Giving Thanks!

I’m thankful for the all of the wonderful people I’ve met through my writing. My writing has helped me connect with old friends, Snoopy-Woodstock-Thanksgivingclassmates, readers, and other writers. I have writing friends and colleagues throughout the United States, Canada and recently, Australia! That is something I never dreamed of or even considered when I started to follow the writing urge pressing down on my heart. God really opened up my world and for that I’m THANKFUL!

 

With that in mind, it’s no wonder I write inspirational romances. Characters in romance novels are surrounded by friends who have their best interest at heart, follow their dreams and find love, or reconnect and find love.  In honor of characters reconnecting and finding love, I’m giving away a copy of my current release, Wedding on the Rocks, to one lucky winner. The contest runs until November 30th. All you need to do it leave a comment!

 

 **********************************************************************************************************************

 

JENNIFER EDWARDS IS BACK HOME AGAIN… Wedding On the Rocks Cover 1

When she traded small-town life for the bright lights of Chicago, Jennifer Edwards yearned to discover a world beyond Faith, South Dakota. So when her father’s illness calls her home to run their cattle ranch, she tells herself it’s temporary. Then why is she even thinking about a future with archaeology professor Brett Lange-the boy she left behind-whose life’s work is digging up the past?

Twelve years ago, Brett had a crush on Jennifer the size of the T-rex that put his hometown on the map. Now she’s a citified magazine editor who prefers designer duds to dungarees. Except that’s not the real Jennifer. Brett needs to make her see how a little faith can go a long way in uniting two perfectly-in-sync hearts.

In The Good Ole Summertime….

This blog topic reminds me of grade school. Every year the first week of school, our class took turns standing in the front of the room and telling the other children what we did over our summer vacation!

Normally, my husband and I travel during the winter. We are in pursuit of a warm climate where we can ‘snowbird’ in our retirement years. So far we’ve ‘toured’ two areas of Texas and the Tucson, AZ area, but this year we skipped that trip.

Now, we are working in a short vacation in September before I need to be in Deadwood, SD for a speaking engagement. I guess you could say we are mixing business with pleasure this year. 

DeadwoodWe plan to visit Yellowstone Park (we call it Jellystone…anyone else old enough to get that joke?) for a few days before heading back to western South Dakota. I have a feeling that our time in Yellowstone will not be long enough and in the furture we’ll make a trip to see other parts of the park, but it will have to do for now.

Have you been to Yellowstone? If so, what was your favorite area of the park?

 

 

 

Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful?

How many of you have ever watched the TLC show, What Not to Wear? I’m a little embarrassed to admit I thoroughly enjoy the show. What the co-hosts, Stacy and Clinton, do is surprise someone who has no fashion / make-up sense with a $5000 shopping spree and a make-over. (Someone like me who can’t fill a pinhead with her fashion and makeup knowledge. Seriously. Now if you want to talk baseball … Well, I digress.)

The catch is, their *victim* must turn over all the clothes in their closet. Now, while this show can be a bit humiliating for the person being targeted, it’s also often an eye-opener for them. It seems that that many of the people spotlighted share a singular issue: low self-esteem or poor body image. And they hide behind their clothes in one way or another.

They don’t see themselves as beautiful. The don’t see themselves as “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Part of the problem is, we live in an image-driven society where exterior “beauty” is lauded. The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch is on record saying that his clothing line intentionally excludes the not-good-looking, the uncool people: Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Explains Why He Hates Fat Chicks. It’s a disturbing article. I can proudly say I’ve never purchased a single item from A&F, and I never will.

Here’s another perspective from a Christian woman on body image: http://www.prodigalmagazine.com/my-wedding-night/. Can anyone else relate?

1 Samuel 16:7b says,

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Are you seeing what God is seeing?

Recently, Dove released an emotional and very telling video that demonstrated women’s self-image issues. I encourage you to take three minutes to watch this:

`

How many of you see yourself in that video? I’m slowly raising my hand.

Psalm 139: 13-14 says,

“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”

Do you know that full well?

From what or whom do you derive your value? Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you truly believe that you are fearfully and wonderfully made? Do you see a beautiful child of God? Are you seeing yourself through God’s eyes or the worlds’?

Personally, I’m working on it.

~~~~~~

If you struggle with self-image, if you have trouble seeing yourself through the eyes of God, here are a couple of reading suggestions:

INVISIBLE by Ginny Yttrup – LOVED this novel. It’s very relatable, so at times it’s not an easy read, but it’s a very important one.

MOM IN THE MIRROR: BODY IMAGE, BEAUTY, & LIFE AFTER PREGNANCY by  Dena Cabrera, Emily T. Wierenga, with a foreward by Emme.

Here’s a song by Jonny Diaz, More Beautiful You, that speaks to who you are in God’s eyes.

Other encouraging music:

Beautiful by Mercy Me

Mirror by Barlow Girl

Beautiful by Bethany Dillon

~~~~~

HOW CAN YOU WIN A COPY OF WEDDING ON THE ROCKS?

Wedding On the RocksRose is generously offering not one but TWO copies of Wedding on the Rocks and TWO copies of her previous release Rose of Sharon to readers who comment during the next two weeks and let us know about their most unusual job or a beauty secret and/or mishap. That’s four chances to win a book every time you post here at Inkspirational Messages in the next two weeks.

Contest closes Friday, May 17 at midnight (central time). It is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada only.

Rock Hound

Balanced RockMy husband is a certified rock  hound. Okay, so maybe there isn’t a certification for that, but he’s definitely certifiable! While his interest doesn’t lie so much in archaeology, like Rose’s hero in her newest release, Wedding on the Rocks, he’s definitely crazy about rocks. We have rocks of all shapes and sizes in our yard – surrounding the fish pond, as stepping stones through the garden, decorative boulders, from every state we’ve ever set foot in. Big ones, small ones…you get the picture.

He’s retrieved all of the large boulders in our yard on his own. Seeing rocks piled in a farm field, he’ll go right up to the front door to inquire of the owners if they want to get rid of said rocks. Not too many say no! For the larger ones, he’ll roll them all the way to the van where he’s rigged a way to roll the boulder up a makeshift ramp and into the back. Just like God goes looking for us, finding us in unexpected places, left out in the field, seemingly unimportant.

But lest you think my husband is not the discriminating type, every boulder – indeed, every rock – has some unique characteristic, along with its own story. Just like us. We have our own unique characteristics and our own story in the making.

AgateOf all our rocks, boulders, stones, pebbles and chunks, his favorite has always been the Lake Superior Agate. Before they’re cleaned, they’re actually quite ordinary-looking. But my rock hound can point one out in the midst of a pile of rubble. Somehow he sees the beauty within long before the rest of us can (like God sees our beauty buried beneath our ordinariness).

He’s been known to spot a potential agate and give it a lick to see if it’s actually what he thinks. (Well, he sorta spits on it and cleans it up that way.)Rocks

After collecting a bucketful, he puts them through a process that would take too long to explain here. They get washed and tumbled and smoothed until there isn’t a nick to be found. Just like God puts us through a process called life that washes us, tumbles us, and smooths us until we’re fit for heaven.

On a trip up north last summer, we stopped at what seemed to be a little roadside rock store. Imagine my surprise when we discovered several rooms of gorgeous “rocks” – some worth tens of thousands of dollars! The owner collects them from trips around the world, buys and sells them, makes them into jewelry or simply conversations pieces (if you can imagine talking about a $14,000 rock on your shelf!).Sunshine on water

So while most of us will never pursue the life of an archaeologist, we can be our own kind of rock hound. In the ordinariness of life, we can search for and celebrate the hidden agates  – in a shared laugh with a friend, in the peacefulness of sunshine after rain, in the dirt-smudged face of a child, in the unexpected kindness of a stranger.

Now, does anyone need any agates??

********

HOW CAN YOU WIN A COPY OF WEDDING ON THE ROCKS?

Wedding On the RocksRose is generously offering not one but TWO copies of Wedding on the Rocks and TWO copies of her previous release Rose of Sharon to readers who comment during the next two weeks and let us know about their most unusual job or a beauty secret and/or mishap. That’s four chances to win a book every time you post here at Inkspirational Messages in the next two weeks.

Contest closes Friday, May 17 at midnight (central time). It is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada only.

Not My Mother’s Makeup

In Wedding on the Rocks, my heroine, Jennifer is a beauty advice columnist for a teen magazine. I chose this profession because as a young girl I loved to read that section of Seventeen Magazine. Yep, the first pages I turned when the monthly magazine hit my mail box were the makeup and hair columns.

I spent my teenaged years in the hip 1970’s, where vibrant blue and green eye shadow and thick mascara laden eye lashes were the grooviest! I’d read about the popular brands, the differences between powder verses cream shadows, and how the shape of the mascara wand changed your eye lashes. I’d pursue the dime store finding just the right shades. (Anyone else remember blue and green mascara?)

However, for a long time I didn’t get to take those necessary beauty items home. You see, my mom, who grew up in the 1950’s thought lipstick was the makeup of choice and the first product a young girl should experiment with. And not just any lipstick but the cherry reds that she wore!

UG! Nobody wore that color but ‘old ladies’, I argued so she changed her mind and bought me….peony pink lipstick. Sigh….she just didn’t get that “the times they were a changing”.  After the lipstick lay unused on my dresser, she finally broke down and let me purchase some pale pink lip gloss.

I can’t remember the exact age I was, when I was finally allowed to purchase a tube of Maybelline Great Lash mascara but I do know that I bought it with birthday money.  

Lipstick was my mom’s go-to beauty product that she wouldn’t leave the house without. Mascara is mine. Enquiring minds want to know the first makeup product you were allowed to wear or what beauty product can you not leave home without?

********

HOW CAN YOU WIN A COPY OF WEDDING ON THE ROCKS?

Rose is generously offering not one but TWO copies of Wedding on the Rocks AND TWO copies of her previous release Rose of Sharon to readers who comment during the next two weeks and let us know about their most unusual job or a beauty secret and/or mishap. That’s four chances to win a book every time you post here at Inkspirational Messages in the next two weeks.

Contest closes Friday, May 17 at midnight (central time). It is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada only.

Beauty Tips – That I Can Do

Hello, my name is Shannon and I am a lifetime primper. I love makeup. I love big hair. Oh, if only the 80’s big hair would come back. And since Rose’s heroine from Wedding on the Rocks is a beauty advisor, I’m certain we would bond.

From the time I knew what makeup was, around nine years old, I wanted to wear it. And I do. I don’t go anywhere without it. Not even to the mail box and definitely not Walmart.

My love for makeup and big hair sent me to cosmetology school. Oh, was I in my element training to make women beautiful. It would be so glamorous. But, it wasn’t. I ended up with hair in my teeth, my bra, and embedded in the bottom of my foot. You haven’t felt pain until you’ve had a freshly clipped piece of hair stuck in your foot like a splinter. I worked as a hairdresser for ten years and hung up my non-glamorous scissors.

But I still love hair and makeup. Many moons ago, when I was 7 months pregnant and on bed rest with nothing else to do, I watched a Dr. Phil episode. He had a lady on there that never left the house without her makeup. I saw no problem with that. I decided she was insane when Dr. Phil talked her into taking her makeup off–ON NATIONAL TELEVISION!!!!!

I’ve compiled lots of tips over the years–from experience and cosmetology school and you’re getting them free. I usually share these when I’m the speaker at ladies’ retreats. So listen up:

Beauty Tip #1 – Moisturizer doesn’t work on a dry face. Steps: Cleanse your face. Pat water on. Let air dry and apply moisturizer.

Beauty Tip #2 – Always apply moisturizer every morning and every night. Dry skin causes wrinkles. Seal the moisturizer in with foundation.

Beauty Tip #3 – Dry skin = wrinkles. Tanning = dry skin. Don’t tan your face. If you tan the rest of your body and you end up pale-faced, use a bronzer.

Beauty Tip #4 – Eyeliner defines your eyes. Even if you don’t take the time for eyeshadow, line your eyes.

Beauty Tip #5 – Foundation seals moisturizer in. It doesn’t do any good to moisturize if you don’t seal it in.

Beauty Tip #6 – Get your hair trimmed every 6 weeks. Getting rid of split ends maintains a sleek look and keeps hair healthy.

Beauty Tip #7 – Translucent powder smooths and gives the illusion of perfection. After applying makeup, pat with loose translucent powder.

Beauty Tip #8 – Neutral brown or gray shadow looks good with any skin tone.

Beauty Tip #9 – Skin and hair fade as you age. If you color your gray, go about two shades lighter than your used-to-be natural color.

Beauty Tip #10 – Chlorine and sun dry skin and hair. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

Beauty Tip #11 – Never pull down on the delicate skin underneath the eye. Not to apply makeup or put in contacts. Causes bags.

Beauty Tip #12 – Bangs soften a long forehead.

Beauty Tip #13 – Hair parted down the middle draws attention to your nose. Which is fine, if you have a pretty one.

Beauty Tip #14 – If your jaw is square, wear your hair in a rounded style to soften angles.

Beauty Tip #15 – If your face is round, wear your hair in a blunt, squared style to soften.

Beauty Tip #16 – Test foundation on your wrist for color match.

Beauty Tip #16 – Test foundation on the inside of your wrist for color match.

Beauty Tip #17 – The secret to great eyeshadow: blending.

Beauty Tip #18 – The secret to great blush: blending.

Beauty Tip #19 – Get your eyebrows professionally waxed. Then pluck what grows back in.

Final Beauty Tip #20 – Embrace your age–whatever it is. If you feel good about yourself, you look good.

HOW CAN YOU WIN A COPY OF WEDDING ON THE ROCKS?

Rose is generously offering not one but TWO copies of Wedding on the Rocks AND TWO copies of her previous release Rose of Sharon to readers who comment during the next two weeks and let us know about their most unusual job or a beauty secret and/or mishap. That’s 4 chances to win a book every time you comment here at Inkspirational Messages in the next two weeks.

Contest closes Friday, May 17 at midnight (central time). It is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada only.

Wedding on the Rocks Releases!

April showers bring…May releases! And here at Inkspirational Messages, we have book releases blooming all over the place.

Please join us during the next two weeks as we celebrate our very own Rose Ross Zediker’s May release Wedding on the Rocks. Because the hero in Rose’s book in an archeologsit, some of the Inkspers will be sharing about the most unusual job they’ve had. However, since the heroine writes a beauty advice column for teens, some of the Inkspers will be sharing beauty tips they received while growing up. Some may even be brave enough to share a mishap.

Now, here’s a littel about Wedding on the Rocks.

JENNIFER EDWARDS IS BACK HOME
AGAIN…

When she traded small-town life for the bright lights of Chicago, Jennifer Edwards yearned to discover a world beyond Faith, South Dakota. So when her father’s illness calls her home to run their cattle ranch, she tells herself it’s temporary. Then why is she even thinking about a future with archaeology professor Brett Lange-the boy she left behind-whose life’s work is digging up the past?

Twelve years ago, Brett had a crush on Jennifer the size of the T-rex that put his hometown on the map. Now she’s a citified magazine editor who prefers designer duds to dungarees. Except that’s not the real Jennifer. Brett needs to make her see how a little faith can go a long way in uniting two perfectly-in-sync hearts.

My most unusual job? One summer, I worked for a temporary agency between my junior and senior year of college.

I was placed in a distribution center where my job, they said, “required a college education.” While I had high hopes, I soon learned my job was to count the number of boxes on a pallet and see if matched the invoice. If you could mulitply 8 x 6, you could do this job. But hey, I made more money than most people that summer.

HOW CAN YOU WIN A COPY OF WEDDING ON THE ROCKS?

Rose is generously offering not one but TWO copies of Wedding on the Rocks AND TWO copies of her previous release Rose of Sharon to readers who comment during the next two weeks and let us know about their most unusual job or a beauty secret and/or mishap.  That’s four chances to win a book every time you post here at Inkspirational Messages in the next two weeks.

Contest closes Friday, May 17 at midnight (central time). It is open to readers in the U.S. and Cananda only

~*~*~*~

Also, mark your caledars for the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt. Get more details here.