Girls Write Out
Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I don’t know if you believe in ghosts, but seeing is believing, and as you can see in the picture, Elvis is roaming our streets just in time for Halloween. Is it just me or does he seem shorter to you?

Instead of ghosts and goblins, our grandchildren have morphed into Deedee from the Doodlebops, a couple of princesses (not everyone was present for the picture), Violet from Fantastic 4, and Elvis (the one month old will masquerade as herself). A motley group for sure, but I can’t imagine anyone else I’d rather have show up at our front door!

There’s something to be said for dressing up in costume. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a writer’s party where everyone dressed up like a character from one of their books?

Let’s see, Kristin would be decked out on chick-lit fashion, Denise would wear something with a romantic flair, Colleen would wear a skull and crossbones, and I would wear, well, cold cream.

So if you were brave, just this once, what costume would you wear? Better yet, what kind of “characters” will be at your house this year?
Diann Hunt  
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Becky's post on her blog reminded me tomorrow is Halloween and tonight is Fallapalooza at our church. It reminded me of all the times, I bought fluffy cutesy outfits. It doesn't last long when they're boys, girls. Hopefully, Diann will share her grandson as Elvis this year. I'm surprising my kids and dressing up as Snow White this year. A mother at Elle's school lent it to me, that should be fun. My older boys will be humiliated to the full, and that's always fun with teens.

Anyhoo, one Halloween, I made Jonah's costume. He was "James the Red Engine" because his school had a "No superhero policy", which now as a mother, I recognize as a no princess policy, but at the time, I went by the rules. And so we get there, and I have worked SO hard to paint this box, and Jonah won't go into class. He is wailing, "My COSTUME IS FROM THE GARBAGE!" ROFLOL Next year, he was Batman. I learned my lesson as a boy mom. Do not run onto a soccer field when they're hurt, and do not put them in cutesy costumes.
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Some of us are just different! I went to a kid birthday party on Saturday and I met my female equal. There are not mothers who get me, usually. There much more normal than that. I am a square peg and the holes are SO round. But there she was -- dressed like Dracula and looking gorgeous. Seriously.

She is a professional actress who is trying to break into the stand-up comedy circuit. And here is the gist of our conversation: She is fighting an autoimmune disorder right now, and she decided all the money she put into her dumpy house is going to keep her health in order -- facials, accupuncture, etc.

I have an autoimmune disorder (multiple sclerosis)
I have a dumpy house!
I think facials and well-being (for me, it's lots of books and the occasional -- okay, more than occasional shopping stint.)

But there we are, totally discussing how our creativity is a necessity and though it's our job, it's hard to find our fulfillment in making yet another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I watched. Our kids weren't suffering any compared to the other kids. They were happy and joyous and so were their mommies. AND we had great complexions. LOL

Becky won the books!! Sorry, I've been on dial up so I didn't get to post! Kristin
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Monday, October 29, 2007

I've been all over the country, but can you believe I'd never been to a South Carolina plantation? Or to the amazing city of Charleston. It was enough to make me want to go back to writing historicals. And guys, did you know the rivers and streams are BLACK in many places there? They are these beautiful. pools of black that reflect the vegetation on the banks. I've never seen anything so unusual. Or sinister. My poor heroine is going to have to battle more than a killer. She's going to face the swamp: alligators, poisonous snakes, knobby knees of cypress tripping her up. Poor girl. I'm already sorry for her.

Going to South Carolina was a fresh reminder of how important research is to a work of fiction. I had to go experience the humidity, the bugs, the lush vegetation even at the end of October. The smells, the salt marsh. I fell in love with the place. My sweet Ami grew up there and that made it extra special as well. Some ACFW friends were sweet enough to show us around as well. I had shrimp and grits she-crab soup (though I'm told it's now made with he-crabs. LOL), gumbo, SC barbeque, chocolate pralines (to DIE for!), and benne wafers. Um, let me say that Dave did NOT try any of these. He's a strict beef and pototaes man. LOL I tried to convince him to at least try a praline but he held firm. Which was fine with me since it left more for me.

Even after just three days, I found myself wanting to talk southern. If I lived there for long, I'd be talking just like them. I wonder if it's a trait of writers that we absorb our surroundings so completely? LOL But back to setting. If you could pick out ONE thing in your most favorite place that takes you back there, what would it be? A smell, a taste of a certain food, the sight of a favorite plant? When you read a book, what transports you to the locale?
Colleen Coble  
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

For you diehard Ashley Stockingdale fans out there, the new covers have arrived! If you'd like to win a new, signed copy of the books:
What a Girl Wants
She's Out of Control
With This Ring, I'm Confused

Elle and I are packing them up to give away Monday morning. Leave a comment before then, and she'll pick the winner! Kristin
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

You think you know a person.

Colleen and I are in Cleveland, Tennessee with our husbands. We will be speaking to a library group tomorrow.

We’ve had a great day brainstorming and talking out future stories. Today at lunch, Colleen shares a few of the plot lines for her next story. Two men are casually eating lunch together across the aisle from us, minding their own business.

So then she goes into this—well, I don’t think I can go into what she actually “said,” but let me just say it has something to do with extra curricular activity in a cemetery—and honey, it ain’t happening with dead people. When she got to the, um, interesting part, I’m pretty sure I heard the ping of forks dropping, the snapping of necks and the wail of police sirens.

All this to say, take extra care when you’re discussing story plotlines. You never know who might be listening.

One more thing. Stay out of cemeteries.
Diann Hunt  
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Please pray for Southern California. We know of at least one CBA author who has lost her house. I don't feel at will to share, but please, please pray. Even those not anywhere near the fire are breathing HORRIBLE air -- and the magnitude of this area covered by the fire is unimaginable to me. Thanks. My SIL and her family were evacuated and so far, so good on their home. My agent is in Orange and she said the air is so bad and the winds are so frightening. Kristin
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I grew up with a very generous family, so I have to say I don't understand some of the evangelical "cheapness" that goes on. And by this I mean, taking joy in not spending money -- especially when perhaps you should. Case in point, if you have the money to clothe your kid, but allow them to wear castoffs that don't fit -- it doesn't send a message to unbelievers that, "WOW! They are living for Jesus." Or, "That family cares about the heart, not appearances! Good for them." It sort of says, they gave their kid a snake instead of a fish.

We all have a spirit of poverty somewhere in our lives -- maybe it isn't money. I know both rich and poor people with a spirit of poverty and that is, by my definition, taking care of yourself and your needs first, not trusting God to do so.

Attitude is a biggie here. Non-financial example: If someone else has a bestselling book, instead of seeing that God has designated that book and that author for that time, a person with a spirit of poverty says,"SHE TOOK MY BESTSELLER STATUS!" As though God made some kind of mistake.

When I first became a Christian for myself, I hated to go out to dinner with any Christian group, because inevitably someone wouldn't leave enough tip and I knew, I'd be shelling out more money to make sure our witness wasn't ruined. I grew up in a Union family, I appreciate a skill and I consider a good wait staff SKILLED and they deserve a day's wages. If I couldn't afford to leave a tip, I'd go somewhere cheaper or wouldn't go! But I've seen good Christians take the stance that the restaurant charged too much and they weren't expecting to pay that, so they got enough. Regardless of what the bill read.

Consider others more important than yourself. Money is nothing to God, absolutely nothing. When I put out money I don't have for a worthy cause, HE always, ALWAYS replaces it for what I need. It's the one verse in the Bible where He even says, "Test me in this." (Malachi 3:10)

Oh and then there's the judgment when someone HAS money that they're not spending it in a Christian way! "Did you see her car? Did you see her house? They're not Christian." We have no idea what's in people's hearts or why they do things, or what they give in secret! But we also don't have a right to judge -- just keep in mind, do you have a spirit of poverty somewhere? (Which comes out of fear and greed.)

Mine is hoarding. I had a mentally disabled brother who stole everything in the fridge at night, so I hoard things. Including: $60 Christian Dior spray-on makeup because once I went and they were out of my color. And I have a fear that I won't get what I need and Lord forbid, I might end up in drugstore makeup! I also hoard Mr. Clean sponges and laundry detergent/fabric softener -- like all heck will break loose if I don't have those things at the ready.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I've been yearning to do something new to the house ever since my girls have painted their houses. Kara and Donna both have painted the walls BROWN. Who would have thought it would look so good? I always thought if you were painting walls, they needed to be a COLOR, not a drab shade of brown, but by golly, brown is a rich, warm color on the walls. It feels elegant and homey at the same time.

So I got to thinking about how we're never satisified with the house. We're always wanting to do something new. Or is it just me? LOL I talked Dave into redoing my kitchen. I was sick of the white tile with grout that doesn't stay white. Which brings up another subject. If you're thinking about tiing your countops, DON'T. It's a nice look but it's bear to live with. Ever try rolling out pie dough or noodles on tile? And the cleaning of the grout is a bear. It's yet one another of those things I thought I'd like but learned that living with it isn't so fun.

So that was one thing I want changed that hasn't been done all that long. And like I said, seeing the girls' walls made me wish we'd opted for paint on the walls instead of wallpaper. At the time it seemed a good idea. It's a Victorian house after all and should have wallpaper. But I'm tired of it. And the upstairs bathroom shower needs redone. And why didn't we put a master bath in that big closet area instead of a walk in closet? That would have more sales appeal.

And what was I thinking when I refinished these floors? I should have just left them natural and polyurethaned them in their light state. All these errors.

You ever feel like that? Or are you perfectly happy with everything you've done to your house?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:08 AM  
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Environment is important, isn't it? We choose where we live, what home we buy, and even what decor we settle on is based upon how it makes us feel and where we're comfortable.

The setting a writer chooses for a book is vitally important as well. I've written books set in a fictional town in Kansas, in Colorado, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in Hawaii, in Chicago, and on the island of Nantucket. The longer I've been writing, the more I realize the importance of an intriguing setting. After all, readers are paying a chunk of money to spend several hours there. Where do they want to visit?

Personally, I love books that are set in small town USA, where people sit on front porches and fall in love with the boy next door. But now that I'm trying to figure out the setting for a future story, I'm wondering if everyone feels the same way about small towns.

And if they do, is there a regional preference? Western, Southern, New England, Northern? Do they prefer seaside towns, lakeside communities, snowy mountain villages, prairie towns, western ranches? The choices are as vast as the world and this novelist needs to narrow it down a little.

So, what's your preference? When you settle down in cozy chair with a novel for a few hours of escape, where do you like to go?
Denise Hunter  
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Friday, October 19, 2007

Life at the Crossroads...

Have you ever felt like you were at a crossroads in life? Like you knew you were supposed to change something, but God wasn't giving you a clue about what it was? I'm there. Stuck. Halted. I'm a mover by nature, so it is driving me crazy! I want to put the pedal to the medal and get out of here!

I started a book about singles on Friday, but you know, it sounds too bitter. Realistic...good. Bitter...bad. I'm happy by nature, what's wrong with this picture??

So any of you with great ideas about how to get unstuck, my ears are more than open. Jerry Seinfeld was on "Oprah" the other day, and he said everything bothered him, but he enjoyed life. He enjoyed complaining about life. That is SOOO me, and right now, I'm not even enjoying the complaining!!

Maybe I just need a new car. LOL But if any of you have holier options, I'm up for hearing them. : )
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So the last time I was at the Fillmore in San Francisco, let's just say it had to be a long time ago, because there are no seats at the Fillmore, and clearly, if I was old enough to have cared, I would have remembered that. Are you too old to go to a concert if you're thinking about better arch support during the music? Perhaps. But wow, we had fun! First off, Maria and I LOVE San Francisco. There is this buzz of excitement as we enter the City, and we are so psyched to be there. We're both talking a mile a minute, clearly not caring that the other isn't listening. We're excited! We're two chicks of significant age in the City sans kids and husbands! The best part of being older? We don't have to search for parking, we can now afford a garage!

On the streets in Japantown, we run into my muse for Ashley Stockingdale. She's looking for a trendy restaurant a bit further on. Are you ready for her great Ashley quote??

Maria: "Oh, you have your True Religion Jeans on."
Ashley: "I totally didn't get that people would spend $350 on a pair of jeans, but look at me!! I'm like, seven feet tall in these things!"

But we part ways with Ashley and the rest of the church crowd when we smell Indian food. Maria and I are gluttons for Indian, and we find this great little hole in-the-wall where we sit next to a gay drama queen telling his romance woes to two female friends. Such inflection! Such emotion! Maria said he would have fit in great with the two of us -- except of course we already lacked open air space for speaking. I love how the lack of real estate in SF restaurants forces you to connect with people at the table beside you. Too fun! It's like instant neighborhood. I am so moving when my kids are grown. We drove in through Pacific Heights, where I plan to move to. We drove out through Union Square just so we could touch the mother ship. They put a Barney's where FAO Schwartz was, just interesting, that's all.

We ran into our entire church at the concert, too fun! David Crowder was awesome as usual, but Phil Wickham who opened for him. WOW! WOW! This is a man with so much passion in his voice, I was blown away! Go take a listen:

Today, Maria and I paid something fierce for our weeknight our in the City. We didn't get home until after midnight, and kids still have to get to school, etc...and let's just say it's not the same as an all-nighter during college. And even if Maria wouldn't square dance with me to "I Saw the Light", we are currently planning our next venture into the City. Which should involve shopping and a four star hotel!

Forgive the sideways pictures, I took them on my phone, and I'm too weary to figure out turning them to stick. : ) Kristin
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You know I love gadgets, but for some reason my husband hates to spend money on technology. Give him his big satellite dish and he's happy, but after seeing my daughter's DVR system on a small dish, I've coveted one for several years. (slap on my hand. Bad Colleen to covet.) Anyway, I got fed up with Comcast's digital voice and all the problems I was having. People couldn't call in and they'd get sent directly to voice mail. Or the phone would ring and I couldn't answer it. Very weird. So I decided I was going back to Verizon.

Well lo and behold, Verizon had a great package similar to the one at Comcast only it was a little cheaper AND had more channles with DirecTV. I had to pay a smidge more for the DVR system but I jumped anyway. Oh my. Now I see what I was missing all these years! I had it tape Biggest Loser last night. Kara called about the time I was going to go over and watch it but I'd already set it up. After I got off the phone with the baby girl, I started the program from the beginning, fast forwarded through all the commercials and watched the show in 45 minutes.

Um, if I count my time as what it's worth, I'm SAVING Dave money by getting the DVR system, don't you think? LOL

Friends, keep our family in your prayers. My sweet daughter-in-law miscarried yesterday. It was a very hard day for us. They can try again in December so please pray nothing goes wrong with the second try.
Colleen Coble  
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Statistics say we spend an average of 3 to 5 years of our lives waiting. Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting for downloads. With all that time spent waiting, you’d think I’d be better at it. Hmm.

One of my “waits” ended today with the arrival of my author copies of Surrender Bay. I’m not sure a UPS driver can be prepared for an author waiting for her copies to arrive, but I figure she keeps ringing the doorbell, so she knows what she’s in for.

In my wait-is-over euphoria, I’ve decided to share the wealth and give away three copies. Oh, what the heck, let’s make it five. Email me at sometime today. I’ll enter your name in the drawing and email the winners tomorrow (Wednesday). You might not win one, but then again, you might. Then you’ll have to wait for your copy to arrive. :-)
Denise Hunter  
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Monday, October 15, 2007

Have I mentioned that my husband is colorblind? In fact, his brothers are colorblind, too. We sent them shopping for ties recently. I won’t tell you what a disaster that was.

His colorblindness had caused endless grief over the years, I can tell you. A few years ago, he gave up the fight and settled for white shirts so he wouldn’t have to match with his ties anymore.

Recently, however, we’ve hit another glitch.

It’s like this. We bought new toothbrushes. His is blue, mine is green. He keeps his on the top shelf, mine is on the middle shelf.

Okay, then a couple of months ago, suddenly the GREEN toothbrush is on the top shelf and the blue one is on the middle shelf. I was confused for a moment, but then I thought, well, maybe I got the color wrong. Maybe *I* was blue and he was green. I’ve got this bad lung, you know, and my memory isn’t all that great these days.

So then today I get up, and the BLUE toothbrush is back on his shelf and the GREEN one is on my shelf. I’m telling you, the man is messin’ with my mind!!!

Toothbrushes in hand, I march myself right into the living room and confront him with the evidence. He plays dumb, but I ain’t buying it.

Now, I love my husband. I really do. But I don’t share toothbrushes with anyone. I’m moving my toothbrush to the other bathroom. So help me if the blue toothbrush shows up in there . . . .
Diann Hunt  
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Friday, October 12, 2007

I love babies. I always have. I had an ovary rupture when I was 14 and the other ovary only haltingly gave me two children before giving up the ghost and having to be removed when I was 23. When my kids grew up, I looked forward to the thought of having grandchildren but it was beginning to look like I was only going to be grandma to cats and dogs. And that was okay, but oh, I wanted a grandchild!

Yesterday was Dave's birthday. Davy and Donna wanted to take us out to eat. We get there, and she's rushing us out the door because she's starving. We settle in at the table in the restaurant and she's getting ready to give Dave his present. My cell phone rings and I dig it out.

"Don't answer it!" she says with a panicked expression on her face. (I find out later she's afraid it's my mother who might spill the beans.)

"It's Diann, it might be important," I say. It is. She and I don't have to go to the oncologist today. I hang up and sit back down at the table.

"Here's your present, Pop," Donna says, sliding him a card with a Lowe's gift card. He's thrilled. He got one from our Baby Girl too and he is in hog heaven right now.

"And here's another one from the boys," she says, sliding over a gift bag.

Dave opens it and pulls out two baby bibs. Blue. One says something about Grandma and the other one says something about Grandpa. I look at the bibs. I look up at the kids. They are beaming from ear to ear. I look back at the bibs. I'm sure my mouth is dangling open like a fish. I'm speechless for a second and that's a rariety.

"You--you're pregnant?" I whisper. I"m afraid if I say it too loudly I'll wake up from this perfect dream.

The kids nod. I scream. "You're pregnant!!!" The other patrons in the restaurant turn to look. They're all smiing. I jump up still screaming and run around to hug the kids. I'm crying and continue to cry for some time. LOL

This is a dream come true. I'M GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!!!!
Colleen Coble  
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

I love to learn something new. When Kara got Parker, I hadn't been around any Goldens but we all quickly fell in love with him. And a newfie? Um no. They get BIG! You ever seen a full grown newfoundland? So when Dave and Donna told me they were thinking about getting a newfie puppy, I thought oh no, no. It will eat you out of house and home. But like a good mother, I kept my mouth shut on that. It is the kids' choice not mine. Like my aunt Edith says, I'm not on that committee. Still, I breathed a sigh of relief when it seemed they weren't going to get the puppy.

Then the kids brought Jake in to meet grandma. Ever hear of love at first sight? Oh my goodness, you guys, he is the sweetest little guy! I was holding him up for this picture for several minutes and he was like a rag dolls. Didn't struggle to get away, Didn't whine. So laid back and easy going. When he's tired of walking, he just flops down and removes to go. LOL He kept trying to get IN his water dish (he's a water dog) and had water all over the floor which was so cute because he kept wanting to lay down in it. LOL And because he loves anything wet, he plopped down in green paint two days after they got him as you can see by the picture with our son. Green looks good on him!

Meeting Jake reminded me of the time I met our daughter's dog Harley. He was the inspiration for Samson in the Rock Harbor books. I'd heard Kara's husband had brought her home a puppy. I said, "Oh honey, you live in apartment and you're gone all day to work. You shouldn't get a puppy. (I hadn't learn to keep my mouth shut yet.) But I went over to see this little dog and Harley came crawling out from under the sofa. He was this tiny thing with a little tail curled over his back. Darling! I was smitten at first sight.

I'm guessing the first time I hold a real grandbaby, the sensation will be much magnified. LOL I think the kids got the puppy just to give me practice for the day they announce we've got a little one coming!

But isn't he darling? Anyone have any experience with newfies?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 7:32 AM  
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yippee!! Today is a day of celebration!

After a year and a half since my last book's release, Surrender Bay is being shipped today to bookstores everywhere! I'm so excited because this is my first book with Thomas Nelson and because the story is very special to me.

After three women's fiction books, this one is all about love, baby! A Nantucket setting, a sweet love story, a happy ending . . . what else could a girl want? Well, okay, maybe a dead body, but I'll leave that to Colleen. I want my people alive, thank you very much.

Did Thomas Nelson do an awesome job on the cover or what? Samantha originally had dark hair but when they showed me the cover concept, I loved the pier and the way the woman was sitting and looking out at the ocean, so I went back and made Sam a blond. I hope she doesn't have to touch up her roots as often as I do.

Denise Hunter  
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My June Cleaver days ended when our last kid left home. In fact, when he tossed his graduation cap into the air, my apron went flying, too. Our kitchen table serves as a desk most days, and our stove makes a nice conversation piece. Home-cooked meals are what they serve at Cracker Barrel.

On a side note, I can grab my chocolate desserts and settle into a good episode of Paula Deen cooking with the best of ‘em. But I can turn the TV off and still have a clean kitchen. Hey, it works for me.

But I have to say the other day caused me to rethink some things. We went out to breakfast with my husband’s family. As you all know, I’m not allowed to eat sweets, so not surprisingly, I developed a sour (sorry, I couldn’t resist) mood when my brother-in-law ordered a large plate of pancakes with caramel, yes, that’s right, caramel syrup. It should be outlawed.

The server placed my measly egg in front of me while she could have used a crane to serve my brother’s plate of pancakes smothered with caramel syrup.

I tried not to wish ill upon his person, I really did. I refrained from stabbing a piece when he wasn’t looking (figured I’d drip syrup on him and then he’d know what I had done). I decided to live vicariously through him and so I watched as he took his first bite. My mouth watered but he made a face. No doubt for my benefit.

He said to his wife, “Taste this.”

“Is something wrong?” she asked.

“Just taste it.”

She did. “That has an onion taste.”

Onion? Now, I’m no Paula Deen but last time I checked caramel syrup did not have onion in it.

She took another taste. “This is barbecue sauce,” she announced between guffaws.

The ripple of laughter paraded around the table. The server joined us, my brother-in-law explained the situation and soon everyone in the kitchen was laughing, too. It seems the kitchen help thought the barbecue sauce was the caramel syrup. Um, no.

They apologetically replaced his pancakes, but by then, I’d lost my appetite and figured he could keep his pancakes and syrup.

If you tell me your restaurant stories, it might be just enough to keep me in my kitchen. Then again, maybe not. *g*
Diann Hunt  
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Monday, October 08, 2007


I cannot go through a day without exercising some form of creativity. I have absolutely no musical talent, so that's not a part of it -- but since I finished my last book, I have taken to home improvement.

I have an old house, and I can't tell you how creative I got in fixing it up. Are you ready? One, we had a terrible ant problem, and professional spraying did not work because they couldn't get under the house/deck. My husband said, "I don't think you have to pay an ant guy. I think the ants will come for free." LOL Sooo...I found out where the ants were coming in, and I got a caulking gun and sealed the hole. It's been a week, not an ant in sight! Yay ingenuity!

It's dark now, so we needed curtains because our family, in all its glory, was lit up like a Christmas tree. And we're poor. So I bought curtains at JCPenney and I hemmed them with fusing tape. I also figured out the power drill and put up the rods. Are you impressed yet? Okay, here's the biggie that I'm so proud of. In our custom house, all the walls had imperfect smooth (old world) texture. This place had orange peel, which drove me crazy! Plus, the idiot painters used glossy paint everywhere -- so not only was there orange peel texture, it was shiny and obvious in every room of the house. Couldn't deal, so I went to Orchard Supply this weekend, and I figured out how to retexture my own bedroom wall.

So I'm telling you with all this creativity stirring within and a pretty rundown house, I am getting very excited about some time off! Next up: Kristin learns to use a miter saw and adds base boards and crown molding. Trust me, it's more exciting than it sounds. : )

Two of the pictures are the kitchen before, and the wild colored ones are my new kitchen and fused curtains and drilled rods. : ) Oh I also put up my own shelves in the closet. Aren't you all impressed? No? Well, you should be.
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Friday, October 05, 2007


Robin has been friends with all the Girls for a long time. She's also the president of ACFW. She reads my books before they go in to make sure I have the villain hidden well enough. We first "met" when she emailed me about how much she loved the Rock Harbor books. Bayou Justice is a fabulous book and I know you're going to enjoy it. So here's Robin, er CoCo is showing up for her, I guess. LOL

Hey, y’all, CoCo LeBlanc here. Main character in Robin Caroll’s new release, Bayou Justice. Robin was supposed to blog with the girls today, but she’s fighting with my baby sister, Tara, on completing book four in the bayou series, so I’m covering for the author. Besides, I’m much more interesting! LOL Anyway, another writer friend of Robin’s tossed out some interview questions for me, so I’m going to share the answers with y’all. Could be fun…

Q: An alligator environmentalist? What’s up with THAT career path?
CoCo: Hey, I’m a nature kind of gal! LOL Seriously, I love my bayou home in Lagniappe, Louisiana. There’s so much wetlands to preserve, as well as the wildlife. Come on…alligators date back to the dinosaur era. That they’ve survived all these years, despite humans hunting them…don’t EVEN get me started on poachers!!!

Q: Family heritage…how important is that to you?
CoCo: VERY! I lost my parents at an age when I really needed them. My grandparents, Grandpere and Grandmere, took me and my sisters in and raised us in Lagniappe. Then, we lost Grandpere. It’s hard to lose those we love, but it makes preserving our family heritage—the good AND the bad—even more important.

Q: You and Luc??? Wanna give us the “inside scoop” on y’alls relationship?
CoCo: LOL! We’re taking it slow this time around. We had a lot of stuff crowding our relationship last time, so we’re taking it day by day and just letting our love bloom! :D

Q: Your sisters?
CoCo: Wondered when you’d get around to that! LOL Seriously, Tara (the baby) can exasperate a saint! She’s so headstrong and emotional…an emotional ticking bomb. But she and I are so much alike in some ways that it’s downright scary. I’m praying Robin can get the girl in line in Bayou Paradox. We’ll see. Alyssa was a handful, always has been. But she had a lot of stuff piled in her emotional storage box that she doesn’t deal with until book 2, Bayou Corruption. So, yeah, she frustrated me in Bayou Justice. The dynamics of sisters is a special bond…unless you have one, you just don’t “get” it. But right, wrong, or indifferent, they’re my sisters and I love ‘em!

Q: Parting words?
CoCo: This has been interesting, but I’ll admit, I’m anxious to see how Robin’s coming along with Tara. I hope all the Girls Write Out readers will check me out in Bayou Justice, available now. Until then, as we like to say in Cajun country—Laissez les bons temps rouler!
(That means, Let the good times roll!)
Colleen Coble  
posted at 7:38 AM  
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Thursday, October 04, 2007

We have an unwanted house guest. We have tried to get rid of her twice, but so far, no luck. Sometimes when I open the door, here she comes, crawling toward me with her thick, black legs. Other times, she hides under things.

No, this is not a person, and okay, it's not exactly our house. It's our mailbox. And the unwanted guest is--close your eyes tight--a hairy, black spider.

I found her a week ago. Okay, she found me. I was reaching in, all innocent-like, to get my mail, and the disgusting thing came out of nowhere. I was able to reach aound it to retrieve the letters.

The next day, I have Kevin pull the car up to the box. When I opened it, there it was. "Get it, get it!" I scream.

Kevin leans across the passenger seat and whacks at the mailbox door with newspaper.

"Did you get it?" I ask.

"I got it."

"Are you sure? Did you see a body?"

He claims he did.

All I know is, when I go to the mail box the next day? Hairy black spider. I should just reach in and squash it with something. I know I should. But . . . ick. I sneak the letters out and close the door.

The next day . . . I head to the mailbox with a can of Raid. Okay, you nasty thing, you've had it now. I open the door and spray. Heavily. There is an LA size smog around our yard. I close the door and spray the outside for good measure. I leave feeling like warrior woman. I have come. I have conquered.

The next day . . . my mail smells like Raid. Oh well. I shake each piece as I remove it. Just in case. My kids laugh at me from behind the window.

Today, I reach for the mail. I have all but forgotten the spider. But it hasn't forgotten me. If it isn't her, it's her twin. She comes crawling toward me on thick, black legs, the spider that won't die. Maybe I should just put out a "vacancy" sign out and invite all her relatives. Or maybe I'll just send Kevin out there with a shoe.

Denise Hunter  
posted at 7:40 AM  
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Today is Diann's day to post but her mother-in-law passed away on Sunday and Di's at the funeral. So I thought I'd bring you up-to-date on Di and ask you to keep praying. We went to the oncologist on Friday and PRAISE GOD it showed up NOWHERE else. Not in her bone marrow, not in her lymph nodes. Iin fact, the doctor is really not even comfortable calling it lymphoma so he's sending her to a lung surgeon. It's possible it's a lung infection of some kind. They may choose to take it out to figure out exactly what it is. The oncologist sent off her tissue to the Mayo Clinic and we may know more in two weeks, but it looks good, you guys! Please keep praying that we find out it's nothing to be worried about!

Now on to a Di moment. Er a Jim moment which is where she gets so much of her good material. Dave and I went to the viewing last night. This sweet lady came up to Jim and pointed her finger at him. "I'm Jim," he said.

"I know who you are, but do you know who I am?" she demands.

From the stricken deer-in-the-headlights expression in Jim's face we all knew he didn't. Di and I started giggling.

"Um, no who are you?" Jim says.

"Remember locking me in the chicken coop?" she says.

"Oh yes, you're---."

The name still wouldn't come. By now, Di and I are practically on the floor because of the expression on Jim's face. He's making excuses like he's had a hard year at school and has been working a lot of hours. (He doesn't mention Di's ordeal which would explain it all.)

I try to be helpful. "He hasn't had much sleep all week. He's exhausted," I say, hoping she'll realize I'm hinting he's under severe stress.

When she finally tells poor Jim her name it's clear he's still so befuddled he's not sure he's up or down. LOL THEN when he goes to introduce her to me and Dave, he goes, "this is my cousin---) She has to supply her name again! LOL

Poor guy. He never gets a break. Meanwhile Di and I are no help whatsoever because we're on the floor.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:46 AM  
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I also want to post on the new TV season because I know that's something I hear from you all about. Let's see...the Bachelor. I cannot tell one girl from the next, and couldn't care less. The Bachelor seems lower class than usual, but I'll give you he's hot. But girls, that isn't enough, all right?

Grey's Anatomy -- Christina needs Burke. She's not nearly the character without him and I miss him. The pixie sister of Meredith is almost more annoying than Meredith, and that's difficult from my standpoint. Is it just me or do you want to wash Meredith's hair for her? And I cannot STAND the Izzy/George thing. It's like watching you brother and sister get romantic. Ick.

Ugly Betty -- finally a show that lives up to its first season with its premiere. I SOOO love the dialog in this show and man, do they do a great job making geek, hot. BTW, have you seen Henry (Chris Gorham) as himself? He gives Fresno (where he's from) a good name.

America's Next Top Model -- this show is so stupid, it's entertaining. But the reason I am watching it this year is because they have a model who has Asperger's (my son has this) and I picked her out on the first night easily. But the most entertaining thing? Every day my son eats and orange, and I don't care where he is, that orange peel has been left there. In the the living name it. And all the models were grossed out because the model with Aspergers left her orange peel somewhere. I laughed.

Okay, in truth Grey's and Ugly Betty are the only shows I watch in full. The rest of the season so far, I don't have enough patience for. How bout you? Anything I should be watching that I'm missing? I lost it for Desperate Housewives after the first season.
posted at 11:40 AM  
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What's your love language?

Do you know? We're doing this study again after a bajillion years of marriage, and I think mine changed. It used to be quality time and it still is in a lot of ways. There is nothing I like more than sitting down over good espresso and having a chat. Okay, my Dh doesn't drink coffee and being an engineer, he's not much of a chatter, so I do that with my girlfriends.

But I think now I'm a gift person. And this is very bad because I am a terrible gift giver. I try, but it's like that one extra detail I just don't have room in my brain for. I think I would be a good gift giver if I didn't have four children, orthodontist appts., soccer practice and feeding people to worry about. That's a gift isn't it? Your plate isn't empty in the evening?

I can't begin to tell you what good gift givers my friends are, and it makes me feel terrible! I want to think about gifts for people and I think that's going to be my next learning curve. My friend Maria, seeing I was overwhelmed with my last deadline, not only brought dinner to my family one night, but she left a bag full of Odwalla bars, so I'd eat right at breakfast. She buttered our bread for us!

Beth? My BFF from kindergarten on, she bought my favorite chocolate mint truffles and a blanket that is filled with lavender. You warm it in the microwave and it smells all comfy. How cool is that? PLUS, a Jane Austen manner book.

My Girls Write Out girls bought me a gift certificate at Zappos -- handbags, shoes & sunglasses. All three fetishes in one easy gift certificate.

Jackie gave me her room air conditioner when it got really hot. So I know my recent lameness has sort of enabled my friends in the gift-giving arena, but still, it makes me want to be a better gift giver. (Did you hear Jack Nicholson's voice? You make me want to be a better man!)

So has anyone's love language changed over the years? From what to what?

Quality Time
Acts of Service
Physical Touch
Words of Affirmation
posted at 2:53 AM  
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Monday, October 01, 2007

Our Julie!
Okay it's still technically my day so I have to post this pick of us with Julie Carobini! She's with me and Diann at the award night. Isn't she darling? She posts here all the time as if she isn't a famous author in her own right. Check out her Chocolate Beach!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 4:38 PM  
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I don't often rail about stuff, but I told you last week I was hooked on The Biggest Loser. I've rooted for the Blue Team all along but they voted off JERRY on Tuesday! What is UP with that? He's the biggest loser the first two weeks in history. AND their team captain. They wouldn't even have been on the team if he hadn't chosen them.

Which brought up the biggest reason I'm upset. I hate ingratitude. They obviously had no sense of loyalty or gratitude at all for what he's done for them. He kept them from having to send someone home for three weeks. The first time at the table, they ditched him. What's wrong with the world these days? Is loyalty and gratitude dead? Is everyone out for themselves anymore. I can't stand to even play Monopoly so I'd be a very poor competitor if someone else had to be hurt by something I did. I just don't get it. Anyone have an idea why they would do this?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 10:00 AM  
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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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