Friday, November 21, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Barbara Phinney

Barbara stood at the edge of the 3rd largest canyon near
Kruger National Park in South Africa. She and her
daughter had fun taking selfies to remember this moment.
Today I welcome author: 
Barbara Phinney

To win a copy
of Barbara's new release,
Protected By the Warrior

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

I enjoy meeting authors. Right from our first communication, I sensed Barbara's sweet spirit and have enjoyed getting to know her better over the past several months. I asked Barbara to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:


How has God led my writing journey? That is actually a difficult question to answer. I have always loved writing romance, but it wasn't until I received a few rejections from my publisher that God took over. You see, my editor called me and asked me if I would like to write for a different line. Instantly, I answered, "How about Love Inspired?"
I hadn't considered Love Inspired at all until that moment. My editor lit up like a Christmas tree. She thought that was a wonderful idea. Then it hit me. "Love Inspired? Can I write that kind of book?"
I prayed, asking for God’s guidance, and as I began to put together a synopsis, I knew I could write one. Love Inspired has a long list of requirements that can deter a lot of writers. Not me, though. I found I had no trouble writing inside that fence. All right, there have been times I nibbled at the grass on the other side, but not to worry, my editor reined me in!
After having five Love Inspired Suspense books published, I wanted to switch to writing historicals. I'd been to Colchester, England, and fell in love with the Norman period. Its foundation is still strong there. I’d always loved the genre, so I submitted a medieval story. This was a rather large risk because many historical readers prefer Midwestern, Victorian, or Pre-War stories. While Medievals are not as popular as they were when I was a new writer, God helped me write a wonderful tale that my Christian agent loved and passed on to my editor. She also loved it. I received a contract for two more books. Thus, my Warrior series was born! 

I still look back and marvel at how subtle and how right God has been in my writing journey.

"We were driving along at the Cape of Good Hope
and slowed down to see they guy. We were close
enough to pet but not willing to stick out our hands!
Barbara enjoys creative activities, and with her grown children having left the nest, she's getting even more creative. She has written romance for over 10 years, mostly with Harlequin, and enjoys writing suspenseful stories that inspire, uplift and entertain.

Barbara lives with her husband and some barn cats in Southern New Brunswick, Canada and plans to travel and write even more.

You can connect with her on: 
Facebook  Barbara Phinney 

Barbara's new release: Protected by the Warrior
When Clara became a midwife, she vowed to preserve life above all. She'll keep that vow, even if it means defying a Norman baron by hiding a Saxon slave and her child. Yet when the ruthless lord threatens Clara's village—and her life—she's forced to rely on another Norman to keep her safe.
Kenneth D'Entremont is a soldier, one who takes lives instead of healing them. Clara despairs of finding any common ground with him. But when he begins guarding her, she learns to see him in a new light. His care and compassion make her feel safe…even loved. Can she bring herself to put her secrets, and her heart, under the protection of the warrior?

To enter the contest for  
Barbara Phinney's book: "Protected by the Warrior"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

sorry, US only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Barbara, for Joining us This Weekend!

Don't forget to comment!

Sometimes we fall into a rut with what we are doing. We feel God nudging us in another direction and wonder if this is what we should be doing. Like riding against the waves to get to the best serf. Barbara found her best serf and seems to be enjoying the ride! 

Reader, Take a moment to leave Barbara a word of encouragement 

And me a howdie-do, I love to chat with you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Preparing for Our Loved Ones

Do you have your thanksgiving plans all in order? We have one week left.

Neither do I.

Holidays are the events I generally never consider plans complete even as we sit down to celebrate. If I did, I might close the door on someone who at the last minute is able to come. Perhaps a family member is not able to leave for their destination and needs to stay another night.

My daughter and I discussed the menu, we included favorites, some she didn't like (yams), and some I didn't like (three bean casserole). But each item is loved by someone who might be here for Thanksgiving.

Boyfriends, girlfriends, anyone in need of a family willing to share Thanksgiving is invited. 

I love a crowded kitchen, raising a bowl of mashed potatoes over the head of someone who walked into my path, every burner on the stove in use, every inch of counter space occupied with preparations, conversation, laughing, singing. This is Thanksgiving.

Extra chairs are brought from every corner of the house, including the dreaded pinching chair (one of those old wooded folding chairs that always snaps when someone sits the wrong way), the stools, desk chairs, and piano bench. The table is opened to the max and two table clothes are needed to cover the entire surface. There isn't room for all the food so biscuits and cranberry sauce are set on the little antique dresser grandma gave me.

While last minute preparations are made, someone plays the piano, usually a few verses of Heart and Soul and other silly songs. It takes a loud whistle to call everyone to the table.

We crowd around the table and wait for my husband to give the blessing. Every voice is quite. Every head bowed.

Once the Good Lord receives our gratitude, the bowls and platters are passed and the conversation starts again. 

I prefer the white meat and cranberry sauce, then go light on the other goodies. 

The bowls are emptied and stomachs are full, but who can't squeeze in a piece of pie? 

Jesus said He is preparing a place for us. We are also told there will be a banquet in heaven. Sometime life gets disturbing and wears our spirits down. We ask, why won't Jesus hurry and come back for us?

The answer is this: because He is waiting for the last person who is willing to come. The last one who will accept God's gift. He knows who that person is. Maybe it is a loved one of yours from the future.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  

This post has been brought to you by the  one word: Preparation

How about you, are you prepared for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Then He Smiled At Me

To me the holiday seasons officially begins when the radio stations start playing Christmas music AND snow is on the ground.

Well, the holidays have begun here.

The radio is playing Christmas music in the background and light flakes of gentle falling snow are sprinkling. (I took this photo seconds ago) To top off the lightness in my heart, I am writing this on Sunday. God's day. What more could I ask?

What a huge contrast from yesterday. The drive to visit my mother takes 3 hours, typically. I sat in a parking lot on the expressway (I75) behind millions of semis, pick ups, and cars. We sat so long I turned the engine off, which made me cold. I played ten games of solitaire while sitting. (I hate sitting) Eventually the traffic rolled forward inch by pokey inch. Hours dragged slower than the night before Christmas. 

The car heater dried out my sinuses, and of course I forgot to bring something to drink. 

Last night, my sinuses told me what they thought about the whole me...they were NOT happy. 

To top off my unhappy muscles begging to get out of the car and my not being able to breathe well, I didn't receive some hopeful news. The results of a writing contest had been announced. I am so happy that one of my friends did get the word....but I didn't. 

That's when I melted like a snowman in June. My rough and tough, keep the chin up, buck up, move forward attitude was a puddle of water.

Like Elijah who just lost it in the wilderness after running scared from Jezebel, God knew I needed something happy to yank me away from my pit of despair. 

My teen daughter came home from work later that night. She asked to watch a favorite show of ours. We laughed--well, I sorta did. For her sake. Then I told her about the news I didn't hear. 

Without skipping a beat she rattled off the perfect funny line and tagged on her beautiful smile. She reached her arms around me and gave me a hug.

That was all it took. 

The funk disappeared. Poof.

I am no fool. I know the author of that moment. 

God used my sweet teen to give me exactly what I needed. 

I had a few extra minutes this morning to do this post. I didn't have to ask God for an idea. He gave it to me when "The Little Drummer Boy" played on radio station in the background. The drummer boy had no gift except his tune. And then He smiled at him. Bah rum pah pah pum.

I may not have placed in the writing contest, but God is still willing to smile at me.

And He is smiling at you, too. No matter what is happening. Good, bad, or just down right stinky. 

God loves us.

I hope you have a sunny, spring in your shoe day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature- Anne Mateer

Today I welcome author: 
Anne Mateer

To win a copy
Playing By Heart

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

I recently attended one of the fun Facebook parties for new book releases. Anne was at the party. I learned so fun stuff about her, but when I asked Anne to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey, I was so extra moved. This is a story you will enjoy. Here is what she said:

God Used Grandma's Story

How has God led me on my writing journey? That is a question I began asking myself very early on in my serious quest for publication, so I created a file titled My Writing Journey to record my various ups and downs in hopes of seeing Gods hand in it all.

You see, Id known I wanted to write fiction since middle school, but I didnt begin a serious pursuit of both the craft and the business until 2000. That year one of my grandmothers passed away and I began to wonder if I could write a piece of her story as a novel. I took an online writing class through UCLA, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldnt make my idea work. I finally set it aside and wrote a different story, but the original idea never left my head.

Through the years I researched various aspects of that story, but I also worked on other things, even finding a bit of success in short story publications and reaching contest finals. In fact, by the time I finished my fourth novela contemporary womens fiction storyId almost completely left my love of historical fiction behind, believing the Lord meant me to travel a different path.

But even as I put finishing touches on that contemporary novel, readying it to submit to another contest, I received a brochure in the mail. A history symposium, several of the workshops centered around history in my city during the years of WWI. With my grandmothers story, which took place during the influenza epidemic of 1918 still hovering at the back of my mind, I signed up to attend. I learned amazing things that dayfacts I wrote down and filed away before I got back to my real work.

That workshop happened in January of 2008. A few months later, I received word that Id reached the finals in ACFWs Genesis Contest with my womens fiction. Little did I know the devastation that awaited me. Not only did I not win that category, but my friend and roommate at the conference did! As soon as the awards banquet ended, I raced to the prayer room. In the empty darkness of that place I poured out my heart to God. He sent an amazing author to minister to me that evening, an author who told me her story of publication in historical fiction. So very clearly the Lord whispered to my heart, Its time.

I returned home and pulled out the notes from the symposium Id attended nine months earlier and suddenly I knew how to frame my grandmothers story! A few weeks and several thousand words later, I hit send to enter my historical story in the Genesis contest. As before, I received news that Id reached the finals. (This was actually my 3rd time to finaleach one in a different category!) But this time something new occurred soon after: an email from an editor at Bethany House asking to see the full manuscript!

Two years later, that book became my first published novel, Wings of a Dream. I love how the Lord led me from learning how much I didnt know about writing in 2000 to receiving a contract for that very book in 2010. It wasnt a straight road. It took lots of curves and apparent changes of direction. But I believed then and I certainly know now that God was leading every step of the way.

He will take you where He wants you to go, even if the path doesnt look like it will arrive at that destination. But in the meantime, besides learning more about writing I also learned that the only destination I wanted to arrive at was the one He had planned. Looking back, I see that the Lord led my writing, yes. But He also led me closer to Him. And thats the only journey with a truly worthwhile destination.

Anne Mateer has a passion for bringing history to life through fiction. She is the author of 4 historical novels, a 2013 Carol Award finalist and also has a contemporary Christmas short story in the upcoming release A Cup of Christmas Cheer II. Anne and her husband live in Dallas and are the parents of three young adult children.

Learn more about and contact Anne at:
Anne's Website:
Google Plus: +Anne Mateer 
Twitter: @AnneMateer

Playing By Heart
Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.

Click Here to buy Playing By Heart 

To enter the contest for a copy of 
Anne Mateer's book: "Playing By Heart"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry, US only for the book give away 

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Anne, for Joining us This Weekend!

What a great post.

Please leave Anne a word of encouragement or just say howdy-do in the comment section. We love chatting with you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Foundation is Finally Up

I have waited a long time..

Plotted and planned...

Watched others and learned...

Asked for help, a critical eye...

Then modified.

I have floundered, debated, and found a place to settle.

The building blocks are all in place and the mortar has dried. 

I now have the gathering place--my official author's website.

This website: 
**Defines the type of writing I enjoy
**Links all the blogs I write for, 
**Will someday advertise my published books (You will be the first to hear! Well maybe the 
          second. I'll tell my family, first.)
**And provide all the great things an established author gives.
         (I hope to be one someday)

Would you like to see it? I'm so excited. 

If you click on the tab at the top of my website that says "My Blogs" then click on "Let's Talk", you will be able to come back here. Isn't that awesome?

I'm still trying to figure out how to link the website with my Facebook, Twitter, etc. I have time to keep learning this and more. As I do, you will see this website blossom.

I found the button to follow the website. The company automatically did it for me. Since this is a website and not a blog, there won't be many updates to clog your email. Consider signing up for the updates.

And now the unveiling: (click the link to go there)

I took this photo while driving through the Wyoming mountains. And yes, this storm was as scary to drive through as it looks. 

So, what do you think?

One last bit of news. Do you want to know what my latest manuscript is about? It truly has been the best project I've worked on to this point. 

      Liz Tomlin’s shortcut home through the alley after school introduces her to homeless girls her age. She shares food and chats for the ten minutes they stay. It was a way to help the less fortunate and made her feel good.

On her walk home one day, though, Liz listens to a frantic voice mail from her mother. Someone was trying to kill her parents. Tires squealed in the background. Her father yelled to her mom to destroy the chip in the phone to protect Liz. Mom’s last words were, “Trust no one.”

There is much more. But you'll have to wait. Maybe--just maybe--this will be the book chosen by an agent and publisher.

So, what do you think? I've put a lot of time into making this website with a goal to make it the best start I can do. Do you have ideas, suggestions, thoughts, helps, an artist eye with a suggestion? I am the kind of person who prefers when someone tells me my slip is showing. LOL

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day- The Sacrifice For Others

Today we give honor to our veterans

photo courtesy of

What will we be doing today? 

Go to work. Read or listen to the news. Buy a few items at the store. Talk to a friend or family member on the phone. Catch up on social media. Do some chores at home, 

Life walks by. 

And it can.

Thankfully thousands of soldiers from the American Revolution to the military actions today have and are giving their lives to protect us.

Not everyone enters the military with the intent to give their life for their country, yet many find themselves in this position. Bullet whiz by. Land mine explodes. One soldier sees another injured and helps him. Another signals danger.

There is nothing glamorous about war. Soldiers from the past didn't know me, neither do soldiers who serve today.

Yet the result of their service is a gift to all Americans. One that allows us to go about our daily lives in peace.

Years ago, God sent his Son, Jesus, to go to battle to rescue us. We'd fallen into a mire with no hope or way of rescue. Jesus fought the fierce battle at Calvary and clearly had the edge. His victory gave us the freedom to choose heaven.

Jesus understands the hardships of battle. He knows the meaning of sacrifice and loss of life. And despite our sins, He listens and helps. Warns and protects. Comforts and encourages.

How did we start our day today? The alarm rang, we showered, dressed in clean clothes, ate breakfast, and went to work.

All the while the earth continued to turn, gravity functioned, the sun kept the temperature at a level we need, the water cycle, web of life, and other necessary functions for survival worked as God designed them to. 

To all the men and women who have and are serving in the United States military: Thank you for the freedoms you have insured for us.

To God, Thank you for taking care of us, listening, and providing the way for our eternal life.

Do you know someone who has served or is currently serving? Please honor them by putting either their first name and branch of service, or their connection to you in the comment section.

I'll start:
My dad - Army
My husband - Air Force
My brother - Marines
My brother-in-law - Navy

Let's honor those you know, too:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature- Ronie Kendig- Hawk

Today I welcome author: 
Ronie Kendig

To win a copy

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

Ronie has been so busy with her writing, I was delighted she took a break to visit with us. A new book release has so many obligations, I had to give her an espresso with steamed milk and caramel brulée flavored sauce topped with sweetened whipped cream and caramel brulée topping to keep her awake! JK :) I asked Ronie to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:

The Champions God Sent to Encourage Me

Writing is a journey that has stretched and pulled me, challenged me to grow and demanded I lean heavily on the Lord for strength, for wisdom, and for direction. I am not sure there is another career for me that has forced me dig deep inside for the true measure of surrender. 

The first time I really remember a need for surrender—a really deep surrender—was while writing Wolfsbane. The story has a pivotal scene that my tendency to please people overrode my instincts for the story. I grew afraid of public opinion and being ostracized, so much that I removed that element from the story. Then I felt chastised by the Lord and put it back in.

Then took it out again.

That’s when God sent some champions across my path who encouraged me to release my fears and let God do what He wanted with the story. So, the element returned to the story and I turned the book in. Wolfsbane went on to win a Christy Award, a “kiss” from the Lord, I believe, for obeying him.

Recently while writing Raptor 6, I was faced with a bone-deep form of surrender, writing about a heroine who told the hero that if she had given God control of her life, she had no say over what he did with it or how He directed her paths. That’s a really amazing and challenging way to live and write. And that’s my goal going forward. I want to be where Christ is because I know wherever He leads, that will be the best place.

An Army brat, Ronie Kendig grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.

It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990.  Married more than twenty years, Ronie and her husband, Brian, homeschool their children, the first of whom graduated in 2011. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family and their Maltese Menace in Northern Virginia.

Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie speaks nationally, volunteers with writer’s organizations, including American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and My Book Therapy, and mentors other writers.

Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have hit bestseller lists and garnered awards and critical acclaim, including:
             2012 Christy Award WinnerWolfsbane (Contemporary Romance)
             2013 HOLT Medallion Winner Trinity: Military War Dog (Best Book by a Virginia Author)
             2013 Selah Award Winner Firethorn (Fiction – Suspense)
             2013 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Winner - Trinity: Military War Dog (Romantic Suspense)

and the list goes on!

Learn more about and contact Ronie at:
Ronie's Website:
Twitter: @roniekendig


Raptor’s communications expert, Staff Sergeant Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe is struggling with his inner demons, leaving him on the verge of an “other than honorable” discharge. Plagued with corrupted intel, Raptor team continues to track down the terrorist playing chess with their lives. 

Afghan pilot Fekiria Haidary is devastated when a systems glitch on her aircraft forces a weapons launch on a safe target. And when the deadly bombing separates Brian from the team, he must make an impossible choice: save his brothers-in-arms, or save the woman and children depending on him to survive a brutal snowstorm.

Click Here to buy HAWK 

To enter the contest for a copy of 
Ronie Kendig's book: "HAWK"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry, US only for the book give away 

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Ronie, for Joining us This Weekend!

What a great post.

Please leave Ronie a word of encouragement or just say howdy-do in the comment section. We love chatting with you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!