30 by 30 Update

Here we are on February 25th, and I’m 7 months into my 29th year. That means I have only 5 months left until I’m 30. Five months to check off everything on the infamous list.

At last count, I’ve signed off on 6 of them. And I’m happy to announce that I’ve accomplished a few more.

4. Go to an NFL game – Okay, so I missed my chance. I had tickets in hand and paid for to see the Titans play the Colts. But I did get to see Garth Brooks in concert at the Bridgestone arena on December 22nd. So I’ve decided that singing Garth at the top of my lungs along with 17,000 other crazy fans is a fair substitute.

16. Eat something with mushrooms – Someone suggested eating pizza with mushrooms, and they were so right! On New Year’s Eve, I ate a whole slice of pizza covered with pepperoni, sausage, peppers, and MUSHROOMS! Of course, the day before I’d been eating green bean cassarole and had picked out all of those little tiny mushrooms.

21. Catch up on the TV show Chuck – I just finished season 2 and am jumping into season 3. This is a great show! We’ll count this one, half done.

23. Read a #1 New York Times Bestseller when it’s #1 –  Last week I finished Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. This little book tells the true story of a little boy who spent some time in heaven and came back after a life-threatening medical emergency. This is a book full of hope and the joy that we have to look forward to in heaven.

26. Write a Christmas short story – I just finished A Star in the Night, a novella that comes out in September in an anthology called A Log Cabin Christmas Collection. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I sure had a blast writing it!

I suppose that puts me at 10 and some of them started. I’m not quite there, but I’m getting closer! 🙂 These next five months are going to be busy!

The reviews are coming in …

It’s about that time. About 3 weeks before the release of a book, the reviews start to come in … and Code of Justice is no exception. But I’m sharing them with you … because, well … they’re not too shabby!

The RomanticTimes Bookclub magazine gave Code of Justice 4.5 stars, their highest rating, and said:
“A marvelous hero and an intelligent heroine make this action-packed mystery an exciting and entertaining read.”

And I didn’t even pay them to say that! Can you believe that?

I’m also doing a bunch of interviews in March, so I’ll keep you up to date on those, where you just might learn some things about me that you never wanted to know.

Super-news!

Have you heard the news? Zac Snyder has cast a brand new Superman for his upcoming Superman: Man of Steel. But don’t worry … he’ll subdue his British accent for arguably the most famous American superhero.

Meet the man slated to play Clark Kent and his alter ego. Henry Cavill.

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If he looks familiar to you, maybe you–like me–loved him as the young and headstrong Albert in the Count of Monte Cristo.

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Or maybe you’ve been watching him on The Tudor’s, as Henry’s buddy Charles Brandon. (I’m afraid I’m not in this second set, but I hear he’s brilliant.) It would seem that he has all the requisite skills to play the man of steel–chiseled jaw, piercing eyes, and, according to the cover story from this week’s Entertainment Weekly, he passes the suit test. During his audition he donned the iconic blue tights and red cape. And apparently the casting team was impressed.

I love Superman. To the point that I wish that I was more of a geek about it. But I’m not. But I’m totally geeking out about Henry Cavil suiting up!

What do you think about the new Superman?

 

A funny little thing …

A funny little thing happened this morning.

But in order to tell you this story, I have to tell you what happened last night. Yesterday, about 3:30 the snow in Nashville started to fall (for the 5th or 6th time this winter). And it stuck. Soon calls were coming into the office that the roads were getting slick, so many people took off for home–myself included. But many, many Nashvillians don’t live a mile from their offices, and the slippery roads turned into up to 5 hour commutes for some. Yikes!

Last night, I was busy reading tweets about the terrible commute and making sure all my friends made it home safely, when I came upon my sweet friend Andrea Lucado’s hilarious tweet: all Nashville commuters deserve a day off tomorrow. I declare 2/10 National Stay Off the Roads and on Your Couch Day

So I retweeted my agreement of it.

And then this morning, I was watching the news, while working from home (because, let’s face it, the roads were a mess), and what did I see?

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Yup! Andrea and I are famous! 🙂

(Thanks to Caroline Green for the picture!)

Making this snow day exponentially better–News 2. 🙂

Giveaway: A Tailor-made Bride

I recently read A Tailor-made Brideby Karen Witemeyer. In fact, I stayed up well past my bedtime to finish it. (And trust me, I paid for it the next day.) But it was cute, and I really enjoyed it.

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Here’s a bit about the book:
Jericho “J.T.” Tucker wants nothing to do with Coventry, Texas’s new dressmaker. He’s all too familiar with her kind–shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothing, this seamstress is not at all what he expected. Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man? When Hannah decides to help Jericho’s sister catch a beau–leading to uproarious consequences for the whole town–will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?

Both the hero and heroine in this book are immensely likable–especially after we learn what’s turned Jericho off from frippery. Hannah is quite prone to accidents and Jericho to saving her. They’re quite fun, and while it felt like the second half was about thirty pages too long, it was a lot of fun–classic historical romance.

And lucky for you, I somehow wound up with two copies of this book, so I’m giving one away to you. Just leave me a comment on this post by Sunday at 11:59pm to be entered to win. I’ll pick a winner at random from comments made by then and send you your very own fun read!

Happy commenting! Good luck!

Have I told you about my new book?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. But I’m excited to tell you about it now. Please allow me to introduce Code of Justice, my third Love Inspired Suspense novel, available one month from today.

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From the back cover:
“Follow the drugs.”
Her sister’s last words shake FBI agent Heather Sloan to the core. They also convince her that the helicopter crash only Heather survived wasn’t an accident. Sheriff’s deputy Jeremy Latham is assigned the case—he’s the one who can help Heather find the person responsible. Once she convinces him they should work together. As they dig for the truth, they learn to trust and care for each other. But will they lose it all when the killer targets Heather? She’s willing to risk her life to find her sister’s killer—but her code of justice could cost her the chance to win Jeremy’s love.

Read the first chapter here.

Why I LOVE this book:
I love my sister. I love her dearly. This week she called me because we hadn’t talked since I was back in Arizona over Christmas and New Year. We chatted for 2 hours and 14 minutes. I love that I don’t have to be anything but myself with her. We have an easy bond, and a lot of fun. She teases me, and I tease her right back. And I’m just plumb thankful to have her in my life.

But when I sat down to write Code of Justice, I imagined a heroine who had a similar bond with her sister. And then I turned it on its head. What if her sister had been taken from her? How would she react? What would she do? How far would she go?

I loved writing this story. It felt cruel to put Heather through so much pain, but as she struggles with vengance versus justice, I love her all the more. Her faults are so often my faults–stubbornness and diving in head-first without praying about the situation first. As she totters between anguish and a the hope of new-found love, I see my own life reflected in her story. Life isn’t usually all bad or all perfect. It teeters and totters. It sways and surprises us. I love that about Heather’s story. And I love that about my own life, too.

Just this week, I began receiving my first e-mails from readers. Apparently they’re falling in love with Heather, too, and my heart is nearly bursting. Thanks for the notes, friends. It’s always a joy to hear that one of my stories is being thoroughly enjoyed.

I’m honored to get to write these stories that I love.

Thanks for reading them.