Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sarah Sundin's A Memory Between Us - Riveting!

"Can they overcome the past to find a brighter future together?"

A Memory Between Us, Sundin's second novel in her Wings of Glory series, seeks to answer this question as it plunges us into a realistic re-creation of 1940's Europe during World War II. The book's back cover aptly describes this gripping story:

"Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge–until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top-priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she also is determined not to give her heart to any man.

"As the danger and tension of World War II rise to a fever pitch, Jack and Ruth will need each other more than ever. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways?

"From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice."

Once again, Sarah weaves an authentic tale as she skillfully takes us back into a time of honor, valor, and bravery while drawing us into the realism of war and love.

Don't miss this book published by Revell. It will impact your life in ways you will never forget.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

DEMON: A MEMOIR by Tosca Lee -- Intriguing!

You've heard it said often. Writers should "read, read, read," and it is true. Reading well-written books does improve our writing.

So, with that premise in mind, I must say that if you haven't already read DEMON: A MEMOIR by Tosca Lee, you have to get it! Published by B&H Publishing Group, it's back cover hints at the suspense that held me spellbound until its very last word:

"I started to rise. He grabbed me by the arm. His fingers bit through the sleeve of my coat, exceedingly strong, unnaturally warm.

"'You will recall everything–every word I say. Long after you have forgotten, in fact, the way I summoned you to this table, the first prick of your mortal curiosity about me. Long after you have forgotten, in fact, the most basic details of your life. You will remember–and you will curse or bless this day.'

"I felt ill. Something about the way he said mortal...In that instant, reality, strung out like an elastic band, snapped.

"'Yes, You see.' He smiled. 'You know. We can share now, between us, the secret of what I am.'

"The words came, unbidden, to my mind: Fallen, Dark Spirit.


My enthusiastic recommendation doesn't stand alone, either. Accolades from twenty-nine well-known authors and reviewers are listed in the book's first pages. I won't quote them all, but the following is a sample:

New York Times Best-Selling Author Ted Dekker comments, "So few books rattle me to the core yet lift my hopes to the heavens in the same breath. Tosca Lee's DEMON is a rare find that must be read."

Brandilyn Collins, Award-winning author of Exposure, says, "I will not read the stories of Creation or Lucifer's fall again without picturing the scenes described in DEMON."

Tracey Bateman, Christy Award-Winning author of Thirsty states: "DEMON: A MEMOIR isn't a mere work of fiction. DEMON is an experience."

Tosca Lee is a Christy Award finalist for excellence in Christian fiction and a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Silver Award winner. She is also the critically acclaimed author of Havah: The Story of Eve. Tosca lives in the Midwest and enjoys travel, history, and theology. You can learn more about this amazing author at

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Are you a woman over 40 -- or well on your way? If so, you've got to read this...

Hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, overwhelmed emotions... Am I going crazy or am I just over 40?

When author and speaker Ronna Snyder found herself struggling to respond to changes going on in her life and body, she discovered what many women before her have found--she was experiencing the not-so-subtle effect of perimenopause and menopause. With that "aha" moment, her faith kicked in, and she began experiencing Hot Flashes from Heaven, the term she coined for the deeply personal promptings she felt God sent to help her right her course and sail out of the menopausal tempest.

Ronna speaks with humor and heart right to "hormonally challenged" midlife women who are experiencing all kinds of life changes--physical, emotional, mental, and relational--and need to hear a reassuring voice say, "It's going to be okay--in fact, it's going to be better than you ever dreamed."

You will find a sister in the journey as you read and relate to these struggles, challenges, and insights. "Embrace your inner midlife crisis," encourages Ronna and in doing so you'll discover a radically richer way to live."

So reads the back cover of her Hot Flashes from Heaven, published by Harvest House Publishers.

I found the following excerpt especially perceptive: "If you get even one truth from this book, let it be that menopause, and the midlife juncture it arrives in, is truly not a curse. I've personally found that it is a change point ignited by evolving hormones that lead us into an equally precious, equally ordained time to reflect. A time to remember. A time to reinvent. A time to reevaluate. A time to reconfigure. A time to remind me––and a time to remind you––that the mercies of the heavens and their abundant life lessons, really are new everyday. Even as we grow ever older. Maybe even especially as we grow ever older. Hot flashing or not"

In a personal note, Ronna stresses that "this book is more about what your brain goes through, rather than your body, during this critical midlife transition period so aptly dubbed "The Change of Life." It ain't called that for nuttin', honey! And whether it's that stone-quiet empty nest, or the tomb-like sorrow in the midlife soul, they ALL resonate with Hot Flashes from Heaven once we learn to quiet ourselves and listen for them."

Ronna has been a contributing editor and regular writer for magazines and daily newspapers, and she speaks at women's events. She also rides a purple Harley-Davidson and has a passion for helping women find joy and freedom by living their lives at "full throttle." She lives near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho with her husband, Bill, and has four children, a son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and two beautiful grandchildren.

On Ronna's website,, you can order a personally signed copy of this laugh-out-loud funny book filled with practical advice and encouragement for only $13 with free shipping. Get your copy today and begin listening for your Hot Flashes from Heaven.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Today's Special Feature: Gina Holmes and her CBA best-selling debut novel, Crossing Oceans

In 1997, while working full-time as a nurse, Gina Holmes dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom. She had always been told she was a good writer, so she began penning articles and short stories, none of which brought in enough money to allow her to fulfill her dream.

Then one day, while attending a church service, she was inspired to write novels. "A seventeen year old girl got up in front of the church talking about how she was working on her second novel," Gina says. "I figured if she can do it, so can I."

Her first four novels didn't sell, but she never gave up. "After lots and lots of practice, it got easier," says Gina. "I just put myself in the character's skin: What would they do? What will they logically do next? I had some acting in my background, and that came in handy."

Gina's dream finally came true after Tyndale House Publishers offered to publish Crossing Oceans, her fifth novel, which debuted in May of this year and is currently ranked #19 on the Christian Booksellers Association's August bestseller list.

The book's summary reads:

"Sometimes love demands the impossible.

"Nothing deepens a stream like a good rain ... or makes it harder to cross. Jenny Lucas swore she'd never go home again. But life has a way of upending even the best-laid plans. Now, years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank-toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella's dad ... who doesn't yet know he has a daughter.

"As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love to change everything––to heal old hurts, to bring new beginnings ... even to overcome the impossible.

"Nothing deepens a stream like a good rain ... or makes it harder to cross."

Crossing Oceans has received many notable accolades. The following tribute was written by Nora St. Laurent, president and founder of Finding Hope Through Fiction book club:

"Crossing Oceans reminds me of A Walk to Remember and The Notebook both written by Nicholas Sparks. Gina has an amazing gift to masterfully blend together a memorable story filled with tenderness, hope, love, forgiveness, and a sense of well-timed humor. This story touched my heart deeply."

(Similar in tone to: Hope Floats, Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, Nicholas Sparks, Charles Martin, Karen Kingsbury ...)

Those comparisons alone make Crossing Oceans a must read.

Gina currently resides with her husband and children in southern Virginia. To learn more about her, visit: or

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Special Feature: Carla Stewart and her debut novel, Chasing Lilacs

Carla Stewart, a two-time ACFW Genesis winner, is a Guideposts Writers Workshop alumna who has been published in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and several regional magazines and anthologies. Her debut novel, Chasing Lilacs, released in June 2010 with FaithWords (Hachette). Carla enjoys a good cup of coffee, weekend getaways with her husband, and the antics of their six grandchildren.

Chasing Lilacs, a powerful and touching novel about a girl searching for the truth about her mother's love, is listed #19 on the August CBA bestseller list. It's back cover reads:

"It's the summer of 1958, and life in the small Texas community of Graham Camp should be simple and carefree. But not for Sammie Tucker. She has plenty of questions about her mother's "nerve" problems, shock treatments, and whether her mother loves her. When tragedy strikes, Sammie's life careens out of control and she must choose who to trust with her deepest fears: her best friend who has an opinion about everything, the mysterious boy from California whose own troubles plague him, or her round-faced neighbor with gentle advice and strong shoulders to cry on.

"Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done."

Endorsements by other authors also give us insight into the book:

"A remarkable debut novel. Carla Stewart cleverly captures the stark simplicity of a young girl's voice with all the masterful qualities of powerful prose. Unforgettable." ––Susan Meissner, author of The Shape of Mercy

"CHASING LILACS is the kind of coming of age story that sticks to you beyond the last page. Unforgettable characters, surprising plot twists, and a setting so southern you'll fall in love with Texas. Carla Stewart is a new talent to watch!" ––Mary E. DeMuth, author of Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn

Congratulations go out to Carla for this heartwarming debut novel. You can read more about her on her website,, follow her blog at, and find her on Twitter @ChasingLilacs.

Please comment below...

Friday, July 9, 2010

This Week's Feature: Denise Hunter and her new novel, Driftwood Lane

Denise Hunter is the nationally published author of bestsellers Sweetwater Gap and Surrender Bay. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist. Wow! That's quite a list.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since.

Denise writes Christian romance novels for Thomas Nelson. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but she insists a good imagination helps too! When she isn't writing, she's busy raising three heroes-in-the making with her husband.

Her newest novel, Driftwood Lane, sounds like another winner. On it's back cover we read:

"Meridith can handle anything: guardianship of three distant siblings, a dilapidated Bed-and-Breakfast, even an ever-present handyman who's dismantling more than her fireplace--or can she?

When the death of Meridith's estranged father leaves her with custody of three siblings she's never met, she reluctantly goes to Nantucket to care for them--but only until their uncle returns from his trip. Little does she know, the uncle is already there under the guise of her friendly handyman, with plans of his own.

Will the love that grows between them be strong enough to overcome the secrets that brought them both to Driftwood Lane?"

Hmm... Sounds mysterious, doesn't it? Three siblings Meredith has never met ... an uncle with plans of his own posing as her handyman ... and secrets? I love secrets! This one has just become a must for my summer reading list.

To learn more about this talented author, check out Denise's website at or join her FaceBook group at

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today's Feature: Beth Wiseman and her new book, Seek Me With All Your Heart

Best-selling author Beth Wiseman's Seek Me With All Your Heart, book #1 in her Land of Canaan Series, is due for release in September, but it can be purchased now at

Writing has always been a part of Beth's life. When she was introduced to the Amish, she gained an appreciation for their simpler way of life and began writing novels featuring this endearing group. Her first novel was Plain Perfect.

Beth is a wife, mother of two grown sons, a full-time author, and loves having a life blessed by God. She and her family live in a small town in Texas, in the country—God’s country. Beth says it’s beautiful there. They wake up to their rooster (Rusty!) crowing, and she spends her days writing stories that God puts in her head.

Her favorite verses are: 1 Corinthians 13: "... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." and John 14:18: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

In an interview with Beth, asked her what inspired her to write Seek Me with All Your Heart. She answered, "This was a joint effort with my editor and publishing team based on an article that detailed how Amish families are migrating to Colorado—from Pennyslvania, Ohio, Indiana, New York, Michigan, and Missouri. Most of them are pursuing less-expensive land and more land for future generations."

When questioned about the location of the book's setting, Beth said, "The fictional town of Canaan is located near Monte Vista, Colorado. Monte Vista is Spanish for ‘mountain view’, and the Sangre de Cristo (which means ‘blood of Christ’) Mountains are to the east and the San Juans are to the west. I’ll be going back to the area in August to do more research. We chose that location because there is an Amish community just outside of Monte Vista."

On the book's back cover, we read:

"Emily Detweiler's family abruptly moved to Colorado after tragedy struck in Ohio. But Emily can't get far enough to escape what happened there.

"David Stoltzfus is not happy when his family relocates from Pennsylvania to Colorado. Never mind that they haven't told him why. David struggles not only with this unwelcome move, but also with the fear that a health condition could keep him from living his life in full.

"Emily and David each come to terms with a past that follows them, testing their faith and resolve. Will they overcome adversity and step onto the path God has chosen for them?"

Hmm ... This raises quite a few questions that scream for answers. I've never read Amish fiction before, but I think I'll start now. This book is a must buy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The wait begins ...

I've finished Face From the Past, had it professionally edited, attended a writer's conference, and signed with a great agent who is busy promoting it to editors. So, what do I do now?

Hmm. Let's see. I could sit around biting my nails, waiting on that magical email that tells me an editor wants to read more, take a break from writing altogether and work on some of the many unfinished household projects that haunt me every day, or begin my next novel.

I'm sure all you writers know the correct option: Begin my next novel, of course. But suppose the emails finally come and all I get is rejection? What then?

One option comes to mind immediately. I could throw a huge pity-party and invite all my unpublished friends to join me. Fess up - I know a lot of you out there know just what I'm talking about. After all, the Lord has numbered our days and life is short, so why should we waste another minute working so hard at something no one appreciates? Right?

Of course not. We are writers––professionals, and we are compelled to write come what may. So, we grit our teeth and dig in.

Yesterday after church, I took my writing sabbath and read, read, read. I finished The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. In it, Bell states that all writers, published and unpublished, need to continue improving their craft by consistently writing and reading. Writing - set a goal to write a given number of words per week and do it, regardless. Reading - we need to read books on writing as well as other novels in the genre we write. If you haven't read The Art of War for Writers, I strongly recommend it as the next book you read to improve your craft.

Bell's book inspired me, so today I have set (and met) my word-count goal, am starting to read Deliver Us From Evil by Robin Caroll, and am actively exploring ideas for my next novel.

Where are you in your writing journey, what are you working on and reading now, and have you set a word-count goal for yourself?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back Cover - This Fine Life

Yesterday I finished increasing the word count of my novel and breathed a sigh as I clicked the "Send" button emailing it to my agent. Now the wait begins, and I covet your prayers. The next step is up to the Lord, and I praise God I have an agent who is led by Him.

While I wait, I am reminded of Psalm 31:14-15a: "But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hand ..." What a blessing to know the Lord is in control.

Today, I am delighted to post the back cover copy from a fantastic novel, This Fine Life, published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, and written by Eva Marie Everson, a fellow Floridian, whose works I have followed for several years:

"It is the summer of 1959 and Mariette Puttnam has just graduated from boarding school. When she returns to her privileged life at home, she isn't sure where life will take her. More schooling? A job? Marriage? Nothing feels right. How could she know that the answer is waiting for her within the narrow stairwell of her father's apparel factory, exactly between the third and fourth floors?

In this unique and tender story of an unlikely romance, popular author Eva Marie Everson takes readers on a journey through the heart of a young woman bound for the unknown. Readers will experience the joys of new love, the perseverance of true friendship, and the gift of forgiveness that comes from a truly fine life."

This heartwarming read will make a great addition to your summer list. You don't want to miss it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Finished book––need agent?

Well, finally, I have more to share about my personal journey from finished book to publication. I know it has been a while since I posted, but I have been quite busy as you will see below ...

One huge question I had to answer after I finished my book was: Do I need an agent?

If you read my last blog, you know I attended the Florida Christian Writer's Conference in early March. I went there with the agent question already answered––I did not need one, but I came home well aware that an agent is almost essential for a debut Christian author who wants to be published. What happened? At the conference, I attended an agents' panel, and boy did I learn a lot!

Why do I need an agent? To me, the most important reason can be found quickly by viewing websites of Christian publishers. Most of them work only with agents and do not accept proposals directly from authors unless they (1) have met them at a writer's conference and (2) have also given them permission to send a proposal.

There are other reasons to hire an agent, as well. These include the fact that your agent works with you and for you, answers your questions, gives you wise advice, and is eager to see you succeed. Good agents are well-versed and well-connected in the industry and also protect your interests when it's time to sign a contract with a publisher.

So, if your book is finished and you want to publish with a Christian publisher, your best bet is to seek out a reputable agent––reputable is the key word here. There are blogs and websites that help you find lists of reputable ones and some also give you criteria to use in evaluating an agent. Other sites list agents with whom other authors have had difficulty and explain the problem.

If you Google "Christian Literary Agents," you will find plenty sites to investigate. Michael Hyatt's comments about agents on are, in my opinion, quite informative. Author friends who have an agent are also an excellent source of information. My Facebook friends have answered many of my questions and given me great advice.

After you select the agent(s) you want to contact, be sure to carefully follow each agent's individual submission guidelines. These usually differ from agent to agent, and it is important to be meticulous in following each little detail. If you are submitting to more than one agent, be sure to say you are sending a simultaneous submission.

As you prepare your submission, remember to pay attention to spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc. It might seem ridiculous to mention this, but it is so easy to be careless and slip up. You want to present yourself as a professional.

In many ways, preparing the proposal seemed more difficult to me than writing the book. I can't remember exactly how long it took me, but it was at least a couple of weeks––maybe even a month. Be patient as you go through the process. It's important not to get in a hurry and make mistakes.

After you've finally finished the proposal and sent it off, you will have yet another opportunity to practice patience. It can take weeks or months before you hear anything. If you submitted to more than one agent, when you choose and sign with one of them, common courtesy and professionalism dictate that you notify all the others and let them know you have chosen another agent.

Well, there you have it––my humble opinion about why you need an agent. Fortunately, my agent search is over. The Lord blessed me with an excellent agent whom I met at the Florida Christian Writer's Conference, and I have already learned that an agent earns every penny you pay. (Of course, you pay nothing until your book is sold.) It is comforting to know that someone who is a lot wiser and well respected in the industry is looking out for me.

This brings me to the reason this blog has gone untouched for the last five weeks. My agent has advised me to increase the word count of my novel, and I have been working hard to do just that. He knows what the publishers expect––they each have their own word-count range. Since few Christian publishers include this information on their website, he was my only source of information. Just one more reason I needed an agent!

Do you have an agent? Are you looking for one? Have you submitted and not heard back? Received rejection letters? Feel free to share ...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Writers conferences are a must ...

In early March, I attended my first writers conference––The Florida Christian Writers Conference held at Lake Yale Conference Center in Leesburg, Florida––and caught conference fever.

Sequestered away from the dog-eat-dog fray of the world outside, I entered a community of vibrant Christians who not only loved books and writing as much as I do, but also cared deeply for others and for the Lord. Quite frankly, I know of no other assemblage where such unique vibes can be found.

The Christian fellowship, fantastic speakers, and uplifting worship would have been sufficient reason to attend, but the additional benefits to my writing craft and career were phenomenal. Opportunities abound whether you are a newbie beginner, listed on the New York Times best seller list, or somewhere in between. You can attend classes taught by masters of the craft, discuss your work and ideas one-on-one with agents and editors, receive help for an ailing manuscript from freelance writers, submit proposals to agents and/or editors for their critique, and build friendships that can last a lifetime.

It was a terrific experience, and one I intend to repeat next year. There are many conferences scheduled in different geographic areas throughout the year. If you have a chance to attend any one of them, grab the opportunity. It could be the door-opener you can't afford to miss.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Back Cover - Deliver Us From Evil

Today's back cover feature is Robin Caroll's new book, Deliver Us From Evil, a romantic suspense novel published by B & H Publishing Group:

"A beautiful yet tough woman working in a beautiful yet tough setting, Brannon Callahan is a search and rescue helicopter pilot for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Strong faith and a decorated history of service have kept her one step ahead of on-the-job dangers, but there's no precedent for what's about to happen. After a blizzard takes down a small plane carrying U. S. Marshall Roark Holland (already haunted by a recent tragedy), Brannon must save him in more ways than one and safeguard the donor heart he's transporting to a government witness on the edge of death. Otherwise the largest child trafficking ring in history––with shocking links from Thailand to Tennessee––will slip further away into darkness along the Appalachian Trail."

This sounds like an exciting read!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back Cover - Only Angels Are Bulletproof

Today's back cover is from Emily Ann Benedict's Christian suspense novel, Only Angels Are Bulletproof:

"FBI agent, Scott Malkin, did not believe in God, heaven, and certainly not angels...until a simple bank robbery went horribly wrong.

"In her first novel, Only Angels Are Bulletproof, Emily Ann Benedict takes her reader on a page-turning ride of suspense and mystery when a seemingly random young woman is fatally shot in front of Scott and dozens of witnesses, yet survives and disappears before anyone one can question her.

"Scott's quest to stop a plague of bank robberies in the Los Angeles area quickly becomes a quest to prove that things such as angels and miracles do not exist.

"But when the hunt turns deadly and threatens to consume his friends and family, Scott is faced with one very strange question: Is believing Only Angels Are Bulletproof the only way to stop a criminal?"

You can read more about the book, including the first chapter, on Emily's website:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back Cover - A Distant Melody

Today's back cover features Sarah Sundin's A Distance Melody, a historical fiction/ romance novel published by Revell. Its release date is March 2010, so be sure to look for it:

"Will a chance meeting in a time of war change her life forever?

"Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval - even marry a man she doesn't love. While Allie has nearly resigned herself to that fate, Lt. Walter Novak – fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women – takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas.

"Walt and Allie meet and begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

"Book 1 in the Wings of Glory series, A Distant Melody, is an exciting and tender story of love, courage, and sacrifice during World War II."

Comments are welcome...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The back cover ...

You're in a bookstore, shopping in your preferred genre, with no specific book in mind. As you walk down the rows, you scan the titles, find one that tweaks your interest, pull it off the shelf, and check out its front cover. Then what?

I don't know about you, but I flip it over and read its back cover––the blurb that gives a hint of the story, a teaser designed to make you want more. If it intrigues me, I head straight for the cash register. Are well-written back covers important? You betcha!

Proverbs 23:12 (NIV) says: "Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge."

Let's relate this verse to our writing. Examples of success can instruct us, and words from those who have achieved offer us knowledge. In my next few blogs, I will feature back covers from published authors. If you are published and would like your back story included, please message me in Facebook with the title of your book, its back cover, its genre, and if its your first book or how many you have had published.

Since I just issued this call to published authors today, I'll start with the back cover for Face From the Past, my as-yet-unpublished Christian romantic suspense novel:

"A stranger chases a young woman through a dank, eerie swamp. She takes a quick look back. He's getting closer, but she can't make out his face. A nightmare? Yes, and it has traumatized Beth Thompson for as long as she can remember. Is it an omen, a memory, or neither? She doesn't know. Doesn't care. Just wishes it would stop.

"Then, all of a sudden, the nightmare becomes reality. Beth is thrust into the clutches of a relentless killer who shares in a dark secret hidden from her since childhood––a face from her past who is determined to bury both Beth and that secret forever.

"Can the man she loves save her? And will God answer her desperate plea even though she has turned her back on him?"

Come back tomorrow to read a back cover from a published author, and please pray that some agent or publisher is intrigued with mine.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ready for the battle?

Proverbs 21:31 (NIV) says: “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”

Of course, in our daily life we have no horses to get ready for the day of battle, but we do have our own battles, our “callings” that need preparation and daily maintenance – our marriage, singleness, being a parent, our career, or whatever else God has called us to do on a given day or in our current stage in life.

For example, when the Lord led me to write a fiction novel, I thought it would easy. After all, l had been writing all my life – devotions, curriculum, newsletters, and such. I jumped right in and wrote the book, only to be told by someone kind enough to clue me in that I had a promising story but first had to learn to write fiction.

That wonderful person was published author Bonnie Hearn Hill, and the Lord really blessed me the day he brought her into my life. She became my teacher, my mentor, my editor, and, most importantly, my friend. We’ve worked together for about three years, and I’ve finally finished my first fiction novel. It’s ready and waiting for some agent or publisher to say, “Yes!”

That brings us to the second part of the verse: “But victory rests with the Lord.” He is in control. It’s out of my hands. I’ve done what he asked me to do and have to leave the rest up to him. Of course, I’ll submit and submit and submit because that’s what I’m supposed to do, but ultimately it is in his hands now.

You might ask: Why would the Lord lead me to write a book that wouldn’t be published? And I would have to answer: I hope he didn’t, but if he did, I really don’t know. Maybe it’s because I have grown and learned so much in the process, I have many new friends because of it, or I enjoyed every minute of the learning and the writing although it was very difficult at times. But this one thing I know, what happens next is up to the Lord, and I’m content with that.

Does this verse bring your story to mind? Please share it…

Saturday, February 20, 2010

To stay encamped or journey on

Numbers 9:19-23 describes how the children of Israel followed the Lord’s command on their journey through the wilderness by watching a cloud over the tabernacle.  When it moved, they set out on their journey, but when it stayed above the tabernacle, they stayed where they were. Verse 23 says: “At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed; they kept the charge of the Lord ….”

I want to follow the Lord’s “charge” in my life, too. My novel – Face From the Past, a Christian romantic suspense – is finally finished, and being published is my goal. What is he telling me to do now?

Well, he is definitely the God of surprises, because today he led me to start this blog. So, instead of staying “encamped” by doing my laundry and other household chores, I “journeyed on” and am finally (I hope) publishing my first post after spending hours wading though the technical details of creating a blog. 

I would like this space to be your space, too, where we share our successes and our failures, keep each other posted on what is happening to us now, and get advice from published authors, agents, and publishers who are willing to help us.

Some things I have done and will be doing to move in the “publication” direction are:

1.   I had my book edited by a very competent editor/teacher.

  1.  I am attending my first writer’s conference – the Florida Christian Writers Conference on March 3-7.

  1.  I have struggled through preparing a proposal, which in many ways was harder than writing the book itself, and have submitted it for critique to one publisher and one agent attending the conference.

  1. I have prepared a “pitch sheet”.

  1. From now until the day I leave, I will be reviewing the book looking for needed changes.

Now, it’s your turn…