Birth of a Book

I'm excited to share this first blog look at the cover of my newest novel, Matthew Makes Strides, which will be released soon. The wonderful artwork by Ken Raney captures the emotion of this intense moment. Matthew Makes Strides is the second novel of my Matthew in the Middle series for middle grade readers. Book 1, Matthew Muddles Through, is … Continue reading Birth of a Book

Igniting the Encouragement Phoenix

In a recent post about Slaying the Discouragement Dragon, I encouraged readers to overcome discouragement by continuing to work for God and by taking up the sword of his word. While those are crucial strategies you can and should initiate on your own, encouragement from other people can deal a definitive death blow to discouragement. Like … Continue reading Igniting the Encouragement Phoenix

Slaying the Discouragement Dragon

Discouragement can seem as overwhelming as a fire-breathing dragon. It singes your body, saps your energy, and steals your very breath. Like Smaug in The Hobbit, its speech invades your mind and twists your thinking. How can you defend yourself against such an insuperable enemy? Several recent events have discouraged me in my work. In … Continue reading Slaying the Discouragement Dragon

Thursday Thanks

Today I'm thankful that a mom in Canada took the time to share this on my Facebook page: I am reading Matthew Muddles Through to my nine-year-old and seven-year-old every evening before bed. They are just LOVING it. Every night I hear, 'Please! Another chapter, Mom. Pretty, pretty please?' It's so great to hear of kids … Continue reading Thursday Thanks

Providence in action

Earlier this year, I interviewed Uriah Courtney for an article that appeared in the June 25 issue of Christian Renewal. We communicated via email and that article about Uriah's wrongful conviction and his extraordinary exoneration is posted here. Soon after we finished our interview process, I felt burdened by a desire to spread Uriah's amazing story to a … Continue reading Providence in action

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Does the concept of popular literature seem like an oxymoron? Can a book sell well in today's pop culture, while still displaying a high degree of literary quality? The answer is a resounding: Yes! This week I read a newly released book by prolific author Sigmund Brouwer that evidences excellent literary quality and is sure to skyrocket … Continue reading Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Blue butterfly day

Yesterday was a day of blue butterflies. We visited Reiman Gardens in Ames, spending nearly all our time in the butterfly wing, taking pictures and reveling in the profusion of fluttering beauty. About 800 butterflies spend their brief lives in this enclosure, delighting viewers who amble through. My husband excelled at catching the large blue butterflies on … Continue reading Blue butterfly day

Beginning, middle or end?

How do you start a novel? Every writer knows that each novel should include a definite beginning, middle, and end. But did you know those are also your starting options? Usually I think of a sentence that seems like the beginning of a novel and it grows from there. This sunrise method works well for exploratory … Continue reading Beginning, middle or end?

Fly with Shutterfly

Shutterfly has a great website for creating personalized photo projects. Using the site's helpful templates, I've created memory books, composed greeting cards, and crafted family calendars. I've ordered magnets and mugs. Like most online companies, Shutterfly sends the occasional promotional email. I don't mind, especially since the messages often include great offers. But a glitch earlier this … Continue reading Fly with Shutterfly