Saturday, November 30, 2013

Debut Author - Ladonna Cole

Today, I'm excited to introduce a brand new author and my good friend, Ladonna Cole. I knew Ladonna when she was a teenager. Now, she has teens of her own. Her debut YA novel The Torn released this week, November 25.

Ladonna, what a wonderful time in your life. I know from my experience last year, debuting your first book changes your life, increases your work load, and brings more exhilaration than one person can handle. God bless you and your book.

Trailer link:

Though we want to hear more from Ladonna, right now, I want to interview and learn about Katie Lynn Wilson. I see her standing over here. Characters always do run away with the show.

Writing with God's Hope: Welcome Katie Lynn.

Katie Lynn Wilson: Kate. Just Kate.

WWGH: Sorry, Kate. Welcome. Some of our readers haven’t read your stories yet. Could you tell us a bit about the Torn and what prompted you to give this account?

KW: Sure, I guess. The Torn is about a small part of a summer in my life after my parents divorced, when I was 16 years old.

WWGH: Recently, then?

KW: Yes, very recent. It all started when I got arrested one night. I was hanging with some friends and we were dared to graffiti the back of the gym of our high school.  I don’t usually do stuff like that.

WWGH: But you did this time?

KW:  (Nods.)  Not one of my better moments.

WWGH: So, The Torn is about you and your graffiti friends.

KW: Oh, no, not at all. I was just telling you the reason I had to go to Heartwork Village.

WWGH:  What is that and where?

KW: It’s a grief recovery center in the Catoctin Mountains, about 70 miles from Washington, D.C. It’s so pretty there.

WWGH:  So the story is set in Pennsylvania? 

KW: Um, yes and no.

WWGH: (raises brows)

KW: The village is there, but the story is everywhere. Or well, it could be anywhere, or anywhen.

WWGH:I don’t know what you are talking about.

KW: Sorry, it’s just Heartwork Village doesn’t really do regular grief recovery therapy. They do something quite different.  They use quantum technology to create spheres that carry the jumpers, (that’s kids like me), to alternate realities.

WWGH: Time travel?

KW: Yes and No.

WWGH: Here we go again.

KW: (giggles) Sorry. The spheres can go through time, but mostly they are created to take you into a quantum energy field where reality is manipulated.

WWGH:  (waves hand overhead)

KW: (Smiles) Yeah, me too. I am no science whiz much less a quantum geek. I’ve just picked up the lingo around the village. Simplified?

WWGH:  Please.

KW: Whatever you fear the most, whatever dark thoughts you have, whatever insecurities you carry into the Village with you…that is what comes to life inside the quantum jump. It’s supposed to help you face things and teach you to be strong.

WWGH:  But it didn’t for you.

KW: (pauses to think) No. It did. But…

WWGH: Please don’t say yes and no.

KW: I did learn to be strong, but something bad happened. Something went horribly wrong. The safety protocols were broken and my whole team had to endure the unthinkable.  (Kate’s eyes well with tears and she squeezes her hands together.)

WWGH:  I am so sorry to hear that, Kate. Are you all okay?

KW: Not all of us.

WWGH: (hands Kate a tissue and waits)

KW: (wipes her eyes and draws a ragged breath.)

WWGH: (In a soft voice) What do you fear most, Kate?

KW: That I am..(falls silent).

WWGH: That you are…

KW: (A bare whisper) that I am poison and hurt the ones I love the most.

WWGH: Are you able to go on with the interview?

KW: I can do one more question.

WWGH: Why did you decide to share this very personal story?

KW: I decided to tell the story of The Torn because I thought there might be other people like me, who just struggle with a great loss in their life. I want them to know that it won’t always be like this. The pain is there for a reason. We can embrace it and learn and grow from it, you know?

WWGH:  Thank you for your time and candor.

KW: Thank you.

I don't know about you, but meeting Kate makes me want to rush right out and get her story.
Purchase The Torn now at

Ladonna Cole thrives in the Smoky Mountains with her two kids and enjoys singing, playing the ukulele, and traveling. The research trips to England and the Bahamas in 2013 fueled her well of imagination for a long while.  She is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse and Anger Management Therapist. Here's some other places you might find Ladonna hanging out.
Welcome, Ladonna and Kate. I wish you well. Any questions or comments out there?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Art of Misdirection in Mystery Writing by Terri Main

American Christian Fiction Writers gives support and encouragement to Christian writers. I belong to ACFW and participate on a yahoo loop with other writers from all over the world. I "met" a writer with unique perspectives on this online loop. When she asked for spots where she might guest, I volunteered my "Writing with God's Hope" blog.

Mystery writers will find Terri Main's article especially helpful. Writers can use this information whether we write romantic suspense, science fiction, women's fiction, or YA.

Now You See It: The Art of Misdirection in Mystery Writing 
During my "misspent" youth, I played around with magic and illusion. I read many of the books by greats such as Walt Gibson, Doug Henning, Blackstone and others. I worked at a radio station at the time. My boss' girlfriend often waited in the office for him to pick her up. I practiced my tricks on her because she was such a perfect audience. All I had to do was capture her gaze, and I could walk a herd of elephants in front of her and she wouldn't notice.  

In magic, this is called misdirection. You point to something and make it seem very important. You instruct the audience to not take their eyes off that object. In reality, that object is usually unimportant. While the magician is showing you the Ace of Spades in his right hand, telling you how important it is, he is fetching the queen of hearts from his pocket, ready to be lifted off the top of the deck he is very visibly and expertly shuffling.  

Mystery writers need to learn the same art of misdirection in our writing. Remember, there are two cardinal sins a mystery writer can commit. Make the crime to easy to solve based on the clues given or make it impossible to solve based on the clues given. At the end of the book, the reader should say, "I never saw that coming, but I should have. All the clues were there."  

This is where misdirection comes into play. I write mysteries that take place at the end of the 21st century in upscale underground communities on the moon. In one of these I have a scene where the killer, a bookstore owner, is chatting with my sleuth about books while cutting through a tape with a laser powered box cutter. He makes a casual comment about the tape melting on the lens of the cutter. Then he starts flirting with my sleuth and talking about their mutual interest in books. In fact, at this point, it looks like I'm building up a love story between them.  

But 40 chapters later when a witness to the original murder shows up dead with a laser wound through her heart and a tiny bit of sticky residue, my sleuth knows exactly who did the deed, even though most of my readers have forgotten all about the box cutter. After all, I introduced many bits of exotic new technologies like tablet computers, screenless holoprojection and while you wait book printing and binding machines. Yes, it's hard to keep ahead of the science today.  

The key is to try to make something seem very important which is not and make something that is important seem trivial. In this same book, the victim is found with a bloody head and a teachers award beside the body. The sleuths assume that the choice of the award was symbolic because a better weapon, a bronze tiger, was closer. In fact, it turns out the one assaulting the teacher was an art dealer and couldn't bring himself to use a work of art for his crime. Meanwhile several chapters were spent looking for someone who wanted a symbolic weapon.  

And it turns out the assault didn't even kill him. He died from a poison that had been administered over a long period of time. The casual comments the victim made earlier in the book indicated he was feeling rundown, but just thought he was coming down with the flu. I made the bashed in head and the choice of weapon very important and the victim's flu-like symptoms forgettable. I pointed to one while bringing in another.  

So, the lesson is for mystery writers like magicians get people to look at what's in your right hand, while you plant the real clues with your left.  
Terri Main shared this bio.

I am a retired college professor. I live in California's Central Valley where it gets hot in summer. I hate summer. Currently, I'm writing full time. I don't think of myself as retired as much as the college is paying me to write my novels and Bible studies. I've been published in just about every venue. Fiction, nonfiction, radio drama, live drama, video documentaries, novels and book length nonfiction. I've been traditionally published in magazine and book format, and I'm currently engaged in Indie writing publishing my own stuff and loving it. 

I live a fairly quiet life. I'm a life long single and live with my five cats. So, I'm keeping alive the cultural archetype of the Retired Old Maid School Teacher with Cats. 

I write science fiction...more

Thank you, Terri, for giving us such good information. Now, we'll all be watching for the slight of hand in fiction.

Terry Main has given us many books. I've pictured a couple of them from Amazon. You can purchase these or others at

Anyone for magic?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Verse and a Thought

If life were a baseball game, heaven would be the championship.

My grandson -playoffs last year.

Salvation would be first base..

Prayer would give you a home run..

The practice of praying would be the discipline of the batting cage.

And he spake a parable unto them to this end; that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
                                                                                     Luke 18:1

Fans would represent those that encourage us, but in life, unlike a baseball game, there are no spectators.

Each of us plays the game. We win or lose depending on our prayer life.

Are you needing more batting practice?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Today, download a kindle copy of Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.

Amazon makes this offer today through Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. Take advantage.

The link is:
Don't miss this opportunity. We all love FREE. This is the LAST day to get Divine Dining free on you kindle.
Enjoy. Let me know what you think. If you get it and would also like a print copy to keep beside your bed or at your favorite prayer spot, go to

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Mary L. Hamilton's debut novel, HEAR NO EVIL

My sweet friend, Mary Hamilton visits Writing with God's Hope blog today.

 Since her debut novel  released four days ago, (Big congrats to Mary) I asked her if she would allow her book's main character to come and answer some of our questions. She was kind enough to allow him to have his say.

So, let me introduce Brady McCaul.
Hello, Brady,     
This is Brady's home.


Your dad left when you were only seven. How did that affect you?

Dad was never around much anyway. He always acted like work was more important to him than me. I missed him but Mom spent a lot of time with me. She tried to make up for Dad not being there. Mom made me feel loved and secure in the days after Dad left. I’m an only child, so Mom and I spent a lot of time talking and hanging out together.

It must have been devastating when she left you at camp.

After Dad left, I often wondered what I’d do if something happened to Mom, but I never, ever imagined she’d say she didn’t want me anymore. I was shocked. I had no clue what I’d done to make her not love me anymore. It was embarrassing to know other people heard it, but my counselor, Matt, was really cool about helping me out and not making me feel worse.

Matt looked out for you pretty well during the week, didn’t he?

He’s a great counselor. Matt always seemed to know what I was thinking, but he kept it between the two of us. I’m sorry I didn’t take him up on his offer to talk things out. But of course the best thing he did was introduce me to Steven. 

You and Steven developed a strong friendship. What do you admire about him?

Steven’s cool. He’s so confident, even though he can’t see anything. He’s also pretty laid-back, doesn’t get all freaked out over stuff. And he’s loyal. He defended me even though it meant he’d get teased, too.

What about Claire?

Claire is almost the opposite of Steven. She’s a fighter. Whether it’s a game or real life, I want her on my side. (And not just because she’s cute.)

Why do you think Taylor picked on you so much?

He’s pretty much a jerk to everyone. But after what Mom said, I was really unsure of myself. I think he picked up on that and figured I was an easy target. I reacted every time he said or did something. That’s what he wanted. He liked having the power to irritate me.

At one time, you thought God would never call your name. How has your idea of God changed since being at camp?

I didn’t really know God. I only knew about him, and even the things I thought I knew weren’t always true. Now I know that God calls each of us by name. He wants us to know him like we know our best friend. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m learning to know God as a personal friend and not just some grandfather-type image in a book.
Now, that we've learned a bit about Brady, can you tell us something about your creator, Mary Hamilton?
Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a camp much like the setting for her Rustic Knolls Bible Camp series. She started out writing articles for magazines, and a Christmas play, Homespun Angel. Her faith is a strong influence in her life and writing. When she’s not writing, Mary loves the outdoors and nature, as well as opening her home to youth Bible studies, pancake suppers and breakfast with her special recipe waffles. She and her husband live near Houston, TX, within range of her three grown children.
How to connect with Mary
Twitter: @mhamilton122

So there you have it. Run, don't walk to purchase your copy of Hear No Evil.
Summer camp is no fun for Brady McCaul. The girl with the cute dimples thinks he’s immature and childish. The camp bully targets him with cruel taunts and teasing, and flips Brady’s canoe to keep him from winning the race. But worst of all, his mom won’t let him come home. She doesn’t want him living with her anymore. Brady wonders if even God cares about him.
Can Brady figure out what he did to earn Mom’s rejection and change her mind by week’s end? Or will he have to live with his workaholic dad, the guy who left when Brady was seven? All seems lost until a surprising secret changes everything. 
Thank you,  Mary L. Hamilton for stopping by today and telling us about Hear No Evil. The book sounds great for tweens and adults alike. Also, thank you, Brady. I enjoyed making your acquaintance.
 Mary tells me you may purchase Hear No Evil on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Intense Feelings about Halloween

Halloween provokes intense emotion among Christians.

Some prefer ignoring it as a holiday altogether saying it's a night for demons and witches.

Others poo-poo that idea and continue with their trick or treating and dressing up in silly costumes as a way of Christians just having fun.

To my way of thinking, the first plan is too legalistic. We can't earn our salvation. We can never be good enough. No amount of works, no amount of giving up things, no amount of doing good can replace God's grace. He provides freely for our salvation. We need only accept His gift.

The second plan, I agree with to a point. Christians can be happier than anyone because God takes away our guilt. Why should only non-Christians have fun on Halloween day, or whatever we choose to call the night? My actions should be qualified by the time-old question, "What would Jesus do?"

Jesus went to a wedding, had dinner with his followers, and celebrated Passover with his disciples. I believe if Halloween had been celebrated during that time in Israel, Jesus would've used it to give a parable to steer his companions in the right way. After all, Halloween began as a time to honor Christian saints and martyrs. As usual, the devil perverted something that started out as good. Wouldn't Jesus have wanted to set the record straight?

Shouldn't we?

This year, our church did two function we called "Light the Night." Both locations provided bounce houses, carnival booths, prizes for all, and lots of candy to "set the record straight" that Christians know how to have fun.

We're not weird.
We're not tied in knots with rules and regulations.
We desire to "light the night" with the gospel as Jesus brought light to the world with His sacrifice.

I know this is a controversial topic. Since we just passed another Halloween, Oct. 31 night, and each of we Christians followed our own consciences, I truly want to know your opinions.