Thursday, June 29, 2006

Philadelphia Conference

Well, I didn't tell you all but I had Part One of my book in a secular publisher's hands this past month. Eventhough she decided not to take my book on, she did give me a few pointers on what is wrong, so I'll be working on it. I'm one step closer to being published. God is good.

Another good thing about the ordeal is that it gave me a kick in the pants to finish all my fine-tuning and rewrites. It will be published. I'm sure of that. I just have to wait on God's timing. It is all for Him, anyway. Not me.

Here is some good news: I got a scholarship to the Philadelphia Writer's Conference! I only have to pay for half! I'm so excited, Bonnie and I will meet there on August 9th for the 10-12th conference. I'd love to see more of my writer friends there...*Hint Hint!*

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Waking Lazarus by T.L. Hines

T. L. HINES, the founder of the Christian
Fiction Blog Alliance
(now run by Bonnie Calhoun), has his debut novel, Waking Lazarus (Bethany House Publishers), coming out in July! As one of the book reviewers, I received an Advance Reading Copy.

First, let me tell you a bit about T. L. Hines:

Tony L. Hines has been a professional writer for more than 15 years, with articles appearing in publications as varied as Log Homes, Food & Wine, and Travel & Leisure. He is also Creative Director at Montana's largest advertising agency. Tony's long list of past odd jobs includes trimming Christmas trees, sorting seed potatoes, selling strawberries, and cleaning cadaver storage rooms. As a teen, he was undefeated in air guitar competitions (a record of 3-0), in which he performed songs by ZZ Top. He lives in Billings, Montana, with his wife and daughter.

Now, about Waking Lazarus:
How many ways can a person die? I've heard people say, 'It only takes one.' Well, Jude Allman has done it three ways and he keeps coming back for more.

This book is a Christian Mystery/Thriller. T.L. Hines sure made it nice and suspensefull. He keeps the reader guessing. The terror of death, child abduction, and psychological problems like paranoia and schizophrenia made me keep reading. But he also kept some levity and used the senses well.

It won't give anything away to tell you that one of my favorite things about this book was the sense of taste. Ever taste copper before? And smell: Ever smell a basement/root cellar with burlap and dirt?

T.L. had some great lines but my favorite was in this paragraph:

The guy who ran the polygraph machine (What would he be called? Polygraph Technician? Lie Detector Administrator?) sat at the end of the table. He looked something like Mr. Clean to Jude, mostly because of the bald head. Jude was about to take a lie detector test from Mr. Clean. There was a joke in there, somewhere, but Jude couldn't think of one; he was getting too nervous.
For some reason, that just cracked me up!

Be sure to get a copy of this book. It was quite a roller-coaster of a read!


Friday, June 23, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

June 23, 1990

It has been sixteen years since I walked down the aisle to my awaiting
fiancée. We had been engaged for two years before that and had known each other for five years before that! We met at a High School Bible Study with our church. Even though we went to rival schools, we were friends (almost) right off. Of course, if he hadn't lied to me about his name, it would have been from the start. Right, Alexander? Okay, so his friends lied to me and my friends about Dave's name...still, he didn't correct them! Anyway, I've known him over half my life and do not regret a minute...even when he was a stinker. He has stood by me and supported me through so much. I'm so glad I married my best friend.

Hey Dave! I love you!

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!

Monday, June 19, 2006


Hey everyone! I have an announcement to make. I am now in charge of the new blog alliance that Chris Well began last month. It is called FIRST Day. FIRST meaning, Fiction in Rather Short Takes. I've only just made the blog but I'll be putting a lot of work into it. Of course I'll keep up my other blogs, have no fear! I can't stop talking about myself and the Bible. LOL

Here's the plan:

I would love for everyone I know to join the alliance. It is really easy. Just press my FIRST button up there. It'll send you to the alliance blog. Instructions are on the bookmark.

We will simultaneously post the first chapter of a prearranged book with the author's permission. This will be done on the first day of each month. If it happens to land on a holiday, you can post it before or after the FIRST day. If you sign up in the blogarithim box on the FIRST blog, you will be sent an email when the blog is updated.

Before the event, I will post the FIRST chapter and all the links needed in your post. You are welcome to do author interviews as well! I'll get you the author's e-mail information if you request it. When you post the chapter on the FIRST day, be sure to leave a comment on the FIRST blog to let everyone know. I'd love to get everyone visiting eachother's blogs and make a fun core group out of it!

Also, I welcome any author/book suggestions for the FIRST Day events!

I am still an active member of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (press button above for link). Bonnie and I will coordinate things where the posts will be timely separated.

So, what do ya say? I hope you say yes!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tagged by Princess Jezreel: The "I" Tag

I AM: a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a soulmate, a kindred spirit.

I WANT: to bring up my children to be happy and godly.

I WISH: A publisher will fall madly in love with my manuscript.

I HATE: being judged.

I LOVE: as much as possible.

I MISS: the beach.

I FEAR: not being able to help those in need.

I HEAR: my hubby snoring in the next room. Heh.

I WONDER: why Kyle had to die at age 11?

I REGRET: not starting to write earlier in my life.

I AM NOT: perfect. (Don't tell my hubby that!)

I DANCE: to Shrek and Bride & Prejudice.

I SING: all the time (especially Contemporary Christian)

I CRY: too often lately.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: jolly. But I try to be joyfull!

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: art, fantasy books, food.

I WRITE: when the muse takes me. More often lately! Phew!

I CONFUSE: our dog.

I NEED: hugs from my kids and hubby. (And I get them!)

I SHOULD: not worry so much. God will take care of me...I must keep repeating that to myself.

I START: my diet tomorrow...always, tomorrow! LOL

I FINISH: most of what I start...especially a fight. JK...I do finish drawings and books all the time.

I TAG: Whoever really wants to do this. Not Bonnie Writes (My Buddy!) because we will see eachother in August at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference and I want to live through the whole thing. Heh heh. But David aka CURM, you could do it. You too Rulan (include some of your photography!) And Bonnie Wren's Hilarious Blog...I know you can't say no (swimming meet snack food stand!) What about Pia's Journal, Marvellous...(Audrey) , and Experiencing Rheumatoid Arthritis (Corry) ? Kimber my Kindred Hungarian could pull it off if she isn't being the Mom Taxi like me. many choices. The Blog (Cube) could make it fun? Captain Picard's Journal and Ciera could pull it off if they aren't in a space ship out in the Delta Quadrant. Even ready to pop, Trinity13 could try her hand at it. We know that Dennie is a writer, so she could do it. And the cutest chick, Nettie Rules, could make it down right charming (if a bit zany). Fred's World would put in videos and pics (if blogger has been a real poopie lately) as well as endearing stories about the past, present, and future. Jaimie H. could do a sampling of creative writing for us. I know Poet is the New Blah, Blah, Blog (Nick Zegarac) could rise to the poetic answering! Well, any others are free to do so. If you do, let me know in my comments!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

For the Love of Kyle...Please Play. But Do It SAFELY.

This has been an emotional and heartbreaking week. Lisa, Tim and their daughter, Casey (8) feel blessed by your prayers but the grieving is only just begun. The funeral was lovely and the priest was very personal. My heart broke as I watched that sweet family walk behind the too small casket. The loss and pain on their faces, I shall never forget. When Kyle's boyscout troop leaders and their boys marched in, tears just flooded my cheeks.

He was such a happy kid. So smiley. He loved to play.

The Glen Alpine Community has been very supportive. People rallied to the Sullivans' side, with love, food, and gifts. They have begun a swimming lessons scholarship fund for those who cannot afford to get lessons.
As Summer gets started and we are all going out to play, I'd like to share a few things:
When I was less than two years old, I went missing. I don't know how long I had been gone. It could have only been one minute. It could have been a lot longer. But when they realized that I was not where I should be, they did a search.

It was my sister, Kim, who found me in the pool. I was floating face down and not moving.

Thank God that my parents had already started teaching me how to swim. I was holding my breath. No damage was done.

Many people cannot boast of such a miracle. Death by drowning is one of the leading killers of children.

I wasn't at the birthday swim party where my friend's son drowned on June 3rd. He wasn't a toddler. He was 11 years old. The pool was filled with people. Kids as well as adults. It was an above ground pool...eight feet deep and had a shallow end. Yet, the water was murky from chemicals and rafts hid the horror underneath.

Rafts are not life savers. Those little yellow blow up things that you stick on arms of children are not life savers. Life vests. The kind that hold your head above water. That and swimming lessons save lives.

It was the last week of my deployment in Hungary for the Bosnia Crisis. The unit was celebrating.

We went to a beautiful restaurant/resort on Lake Balaton. The unit provided boating but we were told not to swim.

Many of us had too much to drink.

It was hot.

I was sitting at the end of a long, long dock, awaiting my turn in the motor boat when Captain D- and Specialist P- decided to strip down and dive in.

CPT D- went first. He performed a shallow swimmer's dive and immediately stood up with his nose scrapped from the bottom of the lake.


It was shallow.

We were all shocked. I mean, we were on a really long dock and it looked so deep. But when CPT D- stood up, the water lapped just under the top of his boxers.

This happened so fast that no one was able to stop SPC P- from going in.

I remember yelling, "DON'T DIVE!!!"

But he was too drunk and running too fast to stop himself. He dove. Not a shallow dive but a deep dive.

He didn't come up on his own.

CPT. D- pulled him up and held his head out of the water but SPC P- was screaming that he couldn't move. He had broken his neck. He is now a quadriplegic. He was only 20 years old.

Please, as you go out to play and swim, remember:

Test the water's depth before diving.

Don't swim if you have been drinking alcohol.

Don't swim if you are tired.

Don't swim if you are sick.

Don't swim alone. Use the buddy system!

Don't swim as far as you can go. You won't be coming back.

Watch your children.

And please parents, get your kids into swimming lessons. It will save their lives.

Please keep praying for the Sullivan family. They are so very sad. As is the whole community. Kyle's loss will be felt forever.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Kyle Thomas Sullivan

Please pray for my friends, Lisa and Tim, who just lost their son. He was a friend of my son and a sweet boy. They are grieved and need Jesus' arms around them. The funeral is tomorrow...June 8. It will be difficult for many people. Such a loss.

No one should have to outlive their child.

Boy Dies At Pool Party
By Todd Huffman
Saturday, June 3, 2006

GLEN ALPINE - A birthday party on Linville Street on Saturday went horribly wrong when Kyle Thomas Sullivan, 11, was found lifeless at the bottom of the pool.

Bystanders worked to resuscitate Sullivan at the scene. He was transported to Grace Hospital, where he died at 2:44 p.m.

Sullivan, was attending a birthday party at 625 Linville Street. Several children were playing in the shallow end of the pool and some inflatable rafts were in the water, which may have helped hide Sullivan, says Chief Robert Lane of the Glen Alpine Police Department.

Lane says witnesses told him Sullivan was missing for more than 15 minutes. A woman at the party saw what appeared to be blue shorts in the deep end of the pool, and she dove in to find the victim face down in about 8 feet of water. She brought Sullivan to the surface, where two bystanders pulled him out and started CPR.

Chemicals added to the pool prior to the party left the water milky, and the bottom of the pool couldn't be seen from the surface, Lane says.

David Burleson, Burke County schools superintendent, says a team of counselors will be at Glen Alpine Elementary Monday to assist students, and faculty, with the loss of their classmate.

Sullivan, of 2600 Orders Drive, Glen Alpine, was the son of Lisa Flores and Tim Sullivan.

Glen Alpine Elementary is planning to memorialize Kyle. He was a fifth-grader full of life. He never let teachers forget that children need to play as well as learn, Stroup says.

We Were Already Fragile (exerpt from article)

Glen Alpine already has a playground equipment fund with some money in it. The principal says the school will dedicate one piece of equipment to Kyle.

A plaque will have Kyle's name and one of his favorite quotes: "Let's play."

"That was the kind of child he was," Stroup says. "He would want us to play."

Obituary from Sossoman's Funeral Home

Kyle Thomas Sullivan, 11, of Morganton, NC, died Saturday, June 3, 2006 at Grace Hospital. He was born in Lake County, IN on January 22, 1995 to Timothy Edward Sullivan and Lisa Marie Flores.

Kyle was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and attended Glen Alpine Elementary School. He was a member of Boy Scouts Pack #225 of Drexel, NC and loved to ride his bicycle.

In addition to his parents, Kyle is survived by his sister, Casey Sullivan of the home; grandparents, Daniel and Judith Sullivan of Hebron, IN, Tom Flores of Houston, TX, and Linda Flores of
Charlotte, NC; aunts and uncles, Sue and Jim Wood of Crown Point, IN and Zack and Angelia Evans of Charlotte, NC; and numerous cousins.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Time out!

I'll be taking a short break from blogging as I revise my manuscript for an editor that graciously asked to see part of it. I'll catch up with all of you by the weekend though!

Pray for me to get it just right.

And pray a very special blessing on both Bonnie Calhoun and Crabby Cow #1 who have been and are a huge help and encouragement to me.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Deliver Us From Evelyn

Hello again everyone. One of my blogging buddies' second book, Deliver Us From Evelyn (Harvest House Publishers), came out in bookstores in March. He is having his own blog book tour right now and asked me to participate in it! His name is Chris Well and his blogsite is Chris Well: Learning Curve.

Chris Well is a novelist and magazine editor. His books include Forgiving Solomon Long 2005, Infuze: Best Short Stories & Poetry 2006, and now, his second novel, the quirky crime drama Deliver Us From Evelyn. By day, he is editor for Homecoming and contributing editor for CCM. He and his wife, Erica (also a blogger), make their home in Tennessee.

If you wish to sample a taste of Chris' latest creation, he has made the first chapter on the link below!


Everyone from the Feds to the mob is scrambling to find the husband of heartless media mogul Evelyn Blake. But no one can decide which is worse—that he is missing, or that she is not ... Chris Well
Buy now at