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Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Reminder

First Christmas Adventure with Grandma!

(this is not a personal story, but one someone sent me via email, by an unknown, not named person)

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I
was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to
visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There
is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled
to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me.
I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the
truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with
one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they
were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between
bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No
Santa Claus?" she snorted.... "Ridiculous! Don't believe it.
That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain
mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't
even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned
out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had
a little bit of just about everything.

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars.
That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said,
"and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you
in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's Store.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my
mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.
The store seemed big and crowded, full of people
scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just
stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill,
wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I
thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my
neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my
church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly
thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy
hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he
never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always
wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all
we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he just
didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with
growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a
red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm,
and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the
counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

"Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady
smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed
a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put
the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag
fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible)
in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby,
From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted
on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's
house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever
officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and
she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front
walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa
Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath,
dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded
his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and
Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the
front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments
spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's
bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa
Claus were just what Grandma said they were, ridiculous. Santa
was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have Grandma's Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: A
$19.95 price tag.

May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and
FRIENDS that care. And may you always believe in the magic of
Christmas! God gave His own son as the very first Christmas offering.
How can we do any less than give of our best!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What Do You Choose?

Every morning we face a choice. We can get out of bed and see life one of two ways....with the glass half full, or the glass half empty.

We're faced with choices every hour of every day. Choices to growl, complain and criticize, or CHOOSE to be thankful. We can speak words of peace, words that bring life and freedom, words of joy....or we can sow words of doubt, fear and negativity.

There isn't a person in this world, no matter how rich or seemingly blessed, that doesn't struggle with something in their life. It might be a physical problem, a marriage issue, a conflict with a child, sibling or parent. A job that's stressful, a bill they can't pay, or someone who's rejected their love. None of us are immune to stress or trouble.

But each of us faces the same thing when crisis comes. How will we choose to respond? The Bible is so very clear. The words that we speak can bring life, or they can bring death. God works through the words that we speak. He desires to bless us, to bring us the desires of our heart. But are you tying His hands by the words that constantly tumble from your lips? Do you speak doubt and fear? When you pray, do you pray the problem, or pray the answer? Do you use His Word in your prayers, or dig deep into the dung pile and pull out words that are a stench to His nostrils?

I urge you to listen carefully to the words that come out of your mouth. Make it a priority, this next week, to consider what you say when something goes wrong, or when you're troubled or stressed. Are you quick to complain, grouch, find fault, or do you give God the glory, speak positive words of faith in His ability to see you through?

If not, why not? Do you really believe God is able to conquer the giants in your life? If so, being to SPEAK like you believe it. You'll be amazed at the power your words will release....and the way God will move in your life!

Friday, December 5, 2008

So Much To Be Thankful For

Thanksgiving Is Over, But....

Is that any reason to quit giving thanks? We dedicate one day a year to giving thanks, but how many of us do it even on that day? Yes, I know Thanksgiving is over, but Christmas is coming and it shouldn't be all about shopping, baking and decorating. It, too, needs to be a time for quiet reflection on all we have to be grateful for. Here are just a few of mine:

A wonderful family who loves, encourages and supports me, and my writing career

Our home finally sold and we're moving toward closing. Yes, we'll be moving just days before Christmas, which is inconvenient, but I don't care. I'm so grateful we'll only have ONE mortgage payment, instead of the two we've carried for 2 yrs.

My second book releases in late January, with another releasing later in the fall, and yet another contract on the horizon for 2010. Can't say more than that right now, as it's not official yet.

A healthy body and the ability to get out of bed in the morning without the pain that so many sickness, no disease, and a healthy husband as well.

Gas that's now under $2.00 per gallon and still heading down. Talk that it could hit $1.25 by the first of the year. I never would have believed, 8 months ago, that we'd ever see it under $4.00 again. Wow! This is awesome!

God loves me and accepts me just as I am, with my graying hair that keeps wanting to grow out and show the roots, my overweight body, my occasionally crankiness toward my hubby, and my propensity to procrastinate on things that need to be done. I'm so thankful He doesn't judge me the way I sometimes am prone to want to judge others.

See what I mean? And that's only just a tiny bit of what I have to be thankful for. How about you make your own list? It's amazing what writing it down will do for you. Do I have things that trouble me, or that I'm praying about? Sure. We all do. But choosing to put my focus on the good rather than my needs frees God up to do what He needs to do in my life. I'm no longer complaining or worrying, I'm praising Him instead. A good place to be!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Destroying the Monster of Doubt

Doubt rears its ugly head in almost every aspect of life, and negativity races hard on its heels. I've had the opportunity to entertain both of those creatures recently, but have decided to shut the door rather than invite them in.

As you may know, we accepted an offer on our house after some back and forth countering. My husband & I were both a bit nervous about it, with the economy the way it is, and stories we've heard of closings falling through at the last moment. We know we're blessed to have an accepted offer, but still had to clear the very large hurdles of the inspection and appraisal, and all that each could entail.

A week ago I went to Wed. night prayer meeting at church and had a good time of personal prayer, with some quiet reflection and listening to the voice of the Lord. I was (once again) giving our house situation to Him. We've been carrying two mortgages for almost two years, as our new house was built and the old one didn't sell. We moved back to the old one when our well almost dried up this summer (at the new house) and we knew we'd be out of water for 2-3 wks (turned out to be 4). Not long after, we put both houses on the market, and asked the Lord to sell the one He knew to be best.

Due to the shaky housing market and economy, both Allen and I were struggling with trusting that the sale would go all the way through. That night at prayer the Lord spoke in such a sweet, gentle voice. He told me that He's going to bring it to pass and I had only two responsibilities: Shout the Victory, and don't allow any word of doubt or negativity to cross my lips during the entire process.

Now don't you know, that when everything is going well, there's no danger of doubting? I understood that something could be coming that would tempt me to doubt, so I shared with Allen what the Lord said, the next day. I had to remind him a couple of times when he started speaking in fear....even tho the Lord told ME, not him, to shout the victory, I knew I needed my husband's support, as well. He agreed, and each time he began to speak out of fear and I began to remind him, he'd catch himself and change.

Since then, we've had opportunity to doubt. We hit some snags with the inspection, and it took 5 days before we got the buyers response....a time when doubt and negative words might easily have flown out of our mouths. I kept thanking the Lord that He's in control, and that He's going to take us clear to closing and funding, no matter WHAT it looks like now. We're now moving toward the FHA appraisal next week, and I'm guessing we'll have opportunity there to either shout the victory, or doubt. I'm choosing victory. God IS in control. He DOES want the best for us, but He needs us to be in agreement with Him, not working against Him with our words and attitudes.

I had a choice whether to share this or not. Think about it...I had to step out in faith just posting this. After all, I'm putting my faith on the line, that I really DID hear from the Lord, and He does speak to us today. But again, I'm choosing faith over doubt.

I'll be posting again on this subject after we've signed the papers and are moving back to our new home...right before Christmas. Will it be a push and hard to get ready for Christmas? Sure. Do I mind? Absolutely not! I'm shouting the victory for all the blessings the Lord has given us during this wonderful Time of Thanksgiving, for the Lord is indeed GOOD!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Do You Have A Vision?

I've been thinking lately about visions and dreams...not the type that come to us in the night, but the "God" kind. We're created with a desire for something bigger than ourselves, something that we can only attain with supernatural help.

Sure...we each have a dream. Maybe something we'd like to purchase, or a new job we're striving for. But I'm talking about a larger vision than material things or our career. What is your purpose? Why did God put you here? What do you hope to accomplish? And are you dreaming BIG dreams, or just ones that you can attain on your own?

If the dreams you have can be fulfilled by your own hard work, then they probably are simply that...your own dreams, not God's vision for you. If you're dreaming God's dream for you, then it's bigger than you--bigger than anything you can do on your own.

God wants us to enlarge our vision--reach for something bigger than we've dared to before. You may already have an idea what your purpose or ministry entails, but have you sought God's heart for how He wants to implement it? Is it bigger than anything you can bring to pass? Don't be afraid to stretch...don't limit yourself. Open your heart and open your spirit to what God has for you. He wants to do great and wonderful things through you and in you. That's right. YOU. Not the pastor, not the women's ministry leader, but YOU. Don't sell yourself short. God CAN use each of us, right now, right where we are.

Take time each day and ask Him to use you. Ask Him to reveal His dream and purpose for your life. Ask Him to stir up an excitement in your soul and point you in the right direction, then get ready. God always answers requests to be used for His Kingdom and glory, and trust me, it's never boring and always fulfilling. Take time to listen. He's more eager to talk then we are to listen....and He'll give you the answers you're looking for.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Counting My Blessings

So Much to be Thankful For

This is the time of year that we typically stop, take a deep breath and try to remember to count our blessings. I've been telling myself for several months now....God IS still in control. We've had our home on the market off and on for almost two years. We took a step of faith 2 1/2 yrs ago and decided to build a new home, and sell our other one when the new one neared completion. Unfortunately, we were less than half way through building it when the market began to bottom out and the old house hadn't sold.

In recent months I've been asking God for mercy....on our finances, our business, our home selling, my writing career, and wondering how He would pull it all together. But I serve an awesome, all powerful God who knows the beginning from the end, and who doesn't make mistakes.

A few days ago we came to an agreement with potential buyers for our old home, and we're now in the 'inspection and appraisal' stage, moving toward closing. Did we get exactly what we were hoping for on the price? No. But you know what, we don't care. Another 5 months of interest payments, insurance and property taxes would eat up the difference. So we're thankful, to the max. And believing that God has done a miracle for us, with the housing market and economy the way it is right now.

And my husband's business is moving forward, and getting past some slow downs that were holding things back for a while. Not there yet, but moving forward.

My writing has been blessed from the beginning and I have God to thank for that. Doors have opened that I'd never have been able to open on my own. And now I've been told that my debut novel, The Other Daughter, just went into second print a couple of wks ago. Wow! AND...I have a contract now for the sequel, which will release late next summer. That was something I'd been praying about for months, as it seemed so slow in coming. But the contract is signed and in the mail to me, and I'll sign and return it in a few days (as soon as it arrives, LOL!). The manuscript is finished, is undergoing a final polish now and will hit my editor's desk no later than Dec. 1st.

And my historical romance (Christian fiction with a suspense thread) hits shelves Feb. 1st, and I'm SO excited. I LOVED writing this book. The title is Love Finds You In Last Chance, CA and it's set in the old west. Check it out on Amazon by putting my name in the search engine... Miralee Ferrell....or just click here: Love Finds You
My new cover was posted a few days ago and I Love it! Let me know what you think?

So yes....I'm counting my blessings this November. God allowed us to keep our new house (we put both on the market and left it up to Him) and is blessing my writing career. Our kids are healthy and doing well, our marriage is strong and we have food in the cupboard. What more could I possible ask for!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ten Predictions

A friend sent me this today via's not signed, so I can't give credit to anyone, but it's worth reading.


1. The Bible will still have all the answers.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Is He God, or Not?

There is so much concern now about the economy, the results of the election, the state of our nation and the instability of the world.

On a more personal level we face so much heartache and fear. Cancer, home foreclosures, job lay-offs, sickness, children going astray, marriages failing. No matter which way we turn we see pain, loss, discouragement, depression. What is a person to do?

I've faced several of these issues myself...either in my own life, or my extended family, so I'm not speaking theoretically, but from a deep well of experience on many levels. Do we tuck our head into the sand and burrow in....pull the covers over our head and hope it all goes away? Self medicate with drugs or alcohol, have an affair, slip into depression, lash out in anger...these are all options the enemy of our soul would love to direct us to, convincing us there's no other alternative.

The Bible asks where does our help come from...and it comes from the Lord. Peace isn't a transient, fleeting emotion. Peace has nothing to do with happiness, success or prosperity. It comes from a deep well in our spirit when we're connected to the Holy Spirit through relationship with Jesus. God's Peace transcends our circumstances and defies our emotions.

But what can we do in a practical way to help push back the fear and depression and help bring the peace of God to the forefront when crisis or tragedy hits? When a diagnosis of cancer hits our family, or our husband loses his job?

There are many things you can do, but I'll speak briefly to only two right now. One is praise and worship. No, we're not thanking God FOR the crisis or pain, we're praising Him that He's in control and walking with us THROUGH the pain.

The second thing to do is to use the Word of God as a weapon against the enemy. Don't get sucked into his lies that you're a failure, that life isn't worth living, that you're going to be destroyed. Lift up the name of Jesus, speak the Word of God outloud, declare it in your prayers back to the Lord, claim what He's spoken for yourself. Search out verses that speak to your situation and write them down...keep them in front of your eyes and speak them daily, calling on God to bring His word to pass in your situation.

God IS faithful and He cares for each one of His children. He hasn't abandoned you. He's walking through the darkness with you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How Long Do We Have?

We serve a MIGHTY God....while the information below has proven to be true historically, I'm praying that God will turn what SEEMS inevitable toward the miraculous....and shows mercy and grace toward this country. Let's keep fasting and praying and repenting for America!!

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:
'A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.'
'A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.'
'>From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.'
'The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history ­, has been about 200 years'
'During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:
1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. from dependence back into bondage'
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline UniversitySchool of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000 Presidential election:
Number of States won by: Democrats: 19 Republicans: 29
Square miles of land won by: Democrats: 580,000 Republicans: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by: Democrats: 127 million Republicans: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Democrats: 13.2 Republicans: 2.1
Professor Olson adds: 'In aggregate, the map of the territory Republican won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare.. ­.' Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the 'complacency and apathy' phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already; having reached the 'governmental dependency' phase.
If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegal's and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Families in Crisis

Can Fiction Impact a Marriage or Family?

Why would anyone want to read Christian fiction? What purpose could it serve other than entertainment? Is it a waste of time for those of us who look for help and answers for our marriages, families and daily lives?

I've heard those questions asked by people who typically only read self help books, or Christian living. Here are just a few comments from reader's that have contacted me after reading my first book, The Other Daughter. I'm keeping their identities private, but their comments speak to a deep need in their lives and the impact fiction had on that need.

"The message of turning your life over to God and trusting Him has always been difficult for me and it was nice to hear that Susanne had the same problem. I often turn problems over and then take them back with fear and worry. Thanks for reinforcing the message of what God can do when you turn everything over to Him."

Thanks for this book. There are references in it that have helped me get through something difficilt in my life. The pastors reference to letting go and moving on was just what I needed.....It's funny to think the God made me pick up this book to read at just the right time.

I can relate to the theme of this book about turning your life over to something or someone higher than you! The characters and storyline seemed very realistic to me and I wondered if you based this book on a personal experience. Either way it was very real and touched my heart.

I loved it! It is a wonderful story of David and Susanne's struggle along the way..... I know how hard it is when the other spouse is not a Christian, nor has any desire for God. But when God closes a door, He opens another, it may not be what we want, but is what He wants for us.

ALL the books I write, whether women's fiction, historical romance, or contemporary romance, are designed with the needs of the reader in mind. Yes, they are partially written to entertain, but lifting up the name of Jesus is my primary goal. A strong spiritual thread is always present and hopefully the message contained within will touch hearts and impact lives. Christian fiction CAN make a difference, and I hope you'll be willing to try one of mine in the future.

The Other Daughter released last winter and is available in bookstores or on Amazon, CBD, or Barnes and Noble...all online.

My second book, Love Finds You In Last Chance, California, releases in February of 2009. It's available for pre-order on Amazon now, and your credit card won't be charged until it ships.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Christian Author Photos

WOW! I had the most amazing time at the huge Mall of America book signing 10 days ago. Over 100 Christian authors took part, and the turn out was terrific. Here are a few pictures taken there, as well as at conference of some of my author & aspiring author friends. If you don't have books yet by the gals designated as published authors, RUN to your local book store and pick one up. These are exceptional writers!

I just finished a book by Leanna
Ellis...titled "Lookin' Back, Texas" and it was an amazing book. LOVED it!! Here's a picture of Leanna and I at the book signing. She's such a neat person and it was a joy to sit next to her at the signing.

I've been hearing great thi
ngs about "Ruby Among Us" by Tina Ann Forkner, who sat next to me at the book signing. She's a talented writer and I'm looking forward to reading her books. I know we'll see more from her in the future, as well. Here's a pic of us ....and it's a reat one of her!

Kim Vogel Sawyer took Book of the Year at the conference. It's not a great picture of Kim, as my flash wouldn't reach far enough. I'm devouring Kim's books right now. She's such a talented author (as her award proves) and I'm blessed to have her as a friend.
But I'm posting a fun one she and I took in the women's bathroom, as well, LOL!

Linda Wichman's debut novel
released a couple of years ago and won Fantasy Book of the Year. It's set in the days of King Arthur and looks like a fascinating read. Here's a pic of Linda and I at conference. Kim snapped this one of us in the women's bathroom, as well, LOL! Sometimes the best meetings happen in the strangest places!

Debby Mayne is a well known author of Christian romance, and one of my "Summerside Sisters"....writing for the Summerside Press "Love
Finds You" romance line, as am I. She's on the far left, and Tamela, who is also a Summerside author and sister, and happens to also be my lovely agent! She's in the middle. Tamela has a number of inspirational romance's in print, and is a very talented author as well.

Irene Brand is another very well known author, who's written over 20 books. I caught up with her in the hallway just after one of Angela Hunt's talks and a she sent me this pic that someone snapped for us. Irene is also one of my Summerside Sisters. Can't wait for our books to start releasing. The first two have just hit the shelves and are available on Amazon right now. Jus
t type in "Love Finds You In" in the search engine, and it will show the ones available to ship now.

Here's a very special person...Mimi, an online friend who read my book, The Other Daughter, and wrote a very nice review. She's been such a huge supporter of Christian fiction and made a special trip to the book signing to chat with several of her favorite authors. I was so blessed to be one of them!

My book, Love Finds You In Last Chance, California, releases with Summerside in February. My editor has it on her desk right now, and my edits and revisions will start soon. I'm soooo excited about this new book! It's a historical romance with a touch of a mystery woven in. Look for it on Amazon by typing in Miralee Ferrell in the search engine, as it doesn't show up on its own just using the title yet.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Christian Fiction--Uplifting or a Waste of Time?

I'll admit that I'm one of "those Christians" that read more fiction than non---less of the self-help books, less Christian living, devotionals, or study guides, than I do fiction. I've had some people look askance at me and wonder why I waste my time.

Of course, now I'm helping add to the mix by writing Christian fiction, as well. But for years I simply read it. No...devoured would be a more accurate word.

Why, you ask? A friend recently told me she'd never read much of any inspirational fiction until I asked her to become an advance reader for my books...prior to them hitting the bookshelves. She's now read three of them, and is loving each one more than the one before. In fact, she told me a few days ago after reading my most recent, that I'm making her into a 'believer' in Christian fiction.

She used to believe that only secular fiction would be well written...that inspirational fiction would probably be cheesy, preachy, tame and boring. Sigh. Unfortunately, for people who haven't experienced it, that's often the belief.

Or, the other side of the coin--those who will ONLY read non-fiction, because that's "real life" and fiction is simply a bunch of make believe that has no relevant use in our lives.

Not so. Take my first book, The Other Daughter. The story line revolves around a married couple who are unequally yoked spiritually. On top of that, add the crisis of broken trust, a child out o f wedlock showing up on their doorstep years after the fact, and a friend who doesn't trust Christians who's trying to destroy the marriage. Do you know anyone in even one of these situations? Maybe someone dealing with a step-child issue, or with foster children? A marriage in crisis because one partner is a committed Christian the other isn't interested? Or one that has cheated in the past, and the truth has just been revealed. Sound like real life, or just make-believe?

Much of Christian fiction now-a-days is realistic and drawn from much that happens today. The suspense/mystery thrillers could fit in with any episode of CSI, only clean and free of the smut and language. The romances can stand up with the best on the secular market, without the sex and titillation, but with all the tenderness and heart pounding romance. The historical fiction will teach you a thing or two about the past, and draw you into the fabric of yesteryear.

Do I support Christian fiction? You bet! And I get to be a part of one of the biggest Christian booksignings that's ever been undertaken. Saturday afternoon, Sept. 20th at the Minneapolis Mall of America, I'll be gathering with over 100 other published authors. Check back here in a couple of days and I'll post a list of all the authors attending. If you're anywhere near the city on that day, I'd love to have you stop by and say hi...or let me sign your book if you have a copy, or point you to one of the other awesome authors you might enjoy.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Awesome Video Praising God!

I'm hoping I can get this YouTube video to work, as I've never tried to upload something from there. The youth of Oslo UPC Norway from United Pentecostal Church put on this amazing presentation. It was directed by a dedicated youth named Joy and the pastors name is Pastor Goran. They did this presentation to music using white gloves and black light. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please click on the play button below and enjoy the wonderful praise music.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Still Fighting the Battle!!

I was wrong and so was the pharmacist....the rash that has continued to crop up since my last post is not related to the x-rays that were taken at fact, that would be extremely rare and highly unlikely. The following Monday I went to the doctor and he felt fairly confident in his diagnosis, but sent me on to a dermatologist to be sure. Yep...Shingles, of all things!

In case you don't know, it looks similar to poison oak, but nastier. Thankfully it doesn't ooze...I'll try not to gross you out with any more description, LOL...and it doesn't itch. But it is accompanied by deep muscle ache from my neck to my wrist and periodic small shooting pains in my skin and under the surface in my muscles. Uncomfortable, but bearable.

However, the doctor informed me I need to slow down and quite frankly, I think the Lord is trying to tell me the same thing. WAY too much going on in my life...a fairly new business that my husband is getting off the ground, with ups and downs and stress....a book deadline looming, our house for sale with no showings or offers yet, moving back to the old house that didn't sell when we built the new one, (we've chosen to sell the new one) and trying to do the bulk of the move with my daughter and son in laws help while my hubby was gone on a business trip. I've taken on too much (along with a huge yard to keep up with and church volunteer work as well) in too short a time period, and my body is screaming that it's time to STOP.

So, I'm trying to listen, but it's SO hard! I want to unpack all the boxes sitting around, clean out the drawers so and put in new liners, go back up and finish packing and moving the piddly stuff still at the other house, then clean it so it can be ready for a potential showing. I want to transplant a bunch of roses that the deer will eat now that they're unattended, and move them to the old house, I want to finish writing my book and start my next one....but don't have the energy to do much of any of it right now. I'm tired. That will pass, but in the meantime, I'm going to rest. At least for a day or two!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's Been A Rough Two Weeks...

I have to admit, I've experienced better. I hope I don't have to go through another two weeks like the last two, for many years to come.

First, I woke with a slightly stiff neck. You know the feeling...can't rotate it quite all the way to either side, but not bad enough to go see a doctor or chiropractor? Two days later it hadn't changed much, but hadn't gotten worse. I took a long walk on a gravel road and started on a slight downhill grade. My feet decided they didn't want to stay on the ground and my bottom hit the dirt...hard. I didn't realize I'd injured my neck, as my rear end was protesting too loudly, LOL!

But the next day, I hurt. The next day, I hurt worse, and I didn't sleep. Finally my daughter convinced me to see her chiropractor. Six visits and a couple of hundred dollars later I was sleeping better (in bed, instead of my recliner) and back to being sore rather than in serious pain. Then pain started flaring up again, only this time in my shoulder and neck. Sigh. Time to see a doctor and get x-rays.

Nothing out of line, nothing damaged, but he confirmed what the Chiropractor told me. I'd given myself a good case of whiplash when I fell and it would take time to heal.
Now I have another problem. My arm, back of my neck and hand...all on my left side, have broken out in large, bumpy, with little water blisters. Looks exactly like poison oak, but it doesn't itch or hurt. Had a pharmacist look at it today (two of them in fact) and they concurred with what I'd guessed. Radiation burns. I didn't know for sure you could have that happen from having x-rays taken, but yes you can. I had six shots taken all in my next, shoulder and upper left arm...and I'm erupting in large rash/red spots from the base of my thumb to the back of my neck. Unsightly, but thankfully not overly painful.

I know God is working on my behalf. I had been asked to speak on Sunday morning at our church on the subject of prayer. I'd had a rough night and didn't sleep well, and woke with pain in my arm yet again.

I decided I'd taken enough from the enemy to last me a good long time, and it was time to say "NO more!". I prayed for a while, and told him to take his pain and get lost, in the mighty name of Jesus. The pain left, and I spoke at church. Several people told me they learned and were blessed, so Satan didn't win the victory he'd hoped to that day. Is the rash gone? No. Is the pain better? Much. I'm trusting that God is going to care for the rest and heal this quickly.
I'm ready to be well again!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our Research Trip to Last Chance

Last Chance 1862--Main Street-------Last Chance Today

Our research trip for my new book, Love Finds You in Last Chance, California.... A romance set in a mining town that's no longer there.

My husband Allen and I arrived at the Sacramento airport early on Thursday afternoon, June 5th, then drove up I-80 to Auburn, across to the small historic town of Foresthill, and on another 13 miles up into the Sierra Nevada mountains to a wonderful B&B/lodge called The Christmas Tree Vineyard Lodge. Our hostess was Claudia, the owner and manager of the lodge and she made us feel welcome and went out of her way to be a help to my research.

Prior to my arrival she contacted people in the local historical group and was given the name of Nolan Smith, an archaeologist who works for Tahoe National Forest as a ranger. He offered to ride with us up to the old town site of Last Chance, but first we spent 30 minutes or so in his office going over forest service maps of Placer county and particularly the area between Foresthill and Last Chance.

Before we even got out the door, he’d armed me with several books that have short bits of information on the old town, and urged me to keep them during our stay at the lodge. At his suggestion we’d rented an SUV with a higher wheel base as he hadn’t been into the old town site this spring and wasn’t sure what the road might be like.

We drove 24 miles at 25 mph and less, down a steep canyon on serpentine roads, then back up the other side to the top of a high ridge. We topped out on the ridge and began to go down the other side another nine miles on a gravel road, losing about 1,000′ in elevation until arriving in the vicinity of Last Chance. On the ridge to the east of town is a flat forested area well over a mile in length. According to historical records it used to be a flat, grassy glade with little or no trees, about two miles outside of town…a perfect setting for the ranch where Alexia lives.

Unfortunately, there isn’t even a foundation still standing where any buildings used to be, but we were able to see several leveled areas, with at least 3 that had surfaces dug into the bank. It was apparent a building had resided in those spots…and one area not far from a beautiful spring had the remnants of what could have been a split rail corral. A few of the posts still had square nails protruding from the sides. According to Nolan, those nails would be pre-1890’s—and could easily have been a corral where my blacksmith/livery kept the horses.

We also visited the few remaining tombstones in the cemetery up on a rise above the town site. Ethan Allen Grosch, the man who first discovered the Comstock lode, died in a tragic accident and was buried there in the 1850’s. His tombstone is clearly marked, along with several others both earlier and later.

I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to see the topography, the setting for the town and learn more detail about the time period and history my book takes place. Stay tuned for more updates as I happen to stumble upon them.

My book will release in February of 2009. Check back in a few days for a sneak peek at the cover and a brief summary of the story.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Someone Precious Is Gone Today

I lost my grandmother today, but I know she's in heaven with Jesus and with her husband who went ahead of her over 40 yrs ago. Grammie lived a full and very long life. She would have celebrated her 99th birthday in July.

She was so much more than my grandmother....she was a lover of children, a witty woman who didn't lose that sense of humor clear to the end. She was fiercely loyal to family and friends and known to everyone who loved her, as Grammie. She attended the small church in Lyle, Wa., for many years, where she and her husband moved (from Eastern Oregon) when just a few years before he passed away.

The picture at the top was taken just a few months ago with the kitty that resides at the home where she stayed. Her mind was sharp and she was still getting around in a wheelchair when a small stroke hit a couple of weeks ago. God was so merciful that He allowed her to slip into a gentle sleep in the small hours of this morning and she simply went on to be with Him.

I'm grateful for the many years I had with my many more than a lot of adults my age (I'm over 50 myself) ever get to experience. My grown kids knew her well, and she's seen great-grandchildren come into the world, as well. I'm celebrating her life today and cherishing the precious memories of a wonderful woman who loved me.
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