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Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Writer's Market Guide



It's a fresh new year and once again time to update your writer's market guides. My favorite is still Sally E Stuart's "Christian Writers' Market Guide, 2009." This book is chock full of market and has a CD included for more information.


The Resource Guide to Getting Published

For 24 years running, the Christian Writers’ Market Guide has remained the most comprehensive, complete, essential, and highly-recommended resource for beginning and veteran Christian writers, agents, editors, publishers, publicists, and those teaching writing classes.

This year’s Guide is even handier with a CD-Rom included that features the full text of the book for easy searches of topics, publishers, and markets, as well as 100 pages of exclusive content including indexes and writing resource listings.

This is the resource you need to get noticed—and published.



Completely updated and revised to feature the latest on…

more than 1,200 markets for the written word
416 book publishers (32 new)
654 periodicals (52 new)
96 literary agents
100 new listings in Resources for Writers
226 poetry markets
316 photography markets
25 African-American markets
and 166 contests (29 new)


Sally E. Stuart is the author of thirty-six books and has sold more than one thousand articles and columns. Her long-term involvement with the Christian Writers’ Market Guide as well as her marketing columns for the Christian Communicator, Oregon Christian Writers, and The Advanced Christian Writer, make her a sought-after speaker and a leading authority on Christian markets and the business of writing. Stuart is the mother of three and grandmother of eight and lives near Portland, Oregon.

Order your copy here. Highly recommended!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Centurion's Wife

Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2009)

by

Davis Bunn and Janette Oke



ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Davis Bunn is an internationally acclaimed author who has sold more than six million books in fifteen languages. His audiences span reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include My Soul To Keep, and Full Circle. A sought-after lecturer in the art of writing, Bunn was named Novelist in Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University.

He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write.


Her first novel, a prairie love story titled Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979. This book was followed by more than 75 others.

After Love Comes Softly was published, Oke found her readers asking for more. That book led to a series of eight others in her Love Comes Softly series. She has written multiple fiction series, including The Canadian West, Seasons of the Heart and Women of the West. Her most recent releases include a beautiful children's picture book, I Wonder...Did Jesus Have a Pet Lamb and The Song of Acadia series, co-written with T. Davis Bunn.

Janette Oke's warm writing style has won the hearts of millions of readers. She has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medallion Award, The Christy Award of Excellence, the 1992 President's Award for her significant contribution to the category of Christian fiction from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and in 1999 the Life Impact Award from the Christian Booksellers Association International. Beloved worldwide, her books have been translated into fourteen languages.

She and her husband live nearby in Alberta, Canada.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma.

Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions.

Head of the garrison near Galilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death--and missing body--is causing such furor.

This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, the story unfolds the testing of loyalties--between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Centurion's Wife, go HERE

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New President

Thanks to Robin Lee Hatcher for the head's up---


J. Lee Grady on 10 Ways to Pray for Barack Obama
Here are some suggestions from J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma Magazine.



Whether you are happy about this week’s election results or not, all Christians must unite in prayer for our new president. Please don’t forsake this responsibility.

It’s over. We’ve reached the end of the longest, angriest and most nerve-wracking presidential campaign in American history. Finally the “I approved this message” ads have ceased. The endless robot phone calls have stopped ringing. The debates, and the annoying post-debate comments from “experts,” are history—until the next election cycle.

More than half the nation is celebrating today while others are mourning. We are a divided nation, split into unhappy fragments by abortion, gay marriage, global warming, a failed economy and an unpopular war. Those who voted for Barack Obama have claimed a historic victory; some on McCain’s side are already looking for scapegoats. Politics is politics.

But when I got up this morning, I turned all my attention to the fact that Jesus Christ is still on the throne. His government is what is most important. Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, the Bible says “the nations are like a drop from a bucket” to God (Is. 40:15, NASB). That includes the United States. We may boast about being “the greatest nation on earth,” but He who sits in heaven has a different perspective. Let’s take a big sigh of relief now and remember that God is sovereign.

I’ll admit this election did not turn out as I had hoped. I supported McCain primarily because I am pro-life and I prefer his small-government mindset. But now that the election is over, I’m not going to harbor bitterness toward Obama supporters or go into attack mode. Obama has been elected president of this country, and that means I have a biblical responsibility to support him in prayer—even if I challenge his policies.

Whether you voted for Obama or not, you need to pray for him. Here are 10 ways I plan to intercede for him regularly:

1. Pray for Obama’s protection. We already know that some weird, neo-Nazi fanatics in Tennessee plotted to kill Sen. Obama during his campaign. Let’s pray that racist hatred is not allowed to spread. Let’s cancel every assassin’s bullet in the name of Jesus. May civility triumph over bigotry.

2. Cover his wife and daughters in prayer. It is not easy to live under constant media scrutiny. Pray for Obama’s wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Malia and Natasha, as they face invasive cameras, nosy reporters, maniacal fans and dangerous enemies. Obama is not only a politician but also a husband and a father.

3. Pray that Obama will govern with God’s wisdom. God rewarded Solomon because he asked for wisdom instead of wealth, long life or vengeance on his enemies (see 1 Kings 3:11-12). Pray that Obama will order his priorities like that. Despite Solomon’s tragic character flaws, his legacy was wisdom. We can ask God to give our president the same grace.

4. Ask God to keep our president humble. Many great American leaders became corrupt after they moved to Washington. The fatal attraction of fame, wealth and power proved irresistible. The only thing that will guard a man or woman from this pitfall is humility. May God deliver President Obama from the curse of pride.

5. Pray for wise and righteous advisers to surround him. Godly leaders cannot do their job alone. Even the best leaders have failed because they trusted the wrong people. Pray that Obama will not select his counselors based on party, race, pedigree or political cronyism but on godly character and proven wisdom. Pray also that he will not allow secret traitors into his inner circle.

6. Ask for the spirit of reconciliation. Some segments of our deeply divided society want nothing to do with Obama now that he has won the presidency. Even some Christians will be tempted to harbor resentment and nurse political grudges throughout his term in office. Pray that God will grant forgiveness and healing so that leaders on all political levels can have constructive dialogue.

7. Pray that Obama will adopt pro-life convictions. Many politicians have changed their views on key issues while in office. In the 1800s some leaders who favored slavery later denounced it. In the 1950s some who opposed racial integration later became champions of it. Even though Obama won approval from many voters because he sanctions abortion, God could soften and change his heart.

8. Bind all evil forces assigned to manipulate our president. The specter of Islamic terrorism looms over the United States, and dark forces are ready to infiltrate. Our only hope lies in prayer to the God who is able to expose and outwit the schemes of the wicked. This is truly a time for spiritual warfare, and intercessors must not come off the wall in this hour! Pray that no foreign government, terrorist organization or demonic principality will use Obama as a tool. We must stand strong against the spirit of antichrist that promotes dictatorship, persecution of Christians and hostility toward Israel.

9. Pray that Obama’s door will remain open to the church. The loudest voices of secular culture—from Bill Maher in Hollywood to atheists in academia—would be happy if religion were removed from public life. Pray that Obama, who claims to have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, will unapologetically welcome Christian leaders into his company and seek their counsel. And pray that false religious leaders (who claim to know Christ but deny His power) will not have his ear.

10. Pray that our nation will enjoy God’s peace and blessing during the Obama administration. The apostle Paul instructed early believers to pray for all in authority “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:2, NASB). God’s will is for America to experience peace and prosperity so that we can continue to export the gospel to the nations. This must happen whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. As we cry out for God’s mercy on our wayward nation, pray that He will allow us to be a light to the world as we finance global missions, feed and heal the world’s poor and share Christ’s love at home and abroad.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma

Monday, January 19, 2009

200th Anniversary of Poe's Birth


Each year Poe's birth is noted by a mysterious stranger who leaves roses and cognac on his grave site. The ritual, which has gone on since 1949, is observed by a small crowd each year, though no one actually tries to uncover the stranger's identity. The event remains wrapped in mystery for another year.

In Poe's honor, the Mystery Writers of America have named another annual round of Edgar Award nominees for Best Mystery. See the list of nominees here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sweetwater Gap

Thomas Nelson (December 16, 2008)

by

Denise Hunter



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!



ABOUT THE BOOK

A story of new beginnings from best-selling Romance for Good™ author Denise Hunter.
When Josephine's family insists she come home to help with the harvest, the timing works. But her return isn't simple benevolence-she plans to persuade the family to sell the failing orchard.

The new manager's presence is making it difficult. Grady MacKenzie takes an immediate disliking to Josephine and becomes outright cantankerous when she tries talking her family into selling. As she and Grady work side by side in the orchard, she begins to appreciate his devotion and quiet faith. She senses a vulnerability in him that makes her want to delve deeper, but there's no point letting her heart have its way-he's tied to the orchard, and she could never stay there.

A brush with death tears down Josephine's defenses and for the first time in her life, she feels freedom-freedom from the heavy burden of guilt, freedom to live her life the way it was intended, with a heart full of love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sweetwater Gap, go HERE

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On Being Critiqued


There is an interesting post by Michael Patton on the "Parchment and Pen" blog.

His column is about the embarrassment one feels in being critiqued, and shares experiences from his seminary days. I believe we as writers experience the same anxiety and humiliation at times as we hear the opinions of others.


Getting Theologically Humiliated
~ C Michael Patton ~



No one likes to be told they are wrong. Correction and critique are things we go out of our way to avoid. Those who can ask the tough questions about your life—probing deep when they suspect some spiritual sickness—are not often not welcome friends. We don’t pick up the phone when they call. We avoid them at work. We don’t return their emails. Why? Because they can tell us the skinny about our life and we don’t want to hear it. We are prideful people who, like the priest, choose to walk far around the problems in our life, and we ask others to do the same.

As problematic as this mentality is with regards to things having to do with moral integrity, I believe that the problem is just as severe with regards to theological integrity.

Everyone hates to be critiqued. I remember going into seminary with a good deal of pride and arrogance. I did not recognize it at the time, but now that I look back now I can see it. I remember in my first preaching course, I could not wait to get in front of the other students and the professor and deliver my masterpiece. They would call me “Michael the Golden Mouth.” Oh yeah . . . recognition was coming. But my teacher did not see things the way my mind’s-eye had envisioned. I remember I preached for fifteen minutes on the Psalms. Afterwords I had to sit down and listen to my professor rip me to shreds in front of twenty other seminary students who gawked in fear as they knew they were next. Here is the type of critique we came to expect.

“Where did you come up with that? That is not in the text. Good sermon, wrong text.”
“You selectively used that translation because it supported your view.”
“That was completely boring. Your audience will be thinking about the football game within two minutes.”
“You need to go home and come back and tell us what the text really means.”

This hurt. Many students want to drop out of seminary after their first evaluation. We have to have post-sermon-support-groups encouraging others that this still may be God’s call for them.


***** Visit Michael's blog to read the rest and a variety of comments.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Perseverance

This excerpt is from Liveprayer.com's Daily Devotional today---



Spurgeon writes: "Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian
life is not a beginning only in the ways of God, but also a continuance in
the same as long as life lasts. It is with a Christian as it was with the
great Napoleon: he said, "Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must
maintain me." So, under God, dear brother in the Lord, conquest has made you
what you are, and conquest must sustain you. Your motto must be,
"Excelsior." He only is a true conqueror, and shall be crowned at the last,
who continueth till war's trumpet is blown no more. Perseverance is,
therefore, the target of all our spiritual enemies. The world does not
object to your being a Christian for a time, if she can but tempt you to
cease your pilgrimage, and settle down to buy and sell with her in Vanity
Fair. The flesh will seek to ensnare you, and to prevent your pressing on to
glory. "It is weary work being a pilgrim; come, give it up. Am I always to
be mortified? Am I never to be indulged? Give me at least a furlough from
this constant warfare." Satan will make many a fierce attack on your
perseverance; it will be the mark for all his arrows. He will strive to
hinder you in service: he will insinuate that you are doing no good; and
that you want rest. He will endeavour to make you weary of suffering, he
will whisper, "Curse God, and die." Or he will attack your steadfastness:
"What is the good of being so zealous? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as do
others, and let your lamp go out as the other virgins do." Or he will assail
your doctrinal sentiments: "Why do you hold to these denominational creeds?
Sensible men are getting more liberal; they are removing the old landmarks:
fall in with the times." Wear your shield, Christian, therefore, close upon
your armour, and cry mightily unto God, that by His Spirit you may endure to
the end."

AMEN...AMEN....AND AMEN!!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Perfect Match

(Tyndale House January 1, 2009)

by

Susan May Warren



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susan grew up in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis, and became an avid camper from an early age. Her favorite fir-lined spot is the north shore of Minnesota is where she met her husband, honeymooned and dreamed of living.

The north woods easily became the foundation for her first series, The Deep Haven series, based on a little tourist town along the shores of Lake Superior. Her first full-length book, Happily Ever After, became a Christy Award Finalist published in 2004 with Tyndale/Heartquest.

As an award winning author, Susan returned home in 2004, to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota's north woods and the beautiful town that she always dreamed of living in.

You can sample a chapter of each and every one of Susan's novels, on her website, HERE.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Ellie Karlson is new to Deep Haven. As the town’s interim fire chief, she is determined to lead the local macho fire crew in spite of their misconceptions about her. But when someone begins setting deadly fires, Ellie faces the biggest challenge of her life. Especially when sparks fly with one of the volunteers on her crew: Pastor Dan Matthews. As Ellie battles to do her job and win the respect of her crew, she finds that there is one fire she can’t fight—the one Dan has set in her heart.
(This book is the repackaged edition published in 2004)

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Perfect Match, go HERE.

Awards:

2004 American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year

A Romantic Times Magazine TOP PICK – 4½ stars

Review:

Romantic Times Magazine:
Vibrant characters and vivid language zoom this action-packed romance to the top of the charts. This is a one-sitting read –once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Time to Clean Your Computer


Thanks to the Women on Writing Blog, we know January is the National Clean Up Your Computer Month. Pop over there for tips and links to assist you. It's a new year, might as well start with a freshly cleaned 'puter!