Saturday, February 28, 2009

So that's the secret . . .

I think I may have stumbled over the secret to a long and happy life. Take a look at this 87-year-old woman who dances the salsa. Watch until at least past the halfway point, or you'll miss an unbelievable demonstration.

Now . . . where do I go to sign up for salsa lessons? Think they'll offer them on our Heavenly Daze cruise?


Friday, February 27, 2009

It's here! Almost.

Just saw the new cover for "The Note 2: Taking a Chance on Love" which is to release in early May, just in time for Mother's Day. The DVD of the movie should release at the same time.

To refresh your memory, first there was the book, THE NOTE, and then the Hallmark movie, THE NOTE.

And since the movie was so successful, the company that optioned the rights to THE NOTE the book wrote a screenplay, THE NOTE 2. And then they hired me to write a novella of the screenplay. The plot is pretty much the same as the movie, but I was able to "deepen" the characters and the story. I think you'll enjoy digging deeper into the story, as I was able to pick up some threads from the original novel.

Is all that clear as mud? :-) Anyway, I really enjoyed working on the story and hope you'll enjoy it, too. You can preorder it here and get it hot off the press. I'm just delighted to see the cover!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Awards are In!

I'm sure you've been waiting for these results with bated breath, so here they are: the finalists for Britain's Diagram Prize for the year's oddest book title. They are:
  • Baboon Metaphysics
  • The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais
  • Curbside Consultation of the Colon
  • The Large Sieve and its Applications
  • Strip and Knit with Style
  • Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring
Books that came close but didn't make the cut are Excrement in the Late Middle Ages and All Dogs Have ADHD.

Previous winners include The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification and People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About it.

The winner will be chosen through an online vote at and will be announced March 27.

On another note, I was both happy and sad to hear that Australian novelist Harry Nicolaides, 41, had been released from a Thailand jail and pardoned for defaming the country's monarchy . . . in a novel. I was happy that he was free; I was sad to learn that the novel for which he was jailed . . . sold only seven copies.



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Frosty the dancing cockatoo

I have featured dancing birds on this blog before--I think the last one was an African Grey--but here's a new entry, Frosty the Dancing Cockatoo. He reminds me of Patrick S. in "Dirty Dancing"--some of his moves are identical, I promise. :-)

So--get ready to smile and watch Frosty do his thing. You can catch his act here.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New flooring

No, I'm not in the mood for remodeling.  But the other day I got a flyer in the mail and was fascinated by an ad for a new kind of flooring.  See the picture?  That floor--which looks like marble or something exotic--is CONCRETE!  You can get it in any color and all kinds of patterns.  The process is fully explained at this web site.   You can even watch a video on how they make it.  It's impervious to scratches, scuffs, water, bending, creaking, and it's NOT slippery.  

I don't need or want a new floor right now, but who knows about the future?  With my big dogs (which have wreaked havoc on my wood floors), concrete is beginning to look like a great alternative.  :-) 

Maybe it was my recent hospital visit, or maybe it's the book I'm working on, but I've suddenly become fascinated with medical shows.  Saturday night I watched a HOUSE marathon, and on Sunday night I forgot all about the Academy awards because I found a "Trauma in the ER" marathon on the health channel.  Who needs pretty dresses when you can watch docs take a golf club out of a man's head?  Fascinating!  


Monday, February 23, 2009

My friend Lyn's new book


TEXAS: Star of Destiny


By Lyn Cote




THE DESIRES OF HER HEART (Avon Inspire, on-sale: Feb 10, 2009,  ISBN: 9780061373411, price: $12.99) is a beautiful historical romance between a woman forced to make a new life on the Texas frontier and the scout who leads their wagon train through the uncharted territory. Set in 1821, Dorritt Mott who is against slavery is a woman ahead of her time. When events make it impossible for her family, including an overbearing stepfather and a spoiled half-sister, to remain in New Orleans, they head to Texas to join Stephen Austin’s first angloamericano settlement and recoup their fortune in the Spanish colony of Texas.

Quinn, a social outcast as the half-breed son of a Cherokee mother and an American father, has made a name for himself as a scout and a man not to be taken lightly.

When the New Orleans lady and the frontiersman meet, they become unlikely allies as they travel the wilds of Texas. But will their trek be in vain? Mexico has broken with the Spanish Crown that had granted Austin land. And both armies plus marauding Comanche roam the pine forest and prairie of Texas.

And though they are unaware of it, there is a closer danger, a man who is plotting destruction and who will try to make Dorritt and Quinn pawns in his scheme. As their romance blossoms, can Dorritt help Quinn put his trust in the God? The Creator who has promised that those that delight in Him shall be given the desires of their hearts? What will it take for Quinn to believe that promise?


In the vein of the great sweeping historical sagas of Tracie Peterson,  Lyn Cote’s Texas: Star of Destiny series will grab readers from the very first page.


LYN COTE is an award-winning author of both contemporary and historical inspirational romance. She speaks at state, regional and national writer’s conferences and is an active member of RWA and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Most recently, Chloe, the first novel in Lyn’s “Women of Ivy Manor” series published by FaithWords was a 2006 Rita Award finalist for Best Inspirational as well as a finalist for the Holt Medallion and the National Readers Choice Contest. She is also one the top-selling authors in Harlequin’s Love Inspired category line. Born in El Paso, Texas, Lyn and her husband now live in Wisconsin.








Sunday, February 22, 2009

Our Changing Government

I know some of you don't like to talk politics, so if you don't, just click away and come back tomorrow.  :-) But our government is being changed--rapidly--and I, for one, am alarmed. 

People seem to have forgotten that the government can give nothing without taking it from its people first.  People seem to expect the government to provide them with food, housing, jobs, and healthcare.  I could understand if these were children, who are accustomed to being provided for, but mature people should realize that no one can develop independence, ability, and strength until they learn to provide for themselves. 

I recently read this letter from the Republican National Committee--and whether or not you are a Republican, the collapse of the two-party system, which is the basis of our country's lovely system of checks and balances, should concern everyone. 

I've edited this for length, and I'll admit that like most fundraising letters, its tone is a little strident, but I hope you'll read this.  Look beneath the hype, and you'll begin to understand what is happening in Washington. 


An urgent message from 
The National Republican Trust PAC

Dear fellow American:

Let me tell you the real reason Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid pushed through the biggest spending bill in history - without proper debate, without Republican input, and without any public scrutiny at all.

Simply, they are trying to turn the United States into a one-party country and to put the Republican Party out of business once and for all.

The massive appropriation called a stimulus - some $787 billion of your money - is really a political war chest for the Democrats.

They want to change the face of American politics forever, and they want to use your taxpayer money to do it. They want to use billions from our treasury to reward their political
friends - and have huge amounts of cash to dole out before the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Some people have wondered why, if the country is in dire need of emergency "stimulus," most of the money appropriated by this law will not even be spent this year. Instead, spending will go on for five to 10 years.

There is no mystery here, as the answer is simple: These billions in taxpayer funds will fund the Democratic political machine for many years to come.

Chicago Machine Takes over Washington

Chicago is run as a one-party city. The Democratic political machine and the government are one and the same.

Just like we saw recently in Congress, there is no real debate in Chicago. Deals are brokered in the back rooms among the ward leaders, the mayor and their cronies.

What the political machine decides, the public has to accept it. The city council serves simply as a rubber stamp - much the same way the Congress just acted for Obama.

And public money in Chicago is used to protect and serve the interests of the machine.

Obama - as I will reveal to you with the stimulus plan - is simply replicating the Chicago machine in Washington.

It is a frightening thought because our freedoms depend on a vibrant two-party system.

We at the National Republican Trust PAC are deeply troubled not only by how much the stimulus plan spends but also the way it was implemented.

We just witnessed how the basic and open democratic process of our republic was flouted.

We fear that the actions by Obama and Congress that we just witnessed threaten the very foundation of our republic.

Consider that we have long believed America is the greatest democracy in the world.

Yet Congress passed the largest spending bill in its history - by essentially suspending vital democratic processes, including debate and public examination of the pending law.

We know that the Democrats, working late into the night, secretly agreed to a "compromise" bill among themselves - and then refused even to share it with Republicans or the public until just hours before the bill went to the floor for a vote.

The final stimulus bill was 1,079 pages long. We know Barack Obama never read the bill.

Many members of Congress have admitted not one senator or congressman even read the bill before they voted for it!

The Democrats say they suspended normal procedures because the country so desperately needed to avoid what Barack Obama said was an economic "catastrophe."

The bill apparently was so urgent that the Democrats even excluded Republican leaders from any involvement in negotiations on it.

When, in our republic, does Congress simply vote on a bill when its members have no idea what it says?

And, how could congressional leaders like Pelosi and Reid, as well as President Obama, present a monumental law but not allow even one day of scrutiny by Congress, its staffs or the public?

Big Lie No. 1: The Emergency

They told us that the country is in such a dire situation that it was an emergency. That was Big Lie No. 1: The bill was not an emergency measure.

This was a ruse. They falsely claimed it was an emergency bill to cut off all debate.

The lie about the urgency was made clear when President Obama, rather than immediately signing the bill, went on vacation to celebrate Valentine's Day with his wife in Chicago. [Amazingly he had been in Washington less than a month before he took his first vacation!] In fact, Obama took almost four days to sign this "urgent" bill.

Big Lie No. 2: Immediate Stimulus

And then there is Big Lie No. 2: The bill offered immediate help to our ailing economy. The truth: The bill does not offer significant, immediate stimulus. Most of the stimulus money won't even be spent this year, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office! And the CBO has warned that the bill actually will hurt long-term economic growth.

Infrastructure programs, including items such as $8 billion for a high-speed train between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, will take a decade or longer to complete - if environmentalists ever let the project begin.

Republican traitor Arlen Specter, who backed the stimulus bill, got more than $6 billion in the bill for "medical research" - another lulu that has nothing to do with immediate economic stimulus.

Big Lie No. 3: Bipartisan Support

Then there is Big Lie No. 3: This bill was a bipartisan effort to save the economy. It was anything but. Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham said bluntly: "If this is going to be bipartisanship, the country's screwed." Indeed, every Republican in the House voted against the bill, along with six courageous Democratic congressmen.

In the Senate, almost every Republican opposed the bill except three liberals: Sens. Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Arlen Specter. Obama promised he would change the "old politics" of Washington. Instead, he is playing hardball partisan Democratic politics of the Chicago type.

He has used the weakening economy as his Reichstag fire event to get to pass an incredible amount of money so he could funnel huge amounts of pork and political payoffs to his Democratic cronies and allies. And now, he is even talking about a second stimulus program! Why not? Congress just passed his first bill without even reading it! What a joke . . .

The Real Purpose: Abolish the GOP

I have no doubt what the real purpose of the stimulus bill was. Simply, it was to lay the ground work of the remaking of America's political system into a one-party system. Yes, a one-party socialist state that destroyed countries like Mexico.

The media will never tell you this, but that's the real agenda behind the Obama stimulus bill. This is why so little of the stimulus is spent now, but spread out over several years.

This means Obama and Democrats will have hundreds of billions to disburse to their supporters, creating a new party cadre that will help them win re-election in 2010 and 2012.

Don't believe me? Well, we all know the fraud perpetrated by groups like ACORN to register Democratic voters.

In the run-up to the 2009 election, millions of new "voters" were registered - and it clearly helped elect Obama - and gave the Democrats big majorities in the House and Senate.

Their game plan for 2008 worked. Now they want to use public funds - our tax dollars - to pay for more of their political activities. For example, the final stimulus bill gives $3 billion to groups like ACORN.

Consider that, in 2008, Obama claimed that he raised $750 million for his campaign. Compared with that amount, ACORN's $3 billion is staggering. No doubt, these billions will help ACORN in its political work of "community organizing" - a euphemism for Democratic activitism.

But it's not just ACORN who is getting "stimulus." The bulk of the Obama stimulus goes directly to the powerful government employee unions that helped get Obama elected and are the backbone, the shock troops, of the Democratic Party.

Amazingly, it's been estimated that half of the stimulus appropriation directly benefits government employee and service employees union that played key roles in Obama's election.

Second, the bill gives tens of billions to state and local governments to dole out  . . . This means there will be even less accountability by Congress.

And then there are massive payoffs to the special interests to the Democratic Party, with giveaways such as $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $300 million for new cars for government bureaucrats, $1.2 billion for "youth activities," tens of billions for "green, environmental and energy programs"   they even include $3.7 billion to help "green" military bases and another $125 million to restore "abandoned mines."

Shockingly, the bill creates 33 new government programs! The stimulus money will give the Democrats the opportunity to become the dominant political party for the next generation.

Our Plan . . .

Despite the massive political payouts Obama, Reid and Pelosi are funneling to their allies across the country, they can still be stopped.

The polls show Americans want a two-party system.  They don't want their taxpayer funds used for political shenanigans and payoffs. We at the National Republican Trust PAC want to expose the incredible rip-off the stimulus bill will be to the taxpayers.

If Americans knew that the bill would place an additional $9,400 in debt upon each household in America, they would be appalled. If Americans knew the extent to which this bill is going for political payoffs to groups like ACORN, they would be outraged.

We know that Americans will wake up to what Congress has perpetrated on them with this stimulus. But we also know we can't rely on the media to tell the facts.

This is why we want to keep up our media efforts to expose Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. We now know they have a radical plan for the nation.

The Democrats are already talking about legalizing 12 million illegals, making them citizens and voters overnight. They know that, if they do this, they will instantly change the political landscape in the nation for a generation or more.

This is why we urgently have launched a media campaign in exposing Sen. Specter in Pennsylvania and Sens. Snowe and Collins in Maine. We want their constituents to know exactly how their senators voted against the public's best interests. We are doing this because we know that Obama is passing sweeping legislation, and that we need to put these senators and congressmen on notice: If they vote for Obama's plan, they will pay a heavy price back home among their voters.

Dick Morris, the Fox News analyst, has called the National Republican Trust the most important political force in the nation. He says we are now doing the work of the Republican Party.

But our success depends on people like you. We depend on Americans like you who care about this country and who want us to keep fighting.

Thank you and God bless you.

Yours for America,

Scott Wheeler
Executive Director

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Silliness

  This is nothing but silly, but it's fun for a Saturday.  :-) 


Friday, February 20, 2009


Earlier this week I read a newspaper article that claimed that sexually transmitted diseases were rapidly increasing among 15 to 19 year olds in our area.  The article went on to proclaim that "abstinence-only sex education in schools" clearly wasn't working. 

I lowered the paper and sat at my kitchen table, speechless.  The logic of some people just astounds me.  Kids in school generally get one unit of sex education, and they only spend a few days talking about birth control.  The message of abstinence is an important one, because only kids who abstain from sex before marriage and then remain true to one partner are NOT at risk for STDs.  This message does need to be shouted from the mountaintops. 

But you know what?  Condoms aren't completely foolproof.  The HIV virus can slip through a condom.  Birth control pills don't prevent STDs at all.  So how is birth control education going to stem the tide of sexually transmitted diseases? 

What no one is mentioning is the veritable FLOOD of sexual images being sent to our kids through music, movies, and television.  Our culture is saturated with sexual messages.  And it doesn't all come from outside the home. So many of our kids are living with parents who think nothing of shacking up with someone to whom they're not married . . . and single moms and dads think nothing of having their dates sleep over.  

How is the abstinence message supposed to counter all that?  It can't.  No way. 

What does make a difference?  Moms and dads who walk what they talk, parents who take their kids to church where teachers explain that our bodies are created in the image of God and are not to be treated with disrespect--by ourselves or by anyone else.  Men and women who live morally upright lives and show by example that true love is committed and faithful and joy-filled.  That sex in marriage is part of a beautiful and God-honoring relationship.  

We can't expect our kids to be profoundly changed after only a few hours of a sex education class--not when the culture negates everything they might hear in that class.  Time to wake up and smell the coffee.  


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Out of town again . . .

If this is Thursday, I am out of town and speaking at Westminster Christian School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  It's a quick trip, in and out, but I do enjoy speaking to students. Looking forward to a good day. 

At home, I've been busy with house projects.  I've been "unemployed" for a while (meaning I have no book contract hanging over my head), so while I've been waiting for a job, I've been doing things that need doing.  Hubby says that while we may be broke, the house has never looked better.  :-)  I've cleaned the grout in the kitchen floor, taken down the dust-catching sheers in two front rooms and installed solar film instead, and rearranged furniture.  I've also finished our taxes. 

I'd better get a job soon, or we won't recognize our house.  

I think I'm just going to jump in and write a book on spec--without a contract.  That's an exercise in sheer faith and an option I haven't taken in ages because for twenty years I've always had a contract and a deadline.  But I have this idea niggling in my brain, and I might as well start writing.  

If you ever decide to put solar film on your windows, watch out for paper cuts.  Yep, my thumb receive the mother of all paper cuts when I ran it along an edge of film, and two days later, it still hurts.  With a deep gash across the top, my appendage looks like FrankenThumb.  


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To start your day on a sweet note . . .

Just visit this website . . . and then settle back and say, "Awww . . . " 


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Double Minds, by Terri Blackstock

I'm excited to tell you about my friend Terri's latest book.  (That odd  photo has nothing to do with her book; that's only me and Terri fooling around at Blarney Castle.  Fun memories.) 

I'm excited to read this one because it's about a singer in a recording studio, and I knew about such things in a previous life.  :-)  Anyway, here's the scoop, so enjoy!  


A Stand-Alone Novel by Terri Blackstock

Were the bullets intended for her?

As talented singer/songwriter Parker James struggles to make her mark on the Nashville music scene, she finds the competition can be fierce – even deadly. When a young woman is murdered at the recording studio where Parker works, Parker is drawn into a mystery where nothing is as it seems. Unraveling the truth puts her own life at risk when she uncovers high-level industry corruption and is terrorized by a menacing stalker. As the danger escalates, Parker begins to question her dreams, her future, and even her faith. Does stardom even matter anymore?

“Blackstock’s superior writing will keep readers turning pages late into the night to discover the identity of the culprit in this amazing mystery. The unique setting and peek into the Nashville music scene are fascinating. Suspense lovers are in for a delightful treat.” Romantic Times, February 2009.

Terri Blackstock’s books have sold six million copies worldwide. Known for her “Up All Night Fiction,” Terri has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. Terri makes her home in Mississippi, where she and her husband Ken are enjoying their empty nest after raising three children.

See the Video Trailer for Double Minds at

 You can order Double Minds through Terri's website or by clicking here.  


Monday, February 16, 2009

Harlequin offers free books!

I recently received an email from the folks at Harlequin, where I've published several books under the Steeple Hill and Mira imprints.  Said the message:  "To thank our many readers for taking us into their hearts and homes for 60 years and making us the world’s leading publisher of romantic fiction, Harlequin is giving every woman in America and Canada a free book.  In fact, we’re giving away 16 free Books that readers can download.  For more information, visit:   The titles are available as a PDF and in all eBook formats. The titles are also available as a Stanza App for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The titles can also be found at all the online retailers like Sony, Amazon, Barnes & Noble,,, etc.  The 16 free books (one for every series) will be available throughout 2009.

 Among the free books:

 Love Inspired, A Very Special Delivery by Linda Goodnight

Love Inspired Historical, Homespun Bride by Jillian Hart

Love Inspired Suspense, Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry



Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cars and Drivers

Someone culled some lovely footage from various security cameras--for some really funny illustrations of cars and drivers.  Take three minutes to take a peek here.  

Oy vey!  I'm ignoring the fact that all those drivers are supposedly women, because I've seen male drivers do some pretty silly things, too.  :-) 


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ginger Discrimination

Okay, I'll admit it--I am not a natural redhead.  In fact, I'm not sure what my natural color is anymore.  I was blonde growing up, and the blonde darkened, and now, if I don't make it to the salon in time, I have a gray fringe that creeps in around my hairline. 

A couple of years ago I was in London and happened to pick up a British tabloid.  On the editorial page I found a column written by a "ginger-haired" woman--a red-head.  She wrote of how she'd been teased, criticized, and looked down on in Britain because of her ginger-colored hair.  She reminded her readers that Prince Charles had made a disparaging remark upon learning that Prince Harry's hair was "ginger-coloured."   And so, the columnist finished, she was going to America where red-heads were celebrated.  

While I'm confessing that I'm not a natural red-head, I should also add that I do lay a distant claim to the color, as many of my cousins ARE natural gingers.  (See photo--that's cousins Alyce, Belinda, me, and Melissa).  

I decided to address the topic of ginger-prejudice (which isn't so marked in the U.S., I admit) after stumbling across this web page--which contains some of the most beautiful photos of ginger-headed folks I've ever seen.  Aren't those babies adorable?  

So if you have ginger-hair--no matter how you got it--remember that while Blondes may have more fun, my hairdresser says "redheads are remembered!"  :-) 

And a happy Valentine's day to all of you!  


Friday, February 13, 2009

Miracles beneath your feet . . .

Do you think of ants as lowly creatures?  The Bible says not even kings' palaces are off-limits to them.  

A team of scientists poured concrete down an ant hill, waited for the concrete to dry, and then dug out the surrounding dirt.  The subterranean city they found will astound you.  

Take three minutes and watch it here.  "There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: Ants--they aren't strong, but they store up food all summer."  (Prov. 30:24-25). 

To see more wonders from the animal kingdom, check out this video of polar bears and dogs that have become pals.  Think of them as Republicans and Democrats, and you'll see what a miracle this is.  :-) 


Thursday, February 12, 2009

If you Need a Giggle . . .

This movie clip is guaranteed to provide one.  This quartet of babies is just too cute!  Thanks to Lisa Samson for sending it to me!  

BTW, I just finished reading the ARC of Lisa's new book, THE PASSION OF MARY-MARGARET.  This book is going to be a must-read . . . it's lovely and moving and I know I will carry certain ideas from it for the rest of my life.  You can pre-order it here . . . and I promise, you won't be disappointed.  

Mary-Margaret is a Catholic lay-sister who experiences visions of Jesus . . . but she doesn't publicize them. Anyway, it may sound strange to say this, but her visions became so real to me that I will never forget them.  A powerful story about love and sacrifice and obedience.  


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sweet Wedding . . .

I want to show you all something that I think is soooo cool.  

One of the benefits of staying in one place for a long time is seeing the kids you had in middle school grow up, get married, and send their children to your middle school department.  :-)  (Remember, my hubby is a middle school youth pastor, and has been one for over 30 years).  

Anyway, Hubby is frequently asked to perform weddings, and one of our girls is Chinese. She's getting married in Taiwan, so Gary wasn't able to pop over there to do her wedding.  But she brought him the traditional gift, a favor everyone who attended her wedding received.  I think this is so wonderful more people ought to do it.  :-) 

It's a box in a gift bag.  Notice the lovely velvet bow and the real silk flowers in the bride's bouquet.  When you open the box, you see dozens of individually packaged cookies and mints. When you open the "bride and groom" boxes, you see even more cookies!  

I know we'll be enjoying these treats for a long time to come.  They're not as sweet as American cookies, but they're still delicious.  I just thought this was the coolest idea ever! 

I'd tell you how to order them, but all the info was written in Chinese.  :-/  If you want to see the website, look here.  

And good news!  The UPS man pulled up yesterday with an unexpected surprise--the first box of copies of SHE'S IN A BETTER PLACE.  The third Fairlawn book is officially off the press!  


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A New Book Coming Out

A few years ago, Nancy and I looked out on our class of  advanced "Nangie" students and spotted a familiar face--Jill Nelson, already a published author, was taking our novel writing class.  I'm as pleased as punch to tell you about her newest release from Steeple Hill.  Jill's a terrific writer, so if you like mystery and mayhem, this book is for you! 

Evidence of Murder

By Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Publisher: Steeple Hill

 The photographs Samantha Reid uncovers in her new store are shocking. Horrifying. And dangerous. This new evidence could reopen a decade-old multiple homicide case that someone wants desperately to keep closed. And when the evidence comes out, a reluctant Samantha is drawn straight into the spotlight. Then she meets Ryan Davidson, the last surviving member of the murdered family. In spite of herself, she’s drawn in by his need to find the truth. Together, they work to unravel the mystery, while the killer works to keep the secrets buried—forever. 


By day, Jill is a manager at my local health care complex. By night, she morphs into a wild and crazy writer, itching to share with her readers stories full of adventure seasoned with humor, romance, and faith. Jill and her husband have been married for over 27 years, and they enjoy life in rural Minnesota, where they raised four children and have a grandbaby due any day.  

Visit Jill’s website at

You can get this book directly from your local bookstore, or online here:  


Monday, February 09, 2009

Looking for a Good Movie?

Christianity Today recently posted its list of the ten "most redeeming" movies of 2008.  I've only seen two on the list--"Wall-E" and "The Visitor," but I agree with those choices.  I'll have to add the others to my Netflix queue.  

You can check out the list here . . . and remember, "redeeming" does not necessarily mean "Kid-friendly."  



Sunday, February 08, 2009

A special surrogate mommy

A reader who'd read UNSPOKEN recently sent me these pictures.  Remember how Sema the gorilla didn't like cats of any sort?  Obviously, this chimp has no problem with them!  She often helps her keeper help with raising orphaned tigers.  The chimp is named Anjana, and she is obviously a tender "mommy."  


Saturday, February 07, 2009

BOM: Questions and Answers

Thanks for the questions. Let's hop to them: 

Sally asked:  How far in advance do you work on a novel?
Give an example of how/when an idea came to you for one of your books.

Most novels have been percolating in my brain for over a year by the time I start to write them.  Every once in a while I'll get an idea with an accompanying sense of urgency--THE DEBT--was one of those--and I know I'm supposed to write it ASAP.  That always involves writing my editor and explaining that though I'm contracted to write XYZ, I'd really like to write ABC instead.  To their credit, most editors will allow a writer to switch, because they all seem to want a writer to follow his/her passion.  

A novel requires four pieces before I can begin to assemble the puzzle:  the plot, the characters, the setting, and the theme.  I usually get the plot and/or setting first, and I create characters to fit the story.  For instance, I read about researchers in the rain forest canopy years before I figured out a plot, took time to go to the Amazon, and completed enough research to begin writing THE CANOPY.  

Right now, I have ideas in my head for the following stories:  a woman searching for an orphan in Guatemala, a story about a fake psychic, a story about a magical drugstore telephone, a story about three sisters, a story about Elizabeth I, and a story about a man given three pieces of prophecy about his life in his youth.  I have to find a publisher willing to contract them first, then I have to write them.  So some of those stories may be waiting a while, and I'm sure they'll change a bit while they're waiting.  That's okay--it's good for stories to percolate.  :-) 

Blogger Mocha with Linda Says: 

Started Brothers yesterday and it is as good as I anticipated. Had to make myself go to bed last night!

What made you choose Simeon? I know Reuben convinced the others not to kill Joseph, and Judah has a "speaking part" in the Bible account of selling Joseph, but what captured you about Simeon? Or was it stuff later in the 12 tribes?

Simeon was chosen for me, as the Bible says he was the one chosen to stay behind when the other brothers went back to Canaan.  So he was the one who remained "on stage" with Joseph, so he was the one I chose to use as the protagonist.  Plus, the more I learned about his family background, the more interesting he became to me.  What a hothead . . . but what made him that way?  Hmmm.  That was the intriguing part of the puzzle.  

Thanks for joining me for another BOM! 


Friday, February 06, 2009

BOM: Results and Reader Reaction

Tee hee.  I had to take a picture of the sign outside the King's Academy because it's the first time I've ever seen "DR. Angela Hunt" on a sign.  What an amazing school!  I've had a wonderful time with their students. 

I don't remember any unusual reader reactions to BROTHERS, except one: I regularly donate books to a prison ministry, and BROTHERS seemed to strike a chord with men who, like Simeon, have been imprisoned.  I didn't consider that possibility at all as I was writing, but in hindsight, I can see where Simeon's experience, even his troubled family backstory, might reverberate with people who have been incarcerated for any length of time.  

Tomorrow:  Q&A, so if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments box.  Thanks! 


One word meme

 Here is what you are supposed to do...use only one word for each of the following...and please don't spoil the fun...copy and paste into your own note, type in your answers and tag a bunch of people - including me.

Where is your cell phone....................purse
Your hair....................................... bushy 
Your father....................................Albert
Your favorite thing...........................Kindle
Your dream last night........................complicated
Your favorite drink........................... Diet Coke
Your dream/goal.............................Rome
The room you are in..........................hotel
Your fear.......................................roaches
Where do you want to be in 6 years.......working
One of your wish list items...................grandbaby
Where you grew up...........................Rockledge
The last thing you did.........................slept
What are you wearing........................pjs
Your pets........................................mastiffs
Your computer.................................MacAir
Your life..........................................busy
Your mood.......................................numb
Missing someone...............................hubby
Your car..........................................crossover
Favorite store...................................T.J. Maxx
Your favorite color.............................periwinkle
When is the last time you laughed...........yesterday
Last time you cried............................. yesterday
Three people who email me....................BJ, Belinda, Mom
Three of my favorite, spaghetti, flan
Three places I would rather be right now...home, Rome, Bunratty
Three people I think will respond.............BJ, Linda, Sally
Book reading right now . . . THE PASSION OF MARY MARGARET, by Lisa Samson