Hey Y'all!

It took me awhile to get here, but alas I'm finally joining the blogosphere of bloviation. It took a rant floating around in my head to send me toward this journey, but so be it. We'll have some fun here too. I promise. Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to leave me a comment or two. ~ diane

Friday, August 31, 2012

Elmo Rides Again!

I am SO EXCITED to announce the release of Ken's new book! Some Things Never Change picks up right where Ordained Irreverence left off, following the further adventures of Elmo Jenkins, the newest full-time staff member at First Church.

In the first book, soon-to-be-seminary-graduate Elmo blundered his way through his internship at First Church, learning the ins and outs of working on staff at a mega-church. He met lots of fascinating, oddball characters in those crazy months and even found love along the way.

Ken (writing under the pseudonym of "McMillian Moody") has received so many wonderful emails and reviews on that first book and rightly so. Many of the situations and characters were based on experiences he encountered over 15 years in church ministry. There are many heartfelt scenes in Ordained Irreverence, but more than anything it's a light-hearted, hilarious rendering of daily life on a quirky church staff.

With even more of those memories for Elmo to explore, Ken has crafted a sequel that doesn't disappoint. I'm a tough critic when it comes to story lines, and even though I admit to being rather partial to this particular author, I LOVED this book! I laughed, I cried, and I was even shocked a couple of times.

If you never read Ordained Irreverence, I'd suggest reading it first so you'll understand the cast of characters. Then treat yourself with a second visit to First Church in Some Things Never Change. There, you'll go behind the scenes of a church trying to fight the controversial battle so many churches even now are facing - that of trying to remain relevant and genuine to a new generation of believers without abandoning those older men and women who've poured their hearts and lives into a church they love. Granted, that might not sound even remotely funny, but if anyone can find a spark of humor in such a serious situation, it's certainly Elmo Jenkins.

Here's an excerpt from the book's description:
The whole gang is back for the bumpy ride along with some colorful new characters. Be there when Elmo surprises Bonnie on their wedding day. Tag along when Dunston finally takes Elmo fishing. Feel the thrill of riding in a red Viper with a friar at the wheel. And help Elmo figure out that creepy little statue named Ferty . . . who's stalking him? It's another unforgettable visit to First Church you won't want to miss.

Congratulations, Ken! I'm so proud of you!

(P.S. There might or might not be a surprise cameo by a character from my book Blue Christmas. But I guess you'll just have to read the book to find out!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Will Somebody Please Slap Me?

I can't believe how long I've let the dust collect in this pitiful little blog! Almost 5 months!? I keep trying to talk myself into just shutting it down, but it almost feels like I'd be cutting off an arm or something. If that makes sense? Oh, how I wish I was disciplined enough to write something here every day. Instead, life gets in the way, and once again I find myself banging my head on my keyboard. Where or where did these past 5 months go?!

Okay, to be fair, life has been a bit crazy. After I finished BLUE LIKE ELVIS, I jumped into a cookbook project. I badgered our extended Hale family (my mother's side of the family) and collected a bunch of great family recipes and memories. Naturally, it took waaaay longer than I'd planned to compile it, but I was absolutely thrilled with the finished product. In the middle of it all, I threw my back out - which actually worked well since I had hours and hours of recipes to key in. Then, our dear friend Fred Weisbrodt saved the day by giving us a killer good deal on the production and printing, including tabs for the dividers. Didn't it come out nice? With 300 recipes, even if you don't know anyone in our family, these would make a great gift. If you'd like a copy, email me. We had plenty of extras printed. Just $15 which includes shipping!

In June, I loaded the cookbooks and my bags and flew to Amarillo with Dad and my sister Morlee for a Hale Family Reunion. It was so great seeing everyone again and so much fun to share the cookbook with those who'd contributed all those yummy recipes!

When I got home, I jumped back into my latest book project, a World War II novel based on an unforgettable mission which my father took part in. (More about that in a later blog.) I have LOVED working on the book with Dad! I just pray I can do the story justice.

We finally FINALLY got the house repairs completed following our tornado damage back in March. And finally FINALLY, the kitchen redo is done. Loving it! Now I'm looking forward to setting up my office in Ben's old room. That said, the older I get, the longer it takes to go from visualized idea to finished project.
In the meantime, I also made a trip to San Diego with our daughter Hannah, helping her relocate there. Such a beautiful city and I'm so glad I got to spend that week with her, getting her settled in her new home. God graciously gave her two new roommates who are just adorable and quite the kindred spirits. Thankfully, she has a job she can take anywhere, so that was a blessing. Yes, California is a longgggg way from here, but I know it's where she needs to be right now. Keep her in your prayers, okay?

And I am SO EXCITED about Ken's new book, the sequel to ORDAINED IRREVERENCE. I just finished editing the second draft and I can't even put into words how much I love love love this story! Writing sequels can be treacherous, but this one blew me away. More to come about SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE in the next few weeks!

I do apologize for neglecting this poor blog for so long, but I trust you can understand now that I've been a bit distracted and busy. As the summer heat seems to be in its way out (YEA GOD!), I'm looking forward to fall and all it has in store. How about you?