Friday, March 29, 2013


First off, I'd like to congratulate Fishducky.  Her first book was published today and I'm so proud of her.

    I hope you'll check it out HERE.

    I've already had the pleasure of reading it and it's absolutely hilarious.


Now, onto some other news.

    Jaimie Engle will be guest posting here today.  She's an amazing author.  And Wayman Publishing was lucky enough to sign her debut middle grade novel, coming out near the end of this year.  Details to come. 




By: Jaimie M. Engle

Marriage.  It’s blissful and painful, magical and mind splitting all rolled up in ‘til death do us part’.  Yes, I’m a woman, but this is not a piece on male bashing or on what the husband’s are doing wrong.  This is addressed to the wives who hold more power over the happiness of their marriage than they know.

For starters, let me explain a basic truth of men and women.  Men need respect.  Women need love.  Wives, if you respect your husbands they desire to love you.  Wives who feel loved desire to respect their husbands.  When this circle gets broken it feeds itself, morphing into two separate lines which move farther and farther from each other until eventually becoming parallel.  
Did you know that wives do not have the right not to respect their husbands if they are not feeling loved?  I know some of you just gasped deep enough to suck a few letters off of the page, but hear me out.  As a wife you are called to honor your husband.  This is not an ‘if-then’ statement.  It is your vows in action under the covenant of marriage.  The problem arises when wives treat their marriage as a contract and not a covenant.  
In a contract, “if” one party shrugs their responsibility “then” the other party has the right to suspend their responsibilities, even to the point of legally breaking the contract on grounds that the contract was not fulfilled.  Marriage is a covenant.  It is a lifelong promise to remain faithful and unified as one flesh separated only by death.  Are there exceptions? Of course, but this piece is addressed to the majority and not the circumstantial.
In my observances of my own marriage and the marriages of others, there are five major flaws that wives consistently do which have long term, detrimental impacts on their marriages.  They are categorized as belittling, not being a helper, withholding sex, poor communication, and pride.
Alright, let’s break those down.  Belittling is an insulting action which cuts your husband at the core.  It goes against everything you are to be as a wife.  By belittling your husband you are stating, “Not only do I not respect you as my husband, but I also think you are stupid as a person and I am better than you.”  If you just shook your head in agreement, let me pose a situation:  You are standing in a group of people and your husband has just asked you to get the keys.  You return empty handed telling him you couldn’t find them in the bag.  Your husband says, “I’ve got to do everything myself.  Women are useless,” then walks away.  How do you feel?
First of all, most husbands are way too courteous to treat their wives like that in public.  If they did, imagine how much worse you’d feel if suddenly all the husbands chimed in and began wife bashing on your behalf?  Doesn’t this sound like a typical conversation when wives get together?
How many wives complain that their husbands won’t help out with the chores or the children and then tell them that they are doing it wrong and push them out of the way to do it ‘right’?  Are we really that much smarter than our husbands?  How do they perform at their jobs without our help, being as stupid as they are? What happened to excitedly listening to his advice and coaching when we were dating, hanging on his every word, and lovingly expecting him to ride in on his horse and sweep us off our feet? Too accurately, we’ve probably stabbed that man to death and buried him six feet under.
Wives are helpers, remember?  That whole deep sleep, rib thing, in the Garden of Eden.  Why then do wives degrade their husbands and insult their intelligence?  Just imagine how you’d react if your husband spoke at you and belittled you the way you do him.  I doubt you’d respond as kindly as he does.
Speaking of being a helper, are you?  Wives, I am about to get old school on you.  At your root you were created to be a helper to your man first and foremost…not his mama!  If you are a stay at home mom, you are responsible for the home.  While your husband is off at work, you do the shopping, the cleaning, the laundry, and care for the kids.  This is a typical trade-off.
I hear women complain that while they sit at night folding laundry, their husbands sit uselessly by watching television in the recliner.  The only problem I see is that the wife is still working instead of spending time with her husband.  Yes, I said it.  See, hubbie is out working all day long.  He doesn’t want to come home and do your job too.  I mean, how would you feel if he called you from work complaining that you weren’t helping him make sales calls, manage personnel, or lay tile?  Again, I’m certain your response wouldn’t be as kind as his is when you give him the silent treatment, yell and complain, or withhold sex because he won’t help you.
Which leads me to my next point:  be fruitful and multiply.  Having sex is a crucial part of your marriage.  The kind of sex you had during the first year of your marriage, not this bi-monthly “favor” by letting him have some.  And you like to be romanced, don’t you?  What about your husband?  He does, too, just not the way you think.  Your husband remembers how you behaved when you were dating, when you held hands, played hard to get, and acted like you were actually attracted to him.
Why not text your husband that you’re thinking about him and want to mess around?  Do you think he’d notice that girl at the office if you were flirting like that?  Be dressed up when he comes home once in a while, hold his hand on the couch, or make out after the kids go to bed.  Remind him that you think he’s sexy and you are still attracted to him.  Don’t leave him to initiate all the action and then act annoyed when he does, because I promise you some woman out there thinks your husband is attractive and unlike you, she’s not afraid to show him.
I know you many not always be in the mood, but sometimes my husband isn’t in the mood to talk when I am, but he still does.  And I don’t know about you, but I have never had sex with my husband and when it was over thought, “Thank God that’s finished.  I had such a terrible time!”  I have always enjoyed myself.  Many times when I’m not in the mood I remember that, and it changes how I feel and act immediately.  But really, I find the more I flirt, the more I genuinely want to have sex with my husband, and the closer our relationship is.
So now, let’s talk about poor communication.  It goes something like this:  “But, he should know…” or “I shouldn’t have to ask/tell him.  I dropped enough hints.”  Listen, point blank, your husband is not a mind reader.  And he isn’t selfish or insensitive on the whole, anymore than you are when you don’t meet his needs.
See, when you find yourself moving into this school of thought, you have to decide either he loves you or he doesn’t.  If he loves you, then you can assume he wants to be a part of your life, be helpful, and see you happy.  So if he does anything that contradicts these thoughts, then there must have been a miscommunication, because he loves you.  If you answered no, you don’t think he loves you, than you need advice from someone much smarter than I am.
For the rest of you, wives, you need to talk to your husband as if you love him and he loves you.  I mean, would you speak that way to your girlfriend?  Would you set such high expectations on her?  Would you get as angry with her if she let you down or hurt you, as you do with your husband?  My guess is no.  My advice is lighten up!  This man is supposed to be your best friend, and at best many husbands feel more like you’re their parole officer than their wife.
Communicate what you feel with respect and love.  Don’t nag and yell or tell him where he’s fallen short.  Instead, tell him how you feel and ask him to help find a solution with you.  Respect his right to be a human being independent of you and embrace his strengths and his weaknesses.  In all reality, your husband probably thinks differently than you, does things differently than you, and processes things differently than you.  Instead of competing with him, learn from him and grow with him.  
To truly become one flesh, you have to believe that he fills areas where you are lacking and you do the same for him.  If you don’t, then you believe that you are a complete human being by yourself and you have all the answers to all of life’s problems, in which case you shouldn’t have gotten married.  And this type of thinking is the basis of the last detrimental flaw I’ve observed in my marriage and the marriages of others, and that is pride.  Pride is at the center of everything I’ve written about and it will fuel the fire of discord in marriage.
The bottom line is wives have so much control over the happiness of their marriage and unfortunately many of them do not use that gift to their advantage.  I mean, who wants to spend ‘til death do us part’ counting down the days!  Marriage is a blessing.  It’s a lifetime partnership through good and bad, learning and growing, and supporting each other as equals.  Wives, love your husbands.  Respect your husbands.  Honor your husbands.  Remember those widows who would trade with you in a heartbeat the next time you are picking his socks up off the floor.  Think of those single moms who would give anything to have a husband to interfere with her bedtime routine and let the kids stay up late.  But most importantly, think about your husband the way you did when you first met him, and make an effort to be that woman who he fell in love with.

Feel free to drop in on Jaimie at

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Bible Girl" is under Contract!

The book practically cried for me to spare its life, and for a moment I thought I'd rather burn in Hell than lose something my brother had given me in love. The pastor nudged me, though, and my heart turned to ice.
    I thought of all those hours my brother had read to me. I thought of all that time he'd invested.
    I couldn't throw it into the fire; not the last book of the trilogy. That funny little dwarf stared at me from the cover. Then, I closed my eyes. I stepped so close to the flames they almost ate my skin. I tore the book in front of those kids. I put on quite a show throwing in a section at a time because I couldn't stand sending the whole thing in at once. When the last pages went up in flame, and the dwarf on the cover curled with death, I dropped to my knees and cried. The kids all hooted and screamed in ecstasy, thinking I'd been freed, when the ropes of religion had just twisted tighter.

-Excerpt from Bible Girl and the Bad Boy, the first book in my memoir trilogy.

This book--along with many of Wayman's other eBooks--is 99 cents for a limited time.  Go HERE if you'd like to check it out.

And today's BIG news is . . . 

"Bible Girl" is currently under contract to be an audio book!  You can expect that in June.  I'm so excited.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

This is just an allegory--that's the reality

I'm running up a hiking trail.  Dust swirls from the people in front of me; the dirt mingles with my sweat, then makes me cough.  But I have to keep going.  I don't know whyI just have to.
    After a while, I pass many racers my age.  They want to walk instead of run, hold hands and enjoy the scenery.  
    Time passes until only a few of us are left sprinting ahead.  We're all different ages, moving into the shady areas where a stream trickles softly to the right.  
    This is it.  The moment that makes life worth it.  
    Most people stop running then, tired and wanting to enjoy life.  But I can't understand it; they're missing the wind in their faces, the adrenaline of going faster and higher.
    I ask them to keep running, but they wave me on.
    And like an idiot, I go.  Who cares that my legs feel like jelly, and my hips ache.  I want to make people proud.  And then while standing at the top of the stupid mountain, I can be closer to God--because I made it, and He'll know how hard I tried . . . for Him. 
    So I keep going, awfully happy at this point, thinking I'm living to the fullest.
    But then the wheezing begins.  The world spins out of control and nausea overtakes me.  I can't run.  I can't even stand up without blacking out.  And I'll never make it to the top, near God and my plan for myself.  
    My knees buckle, until I'm lying in the dirt.   

Other racers move past-- 
--like I never even existed in the first place.  

    And the whole time, instead of thinking about the damn race, and how I can't run anymore, I'm worrying about my friends, my family and my God.  Won't they be disappointed, to see how badly I failed?  
    Who cares that my other dreams never came true.  Because my real dream was merely to gain their approval.

    Multitudes of people pass, and I'm left crying on the trodden trail.  That's when Cade finds me.  "You don't care about me anymore," he yells, shaking me while I'm already down.    
    "Yes, I do." 
    "You never want to spend time with me.  You're always so tired."
    "I love you.  I swear.  I'm just never good enough, that's all.  Never.  I want to try harder for you, the kids, my business, but . . ."
    "But what?" he asks.
    "I don't know."  I pause.  "I love you, Cade.  I'm just tired."
    "Elisa, you can't be everything to everyone."  Then that strong man, who just yelled before, picks me up in his arms, and selflessly carries me up the trail.
    "It's so beautiful," I whisper, hugging him with the last of my strength. "All the things I never really took the time to look at, they're just so beautiful." 
    --End of allegory--  

   So, I'm meeting with a dietician today, to find out what I can (and can't) eat.  I'll also get a meter for this hypoglycemia thing.  Hopefully I can get my blood sugar under control.  Two nights this week I went to sleep at five pm and woke up at eight the next morning.  I'm so thankful that Cade helped me, even if he doesn't completely understand what I'm going through.

    I'm sorry to vent, but this is scary.  I'm that girl running on the trail, pushing, always trying so hard.  But I'm also that girl lying in the dirt, so worried things will change forever.  And then everyone will forget me, my books and the memory I tried carrying on for others, that's when I'll be left behind.

    Do you ever feel overwhelmed? 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Do you believe in signs?

The Beginning

From the beginning, I've asked God to bless Wayman PublishingIt may sound silly, but every time a book has gone through the review process and been accepted, there's always been some type of sign to show us we're on the right track.
    Since the company started with a book about Zeke (my son who died), it's almost felt as if he's been guiding me, leaving hints that we're on the right path.  I suddenly know what to do, or how to talk with the editorial board.  We'll create new ideas and it's been strange how things have fallen into place, always working toward something that will help everyone (authors, readers, editors and the small press).  

A New Book

Well, that's what happened with author Thomas M. Sullivan. His book had already made it through Wayman's rigorous approval process.  (While accepting submissions, we get about ninety queries a month and only publish 10-20 books per yer.)  
    The review team raved about Mr. Sullivan's humor and keen writing skills. We quickly sent a contract and I was thrilled to be assigned as the final editor, working with Joshua Carstens to polish the MS.  

The Sign

The manuscript came to me last.  I eagerly read it, and after finishing over half of it, really wondered if there would be a sign.  I paused, grinning and tapping my pencil on the pearly pages of the manuscript. Does God really have time to give me a sign every step of the wayHonestly, He's probably awfully busy making thunderbolts and such.
    So, I thought there would be no sign, and there didn't need to be; the book was fantastic with or without supernatural validation.  I took a break after that.  Someone called then, criticizing my endeavors.  "You'll never make it," she said.  "Why try reaching for the stars?  You have four kids at home.  You need to quit writing, quit editing and quit publishing!"
    "But this is where I'm meant to be," I said.  "I think there have been signs all along."
    "There you go with those stupid signs again.  Are you still superstitious about fortune cookies?"
    I gulped.  The answer was "yes."  Would it be bad to lie and say "no"?
    "Sometimes you're so happy, people just need to take you down a notch," she finished, grinding me into dust, finally.
    We hung up, and I prayed. "God please give me another sign.  I know it's stupid to keep wishing and hoping for your divine hand in my life, but I need you.  I asked you to heal Zeke. You didn't and ever since I think it's stupid to pray.  You don't listen to all of us, right?"
    I opened Mr. Sullivan's book again, So Much Time, So Little Change, and you'll never believe what chapter I started editing!
    "Zeke Was Here" the title read.  ZEKE--the rare name I hardly ever hear, the name that brings so many emotions into my heart because he's the reason I started writing and why I want Wayman to flourish.  I don't want his memory to be lost, everAnd Mr. Sullivan's chapter blew me away, about a funeral and the hope that followed.  "Zeke Was Here."  Wow--the words themselves gave me chills. 
    So, this post isn't supposed to be some superstitious thing.  I just think there have been some interesting things happen through my writing/editing/publishing career.  Call it what you want, but signs have been everywhere.  Like the woman who found Zeke's book at the cemetery, or the lady who drove several hours to meet me at a signing because a phone psychic told her to--or the man who bought books from my brother and me, confessing that the last book he bought at a signing was from Obama before he became president (talk about a customer having the golden touch).  I'll write about those later this week.  Right now I wanted to tell you, that if you have a dream, go for it!  If you look hard enough, I think you'll find signs like I have.  Because even if we doubt God, maybe He's still up there, smiling down on us.

   In closing. . . .

    Here's my official review for Mr. Sullivan's book:

I read So Much Time, So Little Change at a point in my life when I needed a good laugh. I found so much more, a way of looking at life that will help me get through the good and bad times.
    Thomas M. Sullivan can make any situation funny.  It's a great lesson for all of us, to try seeing situations in the best light.     
    From being on the Terrorist Watch List, trying--despite all hope--to fix up a house, and later attending an outdoor concert where the author got more than he bargained for, these short stories are absolutely hilarious and well worth the read. 

Here are the links where you can check it out:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

If you've ever read my blog, please read this post.

I thought today would be ordinary, but it took a strange turn. Something happened that I'll never forget.
    Cade and I sat waiting for the verdict on our van's safety and emissions inspection.  I nearly bit my nails, worrying because our van is a clunker.  The radio's fuses are messed up--so every time I turn off the van, I have to disconnect the battery.  The heater on the driver's side no longer works; the left sliding door won't open and the carpet smells like crayons. I laughed in the waiting room, thinking how just because I'm an author, people assume we're loaded, livin' the American dream.  Even though money can be tight and we've put all of our saving into Wayman Publishing, I love our clunker house and van--they make life interesting for us and our four kids.
    A mechanic opened the door--breaking through my thoughts--and waved Cade and me toward the computer.  "Your vehicle passed.  It'll be seventy-seven dollars and twenty-nine cents."
    I smiled wide. "That clunker passed!"  I elbowed Cade.  "I knew our baby would pass."
    As the mechanic typed, looking confused by my statement, I asked him how his day was.
    "Terrible," he replied.  "People have been so mean today. The last guy who came in here was a real A-hole.  I hate people like that."
    "I'm sorry," I said.  "I've been dealing with mean people all week, too.  I wish they'd be more appreciative and understanding."  
    I gave him my credit card then, but right after paying, I looked out the bay window and realized our van hadn't even been checked yet.  "Corvette" flashed on the screen in front of me.
    "Ummm . . ." I cleared my throat.  "I think we just paid for the wrong vehicle."
    "You're the corvette, right?" he asked.
    Cade and I stood a little straighter.  He thought we looked like "corvette people"?  That was flippin' awesome!
 photo 2014-chevrolet-corvette-stingray-02_zps2715acaa.jpg
    "Nope, I wish," Cade said.  "So we paid the wrong bill?"
    The guy nodded, obviously worried for our reaction.  "I thought that was strange you called it a clunker."
    Cade and I looked at each other.  "Cade," I whispered, "do you think this happened for a reason?"
    He nodded.
    So I looked at the mechanic and said, "We'd like to pay for the corvette owners' bill."  Cade and I knew we'd just have enough in checking to cover the corvette bill and ours.
    The mechanic turned, stunned.  Another mechanic came up and said, "No, you don't want to pay that.  The guy who owns the corvette is a creep.  He's the biggest jerk who's been in here today, so is his wife--and that's saying something."
    I second-guessed myself.  But Cade didn't.  "We'll still pay it," Cade said.  
    I thought for a minute and agreed.  "Maybe they need to see some kindness.  I don't know why this happened, but it did."
    So we even paid for the safety and emissions after that, on top of the registration fee.  "Just don't tell them we paid," I said and the mechanic agreed.
    The guys in the first bay were still dumbfounded, either thinking we were stupid or maybe trying to make up for a huge sin.   
    We went back into the waiting room, passed the rich couple who owned the corvette, and sat down.  I didn't say a word to them and neither did Cade.     
    I couldn't help glancing at the rich couple before the mechanic called them to the other room.  Both the young wife and her middle-aged husband puckered, like they'd eaten wasabi candies by the fistful.  I wondered what went on in their lives to sour them so.  Were they just bored, or truly sad?
    I remembered then, times in my life when I'd been depressed beyond anything--when kids in high school spread terrible rumors about my virginity . . . when I'd been homeless . . . when Zeke--my son--had died in my arms.  People probably thought I was a jerk because I wasn't always sociable; they had no idea. 
    Cade and I waited in that room for a long time.  The Chinese lady across from me went out to smoke.  The cigarette looked so elegant in her slender, pink-nailed hand.  A kid next to me joked about the groundhog being wrong this year.  And the whole time the corvette didn't leave and no one pulled our van into the bay.
    Suddenly the door opened.  A wind flew through the waiting room, smelling of gas and strong cologne. The rich couple came inside, peered around and then smiled warmly at Cade and me.
    "What an awesome gesture, you guys."  The man shook Cade's hand and looked at me like we deserved a damn medal, just because we'd been decent human beings.  "What a nice thing.  Why would you want to do that for complete strangers?"
    I didn't want to say that I had a "feeling"--that something greater was at work than us spending all the money we had, on a whim.  "Everything happens for a reason," I said, smiling at both the man and his wife.  "It wasn't a big deal, not really."  Tears lined the woman's eyes, and I wondered again, what she was going through.
    "Well, we can't let you do it." He shook my hand then. Something rustled in between our palms, like a sacred secret.  That man--who the mechanics said was such a jerk--had paid us back all the money and then some.
    They left, and I can't explain what emotions went through me.  The mechanics had us pay our own bill after that--we paid in cash.  The main guy kept shaking his head and typing.  "He paid you back," the kid said.  "Here I thought he was such a jerk, but he paid you back.  I'll never forget this.  That really showed me something about people."
    Cade smiled and put his arm around me.  
   "Me too," I said.  "That was really somethin'."
   And I realized, we weren't supposed to pay that bill just so the rich couple could see a simple kindness; we were supposed to pay it so all the mechanics in the shop could see the kindness that shone from the couple who just left in the corvette. 
Closing: Regardless of all the "feelings," the failed attempt to pay someone else's bill, and after all the magic of the moment, the van still didn't pass safety and emissions.  One miracle down, one to go!

P.S. If you'd like to be part of a Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest (May 27th-31st, 2013) please go HERE.