by: Staci Stallings
If you got a Kindle for Christmas, I’ve got a special gift for you…
FREE on Amazon Dec. 27 & 28….
& Merry Christmas!
By: Staci Stallings
Welcome, blog hoppers! Last week I got tagged by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer *…stringing 26 letters into stories* So this week I get to answer the questions and then send you to five of my writing friends!
Introducing my soon-to-be-out ebook
Where did the idea come from?
True Power & Real Peace was written backward. Some of you have read “A Light in the Darkness.” In that book, the hero, Gabriel reads a book about God. When I wrote “A Light” I realized that I couldn’t have him read something that’s already been published. There were two problems with that. First, I couldn’t just copy whole tracks of someone else’s work. Second, there wasn’t one book I could find that would speak to each issue he was having throughout the book.
So the only thing TO do was write the book he was reading in the story as if it was a real book. To do that, I had to write whole sections of a “real book” that wasn’t real. After “A Light” was finished, I went back and read it and it struck me how easily “True Power & Real Peace” COULD be a real book. I did a little work on putting the pieces together and filling in the in-between places, and that’s how this book was written.
After “A Light in the Darkness” came out, I had several readers write to say they had been looking for the book “True Power & Real Peace” and hadn’t had any luck finding it and could I tell them who it was by or how they could get a copy of it. Well, it was by me, and the only copy in existence was on my computer. That’s when I decided to publish it.
Genre: Spirituality, Inspirational, Christian Living
What actors would play your character in a movie version?
The actors for “A Light in the Darkness” are Meaghan Jette Martin and Adrien Grenier.
I’ll do the synopsis of “A Light in the Darkness”
Holly Jacobs can run from her mother’s past no longer. She is unceremoniously summoned to her mother’s new fiancé’s home in Napa Valley. The place is wonderful, but Holly can’t enjoy it because she knows that just like all the others, it can’t last. When her mother begins pushing Holly to make permanent plans with a young man Holly has no interest in, Holly takes off, never expecting to find a light in all of her darkness.
The final chapter of the Faith Series begins…
Publisher: Spirit Light Publishing
How long did it take to write the first draft of “True Power”?
Well, the first-first draft was written inside “A Light in the Darkness,” and that book took about four months to write. The actual first draft of “True Power & Real Peace” was a lot harder because I had to take the pieces that were already written and put them into logical order (Gabriel reads them out of order in the book). Then I had to write the pieces around it. Also, I was in no hurry for that one because I didn’t think it would ever really be published. So I’m honestly not sure how long it took to write.
What other books in the genre compare?
Two of the books referenced in “True Power” are John Ortberg’s “Love Beyond Reason” and Marianne Williamson’s “A Return to Love.” So those two definitely would compare although Ortberg’s book is more mainstream Christian and Williamson’s has more New Age overtones to it.
Any other in this genre?
I’ve never written in this genre before. In fact, I’m in the process of asking what genre it would even fit into because I’m really not sure.
Anything to add?
“True Power & Real Peace” is BY FAR the most personal book I’ve ever written. It gets to a depth of how I live that I don’t think I would have even attempted to write but for the crazy way it came about. My life has been rocked by some pretty intense storms during and since writing this book including–the suicides of two very close people in my life and my son’s dyslexia, not to mention the countless storms that come up each day while being married and raising three kids.
This is honestly a book about “how I do it,” how I have and maintain a deep relationship with God through the storms and in the quiet times. It’s also the key that kept me sane when I had everything I ever wanted and I was still miserable.
Still, how do you put all that into words? How do you dig way beneath the surface and fashion those feelings and experiences in a way that is understandable to others? I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t, but this would have to be considered my attempt at doing so.
The ebook will be out very soon, and you can judge for yourself how well or poorly I did.
I sincerely hope you enjoy it as we move into the New Year!
Taking today off from blogging to let you know that my #1 Christian Romance Best Seller, TO PROTECT & SERVE is FREE on Kindle!
TO PROTECT & SERVE
“Romance of the purest and sweetest kind…”
Houston firefighter, Jeff Taylor is a fireman’s fireman. He’s not afraid of anything, and no situation is too dangerous to keep him on the sideline if lives are at stake.
Lisa Matheson runs a semi-successful ad agency that’s on the brink of falling apart. Her employees are incompetent and her schedule has become exhausting. When she takes on a client with a brilliant idea for a big conference, she thinks that maybe, finally this is her lucky break. However, the fire station wasn’t what she had in mind for finding conference speakers. When she falls for a handsome but shy firefighter, it’s possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can’t quite get control Jeff and the death wish he seems to have…
“Staci Stalling is like an artist, and she really paints a beautiful picture. There are few books that can glue me to my seat and with every Staci Stallings’ book, I am glued. In ‘To Protect and Serve,’ you will smile with them, get angry with them, and you’ll also cry when the characters are hurting. In this novel, Staci shows that love does not only encompass emotion, but to love, we need to trust, to accept and in some instances, surrender.”
–Amazon Reviewer, Rhonda Aberdeen
by: Staci Stallings
Well, the impossible has happened. “Deep in the Heart” has taken the #1 spot on Amazon’s Free Kindle page!
It is free again today, so please tell your friends and share with everyone you know…
FREE ON KINDLE TODAY ONLY!
April 19, Staci’s novel:
Just out of college and completely alone in the world, Maggie Montgomery has one shot left to save her life from an abyss of poverty and hopelessness. Clinging to the last shred of fuel and hope, she arrives at the mansion of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayers. Although Maggie is clearly not what Mr. Ayers and his wife have in mind for a nanny, they agree to hire her temporarily until they can find someone more appropriate to fill the position. However, Maggie’s whole world is about to be up-ended by two way-over-scheduled children and one incredibly handsome hired hand. As she struggles to fit into a world she was never made to fit in, Maggie wonders if she can ever learn to become a perfect version of herself so she can keep the job, or is she doomed to always be searching for a life she can never quite grasp?
Keith Ayers despises his life. As the son of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayers and the fiance to a Senator from Texas’ daughter, it looks great on the outside, but inside, he is dying. He would vastly prefer to manage and train his father’s racehorses. However, everyone else thinks that is beneath him. He needs to get into industry and build on his father’s success. Suffocating under the constrictions of his life, he meets Maggie who begins to teach him that wealth and power is not everything in this life. But can Keith defy the most powerful men in Texas to follow his heart?
“This is more than a romance. The author cuts straight to the heart of God–love. God is love. Even through unexpected tragedies. And we can overcome evil with good–by His love.”
–Betty Anne Bantz
Click this link to get the FREE Kindle ebook:
I woke up this morning to some pretty incredible news!
I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Amazon’s system, so I’ll give you a little crash course.
There are two ways to be a “best seller.” The first (and easiest) is to be listed high on the Tagged pages. Cowboy hit #1 on Christian Inspirational, #4 on Kindle ebook and #10 on Christian Romance at the beginning of this month on these pages.
Then there is the official BestSeller list… Well, guess what?!
Cowboy hit the official BestSeller list this morning (Dec. 20)!
Thank you SOOOOO much to my awesome, wonderful readers and friends! Thanks for reading and encouraging and supporting all these years! Thanks for asking about my books and giving me great feedback!
And if you want to come over and do the Snoopy Dance with me… COME ON!!!!
Have a blessed, safe, warm, wonderful Christmas!
Oh, and if you’re looking for great ebooks for presents for others or to fill your own Kindle or Nook, visit my new site through Grace & Faith:
Have a blessed day!
By: Staci Stallings
Recently I have had the profound honor to become my daughter’s favorite author. Now, honestly, I never saw this coming particularly with this child. She is now 15, and although she has been a reader, it’s never quite been like this.
First, she always liked historicals and more particularly historical mysteries. When I’d even mention romance, she would turn up her nose. It wasn’t until her cousin, who happens to be a 25-year-old guy, called one night and opened with, “Okay, I’ve got to know is Nick right about Jaylon?”
Now I have to admit, I get very involved with my stories while I’m writing them and while I’m editing them, but once they are out, I tend to forget names, dates, and even faces. So, for a full minute I was at a complete loss for what he was talking about. Then I remembered… Dreams by Starlight!
Come to find out, his mother had loaned him her copy because he had long breaks at work with nothing to do. He was so into the book that my daughter became curious and asked for a copy. That was January 26.
I don’t know how fast you read. I used to think I was a fast reader, but I’ve got nothing on her. She has now read every novel I have in print (6), one that’s coming, three that I don’t even have scheduled, and this morning she was rummaging around in my cabinet because she finished one last night and she needs something new to read.
Somehow, I always thought 29 finished novels was a lot, but the way she reads… I might be in trouble!
It’s kind of funny because she was always one that kind of resented my time writing. Now she’s telling me I’d better hop to it because she’s going to need more to read.
Oh, sure, she has some complaints. One of the books she read was the VERY ROUGH copy that I printed out as I was writing the thing, replete with ???? in the spots I didn’t know what things were called. She would really prefer extended lines of books with the same characters, and it frustrates her that I don’t stay with the same characters–sometimes even in the same series. And she has had some issues with her friends at school stealing the books that aren’t in print because they can’t get them anywhere else.
But other than that… :)
So I’d better go and get to writing faster. My newest #1 fan is running out of reading material.
By: Staci Stallings
I know. It’s Friday, but I’m excited so you get this news now!
First, as you all know it’s been a tumultuous year here at Spirit Light Books. What started out as a normal, run of the mill year became anything but in May when my partner, Dennis Bates decided to have knee surgery. Thinking it would only be for a month, I decided to start Spirit Light Works, a blog where I would post a novel at a time just to cover for Dennis on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until he recovered.
That was my plan.
By the first week in June, Dennis was gone, and I was left to try to make some sense of where to go from there. To be honest, Dennis and I started the blog together because we thought that together we could keep it going. When I realized I was on my own, well… I wasn’t sure what came next.
As life progressed, I decided to keep the Spirit Light Works blog as it gave me a chance to publish some books that may never see the printed page. It also gave me a way to connect with readers again (something I had missed greatly for some time). Prior to SLW, publishing had become a real drag. It was difficult if not impossible to find time to edit the books, get the covers ready, go through the whole publishing process, and then try to market them. At some point in that process, I kept getting snagged.
Enter a new form of publishing called, “Kindle.”
Some time ago a friend asked if I had my books on Kindle. Although I knew what that was, I didn’t really have a good feel for if I wanted to put my books on it. When I decided to, the learning curve nearly tripped me up. I had already decided to put out a new book in print. Did I really have time to convert books to Kindle?
Yes and no.
I have hired the services of a dear friend of mine to help me get things formatted for Kindle. I will be putting my new books and my older books on the service. We are working now on streamlining this process. Also, I’m working on a new title for in print… with a new printing company.
Unfortunately, what I’ve ended up with in all of this is a mess of titles even I have a hard time navigating. What’s in print? What’s on Kindle? What’s at SLW?
SO… Today God led me to an idea I hadn’t considered prior to this. I’ve created a new blog that is less a blog and more a navigable listing of my books. It has each title listed as a post and then books listed by the formats that are available through the links at the top.
I will be adding titles and editions as we go so it’s a one-stop place to find any Staci Stallings’ title that’s available.
I hope you enjoy looking through it as much as I have, and feel free to do a little Christmas shopping while you’re there for any readers on your list.
As always, you’ll feel better for the experience!
By: Staci Stallings
My husband is an awesome carpenter. He can take a few pieces of wood, work for a couple hours, and wa-la! A desk! A table! A dresser! It’s amazing. But I have learned something important from him… if you want to do a job, you need the right tools. He has often told me, “I won’t even start a job if I don’t have the right tools. All it does it make you frustrated, and the job will waste your time.”
The same is true of mechanics. Have you ever gone into a mechanic’s shop? They will have against some wall or other a GINORMOUS toolbox. I mean these suckers are HUGE! They’re as tall as me, span my arm’s length, and have more drawers than most little girls could ever use for clothes. And a mechanic’s collection of tools takes literally years to build. They certainly don’t go out and buy that many tools in one fell swoop.
So our priest’s sermon on Sunday was quite interesting. He talked about tools–not carpenter tools or mechanic tools–but spiritual tools. I was fascinated. I had never really thought about it quite that way. See, I’ve been collecting tools now for some time, I just didn’t realize it.
I talked recently with a woman who was really struggling. She was a good Christian, went to church, kept her family together, but oh, was she parched! It sounded like she hadn’t had a good drink of God’s love in… well, a very long time. I could relate. It wasn’t so very long ago that I was that parched as well. Of course, I had gone to church every Sunday since I was born, but that was pretty much my only “tool,” and it showed.
My husband, as I said, is a carpenter. That means he has a specific kind of tools. He has a hammer and a screwdriver and a screwgun. But some years ago, my car broke down. He decided that rather than spend the money to get it fixed by a mechanic, he would do it. (Now, I don’t recommend this.) So he got out his tools. He got out his hammer and his screwdriver… I kid you not, this really happened.
Why are you laughing?
Fixing a car? Well, he HAD tools, didn’t he?
After the first five minutes, I vacated the premises because fixing a car with a hammer is… well… I’ll let you fill in the blanks.
But that’s kind of what I tried to do with going to church. I had one or two tools, and I tried to use them for every situation. In short, that won’t work. You don’t need one or two tools in your spiritual toolbox. You need to become a collector of tools for your spiritual toolbox because each tool does something different, and to do a God task right, you often need a variety of tools.
For example, you may be great at patience, but what if action is called for? You may be a master at faith, but if you have not love… Oh, yeah. You’ve heard that one.
God’s work is not about having one or two tools that you try to tackle every job. It’s about collecting a range of tools, so you have the right one handy when you need it.
I collect spiritual tools like some young boys collect baseball cards. I collect these tools from many sources–books, retreats, church, the Bible, songs, people, situations, secular books and music (carefully chosen), prayer, my relationship with God, teaching Sunday School, doing plays for VBS… I don’t rely on ONE tool, I seek to collect them all. From these, I have collected tools like faith, hope, love, mercy, kindness, peace, joy, patience, wisdom, awe, understanding, gentleness, compassion, etc. It’s interesting to me how the pieces from one activity fit so perfectly with another.
Because of the VBS plays, I’ve gotten to see Jesus walk on water and calm the sea, I’ve seen a leper, a blind man, and a paralytic healed. I’ve witnessed the kings’ journey to find Christ, Peter and the apostles on Pentecost, and the Israelites trek through the desert. I’ve seen Paul escape Demascus and travel all over teaching about Jesus. I’ve seen Jesus call Zaccheus from the tree and give the woman at the well living water. From Sunday School, I’ve seen the importance of bringing every brick life hands us to the cross, how walking through life blind doesn’t work, and how the grace of God broke through the wall that kept us from the Tree of Life. Through music, I’ve learned the importance of this day, this moment, how with “justice no longer in place, mercy came running,” how amazing grace really is. From my friends I’ve learned how hard patience can be, how joyful it is to live in the Spirit, and how God will let something that’s not serving us fall away so something better can get in.
All of these tools and many, many, MANY more have gone into my toolbox, and now when I go to church, there is a context to put the stories I hear. The tools I’ve been gathering come alive. I learn to use those tools in ways I hadn’t thought of before.
So my question for you today is this: Do you collect spiritual tools? Or do you just go to church and call it good?