Saturday, October 31, 2009

He needs counseling...

My poor dog.

He is so attached to me that he cannot stand to have me do ANYTHING other than pay attention to him straight time.

I played with him ALL morning then settled in to write.

He started dropping chew toys on my keyboard. I threw them for a long while and far enough each time that I hoped to wear him out so he'd take his nap.

But NOOOO. He kept dropping slimy toys on my fingers as I tried to type. I started hiding his chew toys. He totally freaked out. Huffed at me and started digging in the couch like it was a pile of dirt because I guess he smelled his toys. I'd stuffed them deep in the crack.

While he was busy in Plan B attempt to chew my sectional into shreds to rescue his toys, I took that opportunity to type.

He wised up and did what you see in the picture above.

Yes, threw half his body over my keyboard so I would stop typing and pay attention to him.

I am SO ready for this dog to take a nap so I can finish my proposal.

In the meantime, here's a small glimpse into the glamorous life of a writer battling chew toy slime and dogs with serious cyber-rivalry.

Off to write....

Cheryl Wyatt

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mission: Military Prayers-for families of the fallen

I heard recently that October has been the deadliest month as far as current wartime casualties. I think about the servicemen and women in harms' way and I think about their families back home and remember that they both make sacrifices in order for their loved one to serve.

Some make the ultimate sacrifice and today my heart goes out to every family member who has lost a loved one to war.

Father, I lift them up and ask that you bring comfort and reconciliation. Help them run to You in their sadness and not away. Help them to know their loved one will never be forgotten nor will the sacrifice they made. If anyone knows what it's like to have a son sent to die, Father, it's You. You are the God of all hope and the God of provision and comfort. Give families of fallen servicemen and women a strong sense of your presence and surround them with peace. Ease them through the missing, through the intense sadness and through the pain. We remember Lord, and we lift them up to you today. In Jesus' name.

Feel free to "borrow" this prayer and say it, or your version of it for someone you know who has lost a loved one serving our country at the time of their death.

Blessings to those still serving. Father, keep them safe and help them know You so they'll be okay either way.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recommended Reading: The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

I'm excited to tell you about another book that I highly recommend by an author I love. And just in time for Christmas too! Hope you will purchase this book for yourself or a friend or family member. It is good holiday time reading.

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I appreciate each and every one of you.


Cheryl Wyatt

About the Author:
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish has been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Plain Mennonite and Old Order Amish families.
Cindy is the mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, and she and her husband reside in Georgia. Visit her Web site at

About The Sound of Sleigh Bells
Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancĂ©. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work–including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.

Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?

The Sound of Sleigh Bells is a heartwarming Christmas novella where lack and abundance inside an Amish community has power for good when it’s tucked inside love. Romantic Times gave The Sound of Sleigh Bells 4 ½ stars, saying ~ This is a wonderfully written, transformative story of two Amish families at Christmastime. It will bring sleigh-riding memories to life as readers vicariously join in this jolly and exciting holiday tradition.

To purchase through Amazon:

To purchase through


Excerpt: The Sound of Sleigh Bells~
Waterbrook Press

Chapter one

The aroma of fresh-baked bread, shepherd’s pie, and steamed vegetables filled Lizzy’s house, mingling with the sweet smell of baked desserts. In the hearth a bank of embers kept a small fire burning, removing the nip that clung to the early-April air.

The noise of conversations rose and fell around Lizzy’s kitchen table as her brother and his large family talked easily throughout the meal. His grown and almost-grown children filled the sides of her fourteen-foot table, and his grandchildren either sat in their mothers’ laps or in highchairs.

Nearly four decades ago her oldest brother had put effort into finding an Amish bride. When Stephen found the right girl, he married her. He’d handled life well, and the fruit of it fed her soul. Lizzy had focused on her business and never married. She didn’t regret her choices, not for herself, but she’d crawl on her hands and knees the rest of her days to keep her niece from the same fate.

Beth was like a daughter to Lizzy. Not long after the family’s dry goods store passed to Lizzy, Beth graduated from the eighth grade and started working beside her. Soon she moved in with Lizzy, and they shared the one-bedroom apartment above the shop. When Lizzy had this house built a few years ago, her niece had stayed above Hertzlers’ Dry Goods.

Lizzy studied the young beauty as she answered her family’s endless questions about her decisions in the middleman role between the Amish who made goods and the various Englischer stores who wanted those goods.

That was her Beth. Answer what was asked. Do what was right. Always be polite. Offer to help before it was needed. And never let anyone see the grief that hadn’t yet let go of her. Beth had banned even Lizzy from looking into the heartache that held her hostage.

The one-year anniversary of Henry’s death had come and gone without any sign from Beth that she might lay aside her mourning, so Lizzy had taken action. She’d prepared this huge meal and planned a social for the afternoon. Maybe all Beth needed was a loving, gentle nudge. If not, Lizzy had a backup plan—one Beth would not appreciate.

Over the din of conversations, the sounds of horses and buggies arriving and the voices of young people drifted through the kitchen window, causing Beth to look at her.

Lizzy placed her forearms on the table. “I’ve invited the young singles of the community for an evening of outdoor games, desserts, and a bonfire when the sun goes down.”

Two of Beth’s single younger sisters, Fannie and Susie, glowed at the idea. With grace and gentleness, Beth turned to her Mamm and asked if she would need help planting this year’s garden. It didn’t seem to bother Beth that five of her sisters had married before her, and three of them were younger than she was. All but the most recently wed had children. Lizzy knew what awaited Beth if she didn’t find someone—awkward and never-ending loneliness. Maybe she didn’t recognize that. It wasn’t until Henry came into Beth’s life that she even seemed to notice that single men existed. Within a year of meeting, they were making plans to marry.

Now, in an Amish community of dresses in rich, solid hues, Beth wore black.

Through a window Lizzy saw the young men bring their rigs to a halt. The drivers as well as the passengers got out of the carriages. The girls soon huddled in groups, talking feverishly, while the guys went into the barn, pulled two wagons with plenty of hay into the field, and tied their horses to them. It was far easier to leave the animals harnessed and grazing on hay than to have to hitch a horse to its buggy in the dark. The young people knew the routine. They would remain outside playing volleyball, horseshoes, or whatever else suited them until after the sun went down. Then they’d come inside for desserts and hot chocolate or coffee before riding in wagons to the field where they’d start a bonfire.

Fannie and Susie rose and began clearing the table. Beth went to the dessert counter and picked out a pie. She set it on the table beside her Daed, cut a slice, and placed it on his plate. Then she slid a piece onto her Mamm’s plate before passing the pie to her brother Emmanuel. She took her seat next to her mother, still chatting about the upcoming spring planting. Lizzy hoped her brother saw what she did—a daughter who continued to shun all possibility of finding new love. Beth clung to the past as if she might wake one day to find her burning desires had changed it.

Fannie began gathering glasses that still held trace amounts of lemonade. “You’ve got to join us this time, Bethie. It’s been too long.”

Flatware stopped clinking against the plates as all eyes turned to Beth.

Susie tugged on her sleeve. “Please. Everyone misses you.”

Beth poked at the meal she’d barely touched as if she might scoop a forkful of the cold food and eat it. “Not this time. Denki.”

“See, Beth,” Lizzy said. “Every person here knows you should be out socializing again. Everyone except you.”

Beth’s face grew taut, and she stood and removed the small stack of plates from Fannie’s hands. “Go on. I’ll do these.”

Fannie glanced to her Daed.

He nodded. “Why don’t you all finish up and go on out? Emmanuel and Ira, do you mind helping set up the volleyball nets?”

Emmanuel wiped his mouth on a cloth napkin. “We can do that.”

Chairs screeched against the wood floor as most of the brood stood. Fannie and Susie bolted for the door. Two more of Beth’s sisters and two sisters-in-law went to the sink, taking turns rinsing the hands and faces of their little ones before they all went outside.

Lizzy longed to see Beth in colored dresses, wearing a smile that radiated from her soul. Instead Beth pasted on smiles, fooling most of those around her into thinking her heart continued to mend. But her quieter, more stoic behavior said things no one else seemed to hear. Lizzy heard, and she’d shared her concerns with Beth’s Daed, Stephen.

Beth took a stack of dishes to the sink and flicked on the water.

“You can leave that for now,” Stephen said.

She turned off the water and remained with her back to them.

Beth’s Mamm glanced at Lizzy as she ran her finger down a tall glass of lemonade. “Beth, honey—”

Beth turned. “I’m fine, Mamm.”

Stephen got up and piled more plates together. “Of course you are. And I’ll throw my favorite pie at anyone who says otherwise.” He stuck his finger into his half-eaten piece of chocolate pie, placed it in his mouth, and winked at Beth.

She smiled, an expression that probably looked real to her Daed but reminded Lizzy of fine silk flowers—only beautiful to those who aren’t gardeners.

“Beth, sweetheart,” Stephen said, “you know how me and your Mamm feel. We love you. It’s no secret that you’re different from our other girls. You’ve always had more of a head for business than a heart to find a beau, but now…well, we just want to make sure you’re doing okay. Since you don’t live with us, that’s a bit hard to know sometimes.” He set the dirty dishes beside the already full sink before he rinsed his hands and dried them. “Officially, your period of mourning was over nearly six months ago, but you haven’t joined the young people for a single event. You’ve not left the store for your usual buying trips. You eat half of what you should. You continue to wear black. And those are things a stranger would notice.”

“I…I could plan a buying-and-selling trip. It’ll take me most of the summer to get completely organized for it, but I can be ready by August. I know I should have sooner, but…”

Lizzy hoped Stephen didn’t fall for the diversion tactic Beth had just thrown his way, but since Beth was listening to him without getting defensive, Lizzy wouldn’t interfere.

“Good. If that’s where you feel like beginning, I’m glad to hear it. I know the community will be too, because without you they can’t sell near as many of their goods.” He walked to the table, took a seat, and motioned for Beth.

She moved to the chair beside him.

“But other people’s financial needs are not what this is about. Tell me something good and hopeful about you—something I’ll know in my gut is true—and I’ll end this conversation right now.”

The four of them remained silent as shouts and roars of laughter echoed from outside. If anyone could touch Beth’s heart and cause her to change, her Daed could. But the silence continued, and Beth’s inability to think of anything hopeful to say made Lizzy sick with worry.

The grandfather clock chimed the half hour, startling Lizzy, but no one spoke. Long shadows filled the room, and she lit a kerosene lamp and set it in the middle of the table.

Whatever happened the night Henry died consumed Beth. When Lizzy arrived on the scene, her niece didn’t even acknowledge her. The only words Beth spoke were the ones she whispered for days—God, forgive me. Lizzy had tried to talk to her about it, but Beth never broke her polite silence on the topic.

Beth’s Daed cleared his throat. “I’ll wait all night for an answer if I need to, Beth.”

Her eyes filled with tears, but it was another five minutes before she uttered a word. “I don’t trust my feelings about…certain things anymore, Daed.”

“Then can you trust mine?” her Daed asked.

“Always, but I don’t want to be one of the single girls looking for a husband. Not ever again. Is that such a horrible thing?”

“It’s not what we’d figured on, but we can adjust.”

Lizzy repositioned her glass of lemonade. During church the singles sat separately from the married couples. Lizzy’s memory of growing too old for the singles and removing herself from them still stung. From that day on she’d carried the title of alt Maedel—old maid. She’d been older than Beth’s twenty-six years, and her prospects of finding someone had faded into nothingness. If Beth thought navigating life after Henry was difficult, Lizzy dreaded the pain that lay ahead for Beth when she openly admitted to the Amish world that she didn’t fit—not with the single folk and not with the married ones.

Stephen had yet to mention anything about the color of mourning Beth still wore. If she would wear something besides black, young men would gravitate to her, and she stood a chance of finding someone.
He covered Beth’s hand with his and bowed his head, silently praying for her.

He lifted his head. “There’s somewhere you’d like to be tonight other than washing dishes or working in that stuffy office in the store. Am I right?”


“Then go.”

Beth kissed her Daed’s cheek, told Her Mamm and Lizzy she’d see them later, and left.
Lizzy moved to the window and watched as her niece walked past small groups of young people. She overheard both women and men asking Beth to stay. Beth shook her head, smiled, and waved before making her way across the road and into the pasture near their store.

“You said nothing that will nudge her to change how she’s handling life,” Lizzy said.

Stephen placed his hands on her shoulders. “Henry’s death is the hardest thing this family has faced. Pressuring Beth isn’t the answer. Trusting God is.”

Lizzy stood in silence as Beth harnessed her mare to a carriage. She knew where Beth was going. The cemetery.

Again. And again. And again.

“Please, dear God, move a mountain for her.”

Stephen squeezed her shoulders. “Amen.”

© Material
Excerpted from The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall, Copyright © 2009 by Cindy Woodsmall. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Book Mania-White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner with interview

Readers of emotional dramas that are willing to explore the lies that families tell each other for protection and comfort will enjoy White Picket Fences. The novel is ideal for those who appreciate exploring questions like: what type of honesty do children need from their parents, or how can one move beyond a past that isn’t acknowledged or understood? Is there hope and forgiveness for the tragedies of our past and a way to abundant grace?

The story in a nutshell:When her black sheep brother disappears, Amanda Janvier eagerly takes in her sixteen year-old niece. Tally is practically an orphan: motherless, and living with a father who raises Tally wherever he lands– in a Buick, a pizza joint, a horse farm–and regularly takes off on wild schemes. Amanda envisions that she and her family can offer the girl stability and a shot at a “normal” life, even though their own storybook lives are about to crumble.

What led you to write White Picket Fences?
Several years ago I was a court-appointed advocate for children involved in protective services. There were times when I saw that despite the outward appearance of a less-than-perfect home, a child could be loved there. Just because a parent is unconventional or unsuccessful career-wise or makes choices that buck societal norms, it doesn’t mean that he or she is by default a “bad” parent. Likewise, parents who we would traditionally call “good” -meaning they provide, they protect, they don’t hit, they don’t ridicule - can nevertheless make decisions regarding their children that have hugely negative effects and yet their outward appearance would never lead anyone to suspect it. Even if you live behind a white picket fence, you still have to deal with the fallout of a living in a broken world. You can’t hide from it. The perfect, idyllic life is an illusion. Life is a weave of both delight and disappointment and it’s precisely these things that give it definition and depth. To ignore what is ugly is to cheapen what is beautiful.

You dovetailed a current day family drama with the Holocaust and the Warsaw Ghetto. Why the connection?
I think it’s fair to say that the depth of the atrocities inflicted during the Holocaust wasn’t fully appreciated until after the war. There was ugliness happening, if you will, and much of the West failed to see it — for whatever reason. Within the horror, though, people made brave choices, selfless choices. And there were survivors who had to choose what they would take with them from the ashes of their suffering. I wanted to explore how a person makes that decision. Even the decision to pretend it never happened is a decision regarding those ashes.

What do you think interests you about the intersection of personal relationships and perceptions – a theme you wove into both The Shape of Mercy and White Picket Fences?
I see every great work of fiction being about human relationships. Gone With the Wind is so much more than just an epic story with the Civil War as a backdrop. It’s a story of human relationships. Scarlett and Ashley, Scarlett and Rhett, Scarlett and Melanie, Scarlett and her father. It’s within our closest relationships that our brightest virtues and worst flaws are exposed. That’s why there is such tremendous story value within intimate human relationships. We are at our best and our worst when we are responding and reacting to the people who shape who we are. Human history is the story of relationships and what they teach us about what we value. And what we don’t.

White Picket Fences is a different kind of novel than your acclaimed book, The Shape of Mercy, but there are some similarities too. Can you explain those?
As with The Shape of Mercy, there is a historical thread in White Picket Fences, though it is not as dominant. The invasion of Poland by the Nazis is woven into the story, and provides the backdrop for Chase’s and Tally’s discoveries about hope, dreams, and redemption. This thread is enhanced by visits to a nursing home where Chase and Tally meet a man blind from birth who survived the occupation of Poland. It is also a story that draws its pathos from family dynamics and the near-universal desire we have to make straight what is crooked. There are two young protagonists in White Picket Fences, like there was in The Shape of Mercy, as well as a third character, who, along with the two men in the nursing home, provide a similar multi-generational story thread.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading White Picket Fences?
The pivotal moment in the story for me is when Josef says to Chase: “[This] is what all survivors must decide. We have to decide how much we will choose to remember, how much courage we are willing to expend to do so.” It takes courage to acknowledge and remember what drove you to your knees or nearly killed you. If you choose to forget – and that’s assuming you actually can – then it seems to me you suffered for nothing. You are different but you don’t spend any time contemplating – or celebrating – how. I’d be happy if there was a takeaway for someone out there who needs to consider that.

More about this author:
Susan Meissner is the multi-published author of The Shape of Mercy, named one of the Best Books in 2008 by Publishers Weekly the ECPA’s Fiction Book of the Year. She is also a speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. A devotee of purposeful pre-writing, Susan encourages workshop audiences to maximize writing time by mapping the writing journey and beginning from a place of intimate knowledge. She is the leader/moderator of a local writer's group, a pastor’s wife and the mother of four young adults. A native San Diegan, Susan attended Point Loma Nazarene University. When she's not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at The Church at Rancho Bernardo.

You can purchase White Picket Fences here.

And read an excerpt here.

Susan Meissner's:
Web site

Don't miss this book! Susan's writing is evocative and will move you in ways that will last.

Cheryl Wyatt

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mission: Military Prayers-for service members during training ops

I heard news this morning about the two one-seat planes colliding in SC. One pilot came back safe and the other is still missing. It reminded me to pray for our sevice men and women during training operations.

I think sometimes I forget that there are dangers and risk involved on the homefront and not just when they're fighting and defending us on foreign land.

Father, I ask you to help the Coast Guard and other rescuers to help find the other pilot quickly. I pray it isn't too late and that he or she will be found safe. Please be with all service members during training operations. Watch over them and keep them safe. In quiet moments draw them to you and into a relationship with Jesus so that if something does happen, they'll be okay for the eternity portion of their lives. Be with the rescue crews today and the fellow pilots while crews search for the one missing. It reminds me, Lord of how you leave the 99 sheep to go look for the one. Bless all those who serve and their families who sacrifice so much so they can serve. Comfort family and friends who've lost loved ones during training operations. Thank you for hearing and caring about those we love even more than we do.

Cheryl Wyatt

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blogging at Craftie Ladies Today

Blogging here today. Hope you will drop by and comment.

Craftie Ladies of Romance

Cheryl Wyatt

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blogging at Novel Journey today

Blogging at Novel Journey today. Would love it if you stopped by and said hey! Hope to see you there.

Have a great day,

Cheryl Wyatt

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Family Fun Day aka Therese Walsh's Debut-The Last Will of Moira Leahy

Today I'm participating in a mass blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We're celebrating the release of Therese Walsh's debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy, (Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost when they were teenagers. Visit The Muffin ( to read what Therese has to say about family relationships and view the list of all my blogging buddies. And make sure you visit Therese's website ( to find out more about the author.

Here's a little about her: Therese is the co-founder of Writer Unboxed, a blog for writers about the craft and business of genre fiction. Before turning to fiction, she was a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine, and then a freelance writer. She's had hundreds of articles on nutrition and fitness published in consumer magazines and online.

She has a master's degree in psychology.

Aside from writing, Therese's favorite things include music, art, crab legs, Whose Line is it Anyway?, dark chocolate, photography, unique movies and novels, people watching, strong Irish tea, and spending time with her husband, two kids and their bouncy Jack Russell.


Since many of you reading my blog read mostly CBA novels, I need to tell ya that this book is ABA and not an Inspirational. I read this excerpt and while this genre isn't normally my forte, I enjoyed Therese's vivid writing. I predict she will summit to the top of ABA bestseller lists.

The gals setting up Therese's blog tour had this great idea to make today Family Relationships Day and I'm supposed to blog about that.

My mother and my husband's father are both heavy into geneology. They research avidly on the subject and have traced my husband and I's ancestry. This is hilarious to me because here's what they found:

Fun fact: My husband's family background consists of people who were famous inventors (you'd know their names) and royalty.

Here's another fun fact for ya: My family's background consists of mostly outlaws, saloon girls and rebels. LOL! BUT, the one good thing in my background was that there are a LOT of famous writers. One of whom is Alexandre Dumas who wrote two of my most favorite books of all time: The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Muskateers. Note: I had no idea we descended from him until recently and TCOMC has been my favorite book since the movie came out several years ago which I thought was pretty cool. Three Muskateers was one of the first books I ever read and it was a childhood favorite as well as one of the books that planted yearning in me to want to become a writer & book author. I find it ironic that we are related to Dumas and I only recently, in the past couple of years, discovered that.

Thankfully I've never robbed a stagecoach or led a revolt. LOL! I went the writers' way. While I'm a firm believer in the fact that God orders our destinies and we choose to walk in them (or not) I think it's cool how gifts can sometimes come through the generations. While I've never been a saloon girl, I think it'd be cool to write a story about one. LOL!

Thanks for dropping by!

Be sure to check out Therese's sites.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mission: Military Prayers-for spouses of deployed

I ran across this Web site ( yesterday after the owner direct messaged me on Twitter. I read the deeply moving letters, especially the on the right hand column and knew immediately what & who I needed/wanted to pray for today.

Father, I lift up the spouses of deployed servicemen and women today. If I were done for a little or for a long while, I'd want to be sure someone was taking care of my family on the homefront. Please give those who serve assurance that their loved ones back home are being cared and provided for. Meet the spousal needs and strengthen relationships in the deployed person's absense. Hold the families together and help the spouses through loneliness and fear of what may come. Keep their loved one safe as they serve and keep the spouses safe as they hold down the fort at home. Bless them, Lord and let them know You care. May all their needs be met in the sweet name of Jesus.

Feel free to "borrow" this prayer to say for someone you know who needs it. PRAY FOR OUR TROOPS. But don't forget to pray for their loved ones at home too! :-)

Cheryl Wyatt

Saturday Book Stroll-Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy

I’ve long been a fan of Mary Connealy’s writing. Cowboy Christmas was a little different that some of her other books in that it wasn’t as lighthearted. Yet it was by no means angsty. Her hero, Walker, was a well-developed character who goes through some tough stuff in the book. Connealy takes us through his ordeals. I loved his resistance to the heroine, most of those exchanges made me laugh out loud. I grew to really care about these characters and found the heroine’s career very interesting. Can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this new series. This book would make an excellent gift idea for someone at Christmastime too.

Pick up your copy today!


Cheryl Wyatt

Friday, October 09, 2009

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom-my thoughts

I did not expect to like this book.

Not sure why. Normally general non-fiction is not my forte and I'm far from fond of memoirs.

But this story hit me at a pivotal time in my life as far as the current state of my own faith. I've been spending lots of time with God lately and because all of my children are in school now, there's been more hours to just soak in Him and soak Him in. I'm experiencing the sweet, tender moments of prolonged pressing into His presence.

It's been good. Refreshing.

But God is constantly workin' on us, ya know?

He's been working on me with hope. Teaching me how. I won't lie to's been hard and hard to understand. He commands me to hope. This is an encouragement because when God speaks (commands), He also creates the ability to do so.

A few months ago I felt about to enter a time of testing with my hope. I turned in some book proposals and my normal defense mechanism against the many rejections writers (pubbed and unpubbed) have to face along their journey was to simply not allow myself to get my hopes up. If I refused let myself hope for the contracts, then I wouldn't be disappointed if they fell through, right?

God, knowing me so well, said, "I want you to hope for this. And hope hard, with everything in you. Don't hold back and don't hold out on me. Pull out all the stops. Hope."

Well of course my first thought was that the contracts were probably going to go through and this was God, in a Daddy-fashion, being excited and anticipated for me for the blessings He was about to bestow.

Well, I was right and wrong in my thinking.

He was about to bestow a blessing but not the one I expected. I envisioned book contracts and getting to create many new characters.

He envisioned creating more of MY character. More molding, shaping, squishing--like clay--pliable.

So I had a choice on the front end of this. I could hope or I could hide behind my usual defense mech.

It's always best to obey God because, well, don't want to NOT obey God. Yucky things happen and He will upend your life if He has to in order to help you see His side of things. I'm sure Jonah would concur.

So I hoped. And hoped. And hoped. Without holding back. I even put out faith markers to prove my hope to God. Told all my friends I'd submitted the stories and really hoped for the contract. Everyone in my life became excited for me. I was excited for me. It felt good to hope. And not because I was sure I would get the contracts. It felt good to hope because I'd been afraid to before and for the first time, fear didn't hold me back from hoping. THAT felt better than anything. Even better than a book contract.

Which was a very good thing because they all fell through. No contracts. All rejections. LOL!

What does all this have to do with Mitch Albom's book?


This book was sent to me by the publicity department of Hyperion books. I'm saying that for two reasons. One, the Federal Trade Commission, starting in Dec will require me to. And two, because I want to get used to adding not only that disclaimer but this one: I don't post bad reviews. I am a reviewer for several publishers, it's true. But, I warn them upfront: if I don't like the book, I won't post a public review, I will send it privately to them. A lot of people would disagree with me but as an author I can't bring myself to slam an another author publically. This is why most reviews that you sese from me are positive. I'm an honest reviewer, you just won't hear me talk about the books I didn't like...and trust me there are many.

Back to what my faith walk has to do with Mitch Albom's book:

Because this book arrived the day I received the most disappointing rejection. And guess what this book talked about most in my mind?


One line, that has Velcroed itself to my heart, said: "I am in love with hope."

This book was a gift from God to me. It taught me to hope. It brought comfort and a sense of everything's-under-control even though God commanded me to hope on purpose then allowed disappointment to come on purpose.

Still not sure what all He's trying to teach me, but I'm getting it. And that's more valuable to me than a book contract. That my hope stayed intact despite that He intentionally left it unmet was the true treasure AKA blessing.

This book will be a bestseller. It has to. It should be. Everyone needs to be able to hope. This book will do that, enable. I love that the publisher/author included photos in the book so I could see the people whose lives so beautifully intersected in this book. You meet people on purpose. People go in and out of our lives. It's fulfilling and painful at the same time. But the impressions people leave with us and the little pieces of themselves when they choose to invest in us and we let them is something no one can take away from us. This book captures the way we impact others. How our lives can mean something to someone else simply because we are we and they are they. No two people are alike and the truth is we need each other.

God meant it that way.

This story is beautiful mostly because it's about life. About how life should be. When I uploaded the publicity photo for this book, the file was simply named "half."

That struck me as odd until I figured out in blonde-who-hasn't had her second cup of coffee yet-fasion that HALF is the acronym for the title. How ironic and so symbolic. HALF. Hope is half us and half God because He imparts the ability to a degree but then we have to do our part by CHOOSING to hope and not let the fact that we hope or not depend on circumstances. This story will help you do that.

Get this book!

And hope.

Cheryl Wyatt

Have a Little Faith is ON SALE NOW!!!

More about the author:

A-list author Mitch Albom is an author, playwright, journalist, and screenwriter who has written six books, including the international bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time. His first two novels, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day, were instant number-one New York Times bestsellers. All three books were made into acclaimed TV films. Mitch oversees three charities in Detroit. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan. Ten percent of the profits from this ook will go to Hole in the Roof Foundation, which helps refurbish places of worship that aid the homeless.

Mitch's books have sold over 30 million copies of worldwide. He has been interviewed and his books have been featured on Oprah Winfrey Show (as a featured book club selection) and made appearances on The Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, and Larry King Live. Albom was Ted Koppel's final guest on Nightline. Tuesdays with Morrie remained on The New York Times bestseller list for 205 weeks and is now the bestselling memoir of all time. Albom is a former sports writer for the Associated Press and is a contributing editor for Parade

In Have a Little Faith, Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds--two men, two faiths, two communities--that will inspire readers everywhere.

More about the book:

OVERVIEW OF HAVE A LITTLE FAITH-provided by Side Door Communications/Pure Publicity

What if our beliefs were not what divided us, but what pulled us together?

Have a Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an eighty-two-year-old rabbi from Albom's old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy. Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he'd left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor--a reformed drug dealer and convict--who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.

As America struggles with hard times and people turn more to their beliefs, Albom and the two men of God explore issues that perplex modern man: how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God; and the importance of faith in trying times. Although the texts, prayers, and histories are different, Albom begins to recognize a striking unity between the two worlds--and indeed, between beliefs everywhere.

In the end, as the rabbi nears death and a harsh winter threatens the pastor's wobbly church, Albom sadly fulfills the rabbi's last request and writes the eulogy. And he finally understands what both men had been teaching all along: the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than yourself.

Have a Little Faith is a book about a life's purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man's journey, but it is everyone's story.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Mission: Military Prayers-for children of deployed servicemen and women

I came across this article a couple of days ago. It reminded me to pray for the children of deployed servicemen and women.

A lot of people get irrationally outraged by the fact that our military men and women are deployed. That baffles me a little because we're not in a draft. They knew when the signed up that they might have to go...and they were willing to make that sacrifice to keep our country safe.

But that doesn't make it easy on them and especially on the children they have to leave behind for one or two (or more!) years. These children love their daddies and mommies and miss them very much. Please pray for their safe return.

Father, today I lift up these little ones to you. Lord, they are precious in your sight. It's hard to believe that anyone could love our children more than we do, but you do. Sometimes we forget that they're your children too. Please reach arms of love and comfort out to every single child who has a deployed parent or parents today and this day forward. Give them a strong sense of your presence in their lives and an overwhelming awareness of your great love for them and may your kindness toward them be tangible. Bless them Lord and comfort their missing. You will not leave them orphaned, you will come to them. Magnify yourself to them, Daddy God. Draw them in, pick them up and give them joy and comfort and peace and like nursing lambs, hold them close to your heart. Meet every need they have, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically, financially. Be their well-being, Strong Tower, and their Refuge in times of need. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Cheryl Wyatt

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Blogging at Woven by Words today & Giveaway

Don't you just love the title of that blog? I do.

The wonderfully gracious blog owner of Woven by Words. is hosting me today and tomorrow. She will feature an exclusive interview with moi.

She is also hosting a giveaway of Soldier Daddy THERE so be sure and drop by if you get a moment.

Don't enter the contest here. It's happenin' there


Cheryl Wyatt

Doin' a new thing: Mission: Military Prayers

Camy Tang gave me this brilliant idea. I love to pray and I have an enormous respect for those who serve in our military and their families. So much so that I write stories hoping to honor them and their service.

Since prayer and writing and love for those who serve in any rescuing or protecting capacity are three things that embody who I am, I'm starting a new thing here on my blog.

Prayers for the military.

I'll probably do this once a week. Feel free to borrow these prayers and say them for anyone you know who works in a public service capacity or military.

Pray for our troops!

Thanks all!

Prayer for our troops today:

Father, there have been reports of suicide among our troops. Bind up this spirit of suicide Lord and disable it. Impart hope to these men and women in uniform. Meet them in their place of need. Protect them Lord and spare their lives and help them know you. Be their hope and their refuge.

Help families who've lost loved ones to suicide to cope. Grant them comfort and peace.

In Jesus' name,


Cheryl Wyatt

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Blogging Triple Play

Hey all, did you know I can be in three places at once?

Me neither.

But I am! LOL.

I'm doing Day 2 in the Seekerville BIAW (Book in a Week). Come join the fun and learn how to write a book in a week. I'm also giving away one free copy of my favorite writing craft book: The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

I'm also blogging at today.

Lastly, I'm being featured on Lena Nelson Dooley's blog today. Hope you can drop by one or all of these and say hey.

Thanks all!

Cheryl Wyatt

Monday, October 05, 2009

Monday Book Mania-Dreaming of Home by Glynna Kaye

This week's feature is debut novelist Glynna Kaye and her book Dreaming of Home.

A Treasure of a Book!
Ahoy, Mateys! Shiver me timbers…this book was an absolute joy to read. Glynna’s debut book was fantastic from beginning to end. Several parts left a smile on my face and a couple times, a lump in my throat at how Glynna delicately handled issues. This book touched me deeply and the story resonated because I have a friend going through cancer. The little boy is absolutely adorable and adds so much joy to the story. I love, love, loved the opening to this very-well-written book. Looking forward to reading many more of Glynna Kaye’s books. Don’t miss this heartwarming story by a promising new author.
Cheryl Wyatt

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Blogging at Prairie Chicks Write Romance today

Blogging at Prairie Chicks Write Romance today. I'll be talking about Dread-Free Revisions. Hope you'll come by and say hello!

See you there,

Cheryl Wyatt

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Soldier Daddy is IN STORES NOW.

Hey all,

My fifth book, Soldier Daddy, is in stores now. It can also be ordered online. Please pass the word!

Thanks for your readership and support.

About the book
U.S. Air Force commander Aaron Petrowski leads pararescue teams, yet can't find one nanny for his three-year-old twins?
The widowed father is returning to duty, but not without the best care for his beloved boys. So when Sarah Graham applies,
the young woman surprises everyone by passing inspection. Until Aaron discovers Sarah has a secret tied to a tragedy in his past.
He can't keep her in his employ—or in his heart. Until his brave little soldier boys teach him a thing or two about love.

About the Author
Born Valentines Day on a naval base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance.
Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin's
Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers.

I'm also hosting a new contest and providing recipes from my Wings of Refuge series to my newsletter subscribers. My newsletter goes out next week. So be sure to visit my Web site and sign up for it if you want news and goodies exclusive to my quarterly newsletter subscribers.



Cheryl Wyatt