On the 3rd Day of Christmas…

…this author gave to me…
10 copies of Concealed Identity!

And 10 adorbs Christmas ornaments but that didn’t rhyme so…
I am so excited to be a part of the 12 Days of Christmas! Just look at the graphic to see how amazing it is! Each day a new author will be giving away a fun prize (books included) and YOU could win! All you have to do is enter the giveaway below!

My newest book has some Christmas elements in it. For example, my heroine, Blair Sullivan is obsessed with Christmas (she has reasons) and that’s why she’s named her antique store It’s a Wonderful Life. She even has a bell above the door so an angel can get its wings (like, she knows this isn’t real, it’s nostalgia) and her sweet little shop that’s set in the quaint and quirky small town of Hope, TN is decorated like Christmas 24/7. Yeah, my hero,  Holt finds it weird but as he gets to know Blair and falls in love with her, he discovers it’s rather endearing.

After Holt McKnight’s criminal informant disappears, the DEA agent must go undercover to get close to the missing man’s sister, who may know more than she’s letting on. But when Blair Sullivan’s attacked, it’s up to him to protect her—without blowing his cover. Blair isn’t sure she can trust her new neighbor, Holt. After all, the last charming and handsome man she fell for was her late husband, and he turned out to be the brother of a ruthless drug lord. Yet when it’s clear the target on her back is somehow linked to her past, she has no choice but to accept Holt’s protection. Even if getting close is the last thing her scarred heart can handle.

Tomorrow, you’ll have a chance to enter again (enter each day if you want!) to receive Gabrielle Meyer’s, A Family Arrangement! CLICK HERE to go to her website. 

Have you missed the chance to enter to win on Day 1 or Day 2? Well, here you go! Go enter!

DAY 1 Win Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson 
DAY 2 Win Watercolor Dreams audio book (digital download) by Sherry Kyle

Do you have a favorite Christmas ornament? If so, share in the comments. If not, tell me your favorite Christmas song or carol!

Okay, now enter to win! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do You Hear What I Hear?

See what I see. Hear what I hear. Know what I know. Listen to what I say. 
Just a few lyrics in one of my favorite Christmas carols. 

Lots of busy going on. Rushing. List-making. List-marking. 

Are we seeing? Are we hearing? 

Do we know? Not just a timeless story. Not just a reason to celebrate with family.

Do we know Christ the Lord? Do we know how much He loves us. How much He sacrificed to rescue into His hands–hands that never let us go. Do we know the price He paid for us? Do we know how much He cared to take off His glory and come housed in a body of flesh? To dwell with us? To seek and save the lost. To gather us under Him. 

Are we stopping to listen? 

“He will bring us goodness and light.” 

The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
    light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
    you expanded its joy.
Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!
    Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration,
    sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
    all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
    as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over
The boots of all those invading troops,
    along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
    a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
    the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
    the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
    over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
    and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
    beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
    will do all this. Isaiah 9:2-7 MSG

I love this version by Josh Wilson. Take one little minute and see…hear…know…listen…

What  have you done this season to make time to listen to God? 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! I’ll be back on January 7th! 

Also, I’m over at Katie Ganshert’s place today talking about my FREE Christmas novella! Pop over! 

In the meantime, if you plan to cozy up and catch up on some reading over the holidays, I’d love for you to subscribe above to my newsletter and you’ll receive my FREE Christmas novella as a thank you! Straight to you inbox!

Santa, Get a Grip!


Santa. Maybe he deserves a stocking of coal. Is he really all that nice? 

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer used to be one of my favorite childhood memories.
However, as I’ve matured (I use that term loosely) into adulthood, I’ve made a few discoveries, as many of you may have as well.
What I’ve discovered is…
Santa’s a BIG Jerk!
Laughing at Rudolph’s unusual gift and not seeing it as such. Listening to the Elves’ song dedicated to him and not receiving their efforts or praise. Expecting his servants to clothe him before he sets out. Only using Rudolph when he needs bailed out of a jam. And doing NOTHING when others hurt Rudolph through vicious name calling.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Santa and the idea of him. I really do! But this holiday season, when it can become all about gifts and Santa, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer makes me even more appreciative of the real meaning of Christmas!
Instead of demanding to be clothed, Jesus clothed us in robes of righteousness. “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” Zechariah 3:4
Instead of standing idly by while the hurting hurt, the broken stayed broken, He came to heal. To bind the broken. To comfort the sorrowful. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
He doesn’t tell us to do better when we sing adoration to Him. He dances over us. Inhabits our praises and takes it in as a sweet smelling aroma. The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;  He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love,  He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.
No matter how off key and pathetic someone else (or ourselves if we know we have zero singing talent) tells us we are.
And He doesn’t use us to bail Him out. He needs no bailing out! He doesn’t need us at all, technically. But He WANTS us. Those things that others look at as weaknesses, He uses to show Himself strong. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 12:9
He can use the misfit. He LOVES to, in fact. He can use the train with square wheels, the polka dotted elephant, the rag doll that’s been used up, the toy who thinks their name is worthless (I believe He changed a few names back in the day!), the boy who has a dream to be something other than what he’s been told he has to be, and the reindeer whose quirk can bring great light, great guidance!
He can use you. He can use me.


This Holiday season, remember…He sees you when your sleeping, He knows when you’re awake, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve been bad or good…He loves you anyway and He still wants to bring you a gift!


What was your favorite Christmas show as a kid? 

Abundant Blessings


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 

I’m all about spending time with the fam and getting my slice of pumpkin pie! I’m thankful for so many things. 

God has blessed me so much this year with abundance. Soul abundance. What about you? In honor of Thanksgiving, I’d like to revisit an old post–one of my first posts as a blogger.

What’s in Your Basket? 

I’ll be taking a blogging break for the month of December, but will be back with a look at 2013 and my one word, along with my new word for 2014! I encourage you to spend some time in December focusing on the vision God has for you in the coming year and write it down! Without a vision, the people perish.

Be blessed, everyone and have a very Merry Christmas indeed. 

How has God blessed you this year? Share something big or small!

Real-life Romance: Pastor Greg & Nancy Davis


When I think of love enduring, I think of my Pastor and his
wife. Their story is an inspiration to anyone. I hope you’ll be encouraged
today even though she’s only sharing the nutshell. Thank you, Nancy, for being
here today!
Don’t despise small beginnings.  Isn’t that what you’ve always heard?  I would add “or young beginnings.”  I’m sure my mother never had any idea that
when she dropped me off for my first day of second grade at a new school that I
would meet the man I would marry. But there he was. About half way through second grade Greg asked me to marry him, and;
obviously, I said yes.
Despite a couple of short-lived dramatic breakups
during elementary school we were an item. By the time we were old enough to
date there was no turning back.
Pastor Greg & Nancy Davis
Cornerstone Church
Newly married right out of high school we moved off to
attend Bible College (and, yes, the above-mentioned mother was a basket case)! Just
me and him and absolutely NOTHING else. We lived like paupers-as most students
do-and those were some of the most fun years of our lives. We discovered you
don’t really have to have much as long as you are happy with each other. Love doesn’t cost anything except time,
thoughtfulness and commitment. 
a small price to pay for something so rewarding.
You know, in 32 (almost) years of marriage I’ve learned some
things that are ageless.  Love doesn’t have to be complicated.  It doesn’t have
to be demanding or smothering.  It does,
in fact, take work and effort.  It cannot
grow on its own without attention and nurturing but it can flourish greatly when fed a constant diet of respect and
Not to say that marital love is perfect.  No love, other than that of our heavenly
Father, is. But you can certainly weather a lot of storms and face a lot of
“stuff” if you have someone to lean into. And, if handled correctly, the storms of life can make your love stronger –
more solidified.
That’s right! I really did say that! Not that you invite
bad times – absolutely not!  But, you
have to know those times will come.  Just
as sure as life rolls on, those times will come. And how you walk through them
as a couple will make, break, strengthen or weaken your relationship.
Our 32 years (almost) has brought with it many “opportunities”
for strengthening: Eight years of infertility eventually resulting in the birth
of our son, Colton, being born with 6 separate heart defects and facing a total
of 6 open-heart surgeries before his 18th birthday; my battle with a
blood disorder that almost killed me and took two years for recovery; our newly
adopted 12 month old Chinese daughter being diagnosed with a large, cancerous,
potentially-lethal brain tumor followed by a 12 hour brain surgery and 1 1/2
years of chemo and radiation; full time ministry for 25 years (need I add to
that one?) with 15 of those being the Lead Pastors; and, much more – but who’s
counting, right?
In all of these storms came times of despair.  A moment – even if fleeting- when the
darkness seemed greater than the light. We’ve all been there at one time or
another for one reason or another. 
Without Greg, I might have remained there. He held me close when I
shivered from the fear. He allowed me to process my grief knowing that he would
pull me back to deal with the present. He whispered words of hope and love into
my life and into my heart.  We cried
together. We talked out our frustrations and our fears. We contemplated our
options. We talked about everything-whether or not it was easy to say or to
hear. Then, and this is important, we
celebrated all of the good things in our lives.
We counted our blessings in
our times of want. We agreed that even though we might not understand our
situations we were certainly going to invite God into them. We also agreed that
we could allow our trials to make us bitter or to make us better. It was our
choice and we chose better every time. It’s always the best choice. Bitter gets
you nothing. Ever. That’s how we still handle our storms and we’ve yet to meet
a storm we couldn’t endure together.
A lot of our success comes from the little things. He fills
my car with gas because he knows I hate to. I buy whipped cream even though I
hate it because I know he loves it on everything. He buys me flowers on
Tuesdays because he says nobody expects to get flowers on Tuesday. I get up
early to turn the heat up and get coffee ready because he hates to get up to a
cold house. He tells me I’m beautiful
even though I’m constantly getting my hair colored to cover the gray and trying
new face creams to reduce the wrinkles. 
tell him he still makes my heart pound and even though he has a little less
hair now I don’t even notice.  It’s an
ongoing cycle of giving.  What happens,
though, is when you continually give you – continually receive. Pretty nifty
how it works out that way!
There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since he popped
the question way back in 1971 in second grade! 
There is no one in this world I would rather paddle my way through life
with.  Marriage is designed to get better and better every year if that’s how
you build it.
The trick is to get busy building.  
Thank you so much, Nancy, for guesting today. I never get
tired of your love story or watching it unfold every day. You inspire me!
If you’re
married, what are some things you do, to stay busy building a healthy and
successful marriage? If you’re not married, what are some qualities you’re
looking for in a spouse? (my questions)

Christmas Traditions & A Break

My Christmas tree! I still need
to hang the stockings! 

I love this time of year. I love sitting on my couch sipping coffee or tea and staring at my white Christmas tree lights. Quiet mornings. I love shopping for my family (in the mornings and not during the crowded evenings). 

This season is busy, but in a fun, joyful kind of way. Shopping, recitals, talent shows, baking, get-togethers, church events. 

I’m also finishing my WIP (work in progress) I only have about 30K words left. I’m on the downside of the mountain, but I’d like to have it finished before the Christmas week begins. 

In the midst of all that, we still have Christmas traditions. A close friend comes over and helps me ice Christmas cookies–a secret recipe that she begs me for each holiday. She’s tried to mix other recipes to match it, but can’t! I love teasing her about it.

On Christmas Eve, we take the kids out for lunch and maybe a movie then that evening after looking at Christmas lights in the park, we go home and the kids unwrap a present (PJs), then we make hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies for Santa, snuggle up on the couch and watch  White Christmas then the animated Little Drummer boy (which makes me cry each year). The kids head to bed in their new jammies. The next morning, we open gifts and munch on sausage balls and monkey bread. It’s a wonderful tradition and I hope my kids will take some of it into their homes when they grow up!

And with all that’s happening, I’m going to take a nice long blogging break for the month of December. Oh, I have a guest spot or two lined up and I’ll post those and if I get a wild hair I might throw up a post. But I won’t be around the blogosphere until the first of the year. 

Will you miss me? 🙂 I’m going to miss you, but I will be on facebook and twitter! We’ll keep in touch. 

Have a wonderful Christmas season! Tell me, what do you put on the top of your Christmas tree? An angel, star, other?

Christmas Classics

Oh yeah, I’m all about watching Christmas movies all month long. Not the Hallmark or Lifetime movies, although that one with Steve Guttenberg is really good. He’s Santa and needs a wife. I just like Steve Guttenberg. Ever since Three Men and a Baby days. 

Here’s my list of top five Christmas comedies that I must watch at some point and here they are starting with 5 and working to number 1:

And my #1….
Share your top 5 favorite Christmas comedies in the comments!

Happy Thanksgiving and a Blog Break!


Thursday is Thanksgiving!  



 I’m excited and I’m looking forward to, you know, amazing people with my super culinary skills. Okay, not true, but I am excited to eat. That is true. 

I love turkey smothered in mashed potatoes and savory gravy. I love yeast rolls and cornbread dressing. I love pumpkin pie! 

But that’s not what Thanksgiving is all about. I mean I guess it kinda is since they did have a big feast. 


So here’s my top 5 things I’m thankful for at Thanksgiving.

5. I’m thankful I didn’t have to grow corn or kill my own turkey or wear white paper or feather hats. Because with feather hats comes war paint and I’m out this year. And with the white hats come no make-up and um…well that ain’t  happenin! (make-up and war paint are totally different)

4. I’m thankful the dude at Kroger’s let me know if I didn’t have a Kroger card my turkey would have been $30 bucks, so I saved over $12 since he saved me. So I’m totally thankful for young punks who yawn at 7:30 in the morning but are on top of saving money for old broads like me.

3.I’m thankful I got to brag about my savings to my husband as most times, I’m trying to talk him into believing all the money I spend is for good reasons…you know like pretty stuff for my house or books. Or 10 assorted creamers and yes, I will drink all of them. Yes, I do need them all. I like making choices–or at least having choices, I don’t necessarily like making them.



2. I’m thankful no one expects me to dress up on Thanksgiving and I can wear my “eating” pants and no shoes.

And the #1 thing I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving is….



Naps! Because 1, I love naps especially on Turkey day and everyone knows it’s inevitable because of Tryptophan and 2,  it gets me out of conversations I care nothing about. Like who’s scoring a touchdown or who’s not backing the line…thus line backers, right? Right?


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Gobble Gobble! 

I’ll be taking a blogging break  until next Wednesday.  I know that’s a long time to do without me, but I’ll still be all over facebook and twitter, so don’t lose touch with me. Seriously, don’t. 🙂 
*photocredit: freedititalphotos
*this is revised version of last year’s Thanksgiving post

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? And if it’s really yummy and you have a minute, share the recipe!

Trunk or Treat Success!

On Halloween, our church held our first ever Trunk or Treat! My friend Melanie and I were in charge of organizing it and at first my biggest concern was, will anyone want to participate?

We decided to shoot for a 50 car minimum, with the knowledge that 5-10 vehicles would back out for one reason or another before go-time.

64 trunks later, my concern was gone and I was thankful!

Everyone pitched in and seemed very excited about it! Almost two dozen women volunteered to bring chili. 

In just a couple weeks, we had people in charge of moon bounces, popcorn, the outdoor movie screen, parking/security, the kitchen, face painting, hayrides, and welcoming guests with gift bags!

Melanie and I bought a surplus of candy–just in case 300 pieces per car wasn’t enough. The last thing we wanted was for families to leave not receiving what they were told they’d get!

I spent years in childcare which ultimately is customer service and marketing. We don’t let customers go away unhappy.

We just don’t.

Everyone showed up and the laughing and friendly competition made my heart sing. I witnessed unity among believers and I’ll tell you, it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. I can’t imagine how God felt as He witnessed his hands and feet getting along and loving each other–loving the community! 

And then I got nervous. “What if no one shows up!” We put flyers out at our local Chick Fil A–they were so nice to stuff the bags and in house trays for us! We also had people put flyers at a local apartment complex. With a banner in our church yard, that surely was enough. After all, were we prepared enough for more than 300-400 kids?

The fire department showed up to judge the trunks! We had prizes for the top 4!

Then at 6:15, it was flooded and we didn’t even begin until 6:30. In about 10 minutes we’d given out 300 gift bags!

Candy started getting low and we pulled out the reserves and sent our Creative Arts pastor to Sam’s for more. 

And then we ran low again! And out he and my husband went for another load of candy.

We never ran dry. About 2000 peeps later we finished with a half of a tub left. Families went away happy and safe. And I think everyone who participated had a great time. 

I know I did. But I had a walkie talkie which is uber-cool so I was content. Ha! I love walkie talkies!

But what moved me most was how much people pitched in and helped run candy, clean up, pick up trash. They simply did what needed to be done even though it was late and it was getting chilly. 

Because to me, that’s the love of Jesus. Always going the extra mile with a smile. I love the people in my church and their big hearts for Jesus! Here are some fun photos from our Trunk or Treat!

This is my great niece,
Crimson. She wasn’t there,
but how cute is she? Had to post!

Wish I could have posted them all! 🙂 

If you’re a church going person, what kind of things do you and your church family do for community outreach?