Sunday, January 30, 2011

TTIN Challenge: Heydays 10 & 11

Well..... as you can see by the new wallpaper at my home on the web, not much writing has been happening. Usually, wallpapering something gets me into trouble and my husband has to bail me out of it... Luckily, no drywall was damaged in this wallpapering venture.

Speaking of damage, I have been pondering my story... but that's about it. My characters are becoming more and more wounded the longer I ponder them. It's time to write, or they'll be too exhausted to perform.

I do want to say how proud I am of all of you... And I'm especially proud of Missy who is our current star!  She is keeping us all accountable by continuing to post regularly her own progress, whether I have posted something or not!

Way to Go Missy!!!

Keep up the good work and I'll have something nifty for you coming soon...

Okay gals, check in time. What is your goal for this week?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

TTIN Challenge: Heyday 8 & 9

Tuesday night at our local ACFW WORD meeting, we had a great evening of fellowship and talked a lot about the craft of writing with Romantic Suspense Author Lynette Eason. I was so impressed by all she manages to do, that I invited her to be on this blog. We'll plan that for the near future and I'll give a book away as well.

Congratulations to Eva Maria who has already reached her 5k mark on her word count for her work in progress and she will receive a copy of Ronie Kendig's Digitalis. 

Yaaayyy Eva!

For the rest of us who are bringing up the caboose on our writing, we won't give up and will keep plugging along. Missy, I think, is a close second to the 5K mark.... I think we need an incentive to continue to reach our goals. I'll be brainstorming the next goal/word count to reach and what the gift will be for you in return.

As for me, I have my synopsis laid out for this historical, and have some tweaking to do. Then, I'll need to sit down and actually work on the scenes. I'm taking my laptop with me today, so hopefully, I can get some work done on a lunch break.  I'll check back in and let you all know.

So, how about you?

(And, Eva, send me your mailing address again...Thanks!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rhythm of Secrets
Kregel Publications (December 22, 2010)
Patti Lacy


Patti Lacy, Baylor graduate, taught community college humanities until God called her to span seas and secrets in her novels, An Irishwoman's Tale and What the Bayou Saw. She has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal, Illinois, an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car. For more information, visit Patti's website at, her blog at, and her Facebook daily Artbites.


Sheila Franklin has masqueraded as the precocious daughter of avant-garde parents in colorful 1940s New Orleans, a teen desperate for love and acceptance, and an unwed mother sent North with her shame.

After marrying Edward, Sheila artfully masks her secrets, allowing Edward to gain prominence as a conservative pastor. When one phone call from a disillusioned Vietnam veteran destroys her cover, Sheila faces an impossible choice: save her son and his beloved…or imperil Edward’s ambitions.

Inspired by a true story, The Rhythm of Secrets intermingles jazz, classical, and sacred music in a symphony trumpeting God’s grace.


“A vibrant journey across time in search of the greatest truth of all: grace.”—Tosca Lee, author of Havah: The Story of Eve and Demon: A Memoir

“No longer a ‘well-kept secret,’ Patti Lacy is a master storyteller who speaks to the soul with a powerful and unique rhythm, weaving a tale so emotionally rich that story and reader become one.”—Julie Lessman, author of The Daughters of Boston series and A Hope Undaunted
“Patti Lacy pens another beautifully written story in The Rhythm of Secrets. I couldn’t put it down!”—Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of The Black Cloister
“The Rhythm of Secrets is a stirring story of faith and endurance that will keep readers turning the page until every last secret is revealed.”—Tina Ann Forkner, author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House

If you would like to read an excerpt of Rhythm of Secrets, go HERE.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Moody Publishers announces Inside Pages

And now, a message from Moody Publishers....

Moody Publishers is pleased to announce our new corporate blog! We will be launching Inside Pages, at, on January 17th and to celebrate we’re hosting daily giveaways from January 17th-29th, giveaways include a Kindle, iPod, new book releases, Ryrie Study Bibles, and more.

Inside Pages will serve as Moody Publisher’s online forum on faith, publishing, and literary culture, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at publishing and creating a digital community for dialogue about books. Here you will hear from the editors about the changing face of traditional publishing, catch a sneak peek at upcoming titles and what goes on behind the publisher’s desk, and read devotionals and articles from our authors. Inside Pages will also regularly feature giveaways and free reading/writing resources. See for details. We hope to see you there!

TTIN Challenge: Heydays 6 & 7 *** AND A CHANCE TO WIN A FREE BOOK!

Over the weekend I managed to complete a synopsis for my historical. Now, I need to go back and write the chapters according to the synopsis. I ran out of time this morning.

Our newest goal and giveaway is this:  The person to reach 5,000 words by February 1 will win the book I just reviewed yesterday - Digitalis by Ronie Kendig. You'll get your very own, brand new copy - cause I'm not giving my copy away - it's too good to be without!

What this means is you need to keep checking in with me and letting me know of your progress! 5k is doable! We just have to stay focused and keep writing!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Digitalis by Ronie Kendig

If you are looking for an action packed book - one that places you in the center of the event and involves you as if you were watching it take place before your very eyes - then you need to pick up a copy of Digitalis by Ronie Kendig.

Oh my goodness. I had no idea how good this book would be. I wanted to read it for a few reasons. One: the story sounded good. Two: I wanted to write about a special ops soldier but didn't have any experience and didn't know any personally. Three: A friend of mine recommended this author to me.

I'm not good at writing book reviews. If you want to read what this story is about, it's below. But I will highly recommend this book. This is actually Book 2 in the series, but I could not tell a difference. I was introduced to prior characters, but didn't feel like I needed to read Book 1 first.

I think I connected with Digitalis so well because I was thrown right into Colton's life - his reservations about getting to know this girl he was attracted to - his reservations about his "real job" and coming clean with her about that. I liked how I was reading a romance one minute and dropped in a thriller novel the next. The scenes were so stealth that we went from one character to the next, flawlessly, just like a reel at a movie.

I can't brag about this book or this author enough. As a matter of fact, I'm going to offer this book as an incentive to my current writing challenge. If you are participating in my TTIN Challenge, someone is going to be very lucky to get their very own copy of Digitalis.

Ms. Kendig is an author to watch and Digitalis is a story you don't want to pass up.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Barbour Publishing, Inc.(January 1, 2011)
Ronie Kendig


Ronie has been married since 1990 to a man who can easily be defined in classic terms as a hero. She has four beautiful children. Her eldest daughter is 16 this year, her second daughter will be 13, and her twin boys are 10. After having four children, she finally finished her degree in December 2006. She now has a B.S. in Psychology through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Getting her degree is a huge triumph for both her and her family--they survived!!

This degree has also given her a fabulous perspective on her characters and how to not only make them deeper, stronger, but to make them realistic and know how they'll respond to each situation. Her debut novel, Dead Reckoning released March 2010 from Abingdon Press. And her Discarded Heroes series began in July 2010 from Barbour with the first book entitled Nightshade.

This is the second book in the series.


Step into the boots of a former Marine in this heart-pounding adventure in life and love. Colton “Cowboy” Neeley is a Marine trying to find his footing as he battles flashbacks now that he’s back home. Piper Blum is a woman in hiding—from life and the assassins bent on destroying her family. When their hearts collide, more than their lives are at stake. Will Colton find a way to forgive Piper’s lies? Can Piper find a way to rescue her father, trapped in Israel? Is there any way their love, founded on her lies, can survive?

If you would like to read an excerpt of Digitalis, go HERE.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

TTIN Challenge: Heyday 5

Today I've been at home nursing two sick kiddos. My youngest has an ear infection and fever. My oldest can't keep anything on her stomach and has been laying around with a fever. Before all of this began, my laptop crapped out and while it is operable, it runs slower than a nursing home-sponsored potato sack race and gives me the blue screen of death each time I power it on.

With meds for my dear little ones and with some convincing to hubby that I'll need a new laptop this year(or at least a new hard drive) all of this will work itself out.

My story however, will take much more effort from me to get it going. Right now, it's still stuck in the ice we had a couple of weeks back sliding back and forth.

But my critique partner and I did brainstorm tonight and before that, I'd actually pulled the document up on the computer to try and decipher some of what I'd written.

The problem with "story" is if you don't know where the story is going, you won't know the proper place to begin. I know where my historical set in 1936 will go and where it will end. It's the mechanics of that engine that I haven't mastered yet. And what I thought were pretty, shiny parts to put it in drive, I realized they may be shiny, but they are boring. My CP helped me grease up some of those joints.

If you could, please record your current word count. I'm thinking we need an incentive to keep us going toward our goal. You provide your word count, I'll work on that incentive. Thanks & keep pushing forward!

Friday, January 21, 2011

TTIN Challenge; Heydays 3 & 4

I'm so glad that Missy and Lindi have been pushing through these last couple of days and making lots of progress on their stories. Congratulations! And thanks for posting back on Heyday 2... I've gotten behind on my own posts.

I managed to reproduce another few pages of my historical... parts I had already written and tried to improve... to send to my critique partner for her review. Next Tuesday is a deadline for my local ACFW Chapter. The deal is you turn in 15 pages and a one page synopsis for the workshop, basically what you will turn in for Genesis. A published author will critique it and give you face to face feedback at the actual workshop in February. I don't know if I'll have 15 pages ready. It's okay if I don't, but it would be nice to have someone different look at the story and the writing and get the feedback.

How do you work? Do you write to target contests and look for that feedback, or do you write the whole book, then plan to submit?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Author Sneak Peak: When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley

I ran across a link one of my friends, Meg Moseley, is sharing about her new book that is coming out soon. You can read the first two chapters of When Sparrows Fall by following this link to the Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing Group Website.

I read the excerpt and was amazed at Meg's beautiful prose... I can't wait to read more! Hope you enjoy!

Angel Harp by Michael Phillips

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Angel Harp
FaithWords (January 26, 2011)
Michael Phillips


Michael Phillips has been writing in the Christian marketplace for 30 years. All told, he has written, co-written, and edited some 110 books. Phillips and his wife live in the U.S., and make their second home in Scotland.


Widowed at 34, amateur harpist Marie "Angel" Buchan realizes at 40 that her life and dreams are slowly slipping away. A summer in Scotland turns out to offer far more than she ever imagined! Not only does the music of her harp capture the fancy of the small coastal village she visits, she is unexpectedly drawn into a love triangle involving the local curate and the local duke.

The boyhood friends have been estranged as adults because of their mutual love of another woman (now dead) some years before. History seems destined to repeat itself, with Marie in the thick of it. Her involvement in the lives of the two men, as well as in the community, leads to a range of exciting relationships and lands Marie in the center of the mystery of a long-unsolved local murder. Eventually she must make her decision: with whom will she cast the lot of her future?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Angel Harp, go HERE

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TTIN Challenge: Heyday 2

This will be quick. No staying up late last night. No early rising today. I threw out a question related to one of my stories to my writing and network community and have received some responses. So, I guess I can consider the hour I've been online has gone to research. It means I will need to rewrite & edit the first 3 pages I mentioned and continue to push forward.

Okay, your turn. How good or bad has your writing day been?

Monday, January 17, 2011

TTIN Challenge: Heyday 1

Heyday, from, is the stage or period of greatest vigor, strength, success; prime.  

Let's approach this first heyday with all of those, looking toward our individual goals with excitement and a willingness to tackle them!

I went ahead and got to work on a few things this weekend and in turn put two of my writing cohorts to work to critique a couple of first drafts. I worked one day on my contemporary story and one day on the historical. Both were 3-5 pages each, pages I had written a while back. I made some additional changes, trying hard to develop the scenes more and make sure I was showing and not telling.  But let me tell you, I love to tell! I wonder, if writing, as compared to fashion, would ever make telling  "IN"  

I would be so good at that, as I'm sure many of you would be, too.   

While working on these stories, I realized two things:   1) I need to do more character development and 2) confirm my plots.

Can I get a big sigh? 

Push forward, is the best advice I've been given and I pass that along to you.  Okay, now it's your turn. What do you want to accomplish today? What have you already accomplished? Feel free to share anything in between....

Someone to Blame by C.S. Lakin

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Someone To Blame
Zondervan (September 21, 2010)
C. S. Lakin


C. S. Lakin is a novelist and professional copyeditor and writing coach. She is currently working on her eleventh novel, a contemporary family saga drawn from the biblical story of Jacob. Someone to Blame(Zondervan), an intense relational drama and winner of the 2009 First Novel contest, released in October 2010, and she is also the author of the allegorical adult fantasy series The Gates of Heaven, featuring The Wolf of Tebron and the upcoming release The Map Across Time (March 2011). She is currently completing her tenth novel and developing a dog memoir of epic proportion.


In the wake of heartrending family tragedies, Matt and Irene Moore move with their fourteen-year-old daughter, Casey, to a small town. Their goal is to get far away from the daily reminders that leave each of them raw and guilt-ridden. Their hope is to find redemption, repair, and renewal. Instead, the threads that hold them together unravel even more.

Breakers, a small community perched on the rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest, is draped with cold isolation that seems to mirror the hearts. As they settle into their new life, old grief settles with them. Matt is always on edge and easily angered, Irene is sad and pensive, and Casey is confused and defiant. They've once more set the stage for calamity. Into this mix comes Billy Thurber, a young drifter with his own conflicts, whose life unexpectedly entangles with the Moores'.

His arrival in Breakers parallels a rash of hateful and senseless crimes, and soon the whole town -- eager for someone to blame -- goes after Thurber with murderous intent. Out of this dangerous chaos, however, the Moores find unexpected grace and healing in a most unlikely way.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Someone To Blame, go HERE.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Time Is Now Challenge....

A.K.A. .... TTIN Challenge

So let us begin....

Fellow blogger, writers, readers, family and friends, I've been in a quandary for several months now. Since our last challenge ended, I've barely written. I've compiled character charts and written synopses. I've thought of story lines and tried to develop them, but...

Nothing happens. Instead of waking up with ideas for my plots, I wake up thinking about issues that surround me... things I can't change.  So, I need help to rev up my writing. I'll be working on giving my issues to God and studying His word more. I'm hoping with all of this working together, and tag on this new accoutability challenge, that I will make some headway in my new stories.

And, I really hope this challenge won't be a flop for me or for you!  But, hey, none of that talk. We're thinking positive here!

Here's the deal. There really aren't any set rules. To play, you just come to the blog regularly and give me an update on your writing progress. We'll go ahead and state our goals this week and start anew on Monday, January 17th.

We will have multiple deadlines. The First deadline is March 1. This is in place because ACFW's Genesis Contest deadline for entries is March 4. If you are actively participating in my accountability challenge, then this will give you a fair deadline and time to have the entry submitted. (Although the coordinator recommends you email the entry in the middle of February in case it gets lost in cyberspace. Very good point and do keep in mind. Bad things happen to good people, you know!)

Now, for anyone not writing Christian Fiction, but wanting to participate, I would love to have you. If you are working to submit to a contest, agent or editor, or just simply wanting to finish that book, you have a home here. Genesis Contest is simply my goal.

After March 1, we will reevaluate our goals and a new deadline will be set up. I plan to have this challenge on going as when I am not blogging about my progress, or lack there of, I find I seep into a void of non-writing and that starts to irritate me. The irritation turns into the form of me being ill and that trickles to my family who have to put up with my bad mood. Not fun for anyone...

I will state my goal in the comments section and whoever is interested can enter a comment. Today and the rest of the week, we're just setting goals. Monday, the challenge begins. If you get a head start writing this weekend, that's awesome! Come back and share, okay!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House (August 1, 2010)
Cathy Marie Hake


Known for surfing across the kitchen on a dropped dill pickle slice, waterskiing on sea anemone spit, and using Right Guard® as hair spray; she considers herself living proof that God does, indeed, possess a healthy sense of humor.

Cathy loves classical music, romantic getaways with her husband, and Diet Pepsi Free®. "I need chocolate to survive, love my friends, and enjoy a deep personal relationship with the Lord. Although an extrovert, I'm very conservative on a personal level."

In her writing, Cathy attempts to capture a unique glimpse of life and how a man and woman can overcome obstacles when motivated by love. In her inspirational pieces she enjoys the freedom of showing how Christ can enrich a loving couple's relationship.

Cathy Marie Hake is a registered nurse who worked for many years in an oncology unit before shifting her focus to perinatal care. The author of over twenty novels, she lives with her husband and two children in Anaheim, California.


Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who's been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm...or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off.

Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn't wanted to marry...until that handsome Texan shows up.

Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows. What ensues, however, is a clash of culture and a battle of wills--and it's clear they both mistook instant attraction and infatuation for love. As their marriage loses its sparkle and fills with disillusionment, Todd and Maggie must determine what is worth fighting for. He dreams of a farm. Maggie wants to fulfill the family tradition with her rose perfumes.

Todd's mother, however, has entirely different plans for her son that do not include Maggie. In light of their hasty marriage and mistaken dreams, is there any hope of recapturing their love and building a future together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Serendipity, go HERE.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Courting Miss Amsel
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)
Kim Vogel Sawyer


Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.


Edythe Amsel is delighted with her first teaching assignment: a one-room schoolhouse in Walnut Hill, Nebraska. Independent, headstrong, and a strong believer in a well-rounded education, Edythe is ready to open the world to the students in this tiny community. But is Walnut Hill ready for her?

Joel Townsend is thrilled to learn the town council hired a female teacher to replace the ruthless man who terrorized his nephews for the past two years. Having raised the boys on his own since their parents' untimely deaths, Joel believes they will benefit from a woman's influence. But he sure didn't bargain on a woman like Miss Amsel.

Within the first week, she has the entire town up in arms over her outlandish teaching methods, which include collecting leaves, catching bugs, making snow angels, and stringing ropes in strange patterns all over the schoolyard. Joel can't help but notice that she's also mighty pretty with her rosy lips, fashionable clothes, and fancy way of speaking.

When Edythe decides to take her pupils to hear Miss Susan Anthony speak on the women's suffrage amendment, the town's outcry reaches new heights. Even Joel isn't sure he can support her newfangled ideas any longer. And if he can't trust her to know how to teach the boys, how can he trust her with his heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Courting Miss Amsel, go HERE.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Time Is Now

A writing challenge is about to begin here on my blog... read more about it on FAITH today.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Girl in the Gatehouse
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)
Julie Klassen


Julie says: My background is in advertising and marketing, but I am blessed with a dream job—working as an editor of Christian fiction. I have been writing since childhood, but Lady of Milkweed Manor was my first novel. It was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards. My second novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. I am currently writing one novel a year.

I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.

My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.


Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret.

Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made.

When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans. The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Girl in the Gatehouse, go HERE

Monday, January 3, 2011

Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Paradise Valley
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)
Dale Cramer


Dale Cramer was the second of four children born to a runaway Amishman turned soldier and a south Georgia sharecropper's daughter. His formative years were divided between far-flung military bases, but he inherited his mother's sense of place—

He took on small construction projects at night to help make ends meet— "and to preserve the remainder of my sanity," he says. While building an office in the basement of a communications consultant, a debate over labor/management relations turned into an article on mutualism which found its way into an international business magazine. It was Dale's first published article, and he liked the feel of it. He bought books, studied technique, and began participating in an online writers' forum, writing during the boys' naps and after they went to bed at night. Before long he was publishing short stories in literary magazines and thinking about writing a book.

Three storylines vied for Dale's attention when he finally decided to write a novel. His first two choices were commercially viable secular stories, and a distant third appeared to be some kind of Christian saga about a broken-down biker. The process of determining which novel to write was settled by a remarkable encounter with his youngest son, a lost set of keys, and God. His sense of direction was suddenly clarified. In 1997, Dale began work on Sutter's Cross, which was eventually published in 2003.

His second novel, Bad Ground (July 2004), while it is not autobiographical, contains a great deal of material drawn from his own experience as a construction electrician.

He and his wife and two sons make their home in northern Georgia.


An Amish settlement in Ohio has run afoul of a law requiring their children to attend public school. Caleb Bender and his neighbors are arrested for neglect, with the state ordering the children be placed in an institution. Among them are Caleb's teenage daughter, Rachel, and the boy she has her eye on, Jake Weaver. Romance blooms between the two when Rachel helps Jake escape the childrens home.

Searching for a place to relocate his family where no such laws apply, Caleb learns there's inexpensive land for sale in Mexico, a place called Paradise Valley. Despite rumors of instability in the wake of the Mexican revolution, the Amish community decides this is their answer. And since it was Caleb's idea, he and his family will be the pioneers. They will send for the others once he's established a foothold and assessed the situation.

Caleb's daughters are thrown into turmoil. Rachel doesn't want to leave Jake. Her sister, Emma, who has been courting Levi Mullet, fears her dreams of marriage will be dashed. Miriam has never had a beau and is acutely aware there will be no prospects in Mexico.

Once there, they meet Domingo, a young man and guide who takes a liking to Miriam, something her father would never approve. While Paradise Valley is everything they'd hoped it would be, it isn't long before the bandits start giving them trouble, threatening to upset the fledgling Amish settlement, even putting their lives in danger. Thankfully no one has been harmed so far, anyway.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Paradise Valley, go HERE.


Friends, I am in the process of reading this book... and will return in a few days with a review.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

What Is Your Purpose? Part 2

Do you know your purpose? Come see me on FAITH today where I delve into why we write and what our purpose is!