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Friday, January 30, 2009

Girlfriends

Girlfriends come in all flavors, shapes and sizes. I've got girlfriends I call for a girl's night out when I'm sure the men in white coats are lurking around the corner. Girlfriends I call when I'm sad and need an encouraging word. I've got girlfriends I call when I can't figure out how to get my heroine out of a tight spot without blowing something up. And girlfriends I call when my husband is driving me crazy because I know they'll remind me why I love him.

According to research, women speak approximately twice as many words per day as men. Is it any wonder that our girlfriends are essential??

Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loves at all times and a brother [sister!] is born for adversity." The word friend is found in the Bible around 90 times. Friendship is part of God's plan. Which is a really good thing because as cute as they are...my dogs just aren't that great at conversation.

 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Introducing Camy and a book giveaway

Hi there! I'm Camy Tang, one of the newest Love Inspired authors! My romantic suspense, Deadly Intent, will release in July this year.

Here's the blurb I wrote, but it might not be the blurb that will appear on the back cover of the actual book:

THERE WAS A DEAD BODY IN HER MASSAGE ROOM

And massage therapist Naomi Grant is suspected of murder. She’s frustrated and helpless as a web of lies closes in around her, framing her. She doesn’t have time to worry about her shaky faith or think about her growing attraction to the victim’s ex-husband, Dr. Devon Knightley.

Orthopedic surgeon Devon had only needed to claim his mother’s necklace back from his ex-wife, but suddenly he’s embroiled in a murder investigation and someone is trying to kill him. He wants to somehow protect Naomi from the trap being set around her, but can he keep them both safe against a villain with deadly intent?

Camy here: As soon as I have a cover picture, I'll post it here!

I also want to let people know about a book giveaway I'm doing on my blog this week! I got a chance to interview Love Inspired author Allie Pleiter and I'm also giving away an autographed copy of her new release, Bluegrass Courtship.

Click here to read the interview and enter to win her book!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Are you busy or are you busy blessed?

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills--From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.--Psalms 121:1-2

I don't mind staying busy but as we all know, a woman's work is never done.
I've never been a domestic goddess. I'm more of a dysfunctional diva. I don't mind too much clutter and I don't mind dust bunnies dancing at my feet. I can get so
lost in a story that I forget where I am and what day it is. But when I finally
shut down my computer and blink, I see the clutter of life everywhere. And then I
get stressed about the mess. Like a lot of women, I work two jobs, three if you
count the occasional home made dinner and the actual mopping of the kitchen floor.
I write books by day and I moonlight as a freelance magazine reporter by night (and that includes weekends).

In between those two jobs, I try to maintain my household. But I tell you, some days I fall back on a set of rules I created to give to a friend who was fretting
about not being able to do it all. Here are some of those rules:

1. House work--Sweep the room with a glance. (got that one from Mae West)
2. Feeding your family--The best thing to make for dinner is reservations. (Can't remember where I found that one.)
3. Laundry--Wal-Mart has new clothes available all the time. Just go and buy more!
4. Something nice for Sunday night dinner--Chocolate works every time!
5. Quality time--Does grunting while you're searching for Cheetoes in the pantry count?

Of course, I'm not that bad. I manage to have time for my family, church, friends and even the cat. But there are times when I've had enough of the clutter and the mess. Then I have to stop writing and start purging and cleaning. That mound of laundry has finally hit the roof; the dirty dishes are now the only dishes in the house, and even the cat has taken to pushing at the dust bunnies just for fun. It's time to clean house. Once I get started, I become obsessed with getting everything in order. And the order only lasts a fleeting moment, but it makes me feel better.

I like to clean house before I leave for a trip so when I arrive home, I'll feel as if I'm still in a hotel and the maid just left. I like to clean house if my husband has been away, so that when he comes home he won't think I've been out shopping all weekend. Okay, maybe I have done some shopping but cleaning the house distracts him from figuring that out! And I love to clean house for a party or just because it settles me and helps me get away from brain fatigue.

The point of all of this is that we all have times when we feel overwhelmed and cluttered about life, times when we wonder what will happen next. In these scary economic times, I try not to complain. If I have a pile of laundry, that means I have clothes to wear. If I have a sink full of dishes, that means I have food to eat and a nice kitchen to eat in. If I have the clutter of books and magazines and newspapers, that means I am blessed to be able to read and learn and grow. If I have a pet who trusts me and loves me no matter what, that means I know the meaning of unconditional love. And if I have a family that is willing to eat pizza now and then so Mom can work, that means I am one very blessed person.

And that means I am "busy blessed." Busy blessed is much better than being lonely and not so blessed. Busy blessed means that my hands are not idle, that my mind is constantly getting some exercise and that I have a family to cherish and friends with whom I can laugh and the hope of a good tomorrow. We can worry about all of these things--dust, dishes, laundry and clutter. But I have found that it will all be there, no matter what I do. So I try to take it as it comes and roll with the punches. We can worry about what we did or didn't do yesterday and we can worry about what might or might not come tomorrow, but today, for this moment in time, we can look up at our home, at our family, at our pets and out into our beautiful, diverse world and know that all the clutter we worry about--death, destruction, war, economics and politics, crimes and storms--these things will always be out there and we will find a way to work around all of our worries--if we lift up our eyes to the hills and know that God in in control. I'm so glad that I'm busy blessed and that the messiness of my life can't overtake the blessings of my life. And I can smile as I hear my son unloading the dishwasher downstairs. Now if he'd just clean his bathroom!

Lenora :)

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When You're Down, Look Up

On Friday, I was staring at my computer screen not knowing which way to go with the next scene of my book and questioning my ability as a writer. My husband popped into the doorway with a comment -- and I told him that for some reason in the past couple weeks, I keep asking myself why I'm a writer. I not only write for Steeple Hill but I write for Barbour Publishing. I'm usually upbeat and love writing for both publishers, and I don't like the inadequate feelings that struck me.

Apparently the Lord knew I needed to be uplifted, and once again He validated why I'm a writer. Awesome God that He is, He's there without asking. When I arrived home from an eveningn out, a friend had sent me a congratualations email. Her kudos involved the winners of the 16th Annual Heartsong Presents Awards. Each year, members of the Heartsong Presents book club vote for their favorite authors, books, and covers. Having no idea what my friends was talking about I sought out The Edit Cafe where I hoped the information would be listed. I not only was name 2008 Favorite Author of the Year, but all three of my releases in that line were in the top ten contemporary romances published by Heartsong last year and two of those covers were in the top ten.

God is awesome. If you'd like to see the full list of top ten winners, you can go to: http://editcafe.blogspot.com/ You might find some of your favorite authors there.

 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Help Feed the Hungry

Drop by my blog www.StrongWomenBraveStories.blogspot.com

If you follow the link there to Campbell's Chuncky Click Cans, you will able to click the link and help the Green Bay Packers win this competition.

The prize is 18,000 cans of Campbell's soup for food pantrys in the state of Wisconsin.

I went to the site and they don't ask for a lot of info and it's a safe site.

Please cast at least one vote and help feed the hungry.
Lyn

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm so Proud of our boys...and horses.

The U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard at Fort Riley has been invited to participate in the inaugural parade in Washington D.C.



I feel just like a proud grandmother!!



As some of you know, I based a series of stories on this unique cavalry unit. In fact, my first Mounted Color Guard story, "The Color of Courage" was about the unit's efforts to save one of their injured horses and rehabilitate him in time for the inaugural parade.



These soldiers were wonderful to interview and to watch. Now the whole world gets to see them again. Yeah!!



You can read about them and see the video clip in the Wichita Eagle.

http://www.kansas.com/news/breaking/story/657302.html

Pat Davids

 

Like to save money, cut costs, and eat better?

Of course, we all want to do all of those things. I'm trying to put together some thoughts on saving money, eating better and cutting waste.
I'm doing a series of things to help us all save money in the kitchen.

Here's something to consider:

Want to eat less fat, you and your husband? Does he put cream into his coffee? Well, you can wean him off the coffee cream (the 18% stuff) by buying the cereal cream (also called half and half or 10%), but if you've already done that, why not take out 1/2 cup of the cream from the new carton, store it in the back of the refrigerator, top up the carton with 2 % milk, and then, when the cream is down 1/2 way, take the amount you stored in the back of the refrigerator, add 1/2 milk, and return it to the carton.
Sure, you're not reducing the fat amount much, but you've started to do something. Keep it up, and you'll be saving a bit of money and cutting the fat.
Please pop over to:

http://barbphinney.blogspot.com/

for other hints. And if want to make a few suggestions for cutting costs and saving money, esp. in the kitchen, why not share it, either here or at the other site?
Thanks,
Barbara

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gratitude and Attitude or How The Evil Snowplow Driver Is No More!

(this post can also be found at www.alittlegoodnewstoday.org)
We’ve had a difficult Christmas season, having lost an uncle and having my father-in-law taken to hospital, where he still is, awaiting heart surgery. My mother-in-law is trying to stay upbeat, and we’re all trying our best to encourage her, but it’s what strangers are doing in our lives that make the difference here.
First up, just after my father-in-law fell ill, my niece found herself stuck up in Ottawa, and her father and her uncle decided to drive up to Quebec to meet her halfway. The trouble was, that horrible big storm we had before Christmas was barreling down on us, and those of us at home waited for news of their safe return.
It didn’t come. But then we did get word of something just as good, maybe even better. My brother-in-laws decided to pull off the road somewhere up north of Fredericton. They drove into the nearest driveway and asked if they could park there for a few hours until the storm died down.
The kind family in the house wouldn’t hear of that. They invited them in, offering them shelter to my niece and my brother-in-laws for the night, plus a few warm meals.
The next day, when the storm had passed, my brother-in-laws shoveled out the driveway in gratitude before they left. Those of us waiting at home were thankful that this family, whose last name we still don’t know, had a spirit of charity.
Now, you may be wondering what this story has to do with evil snowplow drivers. I’m getting to that. Those who know me know that I always called the snowplow driver evil because of his remarkable ability to batter my mailbox, fill in my driveway, and dump incredibly copious amounts of snow directly in front of my mailbox, when all around me seems to be clear. And those of you in rural locations know the plight of the rural mailbox and of the mail couriers. We need to keep our boxes clear, something impossible with the bulls-eye marked on them for the snowplow driver.
Not so anymore. We had a terrible storm New Year’s Eve, and it lasted well into the January first. It wasn’t until the second were we able to get out to the end of the driveway. My brother-in-law (one of the ones mentioned earlier) and his wife came over from next door to help us, as we’d planned to visit my father-in-law in the hospital that day. We were making very little headway, when, over the crest up the road came...you guessed it, the snowplow driver. We scattered like mice, cringing at what he might do to the meagre work we’d achieved so far.
He passed us.
Then stopped.
Then backed up.
And then...he graded out our driveway with that huge front blade of his.
My sister-in-law cheered, claiming it was her old face that caused his sympathy. Whatever the reasons were, I swore on that day that I would never call him the ‘evil snow plow driver’ again. My sister-in-law and I hugged and cheered and waved as he drove off.
We don’t know who this man was. Though we saw his face, all we could tell was he was a young man, brown hair, small nose. But to us, he was the epitome of the season. Like that family up north of Fredericton, he came to our family’s rescue. We are a family whose Christmas has been tough, sad, scary, even. And yet, in the midst of it, there were two bright points, two acts of kindness that show us how much people really do care.
Thank you to both the family who cared for ours during the storm, and the snowplow driver who showed a little compassion to us this past week.
I hope their new years will be as blessed as they have made ours.

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