Showing posts with label Pen-L Publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pen-L Publishing. Show all posts

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cover Reveal of Worth Her Weight

How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God's love and healing when she believes she's fat, unworthy, and unfixable? Is she Worth Her Weight?

 Brown's debut inspirational women's fiction. Available for preorder before Christmas at
Watch for the date.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Word from Pen-L Publishing, Publisher of Divine Dining

Me with Duke & Kimberly at OWFI in May, 2013
For the first time on "Writing with God's Hope" blog, I have the opportunity to welcome my own publisher, Pen-L Publishing Company. Duke and Kimberly Pennell know the inside scoop on Janet K. Brown, Author and on publishing in general.
Now, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
Tying the Knot: “I Do” or “Oh No You Don’t”?


From Pen-L Publishing, Duke and Kimberly Pennell

When we first met Janet, back in July of 2012, we were only five months into our publishing experience. She took a chance with us and we were thrilled. Since then, her book, Divine Dining has inspired many to create a new and happy relationship with food and their bodies. It’s worked out well for both of us. Janet is a great example of a professional writer. She writes most of the time (she and her husband do have the travel bug to feed) and promotes constantly. She loves to talk and teach and learn and she’s kind, committed, and flexible. No wonder we’re soon publishing a second book with her! Worth Her Weight is a love story about overcoming through friendship and faith, due out late this year.

One thing we’ve learned since early 2012 is that no two writers are alike. That means some are a joy to work with, some are fine, and some are, well, “challenging.” That’s not to say that they’re not good people, just that they’re an uncomfortable fit for us. We’ve learned from experience to get to know our authors a bit before offering them a contract, and to be specific about what we expect from them and what they can expect from us. We’ve found that this makes it much more likely that it will be a happy experience for everyone involved.

One day, it occurred to us that working with our authors is a bit like being married. After nearly thirty years of the give and take of a relationship, we’re found both have many opportunities to stand firm, give in, or find compromise, depending on the moment. Surely the best way to ensure a happy pairing of any kind is to:

·         spell out what you expect from the other party

·         know what you are willing to do to achieve your goal

·         communicate your wants and willingness

·         ask for the other party’s expectations

·         look for any mismatches and discuss

·         don’t assume everything will work itself out!


The thrill of knowing that someone has chosen you to partner with – whether your sweetheart or a publisher – has been known to suspend people’s rational thought. But this is the time you need it most. Don’t say “I do” until you know the match is a good fit. If it isn’t, hold out for someone who is.

Remember, there are no stupid questions – don’t assume things will be the way you envision them – ask. And ask yourself important questions too – where do you want to be in your writing career/marriage in five years? Ten? Twenty? Make sure your intended has a similar picture of the future.

So if the day comes when you are considering entering into a contract – marriage or publishing – give some time to examining the expectations of both partners. It will help you avoid much stress, disappointment and frustration, and help create a more peaceful union.

Make sure your “I do!” doesn’t become a “Why didn’t I?”

Wonderful advice for prospective brides and groom, and new writers searching a fit for their book. Thank you for a wonderful, insightful article, Duke & Kim.

I remember that first visit with Duke when I pitched my devotion book, Divine Dining. Like most authors pitching to a publisher at a conference, my knees were knocking, and my heart was galloping, but Duke was kind, professional, and receptive to the idea. I was ecstatic. After a few weeks, I received a contract, and my relationship with Pen-L began.

If you're looking for a chance with a small, traditional press, I recommend Pen-L The company has grown since the early days of 2012. They've hired editors and cover designers. They've moved  more into promotion. But, they maintain the friendly, small-group atmosphere.

Here's a few books Pen-L wishes to highlight today.

Thank you again, Duke and Kimberly.
Do any of you have questions for Kim and Duke? Click on "post a comment" and ask away. You have their ear now, and that doesn't often happen.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It Only Took 5 Years?

Learning has come full circle for me. I guess I'm slow, but, as the cliché goes, I'm sure.

Five years ago, I wrote a manuscript with this tagline:

She’s addicted to overeating.

      He’s compelled to control her.

      But only God has the power to provide




At the ACFW conference in 2008, I pitched this story to an agent and a publisher. Their responses were helpful, but the takeaway was that it wasn't ready for prime time.

I pitched it as an inspirational romance.

"What's your main character's goal?" the publisher asked.

"To overcome her compulsive overeating and prove she isn't insane like her dad."

"Then, it's not a romance, it's a women's fiction."
PROBLEN NO. 1 - wrong genre

"We only publish romance."
PROBLEM NO. 2 - wrong publisher

I pitch it to the agent.

"What's the length?" he asked.

"60,000 words."

"Too short for women's fiction."
PROBLEMS NO. 3 - wrong length

The agent read my ten pages, and gave good feedback. I'll always be grateful for that.
He said, "Either, change the goal to hero and heroine finding love and publish it as a romance, or add 20,000 more words, and keep the same goal."

I prayed and made a decision.

Going through the entire work another several times, I added more drama, fleshed out scenes better, and took scenes from flashbacks to active time. Much better. Then I deleted unnecessary words. I was left with:
66, 000 words

In my inexperience, to add 14,000 more words, I needed another whole subplot, so I gave a fourth character three POV chapters. Now, I had it.
a little over 80,000 words

I pitched it several times after that without success, so I laid it aside.

In summer, 2012, 4RV Publishing released my debut novel. Then, in Dec., 2012, Pen-L Publishing released my devotion book for overeaters. I decided that would team up nicely with my fictional heroine who struggles with overeating, so I pitched it to Pen-L and started the process of rewriting the old story.

Thanks to five years of online courses, reading books, going to ACFW Conference, Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Conference, and OWFI conference, I stored up a wealth of writing helps. During this period, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more. I read many books in my slow-reader style. In September, 2013, I attended the Immersion with Margie Lawson which improved my skill at putting the reader into the story and revving up the emotional impact.

I rewrote all fifty chapters. By the time I finished, the manuscript was 96,000 words.

PROBLEM NO. 3 repeated - wrong length
Only this time, it's too long.

I prayed and made a decision.

With my five years of studying, now I realize that I need to delete the extra POV chapters for the secondary character, and rewrite what happens in the hero's POV.

So, what did I learn in 5 years?

Go full circle. I don't require more characters.

SOLUTION TO ALL PROBLEMS - deepen the emotion in your story

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Little Is Much

But me, I have little to offer
Though I follow the Lord's command
But even little can be much
When put into Jesus' hand.    

Jesus changes things. In His hands, small insignificant seeds of obedience flourish and a small amount of bread feeds thousands.    

God magnifies little changes in anything we do. When I viewed my two-hundred-fifty pound body, losing enough weight seemed like a colossal feat.

I reached the point where I admitted my powerlessness and turned the problem to the Lord. In His hands, it's amazing what can be accompished. Change what you can, and wait for God to move.

God is the author of growing small things into big and big things into small. Look at the seeds we plant that become mighty crops. God points out the smallest seed of all as His example.

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain. Remove hinder to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
                           Matthew 17:19-20

    My positive thinking (believing I can do it) is as a mustard seed in the hands of the Lord.
Thought to remember:

Food is not the cure for your pain.

Freedom, not bondage, is what we seek.
I asked my Divine Dining class this week what changes they'd made since we started the class to help them live a healthier life. Here's a few of the answers.
    1. I start my day with prayer.
    2. I've stopped eating after dinner except for maybe a fruit.
    3. I'm eating smaller portions and more vegetables.
    4. I think I'm more conscious of how important it is to God.
WHave you made small changes? What others can you start? Has God helped you accomplish something big? Let me hear from you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Worth It All - a true story

Years ago, a fourteen year old girl impacted my life for all time. At age eighteen myself and three hundred miles from home, I struggled with confusion, depression, and anger.

When I graduated from high school the previous spring, I lost my tight control over my destiny. During our senior year, my boyfriend, Charles, had presented me with an engagement ring. Everything was perfect. I pushed Jesus to the background. Love blossomed. What did I need with prayer? When my boyfriend left me the day after graduation, bitterness crept over my heart and squeezed.

At the Christian college I’d selected so I could move away from home, God sent me a special roommate. Belinda lived close to the Lord.

Scampering across our tiny room, Belinda edged closer to me. “I’ve found this wonderful church ten miles away. Will you come Sunday?”

I shook my head. “I have enough chapel services to attend during the week. I don’t need preaching on weekends, too.”

“For me. Please,” she pleaded.

“No.” Her down-turned look pricked my conscience.

Before Charles went into the navy, he’d again pledged undying love, but I’d heard nothing for weeks. I studied my lessons, went with friends into town for fun, and watched for the mail.

Belinda remained kind and patient through all my emotional outbursts. My cheeks burned when I came in and found her praying for me.

Charles came home on leave. He was rude and apathetic. When he left again, I tore up his picture, threw my engagement ring in a drawer, and fell across my bed in a torrent of tears.

Belinda’s cool hand brushed the bangs off my forehead. “God loves you. You’ll be okay.”

One weekend, my parents visited and brought my car. I was free. No longer would I be dependent on anyone who could drive. I determined to forget Charles, but the more I tried, the more depressed I became.

On one trip I drove into the nearby big city by myself. An urge almost overwhelmed me to turn my car into oncoming traffic on a busy highway. I pulled into the median trying to summon courage to go all the way. My breathing labored. Sweat broke out across my upper lip. My hands trembled.

I sat there with traffic buzzing on both sides. My car died and then stalled. I sat, stared, and wept. When calm returned to my mind and my hands, the car started, and I pulled into my lane and drove down the highway.

The next morning, the chaplain preached on 1 Peter 4:2 NIV “As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” The message on seeking God’s will in all things hit me like the cars would have, if I’d given into my feeling the day before. Thank God, He stopped me from that compelling desire.

With hot cheeks, I slid down in my seat hoping I would disappear, and no one would know how close I came to suicide. My life had no rudder. Hiding my face, I hurried to my room. “Charles has ruined my life. I can’t think anymore,” I screamed to the wall.

Overhearing my remarks, Belinda came in behind me and closed the door. More accusation than I’d ever heard come out of her mouth seeped into her tone. “You ruined your life by running away from God instead of to Him.” She looked at me. “Come to church with me Sunday.”

I went. The work the Holy Spirit had started in the chapel service continued as I listened to the sermon. More than anything, I remembered the closing song. A young girl sang Esther Kerr Rusthoi’s song “When We See Christ.” The singer’s voice, more mature than her years, resounded across the small sanctuary.

My roommate and I attended that church the next Sunday. The pastor quoted Acts 3:6 NIV “….Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you…..” By the time he finished the verse, I wanted to rededicate my life to God, and when the sermon ended, I ran to the altar.

As the service closed, the young lady sang the same song. Tears burst from me at the line “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.”

For several Sundays, the girl missed church. When she returned, she sang her usual song.

I hastened to reach her afterward. “I love your voice. That song blesses me.”

A sweet smile put roses in her cheeks despite the yellowish-black skin across her cheek. A cut above one eye gave her a lopsided look. “Thank you. I love coming to church and singing.”

“What happened to your eye?”

She blushed. Her hand swept as if to hide it. “It’s nothing.”

As I left, an older woman caught up with Belinda and me. “I couldn’t help but hear you ask about the singer’s face. She testified when she was saved.” The woman lowered her voice. “Her father drinks and beats her every time she comes to church.”

My body shivered as if dumped in cold water. “She’s so young, but so strong.”

“Only fourteen.” The woman excused herself and left.

I studied the girl. Her face shone despite the discoloration, and I thought of God’s strength working in her despite hideous trials.

I attended that church for three months. Jesus used that fourteen year old girl’s song to reinforce my commitment to Him. Though I switched colleges, married Charles, and never again saw the girl, I can’t sing that song without remembering God’s call to me through her.

I pray that she’s still singing for the Lord and touching lives somewhere.