Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scavenger Hunt stop #11: PROPHET

Welcome to the first ever Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! Make the loop to discover 23 new or upcoming novels, and write down the clue at each stop. When you know what the clues say, fill out the Rafflecopter form by June 4, 2012 (midnight EST) at, and you could be in the running for the grand prize of 23 new, autographed books (if you live in the USA; unsigned if international).
 Note: if you're the winner, you must email the complete statement within 24 hours of notification in order to claim the Grand don't miss a stop! Be ready with your answer if you're the lucky winner! No need to email it unless you receive the good word on June 5, 2012.
R.J. Larson
As a part of this scavenger hunt, I’m hosting R.J. Larson. 

R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre.

This is what the book’s about:
"If she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young. Yet she can't imagine living without Him."

Book one in BOOKS OF THE INFINITE, a new Biblical fantasy series from Bethany House. PROPHET is inspired by the scriptures and prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel. PROPHET has been picked by critics and The Christian Manifesto as a top book for 2012!

A Scavenger Hunt Exclusive from R.J.:
Pronunciation guide

In order of appearance:

~Ela Roeh \El-ah Roe-eh\ Prophet of Parne.
~Parne\Parn\ Ela’s birthplace and chosen city of the Infinite.
Might be pronounced Parn-ay according to ancient dialects.
~Kalme Roeh \Call-may Roe-eh\ Ela’s mother.
~Dan Roeh \Dan Roe-eh\ Ela’s father.
~Tzana Roeh \Tsaw-nah Roe-eh\ Ela’s sister.
~Zade Chacen \Zaid Chase-en\ Parne’s chief priest.
~Ishvah Nesac \Ish-vaw Ness-ak\ A priest of Parne.
~Kien Lantec \Kee-en Lan-tek\ Ambassador from the Tracelands.
~Riyan\Ree-an\ or Ree-on\ Capitol city of Istgard.
~Tek Lara \Tek Lar-ah\ A cousin to the king of Istgard.
~Tek An \Tek An\ King of Istgard.
~Tsir Aun \Sir Awn\ Istgardian soldier.
~Ket \Ket\ Istgardian soldier.
~Osko \Oss-co\ Istgardian soldier.
~Tal \Tall\ Istgardian soldier.
~Ket Behl \Ket Bell\ Istgardian judge.
~Syb \Sib\ Warden’s wife.
~Tek Sia \Tek See-ah\ King Tek An’s sister.
~ Scythe\Sceyeth\ Destroyer. Long I sound.
~Jon Thel \Jon Thell\ A Traceland commander.
~General Rol \Rawl\ The Traceland’s General.
~Rade Lantec \Raid Lan-tek\ Kien’s father.
~Beka Thel \Bek-ah Thell\ Jon Thel’s wife. Kien’s sister.
~Ara Lantec \Are-ah Lan-tek\ Rade Lantec’s wife. Kien’s mother.
~Ruestock \Roo-stock\ Siphran ambassador to the Tracelands.
~Akabe Garric \Ah-cabe Gair-rick\ Siphran rebel. Might be pronounced Ah-Kahb-ay according to ancient dialects.
~Segere \Seh-gair-ay\ King of Siphra.
~Raenna \Ray-enna\ Queen of Siphra.
~Tamri Het \Tam-ree Het\ Citizen of Munra, Siphra.

You can pick up a copy of RJ’s book here or or your local bookstore. Find out more about this author at 
The Scavenger Hunt Skinny
Now mosey along, Hunters, to Margaret Daley's website  to pick up your next clue.
But before you go, write this clue down: GET A

BONUS: Don't forget--we're having a great contest to honor the upcoming release of FIVE MILES SOUTH OF PECULIAR.  A sneak peak at the details can be found here.
The prizes?  Books, aprons, and a Kindle Touch!   Get your entry ready to upload on June 5th! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kitties and doggies and angels, oh my!

Because I sent my work in progress off to my agent on Wednesday (yea!) I took Thursday off and went to the SPCA with my camera.  Met some really nice dogs and some really squirmy kittens, all of whom had dirty faces from eating a bowl of kitty gruel.  Well, kids will be kids!  Enjoy.

This is Rocko, a Rhodesian Ridgeback

This is Sam, a lively fox terrier who LOVES belly rubs. 

This is Shyann, a very sweet girl. Like an angel!

And of course--these are wiggly kitties. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mark Mynheir at Glen Eryie

Don't forget! There's still time to register! ~~Angie

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Angie and Kathy talk about Glen Eyrie 2012

 And don't forget that all the details about the workshop can be found here!  It is not too late to sign up!


Friday, May 25, 2012

the WIP--chapter two

Okay, here's a bit more.  Feel free to tell me what you think of these characters (from the first scene, too).  Do you like them? What sort of sense do you get about them? Would you want to spend an entire book with them?  Hmm?  

Chapter Two

“I know I’m late and I’m sorry,” I called, pushing my way through the door of Mama Yanela’s, the Cuban grocery owned by my father-in-law, Tumelo, and his twin sister, better known as Mama Isa. 
Amelia, Mama Isa’s daughter and my cousin by marriage, stood behind the check-out counter and pretended not to hear me. “Muchas gracias,” she told a customer, handing over a bag filled with freshly baked Cuban bread. “Please come again.” 
I waited until the elderly customer had shuffled out of the building, then I stepped into the rectangular check-out stand in the center of the store. “Gideon called your mom, right? I had to drive all the way to Largo and back this morning—”
“You could have told me. You were supposed to open.” 
I stared, remembering too late that I’d been entrusted with opening the store. In my excitement over the interview, I’d completely forgotten. “But Gideon called,” I whispered in a weak voice, knowing my excuse wouldn’t fly.
“He didn’t call me. And if he called Mama, I didn’t get the message.” 
Amelia’s pretty face remained locked in neutral, but when she didn’t leave the check-out stand I knew she was royally ticked off. “You could have told me before this morning,” she went on, glaring at me from beneath her brown bangs. “I nearly panicked when I showed up at seven-fifteen and found the doors still locked. At first I thought you’d been in a wreck or something—”
“I wasn’t in a wreck.” 
“But how was I supposed to know that? All those old guys who come for coffee were lined up outside. Even Jenna was waiting, and she had two cakes to decorate for noon pickups. Now she’s hopelessly behind.”
“Jenna!” I swiveled toward the bakery at the back of the store, where Jenna Daniels decorated cakes and pastries behind a glass display case. “I’m sorry if I threw you off schedule.” 
When I turned to Amelia again, her lips had thinned with irritation. “I don’t know how you can be so casual about everything. This is not funny.” 
“I didn’t mean to be funny.” I sighed and stashed my purse in an under-counter niche. “Look, the interview I had this morning was a one-time thing. It was important.” 
“Sometimes I think you treat the grocery like some kind of hobby.” 
“A hobby?” I dropped my jaw. “I work my tail off at this place, just like the rest of you. So don’t tell me I don’t work hard.” 
If Amelia had been a cartoon figure, steam would be blowing out her ears. “Okay, you work,” she said. “But working part time means you breeze in whenever you feel like it and take off whenever the mood strikes you.” 
“That’s not fair. I’m not that erratic.” 
“But this isn’t the first time you’ve been late. If you’re going to open the store, you have to be here before seven. You have to get everything ready, turn on the lights, set up the coffee pots.
I closed my eyes.“I know what I have to do.” 
“I don’t think you do. Because somehow you’ve managed to reach adulthood without learning how to take responsibilities seriously. It’s about time you grew up.”
Anger flared in me. Amelia and I were the same age, but she acted like a worried old woman and seemed to think I behaved like a child. I wanted to tell her that I could be as responsible as she was, but just then the bells above the double doors jangled and Claude Newton, one of our regular customers, shuffled in wearing his usual costume: a Hawaiian shirt, a denim kilt, and bright pink flip flops.
I covered my smile while Amelia turned and called out a welcome. “Hola, Claude. ¿Como estas?” 
Muy bien.” He moved slowly toward the canned goods. “Looking for goat’s milk.” 
“Over there, right under la leche de coco,” Amelia told him. “You can’t miss it.” 
My anger evaporated as I watched Claude navigate the aisle. How could I stay mad when our one and only resident nudist had popped in for his daily snack run? Working in a Cuban grocery might not be the most exciting job in Tampa, but it had to be one of the most interesting. 
“Look.” I folded my arms and transferred my gaze to Amelia. “I’m sorry I forgot about opening the store. I’ll do better. I promise.” 
Amelia drew a breath as if she wanted to continue arguing, then she blew out her cheeks. “From now on, let me know if you’re going to be late, okay? Mama’s trying to retire, so she needs to know she can depend on us. If you or Gideon needs to call about store business, call me, not Mama.” 
“Okay. Got it.” 
Her gaze softened. “Well . . . did you get the job?” 
“I’m pretty sure I didn’t.” I pulled my apron from beneath the counter and tied it on. “I don’t have a master’s degree, so I shouldn’t even have bothered applying. I was hoping they’d be desperate enough to overlook my lack of education, but I’m unqualified to be a guidance counselor.” A bitter laugh bubbled to the surface. “Apparently I can’t even give myself good advice.”
Amelia stepped back to let me move toward the register. “Why did you major in psychology if you can’t get a job with your degree? Seems like your college years were a waste of time.” 
I shrugged. “I didn’t plan to stop with a bachelor’s. I didn’t plan to get married so soon and I didn’t plan on getting pregnant—” I stopped when Amelia’s face twisted. 
I could have kicked myself. I kept forgetting that she and her husband Mario had no children after four years of marriage. I’m sure they had their reasons for remaining childless, but I didn’t want to pry. 
I shifted my gaze to the front window, granting her a measure of privacy. 
“I’ll get out of your way now.” Amelia backed out of the narrow space behind the counter, gesturing toward the office at the rear of the store. “I’ll be at the desk. Mama and Uncle Tumelo are coming in later to go over the new order.” 
I nodded. “Don’t worry. I’ll handle things up here.” 
“If you need a translator, come get me.” 
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. Though I didn’t speak Spanish nearly as well as Gideon or his family, I’d been working at the grocery long enough to get a sense of what people were saying when they talked to me. Or I could at least guess what they wanted. 
“Go on.” I waved Amelia away. “I know what I’m doing.” 
Looking back, I think that may have been the last day I could say those words and even come close to meaning them. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The work in progress--a small sample

This isn't completely finished, but here's a small taste of the book in progress, a novel called THE OFFERING.  Comments are welcome. :-) 

Chapter One 

Marilee and I were trying to decide whether we should braid her hair or wear it in pigtails when Gideon thrust his head into the room. Spotting me behind our daughter, he gave me a look of frustrated disbelief. “Don’t you have an important appointment this morning?” 
Shock flew through me as I lowered the silky brown strands in my hands. Of course, this was Monday. At nine I had a tremendously important interview with the Pinellas County school system. 
I glanced at the pink clock on my four-year-old daughter’s bureau. I had only an hour to shower and dress, drive across Tampa Bay, and find the school system’s personnel office. Somewhere in the mad rush I also needed to rehearse my responses to standard interview questions, calm my nerves, and call the grocery so they’d know I’d be late. 
Good thing I had a helpful husband.
“Gideon!” I yelled toward the now-empty doorway. “Can you call Mama Isa and tell her I’ll be late this morning?”
“Just get going,” he yelled, exasperation in his voice. “Your coffee’s in the kitchen.”
I squeezed Marilee’s shoulders. “I’m sorry, sweet girl, but this morning we have to go with something quick.” 
“That’s okay. But tomorrow can I wear it like Princess Leia?” 
I frowned, trying to place the name. Was she one of the Disney princesses? “How does Princess Leia wear her hair?” 
“You know.” Marilee held her hands out from her ears and spun her index fingers in circles. “She has honey buns on her ears.” 
I laughed, placing the image—she was talking about the princess in Star Wars. “Sure, if you want to have honey buns over your ears, that’s what we’ll do. We aim to please.” 
I pulled the long hair from the top of her head into a ponytail, looped an elastic band over it, and tied a bow around the band. Then I kissed the top of her head and took a moment to breathe in the sweet scent of her strawberry shampoo. “Love you,” I murmured.
She grinned. “Love you, too.”
I returned her smile and hurried into my bathroom.
Twenty minutes later I stood in my closet, wrapped in a towel and dripping on the carpet. What to wear? I had a nice blue skirt, but the waistband had lost its button and I had no idea where I’d put it. The black pantsuit looked expensive and professional, but sand caked my black sandals because I wore them to the beach last weekend. 
“Baby girl?”
“In here.” 
The closet door opened and Gideon grinned at me, a fragrant mug in his hand. “Aren’t you ever going to learn how to manage your schedule?” 
I grabbed the mug and gulped a mouthful of coffee. “Maybe I like living on the edge.” 
“And Mama says I have a dangerous job.” He waggled his brows at the sight of my towel. “Pity you don’t have any extra time this morning.” 
“And too bad you have to get Marilee to school. So off with you, soldier, so I can get my act together.” 
Chuckling, Gideon lifted his hands in surrender and stepped away from the closet. “Okay, then, I’m heading out. But you’re picking up our little bug from school today, right?” 
I dropped the blouse I’d been considering. “I’m what?” 
“Our daughter? You’re picking her up this afternoon because I’m leading a training exercise.”
For an instant his face went sober and dark, reminding me of the reason he’d been so busy lately. We were almost two months past September 11, yet sorrow still hung over our nation like a miasma of despair. 
“Sure.” My voice lowered to a somber pitch. “I’ve got it covered.” 
He nodded, but a hint of uncertainty lingered in his eyes. “Mandy--” 
“I’ve got it, so don’t worry.” I shooed him out the door. “Tell Marilee I’ll see her later.” 
Gideon nodded and left the bedroom, his combat boots thumping on the wooden floor. 
A snap of guilt stung my conscience, but I had no time for remorse. I needed a job in my chosen field and Pinellas County needed a middle school guidance counselor. Rarely did any school have a mid-year opening, and this interview could be the answer to all my prayers . . . 
I opened a drawer and pulled out a pair of panty hose, then hesitated. No one wore hose anymore, especially not in the Florida heat, but for this job I’d wear rubber sheathing if they expected me to. I had to look my best, I had to dress to impress, and I had to get across the Howard Frankland bridge in record time. No one expected an educator to look like a fashion icon, but everyone expected her to show up on time.
A brown skirt hung behind Gideon’s gun safe. Though the suede material would be hot and heavy, at least the garment had buttons and a hem. I grabbed it, then yanked a utilitarian white shirt from a hanger. Ready or not, I had to get moving. 
A few minutes later, as I fastened the buttons at the shirt sleeve, I noticed a reddish stain on the cuff, probably from Marilee’s cranberry juice. With no time to change, I rolled both sleeves up to the elbow. 
I brushed my teeth and hair, swiped mascara across my lashes, and thrust my feet into a pair of worn loafers. I stepped back for one final look in the mirror, then shook my head. I looked more like an absent-minded blonde than a counselor, but maybe the interviewer wouldn’t mind. I’d impress her with my professionalism. 
I ran back into the bedroom, grabbed my oversized leather tote from a hook on the door, and hurried out to my car. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why God Made Moms

A friend sent me this, and I thought it was too cute not to share:

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following   questions:
Why did God make mothers?1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.2. Mostly to clean the house.3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.
How did God make mothers?1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.
What ingredients are mothers made of?1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the   world and one dab of mean.2.   They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I   think.
Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?1. We're related.2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.
What kind of a little girl was your mom?1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.3. They say she used to be nice.
What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?1. His last name.2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on   beer?3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to   chores?
Why did your mom marry your dad?1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot2. She got too old to do anything else with him.3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.
Who's the boss at your house?1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof   ball.2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.
What's the difference between moms and dads?1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause   that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine..
What does your mom do in her spare time?1. Mothers don't do spare time.2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.
What would it take to make your mom perfect?1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic   surgery.2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd dye it, maybe blue.
If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of   that.2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it   not me.3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her   head.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt is coming!

Do you love Christian fiction? I mean really LOVE it?

Then you have to join the Christian fiction scavenger hunt that is coming on May 31st. I'd list all the authors who are participating here, but there are 23 of us. Here are just a few of them:

Lisa Tawn Bergren
Colleen Coble
Rachel Hauck
Jenny B Jones
Sharon Hinck
Angela Hunt
Cara Putnam
Carol Cox

See that pile of books on the left?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

How I love those doggies . . .

My doggie volunteer work at the SPCA is a lovely and welcome distraction from ordinary life.  Doggie kisses can lower blood pressure, did you know that?  So I went this morning and snapped seven lovely doggies.  And you know, I think I am falling in love with pit bulls. Unless they've been mistreated, they are really lovely dogs!



Cash in his cone (there was a note saying not to take it off, and I'm the kind of gal that follows the rules. Mostly.) 




Khloe's sister, Pumpkin

We're hoping these two will be adopted together. 
And so here are the doggies of May 19th. Enjoy!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Preparing for Blue Ridge

Next week I will be teaching at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers' Conference up in North Carolina, so this week I've been preparing, working on the book-in-progress, and going over my lessons.

But this morning I headed out to the SPCA, because I knew I wouldn't be around next week.  Only two puppies to snap today, Nikia, a border collie mix, and Rain, a lovely American Stafordshire terrier.  I'm pretty sure that Rain is Bubba's  (previous blog) sister.  They are adorable, and both are very sweet.

So here they are, the dogs of May 17th.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Dog, a tutu, and a WIP

So it's becoming a very busy week.  I went to the SPCA, and met a beautiful black lab mix.  Well, black dogs are very common and typically the last to be adopted.  So what could set him off from the pack?  Well . . . I just happened to have a tutu.  But since he wasn't a female black dog, the tutu had to become a ruff.

And I think he looks very handsome. :-)

Meet Rascal.  And thanks for dropping by.

P.S.  The work in progress is coming along.  :-)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday at the SPCA




Beautiful Princess


Spent the morning snapping puppy dogs at the SPCA.  Particularly fell in love with Ginger, who looks like a mastiff head on a bulldog body--I suspect that she is a mastiff/bulldog mix.  Anyway, here are the dogs of May 12: Princess, Sydney, Bubba, Ginger, and Jack.  :-)