Review of Isaiah’s Daughter

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It is rare to find a thoughtful, well-researched piece of fiction based in scripture. It is even more unusual to find a book that not only entertains but inspires. Isaiah’s Daughter is just such a book.

This is a tale that is epic in scope. It covers years of war, poverty, success, and wealth. Most of all, though, are the themes of faithfulness and trust in God.

Andrews has written a book that expands on the original story but doesn’t stray beyond it. Isaiah’s Daughter would be appropriate for any adult reader who is interested in historical fiction. It is highly recommended.


Don’t miss out on the pre-order special currently offered by Waterbrook & Multnomah. This is a wonderful book! You won’t want to miss out on these exclusives!

Review of Storytelling for Pantsters

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always dreamed of writing the next Great American Novel. Certainly cliche for a blogger, I know.

We all have dreams, right?

But the thought of actually writing a long work of fiction that is coherent and meaningful hits me between the eyes with fear and leaves me with writer’s block. It’s almost easier to keep it as a dream rather than begin the actual work of crafting my first novel. Blogging is much easier, simpler in so many ways.

Having read all of the “greats” in college–Hemingway, Steinbeck, Woolf, etc–I am intimidated by even attempting to take on a novel as my next project. How do I top that?

If you feel similarly, then definitely check out Annalisa Parent’s new book, Storytelling for Pantsters. In Parent’s book, she not only addresses these common fears of first time authors but also lays out tips to master the craft of writing in a simple and engaging manner. Whether you have an MFA or are new to the field of writing, you will find something of interest in Parent’s book.

For writers like me who tend to “fly by the seat of their pants” when it comes to writing, Storytelling for Pantsters is valuable in that Parent not only accepts that some of us might not outline all of our writing, but she also teaches us how to use this as part of the whole writing process. In the book, she illustrates how writing doesn’t have to be a linear process, but can instead be circular in fashion, beginning with a free write and later drafts further refining the work.

Even with a degree in English, I have often been unclear on the elements of a work of fiction, such as plot pacing and the balance of action vs. character development. Parent provides aspiring authors with clear direction on these points as well as other tips on making a manuscript worthy of publishing. Her long-time experience with both teaching and publishing lends itself to a focus on the information that new authors need, along with the ability to clearly explain these elements of the craft.

Too, she also gives the reader encouragement to get past their fears. This is such a big part of being unable to write, and yet it is often ignored by those who teach writing.

Easy to read and yet full of important information, Annalisa Parent’s new book, Storytelling for Pantsters, is highly recommended for any author who would like to improve and work on their writing process.

 

Purchase Storytelling for Pantsters

Storytelling for Pantsers

Annalisa Parent

Laurel Elite Books

ISBN Number: 1947482017

Truths and Healing

roseThis past year? Well, it was pretty awful. Lots of revelations and revealings and truths that I really didn’t want to know.

They needed to come into the light, though. Sometimes knowing and understanding can bring change, even if it is unwanted at the time.

I cried and cried as I discovered one awful truth after another.

But I also prayed. I leaned into God when there was nowhere else to go. And I managed to make it through each day, until finally a new year was upon us.

When I received the chance to be on the launch team for Surprised by the Healer: Embracing Hope for Your Broken Story by Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery, I knew this would be a meaningful book, one that actually left me thinking and wondering and praying even more. I wasn’t disappointed. Through the stories of these brave women’s lives, the truth that we all need to know is revealed, that of the Healer, Jehovah Rapha.

In the book, Dillow and Slattery write, “The greatest evidence that a person has experienced the love of God is that she will be changed–not perfect but changed.”

Yes. In the past I would have retreated, given up in the face of pain. But leaning into God helped me move through the worst of it.

Are things better now? Have my circumstances improved? Honestly? No, they haven’t. But I’m changing, and that’s only through God’s grace, not my own will.

Ultimately, even if the pain and the circumstances stay the same, God is still here. And through His power we can have healing and hope.

Dillow and Slattery state, “Dear friend, your healing journey is about more than managing your anguish and fear. The Healer has bigger plans for you than a pain-free life. He intends to transform your story into one of victory.”

Healing is possible through an encounter with the Healer.

I pray that I would be changed through Him because the love of God can give us healing and victory even when life is still a mess.

 

 

Continuing On Despite It All

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Photo by wenx on Morguefile.com

This year seems to have been one of loss and struggling through the mess and the aftermath. There have been many things over the past several months, some shocking and others mundane, but all full of letting go, cleaning up, and moving on.

This has been a year of …

  • Major loss of hours at work.
  • Loss of friends.
  • Breakdown of a relationship.
  • Breaking down of cars, appliances, plumbing, etc.
  • Disappearance and (possible) death of a cat we fed and cared for.

Some problems, of course, came with easy–if not inexpensive–fixes. However, others left only questions.

I have prayed, seeking guidance and answers from God. So far, no answers have come.

What do we do when life continues in the muddle of brokenness and unfulfilled desires and questions and worries and pain?

Today I baked cinnamon cookies.

It was a small little goal that was easily finished on a busy day. Cleaning up the stray crumbs after bringing the first batch out of the oven, I thought about the blessings that remained even after everything.

There’s only one question now.

What will I do if my prayers aren’t answered and the miracles don’t come?

Reading Kaitlyn Bouchillon’s upcoming book, Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between, I am encountering some confirmation of my feelings at this moment:

“He may answer our questions, but even if not we have the Answer above all answers. And the truth is, even when we don’t have all the answers we so long for, we don’t actually need to know the future. We just need to trust the One who authors it into being.”

Yes.

Sometimes it takes a bunch of heartache and pain and worry that just continues and continues and continues to bring you to your knees.

And if the answers don’t come? Or the changes we desire? Or the blessings and miracles and dreams?

Can we still praise God and say that Jesus is enough?

Drinking some afternoon coffee and eating one of my homemade cookies, I can finally smile a little and say, “Yes.” I will trust Him and praise Him, even in the middle of my mess and even if those answers never come.