Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bits and pieces

Life has been nuts. I could right an insanely long blog about all that is going on... but instead I'll just write a fairly long blog about some of the things that are going on.
~ Remember awhile back when I mentioned that our sewer was broken and we were going to have to replace it… and I really hoped that it wouldn’t turn into one of those horrible, horrible long ordeals that took months to finish? Yeah… this is my bathroom right now:

Notice the hole in the ground and the distinct lack of any type of plumbing and/or sewage pipes in said hole? Yep, that’s right… Still not done. Although, we’ve upgraded slightly from India-like conditions in the other bathroom and have an shower-like thing installed… and we no longer have to flush with a bucket. Good times.

~ We got a new supervisor at work three weeks ago. She is… well, she is not going to be my best buddy. Or probably my buddy at all. I'm, in fact, pretty sure she hates my guts. Yet another reason to find a new job.

~ I’m having sinus surgery next Wednesday (29 October). They’re going to remove the polyps and straighten my septum so I can breathe better. The ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor was showing my the CT scan of my nose... one side of my nose, there's just a tiny passageway for the air to get through, the other side is full of polyps. No wonder I've had so many sinus problems... It’s supposed to be pretty miserable for the first week after the surgery, but then, if all goes as planned, it will make my life much nicer.

~ I saw the craziest wreck the other night. It looked like a big grain truck had pulled out in front of a pickup truck and a PT cruiser. The grain truck ended up blocking the westbound lanes somehow (it was on a divided highway) and the pickup and PT cruiser apparently both hit their brakes to avoid hitting the grain truck. The PT cruiser went UNDER the pickup. The pickup was on it’s front two wheels, and the cab of the PT cruiser was almost directly underneath the cab of the pickup… and other than a crack in the windshield and some hood damage, the PT cruise was just fine. Everyone was standing around outside the cars and it didn’t look like anyone got hurt, but it was pretty odd looking.

~ It’s now time for an “April is an idiot” story. Elly the dog isn’t supposed to go into our bedroom because she sheds a lot and my husband wants to have at least one room that isn’t covered with dog hair. Lately we’ve been blocking the door to the room with a box fan that is about 2 feet high. Because our house is... unique... the frame for the bedroom door is really low - if I stand up straight in the doorway, I can touch the door with the top of my head. So… the other night, I was playing with Elly the dog. We'd been playing the game for awhile and I thought I’d outsmart her by jumping into the bedroom and hiding behind the door. So I ran to the door and leaped over the fan… and apparently, I didn’t duck far enough. I smashed my head against the top of the door, and down I went. My husband said he heard a crash and asked me what happened, and I didn’t answer, so I guess I knocked myself out for a minute. I got a nice size lump on my head, a bunch of bruises, and a really bent up fan.

The aforementioned Elly the dog and the fan.
Elly the dog is gigantic now. My husband calls her dogzilla. My mom calls her Elly-phant.
~ I’m taking three classes this semester. None of them are terribly difficult, but they are starting to kick my butt.
~ It's almost November... which means it's again time for NaNoWriMo. I'm pretty excited again this year. I've got what I hope is a pretty good story I've been mulling over.
~ Speaking of November, I'll be 30 at the end of November. That's a little weird.
OK. That's enough for now. I'll write again sometime in the near future. I hope.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another "haven't fallen off the planet" post...

Okay, serious, where is time going?

There is no way, absolutely no way, that it can already be the middle of September. I'm starting to think that everytime I blink, a week goes by...

Did you ever notice that whenever you decide that enough is enough and you are going to change *insert messed up area of your life here*, then everything falls apart. Not only does area you were going to change go straight down the tube, everything else seems to decide to dive right on in after it.

Take, for example, my decision to stop being a chicken and to do this whole writing thing. That was last summer. The year that has followed has been one of the most insane years of my life thus far... And now I sit here realizing that I'm in almost exactly the same place as I was last year in regards to writing... except this year, large pieces of my life that were going pretty swell last year are now laying crumbled on the ground all around me.

I've been doing a lot of soul searching the last few days. I'm not really sure what's going on with my life right now. I've been reading the Martyr Song books by Ted Dekker, and they've... let's just put it mildly and say that they've really shaken me up... and made me wondering if this is all just God trying to get my attention... because to be honest, I haven't been listening very well lately. Or at all.

So anyway... I'm still here. Hi.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I hate plumbing...

The house that we live in is... well, it's an interesting sort of place. My husband lived there for while as a child, then his parents rented it out for a number of years, and about 10 years ago, my husband bought it from his parents. It's a concrete block house... actually, it started out as a garage, then was converted into a house in the 1950s. These days, it's not in the greatest shape. One of those kind of places where every time you fix one thing, 3 more things break.

We've had some problems with the sewer line recently. My husband worked on it a couple of weeks ago and thought he'd taken care of most of the problem... Nope.

We had a plumbing disaster yesterday afternoon, the details of which I will not horrify you with. This weekend will most likely be spent replacing our entire sewer line as well as about half the plumbing...

Our last plumbing adventure (which occurred a few months before we got married and I, foolishly, agreed to come over and help with) started out as a "simple" job of replacing of the water heater that would only take a few hours and turned into a not-quite-so-simple job of replacing most of the plumbing and took several months to complete. I really, really, really hope that this doesn't turn into another one of those.

We have a second bathroom at our house (more precisely, a former bathroom) that we (more precisely, my husband) managed to make somewhat usable... Actually, it it quite reminiscent of the facilities we had when I was in India and involves the use of buckets for bathing and flushing...

I think that I want to move.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bon voyage...

One of my dearest friends, Brooks, and her family leave tonight for a year in Kenya with Africa Inland Mission.

Pray for them if you think of it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nope, haven't fallen off the face of the earth...

Once upon a time, there was an April who blogged daily and sometimes had to restrain herself from posting more than once a day.

That April seems to have gone AWOL.

It's been a busy summer. No, actually, that's not quite true. It's just been a weird summer. Instead of making the two people who might actually read this suffer through a horrendously long post, I'll summarize. (The way it will only be a very long post, not horrendously long.)

- Still battling the bizarre health issues... we're going on three and a half months now. The doctors finally decided that I had a bacterial infection (which caused two ear infections, a sinus infection, an upper respiratory infection, and bronchitis), sinus polyps, mono (for the second time), and a virus in my right inner ear that caused some nerve damage. The baterial infection has cleared up. They decided not to do surgery on my sinuses for now, and instead have me using this oh-so-pleasant nose spray twice a day. The nerve damage in my ear has caused a slight hearing loss and some balance issues, although it's not a bad as it could be. 20% nerve damage is considered a problem and I'm only at 15%. I'm supposed to do some physical therapy to help me adjust to the change, that should start up in the next couple weeks. I'm back to working half-days at work almost every day, which means I'm getting a paycheck again (though a small one), which is very nice.

- Work is crazier than ever. The co-worker who never works is still employed (ah, isn't working for the state wonderful?), despite the fact that she works less than before and only shows up for work a few hours a week. Our boss is leaving at the end of the month, which makes her the sixth person from our unit in 2 1/2 years to leave primarily because of issues with the co-worker who never works. Thankfully, we finally got a new person to fill the position that's been vacant since mid-March. He just started last week, but he should be trained by the time school starts in a couple weeks and chaos ensues.

- Elly is gigantic. She's now 8 months old, about 60 pounds... and still growing. She's a funny dog... sometimes I'll just sit and watch her and laugh. Speaking of Elly, there's a new post onthe Elly the Dog Blog.

- Classes starts again in a couple weeks. I'd planned to take a class or two this summer, but I didn't because of all the health garbage. I'm taking three classes this fall, all online. We'll see how that goes... At the rate I'm going, it's going to take me about 4 years to get a 2 year degree. I'll get there some day.

- Our third anniversary is next month. That's hard to believe. Sometimes it seems like we've been married forever, other times it doesn't seem possible that it's already been three years. Our anniversary conveniently falls on a Friday this year, and since I have no vacation time, we're going down to Branson, Missouri for the weekend, since it's only a few hours away. My family used to go down there a lot when I was a kid, but I haven't been there for years. We're going to Silver Dollar City one day, and I'm really excited about that, because I am a dork. I'm looking forward to it.

Yeah, I guess that's plenty for now...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

DragonLight - Donita K. Paul

Donita K. Paul

The fantastic land of Amara is recovering from years of war inflicted on its citizens by outside forces–as well as from the spiritual apathy corroding the Amarans’ hearts. With Kale and her father serving as dragon keepers for Paladin, the dragon populace has exploded. It’s a peaceful, exciting time of rebuilding. And yet, an insidious, unseen evil lurks just beneath the surface of the idyllic countryside.

Truth has never been more important, nor so difficult to discern.

As Kale and her father are busy hatching, bonding, and releasing the younger generation of dragons as helpers throughout the kingdom, the light wizard has little time to develop her skills. Her husband, Sir Bardon–despite physical limitations resulting from his bout with the stakes disease–has become a leader, serving on the governing board under Paladin. When Kale and Bardon set aside their daily responsibilities to join meech dragons Regidor and Gilda on a quest to find a hidden meech colony, they encounter sinister forces. Their world is under attack by a secret enemy… can they overcome the ominous peril they can’t even see?

Prepare to experience breathtaking adventure and mind-blowing fantasy as never before in this dazzling, beautifully-crafted conclusion to Donita K. Paul’s popular DragonKeeper Chronicles fantasy series.

If you would like to read the first chapter of DragonLight, go HERE

Friday, July 18, 2008

Promises, Promises - Amber Miller

Promises, Promises
Amber Miller


Raelene Strattford knows God has promised never to leave or forsake her. But after the catastrophic deaths of her parents, she doesn t believe it. What kind of God would take a girl's family and leave her alone in a wild land where women have no voice? Gustaf Hanssen has admired Raelene from afar for a while, but his poor attempt at courting her in the past has made him unwelcome in her life. When Gustaf promises Raelene's dying father that he will take care of her, he finds himself bound to her happiness, her success, and her well-being in ways he never imagined. To keep his word must Gustaf really oversee all of Raelene's affairs, find her a husband, and maintain her farm, while she does nothing but scorn him? Can God reach through Raelene's pain and self-centeredness and give her the love that awaits, if only she will accept His will?

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

At this time,
Promises, Promises
can only be purchased through the
Heartsong Book Club

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wind River - Tom Morrisey

Wind River
Tom Morrisey


You Can't Outrun the Sins of Your Past
Desperate to forget what happened to him in Iraq, Tyler Perkins flees to the emptiness of Wyoming. He's here to escape and also to fulfill a long-ago promise by accompanying his 86-year-old friend Soren Andeman on a fly-fishing trip--once more for old time's sake. But their trek to an idyllic trout lake soon becomes something more deeply harrowing--a journey that uncovers long-held lies, deadly crimes, and the buried secrets of the past. Ty barely has time to contemplate the question of what constitutes justice when nature unleashes her own revenge. Trapped in a race back to safety, he must face his own guilt-ridden past or risk being consumed.

Powerfully imagined by the acclaimed author of In High Places, Wind River is an engaging wilderness adventure that explores the power of confession, the beauty of forgiveness, and the freedom of truth unveiled.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE
I have to confess that I wasn't too crazy about this book. If I were an avid outdoors-person or really enjoyed fshing, I probably would have enjoyed it more. But I'm an avid indoors-person, and once, long long ago, I had a bad fishing experience and haven't gone against since... It was a decent book, but it didn't really grab me.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Elly the dog

My dog, Elly, now has a blog. She'll probably post every couple weeks or so. You can find the blog here.

(It's a long, long story. Don't ask...)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's been awhile...

Have you ever gone through a time in your life where once it's over, you look back and think, "Boy, I really could have done without going through that mess"?

That's where I'm at right now.

Or, more accurately, that's where I hope to be soon.

Almost two months ago, after my former doctor told me that what I had was "just a virus" and I'd just have to get over it, I went to my new doctor and found that I had a sinus infection, two ear infections, and bronchitis. After a round of antibiotics didn't seem to do the trick, they did blood tests, and put me on another, stronger, round of antibiotics. When that also did not do the trick, they did a CT scan and found that I have sinus polyps. I was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who didn't think all my symptoms would be caused just by sinus polyps, and did further tests. After another blood test and an MRI, it was finally concluded last week that I have sinus polyps... and mono. Again. I had mono several years ago and was under the impression that meant I wouldn't get it again. Surprise. *sigh*

I'm finally, very slowly, starting to feel a little better, just really, really tired. I've only been able to work a couple hours at day at the most, but after threatening me with all kinds of disciplinary action for not working all the time (shame on me for being sick!), I was finally approved for medical leave at work. I got back to see the specialist in a couple weeks and will most likely be having sinus surgery sometime next month.

I'm ready to feel human again...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ruby Among Us - Tina Ann Forkner

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Ruby Among Us

(WaterBrook Press May 20, 2008)


Tina Ann Forkner


Sometimes, the key that unlocks your future lies in someone else’s past...

In Ruby Among Us, Lucy DiCamillo is safely surrounded by her books, music, and art─but none of these reclusive comforts or even the protective efforts of her grandmother, Kitty can shield her from the memory of the mother she can no longer remember. Lucy senses her grandmother holds the key, but Kitty seems as eager to hide from the past as Lucy is eager to find it.

From the streets of San Francisco and Sacramento, to the lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley, Lucy follows the thread of memory in search for a heritage that seems long-buried with her mother, Ruby.

What she finds is enigmatic and stirring in this redemptive tale about the power of faith and mother-daughter love.

If you would like to read the first chapter go HERE

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There's sick and miserable... and then there's me.

Warning: The following post could be construed as whining. Read at your own risk.

So. I've been sick for two weeks. I went to my doctor and after looking at my ears, nose and throat, and doing a strep test (which was negative), he informed me that it was just some kind of virus, there was nothing he could do, and I'd just have to get over it.

In the process of trying to find a new doctor, I went to a walk-in clinic that a co-worker recommended. I had a bad sinus infection and an ear infection, and they put me on an antibiotic and said I'd feel better in a couple days.

In a couple days, I still didn't feel better, but I'd found a new doctor. I went to my new doctor and discovered I now had a sinus infection, TWO ear infections, and bronchitis. Oh, the joy! He put me on a stronger antibiotic and said hopefully I'd feel better in a couple days.

Right. I've heard that before.

It's been a couple days now, and surprise, surprise, still feeling about the same - plus I think I've had every "possible" side effect from the new, stronger antibiotic and then some. So, tomorrow I go back to the new doctor and they're doing blood tests to try to figure out what's going on.

Exciting, I know. Prayer from prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Movies and Elly

Elly-the-dog is five months old today. She is gi-normous.

We watch a lot of movies and lately, it's been almost as entertaining to watch Elly during the movie as it is to watch the movie. Most of the time, she lays next to the couch, peeking around the edge at the TV every once in awhile. Some strange sound from the movie will catch her attention and she'll look up at the TV with her head cocked to the side, a slightly puzzled look on her face. It makes me laugh every time.

We watched Cloverfield over the weekend. In Cloverfield, there is much yelling, screaming and crying. Elly seemed to be paying a little more attention to the movie than usual, but I didn't think much of it.

Near the end of the movie, I noticed that Elly was on her belly, creeping closer and closer to the TV, eyes glued to the screen, until she was right under it. She lay there for a minute, staring up at the movie, then jumped up on her hind legs and started licking the screen.

I called her over and the poor dog was shivering. Goldens can be very sensitive to emotions, and my best guess is that all the screaming and crying were getting to her. I felt a little bad...

So, way to go, cast of Cloverfield. Your performance was so good that you scared my puppy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I kinda rock

So. I'm taking an online geography class this semester. I started off pretty great in it, worked hard for the first couple weeks...

Then came Elly. And, I'll be the first to admit, I slacked off. It wasn't all intentional, life jumped into high gear and the down time I had seemed more pleasurable spent doing things like sleeping rather than doing homework.

In said geography class, we are required to do a country study. This country study was to be 10 pages long, have at least 3 sources, only three of which could come from the internet, and there also, in addition to the 10 pages, had to be at least 2 hand-drawn maps. I chose my country (Germany) a couple months ago and intended to get to work on it at some point...

I was pretty sure this paper was due on April 26th. So on Sunday (which would be April 20th), I decided I'd better get myself in gear and get busy. About 3:30 in the afternoon, I told Chris I was going to spend about an hour or two working on the paper and I jumped on the computer...

...And discovered the paper wasn't due on April 26th.

It was due April 21st.

I had a minor meltdown at that point and considered just blowing the paper off. (After all, it's only worth 30% of my grade...) But I pulled myself together and got started about 4:00 in the afternoon...

I emailed my 10 page paper, complete with THREE hand-drawn maps, to my instructor last night at 8:45pm.

During the not quite 29 hours I had to put this paper together, I also managed to take my dog for a walk, watch a movie, sleep for about 6 hours, and work a 9 hour day.

I'm just a little impressed with myself right now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Trouble the Water - Nicole Seitz

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Trouble the Water

Thomas Nelson (March 11, 2008)


Nicole Seitz


Nicole Seitz is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and the author of The Spirit of Sweetgrass as well as a freelance writer/illustrator who has published in numerous low country magazines. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole shows her paintings in the Charleston, South Carolina area, where she owns a web design firm and lives with her husband and two small children. Nicole is also an avid blogger, you can leave her a comment on her blog.

Seitz's writing style recalls that of Southern authors like Kaye Gibbons, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Sue Monk Kidd, and this new novel, which the publisher compares to Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, surely joins the ranks of strong fiction that highlights the complicated relationships between women. Highly recommended, especially for Southern libraries.


In the South Carolina Sea Islands lush setting, Nicole Seitz's second novel Trouble the Water is a poignant novel about two middle-aged sisters' journey to self-discovery.

One is seeking to recreate her life yet again and learns to truly live from a group of Gullah nannies she meets on the island. The other thinks she's got it all together until her sister's imminent death from cancer causes her to re-examine her own life and seek the healing and rebirth her troubled sister managed to find on St. Anne's Island.

Strong female protagonists are forced to deal with suicide, wife abuse, cancer, and grief in a realistic way that will ring true for anyone who has ever suffered great loss.

"This is another thing I know for a fact: a woman can't be an island, not really. No, it's the touching we do in other people's lives that matters when all is said and done. The silly things we do for ourselves--shiny new cars and jobs and money--they don't mean a hill of beans. Honor taught me that. My soul sisters on this island taught me that. And this is the story of true sisterhood. It's the story of Honor, come and gone, and how one flawed woman worked miracles in this mixed-up world."

"...a special sisterhood of island women whose wisdom and courage linger in the mind long after the book is closed."
-NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author SUSAN WIGGS

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON!!!! (Boy, when you type the same thing like that over and over, it starts looking really weird.)

We live a couple miles outside of Lawrence (hometown of KU), and our little hamlet of a town went insane after the game... horns honking, people whistling and cheering, whooping and hollering, fireworks all over the place... it was a madhouse around here for about an hour. And, I have to admit, we were out there screaming and hollering and cheering and whistling with the rest of them. Elly-the-dog even put in a happy bark, and she's not much of a barker...

I'm a little curious to see how many people show up for work today, since I work in Lawrence and many co-workers are not only die-hard KU fans, but die-hard drinkers... Somehow, I have a feeling not everyone will show up.

KU won the championship!!!!

Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk KU!!!!

'kay, I think I've used up my allotment of exclamation points for the day.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My dog is a dork.

Elly-the-dog recently got it into her head that when she sees the camera, she needs to try to eat it. Believe me, trying to take a picture of a dog who is trying to eat your camera is not an easy task.

Last night, she was being really goofy, but not trying to eat the camera, so I took a picture of her...

...and because my dog is a dork, she closed her eyes right as I took the picture.

You've just got to love her...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It just keeps going and going and going...

Life has been... busy? slightly crazy? hurtling along at insane speeds? Right now, I think I'm so far behind with just about everything that I'll never catch up.

I had to give a speech last night in my public speaking class. I sincerely tried to work on it ahead of time, really I did. I picked a topic (ice cream) found a couple books, printed out some info I found online... Monday night, I attempted to work on the speech, but Elly-the-dog wasn't having any of it. (She's always a little nuts on Mondays... I think being left home by herself all day after having us home for over the weekend makes her a little crazy.) So I researched and wrote my speech yesterday afternoon in about 30 minutes. It was completely awful, I guess, but I was grateful that most of my classmates were either not terribly prepared or were very nervous, because it made me feel a whole lot better about my own speech....

And the geography class I'm taking online? Unfortunately, it's a work at your own pace class (he doesn't care when you do the lessons as long as they're done by the end of the semester)... and... I'm on lesson 3. We have a big project due the end of this month that I haven't started working on at all yet. As much as I want this semester to be over, I'm dreading it because I don't know if I can get caught up.

I'm feeling distinctly uncreative right now. So, rather than making you suffer through any more drivel, I'll just be quiet.

Oh, except to say, KU won again over the weekend! Go Jayhawks!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Betrayed - Jeanette Windle

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Tyndale House Publishers (February 6, 2008)


Jeanette Windle


As the child of missionary parents, award-winning author and journalist Jeanette Windle grew up in the rural villages, jungles, and mountains of Colombia, now guerrilla hot zones. Her detailed research and writing is so realistic that it has prompted government agencies to question her to determine if she has received classified information. Currently based in Lancaster, PA, Jeanette has lived in six countries and traveled in more than twenty. She has more than a dozen books in print, including political/suspense best-seller CrossFire and the Parker Twins series.


Fires smolder endlessly below the dangerous surface of Guatemala City’s municipal dump.

Deadlier fires seethe beneath the tenuous calm of a nation recovering from brutal civil war. Anthropologist Vicki Andrews is researching Guatemala’s “garbage people” when she stumbles across a human body. Curiosity turns to horror as she uncovers no stranger, but an American environmentalist—Vicki’s only sister, Holly.

With authorities dismissing the death as another street crime, Vicki begins tracing Holly’s last steps, a pilgrimage leading from slum squalor to the breathtaking and endangered cloud forests of the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere. But every unraveled thread raises more questions. What betrayal connects Holly’s murder, the recent massacre of a Mayan village, and the long-ago deaths of Vicki’s own parents?

Nor is Vicki the only one demanding answers. Before her search reaches its startling end, the conflagration has spilled across international borders to threaten an American administration and the current war on terror. With no one turning out to be who they’d seemed, who can Vicki trust and who should she fear?

A politically relevant tale of international intrigue and God’s redemptive beauty and hope.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Life, the Universe, and Some Other Stuff.

OK. Enough with the being sick thing. I was sick for a solid week in January. Sick for another week in February. And sick again this weekend. I stayed home from work Monday and slept all day. What happened to my immune system?

My puppy is wonderful. I love her... although she is very rapidly becoming not so little. She was one of the biggest of the litter, 23 pounds when we got her. A week later, I took her to the vet and she was 28 pounds. We got to the vet again tomorrow to get shots and I'm really curious to see how much she weighs then, because she's noticeably bigger now than she was two weeks ago when we last went... And she likes to eat sticks. Dogs are weird.

I love KU. The Big 12 basketball championship was this weekend, held in Kansas City this year. The Jayhawks won, because they are awesome. I'm not a big sports fan, but for KU basketball, I make an exception.

I'm still job hunting. My current job is about to make me lose my mind. But, I suppose it could be worse.

And this whole winter thing? Enough already! We got a few gorgeous days, but this morning I went out to find ice on my car windows again. And there's a chance of snow again this weekend. Seriously, I'm pretty sure we've used up our allotment of winter.

Boy... isn't this just a thrilling post?

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Perfect Life - Robin Lee Hatcher

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Perfect Life

Thomas Nelson (February 5, 2008)


Robin Lee Hatcher

Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.

She also likes to blog. Go leave her a comment at Write Thinking!


Katherine Clarkson has the perfect life. Married to Brad, a loving and handsome husband, respected in their church and the community. Two grown daughters on the verge of starting families of their own. A thriving ministry. Good friends. A comfortable life.

She has it all--until the day a reporter appears with shocking allegations. Splashed across the local news are accusations of Brad's financial impropriety at his foundation and worse, an affair with a former employee. Without warning, Katherine's marriage is shattered and her family torn apart. The reassuring words she's spoken to many brokenhearted women over the years offer little comfort now.

Her world spinning, Katherine wonders if she can find the truth in the chaos that consumes her. How can she survive the loss of what she thought was the perfect life?
April here. I guess I'm turning into a girl. This is the third romance I've read in recent months and actually enjoyed.... :-)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The big announcement


The time has finally come. I guess I'll tell you all the secret now.

My family of two has now become three.

Meet Elyana (El-yah-nah), Ely for short (like Kelly without the K).

She's three months old and we just brought her home on Friday. She was born November 29th, which is the day after my birthday, not to mention the fact that it's CS Lewis' birthday, so that gives her huge bonus points.

So, there you go. Now you know the secret.

Oh, and if you're wondering, "Elyana" is Hebrew (minor obsession of mine) and means "God has answered."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Stuck in the Middle - Virginia Smith

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Stuck in the Middle

Revell (February 1, 2008)


Virginia Smith


Virginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker with the release of her first novel Just As I Am.

Since then she has contracted eight novels and published numerous articles and short stories. She writes contemporary humorous novels for the Christian market, including Murder by Mushroom (Steeple Hill, August 2007) and her newest release, Stuck in the Middle(Revell, February 2008), book 1 in the Sister-to-Sister Series.

Her short fiction has been anthologized, and her articles have been published in a variety of Christian magazines. An energetic speaker, she loves to exemplify God’s truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, “Biblical Truths in Star Trek.”

Virginia is a speaker, and an avid Scuba diver. She and her husband Ted, divide their times between Kentucky and Utah, and escape as often as they can for diving trips to the Caribbean!


Joan Sanderson's life is stuck. Her older sister, Allie, is starting a family and her younger sister, Tori, has a budding career. Meanwhile, Joan is living at home with Mom and looking after her aging grandmother. Not exactly a recipe for excitement-or romance.

That is, until a hunky young doctor moves in next door. Suddenly Joan has a goal--to catch his eye and get a date. But it won't be easy. Pretty Tori flirts relentlessly with him and Joan is sure that she can't compete. But with a little help from God, Allie, and an enormous mutt with bad manners, maybe Joan can find her way out of this rut and into the life she's been hiding from.

Book 1 of the Sister-to-Sister series, Stuck in the Middle combines budding romance, spiritual searching, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry that is sure to make you smile.

"A gentle story of one young woman's season of growth, deftly blending the tangle of family relationships with gifts of whimsey and revelation. A joy to read."
~SHARON HINCK, author of Renovating Becky Miller and Symphony of Secrets~
"Virginia Smith has created a charming and humerous novel that celebrates small-town life, generations of women caring for each other, and the value of finding a deeper, more active faith."
~SHARON DUNN, author of the Bargain Hunters mysteries~
April here. I have a confession. Although I've been fairly vocal throughout my life about not liking romance novels, I may have to change my tune. I read a romance last fall that I enjoyed, but I thought it might be a rare exception. Then I read Stuck in the Middle and got another surprise... I really, really enjoyed it. And not only did I enjoy it, I'd eagerly recommend it.
...Miracles do happen... :-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In an attempt to drive you nuts with curiousity...

...I have a secret. I'll tell you next week. Monday or Tuesday, depending on how things go.

All I'll say now is that I'm really, really excited.

And, for the record, should anyone happen to read this who also has my phone number, even if you call me, you're not going to learn the secret until next week. I'm just mean like that.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I am tired of winter. Very, very, very tired of winter.

During a normal winter, Kansas gets cold. We get quite a bit of ice. We occasionally get some snow, but usually not a lot and it goes away pretty quickly.

This year, we have had snow on the ground almost non-stop since the middle of December. That it not normal. We got five inches of snow yesterday. This is the wettest winter season (at least in Topeka) on record since they started keeping records in 1880-something, and winter isn't even over yet. We have a chance of flurries this afternoon. (And the last couple times we were supposed to get "flurries," we've gotten multiple inches.) There's a chance of a rain/snow mix almost every day this week.

The groundhog wasn't kidding this year...

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Name is Russell Fink - Michael Snyder

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

My Name is Russell Fink

Zondervan (March 1, 2008)


Michael Snyder


Michael Snyder has spent the bulk of his professional career in sales, has fallen in love, and continues to struggle with the balance between art and vocation. He's never investigated a murder, much less that of an allegedly clairvoyant dog.


Russell Fink is twenty-six years old and determined to salvage a job he hates so he can finally move out of his parents house for good. He's convinced he gave his twin sister cancer when they were nine years old. And his crazy fiancée refuses to accept the fact that their engagement really is over.

Then Sonny, his allegedly clairvoyant basset hound, is found murdered.

The ensuing amateur investigation forces Russell to confront several things at once-the enormity of his family's dysfunction, the guy stalking his family, and his long-buried feelings for a most peculiar love interest.

At its heart, My Name is Russell Fink is a comedy, with sharp dialogue, characters steeped in authenticity, romance, suspense, and fresh humor. With a postmodern style similar to Nick Hornby and Douglas Coupland, the author explores reconciliation, forgiveness, and faith in the midst of tragedy. No amount of neurosis or dysfunction can derail God's redemptive purposes.

April here: I really enjoyed ready this book. Russell comes across as pretty nuts, especially at first, but he definitely grows on you... I'd recommend this one.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Been a while...

I've almost decided to rejoin the human race.


I have a job interview this afternoon.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thus far...

I'm not terribly impressed with 2008 thus far.

New Year's Day was all right, nothing spectacular, but all right.

On Wednesday the 2nd, we had three out of eight people show up for work. And we were swamped. My husband called me mid-afternoon and told me he was going home because he wasn't feeling so good. He was huddled in bed under about 5 blankets and kinda pukey when I got home from work. I felt bad for him.

Thursday morning, I woke up feeling a little achy. Around lunch time, I started feeling kinda pukey myself. I went home from work at 1:00. My husband was still sick too, but I wasn't feeling quite so bad for him anymore, since he infected me.

I stayed home sick on Friday. I was sick Saturday. I still felt awful on Sunday. My husband was feeling better on Monday, so he went back to work. I was still sick. I went into work on Tuesday, mostly because I felt really guilty for missing work and not really because I felt any better. I went home about 11:30. I stayed home sick against yesterday.

I'm finally feeling almost human today. I'm back at work and I think I might make it through the day...

I sure hope the year gets better.