Saturday, January 31, 2009

from Nim's Island

Be the hero of your own life story.

Good advice.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Christian Writers Market Guide 2009


Sally Stuart's Christian Writers Market Guide is THE resource for freelance writers wanting to break into Christian publishing.

Do you write? Looking to get published? Do you need some direction? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you cannot afford to miss out on the Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2009.


For over 20 years, author Sally Stuart produces this amazing resource, filled with trusted content. The only one of its kind, the 2009 Edition includes the latest information on more than 100 editors and publishers, conferences, writers’ groups, and more are not only listed and indexed in the book, but this year, readers will get a code in the book and on the CD-Rom for accessing more updates through the year on author Sally Stuart’s web site, www.stuartmarket.com. A must-have!


I am thrilled to feature this book on my blog. It is such an exhaustive resource, it's almost overwhelming! And yet, it's easy to navigate and fun to search as I look for markets and writing ideas.


The Resource Guide to Getting Published
For 24 years running, the Christian Writers’ Market Guide has remained the most comprehensive, complete, essential, and highly-recommended resource for beginning and veteran Christian writers, agents, editors, publishers, publicists, and those teaching writing classes.

This year’s Guide is even handier with a CD-Rom included that features the full text of the book for easy searches of topics, publishers, and markets, as well as 100 pages of exclusive content including indexes and writing resource listings.
This is the resource you need to get noticed—and published.

Completely updated and revised to feature the latest on…

more than 1,200 markets for the written word
416 book publishers (32 new)
654 periodicals (52 new)
96 literary agents
100 new listings in Resources for Writers
226 poetry markets
316 photography markets
25 African-American markets
and 166 contests (29 new)

You can purchase the book at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

Many thanks to the gals at Waterbrook Press/Random House for the opportunity to help promote this book!

Monday, January 26, 2009

life moves pretty fast

I've been reminded of that quote this morning. For those who remember the great (ok, at least it was fun!) 80s film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, you'll remember it was one of the lines memorialized in Matthew Broderick's voice.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

I have been moving "pretty fast." Life's been moving at quite a clip since January 5th, when "normal life" resumed and the girls went back to school and I to work. We had extra ballet practices and four performances of "Sleeping Beauty," my friend's husband (who is also my husband's friend) went into the hospital with a brain tumor (and is still there, awaiting a third surgery), we watched a new President's inauguration and a lot of new changes . . . I could go on, but you get the idea.

In the middle of all of these life-changing events, I have tried to be strong and brave. I've already made mistakes in this new year, and I hope to learn from them as I go. I try to enjoy moments as they come, especially with my family. I try to support my friends in their challenges, and rejoice in their victories.

So take a few moments today and "look around." I know I will.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Stand-In Groom

Barbour Publishing, Inc (January 2009)

by

Kaye Dacus



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kaye Dacus is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there.

She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. But her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through her website and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.




ABOUT THE BOOK

When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman?

George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancee when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Stand-In Groom, go HERE

What they're saying about it:

“Dacus pulls off a delightful story that places readers in the heart of the South with the debut of the Brides of Bonneterre series. Readers will enjoy this look at how lives are transformed through devastating events and how forgiveness is the key to a promising future. Nothing is as it seems in this heartwarming story.”
Romantic Times, 4-Star Review

“Absolutely delightful! I enjoyed Stand-In Groom from cover to cover! Ms. Dacus’s clever story and wonderful prose will draw you away to a place deep in the heart of Louisiana, surrounding you with the scents, sounds, and sights of the deep south. A story filled with romance and intrigue, betrayal and forgiveness, I found myself laughing, crying and rejoicing right along with the characters.”
M.L. Tyndall, author of The Falcon and the Sparrow and the award-winning Legacy of the King’s Pirates series

“Stand-In Groom is as sweet, beautiful, and chaotic as a perfectly planned wedding. Anne is a bright and wounded heroine you’re going to care about for a long time. George is a hero to capture your heart. Kaye Dacus will take you along for a fun, poignent ride in Stand-In Groom.”
Mary Connealy, author of the Lassoed in Texas series and Of Mice...and Murder
Pattie's Review:

I have known about Kaye for a long time, because we're both members of ACFW. I am so pleased to see her name and work in print.

This book was a delight. It was a lighthearted Christian romance, yes, and fun to read, of course. But it also tackled a tough subject: forgiveness. Forgiving others for wrong done to us is so very hard. It's probably one of the hardest things we must do as Christians. Yet it is vital to our walk as believers to do so. Anne's forgiveness issues are not easy, by any stretch of the imagination. Even in fiction, as in life, we must learn to forgive.

Amazon.com indicates this is book #1 in a series. Bring them all on, I say!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

free book download

Oprah's site has Suze Orman's latest book for download. Click here!
I thought I'd check in with you on my New Year's Goals, since last night I was thinking that nearly two weeks in, they're not as shiny and new as they were on December 31st.




  • Writing every day. Um, not so much. Trying, but some days are just nuts.

  • Reading the Bible more. Um, so-so. Still have great intentions and HOPE, though!

  • I did not submit anything of my own, but all my knowledge did help my hubby get a contract for an article I helped him edit over New Year's. It came yesterday and is going back out in the mail today.

  • Reading: check.

  • I have not purchased or acquired any new books yet, save one I ordered after Christmas for book club that arrived yesterday. Neither have I stepped foot into a bookstore, because of the temptation.

  • Exercise: doing okay, need to do better.

  • Organizing every day: now this I HAVE done; almost every day I've gone through a stack, or a basket or drawer. I'm doing well with this. Take five minutes to do so at your house, and you'll feel like you've accomplished something AND have a bit of peace of mind!

  • Brave: I think I've done okay with my goal so far, but those ghost voices of the past are tough to ignore.

So, there you have it, the mid-month check-in.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What are you reading?

This week is a crazy-busy week in my world. Not only is it a busy week at work (I am a trainer and weight management program coordinator at Curves), it is a busy week at dance. My girls are in a production of the ballet Sleeping Beauty, and as such, we have nightly rehearsals. The performances--four of them--are this weekend.

So, I have three books I want to/need to read this week. I imagine that if I don't get all caught up in socializing (which is part of what I see as my ministry, but that's another story), I might get some reading done. (I also have some knitting for birthday gifts as well, and I can knit and talk at the same time!)

I have begun my book club's next selection, The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper. It's the book with the lovely yellow cover you've seen at your local Starbucks. I tend to read nonfiction much more slowly than fiction, so this book is a bit slow going for me. But it's beautifully written with vivid imagery. I need to finish this by next Tuesday evening, because that's when we meet to discuss. I can't show up without finishing. I did that last year with Under the Tuscan Sun, and found out most of the gals hadn't been able to finish that one either! But I've had this book in my hands for several weeks. No excuses.

The next one is a library book, for the Jewish Lit challenge: Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes by Lauren Baratz-Logsted. It's a Red Dress Ink chick lit book, and so far it's hilarious! I need to finish it by next week, too, because it's due next Monday.

The third book in my stack I haven't begun, but it's "due" next week as a part of a CFBA tour, Kaye Dacus' debut novel Stand-In Groom. I've read Kaye's posts on the ACFW board, and loop, for a couple of years now, and I am thrilled to see she's gotten a book published. It sounds like a fun read, although I'm not sure if it's humorous or not. I guess I'll have to let you know next week!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Perfect Match



This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


The Perfect Match


(Tyndale House January 1, 2009)


by


Susan May Warren



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susan grew up in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis, and became an avid camper from an early age. Her favorite fir-lined spot is the north shore of Minnesota is where she met her husband, honeymooned and dreamed of living.

The north woods easily became the foundation for her first series, The Deep Haven series, based on a little tourist town along the shores of Lake Superior. Her first full-length book, Happily Ever After, became a Christy Award Finalist published in 2004 with Tyndale/Heartquest.

As an award winning author, Susan returned home in 2004, to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota's north woods and the beautiful town that she always dreamed of living in.

You can sample a chapter of each and every one of Susan's novels, on her website, HERE.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Ellie Karlson is new to Deep Haven. As the town’s interim fire chief, she is determined to lead the local macho fire crew in spite of their misconceptions about her. But when someone begins setting deadly fires, Ellie faces the biggest challenge of her life. Especially when sparks fly with one of the volunteers on her crew: Pastor Dan Matthews. As Ellie battles to do her job and win the respect of her crew, she finds that there is one fire she can’t fight—the one Dan has set in her heart.
(This book is the repackaged edition published in 2004)

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Perfect Match, go HERE.

Awards:

2004 American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year

A Romantic Times Magazine TOP PICK – 4½ stars

Review:


Romantic Times Magazine:
Vibrant characters and vivid language zoom this action-packed romance to the top of the charts. This is a one-sitting read –once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down.

Pattie's Review:

I really enjoyed this novel. It's a great blend of mystery, self-discovery, spirituality, and romance. I loved Ellie and wanted to be her friend so badly. I understood her desire to be the best fire chief ever, against all odds. Yet when she's hurting, hiding it is the worst thing to do.

Dan was a good character too, and I could strongly identify with his deep desire to know the right thing to say in tragic circumstances. (In fact, my chaplain husband just this week had a piece accepted for publication in a denominational publication about what to say - and not say - to those who have recently experienced a loss.) I think we've all been there, and Susan May Warren handled those scenes perfectly. I bet she's been there, too.

I kept thinking The Perfect Match reminded me a lot of Dee Henderson's books, and then I looked inside the front cover. Dee herself endorsed this novel!

I've read several of Susan May Warren's books, and this certainly won't be the last. Be sure to put this on your "TBR" list for '09.

TBR=To Be Read.
Mt. TBR=Mount To Be Read; also known as the falling-over pile of books beside your bed or desk that threatens to take over everything in its wake.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hope




Your Word is "Hope"



You see life as an opportunity for learning, growth, and bringing out the best in others.

No matter how bad things get, you always have at least a glimmer of optimism.



You are accepting and forgiving. You encourage those who have wronged you to turn over a new leaf.

And while there is a lot of ugliness in the world, you believe that almost no one is beyond redemption.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Five Books that Made a Difference

I don't often sit down and read Oprah's O Magazine, but one feature I always read when I have opportunity is "Five Books that Made a Difference to___" (insert name of famous person).

Right before I quit teaching, I heard from a teacher who translated this into an assignment for her seniors (by the time I read this, it was the end of the year and I was out of time in my classes; and it never seemed to fit into the university's curriculum my last year in the classroom).

I think it's a fascinating idea, and one that obviously still speaks to people.

For fun, here is a link to author Jodi Picoult's choices.

What would mine be? I don't know. I read over a hundred books a year. Some are wonderful; some are okay; some are so-so; and some are awful, but I just can't stop reading till I hit "the end."

What would your five books be that have made a difference to you?

Sounds like a stellar writing prompt. Link back here if you decide to answer; I'd love to read your list!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 Goals

Goals that I am recording here:

  • write every day, be it a blog or a journal entry or something more significant.
  • read the Bible more.
  • submit at least one piece for publication this year.
  • read a lot.
  • read books I already own and downsize my book collection.
  • try very hard not to purchase new books! resist buying from the used book table at the library as well.
  • exercise regularly.
  • organize something every day, no matter how small a space or short a time.
  • be brave.