Grace Series

Can I Get A Cover?

CoverFebruary has been a busy month, filled with preparing for taxes and a dental cleaning appointment. People I typically don’t see often. It was exciting to show these two people my first three published books in the Grace Series. I enjoy people’s reactions when they see my paperback novels because they are surprised at the quality of my cover design and book layout. This viewing was no different.

When I started this whole process, I researched every phase and I knew I was going to self-publish, but originally planned to have my covers designed by a professional graphic designer. My Photoshop skills are not as strong as I would have liked for the quality cover, I knew I wanted.

I researched the best and most economical cover designers and came across Reedsy. Very professional online company for editing, cover design, and more. I reached out to three designers whose profile I liked and asked for a quote for three cover designs.

The prices I got back were varied. Everything from $850 for one cover to $1500 for one cover. GULP. I ended up getting in contact one with one who offered to do all 3 for $1200. I felt that was doable and we were about to begin the process when I got very sick.

Continue reading “Can I Get A Cover?”

Accepting Grace, Grace Series

Getting To Know You… Questions

QuestionsQuestions & Answers with Hillary Blake

Anna Christine Boulier: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me, Hillary. I know you’re busy with school after winter break.

Hillary Blake: A little, but it’s been too long since we got together to talk. When you suggested this, I knew I had to come running.

ACB: Laughing. Meeting at your favorite coffee shop didn’t hurt.

HB: You know me so well.

ACB: How are the kids?

HB: Which ones? My third graders or my kids?

ACB: Both?

Continue reading “Getting To Know You… Questions”


Romans 8:28 God’s Promise for Good


I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day that got me to thinking… Dangerous, I know!

Currently, she is working a job that she really really dislikes. Since she works in my hometown, I won’t go into details, but to sum the situation up, she’s looking for another job that will let her work full-time and have insurance. Not unreasonable, by the way!

Driving her home from the said job, she was talking about how it was really difficult right now and she was grateful I understood.


In 2016, I was at my current employer, but under a difficult manager who had told me that I wasn’t doing my job well enough and needed to double my workload. I was already one of the top designers in my job, consistently doing one of the highest workloads. This isn’t bragging, I was good at my job and I knew it. For some reason, this manager had it out for me and I KNEW IT MY HEART it was an attack straight from the devil.

Afraid for my job, and hurt she thought so badly of me – I did what she asked. I doubled my workload. I was miserable, scared, hurt, and frustrated. This lasted for MONTHS AND MONTHS. I was working through my lunch, coming in early and staying late trying to prove to myself and this woman I was still good at my job.

During that time, I was constantly asking God why…

He gave me that job, HIS FAVOR had been on me throughout my entire career at that company and I really really didn’t want to leave… I loved the people, I just had difficulty with this one manager…

Needless to say, it was a TOUGH time in my life. I had people praying while I looked at other jobs. I prayed for God’s will, strength, and most of the time for Him to use this trying time in my life for a HIGHER PURPOSE.

This is a promise straight from the Bible and the Message version is one of my favs…


Romans 8:26-28

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, (CAN I GET AN AMEN!) God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in us and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and KEEPS US PRESENT BEFORE GOD. (Insert tears of gratitude here!) That’s why we can be sure that EVERY DETAIL in our lives of love for God is worked into SOMETHING GOOD.

*Emphasis and comments by me, not from the Message Bible

Thank God, He knows me better than I know myself.

Knowing He prays for me, because most of the time, I don’t really know what I want, let alone need is a comfort.

It is amazing to think, my worries, fears, and present problems are CONTINUALLY before Him.


For knocking me down,
Trying to take my joy, peace, and life
And trying to mess up the plans God has for me

THANK GOD, God is bigger, stronger, and more powerful to make a way for me to get through.

The amazing thing is I don’t have to do anything but wait and trust.

It’s hard, really hard to wait and trust, even knowing Romans 8:28

When I’m coming home every day from work, balling my eyes out, unable to voice my prayers because of the ache in my heart

Asking for prayer at church and told that I should just work my job and be miserable, knowing retirement’s coming someday…

Working harder, longer, faster than everyone and then coming home to write, spend time with family, and look for other jobs…

In talking with my sister, I realized that the waiting SUCKED (sorry, but that’s the word to use for that situation) and I was miserable for AROUND A YEAR. IT wasn’t easy, wasn’t fast, and wasn’t planned, but it happened.

But it was ordained by God.

It wasn’t because of something I did or didn’t do, and knowing that while I was going through the trial was a new perspective, but it didn’t make it any easier. Much later and after the trial was over, I learned it was preparing me for a future I had NO IDEA was possible. This is the fulfillment of the Romans 8:28 promise. Often NOT SEEN until the trial is over. Some trials won’t be explained until we’re in Heaven.

I’m a manager in the same company that I thankfully did not leave. Now, I lead a team of project admins, designers, and estimators, some of the most wonderful, talented people.

God has blessed me beyond measure, beyond expectations, and beyond what I could have dreamed.

This particular trial taught me about waiting with GRACE… waiting with HOPE… waiting with PURPOSE

Working my tush off, not just at work, but outside of work. I learned so many things about myself, God, managing people, what to do and what not to do.

I truly believe I’m a better manager because of what I went through with that manager.

A pastor from my home church always says to a big crowd that there are some going into a trial, in the midst of a trial, or coming out of a trial… A HARD TRUTH

BUT Jesus said, “I have told you this so that THROUGH ME you may have PEACE. In the world, you’ll have trouble, but be courageous – I’ve overcome the world!” (John 16:33 ISV)


The key is – it’s through God’s work, not mine. I have to wait with patience, grace, and knowing I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I need to let God take care of it and KNOW it will work to my good. USUALLY, in a way, I couldn’t even think of!

If you’re struggling – going into a trial or in the middle of one, know that God will bring you out of it. IN HIS TIMING which is hard, but Jesus promised peace in the middle of your trouble, NOT AT THE END WHEN IT’S OVER!

Take heart, take courage, and hold on. If you need encouragement, read about Job, David, and Abraham, because those guys UNDERSTAND. So do I! Hold onto the promise of Romans. Post it, write it out, put it everywhere!

Please feel free to reach out, for encouragement and words of understanding from a Sister in Christ who gets it.

I know this is hard to hear. When you’re in the middle of a harsh desert, a lonely valley, but I’m here to remind you that as a daughter/son of God, YOU CAN SING IN THAT VALLEY WITH PEACE IN YOUR HEART!

Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,