Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Loud Clashing Symbols

Loud Clashing Symbols

One Sunday we sang the hymn, "Earth and All Stars."

The second verse proclaims - "Trumpet and pipes! Loud clashing cymbals! Sing to the Lord a new song!"

But the person who typed the lyrics for the screen projector wrote, "Loud clashing symbols."

I got the giggles. I poked my poor hubby and whispered, "It's like a comment from one of my critique buddies telling me I'm mixing metaphors. Clashing symbols. Get it?"

I was giggling all day. Maybe it's just warped writer humor, but I love the image of my writing being full of loud symbols that offer the Lord a new song.

Do you ever find delight in a typo?

Sharon Hinck

Monday, September 21, 2015


When each day dawns with a new mountain to climb, it helps to remember that we are loved, that we never travel alone, and that our strength comes from the Savior who has conquered every evil.

What is your daunting challenge today?

Dear Lord, we need You. Help us to more than conquer each hardship today because of Your love and mighty presence in us. Amen.

Sharon Hinck

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bonus Scene - Restorer's Journey - Wade

After Chapter 11


The path from Braide Wood to the transport was rock-strewn and hard under my feet. Usually the sounds of small creatures created happy whispers throughout the woods. Today the silence was as cold as angry lips pressed together. Even the trees seemed to droop. So much had changed since Cameron became king.

I reached a familiar bend in the trail and rubbed the scars on my arm. Each time I strode past this place, I remembered the night the bear attacked our small group. A grin broke through my gloom. Now that was an enemy I knew how to fight.

Give me a bear over Council politics any day. I could carry a heavy load, or swing a sword long after everyone else tired. But the planning, the strategies, the heavy choices I’d seen Tristan have to make…those weren’t for me. These days, strength, courage, and loyalty were no longer enough. I wanted to help Jake, but was this the best way to do it? Would he be safe back at camp with the group of suspicious guardians? I wanted to serve the clans, but was it right to keep our men together secretly when the king had ordered the guardians disbanded? The questions baffled me.

I hitched up my sword belt and clambered over a fallen tree branch in the path. Sorting out the answers was better left to smarter men. Yet here I was, on my way to skulk around the city of Lyric.

Again. When Cameron’s men grabbed Susan from Braide Wood that first season, Tristan sent me to protect her. I spent days prowling the back alleys of Lyric, asking questions in a way that I’d hoped was subtle, and poking around dark underground rooms.

When I finally caught up to Susan, I accidentally walloped Markkel over the head. That’s what comes of sending a simple guardian to deal with complicated plots. He’d eventually warmed up to me. Even asked me to be his house protector. The weight of my pack lightened. I lengthened my stride. Markkel’s family needed my protection. That much was clear.

When I reached the transport stop, I gazed up and down the tarred road. With so many other changes in our clans, I couldn’t assume anything. If they were no longer running, I’d have a hike of many days to reach Lyric. I paced the paved road, listening to the glum silence while I waited.

Thankfully, the midday transport glided up before the afternoon rains started. It was empty. Rendor families no longer traveled past Braide Wood on their way to the other clans. The emptiness was an eerie reminder that none of us were sure what had happened to all those families. Cameron said they were happily sharing their land with the Kahlareans. Even I wasn’t gullible enough to believe that.

I sank onto a lonely bench. Perhaps I’d find Susan rallying councilmembers as she did before the battle of Morsal Plains. Maybe she’d be able to convince the king to reinstate the guardians. If anyone could, it would be her. But our people were angry and confused. What if they blamed her for leaving? I rested my hand on my sword hilt. My head ached. I was thinking too much again.

Linette would remind me that problems were often beyond our intellect to solve, and that we were meant to rely on the One’s wisdom instead. I scratched my head. But would she tell me it was right to rescue a former Restorer from our current king? They were both appointed by the One, weren’t they?
I whistled an off key tune as wheels hummed a steady rhythm, and trees and steep ridges gave way to gentler hills. Gradually a melody formed, and the words spun free from the clutter and confusion in my brain.

Awesome in majesty, perfect in power. 

I leaned back against the bench. Of course. Cameron might be king, but even a king could make mistakes. The One was the only true king. This situation that was so confusing wasn’t too complex for Him.

“Show me my next step,” I whispered. “And protect the men while I’m away. Oh, and Jake. I have a hunch he’s going to need You, too.”

You can read the rest of the story in The Restorer's Journey (Book 3 of the Sword of Lyric Series)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Dear Lord, on days when our bodies, minds, or hearts are weary, we rejoice in the gift of Your presence. You are the Water of Life, and today we invite You to refresh us. Turn our souls to You, so we are open to receive Your grace. Amen.

Sharon Hinck

Monday, September 14, 2015

One Minute of Inspiration

For Christian writers and readers who love speculative fiction, here is a one minute video from my publisher at Enclave to inspire and encourage you. You might recognize a cover or two. ;-)

Sharon Hinck

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bonus Scene - Restorer's Journey - Mark


After chapter 6


Dust floated uncaring from the rafters. I reached my arm toward the empty space where my son had stood seconds before. Gone. 

My heart pounded, sending a jarring pulse against my broken ribs. I grabbed the nearest portal stone, shifted its position, and realigned it with the others. No subtle vibration, no tingling tug of the portal, no hint of life. I picked up the others. The stones were dead weight in my hands.

I’d been ready to die in the effort to reach Susan—but I hadn’t been ready for this. Shut out, facing horrible emptiness. And now Jake was gone, too.

“No!” The cry tore open my cut lip and I tasted blood. I crumpled to the plywood floor. Bones grated. Bruises throbbed. But the pain was nothing compared to the raw horror in my soul.

For weeks I’d contemplated destroying the portal stones, and then worked on ways to alter or control them. Anything to keep Cameron and Medea from returning to harm the clans. Even after Cameron and Medea invaded our house, I thought by purposely misaligning the stones I could hinder them. After they surprised me and dragged Susan with them, Jake had to snap me out of my shock. We formed another new plan. And now I faced another disaster.

Jake was gone, too. Lost, unreachable. In danger. Like Susan.

Susan’s journal rested on the chair we’d set up for her quiet refuge. It seemed years ago that she’d smiled at me, thanking me again and again for building this space, for finding some tangible way to help her with her inner pain. I inched toward it. My Council tunic caught on a nail head, and I tugged it free. I’d love to tear the entire thing apart, along with all the choices that had led to this moment. Instead I picked up her journal and hugged it against my chest. “Lord, bring her back to me.” The longing was so deep, I could only whisper the words.

I gently set the journal back on her chair. Time to find a solution.

First, I tried every improbable trick I could think of to activate the portal. Placing the old plastic sword between the stones produced no reaction. Tossing a ball across the space triggered nothing. Stepping in and out of the space and re-positioning the portal stones again and again did nothing.
Next, I brought the stones down to my basement workbench and pulled out my tools. I tinkered for hours, looking for clues in the hidden mechanisms that could bring them back to life. My worries swung between Susan and Jake. At least when Jake went through the portal, the stones weren’t misaligned. And he wasn’t in the company of Cameron and Medea. What was Susan going through?

Hours later, I rubbed my eyes, as my tools and the workbench slipped in and out of focus. My whole body was one throbbing ache, and now I was swaying on my feet from exhaustion.

I took the stones and a sleeping bag back up to the attic. In the past, our sojourns through the portal had taken little time in this world. Susan and Jake could return at any moment. Or perhaps they’d be able to send a message somehow. Until they did, I needed to stay close. I unrolled the sleeping bag and curled up, ears straining for any hopeful sound. If I couldn’t sleep beside my wife, at least I’d sleep beside this fragile link that I had to her.

As the darkness settled around me, my desperate hope provided cold comfort.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Deliverer - Giveaway on Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck

The Deliverer

by Sharon Hinck

Giveaway ends September 29, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A Day of Encouragement

I got to hold an author copy of Mornings with Jesus 2016 today. So lovely to see the devotions I contributed, nestled among the wonderful insights and inspiration of other authors.

And as if that wasn't enough blessing, I received a beautiful thank you card from a friend who was blessed by my new book, The Deliverer. In part, she wrote, "I laughed! I cried! I grew closer to the One!" Her words were just what I needed today.

Has God sent a special treat your way lately? Post a comment! I'd love to rejoice with you.


Mighty Fortress

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Sabbath Prayer

Today I read John 5, where Jesus was criticized for healing on the Sabbath. I take great comfort in knowing that He is always available, always at work, always willing to hear our prayers.

Sharon Hinck

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Restorer's Journey - Bonus Scene - Medea

After Chapter 2


Shelves crawled up the walls of the small shop, full of strange items I didn’t recognize and didn’t care to learn about. Cameron scowled at the lumpy man behind the counter, so I stepped closer. He obviously needed my help—as he had each moment in this strange place. Delicious warmth rose in my chest. Having this powerful man dependent on me was intoxicating.

Of course, he was just using me. Again. But at least Cameron was entertaining. Few people had such wonderful threads of darkness to explore. Most were dull vacant husks of basic desires and simple fears. Like the oafish shopkeeper who kept shaking his head.

“Sir, you need to show me your permit to carry. And then you’ll have a waiting—”

“We don’t want to wait.” My words poured like thick liquid, rich as lehken blood. The man’s eyes glazed. His thoughts froze, and I slipped through them and around them. There it was. Greed. Child’s play. So easy to work with. “Think of all the sales you might lose if you don’t help this important man. You’ll do anything to give him what he needs.”

 Not even a flicker of resistance.

 He didn’t speak, but lumbered to one of his crowded racks and pulled out the long, clumsy tool that Cameron was so obsessed with possessing today. Cameron stuffed it into his sack, along with the small heavy boxes that the shopkeeper pulled from behind his counter. Strange symbols traced across the box, the same strange symbols littering everything in this cluttered world. Unimportant.

We left the shop and the light assaulted us again. Searing. Brilliant. A thousand lightwalls closing in on us.

Cameron steered me down the street toward the place we’d taken lodging. “I wish you could teach me how to do that,” he said.

“So do I.”

Then I wouldn’t need to be in this hateful place. As we walked along the street, noises welled together. Chaotic fragments of music. The clamor of odd-colored transports. The constant dull buzz of machines. Apparently these people couldn’t produce heat, light, or movement without all this noise. My head throbbed. I stopped, squeezing my eyes shut.

 Cameron shifted his bag over his other shoulder and took my arm. “Is it worse? Did that last encounter drain you?”

I wafted a hand through the air. “Don’t insult me. It’s the light. And the speed.” Everyone rushing. Sounds jabbing at my brain.

He drew me off the busy street and into a city park. Only a few trees and the prickly, violently-green coating over the soil and a few stone benches. Nothing like the nurturing beauty of Rhus. Not even as peaceful as the tiny parks in Lyric. But a place to catch my breath.

A hideous creature slithered up a tree trunk, then back down, in haphazard patterns. Cameron said the animals—squirrels?—were harmless, but their faces held menace, and they moved too much like rizzids. I tensed whenever I spotted one, expecting it to sink razor-sharp teeth into me, injecting its poison.

I grabbed Cameron’s arm. “This whole place is poisoning me. Take me back. Now.”

Cameron led me to a bench in the shade. “Rest first. Then we’ll talk.”

I leaned forward, running my hands over the soft fabric of the dress we’d taken from one of the many shops we’d explored in the past weeks… or was it years? “How long have we been here? Can we sit here until the rains? I want to feel the rain.”

His sigh was heavy as he took my hand. “They don’t have rain every day. Remember?”

Why bother remembering insignificant things like weather? The longer we lingered in this horrible place, the more my thoughts scampered away to hide or spun in dizzying circles. Nicco had warned me. At least I thought he had. Unless my memories were jumbled again. Nicco never understood how valuable my alliance with Cameron would be for Rhus. Now I couldn’t remember why, either. My head hurt. “You have enough weapons. It’s time to go back.”

 “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.”

Not another change in plans. I was slipping. Another reminder I needed to get home to Rhus. He’d never been able to hide his thoughts from me before. But I’d been so distracted, coping with the irritations of this place, I’d missed the subtle shifts in his mood, his energy, his focus. I met his eyes, ready to intrude, to bend his will, to let him know exactly what I required of him.

He quickly held up his hands. “Wait. Think about it. We’ve already proven we can control the clans. Imagine what we could do here.”

I sprang from the bench. “And our arrangement? If you aren’t back in the Council leading the clans, how will you send Rhus what we agreed?”

“I’ve given my best years to those ignorant, backward people. They refuse every attempt at progress. Why don’t we leave it all behind and start fresh. Here. Together.”

A shrill laugh broke from my throat. “So you can become a king over this ugly world and I—” No. He couldn’t know. He knew I suffered when away from Rhus too long. But I couldn’t allow him the power of knowing the rest.

I stepped back, and the horrible light from the sky found me, searing me with its unnatural vibrancy. I clutched my temples, stumbling forward to the cool stone bench again. “It’s a fine idea,” I choked out. “You’re meant for bigger things.”

His chest lifted and he leaned back, surveying the park and streets beyond as if he already owned them. “Exactly. This is only the beginning.” He patted the lumpy bag at his feet.

“You deserve to lead people who will respect you. Fear you.” Unlike my conversation with the shopkeeper, this time my words were as soft as a caress. Direct assault rarely worked with Cameron. Instead I gave a barely perceptible nudge. Ultimately he would change direction. He would never know I had influenced him. I leaned against him and smiled sweetly. “But first, you deserve your revenge on Markkel and Susan for all the trouble they caused you.”

I watched the new suggestion rush through the tangled branches of his soul, felt it soak into the deepest roots of hatred. Recognition lit his face. “Of course. Now that I have weapons, we should go back to their home.”

“Today? So soon?” I widened my eyes. “That’s a beautiful idea.”

By the time we reached their home, he would decide his original plan was too important to abandon. I’d get back to Rhus, and Cameron would tear his people apart clan by clan to supply what we needed.

(The rest of the story is found in The Restorer's Journey - Book 3 of the Sword of Lyric series)

Friday, September 04, 2015

Encouragement for Parents

Feeling the challenges of parenting today? Treat yourself to a novel about the misadventures of supermom Becky Miller. She's the kind of friend who will share a few giggles, and also inspire.

The e-book is only $3.99 now on Kindle or Nook.

Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Door

As a fan of fantastical stories, I've read many that involve portals, passages, or secret entries between worlds. It's not surprising that our imagination resonates with that longing to explore--to go from here to there. God has planted that desire in us for the "someplace new" where we belong. Jesus Himself is the Door.

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Sharpening Pencils

Fall is a time that makes me want to sharpen pencils. Perhaps it's the
ingrained rhythm of back-to-school, but each September I'm driven by a
strange compulsion to clean closets, organize my desk, and buy new
office supplies.

Writers often develop rituals of preparing to write. In all honesty,
sometimes we're just avoiding the hard, hard work of putting words to
paper. So we make sure the house is tidy, throw in a load of laundry,
defrost the freezer, sort coupons, clean out computer files, buy a new
day-planner, and sharpen those pencils.

There's a deep-seated belief that if we can get our environment
perfect, the words will flow. Truthfully, we're stalling.

Today I read Romans 5:6, "You see, at just the right time, when we
were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly."

It made me realize I take the same approach to my relationship with
God. I want to get my act together. Get organized and tidy before I
spend time with Him. The truth is, I'm a sinful human mess in my very
nature--forgiven, holy and precious only because of Christ's great
love. He didn't wait for me to get organized and sharpen my pencils.
He came into my life when my soul's laundry was dirty and my heart's
desk was piled high with unfinished projects.

Since Christ came into my messy life, I want to follow His example. I
want to serve a messy world. I want to grab a few minutes to write the
books He's called me to write, even when the circumstances aren't
ideal. Sure, I'd rather have hours of interrupted time at a tidy desk
with an alert mind and stacks of sharp pencils lined up at hand. But
if I have twenty minutes with a muddy brain and that's all I
have--I'll use it to give the best I can.

Have you been waiting for circumstances to line up and conditions to
be perfect to serve God? I'm all for tidying and organizing life (and
desks) when we can. But sometimes life just won't clean up for us. So
let's learn to serve God in the midst of the mess, too.

Sharon Hinck