Inspirational Christian Fiction

A Fast-Moving Terror

You hear the war stories of country folks being chased by mean spirited roosters all the time. I’ve only had one bad rooster and he was bad-to-the-bone. We moved to a little farmhouse rental from an apartment. It had a darling little bridge with a pond in an alcove of plum trees and a salmon stream ran through the property. Idyllic, right? Behind the house was a beautiful chicken coop with a run, covered in some kind of flowering vine. I’d dreamed of living in the country and what’s a girl to do but gather some hens?

Unbeknownst to me, one cute little fluffy chick turned out to be the devil’s minion. Each morning I’d go out before the kids woke up to feed my little flock and pretend I was Tasha Tudor. It was unfortunate that I went outside in my pajamas. I wasn’t dressed for battle. You would think I’d learn my lesson but did I? No.

Much to the delight and entertainment of my neighbors, I’d go flying across the yard after stealth-mode failed, being chased down by a fast-moving terror with spurs a foot long. I feel like this was mere foreshadowing for other events in my life. I’ve had many roosters since then. I’m no longer afraid of roosters, and I’m convinced they make nice pets.

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Fast-forward several years to bigger and badder foes. We bought a ranch 200 miles from home and everything was exciting but hard. I got my first dairy goat. Clair was a beautiful and regal lady. However, we soon found out what terrible manners she had. After a quickie milking lesson by her breeder, I was determined to milk Clair like a real dairymaid and gain favor and influence over my family with the wonderful milk she would provide. (The kids had cow milk allergies but loved dairy)

Déjà vu. Picture this if you will…I go to the barn in the early mornings before the children wake. There are more of them now. It’s peaceful in the barn. I’m in—you guessed it—pajamas. I don’t know so don’t ask. Each morning I trot out happily with my milk pail and each morning Clair and I get into an argument and she kicks the pail, dips her filthy toe in it, or worst of all, she waits until I’m all done and tasting victory, and then uses a back leg to slide the pail off the stanchion, thus spilling its precious contents in the dirt at my feet.

Many mornings I trudged back to the house in defeat, tears streaking my face and green and brown stains on my pajamas. And Mr. Henning next door would be outside calmly moving the sprinklers on his field in the morning sunshine. Fully clothed and wearing boots. He would see me, stop, grin, and depending on how bedraggled a state I was in, once in awhile bend over in hysterics.

All these years later, I still do barn chores in my pajamas. Let’s face it some things will never change. I’ve had more goats than I can count now and I’m a master milker.

These days I’m writing, and even though I’m behind a screen instead of in the front yard providing comedic relief to the neighbors I’m still learning something new the hard way. And some of the neighbors will still say I’m odd. I still stay in my pajamas way too long, I study writing until I’m brain dead. But I produce books and sometimes publish and market them. It’s not as scary as it was three years ago when I started out. I’m a mess some days, but I’m enjoying myself and even if I still embarrass my kids at least they know what it looks like to TRY.

All that to say: It’s obvious I’m not afraid of hard work, looking stupid, or getting dirty. And sooner or later I take ground. If you’re trying something new and afraid to fail or look foolish, take a page from my book and do it anyway. People may laugh, but they’ll admire your tenacity and most of the time they’re really laughing with you, not at you.

 

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Inspirational Christian Fiction

Giveaway Hooray!

There are giveaways galore this month! Join me tomorrow for a fun Facebook party where I’ll be chatting with you, lots of other authors, and giving away some fun goodies.

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Meet us HERE tomorrow 


AND NOW…

Who doesn’t love a giveaway? And this one’s fun! In the spirit of Christmas in July and Christmas romance, I’m giving away a printed copy of I’ll Be Yours For Christmas: A Pacific Northwest Romance, a T-shirt to honor the setting (Unisex Medium), and a book cover keychain.

You can enter from July 15th to July 30th and I’ll announce the winner on Friday, July 31st.

Enter here

 

 

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Inspirational Christian Fiction

New Release

I’ll be posting a giveaway here very soon, so be on the lookout! I’m celebrating Colton, Noelle, and Cocoa being released into the world. It’s like releasing their story is the least I could do after I’ve spent so much time with these characters. I hope you love them as much as I do. The image is a link 🙂

 

 

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Inspirational Christian Fiction

Romance In The Air…

July 15 join us!

Are you the type of person who loves Hallmark Christmas in July? Well how about Christmas novels in July?

Join me and 8 other authors for a little fun on Facebook. We will be chatting, giving away books and other goodies, and generally having a bit of fun.

I’m giving away a couple of books, T-shirts to remind us of the Christmas Tree farm in I’ll Be Yours For Christmas that Colton and Will are so busy restoring, and I have a darling jewelry set with our Christmas 🎄 theme. I also had some sweet little book cover keychains made and hopefully they will be here in time.

I’m hoping when you read Colton and Noelle’s story you’ll become a fan. I’m hoping you’ll want to get cozy with a cup of hot cocoa and remember that fresh starts, hope, and loving people are never out of season.

So… here’s to celebrating Christmas spirit in July!

Inspirational Christian Fiction

Christmas In July Is Coming!

I’ll Be Yours For Christmas: A Pacific Northwest Romance is available at Amazon and on it’s way to Barnes & Noble online. Order here

 

FF843F89-43B3-4D30-8160-5B89A24B8EA5Christmas magic happens in the Cascade Mountains…

The last thing reclusive children’s book author Noelle Albright wants is an intrusion of her quiet world. Noelle just wants to be left alone to rebuild her life—and her muse– after the death of her husband and baby. She doesn’t need her noisy neighbors suddenly opening up their tree farm for the entire world. Don’t they know Christmas only brings heartache?

Colton Howell has big dreams…but they don’t include a tree farm in the Cascade Mountains. Or a crazy neighbor. Colton longs for a place to call his own. After growing up in foster care and living the past six years in the dust of Afghanistan, he has plans to move to Alaska where big money awaits. Maybe there he can build a new life. When his plans are interrupted by a call for help from his foster father, his sense of responsibility sends him back to help manage the Christmas tree farm. But the crazy lady next door might just get in the way. The Christmas tree farm holds magic…As the season settles upon them, Colton realizes he’s in over his head. And Noelle can’t seem to stay away from the farm…at least if her dog has anything to say about it. Somehow she finds herself working alongside Colton…and opening her heart to find new possibilities. Colton discovers that maybe he’s found the dream he’s always longed for.

But there’s a saboteur afoot…They’ll have to work together to save the farm, the community’s efforts to help foster children this Christmas… and their broken hearts.

*Includes discussion questions

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Inspirational Christian Fiction

Escape?

The world has gone mad and I’m finding that it’s hard to concentrate and it’s hard to settle down to even think without mini vacations.Escapes, I call them. However, since are still in quarantine where I live, these are imaginary vacations.

Youtube is exceptional for providing mind travel. I love to watch British television. Have you ever seen Escape To The Country? No?

Well, You’re not living right. 😂 I have little day dreams about finding the perfect house in the French countryside, or maybe Spain, and settling down to lead a quiet, chic life.

I’m obsessed with this YouTube Channel and I’ve been inspired to cook more again, care if my home is clean 😂, plant vegetables, and I’ve thought about inviting volunteers to come to the ranch but in the end realized that’s a fantasy. I’m a small hobby ranch not a chateau and I’m not giving up my writing room for anybody.

Also, jeans and a T-shirt with cowboy boots or flip flops is my style and I don’t even know how to walk in heels. I’d sweat in silks and stain them. As romantic and beautiful as a French Chateau would be, I’m afraid I’m much more at home with the western cowboy and farmer culture. Those are my people. But I still love the idyllic lifestyle Stephanie Jarvis is enjoying and I wouldn’t mind a visit as long as they didn’t ask me to dress up.
This channel satisfies my love of history and all things British as well as keeping the children enthralled.
English Heritage is brilliantly produced. It’s a must see.
My love of Peonies has only expanded during quarantine. researching varieties, ordering roots, planting them, and planning for where to put them in the yard is a great escape. So far, I have one. But I’m dreaming of more. I live in a rugged high desert area with extreme weather and while these flowers are lush and gorgeous, they are also hearty. I think I can do this.
As always the animals offer sanctuary with their company.
My Gotland and East Friesian sheep have this way of being together and exuding calm when they are content. The most extraordinary thing happens when sheep see you as trustworthy- they let you in their circle and their calm and content settles on you, too. My youngest son and sometimes my granddaughter have the blessing of that experience. It’s like being a bee charmer in some ways because sheep are very suspicious of everyone. Once you’re included in their circle you should feel a sense of real belonging and peace.
My sheep love me and I love them. I got them after studying the Bible passages about sheep, shepherding, shepherds, lambs, and flocks. I wanted to know what these passages meant, felt like, smelled like, and and how they applied to life today. The relationship between me and my sheep teaches me so much about my relationship with my shepherd, The Great Shepherd.

I’ve shared some of the ways I escape and rejuvenate. I also read novels, pour over the British edition of Country Living, and listen to audio books.
How about you? What are you doing for rest and a mindful break in these turbulent times?