Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Facebook Contest!

We're having a cool, rainy spell here in VA, so in the spirit of positivity, I'm holding a contest over at my Facebook page. Just post your favorite thing to do to relax on a cool, dreary day, and you'll be entered to win a signed copy of Catching Moondrops and some hot chocolate!

Stop by to join the conversation!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More free e-books!

Check out the Tyndale House Publishers blog to find out about more free e-books!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Free E-Books!

Tyndale House Publishers is offering six e-books free for a limited time. Check them out here!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fireflies in December Receives Audie Award

The audio version of Fireflies in December received an Audie Award for inspirational fiction at the 2011 awards ceremony in New York last night! The folks at Recorded Books, along with narrator Kate Forbes, have done such a phenomenal job bringing my books to life on audio, and I'm so excited to see them rewarded for it.

The full list of nominees and winners can be found at the Audies website. Congrats to all of them!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blog Post for Seriously Write

Today, I have the pleasure of being a guest blogger over at Seriously Write. Stop by and read about what this long, crazy journey into publishing has taught me about perspective. And while you're there, check out the great work these ladies are doing to encourage writers on their blog!

Friday, May 6, 2011

2011 Christy Award Nominations

The nominees for the 2011 Christy Awards were announced today. Congratulations to all!

The Christy Advisory Board is pleased to announce nominees in nine categories for the 2011 Christy Awards honoring Christian fiction.

The 2011 Christy Award nominees are:

Contemporary Romance/

Blood Ransom
by Lisa Harris (Zondervan)

by Kristin Heitzmann (WaterBrook Press)

Sworn to Protect
by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House Publishers)

Contemporary Series, Sequels, and Novellas/

The Reluctant Prophet
by Nancy Rue (David C. Cook)

The Thorn
by Beverly Lewis (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Waiting
by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Contemporary Standalone/

Almost Heaven
by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)

Lady in Waiting
by Susan Meissner (WaterBrook Press)

A Season of Miracles
by Rusty Whitener (Kregel Publications)

First Novel/

Crossing Oceans
by Gina Holmes (Tyndale House Publishers)

by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Season of Miracles
by Rusty Whitener (Kregel Publications)


Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther
by Ginger Garrett (David C. Cook)

For Time & Eternity
by Allison Pitman (Tyndale House Publishers)

While We’re Far Apart
by Lynn Austin (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Historical Romance/

The Girl in the Gatehouse
by Julie Klassen (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

She Walks in Beauty
by Siri Mitchell (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Within My Heart
by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


The Bishop
by Steven James (Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Bride Collector
by Ted Dekker (Center Street)

by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan)


To Darkness Fled
by Jill Williamson (Marcher Lord Press)

Konig’s Fire
by Marc Schooley (Marcher Lord Press)

The Last Christian
by David Gregory (WaterBrook Press)

Young Adult/

The Charlatan’s Boy
by Jonathan Rogers (WaterBrook Press)

The Healer’s Apprentice
by Melanie Dickerson (Zondervan)

Motorcycles, Sushi, and One Strange Book
by Nancy Rue (Zondervan)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.' Now I have told you." So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His disciples.

-- Matthew 28:1-8

He is risen!! Happy Easter, everyone!

Friday, April 22, 2011

"At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' - which means, 'My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?' When some of those standing near heard this, they said, 'Listen, He's calling Elijah.' One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 'Now leave Him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take Him down,' he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion who stood there in front of Jesus heard His cry and saw how He died, he said, 'Surely this man was the Son of God!'" -- Mark 15:33-39

Friday, March 18, 2011

Book Signing!

I'll be signing copies of all three books this Saturday, March 19 at 11am, at the Short Pump Barnes and Noble (11640 W. Broad St. Richmond, VA 23233). Hope to see you there!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fireflies in December nominated for Audie Award

The Fireflies in December audio book has been nominated for an Audie Award in the Inspirational Fiction category. The Audio Publishers Association sponsors the awards to recognize "distinction in audio books and spoken word entertainment." Winners will be announced at the Audies Gala in New York City in May.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Operation First Novel Winner

Congratulations to Timothy Owens, the newest winner of the Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest!

His novel, The Search Committee, will be published by Tyndale House Publishers.

The 2011 contest is now open. Check out the information for your chance to enter!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Catching Moondrops Audio Book

Recorded Books recently released the audio book of Catching Moondrops! They have previously released audio versions of Fireflies in December and Cottonwood Whispers, wonderfully read by actress Kate Forbes.
Happy listening!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baiting the Hook

It's been a long day and from your perch on the couch you're watching an HD-enhanced moist, rich chocolate cake float down onto a milky white plate, a drizzle of thick, rich dark chocolate falling from the sky like manna, sliding down the sides of the cake in mahogany rivulets.

And now you have to have chocolate cake. Immediately.

That's the genius of a well-made, well-placed commercial: it hooks the viewer.

And that's exactly what a writer needs to do: hook the reader. Just yesterday I was meeting with a writer friend who was facing the familiar dilemma of how to break into an industry full of jaded editors who have seen it all. With stacks and stacks of manuscripts and article submissions cluttering up their desks, how is a writer going to make their work jump out from the pack?

My suggestion isn't one that will guarantee publication, but it's one that should garner your proposal more from even the toughest editor than the passing thought of using it for garbage can hoops. If you've ever researched writing, you've likely heard this tip somewhere... probably more than once.

Nail the first line!

If there's anything I've heard about my stories many times, it's how the first lines made an impact; how they drew the reader in right away.

It's important to realize that a first line is your introduction to the reader, be they professional or recreational ones. No matter who you're trying to convince about your writing, you can capture them right off by giving them a taste of who you are as a writer and where this story is going.

Think about how many magazines and books there are floating around in the universe. There's such a plethora of information available to people, that you really have to snag their attention. We live in an attention deficit society; one so used to information on demand and continual entertainment that we have to give a really good reason why someone should stop and pay attention to what we have to say.

When crafting that first line, don't just put something sensational down there. Make certain that it comes from your voice and that it lends to the story line. In my original draft of Fireflies in December, my first line was, "I hate watermelon."

Completely uninspiring, right? Nobody really cares that my main character, Jessilyn, hates watermelon. And because of that, they wouldn't have cared why she hated it (because the boys spit the seeds at her!). So when I started to read more and more about the importance of a killer first line, I went to work to dream up a line that would encapsulate more of the idea of my story, and I ended up with, "The summer I turned thirteen, I thought I'd killed a man."

Right then and there, the reader gets a vague but general idea of how I write, what the main character is like, and what she's going to go through. And that's a reason for someone to keep reading.

The same thing holds true for writing articles. Picture someone flipping through their magazine, looking at pictures of makeup and designer clothes, scanning short but sweet beauty and health tips. What's going to make them stop and read through an entire article? You have to capture their attention.

Without a doubt, working hard on the body of your story is key and crucial. Once you've snagged them with the first line, you have to live up to it. But that first line requires your attention just as much. Don't just throw it out there to get past it and into the meat of things. Take the time to do your story justice from start to finish.

After all, if Paul Harvey hadn't started off telling you something interesting, you wouldn't have cared to hear the rest of the story.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Operation First Novel Finalists

The 2010 Operation First Novel finalists have been announced by the Christian Writers Guild! They are:

Sandy Cook - The Darkest Night
Kimberley Graham - The Rocking Horse of Tuscumbia
Timothy Owens - The Search Committee
Diana Prusik - Delivery
Jennifer Slattery - Impossible Choices

The winner will be announced at the 2011 Writing for the Soul conference held February 10-13 in Denver, CO. The winner will receive $20,000 and a contract with Tyndale House Publishers.

Congratulations to all!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Operation First Novel Semifinalists Announced!

Semifinalists Announced for Operation First Novel

The Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild is pleased to announce the 10 semifinalists for the 2010 Operation First Novel contest. In alphabetical order by author, the finalists are:

Sandy Cook, Emporia KS, The Darkest Night
Sandra Hendrickson Esch, San Diego CA, Tracks in the Snow
Kimberley Graham, Memphis TN, The Rocking Horse of Tuscumbia
Allison Martin, Newton NC, The Answer
Timothy Owens, Summerville SC, The Search Committee
Diana Prusik, Sullivan MO, Delivery
Jennifer Slattery, Kansas City MO, Impossible Choices
Kimberly Stokely, Bellevue NE, Winter Trees
Terrie Todd, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada, Silver Suitcase
Beverly Varnado, Athens GA, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees

The five finalists will be announced January 21, with the winner of the $20,000 and a contract with Tyndale House Publishers announced at the 2011 Writing for the Soul conference in Denver CO. To attend the conference, visit our website to register or call 866.495.5177.

The Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild congratulates our 10 semifinalists, as well as the other 129 aspiring novelists who entered the 2010 contest.