Tuesday, April 30, 2013

End of April...

Where does the time go?

I keep a homemade calender beside my desk noting the month books are due to the publisher in red and when they are published in purple. It started with April, last year. My fourth book will be published this May.

Looking back over this year, would I change anything?

I've made a lot of changes in many different areas of my life. Some changes are complete, but most are a work in progress, with a lot of work left to accomplish.

Would I go back?


There is only forward. Sometimes, it's unsettling not knowing where the future leads, but it's less unsettling knowing God will be with me every step of the way, even when I become wrapped up in my worries and concerns and forget He is there, waiting for me to remember and reach for Him.

Every once in a while, it's good to step back, look back and look forward, and catch my breath and thank God for His love and patience and guiding hand.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Last post picks for April...

Writers In The Storm shared some helpful information for writers I never considered:

Patricia Johns shares a truthful post about writers...

Laurie Schnebly Cambell dips into writing a blurb over at Romance University:

Stephanie Burkhart is celebrating National Poetry month and featuring several authors:

The Cuffe Sisters are featuring Sharon Srock:

Kathleen Ball is hosting Jillian Chantal and her newest release:

Sue Perkins welcomes Tammy Lowe, along with a teaser for her book The Acadian Secret:

Enjoy your weekend and God bless.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Yesterday's FB conversation...

Jack: Benjamin, do tell, why is your brother pacing?
Benjamin: Why ask me and not him?
Jack: There is a look about him. I don't entirely trust it.
Benjamin: Surely you do not fear him.
Jack: Do not be impertinent.
Benjamin: Then why not ask him yourself?
Jack: I did not survive my past by playing the fool.
Benjamin: Ah, our lady is unearthing you.
Eric: He was buried?
Mark: She doesn't write those kinds of books.
Jack: Widgeon.
Eric: What did he call me?
Benjamin: Foolish.
Eric: Being new does not make a man foolish.
Jack: Opening his mouth and proving how new he is does.
Mark: Pot meet kettle.
Jack: When?
Mark: You do know our past conversations are archived on her blog?
Eric: They are?
Mark: Every single one, on pages titled Hunted on FB.
Benjamin: We hunt her?
Mark: Don't you want to know about your story?
Benjamin: Well, yes.
Jack: Haven't you pestered her to tell you?
Benjamin: Well, no.
Jack: No?
Benjamin: She will tell me when she is ready.
Jack: What is wrong with you?
Mark: Not everyone is as impatient as Jack.
James: Silence! You are distracting her!
Benjamin: Our regrets, brother.
Jack: I don't regret it.
Mark: Muzzle it, Jack.
Eric: Sorry.
Jack: Bah!
Mark: You're repeating yourself.
James: It matters not. Do not say another word. Not another word.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One of the toughest pet decisions...

Pets, as much as we would like them to, do not live forever.

I don't have to make this decision right now, but I have made it twice. Neither time was easy.


In Mark's Grace, coming out May 21, Grace worries about having to make the final decision. She's afraid to become a pet owner because she doesn't want to make the final decision.

Making the decision for my horse was difficult and yet not. He was deteriorating. When the vet told me he only had three grinders left and he would have to go to soupy alfalfa pellets, I knew it was time. This was my child who loved to eat. It was his joy in life. He'd had back pain and problems with colic his whole life. How could I take away one of his great joys?

I remember him pacing the fence when I brought his grain every morning. Hay was brought, and he was right there, first in line. I talked with my vet and my farrier and a lot with God.

It was an amazing experience letting him go, not easy, but I knew he was finally pain free.

My dog was a whole other story. I wish I'd had the list provided in the above article. I think it might have helped. It still wouldn't have been easy, but maybe I wouldn't have felt so much like I was guessing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Posts or blogs for this week's picks...

David Bond is a Desert Breeze author. He is an inspiration and going through difficult times. For updates:

Writers in the Storm posted a bit. I've said before writers expose far more of themselves than they ever do of those in their lives.

Jaclyn V. Di Bona has a new website, book reviews, very pretty:

Did you know it was National Dispatcher's Week? Now, you do.

Last day to make a comment on Sue Perkins' blog about reading and to be entered in her contest:

Petie McCarty posts about "Why research fiction?" over at Lynette Endicott's blog:

I spend countless hours researching everything from words to clothes to weather and pretty much everything in between.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Made me think...

A short essay was written about Christ being the Eternal Victim. I chose not to share my views at that time. I wanted to think about it first.

I have never viewed Jesus Christ as a victim. Yes, a victim is defined as someone who suffers from a destructive or injurious action. However, victim always creates in my mind a sense of powerlessness. Something was done to you that you could not control or change.

Jesus Christ was never powerless. He chose to endure what he endured. He chose it. He could have ended it at anytime by calling on the powers of Heaven. He knew the greater plan and chose to endure instead.

How does Jesus understand and wholly empathize with a victim?

Not because He was a victim but because He is perfect. He possesses perfect empathy. He knows what it is to be brutalized for no reason, to be rejected, to be hated, to be demonized. He also knows what it is to be betrayed, humiliated, abandoned, alone. He experienced hunger, thirst, weariness, and pain.

He endured every agonizing moment so that in those moments when we don't know how to reach for Him, He is able to reach into his perfect experience and share every hurt, every disappointment, every anger. Yes, even anger. He was angry at the desecration of His Father's house. He understands anger.

He endured Gethsemane, the trial, and the Cross so that when we loose our way, no matter how dark and filthy and ugly the way, He knows where to find us and is able to lead us back if we will choose to follow in His way.

He will not force us. He will love us no matter what. He will entreat us no matter how many times we turn away. He holds out His hands, the hands carved with His everlasting love for us. We need only turn to Him, reach for him, look at Him, and He will guide us to joy and peace, even in the midst of turmoil.

After all He went through, how could I possibly ever complain to Him, "It was too hard."

Instead, I'm learning to say, "Help me take the next step."

It is rarely what I expect.

It is always so much more than I ever imagined for myself.

How often I wished I could traverse this life with more grace.

I'm ashamed of that sentiment now.

Jesus Christ is my Savior, and His grace is all the grace I need.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I'm reading Tara Taylor Quinn's latest, The Truth About Comfort Cove. It's the third in the trilogy.

Whenever I read a TTQ book, I know it will take me longer than any other book of a similar length. I find myself stopping and thinking. Sometimes I have to put the book down and do a gut check for a few hours or even overnight.

When I started reading romance novels again, over 10 years ago, I approached it differently than I did when I first started reading them 25 years ago. The first time, I simply read whatever came my way. Some of it I liked, and some of it I hated. I figured it was a hit and miss kind of endeavor.

Ten years ago, my dearest friend offered to share one of her favorite authors with me. I enjoyed the book, and she sent me another by Diane Gaston. I was hooked. For the first time, I didn't search genre, as I always done in the past, I searched for authors. I know I've mentioned I have a very selective list.

When I started reading TTQ, it was the first time I knew I was reading an author who didn't simply write abuse survivors well, she knew. She graciously replied to several of my emails.

In this recent book, I realized it has been years since a man talked to me with any interest in wanting to know more about me, with the possibility of developing a relationship. To say I can be a bit off-putting would be a humungous understatement. I don't push away on purpose so much as habit.

Then her heroine explains that she likes men fine. She respects those she works with and with whom she has a professional relationship, like her accountant. Finally, she admits it's in her personal life she doesn't trust men.

I sat with it for a while.

I don't trust me.

I was taught to be subservient, to fawn, to do whatever I needed to do to please him no matter how much it cost me. I was worthless, so it shouldn't matter.

Some part of me never stopped believing I was worth more than I'd been lead to believe.

I know, now, I'm of worth, but I don't trust myself to hold to it when a man who captures my interest steps into my sphere. So I maintain a safe distance. I don't know how to change it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Posts to read this week...

Patricia Johns shares a delightful Easter morning miracle:

Beth Trissel shares a delightful piece on ducks:

Barri Bryan shares a bit of remarkable history:

I've also started following The Unknown Soldiers. It post stories honoring our men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in their duty to our country.

Debra Parmley's Cover Model Corner interview is with Charles Paz, Mr. Romance 2009:

And somehow I missed her interview with Len Gunn:

Found a new blog to follow: The Writer's Refuge.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hunted on FB on April 5th...

Jack: Who are you?
Benjamin: James' youngest brother.
Jack: James! Your brother's here!
Eric: Where is James? I haven't seen him in days.
Richard: Our lady's doing.
Benjamin: What is she doing?
Jack: James' re-write. I peeked. Must say I'm grateful I'm not him.
Benjamin: Difficult?
Richard: More like breakneck speed.
Eric: Sounds dangerous.
Jack: It is, but no matter.
Benjamin: A bit cold-hearted.
Richard: Mind your tongue, Benjamin. You don't know to whom you speak.
Benjamin: He's a Laurel Hawkes hero, like the rest of us.
Richard: Yes and no.
Eric: Didn't know she wrote about Elves.
Benjamin: Elves? There are Elves?
Jack: No! No Elves.
Benjamin: Why claim she wrote about Elves, then?
Eric: Because Tolkien wrote "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no."
Richard: It is nothing to do with Elves.
Jack: Pity.
Richard: Ehem. I was not giving contradictory answers but answer each point respectively.
Benjamin: Very confusing.
Jack: You'll grow accustomed to it.
Benjamin: I'm uncertain if I want to--
Eric: Too late.
Jack: Far too late.
Richard: Cheer up, Benjamin, it could be worse.
Benjamin: How?
Jack: She could have left you in the void, never thinking of you at all.
Benjamin: A dismal sounding prospect.
Richard: Don't mind Jack. He's a flare for the dramatic.
Jack: Bah!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Tribute...

...to my furry children.

I chose April 6th to celebrate my dog's birth. It's around the right time, maybe a little early, but who's to know for sure, and who would contradict me?

For many years, people would ask me if I had any children, and I always replied, "Yes, one. She barks and wags her tail." Then God saw fit to bless me with another furry child, and I would reply, "Yes, two. One barks and one neighs."

They've both been gone too many years. I still miss them terribly.

My dog was my angel child. Sweet as the day is long, as I used to say. Gentle. Happy. Trusting. Funny. Smart. Beautiful. Adorable. I was so proud to be her mama. She didn't care about the scars on my face or my extra weight. She didn't care about my lack of financial success. She didn't care about my lack of marital status. Truth be told, she preferred keeping me to herself. She went so far as to stand between me and visitors, staking her proprietary ownership of me. I shocked my counselor when he told me I couldn't count on my dog to protect me and I told him I didn't expect her to protect me. Protection was my job. Her job was to be my early warning system. She was around five years old when I taught her to bark at the doorbell and knocking. I often didn't hear it. She would alert me when someone came home, so I wasn't terrorized by the fact I thought I was alone and I wasn't. When we were out walking, she would notice the person coming up behind us before I did. She was 75 lb and stood a little taller than knee level. Mostly black, with a few spots of white on her chest, her toes, the tip of her tail, and her nose. Compact, svelte. How many times I wished I looked like her. She truly was one of the most beautiful dogs I've ever seen. I loved walking with her and having people comment, "Great bodyguard." I'd laugh and never tell them she was a marshmallow. She taught me so much.

My horse was... well, I told God I knew how to handle an angel child. What would I do with a problem child? He gave me my horse. As his previous owner like to say, "He was three-quarters Arab treachery and one-quarter American stubbornness." He was 3/4 Arabian and 1/4 Appaloosa. He was smart and not easily given to trust. People would ask me how I could always be so cheerful, and I was explain, "When you start every day shoveling sh** the rest of the day can only get better. Sort of puts life in perspective." For five years, I spent every morning going out to groom and grain him. As a child, I wanted to go horseback riding because I loved the sensation of flying on a horse. Nothing on the planet like it. My horse had back trouble. We didn't do a lot of riding. I missed it a little but not a whole lot. The relationship with a horse when he chooses you is unlike anything else. Going riding at a stable you choose the horse or have the horse chosen for you. Owning a horse, if the relationship is going to work, sooner or later the horse must choose you. It's an honor when he does.

They both made me a better person. Thanks God, for sharing a couple of angels with me.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Progress Update...

I'm doing a rewrite of Unexpected Possibilities. I've found continuity errors and plugged some plot holes. I'm much happier with it now. It's due June 1st. It will come out in October. I'll need to turn it in sooner as I'm attending a Reader's Conference at the end of May.

Saving Lisa is roughly mapped out. I'm becoming better acquainted with my characters. It's difficult to tell a story if you don't know your characters. It's due August 1st and will come out in December.

Jack and Richard are weaving themselves in my head. Jack is by far the most pushy and yet reserved character I've ever met.

Benjamin Thorn, the youngest Thorn, is also making more noises.

Back to work.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Email share...

This was sent to me by a very dear friend. I love this kind of stuff. I attempted to hunt down the author, with no luck. I found it posted at several blogs, including one who had been introduced to it in his pastor's newsletter, but no original author. It made me stop and think and cry...

Apples...    This is as good as it gets!!!

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago .. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly-missed boarding...

ALL BUT ONE!!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.

He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her; no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?"She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister...." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, "Are you Jesus?"

He stopped in mid-stride .... and he wondered. He gently went back and said, "No, I am nothing like Jesus - He is good, kind, caring, loving, and would never have bumped into your display in the first place.

"The girl gently nodded: "I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me gather the apples. He sent you to help me, so you are like Him - only He knows who will do His will. Thank you for hearing His call, Mister."

Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"

Do people mistake you for Jesus?

That's our destiny, is it not?To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day .

You are the apple of His eye even though you, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked up you and me on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Please share this, (IF you feel led to do so).

Sometimes we just take things for granted, when we really need to be sharing what we know....Thanks.

"Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect.
It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections."

The nicest place to be is in someone's thoughts,
the safest place to be is in someone's prayers,
and the very best place to be is ........
in the hands of God

Monday, April 1, 2013