Coming Up This Week
Cindy Williams: Writing With the Help of the Greatest Creator of All
Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Promise of Peppermint, prequel to her Urban Farm Fresh Romance series, releases independently in March 2017.
Ufuoma Daniella Ojo
Kara Isaac's debut novel Close to You (Howard Books, 2016) is a double finalist in the 2017 Romance Writers of America RITA Award in the Best First Book category and Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements category. Congratulations Kara!
Lisa Harris' romantic suspense, Pursued, will be an April 2017 release from Revell.
Patricia Beal's debut contemporary women’s fiction set in Germany and in the United States, A Season to Dance, will be a May 2017 release from Bling! Romance / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Sprouts of Love, Book 1 in her new Garden Grown Romance series (part of Arcadia Valley Romance multi-author series), releases independently in May 2017.
Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Memories of Mist, Book 3 in her Urban Farm Fresh Romance series, releases independently in July 2017.
Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Better Than a Crown, Book 3 in her Christmas in Montana Romance series, releases independently in October 2017.
Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Rooted in Love, Book 2 in her new Garden Grown Romance series (part of Arcadia Valley Romance multi-author series) releases independently in November 2017.
To find more International Christian Fiction books, please visit our 2013 - 2016 Book Releases page and Backlist Titles.
The psalmist likened his tongue to the pen of a ready writer, and interesting comparison. I would like to take the liberty of rearranging that thought. For, when I write, and maybe you think this also, my pen become the tongue of a focused writer.
Now that can be dangerous or it can be exciting. Depending upon what is motivating the tongue the words and story written will resemble a fire. It could be words that warm and melt a frozen heart or wild, uncontrolled expressions which leaves the mind in ashes. In comparing the pen and the tongue and the results which can be produced I turn to the Biblical book of James. In chapter three he takes us through many aspects of the tongue which are negative and nasty. I wonder what roused him to write in such a manner as a warning to us all. I do wish he had also said some nice and noble things the tongue can utter. As writers our words are coloured by what has invaded our hearts, stirred our emotions, affected our relationships or impacted our belief system. Whatever our genre and however we tell our story our pen becomes the tongue which reveals the passions and the purposes driving us to write.
James’ description of the tongue can be applied to some unpleasant and unfortunate things I’ve read. This can apply from graffiti to gory and ghastly volumes. But for us as Christian writers our tongue has been given the ‘soap and water’ treatment. Actually, that was applied to our heart and mind (1 Corinthians 6:11) and our tongue as a pen reveals the transformation. Moses had some strong words to say and record. We can read what his tongue said because his pen expressed it. However in Deuteronomy32:1-3 is an eloquent use of the pen. “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; And hear, O earth the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distil as the dew, as raindrops on the tender herb, and as showers on the grass. For I proclaim the name of the Lord:”
There are times when the tongue of the pen has to say strong words, harsh and confronting words. However, there is no poison being injected. Paul challenges us with ‘let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one’ (Colossians 4:6). Proverbs has a lot to say about the tongue in a favourable way. When our readers put down our writing or story through all its twists and turns, struggles and sorrows surely they will long to feel something similar to what Proverbs mentions. ‘It has been choice silver’ (10:20) It reveals the tongue of the wise promoting health (12:18) and it produces a ‘tree of life’ (15:4). Truly, death and life are present in the tongue of the pen (18:21) and as writers we are charged with revealing the One who is ‘The Life!’ May the pen speak to the reader that which our heart would long to share with their ears from our tongue. The psalmist put it very well for us writers in psalm 19:14:’Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart [which I’ve put to paper] be acceptable in your sight.’
©Ray Hawkins March 2017.
by Ruth Ann Dell
|Cosmos in my garden|
Want a surefire way to pull your readers into your story world? Want to make your book pop? Sizzle with life? Then appeal to your readers' senses by including telling details of sound, taste, smell, and touch, as well as the obvious ones of sight. So say the many articles, writing craft books and blogs that I've read. They're right.
But what about God's world? Do we use all our senses to appreciate and immerse ourselves in His creation? It's easy to be captivated by spectacular scenery such as awesome sunsets over the mountains, but what about going to our ordinary outside on an ordinary day, and really experiencing the wonder of our Father's handiwork?
I pondered on this after discovering a beautiful old hymn, This is My Father's World
, by Maltbie D. Babcock. Here is the first verse:
"This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears,
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought."
I am very aware of God in His creation. This weekend we drove through roads edged with cosmos in full bloom against the background of grasslands. Who can see such beauty and doubt that God exists?
Earlier today I put on my "listening ears" and went outside to experience the world intentionally instead to taking it for granted. I stood barefoot on the grass, shut my eyes and concentrated on listening. I heard doves cooing nearby and the sound of a crested barbet trilling—remember the dialing tone of an old-fashioned telephone? That's this spectacular garden bird's call. A rustle of leaves indicated a lizard scurrying by as pigeon wings clapped overhead. Bees buzzed and a soft padding in the sandy soil told of Boris, my son's dog, a handsome Rhodesian Ridgeback, following me. Our pets are a treasured part of our Father's creation.
My other senses soon jostled for my attention. I felt the touch of a breeze cool on my arms and the sun warm on my face. My bare feet felt the roughness of the grass. Soft fur brushed against my ankles accompanied by a light purring—my velvet cat, Misty.
I opened my eyes and after watching a bee collecting nectar, I discovered a little bug, the like of which I had never seen before, clambering through pollen grains on a cosmos petal. Whitish dots and dashes in perfect symmetry on his wings fascinated me, and then he moved so that the sun caught them, and in that instant they flashed with iridescent greens.
A bumble bee with wide white bands on his abdomen landed nearby and I spotted a
|The little bug with a pattern of dots and dashes|
fly—not just any old housefly, but one that looked as though it was a gleaming bronze sculpture.
Lastly I took the time to smell flowers and enjoy fragrances so light and delicate that normally they would pass unnoticed. I ruffled the grass with my hand and delighted in the newly cut lawn scent.Truly our Father's world is one of beauty and delight, but we need to put on our "listening ears" and engage all our senses to appreciate it, else we will miss so many wonders.
To use a cliche, let's take the time to stop and smell the roses every day, and then thank and praise God our Father for His wonderful creation.
One of the unexpected side-effects or benefits or consequences (depending on your point of view) of living closer to my grandkids is the opportunity it gives me to relive my own kid’s exploits.
When my grandkids balk at going to bed, I remember my own under-age night-owls and the strategies I used to get them to sleep. The few tricks that worked and the many that didn’t.
When the puppy hoovers around under the baby’s highchair, I think of our youngest son. We were sharing dinner with pet-less friends and I’d been recounting (okay, bragging) about what an amazing eater our youngest was. After the meal, however, I discovered a pile of peas and mountain of corn under his booster seat. How could that be? Humiliatingly, I realized my son’s stellar eating habits were actually our dog’s atrocious table habits.
I can’t help smile when the three-year-old stands defiantly with hands on hips and shouts ‘No!’ How often her dad’s independence drove me to distraction. I marvel how he handles her.
Recently our grandson accidentally broke a window. That reminded me of the time I let our son play golf in the back yard. Did I mention we lived beside that church? Yep. Golf ball through a window. Thankfully, not a stained glass one.
What is interesting to me now, is how his dad remembers that event.
At the time, I’d wondered: were we too lenient? Were we too tough? But as I hear our son recount the incident to his trembling son, what he remembers is grace.
Grace in a broken window.
For the first time I thank God for the opportunity he gave us, all those years ago, to share His grace with our own trembling little boy.
The window has long been replaced. The incident forgotten—mostly. But the impact it had on our son has not faded.
Neither has God’s gift of grace
. It’s as potent today as it was when we first believed.
No matter where we go in life, or what we do, God’s grace is there for us.
What could be more wonderful than that?
Do you have your own stories of grace? Do you share them with others?
Jayne E. Self lives in Canada, just a few blocks from her grandkids.
|Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
Hi! Lucy Morgan-Jones here. I am an author in progress. Or should that be an author with a book in progress?
For those who don't know me, I am a follower of Christ, passionate reader, and mum to four precocious children. I make my home in north central Victoria, Australia. I am a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers Downunder, and Romance Writers of America, and am represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Agency.
You can typically find me enjoying a cuppa while I teach my children school, reading or critiquing, and lurking on facebook. I'd love to get to know you, either on my blog, or on facebook. So pull up a stump or feel free to drop me a line. There I hope to share what I've learned in my own journey to self worth, interesting research tidbits, or writing tips I find.
Today, I'd like to strike a more serious note and talk about a subject close to my heart: Self Worth, freedom from abuse, and God's word. Before you hit delete or move on-Wait! This could save someone's life, could bring clarity to a helpless situation, and is also helpful for characters that have a darker side to their backstory.
Read more at the following link: