Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing: A Valley of Betrayal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tricia is a member of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. She also has a blog, It's Real Life and a parenting blog Generation NeXt.

TRICIA GOYER is the author of five novels, two nonfiction books and one children's book. She also was named Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference Writer of the Year in 2003. In 2005, her novel Night Song, the second title in Tricia’s World War II series, won ACFW's Book of the Year for Best Long Historical Romance. In 2006, her novel Dawn of A Thousand Nights also won book of the Year for Long Historical Romance. Tricia and her husband, John, live with their family in northwestern Montana.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

We are pleased to be able to review her exciting Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War, A Valley Of Betrayal

For reasons beyond her control, Sophie finds herself alone in the war-torn Spanish countryside, searching for her beloved Michael. His work as a news photographer has taken him deep into the country wracked by civil war. What was once a thriving paradise has become a battleground for Nazi-backed Franco fascist soldiers and Spanish patriots. She is caught up in the escalating events when the route to safety is blocked and fighting surrounds her.

Secrets abound in the ruined Spain. Michael is loving but elusive, especially about beautiful maria. The American who helped Sophie sneak into Spain turns up in odd places. Michael's friend Jose knows more than he tells. When reports of Michael's disappearance reach her, Sophie is devastated. What are her feelings for Philip, an American soldier who comes to her rescue?

Sophie must sift truth from lies as she becomes more embroiled in the war that threatens her life and breaks her heart. On her darkest night, Sophie takes refuge with a brigade of international compatriots. Among these volunteers, she pledges to make the plight of the Spanish people known around the world through the power of art.

Acclaimed author Tricia Goyer creates a riveting cast of characters against the backdrop of pre-WWII Spain. Love, loss, pain, and beauty abound in A Valley Of Betrayal, the first book in her new series, Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jeremiah 29:12

This is the scripture from Christian Women Online today. While I love the poetic feel of the King James Version, I always refer to the New Living Translation when I'm studying (I need that easy read quality the NLT provides).

So I wanted to add to the daily quote from CWO by quoting from the NLT version that I read. I pray this will reach you, in whatever your situation, as it did me. It reminds me of the promise in being faithful to the Lord and is one of my favorite verses . . .

Jeremiah 29:11-14
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you," says the Lord. "I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and bring you home again to your own land."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Universal message

It's driving me crazy, but I can't remember who I read about who advised an author should give a "universal message" when asked what they're writing about instead of giving a detailed explanation of the story. It makes sense. Details can get boring. That's why when you're writing your query letter or pitching to an agent or editor, you give them a quick blurb about your story or the "hook". It's gotta be quick and it's got to grab and hold onto their attention, thus, why we call it a "hook".

This 'universal message" thing really struck a chord with me. And when it struck, everything became clear as if the Lord had turned on a light inside of me. I write about flawed Christians. People who believe, or once believed, and have strayed. Life happens and it is so easy to turn away from God, and faith in His plan, to look at what's going on around us. My stories are about these people, C.U.C's, and how they returned home, to God.

C.U.C.? What's that?

CHRISTIAN. UNDER. CONSTRUCTION.

That's who I am and probably who a lot of you are. We believe in Jesus Christ and who he was, who he still is. Born of a Virgin, purely righteous, He walked, talked, lived and taught man. Though He was sinless, He died on a cross between two criminals, bearing all of our sins; the last sacrificial Lamb. Three days later, He rose again. He did all of this for you and me. To have everlasting life, all we have to do is believe.

But I believe, as Christians, there's more to it. When people look at us, they see our testimony. How you speak, treat others and act, are all a reflection of Jesus Christ. That's my problem. I don't always make the best choices. Many times I speak before thinking, sometimes those words are harsh, and usually are aimed at the ones I love the most. When I listen to and participate in gossip, I'm not glorifying God, I'm giving Satan the upper hand. When I let my negative thoughts get the best of me, about a situation or someone, I'm not walking in the pathway Jesus set before me. These are the little things that make the biggest differences, even when we don't realize it, when we're looking the other way, not focused on Him.

I fail every day and every day I start over again.

Every minute, I should admit.

"Lord Forgive me," I'll say.

Then five minutes later, I've done it again. I need help, but it's the kind of help that won't come from a doctor or a prescription. It comes from above and from consistent and faithful prayer.

For a long time, I didn't get it.

I've got it now, but I'm still a clumsy child of Christ, learning to live for Him, failing, then picking myself back up again and moving forward.

I'm reopening this blog as a forum for me, an unknown writer, to share what I know, feel, and believe about many topics from faith to writing to family to just me. And as you read you'll see, I'm just a C.U.C.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Stuck again

I'm preparing my manuscript to send into a contest. It's only the first couple of chapters, but you'd think my life depended on the judging of this particular entry the way I keep going back over these same chapters.

I'm to a point where the scene I'm writing feels forced. Have you ever experienced that? For me, that's when I know it's not working. If it didn't flow from my pen or through my fingers easily, then it doesn't read well and it can't stay. Unfortunately, it's taken me about a week to realize: It's not working!

So I've changed a supporting character's name. You may wonder what that has to do with anything, but that's a longer story that I won't get into just now. You see, this is a revision I'm working on. So, I'm going to the original draft (which at first I thought wasn't so good, but now I'm thinking it really had something special and its finished!) to pull some scenes from there and rework. I'm praying I'll get my flow back, that I'll perfect those first couple of chapters to attach to my email and hit the send button.

I'm praying for help with this one. Praying I'll be listening when He tells me in His way, its not working.

One good thing has come from my writing stumble... I started a new book today. It's Writing For The Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins.

I loved the Left Behind series. Mr. Jenkins opens with how the series started and those initial meetings with his agent Rick Christian and Dr. Tim LaHaye. So far, it's a very interesting and an easy read. I'm hoping to be inspired and learn something from this seasoned and successful author!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Contest!!!

Check out the F.A.I.T.H. Blog every day this week and participate in the contest we're running. At the end of the week, Angie will chose a name and will send the winner some very special and yummy Montana chocolates!

Have fun and good luck!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

6 weird things about me . . .

I've been tagged by my friend Lindi to share 6 weird things about me.
(I just hope I can stop at six)

1. I joined Weight Watchers twice and both times, not a day went by that I stuck to the amount of points I was allowed for the day. It was as if I was in jail and I had to break out. The last time I belonged to the program, I gained five pounds the first week! (This is in no way against Weight Watchers - they have a great program, I only wish I had the will to follow it!)

2. If there is anything sweet in my house - that I like - such as holiday chocolates, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or other goodies like this, I will continue to return to the area they are located -be it baggy or plate - and eat them until they are gone. I am not hungry when I do this, I'm just crazy and am not happy until they're gone.

3. I begin brushing my teeth and then I walk through the house and find stuff to do while brushing my teeth (straighten up the kitchen, get clothes out of the dryer, fill the dog's water bowl, etc, etc... (This drives my husband crazy!)

4. Watching Food Network relaxes me. Unfortunately, I don't cook very much.

5. I pick the split ends of my hair. This also relaxes me.

6. I am the type of person who joins a gym, pays 6 months to a year in advance, shows up to work out regularly for the first month, or so, and then drops off the rest of the time. I like to tell myself that it's my giving personality that has so graciously paid in advance to assist with the fitness center's electric bill. (If you refer to #1 you may see a pattern here ;-)

Saturday, February 3, 2007

I'm back

I'm back to writing. . . Feeling the sizzle that comes with thinking about the story while cleaning the house or running errands. I love it when I have to stop what I'm doing to jot down some notes so I don't forget it by the time I'm able to sit down at the computer. I'm getting up early and staying up late. I love it when the fever hits and I'm writing, writing, writing.

I used to do my best brainstorming in the car. When I was working the 9-5 job, I had an hour's drive to work. Scenes would come to me as I drove. I'd make note of them and sometimes go back to writing, to elaborate on that a.m. idea, during my lunch break. I guess my mind was stimulated constantly and I've found now that I'm at home, it's harder to get those creative juices flowing. Oh, I can belt out a Barney tune on command while doing the dishes and keeping an eye out for my ever-busy toddler, but dreaming up a good scene for my hero and heroine is proving a little more difficult.

God willing, the story will continue to flow so this rewrite will be complete.

Finalist!