Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jamie Adams {Writer Wednesday}

Welcome Jamie Adams to Thinking Thoughts!

A little bit about Jamie...

Jamie Adams fell in love with books at an early age. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott opened her imagination and sparked a dream to be a writer. She wrote her first book as a school project in 6th grade.

A graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature as well as a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, The Writing Desk and several critique groups she spends most of her time writing, reading or learning more about the craft near to her heart.

The parents of three very active children, she and her husband live in the Ozarks surrounded by forest and wild life.

How to connect with Jamie...


Purchase her book: On Amazon
Twitter: @Roosgal

Author Interview | Jamie Adams

You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing?
...I began writing historical fiction over ten years ago when I stumbled onto a fan fiction site called The Writing Desk. Fans of The Big Valley, a western television show from the 1960’s, this group of writers and readers played a big part in my growth as a writer. The show was one of my favorite westerns. I was surprised to find other fans that kept the show alive by writing and sharing short stories that were like new episodes. At that time I’d written several short stories but never shared them. The group of readers encouraged me to share my talent and gave me the confidence to seriously pursue my dream of writing.

What has kept you writing?
...My mind is full of stories. I’ve always had very vivid dreams. One night when I was ten I woke up from a dream and said to myself “That was so good it could be a movie.” That’s when I started writing down my dreams.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...I’m working on a story that I’m very excited about. It’s called Emma’s Second Chance. Emma finds out her fiancé is in love with another the night before their wedding and flees from Boston to Idaho. The lawman in Idaho is suspicious of this new stranger in town. It’s like Runaway Bride meets Marshal Dillon. It’s been so much fun to write this story. I’ve had to put it aside to work on some other projects but hope to have it finished this fall.

Your Writing
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
Purchase The Doctor's Daughter on Amazon
...I’m finishing up a story written with two other authors. It should be out by the time your readers read this. Each of our stories revolves around a different sister living in a real town, Mammoth Spring, AR in the 1890s. In Wishes and Whims I have the middle daughter, Cora. Of all the characters I’ve written or am working on, Cora is most like me at that age. She is a daydreamer whose fantasies sometimes distort her view of relationships. My heart goes out to her when she eventually has to face reality and finds it’s not as pretty as the pictures she paints in her mind. Of course there’s a happy ending. Funny thing about dreamers, when their dreams are broken they just latch on to a new one.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I’d have to say Cora. All of my characters have some part of me in them, but especially Cora. If I could go back and tell her what I know now, I could save her from a lot of heartache and fretting over the future.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."
...I usually mention this verse in my books, I didn’t quote it in Wishes and Whims but the theme is there. Life can be so confusing, but when we lean on God He’ll get us where we need to be.

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Real life inspires my characters. I’m a people watcher. To say I’m an introvert is putting it mildly. When most people are socializing I’m more comfortable sitting back and watching. I’m very empathetic. In a crowd of people, I can tell who is happy, who is sad, who wishes they weren’t there… I read people.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...I love stories that I can get lost in. It’s my hope to take my readers away from the worries of the world and feel inspired when they return.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?

...Write what you like to read. When I first decided to write a book I didn’t have a plan and tried putting down words that I thought fit the popular genre of the day. Nothing came to me. I love westerns, and mail order bride stories. When I concentrate on writing the type of book I’d want to read the words come so much easier.

How do you like to celebrate the 4th of July?
...With my family. Our little community turns into a tourist town in the summer. They have a big fireworks display over the lake. It gets really crowded with traffic but we know a quite spot that has a great view of the firework show without the hassle.
How are you making the most of your time this summer for writing and relaxing? Do you do anything different in the summer months?
...My children go to school online so we spend a lot of time at home. In the summer we like to get out as much as possible. We live near a river and several lakes so there’s always something to do. I carry my laptop with me everywhere I go. 
Thank you for joining us here at Thinking Thoughts, Jamie! I find it interesting how many authors I talk to who have vivid dreams as a way to create some of their writing! I know that's happened to me as well. And Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my favorite passages as well! I always repeat it to myself, especially when I'm tempted to not trust the Lord! Hope your summer is full and blessed with great opportunities and time with your family!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Winner Winner Winner

Yea! I have a winner for Shannon's book Rodeo Regrets!

Congratulations to...

Angela Chesnut

You have won a copy of Rodeo Regrets! We'll be getting in touch with you to get your copy to you. I'm sure you will enjoy it :)

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment for Shannon! Check tomorrow for another {Writer Wednesday} author.

Giveaway ends tomorrow!

Have you checked out my interview with Shannon Taylor Vannatter? You can read it [here] and then leave a comment because she is giving away a copy of her latest novel, Rodeo Regrets!

Make sure you stop by and leave a comment by:

(Pacific Standard Time) 

I'll announce the winner tomorrow evening!!!

Looking forward to seeing who will win :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shannon Taylor Vannatter {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Shannon...

Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom and pastor’s wife. Her debut novel won the 2011 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. When not writing, she runs circles in the care and feeding of her husband, their son, and church congregation. Home is a central Arkansas zoo with two charcoal gray cats, a chocolate lab, and three dachshunds in weenie dog heaven. If given the chance to clean house or write, she’d rather write. Her goal is to hire Alice from the Brady Bunch.

How to connect with Shannon...

Twitter: @stvauthor
Purchase her book:

Author Interview | Shannon Taylor Vannatter

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing?
...I went to the library looking for clean romance and couldn’t find any. It hit me that the story I’d had in my head since I was a teenager could be a book. I decided if I couldn’t find any clean romance, I’d write one. But my characters kept talking to God and I realized I couldn’t write a romance without God being in it. So I changed my focus to inspirational romance.

What has kept you writing?
...I can’t stop. During the years of rejection and frustration, I tried. But that’s when the stories in my head really started spinning and wouldn’t leave them alone until I got them in my computer.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written?
...White Roses

If so, why?
...It was my first published book. I wrote it about the time after sixteen and a half years my husband answered the call to preach. Even though I’d been a Christian since my teens and was very involved in church, I didn’t think I was preacher’s wife material. In White Roses, the heroine dates a widowed pastor and doesn’t think she measures up to his dead wife.

What was the hardest thing about publishing?
...I stopped counting at two hundred rejections. It was very frustrating working so hard for something and not knowing what you’re doing wrong. It took nine and a half years of learning the craft before everything finally clicked in place for me.

The easiest?
...My fifth contracted book. That’s when writing under deadline became easy for me and I finally realized I can do this without pulling my hair out.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently?
...Rodeo Regrets is the fourth title in my Texas rodeo series. Each book stands alone, but continues where the last one left off. I thought I was finished with the series, but after Harlequin bought Heartsong Presents, my agent contacted the editor there to tell her about me. My agent learned the editor had just read book two in the series and wanted to know if I had anything similar.
...I had one dangling character. She was the rodeo slut who’d hit on every hero I created, got pregnant two books ago, and skipped town. I decided it was time to find out why she was like that and what it would take to change her into a heroine.

Here’s the back cover copy:

Natalie once dreamed of finding true love. Then Lane Gray broke her heart. After running wild to fill the emptiness inside her, she heads back to her hometown to heal. But when she sees the cowboy she once loved so much, she finds him hard to resist.

Lane Gray is a changed man. The handsome cowboy wants Natalie's forgiveness-and more. Natalie has made plenty of mistakes in her life, but so has Lane. Could falling for each other again be the worst one yet? Or the path to redemption?

Why are did you write it?
...The heroine, Natalie has lived a promiscuous lifestyle and regrets her past. I’m hoping it will be a cautionary tale to young girls who think everyone’s doing it and it’s no big deal.

Do you have a favorite character in this work?

If so, why?
...She’s very wounded. I actually began to feel sorry for her. But then, she’s very tough too. She won’t stay down long.


How do you like to celebrate the 4th of July?

...We usually do fireworks at our house. This year, my son is eleven. We let him and his friend shoot them off. They had a blast. Literally.

How are you making the most of your time this summer for writing and relaxing?
...I’ve stayed up until 2:00 in the morning and slept until 10:00 to complete book 6 in this series. I try really hard not to work when my son is home and awake. So, I keep odd hours or work on the book when he has a friend over or goes home with a friend. When he’s home, we both love to swim and we have an above ground pool, so we swim a lot.

Thank you so much for sharing with my readers and I! I love how you said you went looking for something good to read and, when you couldn't find it you decided to write it! I love that :) I'm happy to know that it got a little easier working under a dead line at book 5 for you...I'm looking forward to that day *fingers crossed*. I think that's great that you keep odd hours to get things done! I can only imagine how difficult it is to get writing done when you have a family to take care of. Props to all mothers who write!!!

Well, I'm finally going to be posting some waaaay over-due RE:View posts soon! Be on the lookout, I've read some good books recently!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Linda Wood Rondeau {Writer Wednesday}

Welcome Linda to the blog!

A little bit about Linda...
Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Linda’s best-selling Adirondack Romance, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas and is available wherever books are sold.

These books are also available in ebook format along with her other ebooks by Helping Hands Press: I Prayed for Patience/God Gave Me Children and Days of Vines and Roses. A Christmas novella, Joy Comes to Dinsmore Street, will be released this fall and Songs in the Valley is scheduled for release in 2014 both by Helping Hands Press.

How to connect with Linda...

Check out her website
Her blogs: Full-Flavored Living, Geezer Guys and Gals, This Daily Grind
On Goodreads
Purchase her book on Amazon

Author Interview | Linda Wood Rondeau

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...Like most writers, I've dabbled in the craft all my life. As a young girl, I loved to tell stories and loved to have my friends listen to them. I always knew someday I'd write those stories down for the world. As life happens, I grew up not believing God gave me those dreams and I wrote only as a hobbyist. I worked in human services, using my writing skills in my career, church programs, and for my own entertainment. Then on June 21, 2001 God pulled at me at said, "It's time." I quite the day job to actively pursue what I knew beyond any doubt was God's new direction in my life. I don't recommend that writers do this. For me it was necessary to leave one career in order to begin another. I began publishing short manuscripts and obtained an agent. My first book contract offer came eleven years to the date of when I received God's call. Since then, I've published a few more books with more contracts to come. In 2012, I received the Selah Award for my first novel, God's affirmation of a long journey. I continue to write, though discouragements are part of the journey, because I have more stories to tell. I am still the little girl on the school bus, who longs to tell the stories of God's grace and redemption. 

Your Writing
Do you have a favorite book?
...To date, my favorite book is Days of Vines and Roses. It has a little bit of everything and truly reflects my tagline: Out-of-the-box Christian Fiction. My heroine is a lot like me. When I first starting writing, it became an idol. I became huffed up because I was doing God's work. I think God held the reigns from success until I could learn that my writing was a privilege He gave me. It is not my life, but something I do within my life. He had to teach me to be in Him rather than do for Him. Sylvia, who has wandered from her childhood beliefs, has allowed her writing alter ego to completely possess her. She is as trapped by this malevolence as much as the evil forces within the home. I like this book because it demonstrates, though Satan will push, connive, and thwart whatever we desire for God, greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.


Where does your inspiration come from?
...I never know what will awaken a story in me. My first published book, The Other Side of Darkness, was written to give hope and encouragement to those suffering from post traumatic stress. There are dark places in our lives, but God finds us in the darkness and leads us to His Light on the other side of those horrid places. I used a lot of my social work experience in developing my characters and drew from my court experiences as well. The town of Haven was inspired by a visit to Whitehall in the Adirondacks, a quaint small town with much history.

...Days of Vines and Roses was inspired while I was mowing my lawn. I looked at the corruption of my yard by weeds. I knew of a couple who kept a marriage afloat for convenience, not willing to admit that they still loved each other. My son lived in Connecticut at the time I wrote the book and the city of New Haven was my perfect setting. I also spoke with the author of a book on haunted houses of Connecticut. The rest evolved.

...All my books blend history to some degree with the contemporary story. In my soon to be released Christmas novella, I reconnected with a long-lost cousin. We were close as children but life got in the way and we drifted. I thought about what circumstances might come in to play to significantly impair a close relationship.

...It Really IS a Wonderful Life is inspired by my personal history. I met my husband doing Community Theater. I did direct the play It's a Wonderful Life.

...And, of course, my non-fiction book, I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children, was inspired, not only by my social work career, but how being a parent myself taught me what it means to be God's child.


Do you enjoy hot or cold weather better?

...I do not like the cold, Sam I am, I do not like cold at all! Never did. I was born and raised in central New York State and as a child spent my winters on the forced hot air floor radiators to keep warm. As I aged, my ability to withstand cold continued to worsen. Finally, in 2011, my lungs had it. After suffering from another bout of chronic bronchitis, my husband decided it was time for me to move to warmer climate. Nothing left to hold us to the cold Northern New York, except my husband's job. He was due to retire in eighteen months. So we took the plunge. I moved to Florida ahead of him, played Daniel Boone and blazed a new life for us in Jacksonville. He is now here with me. We don't mind the heat or the heavy rain storms. And love being able to play golf twelve months out of the year. 

Thank you so much for the interview Linda! I love hearing a little bit about the inspiration behind each of your books. It's not often you get to hear directly from the author about specifics of their books and to me, that's always inspiring. 

If you, my dear readers, are interested in checking out Linda's latest novel, Days of Vines and Roses, here is a little sneak peek:
When a romance writer and her estranged publisher husband attempt to reconcile, malignant forces and a pending lawsuit seem bent on keeping them apart. After fifteen years of marital disarray, Henry and Sylvia Fitzgibbons (aka Lana Longstreet) independently contemplate divorce, their relationship relegated to Henry’s infrequent visits to the Connecticut estate and their once a week meeting at Chez Phillipe’s in Manhattan. But, not yet. There is the matter of the decaying rose gardens and the thirtieth anniversary party the children are planning. Reluctantly, Henry moves in for the summer, steeled against the hauntings that torment only him. As reconciliation seems possible, the evil forces within begin to target Sylvia as well. Like the strangling vines within the rose beds, Henry and Sylvia have become victims of spiritual neglect. Their only hope remains in surrender to a power greater than the evil determined to destroy them.
 Thanks again Linda!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

We have a winner!

I had the privileged of hosting author JoAnn Durgin on my blog last week. If you missed JoAnn's interview make sure you check it out [here]. She graciously offered to do a giveaway of one of her books and I am excited to announce we have a WINNER!

Congratulations to...

Darla Deker 

Woohoo! Happy that you stopped by the blog Darla and congrats on the choice of one of JoAnn's books - I'm sure my readers would love to hear which one you picked :)

Since you didn't leave an email to reach you by, please comment on this post or feel free to use the "Contact the Thinker" form to the left so I can get you in contact with JoAnn.

Well, Thinking Thoughts readers, another successful giveaway! Make sure you check back here tomorrow for this week's {Writer Wednesday} author, Linda Rondeau!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

JoAnn Durgin {Writer Wednesday}

I am excited to introduce you to JoAnn Durgin as the featured author for today's {Writer Wednesday}. Make sure you say hello in the comments below because JoAnn is doing a GIVEAWAY!  That's right, folks- she has graciously offered to give away on of her books - readers choice! How awesome is that?! So, from today until Monday July 15th I will accept comments on this post to enter you into a drawing to win! Check back on Tuesday July 16th for my announcement of the winner!

A little bit about JoAnn...

JoAnn Durgin is the author of The Lewis Legacy Series (Torn Veil Books) and Meet Me Under the Mistletoe (White Rose Publishers). An estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm, JoAnn and her family live in southern Indiana. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Louisville Christian Writers, JoAnn’s prayer is that her contemporary romantic adventures will touch hearts and lives with the redeeming love of Jesus Christ.

How to connect with JoAnn...

Goodreads: JoAnn Durgin
Facebook: Author JoAnn Durgin
To purchase her books: on Amazon

Author Interview | JoAnn Durgin

You and Writing
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...Although each character, each book, is uniquely special and different, my debut novel, Awakening, is the book of my heart. Because it’s loosely based on my love story with my husband, Jim, I believe readers can sense my personal investment. It’s also the first book in The Lewis Legacy Series and features the blossoming romance between Lewis and Clarke (a/k/a Sam and Lexa). Each book features the romance of one or more of the volunteers of TeamWork, a Christian missions organization, with Sam as their beloved “Papa Bear.” Together with Lexa, they mentor their TeamWork members as they navigate life and love. I’m passionate about every single character and hope that makes them so real they practically leap off the page and into the reader’s mind and heart.

What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...My answer to this one is atypical. Let’s start with the easiest. My joke is that I wrote Awakening in two weeks but it took 12 years to publish! It was the last standalone I wrote before putting my writing aside to raise our three children. I firmly believe the Lord honored that obedience and He opened the “right” doors of His choosing and in His perfect timing (you can read the full story on my website; how I lost the second half of Awakening, how the Lord gave it back to me and then He confirmed it was the “one” that I should try to publish first). Awakening sold to the first publisher who asked to see it (based on a short e-mail query with a one-paragraph synopsis).
...Being with a small, independent publisher has many perks; however, I also have to work that much harder to promote my books. We can’t send out reviewer copies, so it’s more difficult to get reviews (vital in making the books more visible). My books aren’t in bookstores, but with the growth of internet bookstores and ebook readers, that’s not a major issue. Unlike many authors, I’m outgoing and social. I’ll talk to anyone, anytime about my books, as my family can attest. But what better project to promote than my own books? The Lord has blessed over and above what I could have expected in terms of my expanding readership and steady sales.

Your Writing
Tell us a little bit about your book.
Daydreams is the fourth book in my series, but it can be read as a standalone. It’s my goal to write these books so readers can pick up any one of them and get swept away in the adventure. This book belongs to Amy Jacobsen, one of the TeamWork girls from the beginning of the series. She’s come into her own and is living the dream—a publishing job she loves in NYC, a fabulous townhome inherited from her famous grandfather, and a busy social life without the complication of a romantic relationship—and then she meets her match in publisher Landon Warnick. The adventure these two share takes the reader from NYC to a TeamWork wedding in Louisiana and then to Texas and back!

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...Forgiving someone who’s wronged us is difficult for so many people. We need to forgive others who’ve wronged us, even if they don’t ask. However, as Christians, if we’ve wronged or sinned against someone, it’s our responsibility to go to that person in humility and ask for their forgiveness. Until we can do that, we’ll never fully experience that peace that passes all understanding and be able to fully open our hearts to someone else.

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?

....All my characters are fictional, but as I mentioned, Awakening is loosely based on real events. It’s really more the characters of Sam and Lexa are based on my husband and me. However, Lexa’s grandmother in Awakening is my grandmother, her father is my dad. Certain quirks or experiences of various characters come from my life, and I know a few people who will play a “part” in upcoming books. I think I scare people sometimes when I tell them anything they say or do might show up in a book someday! The premise for Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is also based on a very sweet aspect of my husband’s character.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...As a Christian author, I want to share the hope to be found in a personal relationship with Christ. I want the reader to enjoy a good story while learning godly principles in a subtle, “non-preachy” way through my characters’ actions and lifestyles. My romances are “outside the box” of the standard formula, but I also think that’s one reason they resonate with readers. They’re entertaining but have solid substance mixed with the lighthearted moments. A balance of both is necessary, I believe. Sure, my hero and heroine fall in love but then face that inevitable roadblock in their relationship. The difference in my books? The couples work through their issues together because that’s how relationships become stronger and a lasting bond is formed.

...A unique aspect of my Lewis Legacy Series is the deep, abiding friendship between the different TeamWork members. They’re not perfect people, by any means, but they try to live godly lives and are always there for each other. One of the values of a series is revisiting the various couples and “growing” their ongoing relationships (and I love bringing the TeamWork kids into the mix, too!).

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a bit about my books with your readers, Emilie!

Many blessings, friends.

Matthew 5:16


You're very welcome and thank you so much for joining us here at Thinking Thoughts! I have enjoyed getting to know you through Facebook and am so glad I could feature you here :) I love that you say you've based some of your characters (or traits) on your husband! I think that is absolutely sweet and what better way to give a "real" feeling to your characters! I know some of my friends are afraid they'll end up in my books...but that's the hazard of being the friend of an author ;) I look forward to reading more of your books and can't wait to post my Re:View of Awakening!

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win one of JoAnn's fabulous books! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

A little rumor... there's this little bird singing a little song that goes something like this:


Well, I'm going to confirm this little birds song and say yes... there WILL be a giveaway on this {Writer Wednesday} post. I'm pleased to announce my featured author will be none other than:

JoAnn Durgin

So, make sure you plan to stop by the blog on Wednesday to read all about JoAnn and her writing, then leave a little comment to be entered in to a contest to win one of her books - reader's choice. How generous!? I know I'm exciting, and you should be too ;) 

See you Wednesday!

Thursday, July 4, 2013


E.A. Creative Photography
Happy 4th of July!

I have been working diligently (mostly) on my latest novel and have been having a blast doing research into Navy SEALs and many branches of the armed forces.

Honestly, it blows me away to think of the sacrifices that are made on our countries behalf! There are diligent and honorable men and women laying down their lives, sacrificing time with their families, and going without convenience so that we may remain in freedom here in America.

I just wanted to say -- though it's not much, and I wish it could be more --THANK YOU! Thank you to all who have served and are serving our country! My grandfather was one of those men, and I am honored to know I am part of his legacy.

May we truly be thankful and appreciative for life here in America.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Susan J. Reinhardt {Writer Wednesday}

Please give a warm welcome to Susan Reinhardt, author of The Moses Conspiracy!

...A little bit about Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt's journey to publication began as a non-fiction writer. She's been published in The RevWriter Resource, Devotions Magazine, A Secret Place, Vista, Live, and numerous other compilations and periodicals. Her appreciation for using fiction techniques inspired her to use fiction as a vehicle for truth. Her novel, "The Moses Conspiracy," was released as an e-book on March 16, 2013. The print version launched on May 17, 2013.

A widow, stepmom, daughter, and active church member, Susan enjoys reading, couponing, gardening, and searching for small treasures in antique shops.

How to connect with Susan...
To purchase her books: on Amazon, on B&N, on

Author Interview | Susan Reinhardt
You & Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I started off as a non-fiction writer. For years, I wrote short pieces, skits, curriculum, etc., but never considered myself a writer with a capital "W."
...About 10 years ago, my late husband urged me to seek publication. Since then, I've been published in Devotions Magazine, The RevWriter Resource, Live, The Secret Place, Vista, and several anthologies/devotional books. ...About 8 years ago, I started writing fiction. I'll go into more detail a bit later.
...A vision for my story kept me on track and still propels me forward.

Your Writing
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...Here's a short blurb about The Moses Conspiracy:
A trip to post-terrorized Washington, D.C. in 2025 and a buggy accident in Bird-in-Hand, PA set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

Convinced it's now safe to visit D.C., Ellie and her firstborn, 8-year-old Peter, travel to the nation's capital. Both mother and child make an effort to enjoy the sights, but they're unprepared for the challenges they face. Her nightmares come true when she and Peter are separated.

Back home, John witnesses a neighbor's buggy accident. The suspicious circumstances and law enforcement's refusal to take them seriously prompt him to take on the role of detective. He and a tenacious reporter band together and vow to find out what's happening in Bird-in-Hand.

...In December of 2004, my late husband and I visited Gettysburg town square. As we enjoyed the old buildings, I "heard" the voices of the forefathers, but they were like fading echoes. In August 2005, we were discussing this experience when he declared, "That's it! That's your book! And you'll write it in four months and call it Ghosts of the Past."

...The completed first draft was finished in December 2005. It underwent two name changes until I settled on The Moses Conspiracy. At a writers conference, I discovered my fiction skills needed serious work. It took eight years to get the book into shape, minus a two-year hiatus to care for my husband during his battle with leukemia and subsequent death.

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...The characters in The Moses Conspiracy are a conglomeration of me, my family, other people, and a big dose of my imagination. It's rather like making stew. Throw in quirky habits, a little dab of a worrier, a pinch of stubbornness, stir it, and it adds up to a unique person. I'm a seat-of-the-pants author, so how they react often surprises me.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Don't be in a rush to present your work to agents and editors. Learn your craft, put it into practice, find critique partners, and bring something polished to the professionals. Going to conferences helped me a lot, as well as reading articles online and craft books.

How are you making the most of your time this summer for writing and relaxing? Do you do anything different in the summer months?
...The summer months require a lot of discipline. I'm a wannabe gardener, so my sights are often set on being outdoors. The warm weather also draws me to day trips, hanging out with family and friends, and poking through antique shops.
...It's difficult to stay at the computer when all those activities are calling my name. Since I signed a contract with Helping Hands Press in January 2013, my schedule is less flexible than in past years. I'm working on the second book of the trilogy, and another smaller project.


Thank you so much for sharing Susan! Wow - your story is so encouraging! I love how you hung in there with the book you felt called to write! For me, I've had to put some of my earlier works aside in perusing something new but I hope to one day come back to them. It's just like you said, you want something really good and polished to give agents and editors!

I'm looking forward to reading The Moses Conspiracy and, Thinkin Thoughts readers, be sure to be on the look out for my Re:View post of it. Make sure you pick up your copy today!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Speaking against the "Self" {Thinking Theology}

I've been seeing a lot of things lately that really bother me. In particular is the idea that you can figure it out. Whatever it is.

It's this unhealthy focus on self that has me bothered. 

It's all about me, hence the picture--->

We mistakenly think that we have all the answers. I hate to break it to you, but you can't figure out it. No matter how much time you spend "loving yourself" or trying to "make yourself happy" you're eventually going to hit the bottom of the proverbial well.

Happiness is the wrong aim in the first place, but that's a whole different post. 

The biggest lie you can believe is that you are strong enough on your own. That you can make some adjustment to your life that will ensure eternal--or even momentary--happiness/contentedness/security. That you have the answers.

Let's take a look at some of what the Bible says about self: 
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (emphasis mine)
Galatians 5:24 
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” (emphasis mine)

1 Peter 2:24 
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.
Colossians 3:3-7
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. (emphasis mine)
Luke 9:23-24

Whew. I don't know about you, but even just those few verses have me reeling! There's one more that I think will really set us straight. I quote it all the time, but it's so applicable!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

(emphasis mine)
Proverbs 3:5-6
That says if very plainly - we are to put our trust in GOD and to not rely on us or what we know, but to turn to Him in all things.

I hear so many great speakers and modern thinkers advocating "self" and the "power" that we have in us to do...well, pretty much anything. It's all false! Clearly, when we trust in ourselves we are bound to fail. There is just no way that a human brain could comprehend all that it would take to figure life out.

But there is true life in Christ. 

As it says above in Colossians - when we trust in Him, our life is hidden in Christ! We are alive in Christ! We are set free in Christ! We are no longer dependent on our own understanding to create happiness in ourselves. We are no longer responsible to have all the answers.

The minute we understand that there God is a God who loves us (1 John 4) and who died for us (John 3:16, Romans 5:10) and who desires for us to have fulfillment in Him (Romans 10:4) is the minute we are truly set free (Galatians 5).
I hope as we come up to this 4th of July we will be able to taste and experience true freedom in Christ. To remember we are not bound by our own intellect or self, but rather that we are free in Him.