Sisterhood of the World Bloggers

Because mine is a how-to blog, writing a blog-hop interview this week is a treat. My nominees, the rules, and their questions follow the interview.

Thank you, Paula Mowery, for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.


Here are Paula’s questions and my answers:

What is something you would count as a “success” from this past year?

Naturally, debut Calculated Risk’s release. But when I launched my weekly how-to blog in 2012, I wondered how long it’d be before I ran out of things I knew how to do. So my 2014 success was celebrating my 100th blog.


Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at
Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at







Who has had the biggest influence on your life?

Naturally, Jesus. Unfortunately, also the Enemy, the devil, with his relentless temptations. But through Christ’s victorious influence, I know Him and have eternal life.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Naturally, stoves are hot. But in 1981, I protested to John that I was too much older than he to marry. When he was eight, I could’ve been his babysitter. He said, “Look at it this way, when you’re eighty, I’ll be seventy-two.” Our age gap is actuarially sound. We should die about the same time. 

If you could have a week to retreat, where would you go and what would you do?

photoNaturally, heaven. But my sister and brother-in-law and John and I have already scheduled a winter retreat in the Dominion Republic. I’ll sit under a palm tree on the beach and read instead of write books. And celebrate my sister’s birthday.


Looking back on this year, what are five things you are especially thankful for?

Naturally, my five senses. Equally, my five grandchildren who keep me young and laughing.

What is one lesson you feel you learned this past year?

Naturally, book promotion is overwhelming. More importantly, God is the Great Orchestrator.

If there were no limits, what is one goal you would like to achieve this year?

Naturally, to win the Christy Award. No limits? I’d like to finish this next book within six months.

What is one Bible verse that is special to you and why?

Naturally, Proverbs 21:19 (below). But staying positive, Galatians 6:9. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. One thing I do well is persevering.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?

Naturally, lose 10 pounds if I did. But I don’t make resolutions. For fifty-two weeks, I send weekly goals to my accountability partners. That’s enough.

512px-David_and_GoliathDo you set goals for yourself in your spiritual life? Give an example.

Naturally. This year I worked on inner giants that hinder my faith walk. Nagging is one. That’s why I mentioned Proverbs 21:19 above. Better to live in a desert than with a … nagging wife.

Paula, thank you for this opportunity to join in and introduce interesting and helpful bloggers to others.

My nominees:

Valerie Comer, Kristen Blankenship, Jane Thompson, Joanne Sher

The rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Put the Award logo on your blog.
  3. Answer the 10 questions you’ve been sent.
  4. Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.

Their questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What was the topic of the blog you wrote that had the greatest impact on your readers and why?
  3. What is your process from getting a blog idea to announcing your just submitted post?
  4. What is something you’d like to learn how to do to improve your blog this year?
  5. What kinds of blogs do you enjoy reading?
  6. What are three words that best describe who you are?
  7. What book did you most enjoy reading last year and why?
  8. What is a non-blogging goal you’d like to accomplish this year?
  9. When you’re not blogging, what do you enjoy doing?
  10. What was a spiritual lesson you learned in the past year?

How You Can Start an Easy Blog Hop—A Live Example

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:11.



  • Would you like to start an easy blog hop? Learn with me.
    click to tweet

Below the dot points is the actual Blog Hop.

How this Blog Hop works.

An original host set the topic and rules. Unlike some blog hops, this one has no widget button, set duration, or contest. It hops to multiple blogs, introducing visitors to writers’ blogs and to their writing.

For example:

  • After Sandra invited me and two other writers to join this blog hop, she sent us the four questions the original host created.
  • Then Sandra let us know when she posted on her blog her answers and the links to our blogs.
  • We waited one to two weeks so the visitors she sent to our blogs could view our normal blog posts.
  • Now we’re answering the four questions on our blogs, and we each give links to other writers’ blogs. And on it goes.

Here’s the actual Blog Hop.

I thank Sandra Ardoin for inviting me to this blog hop. Sandra writes historical romance and historical romantic suspense. Visit her blog, where she posts book reviews under many genres and advice on writing. Here are Sandra’s answers to the questions.

What am I working on? 

quarter.jpgHeads and tails. I’m at the head of the process for a new contemporary romance. This week, it’s off to my agent to send to the editors who requested it at writers’ conferences. Proposal blurb: “Forced to caddy for her father, a young golfer meets her ideal man; he’s noble, he’s an amazing golfer, and his father is the sleazebag who stole her dad’s golf scholarship.”


5580-5608_ivc3a1n_melenchc3b3n_serrano_morguefile-2.jpgI’m on the tail end of the process for my first contracted contemporary romance, Calculated Risk, soon to be released. Now the promotion work begins. Cover blurb: “What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing rep? Romance becomes a calculated risk.”

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Cheeky comes to mind. In these novels, I get to say the things I sometimes think. That confessed, I share my faith in God through the difficult journeys of my characters—in between the sass and humor.

I’m a retired actuary, married to one, so it was fun to give the little-understood profession to my hero in Calculated Risk. (An actuary is a mathematician responsible for evaluating the financial risks of insurance companies.)mp900405508.jpg

How’d I jump from actuaries to the love story of two young golfers caddying on a PGA tour? How could I not, when I saw the two cutest young caddies standing together on a putting green at a golf tournament? The what-ifs abounded.

Why do I write what I do? 

Cheeky comes to mind… Seriously, I can save money making my heart melt writing my own love scenes, laughing at my own humor, and crying at my own tender moments. Seriously now, after four unsold manuscripts, I found what every writer hopes to find: my writer’s voice. Now, I can’t stop chattering in any other voice.

How does my writing process work?

sw_editing_n10_20130809_230442.jpgSlowly comes to mind. I’m an edit junky. I edit as I write. I polish what I’ve edited before I submit chapters to my critique partner. I edit as I incorporate her suggestions. I edit the whole manuscript. Then I edit again after my husband reads it. I think maybe I edited the life out of my first four manuscripts. I’m more careful now.

Please visit the blogs of the writers listed below. In a week or so, enjoy their answers to the above questions.

Joanne Sher – Joanne writes children’s picture books. She is a regular at several blogs: Jewels of Encouragement; The Barn Door; The Internet Café; and Faithwriters. So hop over to her blog, to read a post there or to be directed to hop to the blog she’s posting at today.

Sally Jo Pitts – Sally Jo writes stories “steeped in the mysteries of life and love.” She posts Personal Background Investigation – Assignments on her blog: Sally Jo Pitts Investigative Prose. Fun personal stories.

Jane Thompson – Jane is working on a pre-Columbian novel. Her blog, Glimpse of Peace encourages healing and wholeness through Jane’s many experiences, including those as a missionary in Honduras.