• Christian Romance Fiction,  Inspire

    The Ache For Happily-Ever-After

    I was thinking about happily-ever-after… The sermon series at our church has been themed on happily ever after. I’m a Christian romance author, so you know this had me from the start. This week, in a dry tone, the pastor asked us to open to the last chapter, the last verse in the book of Cinderella… where we find that “they all lived happily ever after.” Then, he directed us to the last verse of the last chapter of Sleeping Beauty, where he assured us again that we’d find, “and they all lived happily ever after.” Following that we were to go to the last chapter of Snow White… You…

  • Inspire,  thinking about...

    The Hangover

    Catchy title, right? I know… clickbait. But not really. Today, I opened a file that has been languishing on my laptop since December of 2016. The one I’ve ignored because it didn’t fit my project schedule for 2017–the year I dedicated to my dystopian trilogy. I opened that book, half written. It’s a women’s fiction, my original brand. A book several of my readers have told me they’re waiting for. I’m waiting for it too… I opened it. And my mind went back to Braxton and Eliza. To Hannah and Quinn and Tristan and Skye. This surprised me, to be honest. I thought I was ready to move on. Ready…

  • Inspire,  thinking about...

    Identity. Do You Know Yours?

    Thinking about…. Identity. My kids’ youth group has been talking about this, and when the youth pastor and I were chatting, he was sharing about how profoundly important he felt like the discussion is. I completely agree. Knowing who you are… and who you are not willing to become… it’s like a runner putting in the miles of practice (a crazy number of miles, I might add) for one solid race. Without those strides; failure. I’m not talking about not winning, kind of failure. I’m talking not finishing. Or worse. Injury. Physical illness—sometimes creating an emergency situation. But having a solid grip on your identity… Wow. I mean, power, baby.…

  • Inspire

    What will you do with what you believe?

    This is the question God has me wrestling with right now. The theme of the final book in The Uncloaked trilogy, which I am finishing this week. I’m not sure of the answer. It seems like it should be easy to nail down… but it’s not. Perhaps that’s because I live a pretty cozy-comfy life. Or maybe I want a better definition of the question. “What do you mean, what will I do? Do I need to do something different?” Hmm… what do you think? We’re discussing this in our home. What does Kingdom work look like? How can I better be the loving hands and heart of Christ to…

  • Inspire

    storm

    “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits.” ~Psalm 103:1-2 The storm gathers. I feel the winds sweeping, growing in strength and chill. The gray clouds cluster, swirling, churning, warning. It has been for a while now. Not the first time. Won’t be the last. You’ve been there too. We want to name the storm. Identify the source. Sometimes, though, it’s name is simply life. It rises and falls, there are days of sunshine and days of rain. It is appointed to be so. So, in the midst of the…

  • Inspire

    Guilt

    Thinking about… guilt. I once asked a friend how to weed through the feelings of guilt that I was wresting with. Balancing being a wife, motherhood, writing, and volunteering in ministry is an ever-present concern in my world. At that moment (when I talked to  my friend) I couldn’t shake the guilt I felt every time my kids found me working on something not-them related. She told me two things that really stuck. First, our culture, especially the church sub-culture, tends to bombard us with the idea that our kids need our undying attention every second of every day, no matter what age they are (mine are 9-15. They don’t…

  • books,  Inspire,  Uncategorized

    The Snowflake Hunt

    I find myself in search of snowflake ornaments now. This is the first year I’ve experienced this obsession. Honestly, I don’t think I currently own even one of said decorations. But this woman—her name is Kale Brennan—has put into my heart a need to collect these things. Her story, which involves snowflakes, and hot cocoa, and sledding, and all sorts of other wonderful wintry things, also points to the amazing uniqueness of an ordinary snowflake. And how much we can see the extraordinary love of our great God in everyday, ordinary ways. In the words of her daughter Sydney, “There is no such thing as an ordinary snowflake… And we’re…

  • Inspire

    No Escape

    Fiction… that imaginary place of story that becomes an escape. True. Sometimes. Not always. I live an ordinary life. We juggle the norm…joys, fears, tears, and the expected struggle to figure out this living thing so that we may do it well. If you were a fly on my wall, and you managed to escape my nylon swatter, you’d probably wonder why I write what I write. Sometimes, I do too. I just past the 1/3 mark on the rough draft of my current project. Usually that’s where it gets hard. Sadly, I get bored. I go looking in my imagination for new people to meet, a new story to…

  • books,  Inspire

    Imaginary Friends and Real Life Lessons

    Know what I love? Learning. Truly, I do. I miss school. When my kids were younger, I signed up for correspondence courses, because I just needed to use my brain, to stretch my knowledge. To know that my life skills went beyond the laundry room. (Those skills aren’t very good, to be honest, so, yes, please! Let me be useful past the clean clothes journey!) I love research. I love trying things. I love discovering. What does this have to do with anything? Here’s what I love  most about writing:  I learn. These imaginary friends who live in my head, open their wounded souls to me, they teach me things…