Winner of the American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Award for Dauntless!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Deep Within Saga (FINALLY) Continues!


Hi, friends. If you dig way back in your memories, you might recall my contemporary novel, Dance from Deep Within. And if you happened to actually read this novel, you might remember that there was a teaser for book 2 in the back.

Fast-forward four years, and where is book 2? Well, that's a bit of a saga itself. I actually wrote book 2 shortly after book 1 released in late 2013. I even made a verbal agreement with WhiteFire to publish book 2. But, around that same time, I also had the idea for my YA Valiant Hearts series. And when Bethany House Publishers purchased that series, I had a strict exclusivity clause that didn't allow me to publish Dare from Deep Within during the duration of that contract. These things happen in the publishing world...no hard feelings.

Except that a number of my readers were seriously disappointed not to get the next installment of the Deep Within series in a timely manner. So I'm happy to announce that the moment has nearly arrived. Next week, exactly four years after the release of book 1, Dare from Deep Within will finally release!!!

And I have to say, I love this series, probably more than any of my other books. I love the strong sisterhood bond and the theme of intimacy with Christ and searching for truth from deep within found in book 1, along with the romance, humor, and drama that ensues. In book 2, the saga continues as the gang must work together to save an abused friend, with all the humor, romance, and spiritual depth that you might expect from the sequel in this series, plus a greater sense of suspense and urgency as they face the darker, terror-ridden side of Islam. The book examines risks and taking chances for what we truly believe.

I hope you didn't give up on me after so many years, and that you're still excited to read the next installment. And if you haven't picked up the Deep Within series yet, I invite you to start with book 1!

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Book 1 - Dance from Deep Within

Despite her conservative Muslim heritage, Layla Al-Rai longs for a chance to earn her degree in engineering and perhaps even...dare she dream...to choose her own husband. But young women from her background rarely enjoy such freedoms. When she finally talks her parents into letting her attend college, she is drawn to fellow twenty-something students, Allie and Rain, over a class project. 

Allie, the blonde ballerina, faces her own struggles as she deals with an ex-fiancĂ© and a church she had hoped to leave behind. Rain, the bi-racial hippie chick, longs for something to believe in, but her questioning could cost her the love of her life. 

When Layla's childhood sweetheart reenters her world, it seems her dreams might become real. Until everything falls apart. When she meets truth face to face, will she find the courage to accept it even if it requires the ultimate sacrifice?

Order now

Book 2 - Dare from Deep Within


Three young women from varying backgrounds risk everything to help a friend escape her abusive family. Still at odds with her own Muslim parents, Layla faces unexpected challenges when her childhood companion shows up on her doorstep. 

As Fatima risks everything for freedom, her desperate circumstances draw a new circle of friends who will be forever changed by her plight. Layla, the Muslim-background believer, turns to a forbidden boyfriend for the guidance both to protect Fatima and to find her identity apart from her parents and her former culture. Rain, the bi-racial hippie chick, secrets Fatima away from her violent family, but as the experience draws her closer to Christ, Rain's own relationship with her significant other, James, will suffer the consequences. Sarah, an ultra-conservative Christian on the surface, is torn between a desire to help Fatima and a need to conceal her shameful double life and dangerous habits from her older sister Allie. 

As they struggle to safely guide this courageous young woman through a maze of intrigue and terrorism, all will be forced to ask what they are willing to risk for love, for each other, and for God.

Order now

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Ebook Sale! Don't Miss Out!

Right now Dauntless is available for only $.99 on Amazon, and Chivalrous and Courageous are only $2.99 each. Don't miss out on this great sale, and please spread the word.



Monday, July 3, 2017

Diversity Between the Pages!


Hi Friends, I really enjoyed doing this unique interview about Dance from Deep Within over at "Diversity Between the Pages." Hop on over and check it out!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

WhiteFire Scavenger Hunt Stop #6



Welcome to the WhiteFire Publishing Scavenger Hunt!

If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to go back to stop #1 and collect all the clues in order. Once you have them all, you’ll have uncovered a secret message. Turn that in at the final stop for a chance to win one of THREE amazing prize packages!

  • The Hunt begins at Roseanna White’s site
  • Take your time! You have all weekend to complete the Hunt—entries will be counted until Monday June 26—so have fun reading all the posts along the way and getting to know each author
  • Lots of extra prizes! Many of the authors are featuring unique giveaways as well, for even more chances to win!
  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes back at Roseanna White’s blog.

 A Muslim, a hippie, and a Christian walk into a coffee shop... 

No, it's not the start of a questionable joke, it's the fascinating premise for my Deep Within Series with WhiteFire Publishing. It's hard for an author to choose a favorite book, kind of like choosing a favorite child, but I do believe my Deep Within books are the the most life-changing books I've written. These books are filled with romance, humor, and even suspense as the heroines search together for true meaning in their lives. I invite you to take this journey of discovery, starting with Dance from Deep Within

book 1 available now

Despite her conservative Muslim heritage, Layla Al-Rai longs for a chance to earn her degree in engineering and perhaps even...dare she dream...to choose her own husband. But young women from her background rarely enjoy such freedoms. When she finally talks her parents into letting her attend college, she is drawn to fellow twenty-something students, Allie and Rain, over a class project. 

Allie, the blonde ballerina, faces her own struggles as she deals with an ex-fiancĂ© and a church she had hoped to leave behind. Rain, the bi-racial hippie chick, longs for something to believe in, but her questioning could cost her the love of her life. 

When Layla's childhood sweetheart reenters her world, it seems her dreams might become real. Until everything falls apart. When she meets truth face to face, will she find the courage to accept it even if it requires the ultimate sacrifice?

Also look for the equally compelling book 2 in the series, Dare from Deep Within, coming in November 2017.

book 2 coming November 2017
For those of you who read book 1, that's not Allie in the top left corner; it's her sister Sarah. And that's Fatima, Layla's abused Saudi friend, on the beach. The whole gang will come back together to help save Fatima in a suspense and romance filled adventure that's sure to tug at your heart and challenge your thinking. Be sure to keep an eye out for it!

Now back to the Scavenger Hunt

Here’s the Stop #6 Scoop:
You can order my book at amazon, barnesandnoble, or cbd.

Clue to Write Down: FIND

The Next Stop on the Loop, #7: Gail Kittleson

All finished? Be sure to Submit Your Entries by midnight on June 26th. Best Wishes!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Dusting off an Old Manuscript


When I teach writing classes, I always talk about how important it is to get those ideas out of your head and down on the paper. Lump of clay writing, I call it—or in less delicate terms, word vomit! In the winter of 2013-2014 I word vomited the sequel to Dance from Deep Within onto my computer while I awaited the decision on my Valiant Hearts Series from Bethany House Publishers. As many of you know, I landed that deal, and the next two years were a blur of writing, editing, and marketing Dauntless, Chivalrous, and Courageous.

But now those books are out on the market, and for the last year I’ve been launching a new career of public relations writing for the non-profit humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing. I haven’t had much time for writing anything new. You see where this is going, right? While I didn’t have time for writing something new, I did have time to edit and complete my 95% finished first draft.

So I dusted off (okay, I found and opened the old Microsoft Word file of) Dare from Deep Within and set to work. I still had some challenges to face since I had shifted directions somewhere in the middle and needed to clean up my characterization and motivation. The wording needed a good edit, and I had to write the ending. However, just a few months later, in my spare time, I’ve managed to complete a very solid draft of the novel. WhiteFire, who published the first book in the series, has agreed to release book 2 sometime in 2017!

It turns out what I teach my students is true. It’s always worth getting those ideas down on paper, even if they grow dusty on the shelf. How about you? Have you ever dusted off an old manuscript? What were the results?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from the Sleimans. 2016 has been a pretty good year for us. My husband, Dani, is still working at the Christian Broadcasting Network. Adam (14) has branched out, and in addition to music, gymnastics, and online video gaming, he has been enjoying soccer and his global studies high school program. Christi (22) is finishing up her B.S. in engineering while working as a head resident advisor, and still considering options like grad school, peace corp or finding a job for next year. Jonny (19) is doing great in his business undergrad program, he's the vice president of his award-winning Enactus business club, and still fitting in a lot of surfing and other outdoor activities. Christi and Adam both plan to go on short term missionary trips during summer 2017.

For me the year brought my first "real" job. I'm enjoying my work writing for the humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing. In addition to writing social media posts, articles, webpages, and helping the team with editing and research,  I also wrote a nonfiction book for them called 10 Ways to Live Your Faith, which will hopefully be available sometime soon. My co-workers are amazing and tons of fun! This year also brought my first major published award--the Carol for young adult fiction. And I'm still chipping away at my novel writing and finding a new groove with that as a working woman.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful, blessed New Year!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Austen in Austin: Blogmates Watch a Dream Come True




Back in 2009, when I was first learning the writing industry and seriously seeking publication, God joined me with a group of ladies to help me along my quest. I was invited to join Inkwell Inspirations, a new writers blog comprised mostly of writers who had won writing contests (I had just won the Touched by Love contest) but were still unpublished. Over the next years, we would become not only blogmates, but also close friends, prayer partners, and in many ways a writing team. So it's not surprising that we decided to band together on a writing project, and Austen in Austin was born. Several more years passed before this dream became a published reality, but I'm happy to share it with you today. 
 



As you can see, these eight fun Texas-set novellas are based on Jane Austen's novels. We had such a great time inventing these stories with their overlapping settings and characters and their Austenian plot lines, and I just know that you'll enjoy them too! They're written by some great established names in Christian fiction like Lisa Richardson, Gina Welborn, and yours truly, as well as some authors who might be new to you now, but will soon become favorites. I highly recommend reading them in order for the full experience. The ebooks are a great deal at only $3.99 each for four delightful stories!

Here's what people are saying about Austen in Austin
"They had me at the title! What's not to love about a collection of novellas patterned after Jane Austen's classic novels and set in the historic capital city of Austin, Texas? The result is as delightful as the premise." ~ Mocha with Linda

"Austen in Austin is one of the most well executed novellas I’ve read...All of the novellas are interrelated, so where one author leaves off another picks up months or years later, with a new lead character and a familiar cast. I enjoyed the continuity as well as the familiarity which this team of authors developed. If I Loved You Less probably held the closest to Austen’s works. In contrast, Alarmingly Charming struck me as an improvement on the original (because truthfully, I did not enjoy reading Northanger Abbey). All in all, these stories are irresistibly sweet romances with subtle elements of faith." ~ Shelf-Esteem


And in case you're wondering, yes, you can purchase the novellas individually in ebook format, but at $2.99 each, it's a much better deal to buy a set of four for $3.99. My contribution to the collection is called "Mansford Ranch," a play on Mansfield Park of course. It's located in Volume 2 of Austen in Austin.  


As an aspiring novelist, Franny Sue Price prides herself in being a student of human nature. When dashing Hank Crawfield returns from his studies back East, he sets his Stetson on wooing her. Although he melts her with his charm and sophistication, Franny fears something is amiss. She and her longtime friend, cowboy Eddie Mansford, devise a series of challenges to test Hank’s true character. As Hank’s crooked nature comes to light, Franny realizes that the hero she’s looking for may have been under her upturned nose all along.

        

Be sure to check out these fun novellas and share them with your friends!