An Introduction, The Story of a Thrill, & My 'First Ever' Contest!

So there I was – just noodling on the Net – when along came an e-mail that set my world spinning.

But wait, I'm sorry. I need to back up a pace or two and catch you up. I need to fill you in on the complete picture of my life at a most extraordinary moment in time – when I became a member of the White Rose publishing family. By the way, I’m delighted to be making your acquaintance here at the Blog.

My son and his wife had just come home for the holidays. My daughter had also just arrived for break from college. My hubby and our entire family were camped out in the kitchen, making traditional Christmas Sugar cookies for Christmas Eve festivities in a couple of days. A question came from my son, Dan: "Mom, while Mary's out for a minute, can you show me the top you got her for Christmas? I think I may have gotten her the same thing. I want to make sure my gift is different.”

The top in question was already wrapped and under the tree, but since I had ordered the item on line, I had an e-mail from the company, complete with photograph.

"Sure," I answered. "Come on over to the computer."

Question. Busy as we were (fresh-made cookie dough waited - as did green and red sprinkles and multi-colored sugar-balls...) why did everyone follow? Why? Because something was brewing, and God knows exactly what He's doing. Always.

I paged through e-mail and as I hunted down and opened the confirmation notice for Dan, I also saw a new message that made my heart pound. The sender was Nicola Martinez, Editor in Chief of White Rose Publishing. The subject line: Hearts Crossing Contest Entry.

I passed it by. I didn't want to click the 'open' button at all. In fact, I showed Dan the picture of the gift item - found out duplication was no longer an issue - then logged off e-mail.

Here's my justification: Just days away from welcoming 14 family members to my home on Christmas Eve, I didn't want to find out I had lost the Hearts Crossing writing contest sponsored by White Rose Publishing. I was happy and content. I didn't want anything to interfere with that fact. When you don't "know" there's always hope, right?

You see, this contest meant a great deal to me. For quite a while now, I've wanted to break into the Christian inspirational market, and White Rose has a strong, growing reputation in the industry. So, the contest, which I entered back in September, was a wonderful opportunity to do just that. At the same time, I was realistic enough to realize victory was beyond my wildest hopes. A lot of incredibly talented people were vying for the grand prize - a book contract.

So, I figured the e-mail would read something like: "Thank you so much for entering the contest. While your submission featured many appealing elements, the competition was very tight, and we regret to inform you that..."

Yeah -- you get the drift.

When I turned away from the computer, I caught my husband's eye and he could tell something was up just by looking at me. All I said to him was, "I think the verdict is in on Hearts Crossing." Steve sweats and bleeds publication issues right along with me - a partner in the best sense of the word. Unfailingly supportive he said, "Well, come on! Open it up! Let's find out!"

I was, shall we say, somewhat less enthusiastic. In fact, I was nervous as all get out. I even explained all the reasons why I avoided opening the e-mail. His answer to that somewhat psychotic behavior? "Marianne, really. If you win, we're all here around you. If you've lost, we're all here around you. What more could you ask for?"

Dang he's smart sometimes.

I huffed and I sat, opening up my e-mail once more. A deep breath later I clicked on the e-mail from Nicola. As it opened, Steve quipped, "It'll probably say Congratulations…"

First word of the e-mail? "Congratulations..."

I have to confess, and don't tell Nicola this, but, initially I didn't read much beyond that first word. Instead I burst into tears. Meanwhile, Steve and the kids whooped and cheered. I found myself blessed by an incredible moment, one I got to share it with the ones I love so much, and who have supported me through all the inevitable rejections and sad times that also come along quite frequently in the world of publishing.

The tentative release date for Hearts Crossing is late January. Below is a link to the video trailer for the book so you can get to know Daveny Montgomery and Collin Edwards a little better. These two were God-made for one another. Coming soon? The 'official' book blurb and excerpt.

Hearts Crossing Trailer:

I'm eager to know what you think, so a week from today, one lucky visitor who leaves a comment on this blog, or at the site for my trailer, will win a $10.00 White Rose Publishing gift certificate so they can splurge on a few of their many wonderful offerings!

Meanwhile, thank you so much for welcoming me into the bouquet of White Roses. It is such an honor.

Blessings to you all – Marianne


  1. Marianne, what a wonderful story you shared with us and so richly deserved! Congratulations, and I knew you could do it.

    Patti Shenberger

  2. Congratulations Marianne and welcome to the White Rose Family!!!

    We are all so blessed to be a part of this growing group.

    I just love the way God worked this out for you - with your family all around - that's wonderful.

    May He also bless you with wonderful reviews and lots of sales. :-)

    Oh and once the book is out - you'll have to set up a Saturday Spotlight on my blog


  3. PS: Beautiful trailer!!!

    Loved it.

  4. Marianne - it sounds wonderful. I loved the trailer and the music is so fitting. I must admit I'm very glad I didn't enter the contest because I would have been receiving one of those "other" responses and I have enough of those in my collection right now.

    I can't wait till it's out. I'll be waiting in line!

  5. And the telling of your story made me feel like I was right there with the rest of your family looking over you shoulder! so sweet to have such support. You are truly blessed!

  6. Congratulations! The trailer is beautiful and the story sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading it.

  7. Marianne,
    Even this blog post reads like a sweet story I want to pick up and read more about. They definitely chose a winner not just in your story, but in you. I look forward to reading more of your work!

  8. Marianne, what a wonderful gift, and to be able to share it with so many loved ones had to be a gift all on its own.
    Good-Luck with the sales.

  9. Hi Marianne. Congratulations! I'm thrilled for you to have won this contest. And to find out over Christmas? Perfect!

    I loved the book trailer. Can't wait to get my hands on your book. :-)

    All the best,
    annette (at) annetteirby (dot) com

  10. Did you do that book trailer? It was very nice. Like the other's who have commented before me, I loved you you told your "story of a thrill."

    We're blessed to have you as one of the authors at White Rose Publishing.


  11. Wow - this is so tremendous -- I left the computer for a few hours to cook and eat dinner - and send my daughter back to Michigan State U (see here BIG mom tears...) and I find myself flooded by well-wishes and such awesome support! THANKS!

    Patti - you've been with me from the get to -- HUGS, my friend!

    Pam - an invite to the Saturday Spotlight? Life is GOOD! I'd be honored.

  12. Donna - thanks for your sweet comments about the trailer. I put it together and like any "newbie" sweated every detail! LOL! As for getting those "other" responses from editors, all I can say is: Been there, Done that! :-)

  13. Julie & Nanette - thanks!! What wonderful words of encouragement. I was pretty floored. There's so much wonderful writing talent to be found at White Rose...I was amazed. Thanks for sharing the moment with me. :-) I truly hope you enjoy Hearts Crossing.

  14. Neecy, the moment just blew me away. If a video recorder had been placed nearby, it would be on America's Funnies Home Videos. Trust me! LOL!

  15. Annette, I appreciate your visit (and the support is so awesome! THANKS!) I'll post an excerpt and blurb soon - hopefully you'll enjoy!

  16. Thanks for checking out the trailer, JoAnn! Yes, I put the trailer together. In particular, I loved the music - it fit the mood of the book perfectly. Congratulations on Daniella!! I'm tickled that we've been sharing 'page space' at the WRP website for a few weeks now. :-)

  17. Congratulations, and thanks for sharing such a heart-warming story! Wishing you all the best with your new release!

  18. Wow, Marianne. That is a truly wonderful story! Congrats and I can't wait to read your book. It sounds delightful!

  19. Hi, Cindy & Martha!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out the details on Hearts Crossing. I'm very excited about this story - I hope you enjoy it -- and your support is deeply appreciated ladies!

  20. It looks like I'm late for the party! But, I'll add my congratulations and good wishes to everyone else's. And welcome to White Roses in Bloom. We're so glad you've joined us.

  21. Thanks, Kara! You're a fantastic hostess! ;-) And let me turn those good wishes right back around and give them to you as well! All my best on Orchard Hill!!

  22. Marianne, I loved sharing your joy at the news of your winning entry. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been.. and continues to be as you keep experiencing "firsts".. first contest, first trailer (which is professional quality! I LOVED it), first interview and book review will be soon behind.. first copy... what a wonderful and blessed way to begin a new decade.

  23. Marianne,
    What a beautiful video! Brought tears to my eyes. Can't wait to read the book.

    Inspiring story of how you found out your entry was the winner.


  24. Crystal, thank you for your beautiful words of support! I hope you enjoy this offering. I sure loved creating the story!

    L.M. - I'm thrilled you like the trailer! I blushed at your compliment...truly! :-)

  25. Congratulations, Marianne. What a wonderful Christmas present. I can't wait to read your story.

    God bless! oxoxox


  26. Thanks for stopping by the blog, Tanya!! Talk about a Christmas to Remember, right? :-) I hope you enjoy Hearts Crossing - hard to believe how fast it's coming to be!! I appreciate your support.

  27. I need to post a link to this wonderful inspring story on my website! And the trailer is really wonderful. Makes me want to read the book!

  28. Thanks for stopping by and offering such great encouragement, Cindy. I hope you enjoy Hearts Crossing!

  29. What a great story!!! Congrats!