Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

ice crystals*

Hi writing friends! We hostesses and regular contributors at Seriously Write want to wish you a merry Christmas and all the best in the new year!


We'll be away from the blog through the holidays and back with fresh content in 2020, beginning Thursday, January 2. Until then, we wish you peace and joy throughout the season. And happy writing!

*photo credits: Pixabay

Monday, December 23, 2019

Catch the Eye of Your Reader

You have written a blog post, article, devotion, etc. Now, a great photo is needed to catch the eye of the reader and keep the interest going. How do you choose your photos?
There are various sites where a photo can be chosen and uploaded to the computer at no charge. Some of these sites are awesome.

I have used those photographs in the past and probably will use some again. Right now, I have decided to take photos with my phone and use those. My own personal photos. No worry about using a photo that is not authorized.

I must admit. My photos are not always the best. A learning process in photography is a new hobby for me. The occasional blurry photo, the wrong lighting or a plain boring picture can be found on my phone and computer. Yet, I will keep trying.

Think about blogs and articles you read online or in print. Is there always a photograph? Does the photo catch your eye? Are there bright colors or an image that touches your heart? Have you noticed if the photograph has anything to do with the message of the writer?

This time of year, I see many images of Nativity scenes, mangers, stars, the night sky and various drawings of Jesus. I am pausing to wonder how the author chose the photo.

A photo can draw a reader to your message. A photo can also cause a reader to turn away or put aside the message and move on to another one.

A photo can draw a reader to your message. #seriouslywrite @mimionlife

How do you choose photos? Do you take photographs with your phone or camera? Share ideas and notice the photos in blog posts and articles.

Blessings and Merry Christmas,
Melissa Henderson

Melissa Henderson is a writer of inspirational messages through fiction, non-fiction, devotions, guest blogs, articles and more. Her first children’s book, “Licky the Lizard” was released in 2018. Some of her passions are helping in community and church. Melissa and her husband Alan moved from Virginia to South Carolina in 2017 to be near son, daughter-in-love and first grandchild. The family motto is "It’s Always A Story With The Henderson".

Website and blog : http://www.melissaghenderson.com
Amazon link to "Licky the Lizard"
Facebook : Melissa Henderson, Author
Pinterest : Melissa Henderson
Twitter : @mimionlife

Friday, December 20, 2019

Encouragement in Today’s Publishing Climate by JoAnn Durgin

Meme with Psalm 25:4

Encouragement in Todays Publishing Climate

When writing fiction, I’ve never suffered from that dreaded anomaly known as “writer’s block.” Not once. My early writing habits might shed some light on why that is. As a young mother and pastor’s wife, I dabbled in writing novels while our kids were napping. When the children were older and I “got serious” about submitting my manuscripts, I was busy with a demanding full-time job as well as a part-time job. My characters and stories percolated as I went about my life, and I tucked away snippets of dialogue, ideas, and plot points in my mind. As you might imagine, when I finally sat down at the computer, my fingers could barely keep up with the virtual flood of words!

During that period, I drafted out all eleven of the original books in what is now my “signature” series. I labored into the wee hours nearly every night and forced myself to stop at two in the morning. Sure, I was younger with more energy (and required less sleep), but I was focused, determined, and disciplined. Why did I push myself so hard? Yes, I hoped to be published, but it was more than that. Writing was my passion, and it still is.

A natural extension of that passion is that I love encouraging authors, especially new writers. Sure, doling out advice is easy when it pertains to the actual process of writing. However, the landscape of Christian publishing has changed so rapidly in the last decade that, as I face the blank screen to write a blog, I sometimes wonder what I can say to encourage others. While staying optimistic, we also need to be realistic about what’s happening.

First, the straight-talk. A number of established, traditional Christian publishers are being gobbled up or merging with bigger secular houses. Smaller publishing houses are folding or moving away from the Christian market. As a consequence, the career path for a number of traditionally published authors has been altered or redirected. Sadly, some have lost contracts. Many have had their rights reverted and are now independently publishing their backlists. Others have found success with smaller publishing houses and/or gone “hybrid” with both traditional and independent projects.

Now for the good news! In spite of it all, I like to believe the Christian publishing industry is alive and well. With all the different avenues of publishing available today, there is a place for everyone. New authors are still signing traditional contracts, and the explosion of independent publishing in recent years has made it possible for almost anyone to publish their work.

My mother used to say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” If you’re called by God to write for His glory, if it’s your passion, then let Him handle the details and keep forging ahead. You won’t be able to walk if you don’t take that first step. Especially in today’s fluctuating book market, Christians need to make their voices heard. Whether you write from a Christian worldview or from a stronger spiritual stance, what you write is valid and someone’s out there who needs to hear your message. If you’re in the category of not yet published, that doesn’t mean you’re not an author. Your voice just hasn’t been heard—yet.

This point can’t be stressed enough (and I see it often here on Seriously Write): pray over your writing. Ask God to help you to write in such a way as to bring honor and glory to Him, not you. When we take the focus off “self” and redirect it to the One who makes all things possible, He will bless your efforts. Not necessarily in terms of monetary success, glory, or awards (but that can happen, of course), but with the soul-filling satisfaction of a job well done.

Blessings to all during this joyous Christmas season, and onward and forward into 2020!


"Writing was my passion, and it still is." ~JoAnn Durgin #seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters via @Gr8tReads
Straight-talk about Christian publishing from JoAnn Durgin #seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters via @Gr8tReads

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Starlight Book 1

Jacob Marston, Starlight, Iowa’s hometown hero made a long-ago promise to the Lord: he won’t kiss a woman until he knows she’s “the one.” Now at age twenty-eight, the rugged firefighter questions if it’ll ever happen. Then, he meets his best friend’s sister, and Jake believes he’s found the woman of his dreams. But what will she think when she discovers his vow? 

When Julia makes an unexpected confession on Christmas Day, Jake shares his secret with her, and it looks as though happily-ever-after will make a holiday appearance. But somehow, everyone in the tiny town of Starlight learns Jake’s secret, and he’s instantly transformed from town hero to laughingstock. Did Julia reveal his secret? Can Jake forget the humiliation and find his way under the mistletoe to share a forever kiss with Julia?

JoAnn Durgin
JoAnn Durgin is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty contemporary Christian romance novels, including her signature Lewis Legacy Series. A native of southern Indiana, JoAnn likes to say she’s “been around in the nicest sense of the word” after living in four states across the country before returning to her hometown with her husband and three children. When she’s not writing, JoAnn loves to travel and spend time with their first grandchild, Amelia Grace.

Feel free to connect with her at https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanndurgin or via her website at https://joanndurgin.com.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Silent Season by Susan Tuttle

It’s December and all things are glittering and glowing. It’s such a beautiful season. We sing songs about a silent night, all the while not really thinking about how that night wasn’t silent. Mary gave birth to our Savior that night, shattering the silence of 400 years.

Friends, the silent season is real and can be oh-so-difficult. As writers we experience so much silence that it can move beyond deafening to the space filled with all of our insecurities. They tell us that we’re not good enough for this writing world. We’ll never see publication. Our writing doesn’t really matter. No one wants our stories. Other writers are so much more talented and deserving. Bottom line, we begin to believe God is no longer working on our behalf. Oh, may we never mistake the silence for God’s absence. (That was a sentence my pastor spoke on Sunday, and it echoed through me because there have been times in my life where I’ve done just that!)

God is working even when we cannot see him. If he has given you a promise about your writing, then he is going to fulfill it. Often in the silence he’s positioning us and everything around us so that his promise can meet fulfillment in his perfect timing. So when it’s silent, cling to his word and his track record—God’s word is good. His timing is perfect. And he always completes what he promises.

Merry Christmas, friends! And if you’re struggling with a silent season right now, please let me know in the comments so I can pray for you.

Amazon Buy Link

Love You, Truly

Blake Carlton, the camera-shy son of Hollywood’s Darling, dodges the invasive limelight and scripted relationships that so often accompany fame. But when his mother’s popularity declines and she falls into a depression, he offers himself up as the next bachelor on a reality show, hoping to reignite interest in her career while creating a way for them to finally connect.

After her fiancé dumps her for her best friend, aspiring photographer Harlow Tucker is done with romance—until her beloved, disabled sister requests her aid to start a nonprofit. Harlow agrees to do whatever is needed to raise funds, even reluctantly costarring on a dating show with a notorious womanizer who distrusts anyone behind a lens.

As Blake and Harlow navigate the superficiality of a reality show, their preconceived notions of love are challenged. Deciding to trust each other feels like the ultimate risk, but taking that chance could lead to a love truly picture-perfect, worth both of their hearts.

Susan L. Tuttle lives in the Mitten State where she’s a homeschooling mom of three who’s very happily married to her best friend. She’s firmly convinced that letters were meant for words, not math, and loves stringing them together into stories that inspire and encourage. Romance, laughter, and cookies are three of her favorite things, though not always in that order. Connect with Susan at www.susanltuttle.com.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

I Can’t Do It All! (And My Words of the Year) by Patty Smith Hall

“I can bring home the bacon,
Fry it up in a pan,
And never, ever let him forget he’s a man,
Cause I’m a Wo---Man!”

This commercial was like a battle cry for the girls of my generation. For the first time in our lives, we were told that women could have it all, do it all. I remember as a teenager being excited at the thought. Growing up in an extended family where a girl was considered a failure if she didn’t secure a husband by the time she was twenty, it gave voice to my hope of attending college, having a career and making a difference in the world. Thank heavens, I was blessed with parents who believed I could do anything I put my mind to and encouraged me. Because of them and my husband, I’ve achieved some of those dreams.

Yet now, as I begin my fifty-ninth year, I’ve finally been hit in the head by a two-by-four. The commercial had it wrong. Nobody can have it all.

That two-by-four was a recent doctor’s visit for my annual physical. While all my tests and physical exam came back normal, the doctor had some concerns. The pain I have with a long-term back injury was up, and I stayed constantly tired. After further questioning, she came back with a startling diagnosis—I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Though I shared with her how much joy I found in my writing, she suggested I find something else that relaxes me and gives me joy. She also told me one more thing.

To give myself a break. She felt I was too hard on myself, expected too much from myself and that it had robbed me of joy.

This is extremely hard for me. I’m a type A personality, a first-born, a perfectionist. I don’t comprehend the word ‘stop.’ From the time I wake up in the morning to the moment my head hits the pillow at night, I go full blast, tackling a daily to-do list that’s as long as my arm. If there were more hours in the day, I’d fill them.

So, there are huge changes on the horizon in the new year for me. I’ve already started asking for help from my family and friends which is hard for me. I’m taking time out every night to indulge in reading more. I’m hitting the gym to lower my pain level. I’m making time for sacred rest, clinging to the knowledge that God values me whether I’m a success or failure.

Because I’m not supposed to do it all, and the truth is I don’t want to do it anymore. My worth is found in Christ, not whether I live up to my lofty expectations. With that in mind, I’m focusing on two words in the new year:

Breakthrough and Joy.

Do you ever find yourself trying to do too much? Do you expect too much from yourself? What is your word for the year?

The commercial had it wrong. Nobody can have it all. via @pattywrites #SeriouslyWrite #amwriting


Patty Smith Hall lives in North Georgia with her husband of 36+ years, Danny. Her passion is
to write tender romances based in little-known historical moments. The winner of the 2008 ACFW Genesis award in historical romance, she is published with Love Inspired Historical, Barbour and Winged Publishing, and is a contributor to the Seriously Writing blog as well as Journey magazine. Patty is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. 

4 Women Bring Southern Charm to a Cowboy Town 
Crinoline Creek, Texas, 1868
A Cowboy of Her Own by Patty Smith Hall

Bookish southern belle Madalyn Turner knows what she wants—to be a cowboy and own a Texas ranch. But books are far different from real life and soon she realizes she needs help.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

5 Tips to Simplify Holiday Stress by Shannon Moore Redmon

Is there anything better than this time of year? Pumpkin pie, Christmas lights and the ever-present stress of finding the right gift for everyone on our lists are enough to drive this girl crazy.

Well, I’m all about simplifying the holiday madness and I hope these tips help you, too.

Church Fellowship Halls – Tired of traveling around, dragging the kids and dogs from place to place on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. If so, then reserve a local fellowship hall. My family has done this for the past three Thanksgivings and it has worked out splendidly for all. We invite all of our family on both sides and they are welcome to invite their family members also. The only rule: bring a couple of things to eat.

Potluck Dishes or Catering – If you’re tired of cooking for large crowds then have everyone bring a dish to your holiday meal. We always end up with way too much food to eat and everyone leaving satisfied. Perhaps your brood isn’t the cooking type and you’re afraid you’ll end up with nothing but ramen noodles to eat, then supply a catered meal. If you have a generous family, then they shouldn’t mind chipping in to cover the cost in lieu of cooking.

Smaller Christmas Trees – As much as I love a large, live Christmas tree, my wiser age has taught me that vacuuming up pine needles and sacrificing valuable space in my smaller living room is just not worth it in this household. Instead, we decorate two smaller, straighter trees that can be stored away in our back room with the decorations still intact. The week of Thanksgiving, I walked to my back room, picked up my two trees and carried them, already decorated, to their designated spots. Then I added touches around the room with figurines, bells, and quilted stockings. All was completed in about an hour and then I could sit back, admire the lights while sipping hot tea from my Christmas mug … stress-free.

Online Shopping – I’ve never been one to enjoy endless walking into multitudes of stores to find the right present for someone. I’m more of a “let’s do lunch” girl than a “let’s go shopping” girl. Therefore, on Black Friday, I spend the day in my pajamas with a good cup of coffee and order all my gifts online. I’ve found this allows me to really think about and purchase unique gifts that suit everyone better than settling for some bargain bin gift just to have something to wrap. Plus, I can usually find really good deals and the presents come with a box ready for wrapping.

Give back– Many people need others to help them have a good Christmas and when we help others our stress levels decrease. I’ve never regretted helping someone provide a meal or gifts for their family when they may not have the means to do so themselves. If fact, the joy that comes from giving to others is the best stress-free gift of all.

I hope these tips will help us reduce the stress in our holiday season and provide more time to do what we truly love … spending time with the ones we love during the most wonderful time of the year.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and God’s blessings to all!

The joy that comes from giving to others is the best stress-free gift of all. #amwriting #seriouslywrite @shannon_redmon @MaryAFelkins

Shannon Redmon remembers the first grown up book she checked out from the neighborhood book mobile. A Victoria Holt novel with romance, intrigue, dashing gentlemen and ballroom parties captivated her attention. For her mother, the silence must have been a pleasant break from non-stop teenage chatter, but for Shannon, those stories whipped up a desire and passion for writing.
There’s nothing better than the power of a captivating novel, a moving song or zeal for a performance that punches souls with awe. A rainbow displayed after a horrific storm or expansive views on a mountaintop bring nuggets of joy into our lives. Shannon hopes her stories immerse readers into that same kind of amazement, encouraging faith, hope and love, guiding our hearts to the One who created us all.

Shannon’s writing has been published in Spark magazine, Splickety magazine, the Lightning Blog, The Horse of My Dreams compilation book, and the Seriously Write blog. Her stories have been selected as a semi-finalist and finalist of the ACFW Genesis Contest and won first place in the Foundation’s Awards. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. The StoryMoore Blog is named in memory of her father, Donald Eugene Moore.

Connect with Shannon:
The StoryMoore Blog
FB: https://www.facebook.com/shannon.redmon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shannon_redmon @shannon_redmon
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannonredmon/

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Magi, a Reminder to Put God First by Patty Nicholas-Boyte

Matthew 2:1-2 1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, [a]magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (NASB)

I am blessed to work for a Christian organization in my day job. This week we had our annual Christmas staff luncheon where our speaker brought us a message from Matthew 2:1-2. I found it interesting the contrast between Herod, who proclaimed himself king of the Jews, and Jesus who truly is King of the Jews.

Herod was known as a builder, in fact, if a person were to visit Israel, you would find the ruins of the amazing things that he built. However, what is left of his legacy is ruins. Jesus, Almighty God, our one true king has built a kingdom that has no end and will never be in ruins. While Herod worked his whole life to make a name for himself, to build a “platform” that would have no end, that when the true king came along, he not only missed the opportunity to worship, worse still, he allowed jealousy to take over and attempted to extinguish God Himself.

As a writer who is working hard at building a platform, I felt the Holy Spirit speak directly to my heart, when He said “worship me, follow me and I will take care of you.”

I love how God has sandwiched a very busy year of my life with the same message, and reminder to make Him a priority.

Back in January, I prayerfully chose a word and scripture verse for this year. The word I chose was “first” and the corresponding scripture was Matthew 6:33 (NASB) 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. This year, I have seen the birth of a third grandchild, I have won a couple of writing awards, I have become a regular contributor to this blog, and last but not least, I got married.

I love how God has sandwiched a very busy year of my life with the same message, and reminder to make Him a priority. Worship Him, put Him first and He will take care of all of the details. In the new year to come,

I hope and pray you all have many blessings in your writing, in your family and in your relationship with Jesus.

Multi award winning writer, Patty Nicholas lives in the mountains of North Carolina. She is a busy event planner for the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove, and is a member of the Blue Ridge Writers Group. She is a mother of two grown daughters and grandmother of three. She writes Bible studies and devotionals as well as contemporary romance. Devotions are published in compilations by Lighthouse Bible Studies.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Snapshots — A Tool for Writers by Deb Garland

Photograph of a plate of cookies.

As writers, we use a variety of methods to brainstorm ideas and keep track of research. We can find helpful visuals in books and online, but how about documenting personal explorations? Author Deb Garland shares how photography plays a role in creating her stories. ~ Dawn

Snapshots — A Tool for Writers

Christmas is a wonderful time for taking photos of family and friends. One of the best childhood gifts I received was my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic. My dad insisted I learn how to use it before our family’s summer trip to Alaska. He timed our five-week adventure in a rented camper in 1967 to coincide with the state’s centennial celebration of its purchase by the United States from Russia.

At ten-years-old, I fell in love with tales of wilderness adventures, frontier history, and photography. Now I write Christian historical fiction for readers who enjoy rugged romances steeped in faith and anchored in true stories of the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and Alaska. To help me accomplish this task, I employ a digital camera.

Sometimes a photo I’ve taken sparks a novel idea, but most often I have one in mind and use my camera to gather story information. In fact, I own two cameras (Nikon D7200 and Canon SX740HS) and an iPhone since they serve different purposes. The Nikon’s polarizing filter enhances scenery details and delivers a high-quality image, the Canon’s longer telephoto captures distant wildlife, and the iPhone works well for scanning printed material.

I juggle all three devices according to my focus. On occasion, my husband assists if time is short on a museum tour or if I need a panorama or nature closeup where his skills outshine mine. It’s beneficial to have two camera operators with different perspectives to capture a wider variety of photographs. This can be a lifesaver when I’ve missed a shot or experience camera failure.

Photograph of mountains and water.

Sailing in the San Juan Islands of Washington State for over thirty-five years has given me an opportunity to observe many aspects of island life and the setting for my current stories. More, I acquired a photo collection I can refer to when I write. Because as you know, the more time you spend in a place the more familiar you become with the people, the rhythm of the seasons, weather, flora and fauna—all details to include in your novels.

Of course, I may need more information than I’ve previously gathered. For me, this can involve snapping photos during reenactments of historical events, tours of frontier forts, goldrush towns, or visits to libraries and museums in Canada, England, and the United States. Unless posted, I’m free to take pictures. That said, there can be legal restrictions when photographing copyrighted material.

Photograph of a couple dressed in historical costumes.

How do I organize my photos for quick retrieval? Good question! Usually, I label each one with a date and short description before sorting them into folders by events, locations, and topics. When desirable, I divide the shots by chapters. Either way, I make backup copies of my photos before I remove them from the camera.

Regardless of genre, photography is one way to capture the real-life bits and pieces to make your writing spring alive for readers. Perhaps, you’ve started to think of ways to use your camera or photo albums to aid your literary endeavors? I’d enjoy hearing about your experiences and ideas!

Blessings to you and your family as we celebrate Jesus’ birthday at Christmas,

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, 
and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 
(Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

Regardless of genre, photography is one way to capture the real-life bits and pieces to make your writing spring alive for readers. #seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters via @debgarland1

Deb Garland
Deb Garland is an author and sailor who desires to reach others with God’s love. She writes Christian historical romance novels weaving adventurous characters and international plots in the Pacific Northwest. An ACFW Genesis semi-finalist, she resides on an island in Washington State with her husband of forty years.

You can connect and learn more here:

Website: www.debgarland.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/deb.garland.39
Twitter: http://twitter.com/debgarland1
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/deb30551/
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/debgarland

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Perfect Present by Patti Jo Moore

Merry Christmas, my friends! Many of us are amazed at how quickly this year has flown, and now we find ourselves in the Christmas season again. You’re likely being bombarded with all the ads vying for your attention—many of those ads claiming they have “the perfect present” for someone on your shopping list.

With all the talk of shopping and presents, I was recently reflecting (aka procrastinating) 😉 and mused how the word PRESENT (as in gift) might relate to a writer at this time of year. So I jotted a list that I wanted to share with you, using each letter of the word PRESENT to relate to a writer.

P - Pray – this is what I try to do before beginning my writing—especially if I’m starting a new project or adding a scene to a story. Beginning that time in prayer keeps me focused on WHO my work is for.

R - Read – I know we’ve all heard that to be a good writer, you need to read. So true! Not just reading in our preferred genre, but in other genres as well.

E - Encourage – Think of how you’ve benefitted from someone else’s encouraging words, and try to be an encouragement to someone. As that oft-used phrase tells us, pay it forward. 😊 A simple word of encouragement (or a good book review!) might be exactly what someone needs that day.

S - Share – Do you know of someone who needs help during the Christmas season? Maybe you could share your talents with them. Gifts and food, lending a helping hand, and sharing the gift of your time might be priceless to another person (especially someone lonely or grieving). Sharing books is always nice, too!

E - Enjoy – Please don’t miss the beauty of this Christmas season, wherever you live. Whether you’re surrounded by a gorgeous, snowy scene, palm trees and a beach, or city buildings, there is beauty. Don’t miss the twinkling lights, the beautiful music, and the excited wonder on a child’s face. Who knows? Some of those details might find their way into one of your stories.

N - Naps – Okay, maybe you’re not in the habit of taking naps, but my point is we need to take care of our health during this busy season. No matter how long your To-Do list is or if you’re racing to make a writing deadline, please don’t neglect your health!

T - Thankful – Most important of all, may we be thankful for the Perfect Present sent to us by God, on that very first Christmas so many, many years ago. May we have thankful hearts that He loves us unconditionally, and gave His life for each of us. May we also be thankful for this writing journey we’re on! Have a very blessed Christmas!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

Amazon Buy LinkAmazon Buy Link
Sadie's Dream

In a coastal Georgia town in 1900, a young woman prepares to serve as a missionary in Africa.

After being jilted the previous year, she's certain she's meant to remain single.

When she meets a handsome businessman from Savannah, she begins struggling with doubts.

Over time she learns that the Lord's plans are best, and dreams really can come true.

Patti Jo Moore is a retired kindergarten teacher and lifelong Georgia girl. She loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee, and is blessed to be published with Forget-Me-Not Romances. When she’s not spending time with her family (including her sweet grandbaby) or writing her “Sweet, Southern Stories” Patti Jo can be found feeding cats—her own six and local strays.

She loves connecting with readers and other writers, and can be found on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore or her personal blog at http://catmomscorner.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Move to a Boot and Have a Hoot by Mikal Dawn

There’s a saying out there. I don’t know where it started, but I know my best friend and I would always repeat it when we were faced with a situation that made us roll our eyes and pull out our hair: “What do you do when you live in a shoe? Move to a boot and have a hoot!” It was our way of encouraging each other to get outside of ourselves and whatever mess we were facing and look at the bright side of things.

Well, this year, I’ve found myself in a situation.

My debut novel published in May 2017. The situation? That was the first book in a series of three, and, well…I haven’t published book two yet. And it’s December 2019. Yikes! In my defense, I’ve written two novellas that go between books one and two. And my husband retired from the military after 21 years and we had to uproot our family again and move to another state. But these? They sound like excuses, don’t they? Because they are. Let me just say it out loud: I’m a procrastinator. And I give in to my anxieties. Often. So now that it’s December, I’ve just royally bombed at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, held every November), and I’m barely into writing book two after almost three years (but don’t forget those two novellas!), what am I going to do?

Move to a boot and have a hoot.

When we’re faced with challenges in writing—or just life in general—it’s important that we pull ourselves together and look for the good. How do we do that? Well, first, it’s impossible to do it on our own. We need the Author and Finisher of our faith.

1. Lift our problems off ourselves and put them on Christ’s shoulder. “Cast(ing) all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He is our Rock, our Provider. Outside of Him, nothing is possible, so why do we keep trying? Trust Him.

2. Set aside a dedicated time to work through the story (or problem you’re facing). I don’t know about you, but when I’m faced with something, it will often infiltrate everything else I do. It’s always on my mind. But when I set aside time to (a) pray about it, and (b) work through it, I find I’m able to get it out of my head and leave it at Christ’s feet much easier. For writing, this means finding the best time of day, plopping myself on the couch with my laptop, latte, and licorice (red, thank you very much), and really focusing.

3. Celebrate! This is the best part of “moving to the boot and having a hoot!” Looking for the good in things, even if they aren’t directly related to writing or whatever issue you’re facing, really helps with our attitude. Whether it’s going for a jog (yeah, not me thanks!) or throwing yourself a little dance party in the kitchen (definitely my speed—I even had a dance party while cleaning my kitchen this morning), when you find joy in the midst of the hard, that shoe mysteriously turns into a boot, giving you a little more breathing room. 

When we’re faced with challenges in writing—or just life in general—it’s important that we pull ourselves together and look for the good. via @MikalDawn #SeriouslyWrite #amwriting


Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and proud military (retired) wife. By day, she works as an administrative assistant for an international ministry organization, runs her kids to all their sports, and drinks lots of coffee. By night, she pulls her hair out, wrestling with characters and muttering under her breath as she attempts to write while dinner is burning. And drinks lots of coffee. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Mikal now lives in Oklahoma with her husband, Mark, two of their three children, and one lazy, ferocious feline who can often be found taking over her Instagram account. Find Mikal on mikaldawn.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Embrace the magic of the Christmas season with these contemporary twists on timeless tales.

Upon a Dream — A rare sleeping disorder keeps Talia from performing, but when Philip recognizes her gift, he’ll do whatever it takes to see her onstage. 

Claim My Heart — Li Na and Colin Wen face off in a Mulan-esque courtroom battle where the real win might be losing their hearts.

A Snow White Christmas — Sheltered heiress Amala White flees her conniving stepmother’s plans and finds refuge with a handsome orchard owner and his seven quirky uncles.

Christmas Ella — Reality TV meets Cinderella story when a location director is swept off her feet by a rising star.

A Splash of Love — Las Vegas glitz meets Land of Enchantment culture in A Splash of Love, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid.

Available on Amazon for ebook (and Kindle Unlimited) and paperback.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Learning to Drive By Marie Wells Coutu

Every city seems to have its own driving personality.

We’ve been in Houston for a few months now, and if you can learn to drive in Houston, you can drive anywhere. We have a joke between us that laws about signaling, stopping for red lights, and changing lanes safely—one lane at a time—are simply suggestions, according to the way many Houstonians drive.

It’s so different from the small, rural Iowa town where we’ve lived the last six years. There are fewer vehicles in the whole town than pass through a single light cycle at a busy intersection here. And you’d best be patient as you follow a large John Deere tractor all the way through town.

We also lived in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area for a decade. Home to a NASCAR speedway, drivers there think they’re on the speedway and will pass you if you’re only going the speed limit.

What does all this have to do with writing, you say? I think writing is much like driving in several ways:

Learning to Write

When you first learn to drive, you’re excited to be behind the wheel. You memorize all the rules, but you need a patient instructor to help you learn how to apply them. Then comes the day when you get to strike out on your own, but you’re always mindful of all the other people on the road with you.

As a writer, you start out excited. You study the craft, learn the “rules,” and seek out mentors to answer your questions and give you guidance as you navigate the world of publishing. And the best writers remain aware of other writers—keeping up with trends, supporting published authors, and encouraging and mentoring beginners. We become contributing members of our community.

Writing a Novel

When you drive a car, you must think about many details—applying the right amount of pressure to the gas pedal and brake, shifting gears (if the car isn’t automatic), checking the mirrors, adjusting the temperature, allowing enough braking distance, paying attention to the gauges, being aware of other vehicles and anticipating what they might do, all while (possibly) talking or listening to passengers and/or following the GPS to an unfamiliar location. The sheer number of details seems overwhelming but with practice, you get used to it and most of these actions happen unconsciously. When you drive in a new city, you may find yourself unaccustomed to the local driving culture, but you adjust quickly.

Writing a novel seems much the same. It requires creating characters who act consistently throughout the story until they are motivated to change, showing the impetus to change, describing settings or clothing or people without losing momentum, developing plot disappointments and disasters at the appropriate stage, incorporating all five senses, writing realistic dialogue, layering in symbolism, and providing a satisfying ending. And so much more.

Details and threads must be woven together into a logical, engaging story.

When you first learn to write, the number of details to worry about seems overwhelming. But with time and practice, one by one, various elements become second-nature. You begin to do them without consciously thinking about each one. Sure, if you change genres or get a new publisher, you may need to make adjustments, but now you’re experienced, so the transition happens quickly.

If you’re feeling discouraged because there’s so much to learn, don’t give up. Just remember how you learned to drive—with hours behind the wheel. Keep putting in the hours at the keyboard, and one day you will produce a worthy story. Then, before you know it, you’ll be an “old pro” and be giving instruction to newer, aspiring authors.

When you first learn to write, the number of details to worry about seems overwhelming. But with time and practice, one by one, various elements become second-nature. #writingtips #amwriting @mwcoutu @MaryAFelkins

Every city has its own driving personality. And writing is much like driving, with many details to learn, requiring practice and patience. #amwriting #SeriouslyWrite @mwcoutu @MaryAFelkins

Marie Wells Coutu finds beauty in surprising places, like old houses, gnarly trees, and forgotten treasures. When she’s not writing about finding restoration and healing through God-designed journeys, she enjoys taking broken things and making them useful.
She is currently working on historical romance novels set in the 1930s. One manuscript won the 2019 Touched by Love Contest and the 2019 Sheila Contest, and a second novel also won in the Sheila Contest.
Her published novels are women’s contemporary fiction. Her debut novel, For Such a Moment, won the Books of Hope Contest. The Secret Heart, her newest release, and Thirsting for More, the second book in the series, were finalists in several contests.

You can find more about Marie and her novels on her Facebook author page and her website, MarieWellsCoutu.com,
Follow her on Twitter @mwcoutu or on Amazon.

Monday, December 9, 2019

You're Silly to Write This Christmas

Sometimes, you curb your passions because people might think you’re silly.

No creature is stirring, not even a mouse. All is quiet in the confines of your lonely house. The dog is curled on the hearth, the fire’s snapping orange embers doesn’t interrupt his sleep. He sighs.

The lamp casts its warm light over your work. Darkness shades the rest of the world.

Doesn’t a pickle sound good? Or maybe eggnog.

What about both? The thought of eating a pickle and drinking eggnog together is a bit off-putting. What if you eat the pickle first, let the vinegar linger for a bit until you’re ready for the creamy taste of the holiday spice?
Source: Barkpost

Your dog is usually on high alert, even in sleep, but today’s romp in the snow was particularly feisty. His slumber harkens back to the hibernation of his ancestors from centuries before. He has the heart of a stallion in the body of a miniature goat that sadly has the senses of an overcooked ham.

Hmm. Clever. You type it into your notes, then read it again. Nah. Not as good as you thought. You press delete, and the curser races from right to left.

Slipping the laptop with your manuscript carefully to the floor, you creep to the kitchen. The dog doesn’t move. Good. You don’t want him to know how silly it is to make a dinner of pickles and eggnog.

You open the fridge and light bursts around you as if a train is bearing down. You find the brand-new gallon jar of pickles and the glass jug of eggnog, set them on the counter, and quietly close the fridge door. The dog sighs and licks his lips but doesn’t open his eyes.

The hum of the refrigerator is lulling.

In the murky darkness, you reach for a mug. Your elbow barely taps the jug. And yet, the tiny bump is enough to tip it into the pickle jar. In a cavalcade of slow-motion folly, both the eggnog and the pickle leap off the counter and rush headlong for the floor.

Can this be happening? They drop another inch. Is there any way to stop it? They drop a bit more. Are you fast enough to catch them? They’re nearing the vinyl floor. No, you’re not fast enough. And right before they splinter on the kitchen floor, you wonder why you had replaced the vinyl and put in carpet in the kitchen.


The dog leaps to his feet, hovering above the ground, one ear slung over his head and the hair on his face matted.

Still a foot off the ground, he surveys the scene. When you turn on the light, he looks over shattered glass and mixture of pickle juice and eggnog seeping into the carpet and gives you the look. The look that says you’re silly. For the dinner choices. And the carpet. All of it.

Sometimes, you curb your passions because people might think you’re silly. It’s not true. They think your passion is silly. It’s not you. It’s your passion. There’s a big difference.
My dog, Winston

We all do silly things. We all make confusion choices. That doesn’t mean we’re silly people or that we should stop doing them. Instead, acknowledge that drinking eggnog and eating pickles is unusual, and just do it!

So, when people wonder why you spend so much time reading and writing during the holiday season, keep in mind your silliness is okay. We love you, and the crazy things you do.

You're silly to write over the holidays. Or are you? #seriouslywrite @peterleavell #writerslife

You've been given permission to write this Christmas, no matter how silly people think you are. #seriouslywrite @peterleavell #writerslife

You crave pickles and eggnog. Who cares! How silliness ties in with writing at #seriouslywrite @peterleavell #writerslife

Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and currently enrolled in the University's English Lit Graduate program, as well as History Graduate program, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. An author, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com

Friday, December 6, 2019

More than Dust in the Wind by Melinda V. Inman

Meme with photo of typewriter and the Bible verse from Ecclesiastes 3:12

More than Dust in the Wind

Change is in the wind. Everywhere around us, my husband and I are experiencing drastic shifts in our lives. I’m sure many of you can relate, no matter what stage of life you’re in.

Two years ago, we uprooted from our home of almost twenty years and relocated across the country. Our new city is peopled by many millions. Before this, we mostly resided in small towns or cities of less than 250,000. This realigned our large family, turning every holiday upside down. There went our family traditions, thus provoking an identity crisis.

At Thanksgiving, my husband retired after being with the same employer for over forty years. This caused all sorts of upheaval, as it’s a major adjustment for him and thus, for me.

During all of this, I finished and then launched my fifth novel, based on my great-grandparents’ early lives during WW1. With the book’s completion, that depressing farewell to their world is now part of the emotional mix.

I’ve been feeling the angst of the 1970s song, “Dust in the Wind,” by Kerry Livgren of “Kansas.”

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind

[Dust in the Wind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC]

If that sounds like something from Ecclesiastes, it’s because the song lyrics reflect what Solomon also experienced. Though he had everything, he realized that no matter what, he would still die, and all his work would amount to dust.

Cheerful, right? All of this has weaseled down into my heart.

As writers, our emotions and the spiritual place from which we process our work, our family, and our circumstances impact what we write and how we write it. I’m glad all this dust is settling during the holiday season, when all eyes are on Jesus.

No matter who we are, each year we discover that these holidays are different than the last. We march through life, and things change. Rather than despair as we reflect on what is altered, how much better to focus on the One who orders all our days. The holidays circle around him.

These changes, this upheaval, these relocations, this volatile publishing industry, these constant marketing challenges, these changes in tradition, our days winding down—all are gifts from God, even if we don’t understand why or how.

I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:10-13 NIV)

Though our bodies will one day be dust in the wind, our souls are eternal, and our life experiences are shaped by God specifically to draw us toward him, to mold us into the image of his Son, and to accomplish his purposes. This is all far more than dust in the wind, for we are blessed by this reality:

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27 NIV)

With this awaiting us, we need not lament the loss of what once was. But rather, we can attach ever more securely to the One who inspires everything we do.

Fix your eyes on Jesus this holiday season, especially if life has been all sorts of messy. As always, he’s the reason we live and the reason we write. God bless you in your journey, dear writer!

Though our bodies will one day be dust in the wind, our souls are eternal, and our life experiences are shaped by God specifically to draw us toward him. #WritingLife #WriterEncouragement #seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters via @MelindaVInman

The Shadows Come
The Shadows Come

Sequel to No Longer Alone

Germany threatens all of Europe. Millions have died. President Woodrow Wilson makes the declaration that the United States must enter the Great War to rescue our allies. Congress approves. Our story begins.

In America’s heartland, everyone hunkers down to provide food for the world and resources for the war effort. A draft is necessary, and all young men must register. One by one, these are called to war. With this threat looming, Prentis and Avery raise the necessary horsepower, cultivate the needed crops, and contribute their labors to the Red Cross. But crises at home, an insidious busybody, and one after another called up to fight in Europe bring the greatest dangers they’ve ever faced together. Then there’s the influenza pandemic. Will they survive the war abroad and the war being waged at home, threatening their love and their lives? Will their loved ones make it home alive?

Set in 1917-1919, The Shadows Come is based on a true story.

Available in paperback and e-book on Melinda’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Melinda-Viergever-Inman/e/B00GFYI0RU/ref

Melinda V. Inman
Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the South. Her fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives.


Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MelindaVInman/
Website: https://melindainman.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelindaVInman
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/melindavinman/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00GFYI0RU

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Celebrate! by Sally Shupe

Happy December! The month of celebration. I thought about what I’d set out to accomplish over the year. In some areas, I accomplished everything I set out to do. In other areas, I fell short. But you know what? Overall, I am happy with how this year turned out. My writing has grown, I’ve made new friends, I’ve got some great new ideas for more stories for next year. I’m excited!

Don’t focus on what didn’t get accomplished this year, and why you couldn’t get those items marked off your list. Didn’t get that remodel done? Didn’t find that great new job? Didn’t get that one last box emptied? Or maybe you didn’t get that book written, or finish the outline for your next book. Instead, focus on what you did accomplish. Look at your completed tasks. Did you get an outline typed up, flesh out characters for a book, enter a contest, get feedback? Did you find a critique partner? Celebrate the little things you did get done! Reward yourself for continually working toward your goal.

So. What are you celebrating? Every step forward is a step to be celebrated. Didn’t completely follow that diet plan? Celebrate that you’re more active now than you used to be, or that you’re eating more vegetables than you used to. Don’t focus on the negative, on the things you didn’t get done, the obstacles that you couldn’t control. Did life get in the way of you accomplishing your goals? Look at what you did get done during that time. Sometimes just showing up takes everything you’ve got. Celebrate that! Celebrate all the little things that make life special to you. A sweet smile, an unexpected visitor or card, writing an extra 500 words, a new idea for your next book. A snowstorm-or maybe that’s just me lol.

While you’re celebrating the season, and the reason for the season, pull out all the little and big things you’ve accomplished this year, and celebrate those things. Merry Christmas!

Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two grown kids, and a whole bunch of pets: five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She writes contemporary Christian romance, with two completed manuscripts and others in progress. They are part of a series located in small town Virginia.

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor for Desert Breeze (now closed); a content editor for Prism (became part of Pelican); performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews on her blog and with Valley Business FRONT’s monthly magazine; is a member of ACFW and ACFW Virginia; and loves genealogy, running, and crocheting.

Sally uses her love of words to write about God’s amazing love.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

I want to be an author. What should I do? by Melissa Ferguson

I want to be an author. What should I do?

It seemed that the second I signed on the dotted line for my book deal last October, I was getting Facebook messages with this question (well this question, plus the odd, “I want to write a book and make a lot of money and can you make me a millionaire?”).

My “#1 tip” answer is two-fold:

For the person thinking about or in process of writing the first book: Get yourself to a writer’s conference. No matter what stage you are in the writing process, get yourself to a writer’s conference—particularly one that is well-respected, includes reputable agents and editors from publishing houses you would want to work with, and includes your genre. It was challenging putting down the money and traveling through several states to meet a bunch of strangers the first time I did one—I was afraid, and in some ways felt like I was a fraud—but now when anyone asks me one tip for becoming an author I immediately respond with this: go to a writer’s conference.

Once going to conference: Make the most of your conference experience. We know these conferences often cost somewhere between $600-1500. If you didn’t get appointments with some of the agents/editors you were hoping to pitch to, then find them outside a session, in the dining area, in an elevator (for the record, I did this once, and had to give a 10-second literal elevator pitch in an elevator). I am terrible at on-the-spot pitches, and have failed miserably trying to share my bit about my books every single time. But you know what? Every single time the agent or editor just smiled and told me to send him/her my manuscript. Which eventually led to a contract. And book deal. So don’t let nerves get to you. Remember they are human. Do the best you can. And make the most of face-to-face conversations with authors, editors, and agents at these conferences, because no email can beat the power of a smile and handshake.

So, what, in my opinion, is the best way to become a traditionally published author? Getting out there to conference, and making the most of it you can.

Have you been to a writer’s conference? Which one is your favorite?

No matter what stage you are in the writing process, get yourself to a writer’s conference... #SeriouslyWrite #amwriting


Melissa Ferguson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, where she is an assistant professor at King University and pens books that make her laugh and grow. She used to have hobbies like running and backpacking the Appalachian Trail outside her door. Now she and her husband are outnumbered, and her hobbies include diaper changes, chasing toddlers in parking lots, and admiring the Appalachian Trail out her minivan window while singing "Winnie the Pooh." She survives by Jesus, rom coms, and roughly two espresso shots a day.
The Dating Charade debuts with HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson) on December 3rd, and she’d love you to join her on her journey at www.melissaferguson.com.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Editing Our Thoughts as Carefully as Our Words by Emily Conrad

fountain pen writing

I have a critique partner who rightly gets after me for using “weasel words.”

As she reviewed my latest manuscript, she drew my attention again and again to words like was and it. Reminded to choose my words more carefully, I noticed others she didn’t point out as often—that, just, finally, and now.

Realizing I’d let my attention to varied, vibrant language slip, I used the search function to highlight every one of those six words in the entire manuscript, then reviewed every. Single. Instance. Of each of them.

Some, I left. Many, I rewrote.

The task took considerable time, but the manuscript shines for the effort. (To get a feel for the impact, consider whether that sentence would carry the same punch if I’d written: It was time-consuming, but the manuscript shines because I did it. Now multiply that by an entire novel.)

After I tamed the weasels in my work-in-progress, however, I noticed another kind of weasel posing an even bigger threat to my writing.

Weasel thoughts.

You know the ones:

God isn’t using me.

I’m all on my own.

My manuscripts will never be accepted by an agent or editor.

I could never write like she does.

And on and on.
fountain pen with ink dot

These negative thoughts, like words we so easily overuse, creep in when we’re not vigilant.

If we let the issue go unaddressed, those weasels grow bigger and multiply, fed by each rejection, setback, and disappointment. Soon, they run as rampant in our minds as weasel words can in our manuscripts.

The more we think them, the more we believe them. The more we believe them, the less we’ll write.

So, as we strive to improve in our writing craft, let’s also carefully manage our thoughts.

The trick with editing a manuscript for weasel words is not simply to delete every sentence containing one but, rather, to reword the line for the strongest impact.

With weasel thoughts, instead of rewording to convey the same meaning, we need to replace the negative with a faith-filled positive.

God isn’t using me becomes God has good purposes for me. (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10)

I’m all on my own becomes The Lord goes with me. (Matthew 28:20, Joshua 1:9)

My manuscripts will never get accepted by an agent or editor becomes God will open the right doors for me at the right time. (Psalm 138:8, 1 Peter 5:6)

I could never write like she does becomes I have been gifted in a unique way for a unique purpose. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
Fountain pen that's written the word love

Weasel words will overrun our writing. Weasel thoughts will prevent us from writing in the first place. Both can prove to be challenging opponents, but you're not in this journey alone.

Friends, both inside and outside the writing world, can help pinpoint weasel thoughts and might be able to point you to Scripture that can combat the problem.

And, of course, prayer should be an important part of the editing process--whether we're talking weasel words or thoughts. God is concerned with every aspect of our lives, and invites us to bring our cares to Him.

Weasels are no match for the One who can do all things.

P.S. Want some help finding the weasel words in your manuscript? Kregel editor Janyre Tromp created a list of 75 words to look out for in your work. As she wisely warns us, the key isn’t to delete them all, but to ensure that each instance is necessary. You can snag a copy (and benefit from the wisdom of two professional editors in other areas, too) by joining the Facebook group Editing Insiders with Janyre and Sarah. Once you’re in, search the group’s posts with the word “download” to find the link.


Weasel words will overrun our writing. Weasel thoughts will prevent us from writing in the first place. @emilyrconrad shares thoughts on #editing out both as a #Christianwriter #seriouslywrite

Weasel thoughts. The more we think them, the more we believe them. The more we believe them, the less we’ll write. @emilyrconrad #writing #christianfiction #seriouslywrite

Negative thoughts, like words we so easily overuse, creep in when we’re not vigilant. @emilyrconrad #seriouslywrite #writetip #writing

Photo credits
Fountain pen writing photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Pen with ink dot photo by Nicolas Thomas on Unsplash

Love fountain pen photo by John Jennings on Unsplash

Graphics created on Canva.com

Emily Conrad headshotEmily Conrad writes Christian romance and a blog to encourage women of faith. Her debut novel, Justice, released from Pelican Book Group in 2018. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence Justice is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media.



The love of a lifetime, a quest for justice, and redemption that can only be found by faith.

Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it.

Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake.

If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both.

Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?

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