Friday, November 29, 2013

June Foster's Journey to Publication

June Foster

Anytime and anywhere, God may use anyone or anything to direct our path. Her daughter’s simple remark spurred author June Foster to begin her journey to publication. She shares her story today. Enjoy! 
~ Dawn

June Foster's Journey to Publication

For seven or eight years I had a story incubating in my mind. I even visualized the scenes and the characters. You may not think that so unusual, but I've never had an interest in writing—much less a romance. End time prophesies intrigued me. I read every single one of The Left Behind Series.

All this retired school teacher wanted to do was travel in an RV with her husband doing all the touristy things. But God had a different plan. In November of 2009, I told my daughter about the story. She made a remark which was the spark the Lord used. "Why don't you write it, Mom?"

I went home that day and knew my life had changed forever. I got a new Toshiba laptop, a Sprint air card, and a printer. My husband and I set out on our latest RV adventure on January 1, 2010. My dear spouse took the couch out of the RV and replaced it with a writing table and file cabinets. I purchased every "how to" book I could get my hands on, and joined ACFW and Scribes.

I think at first, my husband scratched his head and figured I was going through a "phase," a post-midlife crisis. But when I continued to pound the keys of my computer, he became convinced. And supportive. He helps me considerably with facts, details and even plot ideas.

Now less than four years later, the Lord has blessed me with publication of five of my eight novels. The first one, the story that lurked for so long, is not published yet. But I'm praying for God's open doors.

What have I learned? That when our gracious Lord wants something accomplished, He'll do it. I'm so thankful for the assurance that God does intervene in our lives. And when He wants to take us in the opposite direction from the way we were going, He gives us the grace to do it. He is sovereign.


Author June Foster knew her life had changed forever. Click to tweet.

When our gracious Lord wants something accomplished, He'll do it. Click to tweet.

When God wants to take us in the opposite direction, He gives us the grace to do it. Click to tweet.

Jess Colton gave his life to the Lord but failed to surrender an old habit. Fueled by alcohol, he spent the night with a former girlfriend, ignoring his Christian principles. Convicted of his wrong doing, he quit drinking but discovered another addiction. Now he can't manage his life as his weight soars and diabetes threatens to claim him. Jess is baffled when the beautiful Holly Harrison declares her love.

Holly Harrison lived to please herself. But everything changed when a deadly motorcycle accident altered her life forever. Nowhere else to turn, she looked to God for answers. Now, she's convinced no man would want her. She doesn’t plan on falling in love with the handsome Jess Colton, seeing past his bulk to the godly, tender man within. When Jess drives a wedge between them, she loses hope of a future with him.

Can Holly overcome her fear of Jess discovering her handicap? Will Jess find control over his eating and his life? Only God can provide the answers.

June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day – February 1, 2012, As We Forgive – September 1, 2012, and Deliver Us – April 1, 2013, and Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012. June's book, Ryan's Father, will be available from WhiteFire Publishing January 2014. For All Eternity, Red and the Wolf, and Misty Hollow, God willing, will be published in the near future. June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives.

Connect with June by visiting:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving and Thank You!

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Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 
I Thess 5:16-18 NIV

The Seriously Write team would like to thank you, dear readers, for traveling this writing journey with us. For faithfully stopping by to read our posts, for brightening our days with your comments, and for sharing us with your friends.

Wishing you a day filled with love and laughter, family and friends, faith and fun.

Happy Thanksgiving 
from your friends at Seriously Write!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Being Thankful For A Writing Community by Phyllis Keels

At this time of year, we drag out the china, baste the turkey, and gather around the table with friends and family. It's a special time to ponder God's provisions. God provides special blessings for writers, too. Today, author Phyllis Keels shares something she is thankful for when it comes to writing. -- Sandy

Phyllis: You know what I like about the writing community? Well, a whole lot of things, but the thing I like the most is its collaborative and not competitive nature. Do you see it too? I see it all the time.

  • Experienced writers who willingly share what they’ve learned with others who are just starting out.
  • Celebrating with another writer who, after years of hard work, hears good news from an agent or publisher.
  • The eagerness of writers to share resources, and offer their time to review or critique another writer’s work.

There are so many examples of this collaborative nature of writers. I’ve been the recipient of more generosity from them than I can count. I’ve also been blessed to be in a position to give these things to others.

That is probably why we do it. The joy of passing along what we have learned, things that save someone else the pain we went through. It’s what we do for our children. We want them to learn from our mistakes, so they will be better than we are.

This collaborative approach is a beautiful picture of how the body of Christ is supposed to function. No competition, just a willingness to share, and the desire for others to excel, to shine in using their gifts. What it really shows us is the truth that those who humble themselves will be exalted.

When we place someone else’s need above our own desires (perhaps to guard our time, or to be successful); when we offer help to someone else, then we elevate that person above us.

Jesus said that if we do this, we will be in a place of honor. Our Heavenly Father Himself will honor us. Even though we do not do these things for the honor of it, it is perfectly acceptable to be grateful for this honor from the Lord. In that moment of being grateful, we are passing the honor onto the One to whom it really belongs – the Lord Jesus.

That is the heart of thanksgiving.

This year, I will take time to be thankful for every writer who ever helped me, to each one who shared what he or she knows, to all who offered valuable time and gave it freely.

In this way, I can offer praise to my Lord who loves me, and blesses me so richly every day of my life, by making me part of this giving community of writers.

So pull up a chair around the table and share with your fellow writers how God has blessed you in your writing this year. 


Phyllis Keels is an award-winning author, as well as a speaker, an illustrator, and a woman after God’s own heart.

In her writing and speaking, she calls women to a deeper level of honesty and intimacy with our Lord Jesus Christ as they learn to cling to Him in life’s valleys.

A deaconess of her church, Phyllis teaches Bible study, speaks, and is watchful to use any opportunity to minister to hurting women of all ages.

Phyllis’ passion is that others may also know the Lord is faithful, and that Jesus is intimately aware of our suffering. She proclaims our Heavenly Father’s promise that He is indeed near to the brokenhearted.

A full-time writer, speaker, and business owner of The Gifted Writer, LLC, Phyllis lives in North Carolina, with her son and two really big dogs.

You can read more about Phyllis or follow her:

·         Website:
·         Twitter: @PhyllisKeels
·         Facebook Author Page: Phyllis.Keels
·         Goodreads: Phyllis Keels
·         Pinterest:
·         Blog:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Writing Despite Distractions by Candy Arrington

Candy Arrington
During the last years of my mother's life, I served as her caregiver. Ironically, I was writing a book on caring for aging parents at the time. While the responsibilities of caregiving often caused distractions that compromised writing time, in some ways, the difficult circumstances taught me to snatch brief available writing moments.

Most of us find it difficult to compartmentalize emotional upheaval. It spills over into every aspect of life. And physical exhaustion, which is constant for most caregivers or the chronically ill, robs mental processes. So how can you continue to write when distracted by urgent, on-going, or energy-draining life events?

Inventory writing accomplishments—Sometimes we lose track of what we've accomplished in the face of what feels like a total productivity standstill. Reviewing publishing credits reminds us God is our source of inspiration, encourages dependence on him, and sparks new ideas. If you wrote this much, this well, before now, you'll be able to do it again.

Chronicle snippets—Get in the habit of carrying a small notebook you can easily access. Sometimes our minds work on writing pursuits even though we're involved in other activities, including while asleep. When ideas, book or article titles, themes, sentences, or phrases pop into your mind, write them in your notebook. Don't try to make sense of them at the time. Just get them on paper. If you don't have the notebook with you, compose a text message to yourself and save it, or send a brief email from your phone. 

Once, while my mother was in the hospital, I wrote most of a chapter and didn't remember until I opened the document weeks later. I almost cried because the deadline was looming and I thought I hadn't started that chapter yet. When I saw it was nearly finished, I was overwhelmed by the knowledge that God was writing through me even though my mind was elsewhere.

Set small, realistic goals—Often, our biggest writing challenge is a blank computer screen. Typing even a few sentences primes the pump. Decide to make an outline, write two paragraphs, or create five bullet points. You'll be surprised how often you keep going beyond the small goal you set for yourself. Once you meet, or exceed, your goal, the sense of accomplishment you feel encourages you to move forward.

Realize difficulties are the catalyst for heart-felt writing—Hardships add new dimensions to writing. Although not perceived while in the midst of the situation, later concepts and lessons crystallize. Then writing comes from a deeper place. Instead of cursing your circumstances, mine them for writing gems. But make sure your writing edifies readers rather than serving as a forum for whining.

Side-step discouragement—Discouragement is one of Satan's most effective weapons, but rest assured, greater seasons of writing productivity lie ahead. Don't succumb to the thought that you're a writing has-been. Praise God for the gift of words and ask him to continue to use you and your writing to encourage others.

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Chronicle snippets: get in the habit of carrying a small notebook you can easily access. Click to Tweet
Praise God for the gift of words and ask him to continue to use you. Click to Tweet
Five easy ways to keep writing in spite of distractions. Click to Tweet
About the Author
When Your Aging Parent Needs Care
by Candy Arrington & Kim Atchley
About Candy Arrington
Candy Arrington's writing provides Biblical insight and practical support, often on tough topics. Her publishing credits include The Lookout, Encounter, Focus on the Family, Clubhouse, The Upper Room, The Writer, and Writer's Digest. She is coauthor of Aftershock: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B & H Publishing Group) and When Your Aging Parent Needs Care: Practical Help for This Season of Life (Harvest House Publishers). Candy and her husband, Jim, live in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she writes about the lessons God is teaching her.

When Your Aging Parent Needs Care
In nearly a quarter of households in the US, someone is caring for an aging parent. What begins as a way to honor those they love becomes, for many, a confusing and stressful time. This resource of hope provides caregivers with the support and direction they need to be spiritually, physically, and emotionally prepared for situations they face day-to-day. Authors Candy Arrington and Kim Atchley draw from their personal experiences to speak with compassion and guidance and support those who face the challenges of caring for a parent.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Release 2013 Series: A Hero for Christmas by Jo Ann Brown

Jo Ann Brown

Hey, everyone! Annette here. We're getting closer to Thanksgiving, and continuing to feature Christmas titles here on Seriously Write Mondays. (We start early so we can fit more in. *smile*) Here's an interview with Jo Ann Brown to discuss her holiday title, A Hero for Christmas, which releases next week. Enjoy!

An Interview 
with Jo Ann Brown

Welcome, Jo Ann!

How did this project take shape?

It is a sequel to my first Sanctuary Bay book (The Dutiful Daughter), and the hero and heroine of this book were secondary characters in the first book. Because of my own experiences in the military, I have long been interested in how warriors return to civilian life. The three heroes in this trilogy are all making that transition.  

Share some themes of your novel:

The main theme is that we all fight battles–some on a battlefield, some with our faith, some with our hearts...and some with ourselves.  

What makes your project stand out from other Christmas titles?

It is set in Regency England, but not in London. The setting is in North Yorkshire.  

Please share an interesting fact about your book.

Sanctuary Bay is based on the real Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire, a fascinating village set on a steep cliff down to the North Sea. Nobody knows why it was named for Robin Hood, and it was once a hotbed for smugglers.  

What’s next for you as an author?

My next book is the third book in the Sanctuary Bay series–A Bride for the Baron, which is scheduled for March, 2014.  

What else would you like to share about this project?

Christmas in Regency England was celebrated with medieval traditions rather than the Victorian ones we are familiar with now. I had a tough time finding carols to include in the book, because most of the ones we sing were either not written yet or not yet put to music. Again, I had to turn to medieval sources to find the songs known in the early 19th century.


A Hero for Christmas
Releasing December 3, 2013 from Harlequin Love Inspired Historical: A Hero for Christmas.

Jonathan Bradby would gladly return to fighting the French if it meant avoiding his new title: war hero. Only he knows the reputation isn't deserved. Then a visit to Sanctuary Bay brings renewed acquaintance with the lovely Lady Catherine Meriweather. He's drawn to her, yet Cat surely deserves a real hero. 

Overwhelmed with organizing a Yuletide celebration and her sister's wedding, Cat gladly accepts Jonathan's help. Soon she sees the gentle heart he conceals beneath his wit. But Jonathan's need to prove himself could drive them apart—unless they're bold enough to seize the unexpected gift of love.  

Sanctuary Bay—where three war heroes find the healing power of love.


Jo Ann Brown has been creating characters and stories for as long as she can remember. She wrote her first novel in high school, and it happily resides in the very back of her file cabinet. Fast forward through college, serving in the US Army as a quartermaster officer, getting married, and increasing her blessings with three children...and Jo Ann sold her first book (a western historical romance) in 1987. Since it was published in 1988, she has sold over 100 titles and has become a best-selling and award-winning author. Romantic Times called her "a truly talented author." She writes romance, mystery, and paranormal under a variety of pen names. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages and are sold on every continent except Antarctica. She has always lived on the east coast, but now resides in Nevada with her husband, who is her first reader, and a chubby tiger cat.