Sunday, September 29, 2013

Back to Basics

I finally got a picture of me and my lovely agent, Rachelle Gardner! We've been working together for three years and this is the first picture I have of us together. :)

She's a wonderful agent and encouragement to me, always seeking to help me grow as a writer and shape my career.

With some projects headed out the door to editors, it's time to re-evaluate what I'm doing and if what I'm doing is in line with the career goals I've set. I'm not as productive as I have been in the past, and as I desire to return to consistent productivity, I'm headed back to basics.

In years past, it was my custom on this blog to post my monthly goals at the beginning of each month and evaluate how I'd done on the previous month's goals.

I've gotten out of that practice, and as a result, I don't set quantifiable goals, nor do I know if/when I've met them.

So, I'm going to lay out a few goals for the month of October.

1. Finish the proposal for The Cactus Creek Challenge except for the sample chapters.

2. Finish writing Trouble's Brewing. This will be quite a feat, as I have about 35K more words to put on this story.

3. Prepare for NaNoWriMo. I'd love to write 50K words on The Cactus Creek Challenge in November.

How about you? Do you have some goals for October? Are you a goal-setter?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Super Sale!

Right now on Amazon Kindle, Golden States Brides is just $.99! I'm privileged to be in this collection with my good friend and writing buddy Keli Gwyn. Her novel in this collection is just delightful! Here's a bit about her book A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, CA:

An ever-resourceful widow, Elenora Watkins arrives in El Dorado ready to
go into partnership with Miles Rutledge. When he refuses, Elenora
becomes the competition across the street. Is this town big enough for
the two of them? Miles can't help but stick his well-polished boot in
his mouth whenever he comes face-to-face with Elenora. Can he find a way
to win her heart while destroying her business? Miles's mother, Maude,
is bent on Elenora becoming her new daughter-in-law while Elenora's
daughter, Tildy, thinks Miles would make a perfect papa. How far will
these meddlers go to unite this enterprising pair?

And here's a bit about my book A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, CA:

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

Two Full-Length Romances for just under a dollar! You can't beat that! :) Grab your copy today! Click in the title below to jump to the page where you can purchase the kindle version:

Golden States Brides:

Bask in two historical romances from sunny California. A willful widow and a determined merchant find themselves fighting for a town’s business—and against their growing attraction. Who will win this contest of wills? A Harvey Girl waits on doughboys and meets a local horse breeder whom the townsfolk have branded a coward and profiteer. Will pride keep them forever apart? Are they destined for golden love, or will the sun set on romance?

Sunday, September 08, 2013

A Log Cabin Christmas Re-release!

Barbour Books is re-releasing A Log Cabin Christmas Collection!!! See the nifty sticker in the upper left? New York Times Best-seller! Squee!

To celebrate the re-release of this 9-story anthology, the authors are giving away a mega-cool gift basket!

Included in the gift basket are Christmas ornaments, scented candles, books, a Christmas dvd, note cards, scented coasters, candy, and a quilted Log Cabin pattern table runner. We'll also be including a copy of A Log Cabin Christmas signed by all nine authors!

If you'd like to be entered in this drawing, it's EASY-PEASY! Just click HERE. Read the post, scroll down, and follow the instructions. There are lots of ways to get your name entered, and you can find out more about the authors, the stories, and the giveaway.

Again, the link to enter the contest is

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Friday Five

This picture is of my baby boy, Jamester, when he was three. He's climbing the red bud tree in my parents' front yard, the tree we planted the day we brought my baby brother, Nathan, home from the hospital...when I was three.

Last week marked my son's first days attending the local community college as part of his last year of high school. Hard to believe he's a senior! I remember my first days as a college student. The excitement, the nerves, the new friends, the classes, etc.

So, this week's Friday Five is five things I remember from my first days at college:

1. The packing and shopping. I took a major trip to Wal-mart before I left for college, buying myself towels and sheets and cleaning supplies. I don't think I'd ever spent so much on myself ever before!

2. The confusion of the bookstore. Searching for all the books I needed for my classes. In high school, I showed up, the books were handed out to us, and that was it. Here I was buying, in some cases five or six books for each class!

3. A new roommate. (Waving to Patti!) I hadn't had a roommate for awhile, since my older sister got her own room. I was nervous and excited to have a roomie, and Patti was very easy to live with.

4. Orientation. Picnics, amusement parks, Royals baseball games, and lecture after lecture on how to be a college student. My daughter's college continues the orientation/first year experience for the first quarter to half of the year, but my college had a week of orientation, then you were on your own.

5. Meeting my future husband. I met Peter the second week of college. We began dating at Christmastime, and two years later we got married. :)

What do you remember about your first days of college?

Sunday, September 01, 2013

A Sure Foundation

This summer, my husband has been working on installing retaining walls and a patio in our backyard. The work is hot, heavy, and takes patience and planning. He has been particularly careful about the bottom row, checking with his level, spreading first big rocks, then smaller rocks, then pea rock to pack in a firm foundation to set the retaining wall block upon. He knows that if he makes a mistake setting the bottom row in place, if it isn't level and solid, the entire wall gets worse the farther you go up. If the wall isn't set on something solid, like a rock base, eventually it will sink and sag.

There are so many analogies that can be made, but one springs quickly to mind.

All of our lives are built on a foundation of what be believe. If what we believe is based upon something that isn't true, that isn't solid, that isn't real, then we have a faulty foundation that will eventually cause our lives to tilt off course and crumble. Yet, if our lives are set in the solid rock of Scripture and what it tells us about ourselves and about Jesus, our lives will be true and firm and stand under the most intense pressure from outside.

Matthew 7:24-27 says: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”