Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just a short drive

I took my camera with me to church this morning, and never took it out of my purse.  But, as we were leaving daughter's house, after lunch, I grabbed it and started snapping photos of some of the sites.

Just a few blooms on the hedge that is between the back of their house, and the property next door.

The alley/street that runs behind their house, makes a
90 degree turn and this is the scene just as you turn.
You pull back onto the street that runs in front of their house, and this is the neighbor's house across the street.
No, that isn't the street, that is their driveway, the red
is our truck on the street.
This is the back of their house, there is a pond
and water feature to the left of this shot, I didn't get a pic of that, but this has been fenced for horses.
Here we are crossing the Arkansas River
about 1 1/2 miles from downtown.
The mountain is the location of Arkansas' first state park, Petit Jean.  If you aren't familiar with the Legend of Petit Jean, google it.  Her grave is at the point that faces the river.

I love this old house, it is just as you get to the turn to head toward the Mountain in the above picture.
And a few years ago, I found that the lady who lived here, was actually one of hubby's relatives.  I thnk the house is empty now.

And I thought I should show the other end of the 
economic scale.  Up until about 5 years ago, this was the home of a family of 5.  And no, it isn't larger than it looks.  I think it is about the size of our garage.
Home, and a shot of my hollyhocks.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Deliver Us, by June Foster

Published by Desert Breeze Publishing, inc
And available through their website
Bellewood Series, Book 3

A 5 Star Book!!!

Jillian Coleman spent 10 years regreting a decision that she made as an 18 year old, in college.  She went to medical school and is now a doctor, delivering babies and taking care of mother's to be.  But the one baby she cannot save is the one she aborted all those years ago.  Now she wants to start a free clinic for pregnant teens and help them to make the decision to give the baby up for adoption, instead of having an abortion.

Riley Mathis is an x con, 6 months out of prision, where he spent 10 years paying for his crimes of selling and using drugs.  He found God during his time there, and finds a church, where he can do outreach work, helping those kids that are so like the ones he sold drugs to, in his former life.  He also regrets the way he treated a girl while he was in college, a one night stand, who he never saw again.

2 people with lots of regrets and heartaches, who, even though God has forgiven them, they have yet to forgive themselves..

I think one of the reasons this book drew me in so completely, is I know a girl (well, actually more than one) who had an abortion, thinking that was the fastest and best way to rid themselves of an unwanted pregnancy, only to regret it, and wonder what the baby was, and what would it have been, for the rest of their life.  I am sure, had they given the baby up for adoption, they would have wondered  where the baby was, but at least they would have known that the child was alive.

June Foster has written a very enlightening book, and I feel that the whole series is well worth the time and cost to purchase.  If I were still in touch with the woman mentioned, who aborted her child, I'd give this book to her, to let her know God will forgive her, even if she hasn't forgiven herself.

I was given an ecopy of this book to read and review, no other compensation was given.  I am not required to write a positive review, and all opinions expressed here are my own

Thursday, March 28, 2013

 Media Release
Join us in celebrating the launch and release of June Foster's book, Deliver Us, Book Three in the Bellewood Series. Releasing April 1st from Desert Breeze Publishing

About the book:
The young fraternity man who coaxed Jillian Coleman upstairs that night is only a blur in her memory. Now she lives with the unrelenting guilt that she aborted her baby. God might forgive her, but she can't forgive herself. As Bellewood's premier gynecologist, she hopes to open the Jeremiah House to offer teen girls an abortion alternative. Though the handsome and successful Dr. Jett Camp wants to marry Jillian, he believes her plan is a waste of her skills.
Riley Mathis spent ten years in jail for dealing drugs. Now as a Christian, he's trying to put his life back together. Working as a janitor at night, he attends college by day. When he meets Dr. Coleman, he recognizes her from the sapphire necklace she wore the night he stole something precious from her. When she confesses the choice she made to abort her baby, Riley can't tell her he's the father of her child.
About the author:
June Foster is a retired school teacher, who until recently traveled full time with her husband, living in their RV. Now settled in Alabama, they are enjoying their new home, and being close to family.

Deliver Us is available from your favorite seller
 of e-books April 1st

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the mother of two and grandmother of 10, soon to be a great. My husband and I traveled in our RV full time until last November when we bought a house. I taught school for 34 years and began writing in my 60's. I love the Lord and couldn't go one day without Him.

2. Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Well, I'm 5'10" and have a daughter who's 5'2". My great grandfather was a Catholic priest. I generally tell people to think about that one for a minute. I lived in Europe for three years.

3. Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
I loved reading as a child. The Bobsey Twins and Nancy Drew books were my favorites. In high school, I loved historicals.

4. As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?
Never. That is another strange thing about me. I wrote academically in college and with my job, but never fiction. It was only until the Lord put a story on my heart that I began writing. I knew nothing about the craft and started reading every "how to" book I could get my hands on. I'm continually learning.

5. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirky, huh? I've done lots of crazy stuff, but one I don't think I've mentioned before is many years ago when my brother came to a dinner at my house, he pretty much passed out from, shall I say, too much wining and dining. I painted his nails on both hands red. I need to mention, that was in my BC days. Before Christ.

6. What is your favorite genre to read?
Though I write contemporary romance, I believe end-time fiction such as the Left Behind Series, is my favorite.

7. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.
I get up in the morning and read my Bible, accompanied by a hot cup of coffee. Then my husband and I do a devotional and pray together. Since I'm retired from teaching, my schedule isn't as rigid as it once was. I try to go upstairs to my office for a couple of hours. Since my husband is on Eating For Life, I do a lot of cooking. Then, God willing, I try to do one of my exercise tapes - stretching or aerobic walking. Then it's back to the computer and more writing. Some days doing the wash or going to the little country grocery store near our house keeps me busy. 

8. When did you first begin writing, and why do you write still?
I first began writing in January, 2010. I continue to write because the Lord won't let me stop. Seriously, I have so many stories in my head and such a strong desire to get them written down, I can't stop.

9. How many books do you have published and where can they be found?
I have four published. Give Us This DayAs We ForgiveDeliver Us, and A Hometown Fourth of July. They can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Desert Breeze Publishing, and where ever e-books are sold. Ryan's Father will be published with White Fire in January 2014.

10. Tell us about your latest book.
The Way Home whose name is soon to be changed, is the story of a Christian woman who falls in love with a handsome accountant she believes would make the ideal Christian husband. In reality, she discovers he belongs to a non-Christian cult, but it's too late, she loves him and doesn't want to give him up.

11. Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
In 2011, I submitted a proposal to Desert Breeze Publishing for my Bellewood Series. I never thought it would result in a contract. One Sunday morning in September, I opened my e-mail and received the news that Gail Delaney wanted to contract all three books in the series. When I screamed, my husband came running from the bedroom thinking a bug had attacked me or something. Deliver Us is the third and final book in that series.

12. What inspired you to write this particular book?
Probably the same thing as the other two. I have a passion for characters who deal with difficult issues but overcome by God's power in their lives. Deliver Us has a strong pro-life theme which I stand behind. 

13. How long did you write before you sold your first book?
I began writing in January, 2010 and sold my first book September 2011. I kid around saying that God must have put me on the fast track to publication because He knew I don't have as many days on earth as my younger colleagues.

14. What are you working on right now?
I'm rewriting a book called The Way Home but will probably be changing that title pretty soon. It's about a Christian woman who meets a handsome accountant she believes will make the perfect Christian husband. But she soon learns how wrong she is.

15. Where do you get ideas for your books?
I believe the Lord gives them to me. Since I write romance, I like to think of a man and a woman who would least likely fall in love. Shall I confess right now? I wrote one book about a young woman who falls in love with a Christian homosexual man. Yes, it's true. Ryan's Father will be out in 2014. I'd like to remind you my stories are all told from a strong Christian worldview, so you'll have to wait to see what happens. The story reflects my stand on this delicate topic.

16. How do you choose names for your characters?
Mostly I choose names I like, except for the antagonist. I've actually gotten last names out of the phone book. If I hear someone's name in real life that I like, I write it down and assign it to a character later on. I also like to select names by their meaning. My current heroine is named Joella meaning Jehovah is God.

17. In three words describe your style of writing.
Simplistic. Heartfelt. Melancholy.

18. How do you get to know your characters?
I get a picture of a famous person I think looks like my character. Then I fill out a character chart describing every detail about this character. I interview him/her asking pertinent questions relating to the novel's plot and see what answers they give me. I examine their goals, motivation, and conflicts. If I know anyone who's like my character, I try to figure out how that person would react and what they'd say in various situations.

19. Are you a plotter, a pantster, or somewhere in between, and can you elaborate on your answer? I am mostly a plotter. I have to begin knowing my characters and the basic events of the plot. But often, new ideas will pop into my head after I'm finished with the first draft and I don't hesitate to add them to the story. Also, my wonderful critique partners give me ideas which help me change the story for the better.

20. What are you favorite themes to write about?
I like to write about issues we as humans struggle with. Though we're Christians, we're not immune from the world. But Christians have an advantage. We don't have to solve our problems alone. God offers his wisdom and power so we can find victory. So I've written about addictions, jail terms, abortion, forgiveness, shop-o-holism, and many others.

21. What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
My "office" has changed drastically since we moved out of our RV. Before I had a desk and two filing cabinets where the couch used to be in the RV. It actually worked fine. I wrote five books in that location. Now I have a whole big room upstairs in our house. I have more room to spread out now and more reliable internet, which is a blessing. Each day, I try to get up by 6:30 and get to writing no later than 9:00. I take breaks for various reasons, but most days I don't finish up until 9:00 or 9:30 at night.

22. Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
I'm very blessed to be retired from my job. I was an elementary teacher. But I do still have family responsibilities - like all the cooking, doing the wash, church events, etc. So I try to prioritize my life. The Lord is first and my husband, kids, and grandkids second. Then the rest of the time goes to my passion, writing Christian inspirational novels.

23. Does your faith affect your writing? How?
In every way. My characters either start out with faith in God or find it somewhere along the way. I want to communicate to readers why I believe it is vital to have a relationship with the Lord.

24. Why do you keep writing?
I think it's because the Lord has put the motivation in my heart. He's given me the desire to write my stories. My prayer is that the Lord will use them to minister to others who are experiencing the same issues as my characters and will be encouraged.

25. Do you put yourself into your main character, or do you find yourself borrowing from family or friends as your characters develop?
So far, yes. I see a little of myself in my heroines. And yes, I've borrowed character traits of others - family and friends, but I don't pattern the character entirely after others. I just use part of what I observe in them.

26. Is there any scene in your book that came from a real-life happening?
No, not entirely. I may use some real-life occurrences but change them so no one will recognize the situation or the people involved.

27. If you could interview any character in one of your books what might that character say? Why?
If I interviewed Ryan Reed, he'd say praise the Lord for His glorious freedom from the things that held me captive.

28. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
I'd probably be sightseeing with my husband in our RV.

29. Have you won any awards with your writing?
My book Give Us This Day finaled in EPICon 2013 awards in the spiritual/metaphysical category.

30. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Prayer and seek God's will first. Then learn everything you can about the craft of writing. Grow tough skin and don't worry about the rejections. Just keep on writing.

31. What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you've ever done?
This happened not because I'm so good at taking risks, but I had to. My husband used to have a small 4-seater plane. We were flying along, and he had to crawl over into the back seat. He told me to take the controls and fly the plane. I'd had a few flying lessons but wasn't good enough to "fly the plane" like he said. I took the wheel though the plane met with turbulence, and we were heading toward a mountain range.

32. What is the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you?
Back after the hurricane Katrina hit the southern states, my husband and I were hired by Pilot Catastrophe, a branch of Allstate Insurance to process claims. I got fired after two weeks.

33. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us? Maybe a writing tip for aspiring authors?
Read, read, read. The books on craft as well as books in your genre. Make good friends with your critique partners.

34. Where can fans find you or your books on the internet?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Season for Tending, by Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite writers of Amish Fiction.  She can wind a story together, and make you feel as if you are there.  This is one of those books, you get so engrossed in the book, that you can't put this book down.
I will always grab one of her books, given the opportunity.

I was given a copy of this book to read and review, no other compensation was given.  All opinions expressed here are my own, and I am not required to give  a favorable review.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Dress Shopping with the Princess.

I won't give names to protect the innocent.

The Queen has to work extra right now, you know it is busy season right now..
So the king took the kids to meet the Queen for lunch on spring break, and to do a little

 .crowns photo: ... crowns.gif
He offered to let the princess to pick out an Easter dress, while buying jeans for the
crowns photo: crowns crowns.png
Off to the shopping center they go, with instructions from the Queen as to how to check sizes the princess can wear.  The first dress she likes, the King sent her into the dressing room to try it on.  It was too small, and once the princess got it on, she couldn't get it off by herself.
Of course, the King isn't allowed in the girls dressing room, so standing at the door, he could only grimace as he hears her crying.  Finally in desperation, he walks to door, has her meet him there, and grabs the hem of that dress, and finally gets it off.

crowns photo: crowns crowns.jpg

2nd dress

She finds one that matches the shoes she has picked out, a few days prior, saying they were her Easter shoes.  Off to the dressing room she goes, and this one she gets on just fine.  Out the princess struts, happy as a clam...the King asks a sales clerk if she thinks the dress fits, the clerk says no sweety, that dress doesn't fit, see how it hangs off your shoulder...
another try, and no, they didn't have that one in a smaller size. 
By this time the King is sweating bullets, and calls the Queen to tell her
that his stent with dress shopping with the Princess is now over, and she will have to take over from now on.
Saturday, the Queen and Princess found a dress that was perfect, once the Princess found she could also get another pair of shoes to match this dress.
crowns photo: crowns crowns.jpg

Are you sure it's spring?

This is the turtle without his lid.
But this is what I see in the corner of the porch.
Yes I know, messy, but the momma bird was
in a hurry, and we didn't know they were building
a nest until it was completed, and she was sitting in it.

Eastern Phoebe
Description:Dark gray above with a whitish gray throat, a gray wash on the sides of the breast, and a yellow belly. Watch for this bird to repeatedly flick its tail while perching on branches.
Voice:Voice consists of two rough notes sounding like phee-bee often followed by phee-breeit.
Click here to listen 
Habitat:Bottomland forests, woodlands, farmlands and suburbs.
Interesting Fact:Eastern Phoebes used to nest only on natural structures such as cliffs, but now they often use buildings and bridges. Keep an eye on ledges at your house, as you might have a friend nesting there in spring.
Scientific name:Sayornis phoebe


So here is what we should see in a few weeks.
According to her, it is spring.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Scarf and truck.

Diana, you might recognise this sweater.
This is a pic of me, that Skylar took of me in the scarf.
She did my face afterward.  LOL
And the Princess in the scarf.
And my 'artwork' on the wall, lol, I bought that to redo the frame, but ended up
hanging it, because it fit the area.  Everyone likes paintings
growing out of their head.
Hope you can see the colors.
And the truck.
Hood needs repainting, the clearcoat is peeling.
That is the ashtray in middle of hood, it was full of butts, but they had
Fabreeze in the truck, and you could NOT smell the butts.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Early Birthday

Our oldest grandson will turn 13 in about 2 weeks.
He is musically inclined, can play a guitar, a keyboard, trumpet, and a bit on the drums.
He and his grandfather have been tinkering with a Lap Steel Guitar, homemade, for a few weeks,  and  poppy decided to build him one for his birthday.
Here he is, while poppy is sitting it on
the stand, it is covered so he can't see anything but cloth.

First Look
First touch

First play

In love.
The white is just cardboard so he can find the frets easier, until
he learns where they all are, then that comes out, and the board under it
is Cherry like the decorative pieces, but has gold markings
where the frets are.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Is it Spring yet?

I keep thinking that spring is about to arrive, and I took my camera out this morning,
to check for any progress.
Here's Flash explaining the latest patch in the fence, where
he got out yesterday.  He's saying that he kept pulling things down,
so mom put something that he can't move, to hold it, until Dad gets the new boards and 
barbed wire.

He says here is what he wanted to sniff, even though one of them is plainly through the fence.  
He says these are on other side of the fence, and would smell better.
And this tree is clearly budding, and needs some special water.
And this wild Cherry tree has the perfect spot for a cat to rest, just out of reach,
he says, and it, too is outside the fence....

Friday, March 08, 2013

Sad day

I play Words with friends with a woman that I went to school with, way back in the dark least that is what my grandkids think.  Last week Sharon told me that her sister, Ann, had a heart attack, and things didn't look too good.  Well, I hadn't heard a lot of updates, so I was hoping no news was good news.  Today, she left me a message that Ann had passed away yesterday, and her father was really struggling with it.  He is also ill, and they are afraid this will be the end for him, also.

Please pray for the Roberson family, as they go through the process of grieving Ann's death, and dealing with their father's illness.  I've known this family since I was a small child.  And Sharon is the cause of one of the only spankings I ever remember my grandmother giving me, lol.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Remember me?

This is the white kitten that was born about a year ago, and had 2 mothers.
I have managed to touch her, when I feed.  And she will eat out of a spoon if I hold it, but she still doesn't want me to pick her up.
At first, only her ears showed the pink, then a bit on her tail.
But about 4 or 5 months ago, she developed the stripes on her face.
Notice her ice blue eyes. 

I call her pretty girl.  

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Unbreakable by Nancy Mehl

When warned that other communities had their churches burned, Hope Kauffman didn't think it would happen in Kingdom, but promised to tell the community.  Before she made it home, her buggy was run off the road by a red truck, and if it hadn't been for Jonathon Weise, she would have probably been killed.  Later, another member of the community was killed, when his buggy was run off the road.
Would someone else be killed, because the sheriff didn't seem to interested in doing an investigation?

I really enjoyed this book, the writing style was very good.  I really feel that if you like good mysteries, this one would make good reading for you.

I was given a copy of this book by Litfuse, to read and review.  No other compensation was given.  All opinions are my own, I am not required to give a favorable review.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

UNHOLY HUNGER by Heather James

270 pages
Lure of the Serpent Book I
Kregel Publications

Evelyn Barrett is a successful lawyer, a wife and mother.  Then her young daughter disappears, and her world is turned upside down, when they find her body.  All she wants to do is find the man who killed her daughter, and after he dies, die too.  And she goes after who she thinks is her daughter's killer, and when she wakes beside his body, he has a stench, the smell of a pedophile.  But, the police tell her she got the wrong man, and arrest her.

You've had books you couldn't put down?  This is one that I didn't even want to turn loose, until I read the last pages.  It does have a bit of a surprise ending, and when I found who the murderer really was, I was shocked.  It is a real page turner, and it is also Heather James first novel.  

I'd give this book 5+ stars.