Posted in About the Book, Fiction Friday

February’s Writing Blitz: Love Never Fails: Week 3


If you follow me on Facebook, you might have heard about my husband’s trip to the ER. My husband’s lung spontaneously collapsed Friday morning. There was no rhyme or reason for it. No way to prevent it. The only answer they could give him was that this is fairly common in tall, skinny men. However, they normally only see this in men over 60 or younger guys between 18-22.
So what is a collapsed lung? The doctor explained that the lung leaked out air, putting air in between the lung cavity and the lung itself. This pocket of air doesn’t allow the lung to fill properly, leaving it in the collapsed position.
This is extremely painful. And a bit unnerving to know that this could happen on a whim without a hard hit to the chest.
The lung, however, will heal itself and the body can absorb the air in time. Because John’s case wasn’t so severe and his pain was the biggest issue, the doctor gave him the option of having a tube put in his side to draw the air out or just waiting a few days to see how things go on their own. He chose to wait, so now we wait until Wednesday to find out if there is any improvement. If there isn’t any improvement then he’ll need to either have the tube procedure done in the office or go for surgery and a longer hospital stay. The surgery doesn’t sound like fun, but they have reason to believe that this has happened before so there is a greater chance now of it happening again. The surgery can prevent this from happening to him again.
How is he today? He has permission from the doctor to return to work just as long as he can handle the pain he’s in. Last I checked, he seemed rather uncomfortable so I’m surprised he went to work. If at any point he feels that it’s getting worse, he’s supposed to call the doctor and head to the hospital.

When life surprises you, you have to just roll with it. I had major plans on the writing front but happily set these duties aside to handle things here at home. Because I spent the entire day at the hospital, I wasn’t at my desk that morning, putting the finishing touches on my progress report. Lol I apologize for those that read it. I didn’t have my finished numbers in the post or any of the links. I know you’ll be understanding, so I’m just gonna laugh this blunder off and move on. I am bringing the finished progress report to you today with some updated goals.

As mentioned, I’ve reached the half-way point in the first draft which means that I’m now going downhill. Similar to riding a bike downhill, my job suddenly seems easier and faster. I switched my goals around last week and started counting the number of scenes I’ve written instead of focusing on word count. I tend to do this when I’m nearing the end. It seems easier to count down the scenes as I  hone in on the ending. My goal last week was to write 6 complete scenes and I have written 9 scenes with a total of 7535 words for the week. There were days when it seemed impossible to write so all glory goes to God!! Now for your new clue…

Are you ready to hear something about our pal, Ralph Williams? I’m not ready to say much since I have to be ultra careful here with spoilers, but I CAN give you a song that I like to use as inspiration for his love life. Suffice it to say that our hero finds himself in the doghouse and will find himself begging for a second chance. Whether the lady will give in or not is yet to be seen. But you can hear the beat of his heart in the Backstreet Boys’ song, Crawling Back to You. Enjoy!


Week 4 Goals: I’m bouncing back and forth between throwing myself in my writing and pulling out another vacation card so that I can focus on my family and housework. I think my home needs some extra attention at this point.
I’ve decided to write as I’m able, but I’m not setting any goals and there will not be any progress report on Friday. Lord willing, I’ll come back swinging in March. 😉 I’m praying about finishing the entire first draft by the end of March. This will be a hefty challenge.

Prayer Requests: Clearly, we’re in need of prayers for my husband’s health. You’ll find updates on Facebook. Please continue to pray that God blesses my time and my efforts. Also that I’ll have a clear mind and be able to work unhindered when it’s time.

Catching Up: You can read the previous progress reports and the clues I’ve given out so far.
And just for fun, I have pulled up a previous post featuring some random facts about the Ancient Words Series. It was originally linked to a giveaway which is no longer in progress.

Posted in About the Book, Fiction Friday

February’s Writing Blitz: Love Never Fails: Week 2


If you’re following on Facebook, then you may have heard that I reached a few important milestones early in the week. I decided the timing was right to take a little break and rest up some. Turns out my plans, as always, are in God’s hands and my 3 school children were snowed in with me for all 3 days of my vacation. This made the timing perfect since it’s extremely hard to write with 3 boys and their little sister hanging around. 😉 

Now back to those milestones: 
I’m officially at the halfway point in the Out of the Ashes draft!!
The draft is now over 100 pages long (computer pages)!
AND I’ve crossed the 60,000 words mark!!

Even though I didn’t meet my goal for the week, I decided to share another clue just because I’m in charge and I can do things like that. Lol I’m bringing to you my favorite quote from the novel so far.

I had introduced a new character to you last month named Melissa Lowe. Melissa is shy and uncomfortable in social settings which is pretty tragic considering she’s on the hunt for a husband. After another big upset, she’s seeking the comfort of her loving Mammy who shares some beautiful advice with her. Melissa wants to know how to be sure when she’s found the right guy to which her Mammy replies, 
“…You’ll know he’s the one when he works at lovin’ ya.”

This is the first quote that I’ve shared from the novel and I hope you enjoyed it and the subtle advice on how to love others. Let us never forget that more than emotional, love is action. Love is a verb. That’s why we can add “d, s, and ing” to it, after all. 😉 I hope you act loving every day, but as you set out to celebrate Valentine’s Day this weekend, remember to show love in action.

Next week’s goals: I’m gonna change up the way I track my progress simply because I’m in charge and I like to do odd things like this from time to time. Lol Instead of tracking word count, I’ll be tracking the number of scenes I complete. I’m setting the bar on the low side but praying to go above and beyond that. My goal is 6 completed scenes.

Prayer Requests: Please pray that God blesses my time and efforts. I’d love to double my goal but I’m still feeling a bit sluggish and I see some interruptions on the horizon.

Catching Up: You can read the previous progress reports and their clues by following the link.
And just for fun, I’ve pulled up a link on love. I had hosted a love song contest where fans dedicated a love song to the couples from my series. We had a lot of fun. You can read the results here.


Posted in About the Book, Fiction Friday

February’s Writing Blitz: Love Never Fails: Week 1


I’m picking up the speed and writing more these days. My goal for the week was 7,000 words and the Lord has blessed my efforts with 9,682 words for the week! As promised, I’ll bring you another clue from the new novel. Keeping with the theme of love for the month, all clues in February will be centered on the upcoming romance. I hope you enjoy!!

It’s difficult to know what I can share without giving away spoilers for those that haven’t read or aren’t finished reading the first two books. I mentioned that George Chandler is moving up to a main point of view character. I’m not ready to reveal too many details behind his story, but I will share the songs that I keep on my playlist to help inspire his scenes. These songs really show the heart of George throughout this story.
For those that have finished Shadow, they may be slightly confused over the theme of these songs. When we last saw George he was on his way to marry Lena. Well…let’s just say that things don’t go as planned and Lena throws him a curve ball that he never saw coming. 😉
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this look into George’s story line!

If I Let You Go by Westlife and More Than That by Backstreet Boys

Goals for Week 2: I’m hoping to keep up with my current writing goals so I’m praying for at least 9,000 words next week. I’m closing in on a major milestone in the novel: The completion of the first half of the novel!! Follow me on Facebook to hear the news when it happens.

Prayer Requests: Please continue to pray for a blessing on my time and wisdom as I start plotting out the details for the second half of the story. I have a general plot in place, but the details seem to elude me most days.

Catching Up: You can read last month’s progress reports and the clues I’ve given so far.
For fun, check out these links on Victorian style clothing:
An Inside Look at Ladies’ Fashions in the 1800s begins with a quick guessing game to see if you can properly layer a woman’s undergarments before explaining how things go together.
Ladies’ Fashion in the 1800s takes you through the many styles of the century.
Claire’s Wardrobe and Sally’s Wardrobe shows off dresses in the novel as well as dresses that inspire the characters.
Godey’s Fashions, my review of an adult coloring book featuring Victorian fashion.


Posted in Book Reviews, Fiction Friday

January’s Writing Blitz: Proverbs 21:31: Week 4


It’s been a good writing month overall. I’ve added a total of 26,965 words to the manuscript this month. My goal for the week was to write 8,000 words and I’ve written 8,935! As promised, it’s time to share another sneak peek into the new novel. 

I introduced a new leading lady to you a few weeks ago. If you missed it, you’ll find a link further down. I have one more heroine to introduce you to. 
7 Eva Rose Forrister steps onto the page with a bang. Literally.
While touring the Confederate Museum in Richmond, I was inspired by a plate on display and the story behind it. Family legend has it that the owner of the plate was preparing to eat when a group of Union soldiers entered her home, looking for food. When they attempted to take the bread off her plate, she picked it up and hit one of them in the head with it, cracking the plate and knocking him out cold. One of the soldiers had to guard her when the others tried to retaliate. 
Lol It’s this feisty behavior that best describes Rose, and I was able to bring this fun story into the novel. I’m not ready to tell you how she fits into the story just yet but you can guess what you will. 🙂 

February’s Writing Blitz:
I plan to continue my work and I want to continue bringing you new sneak peeks every time I reach my goals. We’re changing the theme up for the month of February. ALLLLL the sneak peeks I offer you in February will reveal a little more about the upcoming romance!

February’s Week 1: I’m starting the month off with a goal of 7,000 words.

Prayer Requests: Please continue to pray for wisdom, direction, the ability to balance my time, and a blessing on my efforts.

Catching Up: Follow the link if you need to catch up on the previous progress reports and the clues I’ve released already.
I shared the picture of the cracked plate on a previous blog post.  You can view it and the other pictures from my Richmond/Appomattox trip here.

Posted in About the Book, Fiction Friday

January’s Writing Blitz: Proverbs 21:31: Week 3


After running into some plotting issues, I decided to decrease my word count goal for week three and add in some research goals. The plan was to finish reading the journal I’ve had open for months, cross off two topics from my research list, and add at least 4,000 words to the manuscript. 
To God be the glory, I have made a nice dent in my research list, finished the journal, and added 4,558 words this week. As a treat, here’s the next clue into the Out of the Ashes storyline:

This week’s clue lies within my research list. Wanna see what’s on my list? Sure you do!! Along with the basics of the Reconstruction Era, I’m reading up on topics such as Sharecropping, Freedman’s Bureau, Black Codes, and the KKK. 
Why am I looking up such dark subjects?
Because the racial tensions are just beginning to escalate and there is a certain character that has been seeking peace by trying to stay out of the way. Frank Harper is about to be tried and tested yet again when these racial issues hit closer to home.

Week Four’s Goal: I’m ready to make bigger progress on the writing front and will be setting the goal at 8,000 words for the week.

Prayer Requests:  Since this is a steeper goal than I’ve been doing lately, prayer is essential. I’ll need the flow of words, a blessing on my time and efforts, and the ability to balance writing with a busy household. I’m still researching and fine tuning Frank’s plot and will need wisdom and direction there.

Catching Up:
Follow this link to catch up on the previous progress reports and the clues that I’ve released so far.
Just for fun, I pulled up the character interviews in case you’ve missed them.
Claire and Frank’s Interview — Read about Claire and Frank’s memorable childhood memories and so much more!
Frank and Ralph’s Interview — Frank and Ralph sit down together to compare experiences in the army… and a little trash talk.


Posted in About the Book, Fiction Friday

January Writing Blitz: Proverbs 21:31 Week 2


The month is moving right along and thankfully so is the new manuscript. I set my goal for 7,000 words for the week and ended at 7,625.
I sincerely praise God for every word written. There were several times when I sat done not having anything in my head to write at all only to walk away exceeding my goal for the day.

I shared with you the name of a new character that we’ll meet and a small idea of what we’ll find in chapter 1. This week, I want to share another character with you, but he’s someone you’ve met before. George Chandler will be joining the ranks of Point of View characters in the next novel and let me tell you, he has quite the story to tell. 😉 I’ve enjoyed working with his story line this week and I hope you’ll welcome him as a most beloved hero. I’ll share a little more about what’s in store for him another day, but for now, let’s take a look at the image selected to become the face of George. Notice the mischievous glint in his eyes…almost as if he’s secretly laughing at someone. This picture capture the image and personality of George, but I will point out that the REAL George Chandler has brown eyes. 


Week 3 Goals: I’ve hit a few snags this week and it’s clear that I need to spend more time researching. So I’m lowering my word count goal to only 4,000 words. I also want to tackle 2 Reconstruction subjects and finish the journal that I’m reading.  If I succeed, I’ll bring you a new detail from the unfinished story.

Prayer Requests: Please continue to pray for a blessing on my time and my mind. I’ve hit a snag in Frank’s plot that I’m praying my way through. Kim Hampton is stepping in to help me with the research which is an answer to prayer.

Playing Catch Up: Here are some helpful links if you’re just now meeting me or my characters.
You can catch up on the Writing Blitz posts by clicking here.
You can get to know the real town of Maple Grove here and explore the real setting that helped inspire the fictional town.
If you’re ready to read the Ancient Words Series, now is the time to catch up while I’m working on this highly anticipated release. You can pick up copies of Where Can I Flee and In the Shadow of Thy Wings in both paperback and ebook form on Amazon.




Posted in About the Book, Fiction Friday

January’s Writing Blitz: Proverbs 21:31: Week 1


There was a slow start to my writing blitz this month, but I’m picking up steam. I set the goal for 5,000 words for week one, and I’m happy to announce that I finished with 5,847 words!!

Since I met my goal, as promised, here’s a little peek into the new novel!

We will catch up with our old friends from Maple Grove, but I’m setting the stage for the new story by opening Out of the Ashes up with a new character: Melissa Lowe. When we meet Melissa, she’s in the middle of a rather awkward scene, and it’s one that I have a feeling you’ll enjoy. 🙂 I’ll share more of her story in the days to come.

For now, let’s talk about next week’s goal. I’m praying for at least 7,000 words next week. If I make it, I’ll share another secret about the novel in progress.

Prayer Requests: A blessing on my time, the ability to focus with words ready to be typed out. I also need to work on some research and would appreciate prayers for a smooth road there. I seem to have important details playing hide-and-seek with me. Lol

Playing Catch-Up: In case you missed anything, here are some links you might enjoy.
If you’ve stumbled upon this Writing Blitz page feeling lost, check out last week’s intro.
Whether you’re new to the Ancient Words Series or a passionate fan, you’ll enjoy getting to know the characters better by reading their profiles where I share a variety of details, some of which is not found in the novels.
Claire and Frank Harper
Sally Chandler

Posted in About the Book, Fiction Friday

Fiction Friday: January’s Writing Blitz Intro


Great news!!! It’s finally time for me to put all of my focus and all of my energy on writing the next book in the series!!

I set out to participate in NaNoWriMo back in November, but since I was also weeks away from publishing In the Shadow of Thy Wings, my NaNo experience was short-lived. I looked ahead into January and began praying about how I wanted to handle my writing months. And I’ve created something fun and interactive with the fans. I think you’re really going to enjoy it. I’m calling it: January’s Writing Blitz: Proverbs 21:31.


I want to start off my writing season with a big bang. But while I know that being prepared and putting in the effort makes a difference, ultimately, the increase is in God’s hands. Not only do I want to give Him the glory for it all, but I also want to keep this truth at the center of my month.
As seen in the picture above (which is my actual desk, by the way), I have restocked my tea pantry, I have research books on hand, and a stack of inspirational quotes to encourage me along the way.
Since you won’t be around to drink any of this tea with me, and you won’t be allowed to read over my shoulder as I type (which would actually drive me crazy and I’d never get anything done), you might be wondering where the fan-fun stuff is. So let me explain…

When I entered NaNo back in November, I set some goals in place and promised myself certain rewards when I reached them. Sadly, I didn’t hit ANY of my goals that month. I want to work with weekly goals and rewards again for my writing blitz, but instead of buying something fun for myself, I want to reward my readers. That’s right, for every goal I reach, YOU get the reward!! I’m going cheap this month, so I won’t be handing out any paperback copies of anything. 😉 But I WILL share insider details about the work in progress.
I’ll check in every Friday with a new goal for the upcoming week and a progress report for the completed week. And if I’ve hit my goal, I’ll share something fun from the new novel. We’ll see pictures of characters, quotes, and valuable information about the upcoming storylines.  The goals will be adjusted from week to week. And I already have a new blitz theme for February where the rewards will focus on the romance in the new novel.

I hope you’ll enjoy following my writing efforts this winter! I officially start writing TODAY! You can watch the progress bar on your right. We’re starting the month off with 22,046 words!
I’ll report back next Friday with my results and, hopefully, with your first reward.
Week One’s Goal: We’re keeping it simple this week with only 5,000 words. Lord willing, I should reach this goal easily.

I’m going to need cheerleaders and prayer warriors. Please send a word of encouragement anytime you feel led to. I’ll also be in desperate need of your prayers. I need clarity, a blessing on my time and efforts, and protection from the enemy.
The sooner I get a completed draft, the sooner you get a finished copy. And if you’ve finished the first two novels already, then I KNOW you’re eager for me to finish Out of the Ashes.
For those of you who haven’t read my series yet, I have a special treat for you. BOTH books are currently on sale on Amazon in ebook form. *This is a series you’ll want to read in order. Follow the links to grab your copies today!
Where Can I Flee
In the Shadow of Thy Wings