Monday, March 31, 2008

God's Grace

Last Friday was my daughter’s birthday. It wasn’t the first one we’d spent apart from each other, but it was the first with her so far away. And while I tried to get a package to her on time, it didn’t. (I’ll have to plan earlier next year. . .maybe. Sigh.)

In one of our several conversations that day, I mentioned that I had especially appreciated and needed the reading in one of my devotionals, Daily Light. I added that it meant even more because it was the reading for her birthday. Knowing that I’ve read daily in this devotional since she was a young child, she laughed and said, “Mom, it’s the same reading every year.”

I know it is. But isn’t it so good of God to bring me to a place where I need this same reading year after year and it still seems fresh and new?

Yesterday my brother said something about this year turning into a “marathon blur.” What a perfect way to describe my year, too! I’m still facing an incredible work load right now, but I’m experiencing more peace than I ever can remember when faced with similar circumstances. The verses I read Friday and the song (below) that kept repeating itself all day and even into this week have kept me focused on my Lord not on my circumstances.

God is indeed so good and so faithful.

“Be strong and courageous.”

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?—He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted, but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.—My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
If God is for us, who can be against us?—The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?—Through you we push down our foes; through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.—We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
“Arise and work! The LORD be with you!”

Josh. 1:18, Psalm 27:1, Isa. 40:29–31, Psalm 73:26, Rom. 8:31, Psalm 118:6, Psalm 44:5, Rom. 8:37, 1 Chron. 22:16

Carolyn Hamlyn
Click here to listen to the first verse and chorus

Lord, as I seek your guidance for the day,
I find my thoughts unyielding: confusion clouds my way,
But, then when I bow to you, the challenges you guide me through,
Your promises are ever new: I claim them for today.

Your will cannot lead me where your grace will keep me.
Your hand will protect me: I rest in your care.
Your eyes will watch over me: Your love will forgive me.
And when I am faltering, I still will find you there.

Each new day’s design is guided by your hand,
And graciously revealed as I seek your Master plan.
Keep my footsteps faithful when from you I go.
Return me to the joy that your blessings can bestow.

Your will cannot lead me where your grace will keep me.
Your hand will protect me: I rest in your care.
Your eyes will watch over me: Your love will forgive me.
And when I am faltering, I still will find you there.

Daily Bible reading: Tuesday, April 1—Proverbs 25–26; Hebrews 3
Wednesday, April 2—Proverbs 27–29; Hebrews 4
Thursday, April 3—Proverbs 30–31; Hebrews 5
Friday, April 4—Leviticus 1–3; Hebrews 6
Saturday, April 5—Leviticus 4–5; Hebrews 7
Sunday, April 6—Leviticus 6–7; Hebrews 8
Monday, April 7—Leviticus 8-–10; Hebrews 9

Friday, March 28, 2008

Betrayed by J. M. Windle

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Tyndale House Publishers (February 6, 2008)


Jeanette Windle


As the child of missionary parents, award-winning author and journalist Jeanette Windle grew up in the rural villages, jungles, and mountains of Colombia, now guerrilla hot zones. Her detailed research and writing is so realistic that it has prompted government agencies to question her to determine if she has received classified information. Currently based in Lancaster, PA, Jeanette has lived in six countries and traveled in more than twenty. She has more than a dozen books in print, including political/suspense best-seller CrossFire and the Parker Twins series.


Fires smolder endlessly below the dangerous surface of Guatemala City’s municipal dump.

Deadlier fires seethe beneath the tenuous calm of a nation recovering from brutal civil war. Anthropologist Vicki Andrews is researching Guatemala’s “garbage people” when she stumbles across a human body. Curiosity turns to horror as she uncovers no stranger, but an American environmentalist—Vicki’s only sister, Holly.

With authorities dismissing the death as another street crime, Vicki begins tracing Holly’s last steps, a pilgrimage leading from slum squalor to the breathtaking and endangered cloud forests of the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere. But every unraveled thread raises more questions. What betrayal connects Holly’s murder, the recent massacre of a Mayan village, and the long-ago deaths of Vicki’s own parents?

Nor is Vicki the only one demanding answers. Before her search reaches its startling end, the conflagration has spilled across international borders to threaten an American administration and the current war on terror. With no one turning out to be who they’d seemed, who can Vicki trust and who should she fear?

A politically relevant tale of international intrigue and God’s redemptive beauty and hope.

I met Jeanette last year at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. I'm looking forward to reading this book, but time hasn't allowed me that pleasure. So my review will come later.

As my sister surmised in a family e-mail she sent earlier this week in which she referred to my blog, I'm still buried under all sorts of deadlines. Hopefully I can dig out sometime next week. *smile* God is still good!

Monday, March 24, 2008

For Pete's Sake by Linda Windsor

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

For Pete's Sake

Book Two of the Piper Cove Chronicles

(Avon Inspire - April 1, 2008)


Linda Windsor


Maryland author Linda Windsor has written some twenty-nine historical and contemporary novels for both the secular and inspirational markets, but she is most noted for delivering “The Lift of Laughter and Spirit” in her modern inspirational romances.

A Christy finalist and winner of numerous industry awards, Linda has written for Multnomah Publishing (historical fiction and contemporary romances), Barbour Publishing (romcom novella), and Westbow Press (the Moonstruck romantic comedy trilogy). Wedding Bell Blues the first book in her new The Piper Cove Chronicles series, is featured on Avon Inspire's launch list.

In addition to writing and doing fiction-writing workshops at conferences across the country, Linda continues a music and lay speaking ministry started by her and her late husband, and she is a part-time financial analyst. She also works on “as desperately needed” home improvement projects on the 18th-century-plus house that she and her husband began restoring in 1986. Wallpaper and paint are definitely in her near future.


Saturday, April 5th, 2008
Jack's Religious Gift Shop
701 Snow Hill Road
Salisbury, MD 21804

Saturday, April 12, 2008
The Gospel Shop
800 South Salisbury Blvd
Salisbury, MD 21801
11:00 AM


For Pete's Sake is a remarkable story about the unlikely live between a grown-up tomboy and the millionaire next door.

Ellen Brittingham isn’t sure true live exists until she contracts to do the landscaping of the estate of the sophisticated widower next door, Adrian Sinclair. Adrian has it all—at least on the surface. He’s engaged to a beautiful woman who helped him build a successful business and he’ll soon have a mom for his troubled son Pete.

Yet, from the moment Ellen rescues a stranded Adrian on her Harley, his well-ordered world turns upside down, cracking his thin facade of happiness and revealing the void of faith and love behind it. Even more, his son seems to have his own sights set on Ellen – as his new mom.

As Ellen’s friendship grows with Pete, she realizes that his father is about to marry the wrong woman for the right reasons. And despite her resolve to remain “neighbors only” with the dad, the precocious boy works his way into her heart, drawing Ellen and Adrian closer. Close enough for heartbreak, for Pete’s sake!

But how can her heart think that Adrian Sinclair is the one when he’s engaged to a sophisticated beauty who is everything Ellen isn’t? When Ellen’s three best friends see she’s been bitten by the love bug, they jump into action and submit her to a makeover that reveals the woman underneath her rough exterior and puts her in contention for Adrian’s love.

But Ellen must ask herself whether she’s ready to risk the heart that she’s always held close. Will Ellen be able to trust that God brought this family into her life for a reason? Or will her fear of getting hurt cause her to turn away from God’s plan and her one true chance at love?

Daily Bible reading: Tuesday, March 25—Proverbs 6–7; 1 Corinthians 15:29–58
Wednesday, March 26—Proverbs 8–9; 1 Corinthians 16
Thursday, March 27—Proverbs 10–12; Titus 1
Friday, March 28—Proverbs 13–15; Titus 2
Saturday, March 29—Proverbs 16–18; Titus 3
Sunday, March 30—Proverbs 19–21; Hebrews 1
Monday, March 31—Proverbs 22–24; Hebrews 2

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

WaterBrook Press (March 18, 2008)


Andrew Peterson

Author/Singer/Songwriter Andrew Peterson, a 2005 Audie Award finalist for his readings of Ray Blackston’s Flabbergasted trilogy, wrote and produced the popular Christmas play and musical Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tale of the Coming of the Christ, and the album by the same name, which received the 2004 Best Album of the Year, World Christian Music’s Editors Choice Award. Andrew’s received critical acclaim for his seven albums and is at work on an eighth. He lives with his wife Jamie and their three young children near Nashville, Tennessee, where he reads storybooks aloud to his family each evening.

Artist Justin Gerard has illustrated several children’s books, including The Lightlings storybooks for young readers by R.C. Sproul. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina, and works as the chief creative officer for Portland Studios.

Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice and pursue the Igibys who hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

Andrew Peterson spins a quirky and riveting tale of the Igibys’ extraordinary journey from Glipwood’s Dragon Day Festival and a secret hidden in the Books and Crannies Bookstore, past the terrifying Black Carriage, clutches of the horned hounds and loathsome toothy cows surrounding AnkleJelly Manor, through the Glipwood Forest and mysterious treehouse of Peet the Sock Man (known for a little softshoe and wearing tattered socks on his hands and arms), to the very edge of the Ice Prairies.

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness presents a world of wonder and a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to discuss for its layers of meaning about life’s true treasure and tangle of the beautiful and horrible, temporal and eternal, and good and bad.

“So good–smart, funny, as full of ideas as action.”
Jonathan Rogers, author of The Wilderking Trilogy

“A wildly imaginative, wonderfully irreverent epic that shines with wit and wisdom–and features excellent instructions on how to cope with Thwaps, Fangs, and the occasional Toothy Cow.”

Allan Heinberg, writer/co-executive producer of ABC’s Grey's Anatomy, and co-creator of Marvel Comics Young Avengers

“Totally fun! Andrew Peterson, a natural storyteller in the oral tradition, has nailed the voice needed to translate a rip-roaring fantasy tale to the written page.”

Donita K. Paul, author of DragonSpell, DragonKnight, DragonQuest, and DragonFire

Monday, March 17, 2008


Lately in my proofreading and editing, I've seen quite a few uses of homonyms where the author chose the wrong word, completely changing the meaning of the sentence. Even in published books, where the editing process obviously didn't pick up on them.

What is a homonym? Simply stated, homonyms are words that sound alike, but have different spellings and meanings. Two very common ones are your, you're, yore and there, their, they're.

I'll discuss these and others in the next few posts. In the meantime, here's a great Web site for determining which word to use when faced with a homonym: Alan Cooper's All about Homonyms.

I'm still really busy this week, so blogging here will be sporadic again. Hopefully it will settle down by the end of the week.

Daily Bible reading: Tuesday, March 18—Job 32–33; 1 Corinthians 11:1–16
Wednesday, March 19—Job 34–35; 1 Corinthians 11:17–34
Thursday, March 20—Job 36–37; 1 Corinthians 12
Friday, March 21—Job 38–40; 1 Corinthians 13
Saturday, March 22—Job 41–42; 1 Corinthians 14:1–20
Sunday, March 23—Proverbs 1–2; 1 Corinthians 14:21–40
Monday, March 24—Proverbs 3–5; 1 Corinthians 15:1–28

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sweet Caroline
(Thomas Nelson February 12, 2008


Rachel Hauck


I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.

But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.

After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.

But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.

I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.

Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.

I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.

In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.

With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.

Rachel has several other books that have been received with great praise, including Diva Nash Vegas and Lost In Nash Vegas

You can purchase copies of Rachel's books, signed personally for you,
at this site: Signed by the


When a Southern waitress inherits the Lowcountry cafe where she works, she suddenly has to balance more than just her next food order.

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.

Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.

But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Perfect Life

Thomas Nelson (February 5, 2008)


Robin Lee Hatcher

Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.

She also likes to blog. Go leave her a comment at Write Thinking!


Katherine Clarkson has the perfect life. Married to Brad, a loving and handsome husband, respected in their church and the community. Two grown daughters on the verge of starting families of their own. A thriving ministry. Good friends. A comfortable life.

She has it all--until the day a reporter appears with shocking allegations. Splashed across the local news are accusations of Brad's financial impropriety at his foundation and worse, an affair with a former employee. Without warning, Katherine's marriage is shattered and her family torn apart. The reassuring words she's spoken to many brokenhearted women over the years offer little comfort now.

Her world spinning, Katherine wonders if she can find the truth in the chaos that consumes her. How can she survive the loss of what she thought was the perfect life?

Margie's comments: This is another book I had the privilege to proofread for Thomas Nelson. Most of us would say there's no such thing as a perfect life. And on this earth that's true. But many of us also have experienced the feeling that life can't get much better than this. So we can relate to Katherine in this book. There were times while reading the book that I wanted to yell, "Would you please grow up? Now!" But if she had listened to me (yes, I know she's a fictional character ), she wouldn't have learned the lessons God had for her in the loss of her "perfect life." A good read.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dying to Self

This morning I had to say no to a lunch given in honor of a friend's birthday. I don't see my friend that often, and I was really looking forward to going—even though it's down in Highland's Ranch (on the south side of Denver, about 40 miles from where I live on the north side.) In fact, I was looking forward to seeing many of my friends who live down there. Obviously I don't see them that often.

But almost the very first thought I had this morning as I picked up my Bible for my daily time with the Lord was, "Don't go." Yes, I argued (really not a good idea, especially since the thought obviously came from the Lord, evidenced by scripture He gave me this morning and the excerpt below).

You see, I was planning to go even though I have a writing deadline on Friday (which is only about 1/3 completed) and four proofreading/editing deadlines spread out over Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. And I have our chapter meeting for ACFW tonight. Okay, what has to give? Well, at this point, my desires and pleasures have to take a backseat in order to accomplish what the Lord has given me to do. And no matter how I tried to justify this lunch (after all, it's with writer friends, the talk will inevitably lead to writing. That's a good thing, right?), it didn't work.

Then, this morning, I was checking the care page set up for my friend Sally who is battling colon cancer, uterine cancer, and related problems, her husband, Scott, had posted this excerpt from The Calvary Road, an excellent practical Christian living classic:

"...dying to self is not a thing we do once for all. There may be an initial dying when God first shows these things, but ever after it will be a constant dying, for only so can the Lord Jesus be revealed constantly through us. All day long the choice will be before us in a thousand ways. It will mean no plans, no time, no money, no pleasure of our own. It will mean a constant yielding to those around us, for our yieldedness to God is measured by our yieldedness to people. Every humiliation, everyone who tries and vexes us, is God's way of breaking us, so that there is a yet deeper channel in us for the Life of Christ.

"You see, the only life that pleases God and that can be victorious is His life - never our life, no matter how hard we try. But inasmuch as our self-centered life is the exact opposite of His, we can never be filled with His life unless we are prepared for God to bring our life constantly to death. And in that we must cooperate by our moral choice."

I really can't say it any better than that. My prayer, my heart's desire, long has been that I be broken, totally obedient to Him in all things. Today's lunch is just a small part of that being broken, of dying to self. But if I am to be faithful in the big things, I have to be faithful to obey in the little ones.

God is good!

Because of my hectic schedule this week, I'm posting the daily Bible readings for the week. I hope to post later to let you know how God worked in getting all my deadlines met.

Daily Bible reading: Tuesday, March 11—Job 14–16; 1 Corinthians 6
Wednesday, March 12—Job 17–19; 1 Corinthians 7:1–19
Thursday, March 13—Job 20–21; 1 Corinthians 7:20–40
Friday, March 14—Job 22–24; 1 Corinthians 8
Saturday, March 15—Job 25–27; 1 Corinthians 9
Sunday, March 16—Job 28–29; 1 Corinthians 10:1–18
Monday, March 17—Job 30–31; 1 Corinthians 10:19–33

Friday, March 7, 2008

CCWC Teens Write!

Yesterday I forgot to talk about a special feature of CCWC—Teens Write! I've always appreciated this long-standing tradition of this conference because I have a child who writes. Both write well, but Randy felt early on God's call on him to preach and to write. His chosen genre is fantasy.

I also had the privilege of teaching him English all through high school. And since I'm a writer, I expected my students to write. Outside of the usual things high school students are expected to write, I tried to have at least one creative writing assignment each year. Some years I got braver and we went through the process of writing a short story. Other years, I limited it more. But every year I taught, I promoted Teens Write! at CCWC.

If I'm remembering correctly, Randy started going to Teens Write! when he was in eighth grade. And he attended every year after that until he went to college. He had a variety of teachers, a variety of emphases, and each year he grew a little more. When he went to college, he majored in Bible (that is his primary call) and minored in Creative Writing. The Christian university he attended has a strong creative writing program. (One of his professors within the program was Jamie Langston Turner, a several time Christy Award winner.) All of his teachers were excellent, and I learned more about writing through Randy giving me tips from his various classes.

So the natural progression from Teens Write! to the full conference went into play at the end of his freshman year. Since "graduating" from Teens Write! he's attended three full conferences with me. Such fun to spend a weekend sharing our writings goals and immersing ourselves in it.

If you have a teen, or know of a teen who would benefit from a Saturday afternoon immersed in writing, please consider Teens Write! Go to the conference Web site and check it out.

Daily Bible reading: Saturday, March 8—Job 5–7; 1 Corinthians 3
Sunday, March 9—Job 8–10; 1 Corinthians 4
Monday, March 10—Job 11–13; 1 Corinthians 5

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Colorado Christian Writers Conference

Twelve years ago in June we moved to Colorado from Illinois. We also changed jobs—from a very good-paying secular job for my husband supplemented by my part-time salary as a teacher in a Christian school to full-time church camp director (Roger) and kitchen manager (me).

My writing was just starting to move forward and show results. And I'd started attending American Christian Writers' conferences when they were close enough. One of the reasons I was excited about the move (other than we could definitely see the Lord in everything!) was the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

So one of the first things I did, after the first busy, busy summer season at camp, was to contact someone about CCWC. The contact person informed me that she no longer was in charge and that she'd sent my name to Marlene Bagnull who would be directing the conference from then on.

I was familiar with Marlene, but had never met her personally, through doing her study for writers, Write His Answer. Marlene graciously answered all my questions and offered me a scholarship to the conference the next spring. God provided the rest of what I needed in wonderful ways. And the rest (I know, clichéd) is history.

I've been at every CCWC since 1997. And if you're counting, that's 12 years this year. There were years I didn't think I'd be able to go because of lack of funds, but every year those funds came in.

There are several things about CCWC that makes it stand out above other conferences. Every year Marlene, with the Lord's help, works very hard to make sure there is a good balance of faculty for both fiction and nonfiction. And the workshops are geared for writers at any level, from not even sure of a call to write all the way up through advanced. This conference is bathed in prayer long before the workshops and faculty are decided. And it shows.

The conference is held in beautiful Estes Park, right on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. The YMCA of the Rockies has an ideal auditorium that suits the needs of the conference. And for those of us who spend a lot of time in the lobbies, we are treated to awesome views of the mountains that surround Estes Park. But the scenery is really only the icing on the cake.

The spiritual aspect of the conference has an impact on me every year. Many times I've gone so needy and the Lord meets me there and encourages me to continue on. I've grown in my walk with the Lord each year.

And I've grown in learning the craft of writing. When I first started attending, I focused on the nonfiction aspect, because that's what I was writing. And my first sales came as a result of the contacts I made there: an article in Discipleship Journal, several devotionals in various devotional books, newsletter articles, etc. But my heart has always been in fiction, so I started attending the continuing sessions and workshops that dealt with fiction. I met several of my favorite authors along the way, people I consider good friends and mentors today.

Through working as a volunteer at each conference, I started building a network of writer friends, editors, agents, and authors, which is a pretty large circle of influence today. For a very shy, introverted person this is huge! I'm amazed at what God has done. Because of CCWC, I am a freelance editor and proofreader today. My first proofreading job with Barbour is a result of Marlene's recommendation to an editor there. Because of CCWC, I review manuscripts and do in-depth critiques for a literary agency as well as individuals through my Web site. Because of CCWC, I've had several articles and devotionals published. Because of CCWC, I joined ACFW when I was just beginning my fiction writing journey. Because of CCWC, I'm a part of a local critique group. And because of CCWC, I've learned a whole lot more about running a conference. The Lord has opened up new areas of service and leadership, broadening my network even further.

CCWC is a top-notch conference. I'm privileged to be a part of the conference staff, and it has been my experience in the workshops and general sessions to grow as a writer and editor.

This year's conference is May 14–17 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. Please visit the Web site to get a pdf brochure, learn more about the faculty and staff and workshops, and to register. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll address them in later posts.

We hope to see many of you there this year.

Daily Bible reading: Friday, March 7—Job 3-–4; 1 Corinthians 2

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Truffles by the Sea by Julie Carobini

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Truffles by the Sea

Bethany House (February 1, 2008)


Julie Carobini

Julie Carobini is an award-winning writer whose stories often spotlight her family, the sea, and God's timely work in the lives of those around her. She lives with her husband, Dan, and their three children in Ventura Beach, California.

She also likes to blog! Go leave her a comment at Waves of Grace.

Julie left you all a special message:

To celebrate my upcoming CFBA tour March 5-7, I'll be giving away a copy of Truffles by the Sea AND and a 1/2 lb. box of yummy truffles to three of your readers.

All they need to do is drop by my blog during the tour and leave a comment and a way to contact them if they win!


If you read, Julie's first book, Chocolate Beach, then you might remember Gaby as Bri’s dramatic, lovesick best friend. Unfortunately, things get worse—much worse—for her before they get…well, best not to give it away.

Sometimes all a girl has left is chocolate...

Gaby Flores has a penchant for drama and an unfortunate knack for dating Mr. So Wrong. After breaking off yet another relationship, watching her apartment building burn to the ground, and discovering that her dippy delivery guy has run off with most of her business, Gaby decides it’s time to turn things around.

So she moves to a tiny waterfront loft and takes on a new motto: “Be gullible no more!” With help from her friends, she works to rebuild her flower shop—and her life. But when legal troubles and quirky neighbors and two surprising romances enter her beachy world, Gaby’s motto and fledgling faith are put to the test.

Can a young woman prone to disaster in both work and love finally find happily ever after?

"Truffles by the Sea is delightful! Julie Carobini has a new fan in this reader, and she's earned a spot on my keeper shelf." --Kay James,

"This book is a delight to read, and the author has us rooting for Gaby from page one. This girl's never-say-die attitude is incredible, and her life is filled with all kinds of foibles. This is chick lit with heart – about so much more than finding a man.... While keeping the light chick lit tone, this book satisfied while avoiding the tired old formulas. Just when I’m ready to give up on the genre, I stumble across an author who can write without relying on stereotypes." --Cara Putman,

"I liked Julie Carobini's first novel, Chocolate Beach, but her sophomore release, Truffles By The Sea, greatly surpasses it. I thoroughly enjoyed Carobini's second book and felt her writing was much stronger throughout. The characters are deeper and yet funnier – a great combination.... It's a great read for a cold winter day – you can curl up with the book, a nice fire and pretend you're the one by the sea." --Jill Hart,

Daily Bible reading: Job 1–2; 1 Corinthians 1

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Another Fun "Test"

What superhero are you? Ever thought about it? I hadn't until I saw this link when I was reviewing an interview I'd done with another editor for a newsletter.

She was Superman with Wonder Woman tendencies. So I went to the link (as if I don't have better things to do with my time! But, hey, I needed a break. *smile*), answered the questions, and I came up as Spiderman with Superman a close second.

How, I'm not sure. I'm not too comfortable with heights. Crawling up a wall and swinging between buildings on a thread does not begin to appeal to me. But there it was!

Try it for yourself here. Then leave a comment letting us know which superhero you are. Have fun!

Daily Bible reading: Wednesday—Exodus 39–40; James 5

Monday, March 3, 2008

Character Development

Character development is an interesting process for the writer. And like so many other areas in writing craft, the new writer kind of has to work through several different methods to learn what works for them.

I'm taking an online writing course (well, lurking is probably the better description!) on writing the thriller. Before we introduced ourselves to the class, we were to take the Meier's-Briggs personality test in preparation to creating our own characters. The idea is that if you understand the complexities of your own personality it will be easier to create complex characters for our books. It's not new: Angie Hunt does this and recommends it in all her writing classes. Actually I first took the test after completing a Nangie clinic at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference a couple years back.

(I'll have more on CCWC and Nangie clinics on Thursday this week, so come back to visit then. in the meantime, check here to see a brochure and see the information for this year's excellent line-up.)

Both of the times I've taken the test, I've tested out as an ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging), very strong on the first and last elements, especially. Then I Googled ISTJ and found a description that totally blows me away with how accurate it is!

So I encourage you to check this out for yourself:

It doesn't take long. Then leave a comment telling us what your personality type is, according to the test, and how accurate the description is!

God is good to create each of us with unique personalities and character traits. This put me in awe of Him that much more when I finished the evaluation.

Daily Bible reading: Tuesday, March 4—Exodus 36–38; James 4