Monday, April 30, 2012

Where did April go?!

I can't believe April is over already.

Where did it go?

Somehow I suspect it melted away with they myriad dirty snow piles that used to grace our yard and the greenway behind our house, which are now gone.

We are about to run headlong into the crazy month of May. I can't ever remember a calm month of May. It's always busy and full, with both celebrations and goodbyes. Thankfully this is the first May in three years I do not have to pack up to move--only for a family visit. There will be goodbyes, but also hellos. Hugs and good wishes and maybe a few gifts as well.

Are you ready? I am, almost.


I got this idea from my friend Leeana, who wrote this update on her blog, Gypsy Ink.

Reading... Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.

Contemplating... Mean girls grown up, and what it means to be supportive of each other as women.

Watching... NCIS when I can. Love that show. The characters are wonderful.

 the scanner/printer a lot lately, for teaching.

more salads lately now that I have a salad spinner. No more bagged lettuce!

my family and my husband especially.

 our anniversary in a couple weeks. 21 years.

myself, the way I am, working with my natural inclinations as much as possible. I feel less like I'm fighting myself to improve, more like I'm letting God lead instead.

my tendency to take on too much--can't say I'm succeeding, but I'm trying.

for friends.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The call is to community...

Join the "community" at The Gypsy Mama here. {Really you should...some of these amazing folks write eloquently and beautifully in those five minutes--more than just this 5-minute freewrite here...}


There's an old song written by Michael Card, and the chorus goes like this:

And the call is to community
The impoverished power that sets the soul free
In humility to take the vow
That day after day we must take up the basin and the towel...

I've always loved his music, and this song is so sweet in its call to service. Serving others as Jesus served His disciples. Selflessly. Thinking of others ahead of ourselves.

It's not an easy life, this kind of community.

I'm grafting into my third community in three years. That's what we military wives do: graft into new communities at new duty stations. Meet new friends. Serve others. Help whenever we can, and sometimes even when we, in ourselves, cannot.

At the same time, I remain in an online community I've been a part of for the past eight years. The message board is gone, but the friendships remain through email and Facebook.

Some bonds will never be broken, and for that I'm forever grateful. Because eventually, we'll all be together as one big worldwide community in heaven.

Friday, April 13, 2012

5 minutes on good-bye



Good-bye. Such a hard thing to say. I've mentioned it here on my blog before, but saying good-bye is tough. I've been on both sides of good-bye and neither one is fun. It's not fun to be the one leaving, and it's not fun being the one left behind.

I could blame it on the military, and the military is an easy target for that. But the sad truth is, our family moved around every 3-4 years before my husband joined the military. He was a pastor, and in our case pastoring a church was a 3-4-year-long gig, depending on the church. There have been churches I hated leaving, ones I was sad to leave but happy to go to the next church, and one in particular that prompted some literal dust-shaking from my feet.

It's hard to say good-bye. Thankfully in the military, it's not so much "good-bye" as "see you later," because there's always the chance you'll see old friends again. In our life, some dear friends we knew in North Dakota will be moving to Fairbanks this summer, which means we get to say "hello" once more (Fairbanks is only a 7 1/2 hour drive from where we live; roughly the same as a drive from Kansas City to Minneapolis).

That's the end of my five minutes :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

That Post

Today's prompt is to write "that post."

This blog has been about writing and books--obviously, the title speaks for that. I read and I write--but there's more to me than that. I started, but haven't continued, a military blog. I edit and contribute to Wives of Faith most of the time, when I feel like I need to pour into that ministry, which of course takes precedence over my own blog.

I could write about how parenting a teen and a tween is almost more difficult than the newborn and toddler sleepless years. I could write about the ugly parts of being a pastor's wife--the things church members have said to me, about me, and about my husband behind our backs. I could write about how encouraging and pouring into others depletes me over time and sometimes, even though it's embarrassing, I'd like someone to do the same for me--without my prompting. I could write about how hard it is always to be the one who leaves. The one who moves. The one who stays when everyone else around me moves.

I could write about how I want to write a book, but I don't know what to write about. I could write about fear, but that's been done. I could write about faith, but that's been done too. I could write about being a military wife, but that's also been done.

I could write many things.

But I'm too tired, deflated, and emotional to do so today.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Always the Designer, Never the Bride

While this is a CFBA book this week, I actually got my review copy from Netgalley for my Kindle. I have enjoyed each of Sandra Bricker's Always...Never books, but Always the Designer, Never the Bride was much more of a favorite than the others. I don't know if I grew to enjoy each book more and more in the series, or if the author was more in her groove with this book. Regardless, I really enjoyed this novel most out of the trilogy. I recommend the whole series for fans of contemporary comical Christian romance in the vein of Mary Connealy (except hers are historical) and Kaye Dacus's contemporary novels.

Note: Free on the Kindle today! Click here. I get nothing for you clicking from here.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Always The Designer, Never The Bride
Abingdon Press (April 2012)
Sandra D. Bricker


For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The Big 5-OH! was released by Abingdon Press in the Spring of 2010, and the novel was very well-received, garnering a couple of nibbles from Hollywood.

Always the Baker, Never the Bride was released by Abingdon Press in September 2010. With its phenomenal reviews, the novel spawned a series of three more books based on the popular cast of characters at The Tanglewood Inn, a wedding destination hotel in historic Roswell, Georgia. The series cemented Sandie's spot in publishing as a flagship author of Laugh-Out-Loud romantic comedy for the inspirational market.

"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"


It’s taken Audrey Regan years to establish herself as a wedding dress designer, and to date she’s been roped into creating dresses for nine of her girlfriends. Request #10 follows her vow to “Just say no!” and comes from her very best friend. She can hardly turn Carly down!

Audrey arrives in Atlanta early to perform all of her maid-of-honor duties along with final fittings for a one-of-a-kind dress. But Carly’s wedding is nothing short of an event, complete with Prince Charming, and the festivities make Audrey question whether there’s a prince of her own anywhere in her future.

Enter the groom’s brother and best man. Shaggy-haired, tattooed bad boy J.R. Hunt couldn’t be any more different from Prince Charming if he rode in on a Harley Davidson.  Oh, wait. He actually did ride in on a Harley!

If you would like to read an excerpt of the first chapter of Always The Designer, Never The Bride, go HERE.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

For whom the pen writes...

The title is a play on a phrase from John Donne's Meditation XVII:
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
 This is the Allume prompt from Friday, but as usual I'm behind.

For whom the pen writes for Thee.

For whom do I write? I write for God and for myself, because if I wrote for other people, I'd have quit long ago. I don't get a whole lot of traffic on my blog. In fact, it's a rare entry that even gets one comment anymore. I know the above quotation says "no man is an island," but I often feel like one here. I don't really have many who follow me here, and few who comment. I don't advertise much, and I don't get out in the blogosphere much like I used to.

In the past I've poured out my doubts, thoughts, fears, lessons learned, and of course the very few successes I've had. I'm learning that this writing life of mine is full of a lot of downs and very few ups. But I press on. I keep going.

Occasionally at my blog I write book reviews in exchange for books. Sometimes an author will stop by to thank me for my book review, which is always nice since book reviewers are unsung and unnoticed most of the time.

I have often thought of closing up shop here at Fresh-Brewed Writer. But I keep on, because the blog's been around for several years, and I have a lot of memories here.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Cooking the Books

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Cooking The Books
Abingdon Press (April 2012)
Bonnie S. Calhoun


As the Owner/Director of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Bonnie has helped use the 220+ blogs of the Alliance to promote many titles on the Christian bestseller list. She also owns and publishes the Christian Fiction Online magazine which is devoted to readers and writers of Christian fiction. She is the Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). At ACFW she was named the ‘Mentor of the Year,’ for 2011, and she is the current President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network. Bonnie is also the Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.

In her spare time she is an avid social media junkie, and teaches Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and HTML as recreational occupations. She also has a novel coming out in the Abingdon Quilts of Love series. Her novel Pieces of the Heart will publish August of 2013.

Bonnie and her husband Bob live in a log cabin on 15 acres in upstate area of Binghamton, New York with a dog and cat who consider the humans as wait-staff.


After her mother dies from a heart attack, Sloane Templeton goes from Cyber Crimes Unit to bookstore owner before she can blink. She also "inherits" a half-batty store manager; a strange bunch of little old people from the neighborhood who meet at the store once a week, but never read books, called the Granny Oakleys Book Club; and Aunt Verline, who fancies herself an Iron Chef when in reality you need a cast iron stomach to partake of her culinary disasters. And with a group like this you should never ask, “What else can go wrong?”

A lot! Sloane begins to receive cyber threats. While Sloane uses her computer forensic skills to uncover the source of the threats, it is discovered someone is out to kill her. Can her life get more crazy?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Cooking The Books, go HERE.

Watch the book video:

If you'd like to read interviews with Bonnie, try these:
Everbody Needs A Little Romance
A Christian Writers World
Novel Rocket
ACFW - Fiction Finder

Pattie's Review:
Wow, Sloane Templeton is one heroine I don't want to meet on a dark staircase...or in a back alley...

Sloane has this bad habit of carrying a gun in her pocket, and then dropping it, hoping it doesn't go off in the meantime. She also tends to attract the wrong sort of man, and apparently a lot of "strays" like the homeless woman who comes to use the bookstore's WiFi connection and make Sloane her coffee each morning.

Sloane is the type of woman who's trying to keep it all together, but forgot to trust the One who will help her keep it all together. Thankfully, He gets her attention.

What a fun read! This book was really a good mystery, moved along well, a perfectly imperfect heroine with a penchant for choosing bad men...all in all, I really enjoyed it.