Thursday, May 31, 2012


Thinking about Thursday

This is me. 

That is all. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Where's Dawn?

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday


Please excuse Dawn's absence from this blog for the past week. She was being attacked by her own life. 

So, I had big plans of putting out a great blog on DFWCon complete with pictures and a grand synopsis of the event. It was a fantastic weekend. I met all sorts of terrific people, learned more than my brain could hold, came home utterly inspired. Then, reality got its revenge. 

It all started with tennis shoes.

My oldest daughter left her only pair of school-approved shoes at her grandparents' house...over 30 miles away. 
Of course, we did not realize this until Monday morning exactly 3 minutes before she is supposed to be walking out the door for school. Insert full-blown hysterical meltdown (on her part, not mine) here. A frantic trip to Target, another meltdown over the idea of being tardy and, finally, Dad let her just stay home for the day. Even as a teacher, I fully support that decision because sometimes you just need a "mental health day". Evidently, she did. 

The week pretty much went down hill from there.
No big, catastrophic event that devastates your soul. Just the little stresses and irritations that eat at it slowly and wear away your resolve.  

Basically wearing this, without the weapon. 

  • A killer migraine that put me in bed at 6:15
  • Got the younger daughter's field trip day wrong. She had to buy her sack lunch from the school and went to the park wearing all black (long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt over it and long black pants. At least they let her take off the long sleeve shirt.) Did I mention we live in Texas? It is already hitting 90 here. Yes, I am "Mother of the Year", why do you ask? 
  • Another whirlwind trip to buy shoes for the other daughter's dance recital. 

There's more. Much, much more. But, you get the idea.

So, how was your week?

If you do want to check out my pictures from DFWCon, you can click on the Facebook link on the right. I managed to get them up on my page.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hidden Messages, Lost Diamonds and a Puggle Battle

Dawn's Plot Swap
Have a plot? Leave one.
Need a plot ? Take one.
I am heading to DFWCon for the weekend. 
Enjoy these plots!
Happy Writing! 

A veteran Venezuelan crossword-writer has been accused of hiding a coded message to assassinate President Hugo Chavez's brother in the latest surreal twist to election year politics in the South American nation.

I used to do the New York Times crossword everyday with a friend. Never found any clues like that!

 Police are eagerly awaiting the return of a $20,000 diamond allegedly stolen and then swallowed by a thief at an Ontario jewelry store five days ago. 

I know... I know... I couldn't resist.

 A New York City man says his cross-country legal battle for custody of his little dog Knuckles is making him broke, but he is not going to roll over.

 In papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan Supreme Court, Dershowitz said ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega "took unilateral control of Knuckles and kidnapped him" after they broke up -- spiriting the dog away to California.

So many ways this one could go! The man, the ex-girlfriend, the attorneys dealing with this.

And one more, just to make you say, "Huh?"

  A federal judge has put an unusual condition on the bonded release of a Richmond man awaiting trial in connection with an undercover weapons sting by federal agents: Read more books.

The court ordered that, while out of custody, Otis Mobley must "read for at least one hour every day, and must write reports on those books for at least 30 minutes every day,"

I am all for reading, but this guy was "looking to sell an illegal grenade launcher"!

Swap with me! I will be popping in and out over the weekend. I would love to hear what you could do with these!

Who's Going to DFWCon?

Thinking about Thursday

      In just over 24 hours, I'll be hanging out with some of my favorite people. Just to name a few:

Roni Loren, who is teaching a class on writing sex scenes. I can't wait! I mean, the woman writes books that have covers like that. I'm pretty sure she knows her stuff!

Genevieve Wilson, one of my awesome critique partners! 
Lindsay Cummings, Sharla Lovelace (who doesn't get to join us, but I love her anyway!), Candie Campbell (who wrote an awesome post about DFWCon you can read here), and Janet B. Taylor.

We all connected through twitter then met in person at the conference last year. Since then we have celebrated Sharla's debut, The Reason is You, and Lindsay's upcoming release, The Murder Complex.

Last year, I was a nervous wreck about this conference. This year, I feel like I am heading to a family reunion. Only with better food and people I truly like!

Leave me a comment so I know who to look for!

This is me. 
If we don't already know each other, 
stop me and say HI!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What's the scariest thing you've ever done?

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

Not me, but you get the idea.
I made a life-changing decision last week. For the first time ever, I'm leaving a job without having another waiting.

I know this exactly what I need to do.  It feels right (if not logical and definitely not advisable in our current economy).

I won't lie. I'm freakin' terrified. 

Don't worry. I have a plan.

And, no, it isn't "I'll  magically turn into a best-selling author and never work again." 

I am way too down-to-earth and prone to panic attacks for that!

But, in this moment, I feel like  this is one of the scariest things I have ever done.

So, make me feel better. Tell me your story.

What is the scariest thing you've ever done? 

If it was the scariest thing and it turned out well, that is even better! You start talking, I'm going to sit in the corner and freak out for a while.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Two Lizards and a Tooth Fairy

Dawn's Plot Swap
Have a plot? Leave one.
Need a plot ? Take one.
It's been a CRAZY week.  Not the  normal," I-am-running-in-sixty-different-directions-and-can't-remember-if-kids-had-shoes-on-when-they-left-for-school" kind of week, but a, "I-am-making-major-life-decisions-and-really-freaked- out" type of crazy. 
So, in an odd way, these potential characters made me feel better about my own sanity. No matter how out of hand life gets, I will never offer to bite the head off a lizard.
Doesn't he look like dinner?  

Hope they keep him away from the Geico commercials! 
Like rawr and stuff....

Nebraska man legally changes name to 'Tyrannosaurus Rex' because it's 'cooler'

What thought process goes into that? I think this man and I would have vastly differing definitions of "Cool".


"I only had three beers.."

Self-proclaimed Texas 'tooth fairy' leads cops on high speed chase.

Um, yeaaah...

So, swap with me! How is everything in your crazy world? Read any good plots lately?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wildflowers from Winter~ Book Review

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday


Bethany Quinn was happy to leave her small town ten years ago to create a new, successful life. But when tragedies strike at home, she is forced to return and face the pain of her childhood. Out of options, Bethany tries to find a place where love and faith make sense again.

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of interviewing author Katie Ganshert. You can check that out here. Today, I get to review her debut release!  I call that a good week.

For me, Wildflowers from Winter was an emotional read.  I started tearing up on page 19, by page 62 I had abandoned getting up to get tissues and just brought a roll of toilet paper to bed with me.

That said, it was a good cry. 

Katie makes these characters so real you can almost touch them. I could see my reflection in their flaws.  Each of their failures ripped at my heart. But, the greatest part is the interwoven message of hope. 

As the main character, Bethany, grapples with the distorted religious views that shaped her past, Katie unobtrusively guides the reader through a journey of losing and finding faith. Though the praise and hope of God is clear throughout, the message is never heavy-handed or preachy. 

The authentic reactions of the characters to grief and tragedy of the situations is refreshing.  If you have experienced any level of loss, you can identify with the different coping strategies exhibited by each character. Everyone grieves differently and Katie captures the heart of that beautifully. 

I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. I am looking forward to Katie's next release. Wishing on Willows which is a continuation of Robin's story from Wildflowers. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Plot Swap~ Unexplained Death Style

Dawn's Plot Swap
Have a plot? Leave one.
Need a plot ? Take one.
As a mystery writer, I found all of these irresistible this week. My brain (which should be editing) is coming up with so many new, shiny ideas.
What could you do with them? 

A man with $180,000 in a bag, a history of bank robberies and mafia connections stepped off a train in NYC and died. How many different ways could that go? There is even a quote from his straight-laced, embarrassed son. Hello, wounded hero with shadowy heritage!

And, my personal favorite: 

British spy found dead in sports bag was 'probably killed unlawfully,' coroner says

DUH! The man was found in a duffle bag with a padlock on it! Think he was playing Houdini? Of course, the added information that several thousand dollars of women's clothing was also in his apartment adds a nice little twist.

So, swap with me! What could you do with these? What's been floating around in your imaginary world lately?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Welcome Katie Ganshert!

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday


I had the pleasure of featuring Katie when she first got Rachelle Gardner as an agent. You can read that post here. I am thrilled to have her talking about her debut release:

which I will be reviewing next week. 

Let's get to know Katie!

I love the story of how you met your husband. Can you give us a quick version of that? 

Ha! I love it too. He was the extremely good-looking delivery guy and I was the enamored receptionist. He’d come in once and day and we’d pretty much say hi and how are you? Then one day, as I’m walking out for lunch, he’s walking into our office. I expected him to go on in, but he did an about-face, walked with me to the elevator, and asked me out. My suave response was, “Do you even know my name?” Of course, I’d been signing for the packages every single day. Only my signature is perpetually messy. So he thought my name was Kate, even though I’d always been Katie. I didn’t correct him. I wrote “Kate” and my number on a gum wrapper and the rest is history. (Ten years later and he still has the gum wrapper.) 

You left your teaching career to write full time. How scary was that? Do you miss the classroom? 

Super scary. Especially since most industry professionals would advise against it. But I felt pulled in way too many directions. I was trying to be a wife and a mother and a teacher and a writer, and all the while, I felt like our son was growing up way too fast. I felt like God was asking me to step out in faith. Ryan did too.  After a whole bunch of prayer, we took the step, knowing we would lose half our salary and the great benefits that come with being a teacher. On paper, it didn’t seem like it could work. But God is faithful. He never leads where He won’t provide. It’s been the best decision for our family. One of the reasons I know is because as much as I loved teaching, I don’t miss it.

What has been the best part of this journey for you?

Oh boy, lots and lots of things! Getting to know so many amazing writing friends (like you!:)). Working with my agent. Working with my editor. Working with my marketing director. The people at Waterbrook/Multnomah are a dream team. Seeing a lifelong goal come to life. 

And getting to connect with readers! But, since you asked for the best, which implies only one thing, I’d have to say how keenly I’ve felt God’s presence throughout. This journey has drawn me so incredibly close to Him. It’s shown me that as wonderful as dreams are, ultimately, my hope and my joy and my worth are found in Him.  

What has been the most surprising (good or bad) part of the journey? 

The insecurity! I totally thought getting a book contract would take care of that for me. But I promise, it doesn’t. I feel like the further along I get in this journey, the more severely insecurity attacks. Which is why the further along I get in this journey, the more and more I have to put my hope in God. I’m such a people-pleaser. I want everyone to be happy with my work and happy with me. God is teaching me some (tough) lessons about letting that go. 

How is the adoption process going? Can you talk little bit about your decision to adopt and what the response has been? 

Good! We’re getting super close to sending our home study over to the Congo. Once it’s over there, we’ll be put on a referral list and the waiting begins.
We decided to adopt because God says to take care of orphans. He’s so clear about that command. It’s non-negotiable. That doesn’t mean everyone has to adopt to do so, but for us, that’s what it meant. We wanted more kids. It wasn’t happening the natural way. We didn’t feel pulled to go the infertility treatment route, and our lives kept intersecting with people who were either in the process of adopting or had already adopted. 

Then one day, the whisper in my heart was undeniable. It was as if God were saying, “I have a blessing out there for you, Katie. Don’t miss it because you’re too scared or too lazy.” God was working on my husband’s heart too. When he came home from work, I said, “I think we should adopt.”  And he said, “Me too.”
So here we are.

What's next for you as a writer? 

Book 2, Wishing onWillows, which releases March 19, 2013. It’s the continuation of Robin’s story from Wildflower. Readers don’t have to read the first book to follow the second, but I do think it’ll be a lot more meaningful if they do. I’m hoping readers will enjoy seeing familiar faces and places. 

Where can we connect with you? Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter
My blog
Twitter : @KatieGanshert 

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Katie.

So, what else do you want to know about Katie? Jump in and ask!