Felicity Miner is not normally an anxious person, and she’s been on her own
since high school. But after a shoplifter steals from her bookshop, she calls
the cops. When Officer Leo Russo shows up, Felicity has to tell herself that
just because the romance novel she’s been reading has a hero police officer doesn’t
mean she needs to project her imagination onto the real man. Yes, Officer Russo
is unexpectedly generous, and he helps make Felicity’s home more secure when
her worries won’t settle down. But the more Felicity is around Officer Russo,
the more she imagines a future between them. Is he merely doing his duty,
protecting and serving the citizens of Pine Valley, or is there potential for something
Frequently, people ask how many books I have published. I've counted before, but I don't technically keep track. I now have more novellas than novels written, and interestingly enough, I never thought I'd write shorter books, novellas, or short-stories. Now that I've written so many 15,000 word novellas (Timeless Romance Anthologies), or 25,000 word novellas (Timeless Regency Collections), 30,000 words novellas (Lady of Breken Manor, Mistress Grim), sometimes writing my longer novels (90,000-100,000 words) feels like writing two books ;-)
This year I've been focusing on the Pine Valley romance series, and those novels are on the shorter end of novel word count. Each one is between 50,000-55,000 words. This word count length enables me to write and publish them at a quicker rate . . . also because they are contemporary so the extra research I do with historical manuscripts isn't required.
I have many author friends who write more than I do, but I do keep track of my word count religiously. It's the way I track progress and meet my writing goals (which vary with each book).
I've cut and pasted some of my word count lists for various manuscripts in the Pine Valley series so that you can get an idea of the daily writing effort of a first draft. This of course doesn't include all of the later stages of revision work and editing. For those of you who have done the NANOWRIMO program with the goal of writing 50,000 words each November, that's pretty much what it feels like to be a full time writer. You are doing a NANOWRIMO every month of the year.
I'm excited to reveal the cover for my upcoming Biblical novel: Anna the Prophetess.
Coming August 2018 from Covenant Communications. Below, I also have the introduction to the book which details some of the things we know about this remarkable woman.
The prophetess Anna lived during a remarkable era—that of
the Messiah’s birth and early years. Her name is the New Testament form of
Hannah, and she is the only woman called a prophetess in the Gospels. Anna’s
family history descended from the tribe of Asher, in which she was the daughter
Unfortunately, Anna became a widow after a
seven-year marriage, and there is no mention of whether she had children. She was,
therefore, a woman whose life took a painful, unexpected turn. But as we will
learn, Anna continued in her devotion to the Lord and determined to serve Him all
the remainder of her days.
She is a testament to modern women that it’s
possible to live a life of joy even when struck with a severe trial. She carried
an eternal perspective in her heart, and it’s no small matter that she is
heralded as a prophetess—one who draws close to the Lord and gains His utmost
Interestingly enough, she never remarried but
instead spent her remaining widowhood serving in the temple—a service time estimated
at over sixty years. It’s an impressive record of service in the public eye.
Not many women are able to perform such an act away from home and for the
public. And like many other women, she prioritized her time so she could be
there, likely maintaining a residence near the holy place.
At the temple on Jesus’s presentation day, we meet Anna
as a woman “of a great age,” of fourscore and four years (age eighty-four; Luke
2:37). With the forty days of Mary’s required purification after giving birth
at an end, she and Joseph brought Jesus into Jerusalem. In Leviticus 12:2–5, we learn that for a male
child, the woman was unclean for seven days and the days of purification lasted
thirty-three days; for a female child, the woman was unclean fourteen days, and
purification lasted sixty-six days.
Mary and Joseph were to present their newborn son
to the Lord God at the temple, according to the law of Moses. Part of the
presentation at the temple was offering a sacrifice of two turtledoves or two
young pigeons in order to complete Mary’s purification (see Luke 2:24). Simeon was
the first to meet Mary and Joseph; he had been promised that he would not die
before seeing the Messiah. He greeted the parents and took Jesus into his arms
and prophesied about the salvation that had come to earth.
While Mary and Joseph “[marveled] at those things which
were spoken” by Simeon (Luke v. 33), Anna entered the scene. Like Simeon, the
Spirit led her to the Messiah and unmistakably informed her that this infant was
Upon meeting the Messiah, Anna not only became a
witness of the Messiah, but she also gave “thanks likewise unto the Lord, and [spoke]
of him to all them that [looked] for redemption in Jerusalem” (v. 38). This
notation leads us to believe that after Jesus and His parents fled to Egypt,
Anna spoke reverentially about His birth and His presence on earth for as long
as she lived. Her testimony may have been great before, as evidenced in her
role as prophetess, but now it was magnified as she served as a sure witness to
the Messiah’s existence.
In this way, Anna’s lifelong devotion to the Lord was no
longer based on faith, but like the brother of Jared, she “had faith no longer,
for [she] knew, nothing doubting”
(Ether 3:19, emphasis added). What a wonderful gift! It is important for us to
remember what preceded Anna’s sure knowledge and what she embraced for at least
sixty years of her life—it is something we cannot see or hear but only feel: faith.
Anna’s devotion and role as a prophetess is further
secured when we learn that she was the second woman in the Bible noted as fasting on a day other than the Day of Atonement (Esther was the
first; see Esther 4:16). Fasting wasn’t normally encouraged for women during
ancient times, yet it seems that for Anna it was part of her spiritual regimen wherein
she “served God with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:37). It was part
of her journey toward becoming like her divine Father in Heaven, and it was this
sort of devotion that led to the opportunity of meeting the infant Jesus and
becoming a physical and spiritual witness to His mission on earth.
Anna’s fasting was likely no easy task, especially at her
age, but she recognized the importance of it in bringing her close to the Spirit,
and as she continued to fast, her faith was strengthened. We do not know if
Anna recognized other signs of Jesus’s birth that had been prophesied and
taught for generations. There is no clear indication that anyone in the Old
World knew of a prophecy in advance of the Savior’s birth that a new star in
the heavens would be a sign of His birth, but for this novel’s purposes,
sighting a new star is part of Anna’s faith.
At the age of eighty-four, Anna became a true witness,
and certainly, her unquestionable testimony has blessed many lives. Her devotion
to the Lord and her people, as well as the spirit of inspiration she cultivated
in order to become one of the Lord’s spokeswomen, marked her long life as a
touching example of a divinely led woman. Like some of us, her life didn’t turn
out how she planned, yet she found ways to fill her life and devote it to the
Lord. She moved forward with purpose and created a fulfilling life, giving us a
(Parts of the introduction were taken from the
original publication of: The
Divinity of Women: Inspirations and Insights from Women of the Scriptures by
Heather B. Moore and S. Kent Brown, Covenant Communications, 2014.)