Author Archives: Carol Moncado

How to Change Someone’s Mind About a Character in Eleven Words

Our choice of "Real Food" because we always forget selfies

Our choice of “Real Food” because we always forget selfies

So I have this friend. I’ve known her for like… 20 years but we lost touch when we stopped working for the same employer. Until Facebook that is. About two years ago we started getting together again. Movies, dinner, shopping (which is so not something either of us normally does). And then about a year ago, we made plans and I belatedly realized that my husband had plans so she came over and hung out at my house (with my four kids :p). We’ve been doing that about once a month most months since (on a night my hubs goes out with one of his friends).

The last time she came over for our semi-regular dinner and DVD, we watched Jurassic Park with my 13yo in preparation for the release of Jurassic World this summer. My husband had an unexpected work thing one night so she came over again sans Jurassic Park II because she’d loaned it out and didn’t remember to who.

Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell)

Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell)

Instead, we trawled through my Amazon Fire Prime selection and she insisted we watch Veronica Mars. I’d heard of the show but had never watched it.

Warning ;). Spoilers ahead :D.

The basic premise is this:

Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni)

Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni)

Keith Mars, former sheriff recalled after trying to find proof implicating a very wealthy very powerful man of killing this man’s daughter, has become a PI. His daughter, Veronica, helps out after school and on weekends. The girl killed was her best friend (and her boyfriend’s sister). While investigating the truth about her friend’s death, she becomes a sort of Nancy Drew solving assorted crimes and helping out friends.

Anyway, the new sheriff in town is a real… not great guy. He’s a know-it-all who doesn’t want help on anything from the former sheriff, much less the former sheriff’s much-more-competent-than-he-is daughter. The great mystery about the murder is solved in the final episode of season one, but the aftershocks are felt well into season two.

Sheriff Lamb (Michael Muhney)

Sheriff Lamb (Michael Muhney)

You’re not supposed to like the new sheriff. He’s arrogant, smug, and an all around not nice guy. But in episode seven of season two, Veronica and her boyfriend are caught sneaking into a house trying to find proof of child abuse. The parents come home and catch them. They, of course, call the sheriff and he shows up to arrest Veronica and her boyfriend. They get put in the back of the squad car and the sheriff goes back inside to follow up on what Veronica told him.

Despite loathing her and believing she had no investigative chops, he opened the closet and found the hidden room where the girl had been kept. The dad, standing there with his baseball bat in hand, said something to the effect of “What makes you think you can come in my house and do this?!”

The sheriff turns around and says, “You know, I remember my father giving that exact same speech.” Then he walks off.

And suddenly, you have a whole new outlook on the man.

He likely wasn’t physically abused – or not just physically anyway. But emotional and verbal abuse can leave hidden scars just as deep. But knowing he suffered from an abusive childhood, makes you see him differently.

Now… I’m only a couple of episodes past it so we’ll have to see if it holds up, but it struck me immediately as excellent writing and a fabulous example of how to pull off making an unlikable character sympathetic.

Review: On a Ring and a Prayer by Sandra D. Bricker

ring prayerTwelve years of marriage, 4,000 square feet of dream house, and a handsome husband. Jessie Stanton has it all… until one fateful afternoon when she notices her BMW bouncing by the window behind a tow truck. Her husband has gone, and he’s taken it all.
The whirling tornado that cuts down the life she’s built drops Jessie onto the sandy beach of Malibu with a thud, penniless and alone. When all she’s left with are the designer labels in her closet and the dreamy Neil Lane rock on her finger, Jessie tries to make ends meet by pawning her prized ring to fund a new business venture: a small shop where her designer duds and shimmering accessories are temporarily leased out to Southern California women with champagne tastes but root beer realities. As Jessie tries to rebuild, she realizes she can’t move on, not without answers. Reluctantly, Jessie turns to beach bum/private investigator Danny Callahan for help. But is she staking her future success and happiness…on a ring and a prayer?

This is a new series for Sandra D. Bricker and a bit of a departure – at least from the other books I personally have read. Those were much more rom-com along the lines of Janice Thompson. While On a Ring certainly had it’s funny moments, it was much more serious in tone than a rom-com.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I ABSOLUTELY did! It just wasn’t what I expected.

I love Jessie and her resilience after her husband of more than a decade took off and took her life with him. Her car, her home, even her cell phone all suddenly disappear and she’s left with her clothes – and her stunning wedding and engagement rings. Enter BFF Piper and a private investigator she knows of – Danny Callahan.

With help from Piper, Danny, his best friend Riggs, another fried of his named Steph, a random meeting in a women’s room with Amber, and subsequent meetings that can only be God-ordained, she begins to put the broken pieces of her life back together.

I loved the snippets from her grandfather and his down-home Louisiana wisdom. I also loved the twists and turns (and am proud to have called a couple of them very early on!)

The one “down side” to this book? It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and we have to wait until the next book to find out what happens next! AH! It’s not that different from any series that follows a single couple from start to finish over several books, but many end on a satisfying note (like an engagement). This one? More like the season finale of your favorite tv show that leaves you wondering from early May to late September about the fate of that beloved character! It leaves you a bit frustrated, but you spend the next few months with it always niggling the back of your mind wondering what happens next – and frantically searching the internet once a week or so for spoilers once taping begins again ;).

I’m excited for this series and can’t wait for the sequel!

Overall Rating: a SOLID 8.5 out of 10 stars

A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for my honest opinion.

I’m Back!

It’s a new year [okay, nearly a month in, but go with it ;)] and I’m on a new journey! Most of you’ve seen the newsletter information or the cover photo up there and know that late last year I decided to “go indie” – to independently publish!

And I gotta say… I’m loving it :). Does that mean I’m done pursuing traditional publishing with a traditional publisher? Not at all. But it does mean I’m taking more control over my own destiny.

And it’s going very well! In fact, I hit a major milestone today – in total number of books sold, given away as freebies, and borrowed through the Kindle Online Lending Library or Kindle Unlimited. I’m not going to share that number now – because the more important number to me is the number of sold and borrowed – because I KNOW those people have every intention of reading, but giveaways? Some of those people are like I can be – grab a free book and wait for a rainy day when it strikes your fancy.

So when I hit that milestone, I’ll let ya know :).

But I’m working hard on getting the last two books of the Montevaro Monarchy series out. Circumstances beyond my control [some of which have kept me from blogging too] mean it’s taking longer than I hoped. But they should be out by the end of next month. Fingers crossed, wood knocked on, and knees rug burned from praying it is so!

There’s lots of other fun stuff in the works for this year – stay tuned for news about releases [not just mine!] and other fun stuff. The giveaway is going on until the third book in the Montevaro Monarchy series releases – you can check it out here :).

Tomorrow, I’ll be spending the day at home by myself – stupid awful head cold means I won’t be going with the rest of the fam to see my new great-nephew and the rest of that side of the family, but there’s no point in risking me getting everyone sick. I’m PRAYING to get a good chunk of what I need to on Along Came a Prince and be that much closer to getting it out :).

And there’s book reviews coming starting tomorrow! YAY for books!

Thanks for sticking with me! I appreciate you!

Until Next Time

When Your First Books Arrive…

You get the email.

“Your boxes have shipped.”20141220-092203.jpg

And you know that in those boxes are copies of your own books. You’ve been working feverishly to get the books out quickly and this is the first time you’ve ordered books for giveaways and friends who wanted personalized copies and gifts for loved ones. You’ve decided, months earlier, that indie publishing is right for you, so you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into not only the words, but the editing, the cover design, the formatting.

Then the day comes.

20141220-091818.jpgAnd you bemoan the fact that your part of your neighborhood is near the end of the UPS’s man’s route. It says the packages will be there between 3-7pm, but you know it’ll be at least 430, and probably after 5 before they show up.

Then there’s the rumbling of a truck outside and your dog starts to bark. A banging on the door and you open it. There, in all their glory are three boxes of books.

20141220-091703.jpgYou bring them inside. Rip them open.Spread them around and weep happy tears at the culmination of all your hard work. You flip through them , savoring your name in print. Skimming the words you agonized over weeks or months (or even years) earlier.

Satisfaction settles around you like a cloak. A job well done.

Yeah. Notsomuch. 😉

My three boxes of books got here yesterday. For a variety of reasons, I’d left before the UPS man showed up. My sister, my 13-year-old daughter and I were going shopping for some of the last Christmas stuff. We’d gone to our Walmart to return some stuff for my sister and pick up some medicine. We decided to go to Arby’s for dinner so we ran back by the house to get some coupons after the UPS man had been by. They looked for coupons in my husband’s car (college campus coupons – benefits of teaching at a college ;)). I ran inside. snapped a quick pic of the three boxes stacked there, ripped each one open, took a quick pic of the inside, grabbed a copy of each, and was back in the car in less than four minutes.

20141220-091347.jpgThen came the stop at Arby’s, Target, PetsMart, another Walmart, Michaels, GameStop/Barnes & Noble (my daughter and I went to GameStop while my sister returned some stuff to the BN across the parking lot then she met us), two more WalMarts (returned some stuff to the last one that I’d bought earlier but no longer needed), then my WalMart again and home a little before midnight.

 

20141220-091216.jpg(I did post a picture on Facebook – in several places which was great fun!)

I didn’t have a chance to look through the three copies I’d grabbed so I was sitting on the couch, whimpering over my aching feet, a few minutes after midnight, and I started to flip through the copies. A friend instant messaged me a grammar question. I responded to her as I flipped through the first two. Told her I was headed to bed. Flipped through the last copy and…

Seriously debated crying.

A lot.

On the outside, it was Finally Mr. Write.

20141220-091551.jpg

On the inside it was Finding Mr. Write.

20141220-090923.jpg

The wrong book.

I instant messaged the friend. She freaked out with me. Fifteen books. No good. I logged into my account on CreateSpace and opened the previewer. I must have uploaded the wrong file :(.

But no. There it was. The right words in the right place.

Relief that it wasn’t my fault flooded through me. I’ve heard good things about CreateSpace fixing screw ups so that was good. Quickly, I checked the other fourteen copies. They were all just fine.

Thank God.

I have Christmas with my husband’s family today so I won’t get to call until later. Now that it’s all okay, he thinks it’s amusing and that I should keep the book for fun. I will.

2014 Black Friday Book Sale!

No matter if you’re spending Black Friday out at the stores searching for the perfect gifts or safely tucked in your home, here’s a deal you can snag from any computer. From now through Cyber Monday (Dec. 1st) these seven Inspirational/Sweet Romance ebooks are on sale for only .99 cents. So for the next few days you can download SEVEN books for less than ten dollars. Now that’s what I call a Black Friday sale!

Books are listed the author’s last names. Scroll down for descriptions. Each image is a link to the book’s Amazon purchase page. Happy reading!


 

New Year’s Eve

New Years EveLove was a resolution they didn’t plan on making.

Eve Larson arranged a solitary New Year’s celebration at her mother’s beach house to give herself the space to evaluate her recent hurts—the death of her mother and a broken engagement. She wants nothing more than to put them behind her and make a fresh start on January 1. When her ex-fiancé’s brother, Spencer Canley, shows up with one final demand from her past, Eve worries her plans are sinking like a ship off her beloved Texas coast. Circumstances keep Spencer at the beach longer than either of them initially want, but the delay gives each of them the opportunity to see the other in a different light. As Spencer makes a decision that changes everything about his upcoming year, he realizes he doesn’t want to repeat his brother’s mistake of pushing Eve away. A year ago, the changing of the calendar brought news that changed Eve’s whole life. Could this new year bring love back?

The Holiday Hearts Series: Heartwarming Stories of Finding Love on the Most Special Days of the Year.

Please Note: New Year’s Eve is a sweet contemporary romance novella with a word count of 22,000 words and a PG-level heat rating.


The Cupid Caper

Sometimes you’ve got to take Cupid’s bow and arrow into your own hands. The Cupid Caper

Amanda Marsh is in love with love. As a high school English teacher, she is surrounded by poetry and classic literature, including the love stories written by her favorite author, Shakespeare. She knows she’ll never find anything as romantic as the stories that have stood the test of time, so she’s settled on having a crush on chemistry teacher Luke Baker from a far.

Luke Baker left his career as a research chemist behind to share a love of science with students. And he’s about to make his pet project a reality as the curriculum lead for the district’s new specialized science and technology academy. When a poem shows up on his desk drawing him into The Cupid Caper, the Valentine’s Day-themed dance and fundraiser for Skyview High School’s Student Council, Luke dismisses the whole thing as a silly game. But when he realizes that winning the grand prize in The Cupid Caper is the one way he can help a star student attend the new STEM Academy, he decides to play along.

Paired together, the English teacher and the chemistry teacher both realize The Cupid Caper is more than a game, but neither can tell the other their feelings are no joke. When an education in happily ever after is on the line, will a man whose life has been ruled by the scientific method and a woman who quotes sonnets miss the mark, or will Cupid’s arrow finally ring true?

The Holiday Hearts Series: Heartwarming Stories of Finding Love on the Most Special Days of the Year

Please Note: The Cupid Caper is a sweet contemporary romance novella with a word count of 27,000 words.


Bachelor Father

Bachelor FatherAdoption caseworker Molly Hennessey is determined to place every child in her caseload in a happy home with two loving parents—the type of caring home she’s always dreamed of having herself. Determined, that is, until Brett Cahill comes along and disproves her lifelong perceptions of single parents.

Brett is a typical bachelor. He figures that someday he’ll settle down with a wife and have kids—but just not yet. Then, his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, leaving him with Jake, the Korean toddler they were in the process of adopting. But in order for Brett’s application to be approved he needs to be a married man and kiss his bachelor days good-bye.

Molly holds the power to give herself the home she’s always longed for and to give Brett what he wants most—little Jake. But will she realize it in time?


Searching for Home

She thought a dead relative ruined her life, but discovering his story will save it instead.Searching for Home

When the story of Whitney’s long-dead anarchist ancestor, Lewis Ingram, makes front-page news, she must find a way to exonerate her relative, or risk losing everything–her mayoral-candidate boyfriend and her job at a local magazine. Aided by Nate, a volunteer at the Chicago Historical Foundation, she digs in, determined to find a positive spin on the situation. But what awaits her isn’t spin at all. It’s truth–and it will change her life.

In the world of 1886, Ellen Ingram and James Kent didn’t intend to get caught in the middle of an anarchist spy ring. Ellen was content to leave all such intrigue to her brother, Lewis Ingram. But as the political climate in Chicago changes, Ellen and James have no choice. In the midst of the famous Haymarket Riot, both realize that they must live the life God created them for, not the one dictated by society.

Two generations encounter the same truth–and neither will ever be the same.


A Christmas Bond

A Christmas BondPrequel novella for the Sacred Bond series.

War hero John Moretti sees the delinquent boys he mentors as the sons he never had, and he wants to give them every opportunity to reform. Crime victim Annie Bauer views them as dangerous threats to her elderly grandma, who lives next door to the boys’ residential school.

When the Baby Jesus is stolen from Grandma’s yard nativity scene, the boys’ potential involvement may send them straight to hard-core juvie, and break the fragile connection that’s building between Annie and John. Until the so-called delinquents join together to make a sacred bond . . .


Finding Mr. Write

Jeremiah Jacobs moved to the Ozarks for a fresh start. He knows no one and has no plans to get romantically involved withFinding Mr. Write anyone. Ever. He’s already had his heart ripped out once and once is enough. Besides he has contractual obligations that prevent him from talking about work – and what woman would want to be involved with a man who has to keep his job a secret? When he attends his first local writers’ group meeting, he finds the leader so intriguing, his instant attraction to her threatens to complicate his currently uncomplicated life.

Dorrie Miller has never been good enough. Not for her father or any of the guys she’s dated in the past. She’s pushed beyond her father’s disapproval to have a good career while pursuing her dream of becoming a published novelist. The Christian Authors Network – Dedicated to Inspirational Distinction, or CANDID, is hosting their annual conference in Indianapolis and who’s rumored to be in attendance? The super reclusive, super-star author, Mya Elizabeth Linscott.

The hunky new member of her local CANDID group, Jeremiah, wants to carpool to Indy. Dorrie can handle not making a fool of herself for eight hours each way. Right? But she never imagined doing a favor for someone during the conference would leave her accidentally married to the gorgeous guy she barely knows. How will she get out of this mess, married to a near stranger? Does she want to? Will her insecurities and Jeremiah’s secrets tear them apart? Or can she trust that, all along, God’s been helping her with Finding Mr. Write?


Good Enough for a Princess

Good Enough for a PrincessCrown Princess Adeline of Montevaro has her life planned out for her: get her Master’s in international relations, marry nobility, produce an heir, inherit the throne. There’s no room for romance with the single father she meets when their cars collide on an icy winter night. Parliament – and her father – would never approve.

Charlie Brewer grew up without roots. The son of an archaeologist father and anthropologist mother, he either traveled along or lived with his aunt and uncle in the States. He’s determined to give his daughter the stability he never had. He also wants to give her a mom, but the beautiful European he’s falling for refuses to move to Serenity Landing, Missouri permanently.

He won’t move. She can’t stay. What will happen when they try to forget each other by dating someone “acceptable”? They find themselves drawn together by one of the girls in the after school program Addie supports – a girl who happens to be Charlie’s daughter. How will Charlie, and his daughter, feel when they find out the woman they’ve both fallen for is a… princess?

A trip halfway around the world shows Charlie and Addie how much they long to be together – and how impossible it is. Is there any way he can prove he is Good Enough for a Princess?

NaNoWriMo 2014: Days 4 and 5 or EEP! Missed one!

So most years I stay up super late on Halloween and begin NaNo at midnight and pop over to post a quick blog. However, I didn’t do that this year and I’ve been running a day behind. There’s also a giveaway going on here – until tonight!

So what have I been doing the last couple of days that led to no blog? Editing Good Enough for a Princess. The file has to be uploaded to Amazon by midnight tonight and it’s almost done. I finished the major stuff last night, have a few minor tweaks to make today and then have to finish adding front and back matter. I’m hoping to get all of that and – if I’m super ambitious! – the paperback formatted tonight. Having done it last week, I’m pretty sure it’ll go MUCH smoother this time!

I’m also debating putting Finally Mr. Write up for pre-order. If I were to do so, I’d have to have that final file uploaded by next Thursday for a 10/24 release date and I just don’t know that I’ll be able to. It’s out with my proofers right now and SHOULDN’T need much editing after that, but you never know. I’ll find out today what their ETAs are.

Have I mentioned my proofers ROCK?!

Total word count for the month is hovering around 2500. I’ll sort it out once I get past this deadline…

Then I just need to finish the other three books. They’re SO CLOSE and should all be out in December!

NaNoWriMo 2014: Day 3 or #GIVEAWAY!

Finding Mr Write FinalFor NaNoWriMo 2014 [when I have a chance to], I’m working on a book that should come out late next spring. But I’m also working on finalizing the books that are releasing THIS YEAR!!! The first one, Finding Mr. Write, comes out MONDAY!!! The Monday after that [11/17], book 2, Good Enough for a Princess, releases!!! Ah! I love Charlie and Addie!!

(You can preorder either book for Kindle by clicking on the cover ;))

Anywho… Giveaway?! Really?! Yep. See, here’s the deal. Addie is really Crown Princess Adeline of Montevaro. There are three sister countries in the Royal Commonwealth of… yeah. That’s where I get stuck. I used Rivanzaro in the “back matter” of Finding – at least for the moment [because it had to be turned in last week and it was an ACK! moment] :0). So… suggestions for a name for these three countries? Like when you say “Nordic countries” or “Scandanavian countries” or “the Balkans” someone knows where you mean.

So… suggestions? The person with the winning suggestion [my discretion!] will get their choice of a Kindle or paper copy* of Good Enough for a Princess, the first of 6 books coming out in the next 6-8 months [including this year’s NaNo project]. One other random winner will be drawn from all of those making suggestions.

So… the countries…

1. Montevaro – comprised of the Piedmont, Aosta Valley, and Liguria Administrative Regions of Italy

2. Mevendia – comprised of Valais Canton of Switzerland and portions of the Vaud and Geneve Cantons

3. Ravenzario – comprised of the islands of Corsica (France) and Sardinia (Italy)

That should give you an idea of where they are and the cultural influences [though they also have cultures all their own!]…

Suggestions will be taken through Thursday, November 6 at 10pm eastern time :).

Blurb:

Good Enough for a Princess FinalCrown Princess Adeline of Montevaro has her life planned out for her: get her Master’s in international relations, marry nobility, produce an heir, inherit the throne. There’s no room for romance with the single father she meets when their cars collide on an icy winter night. Parliament – and her father – would never approve.

Charlie Brewer grew up without roots. The son of an archaeologist father and anthropologist mother, he either traveled along or lived with his aunt and uncle in the States. He’s determined to give his daughter the stability he never had. He also wants to give her a mom, but the beautiful European he’s falling for refuses to move to Serenity Landing, Missouri permanently.

He won’t move. She can’t stay. What will happen when they try to forget each other by dating someone “acceptable”? They find themselves drawn together by one of the girls in the after school program Addie supports – a girl who happens to be Charlie’s daughter. How will Charlie, and his daughter, feel when they find out the woman they’ve both fallen for is a… princess?

A trip halfway around the world shows Charlie and Addie how much they long to be together – and how impossible it is. Is there any way he can prove he is Good Enough for a Princess?

*Paper copy in US only

NaNoWriMo 2014: Day 1 or Ugh

I have written nothing. I’m not sure I will get to. This makes me very sad :(.

I did listen to well over 100 pages of Finally Mr. Write. It’s being read by the British guy voice on my Kindle. It should be ready for proofers by Sunday afternoon. I also tried to fix the paperback cover for Finding Mr. Write but it needs fixing again sadly before I can order my proof copy… Next up is listening to Good Enough for a Princess and getting the final version ready for upload by Thursday…

Deep Thoughts on #ACFW2014

My favorite four or five days a year is the annual conference put on by American Christian Fiction Writers. It’s somewhere between 550 and 700 people who understand the voices in my head don’t mean I’m crazy ;).

Mentor of the Year Julie Klassen and my roomie, Jen Cvelbar who may have been fangirling ;)

Mentor of the Year Julie Klassen and my roomie, Jen Cvelbar who may have been fangirling 😉

People who get it. Who understand the craziness that is the life of a writer. Who talk about characters like they’re real people and don’t look at you like you’re nutso for doing the same. It’s like a giant family reunion filled with hugs long enough to last all year, squees and squeals, and fangirling over favorite authors – who you’re also blessed enough to call “friend.” Most years are filled with high-highs and low-lows. Ups and downs. Hellos and goodbyes. But overall, the experience is always, always positive. This year, though… I can’t put my finger on it. It was a study in internal contrasts. I spent the whole time happy and unsettled at the same time. So very glad to see old friends, make new ones, and upgrade acquaintances to friends. Last year, my biggest unexpected blessing was about an hour long convo with Sarah Ladd and upgraded that relationship. The year before that, a chance meeting in an elevator*.

Jen, Kristy, me, Joanna, Stacey

Jen, Kristy, me, Joanna, Stacey

It didn’t all qualify as “good.” I didn’t spend nearly enough time with my crit group – Kristy Cambron, Joanna Politano, Stacey Zink (Jen Cvelbar was my roomie! Jessica Koschnitzky couldn’t come :() – or several other friends. I’m pretty sure there’s a few people I never even saw.  But I also got to spend time with people I barely knew before – Janice Boekhoff, Marissa Deshais, Kimberly Rae Jordan, Traci Hilton, among others. And met people whose faces I only knew – like Allison Pittman and Cynthia Hickey. I missed a mentor appointment with the fabulous Cara Putman. I spent Jordyn Redwood, Candace Calvert, and Doc Mabry’s class on medicine in fiction because I was crying from overwhelmedness and then napping.

With Cheryl Wyatt, late Saturday night, as I left her room

With Cheryl Wyatt, late Saturday night, as I left her room

But this year that blessing was a very unscheduled skipping of the awards portion of the gala. I wanted to be there  – to see Laurie Tomlinson win the Genesis. To see Becky Wade win a Carol**. And Katherine Reay. And Jody Hedlund. And Melissa Jagears. And Tina Radcliffe. Instead, I headed up to the room of Cheryl Wyatt – a dear friend and mentor. We spent quite a long time together, talking, laughing a bit, and well, mentoring. Cheryl mentoring me, that is. I love that woman. She came into the meeting asking God to help me make the right decisions- and convinced the ones she was pretty sure I was making weren’t necessarily the right ones. By the time I left, she was convinced I’m making those decisions for the right reasons. They’re well-researched, well-thought out, and after discussing rationale, the right ones. For the right reasons. And she’s supporting me whole-heartedly. As bummed as I am I didn’t get to see those friends win awards or get a picture with my whole crit group, I was exactly where I needed to be. I left there with a peace that everyone I had talked with over the weekend (at least on the mentor-y scale and friend scale, not just randoms) were on board. What’s the decision? Well, that’s going to be announced on InspyRomance on Friday. Maybe it’s because of some big changes are coming. Big decisions have been made. Lots of upheaval in my writing world. But whatever the reason, I spent this weekend with undercurrents of disquiet. Not discontent, not really. But definitely something.

Newly contracted Pepper Basham

Newly contracted Pepper Basham

Even as I hugged dear friend Pepper Basham who, five minutes before, had signed her very first book deal (and, oh my stars, that book is so good!) or grinning and hugging with friends who’ve obtained a coveted full request from that dream editor or agent. Even as I worshiped with nearly 600 people who get me. As I soaked up information on marketing from mentors Janice Thompson and Kathleen Y’Barbo Turner and (new-to-me) author Anita Higman. Or had a very productive meeting with Tamela Hancock Murray, my wonderful agent. Or had a random encounter with an editor that could, someday, turn into something. Or sat in the lobby being mentored by Janice. Or in a Starbucks with Jeane Wynn. Or absorbed more than most people ever want to know about indie publishing from Randy Ingermanson. Or talked late-night with my roomie, Jen Cvelbar. Underscoring all of it was this… sense of… upheaval? Of change? Stirring inside. You know how it is. When your heart just isn’t settled.

I may have fangirled when I saw the amazing Sarah Ladd...

I may have fangirled when I saw the amazing Sarah Ladd…

So I come away from conference with mixed feelings. Confirmation of big decisions. Unexpected blessing time with mentors. But still this remaining sense of… something. Maybe it’s not disquiet. Maybe it’s… anticipation? Stirrings of change? Like when you’re riding the first part of the roller coaster and you know the slow, clankety ride to the top is nearly over. I’m not sure what it is, but I do know that I opened the “Days Until” app on my phone Monday morning and plugged in the next two conferences. I cannot wait. I’m excited about the changes coming. I’m anticipating what God’s going to do. It could be great. It could be good enough.  It will be good enough. It will be great. What the definition of “good enough” or “great” is remains to be seen. But as I’ve told others and as I’m struggling to know deep down inside, God’s got this. I’ve had so much confirmation that God had His fingers in all these pies before I even knew there were pies. God’s got it. Katie Ganshert posted this on her blog today: Trust is simple. Not easy. But simple. Now, her situation is much more… real? Eternal? Than mine. She’s trying to bring her legally adopted daughter home from Congo. But if God’s got her situation under control, I know He’s got mine, too. It ain’t easy. But it is simple.*** I’m working on it.

*I was in an elevator, she walked in. We greeted each other – each of us believing the other person was someone else. To this day, I can’t tell you who I thought she was, or vice-versa. About halfway through the elevator ride, we realized it, but neither one would admit it out loud. Not for several days. Now, we are critique partners and roommates this year with plans for next.
**named after Carol Johnson, former editor for Bethany House, not yours truly ;).
***Stolen from said blog post by the fabulous Katie
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