Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Behind the Scenes at a Writer's Conference

Me an' my partner in red: Erica
Myself and Colleen Coble, my
beautiful, loving, amazing mentor!
Oh the joys of this last weekend!! I hope you all were able to follow the journey on my FB page, but then the wifi at the hotel was working really odd and I wasn't able to do NEARLY as much posting as I wanted to.

But Anne summed it up in some really great bullet points in yesterday's post. Fellowship. Meetings. Networking. Wonderful worship. Etc. See, this is what separates ACFW from other writer's conferences. And, I want to be sure this distinction is made: GOD IS HERE! It is a conference of 50+ writers SHARING their ideas and goals, praying together in the hallways, worship and bonding, fellowshipping and seeking God's glory.

Mary Connealy, Myself, & Genesis Winner, Laurie Tomlinson
So what happened to me at conference? Several things. My agent (beautiful woman that she is) was unable to attend so she held my hand via text messaging. What a lady!! With all of her clients, several of whom were at the same conference, she was texting us all and helping us muddle through our pitches. What are pitches? 15 minutes to tell an editor what your book is about and hope you make them interested. :) No pressure.
Ronie Kendig, one of my favorite authors
and one of my favorite people!

I met some wonderful editors. And I had blessings for results. All of them I spoke to were intrigued by my book. That's always a good thing. Interest. LOL But the process will not be fast so don't keep refreshing the page. But I am praying the Lord will continue to open doors as my agent and I prepare my proposal to send off in the next month.

A beautiful young writer with great ideas! 
Aside from this, I enjoyed seeing dear friends, my sweet mentor, and Erica and Anne! Such a fun time!!

I was able to help man the prayer room and pray with some beautiful ladies and writers whose hearts were all in the same bent....to honor and glorify the Lord with the gifts He has given them.

Anne and I hamming it up
What a blessing!! I'm still a tad overwhelmed by the community of writers who author the stories we read for clean entertainment, encouragement, growth and inspiration.

Leave a comment with any questions you have about the writer's conference!


Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Monday, September 29, 2014

ACFW 2014 Recap

The winner of last week's giveaway of Laura Frantz's book is Caryl! 
For writers, ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) annual conference is something we look forward to all year long. It's almost like church camp. This year it was in St. Louis, MO. Here's a little view of what we do at a writing conference--because we don't really go there to sit around writing the whole weekend...

The first night, I spent the night with my dear friend from college and then met Jaime half way the following morning. 

Reuniting with Erica Vetsch and many others was so much fun.  

Activities at the conference include workshops and worship, as well as appointments with agents, editors, and mentors. We were blessed to have a bookstore and a prayer room set up also. Before appointments, writers sit to practice their pitches. If you've never been to anything like this, it's almost akin to auditioning for The Voice, only it's writing instead of singing. The writer has fifteen minutes to introduce herself (or himself), the story in a nutshell, and then offer a few pages of sample chapters to read. Then we have the opportunity to interview the agent or editor about feedback, market trends, and a potential "fit" to pursue in the following months. Names, numbers, business cards are exchanged. 

On the final evening, we gather in the banquet hall in our finest formal wear to celebrate the annual Awards Gala. Unpublished author winners are announced for each genre category of the Genesis Contest. Published author winners of the Carol Awards are also announced among other awards.

This year, Laurie Tomlinson won in her category. We enjoyed sitting together with her to cheer her on while Casey Herringshaw announced the winners. 

Now we come down off the mountain to the real world and review our goals. Once again it's back to the keyboard for more edits, rewrites, and brainstorming. 

My favorite things? 
--Visiting in person instead of online
--Getting perspective
--Prayer opportunities
--Divine appointments
--God's agenda
--Meeting new people
--Being challenged
--Being reminded about the importance of words
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Traveling to Conference

It's finally here! Time to travel to the ACFW Conference in St. Louis. Many friends have been in a flurry of preparations, some for weeks, some for months! As the time draws near, I feel more and more like the kid in this commercial.

I can't wait to see people, to learn in the classes, to connect with my agent, my agency, and my publishers again. I can't wait to root on the winners in the Genesis and Carol contests, and to have coffee (well, tea for me) with Jaime and Anne. I can't wait to get new headshots taken by the conference photographer, and I can't wait to spend time breathing writer-saturated air.

I also can't wait to see what Jaime posts on her Facebook author page during the conference. :)

Writers are always trying to get a great ROI, (Return On Investment) and conferences are certainly an investment, both financially and emotionally. If you're thinking about attending a conference and you want to make sure you get good bang for your buck, consider reading The Christian Writer's Coach: How to Get the Most out of a Writer's Conference. I have an article in this anthology on One Sheets. The kindle version of the book is available for just $3.99 and all proceeds go to the Northwest Christian Writer's Conference.

You can find the book by clicking  HERE

Have you been to a professional conference before? Was it stressful, invigorating, exhausting, uplifting, all of the above?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Hey ALL!! It's CRAZY time here as we prep for conference. Stay tuned for more updates as the week progresses...I'm sorry I failed you all miserably in posting a blog post today worthy of reading. :)

Prayers would be great though for Anne, Erica, and I as we prepare to enter the foray of the writer's world!!


PS - How can we pray for YOU?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday's Devo: Prayer is a Weapon

Last week I was challenged by Jaime to pray for ten women. I also saw on Facebook that Shelli Littleton asked for descriptions of how people use prayer to focus on others instead of themselves.

The first thing I see in my mind is this:

She no sooner posted the question on Facebook and my fingers flew onto the keyboard:
For me, prayer is a weapon.
Perhaps that is why I cringe a bit when I hear people praying a glib, "Lord, please be with...(insert name)." type of prayers. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with those prayers. But, I'm just asking, does Eowyn (Lord of the Rings, Return of the King) look like she's thinking "Lord, be with me..."??? Don't you suppose she knows precisely whose army she marches in, and whose authority she wields her sword by? I suppose she knows the battle tactics and she knows her enemy's advances. I believe she has no wavering doubt the cause for which she fights.

When I read in Ephesians 6:10-18 about the Full Armor of God, it feels serious and weighty, much like this scene where Eowyn feels the weight of the sword she will carry into battle:

But God has given us careful instructions about what to wear into battle. Your helmet identifies which army you march with, and what King you serve, which King has saved you. Your sword is the Words God gives us, His holy scriptures, prophesies, Jesus's words...repeat them as you pray.  Wear a breastplate armor, which is over your heart--the place where the Holy Trinity transforms your ugly and broken parts to something beautiful and righteous--and by this, makes you an overcomer. And because you know this is the work of God's Spirit in you, and bear witness by the telling of His work in your life, you will have peace to stand your ground in Him, and it will gird you up and hold your feet to the right path when you remember what He has done and is doing in you. Yet do not forget to hold up your faith, the evidence of things unseen, to shield yourselves from fiery attacks that would wear you down and make you drop your shield, giving open access to your heart, leaving it unprotected. And when you have done all this, lift your sword and shield and wait for the indwelling of the Spirit by which you will receive your marching orders to move:

Doesn't she look like she already knows after all this preparation, that God is with her?

Ephesians 6:10-18Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].
11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].
14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,
15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the [a]firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness [b]produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.
16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of [c]saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].
17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit [d]wields, which is the Word of God.
18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

This week, try praying this scripture in a new way and see what God may have in store for you.
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Report & Giveaway: Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz

Last week's winner of the give away: Sara!
Third in the Ballantyne Legacy series, Love's Fortune is true to form Laura Frantz brand. 

~~Backwoods meets Upstairs
~~Kentucky meets Pittsburgh
~~Glass, leather & brass meets 
    Homespun, humility, & innocence

Plot & Setting: Sheltered in the backwoods of Kentucky for two decades while her father laid low from abolitionist hunters, in 1850 Rowena Ballantyne, known as Wren, is thrust from her comfortable world of anonymity to Pittsburgh society where the Ballantyne name cannot be ignored or escaped. When her father deposits her there for the extended clan to polish her uncultured ways and bring her into their society, Wren flounders in a sea of uncertainty, her family's fortune hangs on her choice for the future. Relieved to learn her escort for the social season will be none other than her grandfather's apprentice, steamer pilot, James Sackett, Wren finds a friend to lean on as she makes the most important choice of her life. Unsure she can please everyone and fit in, certain that she may never find happiness, Wren weighs whether or not to cut ties and go her own way.

Hero: Unmoved as a stone, deep as an ocean, and rock solid, he is the steady guide and protector Wren needs to watch over her innocence.
Heroine: Free spirited, musical, artistic and unhampered by rules, her unrefined edges are her defining beauty and ultimate freedom that loosen's Jamie's idea of what will and could be.

Favorite Line: "Well...he's as braw as they come with those jade eyes and hair black as the Earl of Hell's waistcoat--" page 140  (spoken by Wren's chambermaid, Mim).

About Laura Frantz: 

I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.
My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.

I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.

It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Reader's Questions of the week:
For a chance to win a free copy, limited to continental USA, leave a comment, friend us on Facebook, add your name to our list of blog followers, or make a comment on our Pinterest pin for today's blog. Each action will count as additional chance to win. Winner announced next week (or right after we are back from ACFW!)
How well do you know 1850's pre-Civil War history?
Who can tell me about the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850?
Have you ever sailed on a ship?
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Wi-fi

So, first thing Monday morning, our wi-fi router wasn't working. No internet access. Not on the laptops, not on the phones.

This didn't bother me so much, as I had off-line things to do, but it had a great impact on my children.

This is pretty much what the scenery looked like by Monday night:

Fortunately for my distraught kids (the boy was just as bad) The Amazing Techno-Dad got the router up and running late last night.

Order and smiles were restored.

My kids don't remember a time when we didn't have Internet, and hardly remember before we had wi-fi Internet.

At least the girl put her off-line time to good use (after the wailing) by writing some fiction. :)


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