Reluctant Smuggler -- AWESOME!

Okay, I really have very little time these days to read for pleasure...but wow! Jill Elizabeth Nelson's latest book, Reluctant Smuggler is a steal! :-D When I first got the book, I drooled over the cover. I mean, take a look --

Isn't that awesome?! I am so jealous of this book cover. I've always wanted to write a Lara Croft-style book (um, big brother John Olson says "not in CBA, Ronie." LOL). So, when I saw the cover, I needed a mop.

So, I'm sitting there, wondering. Will the inside be as great as the cover?

Guess what? It is! Jill's story is fascianting. I confess I'm not done. Add to the insanity I'm living coordinating the ACFW Book of the Year contest, being list hostess, working part-time, getting my own writing/editing done, and making sure my twins don't kill each other or theri sisters....well, I have very little reading time. But man! I'm finding tiem to read this book. Her story is great! Love the whole stolen artifacts theme. And the character development is totally working for me.

If you haven't've got to get this book and start reading. :-D

An Interview With Cheryl Wyatt

I am delighted to have Cheryl Wyatt here on my blog today. She and I have been friends for a few years, and she has been a constant source of blessing and encouragement. I had the great opportunity to read A Soldier's Promise while it was still "in production." This is definitely a great read!

1.) You have little ones at home. How do you manage everything and still find time to write?

I had to have God's assurance that this was indeed a calling and not a career. After all, I'd just left one career to stay home with my children. I had to know it was Him. That said, it is more challenging to find time to write than I ever dreamed. I have to be creative about it. I gave up a lot of things in order to be able to write, but never time with my children. I haven't watched TV for three years. I also don't IM anymore. Or play games on the computer. I prayerfully unsubscibed from most of my loops and pulled out of heavy volunteering. I simplified my life to make time for my children, husband and writing. By God's grace, I write very fast and I'm so thankful He's granted that ability because that's the only way I can manage. Plus it helps that I'm obsessive about organization, and fiercely protective of my time and my family. That said, God has freedom to interrupt me at any time when someone is in need of my time. When I honor God and obey, He pays me the time back. It's the strangest most wonderful thing to experience. I learned to listen intently to the Holy Spirit throughout the day. I also ask God to order my day before my feet even hit the floor in the morning and don't neglect connecting with Him first thing. I follow the Math 6:33 and apply it to my writing time. Seek Him first and all these things (aka witing time) will be given to you....

2.) What goals have you set for this New Year?

Simplfy even more by doing a mass exodus of clutter in our home. This clutter causes me to lose time trying to find things. So I'm on an all out assault against clutter in our home. I am enforcing the "Everything has a place and everything in its place!" rule with my troop. I am sentimental and used to be a packrat, but I can't handle the mess anymore. When I see it, I can't concentrate fully on the project at hand. Writing goals, I'd like to sell the rest of the PJ series this year and finish out the next series.

3.) What is your favorite part of A Soldier's Promise(without giving spoilers)?

Favorite part was when Joel is at Bradley's bedside in the hospital. When Joel tells Bradley he's his hero and he needs him to fight the cancer because Bradley reminds him how to be brave. Everytime I read it, I tear-up and I hardly ever get moved by my own writing.

I also like the "DVD" conversation between Joel, Millie and Uncle Dean. Snicker. You'll have to get the book to know why, but several people have said they fell sideways laughing at that part.

4.) In our writing journeys there is invariably a point that stands out in our minds. Perhaps a point where we knew we'd never (really) walk away, or points where we knew God had His hand on us. What stands out in your mind?

There are a few points that stand out. Recently, when day after day of positive, encouraging reader letters started rolling in. It confirmed that I am meant to do this. Commissioned by God to do this. Prior to this, I went to a conference in a wheelchair following a major surgery where I had to have major reconstructive surgery performed on my hip, pelvis, femur, and socket after a medical misdiagnosis that put me in excruciating pain for over two years. During that hard season of unbearable pain that nothing would help, everything in my life was shaken except for my faith. I felt like a horrible mother and wife because lack of sleep was changing my personality and I felt grumpy and agitated all the time. On the way to the conference I felt like God told me, "You have been faithful in this hard season. You have been through a blistering cold winter, and you have been faithful." Then I felt like he told me, "This hard season is ending. Spring is coming."

Then at the conference, someone prayed over me and said those exact words, not knowing God had told me that on the way to the conference. At the conference I won first place in Genesis M/S/T category and days following, I contracted my first novel. That call was also a defining moment because seconds before, I felt God ask me if I would promise to always write as worship. I said, "Yes, Lord. You know I will." That moment, as the last word came out of my mouth, the phone rang and it was THE Call. That definitely stands out in my mind and my constant prayer is that I'll never break that promise. So it floored me when marketing came up with the title A Soldier's Promise because I hadn't even thought of it. Yet it's absolutely perfect for the story, and as a sign between God and I that I know He's in on this. It's not just something I'm chasing in vain.

5.) What is your favorite movie and why?

I mentioned never watching TV, but my husband and I do have regular date nights. I love the Bourne movies because of all the action which I LOVE. Matt Damon isn't too shabby to look at either....LOL!

I also love Raising Helen (the closet scene!), Shindler's List and The Green Mile. The last two movies stick out in my mind as the kind of story that haunts you for years after you watch them.

Girl, I'm right there with you on Bourne/Damon. *wink* Am I tattling on myself saying that the wallpaper on my Zune is from Bourne Ultimatum. :-D As a matter of fact, here's the image. You can find these wallpapers all over the internet. I find them very inspiring (hey, I'm a thriller writer, what can I say??). LOL

Thank you, Cheryl, for stopping by and chatting with us, for sharing your heart!