Winning a Selah Award




Ann Gabhardt and me. An award AND a chance to rub shoulders with a gifted author (literally!).

The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference just gave me my first award as a published author. It is, as you might expect, a pretty wonderful feeling. And making it even more wonderful is the fact that I got to celebrate my award with one of my favorite authors–Ann Gabhart. She not only won a Selah, but also the Book of the Year Award. And she’s a Kentucky girl, which means we’re both Appalachian born and bred.

AND my husband was there to give me a kiss when I came down from the stage and back to earth (at least a little bit).

AND I am reminded of how God likes to mix his blessings in among the challenges of life. Maybe so we can remember how much he loves us even when we still have some growing to do.

Yup, that’s me with the Selah Award for Debut Novel. Five years ago I couldn’t have seen THAT coming. Kind of makes me excited about what God has in store for the next five . . .

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The Most Eligible Bachelor Winner


The winner of a copy of The Most Eligible Bachelor from Gabrielle Meyer is . . . Trisha! Congratulations! Check your e-mail for information about how to receive your book.

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SouthernBelleView–Mary & Martha

dish washing

My Mom and my aunt–wonder which one was Mary and which was Martha?

Swing on over to the front porch to join me in looking at the Mary & Martha story from a new perspective (at least for me!).

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Take Me Home, Country Roads


The view from the deck off the dining room. Perfection.

I just spent a spontaneous weekend at the farm because my Dad is having some health issues. It’s tough, seeing my once invincible father age and face challenges that I’d give almost anything to spare him. But I was blessed to be able to go home and put my arms around his neck and tell him how much I love him.

Over the course of the weekend, he told me I’m wise and brave and he’s proud of me. I’m not so sure I live up to that, but it’s awfully good to hear. We also talked about how the things of this world will pass away, but our souls are eternal. It was good to talk with him and we’ll get through this tough time one way or another.

My husband and I spend some time walking the family farm (with a very happy dog chasing groundhogs and deer). I thought I’d take you with me on that walk, so you can catch a glimpse of the place that inspires me. This IS the Phillips Family Farm.


The pond that supplies water to the house. I nearly drowned here when I was four.


An outbuilding from my grandparents’ days.


The house my Dad grew up in sat near these holly trees.


The beginning of the loooong driveway–the bit of fence marks the entrance.


Thistle having a rest after chasing critters.

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Gabrielle Meyer–Keeping the FAITH + Giveaway

Gabrielle MeyerMy friend Gabrielle Meyer recently realized her dream of being traditionally published with the debut of The Most Eligible Bachelor. I asked her to share how her journey impacted her faith . . .

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

This nugget from the Bible precedes a long list of men and women who acted with faith and were commended by God. They stepped out and did things that seemed impossible. None of them saw the fulfillment of God’s Promised One, Jesus, but they did what they were called to do, so that one day Christ would appear for the salvation of all mankind.

How much more are we called to act in faith, as we await His return? It may be easy for us to look back at the long list of faithful servants and see that what they did impacted Christ’s arrival—but many of us find it hard to believe that the things we’re doing now will impact his return.

The truth? Every act of faith impacts the Kingdom of God and His return.

What has God called you to do by faith? For me, it’s the pursuit of publication.

I felt called to be a writer when I was young. College, marriage, children, and a full-time job kept me from writing fiction until three years ago. When I realized it was time to pick up my pen again, I read a statistic that staggered me. It said that only two percent of people who want to be traditionally published actually are.

Two percent? I could hardly believe that number. Who was I to think I could be part of that two percent? But just as quickly as the doubts assailed me, a still, small voice whispered: “Who says you can’t be part of the two percent?” In that moment, I became sure of what I hoped for, and certain of what I did not see. I had a seed of faith to seek publication.

I believe Hebrews 11:1 speaks about more than just temporal hope and certainty in things like publication. It speaks to our hope and certainty of Christ and our heavenly home. But it’s through the temporal things of this earth, like publication, that we can make an eternal impact for His kingdom.

The faithful servants in the Bible did temporal things like offer better sacrifices, move to foreign lands, build arks, house spies, hide their children, and walk over dry land. Some were performed through miraculous circumstances, but some were performed through mundane affairs. No matter what God called them to, whether simple, or fantastic, they did so with faith and it affected the history of all mankind.

I do not know what God intends to do with our simple acts of faith. I do not know what He will do with my published writing. But what I do know is that God commends those who act in faith—and I want to be one of those people.

Giveaway – Comment below about something that’s impacted your faith journey for a chance to win a copy of The Most Eligible Bachelor. Entries close at midnight on May 17 and the winner will be announced on Monday, May 18. If you just can’t wait, click on the image above to buy a copy today!

The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection – Meet nine men from bygone days who have all the qualities of a true hero and who all the single ladies wish to court—though some are unassuming and overlooked until their worth is revealed. The socialite, the architect, the doctor, the masked vigilante, the missionary, the postmaster, archaeologist, the wealthy widower, and the heir can have their pick of brides, but which one will they choose?

BIO – Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four young children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events. Gabrielle can be found at where she writes about her passion for history, Minnesota, and her faith.

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Appalachian Thursday–Better with Butter!

giveawayUntil the Harvest officially released this week. To celebrate, my publisher put together a fabulous giveaway that I couldn’t have designed any better myself.

Food is such an important part of my books. Families gather around the table. Friends carry food to loved ones in times of crisis. Feasts are prepared in celebration. Just as it does in MY life, food plays an important role in my character’s relationships.

So, when I saw that the first place prize in the giveaway was called, “Better with Butter,” I knew my publisher understood. The package includes a gift card to William Sonoma, a modern butter churn, a butter mold, and a butter keeper.

Now, I have a butter keeper and it’s a very dangerous thing. My thighs really, really don’t need room temperature butter sitting around all the time! Still, it’s a wonderful gift.

Second place is an adorable apron and a white-ash pie basket perfect for delivering that hot from the oven apple pie you made for your neighbor down the street.

Seeing the prize package was one of those moments in life when I felt as though I’d been understood. Whoever came up with the elements and the design “gets” what my Appalachian Blessings books are about.

That’s my prize for the week! Now click on the photo or HERE and enter to win a prize of your own.

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Southern Belleview Monday

I’m blogging about tomorrow’s book launch and the roller coaster ride of emotion that comes with it over at Southern Belleview today. Come see me!

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