Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Sunday, and I don't want to blog

I turned on my computer because I needed to check my email and post a blog. And I'd really just rather not. You ever feel like that?

I did get my house cleaned and straightened up - so much so that Paige was very impressed that my towels were folded and put away instead of in a basket at the foot of my bed like is there at least 300 out of 365 days a year. She came over here to get something with me after church today.

Today I didn't really get my nap in because since Friday morning the whole weekend has been somewhat in the air since my aunt, Carol, passed away. We didn't know what family might be around when. Then some of the family doesn't so much talk to others (myself included), so you never know what might be said when it is. Kind of stressful.

And it's the end of the weekend, and I'm just tired. And know I'll be busy once I can start working tomorrow after the funeral with 8 new books coming out this week. So I'm rambling.

I was listening to the Rangers try to hold it together for a much needed win (they make me cranky), but I guess Revenge just came on. I'm trying to decide if I'm over Revenge. I think I may be.

I think I would rather just listen to it online for noise while I'm at the computer.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

How many books are you reading at once?

The trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter I really don't know how many books I have STARTED, and with as many books as we have releasing next week, I can't tell you how many I need to FINISH.

In the last 24 hours, I've finished two. One is a blog tour book we're working on right now, Denise Hunter's The Trouble with Cowboys. Be sure to check out my post from a few days ago with more info, including how you can win a Kindle! (Or just click to the left.

The other one I finished is an author I just worked with on her latest book, Sibella Giorello. I worked on her 5th books, The Stars Shine Bright. (I made a few posts about this one.) I'm still not sure how I missed reading her books before. I bargain book purchased her first book, Stones Cry Out because it's actually out of print. The publisher sent me books 3 and 4 which arrived this week, but I found a great deal on Amazon for book 2, River Runs Dry earlier today, so it's on the way.

I buy books even though I have a stack of at LEAST 30 paperbacks that I have not read yet (I bargain shop books, I tell you - or get them for our blog tours). That and MORE THAN 40 free books on my Kindle.



If it weren't for the fact that people
like me are the reason I have a job,
I'd start a book hoarder support group.

Now that I have spent part of my weekend reading (especially on this very rainy day in Texas), I need to finish cleaning my house. It's a dusty mess in need of vacuuming. Now that I've finished the office, wasted time on the computer, reorganized the bookshelves after dusting them, I must move on to the living room.


Check out:


Friday, September 28, 2012

What's the best season premiere you saw this week?

What show were you most looking forward to this week? Anything new that's a must watch? I caught a couple of new shows via watching online this week.

Did anything disappoint you?

Share! And I'll share mine later.

Ok, honestly, I just want to get something posted today, and it's been manic. And for other reasons I need to be off the computer early today

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do you have kids in the house? This one is for them!

I'm working on at least 8 books releasing next week, so do be prepared for some book posts on new releases. 

Here's a special one though - for young readers - Life with Lily by Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger. 






About the Book:

For a child, every day is a thing of wonder. And for six-year-old Lily Lapp, every day is a new opportunity for blessings, laughter, family, and a touch of mischief. As she explores her world, goes to school, spends time with her family, and gets into a bit of trouble with her friends, Lily learns what it means to be Amish and what it means to grow up. From getting a new teacher to welcoming a new sibling, Lily’s life is always full of adventure.
The first of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, Life with Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish–and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines the real-life stories of growing up Amish from Mary Ann Kinsinger and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With charming illustrations throughout, this series is sure to capture the hearts of readers young and old. Read an Excerpt

About the authors:

Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture her warm memories of her childhood for her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog Amish America and the New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, The Search, The Keeper, and The Haven, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award finalist. She is the host of internet radio show Amish Wisdom and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.


Visit The Adventures of Lily Lapp Website!

Click the image below to enter Lily’s world. The ‘Adventures of Lily Lapp’ interactive website is for children of all ages! Loaded with fun, games, downloadable coloring pages, Mama’s recipes, a way to ask Lily questions…and so much more!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I think that I am missed

After being with the 5th graders for a year, I have now been away from teaching Sunday morning Bible class for four weeks. I took a break when they went off to junior high.

But I think they miss me.

Tonight, Thomas came up to me. "Do you miss me?"

"No." Then, I thought about it and kind of felt bad. "Well, maybe. Kinda."

He nods and says, "yeah," and was on his way.

I stepped across the aisle to talk to someone and Emily came up.

"Do you miss me?"

"Thomas just asked me the same thing. I guess I kind of do."

I do, in a way. Interacting with the kids. Not the trying to keep the quiet so I can try to teach something. I don't miss the crowd control. Or trying to figure out what the 1970s material is getting at in between suggesting the singing of songs to strange tunes.

My assumption, and I assume incorrectly often, is that the fact they are asking if I missed them is that they in fact miss me. Right? Maybe? I'm going to make myself feel all warm and fuzzy and go with YES. Who doesn't want to feel like they are missed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Trouble with Cowboys


What's the trouble with cowboys? Well, it depends on what kind of cowboys you are talking about. Around here, there's plenty of trouble with the Dallas Cowboys. (I know this even though I am not a football person.)

There's other trouble to be had with other kind of cowboys too. All sorts of it. 

This is my current "on my Kindle read". Because I'm in the big middle of two different books. One on Kindle. One paperback book. I actually have several others started on Kindle. Too much access to too many books. I'm a hoarder, no thanks to my job!

This is one of our current book tours too. I'm glad because I read the first two book in Denise Hunter's Big Sky Romance series (A Cowboy's Touch and The Accidental Bride) when I was with my last job.

Be sure to RSVP for Denise's Facebook party so that you can win a Kindle Fire. If you don't have one, I can tell you, you want one. Then, you'll be addicted to it like me. Not just for reading, but for playing Draw Something.



To celebrate the release of The Trouble with Cowboys Denise is hosting a fun Author Chat Party on Facebook. She'll connect with readers and give away some amazing prizes - including a Kindle Fire! 

Save the Date for October 11th!


Grab your copy of Denise Hunter's latest book and join her for an Author Chat Party on October 11th at 8:00 PM EST (that’s 7:00 Central, 6:00 MST, and 5:00 PST)! Haven't read The Trouble with Cowboys yet? That's okay, don't let that stop you from coming to the party! (You may win a copy!)

During the evening she’ll be sharing the story behind the book, posting discussion questions, testing your trivia skills, and of course, there will be plenty of chatting and fun giveaways – books, gift certificates and – a Kindle Fire! She’ll also be giving you a sneak peek of her next book too!

RSVP today and then come back on the 11th … and bring your friends!



About The Trouble with Cowboys

Only one pair of boots—and the cowboy wearing them—can get Annie out of the mess she’s in.

Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew. When Annie’s column is cancelled, she’s given first shot at a new lovelorn column—and she can’t afford to turn it down. Only problem is . . . Annie’s never been in love.

Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town’s smooth-talking ladies’ man Dylan Taylor: She’ll work with his ailing horse, Braveheart, if he’ll help her answer the reader letters.

Working closely with Dylan is harder than Annie imagined, and she quickly realizes she may have misjudged him. But her unwavering conviction that cowboys are nothing but trouble has kept her heart safe for years. And she can’t risk getting hurt now.
The more Annie tries to control things, the more they fall apart. Her feelings are spinning out of control, and her sister’s antics are making life increasingly more difficult. Annie knows she needs to turn the reins over to God, but surrender has never come easily.

When Dylan reveals his feelings for her, Annie doesn’t know what to trust—her head or her heart. The trouble with this cowboy is that he might just be exactly what she needs.


Meet Denise Hunter: 


Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!


Find out more about Denise at http://www.denisehunterbooks.com/.


Click here to buy the book!

Keep up with the blog tour by reading the reviews here!

Also in this series...



Monday, September 24, 2012

It's still 90+ degrees, but don't tell the TV networks

Short blog today... Lots to do, and as soon as I "leave the office" today, I'm going to the Ranger game. Today's temps are still in the 90s. It's officially fall which means that is wrong. Wrong, I tell you!

But at least the new TV season gets into full swing tonight (the Rangers better be swinging well tonight too). My Tivo won't cover everything I want to watch tonight because after a two season hiatus, I'm watching Dancing with the Stars again. I also much record Blake and Adam tonight on The Voice. However, CBS better let me watch How I Met Your Mother online tomorrow. It got booted as a 3rd choice show tonight.

What are you most looking forward to starting back up this week?

Cannot wait for Grey's Anatomy on Thursday!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sundin brings history to life With Every Letter

“By telling this redemptive wartime tale of love primarily from the perspective
of a young flight nurse, talented historical-fiction and romance author Sundin offers
a unique perspective on the lives of military women during this time period.”
~ Book List

Combining a flair for romance with exceptional research and attention to detail, Sarah Sundin vividly brings to life the perilous challenges of World War II aviation and nursing in her latest release. With Every Letter (Revell, September 1, 2012, ISBN 978-0800720810, $14.99) launches Sundin’s new Wings of the Nightingale series in which three WWII flight nurses will discover friendship, love, and peril in the skies and on the shores of the Mediterranean.

With Every Letter takes place in the fall of 1942, and follows the events of the war, including Operation Torch (the Allied landings in North Africa on November 8). Sundin shares more about the background and research behind With Every Letter in the interview below.


An interview with Sarah Sundin, Author of With Every Letter

Q: All of the books in your last series, and your new release, With Every Letter, are set in the World War II era. What draws you to writing books set during the war?


Not only do I love the clothes, uniforms, and music, but there’s an inexhaustible supply of dramatic stories and settings—a novelist’s dream. This was a time when ordinary men had to do extraordinary things, and when women explored non-traditional roles—while remaining ladies. Plus, I’ve always been fond of that generation. As a pharmacy resident at a VA hospital, I had the honor of caring for many World War II veterans. As a rule, they were cheerful, kind, and chivalrous, with the solid strength of someone who has been tested—and passed. What more could you want in a hero?

Q: You went to school and trained to be a pharmacist, in fact, that is still your profession. How did you make the leap to author?

I certainly never planned a writing career. In 2000, I was working on-call as a hospital pharmacist and staying home with our three young children, when I had a dream with such intriguing characters that I felt compelled to write their story. That first novel will never be published, nor should it, but it got me started.

However, my pharmacy background has helped me write the Wings of the Nightingale series with its focus on nurses and medical care. Although medications have changed significantly in the past seventy years, the basic concepts remain. Also the hero of the second book in the series, On Distant Shores (June 2013), is an Army pharmacist, so I had fun with that.

Q: Do you enjoy the research process? What were some of the unique aspects of the research for this story?

I adore research. Often I have to force myself to stop and actually write the story. With Every Letter presented unique research challenges. The story is very mobile, since Tom builds airfields just behind the front lines, and Mellie flies into those airfields. There are twenty-five separate settings in With Every Letter, from Kentucky to Liverpool to Algiers to Sicily.

Also, both flight nursing and aviation engineering appealed to me because they don’t get much attention. On the flip side, few research materials are available. I had to do some sleuthing, which led to some fun moments. An obscure website led me to the grandson of an aviation engineer who had served in North Africa. The man sent me a box full of materials—copies of his handwritten narrative, personal letters to his little daughter, and photographs. Priceless!

Q:  How historically accurate are your novels (locations and events)? Are the stories based on real people?

I try to make my stories as historically accurate as possible. With Every Letter follows the US Army from the landings in North Africa in November 1942 through the campaign in Sicily in the summer of 1943. The 802nd Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron was a real unit that flew the first official air evacuation flights, but all characters and stories are fictional. Tom’s unit is based as closely as possible on the actual 809th Engineer Aviation Battalion. However, the highly mobile nature of this story and my desire to place Tom and Mellie together at certain places and times created a plot nightmare. To save myself hours of therapy, I created the fictional 908th Engineer Aviation Battalion.

Q: Is there a spiritual lesson or analogy within the story you hope readers will walk away with?

Mellie has always seen herself as merciful as she cares for the sick and wounded. But story events stretch her understanding of mercy. Both Tom and Mellie learn new depths to the meaning of forgiveness.

Also, at the start of the story, both Tom and Mellie are uncomfortable in their own skins. They both have to learn to see themselves as God sees them and grow into the people God wants them to be.

Learn more about Sarah Sundin and her books at www.sarahsundin.com. She also invites readers to become a fan on Facebook and follow her on Twitter where she shares a “Today in History” feature.


There's still time to enter to win an eReader
(winner's choice of Kindle Fire or Nook Color)!



One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire or Nook Color (winner’s choice)
  • Handmade With Every Letter First Aid Kit
  • With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 26th. Winner will be announced at the “With Every Letter” Author Chat Facebook Party on 9/27. Connect with Sarah, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of With Every Letter and join Sarah on the evening of the September 27th for a chance to connect with Sarah and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A pressed pennies Pinterest project

Ok, so here it is... I have actually followed through on a project I found on Pinterest. Actually, I guess this is the second one because I have made baby blanket using a crochet pattern I found on there.

My mom's friend Ruth Ann told her she saw a pressed penny bracelet on Pinterest. My mom had forgotten to tell me that, but I heard someone talking about it a month or so ago at Belk. I looked them up, and there were some cool ones, but I didn't want them dangling or bulky.

Last weekend we got the loops at Hobby Lobby, and today my dad drilled the holes in the pennies, and I made these two bracelets. I still have quite a few pennies left, but I picked my favorites.

I did ask Dad if he wanted to practice on one from Branson first because I could probably get those replaced easily. Times Square was less likely.

I like how they tuned out. The only thing about the ones with the vertical pennies is that they tend to flip. I may take the extra rings out and have it more like the horizontal one.


It's hard taking a decent picture of your right wrist with your left hand.

Laid out so you can see them. 

My first penny - I got it when my dad and I went to Disney World the summer I graduated from college.

I have plenty left to make more. It's funny how the one top row - second column - just looks a bit smushed, but the original imprint. The bottom left hand corner is like that too. The machine across from the Alamo didn't work too well. 


Friday, September 21, 2012

Understanding more about the Amish

You all know that I'm going to be hooked on Breaking Amish(Oh, and last night, I figured out when/where Amish: Out of Order airs!) I also admitted to not being an Amish expert and could not answer the questions Jenny and Rachel had. However, I work with a couple of authors that likely can. 

In the interview below Suzanne Woods Fisher, a best-selling author of Amish based non-fiction and fiction, discusses some of the most popular misconceptions about the Amish people and their lifestyle. In the interview below, she talks about the research she has done on the Amish, her own family connections, and what drew her into the Amish fiction genre.

By the way, Fisher is excited to announce the launch of the Amish Wisdom iPhone app and to share about her latest fiction release, The Haven (August 2012). Both the first book in a series for young readers, Life With Lily (written with Mary Ann Kinsinger who was raised Old Order Amish), and the expanded, paperback edition of the non-fiction Amish Proverbs (a finalist for the 2011 ECPA Book of the Year) will be available in stores on October 1 if you just can't get enough Amish!


Q: What are some of the misconceptions the public has about the Amish way of life?

It's always foolish to generalize a population. That's what happens when people watch TV shows about the Amish--they draw a conclusion and apply it to 250,000 people. The Amish can't be jammed into one-size-fits-all. The problem with these TV shows is that they focus on a few Amish who have chosen to leave...and they left for a reason. The shows are not highlighting the lives of the 85-90% who choose to remain in the church. Their story isn't getting told. That's one of the reasons I like to read "The Budget," an Amish-Mennonite newspaper--it gives a nationwide picture of the Amish and you can see the satisfaction and contentment in their lives. 

Next myth: Stopping school at 8th grade means that one’s education stops. So not true!  The Amish have a core value of lifelong learning and mastering concepts. My favorite story is about an Amish man who ran a dairy until his eldest son was old enough to take over the day-to-day management of it. This dad then taught himself all about electricity and hired out as an electrician. Keep in mind—he had never used electricity!

I could go on and on and on.

Q: In your latest fiction series, one of the characters has a heart transplant. It comes up in this story as well. Are the Amish open to modern medical treatment?

The Amish do use doctors and hospitals and are open to modern medical treatment. They don’t have medical or life insurance because it would require joining with others who are not Amish. Instead, the church pools money to help families cover medical costs of their members. Perhaps because they are cost-conscious, they do make use of alternative health treatments: remedies, chiropractors, reflexology, etc. Above all, what I’ve noticed is that they have a deep belief in eternal life, so a grim diagnosis (like Amos Lapp had in The Keeper) is faced with acceptance and trust in God. 

Q: What first drew you to writing Amish fiction?

My grandfather was raised Plain and I grew up interacting with my Old Order German Baptist relatives. I was always intrigued by them—lovely, gentle, kind, faithful people. I admired their simple life—their homes, their gardens, their interest in things without the need to own things. When my agent connected me to an editor at Revell who was looking for a writer about the Plain people, it all came together in a non-fiction book contract, Amish Peace. That book became a foundation for me to write credible fiction about the Amish, and was a finalist for the ECPA Book of the Year. I just love that book.

Q: It seems that the Amish can sometimes be apprehensive about letting outsiders into their communities. How are you able to research certain aspects of Amish life?

My relatives have opened some doors for me, and I’ve had the blessing of making some wonderful Amish and Mennonite friends who are willing to answer questions and be a resource.  I have a full disclosure policy with anyone I am writing about—they know I’m a writer, they can read and correct the essays, and then we change names and location to protect privacy. Don’t get me wrong--I have faced some shut doors! But many open ones, too. 

Q: Amish fiction is such a popular genre of Christian fiction. Why do you think so many readers love stories of the Amish?

There’s not just one simple answer to that question, but I think you could combine some current issues and see why the sub-genre is attractive to readers and continues to grow.

The recession certainly plays a role—this sub-genre took off as the economy crashed. Amish stories transport a reader into a more peaceful world—and peace combats financial insecurity and anxiety.

The galloping pace of technology might be another piece of this puzzle. Isn’t it ironic what little spare time you have despite so many time saving devices? 

The pastoral setting speaks to, and reminds us, of the soothing effect of nature.

And then…naturally, a love story is always wonderful. Amish or otherwise.

More about Suzanne Woods Fisher:

Fisher is a bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction about the Old Order Amish for Revell with over 500,000 books sold.  Amish Proverbs, an ECPA 2011 Book of the Year finalist, will be re-released in paperback in October 2012. Fisher’s interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, PA. She hopes readers are inspired by underlying themes in her books and incorporate Amish values into their lives including simplicity, forgiving other more readily, appreciating nature and trusting in God.

She is the host of the weekly radio program Amish Wisdom, and the free iPhone app with the same name debuted last week.

Click here to download the free Amish Wisdom iPhone app!
Keep up on Suzanne Woods Fisher’s latest news
on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What would Yoda snort like?

That's the question of the day. Don't ask why. It just is.

Just know that throughout the month of October #snort should be the trending topic on Twitter.

It's been that kind of evening.




Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Time and Money Saving Meals


Are you having a harder time than your kids getting back into an after school routine? Is dinner the last thing on your mind after a long day at work? Crystal Paine, aka The Money Saving Mom, offers money and time saving tips for keeping your family happily fed with healthy foods.

Even though I am childless, I may have to do break down and do some of these. I have no desire to cook when I turn off the computer for the day. 

Crystal is doing a whole series of freezer cooking posts this month at www.MoneySavingMom.com. Be sure to check them out!


Stock Your Freezer with Delicious Food
in Just an Hour Each Week

I don’t know about you, but there are some days at our home when life whizzes by so quickly. All of a sudden, it’s 5:00 PM and dinner isn’t even a figment of my imagination. For most people, the fallback is order takeout or grab something at the grocery store at the last minute.

But this is stressful and expensive, not to mention unhealthy. There must be a better solution!

For me, the solution to the 5 p.m. “What’s-For-Dinner” panic is called Freezer Cooking. If I forgot to pull something out from the freezer earlier in the day, I can just pick a meal from my freezer stash that defrosts quickly — such as meatballs.

I can pair this with some frozen veggies, rice, and maybe a fruit salad. No one even has to know I forgot about dinner until 30 minutes before it was supposed to happen!

When I first tried my hand at this thing called “freezer cooking”, I immediately fell in love with it. I spent less time in the kitchen cooking, I spent less time washing dishes, and I always had food at-the-ready.

In the beginning, I spent entire days in the kitchen, making dozens of meals over the course of a day or two. It was a beautiful thing to stock my freezer for the month -- in just the course of a number of hours.

But it was a big time commitment. And, as time marched on, our family grew, and the demands on my time increased.

As a result, I found that it was no longer quite as feasible to find big blocks of time in our schedule to do full day or half day cooking sessions.  I was so committed to freezer cooking that I determined to find a way to make it work.

After some contemplation, I decided to try doing mini half-hour or one-hour freezer cooking sessions once a week. To my delight, I found it worked wonderfully for us! It wasn’t too hard to find a shorter time slot each week to do some extra cooking and baking, it wasn’t exhausting like my marathon cooking sessions had been, and it was a lot easier to clean up from when I was done!

While I might not be making 20 or 30 meals at a time, by devoting an hour each week to cook food for the freezer, we always have some meals in the freezer for those busy days when I don’t have time or energy for cooking. And truly, I’ve been amazed at how much I can do in one hour of focused cooking in the kitchen!

No matter how busy you are, I’m positive you could find 30 minutes or an hour each week to cook or bake a few extra things to stick in your freezer. I promise the work will be every bit worth it -- especially the next time you realize that it’s 5 p.m. and you’ve don’t have anything planned for dinner!

Crystal Paine is a wife, mom of three, and author of The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget. Visit her blog, www.MoneySavingMom.com, for high-value coupons, online bargains, freebies, and practical ideas and inspiration to get your life and finances in order. Be sure to check out her Lunchbox Freezer Cooking series during the month of September. She’ll be sharing recipes, pictures, and tips as she cooks and bakes Lunchbox-Friendly food to store in her freezer.


More Helpful Freezer Cooking Articles

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Praying the Wisdom of Proverbs

Tonight I will share one of Litfuse's latest blog tours, a new book from Summerside Press -- Proverbs Prayers!


About Proverb Prayers

Praying the Wisdom of Proverbs into Your Life Every Day

Experience God’s wisdom as never before and find encouragement, peace, answers, and a better life through this devotional prayer book.
Many people read a chapter a day from the book of Proverbs as a regular devotional practice. They consider it their favorite book in the Bible because its daily practical guidance offers tools to make the right choices and have the inner strength to stand against pressure, size up a situation and know how to respond, make fewer careless mistakes, and avoid unnecessary trouble.
In these pages, readers will find a chapter from Proverbs followed by a heartfelt prayer that includes all of the insights from that chapter. In a mere thirty-one days they can pray all of the wisdom of Proverbs for their lives.

Meet John Mason: 
John Mason is an author with over 1.2 million books in print, including “An Enemy Called Average”, “You’re Born an Original- Don’t Die a Copy”, and “Let Go of Whatever Makes You Stop”.

He is the founder and president of Insight International, an organization dedicated to helping people reach their dreams and fulfill their destiny. John is in great demand as a speaker throughout the United States and abroad. Learn more about John on his website: http://www.freshword.com

Find out more about John at http://www.freshword.com.


Check out the reviews on the Litfuse Blog Tour Landing Page

Click here to buy the book!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Why you don't let a retired person plan your weekend

As I was saying last night, you don't let a retired person plan your weekend.

By saying "I need to get out of the house," I would have been content with things such as:

  • Going to Home Depot or Office Depot. Just not Walmart
  • Going to a movie
  • Going up to Ennis and back just to get Starbucks
  • Going to Cracker Barrel at some point during the day
These things would not take ALL-DAY-LONG and would qualify as getting out of the house. 

But, noooooooooooo. My dad has a tendency to be the activity planner without input of anyone else.

Here's his response, "I'm going to call the girls and see if they'll go up to Lois' with us." 

READ: Other side of Dallas and multiple hours, really taking up the entire day.

I say, "If you do that, you really need to go see Eula Mae because we've not gone to see her."

This is my way of saying, well, you really should be more broad in your plans and have you run this by anyone anyway.

So, we went out to Mildred to pick up the girls, then it became my turn to drive my Dad's boat of a truck (the only vehicle we all can fit in and take Lois out to eat) to Coppell, over to Carrolton to eat. From Coppell to Frisco and Frisco to Corsicana.

Not a relaxing Saturday. And I drove all of it. The whole way to Frisco and back, someone told Peyton it was ok to sit in the front. I hate driving three wide. There's not much room, and by the time we got back to Wilmer, my back was killing me, in part from the smush.

Coming and going, we also had to make an extra stop for the restroom. Someone should have gone when I stopped for a drink and Advil in Wilmer.

Once we finally got home, Paige stayed over here and Peyton stayed over at my parents. On Sunday, we all got up for church, then back to my parents to eat. 

By this time, Peyton was on question asking mode again. My mom and I were almost beside ourselves not to scream in exasperation. I left saying that I need to go to the grocery store for contact solution and toilet paper. (I ended up taking a nap and going for groceries later.)

My brother didn't pick the girls up until 3:30, then my mom had to go to Walmart. 

So, both of us are kind of ready for a relaxing weekend again. We went back to work today. Dad went back to playing Spider Solitaire.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Don't let a retired person plan your weekend

When worked in an office, much like my mother, I appreciated a quiet weekend at home doing nothing. To an extent, I am sill that some way. However, after working at home all week, sometimes I itch to get out of the house on the weekends.

Well, Dad is home all day everyday, but doesn't work. His ideas are much different.

I am typing on my phone during Breaking Amish commercials, so will have to elaborate later. Let's just say that I need another weekend. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 14, 2012

My life's not fair rant

I've been rejected a number of times over a number of things in my life. A string of "no's" when interviewing for jobs. A lot of "no, I do not want to interview that author" responses.

But this week, I have been rejected more than anyone with an excellent credit score should have.

Let me just do this public service announcement for anyone who falls under the technical definition of "self-employed" even if you are contractually working for a company with regular hours and pay. If you have not been self-employed for two years, you better be able to buy a house with cash because you will not be able to buy a house otherwise.

The exception to that would be the ability to pay a rather large down payment - one larger than the typical payment these days.

I'm telling you, banks will not look at your credit score, your bank balance, your debt to income ratio, your income, anything if you fall in the self-employed category and haven't held a self-employed status for 2 full years, even if you've been in the same line of work for 10 years.

Thanks Federal Housing Administration. Thanks for tying everyone's hands with regulations so that banks can't look past that one fact.

So, that right there is my rant. I'm stuck in the rentalhood. Next to the people that tell my landlord, "it wasn't us parked in front of the mailbox." Next to the kids banging on the wall. Next to the cast of Three's Company and their new puppies. Next to all the visitors to Jack and company and their parking everywhere.

And stuck within the walls that are closing in on me. And stuck with my mom saying, "you need a bigger place. You have too much stuff." Surely she'll stop saying that now. Surely. When I've told her, "I struck out again." She's asked, "what reason this time." "The same reason as all the others."

I told her I jinxed myself with picking up paint chips at Home Depot. I also bought a curtain panel to match the one I have in my living room now so that I could cover the other window in the townhouse I wanted.

Yes, I am thankful I have a job, a paycheck, a place to live, etc. I really am. However, just for today, I'm allowing a pity party rant on my own blog.

Tomorrow, I shall hang up the picture frames I've not hung up over the past few weeks on the slim chance that I would have to take them down soon.

Tomorrow, I shall vacuum and dust because I've been needing to anyway.

Tonight, I shall log off and go take the clean dishes out of the dishwasher and fill it back up with the week's worth of dishes sitting in the sink before the roaches really come out in mass.

With that, I better go.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Win an eReader from Sarah Sundin!

Celebrate with the release of With Every Letter
along with Sarah Sundin by entering to win an eReader
(winner's choice of Kindle Fire or Nook Color)!



One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire or Nook Color (winner’s choice)
  • Handmade With Every Letter First Aid Kit
  • With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 26th. Winner will be announced at the “With Every Letter” Author Chat Facebook Party on 9/27. Connect with Sarah, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of With Every Letter and join Sarah on the evening of the September 27th for a chance to connect with Sarah and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Introducing Taming the Wind - Win a Free Kindle from Tracie Peterson

Enter to win a Kindle Fire
from Tracie Peterson and
RSVP for her 9/26 Facebook Party.



One winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Fire with Wi-Fi
  • The entire Land of the Lone Star series by Tracie Peterson
Hurry, the giveaway ends on 9/25/12. Just click one of the icons below to enter. The winner will be announced at Tracie's "Taming the Wind" Author Chat Party on 9/26Connect with Tracie, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of Taming the Wind and join Tracie on the evening of the September 26th for a chance to connect with Tracie and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

DON’T MISS A MOMENT OF THE FUN, RSVP TODAY
TELL YOUR FRIENDS VIA FACEBOOK or TWITTER AND 
INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 26TH!



About the Taming the Wind

A young widow nursing the wounds of her past…

A cowboy with demons of his own…

Though grateful for the blessing of her daughter, Carissa Lowe has accepted that widowhood is her lot in life. Bound by fear and mistrust, she feels incapable of opening her heart again.

Tyler Atherton has never forgotten Carissa. When he discovers she’s living with her sister on a nearby ranch, his life becomes intertwined with the lovely widow’s. And Carissa’s daughter, Gloria, seems determined to wrap herself around his little finger. But while Tyler longs to provide a home and future for Carissa, he is haunted by an obligation he feels unable to fulfill.

Challenged by mounting hardships, can Carissa and Tyler preserve their fledgling love in a land as unforgiving and vibrant as the people who call it home?


Meet Tracie Peterson: 

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie's Web site at www.traciepeterson.com and her blog at www.writespassage.blogspot.com

Check out the reviews!


Buy the book!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My friends are hooked on Breaking Amish

As all of you know, I'm a little obsessed at times with reality TV. I'd like to think that I am at least semi-well-read, but I do have to admit that much of what I know about some subjects I get from watching reality TV.

I did watch a lot of Dateline interviews on NBC about polygamy before Sister Wives, I feel the need to say. At least that education came from news. 

Jenny saw me post that I was going to watch Breaking Amish, so she called for a party. So, she and Rachel came over to watch with me on Sunday night. It wasn't much of a party to their disappointment, I'm sure, but it was 9:00 on a Sunday night after church. Jenny does feel that I introduce her to different cultures and ways of life through my choice of TV viewing. (And, she's already hooked on Breaking Amish, or so she says.)

For the number of Amish authors that I now work with, I really should know more than I do about the Amish way of life. I couldn't answer all the questions she and Rachel had, at least not like I can many of the ones they have after watching Kody Brown and brood. 

Maybe you’ve seen the commercials or caught Sunday night’s premiere of Breaking Amish. The previews had me hooked, I must admit. However, this program stands out from the crop of all the other shows on TLC.

Most of the shows on TLC feature families that are different, but want to share their life to show it in a positive light. Take 19 Kids and Counting or United Bates of America—both highlight super-sized Christian families who homeschool and make the best out of life while still sticking to their values in a world that doesn’t. Other shows like Little People, Big World and The Little Couple depict what life is like for people with dwarfism that make the best out of life and are very successful despite the challenges they face.

I've also learned a lot from All-American Muslim and Long Island Medium. But, I won't go there. 

Breaking Amish is different. You won’t see the cameras going in and showing families that will make you want to move to the closest Amish community, and it’s not just because the families don’t believe in being photographed or filmed. The show follows 5 young adults (ages 20-32, four Amish and one Mennonite) who are not at all happy with the life they are living. I would say that 4 out of 5 of them are even angry.

You see, for these young people, the simpler way of life that some people admire is not really simpler for them. They feel bound by their way of life and desperately want to get away from it. The young men complain about the hard work, even the restrictions on their clothes. I wouldn’t really expect wardrobe complaints from the men, would you? The women wearing starched bonnets, yes. 

One of the women wants to find a man who will cook and clean for her. (Another confession: I do too!) She’s had about all of taking care of the men in her family that she can stand. Another is the daughter of the bishop, and wants to become a model. She’s already been kicked out of her family’s home, and was later charged with a DUI after joining friends in Florida when she didn’t know where else to go. 

What I'm really wondering is since these people don't watch TV, how did they find them? Unlike some posts I've seen online, I don't really think the producers are forcing them into anything. I think what’s very interesting about the cast the network found is that that two of the young people were adopted. Each passionately proclaims that they were not born into this way of life and wonder what life could have been for them if they had not been adopted by Amish and Mennonite families.

The first episode shows what life is like in their home communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Each one of these young people know that they will be shunned and will not be accepted back into their families once the show takes them to New York and “sets them free” in the big city. And for the most part, they don’t really seem to care because they think there’s something bigger and better out there for them.

That’s where the second episode will pick up. And oh, and the network is going to show them all about the big city. After the initial shock of flying in a plane and seeing the New York Skyline for the first time, Jeremiah, Kate, Abe, Rebecca and Sabrina will get a culture shock. The previews show how overwhelmed by Times Square (complete with “The Naked Cowboy” who plays the guitar in his tighty-whities) they are, and follow them to bikini photo shoots, strip clubs, bars where they will get drunk, a trip to get a very large tattoo, and more.

I'm kind of scared to find out what's going to happen. I think it's going to be something like Amish Gone Wild videos.

Here's a peek at next week's show...