HELP ME BRAINSTORM!

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I’m working on a series of novels that will show God’s supernatural power. My idea is to have an overall title then a specific title for that novel.

Example: Miracles: A Small Blue Purse

But I’m looking for something other than Miracles because I don’t want to make people think the stories are real. Something catchy but readers will know right away they’re fictional and have a touch or two of the supernatural. Any ideas? Here’s a few of my ideas. Feel free to expand on them or come up with one of your own.

 MIRACLES: A SMALL BLUE PURSE

MIRACLES; A ROCK’N ROLL CHRISTMAS

MODERN DAY PARABLES: A ROCK’N ROLL CHRISTMAS

MIRACLES, PARABLES, & GOD: A SMALL BLUE PURSE

 

PS. I’ll make a gift of one of my ebooks if I use someone’s idea!

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So Many Choices–Christian Fiction!

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As promised, I’m giving a list of Christian Fiction books today that you might want to check out. And, of course, you can always check out my books as well. Most of mine are suspense or romantic suspense and don’t deal with social issues, but the list below focuses on books that have a variety of difficult or controversial topics.

It was compiled by author, Deborah Raney and she gave me permission to share it here. You can learn more about Deborah and her books at www.deborahraney.com. 

 

CBA NOVELS THAT ADDRESS SOCIAL ISSUES
Abortion: 
BECAUSE OF THE RAIN, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2017)
LIKE ALWAYS, Robert Elmer (WaterBrook Press 2007)
A HILLTOP IN TUSCANY, Stephanie Grace Whitson (Bethany House 2006)
SAVING GRACE, Denise Hunter (Howard Books 2005)
THE ATONEMENT CHILD, Francine Rivers (Tyndale House 1999)
Adoption/Infertility:
AS WATERS GONE BY, Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon Press 2015)
ANOTHER WAY HOME, Deborah Raney (Abingdon Press 2015)
LOST AND FOUND, Gayle Roper (Amazon Digital Services 2014)
CATCH A FALLING STAR, Beth K.Vogt (Howard Books 2013)
PERFECTING KATE, Tamara Leigh (Multnomah 2007)
Aging/Body Image/Menopause/Obesity:
INVISIBLE, Ginny L. Yttrup (Shelterwood Press 2018)
ALWAYS JAN, Roxanne Henke (Amazon Digital Services 2017)
FOOD BABY, Linda Kozar (CreateSpace 2015)
MISS INVISIBLE, Laura Jensen Walker (Thomas Nelson 2007)
AIDS/Homosexuality:
THREADS OF HOPE, Christa Allan (Abingdon Press 2012)
A SEASON OF GRACE, Bette Nordberg (Harvest House 2004)
TIGER LILLIE, Lisa Samson (WaterBrook Press 2004)
SPRING RAIN, Gayle Roper (Multnomah 2001)
Alcoholism/Codependency/Drug Abuse:
ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE, Beth K. Vogt (Howard Books 2016)
LEAVING NOVEMBER, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2016)
DREAMING ON DAISIES, Miralee Ferrell (David C. Cook 2015)
A PROMISE KEPT, Robin Lee Hatcher (Thomas Nelson 2014)
CRITICAL CONDITION, Richard Mabry, M.D. (Thomas Nelson 2014)
NIGHT LIGHT, Terri Blackstock (Zondervan 2006)
Bullying:
JUST LOOK UP, Courtney Walsh (Tyndale House 2017)
FEAR HAS A NAME, Creston Mapes (David C Cook 2013)
SHATTERED SILENCE, Margaret Daley (Abingdon 2012)
Cancer/Dementia/Terminal Illness:
AFTER ANNE, Roxanne Henke (Amazon Digital Services 2017)
A VOW TO CHERISH, Deborah Raney (Harlequin Special Release 2017)
ALL MY BELONGINGS, Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon Press 2013)
A TIME TO MEND, Angela Hunt (Steeple Hill 2006)
THE HEALING QUILT, Lauraine Snelling (WaterBrook Press 2002)
Child Abuse/Domestic Violence:
YOU’LL THINK OF ME, Robin Lee Hatcher (Thomas Nelson 2017)
A NEST OF SPARROWS, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2017)
TO WHISPER HER NAME, Tamera Alexander (Bethany House 201
REKINDLED, Tamera Alexander (Bethany House 2006)
Cloning:
THE PEARL, Angela Hunt (Thomas Nelson 2003)
IRREPARABLE HARM, Randy Singer (WaterBrook Press 2003)
Crisis Pregnancy/Premarital Sex:
FALCON, Ronie Kendig (Barbour 2015)
WHEN MERCY RAINS, Kim Vogel Sawyer (WaterBrook 2015)
DANCING WITH FIREFLIES, Denise Hunter (HarperCollins Christian 2014)
RESCUED BY THE FIREFIGHTER, Gail Gaymer Martin (Love Inspired 2014)
MAJOR LEAGUE DAD, Kathleen Y’Barbo (Barbour Publishing 2013)
PAINTED DRESSES, Patricia Hickman (WaterBrook Press 2007)
Depression/Mental Illness/Suicide:
BECOMING OLIVIA, Roxanne Henke (Amazon Digital Services 2017)
SONG OF SILENCE, Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon Press 2016)
PROMISE TO KEEP, Elizabeth Byler Younts (Howard Books 2015)
THE OAK LEAVES, Maureen Lang (Tyndale House 2007)
THE NOVELIST, Angela Hunt (WestBow 2006)
THE LIVING END, Lisa Samson (WaterBrook Press 2005)
FINDING ALICE, Melody Carlson (WaterBrook Press 2003)
Divorce/Infidelity/Troubled Marriage:
A FRAGILE HOPE, Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon Press 2017)
SWEETBRIAR COTTAGE, Denise Hunter (HarperCollins Christian 2017)
YESTERDAY’S EMBERS, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2017)
THE FIVE TIMES I MET MYSELF, James L. Rubart (HarperCollins Christian 2015)
CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE, Beth K. Vogt (Howard Books 2015)
REDEEMING LOVE, Francine Rivers (Multnomah 2004)
Drunk Driving:
AFTER THE RAINS, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2017)
WAITING FOR MORNING, Karen Kingsbury (Multnomah 2002)
False Religions/Cults:
A STAR CURIOUSLY SINGING, Kerry Nietz (Freeheads 2016)
SHADOWS ON THE SAND, Gayle Roper (Multnomah 2011)
POCKETFUL OF PEARLS, Shelley Bates (FaithWords 2005)
Homelessness:
ALMOST FOREVER, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2017)
NOBODY, Creston Mapes (Multnomah 2007)
Human Trafficking:
SAVING HOPE, Margaret Daley (Abingdon 2012)
DELIVER ME FROM EVIL, Kathy Macias (New Hope Publishers 2011)
WISER THAN SERPENTS, Susan May Warren (Steeple Hill 2008)
THE LIGHTS OF TENTH STREET, Shaunti Feldhahn (Multnomah 2003)
Immigration/Refugees:
CATCHING THE WIND, Melanie Dobson (Tyndale House 2017)
BEYOND JUSTICE, Cara Putman (Thomas Nelson 2017)
Incest/Rape/Sexual Abuse:
THE RELUCTANT DUCHESS, Roseanna M. White (Bethany House 2016)
BECAUSE OF THE RAIN, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2015)
THROUGH THE DEEP WATERS, Kim Vogel Sawyer (WaterBrook 2014)
PROMISE TO CHERISH, Elizabeth Byler Younts (Howard Books 2014)
BELOVED COUNTERFEIT, Kathleen Y’Barbo (Amazon Digital Services 2013)
REVEALED, Tamera Alexander (Bethany House 2006)
Interracial Dating/Marriage:
HOME AT LAST, Deborah Raney (Abingdon Press 2017)
FIRETHORN, Ronie Kendig (Barbour 2012)
The Occult:
CORAL MOON, Brandilyn Collins (Zondervan 2007)
DARK STAR, Creston Mapes (Multnomah 2006)
Organ Donation:
INSIGHT, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2017)
THE GOOD NEARBY, Nancy Moser (Tyndale House 2006)
Pornography:
WISH YOU WERE HERE, Beth K. Vogt (Howard Books 2012)
PRESUMED GUILTY, James Scott Bell (Zondervan 2006)
LAST LIGHT, Terri Blackstock (Zondervan 2005)
THE LIGHTS OF TENTH STREET, Shaunti Feldhahn (Multnomah 2003)
Racial Conflict/Reconciliation:
NO ONE EVER ASKED, Katie Ganshert (WaterBrook Press 2018)
TO WAGER HER HEART, Tamera Alexander (Zondervan 2017)
ARMANDO’S TREASURE, Melody Carlson (WhiteFire 2017)
ABOVE ALL THINGS, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2016)
TO WIN HER FAVOR, Tamera Alexander (Zondervan 2015)
THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS TOUGH, Neta Jackson (Integrity 2005)
Single Parenthood:
THE MASTERPIECE, Francine Rivers (Tyndale House 2018)
A SCARLET CORD, Deborah Raney (Raney Day Press 2017)
Terrorism:
SKY ZONE, Creston Mapes (David C Cook 2014)
UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Why Don’t Christians Read Christian Fiction?

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Much of mainstream fiction is filled with bad language, graphic sex scenes, and all manner of wrong-thinking. Considering that, you’d think more Christians would want to read books that come from a Christian worldview–and yet I know many Christians who don’t read Christian Fiction. So why don’t they?

They haven’t even heard of Christian Fiction or if they have…

They think Christian fiction is all based in Bible times.

They think all Christian fiction is sweet romances.

They think Christian fiction is really a sermon disguised as a book.

They think it’s not as professional as mainstream fiction.

They think it’s corny, cheesy, or too preachy.

They think it’s not fun, interesting, or exciting.

They think Christian fiction is not socially relevant.

Whatever the reason, I’m here to say they’re wrong. Modern Christian fiction has something for everyone, no matter what they enjoy. It ranges from very mild Christian content to strong. It has every imaginable genre you could want except for erotica or porn. It ranges from sweet to edgy to even more edgy. It has characters ranging from facing the realities of this life to characters facing aliens or magical beings in another time or place.

So what puts the Christian in Christian Fiction?

In my opinion, there are two things that make Christian Fiction Christian Fiction.

First you have to follow some rules…I know…writers hate rules. It stifles our creativity, right? But without rules there would be anarchy!  And that’s never a good thing.

To me Christian Fiction is a label, much like the movie-rating system and that label should mean something. Readers should be able to trust that label when they make their reading choices. The traditional list for Christian Fiction included: conservative Christian values; Christian characters who didn’t drink alcohol, play cards, dance, or gamble; no profanity; no strong violence; chaste relationships that focuses on the emotional side of love, not the physical. In recent years these rules have relaxed. In fact, some publishers have relaxed beyond a point that is uncomfortable for me.

My own list includes these DO NOT HAVES:

Explicit sex scenes.

Superfluous violence.

Four letter words or any other words that might offend my readers

Second of all, there must be Christian content—how much depends on your specific story.

One of the ways I describe the Christian part of my stories is to say that all of my main characters are on a spiritual journey but they aren’t all in the same place spiritually. Some are devout Christians; some are lukewarm and some are even backsliders. And some are not Christian at all but searching for answers. As Christian Fiction writers, we need to help our characters find the answers. And in the process we might just help our readers find some answers they’re searching for as well.

 

So I hope this post has got you thinking that you might like to give Christian fiction a chance. Tomorrow, I’ll post a list of books that can get you started!

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

 

A Book Review–If I Run by Terri Blackstock.

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Wow! I knew it had been a while since I posted here but I had no idea it was before Christmas.  Anyway, I just finished book 3 in the IF I RUN series by Terri Blackstock so I thought I’d do a review of the series. I love Terri Blackstock books. In fact the first time I read one of her book, I said to myself–she writes like me! So, of course, why wouldn’t I love her books?

The If I Run Series Collection: If I Run, If I'm Found, If I Live

Anyway…the series contains three books–If I Run; If I’m Found; and If I Live. I’m not going to talk about each of them individually but as a group. As always, the story is filled with loveable characters as well as villains to hate, lots of action but some sweet moments as well. All three books follow Casey who has gotten herself in a big mess–not of her own doing but still a mess. Even as Casey runs for her own life, she’s brave enough not to turn her back on others when she can help them.  And, of course, she falls in love during the course of the stories but I won’t ruin it by telling you who it is. The story has a strong Christian content which I enjoyed as well.

So, I loved the story but and it’s a big but for me, the story is written in first person present tense instead of the traditional third person past. If you don’t know what that means and there’s no reason to unless you’re a writer or a speech pathologist or an English teacher, I’ll demonstrate it for you.

3rd person past:   As she walked down the street, a man jumped at her.

1st person present: As I walk  down the street, a man jumps at me.

A lot of young adult novels are written in the 1st person present tense. Personally I don’t like it but Terri Blackstock is such a masterful writer that I was able to overcome my dislike of the format–this time.

So I’d definitely recommend the books if you’re looking for some romantic suspense with a Christian theme.

 

Until next time…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

Christmas Tree Extravaganza!

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My publisher, Pelican Book Group, has a Christmas Extravaganza where she publishes new Christmas-themed novellas and puts all the previous titles as well as the new ones on sale for 99 cents! To check it out CLICK HERE.

So anyway I’m having a Christmas Tree Extravaganza!

Every year as Christmas approaches, we clear off our enclosed porch and up comes the trees from the basement. This year, according to my husband, we have 17 trees up. One lonely tree stayed in the basement.  Twelve are on the porch and 5 are in the house. No, they aren’t all full-sized trees. We have large ones, medium ones, and small ones. It’s a bit of work, but the results are so much fun, I don’t really complain about it.

Anyway, here’s my 2017  Christmas Tree Extravaganza! My photography’s not the best but at least you can get an idea of what it looks like.

     

   

   

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS & GOOD READING!

 

 

Feeling Overwhelmed?

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I love Christmas but I also know that the Christmas season can be overwhelming. Too many things to do. Too many places to go. And too many good things to eat.  At the moment, Christmas is quickly approaching and that means COOKIES! I love all things sweet but Christmas Cookies are a weakness of mine. And my husband makes wonderful cookies so….

I’m so close to my weight goal–only a few more pounds to go. And it seems as if I’m surrounded by Christmas Cookies everywhere I go–except my WW meeting. I’ve been taking the all or nothing approach when it comes to Christmas Cookies this year, meaning nothing. An all or nothing approach isn’t really helpful in most areas of our life and that’s very true when it comes to weight loss. And I know that most of the time.

But this year is different. The last thing I want to do is sabotage myself but it’s a bit overwhelming to think about NO COOKIES during the holiday season. That made me think about other times when I was overwhelmed.

One of those was when I worked as a speech pathologist for schools. Any job in the education field is a bit overwhelming but being a speech pathologist is certainly one of those because there’s two parts to our job, first is to provide therapy for the students. But the other part of the job is to evaluate students who might need therapy as well as to provide ongoing evaluations to my current students while still providing service for my current students. Each year the evaluation process became more complicated and time-consuming, thus more and more overwhelming.

One of the things I learned to do was not to focus on all the evaluations that needed to be done during the year and making myself even more overwhelmed. Instead each month I would make a list of the students who needed evaluated that month–which made the process more than manageable. All the evaluations would get done on time!

That’s when it came to me. I’ve been worrying about how to get through the whole Christmas season without Christmas Cookies. But I don’t have to worry about saying no to cookies for the next 2-3 weeks, I only have to say no at the next event. It’s about keeping the focus on the present and not worrying about the future. That’s manageable–I can do that.

About now, you might be saying, “so what.” Hold on, I’m getting there.

It’s good to plan and have long-range goals but that’s not always true for every situation. Sometimes, it’s better to take the one day at a time approach. Losing weight is a good example, but I can think of others as well. Cleaning house is one. I don’t like cleaning but if I focus on only cleaning a few things each day, it makes it manageable. And what about writing a book?

When I start to write a new book, I look at the completely blank screen and it’s overwhelming. So I block that out and write the first word, then the first sentence, the first page, and before I know it I have the first chapter finished.

The holiday season can be overwhelming and before we know it, we’ve lost our Christmas spirit and that’s no fun at all. So I suggest you make a list, check it twice, and then do the next thing that needs done. Focus on one thing at a time and enjoy the season!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & GOOD READING!

Christmas Extravaganza is here!

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Every year my publisher has a Christmas Extravaganza! It’s old and new Christmas-themed novellas in every genre you’d want to read–romance; suspense; cozy mysteries; and even women’s fiction. And most, if not all the titles, are only 99 cents! I can’t give a list of all the books but if you go to Amazon and type in Christmas Extravaganza, the titles will come up for you.

I’ll be posting the pictures of my own Christmas Tree Extravaganza soon. In the meantime, I thought I’d talk about my Christmas-themed books. I’ve discovered I like writing stories  with a Christmas setting but still have mystery and suspense. The Christmas Stalking was my first novella that included a Christmas theme, then came The Christmas Angel Thief and No Home for the Holidays.  At the moment, I’m working on two more Christmas stories for next Christmas!

              

Anyway…I thought I’d share the prologue to The Christmas Stalking with everyone. My publisher cut this part out of the story because she likes the Christmas Extravaganza novellas to be on the short side of a novella.

AMAZON LINK

The Christmas Stalking–Prologue

 

Her hand froze mid-air as she reached for the door knob. Her pulse ramped up. Destiny Martin had always considered herself brave, but she’d discovered that wasn’t quite as true as she’d always believed.

The knock came again.

“Destiny, I can’t get in. Type in the security code so you can open the door.”

Recognizing the voice, she let out a breath. She giggled at the thought of locking her manager out of his own apartment.

Careful to stay out of sight in case anyone was watching, she opened the door. Mark walked in, his hands full of mail, packages, and grocery bags. She slammed the door shut, hoping no one had seen her in that brief second.

“How’re you feeling, sweetikins?” One of the bags fell from Mark’s grasp.

Bending down, she retrieved it. “Sad and lonely. Just like my songs.”

“Why? I’m here and you’ve got tons of friends. Not to mention the millions—no billions of fans.”

She gave him a look—the same one her teachers used when she’d told them she would be a famous country music star someday. “Billions? I don’t think so, Mark. Let’s not get carried away.”

Mark shrugged. “Okay. Millions.”

“They love Destiny not me.” She sighed. “They have no idea who I am. I’m not even sure I know who I am anymore. Holly Stone doesn’t even exist as far as the world is concerned.”

Mark winked. “She does and I like her just fine. You’ve got the holiday blues.”

She plopped on his sofa. “Is it any wonder? I’m stuck here and can’t even go outside. Not that it matters, it still wouldn’t feel like Christmas.” Nashville might be all decked out in Christmas cheer but it just wasn’t cold enough. Christmas just wasn’t Christmas without some snow.

“If you don’t like it here, pick another place.” Mark’s voice was quiet.

She’d hurt his feelings. She grinned. “I didn’t mean it like that, sweetikins. Of course, I love being here with you. You’re so kind to let me stay here.” Now that her own home wasn’t so safe.

“Holidays can be tough.”

She set the bag on the coffee table. Not for him. He didn’t spend every Christmas alone, pretending to be busy. He went home to his huge family at Christmas. He’d invited her to go this year but that wasn’t happening.“How am I supposed to live my life if I’m hiding in your condo? Like I’m the one who did something wrong. Why can’t they find this guy?”

“Give them time.”

She turned toward him, hands on her hips. Her voice broke. “I’m so tired of all of this… of imposing on you… of not being in my home. But most of all, I’m tired of being afraid.”

“I know it’s scary, but you’re safe here.  I can find you a nicer place if you want. I know this isn’t the luxury you’re used to.”

Mark wasn’t getting it. “Don’t be ridiculous, your condo is wonderful. More amenities and gadgets than any one person would ever need. But I’m not used to being cooped up all the time.”

“It won’t be much longer, sweetikins. I promise.”

“You’re right. I have no intention of missing the concert. I’ve never missed one in my life, and I’m not about to start. Mr. Psycho Stalker or not. Especially since this is for charity.”

“It’s not—”

She held up a hand. “It’s not open for debate. I’m doing that concert and that’s final. My life. My choice.”

“I know but—”

“I’m done with this discussion.”  Turning up her southern accent, she smiled. “Whatdjabringme, sweetikins?” She grabbed at the bags in his hands.

He laughed as he handed one to her. “A few things. I stopped by your house for your mail, and then went to the store for your favorite snacks.”

“Oooh, sounds good. I hope you stopped at that deli with the great shrimp dip.”

“You know I did. You can check out the mail while I put the food away.”

“I love how you spoil me. Besides the food in your fridge is disgusting.”

“That hurts. It really does. I share my home with you. And all you do is hurt me. Not very nice.” He shook his head with feigned sadness.

“Whatever. Let me see my mail.”

He pointed at the plastic grocery bag filled with mail on the coffee table and continued to the kitchen with the grocery bags. “Oh, and that package is for you, too.”

Ignoring the mail, she picked up the box. “Probably a Christmas present from one of my billions of adoring fans.” She sat down and picked it up. “Is it safe?”

“Security said it was fine. No bomb.”

She shook her head. “Can you believe you even said those words? The guy’s an overzealous fan, he’s not going to hurt me.”

He poked his head out from the kitchen. “Tell that to John Lennon, sweetikins.”

Her stomach somersaulted. “I’m done with Mr. Psycho Stalker controlling my life. I’ve been thinking.”

Mark walked out of the kitchen. “I do not like the sound of that. Whenever you say that, it always means more work for me.”

She picked at the tape on the brown wrapped package. “Not this time.”

“What’s your idea?”

“After the concert, Destiny is going to disappear. About time I take a vacation. It’s been a long time since I had one. And you can take one, too.”

Instead of a smile, worry lines appeared on Mark’s forehead. “Where are you going?”

She shook her head. “I’m not even saying the destination out loud. That way no one can follow me.”

Mark stared at her. “That’s not a good idea. I need to know where you are.”

“Why?”

“Because I always know where you are. It’s my job and besides I’ll miss you.”

Uh-oh, she didn’t like the sounds of that. Mark was her manager and friend—nothing more. They’d been spending too much time together. Definitely time for a change.

She smiled. “Yeah, right. You must be so tired of me cramping your style and besides, you deserve a vacation, too. You work—”

Mark’s eyes darkened, his voice firm. “I don’t want a vacation. I want to keep you safe. And I can’t do that if I don’t know where you are.”

“It’s a great idea and you know it. You’re just grumpy you didn’t think of it first.”

Mark walked out of the kitchen. “Don’t you trust me?”

“Of course I do, but I’m still not telling you.” She tore open the wrapping on the box in her lap. It revealed a gift box with boughs of dark green holly and bright red berries. “Do you think someone remembered my real name is Holly?”

She lifted up the box lid. Screaming, she jumped up.

A dead cat rolled out.

 

If you want to know what happens after the dead cat, you’ll have to buy the book–but it’s only 99 cents!

AMAZON LINK

MERRY CHRISTMAS & GOOD READING!