Do you hear that? A New Book is on the Horizon!

I hear the rumble of a new book on the horizon! Here's a snippet:

Doesn't it look lovely? Not enough to tell? Ahhh. Then you'll have to gird your loins for a bit of a wait, dear friend. But it's soon. Very soon. Stay tuned. . . . 

99 Cent Sale!

My second book, Reviving Jules is now available for 99 cents! Get your copy for this new hot price!

Come Meet Jubilee Stallings of Year of Jubilee!!!

Howdy and welcome!  It’s a SUPER spectacular day here at Pen in Hand. I’ve released my debut book and, boy, am I about to burst with excitement!  This book has been about a seven year process from start to finish, so I’m thrilled to be at the point of publication!
I thought Let me give you the run-down:

Orphaned and widowed, eighteen year old JUBILEE STALLINGS clings to her southern Indiana farm as her only refuge. The wilds of Gibson County are just being tamed in the year of 1850, and Jubilee ekes a meager existence. But when RAFE TANNER, a cousin of her abusive dead husband, shows up with the deed to her property, Jubilee’s dream of her own home dissolves.
Rafe, stinging from his ex-fiancée’s rejection, offers a business marriage, throwing him and Jubilee together in an effort to make the farm successful. But scars from the past keep her in constant fear of her new husband. The pair masquerades as a love-struck couple at Rafe’s family farm, enduring the romantic notions of his family and the jealousy of his ex-fiancée.
Once home, Rafe realizes his newfound love for Jubilee, and sets out to court her. Meanwhile, Jubilee fights demons from her past as her husband reveals his interest. Can Jubilee let go of her distrust and pain to embrace God’s plan of true love and finally find a place to belong?

There’s a whole lot of misunderstanding mixed in which makes the read a bit more hilarious than it sounds.  Let’s interview  Jubilee Stallings to get a little insight!

Me:  Jubilee, such an interesting name, what was it like before you met Rafe.

Jubilee:  Oh, lands. I can’t describe it. My first husband, well, he was quite unkind, mean even. Thankfully he left quite frequently which allowed me some freedom. But then I ran out of food. It seemed trouble dogged my every step. It’s a terrible thing to starve, I can tell you that.

Me:  So it must have been a relief for Rafe to show up, right?

Jubilee:  Goodness, no. I had no inkling of his personality.  I only knew he was related to Colvin.  That in itself scared the bejeebers out of me.  And physically, the man was huge. No, no. I lived in fear of him the first several months.

Me:  I see.  I guess you married him fairly quick, then.

Jubilee: (dark eyes widening) It was unavoidable. He owned the land. I was a trespasser at that point.  I had nowhere to go.

Me: No family or friends?

Jubilee: I was raised in an orphanage in Pennsylvania.  So no. I had absolutely no options.

Me:  Well, God is in the business of showing people His options! Well, I know there’s lot’s more to tell, including some misunderstanding about a baby.

Jubilee: (Blushing) Oh, dear yes. My friend, Elsa got things confused.  That’s all I’ll say about that.

Me:  Well, Jubilee. I know readers are very interested in knowing what happens next, so I won’t spill the beans.  Thanks for stopping by!

Jubilee: You’re most welcome.

Here’s a little excerpt:
“Okay, I’ve been thinking about this all day.” He paused and fixed his gaze on hers. “I gotta a lot of work in store for me on this property.”
She clenched her hands in her lap and stared at him with those huge dark eyes. The fire’s light revealed dirt smudges across her forehead. He returned to focus on the campfire.
“It might work to have a little help around here. Like a ‘business arrangement,’ of sorts.” His eyes flicked back to her.
The woman’s eyebrows drew together. Rafe cleared his throat and kept talking.
“You’d stay in the cabin and cook dinner and clean up. I’ll occupy the barn. You could also tend the garden, put up the harvest, and take care of the barn animals.” He paused as if he’d just thought of something, “You do cook, don’t you?”
Hesitantly, she nodded.
Satisfied with her answer he continued, “I’ll clear the land and plant the crops according to my plan. I’ll make sure we have food, clothing. The basics. The whole thing will sort of be a, cooperative effort.”
The woman’s hand set to kneading the fabric of her skirt. His eyes narrowed. What was going through her brain? Didn’t she understand the arrangement?
“Course, folks roundabout will soon get wind we’re both living out here, and to keep any damage to our reputations, we probably ought to marry.”
She gasped and her hands flew to her mouth.
Rafe shook his head. That hadn’t gone well. “We’d still stick to our arrangement of you in the cabin and me in the barn, but to everyone else we’d be just…a married couple.”
It was finally out. Rafe took a deep breath. Jubilee blinked at him.
“Now, you’ll probably need a night to think it over. Either way you decide, we’ll be heading into town tomorrow morning.” He cleared his throat and stood. Well, I’ve got a few chores to tend to.” He strode to the barn

Jubilee stared after him then covered her face with her hands. He had to be kidding. She shook her head to clear her thoughts. A forced marriage? Again? Tears gathered at the back of her throat. Waiting until he disappeared into the barn, Jubilee took off at a run to the cabin, tears streaming. Not bothering to gather wood she barred the door and pounced into bed to cover up with the quilt. She blinked in the darkness, and her brain grew numb. How had all this happened?

I hope that whet your appetite! You can purchase, Year of Jubilee, from Prism Book Group, Amazon or other fine retailers!!!  Come join me at these websites:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free book~!

Welcome! Please take time to reassess your life right now! Is Jesus Lord and Savior of your life?! He should be. He died for your sins. Everyone sins. Everyone is going to Hell. I can't tell you straighter than that, my friend. UNLESS~ you Accept Jesus is the one and only Son of God, Believe on Him as your Savior, and Confess your sins. As simple as that. Don't let anyone tell you it's more complicated or divert you with controversy or self thoughts on the subject. THIS IS WHAT TO DO. Ensure your future will be in Heaven. Forever is a long time. Bless you on this Easter!!! May you find the Lord this sacred holiday.

"Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together." Psalm 34:3.

Blog Hop, Hop, Hop

Hello Folks!

If you're looking for the Writing Process World Blog Tour, you've found the right place!  Amryn Cross was my link, so if you haven't been there yet, head on over. (

I have to answer 4 questions about my writing then send you to 3 fabulous links of other authors who will, in their own words, answer the same 4 questions. Oooh, oooh. Sounds fun!  Let's begin!

So, hmmm, we're supposed to answer four questions.

 Numero Uno:

What am I working on?

Yeesh. Everything!!! The tunnel I'm in is never narrow! I'm editing a novella, and I always drag my feet for that, yet have such satisfaction when it's done! In the meantime, it's summer, sooooooo-I have a lot of time to write.  I'm on chapter 8 of a contemporary Christian Romance of a New England Town, but I'm also on chapter 12 of a Historical Christian Romance set in the bootheel of Missouri.  Plus the new blog ( it out!:) ) means interviews, so there's that! And this!

Numero Dos:

How does my work differ from others in it's genre?

Oooh, toughy. Let's see if I can nail it, or rather, staple it!  I'd say I like to put characters at the end of their rope, where they must make desperate choices, or create characters that no one would want to associate with.  My current historical is about a prostitute who must marry to provide a roof over her head. My contemporary is about a young woman who's been to the edge of life and is fighting to understand Christianity. They face unimaginable choices, because in life, we've all had to make those gut-wrenching decisions.

Numero Tres:

Why do I write what I do?

I can't not write it. It's that plain and simple. It's like ignoring the pink rhinoceros in the kitchen. It's BIG, PINK, and taking up so much SPACE you can't look past it. My writing is so up in my head, and it plays over and over and over, till it finds it's home in the pages of my books. I know God has blessed me with these ideas, scenes, and stories. And because He blessed me with such a gift, I want to share that with my readers-a good wholesome Christian story.  I've read the secular Romance books.  They were so out of my realm of beliefs, I had to stop reading them! That's why I love what I do.

Numero Quatro:

How does your writing process work?

Eek, do I have to share this? It's sorta embarrassing. I'm not the outline, boxes ticked, thirty-five page synopsis starting author. I completely imagine them in my mind. Like a movie. And most disturbing of all, the movie starts playing at-BEDTIME! As soon as I lay my head down, it's like I'm in the upper film room of an old movie theater, where you lace the 8 mm film through the machine and switch it on. There's even a ticking noise. Weird. Now, I often have to come up with scenes that were never in my, ahem, 'movie,' then I do a lot of pacing and praying. Sometimes I have to just put it on the shelf for a few days. Then God pulls the chain and, 'flick!' Ohhh! That's what I'll have them do! I love those times! Then it's edits, and enriching the characters and plot, and it's done-by the seat of my pantaloons!

I hope you enjoyed this, 'hop.'  *insert rabbit nose twitch* Many of God's blessings upon you and much peace and joy! Let me direct you to the next hops!!!

Join me at

Check out:

Nicole Jarrell:

More links to come!
(Anybody up for the challenge? Stop by and leave a note!)

Butterfly Thoughts, Egg Sandwiches, and God's Perfection

     Ow! Youch. Oooh. Oh, my eyes are watering! OUCH! Yabba dabba doo that hurts! Why does plucking my eyebrows hurt so much?! This all started with me looking in the mirror this morning. Big mistake. Greeted me were two woolly mammoth caterpillar eyebrows. Yeesh. I had to take care of that right away. Yet how can pulling one tiny hair-one-from your face give such pain? Then the thought butterflies flit about my head.

Orange thought butterfly: I wonder why God didn’t just make my eyebrows perfectly shaped? Then I wouldn’t have to go through this several times a month.
Yellow thought butterfly: Duh, God made you the way He wanted to.
Blue thought butterfly: True. But, it’s still not perfect.
Red thought butterfly: Oh! It’s not perfect. I get it. He made me according to his perfect plan, not my own image of perfection.
Purple thought butterfly: Why, there’s a Bible lesson in there.
Pink thought butterfly: There’s a blog in there.
White thought butterfly: Really? You’re thinking of your thoughts as butterflies? What a weirdo!

     Yes, little butterflies that flit about, some without much substance. Some with too much attitude and some with some pretty cool ideas. But . . .back to the plucking. Ouch! Sorry, had one more. How I wish I were perfect according to my own standard. I certainly wouldn’t be holding on to these extra pounds. Wa-la! Gone! Sveltness I would be. Those blah, intermixed blue, green, gray muddy eyes? Snap. Perfect true blue. That space between my teeth? Whit-chih! (My attempt at a whip snap.) So not there! Dark, uninspiring slightly graying hair? DaDing! Gorgeous blond. (With curls!) Eyebrows, well, you already know about those.
     Ooops, pardon me. White thought butterfly just reminded me that it’s nine-thirty, and I haven’t had breakfast yet.
     All right. Back in the saddle. (I really did just make an egg sandwich with salt and pepper. You didn’t think I was just making this up, did you?!) Wait, a squirrel.
     Anyway, God made us to be who we are. I saw an article where random regular women were made into their perfect selves through makeup, photoshopping, clothes, etc. You’d think when the women looked at their new “perfect,” photos they’d be like, ‘wow, I’m gorgeous! I’m going to lose that weight to look like that!’ Or ‘I’m going to wear my hair like that so I can look that good!’
     Only they didn’t. They were . . . let down and disappointed. Some were surprised at first, and then their faces puckered up in concern as they studied the photos closer. Most of them said they felt like the ‘real’ them,’ had been distilled out. All of those imperfections made them who they were.
     God made those, what we think of as, ‘imperfections.’ He loves us and accepts us right where we are. Don’t try to make yourself perfect for Him through your own personal ‘photoshopping.’ He made you perfect through the filter of his Son, Jesus Christ.
     So embrace those woolly mammoth caterpillar eyebrows! (Or, in my case, hand me the tweezers.) Smile and show those irregular teeth. As long as you give yourself to the Lord, He will bring you up to snuff. And though you search the world over, He’s the only one that can. So . . .embrace HIM.

Tilt-a-Whirl Snapper

   "It's only two hundred dollars," my husband's voice echoed over the phone.
   "A lawn tractor for two hundred dollars?" I was in awe.
   "No, no.  Not a lawn tractor.  A Snapper."
   My brows furrowed.  About now the old advice of not getting something for practically nothing should have been throbbing through my head, but I'm full of eternal hope.
   "What do you mean?"
   I heard him sigh."You, know.  Like the old-fashioned ones with the motor in the back."
   "Oh. Well, how old is it?"
   His voice dropped a bit with irritation.  "I don't know.  Old."
   "Does it have a steering wheel?" Whining laced my voice and I tried to tromp it down.
  He took a deep breath. "No."
   "Does it have a key or is it a pull start?"
   "A pull start." His voice took on an irritated snap.
   I chewed my lip and ignored it.  "Can you come home and take me to see it?"
   "I can," his voice belied his lack of enthusiasm, "but then it'll be too dark to mow, and the lawn is getting tall.  If I buy it now, I can come home and be finished."
   Warning heeded.  "Okay, do what you think is best."
   I wandered the house in anticipation.  He seemed happy with it, so perhaps it was better than he let on.  It wasn't long before I heard him drive in.  I rushed out, anxious to see our new purchase.  He let the tailgate down and rumbled the thing to the ground. 
   Good grief.  It was a dinosaur. Literally. A triceratops lawnmower.  It was older than the hill, and I've heard that's dang old.
   I look up at him in disbelief.  "You bought that?"
   His face went still. "You don't get much for two hundred bucks."
  My eyes bulged and my lip curled. "Obviously."
  He shot me a bushel of optic knives and leaned over the contraption to give a pull on the rope.  It fired right up.  He hopped on and took off in mowing heaven. Loud mowing heaven. Extremely loud.
I crossed my arms and scowled.  If he thought I was mowing with that lawnmower prototype, he had another thing coming.
  And I put my sooty nose in the air and didn't mow for most of the summer. It was his own fault for buying such gross little turtle-like contraption.  I often peeked at him through the blinds, guilt gnawing at me.
   Because I scoffed at the thing for not having a steering wheel, he removed our old lawn tractor's, and placed it on that rattletrap.  Only the steering column was too short, and he ended up gripping the wheel hunched over between his knees.  Oh, yeah.  That's attractive. Picture a grown man in a battery operated Barbie convertible for children.  Uh, huh.  Only without the pretty pick plastic and Barbie stickers.
   But the day came that my husband had overtime, the lawn waxed long, and I, feeling quite remorseful at my pride, humbled myself and wrestled the red Triceratops from his resting spot amongst the spiders in the shed. I would do my duty.  I would climb aboard the most embarrassing form of transportation in the neighborhood.  I would sacrifice my pride for the sake of helping out.
   But first, I had to figure out how to do it.  I wasn't used to starting a mower first owned by Paul Revere. The throttled was broke, shocker, so I trailed the wire to the engine and found where to adjust the speed. An extra button had been installed, via the old man who'd suckered my husband into buying this piece of junk.  A label from a handy label-maker had been added.  'Out for on, in for off.'  Simple enough.  I turned up the throttle on the engine block, pulled the redneck button under the seat out, and tugged on the rope.
   The thing started first try. Hmmm. My low estimation of this hunk of iron elevated a fraction.  I climbed on.  It was sorta like riding a turtle, I surmised as I bent to grab the steering wheel.  I flipped on the mowing deck at my feet. Then I located the gear shift which, hard to believe, was a little obstinate. But my bicep bulged and I was off.
   Whoa!  It bounced me here, it bounced me there, it bounced me in a circle. It was a lawn mower version of Tilt-a-Whirl! I clutched the steering wheel between my knees as I tried to hold my balance, laughing so hard I couldn't stop.  Tears rolled down my face.  The more I tried to stop laughing at the entire situation, my silly posture, and the ridiculous swaying motion of the mower, the harder I laughed. I couldn't help but wonder what the neighbors were thinking of the weirdo mowing her entire lawn with her head thrown back in giggles. I was most thankful for my MIB sunglasses.
   I finally finished, and the yard didn't look half bad.  And just think, I didn't have to pay those outrageous theme park prices for a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl. 
   Looking back, I realize it's not so bad.  I still have it by the way. Heck, I still use it. Next time I'll have to tell you the story of how I cut too close to a tree and knocked the gas tank off.  It kept running until I finally realized I was dragging it and stopped. I had to reattach it with thick twine.  My bailing wire dad would be so thrilled at my innovation. But I killed a streak of grass where the gas spilled.
   Or perhaps I'll tell you about the time I filled it too full with gas, and since it has three punctures at the top, ( I know this shocks you) it spewed gas at every bump until the back tire was soaked and the gas level lowered.  Ah, yes.  Good times.
  But I remind myself of this.  If I mow with Tilt-a-Whirl Triceratops long enough, I might save enough money for a plane ticket to Hawaii. Huh.  Now who's laughing? Oh, it's me-again. 

Hey, wait a minute. You want to buy a mower? It starts right off.  It's not so good on the gas, but you'll more than make that up with your the savings at Six Flags.  Just a thought. Hope springs eternal!