Book 1 Has Been Released…

manicotti kisses wpMany, many, MANY years ago, my now husband proposed marriage to me. I had been waiting excitedly for several months, just so sure that it would come soon.

My cousin (my age and roomie in college our freshman year knew about the upcoming proposal weeks before I did), and never “spilled the beans.” Come to find out, my parents, my brother and wife, my aunt, uncle and both their adult daughters, and my grandmother knew before I did.

Daniel (my husband) had gotten my parent’s blessing beforehand, set up and executed the most romantic evening, and when he spoke the words of his proposal, it was music to my ears. The only disaster that evening was the flat tire he got during our ride home after my acceptance.

Plus, I didn’t pick out my own ring like so many young women do these days. My honey picked it out. And it was just lovely. The design was “out of the box” by standards those days, and it was creative and just beautiful! (Yes, it had diamonds. We weren’t hippies!!!)

Since we’ve been married, however, I’ve heard of some of the most horrendous proposals just riddled with problems. Mostly that’s because we are members of a ginormous church (only 500 members when we started there). But in the thousands now.

The size of our church is not the issue, though. It’s because of the size of the high school and college classes. They are each larger than many churches are. And, in the last several decades, we’ve been sponsors of those classes, mainly high school. It’s no wonder, therefore, that we’ve been to countless weddings, baby showers, and… hear stories that are UNBELIEVABLE about marriage proposals.

I got to thinking what it would look like to have not just the marriage proposal go wrong, but the entire day. Plus, what if the couple were not really like-minded spiritually.

So, I came up with this novel, MANICOTTI KISSES: A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL GONE SO WRONG!

It is a story I’m telling that will require THREE books. And, the order is: Book 1. The Proposal, Book 2. Reflecting on the Courtship Prior to the Proposal, Book 3. How the Whole Thing Finally was Resolved.

I’m hoping to hear from my dear readers to let me know what they’re thinking about this first book in the series. YES… it is a complete story with no cliffhanger. It can be read alone.

I’m hoping my readers can see the unequivocal DISASTER this day was for one very hopeful young woman.

This novel has already been released on AMAZON. It will become available on all other ebook platforms in the middle of July.

 

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Dare to Try Something New…

Well, I’ve gone and done it! I have no excuses, no one to blame, just a feeling that this 3-book story should start in the MIDDLE, not the beginning.

And, this first one is a NOVELETTE! 
www.amzn.com/B07CPT9JCP

It goes in this order:
* The MIDDLE
* The BEGINNING
* The END.

So, I have just released a brand new novelette,
Manicotti Kisses: A Marriage Proposal Gone So Wrong! 

Here’s the cover:

manicotti kisses tiny

Here’s the blurb:

Kelsey had looked so forward to that evening, the evening she would become engaged to Jeremy. As much as what it would mean to her anticipated future life, she was engulfed in the “fuzzy feelings” that this would be the most elegant, most romantic, most glorious night of her life thus far. One she would never ever forget!

AND… SHE NEVER WOULD!

From the moment her day began, “Disaster” was written all over it. But, it wasn’t until the actual spoken words of his marriage proposal that Kelsey’s dream came tumbling down.

Hiding in her dearly departed Grampy’s attic the day after the “engagment proposal travesty,” under the pretense of clearing it out for the new owners, Kelsey locates an old, vintage typewriter, and with a fervor (or perhaps a vengeance), she unfolds to her beloved Grampy about the horrors of her engagement proposal… one that had gone sooo wrong!

*****

So excited to have it released, and just holding my breath until I receive some ratings/reviews.

Take a deep calming breath, find a quiet place to read for the next hour or two, and see how really WRONG a marriage proposal can go!
www.amzn.com/B07CPT9JCP

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A Little Surprise…

FREE JoyfulJoyful

I can’t speak to anyone else’s preferences, but I just love anything FREE. Well, maybe not anything. I’m not crazy about “junk” freebies. And, I won’t even go into what comprises that. (Just think anything having to do with car gadgets, garage tools… and you can expand the “genre” from there.)

What I really love is anything that has to do with reading. And, since you’re reading this, I guess it’s probably safe to say you love reading too. At least I hope that’s true.

So, here’s a little something that you might enjoy on this dreary Monday morning. (At least it’s dreary HERE today… and rain is supposed to “reign” free this afternoon.)

A FREE ebook. Joyful, Joyful.

A little blurb to hopefully entice:

Joy Fullerton was just an eleven year-old kid. That’s all. Granted, her nose was too long, her face was too narrow, and her extremely tall body was almost stick-thin. And, if that weren’t enough to doom her to merciless teasing by the kids on the school bus, she was painfully, painfully shy.

On his first day at her school (and on her bus), Grant Cooper demanded to know what Joy’s name was. Afraid not to answer, she got as far as “Joy Ful…” when he jumped in with a loud taunt. “Joyful, joyful, she’s got a nose-ful. She don’t look to me so joyful!” Day in and day out, she heard this from Grant, and all the other kids on board who took up the taunt, morning and afternoon.

Now, over twenty years later, and a lot of life gone past, Grant shows up at her medical practice. He doesn’t recognize Dr. Joy Fullerton at all, but before entering the exam room, she reads on the chart that the patient’s name is Grant Cooper. She’d never forgotten that name. When she opens the exam room door… sure enough, it’s him.

She’d never forgiven him. So… what happens now?! 

Maybe that will be enough to whet the appetite. And, if it does, it’s FREE today through Wednesday, April 25th, right here –> www.amzn.com/B01M01E0IJ.

Hope this makes for an entertaining and inspiring read for you… today, or any future day.

 

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I’m Feeling Rather “Joyful”…

Joyful, Joyful banner

He bullied her on the school bus EVERYDAY. Whether it was sing-song taunts with rhyming and degrading words, fashioning her a “training bra” out of another kid’s science project in-progress, or making fun of the Jane Austen novels she loved to read as she traveled to and from school. She decided that his bullying of her was only rivaled by her parents’ death. Life was misery! He was making her life almost unbearable!

SHE WOULD NEVER, NEVER, EVER FORGIVE HIM!!!

Twenty years later he shows up at her medical practice, but doesn’t recognize the beautiful orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Joy Fullerton. She is incensed, still vowing to maintain her hatred of him.

SO… WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENS NOW???!!!

                                                       NEW PRICING!!!                                                                       AVAILABLE ON KU (YAY FOR FREE!), PRINT, AND KINDLE.

This novel has just become available on KindleUnlimited. This is a long weekend, and something new to read might just be the ticket. Especially if it’s FREE! Check it out here: http://amzn.com/1980487367

But, more importantly, don’t allow this weekend to go by without celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection. If He hadn’t conquered death, we’d have nothing at all to be joyful about. We would still be lost! Praise you, Jesus!

THANK YOU, JESUS, FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!

 

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Manicotti Kisses…

It always amazes me how, when, and where new story ideas come from. In the case of my soon-to-be released, Manicotti Kisses, the story inspiration just blows me away.

First, here’s the cover.

manicotti kisses cover small

Now, granted the cover is cute, but if you’re asking, “Does the title, the old-fashioned typewriter, and the script written on the typewriter paper have anything to do with the story, the answer is unequivocally, “YES!”

And, here’s the story OF the story.

This last weekend, Saturday, I wasn’t feeling well. My shoulder (from recent surgery) was hurting so badly that I couldn’t function. Consequently, I was lying in bed almost the entire day with my heating pad applied, while my precious husband was serving me hand-and-foot. He brought cold drinks in to me. He supplied pain medication, and of course, he hung over me, stroking my head, my afflicted arm, and telling me that he hated that I was hurting so much and wished that he could do something of value to help me.

And, help me, he did. Later in the day when he returned home from completing the week’s grocery-shopping, he came into the bedroom after putting the groceries away, to tell me he bought me something special to eat, whenever I got hungry. Since I was already hungry, I told him, I’d love it. It was in a styrofoam cup, filled with dry soup mix, and cram-packed with noodles. (I still don’t understand how the manufacturer gets that many noodles in the cup.) After heating water, pouring it in the mix and allowing it to sit for a few minutes, he brought it in to me. He had placed the cup of soup with its abundance of noodles on a large dinner plate as both a spill buffer, and to make it easier for me to place it on the bed, since my arm hurt too much to hold it.

Still in pain, but looking forward to the soup, I began digging into the styrofoam cup’s depths, and with my fork I pulled out a huge “glomp” of noodles, which I stuffed in my mouth. “Yummy” does not even begin to describe the taste. I’m convinced each “Mmmmm” was heard echoing throughout the house.

Unfortunately, the satisfying taste-evaluating sounds from my lips turned to one gigantic and heart-rending scream as I somehow managed to spill the entire rest of the contents over onto my pillow, sheets, blanket, feather-bed, and worst of all… my left shoulder.

Once the searing pain of heat left my shoulder (fortunately, NOT the one recovering from surgery), I jumped from the bed, and had no choice but to strip the bed down, including the mattress pad, only after I scraped a multitude of noodles from its surface.

As I was moaning and groaning at my fate of a burnt shoulder, wet bed linens and pillows, and not getting to finish the “feast,” a thought ignited my brain. PASTA!

“PASTA???” you ask, unsure what my rattled brain was thinking. Yes… PASTA! My favorite pasta in the whole world is manicotti. (Remember the name of the book cover above?!)

It was like a bolt of lightning. All somehow jumbled up in my head was a story plot that just exploded into clarity. And, it included: manicotti, an old antique typewriter, and a marriage proposal gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Now, I know this is probably an unfair place to conclude. But, I will say this. This story is a novelette. It is even shorter than a novella. The whole plot takes place in one “memorable” evening. There isn’t a huge amount of background nor plot setup. It’s just simple and straight forward. And, UNBELIEVABLE!

Just one more bit of information that affects the story.

My husband and I are members of a very, very large church, ministering to multi-thousands of congregants. Not important of itself. But, it’s important to make my point here.

I’ve been a Sunday school teacher in this church to high schoolers since 1985, as well as small Bible group leaders to the same age group. Since that time, there have been gazillions of weddings of those “kids,” almost all of which my husband and I have been invited to, and attended many of them. Consequently I am in a position to be able to tell proposal-, bridal shower-, and wedding horror stories that would shock all but the bravest readers.

I decided (in that moment of clarity I spoke of above) that I should incorporate bits and pieces of any and all proposal stories I’ve been a party to. (And, I’ll even throw in a bit of my own imagination.)

This will be completed quickly, and I hope my readers’ appetites have been whetted.

I think the release of this story will be soon enough that you can safely hold your breath until it happens.

Or… maybe not!

 

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Up Close and Personal…

This is such a fun week as an inspirational author herself, Elaine Stock, is hosting me on her “Everyone’s Story Blog.” This is MY week. She’s given me a whole week where readers can come “meet” me, say “hi” to me, and enter a Book Giveaway of my novel, Joyful, Joyful.

Everyones Story

Just as a teaser, I guess, I’ll share that you’ll find out in my interview things like how long I’ve been married, if I have any children, how a high school principal inspired me to start writing, what I did before pursuing authorship in inspirational fiction, what I do in my free time, and… if you make a comment, you’ll automatically be entered in a Book Giveaway of my novel, Joyful, Joyful (pictured above right). The winner will be announced Friday morning, March 2nd.

I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop… excited, excited, EXCITED!

Come join in the fun, and maybe be a little surprised at aspects of who I am, and about my life!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. A WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN!

Congrats, Natalya, and thank you for entering my Book Giveaway!

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Mourning the Loss…

About eight weeks ago, I couldn’t handle the pain anymore and I had rotator cuff surgery. It was supposed to be a simple arthroscopic procedure. My orthopedic surgeon told me that I should zip back pretty quickly from it. In fact, he said that I probably wouldn’t even need any therapy… I could just do it at home.

As it turned out, when the surgeon completed the arthroscopic portion, he realized that I had a pretty severe bicep tendon tear as well, so he had to make an approximately 3″ incision and do a second procedure. I now bear two small arthroscopic scars and a 3″ scar, all on my right shoulder (yep… I’m right-handed). And, for almost eight weeks I’ve been in a stationary-position sling.

So much for writing. I tried doing a left-handed hunt-and-peck version a couple of times, but realized I was more frustrated than if I couldn’t write at all.

After two months of not being able to write, I decided this morning that since  I’m part way through therapy and doing quite well, that I would return to writing the story that first captured my heart to write months ago.

From Grace Abounds Grace (small)It’s title… From Grace Abounds Grace. Here is the book cover. Isn’t it lovely?! I can’t begin to share with you how thrilled I am with my cover designer. Her design for this cover is soft and romantic, and truly captures the plot, as I see it in my head.

Before my surgery I had completed about 13,000 words, which I couldn’t wait to get back to today.

When I opened my flashdrive to the title, opening it with great anticipation, it was gone! Completely and totally gone! There was nothing but the title page, Acknowledgments page, and the verse I used to set up the story. Checking my backup flashddrive, the same missing manuscript stared back at me.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His Purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28. This is the verse I had felt strongly that the Lord wanted me to share with my readers.

I suppose my usual reaction would be to cry buckets full, give myself a sabbatical from writing for a couple of months to give myself some time to mourn and re-think the story, trying desperately to re-capture what had already been written.

And, while I do feel emotionally defunct right now, I think the Lord prepared me for this before this morning.

I just completed reading a book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. It is about a Muslim man who battles for years, trying to ignore, then disprove who Jesus is, only to come face-to-face with him years later, finally making Jesus Christ his Savior and Lord.

What made it even more poignant (as if I hadn’t spilled enough tears while reading), was that in reality, this now-Christian man, having graduated from medical school, but opting instead to enter full-time evangelism, died four months ago of stomach cancer… at 34 years of age.

Talk about a wake up call. I am having to put things back into their proper perspective right now. How blessed am I that the Lord has given me all the years I’ve had, graciously lavished His Salvation upon me, and still lets me write, which I love so dearly!

So… how will I handle my “lost” partial manuscript? I will probably continue to mourn, at random times, wondering WHY? But, I will start all over and in so doing, allow the Lord to do whatever He wants to with the re-telling.

If I truly believe Romans 8:28, what else can I do but trust Him?!

 

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Who Could Have Ever Thought…?!

Well, who would have ever thought what has happened would happen?!

As my readers know, I took on a bet-you-can’t-do-this challenge. The challenge was to write a Christmas novella, release during THIS Christmas season, and write two more Christmas novellas on my own schedule (after Christmas). My book cover designer was to use her own imagination. I had no say over her designs. Between the covers and their titles, I have two of them solidified in my brain, as far as their plots.

The challenge included that since three novellas were to be written, ALL three book covers must be submitted at the same time as the first completed novella is released. That release is scheduled for December 9th.

3 book covers

I have been working diligently for weeks now, and am about 5- to 8,000 words from completing the first one. I’ve scheduled writing time, editing, and formatting time so that the first novella, Christmas Scavenger Hunt, would release EXACTLY that day.

Well, while I was making my big plans, the Lord had something entirely different in mind. I admit, I don’t understand, but I also know that the Lord tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He’ll direct your path.”

After almost five years of shoulder pain (right shoulder, and yes… I’m right-handed), I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I went to my orthopedist. Bottom line??? As of Monday, this will be me:

rotator cuff surgery

I’ll be having rotator cuff tear repair surgery, and will be in a sling until Christmas.

The question now is: How do I finish my novella, and prepare our Christmas celebration, complete with house-decorating, tree-decorating, baking of Christmas goodies?

I have no idea!

What I do know is that I need to make wise decisions on how to prepare for Monday and after. And, even more importantly, I need to thank the Lord that this problem can be repaired, that I have a tremendous support team, and that whether or not I’m able to complete my novella, decorate the house, bake goodies, shop and wrap gifts, Jesus’ Birthday Party will still happen in my heart and the hearts of those of us around the world who love our Savior.

So, since this may be the last time I can sit at the computer and type anything, I still say from the bottom of my heart,

“Happy Birthday, Jesus! And, bless Your Holy Name!”

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Just So Excited!!!

Sometimes I don’t have anything particularly monumental to share, but just have to say something that is bouncing around with excitement in my heart.

I’m working ever so diligently to release my new novella, Christmas Scavenger Hunt, on December 8th.

I’ll leave you with:

1) Something visual to think about:

SONY DSC

And an important and burning question…

2) Can items 19 and 20 on a scavenger hunt list bring about true romance?

 

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Did I Really Just Do This??? ~ The Cover

In my last post, I shared how I had accepted a bet-you-can’t-do-this challenge. It consists of writing a Christmas romance novella, with the already decided upon title of: CHRISTMAS SCAVENGER HUNT. I am to have no say in the title or the cover design of the book. But, based on those two elements, I am to write this novella, with a release date during THIS Christmas season… YES, THIS Christmas season! (As in… what?… maybe five weeks???!!!)

I would ask the question again, “Have I lost my mind???!!!” but I think that has already been established.

Yesterday evening I received the cover from my extraordinary designer. I think she plucked the cover design right from the portion of my brain, labelled: WONDROUS FANTASIES!

Here it is. Isn’t it just the most adorable cover EVER?! Look, look, did you see? Even her HAIR is RED, keeping in the Christmas color scheme!

Christmas Scavenger Hunt (cover small)

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep most of the night. I was too busy plotting the storyline, which I’ve almost got completed in my thinking.

Could it be that I’m actually going to have a blast writing this??? I think, YES!

The only thing I could use help on are the items for the scavenger hunt. I already know the two items that forge this story, but since I’ve never been on a hunt, I have no idea what normal items would be. Maybe something like a gum wrapper from a stick of gum, a penny with the date after 1995, or?… Ok, I’m out. I think the most help anyone could give would be to give me examples of items that could be used in a scavenger hunt list.

Beyond my need for assistance for scavenger hunt list items, I think I’m ready to go!

OH, THIS IS JUST SO MUCH FUN!!!

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