October 19, 2017

Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham

Pepper Basham's soon-to-be-released book, Charming the Troublemaker, is going to be a hit with readers. She has such a way of weaving romance, truth, and unique characters into a masterpiece you won't want to put down.

About the Book:

Rainey Mitchell is doing just fine. She has a great job helping children in need, her family is around her, she is mother to a fabulous little girl, and is getting over the betrayal of her ex-husband. Dr. Alex Murdock is not doing so well, as he is forced to work at a rural university, his life is full of secrets surrounding his family, and he has to start over in a new town. Luckily, Rainey, the daughter of his landlord, is there to get him settled. Rainey just wants to stay away from the new professor, who has the same charm as her ex. Unfortunately, they seem to need each other. Rainey needs his grant-writing ability to save her program, and Alex is terrible at the lecturing at which Rainey excels. The two must work together to fulfill their goals, but will they be able to do it? Rainey's insecurities and Alex's obsession with protecting his family could be their undoing. 

My Thoughts:

Pepper writes such vivid characters that you can sink your heart into and come away feeling like a part of their family. I loved the extended Mitchel family and the warmth and love they show to each other. They are such a giving family that enfolds a stranger like Alex in.

Can I just say that I love the term "adorkable" for Alex Murdock? Ever the flirt and teaser, he gueards his past and his family and hides behind his humor and adorkability. Rainey is bound and determined to resist Alex's charm, but he wears her down, little by little, with his sweet care and some fabulous kisses. Whew! Pepper can write a fabulous kissing scene!

I'm looking forward to the next installment in the Mitchell family series!

You can pre-order Charming the Troublemaker HERE. It will be released on November 1, 2017.


October 12, 2017

The Engagement Plot by Krista Phillips

If you love the Bachelor or Bachelorette, you will love Krista Phillip's newest book, The Engagement Plot. Seriously. Krista has a knack for witty banter, funny situations, and some ooo-la-la romance!

About the Book:

Six months ago, William stole Hanna’s heart and shattered it in front of millions of people on a reality TV dating show. And now the big-wig CEO is back on Hanna’s home turf in Minnesota and wants her to forgive him? Fat chance of that. But life is swirling around faster than snow in a blizzard, and despite her objections, teaming up with William seems like the only option to rescue her reputation.
              
William has never regretted anything more than the day he gave that ill-fated interview for the reality show, The Price of Love. But while he can’t change the past, he’s determined to fix the future. He just needs to convince Hanna to forgive him—and pretend to be engaged with him. Simple, right?

When the media erupts with even worse accusations, teaming up and pretending to be engaged seems to be the only way to salvage their reputations.  Despite the media frenzy that swirls around them, an attraction neither of them can fight off begins to surface. Could this love run deeper than a scandal, or will old wounds tear them apart once and for all?  When all seems lost, it’s only with help from above that Hanna and Will may find their happily-ever-after.


My Thoughts:

I love Hanna and William's story. Hanna's hope of a happy-ever-after seemed to be dashed with William's ill-fated interview, sending her home with her reputation in shreds. But when William shows up asking her to team up with him to save both of their reputations, she reluctantly says yes. Their rocky journey is filled with some funny experiences, warm-hearted relatives, and some incredible romantic tension. And Krista knows how to write a good kiss....yes, she does! 

If you love romantic comedy, Krista Phillips is the author for you. You will smile, laugh, tear up, and laugh some more. Yes, I snorted in a scene or too. 

You can pre-order Krista's book HERE. The Engagement Plot releases November 1, 2017.


October 10, 2017

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

September 25, 2017

ACFW 2017 Conference Wrap-Up

I've been asked quite a few times what conference I went to this past weekend and what it was about. I'm glad you asked! ACFW stands for American Christian Fiction Writers and it is a national group of writers who write for the Christian market. They hold a conference once a year with many workshops and courses to learn about the craft of writing, as well has host pitch appointments with editors, agents, and mentors. I believe there was around 500 writers at the conference, and let me tell you, they were a bunch of beautiful souls willing to share their expertise and wisdom about the writing life. I went to the contest because I am writing historical romance and need to learn and connect with other writers.

Thursday was the early bird session, which I paid extra for because James Scott Bell was teaching for the whole day. He was totally worth it! His knowledge of the craft is immense and gave great tools for enriching your story.

Thursday evening I sat in on the Bethany House panel, with their editor/marketing team. It was fascinating to hear the behind the scenes action and what they are looking for in fiction. After that, I went to an agent panel where I learned what agents desire in a client, what to expect when you query, how to query, and on and on. It was terrific information that I needed as I am now seeking an agent.

Friday I went to Allen Arnold's course called Using Chaos As Your Canvas. Oh my, this course was beautiful. I took eight pages of notes while my heart burned within me. You know when the Spirit moves inside your soul, nudging you to pay attention because something is happening? That is what I felt like in this class. I would share more, but will save it for another blog post.

Friday night was spent with my lovely Alley Cats, co-writers at The Writers Alley blog. I was in on the start of this blog years ago and stepped back in this year. I love these spunky gals who make me laugh and encourage me on this writing journey.

Saturday was the day for classes. I took one on Setting, one on Writing in Layers, one on Indie publishing, and the last was an Agent's View on Traditional, Indie, and Hybrid Publishing. This last one was fascinating. I have never been opposed to indie publishing, but didn't have much knowledge about it and was concerned about the marketing aspect. This class had so much practical information and really spelled out the pros and cons of each. I went away really encouraged by all I learned.


Then there was the Gala. This is a dress-up affair with a delicious meal followed by an awards ceremony. Jerry B. Jenkins was given the Lifetime Achievement award. Awards for Agent of the Year, Editor of the Year and Mentor of the Year were given as well. Then the Genesis awards were given. This is the contest for unpublished authors (You submit a small portion of your manuscript for judging.) I was a finalist in the Historical Romance category. The Carol Awards are for published books. It felt like the Academy Awards and was so exciting!

I was so blessed by the conference. These writers are a gracious bunch, so willing to help each other and cheer each other on. I came away encouraged, motivated, and humbled by God's goodness.

Now, it is time to to plot the next story!


September 16, 2017

2017 ACFW Conference Mix & Mingle Blog Link-Up


Thank you Laurie Tomlinson for creating this blog link up so we can get to know each other before the 2017 ACFW conference!


Here’s how to play:
– Copy/paste the questions and fill out your own answers in a post on your own website and paste the URL to that specific post (not your homepage) using this handy link-up tool at Laurie Tomlinson's site.
Here are my answers!
Name: Sherrinda Ketchersid
Location: Irving, Texas (almost part of Dallas!)
What you write/tagline/trademark: I write clean + inspirational historical romance!
Place in the book world: One completed manuscript and about to start it's sequel. I'm entering many contests and am starting the query journey.
On a scale of hugger to 10-foot-pole, please rate your personal space: Bring them on. The bigger, the better.
Something VERY serious: How do you take your Starbucks? Cold brew coffee with lots of cream and no-calorie sweetener.
The unique talking points that will get you going for hours: Bible Journaling, lettering, time-travel romance, Scotland, and Netflix...currently Blacklist and Granchester.
Loved ones at home you’ll be missing: My sweet husband, though he will be joining me for the Gala!
Conference goals we can pray for? This is my first conference, and I am terrified of having to say my pitch. Still can't do it without stumbling around. So don't ask me! lol Actually, please do...I need the practice. 
Anything we can celebrate with you? I am a finalist in the 2017 ACFW Genesis historical category and the 2017 Lone Star inspiration category. 
One or two ways we can help you build your platform? You can sign up for my monthly newsletter by clicking here! You can follow me on twitter here and instagram here.
Now head back to Laurie's site to meet others who will be at the ACFW conference!


September 04, 2017

Preparing For A Writing Conference



I am going to the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference this month. It is being held at the Gaylord in Grapevine, Texas on September 21-23. I am so excited about this conference, because it is my first big conference and I am going to learn so much.

I already have business cards made and ready to hand out. Evidently, your business card is a great way to make connections and friends along the writing journey. Who knew?

Another item I need to prepare is a One Sheet. This is a one page sheet that includes a blurb about your book, rather like a back cover copy. It also includes a bio and picture. I believe I have the information ready, though I need to put it together in an engaging way.

Yesterday I finished the final edits on my manuscript. I cannot even begin to tell you how good that felt. The process came with a huge learning curve, yet I learned so much, and hopefully the skills I learned will help my next story.

Of course, in preparations for a conference you cannot forget about the all-important grooming for the event. I need a nice dress for the Gala, as well as some "business casual" clothes. I've lost 25 pounds in the last few months, so I really need to update my clothes! I wonder if I can tempt my daughter into shopping with me next weekend. She has a good eye and makes me pick things I wouldn't normally choose.

The most important thing to do in preparing for a conference is prayer. I'm praying daily the Lord will order my steps and my words so that His will is done in my life. For open - or closed - doors. For new opportunities. For the right path for me and my writing.

Can you think of anything I've missed? Please share!

August 14, 2017

Blogging Consistently and Eclectically

When you are writing with the hopes of publication, there is so much more to the dream than just putting words on a page. These days writers are expected to have an online presence before they are even published. It's a lot of pressure and takes up time that could be better spent writing, but if we are serious about publishing, we need to learn to go public.

I've had this blog for quite awhile and have been fairly consistent until the last couple of years. Now that I'm writing again, I need to blog more consistently. The thing is, I don't remember what made it so easy before.

Maybe it's because I just wrote what I was interested in, what I was doing at the time, or maybe I just did a book review. No pressure. Just me. Not what I thought people expected.

So I'm going to attempt to do that again. It will be an eclectic collection of posts, so if you are following me because of the summaries of John's excellent sermons that I post, then I apologize. Please feel free to unfollow me if you don't care for the new regimen. I promise it won't hurt my feelings!

Now....to think of something to blog about this week. ;)


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