Top Ten Books to Beat the Snow Storm Blues

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Here in Fort Worth, Texas it’s currently sunny and 60 degrees. But many of you in other parts of the country are buried under many inches or even feet of snow. Brrr!

Wondering how you’re going to survive the days trapped inside? Have no fear! Grab your e-readers and download my top ten books sure to make the time go by fast and keep your insides nice and toasty, too.

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Indie Bookstore Coming to Fort Worth

51kmPPBckzL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_An author I’ve connected with through a mutual friend is doing something truly remarkable. Paul Combs, author of The Last Word, is beginning exciting plans for opening the only independent bookstore — actually, the only bookstore, period — in downtown Fort Worth, TX. The store, which will also boast the name The Last Word, will cater to indie authors, offer a selection of used books, as well as the latest titles. Continue reading

Finding Inspiration

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In the world of writing, there are two types of authors. Planners and pantsters. Planners, well, plan. They map out scenes, do detailed character analysis, and know the ending before they start. Pantsters, in turn, write by the seat of their pants. Clever, right? Continue reading

New Year, Old Me

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Happy New Year, friend.

New Year’s has become synonymous with parties, noisemakers, and celebration. Many cities around the globe usher in the new year with a literal bang, launching fireworks to illuminate the midnight sky. In New York City, Times Square hosts millions who come together for one night to cheer, smooch, and belt out Old Lang Syne with soon to be forgotten acquaintances at the stroke of twelve.  Continue reading

Litter & Faith: A Christmas Lesson

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Wham!

Today, I got knocked up side the head with the hard reality of being a flawed follower of Christ. All thanks to a homeless man. It still hurts, but the bruise is around my tender soul instead of my hard head.

And, I’m so thankful.

I stopped for lunch at a local bistro. Sitting against the alley wall of the next building was a homeless man. Our eyes met. Embarrassment, expectancy, and roughened pride made a strange concoction in his dark eyes. He asked for change. I had none. He asked for a cup of coffee instead. Yes, of course. Minutes later while waiting for my turkey panini, I walked the hot cup out to him and we exchanged Merry Christmases.

I said a prayer for the man as I ate my lunch. I hoped the coffee, such a simple gesture, would nourish him somehow. Although not terribly sacrificial, I helped how I could in the moment.

Leaving the place a bit later, my eyes fell in the direction of where the man was. Gone. I looked down the alley, hoping for sight of him. Nothing. Then I saw it. The empty coffee cup left littered on the ground where he had sat.

Enjoyed for what was needed in the moment, then discarded haphazardly.

My first reaction was one of frustration. How could he just leave the trash behind? A dumpster sat mere feet from him. How ungrateful.

Minutes later, I pulled into my parking spot at work and sat stunned by a striking parallel. I am that man. Instead of a cup of coffee, my gift was salvation. Instead of myself — a privileged, educated, employed woman — Jesus is the giver. How often I take only a fleeting moment to partake of the promises of Christ before tossing it aside to litter the peripheral of my life.

How many empty cups of peace, joy, forgiveness, comfort, and hope lay cast away by my hand?

I’m still a bit breathless with shame. Do you know the feeling? That adrenaline-induced panicky feeling when you’re caught doing something you shouldn’t. You know better, Teresa.

It’s Christmas week. As I regain my breath, I am grateful for this timely reminder. I pray to be more mindful of the gift of Jesus. I want to treasure him. I want to wear his grace proudly and let it shine in a way that makes admirers ask, “Oh, where’d you get that? It’s beautiful.” It’s no secret. No coupon required. No exclusive prices – freely given through grace.

Merry Christmas, friend. I pray you remember the priceless value of God’s gift to you this Christmas and always.

Do you have questions about Jesus and the grace I’m talking about? I’d be so excited and glad to talk to you about it. Just leave me a comment.

Peace.

Giveaway: Christmas Edition

Hi friends.

alliscalmIt’s the season of giving, so let’s have us a fun giveaway! Back when it was only on pre-order in September, I snagged two copies of Colleen Coble’s new Christmas book “All Is Calm/All Is Bright” — two novels in one! It’s already getting great reviews, which isn’t at all surprising. Colleen is a talented author who has become one of my all time favorites.

I’ve just started reading my copy in front of the Christmas tree with some hot tea in the evenings. I’d love to give the other copy away to one lucky reader.

To enter, just comment here and tell us your favorite holiday tradition. I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week, so enter now!

Yearning for Christmas

I posted this photo and caption on Instagram last night after decorating our Christmas tree earlier than ever this year. I’ve noticed a lot of others commenting that they felt pulled to decorate early, too. What is making us yearn for Christmas this year? Whatever it is, I’m so grateful. I’ll look forward to visiting with you after Thanksgiving. Blessings, friends!

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Getting to Know (Me)…

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We’ve been sharing this little virtual space for some time now. Some of you are dear to me in real life and know me quite well, but several of you have likely found me via other authors, sites, connections.

Connections often grow stronger when life is SHARED. Similarities are discovered. “Me too!” is uttered beneath wide eyes of understanding.

Here’s some fun facts about yours truly. I really hope you’ll share in the comments section below a fact or two about you. And, away we go…

  1. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii as a Navy brat but only lived there 11 months and haven’t been back yet.
  2. I’ve never had a nickname until a friend recently dubbed me “Fun Size” because I’m a teeny tiny at around 5″. I kind of love it.
  3. I cry at the end of Footloose every time. I mean, they finally get to DANCE! It’s really more about the joy through music.
  4. Since I was a child, my favorite song has been What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.
  5. I discovered I am allergic to buckwheat (flour) after eating whole grain pancakes at Cracker Barrel. Not. Fun. My. Friends.
  6. I am a twin and older than my sister by only 90 seconds.
  7. Most people think I’m extroverted, but I test very introverted. Internally, I yearn for quiet and alone time. I married an extreme extrovert. Boy, that’s been interesting. 🙂
  8. Writing started early for me. I wrote poetry as a child, had a job with the Orlando Sentinel in high school, and was editor of my school’s paper for two years.
  9. I love everything caramel. Coffee, ice cream, popcorn, candy, apples, you name it.
  10. For my graduate thesis project, I had the pleasure and honor of editing, designing, and publishing my grandfather’s memoirs into a bound, hardback book and gifted it to him for his 80th birthday.
  11. We’re a creative family! I am a full-time Director of Communications for a large church and do lots of graphic design. My husband is a professional theater stage manager. Last year, he worked a show on Broadway and was even in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
  12. I love coffee, thunderstorms, snow days, old movies (i.e. Casablanca, An Affair to Remember, White Christmas), drum lines, queso and chips, lip gloss, loud music in the car, being sarcastic, nativity sets, Walt Disney World, and when it gets cold enough to wear socks and oversized sweatshirts around the house.

Your turn!