Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Merry Christmas, Cleda! You're the winner of my cowgirl contest! Your name was drawn from all the comments posted on Bustles And Spurs. The correct answer to the question--what was the name of the ranch and the horse that Crystal rode on the trail drive--was --The Aspengold Ranch, and Rebel was her cutting horse. Look for your copy of No Place For a Lady in the mail soon.

I want to thank all of you that took the time to enter the contest and read both blogs. All of you still have a chance to become one of the Big winners of ALL our authors books at the end of the month. Good luck and have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cabin in the Snow

Is this not the cutest cabin in the snow? My sister in Mobile surprised us with this. It's surrounded by roses with red ribbons, and has a switch at the back of it that turns on the fireplace that flickers like a real fire. Inside there are people standing about and a Christmas tree in the corner.

I was so tickled that I wanted to share it with y'all. Isn't it sweet? Gets me in the mood for Christmas! Sometimes I wish I was in a cabin like that in the Rockies, baking cookies and reading by the fire while I watch the snow softly falling. By the way, this is my favorite snowman who loves to sit overlooking my sink and watch me cook and do the dishes! :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


December is a great month for a contest to spread some holiday cheer! I'm a resident blogger on Bustles and Spurs, and we're running a contest to win a copy of all the blogger's books on that site, including my new one, No Place For A Lady. I am blogging on the December 11th about my story. Crystal is a GA Southernbelle that goes to Colorado and winds up on a cattle drive. But not before she learns how to handle a cutting horse, and goes from a tenderfoot to a well accomplished cowgirl on the Aspengold ranch. She learns how to cut a steer from the herd with the help of her favorite cutting horse, Rebel.
Hop on over to read my post on Thursday the 11th and look for the question that I'll be asking to enter your name in our book give away for a chance to win. Each week a winner will be drawn.
Happy Trails....

Monday, November 24, 2008


I can't help but share my news! I've just learned that Romantic Times Magazine has given my book, No Place For A Lady, a 4 1/2 star review! At first I wasn't sure that it meant alot, but my marketing director said that that's the highest review that they give. She said the magazine is considered "the Bible" for readers for book buying, and has a circulation of 100,000 readers.

That's pretty wonderful for a new writer, and definitely wasn't something I was expecting. I feel very honored. I've had so much support from my family,critique partners, my publisher and agent. God's hand has been involved in the entire process. The one thing I want my readers to come away with is that Christ will reveal new truths to them through reading my story. Nothing could give me greater pleasure! :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Writer's Recipe for Saving Time

One thing is for sure for a writer. There never seems to be enough time to "get 'er done"! I want to be able to eat nutrious meals but at the same time, planning can be tricky if you are on deadline or get so involved with your work that you haven't even planned dinner. My daughter-in-law, Amy and son, Jared had us over for dinner Saturday night. They served this delicious soup that's quick and easy to make, unlike some of mine that take a lot of preparation. We loved it! You can add as much or as little red pepper to suit you're own personal taste buds. In fact, it would be the perfect soup to serve this Thanksgiving or anytime during the winter along with thick, crusty bread. Enjoy! And leave me a comment if you do decide to make it.


2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 C canned or packaged vegetable stock
1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes in juice
1 can (15 ½ oz) black beans, drained
2 cans (15 oz) pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
1 C of heavy cream
1 Tbsp curry powder,
1½ tsp ground cumin,
½ tsp cayenne pepper or less depending on your taste
Coarse salt
20 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped for garnish

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion. Sauté onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans & pumpkin. Stir to combine ingredients & bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


November so far has been perfect fall weather and I relish walking through my neighborhood each afternoon admiring the canvas of God’s handiwork. His painting was so vivid that I decided to take my camera along on my walk yesterday. I took lots of shots and thought that I would post one.

As usual, I’m energized and observe the deep orange, brilliant reds, and burnished gold from the oaks, sweetgum, and maples on either side of the boulevard. I think God speaks to my heart through what I see reminding me of his goodness, and the fact that he remains faithful beyond what we humans can begin to conceive or even comprehend.

He does this in many ways, but one that’s so evident to anyone with a pair of eyes, is by ushering in fall with all its brilliancy on time without fail. The cerulean sky is cloudless and bright as I look up knowing that beyond this atmosphere is the 3rd heaven in all its splendor where He sits at the right hand of the Father. I contemplate my loved ones who’ve passed from this life, awaiting the time that they will return to this earth to reign with him right where Kind David ruled in Israel and my soul is comforted. Now, I ask you how cool is that? God said Heaven is My throne and earth is My footstool, from where He observes "the poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word". (Isaiah 66:1-2). He’s not saying that we should be scared of him, but rather that we take His Word seriously and be humbled at His sovereignty.

There are 3 heavens. One is the atmosphere where the birds, the wind and clouds are. The 2nd heaven is the celestial heaven where the sun, moon and our solar system hangs. The 3rd heaven is where God dwells. He has placed eternity in our hearts and nothing else will entirely satisfy us while we have our temporary existence here.

I’m reminded that my hope is in Heaven and not Washington. Have you considered this?

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Already a fan of Jim Robinson’s music and his autobiography, Prodigal Song: Memoir, I knew that I would like his fiction work as well. The Flower of Grass is poignantly written in beautiful literary style in every sense of the word. It’s a story of love, loss, faith and ultimately learning to face our fears. The characters are vibrant and real, exposing the true core of their being to light, with superb imagery and detail. The story is thought provoking, showing us the internal depth of relationships from several points of view. Jim’s prose has a unique gift of conveying emotions and evoking sympathy on a level of deep personal reflection and pain with the healing power of redemption. Jim told me that his title came from I Peter 1:24, "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away..."This book is not to be missed. It will touch your heart. To learn more about Jim's books and music, check out his website. and

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Finally! The long awaited sequel to Waiting for Summer’s Return. In Where the Heart Leads, Thomas Ollenburger has just graduated from college as a journalist after living in Boston. He returns to his hometown of Hillsboro, KS for which he intends to be only a brief visit since he left his heart with beautiful Daphne in Boston. He struggles to tell his father that he intends to go back to Boston for a job at the newspaper when he learns that his father had to sell their homestead and mill. His father insists on finding Thomas a temporary job in roofing until he decides what he wants to do with his degree, never once thinking that Thomas may not want to stay in Kansas.

Thomas discovers that Belinda has grown into a lovely young lady while he was away and he begins to have doubts about the future that he has planned with Daphne—for more than one reason. He is torn between his familiar Kansas home life and the exciting life of journalism and politics of the big city of Boston.

Kim Sawyer’s books always take you right to the heart of the matter where true character is born. Throw in believable characters and several surprising plot twists, and you having the making of a great character driven story. True to her style, Gentle Stories of Hope, Sawyer shows us the struggle with following our heart’s desires and seeking God’s will for the future. I really enjoyed this sequel!

Friday, October 03, 2008


This weekend another good western comes to the big screen. I love westerns. This one stars Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris and Renee Zellweger and was written by best selling author Robert B. Parker. The story unfolds in 1882 in the mining town of Appaloosa where the Townsfolk need help stopping a renegade rancher and his buddies from terrorizing them.
The producer stays as authenic as possible with the clothing, gunfights and the town for this era.
Of course there is a shoot-out and sometimes the lines blur between the good guys and the bad guys.

Looks good to me. If you want to check out the trailer, here's the website:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


My publisher has decided to change the cover of my book, No Place For A Lady. While I loved the first one, this one is equally as beautiful. They wanted the herione to look more like a Southern Belle. Same background, just a different face.

I've recently completed book two in the series and have started on the third book. I'm having so much fun with this! I have two wonderful editors that are a big part of my journey--not to mention my crit buds.

I love all things West and since I don't live there, I may as well be writing about it. There is something about that era in time that tugs on my heart to learn about those pastimes, whether from a western movie or good book.

In my next blog, I will tell you about a new movie coming out that I can't wait to see.

Who said the Western is dead???

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No Place For A Lady

Just taking a quick moment here to post the cover of my first book. I'm so thrilled with it! The look on the herione's face mirrors her saucy attitude. Revell did a beautiful job. The book doesn't come out until January, 2009.

Speaking of which, I'm on deadline for book two at the moment, The Jewel of His Heart. No time for being chatty, so I must return to that world for now.

I hope you like the cover...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This book is great summer reading. If you take it with you on vacation or to the pool you’ll not be able to put it down. In Leaving November, we visit the community of Clayburn again from the book Remember to Forget. The author pulled me in from the first page with Vienne’s return to Clayburn after she failed her bar exam for the second time, then stays to help her mother after a stroke. Vienne turns her mother’s café into a coffee shop just across the street from the art gallery owned by Jack, who she had a crush on in her high school years. She plans to only stay in Clayburn until her mother’s health returns, but finds herself falling hard for Jack. But there is just one problem-- he has a past of his own to deal with. Alcohol. One that Vienne swore to herself she would never allow into her life because of her father’s history. Crafted in such a way that we are able to see and understand Jack’s addiction, gave me great insight on how one struggles to overcome alcoholism.

This is a wonderful story of triumph over personal life issues that affect our relationships and at the very core of our lives. It’s a story of trust, love and forgiveness, which brings hope to each new day. This book is not to be missed!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Finally, it’s official! I have the signed contract for my book and received my advance to prove it! I’m so happy to announce a dream come true for me. My contract is with Revell Books of Baker Publishing for a three book series!! Yes! I said 3 books! Yippee for me!!

The series title is Heart of the West. Book one, No Place for a Lady, should come out in January 2009. Can a southern girl tame the heart of a rugged cowboy? You’ll have to pick up a copy to find out. I’m currently working on the second book, The Jewel of His Heart and my third book is entitled
Kickin’ Up the Dust!

A great big thanks goes to my wonderful agent, Tamela Hancock Murray for finding the right publisher for me. I’m working with a wonderful marketing team from Revell and a great editor, Andrea Doering, who only makes what I’ve written even better.

I’m still waiting on the status of my option for a movie that I have with StarzMedia for book one. Exciting times ahead for me and of course, lots of writing and editing, so I’m zooming right along since I have a September 1st deadline for book 2. When I receive the cover art for book one, I’ll post a copy of it on my blog.

Stay tuned for further developments for Heart of the West while I bask in the glow of the true meaning of the term ‘author’—‘writer’….Hey! that's me! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Kim has done an outstanding job with this book. I believe it to be her best novel so far. The cover is stunning and I was itching to pick it up and read it. It's an unforgettable story of orphans that are placed on the orphan trains to Missouri after a tragic tenement fire. I learned a slice of history that I wasn't aware of with this book. The three children separated as they are placed in different homes, will tug at your heartstrings with a yearning to see them reunited. It's a well crafted book with conflicts and twists that will keep you turning the pages. Above all, it traces the paths of the three children into adulthood through their struggles to survive to find each other, along with a continued presence of God that gives them hope and strength to continue. With tenderness and turmoil, the story of the three Irish immigrants in the Mid-West, will touch your heart and make you cheer with what man meant for evil, God meant it for good. I highly recommend this book!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Kiss me, I’m Irish. Yes, I’m part Irish, English and Cherokee, but on this day if you are a little or a lot, it doesn’t matter if you want to celebrate. My maiden name was O’Neal, so I'm all Irish today. St. Patrick used the shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity and placed the Irish symbol of the sun onto the Celtic Christian cross. You can see it on my bible in the picture. He was a missionary to Ireland where most of the Irish worshiped nature based pagan Gods. He shared the “good news” of Christ and converted many to Christianity.

My father was buried on this day, 36 years ago. Unfortunately, I was not there for the funeral, for reasons that I won't go into here. I did see him about 6 weeks before he died, and it was a very tough visit with a small toddler on my skinny hip (at the time, okay, lol!)

One good thing that came out of this visit was that he and I knelt one evening in his bedroom, and he prayed to receive Christ as his savior. This still brings fresh tears to my eyes now. I don’t credit myself for this. I was merely the instrument God chose to use. I feel like that was the purpose of my visit, because I knew that I would not be able to come back. At the time I was okay with that. But after a few years, I came to realize that I did not get closure—if there can be any—because I wasn’t able to be there, to grieve with my family or to say a final goodbye.

Now 36 years later, I still wish I could have been there because I needed my family’s support in loosing a father that I loved so much, even though for the most part he was an absentee father.

Today, as I have my coffee, I set an extra cup for my father as a tribute to his memory. He gave me my first taste of coffee, while sitting on the back porch steps in his undershirt after work. He would pour me a sip in the saucer, and I would eagerly devour it before mama would catch us! Pretty much the same way that I have done with my own granddaughter. My father was a kind, gentle soul. He never raised his voice that I can remember. He called me Baby, never Brenda. I can understand why my mother loved him. He was handsome and sweet.

Enough of all this blarney…So here’s to you, John Samuel O’Neal…I miss you still...

Sunday, March 02, 2008


With Easter a few weeks away, I wanted to let you know about a wonderful event that our church choir is doing at the Cobb Energy for Performing Arts Centre on March 20th and 21st at 7:30 P.M. Our special guest is Charles Billingsley. It will be a spectacular Multi-Media Musical Easter Experience! You don't want to miss this. We are not doing a play this year. To find out more and where to buy your tickets, log on to The tickets are $5, $8, and $10. The performing arts centre is new and beautiful and I'm very excited about this. Be prepared to enjoy the meaning of Easter, praise and worship like you've never heard! :)

Friday, February 29, 2008


In this final installment of Sommerfield Triology, Trina Muller faces difficult decisions and obstacles when she tells her parents of her desire to go to college to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. College was frowned upon for women of the Old Order of Mennonites. She must convince her father and the deacons of the fellowship that caring for animals is God’s calling for her life. Graham Ortmann, her fiancé, struggles with understanding how she could do this to them when they are about to be married. He thinks her place is rightfully in the home and raising a family. His confidence in Trina is deepened when he turns to God in his exasperation. Only when she begins to take online courses with the help of her cousin, Beth, is she truly being who she was meant to be.
The book is about trusting God to give you the desires of your heart, when it appears as though everything around you is crumbling. This is a well written story that draws you in to discover how Trina will face her some hard decisions as only Kim Sawyer can do so well. One of the tenderest scenes in the book was the defining moment when Trina and Graham express their love to each other in a very well crafted love scene. This last book was a great culmination to a wonderful Sommerfield

Check out Kim's website for her other books here:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Future Children Writers

New Young Writers

This past week my week, my daughter, Sheri came over from Augusta with her three children and their new puppy, Frankie. We shopped, cooked, walked Frankie, and watched the video of Maggie, who had a speaking part for the PTA. Usually, she is singing in the program. Next, we watched Angelina cheering at school, and she was so adorable. Peter was to start soccer the following week, so he hadn’t been taped yet. Winding down the day before they left, I was having coffee with my daughter, and sneaking a sip to Maggie, when Maggie asked me, “Mimi, how do you get started writing to get published?” Which started a conversation of how I wrote my first little book in the 3rd grade. Maggie asked if I still had my story, and I told her that I did. Naturally, I had to go find it and soon all 3 children were hanging off the armchair while Sheri read it to them. Sheri stopped to comment several times, surprised at the creative adjectives that I used at such a young age. It even surprised me!

The next thing I knew, all three kids asked for paper and pencils to start their own novel. I was more than happy to oblige. Maggie started a mystery, Angelina, a story about an ice skater girl and Peter, a story about Pooh and Tiger. The incredible thing is that this occupied them for 3 hours before bedtime at my kitchen counter and the next morning after breakfast for another 2 hours before they were to drive back to Augusta. How wonderful it felt to be an influence on my very own grandchildren! I know that I’ll never forget their enthusiasm or their talent. I believe, for most people that write, the desire begins early in life. Who knows, maybe one of them will follow in Mimi’s footsteps!

Which brings me to why haven’t I blogged since January? I have been busy with edits on my first book, an inspirational historical romance and my agent is ironing out the details of my contract, while I try to continue writing on the second book. I hope to share all the exciting details with you very soon! :)

Monday, January 07, 2008


The past year is behind us now. There's no going back to reverse something you've said or recoup the time you've wasted. So don't waste time on regret. Our time is too short on the planet for that. January is always considered the month to start again fresh. That's why the magazines and television programs have all the advice that you'll ever need on how to lose the weight you've gained during the holidays, get organized, make a career change, or tackle a project that you've put off.

After a week of angst, from a painful shot into a nerve in my foot, I started yesterday with my usual 2 mile walk, just so I could place a big check-mark off my "to do" list. I'm all about making lists, and I feel so good when I can use a red pen to strike out the chores that I've completed. My daughter, Sheri does the same thing. We both get great satisfaction from making lists. At least I'm back to normal mode with somewhat of a routine established.

I'm looking forward to whatever this year will bring into my life. I hope mainly good things. I'm working on my second book with thoughts of the third one drifting through my mind and the hope of a possible movie being made from my first book. My critique group will start meeting again next week, and I'm excited about that because of the support and ideas that we brainstorm. Some, are very funny, and we have a good time discussing how the plot can be improved over coffee at Border's or here at my house. My crit bud, Kelly, gave me a sign for Christmas that reads-"Never Go to Bed Angry, Just Stay up at 'Plot' Your Revenge." I love it! A writer's mind never stops. We see a story in almost everything. So many stories, so little time.

I've read some great books this year, some of which I've reveiwed on my blog. My circle of writer friends has expanded and I thank God for that. So many of them through the ACFW who are willing to help other writers succeed and give of their time and talents.

One special sweet friend, Kristy Dykes, is going through kemo for a brain tumor, and still offers encouragement daily. She's got the "joy, joy, joy" down in her heart, as the song goes. Her hair is falling out, but not her enthusiasm for the Lord. Even through her illness, I guarantee that she will lift your spirits, not matter what trial that you are facing today. Check out her blog for the latest update at

Have a great time planning out your new year, but remember that "Man plans in his heart, but God directs his steps."

Sunday, January 06, 2008



If I had to recommend one book that I consider my favorite this year, it would have to be Jim Robinson’s Prodigal Song. This book was first released in 2003. Jim’s beautifully written memoir created exceptional visual imagery of his early childhood, adolescence and adulthood, with such clarity that I could almost smell the pines or taste the ocean’s salty air. It was provocative, heartbreaking and deeply anguishing to read at times. It was so moving that I couldn’t wait to turn the page. Knowing that this was a real person’s experience into headlong disaster made me want to shout---No! Don’t do that to yourself. Many passages in the book bring certain tears.

This is the story of Jim’s surrendering totally to God, and the realization that the God of the universe had walked with him throughout his life, just waiting for him to render his life into His hands. In stark honesty, he allows us to glimpse into his very soul that longs for acceptance, longing and love, through just about every event that life affords, to take us further and further away from God. But most of all, it is about the power of grace that can only be obtained through a sovereign God that removes the spiritual separation barrier.

Walk with Jim through life’s greatest trials of drugs and alcohol abuse to find victory and success as God uses him in an incredible way through music and a ministry for many others walking a similar path.

For further exploration, visit Jim Robinson’s website.

Friday, January 04, 2008



I received my copy late, and Kim’s book had already hit the bookstores. Trying to read it during the busy month of December and the holidays, etc., caused me to fall behind for this review, but definitely not because it didn’t hold my attention. As always, I love Kim’s writing style and vivid characters. In the continuing Sommerfield trilogy, Beth Quinn shares the faith of the Mennonites, but still feels like an outsider, especially now that her mother is married and expecting twins. She feels like she is standing on the outside looking in on their sweet happy family and feels a little sorry for herself. Beth is a stained glass artist and opens a shop that becomes a lucrative business after a shaky start, with long hours in her studio away from family. Andrew Braun works for her and not only shares her loves of designing stain glass, but conveys his affection to her.

Her designs catch the eye of businessman, Sean McCauley, and they strike a deal for stained glass windows for churches that his dad’s construction company builds. He becomes more interested in Beth each time he visits her studio, and Andrew openly shows his displeasure. Beth has been hurt before and is very cautious to both men’s attentiveness.

A crisis paves the way for Beth to finally feel a part of her mom’s life again. When she puts family first, she finally learns to trust God in all areas of her life.

What can I say? Great read, Kim, reflecting your Gentle Stories of Hope. I can’t wait for the third book. Thanks Kim!