Fiction Faith & Foodies

Fiction Faith & Foodies: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrating at High Five Friday

Thank you, Sandra Ardoin, for announcing and celebrating awards and contracts (including mine!) at High Five Friday. Check it out here...

Hubby and I are wrapping up our week-
long driving tour of the northeast. 

We've enjoyed a great week together, relaxing, eating (a lot of that going on!), and visiting some cool places like Ben & Jerry's Factory and the Morse Syrup Farm in Vermont. We're venturing into Boston today. Who knows what we'll find.

Do I need to tell you how excited I'll be when my head lands on my own pillow? 
I miss the feel of my grandson's little arms wrapped around my neck in a hug, the sound of my granddaughter's sweet little voice, guzzling a tall glass of iced tea, wrapping my fingers around a giant mug of cafe con leche and inhaling the scent. I praise God for rest, relaxation, and quality time away with my hubby. You see, my hubby doesn't get much opportunity to unwind, to relax. He's a fire chief, on call 24/7, with a radio and a cell phone attached to his hip. So, vacations like this are healthy, a destresser for him. 

But, my fingers itch to get back into the writing groove. I spread the love throughout the northeast, donating a few copies of Journey's End to some libraries along the way. One librarian invited me back for an author event. We just might be making another trip to the northeast. Hmmm....does that count as work? Ut-oh.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

thanks givings...

 ~ Enjoying this spectacular view over dinner with my hubby! Life just doesn't get any better.

~ My mom and dad arriving back in this time zone. It's so good to have them back home for six months, and only a four-hour drive away. 

~ Seeing the excitement on my hubby's face the closer we got to the NASCAR race track. 

~ Finding our rental car after the race. The ten mile hike, combined with an eighty-eight degree sun burning on our backs, just melted those pounds away. Great exercise program, hubby!

~ Passing a major milestone yesterday. That big ole "50" marker had been staring me in the face for a few months, giving me a kick in the gut every so often. Now that it's passed, I can get on with my life, enjoying precious memories of where I have been, cherishing every moment of where I am, and relishing where I am headed.

What about you? What are your thanks givings today?

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book 'Em NC

Book 'Em, that's 
Book 'Em North Carolina. As in "Buy a Book and Stop a Crook!"

The purpose of The Book 'Em Foundation and this event is to raise public awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. Proceeds from the Book 'Em North Carolina book fair will go directly to increasing literacy in Robeson County, North Carolina and to reducing crime in the area.

Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair brings together more than 75 authors, including two New York Times bestselling authors, Carla Neggers and Michael Palmer, more than 24 award-winning authors, and authors of almost every genre for all ages under one roof to sell and sign their books, participate in panel discussions and talks, network and interact with fans one-on-one. (Extracted from Book 'Em NC)

The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2012, from 9:30 am until 4 at the Robeson Community College in Lumberton, North Carolina.

And it's FREE! 

Is this a cool idea or what? What a great cause! 
I'll be there discussing inspy romance. Care to share events that your area sponsors to promote literacy? 

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Facing A Goliath?

You remember the story of David & Goliath, right? Armed with only a slingshot and his faith, little David fought Goliath, the giant Philistine who taunted the Israelites during a battle while the Israelite warriors cowered and hid. Do you remember the outcome? Who won?
The underdog. David.

What Goliath's are you facing today? What fears do you need to conquer?
Anybody? Not yet? OK, I'll share my Goliath.


Not mine. But death of a loved one. Hubby, father, mother, sister, son, daughter-in-love, grandchild. Take your pick. Death hit our family hard this year. We've lost two family members already, but death may not be done knocking yet.

Everybody dies, right? It's a fact of life. Maybe my fear stems back to watching my grandpa say goodbye to his wife of over seventy years. Or imagining waking up every morning to an empty bed, the pillow next to me vacant, untouched, cold. How could I cope if I lost my hubby? How could I go through the day knowing he wouldn't walk through the door at night? I'd miss his jokes, his optimistic outlook on life, his larger than life personality, and dread the black hole that would engulf me. And what if a loved one dies without knowing Jesus, drifts into eternity without salvation? Could I have done more?

Just like God provided David with strength, courage, and the confidence he needed to overcome Goliath, God will grant me what I need to face my fear, to overcome my Goliath. How do I know? Because He's done so in the past and because of His promises:
2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV) ~...because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

Psalm 23:4 (NKJV) ~ Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Philippians 4:13 (KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I can trust God for my loved ones who don't know Him, the ones I've poured out my heart to Him for years. Confident that in His great mercy, He'll send an angel in their last moment to offer one more chance to say "yes" to Him and to guide them on their journey home. I can trust God to walk with me through the valley of the shadow of death, faithful to never leave my side, to guide me out of the darkness and into the light.

Now it's your turn. Are you facing a Goliath? What fears do you need to overcome?

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Staring at a Blank Screen?

You type "The End" and smile,
relief mingling with renewed energy. You did it!
Now what?
What do you do when a blank computer screen stares back at you?
Where do you turn for ideas and inspiration? 
Who better than the Creator of the Universe?

Chat with God. Praise Him. Worship at His feet. 
Marvel at His handiwork: a sunrise or spectacular sunset, tree limbs that sway with a gentle breeze, funny animals. God has such an imagination and a sense of humor. Why not ask Him for a spark, just a speck of sand from His creative well? Then, leave it up to Him and open your mind to His possibilities. 

So, where can you find ideas to fill an entertaining, action-packed story? 
Scour newspapers, magazines, and books 
Soak up your favorite television shows 
Browse through news articles and local news sites 
Wade through files and notes, research online 
Consider life experiences: weddings, funerals, jobs, family issues, hobbies, etc. 

Eventually, a story event or character will take hold of your head and capture your heart. 

Are you staring at a blank screen? Where do you dig for ideas?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

thanks givings...

~ 1,076 people requested Journey's End on goodreads. How awesome is that?

~ White Rose Publishing for partnering with me to provide a home for Journey's Edge, my second book in the Marshals of Journey Creek series. 

Thank you, White Rose! 

~ a morning walk in 72 degrees with ‎glorious sunshine and a face-tickling, deliciously cool breeze to remind you that fall's on its way. 

~ our college age son's weekend visit.

~ these two little sweeties. Aren't they adorable?

~ Dale Jr made the Chase (Nascar). My hubby's one happy camper!

What about you?
What are your thanks givings today?

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Monday, September 12, 2011

We have a winner!

The winner of the goodreads giveaway is...

Heather Booth
Congratulations, Heather!
Your copy is on its way.

I'm overwhelmed with gratitude to the 1,076 readers who entered the giveaway. 
Thank you for your interest in Journey's End.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9-11-01

One Nation Under God
In Memory of all who died on 9-11-01

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Friday, September 9, 2011

JOURNEY'S EDGE...Coming Soon!

I'm thrilled to announce that 
White Rose Publishing has chosen to partner with me
to provide a home for 
Journey's Edge.
I'm doing the happy dance!
Stay tuned for more details.

Wait! There's more good news.
My little 200-word flash fiction story (my first ever!) 
in Rachael Harrie's campaign challenge
advanced to the next round of judging.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chelsea Hammond ~ What a Character!

Ever found a teenager hiding in your barn? Um, not making out, but actually hiding? The cowering in a stall, brandishing a pitchfork, kind of hiding?

Yeah, that's what I thought.  

Hi, I'm Chelsea Hammond. An ordinary woman with dreams budding in my heart and grief choking me from my past. But it's time to move on, to push toward the dreams and let go of the past. That's what I hoped to do by opening Journey's End, a shelter for troubled teens, in honor of my late husband. 

Did you catch that? Hoped? Because I didn't expect my first arrival, Jake, to be the son of my husband's murderer, scared and running for his life. Or to call in the marshals office because Jake wants to testify against his father. And who shows up? Trey Colten. The guy in charge of the undercover operation that killed my husband. Trey claims his job is to protect me. Ha! God definitely has a sense of humor!

If Trey thinks I'm going to sit around and twiddle my thumbs waiting for Jake's father to show up, he's mistaken. I don't need his protection. And although I may be ready for another relationship, especially with a guy who helps with the dishes and feeds my animals, it won't be with another law enforcement officer. Or will it? Did I mention he makes killer hot chocolate?

I hope you enjoyed meeting Chelsea Hammond from Journey's End. To check out the fabulous reviews or to purchase Journey's End, please visit  White Rose Publishing or Amazon.

Check out some other cool characters as part of the Christian Book Blog Festival hosted by Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers on Thursday.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Campaigner Challenge

And so it begins. Check out our first challenge in Rachael Harrie's Writers Platform-Building Campaign:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count. If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count). For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

Yay! I did it in 200 words exactly! Here goes my first attempt at flash fiction...

The door swung open, the sweet scent of roses wafting into the quiet hallway. Scott scanned the room. Just like he left it.

“Oh, Scott. It’s beautiful.” Celina smiled up at him, love shimmering from her face. She’d changed out of her wedding gown and swirled her long hair up into a clip.

He couldn’t resist. He tugged at the clip and chestnut hair cascaded down her back in gentle waves.

“You’re beautiful, Celina.” Scott framed her cheeks with his hands, awe filling him that this long-awaited night had finally arrived. His lips met hers, at first light and teasing, tasting her sweetness, then deepening, growing anxious for more.

Her hands tightened around his back. A low moan escaped her throat.

Desire throbbed through his veins. He broke the kiss and pulled back reluctantly. “Let’s go inside. Are you ready?”

Her head bobbed. “Oh yeah.”

“That’s my love.” He scooped her up into his arms and nuzzled his lips against the creamy expanse of her neck. Her short breaths fanned his ear. Thank You, God, for helping us wait.

“I love you, Celina.” Scott carried her into the room and nudged the door with his shoe. The door swung shut.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

A recipe for romance in the kitchen...

OK. Here's where I admit that I can't stand banana bread...unless it's loaded with chocolate chips and minus the nuts. I've got a fantastic recipe that's been tucked in my cookbook so long, I don't know where it originated.

And it has an added bonus...Hubby might chase you around the kitchen to lick the chocolate off your lips! 
But if he doesn't, don't be shy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs, beaten light
3/4 c sugar
2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Chocolate chips, however many you like

Crush bananas. Add eggs (beaten light), sugar, flour sifted with salt and baking soda, and chocolate chips. Pour in greased loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until the top is golden brown and the middle is done. Slather with butter.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

I've been awarded...The Versatile Blogger Award

A big thank you to Cassandra at Bookish Bird for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award, Liebster Award, and the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, two of which I've already received. Thanks Cassandra! I appreciate you!

Hmm...I've not seen The Versatile Blogger Award floating around the blogosphere yet, but I like that my blog's considered versatile, ie, adaptable, flexible, multitalented, resourceful. 

When I started Heart racing, God-gracing Romance a few months back, I had no idea what to blog about. The market's already saturated with book writing tips, including some great blogs with tremendous followings. 

I'm a private person, so the thought of baring my soul to the world frightened me. My dear hubby encouraged me by saying, "Just write about what you enjoy." So that's what I've attempted to do with this blog. Book releases, thanks givings, devotions, some sundry thoughts. I kinda like things this way. What about you? Do you prefer a blog with a set schedule? Or do you enjoy reading eclectic blogs where you never know what to expect? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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