Girls Write Out
Friday, May 30, 2008


I'm thrilled to have as our guest in our little cyber cafe our friend Cara Putman. Cara is an overachiever like no one I've ever known. Would you believe she just had her third child three weeks ago?? And here she is, hard at it again! Cara let no grass grow under her feet once she made the decision to write. She's an attorney as well as a homeschooling mom and author. She's a fellow Hoosier and the sweetest little thing you'll ever meet. But sharp. Very sharp! LOL So here's Cara:

Like some of you I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I literally have a shelf of journals at home – the earliest goes back to when I was in third grade and contains short stories I wrote for school. I even started a couple novels while I was in high school.

But somewhere along my journey in life, the dream got placed on the back burner.

First, college interfered. Then I started my career and got married. Next it was law school and starting a family. Yet the dream never died.

Every couple years the desire to write would bubble to the surface. Eric and I would talk about it, I might check out a couple books on writing from the library, and then I’d pray about it. You know the kind of prayers. “God, please kill this dream if it’s not from You or help me place it back on the shelf.”

Then in 2005, everything changed.

I went to a booksigning at my local Parables store that happened to feature three of the authors from this blog. I was determined to go because I had recently discovered Colleen Coble’s books. Eric kept wondering why I was so committed to attending – I couldn’t really explain. I just knew I had to go.

At that signing, Colleen and I chatted about books until Eric came up and asked if I’d told her I wanted to be a writer. That little comment launched my current course. I’ve since learned that Colleen doesn’t do anything halfway. That’s certainly been true with the help and friendship she’s extended to me. Diann and Denise have also been incredibly encouraging – for reasons completely unknown to me!

It was because of Colleen that I joined ACFW and attended that first conference in 2005. It was because of Colleen that I actually finished that first book – I don’t know how many emails she got from me with status updates on word counts. And how many emails I got from her encouraging my early efforts.

This month Deadly Exposure, that first book I wrote, released from Love Inspired Suspense. It’s joined by Sandhill Dreams, the second in my Nebraska World War Two series from Heartsong Presents.

So if you’re wondering why the dream of writing won’t die, pray about it and then settle into your chair with fingers poised over the keyboard and write. Maybe you too will see your stories in print.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:20 AM  
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Details, Details...
(I hated the texture on the wall, so I retextured, painted and added different molding.)

Sometimes, I wish I wasn't the kind of person who noticed the details. I went to my friend's house the other day, and her husband had painted the living room a warm peach/brown hue and it looked so good with their fireplace -- I ran right into the room and started fawning. His wife said she didn't even notice. Or care. She doesn't notice things like that. But she is freaky about her diet.

There are people who see a handbag as something to put their stuff in; a car is something to get them from point A to point B; shoes just need to be comfortable; their surroundings warm & safe. Honestly, I wish I was one of those people. I could tell any car by its headlights when I was twelve years' old. And it's not about image; I couldn't care less about having a Porsche or a Mercedes or a status car.

I want really soft T shirts (Rebecca Beeson), jeans that fit right (Joe's), a car that has a seat warmer and a sunroof for light (lots in my case, I have a Nissan Quest). I really look like a slob most days, so it's not about appearance either. I'm just picky. Like OCD picky about surroundings. I am that guy on "Flipping Out" with comfort. I will search forever to get the right shade of yellow (Benjamin Moore's Weston Flax) or red (Benjamin Moore's Confederate Red), because it makes me feel a certain way. My mom just moved into our old house and she said, "I can't believe how great these colors make you feel!" I felt a redemption of sorts. My mom is a beige-wall kind of person. (Behr's Brown Teepee is a great one, if you are too!)

All this was fine when I had money, but now I have to be picky and poor, which means a lot of do-it-yourself!

And just to keep me humble, God gave me a daughter, who though she has great clothes and shoes, she is determined to leave here every day not matching. It's my thorn...

One thing I don't notice at ALL is weight. My college roommate went from a size 16 to a 7 before I noticed. So what are you too picky about? A perfectionist about? What won't God let you be a perfectionist about?
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

We've been discussing whether we are city or town mice on a writer's loop this week. It made me think about conflict and how who we are can cause some inherent conflict. You ever watch the old TV show Green Acres? Oliver loved all the country life but his wife Lisa longed for shopping and nice clothes and dinner with friends. It made for some great inherent conflict. When we get into a relationship--either friends or spouses--we're often either very different (which can cause conflict) or very much alike (and we see and dislike our own faults in the other person).

Take us girls. Kristin is the city mouse all the way. The flighty one who changes her mind every five minutes. Denise is the calm, organized one. She keeps us all in line. Diann is the one strange men tell not to wear black and red together because it's evil. LOL I'm the take charge, get 'er done girl.

Dave and I fall into the very different mode. I'm the people person, he's the quiet one who doesn't say much until he gets to know you. I'm the hand flapper and he's the calm fixer of all problems. LOL I'm the lover of babies, he likes them when they get a little older. He wants to move to Arizona, and I'm going but not happily. LOL

I'm a country mouse. How is this country girl going to adapt to the city life? I doubt it will be an easy move for me. For one thing, I will NOT lock stuff up. I hate wallowing in that fear. Let them steal it if they want it that badly. And I hate traffic. I'll stay off the interstate and stay on surface roads for sure. Plus the people aren't as friendly as here in Indiana. I like to strike up a conversation with people in the store. And I'll miss my family. My parents, Dave's parents, and especially my son and his family--including my baby granddaughter. I'm coming home to see her once a month but that just isn't the same.

So do you have any inherent words of wisdom? How about ways you're different from your best friend or spouse and how do you handle it? Come on, spill your guts!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 7:00 AM  
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Monday, May 26, 2008

I was at the little league ball diamond the other day (actually, we live there this time of year) and passed someone wearing a familiar fragrance. I can’t tell you who from my past wore it, but I can tell you with certainty it was a teacher at my elementary school.

The other day we were walking across a parking lot and one of my boys said, “It smells like we’re going into an amusement park.” It was the greasy smell of tar under the hot sun.

The sense of smell is an amazing thing, isn’t it? I love to include smells in the scenes of my stories because nothing can take you there quite like a whiff of something familiar.

The smell of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo has the power to take me back to when my boys were wet, squirming babies. The fragrance of pine takes me back to Christmases past. One whiff of Pierre Cardin and I’m 18 and on my way to a movie with Kevin. The smell of burning wood reminds me of home. The buttery scent of popcorn takes me back to the skating rink.

What smell picks you up and takes you right back to a moment, a person, a place?
Denise Hunter  
posted at 10:34 PM  
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A Time to Remember . . . .

First off, THANK YOU to all who have served and are serving to make our world a better place!! We are enjoying freedoms today because of the sacrifices of others and I, for one, will be forever grateful.

Last year I lost my dad and my mother-in-law. Though Mom Hunt is no longer with us, her memory is forever tucked into my heart. She was a Proverbs 31 woman if there ever was one, and her example inspired me more times than I can say. Her music (she played accordian and sang beautifully), her sweet dimpled smile and her kind words were contagious to all who knew and loved her. Though I was only a daughter "in-law," she grafted me into the family as though I was one of her own.

My dad could eat chocolate with the best of them (where do you think I get it?), and some of my best memories were Sunday afternoons when Dad would take us for long drives in the country, meandering no where in particular. I loved those days when the spring air would breeze through the car, Glen Campbell would croon about a love gone wrong, and Dad would hum along, totally relaxed and at peace with the world. His laughter warmed me down to my toes and his strength has made me stronger.

I miss them both. Every. Single. Day.

So today I dedicate my blog to all who have shaped our country and more specifically, to family members who have shaped me into the woman I am today (yes, it's your fault).

And especially Mom Hunt and Dad Walker who I will see again one day. But until then, I will strive to be all I can be for my husband, children and grandchildren in hopes that one day they will remember how much I loved them and wanted God's best for them always.

Maybe there's someone you'd like to specifically remember today? Feel free to share your memory with us.

In the meantime, I'm eating lots of watermelon!!  Whoohooooooo!!!!  Happy Memorial Day!!!
Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:56 AM  
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Anathema is in bookstores, friends! Let me know if you see it.

There's been some talk floating around lately about what sells novels. A few agents and editors are saying that even fiction writers need to have a "platform" before they're published. It's the biggest load of nonsense I've never heard. I've never once bought a novel written by a celebrity. NON FICTION I'd buy by a celebrity on a topic I thought they were experienced in, but for STORY I want someone who will carry me away to a land far, far away and immerse me in a story world.

Word of mouth is the only buzz that sells novels. I read a great story and tell my friends who tell their friends and so on. The only platform that helps is when the pubs team a top non fiction author with a fiction one and the TOPIC feeds back into the top non fiction author's expertise. Like an author known for marriage counseling teaming up to write novels that illustrate his teaching. But if I heard Oprah had written a novel, I'd just shake my head and turn away.

For anyone to recommend an unpublished writer build a platform is just insane. If they don't have a huge platform already, what kind of platform could they even build that would matter? Starting from scratch with blogging or whatever, how big of an audience could they possibly build that would even make a blip in possible sales? Even speaking only reaches a few thousand a year and only a fraction of them will buy the book. What I've discovered in speaking is that if I'm speaking ABOUT writing and my books, I'll sell a lot of books, percentage-wise. If I'm just speaking on other topics at church gatherings, etc. and mention that I'm a writer, not so many. So just being a speaker is not a sure fire way to sell books.

When I go browsing for a novel, I'm first attracted to the title, then the cover, then the backcover copy. I flip it open and read a bit of it sometimes too. The story has to hook me. There are certain authors who are automatic buys like Stephen King or Dean Koontz, but I'm always looking to discover a new author to love. We avid readers WANT to find someone new we can talk about. I want to find someone whose prose encourages me to do better myself, who makes me forget I'm reading a book.

So how do you pick which novels to buy if you're not buying a favorite author already?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 4:32 AM  
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

From the quiet, semi-clean space of homes across the world, a deep throaty cry is heard. Yes, stay-at-home mom, summer is amost here. Gone is the quiet, gone is the clean, gone is the sanity. Or is it?

Having done this a time or two (my oldest is 15), I thought I might offer some tips for moms who might be new at this. And if you’re an old pro like me, please feel free to share your own tips.

Summer Survival Tips

1. Crack down early. This is crucial. The whole discipline/responsibility thing may have gotten a little out of hand throughout the chaotic school year. You haven’t had the time, energy, or sense to stay on top of the little monsters. Er, uh, darlings. Make a chart, use a color system, whatever works for you, but do it right away. I use a dry erase board and the kids keep tally of their own points for the week (deductions for leaving things out, pestering, not listening the first time, etc). Rewards and consequences come on the basis of those points. Stick with it the whole summer so they know you mean business.

2. Stay busy. Need I say how slowly summer will drag if you and your munchkins are home day after day after day? Yeah, enjoy summer, sleep in, hang around a bit, but don’t go overboard. Go to the park, plan a play date, have your friends’ kids sleep over. Make plans. It gives everyone a break from boredom.

3. Teach skills. The school year schedule leaves little time for teaching the kiddos how to do the laundry, fold clothes, do dishes, scrub a toilet. Think of all the help they’ll be once they know how. And start an allowance system while you’re at it. It will teach the kids how to use a budget and stop the annoying “Can I have money for . . .” plea.

4. Buy stock in Blockbuster. Okay, only kidding. Kind of. A kid-friendly movie here and there won’t kill them and might give you a couple hours of peace between the siblings. If you sit down and watch with them . . . all the better.

5. Have fun with your kids. They’re doing the dishes and helping with laundry right? You have time to play a board game or pass the baseball with your future Dodger star. Besides, you don’t want the first line in your child’s Summer Break essay to start, Well, other than listening to my mom yell . . .
Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:50 AM  
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Monday, May 19, 2008

I've never had pretty fingernails. When I'm around women with beautiful nails, I bend my fingers at the middle knuckle so my nails won't show. Then I look like I have ten stubs. That's not a real great look either, in case you wondered.

Still, it's a fate I've learned to live with. They tell me it's because I type all the time, but my toenails aren't great, either--though they are stronger (think tree bark). Yeah, I'm pretty proud of that.

My fingernails are paper thin and they actually tear. And please don't tell me that chocolate consumption is the problem. I couldn't live with that.

I've tried to polish them with the products that boast of making nails stronger. Can you believe I actually develop some kind of problem beneath my nails that causes the nail to lift off the nail bed when I use that stuff? I almost lost a whole nail once because of it.

I got my nails professionally done for my daughter's wedding and my fingers throbbed so hard they vibrated through the entire ceremony. Afterwards, people lined up for shoulder massages. It was embarrassing, really.

The truth is I drink milk. Not tons, but some. I take calcium. So now what? Is there anything out there that can help me--or am I destined to wear gloves and look like a Michael Jackson wanna be? Anyone know Sally Hansen's secret?
Diann Hunt  
posted at 5:03 PM  
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I am drowning!! Oh my gosh, Denise's post on her clean pantry just made me feel worse about how out of control life is! My desk is a disaster, covered in paperwork, homework for the kids, Friday folders, things to do, bills to pay. And the mess isn't just in front of me, it's all over because I do not have eight hands and I'm cleaning after 12 hands!

So I'm showing my pantry, which is a mess and yet, the kids say there's nothing in the house to eat! Grocery shopping trips are getting the bare minimum amount of time while I try to write, pick up kids, get them to soccer, the tutor, friend's houses for projects, playtime, and worse than any of is getting out next month, so they'll be here all day unless I take the time to plan some summer camps. There's not enough coffee in Sumatra for what's coming!

When I am writing, it's like my mind takes up all my admin skills to keep the story straight, and the house starts to become what my brain feels like! So tonight I started Kristin Boot Camp. I'm training the kids to pick up after themselves WITHOUT me telling them, and I'm getting tough. For every one minute I waste picking up socks, chip bags, etc., left in the family room, they're going to give me five full minutes of scrubbing!

There is nothing like a messy house to make you feel like a failure.
posted at 12:35 AM  
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Saturday, May 17, 2008
Congratulations to the Free Book Winners from my newsletter! Your copies will be arriving shortly.

Patti Wiebe
Kayleen Reusser
Sue Ellsworth
Ramona Lillard
Debbie Smith

If you'd like to know about my new releases and have the opportunity to win free books, sign up for my newsletter here
Denise Hunter  
posted at 2:28 AM  
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lessons from my Pantry

I finished the first draft of my Women of Faith novel and immediately celebrated by cleaning out my panty. Yeah, sad, I know. But it’s been bugging me, seeing all that food, knowing half of it was old or stale or worse. Finding crumbs and sticky spots under everything I picked up.

So I did it, and I learned a few things in the two hours it took me to clean it out.

1. Ice cream sprinkles have no expiration date.

2. Old nuts taste really gross.

3. I buy way too much cereal.

4. Buying new foods is a waste of money. My kids don’t like them and they end up wasted.

5. Even with my black thumb, I can grow very long potato sprouts.

6. Old potatoes stink.

7. Marshmallows become petrified after a couple years.

8. Food that survived Y2K should’ve been tossed long ago.

9. Old chocolate, even discolored, still tastes good.

10. I have a blender!
Denise Hunter  
posted at 4:57 AM  
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Does anyone ever like their driver's license photo? 

Remember the one you hated eight years ago? Don't you wish you could carry it around now? Okay, maybe it's just me, but I'd like to hang on to the old one. Is there an emotional layer in there somewhere? You know, struggling to "let go" of my youth or something? I don't think so, but then I've never really discussed this with a professional. 

But WHY do we have to have the picture taken? I mean, do we REALLY look like that? Please say no.

And putting our weight on there for everyone and his dog to see is just wrong. It's truly something that could throw a perimenopausal woman into a hot flash. I should know. When a 110 pound, sixteen-year-old cashier lingered over my information with a smirk on her skinny little bone face, I almost combusted on the spot.

As you've probably guessed, I have to get a new driver's license this year. I'm thinking of an extreme makeover before then. Okay, maybe not. It would cut into my coffee money.

So in the meantime, any suggestions as to how I might not look like a model for the FBI Most Wanted poster? Any rule of thumb to follow?  And Colleen, don't you dare tell me not to wear brown or beige. I'm saving those colors for the conference. 

What do YOU do to be able to live with your driver's license--the picture AND nitty gritty details that only God should know?
Diann Hunt  
posted at 3:00 AM  
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Does this dog make my butt look fat?

I hike with my neighbors one day a week. One of them is a professional dog walker, and so we go with about 6 to 11 dogs. All of them huge, except mine, and my friend Keiko sent me this picture and my first thought was, I totally need a bigger dog. Now everyone who walks with me is no bigger than an inch. I am NOT a big woman and I feel Amazonian next to them all. But I'm the only American and aren't we supposed to be the fattest country?

Speaking of which, as you know, much of my pondering in life takes place in the coffee shop. I'm there every morning, and I have noticed something. People who order fat-free, sugar-free lattes and mochas, the Americanos? They're usually bigger. First off, I think that fake sugar makes you hungry, not to mention it's terrible for you and your body can't digest it. But I also think real sugar fills you up more, and so you're happy with your 350 calorie mocha. You don't need to cram down a muffin.

This does not count for the six-pack girls who come from the gym and order an iced coffee. They're just sick and I can't identify at all. I think they could drink sawdust and be equally happy -- they were born without taste buds don't you know?

I gained weight lately, can you tell? But I'll exercise, I will not be drinking a sugar-free/fat-free anything. Blech! In case you're wondering, I drink a small soy mocha with whip every day. On Fridays and Sundays, I get a large. : )

Doesn't Fiona look cute in her little Italia jacket?
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'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Anyone else out there a huge Romeo and Juliet fan? The version with Olivia Hussey? LOL I about drove my parents crazy listening to the LP of that movie over and over. I can still quote it in huge chunks. LOL But I digress. I'm actually here to talk about names. I've been thinking about names a lot since my granddaughter will be coming in a few months. What will be her name? My editor Ami McConnell also taught me to think hard about names when writing a new book. So I'm very name focused.

I'll tell you the one piece of advice I give pregnant women then I'd love you to tell me YOUR suggestions about dos and don'ts when it comes to names. My number one DON'T is not to call your child by his/her MIDDLE name. It was the style back in the day and my parents called me and my brother Randy by our middle names. I love my name Colleen because it's different. I have only run into a handful of other Colleens in my life so I like unique names. But I wish it had been my first name. Calling a kid something other than their first name seriously messes with their sense of identity. People can call me Peggy until the cows come home and I won't look. They had to tap me on the shoulder.

Some people think it's fine because the teachers ask what to call the child. Um, no. School is a TINY part of the name disconnect. I'm 56 years old and it's still a huge annoyance. I go to a doctor's office and they call me Peggy. I sit there for fifteen minutes before they call me again and I get it. LOL Any legal documents are in the name of Peggy. It's something that carries through a child's whole life. So don't do it!

Peggy is my mother's name and it's wonderful on her. I can't imagine her as any other name. But it's not ME. I'm Colleen. LOL

So what's your name advice?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:49 AM  
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Thursday, May 08, 2008

I'm sitting here this morning sipping on my INSTANT coffee with cocoa and whipped cream, feeling a bit ornery and not having a clue as to what I should write about today. :-)

First off, I want you to know that my daughter and her husband are leaving soon on a cruise for their tenth anniversary.  We're getting three of the grandkids tonight. Can I just say here that I've been married THIRTY-THREE years (I know, I'm old), and I've NEVER been on a cruise!! Okay, hubby's offered, but we've just never seemed to get so far as looking one up on-line. It sounds lovely, but then there's just all that water.

Speaking of grandchildren (we were, weren't we?), since I knew we would be keeping a couple over the next TEN days, hubby and I scrambled to have our last hoorah last night and went to the movies to see Iron Man. Anyone seen that? I'm not a comic book kind of gal, but I have to admit that was a pretty good movie!
Anybody know what to feed kids these days? I'm good with the ten-month old, but it's the big kids I wonder about. I just don't think I can handle McDonald's that long.

Well, that's enough rambling. Besides, I need some more coffee (okay, so I use the term loosely).  Have an awesome weekend all!
Diann Hunt  
posted at 9:11 AM  
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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Yesterday, I watched a "Dr. Phil" while folding laundry -- and of all things, it was a reunion show of this French Mama's boy. Since he'd been on, his mother had managed to break up his marriage, and his big show of independence was to tell Mama (on the show, cuz he was skerd, that he was friends with his ex-wife behind his Mama's back.)

Are you kidding me?? But this brings me to my point, why would any woman date this loser? Fixer-uppers are fine for a house, but girls, really, if he's a fixer-upper, you have to set yourself a time limit and see if any renovations actually take place. I mean, if the foundation is shaky, you don't have a fixer-upper, you have a LOSER!

So here is my fool-proof test for whether a man is worthy of you or not. Okay, I just made it up, so it's not really fool-proof. LOL It's probably not even worthy of a Cosmo quiz, but I am a student of people.

1. He takes responsibilities for his actions! (If he's late to pick you up, he has a legitimate reason. He does not blame someone else.) The guy on Dr. Phil had an excuse for everything! He couldn't find a job because...insert long excuse. He had to live in his Mommy's house because part time work only paid a little, and he'd have to drive a scooter if his Mommy didn't give him the Mercedes.

Now, you all may see this as obvious, but it didn't start out obvious, so you have to look for the small excuses of his behavior. Everyone makes mistakes. Just make sure he owns up to them!

2. He does not think of you as the "good for now" girl until someone prettier/thinner/smarter comes along. Is he always looking around the room in a crowd? Make sure he's capable of focus -- if he's not, he's not capable of commitment. This is also called delusional thinking. When you are unemployed and living with your mama, if you have a girlfriend, dude, that's the best you can get.

3. He loves not with word and tongue, but in deed and in action. Oh my gosh, the smooth talkers are everywhere. Does he open your door? Does he know your favorite flower? Music? Do you know his? If he can name his mama's, but not yours, RUN!

4. He wants to be with you as much as you want to be with him -- you don't have to chase him, you don't have to leave him fourteen texts before he texts back. This is never a good sign. If his phone rings with, "You are so Beautiful" for his mother, again, RUN!

5. He knows the map on his video game verbatim, but needs GPS to find your house. If he has one too many hobbies, it can make for a lonely life. Don't think that will change after marriage. Make sure you do some of them together!

I watched "The Bachelor" this week, and I'm still trying to figure out why any of these women consider these men candidates. They need my test. They really do. Feel free to add your tidbit and maybe we can help the women of America!
posted at 12:38 AM  
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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm in Arizona visiting my baby girl. One of the perks of the area is that I get to visit the place where I buy my coffee--Echo Espresso ( and I can get high just walking in and smelling the roasting beans. i got to meet the new owners for the first time, and Cindy showed me a fabulous new coffee blend they'd created. It's called World Blend and it's a mixture of dark and light roasted beans from every country in the world that grows coffee. I'm guessing this means my wonderful Kona coffee is in that blend somewhere. But I digress. Just looking at the mixture of dark and light beans is a delight and I was about to rush to Kara's and try it.

That's where I learned something new about coffee that I've get to pass on to you. Did you know that coffee off-gasses? Dave would say it off-gasses every time I brew it since he doesn't even like the smell of coffee, but there's something wrong with that boy. LOL Anyway, when I said I was rushing home to try the new blend, she said, "Oh no, don't drink it today. Let it finish off-gassing. Coffee is at its best freshly ground and used from day 2 to day 14."

There's something that's supposed to be so great about anticipation, but I've got to tell you it's all I could do NOT to brew some of that coffee this afternoon. I always thought I had developed my patience pretty well since starting writing, but today showed me that when it comes to my coffee, I have none. I may dream about that coffee tonight. In fact, I'm pretty sure I will. LOL

I bought some Folger's premium blend the other day when I was about out of coffee because I knew I wanted to get some fresh stuff from Echo Espresso, and it was so stale tasting I could barely drink it. You may tell me I'm crazy to buy fresh roasted coffee when you can buy a pound of grocery store coffee for $3 but you get what you pay for. I challenge you to try truly fresh coffee for two weeks. Find an actual coffee roaster (I highly recommend Echo) and drink coffee that is totally fresh (Starbucks isn't that fresh). You will never go back. Make sure you get a good grinder. I just bought a Capresso Infinity and I swear the coffee tastes better than the one I had before. And THE best coffee maker is a Cuisinart. Bar none. It makes home coffee even better than Starbucks.

Then report back to me. Yes, this means you, Diann. No INSTANT coffee. I shudder just to think of what you drink every morning.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:28 AM  
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Sunday, May 04, 2008

“Mom, there’s ants on the table.”

These are not the words I want to hear first thing in the morning when my vision is still fuzzy and my mouth hasn’t seen a toothbrush in twelve hours.

Nonetheless, it seems to be a recurring theme this spring. Ants in the dining room, ants in the kitchen and, yes, ants on the table. Mostly at the end where my not-so-neat 9 year old eats. Once they discovered Café Du Trevor, they must’ve emailed all their friends because it quickly became the culinary hot spot.

So I bought ant baits and placed them along the walls just like the directions said, all the while singing the Barney song in my head. The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah. Hey, it’s stuck in my head, why shouldn’t it be stuck in yours?

Then I sat down to watch. Yeah, this is the glamorous life I lead. But I was in luck. There was an ant near one of the baits and I wanted to see if these things worked.

The ant slowly made its way toward the white plastic container, getting turned around many times before it finally reached the bait. There was a brief hesitation at its edge, which I noted was just a fraction of a centimeter off the floor. He (I figured it was male, because he didn’t once stop to ask for directions) was going to have to pole vault or something. I watched as he seemed to take stock of the high ledge then finally went around the bait—around it—and went merrily on his way, probably to some sticky glob Trevor left somewhere. He and his colony can climb the Mount Everest of my dining room table but can’t navigate a millimeter-high ant bait?

The verdict is still out on the effectiveness of the baits, but so far I’m not very impressed. And apparently, neither are the ants.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 10:07 PM  
  Comments (12)
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Thursday, May 01, 2008
Oh my gosh, I saw this on the news today. Babies dropped in a good luck ritual. They said in 500 years no babies have been hurt, but I'm telling you, it's the scariest thing to watch. I can't imagine handing my baby over for this:
posted at 1:34 PM  
  Comments (8)
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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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