New Website + Twitter = Giveaway Time!

After about two years, it was time for a new dressing up. Below is a shot of what it used to look like around here. Not bad, but I felt it was in need of some de-cluttering. It had also clearly been a while since I’d updated my profile photo. ;) And to top it off, I finally joined the world of Twitter again.

So, what do you say we celebrate with a “Your Choice” giveaway?

Two winners get to choose between a $5 Amazon or Starbuck gift card AND a choice of either a copy of my novel Only Angels Are Bulletproof or a free download of both Father Christmas Novels.

Leave a comment with your email address to enter. Additional points grated for following me on Twitter, Facebook, this blog and sharing all of the above.

Old Blog

Out with the old…

meBio Pic

Obviously, I’ve added a few inches.

Winners announced on Monday!

New Site. New Blog. New Girl.

Yep, I’m back.  And pretty much everything is different.  Of course you might have noticed that. ;) I honestly didn’t expect to be gone for more than a year.  I guess I should have taken a glance at the date and realized something would go wrong. (Fri 13th)

The just world changed and I had to change with it.  It’s not a bad thing, but it does take time to catch on.  Well, it took me time to catch on.

-When last this blog was running full-steam ahead I was helping manage a (very) small business out of my house, marketing my book in between, and reading stacks of books by night while sipping a mug of mocha.

-Now, I’m a customer service rep for a local financial company who readers her Kindle on lunch hours, kick-boxes on the weekends, and ends each day with one cup of mocha.

…What, you didn’t actually think I was going to give up cappuccino, did you? :)

But I think it’s about time I came back.  I can feel it. Can’t you?…Hm, well, maybe that was just the air conditioning.  Either way, I decided if I was going to come back I wanted to change my format.  So, I left behind Blogger, redesigned my website, and merged the two.  Everything from the design to the format to the About Me page has been changed. (WordPress, people.  I’ll let you know if it works out.)

From what I can tell, WP doesn’t have the same following system as Blogger, but it does have a subscribe feature!  We can work with that, right?  You can also follow the blog through Face Book or by clicking follow on the Network Blog box on the left.

Anyway, that’s where I’ve been, how about you? :)

Btw, I was totally serious about the kick-boxing thing.  I’m like practically Chuck Norris…well, if you go easy on me. ;)

Good things for you and for me. :)

This is a heads up about a very big giveaway! My blogger friend, Diane Estrella, is holding a week long giveaway on her blog with new prizes every day.
Prizes include everything from handmade purses, jewelry, mineral wear natural makeup, and a signed copy of Facets Of Fantasy, by Sarah Scheele. (If you read this blog you know I love Miss Sarah and her work. ;)

Anyway, you must run over to Diane’s blog right away and check out all the wonderfulness! And don’t forget to visit throughout the week for more chances to win.

Hope everyone his having a great Memorial Day holiday! Don’t forget to pray for all our amazing veterans and their families who have sacrifice so much for us.

The Weekend

I found myself wondering last night, “What on earth am I going to post about tomorrow?” My brain was dry of anything particularly profound or amusing. I’ve got a feeling that had a lot to do with this weekend.
We had one of “those” weekends. You know the kind. By 7 o’clock Saturday morning the whole family was on the porch wondering what on earth we were going to do. :P
The air conditioning flat-lined late Friday night, so we all woke up on Saturday feeling icky while my mother tried to find a repair man she could beg into coming over. In the wake of that circumstance our plans were official dead as well.
We’d set aside both the money and the day to at last finish the courtyard we’d been working on out front, but with the prospect of having to buy a new air conditioning our budget promptly went out the window. And somewhere along the way the favored coffee mug broke, burning a family member with hot coffee in the process.
But 7:30 we were all considering going back to bed. ;)
Fortunately, my father is good at rallying us, so after debate we settled on finally fixing the watering system in the backyard. We all got muddy in the process, but the yard started looking and working remarkably better as we went along. We were actually having fun, then I suddenly realized my dog was having even more fun. I found her lying in puddle, happy as a sow in her pen. She’s is the cleanest dog in the house every day of the week, but as soon as she sees me digging in the dirt she decides her chance to muddy up has at last come. LOL
So, when a repair man miraculously arrived, I picked her up and put her in the bathtub (which, looking back, was a stupid thing to do considering she weights more than 65lbs) while my mother changed the covers on the sofa. Yes, she made it to the couch cushions before we could stop her. :) Gotta love dogs.
And, in the middle of it all, I had a story I really needed to finish. It wasn’t working well in my head and I finally got to the, “Okay, God, if it’s going to work You’re just going to have give it to me” point. Shortly thereafter the story came to me in crystal clarity. Why is it so easy to forget I can’t do this without Him?
All and all, it was a successful weekend and amusing now that I looked back on it. Currently, the most amusing part is, after all the work we put into the AC and water system so both human and plants would be happy in the 90 degree weather, we awoke this morning to find the temperature had done a freefall into the 60s and rain is in the forecast. LOL
Okay, now that it’s all out of my head, maybe I’ll be able come up with something profound shortly.
How was your weekend, my friend?

Oh, just two quick announcements. I have a book signing coming up on June 5th at a library in Fresno CA. Check out my EVENTS page for all the details.
And, blogger-writer Th. Mafi is having an AWESOME contest on her blog right now. Prizes include Amazon cash, sighed books, and query/manuscript critiques. You must go over and see right away!

A Winner, a Crash, and a Plea For Help

Okay, listen up, we’ve got some important things today. :)

First, to the winner of Monday’s Spread The Awesome event! (drum roll please) Jen D! Congrats, Jen! Beguiled is awesome book. I hope you enjoy it. Everyone should jump over to Jenn’s blog and say hello.
http://jennifer-daiker.blogspot.com/

Overall, I think my first giveaway went well…except every time someone left a comment I thought, “I hope you win!” By the end I wished I had 70 copies available. But fear not, I plan on having another one soon. :) And with that future giveaway in mind, I’d like to ask, how did you hear about this contest? Was a link through another blog, Twitter, Face Book? It would be great to know for the next time around.

Of course in the middle of the whole thing my computer had to crash. I clicked over to my e-mail and they randomly started to disappear. That didn’t seem good, so I quickly clicked restart…and that’s where it got stuck for hours. :? Unfortunately, my brother, who has always been my IT department, is working full-time now, so I had to wait for him to get home. (This whole adulthood thing is rough sometimes. ;) While we’re not entirely sure what happened, it seems in part Microsoft had corrupted itself. Apparently this naturally happens over time. So, he clicked something called “CCleaner” and now it’s working. I don’t know….
(A plea to my Apple loving friends. Don’t e-mail me and tell me this is a sign I need to get a Mac. Most of the programs and systems I interface with are not compatible with Macs. I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is. ;)

Now on to the plea for help. Have you seen the flooding going on in Tennessee right now? It’s pretty bad. A lot of people have lost their homes and loved ones. I actually have a friend out there who says his family can’t get out of their house without a 4wheeler. They driveway was just washed away. And they won’t have regular phone service until the end of the month.
Several writers located in the region are setting up an auction to help fund the rebuilding that will need to happen fast. They are asking writers, agents, and publishers to donate signed copies of their books and critique services. And if you don’t have anything to auction, please consider bidding. According to the organizers, the outpouring has been wonderful. For more information check here.

Well, that’s all for the moment. I hope you had a lovely, “Spread the Awesome” week. :) And remember, this event was about spreading the word about your favorite books and authors. Your opinions are actually as important as any reviewer. Check out my previous post on the subject for a list of great ways you can help.

Friday Fun, Awards, and Sneak Peaks

Oh, yes, we’re having all sorts of fun today. ;) I’ve got a tag, an award, and two big announcements!

First, Karen Lange from Write Now has tagged me with the Like, Hate, Love tag. These sorts of things are just fun. When you’re tagged you share things you like, hate, and love.
So…
I like going to Star Bucks with my dad on Fridays.
I like shopping days with my mom (especially when we stop for lunch ;).
I like discovering a new writer.
I hate it when people hurt someone I love.
I hate it when I make a stupid, easily avoidable mistake.
I hate it when people try to ignore or put down others just because they don’t understand their differences.
I love writing.
I love making people laugh.
I love knowing how much God loves me! :)

Btw, you should definitely jump over to Write Now. It is full of great tips and info for writers!
Okay, so now to the people I’m tagging.
Alicia@ Life’s A Journey
Karen@ Karen R. Evans
Shannon@ Book Dreaming

Also, Lydia Kang from The Word Is My Oyster gave me the Blogger BFF award. Thanks so much, Lydia! This is one of the cutest blog awards I’ve ever seen. :D
Everyone really needs to check out Lydia’s blog. As a doctor, Lydia has started up “Medical Mondays.” Writers can ask questions about medical conditions and she helps us sort them out so we have things right in our manuscripts. They are really fascinating posts.
And now to the people I’m passing this award onto. :)

Karen@ Write Now
Sarah@ Southern Sky
Linnae@ Scarabocchi
Jill@ Jill Kemerer: Christian Romance

Definitely check out all the blogs I listed today. They are all great. :D

Now, hurry, hurry over to author Sarah Scheele’s site today! It’s the last day of her online book signing. Don’t you just love this idea? If you order her awesome book, Facets Of Fantasy, through her site today she’ll send you a signed copy and a free signed copy of her first book, The Birthday Present. :D Plus, she has an open discussion on her fan page right now too! (Go on. Get over there!)

And last, but not least, the sneak peak!! (Drops voice to a whisper.) You definitely want to come back to this blog on Monday…good things are going to happen…like my very first book giveaway!…ssshhh, you didn’t hear it from me. ;)

Crunch Time!

Ah, the day before a book signing. :) Are you a procrastinator? I’m trying not to be. There have been times when I start preparing for a book signing the night before. I wouldn’t really recommend it. ;)
This time I’ve actually got everyone notified, the event listed locally, and the posters to the bookstore. I even decided what to wear without having to pull everything out of my closet. (This is a great triumph ;)

Now it’s just down to getting the last few things done. I’ve got to find a couple of table clothes. I never know what table I’m going to end up, but they always need a table cloth. Last time the table was so small it could have been covered by a handkerchief!
I’ve also got to dig out my “guestbook.” Of course it will be really great if I can remember to ask people to sigh it. :P
Oh, and I need to find some cards to hand out to people who don’t want to buy the book just now. ;) Never let them walk away with nothing!!
Hm, I’m going to need to find my big purse too. Lol, I tend to think of things I need to bring right up until the last minute….Which reminds me, I need to go charge the camera.

Ah, well. If you’re in the Central Valley area of CA tomorrow, please come down and say hello! :) Click here for more details.
And if not, please pray that all goes well. The bookstore ordered a lot of books and I really need to sell them all.
Thanks! Have a great weekend!

Let Me Explain The Change…

If you’ve visited this blog at least once before today you might have noticed that between now and then I’ve COMPLETELY changed the whole blog. I thought I should probably mention what and why I did. Oh, yes, there is always method to my madness. ;)

I wanted to take advantage of some blogger features that I had previously neglected. For instance, you can now easily subscribe to Benedictions! Just find the “Subscribe Via Email” box on the sidebar. I’ve also set up blogger’s new Pages Gadget (find the links directly beneath the header). Now I can cleanly keep information permanently posted.
I also wanted to widen the whole blog. The traditional format was so narrow, every time I wanted to post something more than a few hundred words it turned into a scroll-a-thon. Personally, I’m allergic to too much scrolling. ;)
My sidebar was staring to look really messy too, so I streamed lined it and reduced the mismatched images to text. I’m not sure if that makes them less visible, but it feels cleaner.
Of course, I also have to admit that this blog has become my perpetual art project. :) And yes, the image in the header is a real picture of an edit I was going through one day. That’s what happens when you have three versions of the same story and you attempt to merge them. :P
Anyway, I hope you like it! Have a great weekend.

Btw, if you’d like to update your blog in the future, I’ve designed dozens of blog backgrounds and made them available to download for free at Blogcargo.com. Like I said, this is sort of my new art project. :)

New book signing AND what’s up and coming.

Okay, this is a notice of two things; a new book signing and an update on what is coming up on this blog over the next two weeks.

To start with, NEW BOOK SIGNING!
If you’re going to be in the Central Valley of CA on March 27th, please consider visiting the River Park Borders Books. I’ll be there starting at 2PM. So if you’re looking for a new book, gift (Mother’s Day is coming up), or just ready to start your Summer reading list come on by. I’d love to see you!

I’m just glad I got this one because things became a little tangled up along the way. Somehow my marketing agent and I got the location of the store and the manager’s names crossed, so I called, asked for the manager (who had a ridiculously hard name to pronounce), and got a moment of dead silence in return. After being informed that no one by that name worked there and I was already talking to the manager of the store I somehow chocked out the reason I was calling. Happily she still gave me the signing! And ordered a lot of books…so please come! Lol.

NOW, onto the next two weeks.
Staring on Monday I’m going to do an interview with Sarah Scheele, author of the Facets of Fantasy collection and the American Homeschooler serial.
Then the following week I have an interview with Warren Baldwin, author of Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and other gems from Proverbs.
It’s been an interesting experience talking to a fiction and non-fiction writer. I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing from both of them. Trust me, I already have all the answers. ;)
In the meantime, check out Sarah and Warren’s website to learn more about their work.
Sarah Scheele: http://facebooknovel.yolasite.com/
Warren Baldwin: http://www.warrentbaldwin.com/

Help Me Decide & A Great Opportunity For Writers.

This is a double topic post, just because I have two things I want to say and I don’t want to wait to post them separately. Yeah, waiting is not one of my strong points. God and I work on it often. ;)

ANYWAY…First off, I’m having a great time with the discussion we’re all having over Blonde heroines verses other hair colors, both here on the social networking world and in the real one. A friend of mine came to visit this week and one of the first things she said after getting settled was, “I support blonde heroines!” :D
So, I’ve decided to ask for your help decided my next round with hair colors. The current heroine I’m working on does not yet have an assigned color. Would you like to help me decided? Then vote in the poll I just put up (look to the right). Whatever color has the most votes will appear in the story.

All right, up next. Author, Elana Johnson is offering an amazing opportunity to writers. She’s running a contest on her blog this week. The grand prize? You’ll get your query critiqued for free by a real agent. I think it’s fair to say we could all use a little professional help when it comes to our writing and especially our queries. It’s the first chance we have to sell our work.
So, check it out at http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/
(Deadline: Sunday)

Have a great weekend all! And hooray for team USA! Two gold medals last night alone!
…Hm, did I just introduce a third topic?