August 31, 2009

I Think I'm Back!


I am breathing easier. I'm rested. I am back in the land of the living. And I'm so incredibly glad. August used to be my favorite month, but now...not so much. I understand the need for overtime at my job in August, but that doesn't mean I like it. I really tried not to complain too much, but found myself looking for my cranky pants and slipping them on with ease.


I know my family is glad to have me back. They will enjoy a cleaner house and now I can cook some real meals. We can all sit together at the dinner table, which is one of my favorite times of the day. I love the sharing and the laughter that only comes over a shared meal.


I've missed my online friends and feel out of the loop, but I have to admit that there was some relief in knowing I really did not have the time to check on the blogs I follow. I know I put it on myself, but still, I feel guilty for not stopping by and leaving comments on everone's blog. I wish I had a good balance, because now that I am back at work, I need to manage my time so that I have time to work on the rewrites in my book.


I also want time to begin to flesh out the ideas for my next book. I have several ideas running through my mind and I am praying to see what God wants from me. I think He wants a contemporary. How strange, since I love to read historical. :)


Here's to a new day. A new beginning. A fresh start. Happy Monday!



August 25, 2009

Interview With Lynnette Bonner, Rocky Mountain Oasis


I had the priveledge of interviewing Lynnette Bonner, author of Rocky Mountain Oasis. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!

About Lynnette:

Lynnette Bonner went from being the daughter of missionaries in Malawi, Africa, to the wife of a pastor in the Pacific Northwest. They have four children, ages 15 to 5. Her first novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis, the first of the historical romance The Shepherd Heart’s Series, debuts this August, with the second of the series, High Desert Haven due out in 2010.

Lynnette, congratulations on your new release, Rocky Mountain Oasis! It must be rewarding to have your hard work validated. How long have you been writing? Tell us about your road to publication.

Thank you! Yes, writing is hard work – but the hard work doesn’t stop once the book is accepted. After that the real fun of trying to write that next book while marketing your previous books begins. Ah! The life of a writer! What better life could there be? I LOVE it!

I’ve been writing since probably 1999 with the intention of one day getting published. Before that I dabbled. J I finished Rocky Mountain Oasis in 2000 and started shopping it around. If a publisher had a listing in the Christian Writer’s Market Guide and said they were even remotely interested in historical fiction I sent them a proposal. Then the rejections started rolling in….
Publishing houses said, “Unfortunately, we find we must decline the opportunity to publish this project.” Agents said, “With great regret, I must pass on this opportunity….” And I began to realize the mountain I was attempting to climb.

Then in late 2001 a small e-book publisher said they wanted to publish the book! I was thrilled. The contract was good and didn’t require me to sign my first born away, so I signed with dollar signs dancing in my head – after all, the internet was booming! Surely my wonderful story would take off and I would soon be known world-wide, right? Well, ahem, I made about 90 cents before the company went out of business a couple months later, and those were sales to my neighbor down the street and my brother, I think.

When the e-book publisher went belly-up, I was back to square one. By that time, I was homeschooling my two oldest kids and had a toddler to boot. Writing got put on the back burner. 2003 ushered in the birth of our daughter and in 2004 we moved from Idaho to Washington. I was still homeschooling and not writing. But through all those years I just kept praying about Rocky Mountain Oasis. I told the Lord the book was in His hands (I’m pretty sure He already knew this.) And that if He had given it to me just to help me through those tough, stressful years, I would try to be content with that. But I kept asking Him to direct my steps where the book was concerned. I specifically remember praying that if the Lord wanted this book to be published He would need to “drop a publisher in my lap” because I didn’t have time to shop it around again.

My mom is also a writer and she called me up one day in early 2007 to tell me about a new publisher on the scene, OakTara. One of her critique partners, Linda Reinhardt, had just gotten a contract with them. I checked them out and they had super simple submission guidelines, so I zipped up my file and fired it off to them. (Problem – their guidelines didn’t call for zipped files.) By December I still hadn’t heard from them – and I thought, “Well, I’ll try sending it to them with the files unzipped. Duh! (Insert slap to forehead.) So at midnight on December 23rd, 2007 I fired off another cover letter with my now almost 8 year old baby attached. They were the only publisher I’d submitted to in 6 years.

I love to hear author’s stories of what is was like to get The Call. What was it like for you? Did you get an actual phone call or an email?

I got an email. Since OakTara’s guidelines at the time said to expect to hear from them within 8 weeks of submission, I pretty much gave up when I hadn’t heard anything by April. Then on June 9th, 2008 I was having trouble with my email program and couldn’t get it to download email from my provider. So I’d gone online to fix something on the provider end – I hadn’t had email for about a day. I wasn’t even trying to read emails, I’d just gone to the provider to see what the problem was, get the annoyance fixed and get on with my day, but I happened to glance at the new emails as I was looking for something else, and I saw “Rocky Mountain Oasis” in the subject line of one. My hands stilled. I stared at that email subject, and tried to swallow my heart back down into my chest, because I’d actually given up on OakTara getting back to me at that point. It had been so long since I’d submitted to them (6 months) and did I really want to read another rejection right now? Curiosity got the better of me. I opened the email right there online (of course) and the opening line was: “Rocky Mountain Oasis is precisely the type of novel OakTara is interested in – quality fiction, from a fresh perspective – and we’d like to offer you the opportunity to join OakTara’s growing stable of authors.” I’m not kidding when I say I had to read the email a couple times to get it to sink in.

Tell us a little bit about your book.

Rocky Mountain Oasis is a story about a young woman who’s lived with abuse her entire life. Sent west as a mail-order bride by her uncaring uncle, she meets, for the first time ever, a man whose religion is not just a show for Sundays. What is a girl to do with that kind of Love? Dare she trust it? Or is it simply another mirage in the desert of her life?

To find out more about the book, see a video trailer, or read an excerpt you can visit my website at: http://www.lynnettebonner.com/.

What led you to write in that setting and time period?
I’ve always loved historical fiction. There is something about being transported to a time where life was hard, people worked from sun-up to sun-down to scrape together a living, and communities were tight-knit families, that has always appealed to me.

You have a sequel coming out in 2010, High Desert Haven. Can you give us a peek into that book?

High Desert Haven, follows the life of Jason, a secondary character in Rocky Mountain Oasis. Here is a short synopsis:

When her husband is killed in a strange riding accident Nicki Trent is left with a toddler and a run-down ranch. Determined to bring her ranch back from the brink of death, Nicki hires handsome Jason Jordan as a ranch manager. But when her neighbor, William, starts pressing for her hand in marriage, the bank calls in a loan she didn’t even know about, bullets start flying, and a burlap dummy with a knife in its chest shows up on her doorstep, Nicki wonders if this ranch is really worth all the trouble.

To make matters worse, terrible things keep happening to her neighbors. When her friend’s homestead is burned to the ground and William lays the blame at Jason’s feet, Nicki wonders how well she knows her new hand.

Where is the God who promised to be a comfort in the Valley of Death? Does he even remember that Nicki exists? And can she believe Jason’s assurances that he had nothing to do with the fire?

Have you written in any other genres?

None that are published… yet. I’m one of those writers who has about 4 or 5 stories going at the same time. I’m currently working on book 3 in The Shepherd’s Heart series, writing two contemporary romances, a fantasy-type romance, and another historical romance set in Africa. I’m not letting myself start another one until at least one of those is finished!

Your blog has some great posts on marketing. What advice do you have for getting your name out there?

I think the best advice I could give to people would be, “Be bold.” Don’t be hesitant to ask for help with promotion. Generally, other writers are more than willing to help get your name out there, give you an endorsement, etc. Also, there is a plethora of great information available on the web about marketing. Be intentional about learning the best ways of marketing your works.

What has brought you the most joy in your writing? What has been the most difficult aspect of writing?

I think the most joy, for me, comes when someone tells me how much they liked my story.
I would have to say the most difficult aspect of writing is the inevitable rejection. There will be rejection by editors and publishing houses. There will be rejection from readers who think you’ve written a bunch of drivel. Rejection is part of a writer’s life. Developing a hard skin helps, but rejection still hurts.

What has God taught you on this writing journey?

I think one big thing I’m still learning (and probably will be for a long time to come) is that God’s opinion of me is the only one that I need to worry about. If I can take a rejection and then look to God and say, “Okay, Lord. I got another rejection. Help me to remember who I am in You,” that is a giant step in the right direction.

Do you have any advice for new and aspiring writers? Anything you would do differently?

I think it goes without saying that you need to make your writing the very best it can be. Some ways of doing that are: Attending writers conferences, reading writing books, reading writing blogs, participating in a critique group or groups, and learning to let go of your ‘precious’ words.
I think one thing I would do differently would be to keep writing even in the midst of rejection. I never completed my second novel until the first one was finally accepted, even though I started plenty of stories as ideas struck.

I have one last fun question for you. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?

These are to be indulgent, guilt-free wishes! (Our family’s spiritual and physical health are always on the list. . .these are wishes just for you!)
Ha! Oh goody! Let’s see…

1. More money – I’d like to have a log cabin in the country, build an orphanage in Malawi, take mission’s trips, give my kids more fun things like summer camps etc. (That all counts as 1 right? Lol)

2. A Maid for my log cabin in the country – if she cooked too that would be awesome!

3. A lifetime supply of all types of Swiss Chocolate.

Lynnette has graciously offered a free download of Rocky Mountain Oasis today to a lucky commenter! I will do a random draw on August 1. You have a week to post a comment and please leave your email address, so Lynnette can contact you with instructions if you are the lucky winner!


To read an excerpt from Rocky Mountain Oasis, go HERE.

To purchase Rocky Mountain Oasis, go HERE.
To follow Lynnette on Twitter, go HERE.
To find Lynnette on Shoutlife, go HERE.
Good luck in the draw!!!


August 19, 2009

Top 10 Blog Posts For Writers


What are the best blog posts a writer could write? Well, I've been thinking about it, and I'm gonna tell ya!


Sherrinda's Top 10 Blog Posts:


10. I Have A Blog Follower! (yes, I joined the writing community and have a follower!)

9. I Finished My First Novel (yes, I accomplished a dream of mine!)

8. My Editor/Dad Says My Book Is Ready! (yes, he is a professional and is editing my book!)

7. I Finalled In The Genesis! (yes, I am one of the finalist!)

6. I Won First Place In The Genesis! (yes, I got first place!!!!)

5. An Agent Requested A Full! (yes, the agent I queried asked for a full manuscript!)

4. I Got An Agent! (yes, my dream agent called and offered representation!)

3. Publisher Has Requested a Full! (yes, my agent called and the publishing house has asked for a full manuscript!)

2. I Got The Call! (yes, my agent called and my book has been contracted for publication!)

1. I Am Holding My Published Book! (yes, holding my papery baby in my hands would be a dream come true!)


I don't really know if these are the best posts ever, but I am thinking they are pretty high up there for most writers. I've accomplished #9 and #10 and it felt great! I can only imagine what it will feel like to be able to post about each of those accomplishments.

What would you add?


August 17, 2009

What's Up With Me


I feel so out of touch with the world and my online friends. I've worked 42 overtime hours in the last 2 weeks and I am weary.


I wouldn't need to work so long, but there are so many interruptions during regular working hours that I cannot get all these new students entered into the computer! (I work in a large elementary school as registrar/attendance clerk.) I get sooo much accomplished in the quiet of my hot office. (No air conditioning after hours!)


And we live in Texas, where the heat is unbearable at times!

So, don't think I'm ignoring you. I'm just too tired to do much but fall into bed at the end of the day. I miss you guys!


August 12, 2009

Top 20 Fiction On Christianbook.com

I saw a list for the top 20 fiction titles at Christianbook.com and here they are, as of August 1:

  1. The Missing, Seasons of Grace Series #2, Beverly Lewis
  2. The Shack, William P. Young
  3. A Cousin's Prayer, Indiana Cousins Series #2, Wanda E. Brunstetter
  4. Fields of Grace, Kim Vogel Sawyer
  5. Forgiven, Sisters of the Heart Series #3, Shelley Shepard Gray
  6. Dawn's Prelude, Song of Alaska Series #1, Tracie Peterson
  7. That Certain Spark, Only in Gooding! Series #4, Cathy Marie Hake
  8. A Surrendered Heart, Broadmoor Legacy Series #3, Tracie Peterson, Judith Miller
  9. A Man of His Word, Hearts of Middlefield Series #1, Kathleen Fuller
  10. Intervention, Terri Blackstock
  11. Take Two, Above The Line Series #2, Karen Kingsbury
  12. The Believer, Shaker Series #2, Ann H. Gabhart
  13. Green,The Beginning & the End, Circle Series #0, Ted Dekker
  14. Where Grace Abides, Riverhaven Years Series #2, B.J. Hoff
  15. A Dream to Call My Own, Brides of Gallatin County Series #3, Tracie Peterson
  16. The Carousel Painter, Judith Miller
  17. Lonestar Secrets, Lonestar Series #2, Colleen Coble
  18. Outlaw's Bride, Lori Copeland
  19. Angel Train, Wagon Wheel Series #4, Gilbert Morris
  20. Montana Rose, Montana Marriages Series #1, Mary Connealy

What I find interesting about this list is that 8 out of the 20 is Amish fiction. I confess this is not my favorite type of read, but evidently it is for alot of people. What is so compelling about this type of fiction? Is it the simple life? A simple faith? A cloistered life? I don't know...you tell me.


August 10, 2009

The Dreaded Red Pen!


I've gotten 5 chapters back from my dad and it was covered in red! For those who don't know, he is an author/editor by trade and he has graciously taken the time to do for me what he has done for many famous authors. For FREE!!!!

You will laugh when I tell you that when he sent the first chapter back, he had more notes than I had pages! Sigh...such is the life of a first time writer. The second and third chapters did not have as many edits and notes, but then came chapter 4 and 5.

OH. MY. GOODNESS.

There were major issues. It seems I have some major character development problems. I have an unlikeable heroine and, as you know, that is not a good thing! lol I tried to create tension between the hero and heroine and have them bicker and tease each other, but evidently I've overdone it and my heroine is coming off whiny.

That is just one thing among many problems. The good news is, so far my plot is good! So as long as the story is there, everything else is fixable. (Of course, it is only chapter 5 and there are 28 more chapters to go...so I am keeping my fingers crossed regarding the plot!)

I will say that I gave my book to my dad too early. Most writers pen their book, join a critique group, get feedback on their writing, and rewrite several times. Nope, not me. My dad wanted to read my book. He said I might as well let him be the critiquer and save myself a step. :) While definitely true, it puts him in the hard position of 1) having more work for him to do, and 2) having to tell his daughter all her problems in writing! Poor Dad!

While it is a bit discouraging to see all that red on my pages, I am so incredibly grateful I am getting a teacher and mentor, to help me really learn how to write better. I am going to learn so much from his notes and advice. He is a gentle teacher and can couch the criticism in an encouraging way. I know, I know, you all want to borrow my dad!

Now I only wish I had time to start working on my book!!!! I've worked 59 hours in the last 7 days, which is typical of August. After August, I will have more time, but for now, it will be good for me to take the time, step back from the book, and come back at it with fresh eyes.
Just thought I would share a little more of my journey, such as it is.
Have any of you writers out there gotten a professional editor or a thorough critique partner to look at your book? If so, how do they do it? Do they just add comments or do they actually rework your sentences? I'm just curious as to what is typical.


August 07, 2009

Review: Wild Prairie Roses


I just finished the book Wild Prairie Roses by Lena Nelson Dooley, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Lisa Harris, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Here's the back cover blurb:

Constance Miller's father's dying request sends her on a manhunt. Once in Iowa, local blacksmith Hans Van de Kieft shadows her every step. Will Constance find more than she bargained for in riches of the heart?

Among a family famous for their heroics, Tara Young seeks the chance to make a name for herself recovering the golden cache. Government agent Aaron Jefferson is on a similar mission. Can they work together, or will the prize remain elusive to them both?

Lily Reese can't wait to leave her boring town--until Ben Purcell arrives, looking to set down his roots. When stories of treasure sweep them both into a whirlwind of danger, will they each have to give up their dreams to reap the reward?

My thoughts:

Sometimes in books with multiple authors, I find at least one that is lacking. Not so with this book! All 3 lady authors have woven stories that captivated me with the story lines and the romance. Taking a common thread of hidden gold, these stories take a life of their own and are unique in presentation and detail. I loved the romance woven throughout and loved their happy endings.

I won't say anything more about the hidden gold and spoil the fun of knowing what happens when...if...it is found. Hhhmmmm. You'll have to read this fun book to find out the truth behind the mystery.


August 05, 2009

Top 10 Worst Blog Post Ideas

I was stuck on what to blog about and Katie tweeted that I should blog about terrible blog ideas. So...here is my list of the 10 worst blog ideas ever.


10. Report on the studies done regarding the cleanliness of public bathrooms. Can anyone say eewww?

9. Gripe about your mother-in-law. (I happen to love mine, and have nothing but praise. But I have heard stories....oh.my.goodness!!!!)

8. Gripe about you mother. (Can't say that I could do this either, as I have the sweetest, most generous mother in the world!)

7. Plastic surgury updates. (though before and after pics might give us something to smile about!)

6. Bed bugs. Those creepy crawlies that news crews love to expose on TV and gross everyone out to where they develop phobias about sleeping in hotel beds.

5. Blog about dieting tips when you have never worn a size greater than 8. Really?

4. Toenail fungus, and where you might have picked it up, and the treatment of it. Please, no pics.

3. Mole and wart removals. (Unless it's cancer, then by all means post so we can at least pray about it.)

2. How to train your cat to cough up hairballs OUTSIDE instead of INSIDE the house!

1. The best ways to pick your nose and not get caught. (Okay, I confess that Jill's post got me thinking about this...and I thought Jill's post was EXCELLENT, btw!!!!)


So there you have it. Surely you can come up with worse ideas than that!


August 03, 2009

Honest Scrap



Thank you Tabitha, from the Books, Bubs and Writing Blabber blog, for honoring me with the Honest Scrap Award! Tabitha is a sweetheart who has recently written a memoir. Wow, huh? She has alot to offer and I think she's awesome!


So, I'm supposed to tell you 10 random facts about ME. I don't know that I have anything you might not know, but I'll try.


  1. I hate hair that is not attached to a person's body. It really grosses me out.

  2. I cannot drink after other people, even my husband. The whole backwash thing when the kids were small cured me of that FOREVER!

  3. I cannot watch movies or read books that have demons or satanic themes. I get insanely scared, which is weird, because I have power in me that is greater than them. Maybe it's because I know they are real that is scares me....hhmmm.

  4. I have scoliosis and wore a big metal back brace in 9th and 10th grade. (Think Joan Cusack in 16 Candles...or was that Pretty in Pink.)

  5. I first spoke with my husband when I was 17 and had just moved to Houston to attend a Bible school. He gave me a dozen roses 2 weeks later on my 18th birthday and we have been together ever since.

  6. Got married at 19 and had my first child at 20.

  7. I love, love, love gummy bears and worms.

  8. I got to meet Frank Peretti on my 30th birthday and got an autographed copy of The Oath.

  9. I can do the robot most excellently.

  10. uummm...I have a pair of Cranky Pants, a pair of Fun Pants, a pair of Lazy Girl Pants, and am seriously looking for some Smarty Pants. (as in, O Wise One kind of pants) I thought about some Snarky Pants, but I tend to wear those under my Crank Pants. :)

Please forgive me for not passing this award on. I started back to work today and just didn't have the time over the weekend to get it all together!


August 01, 2009

Look At My Yearbook Pics!

Struggling to find something to post about, I found a fun site to waste some time and give me and my family some good laughs. Yearbook Yourself is a fun way to make yourself look totally stupid! Just take a gander at some of my pics....



1964


1978


1986



2000

That is as current as these yearbook pics get. Pretty funny, huh? I just thought to provide you with some weekend entertainment.

Hope you are smiling!

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