Tag Archives: christian fiction

Who knew I could write romance.

My first ever attempt at writing romance won a contest. It’s G rated people so don’t get uppity! I thought you might get a kick out of it.

The rules were, make a case for love using a lawyer as one of the characters, in 1500 wds or less.

So without further ado, here is my Case for Love contest entry.

“You did what?” Alice shrieked.

Trial lawyer Clive Stellers never balked in an argument but somehow this felt different. He had to make her understand, yet disappointing her made him feel the same crushing pressure he had when he’d failed the Bar that first go around. I did this for the both of us, why can’t she see that? Not wanting to be accused of interrogating her, Clive resorted to begging. “Please Alice, I don’t want to fight.”

“But, how could you?” She threw her hands up pacing the room like a racehorse anxious to run.

He didn’t want to frustrate her but she sure was cute when she got mad. Unruly blond tresses dangled just below the shoulder, a pink flush painted across her nose and cheeks. And the fire in her deep blue eyes sent shivers of desire tingling up his spine, numbing his intellect. That’s why he loved her more with each passing year. Home from the challenges of a day in court, he could hug his wife and be transported instantly to a simpler time. With Alice, Clive felt young, ornery, irresponsible. That’s why he’d done it. It was because he loved her, because she made him giddy with desire to please her. Why can’t she see it’s because I need her?

“Clive, you’re a grown man! Why can’t you act like it?” She wore the oversized Anaheim Angel’s shirt he’d bought her on one of their first dates.

“Alice be reasonable, please. I thought you’d enjoy the company. Especially when I’m gone weekends.”

The creases in her brown softened slightly. “How many years till you can retire again?” She stopped pacing and collapsed onto the couch, resting her chin on her hands. “I don’t want company, I want you Clive.”

Taking up position beside his wife, Clive wiped the sweat from his palms on the soft micro suede. “Hon…”

Alice slapped the back of his hand and shot to her feet like a jack-in-the-box. “Don’t DO that to the couch!” She put her hands to her head tangling her fingers in the mass of curls.

Clive’s toes felt like they sat in a bed of coals with both pleasure and frustration playing his resolve. “But Hon, it’s not fair to her.” He nodded toward the garage door. “Can you just give her a chance, it’s very expensive you know.” Instinctively he stroked the couch despite her reprimand.

“Where will she stay Clive, we don’t have the room. I certainly don’t have the time despite your assumption that I sit at home with nothing to do all day. I have a life, I have friends, I have work to do. Did you even think about me?”

“That’s the one thing I was thinking about.” Clive burst to his feet feeling like a geyser about to erupt. Clenching his fists he stepped into her path. “Alice, I did this for you.”

She stopped pacing and allowed him to pull her into his arms.

His heart erupted instead. Oh how I love you Alice Stellers.

“Clive, it’s just so sudden.” She pulled herself back from his embrace just enough to look into his eyes. He could see that the fight had left them. Passionate blue brimming with love stared back at him.

“Will you just hear me out?” He stroked her shoulders then leaned in to plant a kiss on her forehead. “Wipe those creases and give me five minutes to convince you.”

She cocked her head to the side and set her jaw in an “I know you” smirk.

“Clive?” Raising her eyebrows like she did whenever he switched into “lawyer mode” she placed her small hand on his chest just above his pounding heart and tapped the exact rhythm with one long red fingernail.

Alice had the uncanny gift of making his head spin.

“Two minutes.” She flashed him a seductive smile.

“Fine, two minutes.”

Scratching his thinning hair as he attempted to scrape away the numbing effect of her beauty, he mentally prepared his brief.

“Are you out of words for once in your life?” Amused, Alice reclaimed her seat on the couch, crossing her ankles, waiting for his plea.

All he saw were those wiggling bare toes and he wanted to crawl on his knees and kiss them. That wouldn’t start them on a path to resolution. Sighing, he placed a hand on his chin then traced his neck all the way down to the choking collar of his dress shirt. He released the top button.

With a playful smile Alice giggled. She loved to make him squirm.

Looking at the ceiling, he tried not to imagine those faded blue jeans hugging her legs. They had once fit loosely but a couple of years and a few too many glasses of the sweet wine she enjoyed with her tiramisu, helped ensure a form fit. He didn’t mind one bit. Then there were those pale curvacious ankles peeking out from the bottom of her pants. His heart beat triple-time. Never had he imagined the intensity of his desire for her could grow, not wane. Only at home would she dress so casually. Only for him. And undress too. I’m a lucky man. He swallowed hard.

“May it please the wife. I intend to show that the purchase in question is evidence not of wanton passion as you might surmise, but the symbol of my eternal, unending love and affection for you, my lifelong companion.”

“I freely stipulate that several of my previous anniversary gifts have been lacking in personal touch, culminating in last year’s silk sheet debacle. I pondered long and hard concerning a more appropriate course of action to take on this, our thirteenth year of wedded bliss. No mere trifle token could possibly express the depth of my love and appreciation for your patience and devotion when I am unable to return at your beck and call.”

“When I saw the lacy collar in the store window and her heart was beating with effusive admiration, inspiration struck. This would be the year that I present a gift that keeps on giving even when I’m detained at the office. What could be more appropriate when I cannot instantly appear, than a companion whose only desire is to please her master?”

Purposely fainting back onto the couch Alice rolled her eyes and laughed. “You are over the top, Clive.”

“I beg the court for a change of venue and just thirty seconds more.” Without waiting for a response he grabbed her hand, eagerly steering toward the garage and her waiting escort.

Once in the spacious garage Clive turned toward his wife willing her to perceive the genius of his plan. With both of her hands in his he proceeded with his closing argument.

“In summary, Hon, I beg you to give Wilhelmina Fratchell Stellers just one look and opportunity to meet you to pour out her waiting affection.”

“You are so strange. This is only a dog we are talking about.”

“Not just any dog. Look at her, Hon.” He opened the kennel and out bounded the wrinklest little long eared puppy who struggled to avoid stepping on her silky black ears as she headed straight for Alice. He stole a peek at his wife’s expression and saw a look of surprise.

“I’m not gonna fall for this she’ll poop and chew…” She couldn’t continue her argument. Wilhelmina stumbled and rolled onto the cold cement floor.

Years of suppressing a motherly instinct caught up with her in an instant just as Clive had calculated. She scooped the puppy into her arms as he threw in his last plea. “Don’t you just love her? How can you say no to that face?”

“How did you find a hound? I expected some ratty little terrier.” The puppy answered her with a sloppy kiss to the nose.

“A drive to the Valley was hardly a second thought once I heard they had them. I know you love hounds.”

“Yes but, you’ve said our yard was too small.”

“A little inconvenience and creativity is nothing compared to your happiness.”

Alice grinned, her face giddy with youthful glee. “Ah, I love you, you old sap.”

10 Comments

Filed under Short Fiction

Tracie Peterson – Dawn’s Prelude book review

Tracie Peterson – Dawn’s Prelude, historical fiction, Alaska fiction, christian, love, hope

Dawn's Prelude (Song of Alaska)Dawn’s Prelude was disappointing because again I lost a lot of sleep, it was that good!  I recommend this novel.  Surprising and full of hard questions about life and tragedy, the book is beautifully written.

I’ve not read a Tracie Peterson novel before so I didn’t have any assumptions to go off of.   Truthfully I expected a leisurely read.  You know the ones; those novel’s I’ve been known to call “soft reads” or “summer reads”.  Dawn’s Prelude was anything but.   At first I was disappointed, not because I didn’t like the book but because I was expecting to catch up on some sleep after reading Eyes of Elisha.    The first, second, third, fourth chapter into the novel I finally dragged myself to bed.  Poor hubby I’d said “one chapter Hon, then I’ll can sleep”!

Set primarily in the serene landscape of Sitka Alaska, early 1800’s.  Lydia, a young widow moves away from her cruel step children to be with her Aunt Zerelda.  Her past continues to hold her back.  Will she ever be free?

Zee was one of my favorite characters.  A plucky Christian lady who “gets along fine” on her own!  She provides answers to many of the difficult questions Lydia poses.  I love how Tracie Peterson used this character instead of author’s voice or simply leaving questions unanswered. 

There was a point in the middle of the novel where I thought, “we are about to walk a fine line between believability and  soap opera reality” but as soon as I thought it the purpose for certain events became clear and I was once again swept away by the beauty and connectivity of the writing.

The diversity of the characters kept me spellbound.  There are characters of Swedish origin, Russian and even Tlingit Indians.  I found myself chanting the Swedish dialogue in sing song and could almost hear the Russian voices as well.

Well done Tracie, I can’t wait to pick up the next novel in this series!

Amazingly, I WON Dawn’s Prelude through a blog giveaway.  Thank you to Jolanth!

5 Comments

Filed under Book Blab, Twenty Something

Nightstand, books with pretty covers -December reads

I’m curious!  Do you read books more often by genre, author, topic, pretty cover?  How do you most often pick your books?Raising Rain

When I took a look at my nightstand I realized I do a combo when picking what to read next.  Often it starts with an author that I like or have had recommended.  Sometimes it’s about what genre I haven’t read recently (I like to mix it up) but occasionally a really great cover will trump all the rest.  That was the case with Dawn’s Prelude.  What a beautiful book.  I have a feeling Raising Rain by Debbie Fuller Thomas is going to lure me in on account of the beautiful cover as well.

Click on the book title links to read my full review.

Dawn's Prelude (Song of Alaska)Tracie Peterson – Dawn’s Prelude   was disappointing because again I lost a lot of sleep, it was that good!  I recommend this novel.  Surprising and full of hard questions about life and tragedy, the book is beautifully written.

Christian Fiction Suspense & MysteryBrandilyn Collins – Coral Moon:  I’m almost done with this novel, the 2nd in the Kanner Lake Series but since I’ve run out of batteries in my flashlight I’ve had to resort to reading only in the daylight, otherwise I would have been done by now.  Check out my tutorial “How to read a Brandilyn Collins Novel

Link up your nightstand reads at 5 Minutes for Books

What's On Your Nightstand

10 Comments

Filed under Book Blab

My God bag, WIP “ed” short story publishing, and blog tags.

As Henny put it this is a Karen Joy style post.  Not topically but because of the random nature of the stuff flitting through my mind that I’ve been wanting to share with you.

 My God purse:

Saturday I had the opportunity to start the day – well – really bad!  I’ve been without a vehicle for about three weeks now and with winter setting in it is quite cold for the kids to play outside.  Cold, as in negative digits with wind chill factor.  Many days the warm has stayed below 10 degrees F.   Friday night Matt had a small yearly job as a “security guy” (which really amounts to sleeping at the church) for a holiday bazaar in town.  The great part is it brings in a tiny bit of extra money.  Sometimes he spends it on me at the bazaar, this year we needed it.

I may have already mentioned, I am NOT a morning person but Saturday had hope of being THE day for purchasing a new very used car for Matt to commute in so I can have my rig back. It also had hope of being a “girls day” with my mom.  Sooo, I woke up early-ish and hustled the kids out the door.  The Bubba wouldn’t go for the “here kid, have a banana and get in the car routine”  he is much too conditioned.  I had to coax him with peanut butter rice cakes (thank goodness he can eat peanuts) and shuffle him out with it all over his face and hair.  We tease that his love language is food.

Once I finally had everyone in the car I was already late for my 8am arrangement to pick Matt up.

Click…click…click…  The Suburban battery was dead. Someone left a dome light on in sub zero weather.

I’m trying to give you the short version here but I’m terrible at that so bear with me. 🙂

No only would it not start but when I went to pop the hood the latch broke and I couldn’t get the hood undone.  I called Matt in a tiff and he tried to tell me if I would just hit the latch it would open.   Let me tell you, I slammed that thing and cursed and slammed it again.  My husband was on the phone trying to talk me down 🙂  but I was having none of it.  Not to mention my phone battery was dying.  I finally hung up on him because I couldn’t do all of it at once and he wouldn’t stop talking to let me tell him the phone was about to quit.

– Meanwhile Dear husband calls a neighbor kid.

The only other vehicle that runs on the property is my highschool car (a 66 Mustang).  It usually sits parked under a cover (it’s not in great shape) and gets turned on once in a blue moon.  I hopped in it and miraculously it started right up but I just HAD to sit a good two or three minutes and rev the engine.  Boy, I love that sound!  I pulled it over and tried to turn it around to get in position to jump the Burb and I killed it on our “Indiana Jones Ride” driveway.  Rrrrr  I was so angry at that point that I flooded the engine with my impatience trying to start it back up.

I plugged in my phone, called Matt and brewed myself a cup of coffee.  I’d waited, hoping to get foo-foo coffee in town.

The neighbor kid showed up and in no time had me on the road.

——

We go to the church and Bubba had peed his pants.  I yanked him out of the car while Matt grabbed the other kids and we went into the bathroom.  I had no change of clothes so he ran back out of there pantless, shirt on backward (he put it on himself), with peanut butter all over.  Thank goodness he had shoes on!  Matt laughed and took the boys outside so I could “shop” a minute with PeeWee.

In one of the first booths I saw the most adorable purses that some mom’s my age had made.  Now, may I remind you, I’m not a girlie girl.  I don’t usually do shoes or purses or scarves etc.  I like practical, comfortable attire and sometimes big earrings to get my “bling” fix.  But these bags were CUTE!  Plus I’d had a really bad day.  Another thing I don’t usually do is shop to self soothe. 🙂  But these bags were CUTE! 

I picked up the brown one with the big flower made of burlap and admired it, showing it to PeeWee and then spied the tag.  $35  Shoot!  That is really too much during the Christmas season especially and I don’t spend money on me.  So, reluctantly I put it back and perused the other items in the booth.

Matt found me shortly after and told me he was free to go as soon as his boss cut him a check.  She tracked us down (not hard with four a-tow) and she had the bag I’d been looking at.   She ripped the tag off in front of me and said, “Someone wanted you to have this.  It wasn’t me.  Not that I dont’ want you to have it.  Here you go, Merry Christmas!”

It was just one of those moments when I really felt like the Lord had specifically put me on someone heart simply to bless me with something completely frivolous so He could say “I love you and you are doing a good job.  You are my daughter!”

I am thankful to whoever did this kind act but more than that I felt hugged by the Lord.   When I told one of my Bible study friends she said, “It’s your God bag!”

Even my husband was amazed saying “It’s so you.”

WIP “ed”

For months I’ve been trying to attend a Christian Writers Critique that is held locally.  There are several published authors that attend as well as aspiring authors, retiree’s, mom’s etc.  Once I even hired a babysitter and showed up on the WRONG day!

Finally, yesterday I made it!

On the advice of my husband I took a short story that I’m not really attached to.  He thought it would be a good idea to get a feel for the venue before bearing my soul. 🙂  Especially since the soul purpose of the group is critique.  So I did not take any part of my WIP a contempory, coming of age novel.

I’d written the story as a writing exercise one day when the kids were napping.  I didn’t spend a whole lot of time editing but the idea had been mulling around in my brain for several days so I pretty much purged my brain and left it at that.

The group sits at a round table and each person reads a 5-6min piece that they have brought while the rest of the members edit the page she has handed out. 

When I came to my turn I was a bit nervous, many of the pieces read were breathtaking and my short story was quite different to say the least.  There were mostly older women, one lady my age writing a cowboy type novel based on some family history and a man who is published who brought the most beautiful piece of poetry and always had a lot to say about others work.  Yikes!

I read “Who Did” about Jonah.

There were some excellent suggestions and they pointed out that I’d gone out of order with some of the events but no critical remarks.

After I got done the lady who heads up the group said something to the effect of… “I’m sure you already have some place to pitch this but if you don’t I really think you should consider looking into a house that would be interested in this type of short story.”

WHOA!  She blew me away.  “already have a plan to pitch”

I’d never once considered my short stories anything other than sanity.  A way to put on paper what God is teaching me, almost a journal of sorts.  When I feel it could be a blessing to others I’ll share it with you ladies, but publish!!!

The “cranky” man (that’s what the ladies called him) put a remark on his copy that was returned to me at the end. “Look into a publisher of study material, this would be a good piece for a lesson idea”  He also wrote, “Powerful writing!  Don’t let my scribbles be discouraging.  I liked it.”

WHOA, whoa and triple whoa!

Not only did they have incredibly good suggestions, they LIKED IT!  It also got me thinking outside of my little box into some other things I’ve written.  Previous to this meeting I had been thinking I had to create something entirely new but I’ve got tons of short stories.  Now to find who publishes short stories.   At Karen Joy’s suggestion I’m going to pick up the Christian Writer’s Market Guide 2010 when it comes out.  AND continue praying that God will guide my steps in this possible new adventure.

I feel so encouraged and I can’t wait to go back and take them the “meat”!

Blog Tags:

Can someone please school me on how to use blog tags?  I’ve read a couple tutorials online and I thought I had it down but I’ve noticed that people tend to find my blog by typing in completely random things like…

“all boys same”

“bah humbug”

“why do our eyes dialate when back of neck is squeezed”

Now that I’ve repeated them I’ll probably get more hits on those topics. 🙂 Oh well.

While I’m happy to oblidge I never put any of those terms in the tags on my blog. Some of the words appear in posts but not anything relating.  I’ve had other random searches but I dont’ believe anyone has found my blog for anything they intended.  The food blog was easy.  Food ingredients, allergy lists etc.

Maybe I’m just overthinking it!

Any ideas?

10 Comments

Filed under My WIP, Random, Reality, Ruse

10 Things I Hate About Books

  1. They make me loose sleep
  2. They make me cry – I NEVER cry
  3. They make me eat my words – “I hate romance novels.”  “I’m too chicken to read crime novels.”
  4. They distract me from housework.
  5. They CALL to me from the book store
  6. They FIND me in the thrift store, and occasionally…
  7. They pop into my amazon cart and show up on my porch.”How did YOU get here?”
  8. Did I mention they make me cry?
  9. They make me forget to eat.
  10. If I don’t finish quickly enough they make me mope around my house until I can.

Here are the reviews for the books I’ve read and immensely enjoyed this month.  Click the titles for my reviews.

Eyes of Elisha by Brandilyn Collins –  Suspense, riveting action, CSI but realistic.  So not CSI. Law and Order without the hopelessness. Ok not Law and order. 🙂  Brandilyn Collins writes one of a kind novels.

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin –  Like a good friend going home, I’m sad to have finished this book.

Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins- What do murder and hope have in common?

What's On Your Nightstand

15 Comments

Filed under Book Blab

Eyes of Elisha Review

Eyes of Elisha (Chelsea Adams Series #1)Oh man, if Violet Dawn was great Eyes of Elisha was awesome.  Brandilyn Collins sets the bar higher with each book she writes.  Now I’m wondering, “can it get any better?”   But apparently on the “suspense scale” I’ve yet to read a three!  MERCY.

Actually the truth of the matter is none of Brandilyn Collins’ books disappoint.

From the back of the book: “The murder was ugly.  The killer was sure no one saw him.  Someone did.  In a horrifying vision Chelsea Adams has relived the victims last moments.  But who will believe her? Certainly not the police, who must rely on hard evidence.  Nor her husband, who barely tolerates Chelsea’s newfound Christian faith.  Besides, he’s about to hire the man who Chelsea is certain is the killer to be a vice president in his company.”

I found myself ripping through the novel as if my life depended on it.  Riveting, mind bending, terrifying at times, Eyes of Elisha kept me glued to my chair all the way to the last word.  And yet, true to form, woven throughout the book were themes of forgiveness, hope in spite of our circumstances and unlikely friendship.

reading

CLICK ME

Keep them coming Brandilyn!

I’m a newly converted “seatbelt suspense” fan! 

Click the goofy picture of me at the right to read my post “How to Read a Brandilyn Collins Novel” especially if you aren’t sure you can read suspense.  I didn’t think I could.

ONLY SLIGHTLY OFF SUBJECT:

Read on if you are curious about how Brandilyn handles the vision.

When I first read the back of the book I was a little worried about the vision bit.  I believe whole heartedly that God uses his people for his purposes and if that includes modern day visions I have no problem accepting that.  The problem lies in a past experience of my own. 

I dated a kid whose family was involved in a deeply charismatic church.  My church, being more conservative mysteriously avoided the subject of gifts unless it came to organ playing and hospitality.  I ended up smack dab in the middle of two extreme views.  The boyfriends parents believed, as their church taught, that unless you received the Spirit in the form of a tangible experience, being “slain in the spirit” you were not saved.  In their defense my home church believed unless you were Baptised in water you were not truly saved.  UGH!  I couldn’t win.

I know now that salvation doesn’t come by works or gifts but by the blood of Jesus.  In the book of James Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

At any rate, Brandilyn’s book beautifully portrayed a faithful follower of Christ who’s vision horrified even her.  Chelsea was not an overzealous, heavy handed believer whose goal was to convince everyone that visions are the only way to heaven.  Instead the vision was used to show the power of the Lord and the fallibility of mankind.  In Christ, through faith and by seeking Him even our mistakes can be used to the good of those who believe in Jesus.

3 Comments

Filed under Book Blab, Twenty Something

How to Read a Brandilyn Collins Book

reading
How to Read a Brandilyn Collins Novel.

I was a little unprepared when I opened my first Brandilyn Collins novel.  Notwithstanding, I decided to write a tutorial so none of you have to experience this misfortune.

I don’t know how I’ve gone this long without reading her books.  Making up for lost time I read two crime novels in less than two weeks.  

To date she has published 19 novels, is an accomplished speaker who loves to connect with readers through her popular blog Forensics and Faith as well as her Facebook page.  

Buy a book, check out her blog and give her a shout on Facebook.   Don’t forget to tell her I sent you.

Without any further ado, here’s my how-to.
 
Paraphernalia:   Items to have close by when reading a Brandilyn Collins book.  Better yet have the following bag of tricks within reach  because once you “buckle in” you won’t want to get up. I promise.
  1. the book – And as Brandilyn would say “Don’t forget to BREATHE!”
  2. a pen and paper– This gal knows a lot of words and she’s not afraid to use them.  I keep pen and paper handy to jot down words I don’t know, words I know but want to get more familiar with and words that I simply like.
  3. lights, lots of lights! – When possible, read only during the day.  Sadly I cannot so I carry a BIG FLASHLIGHT!  It has surprising dual benefit, its heavy enough to be a weapon.  Watch out Hon!
  4. phone – Your gonna need a phone to call your mommy.

Which of Brandilyn’s books have you read?  Did I miss anything necessary for surviving her fast paced suspense novels?

Don’t think suspense is up your alley? I’m told she has some books just for you too.  Click the big honkin’ chicken’s club button below for suggestions on where to start if you aren’t sure about reading something that gets your heart pumping.
Big Honkin' Chickens Club

 How does a Christian author write about such terrifying circumstances and still stay true to her faith?  As Chrisitians we are not exempt from trouble in fact James says “Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials for the testing of your faith produces endurance.”  Brandilyn’s ministry is in depicting how characters who face tragic circumstances react.  Some lean on Christ, others are driven to commit terrible crimes, still others stay ambiguous in their faith.  We see different people in different walks of life change, thus challenging each of us to take a hard look at how we deal with this imperfect world we live in.  

The Bible says that the whole earth moans as if in the pains of childbirth, waiting to be restored to Him.  Like a new baby we are in for a surprise when this life is up!  For those who know Jesus personally; restoration, peace, no more tears. For those who reject him they are given what they choose, eternal separation. 

Each of Brandilyn’s books takes you right up to the edge of life, ask the hard questions and leaves you with a choice.  Which path will you follow?

See what books I’ve read here.  Recently that is!

11 Comments

Filed under Book Blab, Twenty Something