Thursday, January 28, 2010

People of the Book


So the other day I, Carolyne Aarsen, went to look for a book I wanted to lend out. I couldn't find it on my office bookshelves, so I went to our other set of bookshelves. A set of bookshelves that completely fill a wall about 20 feet by 8 feet. The fellow making them didn't think we'd ever fill them up. Then a couple of days I ago, as I said, I went hunting for a specific book.

Now before I go further you need to know - I'm a book person. I can't deny it. I love books. I love having books. I love buying books. I love lending books out. I love reading them more than once. I like to support fellow authors and I like to fill up bookshelves. But when I couldn't find this one book amongst the myriad of books in my house, a book I knew I had,I realized it was time to do a purge. I had books stashed double on shelves. Books piled up in corners of my office. Books filling pieces of furniture that were not really meant for books. So full of fervent zeal, I started.

Well, it was harder than I thought it would be. I held books in my hands and found myself going back to the first time I read it. I thought of the magic it brought me and the place it took me. This one couldn't go. And this one helped me figure out what I was going to do with a character. This one taught me how to treat emotions without getting maudlin (don't know if I've learned that but the writer of the book had a handle on it). This one was a favourite of my children. This one my mother gave me for Christmas. This one came from my father. These are from an author who I love. And on and on. Each book dredged up a memory or taught me something. But I persevered. When the book purge was over, I had a pile sitting in the middle of my office.

Now I have to decide what to do with them. So if any of you bookaholics out there are interested, for your reading pleasure - I have a book on The Pitman Method of Shorthand, a nursing textbook from 1989, The Art of Cross Examination from 1955, mangled copies of The Broken Snare, Jude the Obscure, Crime and Punishment, some Louis L'Amour westerns, assorted paperbacks that I can't even identify anymore and a brand new copy of Edgar Sawtelle. If I don't hear from you in the next two years, I'll have to move that pile of books from my office into the living room. Sounds drastic, I know, but it has to be done.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Booksignings

Booksignings are a part of every author's life. Some view this as unfortunate, as the more introverted writer prefers to stay behind the safety of her computer screen than be in the spotlight. But it's a neccesary evil in marketing and promotion.

I used to be very shy growing up, and if you had told me even 5-6 years ago that I'd be holding booksignings and making speaking events at local writer's groups and churches, I'd have laughed in your face. No way! Not me, the girl whose voice shakes and neck turns all red and splotchy when put in the center of attention!

But God has, especially in the last 2-3 years, brought me out of my comfort zone and shown me that sometimes in order to put the spotlight on Christ, we have to be willing to step out there into the light ourselves first. I have four speaking events this year so far, all between last week and May, and while that used to bring fear and trembling, now I'm just excited and ready to see what God will do. Though I have to admit, I will probably still wear a turtleneck of sorts because the splotchy-ness has not completely gone away! lol It keeps me humble!

I have a booksigning this upcoming Monday night, February 1st, at 6:30 at Barnes & Noble here in Shreveport. If you're local, come on by! Both of my novels, RETURN TO LOVE and my brand new release, A VALENTINE'S WISH will be for sale that evening. I'd love to see you. There will be free chocolate and, for those who buy a book and sign up for my newsletter, the chance to win a really fun Valentine's giveaway basket!

So what are some tips/tricks you like to incorporate in your booksignings as authors? Or, readers, what are some things you like to see when you attend a booksigning by your favorite author? I'm open to any and all suggestions! =)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Igniting Faith

Hi, Terri Reed here. I thought I'd share that yesterday I started a 40 day negativity fast.

What's that, you ask?

Well, its breaking the pattern of negativity by capturing our thoughts ( 2 Cor. 10:5) and replacing them with positive thoughts (Romans 12:2).

It's speaking the truth of God's love and power over my life, into my life and over and into the lives of others.

Igniting Faith in 40 days is part devotional, part verbal affirmations of God's love and power.

I'm excited to see how God works in my life in the coming days and weeks.

http://www.ignitedhope.com/?do=store&id=11

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paperback Writer

Pamela Tracy here and today’s post is not the one I meant to write. Actually, I'm having a lot of fun writing this post because I got interested in my topic. So, please read, and while you're reading hmmm Paperback Writer by the Beatles.

See, I went looking for the top ten bestsellers of 2009 (I’d accidentally thrown my People magazine away.) It’s not that easy finding the top ten (notice how I emphasized the word the?) I found personal lists; I found lists that didn’t agree. I found the white list, the black list, the children’s list. I found a list that actually had the same book on it twice! Pretty soon I didn’t want to see any more lists. Then, as I was perusing the top 50 list (Yes, I found another list) for 2009, I stumbled upon the history of the paperback.

Cool!

This info comes from the link below, but I’ve paraphrased and summarized to my little heart’s content. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/article6847448.ece

Don’t think about the Dime Novel. It may count as the first paperback but that would be like comparing a tricycle to a mountain bike. The story you are about to read has to do with a man named Allen Lane. Picture your town in the 1930’s. No cell phones, no televisions, no computers. People read for entertainment. Anyhoo, in the 1930's Alan Lane was returning to his hometown from visiting Agatha Christie (Isn’t that soooo cool) and apparently he was at a bookstall looking for something to read and he was dismayed by the cost of the books (yes, I’ve had that feeling too about hardbacks and even some paperbacks).

He had an idea. Yup, you guessed it: affordable books.

Here’s a direct quote:

It is quite clear that the time has come to wake up to the fact that people want
books, that they want good books, and that they are willing, even anxious, to
buy them if they are presented to them in a straightforward, intelligent manner
at a cheap price
Sounds a whole lot like today, huh?

Apparently the people in the book world didn’t think too highly of the idea. And, they were pretty sure his venture would fail, and while it was failing, it would tarnish the reputation of the hardback world.

Lane had trouble getting the rights to the books he wanted to publish. Most refused him, and the one guy who did agree to work with him only did so because he assumed Lane would pay for the rights (which he did) and then go out of business – money spent, business gone, bye bye.

Guess who saved the day. Woolworths. Cool, huh? They ordered the paperbacks to sell in their store. People bought the paperbacks. Woolworths ordered a lot (really, really a lot) and Lane made not just one boatload of money, but at least ten boatloads of money.

And the paperback and its reader lived happily ever after.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Making Up Stuff

Merrillee here, thinking how much fun it is to create characters and places--in other words making up stuff. Ever since I was a kid, I've had imaginary people in my head who had conversations with each other. I didn't know that those voices would one day lead me to become a writer. I didn't plan to be a writer when I was young. I wanted to be a teacher, and I became one. But I had always enjoyed reading a good story, and one day I decided I should write one of my own and try to sell it. I wrote for years without making that sale. A little more than a year before I made my first sale, I received a rejection that made me question whether this dream of becoming a published author was something I should continue to pursue.

I decided to quit.

That was in November 2002. In January 2003 after I had put away the Christmas decorations, I started writing again. I started again because Jillian and Sam kept telling me that I had to write their story. Those imaginary people wouldn't let me quit. So I began writing their story just to get rid of them. After I did that, then I'd quit. I had no idea that Jillian and Sam's story would become my first sale to Steeple Hill. The Heart's Homecoming came out in August 2005. I had created a town for Jillian and Sam that I called Pinecrest. My imaginary town is located near Spokane, Washington. I wrote two more books set in that location.

In February, the first book of my new Kellerville series, Hometown Promise, will be available. My latest imaginary town, Kellerville, is located in Ohio near Cincinnati. Juliane and Lukas are the imaginary people who brought me to that little town, so I could tell their story. I hope you will take a journey with me to Kellerville. Check out the cover where you can see the town square with its gazebo and clock tower.


Using your imagination is fun whether you are a writer or not. What kinds of things do you like to imagine?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter blahs


I've got the winter blahs. I always get them. Every year. The only time I really like winter is when there is snow and lots of sunshine to make the snow sparkle like diamonds.
Oh, I do like those occasional abnormally warm days that let you escape the house in just a sweatshirt. Today it was up to 50, but it was cloudy and foggy. Some film maker could have shot a werewolf movie in my back yard. Ugh! Blah, blah, blah.

This has been a very gray, very cold year and I'm just fed up. I want sunshine. I need sunshine. Many people suffer from SAD, seasonal affective disorder, but most, like me, just get the winter blahs.
What do you do to ward off cabin fever?
Or are you one of those hardy people who like winter?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Down time

For the past year writing wise I've had no down time, but I have for the past week. I'm waiting on hearing about a proposal before finishing the rest of the book so what do I do with myself? It's not enough time to delve into a new book. It's not that I don't have things to do. I do--lots. But I'm a goal oriented person and right now I don't have a writing goal. That's a big deal to me. I'm walking around the house aimlessly. What do I do?

I could clean my house. Ugh. Not my favorite thing to do, especially the dusting. I'm not sure why dusting is what I hate the most but it is. I could read the 8 books I received Monday. I'm a judge for the RITA contest and I am a slow reader. I could spend time with my granddaughters (I did on Monday and loved it). All of those activities I am doing, even going to lunch with a writer friend to brainstorm today, but I need a writing goal. Writing is what fulfills me. Do you have something like that?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm here! It's Lenora :)

Last night, I saw on my calendar that today was my day to blog. Then I got involved in a chapter and finished that up and promptly slinked downstairs and fell into my chair (where I got bleary-eyed and decided to go to bed.) So I'm standing in the kitchen this morning, drinking coffee while I looked out over all my lovely saga palms that are now brown and dying from intensely cold temperatures and suddenly it hit me--Lenora, it's your day to blog! I don't usually move that fast in the morning, let me tell you. Even forgot to take my blood pressure medicine.

Now I'm here, writing away when a dear writer friend calls and we laugh and talk about being in the middle of a conversation and suddenly going blank because a plot point has just popped in out heads. That got me to wondering--what was the strangest place you ever came up with a story idea? It's usually in church for me, during a beautiful hymn. I can't tell you how many three books contracts I've gotten out of the words of a hymn. My "In the Garden" series is based on that beautiful hymn, of course. (Three books--set on an estate in South Louisiana.) This Sunday, I was sitting there listening to a guest speaker, thanking God for allowing me to finish the first draft of the latest work in progress and suddenly, I realized I needed to change the ending of the book. Something the speaker said prompted that. I grabbed paper and pen and jotted down some notes. My friends just smiled. (They know me so well.) Back to "In the Garden". Adding to the idea I got in church while singing that--a few weeks after that Sunday, we left early one morning to travel to Georgia to see relatives. There had been an ice storm in our area and I saw a convoy of tree service trucks heading back to Mississippi. They had come over to help out during our crisis. That gave me the idea for one of the heroes in that series. He would own a tree service company and he'd come to the estate to help cut back some trees after a big storm. And the heroine would have a phobia--she'd be deathly afraid of the dark. Why? Well, that was part of the fun.

So ... this is why we sometimes forget to blog, why we sometimes forget to take our medicine, feed the cat, cook the meals and wash the clothes. This is why we stare off into space at the oddest times and why even in church, we might do what I call the Scarlett O'Hara gasp (remember the scene where her mother is giving evening prayers??)and go blank. It's because a writer's brain is wired just a bit differently from "civilian" brains. We're always sniffing out stories. And that's just part of the fun of our jobs. So ... what was the strangest place you ever came up with an idea for a book??

Monday, January 18, 2010

What are you reading?

Debbie Clopton's computer crashed this morning (poor thing!) as she was trying to post to the blog. So I thought I would just toss a question out to you. I hope you'll share!

What are you reading right now? What's next in your TBR (to-be-read) stack?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hero Interview from A Soldier's Devotion by Cheryl Wyatt


Interview with the hero from A Soldier’s Devotion by Cheryl Wyatt:

1. Vince Reardon, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I’m tall, dark and brooding. I’m the tallest cutest guy on my pararescue jumper team and all the ladies know it. Grin. I’m an Air Force war vet, still serving our country doing high profile military and civilian rescues.

2. What do you do for fun?
Ride my custom-built motorcycle, skydive and work out like mad for rescues.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Call Dad. We don’t always get along but these days, I’m seeing more reason to toss aside my pride and reconnect.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?
That I’ll lose my sister like I lost my brother. My sister and I were always very close but we became estranged after my brother died in a prison riot. He was wrongly convicted and that I’m interested in an attorney might set my family’s teeth on edge. But Val…she’s….well, you’ll see when you read the book. I’m crazy about her.

5. What do you want out of life?
To be a better person and to make a difference in the lives of those I rescue and their families. To serve my country with pride. Those were my old priorities. While they’re still tops, I’m looking into some new stuff and starting to see I can’t do any of the above without a solid relationship with God. I’m seriously seeking.

6. What is the most important thing to you?
Well, these days, God is becoming pretty important to me as well as a gal named Val, but aside from that, keeping those I love safe. Keeping total strangers safe when duty calls for it.

7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
Val’s been reading Bible story books to me and teaching me all the stuff I never learned growing up in exchange for me giving her cooking lessons. Don’t tell her I said this but she poses a danger to herself and society whenever she gets near any kind of oven knob. She’s banned from anything that resembles a stove until I can teach her how to cook without having to use the smoke detector to determine when her food is done. I find that endearing about her though and we’re having fun learning stuff together.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
That I didn’t give in sooner. You’ll understand when you read the book. Grin.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
I have a motorcycle that I named. Does that count? Ha. If I had a pet, it would probably be a piranha or a shark. Definitely not spiders though. Hate those.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
Back to when my brother went to trial. I was deployed oversees and couldn’t be here to fight for him because I was fighting for my country. Had I known his wrong conviction and sentencing would lead to his wrongful death, I would have tried harder to get a military leave of absence to come defend him and prove his innocence. To live in regret is not easy, but Val, God and a pierced, tattooed prison pastor named Rowan are helping me come to terms with everything.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FEATURED BOOK: A SOLDIER'S DEVOTION BY CHERYL WYATT

U.S. Air Force pararescue jumper Vince Reardon was headed to a lifesaving mission. Until a too-pretty lawyer crashed her fancy car into his motorcycle—sidelining him for two weeks. Vince can barely accept Valentina Russo's heartfelt apologies. Ever since his brother was wrongly convicted—and killed in prison—Vince has lost respect for lawyers. But wait—is that Val volunteering at his refuge for underprivileged kids? If Vince isn't careful, this lady of the law might just earn his respect and his heart.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Good grief - it's Friday!

Valerie Hansen here:

I'm guilty. Again. I lose track of time when I'm working hard on new books and, PTL, I am.





I do have a book coming out this month and although it's not a straight Love Inspired but a historical, instead, I wanted to at least mention it. And then I went and forgot my chance until very late at night. Here's the cover. I absolutely LOVE it.





Oh, well. I apologize. I have a mind like Swiss cheese and I think all the stuff I'm supposed to remember runs out through those holes!

Blessings,
Val

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Please Pray for Haiti

Missy here. I've been watching the news tonight while preparing to write this post, and I just can't think of anything but the poor people of Haiti following Tuesday's earthquake. I can't begin to imagine the confusion, helplessness, fear, grief.

Please be in prayer for the victims and all the rescue workers.


Shout for joy, O heavens;
rejoice, O earth;
burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
Isaiah 49:13

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lyn Cote here--short and sweet!

Lyn Cote here--spent last week sorting and discarding STUFF. Most of it was from 4 boxes left from my mom's estate and one from an aunt in El Paso, TX. I got it done, but now need to deal with burning all the paper (we are allowed up here in the woods to burn stuff). And I'm waiting for my dh to finish putting shelves in a closet in my office where I can store all the mementos till I have time to organize them more.

What's holding you all back from sorting??? Cleaning out?? Or have you surpassed me??

Monday, January 11, 2010


Hi, this is Janet Tronstad here. I've been having fun for the past few days on Goodreads, a website for readers. The Love Inspired Historical authors have a discussion group on this site and several of the readers have decided to write a time travel story together. Oh, my, we've had a time with remembering all of our characters at each stop and not getting them confused and moving the plot along at the same time. A couple of hours ago, one of the readers said it was all like a puzzle. I smiled because every book I have written has been a puzzle. There's always a moment in the writing of it where I am confused and lost. It's all like a maze -- at times it's hard to see the picture, but you keep going forward and, at the end, it all makes sense. It took me a while to see how writing a book parallels my life -- I have moments of confusion and moments of clarity. Periodically, I see further ahead and things make sense -- at other times, not so much. Right now, my area of confusion is my writing -- do I keep writing what I have been doing, do I find a different market? I wish I knew -- I have no clear direction. How about you -- in what area of your life are you wishing for more clarity? Do you have decisions that you are uncertain about? What's puzzling you today?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Heroine Interview from Finding Her Way Home by Linda Goodnight


Interview with the heroine from Finding Her Way Home by Linda Goodnight:

1.Cheyenne Rhodes, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I used to be a cop. I’m not anymore. But I’d rather not discuss the ugly details.

2. What do you do for fun?
I used to hang out with friends. Work out. Lately, not much of anything.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Going to sleep at night.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?
People finding out the truth about me.

5. What do you want out of life?
Mostly, to be feel safe again and have the media leave me alone.

6. What is the most important thing to you?
Once I would have said my job, my dad, my brother. Now, I’m not sure anymore. Maybe the baby Glock under my pillow.

7. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?
I’m not a big reader, but studies of the criminal mind fascinate me. My landlady gave me a devotional. I might read it someday. Right now, I’m reading want ads, looking for a job.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Oh man. Tough question. I guess I’d suck it up and put the past behind me like my family wants me to do. Easy for them to say.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
No, I’ve never owned a pet, but I found a box of puppies by the roadside. Cute little mutts. The local vet, Trace Bowman, took them in. Nice guy. Pretty nice looking too. If I had a place of my own, I wouldn’t mind having a sweet, warm puppy.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I would go back to Colorado Springs a year ago to a bar where my cop friends and I were having a few drinks. I’d leave early—without the drinks. Maybe if I hadn’t had those tequila shooters, my life would be different today.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

FEATURED BOOK: FINDING HER WAY HOME BY LINDA GOODNIGHT

Welcome to Redemption, Oklahoma
The idyllic little town Cheyenne Rhodes has chosen for her fresh start is almost too welcoming. After all, she's come here to hide from her past—not to make new friends.But single dad Trace Bowman isn't about to let Cheyenne hide away her heart. He can't ignore the special way she has with his daughter, Zoey—or how she's reminded him of the power of real love. Now he needs to convince Cheyenne that Redemption is more than a place to hide—it's also a way to be found….

Friday, January 8, 2010

Get back to work!


I'm giving you an advance warning of the irony of this blog. Because as you are reading this blog, I am going to tell you to stop reading this blog and get back to work. Stop reading about writing and get back to writing.

If you're still reading this, you haven't taken my advice, but I'm hoping that by continuing to read, you will get a few tools that will make it easier to take my advice. Got it?

The internet is my greatest tool and my greatest enemy. Living where I do, at the corner of No and Where, I use it to connect with people I can't see face to face. I use it to brainstorm with my writing partner. I use it to discover facts that I need right now that I normally wouldn't have access too (see above) - as in, how does a doctor do a triple bypass and what is a bypass anyway?

And here comes the HOWEVER. When God sent Adam out of the Garden he put a curse on the earth. So every blessing has a downside. Every light casts a shadow. And in the case of the internet the shadow can be large, looming and hard to ignore. You'll be writing along, hit a snag and 'hey, have I gotten any e-mail lately?' or 'I wonder if anything new has been posted on that writing forum' or, my own current personal nemesis, 'how's that cricut cartridge doing on e-bay?' - which I shouldn't have even allowed to enter my mind because I promised myself I would get this blog post done before I do anything else.

These are only the distractions I could think of as I was typing this. I'm sure each of you have your own guilty pleasures. I look for distractions because writing is hard work. I like the finished product, but I don't like getting there. Even after publishing thirty some odd books, I still struggle with this. But I've also noticed that the more I force myself to stay on task, the easier it gets. I get more writing done in a day than I used to. And the reason? I've stayed away, as much as possible, from the busy work of writing. Checking e-mail every five minutes. Surfing the 'net. Do I have amazing willpower?

Nope. I have programs. Now I run a Mac so for those of you who do as well, here are some wonderful tools I use. One is a ridiculously simple program called Freedom (http://macfreedom.com/) What it does is turn off the internet for however long you decide. It's wonderful. Another one I really like is called Concentrate (getconcentrating.com) It not only shuts off the internet, it turns off any application that might be a distraction for you. Plus it sends out a message every ten minutes that you can customize. Mine is a growly voice that encourages me to 'keep writing'. Also great.

For you PC users, I can't testify to how these work, but I did find these programs.
http://lifehacker.com/245774/lifehacker-code-dropcloth-windows
Another place I found was this one:
http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Skrommel/#MinimOther

If you scroll down and do some looking you can find programs that will shut down programs, put them aside, whatever your heart desires.

Sometimes we need willpower, sometimes we need help. I need help. However, there is a proviso to using these programs. They only work if you turn them on! And sometimes that can be just as hard to do as to get writing. But once they are on, you might be amazed at how much more you can do when you get rid of the biggest distraction for writers. The internet. Which you are using right now to read this blog.

So check out these programs and get back to work!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Look what I woke up to...(Cheryl Wyatt)






Cheryl Wyatt here to say look what I woke up to today! Not the roses, the SNOW! I love snow. I stayed up late last night just to watch it fall because it rarely snows here. Everytime I watch flakes fall, it reminds me of God's mercy, falling...falling...falling around and over us, covering completely and making us pure. As white and gleaming as the driven snow. Snow brightens everything it covers. Mercy is like that too.

We don't deserve it but it's beautiful, and it's ours for the taking.

I'd love to know if it snows where you live and if you like snow or not and why.

The photo, with the contrast of the red roses and the white snow glistening through the window behind it reminded me of one of my favorite Bible verses:

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1:18 NIV

I pray you have a strong sense of God's mercy toward you. May it cover you like the diamond-white snow covers the ground. A snow-covered ground brightens everything around it, the entire landscape. You're like that too when God's mercy resides in you. Praying you have a safe, happy winter brimming with tender moments alone with God and that you live in constant wonder of the magnificent things He's made for us to enjoy. For me, it's glimpsing a rare snowfall like I woke up to today. That I'm even breathing is a gift and I'm thankful.


My January Love Inspired (A Soldier's Devotion-IN STORES NOW) is set in Southern Illinois and while I absolutely LOVE the cover, January doesn't really look vibrant like that. But what I love about the cover is that by the time another month of winter settles in for a visit, people around here will be longing for the vibrancy and new life that spring will bring. They'll be tired of the grays, browns and whites of winter. God's changing seasons remind me that His seasons in our lives change too. Winter is sometimes harsh and cold. Vince, my main character would probably say, "Winter was cool for awhile but enough already. Bring on the color!"

Have a wonderful week!

Cheryl Wyatt

www.seekerville.blogspot.com
www.cherylwyatt.com
www.scrollsquirrel.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Years over the years

Funny how New Years Eve changes over the years!

I remember as a little girl, my sister and I would go to my grandparents' house while my parents enjoyed some fellowship time with their friends, and spend the night. On TV, we watched the ball drop in New York's Times Square and had popcorn and Coke. I used to feel SO grown up and important that I was allowed to stay up until midnight.

Until a few years ago, when I realized the time difference between Louisiana and New York meant I was staying up all that time until 11:00. Not midnight.

Am I bitter that my grandparents lied to me for a decade? NO.

Cough.

Anyway, in high school and college, New Years Eve meant parties at friend's houses, watching movies, playing games, eating way too much, etc. Fun times, and great memories.

The last three years have been pretty tame, with my being pregnant and then having a newborn. And this year, ushering in a new decade, was spent lying in bed at 11:45, eyes groggy, watching the clock and hoping the numbers clicked by quickly so we could have a quick New Years kiss and go to sleep! lol

I'm sure there will be more parties in the future. And fireworks where my 17 month old doesn't scream and cry and try to run away into the night out of sheer terror. And joyous midnight greetings instead of sleepy ones.

But for now, there's something special about these years of babies and Mommyhood and exhausted hubbies. I'm cherishing these holidays as much if not more than the super exciting ones. Because for me, there's nothing more exciting than being with my sweet little family on New Years Eve, even if we are all tucked soundly into bed.

I hope you had a great ushering in of the New Year, and made a memory of your own--even if it was as tired as mine.

And my resolution for 2010? To forgive my grandparents for the years of lies. =P

Kidding. I'm over it.

Just a little paranoid about clocks...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010


Terri Reed here, the holidays are over and the New Year has begun and I'm feeling fat (ate waaaay too much rich food over the past few weeks), so my first order of business in 2010 is workout and eat more veggies!

My next goals are to finish the two projects I'm working on and start a couple more.
I also want to be a better, mother, wife and friend. I want to walk in God's will and always put Him first.


What are your goals for the New Year?


Still available CHASING SHADOWS

NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T
When senior citizens start disappearing from a
Boston retirement home, heiress Kristina Worthington is suspicious.
Especially when she fears her beloved grandmother is next. Without
solid evidence, she’s forced to turn to the one police officer who might
listen—her former love, Gabe Burke. Now a seasoned cop, Gabe still
sees her as the rich girl whose family thought he wasn’t good enough.
And though he takes the case, Gabe seems convinced he’s chasing shadows.
Until they start dodging threats, bullets...and their own rekindled feelings.
Coming in 2010
COVERT PURSUIT --May
TREASURE CREEK DAD--August
YULETIDE SANCTUARY--November

Monday, January 4, 2010

Knowing Your Limits

Pamela Tracy here. This New Year's had to be one of the most interesting ones I've had in a long time. See, I'm in Arizona, Phoenix actually, the land of NO SNOW. Last Thursday, we packed up and went camping. So, Thursday night, six of us (my four-year-old fell asleep at 9 or there'd have been seven) stood around a campfire and blue whistles and set off noise makers. What fun! Friday and Saturday were spent riding in what my son called "The middle of nowhere." Since it was a holiday weekend, there were lots of people in the middle of nowhere. Friday, we started for a place called the Coke Ovens. Don found it on a map. Everyone was excited. Apparently, back in the 1800's, coal was produced in the middle of the desert in man-made ovens which are now a historic landmark that only the 'brave' or 'lucky' can get to. Everyone said the route to the Coke Ovens was rough. Rough is one of those words that can change meanings depending on the speaker. But, still, the Off Road magazine my husband had said rough to extreme. Okay, rough is a changable word but extreme is not. My first hint was Friday when we got to a tough spot and had to wait while a Jeep was wenched to safety. We got halfway to the Coke Ovens and decided we'd started too late and we'd come back tomorrow. Next day, Saturday, off we go again. And, strangely enough, we didn't start any earlier. We get to the same tough spot and there's a line. See, you can't just drive down or up this rocky place. It's turn left, turn right, go up at an impossible angle, fall to earth, pray, bump your way up or down. This day, after the line, we went (I got off, Mikey and I climbed down the tough area on foot, and hubby rode my quad down. We stopped at the bottom to regroup and a few quads started up. That's when our first delay happened. One of the quads tipped and landed on the man riding it. Everyone ran to help. Next, we stopped because at the next tough area, one we hadn't made it to the day before, only had enough space for one at a time. We were delayed as seven jeeps, a few side by sides, and a few quads came down. We were in the second group to go up. The first group almost lost a quad. Finally, our turn. I get halfway up, and at the same place where the first group almost lost a quad, I lost my grip. The quad started to fall back on me. I'm not sure what stopped it and made it fall forward again, but somehow it righted. I tried again and this time, I kid you not, my feet were in the air and it's coming back on me. I heard my husband scream, and I let go. The bike, luckily, fell away from me. I should have turned around, but I didn't. I kept going. how does this tale end. There comes a time when you have to know your limits. For me, it was uphill grade, hands refusing to hit the gas, and saying to my husband: I'm done. Another guy took over my bike, I got on the back of my brother-in-law's bike, and for much of the trip I kept my eyes closed and prayed. Again, darkness took over and we came within 30 minutes of the Coke Ovens and for safety purposes, turned back. We're already planning our next trip. My husband's job? Find a different route to the Coke Ovens. So, how was your New Year's.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Heroine Interview from Mending Fences by Jenna Mindel


Interview with the heroine: Laura Toivo of Mending Fences – January 2010 Steeple Hill Love Inspired.

1. Laura Toivo, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and my ancestry is Finnish on both sides. I love junk food and good coffee.

2. What do you do for fun?
Play tennis, or walk. I work a lot, maybe too much.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Visiting my mother.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?
Letting people down.

5. What do you want out of life?
To be accepted.

6. What is the most important thing to you?
Right now, getting a promotion to Senior Sales Executive –

7. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?
Romantic Suspense.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be fearless in relationships.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
Not at the moment. But I love dogs.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I’d be a pioneer – going places no one has gone before and meeting the challenge of making a life and building community where there was once only wilderness.

Friday, January 1, 2010

FEATURED BOOK: THE COWBOY'S FAMILY BY BRENDA MINTON


Widower Wyatt Johnson brought his two little girls home to Dawson, Oklahoma, looking for a place to heal. The grief from his wife's death still lingers, but it's time to move on and try to live a simple life. He's in for a surprise when he finds a lovely young nanny on his doorstep, ready to give him the help he won't admit he needs. Now his life is far from simple, which may be a blessing in disguise. In Rachel Waters he finds a nurturing, vivacious woman whom his daughters adore. Together, Wyatt and Rachel can help each other realize that they're deserving of laughter, friendship…and love.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

New Year in Tokyo

Merrillee here, wishing you all a fabulous new year. Often in a new year, we think about how we can do things better. We want a new beginning, and we can have that new beginning in Christ. I'm going to share a few scriptures that talk about a new life. Let's start the new year with the word of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Epheisians 4:22-24 (NIV)
22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV)
3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Do you have a favorite scripture or an inspiring thought to start the new year?