My Work-in-Progress

Instant winner!

Being a subscriber to Deb’s Book Blast automatically qualifies you to be in the draw to win the Kindle version of Linda Rodante’s book, As Long As You Both Shall Live.

I’ll announce the winner of the draw at the end of this Book Blast.

Maybe you signed up to get my Book Blast because you wanted to find out more about me as an author. Or maybe you just wanted to get a free book. In any case, if you read my books you’ll find a strong emphasis on ministry. My characters are not only involved in ministry, my plot deals with ministry issues. In my search for ministry in current Christian fiction, I’m finding that emphasis to be rare.

My current work-in-progress is a series about missionary ministry in New Zealand. Serving as a missionary for more than 40 years in Taiwan and New Zealand has given me a passion for missions, church planting, and small church ministry. Today far fewer recruits are stepping forward as career missionaries than in times past. Living conditions and challenges vary greatly from one field to another, but serving as a pastor and wife in New Zealand is very similar to serving in a small American church.

Here’s a bit about the writing process. So far I’ve written the basic plotline for book one and I’ve planned the plotline for book two. After I write the dialog and basic action for the second book, I want to plan out book three and write the dialog and basic action for that one.

I wrote my Art Spotlight Mysteries book by book, finishing one and publishing it before beginning the next. I’m a finisher and I love stamping “finished” on one project before starting another. But I also I see advantages for finishing the basic plot for three books before writing the final draft and polishing the first.

  • I can introduce minor characters in an early book, then feature them as major characters in a later book.
  • I can plant plot points in an early book that develop more fully in a later book.
  • I can change details in an early book to fit the needs of a later book.
  • I can create titles and covers for all the books at once so that they go together well as a series.

Writing about characters in ministry is natural for me. I’ve had church planting experience at different stages in the process, doing similar tasks in different cultures. I’ve worked in ministry at different ages and stages in my own life. I believe my experience helps me understand many of the issues in church planting today. While I avoid writing about situations too close to my experience, that experience gives me rich material from which to draw.

While I don’t want to give away much about my new series, you can expect my characters will have to deal with issues common to Christians in ministry today. Here are some of them:

  • recognizing God’s call to ministry
  • choosing the right marriage partner
  • finding God’s will in major decisions
  • finding God’s place of ministry
  • working with co-workers you don’t choose
  • working with a marriage partner you did choose
  • balancing the needs of family and ministry
  • dealing with expectations of family in ministry
  • sacrificing for the good of the ministry
  • balancing work, fun, and rest
  • remaining faithful to ministry in spite of few visible results
  • remaining faithful to long term ministry
  • recognizing God’s call away from a particular ministry

If you read my books you’ll also find that I handle the romance in them differently than many Christian authors do today.

Whether you call it dating or courtship or simply spending time together, many Christian authors present this part of Christian relationships in ways that seem dangerous to me. Healthy Christian romance is more than sexual abstinence before marriage. You can find out what I view as five marks of a healthy romance in Christian novels here.

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On a related topic, you might also be interested in 15 questions I believe a Christian girl should always ask before she says “yes” to a marriage proposal.





To see these principles of ministry and romance, see my Art Spotlight Series.





Now for the free drawing.

I have randomly picked a winner from my subscribers list to receive the Kindle version of Linda Rodante’s book, As Long As You Both Shall Live.

And the winner is … Betty Reynolds.

I picked this book for the drawing because I love the way Linda Rodante handles the romance in it. I’m always looking for Christian fiction that deals with missionaries in realistic, everyday situations.  The ministry angle drew me to this book by an author I’d never read before.

John Jergenson, the protagonist, feels called to a challenging mission field and returns home to America to ask his girl to marry him and return to Indonesia. This romantic suspense novel kept me turning pages during the suspense sections. More than that, it handled romance in a healthy way. The romance is about more than just hormones and physical attraction. It talks about finding God’s will for your life, both in career and marriage. It deals with sexual temptation and the need for carefulness to maintain purity before marriage. Even in romance, this book talks about making good choices and not just going by your feelings.