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Monday, April 30, 2007

Sharing a Dream

A HUGE thanks to all the awesome people who made my first book launch such an over the top awesome God event!

Here's a slide show my wonderful hubby created to go along with my list of God kisses ...
(Viewing this requires the Flash player. If you don't have it, you can get it here.)

1) My hubby was and is an awesome kiss from God! Not only did he set up, cleaned up, and do a fantastic job of making people smile and enjoy chocolate, he also prayed hard and kept me sane.

2) My daughters! I am so proud of how well they behaved and what a huge help they were in choosing door prize winners and the treasure chest winner. One of my girls even helped me sign a book. ;-) (Thanks, Jill, for being so gracious!)

3) The Momsloop group I've been a part of for almost 10 years now. Heather, Sally, Amy R., Laurie, and I had a BLAST this past weekend. Heather and Sally came in early and were the glue and pray-ers that held the signing together and made it so much fun! This group also surprised me with flowers and precious gifts I will always treasure. You all are truly heart chocolate!

4) The Lifeway staff were all so incredible! They smiled, helped, and were super fantastic. A special thanks to Sally for graciously handling special orders and the fast disappearing stack of books.

5) The Citizen's Police Academy alumni who showed up to cheer me on and start the line for signing books: Greg, Noel and family, and Jessica. A very special thanks to Jessica for her quiet, smiling presence and for introducing me to Nancy.

6) My awesome WORD group friends: Ane, Ruth, and Christy. A special thanks to Christy for her gracious blog shout outs about the launch party and Ransomed Dreams.

7) Getting to meet and visit with a mom and her very wonderful 12 year old writer who loved Jake and asked lots of great questions.

8) My mom, sister, and nephew who came down from Kentucky to show their support and offer much encouragement. Also my brother-in-law's wonderful catered food, and my mother-in-law and father-in-law's flowers and awesome help the entire event.

9) Elizabeth, Kristan, Stephanie, Debbie, Kris and Joe, Jamie and his family, and Chris and Vicki and crew! These great friends made me smile and kept my hands from shaking too much as the party got underway.

10) The wonderful folks who enjoyed the chocolate and stuck around to find out about Ransomed Dreams. I met so many great people that I couldn't help but smile and know God was there and in control of each and every divine appointment.

All in all, this book launch was wonderful beyond my wildest imagination. What I loved most was that God was there, reminding people that He sees us, loves us, and shares the joy in our dreams becoming a reality.

Thank You, Daddy! You are so very good and the best heart chocolate ever!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Birthday David!!!

For those of you who don't know, in this header that my talented web designer hubby created is his picture. He's the really good looking FBI model on the right. And today is his birthday! I did a little tribute to him within my blog tour interview today and I'd love it if you all could hop over there and leave David a Happy Birthday note! Cecelia Dowdy's blog is the host today.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The big reward

So yesterday's dream of how to celebrate didn't exactly come true. No breakfast in bed and no limos.

But, there was chocolate. ;-) And my wonderful family.

After nap, we headed to the LifeWay store by the Mall of Georgia and had a ball hamming it up for the camera. I told my hubby I didn't want to post the pictures of me at this awesome display because he looked better. ;-)

But isn't this a cool display??? This table is front and center as you walk in the store, complete with a very fun treasure chest of books and chocolate and some cool Ransomed Dreams stuff. If you're anywhere near the Mall of Georgia, hop in and throw your name in the pot! This is a gift basket I wish I could win.

The other books on the table belong to a dear friend, Cindy Woodsmall. Her first best-selling novel is the LifeWay book club's first read~ When the Heart Cries. Then I get to follow Cindy and be the LifeWay book club's first guest author. I'm VERY excited about that!

I'll share a few more silly pictures, only because I said I would. That's me smirking at my husband for making me stand in front of the huge window display.

Next is me at the bookstore shelves with Ransomed Dreams behind me on the left and right. See that huge grin? That's me still in shock that a book with my name on it is actually on a store shelf!

The trip to LifeWay was a ton of fun, but the best part came afterwards.

We picked TGI Friday's as our celebration dinner spot and the food was amazing. I enjoyed the BEST brownie I've ever eaten~ after my nice, healthy salad and water. ;-)

Then we headed to the Mall and made a beeline for the Godiva store to buy some gifts for bookstores I'll be visiting later this week. My wonderful hubby has been married to me long enough to know I didn't want to leave without a little something for us. So we picked out a little candy box for the girls and I plopped some dark chocolate almonds on the counter too. Then I left with the girls so nothing got broken or explored too much by little hands.

David spent the checking out time telling the people there about my book and handing out business cards and inviting them to the booksigning. I really think I'll keep him now! LOL

Not only did he win me some interested book readers, but he also bought me some Godiva dark chocolate mints and a chocolixer. This man is pure gold. ;-) (A chocolixer is pure Godiva liquid chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings~ something I highly recommend!)

Hubby handed me the amazing chocolate drink and said, "This is because we're all so proud of you!"

With this kind of treatment, I think I'll write lots and lots of books. :-)

So even while some of my daydream for yesterday didn't materialize, the ones that did far outweighed anything I could ask or imagine. Speaking of weigh, I need to go now and work off all that chocolate enjoyment!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Today's the BIG DAY

Today is the day I've waited five years to finally see become a reality. I hadn't actually dreamed about what I'd do on this day until my husband asked me how I wanted to celebrate.

Then the ideas started flowing for how I'd celebrate my BIG DAY. The day that Ransomed Dreams releases in stores everywhere. (and ships from Amazon for those inclined to shop online)

Here's what I dreamed it would look like...

Breakfast in bed with lots of chocolate. A relaxing pampering morning and an afternoon nap. Then a limo to drive me to the bookstore where throngs of happy people wave my book in the air and beg me to sign it.

The reality?

I'm sitting in my sweats after ironing and doing school all morning and then at nap trying to catch up on my email. So much for shiny, happy daydreams. LOL

But to celebrate this afternoon, my family and I will go take cheesy pictures at the nearest LifeWay Christian Bookstore and then go out to eat for dinner. As long as I get chocolate for dessert, I'm happy.

I'd like to take a minute to say a special thanks to some people who've helped make today extra special:

To my family~ you ROCK! I love you to infinity and beyond!

To Jen, Mary, and Staci~ thanks for taking the journey with me and encouraging me every step!

To the wonderful folks who've already read and reviewed Ransomed Dreams~ THANK YOU!

To the people who will take a chance and go buy a copy to read this newbie author's first book~ THANK YOU!!! I'm praying you'll enjoy the journey and grow deeper with God as you read.

And for all of you who've emailed with beautiful words of encouragement~ you've touched my heart and helped me celebrate this day. Many thanks! God has spoken powerfully through you.

It's an amazing feeling to be right here, right now and to know that no matter what this day holds, my first book is still hitting the store shelves. That's something to celebrate.

Thank you, Lord, for bringing me from that first typed word to today. It's all because of you, Daddy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dangerous Obedience

Have you ever had to do something you thought might cost your life? How about your heart?

I have.

But nothing like some of the amazing men and women my daughters and I are reading about right now. We're studying the Reformation and have just finished books on John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, and are breezing through a book on William Tyndale right now. These men lived in constant threat of losing everything they held dear.


Because they loved the Lord and wanted to see His Word in the hands of every person in their native language. They refused to quit doing what they knew God had created them to do.

Reading about their lives strengthens me to live mine. Far smaller scale than theirs, but I’m pretty okay with not having governments and religious institutions seeking my demise.

Unfortunately, there is someone out there seeking to derail, destroy, and ruin our lives and the work God is doing in and through us. The enemy of our souls often seeks to discourage us from our work just like he’s done throughout history.

This past Easter my husband and I bought The Passion of the Christ. I couldn’t make myself watch it again after having seen it in the theater, but I’ll never forget it either. One scene stands out as my very favorite.

It’s the beginning of the movie where the snake is slithering between Jesus’ feet one minute, and then the next Jesus crushes the serpent’s head under His sandal.

I love that. In one fast clip I’m reminded that while our enemy may still be slithering around us trying to destroy, Jesus once and for all crushed satan with the cross and resurrection.

That truth doesn’t mean obedience isn’t dangerous though.

It is.

Often times it costs far more than we think.

And yet, for all that dangerous obedience costs, it gives so much more.

The greatest benefit I’ve seen to dangerous obedience is that in risking my heart and putting myself out there through forgiveness and writing, I’ve come away with a cleaner heart and a clearer picture of Christ.

The paradox of obedience never ceases to amaze me. Giving something I cannot keep or truly call mine for the sake of gaining something I can never lose is both the wisest and scariest choice I’ve ever made.

A choice I’m forever grateful that Martin Luther, John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and others made. Because from their dangerous obedience we have in our hands God’s Word in just about every language.

And we have the record of lives lived well for the glory of God.

That’s what I want to see when I look in the mirror.

What will our dangerous obedience cost? I imagine many of us can answer that with painful stories of personal loss.

But what about the countless benefits we can’t number for those who will follow in our footsteps?

What will they see when the story of our lives are recorded in their memory?

I pray they’ll see Jesus. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll be inspired to choose the cross path too.

Sure they’ll see our stumbles and the many times we didn’t choose well. But even then, they can still see Jesus as He picks us up and uses every bit of our journey for our good and His glory.

Be encouraged. Nothing in our lives is wasted when we place our hands in His and chose the path of dangerous obedience.

I really like this Jim Elliot quote: “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.”

Dangerous obedience. What do you think? Is it worth the risk?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ransomed Dreams blog tour

Today's the first day of my first ever blog tour and I'm having a blast! Please come check out my first stop at Robin Caroll's blog. She's the ACFW President and I think I might need your support to not get kicked out of this great writer's group due to my unconventional deceased writing hero. ;-)

I'm kidding about getting kicked out, but it would be fun to have you stop by and leave a comment.

You can also enter to win two copies of Ransomed Dreams by leaving a note at author Lena Nelson Dooley's blog and author Margaret Daley's blog.

If you're really adventurous you can also check out my good friend Jill Elizabeth Nelson's blog at ShoutLife, where I'm guest blogging about a favorite subject: heart chocolate.

Come tour with me across the blogsphere!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Where in the world is Amy Wallace?

During the months of April and May I’m traveling the world via the Blogsphere. This is a totally fun part of my writing journey, and I've had a blast doing the interviews. I hope you'll come join the Internet party!

From April 9th through the 21st is the first ever Ransomed Dreams blog tour! Grab some chocolate and travel with me all across the US and even to parts Down Under! Along the way I hope you'll learn lots, laugh much, and be inspired to reach for your dreams. Many of the blogs will be giving away a copy of Ransomed Dreams, so be sure and leave a note to tell the blog host hello.

Here's the tour itinerary:

April 9 Robin Caroll
April 10 Megan DiMaria
April 11 Cindy Woodsmall
April 12 Paula
April 13 Girls write Out
April 16 Christa Allan
April 17 Cheryl Wyatt
April 18 Danica
April 19
Rachel Hauck
April 20 Niki Nowell
April 21 Rel Mollet

Here are some other places you can find me on the web:

I'm honored to be April's ACFW featured author. Learn about my biggest obstacle to getting published and my greatest inspiration. While you're there check out this awesome writer's group that taught me the nuts, bolts and heart of good writing.

Starting in early April, The Suspense Zone is featuring Ransomed Dreams and an interview where you can find out how I survived writing the painful prologue and what ~besides dust~ is on my bookshelf. Don't forget to check out The Suspense Zone contest page for your chance to win one of the three copies of Ransomed Dreams they'll be giving away.

Week of April 1, 2007 - Come visit Margaret Daley's blog and read about how I handle rejections and my favorite book I've written. I think you'll be surprised!

April 4, 2007 - Come check out my interview with Novel Journey and read the review of Ransomed Dreams that made me cry. Novel Reviews.

April 28, 2007 - Come one, come all to a party I've been dreaming of for over a year. The official book launch for Ransomed Dreams will be held at the LifeWay Christian Bookstore near the Mall of Georgia from 11 am to 1 pm. Please join us for great food (including a chocolate fountain), door prizes, and the chance to win a huge and very cool gift basket.

May 9-11, 2007 - Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Ransomed Dreams tour ~ Come read the reviews and gather some tidbits about Ransomed Dreams as we link across the blogsphere. (Check out the CFBA comments for RD to view all the links.) One interview in particular on this tour has some awesome story starters that I had a blast ad-libbing my way through. Let me know what you think of my impromptu "voice" scene blurb!

Week of May 14, 2007 - Come visit Marian P. Merritt and check out the Featured Author interview. You can learn about how I developed my main characters and the most unexpected challenge I've faced in becoming a published author.

So did you learn anything new? :-) Leave me a note in the comments here and let me know!

If you have any questions for me or would like to join the party with an interview or review let me know that too. I'd be happy to travel over and hang out at your home on the web!

A super big THANKS to all the blog tour folks and the great interviewers who've given me the honor of sharing my heart and my first story with you!!!

God has filled me to overflowing with joy in the launch of Ransomed Dreams in large part due to the friends, family, and kind reviewers who've taken the time to read my book baby and say it’s beautiful. Thank you. You're a wonderful part of living this dream and a true gift!
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