True Love Stories and a Winner

Last week on SouthernBelleView I asked readers to share true love stories in order to be entered to win a copy of Until the Harvest. Just let me say, after reading the comments I realized this was a brilliant idea (which means the credit for it lies elsewhere!). I promised to share some of my favorite stories with you, so here we go: CINDY – “I was supposed to have quit my job at the local roller rink two weeks earlier. But I loved that job! I had been through three bad relationships in a row and was tired of boys and dating. I just wanted a friend to skate couples with me when the couples song played so that I could skate and not be alone while I kept my whistle at the ready. A new guy showed up one night. Then he came a few more Saturday nights. My parents were reminding me to quit the job since college classes were out for summer and I was not making enough to pay for my gas. After several weeks of his coming to the rink, I memorized the new guy’s skate size and saved the best pair for him. And I “forgot” to quit that job. When he came up that night, I plopped those best skates on the counter. He plopped a brand new pair of skates right beside them. He bought a new pair of skates! My […]

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The Best Love Stories are True

Happy June! I’m turning in the manuscript for the third book in the Appalachian Blessings series today and feel like celebrating. So I thought I’d give away a copy of my recently released book #2–Until the Harvest. Until the Harvest features the next generation of the Phillips family. Henry Phillips faces an unimaginable tragedy that makes him want to give up on love. Margaret Hoffman isn’t sure she even knows what love is–she doesn’t get it from her parents and certainly isn’t looking for romance. But her little sister Mayfair (who has a special gift) will teach Henry, Margaret, and anyone else who’s paying attention what love is really all about. So–if you’d like a copy of the book (U.S. residents only) or just feel like sharing–tell me what love means to you. Tell me about a time in your life when you knew, for sure and for certain, that you were loved. You have all week to post a comment–up until midnight EST next Sunday. I’ll pick one commenter here or at SouthernBelleView.com (be sure to include your e-mail address) at random to receive a book and will feature my favorite stories on the blog next Monday. I can’t wait to hear your love stories! I John 4:19 – We love because he first loved us.

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Appalachian Thursday–Dogs That Live Forever

Thistle is four now, which means my sweet Sammy has been gone for more than six years. But like any good, mountain dog, he’s taken on a certain mythological quality. That’s what we do with our dogs in Appalachia–we mourn them and then we tell their stories so that they do, indeed, live as long as we do (if not longer). Here’s a memory from Sammy’s last year. AN OLD DOG He’s an old dog and sometimes I think he knows it. He stretches out in the sun and rolls his belly skyward— submits to something bigger, something older than himself. And then there are times . . . Like that day we walked in the woods where turkeys stirred the leaves, uncovered new shoots pushing through last fall’s rotting russet and gold. That’s when he heard it—a rustle, a whisper of feathers, a twig breaking. And he leaped from the trail, down a steep hillside to where he flushed two turkeys into the treetops. Who knew they could fly so high— could forgo that clucking strut to glide through tall trees and land beyond sight? He is an old dog now and knows he will have to climb back up this hill, heave arthritic hips over fallen limbs, regain the trail and continue on with me. But first he gazes long and hard after two turkeys that have flown. He lifts his muzzle into the air, knows that though […]

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My Best Book Review

Miracle in a Dry Season

I’ve been fortunate to have had some very nice reviews of my books. Library Journal had some nice things to say, and there are several lovely reviews on Amazon.com and GoodReads. Not to mention blog reviews scattered around the web. But on Friday evening I got my BEST review. I’d given a copy of Miracle in a Dry Season to […]

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Appalachian Thursday–Christmas Countdown

Guess what? It’s 21 days ’til Christmas! Yup, Christmas is just three weeks away. Are you ready? Are you counting down with joy and anticipation? Or is there a little how-will-I-get-everything-done dread mixed in there? When I was little, we had a count-down to Christmas wall hanging my mom made. It was in the shape of a Christmas tree and had 24 little beads from which we would suspend 24 little, felt ornaments. There was an angel that went at the top. A Santa, little wrapped packages, a candy cane with sequins–it was wonderful. And I always got to hang the first ornament since my birthday was December 1. I LOVED counting down to Christmas when I was a child growing up on the farm in WV. Each year I looked forward to all the things we got to do as we counted down. Here are just a few of my favorites: Singing carols in the car. Snapping our fingers for reindeer hoofs up on the housetop. Dad substituting our names as he sang, “First comes the stocking of little Sally (his nickname for me).” Rudolph and Frosty and oh, what fun! Decorating sugar cookies. I now know this makes my mom a saint. Arming three kids with frosting and sprinkles is a bold move. Decorating the Christmas tree. Dad did the lights and hung his one ornament remaining from childhood–a tattered cardboard Santa. We got to do the rest. And no […]

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When is busy too busy?

A show of hands please–who out there is busy? Ah-ha. I see a lot of hands. And I hear a lot of friends, family members, and co-workers who share tales of their busy-ness with me. And I tell quite a few of my own. Two members of a missionary family from Turkey spoke at church yesterday. Dad and one of his adopted Turkish daughters came to talk with our church before their return to the mission field. The daughter is 17. She’s poised, lovely, well-spoken, and an all-around delight. After the service, church members gathered around the table to share lunch with father and daughter. We talked about a variety of topics including the differences between Turkey and America. The daughter commented on how busy everyone in America is. She added that while people in Turkey might be just as busy, they don’t let on. If a visitor comes, they stop what they are doing for tea and a visit. Often a long visit. Which set me to thinking. What am I busy about? Oh, good things, surely. My job, projects at church, writing and promoting my novels–the list goes on and on. Okay, so I could spend a bit less time on Facebook. Okay, so I could give up television entirely and be none the worse for it. But what about the important things. I often get into such knots over my to-do list. But I rarely stop to consider […]

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