Friday, September 26, 2008
I got back on Monday evening and have been recuperating and already working on 2009! I love conference!
This year felt different that other years and I still don't know why. Instead of clustering with my friends I went out and met more people. Loved spending time with those I'd talked to and hadn't me yet. And it was wonderful talking with old friends too. Not that they're old, but we've been friends for a while. :D
On our writer's loop we're talking about gems we got during the conference. I got so many I can't begin to list them all. But I can list a few.
Angie Hunt said that we're all in the middle. There are always those who are better writers and those who are less experienced. This was HUGE to me. I always compare myself to others. I need to be content where I am and continue to learn the craft so that I can be a tool for God.
Another thing I realized is I am the only one in God's way and His plans for my career. Anything else is just an excuse. There were two real good examples in the prayer room with me. Robin Miller w/a Robin Caroll. She has had the most unbelievably hard year and yet she has written and sold at least seven books! Her writing was good enough to capture Karen Ball with B&H and she has a three book contract with them.
Another example that inspires me is my dear friend Cheryl Wyatt. She had a wreck early in the year. In the ensuing months she's had three major surgeries and her hands were terribly injured and yet she still wrote and sold three or four books (I'm starting to loose count!).
I can learn from them. Their persistence and obedience, even in the face of trials, blows all my excuses away. So I've decided, no more excuses and no apologies for doing what God has called me to do. Even if I never sell a single book, God does expect my best. And my best is what I plan to give.
I forgot to take my camera so I am dependant on people who took pics of me to send them to me. If you have any, I'd love to have them. I'll post them when I can.
Have a lovely weekend. I have some writing to do. :)
Monday, September 15, 2008
by Somaly Mam
Book: The Road to Lost Innocence
Summary: Born in Cambodia and orphaned at an early age, Somaly Mam, a Buddhist sex trade survivor, grew up never knowing her real name or birthday.
As a teenager, Somaly Mam was sold into prostitution and spent years in the brothels of Cambodia where she witnessed and experienced the full-blown horrors of the human sex trade – rape, torture, and nearly unfathomable abuse. After her eventual escape, she could not forget the young girls (some as young as 5) left behind in the brothels, and so she returned to serve them. Her new book, "The Road of Lost Innocence," is her newest means of advocacy. It tells her personal story, ultimately inviting people of conscious, such as our Christian community, to become involved (or to continue involvement) in this war against an epic evil, a modern battle for "the least of these." Truly, not only is this book worth reading, it's worth sharing.
Pammer here: I just got this book and I have a box of tissues ready. I think people need to be aware of what is going on. Not all of us can rush to the aide of these poor unfortunate children, but we can all pray for them and the ones who work with them.
Friday, September 12, 2008
by Michelle Sutton
Michelle is a busy woman these days! But I tracked her down and asked her a few questions about her book, about her life and her writing journey. (Talented and pretty to boot!)
Welcome to my blog. I'm so happy you dropped by.
Tell us a little about your writing journey.
I started writing fiction in August of 2003. Never wrote a word before and never wanted to. Back in August 2003 I cranked out a category romance for Steeple Hill in about three months and sent it in. They rejected it, of course, so I joined ACFW to learn how to be a better writer. I've always been an avid reader and that helps a lot.
What is the one thing that helped you most?
Encouragement from ACFW members and classes, books, etc on writing.
Tell us about your debut novel. (and if we can still get it, I hear it's selling out all over the place!)
Best place to buy it right now is at www.christianbook.com and then also at Amazon, but it's gone up in price there as the pre-order discount is no more. My book is about a young woman who just finished high school and plans to go to college in the fall. Her boyfriend becomes increasingly demanding of her physically and she doesn't want to lose him. She is attacked one night and he feels so guilty that he goes on a drinking spree. He pretty much abandons her and so his brother steps into offer encouragement and support in his stead and then everything gets really sticky when she starts to care for the older brother. There is passion, betrayal, etc. Fun stuff.
Is there anything you'd like to say to new writers out there?
Hang in there and keep working on improving your skills as a writer. Be teachable and know that you will never have a perfect manuscript. Be yourself.
Thanks for being on my blog, my friend.
Thanks for having me. :)
I haven't had a chance to read Michelle's book yet, but I can't wait to get my hands on it. :)
You can also find out more by visiting her at any of these places:
Have a wonderful day and Happy Reading.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
But God is never hanging in limbo in our lives, even if we are (and I'm ashamed to admit this) too busy for Him. Yes, I read my Bible, I pray and I sing, but I think I have been doing them with half a mind lately.
So He's been tenderizing my heart for some learning. A lady in one of my prayer groups posted the most AMAZING post about prayer yesterday. I mean, my mouth hit the keyboard drawer because it poked me where I needed to be poked. She talked about prayer being a two way street. We talk to God, He talks back. BUT DO WE LISTEN?
I used to listen so closely. Now I only listen if I have a decision to make. Make no mistake I take petitions to His throne all day long, but I don't always listen to what He wants to say.
I'm kindof like that pig that my husband talks about. I need a two by four upside the head to make me slow down, quit my charge and pay attention to what my master is saying.
In addition to this wonderful devotional that came at just the right time, I am reading a book called Having a Mary Spirit Allowing God to Change Us From the Inside Out by Joanna Weaver. This book really brings it home to me.
I was being a Martha. The old Martha, worried so much about getting everything right for the Lord that I wasn't taking time to SPEND with the Lord. To sit at His feet and soak in His love, His words, everything that makes Him who He is.
Yes, I have a lot to get done in a short amount of time and yes it has to be right, but who am I to think that I could run ahead of the Lord and do it all by my strength. I need Him to be right beside me and to do that I have to be on the same path as Him. Not force Him to take my path because only He knows the true way Home. He's willing to guide us if we just take His hand and totally trust in Him. All the things that we think are so important need to be a sidebar as we focus on Jesus. As long as we are Cross-Eyed, (eyes on the Cross) everything will be just fine. All that matters is that we are in God's will. There is no better place to be.
So, do you have a heart of prayer?
I'll be seeing some of you in the matter of a few days. I can't wait to distribute joyful hugs!
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Today I was taking the dog out (70 pounds of excited dog that bigger than me, stepping on my toes and knocking me around while I get his lead), I was reminded of our greyhound named Code Red. He came more easily to Cody, and we called him Coder-Mans. Our new pup is a Dobbie whom we affectionately call Dober-Mans.
When we had Cody, my youngest son was still a toddler. He was over two because he talked some, but not much. I would fix him a sandwich or something for lunch and he would set it on the coffee table in the living room (I'm only a stickler about eating at the table during dinner). Often times, Cody would help himself. Shadow would complain that the dog ate his lunch. (Same kid who wouldn't eat a "broken" cracker.) I told him he needed to eat his lunch when I gave it to him and not leave it on the table unattended.
About a week later, I went outside to pull some weeds in the flower bed right in front of the house. Several minutes later my oldest son poked his head out the door.
"Mommy! Shadow left his food on the table unintended!"
Unintended for the dog that is. :D
Speaking of lunch, I'm way overdue. Better go fix something. Luckily my Dobbie isn't much of a beggar. The cat is another story though. Such a player.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
These will make you say awwwwww.
Our dog Malice (we call him Mal) and our kittens. The mother put them in our storage area (where they found our winter blankets. . .sigh) which is also where I sort laundry by the laundry room. The kitties are named two different names each. I call them Tibby, Tabby and Tommy. My son calls them Froggie, Tabitha, and Bandito. If you want a cute kitty just let me know, they are seven weeks old and need homes. :D
The other day I was driving down the street. I kept getting weird looks. More than usual. I get lots of weird looks because I sing while I drive. Good time to praise God, ya know?
Anyway, my son's girlfriend and I got out of the van and this is what we see. (Did I mention we have a mimosa tree in our driveway?)
I'm excited to announce in September, 127 Christian authors (including myself--what a thrill) are converging on the Mall of America for a book signing and author panel. Here's the info. If you're in the Bloomington, Minnesota area, please drop by and see us:
What: Booksigning and Author Panels at the Mall of America (Bloomington, MN)
Who: 127 Christian novelists
Where: Best Buy and Sears Rotundas and connecting hallway
When: 1-3 p.m., Saturday, September 20, 2008
Why: To meet your favorite Christian authors
Here's the list of authors who will be participating:
Janet Lee Barton
James Scott Bell
Patricia PacJac Carroll
Jeanie Smith Cash
Susan Page Davis
Lena Nelson Dooley
Sharon Ewell Foster
Tina Ann Forkner
Cathy Marie Hake
Jenny B. Jones
Golden Keyes Parsons
Patti Lacy Maureen Lang
Jeanne Marie Leach
Sherri L. Lewis
Richard L. Mabry
Donita K. Paul
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Shelley Shephard Gray
Sarah Anne Sumpolec
Susan May Warren
Many authors will have freebies to give away and some may have prizes and contests. With a group this big, you can bet there'll be chocolates. Hope to see y'all there!!
Stole this announcement right of one of my bud's blog. :D
If you're going to be in Minneapolis, or if you're going to the conference, you don't want to miss this!
Have a great weekend.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Regardless, a new month is here and with it comes new book releases! Thanks to Jill for putting together this list.
We've got a HUGE list this month of new Christian fiction releases! 24! Count 'em! Wow! Perfect for your fall reading list. So here ya go!Also, don't forget to check out my new Spotlight on award-winning, best-selling author Wanda Brunstetter!, who also happens to have a new release this month.
1. A Bride by Christmas by Linda Goodnight, Kelly Eileen Hake, Vickie McDonough, Therese Stenzel from Barbour. In an era when a single woman had little hope of support and security outside marriage, four young women find themselves talked into weddings on the eve of Christmas celebrations.
2. A Connecticut Christmas by Janet Lee Barton, Rhonda Gibson, Gail Sattler, Diane Ashley from Barbour. Snowbound Village, Connecticut, is full of holiday charm, especially at the mall’s Christmas Collectibles Shop where romance is in the air.
3. A New Joy, Book 2, New Hampshire Brides by Susan Page Davis from Heartsong Presents. Returned from captivity in Canada, Jane is sure she doesn't want a husband--until trapper Charles Gardner comes courting.
4. A Passion Redeemed, Daughters of Boston Series, Book 2 by Julie Lessman from Revell. A Passion Redeemed is the sequel to a sweeping saga of a close-knit Irish family in 1919 Boston, continuing the struggle between two sisters who love the same men.
5. A Time To Heal by Linda Goodnight from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A burned out physician returns to her home town to rethink her future and encounters the high school sweetheart with whom she shares a painful secret.
6. Alaska Brides: Golden Dawn/Golden Days/Golden Twilight by Cathy Marie Hake, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Mary Connealy from Barbour. Trek into the wilds alongside three women who have strong faith, determination, and no need for a husband.
7. An Unexpected Love Book 2 in the Broadmoor Legacy series by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller from Bethany House Publishers. Sophie Broadmoor sets out to find love on her own terms only to realize that life often deals you unexpected obstacles.
8. At His Command Homecoming Heroes Series Book 3 by Brenda Coulter from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A disabled combat helicopter pilot comes to terms with his new life as he falls for a troubled but outwardly cheerful Army nurse who has adored him for years.
9. Back to Life Second in the Series of 2, "The Trophy Wives Club" by Kristin Billerbeck from Avon Inspire. What happens when you become a 35-year old widow? And your husband's first wife comes into your life to join you in mourning? Lindsay Brindle is about to find how to get "Back to Life".
10. Courting Miss Adelaide by Janet Dean from Steeple Hill. Charles Graves believed his heart was closed forever, but he swore to stand by Adelaide Crum, the lonely woman who was fighting for the right to love a motherless child.
11. Family of the Heart by Dorothy Clark from Love Inspired Historical. Sarah Randolph knew her heart was safe from romantic entanglement with her new employer Clayton Bainbridge. Who could abide a man who would not even look at his toddler daughter?
12. I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, Stand alone sequel to William Henry is a Fine Name by Cathy Gohlke from Moody Publishers. As Civil War rends his family and the nation, seventeen-year-old Robert vows to rescue his estranged mother and the girl he loves from behind enemy lines.
13. It's Not About Me by Michelle Sutton from Sheaf House. When tragedy strikes in a young woman's life, two brothers fight to win her heart, but will she let the Lord heal her soul?
14. John 3:16 by Nancy Moser from Tyndale House. Roman Paulson hates God, and yet . . . circumstances spur him to hold up a "John 3:16" sign at a football game--and lives are changed, including his own.
15. Lonestar Sanctuary Lonestar Series Book 1 by Colleen Coble from Thomas Nelson. A young woman and her daughter flee danger to a ranch for abused horses.
16. Loving Cee Cee Johnson by Linda Leigh Hargrove from Moody Publishers/Lift Every Voice. In this sequel to The Making of Isaac Hunt, reporter Cee Cee Johnson discovers the true meaning of love and forgiveness.
17. Lying on Sunday by Sharon K. Souza from NavPress. When your husband dies in another woman’s bed, you can get down, get mad or get on. Abbie Torrington does all three, then discovers her real life is about to begin.
18. Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor from Moody Publishers. A history professor with musical hallucinations and a female Wiccan professor of comparative religions have to solve a campus murder before vengeful homicide police can pin it on them.
19. Single Sashimi, The Sushi series by Camy Tang from Zondervan. Venus helps her old nemesis in order to launch her video game company, but one wild youth group, a two-faced assistant, and her grandma's matchmaking might drive her insane!
20. Unpretty by Sharon Carter Rogers from Howard Books/Simon and Schuster. The city of Lehigh, West Virginia, faces the insidious threat of a sadistic cult bent on eliminating all "unpretty" things in the world...
21. Up Pops the Devil by Angela Benson from Avon A. Tempted to sin…but will he give in?
22. Where the Heart Leads by Kim Vogel Sawyer from Bethany House Publishers. Thomas Ollenburger has a hard-earned college diploma in hand...but what is he supposed to do with it?
23. White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter from Barbour Publishing. Herein lies all the ingredients for a heartwarming, bittersweet Amish Christmas romance.
24. Wyoming Christmas Heroes by Jeanie Smith Cash, Linda Lyle, Jeri Odell, and Tammy Shuttlesworth from Barbour. Annie has moved to a new state is about to give birth alone. Chris's snowmobiling trip puts her life in danger. Holly's daughter has become strangely accident prone. A fire threatens Stacy and her young son. Who will come to these women's rescue?
Happy reading ~
-- ~ Jill ~
Jill Eileen Smith
ACFW New Releases Coordinator
The Wives of King David Series
Coming from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Groupwww.jilleileensmith.comhttp://favoritepastimes.blogspot.com