Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Guest Post: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Becoming a Writer By Tina Radcliffe + Giveaway

Humor. There are a few authors I immediately think of when I hear that word, and Tina Radcliffe is one of them. So today, we're in for a treat! We have Tina here to chat. And if you know Tina from Seekerville blog, you know she's hilarious!



Thank you to Annie for inviting me to her home on the web today. I actually fought tooth and nail on the approach to this topic, however it is now two a.m. and God won. Oh, that God. Yes, he does have a sense of humor.

Thirty-one years ago, I sat in a packed auditorium, not just any auditorium, but the Mabee Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s utilized for basketball games, and concerts. I hate crowds and was dragged to this service by a “friend.” I had a close and personal relationship with the Lord at the time, which can be described as... Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The message from my brain to my heart wasn’t quite making a connection.


However, this Sunday morning, something was about to happen that would change my life forever. The pastor somehow knew I was there. He looked straight at me in row forty-two, seat thirty-seven, and said something to the effect of “God was changing someone’s heart of stone to a heart of flesh.”

WHO? ME?

Did you know that people with a heart of stone can imitate regular people? True fact. You can’t tell the difference until they open their mouths. A heart of stone is often characterized by callous sarcasm.

The true definition of sarcasm? The dictionary doesn’t skirt the issue: the use of irony to mock or convey contempt. It’s that subtle or not so subtle, biting humor. It comes from years of pain. In the real world this sarcastic wit is far too often accompanied by the disclaimer: JK. (Just kidding!) Don’t believe that for a second.

My experience happened when I was an oncology R.N. That’s a little scary to admit as well. As a writer I’ve written the sarcastic character and their journey to change often in my Love Inspired novels.

Two that come to mind right away are Will Sullivan in my debut novel The Rancher’s Reunion and my latest hero, Joe Gallagher in Rocky Mountain Cowboy. Will battles with the knowledge that he may have the same Huntington’s Disease that slowly destroyed his father. Joe is a transradial amputee who lost his arm in a farming accident he blames himself for.

When the heart of stone turns to a heart of flesh the result is a true Godly humor. Did you know that there are dozens of verses about smiling, laughing and humor in the Bible?

Stop and give that some thought.

Laughter is a gift from God.

The spirit of rejoicing, joy, and laughter is our heritage. The Bible says so. Psalm 119:111 “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.”

Humor is not only our heritage. It’s good for us.

From Psychology Today: "Your blood pressure and heart rate drop below normal, so you feel profoundly relaxed. Laughter also indirectly stimulates endorphins, the brain's natural painkillers."

Will Sullivan and Joe Gallagher lighten up as they grow up in the Lord. They embrace their heart of flesh and their sarcasm changes to joyful humor. Apparently, God understands the character arc too. Who knew?

Joe rubbed his hands over his face and started to pray. Hopefully the good Lord wasn’t laughing so hard at how he’d messed up his life that He would miss the prayer that was just sent up. After all, He wasn’t used to hearing from Joe so often. He might not even recognize his voice. - Rocky Mountain Cowboy.

Humor. Laughing out loud, it’s a good way to live, and a good way to end this post.


If you have a good joke, I’d like to hear it. Or if you identified with the heart of stone, do share. I hope I’m not the only one!

Leave a comment today for an opportunity to win a copy of her latest release from Love Inspired, Rocky Mountain Cowboy and an Out of Print tote. Two winners chosen randomly by our lovely hostess.



And for more chances to win, scroll on down!


Tina Radcliffe is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, a 2012 ACFW Carol Award finalist, a 2014 ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist, a 2014 Golden Quill finalist and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. In 2016 Safe in the Fireman’s Arms was a Holt Medallion Merit Award finalist and a Detroit Bookseller’s Best finalist and a NERFA finalist. She has won first place in over twenty RWA chapter affiliated contests in her career. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over twenty short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance. Find her at http://www.tinaradcliffe.com where you can sign up for her newsletter so you don’t miss her fun giveaways and bad jokes.

CONNECT WITH TINA:  website,  facebook (Seekerville),  twitter



Title:  Rocky Mountain Cowboy
Author: Tina Radcliffe
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date:  December 20, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction 

A Cowboy's Second Chance 

The last person cowboy Joe Gallagher thought he'd see on his ranch was high school sweetheart Rebecca Anshaw Simpson. Twelve years after she married another man, she's back as his physical therapist. But healing his body is nothing compared to guarding his heart from the woman he never forgot. There's much the single mom would rather forget, but Becca won't let regret and a surly rancher get in the way of her job and the chance to start over with her little girl. She has only a few weeks to make peace with her past. But Becca never expected she'd fall all over again for her first love.





Check out my review from earlier today, HERE.
TO PURCHASE A COPY

   



(2) winners will win a copy of Rocky Mountain Cowboy and an Out of Print tote.
US. Mailing addresses only.



                                                                                                                                                                                

113 comments :

  1. If I wasn't already a fan, this fantastic post would cinch the deal! Heart of stone, I still think a heart of gold lol. But I do love the quirkiness to the post. I would say having a heart of stone allows us to find humor in the most unusual ways and to have an imagination like no other!Great job and I would love to have the opportunity to win!

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    1. Lol. I know, right?! Tina's post is great to start the day with! Thabks for stopping by!

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    2. So fun! I am enjoy By my snow day starting this way! Thanks Ladies!!

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    3. Hey, Bree! Great to see you here. I know from following you that you have a terrific sense of humor. Thanks for stopping by!

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    4. Fan girl moment! Thank you so much for the reply

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  2. Loved this chat with Tina today! As Tina already knows, I am a *huge* fan of her books, her sense of humor, and of Tina herself. Since I've already read (and LOVED) this book, no need to enter me in the drawing. :)

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    1. CatMom, you sure? There's still the lovely libraty tote bag that will look great with anything. See the pic above? It even looks fabulous on a horse! Lol 😉

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    2. Thank you, Patti Jo. Hugs back to you!

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  3. Looks like a hoot. I will be sure and sign up to Tina's newsletter, blog.

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  4. I'm always told I'm too serious. Will have to look at this closer: Laughter is a gift from God. He's doing other things in my heart. I'm sure this is on His list as well. Always love your posts, Tina. They give me something to think about.

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    1. Aw, thanks, Sally. If it's any consolation, face-to-face I'm pretty quiet and I run from crowds. Not walk...RUN. I'm very literal with an irreverent sense of humor. Weird combo. We are all deliciously different. Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Sally, yes, laughter is a gift from God. I'll need to laugh more too! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I thoroughly enjoy humor in what I read.; however, when I tell a joke I tend to mess up the punchline. LOL. My youngest son, on the other hand can throw out the quickest funnies and not even seem to notice. I always said, "God gave us #5 to keep us laughing, because surprising us with #5 was certainly not our idea."
    Also, as many comedians have said, some of the funniest people are hurting the most on the inside, and out son T (we have 5 T's lol) has gone thru several hurts in his young life including depression. Thankfully things are going well for him right now. Now, if he would open his heart to God... (please keep all my kids in your prayers along with prayers for your own children).
    Got side-tracked--please enter me for your drawing. Thanks for your generosity.

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    1. Our hearts hurt when they hurt, Vicki. Adding them to my prayers.

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    2. Adding them to my prayers as well. A little humor can go a long way, so I'm quite grateful for the laughter we find in life, as well as books.

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  6. After reading this blog, I am becoming a fan. I've never read Tina's books but now I am interested! Her humor appeals to me.

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    1. Thanks Sally! That means a lot to a book blogger like me, that my blog introduced you to a great author. As many know, I'm an advocate for clean fiction, especially Christian Fiction, and I hope to share many more authors and their works on this blog!

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    2. Sally, great to meet you! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Hi Annie, thanks for having Tina, I stalk her wherever she goes, JK, not really!

    I love me some Tina humor! I have no clue how to get my funnies to this page but I just send you at least 20 funnies Tina, from my pinterest page to yours. Hoping to make the person who makes me laugh...well...laugh, lol! Thanks for the natural BP med, I feel better already ;)
    I know all about God softening a heart of stone.

    I loved Rocky Mountain Cowboy! actually anything Tina writes. I've already won the tote, so I'm all good and blessed on the prize giveaways.

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    1. Are you sure you were JK, Tracey! LOL. Shhh.. no worries, I won't tell! *wink wink.

      I'm equally blessed to have read and love Rocky Mountain Cowboy too. Thank you for stopping by.

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    2. Aw thanks, Tracey. I love Pinterest funnies, and chocolate and food. I have to set a timer when I go to Pinterest!!!

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  8. Yes, humor is needed! I have a sign in my house that say "Sarcasm: now served all day". I agree that it can come from a heart of stone - and my upbringing bred me to be sarcastic! It hides hurt or uncertainty. We try to keep humor in our household with our kids to show them how to look on the bright side. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for sharing Susan. It's so true. I've seen where bitter sarcasm can hurt, but there are some sarcasm that have a way to balance the uglies with the lovelies in a realistic and lovely way. Humor is one way. Thanks for sharing.

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    2. Susan P. good to see you here. Humor is a wonderful thing and a household full of it, well it's a blessing.Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. One of the big reasons I love my husband is that he makes me laugh everyday! He also laughs at my jokes and brand of humor, which makes me feel good about myself ;) I love being able to make him laugh. Those funny church signs are so clever! I love books that can bring humor and wit into the story in a way that feels natural. Mary Connealy is one of my favorites for that!

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    1. That's so great!!! Having someone that gets your sense of humor is huge! So congrats on that, and love Mary too! Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Humor in a man is one of the most attractive things there is, Heidi. I agree.

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  10. "The use of irony to mock or convey contempt." Wow! There was a time in my life not so long ago when sarcastic wit was my highest goal. Thankfully, God doesn't abandon his people and he melted away my pain-soaked stone heart and replaced it with a softer heart of joy.

    If I'm honest, though, there are still seasons where pain or frustration or sadness of the broken world calcifies the edges. Then God comes in with a scalpel and gently scrapes it away and heals it again. I'm so thankful for a gracious and loving God--who has a sense of humor and gives joy!

    This was a beautiful post! It was fun to get to know a bit more of your story, Tina, and the backstory behind some of your characters' backstories ;) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Megan for sharing and stopping by!

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    2. Megan, I couldn't have said it any better myself. Thank YOU for sharing.

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  11. I enjoy reading Love Inspired books so much. And if they are full of humor even better. I love a good joke but I rarely remember them once I've heard them and chuckled. Thanks for the giveaway! tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Gail, I am with you. I love humor in my reading. Thanks for taking the time to comment and visit today!

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  12. I can't wait to read this. You do have a great sense of humor. (jozywails@gmail.com)

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    1. Hi Misty! Thank you for stopping by. Humor keeps you afloat when life wants to drown us. Right? Just keep swimming-Dory.

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  13. One of the best church signs I've ever read was this: "There are some questions even Google can't answer." Amen! A sign to live by for me. I love cleverness and these signs you pictured here are really funny.

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    1. Cute! Thanks Danielle for sharing!

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    2. They just cracked me up too, Danielle!!! Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Hi Tina and all Book Lovers:

    After my wife met Tina, Mary Connealy, and Ruth Logan Herne, she took me aside later and said, "You know, those authors are really very nice." To which I said, "Well, if inspirational Christian fiction church lady authors were not nice, where would you expect to find nice?"

    While humor is a gift from God, so is the ability to inspire others with your writing. If you can do that with humor, so much the better. Tina has that ability and better yet she is always working at her craft to make her writing even more a blessing. And that's what I think genuine Christian fiction provides when it is being read and enjoyed with a welcoming heart. A blessing.

    As for the healing power of humor, I am a big believer ever since I read the below mentioned book:

    "The power of laughter triumphs over illness in Norman Cousins’s bestselling classic memoir that revolutionized medicine.

    "Norman Cousins’s iconic firsthand account of victory against terminal disease, 'Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient' inspired a revolution, encouraging patients to take charge of their own treatment."

    Now in parting some of my own quotes:

    Sarcasm is the insincerest form of flattery.
    Humor is heard when truth cannot be.
    The best sarcasm is that which only the intended audience knows it's sarcasm.
    Humor enters where truth is barred.

    Vince

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Vince!! Well said.

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  15. Oh, my gosh, Vince!! I totally forgot about Norman Cousins. Thank you for the reminder. Must reread. And thank you for the kind words and the quotes by Vince!

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  16. Megan Besing! First sale, debut author. Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. Hi Tina
    love this post. I also happen to love your books too, because I can so relate to the type of humor your characters display. Half the time I can see myself saying/doing the same things.
    I have to think on that heart of stone thing. You gave good insight there. Sometimes I wonder if I'm half stone/half flesh - sort of in transition place. Food for thought for me.
    Mostly, I just wanted to pop over here from Seekerville to support both blogs. Sure glad I did!

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    1. Thanks Deb. I'm thrilled to have Tina here. The Seekers sure knows how to throw a party and their posts are quite insightful. Heart of stone, when I first read Tina's post, I had some self-reflection as well. God's working on it.

      Thank you for sharing and dropping by.

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    2. And I appreciate the support. I did a lot of wandering around the rooms of Annie's blog home here. Wow, she has some cool stuff. I especially like the book boxes feature. Very fun. Can't wait until I have time to explore those products fully.

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  18. I think I am really!!! sarcastic. uhoh

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  19. What a fun post Annie and Tina. I definitely need to read some of your books, Tina. I love humorous books, and I've heard wonderful things about yours.

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    1. Winnie, you must!! =) I love your humor too!

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    2. Winnie! Great to see you over here too!

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  20. Laughter is my favorite thing ever!! Tina and Annie - what a fun post!

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  21. I didn't realize there were so many verses about laughter. I just looked up funny and clean church memes. I liked the first one that popped up: "A long time ago in a Galilee far, far away." This week my twins and I are listening to the Mary Poppins CD, and one song on it is "I Love to Laugh." (P.S. I've already won a copy of your book! Can't wait to read it.)

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    1. Congrats Tanya! I think you'll enjoy it. You are still welcome to enter to win the tote! I love that song, "I Love to Laugh"! Thanks for stopping by!

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  22. TANYA! I love that. It's hilarious...I gotta remember that!

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  23. Always love a good sense of humor!

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  24. I just love this article! Of course, I love Tina, too, & hope someday to meet her in person! And then we can have a big laugh and giggle fest. Sounds fun to me. She might be thinking... uh not happening... LOL

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    1. LOL, Janet. I am a secret giggle and a snorter. Women do snort.

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    2. Thanks Janet! That makes the two of us! Would love to meet Tina in person!

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  25. Thank you for helping me remember a positive, thought provoking, and sometimes humorous memory of a local church in Florida, when we lived there quite a number of years ago, who's marquee always had a statement that was worth the extra mileage to see what they had posted.

    I love to read humor and thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. R.G. Thanks for stopping by. Gotta love a church with a sense of humor!

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    2. Thanks RG for stopping by! I love these church signs too. Creative!

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  26. I live in Arizona and I got a chuckle out of the church sign that said, " God-good, sin-bad, it's too hot out here to say more."

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    1. Jeanna! I live in Arizona too. Two seasons. Hot summer and Cold summer. Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Lol. That would give me a chuckle too. Thanks for sharing!

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  27. I'm always looking for more authors with funny in their stories. Adding her to the TBR pile!

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    1. Yes. I'm also a fan of "Safe in the Fireman's Arms" and "Rocky Mountain Reunion!" (Haven't read the others yet. ;)

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  28. Hi Katherine! thanks for stopping by and I am honored to be on your TBR pile. Thank you for the kind words, JC.

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  29. Books with humor in them are enjoyable. I like the Love Inspired books and the Out of Print tote bag looks great. I think they sell some of those items at my library's gift shop.

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    1. You're library has a gift shop, Michelle F. That's so cool. Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Ditto what Tina said!! Really??!! Gift shop at your library! NICE!

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    3. Michelle! Congratulations! This comment entry is the winning entry! Please respond to my email within 48 hours to claim prize. Thank you!

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    4. Yep, there's a gift shop at the main library. They sell used books too. We have a large library system with about 18 branches.

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  30. Thanks for this great post. I just recently discovered Seekerville and I have seen Tina's contributions several times. I can see that she is a wonderful Christian person that I would enjoy knowing personally. Thanks for this giveaway!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. What sweet words, Connie. We can do lunch and talk libraries. I used to be a cataloger. hehehe

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    2. O Connie, she is and with a great sense of humor! ;)

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  31. Good morning, Tina! I love the subject of God having a sense of humor. There's no question. One of my favorite paintings of Jesus is called THE LAUGHING CHRIST, by Reverend Ellen Wallace Douglas. In fact, I've seen many renditions over the years. A great reminder that Christ felt every emotion we do.

    Vince, I loved your comment and poem today. Thanks for sharing.

    And Mary Connealy, just LOL, baby! You and Tina brighten my day.

    ~ Renee

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    1. Thanks Renee for stopping by! I need to look up The Laughing Christ.

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    2. I have to look that up, Renee. Thanks for sharing.

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  32. TINA, I can't see you having a stone heart. But then that encounter you mention with the preacher was long before I knew you. I love your humor and your wounded heroes. Fun to see them soften and get their happy ending.

    Janet

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    1. Hi Janet! I agree. I love her heroes and heroines. =) Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Oh, my Janet. I had a mouth that was so cynical and sarcastic. OUCH!!! But by the grace of God.

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  33. Tina, I already have Rocky Mountain Cowboy and have one study to finish before I can dig in. I did squeeze in your novella "Too Busy For Love" though. I laughed every time Nicki said a vegetable or two. :)
    I'm glad God carved the beauty out of your stone. :)

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    1. inside joke about carrots/ vegetables? I think I need to read it....maybe it'll help me eat more veggies? *thinking face....hmmm

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  34. Carrots!! LOL. Hi Kelly! Thanks for stopping by.

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  35. This has been an interesting interview as well as the conversation to follow! Life sorta requires a sense of humor, does it not?!

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  36. No Time For Love. The heroine, Nicki.

    “Peas. Carrots. Cucumbers. Tomatoes,” she muttered under her breath. One of the only legacies Nicki had from her mother was her constant lessons in propriety. Ladies didn’t curse. As a little girl, she’d taught Nicki to recite as many vegetables as she could until her temper and frustration were under control.

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  37. Stealing someone's coffee... is called mugging!
    I would enjoy reading this one with a good cup of coffee :)

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  38. Tina, I'm a fellow heart of stoner (no drug pun intended). :) So maybe that's why we get along so well. Although, my heart of stone didn't show so much in what I said as in how cold my heart was. I'm thankful for the new heart of flesh! And also thankful that God brought you into my life as a good friend.

    I, too, love the humor in your books!

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    1. Aww. Missy, you are so sweet! I can see your friendship through Seekerville's posts. Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Annie, you took the words right out of my mouth. XX to Missy.

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  39. I haven't ready anything by Tina. I do love the Love Inspired books!

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    1. I love these Love Inspired books. I've only been introduced to them for under 2 years (shocking, isn’t it?!)

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    2. Hi Meredith! Thanks for stopping by. And Annie!!! SHOCKING! YES. Thank you for supporting the line!

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    3. I KNOW, Tina! They never had them in any of the libraries I've been to or bookstores! Then I started getting them to review and I thought it was only online or through their subscription. Then found out you can buy them at Walmarts from the posts I've seen on Facebook. I'm learning!

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  40. Love this post! Thank you Tina and Just Commonly! I can't imagine living without humor in my life - truly grateful that God gave us the gift of laughter. And grateful for authors like Tina who are willing to share that gift!

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