Sunday, December 30, 2007

Most Entertaining Books of 2007

A blogger posted a list of most life-changing and most entertaining books she read in 2007.
Stop by her post to see a title you might recognize. :-)

There is also an opportunity to win a free book.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Under the Tree for Me

It came today!

What a terrific Christmas gift! An early author copy of my newest release! I love to smell the fresh ink, pat the shiny cover, and marvel at what God is able to bring about. It's real!

This book was so fun to write - and I got to expose a little about how a neurotic artist's mind works (something I have some experience with).

Beth Goddard recently interviewed me about Symphony of Secrets, so you can learn "the story behind the story" at The Write Message.

More interviews are planned for January, so be sure to stop here from time to time for updates.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Twelve Authors of Christmas

My friend, Camy, is featuring authors for Christmas and today posted a Christmas interview with me and is also giving away a free copy of The Restorer. You can pop by and visit her blog to learn about some of my favorite Christmas memories and traditions.

Since we're about to dive into holiday fun at the Hinck house, this might be a good time to give you a special Christmas greeting.

Dear Blog Visitors -

May you get to know Emanuel, "God with us," in new and deep ways this year.

Thank you for being like the angels - and singing "Glory" to God with your life.

Thank you for being like the shepherds - and telling everyone what you've seen and heard.

Thank you for being like the wisemen - and giving your gifts to Jesus.

You've blessed me by your visits here. Merry Christmas!

Love, Sharon

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Advent and Christmas Cyber-visits

During December, friends have continued to invite me to visit with them at their blogs. Today, you can "listen in" on a chat at A Christian Writer's World.

And if you post a comment, you might win a free autographed copy of The Restorer's Son! So please pour a cup of tea and pop on by for a visit.

And check back here in the coming days, because another fun interview will be announced soon.


Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gift Ideas for your Fantasy/Sci-Fi Friend

Latest in Spec
newsletter has put together a terrific gift-giving guide featuring books sure to make any Fantasy and Sci-fi fan squeal.

You can download the four-page buying guide here.

Huge thanks to the staff of Latest in Spec, and the many fine authors represented.

On a similar note, for those who don't receive my Book Buddy newsletter, in my recent edition I shared a way you can give a gift to the hard-working authors, editors, store managers, and support staff working in the Christian publishing industry: Include at least one or two novels on your gift-giving list.

There are a huge range of genres available these days, and wonderful stories that provide entertainment, but also offer truth, inspiration, and a powerful reading experience.

Sharon Hinck
Coming soon: Symphony of Secrets (1/2008) and Restorer's Journey (2/2008)
Available to order here.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Good Year

The other day, I realized I've made a couple of new friends this year, and that's always a good thing. Not just new acquaintances, but true, kindred-spirit friends.

I decided that any year I discover a new kindred spirit is a good year.

Which got me to thinking about other things that help define a year as good.

If, at least once during the year, you happen to be in the right place when someone needs a shoulder to cry on, and your eyes well up in instant compassion, then it was a good year.

If someone else held you - even just once - as you cried the sloppy, ugly, nose-running sort of sobs from the depths of pain, then it was a good year.

If you had one powerful encounter with a different side of nature - if you hiked a mountain when you usually live in the plains, or waded along a beach if your home is land-locked, or felt the scorching wind of a desert when you live in a temperate climate, or built your first snowman, then it was a good year.

If you tried something new and did it badly, (because how empty days would be if we only did things we are good at), then it was a good year.

If you did a few things that were uncomfortable, a few things that were luxurious, a few things that were sacrificial, a few things that were bold, then it was a good year.

If you read a little more of the Bible this year than last year, it was a good year.

If, at least once, you got lost in worship and forgot your needs, your worries, your agenda and simply experienced the beauty of God, then it was a good year.

There are some events so sacred, they can't happen every year: Giving birth. Speaking your marriage vows. Holding a loved one while they take their last breath. But if you cuddled one new baby, attended at least one wedding, visited one person in the hospital, then it was a good year.

I like the song "Seasons of Love," from the Broadway musical, Rent.

"525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.
Seasons of love."

I won't try to measure this year. I'm just pausing to appreciate it.
I'll rejoice that it was textured with love. Not my love (which is often cranky, limited, and needy) but Christ's love for me - and sometimes (by His grace) through me to others.

"We love because He first loved us." - I John 4:19

How about you? Was there something tender, remarkable, or unexpected that made this a good year? I pray that even if you didn't find a new kindred spirit, or hike a mountain, or give birth - that somewhere between the pages of the calendar, you saw God's love for you.

A Visit from Gail Martin

This week, Gail Martin is happy to announce the upcoming release of a book for writers.

Writing The Christian Romance is a comprehensive how-to book that emphasizes the differences between Christian and secular romance. While the book focuses on Christian romance, it provides excellent information for writing any Christian fiction genre and includes chapters on: creating believable characters, emotions and the sense, sexuality, spirituality, point of view, dialogue, introspection, plotting and pacing. The final chapter focuses on selling the Christian romance novel with information about Christian writers conferences, contest, finding an agent and learning how to prepare a book proposal for submission. The book contains excerpts and advice from well-known Christian authors as well as exercises at the end of each chapter.


Writing the Christian Romance is a well-researched and detailed handbook for anyone interested in writing for this unique and growing market. Filled with examples an excerpts from successful romance novelists, this is a resource that writers will turn to again and again.
--Robin Lee Hatcher, RITA Award winning author of Return to Me and The Perfect Life.

Although Gail Gaymer Martin's book covers all the basics for writing for the inspirational romance market, her solid lessons on plotting, character development, and dialogue makes this a valuable test for anyone writing for any genre. The lessons are well organized, easy to follow and pragmatic.
--Dr Dennis E. Hensley, author of How To Write What you Love And Make A Living At It. (Random House)

If you want to write romances for the Christian market, you need this book. Gail understands both this genre and the market and knows how to teach others to write and sell Christian romance. This guide is practical, chock-full of examples, and loaded with worksheets and exercises to get you started or help make your story salable.
--Lin Johnson, Managing Editor, Christian Communicator; Director of Write-To-Publish Conference.


Multi-award-winning author, Gail Gaymer Martin,writes for Steeple Hill, Barbour Publishing, and Writers Digest. Gail started writing fiction in 1997 and sold her first novel in 1998. Since then, she has signed forty fiction contracts and has over 1 million books in print. She is a member of RWA, and three chapters: Greater Detroit, Mid-Michigan and FHL. Gail is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers, a keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conference across the U.S. and has been a presenter in London, England. She has a Masters degree and post-master’s classes from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Look for her book, Writing the Christian Romance from Writers Digest released in December 2007. Visit her website at

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Visit from Susan May Warren

Susie is quite simply one of my favorite people.
I remember when I first met her at a small writer's retreat. Someone had asked for brainstorming help on a plot thread, and Susie jumped in with an idea...then another...and she was off an running. Watching her brain work was incredible. If you look up enthusiasm in the dictionary, Susie's name will be listed there.

She's a prolific novelist and weaves her interesting life experiences into her characters. She has a new release, perfect to curl up with by the fireplace.

Chill Out, Josey!
ISBN-10 0-373-78585-2
Steeple Hill
Romance/Chic lit

Russia? Not again. Josey's finally living the good life - she's got the man, the (almost-perfect) wedding, the two-story Cape-Cod house of her dreams. That is until her man drags her back to Moscow! Josey knows she has the guts to follow her own dreams across the world, but she's not so sure she can play the perfect wife while her husband chases after his. Josey's set on having the perfect life…even in a world without hot water, decent take-out and size-two leather fashion. But can she find the courage to tell her man the secret that will change their lives forever?

Here is a link to read the first chapter
And here is a link to buy the book

Friday, November 30, 2007

Musical Influencers Sought

It's time for me to turn in my influencer list to my publisher for Symphony of Secrets. Influencers are sent a free copy of the book and asked to spread the word about it through their sphere of influence.

Because the heroine is a professional flutist, I'd love to find some music teachers, musicians, conductors, church music directors, or arts aficionados who are also readers and are also good at spreading the word.

Do you know anyone musical whom you could recommend? Could you ask them if they are interested and email me their address if they are? You can contact me through the Contact Sharon page of my website. If you lead a musical organization or know someone who does, please email me soon, since I have a limited number of open slots for the free books. :-)

This was an EXTREMELY fun book to write. I fell in love with Amy, a cranky single mom who banters with her teen daughter, is convinced she is a brilliant armchair detective, and is wooed toward God by the beauty of music.

Here's a blurb:
"Talented flutist Amy Johnson's dreams come true when she wins a spot with the Minneapolis Symphony. But this amateur sleuth has trouble concentrating on the notes as she begins to see devious motives behind her fellow musicians' many mishaps. Meanwhile, her musically talented daughter wants to give it all up for—gasp—the cheerleading squad! What's a musical mom to do? Can Amy fine-tune her investigation before the symphony is forced to close and she loses not only her dream job but her promising new relationship with its conductor?"

Thanks for helping me find musical influencers!
Sharon Hinck

Monday, November 26, 2007

Becky Miller in Indonesia

Today a package arrived with books that looked vaguely familiar. It took me a minute to figure out what they were: the Indonesian-language edition of The Secret Life of Becky Miller.

The cover is remarkably similar. Instead of brown hair, Becky has black hair with a white streak (hmmm, a forecast of gray hair ahead?) a gray skirt instead of khaki capris, and purple high-heeled boots instead of white tennis shoes. The child clinging to the cape has orange hair instead of blonde. The title "Kisah Rahasia Sang Supermom" sounds intriguing. The overall look is more angular than the English-language version.

I giggled like a three-year old. God is so full of surprises. Who would have imagined my middle-American mom-lit could travel in my stead far across the globe? I certainly never dreamed of this when I was writing the story. I pray the book will bring laughter, hope, and truth to everyone who finds it.

Also in the Becky Miller vein, did anyone else watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition last night? It was the 100th episode, and the home they built was here in Minnesota. I mention it because my hubby and I love the show. If you, or someone you love, enjoys Extreme Makeover, consider getting them Renovating Becky Miller for Christmas. It's a novel that plunks Becky Miller into an Extreme Makeover situation, complete with deadlines, disasters, and the heartwarming power of people coming together with love.

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


One of the joys of hiking is to reach an overlook. After a few hours of climbing, suddenly you break out into an open space where you can fully appreciate the beauty of the wilderness area through which you've tromped. It's a place to stop, breathe deeply, and let the eyes soak in the expanse. Something expands in my rib cage when I stand on a rocky outcropping looking over treetops, lakes, and distant hills.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful overlook time. A time to stand still and take it all in. To turn slowly and appreciate the view in all directions. To feel awe again.

Instead of standing on the point of an overlook celebrating the beauty around me, I spend far too much time overlooking my blessings - missing them in the mire of tromping through another day of brambles and switchbacks.

Lord, forgive me for overlooking the treasures you've hidden in my ordinary days.
Create a heart of deep gratitude in me. Amen.

I woke up this morning thankful for my warm cozy comforter, for piano duets with my son, for my husband's strong arms around me as we snuggle on the couch, for my daughter's giggle, for the scent of lavender, and for a life full of amazing experiences.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Are you making mashed potatoes? Here's a favorite prayer tip I discovered 28 years ago when we began hosting Thanksgiving for my family:

Potato Prayers

As I peel potatoes, I pray for each person who is coming to dinner. (Usually two potatoes-worth per person). I thank God for that person, and pray for specific blessings in their life. It makes the potato peeling time fun, and helps me remember how much I love each person who will be gathered around the table.

Blessed Thanksgiving!
Please leave a comment about a few things you are thankful for!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Visit from Robin Lee Hatcher

Steeple Hill, November 2007

Hearts Evergreen

Just in time for the holidays, Robin Lee Hatcher has released a new Christmas romance.

In A Cloud Mountain Christmas (Robin's story in Hearts Evergreen, a collection of two novellas from Steeple Hill), Maddie Scott, reeling from the news that her ex-husband has remarried and is expecting a child, heads to Idaho's Cloud Mountain Lodge to negotiate the sale of a valuable manuscript discovered there. But could the lodge's proprietor, Tony Anderson, a man she knew years before in college, be just what Maddie needs to have a merry Christmas after all?

About Hearts Evergreen, the Library Journal says: "Two holiday novellas by a Christy Award winner (Hatcher) and a rising author in the inspirational romance genre (Springer) offer romantic fare perfect for curling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate."

To read an excerpt from A Cloud Mountain Christmas, visit Robin's web site:


The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal. She enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.

Friday, November 16, 2007

More Treats

Last week I promised to share a few of the nourishment-bringing ravens in my life (ala Elijah at Cherith Brook).

Of course there are the deep, spiritual sources. I was recently invited to be part of a small group that gather early once a week for intensive, focused prayer. No chit-chat, no personal-issue prayer, just deep intercession. Quiet and powerful time.

I've also been savoring my iPod Bible. I'm not much of an audio learner, but when I listen WHILE also reading and underlining, I stay focused and it's been a blessing.

But that leads me on to the less sacred-sounding treats. ;-)

I adore iTunes. Recently friends have recommended songs that speak to struggles I've been having. With a few clicks, I find the song, hear a snippet, listen to ten versions by ten different artists, and then for ninety-nine cents, download my favorite. Nothing will ever replace the beauty of a real flesh-and-blood friend sitting on my living room couch, strumming a guitar, and sharing a new song. Or take the place of music celebrated in a live performance with full orchestra and a huge audience. But I have to admit, I'm enjoying the iPod world.

Along those lines, I've fallen in love with NetFlix. I joined because I was doing research for a novel coming out next year and wanted to experience how the system works (it matters to a character - heh heh). WOW! It opened a world of new video treats to me. My friend Kelli recommended the new BBC series Robin Hood and my daughter and I became instant fans. I also discovered Monarch of the Glen and thoroughly enjoyed the early seasons of the production (love those Scottish accents, kilts, and amazing scenery). I finally got to watch cable shows I'd heard about (FireFly! Wow! and Battlestar Galactica!)

Like my recent enjoyment of Plant Tycoon (and then Fish Tycoon) I know I need to pace myself. Too much electronic entertainment can be soul-numbing instead of healing. But in moderate doses, these have been true treats.

Another soul-restorative for me has been provided by Adagio Teas.
I love great quality loose tea, and I brew it in a coffee maker that is ONLY used for tea (no bitter flavor-stain from the machine). My favorite recently is Irish Breakfast.

And what goes better with hot tea than chocolate? My recent treat - Milky Way Midnight. Yum.

I've also been loving my Lands End corduroy pants. SO soft and cuddly and completely comfortable. (My number one criteria for clothing is comfort).

So many life experiences to savor and be grateful for.

Then there is crunching through piles of leaves on a walk through the neighborhood, soaking in an almost-too-hot bath after a chilly day, a leisurely phone conversation with a friend who "gets it," the feel of a wood floor under my feet as I give myself a ballet barre and free tight muscles. Ah, the soothing pattern of tendu en croix. The calming progression from plie, to tendu, to degage to ron de jamb. The expansive develope and fondu and arabesque.

Sorry, got distracted there for a minute.

I approach pleasure (especially SEEKING pleasure) with a little Puritanical suspicion. But as I've accepted treats from God's hand, it has brought a little refreshing to my spirit. And maybe it will expand my ability to appreciate the true pleasure - the eternal pleasure - of knowing Him.

Psalm 16: 11
"You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

So what are some of your favorite treats? Foods, music, movies? Let me know!


Sharon Hinck
(For recent interviews and reviews on The Restorer's Son, click here.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Restorer's Son Reviews

I was delighted to learn that one of the major trade journals, Library Journal, reviewed Restorer's Son in their November issue and called it a "nice blend of CF [Christian Fiction] and fantasy."

I also received a fun review at Books, Movies, and Chinese Food.
Be sure and stop by and leave Deb a comment.

A list of other interviews and reviews for Restorer's Son is filed here.

I'm still getting emails from readers wondering when Restorer's Son will release. You can help spread the word that it IS out. If you've read the book and want to recommend it, post a brief review at,,, and other online sites. You can recommend it at Shoutlife, Myspace, Facebook, and at book sites such as GoodReads and Shelfari.

I hugely appreciate all the word-of-mouth that has been circulating about these unique stories.

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Visit from Creston Mapes

I met Creston last summer at the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta. His new novel,


released in September by Multnomah.

I invited Creston to stop by to talk about how the book came about:

The story behind NOBODY is pretty cool. I was with my late father,
Bernie, at a park in St. Augustine, FL, when we saw a homeless man
sitting on a park bench, clutching a loaf of bread, tearing off
pieces, eating some and throwing chunks to the dozens of black birds
all around him. My dad noted that "he" would be a good subject for a
book. Then, when my publisher suggested Las Vegas as a backdrop, and a
research visit to that city, I set up a day with Brian Brooks of the
Nevada Health Centers, who took me all over the Vegas homeless
community. We visited free clinics, talked to doctors and nurses, went
to the soup kitchens and encampments where they "live." I also met
with Jud Wilhite, pastor of Vegas's booming Central Christian Church
(10,000-12,000). Jud shared a moving poem with me called I Stand By
The Door, which amazingly aligned with my spiritual walk of getting
too steeped in the church, and not concerned enough about the people
outside the doors of it.

Since I was a reporter at one time, my main character, Hudson Ambrose,
is a reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal, the city's real paper,
which I visited when in Las Vegas. The book begins when Hud hears a
pre-dawn call on the police scanner at the newspaper about an injured
person at a bus stop along The Strip. When he arrives, he finds a
murdered homeless man. Waiting around for the police, Hud knows the
case will get tied up in red tape when they do arrive. He wants to get
an ID on the guy before the police come. He can hear the sirens
bearing down. Quickly, he searches the mans pockets and is shocked to
find a bank book with close to a million dollars in it. A safe deposit
box key drops into the puddle of blood at the man's feet. Hud's got a
decision to make.

And off we go into NOBODY, and Hudson Ambrose's

breakneck investigation into the life of the homeless man, Chester
Holte. Why was a former rich Atlanta business mogul living homeless on
the streets of Las Vegas? What happened after his wife died in their
private plane crash. Who was the beautiful Holly Queens and what was
her relationship with Chester? And why does virtually everyone in the
Las Vegas homeless community believe Chester was an angel in disguise?

Thanks for telling us about your latest book, Creston!
You can learn more at Creston's website.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Free copy of Restorer's Son!

Lovely author Amy Wallace is offering a free copy of Restorer's Son at her blog.

Stop by and read her fun post and leave a comment, and you'll have a chance to win. :-)

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Recently, work pressures have squeezed creative joy right out of me. Not external pressures. As a recovering workaholic, I create self-imposed expectations and pressures. And the recent plunge into being a published author has stirred those unhealthy compulsions to always do "more" and "better" to the point of getting out of balance.

I love books on margins, simplicity, priorities, and Sabbath rest. Time to dust off my copies and implement some of the tools I've learned over the years.

So I've scheduled intentional times of rest, extra prayer, and longer times of Bible study during the past few weeks.

I've also been looking for little treats to enjoy.

The trouble is, when I get really burned out, I can't remember what little things bring me joy because I forget what simple pleasures feel like.

It's taken me some time, but I'm beginning to identify some treats, and thought I'd share them in case they might serve as restorative joys for you, too. :-)

As I tried to think of what I find "fun," I remembered some story-type computer games I discovered decades ago. I fell in love with computer games back when I learned to program simple games in Basic on my Vic-20 and later on my Commodore 64. So I went hunting for modern-day similar games and stumbled across a gardening simulation computer game called Plant Tycoon. I can't begin to describe how much fun I've had with this game. I tried the free download and loved it so much I bought the full game. Every spare moment, I've been cross-breeding plants, selling them in my virtual nursery, and enjoying the color graphics and soothing music of the game.

Somehow I've got it in my head that God is supposed to refresh me only through spiritual-feeling activities like prayer and worship. Or maybe long walks in the woods and high art like classical music. What a surprise to discover that He has met me (and sparked my creative energy) through a fun computer game. I love when He turns my expectation upside down. He has reminded me that we often create a false dichotomy between ordinary and sacred.

A friend recently told me to "watch for the ravens." When Elijah was exhausted and resting by the Cherith brook, God sent food to Him through the unlikely source of ravens. In the coming days, I'll share some more of the restoration He is sending me - and the unusual ravens He is using. :-)

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Visit to Stewartville

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day in Minnesota. I'd been invited to speak at a library a few hours south of my home, and so my hubby and I made a day of it. Along the way, we stopped at the Barnes and Noble in Rochester. I was delighted to find The Restorer on the shelves, and I met some of the store staff and signed their copies, and gave them plenty of bookmarks.

Then we had lunch and continued our drive south. At the Stewartville Library, I enjoyed meeting the lovely women from the community. I spoke, answered questions, and signed books. It was great to hear their enthusiasm for Christian fiction, and just being with them lifted my spirits.

After our time there, we stopped at a large Christian bookstore in Rochester, Christian Book and Gift Shop. It's a beautiful store, and the staff were warm and enthusiastic. I was thrilled to discover that they had all four of my books in stock on their generous wall of Christian fiction titles. Again, I signed their stock, thanked the staff for all they do, and left some bookmarks. The store has enough Christian fiction to divide it by genre - so I had two titles in the contemporary fiction area and two in the fantasy/allegory area. Seeing their many categories really brought home to me how much terrific variety is now available in Christian fiction.

Writing is so often a solitary profession, so I'm grateful for these sorts of days. Nothing is quite as encouraging as meeting a reader face to face and hearing how much they enjoyed a book. It was also fun to hear them praise other Christian authors they've read recently. Many of those were friends of mine. That had me beaming!

I've been "nose to the grindstone" on some revisions recently, so this was a refreshing break.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Visit from DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills is releasing an addition to The Texas Legacy series, just in time for the holidays.

A Texas Legacy Christmas by DiAnn Mills

Zack Kahler is ready to head out of New York City and back to Texas to take over his hometown paper. Just before leaving town, the newsman finds himself the intended victim of a pair of lively six-year-old pickpockets by the name of Curly and Charlie. After learning the two are homeless, Zack decides to bring them back to Kahlerville. But will Zack be able to run the newspaper, recover from a lost love, and still manage to keep his unruly charges out of trouble?

Chloe Weaver has been an outcast all of her life. When she and the twins are thrown together, they form a unique bond. Through their relationship, Zack begins to learn some lessons about life and feels his heart stirring with love for this delightful woman. But when a misunderstanding threatens to drive them apart, Zack is in jeopardy of failing the biggest test of his life.

Zack, Chloe, and the twins each have past reputations to overcome. Will they succeed in finding the acceptance for which they’ve longed? Could it take a Christmas miracle for their dreams to come true?

Snuggle down between the covers of A Texas Legacy Christmas, where the miracle of love and life awaits you on every page.

Q & A with the author - DiAnn Mills

1. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

Do we ever really know what God has planned? ☺ I’ve been contracted to write more contemporary romantic suspense, and I’m very excited. I’m also excited about writing historical fiction for Avon inspire.

2. Tell us a little about your family.

I have four sons – stair steps. Three are adopted. They are grown, and we have one precious granddaughter. Dean and I have been married thirteen and a half years. He is a tremendous help and support to my writing ministry. I often say that he is my best cheerleader and my worst critic.

3. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

I read critically while enjoying a good story. One change is if I’m not hooked from the first sentence, I’ll continue the page and maybe a few more pages, then I’m done.

4. What are you working on right now?

Contemporary romantic suspense. My head is spinning with the characterization and plot elements.

5. What outside interests do you have?

I mentor writing students for Jerry Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild. I also teach writing. I’m actively involved in ministering and raising awareness about the critical situation in Sudan, and I volunteer at a Biblical counseling center. Oops! I’m finishing up a degree at Moody Bible Institute.

6. How do you choose your settings for each book?

It is all about “what-if.” Many times the setting is a character too. For example: if a character is afraid of water, then the setting will be near a body of river. If a character cannot tolerate heat or cold, then the setting will be there.

7. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

Louisa May Alcott. Her book Little Women and those that followed were my childhood treasures. They inspired me to adopt boys, write, and give back to others.

8. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

☺ To read Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel and Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook along with taking his workshops. But I don’t think he was in the forefront then.

9. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

• To understand forgiveness.
• To continually challenge myself in writing.
• To grasp how wide and deep His love.

10. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

• Pray about your writing ministry.
• Read and write everyday.
• Take what you learn and help other writers.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Discuss The Restorer

For those of you who are part of the ACFW online bookgroup, or who signed up for it to discuss The Restorer in October - be sure to check your emails (or yahoo group posts). The discussion has begun! The moderator posted her first question.

On the 20th of the month they begin discussing the book of the month. I'll be popping in every couple of days to answer any questions - so discuss away!

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Visit from Deb Raney

I first met Deb Raney at a small brainstorming retreat. She has such a sunny heart, that it made me feel better about the world just because of meeting her.

I recently attended her class at ACFW and soaked up every detail she shared about her writing process. I tend to stress out about a lot of issues, but she helped me take a deep breath and remember that writing can be joyful and peaceful (at least some of the time).

The brand new sequel to A Vow to Cherish, (her first novel, which inspired a World Wide Pictures film by the same name) will release this week from Steeple Hill in mass market format. Within This Circle continues the story of John Brighton and Julia Sinclair. After a tumultuous courtship, John and Julia Brighton have a second chance at happiness, a fresh marriage and, now that their children are grown, a new era in their lives to revel in the promise of the future. Only such a promise is never guaranteed. And life can change in a heartbeat. The Brightons life is turned upside down when John's daughter, Jana, abandons her husband Mark and three-year-old daughter. As Jana struggles through delayed grief over her mother's death, her actions put her marriage and her own daughter in danger. John and Julia reach out to little Ellie, to give the young couple time to heal, but the little girl is confused and longing for her mother. How much sorrow and stress can both fledgling marriages endure? Two very different couples––each with only their love and faith to guide them––can only pray it will be enough.

A Vow to Cherish released in mass market format last month. This beautiful book duo would make a wonderful Christmas gift for your favorite reader.

Deborah Raney is at work on her seventeenth novel. Her books have won the RITA Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award and the Silver Angel from Excellence in Media, and Playing by Heart was a Christy Award finalist. Her new Clayburn Novels series from Howard/Simon & Schuster kicked off with Remember to Forget. Leaving November will be out in March 2008 and Yesterday's Embers early in 2009. Deb serves on the advisory board of American Christian Fiction Writers and loves teaching at writers conferences. She and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They have four children and two little grandsons who live much too far away.

Order Deborah's books here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Soundtrack for an Autumn Day

Barber's Adagio for Strings is playing from my iTunes.

Outside, a blustery gray wind is rippling the golden prairie grasses on the far side of the pond. The tall maple in our back yard shakes like a wet dog and sheds clumps of leaves.

It's a melancholy day.

I love the Fall...the "sharpened pencils, clean notebooks, back-to-school" feeling.

I love the vibrant leaves, the scent of woodsmoke, and the harvest from my backyard garden.

Yet sometimes as Fall days grow brittle and dark,
I feel a dull ache.

I miss the people I've lost - more than in any other season.
I fear the dark cold days ahead.

Nostalgia twines around my limbs and tugs me backwards.
I feel old...

and a little lost.

So Barber's Adagio is the perfect accompaniment.

The music coaxes me to let go of another season.

Book of the Year Awards

A friend just sent me a photo she took of me leaving the stage after getting the second place Book of the Year Award in the Lits category for The Secret Life of Becky Miller.

Since I was having too much fun to remember to get my camera out, I didn't have any good photos until this one. You can catch a glimpse of the book cover on the screen behind Cheryl (at the podium).


I'm back from four wonderful days of tromping in the forest with my hubby. We explored some remote old-growth forests and I'll post photos and share a few thoughts in my next blog post.

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

A Visit from Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote's first historical series, BLESSED ASSURANCE, is reissued, revised and revamped--all three in one book by Avon Inspire. The love of God conquers all as three generations of women struggle to find true love in these three historical dramas.

In Whisper of Love, Civil War widow Jessie Wagstaff must fend for herself and her own son against the Great Chicago Fire.

In Lost in His Love, San Francisco heriess Cecelia Jackson meets social activist Linc Wagstaff who opens her eyes to her role of the abuse of the helpless as they face the Great 1906 Earthquake.

And in Echoes of Mercy, Meg Wagstaff, just back from volunteering in WWI, must now face the challenge of the racial barriers of the 1920's New Orleans in order to prove her childhood friend did not commit murder.


"The omnibus collection of the three superb Wagstaff BLESSED ASSURANCE
inspirational historical tales will elate fans of the genre as each
era comes alive due to the strong lead couple and a deep support
cast." - review by Harriet Kausner

Also drop by and read Lyn's blog about
Chicago 1871. The latest Blog discusses a Chicago institution, the
Marshall Field's Department Store, which after over a century of
doing business in Chicago was bought out by Macy's in the past few

Lyn, thanks for letting us know - and congratulations on this new three-in-one release!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Mountain of Mist

Last night I was driving to a meeting. On the horizon, I saw mountain peaks.

In my normal, muddled state, I wondered when a mountain range had developed to the north of Minneapolis.

Minnesota is a beautiful state, but we don't have towering mountains that pierce the stratosphere. Yet as I gazed down a street that looked like a perspectives-exercise from art class, there in the distance were purple mountain's majesty.

After my brain caught up with my senses, I figured out that I was looking at a thick bank of clouds, in the triangular shape of mountains - dark enough to contrast with the dusky sky and create the illusion of the Rockies transplanted to my neighborhood.

It made me wonder about how many of the mountains that seem to bar my way are mere mist. From the distance they look sturdy, powerful, daunting. But if I wait awhile, a strong wind will blow them away.

Maybe I'd have more faith to move mountains if my vision were clearer and I saw some of those mountains for what they really are.

Lord, open our eyes.

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Stray Photos

1. The banner at the awards banquet at American Christian Fiction Writers.
I don't have a good photo of me scampering up on stage to accept the award for second place in the Book of Year - Lit category, so this banner photo is my tribute to that night.

2. My friend Nina reading.

3. The gathering of Sci-fi/Fantasy fans at the ACFW conference in Dallas. How many spec-fic writers can fit into one hotel room? LOTS!

4. Another view of the gathering

5. Me having a ball at the ACFW multi-author book signing in Dallas.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Gala Book Launch 3

What was I thinking about as I welcomed everyone?

A theme threaded through my novels is that God can take ordinary, flawed, and weak people, and accomplish remarkable things.

The fact that He stirred me to write, helped me complete manuscripts, opened doors for books to be published, (especially these books which are so unusual and by all conventional wisdom didn't have a chance) and allowed those stories to touch hearts is a huge gift of grace. As I looked out at all the gathered faces, I wondered what gifts of grace He is planning to unfold in each life. Delightful plans. Amazing adventures. A room full of wounded healers and unlikely heroes. There were people from North Carolina, Kansas, and Wisconsin. There were people facing trials of various kinds. Men and women of all ages. God knows the story in each heart, and they are far more poignant and dramatic than any story I could write.

Thank you so much to everyone who came -- to the Book Buddy volunteers who brought food, handed out prizes, and greeted people; to the wonderful staff of Northwestern Bookstore, Burnsville; to the musicians who arranged beautiful harmonies and performed the songs from each Restorer book; to my eldest daughter for taking photos; and to my family and friends who prayed me through the writing and release of The Restorer's Son.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Gala Book Launch 2

1. The singers
2. Sharon reading
3. The signing
4. visiting with readers
5. one segment of the long line

Gala Book Launch

Music, prizes, food, and fellowship . . .
what could be more fun? Here are a few photos from the October 6th book launch.

1. The display
2. The flutist
3. Greeting folk as they arrived
4. Chatting with a book club that came together
5. Folk filling the cafe' as they waited for the program to begin.

A Visit from Linda Hall

Shadows in the Mirror
By Linda Hall

An October release from Steeple Hill/Love Inspired Suspense

"Never go back to Burlington!" Those were the dying words of the secretive aunt who'd raised orphaned Marylee Simson. Yet to discover who she was, Marylee had to go back, sure the Lord would look out for her. But learning anything about her past was proving impossible. Why were there no records of the accident that claimed her parents' lives? No records of her parents, period? And who was trying to stop her from finding out? Someone whose threats were escalating. Someone close to her, such as Evan Baxter, the handsome photographer she'd entrusted with the one clue she had.

Shadows in the Mirror is the first in a three-book romantic suspense trilogy where these shadows of the past must be accepted, acknowledged and forgiven before one can move onto life and love in the present.

What people are saying about Shadows in the Mirror:

Linda Hall has done an outstanding job. The tension and suspense will engage you from the first page. The fast pace and even flow of the story will keep you turning the pages. I recommend you read this novel to find out the dramatic ending.
Romance Reviews Today

In Shadows in the Mirror, Hall has done an excellent job or marrying her skills in character development and suspenseful plots with a strong romance element…. if you love Romantic Suspense, with the October release of Shadows in the Mirror you have cause to celebrate, as another strong Romantic Suspense author has been added to the must read list.
The Suspense Zone

About the author:

Linda Hall is the award winning author of fifteen novels and a number of short stories. She is the author of the bestselling Margaret’s Peace and the critically acclaimed Sadie’s Song. She has received The Word Guild award five times for best Christian mystery in Canada, has been short listed twice for a Christy (Sadie’s Song and Steal Away) and once for a Daphne (Steal Away). When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends and listening to good music. She and her husband also enjoy sailing the New Brunswick and Maine coasts.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Restorer's Son Release


* "An Interview with a Restorer" - a brilliant book report (using an interview format with a main character) by a young reader. WARNING - don't read it until after you've read The Restorer and The Restorer's Son.

* Podcast with Jill Hart - every time we chat, it's a time of giggles and grace

* Where the Map Ends - Q & A with editor Jeff Gerke about Christian fantasy

*Interview at Mystery, Suspense, and God, Oh My! blog.


Library Journal (November, 2007)

Road To Romance - Reviewer's Choice Award

Bookshelf Review

Relz Reviewz

Rebecca Luella Miller at Christian Worldview of Fiction

Cheryl Bader at Edenstar

Harriet Klausner (number-one ranked amazon reviewer)

Amy Wallace at Peek-a-boo ICU

Valerie Comer at In My Little World

Deborah Khuanghlawn at Books, Movies, & Chinese Food

Chawna Schroeder at Imagination Investigation

Cara Putman at The Law, Books, and Life

Judy Fedele at Believer's Chapel MOPS

Barbara at Stray Thoughts


* Signed by the Author - Get your book personalized and autographed by Sharon even if you can't come to an in-person event

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Podcast at CWAHM

The irrepressible Jill Hart interviewed me about the release of The Restorer's Son and you can listen to our chat at the Christian Work at Home Moms website.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Interview at Where The Map Ends

I've featured Where The Map Ends in the past - a terrific resource for fans and writers of speculative fiction. My interview with the creator of Where The Map Ends is now up, so pop on over for more than you ever wanted to know about my opinions about the speculative fiction genre. And be sure to explore all the great book lists, interviews, writing tips, and forums!

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Visit from Christine Lynxwiler

By Christine Lynxwiler

After two broken engagements, so-called runaway bride Kristianna Harrington is content to run her shop, Forever Christmas, in her little hometown of Jingle Bells, Arkansas, and forget about romance. She reluctantly agrees to be the maid of honor at her best friend's wedding, but making it down the aisle becomes the least of her worries when a handsome newcomer threatens her precious town. Kristianna vows to stop the striking lawyer hired to change the town name and turns to her childhood friends for help. But Ami is busy with wedding plans, and Garrett seems more interested in bowling than politics. Will Kristianna get the help she needs before both her town and her Christmas spirit are extinguished?

* * * * *

What people are saying about Forever Christmas:

“. . .a delightful romance with a few twists I didn't see coming. A romantic tale, it's perfect for Christmas gift-giving. It's well written and the plot makes it a fun read. It held my interest from beginning to end. . .A great read with a warm and satisfying end.” ~ Reviewed by Ane Mulligan for Novel Reviews

“. . .a wonderful book for those who enjoy holiday sentiments, a touch of mystery and a delightful romantic story. Once you visit Jingle Bells, Arkansas through the pages of this book you will see Christmas in a different light. Kristianna’s desire for God's will for her life reigns true and love comes in the most unexpected places. Come dashing through the snow and be warmed with the love of Forever Christmas.” ~ Reviewed by Lori Plach for Reader Views

About the Author:
Award-winning novelist Christine Lynxwiler lives with her husband and daughters in a small town nestled in the north Arkansas Ozarks. Her other books include Promise Me Always and Arkansas.

When writing Forever Christmas, Christine used her own love for both the hometown of her childhood and her current hometown as a pattern for Kristianna’s passion for Jingle Bells. However, regardless of local rumors, the quirky townspeople are strictly figments of her imagination.

When she’s not working on her next deadline, you might find Christine kayaking on the nearby river with her family, poking around auctions and estate sales with friends, or curled up alone in a quiet corner with a great book. Please visit her at and sign the guestbook to let her know you stopped by!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Come and Get It!

The Restorer's Son is available!

Saturday, Oct. 6, 1:00 p.m.
I'll be signing books at Northwestern Bookstore in Burnsville, Minnesota.

But you can get an autographed copy even if you aren't able to come!

Visit Signed by the Author and order through them, and you can specify how you want it personalized. I'll sign it and get it out to you that same day!

Blessings and gratitude!
Sharon Hinck

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, June, 2006)
Renovating Becky Miller (Bethany House, February, 2007)
The Restorer (NavPress, May 2007)
The Restorer's Son (NavPress, September 2007)

Monday, September 24, 2007

ACFW Book Signing

I was timid about bringing many books to the conference for the bookstore and public signing, not wanting the humiliation of lugging them all home.

Then through a mix-up, I ended up with double of one book delivered and none of another - then because of the generosity of my hubby and publisher to rush out and ship the missing books (without knowing the other was doing it)... accidentally ended up with doubles of that book.

Picture this. Now I had too many of BOTH books and was trying to figure how I'd get them all home.

And what did God have planned?

Good homes for all of them. :-) He knew how many folks wanted copies, and allowed my mix-ups in order to get enough books there. I came home with a light suitcase, and a lighter heart - being firmly reminded that God knows what He is doing.

I could hear God's warm and loving laughter as His plan unfolded. Isn't He cool????


Home from Dallas

I'll be honest. I approached my first American Christian Fiction Writer's conference with some fear.

The past year held a lot of challenges, in a bunch of areas. I was weary. In fact, I felt like a pheasant at hunting season - hit with buckshot and peppered with wounds.

It's hard hanging out with others when you feel like you're full of holes.

When I arrived in Dallas, I asked God to do a healing work. Then I waited for the big moment where He'd wash over me. But that wasn't how He worked.

Instead, each conversation, each encounter, held balm for one of my small holes. Little by little, He brought targeted and specific restoration through the love and wisdom of people at the conference.

If scatter-shot has chewed up your life, I pray that God will tend each small wound. Little by little--surgery, suture, and salve. He's so good at letting us be the touch of grace in each other's lives, isn't He?


The photos show some of the friends who made the conference such a joy. In the first, I'm sandwiched with Katie Cushman and Julie Carobini - two delightful Bethany authors. We are a mutual fan club. The second photo is with the ever gracious Susan Meissner and Mary DeMuth. The third shows me with my wonderful roommate, Amy Wallace. Our late-night giggles were a highlight of the conference. :-)

Most of the rest of my photos came out blurry - which is appropriate because it was such an intense time, most of it is a blur to me.

Two vivid exciting memories:

*Next year's ACFW conference will be in Minneapolis - with the multi-author booksigning at the Mall of America! I've done a signing there, and it's a marvelous venue. Minnesota fiction writers, if you haven't yet joined ACFW, now is the time!

*The Secret Life of Becky Miller won second place in its category for Book of the Year, and I was delighted and honored. What a treat!


Tomorrow - God's sense of humor and a photo from the book signing...