Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Welcome, Spring Fling Hoppers

Hey, hoppers!  Glad you found me!  I'm excited to be part of this event and hope you decide to comment on the question I have for you at the end of this post.  

Even if you’ve never had occasion to need the serenity prayer, my guess is almost every person can recite some portion of it.
God, grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.
But did you know there’s quite a bit more to the prayer?  I didn’t either until a few days ago when the bottom fell out of what I would have called my otherwise typical, boring life.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.  Taking, as He did, this sinful world
 as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right
 if I surrender to His will.  That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.  
Amen.                                                                                                                       -Reinhold Neibuhr

My son is in his first year of middle school, seventh grade.  And while it’s been a transition I’m not sure I was ready for, as I look back over the year, it dawns on me the very things I worried about having to deal with as a part of seventh grade just a week ago no longer bother me at all.  Last week when a classmate took his own life, my son’s world changed forever and suddenly texts and first girlfriends and hours of homework didn’t seem to matter so much anymore.  At times over the last few days, the uncertainty has felt overwhelming.

But the truth is, I know there’s hope.  In this crazy world we live in, I hate that it takes a tragedy to see the good in people.  Although it often takes a backseat to flashier, more marketable news, good is out there, lurking in the shadows, at the ready to help in a crisis.  Ready to help right the wrongs and create the happy ending.

Which is why I believe writers write.  It’s why I write.  I can head to my office and lose myself for hours in the worlds I create, making life on paper as perfect or dysfunctional as I want for my characters.  God has blessed me with the ability to be largely transparent about the hurts and hang-ups in my own life and in turn, I feel he's blessed me with the ability to be able to use those things ripped from real life and spin them out in incredible ways on paper.  It’s my sincere hope that I can use the issues in the world spinning around me in a way that helps someone else make sense of their own wacky world.

I think we all want good to triumph.  For those of us that write our hurts and hopes into fiction, it’s why we want heroes to rush in and save the day.  It’s why we love to get lost in fairy tales.  It’s why we love to hate the bad boy in our stories but make sure the good guy gets the girl.  That's the part of the prayer I cling to, not as I would have it (this world) but trusting He will make it right.  That's where I find my hope.

Just as the hurts in life are sure to come, we’re sure to continue to hope and look for the good in those around us and we'll continue to write our stories.  And while I’m sorry it had to happen this way, hope is the very reason my son decided to put pen to paper this time last week.

Here’s more about my debut release, Hope 22…

In the aftermath of losing his wife and unborn son, professional quarterback Brody Jackson turns to his faith, making a vow to live a life that will honor those he’s lost.  Yet on a field of endeavor where outrageous antics get a player noticed and if it feels good, do it often seems to be the maxim, walking the straight and narrow path can be a hard thing for a guy to do.

Whitney Ryan is in the mother of all slumps, struggling to watch as her player ranking dips into double digits.  With three weeks to go until she’s slated for her next tournament, Whitney would rather be anywhere than on the tennis court and under her mother’s constant glare.  When Whitney decides to run away from her responsibilities, her resolve is firm—she doesn’t need anyone getting in her way, especially a know-it-all with problems of his own.

When two household names holding widely varying views on how to live life in the spotlight and measure success are thrown together, is there any hope they can call a time out and find middle ground?


How about a $10.00 Amazon gift card and a copy of Hope 22?  All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment.  Tell me an issue you’d most like to see tackled in a story…  Check this post Monday, March 24, 2014 after 5 pm EST to see who wins. I’ll post the winning name and info on what to do next here.

Be sure to drop by Hops with Heart to continue hopping and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win some really nice grand prizes.  Thanks for stopping by!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'd like to see a storyline where the mother's child is bullied, but the H helps the h find a solution. Where he's in a position to help stop the bullying: like a teacher, school counselor, or police resource officer. A happy ending to a very real problem.

    Email: witchywoman064(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

  2. I would say getting rid of exes in a new relationship. josephhawkshaw(at) yahoo (dot) com

  3. These are both great ideas and you can bet I'll work them in. Thank you!

  4. Happy Spring!! Thanks for the giveaway!

    jasdarts at hotmail dot com

  5. I'd love to read a book about a mother who finally stopped living her life for her grown children and ran off to Figi with a man 15 years her junior and was worshipped and indulged for the rest of her days :)

    ilookamous at yahoo dot com

  6. Elise--I know a lot of moms who would like to find that man in real life. Great story line!

  7. Happy Spring to you, Jill. Hope you land some yummy gifts from the hop!

  8. Great story line Elise! Keep up the great work!


  9. I would love to see bullying issue tackled. So many children and some adults are facing this problem and it has become a huge problem! Thanks for sharing!

  10. yes I agree with the rest of them the bully problem needs tackling .
    sasluvbooks at

  11. I would like to see more stories with shades of gray.
    Thanks for sharing!

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

  12. I'm catching a theme here. And I agree, adults are often bullied as well.

  13. I like older people falling in love for the first time. They have a life and a history.... they're not all stars in the eyes.

    jennirv4697 at gmail dot com

  14. I'd like to see a novel where the idea of fitting in but remaining yourself would be explored. Maybe it's not a problem in big cities where people are more diverse, but in smaller towns and communities everything about a person that stands out from the 'norm' gets noticed, discussed and labelled weird, freakish or even crazy.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  15. Adults being bullied and people who are homeless


  16. Domestic violence... I don't think authors talk about how much it happens and the consequences it has.

  17. I've got to agree with the bullying. Bullying is definitely not just a childhood problem.

  18. Domestic violence or bullying
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

  19. bulling

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  20. I am a victim of sexual molestation by my father starting at age 6. This is the first time I wrote that. I am now 70 and would like a novel about it and what it takes to heal it. Love and the serenity prayer.

  21. The agony of feeling like you don't belong anywhere and how you deal with it would be an interesting topic.

  22. I would have to say, depression. And how you can overcome it & change your life. =)

    Thank you for having this giveaway! I hope you have a great weekend! =)

    BLeigh1130 at yahoo dot com

  23. Bullying would be a great issue to cover. If that's what you are going to do I would like to see the scenario where the bully is not being bullied so that the reason he does it but because his parents have him believing that he is the be all end all. Many parents in this day and age never hold their children accountable for their actions. It is always somebody else's fault. I think a lot of people would see themselves in it and hopefully realizes that no one is perfect and that it's ok to be imperfect. Thank you so much for participating in this Hop.

  24. Wow I dont no I agree bullying if u can turn it into a great come back story or maybe moving on after losing a spouse its all hard to think about so I dont no!!

  25. I'll like to see domestic abuse, early pregnancy or grief being tackled.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  26. Bullying.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  27. Not fitting in with any of the pre-defined "cliques."
    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  28. I love anything with pregancies in it, I do not like cheating though

    gemiinii90 (at)

  29. I like the adult bullying theme already mentioned. I'd also like to see characters over 50 years old dating and dating with depression or OCD. Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Fingers crossed to win.

    skeeterlee63 [at]

  30. Oh! Im liking the bullying and pregnancies! I vote for either or both! :) Thank you for sharing! Happy Spring!

  31. I'd say depression! Thanks for the giveaway.
    prettylittlepages @ gmail . com

  32. I concur with you on how it seems that it takes a tragedy to see the good in people. I live in the Philippines, and while I'm miles away from where supertyphoon Haiyan hit, it's so uplifting to see people from all over the world extend help to my countrymen. Some of these people are those I didn't even think cared enough about other people. Boy, was I glad to be wrong. ;)

    I'd like to see obesity and social acceptance (or not) handled in a sensitive manner. Not the "BBW" romance kind.

    Thank you for the giveaway. Kudos to you and your son. :)

  33. I've so enjoyed seeing all of your comments. It's amazing me to how diverse yet how connected we all are. You can bet I'll be weaving these issues into future stories. Thanks for visiting and please check your email soon. I have some fun surprises in store!