I have met so many wonderful friends through books. Some are fictional, and some are flesh and bone friends...but all have made a difference in my life in one way or another. We all impact each other's lives. Sometimes it is by something you say that makes me think, and other times it is by a gesture or kindness. And yet other times it may be something that dug deeper, hurt my feelings, or made me sad. Still you made a difference. Through this blog I would like to introduce you to some people who have blessed me with their writing...and I hope you will be blessed as well!

Coffee or Tea?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Do you limit your books to only writers you know?

     Do you have certain authors you focus on when you visit your local bookstore? Do you read them because you know they will give you what you want, or because they are the only writer you are familiar with? I used to only read Terri Blackstock. I read everything she wrote. I loved her work. I couldn't wait for her next book to be released. I never picked up any other Christian Fiction, because I assumed they would be boring.  Silly me! That made about as much sense as only eating strawberries because they were such a sweet delight. Did I believe I would be unfaithful if I read someone else's work? Maybe. But the truth is, she would never know and in all reality would probably prefer I did read other books to increase the popularity of the Christian Fiction market.
     One day while waiting in a drug store for a prescription I saw a book rack with an assortment of books from different locations I recognised. I had a friend who was flying back home to Seattle the next day and decided to pick her up some books to read. Since she was born and raise in Pa. I was drawn to the books called "Love Finds You in Paradise, Pa." and "Love Finds You in Hershey, Pa.".  I found the back cover interesting on another one called "Love Finds You in Bethlehem, N.H." It reminded me of one of my daughter's favorite books, "Sarah, Plain and Tall". I added them to my order and went on my way. By the time my friend landed in Seattle, she was on the phone to let me know she was sending back "Paradise" so I could read it...it was one of the best books she had ever read! (And she is an avid reader!)
     Within a few days I was deeply involved in the world of Loree Lough, walking through the wolf sanctuary, and meeting the people of Paradise. I was not a love story kind of gal, so in all likelihood I might have never read her book, had it not had the wolves in it...I DO love wolves! In less than a week I was hooked, ready to join the fan club, and proudly wear my "Loree Lough Fan Club" button! Not because of the beloved wolf feature, but because she challenged my faith, and had me asking if I was willing to truly become more Christ-like in my walk with Jesus, or simply stay comfortable.
     No, she never asked those words. She never put that challenge on paper. She simply told a story in her own amazing way, that left me asking myself those questions. Where do we say no to God? Is there a limit to what you are willing to do to become more Christ-like? Is your ability to forgive blocking all God can do for you? Can you forgive someone for taking the most precious thing in your life away from you? For weeks I could not get those thoughts out of my mind. I still fall back on those lessons learned within the pages of "Love Finds You in Paradise, Pa."
     In the following months I began to open my mind up to reading lots of writers I had never met before, and now I am in the front row of a number of fan clubs. I would like to introduce you to these people I now call my friends. They all have a different style of writing, and all have my complete devotion to their collection of stories. I can't wait to introduce you to each one personally and professionally. I know you will love the clift-hanger suspense of Mary Connealy, the crazy antics of Janice Thompson, the way Jenny B Jones relates to kids and the Dr. Who generation, the enriching Bible characters that come to life in historical fiction of many, including Liz Clark Higgs, and so many more who have their own touching ways of changing your life.
     You wouldn't want to eat a diet of only strawberries, you need a little chocolate to go with that...and that is what I am going to try to do....Some of these fine writers have a few nuts in them, some are sweet, and some are just plain interesting...and each one is worth your time to see for yourself if you love them as much as I do! But as Forrest Gump's Mama always says..."Life is like  BOX OF CHOCOLATES..." you never know what you are going to get until you bite into it!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Friday, April 1, 2011

What makes you want to leave a comment about something you like or hate?

     There has been a lot of talk lately about reviews people leave on commercial sites, so today I would like to ask you what prompts you to forever record your opinion of someone's labor? We are a very opinionated society, and for the most part we usually only voice those thoughts if we are unhappy for some reason. I didn't like the service I received from that vendor, or I hated the food in that restaurant, so lets tell the whole world. We rarely take time to go out of our way to say nice things, even though we should. 

     But what happens when you are talking about writers? These are people who have devoted a HUGE chunk of themselves, their time, and their heart into birthing their creation. For most of the people I know that means dedicating long hours everyday to the keyboard, writing, re-writing, and editing...then submitting it for critique to a group of peers and professionals, then starting the NEW rewrites and edits. Once that part is finished, there is the hard part of writing the synopsis, preparing the necessary presentations for agents and publishers, and all the stuff most people are unaware of, to find someone willing to make a commitment to publish your heart's work. Most writers are always attending conferences to improve their craft, and writing blogs and independent pieces to keep their name out there in the public's mind. We wont even go into the promotion of the book once it is published.

     Finally! It is finished! The book hits the shelves and the book signings begin. People begin to read the intimate results of your labor. You rush to read the reviews...and you either die inside or are encouraged...they like you!

     The real test of your strength is when your readers begin their reviews. I have seen a number of excellent writers fall to pieces over a bad review that was written not to encourage improvement, but to tear down the author to tears! Mean spirited, hateful reviews over things like "it was too preachy" or "I didn't like that she/he wrote....." and "I wouldn't waste my money again!"  Even for free downloads on kindle, people complain. They weren't aware it was a christian book and found it too religious, and that upset them because they weren't believers. But they write in bitterness and sound so angry as they stress that they DIDN'T LIKE THE BOOK! And would never read anything written by this writer again. I even read one review that said a book wasn't realistic...that's because it was a parody! It was meant to be funny. It was written with wildly colorful characters you fell in love with.  Apparently they didn't get it.

     I remember my grandmother always saying, "If you can't say something good..." (Come on, you know it, lets say it together) "DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!" You can leave constructive criticism without being mean or hateful. You don't have to say you loved the book, but you don't have to say you hated the writer. We all have different tastes, so let the next person decide for themselves.

     That said, I will now jump down from by little wooden soap box and go find some April Fools pranks to pull on my children...