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Journal of My Writing Life
4/26/2024 I've been rereading What If with the idea of rewriting it under a different name and using an angel statue rather than a Jesus statue. Today I selected a highly appropriate angel image from Unsplash and have officially named the rewrite The Angelic Candidate. Below is a tentative cover.

4/26/2024 I posted the Prologue & Chapter to be accessable from the Novels Blurbs and Novel Samples pages

4/14/2024 I completed the second revision of The Elder and turned it over to Kathleen to read and edit. Revisions I make from her notes will constitute the third revision

4/14/2024 I completed the first revision of The Elder.

3/14/2024 The rough draft of The Elder is finished!

2/4/2024 I don't write every day and neither do I always write a lot, but I've spent thirty-one days writing 21,007 words of the rough draft of The Elder. My goal is to have it finished and polished and released before going to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference at the end of May and have a copy to show to anyone who's interested. This will be the first time I've been to the Blue Ridge Conference in quite a few years. Now that Kathleen (my wife) is retired, time to to go there isn't a problem. She loves Ridgecrest!

12/11/2023 I've gotten bogged down trying to do a synopsis of The Elder. So today I've actually begun the writing. Yay!

11/24/2023 Today is the first day of the free Kindle promotion of WHYNOT? The graphic on the left is a screen shot from The Fussy Librarian's daily newsletter. The one on the right is one I'll be using on social media.


11/18/2023 I've spent much of this week working on a synopsis of THE ELDER, but I have a lot more to do. Only then do I expect to feel prepared to start the actual writing.

11/2/2023 I updated the spreadsheet containing the word count of each of my novels and the total number of words written. After adding WHY NOT?, my grand total is 1,743,518!!! Who would have thought I could write that much when I completed the first novel?

10/31/2023 WHY NOT? has been finished and is now published and available on Amazon!!! I posted the graphic below on my Facebook page. It has been shared by at least two other people. My wife will share it this weekend on Avid Readers of Christian fiction. I have a free Kindle promotion lined up for the end of Thanksgiving week and paid for promotion through the Fussy Librarian and eBookDaily.

10/12/2023 I found the perfect picture for THE ELDER. Unlike my other cover photos, this one didn't need any editing except for chopping off a narrow darker streak at the top. Sorry, but I'm not ready to share it here yet.

9/10/2023 I got an idea for book #23, complete with the title: THE ELDER. Otherwise I'm still busy finishing up what I need to do to be ready to publish WHY NOT?

8/24/2023 I completed the rough draft of WHY NOT?. Now to begin the real work of editing and revising!

3/2/2023 After doing my cover editing, I started writing Why Not?.

2/26/2023 I found the perfect picture on Unsplash for my Why Not? cover. I will edit it to blend it with a sunset beach picture I took at San Diego years ago.

2/2/2023 I came up with the basic idea for novel #22, Why Not? Here's a tentative description:

   As best friends, an elderly widow and widower marry for their mutual 
   convenience. But when their platonic relationship grows rocky, will 
   it lead to divorce or unexpected romance?
When I begin writing, that could change totally.

2/2/2023 I came up with the basic idea for novel #22, Why Not? Here's a tentative description:

   As best friends, an elderly widow and widower marry for their mutual 
   convenience. But when their platonic relationship grows rocky, will 
   it lead to divorce or unexpected romance?
When I begin writing, that could change totally.

1/22/2023 This past Friday's Fussy Librarian promotion of DOXXI resulted in 731 free downloads. Today it's been emailed to ebookdaily's 22,000 subscribers. The promotion runs through tomorrow, Monday the 23rd.

1/20/2023 The free Kindle promotion of DOXXI NO MORE has now been emailed to the Fussy Librarian's many thousand subscribers. The promotion runs through Monday the 23rd.

1/15/2023 In preparation for the promotion of DOXXI NO MORE, my wife, Kathleen, posted this graphic on Facebook's Avid Readers of Christian Fiction page.

12/18/2022 I've published the Kindle and print editions of DOXXI NO MORE. Free Kindle promotion is coming up starting on 1/20/2023.

10/17/2022 I'm making good progress on editing DOXXI. What I hadn't expected the need to do was to add in one little scene to explain something that's referred to later. I'm getting ready to use Word to listen to my manuscript as I follow along reading it. That's the best way I know of to catch mistakes and awkward wordings.

9/13/2022 I finished the rough draft of my twentiy-first novel. Here's the cover.

7/24/2022 I'm halfway into the rough draft of my next novel. The title has changed from Hidden Talent to Doxxi No More. It's quite different from my other novels.

5/12/2022 I began writing my next novel. Tentative title is Hidden Talent.

4/24/2022 Matchmaker Payback is available on Amazon now!

3/15/2022 I finished the rough draft of Matchmaker Payback. Now to get started on the first of possibly many revisions!

2/10/2022 I'm making good progress on Matchmaker Payback. As of today I have 28,000 words. I don't expect this novel to be lengthy, but at this stage, who knows?

The book cover shown below is probably set in stone, although the back cover copy is in serious need of revision

1/8/2022 Today is the second day of a four-day free Kindle promotion of Recalled to Life. Promotion was through I'll post the sales stats next week.

1/7/2022 Today is the first day of a four-day free Kindle promotion of Recalled to Life. Promotion was through The Funnsy Librarian.

12/22/2021 I've been working just minutes at a time on a possible next book, Matchmaker Payback, which I had originally thought to be the next book when God placed Recalled to Life in my head and heart instead. I'm praying for guidance with this one, as I always do. I need to be able to write an accurate paragraph description to have a general idea where I'm going. Nonetheless, I need God's help from day to day when I actually begin writing in earnest.

11/25/2021 I published Recalled to Life on Thanksgiving Day and also a Kindle-only collection of all three CURMUDGEON books.

10/2/2021 After deciding to use a picture I'd taken of a church member, Ken Moore, on the Recalled to Life front cover, I made some further changes.

9/11/2021 I completed the sequel to Ask Lolita, Recalled to Life. I immediately began the editing and revising process. Publishing could still be a few months away, although I hope not.

7/4/2021 My wife and I have been well throughout the Covid pandemic, but my motivation to write and to maintain my website properly was seriously affected. I did manage to write and publish Ask Lolita, (the free promotion on Amazon had 1535 downloads) and I'm well on the way to completing its sequel, Recalled to Life.


8/24/2020 The free promotion of Angel & the Town Curmudgeon beat the promotions of each of my previous books at 2229 downloads.

6/25/2020 Angel & the Town Curmudgeon released on Amazon today. Even though this book is truly quirky in ways, I want to believe it will have widespead appeal to readers who might not like my other novels.

1/10/2020 As of today my redesigned covers for Misfits, Wherefore Art Thou Ramon, and Just Friends?" have been published on Amazon, although I'm not sure the new covers all show up there yet.

Also, today begins a five-day promotion of 50-50, free down at Amazon in the Kindle edition.

12/23/2019 Today I submitted the final cover and content files to KDP for publishing Fifty-Fifty. It usually just takes a couple of days for newly published books to go live on Amazon. Christmas could delay that a little bit more. As you can see from the picture below, the final front cover image is slightly different from what I've been posting on my home page.

12/6/2019 Today is the first day of a five-day free promotion of the Kindle edition of A Twisted Rainbow. The image below is from today's Fussy Librarian newsletter. As of 11:25 a.m. there've been 280 downloads. Great start!

11/13/2019 The big news for today is I've published both the print and Kindle editions of A Twisted Rainbow. My! I haven't even made Canva graphics for it yet.

11/7/2019 This is the approximate date I came with what I hope will be the keeper of a cover for 50-50.

10/29/2019 I've published both the print and Kindle editions of WHAT IF?. At about 63,000 words it's one of my shortest novels. It's complete, though, and makes for a quick read.

10/15/2019 I'm just guessing about the date,but I've purchased a CMTK color chart and a little book showing CMYK color combinations. It's only been within the last year or so that I learned books are printed with four-color processing, NOT red-green-blue colors. I almost understand that slightly, but the important thing is colors on the screen or printed on a home computer printer won't actually show up looking the same when printed for sale. By using these two resources I can choose background colors I like (using the CMYK codes) and count on them looking that way in print. Fascinating, huh?

10/13/2019 Today ended a three-day free promotion of Play the Right Game. 822 Kindle copies were downloaded.

9/21/2019 I've started playing with possible covers of my old manuscript 50-50, which will be my next work-in-progress after What If? and A Twisted Rainbow. Nothing I'd be willing to display here. I originally wrote A Twisted Rainbow in 2009, but it never got published at the time; I started playing with it again sometime during summer of this year.

9/8/2019 Today ended a three-day free promotion of Impractically Yours. 1184 Kindle copies were downloaded.

8/19/2019 I started doing serious editing and revising of my ancient A Twisted Rainbow manuscript. I'm also still writing and revising What If?

8/4/2019 Today ended a three-day free promotion of Do I Ever! 1312 Kindle copies were downloaded.

6/30/2019 I'm 8,500 words into What If?" and have a tentative front cover for it.

5/22/2019 After a day-and-a-half of the big free Kindle promotion of When Love Won't Wait," it has the following Amazon ratings—at least for the moment.

5/21/2019 I'm doing a big free Kindle promotion of When Love Won't Wait" today through the twenty-third. I'm promoting via Christian Book Heaven, the Fussy Librarian, and Ask David.

5/14/2019 Today I started writing a new novel—What If?. It was inspired by a conversation in our Wednesday night Bible study on September 14, 2016. That wasn't the right time to write this book, but God has pulled my attention back to it and helped me to lay out much of the plot.

5/2/2019 A friend alerted me that When Love Won't Wait was listed at the top of a list of new releases on the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) blog.

4/27/2019 I'm thrilled to admit that my laxness in making notes in this journal recently has been because of my being busy with writing and publishing using KDP. I actually wrote the rough draft of When Love Won't Wait in two months. Further editing and revising took at least another month. I'm extremely pleased with the results. I had already selected a couple for the front cover, and since part of the story takes placce at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, I used a picture I'd taken of that ceiling for the background.

Even though the Kindle version was released on Amazon today, it's not showing up for some weird reason. I'll wait another day or two before I get too frustrated. I'd already released the print version, but made some important changes to the back cover copy (with special thanks to fellow author Ellie Gustafson) and a couple of very minor corrections to the book's interior. Today I discovered two misspellings, but I won't bother to correct them yet. The current revised edition released last Friday.

10/16/2018 The Kindle boxed set of the four ALTERED HEARTS novels is now available on Amazon.

9/29/2018 While on vacation, I submitted those final files to Amazon's KDP, and the books were all published a day or two later.

9/22/2018 I couldn't say exactly what I accomplished on any given date, but between 9/5 and today I created new book covers—several are radically different, others are just a slight variation on the previous coverss—and formatted the files Cynthia had sent me. I was ready to go—especially to go on vacation without this hanging over my head.

9/5/2018 I accepted Cynthia Hickey's offer of the rights to the seven books she'd published. She sent me the formatted files the next day and agreed not to unpublish them until the first of October. If I could get them ready to go, then there wouldn't be any lapse in availability on Amazon.

9/3/2018 After learning of my interest in self-publishing, Cynthia Hickey, the Winged Publications publisher of seven of my books, asked if I wanted the rights to them back. I told her my wife and I would discuss and pray about her offer.P>
2/16/2018 Today Christian Book Heaven featured Impractically Yours as a ninety-nine cent promotion on Amazon. Let's hope and pray it results in some additional sales.

2/15/2018 Today we submitted Rosa No-Name to the Selah contest. The winners will be announced at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference on May 23. Found in Translation won a Selah honorable mention in 2012, but none of my books has ever actually been a finalist or a winner. Since Rosa No-Name has always been my wife's favorite of all my novels, winning—or even just being a finalist—would mean a lot to both of us. Not to mention giving Rosa some additional exposure.

2/1/2018 Sara Foust posted an interview with me on her blog today. The interview featured Impractically Yours and why it would make a great Valentine's Day gift. It was one of my best blog interviews ever. You can see it here.

1/22/2018 Karen Beidelman posted a review of Do I Ever on her blog today. You can see it here.

12/15/2017 The print edition of Impractically Yours has just released on Amazon, even though the date shown on Amazon is December 1. Amazon also failed to have it list appropriately. Best to go right here if you're interested.
12/14/2017 The third of my three quirky romantic novels, Play the Right Game, has just released on Amazon.

12/13/2017 I submitted the manuscript of Play the Right Game to my publisher, along with our preferred cover picture. She sent the finished book cover back a couple of hours later. The Kindle version should be up on Amazon today or tomorrow.

12/1/2017 I have a blog interview this week on Norma Gail's blog. It was a lot of fun to do, and I think you'll enjoy it. Visit here.

11/24/2017 And now the Kindle edition of Impractically Yours" is up on Amazon!

11/15/2017 And now the print edition of Do I Ever!" is up on Amazon, too!

11/10/2017 The Kindle edition of Do I Ever!" is up on Amazon!

11/9/2017 I sent my publisher the materials she needed for Do I Ever!, and she's already got the cover done and is working on both ebook and print editions.

11/8/2017 Today was a double blessing. I received the copies of the Altered Hearts novels I need for the book release event on December 3, but I also signed a contract with Take Me Away Books to publish:
  • Do I Ever!
  • Impractically Yours
  • Play the Right Game

10/20/2017 I received my first print copy of The Flowers of His Field today.

10/17/2017 The print version of The Flowers of His Field is now available on Amazon, making the Altered Hearts series complete for the first time. Barbour originally published Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams—now titled A Season of Pebbles—in 2011 and discontinued the series a year or two later. Take Me Away Books reissued the first two books as well as the final two this year. I published Rosa No-Name this year myself.

10/16/2017 The free Kindle version of Rosa No-Name yesterday and the day before resulted in 328 downloads and at the height of "sales" gave Rosa this ranking on Amazon:

10/14/2017 The Kindle version of Rosa No-Name is free today and tomorrow. This is the first time I've used the Fussy Librarian's email for free books. The screen shot appears below.

10/9/2017 The Kindle version of The Flowers of His Field released today!

10/2/2017 I sent my publisher the completed manuscript of The Flowers of His Field today! The Kindle edition will probably be out before the print edition.

8/11/2017 I completed the rough draft of The Flowers of His Field today!

8/1/2017 The free promotion of Found in Translation resulted in 626 "sales" and a climb to these ratings:

  • #2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Christian
  • #9 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Religious & Inspirational Fiction > Christian > Romance > Contemporary
  • #52 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Christian Books & Bibles

Unfortunately, it didn't stay there long.

7/29/2017 The Kindle version of Found in Translation is available free on Amazon today through Monday.

7/23/2017 The free Kindle promotion of Rosa No-Name resulted in 110 sales. Not bad for the lack of anything but social media and word of mouth promotion.

7/21/2017 The Kindle version of Rosa No-Name is available free on Amazon today and tomorrow. Unlike last month's promotion, this is without Fussy Librarian or Google ad help.

6/27/2017 I was tickled to receive this unsolicited praise for Rosa No-Name from Bonnie Engstrom, the author of the Candy Cane Girls series:

"You have a gift for making the reader part of the story, actually part of the characters. Great writing."

6/16/2017 It's Father's Day, and I learned that my daughter and son-in-law had given me a most unusual gift: a Google ad for Rosa No-Name during the two days we had the Kindle version free. No telling how much that might have contributed to sales!
6/16/2017 We've had the Kindle version of Rosa No-Name free for the past two days and have "sold" 727 copies. Hopefully a number of people will actually read it and leave a review on Amazon.
5/18/2017 My new publisher is moving right along. Overshadowed just came out in print today; the Kindle version was released a week or so earlier.

5/16/2017 Peggy Phifer posted my article about how Rosa No-Name came to be. Read it here.

5/16/2017 Today Cindy Huff published my article about the effect of writers conferences on my life on her blog. Take a look here.

5/9/2017 Did I say my new publisher, Winged Publications, is moving faster than the speed of light to get the two out-of-print Altered Hearts novels back in print? They've already got the new cover ready for A Season of Pebbles, which was originally published as Lost in Dreams.

5/8/2017 My new publisher, Winged Publications, is moving faster than the speed of light to get the two out-of-print Altered Hearts novels back in print. I just discovered that the Kindle version of Found in Translation is already up on Amazon.

5/2/2017 Rosa No-Name was featured on Kimberley Payne's Books for Book Lovers blog today. Check it out here.

4/30/2017 We had the release party for Rosa No-Name at church today. Not only were our church friends very supportive, but I had a surprise visit from a former student who lives in and drove over from Williamsburg. I hadn't seen him in at least forty-five years. It was great to see him and his family, and I really appreciated his coming.

4/27/2017 Tonight we held the Facebook release party for Rosa No-Name. Although we had only six participants, we had a good time, and four people won prizes.

My interview appeared on the CAN (Christian Authors Network) blogsite today.

4/22/2017 And I thought things were crazy before! We've been getting ready for two book release parties for Rosa No-Name. One will be held on Facebook (at this page) from 8:00-9:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on the 27th. Then we'll have one after the 11:00 worship service at Winn's Baptist Church in Glen Allen, Virginia, on the 30th. Both events are open to the public.
4/8/2017 Things have been moving too fast with Rosa No-Name for me to document everything, but today is a red-letter day. Although we didn't want to finish publishing Rosa today, we had to in order to be able to order print copies in time for book release parties later this month. (We optimistically ordered sixty copies just for our own use—family, prizes, etc.) Amazon won't have the mechanism in place for buying Rosa yet for several days, but the Kindle version is available for pre-order and will actually be available on the 12th. Are we excited or what!!!
4/5/2017 The whole Altered Hearts series has been offered a contract by Cynthia Hickey Melton of Take Me Away Books. After prayer and careful consideration, my wife and I felt that was the right thing to do.
4/2/2017 Someone I know through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) suggested I get in touch with the editor/owner of the small company that publishes her novels. So I did. Cynthia wanted a short synopsis of the series plus the first fifteen pages of the first book, which I sent.
3/19/2017 I just learned that Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams are now not only out of print, but the rights have been returned to me. That means I'm free to try to find another publisher to publish those two books and hopefully also the two in the Altered Hearts series that were never published. In fact, the last one hasn't been written yet.
3/12/2017 I finished editing the first proof copy of Rosa No-Name and ordered a new proof copy.
3/1/2017 I finished revising Rosa No-Name according to Cay's suggestions and going through it one more time on my own. I entered the manuscript into CreateSpace and ordered a proof copy.
2/21/2017 Cay finished editing Rosa No-Name and sent it back to me. Great job!
1/23/2017 I received a progress report from my editor, Cay. She said, "I got slammed with work last week, so I wasn't able to start on Rosa until Saturday. It's a wonderful read! I've done some mostly minor tweaking and tightening and noted a few questions along the way, but that is all. It's well-paced so far, and well-thought-out, and I look forward to finishing it."
1/18/2017 I made the cover of Rosa No-Name public today.

1/16/2017 I received, signed, and returned the work agreement to Cay Fultz for her editing along with my most recent Word version of Rosa No-Name.
1/12/2017 I met with Cay Fultz, the lady who'll be editing Rosa No-Name. Her rates are reasonable, and I think she'll do a great job. She also seems like a good person to work with. As soon as she sends me the contract, I can send her the completed manuscript.
1/7/2017 Ken Raney, a wonderful graphic artist, and I did a lot of emailing back and forth until we ended up with a final cover for Rosa No-Name. I'll share it on here soon, but I don't want to give away everything too soon.
12/25/2016 I'm SO excited! When my wife and I opened Christmas presents last night—we always do that on Christmas Eve—I found an envelope in one of the boxes (see below). Kathleen had approached the other members of our family, and they had all contributed towards paying Ken Raney to do the book cover for Rosa No-Name a coming-of-age book I feel led to self-publish.

Not only had Kathleen already paid Ken, the envelope contained $310 for me to add to the money I'd already saved for the cover.

Now I'm searching for an affordable editor to help make sure Rosa is the best self-published book possible. If you haven't seen this elsewhere on my website, Rosa No-Name is the prequel to my first published book, Found in Translation.

12/18/2016 I get so caught up trying to promote The Devil and Pastor Gus that I sometimes forget my first two published novels, Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams. Fortunately, there are still readers out there who haven't forgotten them.

I was thrilled to get a Tweet about a review of Lost in Dreams on Crossroad Reviews. You can see the review here.

10/28/2016 I had the wildest thing happen today. I'd emailed my surgeon to schedule my follow up visit after gall bladder surgery. The response I got from his nurse asked if I was the author of the Altered Hearts series, which consists of Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams. It turns out she belongs to a reading group that had just read those two books. I hated to have to disappoint her by revealing that my publisher wouldn't be publishing the intended third book in the series. Nonetheless, she was thrilled to have made that connection with me (as I was with her), and she's planning on having my wife and me visit their group as soon as it can be arranged.
10/9/2016 I often wonder whether anyone gets anything from my blog posts, but today I got special confirmation that somebody does.

My wife and I went to Red Robin for lunch. The young lady who brought our food to the table looked at me and indicated she was familiar with me—and not just because we're fairly regularly Red Robin customers.

She explained that the professor of a graduate psych class she was taking had referred to two of the blog posts from "On Aging Gracelessly" in her teaching. When I offered this young grad student my card, she said, "Yes, that graphic is the one she showed."

I have no idea who the professor is or how she happened upon any of my blog posts, but it makes me feel good to know that someone is making use of them.

8/15/2016 Lil Duncan posted a fine review of The Devil and Pastor Gus on her blog. Look for it HERE.

9/13/2016 The Devil and Pastor Gus was featured today on The Fussy Librarian for all subscribers to the "Religious Fiction" category.

8/15/2016 Lindsey Zimpel has a wonderful website called Books for Christian Girls. She reads and reviews every book with great attention to detail. She recently reviewed my two published Young Adult books.

If you're interested, read the reviews for Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams. Even though both books were published in 2011, print copies are still available, as well as e-books.

8/15/2016 Last week I learned about a new website, Special Interview. I was invited to be one of their first ten interviews, and I gladly accepted. When told length of my answers to the questions was not a concern, I took it literally. My interview, which appeared today, is a tad long. But if it's something you would enjoy reading, maybe you won't notice the length. Find the interview HERE.

8/13/2016 More good news about Pastor Gus's ratings. I took this screen shot a few minutes ago. Click to see it large enough to read.

8/13/2016 Just when I was starting to lose heart about the sales of The Devil and Pastor Gus, my publisher let me know Gus's ratings are really up there on Amazon. Click to see it large enough to read.

6/1/2016 Book Mall Buzz featured The Devil and Pastor Gus today. Check it out here. The image below is from 6/2 on the Book Mall Buzz home page.

5/13/2016 Author Elaine Stock is featuring me on her blog this week. Check it out here. Elaine created the meme below from something I said in my post.


5/6/2016 My wife and I stopped by a book signing for Stacy Hawkins Adams' newest novel, Finding Home. Stacy has been a friend and a writing encourager for a number of years now, and she was one of the endorsers of my first published novel, Found in Translation. I took Stacy a thank you copy of The Devil and Pastor Gus," explaining that her copy has the old cover. Her kids were there with her this evening, and it was wonderful to see them. Stacy is a wonderful writer.


4/19/2016 After restarting Play the Right Game" months ago—I actually got the idea back in 2007—I finished the rough draft today. I'm excited. I think this is a very quirky and enjoyable romance, but it will take months of editing and revising before I can pass it on to my agent.

4/13/2016 I was checking Amazon for additional reviews of The Devil and Pastor Gus when I saw that it has a new cover. Quite an interesting change. If you have a print copy of the old one, hang on to it. It could become a collector's item.

Here are the old and the new:


2/12/2016 Bling! is passing on Impractically Yours. But the rejection email was one of the nicest I've ever received.

2/12/2016 I've rewritten the chapter of Impractically Yours that Bling! is concerned about and made some efforts to deal with the narrated chapters. Although Bling! is still considering the book. I'm trying not to get my hopes up because the multiple points of view are largely responsible for the book's quirkiness and I don't see any way to rewrite the whole book without them without losing the integrity of the novel.

2/7/2016 The Devil and Pastor Gus is featured today on the home page of the eBook Christian website. Since there's not a permanent link to it, the best I can do is show you a screen shot.

1/27/2016 I heard back from the acquisitions editor of Bling!, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, about Impractically Yours. Althoug she likes its quirky nature, she and her publishing board are concerned about the multiple first person points of view, some lengthy narrative chapters, and one chapter that they feared was more apt to offend than I'd realized or intended.

1/12/2016 My wonderful new agent was honest enough to let me know she doesn't consider Project Muffintop to be publishable. However, she's agreed to finish reading it so she can advise me whether a major revision would make a difference. Yes, this is frustrating and discouraging, but I'd rather know what she really thinks than have her ruin her reputation with publishers by sending out something she doesn't believe in.

1/6/2016 I sent my agent the proposal for Project Muffintop. Between that and the manuscript itself, she'll decide what to do with it. Hopefully something good.

12/16/2016 I sent my agent the most recent version of the manuscript for Project Muffintop. I hope she likes it.

11/14/2015 The Devil and Pastor Gus will be featured on Kimberly Payne's Books for Book Lovers blog on Friday, November 27. I'll put the link in my journal that day.

11/13/2015 When Aaron Krayna offered to review and give The Devil and Pastor Gus a movie style rating, I was amazed and pleased at what he'd done. But today he posted it on LinkedIn as well.

11/12/2015 A recent connection on LinkedIn creates reviews of books, but not the normal kind. Aaron Krayna gives them movie-style ratings and comments. When he offered to do that for The Devil and Pastor Gus, I jumped at the chance. To see the whole page he created for Pastor Gus, go HERE.

11/9/2015 I received the signed copy of my new agent agreement. Now Linda Glaz is officially my agent!

10/31/2015 I wrote a short article about the day my wife and I found ourselves booked into the conference director's suite at the first Novelist Retreat and submitted it for inclusion in a book to be called Stupid Moments.

10/30/2015 I didn't learn about it until today, but the website I mentioned a few days ago has also listed The Devil and Pastor Gus on their Today's NOVEL Loglines and Story Pitches page for 10/27. Check it out here.

10/26/2015 Several weeks ago I received an invitation—maybe through LinkedIn—to submit the logline for Pastor Gus to a website that makes books, movies, all kinds of stuff available to people who're interested. It didn't cost anything, and it could help, so I submitted my logline. Today I received notice that it had been posted. Check it out here.

10/26/2015 I've heard back from my new agent, Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary, and she's sent me the contract. I printed and signed it this morning, and my wife mailed it on the way back to work after lunch. Now I'm working on a questionnaire that will give her more information about me, my writing, and a bunch of other things relevant to her helping me.

Linda's a great gal, and she's also a terrific writer. Be on the lookout for Fear Is Louder than Words, which will be coming out in early December.

I can't fail to give another thank you to my previous agent, Mr. Terry Burns. Without him, I might still be unpublished. Terry, I hope your retirement is as joyful as you deserve for it to be.

10/21/2015 Thanks to agent Diana Flegel of the Hartline Literary Agency, I have a new agent. I'll post more once I actually hear back from her.

Today was special in another way, too. Author Ann Tatlock, who's also an acquisitions editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, shared with me that she's proposing a new LPC line, tentatively called Silver Linings. It would be for quirky romance novels for mid-lifers and older readers. She believes so strongly in Impractically Yours that she'll try to fit it into another LPC line if Silver Linings fails to materialize. I can't tell you how great it feels to have a publishing professional take such a strong, positive interest in one of my manuscripts.

10/3/2015 I have an article on money, "Finding Financial Peace," on this month's MTL (More to Life) magazine. In it, I talk about how Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University helped my wife and me to get totally out of debit in less that two years.

8/17/2015 Pelican Book Group notified me that they can't use Project Muffintop. While being turned down by a publisher is never fun, it's something every author goes through at one time or another

8/12/2015 I'm on Jennifer Hallmark's other blog. Visit it here.

7/28/2015 I received a request today from the Pelican Book Group to submit the manuscript for Project Muffintop. That is WONDERFUL news. Of course, that doesn't mean they'll necessarily offer me a contract on it, but it's a very major step in the right direction. And let's hope it doesn't take the 120 days I was told it might take. Nothing happens fast in publishing.

7/10/2015 I submitted Project Muffintop online today to the Pelican book group's Watershed imprint of Young Adult books. Because they limit those books to 60000 words, I purposely made Project Muffintop my shortest work ever at 51000 words. In fact, they consider that length to be a novella rather than a novel. We'll see what happens within the next thirty business days.

6/19/2015 I'll be featured on another of Jennifer Hallmark's blogs in August. I sent her the information she needed today.

6/8/2015 I'm on Jennifer Hallmark's blog. Visit it here.

6/6/2015 Today was a really special day. I asked Ken Raney, the super-talented husband of women's novelist Deb Raney, if he would turn my favorite headshot into a graphic. I see all kinds of potential uses for it. His charge was reasonable, and he got that done today. Check it out below, and please go Ken's web site to see samples of his other work. He's truly amazing.

5/25/2015 I just sent Jennifer Hallmark the requested materials for her to feature me on her blog on June 7. I'll post more info when I have it.

5/22/2015 I'm just back from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina and busy sending out the things asked for by editors and agent. Today I also let my agent know that I plan to make a change of agents. That was a tough thing to do. We've worked well together for almost seven years now, and I will be eternally grateful for all he's done for me. If you believe you're ready for an agent--especially if you're unpublished--check out Hartline Literary Agency's submission guidelines and look for Mr. Terry Burns.

5/1/2015 Today I'm being featured of on June Foster's blog.

4/28/2015 My publisher has temporarily lowered the Kindle price of The Devil and Pastor Gus to $.99. Great time to get it almost for free! Check it out HERE

4/15/2015 Today I'm being featured on Ginger Solomon's blog.

4/14/2015 I received a copy of the spring issue of my college magazine, the Frostburg State University Profile. It had a real nice blurb about The Devil and Pastor Gus.


4/6/2015 I just emailed Cindy Loven what she needed for posting me on her blog on May 1.

4/3/2015 I just emailed Ginger Solomon what she needed for posting me on her blog on April 15.

3/11/2015 Here's a preview of my post on Emma Right's blog tomorrow. How about stopping by and leaving a comment here.

3/4/2015 I sent Emma Right the information she needs to feature me on her blog. The theme is "A Typical Day in the Life of an Author." When I get the specifics, I'll post more information. It was fun to write on that subject and pretend I have typical writing days.

2/7/2015 I finally compiled and emailed my first quarterly newsletter.

2/3/2015 Today Allyson Carter is featuring The Devil and Pastor Gus on her Excerpt Tuesdays. Check it out here.

1/31/2015 Today was my book signing at our local Sweet Frog frozen yogurt place. No books sold, but we had a pleasant time just being there.

I'd never heard of "sun dogs" until reading Sharon Baldacci's novel, Sun Dog Moments, and I'd never seen one until today. On the way home from Sweet Frog we saw two.


1/30/2015 Today begins my interview on Norma Gail's blog. Go here to sign up to win a free copy of The Devil and Pastor Gus.

1/28/2015 At my request, my agent has officially withdrawn Impractically Yours from its contract with OakTara because the publisher failed to publish the book within the two years specified in the contract. This was a painful decision on our part.

1/23/2015 It's not too late to go to Goodreads and sign up for a chance to win a signed copy of The Devil and Pastor Gus.

1/21/2015 Bonnie Leon is hosting me on her blog today. Check it out HERE.

1/10/2015 I've finalized a signing of The Devil and Pastor Gus at our local Sweet Frog frozen yogurt place for January 31. Because Sweet Frog is a Christian-based business, this is especially appropriate. I've already supplied the manager with the following poster.

1/8/2015 Jo Huddleston blogs about The Devil and Pastor Gus today. Check it out here. The post will remain there through 1/14. Go leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

1/7/2015 The Devil and Pastor Gus is being featured this week at Margaret Daley's blog. Check it out here.


1/7/2015 I applied for the Carol and the Selah writing contests. My publisher had already nominated me for a Christy. I have no idea what my chances are of winning any of these, but I do believe strongly in The Devil and Pastor Gus. I wouldn't have spent that money on the application fees and books needed for the judging otherwise. But I feel that something good will come from these contest, no matter what the outcome. Like everything else, it's in God's hands, and there's no better place for it to be.

12/14/2014 The Barn Door Book Loft featured an interview with me today. Check it out here.

12/13/2014 I did a signing of The Devil and Pastor Gus at the Family Christian Store just up the road. Sold and signed five books. I was pleased. The possibility of touching people's lives is more important than the numbers.

12/13/2014 The Devil and Pastor Gus is being featured at the Barn Door Book Loft today. Check it out here.

12/4/2014 The books have arrived! Now I'm set for the community event on the 6th.


12/2/2014 I found out today that the missing order of books will arrive on the 4th. Just in time for the community book release party on the 6th.

But the funniest thing happened a short time later. I went to our Family Christian Store to finalize a signing there on the 13th, an event that had depended on the manager being able to obtain books. Lo and behold, he ALREADY had fifteen copies in the store and on the shelf! Nelson was nice enough to give me a copy that had a slightly defective front.

11/30/2014 Today was the book release party at church. Twenty-five or thirty people helped us celebrate, and we took orders for fifteen copies of The Devil and Pastor Gus. The books I'd ordered haven't arrived. More pictures are available on Facebook.

11/26/2014 Laura J. Davis interviewed me on her blog, Interviews & Reviews. Having an interview like that right after Pastor Gus's release was a real blessing.

11/25/2014 Twenty-five people helped Kathleen and me celebrate the release of The Devil and Pastor Gus with on an online Facebook release party.

11/24/2014 The Devil and Pastor Gus released a day early. SO exciting!

11/20/2014 I ordered thirty-five copies of The Devil and Pastor Gus to be set for the release party at church on the 30th. My publisher says that's enough time to get them.

11/9/2014 Things have been happening right and left regarding the 11/25 release of The Devil and Pastor Gus. Today I received a tentative book cover. It's drawn a number of comments on Facebook, most of which thought it needed further tweaking. I'll let you decide for yourself.

10/14/2014 Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas sent me the proofed copy of The Devil and Pastor Gus for my editor and me to double check. November 25 is definitely coming!

8/21/2014 I just remembered that I was to have had an article published in the July issue of MTL (More to Life) Magazine. Here's the link for "My World Keeps Growing Smaller." I decided to post the news today rather than take a chance on whether anyone would look at last month's news.

8/7/2014 Today I received the edited version of "front matter" for The Devil and Pastor Gus. That includes endorsements, acknowledgements, and dedication. Take a peek here.

7/31/2014 Today I received the link for Lighthouse of the Carolinas' NOOK listings. The Devil and Pastor Gus isn't there yet, but it will be. Go here to see LPC's NOOK books--and to keep an eye for mine once it's published.

7/6/2014 Today's the day. My yard is live on Deb Raney's blog. Check it out here.

6/28/2014 Wonderful contemporary Christian novelist Deb Raney will be posting pictures of our garden on her blog on Sunday, July 6. I couldn't do a screen capture of the whole thing, but here's the top part will look:

I'll post the actual link on the 6th.

6/18/2014 The Devil & Pastor Gus is now available on Amazon for pre-order. The page doesn't have a cover picture yet, but there's a place for it. Actual release date is 11/25/2014. Go here to visit the Amazon page.

6/30/2014 I've self-published a little book, Yesterday's Blossoms, a collection of some of my pre-novel writings. It's available both in print (left picture) and Kindle (right picture) versions.

5/31/2014 Yesterday, my wonderful editor, Bethany, and I finished editing The Devil & Pastor Gus and sent it to Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for proofreading. Today I sent my acknowedgment, dedication, and cover suggestions.

5/23/2014 Just back from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference at Ridgecrest, NC. I've been invited to submit proposals for two of my manuscripts to Revell and for four of them to Prism Books. Not only that, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has agreed to write the foreword for The Devil & Pastor Gus, and spectacular author, humorist, and singer Jane Herlong has agreed to write a foreword for Impractically Yours.

4/25/2014 Bethany, who's editing The Devil & Pastor Gus for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, let me know she's gone through my edits for the first half and is thrilled. I got the word count down below 79,000. She's starting work now on the second half. I'm still hopeful for a fall release.

4/2/2014 I just received an edit of the first half of The Devil & Pastor Gus from my new editor, Bethany Kaczmarek. I was so excited I had to force myself to go to bed rather than go further than the first four or five pages approving Bethany's suggested deletes and changes. Our biggest challenge is cutting the manuscript down to 80,000 (or less) to keep the price of the book reasonable.

3/10/2014 I just returned from a five-day mission trip to Nicaragua. The timing of the trip--along with the fact I was able to get the last seat on the plane with the rest of the team--made me realize that this was indeed a God-thing. Although I checked into the trip in order to get a more authentic feel for Overshadowed, I went to minister, not gather facts. Whether God wants Overshadowed to be published or not, I don't know. But I feel He brought me back to Overshadowed because He wanted me to go to Nicaragua. Please check out some of my pictures here.

2/25/2014 Today I learned that Bethany Kaczmarek has replaced my former editor working on The Devil & Pastor Gus. Hopefully, things will start hopping soon.

1/13/2014 Ben Wolf, who's editing The Devil & Pastor Gus for Lighthouse of the Carolinas, assures me he'll have it back to me soon to review.

1/1/2014 I posted for the first time to my new blog, On Aging Gracelessly.

12/31/2013 I exchanged emails today with Kelly McIntosh at Barbour Publishing, asking whether Barbour would object to my self-publishing additional books in their discontinued Altered Hearts series. I already had 30,000 words of book three, Overshadowed, written. Kelly said that wouldn't be a problem, but to check with her first. Barbour plans to do some direct-to-digital publishing, and they might be interested in taking this project on. That would be wonderful, because it would keep the series intact. And Barbour is great to work with. I've missed that.

12/27/2013 On 12/31/2013 I'll announce on As I Come Singing that I'll start reposting old posts as of the beginning of 2014. The reason? I ran out of songs. Novel writing has largely taken the place of songwriting in my life, but when I do write a new song, I'll post it.

I'll focus my blogging efforts instead on On Aging Gracelessly and talk about what aging means to me. I'll start that early in January of 2014.

This is what the header will look like. The strip of pictures is me from babyhood to very recent.

11/17/2013 I learned that Meg, one of the young ladies at my church, is an avid reader and especially fond of my books.

11/15/2013 I received an image of the book cover for Impractically Yours. I don't have permission to post it yet, but I think you'll find it as intriguing as Kathleen and I do. Well done, Ramona!

10/7/2013 After Kathleen and I picked another cover model to suggest for Impractically Yours, Ramona told us that choice wouldn't work because of different lighting on the male model. However, she suggested a female model we agree comes as close to perfect as we can hope to find. Looking forward to seeing a new mock up of the cover.

10/3/2013 I received a preview mock up of the cover for Impractically Yours from OakTara. Although we ultimately decided the female model didn't match the female protagonist she represents, it was great to see what Ramona could do.

9/30/2013 Great news! Barbour Publishing is putting the ebook version of Found in Translation on sale for $.99 for the whole month of October. If you don't have a copy yet--or even if you have a printed copy--why don't you take advantage of this offer while the book is almost free. Check Amazon here. Of course, the regular price will show up until tomorrow. Thank you, Barbour!

But you'll want to do more than just buy this book. Please read it, and--if you like it as much as I hope you will--won't you please use Facebook and Twitter to tell your friends about it? And your blog and website if you have them. A review on would be nice, too.

I can't tell you what a little word of mouth can accomplish. *big smile*

8/30/2013 Wow! Is Lighthouse of the Carolinas Publishing on the ball! Eddie Jones had told me several months ago that The Devil & Pastor Gus wouldn't come out before August of next year at the earliest, and that may still be accurate. But today I received a very nice message from Ben Wolf, the editor who'll be picking his way through the manuscript looking for necessary and desirable revisions. He sounds like a good guy to work with, and it's encouraging to know that things are moving along this fast.

8/15/2013 I received my royalty statement from Barbour Publishing for the six months ending June 30. In checking with their very nice Laura Young to see if I understood the statement correctly, it turns out that both books sold huge numbers (6128 of Found in Translation and 2360 of Lost in Dreams in remainder sales. Those are sales at more than 65% off retail or sales at or below manufacturing cost.

Although those don't count in one sense, they're important to me because that means that many more people may be reading my books.

Incidentally, Laura tells me Barbour has only 140 copies of Found in Translation and 134 copies of Lost in Dreams in stock. Electronic copies will continue to be available, but if you haven't yet bought one or both of these books--and if you want to, of course--you'll do well not to delay.

8/10/2013 I participated in the Hanover Book Festival at Mechanicsville, Virginia. Approximately two dozen authors participated. Shown below are me with a writer friend, Alicia Hill Jones, and my tablemate, Paul Stimson.

7/22/2013 I received, signed, and mailed back the contract for The Devil & Pastor Gus. I'm thrilled, because this has always been one of my favorites. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. will publish it approximately by August of 2014. Thanks, Terry Burns and Eddie Jones!

7/13/2013 On July 27, an article I wrote will appear at to help promote God's Provision in Tough Times.

6/29/2013 I received my author copy of God's Provision in Tough Times. My article begins there on page 181. If you're unemployed or having financial hardships right now, this book would be a great encouragement to you. It was written and compiled by my friends Cynthia Howerter and La-Tan Roland Murphy.

6/15/2013 Ramona, my OakTara editor, has been undergoing some severe health problems. That's why the delay regarding Impractically Yours.

5/29/2013 No further word from my OakTara editor about Impractically Yours. I haven't received those "inside edits" yet, however. And the publishing house looking at Misfits passed on it.

5/29/2013 No further word from my OakTara editor about Impractically Yours. I haven't received those "inside edits" yet, however. And the publishing house looking at Misfits passed on it.

5/26/2013 Although I talked with Eddie Jones of Lighthouse of the Carolinas publishing house at the Blue Ridge Conference, I thought The Devil & Pastor Gus was pretty definitely out. However, as of today Eddie clarified what he needs changed and I agreed to it. So a contract is pending.

5/22/2013 Also at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, I talked with Ramona Richards of Abingdon Press about Do I Ever! and Fifty-Fifty. She requested a proposal on Do I Ever!.

5/21/2013 At the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, I had a good interview with Kim Moore of Harvest House. We discussed Do I Ever! and Fifty-Fifty, and she asked me to submit the whole manuscript for Do I Ever!.

2/5/2013 Word from my OakTara editor that the preparation for publishing Impractically Yours is coming along nicely. I should have the "inside edits" to read and respond to in a couple of weeks. No word on the publication date, though.

1/8/2013 Got word from my agent that an important Christian publisher wants to do a full read on Misfits. That's great news, especially since the acquisitions editor wants the whole team to have the chance to look at it before they meet to discuss it.

12/26/2012 Merry Christmas! That article I mentioned on 12/17 is up on Eddie Jones' blog today. Go here to see it. Look for article entitled "Roger That".

12/17/2012 I just emailed an article to Eddie Jones for use on his blog sometime during the next four weeks. I'll provide further info once I have it.

12/15/2012 God's Provision in Tough Times, the book I mentioned in October that I'd written an article for, is available on Amazon for pre-order. Anticipated release date is May 1, 2013. You can read about (and pre-order) it here. The contributor names are listed under "description." Looks like I'm in GREAT company!

11/6/2012 I received my signed copy of the contract with OakTara for Impractically Yours. That took a little extra time because I accidentally sent the copies I signed to a wrong address. As for these pictures, wouldn't you know this would be one of those rare days I didn't shave or wash my hair!

10/26/2012/2012 I shared a table with my friend, Sally Wambold, at the United Christian Church's annual fall bazaar. It was a nice place to sell and sign books, and I was able to use the banner I made many months ago for the first time. Of course, now I'm torn between using that logline and "Quirky Inspirational Fiction," which is what I have on my current business cards.

10/22/2012 I submitted my completed copy of a 2000-word article, Recovering from a Lost Call, to Richmond ACFW president Cynthia Howerter for inclusion in a non-fiction book she's coauthoring with LaTan Murphy about ways God has helped people through times of unemployment.

9/15/2012 GREAT NEWS! The contract with Oak Tara for Impractically Yours arrived yesterday, and my signed copies went out in the mail today. No details yet about when it'll be published, but I'll post that on this page when I find out. I'm really excited about this, though, because it's a mid-life romance and not a young adult novel.

8/28/2012 The contract with Oak Tara is getting closer now, and acquisitions editor Ramona Tucker "LOVES" the new title for The Lady & the Impractical Jokester": Impractically Yours.

8/9/2012 After 89 days of work on Do I Ever! (not necessarily consecutive days), I finished the rough draft with a word count of 90,462. Now to start revising and editing. Knowing the way I write, I'll probably end up with 100,000 words by the time this quirky romance is ready to send to my agent.

7/14/2012 Friend and fellow author Jon Wakefield had a signing at the Short Pump (Richmond, VA) Barnes & Noble I've had good signings at. Jon is not only the author of the exciting novel Fatal Reality, but also of a must-read non-fiction book called Saving America: a Christian Perspective of the Tea Party Movement. He shared the spotlight at this signing with novelist Linda Rondeau. I knew somebody ought to go take pictures, so I did. Those below are just are a representative few. From left to right are Jon; Linda; and Jon, Linda, and me talking to a customer.

7/10/2012 I participated in Chana Keefer's day-long release event on for her novel, The Fall. My part was to offer a drawing for either a copy of Lost in Dreams or the Kindle downloads of both of my books. The lucky winner is Tim Brendle.

6/21/2012 Melissa Finnegan has me on her blog today. Go to blog to read the interview.

6/12/2012 Nancy Hird, who wrote the wonderful review of Found in Translation on her blog on 5/23 (see next item down) has an interview with me today with part two on Thursday. Check her blog.

5/23/2012 Nancy Hird wrote a wonderful review of Found in Translation on her blog, Books 4 Christian Kids.

5/23/2012 Today was a super-special day. Kathleen and I drove down to the Lifeway Conference Center at Ridgecrest, NC, for the banquet of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, where I received a Certificate of Achievement for Found in Translation. That award was given only when the second-place book came in only several points behind the first-place winner.

The presenters here are conference director Al Gansky and contest director Eva Marie Everson. By the way, the second certificate shown in the picture below belongs to my daughter, Kristi, since she's listed as a co-author. You can see the press release about all of the awards (it refers to the award for Found in Translation as an Honorable Mention) here.

5/21/2012 My good friend (I call her my little sister) Jenny Rogers Spinola was interviewed at the ACFW website today, and she was kind enough to reference me. Check it out here.

Jenny with her son, Ethan, and my wife, Kathleen, during their visit here in 2010; Athos, Jenny's husband, with Ethan; and Jenny and me at ACFW conference in September of 2010.

5/16/2012 From my wonderful agent, Terry Burns, comes this news. "I just met with Ramona Tucker of Oak Tara. She said "I love Impractical Joker and want to offer a contract on it (but we will need to work on a different title) I found it charming and quirky. From the zig/zag first line, he had me captured by this mid-life romance."

I don't know if Ramona will like it, but I've suggested Impractically Friends as a title.

5/9/2012 Fellow Richmond ACFW member Gina Welborn has me on her blog today with my thoughts about creating and composing the "one-sentence" every book writer needs to have.

3/24/2012 Fellow Christian writers Christy Barritt and Dina Sleiman shared a table with me at the Saturday book fair portion of the annual Virginia Festival of the Book. Although we didn't sell many books, we met a lot of people and introduced them to the concept of Christian fiction.Thanks to my wife, Kathleen, for helping me get set up. It was great to also see my old friend and fellow writer, Stacy Hawkins Adams, long enough to get a picture together.

3/12/2012 The Richmond chapter of ACFW held its reorganizational meeting with the three people who were able to make the meeting: new President, Cynthia Howerter; Frans De Roos; and me. Apologies to Frans for the blurry picture, but he was fighting to avoid having it taken.

1/31/2012 Go to Mid-Morning Fiction Fix | WBCL for a chance to win free books. Lost in Dreams is one of the selections for February.

1/21/2012 I attended a Thomas Umstadtt Jr. seminar called "Obscure No More: How to Move Your Writing from Unknown to Known." A small class at a bargain price for ACFW members, it was held in Fredericksburg, Virginia--about an hour up the road from Richmond. Thomas really knows his stuff, and I can hardly wait to try out some of his ideas.


12/21/2011 Janalyn Voigt has an interview with me on her blog this week. Go here to read it.

12/10/2011 I did a signing at the Virginia Center Family Christian Store, from 1:00-3:00. Although we sold only two copies of each book, I met some great folks (see picture with the two little girls) and had a wonderful time. Thanks to my good friend and the store manager, Nelson, for letting me schedule this at practically the last minute. And thanks to the nice, anonymous shopper who agreed to step outside and take a picture of me with the white board. No time to ask Barbour to do a nice poster for this event.


12/5/2011 I learned today that Lost in Dreams is on Amazon's 100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less" list for the month of December. If you have a Kindle--or the Kindle application for PC or phone--you can get Lost for just $1.99. Hurry, though. This is only good for the month of December. I don't know if it works for those of you who're overseas.

12/2/2011 I'm currently appearing on Casey Herringshaw's blog. I had a lot of fun with this interview. Please check it out at your convenience.

12/1/2011 I'm thrilled to say I've finished the rough draft of Misfits. This novel for teen boys will be of interest to teen girls, too, and probably to adults who enjoy remembering what they teen years were like. Please check my Read/Listen page to read the first chapter. I'd love to have your feedback. You may do that via the "Contact Me" tab. But please keep this in mind: the rough draft is as different from the final version as a log cabin from a fancy mansion.

10/28/2011 I accepted the invitation from an old high school friend to share a table at the United Christian Church of Richmond's 7th Annual Holiday Bazaar. As an author, I was in a unique position among dozens of tables of varying kinds of homemade crafts. the pictures show Kathleen helping set up my half table, me looking official, and my friend Sally just being Sally.


10/24/2011 I've had several blog interviews lately. One of my favorites is Lena Dooley's. Then there's Jill Williamson's blog tour, which contains links to a handful of teen girls she works with to help spread the word about clean teen fiction. Most of these girls have also written reviews of Lost in Dreams. Several months ago they did a blog tour of Found in Translation.

I attended the Autumn in the Mountains Novelist Retreat at the Lifeway Center in Ridgecrest, NC. Although we had only about thirty conferees, the faculty was wonderful: Yvonne Lehman, Jeff Gerke, Angela Hunt, Janet Roller, Ray Blackston, Deb Raney, and Bill Myers. Where else could a Christian writer go and rub elbows with some of the finest Christian novelists around? On Wednesday afternoon, the Lifeway Store held a faculty signing, which they were nice enough to let me be part of, even though I wasn't faculty. The picture of me with Ray Blackston, one of my favorite writers, is courtesy of Deb Raney.


10/9/2011 The American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) has a monthly book club, and Found in Translation was selected as one of the two selections for this month. Until the end of the month, a blurb and cover photo appear at the bottom of the first web page. That's pretty exciting!

9/19/2011 I did a book signing at the Central Virginia Leadership Conference sponsored by the Dover Baptist Association. Although I sold only six books to conferees--Lifeway manager Bob Solomon handled book sales--Dover Director Steve Allsbrook bought the remaining fifteen copies to give out to visitors at the Dover Association headquarters. Plus he asked Bob Solomon to get another box of books for him. What a tremendous way to get my books into the hands of potential Christian readers! By the way, former friend Alice Rusher took pictures at the event.

8/20/2011 Had the best book signing ever at the Short Pump Barnes & Noble. We'd brought seven or eight copies of Found in Translation just in case they didn't have any (they didn't) and we sold them all, plus four or five copies of Lost in Dreams. That's really important to us because we feel that people who start with the first book in the series are likely to want the second book eventually. Oh, and bless my pointed little head: I forgot to take a camera--or even to have Kathleen use her phone camera while we were there. Incidentally, the white board and easel we bought to use in advance of the signing at Family Christian several weeks earlier worked out well. Kathleen wrote, "Author at work; please disturb" and put an arrow pointing to me. I talked to a lot of nice people, some of whom didn't buy books today. But good PR is good PR, and I want to thank Mary for doing such a good job of hosting this signing.

8/18/2011 The royalty statement for January through June came today. Looks like Found in Translation has sold just under 4,000 copies so far. That should leave about 6,000 in Barbour Publishing's warehouse. Hurry and get your copy before they're all gone. *G* Oh, and I did receive a check for $26 for royalties on ebook sales.

8/15/2011 Check out the blog interview at the Barn Door Book Loft. Some unusual questions gave me a chance to provide some unusual (and fun) answers. The interview covers the 16th as well. You'll have to search the archives if you miss this on the dates posted.

Also check Dawn Byrd's blog for her interview with me.

8/10/2011 Bad news. Barbour Publishing is discontinuing their Young Adult line, so Lost in Dreams will be the final book in the Altered Hearts series. My apologies to faithful readers who will be disappointed at this news. One piece of good news is that I'm still free to try to get Rosa No-Name published. Rosa was my fourth manuscript, and I wrote it as a prequel to Found in Translation. The other piece of good news is that now I am free to pour my heart into Misfits; being on the fence about the rest of Altered Hearts had kept me from really jumping into Misfits.

8/7/2011 Today was the book release party for Lost in Dreams. Held at Winn's Baptist Church, it didn't draw as many church people as we had hoped because they had a called business meeting after church to vote on a new youth minister and many people either forgot or didn't feel they could stick around any longer. Nonetheless, we had a great time. Just as with the party for Found in Translation, Nelson, the Family Christian Store manager, and his wonderful mom came to handle book sales. Special thanks to Mary, Katie, and Hayes for their help--and especially to my wonderful wife, Kathleen.


8/6/2011 The first book signing for Lost in Dreams at Family Christian Store was a great marketing event, even though it didn't result in many sales. The lady in the picture below is the mother of the FCS manager, and she is just WILD about both books, but especially the new one.


8/1/2011 Although Lost in Dreams has actually been available before now, today is the official release date. Three cheers for Barbour Publishing for recognizing and promoting my talent. I'm not conceited; I'm just excited. What helps to make today even more special is two blog interviews. One is with Kara Hunt. The other is with Rhonda Gibson. On Rhonda's, go to the Featured Authors page.

7/31/2011 The book release party posters are up at church! This one's just outside the sanctuary vestibule.

7/30/2011 Kathleen and I dropped off an easel and white board for Family Christian Store to use outside to display a poster about the first book signing of Lost in Dreams. It'll be next Saturday, 7/6. Nelson, the store manager, will come to Winn's Baptist Church the next day to sell books at our official book release party. He's such a good guy to work with. Go Family Christian!

By the way, that's Becky in the picture, not Nelson. *L*

7/19/2011 Hurray! I received my author copies of Lost in Dreams today. Although they're for promotional purposes, they aren't part of the influencer copies. By the way, is it too weird that I started reading my own book? Pretty good read so far. Others should try it. *G*

7/18/2011 I got the poster from Kelsey at Barbour for the book release party at church on 8/7. She does such a great job on my posters, doesn't she? Family Christian Store probably received their book signing posters, too. I'll be there on 8/6, at the Short Pump Barnes & Noble on 8/20 and tentatively at Lifeway on West Broad Street on 8/27. Too bad Kristi won't be able to be here for any of these special events.

7/14/2011 Sent Barbour my influencer list for Lost in Dreams. Barbour expects to have books back from the printer by 8/15. If you're an influencer, hopefully you'll have your copy soon. August 1 is the official release date.

5/26/2011 Nicole O'Dell interviewed me live on her Teen Talk radio show. This was my first radio interview ever. Once I got over the initial fear, I really enjoyed it. I only said a couple of dumb things, like referring to my stepdaughters as Kathleen's. You can look for the link to download or listen to an instant replay here. Nicole has another guest on first. My part is slightly after the mid-way point.

5/12/2011 The trailer for Lost in Dreams was posted on the Barbour Facebook page.

4/22/2011 An article of mine appeared on Dawn Kinzer's "Seriously Write" blogsite.

4/8/2011 I participated in a get together for mostly self-published authors at Richmond's wonderful Book People independent bookstore. The seven or eight participants ranged in age from fifteen to--well, I dare not guess, but far older than me. Interesting exchange of information.


3/30/2011 I mailed the galley proof of Lost in Dreams back to Barbour.

3/19/2011 Laurie Alice Eakes, Christy Barritt, and I held a multi-author signing at the Barnes & Noble at Newport News. We had a lot of fun being together and--of course--bought one another's books while we were at it!

3/17/2011 Received the galleys for Lost in Dreams to proof. The deadline is the end of March, and I should have no trouble meeting it.

3/14/2011 Working with Kelsey at Barbour to get endorsements for Lost in Dreams. I'm thrilled that Ray "Mr. Flabbergasted" Blackston has agreed to endorse Lost, and I hope Nicole O'Dell will be able to do so as well.

3/6/2011 Kristi and I had a book signing at a Family Christian Store in Orlando. This time I took a guitar to play to see if it attracted any attention. Not as much as I'd hoped. We enjoyed it, though.

1/29/2011 I had a book signing at the Short Pump Barnes & Noble. Thanks for all your help, Mary!

1/16/2011 We had a fantastic book release party at Winn's Baptist Church--nearly forty books sold! Nelson, thanks for bringing your mom to help you handle sales. And thanks, Hayes Smith and Mary Gosh, for your help in setting up and keeping things running smoothly.

1/15/2011 Kristi and I did a book signing at the Family Christian Store near Virginia Center Commons. Thanks for your help, Nelson!

1/14/2011 Kristi and I did a book signing at the Lifeway Store on West Broad Street. Thanks for your help, Bob!

1/1/2011 Today is the official book release date for Found in Translation. We stopped by Family Christian and Barnes & Noble. The former hadn't received their copies yet and the latter doesn't plan to stock it. Hmm. Not off to a great start, but this is in God's hands. Thank goodness!

12/30/2010 Ken Odor from the Goochland Gazette interviewed me. It was my first interview ever!

12/20/2010 I'm dancing in the air. The advance copies of Found in Translation came today, and they look SO good! Thank you, Barbour Publishing!

11/20/2010 Misty Taggart (Trailers to the Stars) has finished the book trailer for Found in Translation. It looks great! Check it out here.

11/17/2010 Those tee-shirts are home and waiting to be given away at appropriate times. Thanks to Mr. Roy Fama at Royal Printing for a great job. Check 'em out:


11/8/2010 Barbour Publishing has decided to skip a cycle of my Altered Hearts series and see how sales go for the first book. My editor really sees potential for books 3 and 4, but not before the fall of 2012. That's okay. Gives me a chance to work on something different for a while.

11/1/2010 A short story of mine, Coupon Girl, is in the November issue of Christian Fiction Online Magazine.

10/25/2010 I sent my editor three chapters each of Overshadowed and King's Highway to present to committee in November along with my synopses. Whether they offer contracts or not, Kathleen and I are excited about both of these manuscripts, which are told from Jo's point of view.

10/20/2010 I ordered forty tee-shirts for promoting Found in Translation. The shirts are a nice, youthful orange. The second, third, and fifth lines are white, and lines one and four are navy.

10/7/2010 Found out from my editor that my proposals for Overshadowed and On the King's Highway will go to committee the first Friday in November. We won't have to wait much longer!

9/28/2010 Whoops! "Light romance" isn't going to work for The Lady & the Impractical Jokester. And I may have problems as the male author of contemporary women's lit. So I've asked my agent to list my wife Kathleen as a "with" author. To give it an air of feminine authenticity. :-)

9/21/2010 Got home from the ACFW conference yesterday and e-mailed the galley proof corrections back to Barbour today. Conference was great, and I learned from one editor that I should label The Lady & the Impractical Jokester as "light romance." And Jeff Gerke has confirmed that The Devil & Pastor Gus" is "speculative fiction." Makes quite a difference to have the proper labels for manuscripts. *G*

9/14/2010 I found out today that I should have received the galleys for Found in Translation several weeks ago. Today was the deadline for providing feedback. Unfortunately, a giant mixup sent the galleys to someone else's address. Barbour is overnighting hardcopy of the the galleys today, and I'll use as much time as I can over the next serveral days--unfortunately, I'll be at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Indianapolis from Thursday through Monday. But I want to thank Ashley for helping me in every way she could.

9/7/2010 I sent Kelly a very detailed synopsis of On the King's Highway, the sequel to Overshadowed.

8/25/2010 I sent Kelly a detailed synopsis of Overshadowed, the manuscript I hope will fit the needs for the third book in the series. I'm working on some plotting now of the fourth book, which will be in some ways a continuation of Overshadowed. Kathleen and I are hoping and praying.

8/18/2010 Barbour wants to change the title, Prancing on Pebbles, to Lost in Dreams. They think it has more teen appeal. The important thing is they love the new title, and so do I! I also received a copy of the Lost in Dreams cover today. I didn't think they could possibly outdo the cover for Found in Translation, but I think they did.

8/6/2010 Kelly at Barbour has requested that the third book in the series be about Jo--and go to an additional book if possible. Although that means ditching 30,000 words of an Aleesha-based book, I'm thrilled to be this close to having two additonal contracts. I'm doing my best never to give Kelly a reason to think I'm hard to get along with.

8/6/2010 I contracted with Misty Taggart at Trailers to the Stars to create a trailer for Found in Translation. That's now on her schedule for early October.

7/7/2010 Kelly at Barbour verified that Found in Translation will release in January of 2011. It can already be found at Amazon,, and the cover or all the specifics.

6/28/2010 I sent synopses of what I'd like the rest of the Altered Hearts series to contain to Kelly at Barbour. She assures me she'll get back with me soon about that.

6/16/2010 Kelly at Barbour sent me the final version of the book cover for Found in Translation. It's wonderful! Just a tad different from the tentative version. Main difference I see is the series name was changed from Mission: Altered Hearts to just Altered Hearts. Kelly also wants ideas for the next couple of books in the series.Finally, she also sent the book copy (back cover copy, for example) for Prancing on Pebbles for me to look over and recommend changes to. I'll do that tonight or tomorrow.

6/8/2010 I've created a blog on WordPress to host the teen girl tribe of influencers I hope to build. Chip MacGregor and Jim Rubart suggested the tribe idea at their fiction marketing seminar. I'll put it on my homepage menu in a few more days.

6/4/2010 I received the second half of the advance for Prancing on Pebbles. By the way, Proven Faithful is now Out of Order. As a title, not as a manuscript.

6/3/2010 I received the Barbour-edited version of Pebbles. The problems don't look nearly as extensive as those to Found in Translation were.

5/19/2010 Kelly at Barbour sent me the tentative book cover for Found in Translation. It just needs to be approved by the marketing and ad folks. It looks SO good. I hope they don't change it.

5/5/2010 I've been working on the plotting of both Proven Faithful (tentative title for book 3 in series) and Do I Ever! That's the one about the divorced couple pretending to still be married for the sake of their best friends. It was originally For Better or Worse...Again.

4/15/2010 I sent my agent the manuscript and proposal for Wherefore Art Thou Ramon? And my wonderful editor at Barbour suggested that the next book in my series there might be about Aleesha. I'm not worried about trying to make her "black enough," but I'll need help from African-American friends to keep her from sounding "too white"! *LOL*

3/24/2010 Vacationing in Memphis after a successful Fiction Marketing Seminar in Nashville. I'm sprucing up my website as part of the plan. I have ditched "Christian Fiction with Warmth & Whimsy" at Chip MacGregor and Jim Rubert's suggestion. I'm not saying "Christian fiction rippling with laughter, tears, and YES! moments" will definitely be IT, but I think that has a lot more YA appeal.

3/10/2010 I've sent Prancing on Pebbles to Barbour! *happy dance* I hope to work on Ramon some now, plus get some ideas in mind for a sequel to Pebbles. I also need to review Rosa No-Name to see whether I think I should suggest that as a prequel to Found as I'd originally intended. Coming up next week: Chip Macgregor's Book Marketing Seminar.

3/4/2010 The Family Christian Store near Virginia Center Commons allowed me to leave some business cards advertizing my upcoming books. They'll put them in customer bags. I think of this store as my home bookstore.

2/22/2010 Found in the Translation has officially been retitled Found in Translation without the the. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to the change, but the new title seems to be more appealing to readers, and their opinion counts more than mine. *G*

2/16/2010 I've sent the Barbour-specified revisions for Found in the Translation back. Now I can concentrate on Prancing on Pebbles again. Going to a local Christian writing conference this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

2/6/2010 I'm almost done making Barbour-specified revisions to Found in the Translation and hope to send it back by the middle of this month. Progress on Prancing on Pebbles is great. I've left the rough draft behind in the dust. I'm praying that I can send Barbour a sufficiently polished version by the end of this month and get some feedback.

1/16/2010 I "interviewed" Kristi about her experiences in Mexico and put the answers in a document. When we finished, I handed the file over to her and told her to turn that into the Foreword the folks at Barbour had requested her to do. She did a great job, I think. I did a tad of touchup and sent the final version to Barbour.

1/13/2009 Once Kristi arrived from Orlando, we didn't waste any time getting the portrait made for the book cover.

10/29/2009 Had a great visit at Barbour Publishing last Friday. Those folks are SO nice. We also enjoyed a visit to Ohio's Amish country while there.


9/29/2009 Looking forward to Novelists Retreat at Ridgecrest. Will use writing time there on Prancing on Pebbles. Also looking forward to a nice visit with the folks at Barbour. They sound like great people to work with.

9/28/2009 I received and deposited my first-ever book advance! Also, my copies of the contracts. Thank you, Barbour...

9/17/2009 Received signed contracts from Kristi and mailed to Barbour for delivery on 9/19.

9/14/2009 I've received the contract from Barbour for signing and have emailed it to my daughter, Kristi, who will write the Foreword. Hopefully, she'll print, sign, and overnight to us on 9/15.

9/11/2009 Barbour has offered me a contract for Found in the Translation and a second book in that series, tentatively titled Prancing on Pebbles. My agent, Mr. Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency, is currently negotiating the details.