Amish Quilt Giveaway


I’m SO EXCITED to tell you about the latest  giveaway–an Amish made quilt! And this quilt is totally special because the fabric my Amish friend is going to use to make it will be supplied by you, the readers.

How do you get in on this great idea, you ask? Just send a 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 square of fabric to Stacey Barbalace 3751 Proctor Lane Baltimore, MD 21236. Each square sent will be incorporated into the quilt. Only one square per person.

We’re collecting fabric, then taking it to Pennsylvania to have the quilt made. Because of this, the exact date of the actual giveaway has not been decided. But there is one definite date you need to mark on your calendar. And that date is January 24th. Your fabric needs to be received before that date in order to be included in the quilt. Fabric received after that date will not be used and cannot be returned to the sender, so get your fabric in quick. And don’t forget to check on the quilt’s progress as well as fabric updates and other Amish tidbits by joining my Facebook group dedicated to the quilt giveaway.

There’s one more very important fact to remember. Before you send your fabric be sure to take a picture of it. Hold onto the pic for now. Soon I’ll tell you what to do with it. Until then, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Complete details can be found under the CONTEST tab here on my website.


Release Day!

I’m so happy to announce that today is the release day for not one, but two of my books!

BG dual meme

Welcome to Loveless, Texas, a small town in the Hill Country. Like most small towns, everyone pretty much knows everybody and word gets around fast. So it’s no surprise when Bethie Grace McGee comes back  to town that everyone knows. Everyone including JD Carmichael, her first love.

JD and Bethie Grace once had everything a young couple needs: each other. But Fate stepped in and tore them apart. Fifteen years have passed…can they rekindle the love they shared or will today’s commitments and yesterday’s mistakes keep them from their second chance?

I know this is a different sort of concept, but I decided to put out two versions of the story. Take Me Back To Texas is an inspirational tale. There is no sex, no bad language, and faith plays a key role.

Welcome Home, Bethie McGee is the  ‘sexy’ version of the story. My goal was to make a tasteful, contemporary romance. (No 50 shades here.) There is very mild language and the characters still attend church. I mean, after all, this is small town Texas.

Can’t decide which one to read? Buy one and I’ll send you a coupon to get the other one for 99¢. Can’t beat that deal! That’s two full length stories for $4! Just send me a copy of your receipt for the story and I’ll forward you the coupon.

Thanks to you all for reading and I hope you enjoy JD and Bethie Grace’s story!


On Appendicitis…

Well, I never thought I’d be writing a blog  post about my appendix, but so many of you have send me prayers and cards and messages on Facebook that  I feel obliged to relay my tale, so here we go.  All in all my story is short and sweet. I simply woke up Monday morning at 4 am with my stomach hurting. Now, a lot of you know that I’ve had a hard time with my stomach and food this last year. Despite all these problems, I have managed to keep all my curves. Lucky me. But when I woke up, I thought it was just another bout of bad digestion brought on from the medications I had been taking.  So I didn’t give it much thought. I got  up at 6 and woke up my son, had some coffee, took antacids, and otherwise tried to go about my day. But my stomach continued to pain me to the point that I got sick, couldn’t eat breakfast, and had to lie down.

Abstract artistic painterly blue background texture.Luckily (for real this time) my husband was home on staycation and came in from doing yard work about 11 am. I decided then a trip to Urgent Care was in order. My stomach was still hurting but I was also having hot flashes like none other, sending sweat beads popping up all over me. He drove me to the clinic where they gave me a shot of Demerol and made me one happy girl. Of course by now I’ve cooled down and I’m freezing–I only wore a tank top and shorts to get care. Incidentally the same tank top and shorts I had slept in. Go me! So while my poor husband sat alone  in the waiting room, I was asleep wrapped up in heated blankets. Yes, I feel a bit guilty.

After they took X-rays and blood and pee and any other fluid they could think of to test, I sent the hubs after our son who was getting out of summer school. We had to wait four hours to get the test results back. It’s about 1pm so he had quite a wait, but at least he had a partner now, right? Poor man!

So the tests came back at 5 pm that I had an elevated white blood cell count. My heart dropped. Dear Good, did I have cancer? I swear it was my very first thought. So when the doctor said she wanted a CAT scan to look for appendicitis, I was happy  and relieved. Not at all the emotions she expected from me. They wheeled me down to imaging and gave me some nasty stuff to drink. If I had known that it would be the last liquid I would have for almost 12 hours, I would have savored every drop! 5:39 I drank the juice, 6:30-ish had the scan, and sometime after that the doctor came to tell me that it was indeed my appendix and I needed to head to the ER.

Now the understanding was that the Urgent Care would call the ER Trauma doctors and they would be waiting on my arrival. I imagined sweeping into the ER, being greeted with open arms, and rushed off to surgery. But now it’s 8pm and the nurses in the ER couldn’t have cared less that I was there. The one I talked to kept a sucker in her mouth the entire time and refused to give me a blanket until I was ‘triaged’. I tried to explain that I had been triaged across the street and I was freezing, but she sent me out to wait in the crowded waiting area, no blanket.

appendix2About 10pm I was finally taken back. They told us I would be right out and the man and son had to wait in the waiting area. I had a lot of the same tests that I’d had at Urgent Care. They weighed me, checked my blood pressure, took my temperature, etc, etc. Then they sat me in the hallway with a bunch of other sad souls including a drunk man who kept threatening to punch everyone in the face since it would be the best place to have it stitched up. Wow. I sat there for a while, then they moved  me to a little partitioned curtain area/room. Not sure why they put me there for a few minutes later a man came to get me for a chest X-ray. I found out later that this is standard for surgery candidates.  But for a while there, I wasn’t sure they even knew why I was at the hospital.

Chest X-ray complete, denied a cup of ice chips, but finally given a blanket, I was deposited back into the same hallway to await the surgeon. I met him at around midnight. Yes, I would have to have surgery. No, he couldn’t tell me how long it would be before I went in, but  I could go out and see my husband and son. They were beside themselves with worry. For them I  had just disappeared. They  had no idea if I was still back there or already in surgery.

So sitting in the waiting area once again I come up with a plan. I’ll have surgery and they’ll put me in a room, right? So I decide to ask  if I can get my room now. That  way I could rest (the Demerol had worn off  looooong ago) and the boys could watch TV and be a little more comfortable. But I was told there were no rooms. “Not in the ER,” I tell the nurse. It had already been explained to me that I was put in the hallway to wait because there were no rooms in the ER. “In the hospital,” I explain. “We don’t have any rooms in the hospital either.” Are you kidding me?  “But I’m about to have surgery,” I tell the nurse. I don’t mean to  sound like a diva, but cutting me open and removing a piece of my intestines  sounds like a pretty big deal to me. “I’ll have to have a room then,” I patiently explain.  “Give me that room.”  She shook her head.”That room is not available, We hope that someone is discharged by then.” Huh? “What are you going to do with me if they aren’t?”  I ask. “Leave me in the hallway?” She wasn’t amused.

Finally about 2 am they came to get me to “prep” me for surgery which included me signing papers so they could do the  surgery and having me take out all of my earrings and placing them, along with my wedding rings and necklace, in a small “biohazard” bag. Oh, I almost forgot the beautiful gown they gave me to wear. They let my boys come back , just in time for a large black man named Leroy to come and wheel me to the OR. Let me take a little time here to add that they told me I would have to wait on a room for surgery as well. So imagine my surprise when we head down a dimly lit, deserted corridor. I felt like I was in one of those horror films where people wake up in a bathtub full  of ice with a note pinned to their chest, “Thanks for the kidneys”. But I’m in a lot pain again and it’s nearing 3 am. I’m not sure I  care anymore. So I said a prayer that I wouldn’t wake up to find people  bidding for my organs on ebay and hoped for the best.  With my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth and my nose about to bleed because it was so dry, they wheeled me into the room and helped me go  to sleep.

Less than a hour later I was waking up, same dimly lit room, no one around but a couple of nurses who seemed friendly enough and didn;t at all seeem ike organ dealers. They give me a little bit to doze and finally wake up enough to take me to my room. Yay! I have a room: 8106. That’s me. My husband and son take my purse and leave me to go home and rest. And finally, FINALLY the nurses give me ice chips. After a mouthful, I fell asleep.

myarm2Best. Sleep. Ever.

And the rest is pretty much uphill from here. Because of the lack of rooms they didn’t care that I hadn’t gone to the bathroom. They gave me water to drink and ordered me broth to eat and otherwise pushed me out of the nest like an impatient mama bird. I was given lunch, told to walk, and discharged at 5pm. (I tried to get them to let me stay a couple more nights. It was so peaceful there. I had the  bed all to myself. It was comfortable and adjustable. They had put these devices on my legs that gently squeezed them every so often to stimulate blood flow. It was surprisingly relaxing. And I had a button near the bed that if I pushed it someone would come and get me things: more broth, juice, and water. It was almost as good as a vacation! But alas, they made me leave.)

Whew! Ordeal over. Well, almost. Here it is a week later and I’m still dealing with not being able to  eat very much. Half a kid’s meal pushes against my incision. I’m still bruised from can to can’t from all the IVs, incisions, and blood draws. But the unexpected injuries came from a reaction to the bandaid adhesive that literally pulled layers of skin off my belly. Too bad it didn’t take some of the fat with it. :)

So that’s my story, probably not so different than anyone else’s, but mine all the same.

Thank you everyone for the kind words, prayers, and thoughts about me during this time. It all happened so fast that I didn’t have time for the reality to set in until after it was over. But it’s amazing the support of my family and friends and readers that I only know from the internet. All humor aside. your kindness warms my heart and puts a smile  on my face. Thank you all again so much!

Cover Reveal–Courting Emily

I think it’s time to share my lovely, lovely cover for Courting Emily. (Mainly because the publishing house posted it on amazon <g>) Courting Emily is the story of Emily Ebersol, the bishop’s daughter. I can’t tell you a lot about this story yet, but I will say that the look on “Cover Emily’s” face is perfect. So Emily–a little bit innocent, a little bit mischievous, a whole lot of spunk. I love it! What do you think?

Courting Emily


Courting Emily releases January 2015 * Pre order now at Amazon and B&N

On blogging and dieting…

Blogging, I have decided, is a lot like dieting. At least it is for me. That is to say that I wake up and think “Today I need to work out/start eating better / write that blog post I’ve been thinking about.” Then the conversation goes on (with myself of course) that I can “wait until tomorrow / this afternoon / next week when I don’t have as much to do / have a deadline / or when I feel better. ” Sound familiar? (Please at least nod your head so I don’t feel like the only one with these excuses.)

I got up this morning feeling pretty good. (For those who don’t know my  story, I have three lovely auto-immune disorders that like to pretend they are the boss of me on a regular basis. So there are many mornings when I feel more like crawling back into bed rather than strapping on my walking  shoes and heading for the park. )  Yes, this morning was different. But… You knew there was a but, right? But…my walking shoes were caked with mud. And I hate dirty shoes. Hate, hate, hate. See, I got sort of shanghaied into helping clean up a friend’s yard. (Read here:  my husband dragged me along and I couldn’t write out in the sun and can never just sit and watch, so up I went. Personally I think he does this on purpose. At any rate, I could barely walk the next day and loss the use of both thumbs for the rest of the week, but my friend’s yard looks great! )

Now, back to this morning and the dirty shoes. It was over 80 degrees at 7:30 when I took the Boy to summer school. A walk in the park was out of the question. A work out in the house was not going to happen either. I’ve already mentioned that my shoes are dirty . Were dirty. I took a rag, 14 paper towels, and an old toothbrush and scrubbed them until all the mud was gone. But it’s not the same. I want new walking shoes. Am I insane? Probably. But my once pristine babies are now a cleaned-up, slightly stained version of what they once were. Can I get new shoes? Not right now.

So tomorrow, I’ll put them on–now clean and really none the worse for wear despite my OCD tendencies where dirty shoes are concerned–and I’ll once again vow to start dieting / eating right / working out / and blogging. But just in case, one of my awesome auto-immunes decides to show itself and a work-out is not an option, I wrote this blog. There’s one thing off my to-do list.

Go Amy!