Melody’s Song by Kathleen E. Friesen

Check out the back cover blurb of Melody’s Song by Kathleen E. Friesen, a novel of contemporary women’s Christian fiction, and then read the first few pages below.

After the tragic death of her husband, timid Melody Jamison moves to the city of Saskatoon in search of a peaceful life, an escape from the nightmares that haunt her, and the safe return of her son, Will.

However, Will is determined to prove he doesn’t need anyone, and God isn’t even a blip on his radar. Trouble seems to follow him, but he’s strong enough to deal with anything. At least that’s what he wants to believe.

Melody keeps praying, even though she’d not sure God hears her. With her faith as fragile as yesterday’s dream, she is shaken when dying friend Rose Martens predicts that God will use her to bless their neighborhood. As Melody gets to know her new neighbors, she finds herself on a faith journey through demonic attacks, domestic violence, and the revelation of a secret that could destroy everything she’s gained.


Whap! The old screen door slammed and echoed through the nearly empty farmhouse. Melody Jamison startled and bumped her head in the cavernous refrigerator she’d been cleaning. She struggled to her feet as her daughter Faith rushed into the kitchen, her hair a white-gold banner streaming behind her. 

“Mom? Oh, there you are. Sorry we’re late, but Jessica decided to nap an extra hour, and then she filled her diaper at the last minute, and… Are you okay?” 

Melody tossed her cleaning cloth into the sink, feeling much older than her forty-four years. She leaned against the blue-tiled counter and rolled her aching shoulders. 

“I think so.” She sighed, shoulders dropping. “I knew this move would be hard, leaving this old farm…saying goodbye…but it’s even harder than I’d expected.” 

Her eyes welled up and she wiped them with the frayed hem of Tom’s old denim shirt. “I just can’t help feeling as though I’ve failed your father. You know how he loved this place. And after four generations of Jamisons…” 

Faith circled slowly, looking like a sad ballerina as her chin quivered at the barrenness of what used to be their home. Then she crossed the room and wrapped Melody in a hug. “Yeah, I know.” 

Her daughter pulled back but didn’t let go. “But you are doing the right thing. I still wish you were moving to a better part of the city, but at least you’ll be in Saskatoon. I’ve been worried about you being out here all alone, working yourself into the ground. I couldn’t bear to lose you, too. Dad would never expect you to run the farm by yourself.” She paused. “You do know that, right?” She pressed her cheek to her mother’s. “And we prayed about this, remember?” 

Faith stepped back, peered into her mother’s eyes. Melody looked away—too late. “You look exhausted. How long has it been since you’ve slept?” 

Melody didn’t want to answer. Nightmares had haunted her days and devoured her nights ever since Tom’s death, but she wasn’t about to admit it to her daughter. She leaned into the hug and rested her head on Faith’s slender shoulder.

Home Where She Belongs by Penny Frost McGinnis

Welcome to the holiday season! I’m interrupting my regularly scheduled theme, which is all about endings this month, and taking time to highlight the books of writer friends. If you’re looking to buy Christian fiction as gifts, the posts this week will give you ideas on how to wrap up a great story for a gift. First up is Home Where She Belongs by Penny Frost McGinnis, a fellow author with Mt. Zion Ridge Press. Here’s the back cover blurb for her debut novel.

Tired of being a pawn for her father and an emotional punching bag for her ex-boyfriend, Sadie Stewart escapes to Abbott Island where she spent summers with her grandparents. Would the love and faith she learned from them be enough to fuel her new life? She wants to believe God’s promises, yet broken trust holds her back. 

Joel Grayson left the island long enough to train at the Police Academy. The community trusts him, even though he’s failed. When he finds Sadie at her grandparents’ cottages, his heart skips a beat. He’d love to get to know her again, but no one needs to share the hurt he harbors. 

When Sadie discovers someone is sabotaging her future, she seeks Joel’s help. As they are drawn together, will Joel let down his guard and let her in? Will Sadie trust the man who loves her and the Father Who cares?

To get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what inspiration Penny used to pen (Sorry. Had to do it) her “small-town romance with a dash of mystery and the promise of hope”, click here to visit her post. Penny also wrote a guest blog for me about using nature in our writing.

What’s the best book you’ve received as a Christmas gift?

You’ve Finished NaNoWriMo. Now What?

Congratulations! You’ve finished NaNoWriMo. Now what?

Whether you reached your goal or not, any attempt a writer makes to work on his or her art is an achievement. But now that it’s over, what’s the next step? Although my attempt at NaNoWriMo last March didn’t accomplish what I hoped, I do have some advice for whatever shape your story is in, come December 1.

Let It Go

At least for awhile. I’ve always bemoaned the fact that NaNoWriMo is held in November. But the one advantage of doing it in that month is that December follows it and everyone is usually so busy in December that a writer really doesn’t have time to keep working on a novel started in November. And that’s perfect.

I’ve found that once I finish a story, I need to let it sit awhile without looking working on it at all. Times vary. Some writers need to leave it alone for only a week, others, a month.

For my latest short story, I worked on it over several months and then submitted it. Of course, after I let it go, an idea for improving the next to last line came to me weeks later. So I contacted the editor of the anthology. She said she hadn’t started editing yet, so if I had changes, I should go ahead and make them. As I dug back into the short story, I was pleasantly surprised how smoothly it read. Except for one part, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense. So I changed the next to last line and the dialogue in the scene that didn’t make sense. Stepping away from it for several weeks helped me see where the story needed work.

Edit, Edit, Edit

January will probably be a good month to bring your NaNoWriMo novel into the light and see how it looks. Now is the time to edit. No one writes a perfect first draft. If you haven’t edited a fiction story before, ask for advice from writer friends, check out writing blogs, borrow writing books. Editing will only improve your novel, and your want your novel to be the best it can be.

For more post on NaNoWriMo, click here.

How was your NaNoWriMo? What are your plans for finishing your novel?

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