Wednesday, June 26, 2013

First Page Critique

If you would like your first page critiqued, send your first 250 words of chapter one to lisaphillipsbks(at)gmail(dot)com 

Here's this week's offering (not in the slaughter and roast sense, but I get it can feel like that sometimes!):
Chapter 1
"So would you put idiot or moron?"

We were seated in the office of Newton Investigations. The office contained eight used but clean artificial wood desks with old office chairs. The walls were a sterile white with nothing hung anywhere except for our business license and the first dollar the business ever collected, both of which hung behind the boss near the window which gave a nice view of traffic down River Street towards the Library. To the right was the oak door to the consultation room with the light off. Only my desk and the boss' were being used at the moment.

The boss, Jerry Netwon looked up from his gold colored custom PC. "Ustick, neither is quite up to our professional standards."

Newton wore a blue sweater with a white dress shirt and red tie underneath. He was a little chubby, and evidence of his intent to change this was apparent in the plain celery sticks in a plastic baggie on his desk. The only other adornment was a citation for the Idaho Medal of Honor for Law Enforcement.

“But this has got to be the dumbest guy I've run into. I come to his house and he's got a stack of these stolen computers, mind you with the company lease numbers facing the windows, and he s got three of them in the back of his wife's car. He copped out to the whole thing. And I got on to him just because of his shoes."

1. There's a typo of the guy's name "Newton" in the third paragraph. It's an easy slip of the fingers, but something that is totally fixable before submitting. But first, you have to catch it ;-)
2. The first sentence is intriguing enough, but didn't hold my attention through a whole paragraph of describing the setting. I'd like to know more about who asked the question, perhaps how he feels about the office - about how life has brought him here. They're the only ones there, so maybe he'd rather be somewhere else than this sterile office. To connect with the story, readers need a person (with feelings) to connect to.
3. The gold-colored custom PC was an interesting touch. I didn't even know they came in that color! Makes me want to know more about Jerry Newton and who he's trying to be with his diet and his 'professional standards'.
4. The last paragraph is, presumably, our guy who asked the question at the beginning, though it's not totally clear. We actually meet him a bit more in the next paragraph, but we got to 250 words first so I had to cut it off. But I'm interested to know how he caught the guy just from his shoes.

Interesting, and what seems like would be a private detective-type story. I'd like to see more of the main point-of-view character up front, otherwise the reader will connect more with Newton before we meet the guy who I'm assuming will be the hero of the story.
But at the end of the day, rules are just guidelines. You bend them to work for what you're trying to say. 

Great job! 

Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two and author. She writes during nap time and while the kids play at McDonald's (that's what the play area's for, right?). Her first novel, The Ultimate Betrayal will be published by Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense, summer 2014

Have you heard His call?

Writers, have you heard His call?

Original book graphic by ... <a href="">Diary Illustration</a> by K Whiteford

Monday, June 24, 2013

What I Learned From The Bible About Writing - Part 2: Foreshadowing

The Bible is PACKED full of foreshadowing. The message of Jesus can be seen all through the pages of the Old Testament, but this is my favorite.

From Genesis 5, the genealogy that stretches from Adam to Noah. Check out the meaning of their names:

Hebrew    English

Adam         Man
Seth           Appointed
Enosh         Mortal
Kenan        Sorrow
Mahalalel    The Blessed God
Jared          Shall come down
Enoch          Teaching
Methuselah   His death shall bring
Lamech        The despairing
Noah           Rest, or comfort

As in:
Man, appointed mortal sorrow. The Blessed God shall come down, teaching. His death shall bring the despairing, rest.

When we look at the New Testament, we see foreshadowing of the end times, the book of Revelation. 

Nothing is wasted.
Everything has meaning and points to what is to come.

You can find more about Genesis 5, look here:

Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two and worship leader. During nap time she writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal will be released summer 2014 from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fliterary Welcomes Love Inspired Historical Author Winnie Griggs!

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

Hello, and thanks so much for inviting me.  I love swings (in fact, just last night I had fun writing a scene with my heroine joyfully discovering an old tree swing in a back yard lot!).  So let’s see - something about me.  I’m a wife and mother with four grown children, the youngest two being twins.  I worked a day job in the computer programming field for 30+ years before retiring a couple of years ago.  My husband is a cattle rancher and will probably never retire from that.  I’ve loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember.  And when I’m not doing one of those two things, I enjoy exploring flea markets, traveling and working puzzles.

You have a new book out, what’s it about?
The Bride Next Door is the second book in my four book Texas Grooms series.   This series, which started with Handpicked Husband, follows four men who traveled together from Philadelphia to Turnabout, Texas to start new lives.  And they all have very good reasons for wanting to start over.
The hero of this book is Everett Fulton, a disgraced newspaper reporter.  Everett is a bit of a dandy who misses the big city life.  He’s opened a one man newspaper operation in the small town of Turnabout but considers it merely a temporary stop before he can find work on another big city paper. 

The heroine, Daisy Johnson, is a transient peddler’s daughter who’s tired of traveling and dreams of settling down and one day opening her own restaurant.  She comes into possession of an abandoned building which just happens to adjoin Everett’s newspaper office.  Daisy jumps at the chance to make her dream a reality - all she needs is a way to earn money so she can purchase a proper stove for her future restaurant. 
Then, thanks to a pesky connecting door and a local gossip, they find themselves headed for the altar.  Problem is, they have mutually exclusive dreams and it takes a lot - a lot of patience, a lot of understanding, and finally a lot of love for them to work it all out..

Where can we buy it?
The Bride Next Door is available at;;, and in traditional    bookstores as well as Walmart, Target, and similar stores.

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
Daisy would love to join us and chat for a bit.  She enjoys being around people and especially meeting new folks.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
Hmmm - she would probably encourage us to appreciate what we have - a good home and loving family.  She hasn’t had much of either in her lifetime. 

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
Eleanor Roosevelt - I’ve always admired her as a woman of intelligence, courage and compassion.  I think she would be a fascinating woman to just sit down and chat with.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
If by Christian writer you mean someone who writes for the Christian market,  I didn’t initially choose to write in that sub-genre.  In fact, when critique partners read my early work and suggested that my voice seemed to fit there, I fought against it.  While my characters have always had a distinctly Christian world view, I didn’t feel qualified to deliberately weave a faith thread into my stories, I was too afraid I would get it wrong.
But after writing five books that were published in the secular market, those doors began to close to me, until I finally surrendered and turned my writing over to Him.  It was the best decision I ever made in the whole of my writing career.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
You learn by doing so write every day.  And read, both in the genre you’re writing in and in other genres. 
I learned the hard way that if you stop either of these activities for any significant amount of town, it becomes very difficult to get those creative juices flowing. 

Where can we find you on the web?
My website -
Pinterest -

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!

 About the interviewer: Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two and worship leader. She doesn't have to do the diaper thing anymore (as of last week - yay!) but still has nap times to write Inspirational Romantic Suspense. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal will be released summer 2014 from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What I Learned From The Bible About Writing Part 1: Imagery

"We grope for the wall like the blind;
we grope like those who have no eyes;
we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
among those in full vigor we are like dead men."
Isaiah 59:10 (ESV)

What fantastic imagery. Powerful, evocative words that create a picture of the way sin cuts us off from the light. 

Praying With A Keyboard

"I don't just write books; I circle them in prayer. To me, writing is praying with a keyboard." ~ Mark Batterson

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fliterary welcomes Author Jenna Mindel

Welcome to Fliterary! We love making new friends.
Let’s sit together on the swings and you can introduce yourself: 
My name’s Jenna Mindel, I write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Line, and I live in Northern Michigan.

You have a new book out, what’s it about?   
Here’s the blurb, but it’s about second chances and forgiveness.
When Hope Petersen looks up to see Sinclair Marsh standing in her office doorway, it brings back bittersweet memories. She can't forgive him for the terrible accident that changed both their lives. Now that her girlhood crush is the new pastor of the church she runs, Hope is forced to work with him—and her old feelings resurface. Sinclair seems determined to show her and their Michigan hometown that their minister is a changed man. Is Hope ready to move beyond the past and risk her future on the man she never stopped loving?

Where can we buy it?
Everywhere books are sold it can be ordered.  ISBN-13:978-0-373-87820-8
Also, Walmart, Kmart, Online at places like Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, and

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
Sinclair Marsh would be both honored and charming.  He’d probably wink at you too.

What would they say? What advice would they give?   
Sinclair learned a lot while he was gone to Haiti for 3 yrs before returning home.  He’d probably say that it’s never too late to make things right and running away from problems is never the answer.

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
Jesus.  I’d really like to see Him in person.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
I love being able to explore the testing of faith through my characters.  As a Christian, my faith has always been part of who I am.  And so, it’s natural to bring it into my writing.  Having the freedom to explore a Christian worldview within the text of romance is very refreshing for me.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Keep at it, and don’t give up on your dream.  But also, keep it in perspective too. God and family first! 

Where can we find you on the web?

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

Author Miralee Ferrell shares her journey!

Hi Fliterary friends!

Author Miralee Ferrell is Lisa Buffaloe's guest on Living Joyfully Free Radio!

Miralee shares about her journey, healing of the broken and wounded, and also God’s help in financial difficulties. (Listen at the end for an interesting adventure we had together.)

Miralee Ferrell is an author and speaker who has been involved in women’s ministries for years. She’s certified with the American Association of Christian Counselors and also a licensed minister (not a pastor). She has a heart for damaged women, and loves ministering to them and praying with them for any needs they bring.

She started writing shortly after turning fifty, and discovered she loved it so much she didn't want to stop. She writes women’s contemporary fiction and historical romance. One of her Western romances, Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, was awarded the Will Rogers Medallion for Excellence in Western Fiction.

To read more and listen, please link to Miralee Ferrell on Living Joyfully Free Radio!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fliterary welcomes Author Debra Ullrick!

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

This swing is rather comfy. I like it. Thanks for sitting with me for a spell. *smiling* My name’s Debra Ullrick. For over twenty-five years my husband and I lived and worked on cow/calf ranches in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Recently we moved down to the flatlands. Still not sure how I feel about that, but I’m learning to adjust. My only daughter still lives up there, so we can at least go and visit what will always be home to me. Well, okay, my physical home anyway because a home isn’t a place, it’s who you’re with. So, this is home too. One thing I do love about being down here is I get to have flowers. Up on the mountain I didn’t get to because every time I planted them the gophers ate ‘em. Now I have all kinds of flowers in my yard. The only thing I don’t have is hummingbirds. Something I love.  Up on the ranch, all summer long, I fed about a hundred of them. And that’s no exaggeration either. Down here, I feed the wild birds. While I really enjoy that, it isn’t the same as watching those cute little hummers flitting about and having them land on your fingers. Because I love hummingbirds so much I’m always putting something about them in my books. Books, I started writing a few years after my daughter brought a Palisades Christian romance novel home from the library. At the time, I hated reading…I know shocking but true *g*…but now I love it. One day I wondered if I could write a book. An idea came to me, and in two and half weeks I’d written a 55K words novel. A novel that had potential but needed a lot of work. So at the recommendation of one of favorite authors, I purchased several books on how to write novels and joined the ACFW. As they say, the rest is history.

You have a new book out, what’s it about? Yes, my latest release is, The Unintended Groom. It’s the fourth and final book in the Bowen family series—all mail-order bride type stories.

Here’s the back cover blurb:
A Perfect Partnership

When Abby Bowen's dream of love is dashed, she pursues a new dream: opening a dinner theater in Hot Mineral Springs, Colorado. There's just one hitch; she needs a male business partner. The handsome father of twins who answers Abby's ad is perfect…perhaps too perfect. Working with someone like Harrison Kingsley—without losing her heart—will be harder than Abby anticipated.

It's a good thing Harrison's arrangement with Abby is strictly business. Because with her kind soul, smiling blue eyes and gentle way with his boys, he could easily fall for her. But the longer he works with Abby, the more Harrison realizes that the Lord might have an entirely different partnership planned for them.

Where can we buy it? 
In the month of June you can purchase The Unintended Groom at Walmart, Kmart, or order it from any bookstore. You can also purchase it online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, Harlequin and numerous other online places where books are sold.

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react?  
Abby’s so friendly and bubbly she would accept your invitation in a heartbeat and return one of her own immediately. She would be the friend you’ve never met and help you at the drop of a hat. However, while she’s bubbly and outgoing, she’s not easily mowed over. She stands up for herself and for what she believes. And Abby’s a dreamer who makes dreams come true, hers and others. *smiling*

What would they say? What advice would they give?
Well, if you were a person who took life too seriously and didn’t know how to loosen up and have fun Abby would say, “Oh, don’t be so stuffy.” She would also tell you not to be afraid to take risks. To stand up for what you believe. And to not let anyone bully you or stop you from fulfilling your dreams. But most of all, to whatever you were going through she’d say, “Don’t worry, God’ll take care of it. He always does.”

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why? 
My grandmother—from my mother’s side—who was a German from Russia. I would love to ask her a millions questions about her life and what it was like living without my grandpa for eleven long years. Her husband had moved to the United States so that his family could have a better life. It took that long to save up enough money to send for her and their children. I would also love to know what it was really like those nine months it took for her to make the trip from Russia to here. I’ve heard horror stories about what others went through at that time. That time in history shortly before the Bolshevik War broke out. I would also like to ask her what life was like in Russia and what it was like on the farm here in Colorado. Actually talk to her about what the “good ole days” were truly like. Not the way we romanticize them. *smiling* The only thing is I would need a translator. My grandmother didn’t speak English. My grandpa did, but Grandma didn’t. Don’t know why.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you? 
I chose to be a Christian writer because many times Christian books have ministered to me right when I needed them the most. They still do. Therefore, I wanted to do the same. I want my books to minister to people in a special way. To offer them hope in a God who cares. Who loves them. And Who wants to minister to them everywhere they hurt.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors? 
Learn from people you trust, people who don’t try to change your style or your voice. Don’t get bogged down by the rules. Rules are meant to be guidelines to help us write quality stories, not stop our creative flow or stifle our unique writer’s voice.
And don’t let rejections stop you from doing what you love. Elvis Presley was told he would never make it in the music industry. We all know how that ended.

Where can we find you on the web?
Twitter: @DebraUllrick

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit! Thank you so much for having me. It’s such an honor and a pleasure to be here. God bless you and yours.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Free Download of Living Joyfully Free, Volume 2!

Download your copy today!

How Do You Revise or Edit Your Book?

How Do You Revise or Edit Your Book?

One thing I have come to realize is that not all indie authors have sought traditional publishing or gone the route of the traditional author in joining critique groups. Perhaps they didn't realize that organized critique groups existed. Some have relied on friends, family members or on occasion they came across an editor who helped them revise their story. If you are an author, self-published or not, this article should be of interest to you.
While I loved my critique groups and partners over the years, I came to realize that most critique groups lasted maybe one to three years. That’s around the same amount of time a youth pastor serves in one church on average. There’s nothing you can do. Things change and shift. If you experience this, then don’t take it personally. Find another group or individual to work with.

To help you get started, I have compiled a list of some Christian critique groups. You will need to have a Yahoo profile in order to join any of the groups. Hopefully one of them will be right for you. Each critique group will have their own set of guidelines. When I moderated critique groups, I generally set a limit of submitting no more than three chapters a week and each member had to critique two chapters of other people’s stories for every chapter they submitted. Which meant, if you submitted three chapters of your work, you had to critique six chapters in total of other people’s work. Why twice as many? Because I found that it was beneficial to have more than one set of eyes reading a story. Every critique partner sees different things. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. One may notice descriptions of settings and people, or lack thereof, better. Another may be great with grammar. It also allowed you to see if more than one person didn’t like something in particular within the story, or how it made them feel.

One thing to keep in mind, in critique groups, you are sharing your work and others are sharing theirs for the purpose of critiquing. Never, ever share someone’s story with anyone else! While you may be privileged to get to read other authors work, it is their copyrighted work, and should not be shared outside of the group. I say this because I have seen people do that before, that didn’t realize it was unprofessional to do so. It is rare for this to happen, but in case you have not been in a group before, it is good to know proper etiquette. Also, when giving critiques, try to say something positive, not just point out the negatives. It is important to encourage each other.

Christian Critique Groups on Yahoo Groups (Make sure to read group guidelines.):

Burkburnett Critique (Must be a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.)

Christian Children’s Writers List

Christian Corner of Writers

Christian Fantasy Writer and Reader

Christian Secular Fiction Writers

Christian Freewriters (Christian poets)

Christian Writers

Christian Writers Club

Dallas Christian Writers Guild

Fellowship of Christian Writers (FCW)

Kingdom Writers

SDCWG_Critique (San Diego Christian Writers Guild Online Critique Group)

If one of these groups does not help you, then here are a couple of other ways to find critique groups. One way is to look for local groups in your area. You may check at your local library to see if they know of any groups in the area.

Also, if you belong to any writing related groups on Facebook, Yahoo Groups, etc. you can ask if anyone has openings in their critique group. There are also some paid writing organizations such as ACFW, RWA, SCWBI, etc. that may connect members with critique groups. You can also do searches on Facebook (not as easy to find) and Yahoo Groups to find critique groups.

Whether or not you use a critique group, you may still wish to use editing software to help tweak your manuscript so that it is as polished as possible before you submit it to a critique group, publish it online or submit it to a publisher. Personally, while I have tried a couple, I do not thoroughly trust recommendations for all the changes some of the editing software may suggest. For example, the free version I tried of Ginger, while it is nice, it seems to want me to put ‘the’ in front of a character's name sometimes. Use your own judgement or ask others for advice if you are not sure that a recommended change is correct or not.

AutoCrit Editing Wizard (free online critique available - can submit 400 or 500 words 3x a day)  (Paid membership levels for yearly membership.)

Ginger Software (free version available)  (Paid version that reads your work in a male or female voice, with US or UK accent.)

Kindle Writer

PerfectIt (free trial)

Scrivener (Write, Structure, Revise)


Whether you self-publish or seek publishing through a traditional publisher, it is always important to make sure that you submit a well-polished manuscript. While you can always upload a revised manuscript, you can’t rewrite the bad reviews you’ve already received.

My new book, Self-Publishing Tips & Marketing Resources, is a wonderful tool to help both the traditionally published author and indie authors. It is filled with more than 200 links and resources to help you find free places to market your books, twitter resources to improve your tweeting experience, writing resources and much more, including my own personal story of how I made $5,500 the first month after I released one of my books.

Author Website:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Self-Publishing Tips & Marketing Resources by Susette Williams

Self-Publishing Tips & Marketing Resources is not just for self-published authors!

Self-Publishing Tips & Marketing Resources

“I am blown away by your book. It's great!” –E.E. Kennedy

✔ Links for Critique Groups.
✔ 90+ Places to Promote Your Book During Free Book Promotions.
✔ 50+ Places to Promote Your Book Any Time!
✔ Links to numerous Writing and Editing Resources.
✔ Numerous Resources for Effectively Using Twitter to Market Your Book!
✔ List of Reviewers and Bloggers Interested in Reviewing or Promoting Self-Published Authors.
✔ Plus my own personal story which has helped other friends to market their books more effectively!

First Page Crtique

Today we have another first page critique. Check out my comments below and see if you agree, or disagree. 
- want to have your first page edited? simply send it to lisaphillipsbks(at)gmail(dot)com and we'll leave off your name.

Here's today's offering. Thanks to the person who sent it in, it's never easy to put yourself out there.
Since the day she had packed her entire life and her daughter Hope into the car, for the first time Cora Richardson was having doubts.  The town of Ponderosa Hills had changed little in the years since she had visited her Aunt and Uncle during summer vacations—more to escape her parents and earn a few dollars than for her love of small towns. 
            But she found that now she didn’t mind so much.  The rolling landscape seemed to her like page after page of memories, despite the buildings that had once been so pristine, which now looked tired.  For Sale signs were dotting every street as she drove toward the center of town. 
Her Uncle’s Diner was at one end of Ponderosa Hills Road which cut through the heart of town, and years ago had been zoned for pedestrians only.  She parked, snagging her purse off the passenger seat, and slipping Hope from her car-seat in the back.  The child stirred, resting her head against Cora’s shoulder. Wrapping her coat around both of them, she gave her a gentle squeeze. 

Two planters blocked what had been the original road and she wound her way between them to locate the salted sidewalk.  Hal’s was the diner started by her Uncle’s father, now run by her widowed Uncle—Hal Junior—since his three children had all grown up and moved away.  Cora barely remembered her cousins and would probably have no clue where they were today were it not for the internet.  

I marked the passage that's backstory in red. Not because it's bad, but because it helps to have it highlighted sometimes. I'm of the belief that little nuggets are fine, so this one would fall under this category. A sentence, okay. A paragraph, I'd say that would be pushing it. 
The rest of the 250 words are very descriptive, but there's a lot of the use of participles which slow down the narrative "snagging" and "slipping" could become "she snagged" and "she slipped" which makes the sentence more active and less passive.
All in all, it's very pleasant to read. I'm wondering, as the reader, why this woman is coming home to the family she has left, and why she's alone with her daughter. I'd read on...

How about you? Would you read further in this book? What advice do you have for the author?

Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two and worship leader who writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal comes out summer 2014, from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense. You can chat with her on twitter @lisaphillipsbks or find her at 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fliterary Welcomes Love Inspired Author Lenora Worth!

Welcome to Fliterary! We love making new friends.
Let’s sit together on the swings and you can introduce yourself:
I’m Lenora Worth. I write for Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense and Superromance.

You have a new book out, what’s it about? 
My June book is Lone Star Protector —LIS. It’s book six of a six author/six book series about K-9 officers and their partners, set in Texas. My hero, Slade McNeal is the captain of the K-9 Unit and he’s trying to keep his family safe and find the bad guy who stole his dog, Rio. He’s also trying to protect K-9 trainer Kaitlin Mathers.

Where can we buy it? 
Online and in any retail bookstore and at

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
Slade would be uncomfortable and quiet. He’s a man of few words. He lives for his work but he’s trying to deal with a son who’s lost his mother and a father who’s now frail and disabled. When he meets Kaitlin, he suddenly wants to add one more to that group.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
Slade would tell you to be alert and always be prepared, to treat your K-9 partner or pet with respect and love and to take time to tell those you care about how much you love them. He’s had to learn that lesson the hard way.

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
CoCo Chanel. She was such an amazing person and she had a unique sense of style. (I could list several others but she’s one of my favorite people from the past.)

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you? 
I love being a Christian writer because I can write emotional, realistic stories that honor God and allow my readers to go on a spiritual journey and hopefully, be entertained and enlightened in the process.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Read what you’d like to write, learn the markets, attend workshops and conferences, take advice and use what you can. Learn, glean, pray. J

Where can we find you on the web?  (Ask Elnora every Friday!!!)
@elnoraw  (Twitter)

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!  
Thank you!!!

About the interviewer:
Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two and worship leader. In her spare time *snort* she writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense. You can chat with her on Twitter @lisaphillipsbks and find out more at

Monday, June 10, 2013

Some writing advice, from FANCY NANCY...

Nancy has to write a paragraph for a school assignment:
"She had used vivid, interesting words."

Words are powerful. Some more than others. Writers get that there's a difference between walk and stride, between meander and scurry. All our words--spoken, written, emails, tweets and facebook posts. They all have the power to say something.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 says this:
Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.

Powerful words can touch hearts, and even heal. 

What will you say today?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Do you want to be published?

Have you ever wanted to be published?

Did you know that every day you have the opportunity?

1 Peter 2:9 reminds us, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim (Publish!) the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

So let’s all proclaim/publish God’s excellencies!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fliterary Welcomes Author Margaret Daley!

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

I'm Margaret Daley and have been writing and selling for over thirty years, first in the secular market and now in the Christian fiction market. I love writing inspirational romances and romantic suspense books. To date I've sold 84 books and hope to one day reach 100.

You have a new book out, what’s it about?
My new book is the fifth book in Guardians, Inc. Series for Love Inspired Suspense, about female bodyguards. Each book is a stand alone story about a different female who works for Guardians, Inc.
Guarding the Witness's blurb:
Running out of time…

After two months of protective custody, bodyguard Arianna Jackson is days away from testifying at a murder trial when the unthinkable happens. Her Alaska safe house is attacked, and Arianna is forced to go on the run with U.S. Marshal Brody Callahan. Arianna is used to issuing orders, not taking them, but now, out in the wild, with a bounty on her head and a killer on her heels, she has only one hope of making it to testify—the handsome protector at her side.

Where can we buy it?
Buy at Amazon 
Buy at Barnes and Noble
Buy at

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
Arianna would be calm and professional. Not a lot ruffles her. She has been shot at and attack with a knife. She knows how to take care of herself.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
Be careful who you trust. But trust in the Lord. He has your back.

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
Jesus or if not Him, one of the apostles like Peter, Paul or John. I would love to hear them talk about their faith and what they have experienced. With Christ I would love to bask in his presence. He wouldn't have to say a word.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
I love incorporating a faith element in my stories. I can't imagine living my life without my faith. In the tough times, it's what has kept me sane.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Perseverance is so much a part of this business. I sold 20 books then went through an 8 year dry spell. I tried to quit but I couldn't. I went on to discover the Christian market and to sell 64 books. If I had given up and let the rejection drive me away, I would never have sold those 64 books.

Where can we find you on the web?

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

About the Interviewer:
Lisa Phillips is wife, mom of two and worship leader who writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense during nap time. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal, will be released from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense, summer 2014.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First Page Critique

Today we're starting the first of what will become Wednesday's free first page critiques. Starting with...mine. Re-reading my (rejected) very very very first novel should prove interesting. I haven't read it for about three years!

Want your first page critiqued? Email it on over to lisaphillipsbks(at)gmail(dot)com
We won't share your name, just your writing. You'll get a serious, but edifying critique of your first page. 

Here goes:
Every morning Riley Cates woke up with blood on his hands. And every morning one foot pounded concrete after the other as he sped through his three-mile-long town.  Each step matched the thump in his chest, soothing what lingered of the nightmare.  He passed Maggie’s Diner, Tough as Nails hardware, the state bank and finally the Sheriff’s station where he turned the corner onto Eighth Street and headed into the woods. 
Shards of daybreak reflected across the dust of snow between trees and atop branches.  His feet drummed out a rhythm as yard piled upon yard but it didn’t matter how far he ran.  The guilt and regret still froze his heart.  Yet at the same time somehow each step broke the hold of memory, and in that moment hope dared whisper he could be more than his limitations. 
With a deep breath, Riley picked up his pace, flipped up the hood of his sweatshirt, and ran on.  God, will it always be this way? 
He burst through the tree line and cut right to sprint along the bank of Garnerdale Lake.  The icy breeze coated his lungs and his feet crunched the sand between the water and the houses lined up along the shore.  Each had a wooden deck at lakeside—the rear of the house—though the water barely reached twenty feet from it. 
A woman screamed.
Riley’s foot clipped a branch and he collapsed onto the sand, his chest heaving. He looked up and saw a woman on what used to be Mrs. Peterson’s back deck.  Snowflake skin seemed to reflect the morning light, accented by midnight hair as she stood beside the black iron table with one hand covering her mouth.  

You can tell right off it's going to be suspense, which is good. You also get a sense of the setting, being as it's a three-mile-long town. The character, Riley Cates, clearly suffered some kind of past trauma, but is attempting to work through it. It makes me sympathize with him, this determination despite whatever happened. 
There's also a sense of hope for what his life could be, within the second paragraph, and I'm interested to know what he feels his limitations are. He also has faith in God, given the prayer in the third paragraph, so I can figure this story will likely have Christian elements. 
It's quite descriptive, which gives it a bit of a literary feel. It's interesting, and as a reader I'd want this to continue through the book. Maybe even to the point that the setting develops a life of it's own. But can literary and suspense co-exist in the same book? 
At the end of the first page, the writer sets up the suspense by introducing a second--female--character who screams. It's good to get to the suspense fast, it keeps the reader turning pages.

What are your thoughts?
Does this first page make you want to read on? 

Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two and author. Her first novel, The Ultimate Betrayal, will be released from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense summer, 2014. You can find her at or on twitter @lisaphillipsbks

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fliterary welcomes author Sandra Orchard

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

 Thanks so much for having me.  What can I tell you about myself? Let’s see. I’m a mother of three grown children, grandmother of one, soon to be two, and wife to the most supportive husband. I hail from the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. I have an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from McMaster University, and taught high school math before staying home to raise and home educate my children. I used to do a lot of renovating and crafts and painting before taking up fiction writing, but now…I write full-time when not doting on my grand daughter.

You have a new book out, what’s it about? 
Deadly Devotion is the first book in a three-book romantic suspense/mystery series called Port Aster’s Secrets. Each book will have a standalone mystery, but the romance and an underlying suspense plot will arc the series.

In book 1: Herbal medicine researcher Kate Adams knows her friend didn’t commit suicide, as the police suspect, and is determined to prove it. But standing in the way is Detective Tom Parker who has the niggling suspicion that Kate might be the killer.
     When Kate’s investigation unearths a web of suspicious goings-on in the sleepy town of Port Aster, will Tom believe her innocence and catch the real murderer before Kate becomes the next victim?

Where can we buy it?
 Any bookstore will order it in if they don’t stock it. Or online shoppers can find it at:
Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
Kate would be delighted to sit with you and share one of her unique blends of herbal teas. Unless you’re a cop, she’s not comfortable around cops, ever since a pair hauled her father away when she was ten.

What would they say? What advice would they give?
She is anxious to solve her friend’s murder, so she’d probably share a few theories she has. She likely wouldn’t talk to you about guys…as most women enjoy doing. The one she’s attracted to happens to be the cop who refused to reopen her friend’s murder case so she’s not going to want to go there.
        Since her friend purportedly died from drinking tainted tea, Kate would stress the importance of knowing what’s in your tea, and would especially want to ensure you know the difference in marigolds!

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why?
Oh, Kate would want him to be Culpeper who wrote Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, originally published in 1653. It was the first herbal medicine book written in English instead of Latin.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
I write Christian fiction because I want my stories to be not only entertaining, but thought-provoking, inspiring and uplifting.  Reading about characters facing difficult situations and seeing how they work through them and confront challenges to their faith has inspired me in countless ways. I’d love to know my stories do that for others.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t be in a hurry to get published. Take the time to master the craft, build relationships with other writers and enjoy the journey. And persevere.

Where can we find you on the web?
My cyber home is at  I blog there every Monday, and you’ll find fun bonus features for all my books such as deleted scenes and location pics.
I also love to connect with reader on Facebook at:
And I’d like to invite readers who wish to be notified of my upcoming releases to subscribe to my newsletter

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

About the interviewer: 
Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two and worship leader. In her spare time *snort* she's an author of Christian Romantic Suspense. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal will be released by Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense, summer 2014.
You can find her on Twitter (always) @lisaphillipsbks and at

Sunday, June 2, 2013


   This year is the first year where our family embraces all that is, ‘summer break’. You see, I have a five year old who finishes Kindergarten this Friday. Then for eight weeks (it’s a year-round school) it’s all picnics and bike riding and running through sprinklers…right?

So why does part of me dread the idea of summer?
     Maybe because for months I've been operating on a schedule of designated ‘writing’ time during PM school, while my two year old naps—and now it’s all going to be thrown for a loop. Suddenly my writing is going to be invaded by and those short videos on Although, some of them are pretty funny, check it out for yourself.
I should still have time to write, right? I mean, I deserve that ‘me’ time. The kids will be fine in the back yard.

Sure, if I believe the world revolves around me.
     That’s a tough one. I mean, I live in my head, so to me I really am the center of my universe, so I get caught up in what I deserve. I think I need time to write, even though the kids are at home.

     I read a blog once, by Jerry B. Jenkins, talking about being a writer when you have young children. He pointed out that to them, quality time IS quantity. They don’t know the difference. They just want to be around you.

Beyond Bath Time: Embracing Motherhood as a Sacred Role     The book I’m reading right now is called Beyond Bath Time, by Erin Davis and she says this:
“Many of us have made the same mistake Eve made in the garden. We are willing to accept others’ viewpoints—in her case, the serpent—without checking with God. We want motherhood on our terms and aren't interested in seeking God’s plan if it doesn't match our own.”

     Am I saying you need to give up writing for the summer? No. Am I saying being a ‘mommy’ exclusively for two months will make you more holy? Definitely not.

     What I am saying is this: Maybe, just maybe, God is calling you to Himself in this. He wants your heart, that’s it. Whether that means sharing what God has done for you with your kids this summer, then great, or if it means sharing what God has done for you in your writing this summer, fantastic. But live devoted to him. Just for these few weeks, seek His heart and see what happens.

     So often we try and brainstorm our way out of it. Like, if I get up at 5am all summer (like that’s realistic) then how much can I get done before the kids wake up? Or, let’s plan activities so they can be busy and I can have time to write.
     How about, just this once, we pray our way out of it.

What do you think? Shoot me a comment below: how do you feel about summer? Yippee hooray, or big sigh?

Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two, writer and worship leader. Her first book The Ultimate Betrayal will be released by Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense summer 2014. She lives on twitter @lisaphillipsbks and has set up shop at