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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Want 5000 Christmas Presents This Year . . . sort of

At my MOPs group this week, I learned that Harvard MBA grads who have written goals make millions and millions more dollars than those who don't have goals.

Now I don't need millions of dollars, but ever since I was 13 I've wanted to become a published author. And in this tight economy, publishers have to be more and more picky about who they sign on. So they only offer book contracts to authors that not only write stupendously, but also have huge existing fan bases.

I'm tired of getting rejections from publishers who love my writing, but say my fan base just isn't big enough. So my 2014 goal is to get 5,000 likes on my Facebook author page and 5,000 followers on my Twitter account by Christmas. So yes, I want 5,000 Christmas presents this year. :) Best Christmas ever!

Can  I do it? Not without YOUR help.

I started a GoFundMe account, not for monetary donations, but for Facebook likes and Twitter followers.

"But I thought GoFundMe campaigns were supposed to be for money?" you say.

I know, but hey I was homeschooled. Never did quite figure out those elusive social norms. ;)

Would you like to see my books in print? Will you help me reach my dream of becoming a published author by . . .

liking my author page on Facebook?:
following me on Twitter?:
sharing my unconventional GoFundMe campaign with your friends?:

Check back for updates on how my campaign is going. Currently I have
Facebook Followers: 727
Twitter Followers: 2351

Monday, October 27, 2014

How to Have an Election Day Party

If you’re in a swing state like me, you’re being bombarded with campaign ads right around now. If you’re like me, you’re happy for the break from incessant football.

Burly men all jumping for a small ball as if millions of dollars hung on the outcome (oh wait it does) vs. men and women begging us to give them the power to be our fearless leader and completely control our lives. Oh yeah, election season is absolutely more nail-bite worthy than football. (Sorry, you may egg me now. :)

Are you a political junkie too? Or maybe you just like Super Bowl snacks and don’t want to wait two months to have them. Solution: throw an election day party. Besides a TV to watch the election results come in, you’ll need the following.

#1. Decorations. Red, white, and blue are always a good standby. You might even find some 4th of July decorations lingering on clearance. Also, find the most insulting political cartoons (insulting to the other candidate, not yours, of course) you can online and wallpaper the room with them.

#2. Food. This is an incredibly important detail. It can takes hours to find out who wins an election and you don’t want to famish while you wait. Also, if your candidate happens to lose, you will need some especially delectable treats to bury your sorrows.

a.       Try for a red and blue theme to reflect the two political parties. If you’re independent, you might want to throw in a bit of . . . is it green? You can make all kinds of margaritas, daiquiris, and other cocktails in red and blue. Strawberries and blueberries can garnish any plate. Cranberry juices and tomatoes also make great natural reds.

b.      If you serve cookies or cupcakes, you can write the candidates' names on them in icing.

c.       If your candidate has a favorite food, you could include that. Or keep it simple and just order pizza. Maybe bring out some American flags to tape over top of the pizza box labels. Hot wings or any other Super Bowl delicacy would be appropriate too.

#3. Election themed activities. No party’s complete without some games. Oh and say the pledge of allegiance to start off. As much as you might hate the two-party system, nothing reflects our nation better than the right to free elections. (And say a prayer that not too much election fraud happens this cycle . . .)

a.       A U.S. Senate map is a must. Write the names of the competing candidates in all the swing states and then color them in red or blue as the results come in.

b.      Make a quiz to see how much your guests know about the election, the candidates, or American political history in general. Give out a prize.
c.       Make some kind of goody bags or fortune cookies complete with questions inside. See which guests know the answer.

#4. Invite guests. This will probably be the most difficult part. First, you need to find people as gung-ho about elections as you. (Quick Tip: Bribe them with food.) Second, you need to find people that won’t hate you forever after reading all your political cartoons and seeing you screaming at the TV every time your candidate goes down in the polls. Choose your guests wisely; you might still want to have friends after election day.

Any other tips for Election Day parties? Ever had one? Comment below.

Friday, October 24, 2014

I'm Pro-Life, but I'm Against Personhood Amendments

Proposition #67 on Coloradans ballot this November asks to define “unborn children” as “persons.” This bill was popularized because of Brady, an unborn child killed when a drunk driver struck his mom.

But proposition #67 has much further reaching effects than punishing drunk drivers. Under proposition #67, a woman who uses birth control like the IUD, which some people think could sometimes stop implantation, is a murderer. Infertile couples who pursue in-vitro fertilization, a process that often discards some fertilized eggs, would also become murderers.

I’m pro-life and I do believe unborn babies are people. But protecting unborn babies isn’t always simple.

Two years ago my son was born and went straight to NICU for a brain infection that should have killed him.

Continue reading

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Read & Relax

With Music in Their Hearts

a romantic suspense

About the book:

 Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved. 

He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.
While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.

As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, 
that he’ll stoop to espionage?

Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?

November 2014
Launch date: November 10, 2014
online, facebook

With a degree in Christian Education, and a former elementary teacher and secretary, Carole Brown didn’t seriously begin writing until after her sons were grown. She and her husband have traveled extensively throughout the country ministering and counseling, and along with their sons, have experienced many exciting and wonderful opportunities.
But once she picked up her "writing pen," it didn’t take her long to regain the passion for writing she'd secretly felt for years.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Health Up: Challenge #2

"Rest and be thankful," said William Wadsworth, an English Romantic poet.

      As a mental health counselor, I've often studied how rest helps your mental health. Anxiety and depression can be mitigated or worsened by rest or the lack thereof. New research shows that even the most serious of mental health disorders, schizophrenia, can be improved by a peaceful environment.
     Now when I say rest, I don't mean sleep, I mean the absence of stress. Chronic stress builds up substances like cortisol, which damage the brain.
     But apart from helping mental health, did you know that rest improves your physical health? Relaxation techniques can lower your blood pressure, make you lose weight (or gain weight if stress was making you too thin), and improve your health over all.

Health Up Challenge #2: Take ten minutes today and go spend them in your favorite relaxing spot. Take a picture and post it! This picture is of me at the Rocky Mountains. In reality, the most relaxing spot I was able to get away to today was my couch, but one can dream. :) And I did have a cup of hot tea.

Two ways to join in
1. post a Facebook picture of yourself completing the challenge and tag @AnneGarbocziEvans  OR
2. post in the BLOG comments about what you did.

And I'm working on obtaining the Christmas grand prize for the Health Up challenge right now. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Read & Relax

Pastor’s wife, Kirstie Donovan, lives life in a fishbowl, so when she hops on the back of a bright pink motorcycle, tongues start to wag at the conservative, century-old First Independent Christian Community Church of Eels Falls.
Kirstie loves roaring down a road less traveled by most women over forty, but she’s not just riding her bike for the fun of it. Kirstie has a ministry. However, certain church members have secrets to hide, and when God uses Kirstie’s ministry to fill the pews with leather-clad, tattooed bikers, those secrets could be exposed…and some will stop at nothing to hide the truth.
Join Kirstie and her motorcycle “gang”—two church matrons and a mouthy, gum-smacking non-church member—as they discover that road-toughened bikers are quite capable of ministering to others, and faith is fortified in the most unexpected ways.

READ First chapter

Short Biography

 Karla Akins is a pastor’s wife who rides her own motorcycle. She is the mother of four boys and one step-daughter, and grandmother of five. She lives in North Manchester with her husband who is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church, her twin teenage boys with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s and three rambunctious dogs. Karla and her husband have been in ministry together for 30 years. You can contact Karla for speaking engagements via her website at  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Why I'm Not Self-Publishing . . . And Might Someday

I’ve been writing full-length novels for 12 years now and seriously submitting book proposals to the traditional powers-that-be for the last four years. Recently, I joined a self-publishing authors group on Facebook. And can I say, I’m drooling. These authors talk of finishing a book and publishing it the next week. They mention putting out 15 books in a year and their 25 books on Amazon. Many of them are making quite decent money too. And here I am, sitting on my couch, staring at a laptop full of finished, unpublished manuscripts. "So why don’t you just self-publish?" many people have asked me. This is why. First . . .

Read the rest on the Writing Prompts Crew

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Healthy For the Holidays: The Health Up Challenge

           Christmas decorations are up in the stores, which means in just a few months we’ll be up to our eyeballs in butter, grease, and sugary bliss. Add to that the stress of holiday chaos and out of town visitors, plus the sedentary days when the “weather outside is frightful,” and the jolliest season of the year is far from the healthiest.

          So who wants to join me for the Health Up challenge? Twice a week I'll post a fun Health Up challenge and you have to either
1. post a Facebook picture of yourself completing that challenge and tag @AnneGarbocziEvans  OR

2. post in the comments about what you did.

There will be certificates of completion, giveaways, and a grand prize winner! :)

Health Up Challenge #1: Add a surprising touch of veggies to a meal. Share a picture along with your “recipe.” Tag @AnneGarbocziEvans to get credit.

Here's mine.

First I added two cups of shredded zucchini to my pizza crust recipe. Then I sliced tomatoes very thin and layered them on top of the sauce.

After sprinkling spices and layering the cheese, I sliced a small zucchini for the topping.
 To fool my picky eaters in the house, I covered the round zucchini slices with pepperoni.

More of a frozen pizza gal/guy? Try slicing up a zucchini, some tomatoes, and onions and throwing them on top of your frozen pizza.

What to know just how healthy zucchini is? Click here.
Want to know just how healthy onions are? Click here.
Want to know just how healthy tomatoes are? Click here.

Friday, October 3, 2014

7 Reasons Why Police Daddies Are the "Best-est"

          My daddy's a police officer. The other day he came home in his big car. This is me with my daddy. I'm the one wearing the Thomas shirt.
          I like having a police daddy and this is why.

1. Police daddies have cars that go "whoo-whoo." I climbed into Daddy's car and I saw the lights flash and I pulled-ed the sirens. I love sirens almost as much as train whistles.

2. Police daddies have big, big guns. I am very brave, but sometimes I get scared of monsters. There is a big one under my crib called "The Grabber." 'Cause my daddy is a police daddy, he can shoot the "Grabber" and then I be safe.

3. Police daddies have badges. My daddy's badge is shiny. I like it and I think it would taste good to chew. But Daddy doesn't let me chew it. Sometimes he is a "bad daddy" like that.

4. Police daddies drive around all day past so many playgrounds. When my daddy gets home he takes me to the playground and we swing, and climb, and go down slides. My daddy knows about lots and lots of playgrounds.

5. Police daddies are strong. My daddy is so strong he can lift me over his head and hold me upside down. I scream very loud.

6. Police daddies have big voices to yell at big bad guys. My daddy taught me how to roar. I can roar so loud it scares my mommy. Daddy said I shouldn't scare Mommy, but I like to do it.

7. Police daddies are good at snuggling. You might not know this because they go around and yell at people and put them in handcuffs. But my daddy is a very good snuggler. We always read books in my rocking chair before bed and he snuggles me.

What's your daddy like?