Annual Shoe Contest on Writing By Faith Blog

For the last 3 years, the group blog I post on each Sunday with Angela Breidenbach, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Lindi Peterson, Missy Tippens, and Mindy Obenhaus has sponsored a contest following the ACFW Conference. To win a free gift, all the reader of our blog needs to do is guess which shoe belongs to which FAITH girl. But this year, we’ve shaken the contest up a bit….

You see, FAITH girl Lindi wasn’t able to attend conference this year, so there are only 5 FAITH girls in the shot, but there are 8, yes EIGHT, shoes in the photo. The other 3 shoes belong to literary agents. It’s your job to guess which one. So jump on over to the Writing by Faith blog to throw in your guess and for a chance to win the free gifts from each FAITH girl. We’ll post clues every day this upcoming week, so you’ll need to check back with us to figure it out and win the prize.

Good luck!!! F. A. I. T. H. Following.Always.Intently.Trusting.Him.: Annual Shoe Contest!


Do you remember that Kool & the Gang song – “Celebration”

The song goes like the title of this post: “Celebrate good times, come on! (da da da dum) celebrate good times, come on…”

Ah, never mind my singing… let’s just see the video… (Thanks VEVO)

Today, we’re celebrating some major news for 3 of my best Gal Pals.

Lindi Peterson – signed with Belle Books for Her Best Catch – to be released winter 2011

Dianna Shuford

Mindy Obenhaus

Finaled in the Genesis Contest in the Romantic Suspense Category!!!

So… Let’s Celebrate!! YaHoo!!! Congrats Ladies!!!

And here are the 2010 Genesis finalists:
(total entries: 47)

Cindy Hays
Lynnette P. Horner
Chris Kraft
Mark Lundgren
Christina S. Nelson

(total entries: 63)

Jeannie Campbell
Sarah Forgrave
Janice LaQuiere
Rebecca Syme
Linda Yezak

(total entries: 35)

Laurie Benton
Brenda Jackson
Robert Kaku
Lisa Karon Richardson
Katie-Marie Stout

(total entries: 65)

Susanne Dietze
Anne Greene
Pam Hillman
Lisa Karon Richardson
Ruth Trippy

(total entries: 45)

Rich Bullock
Barbara Early (double finalist with two entries)
Lynda Schab
Chawna Schroeder

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE (there was a two-way tie for the fifth finalist slot):
(total entries: 50)

Valerie Goree
Mindy Obenhaus
Leslie Pfeil
Dianna Shuford
Teri Dawn Smith
Terri Weldon

(total entries: 49)

Ben Erlichman
Suzanne Krein
Shelley Ledfors
Andra Marquardt
Holly Smit

WOMEN’S FICTION (there was a three-way tie for the fifth finalist slot):
(total entries: 76)

Lisa Buffaloe
Jennifer Fromke
Terri Haynes
Fay Lamb
Christina S. Nelson
Melissa Tagg
Michelle Ule

(total entries: 56)

Angela Bell
Lin Harris
Kasey Heinly
LoraLee Kodzo
Stefanie Morris


ACFW Saturday Night Awards Ceremony

The food at the Denver Marriott was awesome! The chef surprised us all with this delectable dessert

It was almost too pretty to eat…


Here I am with my ACFW roommate and FAITH Girl Mindy. One of the highlights to going to ACFW is hanging out with her. Too bad we live several states away.

One of the great things about living in Georgia is being a part of Writers of Remarkable Design, the Georgia Chapter of ACFW. I’m posing with Ane Mulligan, a great mentor and friend from WORD. Ane always has something delightful to share and will always make you laugh.

Had to grab a photo of my table mates!

And then the ceremony began! Here is a list of the winners:

Contemporary Fiction
Jennifer Griffith, Magpies in Trees

Contemporary Romance
Christy LaShea Smith, The Bridge Between

Historical Fiction
Christine Schmidtke, Unveiled

Historical Romance
Lacy Williams, Marrying Miss Marshal

Alan Schleimer, Q.doc

Romantic Suspense
Jan Warren, Katherine Octavia, C.I.A.

David Fry, Lies To See

Women’s Fiction
Cathleen Armstrong, The Church of Last Chance

Young Adult
Gretchen Hoffman, Rewind


I’m still shocked I won my category. What an awesome honor!

Remember Wayne’s World?


Here I am giving my acceptance speech. Of course, since I ad-libbed the speech I forgot a few people…

Thank you to my dear husband for always being so supportive of my writing. He graciously puts up with me when I’m having mood swings, when the story isn’t going as I want it to, when I’m frustrated I haven’t allowed enough writing time in my day. He gives me the free time I need to write. He makes sacrifices – he goes fishing when I need the house to myself to get the writing done. Billy is a huge part of my success!

Thank you to my mom and my mother in law for always watching my daughter so I can go to my writer’s meetings and offering to watch my daughter when I need time just to stay at home alone and write.

It’s so tough to sacrifice time away from family. It’s dedication to get up hours BEFORE my husband and child to use that time to write and not take time away from them. I’ve got a wonderful support group in my family.

Here we are, 4 of 6 FAITH sisters.

Wonderful experience.
Memorable night!

Thank you to the first round judges and the final round judges!

ACFW Conference Highlights

Worship is always awesome at ACFW. It brings us back to why we write and who we’re writing for. Praising God for our accomplishments and guidance to our goals.
This song is so meaningful to me. While I’m waiting, I will serve You Lord… those are just some of the lyrics. We need to apply that to every aspect of our life… from hard times with family, to challenges at work when we wonder or ask God – “Lord, why am I here?” – to waiting for our dreams to come true. Remember to serve Him while you wait on His answer!

Here, Rachel Hauck leads worship. Her Glory band is fabulous!

FAITH Sisters Mindy and Angie ~ They are a wonderful support for me and I’m glad to call them sisters in Christ!

Here is best selling author Debbie Macomber.

Debbie has been one of my favorite authors for years and it was such a treat hearing her speak at ACFW Conference this year. She overcame obstacles of dyslexia, to many years of rejection. Perserverance pays off!

A view from the Marriott at the Denver Tech Center.

One of the best views I could grab of the mountains in the distance.

ACFW – Arrival in Denver

Today was a beautiful day to fly… Here is my view from seat F. I sat beside two ladies in route to a wedding.

For a yet-to-be-published writer, I think it can be a bit uncomfortable when someone asks you what you write. I’m sure I blushed when these ladies grilled me about who I was and what I wrote as the plane parked and we all started to file out of the tiny aircraft. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember what you write and please don’t ask me about the book I’ve been working on for five years… I wasn’t ready to pitch! I thought I’d only have to pitch to editors and agents – not my flight buddies!

I tried to steer them toward my two published friends sitting ahead of me, Julie Garmon and Missy Tippens, but these ladies were intent on trying to figure if they’d read anything I’d written, or trying to plant in their mind my name. Such sweet ladies and hopefully, if I’m ever published, they’ll remember to look for Christy LaShea on the bookshelves, instead of remembering the fluttery red-head who couldn’t remember her name or the current book she was working on.

Then again, that flight to Denver may be one fat fog for them…

Ah! The Hotel! This is the Marriott at the Denver Tech Center.
It’s a gorgeous hotel. Multicolored red carpet blankets the corridors. Stone is laid near the entryway and elevators. There are columns of what I think may be flagstone.
The hotel is huge and spacious. The staff is polite and accommodating and I think I can make this home for the next four days.

2009 Genesis Finalists

The slice of life for today is still all about the Genesis Contest! Here’s a full list of the finalists as announced on the ACFW loop. Congratulations to everyone!

(total entries: 44)

Sharon Ball
David W. Fry
Jennifer Griffith
Ane Mulligan
Patty Slack

(total entries: 75)

Cathy Bryant
Kathleen Haynes
Lisa Jordan
Christy LaShea Smith
Eileen Astels Watson

(total entries: 39)

Nancy Herriman
D’Ann Mateer
Christina Miller
Sandi Rog
Christine Schmidtke

HISTORICAL ROMANCE (six finalist entries due to a tie, but one is a
double finalist):
(total entries: 57)

Jody Hedlund (double finalist with two entries)
Lisa Richardson
Connie Stevens
Gina Welborn
Lacy Williams

(total entries: 45)

David Fry
Anne Greene
Dineen Miller
Lynda Schab
Alan Schleimer

(total entries: 50)

Mary F. Allen
Wenda Dottridge
Danica Favorite-McDonald
Kelly Ann Riley
Janet Warren

(total entries: 45)

Valerie Comer
Megan Ebba
David Fry
Suzanne Krein
Lisa Tuttle

(total entries: 62)

Cathleen Armstrong
Marie Wells Coutu
Candee Fick
Julie Garmon
Ashely Weis

(total entries: 37)

Kasey L. Heinly
Gretchen Hoffman
Susan Miura
Diana Sharples (double finalist with two entries)

Fabulous Friday

I am thanking God for the unexpected blessing of my manuscript finalling in ACFW’s 2009 Genesis Contest! The first round judges were great and gave me some awesome scores and helpful feedback! Hard work definitely has reward. Just to final in this contest is a huge compliment.

Whatever you are doing, keep it up and work hard at what you love.

Next week, I’ll get back on my blog schedule and review Missy Tippen’s latest book His Forever Love. Come back and join me!

ACFW Conference 2008 – Wednesday!

I flew into Minneapolis around 5:30. I wasn’t alone for long. There were a lot of ACFW folks waiting for the hotel shuttle. Once we settled in at the hotel, a group of about 15-20 of us invaded the Olive Garden for dinner…

Here’s two of my good friends, Amy Wallace(Author of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises) and F.A.I.T.H. girl, Jennifer Hudson Taylor

And here’s my roomie, and fellow F.A.I.T.H. Girl Mindy Obenhaus with new CBA author Beth Wiseman (Author of Plain Perfect)

And with F.A.I.T.H. Girl Angie Breidenbach is her Agent Tamela Hancock Murray.

Texas Ladies Anne, Dawn and Lena Nelson Dooley (Multipubbed author of more books than I have room to mention here!) share a delicious Gelato!

And here’s the whole gang! I know the good people of Olive Garden were glad when all of us chatty authors left. But we had a great time. If you’re ever in Minneapolis, visit the Olive Garden not far from the Sheraton. Don’t ask me how to get there. I couldn’t begin to tell you….But we sure had fun!

Three books you need to read…

After the numerous reviews that tie up the CFBA review of Tamera Alexander’s Remembered, I feel a little small following up with my review of this book. However, it’s my blog and I suppose you’re here because you found me by accident or you want to know what I think about this book.

I loved it.

I loved all of the books in the Fountain Creek Chronicles Series. You must read these in order, however if you’re a rebel and decide not to, you won’t be lost. Each novel is a story of its own. However the characters are mentioned in each preceding book.

One reviewer below said that the characters in the books come alive. That is so true. I cared what happened to each heroine and each hero.

I recently took a workshop titled “Dissecting a Novel” given by Tamera at the ACFW Conference. She suggested highlighting parts in the books that moved you, tagging your favorite scenes… Well, if I started dissecting Tamera’s series, I suppose the entire book would be highlighted, dogeared, and tabbed. These are books I want to loan to my friends and family, recommend they purchase because they are so good. And I have done just that. But they can’t go far from my bookshelf because I may want to enjoy the stories again.

If you enjoy Historicals, and you haven’t done so already, I suggest you introduce yourself to Ms. Alexander’s Fountain Creek Chronicles, then sit back in a comfy chair, because upon opening the first page, you’ll be taking a trip to the old West. And in “Remembered” you’ll be taking a voyage to France. Now that’s some awesome travelling, and you don’t even need a passport.

ACFW Conference – Dallas!

The American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Dallas, Texas was awesome! From the time I stepped off the plane on Thursday until Sunday when I returned home, I hardly stopped! I can say that honestly, even being the mom of Downey, the busiest two-year old I’ve ever met.

ACFW conference was kicked off Wednesday by an Early Bird Session with Margie Lawson. Unfortunately, I didn’t sign up for that, but spent the rest of the conference hearing how magnificent Margie’s class had been. Darn. Why do I always miss the important stuff?

No worries. Thursday I attended a meeting for First-Time Attendees. Brandilyn Collins and Cara Putnam welcomed us and shared some insider information. This was proceeded by a month of emails, just for the first-timers, where we could send Cara and Brandilyn questions. These ladies made sure to answer all our questions on the email loop, included some other ACFW members in the loop who shared their opinions and wisdom. When Thursday arrived, our group of about 150+ didn’t have many questions. We were ready to step out into the real world of writer’s conferences and have a blast. I hope my fellow first-timers had a successful time, as I did.

Following the first-time attendees meeting, the conference began with a First Act Play. A group of writers acting as ACFW board members kicked off our weekend with a hilarious performance. Below is a picture of the gang. I’m sorry I don’t know everyone, but the chick in the ball hat is my fellow FAITH sister Angie Breidenbach, in the role of Randy Ingermanson.

Here’s a hazy picture of a Texas sunrise. Please forgive the glare of my camera and the dirty window. It was as close as I could come to the real thing. I knew if I tried to run downstairs to get outside, I’d lose my point of view and the sun would already be up. God doesn’t mess around, you know.

Here I’m at a morning worship service. That’s Rachel Hauck at keyboards and on lead vocals. She’s got a great voice and I sat beside her in one of the workshops. I took the opportunity to tell her how much I enjoyed Diva NashVegas and shared with her some of my favorite scenes. (you can check out my review of that book under my label of “Books I Recommend”)

Saturday, I took Dissecting a Novel – a workshop taught by author Tamera Alexander. Check back with me later in the week as her third book will be toured on the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and I’m planning to feature all three of her books – stories you MUST read!

Doggone it.

Photo op with one of my favorite authors and I look all squinty. Oh well, the class was good and I received a lot of good information.

* * *

Saturday night, just before the awards banquet. It’s the F.A.I.T.H. Girls! – Well, four of us anyway! Me, Angie, Mindy(my superfun roomie), and Genesis finalist Jennifer.

Jennifer had two manuscripts final in the Genesis contest. She placed 3rd in the Contemporary Romance category for By His Plan. She placed 2nd in the Historical Romance category for Promised Blessings.

Way to Go, Jenn!!!

More good news! Ane Mulligan, fellow ACFW/WORD member, took 2nd place in the Genesis Women’s Fiction category for her manuscript When the Wind Blows.

Congratulations Ane!

Here’s Jennifer running from an adoring fan (Angie Breidenbach)!

Proud FAITH Sisters!
Missy and Lindi ~ We missed you!