Wednesday, November 28, 2012

HOLDING A COLLECTIVE BREATH

It might happen--it really might!!!

After years of prayer, heartache, waiting and more waiting--we *might* finally be getting a house. This morning we went to look and fell in love with the first place (the one where someone died.) We went to see the second house down the road but the realtor couldn't get inside. No matter--the barking dog next door would've been a no-go for me!

So we submitted an offer and we should hear back by Friday 2:00 pm.

Here was our list of non-negotiables:

*QUIET neighborhood
*close to hubby's work and kids' activities
*decent-sized kitchen. No one wants to play bumper butts.
*relatively new, because we're SO not handy

The living room and dining area are smallish, but I can live with that because all the other criteria were met.

How about you? How did you go about choosing a home and what were your non-negotiables?

P.S. Prayers that they accept are offer appreciated :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SHATTERED SILENCE

Shattered Silence is the first trade-length romantic suspense that I have read by Margaret Daley, and I have to say that I'm impressed! This one has it all: a hunky Texas ranger, family issues, domestic violence, racism. It's all intrinsic to the story and and I found myself immediately immersed after the startling opening. For those of you who enjoy romantic suspense, Shattered Silence is a must-read!


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shattered Silence
Abingdon Press (September 2012)
by
Margaret Daley


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold eighty-three books to date.

Margaret is currently the President for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of over 2300 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

Until she retired a few years ago, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community as well as serving on her church’s vestry.

On a more personal note, she has been married for over forty years to Mike and has one son and four granddaughters. She treasures her time with her family and friends.



ABOUT THE BOOK

A serial killer is targeting illegal aliens in southern Texas. Texas Ranger Cody Jackson is paired with a local police officer, Liliana Rodriguez, to investigate the murders.

While the case brings Cody and Liliana ever closer, the tension between Americans and Mexican Americans heightens. As Cody and Liliana race to discover who is behind the murders and bring peace to the area, what they uncover isn't what they expected. Will Cody and Liliana's faith and love be strong enough to survive the storm of violence?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Shattered Silence, go HERE.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Throw Caution to the Wind?

After 4 days of fun in the sun, time with family and a whirlwind of dizzying rides, we're back! It's the first time our family has taken a trip to Disneyland/California Adventure all together. Sadly, our oldest and her new hubby had other plans, but my sister and her family traveled out to meet us, along with my parents. In addition to simply having fun, I loved watching the group dynamics (but that's a whole 'nother post.) Suffice it to say, we had a great time!

 Our youngest wasn't crazy about riding the coasters and my sister had to heed the "expectant mother" warnings. But the rest of us let 'er rip! Until it got to Space Mountain.... For some reason, I can't stomach that one. Maybe it's because the coaster is in the dark and I can't see where I'm going. As long as I know where I'm headed, I'm ok. I can tolerate the ups and downs, twists and turns because I can see the destination.

Much like life....

Then at California Adventure I was all set to go on California Screamin' but while we were in line they announced that the ride had broken down and it might be a while for repairs. Chicken-butt me got out of line. It didn't matter that it could be up in just a few minutes, because what if it broke down again while I was on the top/upside-down part of the loopty-loop?!?!

Yes, I know that all the rides break down at some point. Logic tells me that it'll be fine. Perfectly safe. But squeamish-me says, "Uh-uh. Not going there."

 How about you--do you take chances and ride scary rides or do you prefer to play it safe? Throw caution to the wind or keep your feet on the ground?

 It seems to me, an attitude toward coasters just might say something about one's attitude toward life ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fashion Faux Pas

Yesterday my hubby insisted on buying me a pair of jeans. Insisting is probably not a strong enough word--he practically forced me. You see, he's the shopper in our family--he buys my shoes, he bought my best handbag, etc--and I've been informed many times over the years that I'm missing some critical female DNA.

Back to the jeans. The ones he picked out have bling on the back pockets. It's as though my butt is saying, "Look at me! Look at me!" It's not my style, per se, but I'll try them out because hubby likes them and because, well, I need pants. Not long ago our oldest was looking at pictures from a trip when she was 8 and she said, "You're wearing the same shirt!" Again with the fashion commentary!

I'm expecting the What Not to Wear crew to show up on my doorstep any day.

While I don't want to be the proverbial frumpy housewife, I also loathe shopping and trying on clothes, and frankly I'm not impressed with most of the latest fashions. Plus I hate--wait, HATE is too mild--spending money. (Unless it's on books. Books are like air. Can't live without them.)

What about you? Do you buy the latest and greatest? Or are you like me and have a hard time caring about clothes beyond not going in public wearing jammies?

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Top 5 Things.....

.....that derail my plans!

To continue my post from Wednesday--you know, the one where I'm a NANO bust--I'm going to give you the top 5 things that stream roll even my best plans:

5. Kidlets underfoot. To be fair, they are a great distraction so this not a complain but an observation. Remember, an observation....

4. Brain candy. Yep--TV. After frying my brain all day long, I need to rejuvenate with mindless interaction and laugh tracks.

3. Real candy. Or any carbs really. Snacking shouldn't be a distraction but somehow it turns into one. Generally, I can't write without eating something and sometimes I forget to stick my "seat" back in the seat.

2. Facebook! For a long time I tried to fool myself by saying checking status updates was simply part of my writing process. Really, why fight it? But now that we're getting honest....

And my #1 distraction?

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You'll never guess what it is....
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1. DOUBT. Not what you expected, was it? Recently I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the how and why of it, then more time figuring out how to combat the Doubt Monster. (I wrote about that yesterday on Writer...Interrupted if you want to see my conclusions!)

What derails you and what do you do about it???

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NANO Bust!!!

Have you ever gone gung-ho into an activity, sure you were going to kick butt then just fell flat on your face?

That's me! A NANO-bust!

Admittedly, the month isn't over and I'm naturally one to root for an underdog...which happens to be me, in this case...so anything could happen between now and the end of November. So what happened, you ask? Well, about 4 doctors appointments, stepping it up with the homeschool and traveling every weekend so far this month (and a few last month too!)

But it's not about excuses. It's about pulling belly-up to the keyboard and doing what needs to be done. If I don't, I'll always wonder what might have happened if I'd tried just a wee bit harder.

Are you reaching your goals this month? Are you stretching to get there?


Friday, November 09, 2012

Proudly Waving My Freak Flag!

I laughed at this one because so much of what it says is true. I'm not popular, but I am proudly waving my freak flag! LOL!!!!!




You Are Emotional
You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!




Take the test and c'mon back and give us the results!!!

And if you haven't read my post from yesterday, take a glance :)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

A REAL TREAT!

A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California by Erica Vetsch is a real treat! The heroes and heroines Erica creates fascinate me, and this is no exception. You see, they aren't just emotionally/spiritually flawed--they also have other imperfections just like the rest of us making them easy to relate to. Prior to reading the book, I'd never heard of a Harvey Girl and the description of the heroine's duties and life made the story come alive! The way real historical events and people are interwoven with the lives of the characters makes the reading ever so much fun. Watch out for special "guests" in the story :)

On a personal note: congratulations, Erica, on another winner! You are so super sweet and I wish you much success, dear friend :D

Blurb:

When her brother is injured fighting in France, Meghan enlists her fellow Harvey Girl waitresses to sew a Red Cross signature quilt to raise money for wounded doughboys. Local horse breeder Caleb McBride longs to join the battle, but the army won’t take him. Because he has kept his shameful infirmity a secret, the townsfolk have labeled him a coward and war profiteer. When Meghan uncovers his malady, her poor opinion of Caleb unravels. Can this beautiful seamstress find a way to mend his heart?


Bio:

One day a few years ago, I turned to my husband and said, "I don't know if you know this, but I spend an awful lot of time in my own head." He patted my hand and gave me his this-is-not-news expression. I had just verbalized something my parents, teachers, friends, children, and spouse had known about me for years.

Though I have set aside my career teaching history to high school students in order to homeschool my own kids, my love of history hasn't faded. My favorite books are historical novels and history books, and one of my greatest thrills is stumbling across some obscure historical factoid that makes my imagination leap. I'm continually amazed at how God allows me to use my passion for history, romance, and daydreaming to craft historical romances to entertain readers and glorify Him.

Whenever I'm not following flights of fancy in my fictional world, I'm company bookkeeper for our family lumber business, mother of two terrific teens, wife to a man who is my total opposite and yet my soul-mate, and avid museum patron.

GET YOUR COPY HERE!!! And if you haven't visited Erica's blog On the Write Path, it's time to head over for a visit!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Breath of Dawn

Not quite finished reading this one, but LOVING it. Absolutely! Here's my advice, once you buy the book, set aside plenty of time to read it. The book is fairly long and you're NOT going to want to set it down once you start! Highly recommend, especially for those of you who enjoy romantic suspense.



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Breath of Dawn
Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
by
Kristen Heitzmann


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

From the time my dad taught me to read at sit-on-the-floor school when I was four—launching me past kindergarten into 1st grade—I have loved learning and expressing what I know through art, music, and especially writing. Education came easily, and I grew accustomed to having my work read and displayed. But breaking out of the family mold, I left college to marry my husband Jim (celebrating our 29th this year.) Since then, life and all kinds of research have provided the grist for my stories. We have three awesome adult kids, and one incredible teenager. (You might think I’m biased, but ask anyone who knows them.)

While home schooling my four kids, I wrote my first novel. I pitched it for publication, and it became the first of a five book historical series. Since then, I have written three more historical novels and nine contemporaries. The Still of Night was nominated for the Colorado Book Award. The Tender Vine was a Christy Award finalist and Secrets won a Christy in 2005.

People often ask why I started writing, and I say to get the stories out of my head. Some say they’d like to write a book, but I say if you’re not wracked with labor pains, there are easier ways to express yourself. Being a writer is a solitary, eccentric, and often compulsive path. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Kristen Heitzmann Delivers Powerful New Romantic Suspense

Morgan Spencer has had just about all he can take of life. Following the tragic death of his wife, Jill, he retreats to his brother's Rocky Mountain ranch to heal and focus on the care of his infant daughter, Olivia. Two years later, Morgan begins to make plans to return to his home in Santa Barbara to pick up the pieces of his life and career.

Quinn Riley has been avoiding her past for four years. Standing up for the truth has forced her into a life of fear and isolation. After a "chance" first meeting and a Thanksgiving snowstorm, Quinn is drawn into the Spencer family's warm and loving world, and she begins to believe she might find freedom in their friendship.

The man Quinn helped put behind bars has recently been released, however, and she fears her past will endanger the entire Spencer family. As the danger heightens, she determines to leave town for the sake of the people who have come to mean so much to her.

Fixing problems is what Morgan Spencer does best, and he is not willing to let Quinn run away, possibly into the clutches of a man bent on revenge. But Morgan's solution sends him and Quinn on an unexpected path, with repercussions neither could have anticipated.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Breath of Dawn, go HERE.

Monday, November 05, 2012

On the Road Again


Just the title of the post makes that awful song run through your head, doesn't it? However, it's become the theme song of my life. For the past few months I've been on the road with the kids or with my hubby, or a combination thereof, at least 8 times. And we're not done! Because hubby has to work, much of the traveling duties fall to me. At this point, I don't bother to fully unpack.

The good:

It's fun to do something different and have something to look forward to
The kids enjoy more time with their friends
I love watching the kids in action, reaping the rewards of their hard work

The bad:

Our home is a wreck because I'm not here to really clean it. Except for a toilet mishap last week.
It's brutal on my NANO word count
It gets expensive!!!

The Ugly:

I can't stop gaining weight. I'm swelling up like a puffer fish from all the eating out.

In any case, since I showed you the video where my baby fell off the beam, I thought it only fair to share the routine that won her 1st place on beam. (She was also 1st on floor, 5th all around.)






Do you travel? How do you not gain weight and go broke on the road?

Friday, November 02, 2012

I Am Cinderella!

Considering all the dishes and laundry, this somehow seems appropriate, LOL! I do have my Prince Charming, but we're still waiting for a castle.


You Are Cinderella
You believe it's important to do the right thing, even if you aren't rewarded for it.
Not everyone treats you with respect, but good people see your goodness.

You've had a lot of bad luck, but these days it feels like you luck is about to change.
Even though times are tough, hang in there. You'll eventually get the life you justly deserve.
Blogthings: Free Quizzes for Everyone


 All righty, friends, which fairy tale are you??? Take the test and come back to let me know!
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