Shadows and Sunshine cover

Shadows and Sunshine – Release date July 3, 2014

Shadows and Sunshine cover

It’s almost here! Shadows and Sunshine, Volume 6 of the San Francisco Wedding Planner series is scheduled to be released on Amazon Kindle on Thursday, July 3rd.

Here’s a teaser from chapter 5:

“Heather, call on line one. Some top brass from the city office. Claims he needs to speak to you A.S.A.P.”

“Thanks, Raul.”

She punched line one. “Good morning, Donovan Wedding Service. This is Heather. How may I help you?”

“Good Morning. My name is Alberto Cordozo from the City of San Francisco planning department. I’m afraid I have bad news for you.”

“Oh?”

“Your building happens to be zoned for housing only. I understand you are running a wedding planning business there?”

“Yes I am. But hold on. When I purchased the property the realtor assured me there was no issue with having a business here. I buy my license at the city office every year and no one has ever expressed any concern.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say. We are doing our five-year audit of buildings and making sure they adhere to the local zoning bylaws. You’re going to have to find another place to operate your business.”

Heather tapped her pen against her desk. “Isn’t that convenient.” She forced herself to stay calm. “I’m assuming I have some options?”

“Well, your options are basically either to move within a month’s time or be forcibly evicted. I’m assuming you’d rather stay in business, so I’m advising you to put your current residence up for sale and find a building that is zoned appropriately. We’ll give you a month to sort everything out.”

“That’s so kind of you.” The retort slipped out before she could stop herself.

“I understand your frustration, Madam. We do try to be as supportive as possible. According to law, we could evict you tomorrow. Instead we’re giving you a month of grace. We realize businesses have many logistics they need to work out and those all take time. I’m assuming you have my phone number in case you have questions during the process of your move?”

“Yes, I have your number. Good day, Mr. Cordozo.” She slammed the receiver down and shoved herself away from her desk. One back wheel caught on the throw rug and her chair tipped over backwards. She found herself stuck in her chair with her feet jutting straight up in the air. She rubbed her head where it had struck the floor.

“Brilliant, Heather. Just brilliant.”

“Oh girlfriend,” Raul called from around the corner. “Someone tall and handsome is here to see you.”

She looked up to see Raul and Bryan sauntering through the door. Yikes, just what she didn’t need. At least she had pants on.

Raul came running around her desk. “You okay, girlfriend?”

“I’m fine. Really. No problems in my life whatsoever. And of course, I always do business with my feet in the air and my head on the floor. No need to worry boys.”

Bryan offered her a hand up. She ignored him and tried to get out of the chair, but it didn’t work. She was stuck upside down in the chair.

Raul glanced back and forth between them with a puzzled expression on his face. He extended his hand to her and she grabbed it. He pulled her up and set her on her feet.

“Yup. No problems at all. I just have the most important event of my career happening tomorrow and there’s no fresh organic produce in sight. Malfunction of a cooler, apparently. Also, that top brass from the city you put through on line one? He phoned to inform me this building is legally zoned as a house and only a house. I can no longer run my business here. Oh, but he’s going to be nice about it and give me a month to relocate to a building that is zoned for business.”

“Is there something else I need to know about?” Raul looked at his brother and then turned his attention back to Heather.

“Oh no. Things between your brother and me are just honky dory. Yup. Couldn’t be better.”

“Come on, stop playing games with me, Heather.” He turned to his brother. “What’s going on?”

“Jocelyn is in town.”

“What? You’re kidding, right? Not the Jocelyn who broke your heart. Couldn’t be.”

Bryan hung his head. “That’s the one.” It came out as a whisper.

“Well tell her to get lost. You’ve moved on, right? I mean give your head a shake, Bro. You can have Jocelyn or your can have Heather, not both. Hands down I know who I’d pick, and her name does not begin with J.” He jabbed Bryan’s chest in the shape of the letter J. “I’m leaving now so you can sort this out with Heather. Don’t mess this up, or you’ll have to answer to me.”


Ruthlsnyder.com is updated and live

Yippee

Thanks for your patience as Christina Rytter and I updated my website this past week. As you can see, the new updated version is now live.

New Features

  • Newsletter sign-up: Sign up to receive my monthly newsletter
  • Gallery: featuring my photography
  • Calender: Keeping you informed about my workshops, book signings and other events
  • Shop: Online store where you can purchase my products

Same Quality

I’ll still be posting on my blog three times a week:

  • Mondays – news about new releases, works in progress, and tips & tricks I’m learning
  • Wednesday – posts about what I’m learning in my walk with God
  • Friday – lessons I’m learning about health and fitness

Take a look around, join my community and post a comment or two letting me know what you enjoyed or would like to see.


My Writing Process – Blog Tour

Blog hop for writers

Thanks to Bruce Atchison http://bruceatchison.blogspot.ca/ for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

What am I working on?

I have several projects on the go right now:

  • The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series with Helping Hands Press. For this project I’m working with 5 other authors on a light romance. Several of the volumes in this series have been released already. My volume will be releasing in July on Amazon. I recently posted about Life Lessons, which is the backstory for Heather Donovan, the main character in the series.
  • Olga’s Discoverya full-length historical fiction novel. I’m working at having the whole novel written by the end of August this year.

    Twenty-two-year-old Olga Tymchuk, a newly graduated teacher, eagerly anticipates marrying her fiancee, Viktor, in July 1959. However, before they marry, Olga is committed to teaching for a year in Gillmore, Alberta as a requirement for the bursary she received in university. Viktor and Olga are separated when Viktor accepts a challenging job as a scientific researcher for the National Research Council in Ontario.

    Olga is enjoying a challenging first year of teaching when Viktor is injured in a chemical accident. He seems to be recovering well, but then Olga receives a telegram that will change her life forever. Olga is drawn into a search for the truth, which forces her to deal with uncooperative hospital officials, death threats, and a sudden disappearance.

  • Twitter Tips & Tricks for Writers – I’m looking for beta readers for my first draft of this book. If you’re interested, send me an e-mail at sun dot beam3 at Yahoo dot com.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My light romance provides an enjoyable story that makes you stop and think. Because I’m tackling the project with 5 other writers and we’re using a single plot, there are a lot of interesting twists and turns in the plot. I’ve been told my stories are intense. Olga’s Discovery is set in Canada and gives a glimpse into rural Alberta farm life as well as Ukrainian culture. Twitter Tips & Tricks for Writers is divided into three sections, for writers who are beginners, intermediate, and advanced on Twitter.

Why do I write what I do?

  • I enjoy stories.
  • Stories are powerful – Ted Dekker says, “Story is the shortest distance between a human being and the truth.”
  • I am called to write

How does your writing process work?

Every project I work on starts with an idea. The idea can come to me through something I see, hear, or experience. Sometimes the idea comes in the form of a picture, or a character, or a lesson I’ve learned. Once I have an idea that keeps trying to get my attention, I brainstorm where I want to go with the idea. For fiction this usually includes the starting point, the main characters, some high points in the story, and where I want to end up. Then I’ll sketch out a plot summary in very general terms.  For non-fiction, I’ll jot down a basic outline of what I want to include in my book. Once this is done, I do some preliminary research and start writing. Sometimes I have to revise my plan as I write.

In terms of getting the writing done, I make sure I get up at 5:10 on weekday mornings so that I can spend time reading my Bible and praying, catching up briefly on my e-mail, and then writing for a half hour before my family gets up for the day. I also schedule specific days and hours for writing.

Next Monday (June 30) check out the following authors and their blog posts about writing process:

Marianne JonesMarianne Jones

Marianne was named International Poet Laureate by Utmost Christian Writers. She is the author of “Here, on the Ground”, a collection of poetry, “The Land of Mogan”, a Christian fantasy-allegory for young readers, “Great-Grandma’s Gifts”, a picture book, and the soon-to-be-released, “The Serenity Stone Murder”. To read her blog, see https://www.mariannejones.ca.

 

 

Sharon HooverSharon Hoover

Sharon R Hoover writes devotional and inspirational works for all who are exploring and growing in the journey of faith. Her passions for education and global issues led her from being a high school teacher to a middle east analyst and then to serving in the church. Through writing and speaking, she encourages women as they seek God in life, in play, in family, and in work. Sharon’s first book, Soul Motive to Pray, is a personal retreat workbook to encourage deeper conversations with the Lord. She enjoys connecting with local and global outreach partners as Director of Missions in her local church. Connect with Sharon through her blog and twitter. New discipleship site, Soul Motive, will be available soon!

 

Stephanie NickelSteph Beth Nickel

Steph Beth Nickel co-authored former Paralympian Deborah L. Willows’ memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances. Steph is eclectically-interested and you can read more on her website and her blog.

 


Shadows and Sunshine cover

Cover Reveal – Shadows and Sunshine: SFWP Volume 6

Shadows and Sunshine coverI’m excited to announce my next novella will be released early in July. Here’s a sneak preview:

 

Heather and her crew are determined to pull off the wedding of the year for their high profile client. The stakes have never been higher—this single event could make or break the business. The venue is set, decorations are ordered, and the menu is one-of-a kind. Two days before the event, one thing after another goes wrong. Mario knew he should have made back-up plans, but he didn’t. Bryan thought his past was behind him, but it reappears at the worst possible moment. Heather is forced to deal with personal issues while responding to the challenges of running a business. Does the wedding planner team have the resources and creativity to bounce back and pull off the perfect event?

This is the last volume in Series I. The other five volumes are currently available on Amazon.

Stay tuned for the official release!


#MapIt: Understanding Zephaniah 3:17

Zephaniah 3:17This week in our Proverbs 31 Bible study using Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray, our key verse is Zephaniah 3:17. The NIV version is above. Here are some other translations:

“Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.” (The Message)

New American Standard Bible (NASB):

 “The Lord your God is in your midst, A [a]victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy, He will [b]be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

a. Lit A warrior who saves

b. Or with some ancient versions, renew you in

“The Lord your God is with you, a Powerful One Who wins the battle. He will have much joy over you. With His love He will give you new life. He will have joy over you with loud singing.” (New Life Version)

God is with you

Stop and think about it for a minute. The mighty, all-powerful God, who created the universe by speaking a few words, is with you. He is “omnipresent” – present everywhere. Psalm 139 talks about this in great detail and reminds us that God is in the heavens, the depths, on the far side of the sea, in the darkness, and even inside the womb when a baby is being formed. No matter where we go, we cannot hide from God, because He is there too. Hebrews 13:5 states that God will never leave us or forsake us.

God saves you

God is our mighty warrior who fights on our behalf and saves us. What a beautiful picture! Jesus Christ loved us enough to give up His rightful place and be born as a helpless human baby. He submitted Himself to the same restrictions and frustrations we face, yet without sin. He lived a perfect life and allowed His life to be sacrificed on the cross as the Lamb of God, so that He could save us and give us limitless life.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)

One of my Bible School professors challenged us to “live beyond the comma” – allowing Jesus to save us AND living life to the fullest extent possible. Ted Dekker talks about the fact Jesus didn’t just save us from Hell; He also saves us from a meaningless life here on earth.

God delights in you

You make God dance with joy! He shouts because He’s so excited about you. You give God pleasure. You are His priceless treasure. He is like a lover who delights in you so much that He declares his love for you wherever he goes. You make His heart sing.

I’m amazed at our Father’s love. I’m grateful that He’s set me free. I serve Him, not because I have to, but because I want to, because it brings me joy and fulfillment and the opportunity to tell others about His amazing love.

Are you living beyond the comma, or are you still hungering for God’s limitless life? Ask God to reveal His love to you in a new way. Then, be prepared to be swept off your feet by the tidal wave of His love. Jesus loves YOU!


Life as a Writer – Author Support Blog Hop

Author Blog Hop

Thanks to Sharon Bayliss for hosting this author support blog hop.

WHAT do you do? Give us a summary of your crazy life and all your responsibilities

HOW do you do it? How do you manage to find time to write? What tips can you share?

  • I use a planner and calendar to keep track of activities and events for the whole family.
  • On weekday mornings I get up at 5:10 to have a quiet time where I read my Bible, pray, figure out priorities for the day, and write for a half hour.
  • When I have a project, I break it down into smaller steps and set daily goals for myself. I try to leave extra time so that if something unexpected comes up I’m still able to meet deadlines.
  • My children are all in school now, so I write while they are away.
  • My 16-year-old daughter enjoys helping me by looking after her siblings when I need extra time to write.
  • I’ve learned to say “no” to things that don’t fit in with my goals.

WHY do you do it? Other than just sheer insanity, what keeps you going? Why have you chosen the life of an over-stressed author? What keeps you motivated during dark days?

  • I write because I believe God has given me the ability and responsibility to write.
  • I primarily write for an audience of One. If I write to the best of my ability for the glory of God, that’s really all that matters.
  • When I write, I’m happy.
  • Other people enjoy my writing.

QUESTIONS and PLEAS for help. Other authors will be reading your post, so if you have questions or want advice, you can ask. Also, if there is anything you need, or anything you can do to help others, mention that here as well.

  • How do you help others understand the importance of treating writing as a profession?
  • I’m working on Twitter Tips & Tricks for Writers. If you’d be interested in receiving a copy in exchange for an honest critique, please email me.

Is there anything else you’d like to know about my life as a writer?


Guest Post – Jen Cudmore with Tips for Balancing Rhythm and Pace

Jen CudmoreToday I’m privileged to host Jen Cudmore, one of my fellow authors for the San Francisco Wedding Planner Series. Here’s what she has to say about rhythm and pace in writing:

How does a writer keep a crime novel exciting and full of suspense? How are sweet stories told in a way that inspires the reader?

It’s not just the words the author chooses; it’s the positioning of each one in a place that best portrays the attitude of that particular scene.

When it comes to writing a novel, rhythm and pace are a big factor in creating a compelling story. Rhythm and pace are controlled by the length of each word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter. There are a few techniques which help the story move faster or slower, depending on your intent.

Here’s a simple formula to follow:

Short sentences, paragraphs and chapters = faster pace.

If you’re writing a scene with a lot of action or energy, use shorter sentences and paragraphs. When your character is being chased by the bad guy, you want the reader to feel the sense of urgency. One or two word sentences raise intensity, as does a paragraph with only one or two sentences. But be careful; too much can annoy the reader. I once read a book by a famous author with multiple one sentence paragraphs on each page, and it made the story harder to read.

Long sentences, paragraphs, and chapters = slower pace.

Readers sometimes find long paragraphs and chapters daunting. Long blocks of wording give a feeling that extra effort is required to read that particular section. However, there are times when the author needs to insert these fuller sections to calm the pace of the story after a high energy section.

The trick is balance.

Too much action and the reader will become exhausted. Not enough action and the reader will get bored. Keep it varied. You don’t want the reader to pause because they got lost, or to skip a section because it was too tedious. Each sentence, paragraph, and chapter must flow smoothly into the next.

You don’t want every page to look the same. On my first manuscript I worked hard to keep the chapters all the same length. Then I realized it was not only okay to vary the length, it’s actually beneficial. So give your manuscript a quick skim and see how you did at varying your structure.

Jen’s Bio: I grew up on the Columbia River Gorge in a tiny cabin built by my father. My family attended a little Baptist church where my mother played piano and my father led the music program. I left the Gorge area to attend Northwest University, where I graduated with the first group of students to earn a Bachelor’s of Psychology. Newly married with a baby on the way, I decided to put off graduate school to devote my time to learning how to be a better wife and mother. After my husband received a job offer, we relocated to Alaska, where we currently reside with our two children (as well as two boxers and two cats).

During the day I work for a large orthopedic clinic. I serve in both the AWANA program and bus ministry at my church. I’m a member of the Christian Writers Guild as well as the local Alaska Writers Guild, where I’m currently serving a fifth year on the conference committee.

Willow Ridge-website-summary


#Snapit: My Favourite Place to Study

My Favourite Place to StudyBy the time you read this post, I will be flying across the country to Guelph, Ontario, in order to attend Write Canada. One of the prompts for this week’s blog hop with the Proverbs 31 crew was, “Share a picture of your favourite place to study or write.” This chair is situated in a corner of our dining room, between two windows. I usually come downstairs just after 5 a.m. to read my Bible, pray, and get some writing done before the rest of my family gets up for the day. This chair is my private sanctuary where I sit with my Bible, books like Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray, and my iPad. It’s a place where I can turn on the light without disturbing anyone, and also easily walk into the kitchen to grab a cup of lemon water or Rooisbos tea.

When I read, I enjoy sharing what I’m learning by participating in these blog hops, posting pictures, and sharing on social media. Here’s a quote I highlighted in my book this week:

“Jesus is the living water; He alone gives us His life for our life…so that we can live the life we could never live …” #quote D.L. Gray click to tweet

I also like to sit in this same chair to write. My iPad allows me to write without the distracting bells and whistles (notifications) I have on my iMac computer. For more information on my works in progress, check out this post.

What about you? Where do you like to read, study, and or write?

share a picture of your favorite place to study or write – See more at: http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/current-study/#sthash.0YpgMzOu.dpu