Monday, April 4, 2016

Modern Issues or Cookie Cutter...

Thank you, American Christian Fiction Writers for publishing my post to your websites blog today, April 4, 2016; titled " Modern Issues or Cookie Cutter..."




Modern Issues or Cookie Cutter…
Posted on April 4, 2016 by ACFW
By Lynn Hobbs

Recently, I attended a ladies luncheon from several churches in my area. One woman had an out of state friend visiting her, and we welcomed her to the group. Upon learning I was the author of a Christian fiction series she had read, she discussed the ending of the last book in the series.
She loved the series, but did not like the ending. She wanted the ending to be “happily ever after” for the main character.
I smiled and explained that life isn’t always like that. I write about modern issues facing my characters, and seldom is a problem solved like a neat and tidy bow wrapped around a Christmas present. Often, people face options and choices must be made.
In my writing, people are responsible for their actions.
She explained she enjoyed pleasant, predictable stories with happy endings.
I thanked her for the constructive criticism and realized she preferred cookie cutter books. That is fine. No author can please every reader.
Personally, I would be bored trying to read a cookie cutter book. It would be like feeding bland baby food to an adult chef. I write and read Christian novels. Anything Christian: fiction, romance, mysteries, suspense, inspirational, historical, etc.; can draw me into the story and hold my attention. Not if it’s the following format, though:
1. Girl meets boy, or vice versa.
2. Boy doesn’t like girl, or vice versa.
3. Conflict grows.
4. Conflict is resolved.
5. Boy and girl live happily ever after.
A fantasy or science fiction would not work for me, either, but do have a huge audience of readers.
As an author, I recommend staying with your genre and your voice– your style of writing. Give 100% of yourself in your writing and have your reader feel the emotion of your character.
Are you making a moral example of a character? Are you presenting a learning experience your reader could relate to?
Can you blend a scripture into a situation that flows with your story?
For me, writing with modern issues is a great opportunity to introduce Christian values to the non-Christian reader. I pray for direction and the story moves forward with purpose.
Have you ever been inspired by someone? Ever work with someone who survived a crisis? Could those situations possibly work in your characters life to relate to your readers? Yes, it could, but only if it has a believable resolution. Fiction has to be believable. Christian fiction is my calling, and I love sharing experiences of others that are encouraging. I want my readers uplifted by the actions and reasoning of my Christian characters towards life with both Christians and non-Christians.
A story can be written as soothing therapy to a stressed reader.
What do you want to convey?
When do you want to present key facts to the reader?
Are you writing to women, men, or both?
Can your targeted audience relate to your story?
Enjoy the options, and happy writing!


Monday, February 29, 2016

"Lillie, A Motherless Child" wins First Place in Biography 2016 by the Texas Association of Authors!

What a blessing!  "Lillie, A Motherless Child" won First Place in Biography 2016 by the Texas Association of Authors!

This book took me two years to write. It is the true story of the life of my mother. I will always treasure the moments and stories Mom shared as I wrote about her life. Born in the depression era with 16 siblings, her own mother passed away when Mom was 7 years old. It truly is the journey of a motherless child to an inspiring woman of faith. This award is a special blessing to me, and I don't know who is happier; me, Mom, my sister Rhonda, my new publisher: son Jeff Brannon, or the rest of my family! It is available for purchase on Amazon.com and TexasAuthors.com


If you have enjoyed reading the book, I'd appreciate you leaving a review about it at Amazon.com

Here is the link. Thank you!  :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Writing A New Novel? Pray About It!

Thank you, American Christian Fiction Writers, for accepting and publishing my post today; Feb. 2, 2016, on your website!


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Writing a New Novel? Pray About It!
Posted on February 2, 2016 by ACFW
By Lynn Hobbs

An idea flashes through your mind in the middle of the night, and you’re convinced it’s THE answer to your next novel.
Maybe not.
You decide which chapter to insert the idea …when to let readers be aware of that tidbit of information…
Days pass as you change scenes and replace characters with that idea playing out in your mind.
No. Nothing works. It didn’t feel right.
More days pass.
The flashed idea continues being a puzzle.
It has a place in your novel, and you have a strong gut feeling about it.
You know you are right.
Wait a minute. It’s not falling in place.
Something is wrong here…
Then you realize…
You don’t want your will for the book…you want God’s will for the book.
The above situation can happen if you write without praying first. Those who know me are aware that I always pray for direction before I write. My new series has begun with a scripture that will follow through all three books. I am excited as words flow, situations develop that have meaning, and yes, I will give God the glory…not myself.
Have you ever considered someone might be saved by reading your book? As a Christian writer in today’s anything goes world; we have an opportunity to display morals in our books.
I also enjoy changing the protagonist from a male to a female…or vice versa.
Change location.
This takes you out of your comfort zone…new locations demand research to make it believable.
Time well spent? Absolutely.
I was taught to write what I personally know, and what I witnessed by others I knew…
About the person who was mistreated and overcame obstacles. About the person in jail. About the person who graduated with young children as a single parent. I could go on and on.
Years ago, I participated in a prison ministry where as a group, we traveled to a women’s prison in Gatesville, Texas. Praying one on one for each woman was powerful.
Some of the inmates wrote letters to us but could never write directly to us. Their letters went through the church, and later sent to our homes.
No, we couldn’t ask why the women were in prison, but we felt their need was met that day through what we did in God’s name.
That day, we actually were the vessel He used to help others.
The same principle can apply to our writing. We can be His vessel for many.
While some readers aren’t incarcerated, they may feel imprisoned by the life they are living. Our book cover may catch their eye at a library, or it may be left on a table at a doctor’s office. We have no idea where or when it will be read by someone who needs to be reading it at that exact moment in their life.
That’s why writing a book without praying first would not work for me.
Prayer first is awesome!

Lynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series; a powerful faith and family saga.
Book #1: Sin, Secrets, and Salvation, awarded 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2013, Texas Association of Authors.
Book #2: River Town, 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2014, TAA.
Book #3: Hidden Creek, 1st place, Religious Fiction 2015, TAA. Lillie, A Motherless Child (Christian biography).
You can find Lynn on her website at http://www.LynnHobbsAuthor.com andFacebook
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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Hidden Creek Excerpt Featured by Venture Galleries

Thank you, Venture Galleries for featuring an excerpt of "Hidden Creek" on your website today!
Readers, enjoy the sample read!


Sunday Sampler: Hidden Creek by Lynn Hobbs
JANUARY 10, 2016
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Venture Galleries has launched a series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Sunday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Hidden Creek, book three of three in the Running Forward Series, a powerful faith and family saga by Lynn Hobbs. Hidden Creek won first place in Religious Fiction for 2015 by The Texas Association of Authors.

As one reviewer said: Hidden Creek is a modern, fast-paced story, full of the events that have to be faced and overcome in daily life. Showing the strength of friendship, and what can be achieved with a loving relationship. Set in familiar surroundings of Northeast Texas, Hidden Creek is a really good read, and part of an enjoyable series.

The Story

Two women, two men, fight the wages of sin. Who heals? Who follows God’s will?

Four journeys, four friends; turn the page, let the story begin…

Suspense builds as new faces emerge. Unexpected surprises, exciting twists and turns, and lessons 

learned make Susan’s world come alive.

Through many struggles, does Susan’s faith prevail? Will this family ever bond together?

The Sampler 
Lynn Hobbs

     “Answer, Logan.” Adrenaline shot through Ben’s veins, and he focused on the telephone. Sweat 

popped out on his forehead, and he grumbled into the receiver. “Come on, come on.”

     His brother answered while Ben was mid-air in hanging up the telephone. The vigorous tapping 

of his foot ceased, energy left him, and his body involuntarily swayed.

     “Logan? It’s me, Ben. I need help. I cannot make myself look at her.” He flopped in a chair and 

gripped the armrest.

     “Who is she? She is my wife. Do you recall meeting Izabella when you were in the hospital? She 

came with Susan. I married her…last night. Only, she won’t wake up today. What? We did party last 

night. No, I don’t need any more trouble. Don’t tell me to watch my temper. Yes, I’ll try harder to 

wake her.” He slammed the motel phone down.

     Ben seethed. He forced himself to abandon the mounting fear gnawing at his insides, and studied 

Izabella’s condition. He leaned forward in his chair and felt the weight of his bloated stomach against

the top of his legs. Incapable of compassion, Ben stared at her with curiosity. One arm hung off the 

edge of the bed, and her mouth was slightly open.

     “Izabella. Izabella? Well, la-di-da, you are not so reserved now.” He jumped up and tiptoed to the 

bed. “Izabella, can you hear me? I don’t believe you are dying.”

     I will wake you…where’s the ice machine?

     He wandered out in the hall bringing the ice bucket assigned to their room. Ben located the 

familiar metal machine around the corner and laughed a low, guttural sound. He promptly lifted the 

lid and filled the bucket. Within mere seconds, he fled the area and entered the motel room with the 

ice intact.

     “Izabella?” He snickered and dumped the bucket of cold, ice cubes on her face.

     She sputtered and gasped, rising from the bed with a scowl.

     “Ben how dare you,” Izabella yelled.

     “Trust me. It was an act of mercy.”

     “Mercy? Your definition of mercy is not the same as mine.”

     “I was worried about you, Izabella. You slept and slept. Here, let me help you.” He wrapped his 

arms around her waist and gently lifted. She slowly got up and stood without his assistance.

     “What time is it? I feel worn out and groggy.” She hobbled across the carpet and retrieved her 

watch on the nightstand. “Five o’clock? I slept all day?”

     “Yes, and I had to consider drastic measures, Izabella. Let’s put this incident behind us.”

     “You sound so kindhearted about drenching me with ice cubes.” She gave him a playful shove. 

“I’ll get cleaned up, and we can leave.”

     “Fair enough. It won’t take long to get us checked out at the office.”

     He drifted out of the room and she grabbed her make-up bag. A hot shower eased the stiff 

muscles in her back. Energy returned, and she emerged resembling herself again.

     Ben popped in the room and glanced at her. “Well, good to have you back,” He embraced his wife 

and held her at arm’s length. “Rather hasty improvement, my dear.”

     Izabella shook her head. “Before I took my shower, I looked in the mirror and didn’t know the 

haggard woman I saw, either.”

     “I am notorious for staying up too late. I must have kept you from getting enough sleep last night. 

apologize.”

     “Ben, I don’t remember last night.”

     “We got married last night.” He whirled her around and burst out laughing. “No need to get 

anxious. The pastor will record our marriage at the courthouse, and the certificate will be mailed to 

your house, I mean, our house.”

     “My house…my house guest…I forgot about Susan. She must be sick with worry. Where is my 

phone?”

     Ben spotted the cell phone near the television and pitched it high into the air. Her arm shot up, and

she caught the phone. “Great catch; I’ll go get us something to eat.” Ben sailed out the door.

Izabella clicked on Susan’s name and hit speaker phone as it rang.

     “Hello?”

     “Susan, it’s me.”

     “Oh, I’m so relieved to hear your voice. Izabella, are you okay? What is going on?”

     “It’s so romantic. Ben and I ran off and got married…”

     Susan yelled. “Izabella, you don’t know anything about Ben. I can’t believe you rushed into 

marriage with him.”

     “Oh, Susan, don’t get so alarmed. I love him.”

     “No. you don’t. You are attracted to him. It is a physical attraction. That is all. What happened 

when the attraction dulls? You don’t know if you have anything in common with each other, or share 

the same values, faith, or want the same future together…nothing. No foundation whatsoever.”

     “Whatsoever? Sounds serious to me.” Izabella giggled. “I am in love.”

     “Okay, so tell me about the wedding. What was it like? Where did this happen?”

     Izabella laughed. “We got married last night, and I slept all day. Actually, I don’t remember.”

     “You don’t remember?” Susan blurted.

     “Calm down. I know you are concerned.”

     “Where are you, Izabella?”

      “…Hugo, Oklahoma in a motel. Ben went after food for us.”

     “Do me a favor, this is important. Before you leave Hugo, please go back and check out the 

places you were supposed to be last night. See if any people remember you. Will you do that for me?”

     “Well, yes, and it’s a great idea. I mean, I am a grown woman and I have a right to find out. If 

everything isn’t on the up and up, Ben will have some explaining to do. Does that make you feel 

better?”

     “Yes, and if you need me, don’t hesitate to call…day or night.”

     “I will if it is ever necessary.”

     “When are you two returning?”

     “I don’t know.”

     “Please be careful, Izabella.”

     “Susan, I assure you, there is no reason to worry. We’ll talk later, bye,”

     “I hope you are right. Bye.”

     Izabella located her purse and placed her cell phone in the side pocket. She glanced at her left 

hand and gasped.

     No wedding ring…apparently I forgot more than I realized…



Sunday, December 27, 2015

"River Town" Featured on Venture Galleries website

Thank you, Venture Galleries for today's feature,"River Town" on your website! Readers enjoy the sampler!

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VENTURE GALLERIES BLOG FOR READERS AND WRITERS

Sunday Sampler: River Town by Lynn Hobbs
DECEMBER 27, 2015

In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Venture Galleries has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Sunday Sampler is an excerpt from River Town, a powerful faith and family saga from Lynn Hobbs.
As one reviewer said: This book depicts small town life – from the seedier side. Yet, it has a thread of faith running through it that kept the story from unraveling. It will open your eyes to what teachers face in our public high schools and the reasons things are deteriorating inside the walls.
The Story
In this inspiring, suspenseful, action-packed novel Susan Penleigh relocates to Texas in 2011 during the worst drought in history with terrifying wildfires, a new job at a high school, and many people to challenge her faith.
From troubled teenagers to an arrogant boss, scripture helps a woman’s journey through modern family issues. A compelling page turner that will enthrall teens, men, and women.

Book two of the Running Forward Series "River Town".
The Sampler

“I smelled a strange order in the air a few times before the explosion. It was like a burst of chemicals appeared in the air and lingered. It didn’t go away quickly, and nearly gagged me. I ran inside the house to breathe.”
“Anyone else notice it?”
“I don’t know…most of my neighbors were at work. Later, I observed two men across the river walking through the woods. When they saw me both men halfway hid themselves behind trees. Strange.”
“I’ll put it in my report, anything else?”
“No. They acted suspicious, really weird with the odd smell, too.”
Deputy Acker wrote Rick’s name, address and phone number. Another vehicle neared the barricade. He and Rick glanced at the slow approach of the car.
“It’s Susan. She’s a neighbor, I can vouch for her,” Rick stammered at the deputy, and they walked to Susan’s Chevy Equinox.
She idled her engine and lowered the window.
“Hey girl, I didn’t mean to scare you when I called this morning. The neighborhood fires are out now.”
“Listen, I appreciate you warning me. Thanks Rick.”
“You can go on back to work, Susan, things are fine.”
“It’s a long story, but I won’t be going back to work. Is it safe to stay at home?”
“Well, yes, for the time being, but what’s going on?” He frowned.
“Later. We will talk later, okay.”
“Okay.”
“Ma’am, it is safe now, but we may have to evacuate at any time.” Deputy Acker hastened to mention.
“Thank you, officer. Ten o’clock news on the radio announced wildfires have just sprung up again in Gregg, Panola, Marion, Harrison, and Cass County. They are scattered all over. It’s frightening.”
“Yes, ma’am. A judge declared this an emergency and officially activated the Emergency Operations Center. We now have state and federal assistance available. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is providing personnel along with planes and helicopters equipped to scoop water from Cherokee Lake. Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center in Longview is bustling with firefighters coming and going. Get photo albums, deeds, insurance papers, anything valuable or irreplaceable, and lock them in your car. We never know when a fire might break out again, and it’s best to be prepared. A unit from the River Town Fire Department will be stationed here tonight in case hot spots grow out of control. We’ll be patrolling, also. Drive around the side of the barricade, and you can return home.” He tipped his hat at her.
She nodded at both men, put her car in gear, and carefully drove around the barricade.
“I’m heading home myself. It’s too hot to be outside.” Rick returned to the truck and followed Susan for over a mile.
She pulled into her driveway, and Rick kept driving to his own house while he gazed in amazement at the nearby fire damage. Tall burnt trees stood like black silhouettes in a Halloween picture, bleak and ghostly. Many homes were surrounded by black charred lawns that crept too close to their exterior walls. Thank God for all firefighters. The deputy flashed through his mind. And thank God for all law enforcement personnel.

Rick arrived home and parked the vehicle. He opened the truck door and stepped onto the concrete driveway. Lingering smoke remained in the air, similar to extremely low lying clouds. Not a breeze blew, and Rick marveled at the blanket of smoke only a few feet off the ground. A deep cough progressed quickly until he went in the house, where the cough lessened. Inside, everything reeked of the strong smoke smell. Rick shook his head at this discovery. Thank God I still have a house. Wonder what the back yard looks like?
     A brisk walk through the house, and he opened the back door. Deep in thought, he stared straight ahead when a slight movement against the outside wall caught his attention. Rick quickly turned his head towards the sound.
“Daddy.”
Rick blinked at his daughter in disbelief. Soot covered her arms, and her hair was in disarray.
“Tessa.” Shocked, he stood still.
“Oh, Daddy,” she gushed, and embraced him in an instant hug.
“How did you get here?”
“My boyfriend got me out, and…and…I didn’t know it, but he …he is best friends with that dirty ole’ man, Cotton.”
“You don’t need to be involved with thugs. You need to go back to the drug treatment center.”
“I’m scared, Daddy.”
Rick melted as fast as a piece of chocolate in the heat of summer. And she knows it.
     He held her close and slowly patted the top of her head while years of pain returned in full force. He fought back tears while his heart ached.
“Baby girl, I can’t help you. You have to want to help yourself.”
Tessa sobbed and held onto her father.
“I have to ask you something, Tessa, listen to me. Were you across the river from me a few days ago?”
The crying abruptly stopped, and a meek answer is heard by Rick.
“Yes, Daddy.”
“What were you doing there?”
“It was a meth lab. It exploded.”
“You know you have to go back to the center.”
Tessa glared at him. “Like this? You want to drop me off at the center like this?” She spread her filthy arms wide apart.
“Go wash up, and we are going to talk to a new friend of mine. Then, see about getting you some clothes at Walmart.”
Tessa cleaned quickly, and Rick drove her to talk to Deputy Acker, still parked up the road. The boyfriend’s description was given and all other pertinent information. Clothes were bought, fast food was eaten, and arrangements were made for Tessa to return the next day to the drug treatment center a hundred miles away.
Both exhausted, Father and daughter settled in for the night. About four o’clock in the morning, Rick awoke to glass shattering from the double windows in the living room.
Tessa’s boyfriend broke into the home and demanded Tessa leave with him.
Numb with sleep, Rick managed to call 911, and hold a shotgun on the intruder. Deputies arrived and escorted the shouting drug addict out in handcuffs.
Rick drove a sullen Tessa back to the center after breakfast. He silently prayed for her and thought about the break-ins of his house and truck. He tried even harder to forgive what a drug addict will do for drugs.
Rick couldn’t look at her. She sat rigid and angry. He blinked his watery eyes several times and sighed deeply. What is she, twenty-three years old now?