On the 8th Day of Christmas…

My authors gave to me…

Deep Waters (and an adorable Christmas ornament) by moi… 

An adorbs book cozy from Susan Tuttle 

The Memory of You by Catherine West

A Child’s Christmas Wish by Erica Vetsch

On Love’s Gentle Shore + tote bag from Liz Johnson

The Gift of Twins by Gabrielle Meyer

The Rancher’s Mistletoe Bride by Jill Kemerer

Christmas Captive  by Liz Johnson

What is this I’m talking about? The 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway is BACK!


You read that right! Each day the prizes have been building and new winner is drawn daily. On Day 12, the grand prize winner will be drawn and he/she will win all 10 books, bonus gifts, & a Kindle Fire 8!

Just now getting in on the fun? You’re not too late to revisit the prior blogs from Day 1-Day 8 and enter to win. You can enter every single day! Tomorrow, don’t forget to stop by Bethany Turner’s! Her link is below.

Here is the line up:

12/1 Liz Johnson
12/2 Jill Kemerer 
12/3 Gabrielle Meyer 
12/4 Liz Johnson 
12/5 Erica Vetsch
12/6 Cathy West 
12/7 Susan Tuttle 
12/8 Jessica Patch 
12/9 Bethany Turner
12/10 Lindsay Harrel
12/11 Karen Barnett 
12/12 Liz Johnson 


Also, if you’re looking for a holiday read to cozy up with while you wait to see if you’re a winner for these sweet prizes above, may I suggest Hope Under Mistletoe? If you love Hallmark movies, holiday romances, and swoon-worthy heroes, plus a beautiful redemption story, then this is the book for you! And only .99 cents! You can purchase it NOW on AMAZON

Merry Christmas, friends!

*Forward Friday will return next week! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s True, I Broke Into a House

Me and Lindsay at the ACFW.
Pretty much all our photos look like this.

Today, I’m over at the wildly fun Lindsay Harrel’s blog. Have you seen her upgraded site? It’s awesome. And since it’s October, I’m sharing a ghoulish story that is all true about something I did as a child. 

Tomorrow, I’m going out to dinner for my birthday with my husband, and he keeps me out of trouble, so it’ll be a relaxed evening with lots of laughs…and gifts, and maybe a movie. Guess I should see what’s on.

Okay, enough gabbing! Head over to Lindsay’s blog and get a good laugh on me. CLICK HERE.

Trusting That He’s Got This

Not too long ago, Lindsay Harrel and I hung out at the beach. Virtual beach that is! And today she’s back to encourage you spiritually! Thanks, Linds!

Sunday, I got the awesome privilege of singing for all three of our church services.
I sang a
solo with the choir and orchestra, then I sang a complete solo song during the
offering, and then I helped to lead a few songs in our contemporary service.
I love
singing. There’s something about it that just fills me up inside like nothing
can. When I’m singing, I feel incredibly close to my Lord.
That is,
when I’m focused on the right things.
Because it
can be so easy to focus on me and how I sound. I worry…will I forget the
lyrics? Will I totally bomb this song? Will I get the opening rhythm right?
Will I…will I…will I?
what’s wrong with that picture?
considering the fact that I’m supposed to be singing as an act of WORSHIP…to
GOD…I probably should be much more focused on Him than on myself.
I get it,
it’s human nature, we are fallen, we’ll never be perfect. But that doesn’t mean
we shouldn’t constantly remind ourselves of how we SHOULD react…even if it
never becomes our NATURAL reaction.
I was
sitting in first service before I sang, worrying. I almost didn’t even want to
go up there on that stage. Because I was afraid of failure. Thankfully, I
wasn’t just afraid that I’d look like a screw up (although I’m sure that fear
is always part of it).
my main concern was whether I’d mess up an opportunity to share Jesus with
someone. That I’d mess up the lyrics that someone desperately needed to hear.
That my voice would crack and people listening would be too distracted by that
to hear the heart of the song.
In short,
I thought I’d inadvertently mess up my ministry…and God’s plan.
almost kept me from ministering.
But as I
sat fretting, our music pastor sang these words:
Then sings my soul, my Savior, God to Thee
How great Thou art, How great Thou art
And I
nearly cried.
Because He
was speaking right to me, saying, “Lindsay, don’t you see how great I am? So
great that I’m able to get you through each one of these songs in exactly the
manner I want you to get through them. And I will speak to people’s hearts. I
am able. I am great.”
I can’t
even tell you the freedom that came. How the fear dissipated.
Because He
doesn’t ask us to be perfect.
He only
asks that we’re willing. 
That we try our
best and draw near to Him.
Because He
is perfectly and totally capable of handling the rest.
Your Turn: Do you ever worry that you’ll mess up
in ministry? Do you find it hard to remember that He’s got it all under
Since the
age of six, when she wrote the riveting tale “How to Eat Mud Pie,” Lindsay
Harrel has passionately engaged the written word as a reader, writer, and
editor. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and an M.A. in
English. In her current day job as a curriculum editor for a local university,
Lindsay helps others improve their work and hones her skills for her night
job—writing inspirational contemporary fiction. Lindsay lives in Phoenix,
Arizona, with her husband of five years and a golden retriever puppy in serious
need of training.
Connect with Lindsay! 
I’m hosting at
Living By Grace
A facebook community
for women of faith!
*Photo credit: freedigitalphotos

Surf N Turf with Lindsay Harrel!


*Note: Scroll down to the youtube so you can listen while you read! Get an island adventure all the way around!

Pillow fights with lots of giggling, goofy dance-offs,
roller-skating backwards, and late night talks. That’s what Lindsay Harrel is.
Fun, energetic, sweet, deep and full of Jesus. I love me some Linds.

Since the age of six, when she wrote the riveting tale “How
to Eat Mud Pie,” Lindsay Harrel has passionately engaged the written word as a
reader, writer, and editor. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass
Communication and an M.A. in English. In her current day job as a curriculum
editor for a local university, Lindsay helps others improve their work and
hones her skills for her night job—writing inspirational contemporary fiction. Lindsay
lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband of five years and a golden
retriever puppy in serious need of training.
Did I mention wicked smart, too? Yeah. I know. Today we want
you to kick back, toss your flip-flops in the bag (mine are hot pink to match
my swim suit and since it’s cyberworld, uh…size 4 thank you very much!) Close
your eyes, well don’t really…um…you’re reading, and listen as Jimmy Buffet and
possibly Kermit take us to the islands.
Today, Linds and I are hanging at the beach. Which one you
ask? Doesn’t matter. It’s a beach. With water. And drinks with umbrellas
(loaded or unloaded whatever you prefer).
What kind of sunscreen are you wearing and what proof? I’m wearing my sparking
Hawaiian Tropics. I feel like such a Cullen! 15 proof which is a little higher than
the proof in my Mohito! LOL
Banana Boat ‘cause the name just rocks—even though I think of coconuts, not
bananas, when I think of the beach. And do they make a 150-proof? ‘Cause, girl,
I’m pale and I burn. Just a fact of life, unfortunately.
heard once you get to 30 proof, it’s all the same just more expensive. Don’t
take my word though, as you might look very much like Sebastian when all is
said and done. So, I know we’re chatting and all, but what genre is that book
you’re reading?
Christian romantic fiction, of course. I love all genres, but I sort of find
the beach setting a romantic one. So I gotta have fiction to match!
JP: Yes
I agree although I’m reading an intense romantic suspense, but I can’t figure
out who killed Laura Palmer. *giggle* You missed that didn’t you? You’re so
young! (Who else missed that?) Hold up, my bathing suit needs adjusted. Oh, the
sand! How many bathing suits did you try on before you found one you deemed
decent to go out in public in?
LH: Well,
since I can tell on the hanger that about 99% are either for tiny teens or
grandmas…not many (since there aren’t many to choose from!).
so had that issue with my daughter. Either too little girlish or too
Kardashian. Sigh. Cough. I’m parched. Let’s order something to drink! What are
you having?
LH: Ice water (with the awesome munchable ice like they have
at Sonic) with a Coke Zero chaser. Ha. I’m funny, huh?
Seriously? We’re on a beach with a full Tiki bar and you’re having water. With
ice. That crunches. You know what else crunches? Celery stalks. In Bloody
Marys. LOL I’m kidding, I mean celery does crunch but about BMs. Okay, now that
could go lots of places. BM as in Blood Mary, people.  Nevermind. I’m having a watermelon slush.
Man, I love the beach. The sand in my… toes, the crashing of waves. Sun on my
face. What do you love most about the beach?
photo credit: freedigitalphotos
LH: Like
you, the sound of the waves. There is nothing more relaxing to me than the
sound of running—or crashing—water. Sigh! Like I said above…romantic, no?
JP: Indeed
it is, Linds. Hey your shoulders look a little medium rare. I’m thinking you
need to load up again. Dude, we need some tunes. What’s playing on your iPod?
LH: You’re
going to run away screaming when I say this, but I love all the Glee
soundtracks. Especially the ones where they perform show tunes. Don’t hate!
Hate?! I LOVE the Glee soundtracks, have most of them! Crank up Defying
Gravity! But not really. It’s kinda’s messing with Jimmy. Here’s a little island treat for all of us! 

JP: Now that’s island fun and it makes me hungry. Lunch should be seafood. I’m having deep fried
crab claws, crab legs, and fried shrimp. What’s a little grease when you’re
wearing a cyber 4? What’s on your menu?
LH: Um,
yeah…the cool thing about surf and turf is YOU can have the surf and I’LL have
the turf. (Cough, seafood is of the devil). For me, chicken all the way, baby,
especially if it’s seasoned with some sort of Cajun or jerked spices. Yummy in
my tummy.
JP: And
yet again, you disappoint me. Sigh. SIGH. SIIIIGH! Oh well, more for me! Let’s
go in the water! Kayaking! Yes. Hope JAWS doesn’t get us. Ba dump…what do you
hope to see out here—minus JAWS? I’d love to see a school of dolphins. Do they
actually travel in schools? Herds? Packs? Crowds? Clicks?
LH: Yay,
kayaking is fun! I did that once in Hawaii with my hubby. And yes, wouldn’t it
be sweet to see dolphins? I might even be willing to brave my fear of the open
water and swim with them…as long as we were positive JAWS wouldn’t attack and
bite my leg off. I’d also love to see more sea turtles. We just saw one when we
snorkeled in St. Kitts (in a very secure and safe cove…no sharks!).
From the movie: JAWS

JP:  Sounds like a plan. Don’t worry, we’ll be
safe. Isn’t that what everyone says before it isn’t safe? What would you do if
the undertow kept pulling us out? Or if you were stuck on a beach island for
three months? What would you miss most? What would you miss least?

LH: I’d
miss my daily dose of Internet and social media/email, since I’m pretty much
addicted. What would I miss least? Haha, work.

JP: Yep, this is the life and it’s all in cyberville so join
us! You can hang with Linds on land too! At her blog, facebook, and twitter @LindsayHarrel.

playing on your iPod and are you Surf n Turf, or just Surf or Turf? Cheers! Don’t
forget your sunblock!

*Monday, I’ll choose the winner for my contest on facebook and share why I chose it here on the blog! Today is the last day to cast your vote and name the Saint Bernard in my newest book. Winner gets a $10 Amazon/Starbucks card (your choice) “Like” my page and leave as many comments as you like!