my book therapy
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In This Issue
Nothing But Trouble
The Perfect Match
Writing Sequels
Contact Info


My youngest son brought me a book to read to him last night.  Cloudy, with a Chance of Meatballs.  It's a delightful story that I read to him a lot ... when he was six.  But he's twelve now, and as I (of course!) agreed and tucked us into his bed to read, I asked ... any reason why?   
"Because I'm growing up mom, and you won't be reading to me much longer." 
Arrgh! a spear to the heart!  He's growing up!  And of course, he's my youngest. 
I've been plagued recently with insomnia as I wake up and stare into the night, realizing my oldest is going to away to college in just a few months.  I remember his infant days as if they were yesterday. WHEN DID HE GROW UP? 
We had five days off this past week.  One because of MLK holiday, but two because it was -25 below.  The kids lounged around the house, made messes, watched television, played games ... while I tried to work.  Harrumph.  
At one point, as I tapped out a story, they were all gathered around me in the family room, wrestling, laughing and generally being teenagers.  I think I typed the same words three times.  I couldn't wait for school to start.
Except, now the house is too quiet.  I miss their laughter and I fear the regret I may feel when the house is permanently quiet.  Did I read enough to them?  Did I drop everything and play a game?  Was there enough laughter, and encouragement, and grace?
There may be more insomnia ahead. 
All this tug of war of emotions has brought me to my knees, clutching Psalm 90:12.  "Teach us (me!) to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." My Strong's Concordance equates the word "number" with:  weigh out, appoint, prepare.
Makes me think about how each day has significance, or weight, merit, and that it is also  appointed, or chosen.  Signified to have meaning.  And that I must prepare for it.  Maybe not with grand parties, but perhaps a heart willing to set aside my work and embrace the unexpected weighted moments. Maybe play a game of Catan. 
Or build a snowfort.
The verse goes on to say (in KJV) "that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."  Strong's expounds on "apply" with the words abide, attain, employ.  It has both a receiving and a utilizing connotation.
I think regrets come with we don't weigh our days, our actions, when we don't see the significance God has put into each day.  When we see our time as something trivial, hours to get through.  But God has chosen each day to have significance.  Teach us Lord to rightly number of our days, to not live for the trivial, but to appoint and prepare and value our time. Because as we do that, wisdom will bloom in us, and we'll know how to apply it forward.  We'll learn how to live a life without regrets. 
Just some ponderings as winter closes in on us.
I'm excited for my book The Perfect Match to hit the shelves again!  It's about a woman fire chief who sets off a few sparks in town!  And scroll down to see who won the "Who is Max?" contest!  Thank you for all your entries and wonderful comments.  
Thank you for reading, and for your encouraging letters.  I weigh those in my heart as well - knowing their significance.  God Bless and keep warm!

With a grateful heart,
Susan May Warren 
AAAAHHH...My Hero! 
You've done it! The votes are in and tallied! It's official, the hero in the the third PJ sugar book, Max, will look like:
 Jeffery Dean Morgan
This contest was a hoot! I loved your alternate suggestions (your husband, Sarah Palin's husband, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and more). Thanks for the overwhelming response and all the giggles.
Who is Max Smith?
He's a former special forces soldier, and he burned his hands in a house fire trying to save the woman he loves. He is deeply compassionate, and his last act before losing his memory was to intervene during a house invasion.  He grew up on a farm in Minnesota, and right now he works as a carpenter.  
The winner of the Amazon card and a copy of Nothing But Trouble is: Casey Walters
And Stephanie Tygard also won a copy of Nothing But Trouble
 (send my assistant, Amy ( your mailing address!
Also, don't forget to sign up to receive updates on the PJ series at Sugar's 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. Oh, keep checking back...the new cover has been approved and will be revealed soon!
The Perfect Match...SIZZLES!
Perfect MatchThe Perfect Match is being re-packaged and re-released THIS MONTH! 
I'm stoked! Let's throw a few books on the fire and burn through a few of my copies.
Fire up your imagination and leave a comment on my
contest page with your hottest (best, sweetest, most memorable!) Valentine's Day date and I'll put your name into the woodpile for a free copy of The Perfect Match!
I'll post your toasty dates on Scribbles the week before Valentine's Day ... just in case you need a few ideas. (wink, wink) 
About the book: 
Ellie Karlson knows she'd make a stellar fire chief. Now she just has to convince the town of Deep Haven, and especially her crew of chauvinistic firemen, starting with the town pastor, Dan Matthews. But the Pastor Dan isn't the one she has to worry about - especially with an arsonist on the loose. Or maybe he is, because someone is about to get hurt, and Dan isn't about to lose another woman he loves to the line of fire.  
See what people are saying!
Author of the Month at Deena's A Peek at My Bookshelf
My Book Therapy Blog-A-Book!
Write a book with My Book Therapy Voices in 2009!

Remember those games you used to play where your friend started the story, and you finished it?  Or the "Choose your own ending" books?  Ever wanted to be a part of the story process, giving input on the character's decisions, learning how to write a book as you go?  Me too!
Here at My Book Therapy, we love to write, and we love to teach writers how to find their voice. So, in 2009 we'll be writing a book together!  

Starting in January, we'll create characters, a plot, develop conflict, the black moment, the epiphany and finally...the happy ending.  Then, week by week, you'll be a part of the creation process, voting on the next step of our hero's journey, watching the book take life, and learning the nuances of crafting a story. You'll Blog-A-Book with the My Book Therapy authors and get tools to help you how to write your own novel.  

And, at the end of the year, we'll have a book we've all created, something that we'll publish!  And, best of all, part of the proceeds will go to support IJM, an organization that fights human trafficking around the world. 

I'm really excited about our new project, and can't wait to see what the collective mind put together. 

So, Come and Blog-A-Book.  Learn.  Fellowship.  Bless.

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

Back to Deep Magic of Narnia: How to Write a Successful Sequel 
It's not easy to write a sequel...
I love series books. I can't help it-I get to know a character or a group of people and I want to stick around with them, to know them and watch them journey on. I am sure this is what made Dee Henderson's O'Malley series a must-buy on my list. And why I flock to movies one, two, three, four, five, and six (whatever order you want to put them in) of Star Wars and Harry Potter. As soon as we hear the word "sequel," whether to a great book or movie, we're caught up in the magic, the images, and the emotions of our favorite books and movies. We long to dive back into that world, to be enchanted again with the story, the characters, and the fictive dream.

But sadly, we're so often let down. How many "sequel" movies have we watched only to leave the theater with a sense of disappointment? Or how many second books have we put down, thinking, I can't read the third?

It's not easy to write a sequel . . . much less make it better than the first. I had mixed emotions about Prince Caspian. I didn't love the ending, but perhaps because I knew Susan and Peter's adventures were over. But I did enjoy the romp through Narnia a second time-so let's take a look at the elements of a successful sequel.

Read the rest here!

Susan May Warren
Soul-Stirring Fiction