"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Olympic Spirit…

It all starts with a gift or a love of the sport.



And more learning and training.

Years and years of preparation and conditioning.

Then comes the time to go for the gold.

Yes, it’s Summer Olympics time again!

That description sounds like it could parallel a writer’s life, doesn’t it?

We start with a gift of storytelling or writing. We love to read.

We train, we learn, we prepare, and condition. We go for the gold.

Do you watch the Summer Olympics? What did you think of the opening ceremonies in London? What are your favorite events to watch? Do you feel connected with the world when it is Olympic time? I sure do.

I love archery, track and field, and gymnastics! I also love the stories of how the athlete got from here to there. Many have had hard struggles…great stories to inspire us.

I root for them all, but mostly for the Stars and Stripes.


I would love to hear from you!

Between you, me and the gatepost,


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Empty Nest Is Not Empty Anymore...

Last week I had the fabulous Keli Gwyn visiting on the blog. I want to thank Keli for taking the time out of her busy schedule. It was a real pleasure to have this sweet lady here and to learn more about her.

As promised, we are giving away a copy of her book, A Bride Opens Shop In El Dorado, California. I drew the name at random.

The winner of Keli’s book from last week’s blog post is: Digging for Pearls - Jodie Wolfe

CONGRATULATIONS Jodie!  I will get in touch with you for your address and pass it on to Keli – so she can mail you out a copy!

In other things, the empty nest is not empty anymore...

This past week, my son moved home for three weeks before he heads off to Law School, and my daughter moved home because she landed a big job in the city. She will be staying with us until she finds her own place to live.

It’s been fun having the two youngest back home again. I get to watch my kids say goodbye to an old life (college and grad school) and hello to a new one. In the mean time, we’re watching all of our old favorite movies, playing video games, having spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen, juicy debates, spatula wars, and loads of laughter. Even though my kids are adults, they are still my kids.

Last night, Eric and I are upstairs in bed…all is quiet and peaceful. I’m nearly asleep, when suddenly, we hear my son laughing loudly and hysterically. Fly, the mother when I’m not in the room, is rooing and barking, and my daughter is shrieking. It was reminiscent of days of old...when they were little.

Of course, we get up to see what the commotion is and find that a one of those centipede thingies had run across the room, touched my son’s foot—he jumped, my daughter screamed which sent the dog into her “bark at everyone” mode, while my daughter’s boyfriend just laughed at them. Honestly, you would have thought it was a mouse by the carrying on. The dreaded centipede had gone under the couch. In whooshes Eric to the rescue with paper towel in hand. I watch from the stairs—I’m not taking the chance of the peed running across my toes! The boys lift the couch, and bam, the centipede is history.

I’ve lived this scenario many times before when they were small. It’s funny, the more things change, the more they stay the same…

What do you do when a spider or centipede invades your space? Are you a screamer, or the one that comes to the rescue?

I’m a screamer, I admit it. I call hubz to the rescue.

Between you, me and the gate post,


Monday, July 16, 2012

A Bride Opens Shop and A Giveaway With Author, Keli Gwyn!

Welcome everyone! This week I’m thrilled to introduce Keli Gwyn, author of inspirational historical romance. I met Keli through blogging and we quickly became online friends. We clicked as we shared the same interest in reading and writing historical fiction.

Author - Keli Gwyn

On July 1, Keli’s debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop In El Dorado, California, was released. I’m reading her book now, and so far have found it a very delightful read. Keli takes you back to the 1870’s. Her characters hold you spellbound as the pages turn.

We are giving away a copy of her novel! To be entered in the drawing, all you have to do is answer Keli's question (it’s in bold and purple) at the end of the interview, or for those who have trouble commenting on Blogger, leave your answer on my Facebook Author Page . The winner of Keli's book will be drawn at random next Sunday, July 22, 2012, at 6pm CDT, and announced on next week’s blog post.

Love Is Gold in El Dorado, California

Widow Elenora Watkins heads to California with her nine-year-old daughter, Tildy, eager to become a partner in a mercantile. When the mulish owner withdraws his offer because she’s a woman, she opens her own shop. She’s determined to prove herself capable of running a successful business without the help of anyone—including her controlling father, her seemingly distant heavenly Father, and one Miles Rutledge.

Widower Miles Rutledge is not about to get involved with another willful woman like his late wife, especially when she’s his competition. But the beautiful Elenora may be too hard to resist. When another man appears out to claim Elenora’s heart, Miles searches for a way to win her back. . .while putting her out of business.

Meanwhile, Maude Rutledge, Miles’s meddling mother, longs to see her son make a good match. And Tildy is just as bent on gaining a loving papa.

The battle of wills begins, but can anyone win when the competition is more than they bargained for?

I’ve asked Keli five questions. I hope you enjoy the interview.

Your lovely debut novel is titled, A Bride Opens Shop In El Dorado, California. How long have you been writing novels? Is this your first?

I began writing novel-length stories in January 2006. During my first two years of writing, I completed five historical romances. I was writing in isolation, which is why I was able to write so quickly.

When I finaled in the Golden Heart® in 2008, I discovered the wonderful world of writers online. I also learned how much I had to learn about writing and took a year off to study craft.

When I returned to my writing, I took a good hard look at the stories I’d written, chose the strongest of them to rewrite, and did just that. After finishing, I entered the story in contests, garnering several wins and requests, one from my agent, Rachelle Gardner. She had me rewrite the story again, submitted it, and sold it. That story—the third one I wrote—became my debut novel.

The book is a work of historical fiction. What inspired you to choose 1870—El Dorado, California as a setting?

I’m a California native and love the historic Gold Country where I live. I wanted to bring the area to life in my stories. While El Dorado is a sleepy suburb now, it was a thriving town in its heyday. When I read about the town’s leading merchant, a mercantile owner named James B. Wetherwax, I was intrigued and wanted to know more about him. However, I couldn’t find much information, but being a writer, I could imagine such a man—and I created the hero of my story.

Widower Miles Rutledge has the most successful business in town, the most impressive building, and is well liked, but he doesn’t have a woman in his life. Along comes Elenora Watkins and her shop across the street. Since women could own businesses in California from the early days, I knew I had a viable set-up for the story.

They say that there is a bit of each of us in all of our characters. Which character in the book is most like you, and why?

Oh, how I’d like to say Elenora’s fun, adventure-loving daughter, Tildy, but I must be honest. There’s quite a bit of me in Elenora. Like her, I’m a lousy cook. She has an excuse, though. Her Pa’s housekeeper didn’t want her underfoot, so she didn’t have an opportunity to learn. Ellie’s organizational bent comes from me. In my pre-writing days, I was one of those who had “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” These days I’ve learned to live with more clutter than I thought I could endure, so Ellie would show me up. If you ask my daughter, she would tell you Ellie’s over-protectiveness comes from me. While I have entrusted our college daughter to the Lord’s care these days and don’t worry about her overmuch, that wasn’t the case when I was a young, inexperienced mom.

I like to think Ellie and I share some positive traits, too. She’s determined, and so am I. She has a quick wit. While that’s not a trait I recognize in myself, Gwynly assures me Ellie’s use of humor and the way she comes back with some fun rejoinders reminds him of me. And, like Ellie, I don’t spend a whole lot of time on my appearance. I’ve got my hair and makeup routine down to a fast five minutes, and that works for me.

Is there a sequel or series planned?

My book is part of Barbour’s Destination Romances line. Each book is a standalone by a different author, so I don’t foresee any sequels at this point, but I’ll admit to liking the idea. There’s a certain shy sheriff I’d love to see find a woman just right for him. And wouldn’t it be fun to see if Tildy ends up with Will and Pearl’s son, Paul, or with one of the “troublesome” Talbot twins?

What do you read for enjoyment, Keli?

Historical romances. Wagonloads of ’em! They’re my favorite reads. Now you know why I write them. :-)

Keli, it’s been a pleasure having you here today. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit.

Thanks so much for having me here as your guest, Loree. Spending time with you and your blog’s visitors is a treat. I enjoyed answering your questions, and now I have one for all of you. I admitted to being a lousy cook. What’s something you don’t do all that well?

Great question, Keli. Truth be told, as for me, I can't sing very well. In fact, I cannot carry a tune for more than a few seconds. I do sing, but it's pretty awful, so awful that even the dogs run into the other room when I sing. Haha...it's the truth.

We would love to hear from you!

Between you, me and the gatepost,


To learn more about Keli, you can visit her new Victorian-style cyber home at - www.keligwyn.com - where you'll find her parlor, study, carriage house, and more, along with her blog and her social media links.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hard work and Precision

Air Show - Photo by Loree Huebner

Saturday, we spent a beautiful day out on Lake Michigan with some good friends. We anchored the boat at a nearby beach and watched an air show take place over the lake, while playing in the waves. I couldn’t help but notice the awesome precision by the groups of planes flying together, and solo. Such hard work must take place before the stunts can be performed, or the flight can even take place.

Air Show - Photo by Loree Huebner

It reminds me of a writing career.

We must learn, practice, plot, revise, learn, practice, tighten, and edit again, and again, to become accurate and precise in our writing. This must happen so we don’t crash and burn. For some, it’s a quick learn, but for others, it may take years before we can even stretch our wings and take that first flight. One thing is for sure, no matter where we are—pre-published or published—to keep on top, we can never stop learning.

Air Show - Photo by Loree Huebner

Recently, everything about tightening a story just really clicked for me. Precision! All that I already knew, and all that I had practiced before, just came together without thinking about it. It was just like the pilots flying their tricky formations—the hard work paid off. I can now do it in my sleep.

What about you? Anything really click for you recently? Ever been to an air show?

Between you, me and the gatepost,


Monday, July 2, 2012

A Summer Place

I can’t believe how fast the Fourth of July has crept up on us! Where did June go? I know many bloggers are on break this week. Enjoy the holiday! Many of us will be heading to spend the holiday at a favorite summer place. I'm on vacation this week, but will be staying home...my favorite summer place. We have BBQ's lined up, parades, the Heart concert with my BFF, and general lazy nights stargazing on the deck. Writing sessions will come in here and there. We'll be spending the upcoming weekend boating on Lake Michigan, watching the air show. Love those stealths!

Anyway, I wish you all a Happy Fourth of July! A lot of towns and cities are cancelling their fireworks shows because of the dry, drought conditions. We’ve had some big rains here, so I think our town’s show is still on. After those wildfires out west, I understand the precautions.

A few weeks ago, the lovely Gwendolyn Gage presented me with a new Blog award. Thank you, Gwen! Do stop by Gwen’s blog – Serving ThroughWords - She’s always got something good going on over there.

I received the Kreative Blogger Award.

As a part of the award, I'm to share 7 interesting things about myself, and then grant this award to 7 other blogs.

I don’t know how interesting these are, or if I have ever shared them before with a different award…but anyway, here goes.

1) I was a champion high jumper in my younger years.

2) I became an aunt at the age of 5. Yes it’s true. My oldest sib is 17 years older than me. My nephew and I shared more of a little brother/big sister relationship when we were kids. I love him dearly.

3) I love to fish. I cast for largemouth bass mostly.

4) I’m a living historian, and I do Civil War reenacting.

5) I’m a fan of old classic, black and white movies.

6) I’m having a colonoscopy tomorrow morning. Haha…thought I would see if you were paying attention. No really, I am. I’m prepping today. I’m at the age where mammograms and a colonoscopy is the norm for a preventive check up. Hey seriously though – if Katie Couric can have her colonoscopy done live on the Today Show, or Dr. Oz can constantly remind us of the importance - I can also remind everyone that preventive medicine has its place to save lives with early detection. Wish me luck! Or whatever you wish someone having this procedure. I would appreciate a few prayers for a clean bill of health.

7) I can’t believe I just told everyone that I was having a colonoscopy!

Well, I hope that was interesting enough….maybe too much information?

Now I’m supposed to pass this on to 7 other bloggers, but I’m flinging it into the air. No pressure. Grab the award if you want and share 7 interesting things about you on your blog.

I'm taking a break too. I'm disabling my comments this week.
Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of  July! During this holiday, don’t forget to take a moment to remember those who fought for our freedoms. See you next week!

Between you, me and the gatepost,