Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WARNING: NaNoWriMo In Process

NaNoWriMo Coat of Arms
NaNoWriMo. If you travel in writing circuits, you know what that means. If not, this blog is for you!

National (Na) Novel (No) Writing (Wri) Month (Mo) occurs in November each year. Every writer who signs up hope, plans, dreams of writing 50,000 words during the month of November. That's a big goal. One of my writing buddies has written 25,000 already!

To write 50,000 words in November averages out to 1,667 words a day.

I sign up with the goal of writing more, making time for writing, and being farther on the novel I'm writing than I wouldn't have been without the little push through emails, writing buddies' posts on social media, and regional partners.

I have worked on my 2nd in the series historical fiction, Transforming Bitterness Into Joy in previous NaNoWriMos. This year I'm working on a contemporary romantic novel called Mission Mesquite. BTW: I have Pinterest Boards for each on my novels, complete and incomplete. Check out the resources I've posted there.

The NaNoWriMo folks also sponsor writing months called Camps in April and August.

So if your writer friend has dropped off the scene, he/she may be hunkered over his/her laptop comforted and inspired by yet another cup of coffee, printing out reams of paper hoping to edit this stream of consciousness mess in December so they can hopefully publish in January (see the coat of arms!).

Pray for us. Buy us coffee. Care for our families. We'll be back in time for Christmas! We all want to be as successful as J.K. Rowling.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Focus surprise on a old book project

Back in the summer of 1998, my family visited my brother in Dallas. As part of that trip we attended the Mesquite Rodeo. In that same spring, we had a mission focus on rodeo missions. Inspired by these two seemingly coincidental events (that place where God works, dwells, and whispers to me!), I began a contemporary romance called Mission Mesquite.

Then I started teaching middle school.

In 2009, after several family emergencies requiring my presence and focus in St. Louis, Ken said to me, "Come home and write your stories." Yes, what a sweetheart my Kenny is!

My first focus was to publish Gold Earrings, a historical romance. I'd written the short story in high school. Long story short I published it with Tate Publishing in 2011.

In the meantime, I worked on an American historical/romantic fiction series. Year after year of conferences, I've been told that colonial fiction doesn't sell. This year I had 3 appointments at ACFW Dallas, 2015, that resulted in requests for manuscripts.

One of those editors requested Mission Mesquite. So this week I am pulling together the manuscript I worked on 17 years ago and falling in love with my characters and story all over again. Check out my Pinterest Board for Mission Mesquite!

Coincidence, coincidence, the Tennessee  mission focus this summer included cowboy church! Like I said, no coincidences in my experience.

Sneak peek: Kate Lawrence is a missionary kid who has had enough missions to last a lifetime and has rebelled against her parents and God.  She's working for the state department in Washington DC as an interpreter and low level diplomat. She has the Georgetown townhome, the BMW, and the job of a lifetime.

When she travels to Dallas for a long delayed visit to her parents and their new mission opportunity, she meets Tyler Hawkins, a former All-Around Cowboy winner who has since been injured in the ring by a bull. On a horse he's graceful and capable as the rodeo 'pickup guy,' rescuing cowboys after their rides. Off a horse he has a lurching gait courtesy of the injuries he sustained. Though Kate is attracted to Tyler, the white knight of the rodeo, she finds out that he is working with her parents at Mission Mesquite, a cowboy church, as the assistant pastor and preparing to take over from her parents as the mission pastor upon their retirement.

Plan to share more soon!! All prayers appreciated.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Win Wait for Me, the new book by Jo Huddleston!

My author friend Jo Huddleston has a new book available! I asked her to send me a character interview for my blog on her blog tour today. Comment on the blog to enter to win a digital copy of Wait for Me.

with Roberto Montagna

I’m in Coaltown, West Virginia talking with some of the residents. Today, I’m talking with Roberto Montagna.

Hello, Roberto. How long have you lived here in Coaltown?
You can call me Robby. Just my family calls me Roberto—we’re all Italian. I’ve lived in Coaltown for several years. But I’ve lived in coal mine communities all my life. We’ve moved from mine to mine.

Why do your folks move from mine to mine?
I think they move when they hear of better pay at another mine.

Why is that? Is your daddy a coal miner?
Yes, ma’am, he is. My grandfather came to America in the late 1800s to find work in the coal mines in this area. When my papá got old enough, he also went to work as a coal miner. I’ll follow my papá into the mine when I graduate from high school.

Will you graduate this year?
Yes, I will.

And you’ll begin to work in the mine here in Coaltown?
I guess I will.

Robby, you sound a little doubtful about that.
Well, I guess I am. My girlfriend doesn’t want me to work in the coal mine. She says it’s honest work but it’s dangerous and she wants me to think about making something else out of myself.

Your girlfriend might be right. Are you thinking about it?
Well, we haven’t told anybody but we’re trying to find a way for the two of us to get out of this coal community. You see, we can’t spend any time alone here in the community. We want to leave so we can spend our lives together.

What’s your girlfriend’s name?
Julie. Her daddy owns the coal mine here.

Why can’t you and Julie spend any time alone here?
Because of her mother. She forbids Julie to socialize with the miners’ children and we can’t let anybody see us together or they might tell Julie’s mother. Then Julie would really be in trouble.

How does Julie live here and go to school without socializing a little with the miners’ children?
That’s just it—she can’t. She goes to school with us. But outside of school we have to slip around so her mother won’t find out we see each other.

Coaltown is a very small community. How do you manage to spend time with Julie without her mother knowing it?
Well, we meet after dark. Julie tells her folks she’s going to Betty Jean’s to study but she meets me. I wait for her every night below her house. Sometimes she can get out her house and some nights she can’t. I wait for her until eight o’clock and if she’s not there by then, I go on home.

Can you and Julie not go somewhere outside of the community to spend time together?
No, ma’am, we can’t. I don’t have a car. We can’t go anywhere. We just have to meet after dark. We can’t spend more than an hour together each night.

Robby, sounds like you and Julie have a difficult situation.
Yes, ma’am, we do. That’s why we’re trying to come up with a plan to get us both out of this community. If we could ever leave here, we could be together forever. We want to spend our lives together. We’re still working on it. We’ll figure it out somehow, we really will.

 Jo Huddleston:

Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novels in the Caney Creek Series and her latest book, Wait for Me are sweet Southern romances. She is a member of ACFW, the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and holds a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. Jo lives in the U.S. Southeast with her husband, near their two grown children and four grandchildren. Visit Jo at
BACK COVER BLURB for Wait for Me:

Can Julie, an only child raised with privilege and groomed for high society, and Robby, a coal miner’s son, escape the binds of their socioeconomic backgrounds? Set in a coal mining community in West Virginia in the 1950s, can their love survive their cultural boundaries?

This is a tragically beautiful love story of a simple yet deep love between two soul mates, Robby and Julie. The American South’s rigid caste system and her mother demand that Julie chooses to marry an ambitious young man from a prominent and suitable family. Julie counters her mother’s stringent social rules with deception and secrets in order to keep Robby in her life. Can the couple break the shackles of polite society and spend their lives together? Will Julie’s mother ever accept Robby?

You can find Jo at:

You can purchase eBook for Kindle and print copies of Wait for Me at:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

CrossReads Book Blast!

Sarah Anne's Expedient Marriage By Cathy Lynn Bryant & Jessica M. Dorman
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About the Book:

Knowing he was about to die, Sarah Anne’s beloved father had arranged for her to marry Alexander Swyndhurst II. Alexander, a recent widower, had no intention of taking another wife; but after learning the young woman’s situation—that she had been the object of at least one man’s unwanted attentions, and that she would soon be left alone and unprotected—he had agreed to the marriage. He had one stipulation, however: He and Sarah Anne would live separately—he in Bristol, England, and she in Amesbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony. Sarah Anne had agreed wholeheartedly with this arrangement. Will Alexander have a change of heart? What of the dangerous man from her past? What will happen while her husband is away—leaving her alone with only the servants? Even though there are connections, each novel in the series may be read as a stand-alone. cathyCathy Lynn Bryant & Jessica M. Dorman Inspired by interesting characters and events uncovered while doing genealogical research,mother and daughter writing team, Cathy Lynn Bryant and Jessica Marie Dorman, who live in beautiful New England, have masterfully woven the stories of real people and fictional characters from the 17th and 18th centuries to develop inspirational, romantic, works of historical fiction. The Unshakable Faith series includes the following titles: Book 1 Lost Love and Shipwrecked--Madeline Pike Finds Hope in the New Land; Book 2 Grandmother's Namesake; Book 3 Sarah Anne's Expedient Marriage.
Follow Cathy Lynn Bryant & Jessica M. Dorman Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Cathy Lynn Bryant & Jessica M. Dorman! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Out of the Dust: Story of an Unlikely Missionary

Avis Goodhart
Out of the Dust: Story of an Unlikely Missionary is a testimony to the way God uses broken things and impossible circumstances to show His power in our world. Avis Goodhart, the unlikely missionary of the title, started and maintained a missionary presence in Peru through her Go Ye Ministries. With my dear friend Marti Pieper, Out of the Dust tells Avis’s story about how she came to serve God through missions.
Marti Pieper

At the end of each chapter is the testimony of someone who went to Peru and shared the ministry with Avis. Some came for a week’s mission trip. Some came and stayed. Some led women’s Bible study and craft classes, empowering women who felt alone and discarded like the trash in the landfill on which their cardboard homes sit. Some adopted orphans from the orphanage. Some taught at the Go Ye Ministries School. Avis’s life may not have seemed extraordinary, especially her childhood, but her life and God’s use of her reinforces the idea that God’s power is even more evident when His servants are ones who has little to no power, education, wealth, or status.
Missionary prayer groups and women’s groups will find this book about the work Goodhart began in Peru a good study book. Bible study groups may find this book challenging to put feet to their knowledge of the Bible. Churches may find Out of the Dust an impetus to go forth from the comfort of the pew to those who need their help and compassion.

Watch the YouTube videos from their experience
and interviews on 100 Huntley Street & .

Pray and act on what God is calling you to do out of the dust of your ordinary life. God will make your service to Him extraordinary, as He has done with Avis Goodhart and her multitude of helpers.

The publisher has provided a review copy in exchange for my review.