Friday, August 29, 2008

Saturday Meme


Childhood Memories Meme
1. Colors... What was you favorite color when you were little? What color was your room? Was your hair a different color?
My favorite color was blue. My room had dark blue carpet, light blue walls, and my bedspread was cream colored with blue roses on them. My hair started out as pale yellow, morphed to a dirty blond, then dark brown...sadly, it's getting lighter every day.
2. Toys... What were your favorite toys when you were young? What toy did you want to get more than anything else?
Breyer Horses, first, last, and always. These were my favorites and I lived hundreds of hours on the floor of my bedroom playing with them.
3. Pets... Did you have any pets when you were little? If so, what was your first?
We always had dogs. When I was young, my dad had Brittany spaniels, bird-dogs. The best dog was a black lab/Irish setter mix with a heart of gold. We had him for about 13-14 years. Untill or unless I can find a dog with that sweet personality again, I won't get a dog.
4. Holidays... What holiday did you look forward to as a child? What did you do to celebrate?
Of course I loved Christmas and birthdays, but I also loved Halloween and Easter. My Uncle Fred (11 years my senior) would come and take us kids around the neighborhood at Halloween, and he'd always be there to help us dye Easter eggs the night before Easter. He probably never knew how much it meant to us kids for him to be there, but those are some of my favorite childhood memories.
5. Food... Were you a picky eater when you were a kid? What were your favorite foods? Do you still like those foods today?
I was probably a picky eater when I was a kid, but we didn't get a lot of leeway in that department as children. You ate what was served without whining. Favorite foods...I loved when my dad made breakfast on Saturday mornings. Loathed Mac 'n' cheese. Still do. And I don't eat anything that ever lived in water, nothing from the sea, blech, nasty and EW!
Anybody game to try?

The Friday Five

Already the leaves are changing on some of the trees around here, and the forecast is for overnight temps around 50 degrees. So this week's Friday Five is:

Five things I love about fall.


1. Gorgeous colors. Minnesota has amazing fall colors. I love my Amur Maple hedge in autumn.

2. Football. It feels so good to be gearing up for another great football season. Go Vikes!

3. The rhythm of our days when school is in session. I love routine.

4. Cooler weather. I love cool, frosty mornings that warm to pleasant afternoons.

5. The smell of apples and pumpkins cooking...not together. :)

What about you? Is there something you like about fall?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

CFBA

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Passion Redeemed
Revell (September 1, 2008)
by
Julie Lessman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God’s precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure was her first novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought. Charity O'Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. Her stunning beauty and flirtatious ways have always succeeded with men. Until Mitch Dennehy, that is. Brilliant and dangerously handsome, Mitch is a no-nonsense newspaperman who wants nothing to do with her. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won't play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants--one way or another. Or does she? Will her best-laid schemes win his love? Or will her seductive ways drive him away forever? Book 2 in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed will captivate your heart and stir your soul with a story of faith and redemption rising from the ashes of temptation, desire, and shame.

Praise for the first book in the series:

"Full of romance, humor, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure will captivate readers from the first page." --Historical Novels Review "Superb! Incredible!

"I loved Julie Lessman's A Passion Most Pure from the second I picked it up until the very last moment I stopped reading." --Armchair Interviews

"I devoured this book and loved every single page. . . . This is a thick, juicy read, and one I would pick up again in a heartbeat." --christianreviewofbooks.com I

f you would like to read an excerpt from A Passion Redeemed, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wed WI



Okay, so the Snoopy Dancing yesterday wasn't enough of a workout. Hopped on the scale today and it didn't budge from last week. Not up, not down. Probably because it had been so generous last week by giving me four pounds off, it felt the need to hold fast this week to level things out.
Down 42 lbs over all.
And still Snoopy Dancing, regardless of the weight loss effects. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Snoopy Dancing


I finished the first draft of my WIP today. It is 622 words over the limit, but that shouldn't be too hard to shave off. It needs some work, but the first draft is done! Woohoo!

Monday, August 25, 2008

CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Twice Loved
Avon Inspire (July 22, 2008)
by
Lori Copeland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, two daughters-in-law, and five wonderful grandchildren. They are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa. Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995 after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has more than 95 books published including Now And Always and Bluebonnet Belle.

ABOUT THE BOOK Texas, 1865 Willow Madison and her friends, Copper and Audrey, taught school in neighboring Texas communities until the Yankees rode into the area and burned them out. In the midst of fear and chaos, survivors banded together to fight for what remained of their homes. Then word reached the people that the terrible war was over. Now penniless but still hopeful, Willow vows she will take care of her friends, Copper and Audrey, and her ailing uncle, in Thunder Ridge, Texas, even if it means having to marry wealthy Silas Sterling, a man thirty years her senior. But standing in her way is handsome sawmill owner Tucker Gray, with his enticing eyes and infuriating headstrong manner—the man Willow cannot get out of her head . . . or her heart. Even though her friends beg her not to give up her dream of happiness, Willow is determined to do the right thing for those who are dearest to her. But which path does God want Willow to take: a life of duty and commitment . . . or a life of everlasting love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Twice Loved, go HERE

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Friday Five



This week's Friday Five is a retake of one I've done before but with an Olympic twist:
Five things you will never hear me say while watching the Olympics:
1. Sure wish I could try that platform diving thing.
2. I wish they would stop showing Jason Lezak's final leg in the 100M freestyle relay. It's so boring.
3. I sure wish some of those track stars had bigger egos. They are so humble.
4. I'd look as good in a Lazer Racer Suit as Dara Torres...totally, without question. In fact, people would mistake us for twins.
5. Speedos. Love 'em, Love 'em, Love 'em. Sure wish they were smaller.
How about you? What wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An Amazing Book Signing You Won't Want to Miss

One month from today a honey of a book signing will take place at the Mall of America. More than One HUNDRED authors of Christian Fiction will be signing books in the MOA rotunda. If you have a chance, please stop by and meet some of these fabulous writers. It will be a once in a lifetime experience. Below is the current list of authors who will be signing. I'm sure glad I'm driving and won't have to try to fit a bunch of books into my carry on luggage. :)
Tamera Alexander
Jennifer AlLee
A.K. Arenz
Diane Ashley
Karen Ball
Janet Lee Barton
James Scott Bell
Joseph Bentz
Terri Blackstock
Robin Caroll
Patricia PacJac Carroll
Jeanie Smith Cash
Eleanor Clark
Debra Clopton
Gloria Clover
Brandilyn Collins
Mary Connealy
Lyn Cote
Kathryn Cushman
Margaret Daley
KM Daughters
Susan Page Davis
Mary Davis
Janet Dean
Megan DiMaria
Brandt Dodson
Lena Nelson Dooley
Cecelia Dowdy
Sharon Dunn
Wanda Dyson
Lynette Eason
Meredith Efken
Leanna Ellis
Sharon Ewell Foster
Miralee Ferrell
Tina Ann Forkner
Darlene Franklin
Jonathan Friesen
Rhonda Gibson
Terri Gillespie
Debby Giusti
Beth Goddard
Cathy Gohlke
Rene Gutteridge
Cathy Marie Hake
Kelly Eileen Hake
Karen Harter
Rachel Hauck
Roxanne Henke
Cynthia Hickey
Patti Hill
Sharon Hinck
Joan Hochstetler
Steven Hunt
Angela Hunt
Denise Hunter
Jennifer Johnson
Jenny B. Jones
Golden Keyes Parsons
Deb Kinnard
Julie Klassen
Kathleen Kovach
Harry Kraus
Patti Lacy
Maureen Lang
Jeanne Marie Leach
Tosca Lee
Julie Lessman
Michelle Levigne
Sherri L. Lewis
Elizabeth Ludwig
Christine Lynxwiler
Richard L. Mabry
Sharlene MacLaren
Gail Martin
Debby Mayne
Vickie McDonough
Andrew McGuire
Susan Meissner
Becky Melby
Dana Mentink
Amber Miller
Judith Miller
Sara Mills
Siri Mitchell
Nancy Moser
Janelle Mowery
Elizabeth Musser
Mark Mynheir
Jill Nelson
Mae Nunn
John Olson
Donita K. Paul
Trish Perry
Marta Perry
Allie Pleiter
Cara Putman
Deborah Raney
Sandra Robbins
Paul Robertson
John Robinson
Martha Rogers
Cynthia Ruchti
Gail Sattler
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Shelley Shephard Gray
Virginia Smith
Lynette Sowell
Candice Speare
Kathryn Springer
Denice Stewart
Sarah Anne Sumpolec
Michelle Sutton
Camy Tang
Donn Taylor
Janice Thompson
Cindy Thomson
Missy Tippens
Carrie Turansky
ML Tyndall
Amy Wallace
Susan May Warren

Wed WI

Okay, I got on the scale three times just to make sure, and each time it said the same thing.

I'm down four pounds this week for a total of 42. How cool is that???



I'm back to being able to exercise now that my foot is healed up. Yesterday most of my walking came during shopping with my daughter. I found something to wear for the ACFW awards banquet. Whew. I've been looking for a long time without finding anything that really worked.

Even cooler is that it is in a size I haven't worn since my oldest was an infant. :)

CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
House Of Wolves
Thomas Nelson (August 12, 2008)
by
Matt Bronleewe

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matt Bronleewe is a recognized producer, songwriter and author. The former member of the band Jars of Clay, has earned numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. His songs have recently been recorded by Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, and more. Bronleewe has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith, International pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere. Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally.To add to his list of accomplishments, Bronleewe has expanded his love of story telling beyond music into authorship. He is currently penning a 5 book series for Thomas Nelson Fiction. His first book Illuminated began the adventurous series about rare manuscripts and the mysteries within.Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.

ABOUT THE BOOK A mysterious book with a dangerous secret. An evil brotherhood out to conquer the world.One man stands between them . . . with his family in the balance. In the twelfth century, Henry the Lion collected the rarest relics in Christendom. And to protect his most precious acquisitions, he encoded the whereabouts in a gorgeous illuminated manuscript called The Gospels of Henry the Lion. The manuscript has been showing up and disappearing ever since. No one knows where the relic has been hidden . . . or its ultimate power. Only one man holds the key to the mystery. He's carrying it in his briefcase at his son's school for show-and-tell, and he thinks it's a fake. But he's about to find out just how real it is. Because the wolves are rapidly closing in. And if August Adams can't decode the secret in time, the world's balance of power will forever be altered.

MY REVIEW: I waited anxiously for this book to arrive and I read it in a matter of two days. Having read and reviewed the previous book in this series and wanted to see better characterization and more depth to the characters and settings, I wanted to see if Matt Bronleewe would be able to pull it off. I'm happy to say he is moving in the right direction. I got a better sense of who the characters were and what they wanted beyond the immediate dangers that surrounded them. The pace is fast, the stakes high, and the conclusion something worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.

The character that lacked the most for me was the child, who I didn't think behaved or spoke like a child, even a prodigy. His speech was too mature, as were his reactions to facing death at every turn.

The book reminded me strongly of "The Librarian, Quest for the Spear" starring Noah Wylie. In fact, the book could easily be adapted to a screen-play, and I have to wonder if that wasn't in the author's mind from the outset, to write books that had more in common with movie scripts than novels.

House of Wolves is a fun read, quick-paced, and with lots of surprises. I look forward to the next in the series.

If you would like to read anexcerpt of House Of Wolves, it will be HERE

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Merciless
(Bethany House - July 1, 2008)
by
Robin Parrish
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robin Parrish had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist. In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract. More than ten years he spent writing for various websites, including About.com, CMCentral.com, and Infuze Magazine, which is a unique intersection between art and faith which he also conceived of and created. One of his more "high concept" ideas for Infuze was to return to his love for storytelling and create a serialized tale that would play out every two weeks, telling a complete, compelling story over the course of nine months. That serialized story eventually came to the attention of several publishers, who saw it as a potential debut novel for Robin Parrish. In 2005, Bethany House Publishers brought Robin full circle by contracting him for the rights to not only that first book, Relentless -- but two sequels including Fearless and Merciless. A trilogy that unfolded in the consecutive summers of 2006, 2007, and this year, 2008. One massive tale -- of which that first, original story would form only the foundational first volume of the three -- spread across three books. Robin Parrish is a journalist who's written about pop culture for more than a decade. Currently he serves as Senior Editor at XZOOSIA.com, a community portal that fuses social networking with magazine-style features about entertainment and culture. He and his wife, Karen and son live in North Carolina.
ABOUT THE BOOK The world as we know it has ENDED. DEATH and CHAOS creep across the globe and only the POWERLESS can RISE UP to stop it. But can anything stop the onslaught of the DARKWORLD? From the earth's depths crawls a figure with skin like granite, flames for eyes, and the face of Grant Borrows. Oblivion has arrived. Every clock around the world has stopped. Time has frozen. The Secretum have fulfilled the prophecy, unleashing on earth the most powerful being to walk the earth in thousands of years. His name is Oblivion and his touch is death. He can't be slowed. He can't be stopped. And he can't be killed. But as long as any live who trust in hope and love and freedom, the fight is not over. They have only one chance before he brings forth the Darkworld. Oblivion is: Merciless

"Robin Parrish is the kind of writer who understands how to entertain from the word go. His stories are sure to shape fiction for years to come."~TED DEKKER, author of ADAM
If you would like to read the first chapter of Merciless, go HERE

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Some Olympic Observations

Okay, I know the picture and the title don't match, but bear with me here. The photo is of a Minnesota Golden Gopher Cheerleader at The Barn cheering on the Gophs.

I, along with the rest of the planet, have been watching the description-defying journey of Michael Phelps to do what no Olympian before him has done. And I screamed my brains out at the finish of every race. But one of the most interesting aspects of the entire process for me was watching the dual interview with Phelps and swimming legend Mark Spitz.

Spitz couldn't have been more gracious. And Phelps carried himself very well too, a credit to his coach and his mama for not being big-headed in a situation where it would be a bit understandable.

During the medal ceremony last night for gold medal number eight, it saddened me a bit to see that during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, the camera stayed right on Michael Phelps's face the whole time. That gold medal was awarded for a relay race in which three other teammates also got gold medals. It wasn't an individual effort, and yet, Peirsol, Hansen, and Lezak got no face time during the anthem. Made me sad for their mamas at home waiting for a glimpse of their sons' faces.

It got me to thinking. If Mark Spitz in Munich in 1972 had been content with five gold medals instead of seven, would Michael Phelps have aimed so high in this Olympics? And obviously, if the relay teams had not performed beyond what they were expected to do, even heroically in the case of Lezak, Phelps wouldn't be strolling Beijign with quite so much bling around his neck. Michael Phelps stands on top of the world today, but he does so by perching on the shoulders of others, both his contemporaries and teammates, and those who came before him. And I'm sure Phelps would be the first to acknowledge this.

This also applies to homeschooling, where those of us who choose to homeschool our children do so freely and with little interference due to the efforts of those who went before, who battled for legislation, who in some cases broke the laws of the day in order to educate their children the way they saw fit. The fact that Minnesota has a homeschool conference each year with more than five thousand attendees is a testament to all the hard work by these homeschooling pioneers and their willingness to take risks to do what they believed was right.

And this applies to Christian Fiction. Grace Livingstone Hill, Janette Oke, and Frank Peretti blazed a trail that subsequent Christian fiction authors follow today. Authors like Al Lacey, Gilbert Morris, and Brock and Bodie Thoene have paved a path for those who have come after them.

We all stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us, whether it is an Olympic champion, a homeschool mom, or a writer of Christian fiction. Take a moment to consider the people in your life who have motivated you to become the person you are now, to cherish the dreams you now hold. A teacher, a parent, someone you have only read about? Whose shoulders are you standing on?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Friday Five

The Friday Five is all about the dog days of August.

Five things I love about August (esp. this year)






1. Both the Cubs and the Twins are in the hunt to win their divisions. How do you think they will break my heart this year?

2. The Olympics are on. :)

3. We started school again. I love our routine.

4. For August, our temps have been ridiculously mild. We're still looking for our first 90 degree day of the year.

5. Pre-season football. Nuff said.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wed WI



A big surprise this week. I'm down three pounds for a total of 38. Woohoo. When I told my MIL about it today, she said I'm just about ready for my Nutrisystem or Weight Watchers commercial. After all Jillian Barbiery (sp?) and Valerie Bertinelli lost about 40 pounds and got commercials...and let's not forget Marie Osmond.
I told my MIL I would be happy just to be in the "results not typical" category. Have you ever noticed that they put that in tiny letters at the bottom of Slim-Fast, Dexatrim, and or Hoodia commercials?
I am thinner than I was six months ago, and for that I am very thankful. It's so much better for my health, both physical and emotional. It's certainly had an impact on some other health issues I was having. But I am not thin...not yet. My current goal is four more pounds before the ACFW Conference in five weeks, certainly doable. Anything else would just be -- I almost said gravy, but that's not on the menu these days! -- it would be a bonus. I sat in my MIL's bedroom this morning (she's got cancer and has slow starts to the day) visiting and could see myself in the mirror on the bureau. Yup, still have work to do.
But for today, I'm going to rejoice in being down three pounds this week. Woohoo! Oh, and my Writer's Digest came today. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
That's (Not Exactly) Amore
FaithWords (August 14, 2008)
by
Tracey Bateman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tracey Bateman published her first novel in 2000 and has been busy ever since. There are two other books in the Drama Queen Series, Catch A Rising Star (#1) and You Had Me At Goodbye (#2)She learned to write by writing, and improved by listening to critique partners and editors. She has sold over 30 books in six years. She became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the early months of its inception in 2000 and served as president for a year. Tracey loves Sci-fi, Lifetime movies, and Days of Our Lives (this is out of a 21 year habit of watching, rather than enjoyment of current storylines.She has been married to her husband Rusty for 18 years, has four kids, and lives in Lebanon, Missouri.

ABOUT THE BOOK When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone's coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick's nephew Joe hates all of her ideas and two, Laini has to admit he's right--she's a disaster at design. Still, she can't risk losing the job. To compromise, Joe brings in help on the project, while Laini continues to bake the goodies that keep his customers lining up.Their relationship is moving along, so when new guy Officer Mark Hall implies that Joe's family is tied to the mob, Laini doesn't want to believe it. But things spin out of control when she meets the family, including "the uncles," who seem to confirm Mark's suspicions. To make things worse, Nana Pantalone makes it clear Laini isn't the kind of girl she has in mind for her grandson. Laini's not sure if she should give Joe the benefit of the doubt or just set her sites on Mark and fuhgetaboutit.


"Tracey draws us into the world of family and friendship with a few surprising twists along the way Bravo!"~RACHEL HAUCK, author of Diva NashVegas and Sweet Caroline


If you would like to read the first chapter of That's (Not Exactly) Amore, go HERE

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympics and Updates


Okay, all over the writing world there have been blogs and articles and forum comments about how writing and the Olympics are alike.
And they're right. But I won't go into that here. I just wanna say "WOW! How cool was that relay????"
Oh, and I wrote a lot today. Up to 90% done. Yay.

CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Jewel of Gresham Green
(Bethany House - August 1, 2008)
by
Lawana Blackwell

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A full-time author, Lawana Blackwell's books include her beloved Gresham Chronicles and Tales of London series."I had told myself long ago that three books in a series are enough for my attention span, and so after The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, I devoted myself to the trio of books in the Tales of London series, then wrote A Table By the Window, my contemporary novel. All along, I received letters from readers asking me to continue the Gresham series. Many, many wrote that the dairying village of Gresham and its people sent them back to a more peaceful time in the midst of their busy days."Prayerfully, I decided to return to Gresham, setting the story fifteen years after Julia Hollis and her children first left London for the abandoned coaching inn which became Larkspur Inn. I believe readers would like to see how the children—Philip, Aleda and Grace, Elizabeth and Laurel—turn out as adults. But I like to inject fresh faces into every book, hence Jewel Libby and her daughter Becky find Gresham a haven from a bad man. Writing the book was like coming home, visiting old friends." Blackwell lives in Louisiana with her husband, Buddy, a supervisor at an oil refinery. They are empty nesters who love to visit their three grown sons, Joseph, Matthew, and Andrew, and three lovely daughters-in-law, Kristine, Penny and Heather, granddaughter Madelyn, and grandson Chandler. Her other interests include visiting her parents and siblings in Mississippi, vegetarian cooking, and naturally, reading.

ABOUT THE BOOK: To protect her precious daughter from the danger nipping at their heels, Jewel Libby must flee the only home she's ever known. Caring friends direct her to the vicarage in the peaceful dairy village of Gresham, but she arrives there to find Vicar Andrew Phelps and his wife immersed in troubles of their own. The children of Vicar Andrew Phelps and Julia Hollis from the popular Gresham Chronicles series have grown up and are dealing with their own challenges. Philip Hollis, now a successful London surgeon, has a controlling wife who resents his close family ties. Aleda Hollis lives in a cottage on the outskirts of Gresham, where she enjoys her privacy and a writing career. When Andrew becomes ill and in need of Philip's skills, and Aleda's quest for privacy unwittingly advances an evil man's schemes, it's Jewel Libby, a newcomer to Gresham, who becomes an unexpected support and source of strength to the family. An unlikely romance adds to the intrigue of this jewel in their midst.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Jewel of Gresham Green, go HERE

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Friday Five


This week's Friday Five is in honor of my mom, who is celebrating a milestone birthday today.

Five words that describe my mom.

1. Strong. She has more inner strength than any woman I know. Nothing fazes her. She will overcome.

2. Talented. I don't think there is anything this woman can't do if she sets her mind to it, whether it is learning to play golf, becoming a state champion bowler, beginning flute lessons when she was fifty, or any craft she takes a fancy to learning.

3. Competitive. Don't play cribbage with this woman unless you are prepared to LOSE and lose big.

4. Driven. Mom is very goal-oriented. I wish I had half her drive. If she decided to become President, she'd blow right by Obama and McCain and be putting 1600 Pennsylvania Ave on her personal stationary before they knew where they were.

5. Smart. She's a whiz at trivia, cross-words, Bible memory, and anything else she wants to learn.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I hope to see you this fall sometime.

Finding Stephanie by Susan May Warren

Today, On The Write Path is one of the stops on Susan May Warren's Finding Stephanie tour.

About Susan: Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep’s Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader’s Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota. To find out more about Susan May Warren and her books, go to http://www.susanmaywarren.com






The Noble Legacy Series

When she put her dreams on hold to help run the family ranch, she never imagined they would slip out of sight. Luckily for Stefanie, those dreams are about to come knocking at her door.
Lincoln Cash has gained fame and fortune on the big screen, but a crippling secret leaves him one last chance to make his mark on the movie industry. With dreams of hosting a new film festival, Lincoln intends to remodel a sprawling ranch in eastern Montana to make it the new Hollywood hot spot.

Unfortunately, a house fire threatens his plans. So does opposition from his new neighbor Stefanie Noble, who's not thrilled about his Tinseltown changes. What Lincoln and Stefanie don't know is that the fire won't be the last disaster to threaten Lincoln or his future. Someone is out for revenge... but who? And who is the real target?

What was his father thinking? Yes, Nick betrayed his family, his legacy and hasn't been home in nearly a decade, but did that mean his father had to leave the Noble Family ranch to Nick's worst enemy? Nick doesn't care what it takes - Cole St. James isn't going to get a blade of Silver Buckle ranchland. Old secrets and second chances await Nick when he travels home to reclaim his past. Just how far will God go to redeem a prodigal?
Reclaiming Nick
get more info read chapter one buy the book
MY REVIEW of FINDING STEPHANIE: Susan May Warren can really pile on the conflict. And she knows a thing or two about writing a heart-throb hero. Even when her hero is being a jerk, he has a vulnerability that makes you hurt for him. Lincoln Cash is no exception. Stephanie Noble is very real, sweet and strong, conflicted and confident by turns. Finding Stephanie is a great addition to the Noble Legacy Series. Check out the first chapter, then go buy the book.
Susan's also having a contest to help get the word out about Finding Stephanie. Follow her blog tour and gather the information to win a fantastic prize.
Grab your magnifying glass and join me on a Fact-o-Find!
Answer these questions about the bloggers on the tour and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to the movie theater of your choice (you know so you can see some of Cash's great movies *G*)! Email Amy your answers (amy@susanmaywarren.com) Ready, get set, giddy-up!1. Which blogger is adopting a girl from China?
2. This word 'featherbunkle' is found on which blog?
3. Which blogger is supporting the 'Pickens Plan'?
4. Which blog is "The Cutest Blog on the Block"?
5. Which blogger is a S@HM and also a wife, daughter, sister, friend, nursery director, and woman that is just trying to keep it all together?
6. Which blogger is taking the Southern Reading Challenge?
7. Which blog asks 'How may we serve you'?
8. Which blogger refers to her son as 'super good big guy'?
9. Which blogger is a self-proclaimed 'Starbucks Addict'?
10. Which blogger is a big Trekkie?
8/4
Martha at Our Family’s Adventures
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Martha/

Trish at Books for Moms
http://www.booksformoms.blogspot.com/

Sunny at Life in the Estrogen Ocean
http://estrogen-ocean.blogspot.com/

8/5
Deborah at A Cup of Joy
http://acupofjoy.wordpress.com/

Julie at Waves of Grace
http://juliecarobini.blogspot.com/

Camy at Camy’s Loft
http://camys-loft.blogspot.com/

8/6
Amy at Amy’s Random Thoughts
http://amychristopher.blogspot.com/

Gina at Portrait of a Writer
http://portraitofawriter.ginaconroy.com

Lena a Christian Writer’s World
http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

8/7
Leticia at My Daily Trek
http://leticiasworld.blogspot.com/

Laura at Lighthouse Academy
http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com

8/8
Melissa at Breath of Life
http://breathoflifeministries.blogspot.com/

Lori at Laurel Wreath’s
http://laurelwreathsreflections.com/

Ronie at Supernatural Craving
http://www.supernaturalcraving.blogspot.com

Erica at On the Right Path
http://onthewritepath.blogspot.com/

8/9
Deborah at Books, Movies, and Chinese Food
http://books-movies-chinesefood.blogspot.com/

Heather at Fresh Sweet Peas
http://www.freshsweetpeas.blogspot.com

Christy at Christy’s Book Blog
http://christysbookblog.blogspot.com/

Beth at The Writing Road
http://thewritingroad.blogspot.com/

8/11
Cee Cee at Book Splurge
http://booksplurge.blogspot.com/

Kate at A Simple Walk
http://asimplewalk.blogspot.com/

Dineen at Kittens Come From Eggs
http://dineenmiller.blogspot.com

8/12
Joy at Five J's
http://fivejs.wordpress.com/

Paula at Grace Reign
http://www.gracereign.blogspot.com/

Rel at Relz Reviewz
http://www.relzreviewz.blogspot.com

Deena at A Peek At My Bookshelf
http://deenasbooks.blogspot.com

Patty at Girlfriends in God
http://patty-girlfriendsingod.blogspot.com

8/13
Peg at Sips & Cups Cafeteria
http://www.peggyblannphifer.blogspot.com

Cara at Cara’s Musings
http://carasmusings.blogspot.com/

Pattie at Fresh Brewed Writer
http://www.freshbrewedwriter.blogspot.com

Amy at My Friend Amy
http://www.myfriendamysblog.com/

AnnMarie at More Than Just A Mom
http://afriedrick.blogspot.com

8/14
Janis at The Nearsighted Bookworm
http://thenearsightedbookworm.blogspot.com/

Kelli at The Zen of Motherhood
http://www.thezenofmotherhood.blogspot.com

Teresa at Joy In the Journey
http://www.teresaslack.blogspot.com

8/15
Lynetta at Open Book
http://www.lynetta.blogspot.com

Betsy at Betsy Ann…Writer At Large
http://www.betsy-ann.blogspot.com

Susan at His Reading List
http://hisreadinglist.blogspot.com/

8/16
Tiffany at A Fiction Filled Life
http://ambermillerauthor.blogspot.com/

Pamela at Pammer’s Ramblins
http://pammer.blogspot.com/

Lauren at Baseballs and Bows
http://baseballsandbows.blogspot.com

Brittanie at A book Lover Forever
http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 07, 2008

WIP Update


I've been working on the proposal packet for the Brides of Money Creek series. Just a couple days ago, I got the first seven chapters back from the crit girls. YIKES, what a goofy mess my ms is right now. I've combed through the crits (after letting them lie fallow for a day or so, making sure I was in a good frame of mind for tackling them) and made adjustments to the first sixty or so pages.
I'm adding a POV (sparingly) but it is so much fun to write. Why is it that bad guys are almost always more fun to write than good guys?
Awhile back here on the blog I mentioned that I almost always have a favorite word or phrase (or more than one) per book. My crit partners (aka WADs or DCCP's) ding me on these, highlighting them in florescent how-did-you-miss-this-when-it-absolutely-SCREAMS-off-the-page colors that MS Word delights in.
I wasn't sure what my words or phrases were for this book, but now I know. Two weeks ago I used some whitening strips on my teeth, and evidently I transposed that into my work. No, my 1880's heroine didn't apply Crest White Strips, but she sure does have white teeth. So does the hero. So does the bad guy. So does the hero's brother. And his other brother. In fact, everyone in this story except the anti-hero seems to have perfect white teeth.
The first time I came across the neon green highlighted words, I shrugged. Okay, I'll change it. The fifth time (in as many chapters) that the phrase got a highlight treatment, I started laughing. My DCCP's must think I'm a nut. How did I not see this myself before I turned it in for crits?
And don't even get me started on all the stuff people's hearts were doing. Sheesh...I need some help!
Has this ever happened to you? You fall in love with a word or phrase, or just plain get in a rut with how you describe something, and find your work littered with highlighted YIKES?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

CFBA

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
All Through The Night
(Bethany House - July 1, 2008)
by
Davis Bunn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Davis Bunn is an internationally-acclaimed author who has sold more than six million books in fifteen languages. His audiences spans reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings. Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include My Soul To Keep, and Full Circle . A sought-after lecturer in the art of writing, Bunn was named Novelist in Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University. He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write.

ABOUT THE BOOK A loner, trying to forget. A community--and a woman--who need for him to remember...Broken relationships and unfulfilled promises scatter themselves across Wayne's past like burned-out craters. His background in military special-ops is something he's trying to forget. But when he gets himself sweet-talked into helping a quirky group of seniors who've been scammed, he discovers it will take a lot more than muscle and nerve. Breach a conman's high-security estate to recover stolen money? No problem. Become part of community? Love again? Not on your life.A lawyer with her own painful past is intrigued by Wayne and asks him to take on another unusual case--Tatanya's wealthy employer believes he's been visited by...an angel? Did a messenger from God in a pinstripe suit truly bring a divine warning, or is this merely another cruel hoax? Tatanya is willing to trust Wayne with her boss's life, but she's not sure she's ready to trust him with her own wounded heart.With a financial analyst's skills and a warrior's tenacity, Wayne races to unmask dangerous forces hiding behind a corporate veil. But he will need all his resources--and then some--against an unseen enemy bent on destroying his fragile bid for a second chance at life...and love.All he wanted was to put his past behind him. But now it's the only thing that will save them...

If you would like to read the first chapter of All Through The Night, go HERE

Weigh In


Whew, down one this week. Total of 35. Woohoo...I cheated and hopped on the scale to check in on Sunday night and was bummed to be up two pounds! Must have been the church picnic.
But by Wednesday I'd managed to drop those two pound and one more.
Have been troubled with a foot injury this week, so I haven't been able to walk or bike. But the antibiotics are working. I should be up and around soon.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Something Fun


visited 18 states (36%)


This map represents the states I've visited. How about you? More than 18? Less? You sure can tell I'm a midwesterner, can't you?

CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dogwood
(Tyndale House Publishers - July 9, 2008)
by
Chris Fabry

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chris Fabry has a variety of titles to his credit including At the Corner of Mundane and Grace, Spiritually Correct Bedtime Stories, Away with the Manger, The H.I.M. Book, and The 77 Habits of Highly Effective Christians. His latest work is a collaboration with Jerry B. Jenkins and Dr. Tim LaHaye. Chris has recently completed the final book in the Left Behind The Kids series, available Fall 2004. Readers of all ages have followed the lives of Judd, Vicki, Lionel, and the others. Now read how their exciting stories culminate in book 40 of this beloved series. Dogwood is his first adult fiction. Chris and his wife, Andrea, are the parents of nine children and make their home in Colorado. Chris has worked in Christian radio and now enjoys narrating audio books as well as writing. He believes his career as a husband and father is the real evidence of God's grace in his life.

ABOUT THE BOOK In the small town of Dogwood, West Virginia, Karin has buried her shattered dreams by settling for a faithful husband whose emotional distance from her deep passions and conflicts leaves her isolated. Loaded with guilt, she tries to raise three small children and "do life" the best she can. Will returns to Dogwood intent on pursuing the only woman he has ever loved--only to find there is far more standing in his way than lost years in prison. The secrets of Will and Karin's past begin to emerge through Danny Boyd, a young boy who wishes he hadn't survived the tragedy that knit those two together as well as tore them apart. The trigger that will lay their pain bare and force them to face it rather than flee is the unlikely figure of Ruthie Bowles, a withered, wiry old woman who leads Karin so deep into her anger against God that it forces unexpected consequences.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dogwood, go HERE

Monday, August 04, 2008

So many posts, so little time...


I have a bunch of topics I would like to blog on, but they are disjointed. Rather than spamming the blog, I'm going to combine them into a hodgepodge post.
This weekend I got my kids back from camp. YEAH! We've had the best time together. I missed them like crazy. I've gotten to hear lots of stories of camp life and all about their activities and new friends. James already has a time set up to get together with his new buddy Samson this week.
Sunday was the church picnic. For once it wasn't beastly hot. I had to laugh. Last year about ten people brought watermelon to the picnic. We had so many! This year, I was anticipating sinking my pearly-whites into a nice juicy wedge of watermelon, but guess what? Not a single soul brought one! I guess we all figured someone else would. I had to settle for some very nice fruit salad instead. Also, I ate kringele (I'm not sure how it is spelled.) Norwegian, I think. A little cookie shaped like a breast-cancer awareness ribbon. It's flavored with nutmeg, buttermilk, and sour cream. I was good and only ate part of one, but oh, my, was it yummy. I'll have to get the recipe from Karmyn, the lovely lady who made them.
We started school today. The Eldest is taking college courses for her jr. year, so her classes don't start until later this month. She's occupying herself with Bible, German, and finishing up a watercolor art class she should've had done by now! The Youngest is beginning seventh grade. So far, so good. One day down, more than a few left to go.
Late Saturday night, I began work on my pitch sheet for Clara and the Cowboy. The hardest thing I do in writing is trying to condense an entire novel into one sentence. I'm happy with the layout and the color scheme. I'll be tweaking on the descriptions and series development ideas and take-away value until the last minute. I'm also thinking I might take a new picture of me for the sheet. When I showed the page to my DH, he said a new picture might be in order, since I've lost weight since that one was taken. Isn't he sweet? Hopefully in a month or so, there will be even more of a difference. The only drawback? I HATE getting my picture taken.
The picture on today's blog is one my husband took. It is Gooseberry Falls. I have never heard if it is called Gooseberry because gooseberries grow there, or because there are three falls and one is playing the goosberry. Anybody know?

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Friday Five



My Five Favorite Leading Men:

1. John Wayne: Is there anyone better than the Duke?

2. Cary Grant: From Arsenic and Old Lace to North by Northwest, I don't think I've ever seen a Cary Grant movie I didn't love.

3. Sam Elliot: It's the voice...and the way he just IS a cowboy.

4. Spencer Tracy: I adored him in Father of the Bride and Father's Little Dividend.

5. Sean Connery: The voice? Maybe. The Eyebrow? Maybe. The "I'm the toughest man on earth and what are you going to do about it?" attitude...definitely!

So? Who are your favorite leading men?