Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Recommendation - Steeple Hill Love Inspired - "A Soldier's Reunion" by Cheryl Wyatt

I've long been a fan of Cheryl Wyatt and her Wings of Refuge series. This latest installment, "A Soldier's Promise" was as good as the first two. Cheryl's characters are so fully developed that as a reader, I'm living the story. Mandy and Nolan, the starring characters in this book, made me root for them to get past their "past" and open their hearts.

A major bridge collapse brings these two back into each other's lives. Though they haven't seen each other in ten years, the spark still remains. Nolan, a pararescue jumper, left her once, and that destroyed Mandy's trust--in Nolan and in God. But, Nolan is a new believer, and now he wants to rekindle the relationship with Mandy. This story of broken vows, trust, and faith will warm your heart and leave you uplifted. I highly recommend it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm Outta Here!

I am closing this blog until June 1st! Vacation time.

See you in June!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do You Want Your Face to Freeze That Way?

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to say things like "Do you want your face to freeze that way?" when I would pout or cry or give angry glares. My mother used to say it, too, so I suppose she heard it when she was small. I probably said the same thing to my kids. The curse is true.

I've noticed that when I'm sitting here writing my face is all tightened up like a prune. Not sure when it happened. I'm afraid to look in the mirror and see the results. I try to ease the muscles and relax, but in just seconds everything is tight again. It worsens when I'm "in the zone" and speeding through a scene.

I wish she'd given me a curse like this: "Do you want to be thin the rest of your life?" or "Do you want to make your living writing those stories?"

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Skunked at Uno...Twice!

What a wonderful weekend we had with family! Nothing rejuvenates me or makes me feel more joy than spending time with family. Hubby's sister and husband visited us this weekend. We hadn't seen them in three years. We did a lot of eating, visiting, laughing, and relaxing. Every night we played cards and that brought even more laughter. I'm glad none of us take it seriously, especially me. When we pulled out Uno on Saturday night, guess who didn't score one point? My sister-in-law and I racked big zeroes. And on Sunday night, we played again. Everyone scored something...except me! Not one hand did I win. LOL!

Hopefully, soon I can get back to writing. I need to escape into another world.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Author Interview with Wendy Davy

The audience applauds as the band concludes their opening number. The burgundy stage curtains rise and Carol Ann walks on stage. She stands in front of two comfortable looking burgundy leather chairs with a table between them holding two glasses of water.

"Good morning, Blog Studio audience! I'm so happy to be back in the studio and I have a fabulous guest author to bring onstage in just a few moments. Her name is Wendy Davy. When I spoke with her earlier here's what she told me."

I've been hooked on reading romances ever since I picked one up over twenty years ago. That's also when my own imagination started to roll and it hasn't stopped since. But, it wasn't until I realized that it was God who put it in my heart to write, that I knew my dreams of becoming an author could turn into a reality.I am a member of the Romance Writers of America and continue to be an avid reader. When not writing, I spend my energy chasing around my beautiful young children, enjoying my own real-life hero, and watching movies with friends.

"She's going to be talking to us about her new inspirational book, NIGHT WAVES. Please put your hands together and help me make welcome to the studio...Wendy Davy!"


CAROL ANN: Hi, Wendy!

WENDY: Hello, Carol Ann. I'm so excited to be here in your studio.

CAROL ANN: We're delighted to have you join us. Have a seat.


CAROL ANN: Wendy, I love your book cover. Isn't it gorgeous, audience?


CAROL ANN: Tell us about your book.

WENDY: Night Waves is an inspirational story that began from one intense beach scene, and developed into a manuscript filled with emotion and suspense, and of course, faith.

Newspaper reporter, Cali Stevens, boldly walks into Sheriff Nick
Justice’s office, with one goal in mind: To find her best friend who
disappeared while vacationing. When the no-nonsense sheriff refuses
to give her details of the investigation, Cali takes matters into her
own hands and starts her own investigation. She never intends to fall
for the sheriff...or into the clutches of the Coral Isle’s first serial

Coral Isle’s recent abductions give Nick Justice enough to worry
about without adding any complications into the mix, and his
attraction to Cali Stevens is definitely a complication. When Nick
encourages Cali to leave the island, she refuses. Now he must
manage to find the missing women while keeping Cali and the rest of
the women on Coral Isle safe.

CAROL ANN: Wow, that sounds great! I love inspirational romantic suspense. It's my favorite genre. I interview a lot of authors. For myself, I find the hardest part of being a writer is finding the time when I can write without being interrupted. Having a full-time job and a large family drains me emotionally and it's hard to have enough energy to devote to writing at the end of a long day. What do you find is the hardest part of being a writer?

WENDY: I agree, it's finding the time to write.

CAROL ANN: Sometimes I'm not sure how to answer the questions when someone asks me how I come up with the ideas for a particular book. For you what comes first?

WENDY: A scene comes first. Then the characters that fit the scene. I write out a sketchy plot, but rarely follow it. Sometimes I don't know what's going to happen until I sit down to write. But, that's the fun part.

CAROL ANN: What stumbling blocks have you encountered and how have you overcome them?

WENDY: Like you, distractions are a major stumbling block. But, I overcome them by setting aside specific time to write, and guard it against interruptions.

CAROL ANN: Despite all we have on our plates, it's important to keep our sense of humor. I love to laugh. Who can you count on to bring a smile to your face?

WENDY: My kids.

CAROL ANN: Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword?

WENDY: It depends on the situation. I believe there is a time and a place for everything. And that includes both words and action.

CAROL ANN: You are sitting in a restaurant with several friends when someone thrusts a microphone in your hand. You have one minute to give a message of hope to the world. What will you say?

WENDY: I'd probably freeze and say something ridiculous. But, given the time to think about it, I would say...Pray first. Ask questions later.

CAROL ANN: Great advice! Quick. What do you have under your bed?

WENDY: **laugh** Carpet!

CAROL ANN: **laugh** Wendy, who is the real hero in your life?

WENDY: Jesus.

CAROL ANN: Wendy, thank you for joining us today. It's been a real pleasure to have you in the studio. I wish you many sales on your book, my friend. Before you leave, where can the audience learn more about you and your books?

WENDY: Thanks, Carol Ann. It's been fun, even though I've been a little nervous. Your audience can go to my website at

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


That's all I can say after the fall last night.

The story:
The inside of the windows is finished. Yay! Before the workers left, I asked them to move my huge heavy desk back under the windows in my office. I'm so sorry that I designed this room to have the desk under the windows. I love being able to look outside, BUT...the desk is so large and I'm so short, especially my arms, that I can't reach the windows! So,in order to put the curtains back up, I had to climb on my desk. Which I did. First I stepped on my footstool--a little backstory on the footstool. I purchased it at a craft fair in Michigan about fifteen years ago. It has two solid wooden legs for the sides with cats painted on them, and a plaid cushioned "seat" area. This stool has served as a chair for children, adults, a resting spot for my weary feet, and lately as a stepping stool. Back to the story. So, I stepped up on the footstool, onto my swivel desk chair and onto the desk! Perfect. Fixed the curtains and then proceeded to step down. All went well from desk to one foot on the desk chair. Reached the other foot backwards to step on the footstool, putting most of my weight there, and heard a horrible cracking noise. The footstool collapsed, taking my body along with it. All I felt was a bump and scrape on my back and then...pain, horrid pain in my right big toe. I squirmed around but couldn't get up. The pain kept intensifying. Hubby upstairs couldn't hear me call him for help. I finally managed to look at my toe only to see blood. Lots of blood. Ugh. Hubby finally came downstairs and I got him to bring me a cold rag. Fifteen minutes later, I was able to see the damage. A huge chunk of my toe was gouged out. Managed to get it bandaged, which presents another dilemma.

I have to go to work and I can't get my foot into a shoe. It's supposed to storm today. Guess, I'll try using a flip-flop and hope that I don't get sent home for improper dress code.

As far as the cats, Wilbur entertained the workers yesterday catching flies that dared to enter the open window cavities. Templeton wasn't as freaked out. He would hide when they used the air gun, but otherwise he wandered around a bit. Charlotte hid under Mom's bed. I petted her last night, but I haven't seen her come out yet.

Will my life ever be normal again?

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


My poor cat, Templeton, is traumatized. This cat is usually the first to greet strangers, demanding attention. He isn’t afraid of noises, storms, even power tools. In fact, hubby has to be very careful when he’s working on a project because Templeton is always watching every single movement and even puts his head close to the saw blade!

Not so yesterday. The poor baby ran under the bed because of all the strangers invading our house and the noise of saws cutting through metal. Yesterday we had a new furnace and central air installed along with new double hung windows. I’m glad I was at work. I can’t stand the noise of saws and sanders. It goes right through me—like someone who can’t stand the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.
Hubby finally got Templeton out from under the bed and put him on the deck with our other cat, Wilbur, who was howling at being left all alone and not being able to get into the house. Templeton ran up into the rafters and wouldn’t come down. I tried and tried and finally enticed him to come down with his favorite treat of cheese. All the workers had left. Still, he heard a noise and scampered right under the bed and would not come out. Charlotte and Wilbur investigated all the changes and returned to normal (and they are the shy ones).

Sometime during the night, Templeton emerged. He ventured up onto the bed in his favorite spot. This morning he seems normal again, BUT…there are three more windows which need to be installed, trim to be put up, and shutters.

Poor baby.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hurray for Hypnotherapy!

This is day four and all I can say is I feel free! No more worrying about dieting. I know diets don't work for most people. I'm one of them.

Over the years, I've tried every new diet that has come along. I've tried health clubs, diet pills, exercise gimmicks, South Beach Diet, Atkins, and just plain calorie counting. Sure, they all work...short term. And then, guess what? All the weight is regained, plus a few more pounds. This is what is known as yo-yo dieting. (Raising hand here. I'm guilty.)

As a last resort I decided to try the hypnotherapy route. I didn't go into this without doing some research. I didn't want to do the group hypnosis thing either. This is a personal venture for me and I'm different from every other person. How can a group session be geared specifically to me? I knew it wouldn't work. But I found a wonderful lady here in my home town who specializes in hypnotherapy for various things, one being weight loss. We talked on the telephone for about twenty minutes before my first session on Thursday. I felt very comfortable with her and with her process. So, I scheduled an appointment.

When I walked into her office, I sat in a chair next to her desk. She offered me a water and then handed me several papers to fill out. One was to list all the family history diseases and to list any medications I'm currently taking. Then I read over a two page sheet of "symptoms" and highlighted every one that applied to me. These were the tools to help her focus in on my specific problems and needs. We talked for another fifteen minutes about why I was there, what I had tried and she explained why diets don't work. She also explained the hypnosis session, what she would be doing, and what I would be doing. I felt good to know that she wouldn't be in control of my mind, but that I would be in control all the time. I would be listening to her suggestions. Interestingly, I learned that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

Next we went into a room which had low lighting and I sat in a wonderfully comfortable soft leather recliner. I could control how far back I wanted to recline. Once comfortable she turned on ocean sounds which were very soothing. Then she proceeded with the actual program. I was totally aware of everything she said and could remember each word and suggestion. They all made sense to me. Throughout I felt as if I were floating on a raft on a calm body of water. After she brought me out of the hypnosis, I wasn't sure I had truly been hypnotized. She said I had been a great subject and that my movements had shown her that I had accepted her suggestions and that I had gone under quite deep. Amazing!

I left feeling very positive. One of the suggestions she gave me before the session and during the session was to make a fist with my hand. The size of my fist is the size of my stomach. Then I opened my fist and that is the size of the food portions that would fill me up.

Armed with a CD to listen to each night and a book which explains the reason diets don't work, I am prepared to believe. I attest that it is working. I don't know about weight loss. I can't weigh myself for a month. But I cannot believe how much less I've eaten for the past three days. I get full and I'm satisfied. Best of all, I don't really think a lot about food. I can eat whatever I want! That in itself is freeing. I don't worry about the calories, the fat, any of those "diet" words. Thus, I don't feel deprived. I just eat less. It's a wonderful feeling.

Hubby took me out to eat for Mother's Day. I wanted to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant. I ordered my usual grande burrito, which I would usually eat. All of it. Every morsel. Not so now. I ate 1/3 and was full! The rest is in the fridge and will be my lunch for the next two days. Need I say more?

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Happy belated mother's day to all the mothers who are reading my blog.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Writer's Block, Hypnotherapy, and Me Time

I don't believe in writer's block, but I do believe that real life can sometimes take so much mental energy that you have to allow yourself to step back and recoup. With all the things happening surrounding moving my mother from Illinois into our home in Ohio, my mental energy is truly tapped out. Couple that with having new windows installed on Monday, along with a new furnace and central air at the same time, company coming from Michigan on Friday, that's a lot. Sometime between Tuesday and Thursday, I have to clean the clutter, put all the furniture back and buy groceries.
The following week my grandson gets married on Saturday, then Sunday morning we are off to Illinois.

I'm giving myself permission to step back from writing until June. My best advice to you other writers is to know when you need to step away from the computer and tend to the issues that are most important. I know you've heard "write something every day." You can still do that. Just don't push yourself to come up with the next scene or chapter of your book. If you have a blog, post something there.

If, like me, you also have a full-time job, sometimes there just isn't enough energy left at the end of the day when you have other pressing issues. Remember, relationships are very important. In the long run, the relationships you build with people will bless you. Don't ever beat yourself up because you feel like a failure for not pushing yourself beyond your limits.

Last night I began the journey into hypnotherapy for weight loss. I'm happy that I did this FOR ME. I love the knowledge that it is the total package of mind, body, and spirit. No, she didn't hold a shiny watch in front of my eyes and tell me I was getting sleepy. It doesn't work that way. But the power of positive thinking can do wonders in anything you attempt. Yes, even in completing your latest manuscript.

Just received Patty Lacy's new book, "What the Bayou Saw" by Kregel Publications. I can't wait to read it. The cover is beautifully haunting. Patty has a way with characters. They reach out of the page and grab you by the heart.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Help, Where Do I Live?

I reminded my hubby that I was going to be late coming home from work tonight because I am going to the hypnotist for my first session to help me lose weight. His response?

"How will you get home?"

I laughed. "What do you mean?"

"Will you be able to drive?"

"Sure. It's not going to have an anesthetizing effect."

"Well, I wasn't sure if you'd remember how to get home. Maybe you'll come in and not even know who I am."

Gotta love men.

Actually, I'm very excited about this opportunity. I've been thinking about it for a long time. I know the principles needed to lose weight, but I lack the will power. For instance, yesterday I had a box lunch at work. After four bites of the sub and a few bites of the macaroni salad, I was full. However, the food sat there and I felt that I needed to eat it. It tasted good, so I suppose it's a reward to stuff my body. But, in reality it's a punishment.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life! Wish me good luck.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My Cat, The Spider Killer, NOT!!!

My cat, Wilbur, is on my "bad cat" list. While I was getting ready for work, he was sprawled almost flat on the floor his nose to the crack under the door to the closet under the steps. I figured he'd seen a spider crawl in there and I wasn't about to check it out. I don't do spiders. **shudder** So, I ignored him and went into the bathroom to get read for work. I remembered that I hadn't put the white clothes in the dryer, so I headed across the hall to take care of that. No Wilbur, although it didn't register at that point. After putting the clothes in to dry, I left the room and shut off the light.

Here comes Wilbur following on my heels. But then he slows down. I keep my eye on him and walk toward the bathroom. Wilbur now has his nose to the floor staring at the place where the floor and wall meet.

"Wilbur, are you chasing a bug?"

Wilbur looks at me and back to the floor. Uh-oh.

"Wilbur, you are supposed to catch them, not watch them. Go ahead and get the bug."

Promptly Wilbur looks at me as if, "Who are you to tell me what to do." Then he flips his tail, his incredibly long and fluffy tail, in the air and prances away and up the stairs. I look at the spot he'd been watching and saw...A SPIDER!!!! A black wolf spider not yet fully grown.

"Wilbur! You're supposed to KILL these things!"

Not Wilbur. He practically laughed at me. You know how cats get those smirky grins? Yeah. That's the one.

So, there I am. Standing in my terry wrap with pink terry slippers on my feet. How do I kill the spider, which by the way, is now staring at me with those beady green eyes daring me to try.

I look at my foot, look at the spider, and consider my options. If I press real hard, and move real fast, I might have a chance.

I raise my foot. The spider glares at me.

I stomp on the floor and pull my foot away real quick.

The spider moves closer to the wall. I swear it laughed at me, too.

Okay. My foot is a LOT bigger than that spider. The cat is snickering, now.

So, I go after that spider with all the strength in me. I stomp and rake my foot back and forth several times while the spider tries to elude me. I win!

Wilbur shakes his head and goes upstairs.

I look down in triumph and see one of those spider eyes shining in the light. **shudder**

That dreaded DEAD spider is still curled up in a ball on the floor.

I've got to get my husband, dubbed "spider killer" to take it away.

Wilbur, however, is not going to get his canned food for a week. That darned cat!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Donald Maass - "The Fire in Fiction"

I'm a great fan of Donald Maass. I had the pleasure of attending one of his "Writing the Breakout Novel" workshops. He's an inspiring motivational speaker.

On one of my loops, someone posted a link to an interview on the NovelJourney blog. I'd like to share it with you.

And, I'd encourage everyone who is a writer to purchase his latest book, "The Fire in Fiction." I just bought it and it's full of wonderful advice and examples.

Here's the link to the interview:

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I Am An E-book Author...and Proud of It

Sometimes I'm made to feel like a second class citizen because I am published in e-book format. Never mind that my books are also available in print. If I don't meet the standards of receiving an advance royalty, I'm not considered published by certain writing establishments. However, I'm considered published when it comes to entering any of their contests! Catch-22.

But, it doesn't matter. I write because I love to write. I love reading reviews and getting email from people telling me how I touched them with my stories. That's my goal. I don't do what I do to become the next NY Times Best-Selling author. I don't long to make tons of money and get world recognition for my books. I write because I can't NOT write. I enjoy telling stories. I love creating a book and the feeling it gives upon completion. Release day for me is exciting and scary. Just like it is for every "recognized" author.

However, with the economy changing and technology changing, the e-book is becoming more and more recognized, especially among the younger generation. I love reading e-books. They don't take up precious space in my house, and I can still hold my ereader in my hand and take it to bed and read. I can pack it when I travel without adding weight to my luggage.

Here's an interesting blog by Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Click to read

Friday, May 01, 2009

Ghost? Squirrel? Mouse?...gasp...Cat!!!!

Those who know me know I live with three very entertaining cats named Wilbur, Templeton, and Charlotte. Templeton is usually the one who is doing weird when he stuck his head into a plastic bag to see what DH had purchased. In doing so he had stepped through the holes that make handles. Yep. The bag got stuck, the cat ran faster than a greyhound with hubby in pursuit. That was amusing.

Last night I carried my book to bed and while I was reading I heard a noise that sounded like one of the cats trying to open the closet door. Finally, annoyed, I got up and searched the closets. No cat. Strange. I crept back to bed and lay there, ears tuned to hear the noise again. Kind of creepy. Then I thought it might have come from the desk under the window. Got out of bed and flipped on the overhead light. Made a search. Nothing. Hmmmm. Checked the window to make sure no ghost was tapping on the window. That's a good sign. Then I looked up at the ceiling. Could a squirrel have gotten into the attic? No, the noise wasn't that far up. But...a mouse? Could a mouse be hiding in one of the closets? Would a mouse dare to come into a house where three cats reside? Well, maybe since my cats would probably just play with it. They don't have front claws so I doubt they would do much damage. Great! Now I had to go to bed and worry about a mouse being loose in the house. I walked out into the living room and saw Wilbur and Templeton snoozing around the stair railing. No big deal that Charlotte was nowhere in sight. She likes to hide.

Crawled back into bed with my book. No more sounds. Turned out the light and finally fell asleep. When the alarm went off at five, I turned it off and decided to snooze in for a few more minutes. But then...I heard that noise again.

I sat straight up in bed. Then I heard a soft pitiful "meow." I recognized Charlotte's voice so I called her. She replied from the same area where I'd heard that scratching noise last night. I walked to the far end of the bedroom and stared at the four drawer chest. I remembered having the second drawer from the top open last night when I pulled out a pair of jeans to wear today. The drawer had been open and I tried to shut it. Had to wiggle it to get it in right. Had Charlotte been in that drawer? Quickly I opened the cat. Whew!

So I called her again and she answered. From the dresser. I opened the drawer again. No cat. So I pulled it all the way out and there she was in the drawer below near the back. Poor baby!

She didn't seem any worse for having spent the night locked in a drawer. In fact, she came out purring and acted like it was an every night occurrence.

Wish I'd thought to take a picture!