Thursday, December 28, 2006

Vickie McDonough's, Spinning Out of Control

Woo wee! I just finished reading, Spinning Out of Control. It's one of those stories you don't want to put down. And what an opener. Vickie seized my attention right from the beginning and kept it riveted throughout the whole story. I wanted to camp out with Micah, Amy, Jonah, Sookie, and Tierney. I loved that even her villain Hank wasn't a total creep. You end up kind of feeling sorry for the poor schmo.

Spinning Out Of Control reminds me of a mail order bride story. Amy's homeless. So she goes to her cousin Kathryn's farm in hopes that she will let her stay. But when she arrives, she finds: Kathryn in labor, a lone black man, who quickly rushes out the door at Amy's arrival, a little girl, and no husband. And I'm not going to tell you anymore. You have to buy the book. *smiling*

Happy reading!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I can't believe I've waited so long to post my fantastic news. It's either insanity or excitement. I'm hoping it's the latter. hehe. And if I'm dreaming, I hope never to awaken. On December 14, I was notified by Heartsong Presents that in April of 2007 I will be getting a book contract for my story, THE BRIDE WORE COVERALLS. Its tentative release date is February 2008. PRAISE THE LORD! Thank you, Jesus!

This would not even be possible if it weren't for all the endless hours Staci Stallings spent mentoring, coaching, teaching, and helping me. For over two years now, she's hung in there with me, constantly encouraging me. So many times, when I wanted to quit, she wouldn't let me. Her pep talks and Godly wisdom pulled me through the slump every time. There aren't words enough to say how grateful I am to her. Thank you SO much, Staci. I love you.

Also, when I first joined the ACFW, ACRW at the time, Jeanne Leach took me under her wing. She, too, mentored me and constantly encouraged me. She never gave up on me and my endless questions either. Thank you, Jeanne. Luv ya lots.

And, I can't forget to say thanks to all the many people on the ACFW loop who stood beside me and helped me too. They are to numerous to name. You know who you are. Thank you...thank you...thank you!

This has been the best Christmas present ever!

Debra Ullrick

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wow... it's been a long time since I posted

A lot has happened since I last posted. My beloved sister-in-law, Linda, was in ICU at the hospital for over two weeks. During that time it was an up and down emotional roller coaster ride. One day she would be doing better, than the next she was fighting for her life. Then she'd get better, then something new would come up. Finally, when we all thought she was out of the woods, she passed away. It was such a shock. I miss her terribly. She was the one person who understood me completely. She believed in me like no one else ever has. Yes, my husband supports me and believes in me, but he could never relate to me in the ways that Linda did.

My husband and I live at my brother's house, and have since August. While I love my family dearly, it's just not the same here without her. So, please, if any of you read this, pray that God will open up a way for us to get our own place. We need a financial miracle. I don't want to trespass on my brother's kindness any longer.

During this holiday season, there is one thing that I am truly grateful for... Linda was a born again Christian.

I will try and post another short story sometime this week.
God bless you all.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ever Changing

I wrote a novel a long time back. After numerous rewrites, edits, and critiques, I felt it was finally finished. Then, I asked a few someones to read it. Well, after listening to these people... people whose stories I admired and people whom I respected, I set off to make the suggested changes. I ended up rewriting the whole thing, and pretty soon it was no longer the story that I had started with. Nothing made sense anymore. The plot wasn't the same. The characters weren't the same. It's not that those peoples suggestions were wrong, on the contrary, but it wasn't what the story was about. My story ended up sounding like a million others. My voice sounded like a million others. I found myself disappointed and disillusioned; to the point where it became a chore to write. The fun of writing had vanished. I talked with my dear friend Staci Stallings and told her what I was feeling. She told me she had just written an article that explained what I was going through. With her permission, I have posted it below. I hope this helps and blesses those that read it, as much as it has me.
Thanks, Staci, for restoring my love for writing. And for reminding me to write the stories on my heart.

And the Greatest of These is Love
All writers know about faith. They know what an act of faith it is to put words on a paper the first time. They know the faith it takes to search for the right word, the right phrase, the right nugget of truth that will set off their work as top-notch. Ultimately, they know the gut-wrenching faith it takes to turn their written babies over to someone who * gasp * might not like it.
Hope? There’s always hope. Even after you’ve been kicked to the curb by an agent who probably didn’t even read the first sentence of your query, hope prevails. After a few days of chocolate and Kleenexes, hope surges again. Maybe the next editor will love it, buy it, publish it, send it to be included next to John Grisham’s on the front table of every bookstore in the country. Then it will hit the New York Times Bestsellers list for 97 weeks and make you a millionaire. Don’t deny it. You know that hope is real.
One element, however, sometimes gets lost when faith and hope begin to emerge in our writing journey. That element is love. Sure, we love it, or we wouldn’t be stressing ourselves out to learn how to do it better, to find someone to publish it, and to put ourselves on the chopping block of rejection time and again. It’s almost a given that we love it. The problem is that we forget that we love it.
As a character who loves music in one of my books says, “You know me, I’d play for the squirrels if they’d listen.”
Too often the longer we write, the less we remember what we love about it. Why? Because our focus shifts from writing for love to writing so others will love what we’ve written. Let me explain.
When we write for the love of it, every frustratingly magnificent moment is a challenge like none other. Being able to shape the ephemerally picturesque stories in our mind into something coherent and fluid is like no other experience. The very act of putting that last piece into our word puzzle has no peer for a peak experience. You know what I’m talking about, or at least you used to.
Remember the journals you kept, the poems you wrote, the short stories that are still tucked away in some old notebook. You wrote those not to gain love but because they were burning a hole in your soul to be put on paper. What happened to that?
What happened is you began writing not for love but to gain love. Others—those you believe are much more knowledgeable—began to convince you to twist your writing to meet what they believe is marketable or publishable. And so you let your love for writing morph into wanting your writing to be loved… sometimes at all costs. You twisted yourself into a pretzel, learning perfect grammar, point of view, the “correct” way to write a marketable manuscript.
Learning and growing in your writing is one thing, but when that gets so tangled in the rules, that you forget why you started in the first place, that is something altogether different. Love is the key to everything in this life. As the Bible says so eloquently:
In the end three things shall last, faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love. –1 Corinthians 13:13
It’s a lesson every writer should take to heart.
Copyright Staci Stallings, 2005
Want something great to read? Check out the previews for Staci’s latest two novels “Cowboy” and “Lucky.” You can read the first three chapters of each for free at: You’ll feel better for the experience!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

As promised.

Hello again. I decided it was time to post another of my published short-short stories. Please feel free to comment.

God bless you all.

My Pleasure, Ma’am
Debra Ullrick

“Please, let me go,” Allison begged her abductor.
“I can’t.” The man’s voice was kind and sounded vaguely familiar.
The horse stumbled, sending her forward. His arm tightened around her, pulling her snug against his chest. She tried to free herself from his grip, but he secured his hold.
“I promise not to bite,” he said with a low chuckle.
That laughter reminded Allison of someone. But who? Anxious to see her kidnapper, she asked. “Won’t you please remove this blindfold?”
“In a few minutes.” His breath brushed against her ear. “We’re almost there.”
Almost where? Allison wondered. And what did he want? If it was ransom, her controlling uncle was so stingy with his money his billfold had cobwebs. And no one knew about the large fortune her parents had left her, not even her greedy aunt and uncle.
An outlandish thought occurred to her. Here this strange man had kidnapped her from her uncle’s home, and for some odd reason, Allison wasn’t the least bit afraid.
The horse stopped. “Are we there?”
Allison felt him shift his weight on the saddle, and get off the horse. He placed his hands around her waist, gently removed her from the animal, and cradled her in his arms. “Please, put me down.”
“In a minute.” His baritone voice seemed friendly and pleasant.
His footsteps creaked as he carried her up three steps. The realization that this man was taking her into a building, caused Allison’s insides to tremble. God, please keep me safe. As soon as the prayer left her mind, peace filled her whole being.
He seated her onto a hard surface. “I’m going to remove the blindfold now,” he said from behind her.
She squinted against the brightness. Her abductor came around and stood in front of her. Allison looked up at him and gasped.
* * *
Terrence stared at his lovely Allison. The last time they were together was on her birthday, seven years ago. That day they had pledged their love to each other. That day Allison’s controlling uncle had whisked her away. And that day her aunt had told Terrence to stay away from her because she was promised to their business partner. Even now his stomach churned with the memory.
Knowing Allison would never agree to such a thing, Terrence had never stopped searching for her. When he noticed a sign, James Royal Shipping Yards, her uncle’s business, Terrence made inquiries around town, and discovered Allison still lived with her uncle and was still single. He vowed he would find a way for them to be together. And now he had. Of course it wasn’t exactly the way he had planned…but here she was, sitting in front of him, staring at him with wide gray eyes.
* * *
Allison blinked. No wonder that voice and laughter had sounded so familiar. “It is you!” Allison cried. Her heart sang with joy. She leapt off the chair and flew into her beloved Terrence’s arms and boldly kissed him. “Oh, Terrence.” She covered his face with kisses. “When I hadn’t heard from you,” she kissed him some more, “I’d almost given up hope of ever seeing you again,” she rasped before pressing her mouth hard against his.
When she released his lips, her sweet Terrence smiled. “We have an audience,” his peppermint breath mingled with hers.
Allison jerked back and noticed a man wearing a minister’s collar. Her hands flew to her face. Heat rushed into her cheeks.
“Allison, this is my best friend, Pastor Dan. He’s here to marry us.”
“Marry us?” She looked back at Terrence.
“That is…” He smiled shyly. “If you still love me and want me.”
“Love you? Want you?” Her heart melted like ice on a hot day. “Oh, my darling, Terrence. I’ve never stopped loving you…” Her eyes met his. “And I’ve never stopped praying that one day we’d be together again.”
Inside the cobwebbed, dust-laden church with the broken stained glass windows and rickety wooden cross, Terrence got down on one knee and clasped her hands. “Allison Marie Royal. Will you marry me?”
A thousand butterfly wings took flight in her stomach. “Oh, yes, my love!”
Terrence stood. “Now?”
His twinkling eyes and gorgeous smile, and the fact that she’d dreamt of this moment ever since she’d met him ten years ago, sent a boldness through her. Not about to lose him again, she turned to the pastor. “We’re ready, Sir.”
After they said their vows, Terrance drew her into his arms and kissed her. Allison pulled back. Looking up into his forest green eyes, she whispered, “Thank you for kidnapping me.”
He swung her into his arms and kissed her passionately. With his lips feather-light against hers, he whispered, “My pleasure, ma’am.”

©2005 Debra Ullrick

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I just had to write and share what a dear friend said about the two short-short stories posted on my blog. But first, I want to share a bit of background. Two of my main weaknesses when I first started writing were characters and description. Coming up with likeable characters was a huge struggle for me, as I was constantly told they were shallow. Shallow? I needed my dictionary. After finally figuring out that shallow meant they had no depth to them, I strived to create more well rounded characters. As for description... I was mooey-poopey at it too. Either I came up short, or I added way too much description. Well, I must have learned some things because this is what my sweet friend, who had no idea that I struggled in these two areas, said:

"Hi Debi!
It's so much fun to read your work. You have a very descriptive style and fabulously alluring characters! You've been blessed with a beautiful heart and mind, and I believe it's His will that you use them!
I love ya, Cindy"

You can only imagine what this did for me. Talk about encouraging. Woo hoo! Thank you, Cindy! ~~Waving~~

So... I'm off to work on WIP.

Until next time......

Friday, September 22, 2006

Well, here's another one of my, 750 word limit, published short-short stories. This is my first chic lit story. Again, the formatting is correct in the original. It's just that this blog thingy doesn't format correctly. Oh the nerve of it eh? hehe
Feel free to let me know what you think.

Making Up For Lost Time
Debra Ullrick

Just who does Paschal Manners think he is anyway? I, Bailey Devereux am so not going there again. Once was enough. If he thinks he can just waltz back into my life after leaving me standing at the alter three years ago, well he has another think coming.
I snatch up my pink Prada handbag, flip my long blonde hair over my shoulder and storm out of my office. I knew I shouldn’t have answered that stupid phone. My Gucci heels click on the hardwood floor as I make my way to the elevator.
The more I think about his call, the madder I get. I punch the floor button on the elevator with more force than necessary, breaking my nail. My gaze shoots toward the ceiling. I need a massage.
When I step outside, a strong Chicago wind whips my silk scarf from my neck. “No!” I shout. “Paschal gave that one to me.” I dart after it, but my heels slow me down. I stop and jerk them off, tossing them aside, just like in the movie Crocodile Dundee. If she could throw her expensive shoes away, so could I.
While running, my eyes track my favorite scarf, which is now swirling in the wind like a dried leaf. Garlic and strong cheese aromas waft around me. I smack into something solid and fall backward until someone grabs me. Wanting to thank my rescuer, I look into his face.
“Ack! You!” I jerk his hand off. “Don’t ever touch me again.” Such a drama queen I know, but who cares? I never wanted to see him again. So what if his jean-clad muscular body, gorgeous smoky-gray eyes, blue-black hair, and dimples are to die for.
“I was on my way to see you.” Paschal smiles that million-dollar smile. The very one that used to make my toes curl and my heart race.
My scarf now forgotten, I plant my hands on my hips, and send him a death-defying look. “I told you, I never want to see you again. Which part didn’t you understand?” I’m so thrilled my voice remained calm. Too bad my insides aren’t.
I turn to leave, but Paschal grabs my arm. My gaze flies to where his hand is and I force myself to ignore the tingling sensation his touch evokes. Ugh! I detest that his touch still drives me wild.
I’m ready to lam blast him. Looking up, I see moisture in his eyes, and my heart melts like a chocolate kiss in the hot sun.
No! You won’t get to me!
“I know you don’t want to see me but can we go somewhere and talk? I need to explain why I missed our wedding.”
My anger returns. “I don’t want to hear what you have to say.” I storm off.
His voice calls after me. “I’d be dead if I hadn’t."
That got my attention. I walk back to him.
“What are you talking about?” Knowing his job as an FBI agent involved risk, I decide to listen.
“I can’t explain here.” He leads me to his car.
Once inside, I face him.
He draws in a long breath and exhales. “After we captured the Tatiloni mob, their leader escaped. I got a note from him saying I was a dead man. He’d already killed seven FBI agents, so Sergeant Paxton sent me into hiding. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t tell you until he was safely behind bars.” He reaches for my hands and squeezes them.
“I… I thought you changed your mind. That you no longer loved me.”
Hurt fills his soft gray eyes. “I never stopped loving you or thinking about you.”
Three years of pain and rejection slips from my wounded soul like a cleansing rain.
“In fact, every time I thought about you standing at that alter alone, I wished I’d stayed and risked getting killed instead.”
“Don’t say that!” The idea of Paschal dead pierces my heart. Knowing now why he had disappeared, I am not about to let him out of my sight.
“Oh, Paschal." I throw my arms around him. "I love you.”
“I love you too.” His husky voice and spicy aftershave arouses my senses. Boldly pulling his face to mine, I possess his lips, kissing him passionately, and making up for lost time.

©2006 Debra Ullrick

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dating Mr. McDreamy

Hi all. I thought I would post one of my published short-short stories. The word limit was 750. It's hard to write that short of a romance story and keep the reader happy. But here's hoping you are. *smiling* Oh yeah... forgive the horrible formatting. The original IS formatted correctly. I'm still gettin' used to this blog and how to use it. So bear with me. *smiling*
God bless you all.

And h~e~e~r~r~r~r~e~e~'s~ s ~~~~~~>>>>

Dating Mr. McDreamy
Debra Ullrick

One look at the wavy brown haired, pale blue-eyed man standing in front of her and Sharmane Judson’s heart was a goner. How would she ever set him up with someone else? This was the first time since she’d opened Agape Christian Dating Service, that she wanted one of her clients for herself, despite her strict ‘no dating client policy’.
* * *
Trevor Heart forced his eyes not to widen. The striking brunette with the translucent sea-green eyes rising in front of him yanked the air from his lungs, along with his heart. He gave himself a mental lashing. This is ridiculous. I don’t believe in love at first sight. Another glance at the beautiful woman in front of him, and he changed his mind.

“Mr. Heart.” Her raspy voice wrapped around his already smitten heart. “I’m Sharmane Judson.” She extended her well-manicured hand over the stylish European designer desk. Her rain-fresh scent awakened his senses.

“Nice to meet you, Miss Judson.” Her soft hand buried itself in his. Her brows shot upward. She jerked her hand from his and abruptly sat. Judging from her reaction, he wondered if she too had felt the electrical charge.

Trevor followed her example and lowered his tall frame into the chair.

When she picked up a piece of paper and looked at it, Trevor noticed her trembling fingers. Was she always this nervous, or was she affected by his nearness as much as he was hers?

A moment later, she looked at him with a lets-keep-it-professional-look. “Mr. Heart, your sister--”

“Listen.” Trevor cut her off. “My well-meaning, meddling sister meant well in engaging your services, but I have no intentions of using them. I only kept this appointment to pacify her.” At Sharmane’s frown, he raised his hand. “However, since I’m here, there is something you can do for me.”

“What’s that, Mr. Heart?” She clasped her hands in front of her and leaned forward.

“You can go out with me.”
* * *
Sharmane’s jaw fell. Mr. McDreamy, aka, Mr.Trevor Heart, wanted to date her. Even though she’d just met him, her gut instinct told her that he was the man for her. And her instinct had never failed her before. Oh, if only he wasn’t a client. She swallowed down her desire, knowing she had to refuse him. There was no way she would break her no dating clients’ policy rule and set a bad example for her employees.

He reached over and gently closed her mouth.

“I…I,” she sputtered. Never before had she sputtered in front of a client. And never before had she wanted a client so badly. And never before had she had the urge to grab someone and kiss them. Oh, dear, Lord, help me. Please, give me the strength to say no.

She drew in a long steadying breath. “Mr. Heart.”

“Please, call me Trevor.”

Sharmane bit her lower lip. Looking directly into his eyes, she willed courage to herself. “Mr. Heart. I thank you for your offer. But, I’m afraid I have to decline” She quickly dropped her gaze from his, knowing if she continued to look into those gorgeous pale blue eyes, she might give in and break her policy.

“May I ask why?”

She forced herself to look at him. “Because,” she paused. “I have a strict no dating clients’ policy.”

“Oh, is that all.” He chuckled, then rose. “How’s Friday night at eight then?”

Sharmane stood. “Mr. Heart. I admit I’m attracted to you, but I refuse to break my policy for you or anyone else.”

“And I admire you for that.” He walked around the desk and stood in front of her. “But you forget.” He smiled. “I have no intentions of using your services. Therefore, I’m not one of your clients.”

He cupped her chin. His citrus cologne gave her a heady sensation. “When I know what I want, I go after it. And I want you, Miss Judson.” Trevor drew her into his arms and kissed her. After a brief moment, he released her and headed out the door, calling over his shoulder. “See you at eight.”

She plopped in her chair and ran her tongue over her tingling lips. His luscious peppermint, toe-curling kiss proved her instincts were once again correct. Mr. Trevor Heart was her Mr. Right.

Knowing he wasn’t a client, and knowing he wanted her too, she smiled contentedly. Without a doubt, Sharmane knew she’d spend the rest of her life dating Mr. McDreamy.

Copyright Debra Ullrick, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New to bloggin'

Okay, here goes nothing. Well, okay, let's not get technical, I know it's something. Just not much of a something. Anyway, I went to a local writer's meeting last night, and we talked about blogging, so I thought I would give it a shot. Eventually, I will be posting some of my published short-short stories on here along with some pictures. But for right now, this brief message will have to do. *smiling*
Welcome to my blog.
God bless.