Friday, January 30, 2015

Interview & Giveaway with Preslaysa Williams

Winner of Lori Benton's Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn: Grace M!
And Loree Huebner is the winner of the tax relief give-away!
I'm excited to introduce to you all to a fellow aspiring authoress. My beautiful friend, Preslaysa Williams. You'll find she's as awesome as her picture and ten times the sweetness.


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So tell us what first inspired you to write your current book?

My current book, which is my second contemporary romance but the third book I’ve completed, came about when an image of an old, abandoned country church came to mind. I wrote in my spiral notebook about the church, describing it, pondering its story. Then a Bible verse came to mind:  “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” I set my little writing snippet aside and went about my business, but that church stayed with me.  When something sticks with me, I delve deeper with it. If it doesn’t stay, I let it go. After I finished working on my middle grade novel, I created characters who had been affected by this old church. Right now, I’m editing the story.

2.       Who is your most favorite character (and yes, you HAVE to pick one J)

My favorite character is Havah in Tosca Lee’s Havah. I loved Havah’s perspective of life before and after The Fall. I was literally weeping when I finished the story because I could relate to Havah’s heart, her yearning to return to the Garden and have unbroken fellowship with her Creator.

3.       Is there a spiritual element or thread you hope your readers to catch as they read?

Hmmm…we don’t have to work to fix ourselves or our past mistakes. Jesus has already done the work. We simply have to receive it by faith and walk in His grace and His power. I once read a book that said God created man on the sixth day and on the seventh day, He rested. As a result, man began his existence on this planet from a position of rest, not work. The thought struck me as both obvious and profound. This idea came out while writing my current story.

4.       Where are you at in your writing career? Published, not published, searching, unsure?
Right now I am a pre-published novelist, and I’m training myself to be a book writing and editing machine. I call it training because it can be a challenge to write as a mom with small children. I’m gathering as many tricks in my arsenal as possible so that I can do this without sacrificing time with my family. (I had a light bulb moment when I discovered that limiting my time on the internet helps, lol.) I love writing fiction. I know I love it because I’ve stuck with it for seven years now-I can’t say the same for my multiple direct selling ventures :-/

Favorite color and why?
Pink because I’m a girl.

6.       Favorite restaurant?
I love Indian food. If you take me to an Indian restaurant, I’ll love you forever.


7.       On our blog, Erica constantly tries to introduce the concept of tea drinking. So, are you in her camp, or do you side with Anne and I as bonafide coffee drinkers?
Grr…why do I have to choose? Truth be told, I drink English breakfast tea with soy milk and two teaspoons of brown sugar at breakfast, and I have coffee (a Starbucks latte from their storefront or Starbucks coffee from my pantry) in the afternoon to ready myself for editing.  I am caffeinated for a good part of the day :-/

8.       Tell us about the last thing that scared you to pieces

My husband recently went on a getaway with the children for the weekend so I can have a quiet house to myself. (Yeah, he’s the best) I didn’t know what to do with myself! So I decided to listen to an audiobook in my bedroom and fold laundry. (I live a pretty wild life, huh?) Anyway, while I was listening, my back was turned to the door, and the door creaked open. I thought I saw the shadow of a person and FREAKED OUT. It was just my crazy cat.

9.       Your favorite all-time cartoon as a kid and what was it about it that you liked so much?
Thundercats. I had a crush on Lionel. I thought he was VERY HANDSOME. Don’t ask why a seven year old thought a lion was handsome. Maybe it was his commanding presence, muscled arms and chiseled cheekbones.

 They call me the Selfie Queen which sounds terribly self-absorbed. So can you save my reputation and share the honor by posting a selfie here? J

Sure! This is a selfie of me and my 4 yo right before we headed out to story time. I have on my Mom face, and he has on his kid face. It was also one of my first ventures into Selfie Land.



How do our readers connect with you, buy your books, or follow your writing journey?

You can visit me at www.preslaysa.com I blog on Mondays and Thursdays about love in all its forms. I also welcome guest bloggers so if you want to be on the blog, feel free to contact me. 

It took me a while to figure out the purpose of my blogging and my novel writing, but it’s become clear to me as of late. Novel writing and blogging is my little way to bring light to a dark world. (Cheesy? Yes. True? Double yes.)

Here are my other social media spots:

Last but not least, what’s one story idea you’ve had that ventures out of your typical genre?
I’ll give you two!
My middle grade novel is about a Los Angeles based tween television star who gets her hit show cancelled. Afterwards, her parents divorce. Her show biz crazy Mama moves them to New York and enrolls her in a competitive performing arts school. She hates the school and she hates acting, but she has to navigate all that in the story.

I also have a half-written young adult novel about a teenage girl who descended from a fallen angel and a human. She struggles with the fact that her father (who is the fallen angel) is labeled as evil and is bound for hell because of his choice to love her mother. She has only seen her father’s loving side and just doesn’t get all of God’s rules. Man…that sounds good! I may resurrect it one day.

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This is one swell lady!! So head over to her web site and FB and so on! Get to know Preslaysa! You won't regret it! AND!! Leave a blog comment to be entered to win a $5 Amazon gift card from Prelaysa and some Wisconsin roasted coffee from me! :)



BIO: Preslaysa Williams (pronounced press-lay-suh) is a novelist and expert multi-tasker. She writes and edits fiction while her children nap and reads novels during her (almost) daily walks. A 2013 ACFW Genesis finalist and a 2014 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist, she writes inspirational romance and middle grade fiction of the happily ever after sort. Visit her online at www.preslaysa.com 




 _________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday ~ Mayo Clinic Rochester

Erica here: I live in Rochester, MN, the home of the World Famous Mayo Clinic. The Clinic is huge here in Southeast Minnesota, and there are two satellite clinics, one in Arizona and one in Florida. Mayo employs more than 30,000 people here in Rochester, the campus is comprised of many, many buildings and two hospitals here in town.

But the Clinic wasn't always a behemoth. It actually started from humble beginnings. The Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi Heights Convent came to the aid of the city after a tornado ripped through and destroyed much of the town. In the aftermath of the storm, the sisters raised the funds to build a hospital, St. Mary's, and they asked Dr. William Worrell Mayo to be the attending physician. From these small beginnings, the mighty Mayo Clinic was born. Dr. W.W. Mayo's sons, Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie revolutionized medicine, encouraging doctors to specialize and become excellent in narrower fields of medicine. They pioneered surgical and medical treatments, clinical practices, and efficient patient/doctor interaction.

The above picture is of Sister Mary Alfred Moes, the woman who spearheaded the Franciscan efforts here in Rochester that changed the field of medicine forever. Each of the sisters who has served as the Superior General of the convent has a building at St. Mary's hospital named for her. Alfred, Frances, Joseph, Domatilla, Mary Brigh, and Generose. Sister Generose still has an office at St. Mary's.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is it okay to be SAD?

Gooseberry Falls, MN, frozen solid.
Sometimes I get SAD. In fact, every year for the past four or five. You see, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. It arrives in mid-to-late November, and it departs in mid-April. My SAD takes the form of lethargy, disinterest, sleep interruptions, and mood swings.

Here is a clinical definition of Seasonal Affective Disorder from The Mayo Clinic. (You can read more about SAD by clicking HERE)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.
Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy and medications.

My doctor is aware of my struggles, and he's very understanding. I'm also blessed with a literary agent who understands and encourages me. My family also helps tremendously.

One place I wish understood more about mental illness in all its forms though is the Church. "You just need to pray more." "You need to read your Bible more and claim its promises." "You need to examine your life for sin and repent." "You don't need a doctor, you need a pastor's counsel." These are all things I've heard said in church, or written by pastors, or blogged about by Christians.

I know I need to pray more. I know I need to read my Bible more and claim its promises. I know I need to examine my life and repent of my sin. For my spiritual health, first and foremost. But telling me that I need to be more spiritual to conquer mental illness is the same as telling someone who is blind that if they just prayed more, they'd be able to see, or someone who has cancer would be cured if they just repented of their sins.

Sigh. I don't know how many of these people have suffered from mental illness or had a close family member who has suffered from mental illness. I do know this kind of thinking has hurt many people, causing them to leave the church and seek out a place where they are understood and cared for.

There are a few things I wish believers would understand about mental illness.

1. Just because it isn't physical doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.
2. Just because you can't operate on it doesn't mean it isn't a sickness.
3. Mental illness isn't a character flaw or a spiritual failing.
4. Taking medication for an illness, mental or otherwise, isn't a sin.
5. People with mental illnesses aren't loved less by God.

Mental illness is a scary thing for most people. They don't know what to say, what to do, how to act. Everyone's experience is different, but it's always all right to ask how someone is doing and give them a word of encouragement.

Gooseberry Falls, MN




Executive Assistant
Earl Grey Aficionado 
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Hello from Disney World

Hello from Disney World and Orlando Fl! I'm writing this blog post on my phone so forgive the formatting and huge pictures. Lol

It's a fun vacation with just my Kokomo Jo and her Aunt and cousin (same age). Swimming, roller coasters and PRINCESSES!!

I look forward to being back in full form for the blog next week! Don't forget to check out Anne's tax survival kit!! Saweeeeett!!!

What's your favorite vacation spot?

Tax Survival Kit

Okay, I was going to be all like reflective and ooey about how to survive the Tax Season.
Nuts to that! This is what we really need to survive the tax season!!

Coffee
Chocolate
Tea
Books
Laughs
Easy Suppers

So, I'm not telling you how to survive, I'm giving away your survival kit!!


To enter the drawing, leave a comment about tax season, or FAFSA forms, or organizing your desk, and filing---how do you survive it??

Who does all the paperwork at your house? You? Your spouse? 
The Taxman?

How do you resist the desire to shove it all through a giant shredder? LOL.
Are you paperless? Or a hardcopy-type? Which is best?
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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
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Represented by Sarah Freese, WordServe Literary

Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Report & Give-away: The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton

Winner of last week's "A Side of Faith" by Krista Phillips is .... MERRY!
The second novel from budding author Lori Benton, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, is as delightful as her first.

Only it's even better. It's layered and believable, and a feast for the soul who loves rural country life and history.

~~Last of the Mohicans meets 2014 new movie release, Belle
~~Sweeping & Romantic
~~Fascinating History & Wonderful setting


Tamsen Littlejohn, is nothing if not brave. Though desperate, she would rather embark into the unknown with a man she hardly knows yet believes honorable, than compromise her hand in marriage to a man she's been promised to by her stepfather, a man who would toss aside the care of a lesser man in pursuit of her beauty. For freedom and a better life, she would run. For safety from violent murderer, she would flee and shed her cultured life.

Jesse Bird would never so much as hesitate to act for the defense of a noble cause. Though his name is a burrowed one, his roots unclear, and his identity a mystery, there is one thing he knows. He would marry Tamsen to save her.

When Tamsen and Jesse run from a murderer to save her life, they are entangled in the post Revolutionary War political battle for the statehood of Tennesee, then known as Franklin. And little known to either of them, the unknown roots of each of their identities reveal secrets each of them must face as their past unravels on the road to freedom as Tamsen's pursuers are on their heels.

Will they have to run forever? Will they marry for love or for safety?

I thoroughly enjoyed Lori's winsome writing style. I love the back woods and rural historical living. Lori's wonderful descriptions will fill your senses and make you think you've just taken a walk in the woods with Tamsen and Jesse. The romance is believable and tender, and Lori's "less is more" scenes are sweet and lovely. I only wish I could see it on the big screen someday.

Lori's Bio: 
"Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace."

Lori's debut novel, Burning Sky, earned the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.

Her next release is set for April, 2015, The Wood's Edge.




Readers: 
Have any of you heard of the historical Battle of Franklin?

The term "over-mountain"refers to frontiersmen who pushed west beyond the Appalachian Mountains after the Revolutionary War.

Sycamore Shoals, Nolichucky, and Carter's Valley are locations mentioned in this story. Can anyone name the modern city names for these historic places?



Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter
Represented by Sarah Freese, WordServe Literary


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Son!

Hard to believe you're turning 19 this week. That January day seems so long ago and yet, just yesterday. The temperatures were in the deep freeze, double-digits below zero, snow was piled up higher than our house, and the Vikes were not in the Super Bowl...again. :)

Our family has been so blessed to have you. I can't believe that baby boy has turned into such a strapping young man.

It's hard to let you grow up, and yet, exciting, too. You'll always be my baby boy, but you're my grown son, too. I remember you as a snuggly little bundle of wiggles with a ready laugh and a desire to run everywhere, and I eagerly anticipate what God has in store for you as you complete your education and launch out into the world.





Happy Birthday, James!















Executive Assistant
Earl Grey Aficionado 
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Reads of 2015


I have several new books I can't WAIT to read this year ... but alas, I have to wait for them to be released. But here are a few of them:

Where better to rebuild and face one’s fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes? Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she’ll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn’t anticipate finding new love. Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he’d always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert’s widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed. Ruby and Gerald’s fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they’re striving to cure. Together they must ask—is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

Check it out on AMAZON


"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs theElemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent myentire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—nolonger exists."
Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stoleeverything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning abilityas well.
When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Mylesoffers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that itmay do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets theBron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed,may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.
They may require who she is.
Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nymis faced with the chance to change the future. 
Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?

Check it out on AMAZON



Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor's story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.
 
Present Day--With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairy tale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she's stumbled into a charmed life--until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she's planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future.

1942--Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája
discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.

Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight
to protect all they hold dear--even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

Check it out on AMAZON

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

Check it out on AMAZON



Special Forces operator Salvatore “Falcon” Russo vowed to never again speak to or trust Lieutenant Cassandra Walker after a tragedy four years ago. But as Raptor closes in on the cyber terrorists responsible for killing two of their own, Sal must put his life—and the lives of his teammates—in her hands. Despite his anger, Cassie is ill-prepared for his resistance and the fallout when she must protect the one asset who can end the attacks. As allies become enemies and hostiles become unlikely partners, Raptor fights for its very existence.


Check it out on AMAZON








What's on your 2015 To Be Read List?
 _________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Monday, January 19, 2015

MLK Day

This isn't a post about justice or accuracy of black history, nor is it an attempt to decide the morality of anything gone before me. This post is not to start an endless debate, so please keep any comments positive. I was raised in a small northern Indiana town in the post Jim Crowe 70's and 80's, where the 2010 US Census still shows a 95% white population. We covered precious little of Black history in school, and it's sad to say that Alex Haley's Roots, was my best education about Black history as a youngster.

I'm no expert, or voice of authority on MLK Day. 

Public Domain Image from WikiMedia.org

However, since I love history and feel compelled to learn more than was given to me in my school years. I did pause to take a moment to try to understand our complex history as a nation.

I am a comfort creature. I don't wear lace, or scratchy things. I love cotton. That is to say, next to cashmere or lambswool, cotton is my numero uno clothing of choice. Who doesn't love a Saturday morning snuggled on the couch in cotton flannels, socks, a T-shirt, and a throw? There's nothing better than cotton blue jeans and flannel sheets....


But in regards to MLK Day, I took a little look back in time.
    I discovered much I didn't know about cotton and the history of slavery:
~~Some historians believe had it not been for the invention of the cotton gin, slavery might have died out without as much tragedy as it eventually did.

~~Since the 1790's many American abolitionists fought for the end of the international slave trade.

~~Britain outlawed slave trading, thought not slavery itself, in 1807.

~~Enough African Americans had gained freedom in the early 1800's that government was afraid their numbers would  overthrow the balance of ruling white power.

~~The first Federal Census of 1790 counted nearly 700,000 slaves, while the 1810 Census counted 1.2 million.

~~Spurred by Gabriel's Rebellion while Governor of Virginia, James Monroe came to believe the immediate abolition of slavery would result in mob violence and race wars. He advocated gradual abolition, and when he became the 5th US President, he supported colonization of free African Americans back to Liberia where the colony was named Monrovia.

~~Prior to cotton, the cash crops of the South were indigo and tobacco.

~~In 1793, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, allowing cotton farmers to make cotton the number one cash crop, increasing the demand for land and labor.

~~While tobacco was difficult to grow and needed to rest the land every 7 years, cotton was easy to grow, even on nutrient depleted soil.

~~As the shift in industry grew, land and slave owners pushed westward, swaying the efforts of the abolitionists by a swelling economy.

~~With the Panic of 1819, in the post Napoleonic War era, and post Revolutionary War era, land expansion created an economic bubble that crashed similar to our own 2008 recession.

~~What followed was a steady growth of demand for cotton from the South, exported to the Northern and European textile manufacturers leading up to the pre-Civil War era.

~~This trend left the South void of good infrastructure. They lacked development of roads, transportation, or manufacturing because their capital was tied up in owning slaves.

~~The North had developed manufacturing, including a textile industry that manufactured cotton textiles. Though the Missouri Compromise passed by Congress in 1820 prohibited slavery in the North, the ironic complexities of their economic benefit is not lost.

Whitney's Cotton Gin
In the end, it amazes me how pivotal the cotton gin was to the cotton industry and the abolition of slavery. Cotton: the thing I love and freely wear for my comfort, holds deep roots in our nation's past.

I join in the words on MLK: 
"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exhalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." (from Isaiah 40: 4-5)

Only the blood of Jesus can right the un-repayable debts to mankind. It's this truth I remember as I wear my comfy cotton. In this alone can I take comfort, that one day His blood will cover all. And by it, real freedom, real justice will prevail.

Isaiah 40: 1-3:
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
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Find me on: Goodreads
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Represented by Sarah Freese, WordServe Literary


Friday, January 16, 2015

Interview & Giveaway with Krista Phillips

This woman is not celebrated enough!! Seriously. I love me some Krista Phillips. She is an amazing human being. Strong, courageous, fixated on Christ and her family, and with a snarky wit that far surpasses my own.
This woman is FABTABULOUS.


.... even if she prefers Dr. Pepper over coffee...

WHO DOES THAT??

Here's me trying to force feed the poor woman.

I invited Krista here to answer some silly questions, some serious questions, and to help you get to know this wonderful lady and her REDUNKULOUSLY amazing books.

___________________


1.       So tell us what first inspired you to write your current book?

"A Side of Hope" comes out next month, so I guess we'll call that my current book! Honestly, this was one of those books where the title drove my inspiration. I'd decided to do 3 novellas called, "A Side of Faith", "A Side of Hope", and "A Side of Love" as sequels to my debut novel, "Sandwich, with a Side of Romance." I've spent a lot of time thinking about the word Hope. It's an interesting word, one we often misuse as a "the wish of something that probably won't happen" rather than a "feeling of expectancy for something that seemed impossible." One thing that has broken my heart lately is watching the marriages of close friends disintegrate as spouses lose hope in a future with their mate. So when a "single" character minored in the first two novels needed a past, I thought it would turn everyone on their head for her 40th birthday party to bring in a surprise guest: her husband. Is there hope for an 18 year old marriage everyone thought was long over?

      Who is your most favorite character (and yes, you HAVE to pick one J)

Oh Geez, Jaime! You're so mean making me pick one! I guess I gotta be true to my first book and say Maddie from "Sandwich, with a Side of Romance." She's spunky and came through so much in her past. She's a bit overbearing for some, but I LOVE her heart and I LOVE how she shows that God can bring good even out of the deepest hurts in our life.

3.       Is there a spiritual element or thread you hope your readers to catch as they read?

In "A Side of Hope," my HOPE is (see the pun there?!?) that readers will see the value of looking to Jesus as our final hope. That with HIM there is hope for things like struggling marriages and sick babies and habits that seem unconquerable.

4.       Where are you at in your writing career? Published, not published, searching, unsure?

My first novel was published in 2012 by Abingdon Press, and I'm indie-publishing some sequels while my agent busily works on selling my next novel.

5.       Favorite color and why?


Pink. I used to NOT be a super big fan of the color. But my 4th daughter, Annabelle, was born with half of a heart and was very blue-toned in her skin. She had a heart transplant at 8 months of age, and after that, she was a nice, pretty shade of pink! Pink quickly became the fav color of our whole family! #thinkpink

           Favorite restaurant?

J.Alexanders... specifically their Prime Rib French Dip. Holy cow, I think I just drooled a bit on my keyboard there! (I rarely get it, as it is $$$, but it is a fav of mine!) OH and they have awesome crème brule for dessert. *swoon*

         On our blog, Erica constantly tries to introduce the concept of tea drinking. So, are you in her camp, or do you side with Anne and I as bonafide coffee drinkers?

NEITHER! Tea—blech! Coffee—blech! I hate to offend the hostesses, but bring me a Coke or Dr. Pepper any day! (Although I'm currently trying to cut back for my waistline purposes, so a water will be good too!)

8.       Tell us about the last thing that scared you to pieces

HA! My family and I were talking about this the other day. My youngest went through a phase where she would wake up in the middle of the night and the only thing that would console her is if I would come and lay down in her room until she was back asleep. She was in a toddler bed, so I would curl up on the floor. Sometimes, I'd fall asleep for a bit while waiting for her to go to sleep. Well, one such night, I was in a sound asleep in her room when I heard a noise. My eyes flew open just in time to see something large flying through the room toward me, then the loudest crash you'd ever heard. I had no idea if it was a burglar, an alien, or what, but ran out of the room screaming and yelling and crying. My husband finally woke up (he's a sound sleeper) but I wasn't coherent enough to tell him more than "crash, room, scared, *sob*"  Goodness, I'm so glad it wasn't a burglar, cause I ran out leaving Annabelle and everything! What a mother I am! Scott went into her room, turned on the light, to find that one of her closet doors had fallen off the rollers and crashed to the floor, a mere inch from where my head had been.  To this day, her closet door only has one door on it, as I refuse to put the evil door back on! It was a few hours before I stopped shaking enough to go back to sleep!

9.       Your favorite all-time cartoon as a kid and what was it about it that you liked so much?

There were so many! This is almost as hard as my favorite character! I guess I really liked the smurfs, but was big into Strawberry shortcake as well.

1     They call me the Selfie Queen which sounds terribly self-absorbed. So can you save my reputation and share the honor by posting a selfie here? J

I LOVE YOUR  SELFIES! I personally love taking selfies with my kids (makes me feel slightly less self-absorbed, hahaha!), so here is one with me and one of my daughters! 



       How do our readers connect with you, buy your books, or follow your writing journey?

Oh I LOVE connecting with readers!

Links to A Side of Faith:

Social Media Links
Blog/Website – www.kristaphillips.com


Last but not least, what’s one story idea you’ve had that ventures out of your typical genre?
I write strictly romance, but I do have one idea that is more women's fiction and a bit out of my comfort zone, but God keeps bringing it back in mind. It actually follows two sisters and is inspired by the old Big Tent Revival song, "Two Sets of Jones." When I got married, we were dirt poor and my momma warned me how hard it would be, but that song was my anthem, that love mattered MUCH more than money ever would. I found out quickly that being dirt poor and married and pregnant isn't all it was cracked up to be. The song made it sound so easy, so simple, when in fact, it is not. But the concept is still true, that a relationship founded on God can flourish regardless of financial status, but I'd love to do a fictionalized version of it, showing the highs and lows and struggles from each side. It's a story from my heart, I just have to write it. :-)

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BIO


Krista Phillips is the author of Sandwich, with a Side of Romance and A Side of Faith. She enjoys life with her husband and their four beautiful daughters in Tennessee. She is an advocate for congenital heart defect and organ donation awareness and blogs at www.kristaphillips.com


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Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

TBT Old Bedlam


A few years ago, I was blessed to be able to travel through Wyoming and visit Fort Laramie. One of the most recognizable buildings on the property is this two-story white building known as "Old Bedlam" 

The name is thought to have come from the period when the building was used as the B.O.Q. or Bachelor Officer Quarters. Evidently revelry and partying were a nightly event. :)


This is a picture of one of the restored rooms in Old Bedlam. One could almost hear the thud of boots on the stairs, the shouts, the bugle calls. 

The military took over Ft. Laramie from the American Fur Company in 1849, and Old Bedlam was one of the first buildings constructed. The fort closed in 1890 and fell into disrepair until the 1930s when the National Parks Service took over the site and began restorations.

My visit to the fort was spectacular, and I would return in a heartbeat to walk the parade ground and soak in the history.

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