Surprise review of Fabric of Faith

Fabric of Faith is a book I wrote a very long time ago (it was published in 2004) while living in Germany.

I have a Google Alert set up for “Nancy S. Brandt,” and this is what I discovered today.

This review was written on 27 March 2014, and clearly the writer is not a native English speaker, but it is very nice review, and it was a nice surprise, especially after my insecurities recently about my writing.

It was on a forum of the Free Dictionary, not a site I know anything about but here’s the URL of the forum – http://forum.thefreedictionary.com/topics71_Literature.aspx

Hello friends, I am Hektor Konomi. I like to read English literature. Though it was not my subject, I like to read. Here I am posting the review of a novel that I have read recently.

Today, I, Hektor Konomi, would like to tell you about a novel named Fabric of Faith written by Nancy S. Brandt. The novel is really great to read. I enjoyed the novel and believe that you would also enjoy the same.

The novel informs the story of Meyers family. Dr. Chance Meyers lost his wife. He decided to convert her wife’s sewing room into a room where his daughters Ashley and Daniel can do their homework. He could not realize the value of quilting fabric that his wife left behind in her sewing room. Since his daughters were not interested in sewing at all, he decided to sell the fabric to a fabric store.

Mary Grace Caster, the owner of the Quilting Hoop, is a Christian with a wild past. She always wants to save people who have mislead in their lives since she has experienced a wild past and knows how much bad they can cause. Her friend Chrissy is a single mother with an abusive boyfriend. Mary Grace Caster wants to help her friend very much. Chrissy clings her lifestyle of drinking and partying and does not pay any attention to the words of Mary Grace Caster.

When Mary Grace Caster and Chance build a relationship in between them, she comes to know that Ashley is angry and rebellious girl who is destructing her life through her bad habits. Mary Grace wants to her but it hard to do it.

I would ask you to read the novel yourself to know what happens next in the novel as if I tell you everything here you would have no enthusiasm in your heart about the story as you would know very well that what is going to happen next.

Thanks

Big Sunday News and quilting

Actually the news is from Friday.

My baby brother finally got a kidney transplant!!!! Whoo Hoo!!!

me and rob

This is me and Rob.

He’s been on dialysis for more than five years, and from experience, I know that dialysis is actually hell. It’s hard on patients and makes you tired, miserable, and yes, I know it’s life saving and all that, but I’ve been praying for him to get a kidney since it started. Polycystic Kidney Disease is a horrible thing that has taken its toll on this family, and I praise God that it can’t hurt Rob anymore.

PKD Awareness

I do grieve for the people who had to lose a loved one for this to happen, but I pray that knowing that their sacrifice gave life to at least two people (another man got the other kidney) will ease their pain somewhat.

In other news:

I’ve been doing a lot of handwork lately. Mostly, paper piecing hexagons.

baby hexie flowers

I can finally post the pictures of the quilt I made for a friend since I gave it to her last week.

for Katja and Frank's baby

IMG_20140315_221058

IMG_20140315_221126

#writermommyproblems!

As a romance/fantasy author and a member of my local RWA chapter, I tend to end up with a lot of bookmarks. Our chapter has an annual Readers’ Luncheon, and authors from all over send piles and boxes of bookmarks. I’m not exaggerating when I say that for over a year, we had a cubic foot or bigger box in our carport FULL of bookmarks the chapter just couldn’t use for attendee bags and right now, on one of my craft cabinets is two or three rubber banded stacks of bookmarks.

In addition, I have a lovely little urn a friend gave me as birthday gift a few years ago on my desk that I have filled with bookmarks from the bags I’ve gotten at the Luncheon or at various conferences and workshops. The fact that I often use receipts to mark my place in books is inexcusable.

However, the family knows that if they need a bookmark, Mom will have one.

Recently, though, I decided I needed to be a little more careful when handing my son one for his AR book from school. Usually, I make sure there aren’t inappropriate covers or too much skin showing for him. After all, he’s 11 and goes to a Catholic school.

A few days ago, he got in the car after school, pulled his AR book out of the backpack, took out the marker and said, “Mom, this might not be appropriate for school.”

Now, there were no naked people or inappropriate embraces, but the bookmark showed four cowboy romances with half-naked cowboys. I thought, yeah, maybe, but it could be worse.

Then I saw that they were all Ellora’s Cave books with quotes on the back of the bookmark. Quotes about “petting,” and “bull riding.” All subtle, but possibly not for fifth grade boys!!

This morning, I found one that only had a lovely cover showing a magnolia draped mansion. I showed it to him and he pronounced it “better.”

These are the kinds of problems you don’t think of when you decide to write romance!

Lasagna Experiment

Recently, I got the Pampered Chef Brownie Pan.

I absolutely love it, and not just because you can make these:

Yummy, right?

These are super easy – place and bake cookies (two squares per pan space) pressed into the bottom, topped with a mini peanut butter cup (or an Oreo) and then a spoonful of brownie mix. Bake for 25 minutes (or so, check to make sure they’re done), and voila, sinful, evil brownies!

After two batches of those, my husband said, “Maybe you could try something a little less unhealthy.”

I found a recipe for mini lasagnas, but it required no boil lasagna, which I couldn’t find in our store, so I made something up.

First I cooked a box of pasta. I picked the bow ties ones because I thought they were more like lasagna and I thought they would take up less space, but as it turns out, you could use any pasta you like. Okay, maybe not spaghetti or manicotti, but you get my meaning.

I also browned a pound of ground beef.

Then I poured a little (no measuring, just eyeball it) spaghetti sauce in the bottom of each square, put a few pastas on top, and then some of the ground beef.

IMG_20140217_165910

I mixed some low fat cottage cheese, a package of shredded Italian cheese blend, some herbs (oregano, basil, parsley, thyme – again, no measuring, just some) and spooned some over each square.

IMG_20140217_165916

I had more than would fit into the pan so I put the rest, in the same order, in the round covered baker, also by Pampered Chef.

IMG_20140217_165923

I stuck it all in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, and the family loved it.

IMG_20140217_173508

IMG_20140217_173517

Belated Valentine’s Day celebration

We always put off celebrating Valentine’s Day because my husband’s parents’ anniversary is 14 Feb. Now that they live near us, we spend that day with them.

This year, because my mother-in-law had an accident with her motorized scooter where her face met the mall parking lot HARD, she is bruised all over her face, making her look like she took up boxing as a hobby. Consequently, they decided not to go out for their anniversary, so we just had pizza at their house like we do every Friday.

We had already planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 15th by going out to dinner, just the two of us.

We went to Lone Star Steakhouse pretty early. I think we got there before six, after dropping Noah off at his grandparents’ house. We had a nice meal, both of us order steaks, and talked about writing.

I think that’s what we always talk about when it’s just the two of us. Steve is listening to Sword & Illusion as an audiobook to re-familiarize himself with the world and the details. He’s working on the sequel and wants to make sure things stay consistent.

Anyway, we talked a little about my WIP, Married for the Magic (title could change). It’s funny that I write and plot very linearly, while my scientist husband writes and plots like in a circle or something. We were talking about Married and brainstorming plot ideas. Steve came up with dozens, all just out there and I was getting overwhelmed, but he said I shouldn’t worry about how they all fit together or anything right now. This is a radical concept for me because once I have an idea, my brain says, this is in stone and can’t be changed.

This is one reason working with him on the Sword books is hard because I have these characters in my head and have had them there for decades, and he comes in and changes them. Of course, in my head is not canon, so of course he can change them but it’s hard for me to adjust.

So, after dinner we walked around the mall and talked. That was nice, but after a while, my hip began to complain. We headed home, stopping at the grocery store (how romantic, right?) for a major shopping trip, which included him having to run back to get three cases of Coke Zero to boost our total so we could use the “Save $8 if you spend $120″ coupon we had. Then we picked Noah up and went home.

I hadn’t planned to take a pain pill before bed but my hip was really hurting from that walk. Even though I only took half of one, I had trouble sleeping and had weird dreams. That often happens if I take one right before bed.

Last night I dreamed about the TV show “Revenge.” That was from Steve and me talking about how he likes it when I write “courtly intrigue” scene and I was telling him that Victoria on Revenge talks the way the courtly people do, insulting you with a smile on her face that makes you wonder if you heard her right.

Anyway, in my dream Emily was actually one of twins, and the “real Amanda” was hidden and running things behind the scenes.

So, that was my Valentine’s celebration. How was yours??

How relevant is NYC for romance writers?

Years ago, I came home (and by home I mean to my in-laws’ house) from a NJRW meeting to meet my family, my sister-in-law and her husband for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. As we were standing in line for our table, my sister-in-law’s husband asked me what one does at a “romance writers’ meeting.” I kinda stared at him for a second, then said, “Talk about writing romance and have fun.” He looked completely baffled. He was from NYC and said that the writers he knows are solitary people who don’t have fun when they talk about their writing. They are apparently quite angst filled. I decided right then (although I knew it before) that I was in the right field because anything else sounded boring and exhausting.

This article from Harper’s Magazine is interesting because it discusses how NYC actually sees what we do. I wonder how much any of us want to be included in the NYC publishing world these days.

http://harpers.org/blog/2014/01/nyc-vs-hea/

Ice and Hammers

When we moved from PA to Louisiana in 2005, one of the first things we did was buy a new refrigerator. I loved that it came with an ice maker. One of my favorite things is a large glass of instant decaf iced tea filled with ice.

A couple of years ago, the ice maker died. We had a repair man, a jack-of-all-trades kind of guy, come in for some other reason and my husband asked him to look at the ice maker. Part of the issue is that the refrigerator is still attached to a water line that, according to my husband, cannot be shut off now. The guy said if we got a replacement, he’d come back and install it. He also said he’d come back and fix the other thing but that never happened.

Anyway, over the years, every now and then I’d buy ice from the grocery store and fill the bin with it so I could have my tea. My husband will drink tea made with tap water and no ice, but I really don’t like that. I want my tea COLD!

I did get ice cube trays, but did you know that most plastic is not as strong as ice? I think I’ve broken more trays that I’ve gotten ice cubes.

Finally, this past year, my husband bought me a gift that he claims I love more than my children. That isn’t true. Most of the time. It is a counter top ice maker!

I call him Frosty!

One problem, at least to the husband’s mind, is that once you dump a full basket of ice into the freezer (the machine doesn’t have a cooler to keep the ice in. It just makes it until the basket is full, but if you don’t dump it, they’ll melt again.), you have to go back 15 minutes later and break up the iceberg they freeze into.

I don’t find this a problem because I don’t care about having individual cubes (or bullet shapes in this case) in my drinks. In fact, I like big chunks, and a simple butter knife is enough for me to break of a usable bit when I make a drink.

If I make ice during the day while he’s at work, I don’t bother with setting a timer and breaking up the ice, so when he gets home, he has to break off his own chunk of ice for a drink. The other day, I caught him with his hammer, breaking up the ice.

All I could think of was this:

He didn’t seem to think it was funny. Possibly I should have gone with a “Thor vs. the Ice Giants” theme.

I think I might be invisible…

Why would I think that, you ask. After all, I am the perennial hostess of the Heart of Louisiana‘s annual Readers’ Luncheon.

Nancy at the mike

Well, recently, two things happened that make me question this.

About a month and a half ago, I had an appointment with my pain doctor to get my meds refilled. I do this every three months and the actual appointment takes about 10 minutes. I went into the office, checked in, paid my co-pay then sat down with my computer to work. It was NaNoWriMo, after all.

After some time had passed, I noticed that everyone who had been in the waiting room when I got there had been called in and left. This is an office with about six or eight doctors and PAs, so it didn’t really mean anything. However, I heard people checking in with my doctor’s PA, who I was there to see. I had heard that they were all running late, so I didn’t really think too much about that either.

Until I noticed that I’m just about the only person in the waiting room and nurses are going to lunch.

A couple came in – a husband pushing his wife’s wheelchair. They checked in for my doctor’s PA and were taken back almost instantly.

At that point, I went to the receptionist and said, “Can you tell me how much longer it’s going to be? I’ve been waiting an hour.” She looked me up on the computer and asked if I’d paid my co-pay. I told her I had and she went back to where they keep the files of the patients for the day. She pulled mine out, typed a few things on the computer, left to ask someone a question then said, “It’ll be just a few minutes. They’re going to call you soon.”

When I finally got called back the nurse apologized, and then the PA told me that if she’d known I was waiting she would never have taken a patient who checked AN HOUR LATE! “I’d have made her little behind make a new appointment!” She apologized again because I was only there for a prescription refill and should never have had to wait.

On the way out, another nurse said, “I’m so sorry you had to wait. It’s being taken care of.”

Now I don’t know what that means, but I think someone was in trouble!

Uh-oh!

Now today, I went shopping with my in-laws. My sister-in-law and her husband are here for the holidays and she wanted to go to Sephora with my daughter and myself, but in reality, it was everyone in the family, except my husband who was at work.

We went to lunch at a fairly nice restaurant near Sephora, and since it’s Friday, I ordered a flatbread Margherita Pizza and salad. The food took a while to come, and when it finally did, everyone got served except me. I figure the waiter couldn’t carry everything. After all there were seven of us, but usually in that situation, someone else brings the rest.

But it didn’t come. The family has started eating and we had to flag down a waiter because we needed a few condiments for a burger someone ordered. That didn’t come for a while, either, so my sister-in-law’s husband went to the hostess and expressed our irritation at the situation. Finally, he got his condiments and I asked the waitress where my food was.

“Oh, it’s right behind me.”

Another five or so minutes later, she brought it and said, “Shall I put it in a to go box for you?” The rest of the family was still eating!!!

I told her I wanted to eat my lunch. Needless to say, my food was taken off the bill and there was no tip.

See? The evidence is irrefutable.

I’m invisible!

Announcing January Black Sale!!

I’m excited to introduce you to this book for a couple of reasons. First, Wendy is a friend and a member of our local RWA chapter. Second, I was one of the editors on this book. I honestly think it’s one of the most original, exciting YA books out there. Do yourself and any young person in your life a favor, and buy this book!

About January Black

Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He’s been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost…or call the king’s bluff.

January Black is the silver medalist in the 2013 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, Young Adult – Coming of Age category.

Kindle | Nook | Other Digital | Paperback | Signed Paperbacks | Add to Goodreads Shelf

Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights. She can be found online in the following places:

Amazon | Authorgraph | Crescent Moon Press | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Twitter

Prayers requested

Dear friends,

I find myself worried today. I know that God is in charge and prayer is better than worry, and trust me, I have prayed about this, but I won’t stop worrying until it’s over.

Let me start at the very beginning.

This is my baby boy:

Eating smiley fries in a real English Pub.

Eating smiley fries in a real English Pub.

Now, of course, that was when he was two, and we visited some friends who were living just outside London.

That kid is, himself, an answer to ten years of prayers. God’s time is not our time and He was waiting for MY SON to be born before we could have him.

Today that kid is eleven, and he has a mouthful of huge teeth that are over crowded. He will get braces this coming spring but before that can happen, the dentist is going to pull FOUR teeth.

He’s going to do that today.

I’m so scared for my little guy, all the while telling him not to worry, because that’s what Mommies do. I have no idea what to expect. I don’t know if he’ll be able to sit still. I don’t know how much pain he’ll be in during or after.

I know this is the best thing for him, but I can’t do anything to make it better or make it good.

Please, friends, pray for him.