Friday, November 21, 2014

Sweet Tea & Chocolate Cake 10 Year Anniversary Luncheon Recap

Wow, wow, wow!  
I went to my first Big Author Event November 8th in Augusta, GA!
Sweet Tea & Chocolate Cake Author Reader Luncheon!
Mom and I loaded up, dropped my boys at my SIL's and we were off for a girls weekend!
We got down in time for the dinner out and we got to sit with +Tonya Kappes, her mom, her bff Lisa and fellow reader Heather!  It was so fun getting to know everyone in person and hanging out!
Here are a few pics from the evening!

Here's the link for Tonya's Amazon and B&N

We woke up and hit the breakfast buffet and I found….
With Sugar Free syrups!  Yes, I drank about $30 worth of Starbucks that weekend! (at least)

About 11:30 was a wonderful luncheon.  We were at Tonya Kappes' table and had a blast!
Tonya made each of us wonderful gifts and our hostess from the STACC book club Anu made a beautiful centerpiece with jewelry inspired by Tonya's book Carpe Bead 'Em.

After the luncheon and speakers Dianna Love and Tonya Kappes!!!  I love hearing their stories and learning new things! <3

After we got to meet and buy signed books by the authors that each had their own tables
Including +Jocie McKade+Nancy Naigle, K.D. Wood, +Jodi Vaughn+Larissa Reinhart+Hildie McQueen (whose book club hosted the luncheon), +Linda Joyce+Jordan K Rose, Jessica Hawke, Melissa Klein and SO many more!

Selfie with Tonya

Jocie McKade <3

Nancy Naigle <3
My badge with a witch hat from Tonya!
My books

Everyone I met was super sweet and I believe everyone was so excited to be there and meet and greet.
Again, I wish I had thought to take more pics.  The next event I go to I'll do much better!  

Links for all the authors listed that I met!

KD Wood  Amazon  B&N
Melissa Klein Amazon  B&N
Jocie McKade  Amazon  B&N
Nancy Naigle  Amazon  B&N
Jordan K Rose  Amazon   B&N
Larissa Reinhart  Amazon  B&N
Dianna Love  Amazon   B&N
Jessica Hawke Amazon  B&N
Jodi Vaughn  Amazon  B&N
Linda Joyce  Amazon   B&N
Tonya Kappes  Amazon   B&N

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hottie McTottie Monday/Sugar's Faith - Katie Mettner

Happy Hottie McTottie Monday!
Yes, I know it's no longer Monday but I lost my computer charger and my mind but,
today I'm featuring the 4th book in the epic Sugar Series, Sugar's Faith!
This series is filled with sexy Hottie McTotties!

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 

When Donovan Walsh comforts his wife with the words, Níl aon suáilce gan a duáilce féin, there are no unmixed blessings in life, he had no way of knowing how quickly he would live those words. While visiting Ireland, Sugar and Van stay in a familiar place. A place filled with the ghosts and lies of his past. Stumbling through the deception of his early life Van waltzes dangerously close to losing his future. Will a voice from the past be the one to give him the answers, or will he find them in the blue eyes of his forever love? 

As the ice melts on Lake Superior, Sugar and Van dance together to find hope and love through Faith… 

Donovan Walsh and I are good friends and I was able to convince this Hottie McTottie to come back and tell me what's changed in his life this last year.

Tobi: Welcome back to Forget The Housework, Van! Do you have your coffee and are you ready to chat?

Van: Hi, Tobi, thanks for having me back! I have my coffee, but don't tell my wife. She's a little touchy about only getting one cup of coffee a day. 

Tobi: *Gasp* Is her coffeebone broken? One cup a day is unheard of for her!

Van: *Laughing* No her coffeebone isn't broken, but they say too much coffee is bad for the baby.

Tobi: *Squeal* Baby!? You're having a baby????

Van: Yes! Imagine my surprise when she told me one morning standing out on that pier. With the words, "you're going to be a daddy" she brought me to my knees. I've wanted to hear those words for so long, and now I'm about to be a granddaddy and a daddy.

Tobi: Congratulations, Van! And please, pass my congratulations on to Sugar as well. I can't imagine how surprised you were first to find out Lillie was pregnant and then Sugar, but you kinda already are a daddy.

Van: *Shrugs shoulder* Yes, I already raised Lillie, and she calls me dad, but I don't know. This feels different. I can't explain it very well, but every time I look at Tula now, I want to cry. She has given me so much and changed my world so completely in the last year. Now she's doing it again. 

Tobi: Sugar might say the same about you, only she would actually cry. 

Van: *Snort* Fair play! She always says I was the one that saved her, but she really has no idea how lost I was on November first last year. I was suddenly alone again, after all those years with Lillie, and adrift. I agreed to go to Duluth just to get out of my lonely apartment. I see now He was letting me walk through that so I would find my way to her.

Tobi: Truly a case of the Lord working in mysterious ways. My favorite memory of the first part of your story is when Sugar opened the door and saw you standing there. It was like she knew instantly she just found her soulmate. 

Van: She was so beautiful that day. Oh, you could see she was scared to death of me being in her space, but I tried to put her at ease. That ended when I spent the first night lying awake listening to her cry out from her room, all night. At about two am. when I was begging God to comfort her, I realized that's why I was there. I was there to protect her and somehow comfort her. From that moment on I was compelled prove that to her.

Tobi: *Heart melts* You're so romantic. 

Van: I've heard that a few times. Tula says its not a bad thing, but even if it was it isn't something I can change. Maybe it was raising a girl by myself for so many years. I never wanted to do anything that would hurt her. It was my job to protect her from pain. I guess it just added another layer to who I am. 

Tobi: *Laughing* No it's not a bad thing at all! When your story ended last time you and Sugar were headed to Ireland. Did you go? How was it? Just like you remembered? Did you enjoy a well poured glass of black stuff finally?

Van: *Grinning* Yes, life changing, yes, and yes finally! I probably had way too much black stuff, but it's just not the same here in the States. We drink it for breakfast, lunch and supper. We even cook with it. It's like milk here in the US, it's always in your fridge. 

Tobi: Life changing? I was going to ask you about all the things you did in Ireland, but your answer makes me wonder. The last time Sugar was here she told me she was looking forward to getting to know you on a whole new level, do you think that happened?

Van: You ain't codding...

Tobi: *Leans in* That's a loaded answer. Did something happen in Ireland, Van? I don't mean to pry, but you seem sad suddenly.

Van: Ireland was filled with ghosts and lies of my past, Tobi. I nearly lost my beautiful wife and child when I lost track of what's important. The things that happened were life changing, for both of us, but after everything we went through, and as much of a jackarse as I was to her, do you know what she told me? 

Tobi:*Shakes head no*

Van: She told me that when I was at my lowest, and thought all hope was lost, was when she had the most faith in me. She said I needed to go through all of that just to discover what my real gift in life is. 

Tobi: *Nods head* That sounds like Sugar. She's faith, love and hope all wrapped up in one beautiful package, to quote you. Do you think what she said was true?

Van: *Sighs with laughter* Oh, she was so right. I think it's why I picked this particular part of the story to share with your readers today. It was so easy for me to know without a question in my mind what her gifts are, but it was a lot harder for me to figure out mine. Well, the truth is, it really wasn't that hard. The hard part was for me to accept it.

Tobi: We all have gifts that He gives us, I agree. I think I know what your gift is, but I would love to hear what you decided. 

Van: *Whispers in Tobi's ear* Were you right?

Tobi: YES!

Van: *Laughing* See, everyone but me seemed to know what it was. I can tell you what your gift is.

Tobi: *Eyebrows up* Really? You know what my gift is?

Van: Yup, it's easy because I've already experienced it in just the short few minutes we've been talking. You're a listener and comforter. You know how to put people at ease, shore them up and encourage them all at the same time. You aren't condescending or fake, and you put your whole self into every encounter you have, even when you know sometimes people won't treat you with the same respect. 

Tobi: Eh, I don't know about that. I guess maybe. I never really thought about it much.

Van: *Chuckles* Eie, my lassie, ya be a special one. Don't ever change.

Tobi: Scouts honor, I'll stay true to who I am as long as you do too. I know your life is about to change so much in the next few months, though.

Van: *Winks* You ain't codding and I've never been more excited. My two girls are carrying the future generation of Walsh's, at the same time. In the not so distant future I'll be holding my child and grandchild in my arms, at the same time. I'll be a very happy man. Thanks for having me back today to visit, Tobi. I hope you fall in love with Faith the same way we have. 

Tobi: I'll tell you my secret now, I already have. *Wink wink* Before you go why don't you introduce the excerpt a little more to my readers, it's the first time we've ever gotten to hear your inner thoughts. 

Van: You betcha *chuckling, the northerners are rubbing off on me* This is an excerpt from our plane ride to Ireland. Tula was sleeping and I was trying to process the bombshell she had dropped on me earlier in the day. Amazing how the word 'daddy' can change your entire life the moment it's said. 

Tobi: You ain't codding! Thanks for stopping by Van. I always enjoy sharing a cup of coffee with you. *Claps hands* Okay, without further adieu I give you Sugar's Faith.

Van and Finn 2 months


A daddy. I stroked her arm as she shifted in her sleep until she settled her short leg between mine. When she tucked her right leg over my knee I cupped it gently with my hand, until she was comfortable and breathing evenly again. It was something I’ve done hundreds of times over the last year and it spoke volumes about how our relationship has evolved. When I first met her a year ago she couldn’t even tell me she was an amputee. She tried to hide it, to convince me she was just like every other woman.

The fact was I already knew she wasn’t. She was three times the woman of any I ever met, and when Jesse told me the truth I was stunned silent. Part of me suspected to a point she had a physical problem, and the cop in me at the time was screaming to call her on it. It was the man in me who couldn’t. When I look at her it’s the first thing I see, because for me it is the greatest part of her. She always cringes when I say that, but it’s how I feel. It’s the part of her she has overcome, not just physically, but emotionally. That night she lost the three most important people in her life, and her leg. Most people would have thrown in the towel, but not Tula. Even when she had every right to be angry and jaded about life, she just picked herself up and kept going.

I know she’s gone through some dark valleys. She’s told me just how hard it was for her to get where she is today, and I’ve experienced some of it firsthand. She was so broken when I first met her she was like an orphan, so devoid of love she didn’t know how to let her defenses down, and accept it.

I pulled her closer to me and rested my hand on her belly, closing my eyes, not that I was going to sleep any time soon. That one word had been running through my mind since she stood on the pier, the sun behind her, listening to her tell me my greatest wish was coming true. I was going to be a daddy. After our dance last night I honestly didn’t think I could love her more. I don’t know how she kept it together last night, knowing what she knew, going out there and dancing that kind of dance. But that is the essence of who she is. Grace under fire, with the courage to shut out all the other pressures and let the world see her soul. She floated in my arms last night, something I know is beyond difficult as an amputee, but when you’re born with a gift there is little you can’t overcome.

For Tula one of her gifts is dance. I can dance, but she has to dance to breathe. It’s something I’ve never experienced before in my life, and what left me so stymied the last few months. For the first time she struggled with putting aside all of the pressures from society, to do what her heart told her to do. That’s her real gift, her giving, loving, heart that has no end, even if she doesn’t realize it. I know it isn’t all that farfetched to say I’m partly to blame for all her indecision lately. Not because I don’t support her, but because we have already been through so many changes already. How could she ask me to begin another? Once she understood I wanted her to do what makes her happy she finally accepted that sharing her gift is what she is meant to do. I know without reservation that’s why she was left here that night. She simply had too many lives left to change. Mine, Lillie’s, Max’s, Nat’s and Maggie’s, just to name a few.

Sitting there this morning with my daughter on one side, and my wife on the other, both carrying my future left me short of breath. Raising Lillie was kind of thrust upon me, and I didn't have fatherly feelings for her right away. I loved her instantly, but first as a caretaker and protector, and then as a dad. I convinced myself it would be much the same way when I became a dad again, but I was so wrong. The words had barely left her lips and I was on the ground, my legs collapsing under me at the thought. This time it was instant love for a person I hadn’t even met. Most would say I'm far too protective of my women, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I give them all the room they want to spread their wings and fly, but they also know they can run back to me for protection, and security. I never had a father, so when I was charged with raising Lillie I decided that’s the kind of father I would be. Turns out I’m not a very good father, but I do think I’m really good daddy. I guess some men would say there is no difference, but I know the truth. When I was growing up I knew about my father, the man who had helped create me, but that was all I ever knew of him. When I was raising Lillie she told people I was her ‘daddy’. I guess the difference is love.

 First thoughts after…
A perfect ending to a wonderful series.

How distracted did I get?

Sugar's Faith is an amazing conclusion to an awesome series.  Faith, who doesn't struggle with it at some point?  This story is about a husband/father to be struggling to keep his faith and deal with the mysteries from his past.  Van has been one of my favorite characters for a while now.  I felt for him as the story flew by though at times I wanted to say what the heck is wrong with you????  Once again Katie Mettner brings it home with a story that's not all rainbows and butterflies but deals with struggles and doubts many of us have in life, our relationships with loved ones and our relationship with God.  Doubt happens, faith waivers but LOVE prevails.  
I give Sugar's Faith

5 Baskets!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's that time of year...

Hey y'all!  It's that time of year…
Sigh…where all HELL breaks loose in the household.
I've been missing huh? 
Well, my older twin ended up in the ER and his twin was sick.
And Halloween and I really could go on...
So, I'll be in and out and I apologize but let me leave you with some 
AMAZING reads for you to check out!
Just click the image and it will take you to the Amazon page!