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Wednesday, March 27, 2013


About the author, Johnnie Alexander Donley:  Author Johnnie Alexander Donley writes stories of suspense, intrigue, and romance set in World War II. Her debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest for Historical Fiction in 2011. A history enthusiast, Johnnie has also edited nonfiction manuscripts and textbooks. She is a founding member and current president of the ACFW Central Florida chapter. A longtime Florida resident, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, stacks of books, and her papillon Rugby.

About the book, Where Treasure Hides:  Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy—that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life. Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow. As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever?

And now . . . behind the book:

A Tale of Two Writers

Let me tell you the story of two writers I know very well. One is my daughter Bethany; the other is me.

In 2009, the third year I attended the Florida Christian Writers Conference, I won the Writer of the Year Award.

In 2012, the first year Bethany attended the FCWC, she won the Writer of the Year Award.

In 2010, the fourth year I attended the FCWC, I met an agent who referred me to her colleague who signed me as a client.

In 2012, the first year Bethany attended the FCWC, she met an agent who signed her as a client a couple months later.

Last summer, my agent called with the great news that Tyndale wanted to publish my novel.

The month before I got that call, Bethany had a great call from her agent. Regal wanted to publish her nonfiction book.

My book released in January.

Bethany’s book releases in April.

I know the sting of rejection.

Bethany hasn’t received a single one.

Our similar yet different writing journeys are bound by this truth: God has set our feet in a spacious place.

Several years ago, this phrase from Psalm 31 entered my heart and captured my imagination. The entire verse reads:

“You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place” (Psalm 31:8; NIV).

At the time, I was struggling with my writing dreams and goals, desperately seeking direction and affirmation.

God’s still, small voice whispered to me through this verse. I did not need to be afraid, but only patient. He had set my feet in a spacious place – a place of opportunity and of promise.

Intrigued, I looked up “spacious place” on the Blue Letter Bible website. The Hebrew word is merchab and is defined as “broad or roomy place, wide, expanses.” The site says the word is often metaphorically “used of liberty and welfare.”

Your writing journey may resemble my ups-and-downs, or it may resemble Bethany’s swift success.

But it will not be the same as either.

Your writing journey will be uniquely and purposefully yours.

For God has set your feet in a spacious place.

A place expansive enough for many different experiences and many different stories.

How has God set your feet in a spacious place, place of liberty or welfare?

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1 comment:

Johnnie Donley said...

Darlene, thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. I enjoyed writing the post and sharing my experiences. God bless!