Friday, March 29, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Missy Tippens


Today I welcome author Missy Tippens 

Enter to win an autographed copy of Missy's latest book, Georgia Sweethearts.  
(see end of post) 

I met Missy through ACFW and through my friends at the Writer's Alley. She is one of the Seekerville writers with a  a gift for writing Christian Fiction romance. I finished my copy this week. 

AND Missy received THE call from the RITA awards. Oh, slap my mouth, I need to let her tell the story.  

I asked Missy to share her writing journey with us. Here is what she wrote:


My Long Writing Journey

I’d like to thank Mary for having me here to talk about my writing journey. This journey has been a long one, one that started with a love of reading and, oddly enough, three weeks on bed rest. 

I’ve always been a big reader. But in 1994, while pregnant with my second child, I had some complications that led to me being put on bed rest. Since my oldest was four at the time, I had my hands full and hadn’t read much in previous years. So rather than let frustration drive me crazy, I decided to try to enjoy the time off my feet. A friend brought me a bag of novels, and I dove in. By the time I had my son three weeks later, I had decided I wanted to try my hand at writing a book. 


Over the next several years, I moved, bought a computer, wrote, joined writing organizations, took online writing classes, had another baby, moved again, got invited to join a local critique group, and entered my first writing contest. The first contest results were devastating (tied for 35th place out of 36 entries!).  

When I reviewed the judge's feedback, I decided I must not be able to write. I wondered if I should quit. But after spending some time with my critique group, I braved entering another contest.  Yet I’d begun to wonder if God was telling me I was heading the wrong direction. I had three young children who needed me.
Mary Vee here. Yes this was taken this week. 
Yes that is ice behind me. I finished my copy
 of Missy's book and enjoyed it.:)
I feared I was spending too much of our family income on my writing expenses. Feared I was spending too much precious time on writing. And I’m talking a large chunk of time—writing well into the night after my husband and kids went to bed. I finally made the decision to quit…and then received a call. I was a finalist in the second contest I entered.

I took that as encouragement from God. I wasn’t supposed to give up.

But still, anytime I submitted my work, I received rejections. In the beginning, they were painful form letters (Dear Author, we’re sorry to inform you we can’t publish your book). Eventually, I began to get personalized rejections with a little feedback. Each positive comment was a morsel of hope that kept me going, offering the encouragement I needed at that moment.

As time went on, though, and I got more contest feedback, some of which was crushing, I once again got discouraged. The financial pinch of conferences and meetings became difficult to justify. It had been over ten years since I got that first computer! How long was too long? At what point should I throw in the towel?

One day, I received particularly painful feedback from a published author who’d read my work in a contest. Honestly, the most painful part of the critique was that I knew she was exactly right. I had failed on that story. And I couldn’t take the disappointment anymore. I prayed and cried and poured out my heart to God. I made the decision that it was time to give up my dream.

And wouldn’t you know, about thirty minutes later, I got a call that my manuscript was a finalist in another contest? I’ve always pictured God sighing and wondering when I would ever learn to trust Him.
I knew right then (as I sobbed my gratitude to the contest coordinator on the phone!) that God must want me to hang in there no matter what. I needed to trust His plan.
Two years later (yes, two more years passed!), I sold a short story to BellBooks for Blessings of Mossy Creek, and I was so thrilled for the opportunity to see my name on a book (even if it was on the back cover). :)

Nominated for RT
 Reviewer's Choice Award and
Romance Writers of America's
RITA Award.
Then a year later, on January 30th 2007, I got The Call. The call I’d hoped for since 1994. Love Inspired wanted to buy my novel. Once I dove into working on everything that goes along with the production of a book with Love Inspired, I realized there was no way I would have been able to handle the rigorous schedule when my kids were young. God knew that, of course, and was looking out for me the whole time. 


This writing journey can be long and twisted and filled with potholes. But isn’t it nice that God knows exactly where we’re heading? We can rest in Him knowing He wants the very best for us.


Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Missy Tippens is a pastor’s wife and mom of three and lives near Atlanta. Her novels have been nominated for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year (now called the Carol Award), the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Bookseller's Best Award and The Beacon. A House Full of Hope has been nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award as well as Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Missy’s next from Love Inspired is titled Georgia Sweethearts and is available now. 


Visit her at  www.missytippens.com


To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Missy Tippen's book, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Include email address in your comment. U.S. residents only. Winner announced on my facebook page.


Thank you, Missy for Joining us This Weekend!



Reader: Have you had a situation where you felt discouraged but realized, later, that God had been there with you all along?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Are you ready for Spring?


You are the reason the flowers grow.
God made their colors and fragrance for you.

You are the reason the sun shines.
God made the light and warmth for you.

You are the reason the misty rain falls.
God freshens the air for you to breathe.

You are the reason the birds sing and fly near your window.
God gave them a song for you. They deliver it where ever you are.

You are the reason the fish fill the oceans.
God gave them for you for food and to enjoy.

You are the reason animals walk the land.
God gave them to you for company, help, clothing, and food.

You are the reason other people live where you go.
God made each one special, like you, to help each other.

You are the reason God sent His Son Jesus.
God sent Jesus to demonstrate God's expectations.

You are the reason Jesus died on the cross.
God loves you so very much, that He sent His one and only Son for you, to take the punishment for your sins. And if you believe in what Jesus did, and desire to follow His ways, you will have eternal life.

He loved you enough to step into your world . . . to experience what you feel . . .  and to give you a way of escape.


May this week preceding Easter help you to see how very much God loves you.

Are you ready for Spring?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Break


Spring break season is here. 

Some schools had their breaks last week, some the week before. 

The reason for spring break? Not exactly sure, But this I know, few complain :)

As a kid and a college student, I loved spring break. I wish my job let me have a spring break, too!

My sister runs an after school day care in the art room of a school. 

Last Friday she took her students out for the first warm day they've had since last fall. The kids tossed their coats aside and ran to the playground.

She'd asked the children to bring their backpacks out with them, instead of leaving them in the after school care room like usual. One little girl said, "But my mom works until 5. I know I won't be picked up early." Smart comment because a snack is served in the classroom after playtime.

My sister nodded. "I understand. Will you bring your backpack anyway?" The girl reluctantly obeyed. Once outside she forgot her concern and ran to the slide.

A short time later a boy's parent arrived. The boy pouted. "I wanted to play outside." 

My sister cheerfully laughed. "Guess what? When you go through that door, your spring break begins!" Nothing else needed to be said. The boy grabbed his backpack and ran ahead of his parent to the door.

Needless to say, and you probably already guessed, the little girl's mother took time off work and picked her up early. 

The other children left with their parents earlier than the scheduled time as well. My sister knew they would. Who wouldn't want to leave early for spring break?


Spring Break
A time to 

play
laugh
sleep in
rest
ride a bike
go to a park
take a vacation
eat lunch at home or a restaurant
photo taken by Mary Vee





The idea of spring break didn't just happen in someone's mind. God put the thought there.

He knows we need a time to regroup, change the pace, play, giggle, sing, laugh, leap, jump, run, sleep in, and thousands of other things.

What will you/would you do during the Spring Break God gives you?

photo at top of page courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Dani Pettrey



Today I welcome author Dani Pettrey 

Enter to win an autographed copy of Dani's latest book, Shattered.  
(see end of post) 


I first heard about Dani at the Bethany House session held at ACFW last year. David Long mentioned in his talk Dani's book, how it took him seconds to recognize her talents.

Well, I couldn't wait to meet her and read her book, Submerged. This is an exciting story, steeped in action and adventure. Now I can't wait to get her second book, Shattered. During my conversation with her I asked how God had led her on her writing journey. This is her awesome answer:



How God Renewed My Love for Story


I have always loved daydreaming and making up stories. I dabbled with creative writing growing up, but set it aside. It wasn’t until a bout with a serious illness that I really felt God stirring me to write. He took something that was extremely difficult, brought me through it, and then blessed me with a tremendous gift—the joy of getting to share stories with others.

The illness started while I was pregnant with my youngest and living far from my family. The doctors kept attributing my symptoms to my pregnancy, but I knew something was wrong. I was shaky, sick and losing weight. My dear mother relocated to be near me. After the birth of my daughter, instead of getting better as the doctors assured me I would, I only got worse. I ended up being hospitalized month as every test imaginable was run. I couldn’t be home with my newborn and toddler—it was devastating. As the weeks droned on with no concrete results, I feared I’d never get to be home with them again.

God used this extremely painful time to bring me into a saving relationship with Him. We had been attending church for a couple years and I had prayed the sinner’s prayer, but quite honestly, I was terrified to give my life over to Christ. The Lord used my illness to show me my great need for Him and even more, that He could be trusted with my very life. I fully accepted Christ into my life, giving myself fully over to Him. After being sick for nearly a year and half, I was finally properly diagnosed with Graves’ disease, thanks to my amazing doctor at Hopkins. Unfortunately, the disease had been progressing so long that my body was on the verge of going into shock. Treatment began immediately and within weeks, I felt like myself again. But God had more in store.

Amazingly, He also used this difficult period to renew my love of story. While recuperating, I read a great deal. Whenever my children napped, I had a book in my hand. As they grew, my love of reading deepened until one day, a number of years later, I felt the call to write deeply engraved on my heart. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I began slowly. I spent a lot of time simply reading novels, seeing how they worked, analyzing why I fell in love with certain characters and not others. I attended writing conferences, joined a writer’s group and devoted regular time to writing. Along the way, God blessed me with an amazing mentor who has greatly shepherded me in the craft and writing life.

I wrote for a number of years, entered contests and applied the feedback I received. Two and a half years ago, I attended the ACFW conference. I approached my editor after his Spotlight Session and he was gracious enough to ask to see the first three chapters. A few weeks later, I got a request for the full. A few weeks after that, he told me they were going to present Submerged for contract. The day I got ‘the call' was amazing. I had received my share of rejections, so getting the ‘go ahead’ on a story I loved so dearly was pure joy.

Here I am, years later, still desperately in love with my Savior, still dependent on His daily grace, and the author of two published novels. God never ceases to amaze.

2 Cor 12:9: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Isa 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.



Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the romantic suspense series Alaskan Courage, which includes her bestselling debut novel; Submerged and latest release Shattered. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. 

Visit her website at www.danipettrey.com

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Dani Pettrey's book "Shattered", leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Include email address in your comment. U.S. residents only. Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Dani for Joining us This Weekend!

Reader,  how has God deepened your love for the ministry He has called you?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Face of Joy

As a writer, I feel I need to recognize the outward displays of human emotions. Recognizing other's responses helps me write portray my characters accurately.Today, because of the partly sunny skies let's talk about joy.

Joy is an emotion people love to share. Something exciting, wonderful, unexpected but good, went as planed, received, given, accepted, completed, started, organized, and etc. has happened.

This is not just a bubbly feeling to share. A story is attached to this emotion that begs telling over and over again. Photos shared. Videos replayed. This is newsworthy!



This man has something to say.

Whatever splashed the smile on his face will not remain unspoken. He is energized, vibrant, excited to share the second by second replay, with elaborations, of course. If you let him, he will dramatize  the entire story including adding sound effects. 

He will share his interpretation, feelings, allude to outlier details. He will tell his story to strangers and wish for new people to ask what happened. 

The event that made him happy took place very recently. As time slips by, his outward enthusiasm will soften. However, a small related stimulation of the memory will splash this same smile back on his face. 

Go ahead, make his day. Ask him what happened and watch the smile broaden.



This child's joy could be from giving or receiving. The gift, is important, but not the whole story. 

If she is the recipient, the response is directed to the individual giving the gift. Sure she wants to know what's inside, but this photo is before the gift is open. Therefore the smile is not about what is inside, but because who has given the gift.

Her wide, bold colored eyes, are looking at the giver. The dimpled smile demonstrates recognition. Can you see joy radiating from her facial expression? 

The giver thought of her. She is important to them. The gift giver has shown the child she has value. She is pleased and demonstrates her response not only with her facial expression but by the outstretched arms. She accepts the gift giver's expression.




I wonder what this woman heard. 

Did her boss offer a promotion, a raise, did her boyfriend propose, was her bid on a house accepted? Did her father successfully recover from an illness?

Note her eyes looking up. She is listening intently, understands what was/is said, and is so overjoyed the best words have not come to her attention. She is give 100% attention to the caller, so much so she must look in a direction no one will distract her. 

She shows her energy by playing with the phone cord. Her body is leaning forward, engaging in the situation. She is comfortable and therefore only needs two fingers and a thumb to balance the phone. (In contrast, an angry person would grasp the phone with their whole hand)



God has asked us to share His love with those we know, meet, are engaged with in our daily lives. If we shared our relationship with Christ, would we look like these people? As the person we speak to listens and is drawn to ask questions, would they be joyful? We don't know. It depends . . . not on us. Our job is to share in a compelling way.

Reader, what causes you to give a joyful response? 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Face of Disappointment

As a writer, I feel I need to be aware of the physical response of individual's displaying different emotions. This helps me to accurately express my characters. Today we will look at the different faces of those experiencing disappointment.

When I see the face of disappointment, I am drawn to the individual. 

Sometimes I approach the person, and sometimes I don't, yet I am still drawn to their need.

I watch from my distance and try to figure out if the person is approachable, or if it is appropriate for me to walk close to him/her.

The face of disappointment is portrayed in many different ways depending on the circumstances and the person experiencing the situation. 

Note this photo. This person's disappointment has pulled her into her own thoughts. If a conversation were held near her she probably wouldn't hear it. She wouldn't want to eat or move, so consumed with rehashing the disappointing situation.

We could describe her as quiet and pensive. Perhaps one tear might fall without her noticing. Her eyes are slightly lowered and her brows somewhat furrowed. Her body is curled close to her torso. 

If you saw this person in a park or on a beach, would you go and talk with her? If so, what would you say?



This photo expresses a different response to disappointment. This person' may exhibit sudden aggressive actions after long moments of stillness. He may pace, mumble, blurt, huff, sigh, and wave his arms. Afterwords he may stand or sit still, but his mind is racing.

We could express him as explosive. Even though there will be long moments of quiet, any action he conveys will be sudden, perhaps short, or it could also be drawn out, but it will clearly convey his disappointment. 

He is working the problem with high energy. Rehashing the words, justifying his actions, searching for a way of escape, and desperately looking for an immediate solution.

Any words like, "Calm down" only fuel his explosive response. 

With cell phones ever present, we could see this man almost anywhere. If you did see him across the street, would you go and talk with him?


One last photo showing disappointment.

This person's response shows his tears. He is wiping them. This action is giving permission to approach. He probably will allow a kind spoken person to say something nice, but not intrusive, as a feeler. He is ready to share his disappointment and hungers for an understanding listener. He doesn't necessary want advice, although after he says his peace, he may invite something more than kind words. 

The amount of tears do not dictate the level of disappointment.

But the response: wiping away the tears, shows the person has noticed others around them has chosen to acknowledge their presence, and wants, even in the smallest measure, some kind, gentle interaction.

If you saw this person sitting on a park bench, cowering in a corner, outside a stadium after a game, would you go and talk with him/her?

God asks his own to help those in need. Sometimes sitting quiet by the person is best.   Sometimes the help required is space. And sometimes the person wants kind words. Having a discerning eye and stepping into the person's shoes/situation helps us know what God wants us to do.

Reader, how would you show God's love to a person experiencing disappointment?

All three photos are courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Terri Blackstock



Today I welcome New York best selling 
author Terri Blackstock 



Enter to win an autographed copy of
Terri's book. There will be 2 winners chosen (see end of post) 


I feel honored and blessed to host Terri Blackstock this weekend. She graciously agreed to visit with not only me, but you too.

During my conversation with her I asked how God had led her on her writing journey. This is her awesome answer:





The Prodigal Daughter

In many ways, I could be described as a Prodigal Daughter, even though I never openly rebelled against God.
I was raised in the church and saved at 14. I walked closely with Christ through my teen years. However, as I reached college age, I grew lukewarm in my faith. Though I attended church, I stopped praying and reading the Bible, and I focused more on things of the world than on spiritual things.
When I began writing romance novels in 1982, I struggled briefly over whether to write books that dealt openly with sex. I managed to rationalize it, however, and when my work became popular, I told myself that God was making it all happen.
When my 13-year marriage ended in 1990, it was a terrible tragedy for me, but I now believe God used it to help me turn back to Him. I moved back to my hometown, where I found a church that offered a divorce recovery ministry and an active singles program. Through that ministry, I began getting my life back on track. I met my husband Ken through the church and we married in 1992.
But I still wasn’t able to give up my romance writing. I told myself I was reaching more people that way than I could writing Christian fiction. I disregarded the fact that what I was writing was helping no one — in fact, my work was full of lies that pointed people away from God instead of to Him.
In 1994, Ken realized he had never had more than an intellectual knowledge of Jesus. He came to know Christ as his Lord and Savior, and became the spiritual leader that I had yearned for all my life.
Ken’s example rekindled my own fire for Christ. I finally saw that my work was an obstacle between Christ and me, and a stumbling block for others. It didn’t matter how many people read my work; if I couldn’t tell them what I knew — what would solve their problems and change their lives — it was of no good.
Since I’ve made my commitment to write books that glorify God, He has opened door after door for me. I am excited about using my gift to challenge other Christians and point unbelievers to Him.

Terri Blackstock (www.terriblackstock.com) has sold over six million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, the Restoration Series, and the new Moonlighter Series



To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Terri Blackstock's book, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Include email address in your comment. U.S. residents only. Winner announced on my facebook page.

Two winners will be chosen!

Thank you, Terri for Joining us This Weekend!

Reader, I think we all have at least one moment when we took a prodigal walk from our relationship with Christ. Is there someone or a Bible verse that helped you find the way back?

An added bonus for you. This is Terri telling more about what God did for her:
if you cannot access it here this is the link on You Tube: http://youtu.be/-cELGv2CcKo


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Number One Best Seller

Most if not every day has received some special meaning on our calendars, something significance for us to celebrate. You could google today and find it set aside as the ______ day. Most of these don't impress me.

I am, however, wowed with December 25th-Christmas my favorite holiday, Easter, major holidays like that.


I learned something interesting this last Sunday. March 10th had been marked as International Bible day. Now there is something I can get behind.

My pastor gave a long list of amazing facts about the Bible, including but not limited to: 

The Bible is the number one best selling book.

I tried, but couldn't write the list he gave fast enough. Some of the things I remembered you probably already knew like: 

40 human authors, 

Blood has been shed to preserve it. 

Stories that brought our Bible together are compelling.  

From Psalm 19:10-14

God’s Word is better than a diamond,
    better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
    better than red, ripe strawberries 
There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
    and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
    Or know when we play the fool?

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them Your servant is warned,

And in keeping them there is great reward.

**
After giving the list, my pastor asked, What if the Bible was treated like our cell phone.

Would we rush back home to get it after leaving the house without it? 
Would we stop a conversation with someone to listen to it's message.
Would we keep it close at all times and check for new messages throughout the day.

Would we?

Happy Bible day to you.

Reader: If Bible day were a celebrated holiday in your home, how would you celebrate it. Let's share some fun ideas we can all start as new traditions.:)

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Carriage Ride


My family missed doing a tradition activity.

Last year we moved. About one hundred fifty thousand things hop on our to do list. In all the rush, we simply forgot to do one of our favorite traditions.

For thirty years, our family has driven to Frankenmuth, Michigan. It is a German, Christmas wonderland with quaint attractions three-hundred-sixty-four days a year.

One such attraction is the carriage ride over the old, wooden covered bridge and through the village.

The carriage workers had helped their last passengers dismount. Family members took photos and then the passengers left. 

The parking lot, where one could hire the carriage, had filled with visitors watching a puppet show.

Workers removed the horses bit and prepared to feed him. But something spooked the horse.

"Whoa." The worker shouted. She grabbed the harness and tried to steady the horse. A second worker stepped on the other side of the horse hoping to help calm the animal. The driver, sitting high on his seat, became concerned. His eyes grew wide and he too shouted "Whoa." He didn't have control since the horse didn't have a bit and he sat up on the carriage.

The visitors had no idea of the possible danger. They continued watching the puppet show. 

The horse, standing at least two to three feet higher than the workers worked his front legs as if trying to find his balance. He neighed and bobbed his head. One worker held tight to the harness as the horse moved forward. They repeated their cry over and over, "Whoa."

The horse stomped forward into a fast trot through the parking lot. The worker ran alongside with her hand steady on the harness, trying with all her might to get the horse to stop. As the horse turned to the left she could no longer keep up and feared he's stomp on her. She dropped to the ground but the carriage, still attached to the horse, rolled forward. 

Only God could have precisely placed the horses hoofs and the wheels of the carriage to miss her. The carriage wheels ran within an inch either side of her body even as it turned. She kept her head low and wasn't hit by the under carriage.

The horse ran forward with the driver crying out from his seat, "Whoa." 

The worker hobbled back to her station with the bit still in her hand. Her down trodden face showed embarrassment, frustration, and shame. Although, it didn't seem to me she should. Her hand was bleeding. She refused help when my husband offered, so intended was she on getting the security car, a driver, and find the horse.

I never found out what happened next. We went into the restaurant, and I must admit my thoughts remained on the carriage. Where did the horse stop? What spooked the horse? What happened next?

After our meal we walked out of the restaurant. Workers stood at the carriage stand waiting to take new passengers through the village. The other groomed the horse. Not knowing enough about horses, I am not sure if it was the horse I saw after our meal was the same as the spooked horse. They looked a lot alike.

It did not seem the appropriate time to ask.

Reader, you get to finish the story. What do you think happened next?


Friday, March 8, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Mary Moore


Today I welcome authoress and my new friend,
one whom I have such respect for: Mary Moore 


Enter to win an autographed copy of
Mary Moore's book. There will be 2 winners chosen 


I never know when God is going to bless me by bringing a new friend along the way. After our first chats, Mary Moore and I found we had many things in common. As a result a friendship has been born.

During the conversation I asked her how God led her on her writing journey. This is her awesome answer:






AN UNUSUAL JOURNEY

All blogs and interviews are different, but the one question that almost always pops up is – “When did you know you wanted to be a writer.” I read the responses from other authors, how they’ve wanted to write since they wrote their first story. Or, maybe it was after a college course in literature, or maybe they had just always known. Not me, nope…I never wanted to be a writer!

Me too, Mary!

I am a reader. That is what I’ve always loved to do. And when I was about fifteen, I had to read Pride and Prejudice for school. Everything about it interested me, the time period in Regency England, Jane Austen’s wit and storytelling ability, the language; all of it, I really loved just about everything. But I very quickly devoured her six books!

So, in my search for more stories in the Regency genre, I discovered Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt. Ms. Heyer’s novels quickly rose higher in my estimation than Jane Austen. And if I wanted a little mystery along with it, I went to Ms. Holt. Both ladies were awesome writers and the stories were squeaky clean. But all good things come to an end and I read the last one of each author.

You read Victoria Holt, too?  I read all her books, every one.

OK, Ok, I know this is supposed to be how I started writing, not reading, but I have just one more background item! At that time, in the early 90’s, I wanted to find Regency genre stories centered on Christian messages. There were a few established Christian fiction writers, Eugenia Price and Janette Oke to name two, but there were none in the Regency era.

In 1995, my husband’s job changed his hours to the midnight shift, and that meant he was asleep most evenings. But he is a very light sleeper, and even the TV, in an entirely different part of the house, was enough to keep him awake. Here it comes…that is when I started to write. You are saying, “Didn’t she say she never wanted to be a writer?” and you’d be right. I just needed something quiet to do and I decided that I was going to write Regencies just for me.

Oh, I can tell where this is going, can't you, Reader?

I wrote six books over those two years and started a few more. My sister-in-law, Carol, hounded me to read them. I don’t know why I let her, I didn’t let anyone else, but from then on she was on a mission…she wanted them published. I won second place in a contest and I made very half-hearted attempts to present my work directly to publishers, but I knew nothing about that world and was not surprised that I received no responses. So, those books were boxed up and put in the attic not to see the light of day until ten years later.

In 2004, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the midst of that eight months of chemo treatments, my husband found the box of manuscripts. He thought I might like to read them again. What it made me realize is how little about life I knew when I wrote them. I saw ways to make them so much better with real experiences I now had under my belt…but I didn’t, not then. I read them and put them back.

Hark back to my sister-in-law on a mission (don’t get me wrong, I love her dearly and she always believed in me). There isn’t enough time to tell you all of the crazy things she did on her own. But once, she walked into Alive Communications, the literary agents for Billy Graham, Tim LaHaye, etc. and handed them a copy of one of my manuscripts and told them they NEEDED to publish it. I praised God for a week that she lives in Colorado and I live on the east coast!

Awww

But in 2008, we went to a women’s retreat together. She found out that there was a published author in attendance. She made it her goal to find that woman and meet her. The next morning at breakfast she came and told me to bring my plate to a different table where she wanted to sit. Yep, you guessed it, the author was sitting at that table and Carol introduced me as an aspiring author. Unfortunately, there were no longer 30 states in between us! God bless the lovely lady who took the time to give me some web sites to visit and some agencies that might be looking for new authors.

When I returned home and looked those sites up, I thought, OK, I’ll give it one more college try and then I can lay it to rest once and for all. It seems like God had been waiting for me to catch up with Him and I found an awesome agent pretty quickly. She really liked the story I sent, we signed a contract, and then we went to work on revising that book. 

When I added my life experiences to my work, I found just the message to go with the story, I thought maybe I could have a ministry through my stories.

And that’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer!

Mary Moore has been writing historical fiction for more than 15 years. After battling and beating breast cancer, Mary is even more excited about her career, as she incorporates some of her struggles throughout her books, dedicated to encouraging others in the Lord and using her writing for God’s glory.

Her debut novel, The Aristocrat’s Lady, won several acclaimed awards, including the 2011 Reviewers Choice Award by RT Magazine for Best Love Inspired Historical, and the 2011 Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers for Best Book by a Virginia Author. She also received an Award of Merit for Best First Book and Best Long Inspirational by the VRW.

Mary is a native of the Washington, DC area, but she and her husband, Craig, now live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in southwestern Virginia. When not writing, she loves to read, minister in her church, and spend time with her husband and black lab, Darcy.

Mary Moore would love to hear from you! She can be reached by visiting her website at www.marymooreauthor.com.

     and

          Email: mmooreauthor@swva.net
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To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Mary Moore's book, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Include email address in your comment. U.S. residents only. Winner announced on my facebook page.

Two winners will be chosen!

Thank you, Mary Moore for Joining us This Weekend!

Reader, Mary's sister-in-law and husband became a great help and encouragement to her. Who is your encouragement?