Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What We Need is Certainty

This has been a difficult week for our country with the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT. We're all grieving, hurting for the families and a community that will never be the same. I can hardly watch the news without crying. It's difficult to focus on the holiday. But someone shared a good article with me today, written from a pastor on their church website. It was helpful for me, and I want to share it with you.

The post is written by Pastor Ray Johnston of Bayside Church in Granite Bay, CA. I don't have permission to cut and paste it here, so please click here to go to the website to read. I hope it's a comfort to you as it has been to me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Early Christmas Celebration!

We're having an early Christmas celebration, a Holiday Open House at the Harlequin website! Janet Dean and I are sponsoring an event today. Come tell your best and worse Christmas gifts to be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card from ChristianBook.com.

Click here to join us!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

The food has been cooked. The meal eaten. The leftovers put away. The kitchen cleaned. I've had a nap. And I had pie for dinner. :)

Now I'm finally on the computer and realized I haven't posted a holiday greeting!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm very thankful to have my family here. And I'm thankful for you!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Write Now Relief Results!

A big thank you to everyone who bid for critiques for Write Now Relief! Your generosity added up to $2,300 for the relief efforts for the victims of Superstorm Sandy! Well done and congratulations to all the winners! If you are the high bidder or think you might be, please check the blog where you were bidding to get your marching orders. Your first order of business is to donate your bid amount to Samaritans Purse. Then email a copy of your donation receipt with your 50 pages to the author who will be critiquing you. Again, thanks so much to everyone. And if you didn’t win the critique please consider giving to Samaritan’s Purse for your year-end giving. The need is huge.

Here is the link to donate online. The GIVE button is located just below the photo gallery link.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our Nephew, Buster Posey!

We're so excited about Buster being named the National League MVP!! I wanted to share a video of him when he found out he won. It's so fun to get to see his family there with him! We haven't seen his twin children or wife since last Thanksgiving (other than in photos). His mom (my husband's sister) is right behind him. And his dad is to her right. Buster's brother and his wife are also to Buster's right, a little behind him. You also get a peek at his other grandmother. We were actually here at home watching with my husband's parents on Thursday night. What a celebration!

Congratulations also to Miguel Cabrera, the American League MVP!

Here's a link to the video. Click here.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Write Now Relief--Bidding is Open!


If you're like me, you've watched the pain and devastation from Hurricane Sandy and have wanted to help. Now's your chance.

Are you a writer looking for feedback on your story? I, along with several other authors, am offering to critique the first 50 pages of a novel for the highest bidder, with the proceeds going directly to Samaritan's Purse for relief efforts. I hope you'll bid on my critique! Why not bid on more than one?!

I write for Harlequin Love Inspired, a line of contemporary inspirational romance novels that run 55-60,000 words. If you're interested in a critique from me, I hope you'll bid here in the comments section--and check back often through the next week! Please also check out the other participating authors to find the best fit for your genre. Keep track of progress on the event Facebook page. More details are below. Don't forget to bid in the comments section! If you're not a writer, please help spread the word about this effort and consider donating to Samaritan's Purse.

AND NOW THE PARTICIPATING AUTHORS! Choose the author who suits you best, head to their hosting blog and find the post on WRITE NOW RELIEF. Place your bid in the comments section of that blog, starting Friday, Nov 8. Check back often!
Susan Meissner  Women’s fiction, historical, contemporary http://susanlmeissner.com/write-now-relief/
Ginny Yttrup  Women’s Fiction, Contemporary  http://ginnyyttrup.com/words-for-life
Hannah Alexander  Contemporary romantic suspense, Christian romance, both contemporary and historical  http://girlswriteout.blogspot.com
Rachel Hauck  All genres  http://rachelhayeshauck.blogspot.com
Jill Williamson  Middle grade, and YA or adult for spec fiction (fantasy, science fiction, etc.http://www.jillwilliamson.com/jill-williamsons-blog/
Gayle Roper  Romantic suspense, suspense, mystery and romance. Hosted by Nancy Mehl  www.nancymehl.blogspot.com
Miralee Ferrell  Historical romance, women’s contemporary fiction, romantic suspense  www.miraleeferrell.com
Donita K. Paul  YA, Fantasy, romance  http://dragonbloggin.blogspot.com
Ruth Axtell  Historical Romance  http://ruthaxtell.blogspot.com
Kathy Fuller  Amish, contemporary, historical, screenplays  www.amishhearts.com
Missy Tippens (bid here in comments)  Contemporary category romance, anyone targeting Love Inspired.  
Happy bidding, everyone!
Here are the Details:

Write Now Relief
How you can help the victims of Sandy and also get a little first aid for your novel!

WHAT: Bid on a 50-page critique of your novel by a published novelist! Highest bidder will send their amount to Samaritans Purse for their relief efforts for the victims of Superstorm Sandy.

WHEN: Begins Friday, November 9, ends Friday midnight EST November 16.

HOW: Head to the blog of the author you’d like to have critique your 50 pages. Find their Write Now Relief blog post and place your bid in the comments section of that post. Monitor it closely so that you can re-bid! Check back on this Facebook page for updates on all the bids. The highest bidders on each blog at the end of the week will send their amount to Samaritan's Purse, then email a copy of the receipt to the author with the 50 pages. It’s that easy.

How much is a 50-page critique worth?
Most authors and editors can easily charge $35 an hour and a fifty-page critique is well over three hours of labor. But this labor of love is for victims who have lost everything. Their need is huge. One blogger who hosted a similar campaign last week had a top donation bid of $1,000 for a 50-page critique!

What will the critique entail?
The author you choose will read your fifty pages with an eye to giving you insights and feedback on all aspects of your story excerpt, including plot, character, story arc, mechanics, pacing, and reader appeal.

What is Samaritan’s Purse?
Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Here is a video from Samaritans Purse on their efforts to help Sandy’s victims.

How do I donate to Samaritans Purse?
You can head to the Samaritan’s Purse webpage on Hurricane Sandy http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/hurricane_sandy/
and click on the GIVE link imbedded on the page. Whether you are the highest bidder or not, do consider donating to this effort.

How do I start?
Pick an author, head to her blog and make your opening bid.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Lyn Cote has a new Love Inspired Historical!

by Lyn Cote

Love Inspired Historical
November 2012
ISBN: 978-0373829392

This is the first book in the Wilderness Brides series, set in Wisconsin, Lyn' home state.
The heroine was a minor character in Lyn's Her Healing Ways, the final book in the Gabriel Sisters series.

No one is more surprised than Sunny Licht when Noah Whitmore proposes. She's a scarlet woman and an unwed mother—an outcast even in her small Quaker m community. But she can't resist Noah's offer of a fresh start in a place where her scandalous past is unknown.
In Sunny, the former Union soldier sees a woman whose loneliness matches his own . When they arrive in Wisconsin, he'll see that she and her baby daughter want for nothin g…except the love that war burned out of him. Yet Sunny makes him hope once more—for the home they're building, and the family he never hoped to find.

About the Author
Since her first Love Inspired romance debuted in 1998, Lyn Cote has written over 30 books. A RITA finalist and a ACFW Carol Award winner, Lyn writes contemporary romance.
Visit Lyn at http://booksbylyncote.com/SWBS/

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Celebrating with Buster Posey and the Giants!

A fun shot of the Posey kids and my oldest son from Halloween 1997.
L to R: Jack, Samantha, Buster (in back), Jess, and my son, Nick.

The Tippens household has been celebrating this week. Our nephew, Buster Posey, and the San Francisco Giants won The World Series!! Some friends from our church sent us a link to this article I hadn't seen yet. A very cool writeup in the New York Times.

Click here to read the article in the NYTimes.

Knowing what a nice, genuine person Buster is, and how hard he's worked, it's such a thrill to watch his success!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thinking Ahead to Christmas? Love Holiday Stories?

I know it's barely fall, and if you're like me, you're thinking of Thanksgiving. But I have two friends whose Christmas stories have just released. Two stories in one from two amazing writers! Don't miss it.

Two Inspirational Christmas Stories ...

The Outlaw's Gift by Linda Goodnight

1880s Oklahoma Territory
When drifter Seth Blackstone shows up at Raven Patterson’s homestead, Raven thinks this may be the solution to all her problems. But Seth’s mysterious past is about to catch up with him and could mean disaster for them both.

The Christmas Candle by Mary Connealy

Arkansas Ozarks 1883
Gabe Wagner, has left his hectic city life and moved onto Rose Palmer’s mountain. His plans to build a house will tear the heart out of her Ozark Mountain home. Rose learns that what she calls peace and quiet has evolved into isolation and loneliness. As Christmas approaches and she searches for the perfect way to honor the Savior’s birth, she realizes she wants to let Gabe into her life. But to do it, she may have to face a larger world that frightens her while she gives up the safe life she has always known.

Can the search for the perfect Christmas candle and the broken hearts of two little boys bring a solitary woman and a grieving man together?

Buy On Amazon: click here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Book Signing Event This Weekend!

 I'll be one of the author signing. I hope you'll come!

Join 47 + of your favorite authors for a Book Fair & Author Autographing Event to Benefit Literacy
Georgia Romance Writers will host a Book Fair & Author Autographing for Literacy, featuring more than 47 authors representing a variety of romance and other genres as part of its Moonlight & Magnolias (M&M) 2012 Conference October 5-7 at the Atlanta Hilton Northeast in Norcross, Georgia. The book fair will be free and open to the public and a portion of every book sale benefits Georgia Literacy.
Date: Saturday, October 6
Time: 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Peachtree Corners Room
Atlanta Hilton Northeast
5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Norcross, Georgia 30092-3416
Buy some great reads and purchase tickets for author baskets with proceeds also going to literacy.
Peerless Book Store, which will be stocking many of the titles, will be open for business at the Georgia Romance Writers M&M Conference selling books on the craft and business of writing, books by this year’s conference speakers and books to be signed at Saturday’s Book Fair.
The Peerless Book Store sales nook will be located in the Norcross Room at the Atlanta Hilton Northeast in Norcross, Georgia. Book shop hours will be Saturday, October 6 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Peerless Books, located near the hotel, is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.  and welcomes all conference attendees or the public for a chance to purchase any books they missed during the conference.
Peerless Book Store
8465 Holcomb Bridge Road
Alpharetta, Georgia 30022
770-650-READ (7323)
Featured authors:
Julia Quinn
Debby Giusti
Jeffrey Stepakoff
Juli Alexander
Mark All
Marilyn Baron
Kimberly Brock
Grace Burrowes
Susan Carlisle
Manda Collins
Darcy Crowder
Janet Dean
Joyce Elson Moore
Bonnie Gardner
Anju  Gattani
Connie Gillam
Kendall Grey
Emilee Hines
Roslyn  Hardy Holcomb
Jennifer Jakes
Christine Johnson
Kellie Kamryn
Debbie Kaufman
Kimberly Killion
Ciara Knight
Pamela Labud
Linsey Lanier
Jade Lee
Donna MacMeans
Alicia McCalla
Casi McLean
Hildie McQueen
Tanya Michaels
Trish Milburn
Nancy Northcott
Jana  Oliver
Robin Perini
Lindi Peterson
Larissa Reinhart
Leigh Riker
Renee Ryan
Haywood Smith
Kelly L. Stone
Sandy Sullivan
Stephanie Taylor
Leslie Tentler
Missy Tippens
Leanne Tyler
Rachel Van Dyken
Victoria Vane

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Photos from the ACFW Conference

I shared some photos from the ACFW conference today on the Faith Girls blog. I hope you'll stop by and check them out! :)


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Want to Write for Love Inspired Suspense?

If you've ever wanted to write for Love Inspired Suspense, I have some great information for you! Here's what my editor sent for me to share:

Love Inspired Suspense is looking for new authors, and we’re running a fast track submissions period (submit a synopsis and first chapter in Oct, get a response by Nov.). All the details are here: click here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Want to Be a Writer?

If you're interested in learning from some of the industry's best, check this out!

So You Think You Can Write boot camp starts today! Click here to learn more about this contest that could lead to a publishing contract!

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Publishing Experience :)

I loved this series of images about the angst we as authors go through to sell our books and see our names on the shelf. :)

Nathan Bransford put this together on his blog. It's a series in GIF format, so be sure to wait long enough for the page to load (wait until you see the motion in each photo).

Enjoy a peek into my life. :)

Click here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sharing a Video

My wonderful agent Natasha Kern shared a video with me this morning. It brought a smile to my face...and made me cry. A very touching piece demonstrating how alike we humans are no matter where on this globe we live.

I don't have any way to embed the video, so I'm just giving you a link. Be sure you have your volume turned up to hear the music.



Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A Fun New App!

I know I've shared with you before about our nephew, Buster Posey, who plays for the San Francisco Giants. Well, we just heard about a new app for the iPhone that's called Buster Bash! :)

I got the free app yesterday and have had fun with it. Obviously, it's a baseball game app. It's gotten high ratings and, yes, it's addictive! :)

Click here if you're interested in checking it out. I'm still on the first level, but it's fun to see they even include the name of the road where he grew up! It's where our kids played ball with all the Posey kids in the field in front of their house.

Now, off to practice batting some more. Obviously, the baseball talent genes come through my husband's family and not mine! :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tough Times?

Our choir director sang He Will Carry Me by Mark Schultz at church today. I've always loved it, but it really touched me this morning. I wanted to share it with any of you who are having a tough time right now. I hope God uses it to comfort you.

  Click here to watch it on YouTube.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beach Photos!

My husband, kids and I went to the beautiful Alabama coast last week and had a fabulous time at the beach! Lots of time for relaxation, lots of good, fresh seafood. Lots of laugher and family time!

I'm sharing some photos (and short videos) from vacation on the Seekerville blog today! I hope you'll drop by.

Click here to visit.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth, everyone!

And happy birthday to the U.S.A.! I'm proud and feel so blessed to live in this great country. Thank you to all who've served to make this country great!

I hope you all have a wonderful day with family. We'll be grilling out and enjoying a day at home. :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Welcome Guest Allie Pleiter!

I'm glad to welcome Love Inspired author Allie Pleiter to the blog today to share some interesting trivia! Allie and I have sat beside each other at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest for the last two years. She's so fun to hang out with!

Allie has a new book out from Love Inspired Historical titled Homefront Hero. Check it out below!

So, Allie, can you tell my readers 10 random things they may not know about you?

1)  I was a theater major in college, and my career goal was to be a soap opera villainess. Turns out, six foot tall is just too darn tall to work in television.  And, I’m delighted to say, it turns out I’m not very good at acting evil.

2)  I’m an “Irish Twin.”  My poor mother had two kids in the same year at the age of 36.  I can’t imagine why she stopped after my brother and I :).

3)  I’m not very tidy.  Actually, everybody knows that about me. There’s a reason it’s in my bio.  If you could see my desk right now, you’d wonder how I ever get anything done.

4)  You couldn’t pay me to drink root beer or Dr. Pepper.  Can’t stand the stuff.  Now, coffee, on the other hand...

5)  I play three instruments--harp, guitar, and organ.  I don’t play anymore, but there was a time I could rock out on all three.  Well, as much as you can rock out on a harp (which isn’t much).

6)  I grew up on Long Island sound, a child of the Atlantic coast.  I can read a tide-table, tack a sailing boat, and cook a lobster with the best of them.

7)  I’m a Presbyterian Elder.  Unlike lots of other writers, I love administrative tasks, budgets, spreadsheets, goal charts, and leading meetings.

8)  I love to fly in airplanes but hate roller coasters.  And while I’ve parasailed, I will never, ever jump out of airplane no matter how many parachutes you strap to my back.

9)  I carried calla lilies at my wedding.  I loved the retro drama of them but my mother thought they looked like funeral flowers.  It was a tense day for everyone.

10)          I never liked history in school, but I love it now.  Writing historical fiction isn’t anything like spouting facts for a test.  Here’s proof: 

Allie Pleiter
Love Inspired Historical
May 2012

Back cover copy:
Dashing and valiantly wounded, Captain John Gallows could have stepped straight out of an army recruitment poster. Leanne Sample can't help being impressed—although the lovely Red Cross nurse tries to hide it. She knows better than to get attached to the daring captain who is only home to heal and help rally support for the war's final push. As soon as he's well enough, he'll rush back to Europe, back to war—and far away from South Carolina and Leanne. But when an epidemic strikes close to home, John comes to realize what it truly means to be a hero—Leanne's hero.

Author Bio:
An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction.  The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework.  Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois.  The “dare from a friend” to begin writing has produced two parenting books, fourteen novels, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing.  Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com or her knitting blog at www.DestiKNITions.blogspot.com

Monday, May 28, 2012


Let's honor those who sacrificed for us by remembering. I hope you have a blessed Memorial Day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Popping in to Say Hi!

I'm sorry I've hardly posted lately! I'm finishing a new book, Georgia Sweethearts, due out in the spring of 2013. I hope to type The End on the first draft today!! Yay!

An old shot of me working.

The first draft is such a time of discovery. And the pace varies. In the beginning, on the first three chapters, it can go sort of slow since I'm trying to find just the right words for that oh-so-important opening that has to hook readers. Although, I usually have the chapters pretty well plotted out, so I keep a decent pace.

Then I hit chapter 4 or 5, and it's almost always like hitting a wall. The next few chapters are like pulling teeth as I feel my way around the story and try to make sure I've set up good conflict. This is the roughest area that usually needs the most revising once I finish.

Then I get really into the story and the next several chapters come pretty easily.

And then as I approach what writers call the big black moment (the big point near the end where it seems all is lost), the writing starts to fly. From there to the end is one of my favorite parts. I usually don't want to stop writing!

And that's the point I'm at now. :)

I'll check back in soon, once I finish. And next week, I look forward to having a guest on the blog. Love Inspired author Allie Pleiter will be visiting to share Ten Random Facts You May Not Know. Fun!!

Allie Pleiter

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!

I hope you have a great Mother's Day. Please hug your mothers and/or mother figures and tell them you love them!

I wanted to share this. A poem that was read the other night at a Mother-Daughter banquet I attended with my daughter. I absolutely loved and couldn't wait to share it with you.

By the way, this has been attributed to Cindy Lange-Kubick, but I can't find it directly from the source. I hope I've correctly attributed it! Also, I found a couple of different versions and decided to just choose what looked like the most complete.


Mothers: Every Year is Their Year

This is for all the mothers who didn’t win Mother of the Year in 1999.
All the runners-up and all the wannabes. The mothers too tired to enter or too busy to care.
This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at soccer games Friday night instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, “Did you see my goal?”, they could say “Of course, wouldn’t have missed it for the world,”and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer winners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, “It’s OK honey, Mommy’s here.”
This is for all the mothers of Kosovo who fled in the night and can’t find their children.
This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and made them homes.
For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes.
And all the mothers who DON’T.
What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips?
The ability to nurse a baby, fry a chicken, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it heart?
Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?
The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 a.m. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?
The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a school shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying?
I think so.
So this is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to but just couldn’t.
This is for reading “Goodnight, Moon”twice a night for a year. And then reading it again. “Just one more time.”
This is for all the mothers who mess up. Who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair and stomp their feet like a tired 2-year-old who wants ice cream before dinner.
This is for all the mothers who taught their daughters to tie their shoelaces before they started school.
And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
For all the mothers who bite their lips — sometimes until they bleed — when their 14 year olds dye their hair green. Who lock themselves in the bathroom when babies keep crying and won’t stop.
This is for the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.
This is for all the mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls “Mom?”in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home.
This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children’s graves.
This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them.
This is for all the mothers who sent their sons to school with stomachaches, assuring them they’d be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.
This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for you all. So hang in there.
Better luck next year, I’ll be rooting for you.
(Cindy Lange-Kubick, Lincoln Journal Star)