intoxicating beauty . . . where trouble hits with the force of a hurricane.

    Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the Outer Banks could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer’s talent and love of history. She’s delighted to learn of the family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she’s met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.

    But Libby soon realizes that the only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brother and sister are convinced she’s there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, and Libby’s under suspicion for the crime.

    Libby’s dream come true is becoming a nightmare. Her only option is to find her friend and prove her innocence, or lose everything on the shores of Hope Island.

    Meet Colleen: 

    Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

    Visit her website at Twitter @colleencoble.

    Blog Tour Schedule
    See what others are saying about TIDEWATER INN! :)


    And that's not all...

    Win a $500 Weekend Getaway Package from @ColleenCoble and Connect with her at 8/23 Facebook Party!

    Celebrate with Colleen by entering to win a $500 gift certificate to!

    One grand prize winner will receive:
    • A $500 gift certificate to
    • A copy of Tidewater Inn.
    • Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 22nd. Winner will be announced at Colleen's "Tidewater Inn" Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/23. Colleen will be sharing the story behind the book, hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways - books, gift certificates and a Book Club Prize Pack! She’ll also be giving a sneak peak of her next book too!

      So grab your copy of Tidewater Inn and join Colleen on the evening of the August 23rd  for a chance to connect with Colleen and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

      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 about Colleen's giveaway and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

      Monday, August 06, 2012

      Happy anniversary to ME!!

      I can't believe I've been married 8 years! Wow....

      We were such babies - we married at 19 and 20 (I'm a year older than my husband, so yes, do the math, I'm 28 years old...wink...) He proposed on the Steamboat Natchez in New Orleans, caught me TOTALLY off guard. It was a great night, he was so nervous he couldn't eat the buffet on the boat, and after I said yes, he realized he was starving. haha! The Captain came out to tell us congrats, and looking at the pics now, I can see the dubious-ness in his eyes. (is that a word? I like it. dubious-ness) He probably thought we were too young, and a little crazy.

      We were.

      But it's worked ;)

      Not sure how or if we're celebrating since we just took that cruise together in June, but seriously, this is a milestone, right? I'm really proud of us.

      And it's all for the grace of God that we made it through year #7 ;)

      Friday, August 03, 2012

      Thursday, August 02, 2012

      Did ya, did ya?!?

      So I think the question everyone is asking today is...did you eat at Chick Fila yesterday?? Did ya, did ya??!?

      Ha. JK. Sort of.

      Well, sadly, not really.

      I was debating on submerging myself into the chaos for supper Wednesday night when I saw on FB and the news that our main location was SOLD OUT OF FOOD. All food. Not "we're out of chicken sandwiches" but "we're out of everything and shutting down."

      I have to admit, that's pretty awesome.

      I had a conviction yesterday, though, as I sat in front of my "I asked for no mayo but got it anyway" burger at Burger King.

      For all the drama this debate about Chick Fila caused, all the arguing, all the debates, all the hurt feelings, all the self inflicted self righteousness, all the STUFF...did it change anything? Did it help? Did it do anything but overflow CF's cash registers (which is fine with me, I support them fully and their beliefs!) and create division among professing Christians? Or division among Christians and non Christians? Or any other mixture of the two?

      Probably not. Maybe it raised awareness. Maybe there were a few productive conversations, but truly, all the ones I came across were pretty fired up and not necessarily in a good way.

      I posted a FB comment that was true to me, and not just in relation to Chick Fila, but other things right now in my life. I wrote on my wall "When did pleasing people become more important than pleasing God and taking Him at His Word?"

      When did it?

      People are all about tolerance and not offending, but too often, that mindset doesn't extend both ways. Christians and Dan C of Chick Fila are supposed to be tolerant to the homosexual community, but they're not supposed to be tolerant of his beliefs in return? I don't get it. He didn't talk hate speech. He didn't judge or condemn them. Just said "this is what I think and believe and here's why". He was ASKED. He didn't just scribble on a picket sign randomly and start marching around town.

      I. Don't. Get. It.

      PS - there's a gay guy that works the Chick Fila I go to the most often. I really, really wish I could get his feedback on this. Because I'm pretty sure he works there for the paycheck and the nice atmosphere like everyone else. Because whether you support homosexuals or not, you have to admit, Chick Filas are typically some of the cleanest fast food joints in the nation.


      I know most of the Christians I found speaking up on social media (most) had good intentions when they talked about this. (like I do). They intended to speak up for the Bible and its truth and point out that God makes the rules not us. And that's true. That's what we SHOULD do - but I still think we all went about it in totally the wrong way, and the devil is snorting behind his hand right now.

      We shouldn't start wars and act holier than thou. We shouldn't judge or condemn or lift our chins or preach just for the sake of being right. We're supposed to love. And God has the final say over sins - all sins. Just like I've said from the beginning, I have the same opinion of a homosexual living in sin for their lifesetyle as I do a straight man living in adultry with his mistress. But no one is talking about the fact that sin is sin, and Christians are trying to point out God's word and His wisdom. They're judging us for judging them. It's messy and ugly and none of it has anything to do with God.

      Back to my conviction.
      What if all these people (straight or otherwise, Christian or otherwise) who got SO riled up over this whole chicken thing, took ONE action step toward a good deed for others? Like supporting a child through World Vison? What if just HALF of those chicken eaters or chicken haters decided to speak up for those with no voice? Orphans. Widows. (who the Bible clearly tells us to take care of, but we're so busy arguing about chicken sandwiches that kids are dying and no one notices) Those submerged in poverty and unable to get out. In America AND beyond.

      What if?