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Sunday, March 18, 2012


Rights to my first novella (and the one that finalled in the Carol awards) have just reverted to me. We will publish the novellas as four separate titles, tied together under the series title Snowbound Colorado Christmas. I'm delighted with the cover!

Colorado suffered its worst ever blizzard in early December 1913 (picture on the cover is an actual street scene from the storm). The snow leaves my heiress heroine and immigrant chauffeur stranded at Denver's opulant Brown Palace.


Do you ever have days when you feel like all you can is hold on? Those days when the glass definitely feels half full (and it wouldn't take much to drain it completely.) When the phone rings, asking for "the head of household" and you cautiously say "yes?"

When you simply hang on for bedtime, and trust God that tomorrow will be better? That your primary goal simply to get through the day?

Abraham was having one of those days. Three times in Genesis 22 (KJV version), he says "Here I am."

Yes, that chapter. When God tested Abraham by telling him to sacrifice his son on the mountain.

The first time he says the words, God is opening up a conversation. "Abraham!" "Yes, God. Here I am."

The second time, Isaac raises the troublesome question of "where is the sacrifice?" He begins with "My father?" That time, when Abraham said "Here am I," he began one the hardest conversaton ever held between father and teenage son.

The third time he said it, he held his knife poised, ready to strike Isaac in the heart. The angel of the Lord called "Abraham, Abraham!"

Abraham's response--"Here am I."

What a day (or several days). Started out as a normal day, turned into a nightmare, ended with a triumph of faith. I bet Abraham was exhausted, wrung by an emotonal wringer.

When I have one of those days . . . never as bad as what Abraham endured. . .I will offer that simple affirmation and offering. I'm here, Lord. I'm listening, waiting.

Teela, you've won a copy of 365 Encourages Verses.

Leave a comment on all/any blog posts this week for a chance to win a copy of Romanian Rhapsody,

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Although this won't post until Sunday night, I am writing on Thursday.

When I requested a good friend to pray for new contracts for me, she challenged me to be specific. "I need a contract for (name of book) for (amount of money) from (publisher) by (date)."

Gulp. When I pray a generic prayer, I'm playing it safe. If I'm specific I'm faced with the possibility of disappointment. What if God says "no"? Is the problem with my faith?

That's the personal backdrop behind my most recent insight to the epic story of Genesis.

We all know the familiar words of Genesis 15:6. "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness." Abraham exemplifies salvtion by faith and not by works.

Abraham believed it, that settled it, and that was that.

Only it wasn't.

Only two verses later, Abraham asks God, "Sovereign LORD, how can I know . . .?"

What? You mean to say that this giant of faith dared to ask God "Uh, God, do You mean what I think you said? How can I know for sure?"

God gave Abraham specific instructions on making a sacrifice, and God confirmed His covenant with him by walking between the two halves of the sacrifice. God didn't rebuke Abraham for asking confirmation, didn't berate him for his lack of faith.

The two sides of our faith are laid out side by side. Belief without proof. Belief asking for confirmation. But both are faith.

If I remember, I will update this post before Sunday to let you know how God answered my specific prayer. But Abraham's story allows me to relax, to know that I haven't disappointed God by asking. Thank You, God!

P.S. Sunday update: God gave me a "no" on hearing from my several book proposals. The good news is that all are still under active consideration. What I learned in the process was as important as entering the contest!


Here are the bookcovers for my two books coming out in September!

In A Bride's Rogue in Roma, Texas, a straight-laced Victorian inherits a steamboat from her father--along with the resident gambler.

Postmark: Christmas is a novella anthology about four couples who find love in the town of Christmas, Florida, where cards from around the country are marked with a special holiday greeting.

**Leave a comment on both posts this week for a chance to win 365 Encouraging Verses from the Bible**

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Lois, if you see this, please contact me about receiving your copy of Beacon of Love. I decided to combine comments for the month!

Leave a message this week for a chance to win A Woodlands Christmas.


Yes, I'm about a week early.

Thus far this year I have not experienced the overwhelming grief that paralyzed me on the last three anniversaries. In fact, even as I write this, I'm not overwhelmed. Just. . .a little numb.

Because this morning God made sure I would pay attention to my feelings.

I was determined to make it to church this morning. Even after a bad night of running to the bathroom and waking up with every joint and muscle aching, from my ankles to my head.

I didn't get a bulletin on the way in, so I didn't know what hymns we were singing. I might have been prepared. Instead, I saw "I'll Fly Away" on the overhead and happy memories of singing it with choir danced into my mind. After we sang "When the Roll is Called up Yonder" and "I've Got a Mansion," I knew we were in for a morning of songs about heaven.

I didn't start crying until we got to "I Can Only Imagine." I managed to choke out a few words of the last chorus.

As a last, final clue, the music minister asked us to share the first person we wanted to speak to in heaven.

Oh, Jolene.

Jaran last spoke to Jolene on Leap Year day four years ago--his stepmother's birthday. So as the 29th came and went, he couldn't stop thinking about her. On the year that I was feeling better, he was feeling worse.

I look at Jordan, my precious grandbaby, and her inevitable growth and change gives me an exact ruler to measure the time that has passed since her aunt's death.

Through this morning's service, God reminded me that it's okay, in fact, necessary for me to grieve and remember.

So today I am quiet. And longing for that day when I will see Jolene and Mom and throw my arms around them.

Until then, I rejoice in the Lord and rest in Him.