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And the winner is...
Chill Out, Josey and Contest
Mall of America Book Signing
27 Tears, er...Dresses
Contact Info

This too shall pass. 

My son woke up Monday morning with a 101 fever. Being a good mother, I declared, "No School for you!" and promptly medicated him and stuck him back in bed. However a voice murmured in the back of my's game day. He won't be able to play. 
Yeah, yeah, I thought. What if he's well by, say, noon? If I brought him into school could he play? 
By noon, he'd progressed to the sofa, where he was coughing up a lung, all the while saying, "but mom, I can play. Really." 
I'm sure he could. The kid would do anything to play football. And, he's good. He scored FIVE touchdowns in the previous game. And, I love to watch him play. 
So, at 3:00, I gave in. 
I drove the sickie to school so he could throw himself on the mercy of the coach and beg to play. 
It didn't work. Pete had to sit out his last game on the sidelines, huddled in a jacket in the freezing drizzle, watching his team play. Thankfully, the won 48-8.  Still, it hurt. 
And, being his mother, KNOWING that he shouldn't be playing, as well as KNOWING how badly he wanted to play, hurt too. 
I hate it when my kids long for something, and don't get it. Like my oldest son not landing the part of the Cowardly Lion for the play (a role he was born to play, in my humble opinion). And my daughter not getting asked to the Homecoming dance by the boy she likes. 
But, see, I also know that this too shall pass. They will live beyond this moment, and even the things they learn through their disappointment will help them grow. 
It helps that I've been reading 1 Peter these days, as I write the "PJ Sugar - Trouble" novels. It's a collection of novels about a wanna-be PI named PJ Sugar, who just can't seem to stay out of trouble. Book Two is all about her tendency to get in over her head, and find herself overwhelmed.  Suffering from her own mistakes, her disappointments, her failures. 
1 Peter 1:6-7 has an answer for that. "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fine - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."  
God knows about our mistakes, our disappointments, and our failures. And He KNOWS what He's doing in our lives. There is a plan, if we will just be faithful to trust Him. 
Pete has to have faith that even though he couldn't play this game, if he stays in bed, (and listens to his mother), God will heal him (we hope!) and if he is well, he MIGHT get to play in the upcoming Varsity game. And David has to believe that while he might not be able to play the Cowardly Lion, his willingness to take a different part and be a team player will make an impression on the Director for future plays. 
And maybe the foreign exchange student from Italy isn't the right choice of dates for my daughter.
We all have disappointments every day. Mistakes, failures. It helps me to know that nothing is wasted with God, and that it hurts Him to watch us stand on the sidelines and suffer. 
And someday, we just might get to play in the Varsity game.
It's fall here - beautiful weather. I'm off to teach at the
Glorieta Christian Writer's Conference this week. And then, I'll be in Minneapolis in November for a booksigning at the Maple Grove Northwestern Bookstore Friday, November 7th.  Hope to see you there! 
Thank you for all your letters - I've tried to write back when I can. Thank you for reading - your words and support are a great encouragement to me. 
Pressing on, in His grace,


new susan


Nothing But Trouble! 
This book is living up to its name thus far! My winter release just became my summer release.
The publisher decided the book was TOO good to release into the winter doldrums so has decided to birth the series in the warm rays of summer.
This book is my most ambitious to date - so we're looking for a cover that's equally ambitious, something the intrepid PJ Sugar would love.  I'm fully believing that this will be the best thing for PJ (remember the suffering?  1 Peter 1:6-7?) So, stay tuned for exciting updates! 
In the meantime, get an advance look by checking out PJ Sugar's Nothing But Trouble website:
Poke around and get the low-down on PJ (a.k.a NBT - Nothing But Trouble), read her case file, and take a peek at the first chapter. 
And...I'll sweeten the pot!
Sign up to get updates about PJ and Nothing But Trouble here and I'll enter your name to win the Susan May Warren book of your choice, $20 Amazon gift card (just in time for the holidays), and a copy of Nothing But Trouble when it releases!
Chill Out, Josey Contest Winner! 
Last month I asked you to leave comments on my blog about your favorite  winter time activity or winter memory!   
Wow...I loved reading your cozy responses. Thank you to all who played along. I used the random integer generator to select the winning number: 126
The Winner of the Get Cozy Baket is:
JO! (ladijo40)
She'll receive a basket loaded with Godiva chocolate, Starbucks coffee, Harry and David Moose Crunch, gourmet hot cocoa, and a fab pair of snuvvy PJs!  
And 10 of you were randomly selected to receive a copy of Chill Out, Josey! 
29 Maureen My favorite memory is taking the kids out sledding and then coming back for hot chocolate.
24 Cheryl My favorite winter time activity is hanging out by the fire with my sisters, telling stories and sipping lattes.
94 Melody I made my first ever snow angel.
6 Jackie Wisherd My favorite winter memory was a skiing trip at Christmastime in 1992 to Telluride, Colorado with my family.
92 Erin  
130 Heather After meeting up with all the neighborhood kids for sled races, we would hike to a little pond not far away and spend the rest of the day ice skating, even though we were freezing!
121 Natalie Plummer
81 Jennifer TFFQ
3 Jane Squires I now miss the wet winter clothes on the floor or back of chair drying and the fun times with my girls.
Please send Amy your mailing address (and Jo your pj size!)
About Get Cozy, Josey
Josey's about to come home from Russia...and she's dreaming of small-town Minnesota life! Aaaahhh.
But, wait! Why is her hubby mentioning SIBERIA with that killer grin on his face ?

Oh, no Josey...looks like you'll be Gone with the Windchill!
How do you get cozy when your new "home" is a frozen tundra? Josey's dreams of small-town Minnesota bliss melt away when her hubby's relocated to a Siberian village. No indoor plumbing...or junk food! But this feisty former missionary knows how to multitask: juggling toddler twins, empowering local housewives, spreading God's word - no worries, Josey. It's finding time alone with the man of her dreams that will take some real work!

Advice for Novelists.
This month I was asked "If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?" by C.J. Darlington on her blog. This is a fabulous series of answers and advice. So if you're a writer or would like to be a writer, grab a cup of coffee and read what some incredible authors have to say.

My Answer: First, I'm going to pass along something Dee Henderson said to me long ago: Find that one thing that makes you unique, and then become really good at it. For example I love contemporary romance, with a touch of suspense, and I lived in Russia -- so I took that combination and wrote a series of books set in Russia, and because I knew my topic so well, it came through in my writing and gave me a unique voice. SO -- make a list of everything that makes you "unique" and then see if any of those topics can be developed into a novel.

Read the rest here.

This month's Christian Fiction Online Article: Craft Tips and Techniques from Today's Blockbusters

P.S. I Love You and the Art of Flashbacks
Plant clues to the past to raise your reader's curiosity...
P.S.: I really, really love you!
P.S. I Love You and the Art of Flashbacks.
Gerard Butler as Irish pub-singing Gerry. The incredibly talented Hilary Swank as uptight American tourist Holly. A few precious moments with charming Denny, er Jeffery Dean Morgan, aka Denny, my favorite heart transplant patient from Grey's Anatomy. What's not to love? And I did love P.S. I Love You. Love, love, loved it. Cried my eyes out. My favorite line was "Let's just go barefoot,"-a brilliant use of resonant metaphor in dialogue.
Aside from the many wonderful themes written into this screenplay, the movie also can eloquently teach us about effective use of flashbacks. Let's take a look at how the screenwriter weaves in the backstory through flashbacks to draw out our emotions.
First, in the long prologue scene, the screenwriter gives us the clues that form the backbone of Gerry and Holly's past, and provides a checklist of the backstory scenes we'll need to experience to fully understand the story. It's embedded smoothly in their "fight" scene:
1) Gerry was an Irish singer (now out of his element)
2) Holly and Gerry got married quickly (something that made her mother angry)
3) Holly has to have life planned out. (Ultimately, these elements also raise the driving story question: Will Holly be able to get past her grief of losing her first brilliant love to find love again?)
First principle of revealing backstory: Plant clues to the past to raise your reader's curiosity (and provide some backstory elements to search for).
Read the rest here!

Susan May Warren
Soul-Stirring Fiction