Of All The…NERVE!

Hey everyone and welcome
to Friday. Today, Bethany Macmanus is hanging out and playing a round of Would
You Rather with us as well as sharing about her new novel, NERVE!
Would You Rather…
…be super strong or super fast?
Bethany: Super fast! I’ve always struggled with time management, so it
seems like being super fast, by default, would help me with that.
Justin: Super strong. If I could cheat out of my nightly gym workouts,
it would really be a time-saver. Having buff cardiac muscles would be awesome
when I’m chasing down a hoodlum.
Wren: I agree with Bethany. Not so much on the time management thing,
but getting my pictures back to my editor faster than the other journalists
would be great. Then I would get first pickings!
… never
touch another human again or never touch a computer powered device again?
Bethany: The computer thing sounds great,
though I’m not sure how I’d do my job? Maybe write in notebooks and make
copies…but I think Xerox machines are computer-powered…doh.
Justin: Never touch another human again? I’d
Wren: Yeah, I’d pretty much shrivel up,
especially knowing how my arms respond to touch.
… be
ignorant and happy or be knowledgeable and never fully content?
Bethany: Too much knowledge can be a painful
thing, anyway. Give me stupidity.
Justin: If that would mean I could solve my
cases when first presented with them, it would make my job very boring.
Ignorance sounds good to me, too.
Wren: Oh, but I’d know what was wrong with
my arms! Surely that would make me content. Okay, not to be super-spiritual,
but aren’t we never supposed to be fully content until we reach heaven, anyway?
Hmmm. I’m liking the knowledge thing.
Bethany, tell us about your book!  Okay!
It was created to save lives.

Now someone is using it to take them.
When Lauren
“Wren” Masterson discovers her deceased father’s medical invention
has been stolen from her childhood home in Florida, she never expects the officer
assigned to the case will be Justin Breck, who asked her out two years ago.
He’s changed
since then, seems like he’s hiding something. What happened to his openness,
his no-holds-barred, carefree attitude? She wonders how this new Justin could
possibly accept her imperfections, namely the persistent nerve disorder her
father’s missing invention might cure.
Justin is
learning the darker side of Doctor Masterson’s past life. The hard part?
Proving it to Doc’s adoring daughter, while attempting to win her heart. He
might have some history with her, but Doc’s lawyer, Connor Radcliffe, has more.
As bodies begin to drop around them, will
Justin and Lauren find the invention before the thief uses it to kill Lauren?
(Jess) Whoa! This sounds so great! What are you working on next?
(Bethany) The goal is to release the next suspense
novel in my Habitations series, Seven Sentinel’s Gate, this August. Wish me the
best! 😀 I’ve already revealed the cover on my website, if you’d like to check
over there.
(Jess) I do wish you the best! And, everyone, you can
connect with Bethany in several different ways:
Answer one or more of the questions in the comments! 

I SOLD A BOOK! The story with a little help from Miley Cyrus

Sometimes songs help
tell a story.

Today, “The Climb” by
Miley Cyrus is going to help me. Just like Kutless helped me tell one in 2011. READ IT HERE!
I can almost see it.
That dream I’m dreaming…
I wrote my first book in
August 2008. I had no idea where it was going to go, but I felt compelled to
write. I gave that manuscript to my mom that Christmas. She cried, but not
because it sucked. Though, I think it might have.
I kept writing. One story.
Another. Another.
I met and pitched to my
dream agent in Feb. 2011. She offered me representation in September of 2011.
She submitted my book
(not my first but 12th) in November 2011. I thought in about a month
or two I’d have a contract, after all this was a God-given dream (insert maniacal
laughter here). I kept working. Revising. We kept pitching. Rejections came.
And came. And came.
There’s a voice inside my head saying
You’ll never reach it
Every step I’m takin’
Every move I make
Feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin’
But I, I gotta keep tryin’
Gotta keep my head held high
But I couldn’t quit. Because
no matter how shaken I felt. No matter how discouraged, how frustrated, how
physically painful it was, I couldn’t deny this was what I was born to do. This
is part of who I am.
Twelve manuscripts
turned into twenty.
I met amazing people.
Authors. Unpublished writers. Industry professionals. They sowed into my life.
They taught me. They corrected me. Friendships were bonded. Some of my best
friends live states away and yet a day doesn’t go by that we don’t text or talk on
the phone. A prayer team, I call the Triple Ps formed. These women pray for me
with such intensity and passion, I can honestly feel it when I sit down to
I’ve learned what true
patience, endurance, and perseverance mean. I’ve had years to hone my craft
(though I haven’t “arrived” I’m always growing and learning). I’ve had years to
discover areas where my pride is Nebuchadnezzar kind of scary. I’ve had years
to nail it to the cross. I do it daily. I’ve had years to learn how to fight fear
with the Truth of God’s word. To battle doubt and confusion.

New stories bring new
obstacles and struggles. It’s a slow climb. It’s a lesson in waiting, in a
culture where we don’t have to wait for anything. It’s a stretch where I’ve
learned balance. Balancing being a wife, mom, ministry leader, friend,
daughter. I asked, “Why so long? When, Lord? I’m doing everything you’ve asked
me to do! How much longer? I’m hanging on but…”
And I’ve cried. I’ve
been exhausted physically, emotionally, spiritually. Worn slap out and feeling
too tired to press on. Too tired to write something new. Too tired to revise what
I already have. Too tired for one more blog post. Too tired for one more
rejection. Too tired for one more person asking me when I was going to get published.
Too tired to roll my eyes when someone mentioned writing was easy. Just type up
a story and slap it on Amazon. Too tired to slap them for saying that. Too.
Too. Too. Tired. I’ve lost the fight.

But God.
Always: But God. He
never failed me. Never let me down. He presented amazing opportunities out of
the blue, right when I needed the encouragement. Every step of the way. He’s
been with me. For me. Beside me. He’s gone before me. And He’s pushed me from
behind…straight up the mountain. Not the mountain of publishing per se, but the
mountain of self-discovery. The mountain where I’m pruned. Grown. Matured.
 There’s always gonna
be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb
And then halfway up the
mountain, God gave me a new vision. A new direction. One I hadn’t jumped on
before. But I obeyed. Because if I’ve learned anything in 7 years, it’s trust and
obey. I wrote one more book. And you know what? I had it in me to do. Because in my weakness, He is strong. And His grace is sufficient for me.
Price of Betrayal was
born. I sent the proposal to my agent on February 27th, 2014. On
March 19th, the editor requested the full manuscript.
On March 26th,
my agent sent it to her.
And guess what? I
And waited.
And waited.
I wrote two more books
for this line while waiting in 2014.
On October 10th,
2014, the editor sent back a request for revisions. So I went to work. Again.
We sent those revisions back on November 3rd, 2014.
And guess what? We
waited. I waited. I revised. I put out a free Christmas novella to subscribers.
I decided to create a series of novellas. I shopped for presents. I checked my
email like a freak of nature.
On January 29, 2015, I
got THE CALL. My amazing, wonderful, encouraging agent sat on the other end of
the phone while I hit my knees sobbing. A week after that I had the chance to
talk with my editor from Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense. She’s super nice and
fun to talk to. And her revision requests were insightful and spot-on.
Price of Betrayal
(tentative title) will hit shelves in early 2016. Yeah, another year of waiting
while I’m working. But I’ve learned waiting is worth it.
New struggles will come.
New challenges. More mountains to climb. To make move.
The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down, but
No I’m not breaking

I may not know it, but
These are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin’,
And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, ’cause
Maybe you’re trying to
make a mountain move. Take the steps. You move. And God will move the mountain.
Keep on movin’
Keep climbin’
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith…
Never ever stop
dreaming. Never ever give up. Keep reaching. Keep climbing. Keep stepping.
Climb tired. Climb when it hurts. Climb when you feel rejected. Climb when you’re
discouraged. Climb when you can’t see. Climb through the tears. Climb when you
want to quit.
Push on. Press in. Pray
When you reach the summit,
you’ll look back and see God’s fingerprints all over the journey. 

It’s not
about fast. It’s about faith.

If God is in it, you can’t
Thank you to everyone
who has stuck by me and encouraged me. It ain’t over yet! And listen to the song. You’ll be glad you did. 

What are you dreaming for?

Eyes Wide Shut

It’s easy to do go about your daily life and settle into the fact that what you see is what you get. We say we walk by faith and not by sight but if we don’t daily remind ourselves of that, we forget. And what you see is what you get. 

This passage of scripture really stood out to me this past week. 

Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied.
 “Throw it down on the ground,” theLord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back.
 Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand.” Exodus 4:2-4 NLT
All Moses saw in his hand was a shepherd’s staff, a rod…a piece of carved wood. A dead stick if you will. 
But was it? 
The minute he obeyed God and threw it down it became a snake. I’m not so sure Moses didn’t jump back like a flash of lightning over the fact it was a snake as the fact he was shocked out of his gourd. He wasn’t expecting a petrified piece of wood to become a living, moving thing.
What you see isn’t always what you get. Not when God is in the mix. 
You may think you’re holding onto to something that can’t move, breathe, live, or become something else. You may be discouraged, disappointed, and depressed over it. 
But what you see…well…it isn’t what you always get. Walk by faith. Trust God to take what you think is dead and turn it into something that will blow your mind! 
How’s your walk by faith going today?