November 29, 2009

NaNo WriMo Winner!!

I DID IT!!!!

November 12, 2009

NaNo 2009

It's here. Actually its been here for 12 Days, but I am just now getting around to sharing. This year I am going to win the NaNoWriMo challenge. I have been attempting to write a Novel each November for the last four years. Each year I get a little bit closer than the prior year, but I have never really gotten close. Today I am just a day's worth of writing behind (1,667 words), which I will hopefully catch up this weekend.

My story is about a group of friends, who decide to give their way through the Gospel for Asia Christmas Catalog. I think GFA is a great missions organization and I am happy to support them each year. I always get excited to look through the catalog. Last year, Matt and I were able to give someone a cow! I like to be able to give people things that make a difference in their life, not just things that will end up in a closet.

For those of you who have not heard about NaNo, its a non-profit that encourages people to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. The goal is attainable, but still challenging. I love to participate, because sometimes in life you have to do something hard to make yourself grow. There is a word count widget here on my blog, so you can see how far I am. If you are also participating in Nano you can view my profile here.

November 6, 2009

Fun Fall Fiction

Leaving Carolina
by Tamara Leigh

I really liked this book and shared it with my mom. It was about a girl, who left the town she grew up in ready to shake the dust from her feet. When circumstances compel her to return to Pickwick, she plans to stay for just a day or two, which turns into much longer. However, Pickwick isn't the same town she left and not only does she learn that people change, she learns she can change, too.

by Melody Carlson

I thought this book was a lot of fun. Claudette was a lady who was "past her prime" and she just wanted to give up. She even tried to end it all, but God was at work. Claudette learns a big life lesson that there is more to life than what she sees.

Diary of a Teenage Girl: What Matters Most
by Melody Carlson

What Matters Most is Book 3 is the Diary of a Teenage Girl series about Maya. She is a girl who has a less than idea life, she can live the dream or she can deal with her mother who has spent time in prison. It's an important decision and she has to figure out what is right. The series is good. I find this book, but I know my 14 year old sister has read the whole series.

August 28, 2009

Back to School Fiction

vent I hate blogger when you somehow delete your whole post when you just wanted to go back and fix one sentence and there is no way to get it back. /vent

These next books I have to tell you about are part of the Back to School Fiction Blog Tour. What? you aren't going back to school? That's okay because really it’s just three really good stories that hopefully you will have time to read now that your kids are back to school. So you don't have kids, nor do you even know anyone headed back to school? I'm tired of the excuses, they're good stories.

I'm currently reading Knit for Love, by Beth Pattillo. It's part of The Sweetgum Ladies Series. It features 6 women in all stages of life that do not have very much in common (kind of like the Yada-Yada books), except for a desire to read and knit. They are a Knit-Lit Club. This round they are focusing on Love stories, everything from Romeo and Julie to The Song of Solomon. For each book they read, they complete a knitting project that somehow relates to the story. I makes me feel like finding that scarf I started last winter and finishing it. My only concern is that I have not yet found a way to read and knit at the same time.

The next book in the Blog Tour is The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper written by Kathleen Y'Barbo. I like this girl. She is part of New York's Society, but she has this thirst of adventure. She just once wants to shrug of the demands of proper society to do the things she only reads about. She has an opportunity to go west into Colorado Territory, which she seizes, but what happens there is something she did not expect. I also want to mention how I love this cover. You can just see the mischief in her eyes.

The last book in the tour is called Rose House by Tina Ann Forkner. It’s a story of great loss and the search for hope. Lillian lost her family and she is grieving when she visits the Rose House and finds a painting of her in a moment when she thought she was alone in her misery. It is through this painting that she is forced to confront what happened and works through her pain to find beauty.

August 18, 2009

NORTH! or Be Eaten

I've been so excited for this day. First, because its my 2 year Wedding Anniversary! The other exciting thing about today is the arrival of Andrew Peterson's new book. North! or be Eaten. Its the second book in the Wingfeather Saga. I even have a guest blogger for you today. My little sister Danielle, has been waiting forever for it to come out. Since she really wanted to read the book as soon as apossible, and I received a review copy early, we struck a deal. She could read the book first, but she had to write a review.

So here is what Danielle a 13 year-old girl from the midwest thinks about N!OBE.

North! or Be Eaten is definitely one of the most thrilling books I have ever read! Its is fun to read with its unpredictable plot and original characters. They seem so real, despite the uncommon problems they face. I like Janner and Peet the Sock Man the most, because Janner is easy to relate to and Peet the Sock Man, is well, by far the most intriguing.
Andrew Peterson is a brillian writer with a unique imagination. He grabs my attention and keeps it; not many other authors are able to do that so well. I absolutely love all the dangerous and facinating creatures. now, when I eat fruit, I think fo Ridge Runners. Perhaps the Gargan Rockroachs are the most deadly, though nearly all the animals in Aerwiar pose at least some threat to humans.
North! or Be Eaten seems to have no climax; the entire book is full of awesome adventure. The characters have very interesting stories. Podo's for example, you would never guess.
One thing North! or Be Eaten is not lacking in is humor. Just one of the many amusing occurances is when Oskar decides to quote someone. The quotes are often so mediocre they're funny. In the words of Moriah the Mud Pup discoverer (1), "North! or Be Eaten is exceedingly squishy, and that is a Squishly awesome thing."

(1) Moriah the Mud Pup discoverer is the younger sibling of Danielle and uses the word "squishy" at every opportunity.

July 19, 2009

Summer Reading

Colorado Springs, CO— Fiction lovers don’t need to budget to travel this summer with Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group’s eight full-length, historical novels by beloved Christian authors (WaterBrook, June 2, 2009). At the low cost of only $5.99, these well-read “get-aways” provide quality entertainment at a price that any reader can afford.

Full-length historical novels offered include:
The Captain’s Bride(ISBN-13: 978-0-307-45806-3) by Lisa Tawn Bergren, book one in Northern Lights series. Experience an epic saga of perseverance and passion, faith and fidelity in a sea adventure from the gentle hills of Bergen, Norway, to rocky coast of Camden, Maine.

Tommorrow’s Treasure(ISBN-13: 978-0-307-45808-7)by Linda Lee Chaikin, book one in East of the Sun series. Family secrets and a passion for a man of a higher social class draw Evy Varley into a dangerous mystery and disturbing questions about her past.

The Silver Sword(ISBN-13: 978-0-307-45809-4)by Angela Elwell Hunt, book one in The Heirs of Cahira O’ Connor series. The auburn-haired O’Conner women push against social limits. Their tale is one of peril, courage, vengeance, love and sacrifice.

The Veil (ISBN-13: 978-0-307-45807-0) by Diane Noble. Hannah McClary dares to question the truth behind the shroud of secrecy that cloaks a nineteenth-century sect known as the Saints. Soon she and Lucas Knight, the young man she loves, find themselves fighting for their lives.
Under the Distant Sky
(ISBN-13: 978-1-60142-245-3) by Al and Joanna Lacy, book one in Hannah of Fort Bridger. Join Hannah and Solomon Cooper as they journey by wagon train to a new life on the frontier. Will they overcome tragedy and great opposition as they strive to live their dream?

A Promise for Breanna
(ISBN-13: 978-1-60142-244-6) by Al & Joanna Lacy, book one in Angel of Mercy series. Suspense, danger, romance and spiritual truth each play a part in this heroine’s life as she faces the man who once broke her heart and led her to mistrust men.

Maire (ISBN-13: 978-1-60142-256-0) by Linda Windsor, book one in Fires of Gleannmara. Maire, Warrior Queen of Gleannmara, finds her fierce heart gentled by a reformed mercenary, a Christian, who’s taken hostage during a raid.

A Gathering of Finches (ISBN-13: 978-1-60142-247-7) by Jane Kirkpatrick. A turn-of-the-century Oregon coastal couples’ life is seen through the eyes of the wife, her sister, and her Indian maid who discover reasons why money and possessions can’t buy happiness, forgiveness or relieve consequences of choices.

Waterbrook summer release of value line books will also include a 99 Ways (July 2009) and Non-fiction series (September 2009).

I had the opportunity to read a couple of these books. I just finished The Silver Sword and have started A Gathering of Finches. Once I opened The Silver Sword, I couldn't put it down. This book came to work with me, I read it while cooking dinner, in the evening while my husband was watching TV. It tells the story of a woman, Anika, who becomes a Knight and works to help a Reformer, Jan Hus in the 1400s. It wove bits of history into the story. Fortunately the rest of the series is also out and you can follow this family's interesting linage.

July 6, 2009

Office Wars -The Out of Office Notice

It’s been a while since my last Office Wars post. Mostly that is due to work going well and people not doing silly thing, but today I found something that just made me giggle. Due to us office workers getting an extra day off on Friday (for Independence Day on Saturday), many people decided to extend their 3 day weekend into a 4 or 5 day weekend. That was smart planning on their part, maybe next summer I will try that.

However, one thing these people did not consider is their "Out of Office" notice. It is immediately fired back to anyone who dares send them an e-mail while they are gone. At our company it is standard practice to put your backup's name in the notice in case anyone has something urgent.

In our department each morning we send out a Daily Progress Report. Since my supervisor is out today I send the e-mail. I immediately received 4 out of office replies. As I clicked on them I noticed a trend...

"Hi, this is Kara*, I will be out of the office July 1-10, Please contact Danny for any urgent issues..."

Next it is Danny's Out of Office Notice: "Greetings, I will be traveling from July 6 - July 10, please contact Jerry for any immediate needs."

And Jerry's Out of Office Notice. "I will be gone on July 6th and 7th, for assistance please contact Danny (Really? Did you not know he was going to be gone?) or Jennifer."

Thankfully, Jennifer is in the office, but I really, really want to send a e-mail to Kara, then forward it to Danny, then to Jerry, and finally to Jennifer. Whew, I think by the time I finished forwarding it would no longer be urgent. It would be next week.

*Names have been changed to protect my privacy. I don't want you e-mailing my boss.

June 19, 2009

Never the Bride

So I recently read Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge. I thought this book sounded interesting. Its about a girl named Jessie Stone, who is in love with the idea of love and romance, despite having her heart broken in the past. She has tried dating, but never is successful. Until one day, God shows up in the form of a cute guy.

Only Jessie can see and hear him, but he tells her that he has a plan for her, but she has to surrender her ideas and trust Him. Reluctantly she does, and she follows his leading. Well, most of the time. Because well some of what he says doesn't make sense to her or she sees a better way.

I really liked this story and finished the book in a Saturday. Which goes to show that its an intriguing story. If your the first person to  leave a comment on my blog, I'll send you a copy. If you are the second person, you can purcahse it here.

June 12, 2009


Oh how I love the Sisterchicks series. The most recent book is Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes by Robin Jones Gunn. It tells the story of Summer and Noelle, who have been pen pals since 4th grade, but have never met in real life. Summer gets some bad news concerning her health, which prompts her to go visit her friend Noelle who lives in the land of tulips and wooden shoes -- Holland!

Even though they have never met in person, these ladies are close friends. They both have things they need to deal with and they help eachother along in the journey.
If you want to purchase a copy of the book, please follow this link.
If you would like to win a free copy of the book, please e-mail me or leave a comment telling me about your best friend or sisterchick!

May 29, 2009

Amish Love

What’s all the hubbub about Amish fiction? Major media outlets like Time and ABC Nightline are covering it, and authors like Cindy Woodsmall are making the New York Times bestseller list regularly. What makes these books so interesting?

Check out the recent ABC Nightline piece here about Cindy and her titles When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends. It’s an intriguing look at Amish culture and the time Cindy has spent with Amish friends.

And don’t forget that Cindy’s new book The Hope of Refuge hits store shelves August 11, and is available for preorder now.

May 11, 2009

My Twin

So a while back, Matt was going through this catalog they had at his work. It was full of promotional items. He ran across this picture....

Apparently I have a twin.... who likes to model crab hats.

and for reference this is what I look like ...without a crab hat.

May 1, 2009

Fun Book Friday - A Flickering Light

The latest book I read is called A Flickering Light by Jane Kirkpatrick. It was a great story. It focus on a young girl, Jessie Gaebele, just after the turn of the century. She had a love of photography and found a position along with her best friend, Voe, as an apprentice in a local studio with FJ Bauer. As she learns from Mr. Bauer how to edit the photographs and do touch up work, they begin to have feelings for eachother that are beyond teacher / apprentice.

Mr. Bauer is stuck in an unhappy marriage. His wife, coincidently also named Jessie is suffering from a mental illness caused in part by the death of their child. He finds comfort in his work with Jessie Gaebele.
What I really liked about this book is that its not you typical coming of age, falling in love for the first time, story. It explores the feelings that both parties know are wrong, yet they feel them all the same.

I would definately recommend this as a good summer read. Here's the link to purchase the book online.

The Second Jane Kirkpatrick book I read was Aurora. The thing that stood out most to me is the beautiful pictures of quits. I've always loved them and found them facinating. Quilts have so much beauty and history built into them. So much work goes into a quit - everything from the fabrics used, to the way they are matched and stitched into patters, then there is the stitching that holds it all together. The woman who made these quits are true artists.

April 6, 2009

April Fools - Big Orange Cat

It's arrived! My B.O.C. I was so excited and I got some good stuff. For all you nerdy types who understand here is the picture.

April 1, 2009

I heart April 1

This is my favorite day of the year to be online. Here are the best April Fools Pranks I've found so far.
Feel free to add to the list with fun stuff you come across.
Google - Artificial Intelligence AKA CADIE - I <3 Panda Bears
Woot - Million Dollar Shipping - Coupon Code is SNAIL
Expedia - Trip to Mars for $99 - A 3 Trillion dollar discount!
Google Chrome - Web Browsing in 3D
You Tube - Upside down - However some of the the videos seem right side up.

Work pranks, included tape to the bottom of the mouse, a fake engagement, and a shreadded compaion cube plush. Overall a good day for the April Pranksters.

February 20, 2009

Outlaw Marshal

I have a book to give away! It's a western called Outlaw Marshal, written by Al and Joanna Lacy. They're a husband wife team, who have written several books together. I read some of their Mail Order Bride Series a few years back.

Outlaw Marshal is the story of Whip Langford. He's an outlaw in the wild west. John Brockman (who starred in previous series' written by Al and Joanna) arrested him for a crime. Whip is thrown into jail. All along the way John is preaching salvation to him and eventually Whip decides he does need Jesus in his life.

You can purchase a copy of the book using this link or e-mail me if you're interested in receiving a free copy of this book. No fancy contest this time. The first person to ask for it wins.

January 20, 2009


For Christmas this year, I got the thing that has been at the top of my list for a long time. A puppy! We named him Rudy. He's definitely made our lives more interesting.

January 6, 2009

A New Post for the New Year.

The last couple months have been busy; I've had lots of things to blog about, but not so much time. Then when I had time, I had no so much motivation. For some reason my best blog posts are composed when I'm warm in bed, when I'm in the shower, and when I'm driving my car. They never make it to my computer. Such a shame.

I did not hit my goal for NANOWRIMO. I'm disappointed in myself. I had two full weeks of overtime at work (when I was only expecting one), which put me so far behind; I didn't have the energy to catch up. Maybe next year.

December was an exciting month. Matt graduated!!! He now has a piece of paper (well he will have it once the school mails it) that says he accomplished something great. I'm really proud of him. He's worked really hard and even had a 4.0 Semester this fall. There ceremony itself was a little disappointing to him. It was supposed to be in the swanky new fine arts building, but due to space they moved it to the gym last minute. The same gym his high school rented for graduation.

We got a new puppy, but he deserves his own post. Let me just say he is adorable, and I am one happy puppy mama.

For the first year ever I managed to send out Christmas cards. I hate what Christmas has become. When I was picking out cards, I had a choice of about 4 that mentioned Jesus. The rest were snow men and Santa Claus, reindeer and holly. That is not what Christmas is about. This website however made me very very happy.

That’s all for now.