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Monday, April 30, 2012

Beyond the Book: The Fair

Welcome to another edition of Beyond the Book. Today Kara wants to share her quilt with you. The first time she ever noticed quilts was when Ross took her to a county fair. She loved them so much she got Ross’s mother to teach her how to quilt.  Don’t you love the colors? Kara intended to take a better picture of her first quilt, but her cat Casey was asleep on it, and Kara didn’t have the heart to disturb her.  Here’s what happened when Ross took Kara to the fair.  This occurred after they left the quilts exhibit.


Is it possible she’s finally found Her Kind of Man?

Ross Williams has been in love with Kara Cochrane since they were kids so when Kara's fiancé Brandon Miles cheats on her and calls off their wedding—Ross steps in to rescue the damsel in distress.

A heartbroken Kara just wants to get on with her life and hunky Ross provides her with a definite distraction—that is until she starts falling for him. Big time.

But a devastating family secret threatens to destroy everything that Kara holds dear—including her relationship with Ross.


It was almost time to meet the family for dinner when Kara heard an announcement for the women’s skillet toss. “What’s a skillet toss?” she asked.

Ross’s eyes twinkled. A wicked grin spread across his face. “Come and find out.”

Given his grin, Kara wondered if she wanted to know. He dragged her to a field marked off with chalk  that looked something like a football field.

They approached a man sitting behind a small table with a clipboard in front of him.

Ross threw up his hand. “Hi. Is it too late to enter the skillet toss?”

“Nope.” The man smiled at Kara. “You look like a lady who knows a thing or two about skillets. Sign right here, ma’am, and pick your skillet.”

Kara’s mouth dropped open. Did Ross honestly think she’d want to do something so embarrassing?

“No, Ross, I don’t think—”

“Chicken,” Ross taunted.

Kara laughed. “I am not. What do you think this is: first grade?”

Ross turned back to the man at the table and shelled out the two-dollar fee. He chose an iron skillet and handed it to Kara.

“Get in line,” he urged with a wink.

The rules were simple. You threw the skillet as hard as you could, and the one who threw it the greatest distance won the contest. Kara watched as the other contestants tossed their skillets. Each woman had a different technique, but Kara decided she would spin around and around in a circle and then sling the darn thing.

The lady in front of her had finished her turn.

Ross gave Kara a gentle push. “You’re up.”

As Kara moved to the contestants’ box, Ross gave a penetrating whistle and bellowed, “Yay, Kara! Go for it!” The people around him clapped and cheered too.

Kara started to spin in the box. She circled twice, letting go of the skillet on the second spin. The skillet sailed a good distance through the air, but she’d let go of the darn thing at the wrong time. It sailed back into the crowd, scattering spectators and barely missing a dog that had accompanied its master to the fair.

The crowd roared with laughter as Kara’s face turned beet red. Ross laughed too, but he wiped the grin off his face when he took Kara’s arm. “Better luck next time.”

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: continuation

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday. Last Sunday we saw that Kara my heroine had just come home from a wedding, but not just any wedding. Her sister took her fiance away and married him!  This is a pivotal scene in the book, but it's going to take me a few Sundays to get it all done. Check out last week's six, and here is the next six.  If you like what you're reading I have two or three longer excepts that I did this past week.  Just scroll down.

If not for her horrible sister, she would have worn this dress only hours before when she married Brandon, the love of her life. How could Kelly have done it? How could she have betrayed her own flesh and blood?

With a cry of pure rage, Kara grabbed the sleeve of her beautiful dress and jerked as hard as she could. The gossamer fabric parted with a tearing sound that sent Kara’s temper sky high. She tore at the dress, ripping off buttons and pearls and shredding those wonderful, sheer sleeves.

The book is available in print and Ebook at  Use this code to get a 25% discount.  Her-Kind-of-Man-25-percent-discount

I'll continue this next Sunday. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample: In the Attic

Welcome to Sweet Saturday Sample. My excerpt today comes from Her Kind of Man. I always loved my cover, but when I saw the book in print I was in awe of how wonderful it really is.  If you'd like to get a copy for yourself, it's available at Amazon and most other retail outlets and also from the publisher at

Here's a blurb about the book.
Is it possible she’s finally found Her Kind of Man?

Ross Williams has been in love with Kara Cochrane since they were kids so when Kara's fiancé Brandon Miles cheats on her and calls off their wedding—Ross steps in to rescue the damsel in distress.

A heartbroken Kara just wants to get on with her life and hunky Ross provides her with a definite distraction—that is until she starts falling for him. Big time.

But a devastating family secret threatens to destroy everything that Kara holds dear—including her relationship with Ross.
Excerpt: In this excerpt, Kara finds something in the attic that will change her life forever.
She moaned as she tried to accept the unacceptable. Wrapping her arms around herself, she rocked back and forth on the attic floor. Her breathe lodged in her throat; she couldn’t breathe. This couldn’t be true! It was a lie. It had to be a lie. It had to be a lie. It had to!

Fashionista Friday: Kara's Blue Suit

Welcome to another edition of Fashionista Friday. Today I thought we’d take a look at a blue suit owned by Kara Cochrane, my heroine in Her Kind of Man. Kara didn’t buy the suit to wear to her sister’s wedding, but that’s what she ended up doing. Let’s take a look at the suit.

The blue fitted blazer is 22 British pounds at  If the name means anything to you, it was worn by Demi Lovato.

The purse is by Alaia. Notice the cutwork and studs.  Buy it for $1473 at

The necklace is so pretty. Buy this Tarina Tarantino piece for $153 at

Here’s an excerpt from Her Kind of Man that shows what happened when Kara wore this suit.


Is it possible she’s finally found Her Kind of Man?

Ross Williams has been in love with Kara Cochrane since they were kids so when Kara's fiancé Brandon Miles cheats on her and calls off their wedding—Ross steps in to rescue the damsel in distress.

A heartbroken Kara just wants to get on with her life and hunky Ross provides her with a definite distraction—that is until she starts falling for him. Big time.

But a devastating family secret threatens to destroy everything that Kara holds dear—including her relationship with Ross.

Kara and Ross waited to be seated until right before the ushers escorted the grandmothers into the sanctuary. Kara hoped all the guests noticed her and guessed they did. For one thing, her vivid, neon blue suit would stand out in any crowd. For another thing, only a blind woman wouldn’t notice Ross, not only because he was drop dead gorgeous, but because of how attentive he was to her. With good luck, everyone would think she didn’t care at all about Kelly and Brandon.

It was one of her most memorable performances.

She held up well until Brandon and the minister entered the sanctuary from the side door, and she made the mistake of looking at him.  Her vision blurred. Oh, Brandon!

She bit the inside of her lip to keep from crying, but she couldn’t hold the tears back when Kelly started her walk down the aisle. As she furtively wiped the tears from her cheeks, Ross slipped an arm around her shoulders. His silent support made all the difference. With Ross by her side, she could get through this horrible ceremony.

Kelly looked good in almost anything, but today she glowed as if lit from within. Kara hadn’t wanted to like her dress, but honesty compelled her to admit it was beautiful.  The bodice fit snugly and had little cap sleeves.  Yards and yards of tulle flared from Kelly’s waist which was circled by a pale, green satin ribbon. Small green flowers adorned the full skirt. Her feelings for Brandon were written on her face, so Kara saw she loved him.

Her leg danced jerkily. So what? She had loved him first, and her sister, her own flesh and blood, had set out to destroy what had been a wonderful relationship. If she lived to be a hundred, she’d never forgive Kelly. Never!

Kara tried to tune out the entire ceremony, but when Father Duncan told Brandon to kiss the bride, a shaft of pain cleaved her heart in two as a deep, terrible sadness rose up inside her. It was over; he belonged to Kelly now. Up until the last minute she’d thought maybe Brandon would come to his senses and come back to her. Yeah, right. What a fool she’d been.  

Father Duncan directed the guests to the church family life center for the reception. As soon as the sanctuary cleared, the photographer started taking pictures.

“Let’s get out of here,” Kara muttered to Ross, but they had waited too late. “Let’s get a picture of all three sisters,” the photographer directed.

Kara froze, but Ross pushed her forward to join her sisters.

“Smile,” the photographer ordered, so Kara pasted on a smile.

“I want a picture of me and my girls,” her father said. He and her mother joined their daughters in front of the altar. Kara took satisfaction that her brilliant, blue suit clashed so jarringly with the wedding party’s soft green colors.

The minute the camera snapped Kara took Ross’s hand and hurried out of the sanctuary. She didn’t care if the photographer had finished with her or not. Enough was enough.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Feedback: How To Give It How To Get It

Welcome to my blog!  Today's guest is  Jo Sparkes who's written a wonderful book called Feedback and How to Give It How to Get It.  Jo's on a blog tour and is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter, so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her stops at Jo, it's a treat to have you.

1.Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I'm a writer and a teacher. A lot of my writing has been scripts, such as commercials and corporate videos, which is very different from writing books and articles. For those who don't work with it, every word is very valuable in a script. For an entire two house movie, a script is less than 120 pages these days – often less than 110. And of course, you can only write what is seen on the screen and heard on the speakers. There is no telling what a character is thinking, or spending pages on her childhood.

It's fun living within the restrictions. To me it's a puzzle, telling your story through actions.  And you certainly learn to be concise.

2.What motivated you to write this book?

Teaching one day, a student asked a heartfelt question. And I heard myself answering from the heart – one of those moments where you think, 'wow, that's good stuff.  I ought to write that down.'  So I did.

3.Do you have other, similar works?  What about novels, short stories, etc?

Most of what I've written is either scripts – intended to be made on video – or articles and pieces for others. This is my first book. Well, not counting the one I wrote in high school, “The Witch of Lackey High”.  And you won't find that one anywhere.
There is another subject I would dearly love to write about. I'll get to it, one of these days.

 4.What do you think is the biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to give feedback to others?
Intention is everything.

Is this someone you really care about, and you truly wish to help them? Is this an employee, and you want to point out something that will really help their work? Or is this someone you don't like, and you'd enjoy piling on after a mistake you think the person made?

If you come from a place of love for a child, of caring for a friend, of compassion for the same human frailties we all suffer, people see it on some level. They respond. 

 5.Have you ever been overwhelmed by feedback from another person?  If so, how did you handle it?
Oh my, yes. Many times.
For a very long time, I would run away and hide. Then the time came when running away meant giving up my dream career. Faced with that choice, I finally stopped running and began to deal with it. This method found by trail and error is really what the book is about.
That's half of it – dismantling the criticism to find the truths in it. The truths for YOU.

The other half is recognizing the importance of making mistakes. After all, if you're going to try new things, you'll make a few mistakes along the way. The bigger the new goal, the larger the mistakes that inevitably come.

The only way to avoid mistakes is to do nothing.  And that's the biggest mistake of them all.

6.Would you share your links with us?

7.We'd love to read an excerpt. 
Feedback … a kinder word for criticism, is an organic component to life.

When a toddler learns to walk, he falls. He screams, cries – and persists. What would happen to the human race if he gave up after a few bumps?

Before we could read self-help books, before we could understand a language and sit in a classroom, we learned by trial and error. “Feedback” is the natural teaching process. It’s how the creator set it up. It’s how the world actually works.

Here, at last, is a simple process for getting the most from all the feedback the world offers us.

For some reason it's easy to cling to criticism. To walk through the world telling yourself, “I can't act my way out of a paper bag,” or “my work is sloppy no matter what I do.”

     If you think about it, you probably can recall criticism you heard as a child. When I was eight-years-old, I overheard my father tell my mother I was lazy. To this day, if I'm not getting everything done as fast as I wish, if things are piling up on my desk, I can hear him saying, “she's lazy!”

     Clinging to criticism, to all the negative comments or snide remarks we've heard over the years, creates a very heavy burden. If you walk through the world so weighted down, you will inevitably slow and finally stop altogether from the sheer pressure.

     All you can humanly do is what we just did. Take in the information, analyze it, and decide what to do. There is nothing more to be done.

     It – the criticism – has served you. Now send it on its merry way.

Readers, Jo's giving away a $50 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter.  Follow her blog tour and comment often for more chances to win.  Find her schedule at
“In her compact, wisdom-charged Feedback Jo Sparkes provides sharp, sharp, cogent, advice not only for writers but for all people who value creativity and seek to lead fulfilled, creative lives.
“This slender volume provides more bang for the buck than far longer, weightier tomes. It is a splendid resource to which writers will refer repeatedly.”
                               - Richard Walter  Chairman of Screenwriting, U.C.L.A.
“The lessons contained in “Feedback” are not for the writer who is merely looking for a compliment, but rather for those who are striving for accomplishment."
                                  Barton Green  Author, Screenwriter and long-time friend
Jo Sparks simplifies the feedback process in this concise easy to implement guide to giving and receiving feedback.  As an actress, I believe everyone can benefit from her experience, not just those in the industry.
                                        -        Tonetta Weaver, Actress

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Such Delicious Kisses

Nothing like a good kiss, right?  In this excerpt, my hero Ross shares a kiss with Kara my heroine.
Her Kind of Man is available for 25% off at  It's in print or ebook.  Use the code Her-Kind-of-Man-25-percent-discount  You can also get the book at Amazon and most other major retail outlets.

“I need to get home too,” Ross said as he stood up. “I’ve got a lot to do.” He took Kara’s hand and pulled her into his arms. “I could use a goodbye kiss.”

     Kara didn’t know if she wanted to kiss him or not. She liked kissing Ross, but they had only gone out a couple of times.

The sound of Kelly’s voice at the top of the stairs decided the issue. Kara closed her eyes and tilted her head as his lips met hers. She forgot Kelly, the wedding dress, and her mother. In fact, she almost forgot her own name. Something about Ross made her want to hold him and never let him go. She couldn’t think straight when he held her this way.

Head spinning, Kara gasped and pulled away from him. She pushed her tousled hair back from her face and whispered, “Stop, Ross. Mama may come in.”

Ross laughed softly. “Why do you care if she sees you kiss me?”

Kara’s eyes widened as she took a step backward. “I don’t make a habit of kissing my dates in front of my mother, Ross.” To her surprise Ross smiled. “What’s so funny?”

“You are. You like kissing me, but you’re embarrassed because you like it.”

Kara knew he was right. Oh, why did everything have to be so confusing? When she and Brandon were engaged, nothing embarrassing or stressful ever happened to her!

“I…it’s time for you to go home, Ross. I’m…very tired.”

Ross didn’t ask for a kiss this time; he took it. He had her back in his arms before she knew it. She couldn’t have spoken even if she hadn’t been kissing him. Ross didn’t feel like Brandon. He didn’t kiss like Brandon. The warm fuzzies she experienced with Brandon felt nothing like this. This kiss was thrilling, scary, heart pounding, and sizzling hot. Yes, Ross made her hot for him. His kisses and touch drove all but one thought from her mind, and she didn’t have to say what that was.

The kitchen door slammed in the background and broke the spell. She jumped and twisted in Ross’s arms.

“Steady,” he muttered. “It’s only the door.”

That was so not fair! Ross should be the one losing his senses, not her. She pulled away from him again, this time making sure she succeeded in putting some distance between them.

“Thank you for dinner. I enjoyed it very much.” Drat! Why did her voice sound so prim and proper?

Ross gave her a wicked little grin that told her he knew exactly how he’d made her feel.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beyond the Book: Ross's Study

Isn’t it exciting to buy new furniture? Kara and Ross have some rooms to furnish. They added on to the farmhouse at Little Knoll, and now they need to furnish a study for Ross.  They looked around for a long time before they found something that both of them loved-a mid-century modern desk by Peter Lovig. (Source for desk is  As far as I know it’s still for sale.)

It’s absolutely gorgeous, isn’t it?  They’re going to touch up a couple of places, and when they do, they’ll have the desk they both dreamed of.  They needed a chair too.  Kara wanted a mid-century modern chair, but Ross said he spends a lot of time keeping records.  He wanted something new and comfortable.  This is the chair he finally bought.  He got it at

Kara doesn’t like it, but when Ross said it’s the most comfortable chair he’s ever had, she didn’t say a word.  She didn’t think his old study was anywhere near good enough for him.  Here’s a description of the old study from Her Kind of Man.  In this excerpt, Ross’s mother is showing Kara around the farmhouse.

“Ross probably ran to the barn for something,” Annie guessed. “Let me show you the house while he’s gone.”

 She showed Kara to what she guessed had once been a small bedroom. Someone, maybe Ross, had converted it into a study which Kara didn’t especially like.

 The computer desk was well designed with storage for CD’s and computer boxes, but it was made of pressed wood and covered in a brown laminate that vaguely resembled oak. A cheap bookcase and a battered old recliner occupied most of one wall. Ross had positioned a crooked floor lamp to shed light on the recliner.

Annie indicated the computer with a wave of her hand. “Ross has to keep a lot of herd records. Using a computer is easier than doing it by hand.”

Kara did admire the computer. “My computer isn’t as nice, but I don’t use it for work, so it doesn’t have to be.”

Readers, I think they’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of the desk and chair.  Mid century modern styles rock!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: After the Wedding

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday. I'd love for you to leave me a comment.  In today's excerpt Kara my heroine has just gotten home from her sister's wedding.  Too bad that her sister stole her fiance!  Do stop by next week.  This is a pivotal event in the book, and I need more than six sentences to tell it.  Okay, here we go.

Her wedding dress gleamed and sparkled through its heavy plastic covering. On impulse she unzipped the cover and caressed the heavy satin. She had so loved this dress!
She fingered the small pearls sewn into the bodice, and stuck her arm into one long, sheer, embroidered sleeve. How sad for such a beautiful dress to sit in a closet forever.
Without warning, anger flooded Kara.
The book is available for 25% off at  Use the code Her-Kind-of-Man-25-percent-discount

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample

Welcome to Sweet Saturday Sample.  My sample today comes from The Sentence.  In this excerpt, my heroine Rachel is thinking about my hero Clint.

Why had she started to watch him all the time? She’d never admit it to Christina, but she did watch him.

Maybe it was because of his looks. He had a nice body with a pair of drop‑dead gorgeous shoulders. She’d always loved nice shoulders on a man. His face was traditionally handsome, his eyes a pretty blue that always caught her attention. She suppressed a sigh. Bet he didn’t know that every single thing he thought showed in his eyes. Sometimes the emotions she read there shocked her.
Clint seemed to be far more sensitive than she had expected.

He could show unexpected consideration also, like helping Mrs. Jones off the floor and offering to paint her house for free. Still though, how could she be attracted to a man like Clint?

Attracted? Rachel Amos attracted to a……drunken…nobody? Rachel had to remind herself to breathe. It probably wasn’t a real attraction. She didn’t know anyone like him so she was curious about him. That’s all it was.

The Sentence is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at

Fashionista Friday

Kara Cochrane, my heroine in Her Kind of Man, loves clothes.  The first time she visited Little Knoll Farm, the home of my hero Ross Williams, she wore her new suede pants and boots.  How do you like them?

The pants are washable which is good because of something that happened to Kara while she was at the farm.  Here’s an excerpt for you.

Little Knoll Farm didn’t impress Kara one bit. The barns lay a good distance from the house, but when she got out of the SUV, manure, hay, and other farm smells she couldn’t—and probably didn’t want to—identify assaulted her senses. One of the smells was probably the chicken poop scattered around the yard. She’d worn her nice suede boots, the ones with the high heels, so of course she’d already stepped in a nasty pile of chicken poop the minute she got out of the SUV.

“Don’t the chickens have a house?” she asked Ross as a red hen squawked and dashed in front of them.

“Yeah, they have a coop to roost in, but during the day they have the run of the place.”

“Do you eat them?” She hoped so. It would serve them right for messing up her boots.

“Sometimes, but we keep them for the eggs. Mom likes fresh eggs better.”

Ross’s home, a small, low-slung, white frame house with an open porch extending off one side, also disappointed Kara. It did not resemble the country living homes featured in magazines, but it did look well-tended which was about the only thing the house had going for it.

Kara schooled her face to hide her distaste as they walked through the front door directly into the living room where fake, brown paneling sucked the light out of the room and reminded Kara of pictures she’d seen in her mother’s old magazines, the ones from the seventies. The thrift store reject sectional and recliners did nothing to improve her impression of the room. It was clean, though, and that was a plus.

She liked the fireplace on the far wall too. It was flanked by two windows and looked as if it would be a nice place to warm yourself on a cold winter’s day. Ross closed the door behind them. “Everybody must be in the kitchen.”

She liked the kitchen better. The white cabinets and sunny yellow walls made the kitchen cheerful and pleasant.

The kitchen table was set for lunch. Glasses filled with melting ice told her that they’d waited lunch on her and Ross. Ross smiled at Kara. “Mom, this is Kara Cochrane. Kara, my mom, Annie Williams.”

“Hello, Kara, it’s nice to meet you.”

“It’s nice to meet you too, Mrs. Williams. Thank you for inviting me to lunch.”

“This is my brother Bobby, his wife Sue, and their son Justin,” Ross continued.

Justin responded by staggering against Kara’s new suede pants with sticky, chocolate covered hands.

“Justin!” Sue snatched him away a second too late. “Let me get you a towel, Kara.”

Sue ran over to one of the cabinets and grabbed a clean dish towel which she wet and handed to Kara. Kara swiped at the handprints, but of course they didn’t come off.

“I’m so sorry,” Sue apologized.

Sue looked sorry. She had a worried look on her face which bothered Kara. “Please don’t worry about it. They can be cleaned.”

Maybe not too great a beginning, huh?  Her Kind of Man is on sale for 25% off at  Use the code Her-Kind-of-Man-25-percent-discount

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Beyond the Book

Welcome to the first installment of Beyond the Book.  Whenever I meet characters I really enjoy, I hate to give them up.  So, I’ve decided to do a weekly feature that lets the readers keep in touch with the characters they’ve grown to love.  Today, I’m discussing Clint and Rachel from The Sentence.  I didn’t talk much about their wedding in the book, so I thought you jewelry lovers might like to see Rachel’s engagement ring.

The tradition of giving a diamond engagement ring-which symbolizes the promise of a future together-dates back to the 13th century.  Mary of Burgundy is the first known person to receive a diamond engagement ring in 1477.  All wedding and engagement rings are worn on the third finger of the left hand because the vein in this finger, the ‘vena amoris” was once believed to run directly to the heart which was associated with love.  The circular shape of rings symbolize unending love.

The ring Clint gave Rachel has a marquise shape.  The shape of a marquise diamond can maximize carat weight, giving you a much larger looking diamond.  It looks well set with round or pear shaped diamonds.  The length of the marquise cut makes your fingers look long and slender.  To find the dimension of the marquise you want, look for the length to width ratio which determines how the diamond looks when viewed from the top.  For the most traditional marquise cut diamonds, look for length to width rations between 1.75 and 2.25. So, here’s a picture of Rachel’s ring.

Now, let’s see what happened when Clint gave her the ring.

Clint made small talk with them until they finished their meal. The whole time Rachel’s heart leaped and thudded at the beloved sound of his voice. He drained his tea glass and reached into his pocket, bringing out a small, blue box.

“What do you have there?” Reverend Amos asked, his eyes alight with anticipation. He reminded Rachel of a curious puppy whose ears had perked up when he saw something interesting.

“Oh, this is something for Rachel.”

Clint got up and walked around the table. He stooped down beside Rachel and took her hand. “I hope you like it, honey.”

Rachel buried her hot face on the table. “Leave me alone, Clint,” she choked.

Clint’s lips quirked. “You aren’t backing out, are you? You’re going to make me look pretty foolish if you do.”

“Backing out of what?” Cynthia asked.

Clint smiled as sweetly as an angel. “Rachel asked me to marry her, and I’m saying yes. This is her engagement ring.”

Her mother started to giggle. “Did she really ask you to marry her?”

“Yes, ma’am, she sure did.” He gave Rachel’s shoulder a little pat.

If you like what you’ve read, you can find the book at the following places:

Don’t forget to come by next week.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bella Lucia

Welcome to my blog.  Today's guest author is Joanne Troppello.  Joanne is an author of romantic suspense novels.  She has published three books: Shadowed Remembrances, Mr. Shipley’s Governess and Bella Lucia. Currently, she is working on her new writing project, The Paradise Redeemed Series. Joanne is married and loves spending time with her husband and family. She enjoys interacting with readers at The Mustard Seed Blog.

Author Contact Links

Can Authors Afford to be Humble?

In one of my pastor’s recent sermons, entitled True Humility, he spoke about David’s interactions with King Saul and how he did not try to steal the crown away from the king, because Saul was God’s anointed. Even though at one point God’s spirit left Saul and came upon David—the young man and future king, did not rush God’s plan through his own devices; but rather waited patiently for the Lord’s perfect timing. Talk about an awe-inspiring moment! That sermon hit me in the gut.

As authors we love to write and that means if we want to continue to write—and get paid for it—we need to have an audience. How do we get that audience? In a nutshell: we need to continue to write books, brand our name and market and market and market. Sounds like loads of fun, right! So, what is a Christian author supposed to do?

We’re taught by God’s Word that humility as a believer is a high priority on God’s list. “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (I Peter 5:5 NIV) Okay, so God wants me to be humble, but that is the antithesis of what I’ve been taught to do as an author in promoting myself and my books. Is it possible to be both humble and proud at the same time? How can a Christian author market his or her books in a way that glorifies God and doesn’t bring glory to him or herself?  This is a question that has plagued my mind for some time now and this recent sermon at church brought it squarely into focus again.

I’ve learned that God wants us to be in step with Him—not two steps in front and not two steps behind. Of course this is not always easy and we’re human so we (me included) falter many times. However, God never said we had to do this life journey alone. He has provided His Holy Spirit to be our guide and His Word is a light unto our path. Once we realize that following God’s plan will benefit us in the end, it’s easier to let go of our own desires and follow after Him. If you’d like to find out more about my own personal journey and why I almost gave up writing, please check out this post: What's Your Reason to Write?

Now, humility for the Christian means we are giving credit to God for all of our accomplishments and acknowledge Him as Lord over our lives. Sounds simple, but our pride many times gets in the way and this is especially tricky for an author or someone else who needs to promote self for career advancement. When you start to believe in your own power towards achieving success, you are heading down the wrong road. Pride goes before a fall. However, that’s where God comes into the picture as mentioned in I Peter 5:5—when walking in humility, God won’t oppose you, but He’ll shower you with His grace and favor. Now who wouldn’t want that? I know I’d prefer God’s umbrella over me rather than His opposition.

David was content to leave both promotion and demotion to God. He didn’t worry about when he was going to advance to be king. He was at peace leaving his advancement to God’s timing. Yes, David was human, so I’m sure he had his moments of doubt and indecision—like when he snuck up behind King Saul in the cave and cut off a piece of his royal robe. True, he denied his men the many chances to kill Saul, but even cutting off the piece of his robe caused him pain because he knew Saul was still God’s anointed. If only we all could experience such a check in conscience when we walk in offense towards God—but each day is a new day and God is a God of second chances. Amen to that!

In God’s perspective, we only get to the top of the ladder by helping others up before ourselves. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Usually I prefer reading the New King James Version of the Bible, but this verse pastor read from The Message version really hit home. “Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.” (Phil. 2:3) Since 2010 when I really started promoting my books, I started out with a perspective of doing unto others as I would have done to me. I don’t say this to pat myself on the back, but just to share part of my journey.

To me it made sense to help other authors get promotion because one day, maybe they’d help me when I needed it. I started my website and blog about 6 – 8 months before my second book came out. My first was published years ago and then I got sidetracked with life and did not writing anything new and slacked off majorly in the promotion department. So, while I was trying to build up my platform and gain followers—again, I hate saying this word because it goes against the grain of trying to live in humility!!—I figured no one wanted to hear about little ol’ me. That’s when the brainstorm came that if I promote other authors it would be a win-win situation. I’d get FREE content for my blog and they’d get FREE publicity.

It’s been wonderful because the situation worked out beautifully for all involved and I’ve made some good friends alone the way—many who have reciprocated with free publicity for me. I truly believe that two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. (Ecc. 4:9-10)

I believe it is possible to live in the limelight without becoming a glory hog—but you can only accomplish this with God’s daily help. If you think you can remain humble in the limelight on your own terms, you’ll be mistaken and will take a hard fall.

Wouldn’t you rather trust God to open up doors of opportunity for you that are exceedingly abundantly above all that [you] ask or imagine according to the power [Christ] that works in [you] (Eph. 3:20)? Isn’t it better to walk in step with God’s perfect timing and specific plan for your life? Don’t you think a God promotion is so much better than a God demotion? Can you imagine living under the umbrella of God’s unfailing favor and grace every day?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this subject and how you’ve dealt with it…

Blurb for Bella Lucia:

After being married for six years, Gwen and Lucas DeStefano are dealing with the pain of a childless marriage and trying to trust God for their future.  On a weekend getaway to the Poconos, they attempt to relax and renew their marriage, but witness an event that turns their lives upside down.  They see a body dump in the woods while they are on a hike and their lives become entangled in a web of suspense and God’s ultimate blessing in the form of a little baby girl, named Bella Lucia. Will Gwen learn to trust God with childlike faith and wholeheartedly accept His plan?
Det. Marc Abrams is assigned to the murder investigation of Sabrina Reysen and he will do whatever it takes to find her killer. He has his suspicions and is pleasantly surprised when he meets Samantha “Sam” Collins, the attractive US Marshall assigned to protect one of the witnesses in this case. Will Det. Abrams find the killer before it’s too late and is the attraction between him and Sam strong enough to survive?