Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Spring sprung?!


Ahhhhh, Spring has sprang!!

And no, that is NOT the view out my front door.

(Back door, actually, right near my unicorn corral.) 
www.pinterest.com


Or is it "Spring has sprung"?

Is "Spring sprung" in deeper POV than "Spring has sprung?"

If Tigger says "Spring has sprung" does he bounce while he says it?

Why did I mention Tigger?

Is Jennifer, Queen of the Redheads, officially losing her mind!?!?!

To answer those questions...
Yes.
Probably.
YES!!!!

And here she is, going to find it.
Google Images



"Ummmm, excuse me? You on the sand dune? Go left honey. Or just back to The Home." 


Speaking of home. I am ensconced in mine, editing my second manuscrpit.
Manyooscrpit.

BOOK.

There are 7 weeks of school left. 
Which is JenniferSpeak for "I won't be able to get as much work done on the days it isn't SILENT around here."

So, if I am here, there, and nowhere, please forgive the eclectic schedule.
Thank you.
Oh, and please send chocolate!!!



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Annnnnnnnnnd the winner is????

Congratulations, 

VELVA BROWN!!!!
You won Lori Benton's Fabulous Giveaway!!



Thank you to everyone who participated!!!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Cathy West-Bridge of Faith, and a reminder.

Today on TFTR, I have a guest!

Her name is Cathy West, and we met 2 years ago in Indianapolis at ACFW 2013.




Here's a bit about Cathy...
Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com 

And people, TRUST ME!! She is going to rock and rumble contemporary fiction!!!




1) What started you on the writer's road?
I've always loved writing. It was the one thing at school I was actually good at. Well, that and art. And lunch. Once I was married and pregnant with our first, I was home and bored and started writing a story. For fun. My sister-in-law asked to read it, so, knowing how much of a reader she was, I reluctantly agreed. And she convinced me I was pretty good and should start pursuing publication. So that is how I got started. Funnily enough, 20 something years later, a version of that first story is now published under the title of Yesterday's Tomorrow. :) (http://www.amazon.com/Yesterdays-Tomorrow-Catherine-West-ebook/dp/B00MXLUY46/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429135426&sr=8-1&keywords=Catherine+West)

2)If you feel like reading for pleasure, which books do you return to?

It depends. I have a lot of author friends, so I'm always reading something by somebody I know, which is tons of fun - Katie Ganshert, Beth Vogt, Kristy Cambron, Susan Meissner (one day I'll be reading a Jennifer Major book), but when I read outside of CBA my favorite authors are Sarah Addison Allen, Jojo Moyes (if I want a good cry), Elizabeth Gilbert and Kate Atkinson, to name a few. I'm also a huge Anne Lamott fan and can read her books over and over again. I love the classics, and you might find me pulling out some Jane Austen or Charles Dickens when the mood strikes. For poetry I hit up Emily Dickinson, Yeats or Longfellow. Did I mention I was an English major? :) 

3)What is a famous piece of classic literature that you loathed?

Hmm. I can't say I've ever loathed any piece of literature, classic or otherwise … oh, wait … there's this one book … yeah I loathe that one but refuse to give it any space on your lovely blog … let's see. Maybe the Greek philosophers. Plato, Socrates. Boring as dust. Never did get into them. 
… Ducks as Zeus hurls down the thunderbolts … 

4)Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. I'm not a big soda (or pop as the Canadians say) drinker. Unless we're putting rum in it. Can I say that? Well, I did. Okay if you're gonna make me choose, Coke. But diet. And only if we're out of water. Or rum. 

5)How often have you looked at your work and said "I am so sorry!" and then realized these are fake people?

I have no idea what you're talking about. Fake people? Who? Um, yeah. I'm very invested in my characters. I actually cry if they have to die. Except the baddies. Because they deserve it. But I'm confused. I don't think I write about baddies, do I? No. No, I don't. I do put my characters into terrible circumstances however. And most of the time it's their fault. And because they're always stubborn and slow to see the light (kind of like me, ahem), they get to wallow awhile. But … I'm a firm believer in sin. Haha, that sounds funny right? What I mean is this - if we don't expose the sin, i.e. talk about it, get real upclose and personal with it, how can we ever think we have the right to point people to the cross? Therefore by the grace of God go I. I've said it so many times, but it's true. And God has pulled me out of more pits than I care to remember, but honestly, when He does, when you experience that kind of grace and mercy? Wow. How can we not share that? 

And that's probably more than you wanted to know and a bag of chips. 
But thanks for having me on your blog, and thanks for being one of my 
besties. :) 

~~~~~
Aww, you're welcome! And thank you for visiting!




Yes, I know I said it already, but, trust me!!
Scoot over and buy the book!!

________________
Remember, the chance to enter the draw for Lori Benton's gift basket ends Sunday night! Be SURE you leave your email on THAT post!! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

A visit with Lori Benton, a sneak peek at The Wood's Edge, and an EPIC give-away!


Hello Redheads! 

Without further ado, 
I present, my dear friend and Christy Award winner,
LORI BENTON!!!!



Lori's new book, The Wood's Edge comes out next week, and peeps, this one will make you fake sick, injured or just refuse to move until you finish it.
I know this, because I basically shut down my entire house to finish this.

Here's a sneak peek...


I asked Lori a few questions, and her answers will show you just how much research she does.



1) Why the Oneida? What set them apart in your mind?

Their own choices and history set them apart. Out of the Six Nations of the Iroquois, the Oneidas (along with some of the Tuscaroras), gave their support—at the cost of their homes, possessions, and many lives—to the Americans during the Revolutionary War. The rest of the Six Nations, those members who didn’t manage to remain neutral, actively supported the British Crown. When I first stumbled upon this split in the Iroquois Confederacy during the Revolutionary War, I was intrigued to learn why it had happened. What factors led to it? How far back did this fracture go? Thus began my research into this fascinating and in so many ways tragic time in history.

2) How many research books do you have?

Too many to count! From my desk I can see three full sized book shelves crammed full, plus some hidden away in my desk cabinets, and a few more stacks and rows bookended on various tables. Pretty soon every available surface of my tiny house is going to be filled with books.

3) If you could pick anywhere to live for a year, where would it be? 

Somewhere on the east coast central to all the locations I want to travel to for research—by car, I’m not a fan of the rigmarole that is flying these days—but it would have to be in the mountains. I doubt I could bear being away from them that long. West Virginia would suit. So would a year. It would take that long to visit all the places I want to see.

4) Which book that you didn't write is one that you wish you had?

Not sure I’ve ever considered that before. After much deliberation I’m torn between two. Either The Summer of the Danes, by Ellis Peters, or To Say Nothing of the Dog, or How We Found The Bishop’s Bird Stump at Last, by Connie Willis—and I would like to have the narrating skill of Steven Crossley, who reads the latter for Recorded Books and does a smashing job of it.

5) Which woman in American history would you like to be for a month, and why?

Another tough one, but I’d choose an Oneida woman, someone like Two Kettles Together, the wife of Honyery Doxtader (also Oneida), who went into battle with her husband and did many other daring feats. But not for that reason. I’d like to better understand the world view of an 18th century Oneida woman facing all the changes that Two Kettles Together faced, and the convictions she held, and the choices she made. She is, by the way, a minor character readers will meet next spring (2016) in A Flight of Arrows, the sequel to The Wood’s Edge.




And if that isn't enough to woo your reader hearts, 
check out this give-away!!!

Everything you see here, other than the basket, will be awarded to one commenter. 
(Sadly, due to shipping costs, this give-away is for US residents only. I mean, come on, there are bags of flour!!)







  Is that cool, or what??

Thank you, Lori, for the visit!

And peeps, you really MUST read The Wood's Edge!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I have a guest! Her name is Jill Kemerer!


This hottie is none other than my friend Jill Kemerer. 




Her new book, Small-Town Bachelor releases today with Love Inspired.



I asked her to tell us about what she wished she'd known when she started writing. Take it away Jill...




What I Wish I Knew When I Started Writing


By Jill Kemerer

I’ve been writing for over twenty years, but I didn’t get serious until my youngest headed to Kindergarten. I laugh about it now, but at the time I believed I would get a contract within a year. It seemed reasonable. What can I say? I was clueless.

Well, I did get requests for my books, but after two form rejections from editors, I knew I had to figure out what I was doing wrong. I studied writing craft books, devoured blogs geared toward writers and worked hard to improve my manuscripts.

One thing I wish I knew then?

I’ll never write a perfect first draft.

In fact, I’ll never even write a nearly perfect first draft!

Some people revise as they go and won’t continue writing until the current section is perfect. I am not that person. I try to get the draft down without overanalyzing it. At the beginning of each writing session, I quickly review the previous day’s work and tweak any obvious issues. After I’ve written the first three chapters, I go back and read them, reworking them if necessary. I do this again when I hit the midpoint. Then I don’t look back until I’m finished.

My first drafts don’t always feature enough sensory details. Parts are heavy on backstory. Other parts are packed with too much dialogue. Some scenes need more of a transition. You get the point! I always, always find plenty of things to fix when I start revising.

Another problem with my first draft? Repetition. These people smile, shrug and frown more than mimes! I have a weird habit of repeating one word in a book. It’s different each time. A few books ago, I used the word “perk” over and over. Why? Why?? I will never know.

But that’s the thing--a mediocre first draft isn’t a big deal. I can fix a draft. I revise in layers, using a series of questions and techniques to improve the story. When I’m confident the story is solid, I send it to my critique partners. They are a tremendous help to me. Wendy Paine Miller and Jessica R. Patch always find things that make no sense or could be improved! I’m grateful for them.

What do you wish you had known when you started writing?

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for hosting me today!


***

About Jill ~

Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.

Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&M’s, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.  Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website www.jillkemerer.com and find her on Facebook and Twitter.

***

Small-Town Bachelor ~

A Place to Call Home
  
When Reed Hamilton arrives in Lake Endwell for a family wedding, he expects to do his part as best man then head back to the big city. But when a tornado postpones the wedding, the town is in shambles and Reed is injured. Thankfully maid of honor Claire Sheffield offers him one of her cottages to recuperate in.

Dedicated to her family and her dream job at the zoo, Claire is all about roots. She's this city slicker's opposite, yet as they help the town rebuild, Reed is captivated by her stunning looks and caring ways. He can't ask Claire to leave the life she loves for him, but he also can't imagine ever leaving her behind…

Interested in buying Small-Town Bachelor? Click on http://jillkemerer.com/books/small-town-bachelor/ for links to purchase!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The dumbest thing I ever said...




It was Easter, 1994.

It was a gorgeous sunny day, and one of our guests was late. And no, not 10 minutes late. We kept saying "wait 5 more minutes". When he arrived, an HOUR late, he was NOT exactly contrite. I was NOT happy.

JUST as we were about to sit down for our cold turkey dinner, our pastor showed up with a car load of friends to see the renovations my husband had just finished. He was driving his friend's vintage yellow convertable. 

Sooooooooo, of course we had to wait until the leisurely tour was over.

Now, let's establish one very important factor.

I am hypoglycemic. I absolutely cannot, actually, I MUST NOT go more than 4 hours without healthy carbs AND protein, or my body goes haywire. This is not an excuse to chow on Snickers bars at will. This is "I got a parasitic infection when I was in Brazil and it made trouble for my pancreas".

So, we've established that:
A) my nice turkey dinner was cold and dried out.
B) the last guest was an hour late.
C) more guests came.
And...
D) I was in the red zone with a very bad drop in my blood sugar after 6 hours of no nutrients. 

I was shaking, agitated, disoriented, and of course, really, really mad.

Once the pastor and his guests were done, Hubs walked them out to their fancy yellow convertable, and chatted with them as countless neighbours meandered up and down the street.

I was shooting them all the Death Glare from the front porch and nearly weeping from the now physically painful shaking and the nearly complete brain fog that comes with a bad hypoglycemic "event". 

But before they could drive off and I could eat...the entire turkey...our pastor was having difficulty with closing his door. He tried over and over to slam it shut.

That is when I lost control of my faculties and yelled the following phrase...

Ahem...

"Maybe if you lost a few pounds, you could get the car door shut!!!"

EVERYONE froze. Birds flew from trees. I could feel the eyes of at least 10 people boring into me.

You see, the pastor? The man I'd yelled this too?

Wasn't exactly going to die from malnutrition anytime soon. Nor was I.

He laughed and off they drove...

I watched them drive away and by the time I got to the front step, my husband had already dug the hole I was to bury myself in.
He said, okay, wait...he HISSED "Great!! Now we have to move!!!!"

I ate in silence. 

So did our guests.

Then they tried to cheer me up, and mercifully left early.

I tried to call our pastor. No answer.

I tried and tried and tried and tried. No answer.

2 nights later, for some strange reason, we ended up at their house for dinner. I truly cannot remember how we ended up there.

By this time, I'd spoke with him and he assured me ALL was well and that he forgave me for publically humiliating us both.

Dinner progressed fine and everyone was in their own little eating zone. Then he said "Jennifer? Could you pass your fat, bald pastor the potatoes?"

His high school aged kids did a loud chorus of "DAAAAAAAD!!!!!!!!"

His wife gave HIM the Death Glare.

Me?

I nearly fainted.

But I learned.

About grace, forgiveness and laughter in the moments you'd rather cry.


Oh, and that if the seatbelt is hanging out of the car?

No matter how stick thin you are, the door still won't shut.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Seriously, WHAT gives me the right to write what I write?






First, let's establish that I am a 51 year old white woman from Canada.
Other than that year of college in 1981, I have lived in freedom my entire life.
No one has set out to capture me because I have red hair and freckles.
No one will take my children away to make them less like me.

No one considers me less than human. 

So, why write about the Navajo?

What gives me the right?





Canyon de Chelly, author's photo

Some say that only those of  a certain culture have the right to write the history of that culture.

Or, at least should be first in line.

But in fiction, there's a slight problem.

That leaves 17th century pirates, 25th century space explorers, anyone, anywhere who finds employment as a zombie, 12th century barons, 11th century ladies masquarading as boys, talking vegetables, Hobbits, Elves, wizards, talking lions...

Need I go on? 


Actually, let me vent some historical steam...

Yes, history is written by the victors.

But...

North and South America were not devoid of people prior to the arrival of the Spanish, Portuguese, French and English. 
Nor were any of these people lacking in vibrant culture, history, education or loving families.

Education does not depend on the existance of a written language.
History is not made valid by the presence of European involvement. 
Culture does not mean teacups and lace.
Loving families do not pre-date those who can write about them.


The sky of  21st century Arizona is the same as the sky of 15th century Arizona. 

What that 15th century sky didn't have was the smoke of  Spaniard's fires as they trekked across the desert, looking for land, slaves and gold.

Jesus did not come to Earth to seek and save the wealth of those who had it, but to seek and save the lost. 

Jesus did not send people to condemn and conquer those with dark skin as slaves, but there were a whole lot of people who used His name ot justify their actions.

And when those people came, much was done to make those who lived here first into"good Christians".

I wonder, quite often, if the Anglos had lost in their campaigns to "make the world England"?
Or Spain? Or France? 
If they'd lost, and the "hosts" won, what would be said now of those who made our non-victorious ancestors into "good Hurons" or "good Kiowas"?

How would we feel, if we were told, on a daily basis, "to just get over it"? 

Bad attitudes are things to "get over".

500 years of being told that one's entire culture is made up of savages who should be wiped from the Earth, the pages of history, but maybe if you cut your hair and recite a Bible verse here and there, we won't hate you...

...as much?

That, my friends, is beyond what one should have to "get over".

  

So, back to what gives me the right?


Would it matter if I wrote whatever I wanted about faeries, cats or spaceships?

No.

But the Navajo matter.  

And if I tell their story with my words, I am a storyteller bringing light to the shadows.

But if I add glamour to what happened, or take away the truth from what did ?

I would be a thief and a liar.





Monday, February 23, 2015

#MondayBrian (I wrote this when I was REAALLLLLY tired and so EVERYTHING is funny)

Or, an alternate title could be "A blog post proving I'm *that* tired."

My youngest son and I left on Thursday for Portland, Maine. We drove through a snowstorm, and we got home late last night.
I am extremely overtired. Basically, everything is funny.



Earlier today, which should be spelt "tah-day", sorry...spleeled...oops. SPELLED....my friend and fellow Bookie Amanda Dykes wrote a post on her Facebook author page and hashtagged it #MondayBrain.

I was all, "Brian? Who is BRIAN?" 

Amanda has a lovely blog. Visit her here:amandadykes.com 

Anyway, I was tipping over in my hciar, laughing at my hilarity...whoops....CHair...and it rememinded me that I was sorta over tired from a weekend spent in Portland, Maine, for my (okay, and my husbandès too) youngest sonès...oops...French keyborad...key BOARD... in play...hold on...there we go...the kid's hockey...

Here's a few things I learned:
-driving in a snowstorm is rough. Scary rough. So its good to have chocolate hidden in your purse that there's NO WAY you're sharing with your 12 year old.
-a 5 hour trip took 7
-finding the STUPID hotel in the STUPID snowstorm is really nerve wracking and AHHHH! We finally found it. Right up the hill from....
-CHIPOTLE!!!
-I love Chipotle ...and no, it's NOT "chip-ottle", it's "chip-ohh-tlay"
-I cannot stand the traffic patterns in and around Maine Mall Road in south Portland.
-Marden's had prom dresses on sale for 60$, I pondered buying one, because, heck, everyone needs a prom dress with giant, fake rhinestones on the, umm, "front". And yes, I did ask myself "Just how stupid will you look in this? Because you need to think about your assets and how freaky-bad that many rhinsetones will look across your upper hemisphere." 
-sound that out, I said "rinse-tones"
-hahahahaha!
-ahem...
-"If You're 51? Just Say No To Prom Dresses"
-when a lovely Acadienne friend says "...to 95" she actually meant "295". I take the full blame for the trip on the I-95 to a sweet little town called "Falmouth". And noooooooooo, NOT "Fall-mith" like we'd say up in my neck of the woods, but "FAHL-MOWTH" like the toll booth attendant practically spit at me whilst yelling those words in my face from 2 feet away.
-Monique Levert (Leh-Verrrrre) and I HOWLED with laughter at that...then I got us lost in FAHLMOWTH...which resulted in more laughter and then the recitation of the alphabet , in French. At least let's pretend that's what she was muttering as she looked out her window.
- *WE* did not give the opposing team's moms the evil eye during the final games, so that blond chick should have taken a moment and un-tangled her poor eyebrows and set them free. I love it when 5 foot tall fake blondes (or any fake colour) try to look intimidating. Umm, really? Glaring the stink eyes at the other team's parents? A team of 12 year olds, by the way. Children. So WHAT would possess a person to try to make the other mothers nervous? Like, what? Are YOU the team goon???  You gonna come at me? I dare you, I have a heavy purse and I know how to swing it! Besides, you just looked BEYOND lame, chickie. 
-that game was NOT the Olympics, but we won anyway
-the drive home was fine, nary a snowflake anywhere...just the lovely moon and starts, instead.


I think I'm ready for bed...because my laptop is tilting over...or is it me?


I'll know in a second if I smack my nose on the floor.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Brian Williams, grace, and the importance of truth.


The big kerfuffle right now in the mainstream media is about NBC anchor Brian Williams and his SLIGHT lack of accuracy in his personal experiences covering the war in Iraq. 

Ever so slight.

By now, we all know the details.

RPG's.

Helicopter crews.

Enemy fire.

Sand.

Wind.

Oh, and...

Lies.

Years and YEARS of lies.

Yes, he lied through his teeth, and by all accounts, he did so willingly.

But you know what?

I even joined in, and for a few minutes, took humour in the memes going around, until S. left a comment on M's Facebook page about the Holy Spirit.

Wow.

BAM! That smacked me hard, right between my self-importance and my sense of perfection.

It brought back memories of the times when I screwed up, and royally so.  

But for Brian Williams, well, how many MILLION people know what he did?

I cannot imagine the pain that his wife and kids have to endure.

In case you didn't know it, shame is a physically exhausting experience, and sadly, a shared experience. And it makes the ripples in a pond look like nothing. 

The ripples of shame are like the aftershocks of an earthquake. Only, they blast harder, dig deeper and hurt for years after the actual event.

Shame shares its power. Even people with the same last name are going to get the "Hey, Williams, are you liar too?" treatment.

So, where do we come in?

As S. said, we pray for the man, and for his family. And we extend grace. Christ-followers NEED to be the ones who buy the guy a cup of coffee and ask him about the weather, and do so in love, because he knows what he did, and frankly, so does everyone else.

EVERYONE else.

God knows. And thankfully, God's grace covers all sin. 

Yes, ALL sin.

Including lying, cheating and embarrassing your family.

But before you say "Oohhh, come ON, the guy is a LIAR!", just be thankful WE don't have to suffer our own levels of judgement. 

Just imagine the Father's heart when we fail. Does He put our sins on Twitter and give us a hashtag like #mykidsarelosers  ?

No. 

And believe me, I am soooooooo thankful I am not measured for salvation by my actions!! Be thankful that God tosses our sins as far as the East is from the West. 


As Mark Twain said "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."


So, pray for Brian Williams and his family. The man is hurting, his wife is hurting, his kids are hurting, all because of a "misremembrance".



Sunday, February 1, 2015

When the truth is stranger than fiction...





Sometimes, I just tilt my head and wonder, outloud, how some people come to certain conclusions. 
Take this, for instance.
This is our actual address, and yes it's really in there, and has been for 19 years.






Now read the stuff on the yellow sticker.


live.huffingtonpost.com


Weird.

pixgood.com




Soooo, we're NOT here?

Or someone just didn't try. 

Or care to try.

Or care to try and learn the truth.

Or, since the community mailbox IS ACROSS THE STREET FROM MY HOUSE???

And no one tried...maybe...


We're....


shutterstock.com

...not there.

Dude, that's funny, and creepy.
And very sad.

Can you imagine knowing you are here, but no one sees you?
No one cares?

NO ONE thinks you matter?

And the ones who do see you? 

The few who can change whether or not anyone else knows about you???

Lock you up and try to bury the key?

pinterest.com




What do you mean "lock up?"



It happens.

All over the world.

All the time.

And it happened in Arizona and New Mexico, back when they were territories.
In 1864.

To her...
azcentral.com


...to him...
bloodhoundtripod.com


It was brutal.
Cruel.
Unforgettable.


But now? Mostly forgotten.


Unless you're Navajo, or Apache.

Or?

A historian.
Or a citizen of New Mexico, or Arizona.
Or you've been taught it in school.
Or a few other reasons...

Like, being a crazy white girl from Canada, and can't let it go.


Me and fellow trouble maker Ted Charles, retired teacher and life long Marine, Canyon de Chelly (d'shay)
November, 2013 

~~~

I'm going to be blogging more on the 'why' of my work, and the 'who'...

But if you want to have a face to start your point of reference as to my drive to tell the story of The Long Walk, look no further at my dear friend Ted Charles.

What does Ted have to do with The Long Walk and the prison camp known as Hweeldi?

Ask his grandfather, Tsi'tnaginnie, who was a prisoner there, at Bosque Redondo.

As a child.

~~~~

So, how do we counter that?

We already know.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


~~~

Join me in Facebook here:www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Major-Writer/425331384267547

Join me on Twitter here:twitter.com/JJumping

Monday, January 26, 2015

24 years and a full circle.




lifeordepth.com

In the summer of 1990, I discovered a new author. Actually, it was a team of a husband and wife who blew the walls down when it came to Christian fiction, which was a teeny genre back then.

Brock and Bodie Theone (Tay-nee) changed the way people perceived Christian fiction. They wrote hard hitting, emotional, deeply researched and 'full of guts' novels that had people chewing them up, but the books had a Christian world view. Literally millions in print and fans all over the world.


They wrote a series set in Europe at the beginning of World War Two and thank goodness our church librarian was a visionary and stocked multiple copies of each book. The books were so good, I'd plow through them in a day or two. And SO GOOD, my husband read them, too! 

But, he'd say to me, "You know, YOU could write this good, I know it."

I just sorta looked at him like someone had dropped a piano on his head.

I finally started writing in 2011. And of course, my husband is my biggest supporter, I'd be nowhere near where I am now if it wasn't for his constant encouragement and support.

All along the road, as I embarked on research trip to the Navajo Nation, and grew to love a culture I'd only heard about growing up, one of my guiding principles was to be as thorough in my research as the Theones were. Have that research flow as seemlessly as possible so that my work didn't have the feel of a bored historian speaking in a nasally drone.

Nor do I want my work to read like a badly done religious tract.

One thing I learned that from the Theones, and some of my favourite writers, including Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Cathy West, Amber Perry, Tamara Leigh, Ronie Kendig, Joanne Bischof, and many others...is to write like you're sitting around a campfire...telling a story to your friends and you and only you can set the moment, the tone, the excitement level, and the need for the reader to turn the page and maybe just read one more chapter because it's 3am.

One of the things many professionals use to expand their platform is Facebook. Love it or hate it, Facebook is here to stay. 
I noticed yesterday that I had 699 Facebook friends and laughed, because in high school, I think I had 6 friends, tops. But, really, who cares?

Ahem, I did, but anywaaaaaaaaaay...

I was looking at Facebook last night, and I saw a comment on a friend's wall from THE ONE AND ONLY Bodie Theone. 

You know that move, the one where you move closer to the screen to make sure you saw something right? Followed by a very mature "whaaat?". 
And then you click on the name, and fix your hair, because she could be watching.
Hey, I read sci-fi...

So, I boldly went Bodie Theone's Facebook page and click on "add friend". Then wheezed like a tween at a One Direction concert.

Then those really mature "I had 6 friends in high school" thoughts went through my head. 
You know the ones..."What if she checks me out and thinks I'm nothing but a needy Klingon? Or she finds out the truth?? Which is that I'm a needy Klingon?"

I woke up this morning to find something interesting on my Facebook feed.

Bodie Theone and *I*, me, moi...are "friends".

Ahem....AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!



So, what do you do when you have that "This cannot be real!!" moment and God hands you flowers and a wave from the past?

You squeal...and blog about it.

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