We have two new features on Christians Read. As well as subscribing to the blog via email, reading it on the web, a mobile app or widget, we have a daily edition of news that extends beyond the blog post. You can read it here, subscribe and have it emailed to you or whatever you like here.
The second bit of news is that readers requested notice of Christian Reads Authors’ book releases when they occur. So we’ve added a weekend (only) post that will announce new releases as they come. It will come via your typical email subscription, widget, app, and be posted on the website–no action needed. (And thank you for the request! We’re always open to suggestions and welcome them from you.
This isn’t a big news bit, but it is something important to me and I want to share it because I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences. Yesterday I had a serious faith test, and it was over a seemingly minor incident. But ti wasn’t minor to me. Our neighbor died recently leaving a widow. The grief is fresh and merciless. And someone invaded her privacy and her property and stole her mower and edger. A grain of sand in the scheme of life some would say, but it struck me very differently. She’s afraid now. In her own home. Grief-stricken and afraid, and it broke my heart and ate at my insides. So Hubby and I went to work. Locks, alarm, monitoring, check-in-buddy.
Still working on her security today. An overreaction to some. But years ago, when Hubby was in the military and gone a lot, a man tried to push his way into my house. I had a days-old baby in my arms. I stomped his foot and when he jerked back slammed and bolted the door. We did all types of security things but I never again felt safe in that home. And that’s where the faith crisis came in. I didn’t want that for her. So I did something now I didn’t do then. I hit my knees. And the answer was to do as Christ instructed: love your neighbor. In this case, loving my neighbor was doing whatever could be done to make her feel safe and secure. That’s the message in the sharing. Don’t sit and stew and get stressed out. Do something constructive that can make a difference. Love your neighbor.
In multiple projects I’ve looked at in mentoring this week, I’m seeing a common thread. Authors are cutting loose and that is a good thing. It makes the work fresh and original and it’s exciting for the writer. But it comes with a caveat and that is to meet your readers’ expectations. If the book is a different kind of book, let them know it before they buy it. If ninety percent of the books in that genre are written in third person, you’re taking risks in writing in first. Not saying you can’t, saying it’s risky. Risks aren’t bad–I’ve taken a million of them. But know your risks and do what you can to minimize them. Risk for risk’s sake isn’t a worthy cause. So ask yourself, do you have a compelling reason for the risks your taking? Will the return on investment prove sound? That’s the writing tip this week: Know what your readers expect and do your best to give it to them. If you do something different, prepare them for it. That’s playing fair.
Some things can’t be undone. Bells can’t be unrung. Hateful words can’t be unsaid. And the harm that comes with broken trust can’t be unbroken. But forgiveness can be sought and granted. This has me thinking aloud…
“One day, we all need the grace we refuse to extend to others who offend us.”
The big news around my kitchen table is awe at the number of notes of support and prayers for Hubby with his eyes. The inflammation is gone in one, but the other has gotten a little worse. He’s gotten more treatments and we’re hopeful now that he’s turned the corner and his vision will be spared. Keep praying, please!
The big news around my office is that I’ve experienced a first. That’s not so common in a decades-long career–at lest, in my experience. I’ve had four books on multiple lists this week, ranging from police procedurals to romantic suspense, from mystery to paranormal romance, from military novels to crime fiction. Four projects at one time in two countries–the US and the UK. Wow. It’s day 9 and the books are holding–but my feet are still in the clouds. Thank you readers and a special thanks to my Bridge Walker team. I am so very grateful.
Now some will say it’s because the books are selling. That would be true. Like everyone else, I like to eat every day. 🙂 But writing has never been simply about money for me, it’s about purpose. Remember, I write healing books. Purpose: to reach readers who are hurting and show them that constructive healing does exist. If my characters can find the way, then readers can, too. So what these lists represent to me is that more readers who are hurting have the opportunity to be exposed to constructive, healing solutions, and it is that, not sales, that has me floating. Some say that’s a wacky attitude for a businesswoman. I say it’s the perfect attitude for this businesswoman. I’m not just building a career. I’m building a life. More sales equals more readers equals more healing. I am ALL about that! So when I say thank you, know it is sincere, heartfelt and deeply genuine. My dream is a healing dream. And you’re helping me realize it. Grateful? Yes, beyond words!
FACEBOOK GAME GRAND FINALE! To celebrate, we’ve been playing games on Facebook and the winners get one of the four projects mentioned above. The first four prizes have been given away now and we’re up to the Grand Finale. It’s ongoing and any interested are welcome to join in. It’s a word game–changing one letter. And we’re having a lot of fun. If you want to play, click the facebook icon (above, left) and it’ll take you to the page.
Now I have to get back to writing. I’m at a critical point in the first book in a new series–and a few days ago, the heroine took an unexpected turn on me that messes up what I thought I was writing. So yesterday, just when I thought I’d gotten a grip on where she was going, the hero comes out of nowhere with a proposal that floored me. In my version, the man wasn’t even supposed to be there. He clearly has very different plans, and the problem is, I have no idea what they are. Nobody tells me anything around here. You’d think they would. I mean, how can I WRITE them in their strongest light if I don’t KNOW what they’re doing or why?
Anyway, I’m kind of eager to see if they tell me today. At least give me a hint. I’m trusting them and writing to wherever they’re taking me, but if they’re playing with my head because they love making me crazy, they might just suffer the ultimate writer’s revenge: death by keyboard!
Have a great day! I hope you found something useful in this Tuesday Morning Mashup!