FIFTY SHADES is almost here …

The updated paperback version of FIFTY SHADES OF LOVED is almost here! The finished files went to the printer yesterday, so once the proof is approved, the book will be ready to order.

I thought you might like a peek at the new cover (as you can see, it’s almost the old e-book one–just a little tweaked for a cleaner print look), and of course it’s a wraparound:

Fifty Shades of Loved Print Cover_2

I’m really excited about the endorsements we were able to get:

How we women all long to be loved! Our longing may be motivated by different factors, yet we all have it, and we all are driven to find love. The unique stories and voices in Fifty Shades of Loved lead us to understand what it means to be loved by the One who will never let us down, never let us go. Read this book slowly, meditatively . . . and let its healing truth sink deeply into your heart.

Nancie Carmichael, author of Selah, publisher at Deep River Books

In a world ripping us off with cheap imitations of love, this timely book points us to the deepest, most fulfilling Love we could ever know:  true Love that will never fail, never give up, and never disappoint.

Michelle Nagle Arthur, former Executive Director, Women Alive

With the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY movie coming out soon, I’m all the more passionate about getting this message out to more women.

a new cover reveal for Goldstone Wood …

My friend and fellow author Anne Elisabeth Stengl has released the cover for her upcoming novella in the multiple-award-winning Tales of Goldstone Wood series (at 50k words, her “novellas” are the size of my “novels”). And it’s a beauty:
Draven'sLightCover

The story sounds great too:

In the Darkness of the Pit
The Light Shines Brightest

Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.

The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a curse in their wake. One by one the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to an illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart.

But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?

Coming May 25, 2015

DRAVEN’S LIGHT is available for pre-order now: you can pick it up at this link.

Anne Elisabeth is also giving away three ARCs to the winners of a giveaway, which you can enter at her blog: Visit Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s blog to enter the giveaway! You can also read an excerpt and some other fun stuff over there, so I encourage you to visit. (And if you’ve never checked out the Goldstone Wood books before, there’s no time like the present! These are wonderful stories.)

Author PhotoANNE ELISABETH STENGL makes her home in North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed Tales of Goldstone Wood. Her novel Starflower was awarded the 2013 Clive Staples Award, and her novels Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Dragonwitch have each been honored with a Christy Award.

To learn more about Anne Elisabeth Stengl and her books visit: www.AnneElisabethStengl.blogspot.com

Thank You!

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the fundraiser for Strength to Fight! I’ll be making our collective donation in a few minutes.

We raised $100, and I believe we also had a few people in the UK buying e-book versions and donating to a similar organization over there. Way to go!

We are still finishing up the cover for the paperback, but the updated version is set to release in a week or two, and your books will ship pronto. I hope they’re a blessing to you and to those you pass them on to (many of you ordered multiple copies–again, thanks!).

If you’d like to add even more support to Strength to Fight’s fundraising efforts, visit them at https://www.gofundme.com/StrengthToFight.

Finding Love and Fighting Back

Our culture is so full of confused and harmful ideas about love that a lot of women and girls are looking for love in the wrong places. But there is a RIGHT place–a starting place for all real, authentic, life-changing love.

That’s what the book I put together two years ago, with contributions from multiple writers and poets, is all about. It’s called FIFTY SHADES OF LOVED, and it’s about finding true love (and rejecting its false counterpart) in a world of heartache.

Fifty Shades of LovedIn 2012 the hottest book of the year (in more ways than one) was an erotic novel called Fifty Shades of Grey.

This book is not about that one.

It is about many things Fifty Shades of Grey has women and girls thinking about. The essays, quotes, and poetry in this little book were written by women who share a central vision of who we are, of what it means to be female and what it means to be loved, that is rooted in faith in God.

FIFTY SHADES OF LOVED is coming to its final paperback form in the next two weeks. We’re just putting final touches on the cover (which will look almost like this one, but more suited for print), getting endorsements, and tweaking the interior.

At the same time, my good friend Josh Gilman has launched a Canadian initiative called Strength to Fight, with the goal of combating pornography in our homes, schools, and culture.

Strength to Fight is currently raising funds that will enable them to launch. They need to raise $20,000 by the end of this month. They’re more than a quarter of the way there–but there’s still a ways to go.

Because I believe so strongly in what they’re doing–and because I believe that you, my readers, are interested both in finding love and in fighting back–I want to use the FIFTY SHADES OF LOVED launch to raise money for Strength to Fight.

The proceeds of all paperback copies of FIFTY SHADES OF LOVED ordered HERE ONLY in the next week–January 7 through January 14–will be donated entirely to Strength to Fight.

Keep in mind that FIFTY SHADES OF LOVED is a great gift, so I’d encourage you to pick up more than one copy.

[THIS FUNDRAISER IS NOW OVER. THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!]

Of course, you can also donate to Strength to Fight directly: http://www.gofundme.com/StrengthToFight

If you’re looking for more information, here’s Josh on why they’re doing what they’re doing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMV99WtoPRM&feature=youtu.be

Free Will in the Multiverse (CSFF Day 3)

Warning: this post may give a little bit of plot away. But I’ve done my best not to make it too spoilery.

Bone HouseIn one of BRIGHT EMPIRES’ most mysterious scenes, Kit Livingstone sat inside a hut made of neolithic bones, watching an ancient man named En Ul “dream time.” What exactly En Ul was doing remains one of the central mysteries of the series. All Kit knows is that it mattered, not only to the Old One and his Stone Age tribe, but to everyone.

In THE FATAL TREE, with the fate of the multiverse in the hands of Kit and his ley-leaping companions, it at last becomes clear: En Ul was willing, and the creative power of his free will was in some way shaping the future–just as the creative power of Kit’s will, and Cass’s, and Mina’s, and even Burleigh’s must continue to shape it.

Stephen Lawhead is a “Christian writer” in the sense that his worldview informs his stories, but he does not technically write “Christian fiction,” and I’m grateful for that. Nevertheless, his exploration of reality through fiction often yields profound insights, maybe never more than in this last book of the BRIGHT EMPIRES series.

Man is not God, the story of Arthur Flinders-Petrie clearly tells us. As the Etruscan priest-king Turms recognizes (in one of the story’s most unexpected and poignant scenes), some things truly should not be, and Heaven decrees fate in a wisdom that is beyond ours. And yet, man’s will is a gift granted by an omnipresent, all-wise Creator who is himself creation’s life force, and it is right that man’s will should create, and influence, and shape.18853210

Many mysteries in BRIGHT EMPIRES do not come clear until this last book, and one of those mysteries is the series’ central theme: After all, this has been a journey not only through the multiverse, across times and places and dimensions, but through the will of mankind to learn and to teach, to change and to be changed, to save and to kill, to surrender and to convert. Hearkening back to the first “Fatal Tree,” that tree in the garden of Eden where Adam chose a future for all his descendants, THE FATAL TREE takes us back to the great mystery of our lives: the mystery of free will in fight or in surrender to a Higher Power that gives life to us all.