Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm like an athlete

Same routine every day until the book is finished. 

Get up, go to McDonalds,

try to wake up,

boot laptop,

take thirty minutes to goof around in email, read blogs,

open manuscript,

launched DVD of Justin Rizzo leading worship at KC "One Thing,"

eat no meat or sweets, (okay so this a Daniel Fast, still...)

start editing where left off day before,

Maintain mojo.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sweet Caroline is almost here!

Sweet Caroline, my next Thomas Nelson book debuts February 12. I'm so excited.

Romantic Times Book Club wrote:

Hauck's adorable novel contains the multi-layered characters readers have come to expect from her books. The enjoyable story and unpredictable ending entertains and offers much to think about.

- 4.5 Stars, Melissa Parcel, Romantic Times Book Club

I'm so busy finishing Love Starts With Elle I haven't thought much about promoing Caroline's story, so I thought next week I'd write a "Behind The Scenes With Caroline Sweeney" blog series and talk a little about this book and why you want to buy it. :)

Isn't it funny, so much of the time we just see the book cover and blurb and it's hard to know, "Why do I want to invest my time to read this book?"

So next week I'll talk about why I invested seven months writing this book (besides having a deadline) and why it might be fun for y'all to read.

But today, I'm back to work on Elle. This story will be more straight up romance with a small subplot. But, it's a great story!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A wonderful dream

A great vision visited me in the night. Ohio State played a third National Championship game and Won!

I said, "See, they are the National Champs!"

And to be honest, I don't think the Nighttime Tylenol for colds effected me at all.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Candidate Guideline

Two great American's said:

And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your county can do for you, but what you can do for your country.
- John F. Kennedy

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

- Martin Luther King

As we go through this election year, listen to the candidates. What are they really saying, what does it mean to us if their plans are instituted, what are they are NOT saying? We are so lulled by the rhetoric.

We've got to get back to personal responsibility for ourselves and our families and our country.

Compare what all the candidates are saying with the above quotes by great Americans. Are we hearing "ask why you can do for your country?" Or are we hearing, "this is what the government can do for you."

Are we are judging by the content of character or by skin color, gender and "sexual orientation?"

In this election, pray for God to reveal His plan for our nation and vote for the candidate He puts on your heart. But we need a guideline.

Go to to see how candidates line up with issues that matter to you.

Peace to all

Sunday, January 20, 2008

God's Love

Isn't this a great verse from Paul's letter to the Romans? (Chapter 5, verse 5)

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Make this your personal prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to pour out love in your heart for Jesus, for others.

Speaking of...

We don't always have the right impression of people. Here's a story of mine in this. A few years ago I saw a video of a man talking about the love of God and while he spoke words I believed to be true, and he was affiliated with a ministry I respect, I felt he was really arrogant.

He spoke like a politician, you know, sounding so much about himself though he spoke of Jesus.

Fast forward a few years, I met this man in my living room. He came to speak at some meetings and I was anxious to meet him. He walked in, greeted other guest and speakers in the room, but never once spoke to his hostess, me.

Now, at the risk of sounding like a diva, I didn't mind that he immediately engaged in conversation with others, they were people he knew. Maybe he's shy about meeting new people, maybe he didn't realized he missed being introduced to me.

While it didn't help my impression of him, I gave him the benefit of doubt. Throughout the weekend, situations arose, slight conflict, and while discussing these issues with a mutual friend, I confessed, "He is so arrogant."

A weekend in my home and while we were busy with meetings, he didn't say more than 100 words to me, or hubby, or our team.

Fast forward a few more years to last night. I happen upon a podcast of his wife speaking of him. In such a heart of genuine love she said, "When I first met my husband the thing that stood out to me was his humility. He was a leader, but did not run over people."

I was amazed. Of all the words I would use to describe this man, based on my brief encounter and distant observations, humble is not one of them. Passionate, intense, lover of Jesus, but humble? No.

So, who needs to change here? Me. My impression is wrong, no matter what this man projects to outside observers.

It was a lesson to me that I need to seek God about how I view others instead of making judgments based on my weak human heart.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I should post

But as I'm on my way out the door, then back to work on Love Starts With Elle, I can't think of much to write.

Besides, I need to save my energy and words for da book!

Truly, I pray you all are having a God kissed day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Please welcome my friend and author Susan Meissner. I've known Susan for a few years now and love her heart and spirit. She's a beautiful, fabulous woman in love with Jesus. Check out her latest release.

Blue Heart Blessed

Left standing at the altar, Daisy Murien, a wounded but hopeful romantic, opens a secondhand wedding dress boutique, hoping to soothe her broken heart while giving doomed wedding dresses a second chance at love.

Her predictable days take a sharp turn, though, when the retired Episcopal priest who blesses the tiny, blue satin heart she sews into each dress falls ill.

When the priest's brooding and recently divorced son arrives with plans to take his ailing father away, a contest of wills begins between two stubborn - and hurting - souls.

While fighting to keep Father Laurent close by, Daisy finally begins to understand why she has routinely convinced potential buyers not to buy the one gown that started her business - her own.

She doesn't want to give up on the dream of a fairytale romance. This compelling story is about the magnificence of unconditional love and God's impeccable timing in bringing it about.

Publisher's Weekly said this about Blue Heart Blessed:

"Meissner tells her story well, and her Christian themes are interwoven throughout with a deft touch. Readers will appreciate some fresh elements: an Ecuadorian couple that cooks for the apartment dwellers every Sunday, and the one gown in Daisy's inventory she does not want to sell.

The ending is well told if conventional, with all the loose ends neatly tied up, which should please fans of "happily ever after" romance novels."

Romantic Times gave it 4½ stars and chose it for one of their Top Picks for February:

"Meissner's unique story is a treat. It's filled with realistic, wounded characters who rely on God's grace and guidance to see them through. Themes of learning to trust God and waiting for His perfect timing exude warmth and love."

Where did this story idea come from?

I was on a long car ride with a friend one afternoon a couple years ago. She had just seen her roommate's wedding dress and she was describing it to me. It sounded so beautiful. I said something like, "It's kind of a shame such a lovely dress will only be worn once."

As soon as those words were out of my mouth, a story began to bloom in my head about a woman who opens a boutique and sells second-hand wedding dresses.

I began to imagine what kind of woman would open a shop like that and by the time we got to our destination, I had a title for this book, my quirky character Daisy, and a reason why she can’t seem to sell the one dress that began it all.

And I knew this would be a story about waiting on God for true love - that is, love that is true.

I've got a great blog started that will dovetail nicely with this book. The blog, called Blue Heart Blessed by the way, will feature stories, ideas, op-ed pieces, poems, jokes, lists, you name it, on quirky engagements, second chances at love, proposals, laughable wedding stories and the like.

I'd love to hear from readers and writers alike, especially if they've a story to share. Here's the web address:

Published by Harvest House, Blue Heart Blessed will release on February 1.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Home for Christmas

A couple of "our girls" came for Christmas, Carrie and Elizabeth.

The slumbered in the guest room and it was fun and pleasant to have them here. One lives in D.C., the other in Tallahassee.

This season, Tony and I learned a new game, Carcassonne. It's a "board" game with puzzle like pieces where the players build cities, fields and roads.

Each player claims one of the above and earns points for completing a city or road, or possessing a field.

We play the game at night in about 30 minutes. It's fun. We used to play Scrabble and Pente, so this game is a fun addition.

One afternoon we were sitting in the living room and a thump resounded from the window. Pal barked and barked. Finally I went out to see what caused his concern.

I found a small grey bird in the front bed. Poor little thing broke his neck on impact. I picked him up and tried to pray life (yes, I did) back into him.

He actually fluttered and I thought I might be holding a miracle in my palm. Hey, if I can pray a bird back to life, I'll try people next. But, it just his nerves releasing energy. He's in birdy heaven.

Be sure to pop over to MyBookTherapy where we're spending a year with a hero!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I wanna be found faithful

I wanna be found faithful
I wanna be found steady
I wanna be found faithful
Until the end.
Justin Rizzo

Just a quick update as I need to get editing/rewriting today. Elle's story still needs an ending. I know it, just haven't written it all the way.

Grace, grace

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Seven Weird Things About Me

Well, I was going to blog on the line from the Lord's Prayer about "lead me not into temptation," but... my sister tagged me to admit seven weird things about myself.

So, tomorrow or Monday, I'll download my great wisdom on the temptation line.

Seven weird things.... (and only seven, you can't make me confess more.)

7.) It's hard to surprise me. If you even hint, I'll figure it out. Before Tony and I were married, I traveled a lot and we were talking on the phone and he said, "I have a surprise for you when you get home." Instantly, I knew - he'd fixed my bike. A few months earlier, I'd been hit by a car riding my bike and the wheel was bent. Don't worry, she was going like 2 miles an hour, but still, I was green for a day.

6.) I must have a balance of lamp light throughout a room. I don't like overhead lights. I don't like to watch the TV in the dark unless the Christmas tree is on in the corner. When I worked in the corp world, I had the maintenance tech remove specific florescent lights so I could have the right balance over my head and around me with lamps.

5.) I love Publix Supermarket. I especially love the one by my house. Tony suggested, "Let's look at moving into Melbourne." My response? "But then I won't be by the Bayside Publix."

4.) I go to McDonalds most mornings, not all, for a Diet Coke. I say hello to Lynn who takes my order, and Jane and Henry who eat breakfast there every morning.

3.) I always wonder if the next book will be my last, or if it will be my worst. Now, I'm trying to change my thinking to the next book will be my best, and the first of many.

2.) I read two or three books at once. If I'm stuck in my writing, I'll go pick up a book and start reading in the middle trying to figure out how it's done. This of course does nothing but frustrate me because you can't start a book in the middle and as Paul wrote, "It's stupid to compare yourself to others."

1.) I want to grow more confident every day that Jesus loves me and I'm His favorite one and if that makes me weird to some, so be it!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Amy Grant's book, Mosaic

I have copies of Amy Grant's book to give away. Leave a comment to be eligible for a drawing.

I loved this book, being both warmed and challenged by Grant's most charmed life. Born in a family with Nashville roots to a doctor and his wife, Grant is the youngest of four sisters. By the stories she tells, she's lived a privileged, loved, charmed life, being discovered at fifteen by a music producer looking for a new Christian music sound.

Yet, I was moved by her stories, and felt God's love for her and through her. I sat in McDonalds drinking a Diet Coke, finishing the book, weeping, just with a glad-God feeling. "Thank you for Amy Grant."

This is not an autobiography. Don't expect details of her relationship with Gary Chapman. I appreciated Grant's approach to his part in her life. She recognizes him, but never comments. As spectators, we all know their marriage had its ups and downs. We can't begin to know the whos and whys - it's not for us to know. There are always two sides to every story, marriage, relationship and Grant honored her children by avoiding details of her life with Chapman.

Great read.