Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    • Weekly Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:Kelly Irvin who offered her Amish Romance The Bishop's Son. June Bliss who offered her Women’s Fiction Starfis […]
    • Winners of Books
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:J.M. Downey who offered her Political Suspense Privileged. Ann Allen who offered her Non-fiction Out of the Darknes […]
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      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:Rick Barry who offered his Suspense:  The Methuselah Project. Candee Fick who offered her Contemporary Romance:  Ca […]
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    • Spotlight on "Anything for a Story" by Cynthia Hickey
      Stormi is delightful as the accident prone and bumbling wanna be detective. What she lacks in skill she makes up for in nosiness. Add in the sexy detective and a slightly nutty family and our lead character has her hands full.~Amazon reviewerAbout the book:Stormi Nelson, best-selling romance author, moved into her huge Victorian house in the private communit […]
    • The Winner of the January Clash
      Thanks to all of January’s wonderful authors! Here’s what readers had to say: All of these books look like so much fun! When I first saw The Volk Advent by Kristen Wilks, I was intrigued by the combination of a teen trying to escape murder charges and a pack of wolves, and I like to read historical fiction because I can experience other cultures.Cynthia Hick […]
    • Smashing Selections Brighten the New Year in This January Clash
      What an exciting 2016 kick-off for Clash of the Titles. Readers can choose from a teen novel, mystery, suspense/ thriller, love trilogy and an Amish novella collection of sweet romances. One of each sounds good. Peruse the selections, decide which to put at the top of this year's to-be-read list, scroll down, and vote for it on the *form below.Voting st […]
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      First, congratulations to Bonnie who won audio copies of Leah's Peace and Chasing Norie in the raffle. Next is to thank you all for your patience in my lack of new books in the last year and a half. I really needed the break but now I've got to get back on the horse and get some writing done. I'm getting people asking when the next book is com […]
    • Audio Versions Are Here!!!
      That's right. I'vebeen having my novels recorded in audio. There are three finished now and more in the works. Healing Love, Cottonwood Series #1 is available read by Lori Smith. She's working on Lord's Love now. Leah's Peace and Chasing Norie have been released read by Suzie Venable. Both these women are wonderful readers bringing t […]
    • So I Failed Nano
      Hi again,It's been a long time again since I posted. Haven't done a ton of writing but I did start a new novel or novelette or series of novelettes at the beginning of the month. November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to start a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. November isn't over yet but I know I'm not going […]
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    • Spotlight on "Anything for a Story" by Cynthia Hickey
      Stormi is delightful as the accident prone and bumbling wanna be detective. What she lacks in skill she makes up for in nosiness. Add in the sexy detective and a slightly nutty family and our lead character has her hands full.~Amazon reviewerAbout the book:Stormi Nelson, best-selling romance author, moved into her huge Victorian house in the private communit […]
    • LOVE IS series debut Anita Klumpers with Hounded
      HoundedBy Anita KlumpersLove is Patientfrom Prism Book Group, a series of fifteen novellas based on I Corinthians 13. Releasing Fridays in February, then the last Friday of the month--watch for them, and an opportunity to win fabulous prizes this month during our Sweet Valentine Promotion through the month.2.99 single ebookPrint bundle coming soonOld Maid, D […]
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           A holiday story from inspirational historical author, Jewell Tweedt! The story, a novella titled Christmas Bells, is a stand alone e-book or available bundled in a print anthology with two other stories in Love's Christmas Past from Prism Book Group, November 2015.About Christmas Bells:Come hear the sounds of Christmas… Vivacious frontier widow Con […]
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    • The Color of the Season by Julianne MacLean
      NOTE:  Due to a serious need to cut back on my workload, this will be my last official book review on this blog.It doesn’t seem possible that the evening can get any worse for police officer Josh Wallace after he is dumped by the girlfriend he planned to propose to, but it does.  Josh and his partner are shot while chasing a carjacking suspect. While on the […]
    • Book Review: Swept Away (Trouble in texas Book 1) by Mary Connealy
      Ruthy MacNeil is rescued by Luke Stone after she nearly drowns fording a flooded river with a wagon train. Her step family doesn’t survive and she is finally free of their mistreatment. Luke surived the horrific ordeal as a prisoner of war in notorious Anderson prison during the civil war, only to learn that his father has been killed and the family ranch st […]
    • Book Review of Everything She Ever Wanted by Ann Rule
      When Pat Taylor wed Tom Allanson he had no way of knowing it would destroy his life in just a matter of weeksIn fact, Pat destroyed a lot of people’s lives. The attractive Southern belle was spoiled by her mother and she expected to live a lavish lifestyle at any cost. Nobody crosses Pat who was fascinated with Scarlett O’Hara. Pat could pour on the charm, b […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Road Trip With Daddy by Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Posted by Jennifer Slattery on June 17, 2011

Today Shannon Taylor Vannatter, author of the White Rose Trilogy, shares a special story that should get you thinking of your own father this Father’s Day. Where would we ladies be without our encouraging Dad’s standing behind us? Most likely, a large part of who we are is because of them. As you read Shannon’s story, pause to thank God for the earthly father He’s provided. Then find a way to show gratidude.

White Doves dedication: To Daddy, my number one fan. I’ll never forget our trip to Dallas when you took me to claim my first important unpublished writing award, babysat my five year-old in the pool all day, and told everyone you met that your daughter was a writer.

ROAD TRIP WITH DADDY, by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
(Story behind the dedication)

In 2007, I received word that I’d finaled in the Touched By Love writing contest and the winners would be announced at the Faith, Hope, & Love Conference in Dallas. I’d already paid and planned to attend American Christian Fiction Writers Conference, also in Dallas that year. My husband didn’t have any extra time off to go and we didn’t want to spend the extra money.

When my parents learned about the contest, they decided to take me there and make a mini-vacation out of our trip, and fund the entire thing. In awe, I made the arrangements. The conference hotel was already full, but I found another with available rooms. Very expensive rooms, even with my special writers’ rate. Mama and Daddy approved, despite the cost. We talked about trips to the zoo and visiting Charlie Pride’s house, Daddy’s favorite singer.

Two weeks before our trip, Mama’s coworker had to take a medical leave. Which meant, Mama couldn’t go. Without her, and saddled with entertaining my active five year-old, I knew Daddy wouldn’t have as much fun.

I offered him an out. We didn’t have to go. It was early enough I could get the registration fee back and cancel the hotel. But, Daddy wouldn’t hear of it.

The day before the conference, Daddy, my son, and I set out for Dallas. Daddy drove most of the way. With one weakened and one surgically improved knee, we stopped often, so he could stretch. He refused to let me pay for gas, food, or even snacks.

Seven hours later, we arrived. The hotel was huge. Unwilling to make another trek, we piled high with luggage. Even my son was loaded down. We walked miles through the spiral parking deck, then crossed the busy highway to get to the entrance.

At the service desk, I learned our room was way on the other end. After checking in, I just knew Daddy’s knee would play out, but he trudged on, burdened with the majority of the suitcases.
Anxious bellboys lined the plush carpet in the long corridor. “Do you need help?”

“No.” I didn’t want Daddy spending any more money. He’d already paid for everything else.
We finally made it to the room and unloaded. All we wanted to do was stay put, but Daddy thought we should find the other hotel before morning.

My poor son lagged behind. “When do we get to swim?”

We took the elevator back down and asked for directions.

“A train leaves every thirty minutes.” The clerk handed me a confusing map. “It will take you right to that hotel.”

We went outside, in search of the train, only to find at least a dozen. The map didn’t make sense to either one of us. With helpful advice from the locals, we found the right train and managed to buy a ticket. Daddy’s bad knee continued to hold up.

“When can we swim?” My son asked, at least a dozen more times, on the way back to our room. Looking at our train tickets, I noticed it said they expired at midnight. In the morning, we would repeat the entire process.

Getting late by now, my son swam in the tub, then I took a shower. When I came out of the bathroom, Daddy was splayed on the other bed, still in his traveling clothes, already snoring.

The next morning, he wouldn’t hear of me walking the streets of Dallas, or riding a train alone. He and my son got up early with me, bought more tickets, rode the train, made sure I wound up at the right hotel, then headed back to our hotel and the pool.

All day, I bragged to other attendees about my dad bringing me and entertaining my son. Numerous awwws resulted.

After the conference, I called Daddy. He and my son met me at the train station.

“I won second place.” My voice quivered with excitement.

“Second place. That’s great.” Daddy’s hair stood on end, waving in the wind. He and my son looked like prunes.

“Did y’all stay in the pool all day?”

“Most of it.” Daddy remained unperturbed.

All the way home, each time we stopped to get gas or stretch, he bragged on me. “This is my daughter. She’s a writer. She won second place in a big contest.”

“And this is my Daddy,” I said. “He drove me from Arkansas, so I could get my award.”

Back in the car, we discussed where to stop for supper. During the whole trip, he’d pointed out every IHOP he saw, then pulled in at the cheaper fast food places.

“Let’s go to IHOP and I’ll buy.”

We did, but he grabbed the ticket.

I mentioned that I’d come prepared to win third and be happy with that. Second was even better.

“So, you knew you’d won something when you came?”

“Remember, I told you, they called and said I finaled, but I didn’t learn what place until today.”
“That was this conference?”

It was then I realized he had my conferences mixed up. He drove me all the way to Dallas and funded the entire trip, without realizing I’d won a thing, so I could be there just in case.

What’s the sweetest thing your father ever did for you?

*     *      *

Shannon Taylor Vannatter, author of the White Rose Trilogy, married her high school sweetheart. Since then her husband answered the call to preach and they became first-time parents 16 ½ years into their marriage. She is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. When not writing, she runs circles in the care and feeding of her husband Grant, their nine-year-old son, and their church congregation. Home is a central Arkansas zoo with two charcoal gray cats, a chocolate lab, and three dachshunds in weenie dog heaven. If given the chance to clean house or write, she’d rather write. Her goal is to hire Alice from the Brady Bunch.

Her debut novel, White Roses is a finalist in the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards named her #3 Favorite New Author, White Roses as #1 Contemporary Novel and #2 Favorite Contemporary Cover, and White Doves as #8 Contemporary Novel and #1 Favorite Contemporary Cover.

Vannatter has taught numerous writing workshops and is scheduled to teach a class at American Christian Fiction Writers in St. Louis in Sept. Learn more about Shannonand her books at:

http://shannonvannatter.com
http://www.shannonvannatter.com/blog
http://www.inkspirationalmessages.com


2 Responses to “Road Trip With Daddy by Shannon Taylor Vannatter”

  1. Great story, Shannon. Loved hearing the story of your book’s dedication. There’s nothing like the support and encouragement from a family member, and your daddy is indeed special. Mine passed away a few years ago, and it’s one of my regrets that he never knew I’d moved back to my hometown and became a published author (two of his dreams for me). But I’d like to think he knows. ;-) It’s fun seeing you here since I’ve been on your blog this week – talking about meeting my husband in Dallas (small world). Another fun thing we have in common – I was also a finalist in the Touched by Love contest (2010), and traveled to Orlando. I came in third, but it’s for a book way down in this first series and I already had my contract for Awakening by that time, so I was happy as a peach. Thanks so much for sharing your story here at Reflections with us. Blessings.

  2. Hey JoAnn,
    Glad you enjoyed the story. I love telling how awesome my parents are. My Touched by Love final was for a still unpublished work. Maybe someday, I’ll get it polished up and find a home for it.

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