Posts Tagged ‘guest post’





Movie Adaptations by Rachel Dixon


Hi Robin! Thank you so much for having me here to today. I am honored to share with your readers.


Today I want to talk about my long and arduous journey of the dreaded “Movie Adaptions”. There will always be a place in my heart that dreads watching the movie adaption of a book that I really enjoy. You name it….The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Divergent, The Help, The Hunger Games….The list goes on.


Because no matter HOW good the movies are, how high tech, or innovative they are…Our bookish hearts have a hard time watching our favorite stories get cut up and changed until sometimes, they are hardly recognizable anymore.


EVERY time a new movie comes out of a book/series that I have read, I always set my expectations unrealistically high. And then I had what I like to call an “apostrophe”…Wait..I mean epiphany.


“I’ve just had an apostrophe.” “I think you mean an epiphany.” – Hook


It all happened one blustery spring day almost exactly 5 years ago. I had just heard about this new movie coming out called The Hunger Games. Naturally, being the bookish sort of person that I am…I decided to read the book first. And I read it in just a couple of days. After I finished it, we went and saw the movie…The VERY next day. OH, I was so disappointed with several aspects of the movie. I had a hard time truly enjoying it. And it was then that I realized the awful truth…I have put an expectation on the production team that they will NEVER meet. That day I learned, that if I EVER want to enjoy a movie adaption of a book…That I MUST learn to appreciate the movie for the movie…and the book for the book.


The beauty about books is that every reader interprets it differently. Different phrases and characteristics will stand out to each of us. And it just so happens that those in charge of putting these books on screen…See things differently than I do. And there are some things that just can’t be described on the silver screen, no matter how talented the actors are, or how beautiful the setting. Some emotions that the reader goes though are too deep to be translated.


NOW, there are some stories out there that really needed to be changed. Such as The Little Mermaid. I don’t know about you, but I am really glad that Ariel and Eric really do end up together…Instead of him married to someone else and Ariel dying.


I also think that J.K. Rowling has the right idea with her new series about Newt Scamander and the Fantastic Beasts series. She is writing the screenplays, instead of the books. This way, we have nothing to compare it too. Granted the screenplays are being published as books which is super fun to read. But it is the same. She gets a story told and shown how she wants it…and the readers, have nothing to compare it to.


All in all, everyone is going to have likes and dislikes of their favorite book to movie adaptions. Are they ever going to produce a movie that contains all the detail and emotions that your favorite book evokes? Probably not. Can we still enjoy seeing our favorite characters come to life on the silver screen? I sure hope so! And there are several books that I would ADORE to see on film. Pepper Basham’s Penned in Time Series and Just the Way You Are, Joanne Bischoff’s The Lady and the Lionheart, Sarah Sundin’s Waves of Freedom Series, and all of Jen Turano and Jody Hedlund’s books…Just to name a few!


What about you? What is your favorite book to movie adaption?


Rachel is a stay at home mom who LOVES to read. She enjoys good (clean) books of all kinds. However, she has a soft spot for historical fiction. There is something magical that can only be found between the covers a book and her desire is to share that piece of magic with you. Rachel has been reviewing books since 2014 and simply adores being immersed in the bookish world. Her husband and 2 beautiful children are her life and joy. Among the 500 things she does a day, she somehow still find time to read.

















#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Rachel Dixon


Links to all movies and books mentioned:

The Hunger Games – IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392170/

The Hunger Games – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Games-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B002MQYOFW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1489898061&sr=8-2

The Chronicles of Narnia – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Narnia-Complete-7-Book-Collection-ebook/dp/B008LUYSAE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489898110&sr=8-1&keywords=the+chronicles+of+narnia

The Help – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Help-Kathryn-Stockett-ebook/dp/B002YKOXB6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1489898143&sr=8-3&keywords=the+help

The Lord of the Rings – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hobbit-Lord-Rings/dp/B011AE735O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489898171&sr=8-1&keywords=the+lord+of+the+rings

Divergent – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Divergent-Ultimate-Four-Book-Collection-Insurgent-ebook/dp/B00IRCZH3I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489898198&sr=8-1&keywords=divergent+series

Harry Potter – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Complete-Collection-1-7-ebook/dp/B01B3DIPMW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489898228&sr=8-1&keywords=harry+potter+books

Fantastic Beasts – IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3183660/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Fantastic Beasts – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Beasts-Where-Find-Them-ebook/dp/B01ETJABQK/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1489898260&sr=1-3&keywords=fantastic+beasts+and+where+to+find+them

Pepper Basham – Website: https://pepperdbasham.com/

Penned in Time – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Penned-Time-3-Book/dp/B01N3U01VL/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1489898288&sr=1-5&keywords=penned+in+time+series

Just the Way You Are – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Way-Pleasant-Romance-Book-ebook/dp/B06W54FJM3/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1489898424&sr=1-1&keywords=just+the+way+you+are+pepper+basham

Joanne Bischof – Website: http://www.joannebischof.com/

The Lady and the Lionheart – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Lionheart-Joanne-Bischof-ebook/dp/B01FL8C9DG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1489898493&sr=1-1&keywords=the+lady+and+the+lionheart

Sarah Sundin – Website:http://www.sarahsundin.com/

Waves of Freedom – Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Through-Waters-Deep-Waves-Freedom-ebook/dp/B00QMSCM7I/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1489898677&sr=1-3&keywords=waves+of+freedom+series

Jen Turano – Website: http://jenturano.com/

Jody Hedlund – Website: http://jodyhedlund.com/


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So You Want to See Your Book on the Silver Screen, or Adapting a Novel for the Movies

by Mark David Gerson


It’s March 1995, a chilly spring morning in rural Nova Scotia. With notepad on my lap, pen in hand and a fire crackling in the wood stove, I begin the day’s work on my MoonQuest novel, grateful that this first draft is nearly finished. To my surprise, what emerges onto the page is not the usual third-person narrative. Instead, I find myself writing in the first person as Toshar, the main character.


It doesn’t take me long to realize that Toshar’s voice is the story’s voice and that I will have to rewrite the MoonQuest from scratch, from his perspective. To do it, I know I will have to delete many scenes, add many new ones and subject those that survive to wholesale revision.


My old editor-self would have approached the task as an exercise in left-brain mechanics. My new Muse Stream-self recognizes the need for a more right-brain approach.


(“Writing on the Muse Stream” is my technique for making writing easier than you can ever imagine it being! I write about it in all my books for writers. Look for them on my website, http://www.books4writers.com, on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/author/markdavidgerson, or from major online booksellers in paperback or ebook. In short, Writing on the Muse Stream means writing with stopping—without stopping to correct, edit…or even think.)


Instead of forcing The MoonQuest into this new, first-person form, I decide to treat the story as its own sentient entity and let it tell me what is necessary and what is expendable. Instead of trying to figure out which scenes to retain and which to cut, I choose to let the story find its own telling.


If my early experiences with The MoonQuest helped me to trust in the wisdom of the story, I now allow myself to trust it even more. The result? The rewrite streams out of me with an ease and speed I never expected or could have imagined.


Why am I telling you this story when it has nothing to do with screenwriting? Because more than a decade later, I would use the identical strategy to adapt my MoonQuest and StarQuest novels into screenplays.



What does that strategy involve?

  • Getting out of your own way.
  • Silencing your critical and judgmental selves.
  • Trusting that your story is smarter than you are, and surrendering to that superior wisdom.
  • Listening to your characters. After all, it’s their story you’re telling!
  • Focusing on story, not structure.
  • Heeding the voice of your Muse and your intuition.
  • Practicing discernment.
  • Writing on the Muse Stream.


Yes, writing on the Muse Stream. Even though you are not writing an original screenplay, the Muse Stream remains your most effective conduit to the story’s essence. If you let it, it is that essence that will guide you as you translate the story from one form to another.
What follows are some basic craft considerations to bear in mind as you read and reread the novel and move forward with your adaptation.
Bear them in mind, but don’t worry about them as you write. Don’t even focus on them. Let them hover on the fringes of your awareness as you listen to the story and as you listen for the story’s best expression as a screenplay. Later, when it’s time for a new draft, you can add them to your revision checklist.



Adapting a novel involves more than stripping out all the novel’s description and copying-and-pasting its dialogue into Final Draft or your preferred screenwriting software. Not all the book’s dialogue will have a place in the film. Some speeches, for example, may run too long. With others, their point might be more eloquently expressed visually. Talk to your characters and and out from them what is necessary and what is superfluous.



In fiction, the presence of a narrator or narrative voice can reveal much to the reader about the story and its characters. Most films have neither a narrator nor a single narrative voice. As screenwriter, you will need to find alternative ways — visually and/or through dialogue — to give viewers the information they need.


Action & Description

You have limited space in your screenplay to paint the scenes and settings your novel can do at its leisure. Evocative, concise writing is critical.


Plot & Theme

Even a simple novel may have multiple themes and subplots. A complex novel will have even more. Unless you are writing a modern-day version of Erich von Stroheim’s Greed (a silent film that originally clocked in at close to eight hours), you may have to streamline your original story to focus on a core plot and theme. In doing so, you may find yourself eliminating subplots, characters and settings that are superfluous and altering or merging others.


One final note. If the novel you want to adapt is not your own, always make sure that there are no legal impediments to your screenplay version, even if the novel you want to adapt is in the public domain. Unless you are the novel’s author, secure the necessary rights before you start writing. If you don’t, chances are your script will never be produced — either because the rights are already spoken for or because the author has no interest in a film adaption.


Adapted from Organic Screenwriting: Writing for Film, Naturally. © 2014 Mark David Gerson. Look for Organic Screenwriting in paperback or ebook from major online booksellers or signed to you by author from http://www.organicscreenwriting.com


Author of more than a dozen books whose readers span the globe, Mark David Gerson electrifies groups and individuals around the world with his inspiring stories and motivational talks and seminars. Mark David’s books include critically acclaimed titles for writers, award-winning fiction and compelling memoirs. His screenplay adaptations of his Q’ntana fantasy novels are on their way to theaters as a trio of epic feature films, he is currently at work on a third book in his popular Sara Stories series, and his latest book for writers is Engage! Winning Social Media Strategies for Authors.


Known as “The Birthing Your Book Guru,” Mark David works with an international roster of clients to help them get their stories onto the page and into the world with ease.


Visit Mark David’s website at http://www.markdavidgerson.com and follow him online @markdavidgerson and http://www.facebook.com/markdavidgerson.page.



Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Mark David Gerson, Organic Screenwriting, Sara’s Year, After Sara’s Year

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 How Viewing Movies can Make You a Better Writer


I love movies that display a powerful story with suburb acting. These art forms are entertaining, inspiring, and encouraging—just like writing a dynamic novel.


When movies hold my attention, I’m deepening my insight into the craft. Great acting provides characterization tips and varying ways to show body language and dialogue. Unpredictable plot twists challenges me to keep my readers charged with the story. Movie settings aren’t there to set the stage, but to put the characters in peril.


The following movies and TV shows are good examples of viewing pleasure while learning more about how to strengthen novel writing. These are currently available and easy to find.


The Impossible 2012

A family vacationing in Thailand for Christmas is caught in a tsunami.

I encourage you to watch this more than once. This family demonstrated courage and strength when others would have given up. The emotion and drama are unforgettable. Based on a true story.



The Eagle 2011

A Roman soldier is determined to regain his father’s honor by finding the golden eagle of his father’s lost legion. This is action filled, and honestly fighting is not my fav viewing, but the incredible tenacity, strength, and bravery of the hero is outstanding.




Ordinary people, in an effort to win $250,000, attempt to evade law enforcement The command center features the FBI, US Marshals, Navy Seals and other law enforcement along with behavior analysts working together to bring in the “fugitives.” Every week, I add new ideas and plot points for my current book and future research.



Deepwater Horizon 2016

The 2010 oil rig explosion was the worst in history. This drama shows courage in the midst of danger.



Designated Survivor

When a bomb destroys the President, VP, house and senate, the designated survivor takes over the country.




The following are excellent examples for viewers and writers.


Little Boy



The Book Thief



The Hundred-Foot Journey



Ben Hur






These series, Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, Jason Bourne, Divergent, and the Hobbits will have you scribbling notes and longing for your own novels to carry the energy.


So many more fine movies and TV help us to be better writers. What are your favorites?


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.


Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.


DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.


DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.


DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at http://www.diannmills.com.



#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, DiAnn Mills, Viewing Movies, The Impossible, The Eagle, Hunted, Designated Survivor, Little Boy, The Book Thief, The Hundred Foot Journey, Ben Hur, Risen, Lord of the Rings

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 The Promise of a Lifetime

Throughout history, there are a few traditions that are common to just about every civilization. Though the ceremonies and customs may be extremely different, countless cultures around the world embrace some kind of wedding tradition.


It dates back beyond the Greek and Roman Empires, was before the ancient Eastern Asian civilizations. The deepest roots of weddings and marriage are actually found in the Garden of Eden.


The First Wedding

Very early in Scripture, in Genesis 2:18-25, we not only find the first marriage, but also God’s intended design for marriage and the very principles that instruct us on how to honor God through marriage.


I don’t know how much time transpired between Adam’s creation and Genesis 2:18, but some scholars suggest that God allowed that time for Adam to be alone so that he would recognize that he needed companionship.


That companionship is the illustration of a God honoring marriage. As Genesis 2 points out, a marriage that honors the Lord is one where the man and woman are joined together, outside of the governing rule of either set of parents. That doesn’t mean that a man can’t seek Godly counsel from his parents if they are Godly parents, but ultimately the responsibility to lead a marriage falls on the husband. Verse 24 of Genesis 2 illustrates that saying, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cling to his wife, and they shall be as one flesh.”


Backing up to verse 23 though shows us the very first wedding vows as Adam proclaims that his companion is “bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh.” It doesn’t get more intimate than that.


The Modern Wedding

There is no doubt that mankind has come up with some absolutely weird wedding day customs throughout the centuries. Here’s a few:


  1. In England, it was good luck if a bride kissed a chimney sweep on her wedding day because he had special powers that swept away evil spirits.
  2. Egyptian women pinch the newly married bride to bring good luck to themselves.
  3. Korean grooms ask a happily married friend to make 2 wooden ducks for his wedding day because ducks will mate for life.
  4. In Scotland, it’s unlucky to wear green or to eat green vegetables at a wedding because green is the color of fairies and the color of revenge.


That’s just a sample. There is no shortage of customs and traditions that would make you laugh, wonder, or scratch your head in amazement!


How about the modern wedding in the Western world? We also have some things that seem to be adding to the long list of wedding traditions.


We’ve coined phrases like bridezilla to represent a particularly difficult to satisfy bride. We not only send wedding invitations out, but now we send out pre-invitations that we call “save the date.” The focus seems to be on drawing the largest crowds to our wedding celebrations.


In modern weddings, we spend months and sometimes even years and unprecedented dollars on planning the big day. The danger in that is that we are putting far too much focus on the sprint of the wedding day, losing sight of the marathon of a lifelong marriage.


The Promise of a Lifetime

My wife and I were married young. Probably too young. She was 17 and I was 19. Statistically speaking, we should have called it quits long before now.


We celebrated our 25th Anniversary not even 90 days ago as I write this. While there’s a good level of satisfaction at having beat the odds, we also acknowledge that it wasn’t easy. [rem: Congratulations to you both!]


In my experience, my counsel to those who are going to be married are to make the promise of a lifetime. I don’t paint an unrealistic picture of a “happily ever after” wedding and marriage. Things go wrong. Sometimes they even go wrong on wedding days. But when the focus is on the promise of a lifetime, the little things don’t carry as much weight.


Sometimes, even frequently, things go wrong long after the big celebration. There will come a time when almost every married couple won’t like each other. There were times when my wife and I couldn’t stand being in the same room together. We almost walked away from it all.


Those are the seasons that quite honestly make or break a marriage. This is when the promise of a lifetime, when the rubber on the tires of “for better or worse” meet the road.


And without the design of the God honoring marriage, this is the breaking point for many couples.

The Big Picture

The celebration of the wedding day is a day to honor marriage. It’s an important part of the much larger illustration of our relationship with God that marriage provides.


The big picture is that marriage is the earthly image of the relationship between Christ and the church. That’s why we see Christ referred to as the Bridegroom and His church as the Bride.


On the wedding day, a man and his wife become one flesh, just as we become one with our Lord and Savior (1 Corinthians 6:17). Just as a wife is to be led by her husband, Christ leads His church. And as a husband is called to sacrificially love his wife, Christ gave His all for the church in His love.


Marriage is hard work. It’s sacrificial in nature, and it’s absolutely rewarding while sometimes excruciatingly painful. The wedding day is an important part of the total package, but it’s the marriage that is the promise of a lifetime.




Gene Whitehead ditched his first career in order to serve people and share hope. His passion is to help people embrace Christ and apply Scripture to their life, something Gene calls Simple Theology for a Messy Life. You can read about that and download his free eBook, The Armor of God at genewhitehead.com.









#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Gene Whitehead, The Promise of a Lifetime

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A child once prayed, “Lord, please make all the bad people good, and all the good people nice.” Profundity. Out of the mouths of babes… Because so many of us…Christians, that is, i.e. the self appointed “good people” as it were, find ourselves lacking in the common grace of kindness.


I believe this has to do with the way we see on another. Because we do fairly well with these things when it comes to strangers and acquaintances. We do our best not to insult, act rudely, or speak offensively to those with whom we have little contact. But there’s truth in old country proverb that goes, “familiarity breeds contempt”, and once we get to know these folks a little better, we begin to notice our golden idol’s feet of clay. We look beyond their gleaming virtues to their faults. And the more and more familiar we become with these, our new friends, the more glaring their faults can appear, and the more critical of them we can become.


Enter a critical spirit. A judgmental attitude. Disrespect. And unkindness, on our part.


I believe this has to do with our focus – what we see when we’re seeing them. And nowhere is this principal more evident than in marital relationships. If a woman is not careful of her focus, that Knight in Shining Armor can morph before her eyes into an irresponsible brat. Conversely, the Queen of any Man’s Dreams can appear to him as the Wicked Witch of the West. Because the fact remains that none of us are perfect. Especially us, when we’re resentful and rude toward the ones we love.


Remember when you first met your true love? They were smart, witty, funny, and wonderful. How you admired their admirable qualities. How your heart lit up with love when they walked into the room.


Well guess what? That person, with those attributes, is still there. The positive qualities we first saw in our spouses still exist. Can you still see them? I believe you can, but sometimes not without putting forth the effort to change your habitual focus.


One man sees a sunset and grumbles, “Tough day. Glad that’s over.”

Another lifts his voice to pray, “How beautiful is the handiwork of God.”

Same scene, different perspective, different attitude. What do you see when you see the love of your life?


I was speaking in a church one evening when the Holy Spirit spoke to me about a couple in the room. I didn’t know them, or even which couple they might be among the many in attendance that night. All I knew was that the Lord was telling me there was a man and woman in the service who were contemplating giving up on their marriage, and that He was instructing me to give them some advice. So I just spoke it out: “A married couple here is considering divorce,” I said. “In fact, you’re planning on filing the papers this next week. And this is what I believe the Lord would say to you: ‘Don’t do it. Instead, go home, and during the next few weeks, treat each other the way you would if you truly loved each other. And treat each other the way you used to treat one another when you first met.’”


Sometime later the pastor of that church told me how accurate that word from the Lord had been. That a couple in that exact situation had indeed been in the service, and that taking that advice had actually saved their marriage.


God is good, and He knew what they needed. It was about what they saw when they looked at one another. It was about focusing on the good, rather than the bad. And consequently, about how they treated each other: it was about focus, respect, and kindness.


My wife and I have been married longer that some reading this have been alive. And all this time we’ve been blessed with a wonderful, loving marriage. In fact, because of this, we’re often asked if we’re newlyweds. Others, who know better, often ask how they can have a marriage like ours. And my answer is always the same: Focus on the best in one another. And be kind. Especially, be kind.



David Stearman is a songwriter and recording artist turned novelist, who specializes in romantic and adventure stories. His love for nature and travel is reflected in his writings, which often feature scenes set in exotic locales.
















#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, David Stearman, The Grace of Kindness, Hummingbird, Falling for Chloe


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Marital Secrets


Regret barged into the bedroom and refused to leave. Like one of the boxes Celeste had carried from their trailer to their new house, a dark secret weighed heavy on her heart, especially in the last year. She surveyed the pile of cartons beside the bed and located the one marked “Framed Pictures.” Tearing away the tissue paper, she smoothed her hand over the cool glass surface lodged inside the pewter frame, corners adorned with inlaid sapphires. A bride and groom smiled back at her. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Tatem.


In my novel, Masquerade, Celeste’s secret not only damages her emotionally but also affects her marriage to Joe. In her case, sharing the secret with Joe would be a healthy step, though difficult and not without stress. That’s why she’s “gone into hiding” for the five years they’ve been married. Since the secret affects her ability to carry children, and Joe wants kids badly, she forces herself to tell him. Just when she works up the courage, tragedy strikes, ushering her to a place she never expected, ultimately meeting another who holds a key to her past . . . and her future.


But is it appropriate or desirable to divulge a marital secret in every instance?


Let’s take a look at a specific situation with the help of my husband, Chuck, who’s worked as a licensed professional counselor and marriage/family therapist for 30 years. The scope of secrets takes many forms, but the most devastating involve affairs. In general, letting the spouse know about an affair is important for several reasons.

First, it alerts the spouse to possible sexually transmitted diseases, and secondly, it shows moral integrity and prayerfully, the willingness to be accountable. Better s/he find out from the spouse than from a third party. With layers of accountability in place and steps toward healing via counseling, other same-sex godly believers, support group, and media monitoring, trust can be restored. If the spouse stays in hiding about the affair, the roots of the sin and underlying dysfunction fueling the sin remain untreated.

Sometimes, the first person a mate tells will be a trusted pastor or counselor who then can guide the spouse in the appropriate steps to take. A same-sex accountability partner plays a vital role in providing assessment, encouragement, and prayer support. On occasion, the offended spouse may not be able to hear or deal with the mate’s confession. If this is the case, the offender with help must gauge the relationship. If the offended spouse is already the jealous, immature type, s/he likely won’t receive the news well. After all, it’s difficult for anyone, but especially hard for an immature person. Thus, sharing can vary according to the tolerance level of the offended mate.



A primary question for both spouses is are you drawing your security and significance from God’s love for you, and then giving to each other out of that overflow (Matt.22:37-39)? Since Masquerade opens with Celeste and Joe as unbelievers, they have no solid foundation from which to find their personal worth and identity. A spouse confident in God’s love does not depend on his mate to be God in his life. That spot is reserved for God and God alone. The resulting love between spouses will then be greater than their need for one another.


Some questions to ask when considering whether to share a marital secret . . .


  1. If I share this with my mate, will it bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31)? If a spouse wakes up one morning with lustful thoughts, s/he may ask for prayer support, again, if the spouse is mature enough to handle it, but not share the specific details. Chuck and I are free enough in our relationship to do this. However, we each also have accountability partners with whom to share.


  1. Will sharing the secret help me pursue the perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2)?


  1. Will I take what is shared to the foot of the Cross and allow God’s grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ to cover the offense (Ephesians 4:32)? Ultimately and prayerfully, this is the place where we each must come and lay our deepest, darkest marital secrets.


In doing so, we can experience Jesus’ blood washing us clean. The One who said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” understands the pain of betrayal. He doesn’t white-wash the offense or deny it. However, He does make the choice to forgive it. In following His steps, we can be free when a spouse comes clean about a marital secret, and s/he can be clean spiritually. Certainly, this is not an easy journey for any of us, or for my Masquerade protag, Celeste, but the path to healing is crucial if we are to experience grace and peace in our lives and in our marriages. And sometimes this means we choose to share a marital secret if it will ultimately foster deeper intimacy.




Eileen Rife, author of Masquerade, speaks to women’s groups, encouraging them to discover who they are in Christ and what part they play in His Kingdom story. She and husband Chuck conduct marriage seminars internationally. Their three daughters and families serve the Lord in fulltime mission work around the world.












#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Eileen Hinkle Rife, Healing from an Affair, Accountability, Forgiveness, Christian Fiction, Masquerade, Second Chance


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Back in 2009, while digging us out from two inches of snow that had somehow turned into a foot, my Patient Husband heard a crack. He looked up to see a pheasant fall to the ground at our garage doors. It had flown straight into the side of our house.


Note to pheasants: the house is bigger than you. It will not care that you are coming, and it will not get out of the way.


Note to readers: pheasants are stupid. There’s no way to gloss that fact.


It landed about two feet away from my Patient Husband and his snow blower, but it didn’t move. Eventually he turned off the machine and chased it away. It half-wobbled, half-flew to a cluster of trees in front of the house, near the road.


When he told me, I said, “It’s concussed?”  He thought so.


And my first thought was, if it’s dead (because birds have light bones, and that kind of impact might have broken several) maybe I should go get it.


I mean, that’s what Ma Ingalls would have done, right? She’d have gone out, cleaned and dressed the bird, and everyone would have dined on Providence-Delivered Pheasant, the best take-out meal. God gave Moses quail in the desert, and our family would have received a pheasant.


I procrastinated. Even though I live in the Swamp nowadays, I’m a city girl, and the idea of eating something that wasn’t shrink-wrapped and slapped with a sell-by date…well, that’s just weird.


I still had no idea what to do an hour later when I looked out the window to discover a pheasant poking around in the trees at the front of the house. I didn’t need to go retrieve the pheasant carcass because the pheasant was still using it! This made my decision a lot easier. Or at least, it made my cowardice a lot less noticeable.


(Okay, everyone, go ahead and make the pun you’re dying to, about how I chickened out. Do it. You’ll feel better. Really. See now? Isn’t that better.)


I feel a kind of kinship with that pheasant. I imagine my soul, cruising along, and God’s saying, “That big thing, the thing in front of you? Avoid that? Like, turn…? Avoid it? Because it’s a house and you’ve got hollow bones…?” and then WHAM! I slam right in to whatever sin I should have been avoiding and which would have been reasonably easy to avoid had I been paying attention. Spiritually speaking, I’m just not that smart.


But we’re made stupid by our own sins, and we’re surrounded by a sin-filled world. Jesus redeemed us, but the devil is still wandering around like a lion, a predator who would love to devour things that are small and stupid, things that are broken and didn’t come shrink-wrapped from the meat counter.


The writer Mark Shea is fond of saying, “Sin makes you stupid.” Therefore I would suggest it’s reasonable to pray, “Help me, God! I’m stupid.” He puts up with a lot from us, so He already knows.


But we aren’t done yet with the pheasant. The next morning, coming back from the school bus stop, I passed the same stand of trees and found the pheasant still there, and only about six feet from me!


And then I realized it was sitting in a pile of feathers. Oh dear, I though. It must be sick and it’s shedding.


And then I realized that wasn’t a pheasant. Oh dear, I thought. It’s a hawk.


And then I realized it wasn’t sitting in a pile of hawk feathers.


Oh dear, I thought.


It was a beautiful hawk. And, I would add, smarter than the pheasant. For, you see, hawks do not dither about wondering whether the pheasant has parasites or a sell-by date or was raised on organic corn. They’re entirely pragmatic. And pheasants are tasty.


And from this, I also derived a very important lesson: the world is a dangerous place when you are both stupid and tasty.


For years afterward, whenever I felt I was under spiritual attack, I would pray, “God, please help me. I’m stupid and tasty.” rem: too hilarious and oh-so-universal!


Live and learn. Or, don’t do either. I guess. Sometimes God gives those of us who are especially stupid a hands-on demonstration via Nature’s School.




61dnj97ajfl-_ux250_Jane Lebak talks to angels, cats, and her kids. Only the angels listen to her, but the kids talk back. She lives in the Swamp, writing books and knitting socks, with the occasional foray into violin-playing. You’ll also find her blogging at QueryTracker.net, a resource for writers seeking agents and small publishers. Enjoy!









#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Jane, Lebak, Pheasants, Mark Shea, Stupid and Tasty

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