religious icons

World Building—Creating a Culture (Part 3: Building a Religion)

I’m continuing my series on world building. Start by checking out Part One and Part Two. Building a Religion In Part One, I had an overview of different elements that go into creating a rich, round culture. Now, I’m going to break down those elements and talk about implementing each one in a more detailed […]


Horses and Mules

Bandit lowered his head and started to charge

darkness light

We Need to Look at the…Darkness…!

Guest Blogger: HG Ferguson “Wᴇ Nᴇᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ Lᴏᴏᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ Lɪɢʜᴛ” has become sort of a rallying cry in some circles of those who write Christian speculative fiction (hereafter called spec fic). It has generated the obligatory “buzz” in the blogs and on its face, appears quite admirable. Its proponents maintain that since we are […]

The Camp 2

The Camp

The Amulet Saga Volume Two: The Traveler Seeing     Escape     Bandit     The Road     Beggars     Healer The City     Spy     A Place to Stay     Outlaws The Camp The heat from the lowlands didn’t dissipate until they were far up into the mountains. Rose wiped sweat from her brow with a cloth Myrta handed her. The cart they […]


Ten Tolkien Quotes for your Writing Wednesday

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Character Creation

Character Crafting Quandary

Guest Blogger: J.E. Lowder In my third book, When Kings Clash, I encountered a snag when re-writing the prologue from omniscient narrator to third person limited viewpoint. How do I introduce a new primary character without revealing his identity and background? The obvious answer was to tell his story through the viewpoint of another person, but this too was a […]

Photo by Kristen Stieffel

One Simple Way to Increase Writing Productivity

Like a lot of writers, I struggled to make room for writing. There are so many other demands on our time: paying work, church work, family, friends… It’s way too easy to let your writing fall off the end of the day. That’s why many writers do their writing first thing in the morning. I […]



It’s late. I’m still awake. I should really be sleeping. The clock chimes. It’s that mellow, resonating sound I remember from my childhood. It’s familiar, even comforting. My grandpa made clocks for my dad and uncle when they were first married. He has one of them in his own house. I grew up listening to […]

The Mountains


The Amulet Saga Volume Two: The Traveler What Came Before: Seeing     Escape     Bandit     The Road     Beggars     Healer The City     Spy     A Place to Stay Outlaws Taurin stretched. The girl, Rose, knew her healing arts. He felt better than he had before the injury. He watched her in the corner, trying desperately to match the […]


Reaching Out

I stuffed my hands into the pockets of my hoodie and scanned the crowd of excited faces. Psychos, some of them were even smiling. My jaw ached from having my teeth clenched together so tightly. I hated roller coasters.

Conference Notes: Wisdom From Robert Benson

At the end of February I was at the Florida Christian Writers Conference, where I was honored to be on a fantastic faculty. You all know I love conferences, and I believe attending conferences is one of the best things a writer can do to develop a career. I also know that not everyone can […]

Author's Journey



I turn on the TV and drag my elliptical trainer into the middle of the room. I really don’t want to exercise today. I groan and mutter under my breath as I turn on Netflix. What I really want to do is take a long nap or maybe just drink some more coffee. Exercise, I […]

Christian SpecFic

Christian SpecFic Shut Out … Again

Christian SpecFic Shut Out … Again

The Florida Christian Writers Conference is next weekend, and I’ve had that old, familiar experience: I look through the list of agents and editors, hoping there will be someone I can meet with. But it happened again, same as always. This one’s looking for romance, suspense, and historical. That one’s looking for Amish, contemporary romance, […]

Creative Nook

Rebirth Cover Reveal

Rebirth Cover Reveal

I have the wonderful opportunity to be part of the launch team for an upcoming book. I really love reading and reviewing books. It’s kind of an excuse to get to read for fun, because I’m doing it for someone else, not just for me, so when I see opportunities, I try to jump on […]

Critical Views

And Pie for All

And Pie for All

I’m a sucker for those Facebook Quizzes and memes based on things like your initials and birthday. My favorite is one that gives all kinds of options of things to do with famous or infamous people from books, movies, and TV such as the dreaded “go to prison with Voldemort.” Mine is fantastic – “Rule the […]

Guest Blogs

Why Overnight Success Would Have Been Bad for my Novel

Why Overnight Success Would Have Been Bad for my Novel

Guest Blogger: Dennis Brooke God’s timing is perfect and it’s always later than ours. —Mrs. Maria Ann Hirschmann Ten years ago I pitched an idea for a television show to a Hollywood screen writer. He was sold and shopped the idea to several studios, hoping they would snap up my faith-based series. The concept was […]

Life and Such

Books and Beverages

Books and Beverages

Last week there was a meme going around about dreaming of owning a bookstore. Honestly, this isn’t really a dream of mine. Or at least something I’d get excited about doing unless I could make it something really unique. Then I had an idea, books and beverages. Pretty much all of my writing friends are either […]

Marketing and Promotion

Called 2 Speak – Profession and Vocation

Called 2 Speak – Profession and Vocation

What makes you want to speak out? I’m proud to be part of the Blog Hop promoting A Time to Speak. This hop is to spread the word about Nadine Brandes’s new dystopian novel, A Time to Speak, releasing October 16th. It is also to encourage myself and others to speak out for our passions and against injustice. I […]

News for Writers

Submit Your Stories to Havok Magazine

Submit Your Stories to Havok Magazine

If y’all aren’t following Havok magazine, you should be. This flash fiction magazine is the place to get your quick hits of speculative fiction, and it’s a great paying market for you to submit to. Each issue of Havok has a theme, and submitted stories must fit the theme. Below are themes for upcoming issues. […]

Our Faith

Key Verse

Key Verse

  I just returned from a Women’s Retreat. One of the activities we did was stamp something significant into a key. I chose one of my favorite Bible verses, Matthew 7:14 abbreviated to MT 714. While it’s a fairly well-known verse, I daresay it’s not a popular one. “For the gate is narrow and the […]

Random Things

Retreats Aren’t For Me

The enamel cross is my daughter’s she bought it earlier this year with her AWANA bucks. She told me that she was putting it on her coin purse so she could show everyone at school that she loved Jesus. Oh my sweet little public school missionary. I pray that I’m doing the same thing. Last weekend […]