I do not read every book/author I spotlight or book tour I host!
Readers, Please research and use wisdom before buying

Monday, September 29, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Yeah, it's a bit early for that, or so you'd think. But walk into ANY store and guess what? Christmas decorations, cards and paper are already on display!

Today I'm hosting six authors and their book "A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts".



(Leafwood Publishers, October 2008)

A wonderful new gift book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, is available in October for Christmas giving. Today, I’ve invited the six coauthors to share their unique story of how they came together to publish this exciting book full of stories, recipes, tips for simplifying the holidays and so much more (click on bookcover to see the trailer!).

First, let me introduce Cathy Messecar, Leslie Wilson, Brenda Nixon, Trish Berg, Terra Hangen and Karen Robbins. Thank you for being here today, ladies.

Karen: Thank you for the invitation.

You are from three different areas of the country—Texas, California, and Ohio. How did you all meet?

Terra: We all six joined The Writers View, an online group for professional Christian writers. Trish and Brenda met in person in 2004 for lunch, I understand, and on 9/18/04, after reading a post Brenda sent to TWV, I sent an email to Brenda, asking if she would like to join with me and walk alongside each other, as a Barnabas group. Brenda said yes that same day, and suggested Trish too. Very quickly Cathy, Leslie and Karen joined in and our stalwart band of six was formed. Living in California, I was so happy to find 5 Barnabas writers in other states so we could bring together a wealth of different viewpoints and expertise

Brenda: Actually, We haven’t met. We’re all great colleagues and friends via the internet. Four years ago Terra and I formed a dyad to support each other as Christians who write in the secular markets. Along came Trish, Cathy, Karen, and Leslie (not necessarily in that order) and we formed a close knit bond of support, creative energy, and professional accountability.

Karen: I met Trish through an online forum called The Writers View and she invited me to join the group.

Trish: Although we belong to the same Yahoo writing group, we met one by one online. Eventually, the six of us decided that since we all write as Christians for a secular market through magazine articles and newspaper columns, we could support and encourage one another.

Leslie: Though we met virtually through The Writers View, I have been blessed to give and get hugs from Trish (at a MOPS conference), Cathy (in the area on business) and Karen (in town for a writers' conference). I can’t wait to meet Terra and Brenda face-to-face, though I feel as though I already know them!

How did you come up with the idea to do a book together?

Brenda: The book is Cathy’s brainchild. She mentioned the concept of telling stories of events that happened for the first time at Christmas and sharing holiday historical tidbits and recipes and each said, “If you need any help, let me know.” That offer morphed into each of us equally contributing and co-authoring A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts.

Trish: Yep, Cathy came up with the idea and the title, and asked us if we wanted to join her on this project. Of course, we said Yes!

Terra: Cathy mentioned the idea for a Christmas book to the group, and someone (I think it was Leslie) suggested that maybe our group could all write the book together. Cathy agreed to lead the way on the project. The earliest email I have on this is from 9/7/05, which shows that this has been a three year collaboration from idea to publication.

Karen: (Chuckling) Terra is a librarian and keeps our historical records by saving our e-mails.

Leslie: Actually, Terra, I wrote that comment (in a group e-mail) kind of tongue-in-cheek. Cathy, the ultra-sweet person she is, took my joking at face value and here we are. However, I believe God prompted the passion and ideas we all bring to the project and that He will do mighty things as a result of our collaboration!

Why did you decide on a Christmas theme?

Brenda: It was Cathy’s concept to write a book centering on Christmas.

Cathy: For several years, I’d been thinking about Christmas as a threshold to introduce Jesus to folks who aren’t familiar with him, and I love a simpler Christmas with the emphasis on family, friends and doing for others. I knew of some families who had experienced “firsts” at Christmas—reunions, losses, special surprises—and I wanted to collect those stories.

Terra: Cathy’s idea immediately resonated with me because Christmas books are “a way past watchful dragons,” as C. S. Lewis wrote. Many people won’t buy a book about being a Christian, but will buy a holiday and family fun book, thus the “past watchful dragons.” People who want to grow in their faith, and people who have no faith but celebrate Christmas will buy our book and hopefully be led to put the focus back on Christ for the holiday, and for their lives.

Leslie: Though Cathy birthed the idea, the rest of us quickly hopped on board. Not only is Christmas special to me—especially now that I have a family of my own—but also that particular holiday cries out to be simplified, to return to the meaningful aspects of celebration, and to lose some of the hype and commercialism.

Tell me a little about what is in A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts? What is your favorite part?

Cathy: I like that you can read one chapter in about 15 minutes and, with all the different suggestions, it feels like Christmas Eve. Makes you want to set up the nativity! Many of the suggestions for family activities can be adapted for any family get-together.

Karen: There are heartwarming stories about things that happened for the first time at Christmas. For instance, one of my stories is about the first Christmas with our adopted children. And the book is pretty. When I first saw the colorful pages and drawings, I fell in love with the illustrator’s work.

Brenda: I don’t have a favorite part – I love it all!

Terra: I like the way the parts are woven into a seamless whole, like a patchwork quilt, that is stronger and more beautiful than the parts.

Trish: It’s like everything you ever wanted to know about Christmas, all the best tips and recipes, and neat stories all wrapped up in this perfect little package.

Leslie: I love reading the special stories, hints, recipes—whatever—and imagining the precious family time that precipitated each moment. Plus, the book is gorgeous, beautifully printed, truly something to be proud of. And we are.

I’ve heard that the book is really a nice gift book; can you tell me a little about the format?

Cathy: Yes, it’s a hardbound book, full color interior. The layout makes it easy to read. It has a definite scrapbooky look on the interior. Different logos identify sections, such as an oilcloth-look Christmas stocking appears beside the “Stocking Stuffer Tradition” (help for connecting family members), and the “Cookie Canister” recipes are on a recipe card, and the back ground of “A Gift For You” is a gift box with bow. It’s a classy gift that they can be placed on a coffee table or in a guest bedroom during the holiday season.

Brenda: I like to describe it as a Starbuck’s sorta gift book. It’s high quality, crisp, and practical.

With six different personalities and areas of ministry, how did you manage to put this all together and still remain friends?

Karen: We pray a lot for each other and it helps that none of us have an over-inflated ego.

Cathy: There were no squabbles. Surely, we had differing opinions, but we knew that any of us could suggest an idea for this book and that each idea would get fair reviews from others. We actually voted on some aspects—everyone in favor say, “Aye.” If you’ve ever watched women at a Dutch treat luncheon when they divide up a meal ticket, it can be intense as they split the ticket down to the penny. As the project came together, I was in awe of my gracious coauthors, unselfish women who respect each other.
For some decisions, we did a round robin—things like book title and chapter titles and what categories to put into the book. Then, as compiler, I’d send out a list of needs to The Word Quilters, that’s what we call ourselves. For instance in a section we call “Peppermints for Little Ones” (hints for children’s activities), I’d put out a call, and the WQs sent in their hints, and then I put them into appropriate chapters.

Brenda: (Smiling) Are we still friends? Seriously, we each have our own platform, ministry, and family life, and those interests kept this project in perspective – it was important but not the only thing on our plates. No one was so enmeshed in this project that she campaigned for her own way. We never had a bitter disagreement or insistence to be “right.”

Terra: We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders.We offer support and ideas for our separate writing projects and for personal prayer requests. I love these ladies, and I have only met one of them in person. So far, Karen is the only one who has met each of us, and one day we hope to meet in person, in a circle of friendship and love.

Trish: I think we are all very flexible and forgiving. We do have a variety of personalities here, but God has worked amazing things through our little group.

Leslie: Though I have seven non-fiction projects in various stages of completion, I could not be more thankful that this is the one to reach publication first. I am truly blessed to have worked with these women, learned from them, watched as they’ve poured heart and soul into crafting a product that will impact lives for the Lord.

Where can my readers get a copy of SOCF?

Cathy: The coauthors will all have a supply, plus our publisher, Leafwood Publishers, will have plenty of copies and discounts for buying five or more. Or they can be ordered at most online stores or by your local bookstore.

Karen: And anyone who leaves a comment here can be entered in a drawing for a free book and a gift basket worth $200! For a list of its contents, check our blog, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. And while you're there, leave another comment and increase your chances of winning!

Tell me more about your blog.

Karen: We started our blog in July and it is accumulating a wealth of information about Christmas. Each of us posts one day a week following the theme for that week. Watch for new recipes, tips, ways to simplify, stories, etc., similar to what is in our book.

Leslie: Ooh, ooh, let me answer this one. I’m probably the newest to blogging among the group, but I LOVE it. I’ve enjoyed posting and receiving comments back from readers. What an amazing adventure having an online voice can be! This blog will focus on a different theme each week—anything from tips to avoid overeating during the holidays to how to give a guest room special touches—and expand on the material in the book. I think readers will get to know the authors’ individual personalities and connect on a more personal level. Plus, they get that many more ideas, information, inspiration (!) at no additional cost.

WQs: As an added bonus for inviting us to your blog, we’d like to pass along this Christmas tidbit to you and your readers:

Enjoy a blessed Christmas this year! And thanks for inviting us to share our book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, with you.

Well Friends, hope you enjoy this spotlight and check out this lovely book.

Until later, take care and God Bless!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Author Spotlight - Susan Wingate!

Well Friends, as promised tomorrow's spotlight is on Susan Wingate who is on Virtual Tour with her novel, Bobby's Diner.

Bobby’s Diner©
Susan Wingate

Chapter One
For the reading of Bobby’s will, the attorneys sat Vanessa – the ex, Roberta (Bobby and Vanessa’s daughter), and me in a conference room together. I was instructed to bring a lawyer, as were the other two ladies. I didn’t. That sort of thing isn’t in me. Vanessa did. The lawyer read Bobby’s will. It was pretty much as I expected. I got the house we shared, most of the money accounts, Roberta received two hundred thousand dollars in a fund her father had set aside for her upon his death. Then, the lawyer read further. Bobby did something none of us expected. He gave me half the interest in the diner and Vanessa, the other half!

Just like Bobby to be equitable. Finally, the lawyer read a statement Bobby had hand-written before he died. The note said something about his guilt for leaving Vanessa, but his great love for me, about Vanessa’s interest of nearly half her life spent building the diner, and my creativity to keep it going.

Have you ever heard the term ‘livid’ before? Well, Vanessa’s face turned every shade of livid I’ve ever seen. I remember sitting there and imagining her head filling up like one of those water balloons at the fair and exploding right off her shoulders. Her lawyer patted her hand and told her “not to worry”. I giggled to myself at the mess of it all, said my “thank yous” and “goodbyes” to his former family and the lawyers, and I left feeling pretty good too considering what had just happened. Financially, I was solid and didn’t need to worry about money for a while, anyway.
I closed the diner for three weeks.

When I went back to re-open, Vanessa was there waiting outside the door. She offered to buy my interest. I told her I had no intention of selling and offered to buy hers. She fumed at my boldness and told me she’d never sell. Bobby knew I was stubborn as a mule in a blizzard and he knew his former wife had some of my same shortcomings.

“Well, isn’t this a fine mess.” Vanessa threw her hands up and when they came down, they landed on her lap as she sat hard against the window’s ledge.

“Guess Bobby had the last laugh, huh?” I looked out onto the day with one hand protecting my face from the bright sun. It was early spring then and the cacti were putting on a show that would embarrass the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, gorgeous.

“Since this place is now legally half mine, I want a key.” Vanessa was indignant.

“Fine. After José gets here, I’ll have him run up to Charlie’s to get his copied.”

Vanessa let out a small huff and stood back up. “What are we supposed to do now?”

“Well, the diner needs managing. I guess we manage it.”

“Together?” She put her hands on her hips.

“What else can we do?”

“It just won’t work.”

“Why is that, Vanessa? After all these years, do you still hate me so much?”

“Oh, hell, I could care less about you.” She turned away and looked out over the burgeoning desert. “How’s this gonna look to the folks around here? Did you ever think about that?”

“I just put my husband in the ground. I guess I haven’t had too much time to worry about what people are thinking.”

“He was my husband too.” She scowled when she looked at me. I couldn’t very well argue her point and decided by the look of her, saying nothing was best.

To find out more about Susan and her books visit her website or blog
For more information about Susan Wingate’s virtual book tour and her full schedule at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/08/bobbys-diner-by-susan-wingate.html

To order your copy - For more information visit - http://www.ebooksonthe.net/catalog/eBooks_Catalog_NewBooks2.html

Hope you enjoyed this spotlight!

Monday I'll be spotlighting six authors and their book A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts - they'll be giving away lots of prizes so be sure and check back!

Until later take care and God BLESS!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Words to Write By

Hey Friends,

Ever wonder where some writers get their inspiration?

Well now you can find out!
Check out the new devotional book Words to Write By compiled by Robin Bayne and published by Mountainview Publishing - a division of Treble Heart Books.

FYI - yours truly has a devotional in there :-)

Friday I'll be spotlighting author Susan Wingate and her book Bobby's Diner...be sure and come back!

Until later, take care and God Bless!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

I've Run Out of Things to Say!


But like I mentioned in my last post, I'm guest blogging all week @ Novel Spotters for their "Behind the Scenes" feature.

However, I've also got some news for you....I received the edits for Winter Madness!

Once they're done, I should get a release date so stay tuned.

IMW, take care and God Bless!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Guest Blogging All Week!

Hey Friends,

I may not post too often this week because I'm guest blogging ALL WEEK @ Novel Spotters for their "Behind the Scenes" feature.

This feature talks about my journey to publication and all the ups and downs involved.

Check it out!


Friday, September 12, 2008

New Interview, New Cover and More News!

Hi Friends!

Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I have a new Interview up @ Chery's Book Nook and to share with you my cover for Winter Madness.

Haven't received edits yet, but I'm sure they'll be here soon.
Also, The Wild Rose Press authors are chatting ALL DAY today @ Coffee Time Romance Yahoo Loop. C'mon out and visit with us.
Tomorrow I'll be guest blogging @ Petticoats and Pistols (that is as long as I have power and dsl service to do so).
Hope to see you there! IMW, everyone in the path of this storm, STAY SAFE!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Are Your Dreams Big Enough?

We’ve all heard the old adage, “When you dream, dream big cause all of heaven is dreaming with you,” but I wonder, are our dreams big enough?

The Bible talks a lot about God speaking to us through dreams and visions.

In The Secret, Jack Canfield says something to the effect of, “most people don’t think about what they really want because they can’t see how it will happen.”

One of the tools touted by The Secret is visualization, which is fine. But every visualization product I’ve used shows a ‘dream home’ or ‘dream car’ far different from what I have in mind.

Joe Vitale, another teacher in The Secret, says, “We don’t all want the same thing, we don’t all want the same experience.” I can vouch for that! I just can’t imagine myself in a multi-million dollar home or driving an expensive car.

But I can imagine myself in a nice log home and driving a nice SUV or sleek convertible.

The fact that what most people view as “wealth” is sometimes what I would consider “a vulgar display of wealth,” makes me wonder if maybe my dreams aren’t big enough or if I’m blocking my own wealth from coming to me with my mindset – but that’s a whole other post LOL!

You may wonder what my idea of “wealth” is – well, here it is: My idea of wealth is enough money that I can stay home and do what I love most; WRITE while living in my log home. Enough $$ to be able to travel when we want, to where we want, instead of scrimping and saving just to go see our kids up north once a year. And enough invested so that my lifestyle isn’t compromised by social or economic change.

What’s your dream or idea of wealth? I’d love to hear your comments!

Until later remember…when you dream, dream big cause all of heaven is dreaming with you!

Can dreams shattered by domestic violence be restored and faith renewed? Find out in Tempered Dreams!

Pamela S Thibodeaux
“Inspirational with an Edge!” (TM)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Author Spotlight - Victoria Pitts-Caine!

Well Friends, as promised today I'm spotlighting friend and fellow author, Victoria Pitts Caine and her novel, Alvarado Gold.

Victoria first attempted writing twenty years ago when she published a small article in an adoptive parent magazine. Then her super-mom gene took over and she enjoyed the events surrounding her daughters' lives: school, sports, music, dance and cheer.

When her oldest left for college and the empty nest syndrome set in, Victoria began researching her family genealogy. After several years of investigation, she felt some of the family stories needed to be told. From one of them, her first novel began to take shape.

Alvarado Gold is an inspirational novel with a mixture of adventure, intrigue and romance. The heroine, Addie Brown, reconnects with her cousins at her grandfather's funeral, but there’s one cousin missing, Donnie. Is it by choice or does he have some other motive? As she's researching family documents, one of which refers to gold buried near the small Texas town of Alvarado, she meets Gary Wright, who touches her empty heart. Gary insists on helping Addie and her cousins with their quest, but then strange occurrences and threatening notes lead her to believe Gary is working with Donnie. Addie tries to unravel the family secrets, be the first to reach the gold and deal with her own indecision. Should she trust Gary? If she does, she’ll need to tell him the secret she’s kept hidden in her heart.

Other than writing, Victoria enjoys reading, craft work and collectibles. She is also an exotic gemstone collector.

As the hot, oppressive Texas heat takes the breath from her lungs, Addie Brown stands at her grandfather's grave. Deep within her, she senses her anchor to family is gone. She looks across the freshly dug chasm at three of her four cousins. Nothing more than smiling faces on Christmas cards and vacation photos, she remembers once when they were close but something happened. Snapping her back to reality, the minister reads, To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. She wonders when will be my time? But Addie has bargained with God and lost and she feels she can never share her secret with anyone. But through an unusual turn of events, she realizes there is a truth and meaning to the passage from Ecclesiastes that begins to drive her life.

Alvarado Gold is available now from The Wild Rose Press!

Find out more about Vickie and her writing on her blog.

Until later, take care and God Bless!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Whose Mind?

The more I read The Secret and study some of the teachers featured in the documentary, I’ve noticed that many of them are Quantum Physicists.

One theory Quantum Physicists adhere to is that you can’t have a universe without mind entering to it. Hence, how our thoughts create the world in which we live.

Now, the Bible talks a lot about positive confession and how a man is the product of what he thinks, so there is no doubt that thoughts and attitudes can shape the world in which we live.

But I have a question….if its true that you can’t have a universe without mind entering into it, whose mind created the universe?

If the universe we live in was “created” through thought, whose thought?

Personally this is where my belief in God comes in. This goes back to Genesis and the beginning and how the earth and everything in it was created when God spoke (but He had to think before He could speak, right?).

Just a thought.

On another note: Next week I'll be spotlighting author Victoria Pitts-Caine and her book Alvarado Gold so drop back by!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Coincidence or a Sign?

Throughout the Bible you’ll find instances of people asking God for a sign. In Judges, Gideon put out a “fleece” before the Lord, which was his way of asking for a sign from God that he was doing what God commanded of Him. In this month’s Guideposts Magazine, in the feature article with Angie Harmon she mentions asking God for a sign that she was in His will when she accepted the marriage proposal from her husband. Catholics who pray a novena to St. Theresa know that the sign from her that their prayer will be answered is a rose.

The rainbow itself is a sign from God that He will never flood the earth again until all of humankind is wiped out.

As you know from my previous posts, I’ve been really studying the Law of Attraction and The Secret. One of the stories in The Secret is of a man who tested the LOA by creating a picture of a very specific feather and visualized it coming to him – which it did.

With this concept in mind I came across a picture of the St Gauden twenty-dollar coin and thought how pretty it is and how I’d like to receive one. I even put a picture of this coin on my vision board.

The Secret teaches that the Universe knows the quickest, fastest, most harmonious way to answer. The Bible teaches that Gods ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Both stress that we should be open to the way that our answer comes to us and that it may not be exactly as we think.

Anyway, back to the coin. Recently I received an email from MindMovies.com offering 6 free mind movies. These are supposed to help supercharge your manifesting abilities. Well, I downloaded the one for Money and lo and behold, one of the clips had a stack of gold coins and the St. Gauden coin was right on top!

Now I’d still like to hold one of these coins in my hand, but I ask you – was this a coincidence or a sign that I am on the right track in learning and developing this creative process we all possess?

I think so.

Until later remember....imagination and an open mind are treasures to behold.

Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Contract!

Well Friends, who couldn't use some good news in the midst of a hurricane?

The Wild Rose Press has sent me a contract for my short story, Winter Madness!

Now as soon as the mail service is restored here in SW Louisiana, I'll get it out.

As I mentioned in my last post, hubby and I decided to ride out the storm at home. Although we did receive some wind and rain, we sustained no damage.

We'll get out and about to check on the homes of our family members who did evacuate.

For those who think staying home is not the wisest choice, let me assure you we watched the storm very closely and had everything prepared to grab and run should Gustav had shifted more west and strengthened.

Although we were prepared, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I believe we were also Divinely Protected.

On another note, my Friend Victoria Pitts-Caine has spotlighted me over on her blog. Check it out!

I'll be spotlighting Vicki later this month, so check back!

Until later remember....Under the shadow of His wings is protection and safety.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Riding out the Storm

What do you do when the stress of evacuation is equal to or more intense than the thought of riding out a hurricane?

That's how my husband feels with his physical limitations.

So, we're riding out the storm here at home in Iowa, Louisiana.

Looks like we'll be okay since Gustav is making landfall southeast of us.

I'm sure we'll get some wind and rain, but not as severe as first imagined, but I'll keep you posted!

IMW, everyone stay SAFE!

Love & Hugs,