Monday, March 25, 2013

Don’t Imitate Others – Follow God’s Directions by Lena Nelson Dooley

In 2005, so many people were starting blogs. I had no idea what a blog was, and I didn’t know if I was supposed to do one. I asked some other writers I was connected with what they blogged about. Someone told me to blog about my journey to publication. That was something I could do, so I started a blog.

Once a month for three months, I wrote a blog post detailing some part of my journey. And the three or four people who cared about my journey came by my blog. No. One. Else.

I had several contracts at that time, so I didn’t think I had time to keep up the blog like that for only a few people. So I did what I should have done in the first place. I prayed about whether I should blog or not.

God gave me the plan for mine. I was the first person to give away books on a blog. What God told me was for me to lift up and promote other authors, and He would lift up and promote me. Since that time a number of people have borrowed various aspects of my blog, but many of them do not have the results God has provided for mine.

Because I was following His directions, my blog has grown until it has over 8,750 hits per month, plus the feeds. And the blog draws a large audience of readers. That’s my target audience.

So when you’re planning the way to promote yourself and your work, the first place you should go is to your knees. We serve the God of all creativity, and He has a unique plan for each of us. He has recently given me new ideas of how to “enlarge my tent” in this economy.

We live near a Mongolian Grill owned by a Tony Chan. We eat there occasionally, and we’ve become acquainted with Tony. When he found out I write novels, he asked me to put him in one of my books, and I told him I would. The Tony Chan developed into a strong secondary character.

Today we ate there again. I asked him if he’d like me to do a booksigning in his restaurant when the book comes out. He was enthusiastic about us doing that. That’s a direction I wouldn’t have ever thought of moving, but I believe God’s hand directed me.

So get out of your box. Go where you can find new readers, no matter how strange it seems.

The first Tony Chan book is Mary’s Blessing, book two in the McKenna’s Daughter’s series, which released in May 2012. Book three Catherine’s Pursuit, which released in February this year, also has the Tony Chan character in it.
--Lena Nelson Dooley, multi-published, award-winning author

Monday, March 4, 2013

"Mommy, I'm scared!" by Janice Olson

John 14:27 (NLT) “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

*        *        *

When my children were little, sometimes at night they would be afraid. I would hear them yell, Mommy, I’m scared. Like any good parent, I would do my best to diminish their fears and make them feel safe again and hopefully go off to sleep.

I’d check in the closet and under the bed to prove no one was there. But sometimes their little minds wouldn’t settle down. The only way they would be comforted was for me to lie down beside them, pull them up close, and softly sing songs like “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” or old hymns of the faith until they fell asleep.

Just as my children would get frightened, there are times that I get scared and worried too. Even when I do my best to keep the uncertainties at bay, they often return with a vengeance. Only when I turn to my heavenly Father and tell Him how truly scared I am, that’s when He pulls me up close and gives me comfort.

Sometimes, just like my kids, it takes Him a little longer to convince me no one can harm me, He’s in control. But once I lie back in His comforting embrace and know that He is there to stave off the evil one, all my cares and concerns begin to fade away. And though life’s uncertainties are still raging around me, my troubled heart finds peace and rest in Him.

It is wonderful to know the ol’ boogeyman can’t harm me in my Father’s arms.

How awesome is our Father’s peace—this peace I give to you is a gift the world cannot give. And I’m so glad the world can’t take it away.

Janice Olson is the author of fast-pace, character-driven suspense with an interlaced thread of faith. Her novels are praised as clean, wholesome reads with twists and turns, conspiracies and intrigues that provide hours of breathtaking entertainment.

She is the president of DFW Ready Writers and the leader of a weekly writers’ critique. Serenity’s Deception and Lethal Intent are two of her book now available online at Barnes & and