The price of a soul

This morning as I was having coffee and conversation with Our Lord (He leaves most of the carafe to me) we were discussing the nuances and importance of success (and by that, I mean He was listening, and I was whining), and it occurred to me in a profound way that success must be measured in comparison to the price of a soul. Epiphany of epiphanies, it was a concept I'd been bombarded with for longer than just this morning! (I think I heard Him say, "finally" on a sigh of relief.)

So how was I bombarded with this concept? First, I took note of a blog conversation that occurred over the weekend on the subject of Christian fiction and whether it remains in a vacuum of sorts (as in a preaching-to-the-choir fashion) or whether writers of Christian fiction should endeavor to crossover into the mainstream and perhaps garner more secular readers (in a spread-the-Gospel fashion). The conversation was lively, professional and brought up many interesting facets from all points of view. Issues were raised regarding Christian novelists winning awards, making the NY Times Bestsellers list, etc.

This discussion came on the heels of one of our own novels winning the Christian Small Publishers Assn's Book of the Year award, of a different book being critically praised for stretching the boundaries of Christian fiction in such a way that didn't offend Chrisitan sensibilities, one of our books being picked up for foreign-language publication and of another reviewer talking about how she could always count on one of our books to be an entertaining read. (yes, I know...what was I whining about!)

Add to that, my pastor's sermon this Sundayon the Good Shepherd whereby part of the story he told was about a priest of his own childhood who was influential in his own faith journey which eventually led to his ordination. (this may not seem as though it fits the topic, but it will.)

So, as I was sipping coffee and chatting with the Lord about success, this concept really hit home: Success must be measured in comparison to the price of a soul. (Souls are more precious than gold or silver, so shouldn't be measured by the ounce.)

What is the price of a soul? On one hand, we know the price of all the souls is Jesus' own life--but only if they accept Him (Yes, it still "cost" Him even if they don't accept, but the soul benefits only through its freewill acceptance.). That's where we come into play--being His hands and feet, voice and example. We are our brothers' keepers. Through our words, actions, or failure to act, we can effectively gain or lose a soul--our own and someone else's. So, if you had it within your power to save a soul, what would be a reasonable price? Five dollars? If God came to you and said, "Give five dollars to XYZ charity and that person over there will be saved" would you do it? How about one dollar? What if it cost only seven cents? Would you do it, then? What if it cost only a smile or a kind word? Would you do it, then? What is the price of a soul?

I'll tell you. The price of a soul is obedience. I have always confessed that Pelican Book Group belongs to God and I am just the steward (hopefully a good one who muliplies her talents). Because of that, I do take a rather unconventional approach to how I decide to offer contracts--I judge each manuscript on its own merit. I won't contract a book solely because it's written by a big-name author or because so-and-so's last book with us sold like hotcakes (nor do I reject a contract because so-and-so's last book took a nosedive). Sales figures and popularity don't play into my contracting decisions. (I know some will think that's bad business, but I feel it's the best way for me and my ambitions to stay out of the way, thereby leaving room only for His ambitions to flourish.) Only the quality of the manuscript at hand has a bearing on what we publish. And that is for one reason: The price of a soul.

For each book we publish, I believe God has a purpose, an intended readership. Sometimes that readership is many, sometimes it's few, sometimes it's exclusively Christians and sometimes it's Christians, non-Christians and those on the fence. I don't know who that readership is. I don't know what His ultimate purpose is for each book. Will I try to market and sell as many copies of each of our titles as possible? Of course. I don't think I would be a good steward if I just sat on my hands all day and waited for a miracle. (although I have seen miracles happen--quite often, actually.) Does it mean I don't want our authors to make money? Nope! I think it'd be cool for our authors to become millionaires. Does it mean I wouldn't be head-over-heels Snoopy dancin' if one of our titles hit the NY Times Bestsellers list? Oh, Snoopy wouldn't have anything on me, let me tell you! What it does mean is: none of those things are my goal. My goal is to remain obedient--to purchase a soul.

You see, for any given title, God may have only a readership of one in mind. Perhaps it's a lonely soul who's lost all hope and picks up one of our titles as an escape from a life he/she feels is wretched, and within the pages finds hope, starts going back to church, rededicates his/her life to Christ. That title is infinitely, profoundly successful--even if the NY Times doesn't say so.

Perhaps our books reach only a Christian readership. Does that mean we're not evangelizing and spreading the message of Christ to a secular audience? No way! Christians interact with non-Christians, lukewarm Christians and others every single day. If one of our books uplifts the Christian reader, gives that reader a sense of well-being, strengthens his/her faith, that reader will go out and affect (in a positive way, let's hope) each person he/she comes in contact with. (Which is where my pastor's sermon comes into account in all this.)

You see, his childhood pastor--the man who had such a profound influence on my pastor as he was growing up--was preaching to the choir. He pastored a flock of people who attended church every Sunday, who professed and lived their faith. He wasn't out pounding the pavement and talking to every non-Christian he could find. But, he had a positive influence on my pastor--a man, by the way, who was instrumental in the conversion of both my husband and me. So, that long-ago pastor, a person I never met, a man who didn't seek riches or fame, through his obedience to his ordination purchased a soul. Mine. Thank God he didn't decide to reach for the accolades of man. If he had, he may not have influenced that little boy who was sitting in the pew listening to his sermons. And that little boy may not have grown to enter the clergy, may not have become the pastor of my church, may not have been around to answer my spiritual questions and to be influential in my conversion. In my husband's conversion. In the conversion of my children.

If you are called to write, and called to write Chrisitan fiction, I implore you not to be tempted to water down the message so that  you can gain the accolades of man. Write with this in mind: Obedience to His will and the price of a soul. The confirmation is nice, yes. (Sometimes we never discover the true influence we've had on someone, and that's hard. My pastor's pastor didn't know he affected my life. But he did, and him not knowing doesn't make it any less so.) The rising bank balance is nice, yes. The public recognition is nice, yes. But are those things worth the price of a soul?

What is the price of a soul? If it would save a soul would you give up the back-pats from your family and friends? Would you leave the Pulitzer to someone else? Would you give up the royalty on one sale? On ten sales? On ten thousand sales? . . .What if the soul was yours?

I'm not saying don't strive for greatness or for your writing to pay off monetarily--or for your book to win some prestigious award. What I am saying is always check your motives. Store your treasure in heaven, not in this fleeting life where "our days may come to seventy or eighty years...for they pass quickly" (as the psalm says). Don't measure success by what you can see with your limited vision. If your story helps to save one soul, you are the success of successes (even if no one notices, and even if you don't discover so until eternity).

Amen. I'm done!

Go write, people. Be a success. :)

Make-A-Story™ - Monday's Writing Prompt

Writing to spec – you’ve heard the term. It means writing what the publisher wants. Can you do it? In our new feature - Make-A-Story™, we ask you to create a story with these elements. The story can be set in any time frame, any length, must adhere to our guidelines and have our standard Christian world view. A starry night A campfire Roasting marshmallows

Monday's Child by Clare Revell

Based on the new version of the nursery rhyme Monday's Child comes a new series of romantic suspense novels by Clare Revell. One for every day of the week.

Monday’s Child must hide for protection,
Tuesday’s Child tenders direction
Wednesday’s Child grieves for his soul
Thursday’s Child chases the whole
Fridays Child is a man obsessed
Saturday’s Child might be possessed
And Sunday’s Child on life’s seas is tossed
Awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost.


Monday’s Child must hide for protection...

This was not the assignment Luke Nemec expected when he came to the UK—babysitting a beautiful widow. It wouldn’t be so bad if Sara wasn’t such a hostile witness. Despite her complaints and continued jibes, Luke finds himself falling for her.

When, Sara Barnes is thrown into the witness protection programme, she becomes the “wife” of Lt. Luke Nemec, an American cop on temporary assignment with the British police. Despite Luke’s American bravado, she finds he’s kind and considerate in ways her late husband never was.

But things aren’t always what they seem, and Luke soon realizes he’s fighting a battle of two fronts to keep Sara safe. Loyalties are called into question, and he’s no longer certain who he can trust. Luke is way out of his depth. As the threats against Sara escalate, it’s a race against time to find her husband’s killer before Sara is silenced forever.


Luke smiled at her and offered his hand.

Sara ignored it, staring aghast at Wilcox, shock resonating through her, and not just at his abrupt tone. Was there something wrong with her hearing? There was no rank of lootenant in the English police force, for one thing. Or leftenant come to that. For another, he didn’t look like a soldier, and—wait a minute, did he say marriage? “I’m sorry?”

“Lieutenant Nemec will be with you on a full-time basis. As far as the world is concerned, you’ll be his wife. First name terms only.”

Furious, Sara shook her head. Her eyes narrowed and her lips set. “Oh, no. There is absolutely no way, either in this lifetime or the next, that—”


“Don’t you Sara me. I am not going to live with anyone, Inspector. Especially someone I’ve only just met. And I am definitely not marrying him.” She glanced at Luke, deliberately pronouncing his title the English way. “No offence, Leftenant Nemec.”

Luke slid his hands into his pockets. “None taken, but my name is Luke. If it helps any, I was just told myself.”

Taken aback by his accent, Sara did a double take. “You’re American.”

“And you’re British.” He tilted his head, flashing his teeth in a broad smile.

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Ebook from pelican books

Paperback from pelican books

Write the Vision ~ Wednesday

The Wizard of Oz always was a favorite movie of mine, but it always bothered me at the end when Glenda told Dorothy she had what she needed to leave Oz all along...the ruby slippers.
Why did Glenda do that to Dorothy? Just think of all Dorothy could have avoided...the scary monkeys, the long journey, etc.

What if Glenda had simply told Dorothy those shoes are your one-way ticket out of here? Would Dorothy have stayed? Would she have stopped to help a brainless scarecrow, a heartless tin man and the cowardly lion? Probably not. Would she have made a choice that put her on a road to hardship, persecution, and danger even though she knew that she would save others and grow personally along the way? And if Dorothy had returned straight to Kansas, what was the point of the journey?

Just like a mother has to step back as her child is taking his first steps, Glenda stepped back. She knew Dorothy had to go through those hard places to become the Dorothy she should be. By taking that hard road she made some wonderful friends, and those difficult experiences made her grow personally. 

Had she taken that easy way out, she would have been forever looking for that place “over the rainbow” and avoiding her fears.  But by going there, by preserving, she learned that “somewhere over the rainbow” wasn’t a perfect place to escape from your problems. It was a place of growth.

There are other books like The Wizard of Oz with epic journeys, and in each one the protagonist returns a changed individual. In these books the “hero’s journey” is quite literal and we see it is through trials and tests that the characters bloom and grow.

All these books remind me of Job 23:10
But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

In life it is the hard times that help us to become stronger. Just as in life, adversity can make our characters stronger too. While it isn’t easy to make beloved characters suffer, we can take a cue from these journeys as well as from the lessons in the book of  Job-- it isn't the good times forge character, it's the trials. 

Tactical Tuesday: Advice for Self Editing

Authors should always work hard to avoid offending a reader. When self editing, important areas to look for are narratives that smack of author intrusion. Readers can easily spot an author's opinion peeking through the pages of a manuscript. Sometimes this narrative is, sadly, intentional. An author has a strong socio, economic, or political stance, and he wants the world to know it. This is the ultimate form of "telling" and not "showing." The author's opinion is better shown through the dialogue, action, and thoughts of a character with careful attention paid to offering an alternative viewpoint. In other words, let the reader decide.

When the narrative intrusion is unintentional, the cause for the misunderstanding reached by the reader is usually due to the fact that the author has not set the stage for the character's viewpoint. Simple issues can become a maelstrom if author intrusion is considered the source of the belief. Hotbed topics such as race, religion, even opinions about what area of the United States you reside, can anger a reader if not presented through the character's viewpoint.

For example: If an author simply states in narrative that Southerners are opinionated, a Northern reader might agree, but a Southerner reader is likely to say, "What? I'm not opinionated, and that's a fact!" But if the author lays the groundwork for her character, MaryLou, who has never been out of her small Southern hometown, who is now in New York City alongside her editor, a New York City native named Giovanni, MaryLou's opinionated personality can be shown: "A person should always say thank you when someone holds the door open for them. In the South such rudeness is unheard of." Giovanni would then counter her by leaning close to her ear, "And where you come from, MaryLou, the door is usually held open for one or two persons. Holding a door open in New York City is like opening the floodgates. Who has time for all the thank yous. They are implied." The key, unlike the reply above that I gave to my fictional Southerner reader, is to offer a balance. And who knows, MaryLou may learn to love New York City, and Giovanni, might want to move to the South where he doesn't have to hold the door open for so long.

Perusing a manuscript for personal opinions given through narrative intrusion will prevent an author from making a bad impression upon an agent or editor.

Until next time, happy editing.

Pelican Book Group at the RT Book Lovers Convention

White Rose Publishing and Pelican Book Group were well represented at the RT Book Lovers Convention in Chicago a short while ago!

Authors Dora Hiers, Mary Manners, Marianne Evans, and the writing duo of KM Daughters had a blast mixing and mingling with romance readers and authors at the Rosemont Hyatt Regency! Here's a look at some of the fun to be had at Club RT, the Book Expo (E-Book) signing, and the Giant Book Fair (Print Books) signing.

We were all so awed and humbled to support this awesome publishing house! In a very fun--if nerve wracking--honor, Hiers, Manners and Evans presented an interactive reader panel discussing the topic: 'Beyond the Bodice - Lacing Together Faith & Romance." The responses they received about what readers want (realism and modern storylines!) were illuminating, and a lot of fun to discuss! Audience member Katy Lee walked away with a Kindle for joining in the fun!

Hope to see you at next year's RT Book Lovers Convention in Kansas City! Pelican Book Group authors would love to welcome you with open arms!

Our Kind of Town!
 Lacing Together Faith & Romance
 Promo Lane - Lots of Goodies!

 Mary Manners, Marianne Evans & KM Daughters!
 Dora Hiers
 Mary Manners
 KM Daughters
Marianne Evans

Thursdays Tips: Let’s Talk Carrots… Sort Of (Or the Fine Art of Secret-Keeping as a Novelist)

Let’s begin with another foodie term first though, shall we? I promise to get down to writing in a minute here. Do you remember when “plate” became a verb in cooking circles? The food channels and recent popularity of cooking obsessions necessitated the term to refer to how a chef presents a well-cooked meal. The term is plating. “Let’s plate up this masterpiece. It’s all in the presentation.” 

Same’s true for writers with "carroting." Let me explain. When you, as the writer, keep things from your readers, you “carrot” them along—as in bait them to follow you. This is a necessary technique. You don’t want to not do this! However, you also don’t want to overdo it either. 

Carroting has its uses. You can use secret-keeping to hold a reader’s interest. It’s a tool of engagement. And keeping readers engaged is key, right? But there’s a fine line, and there are some techniques to keep in mind. Plus, no matter what, you’ll always have some carroting going on because you need to keep that story question in question until near the end of the story.
So, how can you tell if you’re frustrating readers? And how can you best use this “carroting” technique? 

First things first: your opening chapter is not the place to frustrate your reader. First chapters have enough question marks (in the sense of unanswered questions). Readers are trying to get into your story world, to get to know the characters, to discern the story question, the stakes, the genre elements specific to your work. They’re trying to bond with your POV character, to sympathize, to find some common ground. They’re trying to get into that character’s head. Deep POV helps them do this. However, if you bait them with senselessly unanswered questions, you won’t make friends with your readers. There had better be a good reason for not divulging information. We’re in his/her head, and s/he knows why Aunt So-and-So is standing on the front porch carrying a shotgun. Let’s hear it. 

Note: Unsure if you’re frustrating your reader? Have unbiased folks give your manuscript a read. They’ll tell you. 

The issue here (with keeping secrets from the reader) is that the point-of-view character obviously knows the answers, and if we’re in deep POV, we should too. Otherwise, the secret-keeping feels contrived, forced, artificial. (Now, there are times when the POV character does not know the answer. In mysteries, for example. Great! Carry on with secret-keeping.) So, your best strategy is to know deep POV (First KEY). Study it and practice it. Editors can tell if you get POV or not and we can tell if you’re using “carroting” incorrectly, as your main means to keep readers engaged, especially where that opening chapter is concerned. 

Second KEY: have more than one means of engaging the reader. Use character sympathy, action, suspenseful elements, etc., to keep your reader engaged. Don’t have one inane secret, which just happens to be your main POV character’s secret, be the only means of hooking the reader. Have more things up your sleeve.

Third KEY: find the balance. Like with every other area of writing, we need to find the right balance between secret-keeping and divulging those answers.

So, let’s summarize:

* Above all, avoid frustrating the reader.

* Don’t overwhelm readers with too many unknowns in the first chapter. 

* Have more than one means of keeping the reader hooked (engaged) in the story, particularly in that all-important opening chapter. (Especially if it’s obvious the POV character is dancing around the answer.)

* Take advantage of deep POV. Don’t be too far removed. That doesn’t mean share everything the POV character knows, but it definitely pertains to not keeping readers in the dark. 

Use carroting wisely, and like with plating, you’ll have a great presentation!

Tactical Tuesday: Advice for Self Editing

Why is self-editing important to an author?

Have you ever wondered why some athletes excel and others don't make the cut? Why one vocalist wins the audition and garners the prized solo? What about the chef who takes the prize for the winning recipe? One word separates the winner: Advantage.

Some will look at that word, and they'll instantly think of someone who knows someone who can land them a job or a coveted award. Not so. Often the advantage goes to the one who is most prepared, who exhibits an ability far above the others.

Learning to self edit your prose gives the writer an advantage. As with the athlete who must cross the finish line, the soloist who must also make an outstanding stage presence, or the chef who must create a dish beyond the expectations of those who will judge, a writer must also have a story that leads the reader to turn page after page, not wanting to set the book down until the very last sentence.

On a very few occasions, a well-written story is enough. However, the truth is, what constitutes a well-written story for one industry professional may not be the same for another. The author's biggest advantage is a well-edited manuscript backed up by a story that contains all of the elements that move a story forward.

There is a myth that well-known authors do not have to present a strong proposal or manuscript. Someone has to edit the story, whether it's the author, a paid freelance editor, or a publisher's in-house editor. Even if an author hires someone to correct their mistakes before sending off a manuscript, the advantage still remains with the author who knows how to self-edit.

Until next time, happy editing.

Write the Vision ~ Wednesday


And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obed-edom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark. ~ 1 Chronicles 15:24

Chances are you may have never heard a sermon about Benaiah. You may have never heard of Benaiah period. He wasn’t a David, an Elijah or even a Paul. In fact, he’s mentioned less than fifty times in the Old Testament.

So who was this Beniah? He was a faithful servant of God. He was a priest, a trumpet blower before the Ark of the Covenant. He was a worthy man, someone who stood firm when others wavered.

To use a football analogy he wasn’t a quarterback, he was one of the guys running interference. It is interesting that Beniah has been given a place in the Bible, but like his place in life, he isn’t one of those men who come immediately to mind when you start thinking Bibilical heroes. There are no songs about Benaiah—he didn’t climb a sycamore tree, or kill a giant. He was just an average Joe, but what a legacy he has left. Beniah is an inspiration.

Not all of us are a David, Elijah, or Paul. We may not be the best the strongest the fastest. We may not be a preacher or a teacher or a choir member. We may just be a pew sitter, but, we can be like Benaiah. We can be worthy, loyal, and we can proclaim God’s presence in this world. Like Benaiah, we can be counted faithful. Thank God for the Beniah’s of the world. They are truly inspiring and exemplify the verse Seek ye first the kingdom of God.

Make-A-Story™ - Monday's Writing Prompt

Writing to spec – you’ve heard the term. It means writing what the publisher wants. Can you do it? In our new feature - Make-A-Story™, we ask you to create a story with these elements. The story can be set in any time frame, any length, must adhere to our guidelines and have our standard Christian world view.

An airplane
A basket
A wedding dress

Tactical Tuesday: Advice for Self Editing

Okay, I just finished reviewing a number of entries or a writing contest. A lack of self-editing set the entries apart, and many of the entries had the same common mistakes. What were those mistakes that cost entrants valuable points?

1. Prologues filled with back story: By its very nature, a prologue is back story.
However, a well-written prologue moves that back story forward. Authors should never make the mistake of beginning a prologue only to include information that preceded the time of the prologue.

2. Starting the story in the wrong place: How can an author determine if he's started his novel at the wrong point in time? One indication is the need to fall back immediately into back story. If the back story is so important, this might be where the story should begin. Another indication is blocks of narrative providing the reader with an explanation of where she is at this point of the story. A good practice is to always start your story in media res. In short, drop your characters into the action and move forward.

3. Telling rather than showing: In most instances, this is even done by more experienced authors. It's a tendency to drop in telling phrases such as she heard, he knew, she realized, he saw. In most instances these phrases should be avoided, and they are easily removed by taking off the phrase and changing the tense. This brings the reader one step closer to the action. Another form of telling is more evident. Large blocks of meandering narrative that tell us everything the character has done, will do, and plans to do before it occurs. Most times, this information isn't even necessary. Often, if it is necessary, it can be delivered in smaller bites throughout the manuscript and not dumped all at once for the reader to chew on and grasp.

4. Punctuation: It's a small matter, but mistakes add up. One or two errors can be chalked off as typographical. More than one or two, and the judge, editor, or agent sees very clearly that the author has lack of understanding. Oh, and one important mistake that dates an author is the use of double spaces after end-of-sentence punctuation. Always check your document for those spaces. The rule is a well-known one, and to discard it, marks the author as either a rebel or someone who has not worked hard to know their craft.

5. Spelling: Again, it's the little things that drive the judges, editors, and agents crazy. If you're writing about a certain locale--a famous locale--one that is on every map in the country--spell it correctly. If a red squiggly line forms beneath a word in your manuscript, look it up in the dictionary, because there's a better than average chance the spelling is wrong.

6. Grammar: An author doesn't have to know the definition of a dangling participle or the names for each part of a sentence. An author should know what makes the continual use of an adverb in a dialogue tag the wrong course of action in most cases. There are certain rules that, when broken, will mark an author as a newbie. Knowing the basics is a plus.

And there you have it. These common errors do make a difference to judges, to editors, and to agents. When entering a contest, it is always best to review the score sheet. Most are provided for the entrants, and they are a good way to ensure your entry makes a better than average showing in any contest.

Make-A-Story™ Monday - Writing Prompt

Writing to spec – you’ve heard the term. It means writing what the publisher wants. Can you do it? In our new feature - Make-A-Story™, we ask you to create a story with these elements. The story can be set in any time frame, any length, must adhere to our guidelines and have our standard Christian world view.

An antique Bible
A cat
A tandem bicycle with a basket

Pacing a Romance

Pelican Book Group now has three imprints: White Rose Publishing (romance), Harbourlight Books (non-romance), and most recently Watershed Books (young adult fiction with adult appeal). Today I want to talk to writers of romance about pacing.

Here are some basic rules of thumb for pacing a romance:

Ground us in the hero or heroine’s world so we’ll care about them as they face that inciting incident that gets the story rolling. This will keep us engaged until we meet the other main character. (By the way, you can begin the story in either POV—the hero’s or heroine’s. Just be purposeful about why you began in his or her point of view.)

Next, introduce the other main character either by the end of the first chapter or the beginning of the second chapter. So, let’s say you begin in the heroine’s ordinary world. You help us engage with her. She’s relatable and likable. Show us her strength, her weakness, her dream (goal), possibly even her greatest fear, and then by the end of chapter one or the beginning of chapter two, introduce the hero. Let us get into his head, see life as he does. See the heroine as he does. While we’re in his head, let us see his goals and his dream. Let us peek at his heroism, glimpse his weakness and even his greatest fear (depending on story length this element may be left out for both H/h).

The key for romance pacing is to get the hero and heroine together early and keep them together—force them together—through the story. Give them a common goal that forces them to spend time together so the romance can happen. Let us see the relationship develop through each of their perspectives. Help us stay hooked.

About halfway through the story (to two-thirds), let them be at a believable point to commit to giving their romance a real try. Then send something to drive them apart. Once they overcome this final obstacle, bring them together for the story’s end.

Of course, you’ll mix in your characters’ goals and dreams, show us their heroism and nobility, have them sacrifice for each other, face their biggest fears. But it all begins by bringing them together in the first place. They don’t have to be together in every scene (for WRP), but keep the romantic elements going through tension of will they or won’t they and/or their mutual attraction, etc. It’s better to have the reader question whether the hero and heroine will get together than to question whether they’re reading a romance or not, right?

I hope these tips help. I’ll check back for comments if you have questions. Write on!

Call for Submissions - new imprint: Watershed Books

Another exciting announcement:  We're adding a new imprint to the Pelican Book Group family. Watershed Books will be Christian fiction geared towards the young adult. Just as teens are experiencing a crucial turning point in their lives—a watershed between childhood and adulthood—so Watershed Books will feature stories that both entertain and exemplify the angst and beauty in that transition.

Watershed will encompass all genre of Young Adult Christian fiction, however all titles should have a transcendent quality that will also appeal to an adult reader. Word count ranges from 25K-65K. Submissions are open and guidelines are available on the Pelican Book Group website. Unagented submissions are accepted. Reprints are not.

As always, Pelican Book Group is dedicated to providing quality inspirational fiction that adheres to mainline Christian teachings.

Plans are to release our first Watershed title in the fall of 2013.

Click here for the official press release.

Make-A-Story™ Monday - This Week's Writing Prompt...

Writing to spec – you’ve heard the term. It means writing what the publisher wants. Can you do it? In our new feature - Make-A-Story™, we ask you to create a story with these elements. The story can be set in any time frame, any length, must adhere to our guidelines and have our standard Christian world view.

An antique kitchen table
A mysterious stranger
A family secret

Ruby Dawn to be Released in German

Being a part of Pelican Book Group is always a blessing (even when it's one of those rare God-if-this-is-how-you-treat-your-friends blessings [you know what I'm talking about. :) ]). Today, though, we have a special announcement -- a "feel good" blessing -- and when better to announce that than during the most holy week of the year?

Verlag der Francke Buchhandlung, a Christian book publisher located in Marburg, Germany, will publish the German translation of Raquel Byrnes's RUBY DAWN. The German-language edition of RUBY DAWN is expected to be released some time in 2013. RUBY DAWN, which is the second in the Shades of Hope series, as well as PURPLE KNOT, the first in the series, are both currently available for sale (check out our website or all the usual places such as Amazon).

BAYOU BLUE, book three, will be released by Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing) in August 2012.(Don't miss it!)

As each day passes at Pelican Book Group, I am amazed at where God takes us. He is truly amazing! Thanks to all who help us to spread His goodness through literature (in English...and soon in German, too!). Whether you're staff, author, or reader, we couldn't do what we do without you.

Click here to view the official press release.

Have a blessed week.
Nicola Martinez, Editor-in-Chief