Biography Books Press Room Amy Wallace Books Life Resources Blog Events

Friday, March 28, 2008

Calling all writers

ACFW Writers of Remarkable Design invites you to join us, Saturday, April 26, 2008 for a hands-on workshop with award-winning author Anna DeStefano!

Anna will present two of her popular workshops, Plotting Through Character and Planning and Rewriting.


This event will be held at Sugar Hill United Methodist Church from 10 AM to 2 PM. Cost for ACFW local group members is $8, nonmembers $10. Price includes Chick-fil-A lunch. For directions:

Please RSVP via e-mail to: Email reservations must be received by April 14 and payment received by April 18 to assure lunch reservation. Late reservations and walk-ins are welcome, however lunch will not be provided. (Sorry, no refunds after April 18.)

We look forward to having you join us!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Talk about an answer to prayer!

So many of you have shared this wild ride of the writing life with me and prayed for me often. Today I wanted to shout out about a surprise blessing and say THANK YOU for praying!!!

But first, a story...

Many of you know I spend my morning and early afternoon homeschooling my kiddos. During this time I don't answer the phone. So when it rings, we all typically ignore it.

Well...yesterday, I couldn't ignore the phone ringing off the hook. Six times. All before lunch.

I didn't pick it up, choosing to mutter about annoying telemarketers instead.

Then, the wonderful hour of quiet time arrived and my children were all in their rooms when the phone rang. AGAIN.

This time I picked it up, ready to blast the telemarketer.

Good thing I didn't. She wasn't a telemarketer at all. Nope. This very gracious lady was calling to inform me that I finaled in an RWA contest.

Red-faced and very thankful for no visual phones, I thanked her abundantly and hung up. Then I went to a WORD meeting (local ACFW writer's group) still not really knowing what in the world the lady on the phone was talking about.

I shared my telemarketer story with the group and one of my friends nearly jumped out of her seat with excitement, telling me I'd finaled in the RITA! As she proceeded to explain this awesome writing contest, I wished yet again I'd been nicer on the phone.

Today has been filled with phone calls of congrats and lots of wonderful emails. And I've been much nicer in answering. See, I'm learning. :-)

Here's the list of 2008 RITA for Inspirational Romance Finalists

A Touch of Grace by Linda Goodnight
Harlequin Enterprises, Steeple Hill Love Inspired - (978-0-373-87426-2)
Allison Lyons, editor

Autumn Blue by Karen Harter
Center Street, - (1-931722-61-7)
Christina Boys, editor

Pursuit of Justice by Pamela Tracy
Harlequin Enterprises, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense - (978 0 373 44236)
Krista Stroever, editor

Rainbow's End by Irene Hannon
Harlequin Enterprises, Steeple Hill Love Inspired - (0-373-87415-4)
Melissa Endlich, editor

Ransomed Dreams by Amy Wallace
Random House Publishing, WaterBrook Multnomah - (9781590527474)
Julee Schwarzburg, editor

Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh
Random House Publishing, WaterBrook Multnomah - (1590529286)
Julee Schwarzburg, editor

Taming Rafe by Susan May Warren
Tyndale House Publishers, - (1414310188)
Karen Watson, editor

When the Morning Comes by Cindy Woodsmall
Random House Publishing, WaterBrook Multnomah - (9781400072934)
Shannon Hill, editor

THANK YOU again for all your prayers for my writing and for Ransomed Dreams to reach the hands and hearts of many folks. I sooooo appreciate you!

Monday, March 24, 2008

For Pete's Sake

I have another wonderful book to share! Linda Windsor has long been an author whose books I look forward to reading. She tells beautiful stories packed with breathing characters you'd like to invite over for coffee. Not only that, she can make you laugh out loud and learn something soul deep.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
For Pete's Sake
Book Two of the Piper Cove Chronicles
(Avon Inspire - April 1, 2008)


Maryland author Linda Windsor has written some twenty-nine historical and contemporary novels for both the secular and inspirational markets, but she is most noted for delivering “The Lift of Laughter and Spirit” in her modern inspirational romances.

A Christy finalist and winner of numerous industry awards, Linda has written for Multnomah Publishing (historical fiction and contemporary romances), Barbour Publishing (romcom novella), and Westbow Press (the Moonstruck romantic comedy trilogy). Wedding Bell Blues the first book in her new The Piper Cove Chronicles series, is featured on Avon Inspire's launch list.

In addition to writing and doing fiction-writing workshops at conferences across the country, Linda continues a music and lay speaking ministry started by her and her late husband, and she is a part-time financial analyst. She also works on “as desperately needed” home improvement projects on the 18th-century-plus house that she and her husband began restoring in 1986. Wallpaper and paint are definitely in her near future.


For Pete's Sake is a remarkable story about the unlikely love between a grown-up tomboy and the millionaire next door.

Ellen Brittingham isn’t sure true live exists until she contracts to do the landscaping of the estate of the sophisticated widower next door, Adrian Sinclair. Adrian has it all—at least on the surface. He’s engaged to a beautiful woman who helped him build a successful business and he’ll soon have a mom for his troubled son Pete.

Yet, from the moment Ellen rescues a stranded Adrian on her Harley, his well-ordered world turns upside down, cracking his thin fa├žade of happiness and revealing the void of faith and love behind it. Even more, his son seems to have his own sites set on Ellen – as his new mom.

As Ellen’s friendship grows with Pete, she realizes that his father is about to marry the wrong woman for the right reasons. And despite her resolve to remain “neighbors only” with the dad, the precocious boy works his way into her heart, drawing Ellen and Adrian closer. Close enough for heartbreak, for Pete’s sake!

But how can her heart think that Adrian Sinclair is the one when he’s engaged to a sophisticated beauty who is everything Ellen isn’t. When Ellen’s three best friends see she’s been bitten by the love bug, they jump into action and submit her to a makeover that reveals the woman underneath her rough exterior and puts her in contention for Adrian’s love.

But Ellen must ask herself whether she’s ready to risk the heart that she’s always held close. Will Ellen be able to trust that God brought this family into her life for a reason? Or will her fear of getting hurt cause her to turn away from God’s plan and her one true chance at love?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Two Cups

Reading with my kiddos this week has brought me to tears many times. It's not like this is an unusual occurrence. We read tons of amazing books that we end up biting our nails to see how it ends and lifting up teary cheers in the end.

But the stories this week have been violent ones.

Ones about death.

And not the suspense genre kind.

Of these historical stories, the one that most deeply affected me was the one today called Two Cups.

It started with a simple meal, shared among friends. One cup, a symbol for what would take place starting later that night.

But the other cup symbolized a willingness to take part in an act that would mean death. Destruction. Hell in a very literal sense.

The first cup held wine and was blessed by Jesus and given to the disciples.

The second He drank in the garden of Gethsemane.

It's that cup which has brought me to tears this week. Not only did Jesus endure excruciating physical pain, but He became sin and experienced seperation from the Father.

So we wouldn't have to.

I can't begin to comprehend it. But it does something to my heart when I try. When I see the whip lashes and rough cross. When I listen to His last words.

When I realize He did all that for me.

As my children and I were talking about this, I said something that continues to reverberate in my soul~ I wonder if we really thought about what Jesus did on the cross, would it be so easy to sin?

For me, when I really contemplate the cross, it breaks my heart how easy it is for me to walk away and forget. To sin.

But that is one of the beautiful things about Easter. It's a time to remember. The cups Jesus drank. The cross where He died. The Empy Tomb.

To lift our eyes once again and give thanks, surrounded by other believers, watched by the angels and smiled on by God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Because the cross declares our freedom from sin, the punishment paid. My life and yours redeemed.

And the Garden of Gethsemane reminds me of the two cups. Jesus offered one to do in remembrance of the new covenant. He drank from the second cup, willingly accepting the Father's plan. He took on suffering, sin and separation so that we could experience salvation. Abundant Life. Freedom.

I pray this Easter is one of remembrance. Of cup drinking. Of tasting and seeing that the Lord is good. And taking the cup willingly, receiving His good plan for us~ bitter along with sweet.

God is good all the time. And all the time, He is good. May this Good Friday and Easter Sunday be eyes-open days, full of light.

Drink deep and worship.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Can I ask a favor?

My amazing hubby and I are doing a "new" thing in terms of spreading the news about the Defenders of Hope series. This idea is by no means truly new, but we've had some great results so far and are hoping you all will join us.

What we're doing is visiting local bookstores to introduce ourselves and ask if they're planning to carry Healing Promises. We've also offered complimentary copies of the book to review and postcards for them to give customers.

So far the managers have been wonderful! Some are even planning to display Healing Promises at the Customer Service counter. Great exposure to new readers.

As a thank you, we're adding bookstores that carry Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises to our website.

And that's where you all come in. If you know of bookstores in your area that carry the Defenders of Hope books, will you please let me know the store name and address? We'll add those to the Heart Chocolate site so people all over the US can see where to find the books.

If your local stores don't yet carry the Defenders of Hope books, would you ask them to order a copy (or two) to put on their shelves? Please feel free to let the managers know we’ll be adding their store to our website. Most have been very excited to hear that! And I'd be happy to send you some postcards or bag stuffers to offer the managers as well.

Thanks for helping me spread the word!

What's in a name?

Apparently, not only is there much to be said for having a good name, but also for having a popular name. ;-)
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pet sins

I don't know about you, but there are areas I know well how weak I am. There are also some places in my heart and attitude I try to ignore.

Kind of like I try to ignore my kids repeated request to have a pet.

See, I'm now out of the diaper stage of parenting and the last thing I want is a puppy whimpering for a walk at 2 AM or the other odious tasks involved in pet care.

It's not that I dislike animals. I'm just living on the slow boil setting where one more daily task will turn the heat up to a Mount St. Helen's eruption in my brain.

Anyone relate?

Well, God seems to have the same view of my "pet sins" as I do of pets. Not that He can't handle them, but He knows I'm the one who can't handle those sins I'd rather ignore. Because they hurt me. And those I love.

But it's easier to feed these "pet sins" with words like, "They're not so bad" or lots of age-old excuses about my upbringing or life stage or so many things on my plate.

I'm always amused when folks give me these answers when we talk about "pet sins" like "frustration" or "chocoholism."

Ouch. That last one hurts.

And I'm not saying that the consumption of chocolate is a sin or that feeling frustrated is a sin. But for me, I know these two areas by other names...

Anger and gluttony.

And they are two "pet sins" God is opening me eyes to how much I feed them in my thoughts and actions.

It's not a pretty picture.

What frees me from dissolving into self-destructive thought patterns and the fast spiral downward is simple.

Not easy.

It's looking these "pet sins" in the mirror and calling them what they are.

Then, once I see them clearly, I can confess and throw myself in my heavenly Daddy's arms and admit I have no idea how to "fix" it.

I can't help but think He smiles when I do that.

He knows full well I can't fix it and He's never asked me to do that. What He asks is that I run to Him, depend on Him, and more than all the rest... love Him.

It helps that I know from experience He's far more filling and fulfilling than a piece of chocolate.

It also helps to remember the verses my kids and I read this morning.... nothing separates us from the love of God.

Not trials, pain or "pet sins."


So instead of eating that tempting piece of chocolate or letting Mount St. Helen's erupt in my brain, I think I'll go do a mirror check.

And trust that our heavenly Daddy is looking in there with me, eyes filled with love.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Calling all readers....

Introducing some very cool reads just for you...and a sweet deal for book lovers.

Chapter-a-Week gives readers the opportunity to read sample excerpts from a broad range of Christian fiction every week without having to pay a cent!

Plus it's a great way to discover new authors you might not have found otherwise.

Chapter-a-Week won't fill your inbox with needless emails either. Only one email per week is all it takes to discover great new titles.

Founded in February 2002 by beloved novelists Jane Orcutt and Angela Hunt, Chapter-a-Week has a steadily growing readership.

In honor of our 1000th member, Chapter-a-Week is giving away autographed books by your favorite Christian novelists! A box of books will be sent to our 1000th member, and if they mention that you recommended them, you'll receive two free books to your snail mail address too!

Chapter-a-Week is a Yahoo! Group, so simply sign on to be a subscriber of the list and you'll start receiving your excerpts every Friday. Just go to: Chapter-a-Week and click "join this group."

So come join the fun and meet some great authors via their exciting first chapters!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sweet Caroline

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Sweet Caroline
(Thomas Nelson February 12, 2008)
Rachel Hauck


I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.

But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.

After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.

But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.

I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.

Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.

I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.

In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.

With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.

Rachel has several other books that have been received with great praise, including Diva Nash Vegas and Lost In Nash Vegas.

You can purchase copies of Rachel's books, signed personally for you, at this site: Signed by the


When a Southern waitress inherits the Lowcountry cafe where she works, she suddenly has to balance more than just her next food order.

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.

Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sheriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.

But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Truffles by the Sea Winner

Drum roll please.....

The winner of a very yummy copy of Julie Carobini's Truffles by the Sea is CINDI! Chocolate congrats!

Top ten reasons I haven't blogged lately...

A friend on Shoutlife tagged me with this top ten game and I thought it'd be a great way to explain where I've been lately. Not only that, but to share some GREAT news. ;-)

10 things about me:

1. I just finished writing Enduring Justice (book 3 in the Defenders of Hope series)!!!! Can you hear me woo-hooing?! This is one of two pieces of good news to share...

2. My hubby presented me with some Godiva chocolate to celebrate finishing the DOH series.

3. My kiddos and I have been sick with one thing after another. Today I actually had to take a sick day. Haven't had one of those in years.

4. My family and I joined an amazing church in October last year and are loving the worship and community there. It's very cool to be active in growing relationships again.

5. I completed a Christmas scrapbook over the Christmas break. This has nothing to do with my lack of blogging, but I'm pretty proud of doing something with my scrapbooks. ;-)

6. My husband and I went out of town for a Valentine's Day marriage retreat, something we've never done before. It was WONDERFUL! The catching up from being offline....not so much.

7. I finished physical therapy for shoulder surgery and am doing better, but still having some issues with certain movements.

8. We're planning to redecorate the first floor of our home this summer and have been pouring over books and colors and enough options to make our heads swim.

9. We're going to DC next month and I'm SOOOO excited. Partly for research (the DOH series is set in DC) and partly because I love the city and it will be the first time taking our children there. Please pray I don't find some "duh" way to see the inside of the Hoover building. ;-)

10. And lastly, here's the other piece of good news.... I am holding copies of Healing Promises!!! Praise God for the birth of my second book baby! And it's just as cool an experience as the first time.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Truffles by the Sea

This week I have a super fun beach-lit book with a super yummy cover and an awesome story to share with you. And not only will I tell you about the story, but I also have a copy to give away!

So read on and leave me a note in the comments for your chance to win a book that combines a great escape with deep faith, good chocolate and loads of laughs.

This week, the

Bethany House (February 1, 2008)


Julie Carobini is an award-winning writer whose stories often spotlight her family, the sea, and God's timely work in the lives of those around her. She lives with her husband, Dan, and their three children in Ventura Beach, California.

She also likes to blog! Visit her at Waves of Grace~ a beautiful piece of the beach~ and learn more about a very special message for you and how you can enter to win a copy of Truffles by the Sea AND a 1/2 lb. box of yummy truffles. Can't miss a chance to win chocolate! :-)


If you read, Julie's first book, Chocolate Beach, then you might remember Gaby as Bri’s dramatic, lovesick best friend. Unfortunately, things get worse—much worse—for her before they get…well, best not to give it away.

Sometimes all a girl has left is chocolate...

Gaby Flores has a penchant for drama and an unfortunate knack for dating Mr. So Wrong. After breaking off yet another relationship, watching her apartment building burn to the ground, and discovering that her dippy delivery guy has run off with most of her business, Gaby decides it’s time to turn things around.

So she moves to a tiny waterfront loft and takes on a new motto: “Be gullible no more!” With help from her friends, she works to rebuild her flower shop—and her life. But when legal troubles and quirky neighbors and two surprising romances enter her beachy world, Gaby’s motto and fledgling faith are put to the test.

Can a young woman prone to disaster in both work and love finally find happily ever after?
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