Tag Archives: books

A New Day Added to Free Book Week!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Free to Flourish Publishing give-away week! I’ve loved it–it feels like a way to give all my faithful readers a big box of presents!

75% smallerOriginally Friday was to be the last day of the give-away, but a bit of a buzz has built around A Packaged Deal, so Free to Flourish extended the give-away of this title for one more day!

I don’t think of this story as a Christmas book, but there is an important scene that occurs on Christmas, so I thought you might enjoy tucking this one onto your Kindle to read the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The snow’s falling today at my house, and let me tell you, this is the perfect read for a snowy day.

So you can still get A Packaged Deal, the first title in the the Towering Pines series, for free download on Kindle. (If you’re a “real” book, I love to smell the pages person, you can purchase the paperback for  $9.99. I’m also doing a give-away for the paperback this month. I’m collecting names of people who comment here on my blog or sign-up for my newsletter, and one lucky winner (USA only) will get the book sent to them!)

I’m praying the Lord blesses you as you download the free books and read them. All books published by Free to Flourish carry the theme of freedom, inner-healing, and discovering the true essence of life, person, and self. They invite readers to be a part of the grand Love Story with Jesus.

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Merry Christmas and sweet blessings from my house to yours,

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PS I’ll be taking a break until January 1st, the launch day of my newest story, At Home with Daffodils, which is included in Barbour Publishing’s collection, A Bouquet of Brides.

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What’s Free to Flourish?

This week the publishing arm of Free to Flourish is giving away a lot of books. (Click here for the give-away schedule.) This video shares the passion behind everything I write and speak about and tells you what you can expect if you download one of our books, whether it is fiction or non-fiction.

Next to my computer is my passion statement. Every thing we do at Free to Flourish filters through this lens: “I write and speak to join with the Holy Spirit in setting captives free and healing the brokenhearted. To call forth the true essence of life, person, self. To be a part of the grand Love Story with Jesus.”

Blessings,

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Guess Where I Am?

Hubby and I were gifted a lovely week away. The last day of our vacation we decided to play around with video. The one I’m sharing today is the most playful. It will be on my Amazon page to help readers learn more about the Tinseled Tidings series I wrote for this holiday season. The series is available by single title for Kindle or as a collection in paperback.

The question is . . . do you know where I am?

Hope you enjoyed the video!

Watch my newsletter for  *free days* for Kindle books published by Free to Flourish. Every weekday next week we have a free book by yours truly for you! Merry Christmas!

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Our Son is Engaged!

If you like Hallmark Christmas movies or sweet holiday romance of any kind, you’ll likely agree with me that this video of my son Sam proposing to the beautiful Ariel is the real-life thing!

Imagine his family and hers gathered to watch the annual Christmas parade in Estes Park. It’s long been Ariel’s favorite family tradition, and the last few years Sam has joined her family for the event. This year everyone was “magically” invited by Ariel herself, which made it convenient to set her up for the surprise since she thought she made the plan!

Hot chocolate and popcorn is purchased. Everyone is cozy and happy. The parade starts, and Ariel remembers her favorite floats from years past. Sam complains of a stomachache (which though he was faking was probably not too far from the truth). He disappears. Once in a while she glances around, searching the crowd at the side of the street for his return.

Little did she know he would be joining her FROM the parade.

We’ve long thought of Ariel as family. We’re thrilled it’s now official!

Here are a few of my favorite still shots from the occasion. Congratulations Sam and Ariel! You are dearly loved!

Thank you for sharing this special moment with us. I still cry happy tears when I watch that video!

Until next time,

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PS If you’re looking for holiday romance this season, check out my novella collection, Tinseled Tidings, and A Packaged Deal, the first book in the Towering Pines series. I can’t promise it will be as wonderful as the real life stuff, but I bet you wipe a sentimental tear or two as you read.

 

Epiphany #4

IMAG2583That whole conflicting with my desires thought from my last post should have prepared me. But it didn’t. I ran off in my merry little sanguine way expecting sunshine and roses. Only what grew along with the roses were tomatoes.

Never saw that one coming.

I started figuring out that things weren’t as easy as I expected when I went to one of my favorite places: A writer’s conference where I was reminded that my new epiphany was really a curve ball.

See, ever since 3rd grade when I wrote a story about a pencil and an eraser, I wanted to be an author. (Oh brother. The tears still spring to my eyes, and honestly I’m tired of crying about this.) Somewhere during high school speech competition I realized I also wanted to be a speaker. For the last 25 years I’ve lived my other childhood dreams–to be a teacher and a mommy, and as the years have ticked away toward cheering on my last high school graduate, I’ve eagerly awaited greater freedom for that dream of becoming an author and a speaker.

Sure, I am those things already. I have two published fiction books, have published over 300 non-fiction pieces, and have spoken for homeschool groups, writer’s groups, and mom’s groups, as well as having taught at writer’s conferences. But that was all in my spare time. Now I was ready to enter full-time into the world of writing and speaking–to take the whole gig to another level. To write the deeper, more complex stories of my heart. To up my speaking opportunities.

I’d waited for so long for this moment.

Then God gives me this curve ball and tells me to learn to be a business woman. I need to mention here that up until this point everything I’ve done in life was connected to a dream. Teacher. Mommy. Writer. Speaker.

Never once did I dream of becoming a business woman.

I spent a lot of the writer’s conference in tears. Not because it wasn’t fun. It was actually amazingly wonderful. Except for the increasing understanding that my next season wasn’t going to be all about my dreams and except for the fact that the keynote speaker said we had to be obedient when God sent us curve balls on our writing journey.

By the time I left I’d convinced myself that God wasn’t going to let me write books for a while. And I was heart-broken.

Thankfully, He then gave me Epiphany #4. I did get to write books. Just not the deeper books of my heart–yet. He wanted me to do what my agent, Rachelle Gardner, had suggested right before that second car accident that left me unable to write books for a year. He wanted me to write genre romance.

The good news is I like romance–both in books and in real life. And evidently I’m pretty good at it because I’ve helped a non-romantic male learn to be at least a little romantic, and my first romance story was a finalist for a prestigious Christian fiction award.

More good news is that genre romance is the kind of thing I can usually write while living with a lot of chaos in my life. It also is light-hearted enough to keep me happy and sane when I write it (unlike women’s fiction, which can bring me into the doldrums as I dig deep).

So it really is the perfect solution to my quandary of how to continue my writing career while learning to be a business woman. And I’m super happy about it except when I’m not. (I’m a girl, ok?)

My agent put me on a deadline to have that next book to her, and I added up word counts. I need to write 1700 words/day, six days a week. The good news is so far I’ve written 5,175 of the 55,000 words I plan to complete by Thanksgiving.

The bad news is I haven’t written any today because I’ve been too busy writing blog posts.

But I will get it done.

And so I’m learning how to swing at this latest curve. Letting go of how I thought this next season would look and embracing a new plan. Most of the time I’m good with it, but then there are those days . . . and I’ll tell you about one of them tomorrow.

Weight Loss Journey Day 25

saying goodbye to flThere’s a Christmas wreath on the door to our condo when we pull away, the sky still dark. Someone must have placed it there in the night.

I am dressed in a new navy tank top I got at Wal-mart on the clearance rack next to my bikini top. I have a long sleeved shirt to go over it, dressed for Florida and Colorado.

But I’m mostly dressed to show I am skinnier. I think the tank top says it best. And I’m desperate for my husband to notice.

We get lost going to the airport—of course—but planned ahead enough it doesn’t really matter, though it makes us walk faster, lugging our suitcases, and I think of burned calories.

Exhausted once we’ve finally checked our baggage (and I’ve taken out a few pounds to carry with me rather than pay another $20), we settle in at the airport’s Starbucks to wait for our flight.  I know the calories are ticking, clanking, adding up with my sugary coffee, and the long day of flying has only just begun, but after almost a week of being 200, 300, 400 calories below 1200, I’m not worried. And after getting up at 4 a.m., I want the caffeine.

We fly to Atlanta and I fight tears as we part, each of us destined to travel alone the final leg of the journey. I am glad I packed a healthy sandwich back at the condo. I love not wasting left-overs, and I love not eating or paying for the expensive, high calorie airport food. Starbucks will be my only splurge.

I miss my five miles walk along the clear water of the Gulf, but know I must be burning extra calories lugging my carry on and rushing through the maze known as the Atlanta airport. I walk a long way to find my flight. Once aboard I finally begin the book I took to the beach, the one my counselor recommended about different ways people connect with God. I’ve been concerned about my lack of Bible study, my lack of journaling. She keeps telling me it is a season of rest, of healing, not of shoulds.  Finally she said, “new thing, Paula. He is doing a new thing.”

I wonder what it is, how He will connect with me. I want more intimacy with Him, not less. I miss the long rambling prayers in my journal. I especially miss the times He spoke, and I wrote His words onto the page. Reflective, I treasure that one day at the beach when He and I went deep. It did me good. I wonder when I’ll have the nerve to share my thoughts with those at home. When I’ll dress in a bikini top figuratively speaking.

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Denver International Airport. Photo from Wiki Commons

Finally the plane touches the runway at Denver International, and I think I will go crazy waiting.

I need to see my man.

We meet at baggage claim. He hugs me tight. He tells me I am thinner. I thrill that he can tell.

We get home, and the kids notice too.

So it has to be true, what I thought I saw in the mirror.

I am thinner.

Real Time Update:

The new thing He is doing with me includes my adventure walks right here in my neighborhood. And the choice not to hide, I think.

How About You?

Do you have a “I’m thinner!” story? A time when someone finally noticed? How did you celebrate? How close are you to your weight loss goal?