Wednesday, December 31, 2014

ACFW Genesis Contest

The 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest is now open! Hundreds of entries from writers unpublished in Christian fiction will begin pouring in. 

Only entries from completed manuscripts are eligible, so direct your attention to the task of finishing your work in progress in time to enter this year’s Genesis. 

Polish those first fifteen pages and your synopsis and send them in!

Details and guidelines are available at

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

#Free book for Christmas Eve and Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Just in time, Joansy Jones by  Patricia PacJac Carroll is #free on #Amazon #Kindle

Enjoy a Sweet Romance just in time for Christmas.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Joansy Jones stared at her father. The man was just plain mean. With a sigh, she glanced at the soddy hut they called home and relished the fact that she was leaving, tonight. She was escaping to a new life as a mail order bride to Thomas J. Connors. 

Burl Macfee stared into the rippling waters of Nugget Creek. Orphaned as a small child, he belonged to no one. He couldn't take another winter in the empty cabin. He was leaving Hickory Stick.

Hope you enjoy this 31,000 word novella.

Download on Amazon -->

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gifts for writers

Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite author? Gift them with a good review!

Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite author? Gift them by telling others about their books!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bless and Bless

This Birthday, may I humbly ask that you bless someone? Bless with a phone call, email, letter, hug, smile, help those in need. Tell someone about Jesus. Bless me by blessing others. BEST gifts ever! 

And if you want to buy a book, I'll donate the proceeds to help refugees fleeing from ISIS.

Link to Amazon for the Kindle deals -->
If you don't have a Kindle, you can read online using the Amazon Kindle for computer

Monday, November 24, 2014

Writer tip -- Critique Group

Find a good critique group or writing partners who will give honest critiques. Don't only rely on friends and family. Find someone who knows the craft of writing. There are many groups around the country and many online critique groups available through writing organizations.

American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) has online courses, pages of information, and an email loop where writers can ask any number of writing related questions.

Don't miss the amazing benefits of critique groups.

Monday, November 3, 2014

On Sale! -- Heart of Petra

She longed for adventure…the safe kind. 

Twenty-year-old Leah Petra Jones calls out to God for an adventure, something more than life as the dutiful daughter of a worship pastor. 

Only, in a church filled with secrets, adventure already waits. 

At first sign of risk she reneges—but it’s too late. A handsome intern pastor helps the church transition right into a scheme where she is both prize and pawn. Petra learns that the most dangerous adventure can happen right in your own church.

Heart of Petra (Breaking Bonds Book 2) is on sale now for Kindle! 

Only .99 cents.

Hilarey Johnson's first in the Breaking Bonds Series, Sovereign Ground (Breaking Bonds Book 1), was about a girl trapped outside of church. Heart of Petra is about a girl trapped inside. It has similar elements of spiritual suspense.

Leah was raised in a conservative, dying church. Leah’s father was so controlling, her sister was expelled when she chose to go to college instead of letting her him choose her husband. Leah wants to submit to God, and her father, but her father begins to push her toward a relationship that isn’t right. The man ends up having ulterior motives.

You could also say the story is about not allowing your heart to turn hard because you are complacent in your faith, the damage done by church splits, courting, texting while driving and spying on your neighbors.

The First Page --

Whoever heard of an insomniac with a pajama fetish? I swipe my hand down the leg of my lime-green cotton PJs, but it doesn't help steady them, and I still need two tries to adjust the telescope.

With a deep breath, and a double check at the lock on my bedroom door, I’m able to slow the skipping in my ribs. It’s amazing how blood and heart vessels work together, pumping day and night, even while people sleep—well, while most people sleep. An insomniac doesn't have the pleasure of dreaming during the seven hundred and twenty minutes our sun shines on the other side of the world.

I twist the focuser on my telescope clockwise—a bit too far, back just a hair. Perfect.

Returning to my love of pajamas: Seven sets of long-sleeve, long-pant outfits wait in my bottom drawer in two neat piles. One drawer up contains nine matching shorts-sets, twelve nightgowns and one baby-doll nightgown my parents don’t know I own...

Download now! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Atlas Girl

Do you feel like you have no voice? Do you struggle with feeling invisible, unseen, in this world of Facebook and Instagram and YouTube fame? Do you wonder what your purpose is, and where God is–and whether or not He even hears you?

If so, please join us for the #AtlasGirlBookClub, based off of my memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (, starting November 3rd and running for six weeks. We’ll be journeying through the chapters and into the heart of your heavenly father.
Just subscribe HERE, or “like” my page on FB here and you’ll be able to follow along with the discussion we have during the week. I will also be posting past sessions/posts HERE for any of you who miss a week and want to catch up.


Together we’ll find the grace we've always longed for, the home we never knew, the love we didn’t think we deserved. Over 6 weeks we’ll cover 6 topics from Atlas Girl, including VOICE, HOME, FATHER, MOTHER, GRIEF and LOVE.

This book club will include very special, intimate videos from each of my family members (including my grandpa!), voicing their thoughts on the topics, as well as from me. It will include practical ways to both work through the topic and a link-up each week for you to share YOUR thoughts with others.
If you don’t have a copy of Atlas Girl yet, get yours here. Read a FREE excerpt here.
Looking forward to journeying with you friends, into the heart of God!

Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, artist, and the author of five books. Her first novel, A Promise in Pieces, released Spring of 2014, and her memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I thought to Look (Baker Books) released July 1, 2014. The sequel, Making It Home, will release in September 2015.
She is a columnist for Christian Week and The Christian Courier, a bi-weekly contributor to MOPS International, a monthly contributor to The Better Mom, and a paid contributor to The High Calling. In addition to being associate editor, ghostwriter, copy editor, and staff writer, Wierenga has written for Catalyst, Relevant, The Gospel CoalitionDesiring God, Adbusters, Prodigal Magazine, Today’s Christian Woman(in)courage, Radix, Christian Week, Faith Today, Geez, The Anglican Planet, Focus on the Family, Christian Courier, and In Touch. Her work is also regularly syndicated by Christian Family Post.
In January of 2014 Emily traveled to Rwanda and Uganda on a bloggers’ trip.
And in June of 2014, she founded The Lulu Tree, a non-profit dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers in the slum of Katwe, Uganda. All proceeds from Atlas Girl benefit The Lulu Tree.
Emily speaks at women’s retreats, universities, churches and conferences, about her journey with anorexia nervosa, and was one of the keynote speakers at the premiere Christian eating disorders conference, Hungry for Hope 2013, where she shared the platform with Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008. She also spoke at Hungry for Hope 2014, and is scheduled to speak at Allume, in addition to leading a COMPEL training webinar for Proverbs 31 Ministries, fall of 2014.
Emily serves as an Official Ambassador for FINDINGbalance and is a Navigator with the National Eating Disorders Association.
She has appeared multiple times on 100 Huntley StreetThe Drew Marshall Show and Chris Fabry Live!,as well as on Breakfast Television Edmonton.
On July 29th, 2013, Emily wrote a letter on her blog to Kate Middleton on the postpartum body. It went viral, receiving over six million views, and was shared by Dove.
She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary.

Follow her on TwitterFacebookPinterest or LinkedIn.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Life is about relationships by Catherine Miller

Life is about relationships. We earn and keep the right to speak into our children’s lives through a continuing flow of being intentional and present in their lives . . . time over time over time . . .

For all of my children’s young years, I invested in loving them . . . rocking them to sleep at night, reading them bedtime stories, saying their prayers with them.

I had an urgent sense to be intentional in my time with them . . . leaving the dishes in the sink to sit and play with them, going on rain walks in July, swimming on lazy summer days, tickling my son’s back and hearing his thoughts before he fell asleep each night – even when all I wanted to do was lay my weary bones down.

And when they were babies, I realized there were no guarantees in life except a loving heavenly Father, so I . . . memorized scripture with them, told them bible stories, read them present day stories of great God-followers . . . all the while praying that Jesus would become their very best friend.
And yet, a year before my daughter was about to enter middle school, I heard about the “stuff” our kids face today, and froze. I had never faced some of the issues present in our schools, and I’m an adult. I remember where I was standing when I uttered the silent prayer, “God, how do I allow my daughter to live in this world, and yet not be like this world?”

That was when the idea of First Friday Friends was birthed. I armed myself with my very closest mama friends and shared my heart with them. We came up with things we wanted to share with our girls while they were still open to hearing our hearts and loving time with us. We invited other moms and daughters who would be journeying alongside us during this same season of life. Forty moms and daughters said “yes” to the invitation. There is a hunger to join in community and do life together.

Fun was imperative. So we set up the evening with a game, an engaging story that teaches a lesson, time for chatting, a craft, and of course, a sweet treat to end the evening.

I thought it was about teaching a lesson, and it was, but what I didn't realize is that it was equally important to build community with other like-minded moms and daughters. It was equally important to keep the communication lines open between me and my daughter. It was equally important for all the girls to see that they were not alone in living life different than what the world says.

My daughter is in college now. We still have regular times for coffee and chats. We still talk on the phone almost every day. When we are together, we still climb in the car just for car talk. We jokingly call these times our “mommy and me” time.

And though she is grown, I am still intentional, and I am still present . . . time over time over time . . . and the cool thing is . . . she is too. And my son, well, I am his favorite “talk show” commute on the way to work, and I love it! . . . time over time over time.

About Catherine Miller and her Mother/Daughter relationship books.

Heart to Heart provides a Biblical foundation for making choices in today’s world. The material is filled with real-life stories and fun activities that encourage authentic and thoughtful conversations as it builds and grows relationships. First Friday Friends is designed for mothers and daughters to have the opportunity to discuss some of the current day issues and make decisions about tough dilemmas before our daughters encounter them. Some daughters may have a general idea of their ideas and standards, but it's likely most of them haven't yet been put into a place where they've needed to make a hard stance. First Friday Friends mother daughter relationship books allows for a safe and gentle place to create open dialogue and make choices for the future. It creates the opportunity to instill values and partner with like-minded mothers and daughters on the journey.

While there are many books written on parenting and how to raise your daughter or teenager, First Friday Friends is designed to engage you with your daughter and with other mothers and daughters in the same season of life. It's designed to open discussion, develop new friendships, deepen existing ones, and of course....make super fun memories! Enjoy the journey!

Click on the books for a preview!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Make 'em count!

Make every word count.

Don’t overwrite. Don’t use words to impress or just because you like how they sound.

Some older novels used page after page to describe scenes. They call it purple prose. Personally, I don’t want to buy a novel containing 200 pages of useless information.

Don’t give your readers a reason to skim.

Brandilyn Collins writes suspense. I don’t skim anything in her books. Even when she is describing scenes or how someone looks, there are always clues about the characters or about what may happen.

This is the first paragraphs of her book, Violet Dawn.
“Paige Williams harbored a restless kinship with the living dead. Sleep, that nurturing, blessed state of subconsciousness, eluded her again this night. Almost 2:00 a.m., and rather than slumbering bliss, old memories nibbled at her like ragged-toothed wraiths.
With a defeated sigh she rose from the bed.
Wrapped in a large towel, she moved through the darkened house, bare feet faintly scuffling across worn wood floors. Out of her room and down a short hall, passing the second bedroom—barren and needing to be filled—and the one bathroom, into the small kitchen.”

Brandilyn’s scene gives hints about Paige, describes the surroundings to give you bearings but is not overbearing.

No word is wasted, they all have a purpose. Learn to write without wasted words.

DiAnn Mills writes, “A good writer knows that cutting the flab adds muscle and reduces the fat in his manuscript.”

Write for quality, not quantity.

Tips for Characters

Know your characters and your readers.

When you are establishing your story, don’t use similar names, sounds, or starting letters for your characters.

Example: Tom and Ted. Mary and Marion.

Don’t confuse your readers. Make it easy for them.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Free Training via Jo Ann Fore!

Are you ready to make a difference?

FREE CALL graphic

  • Has God placed something on your heart to share with others {whether it’s from a large platform or simply with your neighbor next door} but you shrink back in fear?

  • Have voices of criticism, doubt, or disapproval ever stopped you,dismissing your dreams as unimportant or unattainable?

  • Perhaps you’re in a place you never imagined you’d be, this place of influence with others who want to hear what you have to say—andyou don’t know what you want to say or how to say it?

If any of these describe you, I want to personally invite you to join me on a free training call.

My name is Jo Ann Fore, and I have a deep passion to help women become voices of hope, whether that hope is served from your heart through individual relationships, group mentoring, teaching others from a small or large platform, or even an entrepreneurial venture.

For many years, I've walked alongside women who are compelled to make a difference. And the thing I hear most often is how hard it can be to connect on a heart-level or to reach others in such a way that we affect their lives with positive change.

As encouragers {of any sort} we've had those days, those times a wicked doubt starts centering inward and we find ourselves wondering if we’re really cut out to be of influence to anyone.  Does what we do {really} matter; how can we make a difference?
Never, ever, underestimate the difference a willing heart can make in the lives of others.
Here’s the thing: Before we were ever born, God designed us with a unique purpose to discover and fulfill on this earth. He’s always intended to use every part of our lives–no matter how broken–in his Kingdom-building plan. This potential for influencing others, its a part of our true selves, embedded deep in our make-up, our spiritual DNA.

We are designed  to influence and impact those around us.

Will you join me for this FREE live tele-chat for women, as we uncover the #1 way to reach the hearts of others and learn how to impact the world for positive change?

Be on the *LIVE* call and be eligible to win  a FREE Day of  Coaching{Value $800!}.


Blogger & Encourager

Friday, August 29, 2014

Writing in Selling Genres or Writing Issue Fiction?

Writing in Selling Genres or Writing Issue Fiction? What's An Author to Do? ~ Jennifer Slattery

I wanted to hurl. Or cry. Except there were way too many people EVERYWHERE. So I did the only thing I knew to do—run! I spent the rest of the evening in my hotel room, tears streaking my puffy face with mascara.
It was my first national conference, and quite frankly, I arrived to my initial appointment more than a little cocky, believing I had crafted the next literary masterpiece.
Obviously this was pre-critique partners.
Appointment after appointment, my confidence waned ... Drop over to Novel Rocket to read the rest -->  Writing in Selling Genres or Writing Issue Fiction? What's An Author to Do

And/or listen to an interview with Jennifer Slattery on Living Joyfully Free Radio

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Secret Life by Lee Carver

What escape exists for a German aristocrat with American and Jewish blood?

The German Army of World War II rips KARL VON STEUBEN from his family and privileged life, forcing him to conceal his American sympathies and Jewish heritage. Stripped of every tie to his home country, he determines to escape. As he crawls to the Siegfried Line, only he knows the hiding place of gold ingots melted from the jewelry of prisoners. Wounded after assuming the identity of a fallen American soldier, Karl briefly deceives even himself.

Discharged and shipped to America, he discovers God’s unmerited favor in a beautiful Atlanta nurse. But he must return to Germany or relinquish his family fortune and rear children under the name of another man. Will Grace forgive his duplicity and accept him as a loyal American?

Lee Carver has lived in six foreign countries and studied nine languages including German and French. She and her husband traveled extensively throughout Europe while living in Spain. A five-week World War II history tour covering the areas where her father-in-law fought created the stimulus for this book. Lee taught biology and chemistry, served as a volunteer church musician, and in retirement was a missionary in the Brazilian Amazon. She is a member of ACFW and president of its ACFW-DFW Ready Writers Chapter, and is active in Stephen Ministry and Kid's Hope.

Visit Lee at

Order A Secret Life on Amazon

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Grammar Tip from Kathy Ide

Kathy Ide Grammar Tip: The sentence “As the time grew short, the people became fidgety” could mean either “When the time grew short, the people became fidgety” or “Because the time grew short, the people became fidgety.” Using "when" or "because" instead of "as" prevents ambiguity or possible misreading.

Visit Kathy Ide at her website

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Writer Tips

Keep asking what if… What if my character went here? What if my character did this? Jot down things that make you wonder and ponder. 

Brainstorm with friends. Some of the most amazing stories can come just sitting and talking with another writer or friend. 

Listen and watch. When you watch the news, ask “what if?”

Everything you see and experience is fodder for novels.

Take notes. You never know when inspiration will hit. When an idea comes, write it down. I have a file on my computer where I keep my writing ideas. I’m always sending myself e-mails on my phone with ideas for blogs or stories.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Take Your Characters Out to Play

, let your characters go out to play. Take them to a scene you hadn't planned. Take your ultra-male character shopping in a dress boutique. Take your frilly female character to a sporting goods store. Take them out for fun and see what happens. Put your characters in a totally different place than you had intended. Your charachters might surpise you!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mom's, This Is For You by Stephanie Shott

I caught a glimpse of her as she walked across the parking lot. She looked to be about sixteen. Young in years, but great with child.

Reflecting on my own teen pregnancy, I couldn't help but wonder if she was ready for the journey ahead. Did she grasp the greatness of her newfound role and how everything she had ever known was about to change? Would someone walk with through her motherhood or would she have to go it alone?

I was eighteen when my son was born and had no idea what it meant to be a mom. Oh, I thought the whole mom thing was going to be a breeze, but it didn't take long to learn that my dream of motherhood was very different from my reality.

I wanted to be the mom who did all the right things, never had to count to three, and baked her own bread.
But instead, I was a single mom, without Christ, without a mentor, and without a clue.

As the years passed, I married, and not long after that I became a Christian. Everything changed except that I still didn't have a mentor and I barely had a clue.

For me, motherhood was like a messy experiment and my kids were the guinea pigs. 

That was twenty-seven years ago, and as I reflect on the way I muddled my way through motherhood, I can’t help but wonder where all the mentors were. I remember looking up to several women in the church, yet for some reason I was never able to wiggle my way under their wing.

But it shouldn't have been that hard, and no mom should have to go it alone. After all, mentoring should be woven into the fabric of the church. Right?

Mentoring moms is powerful. It’s how you and I can change the world. It’s not only a God-given way in which we can leave a legacy of faith, but it’s also an amazing tool to help us reach our communities and this culture for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Two years ago I started The M.O.M. Initiative—a ministry devoted to helping the body of Christ make mentoring missional. Evangelistic in nature, the mission is to begin M.O.M. Groups that not only minister to moms who know Christ but that we reach those who don’t.

Ultimately, our goal is to reach a MILLION MOMS for Christ. And if only 3 women in 1/2 of the churches in the United States would mentor just 3 other moms, that would translate into reaching a MILLION MOMS for Christ and impacting over 2.5 MILLION CHILDREN as a result.

Sitting in the parking lot, a ministry was born and a book was conceived. I wrote The Making of a Mom to be a unique dual purpose resource. A book to help lay a solid biblical foundations for real moms who are in the trenches of motherhood…to help answer the deep questions of a moms heart and to help each mom embrace the significance of her role as a mother. I want moms to know they are deeply loved and profoundly influential.

I also wrote The Making of a Mom to provide and inreach and an outreach resource for the church.To help the body of Christ weave mentoring into the fabric of the local church. As an outreach, The Making of a Mom equips local churches with a unique resource that will help them weave mentoring into the fabric of the church and to reach their communities and this culture for Christ by mentoring moms in urban areas, in low-income apartment complexes, neighborhoods, prisons, homeless shelters, crisis pregnancy centers, the mission field and wherever young moms can be found.

You see, if we reach the moms of this generation, we’ll reach the heart of the next generation. but if we don’t, I’m afraid we’ll lose them all.

Today, you and I have an opportunity to change the world one mom at a time through the power and beauty of mentoring.

I didn't have a mentor . . . and I don’t know if that young girl at the gas station will have one either. But no mom should have to go it alone. So, let’s step into our Titus 2 shoes and begin impacting our community and this culture for the Lord Jesus Christ.

We’ll have forever to be glad we did.

To find out more about how you can begin a M.O.M. Group, click this link.

To find out how to sign up to be ONE in a MILLION MOMS who would like to be connected with a mentor and raise your children to know Christ, click this link.

To find out how to order The Making of a Mom.

Order on Amazon

Stephanie Shott is an author, speaker and missionary who is passionate about inspiring women to know God more - to boldly and courageously become who they were created to be and to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. Stephanie has been involved in women's ministry for over 20 years. She is a real, relevant and practical speaker who loves helping women enjoy the grand adventure of serving the Living God.

Visit Stephanie Shott on The MOM Initiative or her website, 

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Making of a Mom by Stephanie Shott

Have you ever felt like you wore so many hats that it was hard to really enjoy your mom journey? Or like you were so weary and worn out by your never-ending ‘to do’ list that you wanted to bury your head under the covers and get away from it all…even for just a day?
Me too! 
Oh…like you, I LOVE being a mom. But for me, motherhood was like this messy experiment and my kids were the guinea pigs. 
Motherhood is the best job on the planet!
Moms, more than anyone else, have the opportunity to not only mold the heart of their children but to mold the heart of the next generation. But we get caught up in dealing with the dailies of life and it’s hard to make it our mission to parent on purpose. Sometimes it’s so easy to parent the child they are and deal with the behavior of the moment that we forget about molding the heart of the person we long for them to become.
The Making of a Mom gives you a foundational look at real life biblical motherhood and provides the practical tools and inspiration you need to become the best mom you can. 
While we all know there is no such thing as a perfect mom, we also know that WE are the perfect moms for our children.
The Making of a Mom encourages moms to embrace the significance of their calling to motherhood…a role that only we moms can fulfill…a role that God has called us to and equipped us for.
And The Making of a Mom was uniquely written to minister to the hearts of moms while also providing a key resource for the local church and para-ministries.
With venue specific Planning Guides in the back of the book, instructions on how to begin M.O.M. Groups that will help the local church weave mentoring into the fabric of the church and serve as not only an in-reach resource, but a great outreach tool as well. And the questions at the end of each chapter serve as a catalyst for conversation for ministry and small group leaders, The Making of a Mom is the perfect resource for every church!
The Making of a Mom works in tandem with The M.O.M. Initiative as a tool to help the church minister to moms who know Christ and reach those who don’t. Through The Making of a Mom, you can help your local church make mentoring missional and impact your community and this culture for Christ.
The goal of The M.O.M. Initiative is to reach a MILLION MOMS for Christ. The tool is The Making of a Mom. The vehicle is the local church. AND…if only 3 women in 1/2 of the churches in the United States would mentor just 3 other mothers, we could reach a MILLION MOMS for Christ!
To find out more about how you can begin a M.O.M. Group, click this link.
To find out how to sign up to be ONE in a MILLION MOMS who would like to be connected with a mentor and raise your children to know Christ, click this link.
To find out how to order The Making of a Mom.

Order on Amazon

Stephanie Shott is an author, speaker and missionary who is passionate about inspiring women to know God more - to boldly and courageously become who they were created to be and to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. Stephanie has been involved in women's ministry for over 20 years. She is a real, relevant and practical speaker who loves helping women enjoy the grand adventure of serving the Living God.

Visit Stephanie Shott on The MOM Initiative or her website, 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

To Christian Writers by Lisa Buffaloe

If you are a Christian writer, keep writing for God. The world needs hope, and the only eternal hope is found in Jesus Christ. Keep writing to point to Christ.

Ignore the whispers of the enemy telling you to give up
Ignore the world’s ideas of success.
Pay no attention to the number of followers on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog.

Pay attention to God’s truth.
Pay attention to being successful for God’s Kingdom.
Pay attention and be obedient to follow God.

“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.’” ~ Jeremiah 30:2 (NIV)

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” ~ 1 John 1:3-4 (NIV)

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” ~ 1 John 5:13 (ESV)

Write the joyful truth so that others may find the joyful truth of Jesus Christ!

Visit Lisa Buffaloe @

Monday, June 9, 2014

How To Write an Inspirational Memoir (Free e-book!)

How To Write Inspirational Memoir (FREE e-book!) by Emily T. Wierenga

I started writing my memoir back when Mum got sick, back when I moved home from Korea to take care of her.
I started it in the basement of my parents’ home, my husband still in Korea finishing up our contract.
I started writing it to save myself in those long lonely hours, when I wrote about Mum–the woman who’d cradled me as a baby under African skies, who’d baked us homemade bread and granola and home schooled us at the kitchen table–who now lay upstairs, dying from brain cancer.

But the story didn’t become a book until this past January, when I was in Portland, Oregon, visiting my agent.
She looked at me as we drove to a yogurt cafe and said, “An editor has contacted me from Baker Books, and he was wondering if you’d want to write a travel memoir?”
A travel memoir.
(Truth be told, I didn’t know what that was–but I knew I loved to travel, and I was secretly hoping this would excuse me taking a year off to travel the world :))
I missed home
It didn’t, but I got to write about my journeys to places like Holland, Lebanon, Jordan, Australia, Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, Italy.
I got to write about love — about Trenton, a farm-boy whom God sent into my life to show me what faithfulness looks like, what a belly laugh sounds like.
I got to write about trying to have children, and how we couldn't, and then, because of mercy, we could.
About those long years of me not eating, and then, learning how, again, over a sizzling bowl of bip-im-bap in Korea.
And I got to write about God, about the way his Father-heart pursued me around the globe and back again to the side of my mother’s bed. This disillusioned pastor’s daughter searching the world for what true faith looks like–and finding it at home.
aching pulsing places_1
It’s a two-book series, actually, with Baker Books. First, #ATLASGIRL.
Then, I have a follow-up memoir coming out next summer (July 2015), called MAKING IT HOME–because isn’t this is what all of us is trying to do? We’re all just trying to make it home.
But it starts with running away, which is what I did at 18.
This, from the back cover:
“Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.
Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.”
#ATLASGIRL releases July 1st. (Go HERE to read the first two chapters for FREE!)
And I’m not sure how to say this without making myself sound all wonderful, because trust me, I’m not–I’m so very broken, but  all of the proceeds from Atlas Girl are going towards a non-profit I’ve founded with the help of some incredible friends, including Joy Forney (who lives in Kampala, Uganda with her family) and Mama Evah, whom I met back in January in Uganda.
And, as a thank-you for pre-ordering my story, friends? I have a gift for you!
Memoir teacher Mick Silva (who was one of the editors for Atlas Girl) and I have written an e-book  called A House that God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir.
A House that God Built Cover
It’s absolutely FREE when you purchase #AtlasGirl HERE.
After you’ve pre-ordered Atlas Girl, just go HERE and fill out a simple form and the e-book on how to write memoir will be sent IMMEDIATELY to your inbox.

And finally, for all of you who want to share about this post and help get word out about ATLAS GIRL and The Lulu Tree, I’m entering you into a draw to win one of Krafty Kash’s beautiful custom-designed atlas necklaces.
Thank you friends, for traveling with this broken #AtlasGirl. It’s been a long road home, but life is about the journey, not the destination.
… I love you so very much. e.
(PS. For any of you wanting to join the ATLAS GIRL BLOG TOUR, who haven’t already, just go HERE on FB ! We’d love to have you. Also, there are a LOT of resources over HERE if you’re wanting to help us spread the word about the book. XOXO)

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