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Writers’ Spaces Wednesday: Jill Kemerer

Writer Spaces Wednesday

I’ve always been fascinated by other writers’ spaces. Some of my writer friends have beautiful offices. Others frequent their favorite Starbucks, Panera, or local libraries to write. Some write at their kitchen tables or living rooms. Because I love to see where others create, I’ve started Writers’ Spaces Wednesdays.

~*~
Jill KemererI’m super excited to have friend, agency mate, and fellow Love Inspired author Jill Kemerer sharing her writing space today. Jill Kemerer writes Christian romance novels with love, humor and faith. Her debut novel, Small-Town Bachelor, releases April 1, 2015 through Harlequin Love Inspired. Jill loves coffee, M&M’s, fluffy animals, magazines and her hilarious family. Visit her website, jillkemerer.com, and connect with Jill on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Jill, so excited to hang out with you today. Tell us about your writing space.

Everyone dreams about a corner office with a view, right? Well, I have it! Almost three years ago, we moved into a lovely four bedroom home. Our kids chose their bedrooms, and I was shocked when no one wanted the corner room. I happily painted it a pretty peach color and filled it with my writing essentials.

Jill Kemerer Office 2

It’s such a relaxing shade. What makes it special for you?

It’s the one spot in our house that’s all mine! I hung my favorite pictures on the walls and organized the shelves and desk the way I wanted them. I love that I can shut the door and feel professional.

I totally get the need to have a space that’s all yours. What is one element of your space that makes you smile?

My bulletin board makes me smile. I post inspirational pictures, quotes, Bible passages, writing helps and a baggie of M&M’s on that board!

Jill Kemerer Office 1

Ok, you had me at M&M’s. What are your “must-haves” when you sit down to write?

My laptop, wireless mouse and The Synonym Finder by J. I. Rodale.

Share a typical writing day.

After I send the kids off to school, I spend time reading the Bible and praying. This is when the coffee kicks in. I’m not much of a morning person, so I ease into writing with an hour of administrative work, such as checking emails and social media sites. Around 11am I’m ready to plot, write or revise, and I do this until 5pm with a few breaks in between.

If you could choose the ultimate writing space, where would it be?

I’m pretty happy where I’m at! But a little cottage on Lake Michigan would be amazing.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

Small-Town-Bachelor-Cover-smallSmall-Town Bachelor is my debut novel, published through Harlequin™ Love Inspired. After a tornado destroys her sister’s wedding, Claire Sheffield settles injured best man, Reed Hamilton, into the cottage next door. As they work together to rebuild Lake Endwell, Reed must face family issues from his past while Claire is torn between a zoo job with her beloved otters or the hero she’s grown to love.

 

Jill, your cover is gorgeous! Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse into your writing world. I’m eager to read your debut novel!

Readers, be sure to buy Jill’s debut novel! Also, what’s your favorite type of M&M’s? If you’re not an M&M’s fan, what’s your favorite snack food?

Lisa Jordan
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Writers’ Spaces Wednesday: Rachel Hauck

Writer Spaces Wednesday

I’ve always been fascinated by other writers’ spaces. Some of my writer friends have beautiful offices. Others frequent their favorite Starbucks, Panera, or local libraries to write. Some write at their kitchen tables or living rooms. Because I love to see where others create, I’ve started Writers’ Spaces Wednesdays.

~*~

MePhotoBooth4I met Rachel Hauck at ACFW in 2008, I believe. I have the honor and privilege of calling her mentor and friend. She speaks such Truth into my heart. Her laugh is infectious, and she has a beautiful singing voice. She lives her life full of joy.

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince.

She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

Find her online at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Rachel, so thrilled to have you today. Tell us about your writing space. 

I love my writing space. It’s a two story, octagon shaped room off the back of our house. Hubby works on the bottom floor, me on the second. There’s a copula at the top that lets in all the light. The floors and trim are hardwood, and tucked up under the ceiling is a strand of multi-colored LED lights. The room was designed by a friend of ours who so generously “gave it up” when he returned to work at Pixar.

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It’s gorgeous! What makes it special for you?

The space is beautiful. Warm and inviting. When I sit at my desk, I can see the leafy green trees of the backyard so it’s almost like working in a tree house!

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I love the way the sunlight caresses your desk. What is one element of your space that makes you smile?

All of it makes me smile!

I can see why. What are your “must-haves” when you sit down to write?

Maybe something to drink. A lot of times I put on worship music in the back ground to get started. But it’s not a must-have. My biggest must-have is the determination to get the job done for the day!

You’re one of the most determined writers I know. Share a typical writing day.  

I usually work out in the morning, have time with the Lord, take care of errands, or household chores before getting down to work. My goal is to be upstairs, back-side in the chair by Noon. Usually there some ratting around on email and social media before getting down to work. Once focused, I can write 2000 words in a few hours. But some how it seems to require a bunch of “drifting” and “day dreaming” involved.

I totally hear you on the daydreaming. If you could choose the ultimate writing space, where would it be?

I might have a mountain view but I love my writing space. I’m very happy!

I’d be very happy in your space, too. Tell us a little about your latest release.

How to Catch a Prince_KD1How To Catch A Prince is the third in the Royal Wedding Series looking at the life of a Prince and an American Heiress. This book is a bit darker than the others as I delved into the effects of war both hero and heroine are dealing with. There’s a fun fairytale story thread that kind of sews it all together. I think it’ll be a fun read for royal fans.

Rachel, thank you for giving us a peek inside your writing world! Readers, would you prefer a beach view or a mountain view for your writing space?

Lisa Jordan
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Writers’ Spaces Wednesday: Amanda G. Stevens

Writer Spaces Wednesday

I’ve always been fascinated by other writers’ spaces. Some of my writer friends have beautiful offices. Others frequent their favorite Starbucks, Panera, or local libraries to write. Some write at their kitchen tables or living rooms. Because I love to see where others create, I’ve started Writers’ Spaces Wednesdays.

~*~

stevens-LR-4I’ve known Amanda for several years. We met through My Book Therapy at the 2012 Deep Thinker’s Retreat. Her name tag labeled her as “AJ” and since then, that’s what I’ve called her. She’s such a sweet person, who writes amazing stories. As a child, Amanda G. Stevens disparaged Mary Poppins and Stuart Little because they could never happen. Now, she writes speculative fiction. Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in English, she has taught literature and composition to home-school students. She lives in Michigan and loves books, film, music, and white cheddar popcorn. Find her on my website, Twitter, Facebook, and of course the book lover’s time-sucking paradise: Goodreads!

Tell us about your writing space. 

My writing space is my living room. I alternate between my couch and my chair, which is one of those oversized, not-quite-loveseat things; I can take a nap in it if I curl up a little. Sometimes in the middle of a scene I’ll move from one piece of furniture to the other for no discernible reason. They’re only about five feet apart, so I don’t know why it matters.

Writing Space

It looks so cozy and comfy. What makes it special for you?

My aquarium. Sometimes when I’m stuck, I’ll brainstorm while staring at my fish. They’re cichlids, high energy and aggressive; drifting peacefully is rarely their thing. It makes them entertaining to watch.

Fish

We used to have an aquarium when our boys were younger. Fish are so relaxing to watch. What is one element of your space that makes you smile?

See above, I guess? My living room is pretty unremarkable otherwise.

What are your “must-haves” when you sit down to write?

This time of year, fuzzy socks and a throw to keep me warm. If I’m sleep-deprived on a deadline, I make sure to have a Starbucks Frappuccino (mocha or vanilla).

With the winter we’ve been having, I’m so with you on the fuzzy socks and throw. Share a typical writing day.

I work a full-time day job, so my writing day never starts before 5:00 p.m. I get home, make dinner, and do necessary life stuff. Then, ideally, I read a well-crafted book for an hour or so before trying to craft my own. Reading something wonderful wakes up my own “voice.” Also ideally, I go to bed around midnight with a good word count accomplished. Of course, sometimes I get distracted by Goodreads. Sometimes I just get stuck with my characters. Sometimes I realize it’s 2:30 a.m. and I have to wake up in five hours. (I do not recommend this, but I do it often.)

As someone who maintains a full-time day job, I understand how limited your writing time is. I’d be a zombie if I stayed up that late, though. 🙂 If you could choose the ultimate writing space, where would it be?

Someday soon I hope to find a modern, comfortable sleeper chair for my library, so I can alternate that space with my living room. I love being surrounded by books I have read and want to read. David Quammen describes books as “the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper,” and they are that for me too. If we’re letting me design a fantasy writing space, then it would have my aquarium and my books in the same room and it would be located in a perpetually mild climate so I could always have the window open.

Your ideal space sounds so inviting! Tell us a little about your latest release.

FoundandLost CoverI’m currently working on a dystopian series called Haven Seekers. The second book, Found and Lost, just released this month! In my storyworld, the government has seized control of the church and retranslated the Bible. Each of my characters are affected by this world in different ways, depending on their personalities and their beliefs. And I love these characters. My series protagonist, Marcus Brenner, is a new Christian who is stubborn and loyal and ready to do anything to protect his Christian “family.”

In Found and Lost, we meet Clay Hansen—husband, father, lover of literature, questioner of God. And we meet Violet DuBay—a teen girl who’s grown up in this world and is forced to question it for the first time in her life.

Amanda’s note: Haven Seekers is a series in the traditional sense (i.e. a serial plotline) so should be read in order.

AJ, thanks so much for inviting us into your writing space today. I’m so excited about your writing career. 

Readers, what are your “must-haves” when you curl up with a good book?

 

 

Lisa Jordan
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Writers’ Spaces: Jill Lynn

Writer Spaces Wednesday

I’ve always been fascinated by other writers’ spaces. Some of my writer friends have beautiful offices. Others frequent their favorite Starbucks, Panera, or local libraries to write. Some write at their kitchen tables or living rooms. Because I love to see where others create, I’ve started Writers’ Spaces Wednesdays.

~*~

Jill Lynn HeadshotJill Lynn is a fellow Love Inspired author whose debut novel, Falling for Texas, is on the shelves this month. Jill and I are Facebook friends, who met in person at last year’s ACFW conference. She has the most amazing smile.

Jill Lynn writes contemporary inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired, with her first book, Falling for Texas, available now. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Bethel University and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. In 2013, Jill won the ACFW Genesis award. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two young children and has a penchant for great books, boots, and thrift stores. Connect with her at Jill-Lynn.com, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on Pinterest.

Tell us about your writing space.

I’m usually running errands or popping into school for various kid’s activities, so I often write at Panera. That way, I’m not wasting time driving home. Although, I am forced to eat food like this… and that is a hardship.

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That looks fabulous. I can see why you like to hang out here. What makes it special for you?

Panera has all the comforts of home without any of the distractions… a nice arm chair, which I prefer. A fireplace. And no temptation to do laundry or clean like I’d have at home. Okay, I probably wouldn’t really be tempted, but it’s a nice thought.

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I want to curl up in one of those chairs with a cup of tea and a good book. What is one element of your space that makes you smile?

Food, food, food. Did I mention I like food? And coffee.

Look at this…

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It’s a virtual coffee buffet. Dark roast. Light roast. Decaf. Sometimes when I’m feeling really crazy, I mix decaf and regular. I’m a wild child.

What are your “must-haves” when you sit down to write?

Did I mention coffee? That and my laptop are pretty much the only things I need to dive in. Headphones are a plus for when I need to drown out annoying Panera conversations around me. And water. I love water. Lately, I’ve been asking for the larger water cup at Panera. They just smile at me like I’m in some kind of super cool club. Which I pretty much am. The water drinker club. With a twist. And by that I mean a lemon.

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I’m a bottle-carrying member of the water club, too…with a twist of lemon. Share a typical writing day.

First I drive the kids to school. If I need to be out and about during the day, I head over to Panera and start working, squeezing in whatever time I can until the next activity calls me. On days I have open, I head home to write. We don’t have an office, though we’re hoping to remedy that by combining one with our guest room. If I’m home, I write in the living room. I do actually pick up the kitchen and throw in a load of laundry on these days… most of the time.

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I have a very similar chair and ottoman in my living room where I write…usually with my dog on my lap. If you could choose the ultimate writing space, where would it be?

I’d love an attic space that’s been transformed into a writing nook. Wood floors, a great comfy chair, slanted ceilings, and a nice window seat. I don’t ask for much.

My dream is to transform our attic into my writing space. It has most of those things, but it needs heat! Tell us a little about your latest release.

Cover- Falling for Texas - Jill LynnFalling for Texas is about a Colorado girl who moves to Texas hoping to leave the past behind. She agrees to tutor one of her volleyball players, and the girl’s older brother captures her attention. Despite both of their attempts to keep things at friendship level, their stubborn hearts tumble toward love.

Falling for Texas on Kindle & Nook.

Raising his orphaned teenage sister isn’t easy for Texas rancher Cash Maddox. The girl tests his parenting—and patience—at every turn! But when he asks new teacher Olivia Grayson for help with his sister’s grades and attitude, Cash realizes he’s facing the toughest trial of all. He made a promise that he wouldn’t date and get distracted from his mission of being a good father figure. Yet Olivia’s quick wit is drawing him unexpectedly closer to the caring beauty every day. Could it be time to make a new vow…one that’ll last a lifetime?

Lisa Jordan
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Last Day for Valentine’s Giveaway

As I posted on Monday, I’m teaming up with fellow Love Inspired authors Jill Lynn and Jill Kemerer, fellow Books & Such client Jennifer Major, and romance author Jen Turano for a Valentine’s Giveaway. The contest ends at 1:00 AM EST on 2/14/15! Get your entries in today!

Valentine's Giveaway finalThe giveaway includes:

  • After a Fashion by Jen Turano
  • A Recipe for Romance collection by Jill Kememer
  • Falling for Texas by Jill Lynn (her debut novel–Yay!!)
  • Lakeside Redemption by Lisa Jordan
  • Hand-stamped cards
  • Chocolate
  • $10 Starbucks gift card

Enter here for your chance to win:

Lisa Jordan
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Writers’ Spaces: Carla Laureano

Writer Spaces WednesdayI’ve always been fascinated by other writers’ spaces. Some of my writer friends have beautiful offices. Others frequent their favorite Starbucks, Panera, or local libraries to write. Some write at their kitchen tables or living rooms. Because I love to see where others create, I’ve started Writers’ Spaces Wednesdays.

~*~

CL_Stairs_Full_96dpiI invited my friend Carla Laureano to share about her writing space and a typical day for her. I “met” Carla through a Facebook group we’re both a part of, but after reading her debut novel, Five Days in Skye, I knew I needed to meet her in person. That happened this past September when I rudely interrupted a conversation she was having with a writer/book reviewer so I could introduce myself and get a long overdue hug. In addition to being a very sweet person, she’s a gifted writer.

Carla is the author of the Celtic fantasy series The Song of Seare (as C.E. Laureano), as well as the RITA® Award winning romance Five Days in Skye. She’s an avid cook, an enthusiastic but untalented singer, and a thwarted world-traveler. She currently lives in Denver with her patient husband and two rambunctious sons.

Connect with her at: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Tell us about your writing space.

When we moved into this house, my office was in our finished basement, but in the winter, it is freezing! Last year, when my two boys decided they wanted to share a room, I took over my youngest’s bedroom upstairs and turned it into a writing space.

CarlasWritingSpace

Win for you! Basements can be way too cold. What makes it special for you?

Besides the fact it’s warm? Just kidding. I love the fact I have a room big enough to incorporate my favorite books and art prints, a dedicated space to work, and a comfy chair for research reading or reviewing galleys. Plus, now my sons’ parakeet has joined me, so she won’t be lonely while they’re gone.

Your office is gorgeous. What is one element of your space that makes you smile?

My accent colors make me happy! I recently decided I needed a hint of spring with all the tan and white, so I bought a cheery ottoman and pillow…and then found some file folders printed with reproduction silk patterns in the same color. I feel so cheerful whenever I walk into my office decorated in shades of coral and aqua and yellow.

I love your colors. That ottoman is gorgeous. What are your “must-haves” when you sit down to write?

Something hot to drink on my mug warmer, water with a slice of orange in my favorite cup, my planner (to jot down things I need to do so I’m not tempted to get up when I’m supposed to be writing), and my laptop. Depending on where I am in the writing process, I might have a stack of reference books, too. Music is optional. Sometimes I can’t write without it; other times, it’s too much of a distraction.

Share a typical writing day.

I drop my kids off at school across town first, so by the time I get home, it’s about 8:45. I make coffee or tea and get myself settled at my desk, where I let myself check in with my writer friends about their plans for the day (my version of water cooler chat). I try to get down to work by 9:15 or 9:30 and then write until 1pm when I break for lunch. Then it’s back to work (often promotion or social media) until 3 when I need to leave to get the kids. This only gives me about six hours in a work day, so depending on my deadlines and commitments, I typically work another hour or two after my boys go to bed, usually emails, social media, or blog posts. When I’m fast-drafting a book, I only let myself call it a day after I’ve gotten my word count in—which is usually about 2000 words—regardless of whether that takes me two hours or twelve.

You seem very organized and disciplined with your time. If you could choose the ultimate writing space, where would it be?

I want one of those little cabins in the woods you see on Pinterest all the time…or maybe a tiny trailer house. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a mobile 150 sq ft office with bathroom and kitchen and a loft area for naps and reading? Yes, I need to figure out how to make this happen…

Those tiny homes are adorable! Tell us a little about your latest release.

ForsakenCityCoverBeneath the Forsaken City is the second book in my Song of Seare Celtic fantasy series. My protagonists Conor and Aine have just barely escaped Seare with their lives, but they are quickly thrown into as much danger as they left behind. Meanwhile, things back home become increasingly dangerous as their enemy seeks to destroy anyone who can stand against him. I’m told by early readers that this book is non-stop action with lots of surprises… which is possibly the best compliment I can get!

Carla, thanks so much for giving us a peek inside your writing world. I’m so excited to see how this year unfolds for you!

Readers, what aspect do you find most fascinating by a writer’s life?

Lisa Jordan
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Why We Renewed Our Vows (+ Valentine’s Giveaway)

DSC04306This past October, Hubby and I celebrated our 25th anniversary by renewing our marriage vows in front of family & friends at our church.

We chose to renew our vows for one simple reason–we wanted to reaffirm those promises we said so many years ago…years that have been shaped, refined and molded by laughter, by tears, and by standing together to face the many challenges that came our way.

Our courtship was quite unique. We met in May 1988 when Hubby came into the family restaurant where I had been working as a waitress for the summer. The moment I saw him, I knew my life was about to change. He had a presence about him and the way he carried himself that exuded confidence…he still has it. We became friends, and we communicated long distance for a couple of months by writing letters. Then he came home on leave, and we started dating. By that time, I was so in love with this man who made my heart swoon. I knew he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We talked about a traditional wedding, set a date, and started making plans,. I even picked out the most beautiful wedding gown. Then we realized we didn’t want to want another six months to get married.

Wedding photo copyWe chose to elope three weeks after getting engaged. I wore peach, he wore gray, and we promised to love, honor and cherish one another in front of a judge, two friends, and the judge’s secretary. I tell people it may not have been my dream wedding, but I married the man perfect for me.

Like most married couples, our relationship hasn’t always been the fairy tale. We experienced challenges that could have broken us, but we refused to give up. Instead, we worked hard to turn those trials into triumphs. We’ve used the life lessons from our mistakes to help us to become a stronger couple and better parents to our incredible sons.

The beauty of the past twenty-five years is knowing the young love we first shared has matured into a deep-seated devotion that will outlast anything life hurls our way. Each day I spend with him is an incredible gift, and I’m so blessed.

 ~*~

I’m teaming up with fellow Love Inspired authors Jill Lynn and Jill Kemerer, fellow Books & Such client Jennifer Major, and romance author Jen Turano for a Valentine’s Giveaway.

Valentine's Giveaway finalThe giveaway includes:

  • After a Fashion by Jen Turano
  • A Recipe for Romance collection by Jill Kememer
  • Falling for Texas by Jill Lynn (her debut novel–Yay!!)
  • Lakeside Redemption by Lisa Jordan
  • Hand-stamped cards
  • Chocolate
  • $10 Starbucks gift card

Enter here for your chance to win: 

Lisa Jordan
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Creativity by Mindy Obenhaus


Mindy ObenhausI’m delighted to host my friend and fellow Love Inspired author Mindy Obenhaus as my guest blogger today. I’ve known of Mindy for a few years, but I met her in person at the 2012 ACFW conference, and we clicked. We have a lot in common, including having the privilege of sharing the same Love Inspired editor.

This year at ACFW, I will be cheering loud and proud for her at our Gala Awards because The Doctor’s Family Reunion, her debut novel, is a Carol finalist…another thing we have in common. Mindy lives in Texas with her husband and two of her five children. Her second book, Rescuing the Texan’s Heart, is a September release. When she’s not writing, Mindy enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her grandkids.

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I love to create. As a writer, I create characters and story lines from a spark of an idea. Writing is hard work, though, and sometimes I have to step away from the computer and allow myself to explore other avenues of creativity.

  • Made to create.

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:27 tells us that, “God created mankind in His own image.” So if we were created in God’s image and He created everything, then that tells me that we were made to create. So don’t tell me you’re not creative. You might have to dig for it, but you’ve got it in you.

  • Creativity is inspired.

Inspiration is all around us. We see someone sporting a new haircut and decide that’s just the cut we’ve been looking for. Or maybe it’s a picture in a magazine that inspires you to redecorate a room in your house. Perhaps we see a story on the news about suffering animals and are motivated to help out at your local animal shelter. Even the kind act of another can inspire us to be a better person.

In 2006, my mother-in-law introduced me to the tiny town of Ouray, Colorado. Nestled in a bowl among the San Juan Mountain range, Ouray captured my heart and inspired me to write a series of stories set there.

  • Creativity comes in many forms.

Our own Lisa Jordan likes to make cards. Beautiful cards. My friend, Becky, likes to crochet. My oldest daughter enjoys repurposing furniture.

Me?

I like to create in the kitchen.

Baking

Or I might get a wild hair and decide to take something from drab…

Wicker chair

To totally fab.

Red chair

Even shopping can be creative. Ever gone clothes shopping? Paired up slacks and shirts or shoes with an outfit? Did you even realize you were expressing your creativity?

Or what about the teacher who decorates her classroom or assembles a stellar lesson plan? The mechanic who takes a car from DOA to purring like a kitten? Yes, that’s creativity in action.

  • Creativity gives us a sense of fulfillment.

Back to that mechanic… How do you think he felt when he got that car running? Proud? Like he’d accomplished something?

Yep, creativity will do that for you. We just don’t want to take that pride thing too far.

  • So now it’s your turn. How are you creative? What inspires you to be creative? Or, if you’re sitting there thinking you’re not creative, what are you good at? What are some of the things that you enjoy? Creativity is not only a God-given ability, it’s inherent. Life’s too short to let anything squelch your creativity. So go forth and create.

Lisa again: Mindy, thanks so much for being here. To celebrate Mindy’s Carol final and her newest release, I’m giving away 1 of each of Mindy’s novels in ebook form! To be eligible to win, you must leave a comment with your email address.

The Doctor's Family ReunionRescuing the Texan's Heart

 

Lisa Jordan
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Lakeside Sweethearts Book Cover Reveal

Last Wednesday I opened my computer after work and received a sweet surprise: the cover for my third Love Inspired book that releases in June–Lakeside Sweethearts. 

Lakeside Sweethearts Book Cover

 Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

I’m so thrilled they chose a dock for the cover art because it’s where Agnes and Ian spend a lot of time building their relationship. Plus, the lanterns and sunset create a romantic atmosphere. I absolutely love this cover. I hope you do too…and Agnes & Ian’s story. 

Your Turn: What elements do you like to see on book covers?

Lisa Jordan
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A Pretty Penny: My Life Has Gone to the Dog

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

Roger Caras 

Last August our family experienced another change in our lives–our youngest went off to college, leaving Hubby and me with an empty nest.

By day, our house is filled with noise and chaos because I own and operate a family childcare program.

Once that last Little Darling leaves for the day, and dinner is over, I sit in my comfy chair in the living room to pick up where I left off with my current WIP (work-in-progress). With only Hubby and me at home, I’ve noticed something very annoying…the ticking clock hanging on the living room wall.

Holy cats, that thing is loud!

When our boys are home, and the Xbox is being played, then the ticking is drowned out by whatever gaming chatter. 

Then I realized something else…I missed having someone to care for. Hubby doesn’t count because he’s quite self-sufficient, and my Little Darlings don’t count because they leave before dinner. 

I needed someone or something to take care of, so I started talking to Hubby about a dog. 

We had a beautiful yellow Lab about 14 years ago named Samantha Jane. Due to our son’s allergies at the time, and Samantha’s size with my Little Darlings, she wasn’t the best fit for our family. She ended up moving to a farm to live with a couple who had another dog and wanted a playmate for her. 

Anyway, Hubby wasn’t too excited about the dog thing and suggested we wait until spring.

For her birthday, my mom adopted a sweet little chihuahua mix dog named Penelope, who may be older than the 3 years the shelter claimed. This little sweetheart burrowed herself into my heart, especially after I became Penny’s official dogsitter when my mom was hospitalized two different times for heart issues. I kept telling Mom I was going to dognap Penny for good. 

In fact Hubby had said, “If only we could find a dog like Penny…”

I had been praying and asking God to provide us with the right pooch at the right time. 

Well, in January, my mom had another heart issue. Due to some concerns afterward, Penny came to live with us full-time. 

So as Carolyn mentioned on Monday when she took over my blog–I’m a new puppy mama. Isn’t Penny just the sweetest thing?

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Caring for a dog is like caring for kids, except dogs can’t speak, and kids shouldn’t be doing their business outside. Penny demands attention like a kid and insists on getting up in the middle of the night for a potty break. 

I’m remembering those early years with my kids. Unfortunately my body has aged 20 years, so I’m more tired now, but we love Penny so much and wouldn’t give her up for anything. 

Your Turn: Do you have any pets? What’s your favorite part about being a pet owner? What advice do you have to share with this new puppy mama? 

 

Lisa Jordan
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