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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Again - M. Laycock


So, it's Easter again. I've seen almost 62 of them come and go. When I was a little girl it was an exciting time of casting off winter wear and buying a new dress. Sometimes there was a new spring coat and hat and shoes and once (yes, I'm that old) I even remember a pair of white gloves and a little purple purse. I was too young then to grasp the spiritual significance of Easter but when we walked to church that Sunday it felt special, like a new beginning. Like anything was possible.

And, really, that's what Easter should feel like. That's what Jesus intended to tell us that day when he walked out of his tomb. He wanted us to know each and every one of us is so special to Him he was willing to die for us. He wanted to tell us He was opening the gates to a new beginning that would have no end. He wanted to shout to the world that now, now anything is possible. Because He died and rose again. Because He loves us. Because of His grace.

I love Easter for all of those reasons. But sometimes they're hard to hold onto. Special? Me? No, not really. I'm just a more than middle aged woman with chemo-frizzy hair. Nothing special about me. But then I hear Him whisper and it's as soft and warm as a spring breeze. "Hey, you know I love you, right?" And I'm brought to my knees because to Him I am special. In fact I'm His beloved. And because I keep forgetting, He keeps telling me so.

A new beginning? Maybe I'm just a bit too old for that anymore. I've seen a lot of dreams die. I have manuscripts that were written with such hope and promise but now they're buried and as good as dead. But then I hear Him say, "It's time for that one to shine now." And hope rises up like a tsunami that doesn't crush and destroy but lifts me up so I can see a bigger picture.

Anything is possible? Well, maybe not anything. I don't have the energy or time or resources for anything. But then, like Paul I can say ... "Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ... (for) His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3: 8-10).

This grace ... to preach, through our own words in story and song and every creative endeavour ... the boundless riches of Christ. That is possible, because of Easter, because He loves us, because He rose again to make it possible.

It's Easter again. Hallelujah!
****
Abundant Rain, Inspiration for Writers of Faith is available in all ebook formats at Amazon and Smashwords.

Visit Marcia's website.










































Saturday, March 30, 2013

James Rubart's Soul's Gate ON SALE NOW!


For only $2.99 (for a limited time) via Amazon or B&N.com!



Gina Conroy & Digging Up Death

Novel Rocket is about helping authors get their book off the ground. Gina Conroy has been a part of our team for a while, and we’re thrilled to celebrate the release of her second novel.

Gina, tell us about your novel, Digging Up Death 
                 
Digging Up Death is about a single mom struggling from the emotional turmoil of a divorce she didn’t see coming as she tries to balance a career and raise her three children. It’s about a woman who wears masks to hide her pain and who she really is from the world and from God. On her journey to self discovery, forgiveness, and healing she stumbbles upon a murder, a stolen Egyptian artifact and must wrestle with the pull of an old lover and an ex-husband who’s wanted by the FBI. Mari Duggins seldom makes the right choices, but comes to learn she can’t keep fighting on her own and must surrender to God to find her self worth I know the subject matter seems heavy, but I hope it’s infused with enough humor, faith, mystery and quirky characters to balance that out.

Here’s the official back cover copy:

Archaeology Professor Mari Duggins is adjusting to life as a single mom and trying to balance a television career, but gets caught between the pull of her former flame, a field archaeologist, and her ex-husband who is wanted by the FBI on an antiquities crime. Then her colleague is murdered, and she gets in over her head as she searches for truth in a desert of lies. Mari Duggins’ life caves in as she tries to excavate the truth, but realizes only God can dig her out of the hole she’s created. Will Mari sort through her muddled feelings and put her trust in someone else before her world caves in? Or will the truth bury her alive?   

Where can readers purchase your book?

Right now it’s available on Amazon in ebook or softcover, but will be available soon at B & N, iTunes and other places where ebooks are sold.

One reviewer said, “Digging Up Death. It's got all the dirt you want--a tangled mystery, a quirky heroine, hints of romance, and page-turning action. Conroy keeps the story real and delves into the clean and the not so clean parts of life. Highly recommended." How do you weave all those elements into this story?

I’m not really sure, LOL! I wanted to write a fun, quirky mystery that held some women’s fiction themes, so without thinking about my story fitting into a specific genre, I sat down and wrote. I’ve been told it starts out a bit Chicklitish, then takes on mystery/suspense and women’s fiction tones. Maybe that’s why it didn’t sell in the CBA at first even though editors like the story and writing. I guess it just didn’t seem to fit. But I wanted to be true to my character and the story, and though it may never be a best seller, I think people have enjoyed the fresh change of pace that this story offers.

How much of yourself do you write into your characters?

In some ways my characters are a lot like me, in other ways, they’re nothing like me. Most often the lessons the characters learn are things God is trying to get through my thick head, but the circumstances my characters find themselves in are usually very different from my own. I’ve never been a single mom, or widowed, or divorced, or been an archaeologist, but I did grow up in a divorced family and felt like a failure as a mom. I know what it’s like to try and control things when life feels out of control. I know how helplessness and hopelessness feels, and I’ve been learning what it means to truly surrender and rely on God.

What are you working on now?

I have several half finished projects I’m excited about, but I’m working on the next book in the Mari Duggins Mysteries. So many readers have asked what happens to Mari and all her relationships, so I start the next book the morning after. It has a mystery thread, but it’s more about the relationship entanglements Mari found herself in at the end of book one. It’s tentatively entitled Mayhem Under the Mistletoe, so I’m hoping to get it out before the Christmas season!

You have a website called Writer…Interrupted. What is that about?

It’s a place where busy writers can come for encouragement in balancing life and writing and find information to help them improve their craft and continue on their writing journey.

Why did you start that Writer…Interrupted?

About nine years ago, after ten years off from writing to raise my kids, I started writing again. My youngest was two. This was about the same time I started homeschooling and let’s just say my priorities became so messed up that I felt impressed by God to quit writing for a season. So to deal with my “not writing” I started a blog to figure out how all the other successful writing, homeschooling moms did it. I started out interviewing a few writing moms, and then when my first writing dad, who just happened to be an editor at a publishing house, started visiting the blog, I thought maybe this thing was bigger. I opened up the group to anyone who felt their writing was interrupted by life, and now I have a place where busy writers come to learn the craft of writing from experts and find encouragement in balancing their personal and writing lives.

You’ve homeschooled your four children, you teach creative writing, and keep up your website and blogging, how do you balance it all?

You forgot, I also ballroom dance! I’m really not sure I balance it all, though I try. I’m still figuring it out and over the years I’ve interviewed over a hundred writing moms and dads and the one thing I’ve learned about balancing writing with family is that it looks different for everyone. For me, the amount of writing I do goes in seasons. There was a time in the beginning my priorities were skewed. I put writing before a lot of things, and I got out of balance to the point that I had to lay down my writing for a season. After years of struggling, I’ve finally found freedom in the seasons of life. I don’t sweat not writing when I can’t and I try to focus on what’s in front of me. Of course, it’s still a struggle, but I try to keep things in perspective. There will be a time when my kids will be gone and I will have the time to write. For now, I’m embracing this season of life and the time I have with my kids.

How can readers find you on the Internet? I LOVE to connect with people and you can find me at:

Facebook: Author Gina Conroy
Twitter: @GinaConroy
gina@ginaconroy.com
Pinterest: Author Gina Conroy
http://ginaconroy.com


Thanks, Gina, and congratulations on the new book!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Lisa Bergren ~ Creative and Collaborative Marketing Tips


 
Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over forty books, and the latest is the Grand Tour Series, beginning with Glamorous Illusions and continuing on with the newly released Grave Consequences and the upcoming Glittering Promises. When she’s not messing around on Facebook or Twitter, she’s usually researching or writing her next project. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three children. You can find her at LisaBergren.com, Facebook.com/LisaTawnBergren, and @LisaTBergren.

Collaborative Marketing
By Lisa T. Bergren 
 
So you’ve shouted the news about your new release on Facebook, Twitter, and your author web site as well as covered it in your author newsletter. How else can you get the word out about your book?

Form a Website/Blog Loop

In 2012 I released a YA series and after another author read Waterfall, I was invited to take part in an ABA-oriented scavenger hunt, in which I hosted a YA author and yet another hosted me. We formed a loop of about 30 stops, and it was so successful, it’s been oft-repeated and gone on to incorporate more than 100 authors, with three separate arms. Now everyone wants in, but you can’t always take part.

What readers loved was that they both gathered clues for a potential prize, but also learned about new authors they’d never heard about. What writers loved was that readers who had never heard of them, now had, and were buying their books.

So I brought that same concept over to my Christian-fiction pals, and we formed a loop last summer and fall, and will do so again this May. Each hunt has brought me at least 1000 new visitors to my web site, and gotten at least 900 to focus on my name, title and cover for a minimum of a minute. You just can’t buy that kind of advertising.

Do you have 6-10 author friends with published works? Consider rallying the troops for your own version of our scavenger hunt! Figure out the dates, get firm commitments from all involved (if you have a broken link, you’re in deep weeds), and then get your party started! Speaking of parties…

Throw a Twitter Party & Invite Your Author Pals

In conjunction with the last hunt, I had my first Christian Fiction Twitter party, which was fairly successful. It’s hard to judge how many took part, because many see the Twitter stream but don’t jump in to comment. I’ll try it again this summer, and do more build-up to hopefully get more engagement. But let’s face it. If you’re into Twitter at all, there’s a voyeuristic aspect that’s kind of fun. If someone’s dialoguing with another, you can click on that person’s stream and put the conversation together. It’s almost like listening in. And readers get a special thrill over listening to authors talk to one another. It’s like being given entry to a secret club. Why not give them that thrill and talk a lot about one another’s books? They’re listening. Even cooler? Use a unique #hashtag and readers can continue to discover that conversation for months to come! Speaking of conversation with friends…

Cultivate Friendships with Book Bloggers

Let me introduce you to your new BFFs: Book Bloggers Who Already Adore You. They won’t think of your new coziness as usury. They’ll think of it as mutually beneficial. J You’ve likely been sent 25-100 free copies of your newly published books. These weren’t meant for your grandma and her buddies at the retirement center. These were really meant for you to give to influencers--people who will influence others to all flood the bookstore or online retailer and buy your book. Now if your grandma is one of those, give one to her. But then move on to book bloggers!

PLEASE NOTE: There are more and more book bloggers all the time. Savvy women have discovered that if they commit to blog, books will come. What you want to find are those book bloggers who both have some decent traffic and engagement on their site, but also LOVE YOU AND YOUR WRITING. You’re looking for the kind of blogger who would, honestly, promote your book, even if they had to go borrow it from the library to read/review. The kind of blogger who talks, and people listen. Know of one…or ten? Send ‘em a free, autographed book. Consider offering another as a prize if they do a special post or interview with you, which you can, in turn, link to on your Facebook author page (you have one of those, right? No? Get thee to the Book of Face immediately and create one!)

AN ADDITIONAL NOTE: If you’re an indie-published author, many book bloggers refuse to review you. I know. It stinks. But there are some who will—and it’s even better if you can send them an e-file rather than go through the expense of posting a paperback. Check the blogger’s guidelines to find out if they’re open to indie- or self-published works so you don’t burn that bridge you’re working so hard to build.

So there are a few ways to take publicity from lonely to a corporate experience. Bring in your friends and have fun with it!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What I'd Change About My Writing Journey


You hear it all the time when people are trying to make sense of their trials in life.

“The struggles only made me stronger. I wouldn’t change a thing…” Maybe you’ve even said it to try and ease the agnoy of your writing journey.

While the first part of that statement may be true, struggles do make us stronger, be honest, you wouldn’t change a thing? Really? I can probably go back through my entire life and find things that I would change. But let’s focus on my publishing journey.

Would I change the fact I thought I had to shelve my writing for ten years while I raised my kids? Yep, I wish I would’ve found the support of other writing moms and organizations like ACFW sooner so I could slowly improve my craft instead of diving in like a mad woman (and messing up my priorities) when I thought the timing was right. Thankfully for young moms today, the internet is overflowing with helpful writing blogs, like Novel Rocket and support groups. You don’t have to wait to write. I wish I would’ve had the resources ten years ago that you have today.

Would I change the fact I struggled to find the balance between writing, homeschooling, and life? And still struggle to find the time to write while constantly feeling pulled in every direction? You betcha. It would’ve been much easier to figure it all out instantly and not have to continue to struggle in this area, but then again, I wouldn’t have founded Writer…Interrupted, a website where I encourage other busy, interrupted writers trying to balance life and this writing thing.

Would I change seven years of writing rejections and heartache? Okay, that’s a no brainer! But it only made me stronger, right?

What about changing the years I spent doubting my abilities only to have my agent, Chip MacGregor, repeatedly tell me that I was a good writer and one day “it” would happen. And he was right! After seven years (or eight, I lost count) of pursuing publication, my novella with Barbour released a year ago and Digging Up Death, the book he signed me with four years ago but didn’t sell at first, released this past November. Though I would’ve changed the timing and process of it all, my agent was right. It did happen.

Do I wish Digging Up Death would have sold the first time around? Sure, but God has His own agenda and His timing is perfect, even if I don’t agree with it. In my finite wisdom, I’ve tried to make sense of the waiting period, and can only hope that now as a more established writer, my reach can go farther than it would have four years ago. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Would I change all the worrying and “trying to make it happen” I did over those seven years? Absolutely! There is freedom in surrendering the process to the One who gave you the gift. You should try it sometime.

Would I change the fact that those I mentored got published before me? Um, did you really have to ask? Being left behind isn’t fun, but I’ve learned that while it would’ve been easier to have had things my own way, I would’ve missed the things I needed to learn to get to where I am… so I can be a better writer.
I could go on and on with things I’d change, but why? While journeying this crazy writer life, it’s easy to fall into the ‘woe is me’ role, believe me, I’ve been there...still visit on occasion, but over the years I’ve learned not to look at my writing journey or hardships with regret. I’ve also realized that I’d be lying if I spouted “I wouldn’t change a thing,” because I would. Instead, I choose to look ahead to the road in front of me. Be it easy or hard, I’ll face it knowing at least I’m moving forward.

Where are you in your writing journey? Are you living in the land of “woe is me” or are you moving forward?



Gina Conroy is founder of Writer...Interrupted and is still learning how to balance a career with raising a family. Represented by Chip MacGregor, she finds time to write fun, quirky mysteries in between carpooling and ballroom dancing . Her first book Cherry Blossom Capers, released from Barbour Publishing in January 2012, and Digging Up Death is available now.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Likened to C.S. Lewis ~ author Jenny L. Cote Interviewed

Award winning author Jenny L. Cote developed an early passion for God, history and young people, and beautifully blends these passions together in her two fantasy fiction series, The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz® and Epic Order of the Seven™. Likened to C.S. Lewis by book reviewers and bloggers, Jenny provides creative writing workshops at schools and universities around the country and abroad.

 A native of Norfolk, Virginia, she now writes and speaks full time and lives in Roswell, Georgia, with her husband Casey and son Alex. Jenny is active in the Student Ministry at Dunwoody Baptist Church, and enjoys reading, research, museums, music, travel, meeting people, fitness and finding any excuse she can to get to the beach.

I had the opportunity to meet Jenny when she spoke at my local ACFW chapter. I was enthralled as she told her writing journey. 


Jenny, what were your goals in writing your latest release, The Roman, the Twelve & the King?

I wanted to tell the story of Jesus in an unexpected way, so I wrote two books in one. The life of Christ is written within the story of George F. Handel writing his masterpiece, Messiah.

 Since my characters were with Isaiah as he wrote the words of Messiah, I thought it would be great fun to have them be with Handel as he wrote the music. The book opens up in London, 1735, and my team of animal heroes are tasked with helping Handel write the most important piece of music ever written.

Since it's been 1700 years since they were with Jesus, they go back in time to revisit the unfolding of the greatest events in history. After Jesus' resurrection, they return to London 1741 for the writing and premiere of Messiah at London's Covent Garden Theatre.

So that was the structural goal of the story. But the primary goal of the book is to give readers an opportunity to see Jesus come alive in a way they never have before. I've had kids email me and tell me that they never understood who he really was and what he did for them through the Passion until reading this book - that thrills my heart! These books are geared to kids but the reality is they are books for adults as well. Half my readership is adults, and I hear from readers all over the world.

When you write, how much do you draw on your own life experiences and people you know, versus drawing on research about complete strangers?

God has been incredibly cool in setting up my life experiences of spiritual upbringing, travel and a passion for research to write these books. One of the things I stress to kids in my creative writing workshops that I present at schools is that you can't write about what you know about. Research for me is the most important part of writing, especially when you're doing Christian Historical Fiction.

So, I was blessed to travel to Israel and Egypt when I was 17 to see the places I've just written about in this book. But I added to my research travels for The Roman by actually travelling to London in Feb 2012 to research Handel. I gained unprecedented access by Handel House Museum to actually sit in Handel's composing room where he wrote Messiah, and write the scene of him writing it!

The inspiration was off the charts! While I was in London, I contact the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Oxford, and was privileged to spend two nights in the homestead of my writing hero, C.S. Lewis, "the Kilns."

I also had the honor to spend three hours interviewing Walter Hooper while sitting in the famed Eagle and Child Pub where Lewis and Tolkien held their Inklings meetings. Walter was secretary to Lewis the summer before he died, and he will be my technical advisor in my upcoming book on Lewis. So my travels and research play a big role, but so do people.

I have a warning: careful or you'll end up in my novel. :) I put people in my books as characters all the time to become fictional characters than interface with my real characters in history.

Who is the character in this story that surprised you most?

I think I would have to say Pilate. I've long known the story of Jesus' trial and crucifixion, but I had to study Pilate in greater depth than I ever have before. He tried and very much wanted to release Jesus, and I actually felt an empathy for him that I've never known. He was backed into a corner and I now understand how that happened. I was also surprised by learning about Handel. Guys in big fluffy wigs can be a lot of fun! Handel was a very colorful character in history, and he had a big heart for kids as well as for God.

What do you hope readers get out of your work?

I pray they will not only have a fun, engaging read, but also a deep understanding of why Jesus had to die. We take for granted the rote "Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave" and perhaps don't truly grasp how this was all planned out - every detail of Jesus' death was planned, down to the time, place and setting. It was prophesied hundreds of years before crucifixion had even been invented!

I wanted to write the scourging and crucifixion scenes with great detail and honesty, without sugar coating the events, but also without scaring younger readers. I thankfully was given the perfect balance of words to pull it off. I've heard from countless readers who were moved to tears but touched deeply by those scenes, and who have a new found appreciation for all Jesus endured.

What projects are you working on now?

I'm currently writing the next book in the series, The Way, the Road, and the Fall. It picks up resurrection morning and goes through the entire book of Acts: Saul to Paul and the spread of the gospel in the infant church.

But it goes beyond Acts to Peter and Paul in Rome, the fire of 64 in Rome, Christian persecution, the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., building of the Colosseum and the gladiatorial games, John on Patmos and finally ending with a future scene of Constantine liberating Christianity's freedom. It will be released in February 2014.

Two more books will follow: The Voice, the Revolution, and the Jewel (2015) about Patrick Henry and the Revolutionary War, and The Professor, the War, and the Muse (2016), about C.S. Lewis and WWII.

In addition, I'm working on exciting developments with the film adaptation of my first book, The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud, into an animated feature film, TV show, VBS, DVD school curriculum, etc. You can learn more about the movie at www.sevenwinged.com. I'm also actively providing creative writing workshops at schools around the country, and if anyone would be interested in scheduling me for their school, homeschool or church, please learn more at www.epicorderoftheseven.com


The Roman, the Twelve, and the King

The second book in the Epic Order of the Seven series, it picks up where The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz left off. The Maker created this team of animal friends to be his envoys for pivotal points of history. This will be their most important mission ever: to be with Jesus throughout his childhood, ministry, passion and resurrection. The story of Christ is told as a story within a story: as George F. Handel writes the greatest music to ever be written in London 1741—Messiah.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Strategy for Aspiring Novelists


Adam Blumer is the author of Fatal Illusions (Kregel Publications) and The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press). A print journalism major in college, he works as a freelance writer and editor after serving in editorial roles for more than twenty years. He lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife, Kim, and his daughters, Laura and Julia.






I was once in your shoes: scared, unsure of myself, full of dreams about being a published novelist. Now that God has opened the door for me, I’d like to pass on some wisdom I’ve learned over the years—often the hard way. Sometimes we have dreams but no true strategy for reaching them. I hope this strategy helps.

First, pray and ask God what He wants to do with your life. If your overriding desire is to write and you show an aptitude in that area, ask God whether He has a future for you as a published novelist. He will confirm His will by granting you publishing credentials, allowing you to win some contests, or opening other publication doors. These are confirmations that you’re heading in the right direction.

But before you get all starry eyed, take a minute to evaluate your motives. You may never be on the New York Times or CBA best-seller list. You need to be okay with that. You may never be rich or even make enough money to write full-time. You need to be okay with that. You may never be a famous author or even be considered well-known or “successful” as an author. You need to be okay with that, too.

Search your heart for why you want to write. If you knew your novels, stories, or articles would never be published, would you still write them? Are you writing for your own glory or because God has lit a fire in your soul you can’t put out?

Keep in mind that being an author is not for the faint of heart. At times, you’ll walk a lonely path littered by rejection letters, misunderstandings, criticisms, and self-doubts. Countless voices (including your own) will tell you your writing isn’t good enough. Don’t listen to those voices. Believe in the ability God has given to you, seek to learn and grow (mostly out of failure), and do the best with the ability God has placed in your hands. No one can do more than that. Then pray, work hard, and leave the rest to God.
Be sure writing is what God wants you to do. If He wants you to do something else, then run from writing as fast as you can. But if you’re certain He wants you to write, take steps to dedicate and commit yourself to that pursuit.
Weed your life of distractions and make writing your primary focus (after God and your family, of course). If you’re multitalented, set other abilities aside for writing. Look at your writing as ministry, as something God has uniquely called you to do for His glory. The written word is a powerful tool you can use for the glory of God—and yes, you can even do powerful things through stories.
If possible, find a location and set aside regular, consistent time in your schedule to write. Be dedicated. You’ll never grow unless you write often. (Think of concert pianists and how many hours they practice every day.)
Be prepared to be misunderstood for your commitment. Friends won’t understand when you say you can’t go to the basketball game because you need to write. Lots of people will view your writing as a hobby and won’t take you seriously. Just keep working hard, be dedicated to the craft, trust God, and don’t mind them. Someday, the Lord willing, those same people will ask you to autograph their copy of your novel.
Finally, no matter how difficult the journey gets and how defeated you feel at times, never ever give up. God placed you on this planet for a reason. He began a good work in you. Be certain He’ll complete it.

Practical Tips

§  Read the books you want to write. Conversely, write the books you want to read. Also read the best writing you can find (not necessarily what sells or is popular).

§  Read and reread your favorite novel. Study how the author portrays his characters, draws his setting, structures the plot, creates conflict, handles language, and builds to a natural and satisfying end.

§  Subscribe to and study Writer’s Digest magazine.

§  Check out the Writer’s Digest library of books and read as much about writing as you can. Study the craft of writing and always be willing to learn and change.

§  Take a class on writing or a writer’s correspondence course. (Writer’s Digest offers online workshops. By the way, Writer’s Digest isn’t paying me to promote their products and training. WD has helped me tremendously; the folks there will help you too.)

§  Join a writer’s critique group and develop thick skin. You’ll need it. (The ACFW offers some terrific groups.)

§  Network with wannabe authors like you. They may share the same struggles and questions.

§  Be willing to sit at the feet of those who’ve blazed the path you want to tread. Ask them questions. Read their books. Listen to the voice of experience.

§  Attend a writer’s conference (for example, the Write-to-Publish Conference held in Wheaton, Illinois, each summer) and talk to publishers, literary agents, and established authors. Humbly learn as much about Christian publishing as you can.

§  Study the books in the CBD catalog. Become familiar with the market you want to write for. By all means, become aware of what types of books publishers are buying, but always write from the heart. In other words, don’t just write what “sells.”

§  Start small with a short story or an inspirational article. Submit it to a magazine for publication. Be prepared to wait a while for a reply; the wheels of publishing can turn slowly. If you receive a rejection letter, take another look at your work and see if you can do something better. Then send the piece somewhere else. Repeat the process.

§  Never, ever give up. You may so close to reaching your goal and not even realize it. 


     Water turns to blood. Flies and gnats attack the innocent. Marc and Gillian Thayer’s vacation resort becomes a grisly murder scene, with a killer using the ten plagues of Egypt as his playbook for revenge.

When their friend turns up dead, Marc and Gillian put their vacation on hold, enlist the help of a retired homicide detective, and take a closer look at the bizarre plagues as they escalate in intensity. Meanwhile, a stranger is after the Thayers’ newly adopted baby. Will they uncover the truth behind the bitter agenda before the tenth plague, the death of the firstborn son?