Stories that Matter

Readers

Owning It – A Few Thoughts From The Front Lines

It’s been a crazy few weeks. But this is my current location. And I’m trying to relax. Trying being the operative word. All the excitement and anticipation leading up to the release of The Things We Knew, has simmered down. Now it’s out there, and I’m busy with promoting and working on other projects and…
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Life Is Good!!

Well, I’ve just spent a fun week with my sister! It was great to just hang out and talk and laugh. Best of all, she was able to celebrate a very special delivery that arrived yesterday! My author copies of The Things We Knew!!! A few tears may have been shed by yours truly. My…
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Fun Friday Five!

Answering five questions from my readers today! Want to get in on the fun? Send me a question and I’ll answer it next time!
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Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop#11

THE HUNT IS OVER! THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR PLAYING! I WILL ANNOUNCE MY WINNER TOMORROW – APRIL 27TH!  Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all 33 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one…
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More Coffee … Need

Yeah, okay. But it’s Monday morning and I just spent two hours working on changing up this blog, and five minutes ago I sat staring at this screen in full out panic mode, thinking I’d just deleted the ENTIRE THING!! So I need more coffee. Because this is pretty much me in the morning. And,…
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Join The Fun – Bridge of Faith Launch Party!

As you may know, my latest novel, Bridge of Faith, released in April! I’m really excited about this book, and so pleased with the great reception it is getting so far. A HUGE thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed the book. You’re the best! We’ll be celebrating the official launch of Bridge of…
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IT'S RELEASE DAY!!

If you don’t like champagne, grab a coffee or your favorite beverage of choice, but come on in and join the party! Bridge of Faith HAS RELEASED!!!  Stay tuned for more excitement over the next few weeks – we’ll be having an official Facebook Party to celebrate on May 29th, which will give you all…
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COMING SOON! Cover Reveal & An Invite!

I’m delighted to announce that I will be releasing my next novel this spring! (Cover by Yvonne Parks @ Pear Creative). Two lives taken down different roads – one enduring love – one shot at starting over.                                If only they believed in second chances.  Julia Connelly is finally free from twelve long years in…
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Dear Reader, Who Are You?

You all know I’m a writer. I’ve struggled. I’ve had victories and disappointments, but like any other job, I continue to strive toward the best. People teach. I learn. I read. I experiment. I grow. You may also know, perhaps from firsthand experience, how extremely difficult this gig is. But I tell you what, I…
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WINNERS!

December 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

Thanks so much to everyone who followed and participated in our Favorite Christmassy Things Giveaway! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! Here are the winners! AND, the winner of my giveaway is – DIANNA GARDENHOUR!! CONGRATULATIONS to everyone!! And thanks again for participating! Wishing you all the best for a very happy 2019!

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My Favorite Christmas Gift!

December 21, 2018 | 39 Comments

     I hope you’ve all been enjoying this fun giveaway, and enjoyed learning about all our favorite Christmassy things! Today, as we wrap up our twelve days, it’s my turn. And I’m delighted to tell you about my favorite Christmas gift! Actually, I have two, but they kind of tie together, as you’ll see.…

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Welcome, Christmas! A Fantastic Author Giveaway!

December 10, 2018 | 28 Comments

Can you believe how fast the weeks are flying? It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is just around the corner. To celebrate my favorite season, I’ve asked some of my favorite authors to join me in sharing “Our Favorite Christmassy Things!” I’m excited to see what my friends have to share over the next twelve…

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What To Do After Launch Day!

May 23, 2018 | 3 Comments

So Where Hope Begins is now out in the big wide world. Godspeed, my lovely. And yesterday was a little nuts. The nerves. The onslaught of notifications. The well wishes and fun comments, and feedback. All wonderful and totally mind blowing, not to mention a tad overwhelming. Oh and did I mention a Facebook LIVE…

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10 Stages of Book Birth – An Exposé

May 15, 2018 | 4 Comments

Today we are one week away from the release of my new book, Where Hope Begins. And there are a million things I should be doing right now. So I’m blogging. As you do. Also, since I connected my blog to my new website, I’m really not sure anyone is seeing it. So if you…

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Newsy Book Related Stuff and Giveaways!

March 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

So blogging is clearly not at the top my ‘things to do’ list lately. Life is crazy busy and I’m working hard to carve out writing time in between babysitting and book release stuff and laundry and trying to remember to make dinner. 🙂 But anyhow, for anyone still popping over here, I’ll share a…

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Full Disclosure

April 3, 2017 | 7 Comments

Happy Monday, friends. Not sure why we say that, really, since most folks I know aren’t all that jacked about Mondays. Me included. But hey, maybe it helps the motivation pick up a little speed, who knows. Positive thinking is always a good thing, right? So, April 2017. Which means I have survived the release…

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Friday Fun Chats With Friends!

January 6, 2017 | 14 Comments

WOO!! Here we go! I had so much fun talking with Carried Schmidt. We’re kind of new friends, we met online last year after she reviewed The Things We Knew and she was so amazingly gracious – we started chatting and got to know each other, and here we are, and OH yes, we got…

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A Christmas Giveaway!

December 5, 2016 | 0 Comments

I’m thrilled to be participating in the 12 Authors of Christmas Giveaway, going on all this week!! We have a bunch of amazing authors here, so don’t miss out, and please tell your friends! Now who doesn’t want CASH AND BOOKS at Christmas??? I don’t know about you, but I sure wouldn’t mind! 🙂 Here’s…

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So Much Going On!

August 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

Oh my gosh. I was all set to post a really cute video update with all the news, but then I realized I look like a character from The Walking Dead right now, so that’s not going to happen. Your eyes will thank me. 🙂 Here’s a picture of our lake instead. We’ve returned from…

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Owning It – A Few Thoughts From The Front Lines

It’s been a crazy few weeks. But this is my current location. And I’m trying to relax.

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Trying being the operative word.

All the excitement and anticipation leading up to the release of The Things We Knew, has simmered down. Now it’s out there, and I’m busy with promoting and working on other projects and doing life, all the while trying to stay sane. Because although it isn’t my first book release, it kind of feels that way.

I think maybe, to me at least, this one matters more. Maybe it’s because it took so many years to get published. Maybe it’s because we worked on it for such a long time. Maybe it’s because I’m so grateful for the people who were willing to invest their time, effort and a bit of their heart to push this baby toward publication. And dang if we didn’t do it.

Funny thing is, I thought that was the hard part. Getting to this.

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But what do I know? Not much, apparently. Because the hard part? That’s only just beginning. The hard part is letting your baby go out into the world and being completely unprepared for the reception it will get. Completely unprepared for the critics. Okay, not completely unprepared. But perhaps a little blindsided.

I haven’t been here before in quite this way. More people have access to this book than any of my previous ones. It’s in actual bookstores – freaking Barnes & Noble for crying out loud – and if that doesn’t make this whole whacked and wild dream real, I don’t know what does. It’s different this time because there’s advertising and reviews that kind of matter and my book is probably popping up more places than I know about. It’s different this time because now?

Now I really need to know who I am as an author and what that means for the books I write. 

Now I need to own this.

As people are discovering who I am and what I write, I’m learning to live with the fact that not everyone will like me.

Ouch. 

Okay, so there it is. Yes, I’ve been reading the reviews. No, it’s probably not a smart thing to do. But I was always the kid who crept a little closer to the flame when nobody was looking and stuck my finger out anyway, just to see if it really would burn. Not much has changed. Flames still burn.

But here’s the thing. This is my book. My story. My heart. And I’ve offered it not for the glory, not for the fun of seeing my name on the cover, not for any fame or fortune (cue raucous laughter), I’ve offered it because I feel like I have something to say. Like maybe I can offer a hurting world a little hope.

It sounds so simple. But that’s the truth. That’s why I write. That’s why I long to share my stories. And yes, that makes me vulnerable. Because it’s not easy putting yourself out there. Sharing your heart. Actually, it’s probably one of the hardest things in the world.

And honestly? This journey cost me. Emotionally. Spiritually. Physically even, because it’s easy to get stressed and overwhelmed and not take time to treat yourself well. But was all that worth it? Absolutely. This is my victory. My reward.

I need to own that. 

I need to stop cringing when I read words that try to tear down and belittle. People are not kind, but I knew that. It shouldn’t surprise me. I need to stop apologizing in my head and feeling bad when I hear that what I’ve offered wasn’t what a particular reader expected or wanted. I need to realize that I’m never ever going to please everybody.

I need to own who I am and what I write and not worry about how it is received.

This is my lesson, and maybe it’s been slow in coming, but I better get it down now or I’m not going to survive this game.

Yes, I am a Christian. I write for a Christian publisher. But I’m not your pastor. Not your Bible or your Sunday School.

I am a broken person put together by grace and mercy and forgiveness and I write about broken people in need of grace and mercy and forgiveness.

If you want to chew on Scripture and platitudes and everybody gets saved at the end stories, then I’m probably not the author for you. And that’s fine.

God is big enough for all of us in all our brokenness.

Grace come quiet, simply, unobtrusively. It comes when we need it most. When we least expect it. When we don’t deserve it. And sometimes when we don’t even know we need it. But there it is.

If you want to find a little faith – that quiet steadfast heartbeat of the only one thing in this crazy world that will carry you through – I believe it is there in the pages of the books I write. Because that’s how they were written. By faith. Through struggles and doubts, carried on the wind of grace. God is very much present in every word I write. How could He not be?

Maybe that message of hope and healing might look a little different to you and yeah, you might not like it that way.

That’s okay.

I’m not going to please everybody. 

I don’t need to.

Today, I make my peace with this.

My words are written for a higher purpose. And I will continue to write them in the way I feel led, without worrying about rejection or craving acceptance or seeking any glory that really doesn’t belong to me anyway.

I will write for the sheer joy of knowing that I can. Knowing that this is my gift and it pleases Him. And that truth? That’s all that matters in the end.

And today,  I will own that.