A Writer’s Life–Part 2

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Busy! Busy! Busy!

 

There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that a writer needs to do! That’s a true enough statement, but don’t get the wrong idea. I do not spend all of my day sitting in front of a computer, writing and doing other writerly-type things. I could but I choose not to. These days I usually work 2-3 hours–period! So that time needs to be used wisely.

So here’s a partial list of things I need to do on a regular basis:

Write NEW stories

Edit and polish stories that I want to submit

Edit and polish stories that I will indie-pub

Create covers for indie-pubbed stories

Create marketing plan for latest release or an upcoming release

Answer or send emails to other writers for a variety of reasons

Create posts to share on my blogs (Tiaras & Tennis Shoes and Devotions from Puzzle House)

Create posts to share on other people’s blogs

Write devotions for Devotions from Puzzle House as well as for other sites

Read books! Writers need to read books not just write them.

Social media to connect with other writers and readers

 

So there you have it! And I’m sure if I wanted to sit here and think, I’d come up with several more tasks to add to the list. As you can imagine, my favorite task is writing new stories and editing and polishing stories to be submitted or indie-pubbed. But the other tasks can’t be ignored either. So you see, I really could spend hours and hours at the computer but I don’t. First because my health won’t allow it, but even more important is the fact that spending time with family and friends is just as important!

God Bless & Good Reading!

 

 

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REVIEW: The 49th Mystic by Ted Dekker

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The story feature a young girl (17) named Rachelle. Rachelle finds herself caught between two worlds–Earth and Other Earth. When she sleeps in one of the worlds, she awakes to find herself in the other world. Are they merely dreams or two different realities?

When Rachelle wakes up in Other Earth, (a place she’s never been before) she discovers she’s more than just a girl–she’s The 49th Mystic. Thus begins her spiritual journey that will cross over between both her worlds–Earth and Other Earth. Her actions in one world has consequences in both worlds. As with any spiritual journey it’s not an easy thing. She has enemies in both worlds who want her to fail. And they are willing to do anything to make sure she fails–even if they have to kill her.

This book is definitely what I call a modern-day parable. What’s a parable? An earthly story with a heavenly message. There are many spiritual truths that are demonstrated in this book. However, if you just want an exciting story that will keep you turning the pages, this book fits the bill for that as well. Dekker had done a wonderful job crafting a story that can be enjoyed by all. Whether you choose to embrace the spiritual message or only enjoy the earthly story, this book is definitely worth your time.

The 49th Mystic is on my short list to read again!

A Christmas Extravaganza!

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Every year my publisher (Pelican Book Group) gets in the spirit of Christmas by having A CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA. This year is no exception. So what’s A Christmas Extravaganza? She releases a group of new novellas (that’s shorter than normal novels so you can read lots of them) that all have a Christmas theme. Think of it as a Lifetime Christmas movie marathon for readers! There’s books in a variety of genres so there’s something for everyone!

If you go to Amazon then type in Christmas Extravaganza, an assortment of books will come up. It’s a great way to find new authors who love Christmas and Jesus!

Here’s a sample of what you can find if you type in CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA on Amazon:

A CHRISTMAS STOLEN by Lillian Duncan–Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year…until evil comes knocking. AMAZON LINK

NO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS by Lillian Duncan–She can’t ever go home for the holidays–if she wants to stay alive!  AMAZON LINK

THE CHRISTMAS STALKING by Lillian Duncan–Life isn’t all glitz and glamour for country music star, Destiny; someone wants her dead! AMAZON LINK

CHILD OF LIGHT by Annette O’Hare–Will Margaret’s prayers for a child of her own be answered at Christmastime? AMAZON LINK

A SHARECROPPER CHRISTMAS by Carlene Havel–The Great Depression left the Shoemaker family homeless and hungry.  Things begin to look up when Herbert gets a job sharecropping, but what kind of Christmas can Alice give her family?  AMAZON LINK

During the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway that starts on December 1, I’ll be featuring a group of authors, some who are part of the Christmas Extravaganza as well.

 

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

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!

 

 

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!