Monday, July 31, 2006

I've Brainwashed 'Em

So tonight the kids and I were stopped at a stoplight (shocker! in the city, no less!) when my son shrieked from the back seat, "Mom! That guy is killing himself!"

Of course I looked, expecting someone to be crossing six lanes of traffic on foot or something. In the car next to me I saw a man smoking. "Yep, son. You're right."

"Why he do that?"

And I continued with the brainwashing that began innocently enough. When they are young and curious and like to pull junk out of ashtrays that moms don't like their kids touching, moms have to do a lot of explaining.

"Don't touch that! Yucky!"



"But what was it?"

"Cancer stick."

"What?" Perplexed look.

"People light them on fire and suck air through them."


"I guess because they want to die slowly." I mean, really, why? After the first time which you can blame on curiosity, why do it?

I didn't exactly try to brainwash them. But apparently they listened. I promise we only had the conversation once.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I Like Manga!

Okay, not even three months ago I was in awe to find that my local Waldenbooks had been taken over by something called Manga. What on earth? Racks and racks of what my husband and I fondly call "Weird Japanese animation," primarily because his little brother likes to watch said weird Japanese animation, in book form. I made a comment, as I often do when I don't know what I'm talking about, about not believing it could be so popular as to replace actual books (I'm talking half the store) and have huge (not kidding) manga release parties. Apparently our Walden is the city's premier manga site or something. Not sure. But man...

So, anyway, when I got an email that asked if I'd like to look at some new manga coming out I was just curious enough to say yes.

Can I just tell you they sent four books and I read them in one setting? They were so fun! It is like the old Archie comics with kick. Blue haired kick. And it does some of the same weird body shrinking, fang sharpening things that the animation does.

And I got so excited when I saw that the little bookstore in my hometown had the fifth book available. Me!

I know!

Anyway, if you are interested, go check out my review on Armchair under "Graphic Novel" in a couple days.

And skeptical parents, you can trust Serenity to not teach your kids bad things. Serenity does bad things, but she reaps the consequences, boy howdy.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Everyday Cancer Free Living

Joining Jules in celebrating the little things in our lives.

So today I am reading Reconstructing Natalie and she is going through chemo. As she describes some of the side effects of the treatments I keep thinking, "I totally know how she feels!" Which I totally DON'T. You see I have this thing growing inside me and because of it certain foods, just talking about them or smelling them, makes me gag. And I can't even think about eating chocolate. But grilled cheese is nearly mild enough to consume on a good day.

And that is where the similarity ends. I hate cancer. I especially hate breast cancer. It terrifies me. And this book makes me realize some of the stupid things I've done/said over this last year. One of which is probably the former paragraph.

So today I am celebrating the fact that what is growing within me is a blessing that I would never want to destroy and I will gladly gag over chocolate for this little one for as long as necessary.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What Do These Things Have in Common?

1. I am incapable of keeping a secret.
2. Just typing the word zucchini makes me gag.
3. I'm not looking so great in a bathing suit.
4. If I ever eat curry again, it will be too soon.
5. I got outed yesterday at playgroup.
6. My friends will all soon be lending me clothes.
7. I made my children dance.
8. I am no longer on the hunt for a brown baby.
9. I would drink lemonade 24/7.
10. Just seeing the bottle of Spicy Montreal Steak Spice made me heave.
11. My in-laws have threatened to stop keeping the kids for us.
12. I've given up caffeine.
13. I'm bubbly.

Gold star for correct guesses (as if it isn't obvious!).

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


So, say you have playgroup Tuesday morning. And one of your friends locks her keys in the car. So you take a couple of her kids home for her. But after you get to her house, you realize she meant YOUR home (which is totally fine, just not what you had planned). And of course it is past lunch time. And though you planned to re-heat macaroni and cheese (because your children haven't figured out yet that that is gross) your son, the perfect host suggest cheeseburger soup. Which will feed the masses. And just as you finish the soup your poor friend shows up with her other two kids and her very pregnant tummy so you think it would be Christian of you to feed them (you have that big pot of soup on this boiling hot day, after all). And you are having a great time until 2 when they leave. But your kids want to go to the pool and you have already promised to take meals to TWO people that evening. One eats at 5:30 and one at 7. Your family eats at 6. And book club starts at 7 (But you've read the book because THIS MONTH you planned ahead). What do you do?


Did you know that you can make enchiladas for three families just by using a huge bowl, 2 9X13s and a 10X10 (they were a family of two)? And each family can eat a hot meal? It is my new favorite "take someone a meal" meal. We even snuck in a visit to the pool. All meals assembled ahead of time and warmed when the timing permitted it.

Oh, and don't underestimate the power of ice cream as a desert in July. You may feel like you are wimping out because you didn't make a cake, but they recipient is thrilled because they never buy themselves Ben and Jerry's. It is my one splurge.

Works for me!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Children's Books

I have a new favorite publisher. I've been a fan of Blue Sky Press for a while and there are a couple other houses that produce some good books. But I just have to tell ya, Harcourt puts out some really great children's books.

Twice now I've agreed to review books for them (4 total). The description looks average, but when the book arrives it is a new favorite. You might remember me raving about Adam Rex's Tree Ring Circus a while back. We still love it. And last week we got two more.

Who Hops? would be great fun even if it weren't in parallel (Spanish) and the dual languages just make it a fun learning tool on top of a fun read.

Baby Bear's Books is another one of those wonderful, rhythmic, soothing bedtime and anytime books that will stay on my shelf for my grandkids. I love it.

Unfortunately, the last time I checked, Harcourt is closed to unsolicited submissions, but if I ever get my tail in gear and get to a children's writer's conference, I am seeking them out. They put out some quality stuff.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Sleepys

I've had my precious little kiddos home for 24 hours now and man, I'm exhausted. I think I'm also sunburned, but that's a different story.

I love having these little breaks from them every now and then because they first couple days back are so sweet. They want to snuggle and will lay on the couch with me for great lengths of time. They bring me stuff. Today I said something about being sleepy and Eldest trotted right into the kitchen, opened the fridge and the next thing I heard was the "pop!" of a Pepsi being cracked.

Which reminds me that I started a book a while back called "Your Six-Year-Old" or something close to that. They said in the first paragraph that six year olds are pretty much bi-polar. When they are good they are very, very good and when they are bad they are horrid. That's my kid. But today he was heavy on the very, very good. I like that.

I also like bedtime which couldn't have come a moment sooner. I've got to remember to pace myself.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Blessed, Blessed Wind

After sweltering for a week under oppressive heat indices of 110+, this morning I woke to the heavenly sound of wind.

The forecasters promised it would cool today to the upper 80s and I listened all night for the sound of the wind that would bring the "cool" front in. It arrived this morning around seven.

Now there is even the sound of some thunder and rain.

O, Happy Day!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Week Off, and What Did I Do?


I did NOT write the reviews for the eight books I've finished. (Technically only have to write two of those...)

I did NOT critique anything from my poor neglected crit group. (Sorry guys, I keep meaning to.)

I did NOT read anything considered a "classic."

I did NOT "fix" my first 30 pages for either of the two places I have paid to read and critique. (I truly think I've given up hope that this book will see print. Trying to decide if I should re-work those first 30 or try to write 30 new that have no end.)

I DID finally mail off my two articles I wrote for the Star last month. (Still won't be printed until Sept. and yes, I will post a link when it happens.)

I DID pound out my article for Focus. (But it is crummy. Hopefully I will get it fixed tomorrow)

I DID make my bed today.

I DID clean out two (count 'em, two) junk drawers.

I DID read Watching the Tree Limbs by Mary DeMuth, and will, before the night is over, finish Kim Vogel Sawyer's Waiting for Summer's Return.

I DID discover that I am capable of liking Manga (you'll hear about that soon).

I DID go out to lunch with my hubby AND dinner with my girlfriends.

I DID talk to my sister on the phone for two hours.

I DID review "Elizabeth." (Deep, pitiful sigh. Never, I repeat, never assume that if a book is written about a British woman named Elizabeth, and the author assumes that you need only to know her first name to know what the book is about, that it will be about the queen. Ask lots of questions like, "Does this woman have one husband or eight?")

I DID run a load of dishes because we were out of adult sized cups.

I DID see the chiropractor again. Apparently I was supposed to NOT move my neck to get better. I've been stretching it to loosen it up. WRONG move. And why didn't he tell me that a week ago?

I get to see my kids tomorrow. I did virtually nothing this week and now I am having panic attacks that I didn't get anything done. I keep telling myself that if I had been on a beach in Hawaii, I wouldn't curse myself for resting. This is why vacations at home never work. I don't and therefore feel guilty.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"A Sensual Dining Experience"

1. Take a restaurant named Korma Sutra
2. Add four girlfriends
3. Waters
4. Complimentary mango juice and rice for the kids
5. Some kind of fried veggie puff
6. Four sauces and grain wafers thinner than tortillas chips to dip in said sauce
7. Allow time to pass while girlfriends nosh on snackie things (say, half an hour)
8. Then and only then bring menus
9. Bring complimentary mango juice for adults.
10. Massive quantities of food arrive
11. Just when we are ready to roll ourselves to the altar of overeating bring limes, warm water, a basin and a towel to wash hands
12. Bring rice pudding
13. Bring ice cream

Seriously, I wondered what the bill would look like when we checked out because they just kept bringing food and we'd ask one another, "Did you order this?" But though the menu said our dinners included rice, it said nothing about all those other things they fed us...Which were fabulous. But nope, they threw them all in. I guess when their slogan is "A Sensual Dining Experience" they really mean it.

The sense of taste anyway.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


So this morning at 6:34 AM our fire alarm went off.

Yes, it has been but two short weeks since we've called the fire department.

My husband and I both bolted out of bed and raced to the smoke detector. He turned it off.

No smoke.

It immediately shrieked again.

Still no smoke. He turned it off again.

Carbon monoxide? I asked. No, says he. Besides the CO detector isn't shrieking. No smell of natural gas. And this wasn't the battery's-dying-beep. This was full on alarm shriek. We still have no idea why it shrieked.

At 6:34 AM.

Have I mentioned that my kids are out of town?

What kind of sick joke is this?

And no, I couldn't go back to sleep.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Welcome to the World, Sweetheart!

Last night as I drifted off to sleep I prayed that my sister-in-law would go into labor naturally and apparently, she did. This morning, shortly after 8 she delivered, much to our surprise, a tiny girl.

I should learn to not believe that mother instinct. It failed me twice.

Anyway, I spent much of the day traipsing around town searching for gender specific clothes for my new niece. I came up empty. To find something that tiny, in a summer outfit (or three) that is cute is nearly impossible. And then I zeroed in on my problem.

I'm too practical.

The thing is, I hate to buy something I wouldn't put my newborn into. I have three kids. I'm into simple. But not really. I like snaps all the way down the outfit. Easy in, easy out. Especially necessarily for those diaper blowouts that are sure to happen. I don't like collars because they never lay down and are always up in the baby's face. I like cotton. Who wants to sleep hot? And what that boils down to is that what I pick out will be somewhat boring. Mediocre at best. Because without collars and with snaps....well I'm reduced to onesies and sleepers. I know her sisters will run out and buy super cute things. I know they'll see her before I do. She'll have this whole pile of adorable baby things and mine will just look....plain.

I just wish functional came cuter.

I'd love to buy one of those teeny swimming suits. (But my head says, I wouldn't be caught dead in a swimming suit when my babies were new, I'd be surprised if she will. So what's a baby need with a suit?)

I'd love to buy a ruffly dress. (I couldn't find any that came that small.)

I'd love to buy a hip pair of jeans. (It's not exactly jean weather.)

What's a girl to do? A case of diapers just doesn't say WE ARE SUPER EXCITED ABOUT OUR NEW NIECE!!! Even if we are.

Anyway, congrats Fam, we're thrilled for ya.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Men and Tank Tops

According to my husband, grown men have no business wearing tank tops. Apparently the age cut-off is 20. Through high school, when they are playing sports most of the time and weight lifting the rest of the time, it is okay. Besides, they need to show off their muscles to the girls who come to watch the guys sweat (why is that again?).

I never knew he had these feelings. Ten years and you can still find out something new about each other.

I had to verify that it was okay for Eldest to wear tank tops, considering he always does. According to Hubs it is cute on kids, but when men start to get hairy, it's all over.

He has a point.

He also pointed out that men often get fat under their arms and "we just don't need to see that."

Again, point made.

And men don't shave their pits. This was pointed out when I questioned whether it was okay for me to wear sleeveless. Yes, as a matter of fact it is. According the the expert across the table, women can wear sleeveless to black tie (strapless, even). Men?

"There ya go."

How do ya'll feel about this highly controversial topic?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pain Free Livin'

Here's one. Those of you who don't live in constant pain might never think about this. I know I sure didn't. But I've been in agony for about 72 hours.

I can't tell you how much pleasure I find in knowing this is not a permanent situation. And may I always be thankful that I don't have to be this way forever.

Read more Everyday Tomatoes here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ever Have One of Those Days?

1. Where the neck pain you've been fighting
2. Moves to the other side
3. Just when you thought it was getting better
4. So you can't turn your head
5. And it's hard to hold it up
6. When you're making coffee
7. Cramps all the way into your scull
8. So you call the chiropractor
9. Even though you know he won't be able to do anything
10. Because you hurt so bad
11. But he obligatorily pops your lower back
12. As if that might help
13. Then charges you
14. And send you home with a cervical collar
15. But you still are an unsafe driver
16. And ice just barely helps?
17. And your list goes well beyond 13
18. Because it's just one of those days.
19. Praying tomorrow is better.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Thighmaster

I keep my computer in the basement. That would be a flight and a half of stairs down from my bedroom.

I am addicted to email.

I check it at least twice an hour.

I take the stairs two at a time.

My rear has never looked so good in a swimsuit.

Shallow, yes, but it works for me!

Monday, July 10, 2006

I'm What?!?

Cheap. I'm cheap.

I knew I was a tightwad. I knew I liked garage sales. I knew I like a good deal. I like my $20 Cole Haan shoes. I know I bought my prom dress at an outlet store. Since then I found a formal that I love for $2. I thought that made me frugal. I didn't know it made me cheap.

So Hubs and I went on a date last week and we ended up at this fancy-shmancy new shopping center that would be fabulous in California. On the plaines? I predict some very slow months in the winter. It felt like San Antonio's Riverwalk without the river. I even mean that in a good way. So while there I expounded on my thought on the difference between people who buy name brands because that is what they buy and people who buy name brands so that they can tell people it is "Versacce." (I just learned from one of said people that it is pronounced Vir-sa-chi. And all this time I thought it was pronounced vir-sauce. And I call myself a chick-lit writer.)

Yes, there is a difference.

So afterwards I needed to go to Target to pick up a curtain rod (that was on sale) and some saline (which I hesitated to buy at Target because they are typically more expensive than Wal-Mart on such things). On our way to the curtain rod section we passed a clearance rack and I slowed down to glance.

Have you seen Target clearance racks? Sometimes they have perfectly good diapers clearanced out--cheap--just because they don't want to carry the case size any longer. I have got some screaming great deals at Target clearance racks. I go just for the clearance racks. Sometimes I bomb, but sometimes I get lucky.

Anyway, on said clearance rack they had these wall sconce, wrought iron, candle things. I said, "Tami has these all over her house and it looks awesome...maybe I should...."

When my husband, out of NOWHERE said, "The reason Tami's house looks awesome is because she buys the things she likes. Our house looks crappy because you see someone else do something and you buy two steps cheaper and expect the same result."


Of course at that point I had no choice but to not buy the sconces on the clearance rack. We continued the conversation in a rather good natured way and I proceeded to buy my "cheap" curtain rod.

So the next day I admitted that I was still smarting from the cheap comment. After all, isn't it frugality that has gotten us this far? He insists that I first called the house crappy (I don't agree) and that it was all in good fun and that he is glad I'm frugal. But he insists that "some day" he will hand me money and insist I spend the whole wad on a single room.

And if I come back and tell him how I did it on 10% of the funds I had to take it all back and start over.

The nerve. What fun is that?

Sunday, July 09, 2006


I had this really funny / humiliating post planned tonight about my husband and "cheap" but I started Staci Stalling's "Cowboy" and couldn't stop. My kids won't let me sit in front of the computer all day tomorrow to read it, after all. So ya'll will just have to wait. But for your reading enjoyment, Staci has offered her first three chapters here:

And once you read that, you can buy the whole thing here:

Happy reading!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Winners Announced!

The winner of Tricia Goyer's book Arms of Deliverance is Tess!

The winner of MaryLu Tyndall's book, The Redemption, is kpjara!

Contact me with your mailing address ladies, and we'll get these out to you.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Everyday Pirates and a Book Giveaway!

I know when I'm done this will look like a ploy, but I assure you it is the truth. As usual, I'm joining Jules by being thankful for the little things. Today I'm going to share about playing pirates with my kids. Eldest generally begins the game by passing out the hats (rather plunking them on our heads) and telling us it is time to play pirates. Our "pirate" hats are one firefighters helmet, one slightly smashed cowboy hat, one hard hat, one knight's helmet, and one sailor's hat. He also passes out the swords: the plastic one that doesn't stay together, the lawn stake, the branch out of the wood pile (only the boys get swords). They pile into the bunkbed/ship and holler things like "Arg Matey!" (Yes, Matey, not hearties) and "Land Ho!" Princess is "the lady that gives them the gold" and I am where they come for gruel.

They enjoy this game so much, that in true 21st century parenting style, I bought a pirate costume for Eldest for Christmas. Times worn: 0 though once he used the scarf to make a flag.

But I love their imaginations. Pirates just wouldn't be right without the firefighters helmet.

And, on this day of the release of the new Pirates of the Caribbean, I am featuring MaryLu Tyndall and her pirate book, The Redemption. One commenter will win a copy of MaryLu's book...and in the all of the blog world (where I am but a drop in the bucket) one lucky winner will have two tickets to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest tucked in their book! I can't tell you how many blogs are participating because I haven't a clue. Comment away....Mateys!

1.) Tell us a bit about the story.

My story begins with a horrific storm at sea in which Lady Charlisse Bristol becomes shipwrecked on an island. She has run away from an abusive uncle in London and sailed to the Caribbean in search of a father she has never known. After weeks of combating the elements, her salvation comes in the form of a band of pirates and their fiercely handsome leader, Edmund Merrick.

Captain Merrick has only recently given his life to God and turned his back on a life of piracy to become a privateer. While battling his attraction to this winsome lady and learning to walk a more godly path, he offers to help Charlisse on her quest-until he discovers her father is none other than Edward the Terror, the cruellest pirate on the Caribbean. Edmund must find a way to win this lady's love while shielding her from his lecherous crew and working to bring her father to justice.

2.) What sparked the idea to write about pirates?

I've always had an obsession for pirates-those swashbuckling heroes who roamed the wild Caribbean seas in their tall ships. The Golden Age of Piracy was such an adventurous and romantic time in our history, and having grown up in that part of the world-south Florida-it grabbed my interest at an early age. What sparked the idea for the novel, however, was the Disney movie, Pirates of the Caribbean. After I saw it several times with my daughter, I had a desire to write about pirates that wouldn't go away. Why do the evil pirates get to have all the fun? Why not write about a Christian pirate?

3.) As you researched this subject, what most surprised you?

The biggest surprise for me was discovering that not all pirates were vicious thieves and murderers. Many, in fact, were commissioned by their countries during times of war to disturb merchant shipping lines and fleet movements, and in general to play havoc with their enemies. In fact, one of the most notorious pirate captains, Henry Morgan, commanded his own fleet of pirate ships, called the Brethren of the Coast, whose sole purpose was to raid Spanish ships and towns in the Caribbean. He was eventually knighted by King Charles II of England and became the governor of Jamaica. These facts aided my story a great deal as many of these pirates, who turned privateers, had strong religious convictions.

4.) How long did it take to write your first novel?

I began writing The Redemption in the Fall of 2003, but it was slow going at first. I was working full time as a software engineer, not to mention my responsibilities at home as wife and mother. I'm sure many of you can relate. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day! Consequently, I did not complete the novel until early Spring 2005, yet I still didn't feel it was ready. I hadn't written in a while and needed some counsel, so I hired two editors to go through my manuscript, and I entered four contests for the feedback. I made the final cut in two of those contests and felt encouraged, but I must admit, I learned a great deal more from my editors. By the end of Spring 2005, I had polished the manuscript the best I could and went looking for an agent. God's timing is always perfect. I was laid off from my job of fifteen years the same month my agent took me on as a client and began submitting The Redemption. By September of that same year, I had a contract in hand from Barbour for the entire three book series!

5.) How long must we wait for the sequel?

Not long! The second book in the series, The Reliance, will be released in January 2007, and the third book, The Restitution, will be out in stores, June, 2007. As you can tell, I've been very busy!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My Day in 13 Chapters

1. After a very late night/early morning
2. Eldest decided the whole family needed to greet the morning
3. At 5:45
4. When he refused to go back to bed
5. contrary to my parenting philosophy
6. I offered a movie
7. So he wakes up Frodo to join him
8. He missed the point.
9. Couple hours later,
10. Had to call 911
11. Gas leak.
12. All's well
13. Very tired.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Arms of Deliverance Chapter 1

Katrine squared her shoulders and instinctively pressed a hand to her stomach as she stepped through the open doors of the café, past the yellow sign that read NO JEWS ALLOWED. She paused as the strong aroma of coffee and cigarette smoke hit her face. Men and women clustered around tables. Beautiful people in the height of their glory.

Looking around at the room’s flocked wallpaper, ornate light fixtures, and marble flooring, she found it hard to believe that not too far away a war stormed. Not only battles for land and power, but a war against a people—her people . . . or what used to be her people.

And for the rest, go here because my formatting is MESSED UP!

Happy fourth all! Let's remember what our vets have done for us. Thank God for freedom! Now I'm off to watch Patriot.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Guest Blogger: Tricia Goyer

Today I welcome Tricia Goyer who is guest blogging for me. Her book Arms of Deliverancecomes out this month. She has even graciously offered to let me post her first chapter (in the try before you buy fashion) so I will be doing that tomorrow. Here's what it's about:

The fourth and final novel in this exhilarating series capturing the tales of men and women swept into World War II. Two friends, Mary and Lee, land similar reporting jobs at the New York Tribune on the eve of the war's outbreak and soon they become competitors. Mary's coverage of a bombing raid over Germany leads to a plane wreck and an adventurous escape attempt from across enemy lines. And when Lee hears of Mary's plight, she bravely heads to war-torn Europe in an effort to help rescue her friend. Will there be enough time for diplomacy or will war get the best of everyone?

Doncha love WWII stories? And one lucky commenter will win a copy of Tricia's book. Comment either today or tomorrow and you'll be entered...but make sure I know how to get back with you in case you win.

And now, here's Tricia!

ARMS OF DELIVERANCE: The Story Behind the Novel

The Idea:

The idea for Arms of Deliverance came one day as I was researching for my novel Night Song. I was watching a video that talked about Lebensborn homes in Nazi Europe. These were homes where young women birthed children for the Reich. After all, to have a "Thousand Year Reich" the Germans needed future Aryans. That was the first layer of the story.

The second layer came when I was researching my novel, Dawn of a Thousand Nights. First, I was studying these amazing women who risked their lives during WWII. (Dawn of a Thousand Nights involved female pilots who ferried US planes around the country.) Other brave women who risked their lives were female war reporters, and I knew I wanted to write a story about them. This sparked my interest too.

Throw in my intrigue of B-17 bomber crews over Europe, and you have the first three elements of Arms of Deliverance. The fourth is a Nazi officer in search for . . . well, you’ll have to read the novel to find out!

The Research:

The first thing I did when I started researching was to check to see if I could find any veterans who were there. I got a hold of an amazing group of men with the 91st Bomb Group. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys. You can check them out at their website ( Be sure to take time to look at the photos and read the TRUE stories from the 91st!

The men gave me all types of information. They gave me the details of exact flights, actual photographs from that time, and they shared their personal experiences and stories.

Of course, God always surprises me with “abundantly more than I ask for or imagine” when it comes to research for these stories. Here’s one of those God-gifts:

One thing you may remember from photos of old bombers is the nose art, which highlighted the bomber’s name. During my writing, I kept praying for the perfect name for my bomber—something to tie into the book.

During my research I met a veteran from the 91st Bomb Group named Jack Gaffney. Out of the blue, Jack suggested I use the name “Destiny’s Child.” (This came years before the music group!) You see, Jack was a ground crew member and a nose-art artist. He painted the nose art “Destiny’s Child” and other B-17 Bombers.

At the time, Jack had no idea of premise of my novel included the Lebensborn homes and a special child. Is that cool or what?!

To see Jack’s nose art, go here:

Okay, here’s just one more cool story . . .

I’d previously read books about the underground resistance in Belgium, and I knew I wanted to include that in this novel too. In order for that to work, I need to set my novel in a Lebensborn home in Belgium. There was only one of these birthing homes in all of Belgium, yet I could find very little information about it from books or the Internet.

One day I was praying about how to get information, and God reminded me I knew someone from Belgium. I’d met a historian Roger Marquet at a World War II reunion. I emailed Roger and asked if he knew how I could find information on this home. “Oh, yes, I grew up in that town, and I knew the woman who manages the castle where the home used to be.”

Imagine that. I knew only one person in Belgium—someone I had met two years early—who had the exact information I needed. Is that another God thing, or what?!

The Writer:

I have to say that I am changed in some way by every novel I write, and this one moved me deeply. You see, as I wrote about the rescue of a special child, I had no idea what God had in store for me and my family.

One month after the novel was written, my husband and I sat down to discuss something that had been on my heart for a while—the adoption of another child. I won’t give the story behind the novel away, but as I reread it I could see clearly through my written words what God had already been placing on my heart.

I will keep news of our adoption of a baby girl from China updated on my blog (!

What’s Next From Tricia Goyer:

Currently, I’m working on my fifth novel, A Valley of Betrayal. It is the first novel in a three-book-series on The Spanish Civil War, which took place in Spain, pre-World War II.

Of course, there is more to my life than fiction. I’m also a wife, mom, mentor, and a children’s church leader, and I also write about these aspects of my life. Generation NeXt Parentingwill hit store shelves September 2006.

If you’re a parent, like me, check it out!

Jamie here: I have to say I raced back to my review assigner when Generation NeXt Parenting came up for review in minutes people, minutes, and someone had already taken it. What a bummer! But you can bet I'll be looking for it in September!

And ya'll know how much I love adoption. Awesome, Tricia!

To hear more from Tricia, check her out at: and

Story Sensei Contest

Hey people! I wanted to let the writers in the group know about a contest hosted by my friend Camy (who got a three book contract just this spring!).

The Story Sensei Summer Sale - A writers' summer event!

From now until July 15th, I will be holding a fabulous contest for my Story Sensei critique service.I will draw the names of TWO lucky winners! They will each receive: A free synopsis critique – up to 10 pages single-spaced, a $40 value!AND A coupon for 25% OFF any manuscript critique – whether full or partial manuscript, any number of words. For a 100,000 word manuscript, that's a savings of $250!

In addition, EVERYONE WHO ENTERS will receive a 10% OFF coupon for any service, whether synopsis, query letter, or manuscript critique (full or partial). For a 100,000 word manuscript, that's a savings of $100, just for entering.

Go to my Story Sensei blog and post a comment to enter the contest!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Surrounded by Saris

Or burkas. Or maybe both. Probably both. And turbans. And possibly something else entirely.

For a girl that grew up in what I considered a very muli-racial town I find myself in unfamiliar surroundings. A fact I've just recently had driven home, while driving, um, home. (That was really bad and not intended.) I am surrounded by women (and men) garbed quite un-American.
Yes, I know that America is the melting pot, but you know what I mean. I wonder if "sinner" runs through their minds while I skitter past in my denim shorts (which incidentally cover my rear, a rare feat these days).

Everywhere I turn there is another woman wrapped up in silk from head to toe in this nasty almost 100 degree (plus humidity) weather. I've almost discerned the reason.

I live within walking distance from both a Hindu Temple and a Sikh (Temple?). (Haven't seen any Islam meeting houses, but maybe I just haven't been down the right street because I guarantee I've seen burkas.) Of course I moved into this neighborhood because it was walking distance from MY church, so I totally get it. Especially since I always see them walking, walking, walking, and occasionally on a bike. Never driving (though surely they do).

I don't say this to complain. I like diversity. Especially since my family itself is diverse. I just suddenly feel like I did back in middle school when, in a moment of wondering, I counted the white faces in my year book and proved to myself I really was the minority, it didn't just feel like it. But back then I was surrounded by Vietnamese, and Mexican, and South American, and Indian and Chinese, and Korean. And they dressed, for the most part, like I did and we tried to communicate. Hence, melting.

I'm not getting that now. I'm getting blank stares, or not a glance. Silence for a "hello."

I'm not feeling any melting going on. And the weather is prime for it.

What's going on? Is it me? Or did we quit melting? Someone give me some hope here. How can we keep America great if a lot of what it is known for is becoming extinct?