Friday, August 31, 2007

Day One of M.L. Tyndall's Blog Tour!

Today it is my honor to host Day One of Marylu Tyndall's blog tour promoting her latest release: The Restitution.


I have loved this entire series, but this third book...well, it was my favorite of all. I am amazed at how Marylu transformed a character so realistically from one I wanted to throttle to one I rooted for. And the twists and turns this one took...so good!

Marylu has been gracious enough to stop by and answer some questions. Take a moment to read the interview, then get over to amazon.com and pick up a copy of The Restitution.

Welcome to On The Write Path. The readers of this blog know what a big fan I am of your work. I’m thrilled to have you stop by for a chat.

Thank you so much! ’Tis a grand pleasure to be here.

Congratulations on being named a Christy Award Finalist. Can you tell us a little about that experience?

First of all, I had no idea my publisher had submitted The Redemption for the Christy’s so it came as quite a shock when I was a final in the romance category. In fact stunned would be a better word. Going to the award ceremony was a big thrill for me. I felt like I as at the Oscars, surrounded by so many famous authors that I admired greatly. It was overwhelming. I had an absolute blast and I praise God for the opportunity.

I understand you were at the ICRS this summer. What were your impressions, and what, as an author, were your responsibilities?

I was only at the ICRS for the Christy Awards. I couldn’t stay any longer due to family obligations, but I did attend the prior year, and I’m telling you it was fabulous! I had more fun walking the floor, looking at all the great Christian merchandise that hadn’t even hit the market yet. Then, of course, all the authors signing free books! It was like heaven. As a new author last year, my publisher set up a book signing with three other authors—my very first one. I was petrified but it went great.

How do you balance the day-to-day, real-world demands on your time with the demands of writing fiction?

God first, family second, then my writing. It has to be that way, or my life will not be God honoring. When I’m not in the middle of a divine interruption, or dealing with a family issue, or doing laundry, cleaning, or cooking, I’m in my writing room, pounding the keys with my eyes closed as I envision a great sea battle in my head. It is amazing how much you can get done if you just grab every extra minute God gives you—and always pray before you start.

How has your family responded to your writing career?

Shocked would be the best word to describe it! You see I didn’t really try to write anything for publication until just three years ago, so I think they were as shocked as I was when my first novel got accepted. Now, they are just happy for me, proud in some ways, I suppose, but it’s been great for some of my family members—particular those who aren’t following the Lord right now—to see how He has worked miracle after miracle in my life.

I love your website. www.mltyndall.com Your author-voice is so evident in every aspect of the site. As a former software engineer, did you design it yourself?

As much as I’d love to take credit for it, no I didn’t. I wanted a really special site with cannons firing..etc, so I needed a professional. My software career was more of coding programs—very boring stuff, not web design. By the way, I highly recommend Stone Creek Media, the company who did the design.

What has been the reader reaction to The Restitution? Were they disappointed in not reading more of Charlisse and Merrick?

I have gotten a ton of mail from people who want to see more of Charlisse and Merrick! I never would have guessed what a big impact my characters would have made. Yet, at the same time, they tell me they loved The Restitution, some even more than the other two books. Now, I guess I need to write a sequel that involves Charlisse, Merrick, Kent, and Isabel!

Reviews, positive and negative, are a part of the writing business. How do you handle the highs of a complimentary review, and how do you deal with the lows of a less than stellar review?

This has definitely been one of the hardest parts of being an author. There will always be some people who for one reason or another, don’t like my writing, my stories, or my characters. I received one review on The Restitution that brought me to tears. On the flip side, a good review can cause me to get puffed up as well. What I’ve finally learned to do is give the glory to God whenever I get a great review, and try to find one thing I can improve in my writing when I get a bad one.

You must’ve done a terrific amount of research for The Legacy of the King’s Pirates series. What were some of your most helpful resources, and how much of what we see on “Pirates of the Caribbean” is authentic?

Books, books and more books. I read all I could about pirates until I felt like I was one! (Much to my family’s terror) I posted a list of the best ones on my website under Pirates for those who are interested. Plus I used the internet quite a bit—filled with great pirate information, and I watched movies. The Hornblower series, Master and Commander..etc… Love those tall ships!
Surprisingly, much of what you see in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies is factual—all except the curses and the fish people and the goddess of the sea and all that weird stuff.


Speaking of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” I couldn’t help but think when your initial pirate book The Redemption came out, how terrific God’s timing was. Tell us how you came to be writing a pirate series at a time when American pop culture would be clamoring for all things pirate.

That was a total God thing! And His timing is always perfect. When I began The Redemption, the first pirate movie had just come out. I had no intention of getting it published. I had some free time and God put on my heart to write. By the time The Redemption hit the market, the 2nd pirate movie was out, and now book 3, The Restitution has been released just two months after the 3rd movie. That kind of timing doesn’t come about unless God’s finger is upon it.

What project(s) do you have coming up? Will there be more books in this series, or are you branching out into something new?

I’m currently writing a novel, The Falcon and the Sparrow, set in London 1803 during the beginning of the Napoleonic wars. It’s an adventurous romance about a French spy and an Admiral in the British Navy. It will be released in September ’08. After that, I’m contracted for another three book series set in Charleston, SC in the early 1700’s—more tall ships, handsome captains, fearless heroines, and grand adventures upon the sea.

Any parting words for the aspiring novelists who drop by here?

Read. Read bestsellers, read novels that have won awards, read novels that you absolutely fell in love with and then pick them apart. Why did they win? Why do you love them? Is it the characters? The emotions? The plot? The scenery? The language? Is it they way you felt when you read it? Why did it make you feel that way? The best way to become a great writer is to figure out what makes a great book so great.

Thank you, Marylu, for visiting On the Write Path. And for all of you who haven’t read her books yet: Get Thee to Amazon.com post haste!


Thanks so much for having me! God bless you all!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Friday Five


This week's Friday Five:

My Five favorite cartoons or comic strips:

1. Looney Toons: The Barber of Seville and the Halloween Special still make me laugh.

2. Tom and Jerry. Love those.

3. Calvin and Hobbes (I'm such a Calvin)

4. Foxtrot (The Fantasy Football one is a Classic)

5. A tie between Zits and Baby Blues (Where I am and where I've been.)

How about you? Got any favorites?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Some Words of Advice

From Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, written to her by her mother, Caroline Lake Quiner Ingalls, November 15, 1881.

If wisdom's ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care:
Of whom you speak,
To whom you speak,
And why, and when, and where.


Or, in the words of CJ Kennedy, "Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut."

This Week From CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
THE DEAD WHISPER ON
(Bethany House July 1, 2007)
by
T. L. Hines

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tony is the author of the acclaimed Waking Lazarus. He has been an advertising agency owner/principal, a trade amgazine editor, and now a novelist. He has been a professional writer for more than 15 years with articles appearing in publications as varied as Log Homes, Conservative Theological Journal, and Travel & Leisure. He is also Creative Director at Montana's largest advertising agency. His long list of past odd jobs includes trimming Christmas trees, sorting seed potatoes, working the graveyard shift at a convenience store, and cleaning cadaver storage rooms. As a teen he was undefeated in air guitar competitions in which he performed songs by ZZ Top. He lives in Montana with his wife and daughter.
ABOUT THE BOOK: Would You Run Into A Burning Building? Candace "Canada Mac" MacHugh lives a ghost of her former life. Once a proud Butte, Montana, miner who daily risked her life setting explosives, she's now a garbage collector in her dying hometown. Her beloves father is dead, and she doesn't speak to her mom. More than anything, Candace Mac misses her father. He promised to contact her from the "other side" if he could...but it's been eleven long years. And now even her beloved city of Butte, Montana, seems to be dying off. Candace Mac is alone. Longing for the past. Dreaming of making a difference. Until one night when her father's voice speaks to her from the shadows. Bud MacHugh's trademark growl. The dead, it seems, have messages they hunger to share with the world...warnings of impending disasters and grave danger. Of cities doomed to burn. But they need Canada's help.
T.L. Hines' first novel, Waking Lazarus was named one of the Library Journal's Top 25 Genre novels of 2006. Now he's back with a gripping suspense that brings to light our fears and asks us if we still have the courage to fight for those around us. if we have the guts to be one of those who run into burning buildings.

"Chilling!" Publishers Weekly

"...a well-paced suspense populated by dynamic characters." Kirkus Discoveries

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Latest in Church Gear


Random thoughts gallop through my mind all the time. Occasionally, I grab hold of one that looks rather pithy and examine it. Here's one that I found during church yesterday. (Before the sermon, Kevin. :) )
Mrs. Gommels, the dear, sweet lady who always sits ahead of us in church, got up after the first hymn and went out. She soon returned with a bulletin. My first thought was, "If I'd known she needed one, I would've sent my son out to get one for her." In an aside, James loves handing out bulletins, and Mrs. Gommels is nearly eighty.
I have always maintained that one of the best things I could teach my children is that when you are at church and something needs doing, you should jump in and do it, whether it is vacuuming flood water, making coffee, or cutting up fruit. (See previous blogs) The random thought that galloped through was that I should dress my kids in SWAT or FBI shirts and blazon the word SERVANT across the back and breast pocket. That way they and everyone else would know, these kids are here to serve.
Then I had a "Well, DUH!" moment. And slightly convicting too. Shouldn't I be likewise attired? What would happen if I wore a SERVANT shirt? Would I be quicker to see needs and how I could help? Would I be more likely to jump in and do? Better yet, would my attitude about doing be better?
Further mulling of the thought (Still before the sermon, Kevin!) revealed that we ALL should be wearing that SERVANT shirt. It would revolutionize our ministries if we all shouted from the rooftops that we were servants, then girded our loins with a towel and knelt down to wash each other's stinky feet.
And it ain't just for Sunday, neither! All this week, though my shirt will probably be red (I love wearing red t-shirts) I'm going to imagine that it is navy blue with bold yellow letters: SERVANT. How about you? Are you willing to don the gear and serve others?

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Friday Five


This week's Friday Five is:

Five things in my purse:
1. Minnesota State Historical Society Membership Card.
2. Pencil for doing crossword puzzles.
3. Chapstick.
4. Library Card (gotta have!)
5. Gum. Peppermint preferably, but I'll take anything in a pinch. I LOVE to chew gum.
What's in your wallet? Or Purse, or handbag, or TOTE (That one was for you, G!)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Middle Name Meme

Found this Meme on Sally Bradley's Blog.

The Rules:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.

4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

My middle name is Dawn.

D-Decisive. For good or bad, I can make up my mind and stick to it.

A-Always Laughing. I don't know why, but most everything in life strikes me as funny in some way or other. I laugh all the time.

W-Witty...at least I crack myself up...but that might be a direct correlation to the letter A above.

N-Never Late. Well, maybe not never, but rarely. I despise being late.

I tag Georgiana, Kaye, Donna and Kevin. (I'd tag CJ, but she keeps the middle name a secret.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This Week From CFBA



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
THE VOID
(Multnomah Fiction August 21, 2007)
by
Mark Mynheir


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Mynheir is a cop writer. He has authored Rolling Thunder (The Truth Chasers Book One) and From the Belly of the Dragon (The Truth Chasers Book Two).


During his career as a police officer, Mark has worked as a narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. team member, and a homicide detective. Mark and his wife, Lori, live with their three children in central Florida.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Truth Chasers Book Three

Someone’s trying to play God…and he’s turning Palm Bay into hell. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Robbie Sanchez devotes her life to crime prevention, and it shows: She has no personal life and doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. After all, someone has to be around to clean up the mess crime leaves behind. So when Officer Brad Worthington is brutally murdered, Agent Sanchez is called to the scene along with Brad’s best friend, Detective Eric Casey. The two turn to Lifetex, the genetics lab near the scene, hoping their elaborate security system might have captured the crime outside. But what’s going on inside the lab is far worse: a renegade scientist is cloning humans! As Robbie and Eric pursue clues–and a growing attraction–they are caught in a deadly battle as the clones begin to act on their own volition…but this battle threatens to claim more than human life; the clones are vying for human souls.

The Void is nothing short of a page-turner. Mynheir is truly hitting his stride as one of our industry's most notable Christian novelists. This latest book has it all: suspense, humor, intrigue, realistic police action, and one thought-provoking story line. Creston Mapes, Author of Nobody
MY REVIEW: First, I have to say, this book grabbed my interest right away. The premise and the questions it raises are so intriging. And the good guys are good guys without being perfect, and the bad guys are bad guys who meet an appropriate end. The thread of redemption is woven through the book, and God's power to save and change a life is beautifully displayed.
I had the honor to meet Mark Mynheir at the 2006 Florida Christian Writer's Conference. He's a terrific writer who is able to teach and willing to learn. Though he was on the faculty of the conference, he sat in on the same continuing ed class I did with the marvelous teacher Angela Hunt. It was a true witness to his character that even though he was an accomplished author himself, he was humble enough to listen, ask questions, take notes, and learn with the rest of us. Oh, and he also shared what he knew with those who weren't as far along the journey as he. That testimony made me leap at the chance to read one of his books when I was offered one, even though it wasn't in a genre I normally enjoy. I guess it goes to show that in this case marketing was best accomplished by being a good servant to others and having a good testimony.
I heartily recommend this book.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away



This is the beautiful little town of Rushford, Minnesota, taken from Lookout Point in Fillmore County. Over the past few days, we've received almost seventeen inches of rain.

Sadly, the deathtoll from these floods continues to rise. It is approaching the number of those who died in the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis earlier this month.

Ironically, three weeks ago, we were in a severe drought, corn curling up, ground cracking, blazing heat.

Sometimes I think God uses these displays to remind us that we are not in control. In one night, we went from drought to flood, the mighty power of the water carrying away houses, cars, roads, bridges, anything in its path. And as mighty as that water was, it is nothing compared to the power of God.

I am reminded of a Bible verse. Proverbs 21.1. The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turneth it whithersover He will.

God is mighty enough to change water in its course, to send the rain or withhold it, and He is even mighty enough to change a heart.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

And the winner is....


Linda! Congratulations! Expect a book from Glass Road Publications in the near future. Thank you to everyone who entered. We'll be doing another drawing very soon.


Friday, August 17, 2007

I love my son



Today I made an appointment to get my hair cut. And it is all my son's fault.
Yesterday my eleven-year-old boy James came to me wearing one of those 'friends-would-tell-friends-this-kind-of-thing' looks and said, "Mom, your hair is getting kind of...(Insert pause while he wonders how to say this without me killing him.)...big."
Since I was already feeling like Simba...I was online making an appointment as soon as possible.
Kids, gotta love them.

The Friday Five



This week's Friday Five is a result of the crit group looking for a place to eat on the night before the conference:
Favorite Appetizers at Favorite Restaurants:
1 Crispy Fried Green Beans from TGI Friday's
2. Chili con Queso from Carlos O'Kelly's
3. Fried Mozzerella sticks from Applebee's
4. Onion Ring Stack from The Smokestack (in Kansas City)
5. Egg rolls from China Star
How about you? Got a favorite?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Dachshunds, Wedding Cake and… a Missing Groom?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Take one heavily-charged laptop. Add a crazed mystery writer, two disobedient dachshunds, one frantic mother of the bride, a worried bride-to-be, and one missing groom. What have you got? GONE WITH THE GROOM—the latest cozy mystery from Texas author Janice Thompson. Three times over a “mother-of-the-bride,” Thompson knows what it's like to be in wedding-planning mode. She’s coordinated a host of ceremonies and receptions over the years. Need a Cinderella-themed June extravaganza? No problem; Thompson’s done it! Looking for a Cupid-driven Valentine’s Day spectacular? Not a problem! Thompson has coordinated one of those, too! Have your heart set on a Hawaiian ceremony and reception, complete with roasted pig? Thompson has walked that road, too. In fact, there are few things about weddings that she doesn’t know.

So, what’s a bleary-eyed mother of the bride to do when she’s got that much wedding experience under her belt, but no money left to plan ahead for daughter #4? If you’re a mystery author like Thompson, it’s a given. You write about it! Capitalizing on her wacky wedding-related experiences, Thompson pours her “Bless Your Southern Heart!” expertise into a series of mysteries called "The Bridal Mayhem" series (Barbour Publishing). Her first novel in the series, THE WEDDING CAPER (Barbour Publishing) released last fall! Now, with the release of GONE WITH THE GROOM, Thompson reminds readers that weddings are the perfect setting for fun-loving “who-dunnits.”

ABOUT THE BOOK: The best laid plans of brides and men go awry when Annie Peterson's future son-in-law Scott disappears. Have pre-wedding jitters caused Brandi's fiancé to take flight, or are more sinister forces at work? Surely Annie can solve the riddle. But who could be behind this apparent kidnapping caper? Maybe the drug company Scott works for has hidden motives. Perhaps it's the handiwork of Otis, Scott's deceitful dad. But then again it could be the shady wedding photographer, or the "political enemies" of Scott's mother. Will Annie solve the mystery and recover the missing groom, or will she suffer "regrets only"?

READER RESPONSE: According to reviewer Lacy Williams, “Thompson's gentle sense of humor permeates this novel and ties into southern references including Annie's mother, who serves grits for breakfast every morning. This reader found herself laughing aloud more than once. A charming cast of characters is handled deftly by Thompson, who manages the whole passel with style and shows how a supportive family can band together in hard times. Between witty dialogue and fast action sequences, this novel kept my attention until the very (happy) end.”
Copies of GONE WITH THE GROOM and THE WEDDING CAPER are available at Christian bookstores, Barnes and Noble, and a host of other stores that carry inspirational fiction. Readers can also find copies online at: http://www.christianbook.com/, http://www.amazon.com/, and http://www.janiceathompson.com/.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Award-winning novelist Janice Thompson is an inspirational author of over twenty books - everything from inspirational romances to historical novels, to non-fiction books. She lives in The Woodlands, Texas with two very mischievous dachshunds (Sasha and Copper) who play a major role in her stories.

Leave a comment on this blog entry and enter to win a copy of this book, courtesy of Glass Roads Public Relations and On the Write Path. Winner to be announced on Saturday, so hurry!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This Week From CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
OFF THE RECORD
(Zondervan August 15, 2007)
by
Elizabeth White

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beth White is the author of Fireworks and Fair Game, as well as the critically acclaimed Texas Gatekeepers serie from Love Inspired Suspense.In her own words, she appreciate her most valued roles as wife and mom. Beth is also a second-grade Sunday school teacher, church orchestra member (She plays flute), and artist. She loves to read, crochet, sew, go on mission trips and avoid housework.Beth lives in Mobile with her minister husband, and is currently on staff at First Baptist Church of North Mobile (fondly known as NoMo), in Saraland, Alabama.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Ambition is on a collision course with a secret from the past. Judge Laurel Kincade, a rising political star, is announcing her candidacy for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Her aristocratic Old South family, led by her judge grandfather, beams as she takes the podium. Then her eyes light on a reporter in the crowd…and suddenly her past becomes a threat to her future. Journalist Cole McGaughan, religion reporter for the New York Daily Journal, has received an intriguing call from an old friend. Private investigator Matt Hogan has come across a tip…that Laurel's impeccable reputation might be a facade. Matt suggests that Cole dig up the dirt on the lovely judge in order to snag his dream job as one of the Journal's elite political reporters. There's just one problem: Cole's history is entangled with Laurel's, and he must decide if the story that could make his career is worth the price he'd have to pay. A sensational scoop becomes a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Can Laurel and Cole find forgiveness and turn their hidden past into a hopeful future...while keeping their feelings off the record?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

How High Is Too High?

This weekend, I got the crits back on the first third of The Bartered Bride. The results were pretty good. Mostly ticky-tack things to change. (I'm sure my lovely crit partners are smacking their heads over my ancient views on the serial comma.) There is one scene I need to stick in from the hero's POV, which will smooth things to come later in the story, and I'm wondering why I didn't see it myself before.

I'm pretty high on this book. I've checked the publisher's guidelines a ton of times, and this is what they publish, the right length, the right subject matter, even the right era and location. I've gotten good, positive feedback from my crit partners and two friends who have read it. I love the characters, the conflict, and the conclusion of the book. (How's that for alliteration?) I love the proposal packet, the one sheet, and if I can get it down, I'll love the 'pitch' too.

What it boils down to is: If nothing comes of this book, I'm going to be so disappointed. I'm trying to be realistic about it, to remind myself that lots of really good books go unpublished every year, that no one is obligated to put this book into print, and most of all, that God's timing is perfect. He has a plan for me and my writing, and I must trust Him with the outcome. If He wants this story in print, it will happen.

So how high is too high? I don't know. What I hope is that my kite doesn't wind up like Charlie Brown's all tangled in a tree somewhere.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Five


I'm a huge fan of western movies, so today's Friday Five is a list of my favorite Westerns!
1. Tombstone (Kurt Russell)
2. Rio Bravo (John Wayne)
3. Eldorado (John Wayne)
4. Shenendoah (Jimmy Stewart-I cry every time!)
5. Big Jake/McClintock (John Wayne-I can't choose between them)
YIKES: Edit here. I'm adding Silvarado. I can't believe I forgot that one. I've seen it about a million times.
Do you have a favorite genre and do you have a favorite movie?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

CONGRATULATIONS TO GEORGIANA!!!!!!

Celebrate with me!! My friend and crit partner Georgiana Daniels has sold her first novel!!!

Table for One (tentative title) is being brought out by:

Stop by Georgiana's blog and congratulate her.
I'm doing the happy dance for you, G-. Thrilled to death!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This Week From CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
AND IF I DIE
(Faithwords August 2007)
by
John Aubrey Anderson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John grew up in Mississippi cotton country. After graduating from Mississippi State, he received an Air Force commission and has recently retired after flying twenty-eight years for a major airline. He lives in Texas with his wife, Nan.

ABOUT THE BOOK:AND IF I DIE is the third book in the Black and White Chronicles. The first was Abiding Darkness (August, 2006), the second was Wedgewood Grey (February, 2007).In 1945, a spirit voice told Mr. A. J. Mason to “Be ready.”In 1960, the spirit drew near and said the same words to the same man. “Be ready.”On both occasions Mason ended up in bloody battles with the forces of evil. On both occasions, he saved the life of a young girl named Missy Parker. And on both occasions good people died.It’s 1968.Missy Parker has been married to Dr. Patrick Patterson for nine years; they live in Denton, Texas. Missy plays tennis and golf; Pat is chairman of the philosophy department at North Texas State University.Mose Washington, a black man Missy refers to as her almost-daddy, is hiding behind a new name—Mose Mann. Mose and the young black man who poses as his grandson have spent eight years successfully evading the FBI, a murderous congresswoman, and creatures from the demonic realm. They now live in Pilot Hill, Texas—fifteen miles from Pat and Missy. Mose is committing the autumn of his life to the pursuit of the knowledge of God and the protection of his “grandson”. His “grandson” is interested in honing his skills as a bull rider.Close friends see portents of danger in events of the early summer and converge on Pilot Hill to warn the two black men that yet another confrontation with malevolent beings may be looming.In the pre-dawn hours, on the second day of the North Texas Rodeo, the voice of an invisible being speaks to Missy Parker Patterson. The voice warns her that it is now she, not A. J. Mason, who has been chosen as the person who needs to “Be ready” . . . and Missy doesn’t want the job.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Trials and Errors


I am no artist. I don't have an eye for color. I know I like red. That's about it. So when I sat down to design (Ha! What a lofty word for it.) a 'one sheet' for my novel Drums of the North Star, I felt overwhelmed.
The past two days, I've downloaded templates, deleted boxes, inserted text, and uploaded pictures until my eyes are crossed. In fact, the first picture I tried to upload was so big it covered the entire page of text. I wanted to cry.
But when I finished the page, I was so proud. Look, the words were in the boxes. My headshot was a thumbnail instead of an 8x10, and I had even managed to get everything I wanted onto the sheet without the font being microscopic.
Then I sent the page to my friend who is a graphic artist. I wanted to hear 'atta girl' and 'It looks great. I bet they offer you a contract right there!' What I got was...well, the truth.
Hideous YELLOW isn't the right color for a one sheet. (I didn't even know I could change the background color at the time. I've since learned.) And that honkin' big black box with the white text is a real turn-off. It overpowers what I want to say.
I tell you, it was like getting a critique on your bestest ever first draft of your first novel that everyone is going to love to pieces and clamor for. And you find out your baby's ugly.
Well, never let it be said that I was daunted. Today I went back to the drawing board and found a template that I really love. I worked all afternoon on getting it together for a one sheet of The Bartered Bride. I knocked out a proposal packet as well. (Including a dreaded chapter by chapter synopsis...blech!)
Tomorrow, I burn the hideous yellow one sheet and fit Drums out with the same template as today.
Thank you, CJ, for telling me the truth and helping me. Crits can sting, but they are for my own good.
And pray for Kaye. She's down with back pain. :( We want her all healed up and feeling feisty for the conference in just over a month. EEEK!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The First Day of School


Today was our first day of school. Sixth Grade is under control. We remembered things we learned in previous years and we (James) Loves his new typing program.
Tenth grade. A couple of hiccups. (You're reading the work of a woman who forgot to order the teacher's curriculum for Grammar, Science, and History. Fortunately, I'm familiar with our curriculum and was able to 'wing it'. The books are ordered and should be here within the week.) Also, we loaded on Rosetta Stone German. Heather whizzed through the first lesson and scored a 100% on the first test. However, we don't exactly know where to go from here. The program keeps taking us back to the first lesson. We can't seem to get past lesson one. I'm reading the literature, and we'll attack it again tomorrow.
One day down, 169 more to go! :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Friday Five


This week's Friday Five is:
Five great things about starting school this Monday:
1. We have been out of school three months and we miss it a bit.
2. New pencils.
3. We get our routine back!
4. Really cool classes this year like Biology and German.
5. Book Reports!!!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

This Week From CFBA




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robin is the author of over fifty novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by Library Journal. Winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Robin, who is also one of our CFBA members, lives in Boise, Idaho.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Discouraged and destitute, her dreams shattered, Roxy Burke is going home. But what lies beyond the front door?Rejection...or a bright future?

A lot has changed since Roxy Burke escaped small town life to become a Nashville star. Her former boyfriend Wyatt has found Christ and plans to become a minister. Her sister Elena, who comforted Wyatt when Roxy ran away, is now his fiancee. Her father Jonathan, a successful businessman, is heartbroken over the estrangement of Roxy from the family.
Now Roxy...her inheritance from her grandmother squandered, her hopes of stardom dashed...finds her way home...not by choice but because it's her only option. Her father's love and forgiveness surprise her, but her very presence throws the contented Burke family into turmoil, filling Roxy with guilt and shame.

Elena is shocked to discover doubt and resentment in her heart after her father's easy acceptance of Roxy into the family circle. Wyatt wrestles with doubts about marrying Elena. And Roxy struggles to accept forgiveness. Isn't she more deserving of rejection? As the story of the prodigal plays out, each member of the Burke family must search for and accept God's grace.
My Review:
I found myself identifying so much with Elena. Her reactions were realistic, her struggles true-to-life. I found myself cheering for her all the way through the book. It also made me take another look at the parable of the Prodigal Son. I've been the prodigal at times, and I've been the sibling. How did my reactions compare to what happened in the parable, and how should they have compared? Return to Me is a book that will make you examine your heart, and you just might find some stuff to change.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Reading


Whew! Two days and 173 pages. The first read-through of The Bartered Bride is completed. With blue Bic Crystal pen in hand, I read all twenty-five chapters and an epilogue aloud to my patient and encouraging daughter. She crocheted on her special project for gramma while I read aloud and made pencil (pen) edits to the manuscript.
I found a couple of style notes. The hero's brother had green eyes in one scene and blue in another. The secret meeting was in the Cassell building, then suddenly shifted to the Brooke Building in the following chapter. Little things.
My main concern is my spiritual thread throughout the book. It gains momentum as you read along and I'm concerned that it isn't evident enough up front. I'll be asking the crit girls to evaluate that as they read.
This was a really fun book, 50K words knocked out in 5 weeks. Not bad, says I.
What's the fastest you've ever completed a first draft?