Sunday, November 21, 2010


*deep breath*


Yes, one year ago today I sat down at the computer and registered my url: I agonized over what I should title the blog, (you all know I'm terrible
 at naming things), figured out fonts and colors and started adding my favorite blogs that I was already visiting. Chose the right picture for my profile, took a deep breath and wrote my FIRST POST

Since then I have blogged 350 times! I would say I am just a tad obsessed. :-) And as I scanned through the list of posts I came across one of my older posts that I think might be one of my favorites. I have held giveaways, book reviews and introduced authors to you, my blogging public. But I think some of my favorite posts are the devotionals, they have proven a great tonic for many a spiritual ailment for me. :-)

I have met 252 WONDERFUL people that have supported and encouraged me to no end. This is ALL for you! I never did celebrate hitting 200 followers, but don't think for a MINUTE that I forgot. I was actually waiting for this to combine it into one event. So today one of the prizes (details soon) will be taken strictly from the follower count. As a huge THANK YOU to you for how much I appreciate your support and enjoyment of this blog. God is SO good! He took a desire of mine and increased it a hundred times more than I could EVER expect!

Now let's get on with the party right?? Sorry the post is so long, hopefully you won't mind who you see what I have for today's BLOWOUT!! :-)

Are you ready?!?!?!?!?!? I AM! I was BORN ready! Hehe. :-)

What is your favorite party memory?

Julie Lessman: Well, as much as I HATE surprise parties (with a “passion,” I might add!), one of my millionaire sisters (I have three and I’m not real sure what I’m doing wrong … J) threw me a surprise party when I turned 47 because she figured it would throw me off since it was an odd number. And I have to tell you, walking into her huge great room and seeing about a 100 of my closest friends and family SO blew me away, that I think I started crying on the spot (yeah, imagine that!).

My sister had it catered (to-die for appetizers and desserts) and I still remember being overwhelmed with love while opening a mountain of presents in a massive hearth room with a crackling fire (it was a chilly November, of course), where people circled the perimeter of the room. I will never forget the shock and the thrill of so many people I loved being in the same room at the same time—AMAZING!! So much so that it almost cured me of my dislike of surprise parties … almost! :)

Mary Connealy: The one that comes to mind first is a birthday party when I was about. . .ten maybe. We didn’t do the birthday parties back then like they do now. Big events. I’m from a family with eight children and we always just did our birthdays with family. One grandma lived about a mile away from us and she’d come. Cake, candles, that’s it. Everyone got a slice of cake and it was GONE.

But we each got ONE real birthday party. That was my mom’s rule. And my birthday, which is in March, was always just so DREARY. Either blowing rain or dirty melting snow or a blizzard. The weather was my birthday ENEMY. But my year to have my party, it was just a perfect spring day. I invited every kid from my school. We went to a one-room country school house so that was about. . .ten kids, plus my brothers and sisters. So huge and NOT huge. . .subtracting my brothers and sisters who would have gotten to come over to my house anyway. The kids just all came home with me and we played. Nothing organized. Cake for everyone. That’s the extent of it. But we had FUN. Ran around outside for a couple of hours, which since it was SPRING AT LAST, we all enjoyed.
I think we’ve lost the knack for having simple fun.

If you could invite one person to a party of your own making, who would it be?

Julie: Well, if we’re talking one person who ever lived, then hands-down, it would be Jesus Christ. If one author who ever lived, it would be either Margaret Mitchell or Harper Lee. If one friend that I have today, then I’m afraid it would have to be more than one and I can’t narrow that down. But … if you asked me what “group” I’d like to invite to a party, then I would say The Seekers (who will be coming to my house for said party next year at ACFW in St. Louis) AND … are you ready???  I would KILL to be able to have a party for my favorite blogger/reader friends (like you, Case!) because I cannot imagine anything more fun than meeting good friends I have made on the Net and talking books!!

I can’t decide. So, I guess I’ll invite my one and only grandchild. I would like some one on one time with her.

Sniff, sniff. Fine Mary. I'll go now...... At least JULIE likes me. ;-)

Describe your perfect party attire.

Julie: Grin. Keep in mind that I am an immature teenager trapped in a 60-year-old body, so I would go with tight jeans, high heels (which would come off immediately on the dance floor!!) a flashy top (satin or rhinestones, maybe??) and long, dangly earrings. Can’t help it —I’m a sucker for glitz.

Mary: I’m the world’s most casual person. Leave me in my jeans.

Where would you hold your party? And who would you like to attend?

Julie: I would LOVE to hold my party on my downstairs deck, which runs the length of the house and overlooks gorgeous woods (with lots of dear and hawks and squirrels, etc.). We have a fire pit down there, too, so when it gets dark, we light it and the tiki-style torches for PRIMO ambiance, which I love!! And as mentioned above, I think a party with the Seekers and all my favorite bloggers/reader friends would be to die for!! We actually had my son’s out-of-town wedding reception down there with 150 people and it was a blast! But … don’t expect twice-baked potatoes with your initials piped in because I am SO over the Martha Stewart Syndrome disease!! J

Mary: Well, gee. I guess, since this is a fantasy, I’ll go to Maui. . .only magically to avoid the long flight. . .and all my kids can come to and their spouses and the one precious granddaughter. Oh, my husband, too. And what the heck, Casey, you’re invited.

Ahh, thanks! Maybe you do like me after all. Phew. :-)

What would a party look like with you and your characters all in one place at the same time?

Julie: Oh, man, I just got warm, wonderful chills!!! It would be like old-home week for sure, because I have lived with these people for years now and they are … ahem … just as passionate and crazy as I am, so I’m pretty sure it would be a blast. Except, I would like to have it at the O’Connor’s house on Donovan Street where I could sit in the kitchen with the girls and talk while the hunks hang out in the parlor playing chess. J

Mary: It’d probably be a cattle round-up. They’d all be working and I’d be lucky if they’d take a break to drink coffee. I write tough, no-nonsense characters with hearts of gold, though sometimes it takes some digging to find the gold.

LOVE you ladies! Thank you SO much for making my celebration such a spectacular event! You guys are what have made this past year so very memorable. Wow, I still can't believe I have been doing this for a whole year. I honestly thought this might be a fad that would wear off in time, but I don't think so! I certainly don't want it to be so. :-)

Here we go! Hang onto your hats and READ CAREFULLY, okay? :-)

For Followers only! As an appreciation thank you! I will draw winners from the count on the sidebar, so join the blog if you want to be entered! :-)

Here is how it works: One follower will receive their choice of one of Julie Lessman's FABULOUS books (plus a top CBA book)
And another follower will receive Mary Connealy's very latest hit, Wrangler in Petticoats

Feel free to enter all giveaways, that is what makes today a BLOWOUT!

One winner will receive: their choice of one of Julie Lessman's books (plus a top CBA book-yes this IS correct! :-)
One winner will receive Mary Connealy's latest hit, Wrangler in Petticoats (yes this IS correct! :-)
One winner will receive Susan May Warren's very latest novel (never before read! Thanks Susie!) Nightingale
One winner will receive THIS bracelet!

One winner will receive a chapter critique (from me), up to 15 pages!
One winner will receive a gently read copy of Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart

Whew! I think I got it all! I hope so! Here is how this will work: you have all day long to enter. Winners from ALL THE POSTS will be announced by 7:00pm Pacific Time. If you commented first on any posts and then today you will get an EXTRA shot at the prize you want to win. Neat huh? :-)

So if you didn't get the chance to visit the previous posts, I hope you will now, it was great fun and it hasn't ended yet! Thanks for making this such a fun year!

Food is being brought in. Appetizers and deserts, bring something if you wish and enjoy the dancing! What is a party without dancing? Grab a partner and start swinging, I've turned it up loud! :-)

There is plenty for everyone!




  1. Am I first!?! Thank you for entering me into this AWESOME giveaway!!

    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal net

  2. Please enter me for a chance at one of Julie's books plus a top CBA book. What a generous offer! Thanks for a fantastic week, Casey!

  3. Oooops! I forgot to leave my email address because I was trying to beat Michelle (only I didn't know it was her, if that makes sense!) . . . reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  4. *Sigh* I'm always so late to these shindigs! ;)

    What a super fun post and what super fun interviews! LOVE Julie and Mary--you guys are wonderful!

    And Casey, HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY!!! You really do know how to throw a party! If it's not too creepy for me to keep repeating this, I really do hope we get to meet soon... I know we'd have an awesome time hanging out together! ;)

    Anyway, you have had so many great giveaways this week... I am definitely looking forward to this evening!!!

    I'd love a chance to win that bracelet, Casey! Being a previous customer, I know your jewelry is top-notch! ;) Thanks!



  5. WOW! Congratulations to you and your blog, Casey! You really went all out with this giveaway! I LOVED the interview with both of my FAVORITE authors! I am a long time follower of both your blogs. They are truly amazing blogs and shine for Jesus!

    I'd love to be in the drawing for the Julie Lessman books (I have all of her books but I know that they would make a ROCKIN' good Christmas gift for one of my friends*GRIN*!) especially since she's like the total all time FAVORITE author of mine *GRINS AGAIN*.

    Or the beautiful bracelet you made will be just fine too :o)

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

  6. Casey,
    This has been such a fun week! Thanks for all the opportunities to win such great prizes. If my name is drawn today, I'd love to win the bracelet. I am a jewelry/bling diva!!


  7. Casey,

    You host a great party and a great blog. It has been one wonderful week stopping by and seeing the wonderful generosity of you and some of your writer friends. God bless you all today and through the coming year. Today is my birthday and I will be celebrating with my family today as well.

    Many Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  8. Congratulations on your Blogoversay. :) What a wonderful and generous giveaway. I'm not a writer but I'm definitely a reader and love jewelery.Thank you for the opportunity to win.
    Carol L.


    And what the hay -- I get up at 6:45 a.m. to get a jump on the party and the comment section is crowded already!!! Should of slept in, I guess.

    Mare, I had to laugh at the party attire question -- talk about polar opposites!!! You're country casual and I'm dressed up like a Christmas tree, but that's okay ... 'tis the season!! And you're SOOO right, my friend, I DO "like" you TONS!!!

    Casey,I agree with Amber and Cindy -- you sure know how to throw a shindig, girl!! Thanks for a great week, a great blog and a great friendship!

    Hugs and more hugs,

  10. Wow, great party! There sure has been lots of food! That may be what I like best though, haha. I would love to win in your giveaway. What great prizes! I don't know if I could pick a book, they all sound great!

  11. WOW! How terrific! What great gifts! This is quite the snazzy party!
    thanks for hosting!
    reginahott at gmail dot com

  12. This was a great interview. This party has been very organized and well thought out. Congratulations Casey! gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

  13. Casey, thanks for letting me join in the Blogaversary. You're throwing quite a party over here.

    I think Julie's answers and mine are a total study in contrast. It's no wonder I love Julie so much. She's the functioning side of the brain. We won't go into what I am.

    And I'm sorry I yelled at you in typing.

    When do I get to leave for Maui, by the way. That was part of the deal, right? You'd send me there???


  14. Wow, you don't mess around when you throw a party, do you!? :) This is awesome. I love your questions to the authors. Can't wait to see who wins all your fabulous prizes!


  15. LOL Michelle, yes you are first! :D

    Renee, you guys both hit send at the exact same time! Got down to the nanoseconds there. :)

    Amber, it's not creepy, just so exciting to imagine!! I think we would hit it off really well. :)

    Ahh, Molly, that really means a lot to me, thanks for joining in on the party here!

    Edwina, another bling lady! Love my bracelets, earrings, necklaces too. :D

    Cindy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Everyone give Cindy a Happy Birthday! Maybe you'll win something here to make it complete. :)

    Carol, there are lots here even if you aren't a writer. I am sure you are a reader, right? :)

    JuJu *giggles back* It's a hobby. :)

    Julie!!! Thanks for being here to celebrate!! It means so much and I appreciate you ten fold! But I think you already know that oh so well. ;)

    Patsy, LOL, I know there are SO MANY! I keep waiting to realize I forgot to post one. :)

    Gina and Adge, THANK YOU! I had a long time to plan this all out and it was SO FUN!

    LOL, Mary nothing to apologize. I had a kick out of it and OF COURSE had to return the favor. And I promise if a rich uncle (do I have one of those?? I don't know...) happens to die and leave me an inheritance, you, me and Julie will go to Maui. :D

    Sara, hopefully one of those people will be you!! :D

    Hey, SO GLAD YOU ALL ARE HERE! THANK YOU! It touches and blesses me more than you will EVER KNOW!

    Sorry the music is late. The DJ had some excuse, but I'm not sure I buy it. Anyway, it's here now, so I hope you will return to join in the dancing!! :D

  16. Casey,

    You KNOW how to throw a party, girlfriend...i'm enjoying every minute celebrating w/ you.

    Happy anniversary :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  17. LOL, Thanks Karen!! Glad you got here to P-A-R-T-Y!!! :D

  18. Congratulations on a wonderful blog, Casey!
    The food is fabulous today!

    I really like your reviews of the latest and greatest Christian books out there. You've introduced me to quite a few new authors. Up here (Canada) in our bookstores, we don't get the Christian authors (or at least very few) so I have to order everything on-line. And if I don't know about an author, I don't know to order their books!

    Keep up the great work - and your writing. One of these days, I'll be ordering your books! LOL.


    PS. Hi Julie & Mary!!

  19. Oh my goodness. Too many prizes to choose from!

    I love how well you planned all week Casey :) Great job and congrats on and official year!


  20. Casey, I returned to Party Central after church to read the older posts you linked to. You expressed such important thoughts about giving our creativity to God and trusting Him with the outcome. I said a quick prayer for your continued success and future! Blessings and thanks again for hosting fun interviews and over-the-top, stupendous giveaways and all the ways you enhance the blogosphere! . . . And I got to enjoy the music this time!

  21. Thanks for the giveaways, and happy anniversary. Please enter me in the drawing for Mary's or Susan's book.
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

  22. What fun to see your first posts! Congrats on your anniversary. I love Julie and Mary's party answers too. So fun! :)

  23. Great week and a great blog!!

    I'm so grateful to have met you online, Casey! I think I'm going to put something in your inbox...don't worry nothing you have to "work" on.

    OK, here's to tell everyone Casey does a KILLER critique and my daughter LOVES Casey's jewelry. So I'm going to enter for the jewelry.

    I wouldn't mind one of Julie's as her books have been making the rounds here.


  24. What a fun time Casey!
    Thanks so much for all the interviews and giveaways!
    I would like to be entered to get Mary's book!

  25. Congrats on a fantastic birthday party, Casey!!YOu have a cute blog! And w hat fun interviews! :)

    Please enter me for all except Julie's and Mary's--I have all their books already. :)

    missytippens [at]

  26. okay I wanna PARTY Julie I had a surprise party, mine was when I turned 16 and I wasn't a happy camper as I was at a girlfriends house and we were waiting for our dates to pick us up, they were extra late. then they took us to my house..hmmm...and there were all these teenagers there for a party for me....Julie I cried most of the night!!!!!!! love the blog, and books!!!!!!! so hope I'm

  27. Congratulations on your Blogoversary, Casey!!! :) And thank you for such a wonderful party!
    I would love to be entered for all the giveaways, except the writing critique(I just haven't wrote in awhile). I have some of the books, but if I won any of them, it would make a great Christmas present!!

    bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

  28. CASEY!!! Sooo much fun to see so many friends here and it's killing me not to comment, but you are doing such a great job and I don't want to hog, so I will just say seeing so many cool friends makes this FEEL just like an actual non-cyberspace party. Of course, if I start licking the desserts on my moniter, then I'm in trouble ...

    And, Virginia -- YEAH!! You made it!! Good luck, sweetie.


    *Hannah raises her "You're #1" foam finger in the air*


    I know that we'll be seeing you for many more to come, most likely. Great to see so many of my favorite people here too : D


  30. Congratulations, Casey, on your blogversary! This is my first time to visit. I found out from Julie Lessman's post (Thanks, Julie!)
    Loved it :)
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  31. Happy Birthday:)
    What a wonderful way to celebrate it!

    I am so happy that you interviewed both Mary and Julie on the final day!

    I would be happy winning any of the prizes, but I deeply want to win an autographed books of Julie's:):):)
    She just happens to be my favorite author:)

    Many Blessings,
    chakasa58 at gmail dot com

  32. This is an amazing giveaway!! Congrats on your blogversary!! I have all of Julie's books!! They are amazing! I really want to read Mary's book!! Thank you for the chance to win.


    jmschwindt at cox dot net

  33. Amazing giveaways! Very cool :).

    I'm going to have to poke around here a bit - Julie's Facebook posted pointed me this direction.

    Off to look...

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  34. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. Congratulations on your 1 year of blogging.

  35. Oooh, such a fun party! All the food looks so good! Congratulations on 1 year, Casey!

    I'd love to win one of Julie's or Mary's books or the bracelet! Thanks!


  36. WooHoo! I have all Julie's books but I'd love to be in the race for any of the other giveaways for today. Thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  37. This has been the best week EVER! Congrats on the official 1 year blogiversary! I can't believe it has been a year already. I can't wait to see what the next year holds for you.

    Julie and Mary I would LOVE to party with you ladies ANY day of the week. I have the feeling that my sides would hurt me for a month for all the laughing. I guess the good thing would be we'd burn off all of the calories from that yummy food!

    I'd love to be entered to win the bracelet since I've already read Mary's and Julie's books (they are all AWESOME BTW!) thank you so much.

    XOXO~ Renee

  38. Susan, thank you! Your comment means so much to me and it is THIS support that has made blogging such a treasure. I was JUST thanking God for people like you!!

    Ariel, thank you, thank you! I have loved sharing it with you!!

    Renee Ann, you came back!! I was hoping you would to hear the party music.  God bless you for your sweet comment. I can’t tell you how much that touches me deeply! I wish I had enough to give something to each and every one of you!! I am blessed by people such as you too! In Julie’s words, MAJOR HUGS! 

    Cynthia, you are entered!

    Joy, so glad you could come by! Weren’t the answers great??

    Julia, Julia, Julia, be watching for my email reply, because God is AMAZING!!! I couldn’t be more thankful for you!

    Leah, you are welcome, I love doing them!

    Missy!! Thank you! So glad you could swing on by! I should do a seeker week or something and get you all on here. 

    Virginia, welcome, welcome to the blog and party!! So glad you could come on by. You are entered for sure!! Here’s to hoping your name is drawn later. 

    Bluerose, thank YOU for coming! Books do make awesome gifts, so glad you could swing by to enter. 

    Julie, ROFLOL, if you do lick your monitor, just remember it isn’t my fault!! :D And comment away! I couldn’t be more thrilled than to see your cheerful face pop up all over the place. 

    Hannah! Those oooo’s are off the CHART! Thank you for your enthusiastic response, made my afternoon!!! 

    Miriam, love your screen name! That is so very true.  So glad you could come by to visit, you are always welcome!! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

    Charlotte Kay, I KNOW those autographed Julie books are HARD to come by!! I have wanted one for a long time.  Hope you end up getting one here. 

    Jennifer, you are entered lady! 
    CarolM, so glad Julie pointed you my way. She’s amazing isn’t she???

    Tore, for sure you are!! 

    Leanne, thank you! You are entered for those gifts absolutely. 

    Apple Blossom, not a problem! You are in the running for sure.

    Renee (steelergirl), LOL, thank you! It has been so much fun to plan and get ready for and I can’t wait to draw winners tonight, but a bit sad it all has to come to an end. But we have to get started on year 2 right?? 

    Now I need a turn on that dance floor. Who wants to join me??

    Walking on sunshine… YES I AM!!!!!!! :D

  39. Congrats! Great party and fun interviews!

    umdmaurer at gmail dot com

  40. In my rush to be "first", I didn't say everything that I wanted to say. :-)

    HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY, CASEY!!! Like many others have already said, you sure know how to throw a party!! Great food, great music, and even better company to share in all the fun!! Thanks for all of your time and effort. I'm sure I speak for all, when I say it's much appreciated. :D

    Mary and Julie!! Loved your answers!!

    Can't wait 'til 7pm!! Oh, the suspense!!! :D


  41. Congrats on your blog! That's awesome...I would love to be put in this contest. I definitely wouldn't mind winning a book :)

  42. great party! just wish I would have joined earlier! I was the most surprised when my sister from CO surprised me for my birthday this year! she just walked in my kitchen and said "Happy Bday!!" and then we had a fun day of shopping, pedicures and topped off with a surprise party at my house later that night... isn't family wonderful?
    love Julie Lessman's books - looking forward to the next one!
    keep writing Julie!

  43. CASE ... this was a TOTAL BLAST, girlfriend and I agree with everybody else that you sure know how to throw a shindig!! Thanks for allowing me to be a part of it.

    Can't wait to see what you do for your second anniversary!!

    Hugs and more hugs,

  44. Sounds like a fab party and great friends.
    I would love to win either Julie or Mary's book. Love them both.
    Thanks for the great giveaway.
    Happy blogoversay...

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  45. Late to the party as usual, but I just had to pop in and party with my Seeker pals Mary & Julie.

    What a terrific celebration you've had, Casey! Congratulations again!


Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

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