writing

First Line Fridays – When You Look At Me

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

Oh, how I love Pepper Basham’s books. Whether contemporary or historical, they pull me in and don’t let go. She writes stories full of fun and laughter, and she never disappoints…especially when it comes to kissing scenes.  Ooo-la-la. 🙂

Today I’m featuring Pepper Basham’s newest book When You Look At Me. You can pre-order it HERE.

About the book:

When You Look At Me_Pepper BashamAn unexpected mother-to-be
A romance-leery composer
And a forgotten melody from the past that holds the keys to their futures

When Julia Jenkins’ great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt’s treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.

Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.

First Line

Julia Jenkins was a glass-half-full person. Well, most of the time. Even with her sordid backstory. So she’d spent massive amounts of energy over the past few hours trying to think of all the positive aspects of her abdomen bulging overnight to show her full seven-months pregnancy. Stomach sleeping? Out. Reaching her feet without sandwiching an actual person in the middle? Impossible. Going anywhere without scouting out the restroom signs? Dangerous.

Okay, I had to include the first paragraph because it sucked me in fast. 

First Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature

 

writing

First Line Fridays –

First Line FridaysHere’s another First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books!  It’s a fun way to share good books and spread the love of words on the page.

I love medieval books and Tamara Leigh is fantastic at writing them. I haven’t read her Age of Faith series and decided to begin. I am loving The Unveiling! Wow! You should definitely read her books because they are filled with action, adventure, and sigh-worthy romance.

About the book:

The Unveiling_Tamara Leigh12th century England: Two men vie for the throne: King Stephen the usurper and young Duke Henry the rightful heir. Amid civil and private wars, alliances are forged, loyalties are betrayed, families are divided, and marriages are made.

For four years, Lady Annyn Bretanne has trained at arms with one end in mind—to avenge her brother’s murder as God has not deemed it worthy to do. Disguised as a squire, she sets off to exact revenge on a man known only by his surname, Wulfrith. But when she holds his fate in her hands, her will wavers and her heart whispers that her enemy may not be an enemy after all.

Baron Wulfrith, renowned trainer of knights, allows no women within his walls for the distraction they breed. What he never expects is that the impetuous young man sent to train under him is a woman who seeks his death—nor that her unveiling will test his faith and distract the warrior from his purpose.

First Line

A nightmare seized him from sleep, turned around his throat, and filled his mouth so full he could not cry out. 

Starting off with a bang!

First Line Fridays_Hoarding BooksNow it’s your turn! Grab the nearest book (or the book you are reading) and share the first line in the comments. Then head over to Hoarding Books and check out the linky with more First Line participants. 

Have a great weekend!

Sherrinda Signature

 

personal, writing

The Value of Writerly Friends

Ladies_StockSnap_pixabayWriting is a solitary adventure. Writers spin tales inside their heads, then spend hours pouring their stories onto the page … alone. But there comes a time in every writer’s life when they need people. They need a hug. They need encouragement. They need a friend who truly understands.

Writers need writerly friends. 

I’m writing my second book. I have a good foundation for this story, but at the end of chapter three, I froze. I had just finished a massive edit of my first book and I was paralyzed by the fear of writing a book that needed so much rewriting. I would start and stop, start and stop, thinking everything I wrote would have to be deleted and rewritten.

I don’t want to have to do that! But I need to write, especially when I’m supposed to take ten pages to my critique group.

I belong to a fabulous critique group that meets every other week. We share chapters/scenes and discuss them … the good and the bad. This week I had nothing to bring because I choked while trying to write. I was embarrassed. Writers write and I hadn’t written anything in two whole weeks! I didn’t go because I was so embarrassed.

I forced myself to go. I forced myself to be honest with the group and share my frustrations and my fears. And you know what? These ladies hugged me. They shared their own stories of fear, of writer’s block, of frustration. They prayed over me and then we brainstormed possibilities for where the story could go.

These writerly friends lifted me out of the pit of writer despair, and I left with a sense of peace and hope.

Friends, hope is such a powerful thing and gives life to the soul. 

Writerly friends – those people who think like you, daydream like you, talk to imaginary friends like you – these are the people you need to surround yourself with on this writing journey. They are the ones who will encourage you on the road that God leads you on. They will pick you up when you fall, and they will speak hope into your dark days.

There’s nothing more valuable (besides the good Lord) than writerly friends. I know I’m thankful for mine!

Do you have a writerly friend(s)? Do you have support on your writing journey?

Sherrinda Signature

**Photo by StockSnap at pixabay.com
personal, Social Media, Uncategorized, writing

Fearing Authenticity

mask
Yep, that’s me.

I have a confession to make. I’ve been in a slump this year, afraid to post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’ve even been afraid to blog. Why is that, you ask?

I’m afraid to be me.

Since I’ve signed a publishing contract in April, I’ve choked at being just me. It’s silly, I know. But being an author and having to promote yourself as an author has me all twisted up in trying to be a “real author” — you know, someone who is serious about the business side of writing.

Don’t get me wrong. I am serious about writing and all it entails, but I miss being free to be just me. I love to laugh, not take myself seriously, and have fun with life. That includes all aspects of my life.

People talk about finding your “voice” in writing. If I can’t find my voice in real life and express that life (even on social media), then how can I ever find and free my voice in my writing? Indeed!

So this month I am focusing on authenticity. I want to be real. I want to be me — the real me. This should be fun, right?

When has your authenticity been stifled? Is it hard to be real, either in life or on social media?

Sherrinda Signature

 

personal, the call, writing

My Call Story – A Writer’s Dream Come True

In the writing world, getting “the call” is one of the highlights of the writing journey. Whether it is the call from an agent offering representation, or the call from a contest coordinator telling you that you are a finalist, or the call from an editor offering you a contract, the call is something to be celebrated.

Many of you saw on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram the pictures of me signing my new contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for my medieval romance. I look excited, don’t I?

I thought I’d share the story of how “the call” came to be and the funny story of where I was when I received that call.

It all began when I was reminded about #FaithPitch on Twitter. (Note: There are several Pitch Days on Twitter where you pitch your story in 180 characters or less. If an editor or agent wants you to send them a query/proposal, they LIKE your pitch.) The day was February 28 and I had totally forgotten about it until a friend asked a group of us writers if we were doing it. It was early afternoon and so I pitched my medieval romance, The Lady’s Masquerade.

I checked Twitter off and on the rest of the day, but had no “likes” so I chalked it up to another good experience and moved on. Let me be honest here and say that out of all the social media I am on, Twitter is the one that I don’t check as often. So FOUR DAYS LATER, I check Twitter and lo-and-behold, I have a private message from Pegg Thomas (she is also an author) from Smitten, the historical line of the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas! She said to send her a proposal and she would take a look at it.

Yikes! It had been FOUR days since she had reached out to me!

And how in the world do I do a proposal????

You writers out there are probably rolling your eyes, but I’ve never been asked for a proposal. A query I could do, but a proposal? So I got online and researched. I had a friend send me a sample one, which helped tremendously. I got busy on it and gave it to my critique group to look over. Bless their hearts, they got it back to me that same day.

I submitted the proposal and was asked for the full manuscript! Be still my heart!

And then I had to wait. Here’s the thing – in the writing world, nothing happens fast. Sometimes you submit your work to an agent or editor and it takes days, weeks, and even months to receive reply. I was prepared for a good long wait, so I got back to working on my second book, delving into the medieval world once more.

Tuesday, March 13, I went to the Dallas Arboretum with my friend and her two boys (I call them my “adopted” grand-kids.) It was a glorious day and we got to the section specifically for children. The older boy wanted to get in the Tornado Tunnel, a telephone booth sized tube that creates a mighty wind inside. I got inside with him, then my phone began to ring. I pulled out my phone and checked the number.

Could it be a contest win? I was a finalist in a contest, so I decided I needed to answer the call. I said “Hello” and a woman answered, but I couldn’t hear her name because the wind had started to blow. And boy, did it blow! I am a little sketchy on what was said here, because I was trying to get out of the tube so I could hear and explain to my friend I really needed to take this call.

Once I was out of the crazy wind, I realized it was Pegg Thomas again and my heart began to pound. You know that weird sensation when things are surreal and even though there is a lot of noise and commotion, you can’t hear it? Yeah…that was me. And throughout all the weird feelings and tunnel vision, I heard those fabulous words:

“We would like to offer you a contract for your book.”

Yep! A contract to publish my medieval romance! I really didn’t expect to get a medieval published, as it’s not really the “happening” genre right now. I truly expected to seek out a different time period to write. But I am so glad God had other plans for this story.

My dream of writing and publishing a book, which started in high school, is being realized. A dream put on hold as life, children, and jobs took precedence. A dream finally come true. Thank you, LPC, for taking a chance on me!

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas is a small press publisher making waves in the Christian arena. With many lines, they are putting out award-winning books and creating buzz for excellence. Check out their books HERE. Also, if you love historical romance, join LPC’s Smitten Facebook Group to learn more about their books and their authors.

devotionals, writing

Knowing Your Identity

Knowing your identity is a hot topic right now. I’ve seen it repeatedly in blog posts and books, and it has also popped up in my ladies Bible study at church. We are going through the Word Writers Study of James by Denise J. Hughes right now, and Day 16 brings up this thought of identity while discussing the importance of being cultivators of peace.

James 3:17-18 says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

Bitterness and envy stem from ungodly wisdom. The world says to push your way to the top. Be the best no matter what. But godly wisdom is gracious to others, wishing them all the best in their endeavors.

In the study, the author compares James and Paul. James was called to lead the church in Jerusalem, while Paul preached to the Gentles. They each had their own call from the Lord to the people He placed before them. They were secure in their calling and found their identity in that call of God. They didn’t have to compete with one another because they each had their own job to do.

Knowing your identity is the way to rise above the competition and comparison game. When we know who we are in Him – His child, His creation, His beloved – we can rest secure in His call on our lives and support others in their calling.

  • Has He called you to be a mother or father? Rest in that and don’t compare your family to others. Rejoice in their success and celebrations.
  • Has He called you to be a writer? Stand strong that He will give you words to share on the page. Your own words, not the words of others. Cheer others on in their writing journey. God is doing a new thing in each person.
  • Has He called you to lead in a ministry? Then lead with confidence that He is supporting you and will give you the wisdom to do so. Don’t get your feelings hurt when another person has more people flock to their ministry. God has just the right people coming to yours…the people who need what you have to offer. 

Your identity is rooted in your Creator. You are a child of God and given a role in the life you lead. Live boldly in that calling, stepping out in faith toward the path He has set before you. And while you are at it, cheer on those around you as they move forward in their calling.

Loving Him and serving others is by far the best calling of all.

Have you found it difficult to cheer others on? Do you find your identity lost amid competing and comparison? What are you doing to find your true identity?

                                                                                                            * Photo credit: John Hain at pixabay.com

holidays, people watching, writing

People Watching At The 4th of July Fireworks Show

As an introvert at heart, I do not like crowds. But when I am in a situation where I am in the middle of a mass of people, I watch and listen. It is a great place for creative writers to use their imagination and make up stories. I took my camera with me and used my long lens to capture interesting people. Let’s see who I found.
Now here’s a closet superhero buff. He has hordes of comic books stuffed under the bed and in his closet. He secretly daydreams about being a caped superhero, saving pretty girls and making the world a better place.
Ah…here are two friends that are total opposites. The one on the right is a free spirit. She has some short shorts on with some wild socks and high tops. Her friend on the left is a bit more subdued. She wishes she could be more “out there”, but just can’t quite make it. She settles for a navy skirt with flowers and some denim high tops. Hey…at least she mixed the skirt and high tops!

Well….words aren’t coming. Strange, I know. These friends like to stand out. I think they’ve tried mixing Halloween with Game of Thrones. The only thing I can think is….courage in numbers???
Okay, now I get it. The last girl has a bunch of flyers in her hand. After being handed one, I found out they are out advertising for the musical Pippin being shown at the Firehouse Theatre in Farmers Branch, Texas. Their shows are amazing!
Some people aren’t very brave and settle for sticking a flag in their hat. This guy doesn’t really care. He didn’t want to be there anyway. See the tinge of gray? He is in the throes of mid-life crisis and just wants to do what he wants. 
  
This guy is ready for the sun to go down and get the fireworks going. Why must he sit in the heat just to save a seat close to the display? Ugh…the band is sooooo loud. 

 

This momma is tired. She has her cute bandana tied around her head, with her hair twisted around it. It was all she could manage with 3 little ones running circles around her.
This sweet lady loves the 4th! She even dyes her hair to match all her July 4th paraphernalia. If only she had some sparkly red earrings to go with her outfit. 

Dude!!!! Check me out. I got spirit. 

 

Ah, the sad lonely chair…all decked out by mom, and abandoned by the energetic 3 year that should be sitting there. 

Okay, no story here. I just want to say this band was amazing. They play cover songs and are incredible. They could sound like the original! All the music was upbeat and there were lots of people dancing. Just a great concert!
Check out Inside Out on Facebook.

 All I have left are a few fireworks. Farmers Branch puts on the best low-level fireworks show around.

Do you love to people-watch? Have you ever made up stories about the people you see?