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Jerry B. Jenkins Announces Innovative Publishing Firm
Colorado Springs, CO—When
Jerry B. Jenkins wrote his first book, the publisher accepted it, even though
Jenkins wasn’t well known. Now 180 books later, the bestselling author has seen
radical changes in traditional publishing.
“In my day, publishers took chances on beginners,” he says.
“Nowadays, many reject good writers without platforms.”
Writer of the mega-bestselling “Left Behind” series
(Tyndale) and owner of the Christian Writers Guild, Jenkins is on record
against self-publishing; however, he’s recently had a change of heart.
To help aspiring writers achieve their publishing dreams,
Jenkins is launching Christian Writers Guild Publishing
(CWGP) [www.christianwritersguild.com]. He says it will be different from other custom
publishing houses in that it features Published, a six-month course mentored by an experienced author. When
students with works-in-progress complete the course, CWGP will publish their
books—providing a copy editor, proofreader, cover and type designer, eBook
formatter, printer, and a free package of promotion, marketing, and social
media materials, everything the writer needs for a successful book launch.
“This is different from self-publishing,” Jenkins says.
“It’s mentored, coached, and educated publishing. We come alongside through
this course and surround them with seasoned industry professionals.”
“I’ve criticized self-publishing because so many end up with
schlocky covers, typos, and poor production quality. CWGP is committed to
providing writers with a valuable education and a great publishing experience.”
For press inquiries and interview opportunities, contact
Karen Granger at Karen@karengranger.com.
About Christian Writers Guild
For more than 40
years, the Christian Writers Guild has helped aspiring writers develop their
craft by offering writing courses, each student personally mentored by a
About Jerry B. Jenkins
Former editor of Moody
Magazine, vice president for publishing, and now chairman of the board of
trustees for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Jerry is the 20-time New York Times bestselling author of
more than 180 books, including the 63 million-selling “Left Behind” series.
When not reading, writing, or sewing for her family, she enjoys
traveling with her husband in the small plane they call Charley.
She is best known in the novel writing community, as that German
In the Old German Baptist community she's a dressmaker, a pattern
maker, and the sister who writes books set in NW Ohio—a place called the Ohio
But in her own mind she's a wife, a mother, and a grandmother, but
above all a child of God. ~~ Her greatest desire is to be a woman after God's
own heart~~ Sharon has a heart for hurting women, and writes women's fiction.
Because when~~it's all said and done~~It's all about relationships.
WordServe client since 2012 Represented by Sarah Joy Freese Her
debut book Dreaming of a Father’s Love was released December 26, 2012.
About the Book:
was two years old when a German Baptist couple adopted her. She has become a
beautiful woman, and works as a secretary for Alexander's. Now she's torn
between wanting to live in the normal world of fun and fashion, or joining the
Dunkards to truly belong with her adoptive family.
Alexander thinks if she works at the family business hard enough and long
enough she will gain her father's love. Can she learn a thing or two from the
German Baptist secretary?
Irene West is
Birdie's lifelong Sunday school friend. Irene misses having a father figure
around, and is very boy crazy, which causes Birdie to struggle with the
friendship and Irene to struggle with life.
overcome her self-righteous nature before it's too late—for Irene?
Interview with John
3:16 Marketing Network Founder Lorilyn Roberts
QUESTION: Why did you decide to publish Taste and See?
LORILYN: The idea for Taste
and See, aSampling of First Chapters,
came after reading Nathan Bransford's blog on September 29, 2011. He asked the
“There is so much talk about self-published books in the
writing-o-sphere. But have you actually read one?" 69% said yes and 30% said no out of 1,772
That made me think, one out of three readers has never read
a book that is self-published, and if you include print-on-demand books, the
percentage is probably higher. I thought, why not give those readers an
opportunity to enjoy a sampling of first chapters by authors they have never
heard about who are published in a variety of ways?
The John 3:16 Marketing Network doesn’t make a distinction and
I have always maintained that readers don’t care how books are published. If
someone finds a book he likes, he will buy it. From that thought came the idea,
why not give authors an opportunity to share a first chapter of their book in a
“First Chapters Sampling”?
We have all enjoyed chocolate samplings, coffee samplings,
tea samplings, and other such assortments, and it’s fun to “experiment” and try
something new. Sometimes we find something we really like and then we head to
the store or web and buy the product, whatever that might be. It’s long been known
as a proven marketing strategy to give people samples of free products to try, so
we are just “piggybacking” on an old idea with a new twist. I sent out an email to our members to see how
many would be interested and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
A very small portion of the publishers were reluctant to let
their author contribute a first chapter, so we offered the option to contribute
something else; hence, the miscellany section. We wanted to include everybody
who wanted to participate.
QUESTION: What are your long-term
goals for Taste and See?
LORILYN: My long-term goal is to expose readers to new
authors in the John 3:16 Marketing Network.
I hope to eventually offer free e-books, more sample chapters, and other
book opportunities. Perhaps we will have a book club where books can be purchased
at a discounted price.
The greatest obstacle to successful sales is exposure. I
hope readers will take advantage of this FREE opportunity to sample first chapters
and other offerings by close to sixty authors. It's a win-win for everyone.
Readers discover new authors, and authors get exposure to readers who may want
to buy their books.
QUESTION: How were the books chosen
for Taste and See?
LORILYN: The chapters in Taste
and See were chosen by the authors themselves. The opportunity was weighted
toward those who had contributed the most to the John 3:16 Marketing Network;
i.e., featuring authors in the network on their blogs, posting Facebook and
Twitter announcements for book launches, offering free e-gifts for book
launches, participating on the forum, and other social networking activities.
QUESTION: How does Taste and See expand upon the John 3:16
Marketing Network’s ability to help authors market their books?
LORILYN: Because this is an innovative idea, I am not sure how
successful it will be to promote authors’ books, but my feeling is we focus on process
and God controls the outcome. My overall goal is to promote books with a
Christian worldview, and in so doing, we are making an impact on the world. If
we make a difference for one reader or one author, that is a profound
accomplishment. Every great book ever discovered began with one person.
QUESTION: What other plans do you
have for the John 3:16 Marketing Network in the future?
We have two big projects for 2013. The first is our
involvement with 150 orphans in Christian homes in Nepal. We are helping a
church in Kathmandu to establish the first Christian library in the country. Our authors
will be donating books for the kids and the library. The University of
Kathmandu is nearby and I hope the library will enrich Christian
students. Imagine being a young Christian and not having Christian books to read! Some John 3:16 Authors will also be contributing to a book for novice
writers, How to Write a Book That Sells, that I will be publishing.
All the proceeds and profits from the book will go toward this project.
Our second project is setting up a permanent landing page
for John 3:16 Authors with book launches. We have hired a tech guy that will
also allow John 3:16 Authors to upload book
covers and other information for free book promotions.
As it is said in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “To everything there is a
season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” (King James Bible, Cambridge
Ed.) It is then I remind myself that the
John 3:16 Marketing Network is bigger than my vision and that God has a purpose
and a plan. When I give my dreams to the Creator, He does far more than I could
ever have hoped for or imagined.
My biggest “reward” from the John 3:16 Marketing Network has
been the relationships I have formed with members. We pray for each other, encourage
each other, share knowledge, post links to articles, announce upcoming
opportunities, provide answers to questions, write book reviews, and offer
encouragement when needed. We even share heartaches and disappointments, for
there is a genuine humility among members. There is nothing else like it on the
Reprinted from Mission Possible, a nonfiction resource
for women by Deborah McCarragher. Copyright 2009 by Alabaster Box Publishing
Inc. Used by permission of author.
Christ – Now What?
My remarriage in
1982 was closure to a lonely period of singleness after being divorced for five
years. My new husband was intelligent, caring and romantic, good looking, had a
good long-term career, and kept a clean, well organized apartment. That was
enough for me!
In the spring of
1989 my neighbor had repeatedly asked me to church and I had repeatedly
refused. I didn’t need church thank you very much, and I politely made numerous
excuses. She, however, didn’t give up. I eventually gave in and said, “yes”,
“only for my son’s sake,” I reminded her. Well, GOD had other plans!
I was radically
saved that first Sunday morning. I had asked many questions in my Sunday school
class, and during the invitation, I walked the aisle with my bible study
teacher. I remember feeling emotionally worn out that afternoon. I took my son
to the park as my husband was working that weekend, and I reflected on all that
had transpired. Little did I know God would begin a work in me that would take
me on a spiritual journey I didn’t expect.
Day after day,
week after week, month after month I grew closer to God, hungered for God and
began serving Him from my heart. I took my 21/2 year old son every time I
attended church. My husband would nod his head in approval and wave as we left
each week for church.
skirmish had begun. Don’t underestimate the enemy. I did not fully understand
spiritual warfare and would learn about that as time progressed. I began to
grow in my understanding of God’s Word and how Satan opposes a couple’s holy
union. I would learn about “putting on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians
6:10-19). I would learn that “standing firm” was mandatory – not an option. My
spiritual clothing was necessary for survival as “half of a saved couple.” God
desires for you to become “one flesh” – at the altar and in the spirit realm.
Satan can’t bear the thought of it. This is where your perseverance plays a
The enemy will
mercilessly bombard you with thoughts, feelings, emotions and physical disdain
for your mate. You must take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and
stop looking at your mate as the enemy. Don’t let his actions and words provoke
you into disobedience.
Paul writes in
Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but
what is good for building up, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Matthew
18:9 states, “and if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from
you.” So it goes with your tongue.
spiritual murder against your mate! Bite it off and cast it away! Don’t sin by
grieving God as you curse the very person God wills to join you to, as ONE!
our greatest asset in the fulfillment of your spouse’s conversion!
“the battle is the Lord’s” (I Samuel 17:47) and earnestly give the salvation of
your mate to God in prayer. Early on in your conversion it seems easier to be
hopeful concerning your husband’s salvation. You will need an added measure of
faith as the years go by.
In Romans 4:18
Paul refers to Abraham by saying, “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed.”
This is the type of faith you will need for your husband’s salvation.
God is your
spiritual husband while your mate is not yet the priest of your home. Your
obedience and submission to Him are essential as God knows our shortcomings and
weaknesses; yet He uses them to perfect us in waiting. Perseverance is one
thing you will need with a “holy dig in your heels” attitude and a
“stubbornness in the Lord” towards the salvation of your mate. Salvation is a
personal thing. I had responded to The Lord’s call, and my husband had his own
choice to make.
Seek and Find
speaks of being “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” How does
Paul’s exhortation compare with what God spoke to Joshua in Joshua 1:9?
says to “...put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.” What does verse 12 say about our enemy? Where
does the enemy reside? What does Paul say in 2 Timothy 2:26 about our state of
mind and our venerability?
In I Samuel
17:37-39 David was blessed and released by King Saul to go fight the giant
Goliath. David clothed himself with Saul’s armor, helmet, and coat of mail.
What happens when we try to go out “to battle” with natural armor as opposed to
our God-given armor? What made the difference in David’s approach to his battle
with Goliath (vs. 45-47)? What does Paul say about our armor in 2 Corinthians
A good soldier
keeps his armor in top condition and checks his weapons frequently for flaws,
weaknesses and defects. Ephesians 6:13 says to “take up the whole armor of
God...” Read Ephesians 6:14-17 and name each piece of armor and identify its
function. Which pieces are defensive in nature, and which ones are offensive?
Can we be fully protected if we’re missing one piece? Why or why not? According
to Hebrews 4:12, what does Paul say about our most important weapon?
10:3-5 teaches that our warfare is spiritual in nature. Natural (or worldly)
methods and weapons are not effective. How does this correlate to what Paul
addresses in Ephesians 6:12? Remember, your mate is not the enemy. How is your
obedience to Christ as your “spiritual Commander” effective against the devil’s
tactics? What is the outcome when we follow God’s ways?
What is “faith in
action”? In James 2:14, James makes the point that we can say we have faith.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen”. How does Hebrews 11:1 compare with Romans
8:24-25? What is James’ main point in James 2:17-24? Do you think our part is
to help God, or let Him use us to bring Him glory?
TO READ MORE, you
can purchase Mission Possible by
Deborah McCarragher at:
Reprinted from Meander Scar, a novel by Lisa J Lickel.
Copyright 2010 by BlackLyon Publishing. Used by permission of BlackLyon.
Meander Scar is
healed earth alongside a waterway that skewed from the boundaries of its
naturally straight course. Whether rushing or dribbling, waterways want to flow
straight. When a river runs into a barrier, such as a large rock, its course
begins to bend. The river circles until it meets up with its original boundary.
The reunited waters abandon the circular path to run true again. The abandoned
meander is first a small lake, then a swamp, then a scar.
me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong
as death, its ardor unyielding at the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a
mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If
one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly
scorned” Song of Songs 8:6-7.
* * *
jerked awake, shaken by a rumble she felt clear to her bones. A dazzling flash
of light burned her retinas when she glanced through the living room window.
She jumped and felt her heart stutter at the resulting roll of thunder that
rattled the panes of glass.
At least she’d
been saved from sinking into the nightmare again. Three times in a row,
whenever she had closed her eyes, she dreamed of being trapped in a swampy pool
on the banks of the winding Black Earth Creek, helplessly watching her son
Ritchie and Trey struggle against a current. The fact that the creek was not
that big in real life didn’t seem to matter in her dream.
Ann tossed aside
the afghan that had been covering her feet and stood. Only little old ladies
took naps in the afternoon. What was the matter with her? The magazine she’d
been reading slipped to the floor, sending the photograph she used as a
bookmark spilling out. She snatched up the picture before it bent. She knew
what sleeping during the day would lead to: wandering her big empty house at
night, wide awake and scaring herself silly at every creak. Probably another
headache, too. One that would take two days of head-banging and nausea to get
Another crack of
lightning sent her scurrying to the kitchen. Dinner. Make dinner. Anything to
distract herself from the storm.
which...Ann stopped in front of the cupboard and rubbed her arms. Where had she
stored the battery-operated lantern? Were the power cells charged and ready?
She had not swept the basement all summer and hoped she would not have to wade
through curtains of cobwebs if the severe weather forced her to take shelter
Long ago, her
first thoughts in inclement weather went to protecting her family. Since she
had been alone, wondering who would come to her rescue if she became trapped
like those Chinese earthquake victims was turning into a sour hobby—especially
on weekends when her niece Maeve was gone. One thing she knew for sure: Her
mother-in-law wouldn’t be the first in line to save her. Maybe Ritchie would
care. After a few days, anyway, when she was due for supper at his and
Colleen’s house in Portage and did not show up with the casserole.
rang. Ann walked down the hall, grinning at the thought of Donna, her
mother-in-law who hadn’t liked being a grandmother, becoming a
great-grandmother. She fingered the colored square of paper in her hand while
she pushed aside the filmy panel covering the sidelights to check out her
beautiful, dark-haired man stood on her step. Almost any company would be a
welcome interruption. Ann opened the door to a gust of chilled wet breeze.
Goose bumps rose at the sudden drop of temperature the coming storm brought. A
scurrying rustle of dried leaves swirled on the unswept deck of her pillared
front porch. Rain slashed at his little car on the brick drive.
Did she recognize
him? Something about the nose, the photograph! Ann resisted the urge to compare
her picture with her guest.
The man’s lips
tilted into a practiced smile as he held out a hand. “Mrs. Ballard…Ann? Do you
remember me? Mark? I’m Mark Roth. Trey’s brother? We lived next door.”
Yes, yes. That
was it. He squatted at the edge of the frame in her photograph of Ritchie and
Trey in fifth grade with a catch of bluegills. How could she have forgotten
Mark’s eyes? Even when he had been a high-schooler, those eyes had been the
talk of the neighborhood ladies. Arresting blue, the iridescent color of
bluebird feathers, Patricia from across the way used to say. Patricia always
had been a bit of a nature freak.
Ann put a hand to
her mouth and held up the picture with the other. “Well, this is amazing. I was
just cleaning Ritchie’s closet and thinking about the boys and their fishing
and found this photograph.” What on earth made her say such a ridiculous thing?
“Oh, you don’t care about that. Please, come in.”
Ann pulled the
door wide and gestured. He had filled out from the wiry athlete who took the
basketball team to a regional championship. How many years had passed since she
last saw him? Ritchie’s high school graduation. Mark had gone east to college
and stayed except for an occasional visit. After Trey’s accident a few years
later, the Roths moved away from Wisconsin.
When Mark’s broad
back was turned, Ann smoothed her hair and tugged her blouse straight, took a
deep breath and prayed her deodorant was still working.
Mark preceded her
into the living room and, with sweet attentiveness in enchanting smile and
raised brows, waited until she had taken her own seat before he settled into a
place of his own. Wow—no one had manners like that anymore. She perched on the
edge of one of the oxblood club chairs on either side of the formal brocade
sofa. “Well, how are you? It’s been a long time. Are you visiting friends?”
“I’m fine, thank
you. I’ve moved back to town. Just a week ago, as a matter of fact.”
“You moved from
Virginia? So, you quit your job? I’m afraid your parents and I haven’t kept up
much, just a note once in a while, since their…retirement.”
Out of the corner
of her eye, Ann saw the rumpled stack of newspapers she had left on the end
table and a cobweb hanging from the lampshade. Unexpected company rarely happened.
Shame! How could have let the place go? She looked back at her guest before he
answered. “I’ve accepted a position with Jung and Royce.”
A tingle of
surprise made her raise her eyebrows at the name of the well-known private law
firm here in Clayton. Unfortunately, she and Gene had required their services
more than once to yank Ritchie out of some scrape. That, besides their general
legal business. “Todd Royce was a golfing partner of my husband Gene’s. I hope
it works out for you. They must think highly of your abilities.”
Mark turned his
head toward the cold gas fireplace. He shrugged and faced her again. “I’ve had
a few successes. I hoped to catch up on news from the old neighborhood. I heard
Ritchie and Colleen are expecting a baby. And I wondered how you were doing.”
Ann nodded and
smiled. “I’m well. It’s nice of you ask. And excited for Ritchie, even though
that will make me a grandmother.” Ann jumped back to her feet like some
excitable rabbit. “Forgive me. Why don’t I find us a something to snack on?”
She started down the hall only to hear him follow her.
Her kitchen, with
its seldom used gleaming copper-bottomed pots and dark flecked granite
countertops, felt small and cold. She flipped a switch to light the sink area
and the swag over the breakfast table set in front of the patio doors. She and
Gene used to do a lot of entertaining. In fact, Ann used to do a lot of things,
but it seemed that no one wanted half a couple in the spotlight. Maybe they
thought her circumstances were contagious.
Ann checked the chrome refrigerator, although she knew exactly what she had in
there: a quart of skim milk three days past the due date, some yogurt, old
tortillas, and leftovers from the church guild lunch meeting a week ago. Drat.
The refrigerator fairy had not visited. Cooking for one didn’t call for a
stockpile of food. Maeve, her niece, always ate on campus. Ann closed the door
with a grimace. Stalling for time she asked, “How do you like being a lawyer?”
Mark settled back
against the counter and folded his arms.
Ann let her
eyelids half close as she studied him. She tried to keep her breathing even, to
direct her heartbeats to remain steady. Mark was definitely no longer the sweet
polite young man from next door, but an adult in his…let’s see…thirties? He was
nine years older than Ritchie and Trey; which made him nearly thirty-five.
Eleven years younger than she. And he did not resemble any of the staid lawyers
she did business with at Ballard, Gorman and Wicht, Gene’s company, where she
worked as a CPA two days a week.
so many. Men married much younger women all the time. In fact, just last
year…stop it. Where did that come from? Ann watched Mark’s lips move, answering
her question, while she stood there like a smitten idiot. Thinking ridiculous
dreamy scenarios. Watching him like a lusty lonely widow—which she was not. A
But he was
pleasant to look at. His smooth face showed more character lines than her
son’s. His deep chest and flat stomach under the soft gray dress shirt and dark
pleated slacks hinted at regular workouts, something the swimmer in her
appreciated. She tuned back in to his words.
“I love helping
people solve their problems, especially the folks who’ve been victimized. You
know, the easy targets. I worked for a grass-roots group last year who
represented landowners over an Abandoned Mine Land property dispute with a
Ann tore her gaze
away and hunted for clean glasses in the cupboard to his right. “So, you sound
like you’re settling in.” He wasn’t likely to find too many victims to help at
Todd Jung’s prestigious firm, but she kept her mouth shut. “Is it hard to
change firms? Or does everyone do business pretty much the same way?”
Mark took the two
tumblers she grabbed and turned on the tap. “The work I do, estate planning and
business law, has to work across multiple states, but every firm has its own
way of handling clients.”
Ann looked for
ice cubes, hoping they had not evaporated since the Fourth of July, the last
time she knew she had any. They took their glasses to the kitchen table.
Lightning crackled outside her patio. She gasped at the immediate report of
Mark pulled her
chair out for her. “Close one.”
Ann focused on
his calm expression then relaxed. “Seems like this has been going on for long
“I listened to
the radio on the way over here. Sounds like a quick-moving storm. Should be out
of here soon.”
They watched the
play of cloud-to-cloud lightning for a few minutes. Like Mark said, the clouds scudded
along. He told her about some of the spectacular storms he had witnessed in the
hills around Lynchburg. Ann circled the rim of her glass with her finger,
trying to think of something witty and mature to say. It had been years since
she’d had a personal conversation with a man to whom she was not related. “You
must have liked it there in Virginia to have stayed so long.”
“I always planned
to return to Wisconsin. I consider it home.”
“And now you’re
moving up the ladder.”
“Mr. Jung knows I
want to spend a certain amount of my time doing pro bono work. He thinks it
will be good for the firm’s image. Plenty of folks need help around the Madison
Ann read the
tautness of her guest’s expression. Touchy. Okay, time to change the subject.
“So, you’re back in Clayton. It’s really good to see you. I’m sure Ritchie and
Colleen will be happy to know you’re nearby. And, um, your other friends. I
thought you were engaged?” Ann looked for a wedding ring. Nope. Well, not all
men wore one. “Did you get married? Is she with you?” Ann tried to recall the
name Tiffany Roth linked him with in one of her cards of Christmas past.
“We’ll have time
to catch up. I hoped you were available to celebrate my new job with me. You
were one of few people from my past who always believed in me, supported me.”
Ann’s back went
straight with surprise. “Me?” She shook her head, brow furrowed. “I didn’t do
“More than you know. How about we talk over dinner? I’m hungry.”
One of the few
people from his past…in her opinion, Mark’s father and stepmother had
shamefully neglected both Trey and Mark while they spent all their time on
their Internet business. All Ann had done was attend a few of Mark’s games and
make sure he had been welcome in her home.
This grown man
was different from the boy next door. Ann knew Mark Roth, and yet she didn’t.
Exciting? What was the matter with her? This nice young man simply wanted to be
polite and touch bases with people he used to know. And maybe he was lonely if
his wife had stayed in Virginia to wrap things up. The least she could do was
eat a meal with him, for old times’ sake. She knew better than anyone that
eating alone was not much fun. And he was obviously proud of his new job. “Of
course I’ll celebrate with you. There’s a new buffet place we could try.”
Ann did not
protest when Mark ushered her to his newer model metallic blue Mazda. Not that
she embarrassed easily, but the little Ford she had traded for her Beemer
showed its age.
She knew she had
chosen wrong when they entered the crowded lobby of the restaurant. The place
was a madhouse decorated in fake Wild West. Had the storm made everyone crazy
to get out? Mark smiled grimly as he folded his wallet back in his pocket after
paying the cashier. He picked up a cafeteria tray with their soft drinks in
chipped plastic cups and flatware wrapped in a paper napkin.
Mark led the way
into the main dining room and indicated a far corner with his elbow. “I think I
see a free table.” They seated themselves. Ann wished the place would wash away
and take her along. At least she wasn’t trying to make some kind of impression
on him, as if he were a prospective client. Or a candidate for a romance. She
looked at him, hoping he could see how sorry she was for choosing such a
raunchy restaurant. Mark mouthed something she could not quite hear.
“I’m sorry, what
did you say?”
A young waitress
with a nose ring arrived, setting a basket of greasy-looking rolls on the
table. She lingered, eyeing Mark as she might the dessert table while reminding
them to take a clean plate whenever they visited the buffet. Ann wondered how
Mark’s wife would have treated the girl and sat up straight, squinting with
what she hoped was a disapproving frown. Now she felt more like a mother
protecting her naïve son. She lost the frown when he spoke.
“You must enjoy
the food here,” Mark said after the young woman left.
“I’ve never been
here. Ritchie and Colleen said they liked it.” Ann took a deep breath and
risked a sip of the cloudy iced tea she had ordered. She couldn’t see Mark
bringing his wife here. What kind of person was he married to, anyway? “So, um,
Allison,” That was her name! “Isn’t she here with you? Did you leave her to
settle things in Virginia before she comes?”
“I’m sorry, I
can’t hear you.”
Ann was pretty
sure he had heard, but no way was she going to ask again. She already sounded
like a busybody grandma. “Do you…do you—”
Mark cut in.
“Let’s see what they have to eat.”
without much success through the commingled aromas of steaming platters and
bins of canned and diced and fried-looking bits. Mark did not appear to have
fared much better, she noted, when they returned to their table. Mark looked
around, as if waiting for something.
Ann turned her
head, too, but did not see anyone she knew. When she faced him again, his eyes
were closed. Ah. Praying. That church youth group he had attended in high
school must have left a lasting impression. She briefly copied him. When he
looked up at her again with a peaceful expression, she picked up her fork. Dare
she ask about Allison again? Ann decided on a safer topic. “How are your
cocked an ear toward her. “Dad and Tiffany are well as ever, if that’s what you
asked. Golfing every day.”
They gave up
conversation after that. She could not think of anything to say to him on the
way home. Since her ears were still ringing with the noisy chatter and clank of
dishes, she appreciated the quiet. Within an hour after they left Ann’s, Mark
drove back into her driveway. He stopped the car and went around to open the
passenger door for her. Another of his quaint mannerisms few practiced anymore.
after he closed the car door. “Thank you. I…I can’t recall the last time…well,
anyway, I apologize for tonight. You must let me make amends.”
her across the driveway to the dark front door. “Yes, I’d like that. Soon.”
They arrived on her front step. “But I think I’ll choose the place.”
“Would you like
to come in?”
What made her ask
that? She stopped mid-reach with her key. “I’m sorry, never mind me. You’re
trying to make connections with people you knew before. Not that I remember
everyone, but maybe I can help if you’re trying to track down someone in
particular.” She felt his long stare. Maybe he was just as embarrassed as she
was, caught at trying to flirt. Flirt? Oh, goodness. A little old married lady
chatting up a nice married young man. If there can’t be a flood to swallow her,
how about an earthquake? Can things get any worse?
that’s kind of you,” Mark said. “I’m slowly finding my way again. But I’d like
to have some coffee, if the invitation’s still open. We didn’t get much of a
chance to talk back there.”
Ann clutched the
key so hard she knew she’d bear the impression of it for hours. It squealed, metal
on metal, as she tried to insert it into the lock with nerveless fingers. She
opened the front door and turned on a light with a shaky, yet defiant, flip.
She could have a harmless little talk with her former neighbor’s son. Do
something more exciting than her usual trip to the Y, the monthly guild
meetings, and working at Ballard, Gorman and Wicht, reminding Gene’s partners,
Howie and Tim, that Gene could walk in the door any day now. As if he could.
“Yes. Can I
She led the way
to the kitchen, and let him fill the carafe at the tap while she ground beans.
Mark flashed a
smirk. “You like fresh ground, too?”
“Ah, don’t tell
me you’re one of those coffee snobs,” Ann teased back as she started to measure
the grounds and promptly lost count. How many scoops was that?
“I have been
contemplating how an espresso machine would fit in my apartment. That was four,
by the way.”
The heat of
embarrassment crawled up the back of her neck. How had he known? She looked at
him out of the corner of her eye.
He leaned against
the countertop, arms folded the same as he had earlier. “Ann.”
Other than when
she had answered her door to him earlier, she had never heard him call her
anything but “Mrs. Ballard.” Did that make him a contemporary? Or her less
formal? She looked up at him after ensuring a steady trickle of dark liquid
entered the glass pot. “Yes?”
been any word, no new reports or information about him? About your…about Mr.
heavily and shook her head. “No. There’s never been any more than false leads.
Nothing at all now, for…”
Sunday would mark the seventh anniversary of the disappearance of her husband.
TO READ MORE, you
can purchase Meander Scar by Lisa J.
2012 Writing Boot Camp with Jerry
Jenkins, James Scott Bell, Dennis E. Hensley, DiAnn Mills, and many more, including
me (Lorilyn Roberts)
How many people have a book in them
they want to write? How many procrastinators will actually sit down and write
that book? I recently did a phrase look-up on AdWords and discovered that in “Global
Monthly Searches,” the term “writing a book” was searched 2,240,000 times, “How
to write a book” was searched 550,000 times.
I had promised a friend a couple of
months ago I would write an article to help her learn how to write fiction. She
is a best-selling author of nonfiction but felt like God was calling her to
Because I had just finished my
Masters in Creative Writing, several books swirled through my head I thought
would be helpful. With this many searches being done online for those wanting
to write a book, perhaps these suggestions will help those hoping to write fiction.
One thing I want to stress is writing
fiction takes time to learn—unless you are one of those gifted writers who knows
without being taught. If you are a prodigy, you don’t need to read this blog. If
you aren’t, I have several books I would recommend to help you get started. These
are books I read as part of my Masters in Creative Writing. I will hyperlink the
books to Amazon so you can read more or buy them.
I would also recommend if you are
serious about writing, that you find a local writer’s critique group. The
process of writing a book is daunting, and other writers will encourage and
help you along the way. One good organization of which I am a part is Word
Weavers International. You can check out their website at http://www.word-weavers.com/. There are
many chapters all over the country. If there isn’t one in your area, start one
by contacting Eva Marie Everson at http://www.EvaMarieEverson.com
I would also encourage you to read a
lot. Read books you wouldn’t normally read to stretch your mind and open the
window to more creativity. Reading and writing fiction will take you to places
you’ve never been and cause you to think about old ideas in new ways. By
feeding your mind with new plots and storylines outside your bailiwick now, you
will create building blocks to invent future stories.
The best thing I did was give myself
permission to read fiction. I became as a little child once again, remembering
how much I loved stories bigger than life—heroes from the past in books I once
read and put away, believing I was too old to read fiction and too busy to indulge
myself in the luxury of enjoying them.
Discovering who we are through writing
is a journey worth taking. Penning fiction will open the door to your heart and
reveal things in a way nonfiction can’t. I only listed four books above so as not
to overwhelm the beginner. After reading these books, you will find more that
will interest you. The key is to get started and keep dreaming. Believe you can
write fiction, learn a little each day, and then just do it.
Writing a Book - Part Two will
feature writing nonfiction.
Lorilyn Roberts, author,
mother, broadcast captioner, follower of Jesus Christ – in very random order
What makes me
content?A Starbuck’s Vanilla Latte,
Grande, extra-hot, half-caf, just two teaspoons of vanilla, not four, with my
Kindle, under an umbrella, lying on a beach.
Sixteen very random facts about me that most people do not
was almost kidnapped when I was six. A man tried to coax me into his car with
I was four, on the way to see the lighting of the tree in downtown New York, we
got stuck inside a burning car when it became engulfed in flames.
drank poison when I was two. The only reason I lived is because I ate ice cream
for lunch and it coated my stomach (it must have been vanilla).
know what it’s like to throw up forty feet under water.
I took a genetics course in high school, I was the last person standing – I had
more recessive traits than anyone else in the class – blonde hair, green eyes,
can’t roll my tongue, can’t make a hitchhiker’s thumb, am left-handed, don’t
have a widow’s peak, and something about an ear lobe – forgot what that one
was.Now, how many of you reading this have
just tried to roll your tongue?
a positive pregnancy test twice on the way to surgery – really, I did question
for one second if I was the second immaculate conception – and was terrified!
(The machine was broken.)
was accused by a teacher in fifth grade of plagiarizing a report (I wonder
today if that was prophetic).
first awareness of the existence of God came when I was four.
first awareness of God’s love came through a stray dog.
desire for God’s presence in my life came through Jewish classmates.
salvation came through reading the Gospel of Matthew.
Dickens and I had the same beginnings – we both started out as court reporters.
a descendant of Anne Bradstreet (1600s), the first poet and first female
writer in the British North American colonies to be published.
write over 300 words per minute (on my stenograph machine).
an introvert, love chocolate, and would rather read a good book than watch TV
or a movie.
classical guitar as a teenager and performed at many events.
Lorilyn with her daughters in Colorado Springs,
Check out her latest book, Seventh Dimension - The Door at Amazon: