Friday, March 28, 2014

Confessional Friday

Linking up with Leslie at
It's been one of those weeks where I can't even remember what I did. Ha!
1. I confess that I wish I could be cutesy creative. Some moms in the PTA are made this tree for my library. They're making two more to hang up a science project a few classes made. I LOVE it.
2. I confess that I'm ready for Easter to be over. Not because I don't love the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead after paying for my sins. It's because I MUST stop eating the Reese's eggs.
3. I confess that I really have the urge to travel. Summer is soon (10 more weeks), and I don't
really have the money to go anywhere. :( 

4. I confess I still haven't eaten any crawfish this season. I feel like a bad Cajun. I did have gumbo tonight with family to celebrate my aunt from DC coming to town.

5. I confess that I feel like the little engine that could with promoting my debut novel. Being published with a small press, I know that marketing takes more time than a big publisher that can do more advertising. So, I'm so thrilled Worth the Wait won Clash of the Titles.                                                                    I pray often for the girls/women who are reading it. I pray they know Jesus and that His plan for their lives is always worth the wait.
By the way, to celebrate the win, the e-book is on sale for 1.99. Find it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Clash of the Titles Winner!

Conqueror Button

I'm so excited Worth the Wait won February's Clash of the Titles, where books compete using their covers and a two-sentence summary.

Thanks to everyone who voted.

I'm so thankful for people who are willing to help spread the word about Worth the Wait.

In celebration of the win, Worth the Wait's e-book is on sale for 1.99!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Confessional Friday Night

Linking up with Leslie at
I didn't get this done Thursday night to go live Friday, so I'm doing it now....wild Friday night for sure.
I confess that after my family, this is my favorite kid! I've babysat her every Friday since she was a week old! Last Friday, we went to the Houston Rodeo to see Keith Urban.
I confess that while Keith Urban put on a good show, I was the one who suggested we leave early.
I confess that's embarrassing as a country  music fan.
I confess that I love my job. This was on my desk on St. Patrick's day. Someone's mom was on Pinterest over spring break, and I love it.
I confess I'm so tired of this ear infection I have. I thought ear infections were for kids.

I confess I'm baffled at why ear drops and antibiotics cost 90 bucks. That's after insurance and a coupon the pharmacist gave me. I'm thankful for good health.
Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Clash of the Titles!

Worth the Wait is one of the nominees for Clash of the Titles! Yay!
If you have a minute, cast your vote for Ellie and Josh while checking out some other Christian novels that just released.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Distortion: A Review

Terri Blackstock is one of the few authors who rarely--if ever--disappoints. Distortion is a fast-paced ride with well-developed and likable characters.
You don't have to read book one to enjoy this one, but it would give you background info on the characters. When Juliet Cole's husband is gunned down in front of her, the case unravels secrets her husband kept from everyone he knew--secrets that have put Juliet and their kids in the line of fire.
Sometimes in a suspense novel, either the plot slows to allow the characters to grow or the plot is so fast, the character gets lost in the action. Neither happened here.
This is a fantastic read, and I can't wait until the next book comes out because this one ends suddenly!
I was given this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Confessional Friday

Connecting with Leslie over at Blonde Ambition:
1. I confess that I didn't always up the resistance at spin class. I hadn't been in over a year to spin, so it kicked my butt. I even sometimes lowered the resistance when the instructor said to turn it up!
2. I confess that spent way too much money at Bath and Body Works this week. I love the Pink Chiffon smell so much, but why'd they get rid of the old favorites?
3. I confess that I'm going to the rodeo tomorrow with the girl I babysit and her friend. And I get paid to go. How'd I get so lucky? It'll be my first time seeing Keith Urban.

4. I confess that I didn't get my Spring Break To-Do List finished. Or even started. I've had a cold, so I'm not going to hold it against myself. I did make it to the gym twice and read several books. Success!
5. I confess that I didn't wear my Rockets' shirt Tuesday or Thursday this week. I blame myself for both losses. Don't tell the team!

 6. I confess that I get a "little" into my nephew's flag football games. I'm sad there's not a game this Saturday. Go Broncos! I'm at every game...still waiting on my sister to get me that Aunt of the Year plaque. :)
Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A March Bride: A Review

This is my favorite the Year of Weddings series. I think it's because I already knew the characters from a previous book.
When Susanna agreed to marry Nathaniel, she knew she was giving away a lot. She just didn't know she'd have to give up her American citizenship too in order to be with the man she loves.
When she flees back to Georgia weeks before the wedding, can she find a balance between being a princess and being true to herself?
I loved the characters, and the wedding was absolutely fantastic!
Fans of Rachel Hauck's princess series will adore this book, and fans of Christian fiction in general will love it too.
(Although you don't have to read Once Upon a Prince to enjoy this novella, it would help.)
I was given a copy of this novella in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.

Princess Ever After: A Review

I'm conflicted on this book. I love Regina, the tough car-fixing Southern girl. She's strong and confident. And while I liked Tanner, the minister of culture sent to the US to find the heir to the throne, it was hard to gloss over his past. His reasons for what he had done tainted him some for me.
However, I loved the flashbacks to Regina's grandmother's journal, and I especially loved the ending where Regina finds what was hidden for all these years.
The princess part is fun, and fans of the first book in the series will enjoy this one as well.
I was given this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.
An Interview with Rachel Hauck, 
Author of Princess Ever After
The best stories show ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and Rachel Hauck has captured that very essence in her new novel, Princess Ever After 
(Zondervan/February 4, 2013/ISBN 9780310315506/$14.99). The second book in the Royal Wedding series tells the story of an ordinary girl who finds out she's a princess, a revelation that changes the life she's created for herself.

Like many of us, Hauck is enamored with the idea of royalty, and while she hopes readers are entertained and drawn to the modern fairytale of Princess Ever After, she has a deeper desire for this book and the entire series. "I pray readers find hope and encouragement," she says. "Most of us are not going to discover we are long-lost princes or princesses in this life, but we are most sincerely princes and princesses in His kingdom. Right now! Let's live like it and love as our King loves."

Q: In Princess Ever After, your heroine, Regina, is happy with the life she's created for herself. When God intervenes, she feels unprepared, yet He's provided all she needs. How have you seen God's direction and provisions in your own life?

I'm the anti-Regina. After I graduated from college, I realized I'd never be happy unless I was sold out to the Lord, so I told Him I was 100% available. It's a surrender I've never, ever regretted. I know me. I like too many things in life to feel confident in committing to any one career. I was terrified I'd marry the wrong man. But like Regina, I had parents and mentors who encouraged me in my teen years and helped me choose a good path.

Q: It's not uncommon for our past mistakes to alter our life's course. What would you say to those who feel their past mistakes hinder them from moving on?

Get over it. Can I say that? In love? Seriously, if we don't allow ourselves to be defined by our success --- meaning we give all glory to the Lord --- then we can't allow ourselves to be defined by our failure. Give that to Him, too. If you really believe in God's forgiveness and love, there's no point in stagnating in past mistakes. Believe that God can and will heal your heart and move on.

The trick in letting go of past mistakes is Romans 12:1. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We have to surrender our emotions and thoughts to the Lord. In doing that, we will approve of His will. Good, acceptable and perfect.

Q: Do you think God views us differently or withholds his blessings because of the mistakes we've made?

Truth? No. If that were the case He'd never be able to bless us. We quantify sin. He does not. To Him, a lie or lustful thought is the same as a "bigger sin" like adultery. The consequences vary, but sin is sin. The difference is the condition of our hearts. If we have a "yes" in our heart to Him, repenting of our sin, His grace is sufficient. But if we have a "no" in our heart toward Him and continue in sin without repentance, I think we can move outside His blessing.

In reality, we have no idea of His heart toward the rebellious. Isaiah 55:8 is a familiar verse, ". . . my ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts." But go back a verse. God is talking about the rebellious. "You don't know my thoughts toward them," I think God is saying. God is love and mercy. But He's also judgment and wrath. It's a divine paradox. We cannot build a "rule" on how He blesses us.

Q: Your leading man must overcome a fear of failure. Is that a fear you have faced yourself, or have you conquered another fear? How were you able to overcome your fear?

I've dealt a lot with fear and anxiety. After college I was hit with small panic attacks and anxiety. I had to travel for my job, and boarding an airplane, which I did all the time, kept me awake the night before. The idea of being trapped on a plane made me claustrophobic. But I leaned into the Word, into the Lord, and never ever let my fears win. I got on the plane anyway. And I made it. Even enjoyed the 15 hours from LA to Sydney.

I overcame by believing what God said about me instead of my fears. I devoted my heart and mind to the Word and prayer. I did the Romans 12:1-2 thing. I just didn't see where the Lord had called me to walk a life of anxiety and fear. He and I had a lot of conversations about it. I'm here to report prayer and the Word work! You just have to stay in the battle. Recently I've had "joy attacks" where I felt His presence in a tangible, joyful way. I need more of those!

Q: One important theme in Princess Ever After is obedience. Why is obedience important for healing and restoration, and how can you know you're actually doing what God has asked you to do?

Obedience is better than sacrifice. We know Him by reading His Word. When Regina found the fairytale her great grandmother had written to her, Tanner said, "This is your gram speaking to you in this book. Hear what she's saying!" God is speaking to us through His Son, through the Holy Spirit and through His written Word. We have to believe He loves us enough to show us His will.

Obedience is required because our human hearts are too weak to do good on our own. Obedience actually trains us to know Him. In our weakness, we choose to hate people who wrong us. But God says forgive. If we obey, we reap the benefits of His blessing! And I love in John 10:27 where Jesus assures us, "My sheep hear my voice."

Q: In many ways, becoming too comfortable can be one of our greatest difficulties to truly fulfilling our purpose. How did that familiarity come into play in this story, and why was it important for your characters to be pushed out of their comfort zones?

I'm pushed out of my comfort zone with each book! Stories are about imperfect people doing extraordinary things. That's exactly what an author has to do: harness our weakness, overcome and write a good book.

For characters in fiction, there is no story if characters are not challenged and pushed to the limit. I write with the idea that my stories are about people dealing with a wound-lie-fear that must be confronted. In the end, they come to truth. Most of the time people do not willingly confront their wounds and fears. It's my job to set up a situation that drives them to face those fears --- and ultimately find peace and happiness.

Q: Your books usually include some kind of symbolism that relates back to the Gospel message. Will readers find that trademark of your writing in Princess Ever After?

Oh yeah, in a couple of places. First, in the fairytale gifted to the heroine by her great grandmother. It's symbolic of the message God has given us through His written Word. Hebrews 4:12 tells us His Word is living and active. It speaks. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. Also, Regina sees something in the forest. At first she's the only one (I can't say more or I'll ruin the surprise), but this light is symbolic of the light of the Lord. When we follow the light, we gain insight, revelation and understanding. "In Him we live and move and have our being."

Once Regina found the Light, she discovered valuable truths that enabled her to accept her divine destiny.

Q: Princess Ever After is the second book in your Royal Weddings series. What is your favorite part about a romance with a royal twist?

Royalty! I found it fun to create the world of a royal. Have a coronation, a ball, servants and protection officers. Also, to make folks bow and curtsey. Ha! Actually, there were a lot of challenges to creating a believable, modern royal world, but I had a great time giving it a go. With Regina, it was fun to sneak up on a common girl and tell her, "You're a royal princess."

Q: What's the most surprising tidbit you've learned about English royalty through your research?

How much space do we have here? One of the biggest things I learned was the relationship between the European royals. The cousins George V, Wilhelm II and Nicolas II --- all descendants of Queen Victoria --- were in power at the beginning of World War I, after which only the UK's George V remained. The royal houses of Europe fell after the first World War, and it changed the face of Europe.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from Princess Ever After?

As always, I hope readers are entertained and drawn into a modern fairytale. But I also pray they find hope and encouragement. Look, most of us are are not going to discover we are long-lost princes or princesses in this life, but we are most sincerely princes and princesses in His kingdom. Right now! Let's live like it. Love like our King loves.

Q: Both Once Upon a Prince and Princess Ever After take a look at refocusing on God's plans rather than our own. Is that a reoccurring theme in all of your writing or an idea specific to the Royal Wedding series?

Good question. I'm not sure if I'm doing it on purpose, but the very idea that two ordinary American women find themselves becoming royalty lends itself to God redirecting our plans. There's also the underlying theme that when we give our lives to the Lord, we are faced with a royal reality we never knew before. God's plans were unknown to us before we knew Him. Once we are His, we have the choice to follow His will or our own.

For Regina, once she knew her true identity, she couldn't go back to her old life.

Q: What can readers look forward to in the third installment of the Royal Wedding series? How are all of the books tied together?

There will be a third book, How To Catch A Prince. It's Prince Stephen's story, brother of King Nathaniel, and Corina Del Rey, a Georgia-Florida girl.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cowgirl Up!

I love the Houston Rodeo. I'm pretty much a suburb girl. I like living outside the city but close enough to enjoy its benefits.
I've never roped a calf, and I've only been on a horse once in my life.
But I LOVE country music. I love the appeal of country life--honest, hardworking people.
So, I try to go to the rodeo a couple times each year. If you're ever in Houston for the rodeo, don't miss it. It's huge, it's fun, and it's for 3 weeks, which means surely there's a night you can go.
Saturday, I went with my friend Jamie and a bunch of her friends. We all went to HBU at the same time, but somehow, I only knew Jamie.
We saw Chris Young. I wish I liked more of his songs because his voice is fantastic--classic country. The concert was great, but his songs just aren't my favorite. Weird.
My other favorite thing about the rodeo is the food. I ate Mexican food and ended with a cupcake with ice cream in the middle. It was heavenly. There's a line of food vendors--from fried oreos to wine tastings, from burritos to sausage on a stick, from BBQ to frozen hot chocolate. Go hungry and leave stuffed.
Last, there's a carnival where you can take a spin on rides and win prizes like this:
Where is she going to put that in her house?
Fantastic fun--can't wait to go back this week!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Confessional Friday

Connecting with Leslie over at

(Tulips at my school. The whole set is in bloom now, but there was an early bird.)
1. I confess that I'm really ready for spring break. Eight hours.
2. I confess I left a pile of clothes on a rack at Old Navy and walked out after seeing the check-out line, which was at least 30 people long.
3. I also confess that I might have also convinced a few other people in line to do the same after commenting that you got a discount online and free shipping.
4. I confess that I read the last page of a book I'm reading just to see how it ended. Now, I can slow down and enjoy the story instead of rushing through to get to the end.
5. I confess I'm wondering what ever happened to Paris Hilton.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Want to Win?

Here's a third way to win Worth the Wait this week:
Check out the blog post below this one for two other ways to win!

Two New Chances to Win!


Worth the Wait has been out a month! Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word!

Visit Sara Ella's website to enter to win a signed copy of Worth the Wait:

Stop by K. Dawn Byrd's blog for another chance to win: