A Story that Needs to be Told

A Stand for TruthHave you ever found yourself in the middle of a situation that you would never have believed if you hadn’t experienced it firsthand? My husband, John, found himself in just such a situation many years ago when he was a young man and we had only been married a few years. Through a sequence of events, he learned that he had been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This was many years before Dr. Al Mohler became President. John was only twenty-eight years old at the time.

The seminary had undergone a severe liberal drift over the decades before John came on Board. The entire Southern Baptist denomination was in turmoil because of a conflict between liberals and conservatives. These terms refer primarily to their views on Scripture, with conservatives believing the Bible was God’s Word, without error, while the liberals believed the Bible contained God’s Word but it also contained some errors so people had to try and decide which part of scripture was God’s Word and which was to be ignored because it wasn’t God’s Word. John stood solidly on the conservative side of the issues and became one of the first conservatives put on the Board during these years of controversy.

He didn’t go looking for trouble and was actually naïve about the issues at first. But he’s a quick learner and soon joined the fray. The story is riveting, recounting the drama of John’s ten years on the Board, and the changes that he helped bring about. His story reads like a whistle-blower novel with all the twists and turns any well-written fiction would have…but it’s not fiction. The things recorded in this book actually happened!

We embarked on writing this book over ten years ago. Finally, as the book neared completion, we sought a publisher. Talk about a run-around! First, we approached B&H (Lifeway’s publishing arm.). They refused it, though, in my opinion, this story was theirs to publish. We think they found it a bit too hot to handle, in that the story is a tell-all that steps on the toes of some well-known people.

Next, through an agent friend, we got in the door at P&R (Presbyterian & Reformed). They took our proposal to committee and kept it for months and months. They sent signals that gave us great hope, but in the end, they declined it. Then a boutique publisher, “Founders Press”, picked it up and offered us a contract, but it was not a contract we could agree to, mostly because of the question of who would own the rights to the story. So after more than a year of seeking publishers we were no closer than when we started.

I suggested we approach Gregg Bridgeman with Olivia Kimbrell Press, a small press/self-publishing company. Gregg had published my novel, The Whisper of the Palms and I had been very happy with the process and the end product. We sent him the manuscript to read. To our great joy, he agreed to publish it. John was not treated well at many times in his pursuit of doctrinal truth on behalf of the institution. Gregg Bridgman is a soldier, having served time in Afghanistan. I think it took a soldier to be willing to take this project on that others ran from. When we asked Gregg why he agreed when other companies had not, he responded, “It’s a story that needs to be told.”

Yes, it is! And it’s a story that needs to be read too, by anyone. It appeals to all. If placed in a different setting, the plot would have made a good intrigue novel—international business, for instance, instead of a religious institution.

So, after ten years of experiencing it, more than ten years of writing it, and more than three years trying to get it published, our book baby was finally born on Jan 15, 2020!

Look … wonder, be astounded. For I am doing a work in your time that you would not believe if told. Habakkuk 1:5 (ESV)

The book comes in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. To purchase, click Here.

Click-to-Tweet: “This story reads like a whistle-blower novel with all the twists and turns any well-written fiction would have, but it’s not fiction. The things recorded in this book actually happened!” — Harriet Michael via @InspiredPrompt

3 Questions Wednesday with Bonita McCoy

Welcome to Wednesday! Today our guest is Bonita McCoy, who writes devotions and novels, as well as other kinds of articles. Let’s get to know her better, our first question, what was the best money you ever spent as a writer concerning craft?

Bonita: That’s a hard one to narrow down. There are three particular items that stand out to me. One is the book Save the Cat by Blake Synder. At every conference, someone would say to me “Read Save the Cat,” and I would think one day I need to do that. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t get around to it until early last year. Boy, did it lift the fog on story structure for me. Now, I have a plotting board I made from that book, and it has increased my writing time by months.

How to Get The Most Out of Conferences | Scott BerkunThe second was a pre-conference workshop I took from Hallee Bridgeman on Indie Publishing. I am what they call a hybrid author. I publish independently and through other publishing houses.  This workshop answered so many of my publishing questions from A to Z. I really appreciated Hallee’s time and patience.

The third would conferences. I have met so many people who have helped me in my writing journey, and the classes on self-editing and craft have been invaluable. I’ve gotten a lot of bang for my buck at conferences and the added bonus of making some wonderful friends.

All three sound like a great investment of time and money. Next question: Sounds like a smart investment in your writing. Next question: if you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Bonita: Read as many books on the craft of writing as you can and never stop. As writers, we should always be adding to our arsenal of knowledge about what we do.

2020 Watercolor Cover Page Bullet Journal Stickers Planner | EtsyThen keep a journal of the main points you’ve learned from each book as you finish. By doing this, you create a unique ‘just for you’ guide on writing that addresses your specific needs and tendencies. I started one last year in a bullet journal with an index at the front so I can find the information. Love it.

Great idea! Final question, were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

Bonita: I was somewhere in-between. In the spring of my seventh-grade year, I tried out for the journalism staff. I wrote a story about a girl who fell asleep and dreamed that the broom, the vacuum, and the duster did all her chores for her. Then when she woke, all the chores had mysteriously been done. It seems funny now, but it was good enough to earn me a spot on the journalism staff for two years. From then on, I was hooked, and writing became an extension of who I was and how I interrupted the world around me as I grew up. Even now, I’ll write poetry when I’m wrestling with an emotional issue. It helps me to sort it out and lay it before the Lord.

It sounds like a great story. Maybe you could dust it off some time. Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us.


Connect with Bonita:


Click to Tweet: Read as many books on the craft of writing as you can and never stop. As writers, we should always be adding to our arsenal of knowledge about what we do.


Bonita’s Bio

Bonita Y. McCoy hails from the Great State of Alabama where she lives on a five-acre farm with two cows, two dogs, two cats, and one husband who she’s had for over thirty years. She is a mother to three grown sons and two beautiful daughters-in-law, one who joined the family from Japan. She loves God, and she loves to write. Her articles, devotions, and novels are an expression of both these passions.


Check out Bonita’s books available on Amazon

Comment on this post for a chance to win Bonita’s book, Truth be Told.

And check out her new release, Seeds of Love, available on Amazon. It’s not easy being the king of first dates especially in a small town like Miller Creek.

Julie Wilson ran away to Miller Creek leaving the Casanova who broke her heart behind. Now, she’s ran smack dab into another sweet talker, with killer blue eyes, and a great sense of humor. There’s no denying the chemistry, but when family issues pop up, can she trust him to help or will his own interests prove more important?

Jed Sawyer’s reputation sustained a heavy blow thanks to his Aunt Adele and his hundred first dates. He wants to settle down but not at the expense of being the center of town gossip. So, he’s made up his mind no more dates. Enough is enough. Until he meets the new girl in town. Now, he must convince her the rumors aren’t true. But that might be easier said than done!

Adventures in Fatherhood by Carlton Hughes and Holland Webb

I’m happy to announce that our own Crew Member, Carlton Hughes, has co-authored a great book. Here are the details:

Adventures in Fatherhood

Adventure along with two dads in a devotional journey full of wisdom and warning.

Being a great father is not for the weak of heart! It’s an adventure every step of the way. Whether you’re fixing boo-boos and changing diapers, or coaching soccer and carpooling teenagers, you’ll find spiritual insight and practical advice in this devotional by Carlton Hughes and Holland Webb. The authors blend personal experiences with humor and spiritual application to encourage you, dad, to do your best for God and for your family.

Ellie Claire’s devotionals offer short inspirational readings, paired with inspiring quotes and Scripture verses to encourage your heart.
FEATURES:
  • Devotions written specifically for dads
  • Rugged, durable package
  • Perfect size for coat pocket or briefcase
  • Presentation page for personalization
  • Ribbon marker
  • A great gift for Father’s Day, dad’s birthday, or Christmas

Buy Link

Click to tweet: Adventures in Fatherhood. Short inspirational readings, paired with inspiring quotes and Scripture verses to encourage your heart. #fatherhood #faith


Carlton Hughes, represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary, wears many hats. By day, he is a professor of communication. On Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings, he serves as a children’s pastor. In his “spare time,” he is a freelance writer. Carlton is an empty-nesting dad and devoted husband who likes long walks on the beach, old sitcoms, and chocolate–all the chocolate. His work has been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game, The Wonders of Nature, Let the Earth Rejoice, Just Breathe, So God Made a Dog, and Everyday Grace for Men. His latest book is Adventures in Fatherhood, co-authored with Holland Webb and released by the Elle Claire imprint of Worthy/Hachette Publishing.

What’s new?

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By Bonita Y. McCoy

This month with the world going crazy, the Inspired Prompt crew decided to give our readers an update on what’s new with us.

Here’s what the next few months hold for me if everything goes according to plan:

  • I hope to attend the Killer Nashville Conference, August 20-23 in Franklin, Tennessee. This conference is a great time for me to learn more about writing cozy mysteries especially now that I have a series put out by Winged Publications. Book one of the Amy Kate Mystery series, Twisted Plots, is out, but I am in the middle of writing book two, Family Twist.
  • I’ve also entered this conference’s competition, The Silver Falchion Award. I may not win, but it’s a personal victory because I defeated the fear factor and did it.
  • The other conference I am hoping to attend is The Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat which has been moved to October. I love this retreat because it fits me so well. It’s low-key, full of worship, and the food and people are awesome.

Writing and Publishing:

  • My North Alabama Word Weavers International group put out a thirty-day devotional called Coffee With God which if you know me is a great match. Big coffee drinker.
  • Also, in March, I published the second in my Sawyer Sweet Romance series, Seeds of Love. This story took several rewrites to get the heroine just so. But the story turned out better than I could have hoped and now, I’m truly thankful my Beta readers and editor worked with me to make it a sigh-worthy romance.
  • My other projects on my bulletin board are Merry Christmas Mix-up and Billionaire Cowboy Next Door. To say I’m learning the value of faithfully showing up each day to write is an understatement.

Thanks for checking in with me. I hope the craziness in your own world is balanced by some time with God and keeping in touch with those you love, even if it’s over the internet or by phone.

 

Read a copy of Seeds of LoveSeeds of Love_ebook

Bonita McCoy 2018

 

Bonita Y. McCoy hails from the Great State of Alabama where she lives on a five-acre farm with two cows, two dogs, two cats, and one husband who she’s had for over thirty years. She is a mother to three grown sons and two beautiful daughters-in-law, one who joined the family from Japan. She loves God, and she loves to write. Her articles, devotions, and novels are an expression of both these passions.

Drop by and visit her Facebook Author’s Page or Instagram page or visit her website bonitaymccoy.com where you can find her books, blog, and all the other things she might be doing.

Sign up for her newsletter and stay in touch. Click Here

What’s New With the Crew?

Betty Thomason Owens

Regular readers of our blog know that we have a number of authors who make up our “crew.” We are an eclectic bunch with one mission: to shine a light and be a blessing to the writing community.

Near the bottom right of our blog, you’ll find a slideshow containing our individual publicity photos. We also have frequent guest bloggers who add their voices and expertise to the discussion.

Throughout the month of April, the crew will share what’s new in their individual lives. This is not only fun for us and informative for our readers, but it also affords our hardworking crew the opportunity to share their latest works-in-progress and new releases.

As one of the founding members of the Inspired Prompt blog, I get to be first. 🙂 My most recent release, Annabelle’s Joy, is highlighted below.

Late last year, I began work on a new project and a new genre for me. It’s a suspense trilogy about a young woman who learns something shocking about the people she trusted most in her life. If you’d like to learn more about this latest work in progress follow me at one (or all) of the links below.

I appreciate the loyalty of the many readers of the Inspired Prompt blog. You are the reason we’re here!

We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works – Ephesians 2:10

Click-to-Tweet: What’s New With the Crew – all the latest news from the writers of Inspired Prompt and @batowens via @InspiredPrompt


Betty Thomason Owens loves being outdoors. Her favorite season is spring when she can work in the yard or take long walks while thinking through a troublesome scene in one of her stories. She is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical romance with a touch of suspense. An active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she serves as president of the Louisville Area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of Inspired Prompt, a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. You can learn more about her at BettyThomasonOwens.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Annabelle’s Joy – When Tom proposed last year, Annabelle wasn’t ready to open her heart to another man. Pain still held a thin crust around it. Time has healed her heart, but with a new woman in town, one who clearly has her sights set on Tom, does it matter if Annabelle’s heart is ready to love again?
Folks in town are keeping a close eye on their pharmacist, hoping to be the first to hear the good news. He’s been courting the widow Cross for nigh on two years now. Annabelle Cross better wake up and put her dancing shoes on. Mr. Tom is prime real estate.
Drift back into the simple, country life of Tennessee in 1957 with this sequel to award-winning ANNABELLE’S RUTH.