Monday, December 26, 2016

Favorite Books of 2016

by Andrea Renee Cox

Did you have a merry Christmas? My family certainly did. I chose to simply enjoy it rather than take pictures. In a social-media world, it's sometimes pleasant to slip away from technology for awhile and live in the moment instead of try to capture it.

Would you rather capture moments to savor for later or enjoy them as they come along?

This year was a huge reading year for me. I completed my thirty-fifth copyediting job in only three years, and on top of that, I read over ninety books in my spare time. These are a few of my favorite discoveries during 2016:

Monday, December 19, 2016

Be My Guest: Lindsay Harrel + GIVEAWAY

by Andrea Renee Cox

I'm excited to host Lindsay Harrel today. Her debut book, One More Song to Sing, released earlier this month, and, y'all, I just know you're going to love it. And I cannot wait to see what other stories this lovely lady will bring us in the years to come. Stay tuned to the very end, because Lindsay is offering a paperback giveaway of her debut book.

Somehow, We Find a Way
By Lindsay Harrel

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my career is finding the time to write.

I remember the moment I decided to write a novel: I was in the first semester of my master’s degree program, taking a course on fiction writing. It awakened in me the desire I’d had since childhood, the one I’d stuffed away and deemed impractical, full of too much competition. But the desire took hold and wouldn’t let go.

So then and there, I made a decision. I would write a novel when I was done with my master’s degree program.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Waiting for Wonder by Marlo Schalesky - Blog Tour + Giveaway!

by Andrea Renee Cox


Not the easiest thing to do. I’m not sure anyone would call it their favorite thing. But even in the fast-food and social-media era we live in, waiting is a necessary thing.

I’ve struggled with impatience my entire life. Over the years, I’ve prayed for patience, going against advice from lots of different people. But asking God for patience was something He had asked me to do, so I followed through. And He followed through. He’s faithful like that, you know. If we ask for something in accordance to His will, He is faithful to give it to us. I’m walking proof of that now.

The timing of reading Waiting for Wonder by Marlo Schalesky could only be God-ordained. He sent me this book as confirmation that what He’d been teaching me through my tutoring and editing jobs, as well as my personal growth, was that patience truly is a virtue and one worth asking for. It’s a gift worth fighting for. Yes, it’s a fight. To tame that impatience within our souls. To learn to rely on God’s guidance and especially His timing.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Be My Guest: Beth K. Vogt

by Andrea Renee Cox

Hey, y'all! Wow, has it been a crazy few days (or weeks) around here. Editing deadlines, Thanksgiving, tutoring picking back up from Thanksgiving break, and loads of Christmas cards to write, not to mention wrapping presents and trying to figure out what I'm going to bake this year. Yeah, talk about a mental overload.

So, I am thrilled that I had chosen today as the day to re-post one of Beth K. Vogt's blog articles, with her permission, of course. (The original article may be seen here.)

The Lesson in the Waiting
by Beth K. Vogt

I came across this quote while reading a book by author Robin Jones Gunn last week. Yes, I underlined it, thinking, “This will be a great quote for a future blog post.”

Today’s the day.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Craving God

by Andrea Renee Cox

Are you craving God?

For a while now, I've been asking God to help me crave Him more and more every day. Well, I believe that prayer is being answered. Every time I open my Bible, I am reminded yet again how much God loves me and how precious His patience and lovingkindness are. His mercy. Grace. Trustworthiness. Truly, the list is endless.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Be My Guest: Kara Isaac + GIVEAWAY

by Andrea Renee Cox

This year was quite a big one for Kara Isaac. She released her first novel, Close to You, back in April, and now her second book, Can't Help Falling, is available too. Kara is visiting Writing to Inspire today, and she's got a surprise for you at the very end, so be sure to stay tuned for that.

Giving Thanks in All Things
by Kara Isaac

This is the time of year when I get envious of my American friends as my Facebook feed explodes with photos of pumpkin pie (which I don’t even like!), fall flavored lattes (and I don’t drink coffee!), beautiful golden and orange vistas, and mugs of apple cider.

I live in New Zealand. Here we are finally shedding off the layers, grimacing as our white winter legs are inflicted upon the world and enjoying longer, warmer evenings. And I am not complaining! But I have to admit that I feel like we miss out as our calendar rolls through late November and there is no Thanksgiving on it. A holiday to pause and take stock for all the things that I am grateful for in the middle of a full life feels like a great idea.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Stories and Friendship

by Andrea Renee Cox

Every story I write presents challenges.

Though the difficulties may vary from one project to the next, a couple of things remain the same. Story and friendship both take work, but they’re also both worth the effort.

Story. It could fill up a year’s worth of articles. Story is everywhere around us, but if we look really hard, we can find the best ones. That’s part of my job as a writer, to discover those hiding treasures in order to weave them into tales readers will have a difficult time forgetting. Creating something unique and special every single time might challenge the limits of my imagination, but I cherish the opportunity to craft unforgettable stories that hopefully will find a home with readers around the globe.

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Little Church

by Andrea Renee Cox

Since I'm on a tight deadline (due on Monday!) and I've worked late tonight (Sunday), I'm cutting this article way short. So sorry about that, but this was the one thing I could put on the back burner this week and get away with it.

So, in lieu of a full-blown article, let's do a little church this evening (or morning or afternoon; whatever time of day it happens to be for you).

What do you think of when you see this picture?

I think of a couple of verses I recently read.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Spiritual Battles

by Andrea Renee Cox

Asking for patience (as I talked about last week) or to better see what God is doing in my life might be easy prayers to say, but the living out of the answers that come is hardly ever easy or comfortable. I knew that going into those prayers, but it didn’t dissuade me. The answers are coming now, and boy, are they ever hard. But still I am not discouraged.

Even when the lessons are hard and break me, I refuse to give up the fight for God’s will. He is always worth it. My prayer through those toughest moments is usually, “God, help me.” But I’m finding out that I may add a little something else to that prayer. My prayer is becoming, “God, help me. I cannot do this without You. I need You. More than that. I want You. More than anything or anyone, I want You.”

When the answers God sends aren’t what I thought or were harder than the “hard” I imagined, the choice is mine. Will I decide to give up and settle for less than the best God has in store for me? Or will I choose to step out in faith, no matter how difficult things get, in order to walk in the will of God?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Patience is the Key

by Andrea Renee Cox

Have you ever heard that you should never pray for patience?

I have. Many times.

But I’ve ignored that suggestion every time.


Because I knew in my soul that I needed patience. And that I wouldn’t receive it if I didn’t ask.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Be My Guest: Pepper Basham + Giveaway!

by Andrea Renee Cox

For the 200th article on Writing to Inspire, guest Pepper Basham shares some of her inspiration for her latest novel, The Thorn Healer. Stay tuned to the very end, because there's a giveaway!

Discovering The Thorn Healer
by Pepper Basham

If you’ve lived long enough in this world, you’ve experienced pain.

It doesn’t have to be big, life-changing pain, but many of us may have experienced that kind too.  

Living in a fallen world, wounds happen – what really matters is how those wounds shape us - what we do with them.

We’ve buried loved ones, faced sickness, moved our families to new places and struggled through the transitions, grieved the loss of a dream or relationship, stumbled through fractured expectations. We shouldn’t be surprised that a broken world is not only made up of broken people but causes brokenness.

But perspective changes everything.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pantser or Plotter?

by Andrea Renee Cox

Next month is one of my most anticipated ones of the year. Why? Partly because of Thanksgiving, but in large part it is because it's the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I've participated several times now, and this year I even joined in on the two Camp NaNoWriMos (held online in April and July).

What is NaNoWriMo?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mountain Christmas Brides

by Andrea Renee Cox

Now available!
Mountain Christmas Brides is a wonderful collection of Christmas novellas by a host of Christian fiction authors. Some of the authors were new to me, while others were old favorites. Each brought their unique writing style and creativity to the project, which made it something of an adventure to read. When I began each new novella, it was fun to discover what made this particular story shine brightly among the others in the book. This collection would make a great gift, and Christmas is coming quicker than we know.

Here are my thoughts on a few of my favorite novellas in Mountain Christmas Brides:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Without Warning by Lynette Eason

by Andrea Renee Cox

Is it difficult to follow a great novel with an even better sequel?


Did Lynette Eason accomplish this with her latest book?


Monday, September 19, 2016

Be My Guest: Kim Vogel Sawyer (Plus a Giveaway)

by Andrea Renee Cox

Remember when I mentioned that there just might be a giveaway coming your way? Well, I think it just arrived. *wink, wink* But more about that in a minute.

Today my guest, Kim Vogel Sawyer, is sharing a couple of character reviews from her latest novel, Guide Me Home, which I absolutely adored (click to see my review). Y'all, this book impacted my heart with its sweetness, gumption, and treacherous situations. I hope each of you will be able to read it soon!

(Stay tuned until the very end of this article for details on the giveaway.)

Who are the Stars of Guide Me Home?
by Kim Vogel Sawyer


Brief physical description 
REBEKAH HARDIN is tall for a girl, with long brown hair and brown eyes, slender but strong from working in her daddy’s tobacco fields. 

Resembles… my niece Mallea, who appears on the cover of the book!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Journey Treasures

by Andrea Renee Cox

This summer, my family and I took a trip to the West Coast. It was quite an adventure, but one of the most exciting parts was that the journey took us to the last of the forty-eight contiguous states. That's right, my family and I have now been to all of the states of our country except for Hawaii and Alaska.

Something I particularly treasured about this recent vacation is all the people we met along the way. This time around, I had two particular people I wanted to meet. One is the first person who welcomed me into the book-writing world, author Beth K. Vogt. She is just as sweet in person as she is online and over the phone. The other is my friend and boss, Christina Tarabochia. I've worked for this woman for two and a half years, and it was wonderful to meet her in person, along with her husband and youngest daughter.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Losing Interest?

by Andrea Renee Cox

Over on Facebook, LouAnn Christie recently asked if authors ever lose interest in the books they’re writing. This got me thinking about my process and how many projects I’ve worked on. Have I ever lost interest in a project I was working on?

The short answer is, “Not really.”

But that doesn’t really explain it well.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Least Expected

by Andrea Renee Cox

Inspiration can take you by surprise.

This last week, I was planning on getting back to my revisions after taking a few days off to recharge for the upcoming tutoring season. I watched a little Hallmark Channel during my break, and a commercial for a new series inspired me. Not to get back to my revisions, but rather to begin something completely out of my comfort zone.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Guide Me Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

by Andrea Renee Cox

"A legacy is worth protecting."
~ Guide Me Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

A legacy is something a person works his or her whole life to build up, then hands it over to the next generation as an inheritance.

In her latest novel, Kim Vogel Sawyer explores different types of legacies. The approach she took was especially creative, since she presented four unique perspectives on the subject. It was neat to see how one person can help build up a family's legacy... or tear it apart. Or how someone who doesn't have children may still create a legacy to leave behind for other folks to enjoy.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Be My Guest: Kristy Cambron and *GIVEAWAY*

by Andrea Renee Cox

Hey, friends! Please welcome Kristy Cambron, author of The Butterfly and the Violin, as she talks about one of our favorite things: BOOKS! Stay tuned till the very end. There's a sweet surprise waiting for you.

When Books Have a Story to Tell
by Kristy Cambron

I remember the day my parents bought me my first art history book.

That was in fourth grade– many, many years ago. And today, it holds an important spot on the favorites bookshelf of this thirty-something wife, author, and momma of three.

I still have the very first copy of Pride and Prejudice (and Jane Austen book period) that I’d ever read. My high school Bible is tucked away – no longer in use because the spine is falling apart. It’s marked up, inscribed with dates and prayers in the margins, chronicling my first decade as a believer. And around my home office as I write this? You’ll find copies of Elie Wiesel’s Night stashed here and there. A stack of Dr. Seuss books occupies a toy basket in the corner. Art history books are shelved in a rainbow of spine colors. And eighteen copies of Jane Eyre are within arm’s reach of my desk.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Happy Verses

by Andrea Renee Cox

Have you ever needed a pick-me-up but didn’t know where to find it?

I’ve been in that same situation many times. Over the years, though, I’ve discovered a great source for that boost of energy or change in attitude. This source is available 24/7.

When I’m down in the dumps, I open up my Bible and read the “happy” verses. They don’t necessarily have the word “happy” in them, but they cheer me up just like saying that word does.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis + Giveaway!

by Andrea Renee Cox

Reading this book was like inhaling a warm cup of cocoa on a cold winter's evening. It swiftly soared to the top spot on my favorites list. Thoroughly researched and exquisitely written, this book was filled with mystery, suspense, a dash of romance, and intriguing history. I particularly enjoyed the heavy emphasis on code-breaking during WWI (prior to America joining the Great War). Very interesting stuff. Susan Page Davis remains one of my favorite authors, as her stories continue to amaze me at every turn. Highly recommend!

Be sure to stay tuned till the very end, as I'll be giving away one (1) Kindle copy of The Crimson Cipher.

Monday, July 25, 2016


by Andrea Renee Cox

What is a street team?

It is a select group of people who support a writer on their publication journey. They often get behind-the-scenes looks at an author’s work-in-progress or soon-to-be-released novel(s), special giveaway opportunities, and “little extras” if the author can afford to send them.

Why am I talking about street teams today?              

Because I’m starting one.

That’s right, y’all. I’m starting a street team. Be sure to read this article all the way to the bottom, because there will be some instructions for those of you interested in joining my street team.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Be My Guest and *Giveaway*: Beth K. Vogt

by Andrea Renee Cox

One of the books on my summer reading list was the newly released Almost Like Being in Love by Beth K. Vogt. It's a fun beach read (not that I was on a beach, but a girl can daydream, right?) that delves into a couple of deep topics.

Here today is the author of this novel. Stay tuned after the interview for some *giveaway* news.

Andrea: One of the supporting characters in Almost Like Being in Love is a double amputee with a great sense of humor. Why did you choose to feature this particular disability? What were some of the challenges in writing such an interesting character as Mitch?

Monday, July 11, 2016

What I've Learned from My First Draft

by Andrea Renee Cox

Call me strange, but the first draft of a novel is one of my favorite parts of writing. It’s the phase in which I get to discover the story and characters and journeys for the first time. Pretty often I don’t have a clue what twists and turns are up ahead, and it’s so much fun to figure them out… or be completely shocked right along with the characters.

With every story I write, I learn many things. This week I’m wrapping up a first draft. Here are a few of the things I’ve discovered on this particular journey.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Almost Like Being in Love by Beth K. Vogt

by Andrea Renee Cox

Has life gone the way you planned?

Almost Like Being in Love by Beth K. Vogt brought laughter to my lips and tears to my eyes. It was a beautiful look at how wrong “perfect” can be… and often is. Though this novel didn’t beat out Wish You Were Here as my favorite Vogt book (must be those llamas!), it did rise to the top in her Destination Wedding series. This book captured a sweet complexity that intrigued me at every turn. If you like a good, clean romance with lots of humor and some “accidental” dates, Almost Like Being in Love is the summer read for you!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Be My Guest: Melissa Tagg

by Andrea Renee Cox
You might have noticed that my guest spot got delayed a week. That's because I was so busy working on an editing deadline that I forgot to send out a reminder to my friend Melissa Tagg. Oops! Thankfully, she was cool with having an extra few days to work on her article. So now, here is the author of new release Like Never Before (see my review here).
What I Learned From Logan
by Melissa Tagg
Sooo… I’ve been a little less than subtle about my relentless love for the main character in my latest release, Like Never Before. The guy’s name is Logan Walker. (This is where I would normally insert like a bazillion heart emojis, but I’m trying to hold back. Lol!)
There are a lot of things I love about this character:
   His listening abilities
   His almost intense love for his family, especially his daughter, and his sincere desire to do right by them
   His honesty about his wobbly faith
   His simple kindness

Logan is not the quippiest or tallest or strongest or showiest hero I’ve ever written. (Although, I would argue that the dude who portrays him on the cover of the book is by far the most, ahem, adorable of all my hero models.) But he is very much the most… something. I can’t even really put into words why I connected with this character so much.

Though I do know the connection I feel with fictional Logan Walker is at least in part due to a life journey we went on together last year... 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

by Andrea Renee Cox

"Wounded people tend to create more wounded people."
~Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

After Kelli discovered her father had lied about her past, she travels across the country to see the family she never knew she had. But will the trials of the past cast a shadow over the present and tear apart the future?

The journey Kelli took in Finding Me got me thinking about healing. What if we didn't continue the damaging trends that have plagued our genealogy? One of my goals, even prior to reading this book, is to identify negative trends in my past and eradicate them. This will take persistent prayer and dedication, not to mention acute focus. But the joys and blessings that are certain to pour out upon future generations are more than enough motivation to drive me forward on this journey.

Monday, June 13, 2016

What's On Your Summer Reading List?

by Andrea Renee Cox

What’s on your summer reading list?

There are so many good books releasing this summer. The only thing that saddens me about that is that my schedule is keeping me too busy to enjoy all of them. Here are a few that I’m really excited about. Be sure to let me know in the comment section which books have you eager to read during these hot months of the year.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Apologies and Adventures

by Andrea Renee Cox

My dear friends, I owe you an apology. This article is late! I don't remember the last time I've forgotten to get a blog article ready.

Last week, my family and I went on a small vacation for a little R & R. It was fun. One of those trips where people are more important than pictures.

We went on nature trails, even though it was raining. Hello, umbrellas! Thankfully, my mom had packed three umbrellas, so she and my dad shared one and my sister and I each took one. My foot might have slipped on a tree root or two, but the journey was an adventure with beautiful surroundings and a wonderful pitter-pat sort of soundtrack. Don't worry. There was no lightning.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sandhill Dreams by Cara Putman

by Andrea Renee Cox

In the midst of my crazy schedule, I recently found time to read a Heartsong Presents novel by Cara Putman. I've been a fan of hers ever since I read Shadowed by Grace (see my review of that one here), but I'm still working on collecting and reading her backlog of stories.

Sandhill Dreams might be the second in a series (I didn't know that when I read it), but it stands on it's own quite well too.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg

by Andrea Renee Cox

Although I’ve looked forward to Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg for a full year, I couldn’t have imagined just how incredible it is. This book blew me away, and here’s why:

Melissa Tagg just went to a new emotional and spiritual depth with this one.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Be My Guest: Lori Benton

by Andrea Renee Cox

It is my pleasure to once again host Lori Benton here on Writing to Inspire. Her stories have made quite an impression upon my heart, and it is my hope that you'll give them a chance and see for yourself what all the hype is about. I'm pretty sure you'll be glad you did.

*This article first appeared on Mary Vee's website. Re-posted here with permission from Lori Benton.

When Dreams Are Put On Hold
by Lori Benton

My debut novel, Burning Sky, released in 2013. More than once during an interview that year I was asked, "Did your own battle and survivorship with cancer influence your novel?" My answer is very much so! In fact, what I learned during the year I went through cancer treatment offered me much by way of inspiration when it came to writing Burning Sky and every novel I’ve written since.

A theme I explore frequently in my novels centers around identity. In Burning Sky, more specifically, it was the challenge of redefining oneself after a significant loss. Many of the story’s characters are on that difficult journey but one of them, Neil MacGregor—the Scottish botanist aided by the heroine, Willa Obenchain—has a journey that mirrors my own, though I didn’t initially intend for that to happen.  

Monday, May 9, 2016

Writing Amidst the Chaos

by Andrea Renee Cox

It was late. Darkness peeked in the window at me. A chill ran up my spine and tickled the back of my neck. A sense of trepidation crept beneath my defenses, yet I refused to move. The enticing scent of chocolate wafted up from the small table beside my chair, but I couldn’t look away long enough to grab any of the M&Ms waiting for me there.

The scene on the screen before me made me flinch, then cry, but I continued my late-night writing session. If I wanted to reach my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I had no choice but to crank out another five hundred plus words, even though the hour on my clock stretched too far beyond my bedtime for my liking.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Need a Hero?

by Andrea Renee Cox

On a recent commercial several ladies sing, “I need a hero!” Superhero movies, comic books, and television programs are always popular, it seems. (I’m a fan of most of the Marvel Universe movies, actually.) From these things and others, it could be surmised that the world is searching for, longing for… perhaps even desperately yearning for a hero to swoop into our lives and save us from the mundane moments and difficulties that often plague our days.

What I’ve come to realize and truly cherish is that I already have a Hero. This Hero never went through that awkward “how do I use my superpower” phase. He never struggled with the desire to use His power for selfish gain, forsaking or using those around Him.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton

by Andrea Renee Cox

“We must pray for peace but strengthen our arms for battle.”
A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton

The sequel to The Wood’s Edge has left me breathless. Despite a few explicit words used within its pages, A Flight of Arrows is stunning and exquisite, threaded with turmoil and sorrow and redemption and much love. It is a story that will most assuredly stay with me for a long time after turning the final page.

One thing I really admire about this book is how Ms. Benton placed each scene in the perfect order. Time and time again I found myself amazed at how this scene had to come at that time in order for this other scene to make sense when it came around. Everything was woven together so seamlessly and completely, leaving me weeping through the last several chapters.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Be My Guest: Lynette Eason

by Andrea Renee Cox

One of my favorite suspense authors has stopped by the blog today. Hope you enjoy this fun interview with Lynette Eason!

An Interview with Lynette Eason

Andrea: Always Watching is a fantastic start to your new Elite Guardians series. How did you come up with the idea to feature a team of female bodyguards?

Lynette: Thank you so much! I appreciate that. I was reading a book about a male bodyguard and started doing the “what-if” game. What if there was a female bodyguard for a male? How would that play out? Would my heroine come across too “male”? Would the hero come across too wimpy? Once I started creating the characters, I soon realized that as long as my hero was as strong as the heroine and not overshadowed by her—and what most people assume is a career for mostly males—then the story could be great and the readers would fall in love with the characters.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Swoon Worthy Heroes

by Andrea Renee Cox

What makes a hero swoon worthy?

Is it his dashing good looks? His upstanding moral code? What about his willingness to lay down all in order to fight for what’s right?

A hearty yes! to all, if you ask me.

But is there something that runs a little deeper than all of that?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Grace Wins

by Andrea Renee Cox

“For you are saved by grace through faith, and
this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift”
Ephesians 2:8 (HCSB)

Grace has been on my mind lately. The need to receive it. The call to give it out.

According to, grace is “mercy, clemency, pardon.” It could also be said that grace is giving someone the benefit of the doubt. The most important definition of grace I’ve learned through personal experience is that it is receiving kindness and compassion when you don’t deserve it at all (or giving kindness and compassion to someone who doesn’t deserve it at all).

Monday, March 28, 2016


by Andrea Renee Cox

Yesterday was Resurrection Day, so of course I was thinking about how Jesus took my place up on the cross. It's a very difficult thing to face, that Someone would choose to take on my sin and suffer an excruciating death in my place. But when I think about how innocent He was... and how imperfect I am... Words cannot properly express how much that sacrifice blows my mind and whispers oceans of peace into my heart.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Be My Guest: Kim Vogel Sawyer

by Andrea Renee Cox

Have you ever wondered how much pain the human heart can take? My author-friend Kim Vogel Sawyer recently explored this very question when writing her latest novel. I hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at Room for Hope.

An Unselfish Choice
by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Every June, The Hubs and I attend a Sawyer Family Reunion. It’s a great time of catching up, laughing, eating (of course), and otherwise enjoying ourselves. Two summers ago, one of The Hubs’ aunts (the one who set us up on a blind date in 1983...but that’s another story for another day) brought along a box of photographs and a print-out of family history which she shared with all of us.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Fitting Things In

by Andrea Renee Cox

There are various seasons of life. Birth, death, school years, retirement. Sadness, joy, busyness, relaxation, illness, good health. It seems like we’re in constant motion among many of these different phases of life.

Right now I find myself in a particularly busy season, and managing my calendar might just be my most challenging job during this time. Between my work as a tutor of middle school students and that of copyediting other authors’ novels, there is little space left for the things pressing on my heart.

What are those things, you ask?

Monday, March 7, 2016


by Andrea Renee Cox

Hey, y'all! It's late on Sunday night as I'm typing this, and I just hit "send" on a copyedit job. So, since I've been on a deadline, I have a mega-short article for you today.

My current memory verse has helped me find some focus when I was distracted during the last few weeks. Will it do the same for you?

Monday, February 29, 2016

Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer

by Andrea Renee Cox

Have you ever read a book that took a turn you didn't initially like ... but came to admire?

Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer was like that for me. Here I was, rooting for one thing to happen, and suddenly something completely different and unexpected happened. At first I was quite shocked and wasn't sure if I'd come to like the track the story took. Yet, as I continued reading, the characters burrowed deeper into my heart and the plot twists kept surprising me. Several times I found myself staring open-mouthed at the book, then quickly gobbling up the next few chapters to learn what would take place next.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Favorite Writing Phase

by Andrea Renee Cox

A question I see often in book release parties for other authors is, “What’s your favorite phase of writing a novel?”

My favorite phase is writing the first draft.

Sure, it’s terrible and needs a LOT of editing. The parts of the first draft I fall in love with don’t always make the final cut. Even some characters must say goodbye before the book is finalized, making them unknown at all to readers. Then there are the grammar mistakes that drive me nuts, since I’m a copyeditor.

So why do I like the first draft so much?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Be My Guest: Lori Benton

by Andrea Renee Cox

Last year I read Lori Benton's novel The Wood's Edge and was blown away by its complexity. (See my review.) As we get closer to the release of its sequel, A Flight of Arrows, I thought it would be a nice treat for Lori to hang out with us here at Writing to Inspire.

Where Inspiration Finds You
by Lori Benton

True or False: A writer (or artist or musician) can accomplish a lot of creative work without the benefit of inspiration.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Always Watching by Lynette Eason

by Andrea Renee Cox

When a radio host is being stalked, the women of the Elite Guardians Bodyguard Agency swoop in to protect him and his twelve-year-old daughter. But what if the stalker turns violent... and aims at the protectors?

Always Watching is the first book in Lynette Eason's newest series: Elite Guardians. It's fast-paced adventure with memorable characters that face true-to-life issues, including common fears.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Protecting Her Daughter by Lynette Eason

by Andrea Renee Cox

"Not one of us is perfect or without baggage, but together we can overcome that and build a great life together." ~Aaron Starke; Protecting Her Daughter by Lynette Eason

Would you risk everything, including your own life, to protect your child?

Zoe Collier faces that very scenario in Protecting Her Daughter by Lynette Eason. Not only does her daughter, Sophia, have diabetes, but she's also nearly been kidnapped, and the bad guys have now become even more aggressive and dangerous. At least Zoe has run to Wrangler's Corner, TN. The quiet town is home to the Starke brothers, who head up the protection detail for Zoe and Sophia. But will their efforts be enough to uncover the plot to steal Sophia?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano

by Andrea Renee Cox

Have you ever been whisked to a far-off land by reading fiction?

I certainly have, many times. But this time was different. Five Days in Skye was written so exquisitely that I could smell the briny air and taste the scrumptious meals James created for the fictional Andrea. If this book was a debut for Carla Laureano, there are no boundaries to where her writing journey may take her. "Master storyteller" comes to mind, but I'm not sure it's a strong enough phrase.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Be My Guest: Vannetta Chapman

by Andrea Renee Cox

I'm excited to host Vannetta Chapman today. Recently I enjoyed one of her books (see my review of Murder Freshly Baked) so much I invited her to write a little something for you today. Hope you find inspiration in these tips she shares!

4 Tips to Find Inspiration
by Vannetta Chapman

I’m so happy to visit Writing to Inspire today and talk about what inspires me to write. My upcoming release is Joshua’s Mission. There were a lot of different things that inspired me to write this book, but I’m going to focus on the big one, the reason that I write—to spread hope and confidence in God’s grace. Stephen King said that “Art should be a place of  hope.” I love that, and I think it’s particularly true in our modern world.  So what inspires me to sit down in front of my Mac every day and hammer out another 10 pages?

Monday, January 11, 2016

NaNoWriMo... in January?

by Andrea Renee Cox

Hey, friends! How are you settling in to the new year?

One of my work schedules has begun again, but the other one has been delayed. Instead of seeing this in a negative light, I'm choosing to see the positives. For one thing, it frees up some much-needed time to finish the novel I started back in November for NaNoWriMo. Is it possible to have a miniature National Novel Writing Month in January? I'm sure going to try! I'm hoping and praying to be able to finish this first draft by the end of this month.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, Busy Schedule

by Andrea Renee Cox

Have you changed your calendars yet? Have you written the correct date today, or is that 5 sticking around?

As much as I would love to tell you that life will slow down in this new year, I am not seeing any proof of that in my schedule. My day job of tutoring begins again this afternoon, and as the state assessment tests are in spring, the work will be fast and furious this semester.

I'm continuing to study my memory verses, as the Siesta Scripture Memory Team (SSMT) conference is coming up this month. So excited for this bit of busyness! The Lord is working in interesting ways through my memory work, and I can hardly wait to see what He's got in store for that incredible conference weekend.

Copyediting jobs promise to keep my busy throughout 2016, for which I'm grateful. (Have you read any of Ashberry Lane's books yet? Check out for more information.) It's such a joy for me when I have the opportunity to work on other writers' manuscripts. The challenge to retain their voice while correcting typos, inconsistencies, and factual errors is one I meet gladly every day when I turn on my computer. They say writing is a lonely journey, but I beg to differ. There is such camaraderie and teamwork that take place through the process of publishing that there is a sense of support and encouragement even when you're facing the keyboard on your own. Gives me chills just thinking about it.