Tag Archives: love

So Thankful!

jt

Today I’m so thankful. I write in my Thankful Journal almost every day. But today I took an especially long time detailing all my blessings. If you’re like me, you sometimes need to stop and really focus on the things and people in your life to appreciate them. Just taking those few seconds to think about my family, friends, and circumstances fills me with gratitude.

One of the things I was most thankful for today was the nice reception folks are giving my new novel, Hollister’s Choice. I’m so glad readers are finding it to be heartwarming as well as rooted in our shared faith.

Because its being so well-received, I thought I’d tell you a little behind the scenes information about the novel. Specifically about the cover artist and model. Ramona Lockwood is the cover artist on this book. She’s a wonderful graphic artist who always does a stellar job. Ramona is fast, professional, and most of all really a nice person. The model is Jimmy Thomas who’s also a joy to work with. Jimmy has been the cover model for several of my other books [The Last Broken Promise, Carried Away, and The Last Rose Pearl]. He’s won all kinds of awards for his work. He’s kind of a legend in the romance cover world. The image for this post is one of his headshots.

If you’d like to know more about these folks, I’ll post a link for their websites here:

Ramona Lockwood

Jimmy Thomas

Again, please let me express my gratitude to those of you who have become loyal readers of my novels. God has been so good to me. I pray you are feeling His love every day, just like I do. Thank You and Bless You.

Starting a New Project

sunset live oaks island

I’m starting a new project today. It’s the last in my Medieval series, The ChristKeepers.  And its Simon’s story. Who knew he was going to be the most damaged of the brothers? And who knew he was also going to be the most complex? At the moment I’m plotting the novel. I’ve set the backstory, and the characters with all their peculiar strengths and flaws. I’m kind of sad to close out this particular series. It’s been a real favorite of mine. But I want to flesh out my Savannah based contemporary series and there’s another Abbaddon’s Sword book in the pipeline too, so I need to have The ChristKeepers come to a close. *sigh* It’s really hard to walk away from Titus and his brothers/uncles.

I’m still sporadically working on my non-fiction book, Beyond Blessed. It’s a sort of personal testimony/ household tips kind of thing I’ve had a lot of fun with. It’ll most likely be finished some time in the new year and published in its turn after that time.

I promised an image of our new home, and this is a shot my dear husband took the other evening from the upper deck. That’s our neighbor’s pier. We don’t have one and probably won’t build one. We’re learning the quirks of our old beach house. It creaks in the wind and the wood floors aren’t perfectly level, but we love it. We prayed in every room for God’s blessing and His protection when we moved in a month ago. This place is truly a blessing and a dream come true for us. We never thought we’d get the chance to be on the gulf, but God had other plans. I can’t tell you just how thankful we are.

Back to shop talk- as I proceed on the new Medieval, I’ll try to keep you informed and put out the odd image when I can. Hope your life is great right now, and pray you’re as happy and contented as am I. LNF, Grace

Hollister’s Choice Available Tomorrow!

 

hollisterschoice2-2700I’m so happy to announce the next installment in my Contemporary Inspirational series Montana Miracles will be available for purchase tomorrow. Hollister’s Choice is set in Montana and London. It is one of my favorites storylines. And Hollister is one of favorite heroes!

How could you not love such an honorable, damaged guy who is trying to do the right thing despite all the odds? And Maggie, the sweet heroine, is dealing with so much tragedy in her own life.

If you like emotional romance with a whole lot of angst, this may be the read for you. As always, this novel has some adult themes but no coarse language or graphic love scenes. I’ve had some wonderful feedback during the editing and beta reading process. My favorite beta reader cried over the ending. She thinks its my best story yet. Maybe you’ll like it too. I sure hope you’ll give it a try.

And thank you to everyone who has stayed with me over this past year. It’s been filled with both challenges and opportunities. We’ve moved, yet again. Since leaving our little townhouse by the bay- SeaGlass Cottage, we’ve relocated to a neighborhood and then back to the beach. Talk about taking a wild ride!

We loved SeaGlass but it was just too small as both my husband and I work from home. I was so sad to drive away from that home. I was sure God would never give us another chance to live in such a wonderful spot. I prayed for days that God would restore the days the locusts ate… it’s one of my favorite scriptures. And He did!!!

Our new home is right on the gulf on one side and has a great canal behind it for my husband’s kayaks. We couldn’t be more blessed. If you’ve ever felt like you were praying for something impossible and you’ve given up and stopped petitioning the Lord…I encourage you to give God more time to effect the changes for which you’re pleading. He can and will do a great work in your life. He sure has in mine!

I’ll try to post some images of our new place so you can get a context as to where I’m writing these days. I hope you’re as blessed as I am today, and I pray you see the goodness in every day, whether your days are challenges or opportunities.

Please watch for the Hollister’s Choice trailer. It should be up on my YouTube channel soon.

 

My Novel Notebooks… or How I Get the Story on the Page

One of my Book Notebooks

One of my Book Notebooks

I’ve had some folks asking me lately about how I get the novels plotted, scheduled, and finally finished. So it though maybe I’d post about that today. If you’re a writer or even if you’ve just been kicking the idea of writing around for a while. I really want to encourage you to not be afraid to start.

Yes there is a learning curve, not only in writing, but in all the behind the scenes stuff. The first manuscript I sent to a publisher broke every rule! And I didn’t even know what a query letter was 🙂 . But that editor was so kind to me. She actually read that train wreck of a manuscript and sent me a very encouraging personal letter. I know now how rare that is. At the time I just took it as rejection.

The first time I had a editor actually call me and offer to publish one of my efforts, I almost had a heart attack! I tried to act like I knew what I was doing as I spoke to her, but I was truly clueless. After I hung up the phone, I ran out into the backyard, skipped down to our creek, and sat on a rock just trying to catch my breath. I must of stayed down there forever because my husband came looking for me.

God’s been so good to me over the years as I’ve tried to learn to write and make my way through the publishing jungle. Please take these little tips in the spirit I offer them. I don’t know it all. Most days I’m still as clueless as I was when I spoke to that first editor. And what works for me may not work for you. But I’m glad to share what little I know.

My books always start out with a scene in my mind. Since I started out as a screen writer, that’s what works for me. The scene may come as a dream. Or it might be an offshoot from a conversation. One of my novels, Birdie Saves the World, came just from the heroine’s name and location, Savannah. One Nation Under gods came from a church billboard.

Next I start plotting the story in one of my little white binders. I’ve written about these handy little binders before. They have sections for character backstory, setting, Biblical themes, and most of all the dreaded outline.

My novels all begin with a twenty chapter outline. They include the cute meet, the end, the twist, and an epilogue that is a teaser for the next book in that particular series. I try to run my chapters to ten pages each. But of course, they vary especially after editing. And my outline is by no means set in stone.

I love it when the characters take off and the storyline changes. I used to be afraid of that kind of deviation, now it’s my favorite part of the writing process!

When I started writing, I promised myself I’d let myself have a learning curve. Every new skill requires one. And writing is not different from learning to bake a cake or sew a dress. it takes practice to get it right. If you’re just beginning your journey as a writer, use an online editor to help you get started. I like WhiteSmoke and Ginger. Using either will make for a faster cleanup when you’re finished with your rough draft. You want your manuscript as clean as possible before the real editing begins.

Once you’re done with that rough draft, celebrate. Let that story rest, go on to the next book you’re itching to write. After a few weeks you can go back to the 1st manuscript and do the first read through. I do at least three reads. And I catch errors every time. The cool thing about the Ginger editor is that it will read your book back to you. That helps catch some of the most subtle mistakes. And if your dialogue is clunky, hearing it will help you fine tune. You can read it out loud yourself too. I always do one or the other of these methods.

And I always write in ebook format for the rough draft. It makes it easier. The print books are formatted differently and writing in that format is awkward for me. I spent some time learning about formatting, and though it’s not the most fun topic, it is part of publishing. There’s loads of great templates, tricks, & goodies on the internet. You just have to google them. Take a few days to learn the shortcuts, and you’ll save yourself a ton of effort later.

Some folks are fast and furious writers. Some are goal setters. And some have hard and fast deadlines that are set for them by others. I’ve been all those writers at one time or another. Now I write 5 pages a day, or 10 if I’m on a really strict deadline. Five is my most comfy speed. But I know folks who only write one page a day. And others who write a whole novel in less than a month. You’ll find what works best for you.

If your genre is historical, do yourself a favor, research before you plot the book. There’s nothing worse than needing to scour the internet in the middle of the night to discover if folks used XYZ during your book’s time period- trust me on this. I have been there and done that. It is no fun.

My father-in-law, who was also an author, was so very encouraging to me when I began writing. He used to say, “Everybody’s got a book in them.” So, if you feel like you’ve got a book in you, please don’t be afraid. Just sit down and write. If it’s really awful, you can delete and begin again. Every author does that a lot! I’ve written here about how many times I rewrote TLRP. A couple of those times I got so weary, I just wanted to throw it out! But I’m so glad I didn’t. Because now it’s one of my favorites.

I hope this answers some of your questions and is helpful. LNF, Grace

The Last Rose Pearl #12!

Jimmy Thomas- cover Model for TLRP

Jimmy Thomas- cover Model for TLRP

Woohoo!!! The Last Rose Pearl, my Regency Inspirational Novel, is steadily rising in it’s list on amazon. I can’t tell you how exciting and humbling this is for me. God has been so very, very good to me during this book release.

I’ll post an image here of Jimmy Thomas who is the cover model for TLRP. He’s got just the right look of intrigue and rough-edged danger to be the hero of this novel. Thanks for the great art, Romana Lockwood [she’s the cover artist] &  Jimmy!

And thanks again to all my readers and especially to the folks who have taken time out of their busy schedules to post reviews. Your support is so encouraging! My gratitude knows no bounds!  LNF, Grace

Carried Away #18!

CarriedAway cover 2

Woohoo! Marketing called me today to tell me that Carried Away was number 18 in its category on amazon. Happy Dances All Around! Such exciting news! 

If you’re one of the folks whose purchase made that happen- Thanks a bunch! I really appreciate your buying my books. Hopefully God used one of my stories to speak to you. I know He does that for me as I’m writing. Sometimes I’ll be typing along working my way down my outline for a book and suddenly the characters take a sharp turn. Before I know it I’ll look back at something spiritual I’ve written and say to myself, “Did that come from me?” And the answer is a resounding ‘no’!

I’m a firm believer that God has a plan. A plan for good for them that believe. I’m just as proud as punch that sometimes He includes my small efforts into the mix.

Hope you’re having a great weekend. I sure am. I spent the day in my office fine tuning some things. Hubby worked in the yard and is now in his ham shack [he’s a rabid ham radio aficionado]. Daughter called to let me know all’s well in her world. Talked to my elderly mother this morning- she’s such a blessing to me! And drum roll please…..I drive a really old car that is like a member of the family to me. She’s a 2003 Miata. I got her off of eBay and dragged my husband down to Florida one rainy Saturday to fetch her home.  This morning my husband and I took her for a new paint job. I resisted the urge to go with pink- too Barbie. And it was hard to not go with turquoise…my favorite color. In the end I decided to go with a repeat of the silver she was made with.

So I’m without wheels this week. I should get a lot of writing done, right? 1/4 through the new Medieval & I must say I’m loving it!

More in the next day or two.

Love Never Fails, Grace