A Lenten Fast #blogging #life #writing #newreleases #editing

Well, it has been a long time since I’ve been on this blog. I unintentionally gave up blogging for Lent it seems. Go figure. I ran into one of the busiest few months of my life, even busier than wedding planning and moving across country and starting a new job. I’m not sure I thought that was possible. But yesterday was Easter, and that means fasting — whether intentionally or not — is over. So I’m back.

It’s a bright and beautiful Monday morning. Typically that means on my blog that I get to talk about Broken Taboos. But I think I’m just going to take today to catch you all up on what I’ve been doing. Which hasn’t been much in the writing world, I’m afraid.

I haven’t really truly written since January, although there have been a few moments of quick writing here and there. I did start a sci fi short story about this very interesting character. It’s written in first person POV, which is not my norm at all, but I wanted to experiment a bit and what better way to do that than in a short story? It’s been loads of fun, but I do need to finish it. Cheska agreed to help out this scientist while they try to discover patterns and more information about geomagnetic storms in space. So yeah, pretty cool. I’m hoping it’ll be accepted for an anthology.

I’ve been doing a lot of copy-editing since January. I don’t know why, but the copy-editing side of my life has boomed. I’ve had about two pieces a month to edit, which while I love copy-editing, it means I don’t write as much. I do believe that once the SO gets a “real” job, meaning one that pays more than half of what I make a month, then I’ll drop the copy-editing down to minimal so I can focus on writing some more.

Other than that!! Life is amazing! Books are amazing!

I’ve got three releases coming up between May 1 and June 1. Which includes parties and so much more! I’m finally getting around to you know, answering emails and such, and setting up some promo. Now that I can focus on stuff not day job related for awhile.

So…since I’m on the promo kick! I’ll put it out there.

I have a HUGE, and I mean HUGE, release party for Memoir in the Making happening May 1-8. I’m looking for a ton of people to takeover the event. I’m also looking for donations if that’s more your thing. Memoir in the Making is a romance, so if you’re intro writing romancey things, this one might be good to join in on. Here’s the link to the sign up.

Since I’m releasing Fallen from Grace (Spirit of Grace #2) June 1 (see? I told you–so many releases). I’m looking for people to read and review For by Grace to try and up my reviews on Amazon. There are multiple reasons for this, which if I do get enough reviews, I’ll share in a blog post later. The sign up sheet or rather, information collecting sheet, is right here for this one.

My third release for this insanity is a short story in an anthology. Young Love, Old Hearts. It’s a May-December, Old-Young anthology. This is probably my favorite short story I’ve every written. It just feels like I hit the nail on the head with it, and that happens so rarely. I get bubbly every time I think about this short.

Anyway! Enough of the business side of things.

At home!!! We got a new puppy! Well puppy is my term for her. She’s a seven year old chocolate lab mix, she’s adorable, she knows how to roll over and spin in circles, and she listens, and is snuggly. She loves my pittie! They get along fantastically, and I really couldn’t have asked for more in a dog (well, maybe better breath). So I think that completes our furfamily. Two dogs and two cats is plenty!

The SO is graduating with a BA in May! I’m so excited and proud. Can’t wait to see the SO walk with cap and gown. It’s been a long time coming. That also means the SO has to start looking for a career rather than just a job to pay the bills. Which I’m sure the SO is uber happy about. =P

On another note, I’ve been crocheting scarves a lot lately. I’m waiting to see if the idea I have in store will come to fruition, but I’m thinking an author and fan charity donation of knitted and crocheted scarves to one particular group (yes, I’m being a bit vague on purpose). What I noticed, aside from all of us authors having furbabies), is that a lot of us love to crochet or knit. No idea why, but it’s something pretty common among the community. I figure fans are also the same way since reading and crocheting/knitting seem to go hand in hand. The donations would go to women who are leaving domestic abuse situations. Which is something I’m very passionate about.

It’s something I’ve tried to bring to light a few times in my Spirit of Grace series and in my personal life. There is a second organization that would before foster care kids who are in college, which is also something I’m passionate about bringing awareness to. But…this one is still in the works, but if you’re interested, let me know!

Wow! This turned out to be a long post!! Love you all! Missed you! Can’t wait for WIPpet Wednesday!

Love, Honor & Hope Blitz

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Love, Honor, & Hope – A Benefit for the United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation

Eight authors are joining forces to support one fantastic cause. Beginning June 24, 2014, Love, Honor, & Hope, an anthology of eight full-length novels, will be available for 30 days at the low price of $0.99. That’s right, just 99 pennies. The best part is that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation.

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PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, affects approximately 19% of the military men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq—and that’s just those who have been diagnosed. The percentage is expected to grow as more of our military members seek treatment. It’s a heartbreaking trend for the men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedoms, especially with benefits being cut and promotions being threatened.

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The United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation is a non-profit charity that focuses on providing FREE care to combat military members, both active and veterans. They can’t do it alone, which is why we’ve made the decision to step up and do something. All eight of the authors have their personal reasons for supporting this cause.
Cherime MacFarlane, author of Heart of the Hunter said, “For me, it’s the way a very quiet man, my uncle, receded into the background whenever a family function took place. I did understand he came back from WWII that way. A young man, easy going and quick to laugh became a recluse. My father also served in WWI, as did a second uncle who returned far from the mischievous young man he was before the war claimed his youth. I was a young mother during the Vietnam era. I had friends who did not come back from Vietnam. I had other friends who did come home but were permanently damaged by the things they saw. For me, this is an opportunity to give back something to the men who served their country when the call came. My uncles and father are gone now, but I do hope, in some small way, to pay it forward for them. This is a tiny step, but as the man once said, every journey begins with that first step.”

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It’s easy to sit back and talk about helping our veterans and active military members. To step up and help is something all together different. We are answering the call for help.
Will you answer? All it takes is for you to log on to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and spend 99 cents, and then hopefully share the great news on our labor of love. Not only will you receive eight full-length novels for your enjoyment, you will also tell our men and women who suffer from this terrible and debilitating illness that we’ve got their backs.

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Love, Honor, & Hope is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble from June 24 to July 23. It includes the following full-length novels:

Out of the Box Awakening – Jennifer Theriot

Early One Morning – Aubree Lane

Lost and Found – Jennifer Yarbrough

Scary Modsters – Diane Rinella

Tropical Dreams – Kelly Cozzone

Sisters of the Night – Linda Lee Williams

Heart of the Hunter – Cherime MacFarlane

Piece of Heaven – Sammie J

A nugget of wisdom…

Sitting at the small table in Panera and waiting for my soup bowl and friend to arrive, I couldn’t have been more bored. While I had been doing a good amount of work,  I knew that I needed to get out and see some people. Hence how I had gotten there. Sometimes I can be completely observant and in tune with everything around me, and other times I’m completely oblivious to it. Luckily, it wasn’t one of those days. As I was waiting for my soup, which was taking forever, I noticed something a bit odd.

Across from me were three elderly women, all in young grandma range, they were jabbering away with no food on the tables. I had assumed they’d already eaten and were just into talking about what ever. Boy was I wrong. It wasn’t long before the one reached into her brown leather purse and started fiddling around. It wasn’t an odd thing to happen, so I didn’t thin much of it. She pulled out a blue tube of lipstick and set it on the table.

The woman sitting next to her did the same thing. Reaching into her blue purse, she pulled out some reading glasses and set them on the table. She straightened her crocheted sunflower vest and nodded at the third woman who sat across from her. A small packet on tissues emerged and was set in front of her.

Then all three women started to get up. Wanting to say something about them leaving their things but so intrigued with what was going on, I remained utterly silent. Five minutes later, my meal still hadn’t come. My friend had arrived but was waiting to order her lunch. The glasses, tissues and lipstick were all still sitting on the table, and I had lost complete sight of where the three women had gone. I thought they’d left.

A server came over to the table and started to clean the table closest to the window. She moved the lipstick, grabbing hold of it but set it back down when she realized the glasses were there. Stepping back, she shook her head and started to search around the room, presumably looking for whoever had left them. I was just about to get up and tell her who had left them, maybe she could get their information from the register or something, when one of the women came back.

It was the one with the crocheted vest. She nodded to the server and said it was her stuff. She sat down with a plate full of pastry and waited. Soon after, her two friends came back. Quickly, each woman grabbed their left item and stuffed it back in her respective purse. I shook my head and smiled at the man who brought my meal, staring wide-eyed with what the grandmother’s had done. I mean really, they’d just outsmarted the system at Panera and saved their seats! What a bit of something that I will always remember. Needless to say, it was a good day to be observant.

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This was written for the Creative Buzz Hop. If you would like to join in, feel free! This week is just a free write, so write on anything you want and link it up to everyone else’s. Thanks to Tamara and Michelle for hosting this amazing event each week.

Go here to check out everyone’s posts! They’re fantastic to read.

God Moments (Creative Buzz Hop)

Sometimes it’s o8837096895_81577a234b_qnly a moment, when the world finally stops spinning, when the toilet finally stops exploding and the pets finally stop chasing each other. A sudden calm and stillness takes over that fills our souls to the brim and wishes us good joy and wealth in these moments. This morning I heard the preceding moments called a plot twist to life. I like to think of the following moments as “God Moments.”

God Moments come and go but will always return. They are there to remind us that we are not alone in the chaos that is this life and that together we can all make this world a much better place. Nothing could have reminded me more strikingly of God Moments than this past week. While I certainly hope for a better week, I also hope that I do no forget or push God Moments to the back of my mind.

The Plot Twists

–          Monday morning at 7am my toilet overflowed and the water could not be shut off without a hammer.

–          Monday late morning I locked myself out of the house

–          Monday late morning my roommate’s tire exploded on his way back from the vet

–          Monday evening the computers crashed while at my writing group, and we had to wait an hour to leave the bar until they had a new solution of how to charge us.

–          Tuesday morning I was given a pop quiz on the reading I hadn’t done due to the previous day’s plot twists

–          Wednesday, on my way home from church, a construction con flew up and hit my front windshield—luckily no damage.

–          Thursday my kitchen sink backed up and was out of commission.

–          Friday a two foot 2×4 flew up from the truck in front of me and smashed into my front windshield, cracking the glass but luckily not shattering it.

–          Saturday I have rained on and sunburned at a football game before using the rest of my energy to help a friend at her art festival, which also was mostly rained out.

–          Sunday I fell asleep and didn’t get any work done…four hour naps are killer sometimes.

The God Moments

–          Monday morning I was able to go to Starbucks for 30 minutes before my supervisory meeting and just drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte and escape into the writing.

–          Monday morning my church loved the trunk or treat box I had made the previous week

–          Monday afternoon, while doing laundry at the Laundromat from the toilet explosion, I was able to write for an hour.

–          Monday evening, my boyfriend came and sat with me at writing group =D

–          Tuesday afternoon and evening, I spent time relaxing and watching Prince of Egypt while eating Chinese takeout.

–          Wednesday I had my first youth group with friends of youth joining and a great discussion on how to make the world more awesome.

–          Thursday I was able to relax and hang out and was given a free washer and dryer.

–          Friday my toilet was finally fixed along with the kitchen sink. I got to help my friend at her arts festival and see her blossom in her artistic abilities.

–          Saturday I watched as the neighboring tent at the arts festival came to help us during our leakage issues in the downpour.

–          Sunday one of my kids joined our church and proclaimed his desire to be baptized.

Each week we are thrown plot twists and each week we are thrown God Moments. Those moments are the light coming to find us when we can no longer see straight because of all the plot twists. Those moments are the ones we need to grasp hold of and hang on tight to because they are the moments that will keep us going for the rest of our lives.

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If you would like to join in the creative buzz hop, all you need to do is write a post on coming into the light, or another creative writing piece, and link it up with everyone else’s. Tamara and Michelle do a great job with the prompts each week. Hope to see you there!

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I am also still looking for some people to host my blog tour going on in late November. If you are interested, please go here to fill out the form. You’ll be contacted in early November. I need at least three more people!!

Come on, let’s celebrate!

8837096895_81577a234b_qWelcome to the creative buzz hop! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve participated because of traveling, but I have so much to celebrate that I couldn’t pass up this week’s topic. Celebration!

If you want to join in the Creative Buzz Hop, it’s simple as one, ,. Write a post, a poem, a short story, anything you want that relates to the topic. Celebration! Then display the Creative Buzz Hop logo in the post. Then go to HERE and link it up with everyone’s. That’s all it takes!

For fifteen days I am traveling around the US, in the East and in the West, three different time zones. On July 30th I took off in a plane to come visit my mother, whom I haven’t seen in seven months (Arlington, Virginia). That Friday we drove up to Maryland to go to a sci-fi convention. Yes, I will admit, I am a con goer, and I love it! This was my mom’s first, and we had so much fun. We met Bill Shatner, Brent Spiner, Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock, Amanda Tapping and so many twitter and fb friends that I lost count! After deciding to skip the beach and come back to Arlington for a few days, we’re relaxing and hanging out.

On Thursday I will be flying to Montana, which is the essence of why this trip is happening. On July 18th, 2013 two baby boys were born to my best friend and her husband. I am their godmother!! Yay! So…On Thursday I will be flying out to meet them and to visit with my older godson who is now seven. I can’t wait to spend time with these three boys. Since I’ll be home, I’ll also be visiting a multitude of friends and preaching at my home church on Sunday morning.

More celebrations? Why I do say there are.

My publisher emailed back my final edits that I needed to do and asked to move up my publication date for the book. By about three months. Dying Embers should be released around December 1st, 2013! That means I’ll have published two books in one year. Yipee! I also…*cough*…got the book cover proofs on Saturday! I should be doing a reveal in the next few months.

I have a new job starting on August 18th, I’ll most likely be moving at the end of this month or the next (which is absolutely a good thing), school is starting and it’s my last year, and frankly, LIFE IS FANTASTIC.

Celebrating the little things makes life so much better than it actually is. Celebrating the little things reminds us that the big things are greater and the bad things have nothing on us.