Thursday, March 26, 2009

If Tomorrow Never Comes, by Marlo Schalesky

Please welcome my friend and Christy nominated author, Marlo Schalesky!

I had the honor of reading her new book, "IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES" for endorsement.

Marlo is a talented and thoughtful author. You'll want to check out this book!

Here's a blurb:
They say you should reach for your dreams. This time, they're wrong. . . Childhood sweethearts Kinna and Jimmy Henley had simple dreams - marriage, children, a house by the sea. . .everything they needed for happily ever after.

What they didn't plan on was years of infertility, stealing those dreams, crushing their hopes. Now, all that's left is the memory of young love, and the desperate need for a child to erase the pain. Until
Kinna rescues an elderly woman from the sea, and the threads of the past, present, and future weave together to reveal the wonder of one final hope.

One final chance to follow not their dreams, but God's. Can they embrace the redemptive power of love before it's too late? Or will their love be washed away like the castles they once built upon the sand?

The past whispers to the present. And the future shivers. What if tomorrow never comes?

Meet Marlo:

Marlo Schalesky is the award winning author of seven books, including her latest novel, If Tomorrow Never Comes, which combines a love story with a surprise ending twist to create a new type of novel that she hopes will impact readers at their deepest levels.

Marlo's other books include Beyond the Night (recently nominated for a Christy Award), Veil of Fire (winner of the 2008 ACFW's Book of the Year, historical category), and Empty Womb, Aching Heart- Hope and Help for Those Struggling with Infertility.

She's had over 600 articles published in various Christian magazines, including Focus on the Family, Today's Christian Woman, Decision, Moody Magazine, and Discipleship Journal. She has contributed to Dr. Dobson's Night Light Devotional for Couples, Tyndale's Book of Devotions for Kids #3, and Discipleship Journal’s 101 Small Group Ideas.

She is a speaker and a regular columnist for Power for Living.
Marlo is also a California native, a small business owner, and a graduate of Stanford University (with a B.S. in Chemistry!).

In addition, she has earned her Masters in Theology, with an emphasis in Biblical Studies, from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Marlo lives with her husband and five young children in a log home in Central California.

When she's not changing diapers, doing laundry, or writing books, Marlo loves sipping Starbucks white mochas, reading the New Testament in Greek, and talking about finding the deep places of God in the disappointments of life.


An Interview with Marlo:

How did you come up with the concept for If Tomorrow Never Comes?

If Tomorrow Never Comes began with a single image that popped powerfully into my mind – an old man, walking along a foggy beach at dawn, bending to pick up an old locket from the sand. The rest of the story grew from there.

The funny thing is, when you read the book, you'll find that Kinna finds the locket, not an old man. But originally the image of the locket in the sand was so intriguing to me that I kept thinking about it until a story began to develop.

How closely is If Tomorrow Never Comes based on your personal experience?

In If Tomorrow Never Comes, the main characters are struggling with the fall-out from infertility. I've spent most of my adult life – 15 years – dealing with infertility and miscarriage.

I've had some successes along the way, and whole lot of failure, disappointment and pain.
So, as far as plot-line goes - what happens to the characters and how they're changed and challenged through the book - that is uniquely Kinna & Jimmy's story.

But the emotions, the fears, the questions they face are things I drew from my own experience.
The longing for a baby that seems like it will never be fulfilled. I've been there. Month after month of trying and failing. Turning into year after year.

I've been there. Frustration. Doubt. Wondering how God could possibly love me in the midst of this. Been there. Having to pry my white-knuckled fingers off my own hopes and dreams. Been there. Choosing to love anyway. Choosing to believe anyway. Choosing to trust God anyway.

Been there.
It seems that just about every deep and meaningful thing I've learned about God, I can point to my journey through infertility and say, "Yeah, infertility taught me that."

It taught me that I'm not the god of my life. God is. It taught me there are things I cannot control, cannot achieve, no matter how hard I try. And sometimes we must choose to live the life God has given us, with love and hope, even when it's not the life we dreamed.

Because infertility taught me that God calls us not to the pursuit of our dreams, but to love. "Love one another," Jesus says. "Love your neighbor as yourself."

God taught me that through the journey of my own infertility. My hope is that If Tomorrow Never Comes will reveal the same truths to others as well.

What is the symbolism for the title If Tomorrow Never Comes?

The idea behind the title is that the choices and decisions we make today dramatically impact our future, our "tomorrows," and not only ours but the tomorrows of others as well. Choosing to love, choosing to do right despite pain, disappointment, and sorrow, allows tomorrow to come.

But choices made out of desperation, fear, and clinging to our own desires can cut off the future God wants for us.
We don't know, we can't see, what tomorrow holds. So all we can do is do what's right now, love now, trust now.

Because God sees the whole of our lives and weaves all things together, even those hard and painful things, in a way that will make a beautiful masterpiece in the Kingdom of God.
So, really, the title means that if we choose love today, if we choose sacrificial love, God will hold our tomorrows in His hand.

That's what's at the heart of If Tomorrow Never Comes . . .the choice to love, the choice to believe, the choice to let go of our dreams in order to embrace His. To do it today, for the sake of all our tomorrows.

Do you have a favorite character in If Tomorrow Never Comes? Why?

My favorite is Thea (her name is short for Alethia, the Greek word for Truth), who is the old woman whom Kinna rescues from drowning in chapter one. Throughout the story, all the reader knows is that Thea is there for a reason – she has a purpose in Kinna & Jimmy's lives.

With wry humor and odd confrontations, she steers Jimmy & Kinna toward reconciliation and one another. She helps them to remember their past love story.
What I like best about her is her humor mixed with mystery. She's just fun. She thinks she's in a dream, and doesn’t want to become some crazy old lady with a houseful of cats.

But despite her doubts, she chooses to care about Jimmy and Kinna and help them, no matter what. She chooses right, and as it turns out, that makes all the difference, for them, and for her too.

How did you choose the story line?

Well, the story line I chose isn't the one you'll read in the book. The story line you'll read is the one the characters insisted on. Mostly it was Kinna's fault – she simply wouldn't do what I'd outlined for her to do!

In fact, I rewrote the first third of the book a dozen times trying to convince her to act the way I wanted. But she wouldn't cooperate. Just like in the story, she had her own plans! So finally I gave up and allowed the story to change and flow as the characters dictated. Needless to say, that worked out a lot better.

So, I invite the reader to experience the story of If Tomorrow Never Comes much as I experienced it – page by page, scene by scene, being surprised and delighted by each turn of events.

What message would you like your readers to take away from If Tomorrow Never Comes?

Our culture tells us that we can do anything we set our minds to, we can accomplish any dream . . . and we should. "Reach for your dreams," we say, as if that is the highest goal of humankind. Success posters (and platitudes) abound.

But 15 years of infertility and miscarriage have taught me that we are not the gods of our lives. There are things we cannot control, no matter how hard we try. Perhaps that is why God calls us not to the pursuit of our dreams, but to love. "Love one another," Jesus exhorts in John 13:34-35, and also gives, as the second greatest commandment, the exhortation to "love your neighbor as yourself."

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Yes! My third "love story with a twist," currently titled Shades of Morning, is due out in early 2010. I'm in the midst of writing it now and am enjoying the characters and plot.

For those who read If Tomorrow Never Comes, watch for Marnie, the quirky owner of the coffeeshop and bookstore, who will be the main character in Shades of Morning.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Love Starts With Elle

Big day around here.

I was on the phone with Susan May Warren, talking writing and congratulating her on being a Rita finalist. Call waiting toned on my phone, so I took the call.

It was my Rita call! So, why Sooz holds on the other end, I'm learning I'm also a Rita finalist. I clicked back over to Susie, "Me, too, me, too!"

But, the competition is steep. I'm honored to be named among these authors:

2009 RITA Finalists for Inspirational Romance
Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Deeanne Gist
Bethany House Publishers (ISBN: 1590529286)
David Long and Julie Klasseneditor, editors

Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh
Random House Publishing, WaterBrook Multnomah (ISBN: 978-1-59052-929-4)
Julee Schwarzburg, editor

Finding Stefanie by Susan May Warren
Tyndale House Publishers (ISBN: 1-4143-1019-6)
Karen Watson, editor

Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck
Thomas Nelson Inc. (ISBN: 1595543384)
Ami McConnell, editor

Mulberry Park by Judy Duarte
Kensington Publishing Corp. (ISBN: 978-0-7582-2015-8)
John Scognamiglio, editor

The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter
Thomas Nelson Inc. (ISBN: 9781595542588)
Amanda Bostic and Leslie Peterson, editors

The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher
Thomas Nelson Inc., Women of Faith Fiction (ISBN: 978-1-59554-148-2)
Ami McConnell and Leslie Peterson, editors

Where Love Abides by Irene Hannon
Harlequin Enterprises, Steeple Hill Love Inspired (ISBN: 9780373874798)
Melissa Endlich, editor


And thanks to my other editor, Leslie Peterson!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A new web site

Hi all, I'm about to rework my web site. I'd love input from y'all.

What kind of sites do you like? What makes a site enjoyable? What do you look for or like to see on an author's site? Any and all input welcome.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where Your Treasure Is

We're talking through Matthew 6 in home church. Last night we focused on verses 16 - 24. Jesus is telling us we can't serve God and money. Where are treasure is, we'll find our heart.

It's true. The idea that what you give yourself to will draw in your heart. I used the example of a television show. Before we cut off Direct TV, I'd look forward to certain shows, even feel those happy endorphins surging through me.

I had affection for these shows. I was starting to believe I needed them to enhance my life. How could I keep up with pop culture if I wasn't tracking with Idol or The Office?

For me, affection for "Hollywood" stifles my affection for Jesus. I was squeezing in prayer and the Word, which are really inner passions of mine, so I could "relax" and watch a show or two. Crazy!

My treasure was becoming something so invaluable, so shallow, so not eternal as entertainment. I'm not against entertainment, I'm against my affections being attached to it.

Where are you struggling? To get time with the Lord? To get away from a sin issue? To love your spouse, or your kids?

Are you considering them treasure? Are you spending time with what you value? Sin or righteousness, where you spend your time, your heart will follow.

We have to choose to turn toward good, to love, to give, to spend time in prayer, or in exercise or whatever, then your heart will follow.

Too much, we want our feelings and affections to lead the way. So we don't manage our time and affections well and we wonder why we're not achieving what our mind tells us we should. :)

Since cutting off the Dish, my entertainment treasure chest is shrinking. In fact, I'm annoyed at a lot of what I see coming out of Hollywood. Hubby and I do enjoy a DVD series now and again, but ah, we could do without it.

But in reality, we have to give our time and thoughts toward loving the One who loved us first. As we do, our treasure will be in Him. We will feel affection for Jesus, feel His affection for us. Isn't that so cool.

God is love. Make no mistake...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunny day

It's a gorgeous, sunny day here. Breezy. I'm working in the Florida room today, windows open.

Monday, March 16, 2009


There's no place like home.

Heard a Steve Perry sounding voice on the radio while driving home from the airport. Made me wonder what he's up to these days.

This week coming up, fine tuning the book Sara Evans and I did together so it can get to the next step in the publishing process.

Good night for now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When Loves Blooms, by Robin Lee Hatcher

Please welcome my friend and Christy Award, and RITA Award winning author, Robin Lee Hatcher. Robin is a masterful storyteller who has delighted readers for many years. She's also a great friend to many writers.

Don't you love the title, When Love Blooms? Makes me want to run out and buy it.

Here's the book's blurb:

She could say what she wanted. Emily Harris didn't belong in the hard life of the Blakes. She would wilt there like a rose without water. He'd be sending her back to Boise before the first snows. He'd be willing to bet on it.

From the moment Gavin Blake set eyes on Emily Harris, he knew she would never make it in the rugged high country where backbreaking work and constant hardship were commonplace. Beautiful and refined, she was accustomed to the best life had to offer. Heaven only knew why she wanted to leave Boise to teach two young girls on a ranch miles from nowhere. He'd wager it had to do with a man. It always did when a beautiful woman was involved.

Emily wanted to make some sort of mark on the world before marriage. She wanted to be more than just a society wife. Though she had plenty of opportunities back East, she had come to the Idaho high country looking to make a difference. Gavin's resistance to her presence made her even more determined to prove herself. Perhaps changing the heart of just one man may make the greatest difference of all.



Penned with the descriptive nibs of all the five senses, Robin Lee Hatcher transports the reader to the magnificent high country of Idaho in a thoroughly engaging tale of love and wounded heroes. When Love Blooms is layered with appealing characters, and I was so at home with the story's cast, I felt like I was like viewing my own family history. I have yet to read a Hatcher novel that didn't entrance me from the first page, and with a unique plot for a romance, When Love Blooms is no exception. Novel Reviews and I give it a high recommendation. - Novel Reviews

Christy Award winner Hatcher's (Wagered Heart; Catching Katie) latest novel is a historical romance set in the rugged high country of Idaho in the late 1800s... Populated with lively characters, this delightful title deserves a place in [Christian Fiction] and historical romance collections and will appeal to those who enjoy Lori Wick or Lori Copeland. Recommended for Public Libraries. - Library Journal

by Robin Lee Hatcher
Zondervan, February 2009



Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.


Friday, March 06, 2009

A few days with my sister

My sister came down for a few days, taking a break from her brood-o-kids and job to spend a few days of rest and relaxation.

We didn't do much. Shopped a little, ate a little, (I lost weight at my WW weigh-in this week!) and watched Frasier DVDs. A fun time was had by all.

Here's a picture of us when she was four and I was fourteen, then another of us now, thirty-fours later. Dig my octagon wire frames.

I think we look better now thought she was a pretty cute kid. Thanks Mom and Dad for my baby sister.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


I'm not sure what's happened to me. I've fallen off the blogging band wagon. I'll be in the shower or driving down the road and have a thousand thoughts on blog-worthy topics. But I never have them when I sit down to compute.

Facebook has been a blessing these days. Not only have I connected with fabulous readers and made new friends, but I've "found" family - cousins - and church family from 20 - 30 years ago. It's been amazing, bring blurry images of my past into view. Distant view, but a view nonetheless.

Friday I drove up to Lake Yale, about 2 hours from me, to hang with my agent while she was at the Florida Writer's Conference. She's always great to connect with. Then Saturday I got up early to prepare for a baby shower. We had a good time. Somehow managed to fit 30 women in our living room.

Today, we were at church by 7:00. Lately, I love going in extra early to worship and pray on my own or with hubby and the few others that come early for prayer. God really touches us in that time.

So, now it's Sunday night. All is quiet. Time to rest, but think of the week ahead. My sister comes on Tuesday so I'd like to get as much writing done as I can. The book is due May 1 and time goes by so very quickly.

But, I'm looking forward to hanging with my sister, letting her rest and relax, get some sleep and sun.

Stay tuned for updates on my '09 release. It's exciting.