Friday, April 26, 2013

Writing & Life

My job, calling, joy is writing. But writing is a solitary thing. I spend much of my time alone. Even when I’m with people I don’t talk a lot. Well, except when with other writers or when I have a story to tell.

Being alone isn’t so bad. I can focus on my work, take my time and do it right. Go back over it as much as I need, at least for now as no deadlines loom. But I can also get drawn back into old habits of snacking when I’m bored or even while I’m thinking.

Changing habits takes time and it takes thought. The thing that helps me the most is prayer. It helps me focus my attention on the task at hand and brings God’s power into play while I abstain from snacking.

In my last post I mentioned I had been diagnosed with diabetes. I am doing well and hope that within a few months it will have reversed itself. This is what the doctor and I are working towards. Yes, it is possible to reverse diabetes. I never knew that was possible, but the doctor assures me it is. For that I thank God and pray for His help in getting rid of it.

I’ve begun exercising again and am finding that this disease is very manageable. It amazes me how we let ourselves get in such a state. It also amazes me how gracious God is in helping us to change and recover from what we’ve gotten ourselves into.

I am so grateful for His faithfulness, for His abiding, constant presence in my life.

Thank You, Lord, for not abandoning me even when I think I deserve it. Thank You for helping me change and for blessing the work I am doing to change. I praise you for this job, for inspiration and direction and I pray that You will use it all for Your glory. In Jesus name, amen.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bella’s Back!

Enjoy this fun interview with author Janice Thompson, where she shares the story-behind-the-story regarding Bella’s return.

Janice, welcome! I really enjoyed the Weddings by Bella series and am excited to read the spin-off series.

1. Can you tell us more about why you decided to write it?

Sure! (Thanks for hosting me, by the way!) When I wrote Fools Rush In (book one in the Weddings by Bella series) I knew I had something special on my hands. The characters really resonated with me, but there was more. I felt as if I’d created a world of real, wonderful, wacky people. Sure, I’d breathed life into them on the page, but they seemed to take it from there, springing to life and moving the story forward as they willed. I wrapped up the series with Swinging on a Star and It Had to be You, but my readers weren’t satisfied! At least once a week I got a letter from a fan saying, “Are there more? Please keep this story going!” I sent several of those letters to my editor, and before long she agreed that we should, indeed, keep the story going! That’s how the Weddings by Design story began. I’m so relieved to have more to offer. Since Fools Rush In went free on kindle, it has been downloaded nearly 300,000 times. Crazy! So, I have many, many new readers, aching for more!

2. How are these stories similar to the novels in the Weddings by Bella series?

This is a wedding-themed series, just like the first, and loaded with fun, quirky mishaps on the way to the altar! Readers will experience the same “feel” of Galveston Island and my ever-present humor, which drives the stories forward. I truly hope that readers pick up the first book in this new series and sigh with relief as they catch up with their favorite characters from the last series: Bella, D.J., Aunt Rosa, Uncle Laz, the three ladies from Splendora, Brock Benson, and so on. Here’s what the publisher had to say about the new series: “With her contagious humor and cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives readers more of the bridal business drama they want in a brand-new series all about those long-suffering people who make beautiful weddings happen. Readers are desperately waiting for more of Bella and this new series brings her back in a big way, while introducing new characters fans will love. Fans will laugh out loud as they experience this breezy and entertaining novel from a great storyteller.”

3. What sets this new series apart from the last one?

The Weddings by Design novels are told from the point of view of new characters. Book one, Picture Perfect, is about a wedding photographer named Hannah. Book two, The Icing on the Cake, is about a wedding cake designer named Scarlet. Book three, The Dream Dress, is about a dress designer named Gabi. Book four (yet unpublished) is about a wedding florist named Gina. Each of these ladies longs to work with the most fabulous wedding coordinator on the island—Bella (Rossi) Neeley, so everything loops back to Club Wed, just like the first series.

4. When does the new series release?

Book one, Picture Perfect, is already available on amazon. The kindle version will be ready for download on February 15th. (Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!) I received my author copies last week, so autographed copies are available for purchase ($12) if readers are interested in that. They can email me at for more information.

5. Can you tell us about Picture Perfect, the first book in the series?

Ooo, I’d love to! The synopsis should answer any questions:

She’s trying to focus on her future. How can one man make everything feel so . . . fuzzy?

Hannah McDermott has a successful photography studio. She’ll soon be featured in Texas Bride magazine. And she has a celebrity client whose Galveston ceremony will be her ticket to the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley’s list of recommended photographers. But it could all come crashing down around her because of one man: archrival and photographer extraordinaire Drew Kincaid.

As the competition between Hannah and Drew heats up, Hannah is surprised to find that it’s not the only thing getting more intense. She can’t get the handsome man out of her thoughts-or even out of her line of sight-and the job of her dreams is turning into a nightmare. Will everything she’s worked for slip out of her hands? And can she see past her pride to find a picture-perfect love?

6. How is the new series doing with readers so far?

Great! Folks who’ve read the book have already contacted me to say they love it! I’m also thrilled that Picture Perfect got a great Romantic Times review. . .four stars! Here’s what the reviewer had to say: "Fans of romantic comedies are in for a treat just in time for Valentine’s Day. Book one in the Weddings by Design series does not disappoint! Funny one-liners and absolutely lovable characters combine with just enough romantic tension to keep the pages turning at a brisk pace — but readers will want to slow down to savor this one."

7. How are you kicking off the new series?

I’m hosting an online party! I’m calling this my “Bing & Bob” party and it will be held on the night of February 18th at 7:00 p.m. central time. These two funny fellas hold a special place in the heart of my characters and they will provide the entertainment at our gathering! This fun, interactive party will take place inside the “Bella’s Back” group on facebook. Join me for an interactive chat, video teasers, Bing Crosby music and giveaways! Some lucky reader/participant will win a free kindle fire! To be entered, you must join the Bella’s Back facebook group and attend the party. (i.e. “Must be present when your named is called.”)

For more information about the party, check out this video invitation.

8. Can you share a little bit from the novel?


Going My Way

May your troubles be as few and as far apart as my grandmother’s teeth.

Irish proverb

My life has been a series of almosts.

Take, for instance, the time I almost made the cheerleading squad in high school but lost out to my archnemesis, Jacquie Practically-Perfect-in-Every-Way Goldfarb. Then there was the time Matt Hudson, the hunkiest football player at my high school, almost asked me to the prom but ended up going with Jacquie instead. Oh, and we can’t forget the time I almost got a photographer’s dream job, shooting superstar Brock Benson’s wedding. Yep. Another almost. That time, the opportunity of a lifetime slipped through my fingers and into the open palms of my chief competitor, Drew Kincaid of Kincaid Photography.

Some people are haunted by memories of things they’ve done. Me? I’m haunted by all of the things I nearly accomplished but missed by a quarter of an inch. That’s why, when faced with yet another unbelievable opportunity—a profile piece in Texas Bride magazine to promote my new Galveston-based photography business—I couldn’t blow it. No more almosts for me. This time I would hit the finish line a winner. My meeting with the Texas Bride reporter would transform my career and propel me into the limelight, winning me the favor of the island’s top wedding planner, Bella Neeley. If I could just keep from messing it up.

Oh, but this time I wouldn’t! In fact, I could almost hear my Grandpa Aengus cheering me on from the great beyond: “Hannah Grace, if you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.”

I didn’t happen to believe in luck, but if being Irish meant I stood a better chance at succeeding in business, I would embrace my heritage as never before. I would bathe with Irish Spring soap, dress in the vibrant colors of the family crest, skip through fields of shamrocks, and listen to my father’s nightly tales of Clan McDermott’s glory days. And I would do it all with a smile on my face and confidence in my stride.

From his mansion up in heaven, Grandpa Aengus smiled down on me, his gold-capped front tooth gleaming like the precious stones in the pearly gate. I could sense his pleasure as I made up my mind to do the McDermotts proud. Like my warring ancestors of yesteryear, I would fight to the finish, wielding my bloody sword—er, my two-thousand-dollar digital camera with stellar resolution and optical zoom—until I took the prize. I would come out a victor in the end, or make a fool of myself trying.

Either way, I wouldn’t go down without a fight. A true McDermott never did.

Thanks for visiting with us, Janice! Looking forward to the new series!


Visit Janice’s Website

Connect with Janice on Facebook

Join the “Bella’s Back” Facebook group

Watch the Bing & Bob party video invitation

Check out the Bella’s Back Video on youtube

Read Fools Rush In (the first Bella book) for free on your kindle

Saturday, January 26, 2013


        Life often brings stress. I’ve learned recently that the way we deal with stress can cause problems for us. I have stayed away from the obvious; fighting with loved ones, alcohol, tobacco, etc. but fell into the trap of using food for comfort.

        Now I have been diagnosed with diabetes. My first reaction was, NOOOO! Screaming inside to God that I don’t want this, I can’t handle this, I won’t accept this!

        Finally, after calming down and praying for His guidance, help. I am at peace with the present. Of course knowing that, as the doctor says, losing weight can correct the diabetes, I am focused on that. The fact that I am sick and can’t exercise right now is not a good thing. Being stuck at home where it is easy to fall into the old habit of snacking, is not a good thing. But, I am not in this alone.

        I can hear God whispering to me, “You can do this. I’ll help you.” and that is very comforting. Making those little choices, that seemed so huge just two weeks ago is getting easier. I’m finding that I don’t mind giving up some things. I’m also finding things I can eat that I enjoy. I just have to discipline myself to eat small amounts.

        Waiting for my stomach to shrink isn’t fun. Some days I get so hungry I could tear into a bag of chips and eat the whole thing. But I’m learning to seek God’s help right away. Sometimes prayer is all I need to distract myself from those hunger pangs. God is my strength.

        And I can’t wait to see where we are six months from now. Praise God, I am not alone.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Every year I look forward to Christmas; the celebrations, music, cool weather, shopping for gifts, opening gifts and making special treats to share fill the days with joy. This time of year has such a feeling of joy that often I pause to just let it soak in. But what is it that brings this joyful atmosphere?

I’ve often thought that it was the anticipation of gathering with family to share gifts and Christmas dinner. My early years were filled with celebrations; at home and at both grandparents’ homes. We were blessed to live close enough to visit both my Mama's and Daddy's parents homes in one day, but that meant getting up early, not a problem for us children who were anxious to see what Santa had left us.

However, recently the thought occurred to me that the real reason for this feeling of overwhelming joy might come from the true reason for the season, Jesus, the Christ. Isn’t it possible that the presence of Christ is more present in our society during this time? Or at least more noticed. Perhaps He is granting us a great gift during the time of celebration of His birth, letting us feel his nearness.

Imagine Him standing with you in line, waiting and smiling at everyone who is intent on bringing gifts to others. Not everyone allows His peace to reign, but to those of us who seek Him this closeness is a blessing we’ve come to expect daily yes, but even more so during Christmas.

I am going to try and remember to celebrate Him more and spend less time stressing over what society expects or demands. Christmas is becoming less about receiving and more about celebrating Him. For that I am truly thankful.

Merry Christmas everyone! May the presence of the Christ child bless your days and fill you with joy to last the whole year through.

Monday, November 5, 2012

What do You do When Life Gets Rough?

Life gets rough sometimes that is just part of living here in this world. Right now, for instance, I have a broken ankle, strep throat and possibly a sinus infection. I’ve been to the doctor four times in two weeks and am about to go again. On top of this my husband is home recovering from surgery on his foot. The good thing is my husband is home. He is recovered enough to drive me and help me out around here. The bad thing is I can’t just hop out of bed in the morning and get busy with all the things that need to be done around here. Sometimes when those rough times come I try to run or hide from them instead of confronting the underlying issues. I know that there are times when God wants to use these hard times to grow me or to set me back on the right track. What do you do when life gets rough? There have been times when I’ve agonized over why life is the way it is. Why do I have to live so far away from my family? I love being with family. Why does my son and his family have to live so far away? Why can’t my grandchildren come and visit me for a week? Why did God give me work in a career that is so hard to break into? Other times I have escaped into a novel or a movie. I love happy endings and the easiest way to enjoy those is through other people’s stories. Running away is an easy quick fix, but when I take the time to seek God, that is when I’ve felt peace fill me until the anxiety is gone and trust and faith, remain. I don’t always choose to immediately seek God. I’m not sure why that is except that I know the devil attacks through thoughts sometimes and he will always try to lead us away from God. Perhaps this was Paul’s thorn. He does lament about doing what he does not want to do and not doing what he wants to do. I too desire to do what I know will please God but I often do not and that grieves me. Mostly because I know it grieves the Father. So, how to do what I know I should, that is the question. I think that trying to make it a habit by seeking Him first daily would help. If I form that habit by doing those things that would draw me close to God and do them on a consistent basis then when life throws those curve balls I would be ready to catch them and toss them back. Or, trust God to catch them and throw them back for me. I yearn for the day when I can do those things that please our Father, and do them consistently.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Eleventh Anniversary of the Attack on America

Psalm 136:1 O give thanks to the Lord for His mercies endure for ever…

When I was a little girl there were times when scripture seemed vague, but I knew, because of my parents and other family members, that I could trust God’s word. As often happens in life, as I grew I began to understand how those words bring peace. It’s the knowing that God is always there and knowing that His word is His promise to us and taking that on faith, holding on to it when we are in the valley and choosing to praise Him because He is.

On this anniversary of 9-11 I pray that His peace has filled the hearts and lives of the survivors. That His peace will continue to lead this nation to do great things for Him and that the evil that is so prevalent in this society will be defeated quickly by our God. May we each see the blessings He has given us and praise Him for it.

Heavenly Father, for your presence in our lives we give you thanks and praise. We praise you for your faithfulness, for your protection, your strength, and for using all for your glory. In Jesus name, amen.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Director's Cut

The Director’s Cut is an entertaining story about a girl who grew up in Los Angeles, California. Tia is determined to make it in television but behind the cameras. Her vantage point gives her an interesting view of the chaos on the set and behind the scenes. She has an eye for what works and an instinct she’s learning to trust. But how far does one go with instinct when it comes to following God’s will?

Ms. Thompson writes a story filled with comedy, family and chaos with a few questions thrown in for good measure. This story will have you reading quickly to get to the next scene. A delightful story it will have you wondering, about your own life and the scenes that could have gone better if left to The One who knows what should come next.

I’m sure you will enjoy reading Ms. Thompson’s story and eagerly pass it on to friends and family as I have.

The Director’s Cut
By: Janice Thompson
Revell Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3347-6