crying at christmas

It’s been a while since I wrote an actual post here. Mostly, I’ve been taking all the words I’ve got and pouring them into my books. But this blog started out as a place to share my thoughts, my pictures, things I was going through, in the hope of connecting with family and friends and others who came across my blog. So my hope is to get back to that a little more from now on and share a little more of me.

A few weeks ago, I went to a Christmas musical with my parents at the church where I grew up. It was lovely, the message wonderful – Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas! If not for Him, there would be nothing to celebrate. Toward the end, I felt a little like a few tears might escape, but I held them in.

This is something I had been doing a lot over the past year since we found out my dad needed a liver transplant. Maybe longer, I don’t know. I’d been holding things in, trying to stay strong, and for whatever reason, I had turned off my emotions and felt a little numb. I’m not sure why I didn’t feel like it was OK to cry about this. I just couldn’t.

But that night after I got home, some little family drama unfolded here. Nothing major really in the grand scheme of things. Just bickering and such. Words were said. Doors were slammed. Teenage attitude reared its ugly head. And when everyone had retreated to their little corners of our house, I sat alone by the Christmas tree and started to cry. And cry. And cry. And cry.

I went to bed early and cried. Woke up crying. And then I sat down and started writing this post, totally weeping. So much so that I stopped writing, saved it for later, and stepped away from my computer.

This past year was difficult, and I really felt like I should’ve been celebrating rather than crying my eyes out. Because my dad got his liver on November 7th! He’s on the road to recovery. God answered our prayers. Dad was able to attend that Christmas musical with us and see many of the friends who had been praying him through all along.

There was a mishmash of reasons I was crying. But mostly I think it was tears of joy over all God brought us through. When my bout of crying ended, I felt so much better for having finally let it out after holding it all inside for a year.

I guess I just wanted to share this because it’s what I was going through. It’s real and honest and true. And because I know I’m not the only one who was crying at Christmastime, but I know it’s OK that I was.

“For everything there is a season … a time to cry and a time to laugh.”
— Ecclesiastes 3

18 Hours To Us! It’s HERE!

She struggles w/storms of the past. He has the world in front of him & still feels lost.

No matter how many books I publish, the giddy feeling I get when one releases into the world never gets old. I’m excited for you to read Natalie and Colton’s sweet road trip romance, but this story is about more than just that. It’s about having the whole world in front of you and feeling lost. It’s about the storms we face in life, about letting go of the past, about forgiveness.

There are some tough topics in this story, and I have no idea who will read this book or who God intends to use it for, but I pray it will touch someone right where they’re at.

This story also has plenty of sweet, funny, romantic moments. These two characters have been so fun to hang out with since they first hit the page in June. I LOVE a good road trip and have actually taken the route they took to Virginia Beach in the book (minus one national park and a couple fictional stops).

I hope you enjoy 18 Hours To Us. The book will remain on a release week special of just 99¢ thru Cyber Monday.


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday here in the US.
Happy reading!


One of my Amazon readers, Enid, recently reviewed my Cornerstone boxed set and made the comment that if she had read the books separately, she would have probably given them 4-stars each, but reading all of them together made her want to give them more than 5-stars.

Here is what she said:

Usually I rate every book separately and believe all books should stand alone. If I did that with the Cornerstone series I might only give each of them a four. But reading all three I will give them a 5 plus. I can’t even begin to pick out a favorite character. The characters are so well developed that I even liked the ones that maybe you weren’t supposed to like. And I’m thinking I’d like to go back and get a degree in counseling. I recommend this book for anyone whose life has not been perfect, who has at one time or another been angry at God and questioned why he does things his way.

I totally agree with her! The books as a set tell a more complete story, which is why I’m so happy that they are all bundled in a boxed set now. The 3-book boxed set is $7.99. But for two days, you can GET THE FIRST TWO BOOKS for FREE (HERE and HERE) and then pick up Until Then for just $3.99. That’s 60% off the individually priced books, and you get the whole series for less than that pumpkin spice latte you know you want even though it’s not even officially fall yet. ;)

P.S. Her counseling comment has to do with Michelle’s story in Until Then.

Happy reading!

44 at 44

Earlier this month, we made a decision as a family to stop eating unhealthy foods and stay away from fast food and pop. It’s going really well so far. My goal is to lose 44 lbs by my 45th birthday. ;) If I lose more than that, I won’t complain, but that’s my first big goal.

I’ve been making up scrambled eggs, sausage, and bacon on Sunday nights so we can easily put some in a bowl, heat it up, and start our days right. Jake takes some to work with him every morning. Sometimes we bake up eggs, sausage or bacon, and cheese in the muffin tin (400 degrees for 20 minutes) and have those, which are super easy and convenient. The kids aren’t being as strict as Jake and I, which is fine with us. They tend to eat toast or waffles for breakfast. Sometimes a bowl of cereal.

I usually eat a light lunch because I just haven’t been that hungry and it doesn’t take much to make me full. I’m trying to listen to my body and eat only what’s necessary rather than devouring more than I really need. So it’s typically a salad with a small amount of dressing (using Olive Garden lately), a few strips of chicken if there’s some grilled up, maybe some almonds. Some days I’ll just heat up a little chicken or pork along with a veggie and I’m good to go. And I always love zoodles (zucchini noodles shown above) with some Olive Garden dressing. Jake takes meat and veggies with him to work. This weekend we made white chicken chili, so he took leftovers of that with him today. Zach takes a peanut butter sandwich to school every day. He pretty much has since he was in kindergarten. But he no longer takes chips and a Little Debbie snack cake. He takes cheese, a fruit cup (peaches), cucumbers, and cashews. Chloe takes a bowl of salad with a little Olive Garden dressing. She also likes Babybel cheese and some fruit (strawberries or blueberries or both).

We usually have whatever meat we’ve pre-cooked on Sunday – chicken, pork, salmon – along with veggies of some kind. We aren’t eating potatoes too much, but we aren’t completely cutting them out. We’ll have a few mini potatoes with dinner once in a while. We’ve pretty much done away with bread (except the kids), so no rolls or biscuits along with dinner.

I think one of the keys to this working so far has been having healthy snacks for in-between mealtimes.

• Almonds
• Cubed cheese
• String cheese
• Apples w/a little almond butter to dip them in (love almond butter)
• Carrots & hummus
• Greek yogurt (plain) with some fruit

For a little treat, we bought a trail mix that is mixed nuts, cranberries, raisins, and mini dark chocolate/white chocolate chips. That has helped when we just want something sweet.

So far, I have lost 10 lbs and 2 inches off my waist and hips. I think Jake has lost about 6 lbs so far. The kids aren’t really keeping track. Neither of them were really overweight, especially Chloe, who is always conditioning at gymnastics practice. Just as long as they are eating healthier, that’s all that really matters to me.

One more thing I’ve started doing is drinking H2OJ. Many of you know I was on Becky Higgins’ Project Life Creative Team a few years ago. One of her wonderful employees, Molly, has lost 60 lbs. since last fall and she shared her weight loss and healthy eating journey recently and one of her tips was to get 100% orange juice (not from concentrate) and drink 1 part OJ to 7 parts water. She said the theory behind this is that when we wake up our body is dehydrated, so this helps to hydrate us by starting off our day drinking this. The orange juice helps to stabilize blood sugar. Here is a link to her post with 10 great tips for eating healthy. Very similar to what we’re already doing, but I found all her tips very helpful and just kind of reaffirmed that we’re on the right track.

I was tired. Of being overweight. Of having my clothing fit so snugly. Of being tired. Of aching all over. I was having a problem with my sciatic nerve and just overall sick of feeling bad! I started going to Planet Fitness in January and I went at least 1-2 times a week for 5 months. I lost probably 5-7 lbs during that time. I’m sure some fat was lost and muscle gained and muscle weighs more, but still. Just wasn’t seeing results because the eating hadn’t really changed much. Time to change that!

The kids. They don’t like that Jake is overweight especially. He has tried many times to lose the weight, and they have tried to help. My hope is that doing this as a family will really help this to be the time it sticks, and I know the kids feel the same way.

My dad. He was overweight for many years and it did a number on his liver, which is why he is now on the transplant list. I don’t want that to happen to me or Jake or the kids somewhere down the line. So that is a huge motivation right there to get healthy.

Thanks for following along with our journey, friends!

cover reveal | 18 Hours to Us

The title and cover for this novel came pretty quickly to me after I started writing it in early June, and so many times this summer I was itching to share. This past weekend, my newsletter subscribers got the first look. So now I’m revealing it to the world. No release date set in stone for this one yet. I’m hoping by the time the leaves fall and the first snow hits the ground that it will be in your hands (or on your Kindles). ;)

If you’re on Goodreads, the book is listed there and you can hop on over and add it to your “to read” list.


When Natalie Rhodes left her house early that fateful morning to catch the bus to her senior class trip, she never expected to end up in a car with Colton Daynes–the guy she’s had a crush on since first grade, the guy who has no idea who she is. But when Colton’s irresponsible driving causes them both to miss the bus, the unlikely pair set off on a road trip from Michigan to Virginia Beach to catch up with their classmates.

From the tiny village of Middleville, the popular football star and the quiet gymnast will navigate back roads and highways, travel from lake towns to waterfalls to mountaintops and beyond, all the while fielding texts from Colton’s friends and mean girl, Lexi, who also happens to be Colton’s girlfriend.

Hours spent together on the road will lead them to places they’ve never been, discovering hidden talents, revealing secrets and fears. And they just might realize they have more in common than they know.


Out of the Ashes | new book release

I am so excited to share today about the release of OUT OF THE ASHES. This third book in the epic Ancient Words Series by author A.M. Heath follows the beloved characters from the first two books and introduces some new characters as well, all amidst the aftermath of the Civil War. I’ve been so impressed since Book 1 with the amount of research that was put into these books, taking us onto the battle fields of the war and into the homes of those waiting to hear if their loved ones made it out alive. In Out of the Ashes, we journey with the survivors as they return to their homes, back to normal life, some making pitstops along the way, encountering unexpected and unwanted situations, all on the path God meant for them to travel.

Without giving spoilers, I will just say that I was most looking forward to Ralph’s story and I loved how that all played out. If you are a fan of historical fiction, this is a series that you don’t want to miss. It will tug at your heartstrings and bring tears to your eyes many times as it did mine.

Sometimes peace is won through battle.

Haunted by the memories he can’t escape, Ralph Williams wants to be left alone to lick his wounds. He doesn’t understand why he’s forced into the company of the one woman he least desires. Can God bring him healing through such uncomfortable circumstances?

Frank Harper thought he had left the war and its turmoil behind, but the home to which he has returned is anything but peaceful. When racial tensions arise in Maple Grove, Frank finds himself on a battlefield once more. He’s desperate for peace, but at what cost?

When George Chandler heads off to wed his beloved bride, things don’t go as expected. Just as George starts to get comfortable with what he believes is God’s new plan for his life, history threatens to repeat itself. Will he fight for the woman he’s come to love, or will he let her go?

The War Between the States has destroyed more than just a nation. In four years, it has damaged bodies and wounded souls until the people think that nothing is left. Will they find the healing they so desperately need from the God that loves them?


And if you haven’t read any of the books in this series yet, you can get started right now for FREE! with Book 1, Where Can I Flee.
And Book 2 In the Shadow of Thy Wings is just $1.50. Sale Ends August 4th.

Today at 1pm (Central Time) begins a PARTY over on FACEBOOK to celebrate the book’s release. The party goes from August 1 – 3 so feel free to stop by any time and take part in the discussion and enter the fun giveaways.

One GREAT GIVEAWAY the author has going on right now is a full set of paperback copies of the whole series!

About the Author:
Besides being an Indie Author, A.M. HEATH is a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What she’s not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.


a fresh start


Anyone else feel like July 4th is the real start to summer? I know most people are so excited when Memorial Day hits and then school’s out and “it’s summer!” but maybe I’m just slow to transition from the school year schedule. It always feels like I don’t quite settle into it until July. (Plus, it’s my birthday month, so yay!)

Another thing about July … for me, it always feels like a new beginning. Maybe it’s because my planner is an academic one and starts in July. Maybe it’s because we’re halfway through the year and it feels like a fresh start for the second half. I don’t know. But I like the feeling anyway.

What are your goals for the second half of 2017?

Mine …

• Get to the gym or outside running at least 3x/week
• Healthy meals at home (we have eaten out so much lately and I feel blah.)
• Catch up on my Read the Bible in a year reading plan.

Happy summer!

3 books for 99 cents!

Yes, you read that right!
The Kindle boxed set of my Cornerstone series is only 99¢ NOW thru July 6th.

Pass this great deal on to your friends before the set goes back up to regular price next week!

I’ll be back soon with updates on what I’m writing this summer.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend and lots of happy reading!

don’t worry!

Something I’ve been dealing with the past week or two has been letting go of things I cannot control, which has always been a challenge for me. When I wrote Goodbye, Magnolia, I put a lot of myself into the character of Maggie, one of those characteristics being that she just can’t seem to let go and trust that God has a plan, that He sees the big picture when we can’t. It’s something I’m constantly re-learning in my life, something I fail at often. Because even though I know that God’s in control and truly believe it in my heart, I’m still human and I make mistakes and I’m not too proud to admit that. Every time I go through times like this, my mind returns to the verse that says “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Nope! But I still do it.

My husband’s car broke down last week. I worry about it getting fixed so I don’t have to drive him back and forth to work.

Dad’s got a heart catheterization coming up to make sure his heart is all good and can handle liver transplant surgery. I worry about that, for sure.

My daughter is currently without a gym as we chose to leave the gymnastics team she competed with last season. I worry about finding a new gym for her for this year.

I’ve got a sale coming up on my 3-book set at the end of the week. I worry about promoting it well, whether it will be a successful sale, and if I will make the money back that I paid to advertise it.

These are only a few of the things weighing on my mind these past weeks, and everything kind of came to a head this weekend, leaving me feeling quite overwhelmed.

But when I step back and look at each of these things individually, I know they will all work out. One thing at a time. Jake will get his car fixed. Dad’s heart doctor will tell us if he finds anything troubling and it will get fixed. We will find a gym for Chloe. And even if only one person buys the book set during the sale, then that person was probably the only one that was meant to read it and that’s OK. ;)
So, I’m learning and growing (hopefully), and I’m praying that next time I feel the worry coming on, I’ll say, “Nope! Don’t need to worry about that. God’s brought you through a lot worse than this.”

I’m sure I’m not the only worrier out there, so here is the passage I mentioned in case you need to be reminded of this today, too:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.”
Matthew 6:25-27

Have a blessed week!

the Cornerstone series

May has always been my month for releasing my books. In May 2014, my first novel, The Truth About Drew, came out. The following year it was Goodbye, Magnolia, and then last May I released Until Then. So when this May rolled around, it left me feeling a little sad that I didn’t have a new release for you. I am writing my next novel right now, but it might not come out until next May. I’d love to get it to you before that, but I’d be OK with another May release. And it takes place in the summer, so it’s going to be a nice beach read.

For quite a while now, I’ve been wanting to put all of the books in my Cornerstone series into a boxed set eBook. I loved the idea of having them all in one eBook so readers could gobble them all up at one time. ;)

One major change I made when putting this eBook together was to move the epilogue of Goodbye, Magnolia to the very end of the series. At the end of that book, we jump forward in time nearly a year and you see where Maggie and Simon end up. The second book, Hello, Forever, which is the sequel novella, then jumps back to the same night Goodbye, Magnolia ends and continues on for a couple months into the early days of Maggie & Simon’s relationship. The final book, Until Then, tells Michelle’s story, but also goes back even further for a glimpse at their college days and continues on through the days following Hello, Forever. So the epilogue from Magnolia really belongs at the very end of all of the books and that’s exactly where I put it. It felt right to have it end that way. It made sense to me, because my brain likes things to be chronological in order.

And since I hadn’t originally planned to write a series, making this big 3-book boxed set allowed me to put everything in its proper order. Yes, I am a little bit picky when it comes to my books.

Is this the end of the series?

I don’t think so.

I still have plans to write Emma’s story at some point. And there are some other side characters whose stories I would like to tell eventually. But for now, these three books tell a complete story and I’m fine with that. Other books that may come in the future will probably stand on their own, so you won’t have to have read the other books to read them. But I’m sure Maggie, Michelle, and Simon will make an appearance in those, because I love my characters and already miss writing about them.

The CORNERSTONE SERIES can be purchased HERE or read for FREE on KINDLE UNLIMITED.

AJAXed with AWP