Monthly Archives: September 2015

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the truth about drew | 99 pennies

Goodbye, Magnolia has had plenty of sales lately, so I thought it only fair to give Drew a little discount as well.
Now through Sunday, October 4th, The Truth About Drew is only 99¢ on Kindle ebook.
Get The Truth About Drew HERE!

Happy reading!

Fall Into Reading Sale

As I mentioned the other day, Fall is my favorite time of the year, so in honor of this beautiful season, I’m taking part in a little sale. I’m part of a wonderful group of independent authors online, and we’ve got over 80 books on sale for the next five days – September 23-27th – over at cleanindiereadsale.com.

Goodbye, Magnolia will be discounted to $1.99, but for the first TWO DAYS of the sale, the eBook with be FREE. Yep, that’s right. I said “FREE!” Been waiting to snatch up a copy? Now is the best time ever. Know someone who loves clean, sweet romance books with lots of weddings? Please pass this link along to them: Viewbook.at/GoodbyeMagnolia.

Happy fall reading!

fall photo finds

Fall is my favorite! I’ve loved the cool breeze, the leaves changing colors, cozy sweatshirt & jeans weather, for as long as I can remember. On Saturday morning, I opened the door and discovered several leaves in shades of red on my back steps and it made me really happy. :)

This morning, as I was browsing through some old photos of locations from The Truth About Drew, I discovered some wonderful fall photos of Chloe that I had forgotten about. I originally shared some location pictures HERE on Pinterest and there are a couple of her up on Mt. Baldy, one of the most important locations in the book, only the bench she’s on is not the one I pictured while writing the book. So today, when I found these, I was ecstatic.

They were taken in mid-October 2010 when Chloe was 7 at Mt. Baldy Scenic Lookout near Hastings.

The railroad tie steps to the top.


And the very bench from the book. :)

I love these so much. Really need to frame the one of her on the bench.

When I look at that bench, I can almost picture Claire and Drew sitting there, her head leaned on his shoulder. This scene comes to mind:

On Sunday afternoon, Claire decided to take a walk up Mt. Baldy. It had been kind of lonely lately without Drew around as much, and she missed his presence. In those quiet moments with him, when no words were necessary, she felt the most like herself. She didn’t really care for the anxious, confused insomniac she had become.

Old leaves from autumns past crunched under her feet as she walked along the familiar path. A squirrel ran across in front of her with a large nut in its mouth. There was rustling in the bushes to her right. Every sound seemed amplified and she was beginning to feel a little paranoid. She had walked this path dozens of times before, but always with Drew. Never alone. Where she normally felt happy and peaceful walking up that hill, now she felt sad and lonely.

She glanced over her shoulder at nothing, then took the old railroad tie steps to the top as quickly as she could. As she pushed past the branches of the big pine tree at the top, she spotted someone sitting on the bench. Her heart nearly burst out of her chest with happiness. She felt like running to embrace him, but she approached slowly, afraid she was dreaming or that it wasn’t actually him. But it was. That sandy blond head of his was bowed forward a bit, his eyes were closed, and it looked as if he was deep in prayer. He opened his eyes and smiled at her without a word.

The Truth About Drew is a young adult novel, but I’ve had so many adults read it and tell me that they were moved to tears. I hope you’ll check it out if you haven’t already. You can get your copy here:
Viewbook.at/TheTruthAboutDrew.

Thanks, guys! Happy reading!

anniversary party | our boy


Since I shared some pictures of Chloe the other day, it seems only right to share some of Zach next. Zach had been sick that week with a bad virus (Fever, sore throat, aches, etc. Same one Chloe had a week before.), and we told him he only needed to come outside for a few family pictures, then he could go rest inside on the couch. He felt well enough after taking some fever medicine to hang out under the tent and have a little something to eat. I love his smile in this one (above). No doubt Uncle Rick said something to make him laugh. He loves his uncles.

Another favorite (below right). Mostly because of my Aunt Shari and cousin Karen’s great laughs that were captured. :)

I’m just gonna keep saying “favorite” because I love the great smiles on Rene (my mom’s dear friend) and my brother Tim’s faces in this one. Everyone was waiting patiently here for the delicious homemade ice cream, which I’ll share more about in another post. It was so good, so creamy, and I’m sure it felt good on Zach’s sore throat.

He did get some sweet moments in with adorable cousin Violet. Not long after this is when he started feeling miserable again as his fever spiked. :(

It was such a bummer that the nasty virus had to strike the week of the party, but I’m glad he was able to enjoy some of the day.

We didn’t get a photo with just me and Zach like I did with Chloe. That only really happened because she placed herself in front of the camera as she does so well. There are some nice ones of our little family, but I’m going to hold off on sharing those because I will be using some for our annual Christmas card this year and will share them then.

Have a wonderful weekend!

** All photos taken by Lindsey Gerlinger Photography and edited by yours truly. :)

anniversary party | our girl


I will forever be indebted to my friend Lindsey for capturing all the wonderful moments she did at our 20th anniversary party last month. There are so many that I will be sharing several posts showing the people, decorations, food, etc. Little by little. Today, I’m sharing a few favorites of me and Chloe. This girl loves to pose. She learned that from having her mama stick a camera in her face her entire life. ;) But she’s such a little beauty and so photogenic. I love the two photos above. Favorites.

She spent some time during the party looking through our wedding album and photo albums I laid out filled with pictures other people had taken at our wedding and sent to us, as well as photos from the little disposable cameras we had on all the reception tables.

My mom pulled my dress out and had it on display. Puffed sleeves and all. When I saw the picture on the right, I got a little glimpse of the future right there. Eeek! She did say, “Mom, you know those people who say ‘When I get married, I’m gonna wear my mom’s wedding dress’? Well, I am not one of those people.” Cracked me up.

Sweet moment. <3

All photos taken by Lindsey Gerlinger Photography and edited by yours truly.

another first day

Summer went too fast. It always does. I didn’t mind the first day of school when the kids were little. There would be lots of first days of school ahead, I thought. Too many to worry about. But now I can count on one hand the number of those first days both of my kids have left in school, and that’s scary and kind of unbelievable to me.

I am excited for them, for this new year ahead. I pray they both learn and grow and find a class they love with a favorite teacher that inspires them. I pray that their whole school experience helps to shape them into the adults they will be one day (too soon!).

And I pray they stay silly for as long as they possibly can!

all the green

When we’re deep in the midst of winter, and I’m longing for the snow to melt and warmer weather to come, this is the blog post I’m going to look back on.

Green. So much green everywhere.

I’ll browse through these photos and remember these moments when everything was so alive. I’ll remember walking through the peaceful paths, birds in flight, critters scurrying about, thanking God for the all of the beauty.

I’ll remember that it will be green again and look forward to more adventures in our beautiful state.

Enjoy these lovely locations captured in the Porcupine Mountains on my annual camping trip with my friend Jen. :)














hello, monday

Happy Labor Day! The unofficial last weekend of summer before school starts around here. It’s actually been a quiet few days here for us as I’ve been sick since last week with the virus my kids recently had, so we stayed close to home, watched lots of reruns of Parks & Rec, quietly celebrated Zach’s 15th birthday together, and missed a family reunion. :(

It’s not exactly the end of summer I had in mind, but sometimes you have to rest when you don’t want to, slow down when you don’t feel like you have the time, and stay home when you’d rather go out. This sickness has had me in a bit of a fog, too, which I can’t stand. I started feeling a little “off” the last week of August, which I now know was the beginnings of this virus.

Here’s a little recap of the last couple weeks of our summer break.

On the 26th (our 20th anniversary), I took Zach to the high school to get his schedule, get his photos taken, and find his locker. We walked down my old hallway, where I showed him my locker from my four years there. :) That was fun for me. I walked straight to it, like my mind and body just remembered the path I had walked all those days and weeks and months so many years ago.

Jake and I went to Olive Garden for lunch to celebrate 20 years of marriage. Love me some chicken parmigiana. After lunch, we browsed around Kohl’s, where I got some new running shoes and a pineapple corer. Random, yes? But I’ve been wanting to pick one up. We stopped by Barnes & Noble next. It’s been a while since we did that. I used to go there all the time when the kids were younger and I needed a break. I would browse, get coffee, sit and write in my journal. Every once in a while, I would buy a book just because I liked the cover and the blurb on the back. Now that I have published books of my own, I appreciate books even more. So much work to get them to their place on those shelves in Barnes & Noble. Maybe one day one of mine will find its way there, too.

That week, Goodbye, Magnolia was on sale for 99¢ and by Friday morning, I discovered that it had moved up the best seller charts to #9 in Christian Contemporary Romance in both the Books and eBooks lists. Such a blessing. And I was excited to see it right next to The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay, whose books I adore. Magnolia hung out there in the Top 100 all weekend. It was a lot of fun!

We spent the weekend with Jake’s Mom and our nieces, but I just didn’t feel like myself and ended up not being very energetic. The kids spent a lot of time outside, except when it rained, and Chloe and Scarlett baked brownies with MiMaw to celebrate Zach’s birthday.


We celebrated Zach’s birthday at my parents’ house this past Friday with a movie night (Paul Blart Mall Cop 2) and Jets Pizza. It’s hard to believe my little baby boy is 15 years old already. Soon he will be driving and I don’t even want to think about graduation and going off to college, but it’s inching closer with each passing day.

This week was also about Chloe’s middle school open house. She got her schedule, her school pictures taken, her locker found and opened (several times) and decorated. She ran into a bunch of her friends and had to take pictures with them, of course. The halls were a flurry of activity, and it gave me that excited and nervous feeling I used to get when it was almost time for a new year of school to begin. I’m excited for the year ahead for both the kids. I hope they will learn lots of new things and have great 7th and 10th grade years.

Chloe had an eye exam this week, too, and got new glasses. So cute. She also got contacts for the first time. She’s very excited about them and is getting much better at putting them in and taking them out of her eyes. It took her like 30-45 minutes to do it the first time she tried. She was so frustrated and in tears, but she had to do it before they would let her take the contacts home. Once she did it a couple times, it was no big deal.

As this new school year begins tomorrow, so does my writing schedule. It’s full steam ahead on edits and rewrites for the new book. And I plan to blog more, so stay tuned for that.

i love book bloggers

A few months ago, I decided to reach out to a handful of book bloggers to see if they would be open to reading and reviewing Goodbye, Magnolia for me. My expectations were low as I knew these ladies receive lots of books from major publishers every month and have busy reading schedules, but I was surprised and so impressed to hear back from more than half the bloggers I contacted. Only a few said they were too busy, which I completely understood. But the group of lovely ladies below all said they were more than happy to review my little book. Every one of these ladies has been so kind and I just don’t have enough wonderful words to say about them all.

What does a book blogger do, you ask? They read, read, read a lot of books and share their honest opinions on their blog. Sometimes they host giveaways or author interviews. Mostly they just love books, they love talking about books, sharing what they thought of a book, and spreading the word about new releases.

Not everyone gave my book 5 bright shiny stars, which was expected. Most loved it, some just liked it, one did not care for it. I took everyone’s comments to heart, and it just made me realize how different we all are. We all sit down to read with our own life stories and backgrounds and perspectives. Some people will see my books one way, others will see them from a whole different angle. I get that and I’m fine with it. I appreciate everyone’s honesty. I really do.

I don’t think I could ever be a book blogger. It would be fun to read tons of books for free, but I’m not very good at rating books. I tend to give 4 or 5 stars to every book I read with simple comments like “I loved it!” or “I really liked it!”. :D

I think I’ll just stick with writing books and leave the book blogging to these girls, who are really good at it.

Amber
Becky
Britt
Britney
Heidi
Karen
Kat
Krista
Margaret
Mary
Michelle
Paige
Shecki
Tima

Thank you so much, ladies. I can’t say it enough.

Also want to give a shout out to my launch team girls, who also shared reviews of my book on their blog when the book launched in May.
Thanks to Anita, Laura and Nicole.

AJAXed with AWP