ca·nard   [kuh-nahrd; Fr. ka-nar]  noun, plural ca·nards  [-nahrdz; Fr. -nar] 

1. a false or baseless, usually derogatory story, report, or rumor.
2. Cookery . a duck intended or used for food.
3. Aeronautics . a. an airplane that has its horizontal stabilizer and elevators located forward of the wing. b. Also called canard wing . one of two small lifting wings located in front of the main wings. c. an early airplane having a pusher engine with the rudder and elevator assembly in front of the wings.

I didn’t realize there was more than one meaning for the word. It’s the first definition that applies to my day. I have been told my share of canards today. I love the word canard. It sounds funny. It just rolls off your tongue and sounds so sophisticated, people don’t get offended.

Much nicer than insinuating someone has lied to you.

Ever have one of those days where you have everything planned out in your mind before your work begins? Today was such a day. I actually felt organized and ahead of the curve at work because I knew I could accomplish the three tasks I had set for myself…and if you know me at all, you’ll know sticking to a list is practically impossible for me : )

The first situation I ran into was my agent (4-H, not literary, LOL) telling me she’d sent an email I needed to address as she was running out the door for the day. In the email, she asked me to prepare enrollment materials for three clubs. Now in itself, this is not unusal, actually, it’s my job. The problem was the timing. The leaders of these clubs had told canards to my agent to get special treatment which meant I had to disregard my own plans for the morning to attend to theirs…

They knew better and simply found a way to get around the system. Very irritating. I’d been canard-ed

Next, I overheard our temporary receptionist answer a call. She asked the caller to wait a moment while she went to our copy room and then returned and rattled off the make of our copier. Apparently that wasn’t the information the caller wanted. By now, I had a good idea the caller was a soliciter. I intercepted the call. She asked to speak to our purchasing agent. I asked if she was with the company who had leased the machine to us. She said yes, could she speak to our agent. I asked what company she was with and our conversation volleyed back and forth. She never answered my questions truthfully and ended up hanging up on me.

Again, I was hit by a canard.

Finally, my daughter called from half way across the state (she’s gainfully employed three hours from home!! Wah!!) and complained she couldn’t get into her bank account information, the computer was shutting her out. I tried logging in to see if I had access and ended up in this loop of repetitive questioning, the portal refusing my entry into my own account insisting I’d forgotten my password. I finally rerouted my efforts and changed my password. Voila! I gained access.

Really? A technological canard?

A grand slam of a day. First taken in by friends and acquiantances. Then, a slick stranger. Finally, a frustrating cyber system.

Canards. What a pain. They’re frustrating enough to drive me to a pint — of ice cream, that is : )

Now I’m off to write a scene in my historical romance. Say a prayer I don’t have the hero climb into his SUV rather than a carriage or the heroine swiping her card through an ATM instead reaching for her reticule…

Posted in encouragement, real life | Comments Off on

New Beginnings and Celebrations!

Not only is it the kick off day for Seekerville‘s 5th Birthday Bash, but today I’m announcing my new endeavor…over the following days, weeks, months, I’ll be preparing my historical inspirational romance series, Lost Causes, for Indie Publishing.

Don’t take this the wrong way, I love traditional publishing. Harlequin Love Inspired publishes my contemporary romances featuring cowboys and I absolutely love them! I would be a sadder person without traditional publishing…the world would be a sadder place without traditional publishing.

That said, I have to admit, traditional publishing has never known what to do with my historical books. Some of you might remember my manuscript, Precious Possessions, filled with British history, wounded heros and enticing gypsies. This manuscript has won many unpublished awards along with its sequel, Timeless Treasures. I had requests for the manuscripts only to receive the all too familiar letter stating, “great writing, but this is not for us.”

Great writing, but this is not for us? Really?

So in my zeal for publication, I changed my mindset, my time period, my setting and my characters, and started a series featuring contemporary cowboys being the romantic men that won the hearts of the west. Check out Rocky Mountain Hero for a taste of my contemporary voice.

While writing cowboy love stories was all well and good, I never completely set aside my love for the British historical. I truly believe God placed this story on my heart for a reason…and only He knows the significance of it. The idea for Precious Possessions stirred my heart over 10 years ago and it’s time to bring it to life.

Like many things in life, Precious Possessions is undergoing a facelift. I’ve learned a lot from my editor and all the team members that brought Rocky Mountain Hero into being. I’m starting from scratch with the nucleus of  Precious Possessions in my mind and the Word of God in my heart.

~~~Finally, I get around to the purpose of this blog~~~
Let’s Try Something A Little Different

All my prior efforts to launch my Lost Causes series met with serious detours and dead ends. But still the flame of the story burned on. In the age of digital publishing, Lost Causes will find a home.

I’m nervous, excited, and a bit scared. Now that I’ve shared my plan with the world, I’ll have to live up to my commitment. I’ll need your help, encouragement and occasional kick in the pants, LOL!

Please join me as I muddle my way through the maze of Indie Publishing. I’ll be sharing links, connections, information…everything I discover, I’ll share right here. Feel free to ask questions, contribute resources, dish up support…or better yet…join me on the journey!

My motto for this adventure is:
May the Lord Jesus Christ who gifted me with the desire to write, use my talents for His glory.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

Posted in Indie Publishing, Lost Causes, new direction, Seekerville | 6 Comments

Seekerville 5th Birthday Bash!

Hey everyone! Make sure you make time to check out Seekerville every day this month. We’re 5 years old and ready to celebrate.

What do you think of these guests??

Dr. Stanley Williams kicks off our month with more on the Moral Premise, and facsinating look at what drives our characters and our stories.

Eva Marie Hamilton

Angela Ackerman

Mary Connealy

Vince Mooney


Tina Radcliffe all offer tips and pointers on writing to round out the week.

And don’t forget prizes each week!! Ooooo, lookie here! The prize at the end of the first week of our 5th Birthday Bash is…

Stayed tuned throughout the month for more updates and peek into the fantastic events planned. Remember check the Weekend Edition posted on SUNDAY each week in October to see if you’re a lucky winner of the daily prizes and the big weekly prize.

See you in Seekerville!!

Posted in Birthday bash, nook, Seekerville | 2 Comments

ACFW 2012, Part 2

 As promised, here are more pics of the 2012 ACFW conference in Dallas. There were more than 700 attendees this year which made for some very cozy moments amongst the masses while waiting for dinner doors to open, LOL! As usual, the staff of the hotel – the Hyatt DFW – provided tasty meals and showered us with real Texas hospitality!

The chicken fried chicken and side of salsa were very good…never did figure out what the scoop of purple was…

The best part of attending conferences is hanging out with friends you don’t see at any other time. Sure the Internet is a great communication tool, but nothing beats face to face, and the wonderful memories created within the span of a few days to last through the next 353 days.

Forget Raymond…Everyone Loves Missy!!
Carol Moncado, Missy Tippens, Pepper Basham

Casual business attire was the order for the days, but everyone brought their Sunday best for the Awards gala on Saturday night. The winners of the Genesis (for unpublished authors) and the Carol (for published) are announced as the highlight of the festivities, but more on that in a couple of days.

Hmm, can you guess which Seeker is sporting the glitzy red shoes???
(I’ll give you hint — they complimented her gorgeous red dress)

Our days were filled with meetings and editor/agent pitches, along with workshops and lots more exhausting events. Friday night was reserved for a free-night where we could go to dinner with our publishers, agents, writing chapters — or simply hang out with friends. It was a well needed and well deserved break.

I finally caught up with Pam Hillman one evening and we spent the Friday free night at the Wild West Pizza Party hosted by the My Book Therapy crew. What a great time!!!! Definitely on my list of things to do again next year : )
Check back again for more pics and highlights!!
Posted in ACFW 2012 | 2 Comments

2012 Carol and Genesis Winners

Direct from the ACFW site, we have winners!

2012 Genesis Winners

Contemporary Fiction
Anne Prado – Through the Needle
Contemporary Romance
Amy Matayo – The Wedding Game
Historical Fiction
Kathleen L. Maher – Closer Than a Brother
Historical Romance
Brandy Vallance – The Covered Deep
Matthew Sheehy – Determination
Romantic Suspense
Arlene Coulter – Grounded
Speculative Fiction
Caleb Jennings Breakey – Unleashed
Women’s Fiction
Rachel Moore – The Language of Sparrows
Young Adult
Kathleen Freeman – The Broken Feather

2012 Carol Winners

ACFW Carol Awards
Debut Novel
Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott (Thomas Nelson)

Long Contemporary
The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell)

Long Contemporary Romance
My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren (Tyndale)

Long Historical
Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott (Thomas Nelson)

Long Historical Romance
To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House Publishers)

Falling to Pieces: A Shipshewana Amish Mystery by Vannetta Chapman (Zondervan)

An Accidental Christmas from A Biltmore Christmas by Diane T. Ashley/Aaron McCarver (Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense
Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson)

Short Contemporary
Lakeside Reunion by Lisa Jordan (Love Inspired)

Short Contemporary Suspense
Nightwatch by Valerie Hansen (Love Inspired Suspense)

Short Historical
The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh (Revell)

Speculative Fiction
Broken Sight by Steve Rzasa (Marcher Lord Press)

Fallen Angel by Major Jeff Struecker/Alton Gansky (B & H Fiction)

Women’s Fiction
Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate (Penguin Praise/Berkley)

Young Adult
The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson (Zondervan)

A big YAYAYAYAY and WooHoo to all the finalists and winners. You guys rock!!


Posted in ACFW 2012, The Carol Awards, The Genesis Awards | Comments Off on 2012 Carol and Genesis Winners

ACFW Conference fun

JeanneT, Tina Radcliffe, Melissa Jaegars, Mary Connealy celebrating a prize luncheon won in Seekerville.
Myra Johnson, Janet Dean, Debby Giusti (and Melanie Dickerson’s hand) preparing freebies for the conference.
We met Cara, Tari, and Andrea on the shuttle back from Grapevine. Cara came all the way from New Zealand!!
Missy Tippens, Mary Connealy, Tina Radcliffe, Debby Giusti, Janet Dean, Audra Harders, Myra Johnson

First day in Dallas before the conference. Us Seeker gals gearing up for an adventure on the town : )

Stay tuned, I’ll have more photos later in the week!!


Posted in ACFW 2012 | 2 Comments

Perils of parenthood

“Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care.”

As I read through my devotions this morning (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, August 23), my heart jumped at this very timely piece. Entrusting our children into anyone’s care is a very difficult thing, especially for me. Both of our kids are out of the house now, one in college and one feeling her way through her first job. I really thought “out of sight; out of mind” would work for me. It doesn’t. Some days all I want to do is open up a phone line to both kids so we can be connected throughout the day.

That’s what I want. I don’t think anyone else feels the same way, LOL!

We all go through the darkness of uncertainty during points of our lives. I’ve done it and you’ve done it, too. We’ve emerged on the other side sharpened and honed and ready to face the next test. When I was in college, I didn’t think twice about the obstacles in my way. I zigged and zagged around them and stored the experiences away in my mind and heart to have as reference materials in facing the same situations later in life.

Didn’t we all?

So why is so hard to watch our children navigate the same path? My heart aches for their lonliness and frustrations. I continue to think I can fix all their hurts with a kiss and cookie. I need to pull up my faith by the bootstraps and realize I can’t be there for them all the time.

But God is.

“When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand.”

I never thought of it that way. I need to cling to Jesus’ hand. I need to let go of my worries and look to Jesus for peace in my own life and not worry over the lives of others.

“As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them. My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest. This same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me. Watch to see what I will do.”

There comes a point in a parent’s life when we must let go of our chicks and let them find their own way in the world. We must let go, but not Jesus. In today’s mediation, I’m reminded that Jesus will always protect them, never stop loving, never let go.

And that my friends, lightens my heart.

Posted in children, devotion, praise | 2 Comments

Saturday Stories: Dare To Believe

I’d like to introduce you to a new author — LA Sartor. She’s really not that new to the writing world. She’s scribbled stories for years, honed her craft, attended conferences and workshops, written many books and won contests…in essence, she’s paid her dues and wants to share her love of writing with the world.

Dare To Believe by L.A. Sartor

The Pulitzer prize winning writer …
Catherine Hemstead Malloy had it all – riches, glamour and happiness – or so it seemed. When her husband dies in an accident, she discovers she never really had anything at all. Now with nothing but a dismal bank account and her precious daughter, Cate fights to rebuild her life—until her daughter is kidnapped. Cate has no money, no resources – why would someone target her child?

And the knight in shining armor …
Jason St. Pierre doesn’t think of himself as a knight, just a man who does what must be done, lives by his rules and damn the consequences. He’ll move heaven and earth to protect the innocent, and his heart—he loved once and lost and won’t risk it again, especially to Cate Hemstead.

Their reunion pits them against a kidnapper who is always one step ahead and takes them on a hunt from the majestic mountains of Colorado to the idyllic beaches of Hawaii. Can they solve the who-dunnit turned why-dunnit kidnapping in time to save Cate’s daughter?

The twist and turns of the why-dunnit keep the tension fresh in your mind through the whole story. Sartor has created engaging characters that quickly work their way into your heart. The romantic arc is touching and believable as they grow to trust each other and themselves and discover what really matters most. I’ll be looking forward to many more stories from this excellent author.


Posted in author, book review, Dare To Believe, L.A. Sartor | 2 Comments

Scrivener for Windows

I have to admit, I wasn’t watching for it, but I’m glad it finally arrived…

Scrivener for Windows.

Ever since my first NaNoWriMo when I first discovered this novel writing program, I was intrigued with all its features. Only problem – it came in a Mac version and sadly, I’m pretty PC minded. Now at the time, they were testing a beta program for Windows, but no real timeline for the finished product was set.

I was bummed. The whole concept of the novel writing software made me drool : )

As I was blog-hopping one day, I came across someone talking about the Scrivener for Windows and how much they loved it. Of course I scurried over to the Literature and Latte site to confirm the rumors…and it was true!

There are many novel writing programs on the market and I have test driven a few of them. I wanted the Scrivener program because it seemed to pull together all the tools I use to create with. Though it looks like the run-of-the-mill program, it has quite a depth of features I’m still discovering. L&L offers easy to follow tutorials and an in-depth instruction manual so even tech-challenged writers such as I can be up and running in a few hours.

  • I love the corkboard feature that lets me scribble down quick thoughts, label them by color associated with the character, and then I have the ability to move them around to remind myself what details I need to stick in where in my novel.
  • Moving scenes within the novel is as easy as click and drag
  • I can store photos, links, idea sketches per character
  • I can create templates in a data base

I’m still discovering hidden gems about the program. I’ve loving the treasure hunt : )

Check it out!

writing program
Posted in NaNoWriMo, Scrivener, writing tools | 2 Comments

ACFW Conference

Can you believe the ACFW conference is just 11 days away? Since September 25, 2011 I’ve been looking forward to sharing time with friends and fellow writers again.
Are you going to be there? Remember, Seekerville has an informal gathering each night around the lounge area. Stop by for fun and chit-chat. Fun with us in Dallas and all year long in Seekerville!!
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments