Friday, October 31, 2014


The short story anthology, CHRISTMAS TREASURES: A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES, is shaping up nicely. The details for both the e-version and print version will be shared shortly, as well as the book cover. Exciting! And to add to the excitement, check out the BookGiveaway offer below. Ho Ho Ho.

I thought if would be interesting to ask my co-authors an interview question every Friday leading up to the release of the book. This Friday's questions is:

What do you hope your reader will be blessed with upon reading your story?

My (Elaine Stock) story, THE FOREVER CHRISTMAS GIFT, wraps around the themes of peace and hope when an unexpected friendship develops between a young adult woman, who has just about given up on these feelings, and an older man, who has grown accustomed to loneliness. They learn that peace and hope can bring joy, and that is what I hope my readers will be blessed with upon reading this story.

Patty Wysong: Sometimes we get so caught up in how we think God should work in our lives that we forget He’s not tied down to working in normal or traditional ways. There are times when how He chooses to accomplish His will makes us think a mistake has been made or we wonder what we’ve gotten ourselves into. In my story, A HUSBAND FOR CHRISTMAS, Cassie’s meant-as-a-joke comment to her father unleashes more than she knows. As a result, she gets to see God work in a totally unexpected way and it more than she ever dared to hope for. It’s a reminder to me to let God work, even if…especially if it’s in ways that I would never think up on my own.

Anne Garboczi Evans: My story, I HATE CHRISTMAS, is a tale to make people laugh and smile. Amid the stress of the holidays, I hope the story allows readers to lose themselves in a story for a moment. Stress is bad! Reading is good!!

Susan F. Craft: I hope to show that in my story, HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARRAH (intentional spelling), God doesn’t want for us to fear for anything. He is the God of the large and the small – even to a lowly sparrow. If God is concerned about the tiny sparrow and notes its fate, how much greater must His concern be for man.

In Matt. 10:29-31, Jesus talks about sparrows that were so insignificant that if you bought four of them, the seller would throw in one more for free.

In her beautiful song, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” Civilla Martin says it best. “Why should I feel discouraged? … When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches over me.”

Joanne Sher: At Christmastime, we think about the gifts and the baby in the manger - I hope, after reading my story WITH HER OWN EYES, folks will rediscover the wonder of some of the first people outside His family to see the baby Jesus - those who had been waiting for Him all their lives.

Linda S. Glaz: I want my readers to never give up hope. In PART-TIME JOB, a Santa style story, it seems like I'm putzing with miracles, but isn't hope a miracle? Our faith keeps us moving forward no matter how difficult our circumstances. We just keep hoping!

Karen Wingate: I hope my story, THE CHRISTMAS GIFT, will be a reminder that even when Christmas doesn’t meet our expectations, it can still be a wonderful Christmas; in fact, it is when everything else seems bad that we learn to focus on Christ and the blessings He has waiting for us.

Christina Rich: In my story, A CHRISTMAS FOR MADDIE, I hope my readers will be blessed by my characters' heart posture, their willingness to go the extra mile to bring joy to others.

Karla Akins: I hope my readers will enjoy a giggle in BANKING ON CHRISTMAS. Christmas can be stressful for some folks, and laughter is good medicine.

April Strauch:  There are bright spots even in the darkest times. God never stops surprising us. Especially at Christmas, and that’s what I hope my readers are blessed by in my story, LOVE IS THE KEY.

Kathleen Rouser: Life isn’t easy. Sometimes we are put in unique situations, which are out of our comfort zone, but the Lord uses those very things to stretch and grow us. Also in my story, SPECIAL ASSINGMENT, I would like readers to see that God is at work in mysterious ways that we can’t always see—whether through other people . . . or angels.

Readers, when you read a Christmas story, what do you wish as a take-away value? One randomly chosen commenter will receive, upon release, an e-version of CHRISTMAS TREASURES: A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES. Please leave your contact information within your comment.We're looking forward to hearing from you ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤  

Tweet These:
Interview with the authors of Christmas Treasures: A Collection Of Short Stories. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Readers: Share what you enjoy the most in Christmas stories. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Jessica Everingham: The Power Of Romance In Story

Everyone's Story welcomes this week the aspiring author Jessica Everingham. I've had the pleasure of getting to know Jessica from the times she has visited this blog as a commenter, as well as through Twitter. It's an honor that she is my guest this week, and I hope that she receives much encouragement from viewers over the next few days because this woman certainly has her act together, which I'm sure you will agree upon when you read the lovely words she shares with us, as well as a blurb on the novel she's written. Be blessed. Be encouraged. Ignore anything else that tries to bring you down. Both Jessica and I look forward to hearing from you.

Jessica's blurb of HATING JEREMY WALTERS:

I’m a good church girl. How did I end up in this weird pseudo-family with two kids and the guy who broke my heart?

Natalie Groves could never hate anybody. Anybody, that is, except the love of her life.

She was nineteen when Jeremy Walters declared he wouldn’t—couldn’t—keep faking his faith in God. Not for his overbearing father, not even for her. Natalie ended their relationship and he drove off to Chicago.

Now Natalie is 26, single, and broke from paying off her father’s medical bills. And she just lost her job.

When Jem lands back in town, desperate for a nanny for his teenage niece and infant son, some say it’s Providence. Natalie says God has lost His marbles.

But with no paycheck and no savings, she can either go bankrupt or accept his job.

She’s tempted to go bankrupt.

The Best Part of Romance by Jessica Everingham

I recently read the most romantic line I’ve ever seen, in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.

For me, it highlighted my favourite part of romance, both as a writer and a reader. But let me fill you in on the backstory…

The book’s main character, Tris, has endured countless crises with her boyfriend, Tobias, in a dystopian world coming apart at the seams.

Courtesy Google Images
Not only have the pair fought against a society hell-bent on destroying itself, they’ve also had to battle their inner demons—and sometimes each other—along the way. Yet their relationship ***SPOILER ALERT*** which began mid-way through the first book, is still going strong toward the end of the third.

It is at this point, when Tris makes the following confession:

“I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” 

What I really love about this line is one particular word: “choose."

While the situation that Tris and Tobias live in is wildly different from our own world, their relationship is one of the most realistic—and addictive—I’ve come across in fiction.

Their love isn’t just based on attraction, (though there’s plenty of that). It’s not just about romance, (though, between battles, there’s some of that too).

These two young characters build a relationship on blood, sweat and tears. They’re faced with it all—physical danger, personal insecurities, post-traumatic stress disorder, guilt, disappointment, and even lies. Their inner demons mimic real life far more than your average romance.

Courtesy Google Images
Yet through it all, they consistently chose to put the other one above themselves. They stand with each other through grief and tragedy. They encourage. They challenge. They sacrifice. And they last.

While Roth’s novels are mainstream, not Christian, I think the enduring example shown by Tris and Tobias follows Biblical principles.

After all, what is real romance, if not this? Real life is full of challenges that require these same qualities to overcome. Sure, true love might start with attraction and fun. But at the end of the day, when unpleasant things fly toward the fan, love becomes a choice.

One of the reasons I believe Divergent excelled is because it took those real-life elements and fused them with nail-biting action, a mind-bending conspiracy and enough plot twists to make you dizzy.

That’s the thing I love about fictional romance: the chance to illustrate real-life principles through wildly imaginative situations. Divergent reminded me of that.

What have your favourite books done for you?

Jessica's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Meet @JessEveringham and see how she connects Divergent series & God’s plans for love. (Tweet This)

Like #ChristianRomance novels? See Jessica Everingham’s take on these great reads. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Jessica Everingham is a 23 year-old Australian who writes about God and love, and often combines the two. Her novel-in-progress, Hating Jeremy Walters, is a prime example.

Check out a sneak peek of her book through her website/blog. 

Places to connect with Jessica:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ace Collins: The One Thing We Don't Want An Editor To Say

Everyone's Story welcomes this week multi-published author Ace Collins. A writer who grips one's heart and thoughts, Ace is my type of storyteller and I imagine he will stir up a bit of interest from others these next few days as well. Please take a moment to check out his exciting Giveaway offer of his newest release, THE COLOR OF JUSTICE, as well as read his piece on point of view--both thought provoking for both the reader and writer. Ace and I look forward to hearing from you.

Ace is offering 1 copy of his new release THE COLOR OF JUSTICEThe winner will be announced here on Friday, October 31st, between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!


     Point of View by Ace Collins

In the world of novels, editors are constantly quizzing authors about POV (point of view). Establishing POV is vital for two very important reasons. The first is obvious — a strong POV helps the reader follow the storyline. The second is often overlooked but is what separates an average book from a really good one — the author needs to deeply understand the characters he or she creates. We have to understand their motivation. We must live inside their heads and walk in their shoes. If we don’t have a full grasp on the complete nature and personality of those we create then our readers will never fully identify with our characters. While POV is essential for “growing” a good book, it might even be more important for growth in life.

In my childhood America was a segregated nation. There were schools for white children and schools for blacks. Stores and restaurants were divided by color as well. Community housing districts were also cordoned off by race. During my youth I can’t begin to count how many times I heard the expression “separate but equal.” The old lie was trotted out every time school integration was mentioned. Yet if those who used this conversational crutch had spent a day in one of those supposedly equal schools they would have noted the poor facilities and out of date textbooks. Then if they had walked the halls and visited with the students, they would have been forced to realize the only facet of their excuse against integration that held any truth was the separate part. There was no equality.

During his three years of active teaching Jesus made the establishment very uncomfortable. Rather than write off people of other races, religions and social standings, Jesus demanded that those doing the judging walk a mile in the “sinners” shoes, get to know their motivations and understand their needs. This kind of “don’t you dare throw that stone” philosophy led to those in power deciding the best way to deal with this radical teacher was to get rid of him. So rather than listen to the message or look into the mirror and see the shortcomings that were reflected, they opted to silence the messenger.

When I mess up POV my editors ask me to redevelop my characters. That is a good practice for life too. If you are so settled in your ways and traditions that you have no room for those who are different, if you believe you don’t have to associate with the modern equivalent of the woman at the well or the Samaritan, if you don’t have the courage to challenge your convictions and your prejudices, if you think you should only live in a world where people agree with your POV, if you only want to listen to one side of an issue, then you are likely not very well informed. That also likely means that your character is not likely fully developed and what a shame it is for you to short-change yourself and your potential simply because you have not opened your eyes, your ears and your mind to others ways of viewing the world.

Those who preached “separate but equal” not only lacked insight and wisdom, they were cowards. It terrified them to give up power and control even if they knew it was the right thing to do. And while they were nothing like Jesus, many used His name to justify their POV. Let’s hope we are all a bit braver, wiser and more ready to hear “the editor’s” words in 2015. Time to toss out the old antiquated thinking, take a dose of courage, expand our world and grow! After all, when our real life story is finished we don’t want an editor pointing out to us we didn't fully develop our character.

Ace's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Author @AceCollins: 2 reasons why POV is vital (2nd one is often overlooked). (Tweet This)

Everyone has a story: Meet multi-pub author @AceCollins & see how his childhood shaped his writing. (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway of THE COLOR OF JUSTICE by Ace Collins. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio
Citing his Arkansas heritage, Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. In that capacity, Ace Collins has authored more than seventy books for 25 different publishers that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play.

In 2014 Ace is releasing Man’s Best Hero, a book on dog heroes, a courtroom novel, The Color of Justice, that examines racial prejudice in 1964, and a groundbreaking ebook series, In The President’s Service, that provides readers with a new adventure each month. He has several more novels set for release in 2015 and one of his books was just optioned for a motion picture. His fiction writing has covered everything from value-driven plots, to adventures, mysteries, historical stories, sentimental tales and comedy.

Beyond his fiction and nonfiction books, Collins has penned more than 2000 magazine features, appeared on every network morning television show, as well as CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Fox. He also does scores of radio interviews each year. His speaking engagements have taken him from churches and corporations to the America’s Dog Museum in St. Louis and the National Archives in Washington DC. Collins has penned several production shows and speaks to college classes on the art of writing.

Collins’ hobbies include sports, restoring classic cars, Wurlitzer jukeboxes and running. He is married to the Chair of the Department of Education at Ouachita Baptist University. The couple lives in Arkadelphia, Arkansas and has two sons.

Places to connect with Ace:

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