Baby Shower Blues

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

A friend shared this verse with me four years ago, in the days following my miscarriage. Brokenhearted and crushed—yeah, that pretty much described me then.


It has taken time, but the closeness I feel to the Lord has healed my heart and spirit.


Yet there are times when I think about that baby girl. Sometimes the thoughts are expected—like around the anniversary of the miscarriage and around the due date I had been given. Other times, the thoughts of her are completely unexpected.


One of those unexpected moments occurred on May 17. I was standing in the church entry hall, greeting friends as they came in. The weekly announcements were flashing on the monitor on one wall. One slide flashed across the screen, announcing the birth of a new baby in our church. A baby girl named Rylee.


Seeing her name knocked the wind out of me. It was the name and spelling we had planned to use for our little girl. It’s an unusual spelling, and one I didn’t expect to see. I was so not prepared to see it, or to have the need to use the name for another child.


To make the moment worse, my mind flashed back to a conversation I’d had not ten minutes before. The pastor’s wife had talked to me about the baby. Her family is new to the church. Barb thought the Ladies of Faith might want to host a shower for the baby. She thought that would be a great way to celebrate the new baby and to make her family feel welcome. As the director of the Ladies of Faith, it would be up to me to talk to the family and arrange the shower. I love babies, so I said of course I would do it. Shower themes and game ideas started running through my head.


So now I find myself in the position of planning a baby shower for little Rylee.


To be honest, I am scared. This little child deserves to be celebrated. Her birth is a miracle. But can I do it? Can I celebrate her without letting my feelings of emptiness and jealousy ruin it?


Oh, Lord, please help me here. Help me put this Rylee and her family ahead of my own comfort. I want to show them Your love. And I can’t do it if I let my loss control my life. I want YOU to be the one in total control of my life.

Long Time No Post!

HI!!! Did you miss me? I missed you. I did, I did, oh yes I did! This last week without my computer about drove me insane. (I know, I know. Very short trip!) I did manage to write a review of a book I finished reading last week, as well as about 4 or 5 blog entries. Now on to the task of getting those all typed up. First, though, an update on what has been happening in the McMonigal household.


I had an appointment with the surgeon last week about my gall bladder. To my great surprise, he said that my gall bladder is perfectly normal, no reason to have it removed. I have mixed feelings on that. On the one hand, I am not looking forward to having more surgery, so hearing that my gall bladder is normal is a relief. At the same time, the pain is still there. Not knowing what is causing the pain is very annoying. I do have an appointment with a GI specialist on July 23. Again, nice that whatever is wrong is not so urgent that it has to be taking care of right now, but frustrating that I have to wait two months before finding an answer. At least I have learned how to manage the pain. I am making healthier choices when I eat, which is helping with getting my weight under control. I just would like to know what is wrong.


As frustrated as I have been to be without my computer for a week, I am so thankful that it was only my computer that I lost. There is a scorch mark in my carpet from the burning adapter cord. Had we not been right in here, we could have lost the house. The next day, I noticed that there is a burn mark on my 2 year old son’s shoe. I don’t even want to think about how my life would be different if I had a computer, but not my son.


My blog tour started this week. It’s been going rather well. It is so much fun to be able to talk to new people about my work. I haven’t sold any copies of Summertime yet, but I know I will! This Saturday, my parents are hosting a BBQ party for me (which reminds me, I have to make sure my friend is still going to make those Snickerdoodles for the party). My favorite ever teacher, Mrs. Niedzielski, called me last week. She is as excited as my parents are about my published books. She is hoping to be at the party this weekend. I really hope she can make it. I’ve kept in touch with her over the years, but I don’t think I have actually seen her for almost 10 years. The last time I saw her was at my wedding. It will be good to see her again. Though I can’t go by her suggestion that I call her Sue now. She will always be Mrs. N. to me!


Summertime was released on schedule. Next on my publishing schedule is The Ladies of Faith. Only “problem” is that I don’t think I am going to self-publish it. I’ve wrestled with this for a long time. On the one hand, if I self-publish I have full creative control over the book. At the same time, if I can get it into a traditional publisher, the book can reach a larger audience. There is a lot in that book that I think God wants people to read. I am not looking for a larger audience for my own glory, but for His. If He doesn’t want this picked up by a traditional publishing house, it won’t be picked up. And I am OK with that. But the more I think and pray about it, the more I feel like God is leading me to at least try to go the more traditional route with this one. I recently came across a woman who is new to being an agent, but has experience in the accusation department of a Christian publishing house. So my goal with the book now is to get the synopsis written and sent to her. I appreciate any and all prayers for this. I am not praying that this agent jumps at the chance to represent me (though that would be wonderful!). Rather, my prayer is that God’s will be done and that He helps me to accept His will and adjust my plans accordingly.

Morning Prayer

Dear Lord,

I know that every time I open Your word there is something that You want me to hear, something that is meant specifically for me. It is so amazing to me that You had me in mind all those years ago when the Bible was written. Thank You for loving me that much.

I pray, Lord, that I what I read this morning gets into my heart. Thank You for showing me what I need to know. Help me to apply it in my life the way that You want it applied. Help me to use Your word and Your instruction to become the woman You want me to be, the one You created me to be.

In the precious name of Jesus I pray.



Here is my review of Summertime:

Summertime is a Cinderella story for the Gen-Xers who dreamed of marrying that certain “boy band” member. Lynn did a great job, balancing the dream with the reality of life. Dementia is not an easy thing to deal with. Add single parenting and a budding career and you’ve got stress beyond belief. This book made me think of my early teen years, a certain boy band, and my dream of being on the arm of a certain member of that band. I no longer have that dream, only because I have my own Prince Charming. Thanks Lynn for the walk down Memory Lane.

Nichole Osborn

Summertime Ministry Contest

    My books are my ministry. I can share of myself and share my faith through books in ways I could never do with just my voice alone.


    What is your ministry?


    Seriously. To celebrate the launch of my newest novel, Summertime (available May 26 at, I want to hear all about the summer ministries your church is involved in. Drama teams? Summer camp? Vacation Bible School? Head on over to my website,, and sign the guestbook. Leave the name and location of your church and what summer activities the members of the church enjoy together. One church will win autographed copies of Forsaking the Call and Summertime. Also, the person who leaves the winning comment will be able to choose one of the two books to receive for free!


    This contest will begin today, May 4, and run until May 26, the day that Summertime becomes available for sale. Remember, only comments in the guest book of the website count!!!

Loving Your Man Without Losing Your Mind

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV

I love my husband. I don’t understand the man, but I do love him. I love the way he provides for our family, the way he cares about us, and takes care of us when we are sick. I love that he supports my writing career and that he takes his place as the spiritual head of our family seriously. I don’t understand why he gets cranky so easily and why when he is sick, he doesn’t want me to know it. I don’t understand why he thinks chasing a little dimpled ball around the grass, swinging at it with a metal stick is fun. And I really don’t understand why he sometimes makes it so difficult to love him!


Love is patient and kind. It is not rude, not proud, not selfish. But nowhere does God’s word say “love is easy” or “love is not difficult”. In fact, about the only thing in life more difficult than loving a man is understanding one! It’s enough to drive any woman insane.


Author Susie Davis, married to Will for over 20 years, understands this. In her book Loving Your Man Without Losing Your Mind, she takes a Biblical look at the differences in men and women. The message of this book? Keeping God first, understanding that we are different and then adapting ourselves to the differences—rather than forcing our husbands to adapt—are the keys to keeping sane and keeping the love alive.


My favorite part in this book was Chapter Eight, entitled “A Failure to Yield”. One of the most confusing (and often annoying) scripture passages for women is found in Ephesians chapter five. Verses 7 and 8 say “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord: (NIV). Ms. Davis explains that the word submit has negative connotations in today’s world, but this scripture is not saying women should do everything their husband’s demand. Doing that will make a wife into a doormat. No, rather she says “submit” means “yield”. We are to yield our hearts to Christ, and then yield them to our husbands. This is a way of working together, of making compromises for the sake of marital bliss and putting your husband’s needs above your own.


Through reading this book, I learned a lot about myself and how to become the woman God intends for me to to. I would highly recommend the book for any woman wanting to keep her mind intact while giving her heart to her husband.

Rainy Birthday

My baby is 2 years old. OK, so technically, he is 1 year, 364 days old. Still, his second birthday party is this afternoon. We planned a cookout for him, with hot dogs and chips—his favorites. Invited his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents to celebrate with us.


And it looks like we are gonna be rained out. UGH! Michigan weather is so unpredictable.


I am more concerned, though, with who will come. For some reason, we don’t much of a response for our children’s birthday parties. My in laws will be here—the ones who are not in jail, anyway. No, I am not kidding. Laugh if you want. Half of my husband’s siblings have prison records. The ones who don’t enjoy spoiling our boys, so I know they are not likely to miss this party.


It’s my family that disappoints me at birthday time. I don’t care about the gifts. Heaven knows money is tight for us, and we sometimes don’t take more than a card to a niece or nephew’s birthday celebration. But we are still there to celebrate. That is what the party is about. Celebrating the life of the birthday child. Yes, my son sees my parents and even my sisters more often than he sees my husband’s siblings. But does that mean his special day should be overlooked?

A Chat with Jo Linsdell

Once again, I am happy to have author Jo Linsdell visiting Lynn’s Corner. I have had a great time getting to know Jo over the past few days. As a woman who has always dreamed about visiting Italy, learning about the country from a woman who lives there has been a lot of fun. I can’t wait to log into her site and enjoy PROMO DAY with Jo this morning!

Lynn McMonigal: Jo, you went to Rome for a 3-day visit in 2001. What made you decide to stay?

Jo Linsdell: I actually had my money stolen in Paris on the way here and so got myself a job as a receptionist in a hostel on my third day in Rome. I’d only thought I’d stay for a few weeks at that point. The idea was to get together a little bit of money so that I could carry on my travels around Europe.

Weeks passed by quickly and before I knew it I’d been here for 6 months. At that point I realised that Rome had become my home and got an office job writing for the dental industry and rented an appartment.

Lynn: How is daily life in Italy different that daily life in the UK?

Jo: It’s warmer for a start :) I don’t know if it’s the beautiful monuments everywhere you look or because there are more parks and green areas than in the UK, but sometimes I forget that Rome is a Capital city.

Italians also make more time in their days for relaxing. They work for a living but don’t have the same live for work attitude that there is in the UK.

Lynn: Do you live in an area where you interact with a lot of tourists?

Jo: I live in Cinecittà, which is where the film and TV studios are. It’s on the main metro line and so tourists often come here. It’s less than a 10 minute ride to the Centre so I can easily get to interact with tourists.

Lynn: What has been the response to your book?

Jo: Fantastic! I couldn’t be happier. I’ve had several great reviews published and have received quite a few emails from people interested in having a copy and knowing more about Italy.

I’ve also had lots of compliments on the cover design which I’m also proud of as I designed it myself. I took all the photo’s myself too. I had the help of a graphic design friend, Burt Crismore, to give it the professional finishing touches.

Lynn: Do you have family in the UK? Is this book something they will be likely to use when they come visit?

Jo: Yes my family are all in the UK. They have already used it when they came to visit and said it made things a lot easier. My mum managed to shop without speaking English and had a great time doing it. She was so proud of herself :)


Lynn: What is your favorite Italian food? Can you make it or do you have to go out to get it?

Jo: Unfortunately I’m Celiac and so have to adapt most Italian food. I don’t tend to eat out often but when I do I go to RomAntica as my husband works there and so I know I’m safe. I love cooking though so it’s not a problem.

Carbonara is one of my favourite dishes. There are lots of good Italian restaurants who do great fish dishes. They have a very good selection of hams and cheeses here too.

Lynn: Describe your favorite place in Italy.

Jo: Piazza di Spagna is my favourite place as it’s where I met my husband. In the evenings we would go there in large groups and play guitar and sing. It was big social point for young Italians and tourists. Everyone would just hang out, chatting and people watching. In the evenings it’s lite up, giving it a very romantic atmosphere.

Lynn: Do you speak any other languages? Would you be interested in writing a similar book for a different language?

Jo: Although I studied both French and German at school I can’t speak either.

It would be nice to turn it into a series of phrasebooks for all countries but I need to do a lot more studying before that can happen.

Lynn: Thank you, Jo!! Is there anything else you want people to know about you?

Jo: Thank you for having me. I’d just like to add that anyone who purchases a copy of Italian for Tourists Pocket Edition from on Saturday 9th May will get a free e-book of their choice from my collection by sending me proof of purchase to .


And don’t forget about PROMO DAY, happening all day long today, May 9, 2009. Stop by to learn more about promoting your writing on line!

Jo Linsdell and PROMO DAY

Welcome to the second part of my interview with Jo Linsdell, author of Italian for Tourists: Pocket Edition. In addition to her book, Jo has been busy organizing PROMO DAY 2009. Set for Saturday, May 9, 2009, this is a day-long event for those in the writing industry. This sounds like a very interesting event. If you are a writer a reader or just curious, read on to learn more!

Lynn McMonigal: What can you tell me about PROMO DAY?

Jo Linsdell: PROMO DAY is a FREE online international event for people in the writing industry. A whole day dedicated to promoting, networking and learning.

Lynn: Where did the idea for PROMO DAY come from?

Jo: PROMO DAY came about because I was looking for opportunities to promote my books using the internet at little or no cost. After attending the Muse Online Writers Conference back in 2006, I searched the internet for similar events aimed at what to do after you’ve written the book and found none. I decided to fill the void and so PROMO DAY was born. PROMO DAY is a great opportunity to network with other members of the industry, take part in online workshops and promote and best of all it’s FREE

Lynn: Is this the first time you have done an event like this? Do you plan to do it again?

Jo: This is actually the third time I do PROMO DAY. This is the first time it has online workshops though so it’s a lot bigger this year than in the past editions.

It is a annual event taking place in May. People can sign up for the mailing list at to be kept up to date on information regarding this year’s and future events.

Lynn: Will you be leading all of the workshops?

Jo: No each workshop is presented by different experts from the industry. These guys really know their stuff! They each have great tips and advice to share and attendees will have the opportunity to ask them questions during the workshops.

Lynn: What sort of Workshops will be available?

Jo: Workshops taking place during PROMO DAY 2009:

Times are shown in Central European Time.

14:00 Lael Johnson – Blogging and Journaling

15:00 John Evans – The Age of Networking: Tips and Tricks to Survive in Today’s information Age

16:00 Karina Fabian – Marketing for Beginners

17:00 John Desjarlais – Finding an Agent

18:00 Carolyn Howard Johnson – Query Letters as Promotion: Let’s Make Them Picture Perfect!

19:00 Elysabeth Eldering- Hosting Authors on Virtual Book Tours

20:00 Joyce Anthony – Promoting with Twitter

21:00 Ron Berry – Character websites

22:00 Devon Ellington – Creating and maintaining a successful writer’s blog.

23:00 Carol Denbow – Technical Aspects


Lynn: Do participants need to preregister for the event?

Jo: No registration is necessary. Just turn up on the day and join in the fun!

Lynn: What sort of response have you had to this event?

Jo: This year’s response has been huge. I’m really quite blown away by it all. The media attention has been greater than I ever imagined it could be. Publishers have been telling all their authors to go, people have been promoting in their newsletters, websites and blogs. My google alert has gone crazy!

Lynn: Is there anything else you want people to know about you, PROMO DAY, or your books?

Jo: Everyone is welcome to take part in PROMO DAY. Avid readers, writers, authors, publishers, editors, graphic designers, virtual assistants etc… Anyone with an interest in books and writing, from anywhere in the world. I look forward to seeing you all there.

I’d just like to add that anyone who purchases a copy of Italian for Tourists Pocket Edition from on Saturday 9th May will get a free e-book of their choice from my collection by sending me proof of purchase to [email protected].

Author Jo Linsdell

Jo Linsdell, Author of Italian for Tourists

Jo Linsdell, Author of Italian for Tourists

I  am pleased to have author Jo Linsdell visiting my blog this week! Jo has written the book Italian for Tourists: Pocket Edition. She is also the organizer of PROMO DAY, an international event for anyone in the writing industry. For the next few days, I will be sharing with you a little more about Jo, her books, and PROMO DAY.

Here is an interview with Jo, so you can get to know her better.


What’s your personal background? I came to Rome Italy from the UK in June 2001. I originally came for 3 days but feel in love with the city and decided to stay. After all these years I’m still here, married to an Italian (with whom I have a son) and have no plans to leave any time soon.

Who is your intended readership? I created this book for tourists. There are a lot of phrasebooks out there but they all seem to want to give as much information as possible, a lot of it irrelevant to a tourist who just wants to get by for the couple of days or weeks that he’s in Italy. This book is designed to be a basic guide to the Italian language covering phrases and words most needed by tourists.


Italian for Tourists, Pocket Edition

Italian for Tourists, Pocket Edition

Why did you write this book?



I came to Italy with the plan of staying for 3 days and figured I could get by for such a short stay using English. With this in mind I hadn’t prepared for the fact that Italians might not speak English. In fact a lot of them don’t or if they do it’s very limited. I felt rude not being able to thank or greet people in Italian, after all I was in Italy. If an Italian came to England not being able to speak English how far would he get? I got myself a phrasebook to help me but a lot of the information was irrelevant and it took ages to find what I needed. I wrote this book bearing all this in mind. A tourist doesn’t need to know everything about Italian grammar and the in’s and out’s of renting an apartment. They want to have an easy to use reference book of the language they will need to use and understand during their stay.

How did you research your book? I’ve been living here for 7 years now and from my own experience I know the sort s of things that are useful to know when you first come here. I also worked in hostels and as a tour guide and know what information people used to ask me for.

Other books by Jo Linsdell:

 A Guide to Weddings in ,  ISBN: 978-1-4092-4489-9

 Italian for Tourists (1st Edition)


Il Dolce Natale: Christmastime in

 Some risks are worth taking

 La Befana

 The Patron Saint of Lovers

Free Promotional Techniques: Ways to market your books

 All are available for purchase from