Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What I Learned From The Bible About Writing Part 5: Metaphors

"Who is she that looketh forth as the morning,
fair as the moon, clear as the sun,
and terrible as an army with banners?"
 - Song of Solomon 6:10

"And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind."
- Isaiah 7:2 has a great description of Metaphor:
a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it  is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.” 

Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two and writer of Inspirational Romantic Suspense. Her first book The Ultimate Betrayal will be released summer, 2014 from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense. You can find her at and @lisaphillipsbks

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Writer Prayer by Mark Batterson

"I have a handful of prayers that I pray all the time... One is that God will put my books into the right hands at the right ties. I've prayed this prayer thousands of times, and God has answered it in dramatic fashion countless times. The right book in the right hands at the right time can save a marriage, avert a mistake, demand a decision, plant a seed, conceive dream, solve a problem, and prompt a prayer. That is why I write. And that's why, for me, a book sold is not a book sold; a book sold is a prayer answered. I don't know the name and situation of every reader, but God does, and that's all that matters."  Mark Batterson  Draw the Circle

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Collaboration Of Writing Advice From Published Authors

Write an ugly first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But it has to end!

Know that it usually takes a very long time to get published. Keep writing, cranking out books, improving your craft and don’t give up.

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.

You learn by doing so write every day.  And read, both in the genre you’re writing in and in other genres. 

Keep at it, and don’t give up on your dream.  But also, keep it in perspective too. God and family first! 

Read what you’d like to write, learn the markets, attend workshops and conferences, take advice and use what you can. Learn, glean, pray. 

Keep writing. Perseverance is so much a part of this business.

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.

Read, read, read and write, write, write. There really aren’t any short cuts

My advice is to never give up. I’m convinced that becoming published is 10% talent and 90% hard work and determination.

Friday, July 19, 2013

31 Devotions for Writers

Read 31 Devotions for Writers, written by published authors who want to help encourage you in your writing through God’s written Word.

Writing can often be discouraging. Some writers have spouses or children who don’t understand why they spend so much time on the computer. You may face a multitude of rejection from agents or publishers. Or you may not get encouragement in the form of reviews or be nominated for an award. So why do we write? Because we can’t give it up! God has called us to write and we feel compelled to pour out our soul in written words. The Bible says, Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Which is the purpose of this devotional, to encourage you that you are not alone. Other writers have dealt with similar feelings or frustrations, or question themselves, their writing or their motives. I pray that each of you is encouraged as you read the devotions by all of the authors. May God bless you and give you the encouragement and peace you need.

Contributing authors:
Susette Williams, Rachel Hauck, Julie Lessman, Gail Gaymer Martin, Cynthia Hickey, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Linda Yezak, Lynette Sowell, Arlene James, Suzanne D Williams, Janet Chester Bly, Christa Allan, Deb Kastner, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Kathleen Y'barbo, Terri Gillespie, Kimberly Rae Jordan, Jill Hart, Amanda Tru, Ann Shorey, Samantha Fury, Darlene Shortridge, Ellen Kennedy, Darlene Franklin, Ginny Aiken, Delia Latham, Carla Olson Gade, Michelle Sutton, Sherry Chamblee, Cheri Swalwell and Jim Hughes.

31 Devotions for Writers

Order 31 Devotions for Writers on Amazon

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dear God, He's Home!

With masses of baby boomers entering retirement and younger workers still reeling from economic recession, increasing numbers of women are suddenly finding themselves living with a “stay-at-home man.” Further, situations like re-entry from military deployment, working from home, illness, or other life changes bring even more men home. Offering practical and emotional support for wives, New Hope Publishers announces the release of Dear God, He's Home!: A Woman's Guide to Her Stay-at-Home Man by Janet Thompson.

The number of employed U.S. male workers was down 3.3 million in the four-year period following the economic recession that began in late 2007 (Mitchell, Josh;, “Recession’s Pain Hit Men, Women at Different Pace,” April 12, 2012). In January 2013, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for men 20+ was 7.3% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). And though the retirement age has been gradually climbing, an April 2012 Gallup Poll found that 26% of nonretirees still expect to retire before age 65. (

Janet Thompson has personally experienced three different life seasons with her “stay-at-home man.” At age 50, her husband’s layoff left him unemployed—at home—for 18 months. Another layoff years later brought him home again. Then after several years of successful work in a new field, physical disability led to retirement.

“Regardless of the reason for this season,” Thompson says, “wives of stay-at-home men experience similar difficulties, hardships, and blessings.” Dear God, He’s Home is a collection of biblical and life-tested wisdom. Thompson not only writes from her own experiences, but she also includes stories from other women and men who have been through similar situations. She leads the reader through guided journaling and prayer and presents Scripture application for encouragement. The book’s epilogue, an entry from Janet’s husband, offers his perspective.

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott say: “Janet Thompson’s passionate faith, schooled wisdom, and practical applications make her message one for every woman who wants to live an abundant life in Christ.”Janet Thompson is founder and director of About His Work Ministries. She developed the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church and served as a lay minister for 12 years leading Saddleback’s Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry.

Janet continues to share the blessings of mentoring by training and speaking in churches around the world. She is author of several books including The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and Commission a Women’s Ministry Team, as well as two other titles in the “Dear God” series, and seven books in the “Face-to-Face” women’s Bible study series. Janet and her husband, Dave, have four married children and love being Grammie and Grampa to 11 beautiful grandchildren. “Refusing to grow old” and embracing their retirement years with great zeal, they make their home in Garden Valley, Idaho.

 You Tube

 To read a snippet of the book

Click on the book cover to purchase on Amazon.

What I Learned From The Bible About Writing Part 4: The Black Moment

"Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.
47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned.49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things."
 - Luke 23:44-49

You could argue that the black moment in Jesus' life was the time spent in the Garden of Gethsemane where he sweat drops of blood and asked the Father if He would, 'take this cup'. 

But the true black moment was the moment He died, when it looked like death had been victorious and everything had come to an end. The people watching didn't yet know quite what would happen, maybe they even wondered if it had all been real. 

...until He rose, victorious.

Susan May Warren wrote a fantastic post for My Book Therapy about how to craft your black moment. You can find it here.

Lisa Phillips is a wife and mom of two who writes inspy romantic suspense. Her first book The Ultimate Betrayal will be released summer, 2014 from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense. You can find her on Twitter @lisaphillipsbks or at

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fliterary welcomes author Jill Williamson, from Go Teen Writers!

Go Teen Writers

Welcome to Fliterary! Sit with me on our swings and tell us a bit about yourself:

I grew up in Alaska with no electricity. That gave me a lot of time to daydream. I went to school for fashion design and worked in the industry for a few years before I decided that it was not for me. So I took some time off, stayed home with my kids, and started writing books. I started writing The New Recruit in 2004. It took me about three years to get that first book finished. My first published novel, By Darkness Hid, was published in 2009. It was the sixth full novel I’d completed. Today I have written ten fiction books for publication, a nonfiction writing book for teens, and co-written a series of homeschool guides for my Blood of Kings books. I primarily write young adult fantasy and science fiction. I also blog for teen writers at

Why work with teen writers? Aren’t there other people who need writing help too?

Since my husband is a youth pastor and since I write for teens, I tend to gravitate toward them. But here's the thing. Adult and teen writers are both seeking the same goal: publication. So teens who are serious about getting published are competing with adults for the same publishing slots. Therefore teen writers who are serious about getting published need the same instructions that adult writers need. So, when I blog about writing, that information is true for teen and adult writers. There are hundreds of websites out there that target adult writers. Stephanie Morrill and I both wanted a site that targeted teen writers. A site that would welcome them, encourage them, and speak their language. 

What’s the biggest question about being an author that you get from teens?

Most teens ask me how long it took me to write my book. And that answer varies depending on which book is being asked about. My first book took me three years to write. But today, I can write a book in three months. I don't like to do that, though. The more time I have, the better the book. Ideally, I'd love to have at least six months per novel, if they are of an average length. 

Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft into a Published BookWhat advice do you have for aspiring writers everywhere?
Write an ugly first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But it has to end! I meet so many writers who’ve been rewriting that first chapter for years, striving for perfection. In my experience, that’s not the best way to learn. One of my favorite writing quotes is from Michael Crichton. He said, “Books aren't written - they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it.” It’s so true. But you can’t rewrite a book that’s incomplete. So learn to write fast and ugly first drafts so that you can step back and look at the thing and revise it.

Do you have an “official” bio?

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms and the Christy-Award winning young adult author of the Blood of Kings trilogy, Replication, the Mission League series, and the Safe Lands trilogy. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer. Visit her online at, where adventure comes to life.

Thanks Jill!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fliterary Welcomes Author Vickie McDonough

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

Thanks for the invitation to visit. I’m Vickie McDonough, and I write mostly historical romances, although I have been known to pen a contemporary story now and then. I was born and raised in Oklahoma and still live there. I’m a wife, mom of four grown sons, grandma, and primary caregiver to my eighty-three-year-old mother. My dream when I was young was to grow up and marry a rancher, but instead, I married a sweet computer geek who is scared of horses. But I’ve been blessed to be able to write out my dream through fiction where I often pen stories about cowboys, ranchers, and lawmen.

You have a new book out, what’s it about?
Whispers on the Prairie is the first book in my Pioneer Promises series. It’s set mostly at a remote stage stop in eastern Kansas. The Harper family—Ma, Pa, and their three grown sons: Aaron, Josh, and Ethan, as well as Aaron’s two young children—run the stage stop. Life is busy, but the Harpers find contentment in their family, faith, and work. When Sarah, a pretty, young woman from Chicago, gets stranded at the stage stop, turmoil invades the Harpers’ peaceful existence, and men flock to Sarah faster than spinning dust devils.
Though his sister-in-law died several years ago, Ethan still feels responsible. He thinks if he can find Aaron a new wife, the guilt will go away—and he believes Sarah is that woman. But the more interest his brother shows Sarah, the more anxious Ethan becomes. A marriage between Aaron and Sarah is what he wants—isn’t it?

Where can we buy it?

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
I can honestly say, I never chose to be a writer of Christian fiction. It chose me. Way back in school, I hated English class and writing, but I’ve always been an avid reader. A story idea started playing in my mind one day, and it kept coming back and wouldn’t go away. When it got to the point where I couldn’t sleep, I started writing it down in hopes it would go away and leave me alone. I actually finished the book, and right on its tale, came another story. I wrote that one too, in a very short time. After I finished it, I got to wondering if God was trying to get my attention. I was still pretty clueless at this point.

I talked to my husband and told him that I thought God was leading me (more like nudging—shoving me) into writing. I thought: who am I to write a book. I don’t even like writing. My husband has been totally supportive from day one and encouraged me to go for it. I joined local and online writers’ groups, took classes and workshops about writing, attended writers’ conferences, and did all I could to learn the craft. I jumped in with both feet, and I guess you could say the rest is history. My writing career started in January, 2001, and next year, my 30th book will be released. I thank God for this amazing journey He’s taken me on.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
 Know that it usually takes a very long time to get published. Keep writing, cranking out books, improving your craft and don’t give up.

Where can we find you on the web?
Website: (If you’d like to sign-up to receive my newsletter and breaking book news, there’s a link you can click on my Home page, right below the Navigation bar.
Christian Fiction Historical Society blog: (My usual day to blog is the 10th of the month)

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What I learned from the Bible about writing Part 3: Progressive Revelation

"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. But the glory of kings to search out a matter." 
Proverbs 25v2

The story of the Bible--God's story--stretches from the first chapter of Genesis where the world is born, to the last chapter of Revelation where He brings it all to fruition.

The world of a novel is born on page one and at the epilogue, we say goodbye to characters we have come to love.

Between stretches the mystery that keeps readers turning pages. Not like a dead body type mystery, unless that's your genre, but the questions that arise about the characters and the situations they're in that make you want to find out what happens to them.

In his book, The Art of War for Writers, James Scott Bell says,
"Reveal your plot incrementally. That means leaving mystery inherent and unfolding things progressively."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

First Page Critique

This week's first page critique is here! Thanks to this brave author for being willing to submit to our critique. Feel free to comment below if you want to add anything to my assessment.

If you would like your first page critiqued, email the first 250 words of chapter 1 to lisaphillipsbks(at)gmail(dot)com

Chapter 1

Clementine twirled for her daddy in their silver and amethyst castle ballroom. She grinned with her muzzle’s stretchy lips. Like all canine beings, she had dog fur and dog nails as well as a dog-like head, but she was shaped more like a human, really. Of course, her Jackal Princess costume wasn’t even her real digital skin, but it was fun to pretend.

Her soft, shiny, two-piece dress had a three-layered pink skirt that hung low on her waist, exposing her fluffy tail. Underneath her dress, she wore a bra with six cups. Her costume was thirteen and able to become a truly exotic creature: a mommy. 

She danced around and around with Papa Tutor, who was dressed up as King Zindar. Like the rest of the Jackal Kingdom’s royal family, their costumes had black manes that connected to their tails. From the neck down, their fur was yellow with black streaks on their sides and a circular black patch on their chests. The fur on their faces was red-brown but sprinkled with gray.

Papa-as-Zindar nuzzled her forehead. You need to go home, sweetheart.

Boo. This was home—well, along with her Labran family’s village. She clung to her Jackal daddy and said in Spanish, “I’m staying here with you, Papa.”

First the technical stuff: there's a line of dialogue in the second to last paragraph that needs quotation marks. Other than that, I was kind of blown away by this introduction to a story that I'm fairly sure isn't going to be anything like any other story I've read before! Mostly I was reading slowly to absorb all the details of this mysterious world. 
Which is fine--who doesn't love a good fantasy story?--so long as you don't give the reader too much "storyworld" up front. I still need to be drawn to the personal aspect of the story. The detail is rich, but a little overwhelming. What I do love, is the twirling and then the sheer yearning at the end. She doesn't want to leave, she wants to stay with Papa forever. That touches me.

Wow! Great job, author.

What do you think? Any thoughts to add?

Lisa Phillips is a wife, mom of two littles and author. While the kids are at Grandma's, she writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense novels. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal, will be released from Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense, summer 2014. You can find out more at

Monday, July 1, 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:

Well, hello there. Debra Ullrick here. Nice to meet you all. Wish you all could have joined me up on the Colorado mountain cattle ranches where my husband and I lived and worked. Well, the last ranch we lived on wasn’t a cattle ranch, but it used to be. We had the privilege of living there when it was and when it wasn’t. One kewl thing about the ranch now, is a famous movie star and her award-winning screen-writer husband own land there. My husband took care of them and their place. And he also took the previous owner and Eddie Albert on a horseback ride. Kurt Russell even hunted there too. Sure wish I could have met him. *smiling* We no longer live up there though. Kinda sad because it’s not near as fun living down here in the flatlands and in town. Talk about cultural whiplash! Boy, howdy! I’m still learning to adapt. Not sure I ever will. Sure do miss those adorable little hummingbirds that I used to feed and all those cute little chipmunks too. I don’t, however, miss the gophers. A whole herd of them varmints took up residence on my lawn every summer and sure made a mess of it. Yuk. Oh well. One nice thing is, I can go back to what I will always consider home anytime, and I do…in my stories. I write, and have written, stories about the ranch and the county I lived in along with a few other places nearby that I loved. Like Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Which is where my story, Forewarned, takes place.

You have a new book out, what’s it about? Yeppers, I sure do. It’s the one I mentioned above: Forewarned. It’s set in one of the most beautiful places on earth. A place not too far from where I used to live.

Here’s the back cover blurb:
… if only she had listened...
After a near fatal accident in the Colorado wilderness, Jasmine Moore suffers during the harsh Steamboat Springs winters. Unable to socialize because of pain, she goes online in hopes of finding some new friends to fill the void the long, lonely winters bring. A budding online friendship develops, and soon, Jasmine finds herself in danger.
Jackson Warren is in love with Jasmine and has been for years. When he discovers she’s talking to strangers on the Internet, a sick feeling fills his stomach. Something’s not right with the way Jasmine is acting, but she won't listen to his concerns. Can he convince her to give up her online relationship before it’s too late?

Where can we buy it?
You can purchase it online at, Barnes and Nobles, and numerous other places. You can also purchase an autographed copy through my website.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you?
I wanted to bless people as much as I had been blessed by Inspirational romance books. So many times, when I was down and out or hurting, it seemed like no matter what book I picked up to read that day, it had exactly was I was needing. To know that I have a chance to minister and to help someone who is down or hurting by showing them how much God loves them means everything to me.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors? 
To follow your heart, and to not let the rules of writing bog you down. While the rules are good, they can be overdone and stifle your creativity. Also, if you can, find someone who understands your writing style, your voice. Someone who won’t try to change them but will only enhance them. Most of all, when you get published and you start having deadlines, don’t forget those things are important. Like spending quality time with your family and friends. Unfortunately, I learned that lesson too late. I wish I would have learned it before my mom and a few other family members passed away.

Where can we find you on the web?  Facebook, Twitter (@DebraUllrick) Goodreads, and Linkedin.
Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!
Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a real pleasure. God bless you and yours.