My Author’s Page at Bettie Youngs Books and a Free Sample

I’m so honored to be represented by Vanessa Grossett and published by Bettie Youngs Books. Please take a minute to visit my author’s page. I can hardly believe that I’m in the company of so many accomplished wordsmiths! Afterwards, pop over to Amazon and you can pick up a copy of my ebook, or you can read a sample chapter here…

The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor’s Story.

Also, I still have a couple copies of Shades of Mercy – contact me quickly for your free copy!

Unidentified Calling

How many times have I told you God? I’m not cut out for  this! It almost feels like you’re that parent with pie-in-the-sky dreams for his kid, ambitions for Jonny to be a star baseball player when all Jonny wants to do is learn the guitar. 

I am a self-aware people pleaser. I’m not an entrepreneur or a risk taker in any capacity. I don’t like failure or rejection and I can’t handle large uninsured investments of my time, money or emotional energy. Yet, here I am, holding the second rejection of my manuscript in as many days. What makes you think I’m supposed to be a writer? 

If I didn’t know myself so well, I’d assume that I’m just fool hardy, a glutton for punishment, cocky and pretentious to think I have a story to tell and a ministry to fulfill through the written word. But I know I heard you. I know you put me up to this. 

Just the other day, I was thanking you for finally revealing “my calling”. But now, as I evaluate the outcome of my obedience, I think you’ve got me all wrong. It’s so hard, Lord! I really don’t want to sit in this uncomfortable space of waiting for and listening to you, of pressing on and stepping out in faith again and again. Can’t I just do something cut and dry, trudge along in a rut carved by some previous, daring saint? Is there just a “good Christian” to-do list I can follow?

I prayed this prayer under my breath, not too sure that I want God to hear me. I mean, I don’t want Him to give up on me, to relinquish His great plans for me, but I’m so tired of living in limbo. It feels like none of my projects find any closure. I’m still waiting for feedback from publishers, waiting for the answer to prayers about our family’s future, waiting for that phone call to be returned, waiting for the support group I lead to grow, waiting for the magazine editor’s response, waiting for some affirmation that my life is bearing any fruit for my Father, that I’m on the right path, that I’m doing something right!

God?

Except for this uncanny pressure, like His thumb between my shoulder blades gently propping me up and pressing me forward, I wonder if God really doesn’t hear my whispered prayer. He’s been mysteriously quiet today. But He didn’t chide me for my fears or mock my frustration. He only lay upon my heart one thing: “[Do not] get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time [you] will reap a harvest of blessing if [you] don’t give up.”*

I’m pressing on.

I am blessed to work with, write for and count as friends, dozens of other authors. So, I take great comfort in their humble stories of rejection letters and their gutsy determination to press on.

Here are a few links that have bolstered my spirit:

Chad Allen, by means of Mary Demuth and her humble honesty about failure even after you’ve “made it”. Here’s a priceless one, a cup of tea for the weary creative’s soul. I shared it once before and I’ve Pinned it so I can find it over and over, but just so you don’t miss it: In the Ditch.  And here’s board where I keep scraps of possibilities. Hopefully you’ll find brain stimulation there too. And one more, By Anne R. Allen, with enough wit to put some saucy back in your key strokes and determination to defy discouragement.

In the next several posts I’m going to be “going deeper”. That’s something the Holy Spirit  has been etching on my heart lately. I’m not completely sure what it means, but the more that I explore it, I’m finding it applies to nearly every aspect of my life.

I have a tendency to cast a wide net. I reach farther, do more and often give up quickly on the things that seem to have the least potential. Then it’s off to the next interest, praying this ambition is more promising (honestly, praying that maybe I found God’s sweet spot for me). Anxiety wells the longer it takes for an effort to blossom. Pure fear takes over when God seems to tie my hands behind my back. Wait He says, kneel here until your knees wear a deep indentation in the carpet.

What are the things that make you question whether you’ve heard God? What were you completely sure of yesterday, that you’re less than convinced of today? How do you know if you’re on the right track? What if you’re not?

*Galatians 6:9

Book Review, The Governess of Highland Hall

The Governess of Highland Hall, by Carrie Turansky, is a heart-warming book, based on a no-fail, time-tested plot. Though not too obvious, it really is a twist on the classic tale of Cinderella, seasoned with Scripture and moral themes, and omitting the talking animals and fairy godmother.

The heroine, Julia Foster, was a young missionary with her parents in India, but just before the book opens, the small family has returned to England due to her father’s poor health. Nearly 30 years old, and teetering on the edge of spinsterhood, Julia nobly sets aside her own dreams in order to help support her parents and hopefully return to the mission field.

Sir William Ramsey hires the lovely Julia to be governess to his two young children. She is also to serve as a tutor for his two adolescent cousins, the orphans of the uncle from whom he inherited Highland Hall. He’s a kind, Christian man, but distracted from his family by financial burdens and the festering hurt of his late, unfaithful wife.

Within the virtual castle of Highland Hall, the Cinderella story unfolds. Julia plays the selfless, tender role of Cinderella. Mrs. Emmitt, the head housekeeper is a mirror of the evil stepmother, threatened by Julia’s winsome ways and her potential to upset the traditions of the house. Sir William’s young cousins might well be Drusilla and Anastasia, the cruel stepsisters. They view Julia with unjustified contempt.

Sir William’s children, his sister Sarah and a few other servants play relatively minor roles, but in essence could be Cinderella’s pet mice and birds personified. They flutter around Julia, encouraging her, benefitting from her wisdom and gentleness and giving her courage to face each new day despite the uncomfortable circumstances.

As might be expected, romance must bloom in such a fairytale. This happens on several fronts, adding depth to the story, but the central romance develops between Sir William and Julia. The primary conflict in the book is their reluctance to admit their growing affection for each other, break social barriers and publicly fall in love.

The Governess of Highland Hall is a sweet story, but lacks the significant conflict needed to really hold my attention. The conclusion is predictable. As the main character, Julia remains one dimensional, and I have difficultly relating to and admiring a heroine who seems to have no flaws.

For an easy read, or to invoke nostalgic, “Once upon a time”, emotions, this is an excellent book. It simply doesn’t provide the mental stimulation I prefer in historical fiction.