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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thanks!

Thanks to all who participated in yesterday's book preview event!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another Excerpt and Chance to Win!

Patriotic music bombarded the park as the high school marching band kicked off its farewell concert. Seated cross-legged on an army blanket with Tim, Brandon and one of the tenth-grade English teachers, Theresa, a bleached blonde who kept sneaking glances at Tim’s buddy, Rachel smiled and sipped her cola. The sun had started to set, leaving far corners of the park in slightly strange, shadowed patterns, and Rachel shivered as a chill brushed through her.

Tim noticed, and slipped out of his jacket as she started to protest.

“No, Tim, keep that. It’s my own fault, I wasn’t planning on staying past the barbecue.”

“I insist.” He draped it gently around her shoulders, his woodsy scent enveloping her.

“Thanks,” she said, her voice a whisper as the band paused between songs. “You think they have fireworks?” She couldn’t keep the enthusiasm from her voice. The only fireworks she’d seen the past few years came from Davie when he dropped a soufflĂ© or something equally disastrous.

Tim shrugged. Brandon looked over and shrugged, then managed a smile in Theresa’s direction. The band broke into an ear piercing rendition of “We Will Rock You,” a tune Rachel recognized, although the real title, if it had one, eluded her. Teenagers began a pattern of stomping and clapping in time to the music.

But the name of the song wasn’t as worrisome a question as to when she should leave. She had to make candy for tomorrow’s fellowship refreshments. Even though they wouldn’t necessarily be expecting her, she wanted to show nothing as far as her service had changed. So why was she hanging here, swatting mosquitoes and enjoying sitting with Tim? She decided it must be the fragrance of smoky campfires and toasting marshmallows.

He leaned toward her, to speak gently into her ear. “Have you come up with a solution yet?”

Still staring straight ahead, at the musicians, Rachel didn’t need to see his face to know what he was talking about. An inkling of irritation shot up her spine, ruining the peace of her after-fattening-picnic mood.

He must have taken her silence for lack of response. “I felt so bad seeing that they shot you down at the bank. That must have been really tough.”

Rachel clenched her teeth. What was this, now he had to rub it in?

“If you don’t want to talk about it, just say so. Otherwise I’m going to keep asking questions like “How bad off are you? Will you have the stuff you need for my party next weekend? What if you-”

“Please stop!” Rachel whirled to face him. “You’re right. I don’t want to talk about it.” She yanked his jacket from her shoulders and dropped it in his lap. “Thanks for that, but I have to go.”

She saw Brandon and Theresa eyeing her curiously, but she didn’t care. Could she not have one pleasant afternoon without having to worry about her future? With a glance at Tim as she rose, she answered her own question.

Obviously, no, she could not.


*******

What’s your favorite July 4th memory? Why?

Previews & Prizes!

Good morning!!! Hope everyone is ready to participate in my author day!!! I am going to begin by posting an excerpt that kicks off the story.

Take a peek at the pics in yesterday's post-- they have edible gold leaf icing, much like my heroine's signature dessert.

Stay tuned for the question at the end of the excerpt--winners will be drawn tomorrow for several prizes--- winners picked at random from all the posted entries here and on the By Grace reader's loop (feel free to join the loop too: )




The Good Samaritan



“What do you mean, he’s gone?” Rachel Martin looked up from her menu-planner to see her sister waving an envelope in the air. She tapped her foot impatiently under the wood dining table.

“I mean,” Sandy said, tilting her red head and extending the envelope, “Davie’s gone, and he left you this.”

Rachel’s spine straightened, and she squeezed the bridge of her nose before taking the envelope. Willing her hand not to tremble, she opened the unsealed flap and shook out two crisp sheets of folded paper. While Sandy waited, Rachel began to read silently.

My Dearest Rachelle,
I’m so sorry to depart so abruptly, but I’ve accepted a once-in-a-lifetime offer to study under France’s top pastry chef. What an opportunity! I had to leave immediately or risk losing the position, and I apologize for everything, but I must find my true calling. Enclosed is a letter for the bank, giving you full access to the company account. Say farewell to dear Sandra for me, and have a wonderful life using your incredible culinary talents. You’ve been a marvelous partner, but this is what I must do with my future.

Au Revoir, Davie.

Rachel lowered the page. The smell of baking bread permeated the small shop, which she usually loved. Now it seemed to gag her.What about what she wanted? Had Davie even considered that? What about her future?

“What are you thinking?” Sandy asked, studying Rachel through narrowed eyes and a sprinkling of light brown freckles.

Rachel sighed, jiggled her knees and pinched her nose again. What was she thinking? She mentally calculated the cost of the new equipment she’d just ordered, the large supply of goods on their way and the catering jobs lined up for the next few weeks. Silently she gave Sandy the note and pushed her chair back from the table with a scrape of wood across wood.
She paced from the counter to the glass front door, running her hand across the clean, smooth surfaces. Her stomach remained down near her toes and now burned with the adrenalin of panic. What was she going to do without Davie? This was his business, his life—he’d hired her right out of high school because she could decorate a complex, three-tiered wedding cake like a pro. Everything else she knew about food preparation, booking jobs and organizing parties had come from him; had been his area of expertise.

“So what now?” Sandy’s brows knit together in concern, her worried expression fortifying the pounding in Rachel’s temples.

“I’m not sure.” Long moments passed with only the ticking of the wall clock and the refrigerator’s hum.

“Should we try to track him down? Make him listen to reason?”

Rachel considered it for just a moment, but shook her head. “No. If he wants to go off and start a new life, or improve the one he has, it’s not up to us to try and stop him.”

“Am I out of a job?” Sandy tapped the table with her long, pink painted nails. “Are you out of a job? Are we closing Davie’s Desserts?”


********
What was your first job? Did you think it would lead to a lifelong career?

(post your response in the Comments section for a chance to win!)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Join me tomorrow February 27th for a preview of my new novella, The Good Samaritan!

There will be excerpts and discussion and prizes! More chances to win also on the By Grace Reader's loop--which you can access here.

Warning: This story could make you crave sweets!!

Notice your Rhythm

This is from Heather Sellers' new book, Chapter After Chapter. (The sequel to Page after Page.)
It's about overcoming a block in your writing, and it's simple and sincere:

Notice Your Rhythm

Getting unstuck is a mental game, a head job, an inside deal. Pay attention to how you work best. Learn your own rhythm, your ups and downs. Repeat what works. Sound obvious? Many of my writing students walk around thinking either I'm inspired! or I don't feel like writing! and they have no idea why.

They're stuck because they haven't been writing. But they think exactly the opposite: They haven't been writing because they are stuck.

Inspiration isn't random or quixotic. Smart writers learn how to conjure it by paying attention to what happens right before and during a good writing session. . . . . It takes about as you were away to get back to where you were. . . .I am not disciplined. I keep working in order to avoid painful consequences.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cover Art!

This is the cover art I just received for my novella, The Good Samaritan, which will be released tomorrow from By Grace Publishing!/>

Monday, February 19, 2007

Believing God

This is one of my posts from a long-lost blog template. . . .

Believing God About Your Writing (or your life!)




“I’m Believing God” —Beth Moore


I am one of those authors who kicked off her career in the secular market, only to realize later that God had other plans for her writing. This was a tough commitment to make, because my traditional and paranormal romances had begun to win awards and make just a bit of money. Like some of you, I knew this was what God had in mind for me, but this change of subgenre mid-stream slowed me down and frustrated me. I decided to take my time, read as much as possible and begin again.
During this quiet time, I completed an online Bible study with instructor Beth Moore. Aptly titled “Believing God,” Beth led her students through a wealth of scripture intended to show why God was to not only be believed in, but to be believed.
At the start of each session we recited the “Five Statement Pledge of Faith.”

1) God is who He says He is.

2) God can do what He says He can do.

3) I am who God says I am.

4) I can do all things through Christ.

5) God’s word is alive and active in me.

These statements can be applied to the work we have been called to do–writing for Him. We are writers, though most of us sometimes wonder if we should call ourselves by that title. Look at statement three again. If we trust He is God, and He says we are writers, who are we to argue?
We can do all things through Christ. We can overcome flaws in our technique, rejection, writer’s block, publishing problems, poor reviews; any of it. Because we aren’t working alone.
The last statement is my favorite– I love knowing that God’s word is alive and active in me. Because if this is true, and it is, I have that much more support in getting that word back out, and onto paper. This is true for all of us. So take heart, commit to writing for Him, and recite these five statements when you feel discouraged. Believe God that you are a writer. And as Beth would say, add to your pledge these words “I’m believing God.”




*information on Beth Moore’s studies can be found here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

When I Say. . . .

Got this by e-mail, hope the author credit is correct!

CHRISTIANS

By Maya Angelou


When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean living."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I
have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier that thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

It's February 14th Again


Wishing you all a lovely Valentine's Day. If you're in the mid to north east, I hope you stay warm and toasty. We are covered with ice and snow today, and most people's romantic plans will have to be postponed. Better to be careful.


Enjoy your day!

Friday, February 02, 2007