Tuesday, April 30, 2013

National Day of Prayer for Pastor Saeed Abedini

For more information, click on this link. Details below.

My name is Naghmeh Abedini and I am writing to invite you to participate in a national day of prayer for my husband, Saeed Abedini, who is currently being held in a dangerous Iranian prison because of his Christian faith. Remember His Chains day of prayer and solidarity for Saeed will take place on the 13th anniversary of Saeed’s salvation and I hope to gather in prayer with hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world united in prayer for Saeed on that day.

When: May 19, 2013.

The Vision to Share: What if thousands of church congregations took steps to “remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison” (Hebrews 13:3) by making a focused, unified effort to support Saeed and remember other persecuted Christians?

How you can participate:

· Read the paragraph below on May 19, 2013, telling Pastor Saeed’s story:

In July of 2012, a Christian pastor named Saeed Abedini left the United States for what was supposed to be several weeks as he continued his efforts to establish an orphanage in Rasht, Iran. As he was about to return home, he was pulled off of a bus by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and placed under house arrest. He remained under house arrest until September, when he was taken without warning to one of Iran’s most notorious prisons, where he has now been imprisoned for 236 days. He has broken no law, but has been charged for peacefully gathering with other Christians, a crime for which he has been sentenced to eight years in prison. For the last eight months, he has suffered beatings, threats, and torturous interrogations as Iranian authorities try to get him to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ. Pastor Saeed has stated in a letter from prison that they will never get this from him, and has described the joy that he has experienced as God gives him strength even through these intense sufferings. His wife, Naghmeh, remains in the United States with their two children and has invited churches around the nation to take a united stand in prayer and to call on God for his release.

· Share a 3-minute narration of Saeed’s inspiring and encouraging letter from prison with your congregations. A link to the video is provided here.

· Pray for Pastor Saeed and his family. Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, has asked that we pray for the following three things in particular:

1. Saeed's health. That the Lord would heal him from the internal bleeding and protect him from those who seek his life.

2. That Saeed would continue to shine the light of Jesus in prison. Ephesians 6:18-20 : “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

3. Prayer for our family. The Lord would give us continued peace and Grace as we trust Him with what the future holds.

4. Prayer that the Lord would use this to bring salvation to many, including the Muslims in the middle east.

· Promote #savesaeed and @savesaeed.org using social media. When Pastor Saeed found out about #savesaeed, he was deeply encouraged by the Church’s support. At www.savesaeed.org, please add your voices to the hundreds of thousands of people who have already signed the petition calling for his release.

· Spread the news of Saeed’s plight by having church members share his story with three friends or family members.

Will you and your affiliated congregations join us in a unified effort to support Saeed on May 19th? In order to effect the most widespread participation possible, please also consider inviting at least 3 other pastors of different congregations to join you in this effort.

When Paul was a prisoner for the gospel, he asked the church to “remember his chains” (Colossians 4:18). As a church body, let’s do the same for Saeed, whose unwavering devotion to the gospel of Christ has resulted in his bearing those same chains. We must pray for Saeed and the millions of Christians who are persecuted for the gospel all around the world.

To our faithful God be the glory,

Naghmeh Abedini

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

“Write what you know”…or so they say.


“Write what you know.”
This phrase has been pinging around in my brain the last few days. You know, like those old pinball machines. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. And I’ve come to a conclusion.

This is what I know:

I know that before I got right with God, my life was in the toilet.
I know I’m saved by grace.
I know the past will tie you down and make you wallow in the guilt and shame of the past, but Jesus can set you free.
I know the past will hover like a bad smell so you can’t go an hour without thinking about some stupid decision you made umpteen years ago.
I know you only need to “bring every thought captive”  (2 Corinthians 10v5) until one day you realize you’ve gone a whole month without even thinking about the past.
I know our God is ALIVE and working and moving and REAL.

That's what I know.

Sure, my books are about espionage and covert operations and murder and guns and explosion and there’s some kissing thrown in there, because obviously love conquers ALL. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s just window dressing to a bigger issue. The heart of the matter: God’s heart.

So, how about you? What do YOU know?

Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom and work at home writer. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal is coming summer 2014 from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Five Immutable Laws of Fiction.

1. Do not kill the dog.
You can kill anyone. Good guy, bad guy. Heck, you can kill off a kid (if that’s the kind of novel you’re writing) but you can’t kill a dog.
If the dog gets hurt, he should be recovering by the end of the book.

2. True love never dies.
I saw a book recently where I had read another story by this author. She had killed off the soul mate forever-love our hero had got back together with after years of separation. The hero was now going to fall for someone new.

3. Children either make or break the book.
It’s a fact, having a kid as a secondary character and they will either steal the show or the reader won’t believe they’re real.
Think about it. My 2 year old speaks in single words: “Me. Go. Car.” But your two year old might use sentences, or not even be talking at all. So if you tell the reader this kid is “two years old”, it could be normal to me, or throw me for a total loop.
I’m curious to know if I can write a book and never actually mention how old the child is. Just have them interacting however they do, developmentally and you’ll have to make up your own mind how old they are.
We’ll see.

4.  Actions speak louder than words
We’ve all heard, “show don’t tell” until we’re sick of it. Then we read a book where it’s done over and over until we’re ready to throw out our laptop and never bother writing another word if this is the kind of junk people are coming up with these days.
Then I read “Plot and Structure” by James Scott Bell (pretty much all of his writing books are golden) and he said that some telling is okay.
The man’s a genius.

5. Plausible Insanity
Your novel has to be so justified, that the unbelievable seems completely reasonable. Because fiction isn’t real, it’s some wacked out facsimile of life that is WAY more exciting. Otherwise, why would entertainment be called “escapism” if we aren’t getting sucked in to something in order to avoid the drama in the world that’s too real?
Go figure.

Write on….

Lisa Phillips is an Inspirational Romantic Suspense author who would much rather get lost in fiction than change diapers. She's an ex-pat Brit who leads worship with her husband at their local church. Her first book, a Love Inspired Suspense called The Ultimate Betrayal, will be released summer 2014

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Birthing Your Novel (Ouch)

          “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come,
but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish,
for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” John 16v21

Pain is all you can think about in the moment. But more than childbirth (thanks to the prowess of modern painkillers) I remember the overwhelming nausea of the first trimester. I remember thinking, “I’m not in a hurry to feel like this again.” And yet, the minute that baby is born, it’s like we can’t even remember any of it.

Pain…what pain? “Look at how cute she is!”

Novels are kind of like that, aren’t they? Especially that huge Act 2, the “middle”. Makes me want to throw up just thinking about it. In my WIP (work in progress) I just crossed the 50k word mark. For the last few years I’ve been writing shorter, 55-65k novels for Love Inspired Suspense. (The first one comes out summer, 2014.) Tackling a full length novel feels like a marathon, when I’ve only ever run a half.

And yet we press on, to that glorious day when we too can shout, “It is finished!” Ahem. The End. I can’t wait! Why is this so hard, anyway? I’ve been writing this full length beast since January. I should be done by now, people. What the heck?

I digress.

The glory of the finished first draft, which I might add is glorious since it clearly is PERFECT. At least, until you actually go back and read it. Hard to remember the gut-wrenching anguish of actually hitting your daily word count goals when you’re looking at that finished product, all shiny and new on your e-reader home screen.

Read me, read me!

We think, “Look what I’ve accomplished! Clearly, I can actually do this! I should quit my job do it all over again!”

Forgetting for a second, the hours and hours of additional hard work that goes in to making that first draft an actual saleable book that people actually want to spend their money on and then actually read: when you’re in that middle, that “hour” that has come, PRESS ON. Get through it, around it, over it, under it. However. Just KEEP TYPING.

Because The End will come.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Christian Fiction Online Magazine's Latest Issue!

April - Christian Fiction Online Magazine

Nadia's Hope by Lisa Buffaloe Free 04/09/13 - 04/11/13

Lisa Buffaloe is offering her novel, NADIA'S HOPE, for free from 04/09/13 – 04/11/13. Pick up a free copy through Amazon for your Kindle, e-reader, or to read on your computer. 

The nightmares continue.
Memories won’t heal.

Nadia must make a choice.

Nadia Minsky fled Israel to escape her past, but she can’t outrun her nightmares. The throbbing scars along her hip and stomach are cruel reminders of shattered dreams. Even though surgeons mended her body, her spirit still bleeds. Friends claim only God can heal her. For Nadia, trusting a God who allowed her to suffer is inconceivable.

Can close friends, a wild roommate, and a handsome medical student help Nadia learn to trust? Or will her past forever cripple her future?

Nadia’s Hope Awards
2010 Women of Faith Writing Contest Finalist
Runner-up for Women’s Fiction, 2010 (ACFW)
American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest
Link to Amazon … 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fliterary (Fun for the Literary) Welcomes Love Inspired Suspense Author Laura Scott, talking about her new book!

Welcome to Fliterary! We love making new friends.
Let’s sit together on the swings and you can introduce yourself:
I love swings! My name is Laura Scott and I write for Love Inspired Suspense.  I’m actually a nurse by day and an author by night. I’ve been married to my husband for 28 years and we have two grown children Nicole 25 and Jon 23. My husband proposed to me 3 and a half weeks after we met, so I am a strong believer in love at first sight and happily ever after.  J

You have a new book out, what’s it about? 
My April LIS book is Undercover Cowboy.  My heroine Kate Townsend is convinced her father’s “accident” was really murder and in her attempt to prove that she ends up right in the middle of hero FBI agent Logan Quail’s undercover operation. Logan is forced to blow his cover to save Kate’s life, but in spite of their rocky beginning, by working together they manage to bring down mafia crime boss Bernardo Salvatore.  And fall in love to live happily ever after.

Book Title
Where can we buy it? 
Walmart carries all the Love Inspired lines. Barnes and Noble might have it or you might have to ask them to order it. Or of course you can buy it on-line at Amazon or the Harlequin website.
If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? Kate would be very talkative but Logan would be more reserved as he’s the strong, silent type.  Also, Logan grew up on a Texas ranch, so he is more at home in the south. Kate is Chicago born and bred so she loves the big cities.

What would they say? What advice would they give? 
I think they would say that faith and love can get you through anything. Logan lost his faith when his fiancĂ©e died but with Kate’s support and love he found his way back to God.  And Kate too, would also agree that Logan’s love and support helped her to grow too.  

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?  
That’s a good question. Jesus - Because the theme of my story is forgiveness and I think that sometimes forgiving others is much easier than forgiving ourselves.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you? 
I grew up reading faith books by Grace Livingston Hill and I loved them. However I also longed for a little more suspense, too. I’m so thrilled to be able to combine both into my love inspired suspense books. I like telling stories about real people with faith issues and life issues, but always find a way to make things work out in the end.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors? 
My advice is to never give up. I’m convinced that becoming published is 10% talent and 90% hard work and determination. I have a full time day job but there is nothing that keeps me from writing my books and meeting my deadlines.

Where can we find you on the web? 
I’m at www.laurascottbooks.com and on Facebook Laura Scott Author. I’m on Twitter @laurascottbooks. I always answer all my fan mail. J

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit! 
thanks so much for having me.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fliterary (Fun for the Literary) Welcomes author Dianne Burke

Welcome to Fliterary! We love making new friends.

Let’s sit together on the swings and you can introduce yourself: 
I have been writing for Love Inspired Romantic Suspense since I received a request from an editor to see the winning entry in the 2008 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. I have found contests invaluable for constructive critique and to chart my progress but I was surprised and delighted that it also resulted in my first sale. I have written six books for LIS so far. Three more are under consideration. I also have dipped my toe into single title nonfiction. I wrote a book about how God blessed my life by reuniting me with a son I hadn’t seen in forty years. It is called One Perfect Day and will be published by Skyhorse Publishing in the spring of 2014.

You have a new book out, what’s it about?
An Amish pregnant woman with amnesia is being protected by an undercover cop as they both are faced with escalating danger as the man who killed her husband and injured her returns to finish the job.

Where can we buy it?
It’s available in Wal-marts, Meijers, and, of course, online from Amazon.com

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
Sarah might be a little nervous. She opened her eyes in a hospital room and had no idea who she was. That, in itself, is frightening. Trying to socialize with people that may know you but you can’t remember would cause its own degree of stree.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
Both Sarah and Samuel had to do a lot of soul searching in this story. What constitutes family? Do you belong to the family you were born into or do you belong to the family that raised you? I think both characters are stronger for this journey and the unselfish decisions they made in the name of love.

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
Definitely, Jesus. I would love to sit at his feet and listen to his lessons.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
God has been beside me through many dark and painful times in my life. God has opened doors I never believed possible---like returning a son I had been forced to give up for adoption more than forty years ago back to my arms.  What does being a Christian mean to me? EVERYTHING! That’s the underlying theme of every story I write. Not to preach. Just to show average, ordinary people going through extraordinary times and how their faith helps or hinders their choices.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t give up and never stop learning your craft. I’ve written seven books, Hidden In Plain View  is my fifth book, the other two will be out the end of this year and the beginning of next, and yet I feel there is so much more I have to learn as I strive to deliver a better story to my readers. So never think you know it all. Don’t believe that once you’ve written one book it gets easier…it doesn’t. And if you truly love to express yourself with the written word, then never, ever give up, because just the act of writing a story makes you an author. Publication is just whip cream on an already delicious dessert.

Where can we find you on the web?
My profile can be found at www.amazon.com/author/dianeburke  and my email address is: diane@dianeburkeauthor.com

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fliterary (Fun for the Literary) Welcomes Author Lorraine Beatty!

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

Hello. My name is Lorraine Beatty and I write for Love Inspired.

You have a new book out, what’s it about?
My current book is entitled Rekindled Romance.  It’s the first in a series of books set in the small town of Do Over, Mississippi. It’s a reunion story. The heroine, Shelby Russell broke off their engagement years ago to pursue her career. When a health issue forces her back home she finds herself next door to her former fiancĂ©, now widower, Matt Durrant and his two adorable
kids. Matt has never forgiven Shelby for breaking his heart and wants nothing to do with her. But when he needs a babysitter, she’s the only one who can step in to help and they are forced to confront both their past relationship and the feelings that are being rekindled in the present.

Where can we buy it?
Anywhere Harlequin books are sold. It’s also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for those who prefer e-reader friendly version.

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
As long as we were talking about business, she would be very cool and professional because she was a senior editor for a teen magazine. If the conversation turned to more personal topics she’d be very hesitant to disclose any information. She’s been hiding behind her career for a long time and avoiding her emotional and faith issues.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
She would probably warn us to be careful about the path we chose and to stop avoiding unpleasant things. You’ll have to deal with them eventually and the sooner the better.

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
Oh wow. This is always so hard for me. I know the politically correct answer would be someone from Biblical times but truthfully, I’d like to spend time with Gene Kelly. I love musicals, and MGM and the  joyful stories they told. I’d love to know the inside scoop, working with all those famous people, great talents like Adolph and Greene. Now they were writers who could create some amazing stories with heart. J

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
I used to write secular fiction with the steamy love scenes. One day I was working on one and I was hit with a thought – if Jesus walked into my office right now, would I want to show him what I was writing? I had to say no. That’s when I realized I wanted to write stories that would glorify Him. I stopped writing for five years. When I started up again and targets Christian fiction it took nearly eight years to get published again but I’m so thankful I took this path.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write. Write. Write. Workshops are helpful. Books and seminars and conferences are all very helpful but you can only learn so much from listening to others. The only way to learn is to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard.  It’s truly a craft you can only learn by doing.

Where can we find you on the web?

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!
Thank you for having me. It’s been fun. J

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday's Word: Measure

You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. Deut 25:15

This verse is talking about fairness when you're measuring out stuff like flour...if you happen to be an ancient Israeli shopkeeper. 

Which I'm not. In case you were wondering. (I know you were. Admit it :-) )

For me, I see it as acting in a way that's fair and just whatever you're doing. The alternative would be cheating and lying your way in, just so you can say you "arrived."
Fair isn't always fair, but the reward is long life on the path God has given you. That means whatever it means to you--I'll let you decide. 

Writing Corner.

Characters who act fairly have my respect, just like real people. It's that "pet the dog" scene where the character stops and does something nice and we all sigh. *awwww*
Conversely, a character who deliberately holds back to deceive someone and get "more" of what they consider to be "their share" makes for a good antagonist. 

Like stealing candy from a baby.

Brainstorm a scene where your character can make the "right" choice to be fair and just. 
And/or a scene where your bad guy can cheat someone out of something.