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A Heart Set Free ~ Featured on Everyone’s Story

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in Blog, Books | Comments Off on A Heart Set Free ~ Featured on Everyone’s Story

When I was at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference last summer, I met Elaine Stock, another client of Linda Glaz, our terrific agent. It is so fun to finally meet folks that you have had an online relationship with, and who share a love of Christian fiction.

I enjoyed reading her book, Always With You, which delves into the difficult subject of cults. 

 

 

 

For the next week, Elaine is featuring my debut novel, A Heart Set Free, on her blog, Everyone’s Story.

Come by to find out why it’s ever too late to pursue your dreams.

And there’s an opportunity to win a free copy of A Heart Set Free.  

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Goodreads Giveaway

Posted by on Feb 10, 2017 in Blog, Books, Uncategorized | 1 comment

In the mood for romance?

Starting on Valentine’s Day I will be having a Goodreads Giveaway

forcopies of 

A Heart Set Free

It will end on February 21st.

Just scroll down to the box that says “Enter Giveaway.” Happy Valentine’s Day! Here is the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/223285-a-heart-set-free

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A HEART SET FREE

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 in Blog, Books, Family | 4 comments

It is finally the release day for A Heart Set Free.  a-heart-set-free-final-cover

Writer’s manuscripts are like children. We pour our time, love, faith, wisdom, imagination, discipline, and hope into them. We want to see them mature into a creation we can be proud of, and something that others will benefit from and enjoy.

This has been a long journey, and today, my heart is full of thanks as a long held dream has been realized.

 

~       To my parents who instilled a love of reading in their children.

~       To the friends and family who encouraged me so many years ago as I wrote this story. Some of them read it as I completed each chapter. Their impatience for the next chapter gave me the confidence to continue.janet-adoring-ken

~       To my husband, Ken, who read this story and encouraged me to never give up on
my dream to write stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith that will entertain, as well as bring inspiration, healing, and hope to the reader. He urged me to continue to write and pursue publication. Armed with his red pen, he provided wise editing advice.

~       To my friends and writing associates who inspire, teach and continue to encourage me on this journey.             

Janet with her agent, Linda Glaz

~       To my agent, Linda Glaz with Hartline Literary Agency, who has taught me so much about the craft of writing fiction. Linda’s support, patience, and positive reinforcement has blessed me incredibly. She also does this for her other clients.

~       To Kathy Davis, my managing editor and the rest of the team at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Kathy patiently worked with this neophyte to help make it a better story.

~       To Eddie Jones at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas who has a heart to give unpublished authors a chance to break into the market during a season when even experienced authors are struggling to find homes for their work.   

~       Last, but by no means least, for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for His provision, mercy, and grace in my life. He put this story in my mind and gave me the heart to write it.

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A Heart Set Free ~ Cover Reveal

Posted by on Nov 18, 2016 in Blog, Books | 8 comments

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for my debut novel.

a-heart-set-free-final-cover

 

It will be released two weeks from today on December 2nd.

Look for it on Amazon.com.

 

In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.

Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blonde standing on the Alexandria quay doesn’t look like much after her harrowing sea voyage, but there’s a refinement about her that her filthy clothing cannot hide. Could God be leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife?

When Matthew purchases Heather’s indenture, marries her, and takes her to his farm, she is faced with new and constant challenges. And Matthew wonders if they can ever bridge their differences and make a life together.

It is in the Virginia countryside that Heather begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and of maturing faith. Here, she discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture . . .

and love will finally set her heart free.

I am very grateful for my family and friends who encouraged me over the years and for other writers who have taught me so much and mentored me.  I so appreciate my agent, Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency and Kathryn Davis and the entire team at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

https://www.facebook.com/Janet-Grunst-Author-385405948228216/

 

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Two Talented Neighbors — Guest post by Linda Landreth Phelps

Posted by on Sep 10, 2016 in Blog, Family, Journal, Uncategorized | 10 comments

the-cover-of-colony-life

              Cover photo by Kelly Mihalcoe

From an article in the September issue of Colony Life Magazine

         

How do two retired introverts spend their days without stepping on each other’s toes? Married for 13 years, Ken and Janet Grunst’s happy solution is having space to devote to their avocations. “Ken’s Cave” says the sign on the door to Ken’s lower level workshop where he creates musical instruments.

“What interested me was the challenge and reward of unlocking the beauty of the wood,” Ken remembers. “When I put the finish on a chess board I’d made, the grain came alive!” Ken plays guitar, so decided to learn to build one. “I’ve done 23 so far, plus a 5-string banjo,” he says, “and given away about a dozen of them to family members.”

ken-working-in-shopEach is a work of art featuring exotic woods, intricate abalone inlay, and his personal img_3657signature carved sound ports representing the flame of the Holy Spirit. “King David was a luthier, a maker of stringed instruments, and played harps that he’d built. I’m captivated by the idea that, like him, I can take a pile of wood and pieces and suddenly it makes music!”img_3663

 A picture on the wakens-guitarll near Ken’s Cave shows a young Ken Grunst performing with his college folk group back in Michigan. His friend and bandmate, Al Jardine, went on to fame as a member of The Beach Boys, but life as a professional musician never appealed to Ken. “There are the awful nerves before a performance, then the high of the actual playing and singing, but it’s such a downer when eventually the place empties out.”

Ken became a teacher and he and his first wife welcomed a daughter. “Teaching in Maryland with a salary of $5,000 a year, Dee and I would have actually had more money on welfare, so I got into home- building,” he recalls with a laugh. Ken was widowed in 2002, and then he met Janet at a Community Bible Study (CBS) conference. Janet, who was the executive assistant to the director of CBS, had been on her own for a decade and had two grown sons.

desk-2-2Janet’s tidy desk and book-lined corner of their family room is where she writes historical fiction. Her first book A Heart Set Free debuts in early December, and she is excited that persistence has finally paid off. “I refer to the book as ‘my Millennial in the basement’, because after 31 years, it’s just now getting wings,” the author jokes. She wrote her manuscript while her little boys were occupied, a snatched hour or two at a time. She tried to sell it herself. “It was almost picked up by publishers twice,” she recalls. “Then my life changed and I was busy working and raising my boys, so the book stayed dormant.”  After Janet and Ken were married, he read the story, the romantic tale of an 18th-century indentured servant, loved it, and encouraged her to try again. This time around Janet found a supportive agent and the manuscript was accepted by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. 

Janet with her agent, Linda Glaz

                      Janet with her agent, Linda Glaz                                    at American Christian Fiction Conference in August

Janet has a second story ready and plans for a third. “Writing makes me feel alive!” she declares. ”Marketing, however, will probably be a challenge,” the self-proclaimed introvert laughs.

Ken and Janet have found the secret of successful remarriage is staying actively engaged in things that bring joy, carving out space for themselves while cherishing time together. Their three children have given them ten grandchildren, including quadruplets born this year, and they jointly serve as small group team leaders for Williamsburg Community Chapel. Their goal is to balance fun social times with peaceful hours of creating beauty, both in wood and on the page.

 

 

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THE CALL

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Blog, Books, Devotions | 10 comments

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

I received the call — the one every writer waits for. My agent, Linda Glaz, called to tell me that Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas had decided to publish my first story. This was an answer to decades of prayer. My “millennial in the basement” was finally given wings to Be-Light-logo_v2fly out into the world.  

It was December 23, 2015, and my oldest son and his family were visiting us for the Christmas holidays. I called my youngest son and shared the news with him. We could not tell anyone else until after the contract had been received and signed. Tears of joy were shed and my family celebrated with me.  

I’m humbled. I know in this current publishing market, it is difficult for non-published authors to be picked up for publication. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas was taking a chance on me.

Signing first publishing contract

                    Signing first publishing contract

Back in the eighties, two major Christian publishing houses considered this story seriously, but in the end, their rejections were added to the others.

In the nineties, my life changed, and for years I needed to put my writing aside. After I remarried, my husband encouraged me to return to writing and to once again seek publication for this story.

In the intervening years so much had changed in the fiction market about what publishers wanted to publish and how they wanted the stories presented. So I studied more about the current style of writing fiction and then began significant editing to the story.  I also attended writer’s conferences, networked with many amazing writers, began blogging and established a website. I’ve also been blessed with a wonderful agent who is a friend and mentor. It has been and continues to be a learning process.  Now I was days away from receiving a contract.

The timing of this acceptance was not lost on me. Only days earlier I’d been reading Roy Meet Me in the Meadow coverLessin’s Meet Me in the Meadow devotional; December 15-20 were devoted to Waiting For God’s Time.  He wrote:

 “Seasons of waiting on God and listening for His speaking often precede everything significant God will do in your life. God waits for you to wait on Him.”

“God, like a master weaver, does a creative work within us during the waiting times in our lives. . . . Before He gives us what we are waiting for, He wants to give us more of Himself. In the waiting times we are strengthened with His strength and the fiber of His character is worked within us.”

“It is important to understand that waiting times are not times of denial but are times of preparation. When it is God’s time to bring something into our lives, He will often do it after He has prepared us to receive it.”

“During our waiting times, expectation helps to keep us spiritually moving ahead instead of becoming passive and indifferent. Expectation moves us from twiddling our thumbs to exercising our faith.”

“Waiting times are growing times and learning times. As you quiet your heart, you enter His peace…as you sense your weakness, you receive His strength…as you lay down your will, you hear His calling.”                                    ~  Roy Lessin

(Used with Roy Lessin’s permission  http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com)

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who works for the one who waits for Him.”   Isaiah 64:4                                                                          

A Heart Set Free will be released December 2, 2016. I look forward to sharing more about this story with you in the days ahead.

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