Chasing Spring

One day it looks and feels like spring, next day, it’s the deep of winter. That’s the weather so far this year. Life can be an adventure!

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday Morning!

I just celebrated a birthday, and oh! I received all the things girls love. Coffee, chocolate, flowers, jewelry, a new purse, and a comfy pillow. I’m not usually swayed by material gifts. In fact, when my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told him, “…time with my sons.”

Well, I received that, too. We had a wonderful dinner at a nice restaurant, and even remembered to take pictures. Yep. How often do you get together with loved ones and afterward, remember no one took a photo of the event? It’s so frustrating.

Chasing The End. I’m back at my desk, working hard to finish the final book in the Kinsman Redeemer series. I’m down to the last couple of chapters.

This has been a labor of love. When I wrote the first book, Annabelle’s Ruth, I never expected it to become a series. But that’s how it goes in the book world these days. So, I was able to finish the story and hopefully leave my readers with a smile on their faces.

So, I’d better get back to work on that. One day soon, I’ll happily announce that I’m finished. In the meantime, help me celebrate my birthday month! In just a few days, I’m giving away a book on the Inspired Prompt blog. Rebecca’s Legacy is the featured book on March 15. Here’s a link to the website: Inspired Prompt

Throughout the month of March, the writers of Inspired Prompt are giving away books, so pop on over and check it out.

And, if you’ve never read Annabelle’s Ruth, leave me a comment below (on this blog post) for a chance to win a copy. Here’s more information about the book:

Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer
Published June, 2015

“If you think you can come back here and throw yourself on my mercy, you are quite wrong.”

After their husbands perish in a fishing boat accident, Connie Cross determines to follow her mother-in-law, Annabelle, from Southern California to Tennessee. Her misgivings begin as they cross the bridge over the muddy Mississippi River. In their new town, where living conditions are far below their previous expectations, they must set up a household and hunt for work to survive. Thanks to the kindness of Annabelle’s handsome, young cousin, life begins to settle down. But Connie has a secret that could uproot them once again.

Inspired by the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth is a 1950’s era “Ruth” story, set in western Tennessee. How will Connie adapt to her new life amid the cotton farms, racial tension, and culture shock?

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. –Ruth 1:16-17

 

Spring Floods and Unexpected Visitors

It won’t be long now. Just weeks, and Sutter’s Landing, the sequel to Annabelle’s Ruth, will be available for purchase. We’re getting ready. Working through final edits, choosing the cover, preparing the marketing aspects. A lot of work goes into the release of a novel.

As Book 2 of the Kinsman Redeemer Series opens, Annabelle and Connie have settled into their little home on the old Sterling Place. Alton Wade, Annabelle’s young cousin, continues to court Connie. As her attachment to him grows, Connie struggles with her emotions.

Momma held the door for her (Connie). “You best get in here before you catch your death.”

Death. As she turned toward the door, Connie glanced over her shoulder to the place where Alton had disappeared into the mist . . . Would death steal him away from her, too? She sucked in a jagged breath as the screen door eased shut behind her. She sincerely hoped not. But thoughts like these were a daily struggle. When did one overcome such a fear?

It’s 1955, and the usual spring rains are a bit heavier than normal. In fact, they just don’t want to stop. Days of rain leave the surrounding lowlands completely under water.

How long will the rains continue, and even then, how long before the cotton fields are dry enough to plant?

One of the nicest things about small town living is having neighbors who care. In the fifties, folks often stopped by to “set a spell,” and visit. Imagine that. Surprising, at times, who stops by for a visit. Especially when the visitor is looking for Annabelle.

And then another man shows up on their doorstep. One Connie would never have expected. Not in a million years.

I’d like to invite you back to Trenton, Tennessee, as the story continues. The release date is tentatively set for June 20.

Samson and I will keep you posted.

 

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Another Chapter

oldhouseIn 1954, two women moved into an old house in the middle of a Trenton, Tennessee cotton field. They’d left another life behind in Southern California. This was the story I told in Annabelle’s Ruth.

A few days ago, I finished writing the next chapter of their lives.

Annabelle’s Ruth is a modern-day retelling of the Book of Ruth. I set the story in the 1950s. Instead of working in the grain harvest, Connie Cross–my Ruth character–works in the cotton fields.

alabama-1618299_1280In the sequel, tentatively titled, “Sutter’s Landing”, I welcome a few new characters to the story. The sweet romance between Connie and Alton blossoms into full-blown love. And Connie’s mother-in-law, Annabelle, struggles with something unexpected.

Emotions boil over a couple of times as Connie and Alton prepare for their wedding. Alton’s unpleasant brother Jensen returns, with new ways to irritate them.

But the kinsman redeemer really steps up and shows his mettle. I loved getting to know Alton better, as he responds to life and its situations.

I enjoyed writing this second book in the Kinsman Redeemer series. I hope you’ll love reading it. Look for it later this year. I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I’m already working on the next chapter in the lives of my characters.


WinterRoadLast week, I promised you “P” words for the new year.

Prayer
Praise
Patience
Presence

Peace.

A very good way to start off the year, don’t you think? Have a blessed week!

Annabelle’s Ruth – Grace Award Winner

Just in case you didn’t hear the news, Annabelle’s Ruth won a Grace Award!

Click here to see the announcement on the Grace Awards website.

I am humbled and proud at the same time. Is that even possible? Well, when you’re a writer, it’s a huge blessing to know someone actually likes your stories. Writing is hard work. You never know how it’s going to be received.

Along with Annabelle’s Ruth, which won in the General Fiction/Women’s Fiction category, five other books won their categories. I’ve read a couple of these, and they’re excellent. I’m humbled to be mentioned alongside them. Congratulations to all the winners!

(Click the title to read about the books)

51KUaSnb2cL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_BRIDGE OF FAITH by Catherine West – Romance/Historical Romance

41cywFsPezL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_TRIAL BY TWELVE by Heather Day Gilbert – Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense

518t7jxgg1L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_STORMING by K.M. Weiland – Speculative Fiction

 

Saving Eric front cover

SAVING ERIC by Joan Deneve – Action Adventure/Western/Historic Epic Fiction

51htPiby5tL._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_TO GET TO YOU by Joanne Bischoff – Young Adult

 

 

 


reading-925589_1280So if you’re looking for a good read this summer, these are a good place to start. And you can order Annabelle’s Ruth by clicking the bookcover over there ⇒ ⇒ (in the side margin). And don’t forget my latest release, Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2 Legacy Series. Now Available on Kindle! Both books are only $4.99 each on Kindle.


NEXT UP – Stop back by next Tuesday for an update on our mission trip to Cuenca, Ecuador. There are some exciting things in the works for this trip. I can’t wait to tell you about it…

Cuenca Update

11110509_10204170624365310_3489856107082246488_oRemember this checklist?

  1. Write first post for 2016.
  2. Complete book 2 of Kinsman Redeemer Series: Sutters Landing.
  3. Get passport photo.
  4. Get passport.
  5. Fly to Cuenca, Ecuador for mission trip that includes a speaking engagement.
  6. Did you see #5?
  7. Omgosh! I am actually going to Ecuador!

This was part of my first post for 2016. Can you tell I was excited?

It’s now the second week of March. We have barely four months left to prepare for our mission trip to Cuenca, Ecuador. I’m really starting to feel the excitement (mixed with a tiny bit of anxiety). Here’s an update on our progress:

  • Applied for Passports
  • Annabelle’s Ruth is being translated into Spanish

Okay, the list looks short, but it represents a lot of time and work. In the meantime, I’m familiarizing myself with the needs and interests of the women I’ll be speaking to in Cuenca. You know, looking at the photos, many of them look just like you and me. And their needs? Very similar to ours. So what’s the difference? Why do I need to go?

Step 1 – Calling. That’s a big thing. Has God called you to do something? What was your answer? Sometimes, we “feel” called, then nothing happens. Perhaps it didn’t happen because you didn’t go. If you’re looking for a job, do you sit at home waiting for a phone call? How will prospective employers know you’re looking, if you don’t let them know?

Step 2 – Prayer. Prayerfully consider, contemplate, meditate on the calling. This is an important step that should not be overlooked. When my son approached me about going to Ecuador, I was hesitant. But I promised to pray about it. My prayer was simple. “Show me Your way.” I kind of needed a sign. I got a big one. Our contact starting planning around my latest book, and formulated plans for me to speak. Was I ready for that? No, but I’ll get ready. God showed me His way and I’m stepping into it.

writing-923882_1920Step 3 – Make a Plan. Someone else made my plan, I didn’t have to. This happens to me a lot, but I’m okay with it. God knows me pretty well. If He left it up to me, well…it probably wouldn’t get done. I’m a champion procrastinator. Or at least I have been in the past. It’s something I constantly battle. But you may be on your own. So…

  • Make a plan.
  • Write it down.
  • Don’t be afraid to change or adjust the plan as you work toward the goal. Sometimes, your plans don’t fit the situation. Be flexible.

In the coming weeks, I’ll work to finish my preparations. The translation of Annabelle’s Ruth will continue. When it’s ready, we’ll print the books. The plan is to have that first printing fully paid, so we can use whatever funds the sale of the books bring in, for the women’s ministry in Ecuador. If you’d like to contribute to the first printing of the Spanish version of Annabelle’s Ruth, you can click the following link, and please reference “Annabelle’s Ruth” in the comments: https://giving.ag.org/Give/Details/600001-693941?MinistryName=unsion&Page

Ecuador-2If God touches your heart to do so, please pray for our team over the coming weeks, as we prepare for this journey. If you’d like to pledge your prayer support, please comment on our Facebook page. Click this link – Owens to Ecuador 2016.

If you’re not on Facebook, you can leave a comment on this post, or use the Contact Me tab above to send me an email. To help with the costs of this trip, you may contact me or visit our GoFundMe page. Any funds collected above the cost of our expenses will go directly into one of the wonderful ministries for women in Cuenca. I’ve supplied additional links below for your information about some of the ministries in Ecuador.