Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Be in a Novel! And an Excerpt about Infertility and Singleness

Hi Friends,

First (real quick), I wanted to ask those of you who have read IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES and liked it -- would you consider posting your comments on the CBD website? I notice there are a few there already, but it would be great to have some more (especially since the "special markets" guy at my publisher mentioned that it'd be great to see some more reviews there!) So, if you're willing, go to:


Scroll down and click on the line that says, "Write a Review of If Tomorrow Never Comes" to enter your comments. Thanks bunches!!

Next, how would you like to be the one to name a coffee drink in my next novel - and donate to a great charity at the same time? Now you can, thanks to an online charity auction that's offering you this unique opportunity, and not just for my next book, but other authors as well. Authors are offering character spotlights (be in a novel!), naming a dragon, and more. It's really neat, so be sure to check it out. The auction runs May 31st to June 7th, and you can find all of the info at their website, http://www.beinanovel.com/.

And speaking of naming a coffee drink, the drink will appear at least twice in my next book, and one of those times is in the chapter I just wrote last night.

So today, I thought it would be fun to share a bit from last night's writing where a character from my last book (Kinna from If Tomorrow Never Comes) comes into Marnie's Books and Brew to talk to Marnie and share a bit about what she learned in her story.

Here's a short excerpt, see what you think!:

Marnie shook her head and focused on Kinna. “Thanks.”

Kinna threw her a half-grin. “It’s amazing how much infertility and being single are alike. Change a few words and it’s the same questions, the same comments, the same prying, know-it-all advice.” ... (cut a bit to keep from giving too much away! ;-)) “I’ll tell you a secret. A baby isn’t the answer to infertility, just like a man isn’t the answer to singleness.”

“What is, then?”


Great, just what she needed. A riddle. She frowned. “Surrender to what?”

“God’s vision of your life. I’ve learned that God works in the barren years. When He seems the most absent, that’s when He’s doing His most intimate work.” She tapped her chest. “In here, where no one else can see.”

“If you say so.”

“Listen, honey. If your future husband walked through that door right now, would it change who you are or who God has made you to be in all these years of being single?”

For a moment, Marnie envisioned Taylor striding through the door. Same intense brown eyes, same wavy hair but now with a little gray at the temples, same special smile just for her. Her heart nearly stopped at the image. “I guess it wouldn’t change me, except for the heart attack.”
Kinna laughed. “That’s why we just take the gifts God’s gives as He gives them. Infertility, singleness, or a boy named Emmit.” She glanced over her shoulder. “Sometimes, they aren’t the gifts we want, but they’re gifts all the same.”

--- So there ya go! Of course, I wrote that late last night and it hasn't been edited yet. It'll probably be a lot better when it comes out in the actual book, but I wanted to share some thoughts that I've been pondering about God's gifts to us, thoughts that are making their way into my next book.

So, what gifts are there in your life that came wrapped in unattractive packages, but were gifts from God all the same??

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hi Friends,

I've got another book to tell you about this week, too. This one is by my Florida-cop friend, Mark Mynheir. Mark's great and so are his books, especially if you like great cop books. Check this one out!

Here's more about it:

Book: The Night Watchman
Author: Mark Mynheir

Ray Quinn is a tough, quick-witted homicide detective in love with his partner, Trisha Willis. She gives Ray something to live for—something to hope in. Until a barrage of bullets leaves Trisha murdered and Ray crippled.

Struggling with his new physical disability and severe depression, Quinn turns to whiskey, scorn, and a job as a night watchman to numb the pain. But when a pastor and dancer are found dead in an apparent murder-suicide, the pastor’s sister approaches Quinn for help.

Reluctantly, Quinn takes the case and is plunged into the perilous Orlando. Soon he discovers that, not only was the pastor murdered, but the case may be linked to his and Trisha’s ambush. Torn between seeking revenge or responsibility, Quinn is thrust into the case of his life.

Author Mark Mynheir gives readers his most profound police thriller to date with The Night Watchman (first book in The Night Watchman Private Detective Agency Series). Readers of all ages will devour this gripping murder mystery that bristles with tension and intrigue. In a taut cop-style all his own, Mynheir delivers an inside look at the thoughts, feelings, fears, and challenges police officers experience while investigating violent crimes and the lost souls who commit them.

Author Bio:
A detective with the Criminal Investigations Unit of the Palm Bay Police Department, Mark Mynheir investigates violent crimes and writes riveting Christian fiction. A U.S. Marine with a passion for martial arts and firearms training, Mark has worked on narcotics units, SWAT teams, and myriad high-risk situations. His four novels offer a realistic glimpse into the gritty world of law enforcement and the rarely seen raw emotions behind the badge. Mark lives in Florida with his wife and three children.

Purchase Link:

Shadows on the River by Linda Hall

Hi Friends,

I wanted to tell you about a new myster by Linda Hall. I've read several of Linda's books (not this one yet - but I'm hoping to soon!) and love the way she weaves interesting characters together with intriguing mystery. Her stories are fantastic. So, here's a bit about this newest one:

SHADOWS ON THE RIVER (Steeple Hill/Love inspired Suspense)
by Linda Hall

SHADOWS ON THE RIVER is the story of Ally Roarke. When she was a young teenager she saw her best friend pushed to her death. Here are Ally's own words:

"I was only fourteen when I witnessed a murder on the riverbank. A murder that went unpunished. Unless you count what happened to my family. We were forced out of town by the teenage killer's prominent parents. And the murder was forgotten—by everyone but me. Now, the killer is a respected businessman. I can't let him get away with it. But I'm a single mother with a child to protect, what can I do? The new man in my life, Mark Bishop, warns me to be careful. For there's already been another murder. Close to home."

A bit about Linda:

Award winning and twice Christy-nominated author Linda Hall has written fifteen novels plus many short stories. She has also worked as a freelance writer, news reporter and feature writer for daily newspaper.

She grew up in New Jersey where her love of the ocean was nurtured. Most of her novels have something to do with the sea. When she's not writing, Linda and her husband enjoy sailing the St. John River system and the coast of Maine. In the summer we basically move aboard their 34' sailboat aptly named - Mystery.

or can be ordered from her website: http://writerhall.com/

What others are saying:
- With a voice well suited to mystery and suspense, Hall creates an almost gothic atmosphere and a wonderfully satisfying conclusion in this final installment of her Shadows series. Romantic Times 4 stars

Linda invites you to her website: http://writerhall.com/

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Economic Hard Times? What Does God Say?

Hi Friends,

I recently wrote an article that talked a bit about some Biblical insights on how to approach economic hard times. I thought you may be interested too, so here's the opening of the article. To read the whole thing, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Answer in Economic Famine—Serve First
by Marlo Schalesky

The economy. It's on everyone's mind. Will I get laid off? Will I be able to find a new job? Will my business go bankrupt? Will I be able to pay my bills? How can I make the money stretch? Those are just a few questions facing business people today.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 3.8 percent, according to this report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce. Since December 2007, employment has gone down by 3.6 million, with approximately half of those jobs lost in the three months of November 2008-January 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the unemployment rate spiked to 7.6 percent in January 2009. And in the midst of these economic downturns, a November survey by the Barna Group shows that giving to churches and other charities has sharply decreased.

But is that how the Bible tells us to respond to economic hard times? Is it okay to pull in, look out for number one, take care of ourselves before we take care of others?

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:31, 33, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

But what does that look like in real life? How does it apply in an economic famine? Perhaps the story of Elijah and the widow from 1 Kings 17:7-24 can shed some valuable light . . .

TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE, CLICK: http://www.christianitytoday.com/workplace/articles/attitude/theanswerindconomicfamine.html

Monday, May 18, 2009

Beyond the Night Wins Winter Rose Contest

Hi Friends,

Just wanted to share a bit of good news. BEYOND THE NIGHT won the Inspirational category of the Winter Rose Award (Texas Romance Writers of America contest), AND it also won the Best Overall out of all the category winners. Yay!

Here's a list of this Year's Contest Winners:

Beyond the Night / Marlo Schalesky

Contemporary Single Title/Romantic Suspense:
Sweet Spot / Susan Mallery

Historical (TIE):
To Taste Temptation / Elizabeth Holt
Don’t Tempt Me / Sylvia Day

Soul of a Highlander / Melissa Mayhue

Beyond the Night / Marlo Schalesky

Series Contemporary:
Red-Hot and Royal / Susanna Carr

To Buy Beyond the Night on Amazon, click: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Night-Marlo-Schalesky/dp/1601420161?ie=UTF8

For more info on the book, including other purchase links, a trailer, a Standord tour, a sample chapter, etc., visit my fiction page at: http://www.marloschalesky.com/html/fiction.html

Hero by Fred & Jason Stoeker

Hi Friends,

Here's the second book I have to tell you about this week. It's nonfiction this time.

Book: HERO
Authors: Fred Stoeker & Jason Stoeker with contributions by Mike Yorkey

You already know it’s not easy being a single man in this culture today. But it is easy to be overwhelmed, to feel helpless and hopeless about living by God’s high standards for singles. It’s easy to cave in to the pressures of this sex-soaked world and accept defeat—blaming the media, the culture, even girlfriends who don’t know how tough it can be.

But many men have read books like Every Young Man’s Battle and Tactics and have committed themselves to stand strong and pure in the power of God, and to go on the offensive against the onslaught of negative stereotypes. Some have suffered. Some have fallen. But many have experienced victory—and you can be among them.

What makes those committed men so desirable to women? Be Her Hero is their motto. From best-selling author Fred Stoeker, along with his son Jasen, come the straightforward insight and real-life examples you’re looking for to help you take personal purity to its logical conclusion. Here’s straight truth with irrefutable evidence of what makes an ultimate hero to women who long for men of faith—men who stand by their convictions and make their world a safer and better place.

Are you ready to accept the challenge?

Author Bios:
Fred Stoeker is a best-selling author of several books, including Every Young Man’s Battle and Tactics, the president of Living True Ministries, and a popular conference speaker who challenges men to become sexually pure, to reconnect in true intimate relationship with their wives, and to train their sons to become godly men. A graduate of Stanford University, Fred lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, Brenda, and their children.

Mike Yorkey, a writer living in Encinitas, California, has collaborated with Fred Stoeker in all his books for the Every Man’s series.

Jasen Stoeker is a popular conference speaker who challenges young men to be heroic in their relationships with women and to be a Christian, rather than just seem like one. Jasen is a graduate of Iowa State University with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science and now lives in Minneapolis, MN, with his wife Rose.

Deadly Competition by Roxanne Rustand

Hi Friends,

I've got a couple new books to tell you about this week. First, in fiction is Deadly Competition by Roxanne Rustand.

Here's a bit about it:

The single mother hasn't been found. And all her daughter, Sarah, has is her uncle. Clueless at parenting, Clint Herald seeks a loving, responsible nanny. What he finds instead is a stranger as mysterious as his sister's disappearance. Mandy Erick is secretive and seems scared, yet she's so good with Sarah that Clint can't help but trust her. In fact, he even enters Mandy in the town's Mother of the Year contest. But attention is the last thing Mandy wants. Her time in the public eye may prove just as dangerous as she fears.

For more about Roxanne Rustand, visit http://www.roxannerustand.com/ and her new blog "All Creatures Great and Small."

Monday, May 11, 2009

TV & Radio Links

Hi Friends,

Here are some links in case you missed the shows I was on last week. You can catch them online:

Wednesday, 5/6, THE HARVEST SHOW (TV): http://www.harvest-tv.com/ -- scroll down on the right to the Wednesday, 5/6 show titled "Empty Womb, Aching Heart," click and it will play there in the box. I'm part way through (after the news section).

Thursday, 5/7, MOODY MIDDAY CONNECTION (Radio): http://www.moodyradio.org/brd_programarchive.aspx?id=31086 -- scroll down to the May 7th date, topic: infertility, and click "listen." I'm on for the full hour. You can also download the podcast from iTunes for your iPod. Just search for "Moody Midday Connection" at the iTunes Store, click on the title that comes up to see a list of all the individual programs, then choose to download the podcast for the 5/7 date.

Friday, 5/8, 100 HUNTLEY STREET, FULL CIRCLE (TV): http://www.100huntley.com/video.php?id=vXqUZyVKOzU -- this one should just play for you right off the YouTube video.

Neat, huh?! And don't forget - if you know someone going through infertility, I have a bunch of helps and resources for the journey on my website in the "resources" section.

A Vote of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher

Hi Friends,

Here's this week's book to tell you about -- A Vote of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher.

First, here's a bunch of links:

You can see the trailer for the book at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joHj76G47CA

Here is the link for Amazon.com:

Here is the link for Christianbook.com:


Here is the link to an excerpt from A Vote of Confidence:



Robin Lee Hatcher is the best-selling author of over sixty books. Her well-drawn characters and heartwarming stories of faith, courage, and love have earned her both critical acclaim and the devotion of readers. Her numerous awards including the 2000 Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the 1999 and 2001 RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards for Americana Romance and for Inspirational Fiction, and the 2001 RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Catching Katie was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin began her writing career in the general market, writing mass market romances for Leisure Books, HarperPaperbacks, Avon Books, and Silhouette. In 1997, after several years of heart preparation, Robin accepted God's call to write stories of faith and hasn't looked back since. She has written both contemporary women's fiction and historical romances for CBA publishers, and in 2009 her 60th book, A Vote of Confidence, was released, launching a new series (The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs) that looks at the question, "Who says a woman can't do a man's job?" The setting is Idaho during the WWI era.

by Robin Lee Hatcher

Who says a woman can’t do a man’s job?

Put up or shut up! Complaining about Bethlehem Springs' dissolute mayoral candidate, Gwen Arlington is challenged to take on the role herself. For seven years, she’s carved out an independent life in the bustling mountain town of Bethlehem Springs, Idaho, teaching piano and writing for the local newspaper. But now she’s a single woman running for mayor — and in 1915 this decision is bound to stir up trouble.

Morgan McKinley is fed up with the delays that hinder the construction of New Hope Health Spa, a place where both rich and poor can come for rest and healing. New to the area, he has determined that serving as mayor would help him push through his agenda for progress.

Gwen and Morgan each want to prove they are the most qualified candidate, not only to voters but to each other, and so sparks fly as the two campaign. Although Morgan has learned to guard his heart as fiercely as Gwen guards her independence, could they learn to be allies instead of adversaries?

This first book in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs Series provides intriguing insights into how women challenged convention and shaped America in the early twentieth century.


Ideas come to writers in lots of different ways. The idea for The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series came to me back in 2003-2004 and had its genesis in a couple of other books. From Catching Katie had come a fascination with the decade leading up to the passing of the 19th Amendment that gave American women the right to vote. From a secondary character in Speak to Me of Love came a fondness for a woman in an unusual occupation. While those two things were rolling around in my head, up popped the final ingredient. A question: Who says a woman can't do a man's job? And the next thing I knew, I'd met Gwen and Cleo Arlington, the heroines of the first two books in the series. I had to wait to meet my third heroine until the hero of A Vote of Confidence walked into my imagination. Guess what, Morgan McKinley had a younger sister, Daphne. Each of these women have jobs that weren't considered a woman's domain in their time (1915-1918). I hope readers will become as fond of Gwen, Cleo, and Daphne -- and the men with whom they fall in love -- as I am.

Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren

Hi Friends,

The TV and radio interviews last week went great! Sooo neat to be able to talk about the infertility journey as we approached Mother's Day. Hope you were able to see the TV spots, but if not, try the online links (see last week's post below for the links). More on my trip later, but for now, I have last week's book to tell you about, then later today I'll post about this week's book.

So, here ya go:

Nothing But Trouble! (PJ Sugar - Trouble Collection) by Susan May Warren

ISBN 1414313128
Romantic Comedy/Suspense

PJ Sugar knows three things for sure:

After traveling the country for ten years hoping to shake free from the trail of disaster that’s become her life, she needs a fresh start.

The last person she wants to see when she heads home for her sister’s wedding is Boone—her former flame and the reason she left town.

Her best friend’s husband absolutely did not commit the first murder Kellogg , Minnesota , has seen in more than a decade.

What PJ doesn’t know is that when she starts digging for evidence, she’ll uncover much more than she bargained for—a deadly conspiracy, a knack for investigation, and maybe, just maybe, that fresh start she’s been longing for.

About Susan:
Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep’s Clothing, a thriller set in Russia , was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader’s Choice award. A former missionary to Russia , Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota .

Also! It's launch month for her new book, Nothing But Trouble, and she's running a "sweet" contest when people go "Hunting for Trouble" in their local bookstore! Click here for the Contest details: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/contest.html


Q: Where did the idea for PJ Sugar come from?

A: Every author dreams of a moment where someone says something, or they see something on the news, or in a newspaper and it springs out at them, nearly shouting – STORY IDEA! This happened to me a number of years ago while talking to friends about their daycare situation, and how one of the parents ended up being a murder suspect! Scary! But an interesting idea. About that time, I was a mom who wore many hats – homeschooling mom, writing teacher, speaker, children’s church leader, -- and it occurred to me that a mother really has to be a sort of PI. Not only taking on different roles, but sleuthing out daily household mysteries like, who ate the last of the peanut butter (and put it back in the cupboard?) and whose socks are laying in the middle of the floor, and finally…(in our house), who let the dog (and her muddy feet!) in the house! PJ is the alter-ego in every mom, that super-hero inside of us that allows us to have esp (I know you’re not really done with your homework!), or have “eyes in the back of our head,” (stop poking your sister!) or even figure out how to whip together an award-winning science project the night before the fair. PJ just applies all those skills to bad guys and figuring out the truth.

PJ Sugar is also a woman who wants to be all things to all people. She wants to be her nephew’s champion and her sister’s best friend, and her mother’s favorite daughter, and Boone’s special girl, and the hero of her hometown. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Maybe…because God wants her to be His girl, and satisfied in who He made her to be. And that is a journey for all of us PJ Sugars.

A note from Susan May Warren:

Sometimes, do you feel like you just don’t fit in? You look around you and if anyone knew how difficult it was just to put yourself together, to smile when you feel completely overwhelmed, to even figure out what you were making for supper, they’d know what a mess you were. Maybe you totally relate to those words in 1 Peter – God’s elect, strangers and aliens in the world. Do you feel like when you look in the rear view mirror, all you see are your mistakes?
Maybe not. But if so, then PJ is your gal. I wanted to write a story about the person in so many of us who just wants to get it right…but can’t seem to stay out of trouble. My friend and I have what we call the “stupid mouth” club…and we report our weekly foibles (usually on Monday, after Sunday church!). PJ is our charter member. She’s the girl that changes her mind, always hopes for the best, is always discovering that she is just a little different than everyone else. PJ is us.

And that’s good news. Because God loves PJ. He loves her messiness, and her impulsiveness, her heart bent toward others, the hope that fuels her actions. And He has a plan for PJ – one that includes her weaknesses as well as her strengths.

Yep, I need to hear that – need to hear that I don’t have to be perfect for God to love me, use me, sing over me. Need to hear that although I don’t fit in, well, I’m not supposed to…in fact, I’m supposed to be a little…alien.

I wrote PJ for everyone who feels just a little messy, just a little like they can’t quite get it right. And who needs to hear that God loves them. Period. Full stop. Hallelujah.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

TV Appearances & On Being Childless on Mother's Day

Hi Friends,

As you probably know, I'll be headed out this week to appear on 100 Huntley Street and The Harvest Show, as well as Moody Midday (that one's radio). I'll be talking about infertility as we approach Mother's Day. If you don't get the shows on your TV system, you can always watch online at http://www.harvest-tv.com/ and http://www.100huntley.com/. I'll be on The Harvest Show on Wednesday and 100 Huntley Street (their Full Circle program) on Friday.

So, I'm posting some thoughts early this week on being childless on Mother's Day. Below is the story of how I learned to face Mother's Day when I was childless and hoping so much for a baby.

On Being Childless on Mother’s Day:

It was the Sunday I dreaded most of the whole year. I almost stayed home. I almost pleaded sickness. I almost rolled over in bed and pulled the covers over my head. But I didn’t. And now I wished I had.

I clutched my Bible to my chest and stepped into the church sanctuary. Gauzy dresses and scrubbed-pink children met my gaze. Snippets of muted conversation mixed with the quiet notes of “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” In front, a banner proclaimed Happy Mother’s Day, and below it, a vase brimmed with delicate roses. Their velvety petals shimmered with tiny drops of dew beneath the church’s incandescent lights. The sight was beautiful, and I hated it. Dozens of perfectly formed roses - one for every mother in the congregation. But not for me.

I was childless. Month after month, year after year, I’d planned and waited and hoped. And still Mother’s Day came along and left me sitting here, with a hollow feeling in my gut and a tissue gripped tightly in my fist. I didn’t think this year would be any different.

I rubbed my hand over my suddenly-chilled skin. Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not . . . came the voice of our music director.

Compassion, Lord? You know what’s going to happen. It’s the same every year. The pastor will call all the mothers up front, and all the women will go, smiles wreathing their faces, some with babies in their arms. And I’ll be left sitting out here in the pews, the only woman among a horde of men and children. I can’t bear it again. I just can’t.

Too soon, the service began and the part came that I dreaded most. The Pastor stepped to the pulpit with a huge grin on his face. “Can I have all the mothers come up front, please?”

I lifted my chin and tried to keep it from trembling as dozens of flowered dresses rose from their seats and swayed toward the altar. Then, as I feared, it was only me, the men, the children, and . . . wait a minute!

To my right and three rows from the front, a little old lady with white hair still sat. Dora. Why hadn’t I noticed that she never went up on Mother’s Day before? Could it be that she, too, was childless?

From where I sat, I could see that her shoulders, though rounded now with age, didn’t tremble as the Pastor handed a rose to each mother. Her eyes weren’t watery like mine, and her mouth wasn’t turned down. Even as the women came back down the aisle, their roses in hand, Dora was smiling. Really smiling, not just that “I-need-to-try-to-look-pleasant-so-no-one-suspects” type of smile. Her whole face was a-bloom with contentment and joy. Joy - even though she never had children. How did she manage it, especially on Mother’s Day?

When the time came to stand up and greet one another, I hurried toward Dora. She turned and smiled at me, her hand extended.

“How do you do it?” I asked.

Her smile broadened, as if she knew just what I meant. “It will always be hard, dear,” she said and patted my arm with one thin hand. “You never get over the wishing.” Her voice softened.

“But for today, just today, let God be enough.”

“Enough of what?”

Dora paused and looked me directly in the eye. “Enough to love.”

Enough to love. As I pondered those three simple words throughout the day, I discovered in them the secret to surviving Mother’s Day, to surviving every day where wishing and disappointment clashed in my heart. Despite the pain, despite the longing, I needed to remember God’s love for me, and mine for Him. I needed to look beyond my ache for a child, and focus on telling Jesus that I loved Him, even now when my arms were empty, even on the hardest day of the year. And if I could do that, perhaps, just perhaps, I too would find the joy that was more beautiful than any dew-tipped rose.