Monday, November 3, 2014

On Sale! -- Heart of Petra

She longed for adventure…the safe kind. 

Twenty-year-old Leah Petra Jones calls out to God for an adventure, something more than life as the dutiful daughter of a worship pastor. 

Only, in a church filled with secrets, adventure already waits. 

At first sign of risk she reneges—but it’s too late. A handsome intern pastor helps the church transition right into a scheme where she is both prize and pawn. Petra learns that the most dangerous adventure can happen right in your own church.

Heart of Petra (Breaking Bonds Book 2) is on sale now for Kindle! 

Only .99 cents.

Hilarey Johnson's first in the Breaking Bonds Series, Sovereign Ground (Breaking Bonds Book 1), was about a girl trapped outside of church. Heart of Petra is about a girl trapped inside. It has similar elements of spiritual suspense.

Leah was raised in a conservative, dying church. Leah’s father was so controlling, her sister was expelled when she chose to go to college instead of letting her him choose her husband. Leah wants to submit to God, and her father, but her father begins to push her toward a relationship that isn’t right. The man ends up having ulterior motives.

You could also say the story is about not allowing your heart to turn hard because you are complacent in your faith, the damage done by church splits, courting, texting while driving and spying on your neighbors.

The First Page --

Whoever heard of an insomniac with a pajama fetish? I swipe my hand down the leg of my lime-green cotton PJs, but it doesn't help steady them, and I still need two tries to adjust the telescope.

With a deep breath, and a double check at the lock on my bedroom door, I’m able to slow the skipping in my ribs. It’s amazing how blood and heart vessels work together, pumping day and night, even while people sleep—well, while most people sleep. An insomniac doesn't have the pleasure of dreaming during the seven hundred and twenty minutes our sun shines on the other side of the world.

I twist the focuser on my telescope clockwise—a bit too far, back just a hair. Perfect.

Returning to my love of pajamas: Seven sets of long-sleeve, long-pant outfits wait in my bottom drawer in two neat piles. One drawer up contains nine matching shorts-sets, twelve nightgowns and one baby-doll nightgown my parents don’t know I own...

Download now! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Atlas Girl

Do you feel like you have no voice? Do you struggle with feeling invisible, unseen, in this world of Facebook and Instagram and YouTube fame? Do you wonder what your purpose is, and where God is–and whether or not He even hears you?

If so, please join us for the #AtlasGirlBookClub, based off of my memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (, starting November 3rd and running for six weeks. We’ll be journeying through the chapters and into the heart of your heavenly father.
Just subscribe HERE, or “like” my page on FB here and you’ll be able to follow along with the discussion we have during the week. I will also be posting past sessions/posts HERE for any of you who miss a week and want to catch up.


Together we’ll find the grace we've always longed for, the home we never knew, the love we didn’t think we deserved. Over 6 weeks we’ll cover 6 topics from Atlas Girl, including VOICE, HOME, FATHER, MOTHER, GRIEF and LOVE.

This book club will include very special, intimate videos from each of my family members (including my grandpa!), voicing their thoughts on the topics, as well as from me. It will include practical ways to both work through the topic and a link-up each week for you to share YOUR thoughts with others.
If you don’t have a copy of Atlas Girl yet, get yours here. Read a FREE excerpt here.
Looking forward to journeying with you friends, into the heart of God!

Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, artist, and the author of five books. Her first novel, A Promise in Pieces, released Spring of 2014, and her memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I thought to Look (Baker Books) released July 1, 2014. The sequel, Making It Home, will release in September 2015.
She is a columnist for Christian Week and The Christian Courier, a bi-weekly contributor to MOPS International, a monthly contributor to The Better Mom, and a paid contributor to The High Calling. In addition to being associate editor, ghostwriter, copy editor, and staff writer, Wierenga has written for Catalyst, Relevant, The Gospel CoalitionDesiring God, Adbusters, Prodigal Magazine, Today’s Christian Woman(in)courage, Radix, Christian Week, Faith Today, Geez, The Anglican Planet, Focus on the Family, Christian Courier, and In Touch. Her work is also regularly syndicated by Christian Family Post.
In January of 2014 Emily traveled to Rwanda and Uganda on a bloggers’ trip.
And in June of 2014, she founded The Lulu Tree, a non-profit dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers in the slum of Katwe, Uganda. All proceeds from Atlas Girl benefit The Lulu Tree.
Emily speaks at women’s retreats, universities, churches and conferences, about her journey with anorexia nervosa, and was one of the keynote speakers at the premiere Christian eating disorders conference, Hungry for Hope 2013, where she shared the platform with Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008. She also spoke at Hungry for Hope 2014, and is scheduled to speak at Allume, in addition to leading a COMPEL training webinar for Proverbs 31 Ministries, fall of 2014.
Emily serves as an Official Ambassador for FINDINGbalance and is a Navigator with the National Eating Disorders Association.
She has appeared multiple times on 100 Huntley StreetThe Drew Marshall Show and Chris Fabry Live!,as well as on Breakfast Television Edmonton.
On July 29th, 2013, Emily wrote a letter on her blog to Kate Middleton on the postpartum body. It went viral, receiving over six million views, and was shared by Dove.
She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary.

Follow her on TwitterFacebookPinterest or LinkedIn.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Life is about relationships by Catherine Miller

Life is about relationships. We earn and keep the right to speak into our children’s lives through a continuing flow of being intentional and present in their lives . . . time over time over time . . .

For all of my children’s young years, I invested in loving them . . . rocking them to sleep at night, reading them bedtime stories, saying their prayers with them.

I had an urgent sense to be intentional in my time with them . . . leaving the dishes in the sink to sit and play with them, going on rain walks in July, swimming on lazy summer days, tickling my son’s back and hearing his thoughts before he fell asleep each night – even when all I wanted to do was lay my weary bones down.

And when they were babies, I realized there were no guarantees in life except a loving heavenly Father, so I . . . memorized scripture with them, told them bible stories, read them present day stories of great God-followers . . . all the while praying that Jesus would become their very best friend.
And yet, a year before my daughter was about to enter middle school, I heard about the “stuff” our kids face today, and froze. I had never faced some of the issues present in our schools, and I’m an adult. I remember where I was standing when I uttered the silent prayer, “God, how do I allow my daughter to live in this world, and yet not be like this world?”

That was when the idea of First Friday Friends was birthed. I armed myself with my very closest mama friends and shared my heart with them. We came up with things we wanted to share with our girls while they were still open to hearing our hearts and loving time with us. We invited other moms and daughters who would be journeying alongside us during this same season of life. Forty moms and daughters said “yes” to the invitation. There is a hunger to join in community and do life together.

Fun was imperative. So we set up the evening with a game, an engaging story that teaches a lesson, time for chatting, a craft, and of course, a sweet treat to end the evening.

I thought it was about teaching a lesson, and it was, but what I didn't realize is that it was equally important to build community with other like-minded moms and daughters. It was equally important to keep the communication lines open between me and my daughter. It was equally important for all the girls to see that they were not alone in living life different than what the world says.

My daughter is in college now. We still have regular times for coffee and chats. We still talk on the phone almost every day. When we are together, we still climb in the car just for car talk. We jokingly call these times our “mommy and me” time.

And though she is grown, I am still intentional, and I am still present . . . time over time over time . . . and the cool thing is . . . she is too. And my son, well, I am his favorite “talk show” commute on the way to work, and I love it! . . . time over time over time.

About Catherine Miller and her Mother/Daughter relationship books.

Heart to Heart provides a Biblical foundation for making choices in today’s world. The material is filled with real-life stories and fun activities that encourage authentic and thoughtful conversations as it builds and grows relationships. First Friday Friends is designed for mothers and daughters to have the opportunity to discuss some of the current day issues and make decisions about tough dilemmas before our daughters encounter them. Some daughters may have a general idea of their ideas and standards, but it's likely most of them haven't yet been put into a place where they've needed to make a hard stance. First Friday Friends mother daughter relationship books allows for a safe and gentle place to create open dialogue and make choices for the future. It creates the opportunity to instill values and partner with like-minded mothers and daughters on the journey.

While there are many books written on parenting and how to raise your daughter or teenager, First Friday Friends is designed to engage you with your daughter and with other mothers and daughters in the same season of life. It's designed to open discussion, develop new friendships, deepen existing ones, and of course....make super fun memories! Enjoy the journey!

Click on the books for a preview!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Make 'em count!

Make every word count.

Don’t overwrite. Don’t use words to impress or just because you like how they sound.

Some older novels used page after page to describe scenes. They call it purple prose. Personally, I don’t want to buy a novel containing 200 pages of useless information.

Don’t give your readers a reason to skim.

Brandilyn Collins writes suspense. I don’t skim anything in her books. Even when she is describing scenes or how someone looks, there are always clues about the characters or about what may happen.

This is the first paragraphs of her book, Violet Dawn.
“Paige Williams harbored a restless kinship with the living dead. Sleep, that nurturing, blessed state of subconsciousness, eluded her again this night. Almost 2:00 a.m., and rather than slumbering bliss, old memories nibbled at her like ragged-toothed wraiths.
With a defeated sigh she rose from the bed.
Wrapped in a large towel, she moved through the darkened house, bare feet faintly scuffling across worn wood floors. Out of her room and down a short hall, passing the second bedroom—barren and needing to be filled—and the one bathroom, into the small kitchen.”

Brandilyn’s scene gives hints about Paige, describes the surroundings to give you bearings but is not overbearing.

No word is wasted, they all have a purpose. Learn to write without wasted words.

DiAnn Mills writes, “A good writer knows that cutting the flab adds muscle and reduces the fat in his manuscript.”

Write for quality, not quantity.

Tips for Characters

Know your characters and your readers.

When you are establishing your story, don’t use similar names, sounds, or starting letters for your characters.

Example: Tom and Ted. Mary and Marion.

Don’t confuse your readers. Make it easy for them.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Free Training via Jo Ann Fore!

Are you ready to make a difference?

FREE CALL graphic

  • Has God placed something on your heart to share with others {whether it’s from a large platform or simply with your neighbor next door} but you shrink back in fear?

  • Have voices of criticism, doubt, or disapproval ever stopped you,dismissing your dreams as unimportant or unattainable?

  • Perhaps you’re in a place you never imagined you’d be, this place of influence with others who want to hear what you have to say—andyou don’t know what you want to say or how to say it?

If any of these describe you, I want to personally invite you to join me on a free training call.

My name is Jo Ann Fore, and I have a deep passion to help women become voices of hope, whether that hope is served from your heart through individual relationships, group mentoring, teaching others from a small or large platform, or even an entrepreneurial venture.

For many years, I've walked alongside women who are compelled to make a difference. And the thing I hear most often is how hard it can be to connect on a heart-level or to reach others in such a way that we affect their lives with positive change.

As encouragers {of any sort} we've had those days, those times a wicked doubt starts centering inward and we find ourselves wondering if we’re really cut out to be of influence to anyone.  Does what we do {really} matter; how can we make a difference?
Never, ever, underestimate the difference a willing heart can make in the lives of others.
Here’s the thing: Before we were ever born, God designed us with a unique purpose to discover and fulfill on this earth. He’s always intended to use every part of our lives–no matter how broken–in his Kingdom-building plan. This potential for influencing others, its a part of our true selves, embedded deep in our make-up, our spiritual DNA.

We are designed  to influence and impact those around us.

Will you join me for this FREE live tele-chat for women, as we uncover the #1 way to reach the hearts of others and learn how to impact the world for positive change?

Be on the *LIVE* call and be eligible to win  a FREE Day of  Coaching{Value $800!}.


Blogger & Encourager

Friday, August 29, 2014

Writing in Selling Genres or Writing Issue Fiction?

Writing in Selling Genres or Writing Issue Fiction? What's An Author to Do? ~ Jennifer Slattery

I wanted to hurl. Or cry. Except there were way too many people EVERYWHERE. So I did the only thing I knew to do—run! I spent the rest of the evening in my hotel room, tears streaking my puffy face with mascara.
It was my first national conference, and quite frankly, I arrived to my initial appointment more than a little cocky, believing I had crafted the next literary masterpiece.
Obviously this was pre-critique partners.
Appointment after appointment, my confidence waned ... Drop over to Novel Rocket to read the rest -->  Writing in Selling Genres or Writing Issue Fiction? What's An Author to Do

And/or listen to an interview with Jennifer Slattery on Living Joyfully Free Radio