Thursday, May 28, 2009


Rescued by John Bevere and Mark Andrew Olsen
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House

We meet Pastor Alan Rockaway and his new bride Jenny on their church's couples' cruise. Alan's teenaged son Jeff is along to film the trip's speakers and events for the church members at home. Not Jeff's dream trip, to be sure, but Alan is hoping that they can re-connect during this cruise to paradise and back. Connecting must wait; disaster strikes on a routine tourist submarine ride, testing Jeff and Alan beyond anything that they can imagine.

The story that unfolds before us is not your standard fare of mending fences and happily ever after. Shocking secrets are revealed and Jeff discovers not only what he is made of, but what his dad is made of too. Alan comes face to face with the Judgment Seat and is shocked by what he finds. This stirring tale compels the reader to take an honest look at his or her life in light of the big picture of eternity.

One of the questions that still rings in my mind after reading it is "Are you really ready to meet your Maker?" I want to be sure. And I think that most others will too, after reading this book. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Contest!

Susan Reinhardt of Christian Writer/Reader Connection blog fame is having her final contest this week. This drawing concludes her Blogoversary month's celebration. This week's contest is giving away three (yes three!) of Julie Lessman's historical fiction books. Hurry on over to Susan's blog and leave a comment and your email address to ensure entry by May 30, 2009. Drawing will be held on Sunday, May 31.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Memorial Day reminds me of how much I appreciate living in a free country. It reminds me of how grateful I am to the men and women who serve or have served in the United States military. Without their sacrifices, my family and I would probably not enjoy the freedom to live and worship the way that we do. I appreciate too, those who've lost their lives in times of war and peace, and offer my sympathy and gratitude to the families and friends that they've left behind.

To all who serve, have served, and plan to serve in the future - you have my heartfelt thanks and prayers. Happy Memorial Day.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.

Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)

I meditate on this verse often; its words offer strength and comfort. Whether I'm up, down, or somewhere in between, it helps me keep a perspective and refocus as necessary. God is never far from us, and is always there to listen and to guide. Some days we may need to listen a bit harder, but He promises to speak to us and provide what we need. What a blessing and a privilege it is to have instruction and guidance all in the same package. :)

May your day be blessed!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Contest!

Susan Reinhardt is having another contest this week to celebrate her Blogoversary. This week she is offering a book by Brandilyn Collins, Violet Dawn. To enter, visit Susan's blog at:

You must leave a comment and include your email address in order to be eligible. Last day to enter is May 23, 2009.

Keeping at It

"Write every day" they say...Just exactly who are they? I guess they are all the experts who have gone before us, writing and publishing everything that we read.

Do you write every day? Or should I say, do you write something that applies to or furthers your writing every day? We can write each day, emails, on facebook, or whatever, and while they are not bad things or places to write, do they move us forward to our writing goals? Do they distract us from the real writing that we've been meaning to get to?

This is something that I've been thinking about lately, just in case you wanted to know:) And I've determined that I will be more diligent in this area. I always have numerous writing projects and ideas going. They are all here, either on my laptop or on my desk somewhere. When I set my mind to it and trust the Lord to help me focus and work toward the goals He's impressed upon me, I find I get a whole lot more writing done.

One thing that has helped me has been to take advantage of small pockets of time that would otherwise get wasted. If I have 20 minutes before dinner comes out of the oven, for example, and nothing else pressing to do, I make myself sit down and write a paragraph or two on that article I've been working on. Even when I feel as though I must force myself, once I sit down, words usually hit the keyboard more easily than I expect.

One writer I read about said in these instances she sets a timer and starts writing. The timer reminds her of whatever she must do next (lest she get swept away writing). She says that it helps her get a lot more writing done.

I also take a notebook with me when I have appointments, or think that I will have some empty time while out of the house waiting for something or someone. This has been helpful, and makes me feel more productive on those days when there's a lot of running around to do.

So how do you keep writing? What has helped you "Keep at It"? I'd love to hear about it, and may just use your ideas. If you don't mind of course.

Happy writing!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Someone asked me recently how I got started as a freelance writer. I cannot say that I feel as though I've arrived in the writing arena - no best selling novel or anything like that. Yet:) But I have learned a lot about writing over the years. And super famous or not, at least I can still go grocery shopping in relative anonymity without being swamped by the paparazzi, so I'm okay with where I'm at as a writer.

This friend's question reminded me of an article I wrote that appeared in the February 2009 Issue of TopNotch Writer. (This is an online Christian writer's newsletter. Subscribe by sending a blank email to:

Thought I'd share it with you today.

The Transition from Homeschool Mom to Freelance Writer

The reality of becoming a freelance writer struck me while taking a course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I enrolled at ICL while homeschooling my three children (then ages 10, 12, and 14). Up to my ears in the usual mom stuff, it was hard to see beyond day to day things. As I got further into the course, though, I knew that the next season of my life would include writing.

I didn’t formulate a specific plan, but rather followed ICL’s advice to write regularly, join a writer’s group, attend conferences, and continue learning the craft. Time was at a premium, but I squeezed in what I could. I was blessed to write our local homeschool group’s newsletter, contribute to the state homeschool network’s publications, and compose business letters for my self-employed husband. Talk about efficient multi-tasking; the Lord knew that these projects were relevant while providing valuable experience.

Over the years, I took other writing courses, including one that furnished my all time favorite piece of writing advice. This statement enabled me to envision where God was leading. What was the advice? “Call yourself a writer,” the instructor said. “If you are called to write, then He will guide and equip you,” she encouraged. This advice provided inspiration to stay focused, even in the midst of a busy life.

The transition from homeschool mom to freelance writer didn’t happen overnight or by using a formula. It was a process that developed from a God-given interest and ability. The key for me was allowing Him to guide me. I followed as He prepared, provided opportunities, and encouraged me. It amazes me how He orders each step, down to the smallest detail. It taught me that every moment of our lives has the potential for great things.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Social Networking

I joined Facebook this week. I must admit, I have mixed feelings about it. Of course, I've heard all the negatives about that kind of stuff, but I've also heard a lot of positive things too. Mostly though, my mixed feelings come from feeling like it is just one more thing to have to keep up with. But I decided to go for it anyway; I gave in and took the plunge.

I've already connected and exchanged notes with several friends that I haven't talked to in a long time, so that's a positive thing. And I can also see where I can network with other writers, too. So what do you think? Facebook - a good thing? Or not? Let me know your thoughts, success stories, and whatnot. And then tell me how to work a few more hours in the day to keep up with all of this stuff!

Now I must see if I can find a picture to post on there (and here, too I suppose!) that won't scare too many people away...

Happy writing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Claim of Her Own

I recently had the pleasure of reading one of Stephanie Grace Whitson's new books. It was a treat! Thought I'd share the review.

A Claim of Her Own

By Stephanie Grace Whitson
Genre - Christian Historical Fiction
Publisher - Bethany House Publishers

I thoroughly enjoyed Stephanie Grace Whitson’s story about Mattie O’Keefe and her life in Deadwood, South Dakota. Whitson's engaging tale brings the characters and landscape to life. Mattie’s brother Dillon is working a claim panning for gold; he and Mattie made plans to start a new life, far and away from the challenges of their past. Mattie is supposed to wait to join Dillon until his claim pays enough to support them both. Circumstances dictate Mattie’s hasty escape from her so-called home, and she sets out to find Dillon.

Eager to start a new life, Mattie is unprepared for what awaits her in Deadwood. She learns the hard way that finding gold in this untamed territory is no picnic. Wary of the kind people who befriend her, Mattie is slow to trust, especially when it comes to men. Despite her distrust of men, Mattie is intrigued by a street preacher by the name of Aron Gallagher. Gallagher preaches a gospel unlike any other that she’s heard. Mattie is determined not to fall for any religious platitudes, but Gallagher’s words and actions speak to her slowly softening heart. Unknown to Mattie, her past will soon find her in Deadwood, further testing what she’s made of. Using action, insight, and the great ability to tell a good story, Whitson provides an interesting slice of history through a hurting young woman’s eyes. Mattie's personal growth gives us all something to ponder.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Book Drawing

Susan Reinhardt is having another book drawing this week to continue to celebrate her Blogoversary month. Drawing will be held Sunday, May 17, so hurry on over to Susan's blog to check it out. Leave a comment and your email address and Susan will see that you are entered.

Happy reading and writing!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tools for "Always Learning"

Here are a few of the e-zines that I receive that serve as my "Always Learning" tools. These have been helpful, motivating, and inspirational, among other things. There are many more excellent resources out there, and I will share new ones as I come across them. These listed below are free, too. Who says good things aren't free? Happy writing!

To subscribe to one of my favorites, the Christian e-zine TopNotch Writer, send a blank email to:

Hope Clark has several great e-newsletters, one of which is called Funds For Writers. For more info, or to subscribe, visit

Another favorite of mine is Dan Case's Writing for Dollars. Subscribe by visiting this link:

Writing World is a good one that I came across recently, and it has had some helpful articles and tips. To sign up, visit:

Visit this site to sign up for Worldwide Freelance Writer, yet another source of great info:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Blogoversary

I'd never heard the term 'Blogoversary' until my friend Susan Reinhardt announced that it was her 'Blogoversary Month' for her blog. Susan is a wonderful writer who likes to help connect readers and writers.

So congrats Susan, what a fun accomplishment! Hop on over to her blog and celebrate with Susan - this month she is giving away books and hosting a special interview with author Julie Lessman:-)

Go ahead, check out her blog and leave a'll get you entered in her book giveaway and encourage Susan in her success. Keep up the good work, Susan!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Always Learning

I recently had a discussion with a new friend who also happens to be a writer. One thing that came up in our conversation was how many writers are pretty diligent about continuing their education. Perhaps not in the actual 'sitting in the classroom' sense, but by reading books and articles, attending conferences or workshops, subscribing to other writer's blogs or newsletters, or working with a writer's group.

I used to think that I needed to attend a big writer's conference or enroll in a writing course to continue my writing education. While these are excellent ways to boost a writing career, there are other, even less expensive ways to keep learning. I receive at least a half dozen free writing e-zines. They are packed with great articles, resources, links, markets, writing jobs, contests and more, and they have been a great blessing to me. I also have a small library of writing books, and am always on the lookout for others that will help challenge and polish my writing.

I think that the important thing to remember is that our educational background isn't as important as what we continue to learn to become better writers. In this way we move forward in our writing, can grow personally, and fulfill that wonderful calling God has for our lives.