Betsy is offering 1 printed copy of her novel LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, June 12th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment.
Please check out the back cover copy for LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES:
For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.
Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.
Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.
Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.
A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.
When God Places A Special Person Before You
by Betsy St. Amant
I’d like to tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a frightened, yet determined girl with a dream—a dream that felt so big, it seemed almost foolish to even imagine it, much less pursue it.
But the young maiden took a brave step toward the unknown by attending a workshop on speaking and teaching. At this conference, there was a small sub-class offered on fiction writing. That insecure, uncertain girl sat in the class, hoping to blend in yet at the same time, desperate to shine.
The teacher of the class must have sensed the girl’s aspirations and hesitations. She took her under her wing and taught her great pearls of wisdom, including words that haven’t left the maiden’s mind even today. Words of creativity, inspiration, and hope. Words of warning and caution. Words that would translate over one day into other areas of her young life.
That girl was me.
That teacher was Gayle Roper.
And that conference was Florence Littauer’s “CLASServices” in Texas about thirteen years ago.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was such a newbie to fiction writing, I had no idea what I was doing, yet I wanted to do it so badly. I was so new to the entire experience, that after I left in awe of Gayle (who is an award-winning author of more than forty books, a Christy finalist, and a Holt Medallion winner) I went home and finished my novel.
And then, in a humiliating wave of newbie-ness, emailed her personally to ask if she’d read the entire thing and tell me what she thought.
I still get red thinking about that moment! But Gayle handled it, as always, with such grace and class. She explained that while she’d love to read it, her schedule wouldn’t allow her that kind of time, and had I ever considered joining the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) instead?
I think back to that email and am in awe. I marvel at how only God could take just a few simple words, typed in a very standard font, and use a single suggestion to literally change my entire life. I can honestly say I would not be where I am in my writing career, ministry, and life if it hadn’t been for God using Gayle and her prompting to join the ACFW.
I did join, of course, because who says no to Gayle Roper? J I began attending conferences and workshops on fiction writing. I wrote book after book. Sought out critique partners. Networked. Pitched my work (way too soon!) to editors and agents. Wallpapered my home office in rejection letters. And tried again. All while writing, growing, learning, reaching, striving, surrendering, and writing some more.
After a few years, I acquired my literary agent, Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency, and she sold my first traditionally published novel to Love Inspired a few months later. I’ve since put out an average of two books a year, leaving me with twelve published novels or novellas to date and more on the way.
That intimidated young maiden has come a long way since those fledging, uncertain moments in a chilly classroom in Texas. She’s learned a lot about writing, and a lot about courage and faith, but most importantly, she’s learned the importance of listening to the promptings in our hearts.
The most amazing part of this story to me isn’t my progress, or how my goals that were reached, or the number of books I’ve had published (though I’ve grateful for all of those things.) No, the most amazing part is how God used Gayle Roper and her heart for Him to help propel me on the path He had for me.
God does that, you know. Uses people, usually in the moments where they think they have nothing to offer, or in the moments where they have no idea what’s happening, and they’re just being themselves and living their life. When that life is led seeking His heart and walking in obedience to Him, big things start threading together in ways we could have never planned.
What dream do you have today that needs some life breathed into it? Who might have been placed in your life to help you go for your goals, as unreachable as they seem?
Who might be the person in your life that you’re meant to encourage and uplift? Who can you be Gayle Roper to today?
Look for opportunities to share your own pearls of wisdom. You just might change a life.
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Betsy St. Amant has a heart for three things - chocolate, new shoes and sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. She lives in Louisiana with her adorable story-telling young daughter, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. A freelance journalist and fiction author, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is multi-published in Contemporary Romance. Her newest novel LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES releases via Zondervan Fiction in June 2015. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to the Tangled soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing and can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha.
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