Must Meet Monday: Sheri Salatin

Sheri Salatin writes inspirational romantic suspense with a farming flair!  She’s the real deal, folks. A true cowgirl. I met Sheri through My Book Therapy on a discussion board for critique partners. Since we both write romantic suspense, x-nay farming flair with me, we decided to swap stories and give it a go.
Sheri has the coolest style of writing and it turns out we love the same books, authors, and think very much alike. Please still like her! Online, we’ll lol because we’re saying almost verbatim the same thing. She’s great and super savvy–the girl next door you want to know!
Sheri tell everyone a little about yourself.

I’m married to my best friend, Daniel and we have 3 kids – Travis 7, Andrew 5 and Lauryn 3. We are full time alternative farmers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia on our multi-generational family farm – Polyface. I’m passionate about farming as well as writing. We use creation as our template for raising clean healthy animals.
I’m active in our church, serving as nursery director and AWANA Sparks Director.  When I’m not reading or writing, you can find me baking, sewing, gardening, canning, quilting, knitting and homeschooling.
Sheri, I love baking and covering up with quilts. My birthday is in October. hint hint! I also enjoy eating baked goods. 😉 Tell us when the writer bug bit yah.
I have been writing stories since I was old enough to spell.  I remember as a child, I used to create stories to send to my Great Uncle John every week. He always wrote back and I miss him still.
Another funny thing. I wrote a story about a young girl named Katie Salaton when I was 14. If you notice my current last name (spelled just slightly different) – this was before I met my husband. I had forgotten all about that story until after we started dating and I was looking through my old story notebook. I still get goosebumps with this one.
Oooh…I got goosebumps too. The writer bug and the love bug in one! Who else can say that? 🙂 When you’re writing do you snack?
Nope, I’m not a snacker. Actually, I’m just the opposite. When I get enthralled in something, I tend to forget to eat or drink.  I can go all day before remembering that I have eaten anything yet. I know –  I’m weird.
Nah, you’re not weird. I can’t snack and write either. I need two hands! How do you come up with story ideas?

Lately, it’s been from my dreams. lol.  I usually dream a story, then start asking questions. i.e. Why was she running? Why, why, why.  It all seems to flow from there and by the time I’m done it doesn’t resemble the dream at all anymore.
             If you could be one hero/heroine from a book who would you choose and why?
Hmm. I would have to say Belle from Beauty and the Beast. (maybe I’ve been watching Disney too long with my kids) It would be awesome to be in an enchanted castle and the beast only stays that way for so long. Ha!
So true, then you get a lifetime with a hunky prince! And Belle likes to read at the speed of lightning…just like you! So, if you had to choose a villain, who would you want to be?
Phew, this is a hard question. I’ve never wanted to be a villain before.  Okay, I’m going to go movie/book again. I think it would be fun to be Shere Kahn, the tiger from Jungle Book. How cool would it be to roam the jungles and have no fear of anything other than fire?
Really? You’ve never wanted to be a villain? Wow, I have a top five! ha! What do you love most about writing?
I love the creating part of it. Pulling ideas and stories from mid-air and putting them to words.  I love the fact that no one else has my story – it’s mine until I share it.
        What are you currently working on? Tell us a little about it.
      Laura Taylor is desperate for answers to her past but her sister’s life hangs in the balance if she tries to find them. Determined to save her sister and uncover what really happened to her parents, she will have to trust Matt Knight, a convicted felon and a cowboy who wants to lasso her heart. But he’s not as dangerous as the Servant who will go to any length to keep the truth a secret. Can Laura save her sister and discover the meaning of unconditional love before it’s too late?
      Sounds like a page turner. I’m enjoying the opportunity to watch it all unfold. What would you like to ask everyone reading this post?
      What do you think makes for an interesting blog? That is – what is the first thing that you notice when you visit a blog and what makes you stay to read the articles posted there?
Excellent question. Sheri has just started a new blog and I encourage you to pop over and follow. She always writes interesting things.  Here’s how you can connect with Sheri:
@SheriSalatin on twitter
The Hen house (her polyface farm blog)
Thanks for joining me today, Sheri. I’ve had a blast. Thanks everyone for coming back and listening to my drivel 3 days a week. I appreciate it and LOVE to read your comments. 🙂

In the Word Wednesday: What’s in Your Drawers?

“Oh my…” the wardrobe exclaimed when she opened her drawers to pull out a dress for Belle, in Beauty and the Beast, and moths flew out.

I’m a clutter-free bug. I cringe when I see keys, rolaids, sunglasses, and cell phones scattered across the counters in the kitchen.

I don’t like papers, books, and non-food essentials littering my kitchen table. I also hate cords from electronics dangling for the naked eye to see. I detest it all! 

But, there is one tiny, well not that tiny, but one place, I always let go. My walk-in closet. It’s a nightmare. Really. I have tons of shoes lying about, my hoodies are tossed on shelves, and well, I’d go on but it’s so bad, my cheeks are burning red at the moment writing this. Point is, I don’t mind my closet looking like it’s vomiting every time I open it. Why?

Because no one sees it but me.

Early one morning, I was on my hands and knees, combing my closet for my other orange heel, the cute ones with the wide baby doll strap but it was nowhere to be found. It’s pumpkin orange! A hunter could wear it during deer season.

I heard a whisper to my heart. “This closet is much like you, my love.” I didn’t need further information. I immediately knew what the Lord was gently convicting me about. Isn’t that how it always goes? He need not say what your sin is. You already know and a simple “ahem” brings it brilliantly into  light.  Not that He never tells me my sins directly, sometimes He does. But this particular morning. I knew.

I was keeping things, because I knew no one would see them, but me.

I suppose I thought since no one could see it, God couldn’t  or maybe He’d overlook it. Ha. My disasterous closet became a “prayer closet” which isn’t a term I particularly like, but that’s what it was none the less.

It’s springtime. Time to take down curtains and wash the dust away, pull old clothing out of closets to make room for new seasonal items. It’s time to scrub baseboards and hose blinds. But it’s also time to take a good look inside your spiritual closet…or drawers and get it straight and organized. Toss what doesn’t fit.  Vacuum the dirt and lint that’s blended with lush carpet and replace old stagnant potpourri sachets with fresh fragrances.

It’s time to prepare for a new season.

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1

Question: Is there anything in particular that you would like to read/learn about during In the Word Wednesday?  If so, leave it in the comments. If not…just say hi! I love comments!

Also, I’m drawing for the winner of My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren this evening. It’s not too late to comment HERE and enter for a chance to win! This was a great book!

Must Meet Monday: Donna Pyle

I met Donna Pyle at the Writing for the Soul Conference this past February. Donna’s one of those people you feel like you’ve known forever.

Donna’s story is amazing. She gave her testimony on Jennifer Slattery’s blog last week. Click here to read it. Donna and I still keep in touch daily by facebook, twitters, or texts. I’m thrilled she’s here today.  Let me tell you a little about my favorite Texan and her ministry.

Donna is a soul-stirring, engaging speaker, author, Bible teacher and worship leader, who has a passion for studying and teaching God’s Word. Her clear, down-to-earth messages encourage women of all ages to passionately love, serve and live for Jesus Christ.
Donna has authored 17 Bible studies, is currently writing her first book, and also preparing to tape her first DVD-based Bible study series before a live audience. She attends Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX where she serves in the worship ministry. Donna enjoys traveling, reading, singing, and driving her cats crazy with feather toys.
Donna, you know cats terrify me! Tell us a little about the book you’re currently writing?



      
taken from Donna’s website

 I’m so excited about it!  “Living Water for a Parched    Soul” provides a roadmap on how to journey from spiritual dehydration toward a life fully hydrated by Christ.

I’m excited about it too. To know Donna is to truly see a hydrated life. Since you write non-fiction, how do you plan and where do you write?

Most of my serious writing is done at the desk in my study, but I also write wherever I land – park bench, home dining table, local coffee shop – you name it! Since I frequently travel to speak, I find that plane rides provide the perfect escape from electronic distractions to get some writing done. J

Since I write non-fiction and don’t have characters to develop, I actually name the book’s chapters first and tie key Scripture passages to each. Those few words trigger the progressive journey toward the goal and it just rolls right along!
What’s a typical writing day look like for you?
Each day starts out with quiet time in the Word. That focuses my heart and mind for the day ahead. I block out time each day to write based on that day’s schedule. Unfortunately, there’s normally not a “typical” day, but when it’s all said and done, there’s something new on paper!
Tell us what else you have in the works besides your book?
I’m currently writing the study guide that will accompany my upcoming DVD-based Bible study series on the armor of God is an exciting adventure into Ephesians 6:10-18 as we unpack each piece of armor and the protection they provide to us. If you’re in the Tomball, Texas area on May 6-7, 2011, join us at Salem Lutheran Church for the live taping. I would SO love to see you there, ladies!
I would love to come and be a part of that! I need to see how far away that is from me. I’m all about a road trip. Donna, you’re a busy woman in the kingdom. Share with us why you wrote Living Water for a Parched Soul.
This topic is close to my heart. Since I didn’t grow up in the church or have a relationship with Christ, I know what it feels like to be spiritually parched. I was drowning in the world’s well until someone introduced me to Christ at age 23. Now 20 years later, I am blessed beyond measure to live a life fully hydrated and tethered to Him. Even through heartbreaking, unexpected divorce, God’s wellspring of life fostered true forgiveness and restoration in my life. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But I believe that the lessons learned along my journey will provide hope and draw readers to the only One who can satiate us: Jesus.
When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do?
I love music and am passionate about worship, so it is such a joy to be very active in my church’s worship ministry. Music has always been a part of my life, so to use those gifts to praise God is just the best thing on the planet!
We all want to convey a message to our readers. What would you like for them to take away from your book?
I’d love for them to walk away knowing without a doubt that no matter what storm hits their life or the desert seasons that descend on us, Jesus is the canteen that never runs dry. He will always provide the hydration we need when we keep our face plastered on Him.
I think that’s amazing and so are you, Donna. Even if you do have cats! 🙂 Tell everyone how they can connect with you and read your inspiring and encouraging blog.
I’d love to meet as many readers as I possibly can!  Visit my website, Artesian Ministries.  Click here to visit my blog. Connect with me on Facebook, as well as Twitter. Stop by and say “hi!”
Donna is represented by Rachelle Gardner. Click here to read Rachelle’s blog!

Donna, thanks so much for popping in and sharing your heart. Can’t wait until your book is published and you can come back and share some more of your journey, as well as give a book away!


Question: What bible study/studies have you done that have been life-changing?