After a couple of months of feeling like I’m treading water, forward progress on several fronts!
I have finished the rough draft of All Roads Lead Home and I hope to finish the edits on Monday. Then it goes to a professional editor before its publication in February.
I’m about 75% of the way through Praying Through the Bible in a Year.
And I’ve got a rough draft of a multi-book, contemporary romance proposal.
Ta da! I received a new contract for a cozy mystery novella called Nuts for Coffee, in The Coffee Club Mysteries, with Barbour Books, publication date undetermined.
My monthly column/article will now also be published in Pastor Resources. Praising the Lord!
Praising the Lord! Merry Christmas, everyone.
Cracked Ice is the second annual collection of short stories from Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers. It’s my privilege to be the guide and mentor. One of my challenges is coming up with a theme that authors from multiple genres will be inspired by.
Coming from New England by birth and Colorado by choice, I never quite feel like it’s Christmas in Oklahoma, where an icestorm is much more likely than snow. I spent one memorable holiday alone, with hotdogs and chocolate chip cookies for my feast.
Cracked Ice: What Happens When the Lights Go out? Includes seven stand alone short stories, from first-time in print authors to the experienced. The book is available in print for $6.99. The ebook only costs 99 cents.
“thoughtful and unusual”
“well written and fun to read”
About the book:
One December night, an ice storm blows through Oklahoma City, leaving thousands without power. Meet the residents of Primrose Apartments. Young, old, alone, in love, prey and predator. What happens when the lights go out?
LINDA’S YULETIDE LINKS by Darlene Franklin
Linda Turner doesn’t mind being homebound. Not as long as her aides arrive on time. Not as long as her life-sustaining machines keep running. But what happens an ice storm makes driving impossible, power unavailable–and her batteries run down?
SIBLINGS by Toni Chism
Matt and Harry have remained both brothers and friends their whole lives, strengthened by a boyhood vow to never let anything come between them. When an ice storm blows both frosty air and two beautiful women into their midst, will their vow hold to the very end?
EVER AFTER by Bill Garrison
Kim is starting life over in a new apartment with her three kids, when an intruder breaks in and threatens everything she holds dear. Survival may depend on the one thing she had given up on, her family.
VEILED IN ICE by Kat Lewis
My name is Celeste Ventris and there are two things I’m sure of. One, my wedding is tomorrow. And, two, I’m pretty certain there’s a thief in my apartment. Merry-freakin’-Christmas to me.
FOLLOWING AFTER by Sue Merriam
Nora Bitterman has just completed the perfect crime. Everything so well planned, she’ll never get caught – or will she?
BAD HAIR DAY by Shannon Pearson
Ashlee wonders if she will ever get married. An ice storm cancels their plans, is it the end of the line for her and Ryan?
BINARY by Chris Tarpley
Jacob has been free of his sadistic and wicked twin brother John for years. Now, John is coming to visit. With John and Jacob together again in the same small space, what will happen when the lights go out?
CRACKED ICE: What Happens When the Lights Go Out? is the second volume of short stories compiled by members of Oklahoma Christian Fiction Writers. Several authors appear in both Legacy Letters and Cracked Ice.
Today I’m happy to introduce Mary to you…
Suspense author M L Hamilton never let monsters under the bed bother her, but the man hiding in her closet kept her awake many a night. She never figured out who he was or how he managed to hide in her messy closet, but she has imagined all sorts of other scary situations since then that she hopes will turn into more mystery/suspense novels. Besides writing, she also enjoys knitting, spending time with family, and a little amateur photography. She and her husband live in Texas. You can connect with her here:
The Power of Words
Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Words—so innocent and powerless as they are as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
Recently, I’ve been impressed with the power of words. It’s easy to think they’re simply an arrangement of letters intended to convey a meaning. And sometimes, truly, that’s all they are. But other times…
Put them together the right way and they’ll have us wiping uncontrollable tears from our eyes. Rearrange them or use other words, and our sides will ache from laughing so hard. Still another sequence of words might make us look over our shoulder and check the locks on our doors. Words can incite hostility or soothe hurt feelings. Words can inspire or discourage, build up or tear down.
This shouldn’t surprise us. From the very beginning, according to Genesis, God created the heavens, the earth, the celestial bodies, plants and animals by speaking words. Later, the gospel of John calls Jesus the Word, and all the gospels record how Jesus’s words healed diseases and brought people back from the dead. John also tells us describes how Roman soldiers and temple guards came to arrest Jesus. He spoke two words—only two words that caused this crowd of armed military men to draw back and fall to the ground.
As writers, our job is to harness the power of words. Some may perform like workhorses plowing a field, while others sing and dance like fairies in a fantasy forest. Are you aware of the power of the words you write? It’s hard to imagine, especially when you’re facing a blank page. But know the power of your words, and use it wisely.
A field trip gone awry. A student gone missing.
Haunted by a teacher’s worst nightmare for more than a decade, Elaine finally stumbles across a vital clue—and discovers someone will do anything to keep the truth buried. When her life is threatened, she allows the one person she trusts to whisk her away to safety in Texas. But assuming a false identity and hiding among the quirky residents of a retirement home is not what she had in mind. Now Elaine must solve the mystery from afar, as soon as she figures out if her friend is keeping her from danger…or keeping her from the truth.
Buy link: amzn.com/0692972641
Today I’m happy to introduce Davalynn to you…
Davalynn Spencer writes heart-tugging, Western romance set along the Front Range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. She is the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters and a recipient of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction. A former journalist and crime-beat reporter, Davalynn lives in Colorado where she caters to Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley. Connect with her via her website at www.davalynnspencer.com.
Not every bit of writing advice is what you want to hear—or what you should follow.
Nine years ago, I thought I could write anything because I did so on a daily basis. As a reporter for my local newspaper, I covered courts, crime, and school board meetings, 4-H fairs, chili cook-offs, and fatal auto accidents. Whatever was out there I covered—like a shotgun.
And then I followed a dream trail that took me to my first fiction writers’ conference.
“What do you write,” asked the well-known, over-worked author who had agreed to meet with newbies one-on-one.
In other words, what kind of fiction did I write? I had no idea.
Contemporary or historical? Romance, suspense, or a combo? Christian, general market, children’s board books or middle-grade stories? Thrillers, cozy mysteries, horror, sci-fi, or fantasy?
Blinking in the glare of the author’s highly successful spotlight, I handed over a children’s story about a hen that crowed (because we actually had a hen that crowed). I didn’t mention the other two partial manuscripts I’d brought—a 30-day devotional book for women and a contemporary romantic-suspense about a gal in a beach-side bungalow who thought she was being stalked.
The weary author thumbed through the hen story, handed it back with pity-eye, and said, “It’s a little late. You should have started this years ago,” or something to that effect.
I said thank you and took my thick-skinned reporter’s attitude to the next workshop on the conference agenda.
That was nine published books ago.
Thank God I didn’t let that 15-minute interview squelch my dream. And thank God I learned how to focus my writing efforts.
I do so much better at hitting the target when I aim at it.
The complete collection under one cover: A preacher, a rancher, and a Colorado Ranger find and fight for the courageous women who make life in the Old West worth the struggle.
Links to purchase:
Forward progress: I’m at 150 of 365 prayers written Praying Through the Bible (Barbour, TBR Nov 2018) When I add in others I’ve started down the road, I’m over half-way through the rough draft.
Cracked Ice: What Happens When the Lights Go Out?, a short story collection from Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, should be released today. I’ll add the link as soon as I have it.
Woo hoo! I’ve also complete the rough draft of the first three chapters of a new full-length book proposal.
***UPDATE OF BOOK GIVEAWAY***
36 copies still available! The good news is, I received another box of copies of Daily Wisdom for Women 2018 Collection, so I’m to give away more copies of the devotional. Only 5 remained on Friday, so hurry while they’re still available
5 remaining copies of 2018 Daily Wisdom
12 remaining copies of Captive Brides
https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Mai-Order-Angels-Historical-ebook/dp/B07377M26S19 copies of any ebook that’s 99 cents.
Ho-ho-ho: All Christmas titles and collections from Forget Me Not Collections are available for 99 cents through the end of November, including the ones featured below.
That is, 12 chronological months, not calendar year.
So here is #1, just in time for Christmas shopping or for yourself, a perfect tool who want to get serious about their quiet time with God in 2018.
Daily Wisdom for Women is part of an ongoing year-long devotional series, with devotions aimed at specific holidays that take the reader from Genesis to Revelation over the course of a year. The picture doesn’t do justice to its beauty, the luxe feeling of its leather, the easy to follow pages.
I wrote the devotions for November (and, yes, for Thanksgiving).
One free book for every comment: Up to six copies of Daily Wisdom for Women, 19 copies of Captives Brides. If more than 25 people leave comments, 26+ may choose any of my ebooks that cost 99 cents up to a total of 50 total.
*One book per reader Unless you have a compelling reason for a giveaway copy for someone who doesn’t have internet access to comment on their own.*
Victory Dance! Last Monday a host of people joined me in waging war on heaven through prayer. I’ve been feeling quite ill and getting desperate to get my bipap repaired. Monday afternoon, helped arrived, the bipap was fixed, and I’m sleeping well again!
GOD! GOD! GOD!
That’s the big news this week. Every week, but I’m more aware of it today than usual.
In other news:
Forward progress: I’m at 125 of 365 prayers written and a third of the way through a book proposal.
Cracked Ice: What Happens When the Lights Go Out?, a short story collection from Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, is fixing to be released. We are finalizing the cover now.
Every writer has a different routine, but here’s what my usual day looks like except for Sunday:
6-9 AM Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, have my quiet time (which involves writing the prayer book). In no particular order.
9-1 Take care of the morning’s business (therapy, church, guests, etc.). Meet my daily writing goal. Eat lunch.
2-4:30 Keep up with the “when I can” stuff of writing: guest blogs, group projects, web material, finances, records, articles. Go to bed.
4:30 – ?? Eat dinner. Work on whatever I want, even if it’s nothing. 😊
MAPLE NOTCH ROMANCES: Eight Couples Find Love Over the Year Purchase here
I have completed 78 days of 365 for Prayer Through the Bible in a Year and written fifty-eight percent of All Roads Lead Home, my Harvey Girls/Charles Lindbergh story. I’m having fun traveling with my characters along the Santa Fe railroad line and visiting Harvey Houses from Waynoka to Los Angeles
I have a new widget on my website where I can add books. With over 100 books in my arsenal, it will take a lot of time to add them all but I’m going to start with my most current books. So check out My Book Table here
And below are a couple of my recent pictures.
Happy Mole Day tomorrow!
Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?
Learn more at Amazon
“What a wonderful Christian fiction story. Mac has recently lost his wife and is now raising his twin daughters, Pipin and Margil. They have an Apple orchard that Mac operates and the girls help with. The girls are attending an all girl school and one is doing better than the other. When the school teacher comes out to visit about the girl’s grades, how will Mac respond? This was a very good short story that I would recommend for even middle school aged kids. I really enjoyed this book.“
“This is a cute little novella. Light and refreshing story. Good historical Christian fiction. This is the first story by Darlene that I have read, I enjoyed it. This is the story of Ruby Nelson who gives up the job that she loves to go teach at an all girls school.”
“Ruby Nelson is the new teacher at an all girls school in 1895 Vermont. She enjoys teaching these young girls, even the challenging ones. There are twin girls, Pippin and Margil, in her class that have captured Ruby’s heart. The twins father, Mac Cortland, owns an apple orchard he and his deceased wife started years earlier. Ruby is very interested in the apple orchard as she has worked with apples before moving from New York. She also finds her heart drawn to Mac.
I enjoyed this novella very much. Loved the way Ruby and Mac interacted and the twins were delightful.”
Authors are always grateful for reviews and I appreciate every review I receive for one of my books. Thank you to these ladies for sharing their thoughts. Happy Reading, everyone!