Category Archives: Author life

COVID Hobbies

Author life, Contest, crafts Comments: 23

That’s a funny title. Right? It’s not like COVID is a hobby, but I do find myself spending more times on hobbies than in the past. Maybe it’s because my brain is tired, or maybe it’s because I need something that is a little more encouraging and optimistic than the evening news.

I have lots of hobbies. Maybe too many, if that’s possible. But I’d have to say my top 3 hobbies are the following:

Knitting. I’m sort of knitting like a crazy person. I’ll write 500 words, then go and knit a few rows. I’ve long been a “crafter,” and I rediscovered my love of knitting a few years ago.  Honestly, there’s just something very soothing about it. Isn’t this little dress cute? I don’t even have any grandchildren, but I’m sure I’ll find someone to gift it to.

Gardening. I also have thrown myself into more gardening this year. Now these sunflowers are just a fluke. They popped up, and we decided to leave them for the birds. But I also have squash, cucumbers, green beans, bell peppers and tomatoes.

It’s so much fun to go outside and pluck a few things for dinner. I didn’t have the time to really dedicate myself to gardening before quarantine, but now I look forward to spending a little time in the morning and a little time in the evening in my garden.

Reading. If you know me, you know I’m a big reader. Since I was pretty young, I’ve always toted home a stack of books from the library. I’m still doing it too! Recently we went camping along the Medina River in the Texas Hill Country, and you know I spent most of my time sitting and reading. lol. It’s peaceful though, and I love the way a book can take me away.

So what about you? Are you “hobbying” a little more with COVID? Leave me a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a box of books. They’ll be “back copies” which means books that have been previously released (earlier in the year or even in previous years). I’ll sign them generically, and if it’s something you already have you can gift it to a friend or library. Our winners from the last blog were Terri Schmidt, Kimberly Kiesey and Gerri Moore.  Ladies, you should receive an email from me or from my assistant, Kristy Kreymer–so check your email!



Announcements for this week


  • Security Breach will release in paperback and ebook next week. This is a compilation of all 4 of my cyber novellas. They’re good clean suspense stories with a light thread of faith in them. If you haven’t tried them, check this out! And I’ll be sending out the paperback link next week in my newsletter. For now, the ebook link to all vendors is here.
  • I just saw the first draft of my cover for Dead Broke, and I can’t wait to share it with you. This will be the second release in my Agatha’s Amish B&B cozy mystery series. The cover should be finalized in the next few days. It’s fun, fun, fun.
  • I have a Goodreads giveaway going on for Security Breach. It ends on July 7th, so if you’re a member of Goodreads, enter now! Of course you’re free to purchase a copy for a friend while you’re waiting to see if you win.


A Quarantined Texas Spring

Author life, Texas Comments: 11

How are you, my friends? Personally, I have good days and bad days. I don’t mind admitting that, and I can’t even really pinpoint the cause of those bad days. They just are. So I breathe deeply, nap if I need to, try and get some sunshine, and remember God’s care and provision. I also knit a lot! Those things helps, and fortunately the bad days don’t last forever.

Today I thought I’d share some pictures of our Texas Spring. Even during quarantine, the wildflowers still bloom, the rivers run, and yes–my dogs insist on a walk.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into what my spring has looked like. I’d love you to reply and tell me something that is NORMAL in your life.



Announcements for this week

  • I’ve reduced the price of 8 of my indies (including my latest Amish mystery, Dead Wrong) to 99c. You can see details and links here.
  • I have a new release–Daybreak that is on sale for $2.99. This is novella #3 in my Cyber series. Each story can easily be read as a standalone. I’ll have information on a paperback version after book 4 (High Noon) releases this summer.
  • I’m participating in two Booksweeps Giveaways. The first is a Dystopian and Science Fiction giveaway (including my book Deep Shadows). Details here. The second is Crime Fiction & Thrillers, and includes my book Roswell’s Secret. Details here. Note, some of the books given away in this contest are mainstream fiction–though you can always trust that mine are either Christian fiction or clean fiction.
  • You can also check out this cross-promotion of Christian fiction that includes strong women characters. My book in this promotion is Roswell’s Secret, a clean romantic suspense.  View the entire list of books here.

What Is an ARC?

Amish fiction, Author life, Christian fiction Comments: 38

Today I thought I’d talk to you about ARCs. Why?  Because I have some to give away!

In publishing, the word ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy. These are books that are sent out to a variety of people:

  • final proofreaders
  • reviewers
  • bloggers
  • professional book review sites/magazines

It’s understood that these are not the final copy. You might find Continue reading

Why Cozy Mysteries

Amish Bishop Mysteries, Amish fiction, Amish Village Mystery series, Author life, Christian fiction Comments: 8

Sometimes I’m asked, “Why do you write cozy mysteries?” Occasionally the question is a bit more pointed. “How can you combine murder and Amish? That’s terrible!” Since my new Amish cozy mystery, Dead Wrong, just released, I thought I’d share with you how I happened to become a cozy mystery writer.

In early 2010 I was a new writer who had one book contracted. It wouldn’t be published until October of that year. It was a one book contract. It was my only Amish book. I wasn’t sure what was next for me Continue reading

Story Ideas

Amish fiction, Author life, Christian fiction, inspiration, Writing research Comments: 2

VC’s not-so-messy desk

We’ve been following a “get to know one another” theme here on the blog. So far we’ve covered–

Today I wanted to answer a question I get a lot–Where do you get your ideas? That’s a great question, though of course it’s not an easy answer. Story ideas come from many different places. Personally, I’ll have something in my mind, think about it, chew on it for a few weeks or months while Continue reading

Deciding to Be a Writer

Author life, The Writing Life Comments: 15

VC at the college where she teaches

Another question I’m asked a lot is “Did you always want to be a writer?”

The quick answer to that question is a resounding NO. I never even thought of being a writer. I’ve always been an avid reader. True story: when I was very young (probably 10), my mom had to go to the the library so she could sign a special form. The special form allowed me into the ADULT section. I’d already read all of the books in the children’s section.

When I went back to school for my college degree at the ripe-old-age of 34 Continue reading

Another New Year

Author life, Christian living Leave a reply

Happy New Year!

First of all, if you already received this blog–my apologies. I preset it for 2018 instead of 2019. That won’t be the first time I’ll get the year wrong this month … so here goes for take 2. 🙂

Happy new year! I’m one of “those” people who love the thought of a brand new year. I can’t wait to put up my new wall calendar. I start a new journal. I set goals and list projects and make Continue reading