Thursday, May 30, 2013

Inspiration for The Silver Locket Sisterhood series...

This was sent to me by a very dear friend back in January 2003. I was writing fanfiction at the time, with no thought of writing my own stories.

I started Luck in Love and toyed with the idea of going further.

I wrote A Promise of Possibilities.

Ideas bubbled, and here I am.

Amazing what a little inspiration will accomplish when you follow where He leads.

"Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.  One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next study.

That week the woman visited a silversmith.  As she watched him work, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up.  He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.  The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot, as she thought again about the verse in Malachi.

She asked the smith if it were true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.  The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire.  If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment.  Then she asked, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

The smith smiled and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- I know it is ready when I see my image in it.'

If you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you; He will not let you burn so that you are destroyed, but He will keep watching you until He sees His image in you."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Conversation posted on FB last Monday...

Richard: Pray tell, what is Mark doing in the corner.
Eric: Relaxation exercises.
James: I beg your pardon?
Jack: Do keep up James. He does them whenever he's out of sorts.
Richard: Whatever for?
Jack: He's leaving us.
James: Indeed.
Eric: Already? I only just arrived!
Jack: Look sharp.
Richard: Before a cat can lick its ear.
Eric: Excuse me?
James: You're confusing him.
Jack: It's English.
James: Regency English.
Eric: Oh. So I need to learn Regency English to hang out here?
Richard: It would be helpful.
Jack: Or recruit another contemporary hero.
James: Indeed, because you're about to lose this one.
Eric: Where's he going?
James: Do you want to tell him, Jack?
Jack: Why me? You've been here longer.
James: True enough, but you enjoy spilling the bag.
Eric: Spilling the bag?
Richard: Revealing secrets.
James; Not to worry, Eric. We'll have you speaking a second language in no time.
Eric: I don't need any help, thanks. She already has me learning Thai.
Richard: Learning what?
Eric: Thai, the national language of Thailand, in the Orient.
Jack: Do tell.
Eric: I don't know much more than that.
Jack: Curiouser and curiouser.
Eric: What of Mark?
James: Yes, well, tomorrow is a very big day.
Richard: Indeed. The biggest.
Jack: He'll be on his merry way or is that marry way?
Mark: Stubble it, Jack.
James: Well done, Mark. Excellent bit of Regency.
Richard: He's to be caught in Parson's Mousetrap?
Eric: Stop! Speak English!
Jack: It is English, Eric. And glaring at me does not change it.
Mark: Hang in there, Eric. Don't take Jack too seriously. He's a bit of a troublemaker from the start but harmless.
Jack: I'll show you harmless.
Mark: Too late. I'm out the door any moment.
Eric: You're leaving?
James: Lucky man is being published, tomorrow.
Eric: You're ready?
Mark: It was a perilous road, but I'm ready.
Eric: Congratulations.
Richard: Godspeed.
James: God bless your journey.
Jack: May the wind be at your back.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend... Some Gave All...

On Monday, we remember those who gave all so the rest of us could enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I found this on FB:

There are also four-legged heroes who give all:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gail R. Delaney's Janis...

Phoenix Rising follows the Phoenix Rebellion series. Beloved characters are back and adding more. Breathtaking, heart wrenching, intense, sprinkled with humor.

I came into the Phoenix series after all four Rebellion books were out, so I was able to read one after the other. Nothing else was done during those few days. I thought about waiting to start the Rising series until it was complete, but I simply couldn't resist. When the opportunity presented itself, I dove right in. My only complaint: I don't want to wait for the rest!

Please don't ask me to choose a favorite book or character in the Phoenix series. There are action heroes and heroes who work behind the scenes. There are women who know how to fight and women who prefer to avoid fighting. You never know when a secondary character will become a main character. Some characters are evil but many more are good. Some have a clear view of their way and others are conflicted.

I'm not someone who only reads one genre. I look for authors I love to read and then read everything they write because their stories are engaging and their characters resonate with me. Gail R. Delaney is on my favorite authors list.

And wherever ebooks are sold.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Links to check out...

I was inspired by another post over at Writers In The Storm:
They also shared a bit of practicality, ie, estate planning for writers:
And another about success and survival in the romance industry Part I and II:

Patty Froese hosts Marcy Dyer... warmed my heart...

I love Brenda Whiteside's example of adapting...

A.R. Norris shares her struggle with finding balance in her life:

Barri Bryan takes a trip down memory lane, sharing her heroes:

For a bit of humor, check out J. Morgan's blog this week:

So many blogs... so little time...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Notice to visitors to my blog...

For some unknown reason, a popup requests authentication saying that this is The log in request pops up whenever you click on anything on my blog.

It is not.

Cancel the request for the log in.

It doesn't seem to change the appearance of anything, but it is an annoyance

Interestingly enough, it has stopped. Thanks, God!

Mark's lesson...

...on the language of flowers.

I grew up learning about the specific colors.

Red is for love and passion.
Yellow is for friendship. It also has other less noble meanings, but I'm sticking with friendship.

Then I started doing research for Mark's Grace. I ended up deciding to keep it simple.

Whole books are written on the language of flowers. A single bouquet could be an entire letter. Not only color but variety determines the message.

Sneak peek: I created a Pinterest board for Mark's Grace (You don't need to sign up to look):
Or copy and paste the addy, as there seems to be a glitch with the link setup from blogger.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How I met Mark...

Mark Callaghan was not even on the horizon when Grace came into being. I knew Grace needed a special hero, but I figured I had plenty of time.

On February 4, 2012, I attended the Glendale Chocolate Affaire and met Jimmy Thomas:

By this time, I knew when Mark's Grace was due. I decided the curator played a far more important role than I first gave him. Mark slowly took shape. When I met Jimmy I knew how I wanted Mark to make Grace feel. He revealed himself much more quickly than Grace did once he knew he was in.

I did not expect him to become such good friends with Luck, in Luck in Love. More surprising was how he appeared in Luck in Love while Grace did not. Mark was bold and very much "what you see is what you get." Since Jimmy was the inspiration for Mark, I borrowed a little bit more. I don't usually use a specific person for my characters. I want people reading the book to be able to visualize their own hero. Mark is my exception. If you want to know what he looks like take a look at Jimmy Thomas, businessman extraordinaire.

Mark is also uniquely his own man. My characters frequently surprise me. I think I know them, and they tell me a secret, something they've never told anyone else. Something that makes them who they are, and once I know, everything about them falls into place.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Grace's recipes and a little bit more...

Lavender Pancakes:
1 cup Pancake Mix (yes, an add water mix, keep it simple)
3/4 cup buttermilk instead of water*
The dried petals of one stalk of lavender blossom (preferably no crunchy stems).

Mix until blended.

Cook as usual.

*When I've had lite syrup from canned peaches or pears, I've used the syrup and made up the difference with milk.

Buttermilk Syrup (as given to me by my aunt):
1/2 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons corn syrup

In a 3 quart pan, bring to a boil.
Boil 7 minutes stirring constantly (don't want it boiling over, it makes a mess).
Remove from heat.
Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour over pancakes.

And a little bit more, if only every little girl learned this, better late than never:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How I met Grace...

Grace Williams appeared in Luck in Love not as an actual character but as a person of influence in her brother's life. I thought I knew Grace and her story. She was the inspiration for Luck's award-winning triptych "The Savior's Gift." I knew her story was painful. My PLAN (my BFF likes to remind me it's a four-letter word and trecherous because once you say the word your cherished plan will change without your consent) was to write Grace's story in a few years.

As Luck in Love developed, Grace's story wiggled in the back of my brain. It wasn't uncomfortable, so it was easy to brush off. I'd tackle it, later. I did know enough to know it would be a difficult story to write. The PLAN was to put it off until I was better prepared.

God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the called.

When I wrote my proposal for the series, I already had a contract for 3 books over a year and a half. That would give me plenty of time to work on Grace's story. I figured the next series would be tacked on after the first series was finished. I blissfully sent in the proposal. I was offered the contract to publish the vintage series interspersed with the Regency series.

I signed.

Suddenly, Grace's story wasn't down the road a piece. It was NOW.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Beginning of May post picks...

Jude Urbanski hosts Danielle Thorne:

The Balanced Writer blog returns the favor hosting Jude Urbanski:

J. Morgan's Giggles, really, in a fun interview with Jillian Chantal and her recent release:

The Cuffe Sisters are having a contest. You have until Monday to enter:

Barbara Scott tackles a very difficult subject in a short article, The Treatment of Mental Illness in American History:
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I was already familiar with the barbarism so I wasn't surprised by what I read. Even so, it was a little difficult to read the inhumane treatment of people who were diagnosed as mentally ill. I've also done a bit of research of the early institutions in England. I suspect the American institutions weren't too very different in some aspects, though some of the practices weren't mentioned in Barbara's article. Heartbreaking.

I loved A.R. Norris' snapshot of a writer's life, the one where we're trying to go to sleep and stuff pops into our head and wakes us up because we must write it down, and the next thing you know...

The Cuffe Sisters also started an inspirational blog with various writers sharing articles and short stories:

Almost 5,000 words written yesterday. One more chapter and done. Then off to my reader/editor/feedback/cheerleader to check for holes, inconsistencies, suggestions. What's important to note is that I didn't think I would write that much in one day. I was wrong. I'm okay with being wrong.

Enjoy your week! God bless.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

National Day of Prayer...

I admit, I'm kind of new to the National Day of Prayer. Yes, it's been around for 62 years, but I didn't know about it.

Or perhaps it's more a case of I knew about it but didn't pay much attention. I pray every day, so what was so special about this?

As I've grown older and wiser (I hope on the latter), I recognize more clearly Matthew 18:20:

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Perhaps it's a matter of having had more opportunities to pray for friends and friends of friends far away. When all else is beyond my capabilities to do anything helpful, I am able to join my prayers with the prayers of others.

Sometimes, the hoped for outcome doesn't happen. Sometimes the outcome far exceeds anything we hoped for. In all cases, there is a sense of lending aid, no matter how small, and trusting God a little bit more.

God bless.