Friday, May 29, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
And being a writer did not serve me well as my mind traveled down the what-if lanes. What if this? and What if that? Even though I'd prayed and really felt this was the right step, fear hovered on the outskirts of my thoughts.
Then I wondered what book will I need these memories for? When will a character live through something similar -- only magnified and made much worse? Nothing can ever be easy for a character, after all.
So now I'm working on lots of low activity level options for her. Yesterday it was movies and scrapbooking. Today, we'll do reading and some school. You could pray that she'll be patient through the recovery. Could be tough for my gymnast!
Monday, May 25, 2009
I have to tell you -- I don't understand why God allows such things to befall us in life. I wrestle with understanding His ways, His purpose, His plans. Yet I know that He is in control of our lives, He holds us in the palms of His hands, and He is trustworthy. How to tell these women that my fervent prayer is that they will see God take a situation that our enemy clearly intends for evil and transform it into good -- in a way that only He can.
To let them know that the pain and grief are real and must be processed. Yet God can and will surprise them with joy -- even on the darkest days.
For me, one of the goods that God has caused out of the loss is the ability to reach out to women experiencing a miscarriage. Because I have lived it, I can hug them and say I understand. I can pray and I can share.
Both women are getting a copy of Kathe Wunnenberg's book: Grieving the Child I Never Knew. It is the book I wish I had found in the early days after my miscarriage. It's one I still turn to -- more than two years later. I just hate that I need to order more.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
PJ Sugar is returning home for one reason: to attend her sister's wedding. And care for her nephew during the honeymoon. And prove to the town that trouble doesn't follow her. Anymore. Really. She's different. Changed. Since the night she was chased out of town.
But she's no sooner back in town and confronting the reality that she turned her back on her friends and family as much as the town turned its back on her. And she doesn't like what she's learning about herself when she's confronted with an opportunity to run or stand by a friend in need. A friend she abandoned ten years earlier.
PJ takes it upon herself to convince the local police that the man they believe committed a murder didn't. And the more she investigates, the more trouble she gets into. And the more she finds herself at odds with her old flame and new "partner". The action is quick with enough twists to keep the plot moving and engaging.
This book is filled with certain Warren staples. A feisty heroine with a past to overcome. A mystery with hints of suspense. A small town setting. And characters that become friends -- a good thing because this is only the first book starring PJ Sugar. I'm glad. I can't wait to read her future adventures.
The celebration for Susan May Warren's first release in her new PJ Sugar collection, Nothing But Trouble, is about to begin. Join Susan for a month long Sugar Party!
The fun will Kick-off with a SUGAR BOMB on Friday May 15th. Susan is encouraging everyone to purchase a copy (and maybe a few for friends) of Nothing But Trouble anytime during the day on May 15th. Every one who purchases a copy of the book will be entered into the contest to win a Sugar Spa Basket. All you need to do is purchase a book at Amazon or CBD (or anywhere else) and then come back here (contest page at www.susanmaywarren.com) and leave Susan a message letting her know where you bought your book. Easy. And for every additional copies you buy, you'll gain an additional ten entries into the contest. So just let her know how many copies you bought.
The party will continue all month with a blog tour and chances to win copies of Nothing But Trouble from the blog tourists! Schedule posted below.
The Sugar party will conclude in a day of celebration on Friday June 19th with a day long ONLINE Sugar Bookclub Party. Susan will be giving away prizes, answering questions, hosting a live chat, and generally getting herself into some "Trouble".
|Nothing but Trouble, PJ Sugar Series #1|
By Susan May Warren
PJ Sugar knows three things for sure:
1) After traveling the country for ten years hoping to shake free from the trail of disaster that's become her life, she needs a fresh start.
2) The last person she wants to see when she heads home for her sister's wedding is Boone-her former flame and the reason she left town.
3) Her best friend's husband absolutely did not commit the first murder Kellogg, Minnesota, has seen in more than a decade.
What PJ doesn't know is that when she starts digging for evidence, she'll uncover much more than she bargained for-a deadly conspiracy, a knack for investigation, and maybe, just maybe, that fresh start she's been longing for.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Got a great compliment from Patti Lacy in her post at Seekerville:
Cara Putman “transcends” in Canteen Dreams. Hero Willard Johnson itches to make sense of his brother’s death by enlisting in World War II. However, he must stay home and tend to the ranch. Though I’ve never been drafted and am generations removed from Willard, I empathize with his dilemma of duty conflicting with my dreams. Don’t you?
Read the whole post here.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Hometown Girl and Popular Author Returns for Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous
Jamie Carie will sign copies of Wind Dancer with a quill and ink
(Indianapolis, IN) Award-winning author Jamie Carie fell in love with history in Vincennes, IN. As a grade-school student, she learned of George Rogers Clark’s tale of fortitude and was taught to have pride in her city. That pride shows in her recent book Wind Dancer, which is set in Vincennes, circa 1778.
Jamie returns to her hometown for the Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous May 23-24. She will dress in period clothing and sign copies of her book with a quill and ink on the grounds of the George Rogers Clark National Park.
Reviewers praise Carie’s writing and strong characters. One online reviewer said, “Wind Dancer is a book with characters that leap from the pages and reach into the deepest recesses of your heart and mind. . . . I am still reeling from the pure satisfaction of this novel! She brought pre-Revolutionary War America and its vast frontiers to life vividly and completely.”
About the Book:
Times are turbulent during the American Revolution, and no less heaving for the scattered folks eking out a living on the other side of the Appalachian Mountains. Isabelle is bursting with purpose, but she doesn’t understand the cost, the terror that will befall her in finding it. Samuel Holt is a guardian, one of the famed and feared Long Knives. He is busy protecting and providing for the scattered forts, keeping his scalp attached with finely honed skills in weaponry, stealth, and cunning. When war becomes imminent, Samuel joins his friend, George Rogers Clark, in taking the British-held forts along the great Ohio River. Samuel didn’t plan on a woman of his own ever again; but then he never imagined a raven-haired woman who dances in the wind.
About the Author:
Jamie Carie writes inspirational, historical fiction and believes in the power of story to touch hearts and change lives. She is the author of three books: Snow Angel (USA "Best Books" Award and ForeWord Book of the Year Award); The Duchess and the Dragon; and Wind Dancer. Her fourth book, Love's First Light, is scheduled for a June 1 release. Jamie lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three boys and a giant dog named Leo. For more information, visit http://www.jamiecarie.com/.
Monday, May 18, 2009
I have read Stephanie Whitson's book since her earliest series for Thomas Nelson. Those early books were set in Lincoln, NE, and grew out of exploring history with her kids as they homeschooled. My mom, who knew Stephanie through homeschooling, would buy the books and I'd inhale them. I've enjoyed Stephanie's contemporary books, but her historicals will always be my favorites.
Stephanie Whitson has a wonderful way of bringing history to life which is why I've enjoyed her books from the earliest. A Claim of Her Own is a great addition to her list of books. Mattie O'Keefe makes the arduous trip to Deadwood, South Dakota to escape a man who has trapped her in a lifestyle she doesn't want. Her brother is supposed to meet her in Deadwood, but nothing is as it seems other than he has a claim.
Mattie struggles with finding faith after exposure to preachers who were no different than anyone else. She is unwilling to believe that the new preacher in Deadwood is any different, and is convinced that he's hiding something much as she is. But in Deadwood she finds a small circle of friends who have a genuine faith and add her to their "family." Then she decides to take over her brother's claim. She's convinced the gold she uncovers will lead to her happiness. Who hasn't thought that a bit more money or more possessions would bring us the happiness and contentment we long for? With spring's arrival, for me it's a few more flowers :-)
This book will transport you back to Deadwood in its early rough-and-tumble days. It's not a pretty place, but people are determined to scrape an existence from the badlands. The book is populated with a full array of characters, making a rich story. And watching Mattie struggle to create a place for herself separate from her past had me rooting for her to the last page. This is a great addition to the authors list of books.
To be entered to receive a copy of this great book, leave a comment telling me which historical time period is your favorite.
|A Claim of Her Own|
By Stephanie Grace Whitson
It's 1876, and 20-year-old Mattie Flynn is determined to make a fresh start after fleeing from her sinister boss in the gambling house where she was employed as a singer. Mattie travels to Deadwood, South Dakota, in search of her younger brother, who went ahead of her in hopes of making a fortune in the gold mines.
All Mattie wants is a safe and respectable life for the two of them, but that doesn't seem to be her destiny as she faces more heartache and trials. Will the suspicious bottles of gold dust from her brother's claim be the key to her future...or does the handsome street preacher, who is always turning the other cheek, truly hold the answers to her deepest longings?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Coming soon to a bookstore near you. My anomaly book... The Complete Idiots Guide to Business Law. I received my second author copy today. I grin each time I hold it. Never in a million years thought I'd write a book like this!
Just so you know, the target audience is students taking business law. So if you are looking for answers to your "starting-a-small-business" questions, this book will help but is not the definitive source. Instead, it is meant to be an overview of key principles that MBA and undergrad students need to understand.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Here's a book that may help some of you in your mothering.
Teenagers are a bit of a mystery. Let's face it -- even though I'm not old, the world has changed since I was a teen. And now that my oldest is getting closer to those mysterious years -- thankfully we still have a few years to go! -- I'm on the hunt for books that will help me prepare for when my girls are teens, but also to help me relate to the teens I know right now. And frankly, this book won't hurt me when writing teens either!
What book am I talking about? Dear Mom by Melody Carlson. I found this book compelling. It addresses what teenagers think about their relationships with their moms and how can we as parents reach out to them in a way that encourages a healthy relationship. Very easy to read, but also very packed with great information.
This book is incredibly readable and filled with awesome information. For example, the chapter on privacy forced me to think about the importance of building trust so I don't have to snoop or violate my child's privacy to know what is going on in her life. There are times that may be necessary -- but there were strategies to avoid that, too. I found myself nodding as I read. Much resonated from when I was a teenager. And even more struck home as I considered how I should respect and treat teens. Read this book while handing your teen Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. Together they'll get you both prepared!
|Dear Mom: Everything Your Teenage Daughter Wants You to Know But Will Never Tell You|
By Melody Carlson
Popular teen girls' novelist Melody Carlson helps moms cut through murky and uncharted waters so you can hear what your daughter is really trying to tell you through her anger, silence, and mixed messages. Dear Mom focuses on your daughter's heart and soul. Get to know her hopes and fears, doubts and dreams about her identity, guys, friendships, and even you. You can connect on a deeper, more intimate level that will carry both you and your daughter through the stormy seas of life.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Saturday I ran the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon and being me, I looked for lessons and principles. Here are a few I extrapolated out as applied to writing...
1) Be prepared. Eric didn't know that the T-ball game would be canceled, but it was. He ran 10 miles without training, but imagine what he could have done if he'd kept up with it -- even on a reduced basis. Read books, join organizations like ACFW, and hone your craft. You never know when an editor or agent will want to look at your writing. Will it be ready?
2) Stick with it. I did not want to run the mini. By Friday and Saturday morning I'd about talked myself out of it. Now, I can't wait to sign up for my next one -- though I still have no desire to run a marathon! I could have talked myself out of it -- after training since January. But sometimes we have to stick our heads down and do the work. Write 500 words a day consistently and at the end of a year you'll have a book. The reward can come from that alone.
3) Live in community. If we didn't have a community, we wouldn't have had anyone who was ready and willing to step in and help with the kids. Join ACFW, a local writing group, or online crit group. When with others you'll learn more about writing, form fast friendships, and develop the community you'll need to write for the long term.
4) Walk a self-disciplined life. None of this would have been possible if I hadn't worked for 16 weeks to train. Running on days I wanted to and didn't. But as I ran day after day, I built up the base I needed to shave 5 minutes off my time from two years ago. My average mile pace dropped to 10:30! Now to hit 10 minutes a mile next time :-) In writing, it's by being disciplined and writing when I'm not sure I want to, that I over time write book after book.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Saturday I ran the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon and being me, I looked for lessons and principles. Here are a few I extrapolated out...
1) Be prepared. Eric didn't know that the T-ball game would be canceled, but it was. He ran 10 miles without training, but imagine what he could have done if he'd kept up with it -- even on a reduced basis. Moral -- we don't know the outcome, so train and prepare for the eventualities.
2) Stick with it. I did not want to run the mini. By Friday and Saturday morning I'd about talked myself out of it. I was the craziest person who'd ever lived. Now, I can't wait to sign up for my next one -- though I still have no desire to run a marathon! I could have talked myself out of it -- after training since January. But sometimes we have to stick our heads down and do the work. The reward can come from that alone.
3) Live in community. If we didn't have a community, we wouldn't have been able to call Eric's sisters to help out. We also bumped into a friend and her mother who graciously volunteered to help with the kids. We can't do crazy things alone. So reach out :-)
4) Walk a self-disciplined life. None of this would have been possible if I hadn't worked for 16 weeks to train. Running on days I wanted to and didn't. But as I ran day after day, I built up the base I needed to shave 5 minutes off my time from two years ago. My average mile pace dropped to 10:30! Now to hit 10 minutes a mile next time :-)
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
ENDURING JUSTICE Secrets Can't Last Forever
A PAINFUL PAST
Hanna Kessler's childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her memories.
A RACIALLY-MOTIVATED KILLER
As a Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. Difficult cases and broken relationships have plagued his entire year. But when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael's drive for retribution eclipses all else.
A LIFE-ALTERING CHOICE
A racist's well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. The dividing line between the two is the choice to heal. But when the attack turns personal, is justice enough?
-CLAUDIA MAIR BURNEY, author of Wounded: A Love Story
Here's an interview with author and friend Amy Wallace
Where did the idea for the stories in the DEFENDERS OF HOPE series come from?
The Defenders of Hope series started with a literal dream about an FBI agent with a wounded heart and a mom on a dangerous quest for answers. That dream became the book Ransomed Dreams. During the research for Ransomed Dreams, I met with a federal agent and asked the question-what would happen if an FBI agent found out he had cancer? His answer became the second book, Healing Promises. And the third book in the series, Enduring Justice, grew out of a secret one of the characters, Hanna Kessler, struggles to keep hidden.
Your current release is Enduring Justice, book 3 in the Defenders of Hope series. Is it necessary to read all the books in order?
I've been told by many readers and read reviews that have said the Defenders of Hope books can be read in any order as stand-alones. The cases and suspense story-lines are self-contained, no cliffhanger endings until the next book. But the characters' friendships and relationships grow and are challenged in each book, so I'd say it's best but not necessary for the stories to be read in order.
You've said that Enduring Justice contains the shards of your once-broken heart. What do you mean by that?
Fifteen years ago, God placed me in a safe place and used my future husband's hands to hold me together while my heart shattered. David was the first person to hear about my being date raped when I was a teen. For five years I'd denied what happened or blamed myself. So when my walls of secrecy started to crumble, I felt alone and terrified.
But God met me there. He covered my shame with His grace and we started down the painful path of healing. Even though this isn't the same circumstances as what Hanna Kessler faces in Enduring Justice, a lot of my personal story went into the writing. And while this subject may qualify this story as "gritty," the focus is not on the past experiences, but on the healing an adult woman finds as she opens up to her family and the man she loves.
One of the key themes running through Enduring Justice is racism, as Hanna's love interest, FBI Agent Michael Parker, is investigating a white supremacist. Why is this topic near to your heart?
I grew up in the military and had friends of all skin colors and nationalities. One of my best friends was African American. We never talked about our skin color, but I remember one time she made a comment about how people treated her differently because of her skin. She wouldn't explain. It wasn't until years later after hearing some ugly words from extended family members about people of other skin colors that I started to understand racism still exists. And it breaks my heart.
Through Hanna and Eve and Michael and Lee, I wanted to highlight some of the challenges I've learned about from friends of other nationalities and also to show that it's not skin color that matters, it's who we are on the inside. We truly can be color-blind.
Where can readers learn more about you, Enduring Justice, and your other books?
I enjoy and value email from readers! So please visit me on the web at the Dark Chocolate Suspense site: www.amywallace.com and leave a note in the guestbook, drop me an email, or join the Dark Chocolate Suspense newsletter community. Readers can also check out a very cool book format and read the first two chapters of Enduring Justice online.
Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of book two in this series!
Monday, May 04, 2009
For me the highlight was that my amazing husband got to run with me. About four weeks ago we learned that Jonathan's first T-ball game was scheduled for the same morning, so Eric stopped training. Then Friday night as we're eating supper I get the call that the games are canceled due to all the rain we've received. Eric looked at me, and we both said "Murphy's Law."
He then decided to run. On twelve hours notice and no training. Isn't he incredible?!?!
His sisters really stepped up to help with the kids on incredibly short notice, with Rhonda picking them up late after work and Melinda spending the night with them and both playing with them the next day.
Eric ran with me the first ten miles. It was awesome! I'd dreaded running by myself, and God knew. So He worked things so my crazy husband could run the bulk of the race with me. Then when I was starting to hurt at mile 11 something, one of the bands was playing a Desperation Band song, Free to Run. I love that song! And it was such a kiss from heaven! Gave me the surge I needed to finish.
Now we're talking about the next one we'll run. Both of us training this time!