Skip to main content

Guess what this is from A DANGEROUS STAGE

Can you guess what this is? I’m on the Sweet Romance Reads blog today with a little info on the strange sweet my character is making in A Dangerous Stage . Check out the blog post here.

Guest blogger Allie Pleiter

Captain's Log, Stardate 03.20.2006

Today I’m so lucky to have Steeple Hill Café author Allie Pleiter write a guest blog post!

Her latest book is QUEEN ESTHER AND THE SECOND GRADERS OF DOOM (isn’t that just a faboo title?).

Teaching Sunday school at her brother’s church in the Bay area was supposed to help former champion athlete Esther “Essie” Walker understand boys—the better to raise her newborn son as a stellar example of manhood. Fat chance! Enter the eight-year-old male psyche: awful jokes, disrespectful behavior and general mayhem. Essie, the queen of control, finds herself in a brand new world of chaos.

The pressure builds on all fronts—Sunday school class, husband’s job, church dramatic pageant, aging parents, finances—until Queen Esther has one royal meltdown. God, it seems, has makeover plans for Essie’s competitive nature. Her characteristic control is in very short supply as she gains a better understanding of the nature of imperfection, the value of motherhood and the virtues of a messy but connected life.




Without further ado, here’s Allie!

Allie Pleiter’s Blog Column

Esther Walker, the main character in QUEEN ESTHER AND THE SECOND GRADERS OF DOOM, is a champion athlete. As such, I get lots of questions about my own athletic…um…abilities.

I don’t have any. Not a one. I’m not a soccer mom. I don’t play any sports unless you count shopping, and the closest thing I get to sportsmanship is watching my son play little league (does that make me a “baseball mom”?). I don’t even think of myself as competitive—at least not in the way Essie is in QUEEN ESTHER AND THE SECOND GRADERS OF DOOM.

I think.

I think not.

I discovered recently that there’s more of Essie in me than I like to admit. Not on the sports side, but on the slyly competitive field of motherhood, I can evidently turn fierce.

Well, I did create Essie. She must be hiding in me somewhere.

But in my kitchen? Trust me, no one can take one look at the state of my countertops (or range or fridge) and call me domestic. Now, I have never had one inkling to enter the Pilsbury bake off—and my family would break into derisive snickers if I should ever voice such a notion. The Boy Scouts, however, had me cornered. Without any warning whatsoever, my son’s scout cake auction turned me into “Must Be Fabulous” mom. A hideous creature certain to leave disaster in her wake. I didn’t recognize her at first. At first I felt like just another mom trying to do her son proud in a creative fundraiser.

I knew my limitations, so laptop at the ready, my internet search turned up a bathtub cake complete with rubber ducky. Easy and impressive! Just my speed. I shopped (going back once because I’d bought the wrong size box of blue jello to make the jiggler “bathwater”). I baked, feeling smug at the scent of yellow cake filling my kitchen with homey deliciousness. I dreamed of the little photo I downloaded—an adorable, creative, yummy-looking masterpiece appearing well within my skillset. I was headed for success. Or so I thought.

The night of the auction, I began the “simple” process of assembling the cake. Simple my spatula! Within seconds of its assembly, this dastardly little confection slumped into an unrecognizable blob. No mom would admire my skill now. No kid would spend his allowance on this atrocity. Muttering, I thought maybe we could just rename it a ski slope and go find some little Lego men to stick on it. But, no, my son wanted his bathtub (hint: NEVER show the picture to your children—you can only loose in the comparison!). Saying decidedly un-Christianlike things, I hacked off the top, dumped on a pound or two of confectioners sugar, smashed it into a bathtub-ish shape, threw on the duck (the duck that took four stores to find, mind you), and hoped my son wouldn’t cringe. I almost didn’t go to the meeting, ashamed of my “unfabulous” cake.

About now you’re wondering, “Why is she telling me all this?”

I’m telling you because QUEEN ESTHER AND THE SECOND GRADERS OF DOOM is ultimately a story about grace. And, believe it or not, this cake was the strongest lesson in grace God’s given me in a good, long time.

You see, the cake won. “Most Creative.”

My son was beaming ear to ear. What I was ready to ditch for its imperfections, someone else saw as creative. When I think of all I would have lost if I let “must be fabulous Mom” rule my actions, I cringe.

I learned a whopping lesson on grace from boys and cake.

Evidently Essie’s got some company…

Allie

Camy here: Thanks so much, Allie!

Popular Posts

Get my short story, White Soup, FREE!

“White Soup” is a short story set in my Christian Contemporary Romance Sushi series. It takes place after the events in Weddings and Wasabi . Originally this short story was in the anthology A Recipe for Romance which is now out of print. But now, "White Soup" is available free if you sign up for my newsletter! What’s up with the white soup? Originally, I heard about white soup from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (FYI, my Sushi series short story is NOT a Regency romance). Mr. Bingley is talking about the ball he plans to host at Netherfield: “If you mean Darcy," cried her brother, "he may go to bed, if he chooses, before it begins—but as for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough, I shall send round my cards.” I researched white soup and made it, then blogged about it here . But then I made the recipe again, simplified and a bit more hearty, but definitely not what Bingley served for dinner, and I b

Bethany House Publishers Cover Survey Invitation

Captain's Log, Supplemental I just got this from Bethany House Publishers: Hello Reader, We at Bethany House Publishers appreciate our readers opinions about the books we publish. Occasionally, we seek your input about upcoming products. Currently, we are conducting a survey about the cover image for an upcoming novel. For your time, we are offering a giveaway in conjunction with this survey. You will be able to choose from ten recent Bethany House novels, and there will be ten winners. Winners will be notified within two weeks. Click here to take the survey, which should take about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation, and feel free to forward this email on to your friends or link the survey on your website. The survey will be available through Monday, September 17. Thanks for your time and your opinions. We value your feedback. Sincerely, Jim Hart Internet Marketing Manager Bethany House Publishers

Knitting pattern - Honoria’s Handkerchief

I grew up using tissues to blow my nose, but when I started reading Regency romances in high school, I became fascinated with the handkerchiefs those ladies were always fluttering around. Unfortunately, there were ZERO handkerchiefs in my parents' house (even my grandmothers didn't have any old ones that my grandpas might have used), and in those days, there was barely an internet, much less internet shopping. When I went to Japan one summer, I was given a handkerchief by my host family, and I loved it. I bought more as I got older. The prominent ones I could find were the utilitarian cotton type mainly used by men, so I ended up buying bandanas and using those as handkerchiefs. Then I went back to Japan on a trip with my parents and saw some absolutely lovely handkerchiefs being sold in a stall at Nakamise Shopping Street in Asakusa in Tokyo, on the grounds of Sensoji Temple. They were really thick woven cotton with pretty patterns printed on them. I still use them to

「戌年」連載小説 第6章

キャミー・タング著「戌年」連載小説 プロのドッグトレーナーであるマリ・ムトウは、厄年を迎えている。 犬小屋と訓練所の改築をしながら、いつも不服そうにしている家族と同居することになった。母と姉に言わせれば、犬の毛とよだれかけにまみれる仕事は、家族にとって恥ずべきものだという。彼女は元カレを説得し、数ヶ月間犬を預かってもらうことにした。しかし、彼の兄は、数週間前に彼女が誤って車に追突した、怒り狂ったセキュリティ専門家であることが判明する。 アシュウィン・ケイトウは十分な問題を抱えている。叔母が玄関先に現れ、同居を希望している。彼は彼女にすべてを借りているので、断ることができません。母親が家を出て行った後、ネルおばさんはアシュウィンと弟を引き取り、愛のあるキリスト教の家庭で育てた。しかも、弟のダスティもアパートを追い出され、居場所を求めている。しかし、彼は犬を飼っている。そして、その犬の飼い主は誰だと思いますか? しかし、旧友でオアフ島のノースショアでデイスパを経営する私立探偵のエディサ・ゲレロから依頼を受ける。マリの施設で奇妙な破壊行為があり、3年前に失踪したエディサの妹の財布を発見する。エディサはマリが危険な目に遭っているのではと心配する。警備の専門家であるアシュウィンがすでにマリを知っていることを知ったエディサは、忙しい若い女性を密かに監視することを彼に依頼する。 アシュウィンは、活発でのんびりとしたドッグトレーナーに不本意ながら惹かれていく。彼女は、幸せそうな母親を思い出させる。その母親の裏切りによって、彼は人と距離を置くようになったのだ。マリは、アシュウィンの冷たい外見を見抜き、彼が家族に忠実な男であることを認める。彼は、彼女のキャリア選択を批判するだけの母親や姉とは違う。 マリのバラバラな家庭とアシュウィンのバラバラな家庭の中で、過去を隠そうとする人たちから、彼らの周りに危険が迫ってくるようになる。彼らは、影で動く秘密に光を当てることができるのか? 過去に発表されたパートへのリンクはこちら。 *** 第六章 - 解雇通知 新鮮な空気は彼女の頭を晴らすはずだった。それがさらに混乱させることになるとは。 「パフィ、下!」彼女は声とボディランゲージ、そしてリードに 強く引っ張ること で、9ヶ月のジャーマンシェパードの子犬

Fun facts about Naomi from Deadly Intent

6 reasons why you will enjoy Deadly Intent: 1) It's set in a SPA! 2) Devon (the hero) is totally HOT! 3) Did I mention the SPA? 4) Naomi (the heroine) is cute and fun 5) Naomi is a massage therapist! 6) Naomi is a massage therapist in a SPA! Naomi is 27 years old, and half-Japanese, half-Caucasian, so she looks a little exotic, but not too much so. I pictured her to look like Natalie Portman. I admit I named her after a girl in the youth group at my church because I honestly couldn’t think of a name. Also, the real-life Naomi is half-Japanese and half-Caucasian just like my character. My character Naomi’s personality isn’t based on anyone I know, but I always thought being a massage therapist would be a cool job, so I did a lot of research for Naomi’s career and for the spa. Naomi’s a maiden or Persephone archetype. They tend to be easygoing and carefree, but Naomi has been thrust into a more responsible role by her father, who just had a stroke. Worried about the future

Gritty Christian Suspense

I’m participating in this promo. Click on the graphic to check out all the Christian suspense books available and stuff your eBook reader! Gritty Christian Suspense

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Psalm 91:2

Psalm 91:2 Dear Lord, Thank you that you are so close to me that I can be confident that you will protect me like a fortress. Thank you that I can run to you as my refuge whenever I am afraid or anxious. Thank you that I can trust completely in you to take care of me and lead me in your paths. Amen 詩篇91:2 親愛なる主よ、 あなたが私の近くにいてくださり、要塞のように私を守ってくださると確信できることを感謝します。私が恐れたり不安になったりした時、いつでも避難所としてあなたに駆け寄ることができることを感謝します。私の面倒をみてくださり、あなたの道に導いてくださるあなたに完全に信頼できることを感謝します。 アーメン

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduc

Sweet & Clean Romances in KU

I’m participating in this promo. Click on the graphic to check out all the sweet/clean romance books available and stuff your eBook reader! Sweet & Clean Romances in KU