Tag Archive | Laurie Germaine

It’s Book Release Day!

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Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks.

Hi, everybody! Tinsel Kuchler here, to celebrate the release of Laurie’s book, Tinsel in a Tangle. Today, Laurie’s being highlighted on Kelsey Gillespy’s blog, but she asked me to read something for all of you, so here goes…

[Picks up sheet of paper and clears throat] “Starting today, everyone who has access to Kindles and Nooks (or their corresponding apps), and smartphones, laptops, and iBooks can read all about Tinsel’s misadventures and how she almost single-handedly ruined Christmas—”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold the mistletoe. [Stands, bracing hands on tabletop] What about the part Niklas played in all this? Just because he’s Santa’s grandson doesn’t mean he’s off the hook. And now that I think about it, is our close call something we want exposed to the public eye? Whose idea was this, anyway?

[Cocks an eyebrow] This smells of reindeer. Those meddling creatures. And after all the extra carrots I’ve fed them. Well, they’re in for quite a shock tomorrow during their flying lesson. I’m thinking pop quiz. And one hundred passes around the Workshop.

Roasted chestnuts, I’ve got to warn Santa about this. Just wait ’til I get my hands on Chip. [Heads for the exit, but stops at the door and turns around] Might want to swing by Kelsey’s blog, since I have to cut this short. Laurie dishes about the initial spark that prompted Tinsel in a Tangle, which one of her characters she’s most like (it’s not me), and much more. She also answers “This or That” questions, like: Read the book or watch the movie? Netflix or YouTube? Online shopping or Shopping in a Store?

[Waves with a smile] Hope you enjoy Tinsel. And if you do, we’d love it if you spread the word. We’ve got to reach that ebook sales threshold so those who can’t (or don’t) do ebooks will be able to enjoy the paperback version. Plus, the more sales, the more Laurie gets to donate to Agape International Missions. And who doesn’t love a good story about a clumsy elf and her Kringle—

I mean, a Kringle. Just a clumsy elf and a cute Kringle. No, not cute— [Cringes] Never mind. Gotta run! I have a reindeer to track down. [Flees the room]

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Chip: D’oh!

 

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Getting Off This Roller Coaster

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I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster these last few weeks and months. I must be rising toward the peak today, because I feel excited and jubilant, though I couldn’t tell you why. Nothing has physically changed in my life. My circumstances haven’t changed. But my view of some things is slowly changing. Maybe that’s the “why.”

If I’m on a roller coaster, then two Saturdays ago, I was at the lowest point of the deepest plunge, a place I hadn’t been in a long while. Although I hadn’t planned to write that day, I ended up with a little bit of time after breakfast and thought I’d quickly write for 30-45 minutes and pound out maybe 500 words or so. They didn’t have to be stellar words. Just something to slide me a little further along on my WIP. Easy, right?

I couldn’t do it.

It took an hour to wring less than 100 c.r.a.p.p.y words from my cottage-cheese of a brain. And then…time was up. Had to move on with my day. Tears pooling in my eyes, I stood, gathered my cleaning supplies, and as I started for the master bathroom, I began to pray for God’s help—

Wait a minute. His help? He’d had the last hour to help me, and He’d remained silent.

Something black and rancid shifted inside me. I dodged it before it became a full-fledged thought. Couldn’t go there. That wasn’t “Christian.”

Then again, God knew all my thoughts, so what was the point in avoiding what He already knew?

“I hate You, God.” The words rasped against my tongue as the nylon scrubber grated against the porcelain sink. “I hate You. I thought I was a writer. Didn’t You and I have some kind of heart-to-heart a few months ago where You pretty much confirmed I was on the path You wanted me to be? Then why has it been almost a year since I’ve written anything of significance?”

Oh, sure, I’d brainstormed, I’d mulled around different ideas, I’d written a couple thousand words over the last ten months…but none of those things were enough to produce the next book.

Why, God?” Scrub, scrub, scrub. “Whywhywhy did You give me a desire to write but not equip me with the ideas needed to fulfill it? You could have taken away this passion—I’ve begged You so many times to do just that—yet still, crafting stories is how I want to spend my days. So what’s the deal? What am I doing wrong?”*

In one breath, I said I hated him, in the next I asked for forgiveness, in the next I begged for help. I tore myself down, compared myself to others, and shook my fist at God.

I had probably cried for at least two hours by the time I sank to the bedroom floor, my chest aching, my body so empty, it should have caved in on itself. “God, help me. Help me.” Over and over, I repeated those words, incapable of much more than that.

Then my phone rang. Swiping at tears, I rose to grab my phone from the bed.

My father-in-law? Calling me? A tiny part of me hoped he hadn’t dialed by accident, intending to talk to his son, instead.

“Hey, there,” I answered, pushing all kinds of “happy” past the tears clogging my throat. “What’s up?”

Now this is a man who I’ve respected all my life, the one who’d been my pastor throughout my childhood and college years, before he moved on into a new ministry. When he talks about God, I listen. And when he shares the things God’s shown him, I lean in closer.

You know what he said to me that day?

“Laurie, I just called because God wanted me to tell you something. He wants you to know how much He loves you.” My father-in-law’s voice broke with emotion. “He loves you. You can’t please Him any more than you already do right now. He. Loves. You.”

It took longer than it probably should have, but eventually, the weight of his words caught up with me.

There I’d been, throwing my little private tantrum, telling the Creator of the Universe that I hated Him, but instead of smiting me (or spanking me and sending me into a time-out), He tapped my father-in-law’s shoulder and said, “Laurie needs to know I love her.”

God loves me. My Abba—Daddy—loved me in that ugly state, and because of my father-in-law’s sensitivity to His spirit and his willingness to obey, Abba was able to wrap me in a hug that day.

There’s nothing like a Dad’s hug to begin melting a stubborn heart.

Jesus has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, so I don’t have “before Christ” and “after Christ” snapshots of how I used to live and how He changed me. But this…this comes close to it for me. To tell the Creator-God I hated Him, and for Him to hug me in return? I don’t ever want to forget that.

I’m done with this emotional roller coaster ride. I’m getting off and driving a stake in the ground. Yes, there will be days I’ll falter and succumb to the fog of depression; there will be times I take three steps forward only to take two steps back; but may I never retreat farther than this stake today.

God loves me.

If He can love a hater,

If He can love a BFF that denied Him three times,

If He can love a zealous Jew bent on destroying followers of the Way,

If He can love a king who committed adultery and murdered an innocent soldier,

If He can love a coward with a speech problem,

If He can love a drunk,

If He can love and welcome into Paradise a thief on a cross,

If He can love and hang out with the fallen, the imperfect, the hopeless, the broken,

Then there is nothing stopping Him from loving you, too.

Now it’s time for us to own it and move forward, ever closer to Him.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39, NLT

 

(*Just want to point out my messed-up theology back there. My knee-jerk reaction when I’m stressed or depressed is to think (incorrectly) that God won’t bless me if I’m doing something wrong. Hello! Fallible human being here. I’m always going to do something wrong. God doesn’t withhold or dole out blessings based on our (in)ability to get something “right.”)

Preorder and Land Updates

IMG_2588Bonjour, mes amis! C’est moi, Ellowyne Wilde. Yes, I’m as shocked to be writing this post as you are to be reading it. Then again, Laurie’s busy packing to leave on Wednesday for a writer’s conference in Texas, so who better to pick up the slack around here than moi?

I thought she’d forgotten about us dolls by the way the dust bunnies keep piling up, but today she surprised us with our own copy of Tinsel in a Tangle!

I’m told digital copies are now available for preorder, so if you would enjoy a light-hearted Christmas romance complete with snarky reindeer, cute Kringles, and a lovable, spirited, faulty elf, head on over to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks. And if you know someone who would also enjoy such a read, please help us spread the word. 🙂

Another note of interest. Remember waaaaay back, about a year ago, when Laurie shared how God had led her and Hubby to purchase some land…and then gave them an inconvenient yellow light, prohibiting them from doing anything further with it? (You can read about that here.) Well, she and Hubby finally have a hearing with the County Planning Board on Wednesday to present their plans for a small subdivision. (All right, so it’s really just Hubby going, as Laurie will be sweltering in Texas by then, but she’ll be with him in her thoughts. Does that count?) If you’re a praying kinda person, prayers are appreciated that they might be able to move forward in this endeavor as they’ve been in limbo for almost two years now. They should know by October 10th if their plans are a go, and of course she’ll keep you updated.

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Panoramic of the land.

That’s it for now, though I wish it weren’t, as my peeps and I are still waiting for a fireplace. But since we have. No. Place. To. Put. It, once Laurie took down our shelves last summer, I won’t hold my breath. We’ve been waiting for that fireplace longer than she’s been waiting for a green light from God!

Tinsel’s Cover Reveal…

At long last, it’s finally here! Tinsel’s book cover!

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I. Am. So. Excited! This has got to be my favorite part about the publication process so far. To see in visual form a taste of what I’ve only up to now imagined in my head and written down in black words is truly invigorating. Makes me giddy, like a kid on Christmas morning (pun totally intended). Kudos to AM Design Studios for creating a fantastic cover that’s already blessed my socks off!

I’m told pre-order will be available soon–yay! I’ll keep you posted on that, should you be interested. One thing to note: because Clean Reads is a small publishing company, the book is only offered in digital format until it reaches a certain number in sales, at which point it will be available in print on Amazon. So…if you’re like my daughter’s friend and want to wait until the paperback version comes out…and lots of other people decide to wait for a paperback copy…then the book will never make it into print. 😛 I know; a bit of a drawback, but my husband’s optimistic it’s just a temporary one.

In any case, this cover is mine to keep forever…and drool over any time I want. 😉

I Dedicate This Book To…

book-1760998_1920The other week, I briefly mentioned I plan to give the proceeds of Tinsel in a Tangle to a ministry that helps restore physical and spiritual health to girls rescued from sex trafficking. This week, I wanted to go into the details of why I came to that decision…but for some reason, this post has been a difficult one to write. I’ve already spent hours working on it and have restarted it many times. And each time, I’ve condensed it a little more, because really, it comes down to this: Over five years ago, God used a non-fiction book to alert me to a specific hurt in the world, soften my heart, and bring me to a place where, like Hannah dedicated her firstborn son to the Lord in 1 Samuel 1-2, I promised Him my first published book.

Why this particular ministry? If you’re looking for a grand link to my personal life, you won’t find one, save for the fact it hits close to one of my hot buttons: a passion for purity.

Contrary to the message today’s youth receive from Hollywood, books, and even schools, the act of sex has profound impacts on one’s mental, emotional, and physical health, and the careless way it’s handled in society is a grave misinterpretation of the truth. Our children are brainwashed into thinking so little of their bodies and the long-reaching consequences of sex, that younger and younger kids are partaking in what was meant to be a sacred expression of committed love between husband and wife alone.

There’s enough pain suffered among kids who feel pressured into sacrificing their virginity for a few minutes of pleasure, but for the sex traffic industry to forcefully subject a girl—or boy—to this abuse round after round, day after day, is pure evil. The devil laughs in the corner while the child suffers, and that gets my blood boiling.

cross-1517094_1920Yet God is a God of second chances. Of redemption and new life. And oftentimes He takes those issues and events the devil hopes will cripple us and He transforms them into beautiful testimonies that attest to His faithfulness, love, grace. How awesome would it be to give girls rescued from sex trafficking the help and opportunity needed to change their horrors into gleaming weapons forged against the enemy?

And right there, I think, is part of my problem in writing this post. Right there is part of why I’ve been inundated with ramped-up negative self-talk these past few months. The devil doesn’t want me to make my intentions known. He hates the fact I want to use my talents for God’s glory. He hates the fact that, despite the fears, vulnerabilities, and doubts with which he’s tried to shackle me, I’ve continued to press forward in writing. He hates that I’ve dedicated Tinsel to the Lord, and he’s intent on using my weaknesses against me to make me feel small and pathetic and worthless so I’ll hide behind my insecurities and let this book’s potential die unknown.

He’s trying. So. Hard.

And there are times I’m mentally too exhausted to fight back. But as I write this, I’m reminded that 2 Tim 1:7 says, “God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power and love, and self-discipline,” and I’m loathe to let the devil win this round when he’s already lost the war.

book-2363881_1920I would love you to partner with me in this. If you end up reading Tinsel in a Tangle and you enjoy it; if it gives you a chuckle and brightens your day, would you please spread the word among your friends and family? And maybe even consider leaving a review on Amazon? More and more these days, reviews are crucial in giving an author and his/her book exposure. On Amazon, in particular, once a book hits 50+ reviews, Amazon will circulate that title in its newsletters, giving it even further exposure.

My platform is small. I’ll be doing a cover reveal less than a month before my book releases (don’t be surprised if you see me in your inbox again this week). I have yet to send out ARCs or get book swag made (can’t exactly do those without a cover image). Marketing help is going to be on the slim side. In the publishing world, from the different articles I’ve read, this means Tinsel in a Tangle doesn’t stand much of a chance at succeeding; there’s certainly a lot stacked against it. But my Dad is the Creator of the Universe, and Scripture shows over and over again that He delights in revealing His power through impossible situations. I have no promise that He will choose to work that way in my situation, but I pray He will.

Whatever comes of this, I profess the words in Isaiah 25:1.

“O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.”

Hot Off the Press

We interrupt your sporadically-scheduled posts to bring you an important announcement… (And if you saw the short version of this announcement on Facebook or Twitter, sorry for the repetition, but I’d be remiss not to share it with my followers here. 😉 )

lauriegermaine_background_logoThanks to the talents of a fabulous local web designer, Laura Parvey-Connors, I now have an author website! *happy dance* You can check it out here, or click on the recently-added “Author Website” tab at the top of this page. 🙂 If you choose to subscribe to my quarterly newsletters over there, you’ll receive a bonus chapter that precedes the events in my up-coming book, Tinsel in a Tangle. Think of it as a teaser, really, set up to reflect the tone of the book, hint at the flavor of dialogue you can expect to encounter, and give you a snapshot of the main characters. If you enjoy reading it, then I promise you’ll enjoy the book even more.

I can also promise (and I don’t make promises I can’t keep, much to my daughters’ frustrations) that all proceeds I receive over the life of this book will go toward helping restore physical and spiritual health to girls rescued from sex trafficking.

Yes, I will expand on that in another post.

In the meantime, since I’ve been pretty tight-lipped regarding Tinsel in a Tangle, you might be wondering what it’s all about. Here’s the back-cover summary of my YA Christmas fantasy… I hope you enjoy.

In the arctic town of Flitterndorf, generations of elves have worked alongside generations of Kringles, making gifts for believing children worldwide. Never have they endured a tall, blundering elf like Tinsel, however. Despite her setbacks, Tinsel’s determined to prove her worth by nabbing an internship at the Workshop. But when her latest mishap destroys gift reserves and puts Christmas in jeopardy, she lands a punishment mucking reindeer stalls for Santa’s hotshot grandson, Niklas. If she wants a second chance at that internship, she’ll have to collaborate with the twinkle-eyed flirt to redeem herself in everyone’s eyes—and do it without messing up. For one more calamity will not only bring about the holiday’s demise, she’ll be immortalized as the elf who shattered children’s faith in Santa Claus.

So not the way she wants to go down in history.

~Available October 3, 2017 wherever ebooks are sold.

We now return you to your sporadically-scheduled posts.

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Tinsel Doll Part II

Summers usually find me accomplishing far more knitting than writing. This summer is no exception. In some ways, however, I’ve still been able to hobnob with my book characters, since the items I knitted were for them. Here’s a snapshot of where I left them (and you) in Part I:

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Shortly after that post, I completed Tinsel’s face and hair…

…and then felt like I was staring at Adam and Eve.

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Er…let’s get some clothes on these kids, shall we?!

Again, the patterns I used come from Knitted Pirates, Princesses, Witches, Wizards, & Fairies, but every single item I’ve tweaked in some way.

Tinsel’s skirt (above left) came from the pattern to create the skirt in the above-right picture, but I made it shorter and added color work along the hem instead of the design in the original pattern. Then I added a snap at the back, rather than the called-for knitted bobble button (see Niklas’s lederhosen below).

I knit Tinsel’s bodice bigger around, knowing it would have to fit over part of her shirt, and I made the center ribbed section wider with the intent of later adding lacing, like real-life dirndl bodices.

The pattern called for the edge seams to be sewn together and the bodice slipped over the doll’s body, but I opted for sewing snaps on the back, instead, so I wouldn’t have to manipulate the doll or the piece of clothing.

Niklas’s shirt I knit before Tinsel’s, knowing I wanted to tweak hers. I made his longer in the body (even then, I should have knit at least another two rows) and relied on my knowledge of short row shaping to angle the top edge of each sleeve so they would come out at a 45-degree angle from the body of the shirt rather than a 90-degree angle.

And here’s Tinsel’s version of this shirt…

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For Niklas’s lederhosen, I not only knitted the pants longer than the original pattern, but I also wanted that stripe of color along the sides.

Lastly, for Tinsel’s apron, I had to make up the pattern myself, figuring out how many stitches I needed to begin with, how many stitches I needed to end with, and how many rows that would require to accomplish the overall effect. I’ll admit I calculated wrong…but thankfully it kinda worked in my favor. Nope, I’m not telling you how I miscalculated…

Yes, these kids need shoes. And coats. Clearly, a Part III’s coming at some point. The shoes look intimidating, though, and the coat I want to knit Tinsel will require a lot of tweaking…which I wasn’t in the mood to do just yet…so I started with Niklas’s coat. Oh. My. Goodness. What a huge undertaking! I’m only halfway done with it, and I’d guess it’s taken me longer to knit this first half than all these other clothes combined. :/ Let’s just say it begins with 200 stitches and slowly decreases by ten stitches every several rows. 200 tiny stitches. That’s more than I worked with when knitting my daughters’ blankets! Rest assured I’ll share the beast when I’m done.

Until then, happy crafting!

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