Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pause and Enjoy the Sunshine

Thank you to everyone who came out last weekend for my book signing. I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely location (Artful Possibilities) and a friendlier crowd. I felt blessed to see so many friends come and was excited to meet some new people taking interest in my series. (And another book signing will be just around the corner! Stay tuned.)

However, after last weekend, the week itself has left me feeling deflated. We all have weeks like that, right? I’ve been like a hamster on a wheel, running in circles and not getting much done. It started with a late night class, migrated into a frustrating day on Wednesday and then topped off with someone hacking my email password, which in turn affected the email on my phone. After spending over half an hour on the phone with my service provider, I finally had the chance to speak with a “specialist”… who hung up on me.

Yes, that’s the way life goes sometimes.

I live outside the city, on dirt roads, in an area where rabbits feel at home in my backyard, birds of all kinds visit the birdfeeder, and the gopher tortoise has a hole in the lot next door. The tortoise was sunning himself on our front lawn the other day and permitted me to snap a picture.

When I think of tortoises, the first thing that comes to mind is the story of the tortoise and the hare.  And this week has left me feeling more like the hare – running but not finishing well. The tortoise may take his time, but he finishes – and he enjoys the sunshine along the way.

So that’s my challenge to myself – and to any other “harried” friends out there. Stop and enjoy the sunshine once in a while.

Remember, we are to run with patience (Hebrews 12:1). Obviously, we can’t quit when life gets frustrating. We must persevere. And I think that pausing to appreciate the blessings we have helps make tough races and rough weeks a little more bearable.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wings of the Dawn Book Signing This Saturday

When she reached the beach, she stood still. She heard the whisper of the trees rustling in the wind and water rushing down the swollen mountain stream toward the lake. She also heard a faint humming sound, almost like the motor of a boat, but surely no fisherman would brave the lake on such an ugly night?

Her flashlight flickered and died.

Abby's second adventure is packed full of suspense as she works to solve a lake mystery and sort through the situational dilemmas it presents.

Want to find out what happens? I invite you to come out for a book signing at Artful Possibilities Studio and Gallery this Saturday. If you're new to my Wings of the Dawn Series, copies of book one will be available as well.

Why I'm excited about this book signing

One of the ladies where I work has started her own side business. She is the owner and "possibilitarian" of Artful Possibilities and invited me to do a book signing the day of her grand opening. She herself is a published artist author and will be selling copies of her art books as well.

Let me tell you a little about her budding new business: It's a gallery/giftshop and art studio in one. She will be hosting craft and painting classes and currently has a wide selection of Valentine and Easter gifts available. For a sneak peak, visit Possibilities

In short, it's a lovely new place to use your creativity and imagination or simply peruse beautiful gifts and craft ideas.

How you can participate

It's simple: Come on out for a great day at this grand opening and book signing.

Where: 13139 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, FL 34609
When: Saturday, January 19th
Book Signing Time: 10am to 3pm or until sold out (Grand opening will be through 5pm)
Book Cost: $12 each (plus tax) - discounted rate! (Quantities are limited.)

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tips on Creating a Facebook Author Page

I will be doing a book signing January 19th (more details to follow) and was discussing details with my host when she asked me if I have a facebook page.

Of course I have a personal facebook page, but I had never set up anything specifically for my books. (My facebook friends have always been kind enough to cheer on my writing efforts.)

However, as I prepare to reach out to the community for my book signing, I realized that I needed to make a distinction between my personal page and my author page.

Yes, I should probably have done this a long time ago. I could make excuses as to why I haven’t, but I won’t. Instead, I want to share two things I learned while setting up my author page that some of you may find helpful (if you ever decide to set up your own page).

Choosing a username

I originally skipped this step, because 1) I wasn’t prepared for the question and 2) my first idea was already “taken.”

Facebook usernames are not transferrable, so whatever you pick should be memorable and something you’ll be happy with for a long time.

You don’t have to register a username, but after finding the below facebook information, I decided it was something worthwhile.

Creating a cover

For those of us who don’t have photoshop, creating an attractive cover picture for our facebook page may seem like a challenge. However, a quick search on the web reveals several sites that offer the opportunity to create your own cover.

After testing a couple of them, seemed the most user-friendly. (And by the way, it’s free.)

The site offers 90+ pages of creative cover designs for your background. Once you select a background, you can then add text and make other adjustments as well.

One word of caution: There is an annoying pop-up that appears every time you select a new page, asking you to like or follow the site. Hoping to get rid of the pesky pop-up, I liked the site, but it still continued to appear with every new page I selected to view.

Still, it’s a free service with artistic cover background designs, so I’m not complaining. And apparently, this pop-up is working in the site's favor, because the website has over 215,000 likes.

To check out my new facebook author page, visit

Monday, January 7, 2013

Writer's Life and Dealing with Distractions

With the start of the New Year, I am feeling slightly overwhelmed with the goals I’ve set combined with commitments and well, just life.

For example, aside from my 40-hour weekly job, I’ve signed up for a night class to develop another interest (not related to writing), am becoming involved in the youth ministry at my church (which I’m very excited about), and oh yeah, by the way, there’s this goal called writing book three and developing my blog… not to mention family time, friends, spiritual growth, personal development, and travel plans.

Before you start calling me overcommitted or an overachiever, jot down your own list. If I were a betting person, I would wager your list is just as complicated as mine.

In our busy lives, there is relatively little “down” time. So how can we make the most of the precious time we have without getting distracted? Here are two rules I’ve set for myself this year.

Identify what I want to accomplish before I turn on the computer.

Yes, the internet can become a big distraction. If I’m not careful, I may be drawn into a news advertisement on Yahoo or caught up in the newsfeed on Facebook. What may start as curiosity can turn into a big time-waster.

If I’m going to write a blog, I need to write a blog. If I’m going to catch up on news or social life, I need to give myself a time limit. Otherwise, an hour will be gone, and my post will still be unwritten.

Say no to “good things” that don’t fit my goal parameters.

This may be one of my biggest struggles. Someone will come up to me and say, “Hey, do you want a part in the Easter drama?” The Easter drama is a wonderful program, and I have enjoyed being a part of our drama program in the past; but I can’t do everything, and I have to remember that saying yes isn’t just saying yes to the performance. It’s committing to the practices and dress rehearsals as well.

You fill in the blanks. If you and I are going to be successful in meeting our goals, we will have to know the limits to our time and energy – and define our priorities in advance.

What about you? What kinds of distractions do you face, and how do you find ways to deal with them?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Submerged by Dani Pettrey - Book Review

If you enjoy Dee Henderson’s books, you will love Dani Pettrey’s first book in her new romantic suspense series called Alaskan Courage.


In Submerged, Pettrey introduces you to Bailey Craig, a woman with a past she has tried to forget, and Cole McKennna, the man who loved her before she broke his heart.

When her aunt’s tragic death forces her to return to Yancey, Alaska, Bailey wants to settle the estate quickly and make her stay as short as possible. She dreads facing the people she fears will only remember her as the teenager the boys nicknamed “Easy Bay Lay”– not the new woman she is in Christ.

But was her aunt’s plane crash really an accident? And is there connection between the photo of a missing Russian icon and the deaths of two deep-water divers? Bailey reluctantly agrees to assist in the investigation, only to find herself increasingly drawn to the man she feels unworthy to love and into the path of a ruthless killer.


Pettrey combines a story of second chances with a page-turning mystery you won’t want to put down. Her vivid imagery and descriptions make you feel as though you are living the adventure along with her characters.

Speaking of characters, they are believable and lovable. Your heart aches for Bailey and the mistakes she’s made. You respect and admire Cole for raising his younger siblings after their parents’ deaths. Even though this story focuses on Bailey and Cole, Pettrey begins to develop the personalities of Cole’s younger siblings, so that by the end of book one, you’re eager to read more about them.

And Pettrey is happy to deliver. Book two Shattered is scheduled for release in February.

Learn more by visiting Pettrey’s fabulous website.