Saturday, December 31, 2011

What Are You Doing Today




Pamela Tracy here on the last day of 2011. It's a Saturday, early, and we're loading up the quads to go on a ride :) We'll be home in time to join the neighborhood block party.




What are you doing today, the last day of 2011, a Saturday?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ask Elnora--About Starting Over? Lenora Worth

Hello, lovely end-of-the-year friends. Elnora doesn't make New Year's Resolutions. Elnora is resolved on a lot of things already. But I do so believe in starting over. I think the hip term these days is a "do-over." Sometimes, it's the only way to make things right, right?? For example, Elnora loves pie. Chocolate pie, coconut pie, pecan pie, and sweet potato pie. In fact, I've had sweet potato pie for breakfast all week long (and yes, I know it's off the charts on Weight Watchers points.) But ... there is something so comforting about a piece of pie and a good cup of coffee. Comfort food--it wraps us in memories like an old quilt. With each bite I take, I remember my mother making home-made pies. She'd stand at an actual pie safe (does anyone else know what one of those is??) and roll out the pie dough on the big enamel counter. The smell of a home-made sweet potato pie is like nectar from heaven. So I kind of feel that with each bite of that sweet pie, I get a nice do-over of some good childhood memories. Now, Elnora trying to bake her own--that might turn into a nightmare. I attempted gingerbread cookies last week, as some might recall. I have a big container of them sitting on my counter. They turned out pretty good, except one must dip the little brats in coffee in order to soften them for proper eating. I call them my biscotti gingerbread cookies. Not bad with a latte, let me tell you. I might need a do-over on how to bake cookies, too. But I digress. On to the new year and fresh, new perspectives. There is something enchanting and enticing about a blank calendar. There are no mistakes to white out. We have a whole new twelve months to get things right or discover something new and challenging. We'll have plenty of time to explore all the possibilities that stretch over months and months of pure white just begging us to pencil something in. Some people pick a new word for each new year. Some people decide they will finally do that one thing they've secretly wanted to do and oh, joy, they have a whole year to follow their bliss. A new year offers everyone a second chance or a first adventure. So let's discuss. What will you do with the next twelve months? I hope we can all fill that white space with lots of notes and exclamation points so when those twelve months are up, we can look back and nod and say "That was a good day" or "I'm so glad I tried that and succeeded." Are you ready for new beginnings and a few do-overs? After all, it should be as easy as pie, right?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

So What Did You Get?

What books did you get for Christmas? Anyone get a book they'd been longing for?

Before Christmas, I was wanting to read another Christmas themed book and found at Walmart Mail Order Christmas Brides by Jillian Hart and Janet Tronstad. It was a wonderful book and I enjoyed both stories. I think that book made the USA today extended list. Ladies, am I right?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Musings on the matter of New Year’s resolutions

The presents are all unwrapped and put away (or returned to the store for a better fit), the leftovers are eaten, and all the relatives have headed home. Now my thoughts turn to the New Year and the resolutions I should make.

What is it about this season that makes us think of improving ourselves? I know I’m not the only one to feel that this is the perfect time to stop some bad habits and start some good habits. I guess January 1, or any given Monday in the year, is a great time for new beginnings. We say “This will be my year/week to: start my diet, be more disciplined at (fill in the blank here), be kinder to coworkers/children/spouse” or, in my case, my students. And did I mention … start my diet.

According to a news report I heard (can’t recall the particulars of when or where), dieting is the number one resolution people make every January 1. I did it last year and for the first time in my life kept going until my birthday in October. Then came Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Okay, let’s talk about holiday overeating. Is it a worse mistake/error/sin to overeat on these special days OR to refuse a second helping of old Aunt Sally’s special, delicious mincemeat pie that she made with arthritic hands and love in her heart? I generally opt for showing love back to Aunt Sally.) So it’s back to the old treadmill for me.

And since I did so well on last year’s resolution, I think I’ll add another couple of things to my list of self-improvements. I have a writing deadline, so being more disciplined in my writing habits is a must. Must stop playing spider solitaire and watching television talk shows. Must instead sit myself in the desk chair and write my book. One of my creative writing teachers used to say “Few people like to write. Many people like to have written.” I think he had something there. So I resolve to shut off the television and maybe even delete the spider solitaire program from my computer so I won’t be scrambling the week before my deadline.

But while these are both important resolutions, I think the one thing the Lord seems to be challenging me with these days is to be kinder to others: The Walmart checkout girl, the harried postal clerk, other drivers, that certain someone with whom I have a private grievance. I’m sure you have your own list.

And maybe, just maybe, in 2012, I can go beyond my birthday and Thanksgiving and Christmas … and have fewer regrets next year at this time.

What resolutions are you making this year? Please share with us and maybe add a word or two about successes of the past. Or ways you hope to improve.

Blessings to you all in 2012!
Louise M. Gouge

Monday, December 26, 2011

Recuperating!


Missy, here. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! And I hope you're not experiencing post-holiday letdown. Sometimes it can be tough after all the build up and the excitement. But now it's time to move on and look toward the new year!

So what did you get for Christmas? Did you receive any books? We'd love to hear about your holiday!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

Like many of you, The Craftie Ladies are at home with family and friends celebrating this joyous Christmas day. We want to thank all our readers for giving us your time and participation on this blog and by reading our books. We've put together a Christmas "card" of wishes for all of you. Enjoy your holiday. Many wishes for a blessed Christmas and New Years. Lisa Mondello


Linda Goodnight with her two youngest daughters wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.



Merry Christmas to all our readers. Louise Gouge



Wishing all of our readers a blessed and joyous day. And prayers for a prosperous New Year. Leann Harris



Since my husband and I travel a great deal to see family over the holidays, we seldom have a Christmas tree, but we always have our Swedish Christmas tree. My father-in-law made this for our first Christmas, and it holds a special place in our hearts. I wish you the deep joy of Our Savior's birth wherever you may be. Christine Johnson




Merry Christmas and a Joyous and Prosperous New Years to you and yours. Jean Gordon



Missy Tippens: Greetings from the Tippens's house to yours! We pray you have a very merry, love-filled Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior.




May Christmas fill you with wonder, for like the shepherds in the fields, you have received tidings of great joy. Unto us the Son of God has been born. Patricia Davids




And I wish for everyone--Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and Peach on Earth !!!!! Lenora Worth





Wishing you a Merry Christmas from the wintery world of Northern Michigan.
Naomi Rawlings


Merry Christmas to all our readers! I hope you enjoy the season and eat lots of great food and spend time with those you love. God bless. -Lacy Williams



Lisa Mondello: May the season of Christmas remind you all of the importance of family and good friends. May you be rich in both.










Wishing all our readers a blessed Christmas time, filled with family and friends, as we celebrate God's most precious gift to us. May you experience His love in a special way this season. Sandra Orchard














Merry Christmas and have a Blessed New Year. Kim Watters












Hi, Terri Reed here. I hope this finds you wrapped in the love of our savior, surrounded by family and friends and full of the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.












"I wish our readers a very blessed holiday and a new year filled with true love." Lyn Cote










As of the date I sent this in I hadn't put up my 'big tree' yet, so I thought I'd send a picture of this tabletop version. It's very pretty, especially in a darkened room, and was made for me many years ago by a very dear friend so I have a special attachment to it.
To each of you who visit here, I wish you a very joy-filled and blessed Christmas, surrounded by family, friends and warm memories.





Merry Christmas to all the Craftie Ladies and our readers. May the joy of Christ be in your hearts today and in the coming New Year. Merrillee Whren


Saturday, December 24, 2011

This Christmas Eve



We're writers

We're readers

We're bloggers

We're friends

Bookworms of the world UNITE.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ask Elnora--About Christmas stories? Lenora Worth

Hello and Merry, Merry Christmas. Only a couple of days away. Elnora loves when Christmas is on a Sunday. It's like a double blessing or a double scoop of the best ice cream in the world. Down here, that would be Blue Bell Pralines and Cream. Why is it that all I can think about is food? Right now, I'm letting my gingerbread cookie dough "set" so I can make some gingerbread cookies. I haven't done this in years and I almost didn't get to do it tonight. That's because I have one of those big powerful mixers. You know the kind that weighs more than a kitchen sink and whirls like a helicopter when you hit go. Well, I lifted mine up onto the counter but the cord got stuck under the base. So I held the mixer steady with one hand and tugged on the cord with the other. But I forgot to lock the top part down. It fell on my thumb! And pretty much crushed it. I screamed in pain but my husband was at work and my son upstairs playing loud music. Couldn't even get the cat to show me any sympathy. So I stood over the sink, dizzy, and watched as my thumb starting bleeding. Then I cried. Because it hurt like all get-out. Then my son came downstairs to get a refill of coffee and heard me whimpering and finally got me a bandage. He asked me what I was doing and I said, "Trying to make some cookies! And I am going to make those darn cookies, even with a throbbing left thumb." I did make them, but put in the wrong amount of molasses. After I finally figured that out, I added more and the dough looked like it might be turned into cookies. I have to wait two hours according to the recipe. I have several sizes of gingerbread cutters. Let's hope I don't cut a finger off trying to make those cookies. Right now, my thumb is still throbbing but luckily I don't need it that much to type. (Does it seems to you all that I have a lot of strange accidents? Falling in NY and cutting my head open?? Bad medicine in Orlando and swelling up twice my size? Back going out in Washington when I was--yes--trying to fasten my shoe?) I tell you, these cookies better be worth it! But that got me to thinking about Christmas stories. You know the kind that get passed down from generation to generation. I'm thinking we all have those kind of stories (like my favorite Christmas movie "Christmas Vacation!!!") I'm sure the "crushed thumb" story will go down in history. My favorite one is when Big Daddy and I had only been married a year or so and he bought me a new dining room set, table, chairs and a hutch. We lived in an apartment in Atlanta, GA. It was Christmas Eve and we had his cousin over visiting. (He lived in the same complex). Big D went outside and I waited and waited to see what was going on. Then it started raining. Hard. I heard a banging on the patio doors. It was my sweet husband and the whole dining room set. He'd planned to leave it on the patio and sneak it in later, but the rain changed all of that. The cousin and I helped him bring in my surprise. I still have that dining room set but I don't think it will go to Florida with us. One of our children will inherit it. So, let's talk funny Christmas stories. Do you have some of those?? Let's discuss. And Merry Christmas to all of you and God bless us everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One of my favorite readers-- from Lenora Worth

One of the things I love about being a writer is how I get to "meet" people from all over the world. Right here on our blog, I have made friends with several of our readers. AusJenny is one! We love you, Jenny from down under. But the one fan and reader I'd like to talk about today lives many, many miles from me. Olufisayo Alabi lives in Nigeria. She came across our blog a few months ago and she was so excited to find us. She reads the online short stories we sometimes write at eharlequin. And she wants to write her own love story. Olufisayo and I have been e-mailing back and forth since the day she made a comment on the blog. (And I'm editing one of her stories for her.) She is 34 and has two beautiful sons. Her husband is a minister. She loves shoes almost as much as I do. Which is why I sent her two pairs recently. I also sent her several books because she can't find the full length books where she lives. We are learning so many interesting things about each other. She prays for my family and I pray for her family. She started her own website and hopes to one day help others publish their work, too. She calls me MUM and I call her DAUGHTER. I truly believe the Lord puts people in our path at just the right time. Olufisayo has prayed me through some tough days, let me tell you. She is beautiful in spirit and in her kind words to me each day. If any of you would like to send her books, e-mail me and I will give you her address. Be aware, it costs a small fortune and takes weeks and weeks for her to receive packages. But it was well worth it to me to be able to share my books and some "kicking" shoes with her. Olufisayo, I hope you are reading this and that you will respond and tell my writing buddies and our bloggers more about yourself. I thank you for reading our short stories and for talking to us on the blog. This is part of the reason we love to write. We love and appreciate our readers the world over. Thank you so much, DAUGHTER!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

THE 12 SHIRTS OF CHRISTMAS







Hello, Winnie Griggs here. Today I thought I’d post something of a light hearted nature. I’m usually fairly conservative when it comes to wardrobe choices, but the holidays bring out the child in me in a number of ways, one of them fashion. I never can resist the impulse to get a new themed shirt when the holidays roll around. Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection, but as you know, there is only about a 3-4 week period each year when one can wear these. The down side of this is that a large bit of closet real estate is devoted to clothing that doesn’t get much usage. The up side (I think) is that these items seldom wear out.

Anyway, I’m going to share a few of my personal favorites with you, complete with photos.

There are, of course, the obligatory Santa themed shirts, such as these two.




Then, for the blatantly mercenary, there are the gift themed shirts.






More tastefully decorated are the floral themed shirts with poinsettias and holly.



And for the pet lovers we have cats and dogs sporting seasonal accessories.



There are more, but I’ll spare you the rest.

Of course, there are times where one wants to give a more subtle nod to the season, and one way to do this is to take a nice outfit and accessorize with fun bits of seasonal jewelry. I have quite a number of these pieces as well. Below is a picture of some of them I picked out for their sentimental value. Most of them are pieces that my children gave me when they were younger and for that reason I cherish them. The brooch of the Santa carrying a sack is one that belonged to my grandmother and I think of her every time I wear it.



So what about you? Do you have any fun or sentimental clothes or accessories you wear this time of year?

And, on a more serious note, I want to wish each and every one of you a very joy-filled and blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Wonderful Christmas Time


Hi, this is Margaret Daley. I hope that all of you are having a wonderful Christmas time (I'm listening to that song right now as I write), but I do know that this time of year isn't always a time of happiness for everyone. It would be great if it was, but life happens and tragedy occurs in December just like the other eleven months of the year.

I don't know about you but right now my life is so busy with too much to do and not enough time. Then you add in all the extra stuff we do at this time of year and I can become overwhelmed pretty fast. So what do you do at this time of year to preserve your sanity? How do you slow down and really appreciate what Christmas means: the birth of Jesus, our Saviour?

I'm keeping my focus on the Lord. I'm taking each day as it comes. I'm prioritizing what I need to get done and what can be let go until after Christmas. I'm making sure I have time for family and friends even if that means my house isn't as clean as I like or I just let a few things go. I'm taking the time to really listen to the words of some of the Christmas music I love like Mary, Did You Know. What about you? How do you deal with the craziness of the season?

I do know one thing. I wish all of you a blessed Christmas of peace and love.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Story FUN! Round Robin

Hello from Lisa Mondello! It's been a while and I'm so happy to be here today to kick off what I hope will be a lot of fun for the Craftie Ladies AND for our Readers! Yes, that's you!! We get so much response from our readers about how much they love our short stories here on the Craftie Ladies blog. Here's a secret...WE have a blast writing them too. And this go around we want to share the fun with all of you.
If you checked Elnora's blog post from Friday, then you got a hint of what we're doing here today. We are doing a 1 DAY short story where the Craftie Ladies and our readers can each write a 140 character addition to a short holiday story that I will start at the end of this blogpost.
As Elnora posted, the premise is based on Twitter. (It's okay if you've never been on Twitter before. You'll catch on REALLY fast.) I will start the story. YOU will read my post and whoever it is that posts IN THE COMMENTS AREA and pick up the story from there. Don't be shy. Take the story in whichever direction you want to take it. This will go on ALL DAY TODAY (And into the wee hours if you're posting from around the world) and by the end we'll have an entire story.
So...
1. Read the posts at the bottom of this blog AND in the comments area.
2. Add a few sentences about what happens next.
3. Keep coming back to see what everyone else adds so you get the whole story.
4. No comments, just additions to the story so we call can read the story straight down until the end.
5. At the end of it all, we can comment about how much fun we had.
It's meant to be fun. It's meant to make us all laugh in between all the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and decorating. Please join in. All are welcome!
So without further ado...
There were 3 days until Christmas. I put the last present under the tree and noticed a present I didn't put there. I looked at the tag curiously and gasped!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Christmas Quilt by Patricia Davids

How exciting to have Gideon Troyer with us, the hero from The Christmas Quilt, by Patricia Davids, a December 2011 release from Love Inspired Romance.

  1. Gideon, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I’m a pilot. Most people find that interesting, but I’m also ex-Amish. I left my Amish community and my family when I was 21. I left behind the girl I loved, too. When she turned down my proposal, I knew I couldn’t stay.

  1. What do you do for fun?

Are you kidding? I fly. I do it for fun, I do it for work, I’d do it in my sleep if I could.

  1. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Now you’re getting to the sore point in of my life. I’ve never been back to see my family. When I left after being baptized into the faith, I knew my family would shun me. I should go, my parents are getting older, but I dread it.

  1. What are you afraid of most in life?

Having the engine cut out at four thousand feet and finding out I don’t have a parachute.

Other than that, I’m afraid something important is missing in my life and I’m not sure what it is.

  1. What do you want out of life?

Two things. I want to help Rebecca Beachy earn enough money to have the surgery that might restore her sight and I want to know why she turned down my offer of marriage all those years ago. That question haunts me.

  1. What is the most important thing to you?

I guess I would have to say a strong work ethic and friends.

  1. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

I love books about flight pioneers. I’m not into fiction. I like to read about things that actually happened.

  1. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If I could change one thing? Just one? I guess it would be the amount of time I spend trying to make a success of my air charter service. I should take care of myself and maybe get back into going to church. I miss the strong sense of faith I once had. I’m not sure why I let that slip away. Sometimes, not going to church is easier than facing what you’ve done wrong.

  1. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

No pets for me. I don’t have time for one.

  1. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d go back to the day Rebecca Beachy told me she didn’t love me anymore. I wouldn’t leave until I had my answer.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

FEATURED BOOK: THE CHRISTMAS QUILT BY PATRICIA DAVIDS



Years ago, Rebecca Beachy kept her reasons for rejecting Gideon Troyer's marriage proposal a secret. Then Gideon left their Amish community. Now, Rebecca crafts quilts to raise money to cure her blindness. She's also busy guarding her heart against love. Until Gideon returns, at risk of being shunned, to make the winning bid on one of her exquisite quilts. Will the quilt—a patchwork promise of rediscovered love—bring Gideon and Rebecca back together again?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ask Elnora--About a few of my favorite things?? Lenora Worth

!
Fa, la, la, la, la, my little elves! My house is ready for Christmas. Well, almost. I still have some things in the garage to sort through but for the most part, Elnora is in the spirit of the season. I have my little shoe tree up in the power room. It's tiny so it fits on the counter. It is truly one of my favorite things--a tiny Christmas tree with tiny shoe ornaments. A good friend gave Elnora a Barbie shoe tree and it is very tiny. I have sitting next to the bigger tree. As I was decorating and rediscovering all the ornaments I've collected over the years, I got to wondering--what are a few of your favorite things? Now I have that song in my head and I can see Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music" twirling around on that mountain top! So here is a list of some of my favorite things: (Please share yours, too!) Red Velvet Cake Hot chocolate on a cold night Friends who help finish decorating the Christmas tree when they arrive for a party at my house! A husband who remembers to buy my latest favorite thing--those yummy Newton Fruit Thin cookies--without me reminding him! A good rich cup of strong dark roast coffee in a pretty white Corning Ware cup (from the set of vintage Christmas cups a friend gave me because she knew I liked them). Chocolate Kitten heel pumps Dresses from the fifties and early sixties, with shimmering white pearls. Christmas songs that make me stop and think of Christ. Saying "Merry Christmas" and knowing I have the freedom to do that. Writing books that allow me to share my faith. All of you! Let's discuss favorite things. What are some of yours? And .... we are giving our readers a special Christmas treat on Monday, December 19th. We are going to have some fun by asking all of our authors and our friends who post to help us write a story. The premise is based on Twitter. One of our authors will start the story with a couple of sentences. Then we ask the next person who posts to pick up the thread and write a couple of sentences, and then our authors will stop by to help and so on and so on, all day long. Remember, no comments! Just write to continue the story thread. It will be like that game of gossip we played as children. It will be a Christmas story, of course. But we want you to participate by helping us, line by line, to write this story. Want that be so delightful and fun?? I can't wait to see what everyone writes. I know we have some stars out there, waiting to shine. Hope you'll return on Monday to have some fun with us!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hurry, Christmas is almost here!

















Pat Davids here.
Christmas is fast approaching. Everywhere people are rushing to get things done. Rushing to shop and wrap the prefect gifts. Rushing to bake goodies. Rushing to clean and decorate the house. The world is in a rush to make it all perfect before Christmas Day. Hurry, hurry, hurry, there are only ten days left!

Whoa.

Stop a moment.

Take a breath.

Take another breath.

Take one more. Make it deep this time. Breathe in…in…in as deep as you can. Now blow it all out…out…out for as long as you can.


Good. Do it again. Take a deep breath. Blow it out.

Your blood pressure has just gone down by ten points - my gift to you this holiday season. The madness of this time of the year is part of the fun, it really is, but don’t let it become a source of stress. Take care of yourself. Remember to slow down and just breathe.

If you need a little longer down time, I suggest you mix up a cup of hot chocolate and curl up with a good Love Inspired book. Like The Christmas Quilt by me. (Shameless self-promotion here.) This Amish story of a second chance at love will give you the opportunity to forget for a few hours about the rush and ruckus our lives have become and slip into a simpler, kinder world. Your blood pressure will go down another ten points.


Here is my Christmas wish for you.
May the holidays find you Merry and Bright at the end and sorry to see them go.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The True Meaning of Christmas



I don’t know about you, but each year I struggle to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas-the celebration of Christ’s birth and His perfect gift to us.  I get distracted by the superficial traditions, fretting over finding those perfect gifts and worrying my boys won’t have enough or won’t like what they’re given.  I make lists for each child, checking them more than twice to make sure everyone gets an equal amount.  Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy giving gifts! But I worry the true meaning will lose out to the quest for more stuff.

In order to combat this, we try to incorporate traditions that put the focus back on Jesus.  On Christmas Eve, the boys and I bake a birthday cake for Jesus.  This picture is of my oldest son, Jacob, and the cake he helped decorate.  We read children’s books like God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren and others that explain that, while cookies and decorated trees and presents are wonderful, Jesus is the reason for our celebration.  We watch the movie, The Nativity, with our oldest son, and we all go as a family to see our living nativity at our church.  Recently, our pastor suggested that when we see Christmas lights, we think of Jesus, the Light of the World.  I explained this to my boys, and now whenever we see lights, my six-year-old says, “Look! I see Jesus!” Brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.

I’m always looking for new ideas.  How about you?  How do you and your family celebrate Jesus?

 Karen Kirst
The Reluctant Outlaw, LIH September 2011 Smoky Mountain Matches
The Bridal Swap, LIH March 2012 Smoky Mountain Matches
Smoky Mountain Christmas, LIH novella Christmas 2012

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Remembering...

Are you a collector?
 
I used to collect stamps and coins and every other imaginable thing a child finds to collect. But I have one collection (besides books) that I still cherish and add to every year—my Christmas ornaments.

Some of the ornaments were lovingly crafted by my children. Some commemorate births and anniversaries. Some I crafted. But most were gifts.

Why am I telling you this?!

Because one of those ornaments, the dove photographed below, became an important symbol in my debut Love Inspired Suspense, Deep Cover (September 2011).
 
The undercover cop hero had given the dove to the heroine when they’d dated previously, saying, A soaring dove to remind you God is watching over you when I can’t be. She hung it from her rearview mirror. After the hero left her, it became a reminder that she needed to lean on God alone.

Later after the heroine’s world has crashed around her, and quite literally around the dove in the car, the hero sets out to rescue and return the gift as a symbol of God’s protection where he failed.

As I opened my box of Christmas ornaments this year and pulled out that dove, I was reminded of the story thread it inspired, and more importantly of the truth behind it. That God is watching over each one of us. We may not always feel that He is, but if we’ve surrendered our hearts to him, He has promised to never leave us.

My prayer is that each one of you will experience His love in a richer way this season.

As a special gift to my readers, I’ve generated some novel “Extras”. Think DVD extras, except for a novel. Things like deleted scenes, bloopers etc. You are all invited to hop over to my website and check them out. There are also two free recipe books you can download, and for my newsletter subscribers, a bonus Christmas story. 

Your turn: Do you have an interesting or unusual collections?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the Season for Folly


Last week I baby-sat my two youngest granddaughters (ages 2 and 4) for a few hours. I thought we could do a Christmas project together. I picked an ambitious one--building a gingerbread house. That actually might not have been a bad idea if I had made one before Friday. I hadn't so that was my first problem. As you can see from the above picture, I had several problems. It was a house for about ten minutes then began falling apart.

My second problem was how do you get a 2 and 4 year old not to eat the icing or piece of candy while trying to make the gingerbread house? By the time they were through they were on a sugar high. While I was helping one, the other one was stealing a lick of the icing.

Third problem: I didn't plan for how messy two little girls could get. Right after we made the house or should I say tried to make the house, I had to take my four year old to pre-K. Not only did I have to clean the girls up, but myself and my kitchen table. I still have frosting on the glass table. Not easy to clean up. And then that sugar high kicked in and they were not cooperating on getting ready to leave so I could take my granddaughter to school. What kind of projects have you done with your child or grandchild that didn't quite turn out how you expected?

With all that said, doing things with your family makes Christmas special and I had so much fun doing the gingerbread house (sent it home with them to eat). This is what I try to portray in my Love Inspired book for December called His Holiday Family. This is the first story in the series called A Town Called Hope about a town that recovers from a hurricane and comes together to rebuild.


Blurb for His Holiday Family:

When Hurricane Naomi tears through a small Mississippi town, a daring rescue unites two heroes. Nurse Kathleen Hart is a single mom racked by guilt over her husband's death. Firefighter Gideon O'Brien—orphaned as a young boy—has lost too many people he cared for. To rise above the storm's devastation, Gideon helps Kathleen and her sons rebuild their home. As Christmas approaches, they discover that even the strongest of storms can't destroy a romance built on the foundation of faith.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Duty to Protect by Roxanne Rustand

Today we're welcoming Emma White, the heroine of DUTY TO PROTECT, by Roxanne Rustand, a December, 2011 Love Inspired Suspense. Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense.

Honestly? my whole life has meant living on the edge. From when I was orphaned as a kid, to when I was adopted by an older couple. They were never warm and doting people, but they gave me security--until they landed in a witness protection program. From then on we all lived in fear that was sure justified--my adoptive mom was killed in a suspicious accident, and just recently, my dad was murdered in a grocery store parking lot. After that, I had to run for my life.

2. So, during the book you met Jake Kincaid. Tell us a bit about him/her. What was your first impression? I used to love watching old westerns on the TV. The idea of good conquering evil, the guys in the white hats prevailing, filled me with longing for justice and safety in my own life. I never thought I'd meet a cowboy hero of my own, but there he was--I was on the run, and he swooped in to save a little boy from being hit by a drunk driver who'd pulled in way too fast in a parking lot. With my pursuers closing in I had to find a way to escape, and I took a chance with Jake. I used to think that God had forgotten about me. But that night? I know it was more than mere chance that I ran into Jake Kincaid.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness? I think all of us have a strong will to live, but my background taught me a lot of about developing survival skills, and as tough as it was, it did make me strong and determined. My weakness? Definitely, a lack of trust.

4. What scares you? Anyone I don't know--because the drug cartel that wanted to wipe out my family was both wealthy and resourceful. They could hire anyone to come after me. Someone I didn't recognize could show up out of the blue.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I'm working on it. I would love to be able to lose that instinctive shiver of dread when I encounter someone new…or see a suspicious looking stranger across the street. My first response is to turn tail and run, but that is no longer necessary…I hope.

6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?

As I said before, I was sure God had forgotten about me. Losing my biological and adoptive parents was pretty devastating. How many people face those kinds of losses, along with the absence of any kind of stable home? I never had friends, either, because in a life on the wrong it's hard to get close to anyone. I thought I was all alone in the world.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?

I came to realize that God had been with me every step of my journey--keeping me safe,ultimately guiding me to the one man in this world who is so perfect for me. My faith is deepening every day now, and I feel like a different person.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.

When I first read this verse, it was as if God was speaking directly to me. I wish I'd had it to hold close to my heart since I was a child.

It is: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for what he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ." Philippians 4: 6-7.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?

I'm finally living out my dreams, now. With a secure and happy home, and people who love me. And what's more evocative of that than apple pie ala mode?