You Get to See it First–Cover Reveal!

Hello, lovely blog subscribers. Some of you have been with me for over ten years now, long before I received my first book contract. Some of you (SandyT, waving!) have prayed with and for me as I’ve sought to follow God’s lead on this crazy, fun, hard, and sometimes confusing journey. So, it only seemed right that y’all got to see the cover for my September release first!

Ready?

If I add enough enters here, will that create a “delay” affect? No? Okay, here it is. 🙂 What do you think?

Want to read the back cover copy?

She’s home again, but not for long…
Unless this cowboy recaptures her heart

Returning home with a baby in tow, Paige Cordell’s determined her stay is only temporary. But to earn enough money to leave, she needs a job—and her only option is working at her first love’s dinner theater. With attraction once again unfurling between her and Jed Gilbertson, can the man who once broke her heart convince her to stay for good?

You can preorder a discounted copy HERE.

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The Birth of a Story

I sure spend a lot of time clinging to my safety nets, for one who talks so often about living God’s great adventure. Although, I do eventually drop them, and take that next step, and then the next, though my hands might be clammy and my legs may quiver every step of the way.

This was me, when our family joined our former church for a week-long mission trip to El Salvador back in 2011. My biggest angst? I hated flying. I’ve gotten much better, but back then, every trip felt like torture. While the other passengers slept or read books or chatted with one another, I’d obsess. On every plane crash I’d ever heard of, on every bump or dip as we soared through the sky, on how high our plane flew and how long it’d take us to spiral to our deaths.

Ah, the joys of the writer’s brain.

If only I’d been more diligent to “fix” my thoughts on truth, as Philippians 4:8-9 puts it. But I wasn’t. Instead, I fixed my thoughts on potential catastrophes and what-ifs, and instead of experiencing the peace that “surpasses understanding,” I worked myself into a near panic.

And let me tell you, fear is exhausting and self-defeating!

It didn’t help that our descent into the country was horrendous! Flying over the mountains and through a storm, it felt like someone had strapped us onto a roller coaster and were tossing and shaking us about.

That first night in the hotel, tired, and pushed out of my comfort zone in numerous ways, one thought dominated: “I want to go home.”

By the end of the week, with my heart full and broken simultaneously, another even stronger thought took hold: “I never want to leave.”

Saying goodbye and stepping back on that plane, with my pockets stuffed with letters from sweet orphan girls, was so incredibly hard. Our family returned to the states convinced God wanted us to go back, so we began making plans. My husband would take an early retirement, we’d sell our home, and we’d rent an apartment in El Salvador so we could help the orphan girls we’d fallen in love with learn English (a quick ticket out of poverty in that country).

But then I got sick. For a while, really sick. And suddenly, our plans were flipped upside down and inside out. Our hearts still ached for those precious girls. We still deeply loved El Salvador, its people, and their culture. I could’t believe God would stir then break our hearts for nothing, but I had no idea what He was up to.

He’s since shown us there’s a lot of ways one can become involved in His mission to heal, save, and restore. Some are called to go; others to support those who go. Some are called to adopt; others to support those who do. Some are called to raise awareness or work for life-transforming organizations behind the scenes.

The ways one can help, can be a part of life change, are as endless as God’s love for each and every orphan crying out to Him each day.

I write. That’s what I do. And so, that’s what I did–not about my adventure though an experience or two from our trip might have found its way into the story. But instead, I wrote about Brooke’s, a woman I can relate to in many ways. A painful event in her past has caused her to form a near-impenetrable safety net, one that has caused her to strive and grasp and fight for control.

But God has so much more planned for her.

Here’s the back cover text:

A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

Can you relate to any of what I shared? When has God pushed you out of your comfort zone, and what was the result? When have you been convinced His plan was X, but He later showed you it was Y, and how’d you process that?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another!

Cover Selection Fun

Have you ever wondered who decides what images to use on a book cover? How the publishers make this selection? Have you ever thought, “If I had a say, I’d choose/wouldn’t choose …”

Now’s your chance to be part of what happens behind the scenes when a book’s developed.

My publisher wants to hear from you, my readers. They created a survey with a few cover design options, and we’re inviting you to vote on your favorite. You can do that HERE!

Writing your life story

My daughter just gave me this poem and I loved it so much I wanted to share it.

Your Life’s Book by Ashley Slattery

Your life is like an open book

For anyone who cares to look

The story of your life.

There it shall be

For all eyes to see

The story of your life

So now’s your chance

To take your stance

And with a heart-felt grin

Take up your pen

Write the story of your life

Now its your legacy

For the ones after you to see

Their turn to read

About who you came to be

The story of your life.

Our life story will live long after we are gone and although our past colors who we are, it does not define us. Unless we allow it to. The ending of our story, to a large extent, is up to us. And  the ultimate question is, will the world be a better place after having read it, or are we just tickling their ears?

When storm clouds loom and the cold wind blows

With dark clouds looming overhead, a cold wind blowing and the melodious sound of rain dripping on my roof, I am ready to lose myself in a world of make-believe. For children, that means finding a ball of yarn that can be turned into a beautiful princess about to be rescued by her prince charming…ah, but we have left such fanciful notions behind, along with the toys that once cluttered our lives, to pursue much more meaningful and purposeful ideals like responsibility and efficiency and success. But for those of us who look back upon those days–those days that were filled with tales of enchanted horses and starry nights–with longing, we can, if but temporarily, enter into a world of adventure and beauty, allowing an eloquent flow of words to flood our hearts until we have once again entered that place of unhindered imagination. Today this is where I will be, cuddled up with a great book that beckons me to leave the rest of the world behind…if but only for a day.