Tag Archives: Ruth L. Snyder

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.”

My Favourite Genre

Stack of books and e-reader

This was my summer-reading stack a few years ago… some are still waiting…

Back to the biweekly writers’ blog hop again… this week we’re chatting about our favourite genres.

I love writing Christian suspense. Good thing, with two more books planned for the Redemption’s Edge series! I’ve dabbled in speculative fiction too, and that’s another genre I want to pursue. Still have those three characters sitting in a corner of my brain waiting for a science fiction plot.

But I thought Ruth L. Snyder‘s question for this week was about our favourite genre to read. I’m not quite as eclectically-interested as Steph Beth Nickel, but one look at my review list will confirm I’m pretty scattered. That’s a good thing for writers, because it keeps us learning.

Favourite genre: action/adventure, clean and fun. Best from a Christian worldview, whether it mentions God or not. It may show up in suspense, speculative, or historical. Any genre. If it makes me laugh too, that’s a bonus.

Feel free to leave me some reading suggestions in the comments, and share your own favourites.

And stop back tomorrow: there’ll be a special Saturday post with more birthday-month news.

Join me in visiting the other stops on the blog hop and checking out everyone else’s favourite genre(s). Just click the blog hop graphic below.

Blog hop for writers

Advice I’d Give a Newbie Writer

Following the biweekly series of writing-related posts on Ruth L. Snyder’s blog hop, here are my thoughts for new writers:


You are a writer. Don’t wait until you have something published to call yourself one. We tend to be afraid others will laugh at us or think we’re being pretentious, but the truth is, if you write, you’re a writer. Owning that facet of your identity, and giving yourself permission to be that part of who you are, is a step forward, and if you don’t take your writing seriously, no one else will.

You’re not just a writer, though. Don’t neglect the other areas of your life, even if this one’s the most fun.


Take regular time to write. Little bits will add up. If you want to stick with this long-term, learn to write when the muse is silent and when you’d rather be doing anything else. Writing is work.

Keep writing. When you finish a project to the best of your ability, write something else. Don’t tie your hopes to one thing.

Remember the difference between writing for personal expression and writing for readers. They’re both valuable, but if you want others to read your work you need to revise with their interests in mind.

If you decide to self-publish, do the research first. And hold yourself accountable to produce a quality product, including cover art and editing. Don’t sabotage what you’ve written by packaging it poorly.


Get to know other writers online or in person. Learn from their experiences and their mistakes. These are the people who will encourage and understand you, and you’ll do the same for them. Help other writers, with no agenda. Some of it will come back to you anyway. My favourite online writers’ organizations: The Word Guild, InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, American Christian Fiction Writers.

Connect with other writers, attend conferences if you can. Be teachable, and don’t turn getting published into an idol. Enjoy the journey, and remember that anything worth doing will take time and practice. If you’re good today, imagine how much better your writing will be after you’ve put in your “apprenticeship”.

On conferences: don’t wait until you’ve “earned” the right to be there. The sooner you go, the less bad habits you’ll have to un-learn later. And the more writing friendships and contacts you’ll develop. My favourite conference: Write Canada. Choose a conference based on location but also based on faculty and course options. If you can’t get to one, there are online offerings like WANA International, and many conferences offer mp3s or CDs of their teaching sessions.


As well as conferences, check out books and blogs on writing. A few books I’ve reviewed and recommend: You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins; The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction by Jeff Gerke; Unleash the Writer Within by Cecil Murphey. Blogs I find helpful: How to Write a Story by Valerie Comer; Write With Excellence by N.J. Lindquist; The Seekers (group blog). There are, of course, many more resources. Feel free to leave your favourites in the comments! 


Do your very best. Don’t let fear of imperfection keep you from sharing your work, but remember to make that work shine as brightly as you can. Serve the art. Don’t be careless with it. This goes double if you’re a Christian. Yes, God may have given you the idea. But He gave you the task of presenting it well. He can use poor writing, but good writing gets into the hands of many more people who He may want to touch with it.

The only way to know you won’t succeed is to quit, so persevere.


I mention this last, but if you’re a Christian it actually needs to come first: pray. If God has gifted you to write, He will make a way to use what you write. It may not be what you have in mind, nor on your timetable, but His way is best. Follow His leading, even if it’s into areas of writing that aren’t your top choice. He knows where this will go, long-term.

To read what other writers are saying about this, follow the blog hop: Just click on the image below.

Blog hop for writers

Carol Daniels, Heroine

If you called Carol a hero, she’d laugh. One of her friends calls her a survivor, and she’s not even sure how to take that. Sure, she’s taken a lot of pain and she’s still standing, but for how much longer?

Carol’s a single mom, starting over in Toronto after some anonymous creep threatened her son, Paul. She didn’t tell Paul that’s why they left Calgary—why she dyed her dark hair honey ash and cut it short, why she started wearing glasses with non-corrective lenses. Why she’s so “controlling,” to use his word for it.

Paul is sixteen and pushing the limits she sets. He’s a good kid, does well enough in school, but she can’t stop worrying that he’ll end up like his father: a loser musician who loved the spotlight—and the female fans—more than he loved his wife and sons.

I say “sons” because Carol and Skip had two, after she miscarried a daughter as a teen. Carol would tell you life got easier once Skip died in a car wreck, but losing her other son nearly killed her. Keith was only twelve when he died of a drug overdose. If she hadn’t still had Paul to care for, and Keith’s dog, she’d never have kept her sanity.

No wonder a threat on Paul’s life sent her fleeing half-way across the country.

Why would someone threaten an innocent teen? Technically, the guy threatened them both, but he did suggest that her son was an easier target. As for why? Carol has a brother who’s a dangerous offender: Harry Silver. You may have read about him in Heaven’s Prey. Harry’s enemies can’t touch him directly, but his family are walking around unprotected.

That’s what the note said, and that’s why Carol and Paul relocated with no forwarding address.

These days Carol works at the Sticky Fingers Café, baking desserts and waiting tables. She’s trying to keep anonymous in this new city, and outside of work she hasn’t met many people. Is it sad that speed dial #1 on her phone is the late-night deejay on the local oldies station? And #2 is a friend in Calgary?

Carol loves to bake, especially with chocolate. When the nightmares wake her, she’ll often whip up a pan of brownies or a batch of cookies. She’ll make herself a cup of tea—peppermint is her favourite—and ask for a Billy Joel song on the all-request oldies show. The deejay, Joey, is easy to talk to. And he doesn’t know who—or where—she is, so she’s safe.

What else do I need to tell you about Carol? She’s not as safe as she thinks she is. What’s coming is more than she can handle on her own. And she’s determined not to pray for help, not after what happened the last time she tried prayer.

Blog hop for writers

You can meet Carol, Paul, Joey and a few others this November in Secrets and Lies, Redemption’s Edge Book 2.

Today’s introduction is part of Ruth Snyder‘s biweekly writers’ blog hop series, the assignment being “a character sketch of your hero.” To see the other posts in this thread, click on the blog hop image.

Review: Cecile’s Christmas Miracle, by Ruth L. Snyder

Cecile's Christmas Miracle, by Ruth L. SnyderCecile’s Christmas Miracle, by Ruth Snyder (Helping Hands Press, 2013)

Christmas homesickness hits a young missionary nurse serving her first year in Botswana. Cecile gave up the man she loved to follow God’s call – but why is her heart still yearning for home?

This short story has potential for a full-length novel. Stopping where it does, with the miracle Cecile receives (I’m not telling what it is!) leaves plenty of scope for the imagination. Working in the limits of the shorter form, the author also doesn’t have room to fully deepen her characters.

Cecile’s Christmas Miracle is a feel-good Christmas story, and each aspect of the miracle is clearly from God. Whether or not you appreciate Divine intervention in your fiction, this one’s worth reading for the glimpse into rural mission life at Cecile’s clinic – and for an idea of the dangers facing villagers at the hands of profit-hungry businessmen and politicians from the nearby cities.

Ruth L. Snyder is a Canadian writer serving as President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship. Cecile’s Christmas Miracle is one of the novellas in Kathi Macais’ 12 Days of Christmas collection. For a little background information on Cecile’s Christmas Miracle, click here.

[Review copy provided by the author.]