A Winning Partnership

The demise of another local Christian bookstore. The dwindling number of books in the Inspirational/Christian section of other bookstores…

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I’m so happy you stopped by. On Saturday, Sept. 21, I’ll be signing Annabelle’s Joy at our local Barnes & Noble. Throughout the month, I’ve received their online newsletter and it’s exciting to see my name listed in the Upcoming Events.

This morning, I’m thinking about that. It’s an opportunity, one that I’m thankful for and I’m not going to take it for granted. This type of opportunity is not only priceless, it could disappear tomorrow.

If you’re a writer, take advantage of the opportunities offered. Visit your local B&N and see what you need to do to either get books on their shelves, or be hosted for a book signing. When they host you, they do a great deal of marketing on your behalf. Your name and book may be on a poster in their front window. And, you’ll be listed in their online newsletter, on their Facebook page, and other venues.

Yes, I’m a member of B&N. I paid a small sum for a card that gets me on their newsletter list and saves me money when I make purchases at their store. I shop there whenever I can, because they’re local, because I have friends who are on staff. And they’re offering me a wonderful opportunity, to get myself out there. To be seen, and to be heard of, if only for a few moments.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity, not only as writers, but as readers.

Click-to-Tweet: When you hear that an Inspirational/Christian writer will be in the area signing books, give them a moment of your time. Stop in to meet them. Don’t let this opportunity pass.

I’m supporting local business and they’re supporting me. Seems like a win-win. šŸ™‚

Support Local Business and Me! I’d love to see you.

Goodbye July Thoughts

Can you believe it? This is my final post for July! It seems summer only just arrived. In two or three weeks, depending on where you’re from, school will open and summer will officially end for families with children. I need to get busy having fun!

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! Thanks so much for stopping by.

I’m getting ready for a book launch! Amid all the work and excitement, I tend to turn retrospective. It’s not always a bad thing. I’ve read a lot of posts lately about self-esteem and self-image. Writers releasing books often have to put on their “happy in my skin” masks so they can market themselves with a positive image. After all, who wants to buy a book written by a depressed hermit? Not me.

Not that I’m depressed, or a hermit. My teen years were spent trying to hide the fact that an emotional trainwreck lived in my body. I had such low self-esteem, I wouldn’t even attend my senior prom. The real reason for that? All my friends would show up looking gorgeous, and I would look dowdy and ridiculous. You see, my opinion of myself did not match the image in the mirror.

I look back at photos taken of me in those days, and I wonder why I thought I was fat. Why could I not enjoy those years? What blocked my joy? Self image. Low self esteem.

I can’t blame my parents. I now know my mother’s lot was not much better. To this day, she tends to pick at herself. Too-big ears, ugly feet, unattractive legs, and unruly hair. Looking at her, I see none of those things. She is only twenty years my senior. In grade school, my teachers assumed she was my sister.

She was slender and beautiful and attracted attention everywhere we went, mostly because of her smile. Okay, maybe she IS the reason I felt so dowdy. I did not inherit her body type. I was not slender. I have normal ears and straight hair that was never difficult to arrange, but that wasn’t really enough to make me feel beautiful. I realize this is normal among teens in general and in teen girls especially. Over the years, I’ve come to accept those parts of myself that I can’t change. Even so, there are still times when I look in the mirror and cringe.

How do we overcome a negative self-image?

Maybe by moving our attention to others. Be a friend/wife/mother/etc., who loves at all times. Shoulder their burdens, be in the present with them. Laugh with them, cry with them. Maybe by not caring so much what others think about things like clothing choices or our ability with the comb and makeup brush. Or, how high that little needle points on the bathroom scale.

I mentioned above that I need to accept the things I can’t change but I do need to change the things I can.

I need to make good decisions when it comes to my health and what I take into my body.

I need to make sure I drink plenty of water and get the exercise I need.

Another thing I can change is my stress level. Sometimes I just need to breathe. I need to back away from things and take my hands off the steering wheel (but only when I’m not the driver!). Laugh and enjoy life in the moment (as in the above photo!).

I know I’m not alone in this, and things that work for me may not work for others. So, how do you cope with self image? What are your favorite scriptures to bolster those low times?

Sometimes I just need to breathe. I need to back away from things and take my hands off the steering wheel (but only when Iā€™m not the driver!). Laugh and enjoy life in the moment–Click to Tweet

The official release date for Annabelle’s Joy is August 7, 2019. Meanwhile, join me on Facebook for the pre-release fun, activities and giveaways!

– AND –

You still have a few more days to enter to win a free year of reading from Kindle Unlimited. You can enter here: https://www.writeintegrity.com/sweepstakes

Another Movie Review

I don’t really have a schedule yet for Hello! Thursday Mornings – but I think it’s time for another movie review. This one is fun, cute and endearing, and I love the title.

In-Lawfully Yours.

I had no idea what to expect, which is probably a good thing. But I was delighted, and laughed out loud several times.

Actually, I know someone who used to be a lot like Jesse, the main character. Though I didn’t know how to take my friend in the beginning, I soon came to love and appreciate her unique outlook on life. It’s the same with Jesse’s character. One critic found her irritating, but I liked her immediately.The story begins with a totally unexpected scene and provides several more unexpected scenes within the first few minutes of the film.Ā  I believe these scenes reveal Jesse’s character well.

Jesse’s short-lived marriage is at an abrupt end, but the death of her almost-ex’s father sends Jesse to the aid of her mother-in-law (Marilu Henner). Along the way, Jesse meets a different sort of salesman, a pastor with a dwindling congregation, and a cafe-owner who repeatedly sabotages Jesse’s coffee. When all she really wants is a good cup of coffee.

“You know, I could get used to this churching” — is one of my favorite lines in the film, as Jesse settles into a new way of life.

The very sweet and pure love that grows between the two main characters is just my style. The conflict that comes as a result of their attachment is natural and believable, though a few of the extenuating circumstances were a little fantastic. But I was not put off by them–this is comedy.snack, popcorn, movie

Jesse’s antics almost get the pastor ousted from his church. Her ex-husband has an ulterior motive for trying to win her back. And of course, there’s a toxic character in the church who completely disapproves of her.

I liked the characters in this movie, even some of the unlikable ones, because they were real–made so by the talented actors. I loved the fact that these people formed a family who loved and cared for each other through difficult circumstances. And I loved the humor that threaded its way through the story.

What I liked best about this movie is the journey the two make from the beginning to the end. Their roads intersect, then part. But Jesse’s road leads home.

In-Lawfully Yours is a romantic comedy with an inspirational theme. It’s a project of Regent University’s film school. One of the producers is Corbin Bernsen, who makes a cameo appearance in the movie.

I just watched the movie again, and loved it just as much the second time through. I gave it five stars on Netflix.

Have you seen a really good faith-based film lately?

(Click to tweet) Hello! Thursday Morning’s review of In-Lawfully Yours. #FiveStars #romcom

NOTE: If you’re interested, I’m at two different blogs this week. I was interviewed by Hallee Bridgeman. Interview with Author Betty Thomason Owens.

And, I’m featured this week at the ACFW blog! You can find that one here: ACFW