Saturday Confession: The Parenthood Finale Headache

It’s no secret I enjoy a good television show. I’m a fan of quality writing and ensemble acting and this year I’ve been saying goodbye to some good ones.

Parenthood being one of them.

I watched this show from the beginning, and as I’ve been with Girl Meets World, I was skeptical. Could Parenthood the television show pull off the mastery that was the movie? I wasn’t so sure.

Then I was.

Parenthood became the show I texted family and friends as we watched across the miles. We saw Adam, Kristina, Crosby, Julia and Zeek in ourselves and the ones we loved. We threw our arms up when Sarah made yet another mistake. The cousins made their share of mischief, too. Drew, Haddie, Sidney and Amber were a topic of many chats, too.

Then it evolved and became a cheap form of therapy. My mom started watching and I listened as she shared some of the reasons behind her parenting choices. I could tell she was processing our lives as she watched. And it was healing.

As I watched the finale, I had a headache from crying.

Here’s why: (Spoilers below)



  • Zeek with Sarah. When he asked if he had been a good dad, I thought back to the last conversation I had with my father, hours before he passed. Although I was more Adam than Sarah, it took my heart and ran.
  • Hank with everyone. I hated Hank when he entered the scene. I was such a fan of the young teacher Sarah was with, but Ray Ramano’s portrayal of Hank Rizzoli turned me around. I cried when he met with Zeek. Drew. Max.
  • Joel and Julia. I’ve never been a Julia fan but I’ve always loved Joel with Julia. To see them reconcile and face new challenges, they were right, it was crazy. But crazy good.
  • Camille. Camille shattered what was left of my senses. With every scene, every bit of good news, you could see in her silence, on her face, the shoe was ready to drop and she was trying to prepare. When Zeek was talking to Amber about the walks they would take, the look on Camille broke me. She knew. I knew. Zeek knew. Amber knew. Her face said it all.
  • The montages backdropped against the baseball game. It was brilliant to give glimpses of the future and great closure. Camille continued with her art in Europe. Julia ended with four kids, just as she grew up in. Crosby and Amber were a dream team at the Luncheonette, with Jasmine pregnant as they all listened to a couple record what was the theme song to the show. How could you not cry during that? And to see Amber happy and adjusted with her son, a stable relationship, and Ryan have a cameo? Tears.
  • Max. That kid. I bawled during the first season when Kristina wrote a letter to the neighborhood preparing them for Max trick-or-treating. When he hit puberty. When he broke down after the kids bullied him before leaving the regular school. When he kept taking pictures of the girl I loved how they kept the portrayal. Showing emotion and affection truly is difficult for children with Asbergers. Yet, when he gave that smile at graduation, this mom got it. I’ve always identified in marriage as Kristina and as a sibling, Adam. And Max has always had me.

Like I said, I’m a fan of quality writing and acting and this show was always bringing it. I still have a headache from crying.

Parenthood, thanks for everything.

You will be missed.

The Least Likely Heroine Part 2

So? Who do you think Brent Teague should propose to? You’ve met some of the heroines, but don’t guess yet because there is still another week to meet the others. You’re going to have a big decision to make because all the ladies are great.

If you’ve missed the chapters Write Integrity Press has been releasing, catch up here.

Here’s the scoop: Then, on the afternoon of February 4, we’ll open voting for readers. YOU get to choose the one heroine you think makes the perfect fit for Brent. Your votes will decide the final chapter of the book.

Voting will take place Feb 4-7. Then, on Saturday, February 14, the book will be made available on Kindle FOR FREE for FOUR days – Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

I love reading about romantic getaways as much as you do. Whether the locale is full of lush palm trees or snow capped mountains I get caught up in the story.

Thing is, my own vacation life hardly reads like a romance. Today I thought I’d share another cruise related story and give you a look at how I’m the least likely cruise heroine.

The second cruise was just me and my husband. As we waited for the plane to taxi I could feel my stomach churning, my mind filling fast with irrational thoughts.

  • What good parent leaves their kids for vacation?
  • What if the plane goes down?
  • Did I pack more than one bra? (See Monday’s post)

My husband, ever the plane enthusiast, is watching all the excitement out the window, not realizing the storm brewing in my mind.

We arrive and all is well.

The waters were rough and I needed a Dramamine. In the movies and romantic books the couples are able to stay up late, eat whatever and just have fun.

I took a 4 hour nap.

In my imaginations, the heroines try new things.

I ordered chicken every night.

My knees are bad so when I’m around water on a deck, I slow down to a near halt. Not quite the sight of Baywatch beauties, is it?

But you know, as least likely as I am as a heroine for a book, I was God’s choice for my husband. Even with my irrational thoughts and chicken tendencies, he still wants to travel with me. Tell me about his day. Steal away for lunch.

To me, that’s the most romantic story of all.

COTT Announces Tammy Doherty Winner with She’s Mine

A hearty Thank You to the five excellent champions of the first Clash of the Champions in 2015. Some of them are new to us, and we always like to introduce new authors.

One of my favorite parts of being a hostess is to share some of the amazing and beautiful encouraging comments your readers make during the clash. Here are a few from both the survey and the post:

  • I’ve read several books by Pat Simmons, but her Guilty Series books touched my heart. The books in that series showed me the love and beauty of Missouri, at a time that I needed to know it was there.
  • Marian P Merritt is a wonderful author and I love her Cajun inspired books.
  • Susan Lyttek, you are an amazing and talented writer.
  • I Love everything Marian P. Merritt has written! She pulls me into the story and I feel like I am one of the characters.
  • Christmas Greetings is such a beautiful story! Thank you, Pat for allowing God to use and encourage others through His words…….C Lewis
  • These books all sound great!
  • Davalynn Spencer makes her fictional characters come alive in her stories! Genius!
  • You don’t shy away from life in your writing, Tammy Doherty. Keep it up!!
  • Davalynn, I loved your book, couldn’t put it down!
  • I can’t wait to read every one of these titles. They all look so amazing!
  • Looking forward to reading Plundered Christmas!
  • To Tammy Doherty, I would be wicked excited to read this.
  • Really nice cover, too, Marian Merritt.
  • Susan, your work continues to thrive, all for the Glory of God! I’m proud to know you, and can’t wait to read this one!
  • Pat keep doing what you do … Uplifting people through your writing … its a pleasure falling in love with your characters
  • Great series by Susan Lyttek!
  • Pat, I had planned to send you the same sentiment on your FB page! BTW, I downloaded ‘A Christian Christmas’ last month. Haven’t gotten to reading it yet (I made a huge TBR pile in December!!) but really looking forward to it. Blessings, my friend :D
  • I love mysteries, and Plundered Christmas sounds fun.
  • Going to read The Snowbound Bride!
  • They’re all beautiful. It’s exciting to think how many hours of reading pleasure are wrapped up under those lovely covers!
  • It’s a pity you could choose only one of those books. If I could I would choose both ‘She’s mine’ and ‘Plundered Christmas’


Congratulations to
Tammy Doherty 
She’s Mine
Harrington has a new job and a new life away from her menacing ex-boyfriend,
Adam. Issues with her parents, losing her previous job and the death of her
beloved grandmother leave her wondering if God has abandoned her. Two things
she is sure of: she’s a lousy judge of character and men just can’t be trusted.
Buy the Book:
$4.99 e-book
$14.99 Print
Tammy Doherty
writes Inspirational/Christian fiction. Her first three novels are Western
romances set in late 1800s Colorado. After completing this series, Tammy turned
to contemporary romantic suspense. The Mystique of Naultag series is set in a
small town in central Massachusetts very similar to the town where she grew
Tammy Doherty grew up in the family greenhouse business but decided to go into
an animal related career and became a veterinary technician. Her husband is
“The Perennial Guy,” so she’s back to being immersed in the plant
business. Currently, she works for a veterinary distribution company, selling
pharmaceuticals and supplies in the Northeast. Tammy shares a blog with
critique partner Nike Chillemi. There you can find information about the world
of writing along with personal interest articles. Yes, writers have lives too.
They just need to be reminded of that sometimes! Visit the
blog and here to learn more about life in small town
Massachusetts – the setting of her current works. 


Learn more about Tammy on her website.
Some Amazon Reviews:


This review is
from: She’s Mine: A Mystique of Naultag novel (Kindle Edition)
I read this book
in 2 days. I usually avoid romance novels as I find them to be boring. However
this book was fast paced and full of enough action to keep my interest all the
way to the end. I also enjoyed reading about places and events of the local
area which I could recognize throughout the novel. Excellent job Tammy!
L. Winters
 (Central MA, USA) – See
all my reviews
This review is
from: She’s Mine: A Mystique of Naultag novel (Kindle Edition)
Did I want to stay
up until 2 am reading? NO! But the book was too good to put down. Highly
5.0 out of 5
stars Classical Mystery/Modern Energy, December 1, 2014



A Walk in the Valley, Christian Encouragement for your Journey through Infertility, Now Available for Pre-Order

I interrupt the winter weather buzz to share something very close to my heart—A Walk in the Valley, Christian Encouragement for your Journey through Infertility, is now available for pre-order through Amazon.

91LVPrvc+FLFrom Amazon:

Everyone’s journey through infertility is different. Even women who have the same physical problems will have different courses of treatment, different responses, and different emotional ups and downs as they walk this path. But we also have so much in common: the hurt, anger, frustration, pain, sorrow, hope and joy that we have experienced along the way.

We are women who have experienced infertility. Some of us have gone on to conceive, others have adopted, and others remain childless. All of us have found peace in the loving arms of our Father God at the end of our journey. We want to share our experiences and thoughts with you. It is our hope and prayer that you’ll be encouraged.

This devotional workbook starts with how each woman discovered her infertility, then explores the diagnostic testing pursued, how they processed the official diagnosis, what decisions had to be explored regarding treatment, their experiences during infertility treatment (including pregnancy, miscarriage, and childbirth), and finishes with their experiences in remaining childless, adoption, foster care, child sponsorship, and the emotional healing regardless of the outcome of their infertility journey.

Each devotional has a Scripture focus and questions for thought and discussion.

This book started as a question on the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) loop and quickly evolved. What I love is none of our stories are the same. Our endings are all different. We are all transparent in our experiences. The one thing I detested in trying to find something, anything that would help me in my pain was patronizing books or authors who were painting a picture that life was rosy, even in this hard time.

It. was. not.

And thank God, our stories reflect that so readers won’t feel alone.

Yet, we also give hope through Scripture and what we learned along the way.

I can’t wait for everyone to read this.

If you or someone you love is walking or has walked through infertility and miscarriage, please pre order this book.  When you aren’t sure what to say, I believe this book will do the talking.

Pre order by clicking here.

The Least Likely Cruise Heroine Part 1

You’ve been reading the chapters and meeting the heroines of The Love Boat Bachelor, right? Monday through Friday this week and next you get a sneak peek at them.

Then, on the afternoon of February 4, we’ll open voting for readers. YOU get to choose the one heroine you think makes the perfect fit for Brent. Your votes will decide the final chapter of the book.

Voting will take place Feb 4-7. Then, on Saturday, February 14, the book will be made available on Kindle FOR FREE for FOUR days – Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

I thought I’d share some cruise memories, but a little more my style. I can’t give all my secrets away as some are with my heroine, but sadly, I have enough “That Julie, she’s fun to watch moments” that we can read for awhile.

Let’s get started.

It was 1995. First cruise. First adult vacation. It’s me and my sister and I’ve worked hard for this. We’re excited but so naive as we were sheltered kids. Was I a confident traveler? Did I look like a book cover heroine?

Ummm, no.


My sister and me, circa 1990’s.

As the big sister, I was worried sick about my sister. A blonde with blue eyes, the ship’s crew followed her everywhere. It was creepy and we were taught to be kind. I feel like all I did that week was give the men dirty looks and tell my sister to hurry along and stop saying hello to everyone.

Then there was the humidity.

Heroines seem to have perfect hair in the movies. Me? Frizz. Horrible, horrible frizz.

How about the excursions? Surely I had to be a romantic vision there, right?

I was in Tulum, Mexico visiting the ruins.

It was about 450 degrees with full sun.

I am sweating in places I didn’t know could sweat. Don’t try to sugarcoat it. It wasn’t perspiring. It was full on drenched sweat.

And I realized during the excursion I didn’t pack extra bras.

What I had on, was all I had.

Oh, but my awesome self wasn’t done.

On the way back the young, single tour guide asked if anyone was single.

After all the yelling I did at my sister for inviting trouble, I am the first to raise my hand.

He asked if I was rich.

I shook my head. Rich to me was someone with a mansion.

He said, “You’re rich. You’re American.”

And I looked out the window.

The homes we were passing were shacks, if that.

There weren’t families with cars tooling around, and if they had a car, it was one, and it was a beater.

Their income came from tourists like us.

And my ignorant heart was the least romantic thing of all.

The good news about that cruise was the pictures. After we got home and I had the pictures developed, I went to take them to the Arduini home, a gathering place for dinners and good times between the parents and siblings. That particular day I’d been running late, and everyone ate and left, except for the second oldest, Tom.

I showed him my pictures and we talked for three hours.

As the least likely heroine, that was the day Tom realized there was something about me he wanted to know better.

We’ve been married more than 18 years.


Movie Review: Roadmap Genesis




Movie Description:

Roadmap Genesis is a film documentary that makes the case that the Book of Genesis is a roadmap containing guideposts on how to live a productive, fruitful, and fulfilling life that will help our society lift itself out of its current decline and return it to prosperity, promise, and accomplishment.

When Filmmaker Nolan Lebovitz found himself at a crossroads in his life, he knew he had to choose between continuing to make the Hollywood suspense thrillers that were his livelihood and trying to make the world a better place for his new young family. After much struggle, he found his answer in the Book of Genesis.

Armed with this discovery, Nolan made a drastic life change. He decided to study to become a Rabbi. As his seminary work progressed, he realized that he needed to share his epiphany with others. But how?

He decided to combine his love of the Book of Genesis with his passion for filmmaking and set out to travel the United States, interviewing clergy and public figures in order to build an undeniable argument about the continued importance of the Book of Genesis as a guiding force in our Judeo-Christian country.

Roadmap Genesis invites Americans of all faiths to engage in a dialogue about the relevance of the Bible in the modern age. Through interviews ranging from Gov. Mike Huckabee of Fox News Channel to Rabbi David Wolpe, from Alan Dershowitz to the Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Francis George, from Erick Stakelbeck of the Christian Broadcasting Network to Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, and many, many more, Nolan explores the rules that God has set forth to help us maintain a successful and working society.


This is a comprehensive look at Genesis and how it applies to our lives. From what people on the street know or remember about the first book in the Bible to how the Scriptures should affect our family time and how we treat the planet, Nolan Lebovitz covers a lot of ground with a diverse number of interviews on the subject. From Governor Huckabee to Alan Dershowitz, it’s interesting to hear what people think.

Some of the topics and interviews went a little long, but for anyone curious about the Bible or wanting to hear more about evolution/creation, the environment, economy and more, I learned a lot.

Genesis has a lot to teach us. We need to slow down and allow God’s word access to our lives.

To purchase Genesis Roadmap, click here.

I watched a preview of this documentary in exchange for an honest review.

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