Friday, December 6, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Cathleen Armstrong

Today I welcome 
Cathleen Armstrong,
a very kind and warm person. 

Enter to win Cathleen's 2013 release,
Welcome to Last Chance

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

 God directs us in man ways. While at the ACFW conference I met Cathy. She was so warm and sweet. When I heard she'd have a new release I immediately asked her to join us here on Let's Talk. Boy, was I happy when she said yes. I asked Cathleen to tell us how God led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

Roadmap Not Included

I have always loved roadmaps. Our car used to have a glove compartment full of them, and I would pull the appropriate one out to follow along whenever we took a trip, offering helpful—if not always entirely welcomed—suggestions and advice as we drove.

Of course, now the paper road map has gone the way of the paper phone book, and the road map, ever changing with our location, is imbedded in our dashboard. We can reduce it to find the narrowest street, or we can broaden it to see the highway system of the whole state. Very effective, even if my helpful advice isn’t as essential as if once was.

Have you ever thought about how efficiently Moses could have ushered those Israelites through the wilderness if God had handed him a roadmap with the staff? If he had said, “Here you go. Take this and head due east out of Egypt. Should take two, maybe three weeks tops.” But he didn’t. He said, “Follow.” He said, “Look for the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, and follow.” He said, “Put one foot in front of the other, and follow.”

And it didn’t take three weeks. It took forty years. But the people who finally crossed the Jordan were not a band of whining and grumbling slaves. They were a nation, ready to fight for and settle the land God had promised them.

I think I would have made a great Israelite. Without my roadmap, I may not actually be whining, “Are we there yet?”, but I’m thinking it. And God still says, “Follow, just keep your eyes on me and follow.”

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. When other kids talked about growing up to be doctors, or movie stars, I knew I wanted to be a writer. And I wrote, too. 

I wrote stories with very happy endings, poems with very tragic endings, and page after journal page plumbing the angst filled depths of my artist’s soul. But I still couldn’t find my way out of that wilderness to Writer Land. God said, “Just follow me.”

While my children were growing up, I still wrote. Only now I was writing articles for the church newsletter, skits for the missions conference, and commemorative verses when the pastor retired that brought a tear to more than one eye. But I still had no idea where to even begin looking for Writer Land. And truthfully? I began fear that, without that roadmap, I had missed the turn-off years ago. God said, “Just keep your eyes on me.”

Those Israelites must have been fast learners, relatively speaking. It only took them forty years to learn what they needed to know and get where they needed to go. It took me longer than that. But finally God said, “Get ready. Here we go!” And my first book was published. I had made it to Writer Land.

Of course, like the Israelites, I discovered that crossing that river didn’t mean going straight to heaven. It meant new, and different, and sometimes even frightening challenges.

And, oh, how I would love a roadmap! I want to know what lies ahead. I want to know how all this is going to play out in my life. I want to know what, and when, and how. And God lovingly continues to say, “ Keep your eyes on the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night. Put one foot in front of the other, and follow me.”

Cathleen Armstrong has lived in California for many years now, but her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives.. She and her husband Ed raised three children, and when they were grown, she returned to college and earned a BA in English. Today she and Ed live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their corgi. Their children and eight grandchildren continue to delight.

Welcome to Last Chance
(Available now)

The red warning light on her car dashboard may have driven Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico, but as she meets the people who make this one-horse town their home, it's her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. These people are entirely too nice, too accommodating, and too interested in her personal life--especially since she's on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.

Yet in spite of herself, Lainie is increasingly drawn into the small-town dramas and to a handsome local guy with a secret of his own. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?

One More Last Chance
(Available for Pre-order now. Releasing May 8)

Sarah Cooley has come home to Last Chance, New Mexico, for one reason--because it doesn't change. After an engagement gone bad with a man who wanted to change everything about her, Sarah is more than ready for the town whose motto may as well be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Chris Reed, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to spark some change in the little town. As the new owner of the Dip 'n' Dine, he's shaking things up to draw folks from all over the Southwest into his restaurant.

As it turns out, the winds of change are blowing into Last Chance--just not in the ways that Sarah or Chris might expect.

To learn more about Cathleen Armstrong go to:
To enter the contest for an autographed copy of 
Cathleen's book: "Welcome to Last Chance":
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.

Sorry  US  only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Cathleen, for Joining us This Weekend!

Reader: Have you ever been lost with a paper map? How about GPS? Tell us what you did.


squiresj said...

I am already a follower. How I got here. I would love to win and get to know this author's work.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Cathleen, I really enjoyed reading about your path to writer hood. Sounds like it was quite a journey. It's hard to believe those Israelites got off the track so many times, when they had such things as a cloud to follow by day and a fire to follow by night. Still they would get doubtful and turn away from GOD. So, is it any wonder we tend to get off the track from time to time. I am so glad our GOD is a forgiving GOD. I would love to win your book. Sounds good. Thanks Mary for having Cathleen here. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Jane! Welcome back. Sure hope you are having a wonderful advent season.
Enjoyed chatting with you today. Looking forward to your next visit.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Maxi!
So good to see you today. I've often thought the same as you and then thank God that I was not born then as an Israelite because I fear I would have done the same thing. Following the crowd even in a bad choice is too easy to do. We are blessed to have a loving God.
Looking forward to seeing you again.

Patty said...

I am always sure to print out paper directions before I go on a trip! I also have a map app on my phone, but still like to have something on paper. I don't know that I even have any maps in my glove compartment. I do have a US atlas that I usually throw in the car if going on a long trip.

I follow via GFC and subscribe by e-mail.


Anonymous said...

I remember the paper maps and still prefer to look at one! I always print out directions for myself when going out of town. Donna d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

Mary Vee Writer said...

I print out the directions, too. The only problems is...I usually leave them by my printer! Aaaaa!
And I don't have a smart phone.
Sure sounds like you are way more prepared than I am!
Good visiting with you today, Patty.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Donna!
I also love AAA's trip tiks because they warn about construction. We can now get those on line. Yeah!
Good seeing you Donna. Looking forward to your next visit.

rbooth43 said...

Since I lost my husband 12 years ago, I have printed out directions to places that i haven't been there before. If I didn't I would get lost! I love reading about small towns since I live in a southern small town!
rbooth43 at yahoo dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Rebecca!
So nice to see you again. I hope all is well with you. Small towns certainly have their appeal. I've lived in small, medium, and huge cities and can definitely say the small towns are my favorite. The problem I have when driving alone with a map in my hand is getting off on the right exit. Oh, and then realizing the exit I want is on the left side of the road instead of the right! Hah!
I'm sure looking forward to chatting with you again, Rebeccal.

bonton said...

Hi, Cathleen!

Enjoyed your post, & would love to read "Welcome to Last Chance"! Sometimes, it is hard to be patient & "wait upon the Lord". Growing up, I tended to be impatient, & want to do things "my" way. It took many years, like the Israelites, to learn the patience required to wait on Him, & that His way is ALWAYS the best way.

Thanks, Cathleen, & Mary, for the opportunity to win a copy of Cathleen's book.


I am a follower.+

Mary Vee Writer said...

Welcome back, Bonnie,
Haven't seen you in a coon's age. So happy you stopped back today.
I think we all had a hefty does of impatience as children and young adults. Thankfully, God has a patient way of teaching us the power of "good things are worth waiting for." Sure enjoyed chatting with you! And look forward to you next visit.

Cathleen said...

Hi! I'd love to have you get to know Last Chance, too! Its a quirky little town, but I think you'll like the folks who live there. :-)

Cathleen said...

I hear you! I am in constant awe at just how tenderly loving and long-suffering God is! And oh, so very thankful!

Cathleen said...

I'm a direction printer-outer, too! I usually use as large a font as I can get so I can read it at a glance--helps when I'm driving!

Cathleen said...

There are a lot of map lovers, I'm finding! It would be interesting to see the men to women ratio of those read maps (or ask directions!) on a trip, wouldn't it?

Cathleen said...

And I hope you like reading about Last Chance! Since you live in a small town, I'd love to hear how it compares to my little southwestern town.

Cathleen said...

Isn't being patient just the hardest thing to learn? And yet God's timing is nothing less than perfect. That's a lesson I still need reminding of sometimes!

Unknown said...

I know Mom and I print directions when we travel somewhere, which is not often now. We don't have GPS. The only thing that usually happens to us is that we may miss a turn, so we turn around and go back to the right street or exit. After reading Cathleen's excellent post, I was thinking how many wrong turns I've taken in my walk with the Lord and He stops me and turns me around. It's a lot to think and pray about. Thank you for the wonderful post. Cathleen is a new author to me and her book sounds great.
Please enter me in the giveaway.
Barbara Thompson

Also, I'm a follower!!

Cathleen said...

HI, Barbara--
I love your image of missing a turn and having to turn around and go back. I know you were talking about traveling in the car, but isn't it the perfect image of our life journey, too? I am so thankful that God never lets us wander too far off his path before he starts turning us around!

Cathleen said...

Mary, thank you so much for inviting me to spend the weekend with you and your readers. I so enjoyed getting to know them a little, and I can't wait to find out who won the copy of Welcome to Last Chance!

Blessings, and Merry Christmas!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Barbara,
I think we can agree with what you said. We've all made wrong turns. Lessons learned. Thankfully we have a forgiving heavenly Father.
I'm so glad you could stop by and meet Cathleen today. Isn't she fun?
Looking forward to your next visit!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Your welcome, Cahtleen.
I'm looking forward to reading Welcome to Last Chance as well!
Blessings on you and your writing ministry.

Unknown said...

Yes have been lost on a paper map befor and also on a gps that is coming right off of your phone. But most importantly is we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus because he is always waiting with an open arm ready to catch us if we fall. So we need to just trust in The Lord
Prov 3:5 & 6. The cover of this book is just beautiful.

Unknown said...
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