News to Share

10646741_10204870944154085_8514285265217180766_nWell, so much has been going on lately that I figure it’s time for a recap…and just maybe I’ll get back on track to posting at least once a week on this blog 🙂

Ever hopeful!

God has an amazing way of surprising us with more than we expect.

I’ve been pursuing writing for the past ten years and in that time God’s done some amazing things like:

Introduced me to the fabulous Alley Cats

He brought the FABULOUS, Julie Gwinn to be my friend first – and then my agent

Brought wonderful authors like the Seekers, Janice Thompson, Beth Vogt, and so many others into my life

He’s brought teaching and resources to help hone my skills.

And now..well, I’ve joined the roller coaster of published authors.

1. I signed my first contract with Lighthouse of the Carolinas for my Contemporary Romance novel, A Twist of Faith, at the end of September. It’s a fun story that is a modern day retelling of My Fair Lady set in Appalachia. It’s scheduled to release in June 2015.

2. I signed my second contract in mid-November to co-author a Middle Reader/YA novel that accompanies a new video game releasing in 2015.

3. Yesterday I signed a three book contract with Vinspire Publishing for my historical romance series, beginning with The Thornbearer to be released in October 2015. This Penned in Time series takes place during World War 1 and follows the lives of three friends who each struggle with forgiveness and the definition of true beauty as they face a world at war.

I’m excited about these new opportunities but also nervous about how to make it all fit into a very busy schedule as a full-time speech language pathologist and mom of five. It’s great to know if God provided the opportunities, He’ll also provide the ability to complete them 🙂

Here’s to seeing what God ends up doing with MY story in the middle of writing these stories!!

12 Songs for Christmas Blog Series

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – so I thought I ring in the season with a blog series to help you rock around the Christmas tree.

Starting next week, some of your favorite authors will Deck the Blogosphere with some of their favorite Christmas songs. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about them and a little about the songs themselves.

From classic carols to newer choruses and popular music, there will be a grand array of music to jingle your Christmas bells with.

Next week, four lovely songs set the intro to this series:

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Mary, Did you Know?

The Little Drummer Boy

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Stop by to learn which authors picked which song – from Melanie Dickerson, Siri Mitchell, Tina Radcliffe, Deeanne Gist, Rachel Hauck – and more.

May your days be merry and bright…and don’t forget to join in the Christmas fun.

Blessings,

Love at First Thought with Myra Johnson

Well, it’s the last week of Love at First Thought blog series. I hope you guys have enjoyed it as much as I have.

Wednesday, Alley Cat and buddy, Casey Herringshaw gives us a glimpse into her Love at First Thought, and on Friday, I have debut author, Tina Radcliffe.

But today….

Myra Johnson joins us.

I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and chat with Myra and Mary Connealy for about half an hour at ACFW. (I chatted with them on other occasions throughout the weekend, but that 30 minutes was mostly just me and them. WONDERFUL – and totally selfish of me, but I’m not sorry 😉

Myra’s Love at First Thought is AMAZING! It’s one of those comments that becomes devotional.

Here it is:

One of my favorite books is Autumn Rains, and the main reason is because of how the idea came about. It was inspired by something that actually happened to my brother-in-law, who at the time was pastoring the church we attended in northwest Houston. Late one evening he and the church council president were at the church discussing some business when a man arrived looking for help. He said he’d just been released from prison (somewhere up north) and was trying to get to a Texas town farther south where he heard there were employment opportunities. 
 
When the bus stopped for a layover in Houston, he locked his belongings in a bus station locker (this was back when they still had lockers in bus stations), and then he lost the combination. Unable to get to his money or possessions, he asked around for suggestions on where he could get assistance, and someone pointed him in the direction of our community. This was in the heat of summer, and the man walked or hitchhiked some 25 or 30 miles to get to our church.
 
My brother-in-law was glad to offer the man some money from a church fund set up for such needs, and then he and the church council president drove him to where he could board a commuter bus back downtown so he could catch the next Greyhound bus south. On the way, they asked him what he’d been in prison for, and he answered, “Murder.” By now it was really late and really dark, so it got really quiet in the car at that point. My brother-in-law still chuckles over the experience, though, and several weeks later they heard that the man reached his destination, found a job, and started his new life. Or at least that’s the way I like to remember it.
 
So that’s the inspiration for my character Healy Ferguson in Autumn Rains, and to this day he remains one of my favorite heroes, a good man who made a mistake and paid for it, determined to become the man God created him to be.
Wow! What inspiration – and food for thought! Thanks, Myra.
What does grace look like in your life? Jesus was the Master at peddling out grace. Especially grace to the people the ‘world’ viewed as outcasts and undeserving. The very nature of grace is just that – showing love, forgiveness, & mercy when it isn’t deserved.
Christ is in the business of blessing beyond expectations or just desserts.
His entire rescue mission was built on this foundation: Save a bunch of undeserving sinners.
Wow!
And that love, that kind of grace, should spill out of our hearts and into the lives of those around us.
May we become Christ’s hands and feet of grace wherever we are.
Today.
Blessings,
Pepper

New Blog Series on the way….

Okay, so I’ve been a bad blogger.

And I have a loooong list of great excuses, but I’m sure you’d much rather hear my other news 😉

Starting next week, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I’ll start a series entitled: Love At First Thought

Stories start from somewhere and sometimes in the most unexpected places – so…

Award winning authors will let us in on the inspiration behind their first novels.

Get ready for some fun, faith, laughter, and love…and maybe a little bit of weirdness (so come with your imagination firmly intact).

We’ll hear from authors like:

Patti Lacy

Julie Lessman

Mary Connealy

Ruth Logan Herne

Tina Russo Radcliffe

Siri Mitchell

Missy Tippens

Jamie Carie

Keli Gwyn

Margaret Brownley

and more….

Starting Monday, February 7th!

Come join the imagination…and allow the overflowing creativity to inspire you too.

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photos above  from:

http://canadianuniversitymarketing.blogspot.com/

http://astoriedcareer.com/2010/12/the-what-if-story-can-help-gen.html

http://www.ideadrunk.com/

Have you hugged a Seeker in 2010?

Okay, for anyone who has followed this blog – or even knows anything about me – I’m a BIG fan of Seekerville.

What is Seekerville, you might ask? It’s a fabulous, funny, and encouraging site for writers and readers of good fiction. Though most of the authors write inspirational fiction, all readers are welcome to glean from the wisdom and fun of this site.

I became a Seeker-Stalker  in May of 2009 and have been helplessly and happily addicted ever since. Even had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of the Seekers at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in September. It was one of my 2010 goals!!

So – as a tribute to some fabulous ladies of fiction, here’s a look at the 2010 Seekers Publishing list (in no particular order – except Ruthy’s ;-).

Sandra Leesmith – got the ‘Call’ to publication in July and her first novel , The Price of Victory, is set to join the world of print in Spring 2011. Woohoo!!!

Julie Lessman has had a FABULOUS year with the publication of her beautiful novel, A Hope Undaunted, and a wonderful array of awards for her writing. Awards included are #5 on Booklists Inspirational Fiction for 2010, Borders Best for 2009, and finalist for ACFW’s Book of the Year. If you’ve not read any of her previous 4 books, run to the nearest bookstore (or Sam’s) and purchase them. For a review of A Hope Undaunted follow this link.

The  news has been great for Seeker, Audra Harders, whose first novel came out with Steeple Hill, LoveInspired this month. For a sneak peek at her debut novel, Rocky Mountain Hero, follow this link. What’s happening next with the sweet Audra Harders? Hmmm, maybe she’ll let us know 😉

Along with providing helpful writing tips on her webpage, Myra Johnson’s fun novel, Romance By the Book, and beautiful story, Dogwoods in Bloom, came out through Heartsong Presents. To read a little about Romance by the Book, check out my review here.

Glynna Kaye has great news. Besides the great reviews for her debut novel, Dreaming of Home, she has a new book to release with Steeple Hill Love Inspired in February 2011. Woohoo! Congrats, Glynna, I’m looking forward to finding Second Chance Courtship in the store.

If you’re into books that alternate between life-threatening adventure, male-female banter, and belly-aching laughter – Mary Connealy is the author for you. And with her track record, you don’t have to  wait too long between books, either. 🙂 This year alone, she introduced readers to 5 new books, and had three of her previous books published in a triology. PLUS her 2011 looks very promising – with a bit of a surprise to her faithful reading audience. With three books already on the way in 2011, she’s decided to try out a new genre with a new name too. To learn more about her step outside of cowboys and petticoats, and her leap into suspense, visit www.marynealy.com. I can’t wait to find out more. (oh, she also won The Carol award at ACFW, I shouldn’t forget that 😉

Besides winning the Genesis awards at the ACFW conference and the Maggie’s Inspriational category, Pam Hillman is well on her way to joining her Seeker sisters in the world of finely printed published novels. I can’t wait to see what 2011 has to offer for her.

Cara Lynn James debut novel, Love on a Dime, graced the bookstores in 2010 and now she has TWO MORE coming out in 2011. Wow, what a fabulous start!! If you like historical romances, with vibrant characters check out Cara’s books.

Missy Tippens, with her usual sweet southern flare, ended last year with her lovely novel, A Forever Christmas, and looks forward to new newest release, A Family for Faith, coming spring 2011. I think she’s been doing a bit of book editing on the side too, isn’t that right, Missy?

Well, I’m still dancing for joy about Tina Radcliffe’s debut novel, The Rancher’s Reunion, supposedly released next month – but mine is already read and sitting on my bookshelf for all to see.  Not only that, but her second book with Steeple Hill Love Inspired is set to come out Fall 2011. Oh so happy for you, Tina!!

With a mixture of fun and suspense, Camy Tang writes a little of both. Besides keeping a very busy schedule with her Story Sensei business and coordinating the ACFW Genesis contest, Camy’s newest book, Formula for Danger, came out in September 2010. If you like edge-of-your seat fiction, you’ll want to check out her Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense novels. Learn more at her website- www.camytang.com

To stick with that Love Inspired SUSPENSE theme, Debby Guisti has enjoyed a year of GREAT news. Her novel, Protecting Her Child, won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and her novel, Killer Deadline, came out in February. Her new novel (and series) The Officer’s Secret, is scheduled to hit a bookstore near you in May 2011.

Let’s keep up the tension with author Cheryl Wyatt – who reached book 7 in her Wings of Refuge series this year. Book 6 – A Soldier’s Devotion– and Book 7 – Steadfast Soldier– both came out this year. Maybe she’ll catch us up on what’s happening for her in 2011?

Janet Dean writes sweet historical romances. Her novel, Substitute Bride, released in February 2010 and was a beautiful story of heartbreak and new beginnings. Her new novel, Wanted: A Family, is scheduled to release in March 2011 and sounds intriguing. Widowed mother-to-be and repairman (with his own secrets). ooooh, don’t you just want to read it? 🙂

Last – and certainly NOT least, is Ruth Logan Herne. WHAT. A. YEAR!!! I think she’s trying to keep up with Mary. All I have to say about that is…they’re both crazy. 🙂  Her year started with her debut novel, Winters End, and zoomed ahead to end with her third novel, Made to Order Family. They are such GREAT books. GREAT! And there is no end in site for the prolific lady. Besides caring for adorable kids and dogs, cooking like Martha Stewart, and creating snappy replies to anyone who will listen, 2011 looks to be another amazing writing year for her. THREE MORE BOOKS (Er…I stand corrected. Ruthy will be ringing in the New Year with FOUR new books – I forgot her Christmas book 😉 are on the way, starting with Reunited Hearts in April. Oooh, I can’t wait. Check out a review of her novel, Waiting Out the Storm, here.

Whew – WHAT A LIST!!! Are you excited to see what the new year has to offer? I sure am. With authors who love Jesus and love writing, there are going to be some very happy readers out there.