Monday, April 23, 2018

Latest News on Ashberry Lane Publishing

Another twist to the story of Ashberry Lane Publishing took place this last week. Here's the update as shared in the AL newsletter:

We are thrilled to report that WhiteFire Publishing has purchased Ashberry Lane. They will continue the publication of our backlist, as well as new releases, under the Ashberry Lane imprint. We are excited about this development, as we did not seek it out, but it was a gift from God.  See the press release below for more information.

Press Release Announcing the Sale

Cumberland, MD (16 April 2018) - WhiteFire Publishing today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ashberry Lane Publishing. The acquisition, which is expected to close by June 2018, is subject to customary closing conditions.
WhiteFire Publishing is a leading small Christian publisher specializing in competitively priced e-books and print editions for authors such as Melody Carlson, Roseanna M. White, Dina Sleiman, and the late Golden Keyes Parsons. Since their founding in 2005, they’ve grown to a list of over 75 titles by over 25 authors, many of which have won various industry awards. With books across multiple genres and a young reader line to launch this summer, WhiteFire’s line embodies their motto of “Where Spirit Meets the Page.”

Monday, April 16, 2018

Making Progress

I'm not really in a blogging sort of mood today. Last week and the weekend were physically rough on me, so I'm pretty worn out today. Instead of wracking my mind for something important or creative or story-related to write, I'm going to update you on a few things going on in my corner of the world right now.

Health: My knee that I hyper-extended in early February is finally on to the next phase of healing, in which I am able to do light exercises to regain strength and range of motion in the left knee.

Faith: I'm reading through the Psalms this month. Each one brings such comfort and encouragement. I'm incredibly grateful that writers before me shared what they learned of the Lord Almighty, because they've left trails of faith for me and many others to follow into Glory.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Change of Plans

I was going to talk about fitness goals today.

Friday night changed that.

As I was watching the Dallas Stars' penultimate game of the 2017-18 season, I was devastated to hear the news from Kathryn Tappen (sports hostess on NBCSN) that a semitruck and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos, a Junior A hockey team, had crashed into one another in Saskatchewan, Canada. My immediate thoughts of shock turned into instant prayers for comfort and peace for the families of everyone involved.

The next day, I found out that fifteen people had lost their lives: ten players, the bus driver, the head coach, an assistant coach, a volunteer statistician, and a play-by-play broadcaster, all with the Humboldt Broncos.

My heart is broken for the lives lost, even as I wonder if they knew my Jesus.

I pray they did.

I pray that their souls were saved.

Monday, April 2, 2018

End of an Era

It’s time to say farewell.

This article is pretty tough to write, and I’m probably going to end up crying before I get halfway through—my eyes are pricked with tears right now, actually. Saying goodbye to good jobs and nice people is not an easy thing to do, but sometimes it becomes necessary.

Ashberry Lane Publishing is closing its doors.

This publishing company released twenty-four books in the past five years. Their books were nominated, became finalists, and won many awards in that brief time. The company was founded by the mother-daughter team of Sherrie Ashcraft and Christina Tarabochia, who also co-wrote Ashberry’s first book. They brought in a wonderful cover design artist, Nicole Miller, and several editors—Kristen Johnson, Tami Engle, Rachel Lulich, Amy Smith, and myself—to help the company’s books shine extra brightly out in the book market.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Young Adult Reading Challenge (April 2018)

Spring is here.

With this season comes new life. All around us we can see baby animals, new sprigs of plants, fresh growth on trees and rosebushes, and a crisp scent of hope in the air.

April's reading challenge ties into spring in this way:

Young adult books present coming-of-age stories in which young people must figure out how to adapt to living in a grown-up world. They're discovering how they want to spend the rest of their lives and learning a lot from the journey it takes to get there.

These books are typically geared towards folks between ages twelve and twenty-five, and they cover a variety of sub-genres such as romance, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, dystopian, utopian, and many others.

The challenge for this month is to read young adult books.

Need some suggestions?

Here are a few YA books on my radar:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Ice Castles in the Sand - a Short Story

The travel-tine tile numbed Hallyn’s feet, sending chills up her shins as she scampered down the stairs and toward the back door. Howling wind had awakened her much too early, but surely Mommy wouldn’t mind if she checked on her sand castle. She’d made sure to make it far enough up the beach that it wouldn’t get washed away, but if any rain had accompanied the gusts of cold air, her hard work would be destroyed.
In the mudroom—Mommy called it some fancy name, but it was too hard for Hallyn’s four-year-old tongue to manage—she stuffed her bare feet into her rubber boots, then lifted onto her tippy-toes to yank her rain jacket from the hook that was too high for her to reach. After shoving one arm into a sleeve, she flung open the door and hurried down the stairs. She slipped a couple of times but managed to grab the rail bar and wobble into steadiness again before taking another quick step.
Once she reached the bottom of the nearly endless staircase, she grabbed the flapping half of her jacket and pulled the sleeve over her arm. A shiver scrambled through her body, making her teeth chatter, and little goosebumps speckled her naked legs beneath her silky-feeling nightgown. Scurrying across the sand, Hallyn sent wish-prayers up to Heaven. If her castle were gone, would her sister and daddy be gone for good too?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I've been blessed to be on Kim Vogel Sawyer's street team again, this time for Beneath a Prairie Moon. I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I. Here's my honest review of this upcoming release.

A Lighthearted, Atypical Mail-Order Bride Story

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which was NOT required to be positive.

After reading Ms. Sawyer’s previous novel, Bringing Maggie Home, I wasn’t sure if I should expect another gut-wrenching story. Just a few pages into Beneath a Prairie Moon revealed that I was in for a delightful treat. While not a typical mail-order bride tale, it is filled with laughter, adventure, and unique characters that claim space in the reader’s heart.

It was really neat to see a sunburn featured through the story. That’s a different sort of aspect that I quite enjoyed. It brought back many memories of sunburns I’ve had, some more painful than others. This was a really creative thing to add into this wonderful book.