A Writer’s Life–Part 7–The David Years

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Last Chance

to win your choice of one of my books!

 

OK, so I had all the great plans for the release of my latest book-The David Years, including giving away books to five lucky people here on my blog.  But life doesn’t always happen the way you plan it. My book released on August 2 as I was in the midst of a family health crisis. My older sister passed away on August 5. She was quite the character and one of these days, you might see her in one of my books. In the meantime, she’s greatly missed.

Because of that I didn’t really promote the giveaway for The David Years the way I planned.

So, here’s the info. Leave a comment on this blog post to be entered to win your choice of one of my e-books, including The David Years. Five winners will be chosen so lots of chances to win. Last day to enter is September 1–my anniversary by the way! Don’t forget to leave a comment. Thanks!

God Bless & Good Reading!

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Ted Dekker and Bravery?

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I thought I’d share a writer’s secret with you today.  This was something I learned as I wrote my first manuscript many–many years ago. It was surprising. It was unexpected. It was unsettling. In fact, it was terrifying! At least terrifying to an introvert like me.

Are you ready for this big secret?

A writer shares a part of themselves in every book they write!

Maybe that doesn’t surprise you, but it sure surprised me at the time. After all, fiction is fiction, right? By its very definition that makes it not true. I’m not talking about the facts of a story or the plot, though I’m certainly guilty of borrowing from my own life now and then as I write my stories. I’m talking about on a different level.

I’m talking about the truth of who we are.

We can’t completely hide ourselves as we create stories about the human experience. And every fiction story is about the human experience even if the story’s set in another universe or time or with robots, animals or other creatures as the main characters. It’s still about the human experience.

So what’s this secret have to do with Ted Dekker and bravery?

I just finished reading his novel, RISE OF THE MYSTICS. It is the second novel in a two-part series. The first was THE 49TH MYSTIC. I’ll do a review tomorrow, but today I want to talk about Ted Dekker’s bravery. If you don’t know Ted Dekker’s books, they can be described as horror, supernatural, and/or fantasy but with a Christian message. And he’s been successful–very successful. HIs books are best sellers.

As you read these two books, it will become obvious that he’s sharing his own spiritual journey and truths with his readers in the form he’s so good at–fiction. Whether you like or dislike the story, whether you agree or disagree with him, you can’t deny that Ted Dekker is willing to make himself and his readers uncomfortable in order to share his spiritual journey. And that makes him one of the bravest writers I know!

Well done, Ted Dekker!

God Bless & Good Reading!

Rise of the Mystics (Beyond the Circle Book #2)

God & His Goodness

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Romans 8: 28

And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose.

 

This verse is one of my two go-to verses during the past six years while struggling with brain tumors and side effects from the tumors as well as from the treatments. At my lowest points (physically) I would repeat this verse as often as I needed to remind me that God hadn’t forsaken me or forgotten me. That he was with me and watching over me and that he indeed would work this out for my good–even though I couldn’t imagine how.

One of the truly miraculous things during this time has been that I could still write my stories. At times, I had to crawl up the steps to my office because I was so weak and my balance was so bad. Then I would sit down at my computer and…the fog would lift and I would write. Sometimes it would only be for five or ten minutes before the fog rolled back. But those ten minutes became a published novel and then another and another.

As I grew closer to God during this time, my writing changed. I still love and write action-packed suspense and romantic suspense but I had other stories to tell as well. I call PUZZLE HOUSE the story I never wanted to write because it came about as a direct result of my brain tumors and a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). The main character, Rachel has the same brain tumors as a result of NF2 as I have.

AMAZON LINK

I would never have written PUZZLE HOUSE if I hadn’t developed the brain tumors and NF2 and that means Puzzle House would never be a finalist for The Carol Award! The Carol Award is the American Christian Fiction Writer’s award for excellence in Christian Fiction. Puzzle House is a finalist in the novella category. The winners won’t be announced until September, but as far as I’m concerned, being a finalist makes me a winner!

So you see God really does work all things out for the good of those who love Him!

PS.  Don’t forget, I also have a devotional that goes with the novel–DEVOTIONS FROM PUZZLE HOUSE.

AMAZON LINK

 

Until next time…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

 

 

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!

AMAZON LINK

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!

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.

AMAZON LINK

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.