Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Woman and Her Workplace

Ever wondered...
Why does one coworker become
a best friend while another becomes
a bitter enemy?

Why is the workplace a delight for some
but a drudgery for others?
What are the warning signs for an ungodly
workplace relationship?

A Woman and Her Workplace, published by Beacon Hill Press, helps women consider their part in workplace relationships. Rosemary Flaaten reveals attitudes that wreak havoc in dealing with others at our jobs and shows how to replace these thoughts with strong biblical principles—ultimately transforming your work environment.

For most people, the workplace is their home-away-from-home. We spend most of our waking hours with coworkers and employers. No blood relation, but yet we must build healthy relationships with them if we hope to excel at our work and enjoy our careers. Just like families, our work families are disturbed by dysfunctional issues. Interactions at work are often anything but ideal, let alone godly.

We find someone to vent about the grumpy boss, that arrogant team member, the lazy coworker who gets by doing nothing, and the undermining woman who makes our lives miserable. Yes, it’s easy to blame them for our workplace woes—but it’s better to look inward at what we have control to change.

A Woman and Her Workplace shows how God can perform a deep heart transformation within us so His love flows through us to the people in our workplaces. By delving into the issues that wreak havoc on our workplace relationships, author Rosemary Flaaten provides readers the help they need to develop and apply strong biblical principles of humility, integrity, forgiveness, grace, and celebration in the workplace.

Through discussing relationships such as boss to staff, woman to man, woman to woman, and teamwork, Rosemary guides women to develop healthy interactions in their workplaces. It makes sense to invest some effort into the relationships where we spend the lion’s share of our waking hours. This book isn’t just for women, though. Men find the book gives them insight into how to make the best of their working relationships with the opposite sex in their offices.

Publisher: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City
ISBN-10: 0834125234
ISBN-13: 978-0834125230
Released: September 2010
Paperback: 192 pages
Retail: $14.99

Building the Relationship Bridge
Pride Vanquished by Humility
Deception Defeated by Integrity
Anger Diffused by Forgiveness
Judgment Dissolved by Grace
Envy Rejected by Celebration
I'm Part of a Team
I'm the Boss
I'm NOT the Boss
I Work with Him
I Work with Her
Sharing Your Faith

Post a comment and you will be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE from Beacon Hill.
Give your desk a facelift.
Transform your desk and your relationships with---
An autographed copy of
A Woman and Her Workplace
Hard cover journal
40 piece stationary set
Handbag styled refillable note dispenser
Photo frame
Stainless steel travel mug
Mini stapler, pen, pencil and highlighter
Just post a comment here and you are entered to win. What could be easier?

Check out this article by Rosemary Flaaten on Handling Workplace Gossip. The article and the book, A WOMAN AND HER WORKPLACE will give women tools they need to handle all the areas of their lives with grace, integrity, and honor.

ROSEMARY FLAATEN’S successful book, A Woman and Her Relationships helps women process their outside-of-work relationships, so now she’s delving into these 9-5 relationships. She writes from a fully equipped life-experience toolkit. In it we find her varied work experience, a counseling and educational background, and a deep love for God as well as a passion to help others. Her Relationships book won The Word Guild Award, which is Canada's top Christian literary honor. A dynamic speaker—Rosemary challenges women of all professions to view their work as a calling and their workplaces as opportunities to live out Christ’s love. Rosemary lives with her husband and three children in Calgary, Canada.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNoWriMo--Is it in You?

I did it. I signed up for National Novel Writing Month. If you haven't yet, it's not too late. Be warned though, the website is moving slowly tonight. Lots of last minute writers logging in and signing up. Leave it to writers to put off action until the last minute. We are champs at procrastination.

Most Novembers I am already in the middle of one or two projects and can't commit to writing 50K words on anything else. This year found me between contracts and between writing projects, so I thought, "Hey, why not?"

In June '09 my darling husband woke up from a dream and laid out an entire romantic synopsis for me. Most writers have dreamed something that might spark an idea for a book or make a cute scene in a novel, or is just a kick to play around with. But his idea had complete novel potential. Best part, it was a romance, typically not something he thinks about or I write.

That story has nagged at me since last June when I transcribed his recounting into 8 pages of a synopsis. I've made a few changes, expounded on a few characters and sub-plots, and I'm rip-roaring ready to go tomorrow.

If you haven't signed up for NaNoWriMo or don't even know what it is, check out the website. It's not that complicated. Nor is it intimidating if you clear your head, fasten your rear to the chair and let the characters have their way. That's the best thing about NaNo. No plotting if you don't want, no editing--it's absolutely forbidden. How else will you reach your word count?--no stressing over plot points and submission guidelines. The whole point is to see if you can actually bang out 50K words in a month.

My guess is you can. Who's with me? What have you got to lose? You might even find gold.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time stealers

Writer Ben Erlichman shared his addiction to video games on his blog this morning. Actually it's a four-part post you should really check out.

Ben's confessions reminded me of my son. Randy is 26. His excuse for spending hours at Halo and others like it is that he can play with old friends and a cousin on Active Duty he doesn't keep up with any other way. He's even played with TJ Houshmanzada (not going to take the time to look up correct spelling) and Chad Ochocinco--receiver and former receiver for the Cincy Bengals. For an avid sports fan--and even a not-so-interested-in-sports mom, that's pretty sweet.

But in the process of keeping up with friends and making new ones, not to mention the fun he has mastering the games, he doesn't eat right, sleep enuf, or get any exercise. Sound familiar?

Ben's confessions reminded me the same can be said about any other addiction or pursuit that steals our time and keeps us from doing the things that will bring us closer to reaching our goals. Many of us would never allow video games to come between us and our writing time. Or TV or the telephone or other things we consider time wasters.

And not everything that keeps us from writing is a time waster per se. Housework must be done. The family needs to eat. We have to shop for the food to prepare. Then there are familial commitments, work, friends--the list goes on and on.

Even if we don't think we have any unhealthy addictions in our lives, we can use those necessary chores as excuses why we don't accomplish more. I appreciate Ben's honesty in sharing his addiction to video games with us this morning. May we be as honest in examining our own lives and the things we allow to separate us from our goals.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Time Tips for Writers by Karina Fabian

Yesterday Karina Fabian was here to tell us about her new book WHY GOD MATTERS. Today she is back to offer some encouragement for writers on how to manage our time. Welcome back, Karina. Take it away.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "How do you find time to write?"

I've been writing steadily since since my daughter was about a year old--14 years--when I was an Air Force Reservist and mother of two. At that time, I wrote a couple of short stories and two articles a month for the Wyoming Catholic Register. Over the next 14 years, we'd have two more children, move five times and build a basement ourselves. My husband, now a Colonel in the Air Force, often has jobs of long hours and big commutes, plus short-stint TDYs (away from home, but not deployments). In addition, I have homeschooled my kids, helped found the Catholic Writers Guild (of which I've been an officer for 4 years), coordinated four writers' conferences, and started Kickstart Marketing, a service to teach authors to market their books.
However, in those 14 years, I have written for local newspapers and national magazines, edited three anthologies, wrote six novels and one devotional and have written various short stories.

Writing can be done. Here are some of the tricks and attitudes I've used to make it happen:

1. Set realistic goals: In Colorado, my mother was able to watch my kids, and we needed extra income, so my goal was to work part time reporting, and I got a regular job at the local weekly and did some freelancing on the side. Later, we moved and I started homeschooling, with two first graders, a toddler, and a baby, I made myself one promise: Not to go to bed unless I wrote one sentence on my novel. Naturally, there were times that one sentence led to more, but I always wrote at least one. I finished my first novel that year. (Mind Over Mind is under contract with Dragon Moon.) My last book, Why God Matters, was written with my father, Deacon Steve Lumbert, took six weeks--including several intense evenings of e-mailing each other stories and discussing them over IM.

Some people like to set time goals; others quantity goals. You know what works best for you. The key is to make the goal something you can reach. You feel good about succeeding, and when you surpass it, you feel even better!

2. Make time! You will never "find" time to write, especially if you have a busy life. If writing is important to you, you need to carve some time out of your day (or week) to dedicate to it. Get up early one morning; stay up late at night. Give up TV or XBox in favor of time at the computer over the weekend.

3. Isolate yourself electronically. Do not open your internet browser. Do not check e-mail. Turn off your IM. If you're planning on a long stretch of writing, set a timer and give yourself 10 minutes of internet for every 30 minutes of writing, if it drives you crazy.

4. Cut distractions. The enemy of writers--especially mom-writers--is the house. The dishes call to you. The fridge tempts. Suddenly, that unmapped floor is weighing on your mind. Resist! Writing time is for writing. If you must, leave the house and write with a laptop or pen and paper until you get into the habit of concentrating on writing.

5. Get help. If you really are overwhelmed by things that you have no time for writing, then it's time to say no to requests, delegate tasks to family, or get someone to give you the break you need to take time for writing. Even if writing is a hobby, you deserve some time just for you.

Finally, I want to suggest time most important tip: Stupid First Drafts. Sometimes, the problem is not finding time, but finding courage. Words won't come because we can't figure out how to write them perfectly on the page. Give yourself permission to write schlock. Tell yourself, "Get it out, fast and messy. I can't make it perfect until it's on the page."

Now, quit reading this blog post and go write something!

For more information about Karina, her books, and writing in general, check out her blog.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why God Matters

Do you feel distant from God? Do you want a closer relationship with him? God is with us always, sometimes in ways we don't even realize. Deacon Steve Lumbert and his daughter Karina Fabian share their stories of how God led them from casual belief to deep devotion, and offer tips and exercises to help you see God's hand--and take it.

Far too often, we expect God to show Himself in grand ways yet ignore when He makes His presence known in the day to day. Neither Deacon Steve nor Karina had dramatic conversions. Rather, God led them into deeper faith through the seemingly minor details of life: pot of rice, a habit of prayer, a frustrating flight home, or a barefooted stranger. This father-daughter team have written a delightful, quick book about finding God in the day-to-day. With thought-provoking quotes, heartwarming stories, Bible verses, passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and simple exercises the reader can fit into his or her daily routine, they help others recognize God's presence. Great for the casual or converting Catholic longing for something more in their relationship with God, or the "advanced" Catholic wanting light spiritual exercise.


Deacon Steve Lumbert officially converted to Catholicism in 1988, but had been a "practicing" Catholic long before that. He met his lovely and loving wife, Socorro, while sercing in Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Puerto Rico in 1966. They raised their daughters, Karina and Regina, in the faith. Steve spent 30 years as a Colorado State Trooper, but retired when God called him to the diaconate. Currently, he serves the Diocese of Pueblo as Associate Director of Deacon Formation.

Karina Lumbert Fabian was born into the Catholic faith, but truly grew to love it as an adult. A busy mother of four, she finds her strongest encounters with God's love happen in the ordinary events of the day-to-day. Karina started her writing career with diocesan newspapers but has settled into writing fun-filled fantasy and science fiction that nonetheless incorporates the principles of faith-filled living.


The writing team of Deacon Steve Lumbert and Karina Lumbert Fabian only began with Why God Matters, but the father-daughter team has been running strong for over 40 years. Steve is a former Colorado State Trooper and Associate Director of Deacon Formation. Karina gave up an career as an Air Force Officer to have children and write books, stories and articles. Both came to love the Catholic faith in different ways--Karina being born into it; Steve as a convert. While they've not collaborated much on writing, they have created many things together, from costumes for Karina's high school plays to basements.

Click here to view book trailer

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Click for information about the book, including purchase link
Check out Karina Fabian's website with news, her books, and extended bio, link to her blog and more.


Publisher: Tribute Books,
ISBN: ISBN 9780982256534
Cost: $15.95 Hardback, $4.95 e-book
Click here for an Autographed Book Plate.


Click on publisher to purchase.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yesterday's Promise by Delia Latham

Please join me in welcoming Delia Latham to Joy in the Journey. Delia's new book, Yesterday's Promise was released in March. To celebrate Delia has allowed me to be one of her stops along her virtual book tour. I just finished the book and loved it. I think you will too. Don't just take my word for it. Here is what others are saying about Delia's latest offering.

Quite a delightful tale. I enjoyed the struggle between Hannah's worry of right and wrong, and how ultimately her faith brings the answers she seeks. Brock and Hannah are endearing characters who will have you on their side immediately. I love an inspirational romance and I loved this story. Well done, Ms Latham.
~ Wendy, Coffee Time Romance, 4-Cup Rating

A story of loyalty, devotion and enduring love. Ms. Latham shows that as one trusts in God, miracles can sometimes happen. Yesterday’s Promise is a charming read. Once I started reading, I didn't wish to stop until I learned the fate of Brock and Hannah.

~ Linda, Lighthouse Literary Reviews, 4-Beacon Rating

Read my interview with Delia. Post a comment and you will be entered to win a $10 gift certificate from Wild Rose Publishing.

Yesterday's Promise

A whirlwind romance amidst the natural splendor of Yosemite
National Park. A spur-of-the-moment wedding. A young
bride who awakens the morning after to find her new husband
gone with the mountain wind.

Songbird Hannah Johns supports the child born of that ill fated
union by singing in a dinner lounge. Her dream of
someday owning the elite establishment and turning it into a
venue more suited to her Christian values is shattered when
an unexpected transaction places it in the hands of Brock
Ellis, the handsome biker who abandoned her in their honeymoon

Ensuing sparks fly high, revealing buried secrets and
forgotten pasts. Seeking to find peace with her painful past,
Hannah returns to Yosemite, only to have Brock show up
hard on her heels. Back where it all began, she finds herself
in danger of losing her heart yet again to the man who shattered
it the first time around.

First off, thank you, Delia, for including me in your blog tour for Yesterday's Promise. I absolutely loved the story. The first thing I noticed as I'm sure many readers will as well, is the title change. I have a hard time coming up with one title for a book. You managed two really good ones. But why the change?

Thank you for allowing me to hang out at Joy in the Journey for awhile! I’m so glad you enjoyed Yesterday’s Promise. I changed the title because the original book is still all over the web, under the original publisher’s name. I didn’t want any confusion about that.

Your idea or the publisher's?

Mine. And now I’m really glad I did it. The original book included several pieces of lyrics from well-known songs. In fact, the opening line was from Ronnie Milsap’s song, “It Was Almost Like a Song,” which is where I came up with the original title, Almost Like a Song. By the time I finished making the new edits for White Rose Publishing, all the lyrics were gone and the old title wasn’t really relevant any more. Yesterday’s Promise actually sums up the story perfectly.

Was there an ah-ha moment when you got the idea for this story, or had it been nagging at you for years?

Nope. No nagging, just ah-ha. J I was well into writing Goldeneyes (my 2008 release from Vintage Romance Publishing), and I came up against a massive, seemingly insurmountable wall. I simply couldn’t write that book, and I was despairing of ever finishing the story. One day, while surfing the net trying to find some elusive inspiration, I came across an advertisement for National Novel Writers Month (Nanowrimo). For those who might not be familiar with it, it’s an annual event in which writers are encouraged to come up with a minimum of 50,000 words—either a novel, or that far into a longer one. I decided on the spur of the moment to do it. That was somewhere in the last week of October. So on November 1, 2005, I laid aside my work-in-progress, pulled up a blank document in my Word program, and just started writing. No outline. No storyline. No plan. Just me and God. Thirty days later, I had the skeleton of what would become Yesterday’s Promise. (For the record, when I returned to Goldeneyes, God gave me the release and the inspiration to finish it. All in His timing… J)

I loved Hannah's boss, Kip Caveness. Was he based on a real life character in your life?

He looked a bit like my grandfather, but other than that…no. He just kind of appeared in my book and charmed his way into Hannah’s heart and mine.

Without giving much of the story away, I also loved Hannah's idea of what she would do with the dinner lounge if it ever became hers. Is that a secret dream of yours? Or a not so secret dream?

I would love to have a place like that! I’ve even considered trying to set up a similar spot with used/recycled books. Someday…

Were you one of those people who always had a story inside you or did the whole writing thing take you by surprise?

I think I always did, I just didn’t have enough confidence to try it. I’d been writing since I was old enough to figure out what pencils were for—little stories, songs, poems…a little bit of everything. I eventually became a newspaper staff writer, which led to freelancing articles to a local regional magazine. All that time, I planned to write a novel, “someday.” I had actually promised my aunt-by-marriage, Rita Dawson, that I would write a book. She was my pastor’s wife while I was growing up and my Bible teacher and speech coach in high school (I attended a private Christian school from 5th grade up). An incredibly talented woman. She wrote, she sang, she preached, and was just a character. Very funny. Not someone you’d ever forget. She kept at me about writing, and I promised her that someday I’d do it. I’d write a novel. She didn’t live to see it, but Yesterday’s Promise is dedicated to her memory.

I know your time is valuable, but could you give us a quick peek into your journey to publication?

My first publishing experience (2006) was not exactly positive. I won’t go into a lot of detail, other than to say I was so excited at being offered a contract that I didn’t bother to research the publisher. That said, that publisher delivered exactly what they promised in their contract. I was just too “green” to understand that it wasn’t much. And the experience was good for me in some ways, because I learned a lot about marketing a book. I had to, if I wanted anyone to hear about mine! It was through that process that I gained a little bit of name recognition, established a web presence, etc. And I was able to reclaim my rights a couple years into the contract. Then came the sudden awful awareness that selling a reprint was not going to be easy. Not a lot of publishers are willing to even consider a book that’s already been published by someone else. It was during that time that I met Dawn Carrington, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Romance Publishing, where I found a home for Goldeneyes in 2008. It wasn’t until last year that I finally had the heart to start actively seeking another publisher for that first book. I’m so grateful to White Rose Publishing for being willing to consider my reprint, and to accept it for publication as an e-novel.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write. Every day. Experience is still the best teacher…but not the only one. Take advantage of every educational and networking opportunity that presents itself.

Besides writing, can you tell us your dream job?

Now we’re back to what Hannah wanted to do with the lounge… J

We've read a thousand times about how writers spend their writing time. Can you tell us how you spend your time when you are not writing?

I’m a full-time secretary, so that takes up eight hours a day, five days a week. Plus, I design marketing products for other authors—which most often means bookmarks. Some of my work can be seen at

Summer's coming. If you could take a vacation anyplace in the world, where would it be?

Ireland and/or New Zealand. The first because I’d like to see the land of my ancestors, and the second because—don’t laugh—the setting for The Shire in Lord of the Rings was so incredible. I’d love to actually stand in the midst of all that beauty.

Are you working on something right now? If so, can we have the inside scoop?

I’m working on a series based around a Christian dating agency called Solomon’s Gate. The first book is finished, and I’m deep into the second. Now to find a home for them… J

Delia, I wish you all success with Yesterday's Promise. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to read it and to share a little about you with my readers. Is there anything else we should know about Delia Latham?

Only that I sincerely want my writing to be an inspiration—to uplift, encourage and entertain Christian readerse. And I love to hear from my readers. I can be contacted through my website or blog.

How can readers get their hands on Yesterday's Promise?

It’s available in e-format only, and can be purchased through or my publisher, White Rose Publishing.

Can we follow you on Facebook or any of the other networking sites out there?

Absolutely! Facebook and Twitter are probably the most easily accessed.

Any parting thoughts you would like to share?

Just a huge thank you to you, Teresa, for inviting me to stop in at your blog! I’ve enjoyed “chatting” with you, as always, and I look forward to visiting with your readers.

Delia Latham is a born-and-bred California gal who transplanted to Oklahoma in 2008 with her husband, Johnny. Her children and grandbabies are the spice in her life. A wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, Delia considers her most important kinship that of child of the King and heir to the throne of God. A former newspaper Staff Writer, Delia also frequently contributed to Bakersfield Magazine—a bi-monthly regional—prior to her move to Oklahoma. Her editing skills have been utilized by numerous authors, including Dr. Chuck Wall, founder of the Random Acts of Kindness movement. She is a member of ACFW and WIN-ACFW (Tulsa branch). Her historical romance novel, Goldeneyes, was released in March 2008 by Vintage Romance Publishing.

Don't forget to post a comment and you could win a $10 gift certificate and maybe a surprise gift as well...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Writing exercises to get your fingers moving

Missing in action lately with job training and all the other things that distract a writer from actually writing. Tomorrow I leave for another week of training so more time away from my desk. But I am psyched and anxious to make the most of today and what moments I can steal away to write over the next few weeks.

I spent the weekend at beautiful Greenbo Lake State Park near Ashland, KY for the 5th annual KYOWA Dogwood Writers' Conference. Wonderful staff, lovely people, and fun writing exercises that inspired even an old dog like me. My workshop, "Breaking into the Inspirational Fiction Market" was well received, but I got a lot more out of the trip than what I gave.

For me, inspiration and motivation are best reasons to attend a conference. Teaching is great, but I need the burst of creativity you get from a room full of people as excited about writing as you are.

Monday morning, and I am ready to use the fuel from that fire to spur me to action. I have two new writing projects in mind as well as motivation to get my current project ready to send my agent in a few weeks.

You don't have to go to a conference to get inspired. Several of the writing exercises proved you can find inspiration anywhere. We played with storyboards which you can create at home out of old magazines. Clip pictures or sayings that remind you of your story and post them around your writing area. I never thought that sort of thing would help me, but I was proven wrong once again. Create two completely new characters and have them meet. You may never use what you come up with, but the exercise might help get you over a hump in your current project.

But the best exercise by far for any writer is to put your rear in the chair and get those fingers moving. This habit may take some time to incorporate into your routine, but the benefits are immeasurable.