Thursday, March 28, 2013

It is done.

You are bought with blood. 

Freedom has come.

Each of us has a message, a story. That one thing, that truth that burns in you. 

So what is yours?

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Promised Land for Writers - part 2 : Writing is STUPID hard.

Don't let anything, any issue, any obstacle, any person, any reader, writer, or their career, their opinion, or your own issue beat you down until you're terrified and frozen.

"Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or afraid of them. 30 The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’" 
Deut 1:29-31

Moses is reiterating to the children of Israel what he told them, re-telling the story as it were. He's saying, "Remember, I told you not to be afraid of the enemies that reside in the land God has given you. It's a scary place you're going, but don't forget what God has already done."

My favorite Bible verse is in 1 Samuel 12v24. "Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you."

Wherever you are in your walk, in your life, in your writing--or anything you're seeking or searching for--the future can be a nerve-wracking thing. Constantly plagued by doubts and blinded by other's success (or so they claim). 

God is calling you to look only to Him. For everything: advice, guidance, wisdom, hope and above all else, peace. 

"For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.” Deut 2v7

God will bless your labors. God has already blessed your labors. 

He knows how hard this is...and He's been providing for you all this time. There is nothing you need that you don't already have access to.

What an awesome God we serve. 

Lisa Phillips is an ex-pat Brit, a wife, mom of a 2yo affectionately dubbed 2T and 5 (and a half) year old Li'l Princess. She writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense during naptime. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal will be published by Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense summer 2014

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Promised Land for Writers-part 1

"Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it,
as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you;
do not fear or be discouraged." Deut 1v21

Who knows the future? I certainly don't. Had you told me, seven and a half years ago that by 2013 I would be celebrating my first book contract, I'd have told you that's crazy. Clearly I would be a Bestseller by least.
Sometimes I feel like those sad kids on American Idol: "But my Mom said I could be a star!"

God knows the future. You've heard that. You know it. But do you KNOW it, deep in your heart where hope is a sure thing and doubts don't even get a voice?

In fact, God knows every minute of your life. He's laid out a path for you, for your writing--or whatever "thing" you've discovered is uniquely yours--and while it might not jive with the path you'd like to go on (the one that smells like cotton candy and is smooth as melted cheese) it's the BEST path for you. No doubt.

That's the thing about the Promised Land. There's the one in the Bible, the one we experience as Christians living fully free in who God is and there's the one where we fulfill God's plans for us. I just have to stick close to Him and do the writing.
His work? Taking that writing, putting it where He wants it, and changing lives. (And getting the credit. Amen.)

And did you see that little sentence tucked at the end? Don't fear or be discouraged.

Yeah, okay. Thanks. 

"The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, 
according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,
and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you,
as a man carries his son, in all  the way that you went until you came to this place."
Deut 1v30-31

There's a couple at my church with a young child who has cerebral palsy. I saw the dad carrying his son last Sunday morning, cradled in his arms and it just hit me--that's how God holds us.
Not only that, but He walks each step before us...all we have to do is tread in His footprints. 
Think about times in your life when God protected you, saved you, carried you or someone you love. That's the God with you right now. That's the God who carries your writing--your blood, sweat and tears--to where He wants it to go. 

What an awesome God we serve.

Lisa Phillips is an ex-pat Brit, a wife, mom of a 2yo affectionately dubbed 2T and 5 (and a half) year old Li'l Princess. She writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense during naptime. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal will be published by Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense summer 2014

Monday, March 18, 2013

Gestating your baby (your novel)

This past weekend, I attended the Idahope Writers Conference, put on by my local ACFW chapter. The keynote speaker was Brandilyn Collins, so you KNOW it was fantastic. Also there were Robin Lee Hatcher, Jill Williamson, Peter Leavell, Debra Burroughs, Becky Lyles...and a host of other excellent authors.

During the question/answer panel, hosted by our very own Lisa Buffaloe, I put forward this question:

How do you rein in your imagination in order to be productive as a writer?

As in, how do you keep working on your current novel when ideas for the next book keep niggling at your brain. I mean, clearly the new story will be much better/easier/simpler/more fun than this hard work rubbish I'm hacking away at right now.

Robin Lee Hatcher (we <3 Robin, we even named our writer award after her) gave this answer:

The new idea is like an unborn baby. It has never cried, dirtied a diaper, spit up on you, kept you up all night...all the things babies do that makes you wonder why you EVER though this was a good idea. 
The book you're working on right now is a three year old having a full-blown tantrum on the living room floor. 


One of the biggest things I took away from the conference was a reminder of just how plain, stupid, HARD it is to be an author. It's WORK, bub. Sometimes you just have to DO IT. 
Wow, do I ever need that reminder when I'm frolicking in idea-land through the meadow of fabulous, sassy characters who are supremely witty and have never ever told me, 'no!'

How about you? What writing advice have you heard recently that struck a chord and just resonated in you? 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You, the Letter

You are a living letter, write your life carefully for Christ.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fire Sale -- Art of Eloquence

Art of Eloquence Fire Sale!
by JoJo Tabares

During the month of March, Art of Eloquence is raising funds for my medical treatment and are sharing our fire sale. We thought we'd do even more than provide you a huge package of materials to help you share your faith and the missions God has for each of you. We thought we'd also provide you with a few of the tools you'll need to do just that. Free of charge! So we created the Ignite the Fire (Sale).

All month long (about every MWF), I'll be posting (right here on the event wall) various articles, links, statistics, stories, free lessons/tips, and more to help you stand your ground, build your faith, express your faith and share your missions in this world that is becoming more hostile to the Christian faith.

While these will help you, we cannot post all the info that is in our incredible package. So please check out and consider purchasing our incredible package of NINE materials ($150 value) for only $27 and help us raise the money for my medical treatment as well. You'll find all the details on our Fire Sale here:

“I can’t believe the awesome deal that you are offering on this set of e-books, JoJo! I just ordered mine! These are totally amazing! Thank you for such a great deal!” -Candy F.

Included in the package:

1. Say What You Mean: Defending the Faith (a $20 value) will help you answer 18 of the most common questions unbelievers have about God and Christianity. Not only will this study give you tips on what to say, but also how to say it in love and with respect in order that, with God’s help, your words will have the power to change a heart.

2. Say What You Mean: Defending the Faith Audio Class (a $20 value) is my audio class where I teach these 18 lessons. I also interject additional details and useful resources.

3. Say What You Mean: The Language of Leadership (a $20 value) offers 18 lessons that will help you learn to speak like a leader and communicate that you are someone worth following. This will help you whether you are in formal ministry or just want to gain a following for a particular cause the Lord has put in your heart.

4. Say What You Mean: The Language of Leadership Audio Class (a $20 value) is another audio class where I teach the above 18 lessons and add additional details to help you overcome whatever issues may be keeping you from being seen as a leader and honing your communication skills such that your natural leadership shines through.

5. Say What You Mean: Debating the Issues (a $20 value) teaches you how to debate 18 of the most common conservative, political issues of our day such as abortion and gun control.

6. Say What You Mean: Overcoming Social Anxiety (a $20 value) provides 18 lessons that will help you overcome any apprehension you may have when talking in a group or social situation. Whether you are talking politics or just shooting the breeze, this study will help you become more comfortable in a social setting. Not only will it take you from social shyness to social comfort, but on to mastery as a social butterfly!

7. 21 Days to More Godly Communication (a $20 value) shares 21+ different articles based on scripture that will help you share your ideas in grace.


8. The Power of Words is a short eBook sharing why communication is so incredibly important. Includes several scriptures and some powerful photographs.

9. God is Everywhere is a short eBook with some powerful photographs depicting the cross in everyday settings. It reminds us that God is with us wherever we go and, if we look carefully, we can see His hand in just about everything around us.

Please, if you feel led, we'd really appreciate your support if you would share this event and our Fire Sale link with others. Thank you! 

Link to Art of Eloquence ...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Years Resolut....what?

“Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the
excitement of the moment has passed.” Cavett Robert

Remember back in January when we all had those high ideas, those lofty goals of weight loss and full length completed manuscripts and 10k training....
What happened to that, anyway?

It went a little something like this:

Have more fun

1.   Commit to a month at first, and work at it a little bit every day.  That’s how long it takes to make a habit become part of your behavior. Then take it month by month after that, when it’s easier to sustain. A year is too long. It feels almost unreachable to last all the way until December. Think about consistency more than longevity. “Activities you do once every few days are trickier to lock in as habits.” (

Get focused

2. Perhaps the first month can be an experiment, after that you may want to amend your resolutions to more manageable goals. Keep track, like a food or exercise diary, a record of your sleep patterns, your thoughts about how you’re performing. Give yourself praise. Remember: a marathon is still just one foot hitting the ground after the other.

Prioritize work
3.    Be accountable. Find a friend. Join a group. Find an online community where you can get support and encouragement. My Book Club/Critique group page on Facebook where we log our daily word count. It helps me get my weekly quota done when I know I have to admit when I skipped a day!

Spend less money

4.   Know that failure is okay. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start over. It took me three tries before I finally stuck with weight watchers long enough for it to make a difference. Commit fully, but don’t expect perfection.

Get organized

 5.     Know WHY you want to keep your resolution(s). Write them down so you can refer back to it later. Be able to visualize your success.  

Get more sleep

6.      Have a back-up plan. Come up with solutions before so you can adjust things and still hit your goal. What if you’re scheduled to get out and run, what will you do if it rains? Missing one day can start a chain of missed days. Before you know it you’re totally off track! Have a plan to maintain your momentum.

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
- Aristotle

Just because January is long gone, doesn't mean you have to live with the fact your best laid plans got slapped (in the face) with reality.
Which is totally NOT what happened to mine, but you're not allowed to ask because I don't want to talk about it.
What did you want to have accomplished already? Can you get back on track today?

Lisa Phillips is a contracted author with Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense who moonlights as a diaper-changing, dinner-cooking wife and mom extraordinaire who is highly likely just suffering from exhaustion induced delusions. 
You can find her on Twitter @lisaphillipsbks and at her website

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bound to the Warrior - New from guest, Barbara Phinney

 Barbara Phinney

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

Hi, I'm Barbara Phinney. I'm so glad to be here!
You have a new book out, what’s it about?
Yes, it's called Bound to the Warrior, a Love Inspired Historical, due out in March.

Bound to the Warrior (Love Inspired Historical Series)

A Heart Unconquered
Widowed Saxon Lady Ediva Dunmow will do anything to protect her people—even marry one of the invading Norman knights. The king sees it as a way to keep Ediva, her lands and her tenants subdued. But Ediva's embittered heart, still healing from the abuse of her first husband, will not yield so easily.
Marriage never held any appeal for Adrien de Ries. Yet it is his king's will, and perhaps his Lord's, too—though he finds his faith tested daily by Ediva's staunch refusal to trust him. As a knight, Adrien survived many battles, but the fight to win Ediva's heart may be his most challenging—and rewarding.
Where can we buy it?
Amazon and at B&N 

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
Ediva would be quite calm and polite, I think. She is a Lady, and of noble birth. She wouldn't be very forthcoming with her own story, though.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
Lady Ediva would tell us how important it is to protect those who rely on you. And always be strong, no matter what.

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
Wow, such a good question! I'd love to chat with Boadicea, the Queen of the Iceni Tribe in England.  One tough cookie. Or maybe the Apostle Paul. What faith!

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
I have always put some level of faith into my stories, so when I was invited to write for Love Inspired, it felt like coming home. It's important to me to show readers that even faithful people stumble. It's only through grace that they can rise up again.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write. Put that one story you've edited to death out there. And start another one. Study other books you like as if you were studying the Bible. Well, maybe not that much!  LOL. But study plots, characters and how each chapter ends. They're all important.

Where can we find you on the web?
I have a website,, but I hang out a lot at my blog,

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit! 
No. no, thank you for having me!

Monday, March 4, 2013

What I learned from Leviticus

The NKJV Daily Bible: Read the Entire Bible in One Year

I have a daily Bible on my shelf. Each day it has a section of Old Testament, a bit of the psalms, a couple verses of proverbs and some of the New Testament. I love that it’s laid out this way because you don’t get mired in one section. It’s like meat, veggies, carbs, and dessert all in one go—and it only takes 15 mins.

Right now I’m in Leviticus for my Old Testament snippet. I’ll admit, at times, it’s a little boring. Though if I was more spiritual I’d call it ‘dry.' ;-)

Ch1 v12 “And he shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar;

Ch 12 v5 “But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity, and she shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days.”

You get the idea.

But there is something I’ve learned from all the convoluted rules and stoning.

God takes sin VERY SERIOUSLY. Like, scary seriously.

Thank Him we live under a different system. There’s a downside to the new system though. It’s really tempting to just do whatever you want, and say ‘I’ll just say sorry later, when I’m at church.’ They call this cheap grace.

Paul says, What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Rom 6:1)

Since grace is the free gift for the forgiveness of our sins and our abundant life in Jesus, should we just go do whatever we want? We can always repent later, grace will cover us. No problem….except Paul’s answer to this rhetorical question:

“Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Rom 6:2)

When we’re tempted to think of sin as ‘not that bad’, remember: the harsh punishments of the Old Testament show you just how bad God thinks it really is. Thanks go to Jesus that He saved us from all the stoning, the putting away and the uncleanness.

Hallelujah, and amen. Jesus is all about love, right?

Oh, except:
“And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell,to the unquenchable fire.45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell…”
Mark 9:43-47

Yikes! But there you have it. God takes sin seriously, which makes me wonder why we paint over it, conceal it, try to hide it and beautify it so it’s not that bad.
My study Bible says, “The Lord is emphasizing the seriousness of sin and the need to do whatever is necessary to deal with it.”

Harsh words, and a heavy subject for a Tuesday morning and not Sunday from the pulpit, but we have to be so careful. On guard against what we’re trying to hide from ourselves.

I process my thoughts and emotions through writing, so here’s an exercise if you need one:
Brainstorm for a character in a novel you’re working on, or a totally new character. Can you give them a big secret they’re trying to hide- even from themselves? How is this secret eating away at them? What situations can they encounter which will force them to see the need to bring their hidden selves to light?

I’d love it if you leave your ideas in a comment. I’ll be adding mine later. 

Lisa Phillips is a contributing blogger for Fliterary. Between diaper changes and the school run for PM kindergarten, she writes Romantic Suspense novels for the Christian market. Her first book was recently contracted by Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense and is due to be published in 2014.

The Cowboy Target - New from guest, Terri Reed

Welcome to Fliterary! We love making new friends.
Let’s sit together on the swings and you can introduce yourself:
I’m Terri Reed, I write Inspirational Romantic Suspense for Harlequin Love Inspired.  I've been writing forever.  My first novel with Love Inspired came out in 2004.  Since then I've written nearly thirty books.  I’m also a wife and mother to two wonderful kids.  One’s away at college and the other is a sophomore in high school.

You have a new book out, what’s it about?
The Cowboy Target is the fourth book in my Protection Specialists series.  This book follows ex-deputy sheriff turned bodyguard Jackie Blain to the wilds of Wyoming at the request of her uncle to help clear  rancher Wyatt Monroe of false murder charges.  The handsome widower chaffs at having Jackie underfoot but he’ll do anything to keep his daughter safe.  When its clear that someone no only wants to ruin Wyatt but harm him, it takes all of Jackie’s skills to protect him, but will she be able to protect her heart?

Where can we buy it?
Where ever Harlequin books are sold.  Here in the Pacific Northwest Fred Meyer and Walmart.
Online I’d go to Harlequin  or Amazon

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
Jackie would get a kick out of it.  Though she’d have a hard time sitting still.  She full of energy and needs to keep busy.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
Jackie would say life is short, live it to the fullest. 

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
I’d want to sit down with Amelia Earhart.  I’d want to know what it was like to fly back in the day and what made her embark on her fateful journey.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
Early on in my writing I was told to write what I know.  That advice stuck with me as I was trying to find the right fit for my writing.  I hadn't realized how much of an inspirational element I had to my stories until I decided to try to write for the Christian market.  The element was already there, it just needed a little tending to.  I enjoy writing from my worldview which is view through the lens of God’s word. 

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Learn your craft, be persistent, protect the work and believe in yourself.  Join a writers group like American Christian Fiction Writers or Romance Writers of America.  Never stop learning.

Where can we find you on the web?

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!

About the interviewer:
Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of 2 and author who can be found on Twitter @lisaphillipsbks and at her website