Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Spring Is In The Air?

New buds are appearing. Any tree that is supposed to bloom is filled with blossoms. It’s a beautiful sight…except that it’s fall. What gives? Hurricane Ike, that’s what. Now I’m certainly no tree expert. I’m sure there’s a scientific reason and an arborist could explain it perfectly for us. I’d rather give you MY explanation. But first, let me tell you a little story to lead up to my reasoning.

I arrived at the ACFW conference a day later than planned feeling battered and beaten. I was hurting physically, emotionally, and even my spirits were on the low side. Hurricane Ike had taken a toll. Our power went out at 7:05 the night the hurricane arrived. We’d spent a sleepless night as the storm swirled over and around us. But God put His strong hands over us and protected us. I’d spent four days cleaning up tons of tree debris left by the storm. We still had no electricity the day I left for the conference. I was heading toward electricity and water. My husband and sons were left behind with neither. I wanted to stay with them but the conference and plane fare were paid for. I would be doing nothing at home except waiting for the power to come back on just like the rest of the neighbors.

What I’d forgotten in the midst of the storm and its aftermath was that God, the real power, was still with me. He’d never left and was still riding alongside. From the moment I arrived in Minnesota, I witnessed God at work, turning all my bumblings into blessings, my messes into miracles, clearing away the debris I carried with me from the storm. Each day, each hour, He lifted me higher with His great grace, proving His unending love and that He is the great Physician. He was giving so much to me and I wanted to pass that giving on to others. The high point of the conference, for me, came Sunday morning, our last time for praise and worship before the conference ended. Rachel Hauck did an incredible job, again, putting together the music for us. Each of her selections spoke of how great our God is. Each song built upon that theme like building blocks, lifting us higher and closer to our Lord. I was feeling so much love and gratefulness for my God. Then Rachel surprised me by ending with Amazing Grace…and the tears fell. God had taken me through my storm. I was filled with love and joy and wanted to praise Him as best I could.

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived home was that the trees were in bloom. Our apple tree was loaded with blossoms. How odd. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. The only thing I could figure was that the storm had caused it to happen. Anyone who knows me knows I try to take situations like this and make them spiritual. So in my small, finite mind, I bring you to MY explanation for the new buds and blossoms.

The trees were battered and beaten…and they showed it. Some limbs were broken. Others were nearly bare, stripped of their leaves by forceful winds. But they had survived the storm and wanted to show it by praising God the only way they knew how. They clothed themselves in beauty.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

HUGE Author Event!!!

Multi-author Book Signing - Mall of America

What: ACFW book signing
Who: 127 Christian novelists
Where: Best Buy & Sears Rotundas and connecting hallway, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN
When: Saturday, September 20, 2008 1-3 p.m.
Why: To meet your favorite authors

Come to this amazing gathering of some of the top fiction writers in our field. It will be a fun opportunity to meet the authors representing a wide array of genres. Bring your books to be autographed or buy them at Barnes & Noble. It's FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Here's a list of participating authors:

Tamera Alexander
Jennifer AlLee
A.K. Arenz
Diane Ashley
Karen Ball
Janet Lee Barton
James Scott Bell
Joseph Bentz
Terri Blackstock
Robin Caroll
Patricia PacJac Carroll
Jeanie Smith Cash
Eleanor Clark
Debra Clopton
Gloria Clover
Brandilyn Collins
Mary Connealy
Lyn Cote
Kathryn Cushman
Margaret Daley
KM Daughters
Susan Page Davis
Mary Davis
Janet Dean
Megan DiMaria
Brandt Dodson
Lena Nelson Dooley
Cecelia Dowdy
Sharon Dunn
Wanda Dyson
Lynette Eason
Meredith Efken
Leanna Ellis
Sharon Ewell Foster
Miralee Ferrell
Tina Ann Forkner
Darlene Franklin
Jonathan Friesen
Rhonda Gibson
Terri Gillespie
Debby Giusti
Beth Goddard
Cathy Gohlke
Rene Gutteridge
Cathy Marie Hake
Kelly Eileen Hake
Karen Harter
Rachel Hauck
Roxanne Henke
Cynthia Hickey
Patti Hill
Sharon Hinck
Joan Hochstetler
Steven Hunt
Angela Hunt
Denise Hunter
Annette Irby
Jennifer Johnson
Jenny B. Jones
Golden Keyes Parsons
Deb Kinnard
Julie Klassen
Kathleen Kovach
Harry Kraus
Patti Lacy
Maureen Lang
Jeanne Marie Leach
Tosca Lee
Julie Lessman
Michelle Levigne
Sherri L. Lewis
Elizabeth Ludwig
Christine Lynxwiler
Richard L. Mabry
Sharlene MacLaren
Gail Martin
Debby Mayne
Vickie McDonough
Andrew McGuire
Susan Meissner
Becky Melby
Dana Mentink
Amber Miller
Judith Miller
Sara Mills
Siri Mitchell
Nancy Moser
Janelle Mowery
Elizabeth Musser
Mark Mynheir
Jill Nelson
Mae Nunn
John Olson
Donita K. Paul
Trish Perry
Marta Perry
Allie Pleiter
Cara Putman
Deborah Raney
Sandra Robbins
Paul Robertson
John Robinson
Martha Rogers
Cynthia Ruchti
Gail Sattler
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Shelley Shephard Gray
Virginia Smith
Lynette Sowell
Candice Speare
Kathryn Springer
Denice Stewart
Sarah Anne Sumpolec
Michelle Sutton
Camy Tang
Donn Taylor
Janice Thompson
Cindy Thomson
Missy Tippens
Carrie Turansky
ML Tyndall
Amy Wallace
Susan May Warren
Linda Wichman
Beth Wiseman
Cheryl Wyatt
Kathleen Y'Barbo

AMAZING!!! Please come and look for me. I’d love to see you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Everyone is invited. Come to enjoy coffee, cheesecake, and fellowship with 40 Christian authors.

Authors in attendance include:

Don M. Aycock, Linda & Steve Bauer, Alison Bottke, Terry Burns, Lena Nelson Dooley, Leanna Ellis, Dorothy Feartherling, Marcia Gruver, Anita Higman, Charlotte Holt, Nancy Jo Jenkins, Eileen Key, Linda Kozar, Jeff LeJeune, Elizabeth Ludwig, Cathy Messecar, DiAnn Mills, Randi Morrow, Janelle Mowery, Kim O'Brien, Susan Titus Osborne, Allison Pittman, Karen Porter, Deb Raney, Jerry Rassamni, Deborah Rather, Martha Rogers, Carla Rossi, Lynette Sowell, Donn Taylor, Janice Thompson, Sharen Watson, Carol Weishampel, Brenda White, Nancy Williams, Kathleen Y'Barbo, and Julie Johnston Zick

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 9, 2008

We have a winner!

The winner of a free copy of Where the Truth lies is...

Tracey Bateman!

Congratulations, Tracey. Please email your mailing address so I can get this on it's way.

Thank you to everyone who posted a comment.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Got Animoto?

The easy way to make a book trailer.

Leave a comment by Friday and I'll put your name in for a drawing to receive a free copy of Where the Truth Lies.

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Interview with Debbie Fuller Thomas

Your story is about a mother whose daughter was switched at birth. How does Marty find out that her child was switched?
Marty's daughter, Ginger, is the victim of a fatal genetic disease, Neimann Pick Type C, which often strikes every sibling in a family. Marty is concerned for her other 2 daughters, and when it's determined that she and her ex-husband are not carriers of the disease they know something's not right.

Where did you get the idea for your story?
My inspiration for the book came straight out of real life from a news story I heard about two families fighting over switched-at-birth babies when one child is orphaned. Of course, the circumstances and setting in my story are different, and the characters are completely fictitious. But I knew it would be a heartbreaking dilemma for any parent, especially for one who had suffered through the death of a child she thought was hers.

Do you have a favorite character?

I would have to say Andie, because even at 13-years-old, she doesn't become a victim. She's a little quirky, and she's had to mature quickly. Even though she's developed an attitude toward God and her situation in general, she keeps it to herself most of the time, and we understand her need to vent occasionally.

On what level do you think women will identify with Marty, her biological mom?
I think most moms would understand the panic of discovering they had the wrong child, and the guilt at not realizing instinctively that something was wrong all along. On another level, Marty is a caregiver who sets aside her own dreams to nurture her family. As women, we often set aside our dreams out of necessity, guilt or lack of support from our families, but like Marty, we don't have to abandon our dreams completely.

The story is set at a drive-in movie theater. What led you to choose that setting?

I think there's a nostalgic winsomeness about drive-in theaters and I want to encourage families to take advantage of the few drive-ins that are still in operation. I remember the smell of hot coffee when my mother poured cups from the thermos, and falling asleep in the backseat with my pillow and blanket. There's a sense of intimacy and togetherness that comes from being alone with your family, even though hundreds of other people are watching the same movie. I also used the run-down condition of the Blue Moon Drive-in as a reflection of the relationship between Marty and Andie and of the condition of their spiritual lives when they first meet.

What is the meaning behind the title: Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon?
Tuesday night is family night at the Blue Moon Drive-in. Andie needs a family, and the desire of Marty's heart is for her dysfunctional family to be a whole again.

Who are some of the other interesting characters in your story?
Andie is sandwiched in the birth order between Winnie, the needy younger sister, and Deja, an older teen who is bitter about the situation. Some interesting dynamics that take place when the three of them interact, especially when mom has to work long hours and there's too much unsupervised together-time.

What is the message that you would like your readers to take away from Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon?
I believe that God is our Father and that we were created to commune with Him on a deep level, but sin orphans us. When we're open to it, God is ready and willing to re-claim and restore us as his children.

How did you begin your writing career?

I operated a home day care for 6 preschoolers when my children were young, and I was in desperate need of a distraction to keep my sanity. So I began to write a novel during their naptimes. I finished it in about 2 years. It was my 'practice novel' which gave me confidence and helped me plot the blueprint for Tuesday Night.

What advice would you give to someone starting out as a writer?

Don't quit. I sold the first article I ever sent to a publisher and didn't sell another thing for 19 years. It's not going to happen overnight. It's an apprenticeship - a craft to be honed. When you're tempted to give up, remember the encouraging things other writers, agents or editors have said about your writing. If God has given you some talent, what acceptable excuse can you give Him for not using it?

"I am passionate about good fiction, the kind that grabs you and won't turn loose. My hope is that my characters will capture you and that you will consider my stories old friends with whom you visit often."
Debbie Fuller Thomas is available for interview
Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon
Debbie Fuller Thomas
Moody Publishers
June 1, 2008
ISBN: 978-0802487339
Debbie Fuller Thomas
What others are saying about Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon:
A wonderful debut novel! Honest. Real. Gritty. A compelling look at the hardscrabble lives and beat-up souls of a grieving, single mom and her daughters as they navigate their way to hope and healing to become a family again. I couldn't put it down! I LOVE Debbie Fuller Thomas's beautiful, descriptive writing. You will too. Highly recommended.

Laura Jensen Walker, Author of Miss Invisible and Daring Chloe

You'll be caught up in this story from the first page, and drawn along by Debbie Fuller Thomas' masterful writing. A beautiful, wise tale of a family caught in a predicament with no simple answers, Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon will linger in your thoughts for a good long time.
Kathleen Popa, author of Saint Bertie and To Dance in the Desert
In Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon, Debbie Fuller Thomas takes every parent's worst nightmare and spins it into a deeply touching story. From the fragile seed of hope in Marty, to the fearful confusion of Andie, we see deep into the hearts of two families who have fallen victim to not one tragedy, but two. Compelling from the first word to the last, this is a story of the healing power of love, both human and divine. Sharon K. Souza, author of Every Good and Perfect Gift and Lying on Sunday

Monday, March 10, 2008

Chance to WIN!


Wendy Lawton, Artist and Author, Celebrates Release of Her Seventh Novel With Fabulous April Fools Day Contest

(THE WOODLANDS, TX) What do porcelain, Pocahontas, and prizes have in common? Wendy Lawton, author, sculptor and literary agent is on a mission to find the next Daughter of the Faith for her highly successful middle grade series. In celebration of the release of The Captive Princess: A Story Based on the Life of Young Pocahontas, her seventh novel in the series, Lawton is offering a plethora of prizes for contestants who are chosen from among those who post suggestions on Crystal Miller's When I Was Just a Kid blog (

One lucky winner will receive all seven Daughters of the Faith novels ($49 value), while another will get all four books in the Real TV series ($44 value).The grand prize--an autographed Courage to Run doll and book, (value $695.00) will be awarded if more than twenty people comment before April 1, 2008, with suggested Daughters of the Faith characters.

Keep in mind that each character in this series is a real girl from the pages of history who took a stand for her faith (usually at great cost) while she was still a girl. Nominees should not be someone who grew up to do great things or who married a great man, bur rather a girl like Pocahontas, the Captive Princess, who stepped out in faith.

The Captive Princess: A Story Based on the Life of Young Pocahontas

Is there an American student who doesn't know some version of the story of Pocahontas-- whether the fabricated Disney version or the equally fictitious but oft-told love story between Pocahontas and John Smith? Wendy Lawton digs into the history and tells it entirely through the eyes of the young Pocahontas. And though the romantic accounts are the stuff of legend and lore, Pocahontas' faith story remains one of the most beautiful love stories in history.

What others are saying:

"Pocahontas has long been a favorite character of mine, and Wendy Lawton brings her to glorious life in The Captive Princess. Through Lawton's excellent research and vivid writing, walked out of the dense forest and into my heart. This book is a treasure!"
Angela Hunt, author of Uncharted

"I jumped at the chance to read Wendy Lawton's latest book, The Captive Princess, because of her previous stories. Again, she wove her literary magic. Always true to historical facts and able to infuse spiritual truths naturally, Wendy Lawton is a master storyteller."
Donita K. Paul author of popular Christian fantasy including The DragonKeeper Chronicles


WENDY LAWTON feels equally comfortable on a computer, at a writer's conference or with a cool lump of clay in her hand. She's been an artist, a writer and now, a literary agent with the respected literary agency, Books & Such.

No stranger to the literary market, Lawton has written seven books in her middle grade Daughters of the Faith series. These books were followed by a series of teen books The Real TV series and her nonfiction book, Impressions in Clay (Moody).


Wendy Lawton is available for interview or blog appearance.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Need Directions?

So…you wake up one morning with your drippy nose now stuffed tighter than a stomach after Thanksgiving dinner, and your throat is scratching worse than a bad case of hives. You figure it’s time to try this medicine everyone’s been raving about…Airborne. You bought it months ago and stuck it in your medicine cabinet thinking sometime in the future you’re going to need it. If it’s half as good as everyone says, you’re bound to be feeling like Superwoman (or Superman, as the case may be) in no time.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re not a morning person. Reading is rather difficult through bleary eyes and a brain whose waves won’t even wiggle for another hour. You pop the top, drop a tablet into your palm, and marvel at how large the bugger is. Looks like a super-sized TUMS. You figure it’s a chewable. Must be. They’re too big to swallow and you’ve been told they’re chock full of vitamins. You can chew vitamins, right?

You toss one into your mouth. Doesn’t taste too bad. But then… Man oh man. The thing starts to fizz. You soon resemble Old Yeller during his rabies scene. Foam is spewing. Big time. You fight for air as the foam fills every available space in your throat and sinus cavity and threatens to erupt onto the floor. In a panic, you grab the bottle in search of a warning label. That’s when you see it. (Cuz you’re wide awake by now.) The directions say to drop one tablet in a small glass of water, let it dissolve, then drink the juice. Ohhhhh. That information would have been helpful a minute ago.

Why would I be telling you this? Well, in case you haven’t figured me out by now, I take situations that happen and try to apply them to other areas of my life. As a writer, I have certain rules I must follow. I don’t follow them, I don’t get published. It’s as simple as that. If you think you can just sit down and write a story any way you want, a severe case of the blahs will set in and you’ll soon be foaming at the mouth from all the rejections you’ll receive. Yes, rules can be bent and even broken in the writing world, but you’d better know the rules well before you try to bend or break them. Best way to know the rules is to read. Read authors’ books, blogs, or websites. Buy some how-to books. Attend conferences. How ever you decide to learn, know the correct procedures for good writing.

And how would this foamy experience pertain to me as a Christian? It’s very similar to writing. As a child of God, I have rules I must follow. God has laid them out in His Word. If I read His directions and follow them, life will be a little simpler. Oh, that’s not to say life will be a piece of cake, smooth as silk, or any other cliché you want to use. We’ll all run across trouble from time to time, usually because of some bad decision we make, like not following directions. But we all get second chances, and third and fourth. Just because we think we know it all doesn’t mean we don’t have to follow instructions. But you know what? God loves us anyway, foam and all.

Reading. Yep. A good dose of it all the way around can keep us from trouble. I recommend it highly.