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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Say What?

maxresdefault“Come again?”

“Run that by me one more time?”

“Huh?”

No matter where you’re from these questions mean the same thing. Stated formally, the query would read, “Will you please repeat what you said?” But when writing fiction, the use of formal phrases can be jarring to the reader.

Literary colloquialisms are conversational, non-formal phrases and words that give characters authenticity, transform stilted dialogue, and improve the flow of writing.

200px-NCI_iced_teaColloquialisms can also show instead of tell. Suppose an author wrote: Jack put on his hockey jacket. “Nice weather, eh?” That would paint a more vivid picture for the reader than simply being told Jack was from Ontario.

Sticking closer to home, a character of mine might say, “Tea ain’t tea unless it’s iced and sweet.” You would probably assume that my character is from the southern part of the United States.

What’s your favorite literary colloquialism? When do you think colloquialisms should not be used? Have you ever been distracted by the overuse of colloquialisms?

Gimme your thoughts.

~ Jericha Kingston

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2016 in Jericha Kingston, Writing

 

Ruled by Love in a Sea of Stereotypes

no-stereotypesLast weekend I was sitting alone waiting for a play to begin when a lovely woman sat beside me. Somehow we started talking about the plight of the poor in America. She and I had very different thoughts on how to deal with the issues. We were polite, tiptoeing around each other, careful not to offend. Neither of us mentioned candidates—though it was clear where we each stood. We didn’t argue. Instead, we searched for common ground.

You know what? We found it. We were both Christians, both cared deeply about the suffering we saw daily, and both passionate about wanting to help.

But when it came to our political beliefs, we were polar opposites.

I had a conversation the next day. This person, frustrated about something in the political arena, said, “Those liberals are all alike.”

I thought of that lovely ebony-skinned woman. She’d spoken passionately about the people she served. She wanted things to get better, just like I do. She was a liberal, no doubt, but she was beautiful, kind, tenderhearted, and sincere. Was she just like every other liberal in the world? I don’t think so.

Is the wealthy business owner I work with at the food pantry just like Donald Trump? Not at all.

Bring it closer to home, though. Are you just like your siblings and your parents? When you gather for family reunions, do you look around and think, we’re practically clones of each other? When you go to church, are you amazed and how everybody looks, acts, and believes the same?

Of course not. It’s so obvious that we’re all unique, and yet, how often do we hear it?

They’re all alike…

Those politicians

Those Muslims

Those cops

Those blacks

Those gays

Those immigrants

Those Christians

That kind of reasoning is intellectual laziness. It’s insulting not just to the people we’re talking about but to all humanity. It’s a slap in the face to the Creator, who made us each unique and in His image. Every single person has beliefs, ideas, opinions, and dreams, and those have been shaped by their families, their trials, their successes, their friends, their schools, their communities, and countless other things. Each human soul represents a beautiful story that began in the heart of God.

Tweet this: Each human soul represents a beautiful story that began in the heart of God.

Yet I find myself slipping into that thinking sometimes. It’s so easy, isn’t it, to classify people? To disregard them?

I resolve to look beyond stereotypes to the people behind the masks. I resolve to believe that each of us has something unique and valuable to contribute, whether I agree with a person’s politics or his faith or his lifestyle. I strive to, like that sweet woman and I did, respect another person’s beliefs even if I don’t agree. And I resolve not to be offended when he doesn’t agree with me.

In short, I resolve to do my best to be ruled by love. And when I fail–which I do often–I resolve to keep trying.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (Quoted from BibleGateway)

How do you keep yourself from stereotyping people?

Have you ever felt like someone was stereotyping you?

 

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.

 

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2016 in Living for God, love, Robin Patchen

 

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Insipid Heroine Disgruntlement Syndrome

daisy

He Loves Me – He Loves Me Not

I read quite a bit of historical romance. A lot, actually. Or historical novels with a thread of romance, which is my personal favorite genre, but can be harder to find.

One thing is poking me in the eye every time I read it and causing me to define a new condition:

Insipid Heroine Disgruntlement Syndrome {tweet this}

According to Merriam-Webster, insipid means:
1) lacking taste or savor
2) lacking in qualities that interest, stimulate, or challenge

THAT’S IT!

I’m tired of reading romances where the heroine is a walking, quivering, sniveling mass of insecurity regarding the hero. Honestly, at times I just want to tell the guy that he’d be better off without her. Our heroines need to be made of sterner stuff than this. Here’s a very generic example:

Hero has pursued Heroine for a length of time. Heroine has fallen in love with Hero. Hero has shown and/or expressed his return of such sentiments. Then something happens and instantly Heroine decides that Hero never loved her in the first place. Huh?

We need heroines with a little more grit, a little suck-it-up-buttercup. Not another heroine who falls into an emotional slag heap of epic proportions that result in her doing stupid stuff. Neither dithering angst nor low self-esteem are adequate tension in a story. They just aren’t. There must be more. If that’s all the tension there is then the heroine is … insipid.

So what’s the cure for Insipid Heroine Disgruntlement Syndrome? Write heroines who are interesting, stimulating, and challenge the reader. In a word … make sure your novel has a STORY.

Otherwise I’m going to wave the red flag at the hero, shout at him to save himself from the drama queen, and shut the book.

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2016 in Pegg Thomas, Writing

 

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Crevice – Behind The Story

July 8th’s suspense post showcased the Christian romantic thriller novel, Crevice, by suspense author, Janice Boekhoff. 

And now, here’s the story behind the story.

JaniceSince childhood, I’ve been hooked on Indiana Jones movies. I would binge watch them with my family on the weekends. For many years, I wanted to be an archaeologist myself. But that dream fell away when I realized most archaeologists classify clay pot shards for a living. Even so, I’ve never lost my love of history and the desire for a great treasure hunt.

A few years ago, I was watching a TV show that had a segment on the Lost Dutchman gold mine located somewhere in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. The myriad of legends reached out with their tantalizing clues and drew me in. Which ones were real? Which were fantasy?

Only Jacob Waltz—the Dutchman—knew for sure, and he was long dead.

For over a century, treasure hunters have tried to find the mine by understanding the Dutchman himself. Not much is known about Jacob Waltz, who wasn’t even Dutch, but German. His early life is shadowed in mystery. But by the 1860s, he had settled into a humble existence as a farmer near the Salt River (modern day Phoenix, AZ), and yet he died with a box of rich gold ore under his bed.

Where did he get access to such wealth, and why didn’t he flaunt it?

In Crevice, I had such fun coming up with a creative explanation for the enigma of Waltz’s life, but the truth remains a mystery. Sadly, theCrevice details of the lonely Dutchman’s life, and whatever mine he might have discovered, died with him in 1891.

The lost mine remains lost.

Even so, Dutch Hunters continue to scour the desert mountains, looking for the treasure. It’s a dangerous obsession. Over two hundred people have died or disappeared while searching. Why do they do it? Because they believe the Dutchman’s gold is still out there, waiting to be discovered.

That kind of obsession (and my own obsession with rocks) inspired me to write a modern day treasure hunt, but Elery Hearst doesn’t care about the gold. She only wants to find her missing brother. And along the way, she finds so much more.

Perhaps, the Dutchman’s gold isn’t all legend. Maybe a rich mine really is out there … waiting. If you happen to stumble across it, feel free to send a few chunks of gold ore my way.

Save and pre-order your copy now for only $2.99!

Janice Boekhoff is a former Research Geologist who pours her love of science and the outdoors into her suspense novels. She is a three-time Janicefinalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest. She writes from Iowa, where she lives with her amazing husband and three feisty kids.

To contact Janice or to find out more about upcoming books in the Earth Hunters Series, click on one of the below links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Email: Janice.boekhoff@gmail.com

 

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

She’ll also continue to keep you updated on some of the best reads in Christian fiction suspense.

To contact Kara, email her at fictionwithfaith@gmail.com or by clicking the below link:

@KaraHunt2016 on Twitter

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Book Showcase, Kara Hunt

 

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The Battle of Self Control

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides Me.” Exodus 20:2-3 (HCSB)

salad-791891_640

I’ve never been a big vegetable person. Give me meat, potatoes, something salty, and a piece of chocolate and I’m a happy gal. In fact my husband jokingly has called me, “Junk food Jodie.” Ouch.

A few months ago God started pricking my conscience about the need to exercise and the foods I eat. In other words what I put into my temple and how I treat this housing of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 says, Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.”

I started walking regularly. In fact, I’m walking at least 45 minutes, six days a week, and 35 minutes on Sunday. It’s pleasurable for me, since that is my time to get away from everything and focus on God.

But food has been another matter. I knew it would take something drastic to get me to change my poor eating habits. So I started on The Hormone Reset Diet by Dr. Sara Gottfried. It’s a 21-day reset of the way you eat and what you eat. While I’m only on day nine, I’ve already noticed changes in my body. Losing a few pounds has been beneficial as well.

Through the process God has been showing me the importance of having no other god before Him alone. I can honestly say that food had become a god of sorts. I’m working at breaking that bond and move into the freedom I have in Christ.

Do you have something that keeps you in bondage? How can I be praying for you?

Social Media 2015

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

 
 

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My New Addiction

ColoringAdult coloring. It’s a new craze, and I’m totally addicted. I bought my first coloring book (the first one in decades anyway) before we left on our missions trip last month. I knew I’d need something to help fill time with six full days in the van (three to our destination, three home). Out of many, many choices I picked a patriotic coloring book along with a new pack of colored pencils, never expecting to get hooked.

I did.

I colored several pages on our trip and have even colored a few since we got home. I enjoy doing it in the evenings while we relax and watch TV. It’s rare I need a break from evening reading–as that’s my ultimate addiction!–but occassionally I do and coloring has filled that void. It’s challenging, relaxing, and I’m still exercising my creative outlet.

What about you? What’s your creative addiction?

 

~Candice Sue Patterson writes contemporary romance for Pelican Book Group. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart releases in November. For more, visit her website at www.candicesuepatterson.com.

 

A Wedding!

wedding_ring_vector_2_154870My son is getting married this weekend!

Oh, the preparations. We’ve been planning since November, and the big day is finally upon us. I don’t think I can adequately relay my excitement to you.

As excited as I am to see my son marry his intended, one thought keeps running through my mind – I hope I don’t fall on the dance floor. Because this mama certainly plans to rejoice at the reception!

But there’s another wedding for which I’m longing, a wedding that will outshine them all.

Weddings are a beautiful representation of God’s love for His bride, the church. All those who have trusted in the finished work of Christ and turned from their sins are the beloved of God. One day there will be an eternal union between God and His people when He calls them to Himself. No ceremony on earth will ever compare to that Day.

United with Christ forever, sharing in the inheritance of the saints, worshipping the Creator of the universe – in His presence, mind you – forever redeemed from sin, and being reunited with faithful loved ones who’ve preceded us… Now that’s a wedding.

Oh, and I’ll be wearing white. Not sort of white, but dazzling white, as bright as the sun. That’s because I’ll be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Praise God!

What a Day that will be. Will you be in attendance?

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2016 in devotion, Jericha Kingston, love, wedding

 

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