Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fear Not, part II

As I said earlier this week, I was inspired by an article in the September 2011 issue of Writer's Digest.

This is the Big 10 Issue and the article is 10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing by Sage Cohen.

Point #2 tells us to "Acknowledge Your Fears Without Putting Them In Charge."

Ew.

This is a tough one. Initially, I didn't recognize what was holding me back as fear. I have to remind myself daily that I am afraid of failing. Last year, I happily submitted my manuscript to 2 agents and an editor. One Agent I still have not heard from - whether yes or no - and it has been almost a year since the manuscript was submitted. The first agent rejected the manuscript within a few weeks. As did the editor. The editors comments were helpful and disturbing. What she noted as problem areas, were places I thought I excelled in.

Just recently, and this article helped me realize what was happening to me, I realized I had been stuck in a mode of fear for a year. I was floundering. I wasn't writing, wasn't editing.

This experience with rejection was my confirmation that nothing is a sure thing.

I considered not writing. What would I do? There are plenty of hobbies I could explore...

But my passion for them wasn't there. I have stories to be told. Whether they are ever published or not.

I'm still working my way out of the pain of being rejected. It hurts, but I have to remain focused that the story that was rejected just wasn't right for those houses. There is a place for it. There will be a place for one of the stories I'm working on.

Someday.

And I do believe in God's timing. It's just hard to be a patient child sometimes.

So I leave you with a scripture that will help you, as it helps me each day.

Isaiah 41:10..........Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa by Melanie Dobson


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa
Summerside Press (June 1, 2011)
by
Melanie Dobson




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good, and she has now authored nine contemporary and historical novels including Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania which releases in November 2011.



Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.



Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.



Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.





ABOUT THE BOOK



With a backdrop of the community of The Amana Colonies, the Civil War, and a great love story, Melanie Dobson’s new historical fiction title LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA both enlightening and entertaining.



The novel is set in the United States during the turmoil of the 1860s. As the rest of the nation is embroiled in the Civil War, the Amana Colonies have remained at peace with a strong faith in God and pursuit of community, intertwined with hard work, family life and the building of their colony.



Amalie Wiese is travelling to the newly built village of Amana in 1863. When she arrives in the colonies she finds that her fiancée, Friedrich has left to fight with the Union Army. Amalie fears for his safety as she also struggles with his decision to abandon the colony’s beliefs. Matthias, Frederick’s friend, stays back in Amana to work in the colonies. But there is something wrong with Matthias; he always seems angry at Amalie when there is no simple explanation for him to act that way.



The goods that colonies manufacture are much needed supplies for the war effort and Matthias decides to deliver the goods to the soldiers. When he leaves, Amalie realizes that her fear for Matthias’s safety is equally as strong. What will become of Friedrich, will Matthias return safely, and will Amalie marry Friedrich? LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA is a richly told story of life in the Amana Society and the people who live and love there.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa, go HERE.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fear Not

Recently I was inspired by an article in the September 2011 issue of Writer's Digest.

This is the Big 10 Issue and the article is 10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing by Sage Cohen.

First of all, I didn't consider myself afraid, but the more I read the article, the more I recognized my own bad habits.

The author of the article gave some examples that rang true with me... The article states, "For example, did you ever consider that the piece of writing you just can't get right--and therefore endlessly revise--may be a reflection of your fear?"
No... I thought I just wasn't writing the story good enough. That I wasn't good enough yet, to declare the chapter, or the story, finished so that it could be submitted to others... submitted for query or to contests.  The author of the article declares:

"When we find fear at the root of a challenging habit or behavior, we are fortunate--because with awareness, we have choices."

The week I read this article, I started to recognize my wasting time in the morning on blogs, on social media, was my way to avoid the story.  After all, I'm not a historian... what business do I have writing a historical?  Nevertheless, the story is in me and it wants to be told. As with any story, it will take work. It will take extra time to develop the characters and research backgrounds, but if I love the story, it will be worth it in the end. One day, it could become published.

I also recognized fear in my everyday living. I'm an emotional eater. If my day at work is bad, I head for the sweets, the chocolate.... If I've had a really bad day, it's cheeseburger and fries time! 

Then, I had to ask myself... did eating that make me feel better?  Maybe for a second, but then I felt lousy later. Too many calories = Too much fat around my waist. It also makes for a really tired wife and mommy. I'm irritable. I don't want to be around anyone and truth be known, no one wants to be around me.

With awareness, we have choices..... So, Fear Not!

I can choose to eat bad, or I can choose to deal with the problem head on - Get it over with - Eat healthier and feel better. Face my fear in my writing and write the chapter anyway!

Who knows? Something fabulous may happen in the mean time.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Canary Island Song
Howard Books; Original edition (July 5, 2011)
by
Robin Jones Gunn






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Robin Jones Gunn was born in Wisconsin and lived on a dairy farm until her family moved to southern California when she was five years old. She grew up in Orange County and spent her summers at Newport Beach with friends from her church youth group. After attending Biola University and Capernwray Bible School in Austria, Robin and Ross were married and spent the next two decades working together in youth ministry.



It was the young teens at Robin’s church who challenged her to write stories for them. She hadn’t thought much about being a writer, but took their request to heart and set her alarm for 3am, three days a week. With two small children it was the only time she could find to write the first story about Christy Miller. After two years and ten rejections the novel Summer Promise was accepted for publication in 1988. Robin hasn’t stopped writing since. Over 4 million copies of her 75 books have sold and can be found in a dozen translations all over the world.



Robin and her husband now live in Hawai’i where Ross is a counselor and Robin continues to write to the sound of tropical birds chattering in the palm trees outside her window. Their children are grown but manage to come to the islands with their families every chance they get. Robin's awards include: three Christy awards for excellence in fiction, a Gold Medallion finalist, Mt. Hermon Pacesetter and the Mt. Hermon Writer of the Year award. Robin travels extensively and is a frequent key-note speaker at various events around the world. She serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and Jerry Jenkin’s Christian Writer’s Guild.





ABOUT THE BOOK



When Carolyn’s grown daughter tells her she needs to “get a life,” Carolyn decides it’s time to step out of her familiar routine as a single woman in San Francisco and escape to her mother’s home in the Canary Islands. Since Carolyn’s mother is celebrating her seventieth birthday, the timing of Carolyn’s visit makes for a perfect surprise.

The surprise, however, is on Carolyn when she sees Bryan Spencer, her high school summer love. It’s been seven years since Carolyn lost her husband, but ever since that tragic day, her life has grown smaller and closed in. The time has come for Carolyn to get her heart back. It takes the gentle affection of her mother and aunts, as well as the ministering beauty and song of the islands to draw Carolyn into the fullness of life. She is nudged along by a Flamenco dance lesson, a defining camel ride and the steady gaze of Bryan’s intense blue-gray eyes.

Is it too late for Carolyn to trust Bryan? Can Carolyn believe that Bryan has turned into something more than the wild beach boy who stole her kisses so many years ago on a balmy Canary night?

Carolyn is reminded that Christopher Columbus set sail from the Canary Islands in 1492 on his voyage to discover the New World. Is she ready to set sail from these same islands to discover her new life?



If you would like to read the first chapter of Canary Island Song, go HERE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shadows on the Sand
Multnomah Books (July 19, 2011)
by
Gayle Roper






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Gayle is the award winning author of more than forty books. She has been a Christy finalist three times for her novels Spring Rain, Summer Shadows, and Winter Winds. Her novel Autumn Dreams won the prestigious Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Summer Shadows was voted the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Book of the Year (tied with fellow author Brandilyn Collins).



Gayle has won the Holt Medallion three times for The Decision, Caught in a Bind, and Autumn Dreams. The Decision won the Reviewers Choice Award, and Gayle has also won the Award of Excellence for Spring Rain and the Golden Quill for Summer Shadows and Winter Winds. Romantic Times Book Report gave Gayle the Lifetime Achievement Award.



Her Amhearst mystery series, Caught in the Middle, Caught in the Act, and Caught in a Bind, originally published by Zondervan, was reprinted in 2007 by Love Inspired Suspense with a fourth original title added, Caught Redhanded. Another original single title, See No Evil, was also released. Caught in the Middle has been optioned for film.



For her work in training Christian writers Gayle has won special recognition from Mount Hermon CWC, St. Davids CWC, Florida CWC, and Greater Philadelphia CWC. She directed St. Davids for five years and Sandy Cove CWC for six. She has taught with Christian Leaders, Authors and Speakers Services (CLASS), serving for several years as their writer in residence. She enjoys speaking at women's events across the nation and loves sharing the powerful truths of Scripture with humor and practicality.



Gayle is married to to Chuck Roper and has been "for more years than seems possible!". Gayle and Chuck live in southeastern Pennsylvania where they enjoy their family of two great sons, two lovely daughters-in-law, and the world's five most wonderful grandchildren. When she's not writing, or teaching at conferences, Gayle enjoys reading, gardening, and eating out every time she can talk Chuck into it.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Carrie Carter’s small café in Seaside, New Jersey, is populated with a motley crew of locals although Carrie only has eyes for Greg Barnes. He’s recovering from a vicious crime that three years ago took the lives of his wife and children—and from the year he tried to drink his reality away. While her heart does a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of him, he never seems to notice her, to Carrie’s chagrin.



When Carrie’s dishwasher is killed and her young waitress disappears, Greg finds himself drawn into helping Carrie solve the mysteries … and into her life. But Carrie has a painful past, too, and when the reason she once ran away shows up in town, the fragile relationship she’s built with Greg threatens to implode from the weight of the baggage they both carry. Two wounded hearts struggle to find a way to make one romance work. Failure seems guaranteed when Carrie locates her waitress but is taken hostage...



If you would like to read the first chapter of Shadows on the Sand, go HERE.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Falls Like Lightning
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
by
Shawn Grady




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. He is the author of the novels Through the Fire, Tomorrow We Die & Falls Like Lightning.



Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.



After graduating from James Logan High School in Union City, California, Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego as a Theology undergrad. There he found clarity of direction and proceeded on to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.



Shawn currently lives in Reno, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.



ABOUT THE BOOK



When hotshot smoke jumper Silas Kent gets his own fire crew, he thinks he's achieved what he's always wanted. But a lightning-sparked fire in the Desolation Wilderness of the Sierra Nevadas has his team in a plane before they can even train together.



Pilot Elle Westmore has been called up to drop the crew into the heart of the forest infernos. A single mother of a mysteriously ill six-year-old, she can't imagine her life getting any more complicated.



It doesn't take long for things to go very wrong, very quickly. A suspicious engine explosion forces Elle to make an emergency landing. Silas is able to parachute to safety but soon discovers his crew can't be trusted. They're hiding something, and now Silas is on a race to save himself and Elle from the flames--and from a more dangerous threat: his own team.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Falls Like Lightning, go HERE

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pattern of Wounds
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
by
J. Mark Bertrand




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





J. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years, earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after one hurricane too many he relocated with his wife Laurie to the plains of South Dakota. Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of one hung jury and served on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.







ABOUT THE BOOK





It's Christmas in Houston, and homicide detective Roland March is on the hunt for a killer. A young woman's brutal stabbing in an affluent neighborhood bears all the hallmarks of a serial murder. The only problem is that March sent the murderer to prison ten years ago. Is it a copycat -- or did March convict the wrong man?



Alienated from his colleagues and with a growing rift in his marriage, March receives messages from the killer. The bodies pile up, the pressure builds, and the violence reaches too close to home. Up against an unfathomable evil, March struggles against the clock to understand the hidden message in the pattern of wounds.



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

Monday, July 11, 2011

Vigilante by Robin Parrish



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Vigilante
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
by
Robin Parrish




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Robin Parrish wants to take you on a ride.



A wild ride -- which is exactly what you're in for when you pick up one of his books. And he's adamant that it will never be the same kind of experience twice.



Robin's stories mix, mingle, and meld various genres together to create thoroughly original suspense/thrillers. His Dominion Trilogy, for example, mashed up superhero action, secret societies, ancient myths, and an apocalyptic setting to create an entirely new take on the classic "hero's journey." Offworld mixed science fiction and an end-of-the-world scenario with high-octane action. Nightmare, his 2010 novel, is a spine-tingling examination of the world of the paranormal, paired with can't-put-it-down mystery. His 2011 novel, Vigilante, is an action-packed story about a soldier who sets out to change the world. Later this year, he's releasing his first ever Young Adult novel, titled Corridor.



Always pushing the envelope, ever on the edge of where modern storytelling is going, Robin Parrish will gladly and unapologetically tell you that he's an entertainer, a weaver of stories that ignite the mind and delight the heart. Defying labels and refusing pigeonholes, his imagination is fueled by the possibilities of asking "What if…?", and as anyone who's read his work knows, he has a very big imagination.



His influences as a novelist range from television and film storytellers like Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams, to masters of the modern myth like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Akin to Philip K. Dick's search for the meaning of identity, most of what Robin writes about boils down to his own ponderings and examinations of just what this thing we call "existence" is.



Robin is a full time writer. He and his wife Karen and two children live in High Point, NC.



"Robin Parrish is a keen-eyed, passionate pop cultural savant,

whose writing is as incisive and insightful as it is entertaining."


- Allan Heinberg, Executive Producer, Grey's Anatomy







ABOUT THE BOOK



Nolan Gray is an elite soldier, skilled in all forms of combat. After years fighting on foreign battlefields, witnessing unspeakable evils and atrocities firsthand, a world-weary Nolan returns home to find it just as corrupt as the war zones. Everywhere he looks, there's pain and cruelty. Society is being destroyed by wicked men who don't care who they make suffer or destroy.



Nolan decides to do what no one else can, what no one has ever attempted. He will defend the helpless. He will tear down the wicked. He will wage a one-man war on the heart of man, and he won't stop until the world is the way it should be.



The wicked have had their day. Morality's time has come. In a culture starving for a hero, can one extraordinary man make things right?



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

Finalist!