Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Here it is, December 31, 2007. New Year’s Eve. I’m sitting here posting on my blog, and I’m perfectly happy to be home, safe, with my husband, watching TV, waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. 2007 has been an eventful year—some good, some bad—and I’m blessed to have come out of it a wiser person with a better understanding and appreciation of God’s mercy and grace.

I’m happy to have a wonderful family. Lauren is looking forward to finishing college and starting a new career. Alison and Jason have a loving marriage. My children have turned out to be the kind of adults every parent dreams of. I love the fact that I have readers who drop me an e-mail once in a while to let me know they’re touched by my stories. I’m grateful that my husband had such excellent medical care after a life-altering health scare, and he’s still with us, pacemaker and all.

I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions because it seems pointless when we don’t know what we’ll face…but that’s okay. As long as the Lord is in control, I’ll be just fine.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Please continue praying!

I've been keeping up with what's going on with my friend Kristy Dykes through her blog: Please take time out during your busy day to pray for her and her family.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Fun day!

I just got back from the annual TARA (Tampa Area Romance Authors) Christmas party, where I got to celebrate with some old and new friends who all share a love of stories with happy endings. I rode with Kathy Carmichael and Kimberly Llewellyn, which is always fun because there’s never a lull in conversation.

After a yummy meal and scrumptious dessert, we did our usual ornament exchange, where each person draws a number. The first person has to pick a wrapped ornament from the table, then each person after that has the choice of choosing from what's left on the table or stealing from someone who has already gone. True to form, I "stole" from one of my TARA sisters who ironically went to the table and picked the ornament I'd brought. It's all in good fun, and everyone left with smiles.

It was especially sweet to hear all about Carla Hughes’s sale to Steeple Hill! All of us in TARA have known that Carla’s a wonderful writer. Now everyone will have the opportunity to read her wonderful books! I can hardly wait until I have one of her autographed, published books!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

All grown up!

Alison’s best friend Tina is getting married today! I know this sounds clichĂ©, but where has the time gone? It seems like only days ago, my daughters Alison and Lauren giggled about boys with their friends Tina and Samantha. And now Alison has been married a year and a half and is getting ready to be one of the 2 maids-of-honor in Tina’s wedding. I get teary-eyed thinking about it. Lauren’s friend Samantha is planning to marry her fiancĂ© sometime next year, and I’m sure I’ll start reflecting all over again.

Tina will be a stunning bride, and I’m sure Jimmy knows what a fortunate guy he is to be getting such a sweet wife with a big heart. I hope everything goes well during the wedding, but more than that, I pray that they’ll be blessed with a wonderful life together.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Prayers for a friend!

One of my friends, Kristy Dykes, just learned that she might have a brain tumor. Please keep her and her family in prayer.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Very busy but fun!

The past several weeks have been extremely busy, but it’s all good stuff. In September I went to Connecticut, where I went through a wonderful training program so I can help other writers work on their craft. I’ve always enjoyed being a part of other people’s success, and I’m psyched about this wonderful opportunity with Long Ridge. After the training, Cindi Myers, Carole Bellacera, and I headed into NYC where we saw a hilarious Broadway show and then joined G. Miki Hayden for a fabulous dinner.

Then last weekend after the Tampa Area Romance Authors meeting, we had a group book-signing at the Barnes and Noble in Tampa. I love the support this group shows our authors. Thanks, everyone, for buying my book! I hope y’all enjoy it!

This coming Saturday, I’m participating with other authors Kathy Carmichael, Kimberly Llewellyn, and Jeannie LeGendre in a writer-in-residence program at the Countryside branch of the Clearwater Library. We’ll talk to aspiring writers then offer critiques to anyone who wants one. Tara Spicer (w/a Tara Randel), we’ll miss you! I hope you feel better soon.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Montana Mistletoe blog tour!

What is the premise of the Montana Mistletoe?
DEBBY: This book shows how four friends work toward honoring their pact to find true love by their twenty-eighth birthdays.

Give us a brief blurb about your stories.

LISA: When Madison Graham leaves the quant town of Mistletoe, Colorado for New York City to buy products for her year-round Christmas store, Under the Mistletoe, she’s positive she’s met her man. Albert Kendall is everything she’s ever dreamed of. Successful, good looking, and well off. But is worldly success really what she’s looking for in a man, or have the bright lights of the city blinded her so that she’s forgotten the real meaning of Christmas?

DEBBY: In "Return to Mistletoe," when Deanna’s high school sweetheart Anthony returns to Mistletoe, she’s not prepared for her own reaction. Fighting the urge to fall in love with him again, she works hard at adding sparks to a relationship with someone else. Anthony continues to show up at the most unexpected times—not only to see Deanna but to help the town he’s loved since childhood.

KIM: In my story, "All I want for Christmas. . .is You," Kathy Morgan has gotten caught up in the corporate world of writing advertising jingles at a San Francisco advertising company--a far cry from the simple world of Mistletoe. As Christmas approaches, an unexpected bonus gives her the opportunity to return to Mistletoe for a trip down "Memory Lane" where she can consider the marriage proposal of long-time co-worker Chad. But postman Erik Hoffman becomes a distraction that makes her wonder if she needs to evaluate more than Chad's proposal...perhaps more than romantic love, she needs the love of Jesus in her life.

LENA: Lori Compton is the youngest mayor ever elected in the year around Christmas town, Mistletoe, Montana. She plans a turnaround in the local sagging economy by finding ways to bring more tourists to Mistletoe. The only possible suitor she can find is the single pastor of Living Word Chapel, but deep in her heart, she wants real love, not just a convenient answer to the Mistletoe Pact.

Is there a character who you relate to and who made an impact on your life?

LISA: I always learn from the writing process. In Under the Mistletoe, Madison is searching for that elusive something we all tend to look for at one time or another. Happiness doesn’t always come in a gold-wrapped package or with a better pay check. It comes from the little things around us. Friends, a warm summer day, and knowing God loves us. A good reminder.

Can you share any tidbits of wisdom on getting published?

KIM: P E R S E V E R A N C E! If you feel that "tug" to write, there's a reason, so keep at it even when it's tough. Trust God to take you where He wants you to go in your writing, and enjoy every step of the journey. There's a purpose in all of it.
Any advice in working together as a team/preparing a novella proposal?

DEBBY: Present your ideas and listen to others. Remember that you all have the same goal of excellence for your project.
Any writer’s resources you could recommend?

DEBBY: Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer is one of the best books for craft. I also like Donald Maass’s book, Writing the Breakout Novel. For ongoing craft and marketing education, I like Writer’s Digest Magazine.


If you want to learn more about the authors of Montana Mistletoe, check out Rhonda Gibson’s blog on September 26th at

Winners! Winners! Winners!

Want a chance to win a FREE copy of the book and a $30 gift certificate to For more information, visit our official Montana Mistletoe blog at by October 1st!

Lena Nelson Dooley:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blast from the past!

As a former military brat, I occasionally have a nostalgic moment that I have to share with friends. I had such a moment this weekend when I stumbled upon a site with pictures of one of the many places I lived. My family moved from Yokota Air Force Base to Johnson Air Base, Japan, in 1964, so these pictures really sent me back in time. If you have a few moments, check it out: Oh, and make sure your sound is on for the full effect!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Amazing and super cool!

As a product writer for HSN (Home Shopping Network), I often watch the show to see how our merchandise is being shown. Of course, being the clothes/shoes/handbag/makeup lover I am, I always come away wanting to buy whatever is on air. Last night I watched one of my favorite designers, Carolyn Strauss, announce that she’s taking a year off, and I got a little choked up—even though we’ll continue carrying her line.

This morning I woke up thinking I needed more Carolyn Strauss clothes, so I headed to the employee store, where I loaded some of her really cute outfits into my cart. I walked around the store to see if there was anything else I “needed,” and when I came back to the front to pay for my items, Sally, one of the QA evaluators, was there chatting with someone. She gestured for me to come over so she could introduce me to Carolyn Strauss! That had to be the highlight of my weekend! I totally didn’t recognize her in person because she’s even more gorgeous than on TV! Her smile is genuine and infectious, and she’s super easy to talk to.

Carolyn said she’s planning to look for opportunities to speak and do some wonderful things to help other women. I have no doubt she’ll continue to succeed in everything she does.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Celebration and good friends!

My friend Beth and I celebrated her new job with yummy ice cream before we headed next door to browse in a variety store. I came home with a hodgepodge of goodies—all stuff I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. Sometimes life is like that. We think we know what we need, but then the Lord presents us with things that have never crossed our minds. Whatever He presents is always better than what we come up with on our own.

I added some wonderful writing craft articles from friends Lisa Mondello and Gail Gaymer Martin to the WRITER STUFF page on my web site, and I expect even more material over the next several days from other friends who love sharing their knowledge. If you’re a writer and you have time, go take a look and see if there’s anything that’ll help you with your own writing.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

ACFW thoughts!

I haven’t missed the last 3 American Christian Fiction Writers conferences, so I’m really sad that I won’t be attending this year. I always come back with market information, new craft knowledge, and a long list of e-mail addresses from new friends. There’s nothing like spending time with people who have the same passion for both the Lord and writing. After exchanging e-mail with Joyce Livingston, Pamela Kaye Tracy, Janet Spaeth, Gail Sattler, Pamela Griffin, Janet Barton, Margaret Daley, Rhonda Gibson, Beth White, and Gail Gaymer Martin for years, we were old friends by the time we met in person. I also enjoyed spending time with my Barbour editors Becky Germany, Susan Downs, and JoAnne Simmons.

Fortunately, my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, will be there for part of it this year, and she’ll be able to fill me in on the latest market news. Lena Nelson Dooley, Lisa Harris, and Kim Vogel Sawyer, the other 3 authors in the Montana Mistletoe anthology, will also be there, so it’ll be nice to hear feedback from them.

Something I’ve learned over the years of writing is that connecting with other writers is not only good for us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, it also provides us with opportunities to improve craft. Whether sitting in a workshop, soaking up new information from a speaker, or having breakfast with editors, agents, and authors who recently had a manuscript requested, there’s always something exciting to learn.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Blog tour has begun!

The Montana Mistletoe blog tour has started! When you get a chance, check out Lena Nelson Dooley’s blog at Leave a comment for a chance to win a free book!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Montana Mistletoe interviews coming soon!

All four authors in the Montana Mistletoe anthology, Lena Nelson Dooley, Lisa Harris, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and I are gearing up for a blog tour that'll be here soon! I'm excited to share some of our experiences and information with anyone who's interested, so keep checking back for more!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Kids, agent, and release date!

Nothing makes me happier than my children’s successes. My older daughter Alison and her husband Jason closed on their very first house in Apex, North Carolina. My younger daughter Lauren is heading into her senior year of college in a couple of weeks. I’m super proud of all of them, and I have no doubt they’re at the very beginning of their own unique, wonderful journeys through adulthood.

My agent Tamela Hancock Murray recently updated her web site, and it’s really great! When you get a chance, go check it out:

I had a little thrill seeing the actual cover of Montana Mistletoe when it landed in my mailbox today! This means countdown time until the release date—September 1!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fun times ahead!

I’ve always enjoyed having something to look forward to, so this will probably be a theme in my blog. Over the next several months, there’s so much going on, I’m beside myself with excitement!

Tonight, I’m having dinner with very good friends and fabulous authors Kathy Carmichael, Kimberly Llewellyn, Tara Spicer, and Alfie Thompson. Since Kathy planned the get-together, she got to pick the restaurant – The Tarpon Turtle. Yum!

I got the coolest news yesterday from fellow Heartsong Presents author Rhonda Gibson. Her book To Trust an Outlaw is releasing at the same time as my next Heartsong, Double Blessing, in late September or early October! Something else to share and look forward to with another wonderfully talented friend!

Even though I’m super busy with family, friends, and work, one of my favorite things to do is kick back and read. My TBR (to-be-read) pile never goes down, so I’ll always have something to do. I’m currently reading Bitsy’s Bait and BBQ by Pamela Morsi. I love her characterization and the way she pulls me into her stories on the very first page.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

God is truly amazing!

He has allowed me to do the work I love with guidance toward His will and mercy when I try to take things into my own hands. And He has given me plenty of things to look forward to!

My next published project, a novella in the Montana Mistletoe anthology with Lena Nelson Dooley, Lisa Harris, and Kim Vogel Sawyer is coming out next month. In addition to a couple of scheduled book signings, we’re planning a blog tour that should be fun and entertaining.

Double Blessing, my next Heartsong Presents, will go to book club members in early October. I’m really excited about hearing from readers on this book.

In addition to all the wonderful book news, I’ll be starting a new venture that I’ve looked forward to for a very long time. Long Ridge Writer’s Group has invited me to be an instructor for their correspondence writing program. I love working with other writers to help them realize their dream!