Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas! May your hearts be filled with love, your homes be filled with laughter, and your dreams be filled with hope.

God Bless and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 17, 2007

more, More, MORE!!

I heard a radio commercial this morning and began thinking about what a greedy world we live in. Are we never satisfied with the blessings we do have? Do we always need bigger, better, faster, MORE?

I've long wondered what it felt like to be an early pioneer traveling across the land in a covered wagon, braving the elements, and building a homestead. Can you imagine cooking with a wood stove? Today we have electric stoves, gas stoves, no burner stoves, microwaves, convection ovens, toaster ovens...and MORE!

But the one thing that really hit me this morning was that ad about HD Radio. I think it's nice that we have radio. I enjoy listening to music from my favorite stations in my car and while I'm getting ready for work. But why do we need HD radio? Why do we need "crystal clear" broadcasting and MORE stations?

The same with television. We had television with the three major stations and public television. Now we get more stations than one could ever watch through cable and satellite dishes. But...wait...there's MORE! If you're like me your local cable station is no longer content with collecting money for the multitude of stations...nope. Now there's digital television. MORE stations, MORE money. And, HD TV. Soon everyone who wants to watch television will have to purchase a new HD capable TV. Why? So MORE companies can take MORE money from those people who want MORE!

What happened? Why are people struggling to pay their bills? Why are there more houses sitting vacant? Why are more people filing bankruptcy? Why are we so unhappy with what we have?

Our country has turned into a greedy country with greedy people. Perhaps it's time we stopped and got off the treadmill. What do we NEED?

Every day I pray for many things, but I don't pray for more radio stations or more television stations. I suppose I'm in a minority, but I'm getting off the treadmill and focusing on the things in life that really matter. And that isn't MORE, unless it's MORE focus on the blessings that God has granted us.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm a Finalist...

in the romantic suspense category for an Eppie Award! Yay, someone likes my book, Foxfire! What a great feeling.

Epic stands for Electronically Published Internet Connection. I'm thrilled to have passed the first round of judging! I'm in some great company and the final judging will be tough. Winners will be announced at the EPIC Convention in Portland, Oregon March 8 & 9.

Check out the beautiful award by clicking here!

Getting ready for our family Christmas party tomorrow and praying that the weather won't be as bad as predicted. A little snow would be fine, but no ice, please God!

Have you hugged a family member today? Have you said a prayer for a loved one? How about someone you don't know that needs God's help? A little faith goes a long way.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Looking Back...and Looking Forward...

As 2007 draws to a close and 2008 is soon to be born, it's a time for reflection and goal-setting. Many people establish goals without looking back. I'm raising my hand and saying, "Yep, me too!" However, if you don't look at what the changes you've made in the past year, how you've grown, things you've learned...how can you establish credible, accomplishable, inspiring goals?

In the past, I've set goals based on what I want to accomplish. Sometimes they have been unrealistic...things I've set as a way to challenge myself to do more, more more! Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.

This year, I've looked at how I've grown, how I've changed, what I've changed, and one important question a fellow author asked: "If you do the same thing next year as you've done this year, will you end up in the same place?" My answer was yes. And that's not where I want to be.

My biggest obstacle this year is finding quiet time to write. Working full time leaves little time for "my writing time." With the few hours in the evening, I have a husband who needs and deserves my time. I have children and when they call, they deserve my time. My aging mother deserves my time. My pets deserve my time. So, how do I relieve my self-imposed stress? I need to make a change. So...my most important goal is to set the alarm earlier so I can write without distractions for an hour or more each morning. It's within my control. I just have to decide which is more important...snuggling beneath the covers for that extra time or accomplishing a few pages of writing. I know once I get "in the groove", it will work for me.

What are my goals for 2008?

1. Attend the ACFW conference in September (Minneapolis)
2. Set my alarm an hour and a half earlier, and go to bed an hour earlier
3. Write two pages every day

How about you? How will you establish your goals for the new year?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Joshua's Hope


Hope Courtland escaped her marriage to save her life. Her only regret is leaving her four-year-old stepson, Joshua, behind. Though she wants custody, no attorney is willing to tackle her ex-husband in a custody battle. Hope’s faith begins to falter. She learns that Joshua is paying the consequences for her freedom, and in an act of desperation, she kidnaps him. Suddenly, she becomes a suspect in her ex-husband’s murder.

Zack Stone is content to be sheriff of Pine Cove, Tennessee, where the worst conflict he deals with is handing out speeding tickets. Though his faith is strong, he struggles with issues of forgiveness surrounding his wife’s death. When he rescues Hope in a rainstorm, the last thing he expects is to find a woman who stirs his heart. Being a small town sheriff shouldn’t involve kidnapping and murder, but Zack can’t turn his back on Hope and the little boy she loves.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

We had about four inches of snow on Wednesday, and we are going to get another three inches tomorrow! The bad thing is it's going to hit during rush hour. I'm so grateful that I work only seven miles from home, but it takes me about 20 minutes on a good day since I'm on rural two lane streets with lots of traffic and traffic lights.

I love snow. If it's going to be cold, then I say let it snow! It is so beautiful falling and makes the trees so picturesque. I'm hoping to get a good picture tomorrow night after work. Check in tomorrow to see!

I received my cover for Joshua's Hope tonight already! I'm holding off on posting it because I had a couple of questions and if possible I'm hoping for a small change.

Today we received a listing of overall rankings of books published by The Wild Rose Press. I was extremely happy to see Hit and Run in the upper 25%. Foxfire not far behind. Both books can be purchased from either Amazon or from my publisher...The Wild Rose Press. These make great stocking stuffers!

Til tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Bit of Humor and a Gripe

So the cats have been very good about not destroying our Christmas tree thus far. We have these pretty plastic realistic looking icicles which we put on our tree each year. They catch and reflect the light so beautifully. Hubby said he found one on the floor. I started searching to see if there were more and picked one up beneath the tree. Then I noticed an irregularity with one of the bottom limbs. An ornament was where it shouldn't be and one icicle was lying on the branch instead of hanging correctly. I started looking closely at the tree and came nose to nose with...my cat Wilbur who was lying on the branches like he belonged there! **sigh** What possesses a big cat to think he can climb into an artificial tree? I mean he doesn't have any claws, and there's no trunk to...well, I guess a trunk wouldn't be good for a clawless cat.

And then I have a gripe. Hubby has been having a lot of trouble with his feet. Last week the doctor ran blood tests to check for possible gout. He gave him a six day dose of steroids which did reduce the swelling and inflammation, but now the pain is coming back. Still no word from the doctor. Hubby called today. Doctor called and left a message for hubby to call his nurse who is "better equipped" to deal with this sort of thing. So hubby called the nurse and left a message on her answering machine. I hear all this second hand. When I ask hubby what "this sort of thing" is, he doesn't have a clue. So, I called and asked the doctor to call me on my cell phone. He finally did--at nearly 7pm tonight. I briefly told him hubby was still having pain and that he hadn't been able to reach the nurse and she isn't in on Wednesdays. Doctor says, "Well, we need to get him in some better shoes. He needs to take Aleeve. Keep off his foot." So I ask, "Does that mean the blood work didn't confirm gout?" Doctor doesn't have a clue. He asks, "What did the nurse say?" Okay, wasn't he listening to me? I explain again that we haven't talked to the nurse. Doctor says he will try and look in the computer for the lab results. I realize now there is a real problem. See our doctor is associated with Mount Carmel East and he likes all lab work to go through them so it is automatically fed into his computer system. Nope. Our insurance insists that all our lab work must be done through Labcorp in order to be covered. Labcorp faxes the results to the doctor and they never do anything with it!! I swear it's the truth. Now that they won't use the manilla folder but rely on a computer to look at patient history, they can't read results from another lab. And...they never update with the correct medications...but that's another story. I digress. So I tell the doctor that we had the test done through Labcorp. Doctors says, "Well, that explains it. I won't be able to find it. Who knows where it is." Long story short, he asks me to call the lab and have them fax it to him tomorrow. I say, "They already did and you don't know what happened to it. I'll have them fax it to me." His reply. "Good. Call me with the results. I won't be in the office on Thursday."

Arghh. The cost of health care keep going up and the quality keeps going downhill. So next time the doctor tells me to get my blood work done, I'm going to refuse. He never sees it anyway. Why waste money?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

December is Your Chance to Win...

A Love Inspired Suspense novel by Marta Perry...A CHRISTMAS TO DIE FOR. It's easy to get your name in the drawing. Anytime during the month of December, all you have to do is post a comment on this blog. You can choose to comment on any blog that I'll post this month. Each time your comment, your name will be added to the "fishbowl". No limit on the number of times you can enter. If you don't have a blogger account, you can still post a comment as annonymous. Just be sure to sign your comment so I'll know whose name to enter.

More news! JOSHUA'S HOPE has been contracted by The Wild Rose Press. I'm very excited and can't wait to see this one in print. The ebook will be released first, with the print version to follow six months later. More news as it develops.

We decorated our Christmas tree last night. Just like last year, our three cats decided to leap onto the top of the tree (which is an artificial tree) to snatch the beautiful aqua bird perched there. **sigh** No bird on my tree this year. So far, the remainder of the ornaments remain so we are crossing our fingers. Hubby was not happy that he had to realign five branches which the curious felines had dislodged. I'll post pictures when I get my camera working.

Thanks for stopping by!