Short-Straw Bride

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer has to be one of the best books I’ve read this year. From the moment Meredith steps on the forbidden Archer land to the last page I found myself cheering her on.
Can you imagine being chosen to marry by the groom-to-be getting the short straw in the pick? How would you feel?  How does Meredith handle those feelings?
This book has an abundance of brothers to love, a worthless uncle and really bad men to dislike.
Excellent read.
This book was provided to me for review. I’m so glad because I would have bought it.

Here’s the back cover copy:


No one steps on Archer Land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a long-standing debt compels her to take the risk.

Years of constant vigilance harden a man. yet when Travis Archer comes across a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can’t bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt prompt him to attempt to rescue her once again.

Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she vows to stand by  his side. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her as merely a short-straw bride? 

Know what else is really fun about this?

Karen is giving away a copy of Short-Straw Bride! You can enter until Saturday, June 8 at 5:00 pm CENTRAL STANDARD TIME.
How?   Leave a comment with your email address.

Find out more about Karen and her other books here:

What’s in Your Face?

Ever feel like the piles on your desk, the work around the house and those you love are in your face?

Wendell the Taskmaster Cat

It’s been that way since the beginning of spring at our house. Taking classes on blogging and social media marketing have taken a toll on my work time.

This week has been about taking charge of what needs to be done. Or at least making a list of those things.

  • Writing has to come first, I’m way behind on getting proposals written.
  • It’s time to clean out the closet -AGAIN…I really thought that was a once and done project
  • Spring cleaning and I’ve looked for springs in my house to clean. Didn’t find any so I can scratch that off my list, right?
  • Sign up for ROW80— a place to post my writing goals

Seriously, are things piling up on you? Tell me in a comment below.

*ROW80 Wednesday Check-In
Goal–Finish proposal by June 21

In the doghouse?

A friend sent this to me after he ‘messed up’ with his wife. I’d love to tell you what he did, but that wouldn’t be nice. It did make me wonder about the times I might have sent my husband to the dog house and what he did to get out of it.

Sorry Ed. There my apology is out of the way first. 🙂

He hasn’t given me a yucky gift since we’ve been together, but he does do the occasional thing that makes me point my finger.

1. Works to much
2. Doesn’t spend enough time talking to me, but has time to talk to his best friend on the phone.
3. THE BIGGIE –Reads the newspaper while we eat dinner, one that I’ve prepared!

He’s really close to going back to the doghouse for number 3, but number 1 keeps him out of it. I appreciate how hard he works so that I might continue writing.

So how does he get out of the doghouse? He’s really good at making me laugh before he even gets through the doghouse door.

How about your spouse? How does he/she get out of that doghouse?

**** PV (you know who you are) fixing the bumper won’t get you out of the doghouse. Try a gift certificate for a massage. WOOF!

Don’t Photoshop Me!

Flipping through magazines while waiting for my hairstylist often makes me sad. I look at the photos of perfect bodies and hair and wonder why I can’t achieve it, no matter how hard I try.

Conversations with my stylist are enlightening. The hair is seldom real, extensions are added along with tons of product to hold the hair in shape during a shoot.

Photoshop is often always used to make those bodies a bit tanner and thinner.

What message is being sent to young girls? Or even older women?
We aren’t good enough as we are. Even Christian women who know in our hearts that God created us, we are beautiful and wonderfully made, still think what we look like now can’t be what He desires.

So we tan, eat less, schedule another exercise class and maybe loose a few pounds.
Then we fall into a funk.

Why? Because we still don’t look like the magazine ads, the commercials or our favorite star.

A friend of mine produced this video as a class project. It’s worth watching and not just once. Show it to your daughters and your friends. Get into a discussion about what real people are supposed to look like.

8 Ways to Get Over a Bad Day

Sad Girl photographer: jim

                                         8 Ways to Get Over a Bad Day

1. Play with a puppy
2. Get a pedicure
3. Blow bubbles with some kids
4. Call a good friend
5. Watch a funny movie
6. Eat your favorite comfort food–mine is Annie’s Gluten free mac & cheese
7. Read a new book
8. Use that expensive bubble bath you’ve been saving.

Add to this list by leaving a suggestion in the comment box.

Hotel, RV or Tent?

A group of Christian writers hang out at Take Flight on Facebook and Patty Wysong suggested we do a progressive interview. Writers love this sort of thing and we hope readers do as well. So the question I asked was, “Would you rather sleep in a hotel, RV or tent?” My answer is at the end.

5th wheel and Doge Truck


Yvonne Blake Hmmm… that’s a hard one! (It depends on the weather and the company.) I’ll have to say “tent” – hoping the conditions are all favorable. 
Sharon Clements Srock I love being in the open, I hate sleeping on a cot. Never met a comfortable one. So I’d have to say RV, the comforts of home, but the ability to take it with you.
Joanne Sher I have been in an RV and a tent a total of three times – (the RV once). I love the IDEA of a tent, but I’m gonna have to go with the hotel. It doesn’t have to be the Ritz or anything. No RV, cuz I have NO desire to even try to drive something like that (and hubby can’t drive). And if he’s with me, he’d have a HECK of a time getting up from the ground if we were in a tent. My link?
Sherri Wilson Johnson
Grew up with an RV. Can’t wait to own one again one day so me and hubby and the Chihuahua can hit the road!
Valerie Friesen Comer My husband and I tented for years, with numerous camping trips every summer with our kids. Still, eventually, our bones got a little creakier and we switched to a camper. Last year we bought a little camping trailer and absolutely love it. It has all the comforts of home, but we can park it by a creek in the mountains and still enjoy the fresh air, the fishing, the berry picking, and just the peacefulness of nature soothing our souls.
Linda McQuinn Carlblom
RV for short one or two night trips. But hotels for anything longer. I’m a wimpy, spoiled brat at heart! LOL.
Sharon Hoover
RV but I want to say tent. :-/ An RV would allow me to move from place to place with my stuff soooo easily. But a tent is so much more open and relaxing!
Patty Sargent Wysong

When I was a little girl in Maine, my parents had a Shasta. We had such good times in that lil thing! When Dad retired, they were full-time RVers for several years and they had so much fun! They would come visit us, set up in our driveway, and still be home. When they were on the road Mom was the Post Card Queen and we got to travel vicariously through her post cards. So, I’d have to say RV. I like my comfort and the RV would give me comfort and freedom–and for a wimpy free spirit like me, that sounds like a slice of heaven. Where do I sign up?

Kristi Peifer

Tent camping is great, but my youngest, who is autistic, doesn’t do well in a tent. I’m hoping when he’s a bit older we’ll get to try it again. Meanwhile, we have stayed in hotels. The enclosed space of a hotel room is comforting to him.

Janet Sketchley

Hotel, and since I’m wishing, a classy one. In a world without weirdos (wishing again) I’d choose a tent in a campground with trees and lots of water

Christina Rich
I’d say tent, but I’m liking some of those RVs I’ve seen on House Hunters (yep, a fan). 

Audra Christensen Silva

Oh, good question. I’m an all three kinda gal. I love tent camping if it’s a short stay, and the weather is reasonable. If it’s a longer stay, I’d much prefer an RV especially with kids. Can we say baths? If the weather is just plain miserable, give me a hotel.

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer— I’d go for the RV. We had one once and it’s really nice to take your home with you. Pulling into the campground and knowing your room will be ready in a few minutes, your book is where you left it and there aren’t any suitcases to move is delightful. I’d like to have one now since I must eat gluten free it would be wonderful to travel with my own kitchen.

There are a lot more questions and answers, just click a link and head off to see what others have on their blogs. Leave a comment and tell me your answer: Hotel, RV or Tent?

Take Flight. Patty Wysong Helping bloggers blog.

The Greatest of These is Love

And the Greatest of These is Love 

All writers know the faith it takes to put words on paper. They’ve seen the faith required to search for the right word, the right phrase, the right nugget of truth that will mark their work as top-notch. Ultimately, they know the gut-wrenching faith it takes to turn their written baby over to someone who might reject it outright.

They know hope too. Even after they’ve been kicked to the curb by an agent who probably didn’t even read the first sentence of a query, hope prevails. After a few days of chocolate and Kleenexes, hope surges again. Maybe the next editor will love it, buy it, publish it, and send it to be included next to John Grisham’s on the front table of every bookstore in the country. Don’t deny it. You know that hope is real. 

One element, however, sometimes gets lost when faith and hope begin to emerge in our writing journey. That element is love. Sure, we love it, or we wouldn’t stress ourselves out to learn how to do it better, to find someone to publish it, and to put ourselves on the chopping block of rejection time and again. It’s almost a given that we love it. 

The problem is we forget that we love it. As a character who loves music in one of my books says, “You know me, I’d play for the squirrels if they’d listen.” 

Too often the longer we write, the less we remember what we love about it. Our focus shifts from writing for love to writing so others will love what we’ve written. 

When we write for the love of it, every frustrating moment is an exhilarating challenge. Shaping the ephemerally picturesque stories in our minds into something coherent and fluid is like no other experience. The very act of putting that last piece of our word puzzle into place has no equal.

Remember the journals you kept, the poems you wrote, the short stories that are still tucked away in some old notebook. You wrote those not to gain love but because they were burning a hole in your soul to be put on paper. 

Then you began writing not for love but to gain love. You became convinced that you had to twist your writing to meet what others believe is marketable or publishable. And so you let your love for writing morph into wanting your writing to be loved… sometimes at all costs. You twisted yourself into a pretzel, learning perfect grammar, point of view, the “correct” way to write a marketable manuscript. 

 Learning and growing in your writing is one thing, but when that gets so tangled in the rules that you forget why you started in the first place, that is something altogether different. Love is the key to writing real. As the Bible says so eloquently: In the end three things shall last, faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love. –1 Corinthians 13:13 It’s a lesson every writer should take to heart. Copyright 2005, Staci Stallings

Thank you  for that devotion, Staci.  I needed to read that today, even if you  have a published book it is easy to forget about the love when you start writing the next one.

Staci is giving away her ebook for two days! Don’t miss it. 
Staci Stallings Author Bio & Tag Deep in the Heart Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Staci has a special surprise for you today and tomorrow only… FREE ON KINDLE TWO DAYS ONLY! April 18 & 19, Staci’s novel:

 Deep in the Heart “This is more than a romance. The author cuts straight to the heart of God–love. God is love. Even through unexpected tragedies. And we can overcome evil with good–by His love.” –Betty Anne Bantz Can Keith defy the most powerful men in Texas to follow his heart? Available as a free download from Amazon!