Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thrill of the Hunt

Thrill of the Hunt, a short story I wrote, is in the October edition of the Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Check it out at http://christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/thrill_of_the_hunt.html.

Another Fabulous ACFW Conference

I've been home for nine days since the conference, putting all I learned into a joy-filled, tear-jerking ending to Stillwater Promise, the third book in the Heartsong Series I'm writing with Cathy Wienke.

Angela Hunt was the keynote speaker. She is such a gracious lady. It's easy to imagine those who are well-published as being up on some untouchable pedestal, but Angie was so real and approachable as she presented the realities of the writing life with hope and humor.

One of the highlights of the week was the booksigning at the Mall of America. Imagine 125 authors sitting at tables that lined the middle of hallways while shoppers walked by. It was so much fun to talk to avid Christian fiction fans and to observe a few people who didn't know such a thing existed!

The Barbour Publishing editors arranged a unique get-together for their authors on Friday night at the conference. They blessed us with tickets to the Aquarium on the lower level of the Mall and after walking under glass arches where sharks swam overhead we had a room all to ourselves with snacks and desserts and time to meet and catch up with editors Becky Germany (L below), JoAnne Simmons (R below), and Susan Downs, and other Barbour authors.

By far the best part of the week was connecting with friends. I met people I only knew by name from the ACFW loop, and others I've met at past conferences. (Like Zoe McCarthy, L below, and Cynthia Ruchti, signing A Cup of Comfort for Writers, R below) What an amazing experience. And then to have the privilege of worshiping with all those friends! Wow....

Next year's conference will be in Denver. If you're a fiction writer, start sticking your pennies in the cookie jar. This time of learning and connecting is SO worth it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

From gooey to heart-warming to certifiably wacko...tagline contest entries ran the gamut.

From Cynthia Ruchti (a Wisconsin resident and finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest--soon to be famous for her edgy fiction spiked with startling humor.):
Becky Melby--sweeter than marshmallow fluff, funnier than marshmallow fluff stuck to the seat of Pastor's pants
Fiction with wit and grace, which is ENTIRELY different than Will and Grace
Writing fiction for fun and very little profit (This is, sadly, one of my favorites!)
A chuckle and a chortle and a lettuce-eating tortle
Official fiction writer of the not-all-motorcycle-riders-are-bowlegged club (Cynthia hasn’t met my sweet motorcycle-riding man yet!)
Amusing and moving and books you should be choosing
(Want more of Cynthia’s writing? Check out her sites under Favorite Links)

From Dan Brown (Yes, yes I’ve known him for years. I’m even related. Think he’ll endorse my next book?? Okay, so it’s not that Dan Brown. This one is a pastor serving at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, but he could well be a published novelist or author of children’s books one day. Keep on writing, Dan!):
Christian fiction that glorifies God
God glorifying romance writing
Writing fiction for the glory of God and the joy of His people
Proclaiming the Truth of God through fiction
Fiction that changes lives with the truth of Christ

From my oldest son, Scott, his wife Kristen, and three of my amazing grandkids. Reagan is 12, twins Sawyer and Sage are 10. Kristen’s mother, Grandma Carol, lives with them and bakes fabulous bread, decadent desserts, and sews dreamy little girl clothes. (See link below)
Kristen: Christian fiction for the realist, the dreamer, and the wild at heart
Where Christian fiction meets real life...but the guys are always hotties and the heroines have red hair (Another one of my favorites...just a bit too long to print on business cards! And, hey, they don’t ALL have red hair!)
Christian fiction that makes ya feel good all over, more n' anyplace else (that's Kristen's hillbilly entry--they live in the Ozarks!)
Christian fiction...yeah, you KNOW you wanna read it!
It's my Christian romance and I want it NOW!
Off the shelf and into the world (This one’s worth stealing, writer friends)

Reagan: Go away, I'm sleeping!
Sawyer: Christian fiction, even for kids who love science
Sage: Christian books that my Grandma writes

Grandma Carol:
Christian fiction that whets the appetite and feeds the soul
Christian fiction, take it like a daily laxative to feel clean through-and-through (Come on, fiction writers, you know you want to borrow this line! It’s free for the taking!)
Christian fiction for blessings packed down and running over
Christian fiction to soothe the cares of the world
Christian fiction....like Christmas every day!

The last, and yes, the least...my firstborn just turned 34, but you have to know I grounded him for this one:
Scott: Christian fiction for the emotionally weak and socially introverted. (Now don’t that just make you want to run right out and buy his mama’s books?)

Thank you all for your support!

This is how I want my stories to feel...like hot chocolate on a snowy day! Thanks, Tiffany, for putting it into words. And thanks to Sawyer and Sage for the perfect picture to capture the feeling!

A bit more info on the winner, Tiffany Kinerson:

Tiffany and her husband live in Kingwood, Texas, with their two boys and a 90-lb. black Lab. She is an American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest finalist and also a finalist in the Romance Writers of America "Get Your Stiletto in the Door" Contest for her current WIP (Work In Progress). It’s called Stand on My Own Two Hands, and I've had the privilege of a sneak preview. Funny, insightful...and set in Alaska! Here it is in a nutshell: An uptown girl from Houston runs off to Alaska to prove herself and along the way learns how to stand...not just on her own two feet (anyone can do that), but on her two hands. Because with God all things are possible.
Tiffany is also a contributor to a great blog for moms: http://www.momstories.org/

Friday, September 5, 2008


Thank you to all of you who submitted amazingly creative tagline ideas for my blog. As you can see, we have a winner! I’ve chosen one that really spoke to my heart.
Tiffany Kinerson, a writer you’ll be hearing about soon, sent this: Warm romance with a dollop of faith. . .drink it in. (I've tweaked her idea just a teensy bit.) Tiffany added, “Your stories remind me of the kind of thing that I'd want to make a cup of coffee and run a warm bath to read. Pure comfort.” I’ll be seeing Tiffany at the ACFW conference in Minneapolis in less than two weeks, so I can personally deliver her gift certificate for Barnes and Noble--which she can use at the HUGE booksigning at Mall of America--check previous post for details.
A close runner-up came from Cynthia Ruchti, another writer on the verge of publication. I really like this line and intend to use it somewhere: Love means never having to say it’s fiction.
Again, thank you to everyone who sent suggestions. Tune in next week for a list of some of the funniest lines you’ll ever read. I was literally spitting food at my computer screen as I read some of your submissions!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Walk with Me is Editor's #1 Contemporary Pick for 2008!

A simple little two-line e-mail from our editor last week left me in shock...and praising God while doing a happy feet dance! JoAnne Simmons, Heartsong Presents Editor, simply said, "Just wanted to let you know I mentioned you in my blog post today on http://www.editcafe.blogspot.com/. Thanks for your hard work!" I assumed she had mentioned that Walk with Me, along with four other books, will be released next month. It turned out to be a bit more than that. Take a look at the Edit Cafe' blog entry for August 29 and you'll understand my little dance.