Follow my journey toward publication. Laugh, cry, point and stare-- it's all good. I'll leave a trail so that you, my fellow author, may have a straighter path to finding your own elusive publishing contract. Adventure awaits. Let's travel together...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Path Less Traveled

Today I want to introduce you to my friend Cathy's newest book!  I had the honor of reading this before all of you- ha!- and now I can't wait to share her story with my friends.  So saddle up, ya'll, and trot on down to Miller's Creek to meet Trish, Andy, and the rest of the gang...


Trish James is tired of being rescued. When a spooked horse claims her husband's life, she’s determined to blaze a path for herself and her traumatized son without outside help. But will that mean leaving the place etched on her heart?

Andy Tyler has had to struggle for everything, and starting a new law practice in Miller's Creek, Texas is no different. Though prepared for business challenges, he's not prepared for falling in love--especially with yet another woman who will probably abandon him for her career.

Will Andy and Trish be able to see past their limited human understanding to take . . . A Path Less Traveled?

To read the first chapter:



"This book was totally and completely enjoyable to read. I received the book on Friday and finished reading it on Sunday. I could hardly put it down. The storyline is very well written and grabbed my attention in the first chapter and never let me go....One of my favorite lines in the book is this: 'God doesn't waste any hurt you endure, Trish. What he allows into your life--even something as painful as Doc's death--He'll use for the days ahead...' I believe this is so true and have seen it played out in my life. I love it when I can read a really good fiction book and learn more about my relationship with Christ. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good story to read. I can't wait until Book 3 in the series comes out next year." ~Cathy at Tales of the TCKK Family

"...Cathy Bryant weaves an amazing story. She has a maturity in her writing skill that astounds me for only having two published novels. A Path Less Traveled is a must read. Cathy realistically captures the struggle of the heart." ~ Linnette at Linnette's Writing Corner


Cathy Bryant is a former public school teacher who handed in her chalk for a private music studio and writing career. Her passion is to write heart-stirring stories that show God’s life-changing grace. Cathy is the owner of the popular blog, WordVessel, and has written devotions for The Upper Room magazine, two devotional books, and online devotional sites. She’s the wife of a music minister, the mother of two grown sons and a beautiful daughter-in-love, and the Nana of Harrisen. A Texas gal since birth, she lives in a century-old Texas farmhouse with her husband and a phobia-ridden cat.
Texas Roads (her debut novel and a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist) released in March 2010. The second Miller’s Creek novel, A Path Less Traveled, was launched in November 2010. The Way of Grace will be available in 2011.

Visit her website at http://www.catbryant.com/.


Print Edition
Print Edition ~ Amazon
Kindle Edition ~ Amazon
Other eBook Editions (including online reading, iPad, Nook, Sony reader, & PDF)


CHECK OUT THE SPECIAL BOOK GIVEAWAY DRAWINGS OF A PATH LESS TRAVELED (a Miller's Creek novel) AT WordVessel (only through November 30, 2010)


Monday, November 29, 2010

A Thankful Heart Is A Happy Heart

I love that episode of Veggie Tales.  So simple yet so profound, isn't it? 

I have so much to be thankful for this year, but the thing I'd like to focus on right now is the completion of my book.  With all the craziness that has followed, it's easy for me to forget the simple joy and pleasure of just finishing this book that had been born in my heart years ago. 

I'm working at things like blogging, conference fundraising, agent research, understanding the publishing world... but whether or not I attain the perfect agent, whether or not I become the most well-known blogger in town (yeah right), whether I am a best-selling author within the publishing world one day or not, I still am thankful for the story I believe the Lord gave to me and enabled me to put down on paper.  Because of that gratitude, I will always have a measure of joy in my heart when it comes to Beauty For Ashes.  Thank you, Lord!

But I still hope one day soon to receive "the call"!  =)

What about you?  If you are a writer, what are you thankful for this year when it comes to the world of words?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Christmas Online Book-Signing Bash!

I am so excited about this event!  I just found out about this awesome opportunity and you can bet I'll be doing some Christmas shopping here.

What is it?  Well, here's the deal: Starting on black Friday, you have the opportunity to peruse books by 75 different authors and have them sign your purchases before shipping them to you- OR to your gift recipient!  Isn't that awesome!  You can give autographed books to loved ones without driving down to bookstores and waiting in line to get your copy signed- IF you are even lucky enough to have a signing happening within driving distance.  Your friends will be thrilled with their autographed books and you will have done it all from your comfortable chair in front of your computer screen. =)

Christian Review of Books is partnering with CrossPurposes Bookstore to bring us this wonderful event and I can't help but wonder- how come nobody has thought of this before??  Leave it to Roseanna White to come up with a great idea like this!

Another plus: Many of our COTT winners are among the authors taking part in this Book-Signing Bash.  It's a Clash Bash! Ha!
Yeah, I'm clever aren't I?

Here are a few authors from the list who I recognize from Clash of the Titles:

  • Margaret Brownley
  • Lena Nelson Dooley
  • Eleanor Gustafson
  • and our very own April Gardner!


If you love this idea as much as I do, please help spread the news about it by grabbing the button below to share on your website or blog too.  I want this to be successful enough that authors will keep doing this so I can have an easier time getting those signed copies! ;o)

Book Signing Button

~ Happy Shopping!!

*What do you think?  Share your reaction to this book event!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Well, I couldn't have asked for things to go better my first day as hostess for COTT.  We had over 70 votes come in!  I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

We are getting very close to knowing whether or not I am still in the running in the Operation First Novel contest.  I'm keeping busy and trying not to think too much about it but I really hope I get that call! (or email or whatever they use!)  I think I'm going to have hubby book my flight for me this week- now that's REAL committment.  I need to take this step to ensure I get myself to the conference regardless of the contest results.  If the contest doesn't work out, I have to just keep going. (Thanks, JoAnn, for the timely encouragement!) The search for an agent will resume, this time in person at the Writing For The Soul conference. 

It's still three months away, but I need to start working on my one-sheet and whatever I'm supposed to have with me.  I'd like to have my next manuscript at least started, and I want to revisit my query.  I don't know how all these other authors with young children do it, but my toddler keeps me from doing anything creative!  Naps, you say?  Well- that's when I fit several hours of homeschool, budgeting, cleaning and meal planning into about 90 minutes... IF I'M LUCKY! Early morning, you say?  My son wakes up if I try and sneak out of bed early- he's always in there with me by then!  So this season of my life is definitely revolving around my little man.  God knows that- but will agents and publishers? I hope the slower productivity this upcoming year isn't a deterrant for BEAUTY FOR ASHES. But even that is in the Lord's hands.

I do sense the Lord's hand on me with Clash of the Titles.  I feel strongly that it was He who brought me into the circle of women starting up this new web venture and enabled me to meet other authors, even other homeschooling ones! He's doing something with it, that's for sure. I may be exhausted much of the time but I'm still excited to see what He's doing!

P.S. Something neat and a bit odd: A week or so ago my step-brother met Kirk Cameron at the airport and had a nice talk with him; then yesterday my next-door neighbor just met Kirk too. Isn't that weird? When's my turn? Kind of random, I know.  But I just had to share it with you.

Did you vote today?  Tell me about it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Michelle Massaro, Emcee for COTT!

I am getting ready to host two clashes on COTT next week- TWO!!  The first with Janalyn Voigt and JoAnn Durgin, and the second with Jody Hedlund and Margaret Brownley.  This is so exciting, and I have really enjoyed interviewing these ladies.  The tough part is trimming my interviews for the blog so they aren't too long.  And it's waaay tougher than I thought it would be!  I've been pulling my hair out trying to find Q&A's that I can cut when I really want to keep them all.  Note to self: next time, just ask fewer questions to begin with.

You'll have to visit COTT next week to read my interviews.  And of course you'll vote and enter the drawings too.  You'll have four chances to win a book!  Wow!

I'm curious:
Have you visited the Clash of the Titles website yet?  Have you participated? 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Life and Schedule of Published Authors

I'm getting ready for my host week on COTT, interviewing the authors.  Authors I am so honored to be getting to know, and whose lives I am getting a peek into.  Most are on deadlines- maybe starting a new book while editing another and celebrating the release of yet another.  What an adventure! Could I do what they're doing, keep up with their writing schedule? No. Not this week anyway.  This season in my life does not give me room to focus on my writing as much as I'd like to, or would need to if I were at their level.  But a short while from now, the season will change.  Oh, I'll always be busy.  No doubt about that.  But as my toddler moves into preschool age and begins to expand his world a bit more beyond Mom, it should be easier to steal a few more precious writing moments here and there. So I hope one day that I too will be writing a new book while celebrating a release and outlining a third.  Awesome!

Meanwhile I am gathering mentors and studying what they do.  I am loving stepping into their world even in this tiny way.  And I am SO EXCITED about my week as host on COTT! I get to welcome not just two, not three, but FOUR authors my week!  WOO HOO!! And I even get to announce their names ahead of time!  But I'll wait a few more days to do that- just to torture you! Just kidding.  I want to wait till next week's clash is underway before I announce them.  My host week will be November 15th through the 19th, so please everybody come and participate that week and drop a line in the comments to say "hello"- I'd love to know you're out there!

What about the rest of you authors?  Are you finding as much time to write as you'd like to?  Are you working on a professional schedule, perhaps even attempting NaNo?  How do you do it, or what keeps you from it?  Share your perspective!

Have a blessed weekend!

~ Michelle

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fun and Games: Chill-axin'

On the heels of my "weather" post, I have to point all of you over to Clash of the Titles this week to read and vote on two excerpts featuring descriptions of Nature/Weather.  A good word-picture can transport you into the skin of a character and imagining their surroundings can do just that.  So I hope you will participate in the voting and have fun.  Good luck in the drawing!

I hope you all had a fun evening last night.  Trevor was a hit around the neighborhood in his "doctor" costume.  I'll be posting photos on facebook so be sure to check there later (feel free to friend me!)  He quickly got the hang of going up to the doors and reaching into bowls of candy.  Of course he tried to immediately stuff it in his mouth- wrapper and all- but there were no meltdowns when mommy quickly placed it in his bag instead.  He loved waving "bye" to each and every neighbor and could often be heard repeating the phrase till he was halfway to the next house.  My heart was bursting at the cuteness! The other kids had a great time as well. Brandon dressed up as Finn from Adventure Time (google it if you want- you probably haven't heard of it), Kaitlyn was Toadette from the Mario franchise (in an AMAZING costume made by my mother in law!), and Amy was Princess Daisy- also from the Mario franchise, and wearing a loaned dress which I pinned up with orange accents- not easy!

Today I let the girls sleep in, and at 11:24 a.m. I am still in my pj's!  Hey, don't judge me! lol  Trevor is napping and I enjoyed a couple episodes of Family Ties.  Sometimes ya just gotta unwind.  I'm sort of itching for a second cup of joe but since I'm trying to cut back my colorie intake (and I love my coconut creamer), I'm not sure it's a good idea. Today is dedicated to chillin out. I'm going to strictly enforce it on myself!  With all the holidays, birthdays, church events coming up over the next two months I need to have a day like today to gear up.

Trying to keep my mind off of the OFN contest.

Blessings to you!