Featured Fiction Friday Presents: Michelle Sutton

Well, the Frasier Winners have been announced. The hard work of the judges has decided the winners, and today we will take a look at the novel of another of our esteemed judges… Michelle Sutton and her book Decision to Love

Q: Michelle can you tell us a little bit about your story?

Eight years after Tony and Hope’s affair ended, new problems arise. Jimmy has gone off to college, but returns home with a startling revelation that devastates his father and causes his final heart attack. Now Hope is grieving the loss of both her husband and their son. She tries to make sense of everything, and in the end she decides to love her son through the grief. More than that, she makes the decision to love whoever her son chooses to love, whether she agrees with his choices or not.

Tony’s life has its own disaster tearing through it. First, he is accused of killing his ex-wife, but he is soon released once the authorities realize he had nothing to do with it. The tragedy with his ex led to some major changes in his life, however, and some soul-searching that ultimately turns Tony’s life around. While he is still adjusting to his new perspective on life, his long-lost daughter Nina contacts him and has some secrets of her own. He is overjoyed to be reunited with his daughter, but with their relationship comes an entirely new set of challenges.

Jimmy is confused about his faith, his life, and ultimately, whom he should love. After some severe trials knock him off what he thought was the right course for his life, he makes the decision to love himself enough not to be used by someone again. But will his decision protect him in the end?

Q: What do you want readers to learn/take away from this story.

This story was written to inspire parents to never give up on their children even when they are grown and to decide to love them regardless of the poor choices they make. So many young people raised in Christian homes end up abandoning their faith for a short time while doing their prodigal journey, and it hurts to watch them stray, but they are God’s children and not our own. He is the best parent ever and knows exactly what they need to experience to motivate them to get back on the right path. In the meanwhile, God has called us to love them and pray for them, not turn our backs on them in the name of “tough love.” For some reason it seems like it is much easier to reject people because of behavior that we don’t approve of. This story shows you why hanging in there and loving them like Jesus loved us and died for us while we were yet sinners is the right thing to do. Can we do any less for our children?

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Michelle Sutton is the author of fifteen inspirational novels and has books contracted for release through 2016. When she isn’t reading, reviewing, or working full-time, she’s creating new stories for future contracts. Visit her website at www.michellesutton.net

Getting Ready for Conference

The ACFW Conference is coming up in a month and it’s time to start getting ready. No, don’t pack your suitcase yet, but start thinking about what you’ll need before you hit the conference road.

Whether you’re a planner or not, it’s always good to jot a few notes in preparation for any trip, especially a fast paced conference.

Here’s a few things I do:

  1. Print out my flight plan. Always good to know when my flight is taking off. Hubby loves the early morning flights when he has to drive me to the airport at 5:00 a.m.
  2. Get business cards or any other “hand out” material ready. I’ve taken off more times than I care to confess without my business cards and I regret it every time. So get those cards prepared and stored in place you won’t forget.
  3. Shopping. This is critical for me. I shop more for ACFW than Christmas. Why? Facebook. If I don’t shop, I end up popping up all over Facebook in the same outfits year, after year, after year. “Look, there’s Rachel Hauck at the 2010 conference in a red dress. Look, there’s Rachel Hauck at the 2011 conference in a red dress. Look there’s Rachel Hauck at the 2012…” You get the picture. Same dress. Different people. Different hair style. Different background. But same ole dress. So I shop.
  4. Print out your conference schedule. Note when you’re scheduled for appointments. Map out which workshops you want to attend. Get a good feel for your conference days. It will help you relax as you go into the busy week.
  5. Make sure your luggage is good to go and you have all your necessary travel items. Don’t wait until you’re packing at midnight the night before your 6:00 a.m. flight to discover you don’t have travel deodorant or enough clean underwear.
  6. Take clothes to the dry cleaner at least a week before the conference. Remember to pick up clothes from the dry cleaner.
  7. Get travel cash. Always handy.
  8. Pack up your lap top or iPad for taking workshop notes.
  9. Load your favorite new songs on your iPod or smart phone. Music is great for travel or for relaxing at the end of a long day.
  10. Pray. Ask the Lord for divine appointments.

This is just a quick list of how to prepare for a writers conference. But the My Book Therapy team has compiled a conference booklet to help in with the process.

Whether you’re new to writing or an old hand, attending a writing conference can be daunting. Being as prepared as you can will help easy your anxieties.

Check out our conference booklet! You’ll be glad you did.

Here’s some things you’ll learn:

  • How to choose a conference
  • Budgeting for a conference
  • How to prepare professionally with business cards and pitch sheets
  • Choosing the right workshops
  • How to handle appointments
  • Organizing your time and information
  • Standing out in a positive way
  • Conference Etiquette
  • How to pack for success
  • And even how to network to after the conference is over!

Be prepared with the truth, the right expectations, and the tools for success. Because knowing the truth about conferences…just might get you published.

To celebrate this book – and to give you some tips and tricks – we’re having a Truth about Conferences Webinar on Thursday night (TONIGHT!), 7pm CST on our MBT Open House channel. To join us, and to get a free excerpt, LIKE our Facebook page (the excerpt and registration link will appear!)

OR, if you want to skip the webinar, and still get a launch discount, sign up HERE. We’ll be announcing the discount code and sending out the link during the webinar and afterwards.

Rachel Hauck, Write a book proposalHave a great conference!

Rachel

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Best-selling, award-winning author Rachel Hauck loves a great story. She excels in seeing the deeper layers of a story. With a love for teaching and mentoring, Rachel comes alongside writers to help them craft their novel. A worship leader, board member of ACFW and popular writing teacher, Rachel is the author of over 15 novels. She lives in Florida with her husband and her dog, Lola. Contact her at: Rachel@mybooktherapy.com.

 

What is on your must read list? And what will you do with it?

We are all writers and, I’d hazard to guess, voracious readers as well. No doubt you have a tremendous list of novels and books on craft piling up on your nightstand, end table, book shelf… passenger seat of your car…

But as writers we get more than entertainment from books, we get lessons. As the Writing Career Coach I also get lessons from business books, marketing lectures and online teachers.

This week’s blog is actually an excerpt from my upcoming book, “52 Weeks of Writing Success”. I decided to share this because whenever I work with writers or business owners I find that they are great on ideas, awful on follow through. This is all about helping you with follow through.

***

When you’re reading a book, how do you apply your learning? Stop reading this right now and get a notebook.

Seriously, stop reading now. I’ll wait.

On the first page you’ll write down the titles of books you want to read. As you read them, you’ll check them off in the left margin. Seems easy enough, right! Now you have one place to list all the things you’d like to read. These are the titles of the books that you would like to read to help expand your understanding of building and creating a strong story, with excellent craft and a sustainable writing business.

Some will be books that I’ve suggested to you, others will be books that you hear about from friends and colleagues. Now, turn the page and write the tile of the book.

About 2/3 of the way over on the paper, write a line from top to bottom from the title line to the bottom of the page. While you’re reading the books, take notes on the key points on the left side of this line. This will help you keep your notes together as well as give you a central location to focus on what you need to learn, why, and where you’re going to find that information.

On the right side, write actionable steps that you’re going to implement immediately. As you implement them, check them off just like you checked off the books from the “to be read” list. Do more than read. Take action.

If you have any questions on the book list or you would like to suggest some great books to read, contact use through our website at WritingCareerCoach.com.

— Tiffany Colter, Writing Career Coach

The Truth about Conferences? Really?

 

Are you ready to attend a writer’s conference?

The reality is, if you want to be published – and stay published – you need to attend Writer’s Conferences. But you shouldn’t attend unprepared. This is why the mulit-published, award-winning novelists and conference coordinators on the My Book Therapy staff wrote: The Truth about Conferences: the MBT guide to how to have a successful writers conference.

Writers conferences are overwhelming. But when you prepare yourself, they can also change your life.

To celebrate this book – and to give you some tips and tricks – we’re having a Truth about Conferences Webinar on Thursday night, 7pm CST on our MBT Open House channel. To join us, and to get a free excerpt, LIKE our Facebook page (the excerpt and registration link will appear!)

OR, if you want to skip the webinar, and still get a launch discount, sign up HERE. We’ll be announcing the discount code and sending out the link during the webinar and afterwards.

Here’s some things you’ll learn:

  • How to choose a conference
  • Budgeting for a conference
  • How to prepare professionally with business cards and pitch sheets
  • Choosing the right workshops
  • How to handle appointments
  • Organizing your time and information
  • Standing out in a positive way
  • Conference Etiquette
  • How to pack for success
  • And even how to network to after the conference is over!

Be prepared with the truth, the right expectations, and the tools for success. Because knowing the truth about conferences…just might get you published.

Blessings on the journey!

Susie May Warren

Founder, MBT