Tracie Peterson's Blog, page 4

March 17, 2014

        The “glamorous” writing life is usually very mundane—spending long hours alone in my office staring at a computer screen. Even when I’m not in my office, I continue to fret over my plot and characters, trying to dream up fresh ideas and themes and ways to tell readers about God’s love. It’s hard work and I enjoy it, but I seldom receive feedback for my daily labor. And the long-term results are often invisible and intangible.
        But for the past week, God has graciously allowed me to see and savor some of the fruit of my writing. I've just returned home from a tour in the Netherlands to promote my new non-fiction book “Pilgrimage; My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked.” I traveled to ten bookstores in cities all across Holland to share my personal story about a time of spiritual dryness in my life and how I found renewal on a pilgrimage to Israel. I met so many women who could identify with my story, and who longed for renewed closeness with God. And I was blessed to discover that my book offered them hope.

My busy schedule included interviews with a newspaper, a women’s magazine, and a Christian TV program. But what blessed me the most was the warm reception I received from readers of all ages. They told of the many hours of enjoyment they've had reading my books; how the books have taken them to other times and places; and how they've learned about God and themselves from reading them. Several people had tears in their eyes as they told me how my stories changed their lives.

I’m sure I had a look of stunned surprise on my face as I signed books and talked with readers in each beautiful Dutch city. It never occurred to me when I began writing 30 years ago that my books would be translated into other languages and enjoyed by readers in such diverse places as Korea, Indonesia, South Africa, Germany, and the Netherlands. But God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

Now, after a long trans-Atlantic flight through seven time zones, I’m back at my desk, alone with my computer once again. No more lovely meals and gracious welcomes and thankful readers. I've returned to a snowy Chicago winter after enjoying springtime in the Netherlands with green grass and blooming daffodils and crocuses. But what an encouragement to know that my labor in the Lord has not been in vain! I've been reminded once again that God has given me this gift of words so I can share His love and grace with readers all around the world.
I know we’ll receive a reward in heaven someday for the work we've done here on earth, but this week I've already had a taste of that reward.  So, to all my new friends in the Netherlands, thank you for blessing me beyond measure.
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Published on March 17, 2014 01:00 • 35 views

March 15, 2014

As Robin told us in her post last Monday, changes are coming to Writes of Passage…and one of those changes is that I, too, will be leaving. Kim took the words right out of my mouth when she said that changes come, priorities shift, and sometimes we have to let go.
I started out doing occasional posts here as a guest blogger for Judy several years ago. I still remember the warm welcome I received and how you all made me feel right at home. For the past year, I’ve been one of the regulars, and what an adventure it has been! Many thanks to Tammy and Robin for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful group. 
And a special thanks to all of you wonderful WOP readers! Your support and encouragement have blessed me more than I can say. I’ve loved getting to know you and making new friends. You’ve allowed me to share my heart and my writing, as well as some of the quirky moments in my life off the beaten path—
Everything from research trips…

…to my travels around northern Arizona...

…to the Great Mouse Invasion of 2011...

…to the gorgeous items my husband creates in his leather shop.

Since I won’t be here to share the excitement with you when Truth Be Told comes out in June, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek now! 

When Amelia Wagner takes over the running of her father's
newspaper in Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on
the paper's commitment to reporting only the truth.
But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have consequences.
I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to write another story set in frontier Arizona, and I hope you'll be as excited as I am about it.  Truth Be Told is available now for pre-order from your favorite bookseller.
All of you who read and comment here have become very dear to me, and I don’t want to lose contact. You can continue to keep up with my blog posts by subscribing to my Journal. And if you’d like to be added to my newsletter list to receive updates and notifications of upcoming books and important events, just leave your email address under “Get the News” in the right-hand column on my home page. Go ahead, click those links and sign up now—I’ll wait. <G> 
In between blog posts and newsletters, you can stay in touch with me on my Facebook page. I love hearing from you, so please message me or leave a post on the page to let me know you’re there!
Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
Until we meet again…Carol

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Published on March 15, 2014 01:30 • 48 views

March 14, 2014

Greetings from Santa Fe, where our family is enjoying the kids' spring break vacation from school!

On our way down the mountain after a fun day of skiing.

Of course, spring break may be a bit of a misnomer, since it's not quite yet spring.  Spring begins on Thursday, March 20th and some of my author friends and I have organized a giveaway to celebrate.  See the end of this post for details!
This winter has been a doozy, exactly as the Farmer's Almanac predicted way back in August (!!).  This was their forecast:

Even as far south as Dallas, where I live, we 'enjoyed' ice storms, snow, and bouts of freezing rain.  Thus, all the moms in Dallas 'enjoyed' having their kids indoors and stir-crazy thanks to weather-related school closings.

Texas weather may have been challenging at times, but beleaguered Midwesterners earned bragging rights.  They had it worst.  Chicago was pummeled by over six feet of snow, Detroit more than seven.  What?!  Just 10 more inches and Detroit will break the record set there in 1880-81. 
Suffice it to say, I'll be glad to welcome spring on Thursday.  How about you?  Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why I'm excited About the Advent of Spring :
1.    I won't have to hear the term 'polar vortex' again for good long while.2.    I'll have a ready excuse to get a pedicure because my toes will no longer be hidden beneath layers of socks and shoes. 3.    Bathing suit shopping!  ....Just kidding.  This, I'm sure, will make no one's 'why I'm happy to see spring' list.4.    See's chocolates in my Easter basket.5.  I'll be able to open my doors and windows to let in fresh breeze.7.    No more mad dashes every morning in search of coats for my kids to wear to school.  Honestly!  Where do the coats go?  Why aren't they ever where they're supposed to be?8.    Meant to Be Mine, my next book, will release this spring.  May 7th is just around the corner!9.    Mother's Day!  Mother's Day was never one of my favorite holidays -- until I became a mother.  Now I look forward to and adore it.  I drink in the church sermon and relish the little bit of pampering that comes my way.  It's wonderful that families all across the nation set aside a day to acknowledge the unsung efforts of mothers.  10. Daffodils!  Tulips!  Trees budding with leaves and turning our neighborhoods green again.
11.  When I wear my tennis skirt people will no longer have to don goggles to look upon my shockingly white legs.
Between now and the March 20th, Katie Ganshert, Dani Pettrey, Lynette Eason, Rachel Hauck, Ronie Kendig, and I will be chatting on facebook and twitter about the reasons why we're looking forward to spring.  We'll also each be sending one giveaway winner a book and a small gift.  From us to you!  I'd love for you to join the conversation and enter the contest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Has the weather been challenging where you live this winter?  Can you name one reason why you're excited about the advent of spring?  

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Published on March 14, 2014 01:00 • 58 views

March 13, 2014

When I was growing up, our family never missed watching The Carol Burnett Show. To this day, all one of us has to say is, "Tim Conway as the pediatrician," and we burst into laughter. Wonderful memories, those. At the close of each show, Carol Burnett sang a "so long" song and tugged her ear--her trademark farewell.
Well, I'm tugging my ear.
My time here at Writes of Passage has been such an incredible blessing. Getting to know the other WoP ladies on a deeper level, connecting with our faithful readers, sharing joys and heartaches and moments of laughter and everything in between... We've celebrated births, mourned homegoings, and lifted each other in prayer. You've even seen me through short hair and braces! LOL I would not trade one minute of my time here. But, as sometimes happens in life, changes come. Priorities shift. And we have to let go.
Even though I'll no longer be posting here, I will be blogging once a week on my website. You can follow me there if you'd like. And I truly hope you will, because I don't want to lose track of the wonderful people I've met thanks to the WoP community. Below is a photo of one of my favorite WoP memories...such joy to meet in person and have the chance to Skype with Catherine (and her kitties)! I treasure that time together.
With Patti Jo Moore, Judy Miller, Carol Cox, and Rosie from Australia
And speaking of "time together"...I'll close with a song that brings sweet memories from my childhood (and even a tear or two).

God bless you muchly as you journey with Him! ~Kim
P.S.--I would love to see you in Newton on Saturday!
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Published on March 13, 2014 03:00 • 59 views

March 12, 2014


Dear Friends,
I’m another of the authors saying farewell to Writes of Passage. There have been many changes in my life over the past year, and I find myself with some new responsibilities and challenges that are going to require more of my time. With that thought in mind, I believe it’s best for me to step aside. I will do a bit of blogging on my own website so if you have the time or inclination, please pop over and visit from time to time or simply sign up to receive my blog and newsletter through your email at
Although I was not one of the original Writes of Passage members, I’ve counted it a privilege to blog with all of these ladies since March 2009. I admire their writing, have been thankful for their computer skills, and grateful to hear them share their love of Jesus through the blog. They have all been a joy, except maybe Tammy, who has worked very hard to tarnish my reputation as a gentle, quiet soul. 
During my time with Writes of Passage, I’ve had the honor of sharing my blessings and heartaches with all of you, and I will be forever grateful for your prayer support and friendship. This blog has given me the opportunity to impart my love of history as well as my writing journey, but more than that—it has given me an opportunity to connect with many of you.
I thank you all for the honor of “coming into your homes” on Wednesday mornings and look forward to staying connected with you through my blog or newsletter—or when I pop in and add a comment to one of the fine ladies continuing on with the blog! You know I’ll have to stop by and give Tammy a nudge or two from time to time.
As I mentioned last week, A Shining Light recently released and I wanted to tell you about a fabulous contest being sponsored by my publisher. I’d love to see one of you faithful Writes of Passage readers take home one of the prizes. There are only a few days left to enter, so don’t delay! Head on over and register as soon as possible.

Winners of a copy of A Shining Light from my last post are: Chris B and Paula O are the winners from the drawing hosted two weeks ago. Would you ladies please go to this link  and send me your mailing addresses through my contact mail so that I can get the books sent out to you. Thanks to all who participated.
May you find joy as you continue your journey of faith!
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Published on March 12, 2014 01:00 • 98 views

March 11, 2014

Hello there. I've been working so hard on revisions for my next book, that I am late (for the first time--whoops!) in posting my blog here. So, since I've been spending so much time on The Secret of Pembrooke Park, I thought in lieu of some other blog post, I would give you a sneak peek of its cover, which I haven't even posted on Facebook yet. What do you think? Hope you like it!

Here's a description of the book itself: 

The Secret of Pembrooke Park
Abigail Foster is the practical, behind-the-scenes daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her--a longtime friend—seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.             A financial crisis forces the Fosters to sell their London home. As Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years….            The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: Tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play . . .            The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor’s past, the only information they offer Abigail is a stern warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.            This catches Abigail’s attention. And, hoping to restore her family’s finances—and her dowry—Abigail begins searching for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn’t the only one secretly searching the house…            Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.             As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks . . . or very real danger?
Does that sound intriguing? Hope so. The book is scheduled to come out in December.
Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!
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Published on March 11, 2014 05:54 • 51 views

March 10, 2014

Hello, dear friends.

In July of 2008, Writes of Passage launched with five historical romance writers. Here was our line-up of blogging authors:

Recognize us? Robin Lee Hatcher, Tamera Alexander, Lori Copeland, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and Tracie Peterson.

Over the years we added a day to the schedule and added more authors while bidding goodbye to others. Some authors changed what they were writing, so we were no longer a group of only historical authors. We embraced the diversity!

But after nearly six years, our blog has begun to show signs of aging. Blogger doesn't suit our needs anymore, and we desperately need a new look. We want to be an inviting place for readers to come and settle in for a while.

So at the end of this month, we're moving. We're going to get a new name, too, with a designated address all of our own. We're not telling what it is yet. Lots of mechanics to be worked out, and we aren't ready for visitors. But here's a snippet of the new look (with the name blurred out so I don't give anything away).

April will also see some changes in our line up of authors. Tracie is leaving us, as she shared last Friday. And we'll be saying goodbye again during the month of March, plus we will be shouting welcome a time or two. We'll let those departing tell you in their own words. Be sure to check in with us daily or weekly in March so you don't miss any of the announcements that will be coming your way.

Don't worry. We aren't going to leave you behind. We will make the transition as smooth as possible. And if you subscribe to our blog posts via email (powered by Feedblitz), you won't have to subscribe all over again to the new site. Feedblitz will allow us to adjust the subscription URL so that everyone moves with us. (Note: Those of you subscribed via Blogger should take a moment now to complete the Feedblitz form on our blog.)


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Published on March 10, 2014 01:00 • 69 views

March 8, 2014

Sometimes being a working parent is very challenging. Like last week when I was sick but still had to work under a last minute and tight deadline AND manage the house including my kids' busy schedules, driving to multiple activities almost every night of the week.

Often pursuing our passion is hard—not only on us, but also on those who are closest to us. No matter how well we try to juggle everything, there never seems to be enough of us to go around. It's difficult to please everyone, and inevitably we end up stressing or dropping a ball somewhere.

Lately I’ve realized that even though misunderstandings and discouragement are an inevitable by-product of being a working mom, there are some wonderful blessings too:

1. When we pursue our passions, we’re able to bring fresh energy to our parenting.

I spend the majority of my time with my children, overseeing their education, training them, loving them, and driving them to countless activities. When I write, I get a break from the routine of mothering. I have a chance to do something else that takes my attention off my children—even if only for a short time.

Writing rejuvenates me. Yes, it’s hard work and draining at times. But when I nurture my creativity, I refill a place inside me. Then as I return to mothering duties, I’m able to do so with a revitalized perspective that hopefully spills over into the lives of my children.

2. When we approach our work time with diligence, we model what we expect from our children.

When my children complain about doing their work, I tell them, “I never expect more of you than I expect from myself.” In other words, I set the tone. When I use my time wisely, stay focused, and work diligently, then I can require the same of them in their work.

I remind my children that they're in training for adulthood. The habits, the learning, the character building—it’s all preparation for the rest of their lives. One of the ways I can prepare them is by my example. When I write even when I’m tired or distracted, I teach them to work when they don’t feel like it. When I finish a novel or two, I teach them the importance of seeing their work to completion.

3. When we use our God-given talents with purpose, we teach our children to pursue their gifts too.

I love talking to my children about how each of us is different, how we’re made with special talents and abilities which I call “gifts.” They’ll say, “Mom, you’re gifted in writing. But what’s my gift?” I explain to them that they can usually find their gift by assessing what they’re naturally inclined to, good at, and love doing.

Of course my children are still exploring and discovering those talents. But when they see me using my writing, it challenges them to chase after their gifts and use them to the best of their ability. I make a concerted effort to point out the gifts of other moms and dads so that my children can see the variety of ways they can live purposefully.

4. When we show determination in the face of odds, we give our children courage to do the same.

Once we found baby squirrels in our yard. I watched my one of my daughters do everything in her power to protect and save the babies. After it started to sprinkle, she held an umbrella over the first baby that had fallen from the tree. She sat for hours guarding it from a distance, chasing away blue jays, and waiting for the Mama to reappear.

She sacrificed hours of her time, lost sleep, and put every ounce of her love and energy into caring for them—even though we didn’t know if the babies would survive. I observed her with growing admiration, amazed at her determination and passion. And then it struck me—she’s following my lead. She’s witnessed me pushing forward in the face of rejection and hardship, determined to keep on writing even when it seemed hopeless. Now she's doing the same.

I’m far from the perfect mother. I continually struggle to balance mothering and writing, and sometimes I fail to keep the scales level. But I’m hopeful that as I use my gifts, and you use yours, whatever they may be, that through them we can enrich our families.

What are some challenges you face as a working parent? What are some ways you’ve seen your writing (or other passions) benefit your family?
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Published on March 08, 2014 01:00 • 57 views

March 6, 2014


Well, saying goodbye is never easy, but sometimes necessary.  After a lot of thought I resigned my position here at Writes of Passage. Between my health issues and responsibilities, it just seemed sensible.  I will continue to blog occasionally on my website at  Just click on my JOURNAL.  Or look for me on Facebook.

But before I go I have to say thanks to the great ladies here at Writes of Passage. What a fun bunch.  I love hanging with my writer friends and this was definitely one of those places where we could let down our hair and enjoy each others thoughts.  I cherish the time I spent here.

I'm also ever so thankful for the readers.  We've had so much fun over the years.  I've enjoyed hearing from all of you.  We've shared prayer requests and concerns, as well as joys and trials.  I've heard about new babies and the death of loved ones, achievements and failures, but all in all I've heard the stories of your hearts. 

Now as I say goodbye, I want you to know how very appreciative I am for the opportunity to encourage you in the Lord and share what God has done for me.  I pray all of you will keep growing in the Lord, read the Word daily and pray.

Thank you too, for buying the books, reading them and commenting on them.  Next month my 100th book comes out.  A SENSIBLE ARRANGEMENT is book one in a three book series that will connect two previous series (STRIKING A MATCH and LAND OF THE LONE STAR). 

  This new series will be titled LONE STAR BRIDES.  All three books will be out this year so I hope you get a chance to enjoy them.

Love to you all!

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Published on March 06, 2014 22:26 • 51 views

Fiction writers know that one of the most powerful ways to create characters that feel authentic to the reader is to shape the way they speak to reflect who they are. Since my stories are all set in Texas, I have a lot of fun working in a distinct western flavor to my character's dialog, especially for my heroes.

One resource I have that helps inspire me to think like a cowboy is Cowboy Lingo by Ramon Adams. Here are some of my favorites from his book:

To express something as being hard to miss -
"plain as the ears on a mule" or "as conspicuous as a new saloon in a church district"
Someone or something not well liked -
"as popular as a wet dog at a parlor social"
A brave man -
"had plenty of sand in his craw" or "gravel in his gizzard"
When asked to do something on foot instead of on horseback -
The cowboy would reply that he was "too proud to cut hay and not wild enough to eat it."
In hot, dry weather -
"you had to prime yourself to spit" or the weather "sweated him down like a tallow candle"
Trying to accomplish the impossible was like -
"tryin' to scratch yo' ear with yo' elbow" or "trimmin' the whiskers off the man in the moon"
Something useless -
"as useless as a twenty-two cartridge in an eight-gauge shotgun"
To describe a worthless person -
"his family tree was a scrub" or "he ain't fit to shoot at when you want to unload your gun"
An ignorant person -
"don't know as much as a hog does a side-saddle"; "his thinker's puny"; "he don't have nuthin' under his hat but hair"; or "his brain cavity wouldn't make a drinkin' cup for a canary bird"
When something is pretty -
It's "pretty as a painted wagon" or "pretty as a young calf's ear"
When something is ugly -
It's "so ugly the flies wouldn't light on him"
A thin person -
"he's built like a snake on stilts" or "he's so narrow he could take a bath in a shotgun barrel"
An inhospitable person -
"sociable as an ulcerated tooth" or "as polite as a hound to a stray pup after his bone"
An unhappy person -
"his luck was runnin' kinda muddy" or "someone had swiped the silver linin' off his cloud"
 If a cowboy failed to comprehend your meaning, he might ask you to -
"chew it finer" or "cut the deck a little deeper" or "cinch up a little, your saddle's slipping" because "it's too boggy a crossin' for me"

If he needed you to repeat something -
"Would you mind ridin' over that trail again?"
If you talked too much, he might advise you to -
"save part of your breath for breathing" or "keep a plug in your talk box" or "put your jaw in a sling, your liable to step on it"

So what about you? 
Do you have friends or family members who have unique ways of saying things? What is your favorite cowboyism?
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Published on March 06, 2014 01:00 • 65 views

Tracie Peterson's Blog

Tracie Peterson
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