Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lyric Entry - Sharron Minchella

Thank you to everyone participating in the Song of Lyric contest!
Here's an entry by Sharron Minchella


The winner will be announced in June.

Song of Lyric
by Sharron Minchella

In Lyric's tower the One abides,
but roof and wall can't hold him.
His power is seen on battlefields
and in the hearts of men.

People of the Verses
come worship the One.
He alone is worthy
of hymns and adoration.

Hazor's fires and Rhusican poison
can never overcome us.
For we will trust in the One alone
to come and to deliver.

People of the Verses
come worship the One.
He alone is worthy
of hymns and adoration.

When trouble comes and overwhelms,
we run to your strong tower.
Our arms are raised as the music plays,
the mist of your peace surrounds us.

People of the Verses
come worship the One.
He alone is worthy
of hymns and adoration.

We sing your Verses to remember
the reason for our joy.
For you have once again restored us
and turned us back to you.

People of the Verses
come worship the One.
He alone is worthy
of hymns and adoration.

Strengthen our arms for each new battle,
and equip us with your word.
For we have come to pledge ourselves
the protector of your house.

People of the Verses
come worship the One.
He alone is worthy
of hymns and adoration.

Please encourage each author with your comments. (They get extra points in the contest for comments).

Stop back often for more entries!

Sharon Hinck

The Dawn

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard." Isaiah 58:8 (NIV)

Lord, grant hope to all of us who await Your healing. Amen.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lyric Entry - Naomi Conti

Thank you to everyone participating in the Song of Lyric contest!
Here's an entry by Naomi Conti


The winner will be announced in June.

The Song Of The One

With the power of the Verses
And the strength of our swords,
We trust in Your Word;
In Your almighty hand, Lord.
There is no fear for those
Who trust in Your  might;
Alone on high are You
Above the hill gods' sight:
Awesome You are.

The eyes of the Hazorites
Your wrath they see and fear,
The Kahlareans will tremble when they hear,
The people of Rhus will cease spoken
They will know, and thus be silenced;                                                          
That the One dwells in the midst of His           

You alone are to be feared;
Before You will come one and all.
The nations will come to pay You homage;
Upon their faces will they fall.
They will all acknowledge You as God,
For the fear of You will fall hard
From the River Borders to the Clay Hills.

The Hazorites saw Your doings;
They turned and fled their posts.
For You had sent us a Restorer,
Thus they knew You fought their hosts.
From the sky came the dreadful rumble and                              
Quickening our enemies to surrender the
You gave us the victory.

Then when Hazor closed about us again,
Creeping as ghosts in the night;
Unknown to us, You were preparing
The most unlikely Restorer to fight.
For You used only Songkeepers and one
man of might,
To deliver the city of Lyric so bright;
Unscathed, she remains to this day.

But when the danger turned homeward,
Deceived by Cameron we sought
To nullify the True Verses' soundness,
With verses that were not.
So You raised up a new Restorer,
To bring us back to the truth;
He and the guardians fought for our lands,
To take Rendor out of the enemy's hands,
Thus Cameron's evil plans were destroyed.

And now, O Holy One,
We worship you this day;
We remember all this You have done
To restore us to You way.
And now, O Lord, please,
Remember us, we pray;
Forgive us now our every sin,
Heal our hearts from deep within;
Our lives proclaim Your Name.

                         -Naomi Conti

Please encourage each author with your comments. (They get extra points in the contest for comments).

Stop back often for more entries!

Sharon Hinck

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lyric Entry - Jake Buller

Thank you to everyone participating in the Song of Lyric contest!
Here's an entry by Jake Buller


The winner will be announced in June.

Deliver Us Soon

There was a fight on Corros Fields
The One rode with us to glory
There was a strength in Braide Wood
Where the One was weaving his story.

There was a passion in Rendor
To let loose the Verses' song
There was a tower tall in Lyric
Wherein we all belong.

And so we run, and so we run
But sick and weakened we may fall;
And so we weary turn to the One
Who hearkens us to hear His call.

Hear us!  Hear us! One Eternal, hear us!
Draw us into your arms, come near us
We need Your redeeming hand
To heal our weary hearts, our land
Deliver us! You alone know our fate.
Deliver us! O Deliverer, we wait.

There is a sorrow on Corros Fields
That makes the rain seem like tears
There is a sadness in Braide Wood
Where it seems like no one hears.

There is an anguish in Rendor
Like dusk on a hurting soul
There is a lingering fear in Lyric
Like the world is out of control.

And so we run, and so we run
But there is no flight from sorrow
And with tears we turn to the One
Who sees the uncertain tomorrow.

Hear us!  Hear us! One Eternal, hear us!
Draw us into your arms, come near us
We cry out for Your redeeming hand
To heal our hurts, our wounds, our land
Deliver us!  Our time of trial is at noon
Deliver us!  O Deliverer—come soon.

Please encourage each author with your comments. (They get extra points in the contest for comments).

Stop back often for more entries!

Sharon Hinck

Bonus Scene 9 - The Restorer

After Chapter 32 Linette:

 In the pale glow of first light, families gathered slowly in unnatural silence. Even the youngest children stepped with muted tread, as if a misstep or snapped twig would bring instant destruction down on them. No begging to run off and play, no complaints about a delay in breakfast, no teasing of siblings. Fear strangled the breath from everyone.

I shivered and wrapped my cloak more tightly around my shoulders as I waited under towering pines in the center of the village. Lukyan hobbled up the path from his home, gray and haggard. He’d led the spiritual life of Braide Wood with an inner strength that usually belied his age. Whatever small well of courage I’d held onto drained away at the sight of his trembling, frail steps.
I hurried to meet him and offered my arm. His weight dragged heavily on my elbow, but he lifted his chin.

“Ah, everyone has come. Isn’t that good?”

I managed a wobbly smile. “You always longed to see people this eager to call on the One.”

He patted my arm. “This was a wise plan. Will you lead us in a morning song?”

Fear and grief tightened in a chokehold around my throat. I tried to muster a confident assent. Instead the words I wanted to hide spilled forth in a desperate whisper. “I can’t do this. I can’t sing. Not now. I can’t strengthen their hearts when mine…”

When mine had died. Dylan was gone.

I hadn’t even been able to wrap his body. I had no cairn to decorate. All I had was Tristan’s stark report, the words that changed everything. My world stopped that day in Lyric. Everyone else kept moving. Transports continued to run. Guardians trained and prepared. People whispered about danger. The threat to our clan held everyone in rapt, frantic focus in recent days. But to me it was all a distant fog.

Even if Hazor overran Braide Wood, could I really hurt any more than I already did? Some small part of me would welcome an enemy syncbeam piercing the place where my heart used to beat.

Lukyan’s eyes squinted with compassion. “This will be the most difficult gift you have yet given the One. And so the most precious.”

But a morning song? So full of joy and praise. A celebration of hope? I shook my head. “I thought I could…maybe later…”

“Have the Verses ceased being true?”

“Of course not, but—”

“When we face the deepest pain and most dire threat, we most need to look into His face. Linette, just look into His face and help us all see Him this morning.”

Families had stepped closer. I felt their eyes on me as I stared at the rocky ground. Not far away, lehkan troops rode resolutely to confront the enemy at Morsal Plains. Susan, separated from her loved ones, rode with the guardians, ready to lay down her life. Deep in the woods, Kendra and Kieran and their father were setting up their disruptor, hoping their hard work of the past days would make a difference. This might be the last morning that all of us would meet here in Braide Wood.

I had no courage, no strength to offer them. But Lukyan was right: I could at least look in the right direction and encourage them to do the same.

As if I were in the vaulted Lyric tower, I lifted my face and stared upward. Tree branches gave way to an eternity of soft light. I drew a breath and sang.

Giver of life, Designer of beauty
Precious are days, granted by You.
First light invites us to walk in Your mercy
Steps full of joy, Your blessings are true.

The first lines were slow and barely audible, forced past the choking knot in my throat. But by the end of the verse, a warm whisper of voices gathered together and lifted the melody with me. The song was so familiar that even the youngest children were able to join in. We continued singing, and Lukyan stopped leaning on me for support.

A gasp filled the silence between lines, and I spared a glance down. Soft mist gathered and surrounded us. The voices around me grew stronger. Perhaps mine did too. The pain still throbbed through me, but a stubborn, precious grain of joy burst open as well.

The mist surged, moving among and over the people, touching us all with more intensity than even the mists in the Lyric tower.

Dylan’s death had crushed me. Impending death terrified us all. Yet the breath of the One was in the mist, and it reminded me that even beyond death there was hope and life.

With another deep breath, I drew that life into my lungs, into my being, and lifted my face to the sky again to sing.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Free Book for Book Buddies

Recently I received an email asking me, "What is a Book Buddy?"

Great question!

When my first novel was published, I knew I'd need support - prayer support, and also folks who liked Christian fiction and would help spread the word about my books.

I called them my "Book Buddies" and sent them regular updates.

In recent years, I've cut back to quarterly newsletters via email (we all receive so many emails, I didn't want to add to the clutter). Those newsletters include devotional thoughts, inside info, special offers, prayer requests, and a prayer for the Book Buddies. Sometimes I've also sent ideas for easy ways to support the novels you believe in.

I recently sent all the Book Buddies a link for a free 60-page ebook Bible study that digs into themes from the lives of Deborah, Gideon, and David.

Great news! You can also have this free book! Just sign up to be a Book Buddy.

I hope you enjoy the devotional Bible study, and also will enjoy staying in touch!

Sharon Hinck
author of The Deliverer

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sound Track for Geese

I'm not wild about geese. On the city land behind our house, a pond attracts lots of Canadian geese. They enjoy strolling into our yard and coating it with goose scat (is that what it's called?). I prefer watching the heron that sometimes wades in the shallows, or the deer that often wander across the woods on the far side of the pond, or even the bunnies that romp all over our yard, even though they sneak into my vegetable garden.

But one day I was working at my desk and listening to a flute concerto.

As I paused to sip tea and looked up from my manuscript, a flock of geese flew in to land on the pond. Their wings synchronized for a few seconds with the meter of the music. The water sparkled as they made contact, and the splashes matches the trills of the flute.

It took my breath away.

Lord, give me a new soundtrack for all the mundane and annoying things in my life. Help me hear the orchestra of your love and grace which transforms a simple, common scene into a moment of transcendent beauty.

Thank you for creating geese, after all. Amen

Sharon Hinck (author of The Deliverer)

Saturday, May 23, 2015


"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Psalm 94:19

Whatever we feel anxious about today, may we invite Jesus to console us and transform fears to joy.

Sharon Hinck

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bonus Scene 8 - The Restorer

After Chapter 26

(Just for fun - the perspective of a young councilmember as she experiences the most startling Council gathering ever.)

Rokkel, a first-year Council delegate of Rendor:

“Blessed first light.” A common greeting, but the guard at the entrance of the Council tower said it with a smirk.

I blushed. Was my eagerness that apparent? Sure, I’d arrived at the tower only moments after the darkness had lifted, but I’d worked hard for my shoulder emblems, and I was one of the youngest women to serve Rendor in the Council. So why did my fight to earn respect feel never-ending?

I gave a quick nod and hurried along the curving hall to the Rendor office. No one else had arrived yet, and some of my excitement deflated. I’d hoped for a few moments with Jorgen—a chance to impress him with my dedication. Perhaps then he’d invite me to sit in on more of the Council sessions. While some councilmembers found the procedures tedious, I enjoyed the subtle jockeying for power, the veiled double meanings, the skill needed to sway decisions. One day soon, Jorgen might even allow me to speak for our clan.

When he did sweep into the room, it was with a crowd of staff and apprentices. So much for my chance to impress. He clapped my shoulder and offered a hearty, “Well met,” as he moved across the room, but he was deep in a conversation with an older councilmember.

I waited, uncertain, at the fringes of the group. Fragments of conversation rose and fell about the Records, and some meetings held the day before. Meetings that I hadn’t been included in. Again. Would I never move out of my junior role? I needed to find a way to contribute, to show my worth. I edged closer to Jorgen.

Before I could jump into the conversation, the doors opened again. A woman I’d never seen before approached Jorgen as if he were an old friend. She was almost old enough to be my mother, so her words came as an extra shock. “I am grateful for your sponsorship and am happy to serve you as an apprentice councilmember.”

I gasped. A new apprentice? Now? Why? Had Jorgen lost trust in his other apprentice councilmembers? Bewildered, I backed away and bumped into a young, blond woman who had entered with them.

She smiled. “Well met. I’m Linette from Braide Wood. Wade and I are giving testimony today.”
Braide Wood? Why were they waiting in our Rendor office? I’d ask someone, but I didn’t want to appear uncertain. Jorgen taught that confidence was an important quality in a councilmember. Of course it would help if I had the sort of brilliant mind, strength of character, and leadership skills that he had.

The signaler sounded, and we filed in. At least the newcomers sat in the back row. My hard-won place wasn’t being usurped. Yet. Now if only the strange woman behind me would stop whispering. If she understood so little about how the council worked, why had Jorgen allowed her the honor of attending? I’d studied for six seasons before I was allowed to enter this hall.

A sad case brought by a widow drew my attention back to the floor. She accused a guardian of murdering her husband. My stomach soured. Could it be true? Not just any guardian, either, but Tristan of Braide Wood.

A blur of movement interrupted the compelling testimony. The new apprentice. She pushed her way to the railing and shouted, “Wait! You don’t have all the information.”

Over the uproar throughout the Council chamber, Landon demanded her identity.

“I’m Susan of Braide Wood,” she answered with surprising spirit.

Why was she speaking from our Rendor clan balcony? Shock held me immobile. Jorgen would be furious.

For some inexplicable reason, Chief Councilmember Cameron invited her to the floor. So much for the value of procedure and decorum. She was making a mockery of our ancient and beautiful system of law.

The widow was speaking again, and my brain felt foggy, thoughts moving through sludge. What was wrong with me? I needed to concentrate. Jorgen often questioned us during breaks about the proceedings and our analysis. What if he asked me about this case? I had to be ready. But I couldn’t follow the words flying around the hall.

Then Susan asked us to recite the Verses. How could anyone from the clans not know our basic truth? By habit, the words passed from my lips. Jorgen pressed his fists into the rail before him and began to sing in true, sonorous tones. My mind cleared. New strength and resolve swelled in my chest.

The widow’s demeanor shifted. Rage contorted her face. She ran toward Susan, and a dagger caught an edge of light as the widow plunged the blade downward into Susan’s unprotected heart.

Chaos broke out in each balcony, and we all ushered out to our Rendor office. The sacred Council had been desecrated before my eyes.

I hugged the wall, watching as Markkel guarded his wife’s body. I wanted to cry, but shock held me in a cold paralysis. Not even a tear could break free.

A hand touched my shoulder firmly. “Rokkel, we continue. We always continue.” Jorgen’s deep voice shook me loose, and I managed a wobbly nod. He hardened his jaw. “Now, more than ever, there are decisions to make.”

He led our councilmembers back into the hall. For once, my feet dragged. Would our Council ever feel like a sacred space again? I barely listened as representatives debated the Rhusican presence among the clans. My mind strayed to the new apprentice who now lay dead in the outer office. Dead. Killed here, in the Council chamber before my eyes. I struggled to keep my face stern, serene, the face of a councilmember, but inside I screamed.

How could they continue yammering after what they’d just seen? How could Jorgen seem confident that the Council could still reach wise decisions? Why had the One allowed such a horrible event in our sacred Council? Nothing would ever be the same again.

At long last, Landon called for a break. I bolted through the door, and my eyes slid to the place on the floor where I expected to see Susan’s corpse. Instead, she was standing. Pale, but very much alive.


Of all the shocks of the day, this one was the greatest of all. After so many seasons of watching and waiting, the One had sent a new Restorer!

A quiet joy built behind my ribs. Disillusionment fell off my shoulders. The next session was going to be history-making. And I would be there to see it all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


"Rain. The rain didn’t change. Each afternoon water stippled against rock outside my window, splashed into puddles, and then dwindled to gentle drips. Cleansing, soothing. I always welcomed the sound." (Linette in The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Mountain of Mist

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

In my rather 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. Yet as I gazed down a street purple mountain's majesty rose in the distance.

When 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.

Sharon Hinck

Monday, May 18, 2015

Interview with Cameron Banks - Composer

Today I'm welcoming Cameron Banks to my blog, a talented young composer who created the music for the back-of-the-book extras in The Deliverer.

Cameron will also be one of the judges in the "Song of Lyric Contest" and will compose the music for the winner.

Cameron, I was blown away by your powerful choral arrangement of the song for The Deliverer. Could you let the readers know how it came about that you wrote this?

Late in the Fall of 2012, I had received the poem, "Day of the One," and I was hooked to the words. They flowed like lyrics to me from the very first time I read this poem. I began to try many different melodic lines to fit the pictures the poem created. All in all, it took many hours to compile the endless ideas and bits of music when I realized that I had been approaching this poem from the wrong perspective. I had been too focused on the picturesque lyrics of animals and mentions of landscapes when this poem was meant to focus on our Deliverer, Christ Jesus. I sat down for a few minutes to regain composure, and I began to write. Instead of limiting myself to one or two melodic lines, I wrote the piece of what I heard in mind when I read it.

Tell us a little bit about your background as a musician:

Ever since I was young boy, I was fond of music. How pieces of brass, wood, and plastics could make pleasant, beautiful sounds really interested me. I took piano lessons for a few years until I began band. By the time I was in high school, I loved learning new instruments. Before and after school, I would sneak into the music room and try out all different kinds of instruments. I began to read books and look up how to repair instruments. I grew fond of composing once I started singing in the choir my senior year of high school. I had already known the beauty of the different colorful chords that instruments could make but I had no idea that the human voice could do that as well.

While performing at Concordia University in the top college Wind Symphony and a semester with the Kapelle choir, I began learning about the complexities of music theory, counterpoint, and how to compose music from the basic level. I grew fond of composing music early on and even began "breaking certain rules" since I thought,  "Hey, the greatest composers got to so why couldn't we?" Not too many of my professors were always fond of me breaking the rules, but hey, it was the best defense I had and I still laugh about it. Today, I still compose both choral and instrumental music but nowadays, I am fond of teaching music and providing my students opportunities to show off their love and appreciation using music to glorify God.

When you compose music, does it flood you in a delirious wave (like Handel’s experience in writing The Messiah), or do you battle for each deliberate note? What is the creative process like for you?

If I had to choose, I would say music comes to me like a flood than a battle. Not to sound vain but I feel that composing music comes to me naturally. I don't really spend too much time "battling" each note except for maybe when I'm putting the final touches on my music. If I'm working on chord structure to create a harmonious picture of what I'm writing about, then I would be a little bit more deliberate in my note choice.

In the creative process,  I always begin with the ending. In order to begin a piece, you must know two things: 1) How the music ends, and 2) Where the destination from the beginning notes will take you. Excluding multiple movement works, music must have an ending but also must create the desire for wanting more of the music. In a culture where we live in always desiring more than what we want, the only thing I embrace in this ideology is the want for music. There's so much creativity in all of us and I know that God has given us the ability to be people of individual creativity that unites us as inspirational, intuitive beings. In my life, music is that creative focal point. Music composition and performance are my creative outlet.

How does your faith inform your art? Any advice for artists, writers, and composers?

Faith informs my music through the simple fact that God has blessed us with individualized talents. These talents cannot be replicated exactly as another's, and music is God's way of providing us His message with and even without words. It stands to say that God does things that we cannot comprehend sometimes, and His reason and our reason are different. Most of the music I have written can and should be considered sacred music because I feel that there is a deeper message than us as imperfect, incompetent beings.

I also feel the need to include Matthew 28:19-20, the "Great Commission," in composing music because aren't we His chosen people to be missionaries of His Word? He has instructed us through the teachings in the Word and now has blessed us with the promise of eternal life. As the great J.S. Bach wrote, "He who relies on Jesus Christ, Heaven shall be his most surely." Thus, my purpose for composing music is to be informed through Christ, the anointed one, and until the Day of the One has come, we will continue our praises in heaven ours most surely.

My advice for artists, writers, and composers is to never give up on an unfinished project. No composer, artist, or writer has ever been satisfied with even close to 100% of their original works, personal transcriptions or adaptations, or even their commissioned pieces. It is easier to give up than strive towards the obtainable goal. Always set yourself reasonable goals and expectations. Inspiration and innovation takes time and a lot of small, well-detailed and planned goals. I also say to never settle for acceptable but don't make perfectionism take over your happiness and joy of creating. Each and every day is a new opportunity to learn, to be inspired, and to focus on how God has blessed your life even in the smallest ways. This little lesson can be used for life-living as well.

Thanks so much, Cameron! It's a joy visiting with you.
Sharon Hinck

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bonus Scene 7 - The Restorer

After Chapter 24


Below my window, bedraggled people from a variety of clans made their way toward the tower. Drumbeats carried from the end of the street. I would normally put in my appearance along with other prominent leaders. But everyone’s preoccupation with the gathering provided a perfect time to begin my greatest project—transforming the records.

I turned to Medea. “Wait here.”

She nodded vacantly, tracing her hands along the smooth limestone wall of my office, staring at something I couldn’t see. Had she heard me? Lately, I was often uncertain. While she possessed the power and brilliance of a hundred magchips, she was also as unreliable as a shorting connection.

Rationality flickered on and off and in her, but that only added to my fascination. Besides, my plans relied on her help, and her abilities were breathtaking to watch.

I shook my head and hurried down to the lower levels. All the more reason to make the changes to the records. That alone would finally free me to pursue my agenda to strengthen the clans.
Our clans were stuck—trapped—by extreme adherence to the outdated Records that kept us from competing with the nations around us in weapons’ progress. If those stubborn old songkeepers were more willing to compromise, I wouldn’t have had to take such drastic steps.

Surely the One who watched our clans also understood my choices. After all, He had appointed the Council to protect the people, and that’s exactly what I was doing.

My heart pounded against my temples as I made my way down the dark hall to the hiding place. So close at last. Seasons of planning and effort, and finally my greatest achievement as Chief Councilmember was within my grasp.

I paused to be sure no footsteps echoed on the stairs behind me. No one was following. I brought up the lightwall and stepped toward the alcove.

Empty. The Records I'd collected and hidden had disappeared.

Fear wrapped insidiously into my thoughts. Could the old stories be true? Were the Records really linked to the One’s tangible presence in some way? Had He taken back the Records I’d so carefully collected?

I choked back a laugh. Ridiculous. I forced my pulse to slow to match the throbbing drums that murmured in the distance. There was only one explanation, and it wasn’t a supernatural one. Tristan.

He’d been in Braide Wood when my men had arrived to take the records. He would have understood the implications. But would he have dared to disobey the Council’s orders for him to report to the River Border? Angry as I was at the missing Records, grim satisfaction built in my chest. Tristan didn’t deserve to be a guardian. I’d tried to prove that to the Council, but each effort had failed. But if he’d ignored their direct orders, I’d finally have what I needed to destroy him. Especially when combined with the evidence that addle-witted Susan had provided.

I took the stairs two at a time and rushed back into my office.

Medea spun slowly in the center of the room, her chin tilting up and hair spilling down her back. Her skirt flared around her ankles as she turned again and again.

“We have a problem,” I said.

She kept spinning, but a smile lit her face. “Oh, good. Puzzles are lovely.”

I touched her shoulder, and she slowed, finishing her turn to face me. “The Records are gone,” I said.
 “But we can use this. I’ll need your help at the Council meeting. Are you ready?”

She pulled a dagger from her boot sheath and smiled. “I’m very ready.”

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I don't always like the concept of yielding when I'm driving.
I don't like it in life, either.

God and I have had long talks about my problem with yielding to Him.

As a writer, I've discovered areas of the work where I have no control: the decision by a publisher to offer a contract, the number of copies that sell, and the opinions of others about the book.


God whispers it to me.

Let go of your need to convince everyone to like you. Stand strong in my pronouncement that you are my beloved child. Stop believing you will shatter and die when someone is unhappy, disappointed, or angry with you.

Yield control of something you really never had control over in the first place.

My heart answers, "Yes."

Is God whispering to you to merge more deeply into Him? Does it require yielding . . . a giving way?

Lord, give all of us the courage today to yield to your grace and tender love for us. Help us give way where you are nudging certain attitudes and actions out of our lives.

Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sneak Peek - The Deliverer


"The spires of the city of Lyric sang of beauty that was still close to the source of all artistry. The forest around Braide Wood refreshed wanderers with the scent of pine and honey-spice. The Grey Hills in their haunting sadness still murmured of hope and opened my heart to vastness as they stretched into the horizon. Even the harsh granite of Hazor stirred boldness and vigor."

---Susan in The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Song of First Light

Just a reminder - if you're planning on submitting lyrics for the "Song of Lyric" contest, send them soon so there is time to post them to my blog in May. The entries will be sent to the judging panel on May 31st.

While you wait, you can listen to the music for Song of First Light from The Restorer.

Just visit my multi-media page, scroll down, and find the button for the song.

Enjoy! And whether or not you write songs, I pray you'll make music in your heart today.

Sharon Hinck

Monday, May 11, 2015

Lilac Day

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8

Lilac Day

Spring is always a remarkable surprise after a Minnesota winter, but my favorite day in the spring is lilac day.

When we bought our home years ago, a woody, bedraggled lilac bush in the backyard gave only stingy blooms. Each year, we thinned a third of the oldest branches from the ground. The beleaguered lilac has survived our ham-handed pruning, blizzards, hail, and ice-storms, and scorched leaves from the nearby barbecue.

But now it explodes with flowers each May. Every year I wait for the day that the blossoms unfold, and I gather armfuls to fill vases in every room.

The scent is liquid confection, and on any other day might be too cloying. But in spring's rain-scrubbed, earthy air, it's a perfect note of sweetness. Each year I also try every tip to make the blooms last. Yet they're fragile. Almost overnight, small lavender petals crumble and fall like a lace hanky; and the lilac's glory passes, leaving me a familiar melancholy.

We wait, we pray. We endure branch-snapping storms. And as God's sun coaxes, we bloom into a fragile, short-lived wonder. Lilac day is short. Life is short. A fistful of decades that amount to the swiftly wilting lilac day.

Lord, let me bring sweetness and beauty in every bud and stem and twig of my life until that day you change my fleeting life into eternal bloom. Amen.

Sharon Hinck

Friday, May 08, 2015

Bonus Scene 6 - The Restorer

After Chapter 21

Wade's efforts to protect Susan when she's taken to Lyric


The transport pulled out, and I caught a glimpse of Susan’s face through the window. Terror creased her brow. The fear in her eyes was almost worse than when Tristan had first introduced her to us at Ferntwine. I paced. When would the next transport arrive? The schedule would be off because of the Council guard commandeering it.

Finally, I settled onto a tree stump, got out my whetstone, and sharpened my blade. Tristan drummed it into all of us that the simple disciplines made a guardian effective. The stone scraped along steel in a comforting rhythm.

Straightforward dangers are fine. It’s why I became a guardian. Innocent people need defending. I certainly don’t have the brains to be a builder or transtech, or the leadership to be on the Council, or the ear to hear from the One like the songkeepers. Put a sword in my hand and point me in the right direction—that’s all I need. But in the last few seasons, the situation in the clans had grown as muddy as the clay pits near Shamgar.

Turning my sword, I worked the second edge. First Tristan had disappeared and the Council had started asking questions. Then Susan had come along, igniting questions about Restorers—an idea partly exciting but mostly confusing, especially since she wasn’t what the clans needed and didn’t at all fit the sort of protector that the One promised.

Then more Rhusicans were allowed to roam about the clans. As if Kendra’s experiences weren’t warning enough. And somehow, one of them had even gotten his twisted fingers into my skull. I shivered and lifted my sword, sighting down the edge. Still straight and true. At least my sword was reliable.

Sometimes it seemed like the whole world was shaking to its very foundations. Too much going wrong in too many ways. And today one of the Council Guard had taken the Braide Wood Records. His explanation about consolidating them in Lyric hadn’t calmed Lukyan. I’d never seen the old songkeeper that upset before. I had run to warn Tristan, but that had only led Case and the others to him. Now Tristan had given me one simple task, and I’d already failed.

The sky moved toward a midday glow before the next transport pulled up. I bounded on board. I would have gotten out and pushed if my efforts would have helped move it faster. But I eventually reached the Lyric stop. The next challenge was to figure out where Case had brought Susan once they’d reached Lyric. They’d said the Council wanted to meet with her, so I strode quickly to the Council tower. I needed someone like Kieran. He could talk people in circles and confuse them enough to get past.

One of the Council guards was someone I’d trained with when I was a first-year, so I decided on a direct approach. “Well met! Haven’t seen you in a while. How has your posting in Lyric been treating you?”

He didn’t relax from his stiff posture at the door, but he grinned. “Not bad. How is everything back in Braide Wood? What brings you to Lyric?”

“An assignment from my captain. I need to find Case. Have you seen him?”

He gave a tight nod. “Yesterday. He’s here often. Haven’t seen him today, though.”

“All right. Thanks. Maybe someone inside can help me.” I squeezed past him without waiting for an answer.

Every time I’d been in the Council tower, my collar felt too tight and my boots too dusty. I ignored the slickly dressed, important-looking people moving along the halls and made my way to the Braide Wood council office.

No one had heard of Susan or the orders to bring her to Lyric. And the junior council member who talked to me made me feel like I was an annoyance who was wasting her time. Why couldn’t I have been given a straightforward assignment? Like patrolling the River Borders with Dylan.
Thinking of Dylan reminded me of Linette. She spent a lot of time in Lyric, preparing for the large Gatherings. She might have what I needed—some wisdom about my next step. I headed for the worship tower.

Lukyan would be proud of me. When I was a pup, he used to smile and tell us all, “When in doubt, go to the One.” I sure hoped the One, or at least his songkeeper, would have an idea about where I should look next.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The Joy of Waiting

Since there aren't any new submissions for the "Song of Lyric" contest to post today, I decided to pull up something I wrote TEN YEARS AGO (whew!!!) about the writing life. I think perhaps at that time, I was waiting for news about whether a publisher wanted "The Restorer."

The Joy of Waiting

Last week, I began composing a list of the good things about being a writer. Since I tend to get cranky and melancholy, I figured I needed a reminder of what I should be grateful for.

1. I can work in my pajamas
2. I can take a notebook and pen for a hike in the woods and work in beautiful settings
3. I sometimes get free books to review or endorse
4. I've met the best, most amazing people
5. I get to practice waiting.

Okay, that last one wasn't on my list. Being a writer involves a tortuous amount of waiting. Nail-biting while waiting for an agent’s opinion on my latest idea. Pacing while hoping for news from my editor on whether my manuscript has potential. Checking emails obsessively to see what my critique partners thought of a recent chapter.

Last week, I read a chapter in Marlene Bagnull’s wonderful book, Write His Answer. She wrote about waiting expectantly, productively, and patiently.

My vivid imagination jumps to worst-case scenarios when I’m waiting. “The publisher will finally catch on that I don’t know what I’m doing and reject my new proposal. The editors are sitting around laughing at my clumsy prose.”

So, in an effort to wait expectantly, I worked on expecting God’s good surprises . . . whatever shape they might take. Once when the phone rang, I even thought, “That could be my agent calling with a contract offer.” Amazing how much more fun my writing became when I shushed the negative assumptions.

Waiting productively isn’t difficult for me. As a recovering workaholic, I comfort my anxiety by working. So I kept writing during my weeks of waiting for news on a new project. And I also asked God to make the time productive in other ways. Strengthening relationships, caring for physical health, studying and improving my skills.

Patiently? Well, that’s another story. I’m the kind of person who is so desperate to see what’s around the next corner I barely notice the street I’m on at the moment. But God was providing me a chance to practice. To remind myself that His timing is spot on. To acknowledge that most of life happens BETWEEN desired events, so I better embrace the between times.

One of the joys of being a writer really IS the experience of waiting. Writing chapter after chapter with uncertainty about whether it will be published. Revising manuscripts that might never be read. Trusting that God has called me to this path. Every day is raw and frightening and blazing with potential. And that propels me straight into God’s arms.

And that’s another one of the joys of writing.

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Mammoth Self-Doubts?

I told a friend today that I was having mammoth self-doubts.

A picture sprang to mind of a huge, furry, snaggle-tusked mammoth, tearing through the garden of my dreams and hopes.

Writers often get visits from this wooly creature, so I've tried to learn not to panic when it thunders in for a chat. Instead, when it waggles its tusks in my direction, I'm reminded to run to Jesus.

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." - Psalm 20:7

Let's not rely on the chariots of our own skills and human effort (apart from Him), or the horses of approval from others. And let's not be trampled by the mammoth reasons to give up. Let's simply trust in the name of the Lord of God and take the next step forward.

Do you ever struggle with mammoth doubts? What verses help you at those times?

Sharon Hinck

Monday, May 04, 2015

A Word Fitly Spoken

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver." 
Proverbs 25:11 (ESV)

I just got home from renewing my drivers license. I don't know many people who enjoy spending time at the DMV, and today a sign warned of unusually long wait times.

While filling out my form, I watched the women behind the counter interact with each person. They complimented babies, they noticed similar birthdays, they chatted about the weather.

They found common ground.

Laughter, smiles, and patience circulated the room because of their warmth and kind words.

Their example made me resolve to think about the reception I give each stranger I encounter. Can I find some common ground? Can I stir a smile?

Where ever your day takes you, may you both hear and share words set in silver!

Sharon Hinck

Sunday, May 03, 2015

A Book Blitz Gift!

Today, Sunday May 3, 2015, my publisher is hosting a wonderful Book Blitz - giving away as many copies of The Restorer (ebook) as possible.

Let's see how many we can give away in ONE DAY!

1. If you haven't already grabbed a copy of the ebook, please do! The Restorer is an unexpected tale of faith and adventure. (And since it features a mom as heroine, it's a great Mother's Day treat!)

2. Help me spread the word! Tell all your friends about the freebie, and invite them to order it today.

You can "share" the post on my facebook page, or "retweet" on twitter, or go old school and phone a friend to let them know.

Thanks for joining the fun of introducing new people to the stories!


Sharon Hinck

Friday, May 01, 2015

Bonus Scene 5 - The Restorer

After Chapter 15

How Nolan came to be assigned to be a messenger to Braide Wood


I grabbed the edge of the jagged wall and skidded into a quick turn on my way to the messenger’s gathering room. The polished stone floors of Zarek’s palace didn’t provide much traction. My feet slipped, but I ran faster. Late again. My mother had been in so much pain that I’d risked an early morning errand to the market to bargain for a few drug patches. I had to slip into the room before Keeper Fentick began handing out the day’s assignments. Maybe today would be one of the days he lumbered in late nursing a headache from a night of drinking.

Slowing to quiet my breathing, I ducked into the door and wedged myself among a group of other messengers. The mountain gods had deserted me today. Fentick was already dispensing assignments.
His bloodshot eyes found me instantly. “And finally, the generals have requested a messenger for a special task.”

The smirk that spread on his jowled face chilled me more than his usual snarls. “Nolan, pack two day’s rations and report to the lehkan division. They’re assembling at the gate.”

My eyes widened. A military assignment? I was a city messenger.

“But his mother…” Arvon piped up from one of the tables. He was a young boy, recently sent from the Grey Hills province. I’d brought him home for a hot meal. He knew how hard I’d worked to protect my assignment in town so I could care for my mother. But he was too new to understand the danger in questioning Fentick.

“Yes, sir.” I jumped forward, hoping to deflect attention.

Too late. Fentick trudged a few steps closer to the table and cuffed Arvon hard across the face. Arvon hit the floor and wisely stayed down.

Fentick looked around the room. “Any other questions? Good. To your places.” He lumbered away without a backward glance.

Most of the messengers scattered. A few glanced my way as they sped out of the hall, but no one spoke to me.

I offered Arvon a hand. “Didn’t I tell you to keep your head down and your mouth shut?”

He rubbed his chin. “So you did. I just thought if he knew about your mother he might keep you in the city.”

I used to find the new messengers from the outer provinces a source of humor. All cheerful ignorance and belief that if they did their job well, they’d be rewarded. I smiled bleakly. “Nice try. But there is something you can do for me.”

He nodded eagerly. “Glad to.”

“If I’m not back in a week, let my mother know where I was sent.”

He frowned. “A week? But Keeper Fentick said you’re bringing two days’ rations.”

As soon as the keeper had barked his orders, I understood the implications. The cold knot in my gut threatened to unravel, but I couldn’t let Arvon see my fear. “It’s two days’ ride to the mountain border. They’re using me in a military campaign. That’s two days to arrive and no days to return.”

Arvon scratched his head. “They have food at the outposts?”

I sighed. “No. I won’t need food. I’m not meant to return.”

Comprehension dawned slowly across his face. “But you can’t… Your mother… You…”

I clapped him on the back as we walked to the door. “Who knows? Maybe I’ll be back before she has time to notice I’m gone. Now get to your assignment.”

He nodded and tore off down the hall, but cast one last worried look back at me. I shooed him away and ran the other direction, choosing the shortest route to the city gate. I was tempted to detour past my mother’s home, but I didn’t dare keep the army waiting. Besides, worry would only worsen her health. I’d managed to hide my fear from Arvon, but I wasn’t sure I could keep up my courage if I saw her.

Outside the gate, lehken pawed the rocky ground, some weighted down with armored soldiers and others carrying bulky loads of what looked like minitrans strapped to their backs. I wove through the men and reported to the general, who sent me to march with the foot soldiers.

By the time the afternoon rains cooled us, we were deep in the dark mountains. I’d never traveled this far from the city.

A strange howl from a distant cliff set my heart pounding, and I edged a bit closer to the soldiers I was keeping step with. One of the men chuckled. “You think this is bad? Did they tell you where we’re heading? Braide Wood.” The hardened soldier shivered.

The name was the stuff of nightmares. The enemy so close to our border, stubbornly in the way of Hazor’s expansion. Backward. Barbarian. Why would the general need a messenger at the borders? I scuffed along the rain-soaked slate on the trail. Maybe he needed me to send reports back to the king, and the two-days’ rations was Fentick’s idea of a bad joke.

Another howl rent the air, closer this time. Around me, the men’s faces turned grim. A trickle of cold rain found its way past my collar, and I rubbed my arms, trying to warm myself.

When the sky darkened and we made camp, I resolved not to guess about my role anymore. I’d be given my orders when I was needed, and my imagination would just make the suspense worse. I only hoped Arvon would help my mother, because deep in my heart I knew that there wasn’t much chance I’d survive this assignment.