Life is Like A Puzzle…

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So my new book, Puzzle House released a week ago. So I’ve been busy tweeting and posting and visiting blogs. Time to take a break and have some fun!

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A while back I asked my Facebook friends to finish this statement, life is like a puzzle because…. And here are a few of the answers in no particular order.

Life is like a puzzle because…

Francine Troyer: Because we look at the natural instead of at the Spirit.

Nancy Sonneman: the pieces don’t always fit

Keith Summers: it has a set border we can’t go beyond but the inside pieces though a jumble of different shapes, eventually fit together to make a beautiful picture.

Tina Leary Detweiler: Life is like a box of puzzle pieces, sometimes the pieces just seem to fall into place. Other pieces take a little work, sacrifice and faith. They will all come together to create a beautiful finished product. Makes me think of our creator. He is not done with me yet! My pieces have not all fallen into place but when they do, what a celebration of accomplishment it will be!

Amy Leigh Rohrer: Trying to make the puzzles fit is frustrating. I don’t like puzzles.

Linda Race Matye:  sometimes you think the piece you found fits but it’s the wrong one and you just have to keep looking.

 Amy Leigh Roher: Trying to make them fit is a lesson & that feeling of accomplishment is joyous

Joan Kiper: Because every day-like every piece-is different!

Blanche A. Rohrer: sooner or later, all the pieces fit

Joan Kiper: every day-like every piece –is different!

Carol Young: Life is like a puzzle because we can ponder over it for hours and yet, if we stap away from it for awhile the pieces come together…the same as our problems we face every day. Eventually, God sees us through. It all comes together.

Your turn to fill in the blank. Life is like a puzzle because….

 PS…Don’t forget to leave a comment so you’ll be entered in the drawing for Amazon Gift Card. To celebrate the release of PUZZLE HOUSE, I’m giving away a virtual basket of goodies! ONE lucky winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card plus their choice of one of my books (not Puzzle House) and an e-copy of Devotions from Puzzle House, the devotional companion book to Puzzle House. FIVE more lucky winners will receive their choice of one of my books (Not Puzzle House) and an e-copy of Devotions from Puzzle House. FIVE more lucky winners will receive an e-copy of Devotions from Puzzle House. That’s ELEVEN winners in all!

To enter, simply leave a comment on any of the posts that have the word PUZZLE in the title, including today’s post. The last day to enter the contest will be NOVEMBER 9!

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PUZZLE HOUSE–A Different Sort of Book

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So PUZZLE HOUSE is completely different from the other books I’ve written. I classify it simply as a Christian story–a parable if you will. My definition of a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly message. I like to think that defines all my books, but certainly PUZZLE HOUSE.

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Here’s the blurb:

 

Life isn’t a box of candy—it’s a puzzle!

Rachel Summers is all about Rachel Summers…until the day she crashes headlong into a semi-truck. As her life hangs in the balance, she has a visitor who asks a very simple question.

Does she want to be healed or to be a healer?

She makes her choice, but the journey doesn’t go quite the way she expected.

And so Rachel now runs Puzzle House. Every guest is different and yet the same. They all come to the Puzzle House for one reason and one reason only—to be healed, usually from a life-threatening illness. Sometimes they receive their miracle, and sometimes they discover there’s more than one kind of healing.

Nia is a fifteen-year-old African-American girl who is dying. The doctors have told her there is nothing else to be done. No more treatments. No more hope. No more life. And she’s angry about that. Very angry. Against her wishes, Nia’s aunt brings her to The Puzzle House.

Together, Nia and Rachel will take a journey that will change both their lives.

 

PUZZLE HOUSE has a much deeper spiritual message than my suspense and mystery novels. And because of that, I’ve written a companion devotional book to go along with it–Devotions from PUZZLE HOUSE.

AMAZON LINK

DEVOTIONS from PUZZLE HOUSE takes the puzzle theme from the novel and delves deeper into God’s Word.

God, Writing, & Me!

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I love the way God shows up when I’m writing a new story!

Unlike many writers, I don’t create an outline before I write. I think about it and then I sit down and write. I started working on what I thought would be a Christmas novella (for next Christmas not this year.) but it seemed very dark. A baby is kidnapped a the beginning of the story. Not a light topic–nothing fun about that.

I like my Christmas novellas to be suspenseful but still show the Christmas spirit but this story had a different feeling than my other Christmas-themed suspense novels. And I didn’t particularly like it. Lately my writing has taken on a different style so I started to think my days of writing suspense and mysteries might be numbered. As I thought about this story, I really thought that might be the case.

So I prayed about it and did a little meditating on it as well. My conclusion, I would write the story God gave me and see what happened. Stories can change a great deal from the first draft to the final.

Anyway…this morning as I was working out and listening to Joey + Rory’s Hymns album, I was inspired on how to fix the story so that it kept the Christmas spirit and still had suspense.

God is an awesome God!

Devotions From PUZZLE HOUSE

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PUZZLE HOUSE (releasing in October) will be my twentieth release–sort of! I’ve had a few experimental books over the years that I’ve self-published that I don’t count. Anyway, PUZZLE HOUSE is a complete departure from my normal suspense and mystery novels. I would simply classify it as Christian fiction but my publisher classifies it as women’s fiction.

Either way, the main character is Rachel Summers and…just like me, Rachel has brain tumors because of Neurofibromatosis Type 2. I know it sounds as if it could be a depressing book but I promise that’s not the case. In fact, the subtitle of the book is a novel of healing and hope. Puzzle House has a much deeper spiritual message than my suspense and mystery novels and so to go along with the novel, I’ve written a companion devotional book to go along with it–Devotions from Puzzle House.

And I’m happy to announce Devotions from Puzzle House is now available on Amazon. Here’s the link to go to Amazon. Devotions from Puzzle House looks at eight different puzzle pieces that will help you create a beautiful picture out of the chaos of your life. I’ll be talking more about Puzzle House and Devotions from Puzzle House in the coming weeks.

This is a first for me–creating a devotional to go along with a novel. What do you think of the idea? Love it or hate it?

 

God Bless & Good Reading.

PS. Devotions from Puzzle House is not about making money. (Not that I’d be opposed to it!) So I’ll be having FREE days on the book from time to time. The first free day will be on August 10th. Don’t worry, I’ll post a reminder on that day. Thanks.

 

PUBLIC SPEAKING–YIKES!

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3 WAYS TO OVERCOME THE FEAR!

I read somewhere that fear of public speaking is the most common fear–more people are afraid of public speaking than of dying! That’s sort of crazy but that’s what I read. Whether it’s true or not, I’m not sure but what is true is that lots of people hate the thought of public speaking. That certainly was true in my case.

When my first book was published I discovered that public speaking is part of being an author. YIKES! Not a good thing as far as I was concerned. After a few miserable attempts–at least miserable on my part–the audience seemed to enjoy the experience, I came to a conclusion. If I was going to be an author I had to learn to deal with public speaking in a calmer, less stressful way.  Or quit writing books. And since I loved writing stories, I had to figure out a way to overcome my fear so I did. Here are 3 things I did to overcome the fear of public speaking.

  1. BE PREPARED. Have a plan. I developed a few different themes to talk about and then wrote out the actual speech, then I would read it and read it again–several times. Sometimes I would actually take a binder up with me and use it to keep me on track. As I became more comfortable, I moved to index cards with the main ideas.
  2. TRUST YOUR AUDIENCE. The audience is not your enemy! They aren’t waiting for you to make a mistake so they can attack you. They came to hear you. They’re on your side. One thing I started telling my audience is that I didn’t like public speaking so to be patient with me if I fumbled the ball a bit now and then. Then if I made a mistake, I’d remind them I’m a writer not a speaker. That usually got a few chuckles and relaxed me and the audience.
  3. IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE. Even though my day job was a speech pathologist (therapist), I also considered myself a teacher. And what does a teacher do? They talk and talk and talk. At some point when I was panicking about my next public speaking event, I asked myself, ‘What am I so worried about? I’m a teacher and talking is part of what I do every day.’ After that I started thinking about my speaking events as a teaching event and that made all the difference for me. You may not be a teacher but I’m sure there’s a different way for everyone to look at the speaking event so that you can be more comfortable having to do it.

So after reading this wonderful advice, you may have the idea that I do public speaking all the time, right? Wrong. I had become much more comfortable and was expanding my speaking engagements when I was diagnosed with my brain tumors. After having to cancel two major speaking events because of my physical health, I stopped booking speaking events but… I’m feeling so much better now, I might just give it a whirl again.

YOUR TURN: What tips can you share about public speaking?

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

Great Giveaway!

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I’m excited to be participating in a multi-author giveaway just for you! The grand prize is a $50 Amazon gift card and first prize is more than 20 books, mostly suspense and mystery, including Broken Trust by me! Here’s a picture of the covers. They look like great books to read, don’t you think?

Don’t miss you chance to win! ENTER NOW!

MORE GREAT NEWS! Even if you don’t win the contest, you can still get a FREE book from me simply by following this blog! So sign up to follow this blog before you leave the page then be sure to send me your email address by using the contact form below. Thanks!

And don’t forget to ENTER NOW!

 

Until next time…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

 

Winners!

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Here’s the list of winners for the $5 Amazon Gift Cards. Thanks everyone for entering. Maybe you’ll win next time. If you’re a winner, please email me at lduncan512@aol.com so I have your correct email address. I won’t send the gift card until you email me so….

The winners are:

Samantha D.
Leland

BetsyLu

Connie PS

Carol Written

Thanks again!

Until Next Time…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!