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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Help Me Solve a Mystery by Missy Tippens


Missy here. And I need your help. I'm not a gardener at all. I usually only manage to fill the pots on my porch, and maybe put out a tomato plant or two. But every year at this time, I see these gorgeous bushes around town that look like some sort of rose. And I've always wondered what type they are. I snapped these photos at the bank yesterday on my phone. Can you help me figure out what they are?
Help me solve the mystery and I'll enter your name in a drawing for my new book, His Forever Love, coming out June 1! You don't have to be correct to be entered. Just give me your best guess. I'm hoping that most of you will know and I'll be able to look into planting some of these amazing bushes! I'll do the drawing on Sunday and announce the winner under the comments section. So either leave a contact email address or be sure to check back! Thanks for your help!


Missy

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Life Lessons with Max Lucado


I've been studying the book of James with Max Lucado's Bible study guide. He has a whole series where he goes through various books of the Bible. He breaks the chapters down into smaller sections then asks some thought-provoking questions and also gives little vignette stories for inspiration. This is my second study guide that I've done of this series and have really enjoyed seeing the Bible from this perspective.
http://www.nelsonministryservices.com/nms/dept.asp?dept_id=504
Here's a link to the Lucado's series publisher where you can find and buy any of the series studies.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What makes a Keeper?


Have you ever had the experience of watching a movie with an “expert” and have them tell you that the movie people got it all wrong? I have. My husband is a computer whiz, built his own PC in the mid-seventies (my age is showing) and always comments at the critical part of the movies when the computers blow up that’s not how it would happen. When we were watching 24 a couple of years ago and Jack was racing out of the room after sabotaging the computers, having the computers flame out, my husband said, “Not true.”

Well professional writers sometimes get picky like that when they read. It’s worse if you teaching writing, which I do at the local community college. But when you come across a book that knocks your socks off, that is pure pleasure. I had that happen the other day. I usually read action adventure and intrigue books, but I read my friend’s current book, Hand Me Down Family by Winnie Griggs. This is a wonderful story about a woman who becomes a mother and widow to her mail--order family. The story kept me turning the pages, eager to see what comes next. This is a keeper for me. It reminded me of Courting Miss Hattie by Pamela Morsi.

What makes a good book? Is it the writing? Plotting? The characters? What is it that makes those certain books stand out among the others? I love action and write it, but when I think about the books that I’ve written, what do I remember the most? It is the characters. My first book was the heroine’s story. She was the son her father never had.


I’ve read a lot of good books and over the years the level of writing in popular fiction has risen. (I think RWA is responsible for that.) But, what is it that makes a story stay with you?

What do you think makes a book a keeper? What is one of your keepers?
Leann
p.s, the picture has nothing to do with my thoughts. It was just a fun picture my son took while in Austin a couple of years ago.

 

Monday, April 27, 2009

What Do Romance Authors Do With Out-of-town Guests


We're in Arizona, the Grand Canyon State. It's a great place. Head north, and we can go skiing (Not me; I fall down go boom). Head east, and we can explore the desert (definitely me. I jump on quad look for old cabins and deserted mines). Head south, and there's a different country (I've only done this once. It was humbling. I remember attending a church in a border town where I sat on seats that had once been the backseats in car. The baptistry was a tub) . Head west, and soon you'll have the ocean (I've decided I want to live by the ocean for a year and then head back to Phoenix. I also want to live in Manhatten for a year and then head back to Phoenix).


We get lots of visitors from both sides of the family. Yes, they all want to go to the Grand Canyon. But, what should a romance writer do with last minute visitors and only a few days prep? I say, go see Elvis! Yup, we took our latest visitors to see Elvis. He's still doing well, by the way. He's really before my time, but I'm just as excited as the rest of the family. Namely the parental units who really remember him. He did about four songs and then threw his scarf into the crowd. I didn't catch it. They did a trivia thing afterwards, and I was the only one in the audience who knew that Elvis's only Grammy was for a hymn. Elvis once said he knew the words to every religious song ever written. My husband is amazed by how many church songs I know.


Elvis was followed by Reba McIntire. I'm a country music fan, so I really enjoy this. Charlie Daniels came next. Followed by the Four Tops.


I sang all the way home.


Yup, even a little gospel.

 

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Case of the Mysterious Choir Robe

Most people keep quiet about the dumb things that happen in their lives, but anyone who knows me learns quickly that I tell stories about myself. My husband doesn't think it's funny but I do.

The incident began about a month ago when our choir participated in an area hymn sing with numerous other churches and the great composer and organist Michael Burkhardt. The program was held at a church a few miles from ours so we lugged our choir robes and music to that church, rehearsed for an couple hours, and then enjoyed an amazing hymn fest.

The next Sunday, I started down the stairs from the choir room heading for the sanctuary and wondered why my choir robe seemed so large. I had taken it from my hanger #8. I knew I hadn't lost that much weight. But I dismissed the concern and headed to the back of the church where we lined up for the processional.

As the service progressed, I found myself tangled in my sleeves and stepping on my robe. I felt drowning in it. I should have figured it out sooner, but I hadn't. I turned around to look at my husband and started to giggle when I saw his sleeves nearly up to his elbows. I couldn't see the length but I guess the robe hung a little below his knees. When we had sung at hymn festival the week before, we must have mixed our robes on the hangers.


I started to chuckle, and the more I tried to control myself, the more hysterical I became. If anyone in the congregation paid attention to me, sitting up front, they would have assumed I was crying, I suppose. I had tears running down my face, my face scrunched into a horrible grimace, trying to hold back a loud HA HA HA.





When we moved from our chairs to line up in front to singn our anthem, I could only imagine what people thought if they paid attention. This is what they saw.


I still laugh when I look at this photograph.
(Click to enlarge. It's even funnier)

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Making Schedules

Spring has finally arrived here in our Pennsylvania valley. After a series of mild, rainy days the sun finally came out, and all nature sprang to life. The forsythia bushes are a blaze of sunny yellow, the daffodils and hyacinths are blooming, and onion grass is sprouting in the yard. I’ve been cleaning off flower beds to see what’s coming up—always fun!

Spring is time for mud sales, auctions, and yard sales here in rural Pennsylvania, along with chicken and waffle suppers at little country churches. Everyone has come out of hibernation, it seems. Our neighbor stopped by with a gift of blackberry bushes, so my husband is finding a place for them in the garden. Every year he says there’s no point in planting so much for the two of us, but when Spring comes, he can’t resist!

So how does this relate to writing? Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing schedule lately, especially since I’ve been running on tight deadlines. I’m always saying things like, “Once Easter is past, I’ll find more time to write,” or, “After the grandkids come for a visit, then I’ll get back on my regular schedule,” or even, “I have to spring clean, but then I’ll find time.” I’m always looking forward to some interruption-free time when I’ll be able to write as much and as long as I want.

The truth is that we can never have time or find time, as if it were something we’d lost on the way home. All we can do is make time for the things that are important in our lives. And too often I find myself frittering away precious moments on things like a television show that I don’t really want to watch anyway!

I’m a writer, so writing is my job. It’s important to carve out the needed hours in my schedule to do what’s necessary to meet my deadlines. But Spring reminds me that other things are important, too. Like my grandkids, who won’t be willing to sit on my lap for too many more years. And my husband, who has been a pillar of strength throughout my writing career and deserves a bit of attention now and then. And my church, which enriches my spirit in so many ways.

I suppose I’m saying that, heretical as it would sound to anyone who knows me, the schedule isn’t everything! Sometimes I need to wander through the garden, see if the phlox and sedum I planted last fall is coming up, and appreciate God’s creation. When I do, I find my own creativity renewed, just as the earth is renewed at this time of the year.

Go find a flower to smell, won’t you?

Marta

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I went fishing with my father.

My family has a wonderful little tradition of going fishing after Mass on Easter Sunday. Out in the Flint Hills of Kansas, not too far from a wide spot in the road called Delevan, is my dad’s cattle pasture. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Flint Hills, let me draw you a picture.

Imagine grass. Miles and miles and miles of emerald green new spring grass laid like a carpet over gently rolling hills and loaf shaped bluffs that aren’t very tall but stretch as far as you can see.

Is it in your mind? Can you see it? Blue sky, green grass and nothing else but the wind whistling past your ears. That’s it. Oh, and herds of black and red sleek cattle.

What all that grass covers is rock. Not flint for which the hills are named, but limestone that juts out in big blocks and millions of white stones that defeated man’s attempt to plow every acre of my state and turn it into wheat fields. Gotta love those rocks. They saved a beautiful part of God’s lawn.

Now, if you are out in the Flint Hill and you see a tree, it will be down in a gully hugging the banks of a spring fed creek. It will most likely be a thorny wonder called an Osage orange or a tall shimmering cottonwood tree. There are lots of springs hidden out in the hills. The ones in our pasture come out of a rocky ledge in five big holes about three inches across. The water pours out like someone left the garden hose running and it’s cold.

Are there any fishermen or women reading this? Well, if there are you know that bass love the cold water, and my daddy loves to catch bass.

So each Easter Sunday, weather permitting, we gather up the family from all across the state and sometimes farther afield and head to the pasture and a deep section of the creek where the bass and catfish have waited all winter for our spinners and worms.

If the truth be told, it isn’t so much about the fishing. Oh, the rods and reels get a workout, but so do the lawn chairs. We all catch up with each other’s lives, we LAUGH and we eat. Hot dogs and marshmallows cooked over an open campfire taste better in the shade of those old Osage orange trees than they do anywhere else in the world.

At the end of the day we’ll leave the pasture to the cattle getting fat on the endless supply of grass and we’ll go home with a few pictures of someone’s big fish (this year it was mine) and one other things that’s essential to us all. A sense of renewal. A family brought closer together-reconnected by a powerful sense of belonging to the land.

It’s a wonderful Easter gift. One my father has given to his children and his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. Thanks Daddy, for teaching me to bait my own hook all those years ago.
Pat Davids

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

spring and birthdays


Hello and Happy Spring from Lenora:) Tomorrow is my fifty-third birthday. I'm not telling you that because I expect presents (although I love presents) but because I love having a spring birthday. It makes getting old a whole lot better when I watch my garden bursting to life. My azaleas are blooming in various stages and sizes, my lilies are getting ready to open and spread that fragrance of lemons and vanilla round my yard and my petunias are no longer shy. Their pretty faces are now smiling at me over the rims of my many pots in every color of the rainbow.The banana blossom bush is full of yellow flowers that look like tiny tulips and smell like banana popsicles. My husband planted a "knock-out" rose by the pool to add a spot of color and the oak trees are completely green and so lush I can't find the squirrel nests in them. Today I sat outside and let the sun warm my face while the birds chirped and the squirrels fussed. I had a good book with me so I was lost in Regency England with a handsome duke and his lady. How can I be sad about turning fifty-three when I feel like a five-year romping in my secret garden. Could life be any better? Oh yes. I also ordered some birthday shoes today. Gladiator sandals because I believe there is a bit of gladiator in every woman, right? I will wear them with joy as I romp through my garden. "He surrounds me with loving kindness and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things."--Psalm 103: 4- 5. In a world where there is so much tragedy and horror, it's good to be able to remember this as I sit in my garden and watch life unfolding in a timeless fashion that overcomes all despair and evil. And even though I'll be a year older this spring, I'm glad I've been here to witness it's coming every year.

 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In A Mother's Arms


I’m Victoria Bylin. It’s great to be blogging today. I have a new book on the shelves and it’s one of my favorites. “Home Again” is a novella in the April 2009 LIH Mother’s Day anthology. The overall title is In a Mother’s Arms, and I’m paired with Jillian Hart.

I had a blast with this story. The heroine, Cassie O’Rourke, has a 12-year-old son who’s determined to get into trouble. He starts by throwing a rock through the church window. That act of rebellion puts him in the path of the town sheriff, the man Cassie jilted fourteen years earlier.

What I love about this story is the heroine. Cassie is doing her best to teach her son how to be a man, but she just doesn’t get it. Here she is . . . A woman in 1890 Colorado, running a store, raising a child and divorced. She knows nothing about boys. Her adolescent son is a complete mystery to her. Can anyone relate? My two sons are grown now, but I remember some very strange moments.

Their minds just don’t work the way mine does! I’ll never forget putting a frozen pizza in the oven for my oldest son and a friend of his. They were about 15 years old. When the timer went off, my son took out the pizza, tore it in two and handed half to his buddy. That was that. Why waste time with knives and plates? I would have cut it into 8 pieces. Maybe six. Two guys, two pieces. It made sense to him.

Cassie’s problems with her son go a lot deeper than shortcuts in the kitchen. Her son is in desperate need of a father figure, a man who understands his urge to fight and protect. God provides that man in Gabe Wyatt, but Cassie has a lot to learn about boys. Men, too! Gabe, fortunately, is patient. Love does that to a person.

I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I love being mom even more than I love being a writer. That says a lot!

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Encouragement of Spring

I, Ramona Richards, am an idiot about plants. While I love flowers, especially the kind that pop up in early spring--daffodils, crocuses, etc.--I have an exquisitely brown thumb. I should probably start a support group for others like me, who try to stay away from plants so they can go on thriving.

I have a friend who is a master gardener, and I frequently call her to say, “Why is the plant in the orange pot dying?” She can usually help me nurse the droopy leaves back to health. But not always.

When I moved in to my home three years ago, I found an empty trellis in the backyard. Clearing away the mulch, I found three little stobs at its base, and I asked my friend if I should dig them up. They certainly looked dead. Her advice? “It’s only February. Just wait.”

In early April, I found a skinny little vine on the ground, and she told me to wind it up the trellis and wait. So I sighed and waited.

You know what’s coming, don’t you. By May, my little trellis had exploded with beauty. A clematis vine had turned a dreary little back patio into a spot of cheer. My three little "dead" stobs had turned into a riot of green leaves and purple flowers.

For a creative spirit, winter can come at any time, and I’ve been trudging through a nasty one. For some time, I’ve been waiting, praying, and looking for those small signs of hope. Over the past few days, the rewards have arrived in bundles and spurts, much like my clematis vine.

Much of it has been about my May release, The Taking of Carly Bradford, but it’s gone much further than that. I’ve received more encouragement than I deserve, and I hope to turn that into productivity.

In the meantime, I patiently peer every day out the back window. I have this urge to see purple.

 

Monday, April 13, 2009

My family has increased by one!!!

Last weekend I became a grandma again. My granddaughter was born on Sunday by the grace of the Lord. The cord was wrapped around her neck twice, but it all worked out in the end. Of course, she is adorable. I think all grandparents feel that way. We kept hoping she had red hair because her mother has beautiful red hair, but I don't think it will be. There might be some red tint to it, but it looks like it will be brown. When I hold her, I forget how small newborns are. She is tiny but eating all the time. She won't be small long. But her birth is a wonderful way to celebrate Easter and spring with everything coming alive after a long winter.

 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mary, Mary


Easter is coming. And we are going to get together with our children to remember and to celebrate this highest of holy holidays. We will be together as a family, but this Easter I'm seeing things from a different perspective.

A few weeks ago, I was Mary the mother of Jesus. During the past few weeks of Lent, each Sunday different people did a monologue from the point of view of some of the main characters in the Easter Story. Judas one week, Mary Magdalene, Pontius Pilate, Mary the mother of Jesus and Peter. I did the monologue for Mary. It was a full page of text and it seemed daunting. I can barely remember a phone number or my grocery list and now I was going to recite an entire page in front of our congregation? I felt my responsibility keenly and went over and over this monologue, memorizing it piece by piece, reciting it in my mind when I went on walks, when I was baking, cleaning house and then I finally felt I had a handle on them.

The monologue deals with Mary calling God to account for letting her son die this horrible death. And Mary then thinks back over her life with her son, puzzling over the fact that the God who sent an angel to tell her the news of her son's birth, who blessed Elizabeth with a child after years of barrenness, who sent angels to shepherds, sent wise men to worship her son, who gave her a son who was such a blessing - could stand by and watch her son die.

I wanted this to be meaningful and as I recited the words, stumbling over mistakes and starting over again, I prayed. Prayed that they words would become meaningful to me and to my audience. Then, slowly, as the words became a part of me I saw Mary from another light. This was a woman who had to watch her son die a horrible death. A woman who had heard her son cry out to God in anguish and had received nothing in response. A woman who wondered how the God who had given her this blessed son, who had given her such joy could take that son away so cold, hard and cruelly. She didn't know how the story ended. On Good Friday, she only knew that she had lost her son. I never fully appreciated the sorry and anguish she faced until I did that monologue and became Mary, if only for a few moments. And as I spoke her words of sorrow, imagining my own son up there on the cross, they became the words of any mother who has lost her son.

We of this time and age, know how the story ended and, after a few days, so did Mary. And over time, she also came to realize how necessary this death was and what was accomplished with it. The victory and the power of it.

However, I know that there are many mothers out there, this Easter season, whose sons are not home. Who will not be celebrating, but who will be grieving the loss of a son as hard as Mary grieved the loss of hers. For these mothers and parents, the story is ongoing and the sorrow will fade but always be there. The victory is not as easily seen and the reason is not always understood.

This Easter season I want to remember those mothers who have lost sons and daughters. Family's who are missing someone around their table and I pray that they may find comfort in the knowledge that Jesus promises us so much more than this world can offer. And that though it may be Friday now, Sunday is coming!

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Deadline: Murphy's Law

I'm not much for science but Murphy's Law is a rule I know well, mostly because it seems to happen to me frequently. I'm Lisa Mondello and I'd like to tell you about a funny little thing that happened to me on the way to the April 1st deadline for my upcoming release, Yuletide Protector 12/09.

You see, in a perfect world, computers work the way they're supposed to work all the time, especially when you've mapped out a course for finishing a book before the deadline. But then there is Murphy's Law. I think most people are familiar with Murphy's Law but just in case, let me recap it for you.

Murphy's Law = Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

And it did. Murphy's Law doesn't care about my duties as a mother, a wife or a writer. It just is what it is and strikes at will. I'll spare you all the details of how the big ML struck me this winter and jump right to the good parts about how it managed to mess with me weeks before my April 1st deadline.

First problem: Hard drive is making funny, loud noises.

I'm not a computer expert but I know that when my computer is making noise louder than the music playing on the CD player, it's not good. My conversation with my husband went like this.


"My computer is acting really funny. It's making a lot of noise."
"What kind of noise?"
"I don't know. A noise. It's loud."
"What does it sound like?"
Picture me giving a really lame attempt at duplicating the noise for my husband and him laughing at me. I'm normally very happy to amuse my husband but as I mentioned, I had a deadline looming and I didn't share the humor.

A few disk clean ups and updates later and the noise is gone and hasn't been back since. I think I'm on a roll. I have plenty of time to finish my manuscript. I'm rolling along each day and then...

Second problem: I notice my monitor is a little sluggish starting up in the morning. Not only that but it refused to come out of sleep mode unless I rebooted the computer. And then, just a week before my manuscript was finished, my 22" Samsung monitor died. I loved this monitor. It was perfect. It fit perfectly on my desk and it was crisp and clear and it just died on me.

I'll spare you the shock and horror, but let's just say, I have a wonderful husband and leave it at that. He reminds me the monitor is only 2 years old and still under warranty. Here's how the conversation went with the Tech Support line.

"Good news. Your monitor is still under warranty so all you have to do is return it to a dealer and it will be fixed for free."
"Where is the closest dealer." (He tells me it's three states away.)
"But you can ship it and we'll ship it back to you."
"How long will that take?"
"Three to four weeks."
I calmly explain to him that my manuscript is due in 7 days and that's not going to work. He doesn't seem moved by my pleas to expedite the process. I'm a reasonable woman. I understand the workings of Technical Support and where I rank in the relative scheme of things. I thank him and tell him the monitor will be on it's way shortly. In the meantime I'm frantic and think of the possibilities, for which I'll admit I'm blessed to have many.

1. Use my husband computer, which he kindly offers immediately. Yes, it will work, but like all men, my husband likes to work in what I call "the cave". (Basement) I tried that once years ago and know that my creativity doesn't flow very well when I'm looking at concrete walls and worrying about spiders. On the other hand, he has no problem with it and enjoys working in his cave. Plus it's right next to the boiler and every time someone takes a shower (I have 4 teenagers) it kicks on.

2. Use the kids' computer. Yes, a possibility, but do I really want to sit at their sticky desk? When was the last time they cleaned it? I opt for using their monitor with my computer instead. As I said, I have 4 teenagers and THAT went over real well for about 3 hours until someone wanted to use the computer.

I'm a creature of habit and I'm frazzled and my husband recognizes that look of panic he's seen in me during the 20 or so manuscripts I've written. It's been a tough winter all around. It's spring. My husband suggests we buy a new monitor. Within hours he's hooking up a new 22" monitor on my desk, which I'll admit I love as much as my Samsung, especially since it was on sale! The kids will get the refurbished monitor for their computer so they're happy. My manuscript, Yuletide Protector, is finished on time and out the door so I'm happy. And my husband is happy because he doesn't have to listen to me in crazy mode anymore.

Through the years Murphy's Law has messed with me quite a bit. One day I'll tell you the story about two bridesmaids dresses for two different weddings. How has Murphy's Law messed with you? Share your funny story. It's spring. I think we could all use a good laugh.

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Homecoming Blessings

As I prepared to write this blog, I decided that the title of my April book, HOMECOMING BLESSINGS, is a good subject for a blog.

The heroine of HOMECOMING BLESSINGS, Ashley Hiatt, has to leave her mission work because of unrest in the country where she is serving. She doesn't know what God plans for her now or how she will fit into her father's world. She faces a homecoming that is filled with uncertainty, but she eventually learns that God has filled her homecoming with the blessings of service and love.

When I think of "homecoming," I think of going home to be with family. When I was younger that meant going to my parents' home, but now that I'm an adult, "homecoming" means having my kids return home. Homecomings have special blessings these days for me because I have a new granddaughter, Katelyn. Here she is, sporting her new sunglasses, ready for her Easter trip to sunny Florida.



We can have joyous homecomings here on earth, but I'm looking forward to the best homecoming of allthe homecoming for God's children that we read about in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

16"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."

Tell us about your special homecomings.

Merrillee






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Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Heroine of TEXAS RANGER DAD my April 2009 release on shelves now!




Hi Everyone, Debra Clopton Here--running late today. I recently posted this over at Lyn Cotes blog http://www.strongwomenbravestories.blogspot.com/ and thought I'd cross post. Hope that's okay. Lyn has a great blog if you like to read about strong women!

I only write strong women in my books. I love writing about strong women who face struggles. Many think strong women don't have moments of weakness but--being one myself as I'm sure many of you are--I face weakness constantly. What sets a strong woman apart is that she refuses to give into those weaknesses. She fights to get through them and become stronger on the other side. She does what she must and many times she does the wrong thing but still she pushes through. Sometimes she must learn that accepting help from others also takes strength...relying on God sometimes takes strength and also the people He sends into our lives to help us make it through whatever we are going through. Pride is a hard thing for a strong woman to overcome sometimes. Strong women tend to pride themselves on doing it themselves. But God sometimes has to bring a strong woman to a point where she has to get past her pride and totally rely on Him. Other strong women don't have this problem, they are strong always in their faith and their walk. It is this dynamic of strong women that make them facinating to write about because we come in so many different forms.
My grandmother was one of the strongest women I've ever known. Abandoned by my grandfather when my dad was about 4 she raised 3 sons alone during the depression (along with my dad's help)When I'm struggling I think of her and know that my troubles are nothing compared to what they faced.
When I came up with Rose Vincent, the heroine of my latest release TEXAS RANGER DAD, I wanted a woman of faith who stepped up and did what was right though it cost her everything. I'd always been curious about the good guys--especially women--who enter the witness protection plan and what it must have cost them to do so. I mean, criminals who enter it have to because of something they've done but, an innocent person who happens to witness a random act of violence and steps up to do whats right and then has to give up life as they've known it because of chosing to testify...those are the people who intrigue me. I loved creating Rose's story. It is a bit different from most of my Mule Hollow books but exploring what made Rose tick gave me a fresh and exciting spin to write about. IN a series that has lasted as long as Mule Hollow I loved this idea. I hope you'll pick up a copy of TEXAS RANGER DAD and find out more about Rose.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's Day Greetings from Author Cheryl Wyatt





I can't tell you how appropriate it is for me to be able to post on April Fool's Day. I am SUCH a practical joker. My husband is too. I love watching shows like Candid Camera and Punk'd and those kinds of shows that secretly film people having enormously outrageous jokes played on them.

Unfortunately one has to be willing to be on the receiving end if one is intent on exacting practical jokes. I've often led youth groups at churches I've been involved in, so that opens me up even more to have jokes played on me.

One of my friends (waving to Kelly Rushing) filled my car with HUNDREDS of over-inflated helium balloons once. I could not even get inside. Worse, she sneaked to my work and did it on a night that I got an emergency call that my mother had a heart attack and things weren't looking good. I was told to come right away. I just had to squish my way into the car and start shoving balloons out as I drove down the highway.

Unfortunately it wasn't long before I was pulled over. LOL!(Laughing Out Loud) The state trooper hardly could believe my story, or see me for the balloons that were PACKED IN so tightly he helped me start popping them so I could drive safely to see my mom. And those balloons that weren't packed in kept floating in front of my face. So I drove the remainder of the way with all windows down hoping the negative air current would suck the rest of the balloons out. My mom ended up okay, but my balloon-planting-buddy felt terrible. LOL!

What has been the funniest practical joke you have heard of? Or that you've had played on you or that you've played on someone else?

I'd love to hear from you! I might just glean some good ideas....

LOL!

I wanted to mention that my mother ended up okay. She's still with us today and doing fine. I am SO thankful she survived. The doctors were amazed that her heart had actually grown new vessels, albeit small ones, that they said saved her life because she had total blockages of her arteries to the point her main arteries collapsed.

In my April Love Inspired (Ready-Made Family which is IN STORES NOW!), my hero's father suffers from heart disease. Hero Ben recognizes signs of it because he's a military paramedic. He is pulled between family situations of helping his Mosaic Down Syndrome brother, or helping the down-and-out heroine. She has been wounded by a toxic church but learns through the hero what a healthy church is. And of course it's full of ROMANCE! I hope you will pick up a copy and let me know your thoughts on the book.

I also wanted to mention that I'm running a Kindle Contest from April 1, 2009 through June 15, 2009. Winner will be notified on Independence Day of this year. Only my newsletter subscribers will be eligible to enter. To join my newsletter, visit my Web site and sign up in the newsletter space provided. I respect your privacy and will not share your e-mail address with a third party. If the above link doesn't work, paste www.cherylwyatt.com into your browser.

Don't forget to share your practical joke experiences in the comment section of this post! I love hearing from readers.

Cheryl Wyatt

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