Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Thank You To Book Reviewers

I'm stunned / honored / blessed by the reviews for Until I Found You. To everyone who has posted your thoughts, THANK YOU. And I'm not talking about just the 5 stars, though of course I love those. This is for everyone who has taken the time to read the book and offer a thoughtful opinion.

I use reviews to learn. If eight people mention "a little bit of telling," it means I have a little bit of telling. And if eight people make the same remark about a character being less than I intended, I look at that character to see where I could have been clearer. 

The other side of the coin are the reviews that capture the spiritual heart of the story. For those of you who have shared your enthusiasm on Facebook, Twitter, etc., I'm honored beyond words. My goal has always been to write fiction that speaks to the human soul, lost or found. If just one person is somehow helped by this book, my job is done. (If you've read it, you know about Nick. That scene in the truck with Colton? Yep. Autobiographical.) 

One of the things about Until I Found You is that it's hard to categorize. It's a contemporary romance, but it also has a women's fiction-y aspect to it. It has touches of humor, but it's not a rom-com. There's a danger element, but it's not romantic suspense. And while it's a romance, the heart of the book is really the spiritual journey. I guess that makes it Christian romantic fiction with humor, danger and big ugly birds called California condors.  

I just wanted to express my thanks to those who have taken the time to read and write about the story. There are 56 reviews on Amazon right now. I'm truly honored by each and every one.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Those Moments

You know those moments when you're living "your everyday walking around life" (as the Message Bible puts it)  and God's presence, his grace, is just overwhelming? Those moments have been washing over me in waves.  Big roaring waves that knock me on my back, drown me in his love, and then recede enough that I can find my feet again.  

My fifteenth book hits the shelves this week. Amazon has had it for a couple weeks, and so far readers like the story.  Last night I sat in church with a friend and listened to the song Oceans and heard a message about "remaining in the vine."  A quiet desperation rose up inside me.  I don't ever want to wander from that vine, yet I know I will.  My humanity is ridiculously stubborn, and I can talk myself into (and out of) just about anything.  Romans 7 is way too familiar to me. (Christian will recognize the verses where Paul says something like, "I do what I don't want to do, and I don't do what I do want to do.")  So here I am today--clinging to the vine.

And yet . . . as I write that, I'm thinking, "Well, that's just stupid.  Why cling when I can abide? Why struggle to do and to be, when Christ is and has done. 

My mom used to like a song by singer Mike Adkins. That old album is long gone, but it had this lyric: "It's not in trying but in trusting." 

So today is going to be about trusting and resting in what Christ has already done. ,

I'm also going to my home church this morning, shopping for birthday gifts, cleaning bathrooms, walking the dog, working on revisions, doing a load of laundry, and stopping at Kroger. That's my everyday walking around life, and I'll be abiding as I go about the day.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Day In The Life . . .

I'm sitting here looking at my calendar, which is a computer  Post-it Note listing dates and commitments. It's extra  long right now, because Until I Found You officially releases May 6th.  I'll be blogging six times this month (dates to be announced via Facebook and Twitter), sending out a newsletter, attending a Word Weavers meeting and planning for Inspirational Pens on Fire in June. 

Add in a trip to the dentist with a family member, shopping for three birthdays (May is a big month for us!), Mother's Day, an anniversary, and getting ready to be a grandmother to twin girls due in August, and you get a feel for the pace around here.

Did I mention I work part-time in a doctor's office? 
And that I have revisions coming for Together With You? 
Then there's that new proposal for two new books for Bethany House. I sent it off last week. The  ideas are  burning right now, and I want to get as much roughed out as possible. 
And church . . . It's more than "on the list." It one of the things that fills the well. I thrive on the teaching, loose myself in the worship and am blessed by friendships. 
Yes, things are hopping right now. But you know what?  It's all good. Deuteronomy 33:25 says:  "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be."  That's from the KJV.  It tells me that God knows the schedule and he has everything under control.