Saturday, August 30, 2008

Random Thoughts by Me

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."--Mark Twain

I ran across this quote this morning. I had read it recently and then saw it again this morning and it really spoke to me as it is how I wish my mind would work lately. However, my mind has not been going in that direction. I've been doubting my decisions. Thinking I shouldn't do certain things as they would be "the final nail in the coffin" so to say. However, so long as I feel God is in what I am doing, I shouldn't sit around and wait. Because in 20 years I will look back and fuss at myself and say "why didn't I do that." For instance, I'm glad I went to Europe this Summer. And it was a super-cool trip. However, I think I would have more emotions toward the trip had I backed out and not gone. Sad concept. So, I'm really going to pray that God will provide me the courage to do those things I have doubts about so long as they are in His will for my life.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Passion Redeemed

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Passion Redeemed

Revell (September 1, 2008)


Julie Lessman


Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God’s precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure was her first novel.


No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought. Charity O'Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. Her stunning beauty and flirtatious ways have always succeeded with men. Until Mitch Dennehy, that is.

Brilliant and dangerously handsome, Mitch is a no-nonsense newspaperman who wants nothing to do with her. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won't play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants--one way or another.

Or does she? Will her best-laid schemes win his love? Or will her seductive ways drive him away forever? Book 2 in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed will captivate your heart and stir your soul with a story of faith and redemption rising from the ashes of temptation, desire, and shame.

Praise for the first book in the series:

"Full of romance, humor, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure will captivate readers from the first page." --Historical Novels Review "Superb! Incredible!

"I loved Julie Lessman's A Passion Most Pure from the second I picked it up until the very last moment I stopped reading." --Armchair Interviews

"I devoured this book and loved every single page. . . . This is a thick, juicy read, and one I would pick up again in a heartbeat."

If you would like to read an excerpt from A Passion Redeemed, go HERE. To purchase this book for yourself, click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Book Review - Twice Loved

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Twice Loved

Avon Inspire (July 22, 2008)


Lori Copeland


Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, two daughter-in-laws, and five wonderful grandchildren. They are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.

Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995 after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has more than 95 books published including Now And Always
and Bluebonnet Belle.


Texas, 1865 Willow Madison and her friends, Copper and Audrey taught school in neighboring Texas communities until the Yankees rode into the area and burned them out. In the midst of fear and chaos, survivors banded together to fight for what remained of their homes. Then word reached the people that the terrible war was over.

Now penniless but still hopeful, Willow vows she will take care of her friends, Copper and Audrey, and her ailing uncle, in Thunder Ridge, Texas, even if it means having to marry wealthy Silas Sterling, a man thirty years her senior. But standing in her way is handsome sawmill owner Tucker Gray, with his enticing eyes and infuriating headstrong manner—the man Willow cannot get out of her head . . . or her heart. Even though her friends beg her not to give up her dream of happiness, Willow is determined to do the right thing for those who are dearest to her. But which path does God want Willow to take: a life of duty and commitment . . . or a life of everlasting love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Twice Loved, go HERE

Sunday, August 24, 2008

She Gets Me

If you sit and reflect on your life, they say if you have 5 great friends you are blessed. I mentioned some of my peeps who get me in my top 200 post. And I've learned that you don't take these people for granted. Last night I was hanging out with some friends and acquaintances (and when does a person go from acquaintance to friend?) I realized that my friend here who gets me and I spend a lot of time together. So much so that people think we are roommates. And I kinda felt guilty because we have all of these inside jokes that the people around us don't know and don't get. But then I realized that she will be leaving me soon. She's going to work for an amazing company on the other side of the world. And I'm gonna miss her like mad. So if people get annoyed that we have so much in common, spend so much time together, and have all these inside jokes then they can get over it because I'm gonna be selfish with her time while I have her here. But I also know that when she comes back in two years she'll still get me. Just like Arynda gets me. And Shanle gets me. And no amount of time or distance can change that.

(To protect her in the job she will be doing and where she is going her name can never be disclosed on this blog.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

200 Things About Me

In honor of my 200th post, here are 200 random things about me:

1 I love Jesus
2 I am 29 years old
3 I am 5' 2 1/2 " tall so I round up to 5' 3"
4 I love my mama
5 I love my daddy
6 They have been married 33 years
7 I have one sister
8 My oldest niece is my Doodlebug
9 My youngest niece is with Jesus
10 I just bought my second house
11 I am on my second grown-up job
12 I worked as many as 5 odd jobs at one time in college
13 I worked for two presidents at my university
14 One through his retirement
15 One through his inauguration
16 I love old school NASCAR
17 I miss old school NASCAR
18 I am a Braves fan
19 I have not watched a single game this year
20 I hate to fly
21 I work in the aeronautics industry as a consultant
22 I went to Europe this summer
23 I want to go to Cambodia
24 And Israel
25 I have friends in both places
26 I have a best friend from growing up and one from being a grownup
27 I wouldn't trade them for anything
28 I was blessed with 3 grandparents
29 And a great-aunt who lived to be 104
30 I am the oldest child
31 And the oldest grandchild
32 I was diagnosed with depression in high school
33 It strengthened me unlike no other trial I have ever been through
34 I love The Notebook; the book and the movie
35 I hate when Hollywood screws up a book by making it into a movie
36 James is one of my favorite books of the Bible
37 I tend to vote republican
38 I like to walk on the beach
39 Or in the mountains
40 I require little social interaction to be content
41 But I love getting together with my closest friends
42 I could eat a vegetable plate for supper and be happy
43 However a good filet mignon will never be turned down by me
44 I go to weddings for the cake and punch
45 Sometimes I make my own punch because I can
46 I wish I could make wedding punch as good as All Occasions
47 The Wedding Date is my favorite movie of the last 5 years
48 Catch and Release is my favorite movie of the last 5 weeks
49 I had never seen Notting Hill until Jeremy made me watch it last Summer
50 I have run 2 Half Marathons
51 I want to do another in the next year
52 I don’t look like a runner
53 I'm thankful you don't have to have a certain "look" to run
54 Building a house with Habitat for Humanity was one of the most fun things I've ever done
55 I enjoy hands-on projects
56 The best Christmas present I ever received was a DeWalt drill
57 My dad got it for me
58 I usually have to return gifts from my mom
59 Unless I picked them out, purchased them, and sold them back to her
60 I own a Wii
61 And 2 Wii-tars
62 According to Wii Fit I am 43
63 I have my granny's wedding band set
64 My Papaw always said they couldn't get married quickly because it took him a long time to save for the rings
65 I have two degrees
66 Accounting (what I went to school for)
67 Management Information Systems (what I ended up doing as a career)
68 I use little of either in my day-to-day job
69 If I went back to school I'd either get a degree in architecture, logistics, or human resources
70 "It is Well, With my Soul" reminds me it is all gonna be ok
71 I love sushi
72 But not sea urchin
73 I'm addicted to CWTV
74 LOST rocks
75 Go Skate
76 I watched this season of So You Think You Can Dance and it wasn't bad
77 I like making fun of Mary Murphy
78 I also do a pretty darn good impersonation of her
79 I am named after the grandmother I never met
80 My mom and I share the same birthstone
81 I was born in 1979
82 I have clogged at DollyWood
83 I have never played on an organized sports team
84 I was a performance gymnast at the age of 5
85 I quit before I was 7
86 I watched Mary Lou Retton perform her gold medal routines over and over on VHS
87 I love my iPods
88 I love my Bose
89 I love electronics
90 I'd rather have electronics than jewelry
91 I would like some diamond earrings though
92 I did not like the ending to Friends
93 I cried when Everybody Loves Raymond finished
94 I have never seen the series finale of Full House or 90210
95 I remember when everyone stayed home on Friday nights for TGIF
96 I now stay home on Friday nights for Friday Night Lights
97 I love my DVR
98 Connie is the friend I've known the longest
99 Arynda is my sounding board and biggest champion
100 Shanle is always there and completely gets my randomness
101 Shay lets me have Shanle when I need her
102 Betsy is always fun for travel planning
103 I took COBOL, Visual Basic, and SQL programming in college
104 I love chick flicks
105 And some guys movies
106 I don't do scary movies
107 I only had one wisdom tooth
108 I have an addiction to FaceBook
109 Especially FaceBook Flair
110 I love Oikos Greek Yogurt
111 And flax seed and pumpkin granola
112 Oreos are a comfort food
113 Some of my favorite mid-twenties memories are Monday night tennis matches
114 I still drink my hot tea out of a mug given to me by a friend in 7th grade
115 I always thought I'd live in Nashville when I was growing up
116 And be a CPA
117 I've did neither
118 I've been in lust but never in love
119 I thought I was in love once
120 Maybe twice
121 I am only 5 degrees seperated from Kevin Bacon
122 And 2 degrees from Kenny Chesney
123 Salsaritas is my favorite Mexican Cantina followed by Moe's; no Q'doba for this girl if I can help it
124 I could eat a McAllisters beef n cheddar spud every day
125 Or pizza
126 82 Queen is my favorite downtown Charleston restaurant
127 Basil runs a close second (I had not eaten here when I did my top 5 post)
128 SouthEnd Brewery ranks right up there
129 I love Mountain Dew but gave it up (involuntarily) when I went to Europe
130 I've only had one sip since then
131 I have eaten at McDonald's in Ireland, Scotland, and England
132 I've driven on the left side of the road in Ireland
133 No one was killed in that adventure
134 The day we left for Europe is probably the only time Arynda and I have ever fought
135 I've stayed in a Hotel Indigo (thanks Betsy!)
136 Hilton Head Island is my favorite vacation spot
137 But I want to build a house in the mountains
138 My friend, Mary, has recorded a CD
139 I love going to Middleton Place Plantation
140 My paternal grandfather was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries acquired in WWII
141 My maternal grandfather was a dairy farmer
142 They were/are the best grandfathers a girl could ask for
143 I know how to define 1st/2nd/3rd cousins and the levels of "removed"
144 It drives my cousins crazy when I correct them
145 I once sold Creative Memories
146 I have never completed a scrapbook of my own
147 BlueBell icecream makes me smile
148 I have never eaten Ben & Jerry's ice cream
149 I love Marble Slab
150 And Cheesecake Factory
151 Sarcasm defines my personality
152 I get that from my dad
153 As well as my blue eyes and fair complexion
154 I am right handed like my mother
155 And I look like her
156 I like Naked juice
157 Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuits are da bomb
158 We had a raccoon as a pet on two separate occasions growing up
159 I have a scar on my finger from one of them
160 Raccoons do not like it when you try to take a bag of marshmellows from them
161 I played "The Wedding March" in my aunt's wedding
162 My dad video taped my feet swining off the bench rather than my fingers playing the notes
163 I love to cook and entertain
164 I have read every Nicholas Sparks' book
165 I was a member of the Darrell Waltrip fan club as a child
166 I remember when the front and back stretch of Bristol were concrete
167 I also remember when they were the only stands at Bristol
168 I have naturally curly/unruly hair
169 I love pajamas
170 And flip flops
171 I seldom wear high heel shoes
172 All of my post-college roommates graduated from Auburn
173 I won the blue ribbon at the Beta Club convention in 8th grade for my cross-stitch project
174 It drives me nuts that Rachel ended up with Ross; I was team Joey
175 Tulips and lilies are my favorite flowers
176 Magnolias and Dogwoods are my favorite trees
177 I've been to Disney World three times in my life
178 I love making recipes from The Pioneer Woman
179 I was a blog stalker before it was cool
180 I Rock (Guitar Hero told me so)
181 I love to read
182 My favorite joke is: why do mermaids wear seashells? Because b shells are too small and d shells are too big.
183 Laying on a float in a pool is my idea of relaxation
184 Or in a hammock in the breeze
185 Verizon is my network of choice
186 I have five lines on my plan
187 I have a pseudo-roommate: she eats here, does laundry here, but doesn't live here
188 She's moving away soon and that makes me sad
189 Secret Clinical Strength makes me not stink
190 Fiesta is my dinnerware of choice
191 Pfaltzgraff is my Christmas china
192 I collect Hallmark lighthouse ornaments
193 I love Christmas trees with white lights
194 Homemade sausage makes me happy
195 Gmail rocks
196 I like to do laundry but I hate putting it away
197 I enjoy trying new foods
198 I am OCD about how my dishes are put away
199 I have a slight obsession/addiction to Oribit gum
200 I like edamame; boiled or dehydrated

So, there you go. 200 random things about me. If you made it to the end, congratulations. If you didn't, then oh well. No worries. I still like you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

In A Funk

So, I realize that lately I've been in a funk. Unfortunately my dear friends (and one new person who got a dose of my funk tonight) have probably realized this sooner than myself. But I'm working on getting out of it. And this is my 199th post. So I'm working on a 200 things about me post. 200 things...about me. Are you kidding me? I watch the same movies over and over again. I'm not exciting. So this list will be boring. But I'm gonna do it. Yes I am. And all 2 of you who read this blog regularly (if you're still reading it) will probably be bored by #20. But I'm doing this for me. Because after all, this blog is all about me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Charleston Single No More

I'm a Charleston single, and it's a Charleston single. And in 13 days we will enter our marriage together as owner and house. And though I'm sure there will be fusses (when I can't cram all of my clothes into the closet) and hurt feelings (when I fall down the stairs or walk into a door) there will be lots of love and good times to be shared between us. So here's to many happy days, weeks, months and years!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To Let Them In (or Not)

Have you ever met someone who fascinated you but you weren't sure if you wanted to let them into your life or not? I've really found myself struggling lately with whether or not to open up a place in my life for someone. It's not that I think the person is bad, but it's the knowledge that it is a friendship that can't last for always. It would be temporary. Is it worth the temporary fun that could be had knowing that it could possibly end as quickly as it begins? Or knowing that I know the reason it would end? I guess I've faced so much loss in the last two years that I don't know that I want to let someone in who could walk away just as quickly. But these are my thoughts. My random thoughts. Thoughts I must pray on and seek His guidance in the situation.

That's (Not Exactly) Amore

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

That's (Not Exactly) Amore

FaithWords (August 14, 2008)


Tracey Bateman


When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone's coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick's nephew Joe hates all of her ideas and two, Laini has to admit he's right--she's a disaster at design. Still, she can't risk losing the job. To compromise, Joe brings in help on the project, while Laini continues to bake the goodies that keep his customers lining up.
Their relationship is moving along, so when new guy Officer Mark Hall implies that Joe's family is tied to the mob, Laini doesn't want to believe it. But things spin out of control when she meets the family, including "the uncles," who seem to confirm Mark's suspicions. To make things worse, Nana Pantalone makes it clear Laini isn't the kind of girl she has in mind for her grandson. Laini's not sure if she should give Joe the benefit of the doubt or just set her sites on Mark and fuhgetaboutit.

"Tracey draws us into the world of family and friendship with a few surprising twists along the way Bravo!"
~RACHEL HAUCK, author of Diva NashVegas and Sweet Caroline

If you would like to read the first chapter of That's (Not Exactly) Amore, go HERE

If you would like to read this book you can buy it here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

If You Could Ask God Just One Question...

....and receive an audible answer what would it be? I know that in different points of my life there have been times I wish I could just pick up the phone, hear His voice, and get an answer. If I could do this, but only once, what would I ask? Hmmm....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

99 Cents or No Cents

I am a big fan of iTunes for several reasons. For one, I have a love affair with my iPod. It's always there for me. The iPod of choice now is a Classic (80 GB.) My first was a pink Mini but they don't make those now. If I would just buy a new battery I'd still carry it around because it's pink. And I love it. The second rason I love iTunes is I can still listen to Pastor Hollie through podcasts. It's that little bit of home I can get each week without driving 6 hours to church. If only I could get the choir on those podcasts too I'd be even happier.) And the last reason I love iTunes is because I love to listen to Top 40 radio (Country, Pop, Christian, etc.) and if I hear a song I like I go buy it. It's 99 cents. Love this! However, nothing irks me more than not being able to buy an artists song on iTunes. For example, I own every. single. Garth Brooks albumn out there. So, did I want to buy his latest and greatist hits albumn just for the 3 new songs. Nope. I wanted to buy them on iTunes for a total of $2.97 because I had all the other songs. But Garth doesn't allow that. So I buy nothing. I'm not going to spend $15-20 on a CD I own 90% of the music on. I'll spend $2.97 but that's it. I'm not going to get suckered into the other music just because you want more money for yourself. Same thing with Kid Rock. I really wanted to buy his song "All Summer Long" but he, too, wants me to buy his whole CD. Don't think so. I'm sure the lyrics and words are completely inappropriate and I'm not getting it. I just like the one song. So, I won't be spending $10-15 on the whole CD. I'm not sure if the artists understand they are probably losing money overall. Or people are downloading illegally off the internet rather than the artist getting the 99 cents. I'm not one of those people, but I can't really say I blame those who do.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

All Through the Night - Davis Bunn

This past week I have been reading the book "All Through the Night" by Davis Bunn. It has been such an exciting book. While I am not quite finished with it yet, I am eager to get to the finish. While I normally pick up fiction books that are written from a feminine perspective, I am really enjoying the mascualine view point that David Bunn lends to the book. The details he puts into how a male's mind views certain events within the early chapters of the book really drew me into the main chacter, Wayne. Until I finish the book, I'll leave you with the following synopsis.


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

All Through The Night

(Bethany House - July 1, 2008)


Davis Bunn


A loner, trying to forget. A community--and a woman--who need for him to remember...
Broken relationships and unfulfilled promises scatter themselves across Wayne's past like burned-out craters. His background in military special-ops is something he's trying to forget. But when he gets himself sweet-talked into helping a quirky group of seniors who've been scammed, he discovers it will take a lot more than muscle and nerve. Breach a conman's high-security estate to recover stolen money? No problem. Become part of community? Love again? Not on your life.

A lawyer with her own painful past is intrigued by Wayne and asks him to take on another unusual case--Tatanya's wealthy employer believes he's been visited angel? Did a messenger from God in a pinstripe suit truly bring a divine warning, or is this merely another cruel hoax? Tatanya is willing to trust Wayne with her boss's life, but she's not sure she's ready to trust him with her own wounded heart.

With a financial analyst's skills and a warrior's tenacity, Wayne races to unmask dangerous forces hiding behind a corporate veil. But he will need all his resources--and then some--against an unseen enemy bent on destroying his fragile bid for a second chance at life...and love.

All he wanted was to put his past behind him. But now it's the only thing that will save them...

If you would like to read the first chapter of All Through The Night, go HERE


If you would like to pick up a copy of this book for yourself, click here to buy it.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I'm Over It

So, I'm over posting about death. This will hopefully (and prayerfully) be my last post like this for a while.

My mom called me this last Monday to say my uncle had been killed in a work accident. So, in less than 10 minutes my out-of-office was on, my bag was packed, and I was headed out the door to finish everything in this town to start the long drive home. Mom called me at 2:30 and I was back in East TN by 9:30. Praise the Lord I did not encounter any traffic even though I should have been driving through Columbia during rush hour. God is good. My uncle was only 49. We just don't know when our last days will be. While death is always tragic my uncle passed away on my dad's birthday. It was also 2 years and 1 day after Emma died. I told my dad we are moving his birthday to another month because I'm tired of him having such rotten birthdays. January 16 sounds good. No, then he'd have to share with me and I'm not crazy about sharing my birthday. He can have January 17. I have also told the funeral director (a family friend) and an in-law of one of my aunts that I am tired of seeing them. So next time I go home I'm inviting them over for dinner so I can say I have seen them outside of a funeral. It's so sad that funerals are the only time people make to get together. And I am as guilty of this as any other.

My week consisted of running errands for my aunt (personal shopper) and my mom. I also got to grandparent-sit. Both of my grandparents have dementia/alzheimers so it is always entertaining to be there. I love to listen to them tell the other how much they love each other. They never used to do this. It is sweet to me though. I know they won't be around forever but I'll at least have these sweet memories to remember them by.

So I feel like I just rambled. But I need that. I think I'm going to start using this blog as my personal journal. Feel free to read and comment. But know that if you are offended I will not take back what I say. I will post my feelings and thoughts and that is the perk to being me...RandomCarrie.