Tag Archive | relationship

Talking Love

Photo frame or gift card with valentines heart shaped ribbonYou would think the author of countless romance stories would find it easy to write one out of her own life. But it’s not.

Growing up, I would walk home and look up to heaven, spin around, and wonder if God was taking my picture. Did He care for my overly-sensitive, hurting and lonely heart? All a teacher had to do was look at me wrong and I’d burst into tears until sixth grade when I learned to hide my pain.

The sweetest love story is when, after years of sensing God’s call to me, I finally understood that I could respond. That he was waiting for me to do so! James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (NASB)” Really? He wasn’t some distant King high on a thrown beyond my reach. I first came to understand this at a Campus Life/Youth for Christ meeting.

For weeks I had begged some friends to let me come to a meeting. They seemed happy. They had something I didn’t. And they would go to concerts for groups like . . . Petra, who I had never heard of. Finally, I was invited and we had a conversation about misconceptions people had about Christianity. I was raised knowing about God and taught to fear Him, so I was fully engaged in the conversation. Then the biggest misconception hit me—that people didn’t understand that they could have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Whoa. Really?

I prayed right then and there and my entire world shifted.

I went out and bought a Bible and started devouring it. Opposition came but I clung to Christ. To a hurting, lonely fifteen-year-old, the fact that the God of the universe wanted me—Me?—was a huge revelation. When depression plagued me, I was told I was trying to manipulate people. The only reason I never attempted to take my life was because of the love of God.

Thirty-five years have brought me through many trials and triumphs, deep pains and sweet moments. God has been there by my side through all of it. I wish I could say that I’ve been as faithful to Him as He has been to me. It’s hard when people have wounded me deeply to trust the God who allowed it to happen. Yet I wouldn’t be here without Him. He’s led me, grown me, matured me . . . and I’ve learned that in Him I have more strength than I could ever have on my own. Some trials I look back on in wonder at how I was able to respond the way I did. That couldn’t have been me, could it?

Only God.

Through abuses, betrayals, heartache, He has been my constant. My one true love. When I write my romances my hope and prayer is that at some level the reader will understand the love of God that underlies the journey’s my characters take.

God is faithful. He has never abandoned me. The fact that He gives me the opportunity to put some of those experiences into my stories to bless others is just another example of His love for me.

Check out my contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…

THE Baron's Blunder

The Baron’s Blunder
“Love does not delight in evil …” 1 Corinthians: 13:6

Fighting evil has been a hobby, but fending off marriage-minded debutantes—a chore.

Lord Charles Percy fends off a land pirate robbing a carriage in broad daylight. Noting he has rescued a beautiful debutante, he lies about his title claiming to be a mere mister.

The Honorable Henrietta Allendale isn’t convinced Mr. Percy is who he claims to be. But after he admits to one blunder can she ever truly trust what he says? Especially about the evil threatening her? Who is the Black Diamond anyway and why would he be after either of them?

One intrepid debutante and one bumbling Baron soon join forces to defeat evil. But to do so might mean they have to sacrifice the one thing they’ve each held as most important—their single status.

Can the truth set them free to love?

Advertisements

My Opinion of Literary Agents

Okay, so I hope I don’t get in trouble here. I”m going to tread lightly because the publishing community is not as big as you think it is and yes – editors and agents do talk and if you make a negative impression it can have a ripple effect!

Most authors would love a big publishing contract and an advance for the fabulous novel they have penned. Many of us know that either you need to get to a conference or send a ton of perfectly penned query letters.

So if you query an agent via email or snail mail, how are you going to know they are the right agent for you? I mean, sure, they need to love your work, but the fact is, at some point you may need to talk or even meet this exalted personage that would hold your career in his or her hands. Are you going to trust them based on a great blog?

Here’s my opinion having met some agents over the past year and having friendly (meaning I wasn’t pitching a book to them) conversations with them.

When you get an agent – YOU are hiring them. Yes, they have to decide to take the job and you need to make sure you hire someone who is going to do it well, but more important, I think, is: you need to like them. They need to support your goals and desires as an author.

Last year I pitched at some conferences and sure it would be nice to have an agent selling my remarkably brilliant books on my behalf. But I encountered the reality. Some agents are just not nice. Either that or it was a serious personality mismatch. Or maybe they were just having a REALLY bad day. One gave me a fake smile as she nodded her head and gave me her advice. It was obviously not a match for either of us. Another was worse. She wasted no time trashing my work (without reading a word of it) and telling me I would be better off self-pubbing because no one would want to buy it except in e-book form. (this was a non-fiction book proposal). The woman was snotty, condescending and my hackles (whatever those are) bristled with irritation.

Someone else contracted the book and I’m happy with that publisher. Up side – I don’t have to share my royalties with an agent.

I’ve met other agents who are not a fit for me with what they contract – but they are super people and if they did match up with what I write – I would be thrilled to work with them because they were genuine and interested in who I was as a person – aside from any book. I don’t expect an agent to be my best friend, but I would at least like them to “get” me and even, say, like me? I wouldn’t trust someone who couldn’t accept my quirky personality and that I couldn’t hold a civil conversation with.

Don’t let your pursuit of an agent lead you to jump where you don’t have some level of ease in relating with the individual. Sure, reputation is important, but this is a relationship that you hope will go on for  quite some time and you are paying that person to work for you. If they don’t really like you, can you expect they will do their best for you?

Do you have an agent? What do you think is key about that relationship? Are you looking for one? What has been your experience with the process so far?