Friday, June 23, 2017

The Story Behind the Art by C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

Do you read books or poems, hear songs, look at pictures or paintings, and wonder, how did the author come up with this? What does it mean? Is there some simple elegance to this piece? Or is there a deeper meaning hidden by my lack of knowledge about the origins?

Art is richer when you (the reader, the listener, the viewer) know the “backstory.” That’s why doing interviews as an author is so important, especially when you can peel back some layers and allow your audience to see you as a real person or how you come up with your stories.

I’ve been doing blog interviews for some time now, both as a guest and as the interviewer, but the importance of this concept was truly “brought home” to me recently.

We were listening to Sirius/XM radio on the way to the beach over Memorial Day weekend. They were doing a countdown of the Top 100 most influential rock-n-roll songs of all time. I’m not sure who put the list together, but like so many of these kinds of countdowns, I took issue with many of the selections as well as where some were ranked.

However, one particularly interesting part of this countdown was an interview they did with Robert Lamm, one of the members of the group Chicago. Leading into the next song in the Top 100 (I forget which number it was), they replayed an interview from some time back wherein Lamm explained how he came up with the name to the song, 25 or 6 to 4. Have you ever wondered how that song got its name? Me, too.

Lamm told the story of how—at the time he wrote the song—he was staying in an upstairs apartment with some immigrants from Europe in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area. It was early in the morning, and he’d been up all night, feeling the pressure of having to come up with songs that rivaled the ones found on the band’s debut album, which released in January 1969 with Columbia Records, and sold over one million copies. The band had just returned from a successful European tour and needed to complete the song list for the LP which would become Chicago II.

Lamm tells the story of how the music for the song came easy to him. Being the keyboardist for the group, this song actually started with a guitar riff. The rest of the notes flowed and were on paper quickly, but the lyrics? Not so much. He scribbled lines down. Some rhymed. Some still needed a match. He saw a bar across the street with “dancing lights against the sky.” There were airplanes, too, flying in and out of LAX. More dancing lights.

At one point, he looked at his watch. Squinting, he couldn’t tell exactly what time it was. At first, he thought it was twenty-five ’til four. Then, he said no, it’s twenty-six minutes until 4:00 a.m. “Is it twenty-five or six to four?” Noticing the line “25 or 6 to 4” rhymed with a line he’d penned earlier ending with the word “floor,” he jotted it down as well, thinking it would serve for now as a working title.

Soon, what Robert Lamm had was, in his words, “a song about writing a song.” So, when you click on the lyrics below and listen to the song itself, it just may take on a whole new persona. I know it did for me. Now, when I hear the song and think about it being “a song about writing a song,” the lyrics not only make perfect sense, but they almost seem comical.

Sometimes, simple is better than complex when it comes to art. Knowing the story behind the art is always useful, too. But what it does more than anything is allow the reader/listener/viewer to realize the Robert Lamm’s of the world are just like us. They struggle. They lie awake at night, trying to “think of something to say.” They feel the pressure of their last success pushing them to be better, to improve in their craft, not knowing “how much more they can take.” Yet, these are all things we, as writers, wrestle with every day. So, be encouraged. Who knows, maybe someday, you’ll write a book on writing a book.

I’ll bet it will look and sound very similar to the song below, as you sit at your computer, staring at the clock, wondering, “Is it 3:35 or 3:34 a.m.?”

Song Video (Live Version) of 25 or 6 to 4
Lyrics to 25 or 6 to 4

Something ominous lurks under the waters.

Dr. Evelyn Sims, a brilliant marine biologist, is being watched. Her husband's mysterious death at sea—with the only survivor of the Greenback telling a shocking, unbelievable tale—has thrown her personal life into chaos. Her scientific views are being scrutinized. Her husband's office and their home are investigated. Called in by the FBI to help solve the mystery, Evelyn is thrust into her toughest research project ever...and forced into a maze of deception and betrayal.

Micah Gregson, the Coast Guard captain who rescued the Greenback, is determined to find out why a special unit at the FBI—the one assigned to cryptozoological cases—is involved.

Together Evelyn and Micah will uncover a plot more deadly than anything the ocean could ever produce. One that will either save Evelyn's life and redeem her career, or destroy everything she—and myriad others—stand for.

C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister with a B.A. In Bible (Houghton College, Houghton, NY), an M.A. in Christian Studies (Wesley Biblical Seminary, Jackson, MS), and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (National-Louis University, Wheeling, IL). He presently works as an assistant principal in a middle school.

His Blake Meyer series is out! 30 Days Hath Revenge - A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1, is now available! Book 2 of the Blake Meyer Series, Triple Time, is now available! Book 3, The Tide of Times, will be out in August 2017! Also, the second edition of The Serpent’s Grasp will be out in June 2017 through Hallway Publishing!

Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too.

To connect with Kevin and learn more, please visit:

Kevin’s Writer’s Blog:
Facebook:                              C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page  
Twitter:                                  @CKevinThompson
Goodreads:                            C. Kevin Thompson

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Do You Remember Your First Story Idea by Terri Weldon

I still remember the idea for my first book. My creative mind had been soaking up every word of the contemporary Christian romances I had started reading. Then suddenly I devised a story idea. It was over the top, gut wrenching, and filled with angst. A daughter abandoned by her prostitute mother is determined to confront the woman she hates, the woman she blames for everything wrong in her life. When she lands on her mother’s door step, it’s too late. She learns her mother has died.

Time for total honesty here – I still like the storyline! At the time I wrote the book the plot was too difficult for me. The book needed a more experienced author. Trust me there was much more to the storyline than I told you above. 

I waited a few years. I even penned my first book, which resides in a drawer in an old filing cabinet. Then Love Inspired Romance advertised a contest. All I had to do was send in my completed manuscript, and if I won, I could become a published author. Oh, hope springs eternal. As fast as possible I penned the entire book and carted it down to my local post office. When the winner of the contest was announced, her name wasn’t Terri Weldon. 

Even after that I didn’t give up. I probably didn’t write as much as I should have and I let too much time elapse, but I didn’t throw in the towel. Even today I’m still plugging along. Sometimes I miss the young woman who wrote that novel with such confidence.  In my heart I knew I was destined to be published and I believed it would happen. And it did, but not for many many years and not with that book. 

Still, no matter how many new story ideas I come up with, I don’t think any of them will ever replace the excitement I felt when I devised the first one. 

What about you? What was your first story idea? I’d love to hear all about it. 

Ellie Alexander is in love. And the only thing sweeter would be if Libby, Natalie, and Stephanie, her three unmarried, unattached granddaughters, could find the same happiness. Maybe with a little help from her and her beau Blake Parker . . .

A Match Made in Williamstown by Lady of Love Inspired Romance Jean C. Gordon — Libby Schuyler has avoided dating since her break-up with college-sweetheart Jack Parker. Out of nowhere, Jack shows up claiming Ellie is swindling his grandfather, Blake, through a travel agency partnership they’ve formed. Libby and Jack team up to protect their grandparents and get to the bottom of Ellie and Blake’s business and romantic relationship. While Libby and Jack fight their reignited attraction, Ellie and Blake conspire to bring the two together.

A Match Made in Sheffield by Terri Weldon— Natalie Benton bounced from one foster home to another until she landed on Ellie Alexander’s doorstep. Natalie’s vagabond childhood caused her to yearn for a secure life, which led to Natalie’s five-year plan: complete her law degree, marry the perfect man, become a partner at Montgomery, Haynes, and Preston, and produce one child. Getting arrested wasn’t in Natalie’s plan. Needing a public defender wasn’t in her plan. Falling for Grady Hunter, her public defender, definitely wasn’t in her plan. Can Grady convince Natalie there is more to life than her five-year plan? Is Ellie the only one who sees a future for Natalie and Grady?

A Match Made in Freedom by Lisa Belcastro — Stephanie Gould loves life on Martha’s Vineyard . . . until she runs into Kay and Tim, her former business partner and her ex-fiancĂ©, who just returned from their honeymoon. Surprised by the heartache she thought was gone, Stephanie heads to the Berkshires to visit family and friends. Arriving in Stockbridge, Stephanie meets Captain Henry Lewis. Little does Stephanie know, her grandmother has already met Henry, and Ellie thinks Henry is perfect. Stephanie has no interest in dating, Henry included. If only Henry didn’t turn up everywhere Stephanie goes. When he walks up beside her at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stephanie can’t deny her attraction, but she’ll do her best to fight it.

Buy Links

Amazon Kindle & Print: 
Nook, iBooks & Kobo:
Barnes & Noble Print:  

Terri Weldon is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in Oklahoma. Terri has two adorable Westies – Crosby and Nolly Grace. She is a member of ACFW and OCFW, a local chapter of ACFW. Terri is the award winning author of The Christmas Bride Wore Boots.

Readers can connect with Terri: Website: or Blog: Seriously Write

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Quitting Is Not An Option by Betty Thomason Owens

Up one day, down the next. A good review? You’re on cloud nine. One star and a reader’s derision? You’re curled up in a fetal position, seeking solace. Such is the writer’s life.

Whether you’re looking for reviews of a newly released novel, waiting for a critique to come back, or a return email from your editor—you’re on tenterhooks! On tenterhooks: phrase meaning one is in a state of uneasy suspense or painful anxiety. That describes it pretty well, doesn’t it?

I remember my first critiques, not long after I joined ACFW and ventured onto “Scribes,” their main critique loop. I went through numerous emotions as I peered at the computer screen with all that red stuff and all those comment bubbles. I cried. I ranted. I raved.

Who is this person, anyway? What does she know about writing? Then my questions changed. Who do I think I am, and what do I know about writing? Am I really this bad a writer? Maybe…I should quit.

Sound familiar? At this point, a writer really needs someone to hold their hand. They need a mentor, or a friend who is also a writer, one who understands the ups and downs of the craft. Whether you meet them at a coffee shop, chat on Facebook, phone, or via email, this person can help you navigate the writer’s life. Remember, though—it’s a system of give and take. If you expect them to encourage you when you’re down, you should be willing to return the favor when they’re having a tough time.

Quitting is not an option. If you’re called to write, you have to write. You can’t quit. So get over it. Close that awful critique for a while. Don’t come back to it until you’re ready. How will you know when you’re ready? When you start thinking, “Hmmm…maybe she was right. Maybe that sentence is confusing.” Or, you realize if a couple of your critique partners found a passage unclear, or a plotline unbelievable, it probably is. This is when you’re ready. Now open the file, and start at the beginning. Work your way through, make your changes—one at a time. Think each one through. Do more research if necessary, to smooth your point of view or plot point.

Perfect your work, then resubmit it to your critique group. Don’t be dismayed if it comes back again, all marked up. Remain teachable. It’s a little like playing guitar. When you start out, your fingertips will scream at you. But as you practice, you’ll form callouses. The skin thickens. This protects your fingers from the wear and tear of the strings. Regular critiques will build your confidence. You don’t want to be calloused, but you will develop the ability to take criticism and deal with it properly. Believe it or not, you’ll survive the learning process. Soon, those chapters will come back with fewer red marks, and the comment balloons will be filled with praise of your writing.

Now, about those reviews…

Have you had to deal with the thought quitting? What made you persevere?


Betty Thomason Owens is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group, and serves as vice-president/secretary of the Louisville area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

Her writing credits include a 20’s era romance, Amelia's Legacy (2014), Carlotta’s Legacy (2016) Books 1 & 2, Legacy Series from Write Integrity Press (WIP), and the Grace-Award-winning Annabelle’s Ruth (2015), and Sutter’s Landing (2017), Books 1 & 2, Kinsman Redeemer Series, also from WIP. She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

Sutter’s Landing
Still reeling from tragic losses, Connie and Annabelle Cross face life with their signature humor and grace, until fresh hope arrives on their doorstep.

In early spring of 1955, Annabelle Cross and her daughter-in-law, Connie have nearly made it through the first winter on their own. Then the skies open up as West Tennessee and much of the south endures one of the worst floods in history. As many of their neighbors endure losses due to the flooding, Annabelle and Connie sit tight on dry ground.

As spring gives way to summer, Annabelle begins to dread Connie’s upcoming marriage and removal to Sutter’s Landing. Though she’s happy to note the growing affection between Alton Wade and her daughter-in-law, their marriage means Annabelle will be on her own for the first time in her life.

Connie’s doubts increase when Alton’s bigoted brother Jensen uses every opportunity to drive a wedge between them. Is she doing the right thing? Did she move too quickly? Unexpected summer visitors and anticipation of a new neighbor provide diversion and open possibilities for both Annabelle and Connie.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sometimes a Great Adversity Affects Us Less Than Its Aftermath

“Mom! What’s going on?”
“I don’t know.”

Zoe M. McCarthy

I located my mother in her bedroom, where she furiously packed a suitcase. 

The date was October 22, 1962. The principal’s grave voice had come over William T Sampson High School’s PA system. “Go directly home.” 

We always rode the gray Naval buses home for the lunchtime break on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Naval Base. But that day, I saw suitcases in the yards along the route home.

Completely bewildered, and my heart thumping, I exited the bus two stops early and, under the hot tropical sun, raced to our standard wooden house in officers’ housing. 

Mom knew only that we were being evacuated. She told me to quickly pack a few things. In my room, I grabbed my curlers, some underwear, and a blouse. 

Daddy detoured from making sure all American civilians were evacuated from an enlisted men’s housing area for a brief goodbye.

Within two hours, my mother, my eleven-year-old brother, and I boarded the military transport, the Upshur, a ship then used to convey transferred military families to their new assignments.

Among the crowd on deck, a woman still wore horseback riding clothes; another older woman claimed this was her second evacuation, the first being Pearl Harbor.

Directed into the ship’s hold, where troops were normally billeted, Mom and I were ushered to the left and my brother, sporting a cast on his broken arm, was steered to the right. My tow-headed brother looked so vulnerable. Later, I saw him once. He begged for clean socks.

Mom and I claimed bunk beds, then I went up to find my friends. During the three-day trip at sea, Mom stayed mostly below deck. I checked on her occasionally. 

We teens pooled together the best we could, singing our rendition of Neil Sedaka’s “Breakin’ Up Is Hard to Do:”

“They say leaving GITMO is hard to do,
now we know, we know that it’s true,
don’t say this is the end,
instead of leaving GITMO,
we wish we were going back again.”

A bull of a Marine sergeant policed the decks, commanding teen boys to “Get aft!” 
Young enlisted women were issued MP armbands, and in their new power, barked assignments to teens. My girlfriends and I sidestepped being sent to clean the toilets plugged with soiled baby diapers. The teen guys served food to the endless lines of hungry evacuees until the boys’ eyes were bloodshot.

Mid trip, the ship quieted to hear President Kennedy apologize over ship's speakers for uprooting us from our homes. I recalled days earlier when Upshur passengers told me the captain’s ruse that the ship had a broken boiler and was stuck in GITMO for repairs. So, days before we sailed, the U.S. government prepared to evacuate civilians.

When we docked in Norfolk, Virginia, it was snowing. A nearby hangar contained miles of racks of donated coats. Dressed in coats over our short-sleeved cotton shirts, we entered processing. Mom was overwhelmed, so I made all the decisions. Her parents lived in frigid Ohio; Daddy’s lived in sunny Florida, where my older sister attended college. We’d go to Florida.

I was immediately enrolled in a sophisticated high school where madras attire was the rage. But I had only one skirt and two blouses. On the first day, the English teacher looked at the form indicating I came from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She didn’t look at me, but asked if I could speak English. Until that moment, as a typical self-centered teen, I’d viewed the Cuban missile crisis evacuation as an adventure. Now reality struck. Her question offended and sobered me. The next three months in that school, before we returned to GITMO, became the real crisis for me.

Do you have such a story?

About the Author
Zoe M. McCarthy believes that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Her first novel is Calculated Risk. She has two other contemporary romances and a nonfiction book to help writers ready their manuscripts coming out soon. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John. 
Calculated Risk
by Zoe M. McCarty

Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website:

Calculated Risk

What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Purchase links for Calculated Risk:

Monday, June 19, 2017

Embrace The Journey by Marianne Evans

Marianne Evans
In this latest season of my writing life, I’m forcing myself to embrace the truth that not all writing is linear. Sometimes the process of crafting a book isn’t A-B-C-D. Sometimes it’s more like B-D-A-C. Sometimes stories piece themselves into existence like a jigsaw puzzle of sorts, scenes connecting and blending into a smooth and ultimately beautiful whole, but not in any kind of neat and immediate sequence.

It used to be that when I sat down to write, I’d pick up where I left off, re-read to add polish, layers and any needed corrections. From there, I’d continue to create a story in a very straightforward manner. Now, my writing time is more scatter-shot, and I find I can’t force myself to sit and write what simply isn’t “there” for me yet. It took a lot of writer’s block and coaching to get me to realize my writing has had to shift and evolve—yet remain continuous of flow and most of all true to its story/character arc--due to restricted time at the computer.

What have I learned? How can I encourage you if you face the same issue?
Write the scene you’re called to write. Craft the book you’re called to write. Let passion and your writerly joy of creating drive the process of bringing your characters to life. Breathe to life those three key elements by infusing your book with heart, because what you're called to write comes straight fro)m there. For me, whatever scene (or project) I'm called to create, whether it comes to me in any kind of logical sequence or not, is a nudge from God that moves me forward.

As I type this blog post, I’m in a plane, on my way to Italy (future blog posts on this journey, I’m certain!) with my precious sister Mary. She’s in the process of crafting the book of her heart, about the man of her heart, and it motivates me even further to hold on to the passion and the joy writing has always given me. Don’t be afraid to move from D to A to B…the roads we all walk are never straight and tidy, are they? They’re full of ups and downs and thrilling dips--twists and turns as powerful as any rollercoaster ride.

Embrace the journey. That’s been a mantra of mine since I began writing. It’s great, at times like this, to gain an ordained reminder of why that phrase means so much to me. The journey is the goal…not just the destination. Hope that encourages you!
Until next time, friends.


Nobody's Baby  But Mine
Noah Talbert just lost his twin sister—his closest living relative—to a horrific automobile accident. Her death brings him straight to Angel Falls where he claims guardianship of his five-year-old nephew, Dylan.

Elementary school counselor Charlotte Latherson is focused on Dylan's case for reasons both personal and professional. His mother was Charlotte's best friend, and the loss has transformed the once joyful and engaging little boy into a reticent, downtrodden kindergartner.

Charlotte is well aware of Noah's history. Other than a close relationship with his sister, Noah's life has been solitary; he keeps to himself and builds strong walls of protection around a heart. Can he provide what's best for Dylan?

At times they butt heads over the youngster's life, but as they struggle, God opens a loving pathway in their hearts. While Noah fights for a child he feels is nobody's baby but his, Charlotte wonders if the feelings they share can't create the bridge to a miracle.


Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Readers laude her work as “Riveting,” “Realistic and true to heart,” “Compelling.” Her Christian fiction debut, Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Her follow-up novel, Forgiveness, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors as did her book Hearts Communion. She is also a two-time recipient of the Selah Award for her books Then & Now and Finding Home. Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. You can connect with Marianne at

Friday, June 16, 2017

Divine Appointments Bring Fruitful Ministry Opportunities by Athena Dean Holtz

Athena Dean Holtz

I met Athena Dean Holtz some years ago through the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association (she’s currently the president.) I love the story she shares today, but let me tell you, this is only a small part of her amazing journey. I have so much respect for this woman. To learn more, please check out her memoir, Full Circle: Coming Home to the Faithfulness of God. ~ Dawn

Divine Appointments Bring
Fruitful Ministry Opportunities

Entering the world of publishing as a neophyte back in 1986 while serving in the ministry to Vietnam veterans and their wives, I learned the power of the written word and how lives can be changed forever.

Many small groups scattered across the country, gatherings of vets sharing their struggles and pain, praying for one another. We felt called to give them spiritual solutions to their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder rather than leaving them with the VA’s answers – take meds and learn to cope!

Rejection letters filled our mail box. We weren’t famous, the ministry wasn’t huge, and Vietnam veterans weren’t considered a great audience. Finally, an acquaintance who worked for a denomination’s publications division offered a response that seemed do-able.

“I’ll do a rewrite of the manuscript, have a cover designed, format the text, apply for an ISBN number, and have 10,000 copies printed for a buck a piece!”

God had orchestrated this “divine appointment” but we had no idea where the money would come from! We prayed and trusted Him for the provision for the vision He’d planted in our hearts. Just a week later a Korean vet walked into the Point Man Ministries offices in Woodinville and wrote out a check for the entire project. Just like that.

In just 2 years, we sold 8,000 copies of “Nam Vet: Making Peace with Your Past” giving away the other 2,000 at events across the country. In 1988, we were interviewed on the 700 Club about an upcoming Veteran’s Conference the ministry was hosting in Virginia.

One of the guests was impressed by the sales and offered to act as an agent and pitch the book to a traditional publisher. At the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, he met with Larry Libby, Senior Editor for Multnomah Publishers. Larry quickly offered a contract and Multnomah sold 40,000 copies over the next eight years. Many vets were saved and healed through the words in that book.

That success story started me on a journey that has been an amazing story of God’s grace. We started the first professional custom publishing company in the industry and I pioneered the independent publishing movement in the Christian market over the next few decades. I was the first custom publisher invited to serve on faculty of some of the most credible Christian writers’ conferences across the country because we were passionate about excellence and telling authors the truth about whether their books were really ready for publication or not. We required editing and proofreading and prided ourselves on producing books that didn’t look “self-published!” That successful 20-year-old company was a God idea that got hijacked by the enemy, but God was faithful to restore all that was stolen and birth Redemption Press in January of 2014.

My 30-year adventure in publishing encountered many twists and turns, including a modern-day Cinderella story which has now been shared in my memoir, “Full Circle: Coming Home to the Faithfulness of God,” (Redemption Press, 2017).

In the aftermath of spiritual abuse and toxic leadership, one woman’s shattered life is restored by the faithfulness of God. Athena’s driving desire for affirmation and attention pulled her away from her family, husband, and children into what she thought would bring happiness. Deceived by Scientology, forays into mysticism, and twelve years in a restrictive and legalistic cult, she lost everything: her marriage, relationships, home, business, money, and reputation. This is the candid and inspirational story of how her eyes were opened, how God restored what had been lost, and gave her the desires of her heart, including a new love.

Athena Dean Holtz has been at the forefront of Christian custom publishing for the last 28 years. The co-founder of WinePress Publishing, she now leads Redemption Press. Author of three previous books, and a highly-rated personal blog, she serves as president of the Northwest Christian Writers Association, is a president’s club member of the Christian Women in Media Association, and a member of Advanced Writer & Speaker Association. She serves as host and interviewer on Always Faithful Radio, AM 630 KCIS, Seattle. Married to Ross Holtz, pastor of The Summit, Athena enjoys her grandchildren and time spent sailing. The couple makes their home in Enumclaw, Wash.