Welcome

IMG_3863 copyThank you for stopping by. The cry of my heart is to honor King Jesus. I pray that the words that flow from my heart, through the key board, and to your eyes lift your spirit to worship Him.

This life adventure is full of new twists, and I’m excited to share some of them with you. Please stop by thefreeslavesdevotion.com to visit with me and my wonderful writing partner, Susan Roach, as we explore who we are in Christ.

Don’t skip the Grace Revealing page. Stories that shout the praises of our King should not be overlooked, and I’d love for you to share yours.

If you’re interested in the fiction projects I am currently working on, please check out the WIP (that’s Work In Progress) page.

I’m certainly no miracle worker, but prayer is a gift from our Heavenly Father. If I can pray for you in any way, I’d love for you to contact me. Just fill out the form and I’ll be in touch.

Thanks again for stopping by. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

Cover Reveal! The Uncloaked

There’s something about getting the finalized version of a book cover.

Makes all of the work seem like it’s been wrapped up, that awesome cover the final bow on the package. To be honest, I was nervous about this cover. This genre can be tough, but getting the first impression right is essential. I’ve seen some fairly meh covers for this genre (please note, I’ve seen some outstanding covers for YA spec/dystopian too. That’s where I wanted the cover for The Uncloaked to fall).

I have to say, Roseanna White exceeded my expectations for this one! So, without anymore waxing and waning…

 

The Uncloaked

Need more? How about a back cover copy teaser?

No one stirred in the area—people stayed in their little hovels. Hiding, most likely. From the cold, the helplessness. Maybe from the Party. Staying out of sight, like cockroaches.

I am not a cockroach. 

***

“Apathy is the illness of the overprivileged…” Words laced with fear—and maybe a hint of prophecy. His father’s words. Words Braxton would prefer to ignore.

Braxton Luther is sixteen when the Progressive Reform Party takes over the government. It can’t be that bad. So they don’t want religion in government—that’s constitutional. He can’t understand his church’s hypersensitive reaction or his father’s cryptic warning to stand against the Party’s ultimatums.

But after living under the new government for a year, Braxton faces a choice—conform to the demands of the ungodded in order to protect his best friend, Eliza, or defy the system and go into hiding, ensuring a life of misery. Still certain that life will settle back into normalcy in the near future, Braxton chooses compliance.

Then the killings begin, and Eliza is captured and sent to Reformation Camp for her defiance. Reality finally sinks in.

And finally, just so we all know that, yes, this is really, really happening…

A preorder link. 😉

Enter the upturned world of Braxton and Eliza. Ask yourself…

Will you stand?

Changes on the Horizon

the Uncloaked FB header

It’s time.

That makes me pretty nervous, but it’s time. I hope you’ll jump in with me.

I love Women’s Fiction. I love true-to-life, shift-your-thinking fiction that transforms. Maybe even redeems. I love writing those kinds of books, and I’m not done with them yet.

But almost four years ago, I had a vision for a different kind of book. Young Adult. Dystopian–(read darker, heavier, more challenging). When I outlined the idea and showed it to Superman, he got that concerned line in the between the eyebrows thing on his face. Yikes.

“Why this? It’s not really what you’ve been doing.”

I wasn’t sure how to answer him at the moment, other than I saw the story pretty clearly, and it challenged me–how I approach who I am and what I believe–and maybe more importantly, what I do with what I believe. Not one to say, don’t try it, you’ll fall on your face, Superman nodded and said, “I can’t see it, but I’m sure you can do it.”

And so The Uncloaked began.

TU Back copy for blog

Finally, now it’s ready to face the world. Book one will release April 28th, and I’m biting my nails nervous about it. It’s not Women’s Fiction–not my brand. But it is a story that digs in deep, provokes thought, introspection, and maybe even a little change. That is me, that’s what I look for, because I don’t want to tread water in the pool of life. I want to move. To be challenged and changed and better for it.

I hope there are some Kindred Spirits out there looking for the same. But, if The Uncloaked just isn’t your cup of tea, I get it. We can still be friends. Right?

Giant Giveaway!!!

Y’all! I’m super excited…

Guess who’s participating in this promo? (Me!) Enter to win over 45 Inspirational Contemporary Romances, including books from authors like Susan May Warren, Melissa Tagg, Sarah Monzon, and Janet Ferguson.

Talk about a BIG giveaway! Pretty sure you don’t want to miss it (I might just enter myself…except, can’t). 🙂

feb-17-general-inspirational-contemporary-romance-1200graphic

This giveaway ends soon, so make sure you hurry and enter! Good luck!

 

GO HERE TO ENTER > bit.ly/inspy-contemp

Why Kale?

So….Kale.

Yeah, the character in Ordinary Snowflakes. That girl. I’m getting some interesting responses to her. Her name, actually. Some of the reviews are actually quite hilarious as they rant about this “hipster” name I’ve pegged this otherwise lovable character with. Super funny, because, well, they’re just funny. And also because if you know me at all, I’m the last woman you’d peg as a “hipster.” No kidding.

remember-dreams-ben-well-this-one-is-calesSo, for the sake of clarification, (and hey, something fun to talk about!) I thought I’d just share why I chose Kale for Ordinary Snowflakes.

I wasn’t trying to be trendy (I’ve actually never met a person named Kale (or Cale), so I didn’t know it was a trend). Or original (I’m seriously not that clever). I named her after the little girl in the movie Dreamer. (Yes, I realize in the movie her name is spelled with a C. The Anne with an E in my head told me that C always looked so smug. Arguing with Anne is silly.) That movie (Dreamer) has a couple of lines which God used to spur me forward in writing, in embracing courage and in trying for my dreams. I knew Kale was an “off” name, but because of what was pressed into my heart from that little girl’s spunk and courage, I used it in this book–for another character who’s life was full of spunk and in need of some courage.

Pretty simple, really. Honestly, I never imagined her name would stir up such strong reactions!remember-dreams-ben-well-this-one-is-cales

Oh, and yes, it’s pronounced just like that leafy green veggie you either love or hate (my daughter thinks that stuff is only good for her chickens. Just thought you’d like to know 🙂 ).

So, now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.

🙂

Guilt

Thinking about…

guilt.

I once asked a friend how to weed through the feelings of guilt that I was wresting with. Balancing being a wife, motherhood, writing, and volunteering in ministry is an ever-present concern in my world. At that moment (when I talked to  my friend) I couldn’t shake the guilt I felt every time my kids found me working on something not-them related.

She told me two things that really stuck.

First, our culture, especially the church sub-culture, tends to bombard us with the idea that our kids need our undying attention every second of every day, no matter what age they are (mine are 9-15. They don’t need my undivided attention ALL THE TIME. Seriously.). when-god-brings-conviction-into-our-lives-he-makes-it-loud-and-clear

Second, when God brings conviction into our lives, He makes it loud and clear. Sometimes we’re super good at shoving that clear conviction to a back corner of our minds, but it doesn’t make the conviction less clear. Maybe just less loud. Nagging, ambiguous guilt, though? That’s not from God. Especially when, through prayer, there’s not any clear confirmation of conviction. It’s just nagging, discouraging guilt. You know things like,

You’re not enough.

You failed again.

You’re not what your kids need.

Still not good enough.

It’s a tool of our enemy to keep us on the ground. Distracted. Defeated.

Doesn’t sound like God-work, does it?

Honestly, I still wrestle with this kind of guilt. Often. But I’m learning to come to Jesus, to ask Him to either make the conviction clear, or give me the courage to step under the shield of faith and believe Him when He says that voice of defeat is not His.

What about you? Do you wrestle with hazy, debilitating guilt? Do you think it’s God, or is there something else at work? How can you tell the difference?

The Snowflake Hunt

I find myself in search of snowflake ornaments now.

This is the first year I’ve experienced this obsession. Honestly, I don’t think I currently own even one of said decorations. But this woman—her name is Kale Brennan—has put into my heart a need to collect these things. Her story, which involves snowflakes, and hot cocoa, and sledding, and all sorts of other wonderful wintry things, also points to the amazing uniqueness of an ordinary snowflake. And how much we can see the extraordinary love of our great God in everyday, ordinary ways.

In the words of her daughter Sydney, “There is no such thing as an ordinary snowflake… And we’re like that. God makes us each special and loves us especially.”

Uniquely made. Loved especially. I like that. So, now I’m hunting for snowflakes. And, more importantly, for the everyday graces I’m now more aware of.

How about you? Is there something you look for, something symbolic, that reminds you of how extraordinary our God is, how wonderfully He loves you, or how special ordinary, everyday grace really is? I’d love to hear about it.

In the meantime, as Christmas is fast approaching, if you see a snowflake ornament, I hope it makes you smile. More, I pray it makes you reflect on the extraordinary God who has crafted them.

Because, after all, there are no ordinary snowflakes.

 

Ordinary Snowflakes is available in paperback, or for Kindle or Nookoscover

***Will the one pursuing her with his secret gift and kind gestures be the one her heart longs for in the end?***

“This beautiful story not only captures the miracle of the manger, but exemplifies the magnificence of unconditional love.” ~Rebecca Maney, Goodreads Review

“As well as a heart-melting romance, this novel was a lovely reminder that sometimes we forget to look for God in the ordinary things.” ~Fiction Aficionado

“Ordinary Snowflakes has definitely landed solidly in the hit category.” ~Amazon Reviewer

“…everything you would want in a holiday read and more.” ~Amazon Reviewer