Writing Christian fiction is a fine line between telling a good story and sharing a message of faith. So, what makes for a good story? Read on to discover what I have learned about weaving my faith into the stories I create.
Hey guys! Sorry for the silence lately. I've started a new job as a teacher and my writing time has been seriously sabotaged!! I do hope you'll forgive me, as I'm trying as hard as I can to keep up with all that comes with putting a book out there while trying to keep my head above water with work and family.
To make it up to you, I have a small gift. We may still have 12 days before the release of CotF, but I have something to tide us over until the big day.
Here it is!
Well...whadya think? I'm very happy with it and I hope it tides you over until release day on November 15th!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Things are getting real. Advanced reader copies of Children of the Forgotten will be here within 1-2 weeks!
That means I need to get ready for a book launch, which I've never done before. So, I figured--instead of googling it real quick and diving in--I'd ask you for help!
I've been on launch teams before and they are a blast! You don't have to be an author or a blogger to be a part of this exclusive team either. I'll let you know the requirements to be on the team in a few, but first...
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In a post-apocalyptic world, most people by age thirty have succumbed to The Sickness, a mysterious deadly illness. But the Sickness is not the only enemy for Collin Mann’s city. Hordes of deranged killers live in the hills around it. With few trained protectors, the future of the little city looks bleak.
Collin, fifteen years old, buries those the Sickness consumes. Slight and awkward, he shuns warrior training, avoiding the example of his big brother and guardian.
When killers attack at the watering hole, he’s called to step forward and defend. Instead, he freezes.
He’s ashamed. His people need him to fight. Can he do it? Or would a clumsy person like himself make any difference in the battle for existence?
TEAM MEMBER BENEFITS:
- An advanced reader copy of Children of the Forgotten (electronic version) as soon as it's ready!
- Insider book secrets! (After you've read it)
- Exclusive access to the CotF Launch Team Facebook Group!
- The opportunity to interact and brainstorm with other book lovers!
- Book swag!
- A personal, and special, thank you from me!
TEAM MEMBER REQUIREMENTS:
- In order to join the team, all team members must commit to read Children of the Forgotten and write an honest book review (no matter how many stars) on Amazon, Goodreads, and your blog (if you have one).
- Team members must be willing to work together to share the word on CotF's launch any way they can, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I'll ask you to post something 2-3 times a week in the lead-up to release day.
- Interact with each other and come up with creative ideas for the launch, whether it be quote images, a blog tour, or a Facebook party, etc.
- Though being a blogger isn't a requirement, if a team member has a blog I'll ask them to consider posting an interview with me or a guest blog.
I do hope you'll consider being a part of the team and I'm excited to get this thing rolling! I only have room for 20 members, though, and we need to get to work soon, so the deadline to sign up is Saturday, August 12th! Don't miss out!
You can sign up using the form below!
Thanks so much for considering being a part of the team and I hope to get the chance to make this journey with you!
Have you SEEN the new Justice League trailer?
Well, here it is.
Two words: Wonder Woman.
One more: Aquaman.
And just who was Alfred talking to there at the end? Superman, perhaps?
Looks like it's going to be an awesome movie. Can't wait for it!
What did you think of the trailer?
It has been a long, hard road getting to this point. I was beginning to think the cover for Children of the Forgotten was doomed to spend eternity in some dark drawer, never to find itself wrapped around 300+ pages of story. But we're finally here. Well ... for the cover reveal, anyway. I'm hoping to have a release date for the novel soon!
There are some really great books, written by some of the kindest authors you will ever meet, in the Christian Book Box this month. I haven't done this before, but I though it was time I gave a little info about the books in each giveaway so you'll have a better idea of what you're winning. So, here are the six books in this month's box and a little about them.
They said she was a monster. Now she has become one.
Imprisoned, Elwyn endures torture so horrific she drives herself insane to elude true madness. She finally escapes, but at the deadly cost of the only remaining friend she has. Now, unless her broken mind is playing another cruel trick, she discovers she is turning into the monster she despises most of all. Amidst fighters and fairies, demons and dragons, traitors wear the face of friend as she searches for the lost fragments of her mind.
Elwyn is the only one mad enough to face the Monster of the Kings, but she is more likely to destroy herself before even finding him.
You can learn more about the author, Just B. Jordan HERE.
Her solo is a death sentence.
Deep within the world of Leira flows a melody that was sung at the beginning of time by Emhran, the Master Singer. Now it is broken, buried, forgotten. But in each generation, a Songkeeper arises to uphold the memory of the Song against those who want it silenced forever.
When Birdie first hears the Song coming from her own mouth, her world shatters. She is no longer simply an orphan but the last of a hunted people. Forced to flee for her life, she must decide whom to trust--a traveling peddler, a streetwise thief, or a mysterious creature who claims to know her past.
With enemies at her heels and war threatening to tear her homeland apart, Birdie soon discovers an overwhelming truth: the fate of Leira may hinge on one orphan's Song.
You can learn more about the author, Gillian Bronte Adams, HERE.
With a curse, she will build an army. With the dagger, she will undo the last sacrifice. But first the sorceress must find the secret keeper.
Torn from her homeland and thrust into a betrothal against her wishes, Ayianna learns her family has a deadly secret that now has her on the run. She joins forces with Kael, an embittered half-elf, and Saeed, an elderly High Guardian, to seek answers to her father’s death, the destruction of Dagmar, and the plains people’s bizarre behavior.
Ayianna discovers there is more at stake here than just her mother’s disappearance and her familial duty to her betrothed. The sorceress has cursed the plains people, and it is a race against time to release them before the sorceress resurrects an ancient evil.
You can learn more about the author, J.L. Mbewe, HERE.
Willoughby has an itch he can’t reach. An itch he can’t scratch. Not just a little itch, a TERRIBLY ITCHY ITCH. Nothing he does will make it go away. What can a dragon do when he has an itch he can’t reach? He calls for help, of course! See how some unlikely friends get together to relieve Willoughby of his terribly itchy itch.
Willoughby is a young, somewhat clumsy, gentle dragon who is learning to live and interact with friends from the the Land of Dern. In this picture book series for ages 4-8, Willoughby learns about friendship, getting along with creatures different from himself, and discovers he can do things he never thought he could.
Learn more about the author, Pam Halter, HERE.
Psionic healing. Psionic combat. Inside the mind, there's a landscape like glass.
Thomas McCrady, a telepathic negotiator from Haidar Station in Earth orbit, is faced with his biggest challenge yet when he is sent to broker peace with only a rookie partner to help him. Worse, she's the doctor he blames for the death of his last partner.
Calla Geisman's telepathy is not the same as a standard Haidarian's. Some people think she's a waste of space. Some people want her dead. But she's assigned to go with Thomas to Ologo anyway, and must gain his respect before she can play her part in the war's end.
Learn more about the author, Cindy Koepp, HERE.
Two hundred years ago, the Aolanian home world exploded and a remnant of survivors escaped. As their convoy combed the galaxy looking for a new world to colonize, they discovered Earth and were given permission to establish a temporary base while they continued their search for a new home world. When an Aolanian exploration vessel goes missing after transmitting a garbled distress call, the uneasy alliance between the humans and the Aolanians is put to the test as two anti-Aolanian groups jockey to use this opportunity to press their own agendas by foiling the rescue mission. Because his daughter was onboard the Kesha when it vanished, Calonti Sora reluctantly signs on as an astrogator with the Gyrfalcon, one of the ships in the search party. There he meets up with an old human friend, Kirsten Abbott. Together, they work to overcome prejudice and political plots as they race toward an enemy no one could expect.
Again, you can learn more about Cindy Koepp HERE.
Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already. I have a short story coming soon that is exclusive to subscribers and I just may FINALLY reveal the cover for my novel, Children of the Forgotten, soon!
Greetings! Many of you know that Mandy Fender and I do a giveaway that we call the Christian Book Box. Each month, we've given away a box of awesome Christian books to the winner and the contest has been growing and growing since we started it in October!
And now, instead of teaming up to give away one box each month, we're both giving one away. So head on over to Mandy's page and sign up for hers, too!
In addition to some great books, we also include goodies like bookmarks, notepads, journals, stickers, and a personal note from either me or Mandy, or sometimes both of us! We know a lot of people are avid readers, so I hope you'll share this blog so more people can find out about it. There aren't a lot of contests where you can win such great content for doing something as little as signing up for a newsletter. So please, share away. And sign up! You just might win!
And I know many of you are also waiting for a cover reveal and a release date. I'll be sharing the cover in my newsletter soon, so if you haven't signed up for it, do so now!
We are literally down to just a few pages left to edit, so I'm certain we'll have a release date very soon. Thanks so much for being patient with me. Hopefully I'll have all this figured out by the time we get ready to release book two!
Oh...I've been a little let down that I haven't seen much about this movie and it's coming out soon! Maybe she doesn't need a lot of hype, though. I mean...it's Wonder Woman!
I hope this blog finds you well and that you're feeling God's love and comfort each day. If you're not, and you're struggling, let us know how we can pray for you in the comments. And if you don't want to share publicly, contact me and I'll lend an ear.
I know I haven't blogged in a while, and I apologize. Writing and edits have had a lot to do with my absence, so I hope you'll forgive me. Things are getting really close to being finished and I hope to announce the cover and release date for Children of the Forgotten (aka CotF) soon!
Until then, bear with me and my periods of silence. CotF has gone through such a transformation throughout these edits and I am SO happy with what it has become. I cannot wait to get it out to you!
While we wait on it, I think it'll be fun to check out some of the movies that will be coming out soon. I shared the Justice League trailer a while back and I'm stoked about that one.
But ... when it comes to super heroes, there are a couple that I get really pumped to see. And two of those characters happen to be in Thor Ragnarok. Thor, of course ... and ... the Hulk.
I've always been intrigued by Thor's world, his family's history, and that shady brother of his. As for the Hulk, well, he never gets enough face time. Maybe that's because he's CGI and it costs millions of dollars to bring him to life ... but ... that's not my problem!
We need more Hulk! No matter the cost!
Anyway ... 21 million people have already watched it. And you probably have too. But I'm still going to share it because it looks awesome! Enjoy!
Oh! I'm doing a Christian Book Box again this month, but it's solely being done on Twitter for April. So click on my Twitter link at the bottom of the site and check out the books in this month's box. Oh, and enter to win too!
Dont forget to sign up for my newsletter!
I hadn't planned on a blog post today, but I stumbled across this beauty and thought I'd share it. Aaaaaand you're welcome.
Is the coast clear yet?
Whew! It's been a rough few weeks, huh? What was THAT all about?
Don't worry, I'm not going all political on you. There are far greater minds than mine that can help you out in that category. Besides, that subject has been beaten ... to ... death.
So, let's move on, shall we?
When I was growing up (I think I was around 10), there was a coat rack in the hallway and I could see it from my bed at night. My dad's coat and cowboy hat hung on it and in the dark it looked just like a silhouette of Freddy Krueger. Many hours of sleep were lost because of that coat rack.
I'd draw my covers up snug under my chin and stare at it, wondering if Freddy would eventually stop posing in the hallway and lunge through my door.
Thirty years later, I'm wondering who in the world allowed me to watch that movie at TEN YEARS OLD?!? Really, mom and dad?
But I'm not afraid of ol' Freddy anymore. Seriously! In fact, just before Halloween I was flipping channels and ran across Nightmare on Elm Street part 50 ... or one of them, anyway.
Fred's (I call him Fred now that we're grown) more funny than anything. And the acting is terrible.
As I watched Fred knife-up Johnny Depp I wondered what in the world I was ever afraid of. And it wasn't even Fred outside my door. When the light came on, I remembered that it was just a hat and a coat.
Have you ever been there? Afraid of something for so long, and then later on you realize that it was nothing?
How did you get over it?
For me and Fred, I thought it was just about time. I thought I needed to get away from him, mature some, and realize that he wasn't the knifey handed creep-o that I thought he was. That he didn't exist.
Or did I finally realize that by fearing something, I let it have control over me?
A long time ago, I gave my heart to Jesus and declared Him Lord of my life. I haven't always acted like it, and there have been many times where I let things like fear have control over me. And I'd stray from Him.
Slowly, He brought me back. Then I'd mess up, and He'd bring me back again. And again.
Throughout that process I learned many lessons. One of them was that the things that I fear cannot harm me. Oh a spider may bite me or a fire might burn me, but they can never truly harm me.
I'm a child of the King. Fear only interrupts my relationship with Him.
Who's your Freddy? Is it a coat rack in the hallway?
Maybe you're afraid of storms. Or terrified of clowns (they went away fast, didn't they). Perhaps it's something more serious. A violent ex, maybe.
Or a memory.
Whatever it is, do this: Turn on the Light.
Don't know how?
Read here: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." -John 8:12
Whatever you're fearing, you don't have to anymore. I know it's hard, and some fears are much harder than others, but it does get easier with time. You just have to trust.
Get outta here, Fred. We're done with you.
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As a writer I am always weighing the power of words and how best to use them. Sometimes I'll write a sentence and spend the rest of the day trying to make it stronger. Just a simple switch in the order of various words or cutting out unneeded ones can greatly enhance the power of a single sentence.
It can become a maddening challenge when I try to get the reader to see or feel the story while also using as few words as possible in my description. Most writers will tell you that they enjoy this art of arranging words into tales for others to enjoy. We'll also tell you that most of the time we think we're terrible at it and no one should ever be forced to read the babble we've spilled onto the page.
But sometimes the most powerful words we read or hear didn't have hours of planning or rearranging behind them. Sometimes we are impacted by a small phrase that is uttered or read at just the right time. We experience a moment of clarity and often remember this moment for the rest of our lives.
A couple of years ago, while giving my youngest daughter a bath, we talked about our upcoming vacation and who we most looked forward to visiting when we went back to Texas. As she started naming off family members, she also said how they were related to us. Her aunts are aunts because they are Mommy's sisters. Nana and Papaw are Mommy's mom and dad, and she went on and on.
Her powerful words came when she talked about her uncles. She said, "They're my uncles because they're your brothers, Daddy."
She never mentioned one thing about them being a different race than I am. It had no bearing on my relation to my brothers-in-law. That didn't mean a thing to her.
These are things that either we, or society, teach our children. I pray that things like this never make a difference to her. I hope she always sees people and the world as she sees them now and that I keep this in mind whenever I try to teach her things.
Or, now that I think of it, maybe she's the one teaching me about the world. Do I see things differently because of how society or my upbringing have shaped me? I hope not. I hope I see people like my daughter does and that things like skin color have nothing to do with how we look at others or our relationships with them.
And if I haven't lived this way in the past, I hope that I always remember my daughter's powerful words.
Things may sometimes look scary when we think about our future, but if our entire generation thinks like my daughter does, maybe we do still have a chance.
Is there a time when the power of words affected you? Share it with us in the comments!
Don't forget, I'm giving a way a box of books at the end of October! Only two days left before we draw! Click here and enter to win!
Have a great weekend!
Man, I love social media. It’s full of funny memes, cat videos, what that guy you haven’t spoken to since high school is having for dinner, and an opinion on just about anything you could hope for.
Ooohhh the opinions.
Want to know who should start for the Cowboys? It’s there.
Who’s going to win the World Series? Check Uncle Bob’s timeline.
Best essential oils? Got it.
Drama? Dirty laundry? It. Is. Every. Where.
And then … there’s … the election.
You don’t have to scroll far to see what someone has to say about how so-and-so is going to run this country into the ground. A little further down in your feed, you can read how Aunt Judy is going to move to Canada if a certain nominee is elected because she thinks this person is going to burn the Constitution live on national television, outlaw hugs, and turn us into a communist nation.
I could go on and on.
And on and on.
I’ll admit, I get concerned too. Like the other night when I watched the debate—the only one I’ve watched so far. I don’t mean this as a jab at either of the candidates, I was just torn as to which one I thought was more qualified. Which of them was fit to lead our nation?
I buried the thought and went to bed. The next morning, while sipping coffee, I watched the recap of the debate on the morning news. When the question of who was fit to lead our country came back to mind, I heard an answer. Not an audible one. It didn't come from a burning bush in my living room. I heard it in my heart.
Right then, my worries ceased. I realized that I’d done something that I said I would never do. I had put my trust in mankind. Correction, I had put my faith in mankind.
That morning I remembered that I had a direct connection to the One who is in charge. All of us, who love Him and call Him Lord, have that connection.
We can come to Him as much as we want and ask for help. We don't have to rely on an elected official to make our lives better. If we do, we'll spend our whole lives with these same fears we have now. Let them go!
Yes, it’s scary to transition to new leadership. We don’t know what to expect and are unsure whether they will take us in the right direction. We wonder if they're leadership material.
But let's try to always remember just Who appoints our leadership. He isn't surprised at election results, saying, "Not that person! Wow, I didn't see that one coming!"
Let us not lose faith or misplace it. Trust in the One who has plans to prosper, not harm us. The One who gives us hope and a future. The plan for that future is in motion.
The wheels are turning.
I’m sure this isn’t breaking news to some of us. Most of us know that God is the Ultimate Authority and that He will use all things for the good of those who love Him. But sometimes we all need a little reminder. Such as the one I had the other morning.
Does your faith ever get weak or put in the wrong place? How do you get back on track? Have you gotten a wakeup call like I did? Tell us in the comments!
Don't forget that I'm giving away a box of books at the end of October! Click here to enter the drawing!