Sunday, April 29, 2012

first thing

"...acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts."

1 Chronicles 28:9

Acknowledging God first thing every morning transforms our day. I try to begin my day by reconfirming His authority over me and submitting to Him as Lord in advance of my daily circumstances. When I begin my day without settling the matter of authority, I am usually a train wreck by noon. Remember, any day not surrendered to the Spirit of God will automatically default to the flesh. (Galatians 5:16-17). Spiritual living does not come naturally - sin does. The first step to victory is acknowledging the authority of God in our lives.

~Beth Moore
David, Seeking a Heart Like His

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

more romance...

I'm posting over at Colonial Quills today, continuing the historic wedding theme and talking about posy rings. If you've never heard of them they're quite romantic! And I so wish I had one of my own:) Hope to see you there! If not, have a happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

here comes the bride...

I'm getting ready to write a wedding scene in Ballantyne Book 2 and can hardly wait! I so love a wedding whether on paper or in person:) Must be the romantic in me. Weddings in novels have waned over the last few years because it's considered too formulaic to end a book with a bride. Seems like most books, especially romances, of yesteryear did this so maybe it's true. But that's not gonna stop me!

I've had a lot of fun researching this wedding. At left is a gown, circa 1854. The bridal corset below is a bit later. And the wedding bonnet at the last is from 1830 or so. White wasn't always the most popular color for brides. That's more a modern invention. During colonial times the preferred color was yellow. In the scene I'm writing, my 1822 bride wears blue ~ "Married in blue, ever true." A bit of white heather in the bouquet was considered lucky. May was avoided as an unlucky month as was January. Superstitions abounded!
I have a wedding announcement of my great-grandparents framed and hanging on my bedroom wall. The wording is quaint and romantic...

Mrs. Lindsey Duncan
announces the marriage of her daughter
Mr. Willie J. Blanton
Thursday, June the twenty-second
nineteen hundred eleven

At home
after July the fifteenth
Berea, Kentucky

Some fun historical wedding trivia:

*The bride was dressed by her "best maid" and every article had to be new

*The bride's party had to reach the church first

*The groom could not see the bride the day of the wedding till the ceremony (that hasn't changed!)

*The present of a hat was often given to the minister

*Bride's cake was often hidden beneath the pillow of an unmarried girl in hopes they'd dream of their future husband

*Honeymoons, or wedding journeys, often lasted a month or more

I'd love to hear about your wedding, whether in person or on paper or the one you're dreaming of! No doubt it will help my storybook nuptials:) Did you observe any traditions or hope to? 

Monday, April 23, 2012

giveaway winner!

The winner of Sanctuary for a Lady is...


If you email me your snail mail address at, I'll mail the book out:)

More giveaways are coming up with authors Lorna Seilstad ~ The Ride of Her Life ~ and Carla Gade ~ The Shadow Catcher's Daughter ~ as both have new releases to celebrate.

Heartfelt thanks to Naomi for being here and answering such great questions so very thoughtfully!

Bless you all!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q and A ~ with giveaway!

Author Naomi Rawlings is here today! She's a debut author who has a passion for penning stories and answering questions about her writing journey...

"I write romance because I enjoy writing about family and love, both human and divine. True love isn't easy. It brings about trials and sacrifices, create obstacles that people must overcome if they want all the benefits of a loving, romantic relationship. I enjoy diving into all the different dimensions of love and exploring them, and I don't see myself ever tiring of that. And I also find my characters need to find God’s love and a right relationship with Him before they can fully embrace human love. So the romance aspect of a novel fits together rather tightly for me, and feels fresh every time I tackle a new story.

"I write historical fiction because I love being able to travel back to any time or place I choose. Perhaps I have too active of an imagination, but I remember sitting in history classes in high school and college. Whenever I'd learn about some tragedy or major historical event, I'd think "What would it be like to live through that." With this story, Sanctuary for a Lady, I wondered what it would be like to be born a French aristocrat and have the world at your feet. Then one day, peasants raid your house and kill your family. In a matter of a few days you'd go from having everything to having nothing. So what would you do? How would you respond? Would you be able to survive?

Sanctuary for a Lady answers those questions through the character of Isabelle, a dukes daughter fleeing for her life. It's a novel of love and survival and forgiveness. I hope people love reading it as much as I loved writing it!"

I'd love to give away a copy of Sanctuary for a Lady to someone here! If you'd like to enter the drawing, please leave a comment and question for Naomi below. I'll start off  with a question of my own...

Bless you all - and a heartfelt thanks to Naomi for being here!

Winner announced Monday, April 23!

Monday, April 16, 2012

puritan praise

I thank Thee for the temporal blessings of this world - the refreshing air, the light of the sun, the food that renews strength, the raiment that clothes, the dwelling that shelters, the sleep that gives rest, the starry canopy of night, the summer breeze, the flowers' sweetness, the music of flowing streams, the happy endearments of family, kindred, friends. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort. My cup runs over. Suffer me not to be insensible to these daily mercies.

~Puritan Prayer

Friday, April 13, 2012


Your job is to offer a sanctuary of beauty to an ugly world. 

~Jeff Goins

Once in a while I come across writing that takes my breath away. Though I've never met Jeff Goins, he's a kindred spirit ~ or my new BFF, as Beth Moore likes to say;) 

I particularly like the little wonder of an e-book he's created called The Writer's Manifesto. It's very freeing, even profound.  

Today, on his blog, he talks about your job as an artist...

"You must press into the work you've been given, stretch yourself further than you're meant to go, somehow believe in faith that something good will come. 

This is not an easy life, as we see exemplified by men like Van Gogh who mutilate themselves and women like Emily Dickinson who cut themselves off from the rest of the world.

You must "think different" and go beyond expectations and norms, challenging the status quo. This is why we need your work. Because so few people are willing to do this - to truly be creative and accept the inherent risks of rejection that come along with it. And that's why the most important quality of an artist is simply this: courage. (With a splash of craziness, of course)." 

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


He has given us His very great and precious promises. 
2 Peter 1:4

There is nothing Christ dislikes more than for His people to publicly profess Him and then not use Him. He loves for us to make use of Him, for His covenant blessings are not simply meant to be looked at but should be appropriated. Our Lord Jesus has been given to us for our present use. Are you making use of Him as you should?

O beloved, I plead with you not to treat God's promises as something to be displayed in a museum but to use them as everyday sources of comfort. And whenever you have a time of need, trust in the Lord.

~Charles H. Spurgeon

Monday, April 9, 2012

pages and pages!

Whew! Can you believe we're into April already? The days are flying...the pages are flying! All 428 of them!   
I've been busy reading through the typeset Love's Reckoning. At this stage, the pages are an author's last chance to prayerfully make a few changes (very few) to a manuscript before it goes to print. Thankfully, I've only found a few things to highlight in red. Pretty soon you'll hold the book in hand and I'm praying about that, too!
Over spring break, Randy and I drove down to Oregon and the beautiful Willamette Valley. The sun was shining and we enjoyed Mt. Hood and all the history in the region. Oregon is very different than Washington as there's no sales tax and you don't pump your own gas. Nice! We discovered Oregonians are very fond of their pets. They even have water fountains at ground level for dogs and such at the parks!

While there I was able to meet with one of the most delightful book clubs anywhere. They're a group of godly women with a heart for Christian fiction who get together regularly despite their busy schedules. We shared a wonderful luncheon and spent the afternoon talking books:) Heartfelt thanks to all the women for making me so welcome. Our hostess, Alissa (third from left) is a nurse with a heart for medical missions who hopes to go to India or the Philippines. Her mom, Elena, second from left, has the gift of hospitality and hosted this at her lovely home. Love these book clubs and the women who give them so much zest!!

Speaking of books, what page are you on? Any great reads to rave about? 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

spring break!

I'm on the road this week but will be back soon with news of velvet bookmarks and book trips:)
Happy spring!