Positive conversations with old and new friends. I'd love for you to join me on my back porch.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Goals and dreams

Today I answered a question about dreams. I've set goals throughout my life. Some were go to college and get a good job. With God's help I've accomplished this goal. I'm married to a wonderful man and am blessed with a great family.
My youngest son, Scott, began to play tennis four years ago. Many tennis players started when they were small children and played competetively for years before Scott ever picked up a racquet. He didn't let their comments deter him from his goal of being the best tennis player possible. Sure, he experienced down moments wishing he'd begun playing years earlier, but he persevered. He sacrificed a lot to learn his sport and make great strides.
At the point he graduated from high school he'd made it to the top ranks of USTA players in the state of KY. He's playing for Asbury University and still loving the sport.
Why am I telling you all of this? I began writing seriously a couple of years ago. When I feel down about my age and slow progress, I'm going to think about how hard Scott worked. I'll keep on writing and studying how to be a better writer and see where this dream takes me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Life has suddenly gotten away from me. I feel like I need a lasso to corral it and get back in control. I don't see that happening anytime soon.
One little thing going on is I'm dog sitting. Chloe, Heinz's sister, is staying with us for a week. When you go from one to two dogs, you don't double the chaos, you triple it. What one dog doesn't find to bark at the other does. And nobody wants to be left out of barking.
Last night my mother called, and the dogs began to bark. I left them in the house and went to the back deck to hear my mom. The neighbor was mowing his lawn, I was on the phone and still could hear the dogs. Whew.
They are so cute though. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

Today I was awarded the One Lovely Blog Award by Sheri Salatin. Thanks, Sheri.

There are two rules to accepting this award.
1. Tell 7 random facts about yourself.
2. Pick 5 other blogs to pass the award on to.

Here are my kids at Scott's graduation.

1. I was a girly girl until God gave me sons.
2. I enjoy watching SEC sports. I cheer for Georgia football and Kentucky basketball.
3. I love tennis now and Asbury University is my favorite tennis team.
4. I love spending time at the beach any time of the year.
5. I fell for my husband the moment I met him.
6. I have a beautiful daughter-in-law and granddaughter.
7. I take a book almost everywhere I go.

Some of my favorite blogs that I'd like to award are:
Regina's a mustard seed of faith. http://reginatittel.blogspot.com

The Queencityquill by my friend Heidi Glick. http://queencityquill.blogspot.com

Steps is another lovely blog by Susan. http://stepsusan.blogspot.com

A Prisoner of Hope is a tight, crisp blog by Megan. http://megandimaria.blogspot.com

Nancy Kimball shares her experiences of writing on http://nancykimball.blogspot.com

You all have lovely blog designs. Now you have a chance to encourage others by awarding them a lovely blog award.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fall is in the air

Football season has begun, and fall is in the air. Fall is the worst time of year for my allergies, and yesterday they attacked with a vengence. Whenever I feel bad, I begin to think of ways to live a healthier life.
Fall is also apple season. Apples offer us about 5 grams of fiber which helps lower our cholesterol. Some studies show that apples can help us fight colds, lower our weight, increase our metabolism, and prevent some cancers. They are full of antioxicants and only contain about 100 calories.
I think I'm going to head out to the grocery and stock up on a bunch of apples.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sweet Tea And Secrets

Today I'd like to welcome Nancy Naigle. I met Nancy through a contest, and she's a true delight.
Have you always lived in a small town?

No. I was born and raised in Virginia Beach. Although, now that I think of it, back in the sixties my section of Virginia Beach was considered rural but not for long. My husband came from a small town and he loves wide open spaces. Our first farm was in Chesapeake. Even though we lived on a farm it was only a few miles to the grocery store or a nice mall. In fact, I could commute to my office in downtown Norfolk in about 30 minutes. When we bought this farm it was a big shift, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love the quiet and the sense of community that comes with it.

Love stories from the crossroads of small town and suspense is very catchy. Have you always wanted to write love stories? Thanks. I’m a hopeless romantic, so yes, I knew I’d write love stories. I came up with “Love stories from the crossroads of small town and suspense” as a way to describe what I write because romantic suspense conjures up a much darker story than the ones I write. I want my stories to be light reads that help folks slow down, take the time to recall a fond memory, or just get lost in the story to get a break from the fast lane and multi-tasking lives we all lead.

How did you know you were meant to write? I’ve always been a story teller. Not a liar...oh no, my Granddaddy lived with us growing up and he instilled the thought that everything is a test in honesty and that’s a test you never want to fail. A good lesson. BUT... I loved making up stories about people when we were on a road trip, sitting in the airport or shopping in the mall. It wasn’t until I started realizing how important books were to my life balance that I started getting really antsy to finish and publish my own stories. I remember reading a hard cover Jayne Ann Krentz book at a particularly low point in my life and being sad to turn that last page. I didn’t want to leave the new friends I’d made and I wanted to continue to celebrate their happy ever after. But reading that book made me feel better...hopeful. What a gift! I wanted to share that feeling and that’s when I started really working on writing for publication.

Do you have a special way to make your sweet tea? (I've discovered some of my friends don't know how to make good swee tea.) Oh yes! There is magic to good sweet tea. I have a link on my website to Pearl’s Sweet Tea recipe. Here’s the link à http://www.NancyNaigle.com/sweettea.htm

In my opinion, the trick is in bringing that water to rolling boil so the tea steeps just right. Like coffee, tea blends have a brewing temperature. Oh, and you have to add that sugar when the tea mix is hot – hot – hot so it sweetens into the liquid. You can’t add sugar to cold tea and make sweet tea....doesn’t work.....ever!

Tell us about your new story. Thanks for asking J My new story is Out of Focus. It’s about Kasey Phillips, a successful commercial photographer, who gets caught in a web of friendship and betrayal. When her husband is killed in a car accident, her son is missing from the wreckage. Her maternal instincts tell her that Jake is alive and friends rally to help reunite mother and son, but someone knows more than they are telling.

How long did it take you to write Out of Focus? It took me about six months to write that story. It did very well in contests right from the get go winning the:

1st Place :: Mainstream/Literary Category :: 2010 Maryland Writers Association Novel Contest
1st Place :: Mainstream Category :: CT-RWA The WRITE Stuff
2010 Finalist :: Single Title Category :: Silicon Valley RWA Gotcha! Contest
2010 Finalist :: Novel w Romantic Elements :: San Diego RWA SPRING INTO ROMANCE Contest

Following that incredible contest run, I spent time tweaking and tightening the story and then it sold. It was actually the first book I sold, even though it’s not the first that made it to the shelf.

Is this part of a series? Out of Focus has ties to the small town of Adams Grove, just like Sweet Tea and Secrets. There’s also another story but we’re working on changing that title so I’ll keep that under wraps for a while. As a piece of trivia, Sweet Tea and Secrets was originally titled Pearls of Wisdom. I love Pearl’s little Pearl-isms throughout the book. Words to live by.
Nancy, thank you for joining us today!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sweet Tea and Secrets

I'd like to welcome Nancy Naigle to my blog this week.
First I asked Nancy to share a view from her back porch.
Join me Tuesday as I interview Nancy.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

I'm so happy it's Labor Day Weekend. The last unofficial weekend of summer, and the temperatures are soaring. I feel blessed to have a job, but I'm looking forward to three days off.
Happy Labor Day weekend!


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