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

Monday, February 25, 2013


A friend of ours recently told us he only listens to one CD in his truck. Jimmy Buffett. He doesn't listen to the radio or any other CDs. Only one.

I like Jimmy Buffett. I like country and Christian music, too. I often listen to KLOVE and Air1 on my way to work.

Country music tackles many issues. Cheating, loving, fighting, cancer, Jesus, are some of the themes of country songs. I can usually understand the words sung and can tap my toe to the tune. It's all good.

A few years ago, I began to listen to Harry Connick, Jr. After I collected most of his albums, I discovered Michael Buble.
I bought his Christmas CD and loved it. Then I bought one regular CD. I about wore it out. I listened to it almost daily along with my country and Harry Connick, Jr. music.

For my birthday, my family gave me four more Michael Buble CDs. They make me so happy to listen to them. I even find myself smiling during some of the songs.

And, joy, he's got a new album coming out this spring. I can't wait.

What about you? Do you have a favorite musician or song?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert

Hi everybody,

I just finished reading Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert. It is now one of my favorite books. I received this book from Water Brook Press, and I've become such a fan of Katie I'll buy anything she writes.

Bethany Quinn returns home after ten years of chasing her dreams. She doesn't plan to stay long in rural Iowa, but an unexpected chain of events takes the situation out of her hands.

Evan Price has lived with Bethany's grandfather and worked his farm until the day her grandfather dies. When the will is read Evan gets the farm, and Bethany inherits the land.

Bethany must face her past and learn to make peace with God and Evan.

I was pulled into this story from the first page and lost sleep because I didn't want to close the book at night.

I was so excited I contacted Katie for an interview, and she graciously answered my questions.

Katie, in Wildflowers from Winter, how hard was it not to cry as you wrote the story? Or did you keep a tissue box beside your computer?

So funny you ask this question! There's an interesting dynamic that occurs when a story gets published. You have to read through it so many, many times that by the end, the story feels so....blah. I remember reading through the galleys (which is the final edits) and telling my husband, "This so emotionless and dry!" He calmly reminded me that I was just desensitized to the story. And I remembered that I didn't feel that way originally. There were two scenes in particular that brought tears to my eyes when I wrote this story. One is toward the beginning of the book and the other is toward the end. It was a great reminder that I wrote this story from a place deep down in my gut.

Do you have a favorite cafe? What do you like to get there? In Wildflowers you describe the cafe in such a way, I wanted to go there myself.

Oh, I'm so glad you wanted to go there! And guess what, you sort of can! Willow Tree Cafe is the main setting of my second novel, Wishing on Willows, which releases March 19th. I created a special cafe page on my website so readers can listen to some music and get a feel for the cafe's atmosphere.

My favorite cafe or coffee house is Dunn Bro's Coffee. It's small and privately owned. There's a kid's corner where my little guy loves to look for this green frog. When he finds it, he gets to bring it up to the front counter in exchange for a free chocolate milk. I usually get a mocha or a vanilla latte. In fact, I'm going to be doing a book signing there on April 5th. Dunn Bros Coffee in Bettendorf, Iowa....just in case anybody's nearby!

Is your next story Robin's story? Tell us a little about it. Will we catch up on Bethany and Evan? If a reader hasn't read Wildflowers, can they read Wishing on Willows and enjoy is just as much?

Yep, it's Robin's story, four years after Wildflowers from Winter. There will also be a lot of familiar places and faces - including the farm and Evan and Bethany. With all of that said, Wishing on Willows definitely is a stand-alone novel. Readers don't have to read Wildflowers first. I personally think reading Wildflowers first makes Willows a little more meaningful, but it's not a prerequisite!

Here's the back cover blurb for Wishing on Willows:

Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?

A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa, she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.

So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.

As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.

With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.

Have you always enjoyed writing, or when did you discover you liked to write?

I was that little girl in her bedroom, filling notebook after notebook with half-finished stories. I loved writing. Not only that, I loved sharing what I wrote with others. Bless my parents, they let me read every single one out loud to them. It's cool to see how God plants dreams and passions and gifts in our hearts, long before we ever know what will become of them.

Wildflowers from Winter is available now, and Wishing on Willows releases March 19. Anybody who pre-orders will receive a free dowanloadable devotional booklet written by Katie.
Here's the link for that:

Here's a link for Wildflowers from Winter.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I'd like to wish you all a happy Valentine's Day.

I hope you all find somebody to show love or kindness to today.

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (NIV)

Proverbs 30:18-19
There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman. (NLT)

Matthew 22:37–39
Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' (NKJV)

This next one makes me smile.

Proverbs 15:17
A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. (NLT)

Here's another one that makes me smile.

Proverbs 30:18-19
There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman. (NLT)

And my last Bible Verse is one's I've been wrestling with all week.

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails ... (NIV)

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Welcome Marji Lane

I'd like to introduce you to Marji Lane. We met in Dallas at the ACFW conference. She was sweet and encouraging. I'm so glad we met, and here's your opportunity to meet her too.

Marji, I'm so excited about your book that's just come out. Tell us about it.

Me? A romance author? I confess, I usually prefer the mystery/suspense section of the library and that’s reflected in most of my writing. But what’s a story without a little romance? So when I read about the contest at Write Integrity Press for their short story collection, I toyed with the idea.

Last summer, I’d written a premise for a story—just a diversion—that turned into something that made me laugh and feel cozy all at once. With a little work, it became the short, “Life is Sweet.”

And yes, I did some ceiling salsa when I found out I was one of the contest winners and won a spot in Heart Bouquets!

I love working with the group at Write Integrity Press. A group of authors chose me to join them in a seasonal novella, The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt last November. That project was a hoot, and though nine different authors wrote the single story, it turned out GREAT! (I only wrote chapter 5, so I can say that!)

I can’t thank Jackie enough for letting me share my story here. I’m also trying to entice her to share a romantic anecdote on my blog! Y’all help me encourage her! Jackie – Jackie – Jackie!

Okay, Marji, I'll work on that anecdote for you.

Congratulations on Heart Bouquets, and thanks for stopping by.

What a pretty cover.

You wanna a copy? (Oh you do, trust me on this!) How about a free one? YES!

Free ebooks on Amazon February 13-15 especially for the big V-day!

Don’t miss this cute collection and who knows? Maybe “Cupid” will give you a little inspiration!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Let is Snow

This week we had a warm day where the temperatures almost hit seventy. Yesterday I woke up to seven degrees.

I drove myself to work on icy roads. I saw a van stuck on ice in one place, a diesel truck stuck in another spot, and many tire tracks where other vehicles ran off the road.

I have two ways to drive to work from my house.

One way a truck lost their brakes and hit me head-on a few years ago. On the other route a woman on her cell phone ran a red light and t-boned me. I hopped in my SUV and took the safest way yesterday.

When I reached the site of my first accident, I hit black ice. A little car coming toward me hit it also. We both slid this way and that. My heart raced. I feared another accident in the very same spot. And then I think God placed his hand right between our vehicles and got us back in our lanes.

I made it to work safely and am praising God for his blessings.

I love to see the snow fall from the sky. God made each snowflake different. He made each of us unique also.

We serve an awesome God. Praise be to God.

The Moral Premise Blog: Story Structure Craft: Great Stories - True Premises

 I wanted to share this with my writing friends. Sometimes I focus on characters, setting, interesting plot, and all the many things involved in writing a story and I forget the big picture.

Here's a link to remind us not to forget the moral of the story.

The Moral Premise Blog: Story Structure Craft: Great Stories - True Premises: I lead a bifurcated life when it comes to the types of projects I work on. I find my greatest satisfaction in structuring and writing ...


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