For unto to us a Child is born!
From our family to yours,
For unto to us a Child is born!
For unto to us a Child is born!
From our family to yours,
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Through slippery roads and dead-ends, I settled into the perfect niche. No more false starts, abandoned dreams, and side roads. I embarked on an endless journey.
One day, I sat at my desk, poised my fingers on the keyboard, and the first sentence from A Gateway to Hope flowed onto the page. Neka and James soon became beloved family members to me.
While writing the book, the hope-themed standalone five-book series resonated deep inside my spirit.
The following year, Sadie and Kyle won a special place within my heart in A Living Hope. Sadie, the heroine in this second book, authored a young adult book in the novel. Hence, the companion book, Pajama Party: The Story, became available the following year.
Four years after publishing the first one, four books are available for purchase online and to order at bookstores. This year, a narrator adapted the third book of the series, The Certain Hope, into my first audiobook. Now readers can enjoy the audio version of Tara and Luke’s love story.
And now, the journey continues. Books four and five will end the first chapter of a lifelong dream. The writing gift is a delightful blessing.
Your support, prayers, encouragement, and feedback turned my long-term desire into a heartwarming career. Thank you for all of that, and for subscribing to my author newsletter for updates and discounts.
God has abundantly blessed my life!
1. Wake up each morning with thoughts of God.
2. Maintain a song within my heart.
3. Make wise decisions.
4. Move forward.
5. Remember what is important.
6. Value people and their realities.
7. Encourage everyone, including myself.
8. Live a well-balanced life.
9. View the world without blinders but with empathy.
10. Grow in spiritual maturity.
I write what I enjoy reading: romance novels that do not equate love with endless romps in bed. The day I begin to write a new book, I sit at my computer armed with the main characters’ names and a general story idea. Then, I take a journey to someplace totally different than I expected. Although my books have endless surprises along the way, getting physical underneath the sheets isn’t one of them. Clean romances should nourish us with a real slice of life. That is, true-to-life stories that inspire and entertain each reader.
In my opinion, love displayed through genuine affection and hard work whets the appetite for more of the same.
On February 6th, I took part in Loving the Book’s Valentine Day Countdown featuring 15 authors. Their questions. My answers. See below.
1. Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I am an avid reader and enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles. Contrary to upcoming answers, I like a lot of alone time.
2. When did you first realize you were an author?
I’ve enjoyed penning stories since elementary school. The spark to write grew along with me, and unlike other ideas I’ve had, no obstacle I encountered quenched the desire.
3. Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Years ago, I wrote and produced the play Pajama Party, which was adapted into the young adult book Pajama Party: The Story, a companion book to A Living Hope. Knowing that people enjoyed what I wrote kept hope alive. There is something heartening in other people appreciating what you do.
Also, The Certain Hope audiobook and hardcover version are due in March. Audiobooks on my other books will come in spring. It seems that each item I added to my repertoire encouraged me to branch out further. When I added hardcover versions to my book format is a prime example.
4. What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
I read a lot of regency romances and have to resist the urge to have my contemporary characters speak with formal dialogue. Each character draws me into their story and stymies writer’s block. I haven’t ever experienced it. May it never come.
5. What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
“The Write Way: A Real Slice of Life” is the slogan on my website and Facebook author page. If every person reading my book feels connected to the characters, my job is done.
Spiritual maturity is the message. In my opinion, spiritual maturity teaches us how to weather life’s storms and thrive with the victory. Realistic characters with everyday problems is the goal with each book.
6. Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
For me, observing human nature is a part of true living. So, fully developed characters have found a place inside each story. I love to write about everyday life. Those little decisions we overlook can have long-reaching consequences.
7. What are your future projects?
Finishing books four and five of the standalone hope-themed series is my top priority. Next is writing companion books for Pajama Party: The Story. And then, when one of my editors is ready, we will team up to write my first women’s fiction book. As always, I look forward to the process.
2019 is a year of new beginnings bright tomorrows and endless promises in Christ. Enjoy the journey. Happy New Year!
The book was supposed to be published last November. What a difference twelve months make. Good thing my editors didn’t kick me to the curb. It was a long haul, but I finally made it. Book three of my standalone hope-themed series was sent to the formatter last week. There is one final obstacle of obtaining my ISBNs in a timely manner, but apart from that, I am breathing a relieved sigh and praying for a swift and favorable victory. Almost there!
On to book four. And then, one more to go in this series.
What’s on the agenda after this series is put to bed? Co-authoring a novel with one of my editors, Angela Trent, who is an awesome writer. Yay! Thank God she agreed. I’m looking forward to making it happen.
Also, a gracious reader asked me to write the story of each teenage girl in my young adult novel, Pajama Party. Of course I am happy to comply. Actually, happy is an understatement. I’m overjoyed! And humbled that she asked. I’ve already come up with nine book titles and cover pictures for each book.
Needless to say, I’m pleased I’ll be writing stories around characters I love. And I’m a bit amazed that other people shared my vision.
Since retiring to write books full time is out of the question at the moment, I resolve to find a way to work, write, and communicate with the readers I enjoy penning stories for. Having people enjoy my books is living abundantly for me.
Thanks to everyone who made The Certain Hope a reality.
And a special thank you goes to each reader for your warm feedback.
I appreciate your time.
A lot has happened since the last book was published. Last fall, my mother suffered through some very serious health issues. Her illness relegated my writing time to the back table. Yet, I’m happy to say, God’s grace and mercy pulled her through it all. She is still blessing her family with her presence today. We trust God for giving her many more years to come. Jesus is the healer!
On the writing front, the companion book to A Living Hope is completed. In the book, Sadie Cummings wrote a novel for teens and young adults. Pajama Party: The Story is ready. Well, at least, the writing and editing is done. Thank you, Amber Barry and Angela Trent. Also, a special thank you to my tireless sister who read the story numerous times. Now, Formatting Experts is making the final preparations for publication. Both the book cover and formatting is in their capable hands.
What a joy to finally say, “Whew! Almost done.”
I love to write. Although I will miss my co-workers, I can hardly wait to say goodbye to the job that pays the bills. Since I am way behind the intended schedule, the third book from the hope-themed series will be available soon. Due to my mother’s illness, I’ve learned not to give dates. There are too many circumstances outside of my control.
Instead of sprinting along, I’ve decided to enjoy the journey to a lifelong writing career. Here’s to the next phase of my life.
I am happily tired, excited and very thankful. The eBook and paperback for A Living Hope is available at major online retailers as of July 31.
The process was shorter and easier this time. But as with life in general, there is still a lot to know. Thank God I’m learning. But perhaps not as quickly as I would like to.
What did I pick up this time around?
The number-one lesson I won’t forget is to stop setting ridiculous deadlines that I simply cannot meet. At least not while working a full-time job. But that job is the reason I can eat a good meal each day. It pays the bills. Especially those bills that accumulate while pursuing a self-publishing writing career.
So where do I go from here?
I’m planning to submit the final manuscript for the YA book Pajama Party: The Story to the formatter in October 2016. Yeah, I know. Another ridiculous self-determined deadline that I made in the headiness of writing “The End” for A Living Hope.
Hope I can meet it!