I will be doing a book signing tomorrow at 2 pm at Deb’s Sereni-TEA Lounge in St. Johns, Michigan. Children’s author, Laurie Salisbury, will also be participating in the book signing and will be doing a Story Time for children ages 8 to 12. The event costs $5, which includes a relaxing cup of tea for the adults and a goodie bag for children. I hope you can join us. We’d love to see you there!

Need directions? Click HERE.

Book Signing pic

 

The thing about writing is this, you can’t bask in yesterday’s glory. As soon as you complete one book, you must begin the next. And as a writer, this is not a bad thing, since I lovefullsizeoutput_1bd7 what I do. I’m always writing in my head anyway, I may as well put it down on paper. But lets face it, it’s easier to think up a story than it is to actually write it.

For years, to help myself go to sleep at night, I have made up stories in my head. It would help me not to think about the problems that I was facing or plans for the next day. These things could wait until morning. I would pray about them, leave them with God, and instead of needless worrying, I would distract myself by making up a story, falling to sleep in the middle of it, and then picking up where I left off the next night. Sometimes I’d work on the same story for months because I’d fall asleep before I had gotten very far. Of course, there were times the story was so captivating, I found myself fighting sleep because I wanted to finally finish it. Since I was a pre-teen, I’ve made up these bedtime stories in my head. I wish I could remember them all, but, alas, it isn’t so.

For much of my life, only traditional publishing existed, and it was extremely difficult to find a publishing company that would even want to look at your manuscript. However, self-published books are all around us now, so I decided to take the plunge and finally write out an entire story. I had no idea of all it would entail. I didn’t even read much about writing before I started. I simply started writing in one of my favorite genres and I attempted to write the type of book I enjoy reading. As I was doing so, I realized I had to research to make the story more realistic. So I researched as I continued writing. Each time I encountered a problem, I Googled for a solution and found it. It’s amazing how we have all the answers at our fingertips now. Then I edited and edited and edited before sending it off to be edited by others. I had a few people read it and give me their input before I published my first novel. Thankfully, anyone can publish a book today and there are even free publishers like Kindle and Create Space that make it easy for new writers to get their books out to the public.

Once your book is out there and people like it, they begin to ask you when the next one will be published. The pressure is on and, if you want to make a career of writing, it will always be on your mind. While you are writing one book, you are already deciding which character you might use for the next book in your series. While you’re promoting your last book(s), you are researching, choosing character names, background, personalities, scene, etc., and when you finish with all of that, the writing process begins all over again.

I heard a helpful YouTube this week with Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn as she interviewed Michaelbrent Collings on the topic How To Write Faster And Never Get Writer’s Block. What stood out to me was the fact that Michaelbrent Collings said, “I go in and begin to start typing and I don’t stop for eight or nine hours. And sometimes I write total crap, but that’s what the delete key is for. But even with writing the total crap, I learn how to write better the next day.” He goes on to explain that writing becomes your life. Everything you experience, watch, observe, hear, or read can potentially help you when you sit down to write. BUT…he works on writing EVERY DAY!

And that’s the KEY to writing. And I’m not there yet. I’m doing so much better, but I can do much better still. With my lifestyle, I doubt I’ll ever be able to write 8 to 9 hours a day, but I’ve read other successful writers who disciplined themselves to write one hour each day. They may not publish as many books at Michaelbrent Collings does each year, but they will continue to publish books on a regular basis.

My first novel, Reluctant to Wed, has been published and is getting great reviews. As I’m basking in the glory of this moment, my fingers are on the the keyboard pounding out the next novel in this series. It’s what I must do. It’s what I love. I’m a writer.

Do you write every day? What time of day is your best writing time? Are you an early bird or a night owl? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Here is a little taste of what you will find in Reluctant To Wed:
fullsizeoutput_181c“Lord Houlton would like to see the deed accomplished as soon as possible. He’d like the banns read next Sunday. Do not delay. Your betrothed should have the opportunity to meet you before she gives you control of her life. All of that should be able to be accomplished two months from next Sunday.”

“What?! That’s ridiculous!” Devon exclaimed. “I need time to get to know the lady. To see if we are even compatible.”

“I thought you said you had no choice. If that’s the case, what does it matter if you’re compatible or not?”

 

I wrote an entire blog post, and let me tell you, it was a rather long post. I had read it through a few times, made changes, and finally felt it was ready to be published. Looking it over one more time, I decided it needed one more picture. I don’t know what I did wrong, but in the process of choosing the image and uploading it, I deleted my entire post! I’m sure you know how I felt at that moment. I went searching all over the place trying to find it. It was no where to be found. It was gone for all time and eternity, and it was late at night. Shutting my computer off, I went to bed.

It’s been a couple of days now, and I’m finally writing a new post. I needed a little time before I was ready to start over again. And guess what? I decided that maybe I wasn’t supposed to write that last blog post. Perhaps it was more for me than for anyone else who might read it.

I realize this was a minor thing in the greater scheme of life. We all have faced worse circumstances than these. We feel helpless. There is no quick fix. The problem will not quickly resolve itself, and sometimes it will never go away. It turns your life down a path you never wanted to take. You’re stuck. You can’t go back to yesterday when everything was better.

You cannot help what comes your way, but you can choose how you will respond. You cannot stop the emotions that will rise up in you or the tears that will fall. Your heart may break and you may grieve. But you know you cannot stay in this place. You have to move forward or you will be swallowed up by despair. You must decide how you will go on, and that decision will impact your future far more than the circumstance that brought you to this place.

For many years after my siblings and I got married, we moved far from my parents’ home. We have the best parents and they created a wonderful home for us to grow up in, but our jobs and marriages took us far away. Whenever we drove the hours and hours to go visit my parents, the best part was arriving. They must have been waiting at the window because as we drove up the driveway, the door opened and they came out to greet us. Our kids squealed with joy and ran to them with outstretched arms. It seemed every hour was filled with laughter, joy, and conversation. Yet it was inevitable that we would have to leave again. This was the hardest part. It broke my heart each time we backed out of the driveway and turned to look out the window to see my parents waving from the porch…alone. We were leaving them, and there house would feel empty. (My eyes are filling up with tears as I write this.)

Moments like these are hard, but I learned a very valuable lesson from my mother. I called her as soon as I got home (this was before cell phones) and I asked how she was doing. She told me she sat down for a good cry as she talked to God, and then she got up and cleaned the house from top to bottom. It was therapeutic and she accomplish something practical at the same time. As she pounded the pillows into place and scrubbed the bathtub, her pent up frustration was released and soon praises to God fell from her lips. She thanked Him for her family and for the wonderful time we had together. Her house was back in order. Everything was back in its rightful place. She had the pictures to look at and the memories to reflect upon. Now life would go on and we would all choose to be happy. You see, the lesson I learned from my mother was, I always have a choice as to how I will respond.

She could have moped and complained. She could have walked around in the gloom of her loneliness and made my father’s life miserable. She could have complained to me and made me feel guilty for having moved away. Instead, she chose to find joy in whatever circumstance she found herself in. My mom chose to trust God to help her and to bless her.

Isaiah 41:10 NASB “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

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In the novel I just published, Reluctant to Wed, the main character, Emma, is faced with a heartbreaking situation and she must choose how she will go on. Here is a line from the book that reveals Emma’s thought process: “Rehearsing that conversation in her mind would cause her to become bitter or paralyzed with self-pity. That was not for her. Life was meant to be lived to the fullest, and that’s what she would attempt to do.” Emma made the choice not to wallow in self-pity, but to move forward and attempt to find joy again.

 

 

It is in these difficult moments that we prove if we really trust God. It’s easy to talk about faith when everything is going well. But when the doctor report isn’t what we were hoping for or when the bills are piling up or when we lose a job — there are countless difficulties people face every day — it is in these moments we need to run to God and not turn away from Him in anger. God’s own Son was not spared the trials of this world. But God has promised to be with us through the trial.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I can tell you from personal experience that Jesus will give you supernatural peace and joy in the midst of what you are going through IF you will turn to Him and trust Him to carry you through whatever you are going through. NOTHING is too difficult for Him. He can take the situation that had the potential of destroying you, and turn it around for good. NOTHING is too difficult FOR HIM!

Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.”

Do you have a verse that has especially helped you at a very dark moment of your life. Please share it with me in the comments, or any other thoughts you may have. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Reluctant To Wed is now available on Paperback and Kindle! Order your copy here.

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Emma, an American, and Devon, the Earl of Devonport, are strangers compelled to wed by the machinations of family members. To keep her family from losing their farm, Emma agrees to an arranged marriage. Devon understands his obligation to his title and to his father. He has no choice but to take Emma as his wife. While her heart longs to be loved, his longs for freedom. When they meet, sparks fly. Each must make an effort to understand the other. Faith in God gives Emma hope when the path to love is not an easy one.

If you enjoyed the book, please leave a review here or on Amazon. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

“Sometimes you have to get your writing done in spare moments here and there.” ~J.K. Rowling

 

I’m working hard at trying to be a consistent writer. That means either an hour of writing each day or 1,000 words. Unfortunately, my schedule this week has not been conducive for writing. My husband and I are at a church family camp where he is the speaker and I have some responsibilities in that direction as well. Since it’s a camp I attended as a youth, there are many people to reconnect with and also many to meet, and it’s hard to find time to write. Constant interruptions and long conversations have kept me from it. Rather than bemoaning the fact, I find myself intrigued by the stories I’m hearing as I sit face-to-face with people from various parts of the country, many whose families immigrated here years ago. There are lots of bits and pieces that might work nicely into future novels. So rather than feeling guilty for not writing, I feel like an investigator gathering information. By the time I one day write the bits and pieces of these stories into a fiction, they will not be recognizable to anyone, but they will have fed my imagination.

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Life can get away from us. There are responsibilities that are quite frankly more important than writing, yet there is nothing that needs to keep me from gathering more information and gaining ideas for future writings. HOWEVER, these times of not setting pen to paper or fingers to keyboards cannot last long — maybe a day or two — and then I must make time to write if I wish to keep improving. So here I sit at my computer between meetings typing a few sentences that I plan to review later and edit. I need to write. I must write. It’s the only way to become better at this craft.

Now that I’ve published my first novel, I’ve had several people come up to me and tell me how much they long to write a book. Some have a partially finished book lying in a desk drawer at home — still unfinished after several years of working on it. Let me encourage you to get it done. Complete it. Finish it. You have a story to tell, a gift to share, and information to impart. If it’s a dream, then make it come true. Commit to writing each day for one hour or write 1,000 words per day. You decide what’s doable, but be consistent and it will get done.

Are you that person who has an incomplete book at your house? Perhaps you haven’t even begun writing yet and it’s still just a dream in your head without one word written on paper? What’s keeping you from finishing? On the other hand, you may be a writer who already has a consistent routine of writing. I’d love to hear from you. How did you get to this place of consistency?

Reluctant to Wed has received great reviews on Amazon. I’m so tickled about it! Here are some of them:

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~ Love this book! I read it every spare moment I had until finished. I felt like I was watching a PBS miniseries as the story unfold before my eyes in full color. I felt an immediate connection with the characters. Some of them were worthy of great love, well others stirred deep emotions of another type. The book definitely spoke of a love that goes deeper than physical attraction. There were threads of faithfulness, forgiveness, and redemption that flowed through the pages of Reluctant To Wed. Great read! Buy it you won’t be disappointed.

~ The story line and characters in this book leaped off the page and carried me along in a gripping tale. I felt I was right there in the English countryside cheering on the characters and wishing I could smack a couple of them. Hurry! Get this book!

~ I enjoyed the story, the characters and the writing. I could not put it down once I began reading. I will be looking forward to more from this author.

For your copy, just click Reluctant to Wed (Arranged Marriage Series).