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Showing posts from May, 2007

Crunch music?

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Okay, so you might know I’m in crunch mode. The third book in my Sushi Series, The Lone Rice Ball (isn’t that a cute title? My agent thought of that one). Originally, I had misread my contract (yup, the Camster needs new glasses in a major way) and thought the due date was June 1st, but luckily I had gotten halfway done and then realized the due date is July 1st (Rachelle, if you’re reading—stop laughing, woman. For the rest of you—Rachelle is my macro editor). So I’m a little more than halfway done, but not near as stressed as I was on Saturday, and was able to take a Sabbath day on Sunday. (And, I admit, part of Monday.) Anyway, I’m still trying to get this book done in the next week. I had bought The Creative Mind System CDs a few months ago, and am now using it to hopefully increase my creative productivity. I also ordered Brainwave Symphony CD boxed set because I love classical music and if there’s at all some benefit from the beta or theta wav

CFBA – The Spirit of Sweetgrass by Nicole Seitz

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.30.2007 This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS Integrity/Thomas Nelson (March 6, 2007) by Nicole Seitz ABOUT THE AUTHOR: NICOLE SEITZ is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and freelance writer/illustrator published in South Carolina Magazine, Charleston Magazine, House Calls, The Island Packet and The Bluffton Packet. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole is an exhibiting artist in the Charleston, South Carolina area where she owns a web design firm and lives with her husband and two small children. ABOUT THE BOOK: Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a 78-year-old sweetgrass basket weaver who sits on the side of Hwy. 17 in the company of her dead husband, Daddy Jim. Inspired by her Auntie Leona, Essie Mae finally discovers her calling in life and weaves powerful "lov

ArkALMIGHTY

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.29.2007 I read this in last week’s CBA newsletter, and thought it was really cool. ArkALMIGHTY connects churches to needs. ArkALMIGHTY , a nationwide good-deeds program that matches up needs in churches with congregant’s talents and skills, launched May 1. Inspired by Universal Pictures’ upcoming Evan Almighty and Steve Sjogren’s Conspiracy of Kindness (Regal), ArkALMIGHTY is designed to enable youth groups and churches to get involved in tangible volunteer outreach via the Internet. Gathering the needs of church attendees, requests are compiled on ArkALMIGHTY.com administered by the church. Then, church members can search through needs and find ways to help. Over 400 churches, including Willow Creek, have already signed up. See www.arkalmighty.com for more. What’s kind of neat is that my church is already listed, although not with any needs. This is a great opportunity for church youth groups to get involved in their community, especially if the

Book meme

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Deb tagged me! The Rules Are: Post your responses. Tag anywhere from 1-5 friends. Leave comments to let them know they've been tagged. Come back and leave a comment when your post is up. Ok, here goes: Next 5 books on your to be read shelf: Miss Invisible by Laura Jensen Walker Over Her Head by Shelley Bates Split Ends by Kristin Billerbeck Crime and Clutter by Cyndy Salzmann Hooked by Les Edgerton Last 4 novels you've read: The Restorer (The Sword of Lyric, book 1) by Sharon Hinck The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares Winter Wonderland by Elizabeth Mansfield Last 3 books you've borrowed (library or friend): Web of Lies by Brandilyn Collins Showdown by Ted Dekker The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield Last 2 non-fiction books you've read: Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush Vintage Knits by Sarah Dallas The 1 book you wish everyone would re

Snickers' aching head

Captain's Log, Stardate 05.25.2007 Don't you think it looks like she's hungover? "Oh, my aching head ..." or "I kowtow to you, O Mistress of the Universe ..." or "I'm exhausted trying to corral these stupid humans to do my bidding. I'm calling it a day."

Pea greens

Captain's Log, Supplemental I’ve always loved sautéed “pea greens” at Chinese restaurants. They have a yummy, slightly nutty flavor, mild, that reminds me of young broccoli. However, seeing as I can’t speak Chinese, and most Chinese Nationals will not recognize the English “pea greens,” I usually only have them when I’m with my Chinese-speaking friends. It never occurred to me to try to search for info on pea greens on the web, but in the book I’m working on now, The Lone Rice Ball , the heroine speaks Cantonese. She’s also a health nut and despite indulging in carb-laden Chinese food in this scene, she’d certainly order some vegetables to balance things, as it were. I finally found out what pea greens are called in Chinese: In Mandarin: dou miao (dough meow) In Cantonese: dau miu (dow as in “down” minus the n, mee-you) Don’t even ask me what the pitched tones ought to be, but that’s the words, at least. Since my heroine, Venus, speaks Cantonese, she orders dau miu at the resta

Door or desk?

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I can’t really complain much about my desk because it was free. A company was going out of business, and they had left their office desks out in the parking lot for anyone to take. So, naturally, we did. :) It’s a cheap desk, heavy and relatively large. The two file drawers are starting to sag, and the bottoms of the drawers are coming off again (we’d had to nail them in when we first got the desk). The biggest problem is that the desk is too tall. I have a footrest and I raise my ergonomic chair up to its tallest height, but my chair is still too low for me to comfortably type with the keyboard on the desk. I shifted the keyboard to my lap, but my trackball is still on the desk. I like change. Especially when it occurs in my workspace. So I’ve been toying with the idea of what I can do about this problem. We considered one of those keyboard/mouse drawers that can be attached to the bottom of the desk, which would solve the ergonomic problem. However,

CFBA = Defiant Heart by Tracey Bateman

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Defiant Heart (Avon Inspire May 8, 2007) by Tracey Bateman ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tracey Bateman lives in Missouri with her husband and four children. Their rural home provides a wonderful atmosphere for a writer's imagination to grow and produce characters, plots, and settings. In 1994, with three children to raise, she and her husband agreed that she should go to college and earn a degree. In a freshman English class, her love for writing was rekindled, and she wrote a short story that she later turned into a book. Her college career was cut short with the news of their fourth baby's impending arrival, but the seeds of hope for a writing career had already taken root. Over the next several years she wrote, exchanged ideas with critique partners, studied the craft of writing, and eventually all the hard work paid off. She currently has over twenty-five books published in a variety of genres. Tracey Bateman believes co

2007 Genesis contest finalists

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.22.2007 I am very pleased to announce the finalists for the 2007 ACFW Genesis contest ! (We will release the entrants’ manuscript titles after the scores have been received back from the final round judges.) Contemporary Romance (includes romantic comedy) Jennifer Lynn Cary Audra Harders Catherine Hershberger Roxanne Sherwood Jennifer Hudson Taylor Historical Romance Linda Fulkerson Audra Harders Pam Hillman (double finalist in Historical Romance) Jennifer Hudson Taylor Romantic Suspense Sally Bradley Marci J. Burke Dineen Miller Dani Pettrey Suzan Robertson Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Allegory Sally A. Apokedak Valerie Comer Rebecca Grabill Shannon McNear Chris Mikesell Historical Fiction (not romance) Yvonne Anderson Marcia Gruver Tina Helmuth Carla Stewart Erica Vetsch Young Adult Sally Apokedak Leigh DeLozier Linda Fulkerson Charlene Glatkowski Rachael Phillips Contemporary Fiction Michael Ehret Jennifer Griffith Kathy Harris Myra Johnson Angie Poole

Graduation announcements

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I’ve been a staff worker for my church youth group for about eleven years now (yikes, do I feel old!), and we’re pretty close to this current crop of high school kids. I’ve gotten two graduation announcements from seniors, and Captain Caffeine and I are a bit confused. In previous years, we’d had seniors whose graduation exercises required tickets for admission, so the graduation announcement was just an announcement , not an invitation . Seniors only got a few tickets for family—sometimes as few as four tickets—so they couldn’t exactly invite their youth staff leaders to attend. Now this year, my husband and I are wondering—are these announcements or invitations? In my senior year in high school (let’s not go into how long ago that was), commencement was open, so anybody could go. (Plus it was outdoors, muddy, rainy (most years), in the early evening, and hecka long. ) So … are we invited to these commencements? How can we find out without having to a

Excerpt - HIDEAWAY by Hannah Alexander

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.21.2007 Hideaway by Hannah Alexander (This book is gently-used) As an E.R. doctor, Cheyenne Allison is used to handling emergencies on a daily basis -- until her own sister codes on the trauma bed. Devastated, Cheyenne retreats to an isolated farm in Hideaway, Missouri. But peace and solitude are in short supply in this picturesque Ozarks town. A dangerous vandal has the community terrorized, and Cheyenne finds an unexpected demand for her medical skills. Mayor Austin Barlow is convinced the culprit resides with Cheyenne's charismatic neighbor across the lake, Dane Gideon, whose ranch for foster boys has given rise to previous violence. Cheyenne distrusts Austin, while Dane inspires her respect, and perhaps something more -- although she can't share the faith that sustains him as the violence turns deadly. Then Cheyenne, already pursued by a past nemesis, becomes the vandals target, and she can only hope that Hideaway will prove her sanctuary

Poppies from my garden

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I’m working today, so here are some pictures instead of me jabbering away.

CFBA – Orchard of Hope by Ann Gabhart

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.18.2007 This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing ORCHARD OF HOPE (Revell March 1, 2007) by Ann Gabhart ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ann H. Gabhart has published a number of adult and young adult novels with several different publishers. The author of The Scent of Lilacs , Ann and her husband live a mile from where she was born in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. She is active in her country church, and her husband sings bass in a southern gospel quartet. ABOUT THE BOOK: Nothing will be the same after the summer of 1964. Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath--waiting. Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family. Into this cloud of tense anticipation, a b

“The Other Side” by Avalon

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I’m writing like crazy right now on book 3 in the Sushi Series, The Lone Rice Ball (working title). For most of my books, I have certain albums that I find I play often while I’m working on the rough draft. For this book, one of those albums is Stand by Avalon . The song below, especially, has been uplifting and awe-inspiring. Which is apropos because my heroine has to learn to slow down and feel the awe of God’s presence. I’m also reading Revelations right now (almost done with the book) and this song reminds me that the New Jerusalem is coming, and I’ll see it one day! “The Other Side” By Avalon I've been so long in midnight Praying for the light of dawn And hope's been my companion In the dark to keep me strong But there's something awesome Shining out through the ebony And now my soul can finally see There is glory in the night So beautiful and bright A glimpse of You Coming from the other side You are reaching through the stars And You'

The Restorer by Sharon Hinck

The Restorer (The Sword of Lyric, book 1) by Sharon Hinck Susan Mitchell needed a change--any kind of change. Nearly twenty years of marriage to her college sweetheart, Mark, had given her two teenagers and two grade-schoolers, along with miles of unmatched socks, sticky countertops, and the ever-growing hum of sheer bedlam. When had she become so . . . insignificant? Hadn't God once had a plan for her? Well, at least Mark had a plan: for an attic hideaway free of iPods and science projects and cookie crumbs. But before Susan can finish her first journal entry, she finds herself pulled through a portal into a world grappling for its soul and waiting for a promised Restorer. Someone does have a plan for her--one she never would have imagined. While she struggles to adapt to a foreign culture full of unfamiliar technologies and taboos, she faces unexpected battles, mind-poisoning enemies, and a profound spiritual journey. Her adventure will forever change her family, her faith, and

Revolve Spin

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.15.2007 I got this news from my CBA newsletter last week. It’s very neat for any of you who have teen girls or work with the church youth group. Thomas Nelson is melding its successful Biblezine format with audio for Revolve Spin , an audio devotional targeted to teen girls. Nelson describes it as a “fast-paced mosaic radio-style presentation of biblical truths and practical life applications with a creative urban flavor.” Contributors include worship artist Jamie Jamgochian, John Katina of The Katinas group, American Idol contestant Scott Savol, Grammy and Dove Award nominee Ayiesha Woods, and more. Revolve Spin combines popular music with Bible readings, devotional content, reflections, and daily-living tips. Written and produced by award-winning artist Antonio Neal, the 2-CD set (each with 15 MP3 files) covers topics such as choosing friends wisely, identifying true love, and how to worship. “Considering the increase in the popularity and use of audio prod

Interview with Rachel Hauck

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.14.2007 Today I’ve got a nifty interview with chick lit author Rachel Hauck! Rachel's latest book is  Diva NashVegas ! For the past decade, Aubrey James has ruled the charts as the queen of country soul. She rocketed to fame in the shadow of her parent’s death – pioneers in Christian music. While her public life, high profile romances and fights with Music Row writes juicy tabloid headlines, the real and private Aubrey’s is a media mystery. When a close friend and former band member betrays Aubrey’s trust and sells an exclusive story to a tabloid, the super star knows she must go public with her own story. Inside NashVegas sports anchor, Scott Vaughn, is not prepared for the summer assignment of interviewing a country diva. Especially not one he dated. And abandoned. But he has no choice. His career and the future of Inside NashVegas depends on the success of this interview. Aubrey's private world is rocked when Scott shows up at her hom

Too many papayas

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Ever feel like you’re just holding too many papayas and you’ve just got to either grow more arms or drop a few? (Well, you might feel that way with apples, but I remember papaya season in Hawaii, and boy do I miss fresh papayas now.) Anyway, I decided to drop a few projects I had. I’ve already stopped posting my Health and the Writer series on WriterQuotes , which has switched over to My Writing Mentor blog now. I’m going to stop my weekly blogging on the CAN Marketing blog because there’s really only so much I can say about blog marketing for fiction writers. I think next week will be my last post. I’m also going to stop my monthly blogging on WordPraize (Write Time – Working Full Time and Writing) . Next month will be my last post. It’s been fun, but like I said … too many papayas. I’ll still keep up my Story Sensei blog . It’s my way to give back to the writing community and help other writers. I’ve been better about remembering to post three time

Book excerpt – TRIBULATION HOUSE

Captain's Log, Stardate 05.11.2007 Chris Well and his book: TRIBULATION HOUSE (Harvest House 2007) IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD--WHICH COULD BE A PROBLEM... Mark Hogan has it all. The job. The family. A position on the board at church. All he's missing is a boat. Not just any boat--a 2008 Bayliner 192. When Reverend Daniel Glory announces that the Rapture is taking place on October 17 at 5:51 am, Hogan realizes his boat-buying days are numbered. So he does what any man in his situation would do--he borrows a load of money from the mob. Not that there's any risk involved: After all, when the Rapture comes, Hogan will be long gone. The mob will never find him. But when Jesus fails to come back on schedule, Mark Hogan finds the mob is in no mood to discuss the finer points of end-times theology... Chris Well's laugh-out-loud Christian thrillers appeal to the millions of readers who gobble up the rollicking crime fiction of Janet Evanovich and Elmore Leonard

Nappaland.com

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.10.2007 Got this from the CBA Aspiring Retail newsletter. This sounds great for mothers of teens or preteens to check out. Nappaland.com offers general-market comic book and graphic novel reviews. Mike Nappa, publisher of Nappaland.com says “graphic-intensive print products are now dominating the lives of American children and teens.” Quoting stats from Marvel Comics media kit, he says, “Marvel Comics distributes 4.1 million comic books every month—a circulation higher than Time magazine, Woman’s Day, TV Guide, or Sports Illustrated.” Acknowledging it’s “important for parents to be culturally savvy, artistically inspired, and deeply rooted in their faith,” Nappa provides a review and an “After the Story,” getting parents and families to talk about the comic from a Christian worldview. Coverage has already begun on the Web site. I remember being absolutely addicted to the X-Men comics. Mom just mailed me two boxes of my old comics. How about you guys? A

Awake by Josh Groban

Captain’s Log, Supplemental ChristianFictionQueen generously gave me her extra copy of this CD to listen to. I’ve listened to it a few times now, so that I can give an honest opinion of it. The songs in Italian or Spanish or whatever language he’s singing in are absolutely beautiful. The first song, “Mai,” is gorgeous. Of course, I have no idea what the songs are about, but they’re pretty. The songs in English are nice musically but I have even less idea what the songs are about. That’s why I had to listen to this CD a few times. I still have no idea what some of the songs mean. I think I’ve given up trying to figure it out. Am I just a music Neanderthal or something? I’ve listened to “February Song” a dozen times and I have no idea what it’s about. The music is beautiful, but the words stump me. The other songs are sweet, but I listen to the lyrics and go, “Whaaaaaaaat?” I get only a fuzzy idea what he’s singing about. I didn’t like the last song at all. It’s this retro funk 80’s sou

CFBA – Ransomed Dreams by Amy Wallace

Captain's Log, Stardate 05.09.2007 This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing RANSOMED DREAMS (Multnomah April 16, 2007) by Amy Wallace ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Wallace is a member of the CFBA and an avid blogger . A self-confessed chocoholic, this freelance writer is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and serves as the liaison for the training division of the county police department. Amy is a contributing author of God Answers Moms' Prayers , God Allows U-Turns for Teens , Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes , and A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers . She lives in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. Chained To Yesterday When tragedy struck and Gracie Lang lost everything, her faith crumbled, and nothing but the drive for justice propelled her forward. But after two years of dead-end searching, the truth Gracie seeks is the very thing her stalker will stop at nothing to hide. Forgiveness Unlocks the Futu

I think, therefore I blog

Captain's Log, Stardate 05.08.2007 Geekwif graciously gave me a Thinking Blogger Award! What is it? I dunno. But it sounds cool, doesn't it? So the rules – according to the originator – go like this. 1 . If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think, 2 . Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme, 3 . Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog). I only get five so nobody get jealous or neglected or high-schooly, okay??? Thinking blogs. I don't read many serious blogs, to be honest. Heather Tipton , because she usually has something deeply spiritual on her blog, although I rarely comment on it since it's typically too deep or fuzzy-wuzzy for me. Donna Fleisher , because she's just way cool and always has such grounded thoughts about life and God

8 random things

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Missy Tippens , Nancy Brandt , AND Susan Meissner tagged me this week! Update: I also got tagged by Trish Perry and Rachelle Gardner ! That's FIVE! Heather and I are seeing who can get the most tags! LOL Update: Deborah Vogts just tagged me! That’s SIX! Update: Eileen tagged me! That’s SEVEN! Update: P.S. McManus and LaShaunda tagged me! That’s NINE! Update: Robin Lee Hatcher tagged me! That's TEN! Here are the rules: 1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog. 8 random facts/habits about me ... 1) I knit to write. My mom had taught me knitting when I was younger, but I picked it up again completely random

Sunday Prayer

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.06.2007 Leave any prayer requests in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request or e-mail me. If I forgot your prayer request, e-mail me. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't e-mail me or comment to update your prayer request, I'm only going to pray ONE Sunday. I’m trying something new with my Sunday Prayer. I’m really bad about doing it on Sunday , so I’ll be updating it during the week. Dear Lord Jesus, Please be with Wendy on her June 1st deadline. Help us both to finish our manuscripts in good time. Help us to be motivated and disciplined. Thank you for the good news on Doug’s lesions. I pray for complete healing for him and for Bruce, Lord. I pray for a smooth transition for Lester and the church. May all things go according to your will. I pray this will be a great thing for the ch

Speed reading

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.04.2007 I totally want to learn to speed read. My friend Georgiana found a website and posted a few tips on her blog: Speed Reading 101 If I could speed read, I could read so many more books than I do now! I think my biggest problem is sub-vocalizing my words. I don’t think I’ve EVER not done it. I don’t know if I’d be able to not do it. If that makes any sense whatsoever. Anybody have tips?

Cable socks

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I finally finished my cable socks, just in time for the hot weather. Yay for me. That’s okay, I’ll be able to wear these puppies at the ACFW conference in September.

Snickers and the peanut butter container

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.02.2007 Sounds like it should be a movie, huh? No, it’s just my dog and her infatuation with peanut butter. We are indulgent dog-owners and give her some once a month when we have to apply her flea and tick medicine—we stick peanut butter in a Kong dog toy and hold it for her to lick at. It distracts her while we apply her medicine. Once the peanut butter container is empty, we give it to her to go nuts over. Haha. Notice there is still peanut butter near the bottom. That’s because her tongue isn’t long enough to get to it. She can smell all that yummy peanut butter at the bottom but can’t reach it. It will distract her for hours .

And the lychee tea winner is ...

Captain’s Log, Supplemental The daring tea drinker who will brave the uncharted waters of lychee tea is: Christy Hawkes! (Actually, Christy has drunk lychee tea before so she’s sure to like this.) Go forth and drink tea.

Chapter excerpt – THE HEIR

Paul Robertson and his book: THE HEIR (Bethany House March 1, 2007) Offered the throne to his father's corrupt business empire, Jason Boyer only wants to walk away. He saw how it ruined his father. In fact, it may have cost the man his life. Determined not to be drawn into the same trap, Boyer sets a new path, but power-hungry politicians, bloodthirsty media, and shady business partners all try to force his hand. When Jason fights back, the power intoxicates him--and unleashes danger on those closest to him. Is there any escape for The Heir? ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and former independent bookstore owner in Blacksburg, Virginia. This is his first novel. AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER: I couldn't take my eyes off the casket. It was expensive, and it glowed, resting among the candles and the heaps of flowers. It so perfectly expressed the man inside. The dignitaries dron