Friday, November 30, 2007

The 12 Authors of Christmas Tour!

Hey y'all!

Starting tomorrow, December 1st, I'm hosting " The 12 Authors of Christmas." Stop by each day to read Christmas memories and traditions of your favorite authors, and perhaps a few new-to-you authors.

I'll be hosting the first half of December with the lovely and gracious Tricia Goyer hosting the last half of the month and the sweet and smiling Camy Tang running overlap mid month on her site.

We even have a few bonus authors* on the tour.

Look forward to celebrating cyber Christmas with you all.

Here's the line up

Dec 1 - Colleen Coble
Dec 2 - Kathryn Mackle
Dec 3 - Janelle Scheinder
Dec 4 - Deb Raney
Dec 5 - Gayle Roper
Dec 6 - Kristen Heitzmann
Dec 7 - Terri Blackstock
Dec 8 - DiAnn Mills
Dec 9 - Jill Nelson
Dec 10 - Donita Paul
Dec 11 - Marlo Schalesky
Dec 12 - Linda Hall
Dec 13 - Gail Martin*
Dec 14 - Tricia Goyer!*

On the 13th, hop over to Tricia's site for the next round. Here's the line up.

December 13 -- Linda Ford
December 14 -- Rachel Hauck
December 15 -- Camy Tang
December 16 -- Bonnie Leon
December 17 -- Tamara Leigh
December 18 -- Kim Sawyer
December 19 -- Roxanne Henke
December 20 -- Rene Gutteridge
December 21 -- Nancy Moser
December 22 -- Susan Meissner
December 23 -- Karen Ball
December 24 -- Neta Jackson
December 25 -- Maureen Lang
*Bonus* Mindy Clark

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Weclome Cindy Woodsmall

My friend and author, Cindy Woodsmall, has a new release in her Sisters of the Quilt series. Cindy is doing great with these wonderful stories. Take a look at a blurb about book two, "When The Morning Comes.

Her relationship with former fiance Paul Waddell in tatters, Hannah Lapp has fled her home in hopes of finding refuge with another Amish outcast, her shunned Aunt Zabeth in Ohio. Hampered by limited education and hiding her true identity, Hannah struggles to understand the con
fusing world of the Englischers and embrace unfamiliar freedoms, but a deepening friendship with the handsome Martin Palmer renews her courage to face the future.

Meanwhile, Hannah's absence and the distressing events that led to her disappearance create turmoil among her loved ones in Owl's Perch, Pennsylvania. Her father stubbornly refuses to search for her or to acknowledge increasing signs of instability in daughter Sarah, who suffers secret guilt over her sister's ruined reputation.

Fiance Paul Waddell is wracked with regret over his betrayal of Hannah's trust and is concerned with her whereabouts. He befriends Hannah's remaining allies - brother Luke, best friend Mary, and loyal Matthew Esh - trying to convince them to help search for his love. Rich with authentic details of Amish community and powerful in its theme of hope beyond measure.

When the Morning Comes succeeds as a compelling follow-up to Cindy Woodsmall's best-selling debut novel, "When the Heart the Cries."

Cindy Woodsmall is an author, wife, and mother of three sons. Her first novel released in 2006 to much acclaim, including a Reviewer’s Choice Award from the Road to Romance website, and became a CBA bestseller. Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband and the youngest of their three sons.

Leave a comment to enter your name for a free book! I'm giving away "When the Morning Comes" AND "When Cries The Heart."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Horrible Picture taker

I confess, I love taking pictures. But, I'm horrible at remembering.

I cart my little digital around, then forget to use it. Or, forget to gather friends and family for pictures.

I miss my Nikon SLR where I could compose and adjust. I'm not sure I enjoy "point and shoot" photography.

Anyway, we are home from Tennessee/Indiana/Tennessee. We saw lots of family, but not every one. Those are hard gatherings to orchestrate. But maybe next spring.

The above is a picture of my with my nephew, Asa. We were putting up my mom's Christmas tree when we paused for this fun, spontaneous, wearing-no-makeup shot. He's a cutie.
Very sweet.

This is my sister Rebeka with her little one, Susanna, after getting her little hair combed back in pony tails. She'd walk around brushing her hair from her face with both hands. So sweet and cute. She looks a lot like her daddy in this picture. Suz, not Beka. ;)

And, here is my Florida car sprinkled with snow!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Winners of the Rene Gutteridge Boo Humbug!

Finally, I had Tony draw the winners! Crystal Miller and Ronie Kendig. Please email me your snail mails!

Blessings to all and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hearts Evergreen by Robin Lee Hatcher

Hi everyone, please welcome my friend and author, Robin Lee Hatcher, out with another fabulous Christmas romance.

What goes better with Christmas lights and hot chocolate than a good romance?

In A Cloud Mountain Christmas (Robin's story in Hearts Evergreen, a collection of two novellas from Steeple Hill), Maddie Scott, reeling from the news that her ex-husband has remarried and is expecting a child, heads to Idaho's Cloud Mountain Lodge to negotiate the sale of a valuable manuscript discovered there.

But could the lodge's proprietor, Tony Anderson, a man she knew years before in college, be just what Maddie needs to have a merry Christmas after al

About Hearts Evergreen, the Library Journal says: "Two holiday novellas by a Christy Award winner (Hatcher) and a rising author in the inspirational romance genre (Springer) offer romantic fare perfect for curling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate."
To read an excerpt from A Cloud Mountain Christmas, visit Robin's web site:

About Robin Lee Hatcher...

The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

She enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies.

She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Screaming Nieces

I'm in southern Indiana visiting my sister. I drove up from Nashville yesterday. Still not feeling "top drawer" but doing well.

My sister has four children, 2 boys, 2 girls. They boys are teens and know Aunt Rachel well, but the girls are 3 and 1, and just getting to know me.

Last time I saw them, they weren't too thrilled about me. Soooo, I planned to make friends with them this weekend and over Thanksgiving.

I walked in the house and Gracie, the older girl, was shy for about five seconds, then was ready to play. The younger, Susie, was waking up from a nap and when her Daddy handed her to me, she drew back with a sleepy stare as if to say, "Hey, you're not my mommy but you look like her."

Then she put her head on my shoulder.

The big clincher was big wheel racing in the street. I pulled Susie in the wagon and Gracie peddled her big wheel as fast as she could. Gotta say, I was impressed.

So, I've made friends with the neices. They are so cute and funny. Later, however, they were playing with their brothers, running around and screaming! Little girls have big pipes!

I wanted to post pictures of Anne's wedding, so hopefully I'll figure out how to do it this week. I've got my laptop but am not hooked to the internet. I'm using OPPC. (Other people's PCs.) I miss my Mac! ;)

This week is busy, but fun. Up to Indy for a few days, back down to my sister's for Thanksgiving, then to my Mom's in Tennessee where one of my brothers also lives then home.

I'm ready to get back to writing. I've about 35K to finish I think.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Big Fat Weekend Update

Okay, okay, I know y'all been wondering where in the heck is Rachel?

I mean, geez, is she not blogging anymore? Has she gone mad? Did her deadline bury her alive? (No, that was the last book...)
Is she in Nashville with her friend Susie Warren attending a friend's wedding?


Prizes all around. And I will draw names for the Rene Gutteridge books. Hang on until next week.

So yes, I'm in Nashville for Anne's wedding. I drove up Wednesday. Tony had to stay behind because of things going on at church, and every other pastor and elder being gone. The timing was lousy, but he flies up to Indianapolis on Monday and I'll met him then.

Well, I got sick. Bad sick. Like throw up a lot sick. Hasn't happened to me in years. But I was well enough to have lunch with the lovely and smart Ami McConnell as well as visit Thomas Nelson.

Friday I recovered enough to go shopping with Suz. We had a blast. The mall had this hydro massage machines, so we did fifteen minutes. Very nice. Came back to the hotel, relaxed because my strength was still coming back, then went to the Bluebird Cafe with a couple of Nelson friends, Lisa and Katie.

Don Schlitz was in the round with a couple of others. He wrote the Gamble, and Forever and Ever Amen. So cool to hear him sing his songs.

Right now, it's Saturday morning and we're going to Pancake Pantry for breakfast, then get ready for the wedding. The picture is of me, Lisa Young, Susan Warren and Katie Schroeder at the Bluebird sitting under a picture Dolly Parton.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Creston Mapes isn't a Nobody!

Everyone, please meet Creston Mapes, one of the nicest writers in the biz.

His new release is "NOBODY."

The first two books, Dark Star: "Confessions of a Rock Idol" and "Full Tilt" were made up a two book series known as The Rock
Star Chronicles.

Read below as Creston tells us about this book:

The story behind NOBODY is pretty cool.

I was with my late father, Bernie, at a park in St. Augustine, FL, when we saw a homeless man sitting on a park bench, clutching a loaf of bread, tearing off pieces, eating some and throwing chunks to the dozens of black birds all around him.

My dad noted that "he" would be a good subject for a book. Then, when my publisher suggested Las Vegas as a backdrop, and a research visit to that city, I set up a day with Brian Brooks of the Nevada Health Centers, who took me all over the Vegas homeless community. We visited free clinics, talked to doctors and nurses, went to the soup kitchens and encampments where they "live."

I also met with Jud Wilhite, pastor of Vegas's booming Central Christian Church (10,000-12,000) . Jud shared a moving poem with me called I Stand By The Door, which amazingly aligned with my spiritual walk of getting too steeped in the church, and not concerned enough about the people outside the doors of it.

Since I was a reporter at one time, my main character, Hudson Ambrose, is a reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal, the city's real paper, which I visited when in Las Vegas.

The book begins when Hud hears a pre-dawn call on the police scanner at the newspaper about an injured person at a bus stop along The Strip.

When he arrives, he finds a murdered homeless man. Waiting around for the police, Hud knows the case will get tied up in red tape when they do arrive.

He wants to get an ID on the guy before the police come. He can hear the sirens bearing down. Quickly, he searches the mans pockets and is shocked to find a bank book with close to a million dollars in it.

A safe deposit box key drops into the puddle of blood at the man's feet. Hud's got a decision to make. And off we go into NOBODY, and Hudson Ambrose's breakneck investigation into the life of the homeless man, Chester Holte.

Why was a former rich Atlanta business mogul living homeless on the streets of Las Vegas? What happened after his wife died in their private plane crash. Who was the beautiful Holly Queens and what was her relationship with Chester?

And why does virtually everyone in the Las Vegas homeless community believe Chester was an angel in disguise?

Visit Creston at
www.crestonmapes. com

Friday, November 09, 2007

My Sister

My sister is ten years younger than I am.

She arrived on a March morning after years of begging my parents for help against my three brothers.

The picture on the left is from June of '75. I'm 14, wearing my Publix uniform.

I've worked there a few weeks probably. Dig my octagon shaped glasses.

Beka is four. Too cute.

Though I have to admit, she wasn't much help in the fight at first. Just too Gumby.

Then, by the time she needed me, I was off, exploring the world, making my way. "It's all about meeeee!"

Now that we're older, we're sisters and friends. She's a great mom to four kids and writes the best
blogs. You have to check them out. And, oh yeah, she's beautiful.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fun Day, Didn't do what I planned, but still, fun day

Woke up with plans to write, but made a fun phone call that took awhile, critted a scene for a friend, dashed off to get my hair colored and cut, then met two fav writers and friends at Barnes & Noble.

Davis Bunn and Mark Mynheir.

We always have a great time talking the writing life and craft.

Thanks friends!


Sunday, November 04, 2007


Holiness is a tough topic. Hard to understand. The line between our works and faith, and trusting in the work of Jesus gets blurred some times.

I was listening to a book on CD this week and there was a line about "depending on your own works." Honestly, I forget the exact wording and setting, but I burst into tears, struck by His holiness.

There is nothing I can do to earn grace, buy holiness, win love. It's all on Him.

Song of Solomon 2

7 Where do you pasture your flock,
Where do you make it lie down at noon?
For why should I be like one who veils herself
Beside the flocks of your companions?"

8"If you yourself do not know,
Most beautiful among women,
Go forth on the trail of the flock
And pasture your young goats
By the tents of the shepherds.

Here Jesus tells the work weary-never-say-no Believer to only do the things He's called them to do under the authority of the church.

"Go forth on the trail of the flock" means hang out with other Believers.

"And pasture your young goats" means only do the things I've called you to do.

"By the tents of the shepherds" means stay under church government.

What we do is work so hard, serve on every committee, never say no because it seems that works proves our faith and righteousness.

But then we are so tired, or jaded, or weary, we lose sight of the One we are trying to please, Jesus.

Holiness isn't what we do, it's who we are because of what He's done. I know at times I've felt, "I'm okay with God because I've done this, this or this."

But really, I'm only okay because He died and rose again.

So, be holy because He is holy, but trust in His work, not your own. Find that balance of doing and being.

Remember to keep the favorite one challenge. Be humble, yet confident in love!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Rene Gutteridge and Boo, Humbug! WIN FREE BOOK


Please welcome author and friend, Rene Gutteridge. I met Rene online, then at a writer's retreat last summer. She's as charming and wonderful as you would imagine. Humble, sweet, loves her God and her family.

She's revising her popular Boo series with a Christmas installation
Boo, Humbug! stirring up a large amount of holiday havoc.

It's Christmastime in Skary, and the town is planning an original production of A Christmas Carol with a horror spin.

As showtime approaches, things go very awry for director Lois Stepaphanopolis. She panics when she discovers that her marketing director loathes Christmas and that the audience has been promised not Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but the real Christmas story. Can the actors pull off the improv of all improvs and convince their community to embrace the true meaning of the Christmas season?

Boo, Humbug! offers readers a delightful glimpse into small town, community life with heartwarming humor and winsome characters. And in the end, the true meaning of Christmas shines out bright and clear, in a decidedly un-Skary way.

Rene Gutteridge is the author of 10 novels, including the Boo series, the Storm series, The Occupational Hazards series and My Life as a Doormat, a Women of Faith selection for 2006. She has been published over 30 times as a playwright, and holds a degree in screenwriting, graduating magna cum laude from Oklahoma State University . Rene is married to Sean, a musician, and they have two young children. They make their home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My own favorite one testimony

Sunday morning I didn't lead worship, so I sat in the congregation. I'd been struggling with a couple of issue, praying, seeking God, asking what I should do about them.

I repented of attitudes I'd had - even though my struggle was balancing what I discerned about a situation without judging and being angry. We've all been there.

As I stood trying worshipping, but mostly repenting, I was getting anywhere. Feeling more condemned. Worship is supposed to be about Him. Once I've dealt with my guilt and sin by repenting, I should be confident I'm forgiven and enter His presence.

Suddenly, I stopped, exhaled and said, "Jesus, here I am, Your favorite one."

WHOOOSH! My eyes filled with tears as love and peace washed over me. I could enter into worship. Great feeling.