Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In Perfect Time by @SarahSundin | Enter to win a Kindle HDX and a set of books!

Don't miss Sarah Sundin's hot-off-the-press novel, In Perfect Time. Publishers Weekly gives it an enthusiastic thumbs up: “Sundin excels at well-researched historical detail . . . with such accurate depictions of culture and setting that we are fully immersed in the times as well as in the story. The strength of relationships forged in war and the apprehension of God in times of trouble infuse this well-crafted novel with substance and light.”


Sarah is celebrating the release of her book with a fun giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Wings of the Nightingale Series (With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and In Perfect Time)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 24th. Winner will be announced August 25th at Sarah's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Sarah's blog on the 25th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)


Wings of the Nightingale series
Bold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.
Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don’t want to go.
Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings in their pasts?

Sarah Sundin


Sarah Sundin is the author of  the Wings of the Nightingale and and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. 
Find out more about Sarah at

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When life’s storms hit, is a parent’s job ever really done?

When life’s storms hit, is a parent’s job ever really done?

Deborah Raney’s poignant new novel shows how the love of family helps us through difficult times

They say blood is thicker than water, and in her latest release, Home to Chicory Lane (Abingdon Press/August 19, 2014/ISBN: 978-1426769696/$14.99), Deborah Raney writes a story that examines how the love of our family can help us weather life’s storms. The first book in the new Chicory Inn series introduces us to Audrey Whitman, a mother who has launched all of her children into life and now looks forward to fulfilling some of her own dreams during her empty-nest years. However, not all of her children are ready to stay out of the nest quite yet.

Raney has beautifully captured the tenderness — and turmoil — of family life in her new release. It was easy for her to do. “We have four grown children and five grandchildren . . . so far!” Raney says. “So, as you can imagine, family is extremely important to us. We’re both close to our families, and all of the good, the bad, the ugly, the wonderful of being part of a family, went into this series.”

Readers of Home to Chicory Lane will meet all of the Whitmans, including Audrey and her husband, Grant, who are turning their beloved family home into a bed and breakfast. As Audrey works toward opening weekend, she is more than a little anxious, even as she joyfully anticipates her family and friends gathering from across the country to help celebrate the occasion.

What she doesn’t expect is her youngest daughter, the newly-married Landyn, to arrive with a U-Haul, clearly intending to stay more than just a few days. Questions flood Audrey’s mind: What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn's husband, Chase? It appears the Chicory Inn will be getting off to a bit of a rocky start.

The empty-nest parents of the story aren’t the only ones opening their doors to adult children — it’s a phenomenon increasing in the current economic climate, leading to the question: Is a parent’s job ever really done? “I think it is — or at least it should be,” Raney weighs in. “Ken and I loved how the relationship switch flipped from parent to friend at a certain point. Now, our job is to encourage, enjoy, give advice only when asked and to be the best grandparents we can be to our kids’ kids. That’s the true reward of all those sleepless nights raising our kids.”

In Home to Chicory Lane, that kind of parental love shines through Audrey’s character. As the stress of running her own business mounts, she will soon begin to wonder if she will be able to realize her dream while still providing her daughter with the comfort of home she so desperately needs.

Despite the challenges they face, Raney reminds us in Home to Chicory Lane that our family — whether brought to us through birth, marriage or adoption — is a gift given to us by God. Readers will come away from this warm and moving book with a new appreciation for family, in all its forms and functions.

Join Deborah Raney for a live Facebook Party on September 9 at 8:00 PM EDT, where she will chat with readers about the Chicory Inn series and give away copies of Home to Chicory Lane. Watch for more details on her Facebook Page.

About the author

Deborah Raney accomplished something very few authors are able to do with their first book. Her debut novel, A Vow to Cherish(originally published in 1996), inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Since then, her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists.

Raney’s newest novel, Home to Chicory Lane, releases in August as the first book in the Chicory Inn Novels series for Abingdon Press Fiction. 

Deborah and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas –– the setting of many of Raney’s novels –– for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Raney also enjoys teaching at writers’ conferences across the country.

For more information about Raney and her books, visit her online home at, become a fan on Facebook (deborah.raney) or follow her on Twitter (@authordebraney).  

Advance Praise

“Once again, Deborah Raney has succeeded in creating a heartwarming story that doesn't skimp on the realism of life — joys and jolts, challenges faced bravely and others regrettably. Within the first few pages of Home to Chicory Lane, the Whitmans, their children, and the community will feel like family — angst and all."
~ Cynthia Ruchti, author of All My Belongings

Deborah Raney is queen of small town, hope-inspired fiction, and Home to Chicory Lane has everything you’ve come to expect from her award-winning novels––and more. Raney captures all the nuances of today’s family and delivers it up with signature warmth and humor. Book your reservation for Chicory Lane. You won’t be disappointed!"
            ~ Tamera Alexander, USA Today bestselling author of A Beauty So Rare and To Whisper Her Name

Deborah Raney has once again painted a vivid portrait of our own humanity using characters readers will love and identify with, no matter what their stage of life. I fell in love with the Chicory Inn and the Whitman family. Tender, touching and filled with a unique patchwork of personalities, Landyn and Chase's story made me feel like a part of the family. Raney wraps her beautifully flawed characters in the unconditional love of a God who will never leave them––or us. I'm already anticipating the next book in the series!" 
            ~ Courtney Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of A Sweethaven Summer

Monday, August 18, 2014

Everything's coming up rainbows and roses on Bachelor in Paradise

I'm not usually amused by the stupidity of people. However, the absolute absurdity of the women of Bachelor in Paradise is entertaining to me.

Tonight's episode picks up with the end of last week's rose ceremony where Dylan got sent home because he refused Elise's rose, then Sarah decided not to give hers to him. How quickly she jumps off of the "Dylan is my man, he just doesn't know it yet" to "I really want to get to know Chris, and I want him to be my rainbow."

After the rose ceremony, Michelle Money and Marquel work on their connection. However, things may get shaken up with the arrival of Danielle from Juan Pablo's season. Of course, she arrives with a date card.

Pick the man of your choice, and the flight leaves at 9.

She asks everyone what's going on to get a lay of the land. Some of the women say she cannot go wrong with whoever picks. Even Money says this to her though she really doesn't want Danielle to choose Marquel. Rejected with some beaded thing on her head, the roller coaster that is Money is facing her highs and lows again.

The thing is... Danielle came to the show hoping to connect with Marquel since she was attracted to him on Andi's season.

Money and poor Graham go for a walk on the beach the next morning. Money says that she is so over Marquel and is really interested in Robert. I'm going to say the only reason Robert went to Money was that he thought he wasn't going to get a rose.

Clare tries to convince Money that Robert really is into her. Maybe. Maybe not.

Elise gets the next date card. Her flight leaves out at 5. 

She picks crazy Chris while AshLee pouts that she and Graham still haven't gotten their date yet. Elise wants to take Chris because he stood by her during the storm of last week. She starts talking about rainbows again.

While Elise is getting ready for her date, Chris dislocates his knee or something and has to have the medic. Before we find out if his flight is a medical evacuation, we go to Marquel and Danielle's date.

Marquel quizzes Danielle on why she came to paradise and why she picked him. She admits that she's crushing on him. Even though she's a little scared that he will find her creepy, Danielle lays it out to him. Given he kind of made a connection with Money out of default, he's really into giving this a try. However, their date is cut short by an approaching storm and a lightning strike within a matter of feet. Thankfully, there is no discussion of rainbows.

Money, the show's hairstylist, helps Elise fix her hair, but tells her that there must be no future mentions of Dylan. Elise may be just as delusional about Chris. She's definitely putting more faith in his mental stability than is true.

However, it looks like Chris is going to get to limp along on his date. He may be on some pain meds which may make him even more loopy.

Back on the beach, Clare convinces Money that the two of them should plan a double date with Robert and Zack. Money regrets not giving her rose to Robert last week, but does give Sarah a warning that she wants to ask Robert out.

Sarah doesn't want to be too possessive, but doesn't want anyone stepping on her potential relationship with Robert. Sarah's a little wishy washy, so while Robert is interested in her and thinks she's a nice girl, he's not sure where everything stands.

Unfortunately, we have to check back in with Chris and Elise on their date. She's so slutty. (Imagine me singing to the tune of "Fancy" in my head.) These two nuts kind of deserve each other. Now, she's talking about him being her silver lining after last week. Chris likes to talk, but he feels like he is doing all the listening. Soon, they get a card at dinner. It has both of their names on it which she likes because their names look good together. Good grief. Are we in junior high? They will get a chance to use one key instead of two tonight. However, before they jump to making that decision too soon, they have to make out in the hot tub. That doesn't last long before the "gentleman" and the nutty slut go off to their suite.

Back at the house, Money and Clare prepare drinks (who knows what is in them) to take to their guys. They have to plan what they are going to say though.

While the double daters go on their merry way, Sarah laments about her lost chance of not planning something for Robert herself. While Sarah is not crazy, she does have self-esteem issues getting in her way. Having just one complete arm makes her feel different. Understandable. I don't mean to make light of that AT ALL. It doesn't look good for her at this point since Money is laying it on thick with Robert on their date.

When Marquel comes back, we hear Money talk about how Marquel plays games. He's not playing any more games than anyone else. He said, "yes," to a date. That's just the way it goes. I never thought he was into her anyway.

Another arrival is lurking in the darkness, carrying a date card. Before anyone can tell who it is, all the guys are drooling over her body. It's Jackie, from Sean's season. Marquel is the first to greet her with a hug which gets an ugly look from Danielle.

Jackie gets to fly off with someone at 8 AM.

When Jackie asks about couples, everyone just says, "it doesn't matter - you just pick someone." She looks around and since Marquel isn't next to Danielle, Jackie jumps to the conclusion he is the only one unattached. Ok, so what my defense of Marquel from 2 minutes ago may be undeserved.

The next morning, Danielle is not happy as Jackie and Marquel head out. (Is it bad that I don't really remember Jackie?) Oh Danielle, you aren't the only one not coupled up. Go bond with Sarah.

Graham talks to Money about how possessive AshLee is without a date. AshLee seems ok with Money talking to him. Graham is frustrated that no one will even approach him because of AshLee. Evidently, AshLee is already talking about introducing Graham to her dad.

AshLee and her pointless crocheted shorts immediately takes her date card to Graham when she gets it. 

Graham has mixed feelings about this. Glad he has a date finally to see if there's actually something there. Annoyed because he's just not that into her.

Marcus and Lacy get some camera time since they go make out in the pool. Inside AshLee sympathizes with Danielle who is pouting about Marquel, the only guy she is interested in.

On their date, we get geographical facts read from a cue card from Jackie who is smitten with Marquel. He asks her why he got the invitation. Well, he was friendly and welcoming.

Marquel was into Danielle until Jackie came along, but 24 hours later (I think - who can keep up?), he's over her.

Elise and Chris' overnight date is finally over, but they end up at the hospital. He has three things wrong with his knee. I hope he got a prescription for the pain. Elise loves being able to be a caretaker. He is unable to run away. Chris is now her man forever.

Sarah is concerned about Elise's judgment and warns her about how hard she falls so fast. Sarah actually addresses this in front of everyone (except Chris who is laid up in his bunk). Everyone just watches Sarah lecture her about having 12 more days there - don't get so serious.

Clare and Zack talk about how the next day will be difficult because it is the 10th anniversary of her father's death. She really thinks that Zack has stepped up to wrry about her. While laid out on the beach, a big turtle walks up out of the ocean to lay eggs. Clare takes it as a sign of new life and her dad giving her a sign. Ooooooooookay.

It's finally time for AshLee and Graham to sit down to dinner. Three weeks have felt like an eternity for her. She thinks she knows so much about him from following his Instagram account. That's why she wanted to hook up with him on the show. That kind of creeps him out. He brings up her crazy breakdown from week 1. Graham tells AshLee that he just wants to have a good time, but there's no reason to talk about forever right now. I don't think she's listening to him... just staring. The "overnight" card comes out. He likes the fact there are TWO keys. He says since there is no curfew, so they can hang out a while though he has no intentions of sharing a room.

She goes out and shakes her butt around under the guise of "dancing." Graham isn't turned off by that. He kisses her, but doesn't want anything beyond that right now.

AshLee talks to the camera about how beautiful their babies will be.

We finally make it to rose ceremony night. Finally.

The guys have to carry a grunting Chris over to the gathering space. He complains to Money about his pain. She asks if he's wanting to leave, but tells him he should stay and be miserable in paradise.

The way that Clare sees it, the only guys who there is any question about is Robert and Marquel. So, Money and Sarah fight for time over Robert and Jackie and Danielle go after Marquel.

Graham gives Money a pep talk when Robert pops up right behind them. After a bit of a conversation, they go off to mingle some more. Oh Robert. First it was Lacy, then Claire, then Sarah, then Money. Will you make a connection? How can Money think they've had a connection for weeks? Robert's been all over the place.

Danielle gets a chance to talk to Marquel to see if there might be a connection. I'm not so sure there is. He then goes to talk to Jackie. I wish he would get rid of the giant glasses.

The time has arrived! The guys have the control this week. Six guys... eight women. Which two are going home? I really don't know.

  1. Graham is up first. Did AshLee's bootie shaking get to him or is he going to make a play for someone else? He is a chicken. Sarah thinks they may get married after this. Only if Graham gets trapped.
  2. Zack is up next. Jackie thought beforehand that Zack might be someone she would be interested in because they are all stalkers. We've not seen her get any face time with him, but then again, she sees the connection he has had with Clare. As expected, he picks Clare. 
  3. Marcus obviously picks Lacy. Yawn. Money thinks they should just get engaged now. From what I hear, they basically do. Money wants what those two have.
  4. The first question mark... Marquel. His shirt is hideous. Take my word for it. Both Danielle and Jackie don't want to leave so soon. From the moment her silhouette walked up to the fire, Marquel was onto Jackie. 
  5. Robert is mixed and knows he will hurt someone. The choice that was "best for me," was Sarah. I'm kind of surprised. Money breaks down immediately with an eye roll and shake of her head.
  6. Chris limps to the last rose to give it away while we hear Money tearfully talk about her rejection. He calls up Elise and tells her about what a smile she puts on her face. Then, he tells her, "I can't give you this rose." Everyone is baffled. He tells her that he is in so much pain that he has to go home, but wants to take her home with him. She agrees and they hobble off together. In her last confession to the cameras, she talks of rainbows. He still says he has a rose to give and there is one person who deserves true love. He gives his rose to Money. 
The big question is... will anyone show up on the island that will love Money? 

The show ends with the the most cheesy montage of three days ever between Chris and Elise who are not only crazy, but crazy for each other.

Danielle rides off in her limo, unglued over "Marq Hell."

The previews of next week tease us that we will get back-to-back nights of this insanity and drama. We see the racoon (the one that had to hear Clare breakdown week one) and hear Clare's voice. Clare finds sharp objects.

We hear Graham say that AshLee said something that went too far. There's lots of walking off during the rose ceremony. Something goes down with AshLee, Money, Clare, Graham and an ambulance.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Seek Ye First

Sometimes I start the video early, just to see if they realize it. Their chairs had been even more scattered than this.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Oh, those Saturday best of intentions

You know me. I always have all these great plans for Saturdays.

I had intended, as I have for weeks, even months, to clean some clothes out of my closet. If I can tell you how many years I've had some of my clothes because I wore them in pictures while I was on vacation 5, or 8 years ago, it's time they go. And to think I purged a lot when I moved a year and a half ago.

I guess you can say I barely got it started, here's what I did get done of the project.

  • Picked up the paper shredder so that I could shred some old journals that have been sitting on one spot in a box in my closet since I moved here. A) I don't want to rehash, B) I don't want them read if anyone ever has to go through my stuff, and C) they are in a pantyliner box that someone in my family picked up at the Dollar Store when I moved and I'm tired of looking at that box
  • Bought some really cheap shoe racks and put most of my shoes on them in my closet.
Preparing for a work day in my classroom at church next weekend was another thing on my list. I accomplished:
  • Digging some things out of the upstairs closet to take to use
  • Found some bulletin board stuff I forgot I had
  • Bought some clear beads so Rachel can come over and string them on fishing line for rain - which was her idea. However, I didn't find the kind of beads that I want, so it's going to be a bigger pain to string. 
I did finish a letter that I've owed someone for a while. I was supposed to make it match one my parents had at their house. I even tried finding one on sale at Hobby Lobby last month so that I didn't have to try to paint it. I only found O, and I forgot what the other letter was. G maybe.

Also, I painted these words that I found half price to use in the classroom. I wish I have found "believe" and something else. They look better than how they show up in the picture. They were only $2.50 and $3.00 each, but dad decided to try cutting a pair out of the wood we cut letters from. It kept him occupied for a while, and I may use the wooden versions at my house. As cheap as they were when I bought them, it's not really worth cutting from wood, and he said so. But, he's the one that wanted to try it. 

A few weeks ago, Mom and said that maybe she and I would go somewhere this weekend on a shopping excursion. But, she bought a chair she was on the hunt for a couple of weeks ago in Waco, and I bought the curtains I was looking for at Big Lots. 

Last night, when I asked her if she was going to clean the house today like she told me she was several days ago, she said, "I don't have to. I told Dad that I had told you I would do something with you." That kind of made me feel like a little kid though I know she didn't mean it that way. I let her off the hook knowing that she's had to go back and forth to Kaufman so many times in the past two months (with another trip tomorrow and back Monday, I guess), and went a couple of weeks ago to Waco to drop off something (I wasn't interested in going then), an overnight trip to Carthage last weekend, and going to Palestine with some friends tonight for another music show. I know how she usually says, "I just want to stay home one weekend."

While I did go to Mesquite last weekend spur of the moment with Angie, I wouldn't have minded going somewhere, but didn't have a mission in mind.

She and I did get a chance to talk about my vacation, or lack thereof, angst. I think my thoughts of a trip to Colorado are officially off the table. She and I might go to the giant flea market in Round Top by ourselves - just she and I if we can convince Dad to stay at home. That way we can also shop and do some other things she likes to do (and I will do) that she doesn't get to do with their traveling companions who aren't into the same things. The things she and I would do on a vacation. I just remembered... if we are going to go, we are going to need a hotel room. I better check that out now. If we can't find a room, that may be off the agenda which would be my luck.

Friday, August 15, 2014

October won't be shabby on releases either

As I posted yesterday, we're gearing up for a big fall. Here's what you can look forward to in October! (I think there may be a couple of additions too!)

What I've been working on like crazy is all the upcoming releases. Here's a glimpse at some of what is coming up! These are our September releases and/or tours.

The only order is the order that blogger put the images into the post. Rearranging them in order would only make me go insane! They are actually in alphabetical by title, I think. 

Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould (Bethany House 10/14)

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky (WaterBrook 10/7)

Expectant Parents by Suzanne Hadley Gosselin (Tyndale/Focus on the Family 10/1)

The Bachelor by Stephanie Reed (Kregel 10/27)

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts (David C Cook 10/1)

The Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt (William and Keats Publishing 10/1)

Too Loved to be Lost by Debora M. Coty (Barbour 10/1)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

September will be a big month for book releases

I haven't had many book posts here the past month or so, but I promise that will not be the case for September or October. That may be good or bad depending on if you are a reader and care about that kind of thing on my blog.

What I've been working on like crazy is all the upcoming releases. Here's a glimpse at some of what is coming up! These are our September releases and/or tours.

The only order is the order that blogger put the images into the post. Rearranging them in order would only make me go insane! They are actually in alphabetical by title, I think, until the last three.

Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd (Thomas Nelson 10/7)

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant (Zondervan 9/2)

Before Amen by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson 9/30)

Buried Beneath the Words by Betel Arnold (Media IV 9/23)

Citizen by Rob Peabody (Monarch Books 7/18)

The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller (Bethany House 9/30)

The Promise by Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson 9/30)

The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski (Thomas Nelson 9/16)

The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford (St. Martin's Press 4/15)

Magnificent Tales Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley (David C Cook 9/1)

Tried and True by Mary Connealy (Bethany House 8/26)

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin (WaterBrook Press 9/16)

Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin (Bethany House 9/30)

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell 9/2)

Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll (Abingdon Press- Quilts of Love 9/16)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Frantic, I tell you!

The past few weeks, I have really had to try hard to come up with enough material for daily posts here. I didn't have to do that in May because we had so many books coming out that there was always a press release, tour or Q&A I needed to post. July and August were slow book release months.

September and October's blog schedules are pretty much full on Tuesdays-Fridays. I'm keeping Mondays open for The Bachelor posts, but I'll have more Sundays to fill once I only teach once a month. I will teach one Wednesday night a month too, so maybe I can do a Wednesday night video to post on the next Sunday.

All of a sudden, last week we picked up 6+ new releases, so I've been coordinating pre-release work on all of those plus doing potential client calls. It's fantastic to have new projects, but it all just came in at once, so I'm frantic. Frantically trying to get everything together that we need! It's a good problem to have.

My idiotic Windows 8 laptop has not been helping things. For the past several weeks it has been crankier at start up than it already was. I need for my computer to open and load Outlook immediately. I need for it to stop becoming non-responsive from the get go. It's gotten where I have to start work on the other computer until it decides to get going. After it gets going, it's usually ok.

Technology problems make me high strung.

To start off my day, this morning I was frantic to get a phone number for a call I was supposed to have for a big last minute blog tour. My Outlook was slowly loading, so I was trying to dig the number from my phone. As I reach for the phone, before I could start punching in the number, I get a call from a producer at HLN's Nancy Grace wanting one of our author's for today. A terrific hit, but that means there's going to be a lot of calls and email exchanges on that during the day and it's going to be a last minute scramble. It actually went pretty smoothly until I found out after the fact the weren't able to do the segment because they ran out of time. I wasn't surprised, but it felt like a bit of a waste of time.

I was trying to get something sent off to a co-worker at the end of the day, and I was running late when I needed to leave for church. Just as I was getting ready to hit send and sign off, the doorbell rang. It was UPS delivering a book, which I figured it was, but I still had to check. Then I had to run back-up stairs to grab the stuff I didn't in a rush down the stairs for the door. I frantically rolled into church about 6 minutes late at which time my mother and her friend gave me the look and a point at the watch. People, you're lucky I got here at all!

I asked Rachel if she had dinner plans afterwards to chill out a bit. I was wound up thinking about my to-do lists that are mating and reproducing at a rapid rate, much like my inbox was earlier. I always sort emails by project first thing in the morning, but I didn't finish that until 1:30 this afternoon. I think I had more email by that time today than I did a couple of days put together last week. Everything just combined for a crazy day.

I also forgot to watch last night's Married at First Sight on Hulu and that's one of my new things to look forward to on Wednesdays.

Oh, and a totally unrelated comment to anything else, but we got our free 8x10s from our directory photos taken a few weeks ago. There was an announcement at church tonight that some were on the table. Mom's freaking that she didn't want people to see it. I told her it was going to be in the directory, so I didn't get why it mattered. "But it's going to be small." Fortunately for her, they were in envelopes. I handed her both hers and mine.

She said, "you aren't going to take yours?"

"What am I supposed to do with it? Frame it and hang it in my own bedroom?"

Don't worry folks, I'm not setting up a shrine to myself. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A few lessons that I have learned in writing

I can't decide which one of two directions to start this blog post. That in and of itself may prove the ultimate point of the post in the end.

Hold on boys and girls because I feel a ramble coming on.

It's not unusual for people to tell me, "you should write a book."

My reaction is one of these:

  1. No.
  2. Why?
  3. I don't want to.
First of all, what do I have to write about? If you've followed this blog for more than a week, you know I have absolutely nothing to write about. 

Speaking of reading this blog, you would probably surmise that I'm not much of a writer. At least, I wouldn't. 

The thing is, I may be an ok writer, but I don't really enjoy it. I'm slow at writing. I don't have patience. I don't enjoy reading my own writing. That's why I don't read over and proof my posts. I'm sure you've noticed that too. 

However, I got to thinking today about what lessons that I have learned about writing. There's a couple of reasons I got on this train of thought.

Last week, one of my high school teachers posted on Facebook about visiting another teacher, my English teach for three out of four years. I had been wondering about her for a while since I had heard years ago that she had a stroke and moved to be closer to family. The teacher that made the post shared her address, so I decided to send my English teacher, a legend among anyone that had her, a note. 

In the note, I included that now I write and edit press kits for a living. The one thing that has stuck with me the longest is that we were not, under any condition, allowed to use contractions in any of our papers. We would have points taken off for every apostrophe in our paper that was not used with a possessive. I used to never use them in emails. I would start typing them and backspace to correct myself. I have noticed how many I have used in this blog post, so obviously, if I am not thinking about it, I will include them. However, in press kits, I still won't use them. I mean I will not use them. ;)

I was making edits in interview questions that Christine wrote yesterday. I'm not telling this to throw her under the bus or to criticize her in the least, but I will tell share two things I catch on her kits. The reason I catch these two things now is because I got busted on the enough over time.

When I worked at my last job, I worked withe same proofer for almost 10 years. While I didn't write much, I did edit, and I did look over her proofing changes. Ashlea always really watched out for repetitive phrases and repeated words. She was always pointing that out, so I really started watching for the same thing and use the thesaurus function in Microsoft Word a lot. I could use a better app.

The other thing I really have to watch is using the word "that."  In this post, I have used the word 15 times and once in the post title. Obviously, I have not learned the lesson well. Most of the time, it is not needed. It is in several instances of this post, but certainly not in the title. I have Caitlin who proofs my work now for THAT. ;)

I try to watch it, I really do!

Those three things are all I have to share. That's it. See? For those reasons alone, I'll never write a book. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Not one, but TWO, possibly three love triangles on Bachelor in Paradise

I hate to admit it, but I was sucked into Bachelor in Paradise next week. It wasn't quite (close, but not quite) as outlandish as Bachelor Pad. The dynamics of everyone needing to pick someone while more than one person had interest in a member of the opposite sex... it got me.

Maybe, just maybe, the people that get picked last find their love connection. Perhaps the rejected will find love. Not that I believe they are really in it for true love.

What crazy people arrive this week? I can hardly wait!

We start off the night with an explanation of why Michelle K. left the show last week before the rose ceremony came to an end. It turns out she met a guy a couple of days before the show started taping and got involved with him. It turns out that this guy was a crew member named Ryan. When someone came to check in with Michelle, a show psychiatrist, they freaked out and Ryan jumped off a 20 foot balcony as to not get caught. He broke both of his legs.

Now, onto the beach house. Clare and Lacy whisper about the two men, Marcus and Robert, who are after Lacy. Seeing as Clare got the rose as a back-up choice for Robert (even though she picked him for a date), I think she's just trying to stir stuff up.

We cut to some of the cast sitting on the porch when Crazy Chris B. who tried to meet Andi last season shows up with a date card. No one is excited to see him, knowing his reputation. The first thing he does is walk into the girls' bedroom to introduce himself to everyone.

Chris' date card tells him to pick someone to pamper in paradise.

Graham says that Chris has a reputation with the ladies and expects him to sample the merchandise whether it belongs to someone else or not.

Chris picks Clare for the date. Those two deserve each other. One crazy deserves another. They go on a couples massage.

Meanwhile back at the house, Robert is disappointed to see Marcus and Lacy out on the beach together. I don't know why he seems surprised. She went back and forth between the two last week. She asked Robert to go on her date, but Robert gave Clare the rose last week.

Here's my advice - just move on. If "your" woman is publicly kissing another guy, you need to find someone else. You also better watch out Robert because your back-up girl is on a date with a psycho.

The next date card shows up for Marcus. 

Ben, Graham and Robert read it. Seeing as Ben did the actual reading, he delivered it to Marcus though he jokingly tells Robert he can get rid of it. He, being with Lacy on the beach when it arrives, asks her to go on the date.

Back at the massage, Chris tries to lay the charm on Clare. They had a very good first date.

On the beach, Elise yammers on to Dylan about her Zodiac sign. Elise has fallen hard for him. Dylan thinks he needs to test the waters and tells her that he wouldn't be mad if she decided to go out with someone else while there. He tries to convince her to be open to date other people. She doesn't want to because she thinks they have an amazing connection.

Later that night, its time for Lacy and Marcus to go on their date. Robert is steaming. Sarah and Michelle Money (because her first and last name have to be used together) feel bad for Robert.

Lacy doesn't think it's to early to see a future with Marcus, but he has just gotten out of his relationship with Andi. She wants to have a serious conversation. True to his style, he admits feelings early and assures her that he is ready to move on.

Chris decides to go off and get some time with Elise who is trying to make Dylan jealous. Clare had felt a connection, but is warned that Chris is a player. Chris and Elise go off in the ocean (literally and well, you know). Graham, Robert, Michelle Money and Clare gawk from the hot tub to see who it is off in the ocean. Clare is little jealous, but Dylan is in his bunk asleep.

The next morning, Elise tells Michelle Money why she went off with Chris - Dylan told her to date other people. Elise wants a relationship - marriage, kids, all that, so she'll go after anyone that will give it to her. Elise starts crying about one guy or another, but is really 100% into Dylan and she believes it's a turning point. She tells Dylan that she kissed Chris (is that all?) which ticks him off. HELLO BOZO! She did what you told her to do so that you would be free to test the waters. Now he is convinced it won't work out.

Claire is conflicted about her time in Paradise since everyone she goes on a date with ends up with someone else. Things get more interesting when Zack from Desiree's season shows up. Claire's excited because he's a friend.

Of course, Zack arrives with a date card. "Choose someone and go explore your relationship."

Zack picks Clare, Miss Popularity. Robert is freaked not knowing who will give him a rose now. Chris is too since both guys have lost their love interest in another triangle outside of Clare. Clare and Zack go off in the ocean where she feels his connection (gag).

Back at the house, Elise chats with the girls about her man Dylan. Sarah sits around listening when she should be trying to make a connection with someone, anyone. Chris needs Elise to give him a rose, so starts to stir up trouble saying Dylan doesn't care.

Meanwhile, Marcus tells Dylan he should go talk to Sarah and ask her out if he gets a date card. Sure enough, Chris finds Dylan's date card. Chris doesn't know that Dylan has no intentions of taking Elise, or so he tells Marcus.

I'm wondering at this point why we haven't seen Marquel trying to further his moves on Money or AshLee pining away over Graham. All in good time, I'm guessing.

Back from commercial, Elise is convinced she's going to get a date with Dylan because they have been talking about their first dates for hours every day.

Dylan asks Sarah to talk, and invites her to go along. Sarah doesn't immediately say yes, she hesitates and asks why he's not taking Elise. In a completely bad move, Sarah tells Dylan that she has to think about it. Elise is Sarah's BFF on the show. Sarah reveals to Elise the card said:

"Enjoy your first date with the woman of your choice."

Elise trusts Sarah and wants Dylan to have fun, or so she says. "You deserve it and so does he." They just have to work through this. Can you say delusional?

FINALLY, Sarah goes to Dylan and tells him she wants to go. Can you say awkward?

While Sarah and Dylan are on their date, everyone else is left with hearing Elise whine the night away. Elise still believes she and Dylan have a terrific connection, but he is just scared.

Dylan hopes for a real connection or at least gets Sarah's rose. He pays her compliments about how beautiful she is and such. She's so awkward though.

On the beach, Ben's trying to lead the party which is impressive to Money. Their new thing is "YOPO" which is you're only in paradise once.

In the house Marquel is laying around, and Marcus shows Marquel a letter that Marcus finds in Ben's bag after he (Marcus) poured water on it. Evidently Ben has a girlfriend, and Marquel doesn't take kindly to this. Marq and Marc decide to confront Ben.

Ben wants to know how Marcus found it - while brushing his teeth. Ben explains that it was something that happened fast when he met this girl three weeks ago. He didn't know the letter was in his bag until got there.

Clare walks up to the fire and everyone asks if she heard anything on the way down. Saying no, she goes back up to snoop. She goes back down after snooping to tell everyone what she heard. Then the drunk masses go up to find out what is going on.

Michelle gets emotional about leaving her daughter behind in order to try to meet someone there and is offended that Ben came and already had a connection with someone. Ben says he left his kid too. Everyone jumps him, especially Clare for "coming for the wrong reasons." Michelle is hacked, telling Zack that Ben came taking a spot of someone that could have come and been her match. Michelle must be PMSing to be this emotional about this. She's taking this all way too seriously.

Ben decides to dismiss himself and go back to the woman he made a connection with in Dallas before he arrived.

Dylan and Sarah get back right after all the drama goes down. Lucky them!

Cocktail party time!

Chris is nervous and hopes he gets Elise's rose since she's really the only one he's interested in.

During the cocktail party, there's some coupling up before rose time to ensure roses. Money thinks she has something going on with Marquel. That's until they go off to talk. Marquel tells her that there are some things that concern him about her like, "you like to drink." This puzzles her greatly, never having thought about having a drinking problem before. Marquel realizes he may have talked himself out of a rose.

Robert walks up to talk to Money and see if he might be able to get her rose since Lacy is sure to give Marcus hers now. Michelle asks him, "do you think I drink more than anyone else?"

Meanwhile, Chris talks to Elise to try to shore up getting her rose instead of Dylan. She still really into Dylan. Sarah isn't sure what to do because she had a connection with Dylan, but knows that Elise is obsessed. Dylan claims he won't accept Elise's rose because he doesn't care about her. Dylan tells Sarah to not worry about Elise because she didn't come there to meet a best friend, but to search for love.

To smooth things out, Dylan takes Elise off to chat. Dylan calls Elise a friend and tells her to take full advantage of the situation -- Chris. "Don't hold back with Chris." Elise doesn't get the point that Dylan is telling her "we're just friends." I agree with her on one thing - Dylan is beating around the bush. However, she does not get that he is not into her. Finally, Dylan tells her, "I won't accept your rose."

Thank goodness it's time for roses! The women have the power this week. One man will be going home.

  1. Lacy in her ridiculous crop top and short shorts picks Marcus.
  2. AshLee instantly picks Graham.
  3. Clare picks Zack.
  4. Money decides to go with Marquel after all. She thanks him for opening up to her this week.
  5. Elise is up next. She looks conflicted. One guy wants her rose. Another guy doesn't. She offers it to Dylan. He tells her he can't accept because she has other options. She addresses the crowd telling everyone that every woman deserves a man that will fight for her and is in 100%. Circus music plays in the background. Finally, she goes up to second choice Chris who is only too happy to accept the rose.
  6. Sarah, who didn't think the speech from Elise was necessary, is up last. Her choices are Dylan or Robert. She gives it to Robert, saying she'd like to get to know him better. She obviously wants to avoid more drama with Dylan and Elise. I get that, but if she thought had a connection with Dylan, I don't know if she made the right choice or not.
Dylan can only kick himself on the ride home.

Previews of next week have AshLee and Graham on their first date. He has to tell her not to start talking "forever" yet. More drama will ensue as there's mixing of the couples with more women coming into the picture.