Monday, September 28, 2009

One Step Closer

This weekend I received the initial layout for "Second Chance". I almost cried just printing pages from my computer that "looked" like a book! It was absolutely overwhelming to actually see my name on the same line as "Copyright 2009". Wow...the little things!

I immediately went through each page as directed, checking for layout errors. The only ones I found were instances where the beginning of a new chapter had not been denoted. I emailed this information to my layout designer and have already heard from him that the corrections have been made.

We are practically at the end of this amazing journey now! The final step before book production (as I understand it) is this:

The layout designer will use the layout design which I have just approved to print out a single "proof" copy of "Second Chance" and mail it to me. I have this one LAST chance to proof the book, looking for other layout errors or spelling/grammar mistakes. Then I mail the book back to him, and its off to the printers!

Folks, it's really looking as if you may be able to gift your loved ones (and yourselves) with a copy of "Second Chance; a Summers Series Novel" for Christmas. How about that?!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Brand New Novel

I woke up from a dream one Saturday morning, after which I immediately went to my computer and began to write it down. Ten pages later I asked myself, "is this the beginning or the end of the story?"

Along the heels of that question came several others:
*Is this part of the Summers' Saga?
I didn't really think it was, and the thought of beginning a completely new story line was both intriguing and frustrating. But I reasoned, the third book in the Summers' Saga was coming along very slowly, so perhaps it was time to put it away for a while...especially if this one was begging to be told!
*When does the story happen?
I have written only in present day thus far. This story, however, had a more historical feel to it. So instead of taxis and planes, we have buggies, wagons, and trains. The time frame is during the late 1800's. It takes place in a fictional town in the midwest.
*What are the characters' names?
Names are always very important to me. If I don't like the name of a character in the book (even if I'm reading the back cover, considering a novel for purchase), I have a hard time getting engrossed in it. The names of these characters eventually made themselves known.

Here is a small teaser. Let me know what you think!

Ella Ferguson moves to the small town of Manchester when she is ten years old to live with her Aunt Grace because her parents are struggling to feed the six children they have. Ella and her aunt form a fast bond that grows stronger as the years quickly pass.

Alec Chamberlin is the oldest son of a large family who moves to Manchester around the same time as Ella. The Chamberlins are not accepted at first, because Mrs. Chamberlin is of Spanish descent. But they quickly prove themselves to be upstanding people, hard-workers, and good Christians.

Ella and the Chamberlins' second oldest daughter, Susan, become best friends. As the girls grow up together, Ella realizes one day that Susan's pesky brother, Alec, has turned into quite a handsome young man. But she is certain he continues to see her only as his little sister's best friend.

Heart-ache, danger, and the bonds of friendship continue to throw them together. Join the story and discover if Ella and Alec ever declare their love for each other, if their feelings can survive suspicion and fear, or if even their friendship will be destroyed by factors stacked against them.

This novel is as yet untitled! I'll keep you posted on its the way...the "dream" was not the beginning of the story:)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Five Stars for "Fearless"

Max Lucado has once again produced a work that not only is biblically sound, but spiritually uplifting and timely. In short, concise chapters he tackles particular fears we all either have faced, are facing, or will deal with in the future.

Mr. Lucado uses scripture to show us how important our fears are to Jesus, and how specifically our Savior can vanquish each one. He chronicles the disciples' fear during the storm at Galilee, and parallels their reactions with our own when we face upheavals in our lives. He recreates their doubts after the crucifixion and how Jesus helped them, just as he longs to show us he is still real today.

Mr. Lucado also uses personal anecdotes to illustrate how he has dealt with particular fears, such as the fear of death and doubt. Again, the scriptures play a large part in teaching us how Jesus wants to guide us through those debilitating feelings.

I can't think of any area where fear might creep into our hearts that was left unmentioned in this book. I was touched, chastised, and brought to tears on many occasions as I realized how fear was affecting my own life. Yet each time the message of Christ's love for me, his concern for my whole being, and his ultimately perfect plan for my life came clearly through the words of Max Lucado, as he encourages us to become and remain, "Fearless".

Mr. Lucado has also provided an extremely helpful study guide at the end of the book. This can be used individually or in small groups to more deeply delve into the chapters and the corresponding scriptures in order to truly face and deal with our own personal fears.

I would recommend "Fearless" to any adult, young or old. Some part of this book will hit home with you, and hopefully help you to turn your fear over to the One who is ultimately in control, and who is certainly big enough to handle whatever it might be.