Trying to get down to work. So excited about the pub asking for my MS, though!!!
Monthly Archives: July 2009
Sent off FTC to a publisher this morning. SO EXCITED!!! It is a small press, looking to expand their Christian Fiction offerings
They Don’t Get It
Last week in this blog, I made my feelings about abortion VERY clear. The story that I posted here is one I also shared with Representative Mark Schauer, Senator Carl Levin, and Senator Debbie Stabenow. I did not expect any of the three to agree with my anti-abortion feelings. There are a lot of issues that I don’t agree with these elected officials on, which is why I did not vote for any of them. I can’t really say that I expected any of them to even read what I wrote. They all have office personnel who, I assume, open their letters and read their emails. I figured someone would read my thoughts and feelings, and then tell me all of the reasons they don’t feel abortion and abortion funding should be specifically excluded from any health care reform package.
What I did not expect was that I would receive emails back from the two senators, telling my why they are in favor of health care reform.
The replies I received made me feel like no one read my emails. I found the one from Senator Stabenow’s office especially insulting. It spoke of why the senator feels that health care is a right, not a privilege, and left me feeling as if she thinks I must be one of the worst people in the world for being against health care reform.
Let me repeat—I AM NOT against health care reform. I understand that healthcare costs are out of control. With jobs being lost and hours being cut, even those of us who do have health insurance are struggling. Today, my son was unable to go to a follow-up visit with the ENT doctor who placed tubes in his ears because of a balance on the account I was unable to pay in full. (I thank God that Seth’s ears are not bothering him and his pediatrician has seen no problems with the tubes.) If the US Government can implement a plan that will bring costs under control, I am all for it.
What I am NOT in favor of is coverage for abortion services in a national health plan. In my mind, that goes in the same category as facelifts and breast augmentation—elective surgery. I won’t stand in the way of someone wanting an abortion, but I won’t allow my money to pay for it, either.
It saddens me that my concerns were overlooked by the two senators from Michigan. It kind of helped me to understand why the economy in this country is in trouble, though. Our elected officials have their own ideas of what they want to do, and are not interested in listening to what others—including the ones who elected them in the first place—have to say about the issues.
Meet Nicole O’Dell
Nicole O’Dell is one busy woman! Besides writing books for tween girls, she is the work-from-home mom of six children, including infant triplets. Her love of storytelling began with a district-wide literary contest when she was in fourth grade. Her book the Girl on the Runaway Pogo Stick won first place. From that moment on, Nicole knew she wanted to be the person in control of the book, to make things happen and tell a story.
The first two books in her Scenarios series will hit stores this fall. Along with the books –Truth or Dare and All That Glitters—she will be launching a website for teen girls at www.scenariosforgirls.com. Be sure to check out the site starting on August 1 for fabulous giveaways and spiritual guidance.
Nicole views her writing as a ministry. She says, “I believe our enemy seeks to destroy families, and one of the ways he does that is by affecting teenagers through temptations and emotions they aren’t ready to face.” It is her prayer that through her writing and speaking engagements, she can bring hope to mothers and daughters facing the struggles that come during the teen years.
She also has one special verse that she applies to her life. Nicole says, “My favorite verse that I apply to both my own life and to my parenting is Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” I rest comfortably knowing that He started the work in me and in my kids. He’ll work it out in us throughout our lives and HE will complete it on the day we stand before Him. Until then, we’re all a work in progress. It’s how He designed it. That helps me take a deep breath and not sweat the small stuff so much. I can turn those things over to God and say, “keep working on us,” and know that He will.”
Author Lynn Squire
It is my pleasure to introduce my readers to my new friend, Lynn Squire. Lynn has published a collection of her own poetry, devotionals, and short stories into a book she calls “Faith, Fiction, Fun, and Fanciful”. Read on to learn a little more about the author. Also, be on the lookout for more information about her book!
You grew up on a farm in Alberta, Canada, where you had plenty of opportunity to exercise your imagination. That brings to mind Anne Shirley from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. Did your imagination ever lead you into the types of troubles that Anne’s did?
Ah, yes. I went everywhere on horseback, and frequently my horse would return home without me. Once, while playing cowboys and Indians at the neighbors, I, the brave Indian, raced under a clothesline. What do you think happened? Yup. I departed from my horse just like you see in the cartoons.
Such antics, like playing detective at the Old Place, or riding the calves at the gymkhana grounds (sshh, don’t tell anyone—we weren’t supposed to do that), or stepping into the past in Grandpa Ward’s “antique house,” provided plenty of opportunities to get into trouble and have truckloads of fun.
Haystack Reverie, in Best of Faith, Fiction, Fun, and Fanciful describes a typical adventure I would conjure up, but even couches would make excellent buildings from which to leap as Batman or Robin.
Was there a specific chore on the farm that was easier to get through if you pretended to be someone else?
I enjoyed most of the chores I did on the farm because I was living the dream of being a cowgirl or a pioneer. When it came to hoeing weeds in the trees, I could easily imagine myself a pioneer 100 years earlier eking out a living on the harsh prairie with dangers lurking in every coulee and behind every tree.
Did you have any particular character from a book that you would pretend to be?
Either a character from a Zane Grey novel or Nancy Drew. I believe my sisters and I read every Zane Grey book we could get our hands on, and my friends and I devoured Nancy Drew mysteries. Because I practically lived on the back of a horse, acting out the characters of a western seemed natural. On foot, what better detective to mimic than the ever perfect and successful Nancy Drew?
How old were you when you accepted Christ? How has His presence in your life changed your writing?
When I was about seven, one of the take-home papers from Vacation Bible School asked the question “When were you saved?” I didn’t know. I remembered praying on my bed at five years of age and asking Jesus to take me to Heaven when I die, but I sensed that wasn’t enough. I needed to know for sure.
The next day at VBS, I could hardly wait for the story to be done. When my teacher gave the invitation, I accepted without hesitation. I knew I needed to be saved. She used the wordless book as a tool to help me understand what the Bible teaches. My heart was black with sin, and because of its condition, I could not go to Heaven. She showed me in the Bible that Christ took my place in death, paying the price for all those bad things I had done (and will do), so that I could one day be with Him in Heaven. I loved Him that day and committed my life into His hands.
Even as a child I couldn’t hold back sharing the good news with other kids that Jesus saves. Since then He has been a part of my life and therefore the captain of my writing journey. Without Him, I would likely write meaningless drivel bent on leading people astray. His influence in my life has brought joy and incredible freedom. Because of the wonderful treasures I have received from Him, I yearn to share with others the freedom that is available through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and help them find the joy in knowing that they’re glory bound.
What can you tell us about your book? Where can readers purchase it?
Best of Faith, Fiction, Fun, and Fanciful is a collection of short stories, poems, and devotionals written for the express purpose of sharing Christ. Originally, I compiled it as a way to give back to the community in which I grew up. Some of the pieces reflect their influence in my life.
This anthology is divided into three sections: The Human Condition; Our Journey; and Where Freedom’s Found. The stories and poems in the first section reveal our flawed characters and our need for a savior. In The Man Behind the Transformation of Ritland City, Theordore Ritland reflects our selfishness and greed. Other characters, like Aunt Bess in Out of the Storm, show our propensity to think too highly of ourselves.
The second section alludes to everyday things and the joys and sorrows that come from living in this world. Does environmentalist Alice Egord have a better destiny than the poor widow Lily White? Does the Dodge Caravan really bring families together? What can we learn from our children?
Freedom can be found in the Word of God. Through devotionals and how-to’s that focus on prayer and Bible Study, this last section points the reader to the Bible where she can learn of the liberty Christ offers. The book closes with my personal testimony.
You can purchase it at Amazon.com or CreateSpace.com.
Is there anything else about you that you want to share?
Writing is as much a journey for the writer as it is for the characters of their stories. I have enjoyed traveling to places in the past, and in particular, to Colonial America where my novel Despite Death and its sequel are set. Despite Death (currently being shopped around by my literary agent) is a story of a young man’s journey to accept God’s forgiveness and to gain courage. In this historical romance, Nathaniel Griffith desires to save the life of his indentured servant and finds himself in need of saving.
I’m researching and outlining the sequel to Despite Death and enjoying every minute of it. It will be a tale filled with romance, pirates, and redemption. This time it is Nathaniel’s sister running from God only to be caught in a pirate’s lair and trapped in the middle of a love triangle. Will she be hanged for a crime she didn’t commit, or will the man who first rejected her as a wife choose to save her?
If you want to learn more about me and what I write, you can visit my website, www.lynnsquire.com, or my blog http://faithfictionfunandfanciful.blogspot.com/.
God Bless you, Lynn, and again, thank you.
I had a very enjoyable meeting with a social marketing expert this morning. Seems I am doing all the right things to promote my books!
ALERT!!! New Tween Girls Series
This is one book series that I am excited to read! Please be sure to check back this week for more about the author, Nicole O’Dell.
For Immediate Release
Saturday, July 25, 2009
AUTHOR AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW!
Find these titles on NetGalley.com.
Finished copies will be available upon release dates.
Contact: Angie Brillhart
740.922.6045 X 171
Barbour Releases New Interactive Fiction Series for Girls
Uhrichsville, OH—Written specifically for tween girls faced with difficult decisions and lots of peer pressure, the new Scenarios series debuts with Truth or Dare and All That Glitters by Nicole O’Dell in August 2009. Lessons of right and wrong are put to the test when readers use their own decision making abilities in an eye-opening but safe way. Each book follows a character up to the point where she has to make an important, life-changing decision—then it’s the reader’s turn to choose!
In Truth or Dare, Lindsay Martin is faced with a tough choice: Does she give in to peer pressure and make her friends happy or does she do what she knows is right—even if it means losing her friends forever? All That Glitters finds Drew Daniels with popularity and a cute boyfriend—everything she thought she wanted. But now she’s faced with choosing between pleasing her boyfriend and doing what’s right. Tween readers make the choices in these interactive stories and discover how the consequences change Lindsay’s and Drew’s lives. Both books include a contract and prayer at the end to remind the reader of the importance of making godly decisions.
Find these titles on NetGalley.com. Register for free, and search for Barbour in the online public catalog to find the galleys. Finished copies of the books will be available for review once they are released in August. To schedule an author interview, contact Angie Brillhart at or call 740.922.6045, ext. 171.
Truth or Dare by Nicole O’Dell. August 2009. $7.97. 192 pages.
All That Glitters by Nicole O’Dell. August 2009. $7.97. 192 pages.
Nicole O’Dell lives in Illinois with her husband and six children, three of whom are triplets. With a heart for young girls and a special passion for the relationship between mothers and daughters as they approach the teen years, Nicole created the Scenarios: Interactive Fiction for Girls series to help girls develop sound decision making skills. Her writing also includes devotionals and Bible studies for women of all ages.
Website or other link:
Writer’s Blog: http://www.nicoleodell.blogspot.com/
Family Blog: http://www.odelltrips.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Nicole O’Dell
Coming August 1st, 2009: www.scenariosforgirls.com
Books I Have Read In 2009
I just love to read. Most writers do. In fact, I can’t say I have ever met one who does not like to read. My only problem is that I don’t always remember what I have read or when I read it. I can often look at a book cover and know that I read it. If I liked it a lot, I recognize that. And if I didn’t like it, I remember that, too. I decided that this year, I would start keeping track of the books that I read. That way, I know better what to recommend to others. Plus, I thought it would be awesome to see just how many books I really do read in a year!
So, here are the books I have read. My plan is to write at least a brief review of each. Not sure how soon I can do that, but it is my plan!!
The Notebook Nicholas Sparks
No Limits Michael Phelps
A Hope and a Future Katrina Wampler
The Side off Heaven Karen Kingsbury
Storm Joyce A. Anthony
A Time to Dance Karen Kingsbury
A Time to Embrace Karen Kingsbury
Beach Dreams Trish Perry
Promo Paks Janet Elaine Smith
Where Do I Go? Neta Jackson
Priced to Move Ginny Aiken
Fake Boyfriend Kate Bryan
Above the Line: Take One Karen Kingsbury
Loving Your Man Without Losing Your Mind Susie Davis
The Green Teen Jenn Savedge
Bring on the Blessings Beverly Jenkins
Falling For You Again Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman
Nights in Rodanthe Nicholas Sparks
Above the Line: Take Two Karen Kingsbury
Before the Season Ends Linore Rose Burkard
The House in Grosvenor Square Linore Rose Burkard
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Ann Brashares
Currently reading (as of July 26, 2009)
Uncommon Tony Dungy
Come the End William Creed
Reading Wish List
The Shack William P. Young
Sons of God Rebecca Ellen Kurtz
The Best of Faith, Fiction, Fun, and Fanciful Lynn Squire
I would like to start by saying that I am not opposed to health care reform. Even with the health insurance I have, the out-of-pocket expenses can get very out of hand. If the United States Government can pass legislation that will bring these costs under control, I am all for it.
What I am not in favor of is using tax payer money to fund abortion or abortion services. Abortion may be a choice for some, but it is not for me. I choose to not pay for an abortion for anyone, for any reason. No matter what health care reform is passed, I want abortion and abortion funding to be fully excluded. It is not up to me to pay for the choices of another.
I am the mother of four children—three living and one who went to live in Heaven before her life here on Earth could even begin. Though there is not a day that goes by when I don’t have a thought of that little one, she is not the child I want you to know about now. Instead, I’d like to tell you about my oldest son.
My husband and I had been married for six months when we found out I was pregnant. We were scared and ecstatic at al once. Because of health issues, I’d been told it would be near impossible for me to ever become pregnant. I thanked God every day for proving those doctors wrong.
My pregnancy was normal for the first few months. Then I listened to my doctor’s advice and had what he called the Triple Test done. This is a test that looks for genetic abnormalities, among other things. Shortly after having the test, I received the devastating news that the test indicated “a high possibility” that my child had Down’s syndrome. The nurse who called me said an appointment with a specialist had been made for the following day. When I asked why so quickly, she replied, “We need to get this done before it is too late to abort.”
Hearing that my child might not be the perfect, healthy child I had always dreamed of was bad enough. But hearing the thought my child might not deserve to live was more than I could bear. At the time, I was not walking as closely with God as I should have been. Still, I prayed for my baby. I told God that I would not, no matter what, abort that child. My husband agreed with me. God had begun the pregnancy and He alone would end it. I knew that I could not care for a special needs child on my own. I also knew that with God on my side, nothing was impossible.
We went for the amniocentesis. This is not the most comfortable of tests, and the doctor had to use three different needles before he could get enough fluid. When he was about to try for the third time, I prayed for God to guide the hand of the doctor. I turned my head to the sonogram monitor and watched as the needle went in. Then I watched as what looked like a hand grabbed the needle, pulled it into place, and then pushed it back out when there was enough fluid in it. That brought tears to my eyes! I knew that God really was looking out for my baby then.
My OB called me a week later with the test results. Unfortunately, I was out when they called and when I got home the office was closed. I called the next morning only to learn the results had been misplaced. UGH!!! They said to call back at lunchtime if I hadn’t heard before then. So I drove my niece to preschool. On the way home, I was listening to a Carman CD. The song “Lazarus, Come Forth” came on. I thought about how amazing it would be to have been there, to have seen Lazarus walk out of his tomb. Just then, I heard a voice, a very loud, strong, calm voice say, “I raised Lazarus and I will heal your baby.” I pulled off to the side of the road and just let the tears fall. I’d never actually heard God’s voice before, and I haven’t heard it since. Yet there is no doubt in my mind that God spoke to me at that moment!
The child that I was advised to abort due to the possibility of birth defects is now 8 years old. At the moment, he is in the backyard, playing with his younger brothers and his dog. I can hear his laughter floating in through the open windows. Andru has big plans for his future. He plans to be a missionary, to share the love of Christ with everyone he meets. In fact, he does that now. I have even heard him “preaching” to his stuffed animals.
When I think of all I would have missed out on if I had listened to the doctors, it breaks my heart. How many other women are there who go through the same thing? How many think that abortion is the answer, and have to live with that regret for the rest of their lives?
I do not expect my story to put a stop to the practice of abortion. My prayer is that you will see what the world would be missing if one woman—your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughter—had chosen abortion, and that the realization of that will make you understand the need for government to not fund abortion on any level.
See the Movie
Having a book made into a movie is not a new concept. Nor is it a practice that will be going away soon. Every author, whether willing to admit it or not, dreams of reaching Best Seller status and then having that Best Seller made into a Hit Movie. More often than not, the book is much better than the film. Occasionally, the two are on the same plane—neither enhances the other, but they are not a waste of time, either. Very rarely, the movie is much, much better than the book.
After seeing the film version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the book has been on my TO READ list. Earlier this summer, I was very excited to find nearly new copies of the frist two books in the series at a yard sale. I snatched them up and eagerly waited until I was through a few other books before reading them.
Imagine my disappointment to find that this story fits into the “movie is better” category.
Nothing against Ann Brashares or her story telling ability. There are moments of brilliance in the book, where the descriptions (both in the narration and in the letters the girls send to each other) make the scene really come alive. I just found the book to be very confusing and jarring. The story jumped from Carmen to Tibby to Lena to Bridget without warning. At times, it was hard to remember which girl was where. In fact, if I had not seen the movie first, I am not sure that I would have been able to follow the book as well as I did.
To be completely honest (and if I can’t be honest in a blog, where can I be honest?), I did not finish the book. I tried. Honestly, I tried. I made more than halfway through, and I have a bookmark on the last page I read. Maybe I will finish it up. But not now. And not if I have something more interesting to read.
These books are intended for young adult women. Maybe that is part of the problem. Maybe I am too old to catch the beauty of the book.
And the last thing I need is a book reminding me which side of 30 I am on.