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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Geocaching

After reading Colleen Coble's latest book, Abomination, my husband and I bought a GPS and decided to try our hand at geocaching, minus the dead body's of course. What fun! Before we knew it we had been searching for 3 1/2 hours! Time flew. We found most, some we couldn't, but we're raring to go again. Next time, we might even take our kids! This is a wonderful way to spend time outside, working together as a team to find a treasure. We're already trying to decide where to stash our own cache.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

An Update

I should probably see the first signs of book cover art for Fudge-Laced Felonies sometime in March. I can't wait. I'll probably cry. I've going through the first scope of editions for Candy-Coated Secrets (this was a fun book to write), and am 20,000 words into Chocolate-Covered Crime.

In addition to writing, I'm kept busy reading wonderful books and reviewing for Author's Choice Reviews at faithinlove.com. When you've got the time, head over and take a look. Reviewing is a priceless, and fun, way of keeping up with what is happening in the industry of publishing. Many of the books I have the priviledge of reviewing aren't in the stores yet. I get one of the first looks. The best way to see what publishers are looking for today.

If you're serious about writing, you must read. A lot.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Still Moving!

Just stopped at the bank to open a checking account with my first advance check. What a thrill. Also left a business card with a very interested teller. The Barnes and Noble in Surprise want me back for the local author's booksigning in January, and when Fudge-Laced Felonies is released wants to throw me a launch party! It's just keeps getting better and better. I ordered 200 black pencils with my website in gold and once I see what I know will be an awesome cover for the book, I'll make bookmarks. I'm having so much fun!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moving Up!

More good news on the book front. Fudge-Laced Felonies has been moved from July 2008 to May 2008. Another author missed their deadline and that left an opening for me. I can hardly contain my excitement. My agent has book two in the series and I'm 15,000 words into book three. Then it's back to the drawing board for another quirky, lovable character that can live on through at least three books. I'm having a blast!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bayou Justice




Robin Miller, writing as Robin Caroll has managed to draw the reader deep into Cajun country. Smack dab in the middle of the swamp. Alligator death rolls, Cajun food, age-old family secrets, love and distrust. These are all the components that make up her first novel. Having read the manuscript in critique form, I can't wait to purchase a copy and am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ACFW Conference 2007

This was the most amazing conference ever! During lunch on Friday, I was presented with a contract for my cozy mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies. The contract was offered in front of 500 attendees by Susan Downs of Barbour Publishing. Needless to say, I was flying high all weekend. Another publisher may be interested in my romantic suspense, Mountain of Fear. God is good! Here are pictures of me with my agent, Kelly Mortimer and my Barbour editor, Susan Downs. There is also a picture of me with the infamous author Brandilyn Collins (the red head), another with author Janet Dean and my agent, and a group photo of myself, my agent and other of her clients at the award banquet on Saturday night.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Scattergories!

SCATTERGORIES...it's harder than it looks/sounds! Rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following... They MUST be real places, names, Things...NOTHING made up! If you can't think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before if you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question. Once you're done, forward on to friends and back to the person who sent it to you. Now Go!

Your Name: Cindy
1. Famous singer/band: Michael Crawford
2. 4 letter word: crap
3. Street name: Cincinnati Avenue4. Color: Crimson
5. Gifts/presents: Candid
6. Vehicle: Cadillac
7. Items on a menu: cheese crisp
8. Girl Name: Carol
9. Boy Name: Chase
10 Movie Title: Cellular
11. Drink: Coke
12. Occupation: Cab driver
13. Flower: carnation
14. Celebrity: Candice Bergen
15. Magazine: Cars
16. US City: Cleveland
17. Pro Sports Teams: Cardinals
18. Reason for Being Late for Work: chronic diahrea
19. Something U Throw Away: cardboard
20. Things You Shout: Come on!
21. Cartoon Character: Casper

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Valley Vista High School's Inaugural game

Valley Vista is a new High School in our city. Only open for two years. The first year we only had freshmen and Sophmore. This year we added Juniors. Yippee! If you're into football pain. We had our first Varsity game ever. And lost. 50 - 0. Ouch! Complete with fireworks, by the way. My son, who not to brag, is the star of the Junior Varsity game is also on the Varsity. For lack of players with talent, apparently. Despite his having carried the ball for a total of more than 200 yards the night before, and scoring two touch-downs, he didn't play a lick last night. The same guys over and over and over and over. I swear the game lasted for ten hours!

Anyway, after watching the same play (that didn't work the first time by the way) over and over and over, because obviously the coaches didn't think the other team would catch on, someone in the crowd yells to keep the clock running during a time-out. The rest of us spectators clapped.

Anyway, we know it'll be tough without any seniors on our Varsity team, but a couple of points wouldn't have hurt, would it? Or, how about a chance for the "2nd" string to play, which consisted of mostly JV players suited up, to look like more bodies I wonder? What could it have hurt? We were already at zero. Couldn't go backward from there!

Oh, well. My son's name is still in the paper as one of the players. After last night's game, is that a good thing? How about a reporter at the JV game? We might actually run some plays.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mortimer Literary Agency

I HAVE AN AGENT!!!! Kelly Mortimer called last night and asked whether I was still interested in her representing me. Of course I said yes, as I danced and screamed inside. Praise God!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Something Fun...and a little mean

Ever want to have some harmless fun? I was at Barnes and Noble the other day (my favorite place) and this teenage girl was walking past my car. For the heck of it, I pushed my alarm button. She jumped five feet. I laughed hysterically. Wouldn't it be fun to just do it and watch people's expressions? I honk at my kids every time they walk in front of my car, and laugh every time it scares them. I'm sick, I know. Just don't do it to anyone too frail. You don't want something having a heart attack.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cairn Terrier Puppies


A week late and five hours on the bathroom floor, we finally have puppies! Aren't they cute? This is Truly's first litter. A boy and a girl.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Candy Coated Secrets

Well, I finished the first draft and am rattling around the house not knowing what to do. Should I start on the third book of the series, or finish another manuscript that's already begun? People say you should take a breather and go in with a clean head, but I'm feeling a little lost. Alot of it depends on the upcoming conference, and whether the agent I'm hoping for decides to represent me.

I'm also waiting on my dog to decide to have her puppies. She's four days late and the vet says not to worry unless it's over a week. Yeah, well it isn't his dog.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Yep, I'm admitting here in blogger land that I am a Harry Potter fan. Read the first one to see what all the hoopla was about and whether or not it was something I would allow my kids to read. Got hooked. Bought book number seven Saturday morning at 10 and finished the almost 800 page book by Sunday afternoon at three. Easily the best book by far.

JK Rowling even states the Bible verse, without the scripture address, "Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also." The Deathly Hallows is all about loyalty, the dangers of racism, and the power of love. From the first chapter the action grabs the reader and doesn't let go until the end.

Not a book for younger than thirteen, unless the child is a very mature reader, but teens and adults will absolutely love this book. The character arc of Harry Potter is immense. The death toll is high, tears are plenty, humor breaks things up just a bit, love, friendship, and sacrifice is on every page, and the reader is left gasping in parts. This is going to be one heck of a movie.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Veil of Fire

Read Veil of Fire by Marlo Schalesky. Wow!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Book Reviews

In addition to book reviews I may list on my site, I am now a reviewer for Author's Choice Reviews. Visit their site for reviews on movies, fiction and non-fiction books. http://IDealinHope.com/bookreviews

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dol

Bought this really cool book the other day titled, A word a Day. Thought I'd share one that fits with a suspense/mystery writer.

dol: a unit for measuring the pain intensity. Example: I touched the hot pipe to see how long I could stand the heat; one dol, two dols, three dols, ouch!

Fun word, huh? I'll have to find a way to use it in my wip.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Kiva.org

Ever heard of Kiva? Ever wanted to help improve the world without going broke?

My husband and I were watching a PBS special of Frontline the other night and an organization named Kiva was featured. This organization teams with other micro-lenders to help obliviate world poverty by lending small amounts of money to third world residents who are wanting to better themselves. The recipients are checked out for their ability to pay the loan back and are then listed on Kiva.org. You are told a bit of their story and the story of others who have lended.

Wanting to do our part, my husband and I searched the list and sent a loan to three men in Kenya. The people want so little, but can improve their lives so much. You give what you can, God willing, you will be payed back, and you have helped pull someone out of poverty.

It's a great feeling.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Update on Summer Meadows

Yes, that's the real name of the heroine in my recent cozy mystery series. Her parents had a sense of humor. But the name suits her.

The first in the series, Buried Beneath the Midnight Blue, is still being considered by an agent. The second, Candy Coated Secrets, is 40,000 words strong. The last, Chocolate Covered Crime, is in the planning stages.

First person pov cozy mysteries are a lot of fun. Never thought I'd get away from the serial killer, damsel in distress, romantic suspense. I'm not completely away, just taking a break and trying something new and fun.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Vacation in Arkansas



We just got back from our vacation in Arkansas. Above is the whole family, minus a spouse or two. We're on top of Petit Jean Mountain on the porch of a cabin that was built in the 1800s and was home to a family with nine children. A one room cabin. Imagine! I'm the one with the white sunglasses.
The photo to the right shows my parents and us four kids. This was the first time in eleven years that we were all home at the same time.
Not only is going to Arkansas a time to visit my family, but it is also a time to refresh my soul and lift my spirit. Amazingly so, but as soon as we cross the border, I feel uplifted. Arkansas is truly my heaven on earth. My husband and I would move if not for our grandchildren. We've been present at the birth of every one of them. I would miss them so if we were to move back to the Ozarks.
When I die, I hope my heavenly mansion is located in a place similar to my childhood home.



Friday, April 20, 2007

April 20

Columbine anniversary, Hitler's birthday, and rumors flying between High Schools. All schools in our area were put on high alert and kept in lock-down mode. Most students didn't come too school out of fear. It's a scary world we live in.

Thank God, it was a quiet and uneventful day in my neck of the woods.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Coral Moon

Leslie Williams, roommate of Violet Dawns' Paige, leaves her house one morning and discovers a dead body in her car. After the shock wears off, anger emerges as more of her friends and acquaintances turn up dead. As Leslie vows to find a murderer, the only suspect is too hard to believe. Evil has come to Kanner Lake and Leslie is determined to send the spiritual forces back where they came from.

I enjoyed Coral Moon more than Violet Dawn. In the second book of her Kanner Lake series, Brandilyn Collins brings us a gutsy heroine determined to do good, regardless of the cost. A real page-turner. In the fashion of Frank Peretti, Brandilyn takes the reader on a spiritual journey, into battle between good and evil.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

No More Diamonds

Call me stupid. Call me naive, but I had no idea where America, or the rest of the world for that matter, gets the majority of their diamonds. My husband and I watched, Blood Diamond, last night. After seeing how the innocent of Africa sacrifice for the supply of diamonds out of their country, I asked my husband not to buy me any more. I'll keep my wedding ring, and the other pieces, but no more. The thought of a child working as a slave, or losing a hand, so I can wear some bling bling on my hand, is too much. They say to buy only "conflict" free diamonds. How are we to know? Most of the diamonds from Africa come from Liberia. There are no diamond mines in Liberia. Liberia ships diamonds that are smuggled from conflict torn areas of Africa.

Sorry for getting on my soap box. The movie was excellent. The acting superb. And once the movie was finished, I was angry. The plight of the African people tears at my heart. How the actions over there must hurt the heart of God. So, for my part, no more diamonds.

I sure hope I don't learn gold and silver suffers the same plight.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I WON!!!

Buried Beneath the Midnight Blue won first place in the Great Expectations contest. Kelly Mortimer of Mortimer Literary Agency has requested to see the full manuscript. YOO HOO!!!

Ya'll pray for me!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Casino Royale

I'm a big James Bond fan. There, I've admitted it. But I was extremely disappointed in this latest movie. It's actually, Bond's beginning. There was no plot. Virtually no gadgets, and lacked that certain wit for which 007 was famous for.

After the movie was over, I'm glad I rented the DVD, and didn't actually pay a fortune to see it, I thought about the movie in light of writing. Books must have a plot. A solid beginning, middle and end. This movie lacked this essential elements, but because it was "James Bond" the writers were able to get away with it. UNFAIR!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Remember Me

We meet Josef von Woerner in Pieces of Silver, where we learn of his love for Germany, the fatherland. In Remember Me, Josef wakes up injured and not knowing who he is. He is being cared for by a stranger named, Hank and falls in love with a beautiful, very patriotic nurse, Lissa Parker.

As their love grows, Josef enters the first World War, fighting on the side of United States and the allies. The stress and trauma of being captured brings back his memory. His newly accepted faith spurs him to do the right thing, even if coming forward about all the things he had done to try and prevent America from entering into the war, causes him the love of Lissa.

Remember Me is a story of God's redemption, the power of love, and one man's undying desire to follow God's will. I found this book very hard to put down, wondering what would happen to Josef next. The love story is pure and powerful. I am eagerly awaiting Maureen Lang's next book.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Genesis Contest

It's been a while since I've posted. I've been busy getting two of my work in progress manuscripts ready for the ACFW Genesis contest. I've sent them in! Butterflies are doing the Salsa in my stomach, my heart is pounding, unnaturally (I'm probably going to have a heart attack), but they're sent in. No going back now.

I still haven't heard back on Buried Beneath the Midnight Blue, other than finaling. I should be hearing back within the next couple of weeks. Pray for me.

Writing is like breathing to me. I can't imagine doing anything else. God has told me I will become a published author, with people eagerly awaiting my next novel. When? I'm impatient. Must wait on His timing, though. He'll make it happen at the perfect time. While I'm waiting, I'll keep writing.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Book Reviews

Regularly, I post a book review on my blog. Recently, I've begun reviewing books from my school library for a column in the school newsletter. I read and review the usual elementary grade reading level books, and occasionally stumble across a true gem of a read.

Published in 2003, The River Between Us by Richard Peck is one of the most riveting stories about the Civil War I've read outside of Gone With the Wind.

As the story opens, we are traveling in a Model T-Ford in the year 1916 with a young boy, his brothers, and his father to visit relatives. When they reach the home of Aunt Tilly, Peck takes the reader to the Pruitt farm in Illinois where a young Tilly and her family take in two mysterious southern ladies. When Tilly's brother goes to war, she and Delphine, one of their guests head to Cairo, Illinois to bring her brother home. What transpires there and back in the year 1916, kept me riveted to the pages. Peck sheds a whole new light on bigotry and racism and pride in one's family tree.

This may have been a "Young Adult" novel, but The River Between Us can hold it's own with any book I've read intended for more "mature" readers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Something to Write About

Not a whole lot going on that's fun to write about. A lot that isn't. One of these days I'll let ya'll know how much this ol' gal has had to endure since Thanksgiving. Good thing is, my novel, Buried Beneath the Midnight Blue, has finaled in the Great Expectations contest. I don't know when the final judging will take place, and I don't want to. Then, I'd just be watching the calendar and fretting. That call came when I needed it the most. Now...if I could just get THE CALL. If you know what I mean.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Trouble with Tulip

Mindy Starns Clark has delivered a funny, witty story with an unforgettable character.

Josephine Tulip struggles to keep her grandmother's hint column alive, dealing with issues of the modern woman. When a neighbor winds up dead, confusing the police with the abundance of shower caps, tomato juice and cucumber paste, Jo is called in to advise. Reeling from the shock of being stood up at the altar, Jo dives in to solve the case with her bestfriend, Danny.

Eternal life, empty promises, the search for love, a dog who loves throw pillows...all these and more make up this delightful and suspenseful read. I recommend Mindy's books to anyone who enjoys a quirky heroine and a sweet love story.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Weekends

This is fitting, since it rained this past weekend.

Weekends:
The two days of the week with the greatest chance for rain.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Excitement in the Neighborhood

Had a bit of excitement last night. At least for us. For the last two nights, someone has been sneaking into the backyard of the vacant house next door. My husband decided to check things out and spotted a sleeping bag and other proof that someone was sleeping in there. Being the conscientious neighbors that we are, we called the police.

They sent a young rookie with shaking hands and a trembling voice. He snuck around to the back of the house, peeked over the block fence and said, "Sir, would you mind watching the front? Yell, if someone comes running out." Bless his heart, he sounded terrified. Anyway, the young officer was waiting for backup before entering the house. Wise, choice, don't you think?

A tough, burly officer joined the young man and, together, they searched the dark house. No one was home, but they found evidence that several people were staying there, at least part time.

It was quite fun. My husband watched the front of the house, and me in my bathroom, watched our backyard in case someone scaled the fence. I am glad no one happened to be there, but we're to call if they make an appearance.

I think I could probably use this in a book.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pressure

Under pressure, eggs crack and coal makes diamonds. The same can be said for people.

Which are you?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Remember to Forget

When Maggie went to the liquor store for her boyfriend Kevin, she had no idea how stepping out her door that morning would set her free. When her car is carjacked, and she's left stranded, she heads West with nothing but twenty dollars in her pocket. Fear drives her to lies and deception. Guilt burdens her as she settles in Clayburn, Kansas and finds a place to call home, wanting to accept the love that is offered her.

In, Remember to Forget, Deborah Raney takes the reader into small-town life, God's forgiveness and acceptance, and a simple love story as Maggie embraces the love and life-style God designed for her. A pleasurable read for those who enjoy a warm-hearted love story. Beautifully written.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Front Porch Princess

A small town where everyone knows everything about everyone, and one woman has dreamed her entire life about escaping Pritchett. Having won a beauty title in her teens, Elise dreamed of becoming a model or an actress. Life had different plans in the form of a handsome farmer. Elise settles reluctantly into small-town life, wanting more for her daughter. When her daughter enters Elise into a Mrs. Proverbs 31 pageant, Pritchett, Wisconsin pulls out the red carpet, complete with a parade and an ice cream social.

As Elise prepares for the pageant, she discovers much more about love, beauty, friendship, and God, learning to be content in her circumstances.

Front Porch Princess is a delightful read. Kathryn Springer has the reader running a gauntlet of emotions. Don't read this book unless you're prepared to not be able to put it down! Absolutely wonderful.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Stress

Doctors say extreme stress is bad for your health. Great, just one more thing to worry about.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

One of those days!

"Give us this day, our daily bread..."

Stale and bagged under the canned goods!

Yep, it's one of those kind of days, today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Stress Rule #38

The boss will never walk in on you, unless you load up a computer game.

Isn't this true? I have a great little flip calendar that gives a stress buster of the day. Occasionally, I'll post one, just to give someone a laugh.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dark Hour

The author, Ginger Arrett, takes the reader deep into biblical history. Into the bloody reign of Queen Athaliah and King Jehoram. Through Dark Hour, Arrett shows us how one woman saved the lineage of Jesus Christ, enabling the line of David to continue. We see a glimpse of evil, so dark and startling, it makes the lifting of the reader into light that much more powerful.

Dealing with my own personal problems at this moment, I couldn't have picked a better time to read this book. To see how one young and scared woman could save a nation, shows how even in despair, with God, we have the strength to pull ourself up. Bravo, Ginger!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Writing Progress

Sorry, it's taken me so long to post anything. I've read a couple of books I need to review, but mostly I've been writing.

Well, I did it. I got the rights from my publisher returned on A Dream Fulfilled. It's a wonderful story, and once I've done some revisions, I believe it will sell well in the Christian market. Those who've read it, want a sequel. If I can make a go of it, I might just write that sequel.

I've completed Buried Beneath the Midnight Blue. I love this story. It's my first attempt at first person and it's a cozy mystery. Once my critique group finishes, I'll be submitting it to agents and editors.

Still working on getting Shades of Crimson, my romantic suspense, published. It's currently with an agent and an editor. God willing, one of them will love it. Wouldn't it be wonderful if I get a three book contract out of it?

I'm also revising a couple of complete manuscripts to try and pitch them to category. Yep, I'm one busy little writer. What have ya'll been working on?