I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The RITA® Word is Out!!!

A Mother for His Family is a RITA® Finalist!!!

I am still in shock...absolute shock. This is an amazing honor.

Right now, I'm sick. I sounded really hoarse when I got The Call. I gasped and probably sounded like something inhuman over the phone. I still wish I could laugh or cry over this honor but frankly, it hurts my throat too much. Instead I am shaking my head a lot.

It's overwhelming in a lot of ways. Each of my novels has been a Story of My Heart--in other words, they've had a lot of me in them, with subject matters that have been heavy on my spirit, about characters who are so real to me I actually miss them when I'm done writing. This book is no exception, but this story is a little different. It deals with some tough issues, but that makes the ending scene the more sweet to me, when everyone is together and touching everyone else. A family. I cried when I wrote that end and I'm crying a little bit now (but not too much, because like I said, it hurts my throat! Gah! Kick in, antibiotics!).

I also prayed as I wrote: I prayed that one person who had been raped would find support and love here, or one person who felt ugly or insignificant or unloved or shamed or forsaken would see a New Thing about themselves and God; or that one person who felt like their plans withered on the vine would hold on for a new plan. Or if not that, that God would at least give one person a chuckle over something the children did or said. Or that they'd find escape from a frustration in their lives while they read.

This story got one star reviews on Amazon--go on and check them out! But I also got letters from readers. The story meant something to them for a variety of reasons.

Those are the reviews--the responses--I cherish. Although I'm kind of proud of those one stars, too. Seriously.

I am humbled and blown away to be a RITA® nominee. It's like the Oscars of romance writing. The awards ceremony is a fancy night of sequins and champagne and rich desserts and tears and cheers.

I owe everything to the Lord for putting Helena, John, Margaret, Louisa, Callum and Alex in my head. And to Debra E. Marvin who literally read this manuscript multiple times, maybe six? A dozen? I owe Tamela Hancock Murray for supporting and representing me, and for being such a good friend. And I owe Emily Rodmell the moon for taking a chance on me, editing this story and making it so much better.

To see the complete list of RITA® finalists, click here!

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