Friday, May 27, 2011

Thank You for Your Time and Hard Work Stephanie!

Dear readers, I've had a blast here with you all on the Moody Fiction blog since we opened its doors in November 2009! From critiquing book covers, swapping new titles, and sharing book reviews, this blog has been a warm and welcoming community for readers, and we're looking forward to growing even more from here! I want to let you know that I will be transitioning out of my role as Managing Editor, and welcoming Deb Keiser on board, our Acquisitions Editor for fiction novels. I won't be blogging with Moody Fiction anymore, but you can catch me on some of our other blogs by Moody Publishers, which if you don't know about them yet, now is a good time for me to introduce you: is a resource center for building strong relationships, whether you are single, dating, engaged, or newlyweds. They offer new articles every week and interviews with special guests such as Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, and former Miss America Lauren Nelson. is the official blog for all things Moody Publishers, and here we focus on "faith, publishing, and literacy culture." Ever wonder how we choose a book cover or what the editing process looks like? Come get a behind-the-scenes look here! is a free online resource to help you delve into God's Word with devotions, Bible study tools, sermon prep help, and book studies. This blog is sponsored by the Ryrie Study Bible.

Keep reading! And hope to see you around!
Stephanie S. Smith
(In)dialogue Communications

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another Option

Hello Fiction Fans!

Here is one more option for you to choose from. Let us know what you think! Option 4:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

RiverNorth Publishing Logo




Hello Moody Fiction fans! We want your opinion! Moody Fiction is transitioning into RiverNorth Fiction. We want to know, love, and serve our audience, starting with you helping us pick our new logo! Please let us know what you think by responding with your favorite numbered option.

Thank you, Team!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 4 Winner

Sorry for the delay in response, Lauri Khodabandehloo is our winner. Please email me with your address at and I will send you your copy of Missional Mom. I hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day and were appreciated!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 4 of Honoring Moms Week

Congratulations Denise! Winner of a complementary copy of Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar, recently named "New author of the Year" in the 2011 Readers Choice Awards sponsored by Family Fiction.

Today's question, what are the three things you admire most about your mother?

Post your thoughts and enter to win a free copy of The Mission Mom by Helen Lee.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 3 of Honoring Moms week

No winner to announce so let's move on to today's question.

Women have been blessed with the instinctive ability to nurture. In Titus 2 women are exhorted to use that nurturing gift to encourage other women as they seek to live for God's glory. What is the best thing you have experienced in being a spiritual mother?

The random winner will receive a copy of Tending the Soul: 90 Days of Spiritual Nourishment by our friends at Midday Connection.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 2 of Honoring Moms Week

Congratulations to Wenshan! She is the winner of last night's drawing. Thank you all for your comments, we enjoyed reading them and gave us some ideas.

Now today's question...

Being a mom is a worthwhile and exciting adventure, but one thing for sure it is not an easy task. As a mom, what is your biggest challenge?

Tonight's winner will receive a complimentary copy of Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar.

Check back tomorrow for Day 3 of Honoring Moms Week question of the day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mom, what do you long to hear?

In honor of all mothers, this week we will be posting questions relating to motherhood. Post your answer and a daily random name will be drawn to win a complimentary book.

Depending on your season of motherhood, today's winner can choose between Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson or How to Really Love Your Adult Child by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D.

There are many studies and articles that talk to parents about what their children need to hear from them. In the process of trying to nurture and love their children to the best of their abilities, the longings of many mothers' hearts get pushed to the side or neglected. What do you long to hear from your child or children?

Winner will be randomly pulled and announced 9 pm Central tonight. Come back for tomorrow's question for another chance at winning.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Your Life Story in Six Words?

 By: Stephanie S. Smith, Moody Fiction Managing Editor

As a freelance book publicist, I spend a lot of time using social media to get the word out about new titles, but I have to say: I am not a fan of Twitter.  I'm the kind of person who loves thick novels like Jane Eyre, excuses run-on sentences, and had to be taught the meaning of "succinct" by my 9th grade English teacher. So 140 character "tweets" are just not my thing.

Twitter offers a wealth of information for those who wish to seek it out, but to me it feels like an overwhelming sea of data, a roar of white noise. I also can't help but feel like it's a "short-cut", a way to cut creative corners and at the same time cater to our distracted attention spans.  140 characters is just long enough to snag our interest and just short enough to amuse us but not commit us.

But this past week I discovered a project in succinctness that impressed me.  Instead of 140 characters, try six words! The Six-Word Memoir, an initiative of SMITH Magazine, challenges writers to publish their abbreviated life story on their website.  Inspired by the belief that everyone has a story and deserves a forum in which to tell it, SMITH editors created the Six-Word Memoir Project to give people that opportunity.  With a click, anyone can publish their memoir on the website.  I found myself fascinated with some of their entries...

"Never really finished anything, expect cake." -Carletta Perkins

"I still make coffee for two." -Zak Nelson

"Asked to quiet down, spoke louder." -Wendy Lee

In just six words, people all over the world are telling stories with their own unique voice.  I spent half an hour reading through these memoirs and was amazed that such creativity could be condensed into so small a space.  Some are profound, some humorous, some confessional or bittersweet, but all of them possess a genre and a plot of their own as intricate as any novel.

It takes enough skill to be able to articulate your life story, drawing out significant themes and symbols, but to boil it down to six words and still give the reader a lasting impression? It seems to me that is a craft in its own right.  Perhaps Twitter, a cousin endeavor in brevity, is a higher art than I imagined.

Stephanie S. Smith graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Communications and Women’s Ministry, which she now puts to work freelancing as a book publicist and writer through her business, (In)dialogue Communications, at  After living in Chicago for four years, traveling to Amsterdam for a spell, and then moving back home to Baltimore to plan a wedding, she now lives with her husband in Upstate New York where they make novice attempts at home renovation in their 1930s bungalow.  She is a member of the Young Professionals of the Southern Tier and blogs for Moody Publishers at and

Monday, April 4, 2011

Living in the Pink: New April Fiction!

Some people are in the red. Some are in the black. And some the pink! 
Sharon Tubbs' new book is a series of short stories centered on this question: "Are your sins red like scarlet, are you seeking God so that He can make them white as snow… or are you satisfied somewhere in between—living in the pink?" Through these stories, Sharon hopes to lead women "out of the pink and into God's marvelous light." Sharon's book released April 1st, and you can read the first chapter here, and meet Sister Pinky herself! Also visit
About the Book
Living in the Pink is a series of humorous and insightful short stories with Christian underpinnings. Through the eyes of the wise “Sister Pinky” and Believers Ministries International Church, these stories highlight issues that women grapple with but that often remain unspoken in religious circles. The characters are everyday wives, mothers, and singles. They develop and gain a spiritual perspective in dealing with romantic relationships, wayward children, jealousy, church traditions, Christian hypocrisy, and self-righteous judgment, among other themes.

Discussion questions help readers connect with the storylines and urge them to look within—and up—to reach their highest potential in life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Spring Fiction!

You may remember hearing about or reading Linda Chaikin's book released last year, The Spoils of Eden, the first in the "Dawn of Hawaii" trilogy. Coming May 1st, the saga continues in Hawaiin Crosswinds...

About the Book

Amid the looming spiritual and political crisis in Hawaii, Rafe Easton and Eden Derrington  are  thrust into a conflict that will forever change their beloved Hawaii. Hawaii, home of the early missionaries, becomes an empire of sugar and pineapple built by their children and grandchildren.  By 1892 the Treasure of the Pacific is  caught in a political revolution between those supporting  Queen Liliuokalani, and the new Hawaiians determined to see the Stars and Stripes waving over Iolani Palace.

Rafe Easton hears the dark news that Townsend Derrington is in San Francisco prowling about the house on Nob Hill belonging to Parker Judson, Rafe’s partner in the pineapple plantation.  Rafe’s  mother, Celestine, is keeping out of sight with baby Kip inside the house. The news is dire enough to convince Rafe to alter his near-term plans in Honolulu. Having come to an agreement with his fiancée, Eden Derrington, to allow her to work for a year on Molokai at her father’s medical clinic while meeting her dying mother, a leper, Rafe makes swift plans to take a steamer to  San Francisco to hunt down Townsend who is guilty of  Rafe’s father’s death, and now stalking Celestine and Kip.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pictures from "Steppin' Into the Good Life" Launch Party!

Pictures of some of the highlights from this event at The LOFT in Atlanta, where Tia's book is set! It was a day of good eating (shrimp and grits!), fierce shoes modeled in a fashion show, and a discussion with the author, Tia McCollors, about what it means to be living "the good life."

Are you living the good life?  Enter the Shoe Talk Contestant and tell us about it.  Go to the   I Am Living the Good Life facebook page and post a picture of your fiercest shoes. Write 2-3 sentences telling us what your shoes would say about who you are (your personality, your desires, your life’s journey).  The contest will run through March 31, 2011. April 1st we will announce the winner of the Chocolate Shoe Award, a copy of Steppin Into the Good Life by Tia McCollors and a $25 Amazon gift card. The second place winner will receive a $10 gift card.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pearl in the Sand Audio Version!

If you like audio books, check out this sample for Tessa Afshar's Pearl in the Sand novel, read by actress Laura Merlington. She's mastered her character voices and accents!

About the Book

Striking beauty... comes at a price.

Rahab paid it when at the age of fifteen she was sold into prostitution by the one man she loved and trusted—her father. With her keen mind and careful planning she turned heartache into success, achieving independence while still young. And she vowed never again to trust a man. Any man.

God had other plans.

Into the emotional turmoil of her world walked Salmone, a prominent leader of Judah, held in high esteem by all Israel. A man of faith, honor, and pride. An enemy. What is a woman with a wrecked past to do when she wants to be loved, yet no longer believes it possible?

The walls of Jericho are only the beginning. The real battle for Rahab will be one of the heart.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Ideal Writing Spot

By: Stephanie S. Smith, Managing Blog Editor

It seems that most famous writers create a certain habitat for their genius, a custom-made space where their creativity can flow forth uninhibited. Virginia Woolf had A Room of One’s Own, J. K. Rowling has her European café, and Kurt Vonnegut has his hardwood floor where he worked out of his lap. So what are the basic requirements for a writing spot?

A desk, of course, is essential (except, apparently, if you’re Vonnegut). Preferably, a mahogany, stylishly-distressed desk that just looks like classics have been written all over it. A desk in the tradition of Tolkien’s and C. S. Lewis’, which you can actually see on display (including the wardrobe that inspired Narnia) at the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College. Extra points if your desk has a secret compartment.

Next, coffee. Every writer needs an energy boost now and then. And if you’re self-employed, your caffeine addiction might even count as a tax deduction (don’t quote me on that…)! But don’t try to outdo French novelist Balzac, who was known to drink 50-300 cups of coffee per day.

Your writing space should also host somewhat of a cozy mess. Creative minds aren’t known for their organizational skills, you know.

Surround yourself with inspirational literary quotes. These will remind you not only how much you love, live, and breath writing, but how fun it is! Motivational catchphrases such as, “My stories run up and bite me on the leg” –Ray Bradbury, and, “Writing is…like a long bout of some painful illness.” -George Orwell, should get you off to a good start!

You should also have something to fidget with as you wrestle your brilliant ideas down onto paper. Stress balls, those cool moldable erasers, etc. Now is the perfect time to develop a bad habit such as cracking your knuckles or chewing your hair. All for the sake of art, of course.

A muse: whether it’s a picture of your sweetheart, your cat, or your Edgar Allan Poe bobble-head, you should have something to attribute your strokes of genius to. And someone to take your frustration out on when writer’s block hits.

What’s your writing environment? Where do you hammer out your thoughts, poems, and stories?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

15 Things You Never Knew About Dickens

If you consider yourself to be a well-read individual — at least of the classics — you’ve probably read a lot of Dickens. Even non-English majors have most likely stumbled across Dickens’ greatest characters in college classes and of course, in iconic films remakes, like A Christmas Carol. And just as you’d expect, the writer behind Tiny Tim, Oliver Twist and Pip was just as complex as his famous characters. Here are 15 things you may not have known about Charles Dickens (professors and total Dickens freaks aside).
  1. He was a control freak: Although he was never diagnosed, and it’s impossible to posthumously diagnose someone, scientists and doctors believe that Dickens may have had OCD. He was supposedly a control freak and had many rituals involving repetitive behavior, like rearranging furniture and religiously inspecting his children’s bedrooms for tidiness and order.
  2. He had ten children: Between 1837 and 1852, Dickens’ wife Catherine gave birth to 10 children. Dora Annie died when she was an infant, and the youngest, Edward, died at 10 years old.
  3. He took on factory work at age 12: You may already know that Dickens’ father was taken to prison because of financial problems, but you may not have known that 12-year-old Charles went to work wrapping shoe-black bottles at Warren’s Blacking Factory to help support his family during that time.
  4. Dickens spoke out against slavery: A long-time, committed supporter of social justice issues, Dickens also disapproved of slavery. He reportedly spoke out against it when visiting friends in America, which did not go over well.
  5. He was a leader of social justice and reform until his death: Dickens was an advocate for all kinds of social justice issues, including educating the poor, parliamentary reform, public health, the legal system, the workhouse system, and others.
  6. He was a realistic recorder of epilepsy and seizures: Dickens wrote about epileptic fits and seizures (characters like Guster from Bleak House, Monks from Oliver Twist, and Bradley Headstone from Our Mutual Friend had them) with such accuracy that today’s doctors believe he may have suffered from them himself.
  7. Dickens wrote 5 Christmas books: While he’s best known for A Christmas Carol, Dickens actually wrote five books about Christmastime: The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, as well as A Christmas Carol. They were all published between 1843-1848.
  8. He practiced mesmerism: Dickens was introduced to mesmerism — an early form of hypnosis — by Professor Joseph Elliotson at University College, London. Dickens supposedly became a master at mesmerism was fascinated at its power to control minds.
  9. A Christmas Carol has never been out of print: A Christmas Carol was published for the first time in 1843, and since then, it has never been out of print.
  10. His nickname was "Boz": Dickens’ younger brother Augustus supposedly used to pronounce his nickname in a way that sounded like "Boz," and Dickens adopted that name as his own pseudonym.
  11. Dickens nicknamed his kids, too: A fan of using nicknames with siblings and in his work, Dickens also gave his kids nicknames, like Skittles.
  12. He often based characters on people he knew in real life: Dickensian characters are so memorable, it’s no wonder Dickens actually modeled some of them on real-life people he knew. And David Copperfield is said to be mostly autobiographical.
  13. He worked as a court reporter and parliamentary reporter: Before becoming a fiction writer, Dickens worked for a lawyer but then switched professions to focus on writing and journalism. He first worked as a court reporter and then as a parliamentary reporter, before publishing his first story in 1833.
  14. The Pickwick Papers started as a series of sketches: The Pickwick Papers is Dickens’ first novel, but it actually started out as a series of sketches and caricatures of Cockneys, drawn by Robert Seymour. Seymour’s publishers recruited Dickens to write bits of text to accompany the sketches, but Dickens ended up taking over the project.
  15. He died working on a novel: Dickens’ last novel was just a work in progress when he died. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is still unfinished, but some installments were published, and two films were even made based on the work.
This post is a guest post from Accredited Online Colleges, contributed by Emma Taylor.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peek into These Celebrity Libraries!

We all remember that scene in Beauty and the Beast where the beast makes Belle close her eyes, leads her into a dark room, opens the shades, and gives her the library of our dreams. Floor-to-ceiling shelves, windows pouring light onto bright bindings, and one of those fun ladders on wheels so you can reach whatever book catches your eye!

Well, it's not an enchanted palace, but here are some photos of libraries of people you may have heard can check out more pictures on Flavorwire, where these pictures were originally hosted.

Diane Keaton's library    
Michael Jackson's library

Oprah's library
Joan Rivers' library

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Moody Publishers' Blog!

It's a new year and we're turning the page with Moody Publishers' new blog, Inside Pages! To celebrate, we're hosting a launch party at from January 17th-29th! For these two weeks, we will be having daily giveaways, for prizes including a Kindle, iPod Touch, books, Bibles, and more!

Inside Pages will serve as Moody Publisher’s online forum on faith, publishing, and literary culture, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at publishing and creating a digital community for dialogue about the book industry. Inside Pages will regularly feature new book releases, author interviews and articles, reading/writing resources, and employee commentaries on the publishing process and the changing literary landscape. And of course, you can still find us here at the Moody Fiction blog!

We hope to see you there!

P.S. Did we mention giveaways?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Red Pick-up Trucks

By: Tia McCollor, author of February release Steppin' Into the Good Life

For the past year God has had a sense of humor in how He speaks to me. I do most of my deep thinking and brainstorming while I’m in the car, so maybe that’s why He’s been speaking to me through bumper stickers. Yes, strange as it may sound, bumper stickers have caused me to do some serious reflecting over the past eight months or so. 

The most recent occurrence happened three weeks ago while I was weaving in and out of traffic (carefully, of course) so that I could make it to my son’s school in time to pick him up. My invisible companions were with me, Mr. Agitated, riding shotgun, and Ms. Impatient, in the back seat.  

I was going nowhere fast. Then I saw it -- the bumper sticker on the back of that red pick-up truck that was probably driving 30 MPH on a 55 MPH stretch of road. “I hope you follow God this close,” it read.
Makes you say…..hmmm. I must admit there have been times when I felt like I was waving to God from afar. If I’ve remembered correctly, in her book, He Speaks to Me, Priscilla Shirer refers to a GPS as God’s Positioning System. The great thing about God is that if you have the desire to draw closer to Him, He’ll let you tailgate! You can park right in His presence for as long as you like. 

 As the February 1st release of my fifth novel approaches, I’ve reflected on my writing career and the personal journey that’s come along with it. My novels – and this calling that God has put on my life as an wife, mother and author -- keeps me close to Him. I write stories about imperfect people and a perfect God. 

Sheila Rushmore, the protagonist in my upcoming release, Steppin’ Into The Good Life, is one of those imperfect people. She’s been chasing the good life since high school, and that chase has left her with no home, no man, and no money. But now that she’s decided to live for God…things will get easier, be better…right? At least that’s what she thinks. 

Sheila’s definition of the “good life” is not what it used to be. Neither is mine. But God wants us to have life abundantly (John 10:10). And we can. If we follow Him as closely as we follow red pick-up trucks.

Shelia Rushmore thought she'd be the last woman standing when it was time to fight for her man. Instead Ace, her boyfriend of two years, chose to reunite with his ex-wife, leaving Shelia emotionally devastated. It's a year later when Sheila is convinced that sneaking into their wedding ceremony will put closure on the gaping hole in her heart. But it's on the back pew of the church where a new relationship begins for Shelia. She can't explain the touch she received from God on that day, but she's determined to be a better woman-a woman of faith. Since high school, Shelia has been chasing her definition of the good life - it's left her with no home, no man, and no money. But now that's she's living life for God, things should get better, right? 

Shelia learns that living a faith-filled life isn't always easy. With faith, tough love, and some tough decisions, Shelia realizes that the life she'd been praying for she could have for herself is actually attainable. Being wrapped in God's arms, she decided, was by far the safest place she'd ever been.

Tia McCollors is a national bestselling author who secured her spot in the publishing industry with the release of her debut novel, Zora’s Cry. She received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina. After ten years as a public relations professional, Tia emerged as an inspirational speaker and author of faith-based novels. Her other titles include The Last Woman Standing, The Truth About Love, and A Heart of Devotion. In addition to being a novelist, Tia is a motivational speaker and instructor for writing workshops. Tia was voted as the Breakout Author of the Year by the Open Book Awards of the African American Literary Awards Show. Tia lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area with her husband and children. For more information, visit her online at

Monday, January 10, 2011

Good Art is Good Religion

By: Stephanie S. Smith, Managing Editor

This past weekend my family and I went to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the long-awaited sequel in C. S. Lewis' Narnia series on film. I've grown up on the books, cherish them as classics, and always love encountering Aslan again on the big screen, majestic in both strength and tenderness.

When the movie was over and the credits started scrolling, a little girl ran down the aisle until she was right in front of the big screen. She just stood there, staring up into it, transfixed, and I thought, She wants to jump into Narnia through the movie screen just like the children were swept up through the painting!

Maybe she wanted to rescue the seven lords, ride on Aslan's back, or fight bravely for the good. Sooner or later a parent called out to her, and she trudged reluctantly back to reality. But the scene impressed on me how important imagination is to faith. C. S. Lewis is well-known for his spiritual parallels woven into his literary works, and I believe that telling the gospel through stories is not only good for the creative life, it is also challenges the spiritual life.

Madeleine L'Engle was another such writer whose redemptive imagination shines through works such as the beloved A Wrinkle in Time series. In her nonfiction book, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, she says, “Christian art? Art is art; painting is painting; music is music; a story is a story. If it’s bad art, it’s bad religion, no matter how pious the subject.”

But if it's good art, it stands to reason it is also "good religion." Perhaps this is why the Narnia epics are so well-loved, even by people who do not know Aslan "by another Name."

What do you think about Madeleine L'Engle's quote? Do you agree, or disagree?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Congratulations to our "Cozy Christmas Giveaway" Winners...

Carol M, Linda Henderson, Carol Wong & Trinity Rose!  

We hope you enjoy your new read and take the chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee or tea...something we all probably need at this point in the season! I will email you shortly to get your mailing addresses. 

Thank you all for sharing the ways you and your family celebrate Christmas! I know Christmas can be both a joyful time with family and friends and it can also be a difficult time, as some you related, in the face of sickness, family tensions, or the loss of a loved one. So thank you for all honestly sharing where you are this Christmas season, and I pray that as we enter this New Year that as God gives us His grace and love, we will have reason to rejoice! 

 Here are a few encouraging words from Bill Thrasher, author of Putting God Back in the Holidays, on the New Year (you can read the full article here): 

"Theologian Andrew Murray speaks of three stages in the Christian life. The first stage is characterized by making resolutions and determining to keep them in your strength. The failure that comes from this leads to the second stage of the Christian life. The first stage of “I can do it” is replaced by “I can’t”— when you feel that setting goals will only lead to failure and defeat. The third stage is characterized by the attitude of “I can’t, but I must and I am going to trust God to do it.” It is in the spirit of the third stage that one finds freedom in setting goals.

It is discouraging when we are stuck in the “I can’t” attitude of the second stage, perhaps the reason we avoid the tradition of “New Year’s Resolutions” in the first place.  But we can remind ourselves and each other that our strength is found in Christ.  Here is a list of truths I pass out to my family members each year as an encouragement as we form our goals:

Trust Jesus to enhance your relationship with Him.
Trust Jesus to give you rest and refresh you.

Trust Jesus to show you how to be a vessel of love.

Trust Jesus to keep a measure of discipline in your life.

Trust Jesus to prepare you for any special temptations.

Trust Jesus to give you His goals for the New Year."

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