A Capitol Setting in Iowa’s Capital

On May 1, When Love Calls officially releases. I’m so excited! This is the first book in the Gregory Sisters Series and it’s set in 1908 in my home state of Iowa. It’s also set in Iowa’s capital, Des Moines.

Researching a city’s history is always so much fun for me. I find most cities and towns have a rich history burried somewhere. One of my favorite things to talk about in this book was the state capitol building.

With its stunning gold dome, it’s been recognized as one of the most beautiful captiol’s in the country. It was built in between 1871 and 1886 at a cost of $2,873,294.59 at a time when the captol building of a state was a matter of state pride.

If you look closely at the picture on the right, you’ll notice the huge capitol is surrounded by small, wood frame houses and buildings. Can you imagine what some people where thinking while it was being built?

The dome is covered in 100 troy ounces of 23.75 karat gold (nearly pure). If you rolled that much gold up, it would only be the size of a ball  you could hold in your hand, less than 7 pounds. The gold orignially cost $8,800. When it was re-gilded in 1998-99, the bill came to $400,000.

One of my favorite parts of the book was being able to share abou the State Law Library contained inside the capitol. It regularly appears on lists of the most beautiful libraries in the world. And from the photo, I think you can see why.

Next Friday, I want to take you up into the capitol’s dome. So don’t miss this step back in time.

Have you visited your state capitol? Are there any unusual things about it? Please share, I’d love to hear about it.


Focus on the Fight, Not the Fright

If you watch Good Morning America on ABC, then you may have heard the phrase, “Focus on the fight, not the fright” from the show’s hostess Robin Roberts. After surviving breast cancer, Robin contracted a blood disorder called DMS and required a bone marrow transplant.

Her mantra is excellent advice for all of us as we face a day where it feels like the bad guys are winning in this world. But that isn’t how God wants us to live. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love” (2 Tim. 1:7).

I believe the shepherd boy David focused on the fight and not the fright when he faced Goliath. He knew something we must all remember. Our giants are miniscule to God.

So as we face a world where violence tops the headlines everyday, let’s remember that good triumphs evil. For every act of evil, there are thousands of acts of good. And most of all, we have a God who will always help us fight the ugliest of giants.

**I’m having a “LIKE-fest” on my author Facebook page. My publisher, Revell, is giving away a set of my Lake Manawa Summers Series to one lucky reader when my page reaches 800 LIKES. The name will be chosen by Random.org on April 30, and I will post it on my webpage and again here on the blog. If you haven’t had the chance to “like” my page, you can do so here. If you already have done so, thanks so much!**


Good Gifts

What have you been blessed with? A beautiful home? Children to love? A case full of books?

I chose the title of “Every Good Gift” for this blog to remind all of us to think about those abundant blessings. It’s so easy to fall into focusing on our stresses or what we don’t have. I’m not saying that financial struggles, health concerns, and family issues can’t feel all consuming. I know from personal experience that they can. However, taking the time to recall how God has taken care of us in the past and does today will help us believe He will do so in the future.

  One of the gifts God has given me is a writing contract, and with that, I’m s blessed to have a new book releasing next month. I received my author copy of it last week. It’s hard to describe how great it feels to hold it in my hands for the first time.

I cried. (But I cry at everything) And then examined it like a mother does her newborn, counting each of the toes and fingers.

So what are some of the “good gifts” in your life? I’d love to hear all about them.