Sure! As a comedic author, I usually write light-hearted stories. I’m known as the funny girl. I get the giggles and chuckle my way through most situations. Not everything is funny, however. When it came to my weight, however, I had very little to laugh about. Most of my readers didn’t realize the health crisis I was facing as a result of the added pounds. I needed to get things under control, so I started counting calories and watching what I ate. Out of that came my non-fiction book, I MUST DECREASE (which released in paperback in 2005). The book is set up in a daily devotional format and it meant to bring humor (as well as dieting tips) to Christians who need/want to lose weight.
Tag: Christian fiction
Gritty Christian Crime Fiction Is Counter-Culture
Welcome Nike Chillemi!
Hey — isn’t crime fiction by it’s very nature supposed to be gritty? I think so!!! Listen, crime fiction starts right at the get-go, or should, with a murder and a less than pretty crime scene. Murder’s not nice. It’s hard to sanitize murder, and the question begs, should we? In today’s world many of our television shows, video games, and movies make us emotionally detached from violence. I think Christian crime fiction should never do this, but instead should increase reader awareness of the violation and indignity done to the victim and the pain of loss loved ones suffer. In a sense, gritty Christian crime fiction writers are engaging in a counter culture activity.
Not so much now as in the past, but I’ve read Christian suspense where the author didn’t even get to the murder until I’d gotten through a quarter of the book, or more. Page after page I was wondering, where’s the body? And then, when I got to the crime scene it was obvious the author hadn’t done enough research. The police procedure was waaaaaay off. More than a few Christian suspense novels of the past have had a non-law enforcement heroine traipsing around the crime scene and happening upon vital clues the cops somehow missed. Duh, like that would really happen!
A lot is changing now. I’m glad to see books out like PATTERN OF WOUNDS and BACK ON MURDER by J. Mark Bertrand, who knows his police procedure and internal cop politics. He also knows cop culture. THE KEVLAR HEART by former police officer Janice Cantore gives a glimpse into the wreckage left of lives and families when a child is kidnapped by a predator. We’re in a day when Christian mystery readers no longer have to turn to secular writers to get their crime fiction craving fed. They’re finding satisfying thrillers and detective stories right at home with a Christian world view. My Sanctuary Point series novels GOODBYE NOEL and BURNING HEARTS are historical romantic thrillers. I’ve done the research to accurately portray life on the south shore of Long Island, NY in the 1940s. The pace keeps going, but the romance is also there. I believe these two novels strive to bring something that matters to the table. They’re more than who dun its. There’s a fight between good and evil going on. There are few things more evil than to take another human being’s life. And yet we see our culture becoming numb to that and numb to other transgressions.
Gritty Christian crime fiction is not a cozy mystery with a sermonette added. In fact, crime fiction readers would just assume the author skip the preaching and get on with the chase. For crying out loud, there’s a killer to catch. So, what makes the story Christian? Recurring themes of redemption, forgiveness, restoration, and grace are a few clues that it just might be Christian fiction. Just because a story’s “clean as a whistle” doesn’t make it Christian to my mind.
Increasingly, the Christian crime fiction reader wants to find authenticity in plot, characterization, and scenario. They want to find detectives and beat cops who sound like they actually might be in law enforcement, not lost members of the bridge club in search of a novel to inhabit. The crime fiction reader won’t be turned off to Christianity if a Christian character stumbles, seriously so. It makes Christianity all the more attractive. God offers us a second chance to get it right.
I’ve heard it said that edgy Christian romance is not afraid to mention body parts. Well, that’s certainly the case in gritty Christian crime fiction, except that the body parts are likely to be strewn all over the crime scene. And talking about body parts, what about a good autopsy scene? Wow, I’m getting excited already! Increasingly we’re seeing good Christian crime fiction out there. If you want a rip roaring ride with no shortage of grit there’s Robert Liparulo [GERM and COMES A HORSEMAN]. On lady who’s not afraid to write grit is Sibella Giorello in her Raliegh Harmon series.
Thank Nike. I’d been wondering where those bodies are as well. And I have to agree with you about Sibella Giorello–good stuff!
Find out more about Nike Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista here.
Purchase Goodbye Noel on Amazon.(Desert Breeze) ~ Winter themed (1946/47) —murder, mayhem, an orphaned infant, kidnap and romance. Can Katrina Lenart and Det. Ian Daltry catch a kller before he strikes again?
Purchase Burning Hearts on Amazon (Desert Breeze) ~ Historical Romantic Thriller —arson/murder and romance. Can Erica Brogna and Lorne Kincaid catch a wanton killer and thwart those who are trying to frame Lorne for the crime?
Why I love Pinterest
Reading through one of Randy Ingermanson’s newsletters I stopped at the word Pinterst. The article said a lot of authors spend time there. Not me. What was he talking about. I had to know.
Now I’m hooked.
My definition of Pinterest: Vision Board Exploded.
I can now say I am no longer a magazine hoarder. Pinterest for those of you who aren’t on it yet is a new kind of social media. Yes, I know who has time for one more sink hole of time. But wait! This is different! I promise!
Pinterest allows you to set up virtual interactive bulletin boards. You go to a website and see something you love and want to remember the old thing to do was print it out and hope you can find that paper in six months. New way: set up a board, pin the webpage photo, write a description so you and others will know what it’s all about. Then when you want to find that hiking trail map in another country because ‘oh my’ you are invited on a trip of a lifetime you can go to your ‘Hiking Map” board and pull up that website.
I use Pinterest for several things. Here are some of the boards I’ve set up:
|Gluten Free On Pinteres|
Social Media Help
ME–stuff that reminds me of things growing up
My favorite? Gifts I want. 🙂
As you accept more friends on Pinterest your catalog of choices to pin grows. You’ll be connecting with people who like to do what you do–maybe pickling is your thing or raindrops and umbrellas.
Before long you’ll be adding to your boards, breaking them down into better categories. For me Pinterest is ideal. No more files of photos, recipes and places to go stacked on the floor.
Want to follow me on Pinterest? That would be fun. I’d love to see what you collect.
Laugh, Squeal and Giggle
Don’t you love how these two are so connected that they laugh and squeal at the same time? Do you have a friend or family member that finds things as funny as you do? My son, Josh and I shared that while he was living at home. Improve could make us break out in roaring laughter, making my husband stare and wonder what we thought was so funny.
Writer’s Office-my dream
The office is done! Thanks to Ed the wonder floor layer and IKEA furniture assembler. Everything went well except for having to take another trip to IKEA last week for a piece we forgot.
This is what we started with:
This is my side, Ed has the other side of the office. The wall with the windows aren’t visible here, but that wall was a really deep blue. Looked great several years ago. The desk is supposed to be “L” shaped but I didn’t like it that way. To hard to get into the cabinets. It’s even more messy than I remember. I should have cleaned before I took this photo.
Here’s the remodel! The paint is called Corner Brook A37-1 from ACE. The floor is natural red oak from Floor Traders.
This is my side of the office. I love that the chair glides across the floor to the bookshelf.
The doors to my office were a Christmas gift from Ed not long after we married. He rescued the stained glass I had in my barn and made them into doors. I love them. The long white bench next to the windows was also made by him. It’s a great place for the cats to watch the birds and squirrels.
It opens to hold all of our files.
This is the piece we drove back to IKEA in Bolingbrook to buy. The printer sets on the counter and the unit pulls out giving us more space to lay out (pile) our stuff. I like it because the drawers are shallow. That allows me to keep books I use often within easy reach and they have a place to go at the end of the day.
My personal space. On Pintrest someone had placed their digital frame over their desk. I liked that idea and stole it. My lamp is full of marbles.
I love this organizer I discovered at Pier 1 last spring. I keep note cards with plot points I don’t want to miss along with the print out from my book coming out in May to inspire me to write another one.
Fiction and Golf? by Robin Bayne
My guest today is Robin Bayne.
What I’ve Learned About Reading Fiction from Golf
You may have noticed that the cover of my story, “Prodigal,” features a golf ball. That’s because one of the scenes takes place on a driving range and is based on a real life experience. Personally, I’ve given up trying to learn the game and let my husband go out to the course so I can have quiet reading or writing time.
But over many years of observing the game both in real life and on television, I’ve picked up the following:
In golf, patience is the key. It is a slow sport to play, and can be slowed further by lagging players in front of you. (You can however, speed things up by playing golf on the Wii machine.)
In fiction, patience is also needed. Reading a love story is a slow, unfolding process that makes us wait for the payoff at the end. We also must sometimes wait patiently for the next story in a series. (You can however, sometimes speed things up by ordering your books as downloads for immediate receipt.)
In golf, there is a code of etiquette to be followed. Many rules apply out on the green. It is considered the “gentleman’s sport” for a reason.
In fiction, there are also rules of etiquette for readers like not revealing “spoilers” and ruining the experience for others. And not criticizing an author, focusing instead on her work.
In golf, your spouse might become irritated by the amount of time you spend at it.
In fiction, your spouse might become irritated by the amount of time you spend at it.
So in what ways is reading a superior hobby to golf?
–You don’t need to wear plaid pants or a collared shirt to read a book.
–Reading is a year-round sport, regardless of weather. –You can buy many books for the cost of one typical round of golf. –You can re-read a scene anytime, but in golf “mulligans” are frowned upon. –No special equipment is needed to read, unless it’s reading glasses. –You can’t play golf on the beach or in the tub. –If you completed grade school, you won’t need special instructors to help you read. –You can read all alone, without needing to call your buddies.
Forgot to mention–after leaving here stop by my blog and enter my drawing– open until Friday the 17th. http://
So send your spouse out to the driving range and curl up on your couch. Tell us, what books are in your TBR (to be read) pile?
Thanks Robin for this fun post. You can read more about Robin on her website and her blog.
Tim Gardner has worked hard to rebuild the family business after his older brother nearly destroyed it. He’s restored the clientele base and the restaurant’s reputation. But if Rachel Martin can’t get her act together, she won’t fulfill his orders for the Gardner’s Gazebo signature dessert, a gold-leaf cheese cake, which also happens to be Rachel’s secret recipe. When Rachel Martin’s partner abandons their bakery and catering business to study with the master chefs in Paris, she’s left with nothing but bills and obligations-and no one in Portlandville seems able or willing to help her. No one except for Timothy Gardner, and she knows the handsome young man is only after one thing—her cheese cake. But as she gets to know him, during her time of need, she wonders if maybe there’s a little bit more in the mix. And as Tim gets to know Rachel, he finds himself wanting to be her Good Samaritan–permanently.
Does your man have hidden files?
Why you should be a fan of Audiobooks
Ellen Gregory is visiting today. She loves audiobooks and wants you to know why. Welcome Ellen!
Three reasons why audiobooks are awesome
The rise of the e-book over the past few years has sparked some fun discussions about the various merits of ‘tree’ versus ‘e’… But there’s a third format that doesn’t seem to get all that much airtime – the audiobook. I constantly hear people say how they need to ‘read’ a book, and can’t absorb the words or the story when they are forced to listen. While I daresay this is true for some people – we’re all wired differently after all – I’m willing to bet a large number have never actually tried listening to an audiobook. I’m here to tell you they’re awesome!
Here are three reasons why:
1. Audiobooks are essentially a performance and provide interpretation.
Some books, no matter how wonderful, are hard work to read. Listening to an audiobook read by a talented actor, who injects pauses and emphasis into the narrative, not to mention different accents etc for the dialogue of the various characters, brings a wealth of meaning and comprehension to many a novel – or indeed non-fiction.
I’ve listened to audiobooks of Possession (by A.S. Byatt), Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf), and The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins), where the nuanced reading greatly added to my enjoyment of the words and the story. In the case of comedy, a great reader adds to the humor! To this day, one of my favorites is Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination (Helen Fielding), and it’s probably at least half because of the fabulous reader.
2. Audiobooks allow multi-tasking.
Just think: now you can ‘read’ during your long commute to work, or while you’re working out… or cooking… or gardening… Audiobooks allow you to make use of all the dead time. I actually find myself smiling when I’m stuck in peak-hour traffic, because it means I get to listen to my book for a few minutes longer.
In fact, it was an audiobook that got me into the habit of walking to work on a regular basis, despite having to get out of bed half an hour earlier. I leapt out of bed, because as soon as I started walking, I’d get lost in a fabulous novel.
3. Audiobooks keep you an honest reader.
Not everyone skips about in books to see what happens out of sequence (and at the end), but I confess I do have a bad habit of doing this. But I can’t with an audiobook! (Unless I also have a written version.) There’s no skipping over any ‘boring’ scenes either. It’s all presented to you, word for beautiful word, just as the author intended for you to read it. I like knowing that I’ve experienced a book in its purest form.
Have I convinced you to try out audiobooks? If you’re already a fan, what are the reasons you like them?
Thanks Ellen! I can see why audiobooks have a place in my library.
Visit Ellen’s blog–here.
Waste Not Want Not
Mrs. Dorothy Stumpe was my 7th and 8th grade home ec. teacher.
Most of us very intelligent teenagers thought she was a bit odd. She would spot sayings like ‘waste not, want not’ many times while teaching us to cook and sew. She also used phrases like ‘scissor wizzers’ and ‘pinny winnies.’ Being the smart child I thought she was funny and old fashioned and knew nothing.
I was wrong. I wish I had been able to apologize for some of my actions in her class. One day I refused to answer her because she called me Deann instead of Diana–that got me sent to the hall with a book. (yeah, ironic since I love to read so it wasn’t a big punishment.) Then there was the day I refused to eat bulger wheat–that got me sent to the principal. Turns out that wasn’t a bad thing for me to do since I’m allergic to wheat.
Still as I read her obit I wished I had taken to the time to really know her. She was an amazing woman.
Mrs. Stumpe had been an environmentalist for most of her 93 years. At 15 she created a windbreak, by relocating invasive cedar saplings from a cemetery to the north side of her family’s farm, which is credited for saving that farm from a tornado.
During the Depression in 1933, she was the first woman to ever receive the American Grand Championship for her calf at the American Royal. Selling the calf for “an unheard of price of $1/lb.” she bought a college education and a gold watch now on display at the Richmond, Kan., Museum.
Mrs. Stumpe started the Washington 4-H Club for her children in 1960. She was a club leader and/or project leader for over 50 years.
Her youth work focused on herbs, knitting, crocheting, sewing, cooking, electricity, crafts, home improvement, conservation and community service.
For community betterment, she was servant, steward and leader. Organizations included the Professional Home Economics Club of Franklin County; co-chairman of the Home Economics Department at the Washington Town and Country Fair (1960-1985); president of Washington Preservation, Inc. (where she helped restore the freight depot, Kohmueller homestead, hosted a living history day with re-enactors of the Civil War, planted an herb garden and organized annual Christmas house tours); and president for three years of the American Association of University Women.
In addition, she belonged to Immanuel Lutheran Church since 1944 and its church organizations, where she is known for her presentations on “Herbs of the Bible,” “Women’s Veils” and “The Life of Martin Luther.”
And there is more about her here.
Yes, I could have used more of her wisdom. Now, I’m looking up how to use herbs, doing my best to waste not so I won’t want not. I would have liked to ask her what it was like to be the first woman to earn championship status. So many lessons unlearned.
I hope not to waste any more opportunities to learn from others.
|I-55 Southern Illionis|
We’re redoing our office and I’d saved enough money for new office furniture because we all know that is going to increase my creativity by 100%.
The furniture needed and must have is located in Bollingbrook, IL at the IKEA store. My favorite place, but not my husbands. It takes about 4 1/2 hours to get there. It’s a nice Sunday drive. Not really, the photo above is what it looks like most of the trip. Flat, flat, flat.
It’s sad when the one thing that makes the trip exciting is a semi-truck on it’s side. Yes, I looked. I wasn’t driving so it’s okay. I’ve never seen the underside of a semi-truck. There were a lot of flashing lights, fire trucks and policemen. No ambulance though, so I’m praying the driver was fine and it wasn’t needed.
So what makes this long drive such a message of powerful love?
We went on Superbowl Sunday. Yes, we did.
|I-55 close to Bollingbrook, Illinois|
And yes, we arrived home long after the Superbowl was over. I can say my husband has a powerful love for me to miss the game.
How did you spend Superbowl Sunday?
D is for Drive