Monday, November 4, 2013

Sleep is for the birds...

"When is the second book coming out?"
Can I just say how much I love this question!!! The goal is early next year, so I am working like a mad woman in my spare time to finish up my last few chapters in the second book. I have now entered the world of deadlines - and I love it. I had four years to write the first one...I have four months to write most of the second one. Holy pressure, Batman! For the first book I just wrote whenever I felt like I have to make time in my schedule and plan writing days! One Saturday my hubby took our boys on an all day hiking trip and a friend took my little princess for the day, so I devoted my day to writing. The picture below shows where I parked my behind for the entire day and created over 4,000 words.
Despite feeling like I needed to make a chiropractic appointment, it was a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am LOVING the second book and have enjoyed watching my characters' relationships unfold as twists and turns keep them on edge all while they search for hope, direction and God's will for their lives!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Beginning of Forever

I am a sucker for romance books and movies. One of my favorite parts is how the couple meet. I don't know why, I just do. My sister and I talk about this a lot when our husbands give us a hard time about watching said books and movies. "Why would you want to invest your time in this when you know they are going to get together in the end?" Sigh. It's.all.about.the.journey. Right, ladies? And that journey has to have a beginning, and I love how it all starts! In my book, A Rescued Heart, the main characters meet when Matt (a police officer) visits Ava's (a kindergarten teacher) class for professional day.
So I thought it would be fun to share how me and my husband met...
This picture is of us on January 1, 2002. The story has many bunny trails, so I will just sum it up. We met at church. I had been doing mission work in Ecuador and came home about mid-December. While I had been gone, Greg had started attending. After returning I had been asked to MC our annual talent show for New Year's Eve with a couple friends...and Greg. Notice the shirts? One of our skits was The Newlywed Show and we were the lovey-dovey couple (enter giggle here) I may or may not have worked my magic to make that happen. Anyway, we started spending  a lot of time together because he had become friends with my friends and with working on the skits, so by New Year's Eve, I was smitten. The dude was funny and got my humor. He had crazy-mad skills playing the keyboard. Super good looks (I still remember this picture and thinking "Oh my goodness, he has his arm around me. Sigh...). He had a solid, awesome family - strong faith - deep character and he loved Jesus! What more could a girl want:) So we started dating shortly after and I knew within two weeks of dating that I was going to marry him!!! At the end of July he proposed and we were married on February 7, 2003.
Here we are now, 10 years and 3 kids later, more in love than when we said "I do."

So now it's your turn! I would love to hear how you and the love of your life met!  Leave me your story in the comments.  Thanks!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

First Book Signing

I had my very first book signing on September 14th. Yes, as you take your mental field trip back to September, it was three weeks ago. I wish I could blame it on a volleyball tournament, life, deep cleaning my house, writing book #2 and a hip surgery...but I'm just horrible at blogging. Definitely room for improvement!

But being late posting doesn't take away from my great experience and the fun I had. Mummphy's Book Nook in the Concord Mall hosted my book signing. The owner was so nice, helpful and such an encourager. If you have a chance to check out his store, please do. He is a very nice man that deserves his business to be blessed!  A couple things from my day. I very much enjoyed talking with the people that walked by. I was surprised by how many people stopped and asked me questions about how I got published because they want to get a book published. One thing I would have done different and was a huge learning moment for me - I wish I had given a book away. One of the cleaning ladies walked by and was interested in my book, but it was too much for her. After she left, I was so upset at myself because I should have given her one. Maybe she needed a blessing that day, maybe she needed to read the words, maybe I needed the stretch in my walk with the Lord. Just a reminder to set our hearts and eyes on the Lord so that we don't miss any opportunities He puts in our path.

I had some fun visitors. Thanks to my family and friends that took the time to come see me. I really appreciate it. I also enjoyed my little princess above sitting with me. I mean, how could you turn away from that face?!?! My boys were also there, but too busy checking out the train near by to hang out with me.

Last, but not least. My hubby. My own personal Superman. Not only is he my biggest fan, but he goes out of his way to bless me. So while I was at the book signing, he cleaned the entire house, took care of the kids and brought them to see me. I always tell people its easy to write romance because I have a great example. Well - it really is true!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog Tour - Stop #7

We made it! The final blog tour stop is here. It has been so much fun and I appreciate those that have followed along. This stop is held by a friend of mine, Helen Gentz. And this is no ordinary stop, oh no! We spiced things up. Besides me answering two frequently asked questions, you will also read a few reviews and can enter for a book GIVEAWAY. Click on the link below and check it out!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blog Tour - Stop #6

Hey y'all...just practicing my southern drawl in honor of my blog tour's stop is with the famous Kayla Aimee. At this stop we spiced things up with a Google Hangout video chat as Kayla Aimee so kindly did a book review/interview about my book. She is hilarious and we had so much fun figuring things out while being our normal non-serious-stay-at-home-mom-fever-do-something-besides-make-food-change-diapers-do-laundry selves.  Enjoy :)


Monday, September 9, 2013

Blog Tour - Stop #5

We are almost to the end of my tour folks. Thanks for sticking with me as I keep answering the frequently asked questions about my journey to becoming published. Today my blog host is my very creative cousin, Lorie Yoder. The girl has got some vintage style that makes my weak attempt of sewing and homemade projects laughable. If you have some vintage style running through your blood, this is the blog you want to check out!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blog Tour - Stop #4

This blog tour just keeps on rollin'.  Stop #4 is hosted by my friend and author, Laura Oyer. Laura was one of the very first people that I shared with that I was writing a book and on the same night she shared with me that she was writing a book, too. I'm thinking it is really cool that we have both accomplished that huge goal! Check out a few more questions that I've answered at...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blog Tour - Stop #3

Today my blog tour host is Erin Toth, one of my best friends for many-many years (no number is needed for it will greatly age me). I asked Erin to be a host because I wanted to help get foot traffic to her blog as they share their journey in adopting their daughter from Ethiopia.  They have such a passion to save a child and give her a loving home. To me, that is a true rescue story! If you have time, please read their story...


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Blog Tour - Stop #2

Today my blog host is, Amy J. McCart, a friend from High School and also a fellow author. Her blog is designed for uplifting devotionals and she is also currently working on a fiction novel.  Thanks for hosting, Amy!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blog Tour - Stop #1

In celebration of my book being released I have decided to have a blog tour to promote my book. At each stop I will be answering a few questions about my book and the journey I took to get published. My first stop is at my awesome and talented sister-in-law, Darcy Holsopple's, blog.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Sneak Peek

Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit down with a friend that would like to pursue writing a book and tell her my story. As I looked back over the last 4 years in my pursuit to be published, it was so cool to relive all that God has done and the huge accomplishments that I have made. To remember the endless research, the sleepless nights, the tears of frustration and happiness and the fact that I have one amazing husband that has cheered me on the entire way. To celebrate the fact that I have gotten my final edits off to the publisher, I thought it would be fun to give a little sneak peek of the first chapter. And for all you men out there that read this and can't handle the suspense of waiting and want to read worries, it should be in book form soon :)  Enjoy...
Chapter One

     The mixture of multiple footsteps that paced outside Ava Williams’ dressing room door kept her on high alert. Voices mumbled just quiet enough to keep her from the details, but still she knew. With every beat of her breaking heart and every sinking breath that filled her lungs, the realization crept into her knotted stomach. He wasn’t coming.
     Her sister Lucy sat across from her in silent comfort. Thankfully they spoke no words between them. Ava needed time for her unsettled thoughts. Julia, her best friend since grade school, sat beside Ava with tissues in hand, clearly waiting for her to break down and unleash a flood of tears. Surprisingly this hadn’t happened yet, partly because of stubbornness and partly because she desperately hoped she misunderstood the tension that formed outside the door.
     How long had she been sitting here in this room, waiting? Minutes or hours, she didn’t even know anymore.
     Ava scanned the room, assuring herself the walls weren’t closing in on her. If she could make a clean escape possible, she’d kick off her three-inch heels and run. But the fear of being seen kept her glued in her chair.
     Ava stared down at the flowing white dress that covered her in a massive puff, sighing in disbelief. How could this be happening? He loved her, or so he claimed.
     He seemed happy.
     Or maybe that’s just what she wanted to believe.
     As he’d hugged her good-night after the rehearsal, a different look appeared in his eyes. She didn’t think much of it, until now. Did he look nervous? Maybe a hint of anxiousness smothered in guilt?
     What did he say before he drove away?
     “I do love you, Ava. Always remember that.” Then he’d kissed her on the forehead.
     She placed her hand on her throat as the unknown caused her windpipe to close.
     A knock at the door tore her away from the sinking thoughts. Ava glanced up to see her mom walk in perfectly tailored for today’s event, from her pink dress and matching nails to her professional hairdo and makeup. She turned and shut the door behind her with a gentle click.
     “Ava,” her mother proceeded into the room with concern etched across her face. She lowered herself onto the chair beside Ava. Her lips pursed, delaying the inevitable. In almost slow motion, she put an arm around her, her strong-scented rose corsage scraping against Ava’s bare skin. The pain in her eyes spoke volumes. Her mom didn’t even need to continue.
     Ava took a deep breath and fought the impulse to cover her ears and go to a happy place where the news couldn’t hurt.
     “Tim isn’t coming, sweetheart. His family just arrived and informed us that he has cancelled the wedding.” She pulled a white envelope from her purse and handed it to Ava. “This is for you.”
     Ava swallowed, trying to clear the lump that had formed in her throat. The word AVA was written in Tim’s handwriting on the top of the white envelope. The black ink screamed rejection. Black … the color that dominated her sight while the room began to spin. She put her head down, covering her eyes with her palm. Sweat drops pooled on her forehead. She swabbed her brow with clammy fingers. “I don’t feel well.”
     Lucy jumped up from her chair. “Ava, its okay,” she said while scrambling to her. “You’re going to be fine. Let me get you some water.”
     They sat her down with her head against the back of the chair and urged her to drink some water. Each sip brought her back to reality.
     And reality really stunk.
     “Ava, are you all right?” Concern coated her mom’s words.
     “Yes. Thank you. I feel better, just a little dizzy.”
     Ava stared down at the letter that held her disappointing fate.
     “Would you like some privacy?” Lucy asked.
     She made no attempt to leave.
     “No, I need you all with me.” She held onto the letter so tight that her knuckles turned white. As badly as she wanted—no, needed—to know the reason behind his hurtful behavior and decision, she was also terrified to know the truth.
     Oh God, she prayed, Give me the strength to endure these words and the faith to know that You will comfort me in every breath. You are my rock. Help me!
     With a final look at the most important women in her life, her hands still shaky, she opened the envelope and began reading out loud:

     First of all, I’m sorry for hurting you and ending our relationship this way. I couldn’t trust myself to explain in person for fear I would change my mind once I saw your beautiful face. I know that despite my horrible timing and the gut-wrenching feeling it is to hurt you this way, I am still making the right decision. I can’t marry you, Ava. I do love you, but I can’t stand before God and make you my wife. You are everything I have ever wanted, but the peace I need is not there. I do not want to create a lifelong “what if” marriage, so I need to let you go. I am truly sorry. I pray that you will find happiness again.



     Ava wiped the flood of tears that drenched her face. Her mom rubbed her other hand while Julia continued feeding her tissues.
     “Why was I not enough for him?” she cried between hiccups and sobs.
     She gasped, struggling to breathe as the pain stabbed her heart. Ava clawed at her chest trying to remove the agony. She had no warning, no insight into his thoughts. Within a day she went from rejoicing in the future laid out before her to being alone and empty. If she could have only prepared herself, maybe the blow wouldn’t have hurt so badly.
     “What am I going to tell everyone? How can I face all those people again, knowing they pity me? How could Tim leave me to handle all of this?” she snapped. “What a coward!” She covered her face with her hands, allowing the walls to break. Finally, after many rounds of trying to compose herself, a new strength built inside, and she shed the last tear, for now.
     “Ava,” her mother waited until she had her attention. “First of all, you are an amazing woman and you will survive this. Now, your dad and brothers have already taken care of all the guests, so there is nothing to worry about. You just take care of yourself and tell us what you need us to do.”
     “Thanks. What I really need is our family. Could you have the guys come in? It would make me feel better to see them,” Ava said. She could almost feel their comforting arms.
     “Of course, honey.” A warm smile lightened her features. “I’m surprised they haven’t busted down the door already. You know how protective they are of you.”
     Her mother stood and walked to the door. Lucy rushed to Ava’s side, filling the vacant spot. She wrapped her arm around Ava’s shoulder and squeezed. Ava leaned her head against Lucy’s shoulder.
     In an instant her dad entered the room, wrapping her up into his arms. “Oh Ava, my sweet girl.” He pulled her back a bit so he could look her in the eyes. “I would give anything to make your pain my own so you wouldn’t have to suffer another moment.”
     “Thanks, Dad.” Not many girls were blessed to have such a strong and affectionate father. He didn’t waste many words, but people listened when he spoke. The silver that painted his long ago black hair proved his years of wisdom and Ava appreciated the advice that he gave when asked, not forced.
     Her older twin brothers entered with scowls on their faces. Despite her sudden crummy life, she remained very thankful for family. As her dad stepped aside, her brothers sandwiched her into the tightest hug.
     “Ava, all you have to do is say the word and we can take care of Tim,” Jake snarled. She caught a glimpse of his chest puff up slightly. He was serious.
     “I see you’re hesitant. We don’t actually have to hurt him—maybe just scare him a bit,” Josh offered.
     Ava almost giggled. Her hesitancy wasn’t because she didn’t want them to hurt him. She was hesitant because she actually considered it. “Thanks guys, I really appreciate it. But I guess if I’m not worth his time, he shouldn’t be worth ours.” Her anger surfaced easily.
     “Ava, you are priceless. Don’t let some guy make you feel otherwise, not even for a second,” her dad chimed in behind them. He was always her biggest fan.
     His words dripped in kindness and what she needed to hear to fill the hollow ache in her heart, but his words were wasted effort. She could identify the shock setting in. She felt numb and empty regardless of the love that surrounded her. Her self-pity had just won the battle placed before her. She fixed her eyes on the picture hanging on the wall, not seeing it, just giving herself a distraction.
     She had no more tears. A stone never sheds tears, and that is what she felt like, a stone. No emotion, no senses—just hard and unmoving.
     Her mom spoke first. “Okay men, out you go. We need to get Ava undressed and get her out of here.” She waved her hand toward the door to help scoot them along.
     The guys filed out as Ava sat down in the chair where she had earlier gotten ready. She looked up at the mirror for one last glance. The dress she had once thought would remind her of the happiest day of her life now turned into weights that she couldn’t shed fast enough.
     The dress she had dreamed about since meeting Tim ended up a waste. Hopefully she could get a good price for it at the consignment shop downtown.
     She twisted her engagement ring around her finger, debating whether to throw it across the room or place it on the table beside her.
     She left it on.
     Julia stood behind her and they looked at each other through the mirror. They shared no words. None were needed. They had years of speaking to one another through looks and signals.
     Without asking, Julia freed her hair from the million bobby pins that the hairdresser thought needed to pierce every square inch of her head. The loose black curls softly bounced down below her shoulders, stopping at the middle of her back.
     Ava took a deep breath.
     Yes, she would survive, but at what cost? Would she ever let herself love again?

Here is the back of the book summary from A RESCUED HEART...

     Death comes in many forms…her death was a love squelched by rejection…
     Kindergarten teacher Ava Williams’ life is forever changed when her groom never shows up for the wedding, leaving her heartbroken. The rejection cuts deep and she dreads the unexpected life ahead, now marred by entanglements of lies and fear.  Yes, she would survive- but at what cost?  Would she ever let herself love again? 

     SWAT officer Matt Thompson lives for saving and protecting others, but can he rescue Ava from herself?  For him it’s love at first sight, and convincing Ava to trust him and prove to her his love is real and unending is a battle worth fighting. 

     While Ava begins to break free from the bondage of her past she discovers that a student’s mom is suffering from her own bondage of domestic abuse.  Ava’s determination to help becomes complicated when she is caught up in the tragedy that begins to unfold.  Can Ava help her find freedom and God before it’s too late? 
     An irreversible decision is made that causes a backlash of chaotic events.  Ava’s life is in danger and Matt is determined to save her…even if it costs him his own life.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

God is good...ALL THE TIME!

God has been doing such great things in my life.  Getting my book published is huge and I am so thankful and grateful, but today I want to share what God has done in the past.  Please check out my family blog - The Replogle's - where I share the story about my son, Brayden and the heart-wrenching journey we went through as we found out he had Kawasaki Disease.   As I look back at all the greatness in my life, there is also sadness and heartache.  But no matter what, God is good all the time!

p.s. - and don't be surprised if you happen to read about Kawasaki Disease some day in one of my books...the suspense is killing you, isn't it!!! :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pinch me, I think I'm dreaming...

Since my last post A LOT has happened! 
Exciting - life changing - GREAT news!
This girl is getting her book published!
Can I get a...Woo-Hoo! Amen! Hallelujah!
It was quite the nail biting, on-my-knees-praying kind of adventure the last few months.  I'll give you a quick overview.  It all started with my MOTTTS group as we jumped into a 40 Prayer Challenge.  During this time I spent a lot of time in prayer with the Lord over His desires and where He was calling me in my passion with writing.  Extremely long story short, one night I checked my e-mail and TWO publishers had sent me a contract to publish with their company...within 20 minutes of each other.  Crazy, I know.
From the beginning I felt a pull towards one, but with it being such a HUGE decision I wanted to take some time to make sure I had the peace I needed.  After tons of prayer, advice from friends and family, talking my husband's ear off and an emotional break down here and there, I finally made my decision.  I am so excited to join the publishing family of White Feather Press.  I am so thankful for Skip and Sara and their willingness to take a chance on this newbie.
So, right now I am in the final editing stage.  Once I feel satisfied with my final changes to the manuscript I will send it into the publisher...and the wheels will begin to turn!
Thanks to everyone that has encouraged me along the way with texts, e-mails, brownies, prayers and coming up to me with a kind congrats! Also for my 55 blog followers that have my back - you guys rock!!!  I also had a nice surprise last weekend when I got together with my best friends for a night of laughing until we couldn't breathe.  They surprised me with flowers and a made the experience a little more real.  I am so blessed to be surrounded by such great people!
Now, off to burn the midnight oil and edit a couple chapters.
As my son Brayden always says, "Let's Do This!"