February 26, 2009

Love Finds You in Last Chance, A Winning Combo

I just finished reading Love Finds You in Last Chance, California, a new release from Summerside Press by Miralee Ferrell. This is an intriguing story about a young, independent woman who finds herself alone and facing the toughest challenge she's ever known.

Whether or not you're a fan of historical fiction, this story tackles the timeless, universally understood struggle of facing the unknown and discovering the need to reach beyond your own strength to succeed, no matter how strong you are. The characters personalities and the setting are real and engaging. The simple beauty of the old west comes to life, a perfect backdrop for a story that weaves a touch of mystery together with a sweet, budding romance. Definitely a winning combination!
~Camille (who would probably like the idea of riding horses if she didn't have a Harley.)

February 10, 2009

Remember That Zondervan/Mt Hermon Contest?

Ack! I haven't blogged in a while. I've been off pondering deep truths, reading fabulous books, and baking cinnamon rolls.

And processing a most amazing thing.

Remember that publishing contest I entered last fall, the one I had to talk myself into entering? The one that I probably would not have entered if not for the prodding of a coupla writers who, though they are way up to their neatly arched brows in their own business---er, manuscripts, apparently had nothing better to do? The one that I only qualified to enter through a very slim set of 'God is definitely behind this so he must really want me doing this' circumstances?

November 15th was cleaning day. I remember, because for some odd reason, in the middle of cometing the bowl (yes, some of us still use Comet. It's cheap. And yeah, I use bleach too) I decided to check my email. And saw a message saying my sample chapters had semi-finaled in that contest. Woo hoo!

Which meant I needed to breathe and send in the FULL MANUSCRIPT. That's just a mouthful, isn't it? Very dense, those words. For me, when I say them now, I can actually feel the combined weight of all the hours, all those late nights pounding at the keyboard, all those prayers of Please God let me get this right. I've come to appreciate the weight of those words.

So I sent my Full Manuscript off to Zondervan in the mail. And that was that. An amazing feat in itself, because rarely is an unpublished writer invited to send an entire manuscript outside of a professional introduction or a face-to-face meeting at a writing conference. Or a thunderous voice from heaven.

So with my sweet little baby sent and gone, I got to work on my overdue reading pile, tossed around ideas for a new novel, and willed the two months to pass so I could get on with my life and my next book. I would read about the contest finalists soon enough, and was very eager to hear who would win the book publishing contract in case it was someone I knew. Because in case you didn't already know, writers are pretty cool people. Most of them anyway. And Christian writers are by far the coolest.

So. If you've been paying attention and are still interested in this story, you can probably imagine how surprised I was to get a telephone call last week from an editor's assitant telling me my novel is a FINALIST. I think I told her I was shocked at least 3 times. I'm pretty sure she laughed at me. I may have even told her I loved her, but I'm not positive on that. I'm sure she gets that all the time.

There are a small number of finalists (and I'm waiting to see the details posted on the web so I can talk!) So, to the 2 others---you know who you are---Congratulations! I'm pleased, proud and humbled to be counted among you.

Which brings me to . . . winning the Contest. One of the finalists will receive a $10k contract to publish their book. The other two will get to say that Zondervan editors read their book and thought it was good enough to consider publishing.

So I guess this is the part where you, Dear Reader, get to read a sample from each of the finalists, pick your favorite, and text your vote to 1-888-I LOVE CHRISTIAN FICTION.

No. Not really.

In honor of Mt Hermon's 40th anniversary, the winner of the Zondervan publishing contract will be announced at the 2009 Mt Hermon Christian Writer's Conference in April.

And, Lord willing, I'll be there.



I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.