October 29, 2013

In honor of Halloween

In honor of Halloween, here's a scary flash fiction. It's an older piece I wrote a while ago. The rules for that contest were it couldn't be over 500 words and you had to put the word one-hundred in it. We were given this picture and this is what I came up with :)


I crouched behind a stump. I couldn't move—couldn’t breathe. All I could do was watch.

The headlights topped the hill and came closer. I wanted to cry out to them. Stop, please. Go the other way. It isn’t safe. You aren’t safe. But my instinct for survival was stronger than my humanity.

Gravel crunched under the tires as they drew near. I could just make out the shadows of two people in the front seat. They'd made it halfway through the tree line. Maybe they’d make it. Maybe this time—

A tree limb reached under the vehicle. Another arm of the tree swung over the top of the car and lifted it off the road. The giant oak wrapped all of its limbs around the car and crushed it as if it were a tin can.

I clasped my hand to my mouth to trap my cries. My heart collapsed inside of me.

No. Please, oh no. Why'd they come this way? Everyone knows these trees are evil.

Two women screamed inside the mangled car. It was the worse sound I’d ever heard... until the screams stopped. Now the crunching of metal and bones was definitely the worst sound I’d ever heard.

They were dead.

Soon, I would be too.

Another tree cracked and snapped, like it was popping its knuckles, as it awoke. It snatched the crumbled, metal ball from its neighbor. The first tree grabbed it back. They struggled over ownership, pulling and tugging at their new toy. Their trunks remained rooted, but their braches reached far knocking into other trees and awakening them.

There was no way I could get past them. I needed to go now, but I couldn’t tell the regular trees from the alive ones until they moved—then it would be too late—just the way it was too late for the women.

Just beyond those trees, my son was dying. In my pocket were the ingredients that would save him. I traveled for days for them, once thought to be extinct. Now all that separated me from my child were one-hundred monstrous trees. There wasn’t enough time to go around. They said my son wouldn't live three days. It's been four.

If I tried to sneak through the trees, the leaves and debris would be too loud. The road was open, but smooth. I'd be seen, but it was the clearest path. I rose to my feet.

Embedded in the stump was the blade of an ax. The long, wooden handle had bloody handprints on it. I placed my fingers over the blood stains and ripped the ax from its post.

I would get to my son. Nothing would stop me.

So what did you think? I really enjoyed letting this picture create a story in my head :) Hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween :)


October 14, 2013

Meet Kate Battistelli -- A WARRIOR FOR CHRIST

Last Monday I had the incredible privilege to eat lunch with KATE BATTISTELLI. We talked for hours. I shared much of my "warrior" story with her and she shared her story with me. I can't say enough about how kind and genuine she is, and what a great example of living out your faith she is. It is such a honor to have met her and to now share her warrior story on my blog. 

Warrior stories are when God does something tragic in someone's life and in the midst of the pain they just can't see why. BUT eventually God reveals to them the purpose for it all. 

God took Kate down a dark road, but today she can look back and see exactly why He did it. You will be blown away by her story! God is so amazing!

So first let me introduce you to her, then I will share her incredible story and the power of God through it all!!

Kate Battistelli is a wife, former Broadway actress, and mom to one of Christian music’s most celebrated new recording artists—Grammy-nominated, Christian contemporary singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli. Kate currently writes a popular blog at TheKitchenPrincess.com, volunteers at ESTHER Single Mothers Outreach, and is thoroughly enjoying her newest role as grandmother to Francesca’s children, Eli and Audrey Jane.


THE BEGINNING: (quoted from Growing GREAT KIDS)

"To make a long story short, I got the role of the understudy (on Broadway) and happily packed my steamer trunk and went out on the road. I faithfully rehearsed my part, never thinking I would ever really get the chance to perform. But when preparation meets opportunity, miracles can happen! LIFE COMES AT YOU FAST About two months into the run of the show, I arrived at the theater around 7:15 p.m. for the 8:00 p.m. curtain, only to find out the leading lady was sick and I was going on for the first time as the leading lady in forty-five minutes! I knew my part well but had never worn the costumes or handled the props, let alone been onstage with Yul Brynner! I was freaking out, but I had to focus and get ready. The night turned out well, and I got to perform the role of Anna for two weeks while the leading lady was out with pneumonia. In the end, Yul Brynner (who not only starred in the show but was also one of its producers) preferred me in the role, so he bought out the leading lady’s contract and offered me the role of a lifetime! It was an amazing time for me. I was privileged to play the part of Anna more than a thousand times, before more than a million theatergoers, over the next two and a half years!

The best part of the entire experience, though, was meeting my husband, Mike. He joined the tour about six months into the run of the show as the associate conductor, and as he likes to say, we literally fell in love across the footlights!

After performing eight shows a week for the next two and a half years, we left the tour, moved back to New York City, got married, bought a little condo in Greenwich Village, and began our new life together. A year later we found ourselves answering an altar call and giving our hearts to the Lord. Franny was born a year later, and we thoroughly enjoyed our new little family amid all the excitement of living and working in the hustle and bustle of New York’s music and theater world.

It wasn’t long, though, before we began to feel the tug on our hearts to lay down the business we had worked so hard to find our way in and follow what God had in store for us next. Bucking conventional wisdom but following what we believed was God’s best for our family, we eventually left New York and our careers behind to embark on building a new life that included moving to the suburbs, starting a new business, and homeschooling our little girl."

(quoted from GROWING GREAT KIDS) Battistelli, Kate (2012-01-03). Growing Great Kids: Partner With God to Cultivate His Purpose in Your Child's Life (p. 15). Charisma House. Kindle Edition.



Are you back? Wasn't that a touching story???? It seemed like God had taken something from her, when all along He just had much bigger plans for her family than she did!! It just gives me goosebumps all over my body :)

Now onto the goodies! Here's what the prize is:

An autographed copy of Growing GREAT KIDS.


Help your child become everything God made them to be
Successful adults don’t happen by accident. It takes wisdom to raise your children with a strong sense of their destiny in God and a deep knowledge of their gifts and callings.
In Growing Great Kids, Kate Battistelli shares what she and her husband, Mike, learned about parenting during the journey of raising their daughter—Dove Award–winning recording artist Francesca Battistelli. Using anecdotes to illustrate the insights she and her husband gained, she provides practical advice including:
  • How to dream God’s big dream for your child
  • The value of humility and integrity
  • How to interpret God’s seasons in a child’s life
  • The power of a parent’s words, and more

Here's what people are saying about it:

Courtney wrote in her review: "She uses amazing scripture verses to make her points. At the end of each chapter she gives you questions to answer that help you think about your parenting style and find the things you can improve on."

Pat Fenner wrote: "Unlike many parenting books I've read over the years, Kate Battistelli offers views and a vision of a much bigger picture. Dealing with issues such as integrity, honesty, character and calling, this is no "how to" book."

Simplyme wrote: " I was inspired by how much Kate showed she relied on God to help her in her role of mom. The focus on praying really stood out to me in a HUGE way. That is something that I will do more of now."

There are many chances to enter and you have all week to enter multiple times :) One winner will be chosen at random on Sunday. The more times you enter the better your chances are :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

October 11, 2013


The truth about nonfiction is it's hard to write, but even harder to sell.

I know I have a good story. Heck, I know my story is great! So why is it so hard to sell? One word explains it all= PLATFORM.

With nonfiction you have to have a platform BEFORE the publishers will even look at your ms. A platform can vary, but it boils down to two simple questions.

How many people know your name?

How many people know/want to know your story?

For me the answer is a couple hundred.

For publishers to pay attention to me the answer needs to be thousands.

So for ANYONE with a recognizable name, even if it's just that you are related to a famous person, you've got an instant platform right there! BUT for the average Joe-smo (like me) not having a built in platform attached to my last name, it means a TON of work.

I have friends ask when will my memoir be published. Well, the simple answer is, when I have a solid platform.

So, I'm here to ask for help.
I have so many people out there praying for me and supporting me with their kind words.... And I am so grateful....If you could just take it one step further.....



Well, I have a Facebook author page and many of my friends have "liked" it, but has anyone "shared" the page and asked their friends to "like" it????? That would be HUGE!! EPIC!!! COLOSSAL!!

Something simple like-- "I've got a friend who's trying to get her memoir published. It's about what her life was like after being abducted and raped. She turned to God for strength and learned what it meant to truly trust Him in every situation. So could you please help support her?? ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LIKE HER AUTHOR PAGE! Let's show those publishers we want them to print her memoir! Thanks in advance! the link is --> https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amber-Mauldin/356857944418098

BELIEVE ME, I HATE IT SO MUCH THAT IT'S A NUMBERS GAME, BUT THE SAD TRUTH IS--IT IS! If a publisher sees I have 100 likes that means they might sell 20 memoirs. That would be a total profit loss for them and they won't risk it. But if they see 10,000 likes, they are going to perk up and realize "okay, people are really rooting for this girl, maybe I should give her a chance too."

And please, I feel the need to explain to my non-writer friends, this has never been and will never be about "getting rich".
About 1% of authors make the big bucks. Most authors barely make a few thousand a year! THEY MAKE LESS THAN EMPLOYEES WORKING AT MCDONALD'S!!! Seriously! By the time the publishers, agents, editors, and all the other people involved get their cut of the profits, the writer ends up with pennies on the dollar.

So why do it???

Because if I don't share my story with the world I might actually explode.

Okay, so maybe my head won't actually explode, but sometimes it feels overwhelming. 
I just know my memoir would touch and impact so many lives for the Lord! And I know God has a plan for it, but I believe He wants to see me working for it daily. God doesn't want me sitting around waiting for Him to do it all.

I have faith in Him, but I know He is teaching me and testing me everyday so I can grow into the person He wants me to be.

This is a journey; not a destination.

Another way to build my platform is through public speaking. I've spoken a couple of times at my church and have another scheduled in November at a church a city away. If you know of any opportunities for public speaking please let me know. I don't care if it's a coffee shop, a youth group, an elderly women's group or in front of an entire church... my story is applicable to all (Turning to God during suffering). It's scary to stand in front of people an tell them about the hardest time in my life, but it honors the Lord. Many people go through difficult times, so if I can encourage others through what I learned, then I'm willing to put aside my fears and be bold for God.

So please help spread the word. Every retweet, share, tag, and post makes a difference. It's time to reach out past the people I know, but I can't do it without your help! Thanks sooo much!!!

EPHESIANS 6:20 "For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that herein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."