Summer News

Summer News

I’m taking a short break from my ‘I Dare You’ series to bring everyone my summer news. Many things have happened this year so far, and I’m bursting at the seams to share it all.

April 4th I received an email back from Splickety Publishing Group about a manuscript I had submitted to them last year. It’s my contemporary young adult novel about a girl dealing with alcoholic parents, and the fallout of the lies she tells to try to cover it up. Splickety’s acquiring editor fell in love with it (her words, not mine), and she offered to help me publish it in partnership with SPG. You can only imagine the elation I felt that 1.) someone loved my story, and 2.) they wanted to help me get it published. Since this novel was one I had planned on self-publishing anyway, this is a real coup to get a publishing company to help me navigate these indie waters. We are currently working on the edits for this story, and when something more newsworthy such as a publishing date, or front cover comes, Inkspirationalmessages will be among the first to know.

ACFW logoOn May 4th I received a call telling me I was a semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest for my fantasy submission. This isn’t the first time I’ve submitted, but the first time after a professional editor went through it first. I’d sent this in without any real intention of being a finalist, but God has a sense of humor. Maybe because I had given it fully over to Him this time, He blessed me. Later I received notice that my submission moved on to the finals rounds. The winner is going to be announced on August 27th at the ACFW gala in Nashville, TN. I quickly gathered the money needed and booked the conference, and later a flight, and hotel room. I’m beyond elated with this news, and a little queasy at the thought of having to have a speech ready, just in case. Talk about jitters!!

This past month I went to one of the most fulfilling conferences for Christian Sci Fi and Fantasy writers Davis Bunn RMever: Realm Makers. There I got to meet up with my Splickety editor, Sarah Grimm, and meet all of the SPG staff who came to the conference face to face. They are all amazing in so many ways. As are Becky and Scott Minor, who along with Ben Wolf, spearhead the conference. This year it was an honor to sit through a class with Davis Bunn, aka Thomas Locke. I almost envisioned gold coming out of his mouth as he spoke. Next year will be bigger and better. It’ll be held in Reno, NV and it boasts Ted Dekker as our feature speaker. This group is one of the most accepting and helpful I’ve ever met. It’s almost as if you assimilate when you sign up. (Dr. Who reference for those other nerds out there.)

And two days ago I received notice that one of my short stories has been accepted to a magazine. Because I don’t have anything signed yet, and I’m using a pen name, I can’t give you any details on that, save to say that my smile is breaking the sides of my face at this point. It feels like all of my hard work is finally coming together in fast succession. I don’t know what to do except praise God for giving me the stories of my heart that I can turn around and share with others.

It’s been an eventful year, and it promises to keep getting better. Normally I would knock on wood, or toss some salt behind my shoulder, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt this has all transpired due to God’s great and powerful favor. When people told me it would take ten years to get published, I used to scoff. It’s close to ten years for me now, and I’m not scoffing any longer.

So, how has your summer been?

For the Guys and Gals on Your List

Even at my age (a closely guarded secret – although my love for Trixie Belden books might be a dead give-away), I still love the feel and smell and look of a brand-new, untouched book. Fiction or non, an author I love or one I’m about to meet – a new book is a treasure. Here are some books that will make great gifts – for yourself or for others (preferably both!).

I rarely pick books from the mystery/suspense genre, but I have a new favorite author thanks to the ACFW conference in September – Davis Bunn. I am currently reading his 2011 release, “Lion of Babylon.” Talk about on-the-edge-of-your-seat action! While I don’t prefer to bite my nails off while I’m reading, that’s what I’m doing with this book. It’s a fast-paced, well-written story that pulls you in from the start.

“Marc Royce worked for the State Department on a variety of clandestine assignments – that is, until personal issues led to his dismissal. When Alex Baird goes missing in war-torn Baghdad, State comes calling again. Alex is an intelligence agent – and a close friend of Royce. Three others have also dropped out of sight – a nurse, an aid worker, a wealthy young Iraqi. Are these cases linked? Rumors circulate about a kidnapping conspiracy, yet both American and local officials refuse to pursue it. Blocked at every turn, Royce eventually unearths a trail of secret encounters between sworn enemies. What he discovers could transform the course of rivalry and reconciliation through the Mideast. As the human and political drama escalates, can one man summon the courage to make a difference?”

When I finish “Lion of Babylon,” I plan to read the next book in the series, “Rare Earth,” (July 2012) which continues the escapades of Marc Royce. If ever you want a hero to swoon over, root for and fall in love with – this is the guy! These books, however, will truly make great gifts for women and men alike from teens on up.

 

A book that I’m waiting for with bated breath (whatever that means) is Katie Ganshert’s second novel, “Wishing on Willows” (March 2013). I truly loved her first book, “Wildflowers in Winter,” and have impatiently looked forward to the follow-up.

This story follows Robin, one of the characters in the original story, as she tries to move past her grief and build a future for her fatherless son. Katie’s characters are deep, wounded, multi-layered and yet still easy to connect with and care about.

“Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender? A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa, she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides. So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight. As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own. With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.”

So this is what I’m reading now and what’s on my wish list for future reading. Also on my list is time – free time to read these and all the other great books out there.