A Big Oops!

The books have arrived! It's so exciting to hold my first nonfiction book in my hand (well, if you don't count all the work-for-hire I did years ago, writing computer software manuals and promotional books). This looks great, with lots of graphics and nifty headings and a really fun and easy-to-use layout. Yay! I'm thrilled beyond description.

The first thing I always do when a new book comes out is drop whatever I'm doing and read it cover to cover. I'm not sure why, because it's torment if I discover a typo or a sentence I wish I could go back and change (writers are never really finished, you know). Still, I'll skim through my book in a few hours--and that's fast for me, because I'm a slow reader--then I'll close it and sigh and enjoy the moment. Then I'll give the whole thing over to God and say a prayer for all of my readers.

This time is different, however. This time, I'm happily reading along, pleased with the look and feel of the book and how it flows…until I get to page 65. Hmmm. Huh? What? Page 65 makes no sense.

Heart pounding, I race to my "galley", which is the book in its final proofreading form just before it goes to the press. Sure enough, the galley confirms what I know to be true: Somewhere between my final proofread and the book's printing, a mistake was made: The paragraphs that were supposed to go on page 65 are nowhere to be found—and in their place is a chunk of text from further in the book!

Long story short, my dear publisher, whom I adore, has taken a look at the situation and decided they will not be able to correct the problem until the next printing. So very soon my brand new book will start showing up on the shelves with the error in place. Ooooooh, that's so tough for a writer to swallow.

They have issued the following statement on my behalf, which I really appreciate, and the error will definitely be corrected as soon as the book goes into a second printing. But for now, I can only hope that people who read the book either don't notice the error (not very likely!) or take a moment to visit this blog or my website or send me an email to find out what's wrong with page 65.

So, for what it's worth, here's the correction:


In The House That Cleans Itself, an error was made during the publishing process. In Step 8, page 65, the first paragraph is incorrect. Please cross it out and insert the following paragraph instead:

Before you begin to put all of your steps into action, it's important to grasp certain essential truths about yourself, the way your brain works, and the problems those cause with regard to cleaning. Only when you understand the reasons behind your actions can you figure out ways to compensate for and work around those actions. If you happen to be married to a person who is more naturally neat than you are, he or she needs to read this chapter as well. After you’ve both read it, discuss the characteristics described here that apply to you. Sometimes simply understanding the cause of a behavior can ease much hurt, smoothing the way toward cooperation, teamwork, and lasting change. Consider the following statements about some common characteristics of the housekeeping impaired.

Harvest House Publishers regrets the error and will make the necessary corrections when the book is reprinted.


I think I'll create a sticker with the correct text on it, one that can be placed directly over the problem. If you'd like one, send me an email with your mailing address at and I'll be sure to get it out to you as soon as it's ready.

In the meantime, enjoy the book.

Uh, except for page 65.




Welcome to the first entry of my brand new blog! My hope is that you'll enjoy reading it as much as I know I'll enjoy writing it.

It's so appropriate that my blog starts today, because even as I write this I am watching out the window for the FedEx man, knowing he will be here soon to drop off a box containing copies of my new book, The House That Cleans Itself. You'd think after nine books that the thrill of that moment when I first hold a new one in my hand would have dimmed somewhat, but nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, every time one of these big days arrives, as soon as I see the white truck with the orange and blue lettering turn into my driveway, my heart starts pounding, my hands get sweaty, and it's all I can do not to jump up and down hollering—or at the very least, do a little happy dance.

I try to play it cool when I meet the delivery man at the door, of course. But as soon as he's gone, I know I'll tear open that box, pull out a copy of the book, and let loose. Once I have managed to calm down, I will run my hands over the cover, flip through the pages, read the back cover and maybe the first page—and marvel at the miracle of how God has once again blessed me by making my biggest dreams come true. Then I'll count the hours until my kids get home from school and my husband gets home from work so that they can enjoy the thrill of the new book with me!

This time will especially exciting. As my very first nonfiction trade paperback, The House That Cleans Itself is decidedly different from anything I have ever written before. The idea for this book came out of my novel-writing, (more on that in future blog entries) but in fact it is a nonfiction book, a how-to guide written for people like me, people who have trouble keeping their house neat and clean. After a lifetime of struggling in this area, I finally figured out a way to conquer the problem of a messy house once and for all. By tossing out the conventional housekeeping advice and starting from scratch with my own unique approach, I was able to design a system that worked for me and my family and the way that we think and live. As I spread the word about my system, others who implemented my ideas found great success with them as well—so much so that sometimes it seemed as if our houses were practically cleaning themselves.

And thus The House That Cleans Itself was born. Eager to share this approach with even more people, I finally put my ideas, experience, and research into a book. Once the book begins to hit the shelves (which should be very soon), I cannot wait to see the ways my radical new approach to housekeeping will begin to transform even more homes, more lives.

Of course, you don't need to get the book to enjoy this blog, and you don't need to read this blog to complete the book. (Though they do make a nice compliment to each other!) My hope is that this blog will become a forum for all of us to explore a new way of thinking about housekeeping, a new method of home care so that the burden is not nearly so heavy. How can that be? Keep coming back for subsequent entries and you'll see. Ever heard of "creative problem solving"? My friend, we are about to take that concept to a whole new level!

In future blog entries, I'll tell you more about this new book, the innovative concepts that it presents, and how I came up with the idea in the first place. I also hope to learn about your housekeeping experiences as well. Care to answer the question of the day? What I'd like to know this time is: When it comes to cleaning your house, what step do you dislike the most (Cleaning the toilets? Vacuuming? Mopping? Something else?) and which (if any) do you actually enjoy? To leave your response, use the comment function below. (Though I won't be able to send you a personal reply, I will definitely read every response—and I may discuss some of them on future blog entries.)

I think this blog is going to be an enormous amount of fun. Until next time, I probably won't be doing much cleaning (these days, I don't really need to!), but I will be busy at work on my next novel.

When I'm not watching out the window for the FedEx man, that is.