Why I Write

10336594_766854816700487_3390029812252542009_n My writer friend, Susan Cushman, who hosted me when I went to Memphis for a television interview and book signing last year, tagged me in a blog series that asks three questions. I hope you enjoy my answers and please share your own answers in the comment section. I would love to hear from you!

(1) Why you write.

I write to better understand our world and my place in it—something I’ve done since I was six years old and kept a diary with a tiny gold locket and a picture of cherubs on the front. I write because I’m always watching for characters and listening for stories, and – when I find them, which I often do – I feel compelled to write these stories down, though I change the names to protect the innocent . . . and the guilty. I write because I want to offer others hope as they search for fragments of beauty in their life’s ashes.

(2) What you’re working on.

I just turned in the first installment in a three-book series that revolves around the Anabaptist (Mennonite/Amish) belief of Pacifism, or non-resistance, which will release with my publisher, Tyndale House, in spring 2016. The following books will release around every six months. The belief of Pacifism means that no one will take up arms to defend themselves, even if this means giving up their lives. However, when a cataclysmic event takes the 21st century back to the Stone Age, and the foundation of civilization crumbles, the Old Order Mennonite community of Mt. Hebron in Montana must come face to face with their corporate beliefs and decide if those beliefs of non-resistance are their personal beliefs because they are just or because they have never come up against anything which caused them to resist them.

(3) Your writing process.

I like to follow a loose synopsis but not an outline, and I guess I’m structured in the fact that I try to write and read every day. Monday through Friday, I get up at 6 and write in the living room with a cup of coffee. My two-year-old daughter gets up at 7, so my husband prepares her breakfast and has some special time with her until he leaves for work around 8. I do social media and respond to emails during her bath time, then I start writing again at 11 when she takes a nap, which sometimes lasts until 1 or—miracle of miracles!—even two. On the weekends, I sleep until 7, take a break from social media, and spend my daughter’s naptime working on blog posts or interviews, like I’m doing now. I read at night, until 10 on weekdays, 11 on weekends, averaging about three books and two audiobooks a month.

Reading inspires my writing process like nothing else. I keep a book next to the bathtub, one next to the bed, one in the diaper bag and/or my purse. Since my daughter’s birth, I haven’t had quite as much time to read, but I’ve made up for that by listening to audiobooks in the car or while I’m cooking. Hearing the story rather than reading it is almost more rewarding, in a way, as so many of the performers put their entire heart into the work (like the wonderful narrator, Tavia Gilbert, in The Outcast and The Midwife; I love working with her!). If I’m ever having a dry time creatively, taking a day or two to read or listen to a quality piece of literature refreshes me completely. For instance, I read The Orchardist while I was working on the first draft of The Midwife, and those lyrical passages reminded me that writing is an art form, and we should give it the respect and time that it deserves.

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The Beginning of Our Lasts

DSC_1489 This week, I started the nonfiction audiobook by Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. Of course, I was only half listening due to the fact that my toddler was in the backseat demanding snacks and water and for me to hit the play button for her DVD of Curious George.

However, one section stood out to me. The section about girlfriends. Quindlen said—and I’m merely paragraphing here—that if you ask a woman how she gets everything done, she will claim that answering emails while getting her hair cut is the ticket. Or that having a to-do list is the way to go.

You get the idea. Quindlen ran down through a whole array of suggestions, and then she said, “But if you ask a woman how she gets through her days, she will have one answer: girlfriends.”

DSC_1481 I thought of that sentence last night as my book club sisters and I sat around the outdoor fireplace at our home.

We have been meeting for almost six years, and we love each other deeply, but we are about to disband.

We have continued meeting despite moves and job changes and babies and life. Yet now our unofficial leader is moving overseas in the fall, and there’s no way we can continue to go on.

And so we have made out a list of lasts: one last hobo pack/s’mores night at my house, complete with a slumber party and a pancake breakfast; one last sushi and ice-cream night; one last pool party with all the kiddos running around in their ruffled bathing suits and multi-colored floaties making them appear to have mutant arms. . . .

One by one, we are slowly but surely checking off these “lasts.” Each are bittersweet, and yet I feel that we cherish them all the more because we know another won’t come around again.

DSC_1510 This morning, after our pancake breakfast, I hugged my book club sisters goodbye and called my mother, who is in Pennsylvania with her younger sister, who has been battling cancer for over a year.

“Jolina, Cheryl went to be with Jesus this morning,” she said, and I was so shocked, I just stood barefoot on the porch and looked at the detritus of the previous night’s festivities: foil, charred logs, a sodden graham cracker, which my toddler daughter attempted to eat until I absently drew her away.

“It—it happened so fast,” I stammered, not even able to cry, for we had all remained optimistic until the cancer spread to her brain. Still, I did not think she would lose the battle so soon.

“I watched Little Women last night,” my mom said, weeping. “I forgot about that scene where the sister dies.”

The tears began streaming down my face then; I had not forgotten.

When my best friend was diagnosed with cancer, we watched that movie together—one of our favorites—and during that scene, I laid my head carefully in her lap and wept as she stroked my hair, praying that she would not be taken from me.

My best friend has not been taken from me. She is actually on her way here, as I sit on the front porch and feel the drizzle of rain on my face and listen to the birds calling to each other in the distance, a near-perfect requiem.

And I am reminded of what Anna Quindlen said: “But if you ask a woman how she gets through her days, she will have one answer: girlfriends.”

She is right, and when my best friend arrives, I am going to hug her and hug her and hug her—drawing comfort from her warm presence and thanking God, once again, for letting her remain in my life, where each day is a new beginning and not the beginning of our “lasts.”

My mother and her sister, Cheryl, back when they sang together.

My mother and her sister, Cheryl, back when they sang together.

This week, I challenge you: if you have a sister, a best friend, or a group of girlfriends who are like your sisters, take some time to call them, or write them a letter, or swing by their house for a hug. You don’t need a reason. We just need to share the love that composes this blessed, fleeting life.


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Giveaway Time: The Midwife, The Outcast, & The Scarlet Letter!

2dc68ec304fcc002622e1e8ce7ff0dff Hello, friends!

Well, this has certainly been the week for giveaways!

My publisher’s generously offering a giveaway of my newest novel, The Midwife, a copy of my bestselling and award-winning debut, The Outcast, along with a beautiful copy of The Scarlet Letter, my inspiration for The Outcast.

Just simply place your name in the widget below, and you’re entered!

Best wishes to you all, and I hope you have a great weekend!


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What This Writer Learned From Pulling Weeds

IMG_1963 Every day, before my toddler’s nap, we walk out to the garden hand in hand.

She loves to sniff the tomatoes and pop them off the vines when they are nothing but hard green marbles, barely sprouted from the yellowing flower.

She gets the biggest thrill out of scattering the hay my husband placed around the plants and wrenching the plants themselves out by the roots, believing that she is helping me “weed.”

The other day, pausing in my own weeding to watch my daughter rip and snort with glee, I started thinking that this garden is a metaphor for the writing life, so here are the things I learned:

1. Sometimes it takes two pairs of eyes to separate the weeds from the vines.

My sister-in-law and I were discussing gardening last night, and she mentioned that she didn’t realize that weeds will actually choke out the crop if not contained. This made me think of writing, of course, and of how necessary it is to have another set of eyes to look over a manuscript during the writing process to help keep the weeds from choking out the plot’s life-giving vines. My husband has edited every manuscript before I submit it to my publisher, and I am convinced by the magnitude of work that I have to do once he’s finished that I would be up to my neck in mandatory rewrites if he did not help me.

2. Rain helps loosen the soil.

IMG_1960 I love going out to the garden after a soaking rain because the weeds pull out so effortlessly in comparison to when the soil is parched. Comparatively, reading nourishes the writing process and allows us to pull those weeds out of the manuscript where we might not have seen them so clearly before.

3. Don’t pick the fruit before it’s time.

My daughter and I are both so eager to eat the fruit of our labor that the time from planting to consuming the harvest seems to be dragging by. However, I know that we would be incredibly disappointed with marble-sized tomatoes and green cantaloupes that wouldn’t have any of their ripened sweetness.

IMG_1959 So we are going to wait some more.

Therefore, writers, don’t rush the process. Give yourself plenty of time in between the planting and the consuming stage to really make sure your final project is just as “ripe” as it should be. You will be glad you waited!

Gardeners, writers, any other suggestions you would like to share?

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Ten (FUN!) Things To Do In The Last Ten Weeks Of Pregnancy

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This week, my husband and I watched home videos. In them, our toddler-age daughter was a chubby infant, usually scrunched faced and fussing, which was her default mode for the first ten months of life.

I have to admit, those videos filled me with equal parts nostalgia and panic.

Those were the hardest months my husband and I ever lived, and we both said we did not want to go back.

And then we laughed, somewhat hysterically, because we are starting over in less than ten weeks as we prepare to meet our second baby girl.

After shutting off those videos, I decided I wasn’t going to make baked oatmeal for the next day’s breakfast as I had planned. Instead, I was going to be wild and crazy and take my book and soak in the tub until my toes pickled.

Sitting there, my belly rising out of the water like an island, I decided I would make a list of things I needed to do before the baby was born.

But instead of the usual boring things (freezer meals, spring cleaning, getting clothes out of storage, ect.), I would make a list of fun things.

So, here goes. First things first:

1. Take baths.

I remember, about four months after my daughter’s birth, taking a bath while eating a bowl of yogurt and fresh fruit and reading from the beautiful hardback of The Shoemaker’s Wife. I could hear my daughter crying almost the entire time, but my husband reassured me that he had everything under control. So I just turned the water up to full blast and kept on reading. It was one of the first times after giving birth that I realized life would indeed become normal again.

2. Eat a seven-course meal. With chopsticks.

One of the reasons my experience as a new mother was so difficult was because I taught my child to eat around the clock because I didn’t have confidence in my own nursing abilities (I should’ve known things were working out when my sweet little girl started resembling a sumo wrestler). Therefore, even during suppertime, I would be holding her to my breast and trying to eat without spilling rice in her fledgling hair. Date nights with my husband became even sweeter, as I not only cherished the quality time we shared but also eating a meal with two hands.

3. Watch a matinee.

One of my closest friends and I went out for ice-cream, walked around town, and watched a matinee (The Vow) a few hours before my water broke. I was four days overdue, so we knew I could pop at any moment, and sitting there in the darkened theatre—feeling my baby ripple inside my womb—I was so aware of how fast things were going to change, and I was glad I was keeping busy rather than sitting around, fearing the unknown.

4. Hold hands with your spouse.

I’m just going to be honest: Your marriage hits the back burner for a while until you can find the right setting as new parents. I remember, one date night, leaning against the window of the car and telling my husband that I missed him even though he was sitting right there beside me. That vulnerable moment drew us incredibly close, as we talked about how things had changed, and we held hands as we went around town, doing romantic things like getting Chinese take-out and stopping by the grocery store for milk and a loaf of bread.

5. Go on a babymoon.

In the same vein, I do think it’s essential that a husband and wife set some money and time aside before the baby’s arrival to invest in each other. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to use up your vacation days or break the bank. It could just be a weekend getaway at a local B&B or a cabin at a state park. You won’t regret it—promise!

6. Sprawl across the bed.

Our daughter slept in our bed in a very firm co-sleeper with reinforced sides for the first six weeks of her life. I remember my husband and I both sleeping rigidly (if we slept at all) because—despite those reinforced sides that would’ve been difficult for Hulk to breach—we were scared we were going to roll on her. So sprawl across the bed while you can!

7. Get your sleep.

I’m sure this goes without saying, but your sleep patterns are going to change a wee bit after your baby’s born. So sleep in while you can! I am a firm guardian of my sleep. Even on deadline, I make sure I get a solid eight hours because you never know when you might be pulling an all-nighter with a sick child or a child who has his/her days and nights mixed up.

8. Wear a shirt without buttons or zippers.

It was rather astounding how many items in my wardrobe I couldn’t wear after our daughter was born because – since she fed on demand – I never knew when she would throw a hunger strike and demand to be nursed within twenty seconds or else.

9. Get a massage.

Twelve days before my due date, we discovered our daughter was footling breech. In addition to elephant walking around the house, lying on an inversion table with peas on my belly, and scrubbing baseboards, I also went to a chiropractor who adjusted my torqued pelvis and followed it up with a heavenly massage that left me drooling and mascara-smeared on her table. I loved it so much, I signed myself up for another chiropractor appointment and massage after my daughter was born. Just make sure you sign up for a babysitter, too!

10. Spend quality time with your other children.

And herein lies the beauty of giving birth, giving up sleep, hand-holding with your spouse and inaccessible clothes: I am so positively enraptured with my little girl, who was indeed a demanding infant and now such a wonderful toddler, I am mourning the fact she’s not going to be my only little girl for much longer.

Each day, I find myself holding her tight and kissing her face until even she—a physical-affection person to the max, just like her mama—pulls away and looks at me as if I might be a few fries short of my Happy Meal.

So I often try to do something special for just the two of us: a picnic in the park followed by a splash in the fountain. Picking flowers (weeds). Walking out to the garden hand-in-hand to look at the tomatoes that are still as green as they were the day before.

All of these things cost next to nothing but the moments are priceless.

Soon, my expectant friend, you will get to have moments like these with your own child, and you will know—as I know—that whatever other sacrifices you have to make are so, so worth it.

Veteran mamas, do you have anything else you’d like to add to this list?

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And congrats, Cindy (the 27th entrant in last week’s drawing)! You won the double audiobook giveaway from Oasis Audio! The Midwife was #5 on their June bestseller list. :)


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What I’ve Learned Since The Outcast’s Release + Double Audiobook Giveaway!

548905_689533577728480_2000388233_n I once heard that launching a novel does not change your life, but it has. Almost one year ago—July 1, 2013—my debut, The Outcast, was born, and in many ways I feel like I was reborn right along with it.

Honestly, I did not enjoy that launch season very much. The same as with the birth of my firstborn daughter, I pushed myself too hard and my expectations were too high.

I expected my daughter to sleep through the night by twelve weeks old, and I expected The Outcast to be on the NYT bestseller list by twelve weeks old.

Let me tell you, neither happened.

I spent energy I didn’t have to spare, trying to wrench open doors that were not willing to budge.

1012218_10151738960151335_1029652026_n I bemoaned trivial details and didn’t celebrate the small victories.

I set the joy of writing aside to pursue marketing when—carefully modulated—I could’ve done both.

The Outcast has no doubt been successful, but I believe that most of this success could’ve happened with me just sitting on my front porch, enjoying the journey rather than pushing on doors.

So, guess what? The Midwife, my sophomore novel, is twenty-nine days old, and I’m sitting on the front porch, enjoying the journey.

1234686_375883259204353_1505030404_n My husband commented this week that this launch season has been so calm. He almost seemed afraid to admit this—as if to jinx everything and stir up a publicity-crazed tempest of a wife—but I just smiled and nodded, breathing a sigh of relief that he was right.

Part of this is because I’m thirty weeks pregnant with our second little girl, so there’s only so much waddling around and wrenching of doors I can do to make things physically happen.

Another part is because the past year has built my trust in my publisher, and I know they are working at wrenching open doors that I don’t have the power to open on my own.

1016963_10200980573450997_722113179_n Another reason is because—though I never want to become apathetic about promoting my work—I believe that the art of writing must always come first.

I am not a publicist or a social media guru. I enjoy these aspects of my career and know they are important.

But they are not as important as the words and the worlds that they create.

One of the people I most respect in my publishing house asked me last summer how my debut author experience was going. I admitted I was having trouble juggling it all, so she told me to simply stop. To say no. To instead focus on the stories because she would rather have my stories than my efforts to promote them.

I am a slow learner, so it’s taken an entire year for her words to sink in.

And yet, now I’m heeding them.

1238148_611934675525836_682576540_n I am doing all of the publicity work I love: connecting with readers through book signings and social media, doing radio and newspaper interviews, and writing guest posts, but I am also working on a story and therefore I am doing what I know I was made to do—typing away on the front porch as hummingbirds zip around my head and the crows squabble over the rain-watered garden.

This is art; this is beauty. This is the process that should always come first.

Writers, did it also take you a while to realize that writing must come before publicity? How do you juggle both?

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In honor of the end of audiobook month, Oasis Audio is generously offering a double-pack giveaway of both The Midwife and The Outcast. Just share what you’re reading right now to enter!


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My Happy Place + Giveaway!

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My husband and I were married a little over a year when he brought me like a pioneer bride out to his family in Wisconsin. I drove deer alongside the hunters; I scaled an eighty-foot silo with him and peered across the acreage that was striped with the remnants of corn.

Though, growing up, my family had Rhode Island Red chickens and floppy-eared rabbits, a fat quarter horse mare and a garden that sustained us through the summer, dairy farming was an entirely different life than I was accustomed.

And I loved it.

I loved the white farmhouse with the black shutters overlooking the garden, the tin-roofed outbuildings and child’s swing. I loved the smell of the barn—a sweet mix of silage and hay and milk. I loved the striped cats that wove around my ankles as I scratched the heifers’ knobby heads.

I could see why my husband started coming out to visit his uncle’s family when he was sixteen. There was a peace found in the lush driftless region—blue sky, white clouds, red barns, and a green scrollwork of land—that sometimes evaded us back home.

A hymn sung before supper: “We thank thee Lord for this our food.” Steaming bowls passed down three lengths of table covered with mismatched cloths. The children effortlessly woven into the thick tapestry of adults. For dessert, cakes and pies—apple crumble, rhubarb, pecan, and chocolate cake with peanut butter icing—and coffee and homemade whipped cream.

Picking weeds in the garden, the soil sifting like cocoa between our fingers and our conversation falling just as easily from our lips. Hills stippled with rows upon rows of apple trees. Valleys swathed in a low-hanging fog leftover from warm, afternoon rain.

Wisconsin, for many years, has been the place that my husband looked forward to visiting each season where the stress of day-to-day sloughed away like shed skin. And I must say that this past week, Wisconsin has become my happy place, too.

Do you have a “happy place” that you like to visit? If so, what is it about the area that makes it so special to you?

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In honor of my sophomore novel, The Midwife’s launch, my publisher is hosting a fun giveaway:

Let’s be honest . . . a caffeine boost never hurts. For author Jolina Petersheim, it’s especially helpful to have her favorite drink on hand when she’s racing toward a manuscript deadline. In celebration of the release of her sophomore novel, The Midwife, we’d love to enable your caffeine addiction and give you a taste of Jolina’s beautiful prose. For a chance at a $25 Starbucks gift card and your choice of Jolina’s novels (either The Outcast or The Midwife), enter through the Rafflecopter widget below.

To hear from Jolina on her go-to caffeine boost, stop by www.crazy4fiction.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author Interview at FoxLeaf Books!

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Charion Stacy Slocum, the owner of FoxLeaf Books, was kind enough to invite me to an author interview session today. We chatted about The Midwife, The Outcast, working around a toddler, and the first installment in a series that I just turned in on Friday.

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I Blame It On Low Blood Sugar

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Pressing toward deadline, I sat on the couch during my daughter’s afternoon nap, languidly licking batter from a spatula while brownies baked in the oven.

I didn’t think of my gestational diabetes test the next morning; I didn’t really think of anything beyond getting through the strenuous week with a little chocolate boost.

So, at eleven the next morning, when the lab technician murmured, “Wow,” while looking at blood work results, I didn’t think he was talking about mine.

I was in no way nervous about the test, since I had passed the one with my daughter with flying colors, and so continued tapping away on my laptop, editing the manuscript that I hoped to turn in to my publisher by Friday.

The lab tech came over in his navy blue scrubs, holding a slip of yellow paper. He looked over his glasses and said, “Passing is 124 or below. You’re at 211.”

After conferring with the doctor, he proceeded to tell me that they weren’t even going to make me take the three-hour test because I had failed the first test so badly.

I had gestational diabetes.

I admit it, I was so taken aback that I cried. The nurse came over and shut my laptop and led me to a room where I could speak with the doctor.

After realizing that most cases can be monitored through diet and exercise, and that the baby was in no great danger beyond possibly being a larger baby than my first, I began to relax.

The next day, I set aside a critical day of editing to attend a meeting with the diabetes dietician. She took my blood, and it was 92 after lunch, which was wonderful since the normal level is 120 or under.

At home, I continued to ignore the (almost) untouched pan of brownies in the fridge and continued to take my blood, four times daily, and found that it mostly stayed in the low nineties.

I finally called the nurse again, told her my blood results continued to be below normal, and asked if I could retake the test. She conferred with the doctor and called me back.

I could retake the test, but the only available date—due to our family trip to Wisconsin—was July 1.

I knew this was a minor complication considering our baby’s healthy and her growth is right on target. However, this news put far more stress on deadline week.

Through the grace of God and a well-behaved toddler, I turned my manuscript in at 5 p.m. on Friday, threw some clothes into a carry-on, and hit Hwy. 111 for a book signing in Georgia.

Exactly twenty-four hours later, I was traveling the same road on my way back home when a police officer pulled me over in my minivan. (Aren’t minivans supposed to be exempt from such things!?)

For once, my wide-eyed “But, officer . . .” look of confusion was sincere. I hadn’t seen the signs for the speed zone change and thought it was still 65.

Digging past a jumble of Curious George and Veggie Tales videos in the glove box, I handed the officer my registration and proof of insurance. I sat there stewing, overcome with hunger, but I didn’t have anything in the car that someone who may or may not have gestational diabetes could eat.

Fifteen minutes later (or maybe it was five), I saw the ominous glint of the silver clipboard in the rearview mirror as the police officer made his way back to me. “Sign here, ma’am,” he said. “This doesn’t mean you’re guilty. It just means you’ve been told that you were speeding.”

All week I’d been viewing numbers on a tiny gray screen because someone told me to, and here the powers that be were presenting me with some more.

Apparently, I’d been going 70 in a 45. But I didn’t know if I believed him.

I started to think that maybe I didn’t believe the lab tech either. My blood results were probably 112, and he just read them backward.

My frustration erupted in my chest and spewed out my mouth, “You all don’t cut pregnant people with gestational diabetes a break just because they’re trying to get home for supper?”

The officer somehow maintained a straight face. “Just trying to keep everyone safe,” he said. I looked through the dusty windshield at the runway-flat highway with no other cars in sight.

It wasn’t exactly the autobahn.

Scribbling my signature, I handed the clipboard back and snapped, “Well, you all need to put up more signs.” Then I rolled my window back up and pulled out, all but squealing my minivan’s tires.

I blame it on low blood sugar . . . regardless if I have gestational diabetes or not.

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How about you, ladies? Ever do or say anything crazy when you were pregnant?


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Pregnancy Wardrobe Malfunction

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Take a mighty good look at that picture, for it was not without effort that I wedged my twenty-seven week pregnant body into a blouse I purchased during Goodwill’s 50% off sale.

My first mistake was trying it on when I was only twelve weeks pregnant. I am usually thrifty, but even more so when I know I’m only going to be wearing the clothing for forty weeks.

Therefore, $2.49 seemed a decent price for the item. I didn’t think of the fact that, though the front portion of the blouse was roomie, it still had to be zipped up in the back.

Of course, this discovery happened on Sunday morning; the time of the week that is usually hectic in its own right as we all scramble to get spit-shined and ironed before sliding into the pew at church.

I didn’t panic right away when I put on the blouse and the zipper stuck halfway up my back. I could still breathe and move my arms (lack of mobility was sometimes a price I paid as an avid bargain hunter).

I just went out into the living room and asked my husband if he could pull the zipper up the rest of the way.

My husband, you must understand, is a scruffy mountain man with more paws than fingers. He tugged once on the tiny zipper and said, “It’s stuck.”

“It’s not stuck!” I cried and awkwardly put my arms behind my back and yanked to prove him wrong.

It was stuck.

However, my dear friend had just given me a pair of earrings that matched the blouse perfectly, and I was determined to wear both the earrings and the blouse. It was going to work.

I would make it work!

So I went into the bedroom and took off the blouse. I pulled it over my head fully zipped, figuring I could manhandle the material until it fit over my watermelon belly.

Then my arms became stuck in addition to my torso. My ribcage was being compressed, making it difficult to breathe. I tried pulling the blouse up and then down.

It wasn’t going anywhere.

I went into the living room again and wagged my trapped arms at my husband. “I need help,” I wheezed.

He laughed and then stopped when he saw my face. “Okay.” He turned me, pulling on the zipper, and declared, “Now it’s really stuck.”

Tears pricked my eyes, and I ran into the bedroom and flung myself—as best as I could without working arms—onto the bed.

I knew I was being juvenile, and my priorities were all out of whack.

But, people, so were my hormones. Therefore I figured I had a right to cry over a stuck zipper, immobile arms, and oxygen deprivation.

My husband, dear heart, came to my rescue like he always does.

He helped me get out of the blouse and, after gulping air like a stranded fish, I flattened certain aspects of my anatomy and pulled the blouse on again and tugged up the zipper without a fight.

Fluffing my hair and putting on some lipstick, I waltzed into the living room as if I hadn’t almost passed out from a pregnancy wardrobe malfunction five minutes before.

Right then I saw my toddler daughter smack a cup and a toy down on the coffee table and wail, “It won’t fit!”

My husband looked at her and then he looked at me. Grinning, he sighed, “Between you and your mother . . . I don’t know what I’m gonna do.”

And here the poor mountain man’s getting another girl in September who, no doubt, is going to be filled with as much drama as her mama. . . . ;)

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Publishing News~

Atlanta friends, I’ll be visiting FoxTale Book Shoppe again on June 14th at 1:00 p.m.! I’d so love to meet you!

On June 26th at 7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. EST, I’m hosting a live chat on Facebook. Participants will be entered in a giveaway for a $75 and $25 Visa card, plus copies of The Midwife and The Outcast! More details here.

My vlog post for FamilyFiction, during which I share my favorite scene from The Midwife.

Copy of The Midwife available on my guest post with Writer’s Digest, “How to Overcome the Sophomore Novel Slump: 5 Ways.”

Copy of The Midwife available on bestselling author Leslie Gould’s Facebook author page (open until Tuesday).

Also, The Outcast is going to be published in Dutch! :)

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That’s it, y’all! Hope you have a wonderful week!


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