Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion

Today is release day for Jody Hedlund's 10th book!

I patiently awaited my ARC of Martin and Katharina Luther's love story, and it did not disappoint. This is by far Jody Hedlund's best yet and my favorite from this author.

"Time to jump."

From these first three words, the pace of this story swept me away. At almost 400 pages, Hedlund's version of this historical love story sped along. Her attention to descriptive detail will sink you deep into the era of 16th century Germany and the turmoil surrounding the Reformation. As we have come to expect from Hedlund, this story is full of twists and turns, her characters are rich and wonderful.

Hedlund's in-depth research into the life and times of this important Christian leader shows in the details. Instead of her typical 'based on' story-lines, this book includes actual events of Luther's and Katharina's lives, woven into an intricate story of rebellion, allegiance, love and faith.

Some readers may be off-put by the detailed violence and straight-forward telling of horrendous acts--both by and against the church--but the story remains true to the times and events. Hedlund does not sugar-coat the ugliness of this part of church history. I would suggest this story is for a mature reader--perhaps not young teens. Although, this book would be a perfect lead-in to nurture desire in more mature teens to learn about Martin Luther, and the importance of his brave teachings.

I would truly call this book a work of art worthy of a place on your TBR list. If you would like a free copy of Luther and Katharina, check out Jody's blog for her daily trivia giveaways!

Monday, July 13, 2015


You will know my name.

Okay, it may not ever be on a New York Times best seller list, but someday it will be in a bookstore.

I was scrolling through Facebook today, when I noticed an article shared by a friend. Good-to-know stuff about the Christian fiction market. While reading the article, I noticed a link in the sidebar to this one: Five Reasons Why You May Never Get Published.

I stiffened. I clicked. I prepared to be shattered. I wasn't.

I may not as regimented as I want to be, but I am willing to put in the years   yes, years!   that it takes to accomplish this goal.  I don't expect to write a rough draft and have total strangers drool over it. I am not a professional. I WANT to be. Someday. What I know compared to what I need to know is a drop in the bucket. Or ocean. Yes, more like a drop in the ocean. It is sometimes overwhelming, but yet I plug away...

I am willing to take criticism, and LEARN from it. I have sent pieces of my WIPs to friends 'in the business' and listened to their advice. From pasts posts, you know that I am friends with the recently published author, Terri Tiffany. Terri has offered to be my critique partner, and has offered me tremendous encouragement. But she has also pointed out my mistakes and offered well-informed advice to correct those areas. AND I LISTEN! Apparently, that is not the typical reaction from a novice. Many people tell me stories of hurt feelings and 'I never heard from her again' scenarios. Why? If you're serious about writing, as I am, shouldn't you prize that information?

I won't even think about submitting my work to anyone until I am positive   and have other knowledgeable people in agreement   that my novel is the absolute best it can be. I worry enough about Terri seeing my drafts! This book is my baby. I birthed it. I want to be proud of it. It isn't enough to be published. I could self-publish tomorrow. (And I think too many have at this stage.) I want to be an author   by my definition. I want to write a really good book that people will recommend to others. A book that people are willing to pay for   not just willing to read because it was free.

I want my book to be different. I don't want to write a book that is predictable, or just like so-and-so's. I have my own voice, and want to perfect it so that is stands out from the crowd   or rather, the slush pile. I'm not so in love with my current WIP that I would continue down the same path if told the idea is overdone and will not sell. That is true insanity if my goal is to be published.

Lastly, I'm not so big-headed to think my talent surpasses that of other published authors, and therefore I will be 'discovered' by that lucky agent...blah...blah...blah...  Just as my book is my baby, I am a baby in this world of writing. Even though I've been doing it all my life, I've never before attempted to do it correctly. Yes, there is a method. There are rules. There is so much to learn. But I am willing and eager.

I  stumbled across this bit of wisdom today:
 "There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying."     Francis Bacon 
 I am trying. I am definitely trying!