Girls Write Out
Friday, November 28, 2008
Well, I lied. After Thanksgiving and my cousins talked up being at Toys R Us at 4:30, my son Trey and I got up and went to Target at 6 a.m. to get a Lego deal. Since I have bought enough Legos in my lifetime to own part of Denmark, a $30 deal seemed worth doing. Alas, we missed the deal, so we left Target and went to Best Buy and finished our Christmas shopping.

Actually, Black Friday was kind of fun. People are in good moods, and it's very exciting out there, so I'm not ruling it out in the future. I also bought myself, "Music & Lyrics". I LOVE that movie. The Pop-up videos at the end are hilarious and so fun! As my BFF and I plan to go to see Boy George, Howard Jones together, you can't beat living in the past. Happy Black Friday people! Now it's off to friends' houses and tonight, dinner and a play. : )

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Kristin  
posted at 11:53 AM  
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


My little aye-aye for your mid-week giggle.


Believe it or not, I hate to shop. I like stuff, don't get me wrong, but I hate to go to the store. I don't really care for the hassle, I get overwhelmed, and really, I shop like a guy. I hunt.

That's why I like Bluefly. The little mannequin is wearing the product, so I can tell how it's cut, and I don't have to try anything on. I abhor trying things on. Mostly because my balance is so bad, and I fall over in the little cubicles. I'm safer at my computer. Plus, maybe it's all those years of being in the mall (I was a mall marketing director for five years in a previous life). Working at the mall, you have too much insider information to actually enjoy it as a destination.

To make matters worse, I had to go. I um, gained some weight, and my Joe's Jeans are not as comfortable as they once were, so I had to shop. I didn't want to spend a lot of money because you know, I've invested in the Joe's (and a new brand called Anlo), so I went to Old Navy. I got a pair of jeans for $19.50. I had no idea you could get a pair of jeans for $19.50. Now they're not as soft, and they don't have the booty fit (ie., for my Beyonce backside! LOL) Wait a minute, that's too kind, I don't mean to compliment myself, I have a big butt, and usually jeans if they fit me in the butt, they hang around my waist. Joe's will make me believe I'm normal. That's a cause I can put my money behind.

Anyhoo, I braved the masses at Old Navy. I used to have a sign in my dorm that read, "I came, I saw, I shopped." Now, it should be, "I sat, I browsed, I shopped." So my question is, will you brave the sales after Thanksgiving? My answer is a resounding no, but tell me, if you will, where will you go first and why?

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Kristin  
posted at 2:12 PM  
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008





WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?
If you want enough news, it's enough to make you think God has deserted us. All we hear is doom and gloom hammered into our brains. But I've had enough of the fear mongering. When we focus on our blessings, it really turns our attitude around. God is still inn control no matter who won the election. God has it all in hand no matter what the media says about the economy. God showers us with blessings if we care to look. With Thanksgiving only two days away, I decided to focus on what's really great in my life:

1. A wonderful husband who spoils me and loves me. Life doesn't get much better than having a man like Dave around. He even fixes my coffee in the morning! And he hates coffee AND the smell of it.

2. I have the most darling granddaughter imaginable. Little Alexa Grace is the most beautiful baby ever. I know, I know, your granddaughter rivals her in your eyes. But let me have my moment! LOL This time last year, we'd just lost twins in a miscarriage. See how God works things out? Now we have my little angel. To say I'm obsessed would be a tad of an understatement.

3.. The best sons and daughters I could ask for. I count Donna and Mark as my own now and love them just as fiercely. They were SO worth waiting for! If only we'd held out for talking Mark into changing his name to COBLE!

4. A great family who has always been there for me. Parents, brothers, aunts and uncles who all love me.

5. A great publishing team who treats me like family. They love me, pray for me and keep me focused. I'm thankful for each one of my family at Thomas Nelson. They'll never get rid of me.

6. A great church family at New Life Baptist Church.

7. Great friends among the writing community and here on this blog. I love and appreciate every one of you who call Girls Write Out your place to hang out.

8. A MacBook computer. Ah, i love this thing every time I put my hands on the keyboard. You're laughing but I really do love my MacBook. LOL

9. I'm pretty much migraine free since discovering the migraine cure. I only have a migraine maybe three or so times a year. You can read more about that on my website under Extras.

10. And most importantly, a God who loves me in spite of my faults and sins. And I know I can totally trust Him with the future.

How about you? What are YOU thankful for this Thanksgiving? Oh and before I forget, if you'd like to see a recent interview with me and a chance to win a copy of Lonestar Sanctuary, visit http://wordvessel.blogspot.com/

So jump in and let me know what you're thankful for!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:09 AM  
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Let me tell you, it's a happy day when this writer gets her new book the mail! My shipment of Sweetwater Gap (a Women of Faith novel) has arrived and I couldn't wait to share free copies with my GWO friends.

If you'd like to win a free signed copy, send an email WITH YOUR ADDRESS to denise@denisehunterbooks.com by Monday night (Nov. 24). I'll draw 5 winners and notify the winners Tuesday.
Here's the back cover copy:
Josie Mitchell's sister Laurel thinks she's come home to pitch in with the apple harvest and save the family orchard. Her brother-in-law Nate thinks she's there to talk the overworked, very pregnant Laurel into selling the family business. The orchard's new manager Grady Mackenzie just thinks she's trouble with a capital T.
They're all right . . . and all wrong. Because no one really knows what drove Josie from home in the first place. Why she's never come home before, even for her own father's funeral. Why she pushes herself so hard . . . and what she's running from. And nobody, not even Josie, is prepared for the surprising new fruit she'll find on her last trip home.

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Denise Hunter  
posted at 4:08 PM  
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

You all know I've gotten into crocheting lately. I've crocheted--are you ready for this--drum roll--ten hats and I'm working on my second baby blanket. Now, here's the kicker. This Saturday I'm starting my first of three knitting classes. Isn't that a hoot?

But here's the thing I wanted to blog about--a friend of mine who is also getting into knitting for the first time has discovered youtube.com.  Then she told me about it. I had no idea they had little video clips for just about any question known to mankind! And that includes knitting and crocheting! And some of those knitting/crocheting clips are in slow motion! How cool is that? I'm so excited! Can you tell by all the exclamation points? *g*

Have you discovered the tips on there? Am I the last to know? Where else, besides Google, do you go to get tips on whatever it is you're learning at the time? Do you know any knitter/crochet-friendly sites? I'm having a ball with this!

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Diann Hunt  
posted at 6:49 AM  
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sometimes, I feel like a zombie walking through life, not noticing a thing around me as I dwell in another world. Other times, my attention is so rapt on something going on that's none of my business, I forget I'm not invisible.

The thing about being a writer is your characters take on lives of their own. Even if you're not Shakespeare. It's true. It happens to the best (and worst) of us. I've been living with my characters of "Walking on Water" for nearly a year now (it's not out until next Fall.) My book is set in Santa Cruz and I've been going there at least twice a month, to hang out and soak up the setting. We live about 40 miles away and this weekend, I took two of the kids there to the Boardwalk (we usually go along the shore and walk the dog.)

Not invisible moments: In Santa Cruz, I noticed there is no good way to wear heels and a minidress -- and adding white sunglasses with rhinestone. No. Please girls, no. Britney Spears shaved off her head too, is that next? Beachcombers do not separate the boardwalk (think amusement park) from the beach below. Gentlemen, may I just say if you are over 300 lbs? Please keep your shirts on. That way, no one will confuse you with Bond. And for the ladies? Bikini tops don't wrap under fake boobs. The two triangles sort of float there, defying gravity and many other forces of nature. I felt a little violated with all this private information I shouldn't have been privy to.

Zombie moment: Today at soccer, it is pitch black and I am writing with a pen and paper under a booklight when my daughter ran to get me. It was like she pulled me from this spell and suddenly I heard the screaming that was a buzzing noise in the background. It was a little friend who had fallen off a jungle gym. Nothing serious, but I swear I hadn't heard a thing. I mean, I know my kids' cries. I would like to think I would have disengaged for my own child, but they have been known to force eye contact.

Being a writer is an acceptable form of crazy. Didn't Dickens' characters talk to him too? And Chuck, could you spare a few? You're not using them anymore, right?

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Kristin  
posted at 2:19 AM  
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING
I've about had it with the new advertisements touting how "corn syrup has the same nutritional value as sugar." Um, that would be NOTHING. Do these companies think we're STUPID? Don't they realize with the internet we have a world of information at our fingertips? I think it's going to backfire on them. The ad will make people wonder just what the nutritional value is of both items and find out how destructive corn syrup really is.

I've become something of a health nut (and it's all Kristin's fault. She created a monster.) New studies are showing that corn syrup is very destructive to your body. It's not the empty calories--it's that high fructose corn syrup contains a good deal of "free" or unbound fructose. Research shows it interferes with the heart’s use of minerals like magnesium, copper and chromium. It causes fatty liver disease, increases the chances of metabolic syndrome, can increase your chances of getting gout. Gosh the list goes on and on. And it's in EVERYTHING. I dare you. Go to your cupboard and check things like chili beans. Most have corn syrup. It's in fruit juices we give our kids and all kinds of things we think of as healthy.

Cut it out! Start checking what you put in your mouth.

From my favorite health magazine, Life Extension Magazine: (Dec. 2008) - Metabolic Danger of High-Fructose Corn Syrup:

. . . . Fructose, on the other hand, is more rapidly metabolized in the liver, flooding metabolic pathways and leading to increased triglyceride synthesis and fat storage in the liver. this can cause a rise in serum triglycerides, promoting an athegrogenic lipid profile and elevating cardiovascular risk. Increased fat storage in the liver may lead to an increased incidence in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and this is one of several links between HFCS consumption and obesity as well as the metabolic syndrome. (7)

Scientists have therefore come to realize that all sugars are not created equal, which has been borne out in a number of studies. In one study, investigators looked at whether reduction in insulin sensitivity was caused by glucose or fructose components of the diet. They took two groups of young healthy men and fed one group a high-glucose diet, while the other received a diet high in fructose. At the end of one week, high-fructose feeding was accompanied by a significant reduction in insulin sensitivity and insulin binding, whereas no significant changes were seen in the high-glucose group. (23)

Do you have a deceptive ad that's a pet peeve of yours?

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 5:28 AM  
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Well, it's here once again. Virus season. We have at least two viruses in our home, and I'm not talking the computer kind.

It's time for me to stash my mini antibacterial cleanser in my purse, pull open doors with my coat sleeve, and avoid touching my face. No, I'm not OCD, I just hate getting sick. Worse than that, I hate passing it along to my family like a time honored tradition.

Speaking of which, may I suggest we do away with the time honored tradition of shaking hands in the winter? Let's see, germs and viruses are running rampant on my fingers so, hey, put 'er there. How are you? Have a cold.

We shook hands at church this morning like every other church across our land and I have to wonder how many people will get sick from one Sunday's greeting. Please. Can we come up with a new greeting? Let's bump elbows or something. Why this needless exchange of germs? Keep your cold to yourself and I'll return the favor.


I have to admit I feel a little sheepish sneaking my handi-sized sanitizer from my purse at the end our "shaking". It's not that I think you've got cooties, okay? I just don't like to be sick. I don't have time to be sick. So until we change our customary greeting, I guess I'll risk looking like a germophobe.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:45 PM  
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Friday, November 14, 2008


HONEY I'M HOME!
Gosh, it was a great time on Kauai. I missed you all! Doesn't Kara look amazing? Such a beautiful bride. We had a great time. My cousin Mary came with me to keep me company and it was so fun and relaxing.

But I'm so glad to be home! I'm such a creature of habit. Here's what I missed: Grammy's perfect angel, my peeps (YOU! and the rest of my family), my own bed, my own shower with soft water, my cuisinart coffee maker which makes amazing coffee, my International Flavors Hazelnut creamer (I could only get Coffee Mate in Hawaii), my recliner and the solitude to write.

By the way, avoid the Indianapolis airport for a while. They just changed to the new terminal the day I flew home and we waited AN HOUR for our luggage and it took over an hour for Dave to ride the shuttle back to the old parking lot and get back to the new terminal. I wanted to rush to see my perfect angel. We got in at 3:45 and I didn't get to Ft Wayne (usually about 2 1/2 hrs from the airport) until 8!

When you travel, what do YOU miss the most?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:32 AM  
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Hey guys, check out Amy & Phil now (from Biggest Loser), don't they look great???
http://www.examiner.com/x-660-Weight-Loss-Examiner~y2008m11d11-Dont-forget-Biggest-Loser-is-tonight-And-check-out-Amy-and-Phillip
Kristin  
posted at 4:47 PM  
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My family and I are big fans of the show, "The Biggest Loser", but we're having a really hard time watching it this year. Why? Because two of the contestants just seem evil in their ploys: Heba and Vicky. It is difficult to root for anyone who enjoys the downfalls of others, isn't it? Everyone knows that person, the one who seems to feel like they win at someone else's loss. I cannot identify with this character at all and I want them gone to continue watching the show.

Seriously, I want them to lose their weight. I watched my mother lose 75 pounds as a child, and that kind of lifestyle change is nothing less than extraordinary. I just don't want to watch Vicky do it. She's mean. And as the bumper sticker says, "Mean People Suck".

Random connected thought: Prius drivers are the new Beamer drivers in the Bay Area. RUDE, RUDE, RUDE!!

So Vicky, in my book, you are the biggest loser, so get off the show and let others have their feel-good moments. You're sucking their energy -- and they need that so Jillian can kill them on the stairmaster. : )

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Kristin  
posted at 12:01 PM  
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

I took my boys for haircuts on Saturday at Famous Hair and after a brief wait my 16 year old's name is called. My first clue he was in trouble: I hadn't seen this woman before. With three boys, we're in there more than some of their employees.


I explained to the stylist that he wanted a trim--1/2 an inch-- and that he'd already cut his own bangs--they MIGHT need evening up a bit.


Somehow, when we're leaving, his bangs are a full inch shorter and look like they were cut with a weed whacker. I could've done better myself. Shoot, a five year old could've done better. What the heck. She went to school for this? May I suggest a career as a, I don't know, anything else? I didn't complain--what's the point, the hair's gone and fortunately he doesn't care about his hair anyway. Still.


I once went to a salon for highights and came out with red hair. RED! My middle son, sporting an adorable bowl cut, went in for a trim and came out with a hacked up crew cut. Where are they training these people?


Denise Hunter  
posted at 6:44 PM  
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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Can you believe yesterday marked a whole year since my surgery? That's right, I've been cancer-free for a whole year now! Unbelievable!  

I just had to pause and celebrate with you because you all were so awesome through my ordeal, standing by me with words, cards, gifts of encouragement! Thank you so much!

Thank you to my dear friend, Colleen, who not only stood beside me every step of the way, but also gave me an extra shot of morphine (accidentally--or so she says) in the hospital to make my stay there, well, comfortable.

Thanks to Denise and Kristin who also supported me daily with encouraging emails.

Most of all, I want to thank the Lord for His constant presence through it all and for His continued mercy and grace.

This is a GREAT day!!  Whooohoooo!!!  So when you rip open that next package of M&Ms, chocolate truffles, whatever, think of me and celebrate! *g*

Maybe you have something you'd like to celebrate today, too?  It is the month for thankfulness, after all.  So what are you thankful for?

Love you, girlfriends!
Diann Hunt  
posted at 12:26 AM  
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I LOVE music. I always have. It just transports me to another time and place. Usually a better one that I'm currently in, and not enough can be said about living in a false reality. False realities are softer, gentler, happier places.

So I bought a new car a couple months' ago. (I know, I know, I promised to keep this one for awhile!) and it has XM radio, which I thought -- what a waste -- who would spend $12 a month for radio? Now, I am sheepishly raising my hand. My kids and I actually have schedules for which stations we listen to and when. Driving to school, we need to wake up, so it's the 80's station generally. I mean, when you hear Thomas Dolby's "Blinded by Science" or Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus", how can you go away in a bad mood?

I am not an old bat in my Buick. I am a seventeen year old girl driving my Datsun 200SX. And don't you youngins dare ask what that is!!!

After school, they have the best comedians on the Comedy Channel -- people like Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan. Oh my goodness, those guys make me laugh until I am buckled over -- listen to Jim Gaffigan's "Hot Pockets" on YouTube or Brian Regan's Little League. Hilarious!

Then, when we get my older son, it's off to the all AC/DC channel. Elle has developed a love for Pat Benatar and Heart, but she's still my little Mozart girl. Actually Beethoven is her favorite and you know, I never could tell the difference between any classical music, but now I can hear it -- thanks to my 8 year old. I cannot stand the ballet you see at Christmas, The Nutcracker and I've learned that I cannot stand any Tchaikowsky (sp?) music. I love the Piano Concertos by Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Bach. Who would have guessed?

When I'm on my own, it's back to blasting my David Crowder Band -- but the XM Christian station isn't very good. That's a bummer. My point is, I'm one of those suckers who is going to pay for radio. Sigh.

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Kristin  
posted at 11:34 AM  
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

WOW AND NOT SO WOW
I've lost an appendage. If you find it, can you reattach it please? I'm rattling around Kauai without my husband. He was only allowed three days vacation because of the new software implementation (which by the way got POSTPONED on Monday so he could have been here. Sigh) Traveling without him is like trying to walk with my foot in a cast. I'm severely hampered. I have to haul my own luggage, find my terminal by myself, locate Starbucks without his eagle eyes pointing it out. I have to DRIVE which is a bummer when I'm used to him knowing exactly where to go. And I just plain miss him! So this is the not so wow part of my trip.

But I've had some Wow moments too. We like to fly Hawaiian Airlines out here. Now THAT is an airline! If you ever travel to Hawaii, it is the only airline to take. We like it so well we fly to Phoenix and travel from there on Hawaiian. They are the only airline that gives you a truly Hawaiian experience on the way. The stewardesses wear flowers in their hair, there is Hawaiian music playing when you get onboard, the screen shows hula dancing and other great Hawaiian cultural things. I love it! This year I ordered in copies of Distant Echoes and gave them to the stewardesses. The next thing I knew they'd brought me a little DVD player which usually costs $15 and two extra headsets for anyone in my party to enjoy. VERY SWEET of them!

Then when we got to our house we were blown away! It's up in Omao and absolutely gorgeous! My bedroom is the master and it has an island bed with mosquito netting draping it for ambience. The grounds are fabulous with flowers everywhere which the caretaker said we could pick for the wedding reception. I'll definitely be back.

So that's the WOW part and I'm emjoying it as I thump without my missing appendage. Keep a lookout for that appendage though, would you? I sure miss him!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:45 AM  
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Monday, November 03, 2008

Read to your kids! We'll make readers of them yet!


This is the mantra screamed to parents everywhere for the past 15 years. And so, reader that I am, I did just that. Did it do any good?


3 out of 3 of my boys DON'T like to read. Sigh. Break a mother's heart, why don't you.


No, they apparently got their father's genes (newspapers and magazines only, thank you), and regardless of what any "study" says, I believe this is an inborn trait: either you're a reader or you're not and no amount of forced reading is going to change that.


Which is why these school forced reading programs are driving me nuts. Our kids HAVE to read and pass tests on a certain amount of books every quarter and it counts as a grade on their report cards. We're talking eleven chapter books for a 10 year old, outside of school hours. Excuse me, since when has forcing a child to do something he hates succeeded in changing their minds about it? Didn't work with me and vegetables. I'm just saying.


Listen, my earliest memories are of sitting on the library floor surrounded by that yummy book smell listening to the crack of the plastic cover as I opened a book. But I contend, I was born that way, a reader, and nothing would've prevented me from being a total bookworm. So, please, schools, let's stop forcing extracurricular reading upon our kids. For my boys, it's done nothing but turn a pleasurable activing into a dreaded chore.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:26 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.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

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.

www.ColleenCoble.com

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.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

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.

www.DiannHunt.com

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.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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