RSS

Freeing Ellie: Author Chat with Joan Deneve

View More: http://photos.pass.us/joan-deneveQPQ: Today’s a great day to visit the Quid Pro Quills. We’re thrilled to bring you another interview with Author Joan Deneve. Thank you for joining us, Joan! Tell us what’s new since Saving Eric.

JD: Hello, Jericha. Great to be with you again! Eric and Ellie’s story continues in my new novel Freeing Ellie.

QPQ: Eric and Ellie… together at last! What are some of the challenges they face in Freeing Ellie?

JD: You’re right about challenges. Life seems to be full of them, doesn’t it?

One of Ellie’s greatest fears comes to pass: Eric has to return to his former professional skills in an attempt to rescue someone dear to them both.

Most importantly, though, Ellie has to deal with some baggage from her past: Guilt over past mistakes; depression; doubts about God’s love and forgiveness. These things rear their ugly heads as she and Eric deal with tragedy, as well as complications from a crisis pregnancy.

QPQ: Oh my. Can’t wait to read how they address these challenges. What’s Ellie’s most endearing quality?

JD:  Ellie is sweet, even when she is having a hard time. This quality is endearing but not always helpful. In an attempt not to be a bother to anyone, she bottles up her pain and tries to handle it all on her own.

QPQ: I think a lot of women can relate. Tell us how your book, Freeing Ellie, came to be.

Freeing Ellie FRONT COVERJD: I love books that end with Happily Ever After, but I always want to know what happens to a couple after the wedding when real life hits them square in the face. I love Eric and Ellie, and I wanted to take their journey farther and deeper. Since they were both new Christians when they married, I wanted to show their growth as believers and also the strengthening of their own relationship as husband and wife.

QPQ: Anyone who’s read about Eric and Ellie will definitely want to know more. What resources did you utilize to gather information for Freeing Ellie?

JD: My own life experiences! I was not reared in a Christian home. In fact, my childhood was often violent and troubled due to having a mentally ill father. I was gloriously saved two weeks before my sixteenth birthday! I entered this wonderful faith with a lot of baggage from my childhood. God graciously created the perfect storm of challenges and trials aimed specifically at my fears and doubts to bring me to the place where I could fully trust Him.

Although Ellie’s struggles were different from my own, I think the concept is the same for every believer. God knows the deep secrets and fears in our hearts. He often allows us to go through tribulations (which are trials we can’t handle on our own) in an effort to free us once and for all from the things that have bound us spiritually or emotionally.

I love the line from the novel: Retreat to the truth, not your feelings.

Our thoughts and feelings are often colored by lies we inadvertently tell ourselves such as, God doesn’t care; I’ll never change; Not even God can fix this mess…. We must learn to counter the lies we believe with the truth of His word. God’s truth will make you free. John 8:32.

QPQ: Yes! God’s truth is the only truth in a world of lies. What about Eric and Ellie will appeal to readers?

JD: Their cute, sweet banter! They’re still newlyweds in this novel! They are also still relatively new Christians. I think the reader will enjoy and benefit from witnessing their growing pains in their new faith.

QPQ: Can’t wait to read it. Your dialogue is amazing! What is the single most important lesson you’ve learned about writing, or life in general?

JD: Wow! I had to really think about the answer to this question because there were many lessons along the way. But I think if I had to narrow it down to the single most important lesson in regards to writing and life in general, it would be this:

Even though my life’s calling is to be a teacher, I found I REALLY enjoyed writing. At fifty-seven, when I began this glorious writing journey, I felt that I had walked through the wardrobe door and entered a whole new world that I loved very much. Five years later, I’ve learned some things about this ‘writing Narnia’ that I could not have known when I began.

  1. Writing is a gift but it’s also a craft that must be learned, often through painstaking, patient, and humbling trial and error.
  2. Getting a book published does not bring a lasting or euphoric high that one thinks it will bring. (Nor will it bring fame or wealth.)
  3. Most importantly, I’ve learned that God wants to use my gift of writing in His time and in His way. Once I learned that lesson, the pressure was off to compete with other authors, or to complete yet another epic book. God’s will, God’s way, God’s timing. It took me a while to learn that one, and I think I’m still learning. Actually it was this year that I realized God wants to use my writing whether in a work of fiction, a Facebook post, or even the occasional blog. It doesn’t have to be an award-winning book.

Sorry. I gave you three, but I saved the most important lesson for the last.

QPQ: I’m so glad you did. Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

JD: Me? Not really. But I can tell aspiring authors what I tell myself.

Don’t let self-doubt rob you of the blessing of pursuing your dream of writing a book and getting it published. God wants to use you to help and bless (or maybe just entertain) the people with whom you share this planet.

Don’t look at the Goliaths of other great authors or great and seemingly impregnable publishing houses. As young David said, “Is there not a cause?” Yes! If God has put this desire in your heart, God wants to use you. Trust God and do it!

QPQ: Fabulous advice, Joan. Tell us something we might be surprised to learn about you.

JD: Like Ellie, I once tried to commit suicide. God wasn’t through with me. It’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about this book. God is in the business of changing lives! He changed mine! My prayer is that God uses this book to help someone who is struggling with guilt or depression. There is deliverance!

QPQ: Thank you so much for your transparency, and most importantly, for sharing the sure hope found in Christ Jesus. What’s next for you? Are you writing anything new?

JD: I could use your prayers! Teaching high school English is rewarding but very time-consuming! I also am the primary caregiver for my ninety-six year old mother, another very rewarding but time-consuming challenge. But yes! I am currently working on Loving Brock, the third and final book in the Redeemed Side of Broken Series.

QPQ: Oh goodness! There’s more to come? I can’t wait! Thank you so much for joining us. How might readers contact you?

JD: I love to hear from readers! Here are some ways to connect with me:

cjdeneve@hotmail.comFacebook: Joannie Denevejoandeneve.com

QPQ: Finally, where can we find Freeing Ellie?

JD: Freeing Ellie can be found on Amazon. ♦

~ Jericha Kingston

View More: http://photos.pass.us/joan-deneveJoan Deneve teaches English in a Christian school and has a passion to help young people fall in love with Jesus and equip them to become all God wants them to be. Joan began her walk as a Christian when she accepted Christ as her savior two weeks before her sixteenth birthday. She graduated from Tennessee Temple Bible College in 1975.

Joan and Rene’, her husband of forty-plus years, reside in Prattville, Alabama, a charming city with Southern hospitality. They count their son, daughter, son-in-law, and seven phenomenal grandchildren to be their greatest blessings on earth.

Joan enjoys time well-spent with family and friends, but finds equal joy in quiet moments of solitude on her back porch. There, surrounded by bluebirds and yellow butterflies, she began writing her debut novel, Saving Eric.

An active member of her church, Joan enjoys singing in the choir. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is currently working on the third book in the Redeemed Side of Broken Series. She enjoys chatting with fellow writers and readers. Contact her at http://www.joandeneve.com

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Finding Peace in Anxiety

Finding Peace in Anxiety

I’m not a worrier. Generally, when I have something that worries me, I present it to the Lord in prayer. Sometimes, it’s a two-second “take care of that” kind of prayer, while other times, it’s a hit-my-knees, face on the floor prayer. But after the prayers, I’m usually good at putting aside worries. Not that I haven’t had my moments of deep, debilitating fear—I am a mother of three teenagers. I visit fear and worry. I just don’t tend to live there.

So this niggling anxiety I’ve felt for the last few weeks has been an unwelcome and surprising twist in my otherwise peaceful existence. The problem is, there isn’t one big issue I can blame for this anxiety. In fact, most of the time, I’m not sure what I’m anxious about.

So the other day, I did an inventory of what’s contributing to my anxiety. Here’s the list I came up with for things that have happened or will happen in August:

  • My oldest moved back to Oklahoma, moved into a new apartment, and got a new job—which he doesn’t like.
  • He’s praying (and totally pumped) about going on a mission trip—to Africa—and wants to leave in January.
  • My younger kids started school—a junior and a freshman.
  • One of my teens was in two minor car accidents in four days.
  • An old and serious behavior problem resurfaced in one of my children.
  • I had a major and unexpected shift in my writing career.
  • I’m preparing for a national conference, where I hope to meet with editors to pitch a book I’m passionate about. (The day you read this, I’ll be on my way.)
  • I’m driving three friends to Nashville for the conference, so I have to make sure my car is ready for the trip. (As I write, I’m waiting for Hibdon to complete the oil change and installation of the new tires.)
  • My oldest friend’s mother is suffering from cancer and has been sent home. She’s under hospice care while her family gathers to say goodbye.
  • My closest friend’s mother had heart surgery.
  • Another friend was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • A close family member is struggling with serious pain, and her doctors can’t seem to find a solution.
  • My editing jobs have fizzled this month (God-ordained, I’m sure. When would I have had time to edit?)
  • I’m starting a small group at my church, which is supposed to begin the day after I return from Nashville.
  • My husband and mother have decided to come to the conference in Nashville, so I’ve had to arrange hotels and gala tickets for them and helpers and rides for the younger two while we’re gone.
  • And oh, by the way, my book is a finalist in the Carols in Nashville, so there’s this teeny weeny chance I might have to walk up in front of (what will feel like) a thousand people and give a speech—in three inch heels.

Phew. Now wonder I’m feeling anxious.

As you can see, it’s not like I’m battling a great white shark, it’s like I’m trying to fend off attacks from a hundred red-bellied piranha. And let me tell you, their teeth are sharp.

So what do I do?

For me, the first step was to identify the sources of my anxiety. I didn’t realize how much had happened and would happen in August until I wrote the list above.

Next, I went through the list to separate the things I have little or no control over (like my son’s new job) from the things I do have control over (like preparing for the conference).

The things I have no control over went on my prayer list. What else can I do but pray? And that’s exactly what Scripture tells us to do in Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

The things I do have control over I transferred to a to-do list. And now, rather than worry, I go through the list daily and check-off what I can. And I keep my focus on God, remembering Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

I’ll be honest—I still feel anxious sometimes. But at least I know why, and when a wave of anxiety comes, I can stop, determine the reason for it, and lift it up to the Lord. In the end, the best, most productive thing I can do is pray.

How do you deal with anxiety?

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, was recently named a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards and won the 2016 Bookstores Without Borders Lyra Award in the Women’s Fiction category. Its prequel, Chasing Amanda, is currently offered for free at all major retailers. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.

 

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 24, 2016 in Writing

 

Animals & Authors with Deb Gardner Allard

IMG_2314

Deb and Lovey

Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it? Really? Let’s visit with Deb Gardner Allard and ask her about her constant companion.

QPQ: Introduce us to the pet you’re sharing with us today.

DGA: Meet my rambunctious little friend, Lovey, a miniature poodle. My hubby and I purchased him ten years ago, when he was eight weeks old, from a large adult foster home where the residents bred and cared for nothing but poodles. When we arrived to select him, we watched with candy-faced grins while he and his siblings received bubble baths and grooming under incubator-type warming lamps. At the same time, more than fifteen other poodles of various ages and sizes snuggled on the shoulders and laps of disabled adults who lounged on couches throughout the living room. The residents cuddled and cooed the pups lucky enough to snag prime seats.

QPQ: What a great environment to raise puppies in! Since you’re an author and you come up with names all the time, how did you come up with Lovey’s name?

DGA: Lovey’s name was a no-brainer. He was the most loving furball I’d ever seen. My husband had never been a fan of poodles. He considered them too girly, but Lovey curled up on Brian’s chest that first evening and wouldn’t budge. He melted Brian’s heart. We both wuv our widdle lub dub.

IMG_0115

Lovey on Squirrel Watch

QPQ: Guys can be the biggest push-overs for a puppy, can’t they? How does Lovey help you in your writing?

DGA: Mostly he entertains and pesters me like a three-year-old child hopping back and forth on tiptoes while tugging on a pant leg for attention. He loves to tear the stuffing out of his brand new toys. Then he looks at me with fluff dangling from his lips like, “I didn’t do it!” And of course, whenever he drops his stuffed squirrel into my lap, I’m obligated to play squirrel—a game he devised, where I throw his stuffed squirrel, and he fetches it and places it back in my lap—about a hundred times. But I have to admit, I do chuckle when he watches squirrel TV. He sits in front of our sliding glass doors with his head bobbing back and forth as he follows a bushy-tailed squirrel who taunts him from the deck. But I digress, in answer to your question, I guess the best way he helps me in my writing is by preventing me from getting blood clots from sitting on my rump too long. He jumps up and down or paws at my face when he needs to go potty outside, which is every single time he sees me on a roll, typing with drips of sweat pooling across my brow.

QPQ: I know what you mean about sitting too long, that’s a definite advantage to having a furry friend. Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?

DGA: I wrote our daughter’s pet dachshund into my middle grade novel, Izzy and the Real Truth About Moose Boy. But I had to cut my favorite scene with her in it because—well, you know how it goes—we writers sometimes have to cut our darlings. The scene didn’t move the story forward.

IMG_2790

Lovey Caught in the Act

QPQ: Don’t you just hate that? Tell us three things you and Lovey have in common.

DGA: We’re both young at heart and like to play games, we both have a hard time sitting still, and we both pester my dear, sweet hubby.

Thank you for visiting here at the Quid Pro Quills. Where on the web can readers connect with you and your books?

My website, www.debgardnerallard.com.

I have a newly published children’s picture book, Baby Poopsie Loves Ears, a middle grade novel, Izzy and the Real Truth About Moose Boy, and I’m polishing up a young adult novel that is hoping for a publisher.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 22, 2016 in Animals & Authors, Pets, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Funny Friday

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 19, 2016 in Humor, Kara Hunt

 

Tags: ,

How Are You Known?

marketing-strategies-426545_640

In this crazy busy world, how or what are you known for? I’ve been thinking and praying about this a lot as I’ve been working with a marketing coach to help me establish my brand as an author.

The more I delve into the topic, I realized it isn’t just something for people in business. As a Christian, how do I want others to see me? I love this verse from Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

I think these two verses in Colossians 4:5-6 say it well too.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

As I work to define how I want to be known to the world, I can’t help but desire that it’s evident to all that I’m committed to Christ. I pray it exudes from me by the words I say and how I act.

In the weeks/months ahead I’ll be sharing my journey to discovering my brand. Have you ever thought about how others see you?

Social Media 2015Jodie Wolfe loves to stroll through history with the characters she creates. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading and walking.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2016 in Branding, Jodie Wolfe, Writing

 

My Other New Addiction

photo 2 (14)

Parmesan chicken with lemon pasta via Pinterest

Last month, I talked about my new addiction. Adult coloring. (Click here to read the post.) Since then, I’ve started another new, to me, addiction.

Pinterest.

I know it’s been around for a while, but I’m usually late for everything and Pinterest is no exception. So what’s got me hooked? Visual planning. The ability to see the end result of a recipe, read the ingredients, decide if it would fit my family’s needs, and then pin it to a board to use later.

In the last two weeks, I’ve cooked dozens of delicious new recipes that have—drumroll, please—actually filled the stomachs of my three boys, two of which are teenagers. Can you

photo 3 (11)

A cake I made for a baby shower, design via Pinterest

hear the hallelujah chorus?

I’ve also gotten great ideas on how to freshen up my wardrobe, redecorate my home on a budget, push my creativity with fun DIY projects, and turn my novels into a visual scrapbook for readers by posting my book covers, photos of people who resemble my characters, setting photos, etc.

I’m struggling to limit my Pinterest time, as I could spend hours of my life there. Do you feel my pain? Are there any other Pinterest addicts out there?

Hello?

 

~Candice Sue Patterson writes Modern-Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart releases November 1st. For more on Candice and her books, visit her website at www.candicesuepatterson.com.

 

Going for Gold

photo1Have you been watching the Olympics? I have, and I’m a nervous wreck. I feel like the parents who sit in the stands, shrinking back when their children perform actions that could change their lives, for better or worse–because they can. I hate to see the athletes get injured, but I love to see them win medals.

I also enjoy the camaraderie between Olympic team members. Whether a team member performs well or poorly, other members of her team encourage her with kind words, high fives, fist-bumps, or a hug. That’s amazing in itself. Most times if a gal makes a mistake, people will crush her with unkind words or actions. For more about that, check out Robin Patchen’s post from Wednesday.

When athletes win gold, their reactions are intriguing. Some throw their hands in the air and shout. Some laugh and hug their competitors. Some beat their puffed-out chests and wave their arms up and down to garner more applause from the audience. A few winners simply look up.

It takes supreme effort to train for the Olympics, but it takes supernatural intervention to remain humble amid fame and success.

There’s a funny meme going around that shows the difference between dogs and cats. It basically says if a man feeds a dog, the dog thinks Hey, that guy’s feeding me. He must be God! If you feed a cat, the cat thinks Hey, that guy’s feeding me. I must be God!

Sometimes that’s how we respond. When we achieve something, we think we did it in our own strength when we’re only dust. We forget that it’s because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed. I hope, if the Lord ever allows me to achieve any status in this world, that I’ll respond in humility, realizing from where my success came. I pray the theme of my life will ever be Soli Deo Gloria – to God’s glory alone. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 says, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”

In this race of life, I’m going for gold. Sometimes I stumble, but I must remember there’s an imperishable prize ahead. Christian, keep your eye on the prize!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,434 other followers