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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I am waiting with much anticipation for the unveiling of my new website. At this writing, changes are underway that will result in a new graphic design and format, guest bloggers, and special recipes for writers who are working under a tight deadline (or anyone else pressed for time). The website address will remain the same, but my cyber home will sport a complete makeover. In celebration, there will be drawings and giveaways, so stay tuned. The changes are scheduled to go live September 1st.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I am in the process of moving my website domain. If my site goes "dark" for a while, it's only temporary, and the site will be back up and running in a short while. My website guru extraordinaire is handling all the technical stuff, because as those of you who know me are aware, I am a techno-weenie.

That said, moving my web domain is a piece of cake compared to packing up one's life and changing domiciles. Two of my dear friends are in the middle of that process right now. I well remember the several moves my husband and I have made and it's no picnic. So while my friends are excited about their moves, the logistics of making it happen can be quite daunting. Stacks of boxes everywhere, trying to remember which box contains what, making decisions of what to pack and what to give away, wondering if your furniture will fit where you've pictured it, muscles aching at the end of long day of packing... The older we get, the more overwhelming the task. But the rewards of seeing everything coming together in the new place and making it your own bring delight to the heart.

One of my friends, Kim Sawyer and her husband, Don, have bought an historic railroad hotel in Kingman, Kansas. Originally built in 1905, it's completely renovated and restored, and now operates as a Bed and Breakfast. Can you imagine the stories the walls would tell if they could talk? What wonderful inspiration for a writer of historic fiction!

My other friend is watching God turn a distressing circumstance into a blessing. After her apartment was flooded and mold issues triggered weeks of asthma and allergy-related illness, she found a lovely townhouse and God worked out every detail so she could purchase the place. Within a few days, she will inhabit a sunny new, updated home.

Moving my website doesn't entail any physical exertion, and all the mental exercise is being done for me. All I have to do is approve it. My friends are putting in some strenuous hours, preparing to relocate to their new --or in Kim's case, historical--dwelling places. I know they'll be glad when they can empty the last box, put their feet up, and settle in.

Kinda makes me long for my "new home."

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:1-3
Thanks for letting me share my heart.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


It’s hard to live for more than sixty years on this planet and not accumulate a few treasures along the way. I’d have no trouble filling several sheets of paper, naming those special items that are barely worthy of notice by some, but priceless to me. Most mothers collect mementos of their children’s growing up years—kindergarten art projects, mother’s day cards signed with a childish scrawl, a lock of hair from the first haircut, the first baby tooth that was carefully tucked under a pillow to await the tooth fairy, baby books, photo albums, and memories—so many memories.

Then there are those family heirlooms that are handed down from generation to generation. During the last ten years of my mother’s life, she methodically gifted each of her daughters with pieces of her past. Her mother’s china, her grandmother’s glassware, old books that had belonged to her aunt, scrapbooks, and pieces of jewelry, just to name a few. I have an old photo album of my grandmother’s, as well as a pair of seed pearl-embellished gloves she wore when she sang in the opera.

About eight years ago, knowing that I collected antique Bibles, my mother handed me a tissue-wrapped parcel, and told me, “I want you to have Grandma’s Bible.” I was thrilled to say the least, but for some reason I cannot fathom now, I did not take much time looking through it. Not long ago, I was dusting and my duster snagged on the corner of Grandma’s Bible. I pulled it from the shelf and carefully disentangled it. Then I did something I should have done eight years ago. I sat down and opened it, looking at the “family pages.” It was then I realized what I had. This was NOT my grandmother’s Bible. This was my grandmother’s grandfather’s Bible. The printing date was 1863. Listed there were my great-great grandfather’s birth and marriage dates, his siblings—one of whom died when she was but four months old. The genealogy of six generations unfurled across the pages. The last three generations were added in my mother’s handwriting, which included my two sisters and me, and our children.

Also tucked within the pages of the Bible was an old photograph of my great grandmother. I’d heard numerous stories about her, but never gazed upon her face before. She was beautiful. I was staggered to realize the treasure I’d had sitting on my bookshelf for eight years. This wasn’t just any antique. This outlined our family’s history. With shaking hands, I called my sisters and told them about the Bible. What a priceless treasure to hand down to the next generation.

In my new release, HEART OF HONOR, my heroine, Abigail Locke, has four treasures—her mother’s cameo brooch, an ivory-handled hairbrush, a daintily-embroidered handkerchief, and a lace collar. They are all Abby has to remind her of her mother whose face she cannot remember. Abby’s father, an Army colonel, insists she leave the army post and travel to Charlotte, North Carolina due to the tenuous conditions surrounding the relocation of the Cherokee nation just prior to the forced march to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. She digs her heels in and doesn’t want to go, but she has no choice in the matter. Her traveling companion is a widow lady from the fort, and their guide is Nathaniel Danfield, a dishonorably-discharged army lieutenant.

Abby tucks her mother’s keepsakes into the bottom of one of her trunks. While traveling through the mountains of north Georgia, an accident causes the wagon to plummet down a mountainside, taking Abby’s trunk and her cherished treasures with it. Her heart is grieved at the loss. For Abby, it’s almost like losing her mother all over again.

Nathaniel doesn’t know about Abby’s treasures, and thinks she’s being ridiculously petty, pouting about the loss of her trunk when she should be grateful they all survived. When he learns about those precious items contained in the trunk, to what lengths will he go to recover them for her?

When I look at the family heirlooms my mother gave to me and my sisters, an affinity forms in my heart for this character. While I have a lifetime of memories of my mother, Abigail lost her mother at such a young age, she has no memory of kisses or caresses, stories or lullabies. All she has are four keepsakes—material evidence of a connection with the mother she can’t remember.

The antique Bible I cherish is tangible proof of my family’s heritage. I may not have ever met the people whose names are inscribed on those pages, and I may not be able to picture their faces, but they are part of me. Like my mother before me, I want to pass this Bible on to the next generation. In this case, since my son has preceded me to heaven, the Bible will go my mother’s oldest grandchild—my niece. But I’ll make certain all of the nieces and nephews have photographs of the Bible and its pages.

I’ve been blessed with a love of history, but holding my own history in my hands was a gift that can only come from the generations before me.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


While reading the posts on the American Christian Fiction Writers loop the past week, I read that several people plan to forgo the traditional making of resolutions and instead opt to embrace one word, and have that word steer the way they live for the next year. Words like hope, joy, persevere, serve, peace, renew, kindness, and excellence were listed just to name a few. This caused me to think about past resolutions I’ve made and how I failed miserably at most of them. So the adoption of a single word to be applied to my daily walk spurred great interest. After a week of asking God to impress upon my heart the word He would have me use, His whisper was very clear: the word is CHOOSE.

Every day throws new choices at us, from what to wear and what to eat, to checking off a list of priorities. Most of the time we aren’t even consciously aware of the choices we make. If we were, I believe some of those choices would be made more prayerfully. The privilege of making our own choices is very freeing on the surface, unless one first weighs the consequences of the choice.

Joshua 24:14 says, “Choose you this day whom you will serve…” So my choices will reflect my devotion either to God or to myself. In the book of Luke, chapter ten, Jesus was visiting with his good friends. While He sat and spoke, one of the sisters, Mary, sat at His feet and soaked up His teaching while her sister Martha scurried around the kitchen, cooking and serving. When she complained to Jesus, He said to her: “Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part…” Luke 10:42. Yes, we have obligations we must meet, but if we choose the serving over the worship, the choice is flawed.

Jesus set the example for us. In the gospel of John, as He often did, He illustrated His point by first telling His disciples the difference between a servant and a friend—a friend being one who knows the mind and heart of another friend. By this illustration, He encourages us to know His heart and His will. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” John 15:16. His choice was determined for the purpose of teaching His disciples to bear fruit. Jesus made a choice, and by doing so He showed us not only how to choose, but also the spirit in which the choices should be made.

An exhaustive word study seeking the word choose and its derivatives brings to light a list of scriptures to contemplate. I expect it will require most of the year to study them all.

What choices will I make this year? I can choose to be forgiving or choose to cling to anger. I can choose to be cheerful or choose to be sullen. I can choose to be a servant or choose to be selfish. In whatever decisions I make, I must first choose to be in God’s will.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.