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Congratulations, Virginia Campbell
July 30, 2009

              Congratulations, Virginia Campbell! You penned July's winning entry!

Years ago, I became acquainted with an older gentleman who served in the Navy during WWII. He was a gunnery sighter on the USS Mustin stationed in the Pacific Theater, where major confict ensued. I came to love him as a grandfather and friend. He gave me a beautiful flag pin set with red, white and blue crystals. I wear the pin quite often, and always on Independence Day. My friend has been gone for a while, but his courage, humor and kindness live on.

Dear readers, enjoy more finalist entries! And say a prayer for the red, white, and blue!

Mindy Obenhaus: We were serving in the U.S. Air Force in Germany in the mid-1980s. Tensions had escalated in the Mideast, mainly Libya. Our cars were searched every time we went on base. Though the fourth of July is not a holiday in Europe, the base always put on a huge celebration, complete with food, bands, and fireworks. I cannot describe the pride we all felt when one of the bands played Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA." The words to that song took on a whole new meaning as we stood on foreign soil. To this day, I cannot hear that song without tears in my eyes. I've never been prouder to be an American.

Lena Nelson Dooley: When we were young marrieds with a baby and a toddler, money was tight. We lived in Abilene, Texas. The city had fireworks at the fairgrounds. We went there with a blanket and laid on the blanket with the two babies and watched the awesome fireworks. 

For the last decade or so, July 4th is the time that a group of old friends who have moved to different parts of the Metroplex get together and catch up on each other's year. We have a cookout. The kids (grandkids now) swim. This is a real highlight of the year.

Gayla Collins: Three summers past, my daughter, Tiffany, and her husband, Chad, came home from Grand Rapids, Michigan for an all-too-brief visit. During the trip we joined our dearest friends, the Mattfields, in Roundup, MT, which as a small town still allows fireworks. All of us spent the night and had a lovely visit including BBQ. In the evening we decided to pool all our money together and buy as many fireworks that $154 would by. We knew this precious moment wouldn't come again for a long time.

We folks watched in mother and daddy delight as the kids went nuts. Chad and Jeff were literally squirming as they made their way to light sparklers, bottle rockets, and roman candles. Our girls, not to be outdone, insisted they take turns as well. For that hour or so, Greg, Connie, Bob and I were swinging from the past, the little ones squealing as they wrote their names with sparklers, back to our children now being nearly carbon copies of their past selves in their later 20s. All of us silently ached for Darren, our beloved son, brother, and chum, who passed away at 21. He had been the Firework King and we were treading gently on his turf. We knew he was snickering from heaven as his family tried to pick up his mantle, and though somewhat short of his expertise, the grown-up kids did it with a spirit that honored him.

At the end of the night the biggest, loudest, and most loaded roman candle was punk lit as a memoriam to our beautiful Darren. Through misty eyes we watched as every color of the rainbow bellowed out massive star patterns, cascading rains, and multiple designs that had us oooohing and aaaahing between blotting our eyes.

Happy fourth of July, Darren. Happy fourth to us all!

Edna Tollison: The best memories for me was back when all the children were young and we would fix a lunch and go to the Blue Ridge mountains as we are at the foot of them, go to the Stumphouse Tunner, the fish hatchery, Whitewater falls, or just to a river where we could get cool. All my children have children and one has three granddaughters now so they all do their own thing, so my husband of 48 years and I usally don't do anything but wish the neighbors would STOP SHOOTING FIREWORKS around us as they land on our house and I do not like racket. May God bless.

Sue: As an adopted, abused and neglected kid raised by an alcoholic "Single Mom," I was allowed to spend the summers with my Aunt and Uncle in rural Oklahoma.
This was the highlight of my life. July 4th was a great day of families getting together for a giant picnic, games, and my uncle was in charge of the fireworks show.
He loved surprising us all with the latest, loudest, and most colorful fireworks he could find. We never knew what was coming next.

That was the one holiday I celebrated that was filled with love, laughter, and feeling normal. I was always sad when the summer ended and I had to return to the reality of pain, anger, and insecurity.

Linda: My favorite memories are having friends over for a BBQ, playing croquet and then taking in the fireworks. Kids were small and they enjoyed the displays of different colors and themes of the fireworks. Mosquitoes enjoyed the fireworks display also, but for other reasons. Taking in the local 4th of July parade was great, too.

Gail: I can remember when I was a lot younger going out on the lake in a boat at my parent's home and going to the fireworks show at the dam. This was on Lake Hartwell in Hartwell, GA. We had such an awesome time watching the fireworks in the air and the reflection in the water.

Carrie Turansky: My favorite 4th of July memory is watching the fireworks on the beach at Seaside, Oregon. My grandparents lived in Seaside, and spending the holiday weekend with them was always a treat. The weather is pretty cool there, so there were still strawberries to pick in my grandpa's garden. They were the perfect topping for grandma's homemade vanilla ice cream. Ending the day at the beach where we watched the fireworks exploding in the sky was very special. When I was young I sometimes hid under the blanket because I was afraid of the loud explosions...but soon my mom coaxed me out to see the show. Fun family times and happy memories! Happy 4th of July.

Kim Moore: I can remember going to the drive in theatre on July 4th or the weekend closest to it and watching the fireworks during the intermission. We'd take our own snacks and sit on top of the car or on the hood and just woo and ahh. It was the best of times.

Susan Miura: My favorite July 4th memory occurred three years ago when my family, including my sister and her husband, took a Carribbean cruise the first week of July. We spent the day in beautiful ocean waters around Grand Cayman at Stingray City. That night the dining hall was all decorated in red, white and blue. It was a fun day, followed by a wonderful dinner and show.

Linda: We watch the Macy's 4th and Boston Pops as long as they stay patriotic. Can't stand mosquitoes! We close up the house, making it dark, see wonderful fireworks with great music.

Edna Tollison: This July 4th we were putting up green beans. We've canned 73 quarts so far as well as everything we can grow. Hard work but sure is nice to know you have the food.

Debbie M.:  There have been many 4th of July memories during my 55 years. I think some of my fondest memories would be when my family went to my Aunt Maudie's in Phenix City, Alabama. As a young girl with two older brothers it was always exciting to watch them shoot firecrackers as I twirled around with my dazzling sparklers. We could not get fireworks in Georgia where we lived so it was a treat to go Aunt Maudie's on July 4th were we could make our own fireworks until our hearts were content.

Kathy Atwell: My favorite 4th of July memory comes from this year - 2009! My husband and I took our three-year-old grandson to his very first fireworks show. We watched with great excitement as the sky filled with beautiful lights and explosions, colors, and patterns. I could feel my little grandson's body shaking with pure delight. He was amazed. After the show was done, he began to cry. Irritated at his behavior, we chided him for crying and believed he was simply acting like the child he is - crying because his fun was now over. However, when I bent down to talk with him, his words enlightened me. "But I wanted cake." "Cake?" I asked. He continued to explain to me that he had been expecting birthday cake - after all, we were at a birthday party, weren't we? I had to smile when I realized what he meant. He had heard his grandmother saying "Happy Birthday United States of America!" during the fireworks show. So, of course, he was expecting birthday cake after the party!!! Although it was now very late and he needed a shower before bed, I took him home and gave him a big hunk of brownies which I had baked for Sunday dinner the following day. He was smiling ear to ear as he ate America's "birthday cake". Oh the simplicity of a child. If only I could live in such a way.


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Four projects...and a swirl of gray matter!
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July 9, 2012
Jesus spoke of it often. Ha Jin novelized it. Waiting.
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It's in the Mail
June 11, 2012
Top-Secret Proposal Zips to Agent!
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Has it REALLY been THREE months???
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January 1, 2012
Happy New Year to all my readers and friends!
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Against the Wind & Up the Hills!
November 9, 2011
Lord willing, at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 12th, my daughter Sarah will goad me along the 13.1-mile Nashville Hard Rock Cafe half-marathon!!! Can i count on YOUR prayers????
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Reclaiming Lily has RELEASED!!
September 26, 2011
Hustle to your favorite bookstore or web store and take "Reclaiming Lily" into your custody!
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Finding Christ in Mistletoe, Frankincense, and Shattered Ornaments
August 31, 2011
Beautifully decorated tables at uptown Normal's lovely new Hyatt. A kick-off for Christmas with cherished sisters in Christ. Mark your calendar NOW for December 10th at 8:00 a.m.!!!!
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Summer 2011!!!
June 20, 2011
A supercharged summer for a Normal author!
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Reclaiming Lily!!!
April 12, 2011
Are you ready for a story about family? Faith? The agonies and ecstasies of adoption? Reclaiming Lily is the book for you!!!l
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Facebook Party
February 17, 2011
The Rhythm of Secrets Facebook party has come and gone!!
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The Rhythm of Secrets has released!
January 12, 2011
Celebrate with me Kregel's release of The Rhythm of Secrets!
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One-day vacation
November 23, 2010
After meeting two harrowing deadlines, I needed a vacation. Been there. Did that. Now I'm back to work.
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November 14, 2010
It's Gone...Or Will She Still Rise Before Dawn
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All-nighter AVOIDED!!
November 2, 2010
Somehow I staved off my first all-nighter since college!
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The Rhythm of Secrets on Amazon
August 18, 2010
Patti's third novel up on Amazon!
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Bethany House will publish Reclaiming Lily!
August 12, 2010
It's official! I signed a contract with Bethany House to write the latest story God laid on my heart, Reclaiming Lily.
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The Rhythm of Secrets
July 25, 2010
Look for the Rhythm of Secrets in January of 2011!
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The Rhythm of Secrets
February 23, 2010
Manuscript My Name is Sheba transformed into The Rhythm of Secrets
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Contract for My Name is Sheba
January 20, 2010
Kregel Publications has signed a contract to publish My Name is Sheba! Mardi Gras celebration going on here!!
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Even Old Dogs Learn New Tricks
December 1, 2009
This old dog has got a real-life blog! Why don't y'all come over and see me sometime??
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Give thanks with a grateful heart.
November 1, 2009
Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One... In the spirit of Thanksgiving, share a blessing, and you will be entered in a random drawing for a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card
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Mascot WINNER!!
October 30, 2009
Becky Tidwell, CONGRATULATIONS! It was an IMPOSSIBLE task! How did I DO IT? Burp! Burp! Read on! P.S. Thanks for a month of laughs!!!
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Random drawing for nothing less than awesome!
October 16, 2009
Hey! Wanna visit my other blog? Read on! Or is that write on???
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Writer returns to Southern roots
October 15, 2009
Metarie rocked as friends, family, and N'Awlins bibliophiles swamped one of American's most gorgeous Barnes &Nobles stores Oct 10.
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Writer again returns to roots--in the classroom!
October 15, 2009
Bleachers filled with scrubbed, smiling students--and God--provided supernatural energy. What a blessing it was to share my passion for writing!
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Calling All Mascot-Lovers. Rah! Rah! Rah!
October 1, 2009
In a rare spirit of compromise, this sports disliker will send a $15 Target gift card to some lucky visitor! The catch? Just name your favorite team mascot.
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A Lose-Lose Situation!
September 30, 2009
Have you ever been in a lose-lose situation? Choosing ONE winner from this contest was IMPOSSIBLE--so I had my son pick a number from my "finalist" entries. The winner is.....Pat Grau! Read on about an amazing wedding an amazing wedding.
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Wonderful times at area bookstores
September 28, 2009
Dear friends, my heart pulses with gratitude at your enthusiastic support during my appearances at the Hoerr Berean Grand Openings this past weekend. As always, I gain much more by YOUR appearance than you ever do by mine!
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The Miraculous Moment Arrives
September 23, 2009
As long as my synapses fire, I will cherish the mind's image of my daughter, aglow in her ivory gown, floating down the aisle on the arm of my husband, more handsome than he was when WE walked down the aisle 32 years ago.
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September 14, 2009
Only FIVE MORE DAYS till we Lacys celebrate our FIRST WEDDING! What am I doing to stay busy??
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54-year-old learns to blog!
September 11, 2009
So you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
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September contest
September 1, 2009
For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, share a wedding memory! It can tickle my funny bone, bring tears to my eyes. Why am I doing this? READ ON!!!
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August Contest Winner
August 31, 2009
Kudos to Carrie Turansky and Charity: water! You've won the August website contest! Read on, folks, to learn about a heroic group!
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Writer Returns to Scene of Crime
August 4, 2009
Oh, I had a blast whooping it up at Books A Million, scene of a former crime--I mean book signing--in Terre Haute.
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August contest
July 31, 2009
The unchurched in Bangladesh. An orphanage in the Ukraine. A soup kitchen in your own downtown. What organizations pull at your heart--and your billfold? For the August contest, I'm offering a $50 check to the registered charity of your choice AND a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card to the winning entrant.
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Saving the Best for Last
July 30, 2009
South Bend has been added to my list of the Midwest's favorite cities. Wanna know why?
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Congratulations, Virginia Campbell
July 30, 2009
Dear readers, thanks for lovely memories! It was harder to pick one name than it is to choose a truffle from a Godiva box. How I'd like to choose every entry! Here's the top choices. Enjoy!
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Leaving the best of me behind
July 25, 2009
I left the best of me in Marion...but it's time to move on
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Day three (continued)
July 24, 2009
Jamey Johnson's and Selah's music carry me onward and upward.
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Day three, Indiana trip
July 23, 2009
Uncommon persons of the Fort Wayne kind...
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Day two, Indiana trip
July 22, 2009
An author criss-crosses Indiana...and finds hospitality in the heart of Nagaland.
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Day one of Indiana Road Trip
July 20, 2009
Blessings about from the Hoosier state! Just for fun, I'm blogging about God-stops along the way. Read more...
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Another reason to write
July 14, 2009
God, you deliver new mercies with every morning. Oh, how I delight to see what's next...
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4th of July memories
July 1, 2009
For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift certificate, share your favorite Independence Day memory. Can't wait to hear from y'all!
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A Writer's Dream Day
June 30, 2009
Number of pages written? Zero. Value of twenty-four hour period? Priceless.
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Congratulations, Jeanne Graves!
June 30, 2009
Apparently quite a few of my readers are itching to get away, several to the Holy Land! Read on...
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Critique partner does it again!
June 26, 2009
Don't miss Dream Chasers, by Becky Melby and Cathy Wienke!
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Calling all readers!
June 25, 2009
Don't miss The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society!
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Don't Miss This Opportunity!
June 12, 2009
Calling all writers! Don't miss this chance to improve your writing...and your relationship with God!
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When the world caves in, head to Warrensburg
June 11, 2009
How can a small library in a town of 1,500 people make a difference? Read on...
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Wanna Get Away?
June 1, 2009
If you had unlimited time and money--yeah, we're summer dreaming--what getaway spot would you choose? Think big, think bold--and you just might win a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card! Now for a different take on summer vacation, read All That Chicago Has to Offer
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Perfumania winner!
May 31, 2009
Congratulations, Diana! YOU--and Estee Lauder--are the big winners of May's Perfumania winner. READ Diana's poignant story of perfume...and memory. Then check out the top ten fragrances!
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Why I Write
May 21, 2009
Bad reviews. Lonely early mornings...and late nights. Plummeting sales. Why DO I write?
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May flowers...and memories
May 1, 2009
I've always loved the season that brings perky daffodils, elegant tulips, shockingly orange poppies with their sassy black eye. But Daddy introduced me to a glorious world of flower fragrance--at the men's cologne counter of a department store! For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, name your favorite perfume, and describe it!
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Easter Memory contest winner
April 30, 2009
Congratulations to Gayla Collins, the winner of the Easter memory contest. Thanks to the many who shared from their treasure trove of Easters present...and past. Be sure to read all about 'em under Favorites/Lists!
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Easter memory contest!
April 1, 2009
For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, share YOUR most poignant Easter memory. Contest begins TODAY and will end on April 30.
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Winner, March contest!
April 1, 2009
Thanks, all of you who submitted heartwarming entries for the latest contest. Congratulations to Susanne Schurter, the winner of March's "Your Hero" contest! Read more for a poignant article by a wonderful young writer.
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Your hero
March 3, 2009
I have a new hero, my baby brother, who is159th Fighter Wing Commander of the Air Guard in New Orleans, Louisiana. He's fought against both human forces and the forces of nature who've tried to destroy us and recently gave this speech at the wing change of command ceremony. For the March contest, tell me your flesh-and-blood, modern-day hero. Winner receives a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card!
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Congratulations, Ariel!
March 2, 2009
Congratulations, Ariel! You won the February Memories contest. Read my five favorite memories!l And thanks, Readers, for sharing your romantic secrets!
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Valentine's memory contest!
February 1, 2009
Pull out old love cards, faded corsages, and empty chocolate boxes. For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, share your favorite Valentine's memory by February 29. Top entries will be posted under Headline News
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Congratulations, Kelly Ann Thuet!
January 31, 2009
Congratulations, Kelly Ann Thuet, for your winning entry! READ these entertaining and poignant snow stories! And don't miss Diane Baum's poignant Christmas memory, which got lost in my mass of files. Check out Favorites/Lists to see if YOUR entry made the Top Twenty!
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Congratulations, Rachel Robertson!
January 5, 2009
Congratulations, Rachel Robertson! You're December's contest winner! Read Rachel's poignant Christmas memory--and the finalists who wowed me and my son Thomas, the judges!
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December's Christmas Memories Contest
December 1, 2008
For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, share your favorite Christmas memory! May the peace of Christ Jesus wash over you as you ponder His glorious sacrifice for mankind. Feliz Navidad!
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November contest
November 30, 2008
Congratulations to Martha Artyomenko, winner of the November contest! Get ready to salivate as you read all about it!
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Winner, October Contest
October 30, 2008
Congratulations, Deb Cleveland, for winning a $15 Barnes & Noble gift certificate with your wonderful entry to the "It's Time for Revival Contest."
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It's Time for Revival!
October 1, 2008
October contest: "Revive us again, Lord. Revive us again." For a $15 Barnes and Noble gift card, read more!
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September contest: best school days memory
September 2, 2008
Congratulations to Christy Hawkes, winner of a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card. Thanks to all the wonderful entries--check out some of my favorites at the Favorites/Lists feature on this website. Now for Christy's entry...
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The Audience of One
August 9, 2008
Have you been slapped by a verbal rebuff from someone in the publishing industry? Spit upon by a rejection letter from that agent of your dreams? Perhaps this article is for you...
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August Contest winner: Deathbed memory
August 2, 2008
Congratulations to Jane Squires, winner of the August contest. Jane will receive a $15 Barnes & Noble card. Thanks for the fabulous entries!
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A Bit o' Irish in All of Us
March 1, 2008
Kregel Publications has recently announced the release date of my first novel, tentatively titled An Irishwoman's Tale, as August 31, 2008. To celebrate (and because March 17 is St. Patrick's Day), I'm honoring the Irish among us (or in us) for this month's contest!
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The 2007 ACFW National Convention in Dallas
October 17, 2007
Over five hundred writers gathered in Dallas to praise God, eat chocolate, fine-tune their writing craft, conduct a bit of business, socialize, did I mention eat chocolate? The keynote speaker, James Bell, admonished us to, "never stop learning, never stop writing, never stop reading."
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Patti's Writing News
September 17, 2007
An Irishwoman's Tale, Patti Lacy's first novel, will be published in the summer of 2008 by Kregel Publications. Unsettled Waters: A Story of Deception, is now complete! To read more...
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Freedom to Read, Even in Jail?
July 15, 2007
"Across the nation, religious texts are disappearing from America's prison libraries."
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Setting an Example
April 27, 2007
Ninety-six-year-old published for first time!
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The Raging Battle
April 22, 2007
A teacher's struggle to make a difference in the life of a student named Amber.
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A Slow Learner's Writing Plan
February 21, 2007
So you want to be a writer...What's your next step? If you've picked up a pen...
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