Monthly Archives: June 2016

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fathers in my books

Happy Father’s Day! We’re off to my parents’ farm to hang out for the day, celebrate dad and Jake, have good food and fun with family. On this special day as we celebrate fathers, here are a few snippets of scenes from my books of Claire, Maggie and Michelle’s dads.

The Truth About Drew

“How was school, Claire Bear?” asked Dad.

Claire groaned at her father’s endearment.

“Sorry,” he caught himself. “I know you think you’re too old for that, but you’ll always be my Claire Bear.”

Goodbye Magnolia - Cornerstone Book 1

“Merry Christmas, Magpie.” Her father, Ron, greeted her with outstretched arms and lifted her up in a big bear hug, his salt and pepper whiskers tickled her cheek.

“Dad, put me down!” She hugged him back and gave him a kiss on the cheek as he lowered her to the floor.

Until Then - Cornerstone Book 2

With all the chaos, Michelle had forgotten that it was Father’s Day. Of all possible days, this was the one God chose for her and her father to start the healing process. She was amazed at how God cared about the little details like that.

••••••••••

Hope you all have a wonderful day whatever your plans. :)

a summer giveaway

It’s officially summer break here and I’m in the mood to celebrate! It has been a loooooong year and I’m looking forward to a break from the routine and all the relaxing summer fun ahead of us.

So this week (thru the 28th actually), I am giving away FIVE Kindle ebook copies of UNTIL THEN over on Amazon.

first and last 2016


Seriously? Wow! I knew the kids had grown this year, but seeing the side-by-side images made me gasp. It’s so funny how hard it is to see them growing and changing when you are with them every day. I knew both kids were taller, but gosh, they matured so much. Both of them started the year still looking like kids and now they both look like young adults.

This is why I do these pictures every year!

I love how they posed exactly the same way. I think I have them trained by now. Zach is wearing the same pants he wore the first day, only you can see how he finally grew into them. He also finally got to the point where the long hair bugged him and he wanted more of a style. Once he got it cut earlier this year, he hasn’t gone back and has even started using a little product in his hair. And Chloe has pretty much the same hairstyle in this picture. She said she wanted to wear it the same way as she did on the first day to see how tall her bun had grown. :D Also, she is wearing makeup now, which makes her look much more grown up.

Thank you, Lord, for healthy, growing kids. Even though I wish time would slow way down and they would stay young.

a love/hate relationship

I’ve got a love/hate relationship with book reviews. It’s fun to get a nice 4 or 5-star review saying how much someone liked one of my books. Receiving positive words and compliments, finding people who love the book as much as I do and really get what I write is wonderful.

But it’s not so much fun when someone says negative things about your stories, your characters, your heart and soul creation.

I try to brush off those negative reviews, because in my mind I know that not everyone will like what I write. But in my heart, I wish they did. I wish they loved my stories and characters as much as I do. That’s not realistic, though.

I’m sure it’s the same for every artist out there. Everyone who creates something from their imagination and dares to share it with the world. People will always criticize it and the reasons are too numerous to list. Maybe they didn’t connect with that painting or they thought the new sculpture at the museum was ugly. Maybe that chef’s signature dish at the hot new restaurant was disgusting to them or they thought the band playing at the coffee shop sounded terrible. Maybe they didn’t relate to the characters in my book or the storyline wasn’t their favorite or they thought it was stupid or ridiculous or boring or any number of other reasons it wasn’t the book for them.

I get that. All of it. Because sometimes I don’t get what an artist is trying to say in a painting or I’m not crazy about a certain band’s music or a sculpture just looks like a jumble of pieces to me. And sometimes I’ve read books that bored me or were just OK or just didn’t draw me in at all.

Everyone has their own opinions (as you can see from these reviews at right that I took from Goodbye, Magnolia‘s page on Amazon). They come to the table, to the art gallery, to their Kindles from many different places and experiences.

Even though I don’t always love them, reviews are helpful. When I buy books, honestly, I don’t really look at the reviews most of the time. If the synopsis sounds good or if it’s a book by an author I have read before, I will probably read it. But there are people out there who rely heavily on what other people say about a book to decide if they will read it or not. So I say, if you liked a book, review it.

When it comes to posting reviews for the books I read, I usually give 5 stars if the book causes an emotional reaction in me – if I cry, usually, ;) but also if the characters get in my head and I can’t stop thinking about them. Or for non-fiction, it’s usually if I felt I learned something that will improve my life in some way. A book will get 4 stars from me if I really liked the story and it put a smile on my face. Most of the 4 star books are ones that I probably won’t read again, but that I really enjoyed. If I can’t give the book 4 or 5, I just don’t review it. I guess as an author, I know that negative reviews can affect the ratings of books, so I don’t want to be the cause of bringing a fellow author’s book rating down. But that’s just me. And I can’t actually remember the last time I read a book that wasn’t at least entertaining in some way.

If you have read any of my books and loved them (or < cringe > even if you didn’t), please take a few minutes to leave a quick review over on Amazon. :)

our Memorial Day weekend


We had such a nice weekend visiting with Jake’s mom on the east side of the state. Jake’s aunt passed away this past week, so Mom really needed to be surrounded by family after losing her sister. It was much needed for all of us, I think.

It was relaxing … and hot. Summer is here, for sure. The kids had a great time running around in the sprinklers and shooting each other with water guns. We enjoyed watching a couple of storms with crazy awesome clouds roll through. Delicious meals on the grill were enjoyed. It was just a wonderful Memorial Day weekend overall.

After a busy week of launching my book, my brain was totally fried. I needed to step away from all of that, do nothing much at all, let my mind rest. It’s sort of that let down feeling you get after you’ve planned a big event, like a wedding or a party, for a really long time and the day has come and gone, and you just sit and think back on it and you just want to cry. I did cry actually. Especially from all of the support I got from friends, family, launch team, and even strangers online who have already read the book and posted nice reviews.

“I like how well the author depicted what it’s like when someone has past hurts and has accepted Christ, but hasn’t fully let go. … Kudos on a well written book about redemption and grace!” – Nina Y, Amazon Customer

Isn’t that the sweetest? Thank you, Nina.

Check out the NEW PAGE I put together specifically for UNTIL THEN. There is a link to purchase the book there as well as more reviews.

And if you ordered a paperback, I’d love to see a picture of you with the book. Happy reading, friends!

AJAXed with AWP