Thursday, February 15, 2007

Exciting News

I am pleased to announce I am having my first novel published sometime in the spring, and by an actual traditional publisher (i.e., I'm not paying them, they are paying me). More information to come in the future, but here is a synopsis of the book, which will be published by Capstone Fiction (, a new company doing some innovative things with on-demand publishing. The book will be available at,, and some other outlets.

At first meeting, Carlie Geraldson appears to be a typical Midwestern minister’s wife and homemaker. She has accompanied her husband, Jeff, across the United States to attend college and pastor three churches in a conservative evangelical denomination between the years 1969 and the present, 1986. She is a college graduate, art teacher, and mother of two children who are as different as can be. Emily is four, bouncy, blonde. Josiah is eleven, good-looking, intellectually gifted, and biracial. Carlie’s friends may eventually learn about Josiah’s origin from a violent rape when Jeff was in seminary in South Carolina, and how it threatened to tear everything they knew apart. Insisting on keeping and raising Josiah was a difficult decision with difficult consequences. But Carlie and Jeff did the right thing without fully knowing all that they were doing, or why.
After years of a journey to understand the meaning of her experience, Carlie is searching for her calling. She struggles to protect Josiah, who attends an elite private school in Cincinnati, and help him understand who he is. Meanwhile, Jeff pastors a church in their small denomination in a nearby town. Meanwhile, Carlie grows in friendship with her new neighbor, Esther, an older African-American woman who introduces her to the pregnancy helps center movement and who insists that Josiah needs to know about life as a Black person in the U.S. At the same time, Jeff struggles with the demands of pastoring a church whose previous minister died under unusual circumstances. Carlie is drawn to the pro-life movement, where she finds what she believes is her calling.
Jeff, however, is not too sure. While he empathizes with Carlie’s desire to serve the Lord and the community, his belief that Christianity and politics are an oil-and-water combination is more than just an opinion. It is a deeply held conviction anchored in his church’s tradition. Furthermore, Jeff struggles in his commitment to Josiah, who represents the worst time in his and Carlie’s life but who is also an amazing and loving child. Political conflicts create marital conflicts as Carlie insists on further involvement in anti-abortion protests. After information about her past leaks out to other counselors at the center, her story is published in a national magazine, which brings them even more unwanted attention, and Carlie begins to counsel a confused young woman who will change the course of Carlie’s life.
Will Carlie find and fulfill her purpose in life, or will that purpose exact a greater demand than she can give? The novel indirectly examines themes of commitment, forgiveness, grace, duty, love, racism, the church’s role in political involvement, and reconciliation. A pro-life conviction and Biblical world view underlie the story. However, it is not one with a happy ending. The story recognizes that commitment can cost everything. It is a tragedy in one sense, but also a story that ends in hope, written for readers who want to meet people in literature who make choices based on the demands of discipleship.

Public Speaking Online: Part III

This is a continuation of articles below on speaking for webinars, etc.  Experts give a few other preparation tips...