Tag Archives: Tinseled Tidings

A Little Update

Hey Friends,

It’s bugging me that this blog is neglected.

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Jerry and me celebrating our 29th anniversary

Here’s the deal. Since my husband’s heart attack December 31st of last year and the subsequent struggle with Graves Disease, I haven’t had much left over for this space. And the times I’ve tried to write something heartfelt? Well, I ended up deleting.

Jerry and I are working through things. Making lots of changes in everything from employment to diet to choices for activities. We finally admitted to each other last week that there for a while we were preparing ourselves to say good-bye. But lately he’s been gaining strength and energy and stamina, and that has us encouraged.

What’s discouraging is that he seems to continue to lose vision. He’s having to give up lots of stuff, and, well, you grieve every time  you have to let something go. Our pastor taught a few weeks ago on “blessed are they who mourn.” It opened up good conversation between Jerry and me about our grieving process. He grieves all he’s giving up. I grieve for him. And we both grieve the things we can no longer do together.

It’s been quite a journey.

I won’t promise I’ll be any better about posting here in the near future. We’ll see. The dam may open and the words come flooding out one of these days. But for now, I’m just trying to take it a day at a time.

22vdcxThat said, I’m not absent in the on-line world. On my author/speaker page I still post daily inspirational thoughts on living Free to Flourish, and I send a weekly newsletter to my subscriber list. We actually have a free novelette coming this fall for my newsletter subscribers, so now’s a great time to sign-up. And the Lord continues to bring me speaking engagements here and there. There’s something really beautiful about still speaking about Jesus while I’m in a season of grief. It blesses me when He pours the love and hope through me, and I see others encouraged.

I’ve had a few of you ask for that next book in the Towering Pines series. Rattled is half written, and poor Chad and Jade are left hanging, still trying to figure it out. I also promised another Christmas novella this year telling Hillary’s story (Evie’s best friend from Fruitcake Fallout). Honestly I don’t know when they will be written. I’m sad with those of you who’ve told me you’re waiting. Me, too. One of these days, months . . . (I hope not years!) . . . it will happen, and I’ll be sure to let everyone in cyberspace know.

For now, Jerry and I would appreciate your prayers.

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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Stories Behind the Stories and Paperback

Ever wonder what drives the spiritual themes in your favorite stories? Do authors plan them, or do they unfold as they write? Are they ever surprised?

Collection picture lower resolutionFor me it’s both. In my new Tinseled Tidings Christmas romance collection, I had some idea of where I was going, but the Lord also added some special surprises. (BTW, the paperback just released! This volume includes the first three titles in the Tinseled Tiding Collection–and I gotta tell you, it’s gorgeous! The original artwork (by Lisa Joy Samson) and interior design (by Carmen Barber) makes the book’s fun, uplifting stories even more delightful because they are so visually pleasing!)

When I wrote The Joy ScroogeI found it interesting that when I wrote Krista and Tait’s pivotal moments, it just flowed. Usually it’s when my characters are in pain that I have to fight through the writing. (Hey, they are real to me, and I hate to see them hurting!) But this time when I got to the happy ending, I had a block. Talk about weird! The hard part was done, but I couldn’t write the fun part! (Makes me wonder how often we fight through pain—or even choose to stay in it—but are afraid of believing in the happy in real life! But I digress.)

Because I couldn’t seem to write the happy part of The Joy Scrooge, I went back and did couple of rounds of editing on the deep parts of each of the main character’s journeys. As I rewrote Krista’s, I realized that her issue was bumping up against one of my own. I needed to be willing to walk with someone I love on a path of suffering. I needed to do it whether or not this person could ever come out on the other side. It helped me be willing when I realized that the simple act of loving when it means hurting with the person we love is part of entering the suffering of Christ. It helped me feel closer to Jesus and to trust Him with how the other person’s pain affects me.

To be clear, I’m not saying that in every situation we should choose to walk closely with someone in pain. None of us have that bandwidth, and not every need is the call. We help where we can, and we follow God’s leading in that. There are also abusive situations where we have to remove ourselves from the more intimate act of walking with a hurting person who is acting out. But all of us face situations where we need to choose to enter the suffering of a loved one. Sometimes they cause their own suffering, and sometimes it is thrust upon them by health issues or evil. It brings me comfort to know in these situations, when loving means entering someone else’s painful journey, that it is part of entering Christ’s suffering. It comforts me that He understands and is with us in the pain.

Once I processed all of that, the happy ending for the book came more easily.

If learning this kind of backstory for my latest stories is interesting to you, you’ll enjoy an interview I did with Peg Thomas. Check it out! Peg is a fellow author and we are both published in a novella collection, A Bouquet of Brides, which releases January from Barbour Publishing.

Happy Advent!Advent cover small

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PS If you’re joining me by reading Soul Scents: Flourish Selections for Advent this December, you might enjoy liking my Facebook page and following me there. Each day I’m posting short thoughts connected to the reading. (And you can still get that as a free download at my website.)

PPS The Tinseled Tiding paperback would make an uplifting, fun Christmas gift–and for those electronic readers, all three novellas could be bundled and gifted electronically for less than $3!

Launch Day and FREE book to celebrate!

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Launching TODAY!!

My face-to-face friends allowed me “drop off the earth” for a crazy fall. Good friends of authors know that they have a “deadline” friend, who disappears for a while, and their regular friend who comes up for air ready to play! If you’d like to learn a little more about the life of an author, visit Moving the Ancient Boundaries, my friend DiAne’s blog. She asked me some great questions in her interview posted there today!

Honestly, Tinseled Tidings, the first series Free to Flourish Publishing launched this fall, was almost like playing, even with all the work! The characters are fun, a little zany, and a whole lot lovable. I fell for them all. They laughed and cried with me and until their stories were told. With today’s release of this last title, I’m happy and sad. Happy because YOU get to meet my imaginary friends, sad because I won’t be spending as much time with them. (I will get to keep talking about this series as the PAPERBACK 3-in-1 collection releases next week!)

Fruitcake Fallout is the only book in the series (for now) which has an historical setting.  As you might guess from the title, the hero is a private and his gal-to-be is a WAC in World War 2. For interesting tidbits on what I learned about this time period, visit my friend Donna’s blog, History Thru the Ages. As I write I often am surprised by little nuggets of truth and grace that appear, unplanned, in the story line. I’ve also learned that when I do historical research the Holy Spirit leads me to special true stories of LIGHT. I share some of this today on Donna’s blog.

FREE BOOK INFO

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FREE today!

To celebrate today’s launch day, Free to Flourish Publishing is offering the first title in the series, You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch, FREE today and tomorrow. It was an ACFW Carol Award finalist for novella of the year. In this story retired police officer Rick Stanton dons a Grinch costume for the holidays and “patrols” Christmas, Florida to promote the festive town. Everyone falls under his charm except the person he most wants to impress—Postmaster Edie Hathaway. If you’re like me, you’ll be cheering for the Grinch, hoping he can steal Edie’s heart before they both give up on love.

The second book in the series, The Joy Scrooge, is featured today on ALLBETSAREOFF. Check out that interview and see where your own scrooge barometer is! lol Remember this is the book which prompted me to offer my Advent devotion for FREE on my website. I hope you’ll download it and journey with me this Christmas season!

As I close out this post, I want to offer a shout out to some amazing people who make it possible for these stories to get to YOU.

Thank you to the Free to Flourish Publishing Team!

Carmen Barber ~ Copyeditor, interior design, and formatting

Lisa Samson ~ Artwork for cover and interior

Kim Liddiard of the Creative Pixel, Cover design

Wendi Wilkins ~ Proofreading

Laurie Spies ~ First reader

(And special thanks to Carmen, who also should have the official title of “holding the author’s hand through it all.”)

Also thank you to every person who reads, reviews, and buys my books. Reviewers–you have NO IDEA how valuable those reviews are. I REALLY appreciate you taking the time!

LEAVE A COMMENT TODAY AND I’LL PUT YOU IN A DRAWING FOR A FREE COPY OF A PACKAGED DEAL, THE FIRST BOOK IN MY NEXT SERIES, TOWERING PINES.

Secrets Revealed

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Telling secrets. Leeann Betts interviewed me on her blog this week. She asked if there is a real-life piece of my love story with my hubby tucked in “You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch.” The answer is yes . . . for more visit Leeann’s blog.

Lots of fun stuff in the interview about my latest release: You’re a Chamer, Mr. Grinch, available today on Kindle for 99 cents.

I Should Have Known

rsz_tinseled_tidings_small_scroogeI’m typing happily along, answering interview questions that will be placed in the back of The Joy Scrooge, one of the holiday romance novellas in my newest fiction series, Tinseled Tidings. 

Suddenly I find myself typing, “And so you can go to my website to download a free Advent devotional.”

“What?” I thought.

Then I chuckled. I knew it had to happen. It was the perfect non-fiction companion to the playful inspirational Christmas novellas I’d been writing. I contacted the Free to Flourish Publishing team, and they agreed to make my dream come true. We lifted the daily devotions from weeks 9-12 of Soul Scents: Flourish, added content, and off we went!

One of my favorite additions to the Advent devotional is a weekly Sunday worship that includes ideas for meditation and celebration as you light Advent candles.

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I hope you’ll receive this gift of my heart! You can down download a *free* PDF of Soul Scents: Flourish Selections for Advent  by visiting my website. For those of you who prefer reading on Kindle, it’s available on Amazon for 99 cents. I felt like it was a God-kiss when the Advent devotion published on Kindle on October 29th, my 52nd birthday!

I’m super excited about the line-up for this fall and the release of the Tinseled Tidings novella collection. The first book, You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch, which was a finalist for novella of the year in the ACFW Carol Awards, is already available on Kindle. We have two more titles, one releasing every fifteen days on Kindle, so readers will have them before Christmas!

But what if you prefer paperback?

All three of these fun stories will be included in the paper back release of Tinseled Tidings (Volume 1), coming in time for the holidays.

Stay tuned for more details!

Until Next Time,

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