Realm Makers 2013

This was so big, I couldn’t list it with the rest of the newsy items on Monday. Coming August 2013. Early Bird Registration started May 1st and will go through until June 1st for a cost of $189. Check it out!RealmMakerslogo

 

Realm Makers is a writers conference geared specifically to creators of speculative fiction who consider their faith-based world view their highest priority. The event will present panels and classes appropriate for authors of all experience levels, from the beginning writer to the seasoned industry professional.

Have a great weekend y’all!

Teardrop Campers?

Lynn Donovan

Never heard of them until my friend, Lynn Donovan, showed me a picture of one and I was like, oh yeah, I’ve seen one of those. She has an adventurous story of sorts to share with us about one she built with her husband. Please welcome Lynn!

Have you ever heard of a teardrop trailer?

December of 2006, my husband, Paul, and I worked for his parents at a GMC dealership. He was the Parts Manager in the back, and I was the Car Rental Manager up front. One day, I walked past his counter on my way to the wash bay. Okay, to be honest it was an excuse to flirt with him, but I digress…

He called out to me. “Hey, have you ever seen these?”

He turned his computer monitor around and showed me a slideshow of some teardrop trailers. I was so shocked. Because a while back I had seen a special on TV about the little campers. I thought they looked awesome! They are small, teardrop shaped campers. Most of them weigh less than two-thousand pounds and are easily pulled by cars and trucks. The galley is at the back, under a lift up hatch. And the owners sleep inside of a space about the size of a queen size mattress. Some are covered with aluminum and other have a wood skin.

I told him I thought they were wonderful! I’d love to have one.

Now he was shocked. He never expected me to be interested in the compact camping. I never expected him to be interested due to the fact that he’s six foot two and…let’s call it, a “well-fed” man.

I told him I’d love to build one of those and go camping. He showed me a teardrop forum where other teardrop owners got together online and visited. They posted gatherings, pictures, designs, and other helpful things. We connected with the forum and started getting to know some of the people.

He downloaded some designs and asked me again if I’d like to build one. He just couldn’t believe I wanted to do this. I suppose most women don’t like to camp without the hotel-like luxuries of an RV or such. But I love it and really wanted to do this!

There was a gathering in Nebraska that summer. We had six months to build our camper in order to be ready to go. I adamantly agreed we should give it a try.

A month before the gathering, I was posting on the forum that we might have to bring our camper on a flat bed, but we were coming! The people on the forum were like, “No problem. You wouldn’t be the first person to bring an unfinished camper to the gathering.”

“Cool!”

However, with a lot of late nights and hard work, we had the camper on the frame, wheels in place, expoxy on the exterior and mattresses inside. The night before we were to leave, we were hooking up lights and other final necessities to make it street legal. (Mind you we were doing this in the service bay of the dealership.) We had our Yorkshire terrier, Binx, with us and the overhead doors open. It was after Midnight. We planned to leave at six in the morning, so we were tired and grumpy, but we had to get these things done, or we couldn’t go. (You get the picture.)

Binx started making a Rottweiler growl and his hair stood up on his back. We thought he was seeing the pack of wild dogs that sometimes hang out at the dealership. My husband hissed at him, “Binx, shut up!”

About that time Binx took off running out the opened door, and Paul was right behind him yelling, “Binx, Get. Back. Here!”

“Whoa!”

Three cops met him at the open door, their hands on their guns in their holsters.

“Oh crap!”

Luckily, he knew one of them personally.

That one, Pervis, realized we were not burglars and relaxed. So, here we are up against a deadline, tired and needing to go to bed, but they stand around and talk for like thirty minutes! Men!!!  *eyeroll*

I couldn’t help but laugh. We almost got shot! But it was funny in hindsight.

Anyway. We did go on to the Nebraska gathering. We loved every minute of the experience, and the people. People who camp in teardrop campers walk around the campsite and visit with other campers. People who camp in RVs stay to themselves and watch TV. I don’t get that! I’m a visitor by nature anyway…so this is perfectly suited to my personality! We made life-long friends whom we have stayed in contact with to this day. We have been to the Nebraska gathering several times along with another annual gathering in Colorado near the Royal Gorge.

It was at the Royal Gorge gathering, we fell in love with the Cañon City area. We are now land owners in that area and plan to build a log home in a couple of years.

Oh and by the way, my book, The Wishing Well Curse, is set in Cañon City too.  Coincidence? Me thinks not.

…And to think it all started with a stumble onto a teardrop web site!

 lynn teardrop camper

This is a view from the galley. You can see inside the sleeping area (sort of) and that’s Paul standing by the SUV. Oh, the dog, that’s Honey, our golden retriever. Binx is somewhere chasing rabbits, I’m sure!

@–}-

Lynn Donovan writes from her heart and her passion for Jesus Christ. She is a daughter, wife, mother of four and grandmother of seven who has five decades of experiences to draw from when creating her stories. She categorizes herself as the “sandwich generation” because she is caring for her mother who has Alzheimer’s and is one child away from an empty nest. Besides blogging, Lynn enjoys reading and writing mainstream fiction and speculative fiction, but you might find a historical romance among her collections as well. She currently lives in Southwest Kansas but looks forward to building a home in Colorado. She attends a Creative Writing class at the local college to sharpen her talents and increase her creative juices. 

Author of The Wishing Well Curse, now in paperback, and several short stories published in The Clockwork Dragon.

She blogs at Sitting on the Porch, Visiting with Lynn

You can find her on Twitter and Facebook

Release: Armored Hearts

Today, we’re celebrating the release of Armored Hearts by Melissa Turner Lee and Pauline Creeden. AltWit Press is celebrating with a giveaway, check it out for some cool prizes like a $100 gift card to Amazon!

Armored Hearts

When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother’s side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairytales.

Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park, left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair.

Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

Cover art by Marcy Rachel Designs

Model Photographer: WinterWolf Studios

A Link Feast

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Lots of cools things happening around here, and I couldn’t wait until Friday to share these links with you. You might miss out on a great opportunity to discover a new favorite book or something. 🙂 So feast your eyes on this:

The first, and quite exciting link to share with you all, is Robert Mullin’s interview and giveaway over at Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s blog. You might have heard me mention Robert Mullin and his debut novel, Bid the Gods Arise. Love it. I did a review earlier, and you can find it here. Stop by Ms. Stengl’s blog and enter a chance to win a paperback copy of Bid the Gods Arise. Did you know Robert Mullin is a cryptozooligist? 

Would you like to win a $20 Amazon giftcard? Spirit-filled Kindle is doing a Read for Review Giveaway. There’s a selection of books to review for free,and no matter the star rating you give it, you’re entered in to win. Check it out!

AltWit Press is jumping on board with the Shower of Books Giveaway Blog Hop, for a chance to win some cool prizes, like an ebook copy of my short story Desert Rose, along with The Wishing Well Curse, a devotional and $5 giftcard. You can even swing by Lynn Donovan’s blog for an extra chance to win an ebook copy of her debut novel, The Wishing Well Curse. There are over 190 bloggers participating. Ends April 30th!

Speaking of AltWit Press, Armored Hearts is coming soon. Like tomorrow! Anyways, they are looking for reviewers, bloggers to read an advanced reader copy to leave reviews and help celebrate. All for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. How cool is that? Stop by their Facebook book launch event and tell them I sent ya. 🙂

Lots of people talking about Dove’s beauty compaign. C.L. Dyck has a great post on Real Beauty and what I’ve learned as a chubby chick. And a second post on What did Dove sell me, anyway?

The Wishing Well Curse

The Wishing Well Curse is on sale for $.99 until Tuesday! You can find my review here.

Jess Witkins talked about How to Host a Wine Tasting? How cool is that? If you don’t like wine, you can substitute for something else. I’m thinking of a chocolate tasting…or a cheese tasting. Yum!

How about Red Velvet At Home? Yes please! Joanna Aislinn shares some recipes with us. I’ve been seeing these around, I’m thinking I need to try some. 🙂

Kristen Lamb, the social media jedi, posted Friday that she is  Opening the Floor–Ask an Expert! What do YOU want to know more about? Her blog is treasure trove of goodies on topics ranging from social media to writing to life. Awesome stuff. So here’s your opportunity to ask a question. Check it out!

Lisa Hall-Wilson, social media instructor over at WANA International, shared with us about having a Facebook page over at Gene Lempp’s blog: Did Facebook Change Something? 5 Tips For Page Owners to “It’s All Good.” If you have a Facebook page or are thinking about having one, she is the lady to talk to. Her classes are awesome, so check them out if you get a chance.

Whew, that’s quite a line-up! Do you have something cool to share? Post it in the comments below! Hope you all have a great week!

Review: The Wishing Well Curse

The Wishing Well Curse

This month AltWit Press has been celebrating the release of Lynn Donovan’s debut novel with a Kindle giveaway, and the ebook is on sale for $.99 until the remainder of this month. Paperback will be available soon!

Ms. Donovan has a heart of gold and lots of laughs to share. Earlier, I posted a little intro and how we met at the beginning of the month. You can find it here. And now for my thoughts on the book:

This is a story of a young man who has hit some hard times. He’s lost his job, his girlfriend, his apartment and had to drop out of college. Then he received a letter that could change his life. His great uncle died and has left him with a grand inheritance, but he has to fulfill certain conditions first that involve an old well, a curse, and two ghosts.

I love the characters in this story: Zeke, Clifford, Twyla, biker-pastor James. Zeke’s a hoot, but he goes from a chaotic, out of control downward spiral to trying to solve a mystery interwoven with folklore tales, old curses, the consequences of his ancestor’s actions, and the Jabez Prayer to where he realizes he can’t break the curse on his own, and then he meets Jesus. Throughout all this he discovers his destiny, something his mother and great uncle have been planning, preparing and praying for ever since he was in the womb.

It’s a fun story, with fun characters as Zeke tries to figure everything out. But I have a slight issue with one of the ghosts. Due to the nature of the story being set in our modern world, it’s easy to forget that this is a fiction work, and we would like it to line up with our theological beliefs, but that isn’t always so, and I’m sure the author has her reasons for why she wrote it the way she did. Other than that, I enjoyed the story and look forward to seeing what else this author has in store for us.

Reading Update

so many books, so little time...

so many books, so little time…

My to-read list keeps growing and growing, and I know I am not alone. Although my goal for this year was twelve, I think I will be bypassing that one. Ha! So far this year, I’ve read:

Bid The Gods Arise by Robert Mullin

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Difference Between Night and Day by Melissa Turner Lee

Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse

Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

The Earth Painter by Melissa Turner Lee

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California by Keli Gwyn

The Wishing Well Curse by Lynn Donovan

Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

And an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Armored Hearts by Pauline Creeden & Melissa Turner Lee coming out this May.

And I beta read this awesome hopefully coming soon, but I don’t think I’m at liberty to name the title, but I can tell you that it’s the next book in Rebecca P. Minor’s The Windrider Saga, and I think it’s her best yet.

On my short list of books I want to read:

Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

Plot verses Characters by Jeff Gerke

The DawnSinger by Janalyn Voigt

A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz

Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul

Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet

To Darkness Fled by Jilly Williamson

Eternity Falls by Kirk Outerbridge

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr

Son of Truth by Morgan L. Busse

The Changeling Sea by Patricia A. McKillip

Crosswinds by Steve Rzasa

Judge by R. J. Larson

Informationalist by Tayler Stevens

Something by Brandon Sanderson, Diana Wynne Jones (aside from her Tough Guide to Fantasyland), and Terry Pratchett

And of course I have to read Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth this summer, since I’ve devoured the previous books in the series.

And the list goes on and on… So many awesome sounding books so little time. What’s on your to-read list? What books have you read this year? Have you read any of the above?

The Opposite of Love

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Yesterday our pastor friend dude said that fear is the opposite of love. You know that well-quoted verse, love is patient, love is kind? Well, he turned it inside out and inserted fear.

Fear is impatient and unkind. Fear is jealous and boastful and proud and rude. It demands its own way. It is irritable, and it keeps records of being wronged. It rejoices in injustice and lies. Fear gives up, loses faith, is always without hope and does not endure through every circumstances.

I’ve known fear to be a paralyzing emotion, I’ve never thought of it like this before. We are without love when we let fear rule our hearts. Isn’t that what we’ve been seeing lately on the news, in politics, on Facebook? Fear gives way to hate. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you’re on, if we are running around in fear, we are not loving each other.

Seeing fear described as such definitely hit home with me. I’ve been pretty impatient and irritable these last few days, weeks. Ha! When I’m impatient with my kids, I’m being fearful of what others might think, even if there’s no one around. I wonder what other actions have stemmed from fear?

It got me thinking. See, I just read Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl back to back, so Leo, Prince Lionheart jumped to my mind. His whole life was consumed in fear, his choices stemmed from fear. He betrayed the heart of the one he loved, banished his only friend, and a myriad of other choices that brought him to the point where he had to face the truth of his actions.

So what say you? Have you thought of it like this before? Do you agree, disagree?