WILD CARD FRIDAY 26 Sepember 2014

Welcome back to WILD CARD Friday. I'm a little late getting our post up since I was out of town, but better late than never.

On the fourth and fifth Fridays of each month, I'll invite a fellow writer to post something fun for us. Since my guest author is MIA this week, I'm taking the helm to bring you three fun things.  Please read all the way to the bottom because there is a contest and a book prize involved.

First thing. A few weeks ago I featured Erin Taylor Young on my author spotlight page. She was there to talk about her debut book SURVIVING HENRY. During the process of the interview she mentioned that she could juggle. I have video proof!!

Second thing. I spent the week in St. Louis attending the AMERICAN CHRISTIAN FICTION WRITERS conference. I had a wonderful time and I was joined by a terrific group of Oklahoma authors. Don't we clean up nice?

They are, left to right: Toni Chisom, Lacy Williams, Erin Young, Susan Crawford, Me, Robin Patchen, Regina Jennings, and Terri Weldon.  We are all published in some form or fashion, look us up on Amazon. (Except Toni, she had good meetings at the conference and Susan's first book releases in the spring.)

CONTEST TIME!!!  Caption this picture in a comment and I'll put your name in for an e-copy of Pam's story. Be sure to leave an email address in you post.

I get to pick (no pun intended) the winner. Here is your prize.


Welcome to our third Friday writing news. Every third Friday I'm going to invite you into my writing world. Share some tidbits with you, and update you on the progress of the VALLEY VIEW series.

This week, we'll start with SAMANTHA.

Don't you just love the cover? This week, I have the back Cover blurb to share with you.

At seventeen, con man Louis Cantrell left Samantha Evans broke and pregnant. But, she’s persevered. Four years later, while raising her daughter, Samantha pursues her dream of becoming a child welfare social worker. Her life is on track, and if God answers her prayers, one day she’ll marry Patrick Wheeler, the handsome law student she accidentally ran over in a parking lot. All that keeps them apart is Patrick’s refusal to accept Christ in his life, but they’re working on that.
Patrick Wheeler loves Samantha—and her little girl—but he’s done with Christ. Raised in church, Patrick witnessed first-hand how God does not answer prayers. First, his father dies at war…despite the plethora of prayers for safety. Then his stepfather dies within a year of marrying his mother. And as faithful as Samantha is, God allowed her to be taken advantage of. Yet, even when Louis returns to do more damage, she still insists she won’t marry Patrick unless he dedicates his life to Christ!

When Samantha chooses a con man and God over Patrick, he decides it’s time to leave. . .Or is it? After a surprising confrontation with God, Patrick experiences for the first time how it feels to be completely alone. What is he missing about this Christianity thing everyone else seems to see so clearly? Can he reconcile with God and Samantha before all is lost?

Curious?  Samantha's story will be out in the spring of 2015.

Let's move on to Kate's story.

This is not Kate's cover, just her picture that I clipped from Pam's cover.  

I have a short excerpt and a question.


All units, we have a silent alarm at 231 South Main.
Nicolas glanced at Tyler as his partner bolted upright in his seat and jammed the key into the ignition. Tire smoke billowed behind the car as Tyler shoved the gearshift into drive and pulled a sharp U turn in front of the high school. He stood on the gas, steering the vehicle back toward town.
Nicolas found himself forced back into the seat by what could only be described as the launch of the car. “What are you…?”
“That’s the address for the bakery.” The car fishtailed, tires searching for purchase in the gravel as they left the service road for the main road into town.
High speed responses were rare in Garfield, usually the result of accident, not threat. Nicolas braced himself, hand planted on the dash, back burrowed into his seat as Tyler careened into the oncoming lane to dodge a slower vehicle. He’d never seen Tyler in action. He was both impressed and terrified. “Tyler, slow down. Killing us before we get there won’t help Melanie. They said silent alarm. If you go there hot, you’re likely to spook someone.”
“And if I take my time, Melanie might get hurt. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.”

 "Damned if I do, damned if I don't."
Used in this context I don't consider this swearing, just a statement of the impossibilities of the situation. My editor didn't have an issue with it either, but she prefers that I change it lest it offend some of my readers.
Here's my question. Do you feel this inappropriate for a Christian novel? How would you rewrite the line? 



Welcome to second Friday recipes. On the second Friday of each month, I'll ask an author friend to share a favorite recipe and a little about their writing.

This week we have Jennifer Hallmark and a family Borscht recipe...take it away Jennifer...

makes 8 servings

1 cup thinly sliced potatoes
2 cups thinly sliced beets
4 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons salt
1celery stalk, chopped
2 large carrot, sliced
1 1/2  cups coarsely chopped red cabbage
black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, for topping

1.Place sliced potatoes and beets in a medium saucepan over high heat; cover with stock, and boil until vegetables are tender. Remove potatoes and beets with a slotted spoon, and reserve stock.
2.Pour olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions and salt; cook until onions become soft and translucent. Then stir in celery, carrots, and cabbage. Mix in reserved stock; cook, covered, until all vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
3.Add potatoes and beets to the skillet. Season with black pepper. Stir in cider vinegar and honey. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer at least 30 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream, dill weed, or chopped fresh tomatoes.

Jennifer Hallmark: writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. She loves to read detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like LOTR, and play with her two precious granddaughters. At times, she writes. Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max.
Sweet Freedom A La Mode

Blurb for Sweet Freedom A La Mode: For some, the fourth of July is a celebration of freedom; for others it is a reminder of bondage. Of pain. Of fear. Of hopelessness. But there is a hope that is deeper, a love that is truer, and a freedom that no one can ever snatch away.

How can one take a step toward that freedom when the road appears shrouded with insecurities and doubts? These pages contain numerous stories: a woman longing to start again but bound by the failures of her past; a young man who, upon reaching adulthood, must face his fears of death; a woman offered a chance of true love but held back by crippling insecurities.

Is God even there? Does He care…enough to reach down and pull these men and women from the messes they’ve landed in, some of them by their own hand?

Freedom. Peace-saturated, joy-infusing freedom.

We pray our stories demonstrate what it looks like in the day-to-day…and provide a little insight into how one grabs hold of that treasured state of heart and mind.


Welcome to getting to know you Friday. On the First Friday of every month we'll take the chance to get better acquainted. I'll share something about me and hope you'll do likewise.

Our topic this week is Secret Desires.

I come from a very talented family. My sister is the master of every hand craft on the planet. She paints, she cross stitches, she quills, and she made beautiful sand art when it was the rage many years ago. I guess she's done it all over the last 30 years. I can't find my way to the front door of Hobby Lobby without getting sidetracked to the nearest book store. More than the simplest Bible school crafts are pretty lost as far as my abilities are concerned.  No real loss, that was never my desire.

My mom and grandmother were tied for the title of best cook on the planet. There was always something special waiting when you walked into their kitchens. Now, I'm no slouch in this area. I have my way with cookies and my cinnamon rolls are legendary around here, but I'll never come close to measuring up to their standards.

The one talent I always wanted, and never came close to owning, is singing. There are some talented singers in my family. The attached video is from the talent show my daughter, Amber took part in while we were on our Alaskan cruise a few months ago. She can really belt it out!  She did not get her ability from me.

Oh, I can belt it out...in a car...on a long trip...by myself...with the windows rolled up. But in public, my most requested song is "On A Hill Faraway"!Makes me glad that God said to make a joyful noise, because when I sing...that's pretty much all there is.

So share. What's the one thing you wish you could do that you just can't?