Things have gotten exciting around here!
We just finished the final rounds of edits. The book cover is complete.
AND… drum roll, please…
The release date is February 15!
Stay tuned here and I will tell you exactly how to order Secrets, book one from the Beauties from Ashes Series.
*UPDATE 2/19/2018 Order Secrets on Amazon by clicking HERE.
A little backstory about the Beauties from Ashes journey
It’s been over three years since the Lord put it on my heart to turn a writing exercise into a book. Little did I know I was in for the ride of my life.
First of all, writing a book is a lot different than the usual writing I do: magazine and newspaper articles, devotions, blog posts, poems, and songs. You see, most of what I was used to writing didn’t go over 2,000 words. Yeah, books are a lot more words. How about 50,000-100,000 or more words?
The book was inspired by a few amazing friends of mine: Krystal, Sue, Tammi, Kym, and Jill. We have been through a lot in our many years of friendship. Please note: our friendship is the inspiration, but my characters are fictional.
I decided to write a story about four teenage girls who become unlikely friends. There are deep secrets, angels, demons, and lots more.
“Every girl has a secret she hopes the light will never find—but the demons already have.
Four girls. Four sets of secrets. Four searching for answers.”
Read more HERE.
Once I finished the book, I had it professionally edited by my amazing editor, Molly Jo Realy. This is an arduous task of working and reworking the book several times. Then I began researching how to get the book published. I found out that attending a Christian writers conference is not only a good way to learn more about writing and meet other writers, but that agents, editors, and publishers are available to hear about your projects.
As many of you know, I pitched the idea for Beauties from Ashes (this was before it was a trilogy of books) at the Blue Ridge Mountain’s Writers Conference in May 2016. I sat with agents and publishers, explaining to them what the book was about and why they’d want to publish it. It was a nerve-wracking process but proved to be worth it. Read on!
In March 2017, I took a leap of faith as directed by the Holy Spirit and began writing book two of the Beauties from Ashes series although I had not received word from anyone I’d pitched the first book to. Shortly after I started writing book two, I received an email from Tessa Hall of Hartline Literary Agency. She was a junior agent to Cyle Young, a Literary agent. She said she’d been reading my submission from the Blue Ridge Conference and wondered if I was still in need of an agent.
I signed a contract with Hartline Literary Agency in April 2017. A month later, I attended the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference again, but this time I had an agent! I pitched my book to a number of publishers. Yes, it was still nerve-wracking, but felt better with an agent behind me.
Cyle, my agent contacted me at the end of June saying Elk Lake Publishing was interested in my book. On July 4, 2017, I signed the contract to be published!
My publisher assigned Cristel Phelps as my editor for the project. Cristel was not only fantastic and funny but an encourager and a fan of my book. When she found out I was writing book two, she said I needed to have my agent speak to the publisher. So, I did.
I signed a contract with Elk Lake Publishing for the entire Beauties from Ashes trilogy in late November 2017.
And now the release date for book one is just around the corner!
I’ve always enjoyed books and writing. I worked for a newspaper before my kids were born. I put my dreams of becoming an author on hold many years ago to raise our family. Once my youngest entered her sophomore year of high school six years ago, I took up writing again. I started out taking classes and submitting to my local newspaper and to magazines to establish myself. With some hard work, persistence, help from other writers, and last but not least, prayer…
My books are being published! Praise the Lord!
It is my sincere desire to point others to the love and grace of Jesus Christ in everything I write. The Beauties from Ashes trilogy is written to awaken our spirituality through a fictional story of friendship and struggles with a definite redemptive message while not being cheesy or preachy.
If you’d like to be a part of my launch team and/or pray for the upcoming books, please let me know in the comments below. For the launch team, I’ll need to contact you via Facebook, so please include that information.
What’s a launch team?
Team members do a variety of things, but here are the basics:
- Fill out the signup form HERE.
- Read an advance digital PDF of the book if possible. Ask me to email you one in comments below if you are interested.
- Leave a short review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, Goodreads, or other book retailers as soon as the book is released. Links and instructions will be provided.
- Share my book and blog with your friends on the social media platforms you use.
- If you have a website, write a book review, interview the author on your blog, or share a video testimony about how the book impacted you.
- Participate in book launch events like a Facebook Release Day party on February 15 at 5:30 p.m. PST.
- Join the exclusive Secrets: Beauties from Ashes Launch Team Facebook group.
Beckie — so excited and happy for you. What a fantastic Valentines Day gift your husband planned — lol.
What an answer to prayer and hard work.
Honored to call you my friend and glad we share the same agent!!
Del, I’ll tell Scott about your comment. Haha! I’m honored to call you and Angie friends, too! Tag. You’re it!
Leigh, thanks so much!
Awesome cover, Beckie. I’m so thankful you took the leap of faith and kept marching forward until you entered the land of publishing. You are so deserving as your writing lifts up the name of Jesus. In the end, that’s what “Christian” writing accomplishes…pointing to the cross and an empty tomb. I couldn’t be more proud and excited for you. All glory and honor to Jesus Christ.
Karen, your support, encouragement, and prayers have been invaluable. I stand in agreement with you, “in the end, that’s what ‘Christian’ writing accomplishes..pointing to the cross and the empty tomb.” Amen!
Congratulations, Beckie; I know you are thrilled! May God continue to bless and inspire you, in Jesus’ name, as you write the rest of the series. It sounds like an exciting book that many teens, both saved and unsaved, will be eager to read! I pray that your books will bring many young people (and older people too!) to Christ! ✝️
Angela, thanks for your kind words, support, and most of all prayers.
I’m so happy for you Beckie! It couldn’t happen to a more worthy candidate, and I have no doubt that God is going to collect mountains of fruit from the efforts and prayers that have gone into this project. I’m looking forward to your launch, and ready to help in any way that I can. I’m especially interested because my first book just went to the printer, and I’m going to be planning a launch date of my own in a few weeks. Maybe we can even find some ways to help each other.
You mentioned the final edits, etc., and I have to say that I was completely unaware of how many little glitchy things there are to deal with and how many rules somebody made up that have to be followed. I want a few days off to go hang out with a bunch of rednecks who can’t spell anything with more than four letters, whose grammar is subject to spontaneous revision, and whose concept of style extends no farther than which body parts are OK to scratch in public.
I hear ya, Ron! I’m a fan of whatever you write,—so absolutely count me in on helping with your launch. Just let me know the details. Can’t wait to hear more about it.
Thanks again for your encouragement and support.
May the Lord be glorified through our words and actions, dear brother!
P.S. You always manage to bring a smile to my face. “Scratch in public!” 🙂
Awesome! So excited for you!❤️
Sent from my iPad
Laurie, thanks for taking the time to read and for your encouragement.
Terrific news, Beckie!!! I’m impressed by how many hoops you were willing to jump through before getting published. I’ll be sure to write a review of your book as soon as I can and put it out on my blog. And of course, I’ll pray!
Thanks, my friend! I truly appreciate everything—especially the prayers and your friendship!
Thanks! Blessings to you and yours.
SO excited for you, Beckie!
Thanks for describing your journey. That was encouraging for me.
Carole, I’m so glad it was an encouragement 🙂 Thanks for your support and encouragement back to me!