Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More photos from the ICRS convention. First up, here's moi, holding up one of our Thriller Tour T-shirts.

Signing the T-shirts in the B and H booth.

The Thriller Four, posing near one of our posters.

Ted Dekker came to hang out for awhile
in our booth as we signed T-shirts.

The B and H bus wrap, featuring its
Pure Enjoyment fiction line

Our Thriller Tour, featured on the cover page
of Tuesday's Show Daily

Tomorrow we have one more event at ICRS, then it's off to Philadelphia/Baltimore to continue our book signings. Catch up with you all soon!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On the Road--St. Louis

Whew, it has been a very busy last five days as I flew to St. Louis, and our ThrillerTour got underway. We did two signings on Friday, two on Saturday, one on Sunday. Then the ICRS convention began Monday morning. I signed in copies of Final Touch, last in the Rayne Tour series, in the Zondervan booth. Then I did a radio interview and had a meeting or two before leaving the floor for the day. Tomorrow I'll sign my new Seatbelt Suspense posters in the B&H booth--and generally give the other signing authors a hard time.

Some photos for you:

Signing Final Touch in the Zondervan booth.

Below--with some Seatbelt Suspense fans
(the three younger children are adopted from Haiti)

By the ThrillerTour poster outside
the beautiful B&N in Fenton, MO

Fellow ThrillerTour authors--

Photo to come:  For the I-don't-know-how-manyth time in a row I killed Camy Tang on the ICRS floor at the Zondervan booth. The gal simply refuses to stay dead. This year it was with a poison pen. Waiting for the photo from Camy.

In other news:

1. Violet Dawn is now back at its regular price on the Kindle ($10.99), and is sitting at #3 on the Top 100 Paid List at the time of writing this post. It was free for two weeks. Hope you took advantage of the promotion.

2. This month's Photo Friday winner is Nicole, with this witty caption: Iglooramus. Nicole, contact me for your free novel.

Check back with you all soon!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Photo Friday!

We're off again with a crazy picture. Write the best caption--win a book (choice of one of my novels--as long as we have it in stock). Leave your caption in a comment, come back over the weekend and vote on your favorite. (Yes, you can vote on your own caption, if you must.) Facebook friends--make sure to leave your caption here, even if you also put it on Facebook.

This picture was submitted by Peter Mendoza. Peter also wins a novel of his choice since his photo has made the cut for Photo Friday. If you'd like to submit a picture for possible use, please attach it in an e-mail to: brandilyn (at) brandilyncollins (dot) com.

Fire away with your captions.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Off to ICRS and Book Tour Today

Today I'm headed to St. Louis, home of this year's ICRS (annual book convention) and the first stop on the Thriller Book Tour (with other B&H authors Tosca Lee, Jim Rubart, and Robin Caroll). My latest adult novel, Deceit, will be my featured title at all the book signings. I will also be signing and giving away copies of the nifty Seatbelt Suspense® poster B&H designed for me. (If you missed the book signing schedule, check Monday's post.)

The poster was made from one of the photos taken at the day-long shoot last April. (The rest of those photos will soon be ready to use.) I'm in a Corvette from the 60s. The photo was shot in a garage, then merged with the background for the poster. Thanks to B&H marketing genius Julie Gwinn for this poster idea. Julie hunted down the car for the photo shoot. Here's one of the pics without the background.

So, as you can see--I'm on the road. :) I'll be posting during my travels as much as possible. With more pictures, of course.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How Low Can They Go?

Monday was a busy day in e-readerdom. First, Apple announced it sold its three millionth iPad--just 80 days after its launch. Second, Barnes & Noble cut the price of its Nook from $259 to $199. B&N also introduced a Wi-Fi only model for $149. Not to be outdone, Amazon fought back, dropping the price of the Kindle from $259 to $189.

Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon and Sony both plan to unveil updated versions of their e-readers soon. Price is reported to be an important factor here too. Maybe we'll end up seeing even lower prices. After all, think of the cell phone industry. They practically give away the phones so they can sell you service.

I say yippee to the price cuts. Less expensive e-reader machines will mean more e-reader people. And that's just fine with me, after reviewing my royalty statements for the quarter ending 3/31/09. Sales of e-books of all my titles jumped drastically from the previous quarter. Good news for two reasons. (1) My royalties per e-book are higher than on my trade paperback books. (2) There are no returns. Do you hear me shouting? If one of my titles sells, say, 5000 e-books in a quarter, that's 5000 done deal sales. Unlike the paper sales, which may show 5000 one quarter, only to show 1500 returns the next quarter. The returns just kill ya. And in this economy, bookstores are returning unsold books faster than ever.

BTW, Violet Dawn, first in my Kanner Lake series, is still free on the Kindle. Download it here. It went to #1 on the Top 100 Free List a day after going free, and now sits at #2 a week later. The promotion lasts only through this weekend.

Authors--are you seeing much higher sales of your titles in e-books? Does this make you happy? Readers--are you e-readers yet? If so, which device(s) do you own?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thriller Book Tour Starts This Week

This week on Friday, the B&H Thriller Tour launches. The four B&H authors taking part in this tour are me, Tosca Lee, Robin Caroll, and Jim Rubart. We will start in St. Louis, go to Philadelphia and Baltimore, and end up in New York. Hope to see you there if you live in these areas! Note: additional New York area venues are being booked. I'll let you know when they have been added. Here's the schedule so far:

Friday, June 25: St. Louis area

2:00 – 4:00: Parable Bookstore

1716 Missouri State Road
Arnold, MO 63010

6:00 – 8:00: Family Christian Store

167 Mid Rivers Mall Dr
St Peters, MO 63376-4309

Saturday, June 26th

12:00 – 2:00 PM: Mainstreet Books

307 South Main Street
St. Charles, MO 63301

4:00 – 6:00 PM: Lifeway Christian Store
11977 Saint Charles Rock Road
Bridgeton, MO 63044

Sunday, June 27th
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble
721 Gravois Road
Fenton, MO 63026

Thursday, July 1: Philadelphia area and Baltimore
11:00 – 1:00--Lifeway Christian Store
2320 Industrial Highway
York, PA 17402

4:00 – 6:00 PM--Lifeway Christian Store
White Marsh Plaza Shopping Center
7900 Honeygo Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21236

Friday, July 9th: New Jersey
7:00-9:00 PM: Borders

290 Commons Way
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 231-0111

Saturday, July 10: New York area
1:00 – 3:00: Barnes & Noble
290 Baychester Ave.
Bronx, NY 10475

Friday, June 18, 2010

Deceit, Jelly Bellies, and a Billy Bass Fish

My latest novel, Deceit begins shipping today and will soon be showing up on shelves. I'm excited for my readers to get their hands on this book. I predict you'll like it very much.

As I began to craft Deceit I knew only four things about my protagonist, Joanne Weeks. (1) She's a skip tracer--someone who finds people who have "skipped" out, or disappeared, due to crimes committed or debts owed, etc. (2) She is a Jelly Belly addict, even eating certain flavors to match certain moods. (3) She owns a "Billy Bass Singing Fish," a craze from years ago. (4) She is a widow.

Oh, yes--and I knew she'd be fighting for the truth--against some very bad people and an entire town.

Deceit is garnering some very nice reviews:

"Good storytelling and notable mystery ... An enticing read while posing tough questions about truth and lies, power and control, faith and forgiveness." -- Publishers Weekly

"Solidly constructed mystery. Joanne is a strong and immediately likable protagonist, and the book's ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel, which wouldn't be a bad idea at all." -- Booklist

Filled with excitement and intrigue, Collin's latest will keep the reader quickly turning pages ... This tightly plotted mystery, filled with quirky characters, will appeal to suspense lovers everywhere." --RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars.

"... takes the reader for a heart-pounding, knuckle-whitening ride on a rollercoaster riddled with suspense ... The entire plot of the book revolves around the practice of deceit in different contexts. Some socially acceptable and even legal. Others not so much ... The question posed is whether or not deceit is ever okay in God's eyes." --TitleTrakk

Deceit opening lines:

Some evil shouts from rooftops; some scuttles in the dark. The worst evil tips its face toward light with shining innocence.

Baxter Jackson shone with the worst of them.

Back cover copy:

Joanne Weeks knows Baxter Jackson killed Linda--his second wife and Joanne's best friend--six years ago. But Jackson, a church elder and beloved member of the town, walks the streets a free man.

Joanne is determined to bring Jackson down, no matter what the police say. Using her skills as a professional skip tracer, she sets out to locate the only person who can put Jackson behind bars. Melissa Harkoff was a traumatized sixteen-year-old foster child in the Jackson household when Linda disappeared. At the time Melissa claimed to know nothing of Linda's whereabouts ... but was she lying?

In relentless style, Deceit careens between Joanne's pursuit of the truth and the events of six years past, when Melissa came to live with the Jacksons. What really happened in that household? Beneath the veneer of perfection lies a story of shakable faith, choices, and the lure of deceit.
Kindle Version, $9.99, $11.99
Barnes and Noble, $10.11

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coming Soon: New Magazine for Christian Fiction

F&F readers: passing on information to you:

NASHVILLE, TN—(June 15, 2010)—This fall, Salem Publishing will launch FamilyFiction, a major resource for helping consumers discover the best in Christian fiction, through a bimonthly digital magazine, email newsletter and website. FamilyFiction’s coverage will span the breadth of Christian fiction—Amish, Historical, Suspense, Speculative, Romance, Contemporary and Young Adult—with timely news updates, up-to-date release lists, reviews, interviews, book trailers and more.

“FamilyFiction addresses a great need,” says Michael Miller, General Manager of Salem Publishing. “We look forward to exposing more and more Christian fiction readers to these great authors.”

“There is a reason Jesus taught in parables,” says Robin Lee Hatcher, best-selling author of the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series (Zondervan). “The power of story is that it puts us into the lives of the characters, letting us see and experience things through those characters. In the process, we learn and sometimes are changed.”

“Fiction is a powerful tool in the hands of believers,” notes Francine Rivers, New York Times bestselling author of Her Mother’s Hope (Tyndale House). “It is a non-threatening way to share our faith with unsaved friends and relatives who might not be willing to read the Bible or talk about Jesus. I know of many new authors who will gain a wider audience through this new resource. The quality of Christian fiction just keeps getting better. FamilyFiction will be a great place to let it shine!”

Adds Robert Liparulo, author of the YA time-travel thriller Frenzy (Thomas Nelson): “What? A way to find and promote stories by Christian authors who share my values? Where do I sign up? Way to go, guys!”

“I applaud Salem Communications in the launch of FamilyFiction,” says DiAnn Mills, author of The Call of Duty series (Tyndale) and the historical romance A Woman Called Sage (Zondervan). “This new resource will be helpful to me in my various roles—writer, promoter of Christian fiction, trainer and encourager of authors—and avid reader!”

Salem Publishing plans to launch the FamilyFiction digital magazine, newsletter and comprehensive website Fall 2010. In the meantime, Christian fiction readers can sign up for updates at and connect on and

About Salem Publishing
Salem Publishing is a top producer of Christian-themed magazines and websites that reach a broad spectrum of the Christian market. Salem Publishing is owned by Salem Communications (NASDAQ: SALM), a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values. In addition to its radio properties and Salem Publishing, Salem Communications owns Salem Radio Network, which syndicates talk, news and music programming to approximately 2,000 affiliates; Salem Radio Representatives, a national radio advertising sales force; and Salem Web Network, an Internet provider of Christian content and online streaming. Additional information about Salem Publishing may be accessed at the company’s website,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here's Your Book--With Mayo

Let me first be very clear that these escapades occurred in the southern part of Idaho, not our Paradise Panhandle.

Seems that police in Boise finally caught the Condiment Caperess. A 74-year-old woman was arrested after dumping a jar of mayonnaise into the book drop box at the Ada County library. Condi is now a suspect in as many as ten similar crimes that have occurred in the past year. Since May of 2009 library employees have reported finding books in the drop box covered in corn syrup and ketchup.

Condi is now out of jail and facing a misdemeanor charge for malicious injury to property. No motive for the crime has been stated.

Hmmm. There's always a motive. I think the different condiments have to mean something, don't you? Perhaps:

Mayo: Oily protagonist, description laid on too thick.

Ketchup: Far too much gore.
Syrup: Sickeningly sweet plot. Flat characters (as in pancakes).

You have other ideas?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ACFW Conference Registration Now Open

Quick note before I talk about the conference: Violet Dawn, first in my Kanner Lake series, is now free on the Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle, you can download a Kindle app for your iphone, computer, or iPad. Go here to download Violet Dawn.

Registration is now open for the American Christian Fiction Writers' Conference, held in Indianapolis from Sept. 17-20. This is the largest Christian writers' conference in the country (last year about 540 people attended), and it's the only conference that does nothing but fiction. If you're interested in writing faith-based fiction, this is the conference for you.

The conference is special to me for many reasons, two being the very disparate roles I get to play during the event. In my "out front" role I serve as emcee, and have done so since the very first ACFW conference. In my "quiet" role I serve in the prayer room. Much of my time that is not spent up front is spent in the prayer room, meeting with people to pray for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. (Often people make appointments with me ahead of time to meet them in the prayer room so we're sure we have that opportunity.) Every year I've seen miracles occur. For me, what happens in that room, quietly, between God and attendees, is the highlight of the conference. And I do believe God has blessed our conference because of its focus on prayer. It's no small thing to have a dedicated prayer room each year. It means we pay for an extra hotel conference room that is not used for teaching, but is set aside and dedicated to prayer.

Regarding the conference as a whole:

1. You'll see more fiction agents and editors at attendance at ACFW than any other conference. These professionals know that, as far as fiction goes, this is the conference to attend.

2. You'll receive training in fiction on five different levels, ranging from beginners to professional level. So no matter where you are in your journey of writing fiction, there are classes and workshops for you.

3. Our conference continues to grow, which is a testament to how helpful attendees find it. Even in the down-turned economy of 2009, when other conferences were struggling, ACFW had a larger attendance than ever. We expect the same this year.

4. The atmosphere is very friendly. ACFW members are like a big family. And if you're not a member, or a new member, you'll make friends quickly. First-time ACFW conference attendees benefit from a special e-mail loop that runs about six weeks before the conference, and a special meeting just for them at the beginning of the conference. This newcomer welcome is led by Cara Putman, and I'm along to help. Through the e-mail loop newcomers can pose all their questions, from meeting with editors and agents to what to wear and everything in between. By the time the newcomer hits the conference, he/she has already made acquaintances online. The meeting is then a chance for last-minute questions and getting to know each other. We are amazed at the number of newcomers we have each year.

If you're interested in writing fiction, do check out this conference. You won't be sorry. If you're not a member of ACFW, that's okay. You can still attend. Or for about the same amount of money you can join ACFW and then attend as a member.

Hope to see you there in September!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Comparison of Bestseller Lists for May 2010

Here is the comparison of CBA's "July" list and ECPA's "June" list, both reflecting sales of fiction in participating Christian bookstores in the month of May. Books appearing only on one list are highlighted in blue. For a reminder of how these lists are put together by ECPA and CBA, please refer to the first few paragraphs of this post.

CBA (Numbers in parentheses reflect book's standing on CBA Top 50 list.)

1. (8) Her Mother’s Hope, Francine Rivers, Tyndale
2. (12) Take Three, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
3. (18) The Telling, Beverly Lewis, Bethany/Baker
4. (21) Edge of Apocalypse, Tim LaHaye & Craig Parshall,
5. (29) The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media
6. (36) Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers, Multnomah/WaterBrook
7. (43) The Bride Collector, Ted Dekker, Center Street/Hachette
8. (48) A Lineage of Grace, Francine Rivers, Tyndale
9. Betsy’s Return, Wanda Brunstetter, Barbour

10. Maid to Match, Deeanne Gist, Bethany/Baker)
11. Kiss, Ted Dekker & Erin Healy, Thomas Nelson
12. Shades of Blue, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
13. The Silent Governess, Julie Klassen, Bethany/Baker
14. No Distance Too Far, Lauraine Snelling, Bethany/Baker
15. Here Burns My Candle, Liz Curtis Higgs, WaterBrook
16. Dawn’s Prelude, Tracie Peterson, Bethany/Baker
17. A Lady Like Sarah, Margaret Brownley, Thomas Nelson

18. Take One, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
19. The Jewel of His Heart, Maggie Brendan, Revell/Baker
20. In Harm's Way, Irene Hannon, Revell/Baker

ECPA (Numbers in parentheses refer to book's standing on the ECPA Top 50 list.)

1. (7) The Telling, Beverly Lewis, Bethany/Baker
2. (9) Her Mother's Hope, Francine Rivers,Tyndale
3. (10) Edge of Apocalypse, Tim LaHaye/Craig Parshall, Zondervan
4. (12) Take Three, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
5. (16) The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media
6. (20) A Lineage of Grace, Francine Rivers, Tyndale
7. (23) The Bride Collector, Ted Dekker, Center Street/Hatchette 
8. (24) Shades of Blue, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
9. (28) Betsy's Return, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Barbour
10. (30) No Distance Too Far, Lauraine Snelling, Bethany/Baker
11. (34) Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers, Waterbrook/Multnomah
12. (50) Take One, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
13. In Harm's Way, Irene Hannon, Revell/Baker
14. Greater Love, Robert Whitlow, Thomas Nelson
15. Take Two, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
16. Letters to God, Patrick Doughtie & John Perry, Zondervan
17. A Promise of Hope, Amy Clipston, Zondervan
18. A Measure of Mercy, Lauraine Snelling, Bethany/Baker
19. The Missing, Beverly Lewis, Bethany/Baker
20. The Secret, Beverly Lewis, Bethany/Baker

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

22nd Book Done--And I'm Not OVER THE EDGE

On Sunday I emailed off my latest book, Over the Edge, my novel about Lyme. Ah, the relief of turning in a manuscript! The routine was the same as always. I hit the send button, then got on my knees and thanked God for helping me through another one. This one is my 22nd. (And the first book in my new contract with B&H.)

Of course I don't consider the book done. This is just the first go-round with the editor. Karen Ball will be looking it over and will send me her macro edit letter in July. Then it's rewrite time.

I've realized something lately. It's taken me ten years and twice that many books to really begin to settle into the writing process. This year marks the beginning of my second decade as a full-time novelist. It never fails--while I'm writing a book: (1) I'm worried that it's boring, and (2) When I turn in the manuscript I just know it's awful. Last year as I finished my 20th book, Deceit (releasing in two weeks) I had that same sinking feeling. The editor would be so disappointed in me. The rewrite would be huge. The manuscript had all kinds of weaknesses. When I heard from my editor for that book (a freelancer and former editor at a publishing house who's edited countless books), she said, "It's great. One of the cleanest manuscripts I've ever seen." I was stunned. Really stunned. Now, this certainly hasn't been the case with every manuscript of mine. Others have needed more rewriting. But this occurrence finally brought home to me--clearly I'm a slow learner--that I'm simply incapable of judging my work when it's newly finished. I've been too close to it for too long.

So, in writing my 21st book (Final Touch, last book in the Rayne Tour series, just released), and now in writing Over the Edge I somehow have managed to relax more in the process. I didn't really doubt myself any less. But I can now pull back from that doubt and realize it's part of the process in writing a manuscript. I am going to feel it's terrible. Okay, fine. That doesn't mean it is. I do know a few things about writing a novel. If there are specific issues with a manuscript that are bothering me, I'll think of a way to fix them. So, Brandilyn, no need to kick cabinets. Relax.

Another great help has been my verse for this year--and probably the rest of my life. Psalm 138:8--The Lord will accomplish what concerns you. He will accomplish the finalizing of this manuscript as He has all the others. So if it needs work in a rewrite--so what? With God's help, I'll strengthen the story then.

Meanwhile, for the past month or so, my new blog, Lyme-Over the Edge has been running. About four stories a week have been posted. Have you read any of them? Man. You should. If you don't know anything about Lyme--or even if you think you do--you'll be amazed at what these courageous people have gone through. Story after story about terrible illness, doctors who misdiagnose (or tell them it's all in their heads), and the battle to fight the disease once the diagnosis finally does come.

Over the Edge will release in May 2011.

Monday, June 07, 2010

How Important Are Those "Writing Rules"?

Two weeks ago on an author loop a question arose about "The Rules." Are there too many writing rules? Can they be broken? Does keeping them assure you'll one day be published? I particularly liked J. Mark Bertrand's response. (Mark will be appearing on Forensics and Faith in a few weeks to tell us about writing his novel, Back on Murder, a well-written police procedural.) I'm running Mark's response with his permission.


Keeping the rules won't get you published. It won't guarantee you'll write a good book, either. A sentence can be grammatical without being eloquent or even interesting, and the same goes for a novel. The real problem with the rules isn't how many there are. It's all the weight they're expected to carry.

My pet theory goes something like this. If you're learning your craft primarily through reading and writing, then you're absorbing a lot of this stuff without realizing it. (Just as you acquired a lot of your language skills without meaning to.) Dipping into a how-to book or attending a class can really help you codify this knowledge, and even fill in some gaps. But if you're trying to learn to write PRIMARILY through the how-to stuff, and not reading deeply or widely enough, not writing enough bad prose to get to the good, then yes, the rules are going to function like so much dead weight.

And what are the rules, anyway? Efforts to explain why the writing of some earlier era worked. Percy Lubbock tries to explain why a Henry James novel is so good, and we end up with the dictum "show, don't tell." Go read Henry James, though, and you'll come away thinking he breaks the rule his writing invented. The point is, the rules are the result of somebody reading a lot of good books (or bestselling books) and trying to deduce what they have in common, then passing that knowledge onto you second-hand. If you're serious about your craft, why not get it first hand? Do that, and the supplemental stuff will actually be more helpful to you, not less.

-- J. Mark Bertrand

Do you agree?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Want a Free Read of My Upcoming Novel?

My publisher has informed me that they have 30 ARCs (advanced reader copies) of my novel releasing in July, Deceit ARCs are typically sent to influencers and reviewers for marketing purposes. I am able to personally give these extra copies away. In choosing 30 people to receive an ARC, I'm looking for folks who will be willing to read the novel soon and then spread the word about the book. If you're interested in receiving a copy, please e-mail my assistant at sandy (at) brandilyncollins (dot) com and tell me the various ways you would help publicize Deceit if you received a copy. Are you a member of a book club? Do you work in a library? Do you have a newsletter, or Twitter/Facebook following or blog in which you could talk about the book? Do you know someone in the media you might pass the book to? These are some of the many things you might do.

Send your e-mail by June 10. After that I will be choosing the recipients. If you're selected you'll be notified. Thanks for your interest!

Back cover copy for Deceit:

Sometimes the truth hides where no one expects to find it.

Joanne Weeks knows Baxter Jackson killed Linda—his second wife and Joanne’s best friend—six years ago. But Baxter, a church elder and beloved member of the town, walks the streets a free man. The police tell Joanne to leave well enough alone, but she is determined to bring him down. Using her skills as a professional skip tracer, she sets out to locate the only person who may be able to put Baxter behind bars. Melissa Harkoff was a traumatized sixteen-year-old foster child in the Jackson household when Linda disappeared. At the time Melissa claimed to know nothing of Linda's whereabouts—but was she lying?

In relentless style, Deceit careens between Joanne's pursuit of the truth—which puts her own life in danger—and the events of six years' past, when Melissa came to live with the Jacksons. What really happened in that household? Beneath the veneer of perfection lies a story of shakeable faith, choices, and the lure of deceit.

Read the first chapter of Deceit here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Chance to Submit Your Story for New Guideposts Books

I received this email regarding two new nonfiction books being compiled by James Stuart Bell (not to be confused with James Scott Bell). James' assistant, Jeanette, is happy to have me pass the info on to my blog readers.

Dear Writer:

We are now in phase four of the Extraordinary Answers to Prayer series published by Guideposts. You are a valued writer and I welcome you to join us by contributing to volumes nine and ten of a series dealing with various aspects of prayer and how people from every walk of life have been transformed through God’s responses to their prayers. Recent titles include Expecting Miracles and The Healing Touch. These books will be mailed monthly as part of a book club promotion, and will be exclusive to this readership.

You may have contributed to some of the first eight titles or perhaps to my Cup of Comfort, Life Savors, or Love is a Verb brands. Or perhaps I am contacting you for the first time and will have the privilege of including your story with other powerful answers to prayer. Whatever the case, I am sure that God has worked in your life at some point in the areas of Closer to God, volume nine, and The Power of Praying Together, volume ten.

For volume nine, how has God answered your prayers for your loved ones, or even enemies, to draw them closer to God? Maybe they don’t yet have a personal relationship with God and your prayers helped bring them to the Lord. Perhaps they have just wandered away and lost their need for Him. Or perhaps they are having major trauma and need to grow spiritually in order for God to bring change for the better. Parents pray for their adult children, adults pray for their kids, and other combinations to build spiritual relationships, go to church, and to grow in their spiritual disciplines. The list is endless. We want to focus on the positive when the prayer for a closer walk with God is answered.

For volume ten we want to demonstrate the added power of Christians praying together for the same petition. This joint prayer can be congregational, small group, couples, friends, prayer chains, etc. How did the addition of one or more people help in getting amazing answers from God? The prayer can range from serious issues of a global nature requiring large numbers, like the devastation in Haiti, to small needs that still can’t be met with only one person praying. How were the lives of those who prayed drawn together and changed? What type of prayer was used in different groups and venues?

We would be pleased to accept as many stories as you wish to submit related to these two volumes. We’re accepting stories of up to 2,000 words and strongly prefer them not to be under 1,000 words. The stories should have a creative title, an attention grabbing introduction, main body with a conflict or challenge, and a clear, satisfying resolution. They need to be descriptive, rooted in a time and place, compelling personal experience stories with true-to-life characters. They need to be stories in the fullest sense, rather than mere testimonies, or focusing on mere feelings or mental states. The effective power of prayer needs to be clearly demonstrated.

We strongly prefer original stories but you may also submit previously published stories in which the full rights have been returned to you and not currently in print with a major publisher. The payment is $25 for stories under 1,200 words and $50 for stories over 1200 words. You may retain the rights to publish the stories in magazines and books with less than national distribution and not carried in nationwide bookstores.

We are accepting manuscripts for volume nine, Closer to God, until July 1, but the sooner you submit the better chance you have of acceptance. If you are considered as a finalist you will be sent a permission form around the middle of September. Manuscripts for book ten, The Power of Praying Together, are due by August 15, with permission forms being sent around early December.

It’s very important that you list the current status of rights at the top of the manuscript above the title of your story. If it’s an original story it should be listed as first rights. If you have received full rights back from a publisher it needs to be listed as reprint rights. We would also like details of what book it appeared in, the publisher, and the date of publication.

It is also important to put a 30 word or less biographical sketch on the actual manuscript because this will be included at the end of the book. We do not want it submitted separately. Also include within the manuscript – not in a separate email - your full name as you wish it to appear in the book, also your address, phone number, and email address.

Please direct all inquiries and manuscript submissions to my colleague, Jeanette Littleton, at If this email has been forwarded to you, and you can’t submit to this call, but would like to be notified about other editorial needs, please send us your email address and we’ll add you to our notification list (we do not distribute these email addresses).

Blessings to you and yours,

James Stuart Bell
Compiler, Guideposts Extraordinary Answers to Prayer series

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

May '10 List of Today's Word/Photo Friday Winner

Before we get to the list of Today's Word, the winners of our last Photo Friday (due to a tie) are Jenn M. and Lisa Keck, with these clever captions:

I'm all for shopping "green," but this might be going too far. -- Jenn M.

Tired of being tossed in the bottom of a grocery cart, the frozen creamed veggies took revenge. -- Lisa Keck

Jenn and Lisa, e-mail me with your street address and choice of one of my novels. Give a choice A and B, in case we don't have your first choice in stock.

Now--the Today's Word list from May. Anyone want to tackle using at least six of these words in a sentence?

CANOODLE (kuh-NOOD-ul) verb--pet, caress, fondle.

EQUIPOLLENT (EK-wi-POL-lent) adj.--equal in force, power or validity.

FUG (fug) noun--an odorous emanation; the stuffy atmosphere of a hot, crowded, poorly ventilated space.

LOUCHE (loosh) adj.--cross-eyed, squint-eyed.

FLUMMERY (FLUM-er-ee) noun--a soft jelly or porridge; something poor, trashy, or not worth having.

EPICENE (EP-i-seen) adj.--having characteristics typical of the other sex; lacking vigor.

DERACINATE (de-RAS-en-ate) verb--to pull out by the roots; to separate from one's environment.

ASSIZE (uh-SIZE) noun--an instruction, decree or enactment made at a legislative sitting or assembly. 

BOMBILATION (bom-bi-LAY-shun) noun--a buzzing, droning sound.

PARLOUS (PAR-lus) adj.--characterized by uncertainty, fraught with danger or risk. 

EPINICIAN (eh-puh-NISH-un) adj.--celebrating victory; or noun--a song of victory.

INEXPUGNABLE (in-eks-PUG-nuh-bul) adj.--incapable of being taken by assault or subdued by force.

SPOONERISM (SPOON-ur-izem) noun--transposition of usually initial sounds of two or more words.

RUBE (roob) noun--awkward, unsophisticated and usually gullible rustic person, ignorant of urban ways.

EX NIHILO (eks-NEE-hel-lo) adj.--from or out of nothing. 

DRAGOON (druh-GOON) noun--a mounted infantryman of the 17th and 18th centuries.

SOPORIFIC (sop-uh-RIF-ik) adj.--causing or tending to cause sleep.

SENTIENT (SENCH-ent) adj.--capable of sensation and at least rudimentary consciousness.

GYNARCHY (GY-nar-kee) noun--government by women.

ESTIVATE (ES-tuh-vayt) verb--to spend a summer usually at one place, sometimes in relative inactivity.

ANOMIE (AN-uh-mee) noun--a state of society in which normative standards of belief have disappeared.

EPICRISIS (eh-PIK-ruh-sus) noun--a critical or analytical summing up, esp. of a medical case history.

DECRETAL (duh-KREED-ul) noun--an authoritative order, a decree.

PERVICACIOUS (pur-vi-KAY-shus) adj.--very obstinate.

RELUCT (ruh-LUKT) intrans. verb--to struggle against; to feel/show repugnance or reluctance.

NULLAH (NUL-la) noun--a watercourse that's often dry; a gully, ravine.

CONTEXTURE (kun-TEKS-chur) noun--the arrangement and union of the constituent parts of a thing.

EFFLEURAGE (ef-flu-RAGH) noun--a light stroking movement used in massage.

CONATION (ko-NAY-shun) noun--an inclination or drive to act purposefully.

PHLEGETHON (FLE-guh-THON) noun, capitalized--a river of fire in Hades.
ECDYSIAST (ek-DIZ-ee-AST) noun--a stripteaser.

Read June ‘10