You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Harvest House’ tag.

I’ve not seen the despair of the drug trade and organized crime up close, but the book White Soul seems to portray it accurately.

I believe Brandt Dodson does an excellent job at showing how easy it is for the Christian to be caught up in the world.

The blurb on the back of the book:

Undercover agent Ron Ortega has a decision to make… do the right thing, or the desired thing?

Too often we choose the desired thing which can have dire consequences to our life.

As an undercover agent, Ron has to make his subjects believe he is one of them. But how far is too far? Ron came close to going too far.

I’m reading the book of Judges now and I see how easy it was for the Israelites to fall into the habits and customs of the people around them. And each time, they faced terrible circumstances. But each time they were restored by God’s grace.

I like this verse from the Apostle Paul:

Romans 7:18-20 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

I’m glad to know that my place in Heaven is not determined by how good I am, because I cannot be good enough. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with the evil in his life as evidenced by what he wrote above.

No, my place in Heaven is secured by a man who purchased that place for me by taking on my sin while on the cross.

At the end of the chapter 7, Paul says:

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Who will rescue me from this body of death? JESUS

Read White Soul if you like gritty crime novels.

At some point in time we all get rejected by someone, whether it is by a book editor, a literary agent, a job interviewer, a love interest, etc.

I’ve been rejected multiple times for my book manuscripts. See my post Missing the Mark on my first rejection.

Don’t get discouraged about rejections. It doesn’t mean you won’t have a second chance. I was given a second chance by that same publisher in 2007 at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

I sat down with Nick Harrison from Harvest House (my first rejection) for a 15 minute pitch of my ideas. He asked to see a sample of my writing.

Just before leaving for the conference I stuffed in my bag three chapters of one of my works in progress, so I handed him those pages. This had not been run by any critique partners so it was a rough draft. I should have been embarrassed to hand it to him.

He read the first page and turned to the next. I’ve heard many times that editors know from the first page whether it is something they are looking for in a manuscript, so I was thrilled. Then he turned the next page and the next. He asked a question about the plot of the story.

Then he said, “You’ve broken one of the cardinal rules of writing.”

My heart sank. I wondered what I did wrong.

He said I didn’t lead with the protagonist, but that I did it well.

I broke a major rule in writing fiction, but I did it well! I couldn’t have been more flattered.

He wasn’t interested in that story, but wanted to know if I had others. And boy did I. He probably regretted asking that question. I turned my notebook toward him where I had written down about 50 book ideas — all in various degrees of completion, some just a one sentence idea.

He wanted me to send him my Regency proposals. Unfortunately, those were the one sentence ideas.

I came home and worked on a contemporary piece that I had gotten some interest from other editors at the conference and was subsequently rejected by them.

An opening paragraph for the regency came to me one day so I wrote it down and haven’t stopped writing on it yet. I have written 75 pages on it and hope to write 15 pages today. See my post Writing the Breakout Novel.

I heard Mr. Harrison will not be attending the conference this year, so I plan to get it completed before the conference and send it to him. I think he is my dream editor.

The point of this blog is to say that you may be rejected, but keep working.

In all liklihood I’ll be rejected by Harvest House again, but that will not stop me from sending in my story, Absalom’s Beauty.

Note: How did I start the book where I broke a cardinal rule of writing? Here is the first sentence:

“Will you be my Daddy?”

(and believe it or not, this is a military/suspense/romance)

My very first rejection came in November 2004 from Harvest House Publishers, .

To coin a phrase from the USA TV show MONK, Here’s what happened:

I finished writing my book, Riches in Glory–now called Finding Riches, in August 2004, and I didn’t know what to do with it. Somehow I came across ECPA’s First Edition (now known as Christian Manuscript Submissions- and for a fee posted my manuscript proposal so that publishing houses could see it.

An editor at Harvest House saw my proposal and requested the first 3 chapters. I can’t tell you how excited I was to have Harvest House request my manuscript. They publish best selling author, Lori Wick.

Little did I know then how badly the manuscript needed editing. It wasn’t until I joined a critique group that the manuscript improved. I read somewhere (It may have been Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird) it would take 15 people reading your manuscript to find all the flaws that one good professional editor could find. And I believe it. Each additional person that read the book found something wrong. And I wondered how I could have missed those errors. But I did.

The rejection I received from Harvest House said that it was “very close to industry standards.”

Very close, but not quite there.

I feel that way in all areas of my life — faith, family, work and writing. I’m not excellent at anything. I fall just shy of the mark.

But I am not alone. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God. We all fall short and miss the mark of holiness. And missing that mark stains us and makes it so we are not “good enough” to enter into heaven. No one can ever be “good enough.”

That is why Jesus came — we can’t be good enough, but He is. (See my post called Blood Donor)

The Message Bible says it this way in Romans 6:;&version=65;

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.