I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Cover Reveal and Happy News

If you've had the chance to read A Future For His Twins, you'll know it's the first in a new Love Inspired series called Widow's Peak Creek. Today, I'm so excited to share the cover for the second book in the series, Seeking Sanctuary!



It's about Paige, a mom-to-be who finds herself in need of a place to regroup, and what better haven than peaceful Widow's Peak Creek? Her great aunt lives in the retirement village, and Kellan, her deceased brother's old army buddy, runs the bookstore. Maybe he can help her find a job until she can figure out what she should do next.

But when their relatives start a matchmaking campaign, Kellan is forced to grapple with a secret that could change everything.

Every story I write has bits and pieces of me in it: characters' experiences or struggles, details, likes and dislikes... I had a blast setting a story in a bookstore of my own invention, one that smelled like books and wood, with creaky floors and a charming children's section upstairs, where the coffee is always hot for guests.

It was also fun to include Tom, Faith, Nora and Logan from A Future from His Twins. What a joy to see what happens in their lives after the final page of their book!


In other happy news, I'm thrilled to announce there will be three more Widow's Peak Creek books coming in 2021 and 2022. Including a Christmas story featuring Benton, who you'll meet in Seeking Sanctuary. I am so excited to write this book and continue the stories of Widow's Peak Creek!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

A Future For His Twins Giveaway!


A Future for His Twins is out in the world, and to celebrate, I'm offering a copy of the book and some other bookish prizes in conjunction with a JustReads tour!

(1) winner will receive a book tote, green spring scarf, scrubby for bath or dishes from CA-made BZBeeMon, a copy of A Future for His Twins and Susanne Dietze bookmarks.



The giveaway ends January 13, 2021. To enter using Rafflecopter, click here!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Merry Christmas!


 

Looking forward to a bright New Year! May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Friday, December 4, 2020

"My Vocation is Love"

...so said St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897), French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun who is also known as "The Little Flower."



Years ago when I learned about her, my life changed. Her existence on earth was short and small, in that she was not famous or revered. She was devoted to Jesus and lived out that love in a fellowship of fellow nuns that was not necessarily as harmonious or life-giving as it sounds. Living in a fellowship with other human beings isn't without conflict, of course.

She was often cold and hungry. She suffered terribly before dying.

But God used her writings and her love for Him and others to inspire, comfort, and bless millions around the world.

In these difficult days of Covid-19, which for me have included high anxiety and at times even anger, the Lord has been drawing me back to Thérèse. To her reminder that "the world's thy ship, not thy home." 

To the call for my vocation to love. Not to judge or be righteously upset at others' judgment, not to be vexed or resent others' vexations, but to love. 

I haven't been doing very well with that, I confess. This season of Covid has revealed ugliness in our society, in our hearts, in our world. People say things from behind the safety of a keyboard or a phone screen that they wouldn't say to another person's face. I'm not saying that sometimes lines shouldn't be drawn in the sand: the Lord shows us that it is sometimes necessary to cut off, cast away, tear down and rebuild.

But I've seen lines drawn that do nothing but drive others away from the Gospel, and I confess I've been saddened and angry.

These are strange days indeed, but God's call hasn't changed. To follow His commandments. To serve Him and others. To do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with Him. To love.

I'm thankful for the example of Thérèse, and for the Lord using her to give me the gentle nudge to seek Him and live in His love first and foremost.

Draw me, we will run...To ask to be drawn is to will intimate union with the object which holds the heart captive. If fire and iron were gifted with reason, and that the latter said to the fire: "Draw me," would not this prove that it desired to become identified with the fire even so far as to share its substance? Well, that is exactly my prayer. I beg of Jesus to draw me into the flames of His Love, to unite me so closely to Himself that He may live and act in me. I feel that the more the fire of love inflames my heart, the more I shall say: "Draw me," the more also will the souls who draw near to mine run swiftly in the fragrant odors of the Well-Beloved.

Story of A Soul, Chapter XI



Thursday, October 1, 2020

For Writers: Get to Know Your Characters


Today's post is for writers, rather than readers.

Lately, I've received a lot of questions about how I sketch out characters. Online, you can find a lot of character questionnaires to help get to know the imaginary friends who live in our heads. My version is below.

Before you start, though, I suggest you answer three essential questions about your main character(s): what does he or she want? Why do they want it? What is stopping them?

Right there, you've answered your character's primary GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Each main character should start the story wanting something, for a particular reason that is rooted in the core of their being (perhaps related to their core wound), but has a problem getting it. And in a romance, the hero and heroine's goals often clash.


For example, in A Future For His Twins, the hero Tom and heroine Faith both want to rent the same historic property. Both have good reasons. Neither is a villain. But they can't both get what they want. Someone is going to win, and someone is going to lose...but when Tom's twins get involved, Tom and Faith's original goals evolve, with greater stakes.

Let me know if you give this a try!

Character Basics:

Full Name:
Birthday and age:
Profession:
Parents’ names:
Siblings’ names, ages:
Eye, hair color, height:
Best physical feature:
Worst feature:
Perfume/cologne:
Pets:
Clothing style:
Favorite place to be alone:
Hobbies:
Favorite food:
Temperament:

Digging Deeper:

Goal at beginning of story:
Why do they want it (motivation):
What’s stopping it (conflict):
External Conflict with Hero/heroine:
Core wound:
Core need:
Lie they believe (I’m not worthy of/don’t believe in love because…):
Deepest, secret dream:
Biggest flaw:
Best part of personality:
Came to faith when/how:
Who most influenced character and when: