Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Recovery Day!!

If, you, like me, are recovering from a delicious Thanksgiving meal, I wish you a day of full recovery. Even though it was just hubby and me this year, I still fixed all the things I would for a huge family gathering...just in smaller quantities. I have leftover turkey for my well-loved cold sandwiches. Yummy!

Yesterday was also a day that filled my heart to overflowing. My grandson had called on Wednesday afternoon to let me know that he was coming home on Thanksgiving day! We'd been secretly planning his return from the service, but the actual date hadn't been clarified. We thought it would probably be today or Saturday. He worked hard with his commanding officers for an early release, and sure enough, they out-processed him and he was able to get a flight from California to arrive around 6:30pm. The idea was to surprise his mother. So, after eating, I hustled to the airport to await his arrival. When he walked through the gate, I was overjoyed!! What a wonderful end to a fantastic day!

I called my daughter and told her I had something special for the family and that hubby and I would be coming by to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and bring the dessert. It was raining, non-stop raining, but she stepped outside to greet us. I asked her to get the dessert from the back seat. When she opened the door, my grandson popped up from where he'd been laying on the seat and said "Hi, Mom!" What a Hallmark moment!

I hope you had a wonderful day, too! And I wish you a peaceful, restful day of recovery.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Are Mirror Characters?

Good morning! I'm so happy to turn my blog over to esteemed author and friend, Patricia Sargeant. Patricia is an award-winning author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance. Her romantic suspense feature ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Her contemporary romances reveal characters struggling to overcome their inner demons. Patricia loves to hear from readers. Her e-mail address is  You can learn more about Patricia and her books on her website at

 Carol Ann, thanks a million for letting me stop by to spend some time with you and your friends. I really appreciate the company. If it’s all right with everyone, I’d like to chat about mirror characters, their role in our stories and the reason I really dig them.

As you probably know, mirror characters are the characters in our books whose personalities contrast with our heroine or hero. If our heroine is an introvert, her mirror character will be an extrovert. If our hero is reckless, his mirror character will be cautious.

Mirror characters can be the main character’s friend or nemesis, relative or neighbor. He or she could be a pivotal secondary character or someone who walks on for only one or two scenes.

I’ve always loved mirror characters because they help sculpt main characters. To put it crudely, mirror characters are valuable tools in an author’s storytelling kit. They help show – not tell – our main character’s personality. Think about the many ways you develop your character.

• Dialogue: Is she chatty or stingy with her words?

• Actions: Does she fidget or is she composed?

• Appearance: Is she fashionable or conservative?

Now look at your mirror character. The mirror character allows you to take the heroine you’ve just developed in her entirety and contrast her with another character to deepen her personality.

Let’s take a look at some mirror characters from the movies. Have you seen “Speed” with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock? No? Why not? No, never mind. We’ll discuss your serious oversight in movies later. I’ll set the scene. Keanu Reeves plays Jack, a Los Angeles police officer and man of action. He’s on the edge of being reckless. His partner, Harry, is his mirror character. Harry knows the importance of thinking before you act. We don’t have a narrator who steps onto the scene to explain that Jack is reckless and Harry is cautious. Instead we hear the contrast in the characters’ dialogue. This interaction deepens the characterization.

Sandra Bullock’s character, Annie, also is a mirror character for Keanu Reeves’s Jack. Annie is a nurturer. Jack … well, he doesn’t show as much emotion, which doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. But that’s another discussion. Anyway, one of the many scenes that contrasts Annie and Jack comes when one of the passengers on the runaway bus (It’s a long story; rent the DVD.) turns to Jack in fear of the action they’re about to take. Desperate for reassurance, the young man asks, “Is this really going to work?” Jack stares at him without responding, without showing emotion.

In contrast, Annie does show emotion. The script gives us bits of dialogue that gives away the fact that Annie cares a great deal for the other passengers. Now, Annie is driving the runaway bus. She miraculously (It’s Hollywood.) completes the dangerous action that the young man was worried about. The first words out of her mouth are, “Is everyone all right?” Nurturer. The audience contrasts Annie’s reaction with Jack’s previous reaction – or lack thereof.

I’ve used at least one mirror character for my heroine and hero in all of my stories to help deepen their characterization. For example, my heroine in Heated Rivalry is an insecure introvert. Her best friend is a confident extrovert. I had fun having them play off of each other. In Sweet Deception, my hero is a responsible oldest child whose parents take him for granted. In contrast, his younger brother is a spoiled child who has to be the center of attention. There’s a lot of tension in their scenes.

Could you share with us some of your favorite mirror characters, either from books or movies?

Carol Ann, thanks again for having me over. I’d also like to wish everyone a happy, peaceful and safe Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Future Belongs... those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~~Eleanor Roosevelt

So many times in the years my children were growing up, I remember telling them that anything is possible. Dreams can become reality if one works toward reaching those dreams, and always believing dreams can come true.

The power of positive thinking can transform lives. Negative thoughts breed despair. Have you ever known someone who expects the worst so that when the worst happens, they are not disappointed? Trying to convince them that dreams come true is a difficult task! The power to change our thinking resides within ourselves...and in reaching out to God, we can find the truth and the strength.

I wish for each of you the joy of knowing that Eleanor Roosevelt's quote is powerful, and that you can realize your dreams...if you believe!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Check Your Pacing - by Guest Blogger JoAnn Carter

Today, I'm happy to turn my blog over to a fabulous author, JoAnn Carter. When you comment, be sure to wish her a belated happy birthday. Her birthday was on Monday, November 15th.

“In your heart you plan your life. But the Lord decides where your steps will take you.” ~ Proverbs 16:9 (New International Reader's Version)

Have you ever set out with a goal, a good and worthy goal, only to become frustrated to the point of giving up? I know I’ve been there—done that. Here’s a recent example… I had a plan. I was going to jog around the neighborhood (1.5 miles) before I hit my 40th birthday. So every morning, out the door I’d go. Bless my sweet husband, he’d come with me as a source of encouragement. However, no matter how hard I tried, it never took long for me to become winded to the point where I needed to walk. I was so disgusted after weeks and weeks of little to no improvement, I decided to quit. My husband, seeing my broken spirit said, “Do you trust me?”

I wondered where this was going but I replied, “Yes, I do.”

“Good. Then tomorrow, let me set the pace.”

The next day, practically dragging my heels, I followed him out the door. But you know what, a remarkable thing happened. I jogged around one loop without stopping! After the appropriate round of high-fives and smiles I stood amazed. I didn’t need to stop and I didn’t feel ready to pass out—granted it wasn’t the whole neighborhood yet, but I went as far as my husband asked simply by matching his steady stride.

You know what the trick was? Pacing.

Okay, so fast forward a month—I’m almost all the way through the neighborhood at this point (just a little side street left to tackle), the boys are back to school, and it’s time to dig back into my writing. I set my writing goals. I’m going to write 2,000 words a day and finish a novel every three months. I have BIG plans of going GREAT places. Guess what? It didn’t take me long to fizzle out. Instead of enjoying writing, embracing the gift of time the Lord had given me to set aside for writing this year, it felt like a burden, a chore! Then it hit me like a 2x4. My pacing was off! Granted some folks may write like a marathon runner, and have great success, but that won’t work for me. I want to love every moment of writing…explore the journey with eager anticipation…follow God and His stride for my day.

I’d like to throw out this challenge, if you’re feeling tired or burned out, check your pacing. Great things can happen if you slow down to enjoy life’s journey. I have proof—although my birthday isn’t until next week, I been jogging completely around the neighborhood for a month and a half now. If I can do that, I know you can face your own personal mountain! Remember the key is taking steps, even baby steps some days, with your focus on Christ.


*Quick writing update (after I wrote this post)—with these little baby steps, I’ve been offered a series contract for three Historical Inspirational Romance novels through Desert Breeze Publishing. The first book The Floating Palace will be released July 15, 2011. My year and a half dry spell is over. God is so good!


Author of Teacher’s Plans, By the Book, Sweet Rest, Smuggler of the Heart, Daniella, The Hamster Wheel, and Finders Keepers

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Squirrel and the Cat

This morning I'm laughing at the antics in my front yard. A squirrel is teasing one of our feral cats, Patches. Patches, a beautiful long-haired calico cat is lying in the yard watching the squirrel make its way down the tree trunk to look for seeds to gather for winter. She lies quietly until the squirrel gets close to the ground then she runs to the tree and begins to climb. The squirrel retreats to the first branch and turns around to stare at Patches. The cat stops and it becomes a stand-off for a few seconds. Then the cat inches a little higher. The squirrel moves up a bit and again turns around and stares at the cat. Finally, the cat jumps down from the tree. And the squirrel scurries downward, chattering at the cat.

I don't believe the cat wants to catch the squirrel, but she's fascinated by chase. The squirrel seems to be confident enough to continue teasing the cat because it knows there is safety in the highest branches of the tree where it has made a nest.

I suppose it's time to go feed the cat. The squirrel can fend for itself as long as Patches continues to have a full belly.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your day is filled with joyful things to see.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Don't Forget to Thank a Veteran Today

Happy Veteran's Day!

Today, be sure to say thank you to our military for all they do and have done to protect our freedom. Because of them, I have the freedom to post on my blog whenever I feel like it. I have the freedom to say what I think. I have the freedom to worship and to shout for joy whenever I feel overwhelmed with blessings. There are so many things to say thank you for, that I can't begin to list them all.

My father died at the young age of 19 while serving as a naval gunman on The Liddle, a ship attacked by a kamikaze pilot. I never knew my father, but I love him for giving all for his country. My grandfather served in the Army in World War I. My stepfather served in the Army in World War II. My husband served in the Air Force after the Korean War. My stepson served in the Army during Desert Storm. My grandson serves in the Air Force and is coming home in December.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all Veterans, active and non-active, alive and living with Jesus. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Life in 1957" by Diane Craver

Today, I'm very happy to welcome Diane Craver as my guest blogger. Be sure to read all the way through, because Diane is giving away one of her Christmas releases, and more!

Diane Craver met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they married in 1975. While raising their six children in southwestern Ohio, Diane started writing nonfiction. Later, she decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction.

Diane has published through a variety of houses, including, Samhain, Desert Breeze, Whimsical Publications, and Victory Tales Press. She writes fun and inspiring stories filled with memorable characters. Diane gives thanks to God daily for all her wonderful blessings.

Learn more about Diane and her books at

"Life in 1957"

I’m dating myself here but I was a small girl in 1957. My upcoming release, A Christmas Gift, contains my childhood experiences with fiction thrown into the story line. However, the prologue and epilogue are in present time. When I mentioned to a daughter that it was hard for me to believe that my new book was considered historical fiction, she laughed and said, "Mom, it wouldn’t be contemporary."

I want to share with you an event that was done to newlyweds back in 1957 in Ohio. It made quite an impression on me when I was a small girl. By the time, I got married it was no longer a tradition. But before I do that, I want to mention how even though we didn’t have cable, internet, cell phones, video games, DVDs, or even VHS, life was good in 1957. We took time to know our neighbors. I grew up in a rural area so all the families were farmers. My best memories are the creative play I shared with the neighborhood children. I didn’t have siblings to play with because I came along very late in my parents’ lives. My siblings were 21, 19, 15, and 9 when I was born. Another fun time was traveling to Lake Erie on Sundays in the summers. All the neighbors piled into cars to enjoy swimming and picnics by the lake.

Okay, here is what we did in Findlay, Ohio, to have fun with newlyweds, and it was called a "belling". If a belling would be held now on Main Street in Findlay, I’m sure there would be arrests. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of A Christmas Gift about a belling in 1957:

On Saturday night Ellen and I were sitting on the front porch steps, watching all the neighbors arrive at my house, the gathering spot before a belling. It was appropriately termed a "belling" because neighbors went to a newlyweds’ home with dinner bells, shot guns, pans, or anything that made noises. Hopefully, the unsuspecting couple would be asleep when the belling occurred.

"Here’s your noisemakers, girls," Daddy said as he handed us pans and big spoons.

"Mr. Reeves, are we leaving now?" Ellen asked.

Daddy smiled. "We have to wait a little longer to make sure Linda and John are asleep."

I asked Daddy, "Do you think they’ll be surprised?"

He nodded. "Of course. They’ve been married for several weeks, so they know it’s coming, but I hope they won’t expect it tonight. I invited John to play cards with us tonight, so he’d think we all had something going on. John said he couldn’t leave his wife on their special night."

My eyes widened. "What’s special about tonight?"

"He mumbled something about it being the anniversary of their first kiss."

Ellen and I laughed. "Daddy, that’s silly. You’re making that up."

He winked. "Well, it might not be the first kiss but was something romantic."

Within an hour, we left in several cars to travel a road over from ours to the Williamson’s place. The drivers stayed in the cars to honk their horns, Ellen and I banged our pans, and many people rang dinner bells. I jumped when I heard some farmers shooting their guns into the air. With this entire racket going on right in their front yard, John and Linda took fifteen minutes to come outside.

I saw John’s shirt wasn’t buttoned right, and Linda’s blouse was tucked in on one side and hanging out on the other. John grinned and yelled, "You bunch of liars. I thought the men had a big card party tonight."

"Since you couldn’t make it," Daddy said, "we canceled it." He laughed. "You took so long to come out, we decided to take you both to Findlay on a hay wagon."

Ellen and I had permission to ride the hay wagon, so we hurried and climbed on before John and Linda did. When the wagon was full of people, we sang the song, "Love and Marriage Goes Together like a Horse and Carriage." Linda sat on John’s lap and sang along too.

Once in Findlay our singing ceased while Ellen’s father stopped the tractor and wagon in a grocery store’s parking lot.

Two men lifted a wheelbarrow off a pickup truck. One of them said, "We think John should push Linda down Main Street."

Everyone clapped and whistled while John put Linda into the wheelbarrow. Noises continued behind the couple while everyone proceeded down the street.

When we returned to the newlyweds’ house, Linda and John gave candy bars for treats. While the adults were laughing and talking, Ellen and I sat on white metal chairs, eating our candy.

I grabbed Gail’s arm as she walked in front of us. With a mouthful of Milky Way bar, I told her, "If you marry Phil, I can’t wait for your belling. I’ll make so much noise that Phil’s ears will hurt."

Gail gave me a disgusted look. "Don’t talk with your mouth full. I hate to disappoint you, Debby, but Phil and I aren’t going to live around here. He’s only here until Mr. Haynes is well enough to return to work."


I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. A Christmas Gift releases on November 15th in both paperback and electronic formats. It will be available from Whimsical Publications and Amazon. Thank you, Carol, for giving me this opportunity to share something from my book.

By the way, I have a Christmas contest on my blog. If you leave a comment on this post, your name is entered. The first drawing is November 14th. I’ll be giving away a signed copy of one of my Christmas releases to the winner, a $10 GC, and a beautiful angel ornament. More details are on my blog.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Voices, Personalities, Baggage, and Charisma!!

I'm sure, like me, you have seen many different movies, television programs, and read many, many books. I don't remember all the things that happen. I might have scenes that stand out in my memory bank, but mostly it's the characters I remember.

For instance, I loved the series of "Who's the Boss?" I can't tell you much about the silly episodes, but I remember the chemistry between Tony and Angela. Their characters are still vivid in my mind. My current favorite series is "Castle." I don't watch for the murder they solve or how they do it, but for the characters of Rick Castle and Kate Beckett. I loved Gone With The Wind, but I don't remember many scenes...just a few major ones and what keeps them fresh in my mind are the characters, Scarlet and Rhett. Without great characters, it is easy to forget.

Authors must be cognizant of making their characters come to life on a page. They must have individual voices, personalities, baggage, and charisma. We learned as toddlers to remember things by "seeing" them. A chair, a table, a nose, a smile, a dog, a cat...and the list goes on. Likewise, we remember great books by seeing the characters and the action playing out in our brain. It takes a good writer to be able to paint those pictures for the reader.

Do you have characters you remember vividly?

Friday, November 05, 2010

You Mean It's Friday Already???

Oh, my, how fast this week has passed. So many things going on. First, the winner of an autographed copy of Laurie Kingery's book was Becky. She has been notified and the book is on the way! Thanks to all who stopped by.

Last weekend began by attending some seminars at our church by Jerry Lucas. Jerry is better known as Doctor Memory. You may have seen him on television where he has shown his remarkable talents of memorizing people's names. He's really fantastic.

We began on Sunday with him showing us how to remember a unique set of numbers from 1 to 10 by using sound-alike words and creating pictures. These pictures were to remind us how to have better family relationships. The one number which is foremost in my mind is six. Six represents a bundle of sticks which I insert into my mouth before I say something hurtful. I have been walking around for days reciting sticks, sticks, sticks whenever I think something negative to stop the words from spilling out of my mouth. I pray for God to help me control my tongue every day!

Sunday night Jerry taught us how to remember lists. His method really works. And then Monday night he taught us how to remember names that are important to us. I'm working on that!

The first four days of this week were filled with "have to's" so that Friday has snuck right up on me! I'm sure Thanksgiving will be here before I can think twice about the menu. And then, Christmas, and "oh no!" a brand new year! I've just gotten used to writing 2010.

How about you? Has this year passed quickly for you, too? Or has it been dragging by? Regrets? Joys? Looking forward to a new year?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

WHERE IN THE WORLD...? by guest blogger Karen Robbins

I'm so happy to welcome Karen Robbins to be my guest blogger today.
Writer, speaker, author, travel addict, wife, mom, and grandma describes the multi-faceted life of Karen Robbins. In addition to her many published articles and essays, Karen is also coauthor of A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts (Leafwood).
The slosh of the washer and hum of the dryer provide my background music today as I write. We are home for three weeks. Long enough to empty suitcases, do laundry, catch up on mail, touch base with friends and family and pack suitcases again for the next trip. For the last twenty years, our travel addiction has grown and as we are easing into retirement we have been able to take more time to satisfy it. Over the years we have managed to visit all seven continents and have almost circumnavigated the globe. And God has shown Himself in every corner of the world we have visited.

I learned of His majesty in the Alaskan mountains, His grace in the middle of a river in China, His sacrificing love in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and His sheltering protection deep in the waters of Papua New Guinea. Ever wonder why the Bible says He washes us “white as snow?” The pure unblemished snows of Antarctica told the story.

The people and cultures of our world are amazing. We have been enriched by their history, enlightened by their traditions, and gained understanding by their struggles. And through it all we can see the common thread of our spiritual need.

Being on the road for almost six months out of the year, I often get the question, “When do you find the time to write?” The answer is not in finding the time but in making the time. With my handy little HP notebook, I can plug in almost anywhere in the world—as long as I remember to take along the adaptors for that country. When I can’t, I can do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper. The real challenge comes in being able to find internet access when I need it. But as long as there is a MacDonald’s nearby, there is usually free WiFi.

SOCW Tuscan Countryside
The internet played a big part in the writing of my coauthored book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts (Leafwood, 2008). Since the six of us live in three different areas of the country and I am often out of the country, we wrote the whole book through emails. The challenge for me came in marketing when the book was first released. It was our fortieth wedding anniversary and my husband had planned a Mediterranean cruise. Undaunted, I took my copy of Scrapbook and had him take pictures of me reading the book in Rome at the Coliseum and in front of the Trevi fountain; then in Santorini, Greece, at a seaside café; in Cadiz, Spain, with a statue of a sailor looking over my shoulder; and in Tuscany, with rolling hills of grape vineyards in the background. They were all posted on my blog and subsequently Facebook and Twitter.

My blog, Writer’s Wanderings, keeps me writing on a daily basis. It is a journal of not only where our travels take me but where life leads as well. The blog has also been a door to writing some travel articles for online magazines and a way to connect with other world travelers. I have regular readers from as far away as Australia and England.

As a fiction writer, I probably look at things a little differently than many other travelers. When everyone is entranced with the beauty of a stained glass church window, I may be looking at the lady on the sidewalk wrapped in an old shawl, stringing beads to sell to the tourists. Or at a couple embracing in the shadow of an archway. Or perhaps at a weathered door and wondering what story lies beyond it.

Whether you travel around the world or just around the corner, enjoy the journey God has set before you.
To learn more about Karen, please visit her blog at:

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

And The Winners Are....


First, the winner for the $10 Bath and Body Works Gift Certificate is:


Debbie, you'll be getting an email from me with details. Congratulations!!!


Second, the winner of an autographed copy of my book, JOSHUA'S HOPE is:


Tammy, you'll be getting an email from me asking for information to send your book. Congratulations!!


Please stop by my blog tomorrow to meet Karen Robbins, who will be my guest blogger!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Author Interview - Laurie Kingery

The camera zooms in on the Blog Studio Band as they play "Desperado." Then the camera pans the audience where many are singing along and swaying in their seats. As the song ends, the curtain rises and Carol Ann Erhardt walks on stage waving.

"Good morning! It's thrilling to be back in the studio with you again. Today, I'll be interviewing one of my dear friends, Laurie Kingery. Laurie is a central Ohio author and veteran E.R. RN who has written twenty-two  historical romances, first as Laurie Grant and now writing Christian historicals under her own name for Love Inspired Historicals. She won the Reader's Choice for short historicals in 1994 and was a finalist in the 2010 Carol Awards in short historicals by the American Christian Fiction Writers for THE OUTLAW'S LADY.  Please put your hands together and welcome to the stage, the one and only...Laurie...Kingery!"

The audience applauds as Laurie walks forward and joins Carol Ann in the burgundy leather chairs center stage.

"Laurie, you look lovely today! Thank you for joining me here in the Blog Studio this morning."

"You're welcome, and thanks for inviting me."

"Did you notice the band played the song you like to hear when you are writing your western heroes?"

"I did! Thank you."  Laurie leans forward and applauds the band. The band leader smiles and bows.

"You've been writing historical romances for quite a while now. How did you decide to make a change to writing inspirational historical romances?"

"The Lord decided for me. I had written 16 historical romances with 3 publishers, and suddenly couldn't sell anything. I tried medical suspense and medical romance—no luck there either. I was ready to quit. Then my wonderful agent Elaine English suggested I try to write a book for Love Inspired Historicals, which was just about to launch. I did and it sold to them. I think it's a natural fit since I am a born-again Christian."

"I think it's a perfect fit, too. I love your voice and I'm very excited about your new series. I understand you are giving away a copy of your upcoming release "Mail Order Cowboy" to one lucky audience member. Thank you so much for doing that. Audience members, please leave your comment and Laurie will pick one person as the winner to be announced on my blog tomorrow. It will be up to you to provide Laurie with the information to get the book to you."

Carol Ann settles back into her chair as the audience applauds.

"Let's get to some questions I've been dying to ask you. First, you have a great success record. Have you ever experienced writer’s block?"

"Oh, yeah, almost every day, especially in the middle of the book as I am now. The only way to overcome it for me is just to slog through it until the log jam in my head breaks. Brainstorming with a writing friend helps."

"Speaking of friends, you’ve probably heard the term BFF, meaning best friend forever. What do you believe are the qualities that make someone a best friend?"

"Loyalty, forgiveness, sense of humor, common interests. I think one has different bff's in different fields, too. I have an overall bff and a writing bff, because only another writer truly understands a writer."

"I'm very lucky in having a bff who is also my writing bff. We can talk about anything and everything, and we also support each other in our writing. Sounds like you've been lucky with bff's, too. I know that I spend a lot of time laughing when my daughters come to visit. Who can make you laugh?"

"My husband, my dogs, my friends at work, and some of my favorite writers."

"Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How does that play into your writing life?

"I'm an introvert, as I think most writers are. We seek refuge with our characters and in the pages of the books we read. We chatter manically at conferences, but then we go home drained. I think the few writers who are extroverts have an easier time "schmoozing" at conferences. They're energized by contact with the outside world, rather than drained. I wish I could be like that."

"Oh, you captured exactly how I feel after a conference or a day-long workshop! I am mentally exhausted and emotionally drained. It's from putting on a happy face and trying hard to say the right things and not sound like a total idiot. I'm glad I'm not the only one like that. Okay, a serious question. If you knew you only had 30 days to live, what would you do with the remaining days?"

"I would spend my time with my spouse, children, and grandchildren, and take one big last trip to Texas, my soul's home on earth."

"Ah, Texas. I have a brother and sister who live in Texas. The only thing I dislike about Texas is that everything is bigger, including the spiders. I am terrified of spiders. Do you have any phobias?"

"Spiders! I'm ridiculously terrified of them, which makes this time of the year tough because all the big ones are trying to get in. =:O I'm not that fond of heights, either."

"I guess we are more alike than I knew. What is the first thing you do each morning and the last thing you do each night?"

"Spend time with the Lord in prayer and reading my Bible."

"Awesome. That is the way I center myself for the day and go to bed in peace. I do sometimes dream though. Some people say we do not dream in color. When I remember my dreams, they seem to be in color, but that could be because we live in color. How about you? Do you dream in black and white or vivid color?"

"I have no idea."

"Hmm. Okay, that's an honest answer. I guess we can't really know. One question that readers often ask me is 'why do you write?' So, I'm asking you...why do you write?"
"I think the ability to write is the gift God has given me and I use it to tell others about Him. My characters are on a faith journey, and readers may be able to find encouragement on their own journeys in seeing how my characters and the characters of other writers writing Christian fiction have coped."

"The director is telling me that our time is up. I'm so happy that you visited us today. Before we leave, would you please give us a little info on your soon to be released MAIL ORDER COWBOY?"

"Sure! Let me read the back page blurb.

With beaux scarce in post-Civil War Texas, practical Milly Matthews and her "Spinster Society" friends have their hands full protecting their ranches. Their only hope: advertising for mail-order grooms. But aristocratic British cavalry officer Nicholas Brookfield isn't exactly Milly's idea of a cowboy--or a man she can trust. And the more Nick proves himself as a ranch hand, the more he must hide his past from the woman he longs to make his own. Now Milly and Nick will need all their courage to face hidden dangers...and believe in a love that can answer all their prayers."

Laurie, thank you again for visiting with us and allowing me to interview you. Folks you can learn more about Laurie by stopping by her website. at Her next release from Steeple Hill is MAIL ORDER COWBOY will be available in bookstores in November 2010.