Big News, Big Changes

Maybe the title should be Big News and a Few Minor Tweaks, but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. So Big News, Big Changes it is!

First for the Big News…Most of you already know that I’m taking us back to Wells Landing! My publisher just offered on the next three books in the series! Technically it’s a spin-off, but it’s set in Wells Landing so there ya, go! But what most of you don’t know is that I just signed a three-book contract to write (drum roll, please) contemporary cozy mystery!

That’s right! I’m writing a new mystery series set in a small-town Mississippi bookstore. It centers around this unique store, but specifically around the book club that meets there each week. That’s all I can say for now, but I’m so excited for you to meet Arlo (the bookstore owner) and Chole (her best friend and business partner).

With this new contract, one thing became very clear to me. Amy Writes Romance dot com wasn’t covering my writing any longer. Now there’s no way I’m changing that. When I first started my website another Amy Lillard had already scooped up the dot com, leaving me to take the dot net or come up with something different. Amy Writes Romance popped into my head and refused to go away. So my website was born. But at the time, I had no idea I would be writing mystery. I never even dreamed of such a thing.

So how did I go from romance writer to romance and mystery writer? Well, some of it had to do with an editor’s request and some of it had to do with my agent. If you’ve read my posts you probably know that my former agent, Mary Sue Seymour, gave me the best advice of my career: “you’re a writer, write it.” At the time she was talking about me taking the chance and writing Amish fiction, but it applied here as well. I was approached about writing a mystery in a continuation series. They wanted an Amish writer to pen the book since the main suspect in that edition was Amish. Well, why not?

And a new branch of my career began. That book is Unsavory Notions (though I wanted to call it Death and Cherry Pie. Oh, well…) But one book led to another with the same publisher, this one not Amish, and from there the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries came. Then Kappy King and now a new series. Something had to change. But not Amy Writes Romance. That would never change.

So I invite you to join my new website, www.AmyWritesMysteries.com! Yeah, yeah, I know, but it was too cute to pass up. What you’ll find there is everything to do with my mysteries, those already published and those coming up. If you want to know more about these books and all things dealing with me writing mysteries, be sure to pop over there and click the follow button under the NEWS tab. All my Amish mysteries will be here on this new site.

What you won’t find there is romance. Amy Writes Romance will be reserved for all things romance, including the news that goes out in my blog posts—like this one. If you just want to know about my romance novels, you don’t have to do a thing. You already follow this blog and will be receiving updates as I post them. All my Amish romances will be listed here.

All my books about the Amish will also be on Amy’s Amish Adventures along with all my personal “Amish adventures,” like my upcoming trip to Pennsylvania. I’ve got a few more Amish trips planned this year, including a visit to the Clarita School Auction and Choteau’s Black Buggy Days.

Now no one panic. I’ll give everyone time to adjust to the changes, I promise. But you have to promise in return not to get annoyed with double posts until everyone gets their following straight. Deal? I figure until the end of the year. Sound good to you? Don’t worry, that’s not nearly as many posts as it seems. I only have one more mystery coming out this year. So it’s all good.

I hope everyone is as excited about this new opportunity as I am. I understand that some of you only read books about the Amish and that’s just fine with me, but for those of you whose reading choices are a little broader, I hope you’ll join me in this exciting new leg of my career.

Questions? I’m only a comment or email away. Until then, Happy reading everyone!

 

Is Amazon Ruining Publishing?

There’s a lot of talk in the publishing world. Most readers have no idea of the conversation. But amazon has changed the way we look at books, the way we buy them, and yes, the way we publish them.

I’ll admit the first time that I heard about e-books I thought they were going to be a flop. (I missed the Build-A-Bear train too. Good thing I’m a writer and not in product development.) Anyway, eons ago one of my computer-savvy, adventurous writer friends took the plunge and put her books out in e-book format. I thought, what a waste of time. Boy, was I wrong.

Like many readers, I prefer paper books. There’s something about holding a book in my hands, looking at the words, touching the paper, smelling the whatever it is that makes print books smell the way they do. Plus, I don’t believe I have ever stayed up all night reading an e-book. I feel a bit removed from it. Like the story is in a glass case. I can look, even read, but I can’t touch. It’s no longer personal for me. Do I read e-books? Oh, yes. I have a Nook and a Kindle. I get my BookBub ad every day and I look at it, every day.

Yet I’m amazed at the people who ask me if my books are available in fill in the blank of their favorite reading format. Usually it’s paper. Do your books come in paper? This seems like an odd question, but the fact of the matter is so many authors are self-publishing these days, or publishing with a digital first or digital only houses, that a great deal of books aren’t in paper.

I feel that most people who read Christian/Amish fiction prefer paper. I think they need the backup of a product they can hold in their hands in order to feel comfortable spending their money. I’ll admit, I sometimes have a hard time buying music I can’t hold (in the form of a CD) or my son’s video games that go directly into his Playstation, but I’m working on it.

Back to books. We all know that we judge books by their cover. Even if only to say, “That looks interesting.” But for me, it doesn’t stop there. I look at the author’s name. Sometimes read their bio—after all, it’s feasible to believe that a man who served in the armed forces would write a darn good military thriller. At least concerning accuracy.  Of course I read the book description. But I always look for the publisher. Stacey tells me this is a writer thing. It’s not that I won’t buy self-published books. I do. And I have published many stories myself. It’s just another way to determine if I want to take a chance on an unknown (to me) author. If the cover is ‘meh’ is it because it’s from self-published author who hired the wrong cover designer? Maybe she has really bad taste, or she tried to make the cover herself. Or maybe she’s published with Well Known Publishing and she got the brand-spanking new intern? If the cover is fantastic and it’s a self-published book, I know the author cares about the details of what she’s putting out there.

From there, I decide if it’ll be my next purchase.

But what about price? The only time I let price sway me is if I’m looking at e-books that are over $2 and I still have 400 unread books in my Nook. Should I really spend that money to make it 401? Why can $3 be a deal breaker? I have no idea.

Amazon has made it easier for authors and wanna-be writers alike to bring out their books and present them to the public. This is both a blessing and a curse, because now, the readers must wade through more offerings than ever before to find something they like.

There are authors out there who blog every week about the perils and pitfalls waiting for authors on Amazon. There are those who back self-publishing 100% and there are those who would never self-publish for a variety of reasons. Then there are those like me who are considered ‘hybrid.’ I have an agent, I have contracts with a large publisher, and I have self-published books. But in the big scheme of things, it comes down to what the reader wants. What’s important to you? Is it price? A great cover? A well-known name? Do you buy everything a certain author writes without question? Does the publisher come into it at all? I’m just curious to know. I have the ‘writer’s mentality.’ Even when I’m playing the role of reader, it’s always there in the back of my mind. Be sure to leave a comment and add your voice to the conversation. I would love to know what you think about the availability of books on Amazon. Has Amazon made it easier for you to find books or harder? How do you find the stories you want to read? What else would you like to share about books, authors, and publishing? Please remember to keep it uplifting. Name no names and point no fingers unless it’s in a positive light. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure applies to books as well. Please don’t ruin an author’s chances with another reader. And as always, remember to spread JOY!

After I wrote this post, I was asked if I would show how to tell who the publisher of a book is. Check out the following screen shot. This is for Titus Returns. This section of Amazon is under the author bio. So when you are on the amazon site and looking at a particular title, simply scroll down to find this info. As you can see from the image, the publisher is Zebra (an imprint of Kensington).

Now take a look at this image. This is for Brodie’s Bride. Under publisher it has A Squared Books which is my own publishing label. Other authors simply use their name.

Hope this helps! And don’t forget to leave a comment.

Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Marrying Jonah.* **

 

 

*If you already have a copy of Marrying Jonah, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.
**Due to the high cost of shipping, international winners may be offered an ebook. Thanks for understanding. :)

That’s right! Everyone who left a comment on the last blog received a copy of Marrying Jonah! Happy reading and thanks for commenting! A

Winner! Winner!

Chicken dinner! Anyone know why we say that? Is it just because it rhymes?

Sorry there’s no blog post this week. I’ve been really busy writing and of course it’s football season which eats up a lot of my time since The Teen is playing JV and varsity. And it’s my birthday! Well tomorrow is. And it’s a big one! Yep, that’s right. The big 5-0. So cut an old woman a break! LOL

But I did want to take a few minutes and congratulate last week’s winner!

I’ll  be back in a week or so with another ‘real’ blog post and more winners, but for now, leave a comment. Tell me what’s on your mind, happy birthday, or why we say ‘winner, winner chicken dinner.’ Your choice. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Marrying Jonah.* **

Happy reading! And remember, spread JOY everywhere you go!

*If you already have a copy of Marrying Jonah, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.
**Due to the high cost of shipping, any international winner will be sent an ebook. Thanks for understanding. :)

More about Bravery…

Every year around Easter my husband, the Major, watches all of those splendid Cold War Biblical movies that had casts of thousands and would be impossible to make today. I tease him about watching them, but I secretly like them too.  Except for that one part in the Ten Commandments where Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son Isaac.  First of all I hate this story in the Bible. Go ahead. Tell me it’s wrong to hate, but it’s disturbing to me as I am sure it is to most of you. Why would God give Abraham a son and then ask him to sacrifice him? I know, I know, I’ve heard all the arguments about devotion and obedience, but it seems unnecessarily cruel. But that’s just me. I’m human. I don’t always understand God. Not in the case with Abraham and certainly not when it comes to writing.

These days I feel a little like Abraham, asked by God to sacrifice his son. Just a smidge. Yes, I exaggerate. I’m a writer; it’s what I do. See, writing a book is emotionally a lot like giving birth. It takes months of worry, prayer, hopes, dreams, and preparations before this tiny miracle comes into the world. Then you have to give it over to the world–editors, readers, critics, and reviewers. Let me tell you it’s no easy feat. Even for the über-confident, there are always doubts.

Then you have me with God whispering in my ear to be brave. I thought I knew what it meant. Now I’m wondering if I was wrong.

Did He want me to change all my books to inspirational? Then why did the thought fill me with dread? Every time I caught sight of my writing schedule, I broke out in a cold sweat. Why?

I made it all the way through Ten Reasons Not to Date a Cop before the solid doubts set in. Was this what I was supposed to do? Or was it hard and that alone was filling me with concerns?

Every writer is warned throughout their writing life that the darlings will have to be killed. Those wonderful beautiful words that were strung together so eloquently will have to go. Be ready for it. Was that what this was about? Hanging on to my words?

Stephen King takes it one step further.

Yes, there is a danger in falling in love with one’s own words. But this was about more than that. I had spent a lot of time working on my rating system and getting it together for readers. Was it going to be confusing for readers to have a couple of my books still secular? And that’s not even completely correct. Some I could only take to the ‘sweet’ level–no bedroom scenes. But would that be enough? It wouldn’t be for the readers who wanted a ‘clean read.’ And it seemed a little…unfinished to me. See, I have a thing about ‘wholes,’ things being complete.

What was I supposed to do?

Ugh! I didn’t know! So I prayed about it, talked to Stacey, prayed some more. I walked, ate too many Rice Krispie treats, and prayed more. I even made my announcement of the changes to come. Then it occurred to me: was my uncertainty a sign? Had I misunderstood? Or was I just hoping that I did? Was this my sacrifice? Did God want me to accept his instructions, but not carry them through?

I’m still not 100% certain. I guess that makes me one of millions. There’s not much many are 100% about. So I’m in good company. But all plans of rewrites have been put on hold. I feel the need to go forward, not back. But more Christian/inspirational books? That’s definitely still on. I’m still not 100% certain what these books will be about. There are a lot of factors to be considered, contracts, time, and the ever-changing market.

Amish, historical, contemporary–I have stories in all three that I could write, but for now, I’m working on my contracted Amish books and Chase’s story. I’m still hoping to get that out before the end of the year. What will its rating be? I don’t know yet. It seems a little counter-productive to make it a green apple book when the others in the series are, and will remain, red apples. See? There’s that “whole” thing coming up again. And I’m not sure how–well, I can’t give everything away. Rest assured, I’ll let everyone know the rating when the time comes.

What about you? Have you ever had this happen, where you have been uncertain of what God wants from you? What did you do? I’d love to hear from you! Remember please to keep it positive and spread JOY.

Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Amish Brides. *

The winner will be announced Friday September 1, 2017, on the next blog. Comments will be taken until midnight EDT Thursday August 31, 2017.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

*If you already have a copy of Amish Brides, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.

I have 2 winners I need to announce today–one from last week and the second from the week before. But…my right hand (you don’t have to tell Stacey I called her that) has been working a lot this week and I have to get with her. Never fear, those winners will be chosen. And even announced. Sometime. Soon. Until then, thanks for reading! :)

The Good Christian

What makes a ‘good’ Christian? I’m asking, not telling. We hear that all the time, “So-and-So is a good Christian.”

I was raised to believe that being a Christian meant to be Christlike. Or at the very least to put every effort into striving to be Christlike. Yes, we are human and yes, we all fall short.

I even asked the question in my last blog. Because I have written things that are not considered ‘clean reads’ does that make me less faithful, less Christian?

It’s not an easy question to answer. And it’s possible that it doesn’t have an answer.

Give this a thought. By saying that someone is a ‘good Christian’ we are passing judgement. Hmmm…but we shouldn’t judge. Does this only apply when we judge to the negative? I don’t know. Though by passing even a positive judgement, we are creating a scale by which our friends, family, co-workers, even strangers are gauged. If So-and-So 1 is a good Christian, then it’s possible that So-and-So 2 is not as good, or maybe better. See what I mean? Even if it’s a positive statement, it can still pit two against one another.

But this post didn’t start out to be about judging. It’s about the differences in people and beliefs. And how we shouldn’t gauge others by our own beliefs. Wait…I guess that is judging. But how can we stop this behavior? How can we say I agree to disagree? Or maybe it’s why can’t we? Why does religion/beliefs/God have to be “my way or the highway?” Shouldn’t we let God be the judge of all things? The Good Book tells us to. And besides He knows more of what’s in each and every one of our hearts. To me that is the most important thing to remember.

Nothing brings out our judgement more than politics and traffic. Politics, I’ll steer clear of, but traffic? Why can’t we follow the golden rule? Someone may be driving slow because their car started giving them troubles and they are just trying to make it to the nearest gas station. Or maybe another is driving too fast because their spouse is sick/at the hospital/been in an accident and they are trying to get to them. When these things happen to us, we expect people to understand and yet we are often times not understanding in return. What a shame!

The internet can be the worst! It’s one of the greatest accomplishments in our lifetime and yet it may well be the breakdown of the family and social structure. People go online and splash mean and hateful comments to anyone who doesn’t hold their same view/dogma/upbringing then get angry when others don’t bow to their wisdom. Why can’t we read, dismiss if we don’t agree, and go on to the next post? Why must we stop and take the time to tear someone down before we proceed to un-friend them then talk about them in a PM on messenger?

Is it so hard to say, Live and let live? Why should it concern us if it doesn’t directly affect us or doesn’t hurt anyone else/the environment/a defenseless creature?

There are things on social media that bother me. My husband’s in law enforcement. I get offended a great deal by some of the mean comments put up. I grew up in Mississippi. Yes, I have an opinion on the Confederate flag. No, I’m not going to share it. It’s not worth the trouble and the heartache either stance would give me–not to my hometown friends or the ‘friends’ who are actually business acquaintances and grew up differently than I did. I have an opinion on global warming, North Korea, yellow meat watermelons, and the best breading for fried green tomatoes. Most of these I keep to myself, or I decide if it’s worth someone getting upset if I say something that might go against their own beliefs. Because I don’t want to stand behind my own thoughts? Not hardly. I simply don’t have the time to be on the computer all day, fending off rabid opposite-believers and defending my every word/thought/belief. I would rather write books that make people happy and bring joy into the world.

I can’t say that I follow this all the time. I wish I could, but like most I have good days and bad. I have times where I’m impatient, anxious, angry. But those are the times when we should take a deep breath and work harder toward that understanding peace. After all, we are only hurting ourselves.

And, yes, I would like to think of myself as a “good Christian,” but not if it means someone is less of one.

Thoughts? Comments? What do you think? Remember to please keep it positive; negative and/or aggressive comments will be deleted. This is meant to be a safe and open place. Spread JOY!

And please leave a comment. Share your thoughts and be kind. Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Amish Brides. *

The winner will be announced Friday August 18, 2017, on the next blog. Comments will be taken until midnight EDT Thursday August 17, 2017.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

*If you already have a copy of Amish Brides, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.

 

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

Aren’t changes usually associated with the Spring? Spring has definitely sprung here in OK and changes are all around. My blog is no different. This week I should be talking about the Reading Challenge, but I had to adjust the schedule due to the news I’m about to share.

You may  or may not have noticed that some of my books are currently  unavailable. Here’s a list of affected titles:

The Wildflower Bride

Southern Hospitality 

Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop

Blame It On Texas

With a few more changes waiting in the wings. But for now, here’s what’s happening.

The Wildflower Bride has gone out of print. Bottom line is a cover change. Thanks to our wonderful friend the Internet, books go out of print from the publisher and yet are still available from third party sellers and even distributors who have stock in the warehouse. You’ll still see the 12 in 1 volume, The 12 Brides of Summer, for sale, but you’re also going to have the opportunity to buy the e-novella in a special 1-in-1 version that hasn’t previously been released. I don’t have plans to put this book out in print, but I do have a few 4-in-1 copies that were compiled for Walmart, and I’ll be giving a few of those away in the upcoming weeks. Here’s what to look for:

The Wildflower Bride is a Green Apple rated book.

Blame It On Texas: Due to a change with the publisher, I now have the rights back to this contemporary, western novella. It too has undergone a small cover change, but the most exciting thing…? I am making this book available in print for the first time! Keep in mind that this is a novella so it’s short, and I’m doing everything in my power to keep the price as low as possible for my print readers.

Here’s what to look for:

Blame It On Texas is a Red Apple rated book.

Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop is in the same boat with Blame It On Texas. I am currently working to get it back onto the cyber shelves, but these things take time. And I never have enough of that! <g> It’ll most likely go up in e-book first and then in print. The good news is since I am offering this book myself, I’m hoping to be able to get the paper in at a much better price than before.

Here’s what to look for:

Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop is a Red Apple rated book.

And that brings me to Southern Hospitality (and Southern Comfort) … the two books in the Hot Southern Nights Series will most likely be off the shelves for a bit longer than the others on this list. Southern Comfort is currently available, but will be disappearing in the next few weeks. It’s going to take a bit before I can get these back out, but never fear, they will be back and with their companion book, Southern Charm. But that’s a whole ‘nother story!

I don’t have covers or anything to show you, but when I do, I’ll be sure everyone knows what’s coming. In the mean time, just be patient and I promise to make it worth your while. And so everyone knows, The Hot Southern Nights Series is a Red Apple rated series.

With the republishing of the Hot Southern Nights series, my pen name will be a thing of the past. I hope this isn’t confusing for anyone. If you ever have a question about a book, when something will be available, or even its rating and what that means, don’t hesitate to send me over an email. Since I write different genres and different ‘heat levels,’ I feel it’s extremely important to make sure you know the rating of the book you have in your hands. Since I work with different publishers the quickest way to check a book’s rating is right on my website.

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks for a reading challenge update. I’m doing my best to get caught up after reading my RITA books. I’ve knocked one more challenge book off my list, and I’m working on another two.

How’s your reading going this year? Are you living up to the challenge? Do you have a question for me about one of my re-releases? Leave me a comment below. Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of Small Town Summer Brides which includes my novella, The Wildflower Bride, as well as three more novellas by other great authors!

And as always, thanks for reading!

 

 

And don’t forget…Marrying Jonah releases tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Challenge 2017

giveaway-closed

2017-reading-challenge

It’s that time again. A new year, the perfect time to set new goals, or even recommit to the ones from years before. I vow every year to lose weight, eat healthier, blog more consistently, and/or to not complain when I don’t get my way. Yeah, well…the best plain plans…

Anyway, one resolution that is easy to keep (at least easier) has to do with reading and books. Last year I posed a 10 book reading challenge. Now this isn’t a challenge like some. The point here is not to see how many books you can read in a year, but to stretch your reading legs and get out of your comfort zone a little. Try something new. That’s why there are only 10 challenge books. I couldn’t go the entire year without reading my favorite genre. And I don’t expect you to either. Just to push yourself out of your cozy spot 10 times this year and read something you might not normally read. I’ll be honest; there will be new books you love and new books you hate, but at least you’ll be able to say that you read something you might not have otherwise read.

Below is a list of 15 types of books to help you find new things to read. If you’d like to join me in this challenge, all you have to do is check in here once a month (the second Thursday of the month) and leave a comment. Let me know what you’ve been reading and where it falls on the list. Yes, there are 15 choices in a 10 book challenge. Pick your faves and start reading.

What am I reading right now? Well…I’m between books. But I’m about to start A Man Called Ove. I got it in a Christmas book exchange, and since it’s going to be made into a book soon, I’m calling it my #14.

I hope you’ll join in the challenge! Anyone who leaves a comment on this blog will be entered into a drawing to win a mystery book. And with any luck, it’ll be a book to help the winner read more and read differently in 2017.

Happy Reading!

Amy

Reading Challenge: Year End Update

Well, I wish I could say that I met my challenge this year. Yes, I know there are a couple more weeks in the year, but it’s Christmas time, I have edits due, and I’m scheduled to finish a book by the New Year. Not sure I’m going to be able to read much in that short period of time. I’ve been reading certain books to work on a new proposal, but I don’t think any of them will count for this challenge.

So here’s where I stand.

1- #13 A book about another century 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee

2-#10 A Book published before I was born 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie

3-#6 a genre I don’t normally read Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

4- #8 A book you’ve been meaning to read for a while True Grit by Charles Portis

5- #12 a book published this year Rescuing the Cowboy by Cathy McDavid

reading challenge

Yes! Half-way there! Well, at least I tried! What about you? How are you doing in your Reading Challenge? Remember, the goal is not to read as many books as you can, but to stretch yourself and your reading habits by reading books that you wouldn’t have read before.

If you need a refresher, here are the categories:

1o book reading challenge

  1. A book recommended by a book seller or librarian
  2. A book published in a different decade
  3. A book you’ve already read before
  4. A book you should have read in school
  5. A book that has been banned before
  6. A book from a genre you don’t normally read
  7. A book that intimidates you
  8. A book you’ve been meaning to read for a while
  9. A book you quit reading once before
  10. A book published before you were born
  11. A book recommended by someone close to you
  12. A book published this year
  13. A book about another century
  14. A book you’ve never heard of before
  15. A book recommended by amazon/internet/cyber friend

Hope you’ll check in! And get ready…we’re going to do this again next year!

Keep Reading!

amy-sig-4

You know You’re Country If…

We’re coming up on the anniversary of my father’s death. I can’t believe he’s been gone four years. It seems like I just saw him and yet it feels like forever. I was writing Gabriel’s Bride when Daddy died. That’s why I dedicated the book to him.

But I prefer to remember good times. Like the time I dropped the homemade ice cream (which hadn’t set up yet) in front of the open side-by-side freezer. He helped me “clean it up” with the towel my stepmother had used as a cape when she cut his hair earlier. The freezer was full of splattered, re-freezing ice cream and hair trimmings. What a mess!

And I love all the things we did together. He used to let me help him reload shotgun shells. I thought I was so big! And all the times he would give me a dime to buy a NuGrape, then tell me he needed to try it–to make sure it was good enough for me, he would say. He would guzzle the entire bottle. Time and again. Once I got teary eyed, he would actually let me have it. He was quite a character!

This week I ran across a blog post I wrote just after he died. And I wanted to share it. One of my favorite memories for sure. And perhaps Jeff Foxworthy could add it to his You Might Be a Redneck bit in his stand-up. But for now, I’ll call it You Might Be Country If…

Funny story. Some of you may know that my father passed away recently. (This is not the funny part. Just bear with me.) You may also know that I was raised in the *country* and my daddy was a big hunter. He didn’t want a funeral service (he’s just that kind of ‘Simple Man’) but we knew that we would need to do something for us to help us accept that he was gone. The decision was made to cremate his body and spread his remains at his two favorite hunting sites. (Still not funny, I know; I’m getting there.) So my family and a few close friends got together to take his ashes into the woods.

While there my sister was stung by a bee. I’ve been told my entire life the best thing to do for a bee sting is to place tobacco on it to draw out the poison. Now at this redneck service there was–of course–chewing tobacco. Remarkably enough, no one in the group actually had it in their mouth, so they wet it with a beer. Yeah, no one had water, but there was beer. My sister was having trouble keeping the tobacco in place on her hand. So someone kindly offered to secure it–with duct tape! Yes, folks, they duct taped beer-saturated chewing tobacco to my sister’s hand during what was essentially our father’s funeral. I have only one thing to say: Dad would have been so proud!

I used to say that Foxworthy could use my father as inspiration for You Might Be a Redneck. But if you have a recliner in your deer stand, you must be a redneck, and my daddy surely did. But if no one believed it before his memorial service, they definitely knew it was true after!

But being country ain’t so bad. I mean, it isn’t. We certainly have lots to laugh about! Even when times are sad. I miss my dad, but I remember the good times, every chance I get!

And if you ever wonder why I write books about ordinary, small town people with everyday problems and real relationships, well, now you know. It’s what I know. And

yall-for-blog

Thanks for reading!

Amy

And don’t forget to leave a comment. Tell me, are you country or city? At the end of the month, I’m giving away an autographed book to one lucky commenter.