calendarI’m not much for resolutions, but I love to take the first few days of the year to look behind and look ahead. It’s good to look back and count your blessings. It’s also good to look ahead and dream about what might be in store.

So, what happened in 2014? I’m only going to hit the high points and keep the low points to myself. The danger of that is it may sound like brag-fest. Please know, I don’t intend it that way. I just prefer to stick with the positive notes. I’m a romance writer, after all!

 

2014 Highlights

Writing

ARCBeyondTheAshes2.jpgIn the early part of the year, I finished writing the first draft of the second book of the Golden Gate Chronicles, Beyond the Ashes. I closed this book with a contented sigh. Many times during the writing process I panicked, thinking I’d taken on too big of a story question. How would I ever write these characters to a happy (or at least satisfying) ending? God used it to speak to many of my weaknesses, and my faith grew right alongside my characters. Right now (10 months later) I’m reading the “last-chance” proof edits, and I can honestly say…this book is my favorite of anything I’ve written.

Recognition and Awards

CascadeAward3In March, my debut MISTAKEN went on a surprise e-book sale and shot to the top of the Kindle best-seller list for its category. In August, it was honored with the Cascade Award for best historical fiction from Oregon Christian Writers. What a wonderful moment! This book has been such a blessing to me. It makes me happy to see readers responding to it, as well!

 

New Book ReleaseRuinsHome

The book that started me down the whole writing path, OUT OF THE RUINS, released in May. Mistaken may have been my debut in publishing, but Out of the Ruins was actually written first. It was the book of my heart–the book that taught me to write. Seeing it in print was a joy beyond belief. I’m so thankful to my agent Rachel Kent and to Abingdon Press for getting this story out to the world. Joy!!!

The spring and summer were a crazy whirlwind of promotional activities: radio interviews, guest blogs, signings, and speaking engagements. For a shy introvert like me, it was all a bit overwhelming. IMG_1994

Travels

I attended three different writing conferences–all amazing: Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference, and the American Christian Fiction Writers Annual Conference. I also had the opportunity to go to Monterey, California, to hang out with other writers and agents from Books & Such Literary Agency. Here I am getting ready to kayak with some of my writing buddies (from left to right: Mona Hodgson, Debbie Reynolds, Jenni Brummett, Lisa Bogart, Karen Whiting, me, and Sarah Sundin). One of these days I’m going to blog about that kayaking experience. It was quite the adventure!

It’s been a great year, but now it’s time to turn the calendar.

What’s ahead for 2015?

That’s coming in a blog post later this week!

One thing I do want to give you a heads-up about–my new E-Newsletter. Facebook is incorporating some changes that will make it more difficult for authors to SubscribeENewslettercontact their readers through their business pages. You want to be sure not to miss any news about upcoming book releases, speaking engagements, E-book sales, and contests. This is the BEST way for me to reach you.

As a reward for subscribing, I’ll be giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky reader. If you subscribe before Jan 21, you’ll be entered into the drawing. The winner can choose between Amazon, Starbucks, Dutch Bros., or Christianbook.com. The subscription form is on the right-hand side of my website. Go do it now…before you forget!

As you look back over 2014, what blessings are you counting? I’d love to hear about them!

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