Retreats, Retreats, Retreats

Just got back from the Arkansas ACFW Writers Retreat. We met at a beautiful retreat center in Clinton, AR. The drive was gorgeous. The trees are beginning to put on their fall colors and we were treated with a wonderful color show.

I get to recover this week and head out to our church retreat on Friday. I’m looking forward to some fellowship with our church family.

As always, I’m behind on showing you the book covers I’ve completed. It’s been a busy summer and I’ve completed a ton of covers which both humbles and excites me. I’ll try to get some posts up showcasing those wonderful books.

And if all of that is not enough, I’m writing a novella. Yes, you heard correctly. I’m WRITING a novella. It’s a short story about an artist in a coastal town. I’m still working out the plot, but I have the first two scenes completed…I think. LOL.

One last goodie. I’ve participated in a month-long daily drawing challenge. Many of you have been so gracious to comment on my Facebook and Instagram feeds when I posted those drawings. Here are a few to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Book Cover For Faith’s Journey

Faiths-JourneyAs most of you know, I’m always running a little behind. It seems like every week lately has involved finishing up a book cover and getting the book formatted and ready for publication. That’s such an exciting time for both me and the author because now their book has life. It has a face now and the bones have been settled into place.

I loved working with Heather Greer and her cover came together so nicely. One of the locations in her book was a state park in Illinois and that became the backdrop for her cover. Her main character Faith, dressed in casual fall attire, became the focal point of this very simple but gorgeous cover. Here’s a teaser from this contemporary romance.

Katie McGowan left her parents and their faith behind years ago. However, when faced with a devastating betrayal, Katie is ready to go back to Carbondale, Illinois to help her elderly parents despite their tempestuous relationship. Drained by the constant friction, Katie finds emotional support and encouragement in Austin. His practical, simple faith speaks to Katie, and she finds herself yearning for a new connection to God. As their friendship grows, so does the attraction between Katie and Austin.

Before her fledgling faith and thoughts of romance have a chance to take root, Katie’s cheating fiancé returns, remorseful and promising change. Can her tentative faith strengthen their past love? And if her heart breaks again, will Katie’s journey to faith end before it has really begun?

Faith’s Journey was published by Mantle Rock Publishing and is available on Amazon.

Vintage Style Pendant Necklaces

I’ve fallen in love with these gorgeous Vintage Style Pendant Necklaces. I’ve made several for myself, friends and my authors.

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This is my Chickadee on a Pine Branch print. And for my author’s I put their books on a burlap backdrop for their own unique wearable promotion piece.

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Check out my Etsy store for other examples of my artwork pendants or get details on creating your own piece of wearable art by submitting your unique image.

Good and Perfect Gifts

I love reading posts from my author’s (because if I create their cover, they are my author) about the reception of their first book. It’s always special to see the you on their face and hear it ringing from their words. Congratulations to Heather and thank you for letting me be a part of this process!

By the Book

Tonight I celebrated twenty-one years of marriage to my husband, Andy. Last year, on our twentieth anniversary, he got me a new wedding ring. I hadn’t been able to wear my original one in years, and this new ring was the perfect gift for that milestone anniversary. Tonight’s celebration wasn’t nearly as elaborate, but considering our busy lives, just being able to go to dinner with him and spend some time window shopping made it special.

That’s not to say I didn’t get an anniversary surprise this year. It just didn’t come from Andy. Tonight, as we pulled into our driveway, I noticed four packages waiting for me. Knowing what they held, I couldn’t contain my excitement. As soon as we carried the four boxes inside, we picked one back up and headed to my parents’ house. I wanted them to join Andy and me as I opened the first…

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Reflecting in Mindful Meditation

When the Lord blesses you with an awesome daughter, sometimes you just reblog her words instead of your own. Well, technically I guess they are partly mine since I hope I have made a lasting impression on her.
Share your calm thoughts or places with me. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

Always Speaks Her Mind

Sweet friends, I’m not done sharing my story from this summer but for now I am trying to make it through my last two weeks of school. (Sherry I know you’re just eager to hear more of my story 😉 )

I am working on a project for my Engagements class, a Lipscomb general credit class, about Creativity in Work, Wonder, and Worship. For the project, I wrote out a mindful meditation and reflecting while in that calm state. I invite you all to read this and meditate over the words I’ve written. It may be just something that I needed to preach to myself more than anything but I hope it is beneficial to you all as well. Grace and peace be with you always.

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Try to still your mind. Picture yourself in front of a calm lake, whether it’s a lake you’ve visited, a lake you’ve fantasized about…

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BCR – Callum’s Compass

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The cover for Callum’s Compass by Sara Foust has been finished for a while, but I’m just now getting around to releasing it for you to see. The story is set in East Tennessee at Norris Lake, a beautiful clear lake that I have visited many times. Most of my visits were to a Boy Scout camp located on it’s banks but that didn’t detract from the natural beauty the area exudes. This was a fun cover to create, blending the compass and the beautiful lake setting together. The outdoor settings lended well to a rustic, campy font usage that tells the reader where the story is set.

Sara’s crafted a lovely story and here’s a preview of it’s contents.

KAT WILLIAMS’S brother died in a gruesome accident in the mountains of East Tennessee. She blames herself.

RYAN JENKINS’S fiancée was murdered. He couldn’t protect her.

With the death of her brother, Kat believes she is unworthy of love from anyone—even God. When a good friend elicits a promise that she will stop living in the past, then leaves her clues to a real-life treasure hunt, Kat embarks on an adventure chock-full of danger. To find the treasure, Kat will have to survive wild animals—and even wilder men. Can she rely on Ryan, the handsome wildlife officer assigned to protect her … without falling in love?

Ryan swore off love when his fiancée was murdered, but feelings long buried rise to the surface around Kat. He volunteers to help with her treasure hunt, vowing to keep her safe. Together they venture deep into caves and tunnels … and even deeper into the depths of their unplumbed hearts.

Callum’s Compass is available for pre-order on Amazon. You can learn more about Sara and her writing at her website, www.saralfoust.com.

Tragic News

In between all the news yesterday about Trump and the NFL players standing or not standing you may have seen a blip on the news about a shooting in a Tennessee church. One dead, seven injured. It may be being reported as a possible civil rights attack. At any rate, it has been tragic. And it has hit close to our family.

The minister of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ was Joey Spann. Coach Spann, as we all know him, was Savannah’s eighth grade Bible teacher at Goodpasture. She loved his class and I appreciated the fact that he taught with heart. He was more than just a teacher, he was a mentor and friend. I remember most fondly Savannah sharing with me his cartoons of the Bible lessons they were studying. She would come home saying, “Mom, you’ve got see what Coach Spann gave us today.”

I think the greatest compliment anyone can be given is that they touched the life of a child in the name of Christ. I saw that from Coach Spann over and over again.

Today, I lift his name and his whole family in prayer. Coach Spann was critically injured during the church shooting. Following surgery yesterday he remains in stable but critical condition. His wife was also injured. Prayers for all the other victims as well.

Prayers for peace.

Now and forever.

Bible Journaling Jeremiah 29:11

IMG_1383A few weeks ago, an Etsy customer asked me to create four Bible Journaling bookmarks for her use in her church’s children’s ministry. I was glad to be able to help a fellow kid’s ministry worker. She needed them rather quickly so I created the artwork but have not colored and journaled them all just yet. This is the first one I have completed and has the verse from Jeremiah 29:11. I added it to my Bible using color pencils for a quick and easy process.

Prismacolor pencils in the following colors: Rose 743 1/2, Peacock Green 907, Light Green 738 1/2, Blue Violet 933, Crimson Lake 295, Sienna Brown 746. I also used a light blue and a golden yellow that no longer have their names or numbers visible. Yes, some of these have been in my stash for quite a while.

After printing out my template, I traced the design into my journaling Bible. I didn’t use any “techniques” other than blending some of the lighter and darker colors together. Sometimes, it’s nice to just relax with a few colors and not stress about the latest techniques.

If you are interested in the template, it is available here in my Etsy Store! Many blessings!

BCR – Rescued Hearts

Rescued HeartsThis is a little late, sorry guys! But, I wanted to share this wonderful cover with you while the book is still on pre-sale. Rescued Hearts is a romantic suspense novel set in North Carolina. Here is a snippet of the story.

Children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar-entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Beaten, bound, and gagged by the two thugs inside, Mary Wade loses hope for escape when a third villain returns with supplies.

Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Weighing the difference of ruining his three months’ investigation against the woman’s safety, Brett forsakes his mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind.

When Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more, Brett rescues her again. This time, her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy. Her heart is endangered as well.

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Rescued Hearts is the third novel by Hope and the second book I’ve had the privilege of creating a cover for. Irish Encounter was her first novel and one of my all-time favorite cover designs. Visit Hope on Facebook or on her website.

Rescued Hearts ebook is discounted for pre-sale at $2.99 until September 19th, when it will be delivered as an ebook or available for purchase in both print and ebook.

KenTen Writers Retreat

This week I’m attending the KenTen Writers Retreat at Paris Landing State Park. This is a fun loving group of gals that I retreated with last year. I’m glad that they let the non-writing cover designer hang with them. I enjoy learning about their writing process. It gives me a greater appreciation for the effort they put into their books. I can understand better when creating their cover, just how important their “baby” is to them.

This year, the retreated was expanded and opened up to writers outside the KenTen group. We have authors in attendance from Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. I think all the authors write “clean” fiction, if not Christian. It’s great to be among people creating uplifting and encouraging novels and short stories. I’m proud to call them friends.

Here’s a few photo’s from last night’s meet & greet.

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I also got to meet several of the authors that I have created covers for. I’ll be highlighting them as our week continues. First up, was Jaqueline Wheelock. I have been working on a cover for Jaqueline’s second book, In Search of an Emerald. She is a sweet lady from Mississippi and so easy to work with. I’m honored to be creating her cover. I’ll probably release it next week after we make the last few touch ups on it.IMGP1552

Sorry the photos may be taking a moment or two to load. I didn’t resize them smaller since I’m on the road.

Have a wonderful day. I know I will!