Monthly Archives: January 2015

Interview with Author Joannie Deneve

Welcome, Friends! We’re glad you’ve joined us. The Quid Pro Quills have gathered around the cyber-table with our favorite hot beverages. Our very own Jericha Kingston is delighted to introduce you to the beautiful and talented Joannie Deneve.

QPQ: Thank you for joining us, Joannie! Help us get to know you.

JD: Hello, Jericha. I’m thrilled to be here. I’ve been married to Rene’ for forty years. I’ve been a teacher for thirty years, a grandmother for eighteen years, and a writer for three years! My official author name is Joan Deneve. I’m Mrs. Deneve to my students, and Noni to my grandchildren (I teach three of the seven grandchildren, and when I have to lay down the law, they affectionately call me Darth Noni). And to my particular friends–as you well know, Jericha–I’m Joannie. We live in Prattville, Alabama. I love my life! And currently, I’m proud to be a co-author for Write Integrity Press’s lastest project, The Love Boat Bachelor.

QPQ: Oh, great title! Tell us how The Love Boat Bachelor came about.

JD: Last year, Write Integrity’s novella A Dozen Apologies was a ton of fun and a great success. So this year, we took one of the characters from that novella and gave him his own story. Think: American Idol, The Voice, and The Bachelor meet The Love Boat!

Because of a heartbreaking experience, Brent Teague vows he is done with romance. But God has other plans. As a favor to an old college buddy, Brent steps into the temporary role of chaplain on a cruise ship, unaware that it is actually a “love boat” cruise.

Here’s the fun part–Eight different authors wrote a chapter in which Brent meets a potential love interest, either on board the ship or at one of the ports of call. Readers will get to vote which heroine Brent will be with at the end.

QPQ: So, eight different Christian Fiction authors banded together to write The Love Boat Bachelor? What types of challenges presented with eight authors contributing?

JD: Great question! The author in charge of the project provided a very detailed description of the hero of the story. In this case, it was the wonderful Jerusha Agen, author of The Sisters Redeemed Series. Brent was her “man” in our previous novella, A Dozen Apologies. Last year, he didn’t end up with the girl, but this time he will! Jerusha’s notes about Brent helped us stay true to his character. Another of our writers, Elizabeth “Betty” Noyes is our resident cruise expert, and she kept us on track with the latest cruise information.

Individually, the challenge was to show Brent meeting several heroines without showing him to be a player. It was also a challenge to make the heroine as appealing as possible in only one chapter. Collectively, we had to avoid saying Brent had talked to (or seen) the same people on days outside our particular chapter. Since there are seven potential love interests, each contributing author wrote a final chapter, just in case her heroine is voted as “The One”. That was so much fun. I can’t wait to see who it will be!

QPQ: We can’t wait, either! Tell us, what about Brent Teague will appeal to readers?

Girl, don’t get me started. Brent is African-American, six-feet tall, and muscular. He’s twenty-nine years old, has a killer smile, and compassionate dark eyes that look right into the heart of a person. He’s spiritually mature, and well-suited to pastoral ministry because of his compassion for hurting people and his ability to read people. He’s able to see past facades to who people really are. While attracted to beauty, Brent could only come to love a woman with an attractive character and in whom he sees a love of Christ. He’s gentle, but at any hint of danger to a woman or a child, Brent becomes fiercely protective, and intimidating to the aggressor. He’s also extremely romantic, and loves children–who uncover Brent’s lighter, playful side. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t he?

QPQ: Oh, Joannie, please thank Jerusha for us–what an inspiring hero! Where can we find The Love Boat Bachelor?

Write Integrity Press will post the heroine chapters daily, Monday-Friday (January 26th-January 30th; February 2nd-February 4th). What the publisher doesn’t post is the last chapter. Between February 4th and February 7th, we want readers to visit Write Integrity Press and vote for a heroine! Then on Valentine’s Day, the entire eBook–complete with the winning chapter–will be available FOR FREE on Kindle. The Love Boat Bachelor will remain free until February 17th, and then it will cost $.99 thereafter. This will be so much fun!

QPQ: Indeed! How can readers contact you, Joannie?

JD: I love chatting with readers! Please contact me via e-mail at:, on Twitter or through my author web page.

To read chapters from The Love Boat Bachelor, visit Write Integrity Press.

QPQ: Thank you for visiting with us, Joannie. We anticipate another visit soon, and wish you success in your future works!

JD: Thank you so much, Jericha, for inviting me to visit the Quid Pro Quills. I hope you check out The Love Boat Bachelor and cast your vote!

QPQ: Will do!

~ Jericha Kingston


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When God’s Plan Comes Together

jigsaw-313585_640This week, I’ve been ruminating on how I became a writer, editor, and writing instructor. If you’d known me 30 years ago, you’d be shocked, too. Not that I didn’t always want to be a writer—I did. But I had pretty low self-esteem back in high school, so I didn’t think I had the talent to do it. Instead, I had other (I thought easier) plans. Here’s a little rundown of my plans and their results since college.

Plan: To major in journalism. Result: Graduated with honors. How my plan worked out: Felt like a poser for four years. What I learned: That I could write, and that I had an affinity for editing.

Plan: To learn marketing and PR and work in corporate America. Result: Got a job at a software company. How my plan worked out: Quit to move to Oklahoma. What I learned: marketing and PR, and that I hated working in corporate America.

Plan: To be an Arbonne VP and drive a snazzy white Mercedes. Result: Not even close. How my plan worked out: Quit to focus on home schooling. What I learned: sales—and how bad I was at it; how to speak to a group.

Plan: To teach home school classes and home school my kids through high school. Result: Taught classes to older kids and schooled my kids at home. How my plan worked out: After seven years, we put the kids in school. What I learned: how to teach; how much I loved teaching.

Plan: To become a NYT bestselling author. (Stop laughing, Pegg.) Result: Ten books written, eight still unpublished. How my plan worked out: Still working on it. What I learned: How to write, how to critique, how to edit.

Plan: To edit novels. Result: Opened my business a year ago. How my plan worked out: My business is going strong. What I learned: That perhaps I never gave myself enough credit.

Plan: To teach writing to aspiring and current novelists. Result: People actually want to learn what I have to teach. How my plan worked out: Slowly, I’m growing a teaching ministry. What I learned: That God knows what He’s doing.

I look back on this list and laugh, because it all seemed so random to me at the time, like a jumble of puzzle pieces that went to different puzzles. I stumbled from one unsuitable path to another. What was the point in a journalism degree for someone destined to work in marketing? What was the point of teaching all those home school classes to middle and high school students if I were just going to send my kids to school before they ever got there? What was the point in failing at that Arbonne career?

Tweetable: Your “failures” are part of God’s perfect plan for you. #faith 

But now I realize that God had a plan all along. I use what I learned in college every day. I use the marketing and PR skills I learned to spread the word about my business and my books. I learned how to deal with rejection when I sold Arbonne, and boy, have I had a lot of rejection since I started writing. All that experience teaching—I use it all the time. The hours I spent critiquing others’ work, I was honing my fiction editing skills. And this doesn’t begin to cover the life experiences I’ve had, many of which have shown up in my novels. There were so many times I felt like a failure, but I hadn’t failed at all. Rather, I learned what God wanted me to learn, and then I moved on.

God had a plan all along, and in my short-sightedness, with all my faults and failures, I still managed to end up here, and I have no doubt this is right where He wants me. Since I’m still breathing by His grace, this isn’t the end of my story. He must have more for me in the future, and I look forward to it. I still make plans, but now I know that however they turn out, God’s got this.

How about you? Can you look back over the course of your life and see God’s fingerprints on what you thought were failures?

Do you want to share your plans and results with us?DSC_8915-25ed

Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. She is the author of two

books, Faith House and One Christmas Eve, both Christmas stories, and a freelance editor at Robins Red Pen. Read excerpts and find out more at her website.


Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Robin Patchen, Writing


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Book Review: The Simulacrum

bookEven though:
1) I couldn’t pronounce the title
2) I had no idea what it meant (it’s explained in the book)
3) This isn’t a genre I normally read
I couldn’t put this book down. Brad Seggie and Linda Yezak owe me a good night’s sleep!

Mary Dillard’s uncle is murdered, at least she thinks so. The police don’t agree. So she hires down-at-the-heels private eye, Gunnar Schofield. Together they delve into the dangerous world of academic science that neither knew existed.

With a deep underlying message – sometimes you need to take a stand for truth – and plenty of action, plot twists, and heart-stopping moments, this book will keep you turning each page. If you enjoyed the movie, God’s Not Dead, you’ll enjoy this book. I highly recommend it!


Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Book Reviews, Pegg Thomas


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Upcoming Writers Contests!

FWF Photo


The ACFW Genesis Contest is for unpublished Christian fiction writers. With ten categories to enter, Genesis provides the opportunity for unbiased feedback on writers’ work by published authors and experienced judges, and the chance for finalists to have their work read by Christian publishing house editors and literary agents.


1. Any author whose work has not been previously published in novella or book-length fiction (in ANY print or online form) is eligible to enter Genesis.

2. Authors who are published in non-fiction, children’s, and short story are eligible to enter an unpublished fiction manuscript.

3. There is no limit to the number of entries AN AUTHOR may submit, however, a single manuscript may not be entered into multiple categories.

4. Contest is open to ACFW members and non-members.

5. Any author contracted for publication before March 15, 2015 is not eligible to enter Genesis. If an entrant receives a contract on a manuscript entered in the contest after March 15, 2015, that manuscript may remain in the contest.

6. Co-authored entries are allowed to enter. If one of the authors is a current ACFW member, then the entry can be submitted for the member entry fee. Both authors must be unpublished in fiction.

7. In any category, if fewer than seven (7) entries are received, the category shall be dissolved and the entrant’s alternate choice category on their submission will be used. The author is responsible for choosing the appropriate category for their entry.

8. Previous winning entries of the Genesis are not eligible to be entered in this year’s contest. Previous finalist (not winning) entries may be entered again. First Impressions entries are eligible as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements as stated.

9. The manuscript should not contain profanity, graphic sex, gratuitous violence or other objectionable material, and must otherwise conform to generally accepted standards of the CBA. The ACFW Executive Board may order the disqualification of submissions not meeting this requirement.

10. Manuscripts must be complete in order to enter Genesis.

FIRST ROUND: During the first round, three judges (published authors or experienced writers trained in judging the Genesis) will score each entry, up to a maximum of 100 points per entry. All three scores will be averaged.

SEMI-FINAL ROUND: The top 10 entries from each category will then move on to the semi-final round. The semi-final judges will be published authors who will use the same scoresheet as the first round. All three judges’ scores are averaged to determine the entry’s standing.

FINAL ROUND: The top three semi-final round entries in each category–category finalists–will continue to the final round. In the event of a tie, the previous round scores of the tied entries will be used to break the tie. Finalists will be allowed 48 HOURS ONLY to review the judge’s scores from the previous rounds and polish and resubmit their entries before the entries are sent to the final round judges. If you are unable to polish and resubmit, then your original entry will be sent to the final round judges.

During the final round, three final round judges will score each entry, and the three scores will be averaged. Discrepancy judges will NOT be used. In each category, the entry receiving the top final round score becomes the category winner. The final round scores alone determine the category winners. If any category winner is disqualified or withdraws for any reason, the next highest-scoring finalist will be moved up to become category winner.

For the final round, the final round judges (editors and agents) will not utilize the scoresheet used in the first and second rounds of judging. Instead, final round judges will simply give a numerical score of up to 100 points for each final round entry. Final round judges have the option of giving comments on the final round entries, but are not required to do so. All three scores will be averaged.

All judging is blind. Entrants’ names are only known by the coordinator.


For all the stories, one or more characters’ Christian beliefs are blended with and form a part of the story. However, the presence of a Christian character or the use of Christian phrases and scripture are not the indicators of the spiritual content in the stories. For Speculative Fiction, the traditional Christian terms are often replaced by other words more suited to the fictional setting.

Contemporary: Novels or sagas set in any location, in contemporary setting. This category includes literary fiction, women’s fiction, and mainstream fiction. The stories in this category can be dramatic or comedic.

Historical (through Vietnam era): Novels or sagas set in any location, in which the time frame of the majority of the story is a historical context rather than a contemporary one. The time period can be up to and including the Vietnam era.

Historical Romance (through Vietnam era): Novels or sagas set in any location, but in which the time frame of the majority of the story is a historical context rather than a contemporary one. The time period can be up to and including the Vietnam era. The love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the story is emotionally satisfying. The stories in this category can be dramatic or comedic.

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Novels set in any location in which the suspense or mystery is the primary plot. In suspense, “often the reader learns very early in the story who did what, and how, and even why, so that the tension results from the manner in which an expected conclusion is achieved” (Jessica Mann). In thrillers, “tough, resourceful . . . heroes are pitted against villains determined to destroy them, their country, or the stability of the free world” (Steve Bennett). “The detective novel, or mystery, is generally driven by a single protagonist and follows the process of detection, functioning like a puzzle” (Ginny Wiehardt).

Novella: Contemporary or historical stories in any of the genre categories in this contest. Word count is 15K – 45K.

Romance: The love story is set in any location in a contemporary setting, and is the main focus of the novel. The end of the book is emotionally satisfying. The stories in this category can be dramatic or comedic.

Romantic Suspense: A suspense plot is blended with a love story, which is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying. The story can be in any location, but the time frame should be a contemporary setting. Historical romantic suspense stories should be entered in the Historical Romance category.

Short Novel: Contemporary or historical shorter novels 45K-70K in length.

Speculative: Novels in which the science fiction, the future, other planets, a fantasy world, or paranormal happenings are a major element of the plot or setting. This category includes speculative, visionary, science fiction, paranormal, futuristic, allegory, and alternate history fiction. Stories targeted primarily at young adult readers should be entered in the Young Adult category.

Young Adult: Novels targeted toward young adult readers ages 12 through 18. The stories in this category can be dramatic, comedic, romantic, or non-romantic. Science Fiction/Fantasy/Allegory stories targeted primarily at young adult readers can be entered in this category. Stories targeted to Middle Readers are included in this category.


Each category will have one first place winner. The first place entry in each category will receive a winner’s award and a gold Genesis lapel pin. The winners will be announced at the 2015 ACFW Annual Conference in September. The finalists in each category will receive a certificate and silver Genesis pin.


Contest opens: January 2, 2015 at 8:00 AM central time.

Contest closes: March 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM central time.

The top 10 semi-finalists in each category will be announced by May 5, 2015.

The three finalists in each category will be announced by June 15, 2015.

Winners will be announced at the Gala during ACFW’s national conference in September.

For contest fees, rules, further guidelines, and a sample scoresheet, click here for more information.

The 2015 Utmost Poetry Contest is still accepting entries.

For All Christian Poets – Total Prizes: US $3,000.00

Major Prizes:
FIRST PRIZE: 1,000.00
SECOND: $500.00

HONORABLE MENTIONS (10): 100.00 each

Special Prizes:

Entrant can win Special Prizes in addition to Major Prizes.

We award all prizes, regardless of how few entries we receive. Some contests advertise big awards, but in the “fine print” you see that the prizes are only paid if a certain number of poets enter. Utmost is different. We guarantee to pay all prizes in our poetry contests, and we always announce publicly the winners. Entries must be POSTMARKED February 28, 2015 or earlier.


The Carol Awards are ACFW’s recognition for the best Christian fiction published by traditional publishing houses in the previous calendar year.

Note: Beginning with the 2015 Carol Awards program, certain independently published Christian fiction will be eligible. Traditionally published books must still be released by a recognized publisher. Independently published authors must also meet a certain standard to enter the Carols— “Qualified Independently Published” status. For the QIP status, the author must a) be an ACFW member, and b) will need to show proof of earnings of $4000 or more on one independently published Christian novel within a 12-month period.


1. Each title must be the author’s work of original fiction in print or digital form.

2. The title shall be written from a Christian worldview (specifically, the book should not contain profanity, graphic sex, gratuitous violence or other objectionable material, and must otherwise conform to generally accepted standards of the CBA) in any Christian fiction genre through a publisher on ACFW’s Recognized Publishers list* or be Qualified Independently Published.

3. Co-authored entries are allowed. If one of the authors is a current ACFW member, then the title can be submitted for the member entry fee.

4. The title must have an original copyright date (printed on copyright page) between January 2014 and December 2014. In the rare event a book was released in 2014 but has a copyright date of 2013, please provide a) a letter from the publisher and b) a .pdf of the publisher’s catalog reflecting the title and release date to the Carol Award Coordinator, at least two weeks prior to the deadline to be considered for entry.

5.  All entering authors are required to check the “Accept” box on the entry form for the Contest Release, indicating acceptance of terms.

6.  Publishers may not enter for their authors.

7. Entry must be an English edition.

8.  Title may NOT have previously been entered in the Carol Award Contest.

9. Audio books can not be entered.


1. If less than seven (7) entries are received for any one category, it shall be closed and the authors’ alternate choice category will be used. In this event, ACFW will ship the books to the correct judges.

2. Authors shall understand and agree that all scores are final once submitted by the judge into the contest system. Scores are determined by each judge according to an established guideline/scoresheet. No discrepancy judging or altering of scores shall be permitted. The five (5) scores for each title will be averaged. The three (3) titles with the highest score in each category shall advance to the semi-finals.

3.    Judges’ scores will not be returned to the author.

4. The top three (3) semi-final titles in each category will continue to the final judging round. In the event of a tie, the preliminary round scores will be used to determine the tie-break.

5. Authors who are finalists shall be required to submit three (3) additional copies of their title for the final round judging. Titles shall be be received by the category coordinators no later than July 1, 2015.

6.    Category judges in the final round shall judge all three (3) books. An average of the three (3) scores will determine the winner in each category.


January 2, 2015 – Contest officially opens.

March 15, 2015 – Contest closes at 4:00pm CENTRAL.

June 29, 2015 – Finalists announced at ICRS.

July 1, 2015 – Three additional copies of the finalists’ books must be received by the coordinator.

September 19, 2015 – Winners announced at the ACFW Conference in Dallas, Texas.


Each finalist will receive a certificate and a silver pin.

Each winner will receive the Carol Award and a gold pin.  Winning editors will receive a certificate.

*The decisions about publisher recognition or qualified independently published status are made after careful consideration of ACFW’s goals and the vision. ACFW has the final word on publisher recognition or qualified independently published status.

To find out more information on submission guidelines and fees, click here.

~ Kara Hunt

 Kara loves to read and write supernatural suspense thrillers and is an ACFW Genesis 2013 Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller BlogPhoto Resizedcategory. But Kara also loves to share stories about God’s love, mercy and faithfulness. One of Kara’s favorite non-fiction quotes comes from noted author Corrie Ten Boom, “It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.

He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.

Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.

As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”

Kara will share more books and thoughts about forgiveness, faith and God’s unending mercy in bi-monthly posts on this site.

She’ll also keep you updated on the newest releases in Christian fiction and upcoming writing contests.

To contact Kara, email her at or by choosing one or more of the below links:

To Email Kara –

@KaraHunt2015 on Twitter


Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Kara Hunt, Writing Contests


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Read Carefully

chocolatepixiesMy husband – darling man that he is – decided to bake some Christmas cookies one year. One of his favorites is Chocolate Pixies; a rich and exceedingly sticky chocolate batter rolled in powdered sugar and then baked. They’re a mess to make, but worth the effort for their chocolaty goodness.

We have an Amish bulk food store just down the road. I love it for buying baking supplies at a discount price. Everything is pre-packaged in identical plastic bags or containers. You’re already starting to smile, aren’t you? I thought so.

Hubby melted the chocolate, mixed up the batter, and found a bag full of white powder that he poured into a shallow bowl. He dropped each sticky spoonful of batter into the powder. Rolled it into a ball to coat it completely, and then put them on the cookie sheets. He removed each sheet full of crinkly powdered delights and slid them onto a paper-lined card table to cool.

And then, anticipating that meltingly sweet first bite, he picked up a warm cookie from the very last sheet and – ACK!

The texture was right. The chocolate was there. But what happened to the sweet? Pawing through the cupboard to find the bag of white powder, he flipped it over and read the words. . . baking powder. Not powdered sugar.

Thankfully – as mentioned above – I buy my baking supplies in bulk. So he had plenty of ingredients to mix up a second batch. This time he read the entire label on the bag of powdered sugar before pouring it into the shallow bowl. The reward? The sweet chocolaty goodness he’d been hoping for.

Misreading what’s right before us can happen in more than just the kitchen. How often do we misread a friend’s reaction to something we’ve said? Or a child’s whining? Or a spouse’s attempt to please us? It pays to stop and carefully read the “labels” all around us.

~ Pegg Thomas


Posted by on January 21, 2015 in devotion, Humor


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Don’t Speak



I talk too much. This has been a fault of mine since I said my first word. In elementary school, my teachers would get frustrated with me for talking in class. When I became a teenager, I learned how words can uplift and hurt others. I’m guilty of both. As an adult, I strive to speak the truth and disagree with others peaceably. It kills me to think I’ve hurt or offended someone. But still, I talk too much.

Matthew 12:35-37 spoke directly to me the other day during my devotion.

“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (KJV)

Wow. One day I’ll give account for every word I’ve ever said. Good or bad.

That’s sobering.

The word idle in verse 36 means useless, empty (Strong’s Concordance). That means our words are supposed to serve a purpose–motivate, uplift, teach, encourage… Useless, empty, and hurtful words serve no purpose and will be judged.

Lord, help me to listen more, choose my words carefully, and reflect You. CandicePortraits009-XL

~Candice Sue Patterson writes Modern Vintage Romance–where the past and present collide with faith. Her newest release Silver White Winters is available now. For more on Candice and her books, visit her webpage.


Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


Today’s the Day!

photo1I’m anticipating a visit from a dear friend. We’re getting away for the week. We have a fabulous time shopping, taking long walks, biking, painting, eating great food, laughing, and sharing our burdens with one another.

It’s thrilling to take a vacation with a friend, but there’s preparation, too. Before I leave, I make meals for my husband, pack my clothes, and clean my house.

Vacations are great, but a Day will come when all of my plans are superseded by the Author of time. One Day, The Lord will return. Have you prepared for that Day? Do you live each day with joy? Or become burdened with the cares of the world?

Look up! Today could be the Day!

~ Jericha Kingston


Posted by on January 16, 2015 in devotion, Jericha Kingston


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