Overwhelmed!!!

See that guy to your right? That’s precisely how I was feeling earlier this week. I had a ton of blog interviews to fill out, three blog posts to write, one non-blog interview to fill out, ACFW MN NICE President stuff to attend to, a Book Launch celebration to plan (pssst… The launch is May 15 at Northgate Church just in case any of you happen to be around the Minneapolis area then) …

And that’s just in my writing life!

This spring is rather nuts in the Anderson household with (4) major lifetime events occurring within a span of 7 weeks:

April 22 – my debut novel, Chain of Mercy, releases (pre-order <here>)

April 25 – my daughter has her senior recital. It’s just her in concert for over an hour!

May 3 – my daughter graduates from college

June 8 – my son graduates from high school

Along with each of these exciting events comes a wagon load of preparation, and it seemed that I wasn’t doing any of it 100%. On top of that, I’ve been neglecting the family. They’re lucky if they get a warm meal three days a week. The house hasn’t been well-cleaned since … well, I don’t know when. You’re welcome to come visit, just ignore my new pets, those dust bunnies partying in the corners.

Writing RetreatSo, what’s a girl to do?

Arrange a vacation, that’s what! Well, not exactly a vacation, more of a retreat. I packed up my laptop & netbook and my to-do list and made the three-plus hour trek to Wisconsin Dells for two days of uninterrupted quiet. (And yes, Stacy, that is a Fannie May bag on the table. Chocolate is a requirement for retreats, don’tchya know!)

The first thing I did after checking in was head to the local outlet mall to find a new outfit for my book launch. Thanks to Lori at Dress Barn for helping me find the perfect outfit. Actually, she helped me a bit too much because I came home with more than one outfit.

After picking up groceries, I returned to my villa (about 10:30 pm) to tackle that to-do list.

By the end of the next day I had crossed off all but one blog interview. Yeah! I rewarded myself with a little TV–had to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Can you say plot twist?!!! And then I enjoyed Face Off on the SyFy channel. Yeah, I’m a bit of a geek.

The following day I tackled blog posts, the non-blog interview, the MN NICE stuff, and I started this post.

And then I returned home to my messy house.

Hmm, I booked a vacation to get my writing tasks done, I wonder if that’ll work for housework too…

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*** BOOK GIVEAWAY***

In honor of our blog re-launch, the Inkspers are giving away copies of their books. You can enter to win all five of the books below by leaving a comment. Every time you comment, you’ll be entered, so make sure you stop back every day. This contest is open to U.S. residents only, due to shipping costs. Contests ends Friday, April 11, 2014 at midnight (CST) (That’s today!!!) and the winner will be posted here on Saturday, April 12, 2014. 

Prize Package includes these fabulous books:

We're Back! Book GiveawayRodeo Song by Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Chain of Mercy by Brenda S. Anderson (novel releases April 22)

The Widow’s Suitor by Rose Ross Zediker

The Prodigal Daughter by Linda Fulkerson

When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad

I Find You Not Guilty!

MP900385346[1]That’s right. I’m not guilty of indulging in guilty pleasures. I know the evidence is stacked against me, but–

What evidence you ask? Well, let’s see …

First there are the Marvel Avenger movies–I blame this obsession on my husband. He won the four free tickets to Thor in 2011. Thor? Really? Why on earth would I want to watch that? So, wrinkling my nose, I went to the movie … and fell in love. Seriously, ladies, Chris Hemsworth looks very nice up on that big screen. Not to mention, I loved the movie, the story line, the supporting cast, everything about it. Yes, I was hooked, and now I’m a full-fledged Avengers fan. Captain America? Oh yeah. Iron Man? All three movies. The Avengers? Saw it seven times in the theater. Yes, I said seven. That included an Avengers movie marathon that showed six Marvel Avenger movies in one day, including two Iron Man movies, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, ending with a midnight showing of The Avengers. I won’t tell you how many times we’ve watched The Avengers at home–I probably can’t count that high.

Thor The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World comes out in November 2013. Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases in April of 2014. I have to wait until May of 2015 for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. 🙁 Thanks to my husband, I just can’t get enough!

So, is that it for evidence against me?

Movie PopcornWell, not exactly. You see, when we attend movies, it’s a requirement to eat popcorn soaked in butter and sprinkled generously with salt. (You do realize that popcorn is merely a tool to eat butter and salt, don’t you?) Our family even has movie-theater popcorn-eating down to a science. We purchase one refillable bucket and bring four large bowls with us. No reaching across for that next handful, no sirree. (Actually we use large Country Crock containers. With the cover on, it’s easy to shake it, spreading the butter and salt evenly–as I said, we have it down to a science!)

But, naturally, healthy doses of buttery, salty popcorn shouldn’t be relegated to theaters only, it’s also the perfect snack to enjoy during your favorite TV shows like Blue Bloods (the family actually prays together on the show!!!) and Once Upon A Time and Falling Skies. Then there are the new shows coming out this fall that I can’t wait to see that will perfectly satisfy my popcorn cravings: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — Yep, those Agents of Shield are Avengers. 🙂 And, no, I’m not obsessed. Seriously!

You say their’s more evidence that I indulge in guilty pleasures? Hmmph! You’re going for the jugular, aren’t you?

Believe it or not, this has absolutely nothing to do with Avengers, but it is certainly a pleasure. Ever tried Fannie May Chocolates? The Trinidad with its rich, creamy chocolate center, coated in white chocolate mixed with toasted coconut. Then there’s the vanilla buttercream covered with dark chocolate, and the Carmarsh — caramel and marshmallow topped with chocolate. Your mouth watering yet? See, you’d be hooked too!

Then there are good books, quiet time, day trips up the North Shore … Ahh yes, I partake in it all!

So, with all that evidence stacked against me, how was I exonerated, you ask? Let’s just say the jury couldn’t turn down my my 2 Pound Box of Fannie May candy bribe. 😉 Hey, no pointing fingers. You wouldn’t have turned down the bribe either!

(It’s just a good thing the prosecuting attorney never discovered my Lays Sour Cream & Onion potato chip obsession–that might have put it over the top …)

What pleasures are you *not* guilty of?

~*~*~

Love's AwakeningOn Distant ShoresSince we know most of our Inksper friends have reading on their list of guilty pleasures, we’re giving away a (gently used) copy of Sarah Sundin’s On Distant Shores to one lucky reader, and a copy of Laura Frantz’s Love’s Awakening to another reader. Every time you leave a comment on posts dated September 9, 2013 through September 20, 2013, your name will be entered.
The two winners will be chosen after midnight on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 and posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013!