Monday, May 22, 2017

Psst! Want to Get a Sneak Peek?

by Andrea Renee Cox

Hey you!

Yes, you. Would you like to see a little piece of my recent Camp NaNoWriMo project? Well, your wish may just come true.

This story I worked on was from an outline I drew up in only thirty minutes one afternoon. I was so surprised at how quickly my first manuscript outline came together. It was definitely God-designed, I'll tell you that. A couple of things changed along the way, as I was writing the story, but most of the outline remained intact. It's only the second time I've used an outline, but both projects didn't take me long to write, and I credit the outline and God's guidance very heavily for that.


The scene I'm about to share with you is unedited, so please forgive any typos. It may not stay in its current form once I start editing in a month or so (after I finish the first draft of another book in the series). Even so, I thought you'd enjoy getting a glimpse at my hard work from last month.

Fair warning: If you're anything like me, you might want to have some tissues close at hand when reading this snippet.


Sneak Peek!*

Monday, May 15, 2017

Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace

by Andrea Renee Cox

Forensic Faith inspired me. It was such an encouraging book with lots of tips and suggestions for how to increase one's faith in an evidential way that will lend itself well to leading others to explore their own faith in God. This book was hard to put down at times, and I really appreciated the passion with which the author shared his message.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Forgetful Me

by Andrea Renee Cox

So, y'all, I have to apologize. I completely forgot about my blog. This past weekend flew by, and as I was heading to bed on Sunday night, I remembered, "My blog!" So here I am, at a quarter after eleven on Sunday night, and I have no clue what I'm going to write about.

But you guys deserve a blog article.

A good one.

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti + Giveaway!

by Andrea Renee Cox

When I started reading A Fragile Hope, I wasn't sure what to expect. Several chapters in, I was still unsure what was to come, but I saw glimpses of the heart-wrenching tale that was to commence. By the time I finished the last page, I was overwhelmed with varying emotions: devastation, hope, joy, a sense of refreshing, and a keen dose of peace that only comes with forgiveness.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Unsinkable Faith by Tracie Miles + Giveaway!

by Andrea Renee Cox



Optimism and positivity are things I've worked hard on since I was an early teen. Sometimes I still struggle, especially on difficult days, but overall, my mind has been transformed by the mighty hand of God. When Unsinkable Faith came up on my reading list, I had a feeling it was going to be good. Once I dove into it, I realized it is a fantastic tool for guarding one's mind against those pesky negative thoughts that like to creep up in the worst of moments. I am so glad I read this book, and I hope you'll find it helpful too!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Times of Refreshing

by Andrea Renee Cox

Have you ever found yourself tired and weary and in need of a good rest? Last week was a busy one for me, and it seemed like it caught up to me over Easter weekend. I was exhausted and had to sleep in pretty late a couple of times.

He is risen!
Happy Resurrection Day!

Yet, on Sunday morning, I found this gem as I was reading in the book of Acts:

"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,"
Acts 3:19 NKJ

Monday, April 10, 2017

Need a Short Read?

by Andrea Renee Cox

This month, as you might know, is a Camp NaNoWriMo month. That being the case, I am hard at work this morning, working on a novella. I'm already on the eighth chapter, and I'm just starting the second week of camp. Needless to say -- but I will anyway -- I have a secondary project to work on for later in the month. I'm hoping for just as much success on that one, but I still have to finalize my outline and finish up the last three chapters in the novella before I can start on the next project.

Since I'm working on a novella right now, I got thinking about a couple of novellas I've recently enjoyed. This past weekend, I read the Lynette Eason one I'll share in a moment, but it's been a few months since I read the Cara Putman one, and I'm hoping to be able to reread it soon. It's a quick read, so I think it will fit into my schedule one of these weekends.

Do you like novellas? Why or why not?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Grace and the Preacher by Kim Vogel Sawyer

by Andrea Renee Cox



What an amazing story. It's going to be hard to narrow down my thoughts and not give anything away, but here goes...

The themes of this story really captured me more than anything else, though there was a ton more to love about this book. From vanity, greed, and fear, to trust, serving Jesus, Good Samaritan, and putting God first, this novel was filled to the gills with lessons that were thoughtfully woven into every detail. None of them seemed over the top or preachy to me; rather, they were subtle and sweet and brought just the right touch of grace to the story line.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Bittersweet Friendship

by Andrea Renee Cox

Easter is just around the corner, and this time of year always has me thinking on Jesus’s great sacrifice in order to save me from eternal death. It is with deep gratitude and a humble heart that I recall the immense suffering my Savior went through in order to fulfill His Father’s will. I am forever in His debt and want to always remember His finest hour.

Yes, I believe it was, up to today, His finest hour. I believe He will have an even finer one when He returns to fetch God’s children home, but until then, Jesus’s death on the cross, burial, and resurrection will remain, in my view, His finest hour, for it was through those three events that He conquered death for all eternity.
 
Jesus has conquered death.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller + GIVEAWAY

by Andrea Renee Cox

When I first saw this book, I was immediately intrigued by the beautiful cover and the back cover copy. The story within was clearly inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, yet it holds its own flavor and style. I particularly enjoyed how circumstances pushed the characters to examine their behavior and make changes to improve themselves. The theme of controlling women losing the people they tried to control came through quite well, and I found this to be a direct reflection of real life.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Prayer Requests

by Andrea Renee Cox

It's late, late, late Sunday night (or way too early Monday morning!)... and I am not yet happy with the article I've been working on for you. So I'm scrapping it for now and will come back to that particular one for another week. For now, though, I leave you with a beautiful verse which has often been a comfort to me.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Camp NaNoWriMo + a Sneak Peek!

by Andrea Renee Cox

Hey y’all! How are you this fine Monday? I am busy as a little bee, working really hard on an outline for the project I’ll be writing for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. (Stay tuned for a fun sneak peek!)



Ever since my friend Hannah invited me to participate in Camp last April, I have loved and looked forward to it. Camp NaNo is a one-month writing session online (CampNaNoWriMo.org) where one may join a cabin of writing buddies. I like Camp better than regular NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) because of the cabin atmosphere and being able to set one’s own goals rather than being mandated to do 50k words. Sometimes I only have time for 20k or so; other times, I fly to 60+ thousand words before the third week of a month. Either way I go, the words build up into something amazing.

Monday, February 27, 2017

My Soul Sings by Kim Vogel Sawyer

by Andrea Renee Cox


Do you believe in jinxes?

I don’t.

But there’s a fictional town that completely does, and a young woman is suffering because of their superstition.


Kim Vogel Sawyer’s My Soul Sings contains an incredible sweetness that I have come to expect and admire in her writing. I especially liked how she wove that in amongst trials such as disability, outcasts, superstitions, hermits, and prejudices. Not only that, but she laces the entire tale with a thread of humor that perfectly balances out the weighty topics. One thing more that I enjoyed was how she’s got such a wonderful ear for nuances of speech. That really comes through well on each page.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Half-Empty? Or Half-Full?

by Andrea Renee Cox

There's a glass sitting on a table. The water inside kisses the midpoint.


Would you consider that half-empty or half-full?

Is the glass half-empty or half-full?

There was a time when I argued with my cousins about this very thing, and I kept insisting that the glass was half-empty.

Half-empty?


Why was I so insistent upon that?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Inspired by Lovely

by Andrea Renee Cox

Hey, y'all! Things are crazy around here right now, which usually happens to me when I'm on the last week of an editing deadline. Dishes are piled up, laundry needs to be washed, but I'm determined to finish these chapters even if my chores get shoved aside for a couple of extra days.

One thing that isn't allowed to get shoved aside, though, is my time in God's Word.


Every morning, I pull out my Precious Moments Bible and the workbook I'm going through and find my quiet spot for the next forty-five minutes. This isn't something I've always done, but it has quickly become my favorite time of day. There's nothing more beautiful than spending time with my heavenly Father.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Control Girl by Shannon Popkin + Prize Pack Giveaway!

by Andrea Renee Cox

A mother raises her voice to get her toddler to stop scuffing his feet when he walks.

Now available!
She sighs heavily when her teenaged daughter won’t put down her phone while they’re out eating lunch.

A woman asks her husband a question that undercuts his authority in front of their friends.

She decides the discipline her husband doled out to the children was too harsh and changes it.

A young lady whispers to her friend all the bad things someone else said about her and claims to be the person’s only real friend.

Sound familiar?


We’ve all known controlling women in our lives. For some it may be their mother or mother-in-law. For others, it may be their “best” friend. Sometimes it’s the people we work with or members of our book clubs. But have we stopped to consider that we may be the controlling ones too?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Fear of the Lord

by Andrea Renee Cox

I am enjoying a one-day break between two copyediting jobs, and thankfully, it's a Sunday, which means an off day from my tutoring job as well. I love both of my employments, but sometimes a girl just needs a break. Today is that day for me.

During this minuscule reprieve, I sought refuge and rest in the Word of God. Best place to find it, if you ask me. A recurring theme in the verses I read this morning was the "fear of the Lord." As those words soaked through my skin and into my heart, it occurred to me once again that the fear here is not that we are necessarily afraid of God, but more than we respect Him with a holy reverence. He is so amazing and absolutely wonderful, how could we not have the utmost respect for Him? May praise and honor for Him spill from our lips.

Here are the verses that got me meditating on the "fear of the Lord" this morning. (All the verses are in the New King James version, as that is the one I read them from.)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Be My Guest: Jessica Freeman

by Andrea Renee Cox

Poetry isn't a medium I think about very often, because I am more drawn to manuscripts and screenplays, but poetry is fascinating in its own right. I am excited to host Jessica Freeman, who chats about how modern-day poetry remains relevant today.


New Ways to Treat Modern Poetry
by Jessica Freeman

For those who appreciate genuine inspiration as the initial point for creating poetry, the presentation of poetry through books is simply… not enough. Yes, you can publish a collection of poems and allow your readers to respond after processing the poetry through their own filter of emotions. However, the modern era gives you many other ways to express poetry. It would be a shame to limit yourself to print.

Courtesy of Jessica Freeman

Why isn’t modern poetry suitable for paper? What makes it so different?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr.

by Andrea Renee Cox

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day! May we always remember to do what is right no matter who tries to stand against us. I like that Dr. King spoke for freedom in a peaceful way. I think the world could use more of that style of progression even now. But it begins with each of us.

Monday, January 9, 2017

One Word 2017

by Andrea Renee Cox

For many years now, I’ve seen One Word floating around on various blogs. It’s a movement to focus on one word per year rather than do resolutions. I was not interested in this movement because it seemed restricting. Only one word for an entire year? Wouldn’t that limit what God could do if I only focused on one word?

Well, this year, before seeing anyone’s blog about it, One Word floated through my mind in a new way. I’ve been struggling with focus lately, and the more I thought about One Word, the more it made sense for this particular year. Perhaps that singular focus is exactly what I need in 2017.

So I’ve jumped into One Word. I’m not really sure how to do it, but I trust that, since God’s brought me to it, He will show me the way through it. He has already shown me how to choose my word for the year. I had been praying over a few different words when a completely different one came into my mind. I quickly realized that was the way God was giving me the word He wants me to focus on.

Therefore, my One Word for 2017 is…


Monday, January 2, 2017

Setting Goals

by Andrea Renee Cox

Can you believe it’s 2017 already?

It’s a bit hard to imagine, but it is that time of year again. Time to crack open a new calendar. To eat black-eyed peas (if you’re into that; they aren’t to my liking and I don’t buy into the superstition of the tradition). And to make new year’s resolutions.

I stopped making resolutions probably fifteen years ago. I never saw them through. Most of the years, I barely made it two weeks. Of course, I was a teenager at the time and hadn’t yet developed good follow-through skills.