Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Now that I'm working for the plastic surgeon's office, I'm having to keep my work and my time much more organized. There are so many great applications for making that happen, and I'm grateful. I got a timer that allows me to pause and restart and it will keep track of my hours. It's called Desktop Task Timer. Then, I got one that cleans up your desktop as you work so it keeps your computer looking "clean" -- I love that. It's called Desktop Tidy.
All of these are so affordable and entrepreneurs are really making bank on these idea. I'm just loving that it's a win-win for both of us. What about you, do you have a favorite app that makes you more productive?
posted at 8:00 PM
Thursday, May 23, 2013
We're going to Montana in July to see my brothers. I can hardly wait! The thing is, we're flying and my suitcase was the size of an SUV. So at my prodding, hubby went and bought me a mid-size suitcase, somewhere between an SUV and a Geo. I can live with that.
But here's the thing. We'll be gone for ten days and I have to fit everything in the smaller luggage. I dare not complain after hubby went to the trouble to get me a new one. So please, please, please tell me how you pack for trips to get everything into your luggage. I've seen Kristin, Colleen and Denise fit so much into small luggage and I am just amazed that they can do that. They always laugh at me with my SUV. So now I've joined the ranks of those with smaller luggage but have no idea how to make it all fit in there.
Suggestions? Please tell me you have some or I'm doomed to wear the same clothes over and over. :-)
Labels: luggage, Montana, packing, suitcase
posted at 9:25 AM
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Amy Grant is back with a new album, and her voice is as pure as it ever was. I simply love the emotion in her voice. When she sings, you know she means it.
On this album, she collaborates with a lot of big names, including her husband Vince Gill and one of my all-time favorites, James Taylor. Amy's voice is like warm caramel and the musical reminders of how all-encompassing God's grace is will touch the hardest of hearts.
My personal favorite in the collection is, "Don't Try So Hard."
I did not become a Christian until I was 24 years' old, so Amy's voice has really been one of the soundtracks of my faith and all I can say is, that it's good to have her back.
posted at 5:38 PM
Friday, May 10, 2013
Friends, I have a stack of different Hannah Alexander titles that have filled my bookcases to overflowing. The most recent release was last year, but several from years past. So, anyone who lives in the contiguous United States who sends me an email with snail mail addy to firstname.lastname@example.org who has entered the contest this past week, will receive a book. Thank you for your input. You've been most helpful.
If you read the book I've sent you and feel led, would you please consider leaving a review on Amazon or other site where my books are sold?
Thanks so much.
Labels: Winners of contest
posted at 4:45 PM
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Well, I've recently procured a new job! I'm very excited to go back into the workforce. It's been nearly twenty years and while I've loved being an author, I really am anxious to be around people again! I'm going to be working for two plastic surgeons (seriously, could there BE a better job for me?)
My kids told me not to say, "Will work for Botox" in the interview, but I find that hysterical. (Warped sense of humor.)
I'll be starting part-time and hopefully, it will be a muse to me so that I can be creative again. But as my oldest goes off to college, I am so grateful to have found such a great job in this down market. God is good! It's always exciting to look ahead with hope, isn't it?
posted at 2:08 PM
Sunday, May 05, 2013
|Coming June 4!|
McKinley scanned the crowded town hall, wondering how many of her friends and
neighbors she’d have to fight to get what she came for. Half of Chapel Springs
had turned out to support the fire department. The faint scent of popcorn and
coffee from last night’s Rotary club meeting still lingered in the air, and the
buzz of excitement was almost palpable.
she reached the front of the line, she registered for her paddle then looked
for her mom. She spotted Joann McKinley seated on the left, near the old brick
Madison could move, Dottie Meyers appeared in the busy aisle. “Madison, hello,
dear. I was wondering if I could bother you about Ginger. I found a little knot
behind her leg. I’m worried it might be something serious.”
time it had only been a burr. Still, Madison set a hand on the woman’s arm.
“I’m sure it’s fine, but I’ll have Cassidy call you tomorrow and squeeze you
right, everyone,” the emcee was saying into the mike. “It’s about that time.”
you so much, dear,” Dottie was saying. “I’m so excited about this year’s play.
It’s called Love on the Line. You are
planning on coming out again, aren’t you? You’ll be fabulous as Eleanor.”
were still two months away. “Looking forward to it. See you tomorrow.” Madison
participated in the town’s production every year. She enjoyed the theater, and
the proceeds supported the local animal shelter, a cause she was committed to.
turned toward her mom and ran straight into a wall. “Ooomph.”
a chest. A hard chest.
looked up into the face of the one man she least wanted to see, much less slam
into. She jumped back, looking square into his unfathomable coal-colored eyes.
nodded once. “Beckett.”
returned the nod. “Madison.”
black hair was tousled. He wore a Dewitt’s Marina work shirt and at least two
days’ stubble. His jaw twitched. She hadn’t spoken to him since she’d
confronted him two weeks ago—for all the good it had done.
take your seats,” the emcee said.
stepped to the left at the same time as Beckett. He was wide as Boulder Creek
and twice as dangerous. She’d always thought so. The incident with her little
sister had only confirmed it.
slid right and swept his arm out as if to say After you, princess.
shot him a look, then hurried down the aisle and slid into a metal chair beside
sweetie. Good day?” Mom’s short blond hair and blue eyes sparkled under the
florescent lights, but it was her smile that lit the room.
dogs, seven cats, two bunnies, and a partridge in a pear tree.”
passed her row and slid into a seat up front by his sister. Layla had long
brown hair and a model-pretty face. Their mom must’ve been beautiful, though
Madison didn’t remember her. Beckett leaned over and whispered something to his
tore her eyes away and loosened her death grip on the auction paddle. She
refused to think about Beckett O’Reilly tonight.
emcee took the podium and spoke about the importance of the fire station and
their financial needs, then she introduced the auctioneer—hardly necessary
since he also ran the local gas station. Moments later the bidding was
eyes swung to Beckett’s dark head. She could swear he was stalking her lately.
He seemed to be everywhere she turned. If anything, the man should be avoiding
her. Should feel ashamed of . . . well, whatever he did to Jade.
tracked the auction items, ticking off each one as they sold to the highest
bidder. A handmade quilt, piano lessons, pie of the month, a cabin rental at
Patoka Lake, and dozens of other things generously donated by the community.
had made a miniature replica of the town’s sign. Welcome to Chapel Springs, Indiana, it said. Prettiest River Town in America. A
writer from Midwest Living had used
the phrase twelve years ago, and the town had squeezed every last drop from it.
Simmons, eighty-five if she was a day, amused all by driving up the bids. It
was no secret that the fire department had saved her beloved Persian from a
tree last month. So far her generosity had left her with two items she probably
had no need for. But money was no object for Evangeline.
trickled out as the auction wore on. Beckett left after losing a tool kit. Over
an hour later, Madison grew tense as her item came up. The auctioneer read from
right, ladies and gentlemen, this next one’s a winner. Dewitt Marina has kindly
donated a sailing/regatta package. Lessons taught by sailing enthusiast Evan Higgins.
Learn how to race on the beautiful Ohio River, just in time for our 45th Annual
River Sail Regatta, and sail with Evan Higgins, winner of the regatta for two
years running! Now, who’ll give me five hundred?”
grip tightened on the handle, waiting for the auctioneer to lower the bid. Her
breath caught in her lungs. Patience,
right, a hundred, who’ll give me a hundred? A hundred-dollar bid . . .”
Madison lifted her paddle.
hundred-dollar bid, now a hundred fifty, who’ll give me one and a half . . . ?”
her peripheral vision she could see her mom’s head swing toward her just as
Evangeline raised her paddle—and the bid.
hundred fifty, who’ll give me two, now two . . .”
lifted her paddle, keeping her eyes straight ahead.
hundred, now who’ll give me two fifty, fifty, fifty . . . ? Got it! Now three,
three hundred, who’ll give me three . . .”
sighed, waited a moment before nodding.
now who’ll give me three and a half, three fifty, fifty, fifty . . . ?”
turned toward Madison, her eyes twinkling. She raised her paddle.
Madison hadn’t counted on spending so much. Would serve the lady right if she
dropped out. Just imagining the spry old woman on the bow of a boat, trying to
manage the ropes and sails and whatnot, all four-foot-eleven of her . . . It
could, after all, just go down to the marina and buy the lessons, but then she
wouldn’t be virtually assured of a win, would she? She needed Evan Higgins for
fifty, do I hear three fifty . . . got it! Now four, who’ll give me four . . .
murmur had started in the crowd that remained, a few chuckling at Evangeline’s
woman lifted her paddle.
now we’re at four and a half, four and a half, who’ll give me five, five, five
. . . ?”
clenched her jaw. She glared at Evangeline’s silver head. It’s a good cause. It’s a good cause.
we have five, five, who’ll give me five fifty, five fifty, five and a half . .
rumbling had grown louder, though half the crowd was gone now that the auction
was nearly over. The remaining people were being rewarded for their patience
with a good show.
fifty, fifty, fifty . . . ?”
turned, and their eyes met. Her thin lips widened into a grin, then she folded
her hands on top of her paddle.
got five, now, five fifty, five fifty . . . anyone, five fifty . . . and . . .
sold at five hundred to Madison McKinley.”
expelled a heavy breath. She was five hundred dollars poorer, but she had her
lessons. She was going to learn to sail, and she was going to win the regatta.
For Michael’s sake.
Preorder your copy:
Kindle $4.99 limited time!
posted at 8:20 PM
Friday, May 03, 2013
Since we're writing about the subject of books and writing this week, I'm going to start by announcing that I will enter your name in a drawing for a free autographed Hannah Alexander novel (sorry, only within the contiguous United States) if you will tell me what some of your favorite things are about your favorite novels. Do you love humor? Describe what kind of humor you like and what turns you off. For instance, do you like slapstick or sarcasm? Or both? Or neither?
Do you like a little romance in your novels, or a lot? Do you prefer suspense with your romance, or romance with your suspense? What about historical novels? Do you like feisty heroines, or stories in which the hero rescues the heroine? Your answer will determine which novel I will send you--of course, if you already have most of my novels, we'll figure out which one you don't have and work from there.
I'm considering a slightly different direction in my writing career, and would appreciate some input. I know I love to write with some gentle humor, but if I try too hard it falls flat. I like to read novels with intelligent heroes and heroines who are strong and know what they want, even if that causes them some trouble. I'm hard to please when it comes to humor, but I do need humor in the novels I read. Life's already too serious, so I want something to lighten the darkness at some points in the story.
As I've done before, I will consider drawing more than one name from the basket if I have enough entries. I will announce the winner/winners next Friday. I hope to hear from you!
Labels: contest, drawing, Free Book, reading preferences
posted at 12:44 PM
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
I think all writers/readers have in them, an innate passion for books that first touched their heart, books that made them feel they were bigger and better for having known the characters.
As I'm editing the third Smitten book, I realize how much fun it is to find that inner passion for my first literary obsession: Jane Austen. I just got a new iPhone cover that is my favorite line in all of literature. Mr. Darcy's first proposal (which Elizabeth refuses) in Pride & Prejudice
In vain I have struggled, it will not do!
I have read these books so many times. (Except for Emma, which bores the heck out of me. She is far too stupid for an Austen heroine -- or at least my view of an Austen heroine.)
When I found Austen as an author as a freshman in high school, I devoured all of her books. Sharing P&P with my son in high school was one of the highlights of my life. He got an "A" -- an 18-year old boy -- got an "A" on everything P&P. To make another understand that passion feels like a win to me. Which books make you passionate?
posted at 2:51 PM