Thursday, January 31, 2013

AND THE WINNER IS....



The winner of yesterday's book giveaway is....

Heather@creativefamilymoments
- please email lisaphillipsbks@gmail.com with your mailing address and I'll pass it on to Jessica.


Thank you all for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Everyone's A Critic: Guest post by Love Inspired Author Jessica Keller

** Jess is giving a way a free signed copy of her new book! The prize goes to whoever leaves the best/sweetest/craziest/funniest/most groan-worthy comment, so check out the questions below and drop us a note. Best of luck to you all!**


Remember the scene in Anne of Green Gables when Gilbert gives Anne his honest opinion about her story?

“Well, if you want my opinion, Miss Shirley, I'd write about places I knew something of and people that spoke everyday English instead of these silly schoolgirl romances.”

Anne answers Gil by promptly decking him with her basket. We laugh because she’s so stubborn, but mostly because we feel like doing the same thing when receive harsh feedback about our own writing. In the end Anne follows Gil’s advice and sells her manuscript.

My personal writing journey isn’t very different.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." -Winston Churchill

Negative feedback. Constructive criticism. Call it what you will, as a writer, we’re going to come face-to-face with that ugly monster.

Two years ago, I walked into my first writer’s conference. By an hour into day one, I was terrified. People were handing out their business cards and showing each other one-sheets. I didn’t have either. I’d never heard of an elevator pitch. Trembling, I sat down for my first ever agent appointment. She asked to see my first chapter and she maybe read the first three sentences before looking back at me and saying, “You have good ideas, but if this is your best writing, I don’t see publishing in your future.”
Ouch!

I thanked her and scuttled away to lick my wounds. There were more classes to attend that day and needed to put my brave-face on, but tears were spilled later. Then doubts crept in.

What was I thinking even coming to a conference? I’ll never be a real author. Stupid pipedream.

I allowed myself one crummy night. Then I marched back into classes for the rest of conference and soaked up every bit of information I could.

See, I had two options. I could allow that agent’s feedback to kill my dream, or I could use that feedback as a challenge. I chose the latter.

After I came back home I stuck the old manuscript in a drawer. Then I pulled out four recently published CBA books that I considered well written. I gave myself one month to read them all, mapping out their plots as I went. When did hero and heroine meet? During which chapter was the big problem introduced? When did subplots start popping in? How often did the author toss us for a loop or throw out red herrings? What sparked tension? What made me cheer for the characters? I took what I’d learned and mapped out a whole new story. I gave myself five weeks to write and polish it
Then came the scary moment … I entered the new manuscript into contests. Not with the aim to win. No, after that agent’s feedback I didn't consider that even remotely realistic. I entered to receive professional feedback. I mean, critiques from friends and fellow unpublished writers are great—but only the professional will know if it’ll sell in the industry. I didn't want to waste any more time in my journey pouring over another manuscript that wasn't right, so I gritted my teeth and pressed send.

Know what? Learning from criticism paid off.

I won first in every contest I entered. I received requests for the full manuscript from every editor who judged my submission. Within that month, I sent queries to agents. I had offers of representation from all three agents I sent proposals to. I experienced the elation of signing with my *dream* agent. At the ACFW Conference I received requests from every editor I pitched to.

All in less than four months since the day an agent told me she didn't see a future for me.

The best news? That manuscript that I wrote…It’s my debut novel, Home for Good.

I ended up writing a thank you letter to the agent who gave me the challenging feedback. I thanked her for being honest during our meeting. I've gone back over that first manuscript and now—with better trained eyes—I can see she was 100% right. If she had done the easy thing—tell me to send her a proposal and then sent the rejection later—I wouldn't be as far in my journey as I am today. Her tough words spurred me on and forced me to grow. I’ll be forever grateful for her very firm push.

How about you? Do you seek out professional critiques? How have you learned from feedback?


Home for Good 

"I made a promise to protect you."

But pregnant Ali Silver's husband broke his vow and walked away from her. After being injured in combat, Jericho has finally come home to Bitterroot Valley to make peace with his father and regain Ali's trust. But the single mom's keeping secrets of her own. And someone's killing off Ali's cattle and sabotaging her horse therapy business. Jericho will do whatever it takes to protect his wife and be a real father to his son. Because when it comes to love and second chances, he's one determined cowboy.

As a child Jessica Keller possessed the dangerous combination of too much energy coupled with an over-active imagination. This pairing led to more than seven broken bones and countless scars. Oddly enough, she’s worked as a zookeeper, a librarian, camp counselor, horse wrangler, housekeeper, and finance clerk, but now loves her full-time work in law enforcement.
Former editor of both her college newspaper and literary journal at Trinity International University, Jessica received degrees in both Communications and Biblical Studies.She lives in the Chicagoland suburbs with her amazing husband, one child, and two annoyingly outgoing cats.

Jessica writes Young Adult fiction and Romance. If you love curling up with a good book, you’re destined to be her new best friend! On her Facebook Author page she has frequent book and cookie giveaways. Don’t miss out.
Twitter: @AuthorKeller
Links to purchase Home for Good
Amazon  

Comment for your chance to win a free copy. The winner will be announced on this blog on Thursday!

How about you? Do you seek out professional critiques? How have you learned from feedback?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Publisher Robert Sweesy

Join Lisa Buffaloe on Living Joyfully Free Radio as she visits with Robert Sweesy!
 
Robert Sweesy  Robert Sweesy has been in involved with retailing the last sixteen years with Family Christian Stores. He has a heart for missions, discipleship, and men’s ministry. He’s been blessed to travel to South Africa and Guatemala on short term mission trip, and will be returning to Guatemala in March to help build homes for widows and feed hungry kids.

Robert writes, “I have seen God move in my relationships, my company, my family. Walking with God daily in this love affair is what keeps me alive. I’ve seen God deliver funds right as our family needed them. Beyond all of that I’ve seen Him soften hearts, most importantly mine.”

He is the owner of Endurance Press, a fresh new publishing company based on Hebrews 12:1. He writes, “our books reflect the fact that all of us are in the race of life. We all have sins and habits that hold us down. In order to run with Endurance we must shed those things that hold us back.”

Robert and Lisa discuss running the race with endurance, Christian retailing, publishing, and more!

 Join Lisa Buffaloe as she visits with Robert Sweesy. 

Visit Robert Sweesy at Endurance Press ... www.endurancepress.com


Books by Endurance Press
Bethany Light is the daughter of a minister who can’t forgive her father for running off with the church secretary. She goes to her own pastor for counsel, never expecting to fall in love with him. To make matters worse, she’s personal training his fiancé in preparation for the big day and somehow ends up in their wedding.

Refusing to make the same mistake her dad made, Bethany tries to focus on fixing her family rather than face her own issues. How could a household that used to have it all together have fallen so far from grace? And how can she keep from following in her father’s footsteps when it feels so right?


With evocative, fresh dialogue, mixed with humor and real-life stories, Fire Song invites us to discover our purpose and place in the ancient, unfolding drama we find ourselves in-the story that began in Eden, and defines who we are and what it means to be human. Most of us feel disconnected from this story, as if we’ve been set adrift and donʼt know the way home. But we retain a memory, however faint, of the way we were and ought to be-but no longer are. Like the echo of a melody we never learned but once knew by heart, the ancient story burns within us and beckons us to sing again.

Fire Song asks us to consult our intuitions, common sense and intellect to consider the existence of God, the nature of creation, the reality of the soul and the purpose of life, in addition to questions surrounding the possibility of historical knowledge and Biblical authority, the problem of evil, person of Jesus and what it means to be human. The result is a disarming but compelling invitation to find Jesus at the center of our story as the best example of humanity, and our only hope of living like full human beings again.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Journey: An update by Lisa Phillips


Many many eons ago (probably about 18 months) I posted this article about "Confidence" on my then blog. Today I'd like to check-in with an update on what God has been doing in my writing. Hopefully it will encourage you!

"Lately I feel like I’ve been suffering from a lack of confidence. I’m unpublished, but I’ve completed one novel which has since been shelved. (No, I don’t want to talk about it. Except maybe to say that I’m 25 rejections closer to publication now. J) Right now I’m simultaneously writing books 2 and 3, which are completely different, and have different places in the Inspirational market and in my career as I see it playing out.

Wow! In case you haven't heard, I got my first contract last October, with Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense. Isn't it funny how we have a plan, and God has a plan... *chuckles* I did end up submitting that book 2, which got rejected too!

"While I’m slogging away getting the first draft of both of these down, it’s hitting me that I’m lacking in motivation. Not because I was up half the night with the baby and now I can’t see straight.  It’s more of an, ‘If it’s not going to go anywhere, what’s the point in doing it’, crossed with ‘why am I doing this now, and not when my kids are in school?’
Blech.
Confidence is defined as trusting in yourself and your abilities. I read somewhere it’s a logical assessment of your abilities."

Writing certainly feels like a slog sometimes, doesn't it? There's a word count goal for the week and a chapter outline. And you're knee deep in type type type type and wondering where that first blush of new love for the idea has gone. We start to wonder if it's really worth it. 

"For Christians, sometimes we make confidence out to be a dirty word, since we’re all supposed to be meek and humble followers. But you know what? God has confidence in me, so I’m going to have confidence that He hasn't stuck His neck out for me without a reason. He didn't gift me just so he can leave me with nothing.
For me as a writer, this means trusting in what I've learned and the ways I’m putting that knowledge to use. It means doing everything I can, to be the best writer I can be. To make my manuscript the best it can be. Then make the best pitch, to the best agent/editor I can find for the project.
La la la. Happy happy. Published books. Awards. Vacation. ;-)"

Bestsellerdom, an Aston Martin.
Whatever success looks like, I'm still learning to trust God and what He's teaching me. With each new book I'm having to go back and work my way through the baby steps of constructing a complete story. I have to offer it up to Him, because it's my ministry. 

"In the meantime, I’m still wading through a mountain of laundry, pictures of princess fairies, my new job at my church bookstore, meltdowns, and dirty diapers  but with this in mind:
“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil 1.6 NKJV
God is doing something. And I don’t have to know exactly what it is; I just have to run with it. Key word: run. I’m a firm believer in accelerator to the floor, full speed ahead, living."

Well, there's still a mountain of laundry and the baby still wakes up in the middle of the night (he's 2--can I get an, "Oy" from all you mom's!). But that scripture still rings true. God is faithful and He's working. 

Lisa Phillips is a Fliterary contributor. Her website is www.lisaphillipsbks.com and she can usually be found on Twitter @lisaphillipsbks. Her first novel will be published later this year.


A question to all my fellow runners: What keeps you going? How do you run with the assurance that you’ll make it in the end?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kathleen Y'Barbo's new release, Flora's Wish!



Welcome to Fliterary! We love making new friends.
Let’s sit together on the swings and you can introduce yourself:

You have a new book out, what’s it about?
My newest release is Flora’s Wish, book 1 of the Secret Lives of Will Tucker series from Harvest House

Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly said about Flora’s Wish:

“Fans of post-Civil War stories set in the South will find much to enjoy in Y’Barbo’s first in the Secret Lives of Will Tucker series. “Fatal Flora,” called such because of the deaths of four of her fiancés, is eager to marry Will Tucker when she meets up with him in Eureka Springs, Ark. Instead she discovers Lucas McMinn, a Pinkerton agent also searching for Tucker. Their initial meeting results in Flora Brimm of the Natchez Brimms in handcuffs and trying to explain to her proper and formidable grandmother what’s going on. Flora and Lucas seem destined to work together on the case, with Lucas vowing Tucker is guilty and Flora saying he isn’t. As they get to know each other, Lucas discovers Flora is more than a spoiled Southern belle and she discovers Lucas is more than a stubborn Pinkerton. But will Flora marry Tucker to save her inheritance? Historical romance fans will adore this charming story.”

Where can we buy it?
Bookstores everywhere and online at Christianbook.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react?
Pinkterton Lucas McMinn would probably be impatient. He’s not the type to sit and chat. Flora Brimm, however, is the consummate Natchez belle and would not only be polite but would likely offer to pour tea.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
Flora would tell you that getting ahead of God is a dangerous thing to do. Lucas, however, would say that no matter how good revenge feels, it’s neither our place nor a good idea to make the attempt.

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
I could name dozens of people, so this is a tough one. What about Vincent Van Gough? I love his work and would really be interested in a conversation with him.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
Becoming a Christian was a process for me. I was in church for years before I was challenged to take my relationship with Jesus to a deeper level. Before I had a religion, now I have a relationship with Jesus. Big difference.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write. Often. Edit. Write more. Repeat!

Where can we find you on the web?
You can me at my website: www.kathleenybarbo.com or via social media on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kathleen.ybarbo and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kathleenybarbo

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Three Quick Tips for Self-Editing by Lisa Phillips



1.       Whatever your character is feeling, make sure you don’t NAME the emotion.
 Resources like The Emotion Thesaurus can help you SHOW the physical and mental effects of what the character is feeling instead of just saying it.
John was angry.
As a reader I don’t connect with this statement. But it you say,
John slammed his cup down and some of the liquid sloshed out onto the table. A fire raged in his stomach and the heat of it burned on his cheeks. Who did this guy think he was?
“I can’t believe you just said that.”
That? Totally different, because I know what that feels like, so I feel it along with the character.

2.       Do a search (“find” in word) for every time your character ‘thought’ or ‘knows’ something or if they ‘wonder’. 
This is a violation of what’s called ‘Deep Point of View’.  Think about it. In your brain, you don’t think: “Hmm..I wonder how she does that?” You just think, “How does she do that?”
That should translate itself into your prose and instead of:
Barbara just knew Jennifer cheated. The nerve of that woman. She thought she’d like to reach across the table and slap the woman.
When you’re using Deep Point of View, it becomes:
Jennifer must have cheated. The nerve of that woman. Barbara’s hand itched to reach across the table and slap the woman.
See the difference? It’s more directly in the character’s brain, in line with their thoughts.

3.       Another big violation of Deep Point of View is when the character ‘see’s’ something (or tastes, or smells etc.)
Sam heard a noise and spun around. She saw Peter in the doorway. “When did you get home, darling?”
Try this:
There was a footstep in the hall. Sam spun around. Peter was in the doorway. “When did you get home, darling?”          
The difference is subtle, but it reads more true to Sam’s viewpoint. “She saw” creates distance between the reader and the character’s head.

The Emotion Thesaurus is a great resource for showing what the character is feeling.
Check out Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View for a more comprehensive explanation of what it’s all about.

How about you? What’s your opinion on these three tips?
What have you learned recently that is helping you become a better writer?

Lisa Phillips can be found at her website, or on twitter if you want to chat.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Accidental Meeting Free book -- January 21-23!

ACCIDENTAL MEETING by Susette Williams

FREE January 21 – 23 http://ow.ly/fR7ft

RANK: 4.2 out of 5 Stars (31 reviews)

Abbey Martin isn’t willing to be the kind of ‘player’ her boss wants her to be. When he threatens to not promote her because she refuses to get in ‘compromising’ positions, she quits.

If a day can go from bad to worse, it does for Abbey. She runs into Bruce Harrington on her way home—literally.

Bruce Harrington was on his way to a very important meeting. That was until a raving lunatic with brown, bouncy hair spiraled towards him in her car and then on foot. Maybe he should count it a blessing that when she sent him cascading over the side of the embankment—he wasn’t in his car.

To make amends for causing Bruce to break a leg, Abbey becomes his chauffeur and helpmate until he recovers.

When his cast is about to come off he has to face losing Abbey. There has to be some way he can keep her from walking out of his life forever. If a job offer won’t do it then perhaps it’s time for a proposal.

www.amazon.com
Abbey Martin isn’t willing to be the kind of ‘player’ her boss wants her to be. When he threatens to not promote her because she refuses to get in ‘compromising’ positions, she quits. If a day can go from bad to worse, it does for Abbey. She runs into Bruce Harr...

Monday, January 14, 2013

God gave me a story, so go find a toy to play with because Mommy’s busy

God gave me a story, so go find a toy to play with because Mommy’s busy

And he said to them, “Do not hinder me, since the Lord has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.” Genesis 24:56 

The Bible has a great way of speaking right to my heart and this verse caught me the other day. Sometimes—okay, a lot of the time—I let the pressure of family responsibility and my desire to write write, write, write get all muddled in my head and stress me out.

“God gave me a story, so go find a toy to play with because Mommy’s busy.”

Alarm bells ring. That little nudge of the Holy Spirit that says my priorities aren’t straight. Because while I might not have actually SAID that to my kids (and my husband!), I’ve certainly thought it.

I love that I have a story to tell, something to focus on at any given moment. I have a career flexible enough to fit around my life to such an extent it still feels like fun, even though recently I’ve actually earned some money doing it. (Gasp!)

But there’s still a danger zone where sometimes I’d rather be writing than making dinner or changing a diaper. I have to refocus my mind and remember what my priorities are. That doesn’t mean I have to set ‘work’ aside, I can read a book about the writing craft while I hang out and the kids are playing school, packing their pretend backpacks and getting on an imaginary bus.

And like most things, it’s not so much the ‘doing’ but the heart behind the doing. That’s what God has been teaching me lately. Mostly it doesn’t matter if you’re volunteering in ministry, serving food at a soup kitchen or sitting in your living room having your arm bandaged because you have a pretend owie.

What matters is where your heart is…

Is it right there in the moment?
Or is it off in your story, or your dreams for tomorrow, or the better days already gone by?

Following those well-known verses, Proverbs 3:5-6, is this:

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones. Prov 3:7-8
That’s the key, I think. To not be wise in your own eyes, your own opinion. Let how you see God be the filter through which you look at your life. Stressed out people aren’t healthy. Nor are people who rush, worry, dither, fret or run around trying to do everything at once. People who have their priorities straight sleep better. 
I guess I'm a work in progress!!

How about you?
Have you tried looking at your life through who God is to you? How do you stay true to your priorities when you really want to be doing something else?

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. :)

Visit Lisa Phillips... http://www.lisaphillipsbks.com/


Friday, January 11, 2013

Lisa Phillips interview with author Mary Moore



Hi Mary, welcome to Fliterary! We love making new friends.
Let’s sit together on the swings and you can introduce yourself:

Hi Lisa! I’m Mary Moore, thanks for having me today. I’ve been married to my husband, Craig, for 27 years and we have one “child,” our black lab, Darcy. We are originally from the Washington, DC area, but ten years ago we moved to Virginia in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. We have survived the culture shock J and now it’s our home.
I began writing about 17 years ago, but it was just for fun and just for me, so when we moved to Virginia, we just boxed up the stories and put them up in the attic. During a bout with breast cancer, I used the months of treatment to rewrite some of the stories and have been blessed on my recent journey to be published.
My debut novel, The Aristocrat’s Lady, that came out in late 2011 was a wonderful surprise. It won an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award and the Holt Medallion Award from Virginia Romance Writers, a chapter of the RWA. They were wonderful blessings on top of many readers that sent me notes about how the book touched them.

You have a new book out, what’s it about?
It’s called Beauty in Disguise. It’s an inspirational historical romance set in Regency England. The heroine, a lady who has come down in the world, must make a living. But she discovers that women will not hire her as a governess or companion because of how beautiful she is. They are afraid their husbands will be tempted by having a beauty in the house. So she creates a disguise that allows her to become invisible to men. She settles into life as a companion to a young lady until the only man she ever loved comes as a guest in the house and eventually recognizes her. Their journey takes them from misunderstanding and anger to forgiveness and renewed love.
Where can we buy it?
Actually, for the month of January, it will be in every WalMart in the country. Love Inspired Historicals have their own shelves within the Harlequin line of books. It will only be in stores until the end of January. But it is, of course, available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com and Christian Book Distributors.com.  You can also download it to Kindle and Nook.

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react?
She would be very nervous. Since she has donned her disguise, she is very uncomfortable as herself. She was too well known when she was in London for her Season and she is always afraid someone will penetrate her disguise. She is actually very intelligent, compassionate and has a wonderful sense of humor. I think people will like her very much.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
If she felt comfortable, she would be able to tell you about the bad choice she made when she was young that brought her to this point in her life. But she would not complain; she would own the mistake and talk to you about the children has been able to love as a governess and the good that she did for them as well as the good they did for her. In terms of advice, she would definitely talk about following your faith and the direction of those that love you to keep from going through the hardship she has. She would tell you to follow your heart!

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
That’s easy. I would love to sit with Jesus for lots of reasons. I would thank Him for dying to save me. I believe if I were in His presence, I would want to just worship and praise Him. But I admit, I’m human enough to think I would want to ask Him a million questions, a million why questions, and I’d probably be amazed at the big picture which only He could ever see.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
Originally, my stories were secular, but they were clean.  The only Regencies I was able to find those many years ago were beginning to get pretty explicit. But as I mentioned earlier, while I was sick I felt like I could share some of my experiences and the ways God has been involved in my life through those stories. So I rewrote them with a message. It has been wonderful because it has taken the pressure off of monetary success and/or critical acclaim; I pray readers might be able to find a message in the story that speaks to them. And I love hearing from readers who have been touched in some way.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
You know another thing I learned in the years between writing the original stories and now? Experience! When I reread them, I was surprised at how shallow and immature they really were. I would advise an aspiring author to be sure and create a depth that is real; and if you can use personal experience to accomplish that, all the better. The other thing I would say is to persevere. When my first story was rewritten (and rewritten and rewritten) it still took almost a year to find an agent, then 6 months to a year to prepare the proposal to pitch to publishers. There are many other steps once you get a publisher interested, so you can see that even when your story is the best it can be, it doesn’t happen overnight. But write the best story you can then persevere until your dream comes true.

Where can we find you on the web?
You can contact me and find out information about the book at www.marymooreauthor.com or you can email me at mmooreauthor@swva.net.  I also have an author page on facebook.com/mmooreauthor and you can tweet me at http://twitter.com/sugarbean1020.

Thank you so much, Lisa, for having me today. I really appreciate this opportunity!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What do you look for in a story?

What do you look for in a story? 
by Lynne Gentry


In keeping with our family tradition, we went to the movies Christmas night. All of us were dying to see Les Miserables … okay maybe not ALL of us were looking forward to a musical … but it was my year to choose. After we bought the popcorn, I worried 160 minutes of actors bursting into song might send my family over the edge. But I didn't need to fret for long. The power of Victor Hugo’s epic tale of an underdog's journey to redemption captured our attention from the gritty chain-gang overature. By the victorious finale, all of us were swiping tears. Days later I’m still contemplating the extraordinary mettle of the hero Jean Valjean.

Has a story ever moved you so much you couldn’t forget it?

Here are FIVE story elements that move me:

1. Big themes like love, mercy, justice, freedom, redemption.

2. Reluctant heroes struggling with their moral compass or a problem bigger than themselves.

3. Adventure that sweeps me into worlds I will only get to visit in my mind.

4. Humor.

5. And finally, romance. Who doesn’t long to love?

When I'm launching modern characters into ancient adventures, I work to incorporate these elements into my stories. What do you look for in a good story? Escape? Adventure? Mindless fluff? I'd love to hear from you, dear readers.

Lynne Gentry is a wife, mother, author, speaker, acting coach, and dramatist. Lynne knew marrying a preacher might change her plans. She didn't know how ministry would change her life. This author of numerous short stories and dramatic works travels the country as a professional acting coach and inspirational speaker. Lynne lives in Dallas with her husband Lonnie and counts spending time with her two grown children and their families her greatest joy.


Reinventing Leona

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mercy by Lisa Phillips



Mercy 

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”Genesis 9:12-16

That’s probably why it’s so satisfying to me to have clean dishes and clean children. All that dirt and grime washed away to a shine and a sweet smell. It was probably pretty satisfying to God—albeit heartbreaking—to see His creation washed clean.

I do the same with my writing.
              
Delete, delete, delete. Rubbish. Delete, delete, delete. Who wrote this anyway?

I might start calling deleting whole scenes, “flooding.” It takes a lot of time, but the idea of ‘polishing’ and making something shine is worth slogging through that rough draft.

Now, God’s not the type to regret or wish He could change His mind. I don’t believe that at all. But He probably wouldn’t mind being able to switch on that Flood button again.

Boy, I don’t like that guy.

Flood.

Did she really just do that?

Flood.

Yeesh, these kids don’t have a clue?

Flood.

Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13

Not so much in fiction, because that character might just need to GO. But in life.

Oh, and this too:

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7

Fiction exercise: Who doesn’t want to be shown mercy? Is there a scene today where your main character can show mercy to someone else? We will love them for it.

Lisa Phillips can be found at www.lisaphillipsbks.com or on Twitter @lisaphillipsbks

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A New Direction by Leann Harris


                  A New Direction—by Leann Harris

   I have been writing most of my adult life and have published 15 books, but 10 of those books were romantic suspense. There was always a dead body in the story.  When I started writing Christian romance, it took me a while to understand how a Christian could write about stealing, adultery, and murder then I read Genesis, and understood bad things happen to God’s people, but it’s how we respond that counts.

   Once I had that down, I ended up proposing to my editors several books. She was only interested in the straight romance, and as any good writer will tell you, I told her sure I could write it.  The problem was how did you write a straight romance?  What do you hang your story on? I couldn't solve the murder, so what now?

   When we don’t see the way, the Lord shows us the path.

I read an article in our local newspaper about an Iraqi war veteran who’d lost his leg and was taking equine therapy to help him with is coordination. What a great story idea. So I talked to the local equine therapy ranch, and the Scottish Rite Hospital located in my home town. They provide prosthetic's for kids who’d lost a limb.

   Now, Lord, I need a plot.

 A friend showed me how to use archetypes to plot and not need a murder and I tried it. I prayed asking God, if this was the way, help me. God was faithful because every morning when I sat down to write, the words were there. I ended each day amazed at what I’d written.  I remember one day when I finished writing being amazed at the words that flowed out of my fingers onto the screen. Those were not out of me, but God provided. He was faithful. That book Second Chance Ranch got more reaction then my 11 books combined.

   I am mindful that you can tell a truth in fiction that reaches a lot more people than a self-help book. As I write, God changes things in my heart, and I pray those words will help others who are dealing with problems know that God can bring them through.  It is a ministry for which I am grateful that God has allowed me to do. 

Visit me at www.leannharris.com


After seeing Tessa Grant calm his storm-spooked horse, Ethan McClure is impressed. But does the new vet have what it takes to prove her mettle with Ethan's local horse-rescue group? Ethan can't deny her healing touch with animals…or her powerful effect on this rancher. But Tessa is busy trying to get her footing after leaving Kentucky to start over in this mountain town. When she learns a family secret that turns her world upside down, Tessa's ready to push everyone away. Unless Ethan can help her embrace forgiveness—and forge a path to her heart along the way.
                     

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fun with Christian comedian, Matt Fore -- Diets

Free for Kindle! Prodigal Nights by Lisa Buffaloe 1/4/2013-1/6/2013


Prodigal Nights Free for Kindle -- 1/4/2013-1/6/2013!
 
For two returning prodigals
will the challenge to live “good”
 withstand the allure to be bad?

After a nasty divorce, Bethany Davis returned to college and lived up to the low standards set by gossips. Her dad’s stroke has now brought her home, and Bethany finds herself in a dilemma—how can she get beyond her past, learn to trust again, and live a “good” life?

Bethany’s father’s involvement in the defense industry adds excitement to her expectation of a boring life back home. However, bodyguards, stalkers, and international secrets are the least of her problems—opening her heart to trust again is a totally different matter. And the mutual attraction with her new team leader, Jason Ross, spells the possibility of
big-time heart trouble.

Jason’s days of wild living are over, and he’s determined to prove to himself and God that he’s on the right path. When Bethany steps into his office, he sees the girl of his dreams, but is she God’s gift or Satan’s temptress?

 Prodigal Nights Awards
Finalist in Women of Faith Writing Contest
Second Place, Great Expectations Contest
North Texas Christian Writer’s Conference 2008 Second Place Conference Award for Adult Novel


Prodigal Nights on Amazon ...
 http://www.amazon.com/Prodigal-Nights-ebook/dp/B008RCNAIC/ref=tmm_kin_title_0