Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Been A While

Sorry it's been so long since I have posted a blog! We have been busy with lots of going-ons around the Copeland house! Here is an update on Hope for Today: It is at the publisher's, and I have a lot of work to accomplish for it by mid-January! The estimated goal to have it be in stores is October 2012-January 2013. There are a lot of things that go into publishing a book. There are things I need to get done, things the publisher needs to get done. I can only imagine what the publisher has to do! I am looking forward to Hope for Today coming out! It is by far my best book yet! Of course, it is only my second book, but my best one! I am currently working on Yesterday's Hope, which I am looking forward to accomplishing. My goal is to have it done by May. That doesn't give me a lot of time since there is a good chance we will be moving between now and then, but I am going to work hard at getting it finished and sent to my wonderful editor. I haven't worked on it a lot in the last few months with the unexpected trip to Ca due to my step-dad passing away. And then picking up where I left off with the boys and school and the holidays and whatnot. Lots to accomplish!
If we do move, I am a master packer and unpacker! I have done it so many times in mine and Chris' marriage that it can be done quickly! :) That's good news! Then I can continue to work on Yesterday's Hope. I love this book and the main characters in it. I have added a new one as the main character. I love this guy! So, that is the quick update. Today, my middle kiddo is lying on the couch with the stomach flu. That is why this blog isn't detailed and pretty quickly written. For now, I wish you all the Merriest of Christmas'! May God guide and bless you beyond all you could ask, hope, or think! I will forever be, In His Grip!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joy in THIS Season

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Pounds have been gained and are desperately desiring to be shed. (Although, I did quite well and didn't gain any from our turkey dinner!) :) Now, as we head into the Christmas season, shoppers are hitting the malls and stores. Christmas tree lots are sprouting up faster than ever. Putting up Christmas decorations and tree decorating have been the focus of the weekend for many homes. Christmas is a time of great pleasure and joy for me. I love Jack Frost nipping at my nose. I love putting on my heavy jacket and gloves just to walk across the street to 7 Eleven. I enjoy seeing my breath hang in the air as I leave the house at nine in the morning. Winter and Christmas, for me, is a joyful season. But that is not the Season I am referring to in my title.
The season I am referring to is the season of life you are in right now. Are you on cloud nine because everything is going your way? I pray you will find joy in that. Did you get that Christmas bonus you were hoping for? You did? Find joy in it. Did your kiddos make the honor roll or get the lead in the school program? Find joy in that! Did you get THE envelope saying the company needed to down size and had to let you go? Find joy in that. Did you get the mid-night call a family member has passed away? Find joy in that.
You see, I did. I received a phone call on Friday morning just a little after 4:30 a.m. My sister, nephews and I had just returned from Black Friday shopping. My head hit the pillow some time after 2:30 a.m. I awoke to the tear-stricken voice of my sister, Kim, telling me Vic, my step-dad, had passed away just a few hours beforehand. I was shocked, stunned, just as she was. We knew his time was getting closer because he was in the hospital with pneumonia while battling stage four lung cancer. We just didn't realize it would be a measley few hours later when he would take his last breath. My mom and sisters are heart broken. The loss for them seems to hard to bear at times, and rightly so. Vic is the first death we have had to face on my side of the family. I have walked down the path of death before in Chris' family, 4 times, to be exact. It's hard. It can be devastating when someone you love leaves this earth before their time, or so we think. So, where is the joy? Joy and happiness are two totally different things. Am I happy Vic died? Nope. Do I have joy, no matter what the circumstance? Yes. Why? Because I have Jesus. Please don't misunderstand me. I am in no way happy at the circumstances that have fallen upon my family. I have been doing Max Lucado's study, and this week, I am studying joy. He says this, "Jesus embodied a stubborn joy. A joy that refused to bend in the wind of hard times. A joy that held its ground against pain." So why is it that I can have joy? Just because Jesus did? Yes. Look at what John 15:11 says, "These things I have spoken to you that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be made full." Jesus wants His joy to be in me. I can have His joy. I am not happy, but I can have Jesus' "sacred delight" as Max Lucado describes it.
My family is walking through the shadow of death right now. I don't see that changing any time soon. My grandmother is often telling my sisters and myself she has nothing more to live for. She is 90 years old and tired. Her body is wearing down, and she says she is ready to go to heaven. She isn't sick or depressed. Just tired. The shadow of death may linger over my family. How long will my grandfather live without my grandmother? I don't know. God does, though. And I can rest in His ever capable hands because He tells me, "I will go nowhere toorrow that He hasn't already been. Truth will still triumph. Death will still die. The victory is mine. And joy is one decision away-seize it. The sacred summit. A place of permanence in a world of transition." (Max Lucado). Joy. It isn't hard to find, but it is sure hard to keep, isn't it? It doesn't have to be, though. Jesus is willing to give it if only we are willing to accept it. In this season of your life, may you experience the joy Jesus is giving to you. During this season of heartborkenness in my family, in the midst of sadness, I am choosing joy. Max and I will leave you with this, "Take a trip with the King to the mountain peak. It's pristine, uncrowded, and on top of the world. Stubborn joy begins by breathing deep up there before you go crazy down here." May you experience His joy during THIS season.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hope for Tomorrow Book Signing




I had my very first book signing on Friday, November 11 from 5pm to 7 pm.  As the day arrived, I went about my normal tasks. I got the boys up for their Friday school. I volunteered my hour and a half at the school. I went to Starbuck's to get my peppermint mocha (decaf of course) and then went grocery shopping and back to the school for Gage's science fair. By the time I got home, it was nearly 1 o'clock! I put away the groceries, ate a quick lunch, and sat down to read for a few minutes before I was supposed to pick up the boys at 3. Once I picked them up and we arrived home, my sister called to tell me she and her boys were on their way down to my house. She had canceled her plans with a neighbor just to come to the signing! Steff took the boys to Sam's Club for dinner and a treat and met me at Mardel Christian Bookstore. I was greeted by Jason once I walked in and informed him I was the author. He showed me the table and offered to get me pens and whatever else I needed. Dana, I believe the store manager, brought me two bottles of water, and then, I waited. I spoke with a man who had some physical issues, but he bought the book and sat down and talked with me some more. Jim is in need of a liver transplant. I immediately put him on my prayer list! Sarah came by on her way doing errands before she left for Kansas for her grandmother's funeral. Steff and the boys showed up with Chris, Russell, and Uncle Dale. Debbie, a woman from the church we used to go to, stopped by and bought a book and filled me in on her and her husband's lives. It was a blessing to have her there, even though we don't go to the same church anymore, she took time out of her day to support me. Rachel, a woman with three kids whose husband was out of town from our current small group, came and bought the book and talked with me a bit. Daniel and Tasha and their three kids showed up, as well, to buy the book and encourage me (they are from our current small group, too). It was a blessing that by 6:30, I had signed and sold 4 books! I had prayed for only 5 because I still don't know a lot of people in Colorado, and I didn't know how it would turn out. By 6:45, I had to use the bathroom, so Steff sat in for me. Of course, while I was away, a woman came and took a book and talked with Steff. Once I came back, I was able to meet Lisa and sign her copy. Overall, the book signing went well. Dana told me that selling 5 books was a huge deal because many authors don't even sell one! :) That made me happy. She even invited me back in January! When I got home, Steff had a cake that said, "Congratulations Joi" on it and had bought sparkling cider to celebrate! As I look back on that day, I was surrounded by family and friends who have been encouraging me in this crazy ride of writing! I am blessed beyond all I could ask, hope, and think! So, my signing was a success, and I look forward to having more! Perhaps I can even get to CA for one! :) Thanks, friends and family, who put so much time in encouraging me and showing me your love and support! I can't thank you enough!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Amazing Love

We all have those days. Days of doubt. Days of dispair. Days of discouragement. Don't we? We wake up and all of a sudden, what we thought we were isn't good enough. We went to bed thinking we were okay, life was good, and then something happens. It could be a mean word from your boss. A harsh statement from your spouse. What about an honest opinion from a child? Ever have one of those? "Mommy, why is your tummy bigger than (Fill in the blank)?" Hm. Moments of sadness can cloud our vision, take away our security, and leave us feeling blah, rejected, and dejected. They happen in a split second and sometimes it takes days to move on. It hurts. Life hurts. Words hurt. So, what do we do? When those moments of someone else's reality hit us like a ton of bricks and lead us down the road to dispair, where do we turn? What do we do?
I posted on Facebook today I was discouraged. I prayed about it this morning, spent time in the Word, yet I just couldn't shake it. I received some wonderful words of encouragement from my dear friends, had an email or two encouraging me, and even had a few phone calls from those who just wanted to lift me up. I had truth spoken into my life from so many dear ones! And all of those things helped! And then I remembered a verse I posted (althoug incorrectly) on Facebook yesterday: Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and He saves those whose spirits have been crushed."
Isn't it funny how what we learn just a few days ago can come back to encourage and uplift us? Isn't amazing that the God of the Universe knew exactly what I needed even before I did? That He cares enough to share His love for me? My spirit was crushed yesterday. I was dwelling on it today. And what did He do? He reminded me of this verse and caused so many people to pour forth their love into my life! What a wonderful Savior! That He would do those things and send these amazing people is astounding! I love serving my Lord who cares for me! Don't believe that He does? Take a look at 1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your cares upon Him because He cares for you." Awesome, isn't it? God has time for me! God cares for me! Did He come down and sit with me on my couch while I cried? Not in a physical sense. But He sent His Spirit of remembrance as well as His people. For those of you who contacted me, thank you! Thank you for listening to Him! Thank you for "encouraging one another." 1 Thess. 5:11. I am blessed, truly blessed!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Thought or Two

Every day I think about the story line of my last book in the Hope Series. I have called it Yesterday's Hope. I often think about Arthur, a new character introduced in Hope for Today. I think about the heartache and pain he has suffered in his life, and my heart breaks for the man. I think about Jake and Emily and the road they are going down. It is a difficult road, to be sure. I have had a double dose of bad news this last week in regards to family members. So, I know the sadness one goes through in dealing with life, in watching loved ones deal with sickness, and with being so far away from those suffering. Jake and Emily are blessed to have family and friends around them, supporting them, loving them, walking down this dark road with them. But Arthur, although he is not dealing with sickness, has his own road full of demons and sadness to go down. Yet, he is alone. Which makes me wonder how many people in the world are alone in difficult times? How many walk through life with no family and friends? It is so easy in today's society to be alone. We live in an age of connecting through the internet, not in person. What about older people? What about those who technology is a struggle, and therefore, don't use much of it? What about those people who have no one? How do they cope with the sadness of life? Who do they turn to? I recently watched a movie about an older man, maybe in his 70's, whose Christmas gift to himself was going to be death. He had wrapped a gun and put it under his tree. When he fell in love, the woman asked him why he would do that. He response was, "I am just so lonely and tired of living a life of loneliness." Needless to say, it broke my heart and I was in tears. So what? What is the point? The point is simply this: I want to be a Brittany and look for those who are alone in this life and offer them some type of friendship and hope. I look forward to this journey with Arthur. I look forward to the changes that are going to take place in his life as well as Brittany's and her family's lives. So, get ready! Because Yesterday's Hope promises to bring just that: Hope, especially from taking a good look at our past!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My first

I opened up my email last night and my eyes were immediately drawn to one particular email, "interview questions" the subject line read! My first interview! This made me feel like I am truly an author! I quickly opened up the email and answered the questions, sending it right away! I loved the questions and am so blessed to have been able to do the interview! Thanks, Holly, for giving me this opportunity! I am truly blessed! Here is the link in case you are interested in reading the interview and book review on Hope for Tomorrow:http://www.favchristianbooks.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Another idea for a Book

I had an idea last night about my grandparents' letters to each other. I sat down at the computer to write, and this is what I came up with. Tell me the truth now! Do you like it? Give me some criticism and let me know what you honestly think! :)


Prologue


“Nana!” Sophia Blake's voice rang out in surprise. Her big, brown eyes shown in excitement as she drew out what appeared to be letters. Some were in plastic bags, some were in bundles with a rubber band holding them together. Others were placed with care in manilla envelopes. Sophia's chestnut brown hair bobbed back and forth as she shook her head. “What are these?” She carefully reached in to the plastic bag and removed a letter. It was dated nineteen forty-four.

Nana shrugged her shoulders, a soft smile playing at the corner's of her mouth. “Those old things?” She took the letter Sophia was holding out to her. “Why, I haven't thought about those in years. My goodness, where does the time go?”

Sophia uncrossed her legs and stretched. She had been spending the day at her grandmother's house. She glanced around at the living room. The carpet was blue, like most of the room itself. Her Nana had had it installed just a few years ago. Funny, though, Sophia thought it was the same blue that was previously there. Nana's white walls were decorated with old pictures Nana's grandmother made out of material. The pictures were framed and bolted to the wall in case an earthquake would jolt them down. Over the fireplace mantle hung a rectangular mirror. Sophia remembered that being there her entire life. Just to the right of the fireplace sat Papa's green chair and ottoman. When Sophia was younger, much younger than her now thirty-five years, she and her siblings would jump off of the ottoman. Nana and Papa never yelled at them for doing so. As a matter of fact, her own children were encouraged to jump off that ottoman by Sophia's grandparents.

“Those, Sophie,” Nana began in her quivery ninety year old voice, “are the letters Papa wrote me when he was overseas in World War II.”

Sophia's eyes grew wide. “You've kept them all these years?”

Nana patted the top of her white hair with her free hand. “I had forgotten I still had them. Oh dear,” she sighed, reading the words written on the aged paper. Nana never said “dear” as it should be said. She always left off the “r” sound and made the word sound like “dea-ya” instead. That was her Maine upbringing. Nana lived in California for over fifty years, yet she still kept her eastern accent. Sophia loved listening to her grandmother talk. It wasn't just the word “dear” Nana said with an accent, but also the word, “park”, which often came out as “pawk.” Sophia would tease her grandmother into saying, “Park the car in the parkway.” Every “r” sound came out the same way.

Sophia chuckled to herself as she stood up and sat on the arm of the floral couch her grandmother sat on. She leaned over Nana's shoulder and read the letter out loud,


Wednesday, November 22, 1944

“Hello Honey-

Well, here I am back at Kandy and still no mail. I find that they have been sending it around to the various places I have been. So it will probably be about a week more before I will be getting any mail.

How's this? I've been reading a western story which was written by an Englishman and printed in India. And it sounds just like one of Zane Grey's yarns.

I've just come back from the movies where I saw, “Two Girls and a Sailor.” It was pretty good. They use the mess hall for double duty-both to serve meals in and as a theatre.

Maybe I should tell you this now, honey, so that you will be forewarned. I'm quite apt to be spoiled by the time I come home. You see, it's the system of servants that they have here. We find tea besides our bunks by the time we wake up in the morning, get our beds made, shoes shined, bags carried, anything! All we have to do is just yell, “Boy!” and he's always on the spot to do anything that we tell him. I feel that such luxury is spoiling me.

I learned something very valuable while I was in India. I met a special services officer and he was telling me about the GI Bill of Rights. I find that I can go to school at government expense after the war and get paid besides. What do you think of that?

It's getting late so I will say goodnight now to my sweet darling wife whom I love with all of my heart.

Good night, Honey. Will all my love,

Tozier

Sophia slid off the arm of the couch and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Nana, this is amazing. I can hardly believe you've never told me about these letters! Can I read more of them?”

Nana patted Sophia's hand with all the love Sophia had grown accustomed to. “Take them home with you, if you like. They are all yours.”

Sophia's mouth hung open in bewilderment. “Mine? Really?”

Nana smiled and nodded her head. Sophia reached out and hugged her grandmother's thin, frail frame. “Thank you, Nana! Thank you!”

“If you ever have any questions, just let me know. I will answer them as much as this old woman's memory will allow her to!” Nana tapped her temple with her forefinger.

Sophia gathered up the remaining letters and carefully put them in her giant purse. She was glad she brought her big purse today. Sophia called her children in from the backyard and told them to clean up. It was almost time to leave. Once the kids said their good-byes, she buckled them up in her minivan and maneuvered the vehicle onto the two ten freeway. She was anxious to get home so she could begin reading the letters of love written by her grandfather.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A full time job

This week has flown by! Before I even knew it, Friday was upon me, drawing me to enjoy a quiet day without my three kiddos while they are in Friday school. I love Fridays. It gives me time to myself, which is often needed. Friday give my boys a chance to see what school outside of the home is like. So, when Friday comes, all four of us are excited! Fridays are a chance for me to write, as well.
I love writing. I want to write more through-out the week. I enjoy catching up on the characters of my stories, watching them develop and change. On top of writing, Chris' aunt is editing my second book, Hope for Today. She is doing an AMAZING job doing so! I have been getting chapters pretty regularly with suggestions to dig deeper, improve my writing technique, and not to settle "telling" something, but "showing" something instead. It is hard. I have to think as I change things in the story. I mean, really think. I don't think I have ever really "thought" that hard to tell a story. She is definitely challenging me, and Hope for Today will be all the better for it!
I don't like to wait for Fridays to come to write, so I have been taking out my laptop to work on Hope for Today so I don't fall behind. 45 minutes here, 30 minutes there. The time flies by wat too quickly before I realize I have to put away the laptop and  make dinner, clean the house, or do whatever it is that needs to be done. And of course, I normally wait to take out the laptop until I am done teaching the boys. I don't have a lot of time during the week, I am realizing. Chris is wonderful to give me time when we have it, but even our nights are filling up rather quickly. So, what is the point to this blog? I may still be trying to figure that out! :) I do know that writing is a full time job! I just wish I had the time to do it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Opposite of Faith

My youth pastor from years ago used to talk about the opposite of faith. He would tell us it wasn't doubt. He told the youth group it was negativity. I have been a Christian for over twenty years now, and that one statement has stuck with me (amongst many others Chuck would say). Recently, I have discovered that has been my problem. I was having the opposite of faith. I was negative and complaining a lot. The weird thing is, by nature, I am a positive and optimistic person. I truly am! It is one of the things that has a tendency to drive those I love crazy. I normall look at life through "rose colored glasses". I don't see the glass half empty, but rather, half full. I can typically look at a situation and know it will all work out in the end, and if it hasn't, it's not the end (Max Lucado). So, imagine my surprise one day when I realized how negative I was being. Friends would call and ask how I was. I would complain about the kids or whatever thought came my way! Chris and I were on a date and walking around one of the many lakes we have here in Colorado. I gazed at the lake while waiting for Chris to come out of the bathroom. I saw little ripples form. I was like those ripples. I would start complaining and being negative and my bad attitude would just keep going and going. It wouldn't stop, much like those ripples. I decided at that moment that I was done complaining. No more of it! No more negativity. Because, you see, it really is the opposite of faith. How can I expect God to move in my life if I am negative? He won't always move the way I want, but there is still good in that, too. I have been less negative this week, and it shows in my every day life, including my writing. I am more open to criticism about my writing. I am more apt to make changes and see things through a postitive mind set. So, if you wonder why you aren't joyful, try to be positive and not negative. It makes all the difference in the world. Oh, and Chuck, thanks for speaking the truth! I am thankful, some twenty years later, that you did! :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

What People are Saying

I have been asking for feedback in regards to Hope for Tomorrow. I really wanted to see what people were saying and thinking about it. So, I asked on facebook! Below are some people's responses! I am thrilled with the feedback and love hearing what readers have to say! If you have read or are in the process of reading the book, leave a comment here or on my facebook page! I would love to hear from you! And for those of you who have read it and are leaving comments, thank you! I appreciate them! So, without further ado, below is what people are saying about Hope for Tomorrow:

I am reading your book and I'm on page 59! Love it! The characters grabbed me right away ( important to me when I start a book) You are making me care about these folks! :-) - Pam Smith

Joi, You are a fantastic writer. I just finished reading ALL of Hope for Tomorrow. (book title underlined!!!) I couldn't put it down after ch 3. I loved many things about it; ie theme, your vividness in describing the characters, but I loved the way you had them saying little prayers all day in dealing with different circumstances. This is like praying without ceasing. Can hardly wait for Hope for Today to be on the shelves!!!! Ruth Dickie

 I finished mine weeks ago and I am anxiously waiting for the next one. For me the book got better as it went on and it seemed your writing evolved and matured in the book. It was very good Joi. :) Christina Fisher
 
So I love the book and I cant put it down. My mom comes over and she is reading it and enjoys it. I am on Chapter 10. Congrats! I am going to let all my mary kay friends know about it also. Julie Storlie
Overall, I liked it. I had a bit of a bumpy start. I like to read the synopsis on the back so I know what to expect. The back cover tells about how Jo comes from a tight family and then tragedy strikes. So, I read the first 5 or 6 chapters waiting for the tragedy and then realized "Oh, they're talking about before". It threw me a little and I had to put it down for a few days. When I did pick it back up, it was right where she was starting to see Mark and it went very well from there. Once I started again, I didn't want to put it down and really wanted to see what happened. It caught me from there. I honestly couldn't say whether the first part was just as good because I read it with expectation and was disappointed by that. I personally liked it. I'm really looking forward to the next one. Krista Tucker

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Cup Overflows!

I was up at a most ungodly hour this morning. I jumped online to pay some bills, check my email, and of course, check the ever addicting facebook. What I found on facebook literally brought tears to my eyes! My friends and family had been busy promoting my book before 5:00 a.m. Colorado time! I was stunned! Mind you, most of these people are friends I hadn't talked to or seen in years since before joining facebook. Yet, here they were, encouraging me, supporting me, suggesting to their friends and family to buy a book they haven't even read yet! (By the way, once you do, please post a review on amazon!) My heart was bursting! My cup runs over! So, Mike, Sarah, Steff, Jay, Jeana, Nancy, Kim, Chris, and so many, many more, thank you! Thank you for believing in me! Thank you for putting the Bible into action "encourage one another while it is still called today." Consider me encouraged, dear ones! Consider me blessed! Consider my cup filled to overflowing because of you all!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Feelings

I have been asked by several people now how I feel about Hope for Tomorrow being published and available to the public. My response is simply this: I am nervous, excited, and overjoyed that a dream has come true! I am published! It's a weird feeling. I now have people reading my stories. I have people commenting on my stories! I had someone tell me she sobbed when she finished chapter 2! And that wasn't even the sad chapter to me! I am blessed because I have had so many people encouraging me before the book even came out! And now that it is out,  I wonder: will you like it? Will you laugh or cry? Will some of you perhaps see yourself in certain characters? (I know I did!)Will you know my heart as I wrote the book? And would you buy the second one if it were to get published? :)
I don't want to be a "one hit wonder". I want to write more than one book and get more than one book published! I don't want to be rich or famous. I want to tell stories that draw people closer to God. I want to write to encourage others and uplift them as they travel through this world. I want to write for God's glory.
So, yes, I am thrilled Hope for Tomorrow comes out on September 1! I am thrilled many of you have gotten it already! I am thrilled Comfort Publishing believed in the story enough to take a chance on me! Yet, I am nervous. But, I trust in God to bring to pass what He will. Not my will, but His be done.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Road Traveled

Cancer. It's a new six letter bad word, isn't it? Almost worse the the four letter bad words that are so prevalent in our vocabulary. Cancer wreaks havoc on lives and brings the strongest of people to their knees. It makes grown men cry. It causes women to weep. It leaves children without parents, parents without children. Cancer strips away any security that was once felt. Cancer. It gives many of us the ibby-jibbies just thinking about it. Many of us are praying cancer by-passes us and those we love. Yet, here we are, in a society where cancer is running rampant and it shows no favorites. Cancer.
As I embark on writing Yesterday's Hope, a good portion of it deals with cancer. I am going to travel down a road that is quite familiar to me. Chris' grandparents died of cancer. Chris' mom has cancer (and is beating it, by the way). Chris' great-uncle has prostate cancer. My step-dad has stage four lung cancer. My brother-in-law's father just passed away from stomach cancer. And a really precious woman, Cynthia, went to be home with Jesus due to cancer. So, this is a road frequently traveled by me and Chris' family. And sometimes, just sometimes, I have to wonder, God, are You there? Then, I am reminded of the words of Jesus, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!" And then, peace. Peace fills my soul. Jesus HAS overcome the world. He tells me to take heart! Peace. He has also said He won't leave us alone. "And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." He promises to be with the woman going through chemo to fight breast cancer. He promises to be with the wife waiting in the hospital's waiting room, anxious to find out if the cancer has spread through her husband's body. He is with the parent who lost their child to that rare form of cancer. He is with you. Always. Even to the end of the age. Always. He may not stop the cancer from happening. He may not heal the person who asks. But He is with you. Always.
It isn't easy traveling down this road. It hurts those going through it and it hurts those watching them go through it. Not only is God with you, but He comforts you. As I write Yesterday's Hope, I am praying for all who will read it. I am praying for comfort on those who are battling with cancer, and I am praying for those who are battling with them. And please, pray for me as I write this book.  Let me leave you with one more promise from God, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Be A Part of Yesterday's Hope!

So I know I shared this on facebook, but for those of you who didn't see it, here it is again: If you want to try to be a part of my third book, Yesterday's Hope, tell me how you got engaged. How did you or your significant other propose? I will choose which tory, or maybe two stories, even, that I like the best and with your permission, put it into Yesterday's Hope! Are you in? Leave a comment here or message me on facebook! I would love to hear your stories! And again, thank you for your love and support!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Fans

I sit here, amazed at how much love and support I have been receiving from all of you! Dear friends and family, I am humbled that you are supporting me, loving me, and encouraging me in my "writing career"! I am so blessed beyond words, although this is my feeble attempt at thanking each and every one of you! And you haven't even read the book yet! Let's just hope you are still fans after you read the book! :)  But the outpouring of love from you all has blessed my soul more than I can express. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all so very much! Thank you for your kind words, your love, your willingness to buy the book! Thank you for encouraging me as I continue to write, for being proud of me. I love reading what you write on Facebook, and I love that you "like" my status. I love that you are "liking" my book page and are willing to buy (or even borrow) Hope for Tomorrow. May you all be blessed like you have blessed me! Thank you so much! I am in awe! I love you all! "I thank my God everytime I remember you." Philippians 1:3

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Revising

I wrote Hope for Today and sent it to a publisher. Then I re-read Hope for Today and was appalled I sent it to a publisher! It was okay as a rough draft, but certainly not as a manuscript you want to share with people! Yikes! So, I began revising it. And revising it. And revising it! Finally, yesterday, after adding about 25,000 extra words or so, I was able to re-send it! Thanks, Comfort Publishing, for allowing me to do so! You know what? I like this one! I really do! I added more depth to places where I just kind of stopped after one sentence. I added more insight. I like this one a lot. I don't know if Comfort will publish this book. If they don't, I completely understand. But I am quite happy with this finished product. No matter what, I do want this one published! It deals with some heavier issues, but it was great writing it! And now I can focus on Yesterday's Hope, the last book in the Hope Series! There is a lot that is going to happen in that one. I look forward to researching and bringing out some changes for the main characters. I look forward to getting to know a new character, too! Stay tuned for more info on that one! I will probably tackle this one starting next week when my boys begin Friday school. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cynthia and Hope for Today

I met Cynthia Curro over a year ago. I had two interactions with her. One, I got her phone number from her so she and I could meet. And the second one was when we met at Applebee's in Littleton so I could hear her story. You see, Hope for Today, my second novel in the Hope series, is her story in regards to cancer. I asked her permission to tell her story to others. Of course, I did embellish on it, but overall, it is her story. She told me her blog, and I began reading it everyday before we met. I wrote down questions to ask that I just didn't understand. Actually, one of them had to do with a port placement. I had no idea what one was. I had asked her about it, and she showed it to me. She said, "Do you want to touch it?" NO! I am not a person who enjoys medical stuff. She was a nurse, so I suppose she was used to that. She laughed and teased me a bit, but continued on with her story. I won't tell it here, because I hope to do it justice in Hope for Today. But I can tell you what an amazing woman she was.
You see, last Thursday, Cynthia went home to be with Jesus. One thing I remember about our time together was when she said to me, "I've got the best of both worlds here. If I beat cancer, I get to watch my girls grow up to be amazing women! And if I don't, I get to live on with Jesus. Either way, I win." She literally blew my mind! Her faith and trust in Christ was unwavering that day. She touched my heart and life and challenged me. Like I said, I only had two interactions with her, but they will forever be etched in my heart and life. Cynthia was courageous, strong, faithful, and loving. She was an beautiful woman, inside and out. I was blessed to know her, even if it was for just a little bit.
Teri, if you read this, thank you for introducing me to Cynthia. What a phenominal woman! And I was, and am, truly blessed!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Historical Fiction

While visiting my grandparents on our trip to California, my grandmother gave me her letters my grandfather had written to her while he was in China during WWII. I decided then and there I was going to write my first historical novel based on these old letters! I started reading them on the drive home to Colorado. They are truly amazing! I love the sweet way my grandfather reassured her of his love for her, that only she would have his heart all of his days. He promised once he was out of the army, he would never leave her again. And he hasn't! They were married in 1944! This last June they celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary! Amazing! So, once I am done with the Hope series, I am going to tackle my first historical fiction novel! I am so excited about it! Not only do I get to dive into history, but I get to dive into my grandparents' history, as well! What fun! Of course, I am going to add to a lot of the story, which makes it fiction, but I look forward to it! I can hardly wait!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hope From Yesterday

My wonderful husband blessed me with some "alone" time after church today. I went upstairs and took my laptop with me. I wanted to get some writing done. Before I began, I layed down on my bed and prayed God would tell me what to write. I don't want to write what I want, but I want to write what He wants. A thought began to form in my head. I kind of laughed to myself, thinking how odd it was. It was the very last chapter of Hope from Yesterday! I only have 3 chapters written right now. I thought it was funny that I would want to write the last chapter of this book before I finished the other 17 chapters or so! But, I didn't want to lose that thought, so I began to write! As I was writing, I was crying! It was a very emotional chapter for me. Not because it is the last book in the series, but because of the topic of the last chapter. It was a good one, though. I know I will probably change some of it, and certainly, I will add to it, as well. But overall, I think it is pretty good! I look forward now to writing the other chapters! I wonder what's going to happen in them? As of now, I have only a slight clue!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hope Series

So, my very first book that is coming out in September is called Hope for Tomorrow. I absolutely love this book! It is fun, with some amusing banter. There are some deeper issues in this book, but overall, it is pretty light. My second book, Hope for Today, is a lot heavier. It deals with issues of forgiveness as well as sickness. There are some pretty heavy things going on in that book! I pray it will get picked up by a publisher! I really felt God direct and lead me in writing this book. I pray it will encourage women in their lives and marriages. It centers around Kayla and Brad, two characters in the first book, but not making a huge appearance in the first book.
 My third book, Hope From Yesterday, is just in the beginning stages. And what fun I am having with this one already! I see where I want this book to go, and pray it will touch lives, as well! I wrote two and a half pages yesterday in the matter of an hour. My friend constantly tells me she is amazed I can do that, especially with a houseful of kiddos running around! For me, it isn't hard to write. I just open myself up to what I want to say and let God do the rest. You see, I don't want to just write to write. I want to write with a purpose. I want to write to glorify God and encourage others. I pray that is the message my books bring.
My grandparents and I were laughing the other day about the titles of my books. We are now calling them the "Hope" series. My grandfather asked what my next series was going to be called. "Hopeless?" he had asked! Can you imagine? Hopeless in Colorado! Now that would be a sad series to write! Truth be told, I do have the first book in the next series in my head. I look forward to bringing to life a new set of characters and bringing back to life some of the old! Oh, the joy of writing! Stay tuned for more posts and insights! And as always, thank you for supporting me as I write! You are loved and appreciated!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Sneak Peak

I can hardly believe Hope for Tomorrow comes out in a little over two months! September 1 is right around the corner! I am excited and look forward to that day! So, in honor of my excitement, I thought I would give you a  sneak peak of Hope for Tomorrow! Here is the prologue. Don't forget to tell me what you think! Enjoy!

                                                           Hope For Tomorrow

Sue sat on her couch, tears streaming down her face. Her whole world was being torn apart, and she had no way of knowing how to stop it. The blue scrapbook was open. She didn’t know why she was torturing herself this way, looking at a book with precious memories she had painstakingly put together. In one single moment, everything had changed. Sobbing quietly, she flipped another page, one that took her breath away. The page showed her family, all together, happy and joyful. Will we ever be that way again? Her family was about to be destroyed, never to be the same again, all because of one choice. Why, Lord? Why is this happening? No answer came. Sue was devastated. Her heart felt as if it were being smashed into tiny pieces. How could things have turned out this way? How could one person change the course of their lives without even realizing the consequences of their actions? Sue sighed heavily and closing her eyes, she leaned against the couch. Her mind drifted back to how it all began.


Monday, June 20, 2011

How It All Began

I have always wanted to write. Ever since I can remember, I loved writing. I started at an early age. I remember being in fourth grade or so and just writing stories. When I hit junior high, I wrote even more, and then found myself on our school paper. I loved every minute of it! After I became a Christian, I began writing short stories. My sister, Steffanne, loved them and kept encouraging me to write. I did for a period of time, and then stopped. I don't know if it was just that life got in the way or what. I didn't pick up a pen and paper for over ten years! And then, everything changed!
We moved to Colorado without having a job or really a permanent home. My sister and her gracious family offered us a place to live so Chris could find a job in this wonderful state we desired to move to. One night in September of 2008, the four of us, Steff, Russell, Chris, and I  were sitting in the backyard, enjoying the warmth of the evening. We had been in Colorado for a month, and neither one of us had a job. Steff began questioning me about writing. With the encouragement of these three wonderful people, I went to bed that night, thinking, "Can I write a book? Should I even try?" A day later, Chris bought me a journal to begin writing in. That night, I woke up with an idea! The next morning, my writing career began! And Hope for Tomorrow was born!
I love writing! I love creating people and situations that truly become alive in my mind! I have grown to love certain characters, to value who they are and what they aspire to be! I enjoy the different circumstances that are causing them each to grow, and in the midst of it all, I cry and weep with the pain they experience! Oh, the thrill of the pen! (Or should I say the computer?) I am loving every minute of it, and I can only pray that as you, the reader, read each book I write and have published, you will enjoy, learn, and love each book you read! I welcome feedback! Please, feel free to leave me comments! And, thank you for taking the time to read the books I write, taking the time to read this blog! And may God bless you as you seek to do His will!