My mom came across my first picture with Santa... it was 1965, which makes me a year and a half old. I don't look too secure with the old gentleman.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
This morning I accompanied my 19-year-old son to the polling place for his first time participating in the electoral process. "Whatever happens over the next four years," I told him, "you're now partially responsible. Congratulations."
I had to laugh at the entry to the voting machines. There was absolutely no doubt we were in the right place.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
November is National Novel Writing Month, a time when thousands of writers dedicate themselves to writing a 50,000 (or more) word manuscript in just 30 days. Since I have a book to write, from scratch, that's due April 1st, I figured this would be a great way to jump start it. I'll let you know how things progress.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Counting down till the release of my next book, A Wild Goose Chase Christmas
. Check out this video from Abingdon Press. Didn't they do a great job with the covers?
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Here are some new ebooks you can get for free. You never know how long the freebies will last on Kindle... but as of right now, these are all FREE! Even if you already have the paper version, grab the e-version and give the authors a boost. We LOVE that. Oh, and here's a hint... when it's free on Kindle, it's often free on other e-reader platforms. So check them out on the one you use. You may get a nice surprise.
These books are still out there for free... YAY!
Monday, August 6, 2012
We all have our comfort foods. For some, it's mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, bread slathered in butter... whatever your comfort food, it's probably something that you know really isn't good for you, but it takes you back to another time and place. With that first bite, the tension leaves your shoulders, you kind of sink into your chair, and a contented sigh escapes your lips.
My beef was browned and drained. I looked at the back of the box to double check how much water to add and to my surprise saw that milk was now listed. Milk? In my lasagna? There was never milk before. Did I get the right kind? I turned the box over, and that's when I saw it: New Improved Flavor.
My heart sunk. Because New Improved Flavor should mean that I'm going to really, really enjoy this food. But we all know it doesn't. What it really means is, We took something you already enjoyed, messed with it, and now it's completely different.
I still made it. I ate some of it. And I was extremely disappointed. Maybe it does taste more "homemade" like they claim on the box (although when I open a box and cook on top of the stove, I consider it homemade, so I don't know why that was even an issue.) But it doesn't taste like it used to. Not even close. And it doesn't look the same. I miss the almost-neon orange sauce. Sure it was artificial and a color not normally found in nature, but it was part of the experience. And now it's gone.
Sometimes, it seems like companies decide they have to constantly change things in order to keep people interested. Perhaps that's true. Personally, I cringe at the word upgrade. Because nine times out of ten, it doesn't mean better... it means now you have to relearn how to do something that was easy to you yesterday.
Sorry for venting about my disappointing HH experience. If you're waiting for it to lead into a philosophical analogy about the fluidity of life and how nothing stays the same, sorry to disappoint you. I've got nothin'. I'm just really bummed about a taste from my past that apparently is gone forever.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
This has been a hard year. Personally, that is...
|My church, Faith Community Lutheran in Las Vegas|
my spiritual home... a place of peace
and hope and love. A blessing.
But back to that personal stuff...
It's been brutal. I'm keeping the details to myself right now. God may release me one day to share it all, but today isn't that day. What's important is that I've been letting personal crisis and struggle beat me down.
I've had itty, bitty faith.
There are times when my faith blooms a bit... I know God will get me through. But for the most part, my faith is so small... I'm convinced there's no way out. That I've passed a point of no return and all I can do is surrender to it, to get as comfortable as possible in my discomfort.
I heard a pastor once tell this story... a travelling salesman visited a farmer one day. The man was sitting on his porch in a rocking chair, comfy as can be. On the other side of the porch was a hound dog, stretched out lazy and half asleep on his side. The salesman was telling the farmer about the great deal he had when the dog moved a little and whimpered. The dog wiggled, then went back to sleep. The salesman kept talking, but a minute later, the dog did the same thing. It happened a few more times, and finally, the salesman asked, "Is your dog all right? It sounds like he's in pain."
The farmer shook his head and smiled. "Naw, he's fine. He's lying on a nail and he's too lazy to move off it."
I've been a hound dog lying on a nail. And you know... it's time to get up and move.
It's time to do something different. It's time to know that God doesn't need me to be a woman of great, mountain-moving faith in order to move in my life. God has everything I need. He just wants me to start living in it.
So I share with you today my desire to live in God's grace and mercy. If you're a praying person, I ask you to consider sending up a prayer that God will constantly remind me that HIS power and grace and love are sufficient for me, regardless how much faith I feel at any given moment.
And friends, I pray for all of you. That you will know how much God loves you, no matter what the circumstance. And He doesn't want a single one of His children taking naps on nails.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
You never know how long the freebies will last on Kindle... but as of right now, these are all FREE! Even if you already have the paper version, grab the e-version and give the authors a boost. We LOVE that.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid- to late1800s.
Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Short-Straw Bride, go HERE.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Now, five years later, TLOHB is out of print and the rights have reverted back to me. That means I have the ability to republish it, which I intend to do, in ebook format. In preparation for this, I decided to go over the manuscript and give a good polish and shine. What an eye-opener that was!
I still believe it's a good story, but the writing, well... let's just say I've come a long, long way since then. What I thought would be a quick touch up here and there has turned into a major remodel. Hopefully, I'll get through it by the end of the month... even with my hand in a cast (which I have to mention in order to elicit the appropriate sympathy sigh... awwwwwwwwe.)
Friday, June 8, 2012
And the story, while silly, is at least unique. I did it while gardening. Yes... pulling big, stubborn weeds, which resulted in a loss of balance and a fall on my backside. The moral of my story... never reach back to break your fall!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE BOOK
This summer author Becky Wade makes her CBA debut with a fun -- and funny -- contemporary romance. Amidst the light-hearted banter and laugh-out-loud moments is a compelling spiritual journey of one woman's choice to listen to God and wait on him. Filled with humor and authentic romance, My Stubborn Heart is shaping up to be the hit of the summer.
Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When Kate's grandmother asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.
Yet, she discovers a different kind of project upon meeting the man hired to renovate the house. Matt Jarreau is attractive and clearly wounded -- hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Kate can't help but set her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not.
If you would like to read the first chapter of My Stubborn Heart, go HERE.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
In real life, Joyce Magnin is one funny lady. As an author, Joyce creates memorable, lovable characters that will make you laugh and possibly even shed a tear. Her latest heroine, Harriet Beamer, is no exception.
Harriet decides to take the bus. And not a Greyhound. Oh no. Harriet will take public transportation across the country.
The ensuing road trip is filled with discovery as Harriet sets out on the adventure of her life. She meets every kind of person you can think of, touching lives along the way. As she changes them, Harriet herself changes. She trades in her nice shoes and dresses for sneakers and jeans. She learns how to use a smart phone and a GPS. Better still, God uses her experiences to transform Harriet on the inside.
This is a lovely, gentle book. As Harriet makes her way to California on buses, trains, motorcycles, and whatever way she can, her son, Henry and wife Prudence are dealing with their own issues. Henry goes from being worried about his mom to rooting her on. As does Humphrey, who waits patiently for his owner in California, encouraging the humans around him anyway he can.
Joyce has written a much-loved series of books about Bright's Pond . In her latest novel, she continues to live up to her reputation for creating characters with heart and soul. I'd encourage anyone to pick up Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus. It's a trip worth taking!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joyce Magnin is the author of five novels, including the popular and quirky Bright's Pond series and the middle grade novel Carrying Mason. She is a writing instructor and frequent conference speaker. Joyce lives in Pennsylvania with her son, Adam, and their crazy cat, Mango, who likes to eat nachos.
And now, for the legal stuff: I received and advance copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. There was no monetary compensation.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
I've got a post up today over at the Inkwell Inspirations blog, taking a look at that famous quote, "God helps those who help themselves." I'd love it if you'd pop over and join in the discussion. For incentive, consider that we're doing a big giveaway this week in honor of our 1000th post! Leaving a comment on ANY post this week gets you entered, so come on by!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE BOOK
If you would like to read the first chapter of A Sweethaven Summer, go HERE.
Courtney Walsh has written a lovely debut novel. Any woman who's ever shared her heart with a best friend will be drawn into this touching story of forgiveness, restoration, and bonds that cannot be broken.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE BOOK
Thad McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.
Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter's unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she's far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he's come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?
If you would like to read the first chapter of Song of My Heart, go HERE.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer. I haven't read a book of hers yet that I didn't like. But Song of My Heart may just have become my favorite. Sawyer gives us strong, likable, believable characters in Sadie and Thad. You can't help but be drawn into their story and root for them to get together. But it becomes obvious that more than one obstacle will get in their way. Combine a great love story with a lost of well-drawn secondary characters, and you have a book that is both entertaining and moving. Thumbs up to Sawyer on another great read.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Lassoed in Texas Series: Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.
The Montana Marriages Series: Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.
Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.
The Sophie's Daughters series: Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.
She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Ethan doesn't expect Audra to affect him so profoundly, and when she begins to, he's terrified of the pain he's felt before when someone he loved was seriously injured on his watch. He's determined that his new wife will do as he says so he can keep her safe from the dangers that lurk on their ranch. Audra has been cared for all her life by one man or another--and they've done a poor job of it. Now she's planning to stand up for herself. And her new husband had better agree or get out of her way!
What will it take to transform two wayward hearts fearful of getting in too deep into two trusting hearts ready to risk falling deeply in love?
If you would like to read the first chapter of In Too Deep, go HERE.
I love Mary Connealy. Love her writing, too. If she wrote a grocery list, I'd read it... and it would probably make me laugh, because Mary's just naturally funny. (Don't tell her that, though, because she doesn't think she is... go figure.)
In Too Deep is classic Connealy... a strong-silent-type hero and a spunky heroine butt heads in a story filled with laughs, action, and love. If you're already a Connealy fan, you'll enjoy this one. If you're not... then jump on the bus. One caveat... In Too Deep is the second book in The Kincaid Brides series. While you can read it and enjoy it if you haven't read book one, I don't recommend it. Oh, you'll understand what's going on, but you won't have the same attachment to the characters as you would if you read the books in order. So if you haven't read book one, Out of Control, pick that up first. You can thank me later.
Watch the book trailer:
Friday, January 13, 2012
Here we are, almost two weeks into 2012... and I'm just now putting up my first blog of the year. My goal (as always) to post more frequently, but we'll see how that goes. In the meantime, let me prove that I haven't been sitting around idly...
Abingdon Press is launching a new series called Quilts of Love. A call was sent out for pitches. Basically, a one or two paragraph summary of what your book will be about. So I sent in mine, centered around a Wild Goose Chase pattern quilt. I didn't hold out much hope of being chosen, especially when I found out that over 100 pitches were received, and there were only 17 spots to be filled. Imagine my delight to receive the phone call from my agent saying that not only was my book chosen, but they wanted it to be the Christmas title. (At the time I pitched it, the title was Izzy and the Wild Goose Chase, and it was not set at Christmas time. But making that change proved easier than I thought, and really improved the story.) Since my book is set to release November 2012, I had to have it completely done by December 1st. So I wrote until my arms hurt... literally. Toward the end, my arms and wrists were sore before I even started my daily writing. But it was worth it. I love the finished novel, and am really excited about it.
2012 will be the first time I've had two books release in the same year. The Mother Road comes out April 1st, and the reaction from advance readers has been amazing. It's humbling when you realize that not only do people "get" your work, they enjoy it.
What else have I been doing... I still blog at Inkwell Inspirations. If you want to see what Christmas was like for me as a kid, you can check out my post, Thoughts of Christmases Past.
Of course, there have been lots of holiday-related things going on. And that basically catches us up. I hope the new year is off to a great start for you! See you (hopefully) soon :)