Monthly Archives: September 2015


Writer’s Chuckle

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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Humor, Writing


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A Bold New Voice

bold new voice

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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Humor, Writing


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Jennifer Slattery’s Intertwined

Intertwined_N154121QPQ: Welcome back to the Quid Pro Quills, Jennifer! You have a new release to share with us.

JS: I do! This one was especially fun—and challenging—to write as it has a bit of a medical drama involved, an area I’m not hugely familiar with. But luckily, I had plenty of help. (Waving at you, Ami Koelliker!)

QPQ: Intertwined addresses so many gripping issues–marital infidelity, mental illness, homelessness, death, and even organ procurement. How did such a story materialize?

JS: It started from a random comment made on Facebook by my friend, former organ procurement coordinator, Ami Koelliker, who, off the cuff one day suggested I write a story about organ donation. As to some of the issues involved, I could expand on each one, but I’ll speak on the marital infidelity part. Before writing this novel, I sensed a need to reach out to the single and divorced moms in our churches. Single moms have shared how hard it is for them to find community and how often they feel judged and like they don’t fit. So I wanted to write a story for them, showing them that they can find community and support in the body of Christ. Plus, I wanted to show the rest of us that we can be that source of community to them.

QPQ: That’s an excellent reminder, Jen. Tell us about Tammy Kuhn, your heroine.

JS: She’s a hard worker who loves what she does and sees her job as a mission, and she absolutely adores her kids. She never wanted to get divorced; she never could’ve imagined her husband would betray her like he did. But this is the situation she finds herself in, and now she must make the best of it. Without allowing bitterness to tear what remains of her heart to shreds. That’s the hard part. Her husband’s adultery and insistence on a divorce devastated her. His apparent lack of interest in their children infuriates her. And somehow, in the mix of all those emotions and the high stress that comes with her job, she must find a way to grab hold of joy and healing.

QPQ: I hope she will. How does Nick Zimmerman fit in the story?

JS: Nick and Tammy were best friends in high school, and though they never admitted this, they loved each other. But Nick moved suddenly and they lost contact. Now, in the middle of each other’s pain and chaos, they reconnect in the hospital cafeteria and quickly realize their lives are critically intertwined.

QPQ: Nick grieves the loss of the father he never had. How does this impact his life and choices?

JS: Nick was told, from a young age, that his father died in the Vietnam War, and he’s felt a deep emptiness because of this. When he became a father, he determined to give his children what he himself never had, and that’s an involved Dad. But things didn’t go according to plan, he got divorced, and now, his angry and embittered ex-wife tries to keep Nick’s sons from him. Even so, Nick refuses to give up and determines the only way he’ll ever be able to remain involved in his boys’ lives is if he fights for full custody. Unfortunately, life hits him—and his bank account—hard, placing him in an incredible fight not just for his boys but for his business as well.

QPQ: Nick faces quite a struggle. It’s easy to harbor bitterness when facing loss. For instance, Tammy fights to keep her ex-husband involved in her child’s life. If you could speak to a single mom for a moment, what would you say to her?

“I believe if we continually choose forgiveness, asking God to help us, He eventually aligns our feelings to match.”

~ Jennifer  Slattery

JS: This is a tough one, as I think some might not like my answer, but I’d stress how much kids need both their parents. And outside of abuse and neglect, it’s in the kids’ best interest to maintain a relationship with their dads. We as moms need to be very careful not to slander our children’s father. This applies to married moms, too. It harms our kids and leads to insecurity and distrust when we say negative things about their father. To those dealing with hurt and unforgiveness, I’d say get help, before your bitterness becomes contagious.

QPQ: Thank you for those wise words. Forgiveness seems impossible sometimes. What would you say to someone who’s trying to forgive, but isn’t sure how?

JS: I’d say, most often forgiveness is a process, not a one-time event, and many times we choose to forgive regardless of how we feel. I believe if we continually choose forgiveness, asking God to help us, He eventually aligns our feelings to match. That doesn’t mean we forget what happened or that we no longer hurt. Rather, it means we release our desire to get even and choose to obey God, regardless of how we feel.

QPQ: Amen. He’s more than able to heal what’s broken in us. Now for another personal topic: organ donation. My aunt received a kidney from an organ donor. If someone you knew expressed interest in becoming an organ donor, what would you say to her?

JS: I’d say, awesome! My husband donated a kidney, he says, in a large part because of this novel. So I call him my warrior now. 😉 I’d also say, ask questions and learn all you can. Donating an organ is a wonderful gift, and one I believe can be a tangible reminder of the gospel.

QPQ: I agree. Where can readers find you, and get their copy of Intertwined?

JS: Readers can connect with me on my website and on Facebook. They can find out more about Intertwined and read a free, 3-chapter excerpt at my publisher’s site, New Hope Publishers. And of course, they can buy it at any of the normal online places: CBDAmazon, or B&N.

QPQ: Perfect. Thank you for joining us today, Jennifer! 


Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator, often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After a late-night altercation with a doctor–while fighting to keep her job and her sanity–she walks right into her old flame’s unthinkable tragedy. Because both Nick and Tammy have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover their lives are intertwined. But the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace.

BCheadshot2013Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook at

~ Jericha Kingston


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Are You Your Husband’s Defender–or His Prosecutor?

3D_Judges_GavelI was annoyed with my husband this weekend. I won’t tell you why. I’m sure at one point, you were annoyed with your spouse, so you can fill in your own offense.

The incident reminded me of something I heard Beth Moore say in her Bible study, Wising Up.  She made the point that, if we wanted to, we could be irritated with our husbands all day, every day. I agree completely—and I think the same goes for him. My husband has as many reasons to find fault with me as I do with him. But Proverbs 19:11 says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”

So here’s a question: In the courtroom of life, who are you to your husband?

Are you the judge, presiding from on high, anxious to make a ruling over his activities? Are you listening to your husband’s accusers and prosecutors, willing to take their side? Are you waiting for him to make a mistake, for your opportunity to bang your gavel and announce, “Guilty!”

Maybe you’re the prosecutor, flitting around the courtroom of life telling everybody what he’s done wrong, reminding the jury and audience about his past sins.

Or you could be the accuser, ready to share the many ways he’s wronged you, watching the audience’s eyes fill with sympathetic tears and shoot daggers at the man you promised to love, honor, and cherish.

Tweet this: In the courtroom of life, be your husband’s defender, not his prosecutor.

In the courtroom of life, I hope to be my husband’s defender. I want to sit beside him and hold his hand. When asked, I want to tell of all the wonderful things he’s done. I don’t have to believe he’s perfect—or even innocent, in some cases. But as his defender, my job is to tell the courtroom—the judge, the jury, the witnesses—about all of his great qualities. Yes, he’s imperfect. But he’s also a million wonderful things.  And if I’ve been a good partner to him, then I’ve been storing up all those wonderful things to remember when the accusers and prosecutors and witnesses hurl their accusations.

I will try to overlook as many offenses as I can and notice all the great things about my husband. I resolve to be not his judge, nor his prosecutor, nor his accuser, but instead to be his defender and best witness. That attitude will be to our glory and that of our heavenly Father.

Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, released in April, and its prequel, Chasing Amanda, released in July. 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,


Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Robin Patchen


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Chivalrous by Dina Sleiman

Chivalrous is a new release, the second in Dina Sleimen’s Valiant Hearts series. Set in medieval times, these young adult action/romance tales appeal to young and old(er) readers alike. Here’s a peek into Chivalrous:


“You shall never win at that pace!” Gwendolyn shouted over her shoulder as she raced Andromache through a rainbow field of wild flowers.
Rosalind’s faint, “I’m trying,” was muffled against the rush of wind.
Gwen thrilled at the exhilarating moment of freedom as she clutched her horse’s mane, leaning forward over her graceful white neck. Hovering weightless with each powerful stride, she felt as if she could fly.
Together they dashed down a rolling hillside and crashed through a trickling stream. Droplets of frigid mountain water splashed against the bare skin of her forearm and speckled her tunic. They raced across her hidden jousting field, through a patch of trees, and up a rocky incline before pulling to a stop next to a small wooden building.
Gwen had already removed her hilt and sword by the time Rosalind joined her, though she left a small jeweled dagger in her boot.
“Not fair,” declared Rosalind. “Should I not get some sort of head start? You’ve been riding all your life.”
“Now, where would be the fun in that? You must challenge yourself if you wish to be a warrior worth your armor.”
“Who said I wished for that? I’d be happy braiding flowers into your golden hair and fussing over your silken gowns.”
Although Gwen had managed to woo Rosalind to her warrior ways, the young woman had not adjusted entirely. Rosalind might have spent a boisterous childhood dancing through fields,climbing trees, and tussling with village lads in the dirt, but weapons of steel and giant horses still tested her limits.
“But admit it.” Gwen grinned impishly. “This is so much better.”

QPQ: Dina, tell us the truth, how much of Gwen is your alter ego, or are you more like Rosalind?

DSI’m more like Rosalind. She loves beautiful things and in many ways is a typical girl, but she is also strong and tough enough to hang with a serious tomboy like Gwendolyn, and she appreciates the new skills she’s learned from her. This line pretty much sums me up, “Rosalind might have spent a boisterous childhood dancing through fields, climbing trees, and tussling with village lads in the dirt, but weapons of steel and giant horses still tested her limits.” I do, however, share some of Gwendolyn’s traits too, like an appreciation of music, a tendency to daydream, and a love of freedom and justice.dina

QPQ: While writing this story, who tugged on your heart the most and why?

DSI love all my characters, but Gwendolyn tugged really tugged on my heart. The way she turned into a shell of her strong, confident self around her abusive father made me so sad, yet I think it is so true to life. I hate to see anyone victimized, but I also loved the way Gwendolyn learned to overcome this huge obstacle in her path to freedom and joy.

QPQ: If you could pick one thing that readers could take away from reading Chivalrous, what would it be?

DSOne of the big questions that Chivalrous raises is how to balance fulfilling your duty to the authorities in your life with following your own heart. I hope readers will see that in the end, each of us is responsible for our own life and choices. We must seek God’s best for our lives and then stand up to fulfill that calling. To borrow a modern phrase, much of the book is about establishing healthy boundaries.

QPQ: Rumor has it there will be a third book in this series, want to give a clue what/who that one is about? I think I can guess!

DSYes! Book 3, Courageous, is about Rosalind in the scene above. I’m afraid I leave her in quite a low place at the end of Chivalrous, but don’t despair. In book 3 Rosalind will take off on a crusade to the Holy Land in search of redemption. You won’t want to miss this exciting adventure.

QPQ: I’m already looking forward to it! (And that’s who I guessed it would be!) My review of Chivalrous can be found here.

Readers can find Dina Sleiman and her books on-line at:


Posted by on September 21, 2015 in New Releases


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Calls for Submissions

Just finished that manuscript or poem and can’t wait to send it off? Then we’ve got some great news. Below are some of the latest open submission calls for Fall 2015. Get ready!

FWF Photo

Highland Press Publishing

In addition to our historical novels, we’ve published numerous award winning anthologies, awesome contemporary and mystery novels, heart-inspiring Christian novels, young adult fantasies, our first ‘must have’ non-fiction writer’s reference book, our first young adult inspirational, and even a children’s illustrated book. Our newest venture is ‘boxed sets’ that are so well-received online. The area we’re really hard to build up right now is our Christian/Inspirational/family line. Think Hallmark Hall of Fame, Karen Kingsbury, Janette Oke, Little House on the Prairie, Touched By An Angel, etc. Accepting full manuscripts for adults or young adult lines. Please go to our open submissions page for more info on word count, guidelines and deadlines.

Cookbook Love – A Place for Vintage Cookbook and Recipe Lovers

Cookbook Love Family Memories Writing Contest and Anthology. In honor of all of you who love to share your memories about kitchens and cooking past, we are putting together a book. Written by YOU!

100 entries will be included in the book. Winners will be based on how well you pull us into the scene as you describe it. So be as descriptive as you can, incorporate your emotions, involve the senses, and generally offer us some good writing.

Gorgeous, full color books will be available shortly after Thanksgiving. Write about a loved one and you just might be able to give them a copy of their story for Christmas! The contest ends at 11:59pm September 30, 2015. So please head over to Cookbook Love now for more info.

Backwoods Home Magazine – Practical Ideas for Self-Reliant Living

Backwoods Home Magazine is a country and self-reliance-oriented “how to” magazine that specializes in showing people how to build their own home, produce independent energy, grow their own food, and how to make a living without being tied to a city. We also cover related subjects such as health, raising animals, food preservation, country skills, home schooling, arts and crafts, recipes, and book reviews.

Our readers value their independence above all else. They want to do things for themselves, without help or interference from big government or big business. They are not looking for opinion or entertainment, but for hard facts on how to do things better. We print articles by people who are doing things. We rarely print articles by professional writers about what other people are doing. Your subject must be something you have actually done, not just researched. For more information on guidelines, submission rules and payment, go to Backwoods Home for more information. Deadline for entry is Sept. 30, 2015.

All We Can Hold: A Collection of Poetry on Motherhood

All We Can Hold is looking for a range of voices about what it means to be mother: witching-hour poems of sleeplessness, first smiles, miscarriage. The poems of broken windows and broken hearts, of first school and college days. The poems of lament and poems of fulfillment.  We hope to serve as a forum for all voices, for we all have a mother.

We are seeking poems by mothers, poems about mothers, and poems from a range of styles and voices.

All We Can Hold seeks to publish high quality poetry that embraces and wrestles with the themes of mothering. Submit up to 5 unpublished poems. Deadline is Sept. 30, 2015. Please visit the All We Can Hold submission site for more information.

Pelican Book Group Easter Lilies Special – 2015 Defining Scripture for Easter Lilies is: Song of Solomon/Songs 4:10 “How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfumes than any spice!” For historical or contemporary romance writers.15K to 25K word. Sept. 30, 2015 deadline.

SouthWest Writers Bimonthly Writing Contest: Blog Posts – Have a blog post that’s rec’d excellent feedback and reviews or a great post on something you’re passionate about? Any subject. 400 words max. Sept. 30, 2015 deadline.

Tiger’s Eye Press Drought Anthology – Drought Anthology Call for Submissions

Poetry anthology themed around Drought

Four small presses have joined to publish an anthology of poetry with drought as its theme. Drought is not just a lack of water, and we would like to read your idea of what drought means to you.

Theme: Drought

Working Title: The Absence of Something Specified

Submission period is brief, so send soon. 7/1/15–9/30/15

Send up to 3 poems, no restriction on length, simultaneous submissions allowed, no multiple submissions, and previously published poems allowed if you hold the rights. Send your poems in a continuous Word document, a short bio (up to 59 words), and a cover letter to

The Editors of
Fern Rock Falls, Noah’s Shoes, Uttered Chaos, & Tiger’s Eye Presses

Tethered by Letters’ Fall 2015 Literary Contest

We are currently accepting submissions for our short story contest (1,000 to 7,500 words, open genre), flash fiction contest (55, 250, or 500 words), and poetry contest (max of three pages per poem). TBL strives to publish writers with engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh writing styles. All winners will be published in F(r)iction. All finalists will receive free professional edits on their submission and be considered for later publication. The prizes are $500 (USDA) for the short story winner, $150 (USDA) for the flash fiction winner, and $150 (USDA) for the poetry winner.

Winners will be announced publicly in December 2015.

Multiple entries accepted. International submissions welcome. Good luck to all our authors!

Deadline: December 1, 2015
Prize: $500 for Short Story, $150 for Flash Fiction, $150 for Poetry
Entry Fee: $15 per Short Story; $7 per Flash Fiction OR $15 for three Flash Fictions; $7 per poem OR $15 for three poems

Contact Info: Joe Reinis,

Kara writes supernatural suspense thrillers and is an ACFW Genesis 2013 Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. BlogPhoto Resized

She’ll also keep you updated on upcoming writing contests and some of the best reads in Christian suspense.

To contact Kara, email her at or by clicking the below link:

@KaraHunt2015 on Twitter


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Original Writer’s Block

writers block

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Posted by on September 16, 2015 in Humor, Writing


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