Tag Archives: Choose NOW Publishing

My Current Work-in-Progress

This is the final installment for the Writers’ Blog Hop, and what more appropriate way to end than with a look at the participating writers’ current works-in-progress? (Link to the others at the end.)

This blog is a work in progress, needing a review, devotional and feature post every week. But that’s pretty self-evident.

I’m also working on the next Redemption’s Edge novel, Secrets and Lies. Different characters, different situation, but suspense and danger will ensue. There may even be some romance… 

Here’s my current one-line summary:  A single mother struggles to rein in her teenage son, guard her heart against two charming men, and keep a drug lord off her back.

If you read Heaven’s Prey, you may remember references to Harry’s sister, Carol. This is her story, and it takes place between the final chapter and epilogue of Heaven’s Prey.

What would it be like to live with the public shame of having a dangerous offender for a brother? What if his enemies, who can’t get at him easily, decide to target Carol and her son? And what if this single mom has to handle all this in her own strength, because she’s afraid to pray for help?

Let me introduce you to a few of my imaginary friends, the ones I’m spending time with these days.

  • Carol Daniels: Starting fresh in a new city, she doesn’t want anyone to connect her with her past.
  • Paul Daniels: At sixteen, he’s living a double life to keep peace at home.
  • Patrick Stairs: A successful investment consultant, he’s been walking empty since his wife died.
  • Joey Hill: Friendly and easy to talk to, he’s the late-night deejay at Carol’s favourite radio station.

Four people with secrets. One of them’s telling lies. Secrets and Lies releases this November from Choose NOW Publishing.

Blog hop for writers

Here’s the link to the other participants in the blog hop. Thank you to Ruth L. Snyder for organizing this. It’s been fun to get to know the other “hoppers.”

Review: Do Life Different, by Jill Hart

Do Life Different, by Jill HartDo Life Different, by Jill Hart (Choose NOW Publishing, 2014)

Do Life Different is written for Christian work-at-home moms, and much of the content is also applicable to Christian moms whose at-home work is parenting and homemaking. The book’s subtitle is Inspiring Work-at-home Moms to Powerful Living in Work, Family and Faith.

As a writer, I count as working from home, and although my youngest child is a teen I find the household responsibilities themselves require more “parenting” than I seem able to give. This book addresses a strongly-felt need for me, so I bumped it to the top of my review pile, read it in one night, and will go back through it again at a more sedate pace.

Topics include overcoming fear and worry, making wise decisions, business as ministry, enjoying your work, and “is success okay?”.

Three insights are already making a difference for me:

  1. since God’s mercies are new every day, we can greet the morning with a hope-filled sense of starting over;
  2. we are each the best one for the job to which God called us (I count parenting in this as well as whatever business one might run);
  3. we are leaders, by definition as workers and as mothers—accepting this allows us to lead intentionally instead of wasting opportunities.

There are plenty more nuggets in this collection of 52 devotionals. Each entry offers a Bible verse, a one- to two-page insight, and a thought-provoking “Doing it different” question on how readers can apply the day’s lesson in their lives.

Each has a corresponding video devotional on the author’s website. [Note: if you’re reading the print version, or if you’re reading the ebook on a device that doesn’t support Flash videos, you can view the devotions on your computer. The web address is in the front of the book.]

There are free 6-week or 12-week study guides for women who want to work through the material as a group. To download the study guides, visit Choose NOW Publishing (scroll down to the cover images for the two study guides, then click the one you want).

Writer, speaker and coach Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries, where you’ll find a wealth of resources on finding a job, starting or growing a business, balancing life, and knowing God better. To read a sample chapter of Do Life Different, visit Jill Hart or Choose Now Publishing. Or watch Jill’s video intro below:

[Review copy provided by the publisher.]

Heaven’s Prey Facebook Party Tonight

Heaven's Prey Facebook PartyCome and join the conversation … and maybe win a prize! Click the image to go to the event on my Facebook page for more information, or to sign up. When the party starts, there’ll be clear directions on how to join in. I just wish we could serve some real food!

Also… today’s the final day for the Heaven’s Prey blog chase. The chase posts will still be available tomorrow, but we draw for the free book tonight 🙂 Haven’t taken the chase yet? Click here to start running:

Heaven's Prey Blog Chase graphic

News About Heaven’s Prey

Today is release day for Heaven’s Prey! I’m now a published novelist, and some of my imaginary friends are venturing out into the world. This is a long-held dream for me, and I still can’t quite believe it’s coming true. (Yes, even after all those edits!)

I’m doing a lot of online interviews and guest posts to promote Heaven’s Prey, and they’ll all be listed on the blog tour page. (Links will be added as the events go live.) I’d love to have you pop by some of the sites and say hello.

Some other things I wanted to share with you:

We have some special incentives for those who buy the paperback version. click the banner below to find out more about these limited-time options (and where to order online):Heaven's Prey Book Blast

The Heaven’s Prey blog chase is on until Nov. 7, with a chance to win a copy of the novel. Click the banner below to jump to the first stop on the chase.Heaven's Prey Blog Chase graphic

Goodreads members can enter to win one of two print copies of Heaven’s Prey.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Heaven's Prey by Janet Sketchley

Heaven’s Prey

by Janet Sketchley

Giveaway ends November 11, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Heaven’s Prey: the supporting cast

The past few Fridays you’ve met the key characters from Heaven’s Prey: Ruth Warner (the woman in peril), Tony Warner (the frantic husband), and Harry Silver (the villain). Today I thought it would be interesting to get the reactions of some of the other people affected by this story:

Carol Silver Daniels: (Harry’s sister and only living relative)

We shared the same parents, but after what he did, I have no brother. <gulping sigh> He killed one of those young women here in Calgary, while he was visiting us. We had no clue. My sons were so proud to have a famous uncle. <snort> I tried to shield them from the news reports, but they knew. Kids in school can be so cruel. Adults, too.

The shame of being connected to him is bad enough, but some people are too angry to think straight and they want to take it out on us. Things were settling down, and then he had to escape from prison and stir it up again. Thanks to a two-faced reporter, I’ve had my photo splashed across the news again—in front of my apartment building, so the crazies know where I live. I’m only talking to you now because it doesn’t matter anymore. Last night we got a death threat. We’re moving. Hiding.

As for Harry, I hope they find him. I hope he resists arrest and they kill him. Excuse me, I have to pack.

Tracey: (the woman Harry loved and lost)

<Skyping in from her work at an orphanage in Latvia>

It’s funny you’d ask about Harry now. These past few days I’ve had a strong urge to pray for him. <smile> He wouldn’t like that very much. But I’m praying anyway.

My husband and I were already working here at the mission when Harry was arrested. My grandfather wouldn’t tell me much, just to pray, but one of my friends sent me the details. <looks away, looks back> We were engaged once, Harry and I. When I became a Christian, he broke it off. He was so angry! A few years later I met Bob, and here we are, with a fulfilling ministry and two beautiful children.

But it’s affected me. <she touches her hair> You may notice Harry’s victims all had long, blond hair and blue eyes like me. They were close to the age I was when we broke up. Was he really killing me?

Sometimes if I wake in the night I still struggle with this weird survivor guilt. Or worse, I wonder if their deaths are my fault. If I’d renounced my faith and he’d taken me back, would those women still be alive and their families unbroken? <sad smile> But I couldn’t have really walked away from God. And I loved Harry too much to lie to him. I can only hope and pray that he’ll open his heart to Jesus. There’s room at the cross for people who’ve done even worse.

Mr. Delaney: (Harry’s mentor)

You’ll have to speak up, please. My hearing’s going as fast as the rest of me. Harry Silver … <suspicion of tears> I loved that boy like a son. Talent! He had the gift—and the passion to use it. He started his stock car career with Team Delaney, and I was so proud. It hurt when he moved on to the IndyCar circuit, but I’d never have tried to hold him back. <humph> Maybe I should have. Should have kept a better eye on him. For a boy who loved to race, his crimes were suicide.

George Sinclare: (the drug lord)

<incoming cell call, untraceable> I hear you’re asking questions about that escaped killer, Harry Silver. My representatives took the risk of getting him out of prison, and this is how he repays us—by blowing his cover. And he didn’t even grab the victim he wanted. <coarse laugh> I saw a photo of the one he got, and it serves him right.

We had a decoy heading for the other side of the country to lead the cops away. I’d tip them off on where to find him, but it would reflect badly on one of my business associates. Once the boat picks Silver up and they get to international waters, he’ll tell the captain where the money’s hidden. <noncommittal sound> If the cops find and shoot him, they’ll be doing me a favour. I’d lose his escape fee, but money isn’t everything to a successful businessman. Security matters more, and Silver is a loose end.

Too bad about the woman. I hear she was on her way home from a prayer meeting, of all things. Didn’t do her much good.

Prison spokesman (anonymous):

Three Corrections Canada employees were injured trying to stop Harry Silver’s escape, and I resent media implications about our attention to our duties. With the latest funding cuts we’re stretched thinner than ever, but I assure you that each warden, guard and support worker does his or her best to uphold our responsibilities and to keep the citizens of Canada safe.

Pastor John Linton:

The odds of this happening are incredible, and I don’t know what God is up to. Whatever happens—or has already happened—I believe that God is enough for Ruth. Since He didn’t prevent this, He’ll somehow sustain her through it.

Remember, Harry Silver can do a lot of hurt, but only short-term. He can’t touch Ruth’s soul. If he sticks to his pattern of killing his victims <clears his throat> then my friend and sister in faith will suffer terribly–but then she’ll enter into eternity with her Lord and Saviour. It’s we who remain who’ll have the hardest time in the days ahead.

I challenge you with this: what if this “coincidental” abduction of a woman who’s been praying for Harry Silver is God’s way of turning up the heat in a battle for a lost soul? We write off people like Harry as too far gone to save, but God says the only ones He’ll reject are those who reject His outstretched hand.

Harry Silver could be forgiven and his life made new. It’s happened before. Let’s just hope and pray it will happen this time.

Ruth’s sister, Lorna:

Ruth and my daughter, Susan, were very close. When Susan was murdered, it shattered us all. Ruth took it really hard, and I was afraid she’d lose her faith. So I was glad when she started praying for the killer. It helped her forgive and find healing. But now—I forgave Harry Silver once. I don’t know if I can do it again. How could God let him take my daughter and my sister? <sound of sobs, Lorna hangs up the phone>

The girl who got away:

<Her parents say she can’t be contacted … still crying, and under psychological care>

Constable TJ Weber: (blond police officer, female)

All officers are fully briefed on the existing situation and the criminal record of the accused. Based on security videos at and near the abduction site, we’ve increased our patrols here in the Chester area. He may have kept driving, or doubled back, but we’re serious about keeping our citizens safe and about apprehending Harry Silver. If at all possible, before Ms. Warner comes to any harm.

As you can see, I’m an older version of Silver’s target victim. That may give me some extra motivation to see this case solved, but my personal feelings will not affect performance of my duty. I’m neither afraid of the accused nor out for vengeance. If I were the one to locate him, and if he were to make a threatening move, I would shoot to incapacitate. Lethal force would only be a last resort.

Janet Sketchley‘s novel, Heaven’s Prey, releases November 1, 2013 from Choose NOW Publishing. Feel free to tell your friends! For more information and a free sample chapter, see the Heaven’s Prey page.

Here’s the Cover for Heaven’s Prey

cover art: Heaven's Prey by Janet Sketchley

I’m blown away, and so happy to finally see what Ruth looks like. Our cover designer really captured the feel of the novel.

What do you think?

[Clicking the cover will take you to Heaven’s Prey on Amazon.com (affiliate link for Choose NOW Publishing). To see more of designer Christina Fuselli’s work, visit Fueslli Art and Design.]

Heaven’s Prey Update

Signing the publishing contract for Heaven’s Prey felt unreal. I’ve waited, worked for and dreamed of this for so long, my brain didn’t know how to handle it actually happening.

I have to say, Nicole O’Dell and the folks at Choose NOW Publishing are amazing to work with. I’m truly thankful.

I’ve been living in the world of edits and revisions for the month of July.

There’s a fine balance between excitement and anxiety, and opening the manuscript file full of editorial comments tipped it. There were 129 comments plus the highlighted phrases requiring specific work. Yes, Nicole liked the manuscript, or she wouldn’t have chosen it, but she saw lots of ways to make it stronger.

This is what I wanted: a publishing contract, and the best possible version of my manuscript.

Fear whined, “I can’t do this,” but experience said I could. I chose to listen to that second voice.

Writers need editors. It’s hard to 1) see the weak spots, 2) grasp the editorial direction, and 3) internalize that and find the best way to rewrite.

I looked at Nicole’s comments for Heaven’s Prey. Self-pity sulked, “It’s too hard,” but I believe in this story, these characters. “Hard” doesn’t matter. I’ll do what it takes to present them at their best.

So I’ve been editing.

Every once in a while I found a line that amazed me: it fit perfectly, captured the sound of a character’s voice or the cry of her heart. Most of what I found was “good but it can be better,” so that’s what I’ve been working on.

Writing, like any art, is rarely perfect. Most books have a few copy-editing errors, a few repetitions or less-than-ideal turns of phrase. If we obsessed over perfection, none of our stories would ever get out. So I’ve prayerfully done my best, as will the rest of the Choose NOW team, and we’ll release these characters to the world in November.

Best moment so far: seeing Heaven’s Prey listed on the Choose NOW Publishing website. (Those so inclined can view it here … cover art will be revealed soon, and my newsletter subscribers will see it before it even appears here on my blog.)

Heaven’s Prey: My Novel

I’m expecting a book! Yes, I hope for grandchildren when the time’s right, but I’m excited to finally see some of my “imaginary friends” come to life in print (or e-print). Over the next few months, I’ll introduce them to you.

The novel’s called Heaven’s Prey and it’s Christian fiction. Choose NOW Publishing  plans to release it in November.  Here’s the tag line:

A grieving woman is abducted by a dangerous offender—and it may be the answer to her prayers.

It’s about a serial killer’s last chance at redemptionnot the gentle inspirational read many associate with the Christian genre. I’ve aimed for a suspense level similar to Brandilyn Collins or Terri Blackstock. Not as intense as Ted Dekker or Steven James.

Like this sort of thing? Great! I hope you’ll read it and spread the word.

Not your cup of tea? No worries! I hope you’ll tell your friends who might enjoy it.

Sign up for my author newsletter for advance news on Heaven’s Prey. Subscribers’ contact information will be kept confidential, and I promise not to overload your in-boxes!  [Sign up here or in the right-hand sidebar.]

I’m excited to be working with Choose NOW Publishing. As well as their new line of issue-driven books for adults and teens, Choose NOW Ministries has a popular radio show/podcast and a website filled with resources for parents and teens, specializing in hot button issues  and empowering teens to make good choices. Stop by and check it out!