Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Signing Party & Winners Announced

I was so excited to have so many come during such an extremely busy time of year. It meant so much to me.

I thought about what I wanted to say for over a week, but something happens when you're standing in front of all those people. The words that sound so eloquent in your head when you're thinking about what you'll say, sound very different coming from your mouth.

(Picture of me and my beautiful cover model, Madison Robinson)

I started off by telling them the obvious. The title of my book is very fitting, because butterflies are waging a war in my stomach. I'm going to do a brief recap from my notes, but understand, I was a good public speaker... in the aspect ONLY that I didn't read from my notes. I looked around at the audience (not really making eye contact with anyone :)

My first memory of writing is in the 3rd grade. A simple poem about kites.
I first fell in love with reading in my early twenties. But, I didn't always read the best material. But I would get addicted to the story and as soon as I was finished I was at the store or the library looking for the next book in the series.

Until, my mom gave me her historical fiction collection written by Christian authors. I liked these a whole lot better than those other not so good reads.

I figured out it's just as easy to get hooked on things of Christ. And I figured out I felt a whole lot better about myself too. Then I was introduced to Karen Kingsbury, and then the Left Behind Series. If y'all are readers... and haven't tried these. What are you waiting for? Though be warned ... there will be no laundry done until book is read.

Everyone asks me what my story's about? It's not about me ... though there are some tidbits of my life scattered throughout. There has to be. After all, I have to write about what I know. I do not write non-fiction. I admire those that do. Because I read a lot of non-fiction. I write inspirational romance sprinkled with suspense.

(Picture of me & my beautiful friend, Angie Scott)

Typically, from what I've been told my stories suit women of all ages and even a few men. My father-in-law, who couldn't be with us tonight, is waiting to have triple bypass surgery. Thank you for all your prayers. He's one of my biggest fans. He's read all of my books (unedited, I might add... and that's ugly) but he's always asking when I'll have another one for him to read. The first thing he said to me last night when I walked in his room ... "Ann (My mother-in-law) sold her copy of your book to the nurse." So I took her another one. My sister-in-law sent me a text to bring a few more, because she sold that one too. 
As I was leaving, he said good luck at your book signing. He wanted to be here. They all did. But we're all together in spirit. And I know he's in God's hands and he's going to feel so much better after the surgery.

I'm stepping out of my box and telling people that I've published a book ... Their first question...What's it about? I freeze up, ya'll. Like a block of ice. I go completely brain dead. Why is it so hard to tell someone what my book's about?

A haunted past intertwines with the present as a woman searches for the truth that will finally set her free.

How did I come up with my setting? The year Rocky and I got married, I went on a trip with our choir to Lancaster County, PA, and fell in love with the Amish lifestyle ... little did I know that only a few years later I would be writing about them.
Broken Butterfly isn't an Amish story, but you'll get a good dose of the Amish culture and I love my Amish characters.

My reasons for writing are very simple.
I love to read a good novel and hate when I get to the end and it's over. I wanted to try to create my own made up story. I wanted to make that feeling last.
(Picture of me, my son, Tyler, and his fiance, my cover model, Madison:)

But the bigger reason.... I have a heart for the younger generation of women. I have certainly had my share of struggles. There's enough trash out there. The world needs more Hope, Faith, and Love. And I hope God will use my stories to empower someone to overcome their own struggles in life.

This is probably the biggest connection I have with the book and its meaning, because without Christ I wouldn't be standing up here before you today.

I dedicated the memory of this book to my cousin who lost her life at the young age of 40 years old. The bond between Angie and her daughter, Malory, was precious ... and I took her daughter's name and made it the name of my main character.

Now, on a lighter note, All of you can help me first, by reading my book, then if you like it, tell your friends, word of mouth is the best way to sell it. A review on Amazon would be so appreciated!! It doesn't have to be a drawn out. I just want your honest opinion!! Short and sweet is great with me!! I'm also on Goodreads. :) Thank you all so very much for the support you've given me. I'm overflowing in the love, y'all!!! :)

With all the excitement I forgot to do my drawing before everyone left. But, better late than never, right?
And the winners are...

Dorothy Tant 
Eva Clark

Both of these ladies win a free copy of Broken Butterfly :)

 And I couldn't end without telling you, my very special night happened to be on my husband's birthday!! Happy Birthday, Rocky

Thanks for dropping by.
Merry Christmas to you all!!

Cindy :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Family Traditions

As I sit here with only the twinkling lights of my tree and silence ... okay, except for Mailee has suddenly decided she should warn me about something going on outside somewhere?!?!

Now Sadie's barking.

At least it was peaceful for a minute.

This time of the year is so busy with shopping, and play practice, and deadlines, and we can't exclude our usual daily chores. Add to that ... selling stuff for school and then delivering those items.

To be honest, this was a minor set back to me with everything else I have going on this particular year, and as it turns out, THIS became a huge blessing.

It all started when my youngest son brought home this sheet and said, "Mama, you can't do it. I have to sell them."
Of course, I can only smile. A very proud smile. Homeschooling Zachary for 7 years has not made my son unsociable as some may believe ... it has enabled him to socialize just as well with adults as with his peers.

The only problem with him being in complete control ... He kept forgetting about that paper and because it wasn't out in the open ... So did I.

He pulled it out the day before it was due. So, I did what any good mother would do. I made him a list of family members to call and left him with my phone.

After calling everyone on the list and when a few didn't answer, he reverted to to a few friends from my contact list ;/ ... He sold 27 flowers.

My Aunt Joy wanted to make a donation, but then decided, why don't you instead get the flowers and have your mama give them to those she believes could use a Christmas blessing this year.

And that's exactly what I did.

We visited. Sometimes we had to leave a note ... Sometimes I had Zach and Brooke with me ... Sometimes I only had Brooke ... Other times I only had Zach ... But every time ...  we received the blessing. These will always be remembered as the most precious moments of my Christmas season this year.

It will definitely be a new tradition for our family. Thank you, Aunt Joy.

What's your favorite family tradition? Thank you for stopping by, Cindy :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

One of my favorite places

A few years ago, our family headed north to Cooperstown, NY, for my youngest son to play ball at Cooperstown's Dream Park. But on the way, we decided to stop by one of my favorite places on earth. Amish Country.

We stayed in a bed and breakfast in a small town called Paradise.;) 

It's so beautiful. The land seems to stretch on forever. The traffic is crazy. But, I love this place.

This admiration all started the year Rocky and I got married. I went on a trip with our church choir to Lancaster County, PA, and spent a few days. I fell in love with the place, the people, and that led to me reading more about them.

My camera was brand new at the time, so I was just learning to use it and I'm now disappointed I don't have better pictures. 

We had dinner at the Good and Plenty restaurant, and my husband was really thirsty. So, he took his glass and drank half of his tea.
It was very lemony and he didn't like it. And I'm laughing out loud at the memory.

These two cuties below, stretched out on the Amish quilts, are inhaling all the fresh, farm scents seeping through the open windows. ~Insert smile~

We didn't stay long enough. I need at least a few days to see everything I'd love to see and really experience the fullness of being there, of being among the Amish. But, chocolate makes everything better!

The whole trip was an awesome experience, and I'm so glad we were able to go. Even my baby girl had a good time. There was a lot of shopping and baseball sisters.

What kind of parent would I be if I didn't show off my son playing the game? Well, I'm a very proud mama, and I can't help it! :)

A friend and I are planning to take our girls, hopefully next year, for a few days to tour, watch a live show, and hopefully meet some of the friendly people. It will be an awesome field trip.
I can't wait to go back. What's one of your favorite places to visit?

I'm so glad you stopped by, Cindy :)