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Celebrate with us!

Welcome to Friday Fellowship! We celebrate a brand new month, and some other new things too! I’m so excited and honored to be the first guest blogger for this segment and today I have a special guest, author, Sandy Faye Mauck.

Sandy writes Historical Romance in the light of the gospel and with the heart of her Savior. We celebrate with her, because she has a brand new book out this week. Funny thing is, so do I! So we thought it would be fun to have a conversation about both titles and the joys of a new release. We found out that we agree on one important matter, which we will tell you more about later. While my book is non-fiction, and hers is fiction, we can’t wait to tell you more about it.

We don’t mind at all that it is April Fool’s day! Let’s jump right in.

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 SANDY FAYE MAUCK

Q: What is the title of your book?
Sandra: More Than She Dreamt. It is a Christian Historical Romance set in 1905.

Q: How do you feel to finally have your book baby out in the world?
Sandra: I would have to say I feel like I did after the births of my real babies. Kind of numb, in awe and ready to sleep for a couple of days. I think the moment that got to me the most was when I received my first proof. I woke up the next morning, came to my desk and it was my book sitting there, not someone else’s. It was surreal.

Melony: I know that feeling Sandy. And let me just say, I love the cover of your book, it is beautiful!

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Sandy: Melony, you have a book baby yourself. One for writers. How exciting.

Q: What made you decide to write a devotional for writers? And how did you bring it together?
Melony: That is quite a story, Sandy. Here is the short version. The idea was conceived in October 2012 when my co-author, Glenda Dekkema proposed the idea of writing for a contest to our newly formed writer’s group. We came up with the idea of a devotional specifically geared towards writers. Our group consists of five local Christian writers and we have been meeting monthly since then. As Glenda and I began working on the devotional, Carol had time to write while recovering from a back injury, and contributed to the work, Claudia was inspired to write some devotions too and Marguerite, who is our editor and poet, wrote four poems. All in all we have 90 devotions which will not only appeal to writers, whether professional or not, but speakers and preachers also. And here we are, all these years later, sending our baby out into the world.

Q: Sandy, tell me when you first got the idea to write this book? How many years has it been from first idea to print?
Sandy: Well, we had closed our gallery business due to the downturn of the economy and I was fed up with TV, so I took a notebook upstairs where the TV was and quietly started writing. I am a pantser, so the characters and story went from there. I wrote the gist of the story in ten evenings. Five years later here I am after a long pregnancy of editing and learning. They say to write the book you want to see on your shelf. I tried to do that. A story with hardships, but God turns the tide with romance and humor but not without enemies lurking about.

Melony: I love how God uses situations like these to bring forth beauty and creativity.
Sandy: As a writer your book sounds inspiring, Melony.

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Q: What do you hope writers will glean from your new devotional?
Melony: As the Ink Flows is divided into sections: The Craft, Inspiration, Know Yourself, Well-being, Personalities, and Faithfulness. There is sure to be something to appeal to you whenever you open it and let the ink flow. Integrating the writer’s craft with the spiritual disciplines, we know that this devotional will encourage writers in their writing and inspire their faith. No matter whether you are a professional writer or not, you’ll reignite your passion for writing and speaking. As the Ink Flows includes 90 devotions to affirm your God-given talent, and offers space for personal reflection and creative response. These devotions written by five Canadian authors, in our own individual styles, will inspire and motivate you to let your ink flow. We are excited to hear more about what is written in response to the book, whether it be poetry, a novel, an article, or maybe even a blog post. You and I share the same opinion about the back of books, we don’t like them. At. All. I don’t like reading them because I feel they give away too much of the plot.

Q: How do you feel about back book covers?
Sandy: When I heard that you disliked them, I was ecstatic. I had yet to come across anyone that felt that way. My heroine writer was Grace Livingston Hill and in her day she wrote little one line blurbs in the front of the book as a lead in. But even they told too much so I purposely turned the page quickly. I didn’t want anything spoiled. I struggled to write that back cover copy because I didn’t want to tell the reader anything ahead of time.

Melony: It’s much like those movie trailers that tell you the whole movie, don’t like those either! On behalf of readers like me, thank you for taking care not to reveal too much on the back cover.

Sandy: You have quite a repertoire of writing skills.

Melony: Thank you Sandy.

Q: How has this book challenged your writing skills?
Melony: As a Freelance Writer, I write for clients all day. This was the first major project in which I was able to share my voice and write from my own perspective. I found that to be wonderfully rewarding. My passion is to challenge, motivate and sometimes advocate for Christian writers, so this project could not have been a better fit for me.

Sandy: You have said that it took you 38 years to figure out what you wanted to be when you grew up. I love that. I can relate, only with some years added to that.

Q: Were there clues at all in your childhood that you would one day be a writer?
Melony: Yes, Sandra, there were, although I did not recognize them as such at the time. I distinctly remember a school project we had where we had to construct and write our own magazine and I spent countless hours on that project. I loved every minute of it and it got me fired up! I have always loved English Literature class at school and in High school I did a speech contest about Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. I suppose I should have seen the signs, but I didn’t until much later. I understand you wrote your first 36 page book in Grade 6. It is wonderful to see how it has come full circle for you!

Writer's tools photo by Unsplash

Sandy: You seem to really enjoy telling other people’s stories.

Q: How did that come about in your life? And how is the new book different for you and your writing?
Melony: I do love hearing and telling people’s stories. It must be the story-telling Irish blood in me. When I decided I was going to make writing my full time profession I really wanted to write non-fiction. Along the way I have written some incredibly inspiring anthologies consisting of the biographies of philanthropists. I have been privileged to interview some pretty amazing people. I am so blessed to love what I do, and do what I love. I could not have done it without my co-authors (who are also my writers group) who have prayed me through each step and cheered me on all the way. The devotional is different in that in some ways I am telling my own faith story in the 35 devotions I have contributed in As the Ink Flows. So, instead of writing for clients, I am writing for my fellow authors and writers. I do however admire fiction writers such as yourself, Sandy. I wish you all the best with your new release, More Than She Dreamt. We look forward to more from your pen for your readers to enjoy. I must say that one of my favorite genre’s to read is historical fiction and I can’t wait to delve into your book. More than She Dreamt is about Katie Jensen, a young widow, and the promise she made in the first years after the turn of the century.

Q: As an author, what do you want your readers to take away from More Than She Dreamt?
Sandra: I hope more than anything, they will be touched to hope and develop a truly personal relationship with God. My main characters don’t just talk about God, they converse with Him and grow and trust in His love. When I read a book, I hope to take something away that speaks of the heart of my Lord. I tried to touch on several things that I hope will touch them spiritually while enjoying the story action, romance and humor. Kind of like that book baby we mentioned before. It has her mother’s nose and her dad’s hair and oh no, Uncle Morty’s ears!

We celebrate your book launch week with you!

Sandy Faye Mauck is a writer who weaves the love of her Savior into her fiction and non-fiction. She desires to set the reader hungering for an everyday, personal relationship with God. Having lived most of her life in a hard refining process, she writes to bring hope to those whose wilderness walk seems endless. God gifted her with a wonderful sense of humor, and Sandy makes sure her readers smile…a lot. Though she wrote her first book as a sixth grader at thirty-six pages, it took many years to get back to the call of writing. The time did come, and her first Christian historical romance MORE THAN SHE DREAMT set after the turn of the century debuted March 2016. It’s the first in a series of the Rose Arbor Brides. Sandy lives in her own happily-ever-after with her spirit-mate writer husband in the West they love. They’ve been blessed with five children and nine grandchildren. Sandy is also a professional artist, amateur photographer and avid crochet-er.


 

Book Review

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More Than She Dreamt is a tender story that spoke to my heart—deeply grounded in faith and filled with light, hope, and a quiet joy even in the midst of suffering. The voices of the characters that I loved so much rang with sincerity that springs from their strong faith. I love this book with all my heart.  And I really think we need more books like this on the Christian fiction market!
–  Mindy Sato


When God brings new opportunities along to use your talents for Him, do you embrace them or do you hesitate?

(Just for fun, tell us what you think of back book covers. Do you read them or skip them?)

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Melony Teague was born in South Africa and immigrated to Canada in 1999. She is a freelance writer who believes everyone has a story to tell, with each story being unique and sometimes wilder than fiction. Melony loves to uncover the good news in society and writes human interest and community pieces. She is an editorial contributor for newspapers and magazines in the Greater Toronto Area, and has contributed numerous articles for the local media over the years. Her guest columns address issues pertaining to life and health, and she loves to inspire and motivate others through her written words. Melony is also a ghostwriter who has worked with diverse subject matter. In addition to writing the biographies for the Portraits of Giving 2014 – 2016, Melony also handles communications and PR for two non-profit mission organizations in Canada. Her book, As the Ink Flows: Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers, released in April, 2016, was written in collaboration with four local authors. Melony lives in Toronto with her husband and their two children.

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