Tuesday, April 30, 2013



My granddaughters play in a church bell choir.

Bells range in size, weight, and ring tone. Smaller ones have a softer, high sound. Then there are those in the mid-range and others with large, deep voices. Handbell choirs have at least twelve players, one for each note in the chromatic scale. If the ensemble is larger, it will usually be arranged in octaves, such as 25 participants for two octave groups.

Watching a bell choir is fascinating. Never does a player actually play a line or phrase of a tune with one bell—but only one note at a time. If the piece calls for another note, the sound must come from another bell and someone else is probably ringing it.

Normally, handbell ringers perform using one or two bells, one for each hand. In certain pieces of music, players may be asked to work with four or six bells, two or three per hand and perhaps some behind them, and slightly out of reach. My they are busy!

The bell ringer needs to be exact in counting the rhythm in order to come in at the exact moment when the note is needed for the song. I enjoy watching the lips of some players as they count meticulously, and am amazed at how few notes are missed. Players who play several bells often scurry around behind a table of bells, quickly choosing the correct instrument, ringing the note, then going on to another.

Living our lives, playing on a team, and working in Christian ministry in many ways are similar to playing bells. It takes every person’s gift—or note—to make the “music.” Romans 12: 4-7 tells us God equips everyone differently.

 According to 1 Corinthians 12:11 and 1 Peter 4:10 every believer has at least one gift of grace to build up God’s people and express God’s love to others.  Beyond that, we have unique talents imparted by God and supplemented by our parents, and social, academic environments.

Then, who we are drives it all. What do we do with what we have?

Paul wrote in 1Timothy 4:14, “Do not neglect the gift that is in you.” Then he says in 2 Timothy 1:6, after thanking God for Timothy’s faith, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God (2 Timothy 1:6NIV) and adds, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Just as with bells, if your note isn’t played, the music won’t be the same. Furthermore, if you don’t use your gifts they’ll crumble to ashes like a dead fire, and warmth, love, wisdom and hope probably will be diminished among the people God gives you to influence.

Dump the ashes, shake the grates, fuel the fire with new faith and a new vision. Allow God’s spirit to breathe new life into your ministry and play the notes God assigned to you in His great symphony!
© Ada Brownell April 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013



by Paula Mowery

Surely the two words – suffering and blessed – have to be opposites. Suffering is defined as misery, hardships, and pain. Blessed means holy, beautiful, delightful. Blessing means a thing conducive to happiness, approval, favor, benefit, and good.

The dictionary entries for each show a definite contradiction. But, God has a way of making an oxymoron into a quite harmonious pair.

I won’t soon forget the day my mother was diagnosed a second time with breast cancer. In the years since her first bout she had suffered repercussions like additional surgery and a platelet-destroying antibody. Yet, she took it all in stride, knowing that suffering and blessing can occur together.

Today she is healthy but still testifies to how God blessed her during her suffering by allowing her to encourage other women facing breast cancer diagnoses.

“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort – we get a full measure of that, too.” 1 Corinthians 1:3-7 The Message

I have come to learn that God doesn’t waste anything – even our sufferings.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

In my soon to be released book from Pelican Book Group, BE THE BLESSING, I deal with this issue of God using us even through our suffering.

The book is fiction. I don't have a release date for Be The Blessing--a sequel. The Blessing Seer, is available through all ebook distributors and from the publisher, Pelican Book Group. I have a link on my blog. www.paulamowery.blogspot.com

Here’s a short blurb for the book:

  Addy Townsend hadn’t strolled with Conrad or had a vision in five years. Now Conrad has returned to challenge her to be a blessing to those around her. The Holy Spirit begins to nudge her into service in new ways and she follows.
But when she is blindsided with personal problems, can Addy learn to be a willing vessel even in times of struggle and suffering?
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t despair when you must suffer. Remember that God can bring beautiful flowers from the coldest darkest winter. Be on the look-out for His blessings.


Thursday, April 25, 2013


Sometimes it takes years to write a book, but some authors complete them in a few weeks. What keeps them going? Do characters with a story to tell invade writers' minds without notice? Or is it a concentrated effort by a wordsmith? Is it different for Christian writers who feel a call to share the gospel through their books, although it is fiction? How does conflict arise?

Here our guest, author Mary L. Ball, tells how her book Escape to Big Fork Lake grew from the first word on the page to a creation that drops the reader into another time and place, wheres she meets interesting people and shares their joys, challenges and trouble -- and comes to the last page with satisfaction because of the enjoyable experience.

If you would like to ask Mary L. Ball a question, comment on this post.

Where did you get the idea for Escape to Big Fork Lake?
I was cleaning house one day and thinking about a get-away at the lake. The next thing I knew I was plotting out Samantha’s fictional world. And of course, since I love suspense mingled with romance she needed to face a problem.
How did you decide on the setting? Did you need to do research?
Big Fork Lake is a fictional town, but the location of the town being surrounded by a lake is from my research of the lakes in Alabama.
did you create character profiles? How did you do that?
I do create profiles, but they’re all in my head I “picture” the character. I tried to list my person’s trait- but that doesn’t work to well for me.  
Is an inheritance a natural for conflict?
No I wouldn’t think so. In Sam’s case, it was her saving grace. Not only did the inheritance give her a way out of her trouble. It gave her a secure future, a man to enjoy life with and most important the opportunity to get to know God’s mercy.
Was creating risk and danger easy or difficult? Did putting your characters into danger ever make your own skin prickle as you wrote?
Only God knows why I choose to put Sam into such a situation. I just wrote as it came about in my thoughts.  Personally, I don’t like conflict; I’m one of those women who always tries to keep the peace. Battles of any sort emotionally drain me.
Did you hate to let these complications happen to your character (name)?
Yes, I did.  I wanted Sam to live in a polly-anna world, but life isn’t like that.
Was it difficult to get your characters out of danger after the crisis occurred?
 No, I was so glad to have Sam overcome the accusations. Actually, I should have made it harder, but I’m a softie.
How long did it take to write the book, including preliminary work?
Totally time was eight months (first draft.) That’s mainly because I keep my grandkids, have an aging mother with problems, church responsibilities and still need to maintain household duties. I wish I could lock myself in my office and write for seven hours a day then I could accomplish all that runs around in my head a lot sooner.
Do you have advice for struggling novelists out there?
Yes, don’t give up. It took almost two years and a lot of prayer to get a contract from a publisher. Thank goodness my publisher was willing to take on a new author and show the patience of Job as I learned, and I am still acquiring knowledge as a writer.
What is the Christian/inspirational take-away?
For me, it’s about tackling issues that most Christians won’t. I feel pushed to bring situations to the readers showing we all face adversity, no matter who we are. My second novel is a different take over the power of dreams in a Christian realm and my current work in progress, is about an alcoholic. That particular subject has kept me researching for hours to get inside the heads of people with addictions and their fight to overcome.   


Escape to Big Fork Lake

Will an inheritance bring new happiness or a trap for murder?

 Bad luck seems to follow Sam Blacker. She loses her job and faces daily struggles keeping her drunken neighbor away from her. When an unexpected inheritance gives her a chance for a new beginning, Sam, a city girl at heart, is hesitant. However, after a brutal attack she has no choice.

Making a decision that will forever change her life she flees to the small fishing town of Big Fork Lake, Alabama and soon finds herself in the arms of Noah Frye. A tumultuous relationship with Noah sparks buried desires of the heart, even if he is a Christian, surely, she can get around that little problem.

As Sam and Noah’s passion grows trouble lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching. Inescapable, Sam’s bad luck returns when she stumbles upon a murder and becomes the only suspect. Will she have to run again, this time to stay out of prison? Worse, will she lose the best man she’s ever found? And what about the newfound hunger in heart to know God—can she truly trust in Him?

Mary L Ball
I enjoy plunking away at the keys, weaving together Inspirational Suspense and Mystery Novels as well as writing a weekly Christian article.

I live in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. Every chance I get to explore these two picturesque places I travel three hours (in either direction) and bask in the splendor. I love the outdoors; there is much creativity to look at which sparks my imagination. My family life is always busy so writing is a way of retreat for me.

My most favorite pastime is fishing and of course, reading, not necessarily in that order and often together.

One of my dislikes is labels. I am a Christian who strives to follow Jesus and his teachings. By no means am I perfect and that’s why I am thankful for God's forgiving mercy.

My Christian articles can be found at Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/christian-living-in-greensboro/mary-lou-ball

You can visit me at http://MaryLouwrites.weebly.com  to read about my next novel.
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/inspires4mary

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WHO ARE YOU? Author Deanna Kingle writes about "The Person Within"

The Person Within
I love the banner Ada uses here on her blog with the scripture from 2. Corinthians 4-7. I wonder how many of us reside in that earthen vessel, hidden, undisturbed, complacent and comfortable?
To the Christian Writer, who feels himself yanked out of that vessel by the Holy Spirit and put to work, coming out of such accommodation  into the sunlight to be seen and heard can be a surprising revelation.
What of the quiet homemaker whose devotional book has pulled her into a bookstore to sign her books for strangers who want to know about her and her family? She discovers she’s not just the shy, reticent, ordinary person she thought she was. She’s friendly, outgoing, proclaiming God’s love to strangers, surprising her and others.
What of the mystery writer who spends his private time alone in his head plotting and suddenly finds himself the subject of reviews among readers who want to know about him and his relationship to God?
We are who we think we are, living within the vessel. When we are called by God to write for Him, to crawl out of our vessel into a larger world He goes out with us. He provides the courage to grasp new opportunities, the endurance to see our projects through to the end, and the Grace we need to get it into a world that needs to read it.
Christian Writers! Come on out of the earthen vessel into the sunlight and see the surprises He has in store for you. The world needs to hear what you have to say and read what you have to write. Be not afraid; you’re not alone.

A Mafia Don and Gold Medal Figure Skater


The niece of a mafia don, Gina is a gold medal hopeful in figure skating. When tragedy happens Gina has no support group or coping skills, and loses her identity. Lonely and despairing, Gina becomes an alcoholic. The two people who love her and never give up on her are able to help her out of her abyss and back to the Church of her childhood where she discovers she is still God's beloved daughter.

Deanna K. Klingel lives in the mountains of western North Carolina with her husband and golden retriever. Their seven children are grown and scattered in the southeast. She travels a lot with her books. Her website is http://www.booksbydeanna.com/. Her new blog, Selling Books has just started and will post Mondays and Thursdays. "Authors probably aren't going to learn anything new, but they'll smile at my bungling attempts to sell books."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Welcome to Christian Author Interviews. Enjoy our interview with Richard Blackaby in this episode. Listen in via the video or audio and share your thoughts in the comments. Don't forget to enter the giveaway below and share this interview with your friends!

Listen to the audio here:

About Richard Blackaby

Dr. Richard Blackaby is the president of Blackaby Ministries International where he works with his father Henry and brother Tom. He is an author and a popular international speaker. Richard is married to Lisa and they have three amazing children: Mike, Daniel, and Carrie. Richard has a Ph.D. in history. He loves reading biographies and hockey. He works with leaders in the home, church, and business community, helping them develop their leadership to higher levels. Richard also co-authored the revision of "Experiencing God" and speaks often in churches and to Christian organizations.

Follow Richard Blackaby
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Christian Author Interviews is hosted by Shelley Hitz of Crossreads and Body and Soul Publishing.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads bloggers!

Monday, April 22, 2013


This article is a reprint from an op-ed piece that appeared in The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado on Good Friday, 2013


I stood before George Washington’s burial site in a beautiful garden at Mount Vernon. Chills crept over me as I read the inscription in the inner tomb—Jesus’ words: “I am the resurrection and the life, He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

Later thinking about our first president and controversies surrounding his faith, I wasn’t sure I’d  sit down and talk to George “over there.” But who knows except God?

The truth is, there is scripture all over Washington, D.C.’s memorial sites. Whether our country’s forefathers lived exemplary Christian lives, documents and much of what they left is filled with references to God and Bible quotes.

I thought about how different the legacies our nation might leave today for the next generation. In our public schools, students are taught they appeared on earth without a Designer, and they are no more than animals. The Ten Commandments are banned, but filthy books assigned. No wonder we have mass killings, millions of babies aborted, thousands of teens infected by sexually transmitted diseases every year, drug and alcohol addiction, suicides, cheaters among students, half the people unable to make a marriage work, and a good percentage of children growing up without two parents.

Instead of teaching children moral values and that they are loved by the God who designed their DNA, Christianity is treated as the nation’s biggest enemy, and the name of Jesus can’t even be mentioned with respect at the same colleges like Yale and Harvard—started by Christian organizations.

Other nations are becoming serious threats to the United States and our economy is in serious danger of collapsing. But instead of falling to our knees in repentance and asking for God’s mercy to heal our land, we saturate our minds with amusements to make us forget. We live for today and forget tomorrow.
In contrast to the foreboding darkness obscuring our future, I think of Easter sunrise services I’ve attended when the church ventures out in the cool morning before daylight and watches the sun rise as it did near a garden more than 2,000 years ago.  We recall the words of the angel who appeared: “He is risen!”

A couple of weeks ago a scripture jumped out at me: “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me…. And this is the will of him who sent me, that everyone who sees the son and believes in him may have everlasting life” (John 6: 38, 40).

That’s good news! He has come down from heaven to give abundant and eternal life.  The sun still rises over America, and it has risen since the day we joined the Indians on this wonderful continent. I believe there is hope for those who desire it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When life or your goals are a puzzle--stick with Who you know is the answer. He knows the future

Guest Post by Susan J. Reinhardt - Puzzle Pieces

Puzzles have never been my forte, and the Rubix Cube was no exception. No matter how I twisted and turned that thing, I still couldn't get it right.
Getting a book published is a whole lot like putting a puzzle together. Learn how to write, pray for inspiration, learn how to pitch a book, unlock the mysteries of a dynamic proposal, and the list goes on. Even when we get all the pieces together, one trip can send the whole thing crashing down.
Then one awesome, exciting day it happened. A contract offered from both a publisher and an agent sat on my desk, awaiting my signature.
No matter how I tried before these treasures had eluded me. Thanks to a few circumstances put into place by the Master's hand, it came together.
Hmm, maybe I should give that Rubix Cube a try again.
UPDATE:  I stuck with it, and guess what? My novel, The Moses Conspiracy, is now published! Here are the cover and a short book blurb:

The Moses Conspiracy by Susan J. Reinhardt

A trip to post-terrorized WashingtonD.C. in 2025 and a buggy accident in Bird-in-HandPA set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

Convinced it's now safe to visit D.C., Ellie and her firstborn, 8-year-old Peter, travel to the nation's capital. Both mother and child make an effort to enjoy the sights, but they're unprepared for the challenges they face. Her nightmares come true when she and Peter are separated.

Back home, John witnesses a neighbor's buggy accident. The suspicious circumstances and law enforcement's refusal to take them seriously prompt him to take on the role of detective. He and a tenacious reporter band together and vow to find out what's happening in Bird-in-Hand.

Extended family squabbles erupt when John's sister, Annaliese, faces off with Ellie for blowing her D.C. experiences out of proportion. She'd rather ignore the warnings than deal with the growing danger.

John and Ellie can't decide whether her trip and his involvement with the accident were such a good idea. People are getting hurt, and their own family receives ominous warnings. Turning back the clock is not an option, but going forward could initiate more violence.

The small community is shattered when the unthinkable occurs. Will family, friends, and neighbors band together or allow fear to prevent them from taking action?

Bio for Susan J. Reinhardt

Susan J. Reinhardt's journey to publication began as a non-fiction writer. She's been published in The RevWriter Resource, Devotions Magazine, A Secret Place, Vista, Live, and numerous other compilations and periodicals. Her appreciation for using fiction techniques inspired her to use fiction as a vehicle for truth. Her novel, "The Moses Conspiracy," was released on March 16, 2013.

A widow, stepmom, daughter, and active church member, Susan enjoys reading, couponing, gardening, and searching for small treasures in antique shops.

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Friday, April 12, 2013


I remember her as a brunette woman with her hair tucked back into a tiny bun. But it was her eyes that fascinated me. They radiated love.
Sister McPherson, as we called her, was my first Sunday school teacher. She didn’t mind that I didn’t have fancy dresses or pretty shoes—or that I was covered with freckles. I usually had at least one dress. Otherwise, I wore my brother’s hand-me-down coveralls.
Maybe she liked my red curly hair combed into little coils like Shirley Temple’s. Well, on the other hand, maybe she didn’t even notice. There must have been at least ten or fifteen of us little girls and boys tucked into that tiny classroom for preschoolers—the “beginners” class.
The teacher took flannelgraph pictures and arranged them on the “flannel board” as she told us Bible stories.
Most of my family were new Christians, yet Mom probably could have told me those stories at home, but in those years following the Great Depression Mom was busy cooking, cleaning, planting, hoeing and canning to make sure the ten of us had food on the table. In later years, as the baby of the family, I remember family devotions, but not Bible stories like Sister McPherson told.
As I listened to the wonderful amazing stories from the Bible and memorized the verses she taught, light dropped into my young heart. God loved me and had a plan for my life.
It wasn’t very many years before Sister McPherson died. Mama took me to the funeral. Nevertheless, I wasn’t upset. I was somewhat sad, but the woman planted such faith in my heart I was tempted when I went by the casket to shout, “In the name of Jesus rise up!”
Seemed I knew God has a part in our home going as well as our living, though, and I was content.
Yet, I knew in my heart some day soon she will be resurrected.At that time Jews came from all over the world and Israel became a nation, the prophecy of Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones, fulfilled. The church was so excited I knew about the Second Coming and even as a beginner, I knew Jesus was coming back to earth. I still have that expectation many decades later..
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BUT GOD--Guest Post from Sharon Srock: Terrie--The second book about The Women from Valley View

Sharon Srock gives a powerful testimony here as our guest. "But God" is mentioned 43 times in the King James version of the Bible. Here are a few samples:

  1. Gen 31:7 And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.
  2. Gen 45:8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
  3. Gen 48:21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.
  4. Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

No matter what situation in which we find ourselves, if we believe those words, we'll find thing nothing can separate us from the love of God and His power  (Romans 8). Just yesterday while we were talking about all the expected blizzards, I told my brother how we were crossing the Colorado mountains in a storm and we suddenly slipped into the path of an oncoming truck. I yelled, "Jesus help us!" and it seemed a hand shoved us back into the right lane, nearly slick tires and all, out of the truck's way.

Now here's Sharon Srock's testimony:

Have you ever mumbled those words to your heavenly father? I know I have, especially in the last four years as He’s nudged me along the road to publication.

Once I accepted the fact that fiction writing was where God was taking me, it was easy to accept the need to incorporate a spiritual journey in all the stories. I just didn’t know that some of them would reflect my own journey as closely as Terri’s story does.

In The Women of Valley View: Terri, Terri is looking for the dream she’s pursued her whole adult life. Twenty nine years old, single and childless she feels her dreams of family slipping away. Circumstance puts her on a path that feels exactly opposite to the one she truly wants. She begins to cry out to God for understanding and direction.

This was where I found my own life was I wrote this story. Most of Terri’s prayers sound a lot like my own as I began to seriously explore publication. Is this where you want me God? Can you please shine some light on my path cause this feels wrong for me. I don’t understand where you’re taking me. And finally… I sorry for being stubborn, I’m sorry for saying “here take this” and grabbing it back. Please just give me the faith I need to follow where you lead.

You know what Terri and I both found out? God’s promises are always true. Just because the path He puts you on isn’t the most comfortable or familiar one, doesn’t make it the wrong one. Sometimes God takes us on a circular path to teach us lessons that we’ll need once we reach our destination. The path may be different than we envisioned, but most of the time…the destination is the same.


Despite a bustling day care center and a new foster child, Terri Hayes hungers for a family of her own. Then a plumbing mishap leaves her homeless and questioning God’s plan. Steve Evans’s gracious offer of his basement apartment as a temporary solution is an answered prayer.
Steve is a successful writer and a good father, but Terri is horrified when Steve’s book research leads him to a harsh confrontation with the parents of her foster child. She needs to distance herself from Steve, but her efforts fall short as his two scheming daughters plot to make Terri their new stepmother.
Will harsh words and sneaky plans drive Kelsey’s family further apart and put a wedge between Terri and Steve? Or does God have another plan in store?

Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s debut novel, The Women of Valley View: Callie released in October 2012. The second in the series, The Women of Valley View: Terri releases in April 2013.
Connect with her here:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SharonSrock#!/SharonSrock
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/SharonSrock
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6448789.Sharon_Srock


Monday, April 8, 2013

Author Heidi Glick: WRITING IS A JOURNEY

Meet Novelist Heidi Glick. Heidi  has a B.A. in biology, a minor in Bible from Cedarville University, and a passion for writing Christian fiction. She has over seven years of technical editing experience, a certificate in technical writing from Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, and is working towards her Master of English at Utah State University. Additionally, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and has written two articles for Intercom. When not working, Heidi spends time with her husband, son, and two dogs, Cocoa and Sparky. She attends Grace Chapel in Mason, Ohio. 

Writing is a Journey
I like a sign that hangs in my fertility specialist’s office. The sign invites patients to a support group to discuss their struggles along their infertility journey. I like the reminder that it is a journey, with various points along the way. While some can easily get pregnant, I underwent various procedures and surgery and even completed a home study before becoming pregnant.  The bottom line is that my journey is not the same as others. I know some who never get pregnant but who God has blessed with children through adoption. One way or the other, either by adoption, fostering, or pregnancy, I knew from the start of my journey that I wanted to be a parent. I was on the journey for the long haul, and that helped me through the hard times.

Writing is also a journey. Some get published right away. Some don’t. Some need to work harder at it than others. I wish I had known this when I first starting writing as a teen because it would have made my life easier. Instead, I thought that if I was called to be a writer, then editors would just accept my manuscripts as is, and that I would not need to work hard at the writing process. However, I worked on my debut novel for four years before I signed a contract with a publisher.

Before going on a journey, one usually consults a map or GPS to guide them. The writing journey is no different. A writer needs guides, but they also must be prepared for detours along the way. For example, a writer might find out that he/she needs to rewrite his/her manuscript and/or learn more about the writing process.

When I began writing, I thought I knew all there was to know about POV, but I was wrong. I was instructed by others to avoid headhopping and to use one POV character per scene, but the problem was that I didn’t know what that meant. And what didn’t help was others trying to point it out to me because I just didn’t get it. 

Finally, upon the advice of another writer, I bought a book on viewpoints. It did help but not right away. I had to read and reread the book and have my husband help explain POV to me. At one point, I thought about giving up altogether. My husband asked me if learning a new way to do POV was better than giving up writing, and I decided to learn how to properly handle POV if it killed me. In time, I learned how to handle it fairly well but needed more help. So I joined ACFW and, in particular, the Scribes critique group. There I received feedback on my writing and discovered I had more to learn. Through an ACFW class, I learned more on deep POV, and I began to feel more confident in my writing.

And then of course, I encountered more detours. I needed to work on characterization, conflict, etc. But in the end, once God got me past all the detours, he opened the door to publication for me. But that’s not the end of my journey. It still continues. Now I am working on the next novel, on marketing my debut novel, and on juggling writing with my role as the parent of a newborn. Experience has taught me that every writer will experience detours along their writing journey, but each can succeed if he/she is prepared for the long haul.  

My advice to other writers is to
·         Decide to remain on the journey no matter what the cost;
·         Expect detours;
·         Get help from others to overcome detours;
·         Continue on the journey despite the detours; and
·         Remember that each writer’s journey is unique.

tTake the journey with Heidi Glick into the lives of characters Mark Graham and Beth Martindale in her book, Dog Tags

Blurb: When disabled ex-Marine Mark Graham reconnects with his best friend’s sister, he finds himself falling in love. But Beth Martindale’s presence is a constant reminder of events he’d rather forget. Mark wants to move forward, but the secrets surrounding her brother’s death as well as his own confinement to a wheelchair threaten to tear them apart.When a psychopath who calls himself The Knight fixates on Beth, Mark is determined to give her the protection he failed to give her brother on the battlefield, yet he discovers that a wheelchair isn’t the only impediment he has to keeping Beth safe. Will terror win or can Mark find the strength of mind and body to rescue Beth and find his own redemption?

Where to find more information about Heidi and her writing? 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What Do Disciples and Writers Have In Common?

By: Tanya Eavenson
Let me give you a hint with the word, “disciple.” Jesus called twelve men to follow Him. It was a call for them to be trained and to learn. As writers, we are much like these men with different backgrounds, temperaments, occupations, special gifts and talents. With those talents, we are continually learning the craft and the trade of the business. We submit to publishers and agents, enter contests, and attend conferences. All of these are important but we miss something of greater importance if our only focus is that all illusive contract. The disciples also looked toward the future, not their present time of training when they asked Jesus, who would be the greatest.
One of the places Jesus taught them was at the Sea of Galilee. This is where Jesus called four of his followers, where the raging storm brought fear to the disciples while Jesus slept in the boat, and where Peter walked on water. All of these occurrences displayed Jesus’s glory, power, and His provision. But it also showed His concern for them and a desire for His disciples to trust when they felt overwhelmed.
Matthew 14:25-32 says, “25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
How many times have we as writers been discouraged, passed over for a book contract, received a rejection letter or fought writer’s block? What did we do?
Peter gives us a great example of what we should do. His faith inspires us to step out of our comfort zone and meet Jesus. But we can all relate to what happened next. Peter turned his attention to the storm. In a similar way, we take our eyes off Jesus. We begin to look at our inadequacies, our past, or an approaching storm, and if we focus too long on the waves, they will surely topple us over. When that happens, we miss Jesus’ teaching to take courage, to remember He is with us, to stop doubting and have faith.

Everyone who is a disciple will find themselves in training. If we allow God to have His way in our lives—through our experiences and the things we learn—He will use us to touch others in ways unique to us. But that kind of life is a journey, following the Author who fulfills His purpose in us, so whatever we do, in word or deed, He will be glorified.


Tanya Eavenson and her husband have been involved in ministry for fifteen years teaching youth and adults, and doing counseling. Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes for Christ to the World Ministries sharing the Gospel around the world.

The following is a taste of Tanya's book, Unconditional. 

Chapter One

Elizabeth pushed herself up from the bed. Her gaze swept the dark room and fixed on the hall nightlight. Her hand grazed over her husband’s shoulder when a thought gripped her. Katherine. The baby monitor stood silent. Darkness shrouded the red and green lights that indicated movement.
Her chest tightened. She hurled the covers away and leapt to the floor. Panic made her clumsy as she rushed to her daughter’s room. She lunged over the crib. No sound. No movement. Not even a stirring of air from her tiny nostrils.
“Katherine!” Elizabeth snatched her daughter from the mattress. The infant drew a heavy breath as her eyes flung wide open.
Lord, what’s happening?
Elizabeth’s bare feet pounded the cold tile as she ran back to her husband. “Chris, wake up! Katherine quit breathing again!”
Chris rubbed his eyes and scowled. “What is it?”
“We need to take Katherine to the hospital. She stopped breathing.”
He studied their child. “She seems to be breathing now. Are you sure?”
“Of course, I’m sure.”
“She’s fine.” Chris fell back against the pillow.
“We don’t have the money to take her to the hospital when there’s nothing wrong with her.”
“But there is. She stopped breathing.”
He sat back up. “You’ve been worried about her since before she was born. You’re all worked up because she hasn’t rolled over yet. The doctor said that’s normal for being early.”
She’s called a preemie. She glared into his eyes. “If you were home more often you’d know she’s not fine.”
“I’m home, Elizabeth, and she’s fine.”
Heat flushed her cheeks as tears filled her eyes. “I’m scared. Can’t you see that? I need you to pray for our daughter. I need you to hold me and tell me everything will be all right.”
“Look, she’s sleeping.” His voice softened as his hand ran down her thigh. “Come to bed.”
“How can you care so little? I’m worried about our baby.”
Chris’s hand dropped to the sheets. “Shut the door when you leave.” He turned away from her.
Elizabeth stood for a moment unable to speak. With their baby in her arms, she slowly closed the door behind her and sank her teeth into her lip to keep from crying. If tears came, it would be for her daughter, not for the stranger in her bed.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

MEET AUTHOR JAMES R. CALLAN -- Mysteries, murder and intriguing characters

First of all, thank you, Ada, for having me on your site today.  You asked how some of my books came about.  Let me talk about the three mystery/suspense novels published in the last sixteen months.

Cleansed by Fire released in January, 2012 as the first Father Frank mystery. Father Frank is the  pastor at a small church in east Texas and is pulled into solving a series of arsons. The basis for this book came from the local news.  Several years ago, a number of churches were torched in east Texas.  Eventually, the police
caught the two young arsonists. But as I followed the trial, no motive ever came out, except, “Could we get away with it.”  While I could imagine this as a motive for one fire, I could not reconcile this for four churches.  So, I began to wonder, what could be a motive for burning several churches.  Eventually, the plot for Cleansed by Fire emerged.

The second mystery published during this period was Murder a Cappella.  Some years ago, our youngest daughter, Diane Bailey, sang with the Sweet Adelines, woman who sing barbershop harmony.  One year, her chorus made it to the International finals, so naturally we went to hear.  It was a very interesting week with nearly ten thousand women coming to San Antonio, all in colorful costumes. During almost every meal we had in a restaurant, some Sweet Adelines would spontaneously get up and start singing.  In the hotel lobby, on the River Walk, women would burst into song. It was certainly interesting. Diane’s chorus didn’t win, but they were excited to be named the fifth best in the world that year.

Diane writes middle grade non-fiction books  and has more than thirty in print.  We began to toss the idea around about a murder mystery set in the glitz and glamour of an International singing contest.  Eventually, Murder a Cappella materialized.  It is a fun book with all the sequins and excitement of the singing contest. But when two of the women from a chorus are shot while singing in front of the Alamo, a member of their chorus has to get involved in solving the murders.  Even the most well-read mystery lovers won’t figure this one out until the solution is revealed, even though the clues are there.

My latest, A Ton of Gold, was released by Oak Tree Press just over a month ago.  A couple of years back, I read an old Texas folk tale. I began to wonder if such a tale could affect the lives of people today.  Slowly the plot for A Ton of Gold evolved.  Young and brilliant Crystal Moore is in danger of losing her only family and her self-esteem. Adding to the murder, fire-bombing, and kidnapping, the man from her past who devastated her psychologically returns. This time, he can destroy her career.  She will need all the help she can get from a former bull-rider, a street-wise friend, and her feisty seventy-six year-old grandmother.

So, you can see, it doesn’t take much to set the wheels in motion for a seventy-five to ninety-five thousand word novel.  Just give your mind a little time to work on it, and ask those famous questions: What if … ? And Why?

All three are available on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle editions at:  http://amzn.to/RLYuhS
Or visit Jim’s website at:  www.jamesrcallan.com

Brief Bio of James R. Callan

After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing.  He wrote a monthly column for a national magazine for two years, and published several non-fiction books.  He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mysteries, with his fourth mystery released in February, 2013.